Tilly and the Buttons Stevie Tunic

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I recently wrote my first post for Minerva Craft s where I reviewed one of Tilly and the Buttons latest patterns – The Stevie Tunic.

Full details of my review can be found at the link below:

https://www.minervacrafts.com/blog/projects/dotty-about-stevie

What I can tell you here is that I loved it so much that I had a second one on my cutting mat straight after.  I can see me making several of these.

The second dress is made from some gorgeous Ikat fabric from Lamazi Fabrics which is still currently available at the link below:

John Louden – Ikat – Ivory on Delph – Colour Woven Cotton

Happy sewing everyone.

Brother Sewing Machine Review

When I took up sewing about 12 months ago I purchased a second hand machine off Ebay. I bought a basic Brother LS14 which cost me about £25. I didn’t want to spend much because I wasn’t even sure I would be able to sew let alone enjoy it. Fast forward to March 2018 and I am still loving my sewing and learning new skills with each make.

The time now seems right for an upgrade. My LS14 has served me well over the last 12 months and I will be keeping it for a back up but I now feel ready for a machine that can offer a little more.

On my visit to the NEC Craft Show last week I headed over to the Brother stand to get an idea of what was available. The lady I spoke to was very helpful and there was no pressure selling, in fact she suggested that I visit all the sewing machine stands and just try them out to get a feel of what was right for me. After doing just that I found myself back at the Brother stand and finally settled on an Innov-is 27

Having spent a good afternoon getting to know all the functions I can confirm that I absolutely love it. It was simple to thread with an easy to follow guide on the machine. The jog dial makes it very easy to select stitches and it even gives a letter on the LCD screen indicating which presser foot can be used. It is also much quieter than my old machine.

There are buttons to the right of the screen which allow you to change the length and width of the stitches and 3 speeds available for sewing.

One thing I really missed on my previous machine was being able to finish off seams neatly, no such problem now, there are several overcasting stitches available and an overcasting foot (this is 1 of the 7 feet included) to do the job, I am really pleased with the professional looking job I have made on the seams of the cushion covers I have sewn up today.

There is a foot control provided but I have yet to take this out of the packet, I was using one on my other machine but am liking just operating the machine with the stop/start button on the front at the moment.

One more bonus of buying from the show was that a free Creative Quilting Kit was included worth £149, this consists of an extension table, free motion grip, open toe quilting foot, stitch guide, walking foot and piecing foot so a nice set of extras. I think this offer may be available online too but only for a limited period.

I would definitely recommend this model for anyone who wants a good selection of stitches but also something that is easy to set up and get sewing with straight away and I am already planning my next project, I can’t wait to get sewing with it again.

Goodwood Outfit

I am luckily enough to be attending the Goodwood Revival this year, it isn’t until September but I like to plan ahead.😀

A quick Google and I have seen some amazing outfits, Goodwood covers a variety of eras but I decided a 50s style would be nice and polkadots are a must.

I have used New Look pattern K6391 for the bodice (style D) but have added a full circle skirt instead of the pleated one given, I had a pattern for the skirt from a class I did last summer.

Still being fairly new to sewing I am still learning all the terminology, this is the first time I have done understitching which is required after the bodice lining has been attached. Basically it means stitching the seam to the lining, it prevents the lining riding up and showing on the outside of the garment without any stiches showing on the main fabric.

The outside is neat and the inside seams are all sandwiched between the lining and the outer fabric.

Once the bodice was finished the skirt is attached to the bodice and then then lining is attached using a blind stitch to hide the raw edges. I finished off with an invisible zip.

I must admit I found this a difficult sew, I have mainly sewn with cotton or jersey before and wasn’t prepared for how difficult viscose is to handle but all in all I am fairly happy with the end result.

Float away on a Zephyr

I recently won a prize over on Instagram (details in previous post) which consisted of a Deer and Doe Zephyr Pattern and fabric to make it with. Zephyr means ‘A gentle breeze’, well today it is more like gale force winds with snow outside so with outdoor activities out of the question it is a good opportunity to sew.

It is the first time I have used a Deer and Doe pattern, they are a French based company, the patterns are available here in the UK with instructions coming in both French and English also the patterns are printed on good quality paper. The pattern has a choice of 3 styles: crew neck, V neck or crop top and skirt set (I went for the crew neck).

I always prefer to trace the pattern pieces rather than cut into the original. This didn’t take too long, there where 7 pieces to cut for the version I chose.

I followed the sizing guide which I found to be accurate however in my eagerness to get on with sewing I forgot to grade the bodice pattern which required different measurements for my bust and waist, it wasn’t until I came to attach the bodice to the skirt that I realised my error. I didn’t have enough fabric left to cut out all the bodice pieces again so I cut out what I could and then had to unpick the front sections (zigzag stitches are a nightmare) and basically bodge it to make it fit.

All things considered I am really pleased with how it turned out. It is a simple pattern to put together when done correctly and I will definitely be using it again to make another dress, this time without the time consuming mistakes on my part.