Flo-Jo Boutique

Saturday, 30 April 2016

The Camber Set - part 3

I won't bore you with another one I promise.. this is the last! I do love this pattern and will make again as it's such a delight to wear and stitch together., but I'll keep it to myself.
This dress is my African dress because of the fabric I used with the denim. I love a denim dress and you can never have enough, there's so much you can do with it, so many shades to choose and so many weights. This was a medium weight dark denim. The fabric I choose for the sleeves and yoke and hem boarder is a Michael Miller print with more than a nod to African design.
Again I used the same method for inserting a jeans zip in the top back and widened the neck line just a little. I used a sleeve pattern from another dress entirely though but making sure the top of the sleeve pattern was cut the same to ensure a good fit. This sleeve is from the Colette Macaron dress. It's a great sleeve, you have to cut two for each arm and sew the hems together first and the line of the hem is curved into an upwards point in the centre outside of the arm. It's very pretty.
I used a denim binding for the front this time thinking it would look too much in the other fabric.
I felt the bottom hem needed a little of it though to balance it out.
I put in pockets along the side seams again. The thing I did differently was a dart running down the front but angled from the bust outwards. I'm not sure why this worked, it just seemed to need something when I tried it on, it wasn't a planed thing.... I liked the angle as it made the dress look a little more interesting when on. I added curved darts at the back too.

New Dressmaking Class- Colette patterns Hazel dress

Learn how to make this lovely Summer dress over a 5 week course at Flo-Jo Boutique. You will learn how to make a gathered skirt with in-seam pockets, sew a panelled fitted bodice and a concealed zip in the back of the dress.
The class runs from 6.30-8.30 on Tuesday evenings in the Flo-Jo workshop, starting on the 17th of May for £95.

Colette patterns Hazel dress for beginners comes as this lovely booklet filled with cutting layouts, easy to follow instructions and pattern pieces for UK sizes 6-22.

Book online, in the shop or over the phone 0117 9041498!

Friday, 29 April 2016

The Camber Set - part 2

My second Camber Set shift dress was made for my holiday last summer. I used an amazing piece of fabric with a tropical panel print. As I had to lay and cut the dress pattern pieces across the width of the fabric instead of the length I used 120cm of fabric.
I used the same exposed zip featue but made the sleeves shorter, more like a cap sleeve. I finished of the edges of the sleeves with a contrasting turquoise binding and did the same with the hem and front neckline.
The lovely thing about this pattern, which I kept, is the back yoke and the way the back, front and yoke go together. You cut two yokes so the inside seams are all hidden and neat. ..so nice.
My tropical number had a plane black yoke and sleeves. In the front I made a small double pleat just under the bust to give a little shape. I secured with a few stitches. My picture doesn't really show this very well.  I used the same darts in the back to loosley follow the curve of my back. Still leaving enough room to be able to wriggle into it ...and out again, hopefully on a warm day.
Well it's now two days off May day and we've been having icey winds and the odd hail storm, getting this number out seems along way off!

Thursday, 28 April 2016

The Camber Set Dress - part 1

I love a good shift dress and have made quite a few.. I tend to start with a pattern then add a few bits along the way to change up the styling or fit. One of the basics that I've started with for some is The Camber Set dress from Merchant & Mills.
They know how to to understated syle, no frills but classic cuts. Known for their plane, natural look, shapes and fabrics.
I've made three different but very similar versions of this dress.
The first time I made it I made my Frida dress. I used an Alexander Henry print called Frida's Garden.
I used the canvas / heavyweight cotton version and then used a mustard 50% linen and 50% viscose fabric to make the sleeves, the back yoke and neck binding with. Plus I used a piece as a border around the bottom to balance the contrast.
My first pattern hack as it's known as, was to add a little exposed zip at the back. This is easy as you don't have to add fabric just fold away the extra and cut a couple of 45 degree angle snips at the base of the zip. I also dropped the neckline a little at the front. I also put in darts at the back to add a little shape. Oh and I added side pockets... every dress needs pockets!
I get comments ( good ones!) every time I wear this dress, I'd like to think it's my tweaking of design but I do believe it's down to the beautiful fabric. Most people when seeing this in the shop think it could only be for home furnishings but be brave and wear your curtains, and I don't think you'll regret it!

 I thought my description of the zip was kinda sketchy so here's a pic and a bit more info...
 Once you've cut your upside down Y shape you fold the fabric back and place the zip behind the space. I used a chunky jeans zip with metal teeth in a light on a blue colour mount. It's only for decoration as I've made the head hole of my dress plenty large enough to get on, but handy for a big up do kinda day!

Friday, 15 April 2016

Sewing Tips - Machine thread bunching!

Bunched up thread on your machine and what to do....?

We get asked all the time for help with this problem at the shop. 
It happens to everyone, not just novice sewers. I think that's a common misconception for beginners...thinking that they're messing up, however it does happen to us all, you just have to know what to do and what to look for and it won't feel like a big problem anymore!
I've heard it called 'bird nesting' and it seems like a good description, it can happen on the underneath and the top of your fabric. 

When your thread is bunching up on the top of your fabric the problem has to do with you bobbin.
Check the following before calling your repair shop....

* Is the bobbin  threaded properly?
Take the bobbin out of the casing and re thread making sure you follow the instructions for your brand of machine. The direction the bobbin winds does depend on the type of casing. top loaders are the opposite to bottom loaders.
Make sure there is some bobbin tension, if when you hold the case and pull the tread the bobbin flies out your thread may have missed the tension spring.

*Is the needle threaded correctly?
Always re thread starting from the very start, by the spool. Make sure it's going through all the tension disks and threaded as your manuel asks. Missing one little hook  DOES make a difference!

* Is the machine clean?
A build up of lint dust in the bobbin or where the need le dipps down can be a problem. It's worth having a little paint brush with your machines bits n bobs for dusting out with. 

* Was the presser foot down?
Doh, we've all done it! 

And lastly...

*Is the bobbin case tension too loose?
There's a little screw in the case which is the tension, normally this should be left alone but they do undo sometimes and need a little tighten. Occasionally they will need replacing.If you do need to tighten it it should be moved in very small turns at a time. Bobbin tensions are set correctly when made so shouldn't have to be turned very often and certainly not as a first call.

About Me

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Bristol, United Kingdom
Flo-jo Boutique is the creative baby of Delia and Erika two seamstresses from Bristol specialising in lingerie and vintage styled garments. Designers of sewing kits and creators of sewing parties their shop in Bristol and online shop are home to a gorgeous range of quality fabrics and haberdahsery, craft kits, books and handmade gifts.