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.

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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

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review · sewing

{ M7542 } in butterflies…

When this McCalls 7542 landed in my postbox early January, it was instant jubilation. Those sleeves just scream { SEW ME }. I went about cutting & sewing her up within a day or two but my excitement ended abruptly when I tried her on & realised she didn’t fit so well.

I was initially quite excited about this pattern as it boasts various cup sizes A-D. I had not fitted a pattern with optional cup sizes so I figured cutting my cup size would give me a good fit. Was I wrong. The bust darts sat horribly high & the whole bodice just felt too boxy & tight.

I finished her anyway & even wore her a few times but my heart just didnt connect.

Last week I took her out while I was sorting out my wardrobe & I figured since I dont wear her, I should just donate it but even though my heart didn’t connect to the fit, it beat to the fabric { SO LOUD } so donating just wasn’t an option. The fabric, btw, I purchased last year from Empire Textiles and its a Mitex Holland Wax Print.M7542_1

I set about unpicking the areas that gave me issues. I started with the side seams to release those bust darts & I moved the darts down (at least an inch & a half) to give my bewbs more room & to co-incide with my real bust apex. Sorted! Next up I released the sleeve seams a little as I found the original seam made the sleeve just a bit too snug. I also stole a little space from the back seam & sewing up the final side seams I managed to steal some space here too.M7542_sleeve

M7542_2All of those changes resulted in a much better fitting top, one that I now just want to wear every single day. Its still boxy & short but summer is coming so woo-ha!

So I learnt two good things while sewing this top :

  1. Make more muslins!!!
  2. My body really has changed so much since having a baby. I lost so much weight post-partum & gained so much again since I stopped nursing that I really do need to admit that my bewbs just aren’t up north & perky no more! 🙂

So, Is there another M7542 in my future ? Why yes, certainly. Its a basic boxy bodice with some lovely sleeve options so why not.

Till soon,

Ange x

sewing

{ BRIDGETOWN } What a babe…

What a babe this Bridgetown Backless Dress from Sew House Seven is.

I must’ve purchased this pattern back when it was first released because I know Ive had it for a while sitting, pining & just waiting to be sewed. The problem was always the fabric! I had something in my stash I thought would be suitable but unfortunately, not nearly enough.

So I waited….

Then this Ikat arrived in my life & I knew almost instantly it would be a Bridgetown dress. What I didnt know is that it would be a maxi version but you know, that just came after draping this rayon challis over me & realising, this Ikat needed to be { MAXI’d } out.bridgetown01

She’s a quick sew. No seriously, she’s really quick…& painless, coming together just perfectly. In hindsight, I should’ve cut the ‘sleeve cuffs’ with the print running in the opposite direction because it would’ve shown off the detail of that sleeve more but honestly, the party is all in the back anyway…bridgetown02

What I really love about this pattern is how it can go from being a super casual over cozzie dress to a beautiful evening dress just by changing the fabric. Its that easy! Any fabric is possible here – stretch knits, velvet, gauzy whispys…take your pick. They all work.bridgetown04bridgetown03

A real gem of a pattern & certainly not my last Bridgetown. Now could Spring/Summer hurry up already…

x

sewing

{ TALVIKKI } Sequinced Xmas…

Folks, I have a sweater crush & its called the Talvikki!talvikki-03

Just before Christmas last year I was spotting these popping up all over the place. I was just enamored over that neck so I ordered some boiled wool & got started.

Its a quick sew with some beautiful darts to shape that neck. Worked perfectly in my wool & sequins (which was perfect for Xmas Day Celebrations). The only change I made was to cut the neck facings out of a soft jersey instead of the wool to avoid any scratching around my neck. Worked a treat! talvikki_neckfacing

While I love the bagginess of this sweater, I do want to make another but perhaps with short sleeves & a bit more fitted, something Ive seen being discussed quite a bit over social media.

Overall, its a great pattern. These Named girls sure do know how to draft pretty pretty patterns. talvikki_02

Oh before I forget, I found my fabric at Alfatex incase you were interested.

Sorry this post is all over the place. Not intentional. Its been on my to-do list since I finished it & Ive had so very little time so do forgive! 🙂 talvikki_neck01talvikki_neck02

Im off to make another of these cozy sweaters, this time in a soft rose pink sweater knit. YUM! xx

sewing

{ CAROLYN PJS } with a shot of neon…

Dear Readers, its been a frikkin lifetime since I last posted anything here….

Gosh, life has been crazy. My little boy is 18 months { WHAAAAT } & since around November has been going 3 mornings a week to a day mother just to give this mommy a little me-time. I needed it so bad! I dont have grandparents or friends etc to help out with taking him a few hours to give us time so Ive kinda just used the few hours on the weekends that hubby would give me but it just wasn’t enough. Putting him a few mornings with a day mommy has allowed me to clean my house, prepare meals & SEW.

