Tag Archives: clothes

Day to night top by Maria Denmark

10 Aug

I made this top ages ago, but as I talked about it on my blog I thought I would post about it.


The absolute first thing I made on Fred was actually this Maria Denmark Day to Night top!  I was so prepared for this – I’d bought the pattern, fabric and notions, downloaded, printed and stuck the pattern, I’d even cut the pieces out!  I was absolutely determined to begin my birthday sewing on my new machine.  Can you imagine if I hadn’t got the machine?!  That would have been another ridiculous situation I would have found myself in…

I made this out of a grey stretchy almost rib fabric bought from Trago Mills – discount superstore chain across Devon and Cornwall.  Firstly, the elephant in the room on a downloadable pattern – sticking the pages together; refreshingly  easy.  Hardly any pages for this top and no random ‘scaling’ issues either.  Winner.  The pattern was so easy to sew up.  I also remembered to add the seam allowances this time – result!  I was a little worried about the cowl neck for a first try with this kind of machine and fabric but it really is straight forward.  I did the variation which used invisible elastic rather than fold over, and am pleased with the result:


The cowl is very flattering and sits well on the bust.  The inside edge of the cowl is unfinished, Which I was a little worried about but it is absolutely fine.


Here is a little confession: this isn’t actually the one I sewed on my birthday – I mistook the ‘grain’ of the fabric and sewed it with the stretch going top to bottom instead of left to right.  I could squeeze in to the top, but only just.  Yes, I am that stupid – it had RIBBING on it for goodness sake!  Oh well, live and learn.  I got both tops out of one metre of the fabric though – that is seriously good value!

I would really recommend this pattern.  Great price.  Quick to put together and a stylish finish.  Another great Maria Denmark pattern!

Over to you:

  • Have you sewed the Day to Night top?
  • Have you ever got the grain the wrong way round?!
  • What do you look for in a pattern?

Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!


Holy Crepe! The sewing machine broke!

8 Aug

With the summer holidays in full flow I thought I would devote my time to making a dress. I have had the Collette Crepe dress pattern in my stash for a while (marked easy – we’ll see). I know this is going back a bit, but I am following Gertie’s sew-a-long from 2010. Hey – these things don’t date!


This is my first attempt at a Collette pattern so I am excited to see how it goes. I have made a muslin and it fit straight out of the packet – hello, I could *really* like this company! So I cut in to my fabric and even followed the underlining step – yes I hand sewed the main pattern pieces. This is by far the most proud I have ever been of a dress.

I was just stitching on the ties when THIS happened!!


The needle clamp in my machine broke!

Here it is from the front so you can see what the part is:


Apparently I’ve been “over-tightening [my] needle screw”.  Sounds painful.  So not only is my beautiful Stitchy ill but possibly the best thing I’ve ever made is sat unable to be finished AND it’s the summer holidays! Woe is me! I am going to take him down to The Sewing Studio in Redruth to see Dr Darius. They were so good on the phone and are going to change it for me as soon as I can get down there, I feel so lucky to have access to such a wonderful shop but it isn’t half a pain to have to drive all that way. Oh well, there are much worse things in the world, but this is certainly frustrating!

Over to you:

  • Have you ever been unable to finish a beloved project due to mechanical failure?
  • Did you know you could over-tighten a needle screw!?
  • Does your sewing machine have their own Doctor!?

Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

I think I got away with it!?

20 Jan

Okay so I finally got up the courage to wear something I have made out with someone other than my husband or closest friends. I decided that it was a baptism of fire so I wore it out for my cousin’s birthday meal at the very cool River Cottage Canteen in Plymouth. I am so proud to say that I think I got away with it! I don’t mean I ran off without paying the bill – I mean I think nobody realised my top was handmade not ready to wear. Very very exciting. So I suppose this answers the question posed by Sewaholic a few weeks ago in her blog how to make your clothing look less homemade. I am clearly in the camp of people who want their clothing to look as good as RTW.


So what was the pattern I hear you cry!? It was New Look 6035 view c which I bought from Jaycotts for two reasons back in September:
1. It was recommended on Mushywear and I thought it looked very lovely on her blog
2. Seeing as I seem to spend a lot of money on this sewing game I thought a whole wardrobe of patterns would be a good investment

I made one of these before back in September and wore it to Creative Stitches in Westpoint Exeter. However, I have crohn’s disease which means my weight yoyos all the time and this bad boy doesn’t fit me anymore. Well, I thought, joys of home sewing – I will jolly well make myself another one! Here it is:


Now this is doubly exciting because I actually altered the pattern a bit – I lengthened it. I commented on Gillian of Crafting the rainbow’s blog that I couldn’t alter a pattern and she came back telling me to just go for it – and she was right, scarily so considering she commented after I’d made this! It was cheap fabric (£3.99 p.m. At local discount store Trago Mills) so I thought the learning would equal the cost of the fabric if I mess it up.


The truth is, I did mess it up, because it was so long it was ridiculous! So I decided to make it a gathered bottom like some of my M and S tops by elasticating the bottom. I like it, it gives it a different look I think.


This make came together so quickly and easily, I did it over two weekday evenings and I am not up to much on weekday evenings. I didn’t pay full attention to the instructions (theme here!?) and didn’t bind the armholes properly – you are meant to sew the binding in to a loop and then bind the sleeve but I just bound it as a straight piece and it look ridiculous. I back tracked, realised my mistake and it dawned on me very quickly that I couldn’t be bothered to fix it properly so I just increased the seam allowance to take out the extra room. I did take a photo of me showing the offending armholes but I am not confident enough to put my ARMPIT on the information superhighway yet!

I really like the project and will make more of these tops, so versatile. What did you make this weekend? Do you like people to realise stuff was homemade? Or do you prefer them to mistake it for RTW?