Sewing Avenue http://www.sewingavenue.com Fashion Patterns and Sewing Inspiration Sat, 23 May 2015 00:21:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 http://i2.wp.com/www.sewingavenue.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/SA-logo2-icon-54a51df9v1_site_icon.png?fit=32%2C32 Sewing Avenue http://www.sewingavenue.com 32 32 Lace Shirt http://www.sewingavenue.com/lace-shirt/ Sat, 23 May 2015 00:21:38 +0000 http://www.sewingavenue.com/?p=1387 Romance really seems to be in the air at this time of year. At my local church down the road, there is either a wedding or a child’s christening every other day this month. So with the sunshine in the blue sky and love in the air I thought I would try to capture the … Continue reading Lace Shirt

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Romance really seems to be in the air at this time of year. At my local church down the road, there is either a wedding or a child’s christening every other day this month. So with the sunshine in the blue sky and love in the air I thought I would try to capture the romantic flavour of some of the light and easy bohemian styles around this season with my romantic lace shirt.

I adore lace and this pale peach coloured lace has been in the fabric stash for a while now. I realised that I only had just over a yard of it and have taken it out and played around with different ideas for garments several times recently. To make this shirt I had to experiment with the layout of the pattern pieces to be able to squeeze enough fabric to make it. The lace does not have any stretch to it, unlike the jersey lace I used for the Lillia T-shirt. It drapes quite nicely and has enough body to create a defined shape, especially at the cuff where the sleeve is gathered. In fact it is a similar cuff to the alteration I made on my Rosie Shirt recently. I like a three quarter length sleeve for everyday wear.

For this shirt I wanted to see if I could sew it together using just my serger/overlocker! I am fortunate enough to have a machine which converts to have a cover-stitch function. I had only ever used this for hemming before and felt that I needed to come to grips with it as a proper sewing method.

Lace Shirt Front image
Lace Shirt Front
Lace Shirt Shoulder seam inage
Lace Shirt Shoulder seam

 

The raglan sleeve in this shirt pattern seemed very suitable to being assembled using the cover-stitch, which leaves a decorative, visible detail on the outside of the fabric.

Lace Shirt Sewing image
Lace Shirt Sewing

 

The underarm and side seams are stitched together with the regular four thread serging technique and in the end I only had to get my sewing machine out to topstitch around the neckband. So I am very pleased with having made a whole garment which is not stretch jersey, exclusively with my serger machine. This had given me new confidence using this machine.

A word of caution though, if you are new to making clothing with your serger, If you are assembling your garment by serging the seams closed and so cutting off your seam allowance you must make sure that it will fit you and not need alterations as these will not be possible. There are two methods I use to get around this problem.

1, serger /overlock around the raw edges of the fabric pieces before sewing any of the pieces together. This way all of the edges are serged and can not fray while you sew the garment and you still preserve your seam allowance for any alterations. I do not serge on neck edges which will have a facing attached as I find this becomes too bulky.

2, The second method I use is to sew the basic body of the garment together for the fitting. Then I make any alterations within the seam allowance and sew the seam back together with my conventional sewing machine. When I am happy with the fit I will serge the seam allowance off, being careful not to cut or stitch into the seam line. This way I encase both fabric pieces together into the serging creating a neat and tidy finish. This can also be used as a neat finish on the sleeve/armhole seam which can sometimes be a bit thick.

When I took the pictures for this blog I had great fun with the costume jewellery, my little homage to one of the greats (Coco Chanel, of course).

Lace Shirt Front image
Lace Shirt Front
Lace Shirt Back image
Lace Shirt Back

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Happy Sewing

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Polkadot Dress http://www.sewingavenue.com/polkadot-dress/ http://www.sewingavenue.com/polkadot-dress/#comments Sat, 16 May 2015 00:19:06 +0000 http://www.sewingavenue.com/?p=1357 One of my all time favourite fabrics has to be the polkadot. It’s always in fashion, either on shirts and blouses or dresses and scarfs. I have chosen this gorgeous blue spot today, which I suppose is a little bit corporate. I like smart though and I think it works well in this style of … Continue reading Polkadot Dress

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One of my all time favourite fabrics has to be the polkadot.

It’s always in fashion, either on shirts and blouses or dresses and scarfs. I have chosen this gorgeous blue spot today, which I suppose is a little bit corporate. I like smart though and I think it works well in this style of dress with the half sleeves.

Polkadot Dress Fitting image
Polkadot Dress Fitting
Polkadot Dress Layout image
Polkadot Dress Layout

Although this is a pattern which I have used before and it is in my go to dress pattern pile on the shelf, it came out a bit snug when I did my fitting and I had to let the seams out about half an inch on each side, as much as I could reasonably squeeze out of the seam allowance. I must have put a bit of weight on recently!

Polkadot Dress Front
Polkadot Dress Front

The dress is not lined, as the weather is warming up, and I have simply finished off the neck edge with a facing which is under stitched and secured at the shoulders.

Polkadot Dress back fitting image
Polkadot Dress back fitting
Polkadot Dress front image
Polkadot Dress front

Vanity sizing

I get quite a few emails asking for advice about which pattern size to use. Few of us fit the average dress size or even the size on the pattern packet.

