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”

New dress: Wiksten shift in Nani Iro Kokka double gauze

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.

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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”

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”

New top: Paper Theory Kabuki Tee

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.

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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”

New dress: Short, but glamorous Named Kielo

Hello chaps! A short (er) but sweet post today, with a new version of a dress I’ve made before.

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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”

New blouse: Ottobre Terese blouse 02/2018 aka Why did I use that fabric?

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.

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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?”

New bag: House of Klum Oberlin tote in waxed canvas

This was one of the #sewmystyle projects for 2018 and I knew pretty quickly that I wanted to make one for my sister for Christmas as the styles were pretty much up her street. I got a little distracted with other things and didn’t make it in time for the October #sewmystyle deadline, so just aimed for Christmas and here it is now!

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House of Klum has a range of different bag patterns and kits – and the first thing to say is that they aren’t cheap. I was originally going to make the Fremont bag, but the finishing kit (straps and hardware) for that was $60 and then there was the pattern and fabric on top. Now, I’ve made a few bags and I know sourcing good quality finishing can be pretty difficult and expensive, so I’m not saying the price is unfair – but there’s no denying that it’s at a level that makes you think twice about your project.

Continue reading “New bag: House of Klum Oberlin tote in waxed canvas”

Social sewing in the fall: #sewmystyle, #seattlesews, Seattle Frocktails and Deyonte

Hi folks! I’ve been laid out with a miserable cold the last week or so, and I’ve been also meaning to write a little social round-up for a wee while, so it seems like opportunity is knocking on my door, given that I haven’t been doing much sewing! Every cloud has a silver lining and all that, eh? Hmmm.

Anyway, October turned out to be an incredibly social month for me in my sewing life and I thought I’d post a few highlights here for your amusement. And also as a record really, since I’m not sure anyone will be terribly excited to see what I do in my spare time, but, yeah, whateva; here we go:

Sew My Style 2019

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First up, I received an email from Maddie at Maddie Made This to tell me I’d been chosen as one of the leaders for Sew My Style 2019. I don’t know if you’re familiar with this challenge, but it’s in its second year at the moment and comprises a monthly pattern (or patterns) that participants sew up by the end of the month for a “reveal”. They’re all indie patterns and all sewists who sign up get a discount, but one of the main reasons I like it is that it’s an absolutely no-commitment challenge. There’s no fee, or payment and you basically make the patterns you want to, so no big pressure either.

Continue reading “Social sewing in the fall: #sewmystyle, #seattlesews, Seattle Frocktails and Deyonte”

New dress: Colette Wren for #sewtogetherforsummer

I took part in the #sewtogetherforsummer challenge last year, when it was the push I needed to make my first shirtdress: the Grainline Alder. This year, the theme is the wrap dress and, after raking through my pattern collection, I decided to make the Colette Wren dress. I have already made the Named Kielo wrap dress and the M6884 wrap dress, so it was never going to be a technical challenge in the way that the shirtdress was, but wrap dresses definitely have their own fitting issues to be overcome – and so it was in this case too.

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I also recently purchased a coverstitch machine after many, many months of watching out for sales. Finally, my luck was in, and I managed to pick up the Brother 2340CV for a decent discount. The Colette Wren is an ideal garment to practice coverstitching as there are instructions for hemming the neckline, armholes and the regular bottom hem with a coverstitch technique. Continue reading “New dress: Colette Wren for #sewtogetherforsummer”