Archive by Author | sewmanju

Simplicity 8166: DIY shirred high neck line dress

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Simplicity 8166 shirred high neck dress

Hey Friends,

Today I am sharing my version of Simplicity 8166. This is a little different style for me, but one that I have been wearing lots since I made it. It’s great to throw on over a pair of tights and boots, and layered with a cardigan if needed. (BTW, I think this pattern might be heading to OOP soon).

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Simplicity 8166 shirred high neck dress

My version is made from a floral printed viscose. It feels very comfortable to wear. I did make some adjustments to the pattern (including some aspects of the construction – see below), and overall the fit is ok, but I should have done an FBA. The gaping is not that noticeable (only at one point), but if I made this again I will have to do that.

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Simplicity 8166 shirred high neck dress

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Simplicity 8166 shirred high neck dress

There are two main things to watch out for with pattern:

  1. The pattern has you creating narrow multiple channels at the neck and sleeve openings, and feeding narrow elastic through to create the shirred effect. Yuck! Who has time for that? I replaced all of that fuss by simply sewing lines of shirring elastic to create the same effect. Soft, comfortable and stress free.
  2. The length of elastic you are recommended to use in the pattern to create the button loops (8 cm) is way too long. I used the recommended size of buttons but used 5 cm long elastic strips.

Some close up details:

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Simplicity 8166 shirred high neck dress – neck button loop details

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Simplicity 8166 shirred high neck dress – buttons close up

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Simplicity 8166 shirred high neck dress – shirring detail on sleeves

Pattern Review

Pattern Description: 

Misses’ peasant style blouse and dress features a shirring or bow tie neckline to create a chic look. Pattern also includes skirt and pant.

I made view A.

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?

They were so – so. There are some things to watch out for, which I detail below.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

This is a different style for me but I have been wearing this lots since I made it. I like the high collar and the shirred sleeves. Nothing to dislike – if you watch out for a couple of things.

Fabric Used:

Floral printed viscose

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • 1 inch full arm adjustment.
  • The pattern has you creating narrow multiple channels at the neck and sleeve openings, and feeding narrow elastic through to create the shirred effect. Yuck! Who has time for that? I replaced all of that fuss by simply sewing lines of shirring elastic to create the same effect. Soft, comfortable and stress free.
  • I added interfacing to my plackets – the pattern does not tell you to do that.
  • I made my collar facing 0.25 inches wider than the pattern has you do.
  • The length of elastic you are recommended to use in the pattern to create the button loops (8 cm) is way too long. I used the recommended size of buttons but used 5 cm long elastic strips.
  • I took a 2.5 inch hem.

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

I don’t know if I will sew this again, just because it is quite distinctive. If I did I will do a small FBA. Yes, I recommend – with caution.

Conclusion: 

If you favour the prim and proper victoriana style check this one out. I have been wearing this lots since I made it.

Hope you are all ready for Christmas! Here’s a shot of me with Kezia….no longer a baby (almost 9 years), but still excited for the festive season. Who thinks that this time next year she might be the same height as me?

Until soon…

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Simplicity 8166 shirred high neck dress

 

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Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt (Plus Size) 08/2014#136B: DIY Liberty Kindle Linford fleece sweatshirt

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Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt (Plus Size) 08/2014#136B: Liberty Kindle Linford fleece sweatshirt

Hey Readers,

I first made this Burdastyle sweatshirt pattern up 3 years ago – see here for my first version. I like the idea of a smarter looking sweatshirt, but the first version didn’t get worn too much because the fabric really wasn’t very good quality (started to pill after a few wears). Also, it is designed to be oversized, but I decided the fit needed refining some what.

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Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt (Plus Size) 08/2014#136B: Liberty Kindle Linford fleece sweatshirt

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Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt (Plus Size) 08/2014#136B: Liberty Kindle Linford fleece sweatshirt

I have to give full credit to Blogless Anna who made a Linden sweatshirt from the same fabric and who’s blog post I found invaluable in learning how to handle the Liberty fleece – go check her blog post out for all the details.

