Simplicity 4579: All Sewn Up – 50s Fringed Skirt

Simplicity 4579

My Step Mum found this pattern for me and I instantly fell in love with it especially the fringe trimmed version of the skirt, who doesn’t like a bit of fringing after all? So when the fine folks at Zazzle.co.uk got in touch with me so see if I would collaborate on a couple of posts it was instantly clear that this pattern would be perfect.

If you haven’t heard of Zazzle.co.uk they’re a fantastic creative customisation website with a whole host of different products but obviously, for me, it’s all about the crafting. I can’t even begin to tell you how wide ranging their fabric options are as it would take a whole post up in itself and I’d never get around to showing you my skirt but I will give you a quick overview.

You can pick from various categories from colour, pattern to theme. I obviously went for retro of course, but there are lots of others to choose from. In those categories you can pick the type of fabric, as its summer here I went for a cotton obviously (and I am glad I did due to the heatwave we’ve had) and then there’s the fun bit of customising the pattern too.

The only tough thing I found about the process was narrowing down my fabric choices as there are so many.

Anyhoo, they are fab and you should check them out.

Simplicity 4579

To start the skirt is a 28 waist and 38 hip. Due to the lovely weather we’re having here in the UK, recently not being in the best of sorts and my love of dairy I am now sporting 40 inch hips. So I had to adjust the pattern.

Simplicity 4579

I started by tracing the pattern onto some Swedish sewing paper and marking it up, then I made the hip adjustment by cutting out a perpendicular section from the hip line to the hem line and fitting and extra half an inch in.

Simplicity 4579

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Simplicity 4579

I sewed up the darts and joined the sides and all went swimmingly. I put the zip in as instructed, even though it’s not the normal way I’d do the zip but it worked out okay if not a little fiddly. You don’t get anything from not trying though, right? Even if that something you do get is a little frustrated.

Simplicity 4579

Then it was on to the hem and the decision of what I should do about the fringing. For all intents and purposes the instructions said to leave a length of fabric under the fringing but after trying out all options I decided not to do this. It just looked a bit odd.

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So I took the skirt up a little extra and removed the split. Then I started sewing the fringing in. I have a little experience of sewing in fringing due to my previous burlesque dancing ways but I had only ever done it by hand. I did use the sewing machine this time and took a steady pace with it. No problems, no seam ripping, just a very happy me by the end of it.

Simplicity 4579

All that was left was hemming to do which, as usual, went without a hitch. So ladies and jellyspoons  here is my finished, sewn up skirt. What do you think? I;m super happy with how it turned out and it’ll look great for a work as well as a Sunday mooching round the vintage shops.

Simplicity

Simplicity

Disclosure: Fabric supplied by Zazzle.co.uk but all thoughts on their services are honest and my own.

Simplicity 7702: All Sewn Up – 60s Shift Dress

simplicty 7702 www.staceystitch.com

My first sew of 2015. A few weeks ago I put a blog up for advice, after I scored some gorgeous vintage style fabric from John Lewis in the sale, asking what your opinions were on the pattern to pick.

simplicty 7702 www.staceystitch.com

In the end the simplicity won out. I wanted to try something different, something with a sixties silhouette different from the more tailored sews I’d done previously. The fabric seemed more suited to that. I decided to sew up a toile with some left over cotton that I had as I am a 34 in the bust but I have junk in my trunk, way more than is allowed for on the pattern.

I am so, so glad that I decided to do this because the toile was far too tight on the hips and it was throwing everything off shape wise. So I got out the Swedish tracing paper, made some adjustments and came up with a much more pleasing and better fitting toile.

simplicty 7702 www.staceystitch.com

I used this to cut the fabric and with gritted teeth marked it all out to ensure that I matched the pattern at the back of the dress, which turned out very well even if I do say so myself, first time almost perfect, I decided to leave it at that. It was only a tiny bit out of sync and I wasn’t about to tempt fate by taking the zip out again and seeing it all back in only for it to not match at all.

simplicty 7702 www.staceystitch.com

This is the first time that I’ve ever sewn up a pattern putting the zip in the back before sewing the sides in. Easier x one million. I don’t even know why I haven’t considered doing it before. I think I’m just a stickler for the instructions. I must do what they say. I might remedy that in the future.

simplicty 7702 www.staceystitch.com

I tried the bodice on and had a bit of a worry when the centre back wasn’t lying flat against my skin, until I realised I was wearing the shoulders a little high and they should have been sat a little further down.

