Category Archives: Patterns

Introducing the Lillia T-Shirt

Do you Know those days when all you want is to feel comfortable in your clothes? When you want to feel loose and free from any restrictions?

On my bedside table at the moment is a biography of the fashion designer Coco Chanel. An independent woman with drive and the determination to succeed. What interested me, when I read it the other day . was the that fact we have her to thank for the introduction of jersey fabric into women’s fashion. It is a fabric we take very much for granted now to give us the comfort and ease of movement we demand in our casual and leisure wear. I don’t know what we would do without it. So thank you very much Coco, along with the little black dress, shorter skirts and the perfect Chanel suit of course.

The Lillia T-Shirt is possibly the most comfortable top you will ever wear.

You will reach for it over and over again. It can be made from any colour or print of stretch jersey fabric, from light to medium weight as long as it has a two way stretch, so it stretches in both horizontal and vertical directions on the cloth. I included how to do the stretch test in the Red Body con dress blog.

The fabric I am using today is a medium weight jersey  lace with a good quality stretch to it. I thought that it would add a touch of femininity to the look, as well as function. So I am making the Lillia T-Shirt top in the longer sleeve version and also the longer length but without the side vent detailing. I’m making the neckband from the same fabric too, however you could choose to use a contrasting fabric for the neckband to add a bit of interest if you wanted. In the picture above I am wearing the cap sleeve option in navy blue light weight jersey, with the side vent openings.

Lillia T-shirt Pattern
Lillia T-shirt Pattern

 

How to make a T-Shirt

When you have downloaded and printed off your pattern, tape it together and cut out your chosen size and style. You can have the cap or long sleeve options with either the shorter or longer lengths, the choice is up to you.

I wear a US size 8 (UK 12) and I am a little taller than average, therefore I have chosen to make the longer style today.

 

When you are sewing with stretch fabric use a small zigzag or stretch stitch setting on your sewing machine. A ball point needle can also be a useful tool.

Lillia T-shirt Pattern Construction Layout image
Lillia T-shirt Pattern Construction Layout

When you have cut out your fabric pieces, the first step is to stitch the shoulder seams together. This is the same method for both the long and short sleeved style options.

Lillia T-shirt Pattern Neck Band Construction image
Lillia T-shirt Pattern Neck Band Construction

To make the neckband you first join the two ends together.

Lillia T-shirt Pattern Neck Band image
Lillia T-shirt Pattern Neck Band

 

Then fold the neckband in half with the right side facing out. Baste along the open edge to hold it closed.

Attaching Neck Band on Lillia T-shirt Pattern image
Attaching Neck Band on Lillia T-shirt Pattern

Pin the band to the neckline at the centre back, centre front and at the shoulders. Space it evenly. When you stitch the band in place, stretch it a little as you sew to make it fit.

Top Stitching the Neck band on Lillia T-shirt Pattern image
Top Stitching the Neck band on Lillia T-shirt Pattern

With the right side of the Lillia T-Shirt facing upwards, top stitch around the neck edge, about ¼ inch/ 0.6 cm under the seamline. Work slowly and carefully around the neckline to create a good finish.

Turn the garment so that the right sides are together again and stitch the side seams. Snip into the seam allowance at the underarm to allow for a neat curve.

Hem the sleeves and finally hem the bottom edge to your required length.

Long Sleeved Lillia T-shirt Pattern image
Long Sleeved Lillia T-shirt Pattern

Once you have practiced and mastered putting on the neckband you will be making this Lillia T-Shirt in all your favorite fabrics. You could play around with the design, for example, by adding an exposed zip at the back, making contrasting neck and arm bands or lengthening it into a tunic. Last summer I made this top from two completely different fabrics, using a silk on the front and a jersey for the back. If you try this, make sure you can still get it off over your head.

Lillia T-shirt Pattern
Lillia T-shirt Pattern

There are infinite ways to make and style this top. You can make it for all age groups and  for every season.

Please enjoy making your very own Lillia, I love all mine.

