This is actually my first bona fide make of 2020, which is kind of crazy, but I zipped this little lady up in no time at all and I adore this dress! It’s a clever, elegant and flattering design. I saw Nina Lee put out a call for makers to test out her new extended range for the Mayfair dress (as well as a couple of other patterns) a month or two ago and signed up as I’ve been intrigued by other patterns of hers I’ve seen around and about. The Mayfair dress actually came out at the end of 2018 and there are some lovely versions around the internet already, such as this maxi version from Diary of a Chainstitcher and this one from Sew Dainty. The extended sizing will go up to size 28 (54″ bust) and will be out soon.
Mayfair Dress Pattern
The Mayfair is a knit dress that comes in knee-length and maxi versions that has some really nice detailing on it, which is what made me take a closer look at it in the first place. It has an “all-in-one grown-on collar” which makes for some slightly more interesting pattern pieces than usual and results in some lovely pleats that meet at the back neckline and flow round and down either side of the front neckline. This effect is mirrored by a gathered central section at the waist and produces some lovely shaping. The attached long waist tie is clever, because it hides the gathers and allows you to shape the mid-section of the dress to your taste. There are three different sleeve lengths: full, 3/4 length and short sleeves.
Continue reading “New test: Nina Lee Mayfair dress”
Yes, more plans! Ha! I have done very little sewing this year, but a lot of planning and reading and thinking and even fabric selling! Yes, I legitimately reduced my stash by 40 yards already by getting off my arse and selling some fabric. Woo! Anyway, Whitney from TomKat Stitchery and Carla from Stay Stitching launched a module sewalong challenge at the end of January, which runs to the end of March, so there’s plenty of time still to join! I got to know Whitney a little from leading Sew My Style together last year and she is such a nice person – and a pure machine when it comes to sewing. I am not a big YouTube person, but her vids are an exception. Check them out if you haven’t before – they’re inspiring and practical.
The basic idea of the challenge is that you sew a topper (jacket, cardigan, etc.), three tops and two bottoms, which all coordinate. This is what I’m doing, but I have to say the ladies are being very flexible on the rules. They don’t want people sewing just for the sake of it, so you can also use already-made or bought items for some pieces, or change out the types of garments if you like. I, however, am in dire need of some pants, so the rules are perfect for me as they are! Continue reading “The Great Module Sewalong – spring edition”
There was some sunshine today! Hallelujah! I ran out and snapped some pics of some garments I’ve finished, but have been struggling to capture. I believe this year was a record one for Seattle in terms of rainfall (it doesn’t rain half as much as people think) and I can tell you we’re all feeling the long grey days… Anyway! Enough about that. I don’t make my son clothes too often, but when I do it’s in a batch and Joe was in dire need of new pyjamas and a couple of winter layering items, so I cut some out just before Christmas and finally finished them up.
The new garment I tried this time was the Brindille and Twig Hooded Vest No. 95, which I made out of this Albstoffe Quilted Knit Jersey in Dusty Blue (I see the light grey is still available and on sale). As with most Euro knits, the quality is lovely and the jacquard jersey is quite thick and warm. Continue reading “New kidswear: Brindille and Twig Hooded Vest + Crew Sweatshirts and Winter PJs from Peekaboo Patterns”
I liked this pattern as soon as I saw it – I like shirtdresses and the easy, relaxed style of the Camp Dress looked right up my street. As you may or may not know already, I usually try and think of a variation on a theme when I’m making one of Liesl Gibson’s garments as I contribute occasionally to her blog, but in this case, my immediate thought was more along the lines of styling. One of the big things I love about shirtdresses of any kind is the fact you can dress them up or down very easily. I’ve posted a blog entry showing off seven ways I like to wear shirtdresses over at the Oliver + S blog, so if you’d like to see what I came up with, head over there!
Continue reading “New dress: The Camp shirtdress by Liesl + Co.”
Something a little different from me for this post. I wanted to discuss that perennial old favourite – the full bust adjustment (or FBA) for a minute or two and I would love your input on my burning question (ooh what could it be? what could it be? I hear you all mutter excitedly to yourselves), which is about how you pick your pattern size.
Before I go any further, I want to qualify all the following with the fact that yes, I know that there is no 100% correct answer and everyone, ultimately, is decidedly different and unique and special (like, literally different, apart from exact identical twins and/or clones) and so whichever answer I pick, I know I will always have to make some adjustments anyway, so, you know, why am I even bothering to pin this down?
