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The Roscoe Blouse from True Bias

I was so lucky to receive this stunning Liberty fabric from Minerva recently and decided to use it to make a really pretty Roscoe Blouse from True Bias.

The fabric was an absolute dream to sew with, the quality is outstanding as you would expect from Liberty, and it pairs really beautifully with the Roscoe pattern.

I received this fabric from Minerva in exchange for a review/blog post on their site, so if you would like to read more about this fabric or pattern, then do head on over to my page at Minerva here.

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Fibre Mood Elodie

Issue 12 of the latest Fibre Mood magazine is out today, and I was lucky enough to take a peek at the patterns that it contains a few weeks ago, and choose one to share with you on launch day today *

It wasn’t an easy choice, there are lots to choose from, I think that there are twelve, including three children’s patterns.

In the end I opted for The Elodie Dress, which looks deceptively simple, but actually features some lovely details when you look a little closer.

The basic dress is a simple round necked bodice with a centre back zip and an a-line skirt. Add to that the long puffed sleeves with statement cuffs, optional ruffle at the hem of the skirt and waist casing with tie belt and you really have something special.

The pattern calls for the fabric to have ‘fluid drape’, so I chose this floral viscose from Sewisfaction. I was drawn to it because of it’s olive coloured base, and I adore how it is absolutely covered with pink and blue flowers.

I chose to make a size 10. Looking at the size chart, it puts me in a size 12 bust, and 10 hips and waist. Then checking the finished garment sizes with ease, went for a straight size 10 as it looked like this would be spot on. The finished fit of the dress feels good. My measurements are 36-29-38.

Before cutting out, I had a good look at the pattern design to check if I might need to make any changes to the paper pattern before I cut into my gorgeous fabric.

I knew that the length of the dress would be too long for me. So that I could get a rough idea of the length I pinned the front bodice, waist casing, skirt and ruffle together and held it up to me in a full length mirror to see how long it looked. This only gives me a rough idea of course, but it told me that I definitely needed to take some length from the skirt. (the bodice length looked roughly ok). So before cutting out I shortened the length of the skirt pattern piece by 10cm. (I’m 5’2″ for reference).

The bodice of the dress is very simple. It has a high round neckline which is finished with bias binding. I had enough fabric left over to make my own bias tape from the dress fabric. An 8″/20cm invisible zipper sits at the centre back neckline and the bodice is fairly loose and relaxed meaning that no bust darts are required.

Gold mirror acrylic button necklace from my shop here x

The sleeves. Take a moment to appreciate. They are magnificent don’t you think? Nicely gathered at the front, top and back ensures they have volume to say the least, but somehow they’re not ‘over the top’ which was what I was worried about. They feel like they should be on this dress, and it would be a shame if they weren’t.

On the original pattern the sleeves finish with an exaggerated long open cuff finished with a button and rouleau loop. Whilst some would say that this is the main feature of this pattern, I just knew that I could not get on with a long open cuff, it would drive me crazy, so I just made a simple adjustment to the cuff pattern piece and cut out a basic rectangle (which needed 2 x buttons and rouleau loops per cuff), and I felt that this would be a more practical cuff for my everyday life.

I did hit a few problems here. Whilst I used the length of the original cuff pattern to ensure I had the same length cuff as the original, once they were sewed on I found that the cuff openings weren’t big enough to allow the sleeve to slide up my arms when I raised my hands above my head. I couldn’t lift my arms up! So I had to unpick these cuffs and make them longer in length (an extra 4.5cm in my case), giving them a wider opening when finished so that they gave me unrestricted movement when I raised my arms. It’s safe to say that my arms are not restricted now in any way! The depth of my cuff pattern piece was 8cm by the way.

Although they blend into the background, I self covered my buttons, which looks so pretty. Admittedly they are rather camouflaged so maybe a contrast button might have been a better ( and simpler) choice!

Camouflaged buttons!

The pattern doesn’t come with pockets in the skirt, so I added simple in-seam pockets to my version.

I like how the waist casing is made and attached to the bodice pieces and the skirt pieces. It’s clever how this is used as a casing for elastic and a faux tie is attached through the buttonholes in the casing where the elastic has been threaded through, to make it look like the tie belt is gathering the waist. Clever. Gotta love an elasticated dress right?

When the dress was finished I think I hit the jackpot in terms of getting the length just right. I certainly would have been sorry if I had shortened the skirt pieces by any more – phew!

