Saturday, 19 January 2019

2019 Make Nine - #1 Self-drafted Shirt

My first Make Nine 2019 is done!  It's number 6 on my list, and is a self-drafted shirt.

It's a bit tricky to see the details, so I'll describe.  It has bust and waist darts, and is shaped with waist darts at the back.  

The sleeves are three-quarter length, and have French Cuffs.  These are twice as deep as a normal cuff, and fold back on themselves.  Then the extension doesn't overlap, but both sides lie flat against each other, and are secured with a cufflink.



There are no adequate words in the English language to express how delighted I am with these!!  They turned out exactly how they looked in my head!  I won't go into details here about how I drafted and sewed them, as I've written a seperate post about it here.  

This gorgeous fabric is a viscose challis from Like Sew Amazing, which (at time of typing) is still available - always happy to enable!  I stablised it with spray starch, which made it very easy to cut and sew.

And I'm wearing my shirt with my second pair of Helen's Closet Winslow Culottes (the first pair are here).  I managed to accidently make these with some jersey fabric, which is a jersey crepe from The Cotton Print Factory Shop in Belfast. 

I was so taken with the lovely texture and colour, that I didn't realise it was a knit fabric until after I cut out out.  I stablised the waistband with a woven interfacing, and it worked like a charm.  Also, I totally realise that I'm channelling the The White Stripes with these colours, (which I've been doing a lot lately...)

All in all, I flipping love this shirt and culottes (if you hadn't guessed already!), and if you want to read about how I drafted and sewed the shirt's French Cuffs, then please see my post here.

Have a great week,


How I drafted and sewed French Cuffs

Here's how I drafted the 3/4 length sleeves and French cuffs for my self-drafted shirt


My usual disclaimer applies that I'm no expert - just winging it from stuff off the internet, and stuff I think up!  I'm putting this how-to here so I can refer back to it myself, and hopefully it will also be helpful to someone else.  

Drafting the pattern pieces


This was drafted from my sleeve block which doesn't have a seam allowance, it's added at the end, and my pattern piece below includes the seam allowance.  I started by deciding how far below the elbow I wanted my sleeve to finish, which is 5 cm.

Then I added 6.5 cm ease to the bottom of my sleeve (3.25 cm on each side), and ruled a line up to the underarm point to make the sleeve seam.

Next was the placket, which is the vertical line marked 9.5 cm in the photo below (I forgot to write Placket on it!).  I measured the stitching line at the base of the sleeve, divided by 4, and marked the point in from the BACK edge of the sleeve.   You can see the double notches to mark the back of the sleeve head on the photo above.

Then I ruled a line up at a right angle from the stitching line.  This line is the 5 cm below the elbow, then 4.5 cm above the elbow - this doesn't include the seam allowance at the bottom.


The width of the cuff is the same as the width of the bottom of the sleeve, and plus 3 cm.  This is for a 15 mm button extension on each short side of the cuff.

The cuff depth is 10 cm, which, when folded back on itself, makes a 5 cm cuff.

Below I've marked the 15 mm button extension, and then the 15 mm seam allowance in red.  I've also notched the point of the start of the extension to line up with the edge of the sleeve during construction.

So you would cut four of these cuffs, which is what I've done in the construction photos below; but then I realised I could make each cuff from one piece of fabric, so drafted a pattern piece for that.

It's the same as the above cuff, but don't do the seam allowance at the top.  Instead, extend the depth of the cuff to twice the above, and add a seam allowance at the top.  So my cuff below is 20 cm deep, instead of 10 cm.


Re interfacing the cuffs, it's a bit of a judgement call as to whether to interface all or half of the cuffs.  It really just depends on the fabric.  I interfaced half of mine, and used Vilene G 785 interfacing.  I got this from Minerva Crafts, and whilst it's £9.99 a metre, it's fabulous for viscose and slippery fabrics.  

Sewing the cuffs

I will start by apologising for the photos, they were taken on my phone.

All the seam allowances are 15 mm.  Mark the cut for the placket on the fabric - hopefully you can see it in green in the photo.

