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

 

The Makers Atelier Unlined Raw Edged Coat: DIY Camel Coloured Boiled Wool Cocoon Style Coat

The Makers Atelier Unlined Raw Edged Coat in camel coloured boiled wool
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The Makers Atelier Unlined Raw Edged Coat in camel coloured boiled wool

Hello Friends,

Today I am sharing a coat which I made using a pattern from a new-to-me pattern company: The Makers Atelier. The pattern I used was The Unlined Raw Edged Coat, which, at the time of writing this post is actually being reprinted, and should be back in stock in a couple of weeks.

My coat is made up in a camel coloured boiled (maybe felted?) wool that I purchased a couple of years ago from a private seller on eBay. It was just over 2 metres in length and I was never quite sure what I would make from it. And then I saw this boiled wool coat from Boden (not even pure wool!) and saw a lovely version of this particular pattern made up on Instagram, and, despite the fact that this is by far the most expensive pattern I have ever purchased (£22.50 excluding postage), I hit the order button.

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The Makers Atelier Unlined Raw Edged Coat in camel coloured boiled wool

The pattern itself is extremely simple, with just 5 pieces to cut: the front, the back (which is cut on the fold), the pockets, the collar and the sleeves. Two options are given in the instructions as to seam finishes: you can either sew the seams the conventional way, so they are inside the garment, and then topstitch from the outside (see Charlie’s lovely version), or you can do as I chose to do and leave them raw and exposed to the outside of the garment. I guess you could also do a flat fell seam finish, but, my way was fast! This coat was made in an afternoon (including cutting out).

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The Makers Atelier Unlined Raw Edged Coat in camel coloured boiled wool – exposed raw edge seams on outside of coat

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The Makers Atelier Unlined Raw Edged Coat in camel coloured boiled wool

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The Makers Atelier Unlined Raw Edged Coat in camel coloured boiled wool – pocket closeup

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The Makers Atelier Unlined Raw Edged Coat in camel coloured boiled wool

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
A coat designed to be made in fabrics which do not fray when cut (e.g. boiled wool/ felted wool/ neoprene/ scuba) due to the raw edge finish. Dropped shoulders, large patch pockets and a cocoon style shape.
Pattern Sizing:
UK size 8 – 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?
Yes, although no finished measurements are given. Two different options are given for seam finishes: either you can sew seams the conventional way, to the inside, and then top stitch seams from the outside. Or you can do as I did and sew the seams so they are exposed to the outside for a raw finish.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Despite this being the most expensive pattern I have purchased to date (£22.50 excluding postage), I LOVE the finished result. If you don’t like the oversized, cocoony shaped, dropped shoulder thing stay away, but I feel great when I wear this coat. I think it is the perfect mixture of cool (trendy) and cosy (boiled wool). Perfect autumn coat! Nothing to dislike really.
Fabric Used:
A camel coloured boiled wool.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • Removed 6 inches from the length of the pattern before cutting out
  • Removed a total of 5 inches from the length of the sleeves
  • 1 inch sway back adjustment – with removed length added back to the lower hem
  • Added approx. 1 inch to side seams
  • Moved pocket position down by 1 inch
  • I used a rotary cutter to cut my fabric out and would recommend using a ruler to cut the pockets out with perfectly straight edges!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don’t know if I will sew this particular pattern again, but I definitely recommend it if you like this style.
Conclusion:

Super fast sew and one of my favourite things I like to wear at the moment. Highly recommend!

Until soon.

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The Makers Atelier Unlined Raw Edged Coat in camel coloured boiled wool

 

The Tunic Bible Giveaway Winner

Hey Everyone,

Without further ado, the winner of The Tunic Bible, as selected by random number generator, is:

Calypso.

Congratulations Calypso, you have won this giveaway. Please get in touch by the end of Friday 14th October 2016 otherwise I am afraid that the winner will be drawn again. My contact details are under my “About” section at the top of this blog. You need to specify whether you are in the USA, in which case please give your full postal details, otherwise email address if outside the USA for an electronic copy of the book.

Thank you to everyone who entered. I hear The Tunic Bible is already on its second print run, so if you would like to purchase a copy for yourself aside from Amazon you can also try Barnes & Noble, Overstock, Book Depository and direct from the publisher: CT Publishing.

Back soon!

 

The Tunic Bible: DIY Babycord Tunic Dress + Book Giveaway

Babycord tunic dress made using The Tunic Bible by Sarah Gunn and Julie Starr
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Babycord tunic dress made using The Tunic Bible by Sarah Gunn and Julie Starr

Hi There Friends!

