A couple of months back I made the Heather Blazer by Friday Pattern Company in wool suiting (that’s the brown blazer in these pictures). I wanted an oversized “dad blazer” and this pattern seemed to tick all the boxes. However, when I had finished making that first version, something felt off. It was, perhaps, too oversized (especially at the shoulders), and I truthfully I think the fabric choice was too much into “dad” territory. That fabric was from Fabworks btw.
However, I felt like this pattern deserved a second chance, and I made it again (with some modifications), this time in a linen/ recycled viscose blend (the blue blazer) from Patterns and Plains (sorry, now sold out). And I am so much happier with this second version, although I will say that I can see from these photos that in both versions the front edges don’t seem to be lying flat: anyone got any suggestions on what to do about that? Should I have taped the edges perhaps? (The blazer fronts and facings are interfaced with a fusible knit interfacing).
I am really glad I gave this blazer a second chance. I wanted a dart-less/ no princess seam front blazer and this one meets that requirement. I already have blazer patterns with princess seams etc. And they are great if you need to do any adjustments. But I specifically didn’t want anything like that on this blazer and the plus size block for this blazer is drafted a D cup so I didn’t need to do a FBA. I like the oversized look, even if it did take me two attempts to get the fit comfortable for me. Check my notes below for full details.
Version one of this blazer was cut as a straight size 2X. I sized down by one size for version two.
Entire separate lining pieces are provided for the (two piece) sleeves, back and side front. Also included is a pattern piece for a back stay. I have never seen a blazer pattern include separate lining pieces for sleeves and I think there is a difference in the way the outer fabric and lining sleeves are drafted possibly to accommodate a shoulder pad? Although the instructions make no mention of adding shoulder pads (but I did).
No lengthen/ shorten lines are printed on the main body pattern pieces, although instructions are included on how to adjust those pieces. Also the bust apex is not marked.
I shortened the body by 2 and 5/8ths inches
I shortened the sleeve by 1 inch. I think I also shortened the sleeve lining by a further 5/8ths inch.
I added welt pockets with flaps to both versions
I swapped the upper and under collar over because the under collar looked bigger to me. I also cut the upper collar on the fold as a single piece.
I added a 1 inch pleat to the back lining
I added extra interfacing to the under collar to shape the collar stand
I used fusible knit interfacing throughout and cut the back stay from muslin. I also extended the length of the back stay on version two so it was below the armholes.
I stayed the shoulders using cotton tape and added shoulder pads
I interfaced all hems
I catch stitched the hem up on the inside
The pattern is designed to have just one button. I added two buttons to both my versions.
For version two I did a 0.5 inch forward shoulder adjustment and a 5/8ths inch small shoulder adjustment
For version two I also bagged the jacket out through the hem rather than the sleeve as in version one so it looks neater when I roll my sleeves up. The pattern has you bag it out through the centre back seam I think, but as I added a pleat to my lining that wasn’t possible.
I got my pattern printed for the first time ever and I used Fabulosew who I recommend. They print on tissue paper which means tissue fitting is possible.
Once you have the fit down this blazer comes together fairly easily and there are not that many separate pieces to cut. I wore the linen one on a recent trip to Slovenia and was very happy with it. I will keep the wool suiting one in my wardrobe for now and see if it gets worn once autumn comes around. Long time readers will know sewing outer wear is something that I love to do and I enjoyed making both of these.
Inspite of using the Named Clothing Reeta Shirt Dress to make tops three times (see here, here and here), I’ve never actually made the dress version. I finally bit the bullet and made it as intended (albeit with the addition of long cuffed sleeves) using some viscose crepe purchased from eBay. Conclusion: love it, and it’s already been worn several times.
This is such an easy to wear dress and I love the adjustable waist. I definitely want to make another version, maybe this time with short sleeves.
