My 4th Sewing Bee Challenge!

Readers, this post finds me a little sad as I have just realized that there are only six weeks in this years Great British Sewing Bee, and not the eight there were last year. Which means I only have two left after this one! I’ll miss it terribly, but might have a sneaky idea up my sleeve to tide me over until next years ‘Bee… watch this space!

So this weeks Alteration Challenge was all about updating an 80’s Suit and I think I may have taken liberties with this one, but it’s updated in my eyes!

I had initially thought the Suit I bought was from the 1990’s however; it was yet again the best I could do for under £10. In inspecting it closer however;  the label and disintegration as well as construction made me realize it was a little older than that which made me happy. I really am trying to keep as closely to the parameters of the Challenge as I can!

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So, what do you think of this beauty then? It’s actually super thin fabric, and I just saw Victorian when I looked at it which made me smile! I did mean that my plan wasn’t necessarily  ‘modernizing’ it, but I decided that it was changing is sufficiently and making it entirely more wearable so I ploughed ahead!

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Label… *snigger*!

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Having made my sketch, I started to drape like the wind as I knew this Challenge was pushing it and I wanted to make sure I finished. Cutting the Coat around the Waist to shorten, I pinned the front where I wanted it to lie, then drew on a piece of Pattern Paper the shape of the Faux Waistcoat I wanted underneath.

I spent a couple of seconds playing around with different Lace and Sequinned Fabric to see which looked best overlaid, and decided upon the Sequin.

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I then pinned the Side and Shoulder Seams to fit, cut them back to 1cm Seam Allowance ready for sewing and cut my new Collar line.

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Using the Pattern I had draped, I used a section of the Bottom of the Coat to cut the Faux Waistcoat. The Coat was lined so luckily I also cut the backing for this section at the same time! Hurrah! I also cut the Squin fabric to size and pinned everything together ready to be stitched.

I also quickly made up and cut a Peplum Pattern… so quickly!!

Now, a few people have been asking how I work so quickly so this is a little insight… I have done all of the above, and it’s all ready pinned and waiting to be sewn. I have laid each section as I’ve pinned it on to the Sewing Table in order of most time consuming/order needed to finish the garment… so starting with the Jacket which needs Side Seams, Shoulder Seams and Bias Binding around the Collar, then the Peplum which had to be cut in three sections and joined to the Bodice, then the Faux Waistcoat which needs to be sewn up, turned out and have three Button Holes popped in. This is what it looks like about a 3rd of the way through the Challenge…

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I always try to stack up my workload like this, whatever project I may be working on, as I find it uses the time most wisely and I am able to accurately sew things together incredibly speedily.

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Binding the Collar took a little more time than I had thought- despite ‘ghetto fixing’ it with a Zig-Zag and not pinning! However; I was pleased with it when it went on the mannequin.

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Next in my pile of Sewing was to sew together the Faux Waistcoat, cut back the excess, trim the corners and turn out. After ironing I put three Button Holes in too.

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As each piece of my pile is sewn I pop the back on the mannequin… which can look a little odd!

After piecing the Peplum I pinned it on to the bottom of the Bodice including Pleats at every seam for a little fullness.

At this point I was still hoping to Bias Bind the bottom of the Peplum.

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I had also wanted to cut down the Sleeves a little as they’re quite large however; I was in the last ten minutes at this point and panicking! Instead, I sewed above the hem of the Sleeve, which meant I could cut the lining away then pinned the Sleeve back in to the Armhole with a large Pleat at the top (which I love!).

In the last few minutes I over-locked the Bottom of the Coat- stretching the Bias cut Fabric slightly so at to create a Lettuce Hem- and sewed on Buttons, as well as a couple extra Buttons to catch the Front of the Peplum back, which I think looks extra fancy!

As I was sewing on the very last Button my Brother Ast and his Son Errol popped through the door but I didn’t stop and sewed to the…   very…   last…      second!!

(I think they though me quite, quite mad!!)

