New makes: Tees for men and boys round-up

Sometimes I think I’m not going to post something, and occasionally I get caught up in other life stuff and don’t, but for the most part I do remind myself that the blog is as much a record for me as it is a piece of outward-going media. So that’s why I’ve also written this intro: to remind myself to remind myself of that next time I forget. Etc.

This wittering is relevant because I’m posting a bunch of new t-shirts today, which are basically now TNT patterns for my husband and son. Therefore, I’ll put limited notes on them, unless I’ve constructed something differently than before. The main changes are the fabric I’ve used, so if you want some info on cotton lycra or organic knits for t-shirts, read on.

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New make: Patterns for Pirates Sunshine maxi dress

It strikes me there are virtually two separate worlds when it comes to knits as opposed to wovens. There’s some overlap of course, but I do really get the impression of being in a parallel universe when it comes to knit fabrics. Much of this has to do with children I think. There are lots of people whose primary interest is sewing clothes for their kids – and therefore are interested in a certain kind of cute, colourful knit fabric and pattern, as opposed to patterns and fabric for “adult” clothing. I’ve written a series of posts on knits and everytime I think about posting it, I discover some other aspect of this group and postpone it. I’ll get around to it one day. It’s so different from the woven community, it still surprises me all the time.

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New make: Papercut Patterns Kyoto tee

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This is my contribution to the 2017 trend-set of ruffles and “statement sleeves”. I’m not a person to take on trends for the sake of it, but when I saw the brilliant new Sakura collection from Papercut Patterns, the Kyoto tee was one of the patterns that jumped out at me – and it just happened to have a ruffled sleeve. I immediately had in mind the short-sleeved version in a graphic knit – and here is the result.

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New makes: Simplicity, Papercut Patterns and Wendy Ward – guest blog!

We’ve moved into our new house and are right in the midst of unpacking, so no sewing for a little bit yet. Instead, here’s a rapid roundup of some garments my lovely Mum made when she came to stay in May. We both share a love of arts and crafts, although she is certainly more “artistic” than I, and it was great to share some excitement about making clothes with her. We had fun choosing some fabric and figuring out what we’d each make, and enjoyed the somewhat collaborative process as we chatted about the process as we were sewing.

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New makes: Grainline Scout tee – a first fitting attempt

Hello there! So after the success of the Alder shirtdress and Linden sweaters I had a rummage through Grainline Studio’s other patterns. I have the Morris blazer pattern already and fully intend to make it, but this time round the Scout tee caught my eye. Let me be honest: a boxy woven tee with no shaping would not be my natural ally. In fact, I’m really not the shape for Grainline patterns (or they’re not the right shape for me; take your pick), despite some successes. The resulting garments tend to be fairly rectangular with plenty of ease and are probably best suited to those with similar body shapes. It’s been a very popular silhouette in the indie pattern world.

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New test: Jennifer Lauren Laneway dress

I signed up as a tester for Jennifer Lauren a few months back and was more than delighted when the second garment to come up after the Juniper cardigan  (which I have since worn a LOT) was the Laneway dress. I was excited to get my teeth stuck into something that was a little different, with a few new skills and also –  a dress! – since it seems like I’ve been sewing mostly separates for a while.

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The Laneway Dress

And the Laneway was just the dress to get me excited! It’s described thus: “a sleek yet easy to wear 1940s A-line silhouette, Laneway will be your go-to dress for everyday adventures and beyond.” and I would say this is fair. The dress has open ended waist darts in the front and full back darts for shaping, a gorgeous asymmetric collar that is built into the facing (there’s a no-collar option too), plus it’s the first time Jennifer Lauren has produced a pattern that accommodates A to D cups. Yeehoo! No prizes for guessing what I was testing – I made a 16D cup and it was… great! Continue reading “New test: Jennifer Lauren Laneway dress”

New make: Grainline Alder shirtdress for #sewsomethingforsummer

I love the shirtdress. It’s the type of garment that looks flattering on so many different people and nicely straddles the divide between casual and smart-casual. I probably notice them a little more than the average person since they’re one of those garments that I’ve never really been able to buy from shops. I’m one of the many women whose experience with anything buttoned has been to either settle for a giant sack shirt just so it fits over the bust or to put up with a gaping top and either unbutton the shirt low and wear a cami, or just grin and bear it. This has been the case at my thinnest and my heaviest.

