My New Completed Summer Belcarra Blouse

By Lauren Guthrie

Tis' this season for lots of new sewing books and patterns! Tra la la la la!

As if my 'to sew' list wasn't long enough, there seems to be a fair few new sewing books and patterns popping up these recent weeks. With Colettes new knit patterns and brand new Sew with Knits Book last week (we have stock of this now available!)

and Tillys book next week (don't forget about the PARTY for that one!) head is buzzing with lots of new projects.

You guys know I love little summery tops so I'm sure this gorgeous new Belcarra Blouse pattern from Sewaholic is going to be one of my favorites this summer!

It was released for sale today but when Tasia sent me the info about it a few weeks agoI had to ask her if she would mind sending me a pdf to print out before the actual patterns made it across the pond. I couldn't wait to make it! Luckily she did so I got a sneaky preview and made mine up right away!

It's described as "a super simple pullover top with subtle shaping and raglan sleeves that will quickly become a wardrobe favorite!" It is also ideal for showing off beautiful fabrics (hello Liberty prints!!) with minimal sewing and as there are no tucks or darts its super quick to make!

I made mine using one of the new Liberty Lawns we've had in called Freya! It's so fresh and bright! I love it! I made the size 4 as that’s what my measurements were closest too but once I tried it on I did take it in about 1cm on each side seam.

It was also a bit long for me but by that point I'd already made the top so just had to lob a bit off the bottom...I should have really tapered it in a bit more at the side seams at the bottom too as it pokes out a bit - next time!

There are a few ways to customise the pattern too. I love the look of the little tucks at the shoulders but I think they would just get lost on a patterned fabric so I left them for this version. I popped a front pocket on instead. I even spent ages matching the pattern so its blends in quite a bit but I'm pleased I did it.

I don’t often get a chance to make things twice as something new always comes along but I really want to make the version with the tucks at the shoulder sections...I'll let you know how it goes!

I couldn't resist sharing this next pic. I used some of the off cuts from the top to make a little sun bonnet for my neice, Holly, using the free pattern from the purlbee blog (find it by clicking here), Soooo cute!

PS. Don't forget it's out BIRTHDAY PARTY this Saturday! Come on by for cake, homemade lemonade, prize draw, special offers and of course lots of fun! 

Tilly’s Book Launch Party - in Moseley!

By Lauren Guthrie

As anybody who hasn’t been in hiding will know Tilly has her very first book coming out at the beginning of May. I’m so excited to see it but what's even more exciting is that Tilly is coming to town! (Moseley that is!)

Yippeee! On Thursday 15th May Tilly will be visiting the shop to celebrate the release of her book ‘Love at First Stitch, Demystifying Dressmaking’ (published by Quadrille).

The party starts at 6.30pm (until 8.30pm) for drinks, refreshments and general chatter and mingling with peeps who LOVE sewing! 

You’ll be able to browse through some of the gorgeous garments that are in the book, have a chat with Tilly about the book and how she found writing it, get your copy signed of course (copies will be available to buy on the night) and check out 'Tillys Top Fabric Picks' for some of the projects in the book so you can get started right away!

It’s free to attend the event but we want to make sure we don’t run out of drinks and supplies so give us a shout via email [email protected] or a ring 0121 449 8419 to let us know if your planning on stopping by.

Buy your copy of the book on the night and receive 10% off all fabric purchases made on the night.

We hope to see you there! Can't wait! 

New Colette Patterns and My Completed Moneta Dress

By Lauren Guthrie

Those of you who have used Colette Patterns before will know how great they are - especially for beginners or those new to dressmaking. As well as the lovely design of the garments the instructions are awesome and really break things down ensuring you don't get confused.

So I was really excited when I heard that they were bringing out two new patterns designed for knit or jersey fabrics. I'm still pretty new to sewing with this type of fabric so a few more simple pattern was just what I needed to help build up my skills.

The first one is a really gorgeous dress called Moneta described as being "easy to make, and easy to wear. This dress is versatile, layerable, and above all, comfortable. Because Moneta feels as good as it looks, you will get a lot of wear out of these dresses". It comes with several options - there are collar and sleeve variations, including no sleeves and lining too.

I've had a sneaky preview of the pattern already as they actually arrived last week and over the weekend I made a short sleeve, un-lined version.

As I mentioned before, I'm still getting up to speed with using this type of fabric and using my over locker. I used the over locker to put the whole thing together and a double needle on the sewing machine to finish off the neckline and hem the sleeves and skirt section. The skirt section has in-seam pockets and I think it might have been easier to just use the sewing machine for that bit anyway so don't let the over locker thing put you off. You totally don't need one.

You have to use some clear elastic to create the gathers for the skirt and I have to admit this took a bit of practice and was a little fiddly - but totally do-able and I was really pleased with the result. Colette has put a really useful extract from their upcoming book on the blog that takes you through the whole elastic thing bit by bit. Here is the link..

I used a new silk jersey fabric that just arrived last week to make mine. It actually has a very thin stripe woven into it and it was really lovely to work with. It doesn't curl at the edges as much as some other jerseys I've worked with which was great.

I made the smallest size and its acutally come up a bit tight I think. Or maybe I'm not used to things being so figure hugging around the bodice! The seam allowance on these patterns is smaller than the normal 1.5cm but I made extra effort to stick to it. Or maybe this fabric doesn't have quite a much stretch in it. I can still pull it on and off easy enough, just feel there is a bit too much bra outlining for me! 

The pattern recommends a light-medium weight jersey and we've recently had another delivery to add to our collection of fabrics! We've got a lightweight range; medium-weight range and more stripes too as well as more patterned ones! I especially love the navy and teal spotty one

The second new pattern is a simple and versatile skirt pattern called Mabel. It can be sewn up in three variations including length options and a faux placket and centre buttons. All variations are a pull-on style with a contoured waistband so no fiddly fastenings to worry about. The pattern recommends more heavier weight jerseys and our range of ponte-romas are perfect!

I'm really excited that there are more jersey patterns coming out from independant companies, we are so used to sewing more stable fabric like cotton but a lot of what we actually wear is jersey or knitted so why not sew with it too!? I'm a total convert! 

The size range of these patterns is also greater than previous Colette patterns. They go up to 3XL which is a 54" bust, 46" waist and 56" hip measurement! yay! We've got plenty of both in stock and you can see the whole range of Colette Patterns by clicking here!