New trousers: Nani Iro Atelier Tapered Pants “I”

I made these on a total whim after flicking through the Nani Iro Atelier book. I was already working on one of the dresses from it, but was drawn to these simple tapered linen trousers and had some perfect RK Brussels Washer linen (Ocean – isn’t it a dreamy shade) sitting in my stash, so decided just to cut them out and give them a whirl (particularly since they can be made in a day, no problem). I bought it in a sale from Fabricworm and I think they got some more in.

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As you have probably noticed, I’ve been on a linen/gauze kind of kick recently. The overriding reason for this is because next week we’re going to Virginia for a couple of weeks’ holiday and we’ll be doing a lot of sightseeing, so it seemed like the ideal time to plan a mini-linen wardrobe! Everyone keeps going on about how cool and swishy it is to wear. I have to admit I’ve never got on with RTW linen much. It never seemed to fit me well, no matter how thin or curvy I was. But now I can SEW it! Woohoo! Continue reading “New trousers: Nani Iro Atelier Tapered Pants “I””

New dress: Wiksten shift in Nani Iro Kokka double gauze

The Wiksten shift is a pattern that has been super-popular this year. When I first saw it, I was definitely like, “Meh”, because , as mentioned in previous posts, the boxy shift silhouette has never been part of my repertoire, owing to a curvy figure that needs some definition. However, my feelings started to change when I saw my friend Melizza (@melizzamakes), who tested the garment for Jenny Wiksten, fashion not just one, but multiple gorgeous versions. Still, I thought, maybe it just looks amazing on Melizza (which would certainly not be out of the question). Then I saw other versions pop up – on all shapes and sizes – and, I kid you not, EVERYBODY – and I really mean everybody – looks fantastic in this dress. Check out #wikstenshiftdress on Instagram and see for yourself.

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There’s something about the proportions of the dress: the neckline and sleeves, versus the length and width; I can’t say what exactly, but Jenny Wiksten got this draft bang on. I reached tipping point sometime in June and went from being indifferent to this pattern to being practically desperate to make one overnight. I had a few other garments in my queue to finish first, but browsed through my stash and, because this shape is such a vehicle for showing off a fabric, had literally dozens of suitable pieces I wanted to use. Continue reading “New dress: Wiksten shift in Nani Iro Kokka double gauze”

New top: Maya top from Marilla Walker

The second in my series of woven tees is another popular choice – the Maya top from designer Marilla Walker. It’s actually both a top and a dress and after this version I may well try out the dress.

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I have a couple of patterns by Marilla Walker and they have been on my to-do list for ages. The Isca shirtdress is absolutely up my street (check out this amazing version by Marilla herself) and the Roberts dungarees have also been super-popular, but I just haven’t quite got around to stitching them up yet. Autumn, here I come! Meanwhile, the Maya top is influenced by Marilla’s Central American background and is based on the traditional Guatemalan Huipil. It’s a cap sleeve dress or top that is designed to hang well from the shoulders and have a wide fit from the bust down. I made the most simple version of the top, with no button placket. Continue reading “New top: Maya top from Marilla Walker”

New tops and bag: The Ogden + Ida Swap 2019

This is my second year doing this swap challenge #ogdenidaswap2019, but this year I decided to do the full thing and made both the True Bias Ogden top and the Kylie and the Machine Ida bag. Last year I only made the Ogden and enjoyed the challenge so much, I thought I’d up the ante this year. If aren’t familiar with the challenge, it’s much as it sounds. You choose to make one or both of the aforementioned items and are given a recipient to send them to. You Instastalk them for a few days and then make and post off your item based on the measurements you receive. Some other plucky soul does the same for you!

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Continue reading “New tops and bag: The Ogden + Ida Swap 2019”

New shorts: Dawn jean shorts by Megan Nielsen

Truth be told, I wasn’t that excited about making jeans for Sew My Style July. Not because I don’t like making jeans – in actual fact I find it really satisfying – but because I’m trying to lose a little weight and jeans are a lot of effort to make if you then go and change size. I also was pretty sure I was going to make the Megan Nielsen Ash jeans as I’ve had that pattern since it came out and really wanted to give it a go. However, there were quite a few choices this month and, when I noticed that the Dawn jeans, also by Megan Nielsen, had a shorts version, I thought “Aha”.

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I feel like shorts are a little more forgiving size-wise, plus I had this amazing acid wash denim in my stash that all of a sudden seemed PERFECT. I got it from a #Seattlesews fabric swap event and had been mulling over what to do with it. It’s very soft, vintage denim, probably from the 80s or 90s, and I’m quite partial to an ironic piece of retro clothing, I must say. Continue reading “New shorts: Dawn jean shorts by Megan Nielsen”

New dresses: Two helpings of Gelato by Liesl + Co.

