Grainline Studio Archer Button Up Shirt: DIY Plaid Shirt with Pearl Snaps – now with FBA!

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Grainline Studio Archer Shirt

Hi Friends,

I think this is my 7th time of making this pattern. Quite a record for me. This is my third plaid version. I have also made versions in denim, linen and cotton shirting and voile. BUT this version is an new and (mainly) improved version.

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Grainline Studio Archer Shirt

Why start messing around with a pattern on the 7th time of making you ask? Well, it started when I was featured in one of the “Same Pattern, Different Bodies” posts, about the Archer Shirt, on the Curvy Sewing Collective. (If you read through the comments section on that post, you will see that I did get rather irritated. Oh dear!) Anyway, moving on, one of the commentators said that she felt that all the shirts that were featured basically needed an FBA. I have never felt like I needed to do an FBA on the Archer shirt, but here’s the thing, when you sew a shirt in plaid then the checks can be very telling when it comes to the fit. Here are the first two versions of this shirt, sewn in plaid, without the FBA:

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Jalie Eleonore Pull on Jeans: DIY Mustard Jeggings worn with Grainline Archer Shirt

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Plaid Flannel Archer Button Up Shirt

I don’t think the checks look too bad over the bust, but I decided that maybe I could do with just a small 0.5 inch FBA. So that is what I did, using the method described by Paprika Patterns (how to do a FBA on a dartless shirt). I eliminated the dart, and redrafted the side seam as I decided I did not want a bust dart interfering with any futher plaid versions of this pattern I might make.

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Grainline Studio Archer Shirt

Yes, I think the checks now lie just that tiny bit more horizontal. So FBA successfully completed.

Other changes I also made:

  • I finally got round to adding 0.25 inches to the armholes, sleeves and side seams to facilitate flat fell finishing all those seams.
  • I don’t mind using the continous lapped placket method for some shirts – in fact for light weight fabrics I probably prefer that method – but for more weightier fabrics I think a tower placket is more appropriate. So that’s what I did on this shirt, using this tutorial from Off The Cuff – excellent tutorial and surprisingly easy to do.

 

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Grainline Studio Archer Shirt – tower placket detail

Now let’s talk about what is not so good: the comically large cuffs. Readers, I am completely baffled as to why the cuffs are as large as they are. I didn’t add anything to the cuff seam allowances, I did the pleats as usual, and the only thing I can think of is that either the plackets have somehow made them bigger, or that this fabric has just somehow grown?! I am stumped. Another version will probably have to be made to investigate. Sigh.

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Grainline Studio Archer Shirt

This is my first time using pearl snaps, and I basically followed exactly what VeryKerryBerry says to do in this tutorial, including buying the pliers and a set of Prym jersey snaps so that I would have the plastic attachments. Conclusion: using the Prym snaps gave the best results (rather than the generic snaps), and using the pliers with the plastic attachments gave pretty much fool proof results.

I love how cosy this version of this shirt is, and let’s face it, spring, at least in this corner of the world, is still a way off. If I can resolve the cuff issue this will continue to be a firm favourite.

Happy sewing!

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Grainline Studio Archer Shirt

Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 and Kwik Sew 3504: DIY Red Dress and Men’s Jeans: Valentines Outfits

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Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress

Hello Dear Readers,

Life has been busy and it’s taken me longer than I would have liked to have blogged. But here I am back today, sharing my most recent makes: a red wool crepe dress I made for myself and a pair of jeans I made for Philip, both for Valentines day.

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Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress

Let’s talk about my dress first! This was made using a Plus Size Burdastyle pattern 08/2016#131. This is my first Burdastyle dress. I really didn’t know where I would be in terms of fit with this pattern, so I made a muslin (long time readers of this blog will know how much I dislike making muslins!). Anywho. Thanks to Instagram friends (who helped an awful lot with this dress), I learned that Burdastyle Plus Size patterns are apparently drafted for a D cup. Who would have thought? I refer you to this post from the Curvy Sewing Collective which is a great resource for plus size sewists. Long story short, I didn’t do an FBA on this dress, and the fit through the bust is good. In fact, I did minimal adjustments – you can find the full details in my review below.

