Linton Tweed Meet Up: Cancelled

Hi All,

Just a quick note to say I have had a few people contact me to say that they are not going to be able to make the Linton Tweed meet up, which was scheduled for September 17th, so I have decided to cancel it for now.

Hope this is not going to inconvenience anyone.

Back soon!

Burda 7494: The Refashioners 2016- DIY Denim Peplum Jacket

Burda 7494 denim peplum jacket made from refashioned jeans. Worn with Simplicity 8093 wide legged cropped pants.
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Burda 7494 denim peplum jacket made from refashioned jeans. Worn with Simplicity 8093 wide legged cropped pants.

Hello Everyone,

Who’s heard of The Refashioners 2016? Click on the link to read all about it. It is the brainchild of the expert and inspiring refashioner, Portia Lawrie. This years challenge (which is open until the end of September), is to refashion jeans into…whatever you want. As  many pairs of jeans as you like, and of any colour, but only jeans (no other sources of denim).

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Burda 7494 denim peplum jacket made from refashioned jeans. Worn with Simplicity 8093 wide legged cropped pants.

I put some restrictions on myself:

  1. I didn’t want to source any new-to-me jeans: I had to use what I could find in the house.
  2. I didn’t want to have to spend any further money on the refashion, and again use patterns/ fabric/ notions that I already had to hand.

What I found was three pairs of jeans, 2 dark and 1 light. This kind of limited what I could make (I knew that wasn’t going to be enough to cut a dress for myself, for example), and in the end I decided that the whole patchwork look just wasn’t me, and so that brought me down to just two pairs of jeans.

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Burda 7494 denim peplum jacket made from refashioned jeans. Worn with Simplicity 8093 wide legged cropped pants.

I settled on using the jacket from Burda 7494, having made the dress previously, because it had princess seams which I thought would be advantageous in getting the pattern to fit to what fabric I had, and also because it had shorter length sleeves.

Pattern Modifications

  • Added 1 inch to side seams
  • Did 0.5 inch sway back adjustment
  • Did 1 inch full arm adjustment
  • Added centre back seam due to fabric constraints
  • Removed pleats from sleeve
  • Cut peplum on cross grain
  • Omitted lining (overlocked most of inner seams)
  • Had to pretty much ignore grain when cutting the facings (in retrospect maybe I should have cut into the lighter denim for the facings but, hey ho)
  • Added a machine made buttonhole
  • Bound inner waist seam with self made bias tape (fabric from previous project)
  • I chose to seam rip the outer legs of my jeans and so the sleeves were cut across the inner leg seam, with the original topstitching being left as a feature
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Burda 7494 denim peplum jacket made from refashioned jeans. Worn with Simplicity 8093 wide legged cropped pants.

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Burda 7494 denim peplum jacket made from refashioned jeans. Inside detail

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Burda 7494 denim peplum jacket made from refashioned jeans. Inside details

Overall I am pretty pleased with how this turned out. I have only really done one other refashion before and so it was great to challenge myself thinking out of the box. In the end I think I have something that reflects my personal style. Who knew two pairs of unloved and unworn jeans still had so much life left in them?

Be sure to check out Portia’s blog for lots of inspiring refashions.

Until soon!

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Burda 7494 denim peplum jacket made from refashioned jeans. Worn with Simplicity 8093 wide legged cropped pants.

 

 

Sew Over It Doris Dress: DIY Fit and Flare Tropical Print Dress

Sew Over It Doris Dress
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Sew Over It Doris Dress

Hi Everyone,

Today I want to share a dress I actually made a little while back: the new Doris dress by Sew Over It. This dress was made to appear in Issue 6 of Sewing Made Simple and I was compensated for the time spent making this dress, as well as very kindly being provided with the fabric (from Minerva Crafts) and the pattern from Sew Over It.

The fabric is a wonderfully lightweight viscose with a gorgeous tropical print on it. It has a great drape and it didn’t require lining. Perfect fabric for this pattern, with it’s cut on sleeves and panelled skirt. Unfortunately I think this fabric has since sold out, but there are tons of other viscose fabrics to choose from on the Minerva site.

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Sew Over It Doris Dress – Side Invisible Zip

The Doris dress itself is a very feminine shape, with a scoop-necked bodice, grown-on sleeves and a 7 panelled fluted skirt. This dress is perfect for summer wear with its body skimming shape, and attached ties (in the version I sewed), means you can get the perfect flattering fit.