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Do you recognise this fabric? When the Colette Penny dress was released almost exactly two years ago, I, and a million other sewists, gasped in amazement at this glorious Lady McElroy print they used in the sample and it promptly sold out everywhere. I managed to grab a few yards from the Fabric Godmother and it has been sitting waiting patiently in my stash every since. As soon as I thought of it for the Gelato dress, I knew it was perfect and got to cutting. Funnily enough, I’ve seen it spring up in a couple of garments just this week on Instagram and Cashmerette appears to be selling it in a kit, so I didn’t know if it was reprinted or what, but boy, am I glad I used it for this garment – it’s a perfect display piece. Continue reading “New dresses: Two helpings of Gelato by Liesl + Co.”

New top: Paper Theory Kabuki Tee

In my continuing quest to build up a wearable, practical wardrobe, (interspersed with off-the-cuff crazier garments of course), I decided I’d get some more SOLID woven tees and tops into my wardrobe once and for all. My problem when faced with a simple pattern is that I immediately want to make it more interesting by using a print or pattern. It’s almost a subconscious thing – I have no restraint! Argh!! When looking for some simple tops-with-a-twist, I discovered I already owned a couple, then I found a couple more I liked and the idea of a woven top collection emerged.

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I say collection – I really just mean a sort of comparison. They’re all fairly quick and easy to make and I’m thinking that the variety in the construction and details will keep me going interest-wise. Let’s see, shall we? Ha. I should also mention before I get going that I was partially inspired by a post @arrowmountain posted on Instagram some time ago (whose feed I love). Her drawings are quite mesmerizing anyway, but I loved the idea of this collection. Not many of the tees I’m making are on there, but the idea is similar.

Continue reading “New top: Paper Theory Kabuki Tee”

New tops: Mandy Boat Tee and Super Basic Tank – free patterns

Hi there! As per my last post on the Seamwork Tacara, I’ve been working on a lot of knits recently, which I tend to do after working on woven garments for any length of time. Woven, knits, woven, knits: I like variety! I need more simple summer tops in my wardrobe and decided to try out a couple of popular and free garments to see how they worked for me:

Mandy Boat Tee

The Mandy Boat Tee from Tessuti Patterns has been made by countless sewists, many of whom have made multiples. There are good reasons for this, not least of which is the fact that this is a free pattern, which is always a good incentive to give something new a go. But there’s more than that – this is a great pattern! Well-drafted, flattering: it deserves the accolades.

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Continue reading “New tops: Mandy Boat Tee and Super Basic Tank – free patterns”

New dress: Seamwork Tacara

One of the issues you come up against when trying to sew a handmade wardrobe is to understand which clothes are really the ones that you reach for in the morning. I make a lot of lovely clothes, some of which I do reach for instinctively, but others which I have to think about before I put them on. Clothes that take a little more planning: buttoned shirts, jumpsuits, highly colourful or patterned fabrics. Without fail, however, one type of garment I reach for when I’m in a rush is a loose knit dress. It’s easy, you only need one item of clothing, you don’t need to consider your underwear too closely and a myriad of other easy reasons.

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However, it’s not something I’ve made too many of. I guess post-childbirth I owned plenty and it’s only recently I really got rid of the last few. They weren’t even especially flattering. but, as per my reasoning above, I reached for them constantly. So – all this brings me to the Seamwork Tacara, which definitely fits into the “easy-to-wear cocoon dress” category. I liked the look of it when it was released, but sort of dismissed it as a dress that looked great on the tall, slim model, but would look like a tent on me. Then several versions appeared on the old Internet (in particular on the ladies in this Curvy Sewing Collective post) and I started to reconsider, because it looked bloomin’ marvellous on them. Continue reading “New dress: Seamwork Tacara”

New dress: Jennifer Lauren Quincy dress for #sewmystyle June

This was a slightly unexpected make at the last minute, as for most of June I was team Orchid Midi dress the whole way. It’s not that I didn’t like the Quincy dress, but I felt I had made dresses recently that were kind of similar and I haven’t made anything like the Orchid before. However, a week or so ago, I came across the sleeveless version made by @goingtoneedstitches on Instagram and thought “Aha – that’s what I’m after”. I also really loved the look of the Quincy by @seams_sew, so in the end, I changed tack a few days before the end of month deadline and got into the Quincy with gusto.

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In case you’re not familiar with Jennifer Lauren, she produces patterns with a definite vintage feel and the Quincy shirtdress is no exception. It has a lovely little V neckline, back yoke, large pockets and is shaped with bust darts and a drawstring at the waist. As you can see, I decided to put elastic in the waistband rather than a drawstring and I also omitted the sleeves as above. If you do make the sleeves, Jennifer usually makes the length slightly longer than normal (I loved this in her Ostara top) for a more vintage touch and these sleeves can be finished with either a hem or a notched cuff. Continue reading “New dress: Jennifer Lauren Quincy dress for #sewmystyle June”