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the Sewing Bee watch part II (it might be over, but we're still sewing)

(259 Posts)

I thought I'd better start a new thread so that we don't lose it!

Original part here...

Background - flubba got excited by The Great British Sewing Bee and we all piled in too grin

Babieseverywhere Sun 05-May-13 12:17:41

Well my sewing machine has been mended, serviced and looking very pretty shoved under kids table .

Just need to buy a pattern and fabric OR start randomly sewing bits of the fabric I already have in the house. As soon as the kids are back at school and the little ones are napping, I will brave the machine and report back !

Doyouthinktheysaurus Sun 05-May-13 13:27:15

I've nearly made a skirt! My first clothing project.

It has a zip and everything <proud>

You tube to the rescue for the zip, I don't know where I'd be without YouTube. Being able to watch someone else do it is so much easier than following written instructions for me.

It's far from perfect and still not finished but I'm very proud of it for a first attempt and I genuinely think I will wear it which obviously is the whole point!

I have to do the hem and finish the waistband, then it's done!

DameFanny Sun 05-May-13 13:53:25

Oh well done doyouthink. Zips are a bugger aren't they.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Sun 05-May-13 14:13:45

Yes, they are a bit.

It looks okay though, the zip is flat, straight and sits pretty well hidden. Not sure how to get a straight hem thoughconfused it's quite a full skirt. I've pinned it but I think I need to try it on to suss out the wonky bits.

The last sewing bee thread really inspired me, I think I may be hooked nowgrin

Hello! It took me a while to find this thread - I'm so glad it's still going. smile

I'm amazed you've got a skirt done already, doyou - wow! That is inspiring.

I was going to post a separate thread here, but I'm guessing this is where we're chatting about projects?

I have a dilemma. There's a dress I really want to make, and a friend of mine is going to help me if I need it. The pattern is meant to be reasonably easy (there's a more complicated version with sleeves if I get ambitious later on!). However. The instructions say you need reasonably heavy-weigh cotton and to 'avoid quilting or shirting cotton like the plague'. Ok, fine. But, looking around on the net, the people who've made this dress seem often to have used cottons I've seen on quilting websites (Michael Miller, for example). And I know myself that quilting cottons vary quite a bit in terms of weight.

Should I risk it? I just don't see the point making a dress in a fabric I'm so-so about, and I have really looked pretty hard for nice heavy-weight fabrics.

FWIW, pattern is here: shop.byhandlondon.com/product/elisalex-dress

And the lass on this blog has made about 90 zillion versions in quilting cottons, and I think they look great: dollyclackett.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/pensioners-tired-of-crows-stealing-your.html

I know this fabric (I've got another dress in it and I've got a bit in my stash), and it's heavier than some quilting fabrics.

I think I'm basically just looking for a bit of reassurance ... and possibly being a bit reluctant to step out of my comfort zone, because I know how these fabrics handle!

DameFanny Sun 05-May-13 15:34:07

I'd go for it if you know the fabric - the advice to avoid lighter weights is I imagine that they won't hang as well, making the tulip a bit deflated, and would also be a bit see through?

If you know the fabric and are happy with the results other people have got then I'd go for it.

It's definitely not see-through! That makes sense, thanks for the reassurance.

Ok, I finally found my motivation and made the bodice for my curtain dress. It worked pretty well for a first attempt with no pattern to work from, I even got a zip sewn into bodice and skirt, helping to join them.
It's a bit loose as I was wary of cutting too much off, I may need to add shoulder straps to keep it upblush.
It does, however, nicely show off my teeny waist and makes my boobs look perky. I love the 1950s, they knew how to celebrate hourglasses!

HellesBelles396 Sun 05-May-13 17:32:36

LRD, that dress looks amazing. the fabric the blogger used really suits it. it does look as though ot needs a heavier fabric rather than a standard cotton but the fabric used looks heavier, it's hanging quite well, it's not see through and the pleats ate holding their shape. go for it.

It's a really pretty shape, I think. smile

I'm going to go for it (taking a deep breath now! grin).

inmy - ooh, a fifties dress! I love fifties shapes, very glam.

Has anyone been a member of the Sew Direct pattern club thingy? www.sewdirect.com/ it looks good and they seem to have bargain patterns, but I'd never heard of it before. Not sure if I'd get the use to justify being a member or not though.

PigeonPie Sun 05-May-13 21:31:05

Rue I'm a member and receive Sew Today. It's basically a magazine for Vogue, McCalls and Butterick patterns but also has some good articles about all sorts of sewing tips and ideas.

I decided to subscribe a few years ago after I couldn't find the old Vogue Patterns magazine I remember from 'my youth' and I think this is the latest incarnation of it.

It show cases the latest designs and yes, the pattern deals are worth it. I've bought patterns and other things from them (latest thing was probably a chalk marking set which I've found really useful for embroidery.

It's lovely to have the magazine through the post and I think that the £7.50 subscription every three months is far better value than the Good Food subscription I was having!

Thanks Pigeon - I didn't realise it was a mag subscription! blush Teach me to read things more carefully. The cost does seem very good then, if you also get the 50% off for extra patterns.

just go for it LRD.

if it's not right, you'll be able to tell. but it looks like a heavier fabric will be best.
and if it's see-through, just line it. lining is just the same pattern as the dress, cut from lining fabric.

(allowing for any facing of course)

Stupid question alert!

Can you explain facing please?

Hoping that it's like bias binding in that it's something I already do but don't know the name for.

nevergoogle Mon 06-May-13 12:19:49

i think it's just the fabric that faces the inside of your item. the skirt i made had a waistband facing inwards and you sew it so it doesn't roll to be on the outside. so you probably get it around necklines etc too.

Oh. Ok. Thank you. Sorry for all the daft questions. blush

PigeonPie Mon 06-May-13 15:09:22

Not a daft question at all - how else are you going to learn?

There are so many sewing terms which probably aren't in general use now that it's not surprising that people don't know then.

Keep on asking those questions!

DameFanny Mon 06-May-13 15:43:40

Who wants to see some serious sewing porn?

HellesBelles396 Mon 06-May-13 17:54:45

facing is fabric sewn to the inside of an opening (collar, armhole, etc. to strengthen the opening and allow it to lie better.

Kernowgal Algeria Mon 06-May-13 18:07:17

Marking my place - have just bought several retro Butterick patterns with a view to making a dress for a wedding later this summer. I'm not a beginner but not really intermediate either. Zips are my nemesis. Made some curtains last year but they were too narrow for the window facepalm

facing is also backed with interfacing - which is usually sewn or ironed onto the back (wrong side) of the facing.
the facing is basically a linong made of only a tiny bit of the same pattern - usually around necks and armholes in dresses and waistbands in trousers and skirts.

think of it as a way of pretending the garment didn't finish there - so if somekne comes up to you and turns the top of your neckline there, it's still the dress fabric. it looks nicer and it hels to give shape and means it gangs better. and feels nicer too.
interfacing then gives shape and strength
and lining is attached tovthe facing grin

and one of the reasons for this thread was to help with sewing - that inclides explaining terminology. smile

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