The Joan Wiggle Dress (Charm Patterns Patreon) Sweetheart Neck: All Sewn Up

After the success of the slash neck version of this dress, I decided what the heck, lets try out some crushed velvet and crack on. It was, after all, nearly my 15th wedding anniversary and I needed something special to wear on my date out with my wonderful other half.

First off, the fabric I bought was perfect but did have some glitter issues (read: gets absolutely everywhere – especially when pre-washing and cutting), but it was just so perfect and sparkly that I thought it was an opportunity not to be missed.

I hadn’t ever sewn anything in stretch velvet before so that was a bit of a learning curve and there were a few new things I learnt when I was making this version of the dress:

  • Stretch lining the bodice: something I hadn’t done before. I have lined  things, yes, but not with stretch lining. I am super glad that I did as I can now be safe in the knowledge that the neck won’t stretch put of shape over time and the added security of the elastic in the neckline keeps it the dress sitting nicely on my shoulders, rather then slipping off. The tutorial video Gertie provided was absolutely perfect for me learning this. (Anyone else a visual learner? This is one of the many reasons I love the Charm Patterns Patreon).
  • Velvet is so effing slippery: l ditched the pins as much as I could and changed to clips after a very frustrating time trying to get my notches lined up.
  • I did learn from my mistake with the sizing from last time though and I made the necessary adjustment to the pattern prior to cutting my fabric, although I did still have to take a further bit off the hips due to the additional stretch in the fabric.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to wear it out as our son wasn’t well, so we didn’t make it out for our anniversary date after all (don’t worry we scoffed a lovely takeaway) but I did get some pics.

I am so pleased with how it turned out, and our night out has been rearranged so I’ll be in it soon enough but for now it’s in my wardrobe in a cover (did I mentioned the glitter getting everywhere?), and it hasn’t put me off sewing with velvet…in fact next up on my sewing table is something I am planning to match with stretch leopard print velvet…

To see my updates as they happen why not follow me on Instagram.

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?

 

 

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).

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!

Craftsy: Sew Retro – The Gertie Bombshell Dress So Far

I thought I’d give a little update on my Sewing for Vegas Sew Retro bombshell dress and my experience of using Craftsy for the first time.

I signed up for this course with a little trepidation, boning? yikes! But you never get anywhere unless you push yourself do you? And in some respects I have all too easily become used to doing what I can do and sticking with the “safe” stuff.

So first things first:

When I found out about craftsy I thought it would be marvellous for me. As you may know I am dyslexic, so looking at instructions in the written word are usually quite confusing.

Add with that mild dyspraxia and you have a whole heap of confusion when it comes to things such as left and right.

I learn so well when people show me physically how to do something rather than from reading instructions, hence the idea of video classes which I can access at any point seemed perfect.

So sign up I did.

I downloaded the course materials and pattern (easy enough) ensuring that the test square was the right size and then ordered everything I needed to make up the dress (apart from the boning – you really need to measure your bodice pieces for that).

I decided on a cerise medium weight cotton for the main fabric with the lining in a lightweight light blue and white polka dot.

I cracked on with making up the pattern.

Now, I know this should have been easy and it was up to a certain point but honestly, being told that it’s “fun, like doing a puzzle” doesn’t actually make it any more fun and less fiddly.

Oh, and if you’re like me and don’t have a table big enough, prepare for some backache.

This was however soothed by watching the amazingly trashy cultness of Showgirls while I was doing it.


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Next up was marking the pattern pieces on calico for the toile of the bodice.

When I first discovered that the pattern had no seam allowance I was struck by a little bit of fear, I completely didn’t understand how beneficial this actually would be and how easy it would make the whole process. Thread tracing is a new one on me but I feel like it’s something that might change my sewing life!

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After a short time I had my cups made and decided it was time to leave it for the night.

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The next day I began stitching the rest of the pieces together. It took me about 40 minutes of not understanding why the cups weren’t fitting into the bodice sections before I realised I’d sewn them on the wrong way round (dylexia-dyspraxia strikes again!). Once they were un-picked and re-sewn I had a bodice which looked pretty fantastic.

I just made a few adjustments to the height of the cups (these would make me blush in their original form, and I’m not shy by any means) which Gertie talks you through every step of the way, There’s also a section on a full bust adjustment, which I didn’t use but I did watch and it was very thorough. It will be a great reference if I make something for someone in the future who is bustier than me.

I added a little height to the back of the bodice too, in line with the height I’d added to the cups and then I graded this down towards the closure section where the zip will be inserted.

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After this I made the changes to my pattern pieces to incorporate the extra material and I cut more calico for the interlining, marked it up and used these pieces as a pattern for the main bodice material, which I then cut and tacked together.

