Tag Archives: isew

Pattern: Jolene – Ready to Sew

Well, What a flood of great patterns I have seen on Instagram of late.  It seems the moment I go on an official pattern ban is the exact same time everyone releases new patterns.

One of these was the absolute Divine Jolene from Ready to sew.

Now, these guys already make one of my favourite sewing patterns:  The Jude (Its definitely in the top 5 fave patterns of all time).  In total I have made four Judes, one I have worn to death, one was experimental faux leather, the other two are Black and white basics I am yet to blog about.

I felt an affinity with the Jolene as soon as I saw it.  For someone with large breasts, the ruching on the side paired with the flat of the front looked like it could help tone down this area on me.

I had a beautiful light woven fabric in red in the stash.  This particular one was a reject from the bulk buy of fabrics I bought for costumes.  So its not a colour I am used to, or ordinarily would go for. But In attempts of stash busting it pushes me out of my comfort zone.  Plus it being £1.10 a metre meant that even if I didn’t love it, at least it was a wearable Toile.

So How Did It Sew?

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Date Completed: 5th April

Omg, I love this pattern!  I loved sewing it, I loved piecing it all together.  I am just so in love with it on too!

The instructions (as with all ready to sews) are amazing:  Simple and well explained, I love the little drawings/diagrams… and a recommended playlist is always a must.

The fit is perfect for me as a plus size.  I was so worried that the size I went for wouldn’t fit but I am glad I didn’t over size my garment as I usually do.  It is slightly snug on the waist band, but it doesn’t notice with the grouped buttons.

Overall, I love this dress, I have already found some left over fabric from my shirt dress to make a lone sleeve short version.  I feel I need a good basic shirt in my wardrobe to layer up with, and this is perfect.

 

My Pattern – Babydoll Dress

This idea had been forming in my mind for a while;  I think its clear by now that I like an oversized simple casual style that I can dress up.  Which sounds simple enough, until you try to shop for this AND are a plus size.  Hence why I sew.  But I still search for inspiration, sometimes things fir the criteria.

One thing that kept popping up was a simple babydoll dress with puff ball oversized sleeves (I am assuming oversized sleeves, but these are on tiny models so just sleeves) So I set about planning one out:

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Again, this was another idea I had to purge, it was haunting me and I found that I had to get it out into the world to move on with other projects (the creative mind!) I had a semi sheer crepe fabric in my stash that wasn’t doing very much, I felt that it could be semi wearable, if not, I have not wasted a good fabric, at least get a wearable Toile out of it.

This work was completely self drafted, I made a practice bodice and one sleeve, adjusted the height of where the skirt would sit on my breasts and hardly needed to adjust the paper pattern before jumping right in.  To be honest, I find this the best way to work, throwing caution to the wind and just doing.

I am not ashamed to admit I watched a few tutorial and read a few blogs for this one.  The online sewing community is amazing, full of talent and an abundance of information.  Use it!  My sleeve was drafted purely from looking at pinterest diagrams!

So How did it Sew?

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Date Completed: 13th April 2017

For a fabric I had little faith in, I am not hating it, its definitely something different in my wardrobe, even though it is a little stiff still.  (I am planning a fabric softener soak if possible)  This dress was simple and quick make, from idea to draft to completion.  This was due to the skirt part just being two large gathered rectangles rather than a drafted piece, but i feel it added to the dress and allowed for maximum gathers.

The bodice part is double layered, despite this I will be wearing it over a slip or the classic vest and leggings due to its sheerness.

One plus about this fabric being stiffer is how the puff sleeves fit.  Depending on the materiel for my next attempt (and there will be one) i may have to consider a mesh or a supporting fabric inside the puff.

A great bonus of self drafting is not having to follow a pattern, and although it was a bit of a freestyle, the freedom is a relief.  Not that I tend to stick to instructions, its just nice to figure it out yourself. Its definitely more fun, and quicker as long as you don’t make a mistake.

I absolutely love this dress on.  As a plus size sewer I was worried about adding volume around the bust without highlighting the waist, but I love the silhouette it gives me.

I have already selected my next material for another of these.  I am even considering a single button at the top as something a little different.

 

Made by Me: Basic Circle Skirt

In desperate need of some skirts , I thought I would start with a simple classic to ease me in; The Circle Skirt.

Being Plus sized, using the conventional calculator online tended to put me off using the classic folded square method.  In fact, after having a worry about it not fitting, I just went for it, and still ended up chopping A LOT off.  Honestly, I measure and calculate and end up making more work for myself, sometimes just going for it, or going for a smaller size just fits.  Its mad.   So my advice to other plus size sewers?  Just have a fiddle about and you may be pleasantly surprised.

