Vintage Style Pattern 3247: DIY Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress

Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress
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Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress

Hello There Friends,

This is the last of my unblogged projects from last year, and, I think, my first ever project sewn using a vintage pattern. The pattern used was Style 3247; you can see the (obviously aged!) pattern envelope below. (I wonder who Mrs. Clark was and which part of the world she lived in?)

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Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Pattern Envelope

The pattern actually has rather cleverly designed facings which mean the front buttons are fully functioning, and how the pattern intends you to get in and out of the dress. I decided that a double breasted look was not going to be the most flattering for me, and so I decided to omit the front opening and instead install an invisible zip in the centre back seam. I also ended  up adding some fish eye darts in the back to provide more shaping.

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Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress

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Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress

Here are some inside shots. The pattern included facing pieces but as the outer fashion fabric is a wool/ cashmere blend that I purchased locally to me and is dry clean only, I opted to also add a full lining. The pattern made no mention of interfacing but I did add interfacing to all the facing pieces, as well as to the centre back seam where the zipper was being inserted. I also chose to draft hem facing pieces to finish the hems.

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Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress – front facings and lining

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Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress – hem facing

Pattern Alteration/ Sewing Notes:

  • Omitted front opening and inserted centre back invisible zip
  • Removed 2.25 inches from length and ended up taking 1 inch seam allowance when attaching hem facings
  • Drafted hem facings
  • Added full lining in addition to facings
  • 1 inch sway back adjustment with removed length being added back to lower back hem
  • Added interfacing to all facing pieces and to centre back seam
  • Added fish eye darts to back
  • Narrowed shoulder straps (removing approx. 5/8ths inch from outer edge of each strap)
  • If making again consider narrowing width at front neckline

So, anyway, after I saw the pictures….I don’t know…I just wasn’t sold on this whole look for me. I can’t put my finger on exactly why. I feel like it makes me look broader somehow through the front? Is it the square neckline? Is it the lack of waist seaming? Maybe it’s one of those garments I just need time to play around with and style a few different ways? It is lovely and warm and I like the colour. But hmmm….at present it’s not a wadder, but just a bit meh.

That’s the last of my 2016 makes! Already sewn up a tunic style top and most of an Archer shirt in 2017…but this week I am doing a spot of pattern testing.

Until soon!

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Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress

 

 

 

 

Simplicity 8213: DIY Floral Scuba Sheath Dress

Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay
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Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay

Happy New Year Readers!

I am still trying to get caught up blogging the last of my 2016 projects: here is one of them. This is my version of Simplicity 8213, view B, made in a floral scuba fabric.

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Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay

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Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay

So, I have slightly mixed feelings about this dress. I think it is a great, flattering shape for me. I like the fact it has the waist seam and the A-line shaped skirt. I also like the fun front overlay. But the fit is not perfect. I cannot decide if I need to do a FBA or if I need to add length all around the bodice (including at the back). It just seems to be riding a little high to me? I would have liked to have made the flouncy sleeves (from view A) but as this scuba fabric has a white backside I didn’t want that showing on the flounces.

The instructions have you doing a fair amount of hand sewing. I just machined everything, including the lining around the sleeve flanges – don’t know if that has thrown the neckline off a little because it is not sitting perfectly flat. I did interface the hems and back zipper area and I did handstitch the hems. Only the upper bodice part is lined. I used a stretch lining from my stash.

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Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay – inside lining detail

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Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay – inside lining detail

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Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay – inside lining detail

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
These Inspired by Project Runway dresses are designed to work with fashion’s hottest fabric–scuba knit. Dress can be made with or without a collar. Neckline on collarless version is boat neck. Sleeve options are sleeveless with optional cap and tabs or half sleeves with optional ruffle. Optional asymmetric skirt front featured on view B. Simplicity sewing pattern.

I made view B.
Pattern Sizing:
4 – 20
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I think this is a really flattering shape for me. I like the fact it has a waist seam and the A-line shape skirt with the overlay. There is nothing to dislike as such, but I need to make some alterations to the fit if I make this again: the bodice feels too short. I need to decide if I need a FBA or if I need to add length all around.
Fabric Used:
A floral printed scuba knit.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • Shortened bust dart by 1.5 inches. Note that I did not do a sway back adjustment.
  • Interfaced hems and back zipper area.
  • Ended up only taking 3/8ths inch at the back seams.
  • Machined lining at the arm holes and at the back zipper area. I don’t know if the machining has thrown the neckline out slightly because it is not sitting perfectly flat.
  • Handstitched the hems.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would like to tackle this one again after thinking about alterations. Yes, I would recommend. I think it has potential.
Conclusion:

Despite me not being 100% in love with this dress I still wore it quite comfortably on New Years Eve. I was cooking a big meal at home and eating lots, and it coped admirably. I think it’s a great shape: it just needs some tweaking for me.

