Pauline Alice Reina Shirt:DIY Button Front Tie Neck Blouse

Pauline Alice Reina Button Front Tie Neck Blouse
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Pauline Alice Reina Button Front Tie Neck Blouse – worn with Butterick 6179 culottes

Hi Friends,

A little while ago Pauline Alice asked me if I would be interested in testing her latest shirt pattern: the Reina shirt.

The Reina shirt is described as “romantic and feminine. It flares out slightly at the bottom with a longer back. Gathered at the front and back, [lots of] loops for fastenings and deep V-neckline”.

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Pauline Alice Reina Button Front Tie Neck Blouse – worn with Butterick 6179 culottes

Here’s the line drawing:

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Pauline Alice Reina Button Front Tie Neck Blouse

You will see there are two views. View A has a tie neck blouse and long, wide sleeves gathered into a contoured cuff. View B has a mandarin collar with short sleeves and pockets.

I ended up doing a mish-mash of both views: I did the tie neck with short sleeves (no pockets).

As I was a pattern tester for this pattern I am not going to do a full review.There were a couple of issues with the blouse (like the depth of the neckline) that Pauline assures me have now been addressed. Be warned there are a lot of button loops to make. There are 15 on my tester version…but truthfully I could do with one more at the top. I didn’t find making the button loops difficult. I used a roleaux loop turner (I am a fan – I know not everyone is) and if you take your time marking and basting, the button loops are fairly easy to do and are a lovely detail.

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Pauline Alice Reina Button Front Tie Neck Blouse

My fabric is a polyester crepe that was purchased from eBay at least a year ago?

In terms of modifications the only things I did were to lengthen the shirt by 4 inches and shorten the sleeves by 4 inches. I french seamed the sides, sleeve seams and sleeves into the armholes.

If you want to see a shot of this blouse (as I wore it today), untucked, then click here to see it in my instagram feed. I have already worn this blouse loads. It is so versatile and makes for effortless dressing. I also like the fact the tie is not too big, but is quite slim.

Pauline has also released two other new patterns today: the Safor skirt and Saler jacket. I am liking the look of the skirt in particular. Together the three patterns are designed almost as a mini-wardrobe.

Overall I do recommend this blouse. I am sure I will make it again in the future…as ever it is a case of waiting for the right fabric to strike my fancy!

Also, my Butterick 6179 culottes have been getting lots of wear! Love them. Would it be boring to make another pair? Navy perhaps?

Have a great weekend!

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Pauline Alice Reina Button Front Tie Neck Blouse – worn with Butterick 6179 culottes

 

 

 

Love Sewing Magazine Bexley Smock Top: DIY Linen High Low Hem Top

Love Sewing Magazine Bexley Smock Top by In The Folds
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Love Sewing Magazine Bexley Smock Top by In The Folds

Hi Friends,

Being perfectly honest with you I don’t generally buy sewing magazines. I am too lazy to trace patterns off and I prefer looking up techniques on line. But I saw a snap of this pattern, The Bexley smock top, on Instagram a few weeks back and I liked the look of it enough to go out and buy the magazine, trace it off, and sew it up.

The pattern can be found in issue 26 of Love Sewing magazine. I believe the pattern itself was created by In the Folds, but, at the moment, the pattern is licensed exclusively to Love Sewing Magazine, so the only way you can get it is through them.

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Love Sewing Magazine Bexley Smock Top by In The Folds

The fabric I used is a checked linen that I bought in India last year. For a bit of added interest I cut the yokes on the bias. In terms of changes I ended up lengthening the top (front and back) by 3.5 inches and slightly widening at the hips. Lengthen/ shorten lines are included, helpfully, on the pattern. It would have been nice to have had a line drawing or at least a shot of the back view but, as this was essentially a free pattern, I won’t complain too much:-)

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Love Sewing Magazine Bexley Smock Top by In The Folds

I also shortened the sleeves by 1 inch and took 5/8ths inch for the hem. The only thing to watch out for is that the neckline binding piece as provided is about half the length it is supposed to. Don’t forget to stay stitch.

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Love Sewing Magazine Bexley Smock Top by In The Folds

Of course my husband declared this had a maternity look to it (pft!) but I have already worn this top and it’s light and breezy and perfect for wearing casually on hot sticky days.

So that’s a quick review of sorts. I find I can never have enough tops in my wardrobe! I am on a mission to add to my summer collection at present.

