Tag Archive | DIY fashion

Pauline Alice Eliana Top and Butterick 6331: DIY Gauze Peasant Style Top and White Denim Boyfriend Style Jeans: Stylish Fabric

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Pauline Alice Eliana Dress modified to top and Butterick 6331 White Denim Boyfriend Style Jeans. All fabric from Stylish Fabric.

Hi All,

Today I am so excited to share a perfect summer outfit made using fabrics from L.A based Stylish Fabric. They got in touch with me recently and asked if I wanted to try out some of their fabrics. The fabrics in this post were provided at no cost to me, but as ever, my opinions are my own.

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Pauline Alice Eliana Dress modified to top.

The blouse was made using this gorgeous cotton and rayon gauze in blush colour. This fabric is delicious to wear and was easy to sew. I was expecting it to fray like mad, but it didn’t. I overlocked all my seam allowances. One thing I would say to watch out for is that I think this fabric shrunk quite a bit in the wash (unless I wasn’t sent as much as I initally thought?) I asked for 3 yards but I think I had about 2 yards (?) to play with. So, yep, not sure why that was. But, no matter, I ended up with a beautiful blouse that I will be happy to wear in hot weather.

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Pauline Alice Eliana Dress modified to top and Butterick 6331 White Denim Boyfriend Style Jeans. All fabric from Stylish Fabric.

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Pauline Alice Eliana Dress modified to top and Butterick 6331 White Denim Boyfriend Style Jeans. All fabric from Stylish Fabric.

The jeans are made using this white denim (currently 60% off). This non-stretch denim is the perfect weight for denim jeans, and is, I would say, ever so slightly off white. It washed, pressed and sewed beautifully. I used a Schmetz jeans needle and Gutterman top stitching thread, even though you can’t of course see the details. Full details on patterns below.

Top:

  • Made using Pauline Alice Eliana Dress pattern modified to top length. You can see my first version of the top hack here.
  • Moved the bust dart up by 1 inch.
  • Added 3/8ths inch to side seams at hip.
  • Made narrower self bias tape to bind the neckline and sleeve openings.

Jeans:

  • Made using Butterick 6331. See first version of these pants here and my floral version here.
  • These white denim jeans were actually version number 2, so see my first version for details of pattern amendments. Even though I didn’t make any alterations to the pattern from version number 1, these feel very different. Amazing what changing the fabric can do. These are boyfriend style, so fairly loose fitting, but still quite slim I think.
  • I essentially followed the Closet Case Ginger Jeans instructions to make these.
  • Interfaced the fly.
  • Omitted interfacing in the waistband.
  • Used lining fabric for the pocket bags to cut down on bulk.
  • Added back pockets, fly shield and topstitching.
  • Extended length of waistband by about 5 inches (much better to have too much length IMO that can be shortened as required).

Thanks to Stylish Fabric for the opportunity to add some really versatile pieces to my wardrobe. Sometimes plain basics can be the most valuable thing you can make!

Happy sewing!

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Pauline Alice Eliana Dress modified to top and Butterick 6331 White Denim Boyfriend Style Jeans. All fabric from Stylish Fabric.

 

Butterick 6331 and Simplicity 2446: DIY Floral Twill Trouser Suit made using Spoonflower Fabric

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Butterick 6331 trouser and Simplicity 2446 blazer – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower. Worn with white cotton Grainline Archer.

Hi Friends,

No, I am not entering a Chris Evans look-alike contest (British reference there). Today’s post features fabric kindly sent to me by Spoonflower. I am sure many of you have already heard of the eco-friendly custom printing firm. About 1.5 years ago they opened a second factory in Berlin, and to celebrate they asked a few British bloggers to be part of a Blog Tour, and make items using Spoonflower fabric. You can see the list of bloggers here on the Spoonflower Blog. The fabric I have used in this post was sent to me for no charge by Spoonflower, but all opinions are my own.

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Butterick 6331 trouser and Simplicity 2446 blazer – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower.

I have never ordered fabric from Spoonflower before. The choice of already uploaded designs on the Spoonflower website is vast (of course the option is also there to upload your own design), and somewhat overwhelming. I searched using key words of prints I have a passion for (like dark florals), and elected to go for Jungle Passion Floral Navy by Joan McLemore, printed on to the lightweight cotton twill (58″ width).

Because of my own indecision, Spoonflower ended up sending me this fabric in two separate lengths but I was not able to detect any differences in the colours between the two lengths. I think the colours are a pretty good match to what was shown on screen when I was making my selection. I also liked the fact that, at least for the design I selected, previews were provided of the fabric made up into a cushion and a dress, so I could guage the scale of the print.

I did run the fabrics through a hot (60 degree) pre-wash before cutting out and did not notice any running, bleeding or fading. This particular fabric was easy to cut, sew and press. It’s a good weight without being too heavy and bulky. Full disclosure: will I ever wear these two pieces together? Probably not, but as separates in my wardrobe I love them and how individual and quirky they are. I already have lots of things which these items will go with.

