Meet Cressida – the pattern I never thought I would make!

Our latest pattern is a jumpsuit!

Those are words I never thought I would utter. After all I am a lady entering her middling years, more into comfort and style rather than ‘high fashion’.

There have been plenty of pictures floating around on social media this Spring/Summer of people wearing jumpsuits and looking amazing – but it really wasn’t for me!

Or so I thought!

After playing around in the studio with different shapes and trying to adapt existing patterns I was encouraged to “let go of your prejudice Jules, and just stick some trousers on it.” At first I wasn’t sure about the neckline, and it needed some kind of a sleeve, but in the end I got there and I have to say I am totally in love with this pattern. I spotted a lady at a show wearing something similar and she looked amazing so she became my inspiration. Shows are a fabulous opportunity for ‘style spotting’ and I love watching how people put together their own individual looks. (But that is a whole other blog.)

My initial concern about having to take everything off just to go to the loo were unfounded. I tested out the toile for a day wearing it around the studio to see for myself. It really isn’t that much hassle – I promise!

I chose one of our new Linen/Tencel mix fabrics as it had just the right amount of drape to it but was also substantial enough for trousers, that part gets a fair bit of wear and tear, and I just love the way it feels next to your skin. It’s so soft!

Navy can be a tricky colour to photograph so I used some top stitching to emphasise the style lines of the collar and pockets. I used white for this one for a slightly nautical air, but the next one will probably be in a soft denim with some yellow top stitching.

Pockets have to feature in more or less everything I make and Cressida is no exception. Cut-away pockets on the side seams and patch pockets on the back, mean you can go the whole pocket hog or just choose what’s right for you and the style and fabric you’re making your Cressida up in.

Someone has already called this pattern ‘Secret pyjamas’ and I think they could be right. This pattern is so comfortable to wear you might as well be wearing your PJs. It’s also very simple to alter too, if you need to shorten or add length to the body or trousers sections and I will be doing some tutorials to show you how easy that is.

I would strongly urge you to have a go and make your own Cressida Jumpsuit, especially if you’ve thought jumpsuits weren’t for you. You might surprise yourself.

Order your Cressida Jumpsuit today.

How to Sew a Cargo Pocket

Cargo pockets are utilitarian, solid-looking pockets. There are a whole range of variations that can be achieved but this one uses a pleated pocket with a flap. It is generally a good idea to make the flap about 6mm wider than the pocket, so that the flap will sit neatly over the pocket and the pocket will not be visible along the sides of the flap.

I drafted my own pattern, this one measures 31cm (width) & 24cm (length) with cut out square corners (2.5cm square). Draw a line down the centre (CF) and mark a line either side of this 5cm from the CF as the fold line. The size of the actual pocket will be 13.5cm (width) x 16.5cm (length).

The pocket flap is 16cm (width) x 9.3cm (at the centre front, longest point). The sides are 3cm smaller than the centre front. You will need to cut 2 pocket flaps, one is the lining, this is a chance to use a contrast fabric for the pocket flap lining.

Create a box pleat down the centre of the pocket piece . Finish the pleat by sewing a small distance along the pleat fold line at the top and bottom of the pleat. Press the pleat flat.

Fold under 1cm across the top edge of the pocket, then fold the top edge under again along the fold line, this creates the pocket facing. Topstitch along the bottom of the facing to secure it in place.

Press under the seam allowance of 1cm along the three remaining sides of the pocket. This will act as a guide later. Fold the pocket with the right sides together to pinch together the bottom corners. Sew across the corners. Trim off the excess fabric from the corners and turn the right way round.

Fold the seam allowance under the sides and base of the pocket and press in place to create a crease that runs around the front of the pocket. Edge stitch along each of these creases, stopping at the corners and starting again once the corner has been turned.

Mark out the pocket placement lines on your garment/ project and place the top of the pocket at the top placement line, line up the base of the pocket at the bottom points, and win pin in place. Make sure that the four corners of the pocket base are directly under the four corners of the front of the pocket. Edge stitch around the pocket base, pivoting at each corner before continuing.

A small rectangle or triangle can be sewn at the top corners of the pocket to reinforce the pocket opening.

Apply interfacing to wrong side of the pocket flap lining- the contrast fabric piece. The pocket flap lining should be just a fraction smaller than the pocket flap so trim it by a 1mm. This allows the lining to be eased onto the flap and ensures that the pocket flap has to roll under very slightly, keeping the lining hidden.

Pin the flap and the lining right sides together. Ease the lining so that it will fit the flap and all the raw edges are sitting flush. Sew around the the side and bottom edges of the flap, pivoting at the corners to keep them nice and sharp. Clip the excess fabric off the corners and turn the flap right side out. Poke out the corners and press flat, making sure that the lining is not visible from the right side. Topstitch around the sides and point of the flap.

Tack the open edge together through all the layers.

Place the pocket flap right side down on the right side of the garment along the placement line.

Stitch in place along the placement line and trim the seam allowance back by 6mm

Fold the pocket flap back down, press in place and topstitch the pocket flap down, enclosing the trimmed seam allowance.

Our competition winner’s VIP Day

Yesterday we had the pleasure of hosting Tracey, the winner of our VIP Day competition at the Sew Me Something studio .

Our VIP Days allow you to spend the entire day with Jules, picking her brain on whatever subjects you want to cover, whether it be fitting, pattern cutting or just general techniques. Tracey wanted to spend the day working on our Hero Trousers pattern and achieving the perfect fit.

“An absolutely amazing day with Jules learning how to make a pair of Hero Trousers that fit me. I’ve learnt so many tips and tricks, how to get a good finish and had some laughs along the way. Lovely stocked shop, beautiful location and a goody bag with two more patterns and haberdashery items. If you are thinking of doing a VIP Day – stop thinking and do it!”

We run VIP Days every month so if you’d like a taste of what Tracey has experienced find out more and book yourself a day (TIP: they are great for birthday and Christmas present lists!)