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The Tula/Hemlock combo – a lounge set of dreams.

Despite the arrival of Spring, it’s still Baltic here in the UK, so I am certainly not ready to give up cosy loungewear yet.

What I did want however was to make a more stylish set than what I currently reach for when it’s the end of the day and I just want to throw on the comfies. You don’t even want to know what my current loungewear looks like – I’ll give you an idea – it’s oversized fleecy pyjamas that are several years old and several sizes too big for me too. Not a great look but I must admit that when I throw those ridiculous pyjamas on, wash my face and pop on some face oil, it’s like magic. Aaaand breathe….

Instagram has fed me images of pastel coloured cashmere loungewear sets for far too long, and now was the time to do something about it. Whilst cashmere is not in my budget, I took a chance on this marl pink melange from eBay, and I was not disappointed. I like the subtle dark shade of pink, it washes beautifully and was easy to sew with.

The trouser pattern that I picked is The Tula Pants from Papercut Patterns. This is a new release from Papercut and as soon as I saw it I jumped right on it – which is unusual for me as I almost always wait for a sale to come around before I purchase any pattern! For some time I had been searching for the discontinued Amina Pants from Papercut as I had seen so many lovely versions, however this pattern seems to be their replacement, so it’s all ended well.

Line drawings from Papercut Patterns x

The great thing about this pattern is that you can make it in either woven or knit fabric, there is a wide or tapered leg choice, and there are shorts too!

Elasticated waists all round – hooray! Pockets, yes please! and a faux fly and ankle cuffs if you like too, yee ha!

This pattern is available in a size range of 1-8 (UK 6-20). My measurements at the moment are 34-29-38, and I made a straight size 4 (UK 12).

I thought that they would be a super quick pattern to sew, but actually there is more to them than I had considered. The pockets and faux fly are not quick (but not difficult either). The pocket construction is enjoyable and I like how it looks. I chose to stitch a couple of rows through the waistband elastic (optional) as this keeps it neat and in place and I liked the buttonholes that are sewn into the waistband so that you can quickly slip through a length of cord/fabric to create a faux drawstring tie. So many lovely details.

I would like to mention that these are the full leg length with no pattern alterations. I chose not to cuff the ankles, but was surprised that they were not longer (not that I needed them longer), as I am only 5’2″ and I always have to shorten trousers. Bear that in mind if you have beautiful long legs unlike me! I imagine that I will usually wear these rolled up a little, kind of 7/8th length.

I already have some grey sweatshirt fabric lined up to make another pair, more like joggers, sweatpants, trakkies .. whatever you call them, with a cuffed ankle probably. I also would like to sew a wide leg version in linen for the Summer so watch out!

For the top I chose the Grainline Studio Hemlock Tee. I’ve linked it here on the Grainline website where it is available for $5.00, but it is also available as a free pattern if you are signed up the the Grainline newsletter ūüėČ

This pattern is available is sizes 0-30.

Image from the Grainline Studio Blog.

This pattern is an old favourite and has been around for quite a while but was updated a couple of years ago to give the maker some more style and size choices. I made the mid length version with full length sleeves, but you can also mix and match between short or long sleeves and the lengths are also available in a cropped or tunic length if this is your preference.

I made a size 6.

The pattern is a drapey dropped shoulder tee/tunic and is the sort of top that I reach for all the time. It’s suitable for a beginner, and you can whip one up in no time at all. The instructions are clear and helpful and it’s just the style that I was looking for to complete my lounge set.

The dark grey acrylic scissors necklace is available in my shop x

I wonder if I should leave it how it is or grab my Happy Fabric vinyl and add a design to the front? We’ll see.

Hope you like this set, it’s a little different to what I normally sew, but I’m glad that the photos for this blog are now taken so that I can relax and actually wear it!

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

Follow me over on Instagram @sew_dainty

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A classic Linden Sweatshirt

I’m quite enjoying sewing through my stash at the moment, are you doing the same? If I’m honest, I just can’t afford new fabric at the moment, luckily I have a quite a few fabrics that will keep me going for a while.

One fabric that has been knocking around in my cupboard for a year or two is this wonderful lilac and brown wide striped knit. As with quite a few things that I have been sewing lately, this too was a great find from a fabric swap. I *think* I might have picked it up at the Sewing Weekender. Thank you to whoever donated it! The moment I saw it I always intended it to be a Linden.

The Linden Sweatshirt ¬†from Grainline Studio is a classic pattern that most of us will be familiar with. I have made a couple of versions in the past which I wear a great deal around the house, and as they are on their last legs I thought it was about time that I made another. Also I don’t think I have ever written a blog post on this great pattern, so it’s about time.

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This image is from http://www.grainlinestudio.com

For those unfamiliar the pattern gives you the choice of two versions. View A is a classic sweatshirt with long sleeves and ribbing at the neckline, cuffs and hem. View B is slightly shorter in the body, it has short sleeves too and only requires ribbing at the neckband.

