#Sewingtheseventies Qipao/Cheongsam

Completing a sewing challenge with over a week to spare…This is sky falling down territory! When saw the #sewingtheseventies challenge by Steely SeamstressSteely Seamstress I really wanted to take part, so it was the best of luck I just happened to be working on a seventies sewing pattern (1972) and my fabric choice was not only vintage…but seventies as anything!!!!! Fate you wanted me to do this post and be apart of this!!

So here’s my entry…

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I’m going to call this dress a qipao rather than a cheongsam. Both are correct, just qipao is the Mandarin way and cheongsam is the Cantonese way. My husband speaks Mandarin so I’m just used to calling it a qipao.

The Pattern

I bought this pattern, Simplicity 5010, on Etsy and I was ummming and ahhing about buying it for months. Firstly, at the grand price of £20 including postage, it would be the most money I have ever spent on a sewing pattern. Secondly, it was from America, with no postal insurance so maybe it wouldn’t even turn up.

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BUT I was in love…with that keyhole neckline. Other qipao sewing patterns just didn’t come close and I’ve wanted to sew a qipao for awhile. I even love it more than the qipao on my make nine list, which was is also gorgeous.

For a bit more information about vintage qipao patterns there is an excellent blog post here by Devine Stitches

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Fitting

I knew the fit on the bust would be perfect, I bought the 34 inch bust pattern specifically so I wouldn’t have to do a bust adjustment, I hate doing those! but I know vintage sizing is still different from todays and I’m a pear so knew the fit wouldn’t be perfect everywhere.

….and as suspected I did need a bit more space on for my bum/hips. I used a really small seam allowance for the back seam so it is baggier then it should be, as I wanted to err on the side of caution. Which was great for my hips but not no much for the waist. I think everything fits except the hips so that’s a pretty easy fitting issue to solve.

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The wind is making it very difficult for you to see the great A line skirt shape but this dress is so comfortable!!

The Fabric

I got this fabric from the sewing weekender fabric swap. Thank you lovely person who donated it!! It’s fabric I would usually say isn’t my style but as soon as I saw it I loved it! and I thought it would be perfect for a qipao when I saw it too!!

I have no idea what it is all I know is it made making those rouleau loops a complete nightmare. It feels quite stiff and synthetic and cuts and sews nicely.

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I am so happy with this dress and am just waiting for sunnier days. My only gripe is how annoying the facings are and I intend to fully line the whole thing next time.

I turned the collar down for these pictures because I was a bit intimidated by how tall the collar was!!  I was planing on making it shorter but now I’m very happy with the length, to see full up collar and more of this dress I have a youtube video up on it.

Happy sewing,

Amended Charlotte Kan Tie Dress

My name is Megan and I am that one person at a sewing meet-up that is wearing RTW clothes.

I don’t know how many of you get that eager “did you make that?” question only to disappoint them (and yourself) by answering “no, it’s from the shops”…. it happens to me frequently. So, I’m on a bit of a mission to sew more clothes I actually wear and to fix the clothes I’ve sewn and liked but have slight issues with which means they get left in the wardrobe. One such make is my Charlotte kan Tie dress, which I’ve blogged about here.

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The problem. It was too short for me to wear comfortably. I did take 8 inches off!!! I kept tugging my skirt down as I walked and felt way too exposed even while wearing leggings underneath. My solution was to experiment with a bit of colour blocking and lengthen the skirt with fabric I had in the stash that was too small to use for anything.

The results……meh, possibly the worst bit of sewing I’ve done for awhile. I hated every step of sewing the extra length and this reminded me why I’m not a mender. For myself or anybody else…and what’s worst is now I think the dress is too long :,(

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This dress has so much potential and brings back such good early sewing memories (it’s the first dress I made and loved) so it’s worth saving and is going back under the sewing machine.

Sewing is such a journey and looking back at old makes and mistakes is part of that. I honestly got into sewing thinking I was gonna save loads of money and that everything I made would be perfect. To my past self: HAHAHHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH. No. Just no.

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Happy making,

Meg xx

Kommatia Boxy Knit Tunic the Second

This top makes me incredibly happy. The fabric was of course a total impulse, love at first sight, buy…after swearing off pale pink.

I’ve made this top before (you can see here) but am still shocked by how big a difference thicker knit fabric makes.

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The Fabric

Spoonflower has been on my radar for awhile, I would say it’s the most known custom printing fabric company around. There are SO many designs that are absolutely gorgeous but reviews have been mixed and the price is steep so I stuck with browsing!!  However, it was the Kokeshi  Dollhead Blossom fabric that finally made me bite the bullet and actually make a purchase.

My biggest concern and what I’ve read around is that the print fades off quite easily. I’ve washed this a few times and it’s holding perfectly but only time will tell. For the moment I can’t complain.

Still, I’m not overly impressed with the quality, for a £15 plus a meter fabric (I chose organic cotton) the feel was not the luxury I was expecting for that price and this stretched so badly, even with my walking foot. It was the worst knit I’ve ever worked with and if you look at the hem on the sleeves you can see the stretch. A design has to really take my breath away before I but from them away

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Despite this expensive fabric choice I’m actually quite a cheap person. So in a misdirected way to save money I only bought a meter of the fabric. What can you do with a meter of fabric?? With such an obvious print!! Definitely not a loose batwing top, as I found out….after cutting out most of this top. Luckily I cut out the front first, so the hunt through the stash was on to find a fabric for the back of the top and thankfully this black fabric worked! I was a bit worried it would look like the mistake it was.