I’ve done some digging around on the internet and discovered that pattern sizing, along with ready to wear clothes sizing has changed a lot over the years and continues to change. It is often referred to as vanity sizing and reflects the growing size of the general population. Example, in 1931 the smallest standard size for women was a size 10 US, which had a bust measurement of 28 inches, by 1971, forty years later, the smallest available size was a 6, however a size 10 now fit a bust of 33 ½ inches. Now another forty or so years on a US size 10 is made for a bust of 36 inches and we have seen the creation of size zero and negative sizes to accommodate people who have a small frame. With all this standard size changing as well as variation in sizing between the pattern manufactures its hardly surprising we get in such a mess when it comes to choosing which one to use to achieve the best fit.

First of all you need to know your own body measurements. Don’t guess at this, it is well worth being honest with the tape measure and making a note of what you are in both inches and centemeters. Some European patterns like Burda and Ottobre are in cm. Take more measurements than you think you need for the pattern to make any alterations possible. For instance under the bust, around the upper arm (arm girth), around the thigh and the full hip, where the waist is larger than the hip.

If you are fitting for a dress it is best to use your bust measurement as the lead measurement. This will give you the best chance of the right fit around the shoulders and back as well as the armholes. Make your pattern alterations as you work down the body from the correct bust. For the waist, if you need to increase, divide the increase by four and add it to each side seam, if my waist measures 34 inches and the pattern is for a waist of 30 inches then I divide the extra four inches and add one inch to each side seam at the waist line. Draw a smooth line down from the armpit to the new waist. Repeat this for the hip measurement as well. If you need to decrease the waist, then you are lucky, simply adjust the pattern by decreasing at the side seams.

Working in this way will mean that the sleeves will still fit in the arm holes and any darts will be in the same place. Of course there are many different advanced fitting alterations you can do to get the perfect fit but this is just intended to be a guide to choosing which size pattern to use as a starting point.

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Happy Sewing

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Smart Office Dress http://www.sewingavenue.com/smart-office-dress/ http://www.sewingavenue.com/smart-office-dress/#comments Sat, 09 May 2015 00:16:53 +0000 http://www.sewingavenue.com/?p=1341 I was in need of some creative sewing fun this week after the disappointment of my Blue Dress. Therefore I went right back to my favourite way of working which is to select a look as my inspiration and take it from there. The inspiring look I choose can sometimes come from the runway and … Continue reading Smart Office Dress

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I was in need of some creative sewing fun this week after the disappointment of my Blue Dress. Therefore I went right back to my favourite way of working which is to select a look as my inspiration and take it from there. The inspiring look I choose can sometimes come from the runway and other times from collections in fashion stores. In this make, the style of dress I have chosen as a starting point is this tricolour dress which was snapped on Victoria Beckham. I think it will make the perfect smart office dress.



Smart Office Dress Front image
Smart Office Dress Front

The pattern which I have chosen is from my existing favourites pile, therefore I have made the fitting alterations to it before and know it stands a fairly good chance of fitting me well.

Smart Office Dress Layout image
Smart Office Dress Layout

That said I went about cutting it up into pieces to give me the new pattern for the tricolour dress I wanted to make. When you don’t have to be concerned with the pattern fit because you already know it works you have the freedom to play around with it more and make it yours. If you do start cutting up your patterns however, please remember to always add seam allowance for the seams on the edges that will then need to be attached back together.

Smart Office Dress Layout image
Smart Office Dress Layout

The downside of making this dress with contrasting colours was that I had to keep changing the colour of the thread in both the sewing machine and in the overlocker/serger. I was uncertain what colour zip to choose and in the end went for a black regular zip with a lapped insertion, this seemed to conceal the actual zip quite well.

Smart Office Dress Back image
Smart Office Dress Back

Even though I have used this pattern before as I have said, I am not entirely happy with the look of the bodice. The bust darts are a bit too visible on the white fabric and draw the eye to that area too much. Guess I can always wear a cardigan like Victoria…

Smart Office Dress Front image
Smart Office Dress Front

Please leave any comments below. Also subscribe to the newsletter and follow me on google+facebooktwitterand bloglovin to keep in touch.

Happy Sewing

Smart Office Dress with Tape Measure image
Smart Office Dress with Tape Measure

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Blue Dress http://www.sewingavenue.com/blue-dress/ http://www.sewingavenue.com/blue-dress/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 00:21:26 +0000 http://www.sewingavenue.com/?p=1317 Remember to follow me on Bloglovin Do I look blue? I don’t make a habit of posting pattern reviews as that is not really how I work. I would usually like to find my inspiration and then work out how to create a dress or outfit from that starting point, out of the patterns I … Continue reading Blue Dress

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Remember to follow me on Bloglovin

Do I look blue?

I don’t make a habit of posting pattern reviews as that is not really how I work. I would usually like to find my inspiration and then work out how to create a dress or outfit from that starting point, out of the patterns I have either bought, altered or made myself. For some reason though I wanted to take this very mundane and ordinary, even frumpy looking pattern, New Look 6305 and work with it to come up with a usable item. A personal challenge for myself to create a wearable garment or two.

