Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Revisiting patterns I've made before

I really need to get a remote control for my camera.  And some full length mirrors in this house.

Here is yet another (and the last for a while) summer blouse from the Heather Ross Weekend Sewing pattern.  Can you tell how much I love this pattern?  The swingy shape means that it works really well in thicker cottons, and as soon as I got this stiff, very old, very white cotton sheet from my Grandmother, I knew part of it would end up as a summer blouse.  The trim is a Kaffe Fassett quilting cotton - one called Henna, in navy, which you can see towards the bottom of this page.

Although I still think it is slightly wierd to make so many outifts from the same pattern, I love seeing how they work in different fabrics.  And once you've made the pattern before it comes together so very quickly - no tracing pattern pieces, no cutting out of pattern pieces, and no headaches working out the instructions or wondering what modifications to go for.  Lazy sewing with impressive results - perfect.

Another pattern that I have revisited is the Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress that I moaned about here.  This time I made the top version, and I like it much better.

Some things about this pattern still annoyed me, but I knew they would and I worked round them.  The unfolded pattern peices bugged me.  Usually, for dress pieces that are symmetrical - like the front of a dress or top - the pattern piece is for half of the top, and it is cut on the fold.  Oliver + S pieces (in this pattern at least) are symmetrical but printed unfolded, and last time I found arranging the pattern pieces on the fabric rather tricky; I ended up with a great deal of wasted fabric.  So this time round I simply folded the pattern pieces in half and retraced them.  Much easier. 

These fabrics were much easier to align than the tiny gingham I used last time, and preparing the yoke made more sense because I'd already done it before.  I do like this notch detail on the neck.

It fits Livvy okay - but not well.  She is a tall 7 year old, and I made this top in the size 8, which matched her height.  Next time I'll make the size 6, but extend the length to the size 10.  I still think - as for the dress - that it comes out too short and wide for older children.  The pink polka dot fabric is from Cath Kidston, and the contrast fabric on the top of the yoke is an old IKEA fabric, which I've used in so many things and I'm now nearly out of.  The top is hemmed with an ordinary hem, which I liked much better than the double pannelled hem on the dress.

And then I added some ricrac, because you can never have too much ricrac.


  1. Have been enjoying all your sewing posts. Such lovely tops. And can really relate to so many of your thoughts re patterns and processes.

    Once I find a pattern I like, I most definitely use it again and again in different fabrics (or even in the same fabric in different colorways). What could be better than stress-free sewing with virtually guaranteed results!

    And I agree, you can never have too much ric-rac!

    K x

  2. The ric-rac is fab, I do agree ;-). And I once again am a fan of your top. The contrasting on the collar slays me every time!

  3. I really like the top. The patterned facing with the plain white looks great.

  4. That is just my sort of top... perhaps I should have a go at making one... on my shiny new sewing machine : )

    I took your recommendation and am LOVING it!

  5. Oh, that top works fabulously in crisp white - clever you. And I have the same problem with tops for my tall skinny 7 year old - she takes after her father's side of the family, not mine!

  6. I've been looking at making that top myself for a while now and with your pictures and advice I am definitely going to give it a go.

    It looks wonderful.

    Nina x


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