Until soon,

 

 

 

 

Pauline Alice Eliana Dress Hack: DIY Peasant Boho Tassel Top

Pauline Alice Eliana Dress Hack to Peasant/ Boho Tassel Top
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Pauline Alice Eliana Dress Hack to Peasant/ Boho Tassel Top

Hello Friends,

Last summer I made Pauline Alice’s Eliana dress. It’s a very easy to wear dress, and the elasticated waist gives some definition in that area as well as being comfortable. But, I was not entirely happy with the fit. It basically needed an FBA.

Anyway, flicking through the Boden catalogue I came across a top that I thought I could recreate fairly easily using the Eliana dress as a starting point. Here’s my inspiration picture, as posted on my instagram feed.

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Pauline Alice Eliana Dress Hack to Peasant/ Boho Tassel Top – Inspiration picture

I happened to have a border print viscose in my stash which I thought could work. It meant, like my Vlisco Simplicity 8014 shirt dress, cutting the fabric on the cross grain to take full advantage of the border print. A blog reader (hi, Curls n Skirls, Del) asked about cutting fabric on the cross grain. I would say read this article in Threads which encourages you to look at your fabric and consider cutting on the cross grain to add interest to your garments. What I wanted to say was, when I do chose to cut fabric on the cross grain, I will draw in a new grain line at 90 degrees to the original grain line and use my new grain line to maintain some level of consistency in my cutting out. I know it’s hard to see, but the vertical black biro arrow line below is the new grain line I drew in on one of the Simplicity pattern pieces.

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Cutting fabric on the cross grain: drawing in a new grain line at 90 degrees to the original grain line.

Back to my blouse – the colours in real life are more vibrant than they’ve come out in these pictures. I have already worn this blouse a couple of times since I finished sewing it and it’s cool and comfortable.

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Pauline Alice Eliana Dress Hack to Peasant/ Boho Tassel Top

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Pauline Alice Eliana Dress Hack to Peasant/ Boho Tassel Top

Like the tassel detail? I think it’s a fun detail that takes this top up a notch and totally easy to make following this tutorial. I used one skein of Perle embroidery cotton.

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Pauline Alice Eliana Dress Hack to Peasant/ Boho Tassel Top – Tassel Detail

Here’s the modifications I made to the pattern:

  • Did 1 inch FBA (which introduced a side seam bust dart. In all honesty the dart is probably a little too low and I have moved it up for future use, but it doesn’t affect the fit of this loose blouse).
  • Added 6.5 inches to the length of the dress bodice and shaped the top outwards to accomodate my hips (note to self – only took 3/8ths inch seam allowance at hips).
  • Took a 1 inch tuck out of the bodice back to account for my sway back and added the removed length back to the bottom hem.
  • Shortened the sleeves by 6 inches.
  • Used 1.25 inches for hems.
  • Used 0.25 inch elastic to finish the sleeves.

So that’s a quick and easy blouse which I will enjoy wearing in the warmer months (or could be days…however long this current warm weather spell lasts!)

How is your summer sewing going?

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Pauline Alice Eliana Dress Hack to Peasant/ Boho Tassel Top

 

Simplicity 8014: DIY Vlisco African Wax Print Shirt Dress and Vogue Patterns Magazine Star Blogger

Simplicity 8014: DIY Vlisco African Wax Print Button Down Shirt Dress
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Simplicity 8014: DIY Vlisco African Wax Print Button Down Shirt Dress

Friends,

I am so pleased to be back with you today with a pattern review for Simplicity 8014, a shirt dress pattern. Here are the line drawings:

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Simplicity 8014 Line Drawings

I made view D, but with the hemline from View C. My fabric is a Vlisco African wax print cotton, purchased in one of their online sales about a year ago. It is from the Java range and I don’t think it is available any more (at least I had a quick look and I couldn’t see it). Initially I wasn’t sure if this fabric was me, but actually I really love it now. It is quite a statement! The large leaf pattern you can see on the fabric actually ran width ways, selvedge to selvedge, so I had to cut most of the pieces on the cross grain to make the pattern work for me.

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Simplicity 8014: DIY Vlisco African Wax Print Button Down Shirt Dress

Back to the actual pattern. As ever, you can check out my review below for full details. Bottom line: I like this pattern. A lot. When it is belted. But, much like Beth, I hate the unbelted view, and I am choosing not to share a picture of it unbelted with you, because I would never wear it like that. It looks like a frumpy sack unbelted. But add a belt and it is transformed. Into a classic and very easy to sew shirt dress.