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Sew Over It Doris Dress

There is a sewalong already up on the Sew Over It website, but I am not sure if they covered alteration of the bodice. In my case I had to do a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) and, as ever, referred to Fit for Real People by Palmer and Alto. Here’s a picture to show you how I essentially did the adjustment, and there are a few more details provided in the review below:

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Sew Over It Doris Dress Full Bust Adjustment

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
The Doris Dress is the perfect summer’s day dress. Feminine and romantic, throw it on and you’ll be set for that picnic in the park, day out at the beach, or hey, even a stint at the office. A truly versatile wardrobe staple, the Doris Dress will keep you looking elegant and put-together no matter what you get up to this season.

Features:

  • Semi-fitted shape
  • Flattering scooped neck bodice
  • Bust pleats
  • Grown-on sleeves
  • Attached ties which can be used to adjust the waist fit somewhat or fixed back belt option
  • Fluted seven panel skirt in two different length variations
  • Closes with concealed zip in side seam (has optional buttonhole closure at centre front)
  • Finished with facings inside

I made version 1 (with the ties).
Pattern Sizing:
UK sizes 8 – 20

The bodice is designed to be quite close fitting, with only 1 inch of positive ease included in the finished bodice.
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, they were. I chose not to finish the edges prior to sewing as I think you run the risk of stretching and distorting edges and I also chose the insert the side invisible zip prior to closing the seam. Both of these are my personal sewing preferences.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I absolutely love the finished dress. The fit and flare shape is very flattering and I love the sleeves and scooped neck. I also like that lengthen/ shorten lines are included on the pattern, as are finished garment measurements. There is nothing to dislike.
Fabric Used:

Beautiful quality printed viscose supplied by Minerva Crafts. This viscose has fantastic drape and feels so light, but is not transparent at all.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

The main alteration that I made was to do a 1 inch Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) to the bodice using the method described in Fit for Real People by Palmer and Alto. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to any home sewist, regardless of size. I used the method described in their book for “fronts with cap, cut-on, or kimono sleeves”. The illustration (above) shows you how I did this alteration. It basically involves cutting the sleeve off and cutting up through the bust apex position to the seam allowance at the armhole, spreading the pattern apart by the required amount, and also lengthening the front bodice to match (in my case I lengthened the front bodice by 1.5 inches). This method also introduces a side seam bust dart.

The other alteration I made was to account for my sway back: I sliced a 1 inch wedge off the centre back of the skirt, tapering to nothing at the sides, and added this wedge back to the lower hem of the skirt.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes, I believe I would sew this dress again. The fit is great for me and it’s so comfortable to wear. Yes, I highly recommend.
Conclusion:

If you are looking for a feminine, flattering summer dress with a nostalgic retro vibe then this dress is for you. Make it in crepe or even silk for smarter occasions have a great all round dress.

Have a great week ahead!

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Sew Over It Doris Dress

 

 

NYC Garment District Fabric Shopping Haul

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Hey Peeps,

Bit of a picture heavy post today sharing my fabric haul from the Garment District in New York. Where to start?

Well, as a Brit who has never been fabric shopping in that particular part of the world before, I was concerned that it might be a little….overwhelming. But I needn’t have worried. Rather than start with a biggie (like Mood), I started with the smaller shops first and actually did a round of all the shops I wanted to first before comitting to buying anything.

Backing up. We were staying in a hotel on West 44th Street in NYC so it took me like 10 minutes to walk to the Garment District on the day I went shopping. Phil and Kezia headed off to catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty on the Staten Island Ferry that day (Kezia’s choice), so I was left to my own devices, although they came and met me later in the day.

First stop was Paron Fabrics (West 39th Street) (not the best of photographs; my camera lens needed cleaning I think!):

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Paron Fabrics

Fabrics were well organised by type (lots of choice) and they had lots of high end European imported stuff (Italian), which I avoided…because I was basically trying really hard to buy things which are hard to get here in the UK. I can’t remember the name of the older guy who served me but he was lovely (and gave me a discount – there was a sale on at the time too), and I could easily have spent a lot of money here.

This is what I bought here – top to bottom: top: a heavy weight waterproof fabric which has been bonded on the reverse side to what looks like a knit interfacing (i.e. it’s needle ready – love!), middle: medium/ heavy weight weight cotton flannel plaid and bottom: heavy weight satin lining (for the waterproof jacket).

