Summer wear, Tops
Comments 61

Save all your kisses for me…. Simplicity 1783

simplicity-1783-2012-lnBack in October one of my besties went to Fabworks and with the help of the ladies there bought me these 3 pieces of fabric for my birthday.  I made the Woodland Cape with grey/red and lined it in the red but still had all these lips blowing kisses at me every time I went in my sewing room.

The lips fabric is a soft drapy crepe with a hint of stretch across the width.  Perfect for this pattern, and not the end of the world if it doesn’t work as I wasn’t sure at this point if it was really my cup of tea.



Before I get down to the nitty gritty and share lots of photos of the ups and down in this new relationship why not have a listen to The Brotherhood of Man?!

This song just takes me back!  How come I still know all the words when I’ve not heard it for years!  Check out the outfit on the far right – could that possibly be a jumpsuit!!??



Swiftly moving on!

As nearly everything I’ve made has needed a sway back adjustment, and i’ve always found out too late and just put up with it on the finished garment I decided to do one whilst tracing off the pattern.

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I removed a 2 inch wedge.   No technical workings out here except that it’s unusually a good inch that I can pinch out on finished garments.  Even RTW ones, which results in them being left in the store after trying on.

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Most of you will either not need to read this as you don’t need one, or have already done one and so don’t need to read it either.

But this chopping off a wedge can apply to anywhere so if you’re new to adapting the fit (like me!) then maybe if might be worth reading on, other wise feel free to skip forward to the colourful part!

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Above you can see I’ve lost 1 1/2 inch from the bottom width of the pattern piece so I added it to the other side.  But I only added 1 1/4 inch using the original side seam line as a guide.  On hindsight I maybe should have gone out the full 1 1/2 inch as it is a little snug on the hips.

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Just to mention – I initially forgot to snip into the seam allowance and make my hinge on the stitching line (see above where the little black cross is on the right side of the horizontal red line).  So i redid it and it made not difference!! See below…

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So I went back to how it was!

The only things left to do was straighten the grainline, true up the bottom of the centre back and straighten up those pleats marks.

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As this was getting a bit messy, once I’d made all the change i retraced another piece but saved this for future reference.

Luckily I managed to get this done at work so it didn’t feel like it took so long. Usually I’m chomping at the bit want to get sewing but that was out of the question with being at work.

The fabric behaved surprisingly well – it’s floaty crepe-iness clung to my cutting board and there was minimal sliding about.  I didn’t attempt any pattern matching at the lips were so random it didn’t thing it would matter.

When it came to actually making it up there was much  head scratching and cups of coffee before I’d even pinned the front pleats!

But once I transferred the markings on to the right side of the fabric it was fairly straight forward.

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I added the 2 rows of gathering stitches as instructed, but when I got to the gathering stage I decided that I didn’t like them.

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To compensate for the lack of gathers I brought the pleat together at the centre.  I added the row of basting stitches an inch below the top to help everything stay in place when I added the binding.

The sleeves also said to gather and bind, but i left without gathers and hemmed using my usual easy pease method, same as the bottom hem…..

Sew a row of stitches 3/8 inch from the fabric edge.

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Turn under and press so the stitching is just inside.

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Turn under once more and sew from the right side.  No pins needed, just take care to set it up and watch where the fabric is on the presser foot so you can sew it evenly.  You should be able to feel the edge of the fabric as it goes through so you’ll know you’ve caught it.  Just take it steady!

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I added a thread looper – making it using the cheats easy method!

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And secured it in place before finishing adding my bias tape.

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And a quick rummage in my button box and it was finished!

Still here?!

Here’s the finished garment on Gertrude – it actually fits her very well, but she’s not carrying the extra 10 pounds  or so that I am!

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The pleats seam to disappears into the fabric.

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The raglan sleeves and back hang really well.

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Close up of the cute little button!

The back opening was really easy – just double turned the seam allowance – was much neater than I imagined it would be, I’ve not done one like that before.

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Close up of the front pleats.

Now for some fun in the garden!  It was a bit chilly, and I don’t often have the assistance of my Blog Manager, but as he’s going skiing next week with the school his usual sweet nature is more obliging than usual.  So I took complete advantage and he photographed me wearing my last 3 makes.

