Handmade by Ditsy-tulip - My Wonderful World of Sewing
Welcome to ditsy-tulip!! I started my sewing journey about 4 years ago, it was a slow but enjoyable one!I love to sew, I love to talk about sewing (a lot) and I love to help other people to learn how to sew. So, if you love to sew, love to talk about sewing or are looking to learn how to sew, yay its lovely to have you here.
I'm so excited to share with you a sewing challenge that I am co-hosting with the lovely Atia from @thebrightblooms, let me tell you all about #alittlelawnparty.
The challenge is to run from the 15th March 2018 - 15th May 2018 and the idea of the challenge is to celebrate the upcoming spring months through your handmade wardrobe.
Atia and I both have a love for cotton lawn, and often make our garments from it, this is where the idea came from for #alittlelawnparty. Initially we were going to run the challenge specifically with cotton lawn in mind, however we established that in some areas of the world, cotton lawn is very difficult to get hold of, or is super expensive so we decided to open it up to any fabrics that scream spring.
So, the challenge is to simply make a garment that is celebrating spring, this could be through the style of garment, the fabric, the colours, the print/pattern and then share it using the #alittlelawnparty.
In my mind I am imagining floaty dresses, blouses, skirts and trousers and lots of floral fabrics. I am seeing pic-nics and of course lawn parties to show off your beautiful garments, how amazing would it be for sewers to get together at a lawn party to share your lovely makes (now thats an idea).
We also have a selection of lovely sponsors who have Kindly donated prizes to make the challenge even more fun, we will be selecting winners at random during the last 4 weeks of the challenge.
There are no heavy rules to the challenge as we wanted to keep it easy to take part in, but we would really appreciate the following
Share the graphics for the challenge from 15th March on your social media to spread the word (the more the merrier)! There is a square image above that will work well in IG feed, but also an IG stories sized image below
Make your "spring themed" garment
Photograph your make and share it on IG and any other social media using #alittlelawnparty (feel free to share your work in progress images too)
I am so pleased to share with you my first outfit of the year to celebrate spring and I hope that it gives you a little inspiration.
Now I remember culottes from the 1990's, I used to live in them, they are so comfortable and can be dressed up or down so easily. I found the Named Clothing Ninni culottes sewing pattern and fell in love.
I had some super vibrant Liberty of London Tana Lawn fabric in my stash that really does scream spring, it is full of what looks like painted flowers in all sorts of lovely colours, but the pattern called out for stretch fabric such as jersey.
I pondered for a while and looked for another culottes sewing pattern, but I struggled to find another that had an elasticated waist, and for me this element was important as this is the comfort.
So, I decided to just go for it, the culottes are loose fit and its an elasticated waist, and cotton lawn drapes so well so I was confident that it would work out.
The pattern came together really easily, it is made up of trouser front and back, pocket and waist band, that is all!
The only tricky area was the pockets, the inseam pockets were not installed in the way that I normally sew them, normally I attach the pocket to each trouser leg, and then sew the front and back together, sewing around the pocket bag, but this pattern instructed you to sew the trouser side seams together first, leaving the pocket gap un-stitched, and then attach the pocket bag to the seam allowance.
I found this method quite complicated, and difficult to sew as the fabric got caught up in itself and I had to unpick it a couple of times, so next time I may try my normal method as see if it works out ok.
I teamed the culottes with an Ogden cami that I made from left over linen from Merchant and Mills (the link takes you to the fabric that I used but sadly they don't have any of the colour left that I used). The Ogden is so quick and easy to make and the fit is so perfect, I love it!
I can't tell you how comfortable this outfit is, its certainly secret pyjama territory! and how spring like is that Liberty fabric!
I decided to return to my local Abakhan to see if they had any of the Liberty of London fabric left so that I can make a matching Ogden cami to give a faux jumpsuit effect (no stripping off when I go to the loo like a standard jump suit), and I was super pleased when they did have some left (I couldn't believe that they did as it was so long since I purchased it, but this fabric doesn't look the most appealing on the roll, luckily for me), and they had reduced it to £5 per meter! They do not have it online but they did still have some left in the Hanley (Stoke on Trent) store on 25th February.
If you want to see the outfit in action, watch the video(s) below, I actually filmed the first on the 24th Feb when it was 3 degrees outside, so I was freezing cold prancing around in my garden (you can see me slowly turn blue), but I can feel spring in the air!!!
The second clip that I added in with the matching cami was filmed on 28th Feb when it was snowing and -5 degrees! Definitely not very spring like.