Last time I showed you how I made the Sheer Shirt from view D on the packet envelope, this time I have used chosen to sew view A, the dress with sleeves.

Sheer Shirt Pattern image
Sheer Shirt Pattern

I made three decisions about the pattern before I had even started to cut it out, to take ten, yes a full ten, inches off the length of the dress, to have short sleeves for the summer and to add inseam pockets to both side seams. As it is a loose fitting, easy day dress I wanted the addition of the pockets for more practicality. I used my own pattern for the pockets which I had used previously in my Dallia Dress.

Blue Dress Layout image
Blue Dress Layout

My main concern about the construction of this dress was the fact that it has no zipper or back/front opening and I wondered how it would fit over the head. Now It is finished though I can tell you that this is not an issue at all, it slips on very easily even though the fabric I have used has no stretch in it whatsoever. It is a woven crepe fabric, I was attracted by the vivid colour for this blue dress.

The dress has princess seams in both the back and the front of the body, they are not graded by bust size as some patterns are, which means that the fit of the dress on my smaller frame is very baggy, much more roomy than I would normally be comfortable wearing. Considering that the full pattern is for a floor length dress with sleeves to the wrist, this is a real cover it all up style. If that is what you want then this is the perfect pattern for you, however I have struggled with finding ways to be complimentary about this pattern. I have not enjoyed sewing this dress together and it will not be making the journey into my favourites list any time soon. I will however try and reflect upon the lessons learnt in the process and that I have learnt more about my own likes and dislikes about my own creative process which was very much missing here.

Blue Dress Side image
Blue Dress Side
Blue Dress Back image
Blue Dress Back

You can bet that my next post is going to be more about my style, a more fitted type of dress which compliments the figure in a much more feminine way. I will be using an old favorite which I know fits well and mixing it up a bit to create a smart summer dress for a special family occasion.

That said, it was a straightforward sew which I can recommend as a beginner project, no fastenings or lining to worry about.

Please leave any comments below. Also subscribe to the newsletter and follow me on google+facebooktwitterand bloglovin to keep in touch.

Happy Sewing

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Sheer Shirt http://www.sewingavenue.com/sheer-shirt/ http://www.sewingavenue.com/sheer-shirt/#comments Sat, 02 May 2015 00:19:20 +0000 http://www.sewingavenue.com/?p=1300 Have you ever had a pattern and you don’t know why you bought it? I was looking through some of my pattern stash recently, and I have to say that it is quite considerable now, when I came across this one, New look 6305. I don’t quite know why I collect so many patterns. I … Continue reading Sheer Shirt

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Have you ever had a pattern and you don’t know why you bought it?

I was looking through some of my pattern stash recently, and I have to say that it is quite considerable now, when I came across this one, New look 6305. I don’t quite know why I collect so many patterns. I think it is a bit like people who like books knowing that they can not possibly read them all but they just have to own them. I know that I will never have the time to make everything that I want to sew but some how owning the patterns is inspiring and keeps the sewing juices flowing.

Sheer Shirt Pattern image
Sheer Shirt Pattern

Getting back to New Look 6350, I don’t recall acquiring such a boring looking pattern with such an ugly envelope picture. However, I thought that I would set myself a little challenge to make a wearable and possibly even fashionable garment from this uninspiring look.

The fabric I’ve used is a patterned sheer, which has been in the stash for quite some time waiting for it’s turn at the sewing machine.

Sheer Shirt Bust Dart image
Sheer Shirt Bust Dart

The seams are all sewn as french seams so that all the edges are encased and will not fray. This also looks nice as of the seams are visible from the outside of the sheer, see through fabric. The only seam which is not a french seam is around the sleeve head which I could have stitched as a flat felled seam, however I attached as usual then serged to lock the two layers of fabric together. In the finished photographs I think it looks neat enough.

I traced off the pattern pieces for view C on the packet picture. I did this instead of cutting out the actual paper pattern itself because I was not sure if I would be cutting it about and restyling the pieces . In the end though after making a toile from a piece of cotton sheeting fabric which I buy just for this purpose, it was decided to simply lengthen the bodice and slightly reduce the width of the edging band. I also did not put the cuff band onto the sleeves as they were long enough already and the cuff made them look too heavy for the sheer fabric.
The sleeves now finish at the same point as the bodice hemline.

Sheer Shirt Front image
Sheer Shirt Front
Sheer Shirt Side image
Sheer Shirt Side

Sheer-Shirt-Back-5536

My assessment of the final shirt is that I shouldn’t be too quick to judge a pattern and just because the picture on the packet looks a bit dated it only needs a small helping of inspiration to nudge it back into fashion. It is a very easy top to wear. I think it would be very comfortable and up to date made from a sweatshirt fabric, maybe grey or another neutral tone. It would also work in cotton, silk, denim or something with a bit of stretch like a ponte roma.

I guess I shall have to create a dress next from the rest of the pattern.