One year ago Julie Starr and Sarah Gunn asked me if I would be interested in sewing up a tunic to be featured in The Tunic Bible, which has now been published. To say I was flattered to have been asked was an understatement. I have long admired both Julie and Sarah’s work and the book seemed like a great concept. There are SO many options for collars, neck plackets and sleeves as well as lengths, styles, fabrics (including knits) and trims….this is not just a one trick pony. If you don’t believe me, head over to The Tunic Bible website to check out the gallery (you might see some familiar faces). A group of bloggers were asked to sew samples up to be featured in the book and every single one of us made something completely different and varied.

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Babycord tunic dress made using The Tunic Bible by Sarah Gunn and Julie Starr

Anyway, I chose to make an autumnal version from a soft, fine printed babycord with an outside-facing wide split placket, an angled collar and sleeve cuffs sewn in a contrasting corduroy. All the details for all the options are given in the book. I barely made any changes whatsoever to the pattern: not even my usual FBA or sway back adjustment. Aside from fiddling with the length and dropping the bust darts 0.5 inches and including back darts, that was it. I was very impressed with the fit. Note that the size range goes from XS to XXL.

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Babycord tunic dress made using The Tunic Bible by Sarah Gunn and Julie Starr

I am still waiting to receive my hard copy of The Tunic Bible (on its way), but have seen the full final version electronically and it is beautifully photographed, presented and written. Incidentally, anyone interested in sewing Indian style Kurta tops; this book is perfect for you and before I go to India next time I would love to sew a couple up.

If you would like to be in with a chance to win a copy of the book and check it out for yourself then there is a giveaway. Winners in the USA will receive a hard copy of the book; outside of the USA winners will receive an electronic copy, so this is open to all. All you have to do is leave a comment below before midnight GMT on 12th October 2016. If you want to be in with more chances to win then here’s the list of other participants of this book tour; you can enter on every single site if you wish🙂

October 3 – C&T; Pattern Review

October 4 – Cloning Couture; Generation Q Magazine

October 5 – Oonaballoona; Featherstitch Avenue

October 6 – Allie J; Thanks I Made Them

October 7 – Sew Busy Lizzy; Jennuine Design

October 8 – Inside the Hem; Girls in the Garden

October 9 – Sewmanju; My Love Affair with Sewing

October 10 – Evolution of a Sewing Goddess; Creating in the Gap

October 12 – House of Pinheiro; The Tunic Bible

Good Luck and well done Sarah and Julie for making this idea a hugely inspirational success.

*THIS GIVEAWAY HAS NOW ENDED*

My Image Sarah Dress S1024: DIY Teal Green Ponte Knit Tunic Dress

My Image Sarah Dress: DIY Teal Green Ponte Knit Tunic Dress
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My Image Sarah Dress: DIY Teal Green Ponte Knit Tunic Dress

Hi There!

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the Dutch makers of two new-to-me sewing magazines, Made by Oranges. This company sent me two sewing magazines to look at: My Image, which contains 16 patterns for women in sizes XS to 3XL (plus codes to down load a further 3 free patterns), and B-Trendy, which contains 20 patterns for children (boys and girls), in sizes from 1 year to teens, again with codes to down load a further 3 free patterns.

My hatred of tracing patterns from BurdaStyle magazines is well know. And, well, nothing much has changed in the course of using this magazine either, lol, but I know that LOTS of you LOVE using magazines like these and I can see that certainly the designs are stylish and on trend, and they do offer unsurpassed value for money. (BTW, the international shipping costs on these magazines are very reasonable, IMO).

Here are some images from the (womens) magazine before I get to talking about the dress I made. All very wearable and beautifully styled. I have also included the line drawings from the current issue of the childrens magazine below.

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My Image magazine issue 13, fall/ winter 2016 magazine images

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My Image magazine issue 13, fall/ winter 2016 magazine images

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My Image magazine issue 13, fall/ winter 2016 magazine images

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My Image magazine issue 13, fall/ winter 2016 magazine images

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My Image magazine issue 13, fall/ winter 2016 magazine images

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My Image magazine issue 13, fall/ winter 2016 magazine images

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My Image magazine issue 13, fall/ winter 2016 line drawings

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B-Trendy magazine issue 7, fall/ winter 2016 line drawings

Here is the magazine image of the dress I chose to make, which was one of the free download options.