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Simplicity 8014: DIY Vlisco African Wax Print Button Down Shirt Dress

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Simplicity 8014: DIY Vlisco African Wax Print Button Down Shirt Dress

When I say easy, I mean:

  • There is no separate button band to cut and interface, at least with the view I made. The front edges are simply folded over on themselves and the self fabric takes the place of interfacing. For my heavy weight cotton this worked well. If you make this pattern in a lighter weight fabric you may want to add interfacing there.
  • There are no separate sleeve cuffs/ bands. Again, for the view I made the little tucks on the sleeves which give the illusion of a cuff are made by clever folding and sewing of the fabric.
  • There are relatively few pieces to cut (again for the view I made).

The downside of the view I made is in relation to doing an FBA. I think I just about got away with not doing an FBA with this dress by taking only 3/8ths inch seam allowance at the bust and sleeve seams. I have added 5/8ths inch extra to the pattern for next time just in these areas. Why not do an FBA? Because this is a waistless shirt front, doing an FBA would add extra width right the way down in to the hips (correct?) and I don’t feel I want to add any more width in that area. So that is the only thing I would say to watch out for.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Vintage shirt dress pattern for miss and miss petite features full length dress with collar and long sleeves, knee length dress with slim or flared skirt, and mini dress with collar and shirt tail hem.

I made view D, with the hem from View C.
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?
For the most part, yes. Watch out for the stay stiching: you are told to do it 0.5 inch from edges but only 3/8ths inch used to sew collars. Also, I didn’t really like the jumping around to different seam allowances when sewing the collar and I would say just go slow when sewing the collar to make sure you don’t use an incorrect seam allowance.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Overall, I love the finished dress, although I hate it unbelted. But worn with a belt I can see this being made over and over again. It is a classic button down shirt dress which is easy to sew (at least the view I made). If you make view D with the shirt tail hem then a facing is included for the hem which is a nice touch. I like how the sleeves are sewn on this view to give the appearance of a cuff but it’s just created by folding over the fabric and sewing a tuck. I also like there is no cutting separate button bands, just folding over the fabric to create the bands. Overall, nothing to dislike.
Fabric Used:
Vlisco Java African wax print cotton. Due to the nature of the fabric design I chose to cut most of the shirt dress on the cross grain of the fabric.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I chose to size down at the shoulders/ bust and grade out over the hips. That’s a pretty standard alteration for me. Because the view I chose to sew is a waistless shirtdress, it meant I was unwilling to do a FBA because that would have added width in at the hips as well. So I just used 3/8ths inch seam allowance to sew the bust and sleeve seam. I have now added 5/8ths inch to the seam allowances in these areas for the next time. Unless anyone can advise on the FBA differently? Or I have to remove some with from the hips and do the FBA? Something to think about.

I also did a 1 inch sway back adjustment, adding the removed 1 inch back in to the bottom of the skirt, moved the bust darts down by 1 inch, and did a 1.25 inch full arm adjustment.

I cut 2 yokes and used the burrito method to clean finish the inside yokes.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I will sew this again. Yes, I recommend.
Conclusion:

Shirt dresses are a classic but are very much on trend at the moment (did they ever go away?) This is definitely one to have in your stash.

In other news, I am this months star blogger in Vogue Patterns Magazine (US edition). This is a huge honour and privilege for me. I have yet to see the in-print version – it’s on its’ way from the USA but, needless to say, I am very excited. Thank you to everyone who continues to read my blog, leave comments and answer my questions. It truly is wonderful to be part of this online community. If you do read the magazine article, I just wanted to point out that my name is Manju – Nittala is my surname – but for whatever reason the author has used Nittala in the article.

Have a great week and hurrah for sunshine!

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Simplicity 8014: DIY Vlisco African Wax Print Button Down Shirt Dress

 

 

New Look 6970: DIY Baby Dress and Pantaloons Set

New Look 6970 Babies Dress and Pantaloon Two Piece Set
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New Look 6970 Babies Dress and Pantaloon Two Piece Set

Friends,

Whilst STILL waiting for decent weather for outdoor photography (possibly by the weekend/ early next week!) I have wanted to share a baby gift I have just completed. This is a two piece set consisting of a short dress and matching “pantaloons” (New Look’s description, not mine, but as I would rather not attract any more dubious searchers than I already do I am using that description :-)).

