Thursday, 14 May 2015

Oriental Fans Top

Simple top from New Look K6217, a free pattern from Sew magazine, which looks drab on the pattern envelope, fab in the magazine and somewhere in between on me!

I made this as a toile for a layered dress that I was making (still not finished, probably won't be, but that's a story for another day!)  and wanted to check the fit of. It's a simple, dartless top, which I made no adjustment to and just followed the instructions throughout.

It came out nice! Not sure that it's the most flattering thing I've ever worn, but I will wear it, and I love the fabric. It's a very soft, light cotton lawn that I purchased from Minerva Crafts last year. I did not know what I was going to do with it, so when this top came along it was a nice wee stash buster as well. Not that I have much of a stash to bust...!

I bought a metre of the fabric, so the top cost me £13.99 in all, which is not too bad!
overall, I think this was the best item I ever made at the time. It was technically nice, and I am still very proud of it. It's fully french seamed, and the neckline is finished with bias binding - the first time I ever did that. I did have issue doing the french seam round the curved underarms, so came up with a fairly novel approach, but if anyone has any tips on how I should have french-seamed that area please do share!

Overall I like it. It's relaxed, cool, and easy to wear. Nice simple top that I also enjoyed to make.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Marvellosa Malvarosa

Hello all! Well, 6 days in and I have not taken a single Me-Made-May photo, because I'm terrible! But I have been wearing me-mades without even thinking about it, because yee haa! I will cover all that I've been wearing in another post, but for not I want to talk about a dress extra-ordinaire: Pauline Alice's Malvarosa

This dress is one of those patterns that I see that I instantly knew I was going to make. The only question was when, not if. This was helped by seeing This Blog is not for You's wonderful version, and of course Kirsty of Top Notch's gorgeous sleeveless version.


I made the size 38 according to my measurements, but ended up taking 2cm out of each side after it was made up, because it was just vast! I know it's meant to be loose fitting, but that was taking the biscuit, and I'm left with a casually comfy dress that's just perfect (in my opinion)!


I made the option with sleeves, obviously, as I am a cold person and I wanted this dress, in all it's cordy wondrousness, to transcend all seasons. For yes, it's cord! I love cord, always have and always will, and I knew as soon as I saw the dress that it should be made in  cord. This one is from Ditto Fabrics, and cost £7.99 a metre, and I bought 2. That gives me a wee bit left over, but not enough to do anything proper with. Woe is me, because it is gorgeous fabric to wear and the colours are really lucious!

I lengthened the bodice by 5cm, and shortened the skirt. This is because I'm tall, but for my next version I wouldn't lengthen it quite so much as I think the proportions are no longer quite right. I also lined the pockets in silky polyester in bright pink on one side, which is just luscious when you put your hands in the pockets (which I do quite a lot...love pockets), but I think the light fabric compared to the cord is what is makes the pockets gape a little. Ocht weel, you can't win them all!

Things to remember for the next one:

  • Lower the bust darts... At the moment they sit about 7cm above my actual bust, coming out just below the armpits. Maybe I'm just weird,  and have a very drooopy bust, or there's something not right in the pattern there! I have not read anything on the internet about the darts not being placed right so I suspect it is me! Haha! 


  • I did find the angular sleeve very difficult to ease in, and in fact have ended up with puckers. I'm just pretending that they're part of the feature but it would be interesting to see if a lighter fabric would make that part of the make easier. 


  • I also had difficulty with the facings popping out. I understitched, stitched in the ditch along the shoulders, and still, they would not stay in! In the end I just stitched the facing to the main dress at 1cm along the front neckline, and about 5cm along the back neckline, the thread has actually disappeared into the cord so you can't see the stitching, but I'm not sure why that kept on happening! 


  • Another thing I will make sure to change when I make this again (for there will be many Malvarosa's coming to this house) is I would make the shoulders a bit wider. They do ride up off of my shoulder, and that's just because the pattern has been designed for someone with narrower shoulders than my own!


Overall, I love this dress. Really love it. It's so comfy that it feels like wearing pyjamas, and I love the colour too. It suits a cardigan and a top underneath, and yes...a success despite the difficulties! I really enjoyed the whole process, even though the recap seems to be very negative, but it really was not a negative experience! I will definitely be trying other Pauline Alice patterns after this :)


Have any of your made a Pauline Alice pattern? What did you think? Hope you all have a great day!