Tag Archives: black

Stretch by Tilly and the Buttons - a book review by HsHandcrafts. My first make - the BiBi Pinafore

Stretch by Tilly and the Buttons

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The new book, Stretch by Tilly and the Buttons* has taken the sewing world by storm. It’s no wonder really given the amazing patterns and wonderful tutorials that fill its pages.

I make it no secret that I love Tilly and her books. In fact her first book, Love at first Stitch* was how I learned to sew, I read it painstakingly cover to cover and made each of the patterns in turn picking up new techniques along the way.

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Stretch by Tilly and the Buttons

This new book is no different, each page is full of lots of helpful hints and tips and I’m sure if you had never sewn stretch fabrics before it would give you all the help you could need. I have, of course, sewn with plenty of stretchy fabrics and they are quickly becoming my favourite type of garments to make and so I was super keen to get my hands on all of the lovely patterns in this book.

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I decided it would be best to start at the very begining and so chose to make the very first item in the book: The BiBi skirt. This is a simple pencil skirt to be made from a sturdy knit such as Ponte de Roma or scuba. I opted to use up the scuba* I had left from making my Peak T-shirt dress.

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One of the things I love the most about this book (and Love at First Stitch) is the optional extras you can do with each of the patterns. In this case I followed the instructions to add an optional side split to the skirt and even managed my first ever mitred corner! It was such a quick make and I was really pleased with the results that I couldn’t help but dive straight into the next project.

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If you are an Instagram fiend like me you cant help but have noticed that the second optional extra to the BiBi skirt, turning it into a pinafore, has proven extremely popular and there are loads of wonderful versions popping up everywhere so I decided I just had to make one.

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I used a black blister jersey from Fabworks and decided to shorten the skirt length to be mid-thigh rather than knee length by taking 10 cm off the length. I added the pinafore front and the straps but ended up cutting about 14 cm off the length of the straps before fixing them in place!

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As with all my makes I couldnt resist but add some pockets! For the Pinafore dress I decided to add a couple of patch pockets to the front and I think this works really well with this pattern.

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I really love this pinafore and it works really well with my Sew Over It Alice tops as you can see here but I absolutely adore the combination of it and the Freya pattern from the book so that was definitely lined up to be my next make from the book, but more on that another time.

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The details:

Pattern: Bibi Skirt from Stretch by Tilly and the Buttons*

Fabric: Large flower print scuba from Minerva Crafts* and black blister jersey from Fabworks

Notions: Gutermann thread

Alterations: Shortend skirt and strap length for Pinafore dress

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If you are looking to learn to sew with knit fabrics then it seems there are plenty of resources available right now so you’re sure to fins one that works for you, whether it be an online course such as that run by Sew Over It that I reviewed in a previous blog post or one of the new books on the scene by Wendy Ward* or Tilly Walnes*.

In other news, today is the first day of MeMadeMay! The brainchild of Zoe at “So, Zo, What do you know?”. This challenge encourages those of us who make our clothes to develop a better relationship with our handmade wardrobe. This year I will be taking part again and I’ve set myself a bit of a challenge but I think it is achievable. So here is my pledge:

‘I, Helen of HsHandcrafts, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’18. I endeavour to wear only me-made clothing (with the exception of underwear, socks, tights and footwear) throughout May 2018′

If you want to keep up with my progress I will be sharing my daily outfits on Instagram stories and hopefully I will be able to share some take-away thoughts with you here on the blog at the end of the month! I find it is always a massive learning experience to find the gaps in my memade wardrobe and learn which of my handmades I look forward to wearing and which get pushed to the back of the wardrobe!

If you liked this overview of my project why not keep up to date with my current makes over on Instagram

Stretch by Tilly and the Buttons BiBi Pinafore

Stretch by Tilly and the Buttons BiBi SkirtStretch by Tilly and the Buttons BiBi Skirt
Stretch by Tilly and the Buttons BiBi Pinafore

(Link has a * next to it? That’s an affiliate or referral link. Full disclosure: I get a small commission if you buy via this link but I will only send you to products I truly think are worth it!).

A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabrics – A New Book by Wendy Ward

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Some of you might have been lucky enough to get your hands on Wendy Ward’s new book “A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabrics*” It was first published at the start of 2018 but immediately sold out! But now it is back and you can get your hands on it once again!

