GBBS Asymmetric Skirt

Do you remember that skirt made from a tricky Japanese pattern in the last series of the Great British Sewing Bee?

This one:

Sewing-Bee-Semi-Final-2016

They all look really happy there, don’t they?

Well the pattern is in the new book, ‘From Stitch to Style’. I crazily told my dressmaking class that I will make the skirt. So I did…

gbsb asymmetric skirt

I made it in a scuba type fabric that I picked up in my most local fabric shop for an unbelievable 30p per metre (“because we don’t know what it is”). I used some of it to make a Coco dress, and now there’s this. I have a little more that I can probably use to make something for a child! It’s brilliant because it’s nice and swishy, a knit of course so doesn’t fray which is essential for this project, and it was so cheap that I wouldn’t be upset if I messed it up!

And the skirt wasn’t as difficult to make as you’d think. I survived! There are perhaps a few small things that Patrick and Esme would pick up on, but overall I’m 90% happy with it.

The cutting out was the most time-consuming part. Because you have to cut every piece (of which there are 6) individually, and really carefully because those raw edges are on show – and you must mark the notches carefully too as they have to meet up.

gbsb asymmetric skirt

I cut out the pieces then got busy so left it on the side for two and a half weeks; but if you can’t sew for yourself on Bank Holiday Monday, when can you? So I sewed it up in the afternoon.

Have you made anything out of the new book yet? I found the instructions to be good; in the past the Sewing Bee books haven’t always been too great but I had no issues with this one.

The biggest annoyance is in this photo…

gbsb asymmetric skirt

Yeah, the lines don’t match up across the seam. Quite frankly at that point I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to go back and redo it all. It’ll do. The skirt took some patience, a lot of tacking and careful sewing, so by the end I’d had enough!

To finish the “waistband” you sew grosgrain ribbon to the top of the skirt and flip it to the inside. Ahhh, I rummaged through my ribbons and the widest I had was this bright green! I had exactly the right amount, so that was to be it! As it’s on the inside, you can’t see it. I love how little this skirt cost me! Excuse the poor photo.

gbsb asymmetric skirt

And as the fabric doesn’t fray, I didn’t actually hem it. Which feels weird but I love how there’s no bulk at the bottom.

Finally – essential twirling shot!

gbsb asymmetric skirt

So are you going to make this? Have you already?!

Beth x

 

Tilly Walnes ‘Love at First Stitch’ Book Review

I own several sewing books and I have to honestly say this one is my favourite. It’s so beautifully presented; from the bright and eye-catching photography, to the fonts and backgrounds used in each section, right to the back cover.

Image credit; tillyandthebuttons.com

Image credit: tillyandthebuttons.com

It comes with full-size pattern sheets with patterns for five of the designs in the book (Tilly explains how to make your own simple pattern for the other two projects). You do need to trace the patterns as they’re printed on double-sided paper; but this is best practice regardless.

I really like Tilly’s down-to-Earth, ‘chatty’ writing style; the language she uses is easy to understand, even for beginner dressmakers. She explains all the jargon that comes with sewing throughout the book, and adds helpful hints and tips along the way.
The book begins with a little background on Tilly, then goes on to explain how to use the book (i.e. how it is laid out), and there’s just one page on sewing equipment you will need. The book then jumps straight into the first project; a simple headscarf. This is unlike many other sewing books, which tend to have a good chunk of pages at the beginning based on techniques. Instead, techniques are incorporated into each project (which makes each chapter). Tilly makes it easy for the reader to distinguish between project instructions and explanations of key techniques by displaying the techniques on a gridded background, and the project steps on a plain yellow. You can easily skip the technique sections if you’re confident with them already; just look for the plain yellow background. Some may find this slightly confusing, but once you use the book a few times you will most likely get the hang of the layout.

Another difference between this book and others is its fun, fashionable edge. In each chapter Tilly has added a ‘Make it Your Own’ section, where she gives ideas of how you can use the basic pattern and customise it to do just that – make it your own. An example of hers is adding a fabric bow belt to the skirts and dress; she shows you how to make this, too.

