Tag Archives: patterns
The majority of things I’ve made this year (and my productivity isn’t high at the moment) have been woolly socks for my lovely husband. However I’ve also been sewing for Miss Button, but getting her to pose for pictures has been a whole other ballgame. 8 is the new 14! Small girls are so stroppy!
However, en route to a friend’s party at the weekend, she was in a good enough mood for a quick 5 minutes of photos, despite the overcast and gloomy weather.
She’s mad for flamingos at the moment so I couldn’t resist this cute and colourful retro Hawaiian flamingo print. This is yet another geranium top (my fourth time with this fabulous pattern, I think).
Oh she looks so very, very tired. Summer holidays can’t come quickly enough!
I’ll be honest that I made no attempt at pattern matching. And because of this I managed to squeeze this top out of a metre of fabric. I had to skimp a bit on the gathering of the skirt. We’ve reached a tipping point where I need to start buying a bit extra fabric for her. She’s growing so quickly these days.
Ah….that’s my girl!
As always the Geranium was a quick and simple make that gives great results. The simple lines really show off the fabric at it’s best. This is a sweet pattern for little girls and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Pattern: Geranium from Made By Rae
Pattern Cost: $10
Fabric: Hawaiian-style flamingo print cotton
Fabric Source: Fabrix, Lancaster
Fabric Cost: £5.95/mtr
I’ve made a start on the first of my planned TNT patterns, which is this BurdaStyle slim legged trouser.
The fabric I used is a 100% polyester crepe from Abakhan. I’m slowly edging away from polyester, but I’d booked myself onto a Sewing for Fun day at Stitchscape with Celia Banks, and new this was one of the patterns I wanted to work on.
I’d already cut them in a cotton drill but when I’d tacked them together for fitting it was really obvious there was a problem. It turns out the fabric was completely twisted on the grain. So I needed a replacement fabric. And fast.
It had to be navy and this was it!
Whilst it was a bugger to sew, it drapes really nicely and worked well in a pinch for the sewing class.
For the purposes of fitting, I cut without pockets or fly zip and did an invisible zip in the back seam. This isn’t my favourite style of trouser but I believe it’s a great way to simplify the pattern and work on the fit.
Ah…the obligatory derriere shot!
This clearly shows how flat I am at the back. I’m straight up and down with no waist or hips to speak of. This is one of the reasons I have such issues with RTW.
But I’m really happy with the fit at the back. I’m not sure I could get it much better than that.
The front is pretty good too.
All in all I’m quite pleased with these.
I think with a couple of tweaks they’ll be spot on. I definitely need to take the waist in at least 1/2″, maybe as much as 1″.
I also think that I need to drop the waistline by about 1/4 – 1/2″.
And I may scoop that front curve just a smidge too.
Finally, I’d like the leg to be slightly slimmer, as the next pair I make will be the 7/8ths length shown on the pattern and I like a more slender leg for that style of trouser.
But…these are a great pair of smart trousers and a very wearable toile! I’d definitely wear them for formal meetings (although those are few and far between) or, more likely, with a pretty top and my wedding heels (as here) for dinner out with the husband.
Now if only he’d book the table…..
I have finally dusted off the sewing machine and very nearly have two new garments to show you. This one needed quite a bit of work and a stern talking to!
Rest assured that scissors and expletives have been deployed and it’s looking much nicer now!
Between curses, I’ve also been narrowing down the possible patterns for tops for my proposed TNT pattern selection. As my daily uniform is jeans and a cute top, these patterns will, if I get it right, get a lot of use.
My criteria for this selection was that they’d be reasonably simple sews and would reflect the types of tops I chose in RTW. They also need to smooth over lumps and bumps whilst I work on getting rid of them, and be modest at the school gate. I just can’t deal with any garment in which I have to worry about flashing Father Gerry if I bend over to administer a hug or zip up a coat.
I’m fairly sure Father Gerry is grateful for this consideration.
