Myself and Sharlene met on Instagram a few years ago. She rescued a near disaster after noticing I had cut my lining wrong for my Rumana coat. Following this we have chatted and inspired each other ever since.
We both love Fashion and love to recreate looks that inspire us. Here are our favourites we will be sharing more during the weeks.
Our inspiration comes from many avenues:
*You lovely Sewist via your IG grids
*New patterns from our super talented Indie Company’s
We are going to encourage you to ReCreate your Look. It can be from any inspiration something high end or replica of someone you follow creation you, let’s face it we all inspire each other (as long as you credit them) Open to all Sewist’s from beginner to advanced.
This challenge will take place during the month of July.
Week 1 Finding and sharing our inspirational image
Week 2 Planning the fabric and pattern combinations
Week 3 Sneak Peaks
Week 4 Reveal Day Saturday 31st July
We have some amazing sponsors (details to follow) During the 4 weeks in progress we will be choosing one winner to receive one per week.
After reveal date 31st July we will be choosing 3 prize winners from those who show us the most dedication to their look. We really don’t want this to be luck of the draw, we encourage you to use this month to create something you will cherish forever. Something you have imagined since you started sewing. Something that makes your heart sing! Play to your strengths this isn’t about being the best Sewist this is your vision no matter how you approach it.
Please tag Jen and Sharlene in your posts we can share in stories. We are here every step of the way if you require any help or advice. We also encourage you to reach out to the sewing community with decision making by doing a poll or asking questions in your stories. It would be amazing to save these in your highlights to look back on your progress at the end of this month.
Due to postage for prizes it will be UK only but we would still love you to join us wherever in the world.
Enjoy this is a fun challenge.
We cannot wait to see what you super talented Sewist’s create.
My first make was a toile for my next make. I used it to join in with Yvette @Blossomsandwich and her her #FruitSaladSewing challenge. In all my vast stash I didn’t own any that included fruit. I sourced this amazing cherry fabric from Emmas De-Stash. When it arrived I knew it would be perfect for this pattern.
I was worried that the slippery satin fabric would be a nightmare to sew but it behaved perfectly. I used a Micro-text needle to prevent any snags. The only alterations I made was to add extra length to the bottom tier.
I added a buckle to the belt.
I used the same pattern piece cutting two and added a firmer interfacing to one side. Sewn along leaving a gap to turn I the right way, into the one length (not double and halved as the pattern instructions) Adding Topstitch and sewing the belt buckle in the centre. I bought this vintage find at Selkie Patterns. I had the perfect buttons in my stash by Pigeon Wishes that Meg actually gifted when I had purchased another set from her. She must have known! More images and a reel on my IG grid
The second was inspired by this image I seen in the Grazia magazine.
Shaukat fabrics had posted a picture of a fabric in the same design but 3 colours that I knew would work but I needed 8, I messaged my idea and they were so supportive they offered to gift me the fabrics. They sent a few pics of different fabrics but as soon as I seen the circles I knew.
Working out how much I needed I drafted up this sketch which helped me to start. I had originally thought the #harrietblouse too the #SewingLyra hadn’t been released at this stage.
Like all great plans it had to evolve. I absolutely love the cutting out stage (yes I know I’m in the minority) I took it stage by stage starting with the bodice. I French seamed each section prior cutting out the pattern pieces. Because the fabric is cotton I ripped each section to the size I wanted.
The only alteration I need was a bicep expansion there are some great online tutorials to follow. This did result in the arm length slightly but it worked out for the matching of the horizontal fabrics.
I’m not a fan of gatherers around the waist area. I feel on me it isn’t flattering so here I used one width of the fabric. Then 1.5 in width, increasing in widths to the last tier has 5 widths. I have a reel on the progress on IG I always think it helps to see things visually.
To gather I used my overlocker by setting stitch length to 4, differential feed 2. I gathered the full lengths then put the settings back to normal stitch. I found this so much easier.
I extended the front placket added 13 button holes and saved sewing 13 buttons I used denim studs to hammer in place.
Styled with a belt from a FatFace outlet and boots but it looks fab with trainers too! I cannot wait for the warmer weather to wear it.
