A Tunic Fancy – New Look 6298

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Well I may be in a blogging hiatus but not due to lack of sewing projects, more so the inability to take decent pictures of my makes! My two Elna’s have been getting a workout lately and I think it might be time for a service and/or upgrade. A coverstitch machine would be the bomb!

Today’s subject is my new favourite wardrobe staple. As part of my Winter Sewing Goals I wrote of my need for more tunic dresses and/or trendy yet comfortable outfits. This one ticks all those boxes and makes the transition from comfy weekend dress to classy casual getup really easy.

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The pattern is New Look 6298. I was at Centrepoint Fabrics when I saw the stripey knit fabric and had to have it. It took a while before I twigged what should be made with it. The fabric is medium-weight and very stable with a moderate stretch.

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I cut a size 14 based on the size chart and left the length as per the pattern, without extending the bodice like I’d normally do. Next time I’ll make a size 10. I originally made no attempt to pattern match the stripes on the sleeves and then realised at the end of cutting out that it would look really terrible so I recut the sleeves and only just managed to squeeze them in on the fabric I had left. Totally worth it though.

Everything sewed up really quickly with the exception of those damn striped sleeves! But after the fifth time of unpicking and resewing one tiny little area I finally got there in the end. And my nit-picking paid off because the stripes are perfectly in sync and I’m happy about that every time I look in the mirror and see them in their continuous little rows.

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There were great debates about the appropriate length to choose – initially I was planning on making it more of a tunic/slouchy jumper to wear over boots and leggings but then promptly decided that was a waste of good fabric. So it ended up being a short(ish) dress, long enough to wear bare legs underneath but also ok with opaque stockings and boots. Having worn it several times already, I think the length is perfect. If I ever get sick of it I’ll just chop it off and wear it like a jumper. Winning!

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It was a very simple make, which is a bit obvious because it’s an “easy” rated New Look pattern. No darts, no easing seams and only six pattern pieces. The first time I tried it on I was swimming in it so I pared down the centre back and side seams, and also the sleeves. I’m not the biggest fan of raglan sleeves. Sometimes they feel a bit lazy due to the fact that they don’t really require accurate fitting and it’s kind of a one-size-fits-all approach. And they seem a lot more casual than normal set in sleeves. But for the purposes of this garment I can live with them. This dress was supposed to be slouchy and it is, so I filled that brief.

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As for the insides, it’s unlined, and I finished the edges with my overlocker. The hem and sleeves are just overlocked, turned under and lightning stitched with a twin needle. Same with the neck binding. The stitching at the little V in the front is a wee bit off centre but I can live with that. I’m sure only fellow sewing peeps would notice that!

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I do plan to make a couple more of these, once I have tailored the existing pattern a little more to streamline the fit. The pattern lends itself to any number of fabrics so I can see it becoming an enduring pattern in my stash.

THE STATS

Pattern: New Look 6298

Size: 14 based on my measurements, with modifications (narrowing of the bodice and sleeves, shortened length).

Fabric: 50% Rayon, 50% Polyester grey and white striped knit from Centrepoint Fabrics

Approximate cost: 1.6m @ $40/m = $64

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Inspirations – Katy & Laney Patterns

It was a great delight to find out I was one of the lucky prize-winners of New To Me week over at The Monthly Stitch with my Sol Hoodie. My prize comprised both Katy & Laney patterns; the Tap Shorts and the Geometry Top. Both patterns feature some really interesting details, particularly the angled seams and on-trend designs. They are super cool!

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We are in the cold grips of a dark New Zealand winter and therefore mini shorts and light blouses are the furthest thing from my mind at the moment. However, the hours spent on the couch cradling my hot water bottle have allowed me to brainstorm some ideas for when summer rolls back around and I finally get around to making use of such a great prize.

A lot of people have made the Tap Shorts and it’s easy to see why. They look great on everyone! They are a super flattering cut and can be made up in so many fabrics and with a plethora of different modifications. Where does one start?

