The Great Big Pattern Swap 2018

This is a new sewing challenge from and @thezipperfoot and is explained in full on Alice's website, but in simple terms you offer up and patterns you are never going to use for other sewers to enjoy by popping them up in a photo on Instagram in return for being able to claim patterns from others.
The challenge starts on 7th July and ends on 18th August when winners will be chosen at random for some amazing prizes by some lovey sponsors from the sewing community.

Initially I wasn't sure that I'd get involved. Did I really need any more patterns? Probably not. Did I have any to give away? Maybe! But I thought I'd bide my time and see what people were offering. In the beginning I was seeing a lot of vintage patterns which aren't my style and can also be a bit funny size wise. I also saw a lot of the same patterns which given free to participants of the Dressmaker of the Year competition (see my offerings!!!). I did however start to see a few that I wouldn't mind owning. The problem was you had to be quick! The patterns were going fast! So as soon as I saw the Butterick B6285 pattern by Gertie and it hadn't been claimed yet I knew I had to ask for it. In fairly quick succession I got the Gertie wrap top and skirt and the McCall's M7547.

Obviously since I had claimed some patterns it was my turn to offer some. I found the two I'd been given from Dressmaker of the Year comp (of course!!!) and two which came free with a magazine - a beach bag and swing dress which I didn't think would suit me. The Zoe Dress and the baby romper were claimed quite quickly.

I was so eager to get this pattern that when it finally arrived in the post I couldn't wait to make it. I had been researching it online and many people comented on how short the top was and I found a blog post on how to extend it...

... so I followed the instructions by @bygumbygolly and altered the pattern to remove the back darts.

And I then extended the back by two inches. The front was simpler to do and I added the same two inches to that.

There are only two pieces to the top - the sash and the top which goes front front to back over the shoulder. The instructions say to cut 4 of the top pieces in order to line the top completely, but I saw posts that said it wasn't needed so I decided to cut that step out.

That meant I managed to get the top out of less than 150cm of fabric.

Construction was very simple - stitch the two pieces up the back seam to a point, sew up the sides, make the sash pieces, gather where the sash joins the top, attatch the two and then hem. All in all a very quick and satisfying make!

And I love it! Although to be honest, it could probably still do with being a bit longer!

I'm so chuffed I got this pattern practically for free (in return for posting off my patterns to lovely sewers) and, goodness knows, I do love a bargain! But it's also been really nice to follow the hashtag on Instagram and see all the sharing and lovely comments from people, and now we're beginning to see what people have made from their new patterns it's inspiring me to get back at the machine when I thought my sewjo had gone walkies! I don't know if this will be repeated next year but I'd definitely play along if it did!
Massive thanks to the lovely ladies who set it up x