I’ve loved Australian based Nerida Hansen prints forever I’m so pleased we can now get our creative hands on them in the UK. The quality of this fabric is amazing and it was hard to narrow it down so choosing two contrasting colour ways I really wanted to do it justice. It was so hard to to decide on the right pattern. Scrolling through IG as you do I found @Katiemakesadress truly honest blog using this fabric which helped so much, then I found this image of a hacked dress using @fridaypatterncompany #squareneckedtop I loved it but couldn’t find the blog and I knew I wanted to add a more fitted waistline, so let the hacking begin….
I purchase 1 metre Large & Small Gingham Cotton Poplin – Red & Pink for the top then 1.5 metres Gingham Cotton Poplin – Multi Colour Mix it will be luck of the draw which colour verations you will get but I had the pink beige repeated twice so I knew this had to be my bottom ruffle.
I cut out the Large in the square necked top symmetrically then squared the front length.
The bottom length was used to create the inner casing for elastic. I pressed that into place using the block of red for contrast.
Before I secured this I added the skirt. Basically the rectangle of fabric sewn on one side. I added gathers and attached to the top bodice with the seam at one side for continuity. Following this I sewed the casing adding 1 inch elastic.
The ruffle for the skirt was made from 2 widths of the fabric. I hemmed it before I attached it to the bodice.
I got carried away with the process and I can’t say it was pure skill I think Devine intervention came into play too!
After completing the skirt I went back over to finish the top. These days I like the insides to be as neat as possible so I face the interfacing on the neckline. Details are saved in highlights on IG under Husqvarna Tips
Finally for the sleeves I cut a 3 inch section of the width green colour way then cut it in half. Then pressed it over added gathering stitches and attached to the sleeves.
If you follow me you know how much I love sewing and wearing jumpsuits I even have my own hashtag #jumpsuitqueenjen in my IG highlights you can see over 60 I’ve made.
I pattern tested the #hhinnes top for Nic and Susan Homer and Howells and I got to see their recent pattern realises and I seen the #hhlennox that was due to be released soon. I discovered after drinking a few vinos so with Dutch courage I contacted them saying I would love to pattern test being a bit of an expert in the jumpsuits field.
I was thrilled when they replied thinking it was a great idea and I got to help them prior testing by being sent the toile to try over zoom we discussed the early fitting issues. I must say they had more or less nailed it before I was involved.
As soon as I received the A0 Copy I got straight into cutting out size 14. I used a cotton I bought from Material girl Laura in my signature floral print.
After trying the toile I knew I needed the sleeve for a bicep enlargement. pictures show this process.
The instructions (even before testing) where great and I so chuffed with my first stand up collar.
The full process of sewing was a joy and of course after trying the toile I knew I could jump straight in ( excuse the pun!) it was really straight forward and I love the result.
Loved the result and the fit was great.
Just like me as soon as I’ve made something my mind goes into over drive and I NEED to make it again. I had bought 3 metres of this beautiful velvet curtain material that I was originally going to be a trouser suit but I could imagine this as a #hhlennox
When using velvet especially this one it was important to cut out in the right way to get the colour correct from the nap.
Another issue was this fabric has a thermal white reverse so if I wore the top open you would see this so I had to add a lining. Also sewing I had to use a purple tipped needle usually used for a stretched/knit fabric.
I also checked button holes on a scrap piece of fabric and I really wasn’t happy with the result. I also thought the front placket would be lovely plain. I used Poppers for fastenings these needed adding before sewing the facing down. They worked perfectly and it’s quicker to un do if you’ve left it to ‘spend a penny’
It was also causing thickness so I used lining fabric for the under collar and hand sewn to finish the neckline. Again it was hard to sew thimble was needed.
I’m so pleased I had made it in cotton fabric first otherwise this might have been left as a UFO but I’m over the moon with the result and it was worth all the thought processes.
I discovered Selvedge and Bolts in the early stages and had many DM conversations with Dibs about the fabric she was sourcing and how much I loved it. For me it’s not just that a lot of it is ex designer it’s the fact that it’s totally different. In the early days it was easier to add to the cart so I can’t say I’m happy about the popularity of this business now.
Only joking! Dibs keep going …
Like a lot of fabric shop owners I feel they get to know their customers and buy with a particular one in mind. Dibs seen this fabric and contacted me to see if I would make something up in it for a blog. Dibs gave me 2 metres Dreams come true when you wear floral and I loved it so much I purchased another metre so I had more of this delicious fabric to play with.
