pattern review · sewing

{ DECADES OF STYLE } An unlikely paring…

Hi dears,

This garment was worth coming out of blog hibernation for. Honestly. It took me totally by surprise and Im so pleased with the end result.

Janet from Decades of Style Patterns contacted me to ask if I would be keen on testing their TLC Caftan from their Decades Everyday range. She sent me the line drawing & for a moment I was thinking…Nope. Never. This is not me. Then….I had a little brain wave. When I looked at how the waist cinches in & actually how fitted it can be, I thought { WAIT } there could be something here. I know that V-necks suit my figure. I know that cross-overs & wraps suit my figure. So this seemed like something I should take a shot at.

Decades01

Decades02

Before the pattern even arrived I had already earmarked a fabric for it.  I bought this Vintage Silk Sari from India years ago & I had taken it out of my stash numerous times thinking it would be suitable for a pattern. Alas, it was never used. I could see the sari was well used but incredibly well looked after & loved. I really always wanted to find a pattern that was worthy of this gorgeous cloth and so, when the pattern arrived I just knew that it would do the silk justice.

Deciding on fabric layout was difficult. I wanted to incorporate the gold border detail in the caftan but running down the “wing” side seams just felt like too much. So I used the gold border on the hem & I think it gives just enough detail without being too overwhelming.

Decades03

The Caftan is not lined so the silk is pretty sheer however I do plan to make a plain grey slip { Named Patterns \ Lane Slip, which I think is now OOP } to layer underneath for when I do want to wear it without showing my underthings. Otherwise I still have the option of wearing it as is over my swimsuit etc.

I have a round birthday coming up this month so Im thinking of wearing it then, glam’d up with heels, appropriate hair & makeup. Should be fun. Decades06

Decades04

The Caftan is pullover so there are no zips, no buttons, no clasps. Just straight over the head. The waist inset has ties on the inside that you then tie back to front either side as tight or as loose as you desire. I like mine to be tied pretty tight because it gives the fitted look without it being fitted at all. Bloody Genius! To make things even better, there is an option to add pockets (which I omitted) and 2 lengths to choose from but as us sewists know, we can make things as short or as long as we want or need anyway. Also, the wings on the side which make this a Caftan, can be made in 2 lengths but again, cut those panels as wide or as narrow as you like. It really is up to you.

The pattern comes in 11 sizes and includes bust sizes 32 to 52″. Amazing.

This pattern took me totally by surprise folks. I did not think I would love it as much as I do. Its a clever little design showing off some lovely gathers at the shoulder & waist so I see another of these coming soon. The next wedding we are invited to I will have to make an evening version of this. I can see a beautiful double crepe in a rich jewel colour with beading on the front & back waist inset which would just look amazing. I really love that this pattern is so versatile depending on your choice of fabric.

Thanks Decades for trusting me with this. You were not only a pleasure to work with but you also pushed me beyond what I thought was possible for me to wear & for that I am so grateful. Its made me revisit other patterns I never thought would suit me either so I’ll definitely be taking more chances in the future.

xAnge

Advertisements
pattern review · sewing

{ PAPERCUT } Flutter blouse…

Its been quite some time since I sewed anything for myself. In my last post I mentioned that I had plans & boy have I put those plans into action. Getting going was the hardest but now that Ive hopped that procrastination hurdle, Im all fired up & ready to keep sewing sewing sewing…

While I was expecting I ordered the Papercut Flutter Blouse & could not wait to give it a go. I was curious about sizing so I waited a few months for my post-baby weight loss to steady itself & then measured myself up & went for a medium which seemed perfect until I wore it for a day & realised I could’ve actually gone for the small…..