A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabrics – A New Book by Wendy Ward

I was lucky enough to be sent a copy to review by the publishers and my choice of fabric from Minerva Crafts to create one item from the book. The blog tour which is currently taking place was of course scheduled for when the book was first released but was put off until now to accommodate the wait for the second print run to be complete.

This of course means that I have been sitting on this make for a long time and can’t wait to show you! I chose to make the Peak t shirt in a dress length. The fabric I chose was a large floral print scuba*. You can read my full review of the book and see some more pictures of my make over on the Minerva Crafts blog.

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The details:

Pattern: Peak T-shirt dress from A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabrics* by Wendy Ward

Fabric: large floral print scuba* from Minerva Crafts

Notions: Gutermann thread

Alterations: None

I have worn this dress so much since I made it in December and it is a great everyday pattern taht will be super versatile when made in the different length options and in different weight fabrics!

Read all about it here

As many of you will have noticed this is not the only new book in Sewing town focussing on knit fabrics…stay tuned for my next post on the Tilly and the Buttons Stretch Sewing book*…coming soon!

If you liked this overview of my project why not keep up to date with my current makes over on Instagram

(Link has a * next to it? That’s an affiliate or referral link. Full disclosure: I get a small commission if you buy via this link but I will only send you to products I truly think are worth it!).

Beginners-Guide-to-Sewing-With-Knits

Beginners-Guide-to-Sewing-With-Knits

Sew Over It Penny Dress made by HsHandcrafts

Sew Over It Penny Dress

When the Sew Over It Penny dress was released last year as part of the Sew Over It pdf club I snapped it up straight away. However, the Penny dress didn’t really fit into my sewing plans at the time and so I decided to satisfy my urge to buy the pattern anyway and hacked it into a tie front blouse.

As well as sewing, knitting, and all the other crafty hobbies you can think of I also love music and play the piano, clarinet and tenor saxophone. I play in a couple of big bands and often when we play a concert the dress code is all black. Now whilst I have a few outfits that fit this description I really wanted to add a handmade dress to my wardrobe that I could wear for our latest concert. The Penny dress immediately sprung to mind. I had already printed and assembled the pattern for my blouse hack and the skirt length would be perfect so as to not flash the audience whilst sitting down!

I dug out a black poly viscose I bought on Goldhawk road almost a year ago(!) and got to work.

Sew Over It Penny Dress

The Sew Over It Penny dress is a button up shirt dress with a semi circle skirt making it the perfect mix of smart and casual. It is also a really satisfying make as there is all the fun of the button up shirt and collar to keep you intrigued and then that lovely full-bodied skirt allow you to play with so much fabric!

Making the dress

The construction was quite straight forward as I had already figured out the tricky bits like the button placket last time around. My only problem came when cutting out the skirt – despite having a massive sewing table I didn’t have space to lay the pattern piece flat so had to resort to the floor whilst being extremely careful not to cut the carpet!

To make the dress feel a bit more me I decided not to use black buttons but instead used these cute little wooden square shaped buttons that I picked up at the GBSB live show last year. Unfortunately I dont remebr the name of the seller but they had loads of great buttons.

 

The details:

Pattern: Sew Over It Penny Dress

Fabric: Black poly viscose from Goldhawk Road

Notions: Gutermann thread, square wooden buttons

Alterations: None!

The dress was finished just in time for the concert and I felt great being able to combine my two hobbies in this way!

If you liked this overview of my project why not keep up to date with my current makes over on instagram

Sew Over It Penny Dress - made by HsHandcrafts

Agate dress from Named clothing made by HsHandcrafts

Agate dress from named clothing – a sewing pattern review

The Agate dress* from named clothing is the newest addition to my me made wardrobe and its a beauty!

Agate dress by named patterns made by HsHandcrafts

Agate dress from named clothing – a sewing pattern review

Thanks to Minerva crafts I had the opportunity to sew up the beautiful Agate dress pattern* from Named clothing, in some of their gorgeous crepes.

You can read all about what I thought and see all of the pics over on their blog where you will find my full review!

