New top: Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top

Hi folks! Hope you all had a lovely Halloween and are enjoying the end of autumn. It’s been beautiful here in the PNW and I’ve really been enjoying the season, which has always been my favourite. I do miss Bonfire Night around this time, but we get to celebrate Thanksgiving and, even though I’m not American, I think it’s a great holiday actually. I sort of wish we had it in the UK because it seems to me that it rather effectively splits the whole “family together-big meal preparation” and “Santa Claus-gifts-religious festivals” craziness of Christmas into two more manageable holidays.

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Anywayyy, because there has been so much going on socially, I actually didn’t get to sew too much through October and am definitely trying to catch up now by whizzing up a few things. The first thing I actually completed was this Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top. I’ve had this pattern on my radar since I began sewing, because it is a dead ringer for an H&M RTW top I own that I have worn to death – and so I’ve actually been meaning to make it forever.

Continue reading “New top: Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top”

New knitted tee: We Are Knitters Dill tee

And here she is: my first piece of knitted clothing, fresh off the knitting needles! I’ve been checking out knitted tees for some time and have a couple of patterns I really want to make but no yarn yet – and some yarn I want to use, but no pattern for that weight. I went to Tolt Yarn and Wool for the first time a few months back with a good friend intending to buy some yarn, but I was just couldn’t find what I was looking for, which is crazy in that amazing shop. Perhaps it was the abundance of choice that led to my indecision, I don’t know.

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New pants: The Hollywood trousers from Liesl & Co.

These are hands-down, no contest, the most professional looking and feeling trousers I’ve ever made. And this is in no small part due to the typically fantastic instructions that Liesl Gibson writes for all her patterns. They’re well-described and illustrated and her methods just seem so well thought-through. Occasionally when I’m making a pattern I feel like the designer has “winged it” a little bit in terms of construction – and I am NO expert. But that is never the case with Liesl. She knows what she’s talking about, which gives me a lot of confidence making her designs.

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Continue reading “New pants: The Hollywood trousers from Liesl & Co.”

New dress: Deer and Doe Magnolia

I just did my most work-intensive, time-crunching but careful sew ever! Patternreview got in touch with me and asked if I’d like to make up one of the new Deer and Doe patterns they will be stocking – either the Magnolia dress or the Opium coat (both out today!). Wow – it was very hard to pick between the two and a coat is definitely more practical, but I still needed a dress for Seattle Frocktails as well, so in the end decided – heck, why not go the whole hog and make the dramatic neckline maxi-version of the Magnolia?

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New dress: Chalk & Notch Fringe dress for #sewmystyle September

I think just about everyone doing #sewmystyle 2018 was looking forward to this one a lot, or at least I’ve been getting that impression. I’ve had this dress on my radar for ages and it was certainly one of the patterns I was most excited about from the start. And with good cause! Let me completely spoil the story here by saying that I really like both the pattern and fabric and can recommend it! Also, in comparison to my last few makes, I feel like I got the fitting on this one spot on!

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This is the Fringe dress from Chalk and Notch – a dress that’s been very popular around the blogosphere. There are two illustrated views, but lots of options: there’s both a dress and blouse for a start. View A has a button up front, elbow sleeve and sleeve tab. View B has a pull over, notched front with a cuff. There are optional pockets, waist ties, a shaped hem and a gathered skirt. Now, normally I would be View A all the way. The V-shaped neck, the tabs – I’d probably have straightened off the hem too. And I may well do in another version, but something unexplained swayed me over to View B on this occasion. I’m not sure why, but I decided to take on the curvy neckline and hem – and I rather enjoyed it!

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New shoes and a party: Espadrilles from A Happy Stitch and Seattle Frocktails

Back in July, I noticed a few blog posts floating around on making your own shoes and happened to spy a pre-order offer from Melissa of A Happy Stitch for an “espadrilles kit”. Now, I’ve always liked the look of espadrilles, but along with loafers or any shoe with a stiffer upper portion, I have issues with sizing. I have quite a high arch, coupled with not-such-slim feet and therefore the opportunity to have a go at making my own really appealed.