* Disclaimer: I was kindly gifted my choice of the Elodie pattern by Fibre Mood to sew and share. As always my review is honest and all opinions are entirely my own. This post contains some affiliate links. This means that I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you if you click through and purchase something that I have linked to. Thank you.

I’ve ended up with a fantastic dress despite a few hiccups with the cuff sizing! It certainly took me longer to sew that I originally thought it would, so is not a quick make, but the style is very ‘me’ and I have no doubts that I will be returning to sew this pattern again and again.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon, Kathy x

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A Burda Style pintuck pleated smock dress.

Well this dress was a long time coming. It’s dress number 106 from Burda Style magazine issue December 2019!

I first noticed this when the lovely Jay Jay from The Camden Stitch mentioned it in one of her Christmas Vlogs last year – this one in fact! She flicked through it whilst having a coffee at St Pancras Station and when she paused to look at this dress I instantly decided that I needed that issue of the magazine too.

It’s been years since I bought a Burda magazine, and turns out they’re really good value. This was £5.99 for 221 patterns apparently! Not quite sure how work out 221 patterns, they must be including each size of each pattern I reckon, but there certainly are quite a few. In fact now that I have made this one I might get around to making another pattern that I also really liked in the same magazine..

Don’t worry if you don’t have the magazine, but still like this dress. I’ve got your back. It’s available as a individual pattern purchase here. You are welcome! Ha!

Line drawing from Burdastyle.com

The dress is a smock style pleated dress. I have called it a pintuck dress, not sure if this is exactly right as I imagine pintucks to be really tiny, and these are fairly wide. But hey ho, whatever you call it it’s pretty cute right?

Alongside the pleats/pintucks it has a fantastic tie at the back of the neck – you know how I am a sucker for a tie back! It also has an unusual flounce insert at the bottom of the back of the dress, which I actually left out because I wasn’t that keen on it. Simple long sleeves complete the look.

The sample in the book was made up in a viscose which is probably my absolute fave fabric to sew with, so I used a pretty mustard floral viscose from my stash that I bought from Like Sew Amazing during the Summer. Sadly this particular fabric looks like it might be sold out now, but there are plenty of other beautiful alternatives over in her lovely shop.

Before I even start we need to address the reason why a lot of people are hesitant to use patterns from the Burda magazine. It’s the tracing. The magazine comes with one pattern sheet containing the all the pattern markings for every pattern in the book. It’s completely crazy. Take your time to read through what you need and where to look for them and don’t do what I did which is start to trace out late afternoon when the light is starting to go. Big mistake. To make it a little easier for myself I used a Frixion highlighter pen to draw over the lines that I needed to trace off before placing the tracing paper on top. This makes it much easier to follow the correct line when tracing and not be distracted by the others. Seam and hem allowances are not included in these magazine patterns by the way, so don’t forget to add these in before cutting out.

I made up the size 40 (with no adjustments), and my measurements are 36-29-38

The pattern was super easy to sew up actually. The main thing that I was concerned about was keeping the pleats nice and neat when I was sewing them as I thought the viscose might be too soft. Turns out they were no problem at all, they pressed nicely when I pinned them in place and stayed put when I sewed them in. Winner winner. I’m very surprised with how nicely they turned out (I was not expecting that)! It’s a shame the pattern on the fabric makes them really difficult to see from a distance. This would be a super dress using a chambray or lightweight linen so that you could really work on showing off those tucks.!

Silver button acrylic necklace available from my shop here

I also love love LOVE the tie at the back of the neckline. Sadly once again this kinda disappears into the pattern of the fabric but I hope you can get the idea. The ties are really long which is super cute I think.

Finally as I mentioned before, the dress has a flounce that is added to the bottom of the dress back. I didn’t particularly like this so when I cut the pattern out, so I just made the front and back dress pieces the same length and ignored the flounce piece.

I must be honest, the back view is not very flattering. I mean, I guess a smock is never going to be. I’ll add a pic here. Hmmm I did wonder if it would look better a little shorter. We’ll see. I can always go back to that. Or maybe I could add a belt?

The finished result has really pleased me, I wasn’t expecting to love it as I do. I was wearing a navy cardigan with it before we took the pics and that looked really nice – I should have taken some pics of it as that is definitely how I would wear it at the moment. With thick coloured tights and shoe boots or trainers. It’s a yes from me!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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The Lotta Dress from Tilly and the Buttons.

