Saturday, 16 March 2019

Simplicity 8513, Bodysuit

I've definitely got the Simplicity 8513 bug! This was the fourth time I'd cut the pattern, but this time I really wanted to try out those lush bell sleeves.

This time I opted for the more modest neckline which was just a case of using the same pattern piece then rounding it off higher up. This version also means you can omit the facing, meaning more fabric left over to cut those sleeves!!

Instead there is an additional pattern piece to attach as a neckband which you stretch around the head hole. I would usually attach this with the overlocker but this ribbed fabric I chose was sooo stretchy I was really worried it would stretch out as I stitched.

Instead I used a narrow zigzag on my normal machine then top stitched the seam allowance down. This felt a bit risky as it would be REALLY obvious around the neck if my stitching was off! I was super cautious not to stretch it out of shape when I stitched. Not gonna lie, there was a moment I thought I was gonna fuck it up, but I pulled it back!

Onto those sleeves, they are beautiful no?

I've seen some really sassy velvet ones online which I could certainly be tempted by. I cut and attached the sleeves only to find that they realllly didn't need hemming. Yesss! I was worried adding a hem would make them a bit too weighty and distract from how lovely they are. Also from bad experiences with hemming rib in the past I was full of fear that they would stretch out and be completely ruined!

I used the same 1cm seam allowance that I used on my other body suits, though I think I could have upped this to 2cm or maybe more due to the stretchiness of the fabric. Ooooh sewing with knits can be so hard to judge sometimes! My bodysuit didn't really suffer from it though, it still fits nicely, but there is perhaps just a tiny bit too much fabric in the underarm.

The fabric was also stretchy lengthways too, so I made the gusset area a little shorter to ensure a snug fit.

Love it! I love how simple this one is, but how the sleeves add that extra bit of interest. Definitely one for gigging now the new band is up and running :)


Location: The Mount, Broomhill, Sheffield
Currently listening to: Speed Of Pain, Marilyn Manson

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Simplicity 8513, Bodysuit

Having made a toile and then a second wearable toile, I was so PSYCHED to make my perfect Simplicity 8513 body suit. Still too scared to snip into my gold and black stretch jersey, I decided the best way to tackle this fear was just to buy more lovely fabric. That's logic right?

I picked up this spangly lycra from Abakhan, it was a tough choice between an abundance of sparkly stretch fabrics in the stash bins downstairs, but after much deliberation, this beauty made it to my basket.

My fabric was thinner and loooads stretchier than my first so I wanted to be mindful that I didn't make the bodysuit too large. As my first was a little on the tight side though, I followed my amended pattern without making any further changes and was really happy with the fit.

I had to be careful cutting out as there were some slight anomaly gold blobs on the fabric that I really didn't want running across the centre front of my garment. Due to pattern piece layout the blobs were unavoidable, but they are now carefully placed on my right bum cheek! No one need ever know eh.

I decided not to TOPSTITCH the neck line as the pattern suggests, as on my previous two attempts the jersey had stretched a little on one side of the V. The topstitching is meant to stop the facing from peeking out but as the top is nice and snug and my understitching was pretty sweet, there was no chance of me flashing my facing.

I used some cute elastic from The Button Shed to finish my leg holes by sewing wrong side of the elastic to the right side of the garment, then flipping to the inside to hide the seams. I hand stitched my snaps to the crotch, making sure the 'male' part of the popper is on the inside of the front and the 'female' half of the popper sits on the outside of the back.

Thread through a piece of lace to keep the Vneck from being quite so revealing and then there you go! Love using this pattern alongside this sparkly fabric. Anyone for some fancy sleeves next time...............?


Location: Heeley Millennium Park / Lumley Street, Sheffield
Currently listening to: Dance All Night, Ryan Adams

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Simplicity 8513, Bodysuit

Making underwear is always fun. There's something really lush about playing with different fabrics and lace and elastics to make something practical but also alluring. Having only used a snippet of my lovely sparkly gold and black jersey on my recent underwear set I was keen to find use for the rest of it.

The Simplicity 8513 Bodysuit caught my eye as something a little different, still giving me opportunity to use all the lingerie tricks I've learnt, but also make something I can show off!

As the bodysuit is meant to be tight fitting I urged myself to make a toile to get the fit spot on before cutting into any special fabrics. I've had some black jersey sat in my stash for some time now so thought it was finally time to put it to good use. It wasn't the stretchiest jersey, but with it in mind that my fun lingerie fabrics would have more stretch I went ahead and cut a SMALL, adding a little extra in at the hips, and mentally prepared myself for it to be a bit TIGHT.

