The Lauren Set Top from Simply Sewing issue 51


Simply Sewing has some really good patterns, and this one caught my eye as I need some more cosy tops for winter.

The pattern pieces were printed over 4 pages, the lower section of the dress simply attaches to the bottom of the top sections.


This fabric is a lovely bubble jersey from Pin and Sew, and I bought 1.5metres rather than the recommended 2.5 metres as the fabric is 150cm wide rather than the 115cm width stated on the envelope.


To match the bubbles in the texture I marked the lines at the seam edges every 10th bubble and then pinned at the marker. I added extra pins between these to stop the fabric shifting and used my walking foot. I used a 1.5 x 2.5 zig zag and then overlocked the seams once I had tried on for fit.


I cut across the full width of the fabric along the bubble line to get a straight line for cutting out and used a rotary cutter and large ruler to cut the neckband to ensure that the bubbles were aligned.


A lovely quick make and I am sure I will make more. The neckline sits beautifully and the polo neck drapes at the front and sits against the back of my neck so is nice and warm 😺✂️✂️


Breaking The Pattern – Ruska


AB5BCCB8-5213-4206-A6B3-B30C14D1BD92The genius of this book is that it allows for so many adaptations and variations. As with all Named patterns the instructions and diagrams are clear and easy to follow.


The Ruska has a knit dress, knot dress, t-shirt and tunic variations and I have used the turtle neck and long sleeves from the dress on the t-shirt body. The turtle neck is two piece and this double layer keeps the shape really well.


Each pattern version in the book has a list of pattern pieces, clear line drawing and cutting layouts with a list of notions and fabric requirements. It also lists the skills you learn completing the garments as they increase in complexity through the book from a bag to jeans and a coat.

The introduction to the book also has useful tips and instructions that would be great for a beginner.

F4142E37-B9F0-46B9-8079-0BE68EBFBBA1The list of pattern pieces and cutting diagrams are lovely and clear to follow. The dress outline below shows the additional shaping to the sides of the dress. The necklines also differ to accommodate the turtle neck collar. As the shoulder and armhole are the same it was easy to trace the lines needed.

0A8B900C-15FB-4E19-B023-BB074B436A39The pattern pieces are on large sheets that have the sections clearly listed, but the large sections are spread over several sheets. The patterns are available as pdf downloads so that will be my choice for another pattern. The patterns do overlap, but not quite as much as in Burda magazines!


I love this book, and there are several garments that I am planning to make. The final section of the book ‘How to Break the Pattern’ states ‘there are countless ways to alter and spice up clothes’ and it really doesn’t disappoint with this clever premise

674E8DE7-FEB1-4376-B8BA-8CBA5D78C79EThis fabric is a 200g jersey from Pin and Sew in one of my favourite colours 😺✂️✂️

Burda Style 9/2018 Sweatshirt

6F299708-2E07-41ED-9157-CE240B905CC5I’m not a fan of tracing, but I am drawn to the Burda magazines for their quirky details.

A7EC7DF5-B981-4149-A55B-CB22B0C115F4This pattern was September’s sewing lesson, so the pattern pieces were blue, and as they didn’t overlap, I cut them straight from the pages!

CE1E6EE6-B68A-45FE-B515-0753961335A0The recommended fabric was sweatshirting, but I used a lovely stable knit fabric bought from Rags in Worcester (a lovely friendly small shop worth visiting).

57F7CB8D-8400-4A21-A1CA-84F54367AAA6The sleeves have large pleats at the wrist that create a lovely draped effect, subtle in the knit fabric I am sure it would be more structured in a heavier fabric

I basted the pleats, and overlocked the edges once sewn, an extra step not needed for sweatshirting

BA0A5B7E-C9FE-4FF0-8BE0-B152739C73D3Have already worn this a few times as autumn has arrived! I added an extra 2cm to the neckband and as this is very roomy cut out the size 3 sizes smaller.

0FD06706-8B02-4D65-8832-2C10084C4D93First cozy make of 2018 completed 😺✂️✂️

The Mayfair Dress by Nina Lee

013BDA90-76C0-444A-AE2A-870217103FDDThis is my first Nina Lee pattern, and I was really impressed with the clear instructions and options.


