When I’m sewing I get a bit absent minded … concentrating on my creation and not where I’m putting things! Back in 2014, when I started teaching, I had to get out of the habit of holding pins in my mouth …not only was it dangerous ~ I could accidently swallow one ~ but totally unhygenic too!
I came up with this wrist pin cushion pattern, using a milk bottle top to stop the pins from pricking me!
Oh I thoroughly enjoyed sewing these Pj’s up, for quickness I made the shorts version plus it’s summer here now too. Tilly has created another fabulous sewing pattern with the Jaimie’s, coupled with her how-to video they make a wonderful starting point to introduce you into sewing. There’s been an extra size added for teens / tweens too so no excuses not to get started here!
Jaimie has 2 pattern pieces (plus the drawstring which is optional) making it a simple, quick pattern to trace off, with only a couple of notches and grainline to observe. As with all my dressmaking projects, I have pre-washed my fabrics. Cut out using a rotary cutter, it was ready to sew in no time. I hadn’t planned on any alterations, the shorts are not a close fit, they are supposed to be roomy for comfort.
Alterations : I did make a slight adjustment when it came to the waistband. The elastic I had was 1/4″ narrower than recommended, so I made my 2nd fold over at the waist, a 1/4″ less to better suit what I had.
What I would do next time?: I would add a wee tag to the inside back, or ribbon bow to the outside front, so i instantly know which way round the shorts are.
How long do they take to make?: These can easily be made up in an afternoon. I would consider myself a confident sewist. I was reading the instructions as I went along, and didn’t rush them, nor did I have any distractions, it took me 45minutes (44 to be precise!).
If you’ve been into the shop asking about patterns, you’ll know that Fiona and I rave about Jalie Patterns. The simplicity of them, coupled with their extensive size range make them a firm favourite. The Michelle (#3911) is a great pattern for a Cami and Dress.
I traced the 2 pattern pieces for the Cami, the front and back are identical, also the facing, again identical for front and back. Already a bonus that there are so few pieces to prepare.
My chosen fabric has a white background, so would more than likely be a bit too see-through for me, and so decided to fully line with white lining fabric. I would be cutting out using just one pattern piece to fully line, rather than use the facing piece I had also traced. Washed and dried my fabrics, gave them a quick press on a very low heat!
Before cutting out my fabrics, I had another look at the pattern finished garment sizing. Being 5ft, most things are too long for me, I held the pattern piece against me and decided to do two adjustments.
The neckline was okay held against me, but once the seam is sewn it would become lower, instead of shortening the straps to lift the neckline, that would be a bit of gamble, as I’m not making a practise piece, it could have a knock on effect on the underarm becoming to high. I raised the neckline by 2cm at the V and graduated back to the original pattern line about midway to end of strap.
Shortened the length, using the shorten/lengthen lines on the pattern, I reduced it by 2inches. I wanted good coverage for my tummy, but it not to drown me. After shortening I drew a new seam line, following on from original, then tucked the excess behind.
Sewing Machine: Using the lighter fabrics, I reduced my stitch length to 2, made sure I inserted a new fine needle into my machine and I used my walking foot. I moved my needle over to the right so when sewing my fabric covered the feed dogs underneath.
Overlocker: I overlocked the edges after I’d sewn, and not as I went along. Lowered my differential feed so the fabrics wouldn’t gather and shortened my stitch length too. (you can zigzag your edges if no overlocker)
MY TIP: To make sure the V neck is smooth and doesn’t pull in the front centre, I did not sew the V to a sharp point. I flatten the V off by sewing 2 small stitches straight across, then continue back up the neckline.
I really liked how the straps are sewn together, it was a nice straight forward garment to make. The only thing that would make it tricky is, if you are not used to sewing lightweight fabrics.
A recess zip can be made and added to any bag, whether it’s lined or not.
It’s a handy technique to know, use your off cuts and bright fabrics, break out that stash of unloved zips, make loads of them. It’s great for practicing your topstitching. Either go bold with contrasting stitching or stealth with perfectly co-ordinated thread. Why not use up all you thread ends and have multi-coloured stitching.
Here’s the DOWNLOAD for the PDF tutorial to make your recess zip. If you make some please share, we’d love to see yours!
Tote bag or ECO shopper, simple enough for beginners to create and a great starting point for improvers to modify, adding pockets and closures.