 Cut along the line.

Make some bias tape 25 mm wide, and long enough to go around the placket.

Pin the bias tape to the WRONG SIDE of the placket, with the RIGHT SIDE of the bias tape on the placket - so right side of bias tape to wrong side of placket.  Line up the raw edges.

Mark the middle of the placket with a pin - in the photo, this is the white pin third from the left.

This is what it looks like from the right side.

Sew with the needle in the ditch created from the bias tape fold.  The pink tissue paper underneath is to help stablise my slippery fabric.

When you get to the middle pin, stop and pivot the sleeve around to stop it puckering.

This is what it looks like once it's sewn.

Fold the bias tape over to the right side of the sleeve, and pin in place,

then top-stitch in place.  Again, stop and pivot at the centre point.

And this is what it looks like when it's finished!

Next is to attach the cuff, take one un-interfaced and one interfaced cuff.

Pin the long edge of the un-interfaced cuff to the sleeve, right sides together, lining up the notch with the edge of the placket.  You can hopefully see the notch just below my finger, and the left of the white pin.

And this is what it looks like attached to the sleeve.

In the photo below, you can see the cuff extension to either side of the placket opening.

Sew this in place, starting and ending at the placket edges.  Press the seam allowance up towards the cuff.

Take the interfaced cuff, and on the wrong side, press one edge up by 15mm.

Place the two cuff pieces right sides together, with the pressed up edge at the bottom.  Pin the interfaced cuff to the un-interfaced cuff around the two short sides and one long side. 

Make sure the seam allowance on the sleeve edge/cuff is folded up towards the cuff.  And also that the pressed up edge on the interfaced cuff is also folded up - pin in place.

Sew along the three edges, pivoting at the corners.  Trim, press and turn right side out.  (And don't do what I did, and trim too close to the stitches!!).

The pressed edge on the interfaced cuff will still be loose.  From the right side, pin this edge to the un-interfaced cuff.  On the wrong side, line up the folded interfaced edge with the stitching line for the un-interfaced cuff/sleeve. 

Top-stitch this in place, sewing about 1/8" in from the seam on the cuff.  Sew right from the edge of the cuff, so it closes up the little gap between the edge of the cuff and the placket. 

I've probably over-complicated the last few bits with my words!  Hopefully it's a lot more obvious with the fabric in your hands. 

The last thing to do is to make the buttonholes on the extension, there will be four buttonholes on each cuff.

I made my buttonholes 1 cm in from the edge of the cuff.  Fold the cuff back on itself as in the above photo.  Mark the centre of each folded edge, and that will be the centre of the buttonhole.

And that's it!

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

2019 Make Nine

2018 Make Nine was the first time I've taken part in this challenge, and I have to say that I loved it!  I made all nine of my items, and my theme was to make patterns I had wanted to make for ages using fabric I already had.

And, as the saying goes - if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  So I'm going with the same theme this year, and here are my choices.


1. Deer and Doe Luzerne Trench Coat

6. Self-drafted shirt

7. Silk self-drafted shirt/blouse

8. Self-drafted Gwen dress

9. Self-drafted 1940s dress

For those of you interested in the nitty-gritty deets, read on...

Last year I made the Deer and Doe Pavot Coat (which has sadly been discontinued) as part of my 2018 Make Nine, and it's been worn a lot.  So I thought I obviously need another coat in a similar style.    I loves me a trench coat, and clearly remember seeing this pattern release on the Deer and Doe blog when I was on the bus.  The fact that it's unlined put me off for a bit, but then I got over myself when I accidently bought this fabric from The Textile Centre.

It's a polyester crepe, and I bought 3 metres with the plan to make a dress.  But when I got the fabric in my hands it was too heavy for a dress, and I realised it would be perfect for this coat.  The fabric requirement on the pattern is 3 7/8 yds (which google has just told me is about 3.6 metres in real money),  but when I went to order another metre, but it was sold out!

I know I'll have to shorten the sleeves, and I'm not making the belt because it will get lost.  Also I was thinking I could cut the inside of the back yoke from some printed cotton, and use the rest for the bias binding.  With that, and some Olympic Standard pattern Tetris, I think it will be ok.

