Sewisfaction is an independent fabric and sewing studio focused on bringing you beautiful dressmaking fabrics, inspiring sewing patterns and unique haberdashery products. We’re also spreading the joy of sewing at our dressmaking classes aimed at complete beginners through to more advanced sewists. Our mission is to spread the feeling of Sewisfaction to as many people as possible!
Happy New Year Everyone! Well I’m back and it is once again my turn to post for the blog. Over the Christmas period I had been swooning over Sewisfaction’s viscose crepe in the mustard colourway but given the current size of my stash had been trying to resist the January sales.
Now I am not sure if mustard really suits my skin tone but to be perfectly honest I don’t care. I love anything mustard it just screams 70s to me. This fabric is gorgeous, it is a joy to sew and unlike other crepes presses like a dream due to its viscose content. The fabric also has a lovely weight with a slight stretch. I would say it has the weight of double crepe and has a lovely textured finish. This fabric is perfect for anything you which would generally require a bottom weight fabric ie dresses, skirts trousers and even lightweight jackets.
Anyway after swooning after this fabric I decided that maybe, as I wasn’t sure if mustard would suit me, that I would add black accents so they were next to my skin. I therefore also ordered just a small amount of the luxury crepe in black which is equally as gorgeous but definitely a lighter weight and doesn’t have a textured finish.
After seeking out a tutorial to add a peter pan collar and also deciding to add cuffs I was set to go. I chose the Colette Laurel Dress which is a simple shift dress. The dress has a concealed zip, bust darts and french darts at the back. The dress is also finished at the neckline and sleeve hems with bias binding.
Well, I drafted the collar but once attached I wasn’t sure I liked it and I couldn’t seem to get it to look right in the centre. So the collar came back off again and I decided to also forgo the cuffs as I actually quite liked the mustard as it was.
I had some issues with the sizing of this pattern as for my measurements it told me to go for a size 2. Unfortunately, as always, I should have paid more attention to the finished measurements as this dress has a massive amount of ease built in and turned out enormous. I am still not convinced the bust darts are in the right place for me and I had to take the dress in overall by about an inch on each side and took an inch wedge out of the back of the neckline but as you can see the neckline is still quite wide on me and I could possibly have taken a little bit more out.
If I were to make this dress again I would definitely cut the next size down and may even take it in a little further. I also cheated and decided not to add a zip as a few blog posts I had read mentioned that the zip was unnecessary as you could totally get it over your head without. This was fortunately true and I have absolutely no trouble getting this dress over my head without the zip but I think the stretch in the fabric totally helps with that.
Anyway the next hurdle was inserting the sleeves as there is an awful lot of easing in the sleeve head which creates a slight puff sleeve. I love the effect but it was a bit of a pain so if you are not experienced in inserting sleeves be warned.
I finished my neckline with black satin bias binding as a facing but decided not to use binding on the sleeve hems and just turn them up as normal I assume this is for those who don’t have an overlocker in order to create a neat finish. I am also sure given that Colette patterns are designed to teach and add to your sewing skills and therefore the reason for using binding and also for adding the zip.
I had some reservations mid-way through sewing this dress due to the amount of alterations required to get the fit I wanted but now it is finished I really love it. I am happy with the way it is fitted at the shoulders and bust flowing out around the hip area.
I am happy to report that I managed to get it finished to wear on a girls night out, which was my intention, and that it was perfect. The majority of my problems were due to user error as I should have checked the finished measurements, baste fitted it together and taken more time over marking my darts.
I will definitely make this pattern again and think the top version could become a wardrobe staple but would remove the back seam and again forego the zipper. Also, I would size down and for anyone intending to make this dress my measurements are Bust 34”, Waist 25” and Hip 36” and I made the size 2 with the adjustments outlined above.
I also have some of the viscose crepe in the burgundy colourway and am currently making some wide leg trousers and I think they are going to be awesome as this fabric is just dreamy.
