Karma’s a bitch, as they say. There are several things that sensible sewists should not to do when working on a project and I committed a cardinal sin of sewing the other day. This massive ding-dong was to post a picture on Instagram of my bias binding progress, while making a jokey comment about how I rarely make a muslin. And, of course, this finished project is a very good example of why you should make a muslin, and particularly when you’re using a new-to-you designer. That’ll teach me.*
Hello there! This is always a work-intensive post to write, but I’ve gone back to previous such posts numerous times to remind myself of clothes, outfits or resolutions, so it’s definitely worth it – to me at least.
But first… May 2020
This May has been, of course, completely different to any Me-Made May I’ve taken part in the last few years. Initially this was because of Covid-19, which added a different flavour to proceedings. My husband was working from home, so he had a few minutes to get a picture of me each day, which helped immeasurably. On the other hand, not going out anywhere beyond my back yard meant I didn’t really wear many “going-out” clothes, or even many coats/jackets, so that was a little different. I did, nonetheless, make an effort to dress up a little some days and it really did noticeably lighten my mood on those days, so there’s definitely something to be said for the effect of what might be seem like a superficial routine on your psyche. Continue reading “Me-Made May 2020 – the results”→
It can’t just be me that struggles with this, is it? And to clarify, I’m not talking about organising by way of Marie Kondo-type clearing and streamlining your wardrobe; I’m referring to what you do with what’s left after that! How do you remember what you have and what goes with what and where to put them all? Did I miss the secondary school class on that? Is it supposed to be passed on in your DNA? It seems a bit silly and I wasn’t sure whether to write a post about it, but I genuinely had to look this up on the internet for ideas when I realised my current set-up wasn’t working for me… so here’s what I came up with, in case anyone else needs the same tips:
This was a very fast and satisfying sew. It’s such a palate cleanser to whip up a speedy knit top after you’ve been working on more detailed projects for a while. This Sadie top is the third item from my #thegreatmodulesewalong capsule wardrobe (although the second blogged) and is probably the simplest garment in the collection.
It was also the only garment that I didn’t have an exact pattern for. I knew I wanted a knit top with a funnel neck or some sort of longer neck detail, short sleeves and it to be slightly cropped. I had a few pattern ideas in mind – the Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater 1 and Seamwork Astoria among them. My friend Megan mentioned that an altered Sadie might do the trick – and I realised she was right. Even better, she already had the copyshop version printed, saving me a lot of cutting and sticking together, so I decided to go for that one. Continue reading “New top: Hacked Seamwork Sadie top”→
The first of my projects for The Great Module Sewalong, this was an interesting sew. I’ve had the Robinson trousers on my list for ages as another comfortable pair of trousers with some fun details, that I thought might work both for running around after a pre-schooler and also out for drinks with the girls or similar. I really loved making the Perkins shirt by Ensemble Patterns and was hoping for a similar result here, but it was a little less straightforward than hoped, although I still ended up with a pair of perfectly wearable trousers.
This is actually my first bona fide make of 2020, which is kind of crazy, but I zipped this little lady up in no time at all and I adore this dress! It’s a clever, elegant and flattering design. I saw Nina Lee put out a call for makers to test out her new extended range for the Mayfair dress (as well as a couple of other patterns) a month or two ago and signed up as I’ve been intrigued by other patterns of hers I’ve seen around and about. The Mayfair dress actually came out at the end of 2018 and there are some lovely versions around the internet already, such as this maxi version from Diary of a Chainstitcher and this one from Sew Dainty. The extended sizing will go up to size 28 (54″ bust) and will be out soon.
Mayfair Dress Pattern
The Mayfair is a knit dress that comes in knee-length and maxi versions that has some really nice detailing on it, which is what made me take a closer look at it in the first place. It has an “all-in-one grown-on collar” which makes for some slightly more interesting pattern pieces than usual and results in some lovely pleats that meet at the back neckline and flow round and down either side of the front neckline. This effect is mirrored by a gathered central section at the waist and produces some lovely shaping. The attached long waist tie is clever, because it hides the gathers and allows you to shape the mid-section of the dress to your taste. There are three different sleeve lengths: full, 3/4 length and short sleeves.
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?
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.
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) 😉
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.”→
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.
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”→