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Then I made up the bodice as instructed, step by step, including inserting a bit of padding to the cups and a few other tailoring techniques as shown (I don’t want to give everything away).

This where I’m up to, an almost complete bodice. I am so happy with how it looks.

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My thoughts on the class and on craftsy:

I am really loving doing something new and more challenging with guidance from others who have completed the course and from the instructor. I would definitely recommend this type of learning to anyone who is talking up sewing. The instructions are clear and concise and it is invaluable to be able to see in motion what you can only read about in other respects. The little tailoring and hand sewing techniques and finishes and shared experiences from Gertie are well worth signing up for, never mind the fact you’ll have a gorgeous dress at the end of it.

I fully intend to carry on doing more craftsy courses after I have finished this one. What I have learned so far is so much more than I thought I would, and it’s great to find out little tips and tricks so that if (like me) you’re learning as you go, and on your own, you find speedier and more accurate ways to make garments.

 


 

PLEASE VOTE FOR ME

8 DAYS TO GO AND EVERY VOTE COUNTS!

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.

I need to be in the top 3 and I’m currently in 4th place. Only the top 3 go through to the judges panel. Help a fellow vintage sewing enthusiast out?

It’ll only take a few minutes of your time if you have it spare! Thank you!

Butterick B5895: The Gertie Capris – 3 Different Ways

You probably all sat there thinking “c’mawn…where’s the sewing?!” lately didn’t you?

Well, I have indeed been Sewing for Vegas as I promised a few weeks back, it’s just been terrible weather here and combined with Timothy working away, and out of town visits to friends and family, I haven’t been able to get some photos until now.

So where did I start? 4 metres of stretch slub denim going for a song on ebay. Perfect, I thought, this will be a good foundation for my day wear when I’m pounding the pavement and looking at the wonders the strip has to offer.

So I got out my Gertie capri pattern and cut out the pieces (in a bigger size than my test pattern a few months ago) and got to sewing. I found the tips over at Handmade Jane’s blog on denim sewing tips a great help and before you knew it (and in a day) I had a pair of denim capris.

Gertie Pedal Pushers - 3 ways

Following this I decided to make up another pair for shorts, because it’s an easily to chop some length off a pattern, and the day after voila! A pair of high waisted denim shorts to be roaming about in.

Gertie Pedal Pushers - 3 ways

Then I got all cocky with myself and made the decision to adapt the pattern and make a skirt.

Now, this might not seem like a lot of bother for some readers of this blog but I have never attempted anything like this.

I made the adjustment to the front parts of the pattern, ensuring I took the seam allowance off the centre as this would be placed on the fold.

I made a few other adjustments to the back side of the legs to taper in more and made a toile with some stretch cotton, before using that toile to cut the pieces of denim for the final skirt.

Gertie Pedal Pushers - 3 ways

I have to say I’m so happy with how it all turned out and now I have my day wear for Vegas.

I just have to find something for my top half as however liberal Vegas may be I’m sure they don’t want me flouncing about topless in the streets.

So what’s next? Well, I’ve been joining in on Gertie’s slip sew along as I have never sewn any undercrackers or used that type of slinky material.

I am also starting my Gerties Sew Retro Bombshell Dress class on Craftsy to make my birthday dress for Vegas. So much to do and only 30 days to go!
NVAs

 

If you liked this blog please vote for me in the NVA 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. 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!

I’ve been Nominated in the National Vintage Awards: Please vote for me!

NVAs

 

Super fantastic new for my little blog: I’ve been nominated under the Best Vintage Fashion/Lifestyle Blog category of the UK National Vintage Awards .

It means so much to me to be nominated, especially as at the end of this month it’ll be my blog’s first birthday (special giveaway to follow so keep your eyes peeled!). If I get shortlisted to the final it would be even better, the competition is very strong  with other fantastic blogs listed, it’s going to be a very close call, so if you read my blog and you like what you see  please vote for me.

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. 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.

Thanks to everyone who has voted so far, it really warms my heart to know that people are backing me for the NVAs and I am so happy to be representing the online sewing community.

It makes me feel like the dreams I have of sewing for a living could actually come true in the future, knowing I have the support means the world to me.

Big love and lots of thanks

Stacey xx

April Vintage Pattern Giveaway

Vouge Very Easy 8827

 

Up for grabs this month is this vintage late 60s/early 70s spring dress featuring long bell sleeves (or short variation). It’s suitable for knits, it’s a very easy, very vogue pattern in four pieces so won’t take long to make up at all, perfect for the spring days ahead. It’s a 38 Bust.

If you’d like to enter comment on this blogbelow

or

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

comp pattern april FB

or visit my twitter and retweet the giveaway tweet:

comp pattern april twitter

 

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

I’ll pick a winner on 30th April.

Good luck!