Iris Top Pattern Hack #1 Button-up Back

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This is a wonderfully retro adaptation to both versions of the Iris Pattern, and is very easy to do.

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You will need to extend the centre back of the back pattern piece so it can overlap to do up the buttons. This is called the button extension.  And how much you need to add on depends on how big the buttons are that you want to use. A rough guide is to go for an extension of about 1.5 – 2cm. In this example I’ve used a 2cm extension as the buttons I want to use are about 2cm in diameter.

Altering your pattern

Draw in the centre back line on the back pattern piece. Add a piece of paper wider than your button extension and stick that to the centre back seam allowance.  I use proper pattern cutting paper with the dots and crosses on. It makes it so much easier to get nice straight lines and right angles. You can order yours by the metre online. 

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Personally I prefer to use Prittstick instead of tape, as it won’t melt onto your iron, but feel free to use whatever method of attachment you desire.

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When the buttons are sewn onto the back of your top and done up, you need to have the buttons sitting down the centre back line. So place your button on the centre back line of the pattern piece to see how much of an extension you are going to need.  Roughly an extra 0.5cm – 1cm past the button should be fine.

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Mark this onto your pattern piece and draw in the new centre back edge. 

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Now add your seam allowance onto this. I’ve used 1.5cm, but you can use 1cm if you prefer.

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That is the extension done but now we need to draw in the facing to neaten off the centre back opening and support the buttonholes.

The back neck facing already does the job of finishing the neckline, so all we need to do is curve that out and extend it so it continues all the way down the centre back.

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Lay the back neck facing on top of the back pattern pieces and match everything up. Trace around the back neck facing so you have the shape on the back pattern piece.

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Draw in the new back facing line parallel to the centre back, about 6cm from the original centre back line. Take it all the way down the centre back.

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Curve the new line in to meet the original back neck facing line. Make sure to blend it in so the new line is a smooth curved shape.

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When you have marked the new back facing shape onto your back pattern piece you can trace off the new back facing pattern piece.

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Cut out the new back facing and mark on the grain line parallel to the centre back line.

Because you have taken the new pattern piece directly from the bodice pattern everything should match up beautifully.

Sewing the Button-up Back adaptation.

When you make up the Button-up Back Iris, just make up the facing in exactly the same way as before and neaten the whole of the outside edge, from the centre back hem all the way around to the other side of the centre back hem.

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And when you attach the facing again just sew it together in exactly the same way as normal, pivot at the corners and continue to sew down the centre back edges. Trim the corners, snip into the curved neckline seam allowance and understitch as you would do normally.  

Marking the Buttonholes

Evenly space the buttons to mark out the buttonholes. Make sure the top buttonhole is not too close to the edge of the neckline. 

If you want to create horizontal buttonholes make sure to start the end of the buttonhole on the centre back line.  Buttons will always pull to the furthest end of the buttonhole. So rather than marking the button hole equidistant over the centre back line so the button sits in the middle, make sure you mark it on the centre back line. That way when the button pulls to the end of the buttonhole it doesn’t gape and pull open.

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Measure the end of the button hole so it sits on the centre back line.

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Sew the buttonholes in the correct places then mark and sew your buttons on the centre back line.

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And now you have a brand new version of the Iris Top.

Happy Sewing!

 

It’s a Bianca Coat Giveaway!

As it’s the season of festivity and good will we thought we would get into the spirit of things and have a little giveaway. And what better to give away than our best seller the Bianca Coat?!

We decided to make up the Bianca in this brighter than bright Magenta 100% boiled wool (would fit approx 10-16). Perfect for gloomy winter days.

To be in with a chance of winning this fully made up Bianca Coat you need to:

  • tag a friend in a social media post that you know would also love the Bianca
  • subscribe to our newsletter

So what are you waiting for? Get entering…

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Sew a Metallic Zippy Bag

For this version of our Zippy Bag we have used some gorgeous new fabric paper in a metallic finish and have increased the size and shape of the pattern to create a larger opening. Perfect for your small toiletries, make up, pens or whatever!

We have used this fabric paper straight off the roll. It resembles card before washing but the paper becomes softer the more you wash it. Hand wash or machine wash (max 40 degrees). But DO NOT IRON the metallic surface.

You will need:

New Zippy Bag template: cut 2 in outer, cut 2 in lining. NB: The cut out corners are the bottom of the bag and will create the flat bottom of the bag.