Sheer Shirt Front image
Sheer Shirt Front

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Gingham Pyjamas http://www.sewingavenue.com/gingham-pyjamas/ http://www.sewingavenue.com/gingham-pyjamas/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 00:19:15 +0000 http://www.sewingavenue.com/?p=1274 Have you ever made a pair of trousers, pants or shorts? If you have never dared to make yourself a pair of trousers, shorts or pants before because you are concerned about getting the fitting right, then how about having a go at making a pair of pyjamas with an elasticated waist. It’s an easy … Continue reading Gingham Pyjamas

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Have you ever made a pair of trousers, pants or shorts?

If you have never dared to make yourself a pair of trousers, shorts or pants before because you are concerned about getting the fitting right, then how about having a go at making a pair of pyjamas with an elasticated waist. It’s an easy way to have a go at making pants.

Gingham PJs image
Gingham PJs

As you know I’ve been exploring sewing different garments from gingham fabric throughout the entire month of April as a chance to explore this versatile fabric. I like so many things about it, the budget price for one and the fact that is does not have a right or wrong side and it both washes and irons very easily. I have had some style issues with using the Gingham fabric though because of it’s long association with children’s wear and country interiors, especially the pale, lighter and more pastel shades of gingham check. I used the small pink check to sew the shirt with the ¾ sleeves at the beginning of the month, you can’t go wrong with a checked shirt, and I like the way it turned out with the bright pink buttons down the front. My favourite make of the month has to be the black gingham dress which I completed last week. I think that the black check almost looks like a summer version of hounds tooth fabric. It has certainly convinced me that adults can wear this fabric and style it in a smart and elegant way.

So after all the fun of gingham month I need a rest (from the checked stuff, not from sewing) so I have made myself this pair of pink, large check pyjama bottoms to relax in!

This was the perfect opportunity for me to use my fancy embroidery stitches on my sewing machine, to embellish the pocket edges.

Gingham PJs Detail image
Gingham PJs Detail
Gingham PJs image
Gingham PJs

The pattern I’ve used for these gingham pyjamas is an amalgamation of two patterns which have merged together over time into my own pants pattern. It is part Burda, from one of the magazines, and part New Look. I also think that it is probably not a conventional size anymore but my own personal size instead. I love it when that happens with a pattern, when it becomes your own and you can rely on it and come back to visit it over and over for different makes, changing it for the season or for it’s use.

Gingham PJs Layout image
Gingham PJs Layout

I enjoyed the challenge of pattern matching.

Gingham PJs Layout image
Gingham PJs Layout

 

This is the first time that I have chosen to make sleepwear from this block. In the past I have used it for lightweight summer pants with both slim and wide legs, just altering the taper of the width of the leg but always keeping the pattern top the same so that the fit around the body is right.

Gingham Pjs image
Gingham Pjs

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Black Gingham Dress http://www.sewingavenue.com/black-gingham-dress/ http://www.sewingavenue.com/black-gingham-dress/#comments Sat, 25 Apr 2015 13:26:22 +0000 http://www.sewingavenue.com/?p=1244 This is the much awaited second black gingham dress that I have made from my black gingham fabric. The first one was last week’ s blog post. I have made it from the same pattern that I used for the Burgundy Cocktail dress with the cowl neck back at the beginning of February this year. … Continue reading Black Gingham Dress

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This is the much awaited second black gingham dress that I have made from my black gingham fabric. The first one was last week’ s blog post. I have made it from the same pattern that I used for the Burgundy Cocktail dress with the cowl neck back at the beginning of February this year.

Black Gingham Dress Long front image
Black Gingham Dress Long front

The pattern is Vogue V8787 option F on the packet envelope.

I had some fitting issues with this pattern as the shape of the back bodice pieces was all wrong for my body shape. The pattern allows for a lot of space in the upper back, I know that there should be room allowed for ease of movement, however in this instance there was enough room for me to be able to wear it backwards! As usual for me, the waist was too high and therefore I decided in the end to redraft the whole bodice pattern, using the Vogue pieces as a starting point.

Now I think it works and fits properly. I know from past experience that It is always worth getting the pattern fit correct at the beginning of the process rather than facing the disappointment of wasted time and expense later on.

Black Gingham Dress Pattern image
Black Gingham Dress Pattern

The length of the finished dress is the length given in the paper pattern. I am not sure if I will shorten it, its all about proportion and I think the balance is right at this length, however my gut instinct is to finish it above the knee. So I may well play around with the hem a bit more at a later date. I’ve just turned it under in the photo to get an idea of how it would look. What do you think? should I leave it longer or shorten it? I an more than happy to go with the group consensus on this.

Please let me know your point of view in the comments.

Black Gingham Dress Side image
Black Gingham Dress Side
Black Gingham Dress Short Front image
Black Gingham Dress Short Front
Black Gingham Dress Short Front image
Black Gingham Dress Short Front
Black Gingham Dress Short Back
Black Gingham Dress Short Back

I actually ran out of my stash of dress zips this week, black and white ones anyway. I usually make sure that I have a selection of regular and concealed dress length zips in my stock so that I don’t have to stop half way through a project to go and buy supplies. However this time I had to make a special trip to stock up so that I could complete the dress. This meant that I lost my flow and things ended up taking a few days longer than usual.

