Summer Ready – Drape Top & Paisley Print Gabriola

Ready for Summer!
Ready for Summer!

Round 2 of The Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern Month competition is in full swing, this week it’s separates.  I had considered all sorts of things for this one, but as I’d started cutting a Gabriola for Daughter No1 before my operation (and got no further) I decided I’d finish that and whip up a suitable top.  She loves the Maria Denmark Day to Night Drape Top and as her sister appropriated the other grey jersey version I made, it made perfect sense to sew up another.

This is the first Gabriola I’ve made for Daughter No1, I got her to try on Daughter No2’s Winter Gabriola for size, and it nearly fell straight off!  Ok – size 0 with adjustments then…  I made the smallest size and then took in an extra 3cm from the waist, grading down to just past the hips.  The Sewaholic patterns are drafted with more hip ease, but it was not needed here. Other adjustments were to shorten the waistband – naturally, but I think that next time I’ll make it narrower too.  You’ll see in the collage that although I made the waist considerably smaller, the skirt still sits below her natural waist, causing drag marks at the back.  I might even draft a shaped waistband, it may fit better.  I also needed to shorten the skirt.  I took out 12cm in the length and I think it’s perfect, long enough to be a proper maxi, but not so long that it’ll drag in the dirt.

separates collageThe fabric she’d chosen is cotton lawn with a “hippy” print, a muted colourway with paisleys and half moon shapes.  It was bought from Stitch Fabrics at the NEC earlier this year, with the specific intention of making a Gabriola.  I love the colours and print, it’s going to look great with a number of tops from her wardrobe and has that washed out, faded summer look.  It’ll also soften with washing and I think it’s going to be well worn this season!

DSC00020-1As far as the Drape Top goes, I just cut the pattern exactly as I’d done before as I’ve made a fair few versions of this pattern now.  The fabric is a dark grey jersey from my stash – never ending jersey!  I never use the elastic on the armholes, it just doesn’t work with my sewing machine!  As it is, the application around the neck is about as much as the poor old thing can handle.  Now I thought I’d try an FBA this time around, but on checking the instructions for doing on on the website the measurements weren’t different enough.  But when I look at the garment I’m sure it needs one.  Daughter No 1 is happy with it though, the drag lines don’t bother her at all.

Maria Denmark Day to Night Drape Top and Sewaholic Gabriola
Maria Denmark Day to Night Drape Top and Sewaholic Gabriola

So there you have it, a bit of a stashbust and a quick sew, that’s my entry for the Separates category.

Up next is a bit of fun with a super stretchy viscose jersey, it took all my patience!!

A Gabriola for the Winter

Sewaholic Gabriola
Sewaholic Gabriola

Another fablously swooshy skirt for Daughter No2, this time made up in the most amazingly drapey black crepe.  This skirt weighs a ton!  It swirls and swooshes around her legs beautifully and she has already declared it a success because its nice and warm and keeps out the breeze!

Swooshy wool crepe Gabriola
Swooshy wool crepe Gabriola

The fabric is one of the pieces I bought during the SewBrum meet-up earlier this month from Fancy Silk Stores.  Three metres of the stuff at £9/m has made a really lovely skirt.  I used the overlocker to make this one, the crepe really does love to fray – EVERYWHERE!!  I also half-lined the skirt with some pistaschio satin lining to stop the crepe sticking to her tights.  The lining has French seams and has worked a treat.

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I made the size 2 and lengthened the skirt by 5cm, but made no other alterations.  This shape works really well on Daughter No2 and I’m glad to have been able to use the pattern again.  Daughter No1 is starting to look at it a bit enviously now, so there may be more to make in the future.

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I have more finished projects to photograph and as soon as the weather, internet & camera decide to stop playing up, I’ll get them posted!

SewBrum

So by now you’ve probably seen a few posts about the meet-up in Birmingham this Saturday.  It was the first one I’ve attended, so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was fairly excited to finally meet some of the people with whom I’ve been conversing via tinternet since starting this blogging adventure.  I was planning to drag Daughter No1 out with me, mum-daughter quality time.

Daughter No1 & I arrived late at New Street, thanks to London Midland not having proper staff or facilities at their Selly Oak station.  But we were determined not to be down about it and headed to Fancy Silk Stores hoping to catch up with “a large group of ladies clutching armfuls of fabric”.  We didn’t see them at Fancy Silks, that’s because they started at Barry’s!  Not deterred, we found stuff we wanted.

Black wool crepe for a Gabriola, grey polyester for a draped blouse & black silk jacquard for a vintage dress
Black wool crepe for a Gabriola, grey polyester for a draped blouse & black silk jacquard for a vintage dress

We found the most devine black wool crepe which will be a Gabriola for the winter for Daughter No2 – a specific request.  The grey polyester has the most amazing drape, it feels like washed silk – now that’s what I want to buy!  I’ll make an All Saints type draped blouse for Daughter No1 with it.  The black silk jacquard is for a vintage dress for Daughter No1.

