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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

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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!).

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Happy Birthday Granny!

 

This month marks my granny’s 80th birthday! Like every normal 80-year-old should she will be celebrating her birthday by travelling to Las Vegas! This left me with the question – what sort of present do you make for an 80 year-old who goes to Vegas for her birthday? I started flicking through some of my sewing magazines and it came to me – this travel wallet for storing your passport and travel documents. It’s perfect, something small and personal that can be taken on holiday!2016-08-07 11.28.56

I have lots of small pieces of fabric lying in my stash that I have recovered from old clothes that are past repair and from scarves that are not my colours any more so I decided to put these to good use here. The outside of the wallet is quilted from some floral cotton and a fleece for wadding.

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For the inside lining I used a peach cotton scarf and the pockets are from a purple scarf. The colours all match really well so I am pleased that I didn’t throw these pieces of fabric away. The whole thing is held together at the side seams with bias binding. It is stiffened with cardboard and a piece of white elastic and a wooden button to hold it closed.

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I really enjoyed making this and it was quite quick to come together so I think I will be making some more, especially as it makes such a nice gift for someone going away.

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

OAL2016 is complete!

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Who doesn’t love the chance to both knit and sew whilst discussing it every step of the way with a group of like-minded crafters? I personally love it and the Outfit-Along has not disappointed. For those who missed my previous post about this and have no idea what I’m talking about it is a challenge to create an outfit in two months. There is a set pattern for both a sewn skirt and knitted top which you can choose to follow along with a series of guided posts from Lladybird and Untangling Knots or go your own way and make something different. This is what I chose to do as I have quite a few skirts and was looking to make a great summer dress. Also, another cardigan was top of my list for knitting so I decided upon the Agatha cardigan and got started.

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I picked up this gorgeous fabric from the knit and stitch show earlier this year and knew the subtle ivory and black print could handle a bright cardigan so chose to go with a red yarn. I used the suggested yarn for the pattern which was Cascade 220 and I actually really loved working with it. It is 100% wool so it’s really warm and will definitely make the cardigan great for the Autumn and Winter (even if it is a little bit much right now!)

 

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The dress is self-drafted. I used the bodice block from Freehand Fashion, a book by Chinelo Bally from Series 2 of the Great British Sewing Bee. This is the second time I have used this bodice block and after a few tweaks it is almost perfect in terms of fit. I also drafted a semi-circle skirt. I am really pleased with it and the fabric is perfect for this kind of skirt. It drapes really well but has some body to show off the fullness.

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Also, I put the biggest pockets known to man into the side seams! Why doesn’t every dress have pockets this huge??

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I really enjoyed taking part in the Outfit-Along and I’m already looking forward to next year. It was a great experience to think about making an entire outfit as so many of my handmade clothes are one-off pieces that I have to mix and match with shop-bought to create a wearable outfit. Perhaps I will consider this more from now on and start thinking about creating a more cohesive wardrobe.

If you want to see more of the outfit along and see all of the other wonderful outfits people have created you should definitely head on over to Ravelry where there is a wonderful forum of delights awaiting you!

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

Easter weekend

Today is a bank holiday which means a lie in, plenty of cups of tea and lots of crafting! I have a few projects on the go at the moment which I plan to progress over the weekend.

The first is a skirt which I have been sewing for some time now so my main goal is to get that completed. I also have the beginnings of my first dress so I hope to make some progress with that.

Aside from my sewing I am working on a knitted cowl and my crochet blanket. So lots of crafting over the weekend.

The weather is not looking to great at the moment so no other plans as yet. Hopefully there will be some sun tomorrow and I can go outside and enjoy all the spring flowers that are coming through!

H.