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Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress

The fashion fabric is a wool mix crepe. When I made my muslin I felt it would benefit from some extra width through the hips and I added some extra to the seam allowances. But this fabric behaved quite differently to the muslin fabric and I ended up removing any extra I had added in. The dress is unlined, and in an effort to make the insides feel special I made around 18 metres of bias binding from left over viscose lining and used it to bind every seam using the hong kong method of seam finishing. Time consuming but worth it I think.

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Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress – inner hong kong finish

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Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress – inner hong kong finish

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Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress – inner hong kong finish

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Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress – inner hong kong finish

You just get to see a cheeky peek of the gold binding at the back vent slit.

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Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress

Over on Instagram there was quite a discussion as to what might be causing the diagonal wrinkles through the forearms of the sleeves. THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to comment on that post and offer up suggestions. Sheryll (who authors the amazing blog Pattern, Scissors, Cloth), offered up what I thought sounded the most promising solution: she thought the sleeve head was too short, and the way to fix it was to lower the underarm of the sleeve only to balance things out so that the bicep line becomes horizontal. Well, I tried pinning some fabric out of the underarm of the sleeve only, and…it didn’t seem to work. So…the next approach was try and slim the sleeve down (I had, of course, already bound all the edges by this point – thank  you Amanda who suggested looking at that). Well…that’s what I ended up doing: I ended up removing approx 1.5 inches of width from the sleeves. It is better. I can live with it…but if I made this dress again I would try and figure out what was going on a bit better.

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Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
A sheath style dress. The inlaid pleats and the attached tying band give definition at the waist, while smoothing over any extra padding in the area. Darts in the elbow add extra shape to the sleeves.
Pattern Sizing:
44 – 52
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?
Not really. This is burdastyle. I think the first part of the instructions are missing. I didn’t understand how they wanted you to do the vent, so I did my own thing. Saying that, everything worked out ok in the end. It’s probably worth making a muslin so you can understand what they want you to do – particularly in reference to the pleating at the waist.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the finished dress with the asymmetric waist pleating and the tie which comes around the back and ties in front. I love that Burdastyle patterns are apparently drafted for a D cup – I didn’t have to do an FBA on this dress. In fact, minimal alterations were required. There are some diagonal lines in the forearm of the sleeve – most of these seemed to come out when I tightened the sleeve up. I would need to investigate this further if making this dress again.
Fabric Used:
Wool mix crepe. This dress is unlined so I made around 18 metres of bias binding using left over viscose lining fabric and used a hong kong technique to finish every seam.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • 0.5 inch sway back adjustment.
  • Shortened skirt length by 3/8ths inch
  • Shortened sleeve by 1 inch
  • 1 inch full arm adjustment (turned out this was probably unnecessary – at least in the wool crepe – as I ended up narrowning the sleeves by approx. 1.5 inches)
  • Interfaced zipper openings and hems.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don’t know if I would make another of these, but it’s a great pattern. I recommend.
Conclusion:
I love this modern classic style. I think this dress could take me to many places.

Now, a brief mention of the jeans. I first made these back towards the end of 2015 for Philip. The main alterations to these jeans were to shorten the rise by two inches, slim the legs down, add interfacing to the waistband, remove approx. 5/8ths inch from the waist either side, front and back, and narrow the hips down. Here they are being modelled – the fabric is a lightweight denim purchased I think from Mandors in Glasgow.

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Kwik Sew 3504 Mens Jeans

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Kwik Sew 3504 Mens Jeans

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Kwik Sew 3504 Mens Jeans

I also added some valentines day appropriate embroidery to the inner waistband and made some bias binding to bind the waistband.

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Kwik Sew 3504 Mens Jeans: inner waistband embroidery and bound waistband detail

Now, I expect you are all dying to know what my husband’s thoughts were on the dress and the jeans. Well, he liked the improved fit on the jeans. But the dress…hmmm…in his (paraphrased) words…the dress is not tight enough or low cut enough. LOL. I have said it before, and say it again, husband, you stick to cutting up and sewing patients together and I will stick to cutting up and sewing fabric to make things that please me to wear. We had a lovely lunchtime valentines day date. Hope you enjoyed the week and have a great week ahead.

