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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 Adrienne Blouse from Friday Pattern Company.

The Adrienne Blouse from Friday Pattern Company is (described in their words) ‘a knit top with billowy statement sleeves that are gathered up at the shoulders and hems with elastic. The length is slightly cropped with the hem hitting just below your bellybutton’. Very nice.

Line drawing from Friday Pattern Company.

I’ve been sitting on the fence about this pattern for a while. I wasn’t sure that the style was very ‘me’ if I’m honest, and I was worried that the voluminous sleeves might swamp me as I’m only 5’2″, (thinking that the impression of excess width might make me look smaller).

It wasn’t until I read a blog post by lovely Sarah here that I realised that the pattern has adjustment markings on the sleeve piece that enables you to alter the fullness of the sleeve easily before cutting it out! When I realised how easy it was, i was ON IT!

I slimmed the sleeve down by 4″. This has resulted in the perfect sleeve width for me and now I am asking myself why I held back in the first place – I really like it! I feel like the sleeves are still statement – just not shouting as loudly!

The pattern was really quick to cut out ( such a chore don’t you think – especially when you are matching stripes), as there are only three pattern pieces – the bodice ( same piece for both the front and the back), the sleeve and the neck band. I used the same fabric for the neckline band, but it would be super lovely cut from ribbing fabric.

My measurements are 34-29-38 and I cut the size medium.

I liked the construction of the blouse – especially how the sleeves are gathered at the top with elastic before they are attached to the bodice. The pattern gives you recommended elastic length suggestions, but I actually sized down my elastic lengths (for the sleeve head and the cuffs) and cut the ‘small’ length in the elastic for both. For me this is just right!

Something that confuses me a little is how different the neckline looks on different people’s makes. When searching the hashtag #adrienneblouse on Instagram, I noticed that some of the necklines seem to sit higher (like mine) and some are really much lower. The sample used for the pattern itself also shows it as being much lower cut than my version. I can only guess that this might be due to the amount of stretch in your neckband piece?

The cuff openings are generous (even when using the ‘small’ size recommended length), however I’m glad that I didn’t just measure my wrists and make my own length as I would have been tempted to cut the elastic smaller, and this opening as it is allows the sleeve to slide up and down your arms easily when reaching out for things. One of my pet hates is feeling restricted by tight cuffs when you lift your arms up.

Oh, I also would not consider this a cropped length at all on little old me. I cut the pattern length as it is, and it feels neither short nor long. Kind of t-shirt length if that makes any sense!

The fabric that I used was a lovely jersey knit which I picked up from a #sewbrum sewing meet-up a couple of years ago, from the fabric swap table. Thank you so much to whoever dropped this generous length into the swap because in additon to making this blouse it has also made the Tilly and the Buttons Tabitha dress that I blogged about here.

And there’s more…

You know that cheeky little half metre of so of jersey that you always seem to have left but is not enough to make another garment? Well what about cutting it into strips to make t-shirt yarn and crocheting yourself a little basket?

Ta dah!!

Initially I wasn’t quite sure how to make my leftover KNIT fabric into continuous strips of t-shirt yarn ( I really didn’t want to have joins in it if at all possible), and despite knowing how to do this with woven fabric to make bias binding, I knew it would be slightly different with a knit fabric. Luckily I came across this youTube tutorial here and it worked! Thank you @thediymommy

Whilst I was over on youTube I came across this tutorial by GratiaProject which shows how you can use the ‘cross stitch single crochet’ stitch to make a basket using t-shirt yarn. I have never even heard of this stitch so I was ALL OVER IT! Let’s learn something new why not? Turns out the tutorial is fabulous, the stitch is really easy, and even though the stripes in the fabric make the stitch quite hard to make out I hope that you can kind of see the pretty cross pattern that it made. Thank you @gratiaproject_crochet and when I get a chance I would love to make another in a plain knit fabric yarn so that the stitches are easier to see.

I have a small amount of yarn left, to crochet into a little project another time, but I feel that using almost every scrap of this fabric has been so satisfying, especially as it was ‘donated’ in the first place. I’m chuffed with my new blouse and basket, and the sun is shining as I type this. What more could you ask for? 🙂

Do search #adrienneblouse on social media if you are looking for more inspiration.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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My Tilly and the Buttons Freya Dress

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Oh my goodness me, you know when you make something and are instantly planning your next. This is it. Although the warmer weather may have thrown a big spanner in the works now and delay me from making more until it turns cooler again as this is certainly a dress for when the temperatures aren’t so great in my opinion – especially made in scuba!

