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”

New dress: Jennifer Lauren Quincy dress for #sewmystyle June

This was a slightly unexpected make at the last minute, as for most of June I was team Orchid Midi dress the whole way. It’s not that I didn’t like the Quincy dress, but I felt I had made dresses recently that were kind of similar and I haven’t made anything like the Orchid before. However, a week or so ago, I came across the sleeveless version made by @goingtoneedstitches on Instagram and thought “Aha – that’s what I’m after”. I also really loved the look of the Quincy by @seams_sew, so in the end, I changed tack a few days before the end of month deadline and got into the Quincy with gusto.

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In case you’re not familiar with Jennifer Lauren, she produces patterns with a definite vintage feel and the Quincy shirtdress is no exception. It has a lovely little V neckline, back yoke, large pockets and is shaped with bust darts and a drawstring at the waist. As you can see, I decided to put elastic in the waistband rather than a drawstring and I also omitted the sleeves as above. If you do make the sleeves, Jennifer usually makes the length slightly longer than normal (I loved this in her Ostara top) for a more vintage touch and these sleeves can be finished with either a hem or a notched cuff. Continue reading “New dress: Jennifer Lauren Quincy dress for #sewmystyle June”

New top: Named Saraste ruffle top in poppies

I was one of those people that had the Breaking the Pattern book super early because of my Amazon preorder. And yet, I haven’t made anything until now. I had a bit of a list to get through of other makes I fancied and I also took my time deciding what to make. The couple of patterns by Named I’ve made I love and they fit me very well. However, if I’m honest, their styling isn’t always quite me. I know you have to look past that and so I do – by waiting until some other people have made their designs, haha. Inevitably I think, “Ooohh, now that I like” and bob’s your uncle.

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I’ve seen so many lovely Saraste ruffle tops on Instagram now that this became my number one choice. In fact I don’t think I’ve seen a bad one yet. The fabric is a Cotton and Steel rayon (Once Upon a Time Love Flower in cherry) that I fell in love with as soon as I saw it – and it took me a while to get hold of some. I like those rayons anyway – the quality is excellent, making them easy to sew, a dream to wear and they last well through washing. I made: my Fringe dress, my Everyday maxi skirt, my Bridgetown dress, my recent Lela skirt … and now – the Saraste top all from those! Continue reading “New top: Named Saraste ruffle top in poppies”

New trousers: Papercut Patterns Palisade pants and repeat Alexandrias

That’s a lot of alliteration! I guess Papercut Patterns must have realized this when they came up with the name. I bought this pattern when the collection first came out as they reminded me a little of the Named Alexandria pants, which I loved and have been wearing tons since I made them (hence the second pair at the end of this post).

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I have quite a few Papercut patterns in my stash as I very much like their style, but haven’t actually made too many of them yet. In fact I think I’ve only used the Anima pants pattern for my mother, and the Kyoto tee for myself, which I adored. Another pattern that’s on the “I REALLY must make another” TNT list. Oh yes. Anyway, this pair of pants has everything I was after for a comfortable spring wardrobe staple: an elasticated back for some comfort, but a flat front for shape, interesting details, such as the pocket shape, the front leg centre seam and, overall, a style that’s somewhere between casual and more formal, thanks to details like the faux fly.

Continue reading “New trousers: Papercut Patterns Palisade pants and repeat Alexandrias”

New tops: Liesl + Co. Breezy Blouse 1 + 2 with mods

The new spring patterns from Liesl + Co. came out a few weeks ago and they are a lovely modern, streamlined lot. My own spring/summer wardrobe could certainly do with some coordinating pieces and the Breezy Blouse has an easy shape with some nice creative possibilities.

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I ended up making two: this double-pink affair, which I guess you could say is a wearable muslin, and then a second rayon challis Les Fleurs version, which I first slightly modified the shape of and then added waist ties to. You can read about both of them over at the Oliver + S blog, where I’ve posted as part of Liesl Gibson’s Advisor’s Circle, including the simple steps I took to make the variation blouse.

Continue reading “New tops: Liesl + Co. Breezy Blouse 1 + 2 with mods”

Me Made May 2019: the results are in…

As always, it’s time for a round-up post on Me-Made May 2019: I find these useful and have looked over the previous summations as well, which always puts things into a bit of perspective. This is the third year I’ve done this and it’s been an interesting one (not least because I have been saying all along it was the fourth year I’ve done it. Funny how your mind plays tricks on you. It’s not like three is a big number to count to). The first two can be condensed into this following essence(s) (an eau de Me-Made-May, if you will):

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Continue reading “Me Made May 2019: the results are in…”

New shirt: Blank Slate Novelista for #sewmystyle May

I’m one of the hosts for the May edition of Sew My Style and this month the theme is button-ups – one of my favourites. I decided to make the Novelista shirt by Blank Slate. Being a curvier gal with a large bust, the princess lines really appealed to me and I’d heard good things from other gals blessed with maximum mammaries.

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The Novelista shirt is quite a classic shirt, with a two-piece collar and a larger collar than that of, say, the Melilot or the Perkins, which is the type of collar I’ve been encountering recently. It looks quite 70s to me when it’s open, (which is not necessarily a bad thing!) but took me a minute to get used to. I also wasn’t sure it would look very good buttoned up, but actually I like it! It has a choice of long or short sleeves and two different backs: a regular shirttail back and a crossover back, which is a little more unusual. I went for the short sleeves and the regular back as my fabric has a little crispness and I felt the crossback halves might not sit too flat.

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Continue reading “New shirt: Blank Slate Novelista for #sewmystyle May”

Sew my Style May 2019: Buttonhole tips and tricks

Hi everyone! I’m one of the hosts for this month’s button-ups and wanted to write a quick post supplementing the great info already posted in May.  I’m taking a quick look at buttonholes since we’re getting close to the end of the month and this is one of the final things you’ll do on your shirt. I’m just about finished with my Novelista, which I’m making out of this popping Nani Iro pochi fabric.

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Creating buttonholes and adding buttons strikes fear into the heart of many a sewist – and I understand why – I used to be exactly the same (and occasionally still am if it’s a treasured piece of fabric!). But really, there’s nothing to worry about. A bit of practice with your machine and a few little tips will get you well on the way to perfect buttonholes. So without further ado, here are some of my favourite buttonhole and button tips and tricks when making a button-up: Continue reading “Sew my Style May 2019: Buttonhole tips and tricks”