3 makes in just over 2 weeks!!  I am actually working backwards here as I only finished this lip smacker off today but will hopefully be able to get chance to write up the other 2 in the next few days.  I really need to catch up on my reader too, and reply to quite a few comments on my last couple of posts!


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No I’m not being shy!  I just can’t wait to show you the result of the sway back adjustment!  This is really something I’ll do in everything (not stretchy) before I get to the cutting out stage,  even if it means adding a centre back seam.

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I thing maybe i need to flatten the pattern out on the bottom as it goes up in the middle.  More truing up i think.

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The top is a bit weird how the pleats fall over the bust. If I stand up straight and don’t move they’re okay!

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I don’t think the missing gathers help with the fabric gathering at the front around the pleats.  The neckline I expect is probably an inch lower as there are no gathers to lift it.

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It’s growing on me though, and once I loose a few pounds (which I will, as I’m back running after having a lazy last 4 weeks and put a few back on) I think the top won’t be as snug on the waist and hips and will drape better over the bust.

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Ooops!  Not sure what I was doing here!  Looks like the start of a wonder women twirl!!

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That’s it for now!

Maybe just to mention in case you’re thinking of making this top – i missed off the side zip that was called for.  I stitched it up in the hope I didn’t need it, but had my stitch ripper handy in case I did.  And i didn’t!

If you want to have one more listen to the Brotherhood of Man and don’t fancy scrolling back here we are!  I always remember listening to this with “tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree…..”.  That was one of my favourites too!

Same song – different video and more inspirational outfits….!

Late edit… I tried it on for hubby….. ‘Wow’, he said. ‘That looks really expensive!’  ….me ….. BIG smile, yay! 😉


    • Thanks Abi! I imagine when i wear it I’ll always be in a good mood with the happy print! We did have quite a laugh whilst H took the photos 🙂

  1. Hahaha, brilliant post!! I loved these songs too. I love the blouse and how slim you are!! Well done to you on all counts.Fabric is great fun too. X

    • Thanks Hun! You’ll be singing those songs until you go to bed tonight!! I was up past your way on Sunday/Monday. We stayed at Matfen Hall golfing. We didn’t have much time for anything else otherwise I’d have been in touch. xx

  2. Those are boiler suits they are wearing! Those songs are firmly stuck in my head now, I know all the words too, and I was never a fan!!!
    Lovely top. The drape of the fabric and the pattern are a perfect match and it hangs very nicely. An easy way to check your centre back seam is to make sure it sits as a right angle to the hem.

    • I did the right angle thing, but only for about an inch square at the bottom, which I suspect isn’t enough. Hope the song doesn’t drive you too mad! 🙂

      • Yes, when it happens to me, I put it back on the stand and measure and fill in. It’s probably only you that sees it…but once you do that’s that.
        Those songs were played soooo much. Eurovision maybe? Is that right? And a little dance, yes? Too late it’s well and truly stuck. : )

        • Haha, the actions were fab! I just wish I had a fancy dress party or starts in their eyes night in the future – would love to perfect those moves!
          And thanks for the advice too! 🙂

  3. Love it! And the swayback adjustment is very impressive – I’ve never considered one because I don’t need a big one, but the way you showed it it looks easy enough so I might just try.

    • It’s easy, even just half an inch can make something fit better. I notice the excess fabric all the time when I’m out – I bet more people need one than don’t. 🙂

  4. Lovely. I did wonder when you got the fabric what it would become. You have done it proud. Amazing adjustments. I have much to learn K xXx

    • I just keep reading all these blogs and watching craftsy. And then all of a sudden when I’m making stuff i just know what to do!! It’s weird!! 🙂

  5. Fabulous blouse for you! Love the print & everything about your adjustment. (Then check myself to see if I should be doing this…) Must watch these videos to see if they ring any bells on this side of the pond!