This is a size 18 grading out at the waist/ hips
I did a 1 inch FBA
I had previously done a 1 inch full bicep adjustment
I added a 1 inch pleat to the back (had also done that on a previous version)
I removed 7 inches from the length
I made the height of the side vents 10 inches
I added long sleeves with vents and cuffs
I took 2 inches to hem.
Like I say, love this pattern, especially in this drapey viscose crepe (one of my favourite fabrics to sew and wear). And the blue animal print feels fresh and fun.
Today’s post features gifted items. Both the fabric and pattern were gifted to me by Sew Essential. If you haven’t come across Sew Essential please do check them out. They are a UK based company that sells not just sewing patterns and fabric, but also a wide range of haberdashery products as well as sewing machines.
I have had my eye on the Closet Core Elodie wrap dress for a while so it was great to have the opportunity to try this pattern out. The fabric I selected is this abstract printed polyester which has great drape and requires zero pressing which means this dress is perfect for travelling and easy care. If you do press, use a medium heat. I do believe that this particular print is also shortly going to be available on a viscose base if that’s your thing. Be warned: this pattern is somewhat of a fabric hog, although you can make the skirt/ sleeves shorter.
Check my pattern notes below, but overall this is a well drafted pattern. The neckline (at least for me) is stable and doesn’t gape, and the skirt affords a good amount of coverage. The only thing I would highlight is that I didn’t like the instruction to hem the centre front of the skirt pieces. My first attempt looked horribly wavy. I unpicked and drafted a facing to finish that area.
Pattern Fitting Notes
I cut a size 18 for the bodice, grading out a size for the waist/ hips. I made view B.
My pattern is from the standard block, but a plus size block is also available with sizes running from 14 – 32 (PDF only). I believe the standard block is drafted for a B cup.
I did a 1 inch FBA and incorporated the dart that arose into the release pleats at the waist. This meant I also had to adjust the waistband and bodice facing to match. I also had to add extra width to the skirt pieces so that matched the bodice.
I did a 0.5 inch forward shoulder adjustment.
I removed 2 inches off the the length of the View B skirt.
I used 5/8ths inch hem for the sleeves.
Thanks to Sew Essential for the opportunity to work with them. This is a great dress moving into Spring.
I’m back sharing a blouse I made using McCalls 8008. This is a bit of a sleeper pattern: it comes with a pattern for overalls/ dungarees/ rompers, but I haven’t seen that many versions of either in the sewing community. I made the blouse and I really like it. But then it’s got ruffles, so what did you expect, lol.
The fabric is a gorgeous ex designer viscose lawn that I purchased from Simply Fabrics Brixton. At the time of writing there were 2 metres left of this fabric on the website. It’s called Mona. I know you perhaps can’t tell, but it has small lame fil coupe accents woven into the fabric. Subtle but glamorous.
This is view A in a size 18. I did grade out at the hem but this was unnecessary. As drafted I found the length of this blouse to be quite long on me. Removing the extra length (maybe 2 or 3 inches?) meant it wasn’t hitting me at my widest point and fitted better.
I did a 0.5 inch FBA.
I removed 3 inches from the length of the sleeves.
I omitted the sleeve tucks and cuffs and instead gathered the sleeve openings to a band.
I had to add a centre back seam to the collar pieces due to fabric limitations.
I used the double yoke burrito method for a clean and stable finish inside.
For next time I would probably extend that front placket to be full length.
I think this is a cute blouse with lots of hacking potential. See you soon.
In an attempt to get up to date with blogging, here goes trying to write and post a blog post from my phone for the first time! (I’m using the WordPress app for anyone interested).
I’ve made this pattern once before (see here), and check below for my modifications to this version. The fabric for this version is a cosy pre-quilted fabric I purchased from eBay. It claims to be waterproof…I would say maybe shower proof. It’s a microfibre fabric quilted to a 135g polyester wadding. I wore this coat for a weekend away last week (sunny but cold Lancaster/ Morecambe Bay – see below for photographic evidence), and it was perfect. Lightweight but warm.