But, ta daa!! What do you think of my 4th Sewing Bee Challenge?

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As you can see, I didn’t Bias Bind the Bottom of the Coat- no time!- and the Sleeve still looks a little full however; I’m happy with it. The Fabric is draping quite nicely in the Peplum and Pleats on the Sleeve too. I actually think the shape and fall of the Peplum is rather lovely.

So, as I am a little late this week with the Sewing Bee Challenge, I already know that my next is a Wet Suit! Eep!! Can’t wait for that but I’ll try not to think about it too much, and await the delivery of my Wet Suit!

Have you been inspired? Tried any UpCycles recently? I’d love to see, feel free to share below.

If you have been inspired to learn to sew, or would like to try your hand at the mysterious world of UpCycling, why not pop along to a Sunday Sewing Bee?

Happy stitching!

Pattern Ponderings

Another Monday, and another Pattern Ponderings!

I do so hope you had a wonderful weekend, full of Sewing, tea and cake. This week I have some wonderful finds from the world of Independent Pattern Making and I have had such fun finding them! There are Pattern Makers the world over, all happily drafting away and selling their wares. First on my list today is the Mimosa Blouse from SBCC Patterns.

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This is a Raglan T-Shirt Pattern, made pretty! You can choose to make it with or without the Ties, but that’s the bit I love! SBCC (which stands for Skinny Bitch Curvy Chic), make Patterns from XXS to 3X… in layman’s terms that’s teeny to extra big and I’m sure they do something for pretty much every size out there. This would be an excellent Pattern to bring along to the T-Shirt Project Day!

Okay, after making my Tea Dress a few weeks ago (yay #MMAW15!!), I am a new fan of the gathered bodice as it turns out it suits me. Yes, even after sewing for as long as I have and Pattern Drafting for almost as long I can learn something new about my own body shape! So my new current obsession is the Giselle Dress from Kate & Rose Patterns.

Image of Giselle Dress PDF Sewing Pattern

I just love the long sleeve, shorter version. Inspired by the flowing Dirndl Folkware of the Alps, this Pattern is classed as Advanced Beginner, and you would learn so much! I think this could also be an awesome dress to play around with mixing patterned prints, or prints with plains. If you like this idea but are worried, why not put the question to Sewing Club? They’re very good, y’know!

I think I am in a bit of a girly, dressy mood today because my final choice is the Cami Dress from Pauline Alice.

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How happy does this dress look? I think I would have to add in a little to the length but I love the in-seam Pockets and retro feel of this dress. I also adore that little cuff!

Don’t forget, if you like these Patterns, buy and support an Independent Designer like me! You can see my Patterns here, with more to come. A lot of them come as PDF Downloads which makes them cheaper, and instantaneous yay! If you’re struggling, pop along to a Sunday Sewing Bee for some help.

Happy stitching!

My 3rd Sewing Bee Challenge!

We’re cracking on lickity split over here at The midnight Atelier with these challenges, and this weeks one was brilliant! Loads of fabric, and a Vintage feel, heaven!

I’m a bit late posting my Challenge this week though, it’s been a mad week here again. Fella and I were very sad to learn of the demise of two of the greats this week. LLAP Leonard Nimoy, and indeed Friends In Your Head. I think you will both be missed verily in this household.

If you want to see what all of this Sewing Bee Challenge nonsense is all about check out the original (and best?) Great British Sewing Bee here… I’ll be holding a glass up and toasting to those we have loved and lost.

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As usual, I made a little sketch right before I began, and draped the entire challenge as I sewed. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what I had thought of would work, and I went into this Challenge a bit panicky! I knew I wanted to play with the Pattern of the Curtains I managed to find, they have flowers in a stripe and I thought it would be really cool if I managed to ‘decorate’ the design with them, which is how I ended up at pleats. Add pleats to Vintage and I naturally came to the conclusion I wanted to do a pleated ‘shelf’ bodice!