Here is a family snap taken on NYE – whatever you did I hope you had a wonderful time spent with those you care about.

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My family – new years eve 2016

Until soon…

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Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay

My Sewing in 2016: a look back and some things you might have missed

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Hi Friends,

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year.

I actually still have 2 unblogged items that I completed this year but I am not going to rush into blogging those before the year end. Instead, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on the items I have made this year and also share some items that those of you who are not on Instagram might have missed (because I felt they were not worthy of a blog post of their own).

It’s been another great year of sewing for me. I feel like my skills are improving and I am getting more practised at refining the fit of garments – that’s not to say I always get it right – because I don’t! I think I am also more confident in my own sense of style and picking patterns that I think might work on my body shape etc. So all in all, 2016 was a successful year for me.

Here is the complete breakdown (not including the two unblogged items) with some pictures of things that have appeared on the blog before, as well as some pictures of items I shared on my Instagram account.

  • 4 coats – including one for Kezia. These are probably my most favourite items of all the things I have sewn. I have to wear a coat of some kind most days for at least 9 – 10 months of the year and reaching for these items makes me happy. I really enjoy coat making.

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  • 2 blazers – both huge learning curves for me. One was a hand tailored wool blazer and one was a wool ponte blazer constructed using fusible interfacings.
  • 2 jackets – one made from Linton tweed and fully lined (that was worn lots when travelling on planes in America) and one unlined kimono style.
  • 3 pairs of pull on jeans made using the Jalie Elenore pattern (my red pair got worn loads – see below for picture. My black pair are in the donate pile – fabric didn’t have enough stretch to make them comfortable).
  • 3 pairs of pants made using Simplicity 1167 – this pattern has become my go to pants pattern – for now. So proud of myself for making pants that fit ME!
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Simplicity 1167 pants

  • 2 pairs of culotte style trousers.
  • 2 skirts, both made using Simplicity 8019. I made a version in suede leather and then this (unblogged) denim version, which has gotten a fair amount of wear.
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Simplicity 8019 denim button front skirt worn with plaid Grainline Archer shirt

  • 1 pair of workout leggings
  • 5 shirts – including one made for Philip’s big birthday and a floral Grainline Archer made for myself from some soft cotton voile type fabric I purchased a few years ago in Paris that I LOVE wearing.
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McCalls 6613 striped shirt

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McCalls 6613 striped shirt

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Grainline Archer floral shirt worn with Jalie Eleonore pull on jeans

  • 11 further tops/ blouses/ workout top, including this modified McCalls 6886 breton style top. Sadly this has also just gone into the donate pile on account of the fabric not washing very well. It’s a shame as I LOVE the first breton top I made using this pattern and it still gets regularly worn (in a black and white stripe). Need to find the perfect fabric to make more!
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McCalls 6886 modified into colour block yoke breton style top

  • 2 cardigans
  • 4 shirt dresses

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  • 6 further dresses – one of which was a wadder. The wadder was  my attempt at turning the True Bias Sutton blouse into a dress with an elasticated waist. I made the top part way too blousey and I ended  up chopping the dress apart before giving up on it completely.

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True Bias Sutton Dress – wadder!

  • A gymnastics outfit for Kezia
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Erbsenprinzessin leotard – fabric purchased from Spandex house, NYC

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Erbsenprinzessin leotard (modified) and e+m leggings (modified to shorts)

  • 2 pairs of cotton pyjamas – made using Simplicity 2317. These have been washed and worn and washed and worn. I hope to make more (and more luxurious) versions next year.
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Two versions of OOP Simplicity 2317

  • 2 refashions: a blouse of mine which I no longer wanted refashioned into a top for Kezia and a denim peplum jacket made from 2 pairs of old jeans.
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Refashioned top into a top for kezia

  • 1 baby dress and pantaloons

Phew! Quite the list. I am proud and happy of all I have achieved this year 🙂

What does 2017 hold? I am not one to tie myself down with challenges/ resolutions or even firm plans. I like to run wild and free, haha. But….