Moving on! First up are popover shirts. I love, love, love a good popover shirt and this is the garment I wear most at the moment.
Newlook 6267 is pretty much perfect.
View A with bracelet length sleeves with a narrow cuff or elastic, and the back hem brought up to the same length as the front. In all the colours! I have several versions of this in RTW in my wardrobe and I love. love. love them! Honestly I could wear this and a pair of jeans all year round and be a happy girl.
Newlook 6267 is also a clone of a RTW favourite.
I had a navy RTW similar to view A, but with lace inserts rather than embellishments, and I wore it to rags with jeans and clogs in the summer.
As an aside, can I just say (again!!!!) that I do wish pattern companies would sort out their styling (bright orange and washed jeans….really?!) and their construction (that hem!) on their pattern envelopes.
Moving on again…I was inspired to purchase Newlook 6217 having seen Jane’s beautiful versions.
I’d been contemplating adding a woven tee to the mix and couldn’t resist. I’ll be honest that I’m not sure how this one will work for me, but I bought all of these patterns on sale so it’s not a great loss if this is a bust. And again with the crappy styling!
With the wovens out of the way I absolutely have to have a knit t-shirt pattern. I have two in mind. I like to be contrary in that way!
First up is Burdastyle’s Scoop Neck Layered Shirt.
I love this layered look although again it’s a bit of a departure for me. But I can see this working really well for cooler days when a tee on it’s own is a bit too cool, but a cardigan or jacket is too much. And its a great way to add some pops of colour to my wardrobe without scaring the horses.
Although the horses would probably mistake that necklace for a tasty snack and not be remotely perturbed by the top.
And last, but by no means least, is Cashmerette’s new Concord tee pattern.
I’m intrigued by the multiple cup sizes, but I was most swayed by a conversation at a sewing class last week. A friend of my sewing teacher has made it and only had to make the tiniest tweak to the side seams to get a perfect fit. She was astonished.
Also this has all the things I’m looking for in a tee pattern….scoop neck, shirttail hem, set in sleeves. So expect to see this in all the colours too. I think the v-necked version with a short sleeve would work perfectly with the Syrah Skirt.
And that’s a summer uniform that would get me out of jeans in a flash.
I am so late to the party with this review (see what I did there?). But if you missed other folks thoughts on the matter, then stick with me, because I think this is a super book.
I have a really big soft spot for Japanese sewing books and have to contain myself and not buy all of them just because they are so pretty. I do have a problem with them, namely a) I have to grade every single pattern if I want to maintain the proportions, and b) oftentimes the shapes are designed to flatter a more boyish figure. One thing I’ve never been accused of is having a boyish figure.
Stylish Party Dresses has some gorgeous patterns that not only do I want to make but which would fit my lifestyle and, I think, my figure.
So here are my best picks:
This is my absolute favourite from this book. I can see this in a navy silk, with matching cigarette pants and heels for a date night with hubby. Gorgeous. But it would also be lovely in linen over shorts for those hot summer days that we’re hoping to get.
A girl can hope, no?
I don’t know where the urge to wear a jumpsuit is coming from. I haven’t worn one of those since about 1994! But this is lovely. I’d make it in a plain solid with lace or sheer for the yoke/bow. And, of course, several more inches on the trouser legs!
This is just gorgeous. Again I think the hem could drop a couple of inches, but other than that, everything is perfect. Wouldn’t this be charming for warm summer evenings and dinner on the patio with friends?
I love this dress for dinner dates with The Husband. I’m not loving this colour, but change that and I think this has just the right mix of comfort, style and little details. I’m particularly fond of the shaped hem and the gorgeous sleeves. You could, of course, give it a straight hem…that would then make it quite a timeless piece.
Last, but by no means least, is this cute swing dress. Whilst I wouldn’t really consider this a party dress, I’d love it in linen with flats for the summer. It would also be cute if you shortened it a bit and wore with leggings in colder weather.
The pattern sheets will be familiar to anyone who has ever traced a Burda pattern.
