What a fab beginners bedtime project and such to fun make!, with its matching drawstring bag to keep them in. Actually, this pattern is SO much more than just pyjamas! you could make the top as an everyday garment and the bottoms as sweat or jogging pants, so its pretty versatile practical pattern that you will make again and again.
Using stretch jersey is very forgiving, making it a great beginners fabric choice, just pop a ‘stretch’ or ‘ballpoint’ needle on your machine and off you go. And by the way, don’t worry if you don’t own an overlocker, most cotton stretch jersey fabrics don’t tend to fray anyway, so why not just leave your edges raw.
So, at last! a Sewgirl beginners stretch jersey project- its been a long time coming. A nice and snuggly garment inspired by my trips to the beach and wanting to feel cosy when I go for my sea swims (yes you heard right!) I’m planning on swimming through the winter….hmm! We will see if that happens.
So what can I say about Maisie? Its comfy, cosy, oversized so lots of room for lumps and bumps (and I have my fair share of those!). Its got easy peasy raglan sleeves -yay! This pattern gives you options to make it in a choice of two lengths -a dress or top, with either side or patch pockets and a hood or high neckband, lots of choices on offer with this one. I popped a choice of pockets because I LOVE POCKETS! There- I said it.
Fabrics suitable for this garment: Stretch! So think sweatshirt fabric, terry or loop back jersey is perfect too. Medium weight stripy jersey is also fab, but make sure its not too lightweight, you need something with a bit of structure to it. Try sourcing one from The Cornish Haberdashery -they have some nice coloured jersey knit stripes. Any knit fabric is good too, for the orange jumper top I used a cable knit fabric by Minerva.com and its great!
So here is a chart with all the info you need about sizing, finished garment measurements and fabric requirements.
This is how to make Maisie Top or Dress.
Tips: I find it really helpful when sewing bulky fabrics to use a Walking Foot. This is not a ramble whilst you sew – ha ha! Its an attachment for your machine which has a rolling mechanism under the foot to help move the fabric along and it looks like this one, but don’t worry, if you haven’t got one.
Also its a good idea to pop a jersey or ballpoint needle on your machine. It prevents snagging the elastane fibres in the fabric. You can get these from Minerva.com or your local sewing store.
First prepare the PATCH POCKETS, if you are doing side pockets go to the next step.
Frida can be made into a top, dress or maxi dress as shown in the pictures above. It has one (top version) or two frill tiers (dress version), with a keyhole neckline with either ties or a loop and button fastening at the neckline. There are two side pockets and sleeves which are three quarter length elasticated for the dress or short fold back cuffs for the top. Please see the chart below for the finished garment measurements.
This is an easy pattern for beginners with some previous sewing experience. Techniques involved are gathering up the frills, inserting ties, a facing, I think theres nothing too difficult involved – its a really fun project to sew. If you feel a bit daunted by the tie/loop insertion, take a peek at the video tutorial that I have linked to this blogpost.
Fabrics suitable for making Frida are cotton (African fabrics are great), denim chambray, ramie, viscose and lightweight linen. Please see the chart below for fabric requirements.
The pattern instruction booklet will show you the pieces to cut out according to your fabric width, using the layplans as a guide.
SEAM ALLOWANCE IS 1cm
Here are some of the stages of making up Frida to show you how its done.
Orla dress is a style that I designed quite a while ago and it proved such a classic style, I decided it just had to join the Sewgirl collection.
So let me describe this dress, so as well as being insanely stylish, it is also a very easy relaxed dress to wear. Its trapeze shape allows you lots of movement, so you can eat what you like without feeling constricted. With two side pockets (who doesnt love a sidey) and a choice of two dress lengths and two sleeve lengths, the Option A has a buttoned placket detail at the neckline, edged with bias binding to give it a retro feel or Option B has an alternative simple neck facing.
Both options have a back neck opening.
This is an easy pattern to make up, however, the placket detail is probably a little more tricky, so if you have had some experience attaching bias binding you should be ok.
I would say this dress really suits bold prints but it also looks great in plain linens or viscose/linen mixes or the blue and white one (with red trim below) is a voile that I bought from slubbedprints.co.uk who have a wonderful collection of hand block print cotton fabrics from India. You can really play around with matching up one of the colours in your print or using a complete contrast colour binding as I have done here.
Some other versions of Orla that Ive made in bold prints.
Here are details about fabric requirements, size info and finished garment details.