  • More coats: a waterproof Kelly anorak, a trench coat of some kind and another blazer (still need to find my perfect one in terms of fit and style!)
  • Workout tops in the supplex I purchased in America this year
  • More pants! Maybe another pattern?
  • Feel like I need some new tops to freshen my wardrobe up.

Not going to think beyond that. I like to draw up a more specific list up about 3 or 4 times a year and edit as I go along.

So all that remains is for me to say a huge THANK YOU to all of my followers and to all of you who read my blog and comment. It’s great to be part of this community and also it was great to meet some of you in real life and make new friends. Actually, that’s something I hope I get more chance to do next year. I wish all of you health, happiness, peace and prosperity for the new year. Happy and fruitful sewing!

 

 

 

Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat: DIY Plaid Checked Wool Duffle Toggle Coat

Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat
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Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat

Hi Friends,

Today I am sharing my most recent make – hot off the sewing machine just yesterday in fact – the Cascade Duffle Coat by Grainline Patterns. I also like to think of it as “The Coat that Almost Broke my Machine.” More on that in a moment.

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Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat

I did not plan on making another winter coat this year, having made one back in February this year. Whilst I love that coat (the fit, the warmth, the colour) I am finding it is not too practical to wear. The basket weave is actually quite prone to getting snagged on handbags and doors and I decided I wanted a more practical, every day kind of a coat. What I really wanted was a red coat and I was so close to ordering some red wool coating, but in the end I decided I should try and sew from stash. Making this coat from my stash means I have used three pieces of wool coating up this year and am now happy to purchase some new wool coating for next time 🙂

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Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat

The outer fabric I used is this one. It is a lambswool/ cashmere/ tencel blend. It behaved well during sewing and pressing. I cut interlining from a heavy brushed cotton and treated it as underlining, maching the interlining to the front and back yokes, the main front and back body pieces and the lower front and back bands (see details on my purple wool coat for more information on how I did it last time). This coat is heavy and warm. The hood of the coat is lined using a sherpa style (?) fabric and the body of the coat is lined with a viscose lining. I hand made the toggles using scraps of leather and leather cord. The heavy metal zipper is a YKK one.

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Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat

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Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat – Back lining and sherpa style hood lining

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Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat

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Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat – zipper detail and self made leather toggles

As ever, my full review for this pattern can be found below. I just wanted to say that this is a wonderfully drafted and devised pattern. The pattern includes separate back and front lining pieces, facing pieces for the hood, sleeves and hem of the coat and the instructions talk you through bagging the lining out – which personally speaking I love. There is a comprehensive sew along and instructions for making your own toggles if you wish. I also used Jen’s tutorial on how to match plaids when you sew. Plaid matching on a coat like this was not too pleasant! I ended up having to order another metre of fabric and recut one entire front side because I was not happy with how the checks had fallen. After consultation on instagram I decided to go with a bias cut front centre band but re-cut my pockets to be on the straight of grain. Oye! The headache that caused. In the end I am pretty happy with how things worked out, although hindsight is, of course, a wonderful thing.

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Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat

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Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat

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Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat

As I mentioned above, this coat is heavy and warm. During the final stages of maching the lining in, my machine decided it didn’t like sewing through 7 layers (!) of wool, cotton and interfacing, and blew a fuse. You can get the full story on instagram. Fortunately I have a wonderful sewing repair man who did a speedy and relatively inexpensive repair for me and the second time around I lengthened my stitch length and things worked out ok. I am so proud of the finish on this coat – and that’s largely thanks to the brilliant drafting and instructions of this pattern.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
The Cascade Duffle Coat is a fresh take on a classic shape featuring a slight A-line cut, toggle front closure, and a hidden zipper band to keep the coat shut tight against cold weather. The hem of View A hits at the hip while View B’s falls to mid-thigh. Although View A is shown with a collar and View B with a hood, both are interchangeable allowing you to create your own perfect coat.

I made view B.
Pattern Sizing:
0 – 18.

I cut a straight size 18 with a few tweaks.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions (at least the sew along which is largely what I followed) are amazing. Nothing else to say about them!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the finished coat. Such a professional finish. I love that separate lining pieces are included and also facings for the hood, sleeves and hem. I also love the hidden zipper band and the toggle front closure. The only thing I perhaps don’t love is the sleeves seem to have some drag lines at the top of the sleeve. I added a thin custom made shoulder pad and sleeve heads which did seem to help.
Fabric Used:
Outer: lambswool/ cashmere/ tencel blend.

Hood lining: sherpa style fleecy lining.

Body of coat: viscose lining.

Hand made leather toggles.

Interlined with brushed cotton.

