The beauty of Beatrice

Beatrice was Laura’s Sew Chic dresses that I really wanted to make. That was before Fifth Avenue was released. So I’m very lucky Laura was generous to send me both dresses to make. Thank you Laura.

Beatrice is a stylish fitted dress with a lace overlay.

If you’ve used Sew Chic patterns before, you might find the paper used is wonderful. It’s so crisp and white. And the sound it makes me want to just get stuck into making her dresses.

The neckline is a bit different. The pattern has neckline facings but I love a fully lined dress and that’s what I did.

I originally thought this fabric would work and decided to buy some lace too so I could have a lace version and a brocade version.

Above is my test version of the bodice using cotton stretch woven print, just to be less predictable and add a bit of fun to the testing stage.

Roll shoulder adjustment to the bodice pieces and the sleeve head.
I’ve raised the bodice up so that it sits at my waistline.

The peplum isn’t part of the pattern. It’s a piece I thought would balance well with the fit of the skirt and top. I’ve used the waistline trim from the Beatrice pattern.

Now I’m happy with the bodice fit. The side seam zipper instructions are Ace!

Now to make the lace or brocade version.
PS: You do know that I’m testing Beatrice for nix?
PPS: Laura is about to be a Craftsy presenter. Have a look at her latest blog post.

A-line skirt tested for Deepika

After I got back from holidays in June, Deepika of Pattern Review, asked me to test her new Annika Pattern Review A-line skirt, drafted by Maria Denmark. What you can see below is my winter version of this skirt.

The waistline sits below the natural waistline and was a quick and easy skirt to whip up in an afternoon. Having the waistline sit below your real waistline makes this a very comfortable work skirt. There’s no waistband to cut into you if your job is desk-based.

This skirt is made with a woollen houndstooth remnant, is lined and finished with an invisible zip. Simples…

I’ve already worn this to work twice and it was easy to style this skirt with other work-based clothes. Here’s a link to my Pattern Review.

Tabbouleh salad

Take the best parts of Project Runway and the Great British Sewing Bee, and mix them together with the cooperative, supportive atmosphere of the #sewcialists, and you’ve got the Sewcial Bee!
The first test run in July looked like fun and this month was another test run.

So the challenge was “You can make anything you like; inspired by food or show us food inspired by your garment.”
The rules are simple:
1. This rounds challenge will be provided by GidaStudio and will be posted 12am GMT August 10th on her website and on twitter.
2. We encourage you to pick a project that will take between 4-7 hours to sew. So you can get a little crazy but not insane.
3. You have 48 hours to complete your challenge garment and post it to the Sewical Bee Flickr group. Then we will all aww and ooooo over it.
4. Again there is no judging or prizes…other than that sweet new garment on your back.
5. It’s an open event so tell a friend, tell a neighbour, tell your spouse to take the kids out.”

I chose inspired by food and made a skirt to match my test jacket McCalls 6292 I made last year, while it’s still officially winter here.

I chose to use a pencil skirt pattern I’d recently tested for Anita Adams of Studio Faro. So while I could have chosen a lime milkshake or green frog lollies as the food inspiration I chose tabbouleh salad.

I was part of a local kitchen challenge and we discussed the finer points of a good tabbouleh salad ie finely chopped parsley is the key.

And for me, lots of lemon juice. But you gotta chop the parsley finely.

And in the remaining time I tested a knit top Kwik Sew 3790. This pattern has its challenges and it’s not the gathers on the side or on the neckline. It’s the gaping neckline and the dropped shoulder seam. This did top seem to be drafted for broad shouldered women.

My aim for this challenge was to see if I could meet the criteria in a different timezone and I did.
Study update:
I’m now three-quarters through my study so I took a break this weekend and sewed. It’s all about the fabric.

Lace and netting

Last month I jumped into pretty sewing and made this lace cover jacket, Kwik Sew 3693 View A, for Mum. She has a fuller chest so the front folds sit nicely on her.

This colour goes with the rest of the clothes I’ve made her in light neutral colours. All of the seams are overlocked so this can be hand washed or put in the machine for a quick cool wash and there’s no need to iron it either.

The back shoulder width is good but I’ll need to bring the sleeves higher at the front on her next version.

She was happy with this version and she said it’s a bit airy, meaning cool to wear in the cold. When I mentioned this was a pretty piece to wear inside, she was happy with that explanation and kept it on.

The piece below is a shorter, neater version for moi but it suits Mum better.

This version needs some shaping in the back but I’ve been using this version as a layer to wear in the office for colour.

Back to study.