The pattern is New Look 6970 and I LOVE it. Not only because it is easy to sew, but there is also the cutest romper/ dungaree option included in it as well. I only wish I had a cute, chubby cheeked baby to photograph it on, but oh well, you are just going to have to squeal over the cuteness of frilly legged pantaloons!

I made views C and D. The bodice part of the dress is self lined so it is cleanly finished inside and no seams to irritate baby. The pantaloons are easy to sew and have casings for the elastic at the waistband and around the legs. I made my own bias binding to use for the leg casings. You don’t have too. I serged whatever seams needed to be. And my set is made in a soft dotted chambray. Note to my husband: girls don’t have to just wear pink!

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New Look 6970 Babies Dress and Pantaloon Two Piece Set

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New Look 6970 Babies Dress and Pantaloon Two Piece Set

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New Look 6970 Babies Dress and Pantaloon Two Piece Set

Sooo cute I can hardly bear to send it away but there you go. It will be sent off for a friends baby girl. I can’t comment on the fit…I will let you know once I find out.

And the little knitted bunny was made by a talented lady in my art class. Is there anything more satifying than an all handmade gift?

Made with love in every careful stitch.

Hopefully back sharing some of my new summer sewing soon….

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Knitted Bunny!

 

 

Butterick 6295 and Greenstyle Lille Racerback Tank: DIY Workout Leggings and Racer Back Tank

Butterick 6295 Leggings and Greenstyle Lille Racerback Tank: DIY Workout Outfit
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Butterick 6295 Leggings and Greenstyle Lille Racerback Tank: DIY Workout Outfit

Hello Friends,

My workout wear was long overdue an update and so I decided to try making some. I know lots of sewists out there make very professional looking workout gear and the number of patterns available to facilitate this has really increased in the last couple of years. I went with Butterick 6295 (a lisette pattern) and, from a new-to-me-pattern-company, the Lille racerback tank (which also has a dress option) from Greenstyle patterns.

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Butterick 6295 Leggings and Greenstyle Lille Racerback Tank: DIY Workout Outfit

I really like both patterns as starting points, but, both need some tweaking. Also, I made the leggings from lycra “stuff” that was in my stash and the tank from a shiny viscose lycra (?), again from stash, and I would really like to make both in proper performance fabrics. I am hopefully going to have a day in Mood Fabrics/ garment district in NYC when we are there in July so maybe I will be able to pick something up then? (BTW it will probably be either 19th or 20th July so if anyone is interested in meeting up, send me an email or leave me a comment. I know its a working day for most so I know the majority of people are going to be busy).

Anyway, as usual, you can check out the full review below, but here are a couple of detail shots.

A close up of the constrast panel at the side leg of the leggings. I went with view D which has ruching up the lower portion of the leg. It’s a neat feature but I think next time I would prefer 3/4 length leggings on me.

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Butterick 6295 Leggings and Greenstyle Lille Racerback Tank: DIY Workout Outfit

The tank is the best fitting workout top I own in the upper body. I love the fact a bra shelf is included and I made mine out of swimsuit lining. But I definitely need to remove some length from the top and maybe I would prefer to size out over the hips a little? Not sure. Also, I cheated and just serged my bands on in this version. The pattern has you actually bind the edges.

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Butterick 6295 Leggings and Greenstyle Lille Racerback Tank: DIY Workout Outfit

Pattern Review Butterick 6295

Pattern Description:
Partially lined, pullover bra top and top have elasticized shoulder strap variations and casing. Purchased bra inserts. B: Built-in bra. Leggings have elasticized waistband, pockets, seam detail, and no side seams. D: Gathered lower sides. C, D: Serge, overcast or regular finish. B, C, D: Stitched hems. All are close-fitting.

I made view D.
Pattern Sizing:
6 – 22
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 essentially completely disregarded the instructions. They have you overlock edges and then overlap seams and stich in order to mimic the finish you see on a lot of RTW gym wear. But I just used standard construction methods on my serger.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I LOVE the finished garment. The design is ingenious, current and I think the way the concealed waistband is constructed is brilliant. There is nothing to dislike.
Fabric Used:
Polyester lycra? mystery fabrics from my stash.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I removed 4.5 inches from the length (FYI I am 5’3″: these are LONG).

I omitted the pockets.

I used standard construction techniques on my overlocker.

Next time around I will remove maybe 0.25″ from the inner thighs.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, if I can pick up some proper performance fabric (maybe on a forthcoming trip to NYC) then I would like to make these again, but probably view C.
Conclusion:

I can only vouch for view D but this is a great pattern IMO.