My personal taste has shifted in the last year or so from “must have all the prints!” to a more subdued palette. I value texture and tonal shades over crazy prints nowadays. This partly born out of the realisation that if every garment I own has a crazy print, then nothing goes together and I have nothing to wear each day, and partly because I am in my 30’s now…..I’m supposed to be professional and mature and all that jazz. This also fits reasonably well with my “quality over quantity” concept. I want my wardrobe to be made to last and full of classic pieces that will dutifully become integral parts of my wardrobe for years to come.

So…..onto the Tap Shorts and Geometry Top inspirations…..where to from here? Some possibilities:

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Websites: (1) Source (2) Source (3) Source (4) Source (5) Source (6) Source

As for the Geometry Top, who knows where I will take that. Maybe a few different versions, one in block, bold colours, one with muted greys and neutral colours and then perhaps a bit of subtle print to finish off.

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I’d like to take the opportunity to say a massive THANK YOU to The Monthly Stitch organisers and in my case Katy & Laney for donating such a great prize. And big props to the indie companies and contributors who got involved and made Indie Pattern Month such a wonderful community event. It’s incredible how far the sewing world has come in recent years. No longer are sewists limited to dowdy handmade clothes; now we are able to make truly amazing garments and do the same, if not a better job than the RTW market!

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A Floral Fancy – Sewaholic Granville Shirt

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I’m really living on the edge these days! Gone are my nicely organised sewing sessions, replaced with late nights and hours spent frantically finishing off and photographing my makes. I have Indie Sewing Month to thank for that! There were so many great challenges and inspiring posts from the Monthly Stitch sewing community over the last month – I’m just disappointed I only managed to finish off two entries. I did, however, win both Katy and Laney patterns which I’m stoked about! Thank you so much TMS for organising Indie Pattern Month and Katy and Laney (and the other indie pattern companies) for being such generous sponsors!

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For the One Pattern, Two Takes challenge I intended to make Sewaholic’s Granville Shirt. Several of the Sewaholic patterns are right up my alley. I love quality tailoring and I think Sewaholic patterns are very well considered and flattering to the body. That’s great, except that my second Granville currently sits in a puddle with just the hem, buttons and armsholes waiting to be sewn up. Call me lazy….

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One of my winter sewing goals was to sew more wardrobe staples, and at least one of my shirts fits that brief. The other just embodies my passion for prints!

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This is the floral version, made using a pale blue Japanese cotton lawn from Spotlight. Nothing too fancy. There was a print I liked better but the weave was too coarse and I was worried about holes and fraying and general stiffness so I thought this would make a nice wearable muslin.

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I used the PDF pattern and cut a size 6, grading to 0 at the hips. I generally tuck my shirts into skirts so I didn’t want any extra fabric around the hips. I added 1” to the bodice length and left the arm length as per the pattern because reviews I’d read said the arms were a smidge too long – perfect! Turns out I must have monkey arms because it’s an inch or two short in the arms now. Boo.

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I added some custom flat piping to the cuffs and along the back yoke, and added contrast beige cotton to the button band, inside collar stand and inside cuff. I still have a mental block when it comes to correctly placing buttonholes on the band so that the inner band doesn’t show through, and having the beige colour just makes it all the more obvious. So that drives me a little nuts. I think if I do vertical buttonholes (rather than the horizontal ones I automatically default to) it will go a long way towards alleviating that problem. Onwards and upwards!

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I also saw a great trick to fix gaping buttoned shirts on Handmade Jane which I didn’t see in time for this version but will definitely be adding it to my next one. What a great idea and something that is often an issue for me. I like snug fitted shirts but the inevitable gaping is so annoying. Safety pins be gone!

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I really enjoyed sewing the first two thirds of the shirt; I was taking my time and being pretty meticulous. Then I did one or two things wrong and had to unpick, which I hate (and seem to do too much of) so it sat in a pile while I got on with other things. I don’t like how much ease is in the shoulder, it’s unnecessarily difficult to sew and I’m not a huge fan of the subtle gathers. I did follow the Sewaholic collar construction method and I did really like it, so I’ll continue using that in future.

