Sewing Bee Round 4, Part 2: Named Saraste top and Megan Nielsen Dawn jeans

Now to the second part of my final Sewing Bee outfit! As I mentioned in the first post, the theme for this round was to make an outfit for a post-pandemic event or activity and my immediate choice was to fly back to Scotland and party it up with my friends and family, who I haven’t seen for a while. I knew I only had 4 days to make the whole thing, so to have any chance of completing it and not just making, say, a t-shirt for the final, I had to take a guess at what the final round would be. As it turns out, I was very close ( a few of us had guessed it would be something like this) and so I had a little headstart as I’d already decided on my theme and inspiration. I still made a few changes before and during the construction process, but my rough plan was to:

  • Make a three-piece outfit inspired by the landscape of Scotland
  • Make an outfit that would be suitable for the plane journey home and then as a party outfit on arrival
  • Make something wearable that would fit in my wardrobe
  • Try to use stash fabrics
Continue reading “Sewing Bee Round 4, Part 2: Named Saraste top and Megan Nielsen Dawn jeans”

Sewing Bee Round 4 Part 1 – Style Arc Casey Coat

Hello there! Well, I didn’t end up winning a prize in the Pattern Review Sewing Bee, but, without wanting to sound like a cheesy cheeseball, I was really pleased to have made it to the final 12 on my first time. There were some amazing sewists taking part and I was genuinely the most relaxed I’d been in the final week, because I really didn’t think there was any chance of me winning. Nevertheless, I am so happy with the outfit I came up with. I feel like I put 110% in and couldn’t have done any better, and that’s all you can ask for isn’t it?

Since there are three garments in my final outfit, I’m going to split this post in two and concentrate on the pattern that was new-to-me today and that was the Style Arc Casey coat. I’ll probably go into this more in the second post, but, briefly, the theme was an outfit you would wear to a post-pandemic event or activity of your choice. There was no stipulation as to how many garments you needed to make, but… looking back at previous years of the final round it was obvious one garment wasn’t going to cut it. I only had 4 days (!) before we went on our little spring break getaway, which was the first little getaway in a long time and there was no way I could cancel or miss it. So, to cut a long story short, I threw caution to the wind, and decided just to get my head down and go for it, with a planned outfit of three pieces.

Continue reading “Sewing Bee Round 4 Part 1 – Style Arc Casey Coat”

New outerwear: Ottobre Ruth raincoat for Round 3 of Pattern Review Sewing Bee

Rarrrrr! I’m back from Spring Break and it’s time to catch up on some blog posts. As you may or may not have been following, I’ve been sewing in the annual Pattern Review Sewing Bee. I entered for the first time this year and as of the time of writing this, have just submitted my entry for the final round – Round 4. We find out who wins this week I think but I am 99.99% sure it won’t be me. I think my final round outfit was pretty cool, but there are some truly amazing creations in the gallery. Check them out here if you have time and are interested. Also, here are my entries for Round 1: Pyjamas and Round 2: Denim Repurposing that got me this far.

Buttttt, before that, I need to write up my entry for Round 3 that got me to the final! As you can see it’s a raincoat for when you want to stand out in a crowd! Haha. The challenge for Round 3 was “pattern-matching”. The rules stipulated that to qualify you only had to match across one seam or area in a “seamless” way, but of course, we all knew that we’d need to match across more than one seam to have any chance of getting through the round. Where my biggest challenge in Round 2 was really about the fit of my dress, this was at the other end of the spectrum. Fit was not so much the issue as cutting and precision work.

Continue reading “New outerwear: Ottobre Ruth raincoat for Round 3 of Pattern Review Sewing Bee”

New dress: Megan Nielsen Karri in upcycled denim for Sewing Bee Round 2

Alright folks – I’m going to tell you this upfront. Fasten your seatbelts, because this is going to be a longggg post. I have so much to say about this project. First – I got through Round 2 of the Pattern Review Sewing Bee! Yayyy! I really wasn’t sure how it was going to go, but I was very fortunate to be one of the 26 sewists who made it through to the penultimate round. This means, of course, that I am in the throes of Round 3 – it’s all about pattern matching and I reckon this is going to be extremely tough to get through, but – first! – let me tell you about the challenge for Round 2.

The brief for the round was to repurpose denim garments and make a brand new garment plus an accessory. All in 6 days! The source of the denim had to be from garments (no stash fabric at all) and you had to take photos of the original garments as part of the entry.

