Kate: A long while back (at the Handmade Fair) I purchased Love At First Stitch, Tilly Walnes beautiful book designed to get you sewing your own clothes by walking you through several projects starting at super easy through to expert level sewing! Several months on, after much battling with thread tension and the final realization that a half size sewing machine just won’t cut the mustard I have finally got somewhere!
Having only ever sewn by hand (as a half-sized novelty sewing machine doesn’t really count) and never before worked with a pattern I decided to start at the beginning of the book and make these adorable Margot Pyjamas.
The Margot pattern was straight forward to follow and the expert guidance in the book kept me feeling confident I knew what I was doing! These pyjamas turned out really well, their super relaxed fit makes them very comfortable which is just what you want with pyjamas. The simplicity of this pattern is forgiving for beginners and I would highly recommend this pattern as a starting point. As tempting as it is to jump straight to the most appealing patterns in Love At First Stitch, working through from the beginning helpss the reader to pick up the expert hints and tips as you go along.
As you can see from the pictures I also altered the length of my pyjamas, this is lovely feature in this book – Tilly offers up different adjustments and alterations you can make for each pattern helping you really make each garment your own. I am so pleased I took the plunge into making my own clothes (with Tilly’s help!) and although it took me a while to get going I have already started on another project from this book so keep your eyes peeled to see the finished piece!
I also should mention prior to making the pyjamas I took my new sewing machine for a test run by making a simple head scarf, the very very first project in Love At First Stitch, you can see this below modelled by my lovely pup Bob!
Becca:I’ve previously sewn a few bits and pieces, but other than a super easy vest top I’d not branched properly into making my own clothing. I bought the Bettine dress pattern after seeing it at The Handmade Fair. The pattern was described as being perfect for beginners so I thought it would be worth a try. I opted for the pocket version (because all the best dresses have pockets!) and for my first attempt at a dress I’m really pleased.
I used some Marimekko fabric I had picked up at a second hand shop which was in a heavy cotton. I love all the stretch jersey versions I’ve seen around and will definitely make another once I’m brave enough to give sewing stretch fabric a try. Because I’m small on top with much wider hips I did use two different pattern sizes and it was explained clearly in the pattern how to do this. The neckline was probably the hardest part to get right and mine doesn’t quite sit perfectly but, for a beginner I’m really pleased. The pattern was easy to make – the only issue I had was when I accidentally sewed the skirt on the wrong way around the first time which meant lots of unpicking…
I also added cuffs onto the sleeves with some gold buttons which was optional in the pattern and added a nice finish to the dress.
We both can’t wait to try making more clothes from Tilly and the Buttons – the patterns are easy to follow and look great once finished! Have you made any of your own clothes or tried these patterns? Let us know how you got on!
Bugs & Birds