If you are looking for a swishy dress sewing pattern, then you have certainly come to the right place.

The Lotta Dress from Tilly and the Buttons is one of the easiest dresses that I have ever sewn. Whilst this makes it an enjoyable sewing project for any ability, it is one of the most perfect patterns to introduce dressmaking to a total beginner.

The loose fitting bodice (no darts), elasticated waist and grown-on sleeves make it an absolute doddle to sew, and your choice of swishy skirt length and sleeves mean that you can have your perfect dress sewn up in no time at all.

Image from Tilly and the Buttons

Optional large patch pockets are a cute feature and what’s pretty amazing about this pattern is that it is suitable for woven fabrics or stretchy jersey!

The two versions that I am showing you here are both made with viscose fabric that I purchased from Minerva. I made the bracelet length sleeved midi-length dress in a dark navy and white irregular spot, and the knee length short sleeved version in a red, blue and gold floral.

A huge bonus of this style dress is that it is so easy to fit. I made both of these dresses quite a while back now as these were my pattern tester samples for Tilly and the Buttons. Since then I have lost a little weight and probably come down a good couple of sizes, but the dresses still fit and feel great.

Apart from being no fuss to sew, the grown-on sleeves give you that lovely dropped shoulder feature when you add the sleeves on to them. I love that. My sleeves are admittedly a little long – their intention is to be bracelet length – but of course the length can be whatever you choose.

I like the idea of having elasticated sleeve wrists, and might add these to a future Lotta.

The neckline is finished with a neat facing in the woven version. Adding, understitching and pressing a neckband facing is one of my favourite parts of sewing a woven dress.

I love how the thin elastic at the waist is comfortable to wear and also cinches you in. It also means that you can slip this dress on and off over your head without the need for any fastenings and (more importantly) eat lots of cake without feeling uncomfortable! Ha!

As mentioned before, my red and blue floral version is knee-length and has the short sleeves. The only other difference is that I added in-seam pockets to this version as that was my preference. (Forgot to take close up pics of this – oops). As always, I just used any pocket pattern and added them in the usual way when sewing up the side seams of the dress.

I’m currently working on a jersey version of this pattern which I hope to finish and share with you on Instagram next week. Now that the weather is turning colder I imagine that a jersey Lotta dress will come in very useful.

For more inspiration on this dress search the tag #sewinglotta

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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I Am Patterns Perle ruffle dress

One small benefit of being on lockdown and on a reduced income in our household like many others, is using this time to work through my fabric stash. I can’t really justify spending on fabric at the moment when I have a few pieces at home already.

Whilst rummaging through it last week, I found this lovely soft linen. I’ve had it so long I cannot remember where I bought it from, but I really wanted to use it to make a dress, especially as linen is so comfortable to wear during this warm spell that we are having at the moment.

The pattern that immediately sprung to mind was the I Am Patterns Perle. Isn’t it a pretty pattern? It’s one that I’ve had for a little while now, and luckily I had *just* enough fabric for it. How satisfying to have exactly the right amount of fabric with zero leftover!

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It’s a simple classic wrap dress with a belt tie and ruffles around the neckline/dress front edge and cuffs. I absolutely love this design.

It really is very simple to sew, and if you like gathering then this is a dream! I don’t, but I absolutely LOVE ruffles, so it’s a necessary evil! The most time consuming part of making the dress by far, is evenly gathering the ruffle piece that runs around the neckline and down the front edge of the dress. This strip is about 3.5 metres long (before gathering) and so I sectioned up the dress and the strip and gathered it up in sections to make sure they would be as even as possible. It was totally worth all the effort!

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I finished the edges of the ruffle pieces by using the rolled hem setting on my overlocker. Perhaps not the best thread colour match, maybe a tad too pale, but at times like these you’ve got to make do with what you’ve got, yes? The neat finish of the finished edge was just what I wanted, and I quite enjoyed using my over locker for something different than I usually use it for. For this finish I needed to lower the blade and use 3 threads rather than the usual 4.

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So that’s all well and good, but as this is the first time that I had sewn this pattern I needed to make a few adjustments for me which I will use the next time I make it. Take a deep breath – there are a few ..

Firstly, the sleeves were a little too wide at the cuff for my liking. Luckily I pinned these and tried on before sewing so I was able to taper the sleeve seam from the underarm to the cuff. Nothing major there. I might make them a little shorter next time too.

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I just love this dainty cuff.