I hit those machines with a force let me tell ya. Those of you that follow me on Instagram will know this but Ive been sewing like such a crazy woman that Ive forgotten to blog any of these makes & share. That ends now!

So I decided to jump onto the Carolyn Pj’s bandwagon. This is my first Closet Case Files pattern & let me say, Im a fan!carolyn_pjs_1

At first I couldn’t find appropriate fabric. Then IKEA happened. Yes friends, I found fabric for my Carolyn Pjs at IKEA. This black & white cotton just screamed pj’s & at first, I was all revved to do black piping (which I still think woulda looked pretty hot) but then I had a brain wave which involved neon & the rest is history.

I purchased my neon piping via Etsy, from On Trend Fabrics. Their service was great & the piping is good quality. I went ahead & purchased neon pink & orange as well because you know…

After measuring myself, I settled on my size & then decided to cut & sew a size bigger. I hate hate hate tight pjs more than alot of things. Also, it was my full intention to make the long pants but once I set that pattern out for cutting, I changed my mind & made the shorts. Im really glad I did. I think I’ll get more use out of the shorts.carolyn_pjs_3

I made no major alterations but I did add in some piping on the edge of the short pockets & used neon yellow snaps instead of buttons. First time installing these kinds of snaps & they went in really really easy. I purchased the snaps via Etsy as well. There are quite a few sellers so take your pick. Carolyn_pjs_5.jpgCarolyn_pjs_2.jpg

Line matching was interestingly annoying! I tried as much as I could, in the places that I thought it would matter the most & then didn’t give a shit where it didn’t work coz quite honestly, they’re pj’s for goodness sake. I did however take the time to utilize the cinched part of the pattern right in the centre of my back & front so it gives a good visual pear shape which I think worked kinda nice, no?

Such a lovely pattern & such a fun sew. There were some tricky parts to the pattern, namely the front facings & where they attach at the collar. Whew. Fuck. I might have popped a sweat at this stage but it worked out in the end! carolyn_pjs_4

There are more Carolyn Pjs in my future, of this I am sure. Id like Kelly green next… x

 

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

chit-chat · interiors · sewing

{ SEWING IN 2016 } Plans…

Ive been out of sewing action for a few months but here is me telling you that my will to sew is back!

Baby has been all-consuming, therefore its been tough to find the time to sew…or do anything really but bubs is getting bigger. He doesnt need my 100% attention any longer & finally he’s linking those sleep cycles in the day better so he’s sleeping longer which gives me more time to do me stuff. Some people asked me why I dont sew in the evenings & here’s the thing : I dont like sewing in the evenings very much. I prefer natural daylight as opposed to artificial light. Also, the room I used to hang my laundry & do my ironing is now the baby room so all that laundry ended up in my sewing room! We finally decided our bathroom was big enough to take the laundry, it just needed planning so we’ve installed the wardrobes we always wanted, installed the hanging rail for laundry & all that laundry crap has moved out.

In the months that I haven’t been sewing Ive been taking advantage of fabric & pattern sales so I have a lot of good materials stocked up just waiting for some action. Cant wait.

One of the first things I need to do is re-measure myself because our bodies change shape after having a kid. I somehow managed to lose all my pregnancy weight gain 6 weeks post birth & went on to lose a further 12kgs. Im not sure how, it just melted off to be honest. I dont say that braggingly either. I guess Ive just been lucky or the combination of high summer, nursing, sweating & walking just really paid off. While it may be good for my self esteem, it has presented problems with my wardrobe in the sense that a lot of my me-mades from pre-baby no longer fit… so I need to assess these & figure out which ones I love enough to alter & which to donate.

The next thing I need to do is decide on what I want to make. I know Im not even bothering with winter garb (not that I do much winter sewing anyway) so summer sewing it is. Ive had a piece of fabric earmarked for another Rachel Comey Vogue 1247 (see the first one I made). I also purchased the Papercut Flutter pattern last year so I’ll be making one of those as well as the Named Patterns Delphi Dress which I adore. Perfect for summer.

Apart from those new projects, Ive got a never-ending list of alterations I need to do to my denim shorts, some new jeans to hem (coz dammit they always too long) as well as some sewing for my sweet little boy.

Writing all this seems like Ive already bitten off more than I can chew..{ YIKES } but I guess if I dont start I’ll never know.

OHHHHHH & while I was taking that sewing pause, I purchased a new overlocker. I’ll have to tell you all about that soon. { WINK WINK }.

Ok lovelies. Till soon xx