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I first outlined the shape of the Bust piece with Pins in the Dress Form, than folded a section of the Curtain fabric so that the design made stripes of floral, then plain. Well plain-ish anyway!

I wove the folds together at the Centre Front for a little visual flair which made me very happy.

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Pinning the sections in to the Mannequin, I then draped the ‘shelf’, which is actually from the hem of the curtain!

I was shocked this worked so quickly. I literally have very little photos because this was so quick.

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Pinning everything together away from the Mannequin was a bit tense- and I held my breath!- but then I sewed it super duper quick, popped it back on Lady and voila! I was pretty pleased with the result!!

I quickly draped the back which was a walk in the park compared to the front, and looked at the time furtively. To my surprise I had accomplished all of that in half an hour! Win!

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I used every last scrap to cut the Skirt so I could gather a lot of fabric in to it so it was nice and ‘swingy’ (technical word alert), then hemmed it with a stitched Zig Zag so it didn’t fray, but still looked ok.

I spectacularly broke a needle too… well okay, okay, I broke three! Curtains can be thick, and I was left wondering why we didn’t see any of the contestants break one!

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I slightly underestimated the amount of gathering folks! Here’s a tip though, lay a Tape Measure out and Washi Tape it to the table to mark the length you need the Gathered section to be, then Gather away. Much easier than trying to compare it to the Bodice every few minutes.

I had to get about four meters in to 80cm and I gathered like the wind!! Then attached it on to the Bodice… you see no pins ‘cos there were no pins. I don’t seem to pin anything any more, and on a timed project like this there’s no time.

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Looked pretty good though, and I was on to the Zip. I only had a Grey Concealed Zip (boo), and inserting it with that much Gathering was interesting. This is where I knew I had started to panic as I had just a few minutes left!! Eeep!

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Thanks (obviously real, and totally there) Claudia!

I finished dead on my time, literally sewing through to the last minute of time allowed…

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I’m pretty happy with it though!

Actually, I’m really, embarrassingly, head over heels proud of this look… 90 minutes peeps! I was reminded of my Costuming and Filmmaking days, and damn I was good if I say so myself! Have you noticed how the back matches in Pattern all the way down? Oh yeah!

Now, if you would like to make a similar dress, pop along to the Sew Anything Course ‘cos I have a Pattern.

Next week… 80s Suit (eep!)

Confused? See my first Sewing Bee Challenge here, and my 2nd here.

Happy stitching!

My 2nd Sewing Bee challenge!

After having thoroughly enjoying the 1st Alteration Challenge from Week 1 of The Great British Sewing Bee, I waited with baited breath for the 2nd to be revealed. I was pleasantly surprised when Patrick explained the contestants had to make a new thing from a Childs Cotton Dress and a bright yellow T-Shirt. It immediately set my mind a-buzzing (which I try to stop so as to not have too much of an edge over the contestants!), and I scuttled off with glee to my local Charity Shop sure in the knowledge I would find my challenge goodies.

Readers, I was thwarted. I looked high and low in at least 8 Charity Shops and finally resorted to a Primark hunt but all to no avail. I put the conundrum to Sewing Club and we all agreed that if I could find no Cotton Dress I would get a Shirt and a yellow T-Shirt as this was equivalent fabric.

I couldn’t shop again until yesterday and lo and behold… oodles of Cotton Dresses. Hurrah! I ended up with this brightly coloured Aztec number, which I thought was quite jolly and went rather nicely with the yellow.

I hastily made my sketch and was off!

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I still had it in mind that they are asked to drastically alter the pieces they are working with, so decided to make the Dress into the top of a new Dress and use the t-shirt for the skirt. As the GBSB contestants were allowed to use as many trims as they liked (an opportunity I think they all wasted!!), I decided on some matching… contrasting?… Ric-Rac and a Bobble Trim.

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I first re-purposed the pocket by simply cutting it from the Dress to make it a larger size, then quickly drafted a Pattern (I don’t have a child’s mannequin so this was assumption and luck to be honest!), and cut out two sets of Fronts and two sets of Backs choosing the nicest parts of the pattern.

