Monday, 23 March 2015

Not So Mellow, Yellow

Happy Monday all! Hope you've all had a lovely weekend and are feeling more enthusiastic about work than I am right now!

So I recently took a trip to my FAVOURITE haberdashery in the world (The Fabbadashery, Halifax) looking for some inspiration. As my bank account has been drained this month due to a number of factors I was planning on settling on a couple of fat quarters and going with that; but then I decided that this is what savings were for and I was in the mood for buying some happiness (Fabric is happiness)...
At the start of the month I had treated myself to the new Great British Sewing Bee book, mainly for the walkaway dress pattern, but also for the tips and to basically have a sewing bible. It was £25 from Waterstones and worth every penny.

So, as the Walkaway Dress requires FIVE metres of material (!!!) I decided to park that for a richer time and chose the Sleeveless Shell top as pictured below. This required 2 metres of cotton and half a metre of lightweight interfacing (a grand total of £12 for the whole top)

Sadly, I am not as slim as the girl in the photo. As a UK size 16/18 I tend not to go for tops like this in shops as they often don't fit my shape. (Slimmish waist, chocolate filled tummy.) But I took a leap and picked this yellow polka dot material. Yellow usually isn't my go to colour, but with spring coming and trying to get away from black and greys I took the chance and other than a few doubts during construction about it's yellowness I do really love it.

Once again, I didn't photograph the stages because I suck at this and was on a mission. Essentially though the pattern is simple to follow. It consists of front bodice, back bodice (which is in two pieces), the front facing and the back facing. There is also an option to make the back longer than the front which I went for, so it has more shape. The patterns which come with the book overlap each other so you need to trace them. Now before you go and spend a small fortune on dressmaking tracing paper to copy it, let me just say two little words... GREASEPROOF PAPER. My mum used it when she did a lot of dressmaking in the 70s, and it really is an amazing alternative. It's thick, easy to see through, doesn't tear and is £1 for 10 metres in PoundLand. I think if I ever design my own patterns I'll invest in some dressmaking paper, but for now this is a winner.

The pattern starts with sewing two darts at the bust, which took me three attempts to get them matching. You join the back bodice pieces to the front, and then join the two facing pieces together in the same way and hemming it. You then sew this to the neckline and understitch to ensure it doesn't flip up with wear (had to watch a YouTube video on how to understitch though...). The facing also goes down the sleeves. It is held together with ribbon and a button at the top of the back bodice and has a 1cm hem.

And this is the finished product! 

I'd say if you use a cotton with no stretch for it to add a few inches so it has a little give. I have an oddly long torso so it sits a little higher than it should, stopping just above the top of my jeans, so I've been wearing a vest top underneath to make it more wearable. 

This is not the most flattering photo I'll admit, but I can't model things without being silly. I also pretended to be a tram driver yesterday at Bradford Industrial Museum. I'm a natural, clearly.

I hope you enjoyed that and until next time my little sewing bees :) 

Kat xx

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