The main problem that I found after sewing was the position of the belt ties. This is probably something to do with the fact that I am only 5’2″ but they were WAY too low for me. I understand that the design of the dress wants you to tie the dress with a ‘tucked’ look, but let me show you how low the position was on me ..

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The position of the waist ties needed to be raised by about 6 or 7 inches. Now ideally I would have shortened the pattern at some point above the position of the waist ties before cutting out, but as this was effectively my ‘toile’ it was too late. So to make it fit I had to take drastic measures. I cut off  both the belts and saved the longer belt piece to make a separate loose belt. I sewed up the small openings in the side seams where the original belt would have been threaded through and attached slim ribbons inside that tied the dress from the inside securely before the final wrap and belt. These stop the inside front of the dress from dropping down below the outside cross over, Does that make sense – you know the sort of ribbons you often find inside your dressing gown.

By raising the position of the ‘waistline’ it has meant that the ‘skirt’ section of the dress is very much longer now. Again factor in my height, but I kind of like this length anyway. This of course would have been easy to shorten if I had wanted to.

Whilst not ideal, it fixed the problem, and like I say, I will make adjustments to the pattern piece before cutting next time. The only small thing now is the edge of the front wrap ruffle on the ‘skirt’ where the belt was originally attached is slightly shaped, rather than hanging precisely vertically,  but this is barely noticeable and doesn’t bother me. You might be able to see that slightly shaped ruffle edge on the above mirror photo.

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To stop the v-neck from gaping, I sewed a short length of stitching along the row of existing stitching to keep this neatly in place. I can still pop this on over my head.  You could also use a press stud or something similar.

Necklace layering accessories are the gold mirror acrylic scissors from my shop  and gold roman coin necklace from Missoma.

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Last but not least, the finishing touch for any Lockdown sewing project, are these stunning ‘made in self-isewlation’ labels from the lovely Sally at Modista Sewing  who is selling these cuties with all profits donated to the National Emergencies Trust. She has already raised over £1000!

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I look forward to making more of these beautiful dresses in the future (when I can face all that gathering again)!

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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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 Indigo Add-On Pattern

It’s no secret that I love the Indigo smock dress and top pattern from Tilly and the Buttons.  So last week when they released this add-on pack I was all over it!

It is designed to be used with the original Indigo pattern, and enables you to add short sleeves (with or without a ruffle), a gathered tier at the bottom of the dress making it into a swishy midi dress, and, my personal favourite, the option to give it a button back – how dreamy! The above two pictures are from the Tilly and the Buttons website.

Sew up your dream combination using a mixture of the old pattern and the new to create your perfect dress/top. All in all, using both patterns, you have a total of 48 versions that you can create!

I knew in a heartbeat that I wanted to make the button back version. I also wanted to try those pretty ruffled short sleeves. I kept the skirt length as the regular original length, and also gathered the skirt in the standard way rather than using the exposed ruffle as I thought this might be too fussy with the ruffled sleeves.

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My fabric choice is this pretty ‘Beautiful Botanicals’ viscose from Material Girl Laura. It is a stunning print featuring green, cream and lilac leaves and flowers on a dark navy (almost black)  background, and at a very reasonable £3.99 per half metre. I particularly loved how the lilac flowers perfectly matched my acrylic scissors necklace. I know it’s difficult to see here and due to the bright sunshine those tiny flowers look a little grey but they are a soft lilac irl.

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Lilac acrylic necklace is available in my shop here.

I enjoyed sewing the pattern up immensely. As always with Tilly patterns, it was simple to sew, and the written instructions and pictures were spot on!

I couldn’t wait to make the button back bodice. Although it is an ‘over the head’ dress, I still decided to stitch and sew proper button holes – you could easily just sew on the buttons creating a fake button placket if you liked. They don’t need to be functional. I must admit I think I may have sewn my buttonholes a smidge too far in from the edge, and to make sure it lay nice and neat I actually ran a line of top stitching along that edge to hold it down, which actually makes the whole time spent sewing the button holes a bit of a waste but hey ho! it’s all good fun!

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Check out the new sleeve design too – short sleeves with a gentle (optional) ruffle. They’re so cute!

Of course there are pockets, nice deep ones too! My standard pocket adjustment on this dress is to raise the height of the pocket by 2″.

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There’s very little more to say about this beautiful pattern that hasn’t already been said! I wrote a blog post about my original version here  if you want to take a peek, and have made 3 or 4 versions of it since then.