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Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt (Plus Size) 08/2014#136B: Liberty Kindle Linford fleece sweatshirt

So, here’s the deal. I have worn this sweatshirt already a fair bit. It is colourful, cheerful, snuggly and warm. The fabric, as you would expect from Liberty, is very good quality. But, I think this particular sweatshirt pattern is not for me. In fact, I think I have decided that Burdstyle plus size patterns might not be for me – at least if I use them I think I need to do small shoulder adjustments and maybe even address low armhole issues. Like I say I have worn this sweatshirt already, lots, but I don’t think the fit is great for me. Here’s the adjustments I made to this version:

  • Removed 2.5 inches from length of sleeves
  • Shortened shoulder darts by 1.5 inches
  • Slimmed body down by 1 inch all around
  • Slimmed sleeves down by approx. 4.5 inches (!)
  • Shortened length of sweatshirt by 2.5 inches
  • Twin needled the hem
  • Gathered the sleeves in to a cuff

So this is a useful garment to have in my casual wardrobe, but I think I need to find a different sweatshirt pattern. Either I try the Grainline Linden, or I try one of the big 4 versions (I actually have McCalls 7688 on its way to me, cos, you know, ruffles).

Until soon!

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Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt (Plus Size) 08/2014#136B: Liberty Kindle Linford fleece sweatshirt

Butterick 6157: DIY gold sequin woven tee top

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Butterick 6157 gold sequin woven tee top

Hi Friends,

Today I am sharing a top made using Butterick 6157, which I have previously made before in a silk velvet (see here). That simple silk velvet tee has been worn a few times since I made it last year. It is great to just throw on over a pair of jeans when you want to look smart but not too dressed up.

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Butterick 6157 gold sequin woven tee top

This gold sequin fabric had been languishing in my stash for a couple of years? I am glad to have used it up. I have already worn this top a couple of times: once with my faux leather leggings, and once (for my birthday), just as I have shown here with heels and skinny jeans.

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Butterick 6157 gold sequin woven tee top

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Butterick 6157 gold sequin woven tee top

I made no fit adjustments to this pattern. As the sequins were sewn on to a white mesh base I found a scrap of white pongee lining in my stash which I thought would be ok to line the top. I just made a second version of the top in the lining fabric (which I cut about 5/8ths inch shorter?) and sewed the outer and inner pieces together at the neck. I did find the first time I wore this top the lining was rolling out to the outside. I went back and added a second line of understitching and it seems ok…better than before. I finished the hems off using satin bias tape.

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Butterick 6157 gold sequin woven tee top: inside pongee lining and bias tape hem finish

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Butterick 6157 gold sequin woven tee top: close up bias tape hem finish

There’s not a lot else to say about this top….I used my paper scissors to cut the sequin fabric, a normal size 80 needle to sew and my walking foot. It is a pretty full on look, but that’s why I think wearing something like jeans on the lower half balances it out. I think it will be useful around the festive season. I don’t know how much it will come out of the wardrobe post new year.

See you soon!

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Butterick 6157 gold sequin woven tee top

 

OOP Vogue 8887 – DIY fixed wrap pleated front oxblood wool crepe skirt

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Vogue 8887 fixed wrap pleated front skirt in wool crepe – worn with silk crepe de chine sew over it pussy bow blouse

Hi Friends,

I have got a few projects that I have finished and want to blog about before the year end so this is the first of those. Expect some brief reviews 🙂

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Vogue 8887 fixed wrap pleated front skirt in wool crepe

Long term readers of this blog will know that I went back to work about 6 months ago and whilst I was fine for clothes through the summer period, now it has become cold I am finding I would like more choice in my winter work wear. This wool crepe (I think) has been sitting in my stash since the early part of the year. I bought it from the remnants section of (local to me) Linton Tweed, as two 1 metre skirt lengths. It is a much deeper, richer oxblood colour than shown in these photographs. I prewashed the fabric so I can launder it at home myself.

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Vogue 8887 fixed wrap pleated front skirt in wool crepe

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Vogue 8887 fixed wrap pleated front skirt in wool crepe

 

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Vogue 8887 fixed wrap pleated front skirt in wool crepe

The pattern is OOP Vogue 8887, view D. Full review below. Two things of note about this skirt:

  1. It is cut entirely on the bias. I don’t know if that has caused my back seam to stretch slightly (?) but the seam is not fully smooth over my bottom. I did interface the area before inserting my (invisible) zip.
  2. The waist is finished using grosgrain ribbon – treating the ribbon rather like a bias facing. Sorry, I have not taken a photograph. This is first time I have used this kind of treatment to finish a waist. I have already worn this skirt for two full days and it is very comfortable and doesn’t twist or move at all.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description: 

Mock wrap skirt has pleated overlay and concealed slit. Narrow hem. Slightly below waist, back zipper. Purchased grosgrain finishes waist. Semi-fitted, bias.

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?