Pattern Review Greenstyle Lille Racerback Tank

Pattern Description:
This PDF Sewing pattern will be one you go back to time and time again.  Make everything from a workout tank with a built in shelf bra to a maxi dress and everything in between.
Pattern Sizing:
XXS- 3XL
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?
The PDF is very easy to tape together and there was no cutting/ trimming of edges involved. I LOVE the fact the bra shelf is included and different cutting lines are included for bra sizes up to DDD. Even though the pattern needs some tweaking for me, through the upper body this is the best fitting workout top I own to date. Nothing to dislike.
Fabric Used:
A shiny viscose lycra? fabric that was in my stash.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I cheated and just serged/ topstitched the bands on at the neckline/ armholes, and didn’t bind them as the pattern instructs. I ended up adding a band at the bottom which was 8 inches deep but next time round I need to remove some length/ do a sway back adjustment and possibly size up over the hips a little more?
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, if I can pick up some proper performance fabric (maybe on a forthcoming trip to NYC) then I would like to make this again.
Conclusion:

This is a very well thought out and designed pattern with a lot of options included.

So, of course I am now frantically sewing items for our trip to the USA. How about you? Any holiday sewing planned? Until soon…

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Butterick 6295 Leggings and Greenstyle Lille Racerback Tank: DIY Workout Outfit

Simplicity 8019 and Jalie 3461 Eleonore Jeans: DIY Real Suede Leather Button Front Skirt and Red Jeggings

Simplicity 8019: Real Suede Leather Button Front Skirt
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Simplicity 8019: Real Suede Leather Button Front Skirt (worn with a new white cotton shirting Archer shirt)

Hello Dear Friends,

It’s been too long! The blasted British weather has meant I have not been able to take any decent blog photographs for ages but today I braved the wind and chill to snap these photos. The lighting was not ideal , and of course, as I type this the sun has come out, but hey ho.

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Simplicity 8019: Real Suede Leather Button Front Skirt

I am totally thrilled with how this skirt has turned out. The pattern is Simplicity 8019, a reissued 70s pattern, and I have made it in the most glorious chestnut brown real suede leather. Really, when I wear this piece I feel very…luxurious. And, oh yes, I made the white cotton shirting Archer shirt as well.

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Simplicity 8019: Real Suede Leather Button Front Skirt

First, let me say that I actually made this pattern up first in some faux suede, as a wearable muslin. Sorry, but you are only going to get a hanger shot of it. Full review below, but what I will say is that this pattern is quite a neat fit at the waist/ high hip/ tummy area. The muslin fits me, but for the real suede version I sized up slightly at the waist/ high hip. If you carry any extra weight in these areas be warned! Now I have made the real suede version of course this faux suede one is just not comparable: it has quite a bit of static and yep, I just don’t love it the way I do the real suede one.

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Simplicity 8019: DIY Faux Suede Button Front Skirt

So, I bought 3 skins of chestnut suede totalling 42 square feet from Le Prevo Leathers in Newcastle, and you can read about my previous epxeriences of sewing with leather in this post here. Pretty much whatever I wrote in that post for sewing and interfacing leather holds true for this suede. I could probably have got away with only buying 2 skins but because of the nap and shape of the pattern pieces I had to go for 3. The snaps on this real suede version were also purchased from Le Prevo.

This real suede version is fully lined in a viscose lining (a remnant from a previous project). I also added hanger loops made from the lining fabric.

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Simplicity 8019: Real Suede Leather Button Front Skirt – full viscose lining

The hem (on the suede) was interfaced and I did a narrow 5/8ths inch hem. I found the deeper hem recommended by the pattern (2 inches) difficult to ease in with the faux suede version and this narrow hem was easier to control. I used specialised leather sewing thread (also bought from Le Prevo) and a stitch length of 4.0 for construction and topstitching.

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Simplicity 8019: Real Suede Leather Button Front Skirt – Hem and lining detail

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Simplicity 8019: Real Suede Leather Button Front Skirt – Snaps and topstitching detail

I FREAKING LOVE MY SKIRT!