A little Lawn Party - YouTube
I can't wait to see your entries for #alittlelawnparty, its so exciting. If you have any questions at all don't hesitate to contact myself or Atia.
Oh, I would also like to thank Fiona from Figero Designs who created the super cute cotton reels and needle and thread images (and a whole load more of sewing bits and bobs) that we have used to make our logo super sweet, we love them!
I love the look of a wrap dress on other people, how it hugs the body in just the right places to show off a beautiful shape. My own figure is quite boyish so I’ve never really been drawn to making one for myself as I don’t think that it is a style that compliments by body shape so well.
However, when I saw the Wear Lemonade Dita dress I fell in love with it. The batwing sleeves, the floaty skirt and the most clever thing of all is that you can wear the wrap at the front or the back, so it was risk free to make as even if the wrap shape does not suit me at the front, I could just wear it at the back.
I thought that this dress needed a fabric with drape so that the batwing sleeves don’t sit too stiff, so I decided to use some floral Liberty of London tana lawn that I’d had in my stash since Christmas 2016. The print is really pretty, it has a stormy background with beautiful "painted" roses.
The pattern asks for 3.3m of 140cm wide fabric, and I had 3m. Normally I find that the pattern over estimates what you need (I think that they normally allow for shrinkage) but I was a little short for this dress.
For once I was super pleased that I am short (at 5ft 3") as I shortened the skirt length by a few inches and then had just about enough fabric, however, I'm so pleased that I lay out all of the pattern pieces before cutting any pieces out as I would have been a little stuck otherwise.
It is a little shorter than I would like, but I'll wear it when I'm feeling a bit "cheeky", or just wear it with tights.
The pattern came together really easily and the instructions are also in English on the PDF pattern. I have mentioned many of time before, but just incase you have not seen any of my previous Wear Lemonade posts, I am a member of the PDF pattern club, its costs approx £5 per month but then you can download all of the patterns, and there are loads! Most of them (but not all) have English instructions too.
As I mentioned before, my favourite element of the Wear Lemonade Dita dress is that it is reversible, so you can wear the wrap at the front or back, this is what it looks like with it at the back.
Personally, I think that the dress looks better on me with the wrap to the back, I have a very small bust size (32A) and I feel that the wrap at the front makes this more obvious than it is normally.
I love the sleeves, they drape so well with the Liberty fabric, but be mindful that a fabric with less drape may be too stiff for this shape.
I will definitely be making more versions of this lovely dress, but next time I will ensure that I have the full 3.3m so that I don't have to make the skirt quite so mini.
Have you ever made the Dita or any other wrap dress?
I just can't bring myself to throw away any scraps of Liberty of London fabric, its just too beautiful (and expensive), so I needed something to use up all those leftovers so that they are not taking over my sewing room!
I decided to make Liberty of London coat hangers so that they can be used to display items of clothing or hang my lace and trimmings from in my sewing room.
Liberty of London tana lawn is great fabric for this project as it doesn't fray too much and is easy to cut into thin strips.
This quick tutorial shows you how to make one, its soooo easy to do!
What do you need?
Liberty of London tana lawn scraps
Scissors or rotary cutter
A wooden hanger
Glue (I use a hot glue gun)
First of all, cut your scraps into thin strips, they don't have to be perfect or exactly the same width and length, just use up as many of the scraps that you can, you will be surprised how much you have left over. I cut mine to be about 1cm wide.
Sort your strips out ensuring that the right side of the fabric is facing in the same direction (this helps to ensure that you don't accidentally attach it with the wrong side of the fabric facing up!
Next, start to cover the hanger by placing a blob of glue on the hanger at the point you want to start wrapping from, place one end of the strip on top of the glue, wrap the fabric around pulling it taught and ensuring that it isn't twisted, blob little bits of glue as you go to help secure it, watch the video below to see me in action!
Liberty hanger video - Vimeo
Keep going, wrapping the strips around, overlapping them and blobbing bits of glue as you go.
Once the hanger is fully covered, check it over and add more glue if necessary. If you have any areas that have not covered or are a little loose, just overlap another strip on top of it.
Tah Dah!! Thats it, all done!
Watch this space for a blog post that I will be adding soon to show you how to sew picot elastic like on the Liberty knickers below (you just have to love Liberty knickers).