Tag template: cut 1 in outer

12 inch metal zip

Washable Paper (outer) 

Calico Fabric (inner/ lining) 

Seam allowances are 1cm unless otherwise stated. Use a longer stitch length (3mm minimum) to sew the paper. Small stitches would perforate it too much and weaken the paper strength. Be careful too when sewing forwards and backwards at the start and end of your stitching as again, too many holes weaken the paper.

Use 80 -90 machine needle.

If the paper is curling you can roll it in the opposite direction so it lies flatter. Please do not iron the metallic surface. 

Let’s Get Sewing!

Draw around the Zippy Bag template on the back of the paper. Cut out 2 x bag pieces in both the washable paper and the lining fabric. Cut out 1 x tag in the washable paper.

Tag/ handle: With the wrong sides together fold the tag in half lengthwise and fold the edges in towards the fold. You should have a narrow length of card with the raw edges enclosed. Edge stitch along the length of the open side. This forms the tag/ handle that you can insert into the side seam of the bag later.

Open the zip by half. With the right side of the paper facing you put your zip facing down along the top edge of the bag, centre the zip so there are equal amounts of overhang at either end. Do not use pins as they will make pin holes in the paper. If you have small clips or paper clips these would be useful to hold in place whilst you take it to the sewing machine.Photo 21-11-2018, 12 42 38.jpg

Using a zipper foot, sew the zip in place with a 0.5cm seam allowance using a slightly larger stitch on your sewing machine. You will need to move the zip head out of the way when you get to. Do this by ensuring your needle is down in the paper, then raise the presser foot and wiggle the zip head past the presser foot, lower the presser foot and carry on to the end.

 

Place the lining right side down on top of the bag and zip, lining up the raw edges. You should have a zip sandwich between the bag outer and the lining. Now flip the whole thing over so you can see the first line of stitching you did to secure the zip. The lining is now the bottom layer.

 

Sew another line of stitching straight on top of the first line, this time you will go through all the layers of the bag outer, zip and lining. Again, as you did before, when you get close to the zip head you will need to slide your hand between the layers to move the zipper head past the presser foot.

 

Fold back the bag outer and lining away from the zip leaving the zip exposed. You can finger press the layers back away from the zip. Do not use the iron on the metallic side if using the metallic washable paper.

 

Now repeat this process but with the other side of the zip. Just ignore the first side of the bag as you line up the zip.

 

Open the zip three quarters of the way along. This is really important later on when you are turning through. Change the zip foot to a standard machine foot.

Take hold of the 2 outer layers (the washable paper) and put them together so that the right sides are together, lining up the raw edges. Fold the tag in half widthwise and insert it between these two layers aprox. 4cm away from the zip. Use paperclips to help hold it in place. Make sure the short raw edges of the tag are lined up with the raw edges of the outer layers. I forgot to add the tag in the picture below but the arrow shows where it goes. Make sure the tag is tucked in-between the layers and the raw ends are just poking out.Photo 21-11-2018, 13 14 00

Photo 21-11-2018, 13 13 43Take hold of the linings and do the same as above except you wont need to insert the tab. Make sure the zip ends are pushed towards the lining.

 

You can pin the side seams of the lining. Stitch down the side seams making sure you use the hand wheel at the zip as the layers will be too thick at this point.

Stitch across the bottom of the outer bag. Stitch across the bottom of the lining but leave a very large gap to turn the bag through later. You will only need to stitch aprox. 4cm at either side of the bottom to leave a large enough gap.

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Now for the bottom corners of the bag. Open the corners and separate the seam allowances out flat. Squash the seam allowances together with your fingers and  match up the side seam with the bottom seam. Stitch straight across the corners.

 

Now you can pull everything through the gap in the lining, you will see why it needed to be a large gap and the zip needed to be open. It will be tricky and it will look a mess but keep going. The paper will crease but this will give it that vintage leather look. Use your fingers to poke out corners and finger press all the seams. Pull the lining out and tuck in the seam allowance and pin in place. Edge stitch the gap closed.

 

Tuck the lining back in and finger press along all the seams.

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We have these New Zippy Bag Kits in stock online now. Choose between Grey, Silver, Brown or Rose Gold. They make great gifts! Or you can buy the paper on the roll here.

