Cashmerette Turner – and a return to the machine

July 26, 2017

Since I started the blog – a loooong time ago, my sewing has lapsed and life kind of just took over. I managed to escape my old career, and have embarked on a brand new, amazing, and demanding new one. I love it! Lately, the creative spark has been reignited, and I have begun tinkering nice again with my sewing machine. In addition, while I have been away, there seems to have been somewhat of a renaissance in home sewing and a plethora of new, indie pattern designers out there designing for new shapes. I have traditionally sewed from the Big 4, with varying success. I always blamed my body, my skills, for my failures – could it be that it was the patterns that were somewhat at fault? The biggest nugget of information gleaned from my reading of blogs and sewing fora was that the Big 4 drafted for a B cup – possible a D cup in plus sizes. No wonder my bodices were too big everywhere – except in the bust! I wear a GG or H cup bra, and have 7 inches between high and full bust. Its a hell of a lot of shape, and a hell of a problem when trying to find clothes that fit – either in sewing patterns or RTW.

My skills needed, and still need, brushing up on! I have completed quite a few craftsy classes – but have actually learned as much from blogs and one or two fora. Sometimes you just learn something so small – that radically changed how your work turns out. I have also completed a few hands on, real life classes at Abakhan fabrics (they have branches throughout the North West and North Wales). This was an amazing opportunity to try things that I would never have had the courage to do – such as sewing with a twin needle and making a coat!

After tinkering, and the wonderful present of a serger (thanks, me!) I am not getting serious about investing in my creative hobby. And what a hobby! Not only does it allow for creative expression, but it solves a lot of my daily dressing problems – I want great fitting, attractive clothes in lovely fabrics that suit me and my lifestyle. I am allowing myself permission now to invest in my hobby – the time, the good fabric, the opportunity to learn. I am no longer willing to spend hours of my life messing with a bad pattern, with cheap fabric that I will not end up wearing. Always on the hunt for a bargain, I’m going to buy less, but better.

So here I am. I heard good things about Cashmerette patterns, so jumped in and bought the Turner dress. I cut the bodice according to my measurements (22G/H) and actually made a muslin using decent but old black jersey, to test the fit.



While pretty good, there was excess fabric at the armscye at front and back, and the neckline was a little wide and low.

Back to the pattern pieces, I raised the neckline a smidge and made the shoulders a little wider/neck a little narrower for more coverage. I also adjusted the sleeves for my abnormally short arms!

back turner

You can see here I have added paper to the pattern to make the shoulder seam longer at the back

front turner

At the front, i have raised the V a little (i love a low neckline, but I may want to wear these for work!)  I also made sure that the shoulder seam length matched the back.

sleeve turner

Finally, i marked the new length for my 3/4 sleeve.

On to the the real fabric! Amazing cricket/bug  print from Minerva Crafts.

I LOVE this!jl-35603-crispy-crickets-print-stretch-cotton-jersey-knit-dress-fabric-navy-mustard-per-metre

I also bought this


for more of a fun weekend dress, and this


Which is a denim look stretch jersey. Did I mention i was really happy with this pattern?

All cut out, thanks to the huge tables in my place of work (only have the floor at home – not good for my poor back!) and now stashed in my backpack ready to take hops and whip up! I didn’t quite have enough to cut two fronts and two backs on the fold (the dress is lined in the bodice) so I have a whole front and two back piece that can be joined. Once I have joined the two back lining halves together – I will see how bulky the seam looks. If it wont work – I can use some plain jersey from in my stash.

Wish me luck! I will update on the sewing process once I carve out an hour to sit at my machine.



A favourite top.

June 7, 2014

I recently watched a class on Craftsy about pattern drafting from ready to wear, and although the class went into great detail about copying pleats and darts etc, I thought I would try my hand at something simpler. I have an orange hi-lo hem top from Simply Be that is really comfy to wear, and although I don’t normally go for bright colours, I am trying to introduce more colour and have been enjoying wearing it.


It’s long enough to wear over skinny jeans or jeggings and is long enough at the back that I don’t feel self conscious about the rear view, if you see what I mean. I thought I might benefit from another, similar easy to wear top so I set about drafting a pattern to make my own copy.

I have no photos of the process sadly, (I will be sure to get some next time) but essentially I spread the back piece out on pattern paper ( the back is in two pieces, seamed down the middle) and pinned around it to transfer the shape. I did the same for the front, but as the front is one large piece, I folded it in half and just pinned round the half, making a note to cut on the fold. I kept all of the measurements etc the same, as I was very happy with the fit, but I did extend the sleeves a little longer. This was really simple as the sleeves were cut as part of the main pieces and were not made separately.

I started off with a nice lightweight grey t shirt material with neon pink triangles, but made a fatal error! I had forgotten that the back was so much longer than the front and hadn’t quite got enough fabric- I had bought a roll end and hadn’t measured it properly. That will teach me to measure up by eye! Anyway, there was nowhere near enough fabric to do both back pieces. I thought about splitting the back piece so it had a yoke at the top that matched the front, and then using a coordinating fabric for the rest but I decided just to go for it and make the whole of the back piece in different material. I had a similar weight pink t shirt fabric with small white spots, which coordinated with the pink on the front nicely, so I went ahead.

To finish the neckline I cut some bias binding from the pink fabric to run right round the neckline which I was really pleased with, I think it pulls the whole thing together.
I now have another comfy and cool top that flatters a larger figure and will hopefully see me through casual weekends and summer holidays!

Very simple, but I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. I like the slightly longer sleeves too, though I have marked the shorter length on my home made pattern just in case. I will be keeping this safely folded up as I can see me making this again in a longer length as a dress or possibly a shorter T shirt.



Hi baby bunting

May 14, 2014

Hi t’internet!

This is my first post. What I actually intend to do with this blog is document my adventures with refashioning for the curvier figure, sewing my own clothes from scratch, and whatever creative urges come my way.
I work in a high pressure job, and many people who know me are surprised to know that I love to see and create things. It’s not so strange. When I lose myself in the creative process I’m not thinking about work, or problems that need to be solved (aside from dropped stitches and wonky necklines!) and I experience what psychologists call ‘flow’, a beneficial state that can be very relaxing.
Anyhoo, I have been altogether too lackadaisical about getting my work recorded here, mainly because I have been too lazy to take photographs of what I have been doing! So, here I go.

Not a refashion or garment for my first post, but a present for a colleague who has just had his first child.
I had loads of Cath Kidson fabrics after treating myself in a wild moment of abandon a few months back. I’m not sure why, as though the designs are very popular, the pink floral thing really isn’t me. After wanting to do something more special for my colleague and friend than buy the usual newborn gifts. I came up with the idea of using the fabric to make bunting for the nursery wall.
I worked out that I needed 7 or 8 triangles in all to fit the child’s name on, and set out to make a patten out of printer paper, using large and smaller triangles, squares, and circles. I also cut out felt letters and used coordinating ric rac as a trim. The joining ribbon was made from bias binding.
I haven’t got any ‘during’ photographs unfortunately but have a few of the finished product. I must say I was quite pleased with the result. I really enjoyed making it and it feels more special to give a handmade gift- don’t you think?