simplicty 7702 www.staceystitch.com

I then had the sleeve quandary. Knowing how much I dread setting in sleeves I considered the flat method for a while BUT I decided just to knuckle down and get on with it in the end and sewed the side seams before setting in the sleeves traditionally.

simplicty 7702 www.staceystitch.com

They went in like a dream. I pinned and pinned and I ensured I sewed in slowly and carefully easing them in as I went and sewing from inside the sleeve side rather than the bodice side if that makes sense. After a good old pressing they looked great.

simplicty 7702 www.staceystitch.com

I took three inches off the bottom for the hem allowance rather than the two and three quarter as specified on the pattern, and voila I was done.

So here I am in my new dress.

Simplicity 7702Simplicity 7702

Simplicity 7702

There are a couple of things to consider:

I have started going running. A lot. Which means my hips are now smaller than they were, hopefully I don’t look like I’m wearing a tent.

I love that it’s not fitted because I feel free! I love wearing more structured garments but there is something so gloriously comfortable about this shift dress while still looking super smart.

What do you think? Have you made anything similar? I;d love to see your version – link me up!

Help me choose a pattern (aka being indecisive sucks)

Well as you know we’re in the new house, all is unpacked and yesterday we had our nearest and dearest over for a housewarming. So lovely to have our friends over and the next generation ( not star trek – just our mates awesome kids).

Now the dust has settled I’m in the mood to SEW!

I took a little trip out to my local John Lewis last week and picket up this gorgeous fabric for half price but now I’m stuck on what to make with it.

A dress? Yes, but which one?

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These are the three I have to choose from:

Simplicity 7702

 

(View 1)

Butterick 2604

 

(also considering making the coat in the heavy gold satin I brought back from Vegas)

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(with sleeves)


I’m favouring the Simplicity or Vogue at the moment, the Butterick is gorgeous but it’s quite a similar shape to other dresses I’ve made in the last year and I’d like to try something different.

Any feedback/help in making my mind up will be appreciated. What would you make?

 

 

Simplicity 2602: The Christmas Edition

Christmas eve is almost upon us and here I have a festive feast for your eyes.

The Simplicity 2602 all made up and worn for my work Christmas party (and soon to be seen on Christmas Day!).

Christmas dress and fabric 2015

I know I’ve been a bit slack on the stitching over the recent months but I have fantastic news to share, I’ve been making changes to my life and will be starting a new post in my current job in the new year. It’s the perfect way to round of what has been a wonderful year.

That’s the main reason for the lack of updates and besides that I decided to literally work my butt off after I  found myself in a position where I couldn’t fit into my beautiful pink boned dress that I made back in June. I’ve been working out day and night and haven’t been in this good shape for years, but enough of that, lets get on with this fantastically festive frock!

I have to confess that I made the choice based on something quick to whip up (relatively speaking) and the lack of messing about with sleeves when I knew how busy I’d be in the weeks running up to the date I needed to finish by.

I picked a medium weight cotton from Benartex (Let It Snow) available from Plush Addict. I went for a good 4 metres and I was very happy in the end that I did.

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

I pinned out the pattern and up came a quandary, mainly that the pattern doesn’t repeat itself often enough.

It meant a lot of pinning and re-pinning before cutting and I had to deal with the sides seams not matching (I decided the back was much more important due to the side closure and the split).

So after holding my breath and cutting while crossing my fingers and every available part of me (I don’t often sewing with patterned fabric!) it was done.

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

I pinned the darts and pinned to my dressform and was already very happy before I even started to sew it up. Sewing was relatively easy apart from the back, which I had managed to get a tiny bit out of sync.

Yet again my seam ripper became my best friend and I opted to sewing on the fold down the back rather than try (for the umpteenth time) to match the seam.

I don’t think you could obviously see it due to the pattern but decided even if you could I’d give myself a break and not give too much of a monkeys.

So on I went, and the rest was relatively easy, the split was a breeze and the side zip went in with ease. It seems that a break away for a while has done me some good. Eight and a half hours later and I was done, pressed and ready to go.

I wore at the office party, looking way more dressed up than everyone there BUT it’s Christmas and if you can’t wear a lovely sparkly dress for a party what can you wear it for? Here it is in all it’as glory!

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

Better photos to follow after Christmas day – wait until you see my hand embroidered napkins and table cloth!

