Any day that has cocktails in it is a good day, right?
Which means today is a cracking day because not only have I joined in with the Sip and Sew blogger tour, but it’s also got it’s own signature cocktail. A lime-vodka-raspberry deliciousness.
It’s all in aid of the Eve Appeal (you may remember I took part in the appeal last year). This year the theme is Cocktail Hour and McCalls has sponsored it again – with proceeds from 20 cocktail apropro patterns (dresses, jumpsuits, and bags) going to support the charity.
I went a bit off piste with my creation, choosing to use one pattern from the collection, but adding my own twist. Honestly, it’s still a work in progress, but I wanted to share what I’d done since I’ve learned so much about pattern hacking/mashing.
Plus, I want to show you what’s possible if you just go for it.
Hope you’re ready for a read, because this post is a doozy!
I chose the V1537 for my pattern – a sweet a-line dress with French darts and a deep v-back with two straps to cover bra straps. I’d originally planned to make a Jacquard dress pretty much like the photo on the pattern, but I already have a beautiful winter party dress that I love and I wanted to make something I’d wear a lot.
I’m not sure how the idea for a jumpsuit got into my head (a magical and fabulous sewing nymph?) but once it came into my head everything just fell into place.
I knew the By Hand London Holly trousers would be perfect. They have the wide-leg swagger that I wanted. Perfect balance for the sexy deep V at the back.
Once I’d settled on the idea for a jumpsuit, I knew this Atelier Bunette viscose was the fabric I wanted to use. It has the perfect drape for a cool-ass jumpsuit and I like that the subtle pattern gives it some interest.
I also knew it would have to be lined since the fabric is a bit see-through. Luckily I had some beautiful sandwashed cupro from the-man-outside-Sainsburys in Walthamstow.
Pattern alterations (or epic pattern gymnastics)
I was really keen to get a good fit on the bodice and to try my hand at a few flat pattern alterations. It’s interesting, because I was so focused on the front I kind of completely forgot about the back (I guess my brain can only handle so much at once!)
OK, announcement people – I did my first full bust adjustment (FBA)! What?! I know, how can I be blessed with ample gals and never have done an FBA? It’s insane – especially given how easy it is.
I followed this really helpful tutorial from Guthrie and Ghani – taking my high chest/upper bust measure and using the finished measurements (printed on the pattern) to work out my size (a UK 10). Then I followed Lauren’s super easy-to-follow tutorial.
And bam. Instant fit.
Just like magic.
(which makes me really wish I’d got into the FBA game much sooner – I mean, look at that fit!)
I read that a few other people were having issues with a gaping neckline so I followed this tutorial to remove some extra fabric around the upper chest.
If you’re curious about where these fiddly adjustments are worth it, I would definitely recommend giving it a go. I’d probably reserve it for bodices where fit is key, and forget about it for loose tops and knits.
The bad news is I was so excited about getting a great fit on the front I totally forgot to put in the darts in the back pieces. D’oh. Especially problematic since I only realised after putting in the invisible zip.
Oh well. I might be tempted to fret about it, but I’m super happy with the fit on the front. If it were perfect I’d not have anything to work on for next time, right?
Oh man. Who ever thought mashing up two patterns to make a jumpsuit could be so hard?
Well, maybe you could have guessed, eh? 😉
I followed the relevant instructions to make the bodice and then the trousers. That was the easy bit. But getting the A-line bodice to fit the slinky, fitted trousers sure was a challenge. There was a lot of trial and error (mostly error).
In the end I tried on the trousers and bodice together, marking where the two met. I trimmed the bodice (leaving seam allowance) and eased the bodice into the trousers as much as I could. Then I sewed the bodice to the trousers and then graded the side seam to meet the arm scythe.
I’m pleased the fit in the bodice still held, cause I’m pretty sure that’s not the best way to manage it.
I lined the top and trousers of the jumpsuit as this viscose is a bit see-through. I used the same pattern pieces I used for the jumpsuit to cut the lining. But I only cut shorts for the jumpsuit (not full length trousers). I wanted to keep the swishy drape of the fabric.
I’ve been spending a long time trying to get the back pieces to fit. Unfortunately, the back pieces are just not working correctly – the lining keeps turning out and the lining and main fabric just don’t seem to want to behave.
I think it’s definitely going to have to be unpicked and fixed, but I wanted to share the process with you and show you what can be done with the pattern. Not too shabby right? Especially once I get the back fixed.
So I’m super proud of myself for undertaking such a big mash up challenge. It was fidly, but I definitely learned a lot (number 2: FBAs are your friend).
Sadly, I still think it needs quite a bit of tweaking at the back. Probably because I took my eye off the ball there. Still, not focusing on the negatives – the front bodice fits better than anything I’ve ever worn. So super plus.
(also how many of you noticed it still needs to be hemmed? 🙂 I want to wait to get the fit in the back bodice right before I take scissors to the hem, though I am starting to like the floppy, drapey look – ha ha).
How you can join in
You can join in with bloggers and sewers to help raise funds and awareness for The Eve Appeal by sewing one of the dressmaking patterns from the Cocktail Hour collection. Proceeds from the sale of each pattern will go towards helping The Eve Appeal achieve better detection and prevention of women’s cancers. Be sure to tag all your makes with #sipandsew!
You can find out more about the work of The Eve Appeal charity here. If you’re interested in seeing what’s been sewn up by some of the super talented bloggers you can check them out here. And if you’re looking for a cracking cocktail recipe, you can check out the official Sip and Sew signature cocktail right here.