Black Gingham Dress Back Zipper image
Black Gingham Dress Back Zipper

I’ve used a lapped zip insertion down the centre back seam. I find that I can achieve a neat finish at the upper neck edge using this method and it is not necessary to add a hidden button or a hook and eye to fasten the top together. I insert the zip carefully by basting it all into place first before sewing machining. I find that a little more time spent here on this stage of the process saves a lot of unpicking and correction time later on. I keep going on about preparation and I believe that it is key to a successful piece of sewing or craft work, like so many things in life.

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Happy Sewing

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Gingham Dress http://www.sewingavenue.com/gingham-dress/ http://www.sewingavenue.com/gingham-dress/#comments Sat, 18 Apr 2015 13:12:07 +0000 http://www.sewingavenue.com/?p=1180 One of the main reasons why I sew my own clothes is so that I can achieve a good, hopefully great, fit. Shop bought ready to wear is made for the average sizes and lets face it but very few of us are a perfect average and few of us would ever want to be! … Continue reading Gingham Dress

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One of the main reasons why I sew my own clothes is so that I can achieve a good, hopefully great, fit. Shop bought ready to wear is made for the average sizes and lets face it but very few of us are a perfect average and few of us would ever want to be!

I know we are all too aware of where our own fitting problem areas are and mine has always been the fact that I am tall and that the extra height is not in my legs where I would want it to be but in the length of my torso. For example, it is impossible to get a one piece swimsuit to fits me, I always have to get those two piece tankini combinations. So with clothes shopping I’m alway looking out for longer length tops and shirts and I know from experience that the waist on dresses always sits in the wrong place, about two inches north of where it should be. Commercial paper patterns are no different and over the years I have drafted my own patterns from my measurements.

I’m fortunate though that my standard pattern alteration is a fairly simple one as I know that some of you have to work quite a bit with a pattern to get it to work right. But once you have spent the time, trial and erroring with a toille and keep a note of the changes you made it becomes easier to transfer those alterations to all your favorite patterns. I have created a simple measurement chart so you can keep a note of your size.

Gingham-Dress-Full-Front-5032

This is the first of my black Gingham dresses, there are going to be two. Both are sleeveless but different styles. I think that sleeveless dresses will be really practical for me going forward into spring/summer now as I will team them with a colourful cardigan. Everywhere I look at the moment I am seeing this black gingham fabric. Ive seen it on the catwalks recently particularly in Diane Von Furstenberg’s 2015 Ready to wear collection. It is used for not only dresses but shirts and blouses, little vest tops and accessories too.

Follow Sewing Avenue’s board Gingham Fabrics on Pinterest.

It (gingham) seems to be in both high fashion stores as well as vintage designers shops at the moment, which means its right on trend whether you are a fashionista or a vintage chick.

Sewing with a basic cotton fabric like gingham is a straightforward sew, no stretch to consider, however gingham is even easier as there is no right or wrong side to the fabric. The fabric I was using was quite a light weight so I used a heavier lining fabric to give it more body so that it would hang better.

Gingham-Dress-Side-5042

 

Here’s a little bit of history,

Gingham fabric was first manufactured in Malaysia which was controlled by the Dutch in the 17th century. It was originally called genggang, meaning stripped, and imported by the Dutch into Europe. If your interested in more history then this is a great site for the full historical low down visforvintage.net/2012/09/11/gingham-fabric/

Please leave any comments below. Also subscribe to the newsletter and follow me on google+facebooktwitterand bloglovin to keep in touch.

Happy Sewing

Gingham-Dress-Seated-with-Sewing-Machine2-5022

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Free Summer Top Pattern http://www.sewingavenue.com/free-summer-top-pattern/ Wed, 15 Apr 2015 00:19:41 +0000 http://www.sewingavenue.com/?p=1155 I couldn’t resist making this cute little summer top from my FREE summer top pattern. As you know April is my Gingham makes month this year, so I just had to sew my Camellia top using this gorgeous pink check, cotton gingham fabric. The pattern is still available for you to download completely free so … Continue reading Free Summer Top Pattern

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balloon_animation_450I couldn’t resist making this cute little summer top from my FREE summer top pattern.

As you know April is my Gingham makes month this year, so I just had to sew my Camellia top using this gorgeous pink check, cotton gingham fabric. The pattern is still available for you to download completely free so that you can enjoy creating this simple style for yourself and your friends and family. It is available in size options from US 4/ UK 8 up to US 20/ UK 24. You’ll find it on my pattern store page.

The Camellia Top is such a versatile and basic pattern that is is ideal for the beginner sewer yet also useful for the more experienced seamstress who can have fun playing around with the shape and fit of a garment.

I am going to be making a few more of these for the summer from different colours and different fabric weights. When I made this one I made a slight alteration to the pattern by lowering the front neckline about an inch to open it up a little bit more. I also added an inch to lengthen at the hem. I am 5’7″ and always add an inch/s at just above the waist mark, to all patterns as my standard pattern alteration.

