New coat: Merchant and Mills Landgate

I haven’t seen a ton of Merchant and Mills Landgate jackets around, but the ones I have seen on Instagram or blogs are splendid – both the male and female versions. This is the sort of jacket I need in rainy Seattle (although not as rainy as you’d think) and I am really glad I went ahead and made it. Plus it’s coat number 4 of 7 – woo! First thing to say – this pattern is much simpler than I thought it would be! I don’t know if it’s the Merchant and Mills grim-up-north aesthetic, but I thought it would be a complex pattern. It’s really not, actually.

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The Landgate is a unisex design, which looks superb on everyone and is only differentiated by recipient by adding a bit of length to the base pattern, which is defaulted as the female pattern. It has raglan sleeves, a hood with zipper cover and deep pockets for stowing away all your trusty outdoor apparatus. You know: your phone, your keys, your packets of sweeties… Continue reading “New coat: Merchant and Mills Landgate”

New party outfit: The silver Sirocco for Seattle Frocktails

Ooh, I loves me a bit of alliteration. Seattle Frocktails happened on November 9th and it was another exciting evening in the world of Seattle sewing. You might remember that last year I kicked off Seattle Frocktails, but I wasn’t able to organise it again this year due to other commitments and, luckily for me, a couple of the ladies from last year’s team were keen to take it over – and they did a grand job! I was working on a Vogue dress for the event, but it ended up being a “not feeling it” situation. I was feeling a bit bloated and I just didn’t think I could make it work (although I will finish it soon), so I had a bit of a last minute panic and started a new outfit the day before the event: this silver Sirocco jumpsuit! Woo!

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Continue reading “New party outfit: The silver Sirocco for Seattle Frocktails”

New tops: The Ruska vs the Freya turtleneck sweaters

I bought a thin black turtleneck last year because I wanted to layer it with something or other and I wasn’t sure how well it would suit me. In the end I quite liked it and am definitely digging the layered look this year, so wanted to make a couple of such tops myself. I had both the Freya, from the Tilly and the Buttons Stretch book, and the Ruska from the Named Breaking the Pattern book in my possession and couldn’t choose between them. So I figured why not try both to compare? Both patterns have other versions and views I like, so getting a decent fit on the sweaters would open up a ton of other pattern variations to me.

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Continue reading “New tops: The Ruska vs the Freya turtleneck sweaters”

New jacket: The Wiksten Haori

The third garment of my autumn/winter outerwear project, the Wiksten Haori has got to be the fastest sew I’m going to have. I think the Nani Iro Atelier coat looks like a fairly simple affair as well, but the Haori really surprised me, given that it has a lining. Full credit to the instructions, which were crystal clear, with excellent illustrations. This would be an excellent jacket project for a beginner, with a lovely result to boot! I think the sewing took just 2 hours.

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The Wiksten Haori jacket has been around for a couple of years now and is a very popular pattern, but just incase you happen to have missed it, I can tell you it’s a lined, reversible casual jacket, with a Japanese influence. It comes in three different lengths and the most important thing you need to know about this jacket is that it’s oversized. Like, a lot oversized. Which is absolutely fine, as long as you know about it. So now I’ve told you. Continue reading “New jacket: The Wiksten Haori”

Autumn/Winter 2019 planning: the coats edition

Here’s my latest plan of action! I read something on someone’s blog (yes, I remember it that specifically) some time ago about how they came up with all these wardrobe plans and then they threw on a coat to leave the house and it didn’t match with anything, so all their careful planning was undone, and I thought “Yes! I know exactly what you mean!”

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I’ve never been good at the head-to-toe, organise-your-outfit-the-night-before kind of deal and I also haven’t made many coats. My one coat so far was the Rumana coat from By Hand London, which is a beautiful shape, but was a bear of a project (I still need to fix the vent) and is also now too small for me, so I haven’t got much wear out of it! But for a variety of reasons: scheduled classes, testing, sewing challenges, long-held plans and an abundance of coat fabric, I now have a ton of coats in my schedule, so it seems like an opportune time to knock a collection out! That sounds so easy, doesn’t it??

