New jumpsuit: Deer and Doe Sirocco

As I’m sure you are not unaware, the new collection from Deer and Doe came out recently and the Sirocco jumpsuit immediately leapfrogged my other projects in the queue. There are three pieces in the collection, but, for me, this one stood out head and shoulders above the others as the one to make. Firstly, it’s a knit jumpsuit, which equals both comfort and somewhat less fitting – and I have plenty of other fitting-intensive projects going on. But also, I just love the balance between the flowy, pleated trousers and the structured shoulders. I’m going to New York this week for a few days and had been considering what in my wardrobe would take me from daytime sightseeing straight to nighttime eating and carousing – and this is the perfect garment.

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I LOVE it. Like, really love it. I’m a fairly “glass-half-full” kind of person and can see the positive in most of my projects, but it’s great when something comes along that really knocks my socks off. This jumpsuit is exactly what I hoped it might be and that doesn’t happen too often. Great drafting and just so me. Comfortable to wear, with modern clean lines, but also some structure thanks to the sleeves and pleats. Yes, I really do love it. Of course, black fabric is hard to photograph, but hopefully you can see the detail okay – I tried a few different locations. I also wore it with both heels and trainers – and let’s face it, I’m much more likely to be sporting the latter with a cardie over the top. It’s a versatile garment!

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Continue reading “New jumpsuit: Deer and Doe Sirocco”

New jacket: Closet Case Patterns Jasika Blazer Part 1- muslins

I had just been lamenting the lack of a blazer class to a fellow sewist a few weeks back. This was after I’d compiled a list of menswear-influenced womenswear for a Sewcialists blog piece and had been quite enamoured of all the cool blazers I’d come across. Blazers can definitely seem a bit sloaney to me, but I absolutely had a velvet blazer back in the early 90s and I’m rather enjoying looking at them this time round too.

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So you can imagine how delighted I was when Heather Lou from Closet Case Patterns revealed her latest pattern to be the Jasika Blazer, complete with full online workshop, to which I signed up approximately 30 seconds after I saw the reveal. I heard her jeans workshop was very good, although I didn’t use it personally, so I figured this might be a useful way to go. Closet Case Patterns has a lot of good qualities, but one of the best, in my opinion, is the way they encourage the sewist to compete their projects by providing in-depth tools. Continue reading “New jacket: Closet Case Patterns Jasika Blazer Part 1- muslins”

New dress: Fig and Needle Faron jumper – an exercise in fitting

Fig and Needle is a new indie pattern company, run by Sandra and Ping, whose aim is to create feminine clothing with inclusive sizing. I’ve met Sandra a couple of times at various Seattle sewing meetups and, although I didn’t know exactly which patterns they were developing, I knew about their two-block process and was excited to try their designs out on launch. The one I chose to make was the Faron jumper, or, as we would say in the UK, pinafore.

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The Faron

The Faron jumper is described by Fig and Needle as “a sleeveless overdress with a scooped front neckline and low back, front and back princess seams, an a-line skirt, and a separating zipper opening in the front.” Pretty accurate I’d say! The Faron is also designed to be worn over other garments, which definitely appealed to me and also comes in two size options: 0-12 (D cup) and 14-26 (DD cup), which was the clincher for me as I was really interested in trying out a larger cup dress. Continue reading “New dress: Fig and Needle Faron jumper – an exercise in fitting”

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”