The humble tote bag is a staple in everyone’s life now. Whether you are here to sew it for the first time, or to adjust it to make the size to suit you, we hope you find the instructions easy to follow.
If you are not brave enough to cut into your ‘good’ fabric this is the perfect project for old duvets and curtains.
Optional: pimp your egg with buttons, beads, trims
This project I found on the Vlieseline (previously known as Vilene) website. You can download pattern and instructions here.
If you have not used decovil before then this a fantastic little project to have a go. Mainly used by bag makers, with it’s leather like form, decovil really holds it shape. Tear-resistant, but also dimensionally stable and easy to shape. Furthermore it is resilient, resistant to bending, punchable and the cutting edges stay tight. Thereby the fixed fabrics are good to handle and very stable and durable. Ideally suited for the creation of hats, belts, bags and small fabric bowls, but also, for interior decoration. It’s an iron on stabiliser, the shiny side is the glue. Suitable for cotton, decorative and synthetic fabrics. Machine wash 30o.
** At time of writing this, we stock Decovil in a pre-pack sheet size of 45cm x 50cm, if you love it as much as we do, we will look at stocking Decovil on the roll. Which would mean a 90cm width by whatever length you would like.
We would LOVE to see your makes! Fiona & Marice xx
Romy is one of Tilly’s tops for stretch fabrics. It’s standout feature is the unusal neckline, which is not unlike those on babygrows. This is an advantage if you don’t want to spoil you hair-do when getting into it!
Fiona and I both liked how the top is constructed, the pattern pieces for the front and back have straight necklines. An easier option, given that there is no round neckline to tackle, so no wrestling with stretching in a neckband. The crucial part of the process is the accurate marking of the notches, a very important task when constructing the Romy, paying close attention to the correspending nothces for the version you are making.
Fiona : Height 5’3″ / B 47″ / W 39″ / H 45″. Made a SIZE 8.
Marice : Height 5’0.5″ / B 37″ / W 31″ / H 40″. Made a SIZE 5.
MARICE : whilst the photo may look a little squint, my neckline does sit well, a little higher than I am used to. Normally wearing a crew neck, or V neck.
FIONA : as you can see in the photo, the neckline is far too wide and very loose, bagging. Unfortunately it is the same at the back of the neck with far too much fabric. Whilst I made a size 8 to fit my chest size, it has meant the pattern has assumed I am larger all over. Marice and I measured our shoulder widths and interestingly we measure exactly the same. The issue here is that I carry most of my excess weight in my chest and tummy while still having a small back and narrower shoulders – there’s a lot I need to do to adjust this to fit correctly. One of my favourite knit top patterns is the Tilly & The Buttons Agnes, which fits me perfectly so I was a little disappointed that this wasn’t the case with Romy.
MARICE : SLEEVES are too long, it’s usual for me to shorten by a couple of inches, I’ve not cut shorter yet, as I wanted to see how the pattern comes out true to size. My fabric has a print on the rightside and plain on the wrong side. I’m considering rolling the sleeves up? Not sure yet. I might live with it and then decide. MAIN BODY As you can see in the above photo (middle) I kept pulling the back of my t-shirt down, it wasn’t sitting correctly on me (right photo). Totally expected though, being shorter, the waist needs to be higher up, this is an adjustment I will make to my pattern pieces before I sew the next one. I’ve yet to hem my Romy, but in a lazy way, I kinda like the way the mustard underside rolls up.
FIONA : SLEEVES I made the cap sleeves so no issues here (although I missed the bit in the instructions to hem them before stitching to main body and sewing up the sides!) MAIN BODY Despite the problems with the neckline I actually really like the fit in the body, the Romy is not fitted but it’s also not too boxy so I think the shape is flattering for a variety of different figures. Overall this was an enjoyable sew and as always Tilly’s instructions are well written and very easy to follow. I’ve got quite a bit of work to do to the pattern if I am to make another one but will, of course, update you all on my progress.
Here’s the short sleeved version I made last year … you will have probably seen these photos on our social media. Sadly we have sold out of our hippo fabric, but there will be more funky prints for you to choose from.
*13/07/20. Hello, welcome and thank you for stopping by! We are now open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday 10am - 4pm. Closed Wednesday & Sunday so we can recharge our batteries. You can still order online and have the choice to collect or we will post to you.
Fabrics are sold by the half metre, if you need any help from us, you can send a message via contact us in the ‘About’ page.
Take care, stay safe Fiona & Marice xx Dismiss