Floral Sleeveless Dress Sewing Pattern

How to make your own Hyacinth Sleeveless Dress

Do you ever wish you had the perfect dress for many different occasions? Well this Floral Sleeveless Dress Sewing Pattern may be the perfect pattern to use to create many dresses for those occasions, office, school run, shopping, socialising.

I have chosen to make it from a colourful floral fabric made from viscose ( that’s what the ticket said), it has a really lovely drape to it and hangs beautifully. You could use many different types of fabric for this dress though, cotton, poly cotton, ponti roma or even wool blends or denim. The simple style of the dress also lends itself to embellishment and decoration if that is what you like to make.

Hyacinth-Sleeveless-Dress-4623
Finished Hyacinth Sleeveless Dress

 

Once you have downloaded and printed off your pdf pattern, assemble the paper pattern pieces like a jigsaw following the construction diagram. Tape the pieces together and carefully cut out your desired size. As always, with all patterns, make any personal alterations, such as length, to fit your shape and size. 

Hyacinth Sleeveless Dress Pattern
Hyacinth Sleeveless Dress Pattern

 

The Hyacinth Sleeveless Dress is a great beginner level fashion sewing project

This is because there are just five simple pattern pieces, the back and back facing, the front and front facing and the optional inseam pocket piece.

You will need to cut out from your fashion fabric, one front piece on a fold, one front facing piece on a fold, two back pieces, two back facings and if you are including side seam pockets you will need to cut out four pocket pieces.

I’m going to go through how to sew the facing into the dress so that all of the neck and armhole edges are faced simply and beautifully so that all of the raw edges will be caught inside.

When you have cut out all of your fabric pieces, start by marking the dart positioning. Stitch the front darts in place and with your Iron press them downwards. Then sew the shoulder seams together on the main dress and the shoulder seams on the facing pieces, press these open.

When you have done this lay the main dress out on your work table and place the facing on top of it with the right sides together. Get everything all aligned and matched up and pin it in place. 

Hyacinth-Dress-Position-the-Facing4574

 

Sew all around the neck edge and both armhole edges taking your full ⅝ inch/1.5 cm seam allowance. 

Hyacinth Sleeveless Dress Snipping Seam Allowance
Hyacinth Sleeveless Dress Snipping Seam Allowance

With sharp scissors, snip into the seam allowance close to your stitching line but do not cut into it, to help ease the curve and create the right shape. Now you have done this for both armholes and the neck edge, lay the work out flat on your work table again. 

Hyacinth Dress Turing the facing
Hyacinth Dress Turing the facing

 

Turning the facing all the right way around

Now for the best bit!

Put your hand up into the front of the garment between the fabric and the facing and take hold of the back piece. Pull the back all of the way through to the front. Repeat on the other side. The first time I did this I thought it was magic how it all came together!

 

Hyacinth Sleeveless Dress Turing the facing
Hyacinth Sleeveless Dress Turing the facing

 

Hyacinth Sleeveless Dress Facing
Hyacinth Sleeveless Dress Facing

 

Topstitch around the neck and armhole edges, working slowly and guiding it through the sewing machine, on the facing fabric about ¼ inch/ 0.5 cm from the seam stitch line. This will stop the facing from rolling out over the finished front edge. 

Hyacinth Sleeveless Dres Top Stitching
Hyacinth Sleeveless Dres Top Stitching

 

With the right sides of your fabric together, sew  both of the side seams together from the hem all the way up the side and continue up the facing to the top edge.

On the center back seam measure down from the top of the main fabric 6 inches/ 15 cm and mark this point. Sew the back seam together, leaving the opening at the top.

You are almost finished now!

Top stitch along the sides of the back seam opening. Turn the facing in and neaten by stitching in place. The special little touch at the opening top is a loop and button fastening. Find a single fabulous button to compliment the colour of the dress and it will be a real feature.

 

Hyacinth Sleeveless Dress Back
Hyacinth Sleeveless Dress Back

 

Lastly you just need to hem the dress to your required length, give it all a press and it is ready for you to wear out.

All done.

How many Hyacinth Sleeveless Dresses can you make in a day?

Take a look at all the new patterns in my pattern store which updates regularly as new PDF downloadable patterns are added.

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Happy Sewing