Monthly Archives: October 2017

Bettine Dress failure




Not sure what happens to me when I sew but I really don’t seem to get the same results as other people i.e. wearable garments!  I have a vision and a bit of a plan and then it all goes horribly wrong. Part of it I think is the dreadful pictures I take which really doesn’t do much justice to my makes but just look at the horrors above.  The Bettine dress (Tilly and the Buttons) – the toile showed such promise but the corduroy I used was way too thick and bulky.  I shall have to dismantle it and make a skirt out of the bottom bit (unless I bin it completely).  The other thing is a Lara Top, a pattern free from simply sewing magazine. I saw the wonderful Jennifer Mills make it onSewing Quarter TV.  I already had the pattern and thought – yep, I can do that.  Hmm nope, I can’t.  Anyway its made worse by my standing with my tummy out and my shoulders back like a fool and a vest top underneath which really does look silly.  I tried to lengthen the top as the front seemed way too short and I didn’t really measure it accurately enough.  The pattern is meant to be longer at the back with a contrast facing showing through the slits at the side but my version is slightly longer at the front (just enough to make it look really not deliberate and just a big mistake) while the contrast facing doesn’t really show so the contrast cuffs look weird and unbalanced… which I think probably sums up my style and sewing generally.  Not ready to give up ……yet.

Mum is doing okay.  Put a TV in her bedroom as she likes to go to bed early quite often since the stroke but can’t always get off to sleep so thought it might be easier for her to have the ability to watch TV for a bit without having to get up and go downstairs again.  Also got a new satellite dish fitted and a freesat box so she can have a reliable picture downstairs….previously it was hit and miss. She is finding it difficult to work the freesat box but it’s early days and over time I think she will gradually get used to it.  It’s frustrating for her and she feels daft for not being able to do it.  Also got her a gtech hand-held vacuum which saves her using a dustpan and brush on the stairs….. why she does this I’m not sure but Iworry that she will overbalance so the vacuum might help with this.  Also managed to speak to a GP about the medication change  (on the phone, they don’t like to see you face to face) and hopefully she starts the new medication today as we managed to pick it up on Saturday morning.  We have also set her up with an Asda online account so that if she doesn’t feel up to shopping for the big stuff she can get it delivered and get the smaller bits and pieces she wants in a more leisurely fashion.  I hope this is all helping her … helps me to think she is able to get a bit more done and hopefully not worrying so much about how she is going to cope.  Not sure if the husband is totally happy with seeing so much of Mum and less of enjoying retirement together but that’s the way it is at the

Well I don’t know what I am going to sew next but I think I am better at trousers than anything else so I might get a pair done.  I have got some jacket patterns that I’d like to try but my confidence is a bit dented at present so I might just try something that I think Ican actually sew and  wear first!

Thanks for listening my IBFs – I’m off to dismantle the Bettine!

New top for Hubby

Thought I would use up some techno fleece I had in the stash.  Have been fed up with husband slopping around in a too small nearly falling to bits grey top and thought he might appreciate a new one.  I don’t think he is delighted but I prefer it to his RTW one.  This one is a Burda 6602 in size 46” chest which is much bigger than him but the fleece seems to mould to shape and stays tight.

old ready to wear top

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Still coping with the aftermath of mum’s stroke and trying to get other people to understand that this isn’t her being difficult – she has had a stroke – the MRI scan confirms it! She is doing well but there are a few things that she struggles with  (communication mainly and a bit of panic through loss of confidence in herself).  Our local surgery has gone through its difficulties and they have joined up in my area with 3 other surgeries and are now operating as one big group……it truly is awful.  We are now no longer able to make appointments we have to ring (usually a 20 minute wait minimum on the phone line whilst paying for the privilege) and the receptionist takes your details and tells you the doctor will phone you back within 5 working days to let you know if you can have an appointment or whether it can be sorted some other way.  Trying to get new medication which was advised by the stroke clinic (after getting the results of the 24 hour heart monitor from 3 weeks ago) is a nightmare but 3 weeks to go before the appointment which has been made by the surgery (phone call from the receptionist with my mum who has communication difficulties post stroke) for her to see a pharmacist at the surgery – can’t even speak to a doctor about it.  Mum lives alone and can’t get to the surgery (obviously I will take her now I know about the appointment). Would like to change Doctors but all the surgeries that Mum is in the catchment area for are with this rubbish group ……Grrrr.