My basic plan is: make the coat and then try to make an outfit or item that goes with that coat. Simple eh? Let’s see…

Continue reading “Autumn/Winter 2019 planning: the coats edition”

Style Arc Stevie denim jacket with a Sherpa lining – tutorial and tips

Wow – denim jackets, eh? I’ve made a couple of pairs of jeans now and I actually really enjoy working with denim and topstitching. This denim jacket took topstitching to a new level though! Admittedly, this was partly (mostly) to do with the fact that I decided to go back to my teenage roots, be brave (you may choose an alternative adjective), and add a Sherpa lining to the Style Arc Stevie jacket – which is my Sew my Style October project. And it was totally worth it, because this is the coziest, most winter-appropriate denim jacket I’ve ever owned.

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Now, the good news is that creating the lining is really not difficult and it doesn’t add much to the construction really. If you’re going to the effort of making a full-on oversized 80s-style denim jacket, adding a little bit of Sherpa really isn’t much more effort. However, I do have a few tips that will make life even easier for you at the end of this post, because the extra bulk does need a little consideration. Continue reading “Style Arc Stevie denim jacket with a Sherpa lining – tutorial and tips”

New test: Lou Box Dress 2 for Sew DIY

As you probably know, I’ve tested garments a few times for Beth from Sew DIY – and was more than glad to test the updated version of the Lou Box Dress 2 for her recently: particularly since it was on my list as a straight-up make before the call for the testers went out!

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I first took notice of the pattern when I saw Beth’s own grey version in a thin knit (you can see it on the bundle cover) and thought it looked like an elegant take on a comfy knit dress. So when I decided to make my own, it was a fairly quick process to pick this version and view of the Lou Box Dress 2 – and equally easy to select this thin botanical knit with a  ton of drape. It’s been languishing in my stash for several years now, waiting for the right project, and I think this was a nice match. Continue reading “New test: Lou Box Dress 2 for Sew DIY”

New top: Shirt No. 1 from Sonya Philip

I’ve known about the Shirt No. 1 by Sonya Philip for some time. I first saw the paper pattern in Drygoods Design here in Seattle a year or two ago and was honestly a little confused by the super-simplistic design flat. Then I noticed that some of Sonya’s patterns had been added to Creativebug, which I subscribe to. I really want to use more of my subscription classes – there are some really good ones, but I just never seem to get round to it – so decided this would be a perfect addition to my woven top investigations.

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I was pleased to see there were a number of variations included with the class: a contrast yoke version (hello scrapbusting!), a bias-cut bottom version and a button-down front. The class includes the pattern and this is no small matter, and part of the reason I continue to subscribe. There are quite a few indie patterns I would otherwise purchase (Made by Rae has much of her output there too) and so the price works out for me. Continue reading “New top: Shirt No. 1 from Sonya Philip”

New dress: Seamwork Adelaide maxi hack with a whiff of Wiksten

Is this really a hack? Adding a bit of length and some pockets? I don’t know and I don’t really care for the word “hack” either. When I was younger it was a colloquial term for a particularly globulous spit, (and perhaps it still is), but in any case it doesn’t exactly inspire visions of elegant sartorial alterations. Oh well, whatever. It does a job, I suppose.

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I have made the Seamwork Adelaide once before and it is, without doubt, one of the best fitting patterns I’ve made, straight from the pattern. Seamwork may have its detractors, but I bloomin’ love my lily linen dress. Having said that, I hadn’t initially planned on the new version you see before you. Oh no. That was actually supposed to be my first project from the Nani Iro Atelier book and I’d even gone so far as to cut the dress out. You know what’s coming, don’t you? Continue reading “New dress: Seamwork Adelaide maxi hack with a whiff of Wiksten”

New jumpsuit: Zadie by Paper Theory

Yes, yes, I am probably the last sewist in the world to make this jumpsuit this summer. It is a continuation of my mini-capsule of linen/double gauze for the humidity of Virginia, where I am now on vacation. In all honesty, I wasn’t in love with the pattern picture when I saw it – a gorgeous model, but the fit of the jumpsuit didn’t attract me like, say, the Deer and Doe Sirocco which I made instead. However, as per usual, once I saw versions on other people – and when every sewist from London to Mars says they are getting good results, you know something’s going on.

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I liked the instructions a lot – very clear and good drawings. I was never in doubt as to what I needed to do (with one exception, see later). I also very much like the bluntness of the “staystitch your neckline or you will PAY later” part. Haha. Honestly, I wish more instructions were like that – none of this “we advise you to… it’s up to you, but…” Particularly when you’re a beginner or new to sewing a type of garment, you need a little black and white messaging sometimes. Continue reading “New jumpsuit: Zadie by Paper Theory”