It’s been pretty quiet around here of late; apologies for that but somehow, I just haven’t been in the mood for blogging. A combination of real life stress, an ever expanding to sew list and, for the last month, a non-functional washing machine has meant I just haven’t had spare time or energy for the blog (way too much time hand washing or taking laundry to and from my mum’s house!).
Anyway, today’s post is a little special; it’s all about my very first article in a proper magazine!
Whilst we were on holiday in August, I got an email from Sew Now magazine, asking me whether I’d like to review the free pattern on the front of their next issue, with materials provided. The only slight snag? They needed the completed article back in slightly under a fortnight. And we were still going to be on holiday for the next week.
At this point, had I been sensible, I would have politely declined and not increased my stress levels. But my ego got very, very excited about being in a magazine, so obviously I said yes!
The pattern in question was Butterick B6130. It includes 3 different dress lengths and a jumpsuit version and is described as, “Dress and jumpsuit (loose-fitting through bust) has bateau neckline, bias stand-up collar, lined, midriff yoke and gathered bodice, and back zipper. A: Self-lined cap sleeves. A, B, C: Gored skirt. A, B: Midi-length. C: Floor-length. D: Wide leg. All are semi-fitted through hips.”
Obviously, I went for the jumpsuit. Which is kind of odd, as a year ago it would have been the last thing that appealed to me!
I spent a few hours by the pool having a trawl through the websites suggested for fabric, and fell hard for the print on a “lightweight crepe” from Fabric Godmother. I’d been asked to avoid black fabric, so compromised on the navy blue background.
When I got home and waited for the fabric to arrive, I started looking at the pattern instructions and cutting out the pattern itself. I then contacted Sew Now to ask whether or not pattern hacks were acceptable; happily they were because the more I looked at it, the more I didn’t love the collar included on the pattern.
This proved to be a particularly easy pattern to both hack and to move between sizes. As usual, I was a smaller size on the bust than on the waist and hips; however, the bodice attaches to the midriff yoke using gathering, so it was a simple matter to adjust how much gathering happened between the smaller top size and the larger yoke size.
The collar I was so unimpressed with again attached with gathers. In order to remove those, I pinned the paper pattern to my dress form to get an idea of the amount of adjustment required to still give me room to breathe whilst also narrowing the neckline for my narrower shoulders. I did this to both front and back bodice pieces.
Once I’d established how much had to go and from where, the adjustment was easy to make. I made a series of slashes down from the neckline to around the bust line and the same upwards from the bottom, leaving tiny “hinges”. I then pivoted the neckline inwards, overlapping the neckline and increasing the amount of fabric to be hidden in the gathers at the waist.
At this point, the fabric arrived. The print is absolutely glorious but the “lightweight crepe” is described as a “georgette” on other websites and honestly, I think that’s the better description. It felt beautiful but OH. MY. GOD. what a total nightmare to cut and work with. It’s semi sheer, extremely hard to place flat and on grain and so lightweight that even the act of lowering the tissue paper pattern piece towards the fabric caused it to move and shift out of shape!
I had made an initial toile in a cheap crepe from the market, which went pretty smoothly. However, using the fashion fabric was just so tricky, made worse by the rapidly encroaching deadline.
Hoever, with a lot of pins and quite a lot of swearing, I did it. And I’m pretty pleased with myself all things considered.
I actually don’t think this fits as well as the toile did but equally, I’m confident I didn’t sew it as accurately because of ALL THE SHIFTING OF THE FABRIC!! So the trousers are perhaps a little snugger than the originals were, but still it’s all wearable.
And I really like it as an occasion wear garment. It’s so much more comfy than heels, short skirt and tights and it just feels that bit cooler. There is the whole having to get undressed to use the loo, but you can’t win them all!
And there was my name in print!
All in all, totally worth it; I expanded my skills in both pattern hacking and working with tricky fabric, I added a posh garment to the wardrobe and my ego got an almighty boost at a point where I was struggling.
Thanks so much, Sew Now, I really appreciated being asked to do this