Social housekeeping: Me-Made-May 2018, Seattle sewing meet-ups and the Sewcialists

Whew! That’s a lot of alliteration going on in that title! As it suggests, this is a quick wee post to note down a couple of fun developments as 2018 really gets into gear.

Firstly, it’s getting close to Me-Made May 2018 and I’m going to take part this year for the second year running. Woohoo! I had such an interesting experience last year and, in fact Heather from @heatherhandmade and I, met virtually to talk about it for the Sewcialists’ theme month: “Sewcialists love Me-Made-May”. You can read all about it in over on the Sewcialists blog right now if you feel so inclined…

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Continue reading “Social housekeeping: Me-Made-May 2018, Seattle sewing meet-ups and the Sewcialists”

New test: Nixie undies for Jennifer Lauren

No, I can’t say Nixie “panties”. I hate that word. Almost as much as I hate the word “moist”. And those two in the same paragraph practically brings me out in hives. Bleurgh. Anyway, I digress. This post is somewhat overdue as I tested these pants last year! I actually thought I’d already posted it, but discovered it in my drafts the other day. I know it was on hold because there were a few little tweaks to the final pattern and so I wanted to make a few pairs before writing a final summation.

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The Nixie Briefs (to give them their official name) from Jennifer Lauren are described as “a step above your standard underwear fare – with a higher rise at the back and full bum coverage, they’re your new everyday knickers with a fun twist. Update your undie drawer, safe in the knowledge that plumber’s crack, hungry bum and drab undies are a thing of the past.” And I’d say that’s a fair description! These are two versions – a hipster/standard pant style and a high-waisted version. The latter look, – well there’s no other way to say it, – HUGE when you first make them up. But these are intended to be comfortable, feminine pants and having now worn them for a few months, I can tell you they hit the mark. Continue reading “New test: Nixie undies for Jennifer Lauren”

New menswear: Ottobre “Tobacco Brown” chinos in grey twill

It’s March, so about time I got to working on one of my #menswearmakenine and I figured I’d get to it with a biggie. I did already make two of my patterns just before New Year, although I’d planned them for 2018, so this is my first bona fide make for this year. This is the third pattern I’ve made from the inaugural Ottobre Family magazine and it’s another great-looking pattern. Slim fit “European-style” chinos, which is right up my husband’s alley as he has proportionally slim hips and legs. The other patterns I made were the Cloud Grey sweatshirt and the Urban Classic Briefs, so I was hoping the Ottobre standard would be maintained with this latest project.

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And I’m pleased to say I think it was! I’m really happy with how these turned out: in the photos I even think they have quite a RTW look. I made the largest size that these came in, which is the EU 56. I still have an issue with measuring my husband’s bottom half. By my measurements, he was slightly larger than that at the waist, but that, in turn, was quite a bit bigger than his RTW size. So I made the 56 as a compromise and then when we did the first fitting, they were too loose. I took them in quite a bit and now they’re just very slightly too tight around the hips – but nothing that a couple of wears won’t cure I don’t think. It’s all rather confusing, but at least I’m getting closer to his “size”.  Continue reading “New menswear: Ottobre “Tobacco Brown” chinos in grey twill”

Seamwork’s Design your Wardrobe: the experience

Hi there! No clothes project today, but I wanted to post about something I’ve been taking part in this last month, along with over 3,000 other Seamwork sewists. Yes, you read that number right. How do I know there’s that many? Well, as of the time of publishing this post, that’s how many people are members of the Facebook group expressly set up for this project!

