New shirt: The Gilbert Top from Helen’s Closet in Heirloom

Hey folks and a happy Autumn to you! Did you have a good Halloween? We definitely did here and it was lovely to see the kiddos getting out and about almost as if it were a regular pre-Covid year. I had my own little horror story a week or so ago when I tripped in a pothole while walking my dog at night. Ouch! I may have a tiny fracture but mostly it’s just a very bad sprain and I’ll be wearing a boot for a few weeks, as you can see in some of the photos. I only had the second sleeve to sew on my new Gilbert Top, so I managed to get it finished yesterday and here are a few pics!

Summer was all about dresses for me this year and I really enjoyed trying out a few different patterns and styles and wore them all a lot. For autumn/winter I’m absolutely feeling a pull towards shirts and blouses and I have a few more patterns I want to try out. Here’s one of them: the Gilbert Top from Helen’s Closet. I couldn’t decide between this and the Hey June Willamette shirt for a while, but Helen always provides lots of extra content and hacks with her patterns and that, combined with the fact I really wanted a shirt with a tie-front option, decided the matter.

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New test: Grainline Tamarack jacket in extended sizing

The new extended 14-30 size range for the Grainline Tamarack jacket is now available and I tested the pattern for Grainline back in August. This came at an opportune moment for me, as 2021 has certainly been the year I GOT INTO QUILTING. I’ve already posted about three quilts and I have four others in various stages of completion. In the grand scheme of things, it’s still not a huge number I’ve got under my belt, but I was quite excited at the thought of doing a little quilting practice on pieces of a manageable size.

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New top: DP 004 batwing top from DP Studio

Bonjour et bienvenue to my latest little projet. It’s the DP 004 batwing top from the French design team over at DP Studio.

I have quite a collection of DP Studio patterns now and they have been on my “must-crack” list for, well, years now actually. I had a bit of a dud with the first one I tried – the Le 5001 – but as I mentioned in the 2020 fails post in which it appeared, that’s not strictly speaking the fault of the pattern. I then started Le 603 but got waylaid for supplies when Covid hit and just haven’t found the life essence to finish it since. I pull it out of its project bag every so often, puzzle over the instructions for a while (incomprehensible to my brain) and then gently fold it away again, sighing.

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New jacket: Seamwork Larkin with ruffles and exposed zip pockets

Lumberjackie? Lumber Jill? Take your pick! All I know is that Seamwork has been releasing patterns of a more complex nature recently and I’ve really been enjoying them! This month I was immediately attracted by the Larkin bomber jacket, which makes the perfect fall or spring outer layer. A few of us Seamwork ambassadors were chatting about what we might do with the pattern at the beginning of the month and it’s been really fun to see how everyone’s turned out. They are so great! You can check them all out on Instagram under #seamworklarkin.

For mine, I decided to add a little ruffle at the shoulder and also to use exposed zipper pockets instead of the pattern’s regular welt pockets. I have absolutely nothing against a welt pocket, but I’ve made a few recently, so fancied a wee change. I also thought the exposed zip would look quite good against the plaid and break it up a little. I’ve included a short tutorial for both further down the page in case you wanted to try them and weren’t sure how to approach the process.

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Quilt No. 3: The Halloween Quilt and Free Motion Quilting

I’m not sure how to number these quilts as I have several ongoing, but I guess I’ll just number them as I completely finish them. This quilt was one of the last ones I started, but it sewed up very quickly and then I got a bit obsessed with free motion quilting it on my home machine.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before that we are massive Halloween fans, but I’m sure I have. I was in the local quilting shop to pick up a small order and I saw some cute Moda jelly rolls on sale in this fabulous Halloween fabric, which I promptly snapped up. This whole quilt was made with one jelly roll and two little extra strips from another fabric (the same as the binding).

