Tag Archives: summer sewing

Pattern Testing Jazz by Ready To Sew

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I’m not sure about any of the expressions I gave in any of these photos… It’s me again! I’ve had a lot of exciting opportunities recently which is great, but does mean a lot less time for the old blog. That being said, I have a new make to show you all!

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It is my great pleasure to introduce to you Jazz, the new pattern from french pattern company Ready to Sew. They contacted me to ask if I would pattern test and I jumped at the chance. It’s a loose fitting dress or jumpsuit and has sleeve and length options, and I have to admit the design isn’t necessarily something I would have gone for without prompting. When I was sent some photos, however, I saw a black sleeveless jumpsuit version, and I realised that actually my wardrobe could definitely benefit from an easy breezy outfit like that.

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I went for a navy viscose from Abakhan Fabrics. It was my first time with viscose but this specific fabric, while drapey, still had a bit of weight to it which I think probably helped. My cutting could have been a lot better, but sewing it didn’t present too many challenges as long as I went slowly.

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I was sent this pattern to test the instructions and constructions, which I’m not going to detail here. I don’t think it would be very fair to talk about negatives which might not even be in the final draft. This is an intermediate pattern and I definitely feel that in the instructions. Ready to Sew does have a nice feature in their instructions where they have links to tutorials on how to do certain steps such as the invisible zip, if you’re concerned it might have some new construction techniques for you.

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I’m happy to wear this jumpsuit, but as I had to make it quite quickly (see above business, coupled with a temporary loss of sewing space in the flat) I did make a few irritating mistakes which I’d like to rectify next time I make it. One great thing about this pattern is that on the cutting layouts there is a guide showing you which edges you need to serge, which I’ve never seen before but love.

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I enthusiastically zig zagged the required edges, but in my eagerness I didn’t really take much care in ensuring the stitches would actually be caught in the seam allowance. A few zig zags do poke out onto the front of the fabric as a result, oops. Also, I’m beginning to think the sewing foot I thought was for invisible zips is actually only for normal zips, as I have yet to use it successfully.

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As I said earlier, I originally wasn’t sure how this jumpsuit would fit into my style and wardrobe. I very rarely wear or make clothes without a waist, having a look at my choices over Me Made May shows that for certain! I think I’ve got it into my head that because I’m petite and have short hair, I want to show some kind of curve of the body at all times.

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This is, of course, ridiculous. Gender is performative and ultimately irrelevant to clothing, so who cares if I don’t look ‘femme’ one day, or don’t create an hourglass silhouette in a corseted style every day? Choosing to do or not do these things is both completely fine, of course, and any variation in between. Please, wear things you want to wear. I took a look at myself and realised I hadn’t critically evaluated why I wanted to always cinch in my waist, which needed rectifying. This jumpsuit was a nice way of showing the internal criticisms that I am still valid and cute and stylish in something loose fitting. And I like it! It’s really comfy, super effortless and I can eat as much as I want without worrying my food baby will press against the waistband!

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I also like it with a belt, and apparently want to sneeze if this photo is anything to go by. As I don’t often need to define my waist further, plus the fact that I rarely wear accessories (so don’t own many), I didn’t have an exact matching belt to try with this. I had a waist tie from a top I no longer own which, while black and so not exactly matching, did a good job.

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I am already planning my next one, I’m thinking for going for a brighter colour, or maybe a khaki to look like some kind of french fashion style army person who wants no part in the war, and only wants to look cool.

Disclaimer: This pattern was given to my by Ready to Sew free as a pattern tester. All views are my own.

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The Magic Duvet Sorbetto Top

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Throughout Me Made May I kept thinking that I needed more tops in my handmade wardrobe. Then one day, I found buried at the bottom of a box an already cut out and darted Sorbetto top. Result!

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The Sorbetto top is a free downloadable pattern from Colette Patterns, and was pleasingly simply to construct. It’s light shape keeps fitting easy, and the armholes and neckline are finished with bias binding, meaning there is minimal cutting (only 2 pieces) before getting stuck into the fun sewing bits. I made this top out of the pillowcases from a charity shop found duvet, the same one I made this skirt with. This duvet is the gift that keeps giving! Seriously, I’ve made three garments with it so far (this top, the skirt, and a pair of dungaree shorts which were pretty flimsily made so I haven’t worn them in a year or so.), and I still have the whole of one side of the cover left!

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If I recall correctly I decided to omit the front pleat due to fabric restrictions on the pillowcase, and for the same reason created a yoke in the flower pattern. To do this, simply cut the pattern straight across the point of the yoke, and cut these pieces out separately, remembering to add seam allowance.

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Once I had sewn the top together, I tried it on and realised that the armholes were a bit high and tight for me. This seems to be a recurring theme with my makes (and actually with a lot of RTW too), so maybe I just have unusually low armpits? Easily solved, I marked how low I wanted the armhole, drew and cut out the new curve, then folded the top by the centre front to mirror the new shape on the other side. In other words- kind of worked it out as I was going along!

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When it came to the bias binding, I was stumped as to what to do for a bit. Should I buy some pre-made bias binding, but have to wait longer to finish the top? Should I make my own, which I havn’t done before and might be fiddly? Then, I had a revelation. The duvet (A very nice one from Laura Ashley, no less) was bordered by complementing yellow piping which was made of a long strip of fabric cut on the bias. I ask, and this duvet provides. I carefully unpicked the piping from the fabric, put the rope stuff inside away for another day, and then all I had to do was iron the strip into a bias binding shape. I don’t have one of those fancy binding tools, so I followed this tutorial by By Hand London which worked pretty well. It can be a bit fiddly but once you’ve got going it isn’t too bad. I ironed the binding whilst watching Crazy Ex Girlfriend, so I was well entertained.

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This project has also made me find out that bias binding is so cool to use. I love having the raw edges concealed and this does it so neatly. My advice for newbies like me to bias binding is pin very carefully and frequently, making sure the bias follows the curves exactly. Then, sew nice and slowly.IMG_1249

And there we go, a quick summer top which works with trousers and skirts. This top fills a hole in my wardrobe and I thank The Duvet for fulfilling my needs once more.

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If anyone has any ideas of what to make from a single duvet’s worth of the yellow check fabric, I’d love to hear them in the comments!

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