Hey folks and a happy Autumn to you! Did you have a good Halloween? We definitely did here and it was lovely to see the kiddos getting out and about almost as if it were a regular pre-Covid year. I had my own little horror story a week or so ago when I tripped in a pothole while walking my dog at night. Ouch! I may have a tiny fracture but mostly it’s just a very bad sprain and I’ll be wearing a boot for a few weeks, as you can see in some of the photos. I only had the second sleeve to sew on my new Gilbert Top, so I managed to get it finished yesterday and here are a few pics!
Summer was all about dresses for me this year and I really enjoyed trying out a few different patterns and styles and wore them all a lot. For autumn/winter I’m absolutely feeling a pull towards shirts and blouses and I have a few more patterns I want to try out. Here’s one of them: the Gilbert Top from Helen’s Closet. I couldn’t decide between this and the Hey June Willamette shirt for a while, but Helen always provides lots of extra content and hacks with her patterns and that, combined with the fact I really wanted a shirt with a tie-front option, decided the matter.
Lumberjackie? Lumber Jill? Take your pick! All I know is that Seamwork has been releasing patterns of a more complex nature recently and I’ve really been enjoying them! This month I was immediately attracted by the Larkin bomber jacket, which makes the perfect fall or spring outer layer. A few of us Seamwork ambassadors were chatting about what we might do with the pattern at the beginning of the month and it’s been really fun to see how everyone’s turned out. They are so great! You can check them all out on Instagram under #seamworklarkin.
For mine, I decided to add a little ruffle at the shoulder and also to use exposed zipper pockets instead of the pattern’s regular welt pockets. I have absolutely nothing against a welt pocket, but I’ve made a few recently, so fancied a wee change. I also thought the exposed zip would look quite good against the plaid and break it up a little. I’ve included a short tutorial for both further down the page in case you wanted to try them and weren’t sure how to approach the process.
Sometimes a pattern comes along that leapfrogs all your current plans and this was one of those. It’s not a terribly complicated pattern and I dare say with my pattern collection I could have achieved something similar with a few adjustments to something else, but… I don’t know. Sometimes you just see something and think – yes, that’s exactly what I want. I’m also more than happy to support small designers and after I checked out a few of the Elsie skirts on Instagram – in particular the View A sample and also View B made by @rocco.sienna, I decided that this pattern had the makings of a mid-length skirt staple for me. Did it live up to my expectations? You betcha. In fact I liked it so much I made both versions within a couple of days and it’s gone straight onto my TNT list.
Here’s one of the August patterns for Seamwork – the Ani trousers or pants. I like a tapered trouser and I liked the look of the line drawing on these, with the welt pockets at the back and the pleated front. They remind me somewhat of the Alexandria pants from Named, which I like a lot, but a more structured version than that pattern with its elasticated waist.
I made most of these Ani trousers before I left on vacation some weeks ago and finished them up today, noting that the waistband was somewhat more…snug… than I recall. I measured my waist and…yes, the holiday and subsequent social activities took their toll, so you will note the waistband is slightly strained. Still, I’m not too bothered – it will fit better after I get back to my normal routine, plus the fabric I used is a non-stretch twill, which will relax with wear, so it’s almost good that’s it’s a little tight right now.
Hello there! Remember me? Well, I guess it hasn’t been thaaaat long, but I think it must be one of the longest gaps between blog posts since I started this thing 5 or so years ago. It’s not like I haven’t been sewing, but I’ve been doing lots of little bits and pieces: some tests, some quilting (yes, I am truly well down that particular rabbithole) and I also finished up some projects that were sitting languishing: some kids clothes and some home goods. That felt good! Oh yes – and I went to Alaska on vacation, which was very cool!
But today is a great day to post, because Closet Core Patterns, as I’m sure you may have heard, have been busy with lots of exciting things! The team have released this wonderful new Pauline dress pattern, which I tested a few months ago, but also opened a brand new FABRIC store, Core Fabrics. OH YEAH. I mean, who doesn’t love a brilliant new fabric source? I tested their storefront a little and although they were still ramping up stock input, it was immediately clear that they were sourcing fabric after my own heart – eco-friendly from reputable sources. Excellent! I encourage you to go and check Core Fabrics out, but right now I want to fill you in on the Pauline dress and my rather extravagant black summer version in this post.
