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?”

2018 reflections and a few 2019 sewing plans

Hello there! This post is a tad (like a lot) on the late side as it’s already over halfway into January, but I just haven’t gotten around to finishing it. It’s a sort of mixture of the last 3 categories (Goals, Reflections and Highlights) in Gillian’s Top 5 series – you can read about my Top 5 Hits and Top 5 Misses in the series already. I just got home and have spent the last week taking down Xmas decorations and unpacking and all those fun (not) kinds of things. I’m determined to get the post done though, because the equivalent post last year and in 2017 have actually been super helpful in clarifying what I’ve achieved and would like to achieve.

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My 9 “most liked” pics of 2018 on Instagram

It’s not that I’m trying to climb some sewing Mount Everest of ambition, but I am a very enthusiastic sewer of all. the. things. – as you may have noticed – and it really doesn’t take much to distract me, whereupon things can get a little mentally messy. Plus, I find I quite like lists in my old age. So there we are.

ALRIGHT! LET’S DO THIS! (Be warned: this is a long post) Continue reading “2018 reflections and a few 2019 sewing plans”

My #SewingTop5 fails for 2018

And now onto the failures for 2018. The good news (for me) is that there weren’t that many – and I checked back through my photo album to see if there were any total wadders I hadn’t posted about – but, nope, I seem to have committed just about everything to online posterity. I will admit there are a few more garments in addition to these five that are in the purgatory stage of wardrobe assessment: I like them (or some aspects of them), but I haven’t worn them. I’m still trying to work out why and I suspect I’m in denial about some of them (i.e. they just don’t look that great), but they may well become outright fails too, in the near future.

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Anyway – without further ado:

Colette Penny dress

 

Like many other sewists, I was majorly in love with the model picture where Colette made this dress with THAT peach floral lawn. You know the one right? I actually bought some of it from Fabric Godmother last year and have plans for it this year. It looked amazing!! Continue reading “My #SewingTop5 fails for 2018”

New skirts: Two new versions of my Everyday Skirt TNT

Hi everyone! It’s nearly Christmas and, as you know, I’m back in the UK and enjoying every moment. Home, sweet home! I even managed to squeeze in a whirlwind London fabric tour, courtesy of the lovely @sewandrew. I contacted him earlier in December to see if he’d be up for meeting in. real. life. (gulp) and thankfully he agreed! 😀 I can tell you he’s as much of a gent in person as he is on his blog, and if you don’t follow him on IG or his blog, you should!

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Anyway, my last couple of makes of 2018 were a couple of adaptions of the Liesl + Co. Everyday Skirt. This was one of the very first skirts I made way back when I first started sewing and it was one of the first things that I made that felt “proper” – in no small part due to the typically fantastic instructions. I made another cotton version not long after the first, but really wanted to experiment with the skirt to make some other versions with different fabrics.

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As you can see, I came up with two new looks, and both in a much more fluid, drapey fabric. The first was a maxi skirt version and it worked out beautifully. The second I made for a holiday party and I decided to add a wide sash (and therefore widened the waistband too) to give it a really festive feel. I love this fabric from Blackbird Fabrics!

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You can read more about my makes over on the Oliver and S blog where I talk about this tried and true pattern for me. One of the great things about this skirt is that it’s so fast to sew up – I don’t think these will be the last versions somehow!

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My #SewingTop5 hits for 2018

I’m on London time! Yeehoo! So, so happy to be back this year and I’m already enjoying the things I’ve missed about the UK while my three-year old works on the timezone – yes, Monster Munch crisps, jacket potatoes, Wensleydale cheese and M&S food have all featured in my first 48 hrs home. Forget your fancy dishes – THESE are the sorts of things you miss when you’re abroad. Just about to go out and indulge in a proper greasy spoon brekkie before heading to the Natural History museum with my gorgeous sister. Bliss!!

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Speaking of bliss, I have a little time to sum up some of 2018 in clothing terms and I really enjoyed taking part in Gillian’s Top 5 round up series last year. You can read all about the 2018 version over on her blog and I think it’s a very worthwhile bit of reflection. So let’s kick it off with my Top 5 Hits from 2018!