Whilst I’m very much focussed on sewing basics for myself at the moment, I’m hoping to slip one or two of these into the mix too.
A girl can never have too many pretty dresses. Wouldn’t you agree?
I received a free copy of this book from the kind folks at Tuttle Publishing in return for my review. As always all thoughts are my own…and you know I call a spade a spade. For what it’s worth I’d happily pay £12 for this book.
The easiest part of this planning activity has been planning what I’m going to sew for my bottom half.
Mainly because I almost invariably wear jeans.
A TNT jeans pattern would be an absolute godsend. I usually wear skinny jeans, particularly in the winter because I tuck them into Uggs* for the school run and proper knee boots when I’m going out somewhere slightly more decorous.
However, for warmer days I’m keen to have some slim legged but not skinny ones that I can wear with a loafer or ballet flat, with a rolled hem as desired.
Once I’ve got the fit nailed at the body, straightening the leg a smidge shouldn’t be beyond the wit of man!
So far, so straightforward.
Good to go.
However, I’m also itching to branch out into a cropped cigarette trouser that I can wear with a sneaker and a loose top or sweater. I’ve been pinning this look for some time now but when I saw Victoria Beckham this week, well, it just about pushed me over the edge!
This is such a perfect look for my life. Casual but smart. Comfortable for running around doing school run, college, errands, etc. It’s takes the outfit up a notch from jeans.
Now, I’ve already got Burda 6985 fitted and a pair cut out.
Goodness only knows what size they are so I suspect the pair that’s cut won’t fit but it may be a simple fix. I’ll need to check. But again, it’s a really good starting point.
The good thing about this pattern is that I can also change up the details once I’ve got the fit nailed. I can make them with the fly zip and back pockets, or I can make them flat and smooth with a back zip. This latter option would be a really good way of getting some trousers into my wardrobe super quickly.
So that’s trousers sorted.
But I’d like to add some skirts into the mix. I don’t often wear skirts and want to change that up. The first thing I need is a maxi skirt pattern. With a simple t-shirt and sandals this would be a great weekend outfit for pootling around the house and barbecuing in the garden.
Again I can shop the pattern stash for this one. I have the Syrah skirt from Baste + Gather on my laptop.
This is absolutely the look I’m going for. And the waist construction on this is new to me so I’m looking forward to giving this a go.
And if I fancy something a little different, I quite like this one from Burda. It’s from the February 2016 issue of the magazine, which I actually bought. I don’t buy many Burda’s, but this one did catch my eye.
And finally… a chino/jeans style skirt. Shopping the pattern stash again.
So-Sew-Easy is a new to me pattern company, but I couldn’t resist this pattern. It’s just a classic chino skirt with some nice detailing. It’s got a reasonable size range (up to a 50 hip) but again I could see this in different fabrics with a simple tee and I’m good to go. Much as I’m loathe to get the legs out, I need to get as much skin in the sun as possible this summer, so expect to see this one come around as soon as the weather starts to warm!
So that’s bottoms done! It’s been a real eye opener. You really don’t need all the shiny new things to get your wardrobe organised. And frankly, once these are fitted, the sewing up for all bar the jeans is fairly fast and straightforward. Jeans are only time consuming because of the topstitching.
What do you think? Am I oversimplifying this, or could I be on to something?
*Oh Uggs! How can you be so bloody clumpy and yet simply the only boot to wear on the winter school run? How many years did I shiver through my socks until you I gave up the fight? Sigh…I long for loafer and sandal weather, but I did catch myself peeking at possibilities for next winter whilst at John Lewis yesterday.
My name is Evie. I’m an Uggaholic!
Sewing seems like such a distant dream at the moment. On top of the usual stuff, for the last 4 weeks at least one of us, and most often all of us, have been suffering from some sort of lurgy.
Flu, the proper, debilitating, put you on your back in bed for 3 days, sort.
Gastroenteritis. I’ll let you work that one out! Eugh!