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So what is it then? Well, I think everyone must be aware of Seamwork by now, but if you’re not, it’s the online, beginner-focused magazine/portal run by Colette Patterns. They issue an online magazine every month with articles, tips and two new patterns, aimed particularly at the novice sewist (although plenty of more experienced sewists use them too). It’s a subscription-based service and if you happen to be a member, you would have been invited to join the inaugural run of “Design your Wardrobe” back in January for free. Continue reading “Seamwork’s Design your Wardrobe: the experience”

New test: Ostara knit top for Jennifer Lauren

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This was another great test for Jennifer Lauren, who has a real knack of bringing out patterns just as I say to myself, “Hey… you know what I wouldn’t mind making…” and in this case it was a few more knit tops but with an interesting neckline. I have collected quite a few knits now, mostly intended for kids wear, but I wanted to use the more adult ones too and this top has my favourite kind of neckline, which is a deep squarish scoop. Continue reading “New test: Ostara knit top for Jennifer Lauren”

New shirt: Kalle cropped shirt for #sewmystyle March in not-ombre

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Hi again folks – another cool pattern that I’ve been meaning to try for ages is featured in #sewmystyle2018 this month. Now, I’ll admit that the Closet Case Patterns Kalle shirt/shirtdress was a slow burner for me. The first iterations I saw were of the longest dress version and that particular view is a style that doesn’t do much for my shape. However, once the other versions started appearing, and particularly when I spied the chambray tunic version on Heather’s website, I started to come around. Continue reading “New shirt: Kalle cropped shirt for #sewmystyle March in not-ombre”

New coat: BHL Rumana coat for #sewmystyle2018

20180228_171416I thought long and hard about this one. I have a coat in mothballs that needs to be finished (Butterick 6385) for starters. Secondly, my body is changing as a result of my recent athletic endeavours. Did I really want to put the time, effort and money into a winter coat I might not get much wear out of? Not really, was the answer. Then I noticed that linen was a potential recommended fabric for the By Hand London Rumana coat, which was this month’s #sewmystyle2018 featured pattern. I happened to have a 4yd length of mid-blue linen/canvas that I had been wondering what to do with, it being a little too stiff for the original trousers I had in mind. Hmmm. And there it was. An experimental spring coat in linen/canvas. Continue reading “New coat: BHL Rumana coat for #sewmystyle2018”

New kids clothes: Brindille and Twig crew sweatshirt and Ottobre jumper and sweatpants

I’ve made a few more things for Joe and used a few new patterns. I don’t make him clothes too often as he gets lots of lovely garments from friends and family, but he is just about growing out of some and was in need of a sweater or two for this ongoing winter snap here in Seattle. I realized I didn’t have a basic crew neck sweater pattern and, while at this point I probably could have come up with something myself, I went ahead and bought the Brindille and Twig version. Then I went slightly crazy and decided to make another sweater and a pair of sweatpants from the Ottobre Kids 06/2017 edition at the same time. “Kids stuff is so quick to make” I told myself and, while this is normally true, I hadn’t looked too closely at the Ottobre patterns and they were a lot more complicated than his usual makes!

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Brindille and Twig crewneck sweatshirt Continue reading “New kids clothes: Brindille and Twig crew sweatshirt and Ottobre jumper and sweatpants”

New dress: Colette Penny shirtdress for spring

You may recognize this dress if you follow the Sewcialists blog as I made it for the currently running “Stripes” theme month. I ended up with two garments for the post in the end (you can read why on the original post here) but I wanted to also post about them separately with a bit more on the construction and sewing, since the original post was meant more as a summation and I didn’t want to bore the pants off people stopping by for a bit of picture-fun.

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This fabric was REALLY hard to get good pics of with little natural light available!

Continue reading “New dress: Colette Penny shirtdress for spring”

New blouse: Deer & Doe Melilot blouse in 3 min. lawn

This is one of my favourite projects ever. It might even be right at the tippy-top. I made this blouse as part of the Sewcialists stripes theme month and you can read about that on the original post. Here’s a slightly more detailed post about the construction, both to remind myself of the details and also for anyone else who may find it useful.

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I really love that this project ended up being the perfect marriage of pattern and fabric, since you never really know how the picture in your head is going to translate into reality. The fabric is a beautifully light lawn from the 3 min. range from Japanese manufacturer Kokka. I bought it in a sale from Miss Matatabi and would have loved to have bought the entire collection, but it’s a fairly decent price, albeit absolutely justified in the quality. I adore watercolour-type prints and this collection has some stunners. Continue reading “New blouse: Deer & Doe Melilot blouse in 3 min. lawn”