Yep. I think so. One thing to watch out for: the waist is finished using a grosgrain ribbon, rather like a bias facing. Don’t get me wrong, I have worn this skirt for two full days since I made it  and it has been supremely comfortable and secure, and didn’t twist or move. But I do feel the reason the front overlay looks longer is because the ribbon, despite being tacked down inside as instructed, can’t seem to fully take the weight of the front, hence it hangs a bit lower. The pattern envelope picture shows the same. It doesn’t bother me too much but I might go back and have another look at it.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yep.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I love the finished skirt. It’s very cute. I love the princess seams in the back: great fitting opportunity! The whole skirt is cut on the bias, and that, together with the waist treatment, makes this skirt very comfortable and wearable. However, I am not 100% happy with my slightly lumpy centre back seam: I don’t know if it’s due to the seam stretching out there, inspite my interfacing the area. Nothing to dislike about the pattern.

Fabric Used:

Wool crepe purchased from Linton Tweeds remnants section in store.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • I made all the vertical seams up to 1 inch for extra fit insurance. I used some of this extra allowance to sew the skirt up, but took the waist in to fit me.
  • I did a 1 inch full bottom adjustment

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

Don’t know if I need another of these skirts in my wardrobe. I recommend.

Conclusion: 

Cute, comfortable and smart. I am pleased to have this skirt in my wardrobe.

Back soon with more reviews 🙂

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Vogue 8887 fixed wrap pleated front skirt in wool crepe

 

OOP Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179: DIY Indian Lengha Gown

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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

Hi Everyone,

Trying to play catch up on blogging stuff I haven’t shared yet. I still like to blog and have a proper record of things I have made, but like everyone else, it’s so easy to just go with the flow on Instagram and get behind on blogging. Anyway, here’s an outfit I made in August to attend my cousin’s wedding in New Jersey at the beginning of September. It was a meeting of cultures (you may remember I made Simplicity 8292 to wear to the church ceremony), with my cousin marrying a Canadian. The dress code for the evening was Indian attire.

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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

So, the fabrics were all ordered online. The blue and gold viscose/ silk brocade and the plain navy blue dupioni silk were ordered from one particular ebay seller who shipped the silks to me from India using DHL. I couldn’t fault the seller on their shipping time, but actually, when I realised I needed more of the brocade (for pattern matching purposes), the seller didn’t respond. In fact, they now seem to have come off ebay, and appear to have set up a website, which you can see here. So, whilst I have no experience of buying through that website, certainly through ebay it was a smooth enough transaction.

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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

Details on other materials used:

  • The sheer fabric at the top of the bodice is silk chiffon
  • The whole gown is lined using a navy cotton lawn purchased from Minerva crafts
  • The silk dupioni bodice is underlined using silk organza (from my stash)
  • I used Hemline Featherlite cotton covering boning for the bodice. It was very easy to cut, sew and work with
  • I cut all of the (8?) brocade panels in a single layer in order to preserve the pattern flow and get some pattern matching (at the centre fronts and backs). It turned out I didn’t have enough to cut all the panels that way, full length. So I ended up ordering some gold lame and created a 11 inch deep border at the bottom of the skirt. The lame came from Midland Textiles on ebay
  • The dupatta (the long scarf thing) that I have draped over my arms was part of a set I already had. I didn’t really want to have a dupatta, but it’s pretty much a standard part of most Indian outfits. In the end the colour was a good match with the border fabric
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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

To create this gown I used a combination of (OOP) Vogue 8849 for the bodice and Butterick 6179 for the skirt. I recommend both patterns. Really, I did minimal alterations to achieve my look, and I have never felt so comfortable in an Indian outfit. There was no pulling or yanking or tugging all night long 🙂 The Vogue pattern in particular is great because it is a multi-cup size pattern, so no FBA required.

Pattern notes:

  • I used Vogue 8849 for the bodice (view E), and cut a size 18 through the bust and shoulders, C cup, grading out one size at the waist.
  • I lowered the bust fullness by 1 inch (Tip: remember to do any fitting with the bra you intend to wear with the outfit. For me, that was a strapless bra).
  • I ended up removing 0.25 inch from each of the front princess seams at the top of the bust, and taking a corresponding tuck out of the upper front pattern piece.
  • The pattern instructions don’t seem to mention adding boning to view E, but I chose to add some for extra support.
  • I did a 6/8ths inch sway back adjustment on the bodice.
  • I used french seams to sew the sheer silk chiffon upper bodice, and did narrow baby hems 0.5 inches from the cut edge.
  • I did a 1 inch full arm adjustment.
  • I used Butterick 6179 for the skirt (view B).
  • I added an 11 inch deep border to the bottom of the skirt, cut on the cross grain, from lame.
  • I did a 1 inch full bottom adjustment and adjusted the skirt seams to ensure they matched with the bodice seams where necessary.
  • I added a 5 inch deep interfaced hem.

