Thursday, 28 July 2016

New Look 6217 x 3

Things have been a bit quiet around my little blog recently, initially because I was busy making things for other people (which don't always make it to the blog), and then because life itself got busy. I've got a couple of projects finished and waiting to be photographed now though, so there should be some more regular updates coming up. Starting with three versions of the same pattern - New Look 6217.

I'll be the first to admit that I would have completely overlooked this pattern if it hadn't been for the version that Handmade Jane made. I've seen a few versions cropping up online since then, so I suspect I wasn't the only one who she inspired to buy this pattern.

Personally, I was only really interested in view B - a woven t-shirt/top with grown on short sleeves. It's very similar to an old RTW top of mine that I'd been debating copying, but I knew it would have taken me a while to get round to doing that so I thought I'd take the easy option and get the pattern. Especially when New Look patterns went on a 50% off sale so it was less than £3!

The first version I made was the one above, using a fun seaside print viscose from The Textile Centre on ebay - they don't seem to have it in stock any more but they have lots of other lovely viscose prints.

I made a size 14, and the only alteration I made was to cut the back on the fold instead of as 2 separate pieces. This does eliminate the keyhole opening at the back neckline but, while they look pretty, I often find them a bit annoying, so that's fine for me. I have no problems getting the top over my head without the neckline opening - and if I can do that, then I suspect most people will be able to because I have quite a big head!

The top is a quick project - particularly when you eliminate the back seam, which leaves you with just one front and one back piece. The neckline is simply finished with bias binding (for all the versions I've sewn so far, I've made my own binding from the offcuts of the fabric), and there are no darts or anything even, so it's a really simple but effective piece.

My second version was using a star print viscose from Regency Rags, which again now seems to be out of stock. I think this version is slightly less successful than my first one, and that's entirely due to the fabric. It was definitely sold as a viscose, but is much crisper and has less drape than other viscoses that I've used before. This top really benefits from a fabric with a good drape, and this second version just doesn't hang quite as nicely as the first. It's still perfectly wearable though, and indeed has already been worn a couple of times since I finished it a few weeks ago.

Having seen my versions of the top, my Mum decided that she'd like one of her own - particularly when we went to Sewn the other week and she spotted this gorgeous Cloud 9 double gauze.

(As a side note, if you're in or near Bristol, I'd definitely recommend paying Sewn a visit - they're relatively newly opened and have a growing range of beautiful dressmaking fabrics, and a good selection of indie & vintage patterns, and haberdashery. And Marie who runs it is lovely, which just makes fabric shopping even better!).

Mum tried one of my tops on, and luckily it fit her nicely so making a version for her was no trouble at all. I haven't worked with double gauze before - I think mainly because I'd never felt any in the flesh and couldn't imagine quite what it would be like from online descriptions - but this definitely won't be the last time I use it. It did fray a little, but other than that it was no problem to sew and it feels so soft. I'll admit that I was slightly reluctant to hand this over to my Mum!

So there we go - three versions so far, and I'm sure there'll be more to come in the future. I think New Look 6217 has already proved to be a worthwhile investment for me!

Friday, 1 July 2016

Scoop-neck Susie & Emery skirt

This post is all about two patterns that I've made before, but in slightly different forms to how you may be used to seeing them. The first is a relatively new kid on the block - the Sew Over It Susie blouse, while the second is my most-used pattern - the Christine Haynes Emery dress.

I really like my first Susie blouse, which I made a couple of months ago. At the time, I mentioned that there was a piece of fabric sitting in my stash that I had earmarked for another version, and here it is! I bought the fabric - a lovely hot air balloon print cotton - from Guthrie & Ghani at some point last year. I bought it with the intention of making the Colette Aster, but then changed my mind. Since then, it's almost become a number of other tops, but something always stopped me from cutting into the fabric. When my first Susie was a success, I decided the pattern was what this fabric had been waiting for, but with a couple of changes.

Firstly, I thought that with a fun print like this, it might be better to keep things simple and make a collarless version - obviously a very easy adjustment because you just don't make the collar!

After pondering things for a while though, I thought that a collarless version might look better with a scoop rather than a V neck. This was also fairly simple - I just placed the scoop neck from a tried and tested pattern (the one I used for these two dresses) over the front piece of the Susie blouse, and traced it over. I think it worked nicely!

The Susie blouse is a straightforward and relatively quick project anyway, but omitting the collar means that it becomes really speedy. Much though I like the original pattern and the first version I made, I think I like this scoop neck even more.

Now for the skirt! This isn't exactly what I was planning to sew when I ordered this fabric. It's a linen and viscose mix from Fabric Rehab, which I bought to make a summery circle skirt. Sadly, either the fabric isn't quite as wide as it says on the website, or it shrank a bit during washing. I didn't measure it before washing, but mine's now a good 5cm less than the measurement on the website, and that 5cm was the difference between just about being able to eek out a circle skirt, and not having quite enough material to make a skirt long enough for my liking.

I had a brief strop to myself about not being able to do what I wanted, then decided the fabric would be equally as nice for a gathered skirt. I used the waistband from the Veronika skirt, which I know fits nicely from the versions I've made, and instead of just gathering a rectangle of fabric, I used the skirt pieces (and pockets, obviously!) from the Emery dress. For those of you not familiar with the pattern, the Emery skirt has a slight A-line shape, which slightly reduces the bulk of the gathers at the waist and I think is more flattering on me.

I'd definitely rate the top and the skirt as individual successes, made even better by the fact that they go really nicely together.

These two pieces of fabric both obviously decided that they had different destinies from what I had originally planned for them. That's fine by me, my sewing plans are always fairly flexible anyway, and it's always worth changing things around a bit to get the right outcome - don't you think?