Simple Sew’s Jersey Top


This month’s challenge over at The Monthly Stitch (just about sneaked it in) is ‘sew hot right now’. Yikes, a scary challenge indeed! But actually if I can sew jumpsuits (see here, eek) then I should be able to tackle this head-on. I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of shoulders in fashion magazines of late. Now this is something even those slightly (ahem…) older can manage. But lovely though those Bardot-style off-the-shoulder tops look, they’d be totally unpractical for the North West climate of late. My husband actually got snowed on on his way to work (Bolton way) yesterday!

But idly flicking through my sewing patterns the other day I came upon this Simple Sew pattern (free some time back with Love Sewing magazine). I’d already attempted the Cross-Over Back Blouse, see here, but the Jersey Top ย I’d previously looked straight past. Blouson-style anything is generally a pretty unflattering look for me, but maybe it could work for active wear? Mmm… Worth a shot!

This was a doddle to make up and took practically no time at all. I chose to omit the neck band as I wanted to retain the off-the-shoulder look. I’m so pleasantly surprised with this and it’s almost perfect for wearing to yoga. The banded waist is perfect for doing inverted positions and preventing any unwanted tummy-show! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I say ‘almost’ perfect though because I’m not fully confident of braving my bum in Lycra (though some leggings are more corset-like than others), so ideally this would need to be adjusted to make the length a good four or five inches longer. I’ve also used some fabric I had in (a beautifully, ย soft jersey I bought on our Yorkshire Spolette trip to FabWorks) which would be great for a slower-paced yoga class, but I think I’d need a more sweat-wicking, technical fabric for a more demanding clas. But I’m being pretty picky here I know, it’s a great, first attempt at activewear to tick of my to-sew list this year ๐Ÿ™‚

And for your Thursday night entertainment here’s a shot of a Northener sighting a rare bit of Manchester sunshine…

So shocking it bought out the vampire in me!


Pattern: Simple Sew Jersey Top

Size: UK 10

Adjustments: omission of neck-band to retain off-the-shoulder look



Does sewing sometimes just leave you feeling plain stupid?

So, am I the only one who sometimes just feels plain stupid trying to learn a new skill?

This is my second attempt at Seamwork’s Akita top. I was really pleased that I had this much lighter fabric in my stash as much though I loved the colour and print of my previous one, it left me feeling a little bit ‘boxy’. I don’t have all that much experience of sewing with flimsier fabrics, but this was actually really straightforward right up until the bias binding… Armed with a book I received last October as a birthday present (but which mostly features Spring/Summer wear, hence I haven’t used it so far), I attempted this technique at preparing bias binding…

But dear God, this made no sense to me at all! I think the idea is that you do it in a square so that when you cut it, it forms a long, continuous strip as you snake your way down… But I’m using the word ‘think’, as I simply couldn’t do this at all! The first time, to be honest I didn’t measure my two squares exactly, so a little frustrated I discarded these pieces (luckily I had plenty of leftovers), and started again, this time measuring carefully. But I still couldn’t get my triangles to match up as in the illustration, grrr…. I even left it a couple of hours before returning with fresh eyes, but nope, this was totally beyond me!

Annoyed by now (and left just feeling plain stupid) I resorted back to cutting simple, long strips. Even this wasn’t easy though as the fabric was so flimsy, it proved really difficult and fiddly feeding it through my new bias binding gadget. I think possibly I need one in a wider width for this kind of fabric which doesn’t hold the creases as easily? I vowed I wouldn’t be doing this again with such fabric, but actually on reflection, the finish looks so neat that, much though I hate to say it, it was probably worth the pain…

For me, this style works much better in a lighter-weight fabric (and tucked in). I’m really pleased with this, as not only does it go perfectly with my old, faithful BHL Charlotte skirt, as seen in these images, it looks like it will need to go nowhere near an iron either ๐Ÿ™‚

Again, I failed miserably at completing this in the approximated time, but only because of the darn, bias binding! Grrr…

Pattern: Seamworks Akita Top


Adjustments: none

Soundtrack: Birdy Birdy


Another Coco


Crikey, for something that I claimed wasn’t too flattering on this very here blog, ย I’ve certainly had my wear out of my spotty Coco dress! So much so, that when this material arrived (Guthrie and Ghani) destined for an Agnes top, I just knew that it was going to be another Coco dress instead. What can I say, clearly comfort over style ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s a lovely, thick, closely knitted almost sweatshirt material.

My only problem was that clearly I’d ordered the wrong length (because it was originally intended for a different pattern) but I stupidly didn’t realise this until after I’d already cut out the back piece. Doh! One day I’ll stop making such daft mistakes….Anyhow I had enough fabric to cut out two separate pieces for the front, but just not on the fold. Clearly I didn’t want a join on the front though, so this is a bit of a back-to-front dress, which I think you’d only ever really spot if you were looking very closely indeed or you knew the design (which luckily none of my real life friends do). I lowered the front neckline a little to compensate and it’s actually lovely and cosy this way.

I did have a play around with inserting darts at the bust, but it seemed to ruin the stripe-alignment so I left them out. Instead (and because of the lovely, dense ‘pull-me-in’ fabric) I sewed the side seams up to be very fitting at the bodice and then slightly looser over the hips downwards. I also made sure the sleeves were comfortably loose, Tilly’s patterns have a habit of making me feel like the hulk around the arms otherwise, she must be very petite! Possibly also because of having to join two pieces at the back, this version is much more fitted and thankfully more flattering than the previous one.

The instructions were a doodle, as I’ve made this pattern many times now and my overlocker behaved perfectly. I was unsure about adding a pocket, but did in the end just as an excuse to use this lovely button, which both of my children commented on rather than the actual dress when I tried it on for them. Looking at the below photos, I’m slightly annoyed I didn’t get it more central, but it’s also reassuringly got that homemade look!

Anyone else find themselves repeating a pattern, even though they’re not entirely sure it’s that flattering on them?