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Sewing the Fronts and Backs right side together, then turning and sewing at the shoulder seams to create a lovely, lined and top stitched bodice! Took a couple of pins through the ironing board, but it turned out very neatly I think! I had to top stitch because I needed to close the holes where I had turned it out the right way.

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I then attacked the T-Shirt! Cutting the front and back into panels for the front and back of the Skirt of the Dress, then joining and gathering along the top. I curved the back panels for a little flair. I also sewed on the pocket at a jaunty angle! Quickly cutting some Bias Binding, I sewed this together in strips then attached to the bottom of the skirt… what you’re seeing in the last picture is me running out about 5cm from the end of the hem. Typical!!

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After sewing the Bias to the bottom of the skirt, I flipped it to the back and Zig-Zagged it on neatly. I like Zig-Zagging Bias Binding, it makes it look much happier! I then added my Ric-Rac, which made me so happy!

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I cut and pinned the Bobble Trim to the bottom of the Bodice, tucking it neatly to the back…

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…then pinned on the gathered Skirt and top stitched it in place directly over my original top stitching! Very cunning, I was super duper pleased this bit worked as well as it did as May was right, joining non-stretch to stretch can get very interesting!

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I suddenly realised I didn’t know how I was going to close the dress (doh!), so the Button Shelf came to the rescue and I quickly added in three pretty flower buttons that I think fit very nicely with the crazy print.

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And there you have it. Sewing Bee Challenge No. 2 complete! A darling little girls dress (4-5 yr old) made from a Cotton Dress and a Yellow T-Shirt. Happy, if slightly delayed, days!!

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I couldn’t resist, by the way, keeping the printed label from the T-Shirt in the side seam of the back! Can you see it, peeking out in the above, right hand picture? Tee hee hee!

Next week… Curtains! And I can not blooming WAIT! I have made dresses for myself from Curtains before now and I’m going to try and dig some pictures out so I can show you!

Happy stitching!

New Sunday Sewing Bees!!

sunday sewing bee image Are you as excited as me about the Sewing Bee? And have you seen my first crazy challenge?! I have had many, many enquiries recently about all sorts of Sewing related projects so I thought I would pop a few Sunday Sewing Bees in on the Calendar to help everyone out!

You can book up here, and they’re only £25 for the whole session or £5 an hour. There are six spots for each Sunday. I think they’re a super way to create your own course- book two and make yourself a Dress or something new and lovely to wear whilst joining in with Make Me A Wardrobe!!

They will also be a chance to learn at your own pace, without having to keep up with a class, and whenever you want! Alternatively, if you have been inspired by last years Sewing Bee, one of the many glorious Sewing Magazines or have a Sewing Machine secreted away somewhere, use them as a way to dip your toes and see if you like this crazy world!

Bring a Pattern and Fabric or use The Midnight Atelier’s extensive Pattern and Book collection to trace off a Pattern to make for just the price of the Pattern Paper!

Contact me for ideas and suggestions, or join the Bristol Sewing Club’s Facebook Page and talk to the group! Alternatively, you could use them to learn a specific skill… ever wanted to try your hand at Pattern Cutting? Designing? Embroidery? Have you liked a Course I have been running but couldn’t make the time slot? Come now and learn at your own pace!!

Find out more information or book here, and I look forward to seeing you soon!!

My Sewing Bee Challenge

Have you been watching this years Great British Sewing Bee? I love it and everyone already, I must stop being such a complete softie!

As ever, they covered such a vast amount on the first week from Pattern Matching to sewing Curves beautifully, Bias Binding and the correct application thereof (sorry Matt!) that it left my head in a spin! My favorite piece was Lorna’s Trousers. I loved the beautiful print laying diagonally across the fabric. Here at the Midnight Atelier there has also been much discussion of how nervous they all seemed, which is fair as it must be very stressful! Previous years must just have taken it all in their stride a little better, I’m hoping they settle in this week.