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
These front-gored buttoned skirts from the 1970’s can be made retro with flowy floral prints, or modern in linen or lightweight denim. Skirt can also be made in four lengths. Vintage Simplicity sewing pattern.
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…but there were things I didn’t like. See below.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love my final version made in real suede leather. But I made a muslin first (from faux suede) and the fit was slightly off and I didn’t like some aspects of the construction. Nothing to dislike as such. Its a great look.
Fabric Used:
Faux suede for the muslin and real suede leather for the final version lined in viscose lining. I purchased 3 skins of suede totalling 42 square feet. There is a lot of left-over suede but due to the nap and shape of the pattern pieces I could not have got away with just 2 skins.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I found this pattern to be a neat fit at the waist/ high hips/ tummy area and would recommend making a muslin first if you carry any weight in these areas! For the real suede leather version I sized up slightly at the waist and high hip.

I didn’t like the way the pattern had you put the waist band on first and then finish the button facings. When I made it second time around I did the topstitching on the button facings first and then added my waist band. I also fully lined the skirt on the second version and used snaps rather than buttons.

I found the 2 inch hem hard to ease in on the faux suede version so I removed 2 inches from the length on the real suede leather version and did a narrow 5/8ths inch hem.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I may make it again…I think it would look great in denim, corduroy or even a flowing viscose for summer. Yes I recommend.
Conclusion:

Love, love, love my final version. It feels so luxurious. I can see me wearing this in the summer with a light top and sandals and with boots and a cropped sweater in the winter. Now I want to sew a wardrobe of things just to wear with it.

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Simplicity 8019: Real Suede Leather Button Front Skirt worn with a new white cotton shirting Archer shirt.

So, I also wanted to share my third pair of Jalie pull on Eleonore jeans. I did’t feel they warranted an entire post of their own. Check out my last pair here. This pair was made exactly the same way except for the fact that I shortened the back elastic by a further 1.5 inches or so. The fit is spot on, but these are made from a cotton/ spandex and personally, I don’t think they are quite as flattering as the black denim ones. They will still get worn, especially when it warms up.

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Jalie 3461 Elenore DIY Pull on Jeans Jeggings.

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Jalie 3461 Elenore DIY Pull on Jeans Jeggings.

What possessed me to wear red and blue I don’t know? Anyway, have a great week ahead and happy sewing!

Until soon…

 

New Look 6217: Kimono Jacket

New Look 6217 Kimono Jacket
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New Look 6217 Kimono Jacket worn with New Look 6225 top

Hi Friends,

I made up a kimono jacket using New Look 6217, view A. This is a very versatile pattern which lets you sew a whole outfit of mix and match pieces if you you wanted too, and I am definitely going to be trying the top from the pattern soon.

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New Look 6217 Kimono Jacket

Don’t be fooled by the apparent sunshine in these photos. It is still far too cold to  be wearing an outfit like this in these parts. But I was just struck with the desire to sew something  fast and easy a couple of weekends ago, and this was the product.

This is some mystery polyester georgette (?) that I found in my stash. It is lightweight with great drape. The only alteration I made to the pattern was to lengthen it by 3 inches.

The colours are a bit washed out in the outdoor shots so here are some on the dressform, and you can also see the facing which finishes off the neckline inside.

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New Look 6217 Kimono Jacket

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New Look 6217 Kimono Jacket

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Misses’ kimono style jacket and tee have an easy extended sleeve and bias binding at neckline. Pencil skirt and slim pants have side zip.

This review concerns the kimono style jacket, View A.
Pattern Sizing:
10 – 22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, although mine is slightly longer
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the finished garment, and the shaping at the front. I love the fact it is such a quick and easy piece to sew. Nothing to dislike.
Fabric Used:
A polyester georgette
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
The only change I made was to lengthen the jacket by 3 inches.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don’t know if I will sew the jacket again (although it would be wonderful made in silk! and would be a great pattern to sew for others), but I want to make the top (view B) soon. I definitely recommend.
Conclusion:

A versatile pattern to have in your collection with lots of possibilities.

Hope you enjoy this Easter weekend however you are spending it. Until soon…

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New Look 6217 Kimono Jacket worn with New Look 6225 top.

 

McCalls 7248, Butterick 6179, Jalie 3461 Eleonore Jeans and McCalls 6886: DIY animal print top, culottes, jeggings and breton top

McCalls 7248 animal print tunic top and Butterick 6179 triple crepe culottes
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McCalls 7248 animal print tunic top and Butterick 6179 triple crepe culottes

Hello Readers!

Today is a bit of a bumper post containing the next 4 items that I sewed up for the wardrobe contest currently running on PR.com. The first thing I have to say is that I am about to cut out item number 7, but I have made a decision that I am not going to rush to complete the remaining 4 items by the end of the month. I am absolutely fine with that, and it is the right decision for me. I have no regrets with what I have sewn up for the contest so far and will still go on to probably sew the remaining garments in my own good time.