However, I think it worked perfectly and intensifies the print and the black hair of the dolls. It’s definitely a mistake turned good.

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I just love this print and plan on making black leggings, from the same fabric used for the back of the top, to make this my ultimate I’m-not-leaving-the-house outfit.

The pattern

It’s all in my first post but to sum it up, love the pattern and you can get it here.

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The fit

I am slightly astounded about what a difference a thickness is knit makes. The batwing feature of this top is so much more obvious in a medium weight knit and the sleeves look much better. The  actual top doesn’t fair so well, it doesn’t hang nicely and

In the next version of this top (yep, it’s looking to be my to go to pattern) the sleeves are gonna be in a medium weight knit and the top pattern pieces will be in a light weight knit to give it that nice drape.

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Even with such little fabric at hand, I did have plan for the dolls heads. I did want the lips in the middle of the neckband and the upside down heads first. Which still looks a bit haphazard!!

Happy sewing and sorry I missed everyone who went to SewBrum, just realised before I bought the train ticket up that I was going to be in Paris that weekend, which can’t complain about! but I really did miss a good old sewing meet up.

Meg xxx

 

 

 

My August Makes Vlog

I didn’t know if I promised too much in my last video but I’ve never been more resolved to stick to my sewing list and sewing deadline ever! Here are my results, it’s a mixed bag but each make came with a multiple of lessons learned.

I do like to ramble on about patterns so each make is getting it’s own blog post too. I have so much to share and for the first time have a backlog of items to blog about. So expect a flurry of posts!

Hope you enjoy this latest vlog, I tried to get fancy with it!

Happy sewing and have a good week!

Meg xx

 

 

Sewing Weekender Swap Haul

The week I heard my scholarship to China had fallen through because not enough people had applied, was the week the Foldlines Sewing Weekender was announced. The stars aligned. I bought my tickets at once and so did a lot of other people. That day was impulse buy day for many UK sewers! There was such a demand and the event was such a success that I have a feeling more will definitely be taking place. Which is brilliant because I know many more people wanted to come.

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There have been blog posts from Lucy from Sew Essential Rach (Rach Against the Machine), Crafty Clyde, Charlotte (English Girl at Home), Ginger Thread GirlFehr Trade, The Fabric Wangler and What Corrine Did…I think that’s every blog post..

..and if you still want more Gabby did an amazing vlog  capturing some of the atmosphere. We were 50 woman, who love sewing….and were crazily excited about being with so many other people who loved sewing. Imagine a sewing comic con. We were all very passionate about our hobby!!!!

If you notice there’s not a single moment where I’m captured sat down sewing. I’m eating, hanging out at the fabric/pattern swapping area and chatting. That is a realistic portrait of how I spent the weekend.

Photographic evidence.

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I imagine lots of people can relate when I say, I knew zero people who sewed when I started sewing. Meet ups are the stuff of my dreams and how I met lots, if not all, of my sewing friends. I mingled and talked and relished in the fact that everyone was so open, friendly and willing to talk sewing.

Now, I’m gonna get down to it and tell you about my finds from the swap. Nothing amplifies the phrase to me ‘one mans rubbish is another mans treasure’ quite like a good old sewing meet up swap!

Here are the larger pieces of fabric I got, there seems to be a theme going on. For some reason that day blue was speaking to me! and vintage flower prints. No idea what I will do with this lot but I do love looking at it.

 

Now for the smaller pieces. Again, another theme going on here! These pieces are quite tiny but because of that I have less choices and more on an idea of what I’ll make with each bit. The first fabric I’m gonna try and make a pair, of very tiny, shorts. The middle one is maybe enough for a scarf and the last piece, which is jersey, I can get a small top out of.

 

I tried to be as restrained as possible with the patterns, when I first started sewing patterns/Burda magazines were my biggest impulse buy and I am very aware that I have more patterns than I will ever need…but oh the possibilities…

These two vintages pieces caught my eye. They are so pretty and I can imagine swishing around in the left one and as for the one on the right, I can never say no to a 60’s pattern in my size. The sixties are my favourite decade.

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Ever since Rosabella mentioned the Overture Set on one her vlog I knew I needed this pattern. I was gonna buy the magazine, which it came with, but luckily someone brought it to the swap. I love it, oversized clothes are my preferred silhouette and I’m looking through the stash so I can get this made as soon as possible! The other pattern looks like a nice staple dress…yeah, not as enthused about that one but it’s got potential.

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These two last patterns are part of a project I have mulling around in my brain. I want to find my perfect shirtdress. Making wardrobe staples is my next big challenge, now my sewing is beyond a hope-this-works-out level, and I really want to find what makes me feel confident and comfortable and I think shirt dresses are the way to go.

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I wish I could thank everyone personally for their donations! I am really grateful to get such lovely stuff as I’m trying, and sometimes failing, at buying as little fabric as possible this year.

If anyone is going to Sew Brum I’ll see you there..maybe…more than a hundred people are coming, so if you spot me say hi!  🙂

Meg xx