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Butterick 6331 trouser and Simplicity 2446 blazer – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower.

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Butterick 6331 trouser and Simplicity 2446 blazer – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower.

Some details:

The trousers were made using Butterick 6331. This is actually my third iteration of these pants (I haven’t shown you version two yet), but you can see my first version here. For this version I took on board what some of you said in the comments and scooped out the back crotch by 0.25 inches and added 0.5 inches to the upper back thigh. I know it’s hard to see in this busy print but overall I think it’s better. Other changes for this version:

  • I fully interfaced the waistband.
  • I had to let the side seams out a touch from the waist down to the bottom of the pockets.
  • I hemmed the bottoms by hand.
  • These are trousers but with some jeans details like additional topstitching, jeans button and bar tacks.
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Butterick 6331 Floral Twill Trousers – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower. Topstitching detail.

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Butterick 6331 Floral Twill Trousers – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower. Inside view of waistband and (modified) fly facing.

The blazer was made using Simplicity 2446, which I first made in wool ponte. I do love my first version, and since going back to work, have worn it a few times. But the shoulders are too big (although I did go back and alter them to be smaller). So for this version I made sure to do a small shoulder adjustment.

  • I did a 5/8ths inch small shoulder adjustment.
  • I shaved 0.25 inches off all the shoulder princess seams above the bust.
  • I added a centre back seam for shaping.
  • I shortened the pocket bag length by 1.5 inches.
  • I added small ready made shoulder pads but omitted sleeve heads and chest reinforcement.
  • You can see a picture of the internal interfacing here on Instagram if you want.

My previous two blazers have taken me approx. 3 weeks each to make: I slaved over this blazer to get it done in a week! Gosh it was tough but overall I am pretty happy with the finished result.

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Simplicity 2446 Floral Twill Blazer – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower.

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Simplicity 2446 Floral Twill Blazer – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower. Front lapel detail.

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Simplicity 2446 Floral Twill Blazer – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower. Welt pocket with flap detail.

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Simplicity 2446 Floral Twill Blazer – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower. Welt pocket detail.

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Simplicity 2446 Floral Twill Blazer – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower. Sleeve vent detail.

Like I say, being honest, I don’t think I would be brave enough to go full on head to toe pattern,  but as individual pieces I think these are going to get worn lots. I am also very proud of how far I have come on with my sewing techniques tackling things like the welt pockets and sleeve vents and even the trouser fitting and sewing.

Happy sewing everyone!

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Butterick 6331 trouser and Simplicity 2446 blazer – made using Jungle Passion floral navy lightweight cotton twill from Spoonflower.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

The Tunic Bible: DIY Babycord Tunic Dress + Book Giveaway

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

Hi There Friends!

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 3 – C&T; Pattern Review

October 4 – Cloning Couture; Generation Q Magazine

October 5 – Oonaballoona; Featherstitch Avenue

October 6 – Allie J; Thanks I Made Them

October 7 – Sew Busy Lizzy; Jennuine Design

October 8 – Inside the Hem; Girls in the Garden

October 9 – Sewmanju; My Love Affair with Sewing

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

October 12 – House of Pinheiro; The Tunic Bible

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

*THIS GIVEAWAY HAS NOW ENDED*

2016 Wardrobe Contest: Sewing Plans

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Hi Friends,

PR.com are currently running a Wardrobe Contest until the end of March, by which time entrants have to have sewn 5 compulsory garments (2 bottoms, 2 tops and 1 topper), and 5 free choice garments. The tops have to go with all the bottoms and vice versa, and the topper must go with all the outfits. If sewing a dress it must go with the topper and coordinate with the wardrobe.

I am going to try and meet the deadline (?!) because what I have realised is that I have all the fabrics I need to make this wardrobe in my stash (bar one), and all the patterns. So, if nothing else, I will have succeeded in sewing some classic, wearable garments from my stash, which will hopefully coordinate with each other, and in essence, give me a capsule wardrobe of sorts.

Above is an inspiration collage I uploaded to Instagram which captures the kind of look I am after. I am thinking that kind of very wearable, effortless chic that French women seem to pull off so easily, ha! (The collage is missing the tenth item: a white silk blouse).

So today I thought I would share my fabric/ pattern choices. These may change as I progress. Some are patterns I have sewn before; others are new patterns. Already, by sorting through my fabrics/ patterns and writing this post I can see a clear plan and it looks promising.

Item 1: Striped Breton Tunic Top

Pattern: McCalls 6886 (modified to tunic length).

Pattern already sewn up here and here.

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Black white striped ponte knit

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McCalls 6886

 

Item 2: Denim Dress

Pattern: Vogue 9077, View A, possibly with sleeves from View C.