This pattern was very kindly gifted to me, with no obligations to share in any way, but I wanted to show you how lovely it is and of course all opinions on the pattern are very much my own.

Look after yourselves, stay safe, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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A classic brown knee length Jenny Skirt

Today’s blog post is special, because I am trying my first pattern from the lovely Nicola and Susan at Homer and Howells.

Homer and Howells are an exciting new pattern company based in Scotland and as I write this post, there are two sewing patterns in their shop – the Jenny , and the Cissy. I know they have a few more patterns up their sleeves, so I can’t wait to see what comes next…

The Jenny is a classic skirt. Choose either midi length (with a front split), or keep it short like I did (I cut my length at where the top of the split is marked). Patch pockets on the front of the skirt are optional, and the centre front zip fly was really good fun to sew.

 

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I have chosen to make my version in a dark brown cotton drill. I can’t quite remember where I bought this fabric from – it might even have been something that I picked up in a fabric swap – but I had just enough to make the knee length version. Turns out that dark brown is REALLY hard to photograph, and despite two photo ‘sessions’ (one indoors and one outdoors), I don’t think we were able to really pick out the details of the skirt very well after all. Let’s hope you can get some sort of idea with the shots that we did get.

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Oh by the way, my top is the original Tessuti Fabrics Mandy Boat Tee (free pattern) using the ‘one size’ pattern before they introduced different sizes on this pattern, and the lilac acrylic scissors necklace is from my shop! x

I have kept the front of the skirt nice and simple by leaving off the patch pockets. I did however add some pockets to the back of the skirt (not part of this pattern), but more about that later!

I wanted the skirt to feel really casual, a bit like a denim skirt, so I went for the topstitching big time! I used a matching dark brown topstitching thread and used it on the waistband, the centre front and back seams, the curve of the fly zip, and the back pockets that I added.

It’s important to try and make that curved line of stitching on the outside of the fly zip as neat as possible as it is so visible, so to help me I used a tracing wheel and some dressmaking carbon paper to trace the stitching line onto my fabric. It takes all the guess work out of where to stitch, and you end up with it exactly where you want it.

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I have only put in a fly zip once before and that was a long time ago, so I did wonder how tricky it would be, but the instructions were really great – I followed them to the letter and everything just fell into place perfectly!

The curved waistband has a snug comfortable fit with no gaping at the back of course, and fastens above the zip with a hook and bar. I made a size 12 at the waist and graded out to a 14 at the hips by the way.

So finally, I wanted to add  ‘jeans’ pockets at the back seeing as how I wanted it to have a casual feel. I simply cut out two jeans pocket pieces and traced out the stitching design that I wanted using the tracing wheel and carbon paper again, stitched out that design onto the pocket with the topstitching thread again and placed it on the back of the skirt where I wanted them, again attaching with topstitching. Can you tell that I love topstitching things! Take a shot each time I say topstitching! Ha ha!

I must say that positioning the pockets was a lengthy process! Pinning and adjusting pockets on the back of a skirt by yourself is tricky, and having not made jeans before I’m not quite sure what the tricks are for the perfect pocket placements, but I don’t think they’ve ended up too bad.

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I’ve ended up with a really lovely skirt, and one that I know I will wear lots and lots. It fits well, I love the length and the neutral colour means that I can have fun wearing it with all my favourite coloured tights.

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Thank you so much to the girls at Homer and Howells, who very kindly gifted me this pattern with no obligations. I am happy to share with you though because I really like it and hope you do too!

What’s your ‘go-to’ simple skirt pattern? I’d love to know.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

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A Spring inspired Selkie Patterns London Skirt

I love this skirt.

This is the first Selkie patterns  garment that I have made and it’s a good one. Selkie Patterns are an exciting independent pattern and fabric design company which was founded a couple of years ago by two wonderful empowering women – Alexandra Bruce and Caroline Akselson. Their passion is sewing and design, with a strong belief in sustainability.

The London  is a 3 in 1 pattern, and features a blouse, skirt or dress.

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Although I’m very much in love with the dress version, I’m going to wait until warmer weather arrives for that, so in the meantime, I got stuck into the skirt.

So the skirt in a nutshell is knee length and features stunning box pleats front and back, the most adorable shaped waistband feature and a centre back zip fastening. Box pleats are my absolute fave and this is what drew me to this pattern in the first place.

