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Pattern review: Deer and Doe Myosotis Dress in Lyocell/Cotton Sateen

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French pattern company Deer and Doe released the Myosotis Dress in 2018, at the forefront of the ruffles'n'gathers trend. It had a lot of love back then, but despite our best intentions the pattern never made it to the top of our sewing list at the time. Deer and Doe has since released several more 'fancy' dress patterns, which is why I browsed their shop when I wanted to make a new dress for when I perform with my lovely community choir. I hovered over the recent Orchidée pattern but ultimately was drawn back to the Myosotis. The semi-fitted bodice has more room for drawing in a lungful of air, mid-song!  The sateen fabric is one I specifically earmarked for a choir frock when we ordered it. Fiona and I both immediately made 'ooh, aah' noises over it when we saw and felt the samples. That's when we know we're onto a good thing. A beautiful Japanese-made blend of 60% Lyocell (sustainably produced viscose from wood pulp) and 40% cotton, it's tightly

Pattern Review - Elbe Textiles Cornell Shirt

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Ever since revisiting the world of button up shirt sewing earlier in the year, I have definitely come down with what can only be described as a case of shirt fever. I’ve never been a massive fan of fiddling around with plackets and button bands, but lately the slow precise nature of shirt sewing has enticed me anew. So, to the Cornell pattern by Elbe Textiles. I am typically late to the pattern party for this shirt as this has been doing the rounds since late 2019. The pattern hashtag on Instagram has an impressive 700+ wonderful Cornells to be inspired by! This pattern lets us choose between two casual shirt styles - one with a button up placket extending down past the hip (also known as a ‘popover’), and the other a classic full button front. It features a dropped shoulder, grandpa collar and beautiful finishing with French seams and facings all the way. Appealingly, it’s a gender neutral style, too, made to fit a bunch of different bodies. To skip forward a little, I like this pat

Pattern review: Muna and Broad Waikerie Shirt

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Muna and Broad patterns began in 2019 and if I'm counting correctly, has already released an impressive eighteen patterns for plus-size bodies. Well realistically, and statistically, average-size-and-up , with the size range beginning where many pattern companies have historically (and frustratingly) tapered off. The brand even promises to grade its patterns up if you don't fit into their current range. Muna and Broad patterns are currently available in downloadable pdf format only, so hop on over to their website and check out their array of incredibly wearable garments. Leila and Jess who created the company have such great personal style. I really relate to their aesthetic of simple, well-cut garments in a mixture of statement and workhorse fabrics. Jess lives in New Zealand and Leila is an Aussie living in Canada, so you'll notice some distinctly local names popping up on their patterns! I've been looking around for a cropped, long-sleeved shirt pattern and the Wa

Pattern Review - Papercut Aura Skirt

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After going down a jeans sewing rabbit hole last Winter, I've found myself happily reaching for jeans most days since the weather turned cool. But there's a hole in my wardrobe for a high-waisted, midi-length, straight-ish skirt *jeans alternative* and the Papercut Aura pattern looked promising. Aura includes a pattern for both a dress and skirt, the feature of each a wonderfully wide wrap tie (the dress has some appealing balloon sleeves, but that’s for another day!) A word on sizing: this pattern is inclusive of sizes 1-8 (or UK 6-20), which translates to waist/hip 56/82cm to 98/124cm or, in the old money 22/32.3 to 38.6/48.8 inches. This places me near the top of the range, and leaves out a helluva lot of other sewists. In an email to stockists recently Papercut indicated that they are currently putting their energy toward expanding their size range; we look forward to that change. Fabric This black version is made from our Japanese textured linen/cotton twill . It’s a gr

Accessories!

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You can sew some very satisfying accessories with small cuts of special fabric, and even scraps leftover from larger projects. I've always liked the idea of wearing hats, but seldom found any that suit me. I have, apparently, a big head (yes, very amusing) which means it's hard to find hats that fit in the first place. But now I can make hats, they can be any size and I can tweak to find a style I really like. So, pardon me if I develop a bit of a hat affectation. In the past I have used the excellent ' You Sew Girl ' patterns by Australian designer Nicole Mallalieu. I highly recommend her Flat Cap and Beret patterns. I made a beret from scraps leftover from my tweed jacket - no photos because I gave it away to my son's girlfriend, who looks great in it. I wanted to try a more 'newsboy' style cap, and bought the Brooklyn pattern by Elsewhen Millinery on Etsy. Excitingly, the Elsewhen patterns fit up to a 25" head circumference, so my considerable nogg

Pattern Review: Pattern Fantastique Vali top

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Vali, the new dress/top pattern from Pattern Fantastique, was  one of those patterns that knocked everything off my to-sew list as soon as it was released. Nita always has a clever way of focussing on an exaggerated element in her patterns, and this time it’s the elasticated puff sleeve. Friends, this is one significant sleeve. Paired with a fitted yoke and flared bodice, though, it all balances out nicely. The dress iteration sports some nice looking pockets, too: tick, tick and tick. Fabric selection I went straight to black linen for my shirt because I liked the idea of a solid fabric showing the beautiful design lines of this pattern and - since the mega-sleeve is a tad outside my comfort zone - to downplay any extra frou-frou that would prevent me from wearing it. Also, in full disclosure, Nita featured a plain black Vali in her photos and it just really looked like something that I wanted to wear. Our washed linen has a beautiful weighty drape to it, and it would similarly be

Pattern review: Papercut Stacker Jacket in Donegal Tweed

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As soon as we knew our pure wool Donegal Tweeds were on the way from Ireland I was excited to think about what I might make. The Stacker Jacket by Papercut Patterns ticked a lot of boxes for me: cropped and casual, yet fully lined and with the potential to be really warm (well, by Adelaide standards).  The Stacker was released a while back so there are loads of versions out there on the interwebs for inspiration. Take a look on Instagram: #stackerjacket . I made a muslin and was impressed by the drafting and the way it all comes together. It's reasonably simple as far as a fully-lined jacket goes (one-piece sleeves, cut-on facings and hems) but has some nice detail like separate and interfaced front and back yokes, pocket options and an under collar that is smaller and cut on the bias, to encourage a nice roll. My measurements fit pretty closely into Papercut's size 5, but after making the muslin and carefully consulting the finished garment measurements given in the pattern