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Paron Fabrics

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Paron Fabrics

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Paron Fabrics

Next I went across the road to Gray Line Linens (West 39th Street). Again, fabrics were well organised but prices were not marked and you had to ask them. There were lots of lovely metallic linens but I resisted. I figured linen is something you can get here. There were a few rolls of eyelet cotton but I held out and got some from Metro Textiles for a better price (see below):

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Gray Line Linens

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Gray Line Linens

After that I called into Daytona Trims (West 39th Street). Now here I did feel overwhelmed and didn’t purchase anything. I guess I am just someone who likes to buy notions and trims on a “by project” basis, so it was hard for me to buy something without a specific project in mind. However, if I had a trim shop like this near me, it would be heaven!

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Daytona Trims

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Daytona Trims

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Daytona Trims

Next was the much advocated Chic Fabrics (West 39th Street) (despite some confusion on Instagram it does still exist).

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Chic Fabrics

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Chic Fabrics

This place had some wonderful silks and cottons but I walked away with just one piece which is incredibly hard to capture the true colour of. In real life this amazing washed stretch silk is an olive green colour, but here it is photographing more brown. Utility shirt dress with lots of gold hardware methinks.

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Chic Fabrics

I walked over to West 37th Street after that (because I was meeting Philip and Kezia there) and called into Metro Textiles where I met the famous Kashi!

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With Kashi of Metro Textiles

The charming Kashi, of course, was open to a bit of bargaining, and he had a smaller selection of good quality fabrics of all kinds. I ended up purchasing two pieces from him: (top) a piece of red cotton eyelet (very hard to get in the UK) and (bottom) some printed silk crepe de chine which appears to have gone off grain so I am going to have to do something about that.

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Metro Textiles

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Metro Textiles

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Metro Textiles

By this time Philip and Kezia had arrived and Carolyn from Diary of a Sewing Fanatic also joined us for a quick foray into Mood Fabrics. Can I just say it was wonderful to meet Carolyn and it felt as if we had been friends forever, instead of meeting for the first time for a quick shopping trip.It’s a shame we didn’t have more time.

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With Carolyn of Diary of Sewing Fanatic in Mood Fabrics, NYC

I pretty much had only one thing in mind to buy from Mood…silk jersey. Finding silk jersey in the UK is like finding hens teeth. Anyway, this is what I walked away with: a panel printed silk jersey (I took 2 panels) and a half yard of plain orange silk jersey for accents. This was the most pricey purchase of the day and I hope that, when it eventually happens, I can do justice to this piece. I don’t need to write much about Mood as so much has already been written about shopping here. It is definitely a fabric shoppers paradise, but I found I prefered the scale and pace of the smaller shops.

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Mood Fabrics

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Mood Fabrics

The last place I hit was Spandex House (West 38th Street). Now I am not a huge knit wearer (in case you hadn’t noticed). Nor I am a huge lover of novelty prints. But if those things are your bag then this is the place for you.

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Spandex House

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Spandex House

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Spandex House

Here I bought three pieces of supplex (again very hard if not impossible to buy here in the UK) to make workout tops for myself.

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Spandex House

And finally, for Kezia I bought two pieces of glittery printed lycra (spandex) to make gymnastics leotards/ shorts, in her requested colours. These photos (all of them in this post in fact) were taken post washing and the glitter hasn’t come away which is encouraging. Again, Spandex House gave me a decent discount (your man Jean was the star here) and that’s always nice.

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Spandex House

I left my hotel at 10am and was back by 4pm, exhausted but very pleased with my purchases (I haven’t had by credit card bill yet, haha). All the fabrics came home safely and I am looking forward to sewing them up. I tried hard to buy fairly classic pieces – nothing too outlandish or unusual – just because that’s me. I know when I eventually wear an item made from these pieces I will cherish the memories of our great holiday.

See you soon!

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With Swatch at Mood Fabrics NYC

 

Simplicity 8086 by Cynthia Rowley: DIY Brocade Wedding Guest Outfit

Simplicity 8086 DIY Brocade Wedding Guest Outfit
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Simplicity 8086 DIY Brocade Wedding Guest Outfit

Hello Friends!

After a few weeks absence I am back. We had a wonderful time in the USA…I had a whole day of shopping in NYC’s Garment District, and will share all the details with you (including what I purchased), soon. I have quite a back log of unblogged garments to show you, kicking off with Simplicity 8086, which I made to wear to a wedding right before we left for the USA.

