Simple Sew Miranda Tee

I know it was a while agoDid you take part in Me Made May? I did, and one thing it taught me (apart from the fact that I have too many clothes) is that I reach for t-shirts more than any other garment. So when it was time for the Simple Sew bloggers to choose their patterns for this month I got in there quick as flash to choose the Miranda tee. This is a brand new pattern soon to be released into the wild so I was quite excited to try it out.
I cut out a size medium in some rubbish fabric to check the fit and was very pleased to find that it did. I had to make one change but it was a simple one. The pattern is very long so I shortened it.
To make this t-shirt I was given this gorgeous viscose jersey fabric from Doughty’s. I love stripey t-shirts and have made several of them. The pattern states that you need 1.5m of fabric but I can confirm you can get it out of less. I liked the fabric a lot so I wanted to conserve as much as I could. I’m glad I did this as my finished t-shirt is not exactly perfect as you shall soon see. A bit of practice though and I’ll have it nailed.
Obviously stripes need careful handling. Everything has to match! Well, it doesn’t really but I like it to.
Miranda 2

Rather than fold the fabric in half I folded each selvedge to the middle. This allowed me to get the pattern out of less than a metre of fabric but also it allowed me to match up the stripes ready for cutting.

Pattern matching starts with careful cutting out.

Miranda 3

The easiest way to make sure everything matches is to get the underarm point to match in the same place each time. I have the underarm point at the beginning of a black stripe in the photo above and I did the same for the front piece and both arm pieces.

Miranda 4

I decided to live life on the edge and go for the v-neck variation. I’ve sewn plenty of round necked knit tops before but this was my first v-necked one. You can tell it’s my first one when you look at the finished garment!

The first thing you have to do is sew the front to the back at the shoulder seams. Now it’s good practice to stabilise these seams to prevent your shoulders from stretching out in the future. I sometimes use twill tape or ribbon but on this occasion I used clear elastic. I attached it to the seam allowance of the wrong side of the back bodice and ran it through the overlocker.


Once the shoulder seams are done it’s time to attach the dreaded neck band.

The neck band for the v-necked version is longer than the round necked version and it is also mitred at each end to give the right shape. You sew the short, mitred ends to each other right sides together, pivoting in the middle. You then press the whole length of the neck band in half length ways. If your fabric has good 4 way stretch, like the pattern suggests, you can cut the band so that the stripes run horizontally or vertically. I went for vertical stripes in this one.

Miranda 9

You then need to evenly add the band to the neck line. The neck band is shorter than the neckline is so you will have to stretch it slightly to get it to fit. This is important as it allows the neckband to sit nice and flat to the chest once constructed.

I did write a more detailed post on how to attach a neck band here.

I split the band into quarters and marked each quarter with a pin. You can see them in the photo above. I then did exactly the same to the neck line on the top. I’ve folded the front and the back bodice in half in the photo below (the neckline is at the top) and I popped a pin at the folds. I then brought those pins together and folded it in half again. This allowed me to mark the quarter points. You then match the pins on the neckline up with the pins on the neckband, stretching the neckband (not the neckline) as you sew.

Miranda 10

So it’s round about here that things started to go a little wrong. What I should have done is get that neckband seam at the lowest point of the v first by anchoring it in place with my sewing machine rather than going ahead willy-nilly and using the overlocker to attach the band.

Once the seam is in the correct place and stitched down then you can go about attaching the neckband in exactly the same way as you would for a round one. This means stretching the neckband to fit the neck opening.

Miranda 13

It’s probably a good idea to attach the whole band using a basting stitch on the sewing machine and then go over it with the overlocker once you’re satisfied. That is what I’ll definitely do in the future (well, for the v-necked variation anyway)!


As you can see I didn’t quite get the v point right. I did not stretch the neck band far enough and I ended up with excess fabric on the front bodice which ended in a pucker. I did unpick my overlock stitches and tried to correct this, and although it improved matters, it is still far from perfect. Grrr! I then used a zig-zag stitch to top stitch the seam allowance to the bodice and moved on with my life.

miranda 15

After the neckband debacle it was time to move on to the side seams. I was on firmer ground here! It’s hard to tell from the photo above but all stripes were nicely matched. The notches weren’t quite cut in the same place on my front and back bodices but if you’re matching stripes, it’s more important to match these rather than the notches.

miranda 16

So stripey fabric can be a pain to cut out and match up but it comes into its own when it comes to hemming. You can use a stripe as a pressing guide and then as a stitching guide. As you can see from the photo above, I’ve pressed it so that the black stripe runs across the bottom. I’ve used the skinny white stripe as a stitching guide. I tend to use a zig-zag stitch to hem because I have no luck with twin needles as no matter what I do I cannot stop the tunneling. I think the zig-zag looks effective anyway.