All in all, yes, this gown was a fair bit of work. Using well drafted solid patterns really helped me to achieve my vision. I loved how this gown fitted me, and the fact it was constructed from all natural fabrics (with the exception of the border). It felt light, but supportive, and fits me better than any RTW Indian outfit I have bought in the past. The day of the wedding I noticed there was a small tear where the sheer bodice had joined the silk dupioni bodice,  in the front. I ended up patching it together, and it held fast. I will have to go back and check it some time. The dress, and the wedding, were a grand success. Here’s wishing the married couple enjoy many years of happy married life ahead.

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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

 

 

Butterick 6384: DIY Red Mohair Wool Robe Wrap Belted Coat

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

Hello Friends,

Today I want to share my most recent make with you: Butterick 6384, made in the most delicious heavy, warm, luxurious all wool/ mohair coating purchased from Fabworks. I just love how warm and cosy this coat is. Actually, I purchased this fabric using some money I was gifted with for my birthday last year, so I am extra pleased to have got this sewn up before our winter really sets in (and before my birthday in a couple of weeks).

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

The lining is an acetate satin lining, purchased from The Lining Company. Never used them before, but I recommend. Fast delivery and good quality lining.

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

In case you’re wondering what the coat looks like without a belt, here you go. I think I might wear it either way…I like both looks.

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

Here it is unfastened…

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

The next few photographs were just taken on my iphone, but I am including them because I think they show the texture of the wool and the seaming detail better, and there are some in progress internal structure shots. BTW, no filters have been used for any of these photographs. This is not a colour for the feint hearted!

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar – shoulder reinforcement cut from hair canvas

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar – back stay and shoulder pads

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar – shoulder reinforcement and shoulder pads

I am entering this coat in the Pattern Review Wool Coat Contest – there is some pretty stiff competition so head over to check out all the entries.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description: 

Lined, loose-fitting coat has front extending into shawl collar and two-piece sleeve. A, B: Purchased fringe. B: Snap closure. C: Self-belt and contrast bands. D: Purchased binding.

I essentially made view C, but without the contrast bands.

Pattern Sizing:

Size 4 – 26

For reference, with Big 4 patterns, I would normally cut a size 18 through the shoulders, arms and bust and grade out a size or even two over the waist/ hips as needed. With this particular coat I cut straight size L (16-18) with minor additions to some seam allowances (see below for more details).

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

Kind of. Yes. Mine doesn’t have the contrast bands or fringing.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Hmmm, I didn’t really follow them as I have my own particular methods I like to use when tailoring a coat. At quick glance they seemed “ok”.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

Well, I just love the finished coat. It’s something completely different for me, and a style (and colour) I don’t have in my (coat) wardrobe. I love the fact it looks good belted or unbelted, and I love the dramatic statement collar. There are only 6 pieces to cut for the outer of this coat, which makes it less daunting for newbies. I like the shaping in the back.

The one thing I was a little disappointed in was that, surprisingly, finished garment measurements did not seem to be provided for the main body of the coat (although they were for the sleeves). Having the finished measurements would have been useful in selecting the most appropriate size. Also, watch out for the lower pocket markings – they seemed a little off to me.

Fabric Used:

The outer fabric is an all wool/ mohair coating. It is described on the Fabworks website as a knitted coating. I found it stable and very easy to work with.

The inner lining is an acetate satin.

I used a fusible knit interfacing to interface the entire body of the coat, and the hems and cap/ armscye of the sleeves.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

My changes were largely to do with extra tailoring steps that I chose to incorporate:

  • As mentioned above I cut a straight size L (16 – 18) but added 3/8ths inch to the side seams at the waist and hips and ended up letting the side back princess seams out from the waist downwards by 3/8ths inch.
  • With hindsight I perhaps should have perhaps made a 0.5 inch small shoulder adjustment?
  • I adjusted for turn of cloth at the collar, and removed 0.25 inch from the undercollar and down to the bottom of the roll line.
  • I added a backstay cut from muslin.
  • I added shoulder reinforcement cut from hair canvas.
  • I added a pleat to the back lining.
  • I made my own custom shoulder pads.
  • I interfaced the entire body of the coat, and the hems and caps and armscyes of the sleeves.
  • I added belt loops.
  • I bagged the lining out by machine.

