Ogden Cami Sewing Tips

ogden cami neckline

Fabric Choice Affects Sizing

Take note of how tight the weave of your fabric is. A light, fluid viscose with a bit of spandex (my first version) is going to fit differently to a tightly woven silk (my second version). This is not an accurate science, but a bit of forethought and adjustment can save a make.

Consider Hand Stitching Your Hem – And Keep The Hand Stitches Loose

Loose stitching allows the hem to ‘move’ with the fluid drape of the top. One of my biggest errors as a newbie Sewist was to pull my hand stitching Nice. And. Tight. All you do is create tension, in yourself and in your hems, which distort. Relax!

hand stitched hem

Loose Hand Stitching

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What Should I Sew This Weekend?

Ogden Cami True Bias Did You Make That

This! The Ogden Cami from True Bias. I tell ya, I’m in love and it layers up like a dream.

Ogden Cami Did You Make That

Twinned with my Miriam cardigan from Quince & Co

What do I like about this pattern?

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GBSB Live – The Winners!

Patrick and Esme, Did You Make That

Below are the names of my ten winners. They each receive a free pair of tickets to The Great British Sewing Bee Live.

Thanks to everyone for taking part in this giveaway! I hope I’ll see many of you at Excel in September.

  • Vena Jacobs
  • Adele Ebdon
  • Caroline Joynson
  • Gemma Luker
  • Ann Warners
  • Claire Nightingale
  • Mumokio
  • Ali Thompson
  • Susan Bowdler
  • Leanna Levine
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The Great British Sewing Bee Live – Giveaway


Patrick Great British Sewing Bee

First things first, you lucky people. Have you heard that 2017 is the year of the first live event associated with The Great British Sewing Bee?

Highlights shall include:

  • Over 100 workshops
  • Live refashion challenges set to members of the public
  • Ex-contestants – living, breathing, moving and sewing!
  • Drop in clinics for your sewing emergencies
  • Over 200 exhibitors aka people willing to take your money in exchange for goodies

I have ten pairs of free tickets to The Great British Sewing Bee Live. To throw your hat into the ring, simply comment on this blog post. In your comment, I want to hear what burning question you’d ask Patrick and Esme, given the chance.

To comment, you should be confident of being able to visit this UK-based live event, 21-24 September in London.

Ten lucky winners shall be picked at random. The closing date for this giveaway is midnight GMT Wednesday 19 July.

I also have a discount code of DYM to give readers £1.50 off advance purchases of adult tickets bought here. Go on, go on, go on! I’ll be attending, but don’t let that put you off.

Esme Great British Sewing Bee

So. What is the lure of a live event, for a franchise that’s already had four successful TV series? To find out, I recently attended an intimate Q&A with no other than Patrick and Esme from TGBSB.

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She Walks In Beauty Like The Night Of Cloudless Climes

closet case patterns charlie caftan liberty tana lawn

I expect at some point I shall get bored. Of making Charlie Caftans. Or maybe not. Two more future makes already light up my imagination. The question is: at what point do you reach maximum caftan on a sewing blog? Hey, I’m willing to take one for the team and see where breaking point lies. When readers scream, ‘For the love of all that is sacred, make something else, Karen!’

But not quite yet.

charlie caftan liberty tana lawn

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Kaftans and Kimonos

charlie caftan pattern

The release of the Charlie Caftan reminded me how much I adore kaftans and kimonos. (We can debate the spelling of kaftan/caftan some other time!)

Kaftans and kimonos are perfect for summer months – for home, for the beach, for the steaming city streets. Twin them with a water bottle (I love mine here) and you’re set to go. Maybe shove a mini-fan in your tote, too.

Here is a quick run down of the patterns I love.

Kimono Image ii

sew over it kimono dressing gown

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Charlie Caftan In Viscose Victory

closet case patterns charlie caftan in viscose

This beautiful viscose was kindly gifted to me by Bobbins & Buttons in Leicester. You can see their full supply of viscose here (though sadly none of this leaf print left). Don’t weep! I have found an alternative source of the print here.

If you want to know more about the qualities of viscose, read here. For this summer weather, the only important detail you need to know is – viscose breathes. And from the breezy photo above, you can appreciate the fluid drape.

The perfect summer caftan.

On this version, I raised the bottom of the V in the neckline. Arguably, a bit prissy now but I enjoy the confidence of knowing that a paw or bag strap tugging at my bodice isn’t likely to reveal my bra. Call me old-fashioned!

gathered neckline

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Tips For Sewing The Charlie Caftan Bodice Panel

I thought I’d share my tips for sewing the bodice panel into view B of the Charlie Caftan from Closet Case Patterns. These steps are covered in pages 13-15 of the PDF instructions.

As the instructions tell you, accuracy is needed. So, how did I go?

bodice band chalk

On the reverse of the interfaced panel piece, I chalked the sewing lines between the circle marks at each corner. Instructions don’t suggest this, but I wanted to give myself a fighting chance of accurate sewing.

The first step is to sew the bodice panel to the gathered front centre front bodice. There’s a lot going on here – gathers, attaching two sections, and a row of sewing that needs to accurately end at places indicated by large circles. (You do need to end your row of sewing accurately at these circles.)

Because of all this, it felt best to hand baste first.

For basting, I used Corticelli silk thread. (Silk thread slips out easily when you want to remove the row of basting stitches.)

charlie caftan basting bodice panel

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Closet Case Patterns Charlie Caftan

Closet Case Patterns Charlie Caftan

It’s ages since I sewed from Closet Case Patterns, but as soon as I saw the Charlie Caftan I knew what I was doing with my weekend. Want to know how long this dress takes to sew from scratch? Five hours.

I had an appointment to see a friend. The same person who took these photos. My pal has a great eye, so after five hours of sewing version B I ran out to meet her in my newly-finished dress and shoved the camera in her hands. ‘Take some blog photos?’ What can I say – she’s a great friend.

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Creating Couture Embellishment – Book Review

Creating Couture Embellishment Laurence King

This is a beast of a book. In fact, so big and heavy that I couldn’t resist weighing it. I recommend reading this propped up in bed, book resting against your knees, with refreshments to hand as you dream about the couture embellishment you’re going to add to your next make.

weighing a book

Creating Couture Embellishment by Ellen W Miller is not for the weak of wrist or faint of heart. This is hardcore sewing knowledge. Of course, I adored it the moment I cracked open the spine.

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