And, drum roll, chest infections. That’ll be me. Of course. Because its a month with a date in it so therefore I’m due a chest infection. However we’ve got to what we hope might be the root of the problem, a massive deficiency in Vitamin D*, so I’m hoping as that is improved, my immunity will strengthen right alongside it.
I’ll be honest, I’m not even knitting that much because I’m so tired. I’ve been knitting the same sleeve on Lemongrass for what feels like forever, but is definitely weeks.
What I am doing is scheming as to what I’m going to sew with my new found guidelines. And I’m planning to get down with the TNT patterns. I’ve been sewing since Noah built the ark and still don’t have a TNT pattern.
Which is ludicrous. Because if I’m honest I could get through to Armageddon with probably 6 – 10 patterns and just keep sewing them in different fabrics.
So, I’m going to make a start on that and see where it takes me. I’m going to chose patterns that will be the bread and butter of my wardrobe. Which then will leave me time to be creative with the jam. Or brie. Or hot crispy bacon.
For the Husband
The Husband loves a good checked shirt. But even quite pricey ones don’t cut the yoke on the bias and it drives me nuts. And, because I couldn’t keep my mouth shut, it now drives him nuts.
Don’t get me started!
So, seeing as I’ve completely ruined shirt shopping for him, it’s time for me to put on my big girl pants and get him a TNT shirt pattern sorted.
The-rod-for-my-own-back shirt is on it’s very last legs. To be honest it should have been
shot turned into cleaning rags a while ago but he won’t let go until he has a handmade replacement. And as it’s 2 years since I made that shirt, (hangs head in shame) and I have a great length of fabric in the stash, I’m well overdue on this.
I have two options for this.** First up is to tweak the pattern I used last time, namely McCalls 6613.
I need to add a bit of length to the body and sleeves, draft a tower placket, and I think the cuffs look a tiny bit narrow, so would revisit them.
But I’m also intrigued to try a Bootstrap pattern and if I go down that route the pattern I’d chose is this Vado Modern Fit Shirt.
We’ll see which way he wants to go. But, this will be my first sewing project once I’m back on my feet. It’s his birthday in a month. A new shirt would be a fine thing, but I’m making no promises (you listening, Mr?! 😉 )
For the kids
I haven’t sewn for the kids in ages. To cut myself a bit of slack neither of them have complained. Which is possibly the only thing they’re not complaining about at the moment! That said, Button is keen to learn to sew so we have fabric for a project that we’ll probably work on over the Easter break. The fabric is awesome. It’s going to be fun!
I digress. The big issue I have with both of the munchkins is jeans. They aren’t particularly tall but they are mighty skinny and have both hit that “all legs” stage. It’s a RTW nightmare. Baggy waists end up so gathered to get them to stay up that they look bulky and are uncomfortable. Legs that are only just about long enough and so they grow out of them in no time.
Time for a good jeans pattern. The Titchy Threads Small Fry Skinny Jeans is the one I’m planning to try.
It looks like a really versatile pattern, with a proper zip rather than just a faux fly, instructions for reversing the fly for girls and a good range of sizes. It gets good reviews all over the interwebs, and it’s reasonably priced.
What’s not to like?
And the fun thing about making a TNT pattern for kids jeans is that they grow more up than out so for a while the only tweak I’ll need to do once the fit is sorted is to add some length.
Sweet! Or lazy? I’ll run with sweet, I think!
And whilst I on a shirt making tip, I’m going to crack the Ethan pattern by Sis Boom from my stash and fit this for my little man.
He has the same issue with shirts as jeans. Just soooooo skinny. Bless his heart. I swear you’d rather feed him for a week than a month, but he just doesn’t. stop. moving!
So it’s a start. Although with current productivity levels Armageddon or the Zombie Apocalypse will probably arrive before I fire up a sewing machine.
That said….if you have a great man’s shirt pattern or kids jeans pattern you can recommend, I’m all ears!