Let me start by saying everything about this pattern is just gorgeous. Right from the ordering process, posting – which is free worldwide by the way, delivery, packaging { OH THE PACKAGING…DROOL }, the pattern itself – everything folks, just everything. They can do no wrong in my eyes. And no, Im not affiliated or being paid big bucks to say this. They just impress the crap out of me. If I were indeed pressed to give any strike I would say that I prefer sewing with a 1,5cm seam allowance as opposed to a 1cm however that would be my only micro mini grunt. Papercut_flutter1

I used this 100% viscose crepe purchased from Buttinette while on sale. Its heavy-ish but with a lovely drape. I used a white bias tape for the neckline and doubled over my hems on the sleeves & waist but my next Flutter blouse I plan to use the bias tape exposed on the neckline & edge of sleeves. Yup, already planning another Flutter – this time with the longer sleeve option. I tried to match pattern where possible but since the pattern is so random it was difficult to do everywhere. The birds just make me happy & apparently they make other people happy too because I always seem to get people asking about this blouse whenever I wear it.

Not much else to say about this top besides that its up there as one of the most satisfying sews ever for me. It was quick, easy & just what I needed to get my sewjo kickstarted. I should also just apologize up front for the crappy pic above. Im having to chose my bridges carefully these days & unfortunately time doesn’t allow for pretty photoshopped, light corrected, cropped & crazy pics. Soon hopefully…..SOON. 🙂

Take care all x

pattern review · sewing

{ New Look 6254 } The non-maternity, maternity top…

Ive not wanted to turn this blog into a maternity/pregnancy blog by any means but the fact is Im expecting & since I sew mostly for myself, its natural that Id hit a stage whereby my life would be consumed with baby stuff, baby bump & dealing with dressing it. So feel free to skip these maternity frock posts if you have no interest – I dont mind 🙂

This New Look pattern has been in my pattern stash since 2004, not because I was hoping to be pregnant by then { NOOOO }. I bought it because it looked cute. Its not a maternity pattern BTW !!! After making it way back then & realising it made me look extremely pregnant, I decided to hang on to it for that day Id need it. Well folks, that day came – about 2 weeks ago. Im only due in July so its going to heat up pretty soon & then there’s the postnatal period which still requires a little bit of maternity wear so I decided to give this a go. NL6254 I used a polyester from my stash, probably also purchased around 2004 believe it or not. I was never overly fond of the fabric so I figured if the top didnt work for me, it would be no great loss. Turns out, I really like the fabric now that its made up.  It pairs well with both white & blue which will be perfect for Summer. I lined the bodice with a cream cotton to keep things stable. There should have been more gathers under the bust however on fitting, I realised it was a little too snug gathered right up so I let them out a little to allow for some extra room for the growing bewbs. Its still a little snug so Im hoping these milkies dont grow too much more. NL6254_side On the up side, there is plenty room on the lower front for the expanding baby bump. The sides have splits to a decent height allowing for extra swish which is nice. NL6254_side2Overall, its a quick easy sew & a top suitable for maternity, although it wouldnt work as a nursing top unfortunately. Now, all I need is the snow to move on out so the sun can come out. Roll on Summer. x

pattern review · sewing

{ NEW LOOK 6248 } The quick linen skirt…

It was the weekend before the Monday we were leaving to go on holiday….so what did I do….well, I whipped up a last minute skirt for the holidays didnt I?!? Dont you?

Good thing this tried ‘n tested pattern is a breeze.

Might I also add this was { LAST } year Summer. Whoops!NL6248

I used some of the 100% white linen I had left over from the shirt-dress. Love the fabric. It may crease like no-ones business but its crispness is such a pleasure in the heat.

I made view E without the ruffles, which admittedly woulda looked really cool but I didnt have the time to ruffle about in honesty. 8 panels sewn together, each seam topstitched with a 4,5 length on my Sapphy, in go the facings & the zip, hem & she’s done.

Easy as that. N6248

Just thought Id share if any of you are considering this little skirt for the coming summer.

Till soon my dears xx

PS – Ive paired the skirt above with the BurdaStyle wrap top I made yonks ago incase you interested in that pattern.

pattern review · sewing

{ COLETTE } Purple Peony…

HAPPY NEW YEAR FOLKS !!!

I told you a few posts back that I had made the Colette Peony some time ago – so here are the deets. Thanks for your patience.