It’s Thimble Bee here again! As we all know, Sewisfaction is one of the go-to spots for some fabulous fabric and awesome haberdashery bits. But I am not here to talk about that today, I am here to talk about the AMAZING range of Rico yarn that Sewisfaction stock. I am a new knitter but have been obsessed with the chunky knit phase that has been sweeping the fashion and craft world recently. So I set myself a challenge; to learn how to knit so I can make myself one of these beauties.
For my project I chose the camel colour yarn and it is absolutely amazing as it has subtle pink tones to it and quite frankly, goes with everything! The yarn that I used was the Super Super Chunky Rico Essential, and it’s so soft! It arrived and I wanted to dive right into it and take a nap.
I began knitting and it was love straight away, it was so soft and so luxurious that I knew that I had made the right decision to make this chunky knit cardigan. I used the Seed Bomber pattern from Knit Safari – a great independent knitting pattern company that makes really fashionable and on-trend patterns.
One of the great things about this yarn was that it was so easy to see my mistakes straight away (this was really helpful as I am a beginner knitter). After I cast on I just couldn’t stop knitting as it was such a nice yarn to work with and knitted up really quickly. I can’t praise this combination of yarn and pattern enough, it just worked up perfectly and fits just how I wanted it to.
After I finished this project I realised how well the yarn hangs when made up and how well it keeps its loose fitting shape, which is the thing that makes this cardigan so stylish. I honestly couldn’t think of a better yarn to use for this project.
I am really super pleased with how well this cardigan turned out and it is in regular rotation in my wardrobe (to be honest, I haven’t taken it off since I finished it). The only issue I have about this project was that the pattern asked for 9 balls of wool, whereas I only used 3, but this issue is with the pattern and not with the fantastic yarn.
To be honest, I love this yarn so much I had to seriously stop myself from buying every single colour that Sewisfaction stocks (and it was really hard, I might cave soon).
So guys, I hope you find this post informative on how fantastic this yarn is, I don’t want it to sound too praise-y, but quite frankly, I actually can’t get enough of this yarn and although new to knitting I am a very experienced crocheter so I know what I’m talking about when it comes to good quality yarn!
Hi all, it’s Kathy here again , and it’s my turn to show you what I have been up to this month.
When it comes to fabric choice, I am normally drawn towards a printed design, but for this make I have been inspired by a couple of my fellow Sewisfaction bloggers and have gone for a solid colour. How classic is this Marl Blue fabric? It’s buttery soft and super comfortable to wear.
My pattern choice is The Jade dress, which was the free pattern in Simply Sewing magazine last month (issue 35). As you can see it is a simple knit dress with princess seam detailing, a pleated skirt (front and back), and two sleeve and skirt lengths to choose from.
I chose to make View B which has the shorter length skirt, but I chose to add the long sleeves from View A as I thought it might be lovely to wear on its own without the need for a cardigan.
The quality of this fabric is second to none. No fraying, no curling, it has been a pleasure to sew with and it is so warm to wear. I’m really happy that I went for long sleeves, as I do feel the cold and this will keep me nice and cosy.
The dress was enjoyable to make as very good written instructions are accompanied by beautiful step-by-step photographs. It is straightforward to sew – the only part that you have to work out for yourself is the length of the neck binding. The instructions ask you to measure the neckline and cut your neck binding 10% shorter. Initially I wondered if this would still be too long, but then remembered that the neck binding was cut along the grain (not on the bias), so wouldn’t have as much stretch as I was normally used to when applying neck bands. It went together nicely after all, and was the perfect length. Phew!
Another feature which is quite neat is that when you attach the bodice to the skirt piece, you sew in a line of clear elastic. This is quite fiddly, but is clever in that it doesn’t gather the waist but allows a little stretch so that you can easily pop the dress on and off without the need for a zip. I will confess that my pleats perhaps don’t line up with my princess seams as much as I would have loved on this occasion, but what with pinning and elastic insertion at the same time there was a little bit of slipping, despite using my walking foot, but hey ho! you can’t win them all and I can live with it!
If you didn’t grab this pattern when the magazine was current, all is not lost. I feel that it is very similar to the Pauline Alice Aldaia dress – in fact the Aldaia dress has even more variations!