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As for overall impressions, I’ll be honest and say that this shirt is a smidge too small for me. The arms are short, the bust is tight and the shoulders are narrow. Nevertheless it’s a nice shirt to wear and the cotton lawn is soft even if it does crease like nobody’s business. My next version will improve on all these issues, and I already have a couple more adaptations planned.

Stay tuned for the next one!

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New To Me – Jamie Christina Sol Hoodie

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It’s been super inspiring seeing so many great makes from The Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern Month participants. What a wonderful, worldwide sewing community!

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This is my entry to the New to Me challenge.

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Construction of this garment came down to the wire. Blog schedules don’t stop when there are pauses in motivation, busy weekends or bad weather! I managed to sew everything up on Friday night and then get up early on Saturday to do the final touches so I could wear it that night to a casual birthday bash.

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The pattern is the Sol Hoodie from Jamie Christina. I really love the two sample hoodies on the cover of this pattern, especially the textured fabric they’ve used, so I took that as my inspiration. I need to add some more relaxed clothes to my wardrobe, so when I saw this pattern I was sold.

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I snapped up some luxurious, thick merino/lycra/nylon material from The Fabric Store for $22/m, ordered 2” wide black and gold damask ribbon from Etsy and invested in a totally over-the-top fancy gold zip from Ebay UK. Obviously I paid no attention to the scale on the picture because the zip was a lot chunkier that I was expecting, but somehow I think I pulled it off! The wool fabric was great to sew with and hardly frayed, although I did have to be careful to reduce the tension on my machine, overlocker and sewing foot so that I didn’t stretch the fabric and make the seams wavy.

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I made a size small and lengthened the bodice by 7 cm, which was more than I usually would but I was trying to accommodate the length of the zip (the slightly shorter zip was out of stock). I added 5cm to the arm length as well but failed to take into account the length of the cuff which made the sleeves too long in the end. Next time I think I’ll reduce the length of the cuff and only extend the arm length by 2-3cm. If the gold ribbon wasn’t flashy enough, I lined the hood with super shiny and stretchy printed gold lycra. I finished the edges with my overlocker and staystitched the cool little thumbholes that are part of the design. The pattern instructions are nicely detailed and easy to follow with great sketches.

The ribbon design is ever so slightly out of whack but it was a nightmare to unpick stitching along the ribbon and because I was in a bit of a hurry I just left as is. I don’t think it’s really that noticeable.

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I’ll definitely be making a couple more of these hoodies, perhaps in a slightly more understated fabric though! It would be brilliant to have a light merino one to go under my snowboard jacket for those particularly snowy days this coming ski season. Now that I’ve made this hoodie I wonder if it’s perhaps just a bit too blingy for my taste, although it would be perfect as a sweater to wear to and from the gym during these cooler months.

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I am totally in love with the merino fabric, and I plan to go back and buy more for some long sleeved tops. If I get lucky I may even be able to find some in different colours – winning!

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Robe Goodness – Burda 2653

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Well…..this post was supposed to be my separates entry for Indie Pattern Month but I went down to the wire with my Peter and the Wolf pants. I didn’t want to blog about a garment I wasn’t fully happy with so if I can’t throw together a skirt over the weekend I’ll have to just let it go for this week’s competition.

Making a winter robe was one of my recent sewing goals, and it was one that was fairly high on my priority list. Things here in NZ are getting pretty chilly, and my Aussie bones aren’t acclimatised yet!

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I was on the lookout for a robe pattern for a while and finally settled on Burda 2653. It’s a unisex pattern with three different collars and two lengths. Because I was making it in fluffy microfleece I knew it would be fairly chunky so I wanted to find a design to suit. The features I particularly wanted were the rolled collar and extra long length so I went with view B and the long length. I’m 5’10” and I hate things that are too short! The beauty of making my own clothes is that I can finally get the length I want – woohoo!