Also, I have very short legs, with a long body, so when it says ‘short’ that normally means ‘just right’ on me.

I didn’t just want a pull on skirt, although my choice of fabric would allow this option, I just wanted the ease of a zip and hook.  This is what took up the bulk of time in construction, it is a ridiculously quick sew.

So How did it Sew?

(completed: 15th March 2017)

The fabric was a scuba, quite thick and had a good stretch.  I got it from the cheap shop again, but it has a lovely feel.. What i like is that it feels like a basic skirt you can pick up in any high street store.

I would include the measurements, but i did cut quite a bit off so they ended up being irrelevant.  Again, plus sizers, test out with a cheap normal width of fabric, it might just mean you end up with a shorter skirt to get the waist in, but don’t take the math as Gospel.

One of the calculators I used was from By Hand London It had the best layout of the lot, and was so user friendly.

If you are a complete novice, I advise this video.  At first I found Daina a little annoying, but ultimately she grew on me, and this is a well put together and informative video, as are all her videos, please check her out.

Lastly, ANY suggestions for a good solid skirt pattern, please leave a comment.  I still need a little inspiration in this area.  Thanks in advance sewing community!

x

Made By Me – Flower Dress

I am not completely out of touch with the current high street fashion, although it is everything I sew against! In fact it is where I get most of my inspiration from.  I regularly ‘shop’ without actually purchasing… maybe sometimes!

Since sewing, I have only bought a few items, most I have copied or resorted to copying because they didn’t have a plus size version.   And now I have become really Fussy with what I buy, Not saying that I have been blind to fast fashion before, I just have a lot more time and energy to invest in sewing it myself.  But when i do buy, it is usually something I can’t make, like a band tee or a vintage denim jacket.  Also, most recently i threw out all my old knickers and just bought multi packs from Primark… and some Pokemon socks… some things you just have to buy.

One thing i have seen is oversized low back jersey Dresses.  Mainly in Urban Outfitters and the likes, so I decided to make one.  This ended up being a Hack of a recent Hack (Hackception?)  I redrew the pattern from the cross dress, which was originally a Luisa from Wear lemonade, Just without the button front I added.

So How did It Sew?

Completed:  4th February 2017

For the back I cut the V much deeper than I did on the pattern,  and added a strip of fabric across the shoulders to hold it on. This I cut far too long, I had originally sewn it neatly into the binding, unfortunately it needed to be about a third of the size i measured.  It wasn’t as neat a finish as first attempt, but on its not noticeable. The string ended up sitting much higher than I thought.

I really buggered up the sleeve as well with a blind hem on the over locker.  But luckily I had cut the length ridiculously long and had more than enough to play with and not end up with 3/4 sleeves as I first feared.

The Fabric itself is from Girl Charlee, and had been in my stash quite a while before I finally paired it with this idea.

When I first tried it on I was unsure of the print, I though it made the garment look a little frumpy (keep in mind this was slipped on over my Pjs!)  Once dressed up with a pair of boots chucked on, it was much better.

One thing I am still debating is spraying it with bleach to give it a more contemporary feel (another thing I have seen done a lot on the high street) I love the rust colour tones you get from the process.  Unfortunately I have used all the fabric (only ordered a small amount and the trapeze skirt used up a lot) so I haven’t got any to mess up.

Oh well, I will have to see.

Oh and here is the very bad picture of the back, since that is the main feature of this dress:

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Made By me: The Grainline Alder with Sleeve Hack

The Grainline studio is something i have had on my radar for a while, yet never actually got round to purchasing,  Yet after seeing Alder after Alder (both versions) on Instagram, I  finally took the plunge and got one.

The pattern itself is beautifully designed, I love the simplicity of it:  Block colours, simple line drawings – it’s a minimalist dream!  This continues into the actually paper pattern pieces.  I have to admit I do prefer a white paper for a pattern.  I am not saying that I hate the brown/cream/beige colours, I just love the crispness of a white, especially when they use a blue print too.  Pattern porn!

The instructions are simple and well illustrated – although I would suggest making the two versions more distinguishable, purely for the ease of coming back to reference the booklet whilst working,  But this is so minor it really doesn’t matter.

So how did it Sew?

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Completed:  30th January 2017

I really enjoyed this pattern, it was simple and easy and quick.  I used a shirt material with tiny burnout holes in it.  I am prepping for better weather, until them this can be layered!

I added sleeves as a bit of a hack for this.  I debated 3/4 length, but in a debate with myself I concluded that a full length can be rolled to a short, and still be worn under a cardigan ( i like the cuff to sit out the bottom of the cardigan sleeve, it looks neater to me)

I achieved the sleeve but tracing round the pattern to start making my own sleeve template… i then discovered, after a bit of a rummage, it was an exact fit for another sleeve I had previously drafted.  Gotta love that when it happens!