Heavy metal YKK zipper.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • Removed 3 inches in length from lower lengthen/ shorten lines.
  • Shortened sleeves by 2 inches.
  • Used smallest size pocket positon for pocket placement (there is a 1 inch difference in pocket placement position between size 0 and size 18).
  • Graded out below waist by 0.5 inch at side front and side back seams.
  • 0.5 inch small shoulder adjustment.
  • 0.5 inch full arm adjustment.
  • Cut centre panel of hood, front and back yokes and centre front bands on the bias.
  • Added very thin custom made shoulder pads and self fabric bias strip sleeve heads to support sleeve shape.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
This was a time consuming and involved project but I enjoyed it and am pleased with the outcome. I would actually consider making this again in a solid fabric – but not any time soon 🙂 Yes, I highly recommend.
Conclusion:

Super professional finish and brilliant instructions. This is a cosy, fun coat with classic features.

We are off for a few days to the Georgian city of Bath tomorrow and I might just take my new coat with me. Enjoy the festive season!

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Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat

 

Muse Patterns Jenna Cardigans and Jalie 3461 Eleonore Jeans: DIY Cardigans and Pull On Corduroy Jeans

Long line Muse Patterns Jenna Cardigan
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Long line Muse Patterns Jenna Cardigan

Hi Friends,

Sharing some cold weather sewing today. Not fancy. Not complicated. Just practical.

First up, two versions of the Muse Patterns Jenna Cardigan. You can read about my first (very successful) one here. I love that version and it has been worn lots.

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Long line Muse Patterns Jenna Cardigan

Version one is made using an acrylic knit that I purchased from Fabworks (no longer available in this colourway) during the Yorkshire Spoolette’s meet up earlier this year. The only modification made was to lengthen the cardigan by 5 inches and omit the buttons (I have added a hook and eye at the neck). TBH I am not sure about this version, although I did wear it over a dress for the first time the other day (see how I wore it here on IG). It is a great layering piece but I am not sure about the length and the overall slouchiness. I think the neckline and the sleeve cuffs have generally stretched out and perhaps that is what is further putting me off. Time will tell whether this gets worn or not.

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Long line Muse Patterns Jenna Cardigan

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Muse Patterns Jenna Cardigan worn with Jalie 3461 Eleonore Pull on Corduroy Jeans and Grainline Archer Shirt

The second version was made using some Isabella Wool Mix Jersey that I purchased from Sewessential. This colourway (which I think was called claret) appears to have sold out, but there are several other colour options available. When I first received the fabric I was a little concerned how it would work with this pattern because it does have some amount of two way stretch and I wasn’t sure how that would work with the interfaced button band. But I found some suitable knit interfacing in my stash and everything worked out well (except I inadvertently took 5/8ths inch seam allowance at the shoulders when the seam allowance on this pattern is 3/8ths inch). I do think if I make this pattern again maybe I should consider a small shoulder adjustment.

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Muse Patterns Jenna Cardigan worn with Jalie 3461 Eleonore Pull on Corduroy Jeans and Grainline Archer Shirt

Anyway, I like this version a lot and it has been worn a fair amount already. And to finish just wanted to say I made the black stretch corduroy jeans I am wearing in these latter two pictures (sorry, I know you can’t see them very well). They were made using Jalie 3461 which I have written about here, and the only change I made was to add 0.25 inches to the inner and outer lower legs on the front and back pieces. Again, these have already been worn lots. The only thing is that, as corduroy tends too, these do stretch out a little with wear, but they are just so nice and warm on a frosty day that I know they will get worn lots over the winter.

Boring basics? Perhaps. But probably the ones that, realistically, get worn the most.

See you soon!

 

 

 

 

Butterick 6157 and Simplicity 1167: DIY Silk Velvet Tee and Jacquard Pants Trousers

Butterick 6157 and Simplicity 1167 Silk Velvet Tee and Jacquard Lurex Pants
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Butterick 6157 and Simplicity 1167 Silk Velvet Tee and Jacquard Lurex Pants

Hi Friends,

Christmas is fast approaching and it was my birthday a week or so ago, so with those two occassions in mind this outfit was created. Velvet and Jacquard are both totally on trend for the forthcoming festive season, and this outfit is just so easy to wear.