Sewisfaction has a super range of Ponte fabrics which are perfect for the Jade dress and the Aldaia, you could keep it simple and opt for a solid colour or go for a print – how cute could that be!
I also think this fabric would be a superb choice for the Nina Lee Southbank Sweater and also a Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater, both of which I have on my sewing wish list.
Thank you to Sheona for the generous supplies that she has provided for this make, I know it will keep me warm and snuggly throughout the Festive period and well into the New Year.
Christmas has come early at Sewisfaction! We’ve got lots more new and exciting fabric arriving in the New Year, so we’re giving you 25% off ALL fabrics until we return on 3rd January 2018! And yep, that includes any already on sale. Remember though, once they’re gone, they’re gone, so if you’ve had your eye on something, now is the time to snap it up!
Thank you for all your support this year. We’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
If you remember my last post I commented on how Sewisfaction just has THE most amazing prints, but for this post I decided to break out of my regular sewing pattern and get some fabric of a plain colour. When I was scrolling through the site I noticed the selection of ponte roma that Sewisfaction have in their lovely shop, and this beautiful colour caught my eye and I knew I had to have some the Beatrice Ponte Roma in Turquoise.
The next big decision was what pattern would be great for this fabric and really let it shine? I spent ages thinking of what pattern to use, I was originally intending to use the Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress and hack it into something a bit different, but then I saw the Chestnut sweater and top by CocoWawa Crafts and I knew that it was meant to be.
So after the prewash (which I always hate doing, why can’t everything come prewashed?), I started cutting out my Chestnut top. Now, I’m really not the most accurate cutter when it comes to dressmaking – I count this as one of my many faults – but with this fabric it was a dream. My rotary cutter cut through it like it was butter and before I knew it all my cutting out was done.
Another reason I was especially excited for this project was that this would be the first time I’d be using knit fabric on my brand new overlocker. And guys, this top came together literally in under 2 hours! I was absolutely astounded at the handle of the ponte as it is solid enough to hold its shape by itself, but has just the right amount of stretch when needed, i.e. when getting those sleeve heads in.
Wait for it though, I haven’t even gotten to the best bit of this ponte yet. It is so, so, so extremely soft, and it is also just thick enough to keep you warm during those winter months. I have a bit of this fabric left so I think some cosy PJ shorts may be coming my way!
So here is my finished sweater, what do you think?
I am so glad I pushed myself to get some plain coloured fabric as this will look so good with so many things in my wardrobe and will keep me super warm this winter, plus the little bow just gives it that something special and turns a very simple top into something a bit quirky.
But in case you still haven’t picked up that I’m absolutely in love with this fabric, then use this picture to get a sense of how I feel!
As a side note, I think the Chestnut top and sweater pattern would be an amazing pattern to use for the One Pattern, One Week challenge that Sheona is hosting this year. If you haven’t heard of this challenge yet, it essentially requires you to wear one pattern (but not one item of clothing) for an entire week. So it really gets you to think about the possibilities of those dressmaking patterns we all hoard. I can see this pattern making a staple jumper and then a couple more tops with each one being slightly different (or not – totally up to you!).
What variations can you imagine with this pattern?
Merry Christmas fellow Sewing Addicts, its Samantha from Sew By The Seaside with my latest make for the Sewisfaction Blogger team!
For my latest post I have made this gorgeous The Avid Seamstress Day Dress using Crepe in Royal Blue from Sewisfaction – the crepe comes in a variety of colours in the shop and is a dream to work with!
I have had this pattern in my stash for a while now, I picked it up when I visited the Great British Sewing Bee Live at Excel back in September. The Avid Seamstress had a stand at the show, it was filled with their gorgeous patterns, beautifully made samples and the wonderful founder Lisa was on hand to chat about her designs. Lisa is wonderfully passionate about her designs and this comes across, not just when chatting to her, but in the design of the products themselves. Each pattern pack includes detailed instruction booklets with images to help you along. Many of the patterns also have online tutorials and step by step guides in case you need an extra hand.