Step one of Bodysuit A is arguably the most satisfying step in any sewing pattern ever. You turn a long loop, cut it into eighths then attach them to the right side of the neckline to make little loops for threading your lace-up through later. Once you attach your facing, clip into the 'V' and turn it the right way out, your heart will do a little skip I promise!! Add in a sneaky bit of understitching and you've gone and made yourself a super sexy neckline.

Yeah, I loved it but first try on suggested the neckline really was a bit lower than I could get away with! There are 4 loops on either side, I thought if I could reshape the neck by raising up the V by a few cm and omitting the bottom pair of loops I could still keep it sexy, but also a bit more... Wearable?! I found a thin black lace in my stash and decided to use this instead of making my own cord like the pattern suggested.

Based on visual judgement more than anything, I decided to stitch my side seams and underarm seams with a 1cm seam allowance instead of 1.5cm. This fabric realllly wasn't very stretchy!!

Having cut a SMALL it also became clear quite quickly that the bodysuit was too short in the body and there was no way the front and back crotch were going to be meeting up anytime soon. I'd marked on my pattern when the waistline should be, as indicated on the paper pattern, then worked out how far off it was from my actual waist. I ended up adding 6cm in to make it the right length, which meant the curve in the centre back seam now sat nicely over my lower back and bum.

I decided to hem the sleeves before I stitched the underarm seams- it was cheating a bit but I didn't fancy stretching the handhole around the machine to hem it, so chose to do it flat.

First try on after the sleeves were in suggested that the excess I'd added into the hips wasn't necessary (especially as the rest was soo fitted), and confirmed that I needed to add a little more onto the shoulders so that my sleeves sat on my shoulder point.

So technically this is my second toile using plain black jersey, with the adjustments above. I am really happy with the neckline now and think when I make another with my stretchier glitzy fabric the fit will be on point. There's some lovely sleeve and neckline variations included in the pattern, I can't wait to make more more more.


Location: KR Autos, London Road / Lumley Street, Sheffield
Currently listening to: Brown Eyes, Lady Gaga

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Simple Sew, Jackie-O Jacket

Before getting started on the Simple Sew Jackie-O Jacket I decided to do a bit of research. By now quite a few stitchers have made the jacket and everyone was saying a similar thing, it's a little bit tight on the shoulders. After inspecting the pattern pieces it's easy to see why. The sleeve piece is completely symmetrical where most sleeve pieces would be a little bigger at the back.

I made a quick toile from the pattern and found I could definitely benefit from adding some more into the shoulder of the sleeve. I didn't really do anything mathematical, just extended the curve out a little on one side of the sleeve cap then gently curved it back round to the underarm seam. I cut it out and tried it... It was MUCH better but the armhole was sitting a little too high on my shoulder. After faffing with the seam allowance a bit I decided I needed to extend the shoulder by about a centimeter (remembering to alter both front and back pieces), then gradually curve this back into the armhole.

Aside from that, fitting of the jacket is pretty simple. The only shaping is a bust dart which seemed to sit quite nicely.

The pattern suggests attaching the sleeves 'flat' ie, before you have sewn up the side seams, but I think you get a MUCH neater finish but inserting them traditionally and easing the sleeve head into the armhole.

Fabric wise I chose this black fake fur from Doughty's (ahhhhh thanks guys!). I've never worked with fur before so was a little bit nervous! I learnt a few things-

1- Cut your pieces out flat (not on the fold). This way you have more control over what fur is being cut off. Ideally you want to cut only the backing fabric and not any of the fur, which leads me to...
2- Use scissors! Not a rotary cutter. Once the backing has been cut you can just pull the fur apart along the cut lines and you won't end up with any weird bald patches
3- Select a long stitch length
4- When seams are sewn you can carefully brush out the fur trapped in the stitching. Don't hate me, but I used and eyebrow comb to gently ease it out and it worked really well. It's full of fluff though so I'd recommend a good clean before getting fluff in your eyes!
5- Once you've brushed out your fur in the seams I would recommend trimming the fur off of the seam allowances to reduce bulk.

And that's it really! Sewing with fur was a little easier than I thought it was going to be. The fabric does actually have a little bit of stretch which is handy across the shoulders. Also when you've brushed your fur out (!) your seam lines all get pretty hidden so handy for disguising any wobbly seams (shhh).

I used my third toile as the lining. I've recently gained myself a pile of this sexy pink crape left over from my new band's video shoot. It seemed like a nice idea to build some of those memories into this jacket. It's lovely to touch but sadly a little bit too thin so you can see straight through it and spot the seam allowance. As the fur is quite bulky this is really noticeable on the inside and makes the seams look a little unneat :( Colourwise though I love the contrast of the pink against the black, which is what we've been playing with in the video too.