On a lighter note have bought a makower advent calendar panel from Truro fabrics and am currently assembling it.  Not sure what I am going to do with it but for some reason I really wanted one

Have also bought my first Tilly and the Buttons pattern – the Bettine.  Have done a toile and it seems the size 5 needs very little tweaking- fashion fabric here I come!!!


And I finished my vogue peplum top  V8815

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Thats it my IBFs – speak to yo all soon.  Stay sane and keep sewing.

Pin Tucks??

Ydscf5321.jpgThought I would share my creations on messenger with a friend who now lives the other end of the country – she showed some interest in my hobby and to be honest my IBFs I thought ‘why not?’  I shared a picture of a top I was making ( I had told her I was attempting a bodice sloper but thought she would be none the wiser if I simply sent a picture of a toile  – a top I was making) and didn’t think too much of it ( it was pretty crap and it was a first draft toile anyway) and her response came back – great pin tucks.  I think she saw creases – not sure but it sort of sums up my sewing ability – ah well at least it was a positive comment – she’s a keeper.    She messaged that she had visions of me peering over my reading glasses with a tape measure around my neck surrounded by mannequins so I have tried to recreate the image with a few pins included.

See you soon my imaginary blogger friends and do check out Stitchy Bee on YouTube – she has some great news about her new business – we are not affiliated in any way I just love her vlogs and think you might too if you are reading this and don’t already follow her……… and Sian if you see this – Enjoy

Fit issues always seem to get the better of me.

DSCF5278Well I thought I cropped-dscf4823.jpgwould tackle a nice easy top, so as Vogue had a sale on their patterns I bought V8816 – a peplum top marked easy – decided to do view b which is a sleeved version and only has 5 pattern pieces, zip and neck bias binding.  I was going to use some blue lightweight linen that I had in the stash (for about 18mths).  I don’t know about you IBFs but I often buy fabric online (for cost/bargain reasons) and then when it arrives I am either too nervous to use it for the project it was earmarked (for fear of wasting it in a huge cock up of sewing disasters) or I find it’s not exactly how I expected and therefore must be put in the stash for a more suitable project.  This particular fabric was of the latter variety as it was much lighter weight than I had hoped – also quite silky in texture. I think I had been hoping to make a lovely summer dress with it.  If I had another life I would study fabric much more closely before going on a giant sewing/dressmaking course.  Anyway I digress.  So anyways – lo and behold my brilliant value calico turns up (couple of days later than I would have liked) and moves itself into pole place for the toile instead of a garment.


So I decided to use the calico instead of the linen and made it up – wouldn’t you know it  the bloody thing doesn’t fit – gappy at back neck – lumps over back area and hollow chest bit at front.  It sticks out a bit from the calico being a bit stiff (didn’t wash it as primarily I want to use the calico for jacket toiles and I read that you shouldn’t wash the calico as it keeps it stiffer for the jacket toiles….who knows if that’s right or not but I obviously trusted the source.)  So anyway I’ve put in a couple of neck darts and tried it on again but not happy so thought I would trace the pattern so I can muck about with it and inevitably never make a real garment.  I know being marked easy doesn’t mean it will fit but somehow I still think easy should mean it’ll fit out of the packet or at the very least with just the merest of adjustment.


Ah well at least I’ve got a basket of patterns to use for more useless fitting garments.  Close to giving up methinks!  Well my imaginary blogger friends – will love and leave you.  If you wanted an update on Mum – she had her MRI on Friday (via me of course) and we hope to get the results next week.  She seems a little better – she can now phone out more easily.

Thoughts to self and to you my IBFs – make a bodice sloper to fit you otherwise you are never ever going to get anything that fits your neck, shoulders and bust  – stop prevaricating and just get on with it!  There are a few very generous sewists out there who provide information to help so what’s stopping you?

A bientôt.