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”

New top: I AM Irma shirt from I AM Patterns

Raaaarrrr! Check out my leopard print! At least, it’s sort of a leopard print, I think. This is the shirt review from the outfit I posted the other day, where I wrote a fairly detailed review of the Deer + Doe Acajou trousers. However, since I’ve already used the I AM Patterns Irma pattern once before, this post will be much shorter.

As you may or may not remember, I made the full-length shirtdress view of this pattern at the end of last year. I really liked the result and it was a fairly easy decision to use it again, but this time with the shirt view and the bishop sleeves instead of the straight cuffed sleeve I used for the shirtdress. As per the shirtdress, it has a collar with stand, a concealed button placket (great instructions for this part too if you haven’t put one together) and a box pleat in the back just to max out that billowy fullness.

Continue reading “New top: I AM Irma shirt from I AM Patterns”

New trousers: Acajou Pants from Deer + Doe in wool

I don’t know if you recall, but a few months ago I was saying one of the effects of the pandemic on my sewing was that I felt an urge to create bright and colourful outfits even more than normal. Not all the time, but there’s definitely an element of “sod it, why not?” to some of my choices. And here’s another one! I decided to make this outfit before Christmas and had no idea if it would actually work or not, but as soon as I thought of it, I knew I’d have to give it a go.

Continue reading “New trousers: Acajou Pants from Deer + Doe in wool”

New test: The Elio wrap top from Allie Olson Patterns

I enjoyed testing the Highlands Wrap Dress in extended sizing for Allie, so when the call went out for testers for the Elio top, I was happy to participate. Additionally, I am slightly lacking in simple, interesting tops in my wardrobe and I certainly don’t have any type of knit wrap top, so nailing a useful wardrobe staple really appealed to me.

Continue reading “New test: The Elio wrap top from Allie Olson Patterns”