I know you will love this PDF download, so Happy Sewing for now and let me know in the comments how you get on. What pattern alterations do you always make as standard?

Please leave any comments below. Also subscribe to the newsletter and follow me on google+facebooktwitterand bloglovin to keep in touch.

Happy Sewing

 

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Gingham Shirt http://www.sewingavenue.com/gingham-shirt/ http://www.sewingavenue.com/gingham-shirt/#comments Sat, 11 Apr 2015 00:19:12 +0000 http://www.sewingavenue.com/?p=1141 I am so excited about posting this blog because I have been planning and thinking about my gingham month for weeks now and it’s finally here. I’m overlapping my shirt sewing with the gingham sewing too, to make things extra special in this blog! I thought long and hard about using cotton Gingham as a … Continue reading Gingham Shirt

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I am so excited about posting this blog because I have been planning and thinking about my gingham month for weeks now and it’s finally here. I’m overlapping my shirt sewing with the gingham sewing too, to make things extra special in this blog!

I thought long and hard about using cotton Gingham as a fashion fabric.

Gingham-Shirt-Front image
Gingham-Shirt-Front

We are used to seeing it in children’s wear and in vintage clothing, Julie Andrews in the wizard of Oz, but is it really a sophisticated fashion forward look? Then I noticed that quite a few of the big name designers like Diane von Furstenberg, Alexander Mcqueen, and Chloe had created beautiful dresses from the little chequered fabric.

If it’s good enough for them, then it’s good enough for me!

 

Gingham Fabric image
Gingham Fabric
Shirt Pattern image
Shirt Pattern

I have used a commercial paper pattern for this sewing make. It is New Look number 6232 which I have modified a bit to give a looser feel to the shirt. It is a very useful pattern which I can recommend as I have had it a few years now and it has been tried and tested in a few different sizes by me for myself and other family members. I made it in a size US 8/ UK 12.

Gingham-Shirt-Back image
Gingham-Shirt-Back

I have left out the darts in the back to create a bit more fullness so it is less tight across the back of the body. This is a casual look for me, not a smart office or interview type of shirt. I changed the way that the yoke is constructed too, by cutting out and using only one yoke piece instead of two and sewing it together in more of a dressmaker fashion rather than tailoring the shirt for a man, more of a relaxed blouse. I tend to stay away from pocket placement on the front of my tops as they tend to sag, even when not used, and this is definitely not a flattering look for anyone!

Gingham-Shirt-Front image
Gingham-Shirt-Front

As I am sure you can see from the photos, I have changed the cuffs as in the Easter shirt, by cutting the sleeve about six inches shorter and adding a simple cuff band instead of the conventional cuff with buttons. I think this is much more flattering. I have previously made this same shirt with a little cap sleeve too and that would have worked well in this fabric.

I chose the bright pink buttons for the front of the shirt to set off the pink in the check more. One little tip I have when you are positioning the buttons on the front of a shirt or blouse you are making, is to put it on when you mark the position of the buttons and buttonholes so that you get them in the correct place for you rather than the recommendation on the pattern diagram. I rarely wear my shirts buttoned up to the top, so think about how you will wear the shirt, and then decide how open you want the neck to be as well. If you place the fastening too high, you might feel choked, or too low, you could feel too exposed, you won’t wear the shirt because you won’t feel comfortable in it.

Gingham-Shirt-Happy-Sewing image
Gingham-Shirt-Happy-Sewing

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Sewing Tools http://www.sewingavenue.com/sewing-tools/ Wed, 08 Apr 2015 00:19:44 +0000 http://www.sewingavenue.com/?p=1115 A dozen assorted stones! Today is just a quick update as I am busy working on my pink Gingham shirt which will be ready by the weekend. I enjoyed wearing the Easter shirt the other day at our Easter lunch, everyone wanted to know how I’d made the sleeve cuff and it really wasn’t hard … Continue reading Sewing Tools

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A dozen assorted stones!

Today is just a quick update as I am busy working on my pink Gingham shirt which will be ready by the weekend. I enjoyed wearing the Easter shirt the other day at our Easter lunch, everyone wanted to know how I’d made the sleeve cuff and it really wasn’t hard at all. Infact it was easier than sewing a pair of conventional sleeve cuffs.

I’d like to show you twelve of my most useful sewing tools!

My sewing stone tools image
My sewing stone tools

This is my collection of sewing stones which I use all of the time in the workroom. They cost me absolutely nothing. I collected them years ago from the beach while on a family holiday.

I use the stones as paper weights to hold down patterns and tracing paper when I want to trace off just one size from a multi size pattern. I don’t always like to cut my paper patterns, I like to use them many times by tracing them off and then manipulating the original to come up with different styles and design ideas.

The stones are also very useful pin substituted. I use them to secure paper patterns down onto the fabric when cutting out with a rotary cutter on a cutting mat. This is such a quick and easy way to work and I know a lot of quilters and patchworkers use this method.

Please use the comments below to share your unusual notions and sewing gadgets.

Sewing stones as paper weights image
Sewing stones as paper weights
Sewing stones as pin substitutes image
Sewing stones as pin substitutes

Please leave any comments below. Also subscribe to the newsletter and follow me on google+facebooktwitterand bloglovin to keep in touch.