It was Kezia’s 13th birthday this week and after ordering a dress from Zara which just didn’t fit like she wanted it to, I offered to make her one. I made McCalls 8034 (#CoraMcCalls) in a beautiful red jacquard (ex. River Island) from Rainbow Fabrics. The colour is stunning and it washed, pressed and sewed beautifully.
Aside from grading between sizes, I made minimal alterations to the pattern (see notes below). There is boning sewn into the bust and side seams (I used some cotton covered featherlite stuff I had in stash) and the body of the dress is fully lined. All the seams means fitting is easy and small pieces means you can be economical when cutting out fabric. Both Kezia and I were thrilled with the finished garment.
It turns out I could have got away with ordering just two metres of fabric, but I had ordered three metres. So I managed to also cut and sew a bonus pair of lounge wear bottoms from the remaining fabric. I used the free Peppermint Magazine lounge wear pattern which I have made for Kezia before (see here). I didn’t make any alterations from the first pair I made.
I made view B
I cut a size 6 through the bust and sleeves, grading to a size 12 at the waist and a size 14 at the hips
I added 0.25 inches to the seams over the bust and into the top of the front midriff
I did a 0.5 inch sway back adjustment, and added the removed length back at the hem
I shortened the dress by 3.25 inches
I added 0.25 inches to the side seams at the hips
I replaced the ties at the sleeve openings with elastic
I used my machines blind hem foot to hem – first time ever using it!
I did make my own (self fabric) bias binding to form the casing at the top of the sleeves. If I was going to make this again I would narrow that binding down slightly
Kezia had an indulgent birthday celebrating entering her teenage years 🙂 Next big birthday…sweet 16….lol.
Here’s a snap of me and my baby. I am out of order of sharing my makes but the weather just hasn’t let me photograph other makes I have made for myself. Hopefully back soon with those.
Today I am sharing my version of the Lyra dress by Tilly and the Buttons. This pattern was gifted to me by Tilly and the Buttons with no obligation to share; all opinions are my own.
For this version I knew I wanted to use this fabric from my stash. It is a bronze animal print satin that I bought some time ago from Rainbow Fabrics. I wanted to make something that felt a little more dressy and special, but could easily be dressed down as well. I think it worked out pretty well, and this dress has already been worn out with heels for dinner and drinks, and to an afternoon tea with trainers.
Although my bust darts are not quite in the right place on this version, it hasn’t stopped me wearing this dress and feeling comfortable.
Pattern Notes/ Alterations
This is a size 18 (size 7) from the smaller size block which runs upto size 24. The pattern is available upto a UK size 34 (sizes 16 – 34 are available from a plus size block).
I could have cut a size 20 but I chose to cut a size 18 and make alterations because I felt it would be a better fit for me through the shoulders. I think that was the right decision to make.
Finished garment measurements are given which is good.
I omitted the pockets.
I removed 3.5 inches of length from the top tier of the skirt.
I added 1 inch of length to the midi tier panel (lower panel) of the skirt.
I shortened the sleeve by 3 3/4 inches, but have added an inch back to the length for next time.
I did a 1 5/8ths inch full bicep adjustment – which is a lot for me. This meant playing around with the sleeve cap height and as a result my sleeve head has slight (intentional) gathers. For next time I have removed about 0.5 inches of height from the sleeve cap.
I did a 0.5 inch forward shoulder adjustment.
I did a 1 inch full bust adjustment. For next time I have moved my bust darts down by 1 inch.
I took 5/8ths inch for the hem.
I added centre back seams to the inner collar stand and the under collar.
I ended up using around 2.5 metres of fabric to make this dress, rather than the 3.5 metres indicated on the pattern.
Thanks to Tilly and the Buttons for the pattern: I do like the fit; it’s not too oversized, and I would like to make it again. I have some baby cord or some tencel waiting to be made up for my next version.
The Durban is described as a mix and match jumpsuit, with multiple options for neckline, sleeves, legs and pockets. Long time readers of this blog will know I like value for money, and a pattern that offers multiple options is always a winner in my book. BTW, the fabric is the 4.8oz indigo cotton from Merchant and Mills and it is soft and easy to wash, press, sew and wear.