I wasn't sure if I liked the "paisley pattern" Liberty of London fabric that I had in my stash as its a bit "busy" and purple isn't normally my colour, but it was a bargain (reduced to £12.50 for the 1.5m) in my local Abakhan fabric store, and I just can't resist a bargain!
More often than not I use PDF patterns nowadays as it's instant purchase (although that's a bit dangerous sometimes) and I like to store the instructions on my iPad rather than having loads of booklets lying about the house needing storage space that I haven't got!
This pattern is so pretty, but its not a beginner level project, the camisole is constructed from fabric cut on the bias which makes it a bit tricky to handle, I had very little experience of working with bias cut patterns so this was a bit of a challenge, my top tip is to stay stitch everything as this stops it from going out of shape!!!
This pattern also has french seams throughout, I love a french seams but again I haven't done them all that often, they are actually pretty simple, it just takes a bit longer than normal as you are in effect sewing each seam twice! I also found that I had trained my brain to always sew with the fabric right side to right side, so when I had to sew it wrong side to wrong side to make the french seam my brain kept telling me to STOP!!
I love the french seam finish though, its so professional!
I also love the pleats on the camisole bust, it gives it such pretty detail and makes it fit really well, but oooops! can you spot the little pucker in the picture below! (I'll sort that out later).
Liberty of London Tana Lawn fabric is great for this set as it is crisp but still drapes beautifully!
Liberty Fifi cami - Vimeo
The shorts were much easier to construct, and Tilly gives a great way to make the elasticated waist band (sewing the elastic onto the shorts directly rather than making a fabric tunnel) this will ensure that the elastic doesn't twist, I just hate it when that happens.
I'd say that all in all it took me about 5-6 hours to make the set, I just did a bit here and there to break it up. I did struggle with a couple of areas of the instructions, that being the pattern layout guide (it confused me as some of the direction lines varied to that on the actual pattern piece itself, so I just winged it), and I struggled with the centre of the bust cups, the seams didn't quite match up, so I must have got something wrong at some point?! But it all worked out in the end.
The set is lovely, and I actually love the fabric now too! I will definitely be making more versions, its great as it only needs 1.5m of fabric.
Feel free to ask any questions below.
If like me, you love Liberty, check out the bag and purse set that I have on sale in the shop!
Prym snap fasteners are such a great alternative to buttons as they are so quick and easy to install, and they are so inexpensive too! I used them recently instead of buttons on a pretty blouse.
They are especially good for baby clothing as there is no risk of buttons becoming loose (which could be a choking hazard).
They are really simple to install, but the instructions are pretty much non-existent so I hope the steps below help you out!
You will need the Prym tool and snap fasten kit, they are not expensive to buy and will pay for themselves pretty quickly with the cost saving on buttons.
Ok, so first thing to understand is which bits are which. For each snap fasten closure you will need 2 covers (the smooth round ones in the picture), 1 male snap (the one with the sticky out bit, they really are called the male!) and 1 female snap (the one with the hollow centre).
First step is to mark where the snaps need to be inserted on each side of the fabric (where the button and button hole pattern markings will be), I simply stick pins in the fabric as shown below.
I then use a darning needle to make the hole a little bit bigger (this just makes it easier to insert the snap).
Next step is to push one of the snap covers through the hole with the spike end facing down (so the plastic cover sits on top of the right side of the fabric).
Next insert the male snap on top of the spike that is sticking out of the wrong side of the fabric, with the sticky out bit facing outwards.
Next use the tool to secure the snap, the snap cover will sit in the white cup side of the tool, and the male snap will be on the clear rubber side, squeeze the tool firmly so that the snap is secured.
Next, use the darning needle to make the hole on the other side of the fabric, then insert the snap cover but this time the plastic cover end will be on the wrong side of the fabric, and the spike end will be sticking out through the right side of the fabric.
Now place the female snap on top on the spike, with the hollow side facing upwards, and repeat the process to secure the snap.
Sometimes they are a little stiff at first so you need to open and close them a few times to loosen them.
If you have any queries just ask below in the comments.
I've been working on the Colette Aster blouse for some time now, it includes a few "firsts" for me, so I wanted to take my time, making it up bit by bit.
I subscribe to Seamwork Magazine which now includes Colette patterns (amazing!!) and I thought that this blouse looked really, really lovely, I am trying to push the boundaries this year so I went straight in for the most difficult option with pleats, long sleeves and cuffs.
I spent a total of approximately 10 hours making this top (spread over several weeks) but I love it!