Oh man, this was one of those projects. I should have finished it about a week ago, but the last half d.r.a.g.g.e.d…. What happened was that I got all caught up on the yoke/facings part of the construction and got slightly frustrated – and then my enthusiasm to finish deflated like an overripe balloon. It’s a good thing that I love the finished result then, isn’t it? I’ll tell you straight up that, quite apart from the construction, the Named Reeta shirtdress is one of those garments that I wasn’t convinced was going to look any good riiigghhtt up until literally the last step or two of the project. It’s amazing what a difference the buttons and waist cording make. It looked very bathgown-y right up until that point – you’ll just have to trust me on that.
Another dress so soon, I hear you say? Well yes – this is one of the new patterns for Seamwork this month and I have to tell you, it’s a great month! I love both of the patterns on offer for July, but wasn’t too sure about the bust support factor for Siahra (although I know some ambassadors got around this, so am interested to read their posts on the matter), so I opted to make this dress – Killian. This style is absolutely up my street with its slight vintagey vibe and I’m delighted to report that it’s jumped straight into my favourite-dress-patterns-of-all-time list. I will definitely, definitely be making more of these, and perhaps with some variations, so stay tuned for those.
First though, you might wonder why I like it so much? Really, it’s because it has features that I think really suit me. It’s that simple. I’m also very happy with the fit I achieved and thought that it might be helpful for beginners (or anyone who’s interested) if I explain how I went about the fitting process. Obviously everyone is different, but one thing I found hard as a beginner was just assessing a pattern and figuring out what to tackle, and in which order. I’m not a fitting expert by any means, but I’ve definitely gotten better at fitting my body over the years, so perhaps it will help someone. I’ll pop that detailed section at the bottom of the post. Let me know if you have questions!
I wasn’t kidding when I said I was into dresses right now. I have this one, another two in progress and ANOTHER two prepped and just waiting to be cut out (which as you know, is my favourite thing to do (yes, I’m a weirdo, but I just adore the cutting part). This is the Seamwork Kimmy, which came out last year at some point. I really liked the version on the model and filed it under “potential future projects” in my brain, and then I saw some versions on Instagram that prompted me to order the copyshop version while I was getting some other stuff printed. It’s a fun little sundress , which is mostly a success, but I don’t think it will go down as a favourite of all time. Let me tell you why…
The Kimmy is described as: “a versatile dress that marries effortless style with ease and comfort. Dolman sleeves with adjustable gathers and an elastic waistline offer this frock its figure-flattering shape.” The pattern comes in Seamwork’s two sizing ranges: 0-16 in the misses range with a C cup block, and 18-26 in the curvy range with a DD block. There is an overlap between the two ranges now, but this is an older pattern, so the break happens at the size 16. The pattern is drafted for a height of 5’8″. I’m 5’6″ and didn’t make any changes to the length and, as you can see, it’s still fairly short – above knee length. You’ll probably want to check that if you have long legs.
I signed up to test for Ensemble Patterns a long time ago and had completely forgotten about it, so it was a total surprise when I saw the call for testers for a new knit top with a difference. Celina from Ensemble had taken a little time off and was back with one of her patterns, which I was only too happy to do. I’m a fan of her work: I’ve made both the Perkins shirt, which I adore, and the Robinson trousers, which I wear all the time. She has great personal style, an edgy quality to her designs and I can always expect something a little bit different and on trend from her.
And here it is: the Pierce Vest pattern. The name slightly sells the pattern short, as the Pierce Vest comes in numerous lengths and can be sewn as a vest, a tee, a tunic and a full-length dress. As you can see, my final version was the dress and I love it! I made it from a beautiful thick knit jacquard that I got from Jumping June a while ago. It’s by Albstoffe and such nice spongey quality. I like it for this dress because it doesn’t cling, but skims, which is what I was after. You can use a variety of knits for this dress, although if your fabric has in excess of 40% stretch, you’re advised to size down.
I am so into summer dresses right now. I can’t say why exactly and, strangely, (because I like them a lot) I actually haven’t made many dedicated summer dresses. I now have several cut out and plans for another few, so that “problem” should be rectified soon!