Well, this is all very well and good you may be thinking, but why am I prattling on about it? It’s because I have decided to challenge myself! Each week I shall be giving myself the same time limitations and re-creating the Alteration challenge right here at The Midnight Atelier and, having completed one already, I have to say it’s amazing fun!

I know I have a slightly unfair advantage in that each week I shall have longer to think about what I am planning to do simply because I have to go out and buy the supplies however; I am hoping you’ll forgive me as I intend to auction off the final pieces at the end of The Great British Sewing Bee for a local Charity. My time limit is also technically a little shorter as I have to make the piece as well as take pictures as I go so I think I’m making amends!

The minute Patrick revealed the Denim Shirt last week I thought ‘Red Gingham’, so mu so that I was very surprised no-one else did!! I blame my ultimate decision to make a Retro themed Beach Set on my new Class Schedule planning as I have lingerie on the brain… but what do you think?

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I draped the whole thing on the Mannequin super quick to get an idea of the curves, then used the Cuff for the front of the Bikini, and parts of the Sleeves for the rest as I used the Front of the Shirt for the Front of the Shorts- cut so that the Buttons and Button Holes lined up to create a feature!- and the Back of the Shirt for the Back of the Shorts. Ta daa!!

So, without further ado, here’s the whole Photo Story…

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I don’;t know who it was that said it, but making a little sketch right at the beginning of a timed challenge is super helpful

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Draping the Shorts from some scrap lining fabric, and marking where I wanted the buttons, pocket etc with a felt pen.

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Placing the Pattern Pieces on the Denim Shirt, then lining them up before I cut to make sure the Buttons and Button Holes lined up. I had to add in a Button Hole but all others worked out beautifully!

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Re-sewing on the Patch Pocket at a cheeky angle! the shorts are nearly finished, just some Lingerie Elastic for the Hem!

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Draping the Bikini from the Cuff! I was so pleased about this! after I draped the Front, I marked the pieces with pins on my Dress Mannequin then traced over them to cut the real piece. Quick as anything!! I draped the Gingham insert then Cut and Spread to make the Gathers.

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Pinning the Order of Sewing on to the Mannequin… then sewing! The Bikini took about twenty minutes to drape (and I was worried for a split second) but then only about five minutes to sew up! Voila!! Just some Ribbon straps and Gingham Ties to  finish!!

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I finished with about five minutes to spare… and look at the devastation something like this wreaks upon your work space!!

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Such fun! I love the final outfit, and can’t wait to see what I’ll be up against tonight… eek!!

Catch up with The Great British Sewing Bee here, and don’t forget my new Class Schedule will be out on Monday and ready to book. There’s so many treats and fantastic Classes coming guys, I’m so excited!!

Happy stitching!

Top 5 posts of 2014!

Well readers, it’s been an interesting year! These are the posts published in 2014 which have been viewed time and again… thank you!

Whilst that’s self explanatory, I’d also like to say that the Pattern Free A-Line Skirt Tutorial and Pattern Month Tutorials beat these posts by a Country mile (but were published in 2013, so don’t count) however; this has made me so happy because I shall be concentrating on Pattern Cutting, Drafting and Making Up in the near future as I start to design and sell more Patterns.

I am so excited about this. I’ve got a new computer, new workroom and new passion and drive after a very hard end of the year which had left me questioning pretty much everything. But more of this later… on with the show!

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Simple Sewing: How to Make a Patchwork Cushion

cushion43This is a fantastic make for any young or new Sewers out there, and you end up with a pretty fantastic Cushion at the end of the make too… and who doesn’t like a Patchwork Cushion?! You can make this with a couple of Fat Quarters and some backing fabric too so it’s pretty cheap. I love Patchwork for instilling straight lines and perfectly sewn seam allowances, I’m such a dreadful old bore of a teacher!

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See the original Tutorial here.

2.