Tip: I followed a “with nap” layout when I cut this fabric out. This fabric has a kind of pile, so I cut all my pieces so that they felt smooth when I brushed them downwards.

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

I don’t know if I would sew again, simply because it’s such a distinctive style. Saying that, I think a sleeveless version might be cute…? Yes, I highly recommend.

Conclusion: 

I think we are all guilty of declaring our latest completed sewing project as our all time favourite. But seriously, I am in love with the colour of this coat, the feel of the wool (so luxurious and warm!) and I just love the drama this coat brings. Every year my daughter’s christmas carol service is held in the school chapel which is cold and draughty. All the mums rock up in their best outerwear, and this year, I will be secretly snug, smug and full of festive cheer. Ho ho ho 🙂

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

Photo credit: Kezia – thanks for doing a brilliant job for mummy.

 

Kwik Sew 4015: DIY Floral Print Shower Curtain Hooded Rain Jacket Anorak

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain

Hi Friends,

I think its been more than a month since my last blog post…life has been (and continues to be) busy! Kezia and I have been to the USA to attend my cousin’s wedding, and there is a post to come on the Indian outfit I made for that, but today I wanted to share a hooded anorak I made using Kwik Sew 4015 and two floral printed shower curtains, purchased from Marks and Spencers (now sold out but lots of others to choose from). Why shower curtains? I just couldn’t find anything in a shower proof fabric that had a print on it that I liked. You all know me: I like a floral print.

First up, I need to thank Ange from Blacklabel blog for kindly sending this pattern to me. Sewing friends are the best! I probably wouldn’t have bought this pattern myself, but, with some modifications, it turned out to be a corker.

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain

What I didn’t realise when I bought the shower curtains, was, that actually the design ran centrally down the length of the curtain, so I needed to be careful with my cutting out to balance the design across the jacket. There was a fair bit of waste. I did spend quite a bit of time cutting this jacket out using a single layer layout, and using cut pieces to get matching mirror image pieces. I think it worked out ok in the end.

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain

As designed, this jacket is intended to be lined edge to edge, with the lining providing a pop of contrast against the outer jacket fabric. I decided I didn’t want that kind of look, so I drafted a facing for the front as well as the hood. I also added elasticated cuffs and extra eyelets under the arms for ventilation.

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain – front facings and lining

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain – lining

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain – underarm eyelets

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain – elasticated cuff

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain – hood eyelet detail

One thing I would say to watch out for, is sewing the side slits: I found it hard to get the slits even on either side. I used a walking foot and french seams for most of the construction, just because I thought that would make the jacket a bit more water resistant. This is not a jacket that I would wear in heavy downpours, but light summer showers, and I think it serves that purpose well enough. It is a true shower curtain shower proof jacket 🙂

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Jackets have long sleeves. A: Stand-up collar, button closures and purchased bias binding. B: High-low hem, lined with contrast fabric, has patch pockets, hood with drawstring in casing and snap closures.

I made view B.

Pattern Sizing:

XS – XL

I made a straight size XL – I could perhaps have done a FBA but I think I have just about got away without one.

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

Yes,  but with some minor modifications.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

This really is one of those patterns where you need to look beyond the envelope styling and check out the line drawings and use your imagination! I am very happy with the finished garment. I could see me making this again maybe in a solid waxed cotton? It is a cute, casual jacket. Love the hood too. Where I live, with the amount of rain we get,  hooded jackets are a must. There does seem to be a slight discrepancy in the length of the front and back shoulder seams, and also the dots for the side slits don’t seem to match.

Fabric Used:

Two floral shower curtains for the outer, with a polyester lining. I was worried it might feel too hot and sticky, but really, it doesn’t.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • 1 inch sway back adjustment, with the removed length added back to the hem.
  • Drafted facings for the front and hood.
  • French seam construction.
  • I did use an iron with iron-in interfacing and a silk organza press cloth throughout.
  • Added elastic cuffs.
  • Added extra eyelets under the arms for ventilation.
  • TIP: I avoided using pins and used pattern weights to cut out and quilting clips to hold pieces together.

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

Yes, I might sew again. Yes. I recommend.

Conclusion: 

Who says rainwear has to be boring? I love my summery fun jacket that brightens up even the dullest of days.

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain

Hopefully it won’t be so long before the next post. I am now all about sewing for autumn…it is definitely autumn weather here. Until soon.