To make the lining I just followed the exact same pattern as I did for the shell but made the sleeves 2cm shorter. I then attached the lining around the neck, front and front bottom before turning the lining to the inside. After understitching the neck and the front opening, I turned the sleeves up by a centimeter twice then hand stitched these to the hem of the sleeves.
To keep the lining in place I did a little run of stitches on either side attaching the side seam allowance of the lining to that of the shell.

This is a fun little jacket for beginners as it has no fastenings. A lot of reviews have said to be wary at how short the jacket is, so I guess that's something to bear in mind but I love it cropped! The lining is optional really, the pattern comes with facing pieces which could be used instead (also maybe as well?) but the texture of the underside of fur is not that comfy! So I went with the option to line it.

The instructions are easy to follow, I don't know if I had an old copy of the pattern but I should probably point out that there are no notches on the pieces so be aware when you are setting your sleeves in.

Voila! Tres Chic x


Location: Shirland Lane/Adelphi Theatre, Attercliffe, Sheffield
Currently listening to: Moi Je Joue, Brigitte Bardot

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Noelle Bra // So Zo Knickers, Lingerie Set

This fabric... Am I right guys?! It's been in the stash for almost a year because it's just been too bloody beautiful to use. I'd been through all my favourite stretch patterns in my head, but none of them were doing it justice. I wanted to make something tight (do we call it 'close fitting' to sound more profesh?), but was scared of those problem areas on tops (underarms and lower back) as I didn't have enough for a practice run. A skirt would have looked glam, but the fabric is too thin for a wiggle skirt and I didn't really fancy a circle skirt.

I love the Noelle Bra pattern from Madalynne. I've made a couple and I love them both, but since toning up a little there is a little more room in them than necessary. There were a few areas I thought I could improve on, mainly just a closer fit, but also neatening up that bottom band and just generally slicker stitching. Since making my last Noelle I've bought a walking foot which I was eager to try out... So that sold it! Noelle no.3 coming up!

I opted for my glammy gold fabric on the front panel and front band, both lined with some power mesh. The back a double layer of power mesh and the band a pretty lace. Lace elastic was my go-to from the Button Shed, delicate with just the right amount of stretch. The only other notions I needed were some straps (cut off an old bra that decided not to fit anymore) and some rings for attaching the straps. I chose these slightly larger than normal gold ones for a little extra impact.

Cutting the fabric was an important one here. The design is very eye catching so had to ensure that it was all perfectly central. As luck would have it, the bust darts lined up perfectly with the design, so two of the squares turned into lovely diamonds! I cut out flat so that I could make sure all my pieces were symmetrical.

Fitting-wise I doubled the seam allowances on either side. The fabric now stretches over my bust just the right amount (hi boys)! I took the same amount in on the bottom band to ensure the side seams would match up.

Oooh, while we are on the subject of side seams, this time I ensured all my seam allowances were hidden inside the lining and pushed forwards so they were hidden behind the fabric that isn't see through. This takes a bit of twisting the fabric round so that you can get 'inside' the garment but totally worth it once you get your head around which side is sewn to what.

I stitched my elastic on so it was on the right side 'facing downwards' if you know what I mean, then turned it to the wrong side and stitched again.. I was particularly pleased with how neat my zig-zagging was! Super satisfying.

Attach the straps and you're about done! All that's to finish off then is...

Matching knickers!

I'm sure by now you've aaaaaalllll used So Zo's free knicker pattern . It's absolutely fab, the only pants pattern you'll ever really need! I'm into the habit of altering that front piece into three so I can use contrasting fabric in the side panels. I cut the front panel from my lovely gold fabric, then duplicated this in the power mesh to make a lining. Again it stitched the side panels so the seam allowance was hidden between the front and the lining, this involved some more twisting but we're pro at that by this stage yeah?!

The gusset seam is also sneakily hidden inside the layers of fabric. Zo gives us a handy how-to on her blog so that you can ensure all the layers of fabric (ie, front back and gusset) are all laying the right way round when you stitch so that when you flip it all right side out it looks lush! The walking foot really came into its own here. In the past these layers have liked to slide and stretch around a bit but none of that today!

I attached the lace elastic before sewing up the side seams so that I could get a nice join in the lace when I stitched up. I decided to do the waist elastic the same way which was maybe not the right thing to do. I hate doing the 'join' when the rest of the garment is sewn up. I had visions of a bulky seam and thought it would be easier and neater to incorporate this with the overall sideseam. It worked fine, but I think the waistband tension would have been improved by doing this in one piece of elastic.

And that's it really. Symmetrical pattern cutting was again of course essential to get the design running straight down the centre front and back. The cute criss-cross elastic was some I found in Abakhan again a while back that I've been too scared to use!

I've got plenty supplies left... So bring on the lingerie sewing!


Currently listening to: Come Around, MIA
Location: Studio Holland