New dress: The Camp shirtdress by Liesl + Co.

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!

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Continue reading “New dress: The Camp shirtdress by Liesl + Co.”

Fitting thoughts: Picking a pattern size for full bust adjustments – what’s your take?

Hi folks!

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.

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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?

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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?”

New dress: Wiksten shift 2 in rayon challis

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.

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Reflections on 2019 and plans for 2020

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.

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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”

My #SewingTop5 Misses of 2019

So to the one everyone loves: the Sewing Top 5 Fails/Misses!

Misses 2019

 

(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”

New dress: Tuuli dress from Named

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).

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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.

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Continue reading “New dress: Tuuli dress from Named”

New test: The Chaval coat from Liesl and Co.

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) 😉

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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.”

My #SewingTop5 hits for 2019

Another year has gone by already! Wow! It’s already time for my favourite round-up series of the year and that’s the Top 5 series by Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow. This year she’s moved it over to the Sewcialists website as she hasn’t been blogging so much this year, which makes sense – but I’ll always think of it as your series, Gillian! 😉

Top 5 Hits 2019

You can check out my previous such posts from 2018 and 2017 if you really love this kind of thing. For me, it’s a great way to look back over the year’s garments and remind myself what I’ve been up to this year – and it’s so goddamn hard to narrow it down to five! Argh! But I did. So, without further ado – my Top 5 Hits!

Deer and Doe Sirocco (s)

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I can’t recommend the Sirocco enough – it’s so good I made it twice! Seriously, check out the hashtag on Instagram if you don’t believe me. Everybody looks fab in this jumpsuit. Why is it so good? I think it’s the combination of the stretchy knit (you need 60% stretch factor for this baby) and therefore body contouring/lack of fitting woes, combined with elegant structural design details such as the tapered leg, angular pleats and sharp shoulders. Very clever.

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As I mentioned, I made this twice. First, the classic black in a gorgeous mid-weight rayon from L’Etoffe Fabrics. This is a dream of a jumpsuit. Having said that, I put on a little weight over the year and so when I was in a mild panic trying to think of something to wear to Seattle Frocktails in November, I decided to whip up a silver velvet corduroy version. I made some adjustments to the crotch area and also added a simple tie to give it a 70s disco feel. It did the trick!

Continue reading “My #SewingTop5 hits for 2019”

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”