New blouse: Ottobre Terese blouse 02/2018 aka Why did I use that fabric?

The first thing you will notice about this project is that yes, I am wearing a shirt made from that fabric. It is of course the Crowded Faces poplin from Lady McElroy and I bought mine at La Mercerie (currently sold out) a little while back after lusting after it for some time. I’ve seen a few makes pop up using both the white and this black version of the fabric and must say I’m quite tickled to be using an “in” fabric. I feel positively fashionista-like – the glow of which is probably the reason I was mad enough to take pictures in Seattle’s current “Snowmageddon”. That, and the fact that black is so hard to photograph – unless it’s SNOWING.

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Anyway, enough about that. Quite a few of the other shirts I’ve seen using this fabric are Closet Case Files Kalle shirts, which is a sound pattern choice for this fabric. I, on the other hand, decided to use it for an Ottobre pattern, which is from the 02/2018 magazine, and is called the Terese blouse. It’s a beautiful blouse, from a retro edition of the magazine, and has big drapey sleeves with a bit of length as well as volume. The suggested fabric is rayon challis or similar, which is very logical and I swear I knew this. I knew it. I washed up the poplin and it washed up a little stiffer than it appeared before and I shouldn’t have used it, but I did. I’ll come back to that later, but you will already have noticed in the pics, you eagle-eyed sewists you, that I am not sporting any sort of drapey 40s sleeve.

Continue reading “New blouse: Ottobre Terese blouse 02/2018 aka Why did I use that fabric?”

New menswear: Sinclair Patterns Tao raglan

Did you know we’re now into the Menswear month at The Sewcialists blog? It’s one of the quarterly challenge months and you can interpret menswear any way you like by making a garment that fits the theme. I put together a post on some womenswear patterns that have menswear influences for the theme, but there are many, many other great posts to read. Take a look!

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So anyway,Β I actually made this for my husband at Christmas as he’d requested a standard long-sleeved raglan top as my next garment for him. I didn’t get to finish it off until late January and thought I’d save it until now because… well, menswear! I wasn’t familiar with Sinclair Patterns before I made this, but happened to spot the Tao pattern on Instagram and thought I might give it a shot. Continue reading “New menswear: Sinclair Patterns Tao raglan”

Sew my style February: Sheona versions and fabric choices

Hello there Sew-my-stylers! I hope you’re having a great start to your weekend! Have you started thinking about your February project yet? I’ll bet some of you are already zipping up tees on your machine, but I’m sure there are plenty of other sewists who (like me) tend to decide a little “closer” to the deadline. πŸ™‚

I’m extremely excited to be one of the leaders for the February challenge and as you know, this year we will have TWO patterns to choose from every month. I’m going to talk a little about the Athina Kakou Sheona tee shirt/dress, which is the pattern I’m making and leading for February, to hopefully give you a little info and some ideas on what you can do with this versatile pattern.

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Continue reading “Sew my style February: Sheona versions and fabric choices”

New activewear: The Power Sports Bra from Greenstyle Creations

Hello again! I wasn’t planning on splitting my leggings and sports bra into two posts, but there’s actually a fair amount to say about the bra, so it seemed logical in the end. I’m just going to dive right in and start by saying that my bra size is normally a 36DD or 38D in ready to wear, so I have a decently-sized pair of boobs (in case you hadn’t noticed) and I find it rather difficult to find a good sports bra! Sound familiar?

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My requirements

I’ve tried all different sorts of brands and shapes – some are pretty good and some are totally useless. But the pretty good ones are also pretty expensive! Like a lot expensive. Expensive enough for me to know that this is potentially the one…the ONE… area I might save money by making something rather than buying it. We all know we don’t sew to save money, no sirree. Continue reading “New activewear: The Power Sports Bra from Greenstyle Creations”

New activewear: Jalie Clara leggings for #sewmystyle January

Hi sewists! It’s such a clichΓ©, but almost everyone I know complains of overindulging over the holidays and it’s a lot of fun to do it! Believe me, I enjoy it. However, I went home for a whole month to the UK this year and I haven’t been back for a few years, so I went to town on all the lovely things I’ve missed since being away. Of course, the things you miss tend to be terrible for you (Tunnocks teacakes, fish and chips, sausage butties for breakfast, etc.) and a whole month of that has meant my clothes aren’t just tight on me – they properly do. not. fit.

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So I was pretty excited to see that the January theme for #sewmystyle2019 was activewear. I’ve put on around a stone in weight since I did my triathlon last June, so was in need of some new bits and pieces as I kick off my 2019 exercise schedule. Now, you will never see me looking like this at the gym. I’m more of a loose tee or hoodie kind of girl (below) than a midriff-displayer, but in order to show you my projects – here you go! I made the Jalie Clara leggings and the Greenstyle Power Bra. There’s a fair bit to say about the power bra, so I’m going to talk just about the leggings today. Continue reading “New activewear: Jalie Clara leggings for #sewmystyle January”

2018 reflections and a few 2019 sewing plans

Hello there! This post is a tad (like a lot) on the late side as it’s already over halfway into January, but I just haven’t gotten around to finishing it. It’s a sort of mixture of the last 3 categories (Goals, Reflections and Highlights) in Gillian’s Top 5 series – you can read about my Top 5 Hits and Top 5 Misses in the series already. I just got home and have spent the last week taking down Xmas decorations and unpacking and all those fun (not) kinds of things. I’m determined to get the post done though, because the equivalent post last year and in 2017 have actually been super helpful in clarifying what I’ve achieved and would like to achieve.