The purple is a bit darker in real life.

This is a Craftsy class with the fabulous Kenneth D King were he shows you how to make a pattern from a pair of jeans you already have, and then how to sew them up.  I've made the Closet Case Ginger jeans before, but didn't love the fit at the bum.

I have exactly two pairs of jeans that fit me well, and they are both exactly the same.  They are petite super skinny jeans from New Look (the shop, not the pattern company), and I must have them at least five years.  They are very well worn, and getting a bit thread-bare in places (on Tuesday a hole developed in the right knee of one pair), so I am in dire need of some replacements.  

I love these jeans because they have a low rise.  It seems that low rise jeans aren't in style now, and I find even mid rise jeans to be too high on my short torso.  My real-life sewing pal Ruth has had great success making jeans from this class (I think she told me she'd made seven pairs!), so I'm hoping for great things from this.

I have three pieces of denim to try these out on, the dark blue and grey are from Guthrie and Ghani, and the black is from Stitchy Bee.  

My love for this wrap dress is enormous, I've already made two here and here, and ages ago I saw a maxi version on Instagram.  I also love a maxi dress, so this was a combination that I couldn't get out of my head.  

My fabric is some gorgeous black patterned viscose from The Textile Centre, and I think I will maybe do some little capped sleeves on this.

This pattern wins the prize for being the only one to feature here last year and this year.  I've made the top twice here, and last year I hacked it into a dress here (I flipping love that dress!), and also made a short sleeve dress that never made it to the blog (which I also love).   

Since I'm clearly not done with this pattern, this time I'm going to make the top, but add the long sleeves from my dress hack.  I used to have a lovely green silk top just like that, but it was too small in the bust.  My fabric is some gorgeous silk I got on ebay, and I'm hoping I have enough!

It was the 70s-ness of this dress that spoke to me (no surprise there), and this pattern has been lying, un-loved, in my sewing room for far too long.  My fabric is a faux suede/moleskin type of thingy that I've had for ages.  Can't remember where it was from - I bought it to make a coat, but it was too light weight, and has been in the fabric box ever since.

I'm not sure how well this will fit me, so I can see me taking the pattern and drafting it from my block.  We'll see how it goes.

The brown is darker in real life.

6.  Self-drafted shirt

This has been in the making since about last June when I got this gorgeous viscose challis from Like Sew Amazing.  It just said shirt to me, and I have it in my head that I want to make a fitted shirt with 3/4 length sleeves and French cuffs.

I had planned to get started on this when I got the fabric; but, unbelievably, we had nice weather during the summer, so I didn't need to wear it.  But since I made my Winslow Culottes (here and another un-blogged pair), which I wear a lot, I've realised this shirt would go perfectly with them.  This will be my first make, and a toile has already been made.

7. Silk self-drafted shirt/blouse

This one follows on from the one above.  The fabric is some green silk from ebay bought a few years ago.  It was always going to be a sleeveless, or capped sleeve shirt/blouse to wear in the summer.  Like number 6, there is a gap in my wardrobe for it, so I need to get on with it too!

The green is more vivid and gorgeous in real life.

8. Self-drafted Gwen dress

You know how it is, you're looking at The Textile Centre's website, and everything is so cheap, it goes into your basket...  Well, that's how I ended up buying this navy and white spotty viscose.  My love of a viscose dress is well documents, and when I got the fabric in my hands it reminded me of the gorgeous vintage dress Gwen Stefani wore in the video for Don't Speak by No Doubt.  So that's what it's going to be!

The blue is a bit darker in real life

9.  Self-drafted 1940s dress

This one is deliberately vague.  Following on from my above-mentioned love of vicose dresses,   I have lots of lovely viscose fabrics, and lots of ideas for 1940s (or 1970s does 1940s) style dresses.  So it's time to put the two together, and see what I come up with! 


Well done if you got to the end of this, and I'm enjoying reading everybody elses Make Nine plans.  Good luck if you're taking part.