Thurlows with Wings

Sewaholic Thurlow Side 2

Just so you know, I’m not over my Lonsdale Love affair  (dress, skirt, jumpsuit), not yet anyway. I’m playing the Sewaholic field, flirting with Thurlows.

Sewaholic Thurlow Fron

The toile/muslin to adjust the crotch depth and curve to my usual specifications went smoothly. However, I made a toile in shorts length so I couldn’t have forseen the crazy fabric ripples that are the back view…

Sewaholic Thurlow Back

I can’t find this exact problem in Sewing pants that Fit (my only trouser sewing resource) so if you know how to fix this fitting issue do enlighten me! While we’re at the back, can we briefly discuss the back extension? It’s a nice idea but just redundant for me. I doubt I’ll gain weight in my sway back to need to adjust it in the future, a huge seam allowance is just going to show through the trousers like a glaring VPL not to mention interference with the pockets and the multiple steps of attaching the waistband is a right faff. I edited the feature out and now I feel guilty because Tasia put a lot of thought into that area being difficult to fit and I’m just so ungrateful for it. I’m sorry.

Sewaholic Thurlow Welt Pocket

I’d never made welt pockets before but after practicing two on the toile using both the pattern instructions and Lauren’s sewalong posts, I was ready to chop into my fashion fabric. I’d also never made a zip fly before but I didn’t consciously realise this was my first time till it was all sewn up.

Reversible fabric

In fabric terms I had just my stash to work with but handily the grey suiting I made my Simplicity 4044‘s from had a good looking wrong side. The right side is a blue and light grey pinstripe on a dark grey background while the wrong side is a mid-grey speckled herringbone… yay for wrong sides and extra meterage! I’ve also been showing my friends the wrong side at the hem to prove it’s the same fabric!

Sewaholic Thurlow Front Fly

And remember the penguin quilting cotton I made a glasses case out of for a Christmas present? I had just enough of that left over for pockets and fly-facing. So these Thurlows have wings!

Sewaholic Thurlow Penguins 1 Sewaholic Thurlow Penguin Pockets

Heritable Crafting

Unfortunately I returned home from holidays to sad news. I didn’t sew for the remainder of August, instead slowly sorting through four biscuit tins of crafting items with mixed emotions as you might imagine. I wanted to share some of these things with you as it’s always nice to see crafting implements of days gone by and I need some help identifying some of them!

Unlike me, this lady had a penchant for scissors with 5 pairs in these four tins alone (I am told there are more if I want them – I wouldn’t use them though as I really like my left-handed fabric scissors). I’ve also never seen a tailor’s chalk holder like that but I imagine it’s quite useful.

Inherited Scissors

This next little lot tickled me. Coats bias binding for 27 1/2 pence – the half pence went out of use in 1984. The lace is a little faded but what a racy colour of red, don’t you think?27 and a half pence binding

Next up just a tiny selection of the thread that was stored in the tins. Some are wooden like these ones but most are plastic spools. One of the biscuit tins has dividers in so I sorted the thread back into it by colour. Limes and yellows were the most popular and I got wondering whether this was because my relative liked to sew garments in those colours or if the thread is leftover as she made those shades less frequently?


Inherited wooden spools


And finally, can you help me to identify any of these items? I think the top left is a stitch holder for knitting but the other two have me baffled. Any ideas?

