New outfit: Seamwork Dorian shorts and Willis top

I ended up making both of the June patterns from Seamwork back at the beginning of May, because they seemed like a good pairing and I had the idea to go crazy and try block printing the fabric to make some sort of loosely matching outfit. And… it was fun! I did it in a very basic manner, which I’ll briefly outline below, but I’m really happy with the results. I think the shorts came out better than the top, personally, but both are not far off what I was aiming for.

Note: I’m a member of the Seamwork ambassador team, which gives me a chance to have some input into the behind-the-scenes workings over at Seamwork HQ, giving feedback on patterns, magazine articles, etc. In return I am subscribed to the service for free for a year. Nevertheless, I’m not under any obligation to write subjective reviews of Seamwork patterns and all opinions remain my own. Continue reading “New outfit: Seamwork Dorian shorts and Willis top”

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”

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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A little background… Continue reading “How to organise your me-made wardrobe”

New jeans: Tapered Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen

I’ve got a few minutes of downtime from teaching the youngster how to make rain sticks and plasticine dogs (!) to write down a few notes about my rigid denim Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen. I’ve been meaning to make a “proper” high-waisted garment for ages as I have quite a few cropped items and -ahem- garments that might have turned out shorter than planned or shrank in the wash – and wanted some bottoms I could wear with them. I will be honest and say that I wasn’t completely sold on the high-waist thing. Partly because I have a long torso, so wasn’t sure if I could make them work for me, but also I just wasn’t completely sure it would suit me somehow. Or possibly even be comfortable with the high waist in rigid denim in my advancing years?

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Of course, now that I’ve made some, I’m kicking myself, because they’re great! I didn’t really make many more adjustments than normal (more on that later) and they go with everything. They also “hold me in”, which is a very definite plus and are super comfortable. Like realllyyy comfortable. I am 110% going to make another pair asap and have been eyeing my stash for the best candidate. I have some lovely wine corduroy that’s definitely high on the list. Continue reading “New jeans: Tapered Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen”

New top: Victory tank by Chalk and Notch plus Ogden FBA results

Hello there! How’s everyone doing? Strange times we’re in, strange times indeed. We spent a good bit of today outside in various spots where I got a few pictures and it’s just a weird thing to only see a couple of other people around (although that’s the idea of course) and to awkwardly try and keep 6ft between yourselves as you pass by each other. Anyway, I hope you are all keeping well and your loved ones are all safe. And let’s hope it all passes by sooner rather than later. There’s much more I could say, but I’m sure you’ve had your fill of Covid-19 news, so let’s crack on with a bit of sewing.

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Continue reading “New top: Victory tank by Chalk and Notch plus Ogden FBA results”

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 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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Continue reading “New tops: The Ruska vs the Freya turtleneck sweaters”

New jumpsuit: Zadie by Paper Theory

Yes, yes, I am probably the last sewist in the world to make this jumpsuit this summer. It is a continuation of my mini-capsule of linen/double gauze for the humidity of Virginia, where I am now on vacation. In all honesty, I wasn’t in love with the pattern picture when I saw it – a gorgeous model, but the fit of the jumpsuit didn’t attract me like, say, the Deer and Doe Sirocco which I made instead. However, as per usual, once I saw versions on other people – and when every sewist from London to Mars says they are getting good results, you know something’s going on.

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I liked the instructions a lot – very clear and good drawings. I was never in doubt as to what I needed to do (with one exception, see later). I also very much like the bluntness of the “staystitch your neckline or you will PAY later” part. Haha. Honestly, I wish more instructions were like that – none of this “we advise you to… it’s up to you, but…” Particularly when you’re a beginner or new to sewing a type of garment, you need a little black and white messaging sometimes. Continue reading “New jumpsuit: Zadie by Paper Theory”

New trousers: Nani Iro Atelier Tapered Pants “I”

I made these on a total whim after flicking through the Nani Iro Atelier book. I was already working on one of the dresses from it, but was drawn to these simple tapered linen trousers and had some perfect RK Brussels Washer linen (Ocean – isn’t it a dreamy shade) sitting in my stash, so decided just to cut them out and give them a whirl (particularly since they can be made in a day, no problem). I bought it in a sale from Fabricworm and I think they got some more in.

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As you have probably noticed, I’ve been on a linen/gauze kind of kick recently. The overriding reason for this is because next week we’re going to Virginia for a couple of weeks’ holiday and we’ll be doing a lot of sightseeing, so it seemed like the ideal time to plan a mini-linen wardrobe! Everyone keeps going on about how cool and swishy it is to wear. I have to admit I’ve never got on with RTW linen much. It never seemed to fit me well, no matter how thin or curvy I was. But now I can SEW it! Woohoo! Continue reading “New trousers: Nani Iro Atelier Tapered Pants “I””

New top: Maya top from Marilla Walker

The second in my series of woven tees is another popular choice – the Maya top from designer Marilla Walker. It’s actually both a top and a dress and after this version I may well try out the dress.

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I have a couple of patterns by Marilla Walker and they have been on my to-do list for ages. The Isca shirtdress is absolutely up my street (check out this amazing version by Marilla herself) and the Roberts dungarees have also been super-popular, but I just haven’t quite got around to stitching them up yet. Autumn, here I come! Meanwhile, the Maya top is influenced by Marilla’s Central American background and is based on the traditional Guatemalan Huipil. It’s a cap sleeve dress or top that is designed to hang well from the shoulders and have a wide fit from the bust down. I made the most simple version of the top, with no button placket. Continue reading “New top: Maya top from Marilla Walker”