I finally have a top (sort of!)

Well, several days ago I started cutting the pieces to make this top

I’ve worked on it a bit at a time. I spent about 7 hours on it on Thursday and finally felt like I was making progress as I ended up with this.

Today I finished facing the waistband and attached the zip. As I’m currently at my mum’s and using her sewing machine I sewed the zip on by hand due to her not having a zipper foot for her machine. I’ve finished the rest off with her machine and can wear it!

I’m a bit frustrated by how baggy the left side is by the zip (though you can’t see that particularly in these photos), so, seeing as how i need to top stitch the invisible zip when I get home tomorrow anyway, I may just unpick my hand sewing and take it all in a bit. It might be risky and could ruin it completely… But hopefully not.

In the meantime, although this was a horrid material to cut, and a not terribly easy pattern to follow, I actually have a wearable top. I’ve not been put off following patterns and actually bought some gorgeous materials today to make a pattern by simplicity which looks a lot easier to do.

Although this pattern was tricky I have learnt loads :

  • How to follow a pattern
  • How to make my own bias binding
  • How to sew on bias binding properly
  • How to gather a section
  • The importance of shortening your stitch again after gathering and before joining seams (I felt better when I saw that Lauren made the same mistake during the final of the first series of British sewing bee!!)
  • What basting means and why it’s important (tacking the material in place with stitches you’ll later remove)
  • Patterns might not be too tricky if you take them one instruction at a time
  • Mistakes can usually be remedied (I sewed the facing on the waistband in the wrong place and then thought how good it would be to have something covering up all the raw edges that were in there… Yep… That’s the job of the facing! Once it was reattached in the right place it looked tons better… And covered those raw edges
  • Sometimes more pins are better
  • I can actually make my own clothes!

I don’t think this will ever be my favourite piece of clothing, but for now I’m pleased with it. I’ll let you see it when I finally finish the zip section.

Also today I got to try out free machine stitching with Mary, a friend of my mum’s. She invited us to have a look at her work room and it was fab to meet her and to see some of her work. She showed me how to free stitch and this is what I did.

It reminds me of those drawings where you’re not allowed to take your pen off the paper, and funnily enough I often really like the effect you get when you go back over a line. It was definitely easiest to control the movement of the fabric when it was in an embroidery hoop, and I was really pleased with what I ended up with. Now I just need to work out how to set my machine up for it and I’ll be good to go with a whole new area of craft!