Image credit: tillyandthebuttons.com

Image credit: tillyandthebuttons.com

‘Make It A Lifestyle’ is the final section in each chapter; these sections give the reader some inspiration and an insight into Tilly’s own lifestyle and personality. Her background in blogging really comes into play here.

Another idea I love of Tilly’s is the way she sizes her patterns. All five patterns in the book are not sized in the traditional 8, 10, 12… format. She has devised her own sizing structure, labelling sizes with numbers 1 to 8. This encourages you to sew your true size rather than the size you think you are on the High Street – which often varies when it comes to dressmaking patterns. Tilly doesn’t go into much detail about altering patterns, but seeing as the book is targeted at the beginner dressmaker, this is understandable.

I think the one aspect of the whole book that really stands out to me is the quality – and sheer amount – of the photographs. There is a very clear, real photo image (not an illustration or diagram as is common in other sewing books) for each step. For a beginner, especially, this is so important. And if the photos weren’t enough, the clarity of the text should be sufficient. The book is written with true passion, which really comes across and pours into the reader.

I have made three out of the seven projects in the book so far (consisting of one pair of Margot pyjamas, one Delphine skirt and four Clémence skirts), and the construction of them all went swimmingly. The one bugbear I have – and I have learnt others have had too – is the chunky, untailored waistbands on the skirts; it doesn’t suit many figures and does need some alterations to be comfortable if you actually have a waist. Annoyingly, everything looks perfect on Tilly!

Overall, this book makes sewing fun. As a 20-something-year-old, I can see myself making all the projects – which is not something I say about every sewing book! It’s a beautifully written and presented book.

Beth x

I have to tell you something

I’m soooo busy at the moment and I think it’s about time I shared this with you as I kind of feel I’m leading a double life…

LOL I know what it sounds like… read on!!

The thing is… a few months ago I started selling my handmade creations, on Facebook and Etsy. I didn’t want to share it on here because I didn’t want things to change – I don’t want my lovely loyal readers to look at me differently and I don’t want to try to sell you anything!! So I do want to keep it separate, but feel like I should just tell you all, because I want to explain why I don’t post as often as I used to.

I’m a bit shy now, haha! I’m selling girl’s clothing and accessories, and my business is called Pink Bobbins. Surprise!!

pink bobbins image

So I haven’t posted less because I’ve stopped sewing (far from it). I just don’t sew for myself so much (erm, for ages!) now. And as I said, I don’t want this blog to be all “I made this and I’m selling it” – this blog is about ME!!

I’m not really sure why I decided to sell stuff – one day I just did it. And now it’s actually going really well, I’m snowed under at the moment in the run up to Christmas…. so I’m guessing there’s no going back (at least for the time being) so I’d better give in and tell you!!

I’m also still teaching dressmaking, I’m studying for a teaching qualification, and I’m also studying Foundation Journalism. Oh and I’m looking after my girls and all the usual stuff of course. So assignment deadlines are looming, my order book requires attention, and I’m trying not to neglect my children…. sewing for myself and blogging comes last! 😦

I do have several plans of clothing to make for myself, but I just don’t have the time to do it!! I am enjoying my little business but I do want to do a bit of selfish sewing soon!!

Of course I am blogging for Simple Sew patterns; I will be posting some tutorials when their new patterns and website launches soon….  I think I’m going to be in Love Sewing magazine this month so look out for me! (Only a little pic!)

I have a Seamwork Oslo all cut out and ready to sew… I need to finish my Simple Sew Tea Dress (I didn’t have enough fabric for the skirt part so it’s sitting waiting for some!)… I have some sewing-themed fabric (you’ve probably seen it around) ready to be sewn into a Clemence…. I have so much other dressmaking fabric (including those lovely Liberty pieces, and the beautiful floral cotton I won from Jane’s giveaway), I want to make things and share it with you but we just have to be patient!!

untitled^^ The fabric I won 🙂 ^^

That’s enough of me rambling now – just thought I’d get that out there. Give yourself a pat on the back if you read it all – you’re now updated on my life!

If you’re feeling nosey (curious!) now you can check my page out on Facebook, www.facebook.com/PinkBobbins 😀 You’ll see I have been very busy!!

Beth x