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It is super easy to make. Just two pattern pieces are used, how great is that? I did have to shorten the length (as always)! and I think I took out about 10cm at the shorten/lengthen marking on the pattern before cutting out. I’m 5’2″ , so this is quite a normal adjustment for me.

I also decided to omit the sweet little gathers that should sit at the top of each side seam where it meets the waistband. I felt I wanted to keep this simple so simply pinched the excess (what would have been gathered) and graded out the side seam accordingly

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I realise that this fabric is very fussy, so a little difficult to show you all the details. The fabric by the way is something that I picked up at a fabric swap a long time ago. I think it’s a quilting weight cotton, which I think is not normally the best choice for dressmaking, but for a skirt with box pleats I thought the extra structure that this type of fabric has would be fab. I also love the busy floral print which is bright and happy.

Sizing, by the way, was spot on. Using the size chart and the finished garment measurements I worked out what size I wanted and it fits like a dream.

The instructions are really good. Beautiful hand drawn illustrations (in the style of the pattern cover), accompany thorough written descriptions and there is a helpful zip guide at the back to walk you through the steps needed to insert a regular zip.

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The waistband has a flap which fastens with a hook and eye.

Let’s just have a minute to talk about the dipped waistband. It’s lovely isn’t it? Sadly covered up by a big old jumper when we took our outside shots for this skirt, it is worth taking your time to get that shape just right. I actually drew my stitching line on the fabric before sewing so that the finished curve would be accurate.

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I really enjoyed making this skirt and have loved wearing it too. I already have the fabric and zip for my next version, so expect to see lots more London’s to come!

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Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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Crochet Teardrop Plant Hanger

Something a little different from me this week – some crochet!

Whilst browsing on Pinterest just recently, I spotted a few images of cute crochet plant hangers, and instantly knew that I wanted to make some. I have a bit of a thing for plant hangers – below are a couple of types that I have made previously – a cute little pair of fabric ones using a free pattern from Jennifer Jangles, and a macrame hanger which I followed a youTube tutorial to make.

 

So after a little research, I decided on the pattern that I wanted to try. It’s this pattern here  from an Etsy seller called Crochet Affair. The pattern was only £3.44, and the images from the seller and also those uploaded by satisfied customers made this the pattern that I wanted to go for.

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This is the pattern image that I fell in love with from the Crochet Affair pattern available on Etsy.

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I’m happy to say that the pattern is super easy to follow, (I’m a beginner crocheter),and is simply printed out on 2 pages.  I did have to look up the single crochet decrease stitch – although there is a written explanation on how to achieve this stitch – but a quick look on youTube confirmed that I was doing it right!

The first version that I tried was using some James C Brett ‘Noodles’ yarn that I picked up in my local wool shop. It was the perfect neutral shade (N8), lovely and soft to work with and stitched up perfectly using a 6mm hook.

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It was a little smaller than I was expecting, measuring approx 12cm from the top of the hanging hoop to the bottom, but actually this is exactly the measurements that the designer describes, so I shouldn’t have been surprised by it’s size at all..

The pattern is designed to display an air plant – but you can fill it with whatever you like! For my original version I popped in this small artificial succulent, but will look out for an air plant when I’m out and about, as I think this would be so pretty.

After this, I wanted to try a larger size. For this I used some hoooked zpaghetti yarn left over from a previous project. I can’t remember which shade as I don’t have the label any more, but it’s another neutral shade. To accommodate this thicker yarn I used a large 10mm hook.

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Again, no worries when stitching up, and it came up nice and large compared to the fairly small original. This one measures approx 30 cm from the top of the hanging loop to the bottom. I haven’t settled on a final hanging place for this one, but will probably ask my husband to fit a hook to the ceiling and will hang it in the same way as I did with the macrame plant hanger pictured earlier.

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The only small thing that I found was that my stitch count on round 10 was different to the stitch count on the pattern. This won’t mean anything if you don’t have the pattern, but according to the pattern after round 10 you should have 46 stitches. I had 41. Not sure where the mistake is, but despite this difference, my work looked great and there were no obvious mistakes, I am really pleased with the teardrop shape of this cute plant  holder.

So, to round up, a great pattern suitable for all. It takes about an hour to stitch up so not long at all, and I think it’s pretty cute. I also tried a small version with a mixture of two yarn colours and this worked out really pretty.

Hope you like this crochet review and that it makes a change from the usual sewing talk, take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x