It was the sample of The Day Dress on the stand that had me sold (the same dress that features on the Cover of the packaging), the silhouette is flattering for all shapes, perfect for day or night, can be made in a variety of fabrics and IT HAS POCKETS!
There are many fabrics in the Sewisfaction shop that would be perfect for this make, but as soon as I saw the vibrant blue of this crepe I knew it needed to be a dress in my wardrobe. The pattern itself has three different options; Option A has a seam at centre front, Option B has buttons at centre front and Option C is no seam at centre front… I opted for option C, but love when a pattern gives you variety! The skirt is gathered but again you could choose different pleats or less gather to suit you and your style.
The dress has an invisible zip fastening and isn’t lined (it could easily be done) but does have facing around the neckline for a lovely smooth stitch free finish. The sleeves with the pattern are short but you could add a ¾ sleeve for something different. The dress can be whipped up in one sewing session or like I did, it’s perfect to pick up in small sewing bursts when you get a chance…. Just what you need for this busy time of year!
I am so pleased with this make and have already cut out my next Day Dress, this one though has been completed in perfect timing for the Festive Season! It can be dressed down with tights and boots or pop on a pair of heels and you are party ready… any excuse to get dressed up!
Can you believe it’s been three months since my last make for the team, since my last post I had the chance to spend a day visiting the Sewisfaction shop to meet some of my fellow bloggers and the lovely Sheona & Suzy for a day of sewing. If you’re in or around Wokingham or get the chance to visit you really should… go with an empty bag and your purse! It’s impossible to come away empty handed!
Hi everyone, it’s Kathy here again, and for this blog post I am really excited to share with you a recent PDF dress pattern discovery from the German company Pattydoo. For this dress I knew that I wanted to use one of the pretty scuba fabrics which Sewisfaction are stocking and when I travelled down to Wokingham last week to meet up at the shop with Sheona and some of the other lovely girls from the Sewisfaction Blogger Team I could not resist this stunning Camelia Embers scuba. There were other fabric purchases made on the day, but no doubt you will hear about them from me another time!
The scuba is super soft and has a gentle stretch with good recovery, so I thought it would be great for this dress. Dramatic large flowers are set against a pretty soft blue/grey background which makes it feminine and very wearable. It’s lovely and wide too – 145cm – so for this dress I only needed 1.5 metres of fabric. I wanted a medium weight fabric in order to really show off the stunning inverted pleats on the skirt of the dress which give it such a great tulip shape.
Back to the pattern. It’s the Chloe dress from Pattydoo. There are pro’s and con’s with this one. Firstly, and you might want to be sitting down when I tell you, this PDF cost me 2.99 Euros. Yep 3 little Euros which works out at about £2.68 according to google! The down side to this, for me at least, is that it is a German pattern company, and therefore it is entirely worded in German. I do not speak German unfortunately! Eventually with a great deal of help from Google Translate, I was able to gain a little understanding on what was written!
It’s a knit dress pattern and as mentioned has a gorgeous tulip skirt detail, formed by the creation of 2 inverted pleats. It has side slanting pockets, the choice of short or long sleeves, a neckband or neck facing option and the choice to make it into a skirt only. Pretty good value I think!
Thinking about it, with all those options, this could be a really good example of a pattern that would work really well with the #OWOP17 challenge. If you haven’t heard about this friendly sewing challenge which is taking place at the end of November, you will find a blog post all about it here on the Sewisfaction Blog as Sheona is hosting this year’s event.
The PDF printed out perfectly (at home), and was easy to assemble. No problems with the scale or sizing of my pattern pieces. The pattern includes good instructions regarding sizing, body measurements, fabric requirements, sizing alterations advice and cutting layout. The actual sewing instructions however, are to be found on the Pattydoo YouTube channel. You need to search ‘sweatkleid chloe’ and you can follow along. Although it is spoken in German, this visual presentation is really easy to understand and actually a great way to demonstrate sewing instructions. The video shows how to make the childs version of the dress, and for the adult version there are separate written instructions within your PDF to show you how to sew the additional darts, neckband options and gathering at the back waist seam.