On the way out we were met with the ladies coming in from Barry’s, but we needed tea – and lunch.  Our go-to place for lunch is The Handmade Burger Company.  We met the group again at 1pm to get the bus to Moseley & Guthrie Ghani.  We left our bulging bags upstairs with the tea & cakes & headed into the shop to see what treasures were inside.  There was a decent amount of fabric, lots of quilting cotton stuff.  We ended up with a remnant piece of jersey – another Maria Denmark Day to Night top & two pieces of cotton.  The shop also had the largest range of independent patterns I’ve seen in one place. Fabric from Guthrie & Ghani, grey & white striped jersey and two weights of cotton.

Fabric from Guthrie & Ghani, grey & white striped jersey and two weights of cotton.

It was great to see so many sewists all together, but there was one problem, I didn’t have a clue who anyone was!  I managed to discover Claire from Sew, Incidentally who I follow on Twitter and met some new people too, Amanda, Ann & Toria.  I have to add here that Daughter No1 was far better at starting to chat to people than I!  The fabric & pattern swap was interesting, more of a free-for-all than I had expected!  Nontheless, I managed to get rid of all the patterns I took (& I took a fair few) and come home with a couple of new-to-me ones.  I only got rid of 1 piece of fabric, but brought 3 home!

Burgundy jersey with fabulous drape & pale green polyester satin backed something-or-other!  :)
Burgundy jersey with fabulous drape swapped from Claire (see above) & pale green polyester satin backed something-or-other! 🙂

I’ll dye the green satin backed stuff, the metres of burgundy jersey will be dresses & tees for Daughters No 1&2 & I also got a piece of black jersey, not photographed.  That’ll be a Renfrew for daughter No1.  So I have my work cut out for me with all these new goodies added to my already overflowing stash boxes!

I will probably get the black jersey from the swap & the grey & white stripe jersey made up first as they’ll be the quickest.  The toile for the 60’s dress is under way so it’ll be a tousle between making that dress or the black crepe Gabriola next!  I thoroughly enjoyed the meet, my feet hurt, I was desperately short of tea & my arms were a good 5cm longer by the time I finally made it home, but it was so worth it!  Thanks Charlotte from English Girl at Home for organizing it all & to Lauren for letting a hoard of fabric-aholics into your shop!

Sewaholic Fan-Girl

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The final instalment of Indie Pattern Month is the Fan-Girl, Ultimate Level.  Now I don’t know about ultimate here, but I have managed to make up two Sewaholic patterns.  Initially I thought about this combination, but then after all the other competitive sewing I wondered if I really needed to enter another competition.

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I’d bought the Gabriola skirt pattern after spotting the most beautiful bird print chiffon from Croft Mill Fabric.  I had great plans for this fabric and Daughter No2 draped herself in it when it arrived!  The grey jersey for the Renfrew is from Croft Mill too, Caroline helped me greatly in chosing the right stuff, so a big thank you there!

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The Renfrew tee has been made up by me a number of times now, this will be the fourth for Daughter No2!  I cut the 6 on the shoulders, grading to a 2 at the waist and then out to a 4 at the hip.  I also had to lengthen the shoulder by 2cm.  She didn’t want the waistband part of the tee, so I ran a line of twin-needling 1cm from the raw edge and didn’t turn up a hem.  The Renfrew, as always goes together well, it took  a couple of hours on the overlocker, perfect for a quick make.

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The Gabriola however, was a completely different kettle of fish.  The print ran across the fabric, so I thought I’d cut the pattern pieces on the cross grain.  This was not one of my brightest ideas, as it turns out.  It was slippery as heck to cut and even worse to pin together.  I used French seams everywhere except to attach the skirt pieces to the yokes.  There I used a flat fell seam.

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Good for swirling in too!
Good for swirling in too!

I wasn’t sure what to do with the waistband – at first I didn’t want to make it too stiff, but I was concerned that the chiffon wouldn’t be strong enough with just a fine interfacing.  After asking for so ideas from Tashia on twitter which weren’t forthcoming, I decided to start with interfacing with the fine sheer polyester fusible.  I bought a length of white 4cm wide grossgrain ribbon and handstitched the waistband to the ribbon with a herringbone stitch.  This has worked out quite well & now I can be sure it’ll be secure enough with the button & buttonhole too.

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Obviously the skirt needed to be lined, but with what..  The more common linings wouldn’t be suitable here, I couldn’t use an acetate or cupro and silk would have been too expensive and not suitable for a teenager to wear every day.  I bought some white cotton muslin for the job, and used it for the toile too.  This I constructed using Mock French seams so that I could alter it quickly and easily if I had to.

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The cotton does alter the hang of the chiffon, the skirt would have been far more drapey with a more fluid lining, but Daughter No2 likes it as it is, and I am not unhappy with the result.  I let the skirt hang for a day to see how much dropping there would be and had a pain of a time evening up the hem!  In some places 6-7cm had to come off, and in others it was fine.  I did away with the 2.5cm hem idea too, just using the rolled hem foot, but hemming the lining properly.

Window shopping
Window shopping

Daughter no2 loves the skirt, it’s so pretty and feminine and she cannot wait to wear it out & show it off to her friends!  I love how it looks with her biker jacket and the grey for the teeshirt has worked so much better than the predictable blue would have.

Jump! :)
Jump! 🙂

 *** UPDATE ***

Voting is now open and will close on Friday 5 July at midnight UCT.  Click on the button below to go to the voting page where you’ll find all the entries.