At Spotlight I grabbed 4m of the softest fleecy fabric I could find in an ivory colour. I cut out the smallest size, which was a 38-40. Once I’d finished cutting out it looked like my lounge room had been in a snow storm; that stuff was EVERYWHERE!

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Everything sewed together quickly and easily; the instructions were simple to follow. The microfleece was reasonably forgiving although there was no room to make mistakes because unpicking was IMPOSSIBLE! Luckily I managed to do everything right the first time.

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I left off the pockets in the end, even though I cut them out. Partly because I really couldn’t be bothered sewig them on and partly because I thought they were unnecessary and would add a bit too much bulk to the overall look. It was a good decision to leave them off and I’m really happy with the finished product.

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If I made this in lighter fabric I would do construction slightly differently; I did deviate slightly from the instructions, especially on the collar and facings, but with lighter weight fabric it would be simpler to stick to the instructions.

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Next time I might narrow the shoulder pattern and lengthen the arms just to tweak the fit. It’s fine for this version but in my never-ending quest for perfect fitting garments I think it would be a good improvement.

Final thoughts – my robe is da bomb!! It is already my most worn me-made garment. It’s the first thing I throw on every morning and the last thing I wear before bed. It is super warm and snuggly and I’m really pleased I went with the ivory colour (it was almost going to be baby blue) because it has that hotel-esque quality! The length is perfect and the collar turned out exactly as I was hoping it would.

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Next year I think I might make myself another one with a high-quality terry towel and the microfleece as a lining. See if I can get it looking a bit fancier!

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My Sewing Library – DK The Complete Book of Sewing

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I am a complete and unapologetic book addict. Books are awesome. In fact, I spent my teens and early 20’s working in four different bookshops. I’m a bit of a laggard when it comes to technology, and as such I still find books to be a brilliant reference point for any number of subjects.

My love for Dorling Kindersley (DK) books started when I was six. At the end of every school term, if we got a good report from our teachers, my dad would take my sister and I to the local bookshop Dorrington’s and let us pick out a book of our choice. It was always a very exciting time in our lives. Over the years I collected a number of books, all of which I still have. They can be categorised two ways – Sweet Valley Kids, and DK books. Going through uni I relied fairly heavily on my Rocks and Minerals DK book, and then later when I became a traveller DK was yet again there when I needed a guidebook. As I’m sure you’ve seen before, they are very picture-heavy and packed full of useful information and simulating tidbits.

So….when I needed a good sewing resource, where did I turn? DK of course!!

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The Complete Book of Sewing was the first sewing book I ever purchased and it has been an invaluable resource over the many years that I’ve been sewing. I still find it as helpful now as I did when I was a teenager trying to fumble my way around bias-bound armholes, and it is usually always in close reach to my sewing table when I’m constructing a garment.

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The information in the book is super practical and well set out that even a complete beginner will find it easy to learn new techniques. Some of my favourite sections include:

  • Fabric, Threads and Notions, where they show some basic fabric types and their applications.
  • Zips – Lapped, centred, invisible, fly, exposed and open ended. Choose your poison.
  • Hems – Something I am always trying to do better.
  • Sleeves and Cuffs – as I’ve been doing more shirt and blouse-making recently I have found this part particularly helpful.
  • Tools for the Techniques – every little sewing gadget you can imagine, including a whole page dedicated to explaining the different sewing machine feet (last count, 24!)

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The pages I have found to be by far the most valuable is called Taking and Comparing Measurements. It shows you how to measure your body in every way imaginable and then apply those measurements to pattern sizes to ensure you get a good fit. I come back to this information time and time again, and it really has helped me with my technique.

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If you’re in the market for a great sewing resource then I definitely recommend The Complete Book of Sewing!  Anyone else use it as well?

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Cool and Cosy – Victory Patterns Hazel Dress

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Yay, I’m excited to be participating in The Monthly Stitch’s Indie Pattern Month 2015! I’ve been sewing like a crazy woman lately and I think it will be a busy month trying to get something sewed for each week, but I’m up for the challenge!