Happy Sewing!

The Next Sewing Retreat and What’s Going to be Different

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Now the dust has settled from the last Sewing Retreat we’ve had a good think about what was successful and how we can improve things.

It was another fabulous weekend with some wonderful ladies making things to fit them and that they want to wear. We have already seen some of them back for more workshops too.

 

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Your feedback from the last two retreats has given us food for thought and we have decided to make some changes.

Save the Date for the Next Retreat

7th February – 10th February

Places are limited

 

Firstly we have changed venue. The next retreat in February will be at the glorious Stratford Manor Hotel. This beautiful hotel is just on the edge of Stratford on the Warwick Road, not far from the M40 turn off and a short taxi ride from Stratford upon Avon Station. It has all of the amenities we need including super comfy beds, lots of plug sockets, a pool and spa, where you can choose to book a treatment after a long day on your sewing machine. (It really does pay to do some stretches at the end of the day and a massage will definitely help!) It also has beautiful grounds to explore to get some fresh air and clear your head if you need a bit of headspace too. This is a RETREAT after all.

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We have also included an extra night at the hotel. Several of our past Retreaters did indeed arrive a day early and most others said how useful this would be; to be able to travel at leisure and be ready to start the next day.

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So for the next retreat in February you can arrive anytime you like on Thursday and check in Thursday evening. You can book dinner at the hotel separately or even go for a bit of a wander around Stratford upon Avon. If you’ve chosen to bring your own sewing machine you can unload everything and set up ready to start afresh on Friday morning.

 

Bit of planning was one of the things that cropped up after reviewing the chats we’ve had with the previous Retreaters, deciding what projects to make beforehand will really help you get more out of the weekend. So we will be letting you know what you should be able to achieve during the time we have and suggesting some patterns or projects you may like to consider. It’s better to have a couple of smaller quick and easy makes as well as something more meaty. We will be sending you out some handy checklists and ‘things to think about’ before you arrive to help you get the most out of the time we have together.

 

We have also decided to include some designated tutorial spots. Where we can demonstrate specific techniques and show you how to sew particular processes. Over the last two retreats there have been several people working on similar projects that needed support on the same things, like concealed zips or particular fitting techniques. So it makes sense to be able to cover those as a whole group, or even two smaller groups, at specific times over the weekend. That way you will be equipped to tackle more independently, but know we are there to help if you need us. You can let us know in advance if there is something you would like us to cover.

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And lastly but I think most importantly we have decide to reduce the numbers. Now there are only 12 places. This means you will have much more 1:1 time with both of us and we will all feel part of a whole group of lovely individuals who are just nuts about sewing and creating a handmade wardrobe of clothes we really want to wear.

This, I feel, is really what the weekend is all about. It’s a bit of time away from everything else spent with people who get what sewing your own clothes means to us as individuals. It is a retreat from the world , albeit temporarily, and a bit more than just a workshop.

We do appreciate there is a cost attached to this weekend so we have made it easier to pay in installments. A deposit of £220 will secure you place and then two further payments will cover the balance.

Book Your Place NOW!

So you can come and join us for a wonderful weekend where you will improve your sewing, and that’s guaranteed!

Remember there are only 12 places and we have a waiting list from the last one too. So book early to make sure you can join us.

See you soon.

Jules x

 

Sewing Quarter (11th Sept 2018) – Viola & Rosalind

Several people have asked where they can watch the episodes of the Sewing Quarter that feature Jules and the Sew Me Something Patterns, so we have decided to add them as pages to our blog so you can find them more easily.

Click on the image and it’ll take you to the Sewing Quarter YouTube channel and you can watch Jules in action.

The Viola Skirt starts 13.01 and the Rosalind Pyjama starts at 2.00.04

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You can order your own Viola Skirt and Rosalind Pyjama from our online store.

Happy Watching!

Sewing Quarter (2nd Oct 2018) – Julia & Portia

Several people have asked where they can watch the episodes of the Sewing Quarter that feature Jules and the Sew Me Something Patterns, so we have decided to add them as pages to our Blog so you can find them more easily.

Click on the image and it’ll take you to the Sewing Quarter YouTube Channel and you can watch Jules in action.

The Julia Top starts 17.56 and the Portia Trousers starts at 2.09.14

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You can order your own Julia Top and Portia Trousers from our online store.

Happy Watching!