New party outfit: The silver Sirocco for Seattle Frocktails

Ooh, I loves me a bit of alliteration. Seattle Frocktails happened on November 9th and it was another exciting evening in the world of Seattle sewing. You might remember that last year I kicked off Seattle Frocktails, but I wasn’t able to organise it again this year due to other commitments and, luckily for me, a couple of the ladies from last year’s team were keen to take it over – and they did a grand job! I was working on a Vogue dress for the event, but it ended up being a “not feeling it” situation. I was feeling a bit bloated and I just didn’t think I could make it work (although I will finish it soon), so I had a bit of a last minute panic and started a new outfit the day before the event: this silver Sirocco jumpsuit! Woo!

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Continue reading “New party outfit: The silver Sirocco for Seattle Frocktails”

Sew My Style November: The Raspberry Rucksack and Bagmaking 101 Tips

Ahhh – the lovely world of bags… there are so many great things about bags… You can use your scraps and feel virtuous, you don’t have to fit yourself, you can get away with a few inaccuracies and you use all that quilting cotton you bought for skirts when you first started sewing! (I know it’s not just me). I’ve made a few different bags before and I really enjoy the process, but it’s been a little while, so I’m delighted to be one of the leaders for November’s bag month on Sew my Style 2019. I already wrote an intro to the bag patterns we’re featuring this month and suppliers, and Eowyn wrote a fantastic post with lots of bag inspiration for both patterns, so check them out if you didn’t already!

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This month I’ve made the Raspberry Rucksack by Sarah Kirsten, which is a really cute, but very spacious rucksack, and not unlike some of the RTW rucksacks that are popular in high-end shops. I really like the end product and will give a few specific tips on this bag in the second part of the post (so go on and shoot down if that’s what you’re here for), but first I wanted to list a few invaluable tips for bag beginners or anyone looking for a refresh! Continue reading “Sew My Style November: The Raspberry Rucksack and Bagmaking 101 Tips”

New tops: The Ruska vs the Freya turtleneck sweaters

I bought a thin black turtleneck last year because I wanted to layer it with something or other and I wasn’t sure how well it would suit me. In the end I quite liked it and am definitely digging the layered look this year, so wanted to make a couple of such tops myself. I had both the Freya, from the Tilly and the Buttons Stretch book, and the Ruska from the Named Breaking the Pattern book in my possession and couldn’t choose between them. So I figured why not try both to compare? Both patterns have other versions and views I like, so getting a decent fit on the sweaters would open up a ton of other pattern variations to me.

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Welcome to Sew my Style November: Bag Patterns and supplies!

Hi everyone!

It’s November and that means it’s time to make bags! We have two amazing patterns for you to choose from this month – make sure you use your exclusive Sew My Style discount code, which Meg sent out in the newsletter on October 15th. You can use them right up to November 30th.

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One great thing about bags is that you don’t have to fit them, so you can make one (or twenty-three) for yourself, but they also make perfect gifts… and you know what’s coming up next month… I personally plan to make at least two as festive gifts for people in my family, and I love the fact that they’re both rucksack designs that can really be adapted for anyone, anywhere! Continue reading “Welcome to Sew my Style November: Bag Patterns and supplies!”

New jacket: The Wiksten Haori

The third garment of my autumn/winter outerwear project, the Wiksten Haori has got to be the fastest sew I’m going to have. I think the Nani Iro Atelier coat looks like a fairly simple affair as well, but the Haori really surprised me, given that it has a lining. Full credit to the instructions, which were crystal clear, with excellent illustrations. This would be an excellent jacket project for a beginner, with a lovely result to boot! I think the sewing took just 2 hours.

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The Wiksten Haori jacket has been around for a couple of years now and is a very popular pattern, but just incase you happen to have missed it, I can tell you it’s a lined, reversible casual jacket, with a Japanese influence. It comes in three different lengths and the most important thing you need to know about this jacket is that it’s oversized. Like, a lot oversized. Which is absolutely fine, as long as you know about it. So now I’ve told you. Continue reading “New jacket: The Wiksten Haori”

Autumn/Winter 2019 planning: the coats edition

Here’s my latest plan of action! I read something on someone’s blog (yes, I remember it that specifically) some time ago about how they came up with all these wardrobe plans and then they threw on a coat to leave the house and it didn’t match with anything, so all their careful planning was undone, and I thought “Yes! I know exactly what you mean!”