The pattern instructions were good except in a couple of areas where I had to really think about what I was doing, I think the main issue was because some areas were "firsts" for me, I couldn't always picture the step, and as the pattern instructions have no photos of the top being constructed (just drawing type images) I couldn't always work out what it was telling me to do, but then the pattern is marked up as intermediate!
I struggled the most with the sleeve placket and cuffs, I ended up studying one of my husbands shirts to see how it was constructed which helped a lot. I have added a seperate blog post for how to sew a cuff.
What do I love about this pattern?
It doesn't use loads of fabric, I used 1.2m but didn't have enough to do the inner yoke so did this in contrast fabric which turned out pretty cute.
I love the shape of the blouse.
I love the pleats at the front, it really adds detail.
I love the pleat at the back.
I really love the sleeves, the shape is beautiful.
It is really comfortable to wear, a smart but loose fit.
I love the different options with simpler and more difficult versions available.
What I don't like about this pattern
The instructions are difficult in a couple of areas due to the lack of detailed images.
There was one step that I must have misunderstood about clipping the seam and I ended up with a small slit in the fabric on the outside, hence the cover up with the ribbon (although I love the ribbon so it's all good).
I used plastic snap fastens rather than buttons which made that step much quicker and easier, I use prym snaps which are amazing and available in loads of colours! I also added a blog post on how to insert these little snaps, view it here.
So all in all I really like the Colette Aster blouse and will definitely make more, hopefully it won't take as long next time now that I have sussed out the sleeves!
I'd love to know what you think! Feel free to ask any questions about the pattern below in the Disqus section.
I am taking part in the day and night dress challenge that is being hosted by the lovely Elizabeth made this, the idea is that you make a dress for the day (a coffee date) and also for night (cocktails), check out Elizabeth's page/vlog for more info about this fun challenge.
For my coffee dress I wanted to make the By Hand London Zeena dress from beautiful linen that I got for Christmas (blimey doesn't Christmas seem like ages ago) from Merchant and Mills.
However, I couldn't possibly cut straight into the linen, I needed to make a toile.
I cannot bare to make a toil that I will be unable to wear e.g. from muslin, so instead I will make it from less expensive fabric that I will wear, so at least if it works out I can wear it, if it doesn't work out I haven't ruined my "best" fabric.
Enter the Orla Kiely duvet set.
Ok, so you might be thinking "Orla Kiely bed linen, thats certainly not a cheap option" but actually that is not the case.
I purchased a king size bed set for £46 from TK Maxx, this provided me with about 4m of 2.5m wide fabric, think about it, its a duvet cover so the fabric is doubled up!
As usual I had a PDF pattern, and it pieced together really well. What I love about this dress is the box pleats, its full of them, even the bodice has pleats!
The duvet fabric worked really well as its quite stiff, so the pleats hold really well.
The dress was really easy to sew, box pleats are very simple as long as you transfer the notches accurately, the dress isn't lined, instead it has a neck facing.
It comes in a couple of versions, mini and midi (I went for the mini) short and mid sleeves (I went for midi) low and high neck (I went for high).
I decided to pattern match the fabric at the back bodice, but it did pull slightly out when attaching the zip (ah well its not the end of the world) but I didn't bother to pattern match the back skirt as the pleats hide the centre back seam anyway.
I shared the finished dress on my Instagram and its my most popular post ever with 370 likes, amazing! It also got shared by By Hand London with 1534 likes, eekkk!! It just goes to show that a toile can work out pretty well!
I have since made up the dress again in the linen, its so beautiful, but the dress has turned out totally different with the change in fabric, its drapes in a totally different way which is an added bonus for me.
On the linen version I did have to add a belt as the weight of the skirt pulled the waistline down a little, I will share better pictures of the linen version once I launch my day and night dress challenge post.
Oh, and check me out smiling at the camera! You may or may not have noticed that I seem to prefer pictures looking away from the camera, but we are currently focussing on portraits in the Makelight membership group, and my key focus was to learn how to look at the god damn camera!
I have posted a video on YouTube so that you can see the dress "in person" so be sure to give it a watch below (I didn't get to take many photographs of it, so the video will give you a better idea).
My Zeena Dress - YouTube
In summary, I love this dress and pattern and will have loads more versions in the future!
Now that I have made my first pair, I totally "get" why there is so much love out there for the True Bias Hudson Pants.
They were an absolute dream to sew and they truly are the most comfortable lounge pants ever!
As this was my first pair, I decided to use up fabric from my stash, and although its not the fabric combo that I would choose if I were buying new fabric for the project, I am pretty pleased with how they turned out.
