Selfless, sparkly sewing

Hi there!

So it’s the week before Christmas and suddenly, despite thinking I was well ahead on my gift making this year, I’m in a sewing frenzy, trying desperately to get through everything that needs doing.  This has been made worse by my children both hitting a growth spurt and commenting whistfully (I swear they organised this in advance) how nice it had been to wear Frozen dresses last Christmas day and wouldn’t it be lovely if they could do the same this year?

Devious little beggars.

So anyway, I’m trying to whizz through the rest of my makes so I can get to them because yes, it would be lovely if they were wearing new dresses at Christmas.

Today’s make was one of those super speedy makes that I should have get around to a little earlier, but it’s done and I’m thrilled with it.

So thrilled that I don’t want to hand it over!

My parents play in the city’s orchestra and, whilst Dad is on double bass and therefore moves around a lot whilst he plays, Mum plays french horn and so sits pretty still.  This means that, if it’s a cold, drafty church they’re playing in, she’s frozen. Orchestra uniform is black evening wear, which for women can easily be quite light weight

She commented last year on a sequinned front sweatshirt I’d bought from Oasis, saying it might solve her problems. So I’m hoping to have done that for her!

After some deliberation, I chose the Seamwork Astoria jumper.  There are so many hundreds of versions of this on line, and with good reason: it’s a smart, vintage inspired jumper which works beautifully particularly over skirts and dresses as it finishes with a fitted waist and the pattern’s well drafted and sews up quickly.

Length wise, I was torn between leaving the pattern as is, given she’s 5’2″, or lengthening it a little as I know she wouldn’t be comfortable with something that flashed any flesh when she sat down.  After canvassing on Instagram, I decided to lengthen it a little, so added an inch onto the bodice.  Since I was looking for something to keep her warm, I went for the full length sleeves.

I cut a size L (plus the bodice length) and JUST got it out of 1m of a rather glam scuba type fabric from B&M Fabrics; it has a soft, felty feel against the skin but the right side is very smooth and almost silky looking, very glam.  I admit to having cut the neckband against the grain, but figured the 4 way stretch would save me.

I also ramped up the glam by cutting the front bodice piece out of black sequins.  This fabric is actually the remnants from my Christmas party top last year, so I’m happy with using some of it up.


After cutting the front bodice piece, I laid the sequins on top of the scuba, right side to wrong side, and hand stitched around the outside within the seam allowance.  I then treated the combined piece as a single item and followed the instructions as usual.


I did worry about the needle choice, but went with the ballpoint needle (80) that I would normally use for the scuba and I got away with it, probably because the sequins are really small.

Also, they’re still EVERYWHERE in my house, so hopefully Mum won’t be coming around any time soon.

The construction went really smoothly, up to and including the top stitching around the neckband and waistband.  The stitches have vanished into the sequins almost completely, but they’re holding the bands down nicely.  I finished all the inside seams on my overlocker but did the actual sewing on my machine as usual.

And I bloody love it! Seriously, if I were the same size as Mum, I’d be out buying bubble bath for her as we speak, it’s awesome.  I still have some sequins left but I’m out of the scuba: would it be wrong to go see if B&M have more?


Fingers crossed Mum likes it as much as I do!

Becca x

Addendum: it’s Christmas Day and she liked it! And the fit’s pretty good too to say she had another jumper underneath, other than the sleeves being slightly long it’s perfect!


Also, I did go back to B&M for more black scuba for me….. 

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