Did you know that Make It Perfect attended the last International Quilt Market in Minneapolis? Well, I wasn’t there in person but my pattern distributors (Creative Abundance) were there showcasing my patterns along with a few other designers from Australia.
I sent over a whole heap of samples for display and it was a great excuse to sew up a few fresh ones too.
I have a cupboard full of Make It Perfect samples but sometimes I sneak the samples out of the cupboard and into my own wardrobe! I needed to make a new Skippy dress because nothing was sample-worthy and this is what was created…
I used an Art Gallery knit, and am so happy with the quality of this fabric. It’s great that the bigger fabric manufacturers are spending more time creating fabrics that are suited to sewing clothing, the variety and types of fabrics are ever increasing giving us so many more options for sewing.
I didn’t use any contrasting fabrics for this dress, just the spots all the way through and I love the effect. I’m not sure where this dress will end up yet…it should be living in the samples cupboard so I don’t have to sew up another one next time I need a sample but I can feel it making it’s way towards my own wardrobe!
I’m still in a sewing slump. I’m finding it hard to settle into my new sewing area and have been working on a few new patterns, but not feeling like I am making great progress with any of them. In past experience, the best thing to do when I’m not feeling enthused by any of my sewing projects is to let them go for a little while and get stuck into something “just for fun” – so I did just that!
Our weather has really started to turn, we are still getting some warm days but there is a chill in the air that is hinting towards Winter and for some reason, cold weather sewing is my favourite. I like making snuggly clothes that will keep me (or the kids) warm and cosy and prefer buying winter-weight fabric over lightweight.
So I flicked through my pile of unsewn sewing patterns (yes, I have a big collection of patterns I have never used too!) and decided to give the Lane Raglan by Hey Juen a turn. I remember seeing a few Raglans sewn by Kelly of Cut Cut Sew (here, here, here) in the past and they are exactly what I feel like wearing at the moment. Comfortable, casual and perfect to wear day after day.
I would usually sew a size small in a top like this, but I didn’t want my raglan to be a fitted tee, more like a slouchy sweater, so I cut out a medium instead. Perfect fit for the look I was after. This is such a versatile pattern and really well written. With just a few little changes you can achieve a different look every time you sew it. By sizing up or down you can get a more snug or loose fit. And the type of knit fabric you use changes the look completely too.
I wanted my raglan to be like a jumper – soft, loose and baggy and used a hoarded french terry knit I bought awhile ago from Ixat. It is the best fabric – a light marle grey with red/blue/purple specks all over it. It isn’t too thick and is really soft and squishy and just lovely to wear. I purchased 2 yards so still have plenty left over but wish I had bought more now because I will use it for everything! I also bought the same fabric but with a black background and multi-coloured specks that I’m hanging out to use too now.
I know this jumper is really going to get a workout this Winter – I have already worn it more days than not since I made it and finally managed to wash it over the weekend ready to wear again and again and again! And yes, I’ve since made another raglan and have been wearing that one on the other days!
It was only a matter of time before I joined the Bombshell Swimsuit bandwagon. I first noticed this pattern in the middle of 2014, Winter for us, and I wasn’t really interested in spending my sewing time on Summer attire so I popped it away for warmer days. And stocked up on some swimwear fabric in the meantime.
After a few beach trips this Summer, I was well and truly sick of my current swimmers and that was good enough incentive to spend a few evenings sewing myself a new pair – and here they are!
The pattern was great, I had a few issues getting an even zig-zag stitch with the rubbery swimwear elastic I bought but it ended up okay in the end. My sewing machine doesn’t sew well with cheap thread on any decorative stitches and I had no polyester navy blue thread in my stash so I ended up doing all of my topstitching with 100% cotton thread in order to get an even stitch…so I’m really hoping that it holds up in the elements! I don’t really go swimming that much and I’m sure I will make myself a few more swim suits in the future so I think we will be okay! There are still a few areas of skipped stitches but they aren’t noticeable enough to be an eyesore.
This pair of swimmers is my trial version…I’ve got a few other lovely swimwear fabrics in my stash that I want to use on another pair – or maybe even another pattern? But thought this navy blue fabric (from the Fabric Fairy) would be a good, basic design to start with. I lined the entire swimsuit in nude lining also.
