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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 😉

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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The Yanta Overalls from Helen’s Closet

I’m pretty sure that you have seen these overalls popping up all over the place since their release about a month ago.

The Yanta Overalls from Helen’s Closet are the cutest relaxed fitting dungarees you have ever seen. They feature a classic v-shaped back and button strap fastenings and have an optional size zip. Patch pockets on the front, back and bib are yours to choose from and there is an option for full/cropped length or a Summery shorts version.

The size range is incredible on this too . Sizes 0-30 are accommodated in with this pattern – how awesome is that? I cut a size 10 at the bib grading out to a 12 at the hips.

This is actually the first time that I have sewn a Helen’s Closet pattern and going on what I had already heard regarding her patterns, I knew that it would be an enjoyable process.

 

As expected, her instructions are clearly written and helpful. Helen describes this as an intermediate pattern and I would agree with that.

My fabric choice is the Ikea Lenda fabric – not the best fabric in the world, but at £5 per metre, it was perfect for trying out this pattern. I think if I made it again I would go for a slightly more lightweight fabric as I feel this looks a little too crisp for the look that I was going for.

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Before I cut out the fabric, I adjusted the length. This pattern is drafted for a 5’6″ body, and as I am only 5’2″, I needed to remove 2″ from the length (that is the 4″ difference divided by 2). This worked out perfectly in terms of leg length, but I think I might need to shorten the crotch length next time I make them as it is a little baggy there.

I loved the wording and illustrations in the instructions – especially the little tips giving explanations regarding why some of the techniques were being used.

I left out interfacing my straps as I felt they had enough structure anyway, and they were fine without.

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The scissors necklace is available for purchase from my website.

The waist at the front and back is nipped in with small darts. This is such a great feature as whilst they are still loose, you have a certain amount of shaping there which is very useful I think – especially when your waist to hip measurement difference is quite big like mine.

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A 5″ invisible zipper is also an option although not always necessary. I could have just about slipped these over my hips without it, but decided to add a zip just to make things easier. I didn’t have an invisible zip of that length, so just used a regular zip here instead.

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The patch pockets on the front and back are cute and whilst I used them on the back of the overalls, I wasn’t sure that I wanted them on the front. I decided that I would insert in-seam pockets instead. After inserting the zip (which I didn’t think that I would want initially), I realised that the in-seam pockets wouldn’t now fit on that side now, but still kept it on the other side. I mean, a girl needs pockets. Not sure if this feels a bit odd just having it on one side, so may try the patch pockets on the front next time if I still need to use the zip.

For the pocket bag I used the same floral fabric that I used for the front and back facings.

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I like the shape of the bib pocket. It has a upward triangular shape to the top edge and I enjoyed the placement of it and all the top stitching details. Top stitching is part of sewing that I really enjoy and this pattern has plenty of it! I particularly like the stitching details on the back strap too.

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I think if I’m honest when I sewed the back of the bodice to the facing with the straps enclosed inside, I didn’t make the best job of it. I think I got a little confused with the two different seam allowances (3/8″ and 5/8″) for this step and may have gone a little wobbly. Luckily this seemed to look alright from the right side, but my facing on the inside has a little ripple in it. Nobody will see this and you’re not going to tell anybody are you? Ha!

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The length of the straps are trimmed when you have finished the garment, and I needed to cut approx 4″ from each strap.

I didn’t finish the legs of the overalls apart from overlocking them, as I know that I will always wear them turned up a couple of times.

I cannot recommend this pattern highly enough if you are considering this style of make in the future. It’s cute, fun to sew, and super comfortable to wear. What’s not to love!

 

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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The Maple Dress from Cocowawa Crafts.

Pattern testing is something that I really enjoy. I have worked with Ana from Cocowawa Crafts a few times now, and it is always my pleasure to help her out.

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Hello to The Maple Dress, , the brand new pattern from Cocowawa Crafts.

This relaxed fitting double breasted dress features a notched collar, a swishy quarter circle skirt in your choice of length, inseam pockets (hooray)! and your choice of sleeve lengths. You can also add a ruffle around the edge of the collar or perhaps some piping.

I chose to make the short sleeved version with the keyhole detail and ties – Cocowawa certainly knows how to rock a good pattern with ties/ribbons, and I went for the shorter length skirt.

My fabric choice is this amazing viscose twill from  Fabric Godmother. I picked the navy blue option – but there are other colour choices on this fabric. It had the perfect amount of weight and drape to suit this design perfectly. The quality is exceptional and my fabric arrived really quickly. At £6 per metre, it’s reasonably priced too.

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The pattern is designed to have a natural relaxed fit, but looking at the finished garment sizing, I decided to size down a little so that the dress fitted me a little more closely. I also wanted the waistline slightly higher, so shortened the bodice by 2.5cm.

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I really enjoyed sewing the notched collar. I have recently made Butterick 5926 which is a jacket with the same collar type, so I had a good idea (still fresh in my mind) on how the collar is constructed. No need to worry, the instructions and excellent pattern markings make fitting the collar a breeze. If you still have any reservations about it, why not head on over to watch Ana on her YouTube channel where she will take you through all the important construction details on The Maple. I love having something like this to refer to when I’m sewing – it’s like sewing with a friend!

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My buttonholes created a couple of little pulls in the threads of the fabric. This could be that I needed to use a sharper or finer needle in my machine.

You will need 4 buttons for this dress. These pretty brown buttons I picked up from Hobbycraft I think, and they look like they are made from coconut shells.

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The sleeves are one of my favourite parts of the pattern. Ana is the Queen of all things ribbons, ties and ruffles and I LOVE all of those things. I made some bias tape from leftover fabric, but you could just as easily use ready made bias if you prefer, and used it to edge and tie the keyhole short sleeves. So cute.

As the pattern is brand new and has only released today, you might be interested to know that there is a lovely page on the Cocowawa blog featuring all the Maple Dresses that have been made by the pattern testers. Head on over here for some awesome Maple Dress inspiration. They are really really fabulous.

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I hope that this have given you some Spring/Summer sewing inspiration. That being said – the long sleeved version with or without a polo neck underneath will see you through the colder months too!

Huge thanks to Ana, such a creative and truly lovely lady, for trusting me with your latest creation. I had the best time making it and cannot wait to see lots of Maple’s cropping up all over the internet!

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x