So here’s my finished t shirt. I really love how it fits. I’ll definitely be making more to replace some of my tired RTW t-shirts. I have to anyway as I need to keep practicing that neckband!

Miranda collage


My April makes

Yes, yes I know. I thought I’d better get this written now before July gets here. April’s Sew My Style pattern was the Marigold Jumpsuit by Tilly and the Buttons. That really wasn’t my cup of tea so I gave it a miss. I made up for it by sewing purely Tilly and the Buttons patterns for April (except for my April Simple Sew make that is).

I started by making a Coco top (my fourth) from the fabric left over from my little red dress project. I had to tessellate the heck out of it to make it fit. The fabric is a heavy, but drapey jersey. I made the funnel-neck version which I think was a mistake as the fabric can’t really hold its shape very well. I do like it though and I’ve worn it plenty of times.

26th May


I also bought Tilly’s stretch book during April and I set to work almost straight away (leap frogging a whole load of other projects) making the projects. I started with the first project in the book – the Bibi skirt. I made this skirt because it was the easiest project in the book and took very little fabric. Being a tight-fitting jersey skirt, I wasn’t expecting it to look that good on me and I was quite pleasantly surprised at how well it did look! I had some left over ponte (I’m all about the left overs) from this project and managed to squeeze this very simple skirt out of it.

There are various versions of the Bibi in the book. I went for the version with the side split and the button tabs. It’s very easy to make it look very smart for work and a bonus is that it doesn’t need ironing! MMM1

April is also my daughter’s birthday month. I thought I’d make the second project from the Stretch book for her birthday. This is the Frankie Baseball Tee.

frankie collage

It’s a size 3 so too small for me but one day I’ll make it in my size. The fabric is fab! It’s been in my stash for a while. I bought it from Sew Over It nearly two years ago and, as expected, it’s no longer in stock (I checked)! The blue sleeves came from some scraps of jersey from Girl Charlee. Never throw any fabric away – you never know when you’ll need it!

Finally I made a Tilly pattern that is on my make nine list – the Arielle skirt. 20180510_180614-COLLAGE

The fabric is a bit green! I’m not too sure about it to be honest but I have worn it a couple of times. It’s just a plain medium-weight cotton that I bought from Boyes. I was really excited about this skirt pattern when I saw it and it went straight on my Amazon wish list. Finally I got it for my birthday (which was in October) and I only managed to make it in April. As you can see, I went for the short version. I think it’s a little too short for me really. I think the long version will be too long though. It’s also a little on the big side. I cut out a size 5. I don’t know what it is about Tilly patterns. If I cut a 4 it’s too small whereas a 5 is too big. I did try it on at an interim stage and I was concerned that it was coming out too small. I’m not really sure what happened there!

I went for the lined version and I love how neat and tidy it turned out. I just used some bog-standard acetate lining that I had in my stash and it’s lovely to wear.

Arielle 1

Rather than machine hemming the skirt I chose to hem it by hand for a really neat finish.

Arielle 2

I think I will make this skirt again (I always say that!) but I’ll make a few mods. I think I’ll make it in a stretch denim and size down. I’ll either make the long version or I’ll lengthen the short version. A denim version won’t need to be lined so it will be a much quicker make.

So those are my April makes. I was super productive in that month. I’m afraid I haven’t been quite so productive since then! However, I shall be back very shortly with my June Simple Sew make. There’s only one day left so I better get on with it!

The end of Me Made May 2018

That’s it for another year! My family, and probably my non-sewing followers on Instagram, are no doubt breathing a big sigh of relief!  For the sake of consistency I’ll start this post by showing what I wore for the last week and a bit of May. Continue reading

Me Made May weeks 2 and 3

Oops! I missed a week there didn’t I? Work has been a bit mad lately and has left me no time for blogging, or reading other blogs for that matter. I shall try to be as quick as possible as I have two week’s worth of garments to get in!