But the thing is, this has been bothering me and I’m one of those people that likes all the jigsaw puzzle pieces to fit. That is basically the reason. Continue reading “Fitting thoughts: Picking a pattern size for full bust adjustments – what’s your take?”
The second iteration of this dress, and this time in something with much more drape. Jess from La Mercerie collaborated with artist Nerida Hansen earlier this year to produce this collection of stunning abstract prints on a midweight rayon challis and, despite being on a fabric ban (ha!), I couldn’t resist and snapped up a couple of pieces. I knew fairly quickly that I wanted to use this print for another Wiksten shift after my successful first attempt at the pattern. I didn’t actually whip it up until New Year’s Eve though, when I decided to go ahead and make another version of the longest length (in size 14) for a night out with the husband.
Continue reading “New dress: Wiksten shift 2 in rayon challis”
Wow – it’s 2020! When did that happen? 2020… it’s hard to believe it. It sounds so futuristic to my ears still! In any case – I hope you all had a fantastic New Year. We had quite a quiet one. We were supposed to be taking advantage of Grandma being in town and going out to get down with the kids at a party (not our kids, just kids in general as we are old) and I even made a dress on NYE for it. Then just as we were about to leave, my husband sheepishly told me he’d forgotten to buy tickets and it was sold out… le sigh. I was not mad AT. ALL. (honest) so we went and watched Star Wars instead in my new dress (which was epic) and then to a local pub, which was really very nice and reminded me that the most important thing was being with my husband. My forgetful, sometimes-useless husband, but nevertheless… my husband.
My Instagram “Top Nine” of 2019 based on likes
Anyway, this has nothing to do with anything, except that it’s also that time of year when you sum up the previous 12 months and think of a few things you’d like to do in the subsequent 12. I like to write a nerdy post, which helps me figure out what I’m doing and is fun to read back at a later date. It’s also kind of the third part of Gillian’s Top 5 series – my Parts 1: Hits and 2: Misses are here if you want to catch up… Continue reading “Reflections on 2019 and plans for 2020”
So to the one everyone loves: the Sewing Top 5 Fails/Misses!
(Here are my Sewing Top 5 successes if you missed ’em). I had a few misses to pick from this year actually, but the criteria was basically – do I wear them? And if not, why not? With that in mind, let’s get onto the first, possibly surprise, entry:
Continue reading “My #SewingTop5 Misses of 2019”
I can’t tell you how long this dress has been on my project list. I definitely had both the Tuuli pattern printed out and fabric purchased in Autumn 2017. I didn’t quite get around to it though, and here we are, back in cold weather, so I dug it out a few weeks ago and proceeded to get going on it! You might think – why would you wait for winter for a knit dress? – but you’ll have to believe me when I say this is a really warm winter dress, and I am quite a warm-blooded person anyway. (Or is it cold-blooded? I never know. I mean that I naturally stay pretty warm in cold weather).
The weather in Seattle has been historically dark so far in December, but I took the chance to snap a few pics outside a store today, while Christmas shopping. They’re still pretty dark, but I think you can just about see the detail of the dress. Dark, dark, dark. Eurgh.
Continue reading “New dress: Tuuli dress from Named”
My season of coats continues! I tested the Chaval coat for Liesl + Co. towards the end of October and really enjoyed the process, not least because the usual excellent instructions of a Liesl + Co. pattern really gave me a good grounding for the other coats I wanted to tackle. The pattern is available now, along with two lovely A/W dresses, one of which I may also have made (more soon) 😉
The Chaval coat is a slightly oversized, masculine-influenced coat, which has definite traces of the workwear trend that’s currently to be seen everywhere. It has lots of lovely details, which really appealed to me: a notched collar/lapel, welt pockets with flaps, a full lining and two-piece sleeves. Some of the outerwear I’ve been making has been fairly simple, which is absolutely fine and I love those pieces, but this one is the real deal when it comes to a full-length jacket. There’s no advanced tailoring or anything, but you won’t be knocking this out in an afternoon. I think it took me about 20-25hrs in total, although I could do it a fair bit quicker next time as it was my first time for some of the techniques. Continue reading “New test: The Chaval coat from Liesl and Co.”