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Simplicity 8086 DIY Brocade Wedding Guest Outfit

The wedding we attended was held at Dalston Hall, less than 30 minutes drive from where we live. This is a converted 16th century mansion which is now a hotel and wedding venue  with lovely landscaped gardens and, in fact, by the time the wedding took place late in the afternoon, it was actually nice enough to have the ceremony outside. Before we left, when we took the majority of these photographs, it was windy and cloudy. BTW, the wedding was actually of a colleague of my husbands, whose daughter happens to be in the same class as my daughter.

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Simplicity 8086 DIY Brocade Wedding Guest Outfit – no I didn’t make my daughter’s outfit. It was purchased from Monsoon.

Prior to the wedding I had seen quite a few of these “floating overlay” style dresses, particularly from Coast, which always seems to have lots of wedding guest appropriate outfits. I knew I wanted something lighter in colour and a brocade was one of the suggested fabrics for this pattern. The fabric I went for was ordered (after sampling) from eBay. I don’t know if it is a “true” brocade, but it was robust and easy to work with (didn’t fray badly) and I pre-washed the fabric and lining so I don’t have to worry about dry cleaning costs. It wasn’t particularly expensive either, so I won’t feel bad if I don’t wear this one too much🙂 I think the floating overlay, which gives the appearance of a cropped top but with non of the tummy exposure, coupled with the fuller pleated skirt is flattering and the waistband emphasises a relatively smaller waist.

Apologies for the phone photos, but these will give you some idea of the inner bodice construction.

Firstly here is the inner bodice, front view, together with the waistband. The inner bodice is actually cut from lining fabric (it is not visible in the finished garment) and is lined. The waistband (and lower bodice back – see below) are cut from fashion fabric (and also lined).

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Simplicity 8086 DIY Brocade Wedding Guest Outfit – inner bodice and waistband

Here is a shot, midconstruction, which shows the upper bodice back (lining fabric) joined to the lower bodice back (fashion fabric). The key thing you must remember if making this dress is chose thin lining fabrics. Anything bulky is going to create problems. Trim and clip seam allowances and understitch carefully.

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Simplicity 8086 DIY Brocade Wedding Guest Outfit – inner bodice showing lower and upper back bodice

Here is the back view on me:

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Simplicity 8086 DIY Brocade Wedding Guest Outfit

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Simplicity 8086 DIY Brocade Wedding Guest Outfit

As ever, you can read my full review below. But I wanted to address the elephant in the room: the attachment of the overlay to the inner bodice. IMO there is an error in the instructions for this pattern at step 19. After sewing one armhole as per the instructions, you must turn the overlay to the inside, lay the bodice/ overlay out on a flat surface, and twist both pieces to facilitate sewing the remaining armhole. I know I might get people contacting me in like, 2 years (!) asking me how I did it, and believe me, if adding photos was going to help I would have added them. But it just looked like a big twisted mess at this stage which wasn’t going to help anyone. That is the best help I can give you: it can be done, but you just need to think carefully through the configuration otherwise you will end up with a big mobius strip!

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Cynthia Rowley Collection. Dress pattern with lace overlay or popover in single or two fabrics. Get a 2-piece look with comfort and convenience of an all in one dress. Popover reveals bra-friendly dress bodice in back.

I would say the bra-friendly thing only happened for me because I raised the height of the back by 1.5 inches.
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, with the exception of step 19 – see below.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the finished dress. I made this dress to wear to a lovely wedding held at a converted 16th century mansion and I felt suitably attired. I think the floating overlay, which gives the appearance of a cropped top but with non of the tummy exposure, coupled with the fuller pleated skirt is flattering and the waistband emphasises a relatively smaller waist. There is nothing to dislike as such about the finished dress, but there is an error IMO at step 19 which may put some users off (see below). Be careful in your selection of fabrics (including linings): the inner and outer bodices are both fully lined and anything too bulky is going to cause problems. Careful trimming and clipping of seams and understitching is required.
Fabric Used:
Brocade outer fashion fabric. Polyester (?) lining fabric.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I raised the height of the lower back bodice (piece 10) by 1.5 inches at the centre back seam, tapering to nothing at the dot (this was to give me sufficient bra coverage).

I removed 1.5 inches from the length of the upper bodice back (piece 9).

I did a 1 inch FBA which added in a side bust dart.

I shortened the length of the vertical dart.

On the front overlay (piece 11) I lowered the bust dart by 0.75 inches.

