New test: The Bastion Culottes from Jennifer Lauren

I haven’t tested for Jennifer for a little while – the time difference between here and New Zealand (where she’s based) is such that I often miss the sign-up, but in this case the email arrived in my inbox, back in March, just before I went to sleep. Hurrah! In case you’re not familiar with Jennifer’s pattern line, her speciality is to produce vintage-inspired garments with a modern fit and sizing. I like testing for her and her patterns, because they are quite feminine (but not overly so), well-drafted and always a pleasure to sew, in terms of the way the construction is thought out. The Bastion Culottes, I’m happy to say, were par for the course.

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New test: Highlands Wrap dress in extended sizing from Allie Olson

It seems like a long time since I got to don a full-on, unabashedly, undeniably figure-skimming dress and it’s been fun to take pictures with this one on! I’ve admired the Highland Wrap Dress for a long time now. It was always on my virtual to-do list, but, as with many projects, I just hadn’t gotten to it yet. As it turns out, this was a fortuitous thing as Allie Olson has now extended the range of the dress to a D cup bodice for a size range of 12-30. When I saw she was looking for testers for the new range I jumped at the chance!

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New shirt: Recital shirt by Liesl + Co.

I bought the Recital Shirt pattern a while back in one of Liesl + Co.’s great periodic sales and thought of it immediately when I was putting together plans for my #thegreatmodulesewalong capsule wardrobe. Masha, the editor of the Oliver + S blog, reached out to ask if I’d be interested in writing a post about how I usually go about fitting myself for a series she’s running (well worth a read!) around the same time and so I mentioned this project and she thought it would be a good one. It wasn’t until I actually got down to it that I remembered it had princess seams, which are actually not something I’ve worked with too much! Still, I went ahead with the post and you can read all about my fitting process in the resulting post over on their blog.

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New tops: Seamwork Rory twice over

I was quite attracted to the Seamwork Rory pattern when it came out last year and I remembered it when I was putting together some ideas for my loungewear plan. I rather like cut-on sleeves for a tee as long as it’s in not too stiff a fabric and also liked the base shape of the tee, which is gathered into a hem band with two ties.

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Like all of Seamwork’s patterns, Rory comes in two size ranges: 0-16 with a C cup and 18-30 with a DD cup. I made the 14 graded out to 16 at the hip because, even though it’s a cut-on shoulder, I didn’t want it to be too big. My high bust is 40″ – so I could really pick anything between a size 12 if I used my HB measurement as the “bust measurement”, up to the 14/16 if I added on the 3 inches for the C cup to get to 43 inches, which is right between 14 and 16. There are different ways to approach this, but I would probably tend towards the narrower shoulder, so the 14 was my decision and I find a Seamwork 14 shoulder quite a good match for me. I actually think I would have been fine with a 14 all over as there’s a decent bit of ease going on, but the shape isn’t bad at all. Continue reading “New tops: Seamwork Rory twice over”

New test: The Blanca Flight Suit by Closet Case Patterns

Well, call me Biggles and strap me in a cockpit! I do, as you know, enjoy a good pattern test, and was excited to see that Closet Case Patterns were looking for sewists to test their new extended range a couple of months ago. I duly stuck my name in the hat, figuring probably a zillion people volunteered, and was then delighted to be asked to test their brand new pattern – the Blanca Flight Suit, as it’s called, although you may well call this garment coveralls, a jumpsuit or, most likely where I come from, a boiler suit.

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How to organise your me-made wardrobe

It can’t just be me that struggles with this, is it? And to clarify, I’m not talking about organising by way of Marie Kondo-type clearing and streamlining your wardrobe; I’m referring to what you do with what’s left after that! How do you remember what you have and what goes with what and where to put them all? Did I miss the secondary school class on that? Is it supposed to be passed on in your DNA? It seems a bit silly and I wasn’t sure whether to write a post about it, but I genuinely had to look this up on the internet for ideas when I realised my current set-up wasn’t working for me… so here’s what I came up with, in case anyone else needs the same tips:

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New dress: A sporty Seamwork Lyle dress

The Lyle dress is one of the new May patterns for Seamwork and it’s one of the fastest dresses I’ve made in a long time. It fits perfectly into my loungewear capsule wardrobe – funnily, enough, I actually pinned a RTW dress that looked quite similar to this right before I saw this new Seamwork pattern, so was really pleased when I saw what the new patterns were!

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I made a note in my last post, but the reason I got to make the pattern early is that I recently joined the Seamwork ambassador team, which I am very excited about! I’ve been a subscriber from Day 1 and when I saw they were looking for people to get involved, I threw my name in the hat. It basically gives me a chance to have some input into the behind-the-scenes workings over at Seamwork HQ, giving feedback on patterns, magazine articles, making up new patterns, etc.  In return, I’m subscribed to the service for free for a year, along with a fine bunch of other sewists. You can read more about the ambassador team here if you’re interested. Continue reading “New dress: A sporty Seamwork Lyle dress”

New dress: Belgravia knit dress by Liesl + Co. with added flare

This is the sort of dress you need as a staple in your wardrobe. Or at least I do! It’s the new Belgravia knit dress from Liesl + Co. and it’s the perfect versatile knit dress. The original dress has a more fitted skirt silhouette with a lovely front vent, but I knew I would get more wear out of a voluminous skirt, so I made some simple alterations to achieve that.

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I cut the size 14 at the shoulders and graded out to 18 at the waist and hips, which works for me in the Liesl + Co. standard sizing. There is plenty of stretch in this fabric, so it fits over my bust comfortably. It’s worth noting though, that the Belgravia is also available in extended sizing 16-30 as well as regular, so it might be worth checking out the measurements on both ranges. I probably would have made the extended size 16, but only the regular sizing was available when Liesl sent the Advisor’s Circle copies of the patterns. Continue reading “New dress: Belgravia knit dress by Liesl + Co. with added flare”

New loungewear: Seamwork Mel joggers

I’ve been wanting to make the Seamwork Mel jogging pants since they were released back in January. The beginning of the year is, of course, the normal peak time for loungewear/activewear after the excesses of the holiday season, but this year has been a little different. This is also the first project from my capsule wardrobe plan and it’s a quick sew, as you would expect from jogging pants – it took me just a couple of hours. I’ve seen quite a few versions around and think they look great on everybody.

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Loungewear capsule wardrobe plans

It’s all about loungewear right now, eh? At least in this house it is. I’ve had vague plans in the back of my head for a new hoodie and some joggers for ages now – way before the current global situation made them de rigeur – but it seems like a good time to put those plans into action. My recent experience with putting together a capsule wardrobe also made me realise that it makes sense to approach it with a small sense of structure. I know already that I would have whipped up the aforementioned garment in whichever random fabrics I fancied and, while there’s nothing wrong with that approach at all, perhaps the idea of a loungewear set might be a more practical idea. Note: this is a picture-heavy post!

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