Lilou / Self-Drafted summertime pattern hack

Without even realising it, The Magnificent Thread has just passed it's 1st birthday! I think I approach my sewing with a lot more consideration and confidence than I did a year ago. I'm not just making garments by the book (or pattern) any more. I've ventured into alterations, tricky fabrics, (and the more expensive ones that I would've been terrified to even cut into this time last year!), and of course, pattern drafting. So I think this sew is a nice one round up a year of blogging about my developing sewing skills - a Self-Drafted /Lilou hack!

I've blogged a number of makes from Tilly Walne's Love at First Stitch, including two Lilou dresses (see here and here). I love the Lilou's pleated skirt, so I decided to combine this with my self-drafted bodice, which I've used and wrote about many times. My self drafted garments are all based around a pattern/block that I made at evening classes at Leeds College of Art (which I wrote about here). I'm trying to experiment with the pattern a little each time, so for the purpose of this dress, I altered the bodice centre-front pattern piece to create a round neckline.

I also decided against sleeves for this incarnation, which meant that I got to draft my very first all-in-one facing! I worked from my original pattern pieces, testing them with my facing pieces by pinning them to a dressmaker's form, and I'm unbelievably pleased to say that it worked! It looks a bit like this when the bodice is inside out...

The all-in-one-facing creates a neat finish to both the neckline and arm holes on sleeveless garments, and it provides a bit of structure and support around these openings as it's interfaced. The process of applying an all-in-one facing can be a little bit confusing, but Dolin O'Shea's Famous Frocks: The Little Black Dress offers a great step by step 'how-to' - I'm sure there are some brilliant tutorials online too!

After making the alterations to the bodice pattern, I had to do a few tweaks to the Lilou skirt pattern pieces. I only had to move the positioning of the pleats very slightly to make them match the princess seams on my bodice. I also added 1cm to the side seams to make sure everything matched up right. Ideally I would've made the skirt longer - probably below knee length - but my fabric wasn't nearly wide enough (or long enough). I had to do some very questionable pattern placement/squeezing in just to get the dress finished.

I'm still a little unsure about the length but all in all, it's not turned out too bad - it should get some wear on holiday! And now I've just about used up the last of my Hebden Bridge Rag Market Spoils! Luckily there's another one coming up on the 16th May...

Exciting stuff and I'd definitely recommend going if you live in the area! You can find the latest details on the Facebook page. Hope to see some of you there!

3 things to make for Me Made May

No panic sewing here! This post should actually be titled '3 things that I definitely don't need to make in time for Me Made May but want to anyway', but that isn't particularly catchy. I actually have a bit of time off work and I'm going to hopefully use it to get a few things made from my sewing list.

I promised myself that I would take part in this year's Me Made May, having not made an official pledge last year but giving it a bit of a go anyway with my then-limited hand made wardrobe.Things are looking a bit different this year...

Me Made May is obviously intended to be fun, but I particularly like the way that it makes people re-evaluate the things they've made and the way that they wear them. Just the thought of it made me grab this selection/jumble of handmade from my wardrobe, after which, I felt a) proud that I'd made so much in the past year, and b) happy to rescue the ones that had got lost in the depths of the wardrobe!

But here are the 3 things still on my list to make:

1. A self drafted bodice/Lilou skirt hack
I've made a few dresses from a self drafted pattern that I made at evening school, and achieving the perfect fitting bodice is pretty much my biggest sewing achievement.

I want to use the bodice pattern again and again, but make each garment different through simple changes to things like the neckline and sleeves, or a quite obvious one: attaching a different skirt. The original version was tulip shaped with a big forties-style flounce. The one above is my latest, made from Liberty floral with a long gathered skirt. And the proposed skirt for my next version...

The Lilou from Love at First Stitch! It will just take a bit of tweaking to get those lovely pleats to match the princess seams of the bodice (and I might add a bit of length to it too) but I think it will look fab!

2. A basic plain blouse
Readers might know that I love a good Lottie blouse (see here, here and here), but I also love a jazzy patterned fabric too...

I like to sew using exciting fabrics because it lets me make something totally different to the garments you see in the shops. Although I have been known to wear double pattern, I think it's time I made a couple of plain tops (most likely Lottie's), mainly for the sake of other people's vision. But seriously, having a plain blouse to wear with a jazzy handmade skirt will make head-to-toe me-made a much more wearable option.

3. The holiday-sun cover up

Not really my usual style, but I think the most challenging part of Me Made May could be the (hopefully sunny) holiday I'm taking at the end of the month, so some sort of cover up would be great. The pattern and instructions to make this lace jacket/cover up were in Love Sewing issue 8 (the Christmas issue with the free Skater Dress pattern). I'm putting a slight twist on it by using a sheer black fabric with a raised geometric pattern.

So to conclude... hopefully I'll be wearing all of my me-made clothes, plus a few newly made garments next month! Here's my pledge:

 'I, Shauni from The Magnificent Thread, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '15. I endeavour to wear one hand made garment each day for the duration of May 2015'


Visit So Zo..What do you know? and her Me Made May '15 post to sign up too!

Thanks for visiting!

Thanks for visiting!