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My #2018makenine makes.

Happy Monday!

Time for another blog post, and this week I am sharing with you my completed #2018makenine makes. For those not familiar, the yearly ‘make nine’ challenge is a friendly and gentle challenge to yourself to create a list of nine items that you would like to  make during the year. They can be sewn, knitted or created however you like, and you can share your progress with others over on good old Instagram using the hashtag #2018makenine

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This fun event is hosted by the lovely Rochelle from Home Row Fiber Co and I will link to her ‘make nine’ post here where she explains everything that you need to know about the challenge. It is not a race, it is not a competition, it doesn’t matter if you complete it or not, it’s all completely relaxed, but at the same time very inspiring and will definitely allow you to access some inspiring creators and new pattern, fabric and yarn ideas.

My own personal challenge to myself this year was to support nine independent pattern companies that I have never used before, and sew a garment using one of their patterns. I did it! Here’s what I made..

 

1. The Mandy Boat Tee from  Tessuti Fabrics

Such a great pattern, and it’s free! I made this in February and blogged about it here.

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2. The Fringe Dress from Chalk and Notch

I made this dress last June as a make for the Sewisfaction blogger team. You can find a link to the review that I wrote by clicking on my post here. I am currently in the process of making another as part of this month’s  #sewmystyle challenge.

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3. The Ogden Cami from True Bias

Another make during June, during the UK heatwave, and promptly followed by another two straight away. They have been a lifesaver this Summer and I plan to make a hundred more in the future, particularly in plain fabrics as wardrobe staples. I haven’t as yet blogged these tops, but here is a look at one of them, made from a delightful crepe fabric picked up at a recent fabric swap.

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4. The Out and About Dress from Sew Caroline

One of the most comfortable ‘throw over the head’ dress I have. This was my July make for the Minerva Crafts blogger Network. There were a couple of little things that I need to change next time I make it, which I have mentioned in the link on my blog post here, but it’s one I will return to for sure.

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5. The Paola Turtleneck from Named Clothing.

I’ve just realised that I did not blog about this make.. whoops.. but now is the time of year to be reaching for tops like these. Will get around to blogging this top shortly .. in the meantime forgive the rather last minute snap of this project, better photographs to follow along with the blog post!

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6. The Sunday Dress from Friday Pattern Company.

Heavily hacked into something that I would find more wearable, and blogged about here, I made this back in January as part of the #sewmystyle challenge. I think I may shorten this at some point into a shorter knee length dress, as I feel I would get more wear out of it in this length.

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7. The Mayfair Dress from Nina Lee

I was lucky enough to have been part of the pattern testing team for Nina on this pattern back in June. It’s a lovely jersey dress pattern that is so comfortable and a great everyday pattern, read about my thoughts on the Mayfair here.

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8. The Peak T-Shirt Dress from Wendy Ward.

Love this dress. I was so lucky to have won a copy of Wendy’s book ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabrics’ and instantly knew that this would be the first project I would make from it. Adding a grey neckband gives it a little bit of interest and who doesn’t need a striped t-shirt dress in their wardrobe? My blog post written in July can be found here.

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9. The Franki Top from The Wearable Studio.

The Wearable Studio is a fairly new independent pattern company, and as soon as I saw the ruffled hem and tie sleeves on this top I wanted it! I have made two versions of this top, and still cannot decide which one I like the best.

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Phew! That’s all of them. A huge thanks to Rochelle for pulling together this challenge again, I have had such a great time exploring and trying out patterns from these inspiring independent companies, and hope that you have enjoyed seeing what I made with them. I have tried to include links to the patterns and blog posts where possible.

Have a great week, take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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A Tale of Two Franki’s

There are lots of reasons why I am pleased to share with you this weeks blog. I am happy that I finally got around to making this pattern which I have been sitting on since it’s launch earlier on this year. It’s also very unusual for me to make two garments from the same pattern back-to-back like this, but I loved the first one that I made so much I couldn’t wait to make another.

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Also *drumroll* this is the NINTH make from my #2018makenine list. Some of you will know that this year I challenged myself to make nine patterns from nine independent designers that I hadn’t used before. I did it! Expect a blog post about this challenge in the next few weeks.

So, this is The Franki Top by The Wearable Studio. It’s a relaxed fitting boxy top with a cute ruffled hi/lo hem and 3/4 sleeves fastened with pretty ties. There is also another version which simply has a cropped length and short sleeves.

 

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Their patterns are drafted for a C cup bust (note the bust darts extend from the sleeve rather than the usual side seam), but this can of course be adjusted if necessary.

The fabric that I used for this first version is a pale blue cotton blend that I picked up from the fabric swap table during my recent trip down to Wokingham to attend #thebigsummerstitchup at Sewisfaction HQ. It’s quite lightweight and I feel it’s the perfect weight for this pretty top. Thank you so much to whoever donated this generous amount of beautiful fabric!

One thing that I did notice about this pattern is that it does not include a cutting layout. The pattern pieces are well marked however, so by using the ‘place on fold’ markings and ‘grainline’ arrows etc, and noting how many pieces of each to cut, it was easy to work out your own pattern placement before cutting.

The instructions are good and contain great written directions as well as photographs to guide you through the construction process. The only minor addition that I made was to add a double line of topstitching around the binding edge of the keyhole sleeves as I felt that the binding might not lay flat inside the sleeve otherwise. The length of the sleeve ties is perfect, and they are just so pretty.

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I like the hi/lo ruffled hem, and decided to use my wing needle and a fancy embroidery stitch on my machine to create a pretty line of broderie hemstitching when turning up the hem of the ruffle. I almost used the matching blue thread for this to keep it subtle, but finally decided to use a white thread for a bit of a contrast and am glad that I did.

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It’s the perfect pattern for a confident beginner and upwards,  and the ruffles and ties are right up my street!

As mentioned I could not wait to make it again, and whilst I was at Sewisfaction recently I purchased this gorgeous mint double gauze . It’s a pale mint green colour and has a delicate grey floral pattern all over it. After making my blue version I couldn’t wait to use the double gauze to make another Franki and am so happy with this version too!

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I made this exactly in the same way as the blue version with no alterations other than the double row of stitching around the binding of the keyhole sleeve again.

Such a great pattern, and I can’t wait to see what Mel at The Wearable Studio comes up with next. I thoroughly enjoyed making these tops and am so happy that they are all photographed now so that I can actually wear them!  Does anybody else have to wait until they have photographed their blog makes before wearing them for fear of spilling something down themselves – I am so clumsy so always have to do this.

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It’s a great top that I will reach for lots during the Spring, Summer and Autumn months, and intend to make many more versions of. I rather like the idea of a simple white seersucker Franki or maybe a black crepe version ( I need more black tops in my wardrobe).

I hope this has been helpful, particularly if this is a designer that you haven’t yet come across.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x