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 🙂

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



The Seamworks Akita

I’ve decided to try to make one, new Seamworks pattern a month to justify my subscription more, (although in busy months I might let myself off with a repeat, such as my recent Oslo Cardigan). The Akita is a simple, t-shirt design cut from one piece. It takes just one yard of fabric and can be made up in a variety of light-weight fabrics, so I also thought it would be a useful design to add to my repertoire. I struggle with tops during MeMadeMay every year too, so I’m well aware I need to get a few made up between now and then to make life easier.


I had this lovely grey/green (think the fashion world named it griege at one point) pear fabric in my stash, and not having sewn with wovens for a while, it was calling out to me 🙂 The pattern, like most of the Seamworks designs I’ve attempted was super easy, so would suit beginners well. The only bit of the pattern that took me a little thought was making my own bias binding, which I’ve pretty much avoided doing up to now. But as it’s pretty frustrating having to get to the shops every time you need some, I figured it was about time I learnt this skill. Armed with my newly purchased bias binder maker, which I haven’t quite mastered but I can already see makes the job easier, I didn’t make too bad a job of this. More practice needed but I’m really pleased with the neat outcome it results in.


I’ve worn the finished result ‘out’ for these photos to show the design more clearly, but I think it will be a lot more flattering tucked in on my figure. I do really like the side slits though, so having the option to wear it loose is nice for the weekends. I also like the kimono sleeves on this, which kind of prettily frill out, although there’s still frost on the ground here, so it might be a while yet until I get to wear it on its own… Love how it matches my Oslo cardigan perfectly too 🙂

The only slight fit issue appears to be the neckline not sitting quite right. Not sure if this is my bias binding’s fault or the result of needing a FBA. Any ideas? I know I need to give the FBA a go, but those of you who have mastered this, what kind of pattern would be the best to make a first stab at this? Would it work on this or a more fitted bodice best? All those triangle diagrams quite frankly scare me! In the mean time I think making this in a lighter fabric, or even a knit would eliminate this problem. Avoidance, moi? 😉

Pattern: Seamworks Akita Blouse

Size: 4

New Skills: making my own bias binding 🙂

Estimated time: 1 hour

Actual time: 1 1/2 hours (making the bias binding…)

Adjustments: none so far…

Soundtrack: Radio 4