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New skirts: The Elsie skirt from Anna Zoe Sewing in two views

Sometimes a pattern comes along that leapfrogs all your current plans and this was one of those. It’s not a terribly complicated pattern and I dare say with my pattern collection I could have achieved something similar with a few adjustments to something else, but… I don’t know. Sometimes you just see something and think – yes, that’s exactly what I want. I’m also more than happy to support small designers and after I checked out a few of the Elsie skirts on Instagram – in particular the View A sample and also View B made by @rocco.sienna, I decided that this pattern had the makings of a mid-length skirt staple for me. Did it live up to my expectations? You betcha. In fact I liked it so much I made both versions within a couple of days and it’s gone straight onto my TNT list.

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New test: Grainline Farrow dress in extended sizing

I know – another post already! It’s a funny thing with tests. I sewed up 3 or 4 tests over a period of maybe 6 months and then they all got released within 10 days of each other. A sewing friend of mine said to me the other day: “Wow, you’ve really been sewing a lot recently!” I haven’t at all, but it looks that way for sure. Anyway, I tested the Farrow dress from Grainline Studio all the way back in February, so I hope I can remember everything I want to say. It shouldn’t be too difficult though, as it was a very straightforward and extremely satisfying sew.

This dress really was a total pleasure to work on. There’s something about the way it goes together – it’s such a clever design, but quick to implement. The clever part for me is the lovely large pockets which are flawlessly integrated into the diagonal centre seam. I chose to highlight that division with a colour-blocked dress, but, even so, you wouldn’t know the pockets were there unless I put my hands into them, as above.

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Seamwork Ani trousers in green See You at Six twill

Here’s one of the August patterns for Seamwork – the Ani trousers or pants. I like a tapered trouser and I liked the look of the line drawing on these, with the welt pockets at the back and the pleated front. They remind me somewhat of the Alexandria pants from Named, which I like a lot, but a more structured version than that pattern with its elasticated waist.

I made most of these Ani trousers before I left on vacation some weeks ago and finished them up today, noting that the waistband was somewhat more…snug… than I recall. I measured my waist and…yes, the holiday and subsequent social activities took their toll, so you will note the waistband is slightly strained. Still, I’m not too bothered – it will fit better after I get back to my normal routine, plus the fabric I used is a non-stretch twill, which will relax with wear, so it’s almost good that’s it’s a little tight right now.

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New dress: Closet Core Patterns Pauline dress in embroidered crepe

Hello there! Remember me? Well, I guess it hasn’t been thaaaat long, but I think it must be one of the longest gaps between blog posts since I started this thing 5 or so years ago. It’s not like I haven’t been sewing, but I’ve been doing lots of little bits and pieces: some tests, some quilting (yes, I am truly well down that particular rabbithole) and I also finished up some projects that were sitting languishing: some kids clothes and some home goods. That felt good! Oh yes – and I went to Alaska on vacation, which was very cool!

But today is a great day to post, because Closet Core Patterns, as I’m sure you may have heard, have been busy with lots of exciting things! The team have released this wonderful new Pauline dress pattern, which I tested a few months ago, but also opened a brand new FABRIC store, Core Fabrics. OH YEAH. I mean, who doesn’t love a brilliant new fabric source? I tested their storefront a little and although they were still ramping up stock input, it was immediately clear that they were sourcing fabric after my own heart – eco-friendly from reputable sources. Excellent! I encourage you to go and check Core Fabrics out, but right now I want to fill you in on the Pauline dress and my rather extravagant black summer version in this post.

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New dress: Named Reeta shirtdress in Liberty tana lawn

Oh man, this was one of those projects. I should have finished it about a week ago, but the last half d.r.a.g.g.e.d…. What happened was that I got all caught up on the yoke/facings part of the construction and got slightly frustrated – and then my enthusiasm to finish deflated like an overripe balloon. It’s a good thing that I love the finished result then, isn’t it? I’ll tell you straight up that, quite apart from the construction, the Named Reeta shirtdress is one of those garments that I wasn’t convinced was going to look any good riiigghhtt up until literally the last step or two of the project. It’s amazing what a difference the buttons and waist cording make. It looked very bathgown-y right up until that point – you’ll just have to trust me on that.

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