So you will also need some equipment like a loop turner or a large eye blunt ended needle, tacking thread and needle, an iron, a good pair of dressmaking scissors and a stitch ripper for any back tracking you may need to make!
HOW TO MAKE ORLA
Here are some pictures and text to give you an idea about how this dress is made before you buy.
CUTTING TIP FOR FABRICS 112cm WIDE SIZES 20 & 22
Just one tip before you start cutting out your fabric pieces on a narrower width fabric, if you are cutting out sizes 20+ you may not have the width at the lower edge, my advise would be to add a square of fabric extension on the lower selvedge edge to compensate.
The Front and Back are joined at the shoulder seams and topstitched.
The pattern gives you lots more details about how to do the binding.
So with Option B you don’t insert a placket or use bias binding around the neckline like you do with Version A. I thought that some people would like to try it without the binding, so here are a few illustrations to give you an idea about how its done.
Woohoo! Here it is! A fab pair of loose fitting dungarees, inspired by one of my all time heros… Doris Day! Here she is, what a woman!
These dungarees are designed to feel comfortable as well as stylish. Make them in denim will give them a practical utility look or linen for being a little more on the classy side. Wear them with pumps, sandals, flip flops, clogs or boots and a crisp plain or stripy tee underneath or maybe even a pretty floral top (Peggy) underneath also looks fab.
I have a growing collection of suitable fabrics on my Etsy shop such as 8oz denim and linen in lots of gorgeous colours, so take a peek, you might be tempted.
There is also a kit available, containing the pattern, choice of linen or denim fabric, interfacing, buttons and thread all packed up in a lovely kraft bag.
So this skirt was inspired by a one I made for myself that I literally wore out, I loved wearing it so much. It’s my go to skirt for knocking about everyday, working in, going out on my bike, walks, you name it.
And those pockets are just SO practical!
Martha Skirt is a great denim project or, as you can see from the pictures, perfect when using a dynamic printed cotton teamed up with a plain fabric for the band and pockets. This print is an african Wax print which (for those that know me) I’m a big fan of.
I find such pleasure choosing the colour to match the print. In my books, this is one of the things that makes sewing such fun. You are going to have a unique garment that you have created for yourself! What’s not to love!
So, if you have chosen to use two different fabrics, make sure to use similar weights, but if you. like me, want to use something a bit heavier for the band (i.e. 8oz denim) then just balance out the main fabric with some lightweight lining fabric like a cotton voile or maybe even some woven fusible interfacing. I just cut out another upper Front & Back skirt piece only, pin to the reverse side of the three pieces, stitch together all around at the sides, then continue as if its one piece of fabric.
Here is the info you need about sizing, finished garment measurements and fabric requirements….
You also need an 18cm (7″) zip and 20cm of medium/lightweight interfacing and a reel of thread.
Equipment: A zip foot machine attachment, poking tool. I like to use a tailors ham too but its not essential.
SEAM ALLOWANCE IS 1.5cm
So, kicking off, Martha Skirt has two darts on the Back piece top edge.
ALL ABOUT THE ZIP
Martha has a zip inserted into the back seam, so you will need to pop your zip foot on your machine. If you don’t have a zip foot you can always hand sew a zip into the back seam.
The pattern gives instructions about how to insert a ‘centred’ zip into the back seam, which I think is the simplest zip insertion of all, but you might prefer to use a ‘lapped’ zip technique or better still a concealed zip.
I have a separate blogpost called ‘How to insert a concealed zip’ which will show you how to do one, using just a standard zip foot attachment.
Inserting zips is not difficult when you know how. Once mastered your (sewing) life will be transformed and hopefully (like me) it will be the bit you look forward to the most (not kidding honest!).
So, if you have chosen to add a lower band for the longer length version, either in contrast fabric or main fabric, you will need to first hem the Lower back band pieces at the side edges.
For the Short Skirt version continue to the Pocket section.
Fold the facing to the reverse side, pushing out the corners at the top of the zip.
Pin the facing to secure it on the reverse side. Stitch the facing all around, close to the outer edge. Press.
Finally a bit of hemming on the lower edge of the skirt and bobs your uncle! There you have it!
All images are copyrighted by Fiona Hesford – Sewgirl.
Please do not copy or use any images without prior permission.
I’m afraid, due to the current pandemic, the Sewgirl workshop programme has been suspended until further notice. However, I am a regular presenter on the Sewing street TV channel where I show demonstrations of my patterns. If you follow me on social media, you will be updated about upcoming show dates.