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My dress comes to you courtesy of Victory Patterns and their splendid Hazel Dress. I love this pattern, full stop. It is an interesting design, super comfortable and highly versatile. I definitely need some more winter essentials and garments that can crossover between being stylish work clothes and going-out-for-date-night clothes.

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It was my first time sewing a Victory Pattern and everything about it was straightforward. I was inspired by Abbey’s chambray version with the subtle colour palette. I do really love prints but I’m purposely making myself sew more practical clothing that gels with a lot of different elements of my wardrobe. That is the point of a capsule wardrobe after all! And navy is one of the key colours I’ve chosen for my wardrobe, so navy-on-navy it was!

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So, on my first ever and long-awaited trip to Auckland’s The Fabric Store (I’m in love….), I picked up some high quality navy ponte and a gorgeous fleece-backed demin-look Marc Jacobs fabric. A lot of the inspiration photos I found of this dress used the print fabric for the bodice and a block colour for the dress and cuffs but I decided I wanted the fleece lining from the Marc Jacobs fabric to comprise the main body so it could keep me warm through the NZ winter! So I inverted my textures and colours for this dress.

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I cut a size 6 based on my measurements and lengthened the bodice by 5cm which is my standard modification. Other than that I did everything else straight out of the envelope and sewed up as per the instructions. All the seams were sewed with a lightning stitch and finished on the overlocker. Given the heavy weight of the ponte I didn’t interface any of the pattern pieces. To get a nice finish on the hem I did my typical turned and stitched hem. I don’t tend to do many blind hems but I think it’s a skill I should incorporate into my sewing a bit more – perhaps a challenge for a future project!

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If I’m being picky, the only thing I was a bit “meh” about was the little slit they have you do in the top centre of the bodice, right underneath where the bow knot sits. To me it just seems a little redundant and doesn’t add anything to the dress. In fact, it makes it more difficult to get the facing to lie flat. So whilst I didn’t love that feature and probably won’t do it again on forthcoming Hazel dresses I was glad I tried it out. Maybe it is designed for when you don’t have the ties in a proper bow and just let them drape as per the Victory Patterns picture?

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The dress did meet all the expectations I had for it. I’ve worn it to work a couple of times already and last weekend it was the perfect dress for an evening out at the town hall watching our friend play viola in the Auckland Youth Orchestra. I think for future versions I will add some darts to the back as I think it is slightly too baggy back there and forms an odd shaped silhouette. If I make that adjustment it may need a zip as well but I think that will be a case of wait and see. I do really love this dress and I’m so glad I made it. Thank you Victory Patterns!

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I should also add that these photos were taken on a recent weekend away in Rotorua. For those not familiar with NZ geography, it is a town built on a geothermal hotspot and that smells permanently like rotten eggs (due to sulphur). Lots for a geology nerd like myself to get excited about here! This mock-Tudor building in the background of my photos is the Rotorua Museum on the lake front with the croquet lawn in the foreground. Just amazing!

And I do apologise for the wrinkled dress – I ironed this before the photos but two minutes in the car was enough to crease this fabric – bah!!

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Menswear – Burda Young 7734 Hoodie

Thanks to The Monthly Stitch for another great challenge – Menswear!

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I’ve been a sewist for several years now, and I’ve completed some pretty epic projects in that time (like my wedding dress). But I’ve never sewed anything for my husband, and I’m not sure why. He’s always hassling me to do little alteration jobs for him here and there……shortening the hem on his jeans, replacing the buttons on his shorts, and repairing the holes in his jackets. Good wifey that I am, even if it does take me longer to do them than he’d like. Alterations and repairs are not my favourite thing.

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However, he started complaining recently that with all the sewing going on in the house and having to put up with all my sewing mess (I haven’t bought any furniture for my sewing room as yet), I should repay him by way of a new hoodie. He’s a hoodie man. Loves ‘em. And coming into winter it was a good excuse to finally get him into a one-of-a-kind Obsidian original (i.e. made-by-me) garment.

