Posted on 2 Comments

The Ivy Pinafore from Jennifer Lauren Handmade.

I do love a pinafore, and Jennifer Lauren Handmade has delivered a stunning pattern in The Ivy Pinafore. It’s been on my radar for a couple of years and finally after purchasing the pattern using a discount code earlier on in the year, the temperatures are cool enough to actually get around to sewing it.

The last Jennifer Lauren pinafore that I made was The Pippi Pinafore which is a slightly more fitted design with a bib. Another beautiful pattern from JLH. I also enjoy my Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dresses and have linked one of them here for you to look at too.

The Ivy Pinafore is a simple but beautiful dress which can be made in two different styles. I made the slim fitting version which features a very gentle A-line silhouette, and you also have the choice of making a more full tent style dress on this pattern too.

Ivy_Shop-Illustration_web

I love lots about this pattern but was really drawn to that pretty curved yoke (front and back), and the wide shoulder straps with large button fastening.

On this version I made no adjustments to the pattern on a straight size 12. I was hoping that this ‘toile’ would be wearable and it definitely is!IMG_5005

The fabric that I chose is a brown corduroy from Birmingham Rag Market which I bought during the SewBrum sewing meet up last month. I can’t remember how much I paid for it now, but don’t imagine that it would have been more than £5 per metre.

I’ve paired it with one of my numerous Tilly and the Buttons Agnes Tops. Funnily enough I think this was made (2 or 3 years ago) using fabric from the rag market too. I must give a huge shout out to the lovely Leanne ( @threadyforit on Instagram) who inspired the styling of this make with her gorgeous brown cord pinafore combo here Her stunning outfit features a York Pinafore (it’s on my Christmas list)! and as soon as I saw this outfit paired with her red and white striped top I was determined to make my Ivy with a brown cord, and also wear it with my red and white striped top too. Now that I’m typing this out it sounds a bit weird. Eek!

Anyhow back to the pattern. A couple of other things that I should mention are that it is fully lined. This is so useful, but if you are nervous about the difficulty of this don’t worry, the great instructions will guide you through everything and it’s no problem at all. I don’t ever envisage wearing this without thick tights in the Winter months so a lined version was just what I was looking for. I think Jennifer Lauren has a blog post on how to make it up as an unlined dress too if this is something that you might be wanting help with.

Also pockets. Nice big pockets that are at the perfect height for me too! I used some scraps of this gorgeous cotton lawn from Sewessential that I had leftover from a previous project as it’s super pretty and I didn’t want bulky corduroy pockets. I could have used some of the lining fabric of course, but love using pretty leftovers for my pockets as many of us do.

The front and back dress pieces are joined together using a flat-felled seam. Unfortunately the lovely detail of this gets a little lost in the wales of the corduroy, but you get the idea! The best way to appreciate this detail is by using a non-textured fabric and maybe show it off with a contrasting top stitching thread. Something I’m sure I will rustle up soon!

IMG_5006

The curved yoke detail which is a feature on the front and back is so pretty too. Everything just fits together perfectly, it was such a pleasure to sew. It’s not the quickest garment I have ever sewn, especially as you have the lining to construct too, but it is really rewarding and I can’t wait to make another.

IMG_5087
Secret Pyjamas Brooch can be found in my shop.

I also went for jeans buttons. I like how they look and really love the hammering process! The button size recommendation is for buttons that are approx 4cm (1 5/8″) or smaller. When placing a 4cm button in place to get a feel for what size I wanted, I felt that this was too big for me and opted for these 2cm lovelies instead. I did sew the buttonholes too, but you don’t really need to as it is a ‘pull over the head’ dress so you don’t actually need them to be functioning if you don’t want.

What else can I say except it’s lovely and more will follow. Oh by the way, whilst the corduroy is lovely, it is a fluff generator, so expect to get it everywhere! Totally worth it though I think.

Who else is loving Autumn? Today I am wearing this with thick plum coloured tights and clogs for a cosy vibe. Later I’m off to the Post Office and will pair it with my wellies and be equally comfortable.

IMG_5114

What’s your favourite pinafore pattern? I’d love more suggestions ..