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Butterick 6157 and Simplicity 1167 Silk Velvet Tee and Jacquard Lurex Pants

I know lots of people are going to ask, so let me tell you both of these fabrics were purchased from eBay sellers. The silk/ viscose velvet came from this seller who I have never used before, but the fabric is a beautiful quality (20% silk, 80% viscose) and the seller was prompt in all their communications and delivery was fast (a couple of days). Also, I prewashed  my fabric before cutting and whilst there was some amount of shrinkage I am happy I won’t have to pay any further drycleaning costs. The lurex/ jacquard fabric (which has a little bit of stretch) was purchased from this seller who I have used many times before and I do like. Not being paid anything to advertise on behalf of these sellers btw!

I am not going to write much about the trousers (made using Simplicity 1167) because this is the third (!) time I have sewn them up (you can see the first time here and the second time here). The only changes made this time round was to shave 0.25 inches off the inner legs at the back and shorten the length by 6 inches. I love them! I have said it before but, wow, having trousers that fit me! Mind blowing!

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Butterick 6157 and Simplicity 1167 Silk Velvet Tee and Jacquard Lurex Pants

So, next the top. This was made using Butterick 6157, which is a see&sew pattern. I know the pattern envelope is not all that inspiring, but this pattern is a great basic pattern and great value for money in that it also comes with different cup sizes included. I selected this pattern in particular with the velvet in mind because the pattern includes back/ neck facings which I think are a better option than topstitching on the velvet. I ended up having to piece my front facing and I chose to overlock all my seam allowances to finish. Full review below.

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Butterick 6157 and Simplicity 1167 Silk Velvet Tee and Jacquard Lurex Pants

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Butterick 6157 Silk Velvet Tee front facing

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Butterick 6157 Silk Velvet Tee back facing

Some notes on how I treated/ sewed my velvet:

  • I chose to cut my velvet with the pile going up i.e. it feels rough when stroked downwards because I felt the colour was richer in this orientation.
  • I used silk pins to pin my fabric together.
  • I used a walking foot throughout construction. This fabric is quite shifty and if sewing again I would probably use basting in addition to the above.
  • I DID NOT iron this fabric directly, but rather hovered my iron above the fabric and used lots of steam and my hands to press seams/ darts etc.
  • Following on from above, in lieu of fusible interfacing on the facings I used silk organza.
  • I chose to understitch the facings rather than topstitch as recommened in the pattern.

This was a more tricky fabric to work with but if you take your time and select a simple pattern you can do it.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Semi-fitted pullover top has French darts, back keyhole closure, narrow hem and button and thread loop closing. A, B: Short sleeves. A: Contrast sleeves. B: Double-edged scalloped lace overlay.

Includes separate pattern pieces for A/B, C and D cup sizes.

Pattern Sizing:
8 – 24 (all sizes included in pattern).
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yep.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yep.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the fact it is  a simple pattern that you can do a lot with. I chose this particular pattern because it includes back/ neck facings and therefore I felt it would be a good choice for my silk velvet. I like the fact different cup sizes are included in the pattern. Nothing to dislike although distinguishing between sizes on the pattern sheet needs some concentration.
Fabric Used:
Silk/ viscose velvet (20% silk, 80% viscose).
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • 1 inch full arm adjustment
  • 1 inch sway back adjustment with removed length added back to lower hem
  • 1 inch added to length at hem and 0.5 inch to sleeve hems
  • Substituted silk organza for fusible interfacing at the facings
  • Moved bust dart down by 0.75 inches
  • Understitched facings rather than topstitching.
  • Handstitched all hems.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I might use this pattern again. Yes, I recommend.
Conclusion:

I love this whole outfit: on trend, comfortable but stylish.

Are you making anything especially for the festive season?

Until soon.

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Butterick 6157 and Simplicity 1167 Silk Velvet Tee and Jacquard Lurex Pants

 

 

The Fox, the Bear and the Bunny: Giveaway Winner

The Fox, the Bear and the Bunny

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The Fox, the Bear and the Bunny – mouse capelet. Image taken from book.

Hi,

Thanks to all who entered this giveaway. The lucky winner (as picked by random number generator) is: Angela.

Angela, please get in touch via my email address (found under the About section at the top of this blog), with your full name and postal address. You may even be able to whiz something up in time for christmas 🙂

Back soon!

Edit: Angela you have until the end of Friday 26th November to get in touch otherwise I am afraid I will have to draw another name. 

The Fox, the Bear and the Bunny:a Kids Clothing Sewing Book Giveaway

The Fox, the Bear and the Bunny
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The Fox, the Bear and the Bunny

Hi Friends,

I was contacted a little while ago by Natalie Martin, who is one of the authors of a new sewing book, The Fox, the Bear and the Bunny, and also (together with co-author Naomi Regan), one of the owners of British indepent children’s clothing brand, Olive and Vince.(Check out their etsy store for lots of cute, colourful children’s clothing with personality).