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I’ve never been good at the head-to-toe, organise-your-outfit-the-night-before kind of deal and I also haven’t made many coats. My one coat so far was the Rumana coat from By Hand London, which is a beautiful shape, but was a bear of a project (I still need to fix the vent) and is also now too small for me, so I haven’t got much wear out of it! But for a variety of reasons: scheduled classes, testing, sewing challenges, long-held plans and an abundance of coat fabric, I now have a ton of coats in my schedule, so it seems like an opportune time to knock a collection out! That sounds so easy, doesn’t it??

My basic plan is: make the coat and then try to make an outfit or item that goes with that coat. Simple eh? Let’s see…

Continue reading “Autumn/Winter 2019 planning: the coats edition”

Style Arc Stevie denim jacket with a Sherpa lining – tutorial and tips

Wow – denim jackets, eh? I’ve made a couple of pairs of jeans now and I actually really enjoy working with denim and topstitching. This denim jacket took topstitching to a new level though! Admittedly, this was partly (mostly) to do with the fact that I decided to go back to my teenage roots, be brave (you may choose an alternative adjective), and add a Sherpa lining to the Style Arc Stevie jacket – which is my Sew my Style October project. And it was totally worth it, because this is the coziest, most winter-appropriate denim jacket I’ve ever owned.

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Now, the good news is that creating the lining is really not difficult and it doesn’t add much to the construction really. If you’re going to the effort of making a full-on oversized 80s-style denim jacket, adding a little bit of Sherpa really isn’t much more effort. However, I do have a few tips that will make life even easier for you at the end of this post, because the extra bulk does need a little consideration. Continue reading “Style Arc Stevie denim jacket with a Sherpa lining – tutorial and tips”

Zero Waste Part 1: Scrunchies, bias tape, cushions and a pouffe!

Man, it’s been a while, eh? September was the month of vacations (we took them all last month) and then I hurt my back at the end of September and have literally been unable to sew for the last couple of weeks. Ah well – it seems to be okay now, so I’m glad to have finished off a few little projects that have been clogging up my to-do list. I can tell you I have quite a few big plans over the next few months and suffice it to say, this is going to be a winter of COATS. I have quite a few lined up, but I’ll save that for another post.

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Continue reading “Zero Waste Part 1: Scrunchies, bias tape, cushions and a pouffe!”

New test: The updated Montlake tee by Straight Stitch Designs

I’m on holiday in Montana, and what a beautiful state it is! We’ve holidayed in states to the south of us a few times – Oregon and California mostly – and had been meaning to check out some of those lying east. I’m so glad we did, because it is probably my favourite state so far, scenically speaking. So diverse and absolutely the match for the image I held in my head of the “wild west”, which is fascinating. I took these pics of the updated Montlake tee right at the beginning of the vacation in the Rockies and it was a rather dull day, but you can still see some of the beauty of the region.

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I tested this tee for Kimberly from Straight Stitch a few weeks ago. It’s not a new pattern, but she has updated it with a whole new size range and it now runs from size 0 to 34. it also comes in a B and D cup, which is nice for a tee, and there’s a new V-neck option too, which was the decider for me, because I’ve only made a V-neck tee once and it didn’t go too well. I really like a V-neck though, so wanted to crack it. My measurements fell between the 12 and 14, and I plumped for the 14. I also took 2 inches off the length as Straight Stitch Designs patterns are drafted for taller sewists (5’8″) and it worked just fine. Continue reading “New test: The updated Montlake tee by Straight Stitch Designs”

New test: Lou Box Dress 2 for Sew DIY

As you probably know, I’ve tested garments a few times for Beth from Sew DIY – and was more than glad to test the updated version of the Lou Box Dress 2 for her recently: particularly since it was on my list as a straight-up make before the call for the testers went out!

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I first took notice of the pattern when I saw Beth’s own grey version in a thin knit (you can see it on the bundle cover) and thought it looked like an elegant take on a comfy knit dress. So when I decided to make my own, it was a fairly quick process to pick this version and view of the Lou Box Dress 2 – and equally easy to select this thin botanical knit with a  ton of drape. It’s been languishing in my stash for several years now, waiting for the right project, and I think this was a nice match. Continue reading “New test: Lou Box Dress 2 for Sew DIY”