Inherited mystery items

Curiosity Jumpsuit

I started a Jumpsuit Curiosity Pinterest Board off the back of Wardrobe Architect as a little side project on silhouette, fabric, colour and styling options without deciding whether I would definitely make a jumpsuit at all. I made comments on each pin, slowly gathering the individual components that might be blended together to build my perfect jumpsuit.  I guess this might be called my ‘Design Process’ but I’ve never considered myself artistic enough to have that as a skill. After a couple of months I had a plan and I’d found the perfect fabric for it too. Blowing my Stash Diet a third time (first and second fabric purchases of the year) to snap up this drapey, geometric printed cotton viscose blend. To redeem myself, the solid black lining, zip, thread and all patterns were all from my stash.Lonsdale Jumpsuit Front aThis was a pattern hack of epic proportions so I made two toiles with a few alterations each to be confident enough to cut into my fashion fabric. I merged the bodice of Sewaholic Lonsdale, with the middle part of Burda Style 04/2014 #107A and blended from the hips into Simplicity 4044 trousers to achieve the silhouette I was aiming for. During my non-design process I realised that I had to show some back and shoulder so as not to drown my 5 foot 2″ frame. By the same methodology, wide-legs are much more flattering for a pear shaped figure as they balance out the hips. And finally some front pleats and pockets for the trousers elevate this from catsuit to more comfortable but still elegant jumpsuit.
Lonsdale Jumpsuit Side I moved the zip (invisible, of course) to the side seam which meant I could do away with the front fly of the trousers and cut the bodice back on the fold. However, this meant that I had to have a perfectly fitting Lonsdale bodice – the beauty of the Lonsdale dress is that you can make some final fitting adjustments when you insert the centre back zip. Oh and I shook up the order of construction for the Lonsdale bodice so that the bodice lining is machine sewn to the zip – I really love the finish this method gives on the inside.Lonsdale Jumpsuit BackThe Lonsdale aspects were the easiest though, headaches were mostly induced in the Burda mid-section. First in the form of in-pleat pockets, how to add seam allowances to the funny-looking pattern piece and then how to attach the pocket pieces with typically minimal Burda magazine instructions. Next I realised the side seams on the trousers were really far forwards so I had to do some jiggery-pokery to slide them towards the back so that the trouser and bodice sides seams would align. I wasn’t going to settle for a shoddy finish even if it is almost impossible to see in this print with a waistband separating the side seams!Lonsdale Jumpsuit PocketI made the Lonsdale top into a halter style by eliminating the back loops and shortening the straps. This saved some fabric but not enough to self-line the bodice. At the same time I felt that a bit more structure around the bodice (particularly to hold it up above the bust) would be a good thing. Solid black lining from my stash worked well and I applied fusible interfacing along the top edge of both the shell and lining fabrics so avoid any stretching out. Lonsdale Jumpsuit HalterneckYou get some small flashes of the lining on the front knot (depending on how you tie it) and in the back halter bow which I quite like.Lonsdale Jumpsuit Halter TiesI think this is one of the hardest things I’ve created, stretching my pattern hacking abilities to the extreme, but I feel so glam wearing it and a huge sense of satisfaction that my vision is just as good as I imagined. What’s you’re most satisfyingly difficult make? Have you got a master piece vision taking shape on your sewing table at the moment?

Grown Up Pineapples

Do you ever have the same song on a loop in your head? Do you keep singing the same line of a song out loud? My husband had that just before we went on holiday. Sporadically bursting into “Do you like pinacolada?” at any given moment. Why? Because we’d had a discussion on how some pineapple fabric can look a little childish but this medium-weight viscose was a rather grown-up pineapple print. Which made for a rather grown-up McCalls 6751… view D this time.

McCalls 6751 View D Front

I used French seams and added Hug Snug binding to the armholes and neckline. Other than making my own viscose bias binding, I’ve never used viscose (rayon) seam binding before so I was excited it receive it in the Spring Sewing Swap parcel from Joanne. For seam binding newbies, I highly recommend this tutorial which sets out your options for using it clearly and concisely. The seam binding matches the colour in the pineapples so well and is a nice contrast to the main fabric – thanks Joanne! I totally want to use Hug Snug again so if anyone reading knows where I can get hold of some in the UK, do let me know.

McCalls 6751 View D Side

There were no shortages of pineapples or coconuts on St Lucia, so it made sense to have an appropriate prop for the photographs… not to mention something to quench my thirst after all that sunbathing and posing for blog photos.

