Sewing Bee Round 4, Part 2: Named Saraste top and Megan Nielsen Dawn jeans

Now to the second part of my final Sewing Bee outfit! As I mentioned in the first post, the theme for this round was to make an outfit for a post-pandemic event or activity and my immediate choice was to fly back to Scotland and party it up with my friends and family, who I haven’t seen for a while. I knew I only had 4 days to make the whole thing, so to have any chance of completing it and not just making, say, a t-shirt for the final, I had to take a guess at what the final round would be. As it turns out, I was very close ( a few of us had guessed it would be something like this) and so I had a little headstart as I’d already decided on my theme and inspiration. I still made a few changes before and during the construction process, but my rough plan was to:

  • Make a three-piece outfit inspired by the landscape of Scotland
  • Make an outfit that would be suitable for the plane journey home and then as a party outfit on arrival
  • Make something wearable that would fit in my wardrobe
  • Try to use stash fabrics
Continue reading “Sewing Bee Round 4, Part 2: Named Saraste top and Megan Nielsen Dawn jeans”

Sewing Bee Round 4 Part 1 – Style Arc Casey Coat

Hello there! Well, I didn’t end up winning a prize in the Pattern Review Sewing Bee, but, without wanting to sound like a cheesy cheeseball, I was really pleased to have made it to the final 12 on my first time. There were some amazing sewists taking part and I was genuinely the most relaxed I’d been in the final week, because I really didn’t think there was any chance of me winning. Nevertheless, I am so happy with the outfit I came up with. I feel like I put 110% in and couldn’t have done any better, and that’s all you can ask for isn’t it?

Since there are three garments in my final outfit, I’m going to split this post in two and concentrate on the pattern that was new-to-me today and that was the Style Arc Casey coat. I’ll probably go into this more in the second post, but, briefly, the theme was an outfit you would wear to a post-pandemic event or activity of your choice. There was no stipulation as to how many garments you needed to make, but… looking back at previous years of the final round it was obvious one garment wasn’t going to cut it. I only had 4 days (!) before we went on our little spring break getaway, which was the first little getaway in a long time and there was no way I could cancel or miss it. So, to cut a long story short, I threw caution to the wind, and decided just to get my head down and go for it, with a planned outfit of three pieces.

Continue reading “Sewing Bee Round 4 Part 1 – Style Arc Casey Coat”

New outerwear: Ottobre Ruth raincoat for Round 3 of Pattern Review Sewing Bee

Rarrrrr! I’m back from Spring Break and it’s time to catch up on some blog posts. As you may or may not have been following, I’ve been sewing in the annual Pattern Review Sewing Bee. I entered for the first time this year and as of the time of writing this, have just submitted my entry for the final round – Round 4. We find out who wins this week I think but I am 99.99% sure it won’t be me. I think my final round outfit was pretty cool, but there are some truly amazing creations in the gallery. Check them out here if you have time and are interested. Also, here are my entries for Round 1: Pyjamas and Round 2: Denim Repurposing that got me this far.

Buttttt, before that, I need to write up my entry for Round 3 that got me to the final! As you can see it’s a raincoat for when you want to stand out in a crowd! Haha. The challenge for Round 3 was “pattern-matching”. The rules stipulated that to qualify you only had to match across one seam or area in a “seamless” way, but of course, we all knew that we’d need to match across more than one seam to have any chance of getting through the round. Where my biggest challenge in Round 2 was really about the fit of my dress, this was at the other end of the spectrum. Fit was not so much the issue as cutting and precision work.

Continue reading “New outerwear: Ottobre Ruth raincoat for Round 3 of Pattern Review Sewing Bee”

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 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”

Me-Made May 2020 – the results

Hello there! This is always a work-intensive post to write, but I’ve gone back to previous such posts numerous times to remind myself of clothes, outfits or resolutions, so it’s definitely worth it – to me at least.