Wishing you all a fantastic festive season, a wonderful Christmas Day and much love and happiness with your friends and family. I’m off to ice my ridiculously boozy cake!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Sewing, Embroidery and a Double Craft Book Giveaway!

Hello there!

Apologies for the silence the last couple of months but my work load has been off the charts both in my full time job and my copy writing freelancing, but the good news is I am now free to sew and craft!

First off, I have picked the gorgeous fabric for my dress and riffled through my vintage patterns to find this stunning late 50s dress.

I’ll be making the pencil dress version, I would love to make the overskirt but I think it’s a little too fussy for the works christmas do.

The fabric is a gorgeous retro christmas pattern and the gold is metallic so shines beautifully under the light.

Only worry is matching the pattern but I have a good 4 metres so fingers crossed it wont be too much trouble, any advice gratefully received though – please comment below!

Christmas dress and fabric 2015

Secondly, I purchased the fabulous Doodle Stitching: The Holiday Motif Collection, which is just AMAZING. I can’t recommend enough to any Christmas crafters out there!

I have already traced some patterns for the tablecloth and napkins I’m working on for Christmas day. Updates to follow soon!

doodle stitching

Thirdly, and finally, I am giving away two Christmas craft books this year:

Fa la la la Felt  and Make Me, I’m Yours: Christmas – to enter simply comment below, or retweet the below tweet.

The winner will be announced on 1st December, giveaway closes on the 30th November midday (UK time)!

fa la la la felt cover

make me I'm yours christmas

All Sewn Up: Butterick B6031 Patterns By Gertie: The Slip

I thought it was time I pushed myself away from the cotton and towards something a little slinkier, so when I saw Gertie was starting a slip sew along back in February I thought I’d give it a go. The massively underestimated my time so I only got around to it this week.

yellow slip 1

I opted for purchasing one of Gerties slip packs from Etsy as I thought it would save me a lot of traipsing about or online searching for the little bits and bobs and of course I went for yellow.

Yellow is my favourite colour because it’s the colour of sunshine, how can you NOT like yellow?

The main material is micro jersey fabric (poly/spandex blend) and the lace is stretch. I decided that I’d go for a contrasting yellow cotton while sewing as I like the effect it has on it, give it a little cheat style decoration. I missed the bows off because I didn’t really like them all that much, and much prefer the slip all plain Jane.

 yellow slip 2

So off I set. The pattern was relatively easy to sew up and I was surprised at how easy it was considering all of the stretch in all of the fabrics. This would have taken me a day to complete if I’d had a whole day but it took me several nights and half a day in the end and I am very pleased with the result.

yellow slip 4

yellow slip 6

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The only problems I had were with:

Double sewing the dart on the bust. One side, if you look really close up, doesn’t look as neat as the other, I had a bit of an incident with the slippy fabric but trying to go as slow as possible on the other side was fine. So less speed required from me in future.

The straps; it took my dyslexic brain a while to figure out which way round the straps were sewn once the extending fastening pieces were threaded through, I got there in the end though and this is the finished result.

Next up on my sewing table are the pants (we say that up north, rather than knickers, or panties across the pond).

Sewing: Circle Skirts for Soul Girls

You’d think from my lack of sewing posts I’d been laying the needle down but I have been sewing, honest! I recently made two circle skirts on commission for some soulies I know.

I’m holding off the full post about this as I’d ideally like to get some pics of the ladies in question in them and a short clip of them dancing away.

So until then, here’s a little pic of one of them on my dummy and an awesome soul tune that you should dance about to!

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Craftsy: Sew Retro – The Gertie Bombshell Dress Complete

Three days before I got Vegas, finally finished my dress this afternoon. Yikes!

Sometimes I think I am either incredibly lucky when I get things done so quickly, or incredibly silly for procrastinating in the first place!

Last week a gave an update of how this dress was going, which I’d started after signing up my my first craftsy course when I was looking for something an extra special to take off to Vegas as I would be out there celebrating my (gulp) 34th birthday.

I’ll pick up where I left off.

The bodice made, I started with the skirt, which is a faux sarong (which doesn’t have the extra flap underneath). It was relatively easy to put together with a lot of gathering to one side to give it the sarong look.

After sewing up the sides  I pinned it to the bodice to see how it would look and I was so happy to see it looking gorgeous.

I have to say this is always my favourite part of sewing, when I can finally look at what the garment will become.

I don’t know why but it always does surprise me that I have managed to actually make something that looks like it’s meant to. You would have thought that almost a year in I’d be over it, but apparently not.