      • Yes, I sure do recognize it! Cute outfits both times, but I don’t think that’s a jumpsuit. The right vest (sorry, don’t think that’s the proper British term) “v” crinkles up a teeny bit in the last little 30 secs or so of the video. Sorry I didn’t note precise time. x

  6. That song has taken me right back to my childhood now, I’ll be signing it all night! Great blouse & really fun fabric

    • Thanks Natalie! The shoes were a bargain at the end of the summer so only worn them once. I should build my summer wardrobe around them! 😀

  7. I can’t possibly click on those videos – I would have that song in my head all day.
    The top looks good on you and I must admit I noticed those shoes too 😉

  8. What a fun print! Well done on a successful sway back adjustment. I fear I might have an ear worm without even listening to the songs or watching the video! They’re firmly there now. I remember them well.

    • Thankyou! I’m at my mums now and we’ve just watched it again, the second video is the best! We both agree that my dad used to look exactly like that, and my mum said he still dances like that! I’m still laughing now! Go on! Have a look! 😂😂😂

  9. Debbie Jones says

    How cute is that fabric? I’ve always stayed away from that type of design before but it looks really lovely as a top – just goes to show that you need to try things outside your comfort zone every now and again.

    I loved the Brotherhood of Man references – eek, showing my age now!

    Debbie x

    • It’s not something I would have chose myself, not in Fabworks when there’s so much else yummy choices! But I’m glad my friend did. I’ve got nearly a metre left so I think I’m going to make a strappy summer top too 😀

  10. I love this! It suits you so well with the jeans. Great job and I cant believe how quickly you sewed it up👏👏👏

    • It wasn’t so quick, I did it over 3 couple of hour sittings on my days off. Back to work now though and all over Easter. I bought the April burda magazine looking for some holiday inspiration so might get some patterns traced off this weekend. Happy Easter! 🐣

  11. Great sway back adjustment tutorial. Now I don’t have to go a look one up which I’ve been meaning to do for ages.

  12. I have a sway back it is always difficult to get a good fit, but your method looks easy, ta! Your top looks great and love the wonder woman spin!

    Brotherhood of man.. now that takes me back!

    • I’ve been looking back over my makes from last year and even the lekala patterns needed one. If I stand weirdly straight and tilt my pelvis forward I don’t need to do one! It’s easier to alter the pattern than stand like that so I’ll definitely be doing more! 😀

      • Yes, I am the same, it is funny that the hourglass shape is supposedly ideal but they don’t take into account that there are curves everywhere!

  13. Great top in a fantastic fabric, and you sway back adjustment is virtually perfect. I didn’t watch the video to avoid an ear worm. It didn’t work. I hope no-one comes into the kitchen while I make tea – the dance is sure to follow 😂

  14. Lovely top. Not even dared click on the videos or I’ll end up with Brotherhood of man singing inside my head for at least a week.

  15. corrineappleby says

    That top looks great with your skinny jeans! I didn’t click on the YouTube links but just reading your title has put that song in my head!

    • Thankyou! Hope you don’t dream about men in flares with moustaches dancing! Think you’re right not to look at this hour! 😃

  16. That is just about the happiest top I’ve ever seen! No wonder you are making such swirls around the garden. Your pattern notes are so helpful, depending on memory for such alterations could be hazardous. And those shoes are adorable – hope they’re as comfy as they are cute.

    • They’re super comfy! I just hope they’ll be ok for my hols – my feet swell up even on a short flight and then I gpcan bo ever wear nice shoes on my hols. Fingers crossed. I’ve bought 3 more new pairs just in case, lol 😉

    • Thanks! I wore it out for lunch before work on Saturday and I’m out on Wednesday for a curry with work pals so I’m going to wear it then too. I didn’t think it would be such a success and wish I’d finished the seams off properly now! That’ll teach me! 😀

  17. What a fab use of this fabric. Looks fun but also totally wearable in top-form. It actually looks really flattering on too with the more fitted waist/ hips. Really fun! Bet it will be a real talking point when you wear it out (just avoid that pub in Dewsbury.. Or you’ll have all the Rod Stewart-lookalikes following you about…) 😉

    • It’ll be fun wearing it on our girly golfing trip to Portugal in 4 weeks. I say girly… I’m the youngest by a mile!! Well, there’s one more in her 40’s 😉

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