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I duly pre-ordered the kit and when it arrived – oh wow. I’ll admit it: I’m a superficial sucker for packaging – what can I say? I’m a visual kind of gal. It doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive, but I love a thoughtful presentation of things and Melissa has outdone herself. Everything is in one of several hand-printed little bags or fabric swatch cases and there are hand-written notes to say hello too. I loved it and couldn’t wait to dive in. The murderous-looking curvy needle was especially exciting. Continue reading “New shoes and a party: Espadrilles from A Happy Stitch and Seattle Frocktails”

New test: Ali sweatshirt for Sew DIY

Beth from Sew DIY released her Ali sweatshirt today, which I had fun testing back in July with a team of other lovely sewists. It was great seeing the different versions everyone came up with!

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I’ve tested a few different patterns for a few different designers now, and the usual criteria for me is (assuming I get picked to test in the first place): is it something I was thinking about sewing anyway and/or is it something that excites me? The Ali sweatshirt is the sort of garment that does get me excited: I love an oversized sweater, I love a drop shoulder element and I have TONS of knits that were perfect for this project. Continue reading “New test: Ali sweatshirt for Sew DIY”

New dress: V1395 in red double gauze

Bit of a mixed bag, this one. It’s another new shape in a way, but I only just this minute realized, while writing this blog post, that it’s actually very similar in some ways to the Bridgetown dress by Sewhouse 7, which is a very nice dress, but doesn’t suit my shape at all. That is: there are no bust darts and it has a high, elasticated waist with wide one piece sleeves. However this Vogue dress also has a back overlay that wraps and ties at the front, which I figured would give me that extra shaping that I like for my figure. At least that was the plan…

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There are lots of good things about the V1395 dress. I love the colour and the fabric, which is a red double gauze from Cloud 9. It’s lovely to wear and it was actually no problem to sew after I attached the old walking foot – that made all the difference. It also has some really nice features, like the gathered back neckline and the overlay tie.

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Hey June Handmade Halifax Hoodie for #sewmystyle August

I got the date completely wrong for this one again and thought I had another week to make it, when in actual fact the reveal date was last Sunday. If it had been any other pattern I would just have skipped it, but I actually really need a new hoodie, since my beloved grey Nike hoodie bit the dust a couple of months ago.

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There are an absolute ton of different options for the Hey June Handmade Halifax hoodie and you can see all sorts of interesting versions if you do a quick search, from a sweater with interesting design lines, to a cowl neck zippered hoodie. I knew that I wanted a traditional front-zippered, hooded-hoodie and this is View C from the pattern. It’s the most time-intensive, but even this version didn’t take very long at all – half a day at most. Continue reading “Hey June Handmade Halifax Hoodie for #sewmystyle August”

New outfit: Kristin crop top and Heidi shorts from Seamwork

Hello chaps! Thanks for all your lovely comments and feedback on both the Alexandria peg leg trousers and Butterick B6551 dress I made recently. I called the Butterick dress a “semi-fail”, but have managed to wear it plenty since I made it, so it worked out ok in the end! We sewists can be pretty tough on ourselves, but I usually only point out errors in case it helps anyone else avoid making the same dumb mistake, or helps people with a similar body shape to mine decide if they want to make the garment or not. I don’t really beat myself up about it other than thinking “Huh, that’s a shame” – it’s all part of the learning process, right? But it sure is nice when people reassure you! So thanks. πŸ™‚

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Anyway, all this preamble is really because I’m kind of lukewarm on this project too, haha! Let me say up front that I half expected to be lukewarm because of the slightly boxy shape, but I was really interested in the Seamwork Kristin top with its unusual design, and I wanted to try it out from a mechanical point of view. I gather this style was quite popular back in the sixties, and it comprises a wrap-style tank with an interesting three-armhole design. It has “bust darts, a relaxed fit, and a slightly cropped length make for a flattering fit for both misses and curvy sizes” according to Seamwork. What this means is you effectively make a front, a back and then another half-front and half-back and sew them all together. Then you wrap it around yourself and the weight, plus a snap, holds it all in place. Continue reading “New outfit: Kristin crop top and Heidi shorts from Seamwork”