So SEW Simple

I've clearly caught the bug for wearing red since sewing up my little red Lilou. I used a lazy Sunday afternoon to make a bright red version of the Lottie blouse by Simple Sew

The pattern came free with the second issue of Love Sewing magazine, which is a pretty good read. You should a still be able to pick up copies of it, and if not, then there are plenty of other patterns available to buy from Simple Sew here

I chose to  the sleeveless version, just for the sake of making something speedy to jazz up my work wardrobe. I was also really feeling the need for that sense of 'finished garment achievement', so it was a good quick fix. The front and back pieces are both cut on the fold, and there are no fastenings to faff around with. Just 4 pattern pieces altogether, and one of these is just to make a bit of matching bias binding. There are very few pattern markings either, just bust darts and a few notches - I was really pleased by this because I hate transferring markings. 

I used a lightweight cotton-mix fabric (not sure what mix, but it's quite drapey and was easy to handle) in a bright red poppy print. I was  worried that the print was a bit Per Una/granny chic, but I bought it anyway - I guess I'll just have to go with it now. Also there is a lot of dressmakers dummy spam in this post. Sorry I'm just still so excited to own one and put it to use! Here is a lovely Instagram shot of my cut out fabric draped over it...

I've never made my own bias binding before, but it's a bit of a revelation. Look at the nifty things that I learnt to do with the neckline!

The matching binding gives such a lovely finish. I'll have to remember this technique. I might even invest in a bias binding maker - I could totally bust a load of scraps and spruce up the hems on all my clothes at the same time. It's a bit of a shame that the nice neckline finish is mostly covered by the pussy bow tie of the blouse in the end. 

That's probably the trickiest thing about the blouse. Attaching the neck tie is really simple if you follow the instructions, though I think I'd choose to do it a little differently next time. The raw edges of the neckline are hidden by the neck tie, but not concealed to the inside the garment. I pressed the raw edges upwards and tacked to the neck tie so they don't go escaping.

Next time, I'll probably leave an opening in the neck tie and sew the raw edges inside of it. It looks like Daisy Jones of Lazy Daisy Jones chose to do it this way too with her lovely version.

The pattern didn't have an indication of finished garment measurements, so when my bust measurement fell in between a size 12 and a 14, I decided to go for the bigger size. I did want it to be a bit oversized as I'll be wearing it tucked in high waisted skirts and trousers, but it is pretty roomy. I would consider making it a size smaller in future, and possibly take in the shoulders a little.

I'll definitely be making the Lottie blouse again though. It could easily be finished in an evening and looks so professional. This might finally be the one that I'll agree to make when a friend asks if I'll sew them something - and 2 of them have already expressed interest in it! Looks like I'm going to be busy!

Little Red Lilou

June was been a bit quiet on the sewing front, but that's because everything else has been so busy! I've still somehow managed to stockpile fabric and patterns though. My sewing to-do list is going to be longer than the silly amounts of denim I accidentally buy! In between all the work, newborn babies, hen dos and birthdays I did manage to squeeze in a second Lilou - the Little Red Lilou!

I was pretty pleased with how the first version turned out - it's had a fair few wears already and has even survived the washing machine, hooray! - but this time I really worked on getting the fit just right. There was a fair bit of patience involved in comparison to my usual 'cut fabric, sew, hope it works' method. After doing my VERY FIRST full bust adjustment and making a muslin of the bodice, I got to make the REAL thing...

This time I used a bright red polyester crepe with loads of drape. I couldn't recommend the drapey-crepe any more - mine was about £4 per metre from B&M Fabrics in Leeds Kirkgate Market. It was a little bit more difficult to cut and handle than the cotton I used last time, but SO worth it. Just look how well the pleats hang! I couldn't resist making the scalloped version again, though I struggled to get the scallops to turn out quite as deep in the poly-crepe. Still, I think they look alright, it's just more of a 'shallow-wiggle' neckline.

The one thing I didn't quite account for when doing the FBA was the slight increase in the waist measurement. All in all it's not too bad - everyone needs a bit of breathing/lunch room after all. Anyway, I'm getting so close to the perfect fit now, I guess I'll just have to make another - if I'm not careful it will end up becoming my uniform!

I have a few plans for a slightly different future version... I'd love to have a go at making the Lilou with a slash/boat neckline at the front. The contrast with the low back would be a simple but pretty cool look. I'm going to have to test it out, but just wondered if anyone has done a similar pattern hack before? Any tips would be much appreciated!!

Oh and here's one more thing that should help with garment fitting/pattern adjusting...

My house mate bought me THE BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT - dress maker's dummy! The rest of July is going to be dedicated to some serious sewing and fitting :) I have more Love at First Stitch patterns to make - definitely need a Mimi blouse in my wardrobe - and next up I'll be prepping to make the Simple Sew Lottie blouse pattern that came free with the latest Love Sewing magazine. A new sewing machine might even be on the cards...

Thanks for visiting!

Thanks for visiting!