Bye for now!

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Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress

 

 

New Look 6374: DIY Dark Floral Tunic Top

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New Look 6374 Dark Floral Tunic Top

Hello Friends,

How are you? Today I am sharing a tunic top that I completed a couple of weeks ago, using New Look 6374. It’s a simple little top that I made using some dark floral polyester fabric that I purchased locally to me. In our climate I don’t have a problem wearing the odd polyester item and I just couldn’t resist the print and – bonus – it doesn’t crease up easily either. IMO it’s the perfect top to wear over skinny jeans if you like more coverage in the back (at least if you sew View A like I did).

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New Look 6374 Dark Floral Tunic Top

As ever, you can read my full review below, but the one thing I wanted to point out is that for me, initially, when I tried the top on, it felt very high up into my underarm. Like uncomfortably so. I subsequently went back and resewed the underarm portion taking a smaller seam allowance which made the top  feel much more comfortable (and wearable!) I have adjusted the pattern to lower the armhole depth by 0.5 inches, but I might even go slightly deeper than this. I know Beth made this pattern up without issue so this particular pecularity could just be me!

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New Look 6374 Dark Floral Tunic Top

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New Look 6374 Dark Floral Tunic Top

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Misses’ top pattern includes half sleeve top with shirt tail hem, sleeveless top with contrast yoke and band, sleeveless top with contrast yoke, and 3/4 sleeve top with contrast yoke, center front and sleeve band.

I made view A.
Pattern Sizing:
10 – 22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, but I didn’t like the instruction to finish the hem before sewing up the side seams. I ignored that.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the finished top. I think its the perfect tunic top to wear over skinny jeans, especially view A, if you like more coverage in the back. I like the placket construction: they came out nice and I like the slight V-shape formed by the plackets – flattering. I would probably have preferred if the back yoke had been double layer and not single.
Fabric Used:
Polyester.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • I cut my usual size at the bust/ shoulders and graded out a size at the waist and a further size at the hips. I also ended up only using 3/8ths of an inch seam allowance below the bust.
  • 1 inch full arm adjustment.
  • o.5 inch sway back adjustment.
  • I found that, initially, when I tried the top on, it felt very high up into my underarm. Like uncomfortably so. I subsequently went back and resewed the underarm portion taking a smaller seam allowance which made the top  feel much more comfortable (and wearable!) I have adjusted the pattern to lower the armhole depth by 0.5 inches, but I might even go slightly deeper than this.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I would sew this again. Yes, I recommend.
Conclusion:
If you like longer length loose fitting tunic tops with the shirttail hem then try this one out.

Current world events maybe unsettling and frightening but here’s hoping things get better. Have a great week ahead!

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New Look 6374 Dark Floral Tunic Top

 

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

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Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress

Hello There Friends,

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

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Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Pattern Envelope

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

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Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress

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Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress

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

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

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

Pattern Alteration/ Sewing Notes:

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

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

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

Until soon!

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Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress

 

 

 

 

Simplicity 8213: DIY Floral Scuba Sheath Dress

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Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay

Happy New Year Readers!

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

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Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay

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Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay

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

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

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

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

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

Pattern Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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My family – new years eve 2016

Until soon…

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Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay

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

Hi Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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McCalls 6613 striped shirt

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Grainline Archer floral shirt worn with Jalie Eleonore pull on jeans

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

  • 2 cardigans
  • 4 shirt dresses

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

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True Bias Sutton Dress – wadder!

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

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

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

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

  • 1 baby dress and pantaloons

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat

Hi Friends,

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

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Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat

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

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Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat

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

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Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat

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

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Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat

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

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

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Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat

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Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat

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Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat

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

Pattern Review

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

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

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

Hood lining: sherpa style fleecy lining.

Body of coat: viscose lining.

Hand made leather toggles.

Interlined with brushed cotton.

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

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

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

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

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

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Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat

 

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

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Long line Muse Patterns Jenna Cardigan

Hi Friends,

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

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

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Long line Muse Patterns Jenna Cardigan

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

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Long line Muse Patterns Jenna Cardigan

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

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

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

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

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

See you soon!

 

 

 

 

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

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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

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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. 

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