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Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Sewn in One Hour- Not! And a Re-fashion

This pattern, New Look 6483, came with the June 2016 edition of Sew Magazine.
It looked the answer to many a sewer's prayer- a simple top in woven fabric with neckline variations and a sleeveless or short sleeve option- plus the promise of a swift sewing time, one hour, as it had no zip to insert or buttonholes to make.
My partner, Nick, was keen for me to make it in the same fabric that I used for my carry-on luggage rucksack blogged here but I drew the line at wearing a garment in bright yellow with multi-coloured spotted and striped ponies cavorting on it.  However I did want something cheerful so went for this poly/cotton at only £2.99 per metre from the Sewing & Craft Superstore at Tooting Bec.
I bought 1.60 metre as I wanted to make version A but with longer sleeves and possibly a matching headscarf. 
I traced a size 10 (83 cm bust) using horticultural fleece as described here
and pinned the pieces together to check for fit.  Since my bust is just under 85 cm I thought that I might have to make an adjustment here but it was a perfect fit across the bust with just the amount of ease that I wanted.  However I did make several adjustments to the pattern before cutting out the fabric, due to my narrow shoulders, thin arms and rounded upper back, as follows:
1. Decreased the height of the armhole by sewing a larger seam allowance on the shoulders and decreased the size of the sleeve cap to match by making a horizontal pleat on the pattern across the sleeve head.
2. Extended the length of the sleeves to below elbow length by continuing the line of the original short sleeve pattern to the appropriate length but tapering the sewing line to create a slightly narrower sleeve.
3. Put a dart in the back of the neck so that it fitted my rounded upper back and amended the back facing pattern to take account of this.
4.  Instead of using one large button for the closure of the back neck opening I used two tiny ones as I thought it gave a neater look.  The button loops are hand stitched using red thread.
The photograph below shows the fastening and the back neck darts.
So how long did it take to sew?  By sew I mean actual machine stitching time- stay stitching, basting the sleeve head to gather for sleeve insertion, edge overcasting, sewing the seams and top stitching (which I did on the bottom and sleeve hems and around the back neck opening).  Definitely more than an hour.  I am not a fast sewer but I note that reviewers on Pattern Review also mention that it took them more than an hour.
 However, if not as speedy as claimed, it is easy and not a long project.  I like it very much and a complete stranger came up to me yesterday saying how much she liked it and was disappointed to discover it was not a RTW buy!  It can be worn loose or tucked in and goes with loads of separates already in my wardrobe.  The naive fabric design brings a smile to my face when I put it on, something much needed given Brexit and the dismal, dull weather we have been having.  I am already thinking of another version, with a different neckline and  longer sleeves, using fabric from my stash.
This fabric also inspired a refashion of a fleece pullover that I had.  Although it was a useful item, I found it annoying that it had no front opening so the only options were Fleece on or Fleece off.  I could get too hot wearing it but then become too cold when I took it off.  While I was in the store buying the fabric for the top I spotted, in one of their zip offer bins, an open-ended zip that was the same blue as the fabric and exactly the right 25 inch length at only £1.50.
To make the jumper into a jacket I just cut up the middle of the front of the fleece and stabilised the underside of the front edges with a narrow strip of  light-weight fusible interfacing before turning the edges under on either side of the zip and sewing the zip in.
 I used some horticultural fleece to trace off the underside of the little stand-up collar and created a facing pattern to cut out in the boat fabric.  Then I hand stitched the facing in place.  Eh voila!, a zip-up jacket that I can just unzip for a bit of a cool down.  Plus it makes a rather dull fleece a bit more exciting and individual.  My tame photographer had to leave for work so you don't get to see me wearing it but here it is.
But the best bit is the inner collar.
Costs for top and jacket refashion - Fabric £4.98, Zip £1.50, The white, the blue and the red sewing thread, fusible interfacing for the facings and the buttons all came from my stash.  Total £6.48.

Have you made something that puts a smile on your face when you wear it?  Tell us about it on this blog, contact Giselle, London Dressmakers Club Organiser through the Meetup site here
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  1. I have just found this blog and really enjoyed reading this. I have this pattern to but currently struggling to get sewing time. This has motivated me to just get something started. Looks lovely and great material!

    1. Thanks so much Jan! I am so sorry for not getting back to you before, I don't seem to have checked the comments very well nad missed it, apologies.

      It can be so difficult to set aside some time for some selfish sewing. I'd say go for it! It is good for the soul.

      We have a few blog posts about sewing motivation and productivity, maybe something in one of them is helpful. I like my little steps approach because it keeps me engaged with sewing.

      Good luck, and happy sewing!

  2. I love that fabric!!!! The dress is really cute too.


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