I did a sway back adjustment, removing 0.5 inches from the lower bodice back and 0.5 inches from the top of the skirt back (and adding back to the lower back skirt hem).

I ended up sewing my waist darts significantly smaller (like 1.25 inches smaller) to give me more room at the waist and cutting a longer waistband. I also subsequently added 1.25 inches to the side front skirt seams and used 0.25 inch seam allowances to sew the side seams up.

I ended up doing a cheats FBA to the front overlay, adding 2 inches to the centre front and tapering to nothing at the sides. I also only took 3/8ths inch seam allowance sewing up the overlay side seams.

I took 6/8ths inch seam allowance to sew the upper back seam and used a 22 inch invisible zip (completely unncessary!) instead of 12 inches because I forgot.

I cut 4.25 inch interfacing strips and ironed them to the hem before handstitching the 2 inch  deep hem.

My front overlay seemed to be wrinkling at the bust when I had finished. I ended up sewing little bags out of the lining fabric and slipping in curtain weights. These bags were then slip stitched to the lining of the outer overlay at the bust darts and this seemed to do the trick: the overlay lay flat and I forgot all about them whilst wearing the dress.

IMO there is an error in the instructions for this pattern at step 19. After sewing one armhole as per the instructions, you must turn the overlay to the inside, lay the bodice/ overlay out on a flat surface, and twist both pieces to facilitate sewing the remaining armhole. I know I might get people contacting me in like, 2 years (!) asking me how I did it, and believe me, if adding photos was going to help I would have added them. But it just looked like a big twisted mess at this stage which wasn’t going to help anyone. That is the best help I can give you: it can be done, but you just need to think carefully through the configuration otherwise you will end up with a big mobius strip!
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don’t know if I will sew this particular dress again. I recommend so long as you bear in mind the error at step 19.
Conclusion:

I felt great wearing this dress. I think it is flattering, current and elegant. It certainly made me feel like the best dressed guest at the wedding🙂

Finishing with a couple of photographs that made me smile. You get a bonus cow shot for free because that’s how we roll in these parts. Until soon.

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Simplicity 8086 DIY Brocade Wedding Guest Outfit

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Simplicity 8086 DIY Brocade Wedding Guest Outfit – my beautiful family

 

Simplicity 8093 and 1366: DIY Wide Leg Cropped Trousers Pants and Boxy Orange Linen Top

Simplicity 8093 and 1366: DIY Wide Leg Cropped Trousers Pants and Boxy Orange Linen Top

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Simplicity 8093 and 1366: DIY Wide Leg Cropped Trousers Pants and Boxy Orange Linen Top

Hi Friends,

The weather is not being very cooperative with photographing summer clothes, but hey ho, we must press on. Today I am sharing a pair of wide leg cropped trousers (or pants for some) made using Simplicity 8093 and a boxy top in the brightest orange linen made using Simplicity 1366. Let’s start with the trousers.

Simplicity 8093 is a Mimi G for Simplicity pattern. It is the first time I have used one of these patterns. Included in the envelope are also pattern pieces to make a jacket with a notched detail collar and a top. I was very kindly provided the pattern and also the fabric I used to make these trousers by Sew Essential. The fabric I chose is to use is their Prestige Medium Weight Crepe, in navy blue. This fabric is easy to wash, sew and press (I used my press cloth and my clapper in parts) and overlocked seams. It’s a great quality fabric and perfect for trousers like these.

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Simplicity 8093 and 1366: DIY Wide Leg Cropped Trousers Pants and Boxy Orange Linen Top


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Simplicity 8093 and 1366: DIY Wide Leg Cropped Trousers Pants and Boxy Orange Linen Top

Full review for the trousers below but one thing I wanted to point out was that these trousers feature an invisible zipper which is placed in the seam alongside an in-seam pocket. What?! Did you even know such a thing was possible? Nope, neither did I until I came to making these. (p.s. I know the seam intersection is about 0.25 inches off here, but I was just too amazed to unpick and re-do!)

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Simplicity 8093: wide leg cropped trousers: invisible zipper inserted in to seam with in-seam pocket

There is a full (free) video tutorial sew-along for these trousers, hosted by Mimi G, so if you want to see how this magic is done watch the video.

Simplicity 8093 Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Pattern includes V-neck top, cropped wide-leg pants, and lined jacket with notched detail.