I bought the printed pattern which was published a few months after the pdf as I had seen some great versions popping up on Instagram. This fabric is a lovely viscose jersey from Pin and Sew.

19A7E58C-A8E1-4B40-8CF8-ECA5956C5936The envelope describes The Mayfair as ‘a jersey dream designed to carry you from office to cocktails, from beach to bar, or from sofa to fridge and back again’


There are three sleeve length options, and the choice of knee or maxi length that combine to give six options. The dress has a relaxed fit with gathers under the bust that stabilise the neckline drape and extend to tiesA4014B1C-0FDB-493A-8595-1C2F98783303The collar pleats and folds over internally. The pattern recommended using the burrito technique to finish this seam. I found this to be tricky once the dress was rolled up, and chose to finish this by hand, which was easy to do with two lengths of stitching starting at the centre join


This dress is lovely to wear, and I love the neckline and tie details, particularly as the ties are long enough to wrap around the back to tie at the front or have long at the back 😺✂️✂️


Boxy Top with fabric selvage as hems


This Nano Iro fabric has a full width pattern with metallic tones. it’s called Five Senses, this one is Earth. The pattern is The Boxy Top from Jen Hewett’s Book Print Pattern Sew, that was a freebie with Simply Sewing.


One of my favourite fabric shops, Raystitch in Islington, have amazing window displays, and I follow them on Instagram for inspiration. One thing they have done is to use the selvage edge of fabrics as the hem. One garment used a Nano Iro fabric that has the same slightly fluffy edge as this double gauze, so I decided to copy the effect.

47212168-DA82-406B-96F5-85A50189F19CThis simple top works well to showcase the fabric. The sleeves are cut from the opposite edge to the main body sections. I bought this fabric on holiday a couple of years ago, fabric souvenirs are lovely to wear.  😺✂️✂️

Stitch Sisters Kaftan


This superquick make was made to participate in the Instagram challenge #sewingsansfrontieres using a free pattern from The Stitch Sisters blog. This pattern can easily be found by Googling Stitch Sisters Kaftan, and the post has full details and lots of pictures, as well as a video.


The Kaftan is created from rectangles, with neck shaping measurements on a multi size chart. The long ties are stitched into the side seams, I lowered them an inch after pinning and trying on.


I overlocked each section before sewing together, and raised the neckline by an inch, lowering the side splits by two.


The fabric is a lovely soft cotton lawn that has lurked in the bottom of my woven fabric stash box for several years waiting for the right pattern 😺✂️✂️

Named Clothing Selja Knot Tee


I pretty much live in jersey tops, and I wanted to find another pattern that was simple but interesting. This definitely fits the bill, and I made two 😺


The pattern divides the front of the Tee, elongating the fronts to create the ties. I overlocked the front seams before joining the seam, adding a few stitches at the top of the tie to prevent pulling.


This is the first version, worn with Named Ninni Culottes and Fiona Hobo Bag. The top sits at the hip. This fabric is a fabulous 200g jersey from Pin and Sew, it’s such a great fabric that bounces back and feels superb ( I have ordered more to make a dress). The neck is in a contrast fabric to add a bit of interest.



This pattern also works well with stripes 😺 I altered the neckline on this version, which has the first fabric used for the neckband.

I folded the front and drew a rough line with a Frixion pen, I then cut away about 1cm. I compared this with one of my Lark Tees and decided that I could lose a bit more so made the second cut, this was a little wider at the shoulder. I then put the shoulder sections together to see the cutting line needed for the back.


The slightly bigger neckline works well. This fabric has been in my stash for a while now, it’s another fairly lightweight opaque jersey.


This top is only available as a PDF  pattern, and it’s the one disappointing part of the make. The pattern is printed on 12 sheets with a border that is cut off before the pieces are joined together. You then have to trace the pattern pieces following the black or grey lines for your chosen size as each download option has two sizes. This was time consuming and it would have been better if the pattern pieces were placed individually so the could have been cut out straight away without the additional need of a tracing paper.


Sewn with my usual 1.5 x 2.5 zig zag and top stitched in 2.5 x 2.5 zig zag with overlocked edges and seams 😺✂️✂️