Tag Archives: sewingfriendsarethebest

7 talented ladies and their Angelinas!

Today I’m here to show you the gorgeous things some very talented seamstresses have been doing with our Angelina pattern! Every time someone posts a photo of a Valentine & Stitch garment I get such a thrill, it’s the best feeling! If ever I stop feeling that thrill, you may kick me. Or just gently remind me to take pleasure in it again. I don’t think that feeling will stop, though, so hopefully I should remain bruise-free 😉

So I wanted to show you what some of these lovely ladies have been making with Angelina, including ways they have tweaked the pattern to make it a reflection of their style. Shall we start with the dress?

Kelly made this beautiful sleeveless Angelina with a textured mauve fabric. It’s a perfect summer dress, and she chose to keep the neckband t-shirt style rather than sew it down – it makes for such a great casual look with her Avarcas shoes from Mallorca, and I love knowing that she’s lighting up the streets of LA in her Angelina!

You can read Kelly’s blog post about her Angelina dress here! She has some gorgeous photos of both the finished garment and the construction method, and she talks through the pattern and her style choices.

Another solid colour Angelina dress is this knockout bright pink one that Janet made for a friend of hers. A perfect choice of colour to stand out this summer, but still remain elegant! Janet chose the short flutter sleeves, and the whole silhouette of this dress is just gorgeous. What a perfect dress to make for a friend, I hope she will love wearing it this summer! A little birdie told me that Janet has some of this glorious fabric left over too, so there may be a top on its way soon! Janet blogs here, if you want to follow her sewing stories!

Maxine also went for the dress version, and used a lightweight Aztec print ponte from Girl Charlee for the perfect beach dress (she was featured in their ‘June Knit picks’ round-up with this dress! You might spot another familiar face in there too ;))

Maxine did the short flutter sleeves, and a slightly shorter hemline (I think this would also look great over cropped white leggings in the cooler weather!) Plus she added a waist tie in the same fabric, which gives a lovely shape and definition. And did you notice? More Avarcas, from Menorca this time! You can follow Maxine’s dressmaking journey here.

Onto the top! The first sewist to post pics of Angelina on Instagram was @violaisabelle6. She has so far made THREE Angelina tops for her lovely daughter, all with the short flutter sleeves! She lowered the neckline slightly, and has finished the sleeves with a rolled hem and a lettuce hem.

These tops need to stand up to some physical tests as they will be worn at camp this summer – I’m happy to report they got the thumbs up!!

If you follow Lynsey on Instagram, you’ll know she usually goes for beautiful floral prints, but she chose a plain pale pink for her Angelina top, and look how elegant it is! She too chose the short sleeves, and this fabric has such a lovely drape that the sleeves could not be more perfect. Lynsey also lowered the neckline and lengthened the neckband to fit, and I really like the effect it has, especially in that dreamy fabric. You may also know that I have a soft spot for anything pink, so this top got all the heart eyes from me!

And now for my partner in crime for Sleevefest, Diane! Diane is the first person to have gone for the elbow length sleeves, as she says in her blog post here, she wanted All. The. Flounce! You can read Diane’s blog for more details about her Angelina, and of course those sleeves!

The solid colour of this fabric combined with its beautiful drape really shows off the floatiness of the sleeves, and offers maximum swishiness. Diane also lowered the neckline a couple of inches, and raised the sleeve cap to better suit her style.

OK, that was going to be the end of my round-up, but then literally as I was writing, this gorgeous photo popped up on my Instagram feed! Hayley made a DOUBLE FLUTTER SLEEVE Angelina as an entry for Sleevefest! Her navy bandana fabric is also from Girl Charlee UK, it’s a rayon blend and has a beautiful drape, and just look at the lace finishing on the sleeve hems! What a great idea, and a super top. I also just remembered to update my title in honour of Hayley’s Angelina – it went out as ‘6 ladies’, but now they are the Magnificent Seven 😉

Aren’t they all gorgeous? It has been an absolute delight to see these Angelinas and to talk about them, and to see all the different ways these fabulous ladies are using the pattern. Thank you to all of them for allowing me to feature them on the blog! I can’t wait to see what they all make next 🙂