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I’m pleased to say I had a decent list to choose from and it was pretty difficult! One of the most important criteria for me is that I actually wear something – and my first pick has been worn tons of times! The Named Alexandria peg leg trousers were one of my simplest makes and they fit right from the pattern pdf. The pleats give them a little something extra and they are very comfy. I have lots more planned and, as they’re for both woven and knit fabrics, they really are super versatile.

Continue reading “My #SewingTop5 hits for 2018”

New pants: Slimline Hollywood trousers with a casual twist

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I made a second pair of the Hollywood trousers by Liesl and Co. after my first test pair from back in July. For this pair I wanted to try changing them up for a more casual feel, and I had this rather thick striped twill in my stash, which I thought would suit my plans admirably. Continue reading “New pants: Slimline Hollywood trousers with a casual twist”

New top: Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top

Hi folks! Hope you all had a lovely Halloween and are enjoying the end of autumn. It’s been beautiful here in the PNW and I’ve really been enjoying the season, which has always been my favourite. I do miss Bonfire Night around this time, but we get to celebrate Thanksgiving and, even though I’m not American, I think it’s a great holiday actually. I sort of wish we had it in the UK because it seems to me that it rather effectively splits the whole “family together-big meal preparation” and “Santa Claus-gifts-religious festivals” craziness of Christmas into two more manageable holidays.

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Anywayyy, because there has been so much going on socially, I actually didn’t get to sew too much through October and am definitely trying to catch up now by whizzing up a few things. The first thing I actually completed was this Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top. I’ve had this pattern on my radar since I began sewing, because it is a dead ringer for an H&M RTW top I own that I have worn to death – and so I’ve actually been meaning to make it forever.

Continue reading “New top: Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top”

New pants: The Hollywood trousers from Liesl & Co.

These are hands-down, no contest, the most professional looking and feeling trousers I’ve ever made. And this is in no small part due to the typically fantastic instructions that Liesl Gibson writes for all her patterns. They’re well-described and illustrated and her methods just seem so well thought-through. Occasionally when I’m making a pattern I feel like the designer has “winged it” a little bit in terms of construction – and I am NO expert. But that is never the case with Liesl. She knows what she’s talking about, which gives me a lot of confidence making her designs.

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Continue reading “New pants: The Hollywood trousers from Liesl & Co.”

New dress: Deer and Doe Magnolia

I just did my most work-intensive, time-crunching but careful sew ever! Patternreview got in touch with me and asked if I’d like to make up one of the new Deer and Doe patterns they will be stocking – either the Magnolia dress or the Opium coat (both out today!). Wow – it was very hard to pick between the two and a coat is definitely more practical, but I still needed a dress for Seattle Frocktails as well, so in the end decided – heck, why not go the whole hog and make the dramatic neckline maxi-version of the Magnolia?

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Continue reading “New dress: Deer and Doe Magnolia”

New dress: Chalk & Notch Fringe dress for #sewmystyle September

I think just about everyone doing #sewmystyle 2018 was looking forward to this one a lot, or at least I’ve been getting that impression. I’ve had this dress on my radar for ages and it was certainly one of the patterns I was most excited about from the start. And with good cause! Let me completely spoil the story here by saying that I really like both the pattern and fabric and can recommend it! Also, in comparison to my last few makes, I feel like I got the fitting on this one spot on!

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This is the Fringe dress from Chalk and Notch – a dress that’s been very popular around the blogosphere. There are two illustrated views, but lots of options: there’s both a dress and blouse for a start. View A has a button up front, elbow sleeve and sleeve tab. View B has a pull over, notched front with a cuff. There are optional pockets, waist ties, a shaped hem and a gathered skirt. Now, normally I would be View A all the way. The V-shaped neck, the tabs – I’d probably have straightened off the hem too. And I may well do in another version, but something unexplained swayed me over to View B on this occasion. I’m not sure why, but I decided to take on the curvy neckline and hem – and I rather enjoyed it!

Continue reading “New dress: Chalk & Notch Fringe dress for #sewmystyle September”