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The Fox, the Bear and the Bunny (image from book)

 

Natalie and Naomi have just had this beautiful book published which contains a range of sewing patterns for boys and girls aged 1 – 5 years with a playful animal theme throughout, and asked me if I would be interested in reviewing the book. Full disclosure: I was given a copy of this book to review and invited to blog about it if I wanted too. I decided that as my daughter no longer fits in to the size range presented (such a shame!), that I would introduce the book to you guys and give you my overall impression, and offer the copy sent to me, as a giveaway. It really is a beautifully presented and fun book, and it would be such a shame for it to just sit on my shelf gathering dust instead of being put to good practical use. All the opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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The Fox, the Bear and the Bunny – bunny duffle coat. Image taken from book.

 

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The Fox, the Bear and the Bunny – bunny duffle coat. Image taken from book.

The Fox, the Bear and the Bunny is, in lieu of chapters, split into 6 animals: the bunny, the cat, the fox, the mouse, the owl and the bear. There are different projects within each “animal” – all kids clothing. For example, within the bunny there are two projects: some puffball shorts and a bunny duffle coat. There are 17 projects in total, ranging from paw print mittens to a bear duffle coat. Projects are rated by difficulty so you can have some confidence in finding  a project that matches your experience.

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The Fox, the Bear and the Bunny – the owl cape worn over the party dress – image taken from book.

The book contains full size, pull-out patterns that require tracing. Seam allowances are included, as are cutting layouts and applique templates.

The book contains step by step instructions for each project and they are very well illustrated and seem very clear. There are plenty of projects appropriate for both boys and girls and there are also some great basic, practical patterns like the long sleeved T shirt, and the slim leg trousers which could easily become wardrobe staples to be made multiple times over.

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The Fox, the Bear and the Bunny. Image taken from book.

I think  my favourite projects would probably be the fox duffle coat (seen on the front cover of the book and below) and the mouse capelet: cute beyond cute and so many ways you could personalise these to suit your own child/ grandchild/ niece/ nephew/ godchild etc! My only regret is I don’t have anyone to make anything for right now 😦

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The Fox, the Bear and the Bunny – fox duffle coat. Image taken from book.

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The Fox, the Bear and the Bunny – mouse capelet. Image taken from book.

A really lovely and different book with some magical illustrations. If you would like to be in with a chance of winning a copy of this book please leave a comment below before midnight GMT on Sunday 20th November. Sorry, but this giveaway is only open to UK residents.

Thanks for reading and entering.

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED*

 

Butterick 5526 and Simplicity 1167:DIY Princess Seamed Fitted Button Down Shirt and Chino Style Trousers

Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt worn with Simplicity 1167 chino style trousers
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Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt worn with Simplicity 1167 chino style trousers

Hi There,

It’s no secret I love my Grainline Archer Shirts (I think I am upto 6 so far….you can search for them using the search facility on the right hand side of my blog), but I fancied trying a new, more fitted shape, and bought Butterick 5526 in the recent 50% off sale. Before I talk about the shirt, let me mention the trousers. These are my second pair of Simplicity 1167 (first pair can be seen here). I really like the first pair I made, and having spent some amount of time fitting them I decided I wanted to make a second pair from some olive stretch cotton sateen but in a longer length.

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Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt worn with Simplicity 1167 chino style trousers

Verdict: love them. On Instagram I mentioned I had a bit of a nightmare making these trousers (you can also see a shot of the guts inside the trousers from the Instagram link – I bound the waistband seam on these). They were, after all, supposed to be a simple sew with no modifications from the first pair. But I messed  up my zipper shield and my welt pockets are not perfect (again), although I have now figured out what I am doing wrong. Nonetheless, I do really, really like these trousers. Or maybe it’s just the novelty of wearing trousers that fit me after a very long time? I think you might see another pair of these trousers at some point.

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Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt worn with Simplicity 1167 chino style trousers

On to the shirt. BTW, in case you weren’t aware, this month is shirt making month over on the Curvy Sewing Collective blog. I didn’t plan for my shirt to coincide with their shirt making series, but it is full of useful resources on shirt making techniques, as well as lots of shirt patterns to consider.