8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th May

MMMay 8 to 12

I started the second week wearing my Simple Sew Chelsea skirt and my Molly top made a return. On Wednesday 9th I took over the Simple Sew Instagram account so I made sure I was wearing it from head to toe! I wore my Pussy Bow blouse and the unblogged-because-it-was-a-pattern-test High-Waisted trousers! I then reverted back to my stripey Walkley top from MIY Collection, and teamed with the last thing I made in April – The Arielle Skirt from Tilly and the Buttons. I shall be blogging this soon. Friday I wore my un-blogged, but often worn, sleeveless top from the GBSB third book. On Saturday the 12th May I went on an old lady bus tour to RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate and I wore my Simple Sew Colour Block Top. Apologies for the dodgy selfie where you can barely see the top but I felt ridiculous photographing myself!

13th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th May



MMMay 13 to 17

On Sunday 13th I slobbed around in my Molly top and my newly fixed Safari skirt by Sew So Easy. On Monday I kept the Safari skirt and paired it with the Simple Sew Jersey top. Another Simple Sew make for Tuesday but this time the Stylish Shell top. On Wednesday I wore my beloved Archer by Grainline Studios. On Thursday the weather had cooled right down so I wore my Delphine Skirt from Love at First Stitch by Tilly and the Buttons. I also wore my Deer and Doe Luzerne Trench coat.

18th, 19th, 20th and 21st May


MMMay 18 to 21

On Friday evening we went for a stomp around the beautiful Scarborough countryside. I wore my Archer again. On Saturday it was the turn of my Simple Sew Zoe dress. Sunday was spent gardening in my Arielle skirt and my Molly top. Finally, at the end of week three, I wore my Pauline Alice Cami dress.

Phew! There’s only a few days left of May but I hope to blog the last week and a bit soon. 1st June if I’m lucky!

May Sew My Stlye – the Myosotis dress

After taking April off I’m back with May’s Sew My Style. Sew My Style is a monthly challenge where you make set patterns to help you build your own capsule wardrobe. Not that I need a capsule wardrobe. I officially have a tonne of clothes!

This month’s pattern was a brand new release from Deer and Doe patterns – the Myosotis dress.  Continue reading

Me Made May 2018 Week 1

I’m a little behind here as we’re well on our way through week two of May but this is just a mini post to show how I’m getting on with Me Made May. The weather has really taken us all by surprise as it’s so warm and I usually get my cold-weather garments out of the way in early May. Not this time though!

My pledge is to wear two garments a day and fix five handmade garments. I have yet to touch any of my mending!

Tuesday 1st May – I wore my brand new Bibi skirt from Tilly and the Buttons and paired it with one of my Walkley tops from MIY Collection. I will blog my skirt and my April makes when I get a minute!


Wednesday 2nd May – I wore my Bibi skirt again and this time I paired it with another Walkley top and a RTW cardigan.


Thursday 3rd May – I know it’s getting boring but I’m wearing my third Walkley top. They’ve just been so easy to wear in the hot weather! It was cool in the morning though so I wore my recent-ish Luzerne trench coat by Deer and Doe.


Friday 4th May – I wore the trench coat again but soon had to ditch that as it was so warm. So I’m only pictured wearing my Kalle shirt by Closet Case Patterns.


Saturday 5th May – We went to Maker Central at the NEC in Birmingham on this day. It was really hot and I wore my Molly top by Sew Over It and my Liana Stretch jeans (sorry, original blog post has strangely disappeared).


Sunday 6th May – another scorcher and I wore my Simple Sew jersey top and took a me-made handbag. As you can see we went to Cadbury World!


Monday 7th May – No photographic evidence as I was sat in a sweltering hot car on our way home. As we were away for the bank holiday weekend I failed to pack enough hot weather clothes so I was wearing my colour-blocked Coco by Tilly and the Buttons and I was far too hot! I also had the same handmade handbag.

It does take quite a bit of thought to wear two items each day. I thought I’d be wearing my hand made coats and long sleeved jumpers but it’s just been too hot for them. I’m not complaining mind you, I love this weather! See you next week for another update.



Me Made May 2018

Is it May already? Time for Me Made May 2018. I actually love this challenge but my family hate it! All those photos I make them take! However, since last year I have been given a tripod with a phone mount, and I have a phone that takes pictures when I say ‘cheese’! No family involvement necessary (although I’ll probably still make them do it). This is my fourth year of completing this challenge and here is my pledge: Continue reading