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My 9 “most liked” pics of 2018 on Instagram

It’s not that I’m trying to climb some sewing Mount Everest of ambition, but I am a very enthusiastic sewer of all. the. things. – as you may have noticed – and it really doesn’t take much to distract me, whereupon things can get a little mentally messy. Plus, I find I quite like lists in my old age. So there we are.

ALRIGHT! LET’S DO THIS! (Be warned: this is a long post) Continue reading “2018 reflections and a few 2019 sewing plans”

New bag: House of Klum Oberlin tote in waxed canvas

This was one of the #sewmystyle projects for 2018 and I knew pretty quickly that I wanted to make one for my sister for Christmas as the styles were pretty much up her street. I got a little distracted with other things and didn’t make it in time for the October #sewmystyle deadline, so just aimed for Christmas and here it is now!

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House of Klum has a range of different bag patterns and kits – and the first thing to say is that they aren’t cheap. I was originally going to make the Fremont bag, but the finishing kit (straps and hardware) for that was $60 and then there was the pattern and fabric on top. Now, I’ve made a few bags and I know sourcing good quality finishing can be pretty difficult and expensive, so I’m not saying the price is unfair – but there’s no denying that it’s at a level that makes you think twice about your project.

Continue reading “New bag: House of Klum Oberlin tote in waxed canvas”

My #SewingTop5 fails for 2018

And now onto the failures for 2018. The good news (for me) is that there weren’t that many – and I checked back through my photo album to see if there were any total wadders I hadn’t posted about – but, nope, I seem to have committed just about everything to online posterity. I will admit there are a few more garments in addition to these five that are in the purgatory stage of wardrobe assessment: I like them (or some aspects of them), but I haven’t worn them. I’m still trying to work out why and I suspect I’m in denial about some of them (i.e. they just don’t look that great), but they may well become outright fails too, in the near future.

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Anyway – without further ado:

Colette Penny dress

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Like many other sewists, I was majorly in love with the model picture where Colette made this dress with THAT peach floral lawn. You know the one right? I actually bought some of it from Fabric Godmother last year and have plans for it this year. It looked amazing!! Continue reading “My #SewingTop5 fails for 2018”

New skirts: Two new versions of my Everyday Skirt TNT

Hi everyone! It’s nearly Christmas and, as you know, I’m back in the UK and enjoying every moment. Home, sweet home! I even managed to squeeze in a whirlwind London fabric tour, courtesy of the lovely @sewandrew. I contacted him earlier in December to see if he’d be up for meeting in. real. life. (gulp) and thankfully he agreed! πŸ˜€ I can tell you he’s as much of a gent in person as he is on his blog, and if you don’t follow him on IG or his blog, you should!

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Anyway, my last couple of makes of 2018 were a couple of adaptions of the Liesl + Co. Everyday Skirt. This was one of the very first skirts I made way back when I first started sewing and it was one of the first things that I made that felt “proper” – in no small part due to the typically fantastic instructions. I made another cotton version not long after the first, but really wanted to experiment with the skirt to make some other versions with different fabrics.

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As you can see, I came up with two new looks, and both in a much more fluid, drapey fabric. The first was a maxi skirt version and it worked out beautifully. The second I made for a holiday party and I decided to add a wide sash (and therefore widened the waistband too) to give it a really festive feel. I love this fabric from Blackbird Fabrics!

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You can read more about my makes over on the Oliver and S blog where I talk about this tried and true pattern for me. One of the great things about this skirt is that it’s so fast to sew up – I don’t think these will be the last versions somehow!

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My #SewingTop5 hits for 2018

I’m on London time! Yeehoo! So, so happy to be back this year and I’m already enjoying the things I’ve missed about the UK while my three-year old works on the timezone – yes, Monster Munch crisps, jacket potatoes, Wensleydale cheese and M&S food have all featured in my first 48 hrs home. Forget your fancy dishes – THESE are the sorts of things you miss when you’re abroad. Just about to go out and indulge in a proper greasy spoon brekkie before heading to the Natural History museum with my gorgeous sister. Bliss!!

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Speaking of bliss, I have a little time to sum up some of 2018 in clothing terms and I really enjoyed taking part in Gillian’s Top 5 round up series last year. You can read all about the 2018 version over on her blog and I think it’s a very worthwhile bit of reflection. So let’s kick it off with my Top 5 Hits from 2018!

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I’m pleased to say I had a decent list to choose from and it was pretty difficult! One of the most important criteria for me is that I actually wear something – and my first pick has been worn tons of times! The Named Alexandria peg leg trousers were one of my simplest makes and they fit right from the pattern pdf. The pleats give them a little something extra and they are very comfy. I have lots more planned and, as they’re for both woven and knit fabrics, they really are super versatile.

Continue reading “My #SewingTop5 hits for 2018”