Sunday, 23 March 2014

My Little Sewing Bee

I am handing my blog over to my daughter this week, and she is going to tell you how to design and sew a really fashionable top. I have never seen our local fabric shop so packed, and I think sewing my have taken over the country since The Great British Sewing Bee has been on television.

First design your top. I used these templates from the computer.
Don't let your fabric get the better of you. This fabric only cost £3.99 and is jersey cotton.
Mum said I should press the fabric first. Only do this if you are old enough to use an iron.
We used one of my favourite old tops to make a pattern.
I pinned it onto fabric, and we realised we had bought far too much. I will have enough left to make something else.

I cut out really carefully.
I was going to used my own sewing machine ...
...  but we did some test stitching on a scrap of fabric, and it was really bad.
Mum said it was because we needed to use a jersey ballpoint needle. So she let me use her sewing machine.
I pinned the shoulders, and checked with the ruler.
I sewed really carefully.
Then I had to press the seam open.
And topstitich on either side. I made the stitch longer for this.
Then I pinned right round the hem.
And sewed twice around it.
We then had to pin where the sides of the body would be, and measured carefully to make sure that it was the same on both sides.

Mum has some black binding for the neck, and I had to be really careful sewing this on.
Finally, we made the straps from and old T-Shirt. The trickiest bit was turning them the right way out.
With the straps on I was ready to model my new top.

I am really, really pleased with it.

Back to me now. We had a really fun afternoon. I realised that although she does a lot of hand sewing, we had never made a garment. I recommend you only let your children loose with irons and sewing machines, if you know they are very sensible. Even then keep a very close eye on what they are doing.

What was really great was to manage to work from her own design, to get a wearable garment that she is really happy with. I think she learned a lot. Particularly about pressing and topstitching, and being careful with every stage. Although my own mother would have probably have had me tacking seams. Perhaps we will have another go. Maybe to learn how to do gathers would be fun.


  1. Wow, this is amazing. You are very talented (like your mum!) I am loving watching the sewing bee too and so does my daughter. Even my husband watches now and again and today he said that whilst he was brushing his teeth he looked at his check shirt in the mirror and noticed that the pattern wasn't matched very well on the pocket. "That bloke on sewing bee wouldn't be very impressed with that" he told me! I think "that bloke" on sewing bee would be very impressed with this top!

  2. Aww what a lovely post! Your daughter is a very talented young lady and i'm sure you both had lots of fun working on this project together. The finished top is sooooo pretty, i look forward to seeing the next! :)

  3. Great post, my girls like to have a go on my machine too. Jo x

  4. very inspiring:) Thanks for sharing - I love the fact you have designed your own top:)

  5. Well done to your daughter, her top looks great. It wouldn't surprise me if her school friends ask her to make them one!

  6. Congratulations on a lovely new top, and learning all those skills too. I think your mum may now have to fight for space on her blog ;) I'm sure my daughter will try to take over my blog too when she's older!

  7. She'll soon be taking the fashion world by storm!

  8. A fashion designer in the making.... Well done on such a lovely top. Stitching with jersey isn't easy but you've managed it perfectly. What are you going to make with the leftover fabric? xx

  9. You probably know more about sewing than me! Lovely top :)

  10. What a lovely post - the top is very nice and the material is great. Look forward to seeing more of your daughter's makes. Hope you both have a good week

    Jill, Christmas Pie Crafts

  11. Amazing! Your daughter looks so cool! What a lovely step-by-step post! x

  12. Every child should be so lucky to have an adult in their life that let's them create!

  13. Move over Mum! I think you have a proper seamstress in the making. And designer. The top is lovely and she looks very confident making it.

  14. visiting from sunshine x3. Very cool. She has done well

  15. Love the craft..It is really cool. Keep it up
    debt advice

  16. Nice touch with the top stitching on either side of the seam...a lot of people don't bother with that, but it just gives it such a nice finish, don't you think? Great job!

  17. What a professional job, jersey can be a real pain but her top stitching is super!

  18. What a fabulous project to work on together. Your tutorial was great too. Almost gives me courage to try sewing my own garment.

  19. What a wonderful top!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!