I made view A and didn’t use ribbing as I didn’t have any in my stash that was the right colour, so just went right ahead and used the main fabric as it had a nice amount of stretch in it. Due to the width of the stripes I was able to ‘fussy cut’ these pieces to make sure they were all solid brown.

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Talking about stripes, although the long side/arm seams are easy to stripe match, the curved shape of the sleeve head means that stripes along the armhole seam won’t often match. On this seam I always try to match at least one of the most prominent stripes and let the rest do what they want! In the case of my sweatshirt, I chose to match up one of the brown stripes. As it has turned out, that brown stripe is matched up perfectly along the bottom edge of the stripe, leaving a ‘step’ in the matching along the top edge. On reflection I perhaps should have matched up the top edge of the stripe for it to look a little better, but not to worry, I’m not going to lose sleep over it! What is your opinion on¬† pattern matching guys? ‘Team perfection’ or ‘Team whatever’?

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On a plus note, the back arm seams match wonderfully!! Ha! Maybe I should wear it backwards!

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The neckline is a soft scoop, and is a little wider than a lot of my rtw sweatshirts. I like the fit, but I have heard others mention that the neck opening is too wide for their liking.

I left the length of the sleeves as they were – which is something that I rarely do, as my arms aren’t very long. I like this length of sleeve on a cosy sweatshirt, and I also like the sleeve width – not too tight, not too loose.

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Lilac is still such a hot colour, and whilst it isn’t a shade that everybody can wear, I feel that the brown stripes are so complimentary. How could I not accessorize this top with¬†my original lilac scissors necklace, available in my shop.

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So whilst it’s great to talk about all the new and exciting patterns out there, it’s also good to re-visit the oldies but goldies like this. Classic wardrobe staples that you can go back to time and time again are great aren’t they?

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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The #OWOP17 challenge using The Grainline Studios Scout Tee.

A few weeks ago the lovely Sheona from¬†Sewisfaction¬† announced that she would be running the ‘one week, one pattern’ challenge. Affectionately shortened to the #OWOP17 hashtag, it is a challenge to wear a different item of clothing each day for a week,¬† made from using just one sewing pattern. Lots of lovely prizes were on offer throughout the week, and I knew that it would be a lot of fun to take part in.

I chose to use the Grainline Studios Scout Tee. I had chosen this pattern from¬†Fabric HQ¬†about a year ago when I had won a voucher to use at their shop, and it’s a great basic woven t-shirt pattern with cap sleeves and a scoop neck. I decided that this simple shape had the potential to be changed into all sorts of variations.

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Day 1.

To kick off the week I wore the first Scout Tee that I ever made which was sewn in a beautiful floral crepe de chine from Material Magic in Leicester. If I’m honest it’s a little on the large side for me now as I have lost weight since making it back in March, but I do still wear it quite alot so thought that I would still include it in the challenge. It is also the only version of the Scout that I made exactly according to the pattern.

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Day 2.

For the version that I wore on day 2, I made a couple of small changes. I lengthened the sleeves to approximately elbow length and added a deep frill. It’s not too tricky to do this at all, and changes the look of this top completely I think. I didn’t want the frills to be too ‘poofy’ so cut my frill strips 1.5 times the length of the sleeve opening. This elephant print¬† fabric was already in my stash – I had purchased this from¬†Fabric Land¬†in Bristol a couple of years ago.

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Day 3.

It’s never too long before I can be away from a dress. So it was only to be expected that I would make this pattern work into a dress. For a little while now I have had my eye on a loose fitting gathered dress pattern from¬†¬†I Am Patterns.¬† ¬† It’s called the Cassiopee dress and although it has kimono/raglan sleeves, I hoped that I could make my Scout pattern into something that looked similar. To do this I basically shortened the length of the Scout Tee (making it into the dress bodice), keeping the slight hi/lo shaping, and added a gathered skirt. To make the gathered skirt I needed two rectangles – a front skirt piece and a back skirt piece. To calculate the dimensions of the fabric that I would need for each skirt piece, I tried the bodice on and decided how long I wanted the length to be, (taking into consideration that the bottom of the bodice was not perfectly horizontal),¬† and the width was determined by the width of each bodice piece multiplied by 1.5 to allow for the gather.

Because the bottom edge of the bodice kept this lovely hi/low shaping, the hem of the dress needed some serious work to make sure that it was perfectly level. It is at times like this that I am grateful to have my super Adjustoform dress form.

Ooh and of course it has to have in-seam pockets. Using my favourite pocket template (is it possible to have a favourite pocket? – yes), which happens to be the pocket from my Colette Peony dress, I worked out at what point on the side seams I would need it, and simply added them in!

The fabric was in my stash, and was a purchase a few months ago from Stuarts Fabrics on Leicester market.

