Front Page, GBSB, Let's Get Sewcial, Meet Ups, Tops
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#GBSBLIVE 2017 & The Japanese Asymmetrical Top


The Great British Sewing Bee Live was fabulous and just what the doctor ordered!  I’ve been AWOL for the past few weeks, I won’t go into detail but I’m doing ok and hopefully there will be some action on the blog and in the sewing room very soon, and I’ll be back firing on all cylinders.

I don’t know about you but the best thing to get my creative juices flowing is having a special occasion to attend.  As the date of #GBSBLive loomed and the days ticked away I was at loss as to what to make, and decided to have a flick through the GBSB books and patterns which accompanied the show.


I’d left it to the last minute so I needed to make something quick and easy.  The Japanese Pattern Top from the latest book looked a fairly simple despite the odd shaped pattern pieces.

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I’d seen on Hila’s Vlog about this top that the pattern pieces were huge, and she wasn’t wrong!


Lucky I had some Burda tissue paper which easily accommodated the oddly shaped and massive pattern pieces.   The fabric I chose was from my stash, it’s a dark blue lace with a slight stretch on the cross grain, so I cut it on the cross grain too.

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I omitted the cuffs and after making it decided to shorten the length by 3 inches.

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It really was a quick make – the tracing of the pattern and the cutting out took longer than the actual sewing.

The top turned out even better than I thought it would, and teamed with my dark blue jeans and my comfiest boots (and flight socks – I always wear flight socks if I’m going to be in for a long day, unless I’m wearing a frock!!) I headed off the Excel….

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I was really pleased with the cowl and the neckline.  No bra straps on show, and not to low a drape at the front.

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It’s hard to see the asymmetrical style of the top worn with these blue jeans but the rear view shows is better.

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I was really lucky to have such a fab backdrop for my photos and was so glad the sun was shining!

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I’d arranged last minute to meet up with Vasi from Delightfully Peculiar.  I’m not sure how long we’ve been ‘friends’ for in the blogasphere but I felt like I’d known her years when we met up.  She was just as lovely in real life as she comes across in her blog.


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We spent the day together, except for when i did a workshop in the afternoon, and one of the first things we did was watch the fashion show.  I loved seeing patterns that I’d coveted and were on my to do list.  One that has skipped nearer the top of the list because of the show is Vogue 1329 which I bought ages ago as part of a Craftsy Class.  The Walkaway Dress also looked much more dramatic and wearable in real life.


Also on show were the students’ work from different colleges.  How cool are these 2 garments which are embellished with cable ties!!

And look at this astounding work of A level students from Kings Ely Sixth Form:


Throughout the day we bumped into quite a few familiar faces, there was lots of hugs and hellos, and of course selfies!

Geo from Made In My Living  was a new friend I made on the day, and was wearing my favourite garment of the day…. how cool is this shirt.  There’s details of it are on her blog if you want to read about it in more detail.

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And here’s Becca being fitted for a Thimble by Jamie a previous contestant of the Sewing Bee…..

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I didn’t buy any fabric on the day (shock! horror!) but I did visit Fehr Trade’s stand and pre-order Melissa’s active wear book which is due out in January.  She was busy demonstrating sewing with stretch fabric, whilst her hubby modelled his snazzy mirrored cycling top:

In the afternoon I attended a Boning class, and so did Ann a fellow Yorkshire Spoolette from Newcastle! In just an hour we learnt 3 different ways of adding boning to garments and was able to have a catch up too!

The day came to an end all too soon and I headed to King Cross to catch my 7:30 train.  I had time to have a meal at the station before heading for my train.

The train departed on time but unfortunately we broke down just after Peterborough just before 8:30.  Luckily on the train I was surrounded by some lovely passengers and we made the most of our unexpected 6 hour delay!  Doing the YMCA with a lady in her 80’s and a 12 year old girl wasn’t something I thought i’d be doing at 1 o’clock in the morning!

We bagged the first class carriage when our new train arrived to take us on our way to Leeds and I still managed to muster up a smile as we pulled into Leeds at almost 4am!

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  1. Sam Chandler says

    Lovely to see you back Ali, I’ve missed your blogs. Hope all is well now. Looks as though you had a fabulous day, I was tempted to go but thought it a bit far to travel. I can’t believe how restrained you were, I love how you made the best of that 6 hour delay & came out smiling!

