So Last week following Episode 3 of the Great British Sewing Bee the world went mad about the Walkaway Dress. That included me who went straight on line and bought myself a copy of Butterick B4790 from Jaycotts and at the same time I also ordered the new Sewing Bee Book, Fashion with Fabric.
The book was first to arrive and I had a good look through. From the outside it looks very nice, there are good projects and the instructions seem clear. ‘We shall see though’ I thought to myself remembering my foray with last years book and it’s terrible measurements and wobbly instructions.
Well, yesterday the pattern arrived. I have to admit I have not seen many finished walkaway dresses on social media this week. I would have thought by now they would be springing up all over the place but I think I might know why.
Straight away I can see a big issue. The pattern is not designed for the everyday woman.
Lets take my measurements as an example.
Bust: 40 inches Waist: 36 inches (I know how lucky am I) Hips: 46 inches
A tea dress usually fits me beautifully as I have a narrow waist and the skirt can skim out and over my enormous bottom, therefore I thought the walkaway dress would do the same.
Alas the bust – waist ratios on both patterns make simple pattern grading next to impossible. On a regular pattern I can grade in from my bust to my waist with ease but as this has an unusual construction method with the wrap front and back grading seems impossible to me. On the back piece how can you see where the bust ends and the waist begins?
I had hoped that one pattern may be better than the other but with Buttericks I am an 18 bust and a 20/22 waist (I don’t worry that my hip measurement is off the scale as that’s irrelevant with this type of pattern.
Looking at the book version it’s even more ridiculous. I am a size 10 bust and a size 18 waist. Hilarious how can 1 pattern come in two totally differing sizes?
So I have made a decision…….I think I might get angry with the book version going by past experience so I’m going to cut a size 20 Buttericks from an old duvet cover (which is very pretty so may end up totally wearable – fingers crossed) I am hoping and possibly assuming that as the whole thing is bound, once the bodice is attached to the skirt I can try it on and if need be shave a little off the sides here and there before I bind it!
Watch this space………….
I’d love to know your thoughts on these patterns, have you had the same brain numbing conversations with yourself that I have or have you made a beautiful frock first time round? Do comment below and let me know I’d be most grateful.
Ok so she’s not a beauty but my ‘Phyllis’ is beautiful on the inside.
Yes it would be nice to have a shiny black and gold stunner, but Phyllis does the job better than any other machine I have owned.
I’m all for a nice shiny Janome (My more modern favourite) but if your after a love affair of a machine that will very rarely misbehave then it’s vintage all the way.
When I first acquired Phyllis (named after my Grandma who was her original owner) she was a tired old girl who had been stored in my Mums loft for a good few years.
My Sewing Machine man Martin came to give her a house call and proclaimed that she was indeed a stunner, sturdy and built to last. After a good service and a replacement cog or two which had gone brittle over time,
she was as good as new. Maybe not to look at but certainly on the inside.
Martin is a wealth of knowledge on machines and is a huge fan of vintage. His words were “These machines were built to last Claire, no melted down car parts and old bits of cold pressed steel in these babies”
Give him a bank of old Berninas any day! His next job is to service Iris who is another singer I have acquired complete with sewing table. She was just £10 and works very well but her feed dogs are a bit poorly.
It’s true though. As much as I like my shiny white janome, it jams up a lot more than Phyllis. It cant cope with any kind of thickness without the help of different needles or special feet and there are far too many knobs and dials to fiddle with.
I can honestly say that a good vintage machine and a proper service is well worth the spend. I just wish I could make new customers who walk into my studio understand this, but alas, they are on the look out for the shiny white machines of the modern age.
Therefore Phyllis remains at home and allows me to enjoy some selfish sewing every now and again.
p.s. She is awfully good at inserting an invisible zip perfectly without a silly invisible zipper foot. Another perk of having a fully adjustable needle and a skinny zip foot. If your lucky I might film you a tutorial shortly.
Cast your mind back to Christmas 2013, Kirsty Allsop was on your telly box twittering away about all the fabulous crafts she had tried for Christmas.