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

Posted on 6 Comments

My entry into #therefashioners2017 #suitsyou challenge – New Look 6509

IMG_2479

Refashioning is something that I haven’t really given much thought to before, I’m slightly ashamed to admit. This Summer whilst attending The Sewing Weekender I was so chuffed to hear Portia Lawrie speaking. Firstly because she had just won The Dressmaker of the Year title with an incredible jacket made from old jeans and I was over the moon to actually get to see the jacket, and secondly because refashioning/upcycling/transforming something was something I wanted to know more about. Safe to say I was ‘suitably’ (do you see what i did there) impressed and knew that this year I wanted to give #therefashioners2017 a go.

Before I begin, you might like to take a little look over at Portia’s website where you can get all the details of this year’s challenge in full, but in a nutshell the challenge is to take an old suit or jacket – an unloved item that is not wanted anymore – and transform it into another wearable item of clothing!

First things first – to find the perfect suit or jacket. I knew I wanted something with some pattern or design, like a check or a dogtooth, and preferably in a very very large size so that I would have more fabric to ‘play with’. After several disappointing views at suits on eBay,  I finally found my perfect jacket in the local LOROS charity shop. It was a jacket only (no trousers) and was the bargain price of £6.95

IMG_1673

price tag

Best of all it was a whopping size 58″ chest so I figured that it didn’t matter that there weren’t trousers too as I should have enough to make a dress with the fabric on a jacket this size alone. Fingers crossed.

The dress that I wanted to make was New Look 6509, a pinafore style dress. I have had it for a while because I loved the look of view A. Fear not folks I am not tempted with any of the other ‘cut out’ views at my age…

newlook-romper-dress-pattern-6509-envelope-front

In order to see how much fabric there was available, it was time to grab the seam ripper and dis-assemble the jacket. This was quite a lengthy process, and it was quite interesting to see the work and construction that goes into a suit jacket.

I traced out the pattern pieces that I needed and then it was just a case of jiggling them around until I managed to somehow cut out all the pieces that I needed. It was my intention to share with you lots of pics of this stage of the make, but as always I get carried away with wanting to sew and only got this one shot of one of the sleeves being used for a skirt panel.

thumbnail_868A0E68-C757-4068-9EDF-14E6BF5F5983

Once constructed – this is the skirt panel that was made from the sleeve piece.

IMG_2511

The dress came together nicely, as always with a New Look pattern the instructions are thorough and have clear line drawings to help you. The alterations to the pattern that I made were that I wanted to use an exposed metal zip rather than the recommended invisible so that I could continue with the recycle/upcycle theme. I recently came upon a huge bag of old zips in a charity shop for £1 and so used one of those for this project as I felt it was very appropriate.

IMG_2450

Another change that I made was to the length of the straps. When it came to button placement (of course using the original suit buttons), I realised that the straps were too long, so removed the basting stitches, chopped off approx 2″, and re-basted into place before stitching.

Finally, I felt like I wanted to add a pocket on the front bib of the dress. So I simply used my trusty pocket pattern piece from my Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dress and cut a pocket on the cross grain, lined it up and popped it on. I love how it looks with the pocket.

IMG_2492

With a limited amount of fabric, and a checked design, pattern matching was always going to be challenging. I managed it for some of the seams and not for others. Hey ho! I can live with it. The seams and darts line up nicely and it fits like a glove.

IMG_2504

IMG_2521

The bodice of the dress is lined, and of course I used the lining that was originally the jacket lining. There was plenty of this and so cutting this out from the pattern pieces was no problem at all.

IMG_2525

thumbnail_07C743A7-B476-41F4-8A56-32A95F5DC0B3

This has been such a fun project, and I have enjoyed it way more that I expected to. For more inspiration from this sewing challenge do head on over to Instagram and search the hashtags #therefeshioners2017 and #suitsyou for lots of images. Be sure to follow Portia on Instagram for all the updates on the challenge, and if you haven’t entered this time you might want to consider a trip to the charity shop for your next fabric purchase. Instead of looking at the clothes as garments, imagine them as pieces of fabric that could be used for your next project. The bigger the size the better.

Thank you to Portia for the insane amount of work that must have gone into organising this challenge. It’s been great!

I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

IMG_2470