In terms of sizing, this pattern comes in two size ranges: size 0 – 20, and curve sizes 14 – 34. For once, and on Megan Nielsen’s advice, I went with the curve size option and I am pretty pleased with the outcome, although I did have to make some of my standard adjustments. But the fit through the shoulders is good, and I didn’t have to do a full bicep adjustment, which was nice.
There is some useful information included in the pattern guiding you on on how to chose the correct size for your body. I can tell you the following:
The curve pattern is drafted for a 4 inch difference between the full and high bust.
The size 18 bust on the curve range has about 2 inches more positive ease than the size 18 from the standard size range.
You are told to measure from your clavicle to your crotch to find your centre front length, and from your crotch up to the back of your neck to find your centre back length. The curve range says that the centre front measurement plus the centre back measurement should be about 4 inches larger than your body measurements. The standard size range says this measurement should be about 1 5/8ths inches bigger than your body measurement. All useful stuff.
All this to say, I went with the size 18 curve sizing for my bodice and sleeves, grading out over the waist and hips, and back down to a size 18 at the ankle opening. All my other modifications are listed below.
My jumpsuit is view E.
I cut a size 18 (curve range) for the bodice and sleeves and graded out over the waist and hips (up to 2 sizes), before grading back down to a size 18 at the ankle openings.
I cut the leg length at the regular inseam length and shortened the length by 4.5 inches.
I shortened the sleeves by 5.5 inches.
I did a 1 inch forward shoulder adjustment.
I did a 5/8ths inch full bust adjustment and shortened the darts by 1.5 inches. For future versions I may shorten the darts more.
I did a 1 inch full seat adjustment which brought in back waist darts.
I did a 0.5 inch full abdomen adjustment.
I took 0.5 inch seam allowance at the back seam to add a little more length.
I extended the belt by 50 cm and made it half the width. I added topstitching to the belt.
For next time: I might add 1 inch to the bodice length at centre front and taper to nothing at the sides.
I am pleased with my finished jumpsuit. It is comfortable to wear and easy enough to get out of when required 🙂 I like that different options are included in the pattern. Thanks to Megan Nielsen for providing the pattern and fabric.
I have been searching for the perfect green viscose crepe print for at least a couple of years to make a dress, and finally found this fabric from Rainbow Fabrics (no longer available). It’s still not my perfect green fabric, but it’s close. I would perhaps have liked less white and more green, but viscose crepe happens to be one of my favourite fabrics to sew with, so yeah. I will take it as a win.
I chose to combine two patterns together to achieve this look: the bodice and sleeves are from McCalls 8040, which I have made before: see here. The skirt is from McCalls 7971. I wanted the slit in the front and as the skirt has princess seams front and back, it meant the seams aligned with the princess seams of the bodice fairly easily. I did make some adjustments to the skirt (see below), and I am pretty pleased with the outcome. I have already worn this dress a couple of times, and it’s very easy to wear.
The neckline of the bodice is still finished using the facings, but I overlapped the front edges by about 0.5 inches and sewed non functioning buttons through all layers of fabric to close
The skirt is size 22 and I added extra width at the side seams for fit insurance, but I ended up taking a ton of width (like a lot) out of the side and back princess seams at the waist of the skirt and the blouse
I did do a 1 inch full tummy adjustment and a 1 inch full bum adjustment
The skirt is view C, without the pockets, and I ended up removing a further 1.5 inches of the length
I increased the height of the slit by 4 inches
I cut the skirt back on the fold
I interfaced the side seam on one side and added an invisible zipper
The sleeves are the longest length sleeves, shortened by 4.5 inches, and with 4 rows of shirring done 0.25 inches apart about 1.5 inches up from the finished hem. I think the sleeves are my favourite part of the dress 🙂
Very easy to wear, and perfect to wear on warm summery days.