New test: Grainline Farrow dress in extended sizing

I know – another post already! It’s a funny thing with tests. I sewed up 3 or 4 tests over a period of maybe 6 months and then they all got released within 10 days of each other. A sewing friend of mine said to me the other day: “Wow, you’ve really been sewing a lot recently!” I haven’t at all, but it looks that way for sure. Anyway, I tested the Farrow dress from Grainline Studio all the way back in February, so I hope I can remember everything I want to say. It shouldn’t be too difficult though, as it was a very straightforward and extremely satisfying sew.

This dress really was a total pleasure to work on. There’s something about the way it goes together – it’s such a clever design, but quick to implement. The clever part for me is the lovely large pockets which are flawlessly integrated into the diagonal centre seam. I chose to highlight that division with a colour-blocked dress, but, even so, you wouldn’t know the pockets were there unless I put my hands into them, as above.

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New sweater: The Amari jacket from Seamwork January

Hello everyone and a Happy New Year to you all! I hope you had a happy celebration, tucked away with your loved ones, and here’s to 2021 being a better year than 2020 was. I just have a short and sweet post today with some pictures of the Seamwork Amari jacket that is one of the two new patterns in Seamwork’s January magazine. I actually ended up making two, because my mother-in-law liked mine, so I whipped up another for her. It’s such a fast sew, it didn’t take long.

The Amari jacket is a pullover with dropped shoulders, a yoke, a stand collar and a quarter-zip. Seamwork recommend that you use knit fabrics with at least 25% stretch and that they are medium to heavyweight. You really need this so the stand collar sits up and also so that the zip can be attached properly. I used a lighter French terry for mine, and a thicker brushed merino for my mother-in-law’s pullover and you can see the difference in the stand collar (see hers further down the page). Hers is nice and upright, while mine, although still perfectly acceptable, is a little softer. I wouldn’t want to use a fabric any lighter than that. The bonus version of the pattern has a hood and drawstring, which is a nice alternative.

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New dress: Irma shirtdress by I AM Patterns

So…yes… now for a definite bit of Covid frosting and some much needed distraction from current affairs! If you don’t know what “frosting” is in terms of sewing (or “icing” for us Brits), it’s the type of frivolous, exuberant sewing that doesn’t necessarily encompass the most practical, everyday of garments, but is sewing for the fun of it, using a striking pattern or perhaps some flamboyant fabric. And as you can see, I decided to combat the approaching winter blues by going for optimum frosting with colourful choices for both pattern and fabric. Ha!

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New dress: The Seamwork Devon for November

The Seamwork Devon is one of the November patterns for Seamwork and boy, are they both corkers this month! I would normally have sewn up both of them, had I not just finished making a bunch of jackets and coats, but I can tell you I’m really looking forward to seeing what everyone does with the Baz. Maybe I’ll come back to it early next year.

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New top: The Flor Top from Bella Loves Patterns

Karma’s a bitch, as they say. There are several things that sensible sewists should not to do when working on a project and I committed a cardinal sin of sewing the other day. This massive ding-dong was to post a picture on Instagram of my bias binding progress, while making a jokey comment about how I rarely make a muslin. And, of course, this finished project is a very good example of why you should make a muslin, and particularly when you’re using a new-to-you designer. That’ll teach me.*

*Probably not.

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Working on the bias: Seamwork Dezi skirt and bias Clarke tank

Are you a fabric before pattern person, or a pattern before fabric person? I keep changing my mind as to which I tend more towards, and since I’m trying to pull most fabric from my existing stash, it does blur the lines somewhat. One thing I have discovered recently is that sometimes I know exactly what I’m going to make, whether it’s the pattern or fabric I decide on first, but that I’m also quite happy to allow one or the other to percolate and when the perfect coupling occurs to me, my decision-making is pretty instant.

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New overalls: Seamwork Beckett overalls in the bonus version

As part of the Seamwork Ambassador team, I get to see all the patterns fairly early in the month. I’m not under any obligation to make them, but if one takes my fancy, I have access to it before publication. This month, one of the patterns is the Beckett overalls and I thought they looked like they’d be fun to make!

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New dress: Cris Wood Envelope dress (Zero Waste)

Something a bit different today, both in terms of style and colour. If you’d asked me 25 years ago if I’d ever wear a caftan, I would have said something along the lines of, “No way! They’re for old ladies” (which was anyone above 30 back then). Fashion is a fickle mistress, however, and that wafting 70s shape is all the rage again (patchouli oil optional). Being older and wiser, I also know that such shapes are often worn by “older ladies” because they are very kind to lumps and bumps and ungroomed Covid legs (who am I kidding – that was de rigeur in my household pre-Covid too), as well as being extremely comfortable and, well… draughty to wear. So I say, hurray! Bring on the caftans! First up:

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New tops: Seamwork Julia tanks with various neckline finishes

Well, it’s been a wee while since my last post! I’ve been working away on various bits and pieces, and they’ve all pretty much been multi-part projects where I’m trying to nail the fit of a wardrobe staple. This post is about my little journey with the knit tank. During this project I had one of those rare golden moments of affirmation that one is not actually bleedin’ crazy, but instead that one has made a very reasonable guesstimate and deduction in the style of, say, Sherlock Holmes perhaps. It doesn’t happen very often.

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Wearing Julia tank No. 2 in the beautiful northern Cascades, WA

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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”