McCalls 6751 View D Back

Out damn spot

I’ve been coveting McCalls 6751  since Ange posted her striped version and it finally made it into my stash to meet the minimum spend for free delivery from Jaycotts.

McCalls 6751 View A Side

I squeezed the pattern pieces of view A into the oddly shaped remaining piece of spotty cotton in my stash (previously seen here, here and here) and set to work French seaming the sides and shoulders.

McCalls 6751 View A Back

I half followed the advice of other bloggers in making this top: narrowing the front piece to reduce some of the billowy, boxy shape worked very well. I should have heeded the advice to bind the continuous raw edge instead of narrow hemming because I’m not happy with the neckline (hot off the ironing board it looks great but put on straight out of a suitcase and I’m not so keen to admit I made it!).

McCalls 6751 View A Front

Nevertheless, I vowed to make at least one other view from this pattern before holidaying and even removed the seam allowances there and then as a reminder to me to bind the raw edges!

Lonsdale by the Sea

Well, well, well… after a fantastic holiday and most of August taking it at an easier pace than usual I’m back at the blogging helm. I made four garments in the run up to holidaying in St Lucia but I completely ran out of time to photograph them. No matter. The beautiful Caribbean island provided a nice change of scenery for some blog photographs.

Lonsdale Skirt Tessuti Twill 1

Hot on the heels of my first Lonsdale I couldn’t wait to get a Lonsdale skirt cut out and under my presser foot. The fabric is a lightweight twill from Tessuti Melbourne and is leftover from a Sureau I sewed way back in June 2013.

Lonsdale Skirt Tessuti Twill 2

I cut the skirt front on the fold as I like to avoid a centre front seam where possible. I’d have cut the back on the fold and moved the zip to the side seam if I’d had enough fabric. All other aspects and fit were exactly the same as my red dress Lonsdale which got some cocktail drinking outings during holiday too.

Lonsdale Skirt Tessuti Twill 3

What with four items to photograph on holiday plus a whole host of other Me Made’s in my suitcase, it dawned on me just how much of my things are hand made these days. I’m also pleased to report that my abstract floral Burda shorts made it up to the top of Gros Piton, my Movies in the Park shorts endured zip-lining and my Halogen bikini survived water skiing! Well you didn’t think I idly dipped my toes into the sea on the white sandy beach all holiday, did you?

Halogen Bikini

See, I said my second bikini would be way better than the first!

Halogen Bikini Front

The name of this bikini make is taken directly from the name of the print design – Halogen. A stock design of Funki Fabrics. This is my second fabric purchase of the year and boy was it worth it. The colours, the geometry… this print is very me.

Halogen Print

So what can you expect when you order a printed-to-order lycra from Funki Fabrics? Quick signed-for delivery (less than 2 working days) and a full half meter of the print with a white border (which I’m hording as it’d make a great bit of contrast for another bikini or of sportswear).

Printed Lycra Funki Fabrics

The lycra is a little lighter in weight than my previous bikini but I’d already invested in some nude power net from Oh Sew Crafty (the swim elastic also came from there). The print quality is really good, as is the fabric – amazingly no curling edges. This makes it much easier to sew with as there’s no battling against a suborn curl. I was clean out of tracing paper so I used baking paper but that stuff also had a curly affliction!

Curling Powernet

And what pattern did I use this time? Since I modified Little Nook’s free bikini bottoms pattern to my liking for my first bikini, I went with that – I just took out the centre front gathering for this make. The gathering would just be lost in all that print.

Halogen Bikini Back

For the bikini top, I drafted one using some RTW inspiration and intrigue in an under bust dart for shape.

Halogen Bikini Dart

But I also quite liked the ties that were on my swimsuit from last year so I played around with those a little to angle outwards and slope the edges (in retrospect I can see that this idea may have been subliminally Sewaholic Lonsdale-inspired too!).

Halogen Bikini Ties

I treated myself to a rather professional looking bikini clasp from Sewing Chest. The clasp turned out to be a pretty good colour match, no?

Halogen Bikini Clasp