Corset Month

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Following on from the release of my very first Sewing Pattern- the Eventide Corset Pattern- this March I did a Sew-a-Long for the next month with hints and tips to sew up your very own Eventide! With such a fantastic reception (and despite the evil new VAT regulations)  I shall be releasing more Patterns in 2015, all of which will have a slightly Victorian/Edwardian or unusual flavour. I can’ wait!

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See the first article here which has links to all of the posts.

3.

5 Tips for Product Photography

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Covering tips on Backdrops, placing your Products, Framing, Lighting and Editing Software it’s no wonder this tutorial is so popular! It’s part of an occasional series and was recently followed by 5 Tips for Craft Fairs.

See the original article here.

4.

Notions: Concealed Zips

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The first entry from the Notions Series, which is (or is supposed to be!) a weekly photo tutorial on a specific technique. Lamentably abandoned in recent months, I will be resurrecting it as soon as I can as they are ridiculously popular, and exceptionally useful in class! It is no surprise to me this is the most popular as Concealed Zips are a problem for a lot of Sewers’, I’m just pleased this has helped a little bit!

See the original Tutorial here.

5.

The Sorbetto Top from Colette

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Who else is looking forward to The Great British Sewing Bee in 2015? This is a post I wrote to accompany last years Sewing Bee, when they made a simple top… which covered an awful lot of Sewing Techniques! A lot of my students were left in a spin and I like the Sorbetto for teaching these techniques, whilst making a garment from not much fabric (also known as, if it mucks up, don’t worry it didn’t cost too much!). Covering making Bias Binding and sewing it on, Slip Stitching, Understitching and a couple other techniques this is a most informative little post and the Pattern is still free over at the Coletterie! Wow!!

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See the original Tutorial here. Added bonus, click here to see my Interview with Sarai from Colette!

Well, that was 2014, I didn’t do so bad upon reflection. I am trying hard to think which was my favourite post from 2014 and I think it has to be this one. There’s much to look forward to in 2015, and it all started in that little Studio!

Happy stitching!

Notions: The Sorbetto Top from Colette

My lovely new issue of Love Sewing Magazine has just arrived- a much anticipated event!- and I have just been reading the article written my Sarai of Colette (click here to see my Interview with Sarai last year) about making their free PDF Sorbetto Top. It reminded me that I wrote a little about making my Sorbetto up earlier this year for The Great Bristish Sewing Bee!

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I am completely in love with this Pattern! The scoop neck is just right, the armholes and straps fit wonderfully- they’re a pretty interesting shape to be honest,  and the fit and flair of the side seams is just perfect. I decided to Self Bind, meaning I hand made Bias Binding from the same fabric to finish the Neckline and Armholes however the hem is simply neatened and machined. Simple, and all sewn up and hand finished in under two hours!

As I said, this is a free PDF Pattern and I highly recommend it! The BEST thing? It only took an hour, yippeee!!

The essential tricks needed for a simple top like this are basic machine skills, good ironing and some simple hand stitch knowledge. Any top like this will only have two pieces- a front and a back- so a lot of the work you do will be in the neatening of the raw edges about the armholes, neckline and hem. Facings are one way to go however; Bias Binding is a another choice which I feel can make the garment look a little more unique. You can choose to Self Bind as I have, use a contrast, satin or even a lace edged binding!

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Pin, and stitch the Bias Binding Right Sides Together on to your garment (Colette’s pattern instructions for the Sorbetto take you through this step in detail). Lay flat, and push the Seam and Bias Binding away from you as illustrated above right.

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Fold the top of the Bias Binding down by the amount of Seam Allowance you have (normally 1.5cm/5/8″), and pin. Then fold again to lie next to your original Seam. Pin parallel as shown.

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 Thread a needle with thread twice as long as you need. Fold in half. Thread the loop through the Needle, and pull longer than the other threads (above left). Take a stitch through on of your machine stitches, and a small amount of the Bias Binding (above right) and, before the thread has been pulled though entirely, thread the needle through the loop and pull tight. this will anchor your thread.

