Monday, 18 June 2018

Hadley Top



During the post-Christmas John Lewis fabric sale my Mum spotted this gorgous nani-iro double gauze fabric with metallic spots on it (it's no longer in stock at John Lewis so I've linked it to Guthrie & Ghani). Full price, it's quite an expesive fabric but in the sale it was massively reduced and so my Mum asked me to make her a top out of it. As I've said before, I love sewing things for my Mum so was perfectly happy to make something for her, especially out of such a stunning fabric.


My Mum chose the Hadley Top pattern to have made for her, not a pattern that I've used before but one that I've coveted for a while. It was such a lovely sew! The instructions are fabulous and Grainline Studio have incredibly well-drafted patterns which hang beautifully. The Hadley is no  exeption. The varitations can be mixed and matched to create a varitey of differnt views. My Mum always decides the details when I sew something for her (all I do is sew it!) and chose to have an inverted pleat at the back, a round neckline and for the top to be sleevless. 



This fabric is a double gauze, and while it has a lovely drape to it I would also like to try sewing the pleat with an even drapier fabric at some point as I'm sure it would hang beautifully. The top has a key hole opening at the back fasted with a hook and eye which means that it can be taken on and off without trouble and without disrupting the pleat. I am defintitely going to be sewing myself a Hadley at some point and would also like to try the view with a seam down the centre back rather than a pleat, although I do like this version too, so there may be several more Hadleys to come!



I think that the reason I loved sewing this top so much is that everything is finished so cleanly. I sewed every seam on my overlocker to finish it (more on that soon!) and I really feel that the inside looks as nice as the outside. The armholes are finished with facings, there are neck facings and hem facings too so everything is beautiful inside. The hem facing also meant that I could finish  the top with a wide hem, a detail that I love.
The style lines of Grainline Studio should be commended, I think my favourite detail of this top is the centre front seam. This seems like a strange favourtie detail to choose, but I love the topstitching so much! I think that this top could look great with contrast topstitching too, yet another thing to add to the list of Hadleys...

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

The Superpower of Sewing


I wasn't joking last week when I said that I'd been sewing lots of basic tops! This is another top that I love and has quickly become a staple, depite being such a simple idea and design. I have been wanting a simple grey top for a while and was originally going to buy one. However, the shop in question didn't have my size in stock, and as I found myself wandering through the John Lewis fabric department I realised: why don't I just make it?
Don't get me wrong, I rarely decide to buy an item of clothing that I could make, but for some reason I had decided that it would be best to buy this grey top so that the length, fit and style was right. But I realised that the length, fit and style is never perfect unless you make it so that those categories can be ticked off exactly how you want them to be. This top pretty much sums up one of the many reasons that I love sewing: you can make it exactly right when you make it yourself.


Quite often, I find that it is much cheaper to buy an item of clothing rather than make it. But with this top it was actually the other way around. As I mentioned, I wasn't planning on making this top until I found the perfect fabric in John Lewis. I only needed to buy 0.75m so I ended up with a lovely shade of grey, good quality fabric and a top which I could design to match exactly what I wanted in the first place. Can you tell by now that I'm delighted that I made it?!


Moving onto my favourite part of this top: the Eiffel Tower patch! I bought this patch ages ago, when I visited Frou-Frou. For such a long time I've been unsure on what to use it on, but I'm really glad that I waited as I think that this is the perfect project for it. It's quite a subtle badge but has a nod to giving this top a more personalised touch. It also carries the happy memory of my trip to Paris with it. 
The other main feature of this top is the hem. I decided to experiment a bit on the hem by sewing a lettuce hem. It's not something that I've ever done before and I wasn't entriely sure about how it would look, but I really enjoyed learning a new skill and I actually really like the look of it too! Again, it's quite a subtle feature but adds a nice extra interest to the top.



This top was sewn with the same self-drafted pattern as my black top, yet they look really quite different! I've already worn this one a lot too, and especially love it with my wide-legged trousers.
By no means is this top perfect. Sewing something yourself will never be as precise as something sewn in a facotry. But I was able to make something that I love, that is exactly to my taste and style because I designed it. Something that has a personalised touch, that carries memories, that I know will last a long time because it is made out of a good qualtiy fabric. And for those reasons, sewing is a superpower.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Black and White


I've been sewing quite a few basic t-shirts at the moment and this is the first of several that I have to write about. Sewing basics can seem like quite a dull task, however I really enjoy sewing things such as t-shirts that I know will get a lot of wear. They're so quick to sew too!  I've also experimented with adding extra details onto what would otherwise be standard garments, and I love that a simple addition can really make a garment unique.
This is another make from the fabric that I bought when I visited Higgs and Higgs, and like all of their jerseys this black one was wonderful to sew with. It's actually a ribbing, something that doesn't show up in the photos but is apparent when you see the top in person. I love the extra texture the ribbing gives, and it makes the top super stretchy and therefore really comfortable (always a bonus!). The ribbing also allowed the neckband to go in really smoothly and easily.


The fairly obvious part of this top that makes it into something, is the contrast white 'pleated trim picot edging' that I bought as a slightly spur of the moment addition. I was initially worried it would look too crazy but to be honest I could probably have been able to get away with adding more (not that I want to add more). I absolutely LOVE it! I think it's such a great addition, and as I said turns the top into something more than just a basic black t-shirt. My Mum is entrirely to thank for this, she was the one who noticed it in the shop and pursuaded me to buy it so thank you, Mum! 
To attatch the trim I simply topstitched it onto the sleeve at the bottom. I left the hem of the sleeve raw as the fabric doesn't fray and decided to sew it on top of the sleeve as an applique rather than underneath the black. Again, I'm glad I did this as it creates a nice texture and I don't think that it needed to be hidden underneath the black.


The pattern is self drafted and has immediately become a go-to pattern for me for a basic top. The only thing to remember is that this fabric is very stretchy and so needed to be sewn with a larger seam allowance on my overlocker than another t-shirt made out of a less stretchy jersey. I wasn't sure how long I wanted the top but I knew that I wanted it cropped to wear with high-waisted trouseres and skirts, and when I tried it on I found that it was the perfect length so I'm pleased about that too.
Overall, I don't think that such a basic garment has ever made me so happy! This is definitely one of those makes that makes me smile when I put it on, and it's all thanks to taking a risk with a slightly strange white trim.