We were thrilled to learn how to tie die our own knickers………….or not and then came the BIG SHOW AND TELL!!
Kirsty showed us the Clover Pom Pom maker and the world went mad. Friends of mine with online shops sold out in minutes, the wholesalers could not keep up with orders and the world went pom pom mad.
We took a stock of pom pom makers to the Creative Craft show in February and within 3 hours had to put in an emergency order to our suppliers to have more delivered the next day!
Just take a look at what you can make with them. Pom Pom pets, angry birds, bobble hats, garlands, wreaths and lots lots more.
So what’s all the fuss about? The easiest way to explain is to show you our new little tutorial on You Tube. Take a look and see if we can excite you with pom poms.
Beautiful Things stocks all sizes of Pom Pom Makers in our shop so pop along if you’re after one. Alternatively pop into the studio and try them out, we would be happy to let you play. We even have a pom pom pet class planned for the Easter Holidays.
If you are visiting the Five Lakes Creative Craft Show 12th – 14th Feb 2015 then pop by our stand where you can have a little play and purchase any of the 3 sizes we have in stock.
Welcome to my shiny new blog, thanks for popping by to say hi. I thought I’d start things off with a review of the Cowl Neck Poncho pattern from issue 25 of Simply Crochet.
I fell in love with this pattern the minute I saw it and was extremely keen to hook it up, however I’m always wary of trying new yarns, spending lots of money and then being disappointed so when I saw that Daisy Jones had created one in Stylecraft Chunky I was straight off out to buy some yarn.
I was very grateful to Daisy for saying exactly how much yarn she had used and using her calculations and the fact that I wanted to use my corporate colours I knew I needed 5 balls of Parchment, 2 Pomegranate, 2 meadow and 2 dark brown.
A couple of days later my yarn arrived and I rushed home to make a start. At first I panicked a bit as the pattern calls for a 7mm hook to do the cowl neck and I did not have one of those at home. So with the need to start playing strongly on my mind I took a chance and worked with my trusty Clover Amour 6mm hook instead. My theory was that I have quite a loose tension anyway and working with a chunky yarn would mean that it should hopefully work out ok!
Sitting down with the pattern I read about the front and back post trebles needed to create the rib effect and my mind went blank. The magazine tells you to look at the back of the issue for descriptions but even those were not particularly clear. I know I thought the trusty Lucy from Attic24 has recently made this poncho too, she must talk about how to do these, so off I popped to her post.
Sure enough on her blog post about the same pattern she mentions a wonderful little YouTube tutorial which got her out of the same sticky situation and I have to say it is wonderful:
After a couple of rounds I was off, happily hooking away and by the end of the evening I had finished the cowl and completed my first round of granny stripe in parchment. Two more evenings and one more crochet club at work followed and I had finished all my stripe. I had worked out how many repeats to do based on the number of rows in the pattern and added another 3 to give it slightly more length before finishing with one final row of parchment.
Then it was onto another couple of rows of the rib before adding the tassels. Now that’s a whole other job! 2 entire evenings spent wrapping yarn, cutting lengths and hooking it through it certainly is a task. I can see why Daisy blogged about her poncho before finishing them, they are a chore but I think totally worth it. Of course you don’t have to add tassels if they are not your thing, Lucy didn’t and she has added a nice little scalloped edge to her poncho.
The lovely folk at Simply Crochet have just announced that this pattern is now available to buy from Ravelry for only £2.75 if you missed the November issue. You can download it HERE.
Whatever you decide to do I’d love to hear about your attempts, you can be sure you will get a lot of comments if you choose to try this pattern. I have just got back from the Waltham Abbey Wool show where I chose to wear mine and I really should have had a sign on my back!
I am a crafty Mum of 2 who as well as managing the house and looking after my 10 year old son and 6 year old daughter somehow manages to make time to craft and run a business!
I have a studio in Brentwood, Essex where we teach all sorts of crafts and I personally enjoy crochet and sewing in particular dress making. I am currently learning to knit and am podcasting about all my crafty endeavours on my You Tube channel.
I champion crafts as a way of tackling mental health and confidence issues and am an active fundraiser for MIND UK.