    • Thanks Sam, it’s good to be back! It didn’t seem to far away until the delay happened, and then I thought I could have flown home from Spain quicker! Next year it falls on H’s birthday weekend end so I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it yet x

  2. Hooray you’re back lovely lady 😊 How I’ve missed your smiley face and your blogs! Your trip sounded horrendous I doubt I’d have still smiled at 4am! You look fab in your top too. Funny I have these books but never think to make things from them πŸ™„ Take care xx

  3. Love your cover star photo!
    Looks like great fun – even the train breakdown! – and thanks for the tip about flight socks πŸ™‚ Last time I was at the Excel it was full of people dressed up as various comic book/sci-fi/fantasy characters as I was dropping my daughters off for the Comic-con expo. I made a speedy exit on that occasion – this looks much more up my street πŸ˜‰

    • Oh yes, I’d definitely choose dressmaking before cos play, though I’ve often fancied being wonder women πŸ™€.
      It was like a long haul flight the journey home so I was even more thankful I’d worn my flight socks. 😁

  4. Pam (sweetpeagreen says

    Looks like an amazing day! Might need to go next year. Wonder how convenient the times are to fly down to London City Airport ☺️

  5. I hope you are OK – I had been wondering where you were. As I’ve already said, so sad we weren’t at Excel on the same day! I don’t know how you coped with that delay but if anyone could still be smiling at 4.00 am it would be you! x

    • Thanks Jane, I’m ok. I’m a bit gutted with the dates next year as it’s in the middle of Harrison’s gcse’s and also his birthday weekend ☹️xx

  6. Wow, I remember seeing on instagram you were delayed, but 4am, geesh! At least you had fun πŸ™‚
    See you soon in Brum!

    • We had a laugh, I just wish I’d have had a bottle of wine with me like the ladies on the next table. But they weren’t dancing in the isle like me πŸ˜‚ looking forward to catching up with you in brum 😁

  7. corrineappleby says

    4am? You poor thing! It looks like you had a great day and I’m slightly jealous! Your photos of the day are great and you look fab in your new top paired with jeans!

  8. Sounds like you made the most of your Journey From Hell – hope you didn’t have an early shift the next day! Love the asymmetric top with jeans. Good to see that you bumped into some familiar faces. A thimble fitting? Who knew there was such a thing!

    • No, luckily I wasn’t on duty the next day! It was great to meet some familiar faces, I’ve still got my fingers crossed that one of these days we’ll be able to have a natter over a coffee, or a glass of wine! x

  9. Good to see you back! Sounds like you had a winderful day at GBSBL, even with the unexpected train delay. Love the top – I have the Drape Drape 2 book, and thought the japanese style top was similar to this. Actually there are a lot of differences. The Drape Drape 2 top has a more conventional neckline, but a more pronounced twist. I like this version, particularly the neckline. Looks great as you’ve styled it with jeans.

    • Thanks Hun, it was a great day and I’d definitely recommend anyone to make the trip. It wasn’t as big as when I went to the knitting and stitching show so there was more chance to bump into familiar faces.
      I love the top too and have worn it 3 times in a week, luckily it dries really quick with it being lacy. I’ve thought about getting the Drape Drape book but not gotten round to it yet, I’m still on the fence as I think sometimes these patterns can be a bit too fabric hungry.

  10. Hurray! You’re back & cranking on all cylinders!! Well done you for eh-ve-ry-thing. πŸ‘ πŸ‘ I keep looking at those GBSB books over here & wondering if I’d ever really make anything. But that top is FAB-U-LUS! (How it would look on me who’s probably twice your width I don’t know. he-he-he!) xx

  11. Glad to see you back & I hope your feeling better.
    Your top looks great, I had terrible trouble deciding what to wear…4 me made outfits travelled to London with me. What a shame your day had to end with such a long delay.
    I went to GBSB on Thursday& had a great day although I didn’t manage to find anyone else going that day to meet up with☹️ I did have a chance to chat to Jamie & also Melissa when I ordered her book. Bought it with the plan to give as a present but think I may keep myself to see if making the lovely things in it motivates me to get more active again!

    • Thanks Hun x
      I can’t wait for my book to arrive, I’ve got some active wear patterns but I think I need some more inspiration to bet get my butt in to gear and start my active wear campaign!

  12. Good to see you’re back!

    Love the top and I bet you were glad of the compression stockings after such a long day!

    • I was sooooo grateful to have worn them! When i got dressed on Saturday morning I never thought I’d be wearing them until almost 5am the next day!

  13. Love the silhouette and drape on this top – I’m tempted to have a go at it myself now. Glad you enjoyed the Bee live, and that you survived the epic train journey home.

    • I’d definitely recommend the pattern for a satisfying and quick make! I can’t believe the journey, it was like a group of strangers been thrown together in a 70s horror movie!

      • Still, at least you were heading north. If you’d been going south everyone would have studiously ignored each other for the whole time πŸ˜‰

  14. So glad for a new Ali post! And a grand one it is….so sorry about that train delay, yet still a smile at 4 AM. Love the blue top, I’d never picture it from the pattern, the sleeves look so odd (never mind being able to figure out how to put it together). It’s
    beautiful top in beautiful fabric!

    • It was easy to put together Jen, only a back and front piece, then the shape just happens like magic afterwards! It was hard to smile, but my new pals kept me going thank goodness xx

  15. Pingback: Hacking McCalls 6612 – 3 very different Tops | T H I M B E R L I N A

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