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My Image Sarah Dress: magazine image

Here’s my version:

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My Image Sarah Dress: DIY Teal Green Ponte Knit Tunic Dress

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My Image Sarah Dress: DIY Teal Green Ponte Knit Tunic Dress

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My Image Sarah Dress: DIY Teal Green Ponte Knit Tunic Dress

 

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
This is an above the knee tunic style pattern with notched out neckline finished with facings, elbow length sleeves and an invisible zip in the centre back. There are bust darts but no other shaping to the tunic.
Pattern Sizing:
34-52 / XS-3XL (US 4-22)
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?
Instructions are minimal. They read ok in terms of the English and are sensible in their order, but I would say you need to have a bit of sewing knowledge/ experience to use these patterns.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
This particular pattern was one of the free download pattern options that came with the magazine. It printed off as 9 pages in total, but the pattern pieces were still overlapped so needed to be traced and you also had to add seam allowances. (This is a dislike for me). There is an option to create separate pattern pieces which is good news, and rather than printing 9 pages you would have to print 26 pages, but I chose the 9 page option because I wanted to tissue fit so would have had to trace the pattern anyway.

I don’t enjoy tracing patterns, and I found it quite hard to distinguish between the sizing lines. Also, I ended up grading out a couple of sizes at the hips and this was quite hard to do because the lower part of the tunic was traced off separate to the upper part (you tape them together once traced).

No finished measurements are provided.

You are expected to pick your size based on high bust measurement, which is what I did, and I did check with the makers what size cup they draft for, but they were not able to provide me with that information. However, I think in the end the fit through the bust and shoulders is pretty good for me.
Fabric Used:
Ponte knit.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • I added 3.25 inches to the length (this tunic is short!) and took a 1.25 inch hem at the bottom of the tunic.
  • Added 0.25 inches to the sleeve hem to match the bottom hem.
  • Made side seams and centre back seam allowances 1 inch for fitting – I ended up using 5/8ths inch for all seam allowances.
  • 0.5 inch sway back adjustment, adding removed length back to lower hem.
  • Shortened length of bust dart by 1 inch .
  • FYI this tunic took approx 2 metres fabric
  • Staystitched neckline and understitched facings and added clear elastic at shoulder seams.
  • Ended up adding darts in the back to provide more shaping.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Initially I wasn’t sure about this look for me, but I have already worn it and it is very comfortable and perfect for autumn. If you like working with sewing magazines I would recommend.
Conclusion:

Very wearable addition to my autumn wardrobe. A great alternative to BurdaStyle and remember all the patterns come in plus sizes – unlike BurdaStyle there is no separate plus size section. This is a bonus IMO.

Thank you to the Made by Oranges team for the chance to try these magazines out.

Happy Sewing!

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My Image Sarah Dress: DIY Teal Green Ponte Knit Tunic Dress

 

Simplicity 2446: DIY Tailored Ponte Wool Knit Navy Blazer

Simplicity 2446 DIY Tailored Ponte Wool Knit Navy Blazer
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Simplicity 2446 DIY Tailored Ponte Wool Knit Navy Blazer (worn with Pauline Alice Reina blouse)

Hi Everyone!

It’s been a while. That’s because this blazer has taken me almost 2 weeks to complete. This is the second tailored blazer I have made (you can see the first one here), and unlike last time when I used traditional hand stitching techniques, this time around I used the fusible approach. It still seemed to take me just as long, lol.

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Simplicity 2446 DIY Tailored Ponte Wool Knit Navy Blazer

To make this blazer I used Simplicity 2446, which is one of those Amazing Fit patterns with 1 inch vertical seam allowances to permit fitting alterations to be made. There are lots of things which I like about this blazer (see review below for full details), and it is definitely going to get lots of wear, but I am going to state here and now that I feel it is too big in the shoulders (one of the perils of not making a muslin)! Of course, after I started sewing this blazer up and looked in more detail at other reviews I realised that other sewists have observed the same thing. If you have relatively small shoulders then the chances are you are going to have to do some kind of small shoulder adjustment on this pattern. It might be more obvious in the following picture. Like I say, it won’t stop me wearing this blazer lots because I do love it, and truthfully probably will rarely wear it fastened, but if I am going to sew this pattern again it’s something I need to address.

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Simplicity 2446 DIY Tailored Ponte Wool Knit Navy Blazer

See not as obvious when open.

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Simplicity 2446 DIY Tailored Ponte Wool Knit Navy Blazer worn with Pauline Alice Reina Blouse

Another thing I would alter next time is the fit at the back. I ended up removing quite a few inches back there, and I think next time around I would add a centre back seam.