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McCalls 7248 animal print tunic top and Butterick 6179 triple crepe culottes

So first up is Butterick 6179, first sewn here. This version is made in a triple crepe and the only alteration I made was to shorten this version by 2 inches compared to the first version. I LOVE these culottes…I know they are not everyones cup of tea…but I just love how I feel when I wear them. Classy, elegant, sophisticated and on trend. Nothing more to say about these.

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McCalls 7248 animal print tunic top and Butterick 6179 triple crepe culottes

The top…now that’s a whole other matter, LOL. The top is McCalls 7248. I had such high hopes for this top, especially after seeing Amanda’s gorgeous version, and really I guess I was hoping this version (made in a polyester georgette) would be a wearable muslin. And it kind of almost is. But, you see, I made a decision to raise the neckline split by 1 inch and I think that 1 little inch has thrown the fit of the whole top off. You can probably see in the pictures it is pulling over the top of my bust from the neckline split.

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McCalls 7248 animal print tunic top and Butterick 6179 triple crepe culottes

If you follow me on instagram you would have seen I initially attached one of the sleeves and it just felt tight right across the tops of the arms and across the back. So I took the sleeve off and added a self bias facing at the armholes and kept it sleeveless. The fit of this top is not perfect and I really don’t know if it is simply down to that 1 inch or something else. I did do an FBA on the pattern and added bust darts before sewing…even in this sleeveless version the armholes are snug (but wearable). Any thoughts? Here’s some pictures of it untucked (I would never wear it like this with the culottes BTW!)…and my review follows.

 

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Loose-fitting, pullover tops have front band and pleat, back pleat, Self-lined yoke, and narrow hem. A and B: Bias neck binding and gathers. B, C (button tab) and D: Long sleeves with continuous lap, pleats and button cuffs. Wrong side shows on rolled sleeves C, and longer back hemline B and D. C and D: Neck band.

I made view B with the sleeve tabs from View C and the hem from View D.

Pattern Sizing:

6 – 22

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Erm…kind of. My version is sleeveless.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

For the most part, yes. I did NOT like the instructions for the neck band and did my own thing! First off you are told to staystich the neckline at 0.5 inches from the raw edge, but the neck band is sewn on using a 3/8 inch seam allowance, which means the stay stitching is visible (and therefore had to be unpicked). Secondly, if you follow the instructions fot the neck band I think the pattern has you treat the neck band almost like a bias facing? I didn’t get that. I wanted my neck band to be more visible so I turned the inside edge under and slip stitched it closed.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

See above for a dislike. The fit of my top is off and the main reason I think is due to the fact I raised the neckline slit depth by 1 inch. It seems to have thrown the fit of the whole top off. There are pull lines radiating out from the neckline slit over the top of my bust. Initially I had a sleeve on and it felt tight across the tops of the arms and across the back. I ended up taking the sleeve off and adding a self bias facing to finish the armholes off. I don’t know if dropping the depth back down again will alleviate these problems. Even in this sleeveless version the armholes feel snug.

Fabric Used:

Polyester georgette with animal print.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Reduced sleeve length by 0.5 inch.

0.5 inch sway back adjustment.

Raised depth of neckline slit by 1 inch (including shortening pattern piece number 2 – front band – by `1 inch).

1 inch FBA, adding in side bust dart.

I interfaced the neck band using a tricot interfacing.

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

I don’t know. I think on a smaller busted person this would be a great top.

Conclusion:

Disappointed but that’s the nature of the sewing beast. I will probably still wear this top. When I get over it maybe I will look at this pattern again…or just move on (more likely).

 

Ok, so next we have Jalie 3461 Eleonore pull-on jeans. First time sewn here.

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Jalie 3461 Eleonore jeans and McCalls 6886 modified to breton top

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Jalie 3461 Eleonore jeans and McCalls 6886 modified to breton top

This version is made in 10 oz cotton denim with 2% elastane and they fit and feel much better than the first pair. Changes made:

  • Moved back pocket position down by 0.25 inches
  • Shortened length of leg above knee by 1  inch
  • Slimmed inner thigh down by 0.25 inch
  • Raised crotch by 0.25 inch
  • Reduced rise by 1 inch
  • Reduced depth of waistband by 0.5 inch
  • Lengthened at calf by 3 inches (I like the wrinkled ankle look)
  • I cut the back elastic 1 inch shorter than the front. For the next pair I would make this more like 1.5 inches shorter.