*Vitamin D levels in a healthy adult should stand at 80 nmol/litre. 50 is considered deficient. Mine are 12! It explains a lot.
**I do actually have more menswear patterns, but they are in storage at the moment. Under a pile of other stuff. I’m not even going there until we move house.
It’s a week in hospital and a plaster cast for sure if I try to liberate them!
I finally finished knitting the husband’s Longfellow cardigan and handed it over to my friend Liz today for seaming.
If you ever wonder if you love someone, knit them a cardigan in 4ply. If you finish it and can still look them in the eye, then they’re a keeper!
Knowing that I was on the home straight with that particular project I’ve recently spent some happy time online selecting my next projects and patterns. Whilst Liz and I chatted today I borrowed her swift and ball-winder (mine are in storage) and spent a happy hour converting skeins into jolly cakes of yarn ready and waiting to hit the needles.
Sadly it’s impossible to get a picture of them as it’s so heavily grey outside today. A typically northern day, but I’m just glad it’s not raining!
Now, back to the knitting. In no particular order of what will be cast on first we have:
This will be knitted in the leftovers Drops Alpaca from Hubby’s cardigan.
I do love my girl in a navy cardigan!
I’ve been looking for something cosy to pull on over a tee or shirt for school runs and park date and this really fits the bill. I love a good cable as you know and I’m enamoured with the unusual shaping of it.
I’ll admit it’s a bit of a risk shapewise…I’m not sure it will work for me. But, if it doesn’t, I’ll frog the yarn and reknit it into something more conventional.
Speaking of the yarn, I’ll be knitting Lemongrass in this gorgeous Malabrigo Merino Worsted Azul Bolita.
The colour has slightly more purple in it than I’d anticipated online, but the colour is so saturated and luscious that I can’t be disappointed with it. And the texture of the wool is sublime….slubby and soft and lofty.
It leaks colour like mad, so I’ll have blue hands whilst knitting it, but this is to be expected with kettle dyed yarn. It’s a price I’m very willing to pay!
And last but not least….
Winter is coming.
(GOTs pun entirely intended)
Recently over coffee Liz was knitting the most perfect pair of socks. I loved the colour. I loved the feel of yarn. Considering imitation to be the sincerest form of flattery, I quizzed her about the yarn and ordered a skein the same day.
It’s Manos del Uruguay Alegria in Tannat (A6729) and it is really quite lovely.
Hub’s is thrilled! He has quite bold taste in socks.
So…that should keep me in stitches for some time to come. And who are we kidding…you know those socks will be cast on tonight! 😉
When I bought the yarn for my Harbour Island cardigan, I chose the yarn before the pattern and so, as you do, purchased way too much. With small folk in the house this is never a burden, so I had a quick look through Ravelry and realised that the Langston pattern was perfect.
I have knitted this little cardi before and was thrilled with both the knitting of it and the end result, so it was a no brainer to cast on it again.
This time I decided to knit it in plain stocking stitch without the cables. I wanted a quick and easy knit that I could work on whilst watching a movie.
The cardi had it’s debut outing on a girls night out to our new fave Italian restaurant, La Corte in Leyland. Leyland isn’t renowned for much other than it’s automotive history, and certainly not for it’s nightlife, but La Corte is a welcome addition to the town. And a great use of the long defunct old police station/court house. If you’re in the area I highly recommend a visit!
Button was given the choice of where she’d like to go and this was it. Although the cardi was still missing it’s buttons at this point, it was the perfect topper for a cool but sunny summer’s evening.
This is super little pattern and I highly recommend it.
….and the living is busy!
So much going on here. The kids are on holiday from school now for 7 weeks. Already we have a playdate with friends and sleepovers at grandparents planned. A week at playscheme will be a good break for all of us, as will spending the last week with friends in Bedford. It’s hard to believe but when they go back in September Button will be in juniors.