I made view B, the cropped wide-leg pants.
Pattern Sizing:
6 – 24
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 they were, although I had to refer to the (free) Mimi G video tutorial sew along for these pants to work out how to do the invisible zipper, which is inserted in to the side seam alongside an in-seam pocket. Clever stuff.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
This is a new silhouette for me. I think I like it. I have worn them already and was complimented on them. TBH I think when I wore them out I wore them with a tucked in silk blouse and maybe that looked neater than the untucked top I am wearing them with in these photos. You can see how I wore them out on my instagram here. I love the invisible zipper/ pocket detail. Nothing to dislike as such.
Fabric Used:
Prestige medium weight crepe in navy blue, supplied by Sew Essential UK.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
My only adjustment was to take a 1 inch tuck from the back yoke and re-add this to the back hem. I am no trouser fitting expert and whilst the yoke now fits me well, it has caused the trousers to pitch forward slightly. I don’t know if I should have taken the 1 inch from the top of the trousers (and deepened the back crotch by 1 inch?)

I ended up removing 4.5 inches from the length.Shortys beware.

I didn’t finish the yoke facing as instructed and instead turned over the raw edge and machined in the ditch to close.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Maybe and yes.
Conclusion:

I am surprised at how much I do like wearing these and am totally freaked out about the invisible zipper🙂 Dress these pants up or down. Either way they are comfortable and have that classy tailored look too.

Now the top. Simplicity 1366 is a Cynthia Rowley pattern, that also includes a skirt and a camisole. (Interestingly the camisole has a facing if you prefer that finish to doing a narrow hem or bias tape finish). Anyway, I have seen some great versions of this top and I wanted to try it out. The bright orange linen was purchased from my local covered market. I love the colour and can’t wait to wear it on holiday.

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Simplicity 8093 and 1366: DIY Wide Leg Cropped Trousers Pants and Boxy Orange Linen Top

Simplicity 1366 Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
High low cascading bow skirt in two lengths. Pattern also includes tank with spaghetti straps and loose fitting short sleeve top.

I made view D.
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 do love the finished top. Nothing to dislike.
Fabric Used:
Irish linen.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
1 inch sway back adjustment.

Added 1.25 inches to the length.

1.25 inches full arm adjustment.

Cheaters FBA: Added 2 inches to the side seams, front and back, tapering to nothing at the armholes.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I can see me making this again. Yes, I recommend.
Conclusion:

It is loose and boxy and perfect for hot weather dressing. If you want a dartless top pattern try this one out.

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Simplicity 8093 and 1366: DIY Wide Leg Cropped Trousers Pants and Boxy Orange Linen Top

Thanks once again to Sew Essential for being so generous and giving me the opportunity to select the pattern and fabric.

Until soon!

 

 

Fabric shopping in NYC and a Linton Tweeds Meet Up

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Hello Friends,

Two things today:

  1. I am going to have a whole day to do some fabric shopping in NYC on our forthcoming trip to The States. I am thinking of heading to Paron Fabrics for 10:30am on Wednesday 20th July. From there I was thinking of Chic Fabric, but have just been informed that it no longer exists. So…maybe after Paron’s then Metro Textiles/ Spandex House and Pacific Trims? This is all completely loose, as I haven’t even checked how close things are to each other (any experts feel free to chime in!) In the afternoon if I have any energy/ money/ space in my luggage left, then try for Mood fabrics? So if anyone is feeling jobless on that particular Wednesday and would like to join me please leave me a comment below or PM me (my email address is under my “about me” section.
  2. A couple of people have mentioned they would like to come visit Linton Tweeds. I am proposing a meet-up there on Saturday 17th September. At this stage this is just to guage interest. I have contacted Linton Tweeds asking if they might be able to organise anything for us (like a tour of the production side/ a talk or something), but, till now, have not heard anything. So it might just be a chance to pet the fabrics (and add to your stash), but more than that, meet other folks with a shared interest in sewing, eat some lunch and enjoy some sewing related craic. I will put out more details nearer the time but everyone is welcome.

Until soon. Enjoy the weekend.

 

Custom Woven Clothing Labels from Dutch Label Shop

Custom woven clothing labels from Dutch Label Shop
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Custom woven clothing labels from Dutch Label Shop

Hey Friends,

Some time ago I was contacted by a representative from an American company called Dutch Label Shop asking if I wanted to try some of their custom woven clothing labels. This company specialises in manufacturing high-quality, customised woven labels in quantities as small as 30, which makes it a cost effect solution for individual users (like me!) as well as emerging smaller sized brands. The labels were provided to me on a complimentary basis, with an invitation for me to blog about my experience if I wanted. So here is my honest review.