Overall I love them. Very flattering (I think) and I have worn them all day and the denim has not bagged out at all. I have made another pair…next time!

Finally I made a top length version of McCalls 6886 using a striped ponte knit. I added 5/8 inch seam allowance below the bust (could perhaps have even added on a little more for a looser fit?), made the sleeves 3/4 length and added side slits. The neckline is finished using a chambray bias facing. Very neat.

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Jalie 3461 Eleonore jeans and McCalls 6886 modified to breton top

 

Phew! Ok. So, that’s me for today. Where is this year flying away too? Have a great weekend. Until soon…

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Jalie 3461 Eleonore jeans and McCalls 6886 modified to breton top

 

McCalls 6696: DIY Dark Denim Shirtdress

McCalls 6696 DIY Dark Denim Shirtdress
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McCalls 6696 DIY Dark Denim Shirtdress

Hi Friends,

Remember a couple of posts back I outlined my sewing plans to try and enter the PR.com Wardrobe Contest? Well, this is my first item in the contest. Well, it is and it isn’t. First off, I changed my mind about my original plan to sew a denim dress using Vogue 9077. When I looked closer at that particular pattern, I thought it was going to take quite a bit of work to do an FBA. So I decided to go with McCalls 6696: you can see my first version here. Secondly, I have actually sewn 3 other items for the contest already, and am half way through the fifth item. I don’t honestly know if I am going to make the deadline or not (10 items in 2 months is an awful lot!) but there’s still time…

Anyway, back to this version of McCalls 6696. I am just going to go straight to the pattern review below. But I do want to say that I love this version. I tried to distress the (80z) denim somewhat using sandpaper, and for the most part I think it’s worked. I didn’t think I would like slimmer skirt option of this dress, but, surprisingly, I do. Even though this is a casual denim dress I still feel smart and comfortable wearing it.

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McCalls 6696 DIY Dark Denim Shirtdress

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McCalls 6696 DIY Dark Denim Shirtdress

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McCalls 6696 DIY Dark Denim Shirtdress

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Dresses have collar, collar band, self-lined yoke back, close-fitting bodice, and band. A: carriers, purchased belt. A, B: pleated skirt, side pockets. A, C: purchased bias tape finishes armholes. D: sleeve bands. C, D: semi-fitted through hips, side front pockets, stitched hems. Bias, close-fitting slip has shoulder straps and very narrow hem. A/B, C, D cup sizes.

Note: I made view D, with the belt tabs from View A, and I also switched the sleeves out for long cuffed sleeves with a continuous lapped placket from Vogue 9077.

Pattern Sizing:

8 – 24. This is one of those multi-cup sized patterns so no need for an FBA.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes, apart from the sleeves.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yep.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I don’t know why it took me so long to make a second version of this dress! Well, maybe I do. There are quite a few pieces that need to be cut, some with interfacing, and quite a few markings that need to be made. But it’s definitely worth it. There is nothing I dislike about this dress. Except maybe the gathers at the back, but I can live with them.

Fabric Used:

8oz denim throughout, including the facings.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I initially added 1 inch to the length, but ended up removing 1.5 inches from the length in the end.

I did a 1 inch sway back adjustment on the back bodice.

I had to cut the yoke on the cross grain due to fabric constraints.

I used the burrito method to attach the yokes.

I used contrast topstitching thread and didn’t do any of the hand sewing the pattern advised, except for the inner waistband. I would have liked to have topstitched this as well, but due to the belt loops being attached before the waistband is joined to the bodice this wasn’t possible. If I wanted to do this I should have bar tacked the belt loops on after attaching the waistband.

Any other changes are highlighted in my first review of this pattern.

I attempted to distress the denim by using fine sandpaper and a sanding block.

I set the sleeves in flat to get the faux flat fell stitch finish on the top of the sleeves: the inside of this dress is all overlocked.

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

Yes. I might sew this again. It’s a great pattern. Yes, I highly recommend.

Conclusion:

I think this dress is flattering and comfortable, but the dark denim still makes me feel smart. Love the waistband detail and the slimmer skirt on this version.

See you all soon with hopefully some more Wardobe Contest sewing!

Until soon…

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McCalls 6696 DIY Dark Denim Shirtdress

Edited to add: check out this Boden denim dress….very similar in style, don’t you think?

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Boden Denim Dress

 

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