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Day 4.

Back to a top again today, and I kept it pretty simple by making up the basic Scout Tee exactly according to the instructions, but then simply adding a pretty lace edged zip at the back neckline. Don’t be too shocked when I admit that the zip is purely for show and is simply stitched on the centre back of the top so that we can all admire its lacy beauty!

The fabric that I used for this one is a recent purchase from The Sewing Cafe in Hinckley. Its a pretty teal and mustard floral viscose and is just dreamy.

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Day 5.

Another top today, with a little twist. I have a ready to wear top in my wardrobe which is really cute as it has a little frill around the bottom, so the challenge today was to recreate that. I tried on my RTW top to get an idea on how long I wanted the length of the top to be (not including the frill), and then cut the length of my bodice front and back to this length (allowing for seam allowances). I measured the depth of the frill on my RTW top and again allowing for seam allowances cut a strip to make the frill with this depth and with the length 1.5 times the length of the bottom edge of the top to allow for a little gather. Super simple and a really nice little alteration I think.

I used a pretty oriental print mint cotton poplin from my stash for this one.

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Day 6.

Back to a dress again and I used exactly the same template/technique for this one as I did for the version that I wore on day 3. The pictures I have for this version give a better idea of the hi/lo waist seam which I love so much, and the gorgeous fabric that I used was something that I picked up in the fabric swap at   The Sewing Weekender   this Summer. Thank you to whoever was kind enough to bring that along. Lucky me!

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Day 7.

For the final day, I wanted to add a Peter Pan collar to my top. I had seen a really great tutorial on the Harts Fabric blog and I followed this to make my own. It was fairly straightforward and I am delighted with the result. Again I used fabric from my stash Рthis red cow print fabric was from Material Magic in Leicester bought some time ago, and the black quilting fabric I purchased recently from The Sewing Cafe when I was there recently celebrating Sew Saturday.

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When I first began sewing for this challenge, I really wasn’t sure that I would ever want 7 versions of the same sewing pattern in my wardrobe, but I am really surprised with how many different looks that you can make from just one basic pattern.

Thank you to Sheona for the incredible amount of work that she has put in to ensure this challenge was an amazing success, and for organising ( and donating) such lovely gifts for the daily winners. If you would love some #OWOP17 inspiration, then do head on over to Instagram and search this hashtag – you will be blown away by so much creativity!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Grainline Studios Scout Tee Sewing Pattern Review

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This is my second Grainline Studios sewing make. I love it. They have both been tops but both very different. If you would like to have a quick look at my other Grainline top (The Hemlock), you can see my review here.

As with many of my recent makes, this has been another pattern that I have been meaning to sew up for quite a while. I absolutely love the simplicity of it, and how it would suit a number of different fabrics each giving it a different look.

This pattern is suitable for woven fabrics, light to medium weight, such as cottons, lawns, crepes etc. Whilst I had originally planned my first Scout Tee to be a classic cotton stripe I changed my mind to something more drapey and flowing and decided on a pretty navy blue floral crepe. So pleased I did, it’s shape is fitted at the shoulders and falls into a more relaxed fit below the bust which of course suits a crepe very well.

 

Supplies need for this are very simple. Fabric and thread! Of course you will need fabric scissors or your rotary cutter and mat, and pins,but that pretty much is it! I used the paper pattern version (rather than PDF), which I was fortunate to choose as part of a prize in December given by The Sewing Directory as part of a fabulous quilt-along challenge they ran. My pattern came from Fabric HQ and if interested you can find it here. Thank you again to the Sewing Directory and Fabric HQ.

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This pattern is a breeze from start to finish. A beautiful instruction booklet takes you through the whole process clearly and simply. Only 4 pattern pieces are required ( a front piece, a back piece, a sleeve and a neckline binding). Simple.

After stitching the front and back pieces together the sleeves are inserted in the regular way using gathering stitches to ease them in place. This went very smoothly and I was left with lovely neat sleeves.

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Binding the neckline came next. Once again good clear instructions were on hand to take you through this procedure with no problems. My neckline sits flat and was perfectly straighforward to attach.

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The final stage of this project is hemming the sleeves and around the bottom edge. A simple double fold hem is required and in no time at all you have a great little top. The back of the top sits slight lower than the front which I think is so feminine and flattering.

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I cannot wait to make more of these this year, probably using a cotton fabric next time to give it a completely different look. I would highly recommend the pattern as a must for your pattern collection.

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I love the effect that the crepe fabric has on this pattern. It turns a very basic shape into something very special. I can see this top worn with jeans, chinos, linen trousers or skirts. Easy to dress up or down.

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I hope this review has inspired you to take a look at your sewing basics. Whilst it is easy to get carried away with new releases and on-trend designs, these simple shapes are always ones we come back to time and time again.

I am also happy to say that this is make number three on my #2017makenine list!

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x