Fitting thoughts: Picking a pattern size for full bust adjustments – what’s your take?

Hi folks!

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.

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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?

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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?”

New dress: Wiksten shift 2 in rayon challis

The second iteration of this dress, and this time in something with much more drape. Jess from La Mercerie collaborated with artist Nerida Hansen earlier this year to produce this collection of stunning abstract prints on a midweight rayon challis and, despite being on a fabric ban (ha!), I couldn’t resist and snapped up a couple of pieces. I knew fairly quickly that I wanted to use this print for another Wiksten shift after my successful first attempt at the pattern. I didn’t actually whip it up until New Year’s Eve though, when I decided to go ahead and make another version of the longest length (in size 14) for a night out with the husband.

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IMG_0228 Continue reading “New dress: Wiksten shift 2 in rayon challis”

New test: The Chaval coat from Liesl and Co.

My season of coats continues! I tested the Chaval coat for Liesl + Co. towards the end of October and really enjoyed the process, not least because the usual excellent instructions of a Liesl + Co. pattern really gave me a good grounding for the other coats I wanted to tackle. The pattern is available now, along with two lovely A/W dresses, one of which I may also have made (more soon) 😉

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The Chaval coat is a slightly oversized, masculine-influenced coat, which has definite traces of the workwear trend that’s currently to be seen everywhere. It has lots of lovely details, which really appealed to me: a notched collar/lapel, welt pockets with flaps, a full lining and two-piece sleeves. Some of the outerwear I’ve been making has been fairly simple, which is absolutely fine and I love those pieces, but this one is the real deal when it comes to a full-length jacket. There’s no advanced tailoring or anything, but you won’t be knocking this out in an afternoon. I think it took me about 20-25hrs in total, although I could do it a fair bit quicker next time as it was my first time for some of the techniques. Continue reading “New test: The Chaval coat from Liesl and Co.”

New coat: Merchant and Mills Landgate

I haven’t seen a ton of Merchant and Mills Landgate jackets around, but the ones I have seen on Instagram or blogs are splendid – both the male and female versions. This is the sort of jacket I need in rainy Seattle (although not as rainy as you’d think) and I am really glad I went ahead and made it. Plus it’s coat number 4 of 7 – woo! First thing to say – this pattern is much simpler than I thought it would be! I don’t know if it’s the Merchant and Mills grim-up-north aesthetic, but I thought it would be a complex pattern. It’s really not, actually.

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The Landgate is a unisex design, which looks superb on everyone and is only differentiated by recipient by adding a bit of length to the base pattern, which is defaulted as the female pattern. It has raglan sleeves, a hood with zipper cover and deep pockets for stowing away all your trusty outdoor apparatus. You know: your phone, your keys, your packets of sweeties… Continue reading “New coat: Merchant and Mills Landgate”

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 test: Lou Box Dress 2 for Sew DIY

As you probably know, I’ve tested garments a few times for Beth from Sew DIY – and was more than glad to test the updated version of the Lou Box Dress 2 for her recently: particularly since it was on my list as a straight-up make before the call for the testers went out!

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I first took notice of the pattern when I saw Beth’s own grey version in a thin knit (you can see it on the bundle cover) and thought it looked like an elegant take on a comfy knit dress. So when I decided to make my own, it was a fairly quick process to pick this version and view of the Lou Box Dress 2 – and equally easy to select this thin botanical knit with a  ton of drape. It’s been languishing in my stash for several years now, waiting for the right project, and I think this was a nice match. Continue reading “New test: Lou Box Dress 2 for Sew DIY”

New top: Shirt No. 1 from Sonya Philip

I’ve known about the Shirt No. 1 by Sonya Philip for some time. I first saw the paper pattern in Drygoods Design here in Seattle a year or two ago and was honestly a little confused by the super-simplistic design flat. Then I noticed that some of Sonya’s patterns had been added to Creativebug, which I subscribe to. I really want to use more of my subscription classes – there are some really good ones, but I just never seem to get round to it – so decided this would be a perfect addition to my woven top investigations.

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I was pleased to see there were a number of variations included with the class: a contrast yoke version (hello scrapbusting!), a bias-cut bottom version and a button-down front. The class includes the pattern and this is no small matter, and part of the reason I continue to subscribe. There are quite a few indie patterns I would otherwise purchase (Made by Rae has much of her output there too) and so the price works out for me. Continue reading “New top: Shirt No. 1 from Sonya Philip”

New shorts: Dawn jean shorts by Megan Nielsen

Truth be told, I wasn’t that excited about making jeans for Sew My Style July. Not because I don’t like making jeans – in actual fact I find it really satisfying – but because I’m trying to lose a little weight and jeans are a lot of effort to make if you then go and change size. I also was pretty sure I was going to make the Megan Nielsen Ash jeans as I’ve had that pattern since it came out and really wanted to give it a go. However, there were quite a few choices this month and, when I noticed that the Dawn jeans, also by Megan Nielsen, had a shorts version, I thought “Aha”.

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I feel like shorts are a little more forgiving size-wise, plus I had this amazing acid wash denim in my stash that all of a sudden seemed PERFECT. I got it from a #Seattlesews fabric swap event and had been mulling over what to do with it. It’s very soft, vintage denim, probably from the 80s or 90s, and I’m quite partial to an ironic piece of retro clothing, I must say. Continue reading “New shorts: Dawn jean shorts by Megan Nielsen”

New tops: Mandy Boat Tee and Super Basic Tank – free patterns

Hi there! As per my last post on the Seamwork Tacara, I’ve been working on a lot of knits recently, which I tend to do after working on woven garments for any length of time. Woven, knits, woven, knits: I like variety! I need more simple summer tops in my wardrobe and decided to try out a couple of popular and free garments to see how they worked for me:

Mandy Boat Tee

The Mandy Boat Tee from Tessuti Patterns has been made by countless sewists, many of whom have made multiples. There are good reasons for this, not least of which is the fact that this is a free pattern, which is always a good incentive to give something new a go. But there’s more than that – this is a great pattern! Well-drafted, flattering: it deserves the accolades.

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Continue reading “New tops: Mandy Boat Tee and Super Basic Tank – free patterns”

New dress: Seamwork Tacara

One of the issues you come up against when trying to sew a handmade wardrobe is to understand which clothes are really the ones that you reach for in the morning. I make a lot of lovely clothes, some of which I do reach for instinctively, but others which I have to think about before I put them on. Clothes that take a little more planning: buttoned shirts, jumpsuits, highly colourful or patterned fabrics. Without fail, however, one type of garment I reach for when I’m in a rush is a loose knit dress. It’s easy, you only need one item of clothing, you don’t need to consider your underwear too closely and a myriad of other easy reasons.

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However, it’s not something I’ve made too many of. I guess post-childbirth I owned plenty and it’s only recently I really got rid of the last few. They weren’t even especially flattering. but, as per my reasoning above, I reached for them constantly. So – all this brings me to the Seamwork Tacara, which definitely fits into the “easy-to-wear cocoon dress” category. I liked the look of it when it was released, but sort of dismissed it as a dress that looked great on the tall, slim model, but would look like a tent on me. Then several versions appeared on the old Internet (in particular on the ladies in this Curvy Sewing Collective post) and I started to reconsider, because it looked bloomin’ marvellous on them. Continue reading “New dress: Seamwork Tacara”