Hi everybody. Hasn’t it been a lovely weekend. I made the most of the weather by going out for walks and then having a barbecue. What did you all do over the weekend? I’d love to hear. Please come and tell me over on on twitter or facebook.
Talking of social media, since I started managing the social media accounts for Sewing-Online in January 2012 I have loved making lots of new sewing friends. One of the people who I have enjoyed chatting about sewing projects with is Karen Rigg from Willowwears.com. She makes fantastic handmade garments and I love reading her latest blog posts to see what she has been sewing.
Karen studied needlework at school but she then didn’t do any more sewing until she was in her late twenties. She then proceeded to take a break from dressmaking for 10 whole years! Thankfully she started sewing again in January 2012 and even better for us, is that she chose to blog about her sewing adventures on her blog ‘Willowwears’.
I have been following Karen’s sewing progress since the beginning of her blog in April 2012 and I am delighted that she recently chose to take her sewing even more seriously and decided to invest in a new dressmaking dummy from our website. Karen opted for the Ladies Deluxe Dressmaking Dummy and she called her mannequin ‘Dolly’. She has tweeted me to say she is finding the dummy really useful for her sewing which is great news for us to hear.
After Karen bought her dressmaker’s dummy from us we decided that she would be perfect to become one of our Sewing-Online sewing pattern reviewers so we sent her a couple of sewing patterns of her choice, free of charge, for her to test out and to then let us know how she got on with them by blogging about them.
Karen opted for Simplicity 1699 and Simplicity 2442. I loved waiting to hear which patterns she would choose…..it was exciting to think I could watch the progress of a couple of our patterns being stitched up.
Simplicity 1699 is part of the new Simplicity Spring 2013 collection. It is a ‘Sew Stylish’ pattern for a ‘Misses and miss petite fit and flare dress or peplum top which has princess-seamed bodice, short raglan sleeves, waistline seam and back zipper. Collarless jacket with 3/4 sleeves and braid trim. Straight leg pants with side zipper.’
Karen has only had the patterns from us for a month but has already stitched up a peplum top, linen trousers and the jacket from Simplicity 1699 and she has really done us proud! The garments she has made are stunning! I love her choice of sewing patterns and it is wonderful to see photos of the garments she has made using sewing patterns from our online sewing shop.
Karen has been tweeting about the handmade clothes as she is sewing them and it is lovely to see how the clothes are first cut out, pinned together, constructed and then finished, etc. She is very kind and shares lots of pics along her sewing journey so we can always see how she is getting on with tackling each sewing pattern she attempts.’Tackling’ is probably the wrong word, ‘breezing along’ with each pattern would probably be a better word. Karen has a knack of making sewing look easy and much more than that she makes it look FUN! :o)
Here are a few photos of the finished garments she made from Simplicity 1699:-
Now you can see what I mean….simply stunning! Karen is a very talented dressmaker and one we are very pleased agreed to review for us here at Sewing-Online.com.
If you would like to read what she says about the pattern please pop over and visit her lovely sewing blog ‘Willowwears.com’. Karen has written two blog posts about Simplicity 1699. The first post is all about the peplum top and the linen trousers and the second one is dedicated to the collarless jacket. Here are the blog post links you’ll be needing:-
Just to give you a little taster of what she says about the peplum top….”I was practically doing cartwheels when I put the (raglan) sleeves in they were so easy, I almost unpicked them just so I could put them in a second time!” Also Karen says that Simplicity 1699 is “A lovely little summer top that can, in my opinion be dressed up or down depending on the occasion”.
Karen does also mention that the top sizing does seem to come up quite small so you may want to consider going up a size when you make it. We sell Simplicity 1699 in 2 different size pattern packs - Sizes 8-16 and sizes 16 -24.
When Karen talks about the trousers she says “…, these particular ones are extremely easy to make.” and “The construction was, in its entirety, as follows: inside leg seams, crotch, side seams and zip (I inserted a concealed zip instead of a side one) and some twill tape on the waist.”.
Karen does say she found the trousers to come up a bit on the large size so she then had some adjustments to make to get the perfect fit.
I am not really much of a dressmaker myself, although I would love to have a go one day. I make clothes for my daughter but not yet for me. What Karen shows you through her dressmaking blog posts, is that it is perfectly achievable to make garments that are tailored to your body shape and that it is isn’t as difficult as you imagine. Karen is, like I said before, very talented at what she does and it is lovely that she shows us that with a length of fabric, some patience and a bit of time we too can sew ourselves a new summer wardrobe. A gorgeous handmade, one-of-a-kind wardrobe!
I would like to say a massive thanks to Karen for road-testing our sewing patterns for us. She is about to start sewing her second Sewing-Online sewing pattern, Simplicity 2442 which is a Karen Z design evening dress in 3 lengths with bodice variations and matching bolero. Once Karen has completed the garment I will write a new blog post telling you all about how she got on with it. I can’t wait to follow her progress on her Willowwears twitter and facebook pages. If you are on those sites, join in and follow her progress too. It’s SEW exciting!
I hope you all have a fantastic week. Can you believe we are in June already! Where has the time gone? I’m pleased we are now starting to see the sunny weather, it really does cheer us all up and gives us a chance to start planning our handmade summer clothes. I will be doing next week’s blog post about sewing patterns for bikinis and swimming costumes. I thought it best to give you all a chance to order your patterns now and get those cossies made before the summer holidays.
Last week we published our latest sewing newsletter which is all about ‘Summer Storage Solutions 2013’. Click here to take a look. If you love polka dots, like I do, you will be happy to see the new red and white polka dot storage bag range. It’s gorgeous! There is also a travel sewing machine bag on sale, retro sewing kits and much more besides. Please take a look.
Thanks for reading.
Best wishes, Kim