The quality is amazing and it washes so well, I think that it is the perfect weight for the Hudson Pants as its super soft but keeps its shape well. Minerva have a huge range of Art Gallery jersey so I've already started to pick out the designs for my next pair (or twelve).
They really were great to sew, I mainly sewed them using the Overlocker, which made it really quick too, the only exception to this was sewing the leg cuffs as I needed a little more control with it being a small area.
The Art Gallery jersey is a great fabric to use for your first "knit" project as it sews so well and does not stretch out whilst you are sewing.
For the waistband and cuffs, I just used scraps of jersey from my stash (I would have chosen a different colour if I had some in stock, but I didn't), I'm not sure of the composition but it feels like a cotton jersey.
The pattern instructs to sew button holes for the drawstring, but I decided to add eyelets instead, they are so easy to install and pretty cheap to buy, and I think that they look really professional.
Stitching through the elastic waist really helps to stop it from twisting, I hate it when I have inserted an elastic waist for it to keep twisting about, to be honest this has put me off elasticated waists for some time, so this is perfect.
I made my Hudson's just over a week ago, and I must admit that have worn them everyday to lounge about in the house, I even had to make sure that I put them in the wash in the morning so that they were ready to wear again in the evening, I need to make a few more pairs for sure!
I love the pocket detail and I love the fit, they are a tight fitting lounge pant which is perfect for me, I would definitely wear them out and about in a plain fabric (even though I'm not a trackies type of person), they are perfect for when you need to call to the shop, or you get "that phone call" from your teenage Daughter(s) telling you that they need picking up from somewhere.
I have nothing "bad" to say about this pattern at all, its perfect!
Thanks for reading and I'll be back with more sewing news very soon :)
Pattern matching can be a little tricky and it took me quite a while to get my head around it.
Here is a little guide on what technique works well for me, I’m sure that there are easier ways to do it but this works out ok for me.
Remember that when you are pattern matching, you will need more fabric than the pattern describes as you will need to find where the pattern repeats.
The example below shows you the method for sewing a back bodice with a centre back seam e.g. where a zip will be inserted.
Laying out the fabric
When pattern matching is required do not fold the fabric in half to cut out your pattern pieces (as you would normally) instead lay your fabric unfolded, with the right side facing up.
Then mark with a tailors chalk where you want the centre seam to run as shown in the picture below.
Cutting out the first pattern piece
As you are not working with the fabric folded in half, you will need to cut out each pattern piece individually.
We will first of all cut the left hand side, notice how the paper pattern is right side facing up.
Measure 1.5cm (or whatever your seam allowance is) to the RIGHT of the centre line that you have just drawn.
Now place the pattern piece so that the centre back of the pattern piece overlaps the centre line that you have drawn by 1.5cm all the way down, as shown in the 2 pictures below.
Pin and cut out.
Then, temporarily fold the centre back seam along where the seam line will be (use the chalk line as a guide) e.g fold it in 1.5cm to the wrong side, and put a few pins in to keep it in place (this just helps to identify where you need to match the pattern.
cut out the second pattern piece
This time we are going to cut out the right hand side pattern piece, ensure that you have flipped your paper pattern so that the wrong side of the paper pattern is facing you, otherwise you will end up with 2 left hand pieces.
Find the point where the pattern repeats the pattern on the left hand side that you have cut out as shown below.
Place the left hand fabric piece on top of the fabric (where you have found that it matches) and use the chalk to mark the centre fold line (I use a ruler and place that on top of the left hand fabric piece with the edge of the ruler lining up with the folded edge of the fabric.
Also mark the top and bottom of the left hand fabric piece, this just makes it easier to keep the pattern symmetrical.
Ensure that you have the paper pattern flipped so that the wrong side of the pattern is facing you.
Mark 1.5cm to the LEFT hand side of the centre fold line and place the paper pattern overlapping the centre fold line by 1.5cm all the way down, also lining the top and bottom of the pattern to the marks that you made.
Pin and cut out.
Remove the fabric from the paper pattern and temporarily fold the centre back seam allowance in (as you did on the left hand side)
Check it all matches
Now, lets check that it all matches up.
Place the left and right hand fabric pieces, with the right side of the fabric facing you, and the centre back lines matching in the centre.
Tah Dah! You have pattern matched.
Open out the seam allowance again and attach your zip in the normal way, you will end up with the pattern matched as above.
I hope that helps!!
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