Sunday, 20 July 2014

Bronte and the Overlord

Pattern: Bronte by Jennifer Lauren Vintage
Size: 12
Fabric: Stripe jersey upcycled from a dress

Years ago I owned the cutest t-shirt. It was just from Matalan or somewhere else equally ununspiring, in the dark days before I sewed, but I loved the unusually shaped neckline and sweet button accents. I wore it to death and saw anything similar again. Until I encountered Bronte!! Seriously? A pattern from which I can create as many of my all-time fave t-shirt as I like?! YES PLEASE!!!

It's not really clear from the photo above, but I went with the option of adding a row of buttons on each side of the neckline detail. I love putting random, functionless buttons on things so this appealed to me greatly.

Excitement out of the way, it's a PDF pattern which gets a big tick from me. There's not a lot to say about the pattern which is a good thing. It just worked. Even that neckline which you might think could be a bit tricky, was just a piece of pie. I reckon the whole thing took me a couple of hours from cutting to finishing.
The only thing I would change in future would be to hem the sleeves after sewing up the side seams as that's my preferred finish, although I followed the pattern to the letter on this first try.

I didn't quite use the perfect fabric, it should have a bit more stretch in it really, but I've had this hand-me-down dress courtesy of my mum which, I've finally accepted, is just too small for me. Like, even if I lose 10 stone, my rib cage is just bigger than that dress. Shame, it was pretty. However, I hate to see a good bit of clothing go to waste like that and I loved it too much to give it to charity, AND the green stripe was just begging to be made in to a Bronte, so...ta-da! I didn't have quite enough fabric to cut out the back piece, so I improvised and made a panel at the top of the back with the stripes going the other way, which I think makes a rather nice feature. I will most definitely be making a million more of these (it has a long-sleeve option for the winter too - hurrah!) so will hunt out something a bit stretchier in future.

One last bit of mega excitement...I FINALLY bought an overlocker (or an Overlord, as Big Minx likes to call it). It has taken me a long time to bite the bullet and justify the cost, but I was starting to feel very miffed that I couldn't finish my garments to as high a standard as I would like and I magically found a reconditioned Toyota overlocker at this shop's website. Here she is snuggling up with my most-used sewing machine.

She was a bargain, being second hand, but had just been serviced and came with a 6-month warranty so I took the plunge. She arrived within 2 days and is fabulous! I was mighty afraid of her at first as I had no idea where to even begin, but I read the instruction manual, looked at some YouTube vids, and a few days later we're now firm friends. I even rethreaded the whole thing just cos I didn't want that to be a big elephant in the room. It's really not as hard as everyone makes out! Or maybe I'm just lucky to have a nicely colour-coded machine. I'm still fiddling with tensions as I go along and edging (no pun intended) ever closer to the perfect stitch.

Anyhoo, long story there, but I sewed the majority of this top on my overlocker which was fun! Only the topstitching around the neckline and the zig-zag around the sleeves and hem were done on my normal sewing machine. I'm totally in with the in crowd now.



  1. Girl, I love this! The colour's fab, and I love the back panel. I've bought the Bronte pattern but just not made it up yet - must rectify that! And so glad you're loving the overlocker too! x

    1. Thanks lovely! Definitely get yourself on this pattern, it's sooooo fab. x