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But first… May 2020

This May has been, of course, completely different to any Me-Made May I’ve taken part in the last few years. Initially this was because of Covid-19, which added a different flavour to proceedings. My husband was working from home, so he had a few minutes to get a picture of me each day, which helped immeasurably. On the other hand, not going out anywhere beyond my back yard meant I didn’t really wear many “going-out” clothes, or even many coats/jackets, so that was a little different. I did, nonetheless, make an effort to dress up a little some days and it really did noticeably lighten my mood on those days, so there’s definitely something to be said for the effect of what might be seem like a superficial routine on your psyche. Continue reading “Me-Made May 2020 – the results”

New skirt: 1975 Stretch & Sew skirt for the Sewcialists Sew Your Birth Year challenge

I wasn’t sure whether I should go ahead and finish this skirt and, more to the point, post it, but I do think it’s important to post fails as well as successes and this skirt unfortunately did end up largely in the former category. There is one overriding reason for it being in this category and that is because I picked a totally unsuitable fabric for it, which is something that does occasionally trip me up.

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Okay, so here’s the story. The Sewcialists recently did one of their mini-challenges, which was to sew something associated with your birth year. It could be a pattern from that year, a copy of a design from that year or basically anything associated with the period around your birth year. Mine is 1975. At the same time, I’ve been meaning to sew one of my Stretch & Sew patterns for ages. I got a large number of them from the 1960s through the 1990s from my local Buy Nothing group.

Continue reading “New skirt: 1975 Stretch & Sew skirt for the Sewcialists Sew Your Birth Year challenge”

New jeans: Tapered Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen

I’ve got a few minutes of downtime from teaching the youngster how to make rain sticks and plasticine dogs (!) to write down a few notes about my rigid denim Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen. I’ve been meaning to make a “proper” high-waisted garment for ages as I have quite a few cropped items and -ahem- garments that might have turned out shorter than planned or shrank in the wash – and wanted some bottoms I could wear with them. I will be honest and say that I wasn’t completely sold on the high-waist thing. Partly because I have a long torso, so wasn’t sure if I could make them work for me, but also I just wasn’t completely sure it would suit me somehow. Or possibly even be comfortable with the high waist in rigid denim in my advancing years?

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Of course, now that I’ve made some, I’m kicking myself, because they’re great! I didn’t really make many more adjustments than normal (more on that later) and they go with everything. They also “hold me in”, which is a very definite plus and are super comfortable. Like realllyyy comfortable. I am 110% going to make another pair asap and have been eyeing my stash for the best candidate. I have some lovely wine corduroy that’s definitely high on the list. Continue reading “New jeans: Tapered Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen”

New coat: Coat Q from Atelier to Nani Iro in polka dot linen

Hello again! How are you all doing? Have you been sewing up a storm or has your sewjo been dampened recently? I would say it’s a 50:50 split with the sewists I know. If you fall into the latter, I can completely understand, but take heart in the fact we’ll be over this soon and I’m sure all that sewing enthusiasm will come roaring back with a vengeance! Anyway, that’s my public announcement over, so time to give you a few more details on my recent linen coat project.

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This was a very fun and quick coat to make. This is my second project from the Nani Iro Atelier, or Atelier to Nani Iro book (as the Instagram translation has it) and I took a bit of a risk on it. It was the topper for my capsule wardrobe as part of #thegreatmodulesewalong project hosted by Whitney and Carla over on Instagram and was the piece that was supposed to hold the collection together and, in fact, the garment around which I based everything else. There weren’t too many reviews of the coat I could find outside of Instagram, but I know Elle Gee Makes made a great one last year, so that’s a good review to check out if you want to take a look at another version of the coat. Continue reading “New coat: Coat Q from Atelier to Nani Iro in polka dot linen”

The Great Module Sewalong: the results!

The deadline for #thegreatmodulesewalong is today, so I managed to scrape in by the skin of my teeth. I haven’t been getting a ton of sewing done since the Coronavirus stepped up and changed our daily routine (in fact, my sewjo has been slow all year to be fair), but I was determined to finish this if I could, so put in a good few hours at the weekend and managed to succeed without cutting any corners. I wrote about my plans and the challenge background here back in February if you’re interested or haven’t heard about it, but, otherwise, here are the clothes!

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Continue reading “The Great Module Sewalong: the results!”