Sunday, 14 April 2013

The Great British Sewing Bee, vintage skirts & collars...

home sewing
Ok - hands up who has been busy dusting off their sewing machine and making eyes at the rolls of pretties at the nearest fabric shop?  You have...? Well you are certainly not alone as far as I can tell, since the airing of the first episode of  The Great British Sewing Bee 

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine 
(Don't look too close... mine really is covered in dust a I tend to use a modern one for the real thing)
The program, currently airing on BBC2 has apparently started a bit of a sewing revolution (for those who don't already indulge in all things crafty of course ;-) and my local haberdashery shop owner reported a positive upsurge in sales of not only fabric but also sewing machines which can only be good for the economy if happening up & down the country! 

I have to admit I enjoy anything to do with crafts and eagerly watch any crafting programs, I also buy far too many magazines and have a sizeable stash of mixed craft books (new & old) to the extent that I could probably operate a small a mini library. And that's all the confession you are getting out of me today....  except, ok,  maybe perhaps I also do have a small tendency to buy lots of random thrift store stuff too and, oh look what I found in my vintage pattern collection...
A-Line Skirt Pattern
What a classic!
...yes - it's the good old vintage Simplicity 5937 'A-Line' skirt pattern.  Circa 1960's I think, but it may also well be the same one they were still using in my needlework classes at school! It was, infact, the first piece of 'proper' clothing we were allowed to try and make.  

I laughed when I saw the contestants being given one of these to make on 'TGBSB' because, I remember my mum took me shopping to get some fabric (much to my excitement) and, savvy little fashionista that I was back then, I picked out an apple green, fine corduroy fabric.   Yes, you heard me right on both counts - I did mean a shade of green of the APPLE variety and 'corduroy' - that heavy, slightly weird velvety-felt textured fabric that I learnt never really works well for anything other than trousers (shop bought ones).  Do you know I don't think I ever do remember wearing that skirt...even after I'd done a pretty perfect waistband and hidden zip!

Anyway, in honour of all things sewing-y I thought I would pop up a project that I originally had published in a mag a year or so back that is nice 'n' easy if you are feeling too intimidated by the thought of a whole dress etc.
free collar pattern
It's a collar!  As you can see I made this one in a rather funky leopard print fabric (again, appropriate at the time) but it could also be made in something like a plain vintage cotton or perhaps satin or even lace.

So got your fabric, scissors, pins & needles at the ready?  Let's start...

fabric collar pattern free

(double click the pic or try  here for pattern)

And here are the simple step-by-steps:

cutting out a fabric collar
(1)  Trace the collar pattern and use it to cut out 4 x fabric collar pieces. Place 2 x pieces 'right sides' together and sew around the edges, keeping within the inner and outer guidelines.  Repeat with remaining 2 pieces of fabric. Make some small ‘V’ cuts in the fabric around edges (be careful not to cut your stitches!)

(2)  Turn the collar pieces right way round. It helps to use something like a pen to push the fabric up from the bottom to get it started. Smooth out the collar pieces and press, making sure all the corners are neat.

(3) Turn the back of neck end edges inwards and pin.  Then sew the edges together neatly.

(4) Sew the two collar pieces together in the middle at the front with a couple of stitches.  Add a vintage button or ribbon bow.

(5)  Check the size of the collar for fit and add a popper on the back of neck ends so that you can secure it when wearing it.

Tip:  If you want to use a flimsy material such as satin, be sure to pop some iron on interfacing fabric in between the layers to make the collar less floppy.

It doesn't get much easier than that does it?  

Hope you have fun making it!


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