As far as my personal interests were concerned there were two relevant options open to me: basic woven labels or woven logo labels (the latter option being the one that I took). That’s not to say that I wasn’t tempted by the basic woven labels, because I was. If you check out the pre-loaded symbol options with the basic woven labels you will see there is a sewing (and fashion) category, with loads of very cute symbols like a reel of thread, scissors, buttons, a tape measure, a dress form etc. If you chose to use this option I guarantee it is super easy and fast to create your own basic woven labels with your own wording included.

Anyway, the reason that I went with the woven logo labels was that you have a greater choice of label type (I went for the centre fold just because I often prefer my labels to be placed more discretely in a side seam and this way I can have them in a side or neck seam). Example below:

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McCalls 7058 White Cropped Linton Tweed Boucle Jacket – side view – inside lining – custom woven clothing label from The Dutch Label Shop

Creating my woven logo labels was very simple using The Dutch Label Shop’s website. It’s pretty idiot-proof with a good selection of options, including label type and size, label and logo colours and sew on or iron on options. There is also a “preserve light background” option which weaves an additional layer of white thread into your label to vibrantly brighten the background color, and prevent shine-through. As my labels featured a light background with a black logo I included this option and I have no complaints.

In terms of quality, the labels I went for have a very luxurious feel to them. They are heavy and thick and really add that special finishing touch to my handmade garments. 200 labels came to just under $100USD (excluding shipping) and I think that’s pretty good value for money. I also have to really compliment the Dutch Label Shop customer service team because they really were brilliant. They checked my label and answered all my questions.

In conclusion, I love my new labels. I wouldn’t recommend them to you if I didn’t. I am very grateful to The Dutch Label Shop for giving me the opportunity to try their labels out, and if any of my readers fancies trying them out for themselves then there is a discount code which you can enter at the checkout, active for the next 30 days: sewmanju. That code will get you 15% off.

Be back soon!

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Custom woven clothing labels from Dutch Label Shop

 

 

McCalls 7058 and Grainline Archer: DIY White Linton Tweed Boucle Cropped Jacket and Striped Linen Shirt

McCalls 7058 White Cropped Linton Tweed Boucle Jacket, worn with Striped Linen Grainline Archer shirt.
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McCalls 7058 White Cropped Linton Tweed Boucle Jacket, worn with Striped Linen Grainline Archer shirt.

Hey Friends,

I have mentioned before that I live very close (about 25 minutes drive since moving?) from Linton Tweeds in Carlisle. I don’t actually go there very often (although they do a mean lemon meringue pie :-)), and I have yet to purchase any fabric from a roll. What they do have is pre-cut 1 metre skirt lengths for substantially less than the roll price, often with an offer if you buy 2 at the same time. So in my stash I have a few pieces of Linton Tweed fabric in skirt lengths.

What I have realised is that buying these skirt lengths is, for me, not that useful. I don’t make skirts from them, and for me, I probably need more than a one metre length to cut a decent jacket from. But I had two skirt lengths of this white boucle and determined to make something from it I set off. Here’s a close up of the fabric because it is hard to see the beautiful texture in the photographs (sorry the outdoor shots were taken early one cloudy morning):

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McCalls 7058 White Cropped Linton Tweed Boucle Jacket – close up of fabric texture

I needed a pattern that didn’t require too many pieces. Vogue 7975 was out because, with the two piece sleeves I felt I wouldn’t have enough fabric. I also wanted a fairly quick make which didn’t require a lot of fitting. I eventually decided to make a modified version of McCalls 7058 which I made a winter version of earlier this year. Here’s what it looked like last time to refresh your memories:

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McCalls 7058 Basket Weave Interlined Wool Winter Coat

Here’s my modified version:

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McCalls 7058 White Cropped Linton Tweed Boucle Jacket, worn with Striped Linen Grainline Archer shirt.

Here’s how I approached the sewing and the modifications.

First off, and I don’t recommend this as a general rule for Linton Tweed, I prewashed my fabric. Linton Tweed fabrics are woven using a mixed composition of fibres and if you prewash you do run the risk of ruining your beautiful fabric. But as this fabric didn’t cost me much (less than £15 for both cuts), and I really couldn’t face having a white jacket that wasn’t washable I just went with it, washing it on a gentle cycle with a wool appropriate detergent. It worked out fine. Fabric was unaffected.