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Simplicity 2446 DIY Tailored Ponte Wool Knit Navy Blazer

As mentioned above, this blazer was made using fusible interfacings to take the place of traditional tailoring techniques (full details below). I used the Craftsy class, Modern Jacket Techniques, but I am going to do a review of that class another day. What I will say is that the price of that class is worth it purely for the demonstration of the welt pockets that Pam Howard does. Brilliant! My first time doing these type of welt pockets with flaps and I am pretty pleased with how well they turned out. TIP: Pam advises double interfacing the flaps with a heavier weight weft insertion interfacing to help them hang correctly, and they do.

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Simplicity 2446 DIY Tailored Ponte Wool Knit Navy Blazer – Welt pocket with flap detail

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Simplicity 2446 DIY Tailored Ponte Wool Knit Navy Blazer – lined pocket flap in welt pocket detail

It is worth noting that the original Simplicity pattern does not include actual welt pockets, but a faux flap, and then an inseam pocket is inserted into the princess seam coming down from the shoulder. Dislike! Another thing which lets this pattern down somewhat is that there is no separate lining pieces included. As part of the Craftsy class, Pam Howard instructs you how to draft the back lining piece and also how to draft a back neck facing to add stability to the back of the jacket. I chose to bag my lining out.

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Simplicity 2446 DIY Tailored Ponte Wool Knit Navy Blazer – lining/ back facing detail

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Simplicity 2446 DIY Tailored Ponte Wool Knit Navy Blazer – inside flat piping at facing detail

None functioning vents are included as part of the two piece sleeve.

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Simplicity 2446 DIY Tailored Ponte Wool Knit Navy Blazer – triple button vent detail

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Misses’ and Miss Petite lined jacket sewing pattern with individual pattern pieces for A, B, C cup sizes. Simplicity sewing pattern, Amazing Fit Collection.
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?
I didn’t really follow them. I followed the Craftsy class, Modern Jacket Techniques to make this jacket. I will post a review for that class on my blog soon.

One thing I did notice is that the instructions seem to miss out altogether the sewing of the dart on the jacket front.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Likes:

  • I really like the shoulder princess seams. I think it gives a leaner, cleaner look to the jacket.
  • I made minimal alterations to this jacket (really it is a wearable muslin as I hate to muslin otherwise).
  • I like the two piece sleeves (with non functioning vents), and they went in very easily.
  • Two piece under collar which is cut on the bias and with in-built turn of cloth, resulting in neat finished collar with no under collar showing on upper collar.

Dislikes:

  • The blazer is too big for me in the shoulders (despite selecting my size based on high bust measurement). Next time around I will do a small shoulder adjustment. After making this jacket and reading other reviews this appears to be a common complaint from women with smaller shoulders, so be warned. It won’t stop me wearing the jacket though!
  • I dislike the original in seam pockets with the faux flaps, and replaced them with welt pockets with flap.
  • No back lining pattern piece included. I drafted a back lining piece with pleat and a back neck facing, using instructions provided in the Craftsy class.
  • I would like to add a centre back seam if I make this pattern up again. I found I had to remove quite a bit of excess in the back to improve the fit.

Fabric Used:
A ponte wool double knit. Viscose lining.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • Added an extra button so blazer has three, rather than two, buttonholes
  • Changed inseam pockets with faux flap to welt pockets with flap
  • Drafted back lining piece with pleat and back neck facing
  • 1 inch sway back adjustment with removed length added back to hems
  • I ended up removing quite a bit from the back seams and a little from the side seams to improve overall fit
  • 2 inch full arm adjustment
  • My blazer is interfaced heavily inside. I used a lightweight knit interfacing to interface the blazer fronts, side fronts, all hems, sleeve vents, upper sleeve down to bicep level (about 8.5 inches), upper collar, upper back and upper side back (in place of a traditional back stay) and also pocket welts and back neck facing. I used a slightly heavier weight weft insertion interfacing to interface the front facings, under collar, a collar stand and pocket flaps (which were double interfaced to help them hang better).
  • Added topstitching and flat piping at the facing inside.
  • Made custom shoulder pads
  • Taped the shoulder seams using twill tape.
  • Added shoulder reinforcements made using hair canvas as otherwise the shoulders were collapsing on me as a result of being too big.
  • Bagged the lining out.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I am trying to find the perfect TNT blazer pattern and, with the exception of the shoulder fitting and lack of centre back seam this one is close. I might give it another go. Yes, I would recommend this pattern.
Conclusion:

Despite some fit issues I love the finished blazer and it will definitely get LOTS of wear and love from me: a wardrobe staple.

Have you got a favourite blazer pattern? I still have McCalls 6172 in my stash…have a great week ahead!

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Simplicity 2446 DIY Tailored Ponte Wool Knit Navy Blazer

 

 

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