The buttons were meant to replace some on another project I had used basic buttons for, but I am not gonna lie, I couldn’t be bothered to cut them off an re sew! So I just used the fancy ones for this.  They really make the dress though, so I am really happy how they turned out.

I even like this dress done right up to the collar, which is rare, especially with gigantic boobs like mine I can sometimes look quite matron like without the open neck line.  But this is Super cute.

I cut this out in the largest size and it is the perfect fit for me.  The is a slight gap at the bust BUT, this happens on everything for me.  Again those pesky gigantic breast always making a bid for freedom.

Overall,  I LOVE this pattern, especially the version I did with the rouching on the side.  It is so flattering on me.  I am planning another in a plaid fabric (again with the sleeves)  I MAY hack it a bit more and do a full skirt instead of a button front… I will see where the fabric takes me.

p.s sorry for the sub-par pictures!  The lack of good lighting combine with the time I haven’t got to optimise that lighting means you are just getting some full mirror shots…. sorry x

Cocowawa Crafts: Marshmallow Dress

I was so excited for this dress after I saw EVERYONE’S makes for it on Instagram, all at the same time, so I eventually ordered it and made it.

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Check out Cocowawa Crafts Marshmallow Dress Here.

The pattern is amazing, I have been looking for a big dress like this, with a ruffle detail hem, for quite a while now.  I was also looking for a suitable pattern to whip up out of a bit of Tartan over Christmas. It was a perfect match.  I went for a Dark Tartan, with Navy and Bottle green, I am not 100% sure where I got it from, but it arrived just before December.

When I cut out the pattern I extended down the hem of the sleeve as I planned to make it long sleeve, like a shirt. I use this method a lot to get the perfect fit on a sleeve if a long sleeve version isn’t provided (almost a custom fit in a sense)

So How Did It Sew?

Completed: 4th January 2017 (Majority made in December 2016)

This was a good sew as in the way it goes together, although it has been one of my most challenging patterns, but that was due to my own stupidity:

All was going well until The sleeve!  I had made the majority of the top when I decided to sort out the sleeve before attaching (it was sewn, just needed a taper down to the cuff)  Before that I thought I would slip it on to pin the taper and get a good fit.  This is when I discovered that the upper arm was too tight.  I was devastated as I had already chopped up all the fabric (it was narrower than usual) and wouldn’t be able to cut more sleeves.  So in a bit of a Huff I dumped it into my To Do box to deal with later.

I had planned to have this as my Christmas day dress, so I then whipped up a plan B and went for the Red Crushed Velvet Sudley (see previous post)

After Xmas, in that weird time before New year that no one quite knows what to do in, I wanted to tie up some loose ends, so picked up the Marshmallow again.  Just to see how much I was off by, I slipped on the sleeve to see what I could do… and would you believe it, it fitted!  Honestly i have not lost weight on my arms, I must have just had a stupid moment first time round (blame the Xmas December Madness)

So I finished the dress, with long sleeves that fit, and I love it!  I cannot wait to wear it out properly.  I love how it is floaty, yet doesn’t add volume to my figure!  I highly recommend this pattern, and I can;t wait to see what Cocowawa Crafts has lined up for the future.

Victory Patterns – Lola Jumper Dress

Well this was a long time coming to completion!

I had cut this pattern and just left it sitting in my to do box for the longest of times… I blame the December madness, it had nothing to do with me not wanting to do it!

The fabric was from my little cheap shop at Watney market, It has been in my stash for quite a while (but not as long as others) I was debating whether to use it for this, or just a plain jumper.  I was concerned that the dots wouldn’t work with the pattern as it has so many pieces to join together.  Being so small it would be difficult to pattern match (if at all)  I took a chance and relied on it being so busy that it won’t notice, and I think it turned out okay for the lack of effort of not pattern matching.

So How Did it Sew?

This is my third victory pattern, but was my first PDF version from them,  I was pleased with the quality of it and how easy it was to piece together.

Completed: December 2016 

This, despite all the sections, is an easy sew. You basically make the top and the bottom and just attach in the middle.  It is easy, but time consuming, even on an over locker, mainly due to the sheer amount of seams and joins, it also takes up a lot of time when cutting.  It can be a bit fiddly lining up all the seems, I was lucky I was consciously being quite neat and not just going with it as I tend to do sometimes (read as: most times…)

I annoyed myself as I forgot to cut the sleeves longer, I prefer a jumper to have a full sleeve rather than a 3/4 length, but I have been wearing all the same, just over some leggings as pictured.  I think for my next attempt I might try a lighter fabric for a more sports lux look.  One thing i would like to hack is a smaller neckline, it was just a little too wide for my liking.