Needless to say everyone is tired. Boy threw the mother of all tantrums this morning and after 3 hours (I kid ye not) of yelling and stamping and tears and throwing toys around the place he’s finally asleep. Button is enjoying the respite as much as I. Things will settle soon after a few days of chillin’.
Husband and I are shattered as, despite not completing the reno on this house, we’re thinking the best option might actually be to move!
I know….it was totally outta the blue for us too. But our current home is teeny tiny with a garden the size of a postage stamp. After a recent visit to our friends in Bedford and their half acre garden, Button would stand at our bedroom window wistfully wishing that we could knock the fence down between us and our neighbours. Add in that we have need of a home office and a dedicated sewing room and only one small room that could eventually be argued over and we decided it’s time. Trying to sew, eat and run a business from the kitchen table is getting old! We’ve spent the last few weeks looking at everything on the market that remotely fitted the bill. We think we may have found the ideal candidate. There’s another interested buyer so we may lose out…time will tell. I’ll let you know as things develop.
So, as you’d expect, there’s not much creativity happening here.
A little knitting…..
This is Brooklyn Tweed’s Longfellow by Michele Wang which I’m knitting in Drops Alpaca in Navy (colour 5575) for Hubby.
There’s also a quilt to be layered ready for hand quilting:
And a new bag kit that I received as a birthday gift from my in-laws:
Mine will be red leather.
That should keep me occupied over the holidays. I’m hoping to get a little time at the machine too. I’ve two lots of fabric for shirts for Boy and the yellow blouse is going to be remade for Button.
I’m planning a version of her Liberty blouse, this time with a pleated front as per her request.
I think it will suit her more than me!
I also have a couple of makes that need photographing. Perhaps we’ll have a day of nice weather soon and we can get out and about with the camera.
Priority for the next 7 weeks, though, is picnics and playing in the park. Reading and drawing. Visits to the zoo and museums. Playdates and pyjama days. Pretty much taking the days as they come. Hopefully without too many meltdowns! Either theirs or mine!
So posting will sporadic…I’m sure you’ll understand. In the meantime I’m off to do some colouring with a small girl. I’ll see you soon.
POSTED IN: craft projects, dressmaking, fabric, knitting, life in a Northern town, my family and other animals, patterns, yarn
Despite the unusual 30+ degree heat here last week I managed to get the silk prom dress sewn in plenty of time and delivered on Saturday morning to a very happy neighbour. She popped round last night on the way to her prom to let me snap a couple of quick photos.
As I mentioned in my last post the pattern is BurdaStyle 12/2011 #130 and I made it in silk crepe backed satin in Royal Blue from Beckford Silk. I sewed the dress with the matte crepe side of the silk as the right side of the fabric. We both agreed it gave the dress a more elegant look.
As usual the instructions from the Burda pattern were ‘interesting’ and so I made some of the construction up as I went along!
As the silk is very lightweight I wanted to put as little weight as possible in the seams so I finished them with a ‘stitch and pink’ edging. French seams would have been beautiful but ran the risk of being simply too bulky and heavy. As this is an occasion dress that won’t get a great deal of wear, I’m not concerned about the seam finish not holding up to wear and tear.
The above photo shows the inside of the armhole which is gently held in place with herringbone stitch which catches just a couple of threads of the main fabric to hold it in place and is virtually invisible when you look at the finished dress.
The neckline facing and hem were hand-stitched in place, this time with teeny tiny slip stitches. I wanted them to look almost invisible from the outside…I think I succeeded.
When Katie collected the dress on Saturday morning it looked less than stellar on the hanger.
But…we’d had three fittings and I was confident that all would be well once the dress had been to the dry cleaners for a professional press.
I was right!
Being ultra critical there’s still a little wrinkling on the seams, but only us in the know will notice that and, let’s be honest, all eyes were on Katie, not the seams!
And, of course, the demure front of the dress hides a daring secret at the back…
I lengthened the neck tie, which threads through a casing at the neckline of the front bodice, to nearly 3 metres long to get this dramatic effect.