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Me Made May 2017 Round Up: a few key points

My first Me Made May or #mmmay2017 challenge is over! Organised by Zoe of the So, Zo, What Do You Know blog, it’s been a pleasure to take part in such a community-driven and enthusiastic endeavour. There are many reasons to take part and many things to take away from the experience, but I’ll restrict my waffling to a few key points that slapped me in the face like a wet mackerel.

Back in April I said that:

“I hope it will help me take a good, long look at my makes and wardrobe and come up with some great outfit ideas, as well as streamline and consolidate my style.”

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Results

  1. It wasn’t as hard to wear one me-made garment a day as I thought it would be. I guess that was partly as a result of my effort to make some neutrals/wardrobe staples over autumn/winter. It also reflects the fact that I do actually reach for at least one me-made item on most days anyway. I hadn’t realised how natural that had become until now.
  2. My wearable me-made wardrobe is largely monochromatic. Or at least, monochromatic + blue. This was actually something of a surprise to me since I think of myself as someone who wears a lot of colour. There are a couple of reasons for this: the aforementioned focus on A/W basics, which were intentionally neutral, but also:
  3. I must finish me-made clothes completely. A few items of clothing I went to put on ended up having some small job to finish I’d forgotten about – a button here, a loosened hem there. They didn’t get fixed even though I intended to attend to them.
  4. I have a lack of summery clothes. It got fairly warm early in May and has continued like that here in Seattle. Most of my recent clothes have been warmer weather items: sweaters and cardigans and so on. I must rectify this; my pineapple t-shirt and just-finished Alder are a good start. Yes, okay, okay, the other two t-shirts in the Pineapple post are black and white prints, which brings me to:
  5. I am very, very bad at making solids/plain clothes. I don’t think this is an uncommon issue, but I keep intending to make a totally plain black top or grey skirt, and then end up adding something or using a slight pattern or plumping for the cool graphic print or whatever. It means that my co-ordinating item doesn’t quite co-ordinate and even though I’ve been making neutrals that match with each other, they don’t all quite match with anything else. I love a bit of clashing, but everyone needs solids. Must make some.
  6. Surprise hits: Black Moji trousers. I wore them a lot more than I was expecting and I rather like the resulting silhouette. Truthfully, they don’t actually fit me all that well, so I plan to make another couple of pairs of similar trousers and/or smaller Mojis. The Plantain t-shirt was also a goodie. I think I may try and run up a t-shirt dress based on that pattern.
  7. Consolidating my style will take a while longer. I don’t really recognise “my style” in many of the pictures, although I do in some. More musing and more experiments needed.
  8. Accessorise more: Such a simple thing, but something I don’t take the necessary time to do. I’m more of a run-out-of-the-door kind of gal, but it makes a huge difference to outfits. I need to make more effort to get back to this – I have tons of cool accessories.

Overall, I was rather pleased with my results from the month. And more importantly, I so enjoyed interacting with other sewers on IG, meeting a few new folks and cheering others on. I’m also really enjoying the round-ups. There are a few experienced sewers whose wardrobes are very inspiring in the breadth and cohesiveness of what they make. More than anything though, it’s been a lot of fun! And that’s exactly as it should be. Later!

 

New makes: Seamwork/Colette Gretta and Mabel – some minor failures

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Hi all! A little post today to document a couple of not-so-successful makes I had in recent months. Neither of them are terrible, but they are also definitely not top of my makes list.

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The first one was the Seamwork Gretta top, which I was excited about. I have a lovely piece of silk I’ve been hoarding which is about enough for a simple tank/cami style top and when the Gretta came out I thought it would be perfect. The Gretta is a standard tank with a scooped neck, bust darts and a rounded patch pocket. The really cute part is the fact that the shoulders are tied together rather than sewn. I think it gives that little bit of extra interest to an otherwise basic top. I’d looked at other very popular tank options too, but many of them have either spaghetti straps (Ogden) or racerbacks – and they just don’t jive with my upholstery requirements. Ahem. Continue reading “New makes: Seamwork/Colette Gretta and Mabel – some minor failures”

New make: Cali Faye Pocket Skirt #sewmystyle May

This month the #sewmystyle pattern is a bit of a wardrobe builder and I was really looking forward to it. I used a gorgeous Alison Glass cotton lawn with some jewel-like batik colours and actually really like the final result. The only problem with it is that it doesn’t fit me. Bummer. I’ve taken some not-very-accurate photos (below) to give you some idea of how it might look on, but it should be a lot looser and lower.

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