 

The details:

Pattern: Agate Dress* – part of the Earth Science collection from Named Clothing

Fabric:  Peach Linen Polyester Crepe Fabric in black* and Polyester & Viscose Blend Crepe Fabric in grey

Notions: Two invisible zips, lightweight interfacing, Gutermann thread

Alterations: Shortened skirt by 4 inches

I do really love this dress although it is a bit smart for everyday wear. Don’t forget to read my full review and get all the pics over on the  Minerva crafts blog

If you liked this overview of my project why not keep up to date with my current makes over on Instagtram

(Link has a * next to it? That’s an affiliate or referral link. Full disclosure: I get a small commission if you buy via this link but I will only send you to products I truly think are worth it!).

HsHandcrafts Agate Dress

HsHandcrafts Agate Dress

Veronica hat by hshandcrafts geometric colourwork motif

A new hat pattern – test knitters required

Over the last few weeks I have been hard at work developing a new hat knitting pattern.

Meet Veronica – a fun yet simple knit in a cosy aran or worsted weight yarn with a modern geometric motif created in colour work. The hat is worked in two colours; a solid background colour with a bright contrast for the geometric pattern.

Veronica hat from hshandcrafts

Knit in 100% wool it is a snug and warm beanie to keep the wind out on the coldest of winter days!

It is quite easy knitting and only requires knowledge of:
long tail cast on
ribbing
colourwork
decreases

The hat is one size only and will fit an adult

It is knit in aran weight yarn in two different colours (less than 50g of each) on 4mm circular needles.

 

Test knitters required

The pattern is available now on Ravelry but this pattern is currently being tested – please be aware there may be some small errors. Any purchases before testing is complete will be updated with the finished pattern once available.

Speaking of testing, if you would like to help me out and get the pattern for free in exchange you can sign up to test knit this pattern here. I would love it if you could knit a version for me!

I really hope you all love this new pattern as much as I do and I cant wait to see your versions!

Don’t forget you can tag any of your makes with #hshandcrafts and I would love to see your Veronica hats too – just use the tag #hhveronica

 

Pattern matching of the front of the trousers

Capri Trousers

I had been really looking forward to making something from the Fashion with Fabric book that came out during the most recent series of the GBSB. It was written by Claire-Louise Hardie of The Thrifty Stitcher and it was there that she did a 30-day challenge to wear something made from the book each day. These trousers were shown on the the first day and I knew that I would have to make some!

Capri Trousers

I feel that this make was an uphill battle right from the very beginning. My favourite pair of trousers had just given up on me and I really need a replacement. The trousers were a polka dot denim and I loved them! I did not want to replicate them exactly but instead wanted to create something of the same spirit and thought this would be just the pattern. I found some polka dot black cotton on ebay that looked up to the job, and as a bonus it was on sale (buy 2 FQs and get 1 free). When the fabric arrived I dutifully put it in the wash and hung it out to dry. However, when I came to iron it before sewing I noticed a number of thin patches in the fabric. Luckily I had bought plenty so I tried to avoid these as best I could when cutting out the pattern pieces.

Thin patches on fabric

Thin patches on fabric

When cutting out the pattern pieces I wanted to make certain the spots were nicely aligned on both legs so I folded the fabric and stuck pins through the dots periodically to check they lined up on each side. I got this idea from a tutorial on sewing with stripes but the principle was just the same for spots. I think it really helped as I am really pleased with how symmetrical the spots are on each leg.

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Using pins to match spots on each layer of fabric

Pattern matching of the front of the trousers

Pattern matching of the front of the trousers

The trousers came together really quickly and the instructions in the book were pretty easy to follow. My only issue was in some of the pictures (cartoons, rather than photos) it was sometimes tricky to tell if I was supposed to be looking at the right or wrong side.

Capri Trousers on hshandcrafts

The details:

Pattern: Capri trousers from Fashion with Fabrics (GBSB Book)

Fabric: Cotton – Black with white polka dots

Notions: YKK invisible zip in black, Guterman thread in black, lightweight interfacing.

Alterations: Size 12 waste graded to size 10 hips

I really like the trousers…and then I put them on. I had tried them a few times during the making process and I wasnt quite convinced by the fit but I though if I just carried on it would all even out in the end. It didn’t. The fit is so bad I’m not sure I can wear them. they are so tight around my bum and thighs I’m afraid the seams might burst as i walk, yet the waste just gapes open at the back.

I plan to investigate into some common trouser fit issues and report back once I have figured out what might be wrong!

H.