Something a little different from me for this post. I wanted to discuss that perennial old favourite – the full bust adjustment (or FBA) for a minute or two and I would love your input on my burning question (ooh what could it be? what could it be? I hear you all mutter excitedly to yourselves), which is about how you pick your pattern size.
Before I go any further, I want to qualify all the following with the fact that yes, I know that there is no 100% correct answer and everyone, ultimately, is decidedly different and unique and special (like, literally different, apart from exact identical twins and/or clones) and so whichever answer I pick, I know I will always have to make some adjustments anyway, so, you know, why am I even bothering to pin this down?
But the thing is, this has been bothering me and I’m one of those people that likes all the jigsaw puzzle pieces to fit. That is basically the reason. Continue reading “Fitting thoughts: Picking a pattern size for full bust adjustments – what’s your take?”
Wow – it’s 2020! When did that happen? 2020… it’s hard to believe it. It sounds so futuristic to my ears still! In any case – I hope you all had a fantastic New Year. We had quite a quiet one. We were supposed to be taking advantage of Grandma being in town and going out to get down with the kids at a party (not our kids, just kids in general as we are old) and I even made a dress on NYE for it. Then just as we were about to leave, my husband sheepishly told me he’d forgotten to buy tickets and it was sold out… le sigh. I was not mad AT. ALL. (honest) so we went and watched Star Wars instead in my new dress (which was epic) and then to a local pub, which was really very nice and reminded me that the most important thing was being with my husband. My forgetful, sometimes-useless husband, but nevertheless… my husband.
My Instagram “Top Nine” of 2019 based on likes
Anyway, this has nothing to do with anything, except that it’s also that time of year when you sum up the previous 12 months and think of a few things you’d like to do in the subsequent 12. I like to write a nerdy post, which helps me figure out what I’m doing and is fun to read back at a later date. It’s also kind of the third part of Gillian’s Top 5 series – my Parts 1: Hits and 2: Misses are here if you want to catch up… Continue reading “Reflections on 2019 and plans for 2020”
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! 😉
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)
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.
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”
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.
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”
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!”
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”
The Wiksten shift is a pattern that has been super-popular this year. When I first saw it, I was definitely like, “Meh”, because , as mentioned in previous posts, the boxy shift silhouette has never been part of my repertoire, owing to a curvy figure that needs some definition. However, my feelings started to change when I saw my friend Melizza (@melizzamakes), who tested the garment for Jenny Wiksten, fashion not just one, but multiple gorgeous versions. Still, I thought, maybe it just looks amazing on Melizza (which would certainly not be out of the question). Then I saw other versions pop up – on all shapes and sizes – and, I kid you not, EVERYBODY – and I really mean everybody – looks fantastic in this dress. Check out #wikstenshiftdress on Instagram and see for yourself.
There’s something about the proportions of the dress: the neckline and sleeves, versus the length and width; I can’t say what exactly, but Jenny Wiksten got this draft bang on. I reached tipping point sometime in June and went from being indifferent to this pattern to being practically desperate to make one overnight. I had a few other garments in my queue to finish first, but browsed through my stash and, because this shape is such a vehicle for showing off a fabric, had literally dozens of suitable pieces I wanted to use. Continue reading “New dress: Wiksten shift in Nani Iro Kokka double gauze”
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.
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”
In my continuing quest to build up a wearable, practical wardrobe, (interspersed with off-the-cuff crazier garments of course), I decided I’d get some more SOLID woven tees and tops into my wardrobe once and for all. My problem when faced with a simple pattern is that I immediately want to make it more interesting by using a print or pattern. It’s almost a subconscious thing – I have no restraint! Argh!! When looking for some simple tops-with-a-twist, I discovered I already owned a couple, then I found a couple more I liked and the idea of a woven top collection emerged.
I say collection – I really just mean a sort of comparison. They’re all fairly quick and easy to make and I’m thinking that the variety in the construction and details will keep me going interest-wise. Let’s see, shall we? Ha. I should also mention before I get going that I was partially inspired by a post @arrowmountain posted on Instagram some time ago (whose feed I love). Her drawings are quite mesmerizing anyway, but I loved the idea of this collection. Not many of the tees I’m making are on there, but the idea is similar.
Continue reading “New top: Paper Theory Kabuki Tee”
Hello chaps! A short (er) but sweet post today, with a new version of a dress I’ve made before.
I’ve made the Kielo once, not long after I started sewing. I used a rayon knit and was pretty pleased with the result, it being one of my first knit garments, but the length of it means that I don’t wear it that often. It’s a tiny bit impractical with a toddler and the weight of it drags the rayon down, meaning I need to wear some “smoothing” undergarments to avoid every lump and bump being highlighted. Continue reading “New dress: Short, but glamorous Named Kielo”
The first thing you will notice about this project is that yes, I am wearing a shirt made from that fabric. It is of course the Crowded Faces poplin from Lady McElroy and I bought mine at La Mercerie (currently sold out) a little while back after lusting after it for some time. I’ve seen a few makes pop up using both the white and this black version of the fabric and must say I’m quite tickled to be using an “in” fabric. I feel positively fashionista-like – the glow of which is probably the reason I was mad enough to take pictures in Seattle’s current “Snowmageddon”. That, and the fact that black is so hard to photograph – unless it’s SNOWING.
Anyway, enough about that. Quite a few of the other shirts I’ve seen using this fabric are Closet Case Files Kalle shirts, which is a sound pattern choice for this fabric. I, on the other hand, decided to use it for an Ottobre pattern, which is from the 02/2018 magazine, and is called the Terese blouse. It’s a beautiful blouse, from a retro edition of the magazine, and has big drapey sleeves with a bit of length as well as volume. The suggested fabric is rayon challis or similar, which is very logical and I swear I knew this. I knew it. I washed up the poplin and it washed up a little stiffer than it appeared before and I shouldn’t have used it, but I did. I’ll come back to that later, but you will already have noticed in the pics, you eagle-eyed sewists you, that I am not sporting any sort of drapey 40s sleeve.
Continue reading “New blouse: Ottobre Terese blouse 02/2018 aka Why did I use that fabric?”