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Showing posts from 2020

Pattern Review: By Hand London Hannah Wrap Dress in linen

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I love it when a sewing pattern really challenges my idea of styles I like to wear. Wrap dresses were not something I'd considered for a long time. So I was surprised when the Hannah Wrap Dress from By Hand London caught my eye, and kept playing on my mind. A search of the #bhlhannah hashtag on Instagram showed the Hannah looking pretty great on a real range of people. And they recently released extended sizing, which I found promising for fit. And what do you know - I love it! Hannah pairs beautifully with our washed Lithuanian linens. I used rich teal-blue 'Atlantic' , one of our new custom-dyed colours. In this fabric the Hannah makes me feel well-dressed but not overdressed for everyday wear. NB: BHL patterns are only available as PDF, and I purchased this direct from their website. It's a large print job: four A0 pages mostly filled by the three skirt pieces, or a bunch different files for A4, because you can choose between three sleeve options. I printed the bod

Pattern Review - True Bias Roscoe Blouse in washed linen

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Sometimes a pattern can creep up on you, do you know what I mean? You’re making the things you need, sometimes getting distracted by shiny new patterns and fabric. Then, out of the blue, an old pattern that has never caught your eye before suddenly… does. So it was for me with the Roscoe Blouse pattern. Released in 2015 and ahead of its time, probably, with its big sleeves and gathered volume. Great with jeans, good for work or not-work, pairs well with linen and other light, drapey cloth. Um, why hadn’t I sewn this before? Sizing The beauty of making an older pattern is the volume of information available about it - and the almost unanimous message about the Roscoe is that there is a lot of ease. Referring to finished garment sizes on the pattern, I went down 2 sizes from my measurements. Yes, it’s supposed to emanate that oversized puffy, pirate shirt vibe, but I prefer the fit of these things to have slightly less volume. And there is still buckets of comfortable ease in this. Cu

Pattern Review: Republique Du Chiffon Flore Blouse in Ruby Star Society cotton

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EDIT: I wrote this post back in May but only just got photos of the garment being worn! This was an occasion where the fabric came first. This lightweight cotton by Ruby Star Society (now sold out) just made my heart happy. It's officially a quilting cotton, with a lovely soft hand so great to use as shirting. I thought for a while about what to make with it, but I didn't want to wait too long and have this simply linger in my stash. The Flore Blouse is a relatively new pattern from French company Republique Du Chiffon, and it turns out I bought it (as downloadable pdf) about a week before they released it with English instructions. C'est la vie! With a little very basic understanding of the language, enough diagrams, and the occasional help of Google Translate, this shirt came together nicely. The combination of bright fabric and flouncy blouse had the potential to be altogether a bit much, but I went for it anyway. Yes, it's about as sweet as a giant stick of fairy f

Pattern Review - Merchant & Mills Trapeze pattern, button back top

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Have you ever made a list of your top 5/‘desert island’ patterns? If I made such a list - which, come to think of it, sounds like kind of a fun diversion - the Merchant & Mills Trapeze pattern would be included without hesitation. I’ve made quite a few of these over the years, ( blogged about my first version in 2015 ). I’ve traced a couple of different sizes, too, as my weight has fluctuated over the years; this pattern has been a constant About a year ago Merchant & Mills released a button-back iteration to the Trapeze, and I’ve been keen ever since to give it a go. A sleeveless pinafore was at the top of my list until seeing this button-back top  on the M&M Instagram. Plus, those sleeve gussets are really rather nice, too (terrible low-light photo below). Sizing   The Trapeze has generous ease around the bust and hips, but I find the arms (as with other M&M patterns) quite tight fitting in comparison. The linen in this Essex blend has given a little with wear and

Pattern Fantastiqué Sleeveless Celestial Dress in Summerweight Denim

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Over Summer, my much loved light-weight denim Aeolian dress met its sad, untimely end after a run in with a dropped bottle of black nail polish. It was replaced with a denim version of another Pattern Fantastique ‘classic’, the Celestial Dress . Made in the midi length, I enjoyed months of swishing around in it until the weather turned... so I promised myself that as soon as a suitable denim arrived in store, I’d make a sleeveless pinafore version of the same as its Winter alter-ego.  Fast forward a few months and a fresh delivery of our beautiful Japanese denims, produced in the well-regarded denim manufacturing prefecture, Okayama. Among them  Summerweight indigo denim . Winter swishing was on! This fabric feels a little stiff straight off the bolt, but starts to soften impressively after the first wash. It has turned out to be the perfect weight and drape for this generously skirted dress.  Sizing    The Celestial pattern has been kicking around for year

Pattern Review: Clyde Jumpsuit by Elizabeth Suzann

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Many sewists have drooled over the garments by Elizabeth Suzann, a clothing brand from Nashville USA. The company has recently closed due to the effects of Covid, but was run on extremely admirable business ethics, including all-local production, all natural fibres, diversity of size and colour in models, and producing only to order. You can read more about the company at its website , which is still up at the moment. The brand's classic, comfortable styles are being released as free patterns, with a request that if you are able, you donate to charity (several suggested - I donated to The Loveland Foundation) . I've just learnt that the Dropbox where the instruction-less patterns were shared has been closed. You can read more about the future plans for these patterns on Instagram here . Credit and thanks to Instagrammers @minimalistmachinist @thestoryclubpdx and @mombasics for their work on preparing and sharing the pattern files. I've long admired the Clyde Jumpsuit, so I

Pattern review: the Ilford Jacket by Friday Pattern Company, in Velvet Finish Australian Wool

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Workwear-style or 'chore' jackets are having a moment. I sincerely hope it's more than a moment because it's a style I totally dig, and super practical. When my eldest son needed a new warm jacket, the Ilford by Friday Pattern Company came to mind.  Charlie spends a lot of time in his room at the cold end of the house, playing guitar, especially since his uni music course has been mostly online. The brief was: something warm, with sleeves that wouldn't get in the way of guitar playing, and with the simple collar style of a workwear or denim jacket. I've previously made him the Foreman Jacket by Merchant & Mills (highly recommended) and he has worn that a lot, but it has a slightly more formal vibe. I showed him a picture of the Ilford, which is a boxy, unisex pattern, and had the thumbs up so I bought the pattern (pandemic PDF format) and made a quick muslin in the short length. The fit was good and he requested it lengthened, and I also added a smidgen to

Pattern review: Republique du Chiffon Paule Jumpsuit in Organic Cotton Denim

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Has the amount of washing in your household dropped off significantly? Mine has, and I'm attributing it to Iso Uniforms. During this stay-at-home time my family members have more-or-less adopted personal uniforms. A few key garments are in high rotation and that often means day upon day of wear without washing. We're not going anywhere much so we're not getting very grimy or needing to look pristine, are we? And the certainty of a 'uniform' is comforting in these uncertain times. The staple of my Iso Uniform has been a denim jumpsuit. Two years ago I made a denim version of the Peppermint Magazine/In The Folds Jumpsuit and it has been one of my most worn me-made garments ever. Maybe the most. I have thrashed that thing, year-round. It's still travelling well, and the denim has aged so beautifully, but is just a wee bit tight across the chest now. Ah, hormones. It's still very wearable but I got to thinking, perhaps I could justify a second denim j