It might be worth mentioning that I used ball point needles throughout this project and also used ball point pins too. I used a combination of both my regular sewing machine and overlocker, and was pleased at just how quickly it came together.
The back of the dress is shaped by the addition of a piece of elastic which is stretched along the waist seam. I’m not altogether sure I’m that keen on the look of this and may replace this feature with darts/pleats for future makes.
The length of the dress is only just knee length on me ( I’m 5’2”), despite adding 2cm to the length of the skirt for this make. Next time I will add a little more on the skirt length I think. The hem along with the sleeves are finished with a twin needle, which always gives a lovely finish to any knit project.
I really am in love with this dress. I finished it on Saturday, my husband took my photos, and I wore it out on the Sunday to a family get-together! It’s a bold claim but I really do think this is my most favourite dress pattern. I have been looking for a sewing pattern for a knit dress with a tulip skirt for so long and this is perfect. I think the long sleeved version in a French Terry or sweatshirting fabric, with a contrasting neck band would be super cute for Winter too. Expect to see many more of these dresses from me in the future!
Take care and happy sewing everyone, I’ll be back soon,
Has anyone else been watching all the lovely Tilly and the Button’s Cleo pinafore makes on social media? I think they look truly fabulous but I’ve never been tempted to make one myself because I just know it wouldn’t suit me. I need fitted dresses around my middle otherwise I just look even chunkier than normal. Every so often I go off piste and attempt a looser style and it just looks ridiculous and doesn’t get worn which is such a waste.
And yet I really want a pinafore dress.
Thankfully I found the Freja dress sewing pattern. It was a pattern developed by Simply Sewing magazine a couple of months ago. It’s an A-line skirt with a bib front and cross over back straps. There aren’t dungaree clasps at the top as it fastens by buttons at the back. However if you truly wanted the dungaree dress look you could easily adapt this pattern to add buckles at the front. Personally, I like the clean lines of this pattern though.
I did a mock up with a truly retro 1970’s bedsheet (one day will I be stoned for destroying such antiquities??). It showed that the front bib was gaping quite a lot at the sides and needed a bit of reworking. I did some fancy fiddling with the dart in a sort of full bust adjustment. It was a bit of a learning experience and I’m not sure I repeat it easily.
For fabric I selected the 10oz Indigo Stretch Denim. It’s the kind of weight of denim that would be ace for jeans (jeans are on my challenge list for 2018) or a Grainline Moss skirt or a Tilly and the Buttons Delphine skirt. The indigo is a really nice deep colour and seems to hold its colour really well. Obviously I prewashed it, but I was worried that it might continue to leach colours since it’s such a deep blue. On previous adventures with denim I’ve sometimes ended up with a dirty hue to my fingers when I worked. Amazingly this denim holds its colour really well and I’ve been able to chuck it in the washing machine as normal which is ace.
The joy of denim is it doesn’t move much when cutting and sewing. The pain of denim is the fraying. So before I started I overlocked all the edges of my pieces in contrasting red. As another contrast I used an aqua blue topstitch thread. The top stitching is optional but really makes this look professional in my view.
All in all this pattern, with this fabric, was a joy to make. It took me roughly 3 hours of sewing time and that was probably just a bit slow because I only have 1 machine which means a lot of rethreading the machine to do the topstitching.
And here is the finished product! I really really love it. It’s a lovely versatile dress for me on my days off when I’m hanging out with my kids. And did I mention the pockets? They’re huge and deep and perfect for all my bits and bobs. I lined my pockets with the same fabric as the bib lining. The pattern doesn’t ask for it but I think it gives it a cleaner, more professional look. The pockets are so perfect in fact that when I travelled to Rome wearing my dress the pockets the perfect size for my passport and boarding pass. I did try to get a nice photo of me wearing my dress in Rome but had to give that up for lost after buying 2 umbrellas in 5 days and drying my shoes out with a hairdryer (turns out Rome in November is a tad bit wet).
So for all you ladies who like the pinafore look but really prefer and more fitted silhouette I would highly recommend this. A denim pinafore is quickly going to become my signature look on days off from work.