Continue reading “New dress: Megan Nielsen Karri in upcycled denim for Sewing Bee Round 2”

New test: The Mile End Sweatshirt from Closet Core Patterns

Hello again! In a break from my current SIEGE of Sewing Bee sewing (what have I done???), here is a post for a test I did a couple of months ago for one of my favourite pattern designers, Closet Core Patterns. As everyone knows, loungewear with a capital L has been one of the big hits of the last 12 months or so for obvious reasons. We have never lounged like we did in 2020 and, hopefully, we never will again. Nevertheless, loungewear isn’t going anywhere and Closet Core Patterns brought out two new patterns today that are destined to ramp up your cosy couture game.

The Mile End Sweatshirt and the Plateau Joggers form the Montreal collection and are on sale right now if you buy both together in a bundle. I tested the Mile End sweater and was pretty excited when I saw the name as I went to university in Mile End – however, it turns out this one is in Montreal and I went to the one in East London. Hah! Still – it was a nice connection! I actually made two different versions. The first one was a proper “test” garment and the second was because I really fancied trying one of the views. Or two of the views as it happens – it’s a bit of a mashup.

Continue reading “New test: The Mile End Sweatshirt from Closet Core Patterns”

New sleepwear: Grainline Lakeside PJs with an added shelf bra for Sewing Bee Round 1

Hello there! I decided that I might enter the Pattern Review Sewing Bee contest this year. It seems fairly tough and is based on (I’m assuming?) the show, The Great British Sewing Bee, of which I am naturally a big fan. You’re given an assignment and have a limited number of days to post your finished garment and review, whereupon you are judged according to a set of criteria and may or not progress through to the next round, knock-out style. There are four rounds altogether and I’ve admired so many of the entries for previous Bee rounds, but never entered myself until now. The first round for 2021 was announced to be “Sew Your Own Unique Pajamas” and I figured I’d give it a go. Would I regret it? Read on to see!

Continue reading “New sleepwear: Grainline Lakeside PJs with an added shelf bra for Sewing Bee Round 1”

Virtual Sew Expo 2021 report

This year’s Sew Expo conference was, of course, a virtual affair and I thought the organisers did a superb job of trying to replicate the experience of going to the show, normally held in Puyallup, WA. It’s no mean feat to pull off such a thing online and I was really impressed at the smoothness of the classes as well as the vendor sessions and free stage presentations. With an online kindergarten-from-home situation, I could only attend so much, but appreciate that I have 30 days to catch up on the things I missed! Here’s a little record of what I did, in case you’re interested!

Continue reading “Virtual Sew Expo 2021 report”

New test: The Monarch Jacket by Allie Olson in two moods

I’ve made not one, but two different Monarch Jackets and I think it shows how different the pattern can look, depending on your fabric choices. I highly recommend checking out the official samples too. The new sample photo for the extended sizing is so beautiful!

Continue reading “New test: The Monarch Jacket by Allie Olson in two moods”

New dress: Seamwork Benning in stripes for March

It seems like a while since I posted, but I’ve been busy, busy, busy sewing – it’s just been quite a lot of testing. I seem like I’m testing more than ever, which was not my intention, but the thing is that lots of my favourite companies are expanding their ranges into larger sizes and D cups, which is just too enticing an opportunity to turn down. I expect they will finish up this process this year sometime, but for now I continue to support those efforts. And I do, as you know, quite enjoy testing.

Continue reading “New dress: Seamwork Benning in stripes for March”

New test: Grainline Scout tees in extended sizing and D Cup

I tested the new sizing range for the Scout tee back in November last year and now it’s available for all over at Grainline’s website! This was a no-brainer for me as the Scout tee is one of my tried and tested woven tops and I’ve made several of them in the past. One thing I was never that happy with was my full bust adjustment on the original pattern. I adjusted the pattern quite early on in my sewing career and didn’t feel I’d quite got it right, although the resulting tees were not too bad. So when Grainline said they were releasing a new version in sizes 14-30 with a D cup bust, I was on it like a moth to a naked flame.

I’m sure you’ve seen the Scout tee plenty of times, but if not, it’s one of the best known indie patterns out there. It’s a boxy little woven tee that is the epitome of the phrase “wardrobe staple” and I wear mine all the time. It has a scoop neck and cap sleeves and is quite fitted at the bust, graduating to an easy fit at the waist and hips. The new extended version also has a dart to hug the D cup curves better and both versions have a bias-finished neckline.

Continue reading “New test: Grainline Scout tees in extended sizing and D Cup”