 

 

 

 

Pauline Alice Faura Top and Vogue 1411: DIY white crepe tunic top and black faux leather leggings

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Pauline Alice Faura Tunic Top and Vogue 1411 Faux Leather Leggings

*Edit: Pauline Alice kindly sent me the Faura pattern as a gift to review, but as ever, all opinions are my own.

Hi Everyone,

Today I am back with a new me-made outfit which was super speedy to sew. Let’s start with the top.

The top is the Faura Top, which is the latest offering from Pauline Alice, and comes with the option to also make it as a dress. This top features an oval (ish) neckline in the front, an opening in the back, front and back princess seams, no side seams, an A-line shape and a waist tab to provide some shaping which is fastened using D-rings. The facings are topstitched in place. As ever with Pauline’s pattern, despite this being a simple top, the details are well thought out.

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Pauline Alice Faura Tunic Top and Vogue 1411 Faux Leather Leggings

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Pauline Alice Faura Tunic Top and Vogue 1411 Faux Leather Leggings

I made mine in a viscose crepe. I rarely seem to make things in white but I am trying to make neutral basics which make getting dressed for work in the morning easy, and so that’s probably what influenced my colour choice. Not a huge amount to say about this top which I don’t cover in my pattern review below. It’s a good wardrobe basic to have and I think there are so many different looks you could achieve with this pattern depending on fabric selection.

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Pauline Alice Faura Tunic Top and Vogue 1411 Faux Leather Leggings

Now about the leggings: these are made using Vogue 1411, a Sandra Betzina pattern and I chose to make mine from faux stretch leather. Possibly not the best fabric choice to start with on a pattern which I hadn’t tested before. Overall, I am ok with the fit and they are definitely wearable (not to work though!) The thing I am least happy with in terms of the fit is the lines I have at the backs of my knees. I am wondering if I need to do a full calf adjustment? I think I will try that if I make this again. That might also alleviate some of the lines in the front too? There is lots of interesting seaming on these leggings, which unfortunately you can’t see much of on my black fabric. Here’s the line drawing (I made view B).

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Vogue 1411 line drawing

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Pauline Alice Faura Tunic Top and Vogue 1411 Faux Leather Leggings

They are definitely very comfortable, even if they do seem to make a somewhat alarming squeaking noise 🙂 I think these will get worn lots but I would like the chance to refine the fit somewhat.

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Pauline Alice Faura Tunic Top and Vogue 1411 Faux Leather Leggings

Faura Top Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Top or dress which features an oval (ish) neckline in the front, an opening in the back, front and back princess seams, no side seams, an A-line shape and a waist tab to provide some shaping which is fastened using D-rings. The facings are topstitched in place.

Pattern Sizing:

Sizes 34 – 48

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 like the simple design with the princess seams which make doing an FBA relatively easy (you will have to add in a side seam to do the FBA but tape it back up once you have finished if you want to keep the seamless side piece). I like the waist tabs with the D-ring feature and the fit. I think it looks very contemporary. Personally speaking, I think maybe I might add in a side seam for next time: I think I would prefer something to break up the fabric there, but maybe if I had used a pattern fabric I might feel differently about that?

Fabric Used:

Viscose crepe

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • 1 inch FBA
  • Added about 1 inch to the side back seams from the high hip down to the hem
  • Lengthened top by 3.5 inches
  • 1.25 inch full arm adjustment
  • Added interfacing to the facings and staystiched the necklines (not mentioned in instructions)
  • Made a bias rouleux loop and added a button for the fastening

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

Yes, I might sew again and yes I do recommend.

Conclusion:

Contemporary, comfortable and some interesting features make this top a winner.

 

Vogue 1411 Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Close-fitting pants elasticized waistband, front guide, seam detail, edgestitching and stitched hems. A: Straight leg. B: Tapered.

For moderate stretch knits only.
I made view B.

Pattern Sizing:

A – J.

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

Yes. Ish.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yep. Very thorough

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I know I will wear these and the only reason I am not fully happy with them is not to do with the pattern but the fit: I think I need to do a full calf adjustment to eliminate the lines at the back of the knees? But that is the risk you take when you don’t muslin. I love the interesting seaming detail. Also, its great that a seamless pant AND legging front is included in the pattern to cut a muslin or use to make plain front pants or leggings. Great value for money. Fitting pointers are included with the instructions.

Fabric Used:

Faux stretch leather.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • I was advised on Instagram that this pattern ran a bit small so I sized up. The fit through the waist, bum and hips is good but I ended up narrowing the lower legs quite a bit
  • Added 3 inches to lower leg length, but ended up removing 2.75 inches of this.
  • FOR NEXT TIME, I would try the full calf adjustment and also a slight full bum adjustment of maybe 1 inch to raise the height of the back.