That’s the joy of making your own clothes though, isn’t it?

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After this it was time to sew it in. Now, I know it was going to be a bit of a struggle with that amount of gathering to one side but armed with my seam ripper I knew that it might be a case of taking it apart and putting it back together again.

Which I did have to, as I got half way round (after holding my breath and hoping for the best) the doorbell went and local campaigners were asking if I have voted (which I had – at 7.30 that morning).

I look flustered, they apologised and I went back to the skirt, finished it then realised I’d not sewing in the sarong part properly and had to start over again.

Which I did and when I had finished (round 2) it looked a little like this.

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I’m not sure it even does it justice, there is a lot of material in that side gather!

It was then time to insert the zip. Now Gertie shows you how to do a lapped zip, something which I have done before but much to my own dismay it didn’t work out as neat as it could have done, so it was nice to go through this stage step by step.

Half the Zip in – success! When I went to sew the other side in however I nearly had a little cry. Zip woes!

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I tried twice to do it by machine but I just could not get it right, and to be honest, I really prefer the hand picked technique for this, so in the end this is what I did. I think it just gives the outside a much better look that the row of stitching.

The next morning I had a little try on as I was super excited to see what it looks like, and I wasn’t disappointed.

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We were told at the beginning of this class that it would fit like a glove and it really, really does. So if anyone is about to embark on this class please make sure you measure it correctly.

The boning and lining was still to go on but I was so happy that I made the cups that little bit bigger because I was sure at this point that I would have been boobs out!

So on with the internal structure, lining and boning.

I normally don’t line my dresses, I don’t really know why, maybe laziness or more because when I have picked up vintage dresses many of them haven’t been lined, so all of this was new to me.

I went for a cotton lawn for the lining in a light blue with white polka dots. I cut out my pieces and spent an evening sewing them all together.

I have to say this was mildly frustrating as the cotton is so light I found it a bit tricky when it came to sewing the cups in.

They aren’t as perfect as I’d like them to be but I was tight on time by this point. A few hours later the lining was complete.

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The next step was to add the boning. I was, by this stage, watching bits of the tutorial and stopping to do a bit of work, going back and pressing play.

I would say for anyone who would be taking this class to watch it through once at this stage and then go back from the start and sew along, as the instructions are a tiny bit higgeldy piggeldy and there are things you could do with knowing (or things it would make it easier to know) if you watched it all the way through to begin with.

Anyhoo, the boning channels were pinned and sewn in.

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Then it was time to cut the boning down to size. I had chosen a variety of thickness and I thought I might need a little extra support around the bust area and I was glad that I did, but I did have a job cutting the larger pieces down to size (the chance of you getting any more than a couple of pieces pre-cut to the correct size is slim!).

This is fun, I thought when I first started snipping with much struggle with the wire cutters. I actually had to get Tim come and help me with the thicker bits I was no where near strong enough to get those bad boys done. Oh, and I didn’t purchase any extra end covers but I did manage to remove the ones already on the bits I had clipped and re-used them so all was not lost.

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Boning clipped and in it was time to pin the lining into the bodice.

I was careful when I did pin it in not to pin right through the bodice (learnt my lesson from a long time of steaming and pressing out the puncture marks on the top of the bodice when I was making that up!) and ensured that everything lined up.

It this point Gertie mentioned using a piece of grosgrain ribbon for a zipper guard, which is a welcome finishing touch to the dress but I would have liked to know earlier that I would need an extra piece of ribbon which is double the size of that which I have for the waist stay.

I improvised and did the best I could with what I had and it did work out well.

This is a little bone of contention for this course.

There are times when things are not mentioned in the materials (such as this) or times when little tips are mentioned after the event.

Maybe it’s my ordered ind which getting a bit miffed when these things occur but as I am planning on making another couple of dresses based on this pattern then it is useful to add little notes at these stages reminding yourself of tips that would have been handier to know earlier.

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I hand picked the zipper guard as I had done with the zip, being careful not to go through to the outside of the dress.

I then sewed the lining into the bodice and voila it was almost complete. Just the waist stay and hemming to go.

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Doesn’t it look pretty! I did at this point stop for the day as my wonderfully patient husband had been waiting to hang out with me as he’s off to do newt based stuff on Monday so we won’t see each other until I get back from Vegas.