Sewalong: The Florence bra (Seamwork magazine)

Back in April, my wonderful sewing friend Kelly and I were chatting on an Instagram thread about sewing underwear. We had both thought about making our own bras, and we both had the Seamwork Florence pattern, but we’d never got round to doing it. So we decided to do it together, and give each other the push we needed to get on with it! It has been so much fun sewing a bra AND doing it with Kelly. You know how you meet someone on social media and wish you knew them in real life? That’s me with Kelly. She’s not only talented and creative, but also a truly lovely and generous person. We chose the start of June as our bra sewalong time, although we postponed by a couple of weeks so that Kelly’s supplies could arrive before we started. Once they arrived, we decided to do set stages each day, and send each other pictures of each completed stage so that despite the time zone difference we could still feel like we were doing it together.

 

In my head I was going to go for a nice classic bra, but somehow along with my white stretch lace I ended up ordering neon pink straps and elastic. So obviously the only thing to do for the contrast cup sections was go for a bright green floral. I did check on Instagram whether I needed to dial back the crazy, but the lovely community of IG sewists told me to go for it… so here is the story of the brightest bra I’ve ever owned!

 

It was easy to print and stick together the pattern, as there were so few pieces and they were small. I chose an XS as I am not well endowed, and even the measurements for the XS were a little large for me! The only issue with the pattern was a slightly wonky curve on the side cup. I checked all the other sizes and there was no wobble on those, so I guessed it was an accident and re-drew the curve, which made it fit perfectly with the corresponding front cup piece.

 

This was my first time making bra straps, and it was fun! The hardest part was just teasing the plush elastic back through the slider, so you can see that the sewing itself was pretty straightforward! The cups also went together easily. The pattern calls for a zigzag or a twin needle topstitch on the side cup, and I went for a zigzag as this is the stitch I see on my RTW bras.

 

The trickiest part was sewing the cups to the straps. I followed the instructions (right sides together, then flip the elastic to the back), but because of the angle of the cup, there was an ugly excess of the top point of the cup visible on the right side of the strap. I unpicked and tucked the top point under:

 

Then I got to use the triple-point zigzag stitch on my machine for the first time! (I’m not the only one who gets excited about using a new stitch, right?!) Because my side cup and my cup front were made from different colour fabrics, I did each bit separately with matching thread. It was worth that extra effort as the stitching blends really well into the bra. BUT… when I attached the cups to the bra, things started going less well.

 

Firstly, you sew each cup in from the side towards the middle, but there were no instructions for making that centre seam look neat when they meet in the middle. I did some careful pinning and got a centre point, which I then stitched in place with a bar tack so the seam didn’t peep out over my (admittedly not terribly impressive) cleavage. I also decided to topstitch the seams where the cups meet the bra, so that they too would stay in place.

 

Then the centre back seam is sewn (again, I topstitched to avoid bits of seam peeking out) and the straps are attached to the back of the bra. At this point I tried the bra on, and it wasn’t a happy moment. The straps flipped out at the sides, and the fit didn’t seem great. After long perusals and a chat online with Kelly, I concluded the cup fit in itself was fine, but it’s that centre meeting point that was pulling the cups in an odd way. I couldn’t fix that, but I could fix the straps with another line of topstitching. I compared with my RTW bras and found that the straps on those were only attached at the top of the cup – so I think it’s the fact of attaching a strap along the curved angle of a cup and then wanting it to sit flat that’s the problem. I don’t know if this would be an issue for larger cup sizes as you’d have more… er… filling out the bra and pushing against the straps to make them sit nicely. But for me and my XS cups… there wasn’t much my body could do to help it along!

The final stage was to sew the elastic along the bottom, and that did help cinch things in a bit. I can’t deny it’s a comfy bra, and I do like it but I just don’t love it. I had to do a lot of extra work to make it look as nice as it does, which takes it well beyond the quick sew it’s promoted as. I learnt a lot though, and I have another bra pattern waiting in the wings that I may try next…

This sewalong was so much fun! If you haven’t already read Kelly’s post, you can find it here, and marvel at her beautiful bra!