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Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt

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Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt

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Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt

Check out my full review below but there are a couple of things I wanted to mention. First of all, the sleeves. I found there was a lot of ease in the sleeve caps. Which has resulted in a puffy effect and I think is causing the vertical drag lines that you can see in the middle picture above (sleeve fitting experts please chime in). I measured the armhole on this pattern (for reference my shirt is a straight size 18), and it measured as 19.25 inches. I then measured the sleeve cap and it measured as 23.25 inches: that’s 4 inches – 4 inches! of ease. In this tutorial, Sallie says that the sleeve cap should be 1.25 – 1.75 inches larger than the bodice armhole. So I have gone ahead and removed 2 inches from the sleeve cap on my pattern ready for next time.

Secondly, I think I messed up on my button placement. It doesn’t look that apparent from these photographs, but the button at the bust point and the one below kept popping open. So I have gone back and added in two press studs. I don’t think it is a size issue. For my next version I will alter the button hole placement (on this version I went with the pattern placement).

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Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt

Some inside shots. I went ahead and added a yoke to the back piece because it makes finishing the shoulder seams much easier and neater IMO (I like to use the burrito method to finish). I also flat fell seamed all the other seams, including the princess seams and the sleeve shoulder seams. With the afore mentioned amount of ease in the sleeves this wasn’t easy but hopefully on the next version it will be smoother.

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Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt – inside front of shirt. All flat felled seamed throughout.

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Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt – inside side front of shirt showing flat felled princess and sleeve shoulder seams

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Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt – inside back of shirt showing modified yoke

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Fitted shirts A, B, C, D, E have collar band, shaped hemline, three-quarter or long sleeves with pleats, button-down placket, button cuffs, front-button closing, topstitch trim and narrow hem. A: Button trim on pleated pockets, long, rolled sleeves (wrong side shows) and button tabs. C: Tunic-length. A, B, C: Mock-front bands. A, B, C, D: Collar. D, E: Front bands and princess seams. E: Ruffles and stand-up collar

I made view D with full length sleeeves.
Pattern Sizing:
6 – 22

I cut a straight size 18.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn’t really use them, prefering to rely on my own shirt making methods.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the princess seams for a more fitted look. I am happy with the fit through the back of the shirt. I dislike the amount of ease in the sleeves.  I measured the armhole on this pattern (for reference my shirt is a straight size 18), and it measured as 19.25 inches. I then measured the sleeve cap and it measured as 23.25 inches: that’s 4 inches of ease. I read that a sleeve cap should be 1.25 – 1.75 inches larger than the bodice armhole so I have removed 2 inches of ease from the pattern for next time.
Fabric Used:
Cotton.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • Lowered bust point by 0.5 inches.
  • 1 inch full bust adjustment.
  • 1 inch sway back adjustment with removed length added back to hems.
  • Added 0.5  inch to side back seams at high hip.
  • Added 5/8ths inch to length at hem.
  • Modified back piece to include yoke. I cut two yokes and attached them using the burrito method to conceal the shoulder seams.
  • Removed 3.5 inches from length of sleeves.
  • I found the sleeve measurements to be quite generous and there was no need to do a full arm adjustment, although this could also be because I have lost some  width from my arms.
  • Only interfaced half of the cuff and button band.
  • Flat felled all seams.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
It’s nice to have an alternative shirt pattern with a more fitted look. If I can sort the sleeve issue (and I also want to adjust the button placement for next time), I could see this becoming a TNT shirt pattern. I do recommend, but with the warning that to make any garment which is close fitting to the body expect to do some fitting alterations.
Conclusion:

I really want one in a check plaid. How would you tackle checks and those princess seams?

Have a great week ahead. Back soon!

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Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt

Vogue 9043: DIY Linton Tweed Girls Flared Coat

Vogue 9043 DIY Linton Tweed Girls Flared Coat
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Vogue 9043 DIY Linton Tweed Girls Flared Coat

Hello Readers,

Today I am sharing a coat that I made for my daughter, Kezia, who will be 8 in January, using Vogue 9043.The fabric for the coat was purchased from (local to me) Linton Tweeds. I have mentioned this before, in the Linton Tweed show room they have pre-cut 1 metre skirt lengths that they sell off at considerably less than the price from the roll. So this coat cost £20 for the Linton Tweed (2 skirt lengths), as opposed to the £52 – £60 it would have cost if I had bought two metres in a continuous length off the roll.