Inspiration was not hard to come by. Just google “Colette Peony” & a flurry of pretty Peonies start to load your screen. Abbey from Sew Charleston made the most beautiful floral Peony in 2013. I mean honestly….{ BA BOING } !!! & this perfect polka Peony made by Amy, just gorgeous.

Being a newbie to Colette patterns I decided to err on the side of caution & investigate every possible person that had anything to say about her patterns, good or bad. What I discovered quite quickly was many of you talking about how difficult Ms Peony was to fit!!! { EEEECK }. I instantly panicked. I haven’t told you guys what a hard time Ive had with fitting the BHL Anna have I?? Oooh, can I rant quick??.. Anna has probably been the biggest nightmare Ive ever had in my journey of sewing. Now I know many of you will disagree saying how fucking easy she is to make & just so you know, it irks me when I see how some of you have sewed multiples of Anna in various fabrics (yes, Im looking at you Ms Oona) but come hell or high water, I just cant get that biaatch to fit me! Ive muslined her bodice too many times to even count & while she appears to be the easiest bodice, believe me, my bewbs disagree! Strongly. Rant over (rolling eyes)…until another day!

So approaching the Peony with possible similar problems was not an experience I particularly wanted for myself. Regret management is evil evil shit so instead of cutting into that tissue, I decided to adopt the tracing way of life like a grown up. I traced a size bigger than the finished measurement suggested & then got to making a muslin of the bodice. The first muslin was too big so I retraced in a size smaller & re-muslined.

Perfect fit…. Well kinda.

Honestly.

I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasnt dreaming.

So I proceeded to cutting  & she was stitched up rather quickly. colette_peony_front1

I left out the pockets of course. Coz really. I always do. And even when I do have a brain wave & think pockets might be a change from the norm…I end up taking them out anyway. You’ll notice I also left off the sleeves which may not have been the best decision since I do think the sleeves would stretch out the neckline & keep it from gaping in front which it does at the moment…ever so slightly.

And because I left off the sleeves, I needed to finish the edges here & without facings I decided to improvise with bias tape. Now you’ll know why I remembered the dyeing trick. I had no purple bias tape so out came the dye. { ABRACADABRA } white became purple bias tape in a matter of minutes! Your’e welcome. Purples dont match 100% but its good enough no?! I sewed the bias tape in by hand to avoid any machine stitching on the end & although it took some time, it was well worth the effort. biased_edges

I played with the idea of finishing the hem with a spanish stitch but ultimately, I decided to keep her plain. Of course as ‘ol murphy would have it, now that she’s all finished I think the spanish stitch might have been the better way to go! { DOH }. So I may go back & do that. Also, if the gaping neckline continues to irritate me, I may just pull out the bias tape I lovingly matched & insert sleeves too.colette_peony_front2

I used an invisible zip for the back which was a bit of a pain to sew for some reason. I think it had to do with the fact that I couldnt find an exact match to the fabric. On the hanger you cant see the zip, on the body there are parts that show unfortunately. Only after did I think why on earth didnt I bomb the zip in with the purple dye?? { WHY OH WHY }

My favourite details of the dress are the pretty little gathers at the front waist. Love those. They hide all kinds of crazy.  The fabric is 100% linen I found for €8/m which in my neck of the woods is a bloody bargain so naturally I purchased more than I needed because thats what one does when they find a bargain….in a colour that suits them! ( Or is that just me).

Im happy with Ms Peony but there are some issues that need sorting as mentioned. But overall, she’s comfortable and I definitely know that she fits well.

I like her, I like her alot.

Hope you’ve all had a good start to the New Year. All the best for 2015.

xxAnge

 

 

 

pattern review · sewing

{ VOGUE 1247 } Rachel Comey top…

Friends, Ive been scarce around the blog due to a combination of things really. Work, stress. Then I got sick. Its just made me really tired and in the meantime I lost my sewjo so bad I started wondering if it would ever return. Luckily, Im getting back into it but the break has been good.  Trust you all had a good Christmas (if you celebrate) and I’ll wish you all a good New Year now.

