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”

Sew My Style November: The Raspberry Rucksack and Bagmaking 101 Tips

Ahhh – the lovely world of bags… there are so many great things about bags… You can use your scraps and feel virtuous, you don’t have to fit yourself, you can get away with a few inaccuracies and you use all that quilting cotton you bought for skirts when you first started sewing! (I know it’s not just me). I’ve made a few different bags before and I really enjoy the process, but it’s been a little while, so I’m delighted to be one of the leaders for November’s bag month on Sew my Style 2019. I already wrote an intro to the bag patterns we’re featuring this month and suppliers, and Eowyn wrote a fantastic post with lots of bag inspiration for both patterns, so check them out if you didn’t already!

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This month I’ve made the Raspberry Rucksack by Sarah Kirsten, which is a really cute, but very spacious rucksack, and not unlike some of the RTW rucksacks that are popular in high-end shops. I really like the end product and will give a few specific tips on this bag in the second part of the post (so go on and shoot down if that’s what you’re here for), but first I wanted to list a few invaluable tips for bag beginners or anyone looking for a refresh! Continue reading “Sew My Style November: The Raspberry Rucksack and Bagmaking 101 Tips”

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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Welcome to Sew my Style November: Bag Patterns and supplies!

Hi everyone!

It’s November and that means it’s time to make bags! We have two amazing patterns for you to choose from this month – make sure you use your exclusive Sew My Style discount code, which Meg sent out in the newsletter on October 15th. You can use them right up to November 30th.

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One great thing about bags is that you don’t have to fit them, so you can make one (or twenty-three) for yourself, but they also make perfect gifts… and you know what’s coming up next month… I personally plan to make at least two as festive gifts for people in my family, and I love the fact that they’re both rucksack designs that can really be adapted for anyone, anywhere! Continue reading “Welcome to Sew my Style November: Bag Patterns and supplies!”

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”

Zero Waste Part 1: Scrunchies, bias tape, cushions and a pouffe!

Man, it’s been a while, eh? September was the month of vacations (we took them all last month) and then I hurt my back at the end of September and have literally been unable to sew for the last couple of weeks. Ah well – it seems to be okay now, so I’m glad to have finished off a few little projects that have been clogging up my to-do list. I can tell you I have quite a few big plans over the next few months and suffice it to say, this is going to be a winter of COATS. I have quite a few lined up, but I’ll save that for another post.

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Continue reading “Zero Waste Part 1: Scrunchies, bias tape, cushions and a pouffe!”