Happy Sewing

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Easter shirt http://www.sewingavenue.com/easter-shirt/ Sat, 04 Apr 2015 00:19:39 +0000 http://www.sewingavenue.com/?p=1102 Happy Easter The flowers are out, the sun is in the sky and the trees are growing their new leaves, I adore this wonderful time of year. I find so much inspiration to live well and be more healthy in the springtime. You have to love springtime I’m thinking about and starting to plan out … Continue reading Easter shirt

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Happy Easter

The flowers are out, the sun is in the sky and the trees are growing their new leaves, I adore this wonderful time of year. I find so much inspiration to live well and be more healthy in the springtime.

You have to love springtime

I’m thinking about and starting to plan out my sewing for the season ahead. I’ve got as far as knowing for sure that April is now officially my Gingham month! So look out for lots of that over the next four weeks. There will be at least one Gingham dress, a shirt and a few other items too. Today however, is almost another floral make, even though I had previously declared the florals over and done with. There is a saying which goes something like, do what you love and then at least one person is happy, and as virtually any style of sewing, with any type of fabric makes me happy, that’s exactly what I did.

I was so pleased with the finished result of the Rosie shirt last week, that I decided to make myself another one, an Easter shirt to wear. I am finding that shirts are such an essential piece of clothing in my wardrobe at the moment. They are so easy to wear either on their own with jeans or as a throw on over a vest top. And they cover a multitude of Easter egg eating sins!

Rosie Shirt Gathered Wrist image
Rosie Shirt Gathered Wrist

This time I made the shirt a little differently with a pointed collar, instead of the rounded one. I’ve chosen to make it using a crisp cotton fabric. I would usually pre wash all my fabrics before starting a new sewing project, however on this occasion I haven’t and I may live to regret this as the fabric seems to have a starch finish on it to keep it crisp. I’m just hoping now that it doesn’t shrink when it is washed for the first time. Silly me- live and learn!

 

Rosie Shirt Front image
Rosie Shirt Front

Please leave any comments below. Also subscribe to the newsletter and follow me on google+facebooktwitterand bloglovin to keep in touch.

Happy Sewing

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Rosie Shirt http://www.sewingavenue.com/rosie-shirt/ Sat, 28 Mar 2015 00:19:34 +0000 http://www.sewingavenue.com/?p=1065   Women’s shirts are definitely huge fashion news this season. Shirts in all their styles and variations, long, sleeveless, dress length, denim and lace. All the big name designers including Michael Kors, Diane von Furstenberg, and Ralph Lauren, sent shirts down the runways this season. They are perfect and so practical to wear easily at … Continue reading Rosie Shirt

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Rosie Shirt Floral with Denim image
Rosie Shirt Floral with Denim

Women’s shirts are definitely huge fashion news this season. Shirts in all their styles and variations, long, sleeveless, dress length, denim and lace. All the big name designers including Michael Kors, Diane von Furstenberg, and Ralph Lauren, sent shirts down the runways this season. They are perfect and so practical to wear easily at work, rest and play, you can never have too many! Even though they can be thought of as a bit masculine, there is actually nothing more sexy than a well designed basic shirt, must be something to do with the simplicity of it.

Follow Sewing Avenue’s board Shirts on Pinterest.

This is the last of my March floral fabric projects. The others are Dallia Shift Dress, Floral Sleeveless Dress Sewing Pattern and How to sew an in-seam pocket – Dallia Dress.

 

Rosie Shirt Floral image
Rosie Shirt Floral

I have had great fun this week sewing together the Rosie (floral name) shirt. This is a pattern which I have used many times before to make shirts for myself and family and I am very pleased that it is now available in the pattern store.

The Rosie shirt has attractive three quarter length sleeves with feminine gathering around the cuff band and a few little gathers at the back across the yoke for comfort. The bust darts give shape and there are two collar choices, rounded or the traditional pointed option.

I have combined the sumptuous floral rose fabric with a dark denim at the collar and front bands to contrast not only the look but also the weight of the different fabrics against one another.

I am so pleased with the way it has turned out that I am going to bombard you with shirts over the next few blogs! I’m going to make a cotton lawn one and a pink gingham one at least, possibly even more.

Let me know in the comments how you make your shirts.

Do you use a construction method like making a mans formal shirt or a more dressmaker approach with just the one yoke and no flat felled seam? I tend to use a mixture of both at different times but on this occasion I’ve opted for a more blouse like construction without the more tailored techniques of a man’s shirt.

Please leave any comments below. Also subscribe to the newsletter and follow me on google+facebooktwitterand bloglovin to keep in touch.

Happy Sewing

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Lillia T-Shirt Zipping it up http://www.sewingavenue.com/lillia-t-shirt-zipping-it-up/ Wed, 25 Mar 2015 00:19:28 +0000 http://www.sewingavenue.com/?p=1031 I am loving the flexibility of basic patterns at the moment which I can alter to create different styles and designs. I’m following on with the “ mini theme” of manipulating the basic Lillia T-Shirt pattern to get more look for your buck. The addition of an exposed zip gives a modern casual or sporty … Continue reading Lillia T-Shirt Zipping it up

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I am loving the flexibility of basic patterns at the moment which I can alter to create different styles and designs. I’m following on with the “ mini theme” of manipulating the basic Lillia T-Shirt pattern to get more look for your buck.