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

I would like to try these again. I do recommend.

Conclusion:

A great pattern to have in the stash: very comfortable and not your boring basic legging.

Next up for me is more wedding sewing!

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Pauline Alice Faura Tunic Top and Vogue 1411 Faux Leather Leggings

 

 

Simplicity 8292: DIY Flutter Sleeve Fuschia Pink Crepe Sheath Dress

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Simplicity 8292 flutter sleeve sheath dress in fuschia pink triple crepe

Hi everyone,

I am going on a flying visit to the States at the end of September for my cousin’s wedding and I made this dress thinking I would wear this to the daytime/ church ceremony. Now I am having second thoughts as to whether it will be too warm (New Jersey at the end of September – Carolyn or anyone else, any thoughts?). Anyway, the pattern is Simplicity 8292. The main thing to note about my version is that I have moved the under bust/ empire line seam down to create a waist seam, which I personally find more comfortable and flattering. More details on that in the review below.

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Simplicity 8292 flutter sleeve sheath dress in fuschia pink triple crepe

The fabric is this triple crepe in fuschia pink, purchased from Minerva crafts. I have worked with this triple crepe before and it is quite weighty. I was worried it might fray like mad, but it wasn’t too bad. I put it through a hot 60 degree prewash and it cut and sewed very well. I did use a medium heat for pressing with steam and my clapper to get a crisper finish on my pressing.

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Simplicity 8292 flutter sleeve sheath dress in fuschia pink triple crepe

Can I just say I am thrilled with the fit through the back of the skirt? I would never be able to get a sheath dress like this to fit me RTW and I love the princess seams on this pattern for the fit opportunities. I did do a full bum adjustment and it worked very well.

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Simplicity 8292 flutter sleeve sheath dress in fuschia pink triple crepe

The main attraction of this pattern of course is the statement flutter sleeves. They do make this dress very of the moment, but other sleeve options are included in the pattern (including a cold sleeve option as well as a plain short sleeve option), so I would consider making this dress again for work in a neutral colour with the short sleeve option – now I have got the dress to fit me so well. One thing to watch out for: I wish I had chosen another seam finishing technique to finish the sleeve seam instead of overlocking. I mean, you can’t see it in these pictures when I have the dress on, but personally I think it looks a little ugly, and if I was making this dress again with the flutter sleeves I would reconsider this aspect.

I chose to fully line my dress. I used this tutorial to fully machine the lining around the armholes which I think worked well. Inside shots:

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Simplicity 8292 flutter sleeve sheath dress in fuschia pink triple crepe – machine finish lining attachment around armhole

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Simplicity 8292 flutter sleeve sheath dress in fuschia pink triple crepe – full lining

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Simplicity 8292 flutter sleeve sheath dress in fuschia pink triple crepe – machine finish lining attachment around armhole

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

This Misses’/Miss Petite dress features three different sleeve options, princess seams, invisible back zipper, lined bodice and your choice of either long flare or pencil cut each in two lengths.

I made view C with some alterations.

Pattern Sizing:

6 – 22

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

Yes, although the most noticeable difference between the pattern and my version is that I moved the under bust/ empire line seam down to hit at my waist.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes. I kind of did my own thing when it came to the lining.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I love the finished dress: the fit and the statement flutter sleeves. Love the princess seams which give lots of fitting opportunities. I wish I had chosen another seam finishing technique to finish the sleeve seam instead of overlocking. I mean, you can’t see it in these pictures when I have the dress on, but personally I think it looks a little ugly, and if I was making this dress again with the flutter sleeves I would reconsider this aspect.

Fabric Used:

Triple crepe outer and polyester lining.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • I cut my usual size 18 through the shoulders and bust and graded out over the waist and hips.
  • I cut the skirt pattern off at the marked waistline and taped the pieces I cut off  onto the bottom of the corresponding bodice pieces, overlapping the seam allowances, and re-adding new seam allowances at the bottom edges and at the new top edges of the skirt pattern pieces. I did this in order to move the under bust/ empire line down to waist level, which I personally find more comfortable and flattering.
  • 1 inch FBA
  • Added about an inch to the side seams but probably removed most of that when fitting the dress. Used a slightly larger seam allowance than suggested to insert the zipper in the centre back seam
  • 1 inch sway back adjustment on bodice
  • Added a full lining
  • Used the princess seams to fit: let them out approx. 0.25 inch in the tummy and bottom area
  • Did 1 inch full bum adjustment largely to add length to the back of the skirt to account for my full bottom
  • After making the FBA etc some of the seams didn’t match so had to make some adjustments to make the bodice and skirt seams match
  • Interfaced the skirt hems, vent area and zipper opening
  • Hand stitched hems

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

Initially I thought my answer to this would be no. But the fact that a plain short sleeve is included means I could see me making this dress again in a neutral colour for work. Yes, I recommend.

