My #SewingTop5 hits for 2018

I’m on London time! Yeehoo! So, so happy to be back this year and I’m already enjoying the things I’ve missed about the UK while my three-year old works on the timezone – yes, Monster Munch crisps, jacket potatoes, Wensleydale cheese and M&S food have all featured in my first 48 hrs home. Forget your fancy dishes – THESE are the sorts of things you miss when you’re abroad. Just about to go out and indulge in a proper greasy spoon brekkie before heading to the Natural History museum with my gorgeous sister. Bliss!!

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Speaking of bliss, I have a little time to sum up some of 2018 in clothing terms and I really enjoyed taking part in Gillian’s Top 5 round up series last year. You can read all about the 2018 version over on her blog and I think it’s a very worthwhile bit of reflection. So let’s kick it off with my Top 5 Hits from 2018!

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I’m pleased to say I had a decent list to choose from and it was pretty difficult! One of the most important criteria for me is that I actually wear something – and my first pick has been worn tons of times! The Named Alexandria peg leg trousers were one of my simplest makes and they fit right from the pattern pdf. The pleats give them a little something extra and they are very comfy. I have lots more planned and, as they’re for both woven and knit fabrics, they really are super versatile.

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New bra: The Darcey bralette from Evie La Luve

I made a bralette! I hadn’t intended to make a bralette – as opposed to a full-on underwired bra – as my first piece of upper lingerie, but it came up in #sewmystyle for November and, well, I always like a challenge. By challenge, I of course mean a gravitational, Newtonesque type of challenge where I taunt the cotton lycra gods with the enigma of keeping my DD breasts in a vaguely upright position without the aid of any form of wire or cup. In other words, can I even wear a bralette with a 38D/36DD set of melons?

20181130_142332There are some other subreasons: Evie La Luve has an amazing video walkthrough on her site for all 4 versions of the Darcey bra and it really made it so much more straightforward to make. Plus, and I don’t think I’m alone here, one main reason I haven’t knuckled down to my “proper” bra construction – and I have a fantastic Orange Lingerie pattern and kit just waiting to be assembled – is because of all the bits and pieces of mesh and powernet and elastic this and that. It makes my head spin just thinking about it. Oh – and, finally, it’s also one of my #makenine projects this year! 🙂 Continue reading “New bra: The Darcey bralette from Evie La Luve”

New dress: In the Folds free Jersey Dress for #sewfrosting

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This was a whirlwind project that I cut out one morning recently and sewed up on the serger the same afternoon. I’ve made a few slightly more complex projects recently, so I really just wanted something fun, fast and frivolous to zip up in a couple of hours that would hide all the holiday food I’ve been eating. And it really was all those things. The only fly in the ointment occurred when I slipped the finished garment over my head and thought, “Hmm, slightly nightgown-ish”. This was compounded when I went through to show my husband: “Hey look! I made this whole thing today!!” And he said, “Well, it’s nice… but it looks like a nightdress. Is it?” Hmmm. Damn, I thought.

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New pants: Slimline Hollywood trousers with a casual twist

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I made a second pair of the Hollywood trousers by Liesl and Co. after my first test pair from back in July. For this pair I wanted to try changing them up for a more casual feel, and I had this rather thick striped twill in my stash, which I thought would suit my plans admirably. Continue reading “New pants: Slimline Hollywood trousers with a casual twist”

Social sewing in the fall: #sewmystyle, #seattlesews, Seattle Frocktails and Deyonte

Hi folks! I’ve been laid out with a miserable cold the last week or so, and I’ve been also meaning to write a little social round-up for a wee while, so it seems like opportunity is knocking on my door, given that I haven’t been doing much sewing! Every cloud has a silver lining and all that, eh? Hmmm.

Anyway, October turned out to be an incredibly social month for me in my sewing life and I thought I’d post a few highlights here for your amusement. And also as a record really, since I’m not sure anyone will be terribly excited to see what I do in my spare time, but, yeah, whateva; here we go:

Sew My Style 2019

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First up, I received an email from Maddie at Maddie Made This to tell me I’d been chosen as one of the leaders for Sew My Style 2019. I don’t know if you’re familiar with this challenge, but it’s in its second year at the moment and comprises a monthly pattern (or patterns) that participants sew up by the end of the month for a “reveal”. They’re all indie patterns and all sewists who sign up get a discount, but one of the main reasons I like it is that it’s an absolutely no-commitment challenge. There’s no fee, or payment and you basically make the patterns you want to, so no big pressure either.

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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.

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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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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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