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Continue down the length of the Bias Binding, taking stitches through the machine stitching and edge of the fold of the Bias Binding. Do not worry about making them teeny tiny, even lengths are better and mine are normally about 1cm or 2/8″ long. When you come to the end or need to re-thread simply thread your needle through the loop of a stitch to tie a knot.

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And there you have it, a nice simple Slip Stitch to finish any garment beautifully.

Pressing- not ironing!- is also essential and I have found a wonderfully demonstrative article on why ironing should be a firm part of your Sewing knowledge here. She makes quite the case doesn’t she boys and girls?!

A few notes on pinning (which was hotly contested during The Great British Sewing Bee!) and why even this Seamstress still does it… … it means you often don’t have to hand tack pieces together. It is also a great way to keep things in place as you sew that may alternatively slip out of place. You can use Pins to easily control ease in a garment. They’re gorgeous, have you seen Merchant & Mills selection recently?! They’re invaluable when sewing darts and finally, they are often what helps a beginner or intermediate Sewer create a more professional garment. About the only time I don’t use pins is on straight seams I am piecing quickly. Having said all of that, use pins wisely as they can mark delicate fabrics- so pin in and parallel to the Seam Allowance- and sewing machines can snag on them.

Finally, to Under Stitching. A sadly neglected art I am afraid, and even I am guilty of doing this and just pressing the Neckline down! No more! Here is my Tutorial to make us all Under Stitching superstars!!

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Pin the Facing to the Neckline and stitch the seam according to your Pattern Instructions. If you pin at a right angle the sewing machine will happily sew over the pins- especially useful when sewing curves! Remove the pins, and clip in to any curves.

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Fit the Zipper Foot on to the sewing machine and, on the Facing side, and making sure the clipped seam lies underneath the facing, stitch round nice and close to the edge as illustrated.

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 The Under Stitch will immediately make the Facing ‘roll’ towards the back so that, with a little press, the facing will sit invisibly behind the front. Lovely!

The image to the far right clearly illustrated the technique of sewing the Seam Allowance at the same time at the Facing.

Don’t forget to take a peek at Laura After Midnight on Pinterest, I have a great collection of free patterns and sewing projects over there from all corners of the globe! Remember that all Laura After Midnight Patterns are also available at PDFs here!

Happy stitching!

Notions: Simple Patch Pockets

What with The Great British Sewing Bee, the return of Project Runway and Channel 4’s new Vintage inspired show This Old Thing, I thought I would share a few basic sewing techniques which could be used to re-vamp Clothing or customize creations!

The first is Patch Pockets! Who doesn’t like a cheerful Patch Pocket or two? Great on a pair of re-vamped Jeans or Shorts, even better on a Top or T-Shirt, they can be made in contrast fabric, lace fabric, matching fabric… endless fun!

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Cut out the pocket as indicated by your Pattern, or to the size you want (plus 3cm Seam Allowance at the top and at least 1cm Seam Allowance on all sides). Turn the top over 1cm (above, left) towards the back, then 2cm towards the front (above, centre). Pin and stitch- using a 1.5cm Seam Allowance- at each end remembering to reverse stitch at beginning and end (above, right).

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Clip the corners (above, left), then turn out the right way (above, centre). Turn the rest of the pocket edges in by the 1.5cm Seam Allowance and pin. Turn over and pin on to the main fabric of the skirt, shirt or other garment you are making (above, right).

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Using the Zipper Foot on your Sewing Machine- to Top Stitch nice and close to the edge!- stitch around the pocket evenly. You may choose to do a fancy top as I have done to strengthen the opening.

And that’s it, simple right? To make the slightly more swanky Curved Patch Pocket click here. You can add them to both the A-Line Skirt– for the Gathered, Pleated or Straight versions- and Pyjamas Tutorials I have in the Tutorials Section as well. Now be off with you to make Patch Pockets for everything!

Happy stitching!