He is quite particular about his clothes and how they fit; he wanted an interesting print on the outside and a fuzzy, warm lining on the inside. I decided that his “wearable muslin” (which is what this turned out to be) would be made from polyester cotton sweatshirt fleece with poly cotton ribbing and a plastic jacket zip.

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When I went to buy fabric for him I was somewhat limited by the choices available, so I ended up with a blue cityscape fleece that was in the bargain bin. I grabbed some matching blue fleece for the hood lining and some blue ribbing. I could choose between a pattern with raglan sleeves or set in sleeves but decided to go with the set in sleeves as it was the closest in design to his current favourite hoodie. The pattern was Burda Young 7734. I measured him and then checked against his favourite hoodie to confirm the size. I made a size 40 at the front and 42 at the back.

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This pattern sewed up super fast, and I managed to finish it up while my hubby was at Saturday golf (I am a golf widow!). The instructions were straightforward and easy to follow, when I did use them. I do find that I’m slowly transforming from religiously sticking to pattern instructions to winging it using my own techniques. I’m excited by that – I want to start drafting my own more complex patterns soon so I guess it’s a natural progression.

I didn’t make too many modifications to this version, except for narrowing the sleeves in the forearm area, slightly changing the hem band design, fully lining the hood and adding a larger facing along the zip, all of which were at his request.

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I think he was pretty happy with his first real piece of clothing made by me! He has a few requests for the next one, namely extending the length of the main body, particularly at the back. I think the ribbing along the hem needs to be tightened and the string through the hood needs to be brought forward and the buttonhole realigned or replaced with metal grommets.

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I plan to make him a raglan sleeve version next with piping and colourblocking. He also wants something with a big Obsidian logo across the front so I’m looking into buying some custom printed transfers for the next project.

My helper!

Outtakes!

And kudos to beautiful Orewa Beach in northern Auckland for giving us a stunning day to take photos on a Sunday drive!

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Winter Sewing Goals

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The thing I love about having a blog is not just the social aspect (it’s great meeting so many new people!) but also the accountability I now have. Writing blog posts is quite therapeutic and it’s been a huge help in getting me organised and sewing with a plan. I think I spend more hours sewing a week now than I ever have, and it’s definitely paying off because my skills have improved and my wardrobe is evolving.

The Monthly Stitch challenges are brilliant because they provide a bit of structure to my sewing repertoire. And with inspiration from Unfancy’s capsule wardrobe I feel like I’ve finally got some focus and direction with things rather than simply seeing a gorgeous fabric and buying it even though I have nothing to make with it!

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The next few months will be busy. Life, work, sewing. Soak, rinse, repeat.

I thought it was high time I put pen to paper and knock out some tangible sewing plans for the next few months. And if I do this every three months (which links quite nicely to my seasonal capsule wardrobe) I’ll be organised, well dressed and happy as a clam.

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So…….my WINTER SEWING GOALS are herewith:

A.  Make garments for each of The Monthly Stitch’s Indie Sewing Month challenges. This will include:

  • 1 dress
  • 1 tailored shirt
  • 1 pant
  • 1 hoodie
  • 2 skirts

B.  Make a robe for winter. I am FREEZING! And getting out of bed in the morning is hard when you don’t have something snuggly to wrap around you while you’re doing your hair and makeup before work.

C.  Start making a high quality and properly tailored winter coat. I’ve gotten as far as selecting a pattern, buying calico for the muslin and borrowing a couple of jacket tailoring books from the library. I’m under no illusions that this will be completed in time to wear this winter so I will just slowly plug away at it over the next 6-8 months. If I use a classic pattern and fabric it should stand the test of time!

D.  Construct at least one more winter dress for both work and going out.

E.  Get more tunics and shift dresses into my wardrobe. They are easy to make, comfortable and versatile. And are also on trend and look great in prints and solids. I’m sold.