Now the structure is inside the dress I could see how much better it was going to fit and support me. Before this point I had had some serious misgivings about whether or not my juicy chest fruit would be particularly supported but now I had no qualms.

Next was inserting the waist stay and attaching buttons for the detachable halter strap. The strap is completely optional and this dress does hold up beatifully without it but if, like me, you plan on using this dress for other occasions where it might be better to add a little for more of a day wear look then straps are a perfect option. I do plan on wearing this dress to a wedding this year too, so a halter seemed a good way to go.

Unfortunately my buttons didn’t exactly match, I went for the thinnest ones I had due to the dress being so close to my skin so I had to go for these clear yellow ones – they will be replaced at some point.

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All that was left to do after this was the hemming and finishing the skirt vent.

The instructions were relatively easy but I would have liked to know that I could finish the seams a little earlier where the zip is concerned as this caused me a lot of fiddling about.

The hem was finished with seam binding and then sewing on the back for an invisible finish.

I found some matching the light blue of my lining and waist stay in a box that my Nana had gifted to me, and I have to say the finish does   look very pretty.

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After this, there it was, my lovely dress, all complete.

There’s no final photo in this post as I plan on doing a few posts from Vegas so you’ll have to see the complete outfit post then, I don’t want to ruin everything, and me at the end of a two day sewing marathon to get this finished, in my scruffs, with my hair all pinned back would not have done it justice!

 


 

So in summary, I have really enjoyed this craftsy course and I am hooked!

I will definitely be taking more classes, there aren’t so many local ones around my neck of the woods so I’m really looking forward to bettering my skills and making this dress in different variations again soon.

If anyone is considering it I’d say go for it, you can do it, and I’d really like to see what you make!

May Vintage Sewing Pattern Giveaway

 

Vouge Designer 1584 Belinda Bellville

Up for grabs this month is this Vogue Designer Original vintage late 70s Belinda Bellville fitted and flared, bias back-wrapped dress.

It’s suitable for soft fabrics (challis, wool crepe, wool jersey, lightweight double knits etc).

It’s a 36 Bust.

The pattern is uncut and in mint condition.

If you’d like to enter comment on this blog below:

 

or visit my facebook page like and comment on the post related to this blog:

01 may giveaway fb

 

or visit my twitter and retweet the giveaway tweet:

 

If you do all three you’ll get three entries.

Competition open until midnight on 31st May. I’ll announce the winner on 1st June.

Good luck!

 


 VOTE FOR ME PLEASE – ONLY 5 DAYS TO GO! 

The votes are close so if you have five mins, please read below and give me a quick vote. Thanks for all the support!

NVAs

 

If you liked this blog please vote for me in the NVAs as  I’ve been nominated under the Best Vintage Fashion/Lifestyle Blog category. Voting is open throughout May and it’s a simple click to select Stacey Stitch and then enter your email address to confirm the vote (you wont be spammed). Clicking on the photo or links above should take you straight to the website. It’ll only take a few minutes of your time if you have it spare! Thank you!

Confession Time: My Vintage Bum in All Its Wondrous Glory

I have a big bum. Bigger than most vintage patterns that fit my waist and chest size by a couple of inches (either side) so make that between 4 and 5 inches.

Why am I telling you this? I am, as most women are, not your traditional size and not by long shot when it comes to vintage patterns. 26 waist? Yes. 34 bust? Yes. 36 hip? No. I wish, and I have kidded myself for around a year now that sooner or later by bum will shrink and fit into the lovely dresses I have made. Maybe, if I get back on top of running, it will. Right now though, it won’t.

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So this is a reminder for me, as much as it is an honesty with you, that I won’t make a dress up again without adjusting the pattern for my protrusions and I will celebrate my big round peach in all of its glory so I can flounce about in the things I wear rather than frustratingly try them on and think “nope, bum’s still not small enough”.

Anyone else have to adjust vintage patterns to fit their derrière?! I’d love some advice!


 

VOTE FOR ME PLEASE – ONLY 6 DAYS TO GO! 

The votes are close so if you have five mins, please read below and give me a quick vote. Thanks for all the support!

NVAs

 

If you liked this blog please vote for me in the NVAs as  I’ve been nominated under the Best Vintage Fashion/Lifestyle Blog category. Voting is open throughout May and it’s a simple click to select Stacey Stitch and then enter your email address to confirm the vote (you wont be spammed). Clicking on the photo or links above should take you straight to the website. It’ll only take a few minutes of your time if you have it spare! Thank you!