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Denim fabric

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Vogue 9077

 

Item 3: Black Wool Crepe Blazer

Pattern: Vogue 8958, View C (already made View A, here).

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Black wool crepe fabric

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Vogue 8958

 

Item 4: White/ Black Heart Print Blouse

Pattern: Vogue 1387, View B

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White/ black heart print polyester georgette fabric

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Vogue 1387

 

Item 5: Black Triple Crepe Culottes

Pattern: Butterick 6179.

Previously made here.

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Triple crepe fabric

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Butterick 6179

 

Item 6: Red/ Black Animal Print Blouse

Pattern: McCalls 7248, View B.

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Red/ black animal print georgette fabric

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McCalls 7248

 

Item 7: Off white Silk Crepe de Chine Collarless Shirt

Pattern: Simplicity 1279, View C.

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Off white silk crepe de chine fabric

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Simplicity 1279

 

Item 8: White Cotton Shirt

Pattern: Grainline Archer.

Made 3 times to date and last made here.

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White cotton fabric

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Grainline Archer

 

Items 9 and 10: Black and Red Pull on Jeggings

Pattern: Jalie 3461 Eleonore Pull on Jeans.

Previously made here.

 

So that’s the plan: it remains to be seen whether or not I make the deadline!

I had a great weekend meeting up with The Yorkshire Spoolettes. Read about it over on Ali’s blog. It was wonderful to meet other friendly, down to earth sewists and the fabric shopping was good too 🙂

How about you? Any sewing plans? Anyone else entering the contest?

Have a great week ahead.

Until soon…

 

 

 

 

 

My sewing in 2014!

Hello There Friends,

Happy new year!

I wanted to take a quick look back over this past sewing year, as well as look forward to 2015.

2014 has been a (even if I do say so myself), phenomenal year for me in terms of sewing. Not only in terms of output, but also in terms of variety of garments and fabric types sewn, as well as the increase in my technical abilities. Here are some brief stats:

I think these are correct….

  • 45 items sewn in total (that have been blogged about; I have also sewn one pair of curtains so far for the new house, and am carrying one UFO forward into the new year – my birthday dress. I don’t do UFOs, so this will have to be finished….but now I don’t have a big occasion coming up that I need the dress for, I am dragging my heels slightly).
  • 17 dresses (including one not mentioned above that has not yet been blogged).
  • 9 tops
  • 8 jackets/ coats/ cardigans/ sweatshirts
  • 4 items for Kezia
  • 1 shirt for Philip
  • 3 bottoms
  • 1 knitted item
  • 1 underwired bra
  • 1 swimsuit
  • 1 patchwork teddy!

These items are definitely the ones that got worn the most:

Butterick 5683: quilted jacket

Butterick 5683: quilted jacket

Plaid Flannel Archer Button Up Shirt

Plaid Flannel Archer Button Up Shirt

Grainline Archer Shirt in Denim

Grainline Archer Shirt in Denim

McCalls 6899 pleated jersey tunic top

McCalls 6899 pleated jersey tunic top

So suffice to say, I realise that I need to make more tops in the new year!

I also wanted to give a “special mention” to these garments, which I genuinely love each and every time I put them on:

Vogue 8884: spring jacket

Vogue 8884: spring jacket

Simplicity 2444, worn with McCalls 6696 slip

Simplicity 2444, worn with McCalls 6696 slip

McCalls 6696: DIY navy linen shirt dress

McCalls 6696: DIY navy linen shirt dress

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133

Burdastyle Plus Size Placket Blouse 01/2010#133

Now on to the garments which I didn’t love:

Vogue 8936 studded peplum top

Vogue 8936 studded peplum top

The bodice length was too short on this peplum top and I really didn’t know what to wear it with. It has been donated to charity.

Simplicity 1423

Simplicity 1423

The puckered seams on this dress made it a fail for me. I wore it once and then realised how embarrassed I was of it…it went to the charity shop.

McCalls 6991 and Vogue 8936

McCalls 6991 and Vogue 8936

Ah yes, the beautiful silk crossover top. Don’t worry, this is still in my wardrobe…but it has only been worn once. I am thinking what to do with it.

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt 08/2014

Burdastyle Zipper Sweatshirt 08/2014

This last one may (or may not!) surprise you. I love wearing this sweatshirt, and I would like to make another (maybe sized down slightly). The issue is with the fabric. It is extremely delicate and snags (and tears) very easily. I have actually acquired more quilted fabric from another source which seems more durable…so expect to see some quilted dresses appearing.

Plans for 2015? I don’t like to restrain myself with resolutions or plans. I like to go with the flow 🙂 But I would like to make more tops, more every day wearable pieces, still try and do the tailoring thing, and sew some classic tailored pieces like a beautiful blazer and a tailored coat.

All that remains is for me to say thank YOU, readers, sincerely, for following along this year. For leaving comments, answering my questions, offering opinions and entering my giveaways. Peoples, it’s been emotional….until soon and happy new year.

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