I didn’t have a pattern in mind, also buying online, I think you really need to wait until it arrives to feel the fluidity of the fabric in real. When this arrived last week and did just that and imagined a long flowing dress, with an additional mandatory frill of course.
I replaced the roulade fastenings with ribbon from my stash. Bishop sleeves are perfect with with weight of fabric. I usually avoid gathered waists but the distribution of gathers in the pattern instructions allow the flatness around the waistline.
I also need to mention my silver needle necklace from Joanna
I’m a brand ambassador for Husqvarna along with my lovely sewing friend Laura @cottonrealstudio we both bought our Opal690q and we get provided with the accessories of our choice, in return we will post on IG. We had some online training via zoom (the way of the world at the moment). I had the ruffler foot and I was blown away with how easy it was to use. I was dying to have a go and this was the perfect opportunity to get that frill.
I couldn’t be happier with the result. Colour and floral prints are definitely my signature style. My next wish is to get out of tier three and be able to go out for a meal with my Leggylad wearing it!
I love all aspects of sewing and to pattern test is a great opportunity but I also feel a little apprehensive about being trusted with someone’s baby. That you should look after it nurture it as if it was yours but also add your influence and creative interpretation so it can reflect you too.
With my first version I pattern test I like to stay as true to the pattern as I can but remembering there will be new skills to learn that could be tricky or different. I learn something new with each make.
This was my first attempt and I must say something’s didn’t go quite to plan. First my fabric choice as beautiful as this fabric is it wasn’t that easy to press the pin tucks into place. Hence I did it my own way and I pleated the sewn them flat using a contrasting cotton colour.
Different and effective!
When it came to adding the front facing I went on auto mode and done this the conversional way, folding the facing in over. In hindsight due to the nature if the fabric I think it was a happy accident.
I did have a few hiccups but overall I was very happy result. I love it.
Would you change it ?
Feeling I let down the pattern testing process I needed to do better next time…
Version 2 FABRIC My late Aunty Dorothy’s stash (she was an amazing seamstress – I channeled this into my make)
Crisp linen that pressed into place and sewed up a dream. I got to grips with the pin tucks.
I have a habit of sewing as I cut out;
1- so I don’t loose pattern pieces
2- when it’s plan fabric I can tell which is the right side
3- because I’m to excited to get sewing,
As I was making this I was thinking top to toe pink linen was maybes going to be a little to ‘Little House on the Prairie’ for me (showing my age here!) so I had a lightbulb moment of making it into a top. First thoughts were automatic to use the skirt pattern but the pleats were spaced to far apart. The sleeve pattern piece however was perfect omitting the sleeve head bulb (think that’s the correct name?) and cutting on the fold worked perfectly
Sharing it on stores inspires Esthers @ninetostitch on of the muses for this pattern to create her lovely version.
I also loved Elisalex’s embroidery version. I would love to created something but knew I didn’t have the timescale for the pattern testing window so I opted to add brocade from my stash.
I have accumulated a lot so it also felt great finding a purpose for it. I really happy with this version I mastered the pin tucks, but still I had another idea curating in my mind at 4am…
Have you got a fabric in your stash you are waiting to cut but you need the right pattern a and tested pattern? Well I had some and even after testing and giving feedback I still hadn’t made this dress as per the instructions.
It’s like choosing your favourite child but I this is mine (did I say that out loud) even Elisalex agreed (we all secretly squeal with delight when you receive a lovely comment from the queen of beautiful dresses adds a comment on a IG or just pic… don’t we?) Or just me?
The pattern placement gods were on my side when I cut the neckline piece.
It matches my Sew Over It London Sorento Jacket perfectly. I can feel another blog coming on for this jacket too.
I have been searching for the perfect fabrics to create a mixed print dress. Those sponsored links again!
On a recent visit to London I found the ‘perfect fabric’ Liberty’s. Well to be honest I found lots of ‘perfect fabric’ But I choose to take home 1.3 metres of the small print (0.3 because it was the last in the roll. 1.5 metres of the large print. I knew it was going to be another version of the Tamzin Dress but I at the time I did think I only had enough for a top as Libertys fabric is narrow in width.
I am finding these days when purchasing fabric I have a plan in mind so I know approximately how much material I will need. This saves on cost and any wastage.