Lillia T-shirt with Zip Back image
Lillia T-shirt with Zip Back

The addition of an exposed zip gives a modern casual or sporty styling to the top.
Choose a zip which has either decorative tapes or is a contrasting colour to your fabric, or has chunky teeth and an attractive slider.

Lillia T-shirt Exposed Zip image
Lillia T-shirt Exposed Zip

I have added a back centre seam in order to have an attractive exposed zip detail. It is completely possible to put the exposed zip in without adding a seam but it is a bit simpler to do with one, so thats what I’ve done. I changed the basic back pattern piece by adding 1.5 cm/ ⅝ inch seam allowance at the centre back line and cutting it out of the fabric as two back sections instead of one on a fold.

The insertion of the exposed zipper means that the assembly of the T-Shirt varies slightly from the basic style. The shoulder seams are still sewn together first but then the neckband is attached. The neckband is left open and attached from the left back opening to the right back opening. Then topstitched around the neckline.

The jersey fabric recommended for this pattern really needs stabilising with iron on interfacing before sewing in the zip, to prevent the material from stretching and puckering out of shape. Add interfacing to both sides of the back seam about 4 cm/1 inch wide and as long as your zip.

Lillia Zip Back image
Lillia Zip Back

 

Lillia T-shirt with Surprise open Back image
Lillia T-shirt with Surprise open Back

I’m interested in the different looks you can get from the one pattern so here are some ideas;

As well as the surprise opening in the back and the exposed zipper, you could have side vents with it longer at the back than the front, a wide hem of a contrast fabric, either contrasting in colour or weight. Don’t forget that with the Lillia pattern you get the ¾ sleeve option as well so you could change that to be a contrasting jersey fabric on the sleeves. You could use a binding on the sleeve hem to match with the neckband. Play around with your use of fabrics, lace on the back, jersey on the front. Silk or cotton on the front and jersey on the back.

Lillia T-shirt with Surprise Back image
Lillia T-shirt with Surprise Back

Please leave any comments below. Also subscribe to the newsletter and follow me on google+facebooktwitterand bloglovin to keep in touch.

Happy Sewing

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Surprise in the back of the Lillia T-shirt http://www.sewingavenue.com/surprise-in-the-back-of-the-lillia-t-shirt/ Sat, 21 Mar 2015 07:26:41 +0000 http://www.sewingavenue.com/?p=1018 I can’t tell you how excited I am by the response to the latest pattern release. Lots of you have now downloaded the new Lillia T-Shirt pattern. So I was thinking to myself, now that you have the basic T-Shirt pattern, what else can you do with it? Well how about adding a surprise in … Continue reading Surprise in the back of the Lillia T-shirt

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I can’t tell you how excited I am by the response to the latest pattern release. Lots of you have now downloaded the new Lillia T-Shirt pattern.
So I was thinking to myself, now that you have the basic T-Shirt pattern, what else can you do with it?
Well how about adding a surprise in the back?

Lillia T-shirt Back Completed image
Lillia T-shirt Back Completed

This is a very effective, yet simple way to make a nice T-Shirt top into a special occasion top.
I’ve used a soft, medium weight knit fabric in an everyday pink, however I think the look could be a lot more glamorous in black, midnight blue or you could even use lace on the back.

Once you have downloaded your Lillia T-Shirt pattern, assemble it and cut out your required size. You will need to either print off the back piece a second time or draw around it onto a large piece of paper, so that you have two back pieces. Tape these two back pieces together to make one large pattern.

Lillia T-shirt Back Pattern image
Lillia T-shirt Back Pattern

Modify the Lillia T-shirt pattern

Now for a bit of measuring. You are going to alter the pattern to create the new back section piece by measuring across from the neck edge along one shoulder for 2 inches/5 cm. Then measure along the opposite bottom hem edge 7 inches/18 cm. Draw a straight diagonal line connecting these two points and cut along it. This is now your new pattern section for the back of your Sexy Lillia T-Shirt.

Lillia T-shirt Modified Pattern image
Lillia T-shirt Modified Pattern

Cut two back pieces from your stretch jersey fabric along with one front piece, which is cut on a fold and a neckband.
To assemble the back of your shirt together, start by turning under and hemming the long diagonal edges. Use a ½ inch hem allowance. If you are fortunate enough to have a coverstitch machine this would be perfect for using here to create an even hem without pulling or stretching the fabric out of shape.

Lillia T-shirt Back image
Lillia T-shirt Back

Position the two back pieces on top of one another, as in my photo, and baste stitch around the neck edge to hold the two back sections together. Treat the new back section as one piece as you assemble the rest of your Lillia T-Shirt together following these instructions.

Lillia T-shirt Neck Band image
Lillia T-shirt Neck Band
Lillia T-shirt Back Completed image
Lillia T-shirt Back Completed

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