For future Bombshells, I wouldn’t change much at all except increase the shape and support in the bust! I knew that I would like a pair of swimmers with good bust support but for this pair I pulled out some cups from an old pair of swimmers I had in my cupboard and they weren’t very supportive at all!
I really like how modest this swimsuit is, it provides good coverage in all the right places and is comfortable to wear. Nothing worse that being at the beach in something that doesn’t make you feel good! Plus, the extreme gathering on the side and back seams really helps to disguise parts of the body that aren’t in such good shape!
Anyway, if you are wanting to sew swimwear for yourself, you should really try this pattern as a starter to help you get the feel for it. I didn’t find the experience hard, but there were some parts where I didn’t really get what was happening but just keep following the instructions and it all makes sense in the end!
I’m almost to the end of my un-blogged sewing projects. Like these three tops. The change of season always brings around “wardrobe crisis” – usually in the category of tops. Last year’s are tired, worn out or I just need something fresh and new – you get it, right?! Plus ALL of my knit tops end up with a couple of little holes right in the front, a few inches above the hem. I have no idea why, but more often than not I am getting rid of tops because of these little pesky holes! Does that happen to you? So frustrating!
So, for this top I used my Skippy dress pattern, but didn’t add the skirt to the bottom. I love this style – it has a lovely relaxed fit, the half-sleeves are always a win and the kangaroo pocket in the front and gathered sleeve caps help set it apart from a regular tshirt.
After these photographs were taken and after I had worn the top a few times, I ended up taking off the hem band and shortening the length a bit to make it more snug around my hips. It has a much nicer fit now. This fabric was purchased from Ixat (no longer avaliable) and I originally bought it as a “boy-friendly” print with intentions to use it for one of the boys but it was quite lightweight and I thought it would suit an adult better than a child so it became mine!
And another one of the same…Skippy dress turned into a top. This fabric is also from Ixat (also out of stock), but much thicker and with a better recovery than the arrow print and you can see how much that effects the way the finished top looks. Knit fabric varies so much, using different fabrics for the same pattern can give it a totally different look.
All of the trims and bands for this top were made using a really good quality black jersey with great stretch and recovery. The waistband on this one was cut exactly the same size as the one in the arrow top but it much tighter here because of the recovery (how much it “bounces back” when you stretch and let it go) of the fabric. Unless you have someone to guide your sewing decisions, sewing with knits is a real trial-and-error process until you get to know what is going to work, how things will turn out with different fabrics, etc. I loved this fabric uncut, but it is pretty “out there” as a top! I have to be in the right mood to wear it and have actually changed the sleeve bands from the solid black fabric to the triangle print to try and tone down on the contrast so much but I’m not sure that was the best move?!
And the last Spring top make is using a different pattern altogether! This one is the City Girl Top. I bought it during a sale from Pattern Anthology a long time ago and hadn’t used any of the patterns yet so thought I needed to at least give one of them a try!
The fabric I used was purchased on clearance from Crafty Mamas, it was really cheap so I thought it would be good for a trial-run before cutting into a more expensive fabric. I think I would like the top more in a solid print, but the fit is really nice – very comfortable to wear as it is nice and loose and flowy, but the cowl neck and pleat in the front are just enough “extra” to give it a more dressy rather than casual look.
So, now we are half-way through Summer (although it doesn’t feel like it some days!) and I have Summer wardrobe crisis going on! Need to sew some short-sleeved tops and a swimsuit or two ASAP!
Truth be told, I’m still trying to get into the sewing groove…it always takes awhile to find the time during the Summer school holidays, but playing at the beach, working in the yard and hanging out with the kids have taken priority lately. And I like it that way.
I was cleaning out some folders on my computer last week though and found a few items of clothing that I have sewn and never blogged about – kinda helpful to keep the blog rolling along!
This is a Skippy dress I made awhile ago – I think this may be the first short-sleeved version I have shared on the blog?
I choose to go a solid chocolate brown for this one. A little more subtle than the loud prints I am usually drawn to. And it gets a good workout. As fun as it is to sew with bold prints, these plain basics are always the ones that are easy to pull out of the wardrobe without much thought in the morning.
I really love the gathered cap sleeve option on the Skippy dress. This sleeve is gathered both at the top and the bottom of the sleeve, creating a full and even puff. The edge of the sleeve is finished off with a thin band.
I’m determined to break my sewing fast today…whip up a few “needed” items then start work on a new pattern because it’s been awhile!