F.  Think more about wardrobe staples like plain-coloured long sleeved tops, shirts, cardigans and skirts. Make some of each in nice fabrics. I’m loving merino, ponte and cotton lawn at the moment.

G.  More pants. Stat. I feel some patternmaking coming on.

H.  Appliqué something. I’m dying to do it again. It’s been far too long and it’s such an easy way to add a little pizzazz to a garment.

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To help me with inspiration and style I’ve been perusing Pinterest and various department store catalogues. I have my Fashionary and my ideas book (a gift from a friend who knows me too well) and I’m getting my creative pants on. I have a specific colour palette in mind which I’ll talk about in more detail on another post. I think it will be a fun challenge to incorporate everything.

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That gives me June, July and August to get my current wardrobe into shape and prepare for my spring clothing collection. Plus it’s high time that some of my RTW clothes found their way to the local charity shop.

Here goes!

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One Pattern, Two Ways – Burda 8765

My husband once said to me, “Why do you bother buying patterns when you only use them once?”. My answer? “Nu-uh, the point of them is to make them over and over again, perfecting the fit and style as you go”, quickly followed by “So there!”

So, that leads me into my first post in my (new!) One Pattern, Two Ways (or OPTW) series.

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I love a good pencil skirt. They look sleek, professional and can be sewn in a multitude of fabrics. They are easy for beginners, and more advanced sewists can up the ante by adding all sorts of things like linings, buttons, slits, offset zip seams, and so on.

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I’ve been wanting a mid-calf yellow pencil skirt for a while, and when I bumped into the perfect patterned cotton sateen at Spotlight, I had to have it. I started drafted my own pattern but then decided that I wanted a quick make, so I bought Burda 8765 because it had all the simple features I wanted.

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There is a different cover to this pattern and it is enough to turn anyone off with the terrible styling and ugly fabrics they have on there. Good thing they’ve finally done an update!

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I cut a size 12; a size smaller than recommended based on my hip measurements but because the sateen has a bit of stretch I allowed for a little negative ease. In hindsight, I should’ve cut the size 10 because I ended up taking it in along the side seams.

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As sateen tends to be, it was a dream to construct, only taking an hour or two to cut and sew. I put an invisible zip in and omitted the lining because I wanted it to be light and comfortable. The waistband is ever so slightly too tight (but still totally wearable) so that is something I will tweak in future versions.

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More inspiration skirts

My second version was a bit fancier, and I made it specifically to wear to my brother-in-law’s wedding on Anzac Day. I wanted a lace skirt like some of the cool ones I’d seen on Pinterest. I had initally planned to make the skirt and lining in contrast colours but couldn’t find a lace and fabric colour combo I liked so just ended up with black on black. I recut the pattern in a size 10 and made alterations to the length.

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The overlay is a beautiful cotton lace from Centrepoint Fabrics and the underlayer is just cotton sateen from Spotlight. The lace was $100 per metre so I wanted to get as much out of it as I could. To get the scalloped hem I cut the lace panels perpendicular to the grain and selvedge (is there such a thing as grain on a lace like this?). I treated the lace the same as the sateen and pinned both layers together. This also helped with pattern matching the lace across the seams as I was able to adjust where necessary.

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The fabric sewed up surprisingly well and I didn’t need to do anything special to the lace to keep it together. I just made the waistband in the plain black sateen for a bit of contrast and to make construction easier. In the back I put an invisible zip and biased bound the seams internally which helped everything hold together well. One thing I hadn’t anticipated was the fact that the lace may have sat in the shop hung over the end of the bolt for a while, so it was a little stretched out of shape in parts and then I noticed some really bad fading on the back panel. Bugger! I was pretty gutted about that, especially because I hadn’t noticed it until I’d almost finished! It’s quite noticeable in the photos and I think I’m going to have to run a black dye through the skirt to even up the panels. Hopefully being a cotton lace it should dye fairly well.

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Now that I have extra skirts to add to my wardrobe I need to sew up some plain tops to go with them because I have nothing! Just another excuse to go fabric shopping, woohoo!

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