So this is The Freya and it’s my second make from Tilly’s amazing Stretch! book. If you want to check out The Frankie Baseball T-Shirt that I made last month you can do so here. The Freya is a close fitting A-line dress (I feel we all know that Tilly is the Queen of all things A-line), and can be made up as a sweater or a dress. There are a ton of variations that you can make using the book including sleeves, necklines and ruffles but I kept things simple and made the classic dress with 3/4 sleeves.

You might have noticed, especially if you follow me on Instagram, that I am loving scuba fabric just lately. This absolute beauty is the Chaffinch Bough Old Gold luxury scuba which I purchased on a recent visit to Sewisfaction.  I think it is stunning and as you can see has a rich gold background covered in brighly coloured florals with pretty Chaffinch birds set amongst them.

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I had not seen any versions of the Freya in scuba, so was concerned that the pattern might not suit this fabric choice, but after referring to the fabric suggestions for this pattern (which calls for knits with at least 25% crosswise stretch) I felt I should go for it.

It’s so quick to cut out, my version requires only 4 pattern pieces – less time cutting/tracing and more time sewing! Happy days!

The mock neckband fitted like a dream. Tilly had mentioned in her instructions that it needs to stretch quite a bit in order to get it over your head and this is true! I was careful not to use too short a stitch when attaching and finishing the neckband for this reason. Does anybody else love a bit of twin needle sewing? The neckband is of course finished with the twin needle, as are the cuffs and hem.

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I really wanted to make the version with the ruffle, but felt that this might be too much with such a busy fabric choice. I am determined to make a ruffle dress later on in the year though and may choose a solid colour for that version. Shocking I know, as I have discovered whilst taking part in #mmmay18 that virtually none of my handmade wardrobe is made from a plain solid fabric! Have you checked out the hashtag #sewingfreya yet? It’s a great source of Freya inspiration.

I am happy with the length but does come up fairly short-ish.  I am 5’2″ and as you can see it sits just above my (knobbly) knees.

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There is very little that hasn’t already been said on this dress, it’s wonderful in every way. Quick, easy and very wearable, I’m a fan.  Mic drop.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Tilly and The Buttons Frankie Baseball T-Shirt pattern review.

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I’m quite sure that this isn’t the first Frankie baseball t-shirt that you’ve seen, and it probably won’t be the last. There was huge excitement in the sewing world when Tilly Walnes released ‘Stretch!’ in February, it is Tilly’s second book (her first is called ‘Love At First Stitch’), and this time she is writing about sewing with knit fabrics.

I was of course desperate to own it, and was completely blown away when the publishers Quadrille Craft sent me a copy as a prize in a competition they were running a couple of weeks ago. I couldn’t wait to get started on it and as I happened to be travelling to London a couple of days after receiving it, I quickly decided what would be the first project that I wanted to make from the book and made a note of the fabric I needed so that I could purchase a little something from the Goldhawk road whilst I was down there.

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So I knew that I wanted to make the Frankie first, and picked up this wonderfully soft cotton jersey. The ‘white’ is kind of an off white pinkish toned white which works really well with the dark cornflower blue. It’s a little bit similar to the colours worn by the model in the book except for that version has a pink neckband – which is totally awesome and I would probably add in another colour for the neckband next time too.

The fit is described as relaxed – which is neither too tight or too loose, so I opted to make a straight size 5. It’s relaxed and comfortable, but you could totally cut a size or two smaller if you prefer a more fitted style. I chose to make the 3/4 length sleeves and love them. Hopefully the weather will start to warm up now and this will be the sleeve length that I will get the most wear out in the coming months.

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The instructions and information provided by the book are second to none. If you are familiar with Tilly and the Buttons patterns already, you will know that they are extremely well written and easy to follow and this book is the same – and then some. It is packed full of tips and tricks regarding sewing with knit fabrics and addresses any concerns that you might have.

The Frankie is a great pattern to get started with, I love the raglan sleeves and how quick and easy they are to sew into place. The neckband is possible the only slightly fiddly part, but using the ‘quartering technique’ which I always do with stretch neckbands ensures an even stretch – although I felt that I really had to stretch my neckband quite a lot – nevertheless it went in great and lays lovely and flat which is the result that you are looking for. Changing your needle to a twin needle can be a bit of a chore, but I love the result that it gives, so finished my neckband, sleeves and hem with the double needle.

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I cannot tell you how much I look forward to making EVERY other item that is in the book. There are 5 other patterns included, not to mention several variations and hacks to make them exactly how you like, and am currently working my way through reading it, as it is crammed full of information I know I will find useful.

Congratulations to Tilly for such an inspiring read, I thoroughly enjoyed this make, and as it uses so little fabric, it could definitely become a stashbuster pattern for those leftover pieces of fabric that you are not sure what to do with.

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Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x