Conclusion:

I love the fit, the colour and the statement sleeves. Remains to be seen whether I actually wear this to the wedding at the end of September in New Jersey or if it will be too hot.

Over on Instagram, Diane and Helen are currently running #sleevefest2017 – the deadline for which is on 31st August, so I think I am just in time.

Enjoy the long weekend if you have one, otherwise enjoy your week.

Until soon.

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Simplicity 8292 flutter sleeve sheath dress in fuschia pink triple crepe

 

 

 

Kwik Sew K4111 and Burdastyle 06/2016 #140: DIY Green Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress and Girls Tie Front Blouse

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress

Friends!

This dress was born out of Instagram: I saw the fabric on Fabricgodmother’s feed, and I couldnt resist the super saturated colour (hard to capture the true colour in these photographs) or the floral print, so I ordered 3 metres a couple of weeks back. This was one of those rare occassions when, as soon as the fabric arrived, I was determined to sew something from it. I had Kwik Sew K4111 in my stash and I thought the crepe paired with the tulip skirt and feminine bodice would work well together. Also, I am no horticultural expert, but aren’t they tulips on the fabric? Seemed like a match made in heaven to me.

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress

I am super pleased with the fit I got on this dress, which I tissue fitted. I love the tulip skirt. It is very secure, with the underlap being sewn into the side seam, so even if the front were to inadvertently blow up, you won’t be showing anything you shouldn’t. Also, I LOVE the facings and the instructions which showed you how to get a completely clean, machine finish all around the armholes. Magic! Be bored with several pictures just of the inside:

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress – back facing (don’t ask me why I bought a purple zipper! It’s a good thing I am pretty good at sewing a concealed zipper in, because you can’t tell from the outside)

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress – front facing

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress – clean finish armhole

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress

I just love the finished dress, even if I am sad that the summer seems all but over for us and so I don’t know how much opportunity I will have to wear this until next year.

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Dresses have bodice with partial gathers at waist seam, scoop neckline, back zipper, overlapping front tulip skirts with pleats, back darts and stitched hems. Neckline and armholes are finished with facings. Self-fabric belt. A: Sleeveless with neckline notch and topstitching at armhole. B: Self-faced cap sleeves.

I made view B.

Pattern Sizing:<

XS – XL

I cut a size L through the shoulders and  bust and graded out over the waist and hips.

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. I particularly love the facings and the clean (machine) finish you achieve around the armholes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I love the finished dress. I love the tulip skirt – very feminine – and also very secure, with the underlap portion sewn into the side seam of the dress. As mentioned above, love the finish inside with the facings. Love the overall drafting. Nothing to dislike.

Fabric Used:

Polyester crepe.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • Graded out slightly (total 3 inches) over the hips.
  • 1 inch FBA, rotating the formed dart into the waist for extra gathers there.
  • 5/8ths inch full bottom adjustment on the back skirt piece.
  • Lengthened skirt 1.5/8ths inch.
  • Used an invisible zipper.
  • Staystitched neckline – no mention of this in the instructions.
  • I think I did a sway back adjustment of approx. 1 inch?

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

I might sew again, maybe? I highly recommend.

Conclusion:

I think this dress is super cute and feminine. Sometimes that’s nice 🙂

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress

Now, there was a little bit of fabric left over so I thought, seeing as I had the machine threaded up etc, why not whizz up a little top for Kezia?

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Burda Style 06/2016 #140 girls tie front blouse

I used Burdastyle 06/2016#140 and there isn’t a great deal to say about it. It’s a simple, boxy top with cut on sleeves and incorporates a tie front. Of course the instructions were confusing and I think they intended for you to finish those front ties using a facing, but I could not be bothered to figure it out so I just did a narrow hem around the ties. It’s not my finest sewing but it works, and it will probably survive more washes than the time Kezia will fit into this top, the rate at which she is growing! Just for reference, this top was cut at the 140 cm height size.

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Burda Style 06/2016 #140 girls tie front blouse

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Burda Style 06/2016 #140 girls tie front blouse

Have a great week everyone!

Until soon.

 

 

 

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