Tova Tova Tova

It’s birthday season in Stirling-town. For my mum there was no question when it came to which pattern to turn to:

The lovely Wiksten Tova. Each pattern of the Tova is handmade and beautiful to behold I’m sure but for those on a budget a PDF version has also been released. Boo for all the printing and sticking but yay for the instant download gratification.

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I used a very soft light brown Swiss Dot for most of the top, with a deep pink for the inside of the collar and as an additional lining to the inset.

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The pattern was very easy to follow but I had trouble with the corners of the inset. The seam ripper made an appearance multiple times and I still don’t think I did it right but I’m happy with the result for now. Practice makes perfect I guess!

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Oh hello French seams! Possibly my favourite part of the entire top. I’ve never made French seams before but now I don’t think I’ll do anything else. So very satisfying and neat.

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All in all it was a success! So much so that the next participant in birthday season is getting one too. This time I’m going for the sleeveless dress version in this floral polycotton:

Come on Spring – I need you for this one.

An Elisalex for Lizabeth in Lizzy House

Sometimes things sound like they’re going to work together and they don’t. Bummer. However, sometimes they do!

For my sister’s birthday the order came in for an Elisalex dress in a geometric fabric. After an extended search for fabric via many many many emails (I’m in Aberystwyth, she’s in Manchester) we settled on Supernova in purple, part of Lizzy House’s Constellations range.

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There were two challenges to overcome:

  1. Supernova is a quilting fabric, 100% cotton and so soft I could cuddle it all night – not likely to hold up the showcase Elisalex skirt.
  2. My sister and I are not the same size, like AT ALL, and I had never made anything fitted for anyone other than myself. Tensions rising…

To combat a floppy skirt (when unwanted it’s truly the worst) I decided to line the skirt in addition to the bodice. To really ensure those pleats stayed as sharp as GBSB Patrick’s suits I applied fusible interfacing to the lining and basted it to the skirt along the waist. This was done once the front and back pieces had been sewn together but more importantly before the pleats were folded. The lining/interfacing/outer sandwich was then treated as one piece and the pleats folded in. Attach to the bodice and job done!

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So the pleats worked, hooray! And the skirt doesn’t crumble under it’s own weight, even more cheers! AND, it looks pretty nice too…

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Lined with IKEA’s BRITTEN – one of my absolute favourite prints and very soft to boot.

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A bit of Timeless Treasures Sketch for the sleeves.

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More Sketch bias binding on the neckline and a hook and eye from my Grandma’s sewing box (8p for 20. How’s that for value)

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I am the only one that loves slip stitching? Hems, zips, binding, anything.

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Like a good sewist (I’m not usually a ‘good’ sewist), I made a muslin to check for fitting issues. After a trip back home and a few pin stabbing incidents, by accident obviously, a little was taken off the shoulders and the arm scythe – thankfully nothing too drastic. The minor nature of the adjustments didn’t stop the eternal panic of whether it was going to fit – one of my main methods in sewing is constant trying on, probably more for my peace of mind than the necessity of the sewing process. Luckily being a good sewist paid off:

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Quote: “I feel like a princess!”

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Phew!

As always this pattern was a dream to sew and I can’t wax lyrical enough about Lizzy House’s Constellation range. They’re billed as quilting cottons but I think they need to be shown off. Constellations dresses for all!

(I’ve got one on the go for me too!)