This project involved a lot of head scratching and in the end I decided the best thing was to sketch a plan out. Something I will definitely do again in the future. Plus I have a reference to how I did it. For the eagle eyes I changed my mind about the print placement and did the opposite.
I started with the bodice then estimated how much fabric I would have for my sleeves. My original plan was to use the Sage Brush sleeves again but after allocating the fabric for the tiers I didn’t have enough to left, however the Tamzin sleeve fit on the larger print but it was going to be short. To combat this I added the smaller print and used the pin tucks to blend the two fabrics seamlessly.
Sewing liberty fabric is a dream. I’m not sure if it’s because you have invested financially, it feels so special and indulgent working with it. It came together really quickly but by now it was my 5th !
This is another dress of dreams as Jennifer Hudson lyrics
When you can wear what you feel, What do you want to say? Now love is a little number That you can wear each day…
Thank you to By Hand London for trusting me with your patten.
Thank you to my Leggylad for being the best insta husband and taking pics without to much persuasion.
If you still here Thank you for reading to the end. Now what are you waiting for you need a Tamzin in your life 1,2,3,4 or maybes 5 !
I’m Jen a creative from the North East of England. Main occupation is Hairdressing but Sewing is my close second activity to peruse. I love florals and jumpsuits. Body Measurements 36/30/39 Height 5ft 7inches. I’m an intermediate Sewist I did find some of the instructions hard to follow.
As soon as I seen this pattern I knew it had to be part of my life. I bought it just before Christmas so lots of our lovely independent material shops were doing discounts so I bought this beautiful cotton Lawn from Material Girl Laura. It was a perfect match for this pattern.
I had previously made the Liberty Florence Palazzo Suit and I had problems with the sizing on the upper body, so I took this into consideration and cut out the size 16 which allowed an extra 2 inches over the bust. This was a wise move and it fits perfectly.
I found the hidden placket difficult to understand from the instructions so I followed my intuition and it looks right so I moved onto those amazing sleeves.
When I tried the blouse on without the sleeve placket it felt to short, so next time I will lengthen the body of the sleeve. This time I improvised by adding the 2 inches to the cuff. It worked out ok but the circumference around the wrist area felt to wide so I have sewn my buttons on a diagonal to nip in the excess in this area.
I finished of with the Kylie and The Machine label’s ‘Perfectly Imperfect’
To begin with I have to say that every fabric purchase from Laura has been made up within weeks sometimes days from arriving. She selects the most amazing fabrics to feed our fabric passion.
I was humbled when Laura asked me to write a guest blog for her. You know my answer if you are reading this blog! I had my eye on this beautiful botanical print after she had added it to her IG account.
I knew for Laura’s regular stories that this viscose has a fantastic drape and it would work for the Vogue Pattern had I just bought from a destash. It is perfect for the on trend frills. I was gifted enough to sew up view C.
As my sewing ability has progressed I love the insides to look as great as the outside. In my opinion ‘French Seams’ where needed. I have developed my own way.. placing the two wrong side together I use the overlocker to connect the corresponding seams. Then press with a hot iron and reverse the fabric to encase the overlocking stitching and sew 1cm seam allowance.
The result means the insides are extremely neat and your garment will wear longer as the seam is stronger. The pattern has a hidden placket to be honest I winged this step and it looks right to me!
I also added decorative stitching to finish the cuff.
For the ruffles I have just learnt a ‘new to me’ technique which involves you picking up the thread from the bottom spool and pulling it up through the fabric you extend the cotton length the the size of the area you want gathering. Then zig zag stitch over the two threads. Finish at the end point then pull the ends to gather. Because your stitches are secure at the start you have no chance of losing the thread and it’s super speedy as you only need to sew once on the seam line.
On to the pictures. The first weekend I was full of Cold then the second weekend Storm Dennis made an appearance but us Northern girls are used to the extreme weather so it had to be done. Giving my IG followers a laugh With an out take!
I feel for fabric suppliers in this current climate with a shift in ‘sewing your stash’ and sensibly resourcing fabrics. Honestly I can say that Laura looks after her customers long after the purchase with lovely comments that make buying from Material Girl Laura stand out from the crowd! Also sourcing beautiful fabrics – next make currently cut out ready to go.