This V1247 pattern had been on my wishlist for forever but it was only once I saw “Seeker of Sewing Highs” Sophie’s insanely gorgeous version, did I gasp & decide I had to have the pattern.  Don’t get me wrong folks. There were some stunners out there already, Sophie’s just spoke my kinda language. Luckily for me, Vogue were having a sale at the time. { WHEW }.

I knew just what I was looking for in fabric too – something soft & patterned without a pattern if you knowwhatimean. I wanted the panels to mismatch but be matched at the same time to show off the front panels. Anyway, once I stumbled upon this cotton/silk (70%/30%) blend, I knew immediately it would be the one & due to all the lovely reviewers who agreed the pattern runs rather large & one can easily go down a size or two, I ordered the minimum of fabric & used every last scrap. V1247_front V1247_back

She sewed up without fuss. I took great care in matching up my shoulder pleats and did my best to align the front panels. As 2 separate pieces (top and bottom), the seams aligned perfectly but once I sewed together the top portion to the bottom, my lines were off slightly so I didnt get the perfect point but hey-ho I swoon at all the other bits of perfection.V1247_alignmentV1247_pleats

With french seams throughout and a lovely bias neck facing, she’s casual but with some awesome finishes. I didnt fold my sleeves over as instructed because my fabric, while beautiful, is not that slouchy slouch so when folded they just stuck out too much overall & decided therefore to leave it sheer.

My fabric is sheer but perfect for summer & you may be wondering why Ive been sewing summer instead of winter… Simple really. Im headed home on holiday for 3 weeks soon. Home means hot, summer, friends & family – a decent vacation. Its been 3 ½ years since Ive been home.

I cannot wait!

A xx

pattern review · sewing

{ VOGUE 8907 } Marigold Superwoman…

This Vogue 8907 makes me laugh out loud. Vogue8907_front1

Its so pretty but view A is every inch Superwoman…which is why I decided to make that particular one. Just like every kid needs a Superwowan/man cape to insist on wearing to school & grocery shopping, I need a Superwoman top to wear to every meeting! haha Vogue8907_front2

Sadly, this pattern is now OOP. { SORRY FOLKS }. There aren’t that many made up versions on the internet either. Erica B made a beautiful cobalt blue version in silk & Melanie made one in red but besides those 2, Ive not been able to track any others of view A as yet.  Have you perhaps made this ?

To be honest, I finished this months ago together with various other pieces. Ive just been so crap at taking photos so forgive me.

Right, down to the deets :

I used the beautiful yellow silk crepe de chine (14mm) that I purchased & blogged about earlier in the year. Its such a happy colour that yellow. For any of you wanting reference, its code is 2035 Bright Yellow. If you click on the post Ive just mentioned above, the details of where I purchased is all there with a contact. Zoe is the nicest lady & she’ll be more than happy to assist you with silk buying.Vogue8907_side1

The silk was not the easiest to handle but I tried to cut single layered where I could. I also used silk pins within the seam allowance to avoid any unsightly holes which regular pins sometimes leave in silk. I also used tailor tacks to mark instead of chalk or erasable pen. There were only 3 pieces to handle in total so it really wasn’t too bad.  Im currently working with the hot pink silk received at the same time as this yellow & its already giving me far more trouble….but the project is far more complicated though.

The pattern was easy with the most ‘difficult’ part being the gathers at the shoulder. Sizing seemed pretty spot on at the time but having photographed this a few months later, it seems I have some excess space under the arm area but this could have something to do with loosing some inches since I sewed this.  { DOH }. Vogue8907_closeup

The edge of the ‘cape’ is my favourite part looking so whispy & super feminine. I achieved that by stitching a few mm from the edge…just a plain stitch. Then I used that stitch as a guide to turn over a small hem & stitched it again. Perfect finish.

I love the billowy cape back the most I think. Its fun, its unique & you certainly don’t see a top like this every day. Im so glad I bought this pattern & I look forward to making more of these.

A good weekend to you all.

xAnge