Playsuit Pattern Review - New Look 6493
Which do you choose first, your fabric or your pattern? No matter how many times we hear that you should start with your pattern and then pick suitable fabric, we see something like this Tropical Paradise print and can't resist!
We knew as soon as we saw the bright tropical fabric that a playsuit for summer would be the perfect match, so we picked New Look 6493 to review this month.
We love this pattern as it has a real fresh, modern look.
Before we start, a word of warning - the pattern comes up large so we would recommend making a size down. Making a toile may be a good idea. It also gapes a bit so we needed to use a safety pin for modesty purposes! The pattern does include a handy bralette pattern too but there are lots of suitable ones in the shops at the moment, which would work just as well.
The instructions in the pattern were easy to follow – we would say the sewing level is “adventurous beginner ". If you have already made a couple of outfits and are feeling confident, you should be fine tackling all the required techniques.
The pattern layout plans and sewing instructions were easy to follow.
The only slight difficulty we had was with the princess seams at the front.
The front bodice piece and side bodice piece need a lot of easing to fit together neatly. We found that a line of stitching to the curved edge of the side bodice piece, pulled a tiny bit to create a slight ease, brought it in enough to fit well to the centre panel.
Pressing on a tailor’s ham before sewing together also helped to create the ease needed and helped to avoid any puckers.
We also added a strip of interfacing to the edge of the pocket piece which gave a bit of support to the finished pocket. This fabric was quite stable but in a softer fabric the pockets could droop/ lose shape.
The fabric was well behaved and so easy to work with. Great for a beginner!
We would say that you need to take care when top stitching to be accurate. Stitches don't disappear into the tight textured fabric.
Also, use new sharp pins to avoid leaving pin holes in the fabric.
To Sum Up:
We loved this pattern and our finished look, perfect for hot summer days. Emily, our model thought it was lovely but you do need a safety pin or bralette to keep things decent!
We would definitely make it again and we would love to try the long trouser version.
New Look Pattern 6493
Tropical Paradise Print Fabric
Pattern Review - Tilly and The Buttons Bettine Dress
A floaty summer dress is the perfect make now the sun is shining and we can’t think of a better pattern to try out in this weather than Tilly’s Bettine dress. Tilly describes Bettine as an easy peasy throw-it-over-your-head dress and that sounds like just the thing our wardrobes need - we’re thinking summer picnics, strappy sandals and oversized sunglasses to nail the relaxed, ‘I just threw this together’ look.
We asked one our favourite dressmakers and Sue’s friend Paula to review Bettine for us…
I received a lovely package from Love Stitch containing the ‘Tilly and the Buttons’ Bettine pattern and two metres of the Alexa printed fabric. The fabric is a drapey cream and black viscose with a pretty repeat print, it is lightweight but not too see through so I made the decision not to to line my dress.
The pattern instructions were very clear, with simple explanations and good photographs demonstrating all the steps.
I made a pattern size 4, which is a UK 12. This was the nearest size to match my measurements, although I think the finished dress was a bit too big round my bust. I find indie patterns always seem small compared to larger pattern companies such as Vogue so it is always worth measuring yourself rather than guessing your size. Luckily, the drapey fabric means I can get away with the slightly large bodice.
It took me the best part of a day to cut out and sew my dress but I think beginners would find it takes a bit longer, maybe set aside a weekend so you can take your time with some of the techniques. That being said, this is a really good beginners pattern as there are no darts or tricky fastenings but there are good sewing techniques involved such as stay stitching the neckline and constructing a proper neck facing for a professional finish.
The only problem I had was with the back neck facing, I think the fabric slipped a bit in cutting so I had to ease it into the facing - I was a bit disappointed that l'd made that mistake but there are always lessons to be learned when sewing something new!
The fabric was gorgeous to sew but difficult to cut due to its slippery nature so I would recommend really taking your time and consider using pattern weights. As the fabric has an obvious pattern repeat I wouldn’t recommend it for a beginner, but for the slightly more confident this is a rewarding sew and I am really pleased with the result.
To sum up:
Do I like it? Yes, it’s a lovely pattern.
Would I make again? Probably.
What would I change? For me the bodice is too long so it looks a bit "blousy", I would make it shorter if I did it again. I would like to try the pattern again in a fabric with more body (maybe a chambray) and include the pockets. I think it would also work well in jersey. As the fabric I chose was drapey, I left out the pockets, which I’m glad of, as I don’t think it needed them with the printed fabric. The skirt is very tulip shaped which can be a bit too much if you're pear shaped like me so I'd probably trim that down. I think the tulip shape works well though if you keep the skirt short.
Paula’s Bettine is currently on display in the shop (we have promised to return it when the summer party invites come in!). The pattern and fabric are also in the shop or available online. Paula used our ‘Alexa Print’ viscose, £8.50 per metre.
Buy the Bettine pattern here Buy Alexa fabric here
Emily modelling the finished Bettine dress.
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CHSI Stitches Trade Show Birmingham 2017
19-21 February 2017
WATCH US ON THE VLOG VIDEO
CHSI Stitches is the trade show for the craft industry and is full of the latest and best the suppliers have to offer. I have been visiting the Stitches show for the past five years. I used to visit on my own when Love Stitch was still only an idea - it used to be a little scary in the early days as I didnt really know what I was looking for and didnt know anyone at the show.
These days it has all changed. We now stay over for a couple of nights so we have plenty of time to see everything. Emily started to accompany me when there was the prospect of a night or two in a hotel! The first year she did spend more time in the hotel pool than at the show but the last couple of years she has been a great help when chosing new products and fabric. This year she was an absolute star - I woke up on the Sunday feeling extremely nauseous and went straight back to bed after a cup of peppermint tea (what a waste with all the lovely hotel buffet breakfast!). Emily spent most of Sunday going around the show on her own, meeting people and taking photos for me to see.
All recovered!! Early start as I only had one day to see everything. Emily had the morning off (pool + sauna) and I had a very busy morning, drinking coffee while dashing around trying to take everything in.
There were some amazing new stands - we met Elspeth from Ragged Life, a rag rugging emporium which sells starter kits, wreath kits, bags and lots more.
And we loved these patterns by Sew La Di Da Vintage.
We also met some well known faces - Tilly, from Tilly and the Buttons, with her gorgeous patterns.
Arne and Carlos, who had just flown in from Norway to promote their beautiful new sock yarns and their new book 'Field Guide to Birds'
Kaffe Fassett was promoting his new fabrics and book 'Bold Blooms'.
We caught up with some old friends...
...and found Duncan from Prym testing the new ergonomic knitting needles!
Time was very short, so after lunch we concentrated on ordering lots of lovely fabrics which will start arriving in the spring
We had an amazing time and are thrilled with the products and stock we purchased - we can't wait for it to start arriving!
We are also hoping to get more and more products onto our online shop in the near future.
Check out the video of our trip too! https://youtu.be/7wO1lKdVQwY
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