Next I block fused my two 1 metre lengths using a light weight weft insertion fusible interfacing. I lined the two selvedge edges up and fused using my press cloth and an iron. Made the fabric much easier to handle as well.

In terms of pattern modifications I:

  • removed 4 inches from the View A cutting line for the body
  • removed 5 inches from the sleeve length
  • removed 1 inch from the centre fronts so there was no overlap

For a full pattern review see my first version.

I wanted a very soft look to the jacket so I kept the tailoring to a minimum. I added a backstay and stabilised the front edges and neckline using twill tape hand stitched in place 0.5 inches from the neck edges and 5/8ths inch from front edges.

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McCalls 7058 Linton Tweed Boucle Jacket – back stay

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McCalls 7058 Linton Tweed Boucle Jacket – stabilising neck and front edges using twill tape.

I added very light shoulder pads and hand stitched all the hems. Here are some pictures on the (too small) dressform. You can see that even though this is a one piece sleeve the elbow dart gives some nice shaping. The jacket is fully lined with a lightweight viscose twill lining.

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McCalls 7058 White Cropped Linton Tweed Boucle Jacket – side view

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McCalls 7058 White Cropped Linton Tweed Boucle Jacket – inside lining – front view

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McCalls 7058 White Cropped Linton Tweed Boucle Jacket – inside lining back view

On this next side lining view you will see a glimpse of my new custom woven clothing labels which were very kindly made for me by Dutch Label Shop – blog post to follow on those.

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McCalls 7058 White Cropped Linton Tweed Boucle Jacket – side view – inside lining

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McCalls 7058 White Cropped Linton Tweed Boucle Jacket, worn with Striped Linen Grainline Archer shirt.

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McCalls 7058 White Cropped Linton Tweed Boucle Jacket, worn with Striped Linen Grainline Archer shirt.

So this is a very plain and simple jacket but I think it will get lots of wear on the cooler days of our great British summer, especially over dresses. I haven’t added any fastenings or trim to this jacket…I did toy with the idea of adding various trims but I figure I can always go back and add something later if I want. I quite like the simplicity of it. It feels so soft and light on, almost like a cardigan.

A brief mention of the shirt. This is version number 5 of Grainline’s Archer shirt. Made in a striped linen that I bought in India. Hard to photograph but lovely to sew, press and wear (although it being linen you have to deal with the creasing!) My only complaint about the Archer pattern is that I don’t like the 0.5 inch seam allowances because it makes flat fell seaming difficult. But it’s worth doing IMO.

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Striped linen Grainline Archer

Have a great weekend and enjoy Father’s Day.

Until soon!

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Striped linen Grainline Archer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butterick 6182: DIY Sandwashed Silk Boxy Top

Butterick 6182 sandwashed silk boxy top

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Butterick 6182 sandwashed silk boxy top (worn with skirt from same pattern)

Hi Friends,

This here is my second version of Butterick 6182. My first version can be seen here. I have worn the first version quite a bit and I had this smallish length of sandwashed silk in my stash (a rare eBay find!) and I thought it would be nice to make a dressier version to wear out. Incidentally, the skirt I am wearing with the top comes from the same pattern. I don’t love the skirt for some reason but whatevs, I put it on for these photos! (On sewing list: make new denim skirt that I love).

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Butterick 6182 sandwashed silk boxy top (worn with skirt from same pattern)

Not much else to say about this top – I did a review with the first version. The only alterations I made were to add 0.5 inch to either end of the sleeve bands to give myself 1 inch extra around the arms and to drop the armhole opening by 0.5 inch. I french seamed the centre front/ back seams and shoulder seams and serged the side seams/ armhole bands. Here are some inside pictures:

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Butterick 6182 sandwashed silk boxy top – inside – you can just see the french seamed shoulder and centre front seam.


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Butterick 6182 sandwashed silk boxy top – inside – french seamed centre front and should seams and overlocked side seams and armhole bands.

And here is how I wore the top with my white linen twill Butterick 6179 culottes, as shared on my instagram. I wore this outfit last Friday night to a retirement function for my husbands colleague.

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Butterick 6182 sandwashed silk boxy top worn with linen twill butterick 6179 culottes.

This is such a great outfit because it is simple lines done in lux fabrics: breathable, comfortable and stylish. What more could a girl want?

See you soon!

 

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