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Vogue 9043 DIY Linton Tweed Girls Flared Coat

I don’t know what the composition of the fabric is (they don’t seem to label the composition of the fabrics in the show room), and is definitely a mix of fibres, including something very…sparkly, which is hard to capture in the photographs. For a Linton Tweed this fabric seemed fairly densely woven so I decided not to block fuse or underline the fabric, but chose just to interface the upper back (in lieu of a back stay) and all the hems. I also knew there was a fair chance that Kezia would complain about the scratchiness of the fabric next to her skin, so I chose to cut the upper collar and inner collar band from a cotton velvet.

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Vogue 9043 DIY Linton Tweed Girls Flared Coat – internal fusible interfacing at upper back and along all hems

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Vogue 9043 DIY Linton Tweed Girls Flared Coat

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Vogue 9043 DIY Linton Tweed Girls Flared Coat – buttons/ velvet collar detail

Let’s talk about the pattern. This is a wonderful pattern with some fantastic details. It was a pleasure to sew. As ever, there is a full review below, but I wanted to point out the beautiful flared shape at the back of the coat, the two piece sleeves, the two piece, bias cut undercollar and the pockets which are incorporated into the front curved seams. Also – and this is something new to me – the pattern instructions have you make sleeve heads from gathered net to support the shape at the top of the sleeves. A brilliant little detail to use somewhere else when the need arises.

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Vogue 9043 DIY Linton Tweed Girls Flared Coat – back view

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Vogue 9043 DIY Linton Tweed Girls Flared Coat

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Vogue 9043 DIY Linton Tweed Girls Flared Coat – pocket detail

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Vogue 9043 DIY Linton Tweed Girls Flared Coat – coat lining

I have decided to enter this coat into the Sewing Pattern Review Outer Wear Contest, so head over to look at the other entries and cast your vote.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Lined, fitted jacket or peacoat (slightly flared) has collar variations, princess seams, side-front pockets and long sleeves with gathered sleeve head. A, C: Peter pan collar and single-breasted. B: Contrast pointed collar and double-breasted. C: Purchased trim.

I made view B
Pattern Sizing:
Size 2 – 8.

I cut a straight size 8.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, I think so….except my sleeves don’t seem to have any gathers. Don’t know why this is: perhaps due to my fabric?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Likes:

  • LOVE the flared shape at the back of the coat.
  • Love the two piece sleeves
  • Love the way the pockets are incorporated into the curved front seams.
  • Love the two piece, bias cut under collar

Dislikes:

  • Some of the notches (particularly on the sleeves) don’t seem to match, although it didn’t make any difference to the finished coat.
  • Whilst the under collar does seem to take in to account the turn of cloth, the collar band doesn’t: I removed 0.25 inch from the collar band.

Fabric Used:
The fabric for the coat was purchased from (local to me) Linton Tweeds. In the Linton Tweed show room they have pre-cut 1 metre skirt lengths that they sell off at considerably less than the price from the roll. So this coat cost £20 for the Linton Tweed (2 skirt lengths), as opposed to the £52 – £60 it would have cost if I had bought two metres in a continuous length off the roll. The exact fabric composition is unknown and comprises mixed fibres.

The coat is fully lined in a polyester (?) lining from my stash.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
The fact I was working with two 1 metre lengths was challenging in terms of pattern layout but I did it without having to do any piecing. I do wish I had lengthened the sleeves slightly, but I have to live with that.

For a Linton Tweed this fabric seemed fairly densely woven so I decided not to block fuse or underline the fabric, but chose just to interface the upper back (in lieu of a back stay) and all the hems and also the inner edge of the front where you have to clip to form the pocket.

I knew there was a fair chance that my daughter would complain about the scratchiness of the fabric next to her skin, so I chose to cut the upper collar and inner collar band from a cotton velvet.

I shaped with shoulder seam using twill tape.

I added a small back pleat to the lining.

I bagged the lining out by machine.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don’t know if I will sew this again, but I highly recommend if you are looking for a beautifully drafted classic little girls coat.
Conclusion:

My daughter loves her new coat and that makes me happy. This was a pleasurable sewing experience and I know I am biased, but I think she looks like a little princess wearing it. Of course, if I was so inclined to make a matching one for myself, I think Vogue 9040 is a pretty good adult match. But, nope, not going to happen 🙂

Kezia seemed to like the final outcome and that’s the main thing. Now, can I get back to just sewing stuff for myself please? 🙂 Have a great week ahead.

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Vogue 9043 DIY Linton Tweed Girls Flared Coat

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Vogue 9043 DIY Linton Tweed Girls Flared Coat

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Vogue 9043 DIY Linton Tweed Girls Flared Coat

 

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