Honeycomb Sewalong

I have just taken part in the Cocowawa sewalong for the Honeycomb shirt and dress. This is the first time I have done a sewalong and as well as being good fun I found it really helpful.

I chose to make the dress version and selected a plain denim lightweight chambray fabric, the buttons I re-cycled from one of my husbands work shirts.

The sewalong ran for 2 weeks and was perfect timing finishing on the Friday before a family get together on the Sunday😀

Each day covered a different stage beginning with fabric selection then onto assembling a pdf pattern (I cheated and had mine printed at Netprinters) and sizing – my size according to my body measurements was size 3 for bust and size 5 for waist and hips so I graded the pattern between the bust and waist lines. Then it was onto the various sewing stages.

The fabric requirement was 2.8 metres for the dress version but this allows for long sleeves. I made a sleeveless dress and used just 2 metres.

Some of the stages I have done before in other garments such as darts and the burrito method for the bodice but it was still useful to have a guiding hand to remind me how to do things. The Mandarin collar was a new skill for me so I found this stage particularly useful.

My main struggle was with the button holes and they are far from perfect but I will try again and hopefully perfect the technique one day.

The only pattern adjustment I had to make was the armholes, they where way to big so needed to be taken in, this was a bit of a nightmare because I had foolishly attached the bias binding before realising so had a difficult job unpicking (the cotton is a very good match with the fabric). Once I had unpicked them there are clear instructions given on how to make this alteration.

Once the bodice was sewn up it was onto the skirt which was fairly straightforward, you do have to add the pockets first before joining the front and back at the seams but again the instructions are very easy to follow if you haven’t done it before and lets face it we all love pockets don’t we💙💙

Then we need to gather the waist line and fit it to the bodice, sew them together and then hem to your desired length.

I am really pleased with how the dress turned out, the fabric is lovely and lightweight for the summer and the style although very smart is what I consider to be more casual so I can see myself getting lots of wear out of it. I will definitely be making another one and am already on the look out for some more fabric. I would also like to make the long sleeved version for the winter.

This is the first Cocowawa pattern I have sewn but I will certainly be sending for some others – The Chestnut Sweater is next on by wishlist, my sewing list keeps getting bigger with all the new patterns I keep discovering whilst browsing Instagram! There are some great independent sewing companies out there and personally I find the instructions from them much easier to follow than the big 4 pattern companies.

I have linked Cocowawa below if anyone wants to take a look:

https://www.cocowawacrafts.com/shop/sewing-patterns/honeycomb-shirt-dress-pdf-sewing-pattern-eng/

New Look 6217 in Cotton Lawn

Last month I took part in ‘Me Made May’ and I realised I was lacking coordinating tops and bottoms so I am currently working towards rectifying this. First up is New Look 6217, this pattern actually comes with 3 garment patterns – a t-shirt, a kimono style top and some trousers. Having already made a couple of navy coloured skirts I decided I was in need of a top to wear with them.

The fabric is a lovely cotton lawn from Sewisfaction, I have put a link below to the online shop:

https://www.sewisfaction.co.uk/product-category/fabric/

Unfortunately the fabric is now out of stock, it really is a gorgeous quality cotton lawn with a mix of purple, mustard and turquoise on an off white background. Another challenge I have set myself is to try and sew with a bigger variety of fabrics – I seem to have made lots of jersey items but not much else since taking up sewing last year.

I don’t usually bother to make a toile (slap on wrist😂) and so far seem to have got away with it but I really didn’t want to risk spoiling this fabric. The pattern requires 0.8 metres which is exactly what was available when I contacted Sewisfaction and having googled the fabric it doesn’t appear to be available anywhere else in the UK.

The t-shirt pattern is fairly straight forward with just 2 pieces (front and back) so would be suitable for a beginner. I made it slightly more challenging my deciding to add lining just to give it that extra special finish. I got into a bit of a muddle when sewing up the toile and after joining the neckline and sleeves of the fabric to the lining realised I couldn’t turn it back round the correct way – I ended up unpicking the sleeves and finishing them off with bias binding.

I remembered a technique called the burrito roll and a quick search on the internet led me to a great YouTube tutorial:

The only other real challenge to the pattern was the back opening, again this was a little more tricky due to adding lining. The back opening is finished off with a button and button loop. I have done a loop before but this is my best to date

I used thicker cotton than I have in the past which helped give a better finish. Again if you are unsure how to do a button loop there is a great tutorial by Professor Pincushion which can be found here:

I found the pattern to be true to size from the measurements given, I cut a size 12 on the bust and graded it to a size 16 for the waist/hips, no other adjustments were needed. I am really pleased with how it as turned out, I will definitely make another top with this pattern and it would be great for stash busting, I have a little bit of fabric left from my 0.8 metres.