BOOM. Heather Lou drops the mic with another absolute beast of a pattern for Closet Case Patterns.

When this pattern first came out, I didn't rush to make them as I have trouser-fear in so far as there would no doubt be so...much...fitting....

I cut the pattern pieces according to my measurements - grading from a Size 12 at the wait to a Size 16 at the hip, remembering to do the same for all the pocket pieces! To my sheer amazement, when I cut a toile in preparation to spend the next 5 years trying to make them fit - there was nothing wrong!!!!!! The only ::teeeeeennnnyy::: change was to nip it the back seam very slightly for the curve of my back. Barely a scratch in the world of trouser fitting.

These trousers are a real classy affair, with that tailored look to them. You can see from the technical drawing how the pockets and details lay. (My jazzy floral pair make it hard to see!)

Pic from Closet Case Patterns
I went for view A with the diagonal pockets...because pockets. I did however wimp out entirely in making the welt back pockets as that particular thing is not in my repertoire yet and the fabric pattern would have just drowned it out anyway.

After lamenting the sad loss of my Trigger's Bloom floral trousers which never really did fit, I always fancied a floral pair again. Like the speed of light, 3 years later another pair were born! This fabric is stretch sateen from Minerva Crafts bought a little while ago (ahem...about 2 years in the stash).

The construction of these (welt pocket aside) was relatively straight forward and I made them in 30 minute lunch break sections over the course of a week.  If you need a fly front zip tutorial - I have one here!

The best bit is the clashing print on the inside of them. #prettyguts

If you thought these were loud on the outside you should see them inside out. To quote another Only Fools and Horses classic...."Hello?! Can you hear me over those trousers?!"

There's also a cute aqua blue YKK zip in there, just because I thought they needed that extra pop of colour ;-)

The fit on these beasties is absolutely dreamy - they are stretchy and comfortable and for some reason make you feel like you can handle the world wearing them. Have I worn them? No.

But I will. I swear.

If anyone has seen instagram I've had my tattoo updated so my entire back is floral - what with my floral leg aswell my other half remarked that it was difficult to tell where I end and the trousers begin.

These are potentially a tad too cropped - but I don't think it matters as I'd be wearing them with sandals anyway.

Another marvelous feature of these trousers are how the pockets don't stick out like cat ears, which can happen when you have larger hips. I'm pleasantly surprised that the front is nice and flat, but even if it had been a problem, Heather Lou has a solution for that too! Bar tacks on the top and side keep it stuck to your body.

Another Closet Case Patterns love affair starts.... I would make them again as they are wonderful, but I just don't have much need for more tailored trousers right now. A good one for the arsenal though.

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Pin It and Spin It - Maxi Shirt Dress

It's this year's labour of love!

Firstly - let me explain the faux flowers. There has been some complaint (Paula I'm looking at you) about the lack of vegetation on my trellis is the background of my pics. Voila. I hope this is satisfactory for now! (There are passion flowers and Jasmin growing now so hold on!)

To the sewing...

It appears to be some sort of unintentional annual tradition that I crack out the Winifred Aldrich pattern cutting bible and spend forever trying to realize some pipe dream idea.

This time around it was this picture that kicked it all off:

I had it on my Pinterest board for ages and just loved the casual vibes of what could actually be a fancy dress. And of course, it's just beautiful.

Merci to The Fabric Wrangler for some assistance with this, as I spent several weeks at sewing class drafting out the basic bodice, then altering everything to have button plackets, sleeves that actually go around my bicep and a lovely collar and stand.

I did want this to be a loose fitted dress, taken in with a belt however I do now feel it should be a touch more fitted. The original draft has small horizontal darts in the front and vertical darts in the back to shape it to my body a bit.

Unfortunately I added double seam allowance at the waist in a drafting error and so this fell very low. It bothered me for ages so I dismantled the whole thing in the quest for some satisfaction. Whilst I was at it I also added some extra vertical darts in the front although it's still very loose.

I am generally quite pleased with the outcome - but a mini gripe is that as I took up the waist level, this shortened the dress so a bit of an awkward mid-shin length rather than the intended flowy maxi I had envisaged swanning about some Italian piazza with wine in hand in. I also feel a bit 'wide' wearing it which is annoying. Basically what I'm saying is that it didn't magically turn me into that woman in the Pinterst pic haha.

Potentially I'm being rather harsh on myself as at the end of the day, I drafted a bloody shirt dress wooop!! The looseness is also rather handy for the heatwave so it's probably a good job its not any tighter.

Time to get it worn now!

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Sailing Away with Kalle...

No you're eyes do not deceive you. Yes its the Kalle dress. Again.

Old English sea shanty - "Yo ho ho, those are the pasty knees of an Englishman..."

I know I can't do much of a review here as I've made 4 already... so really that's all the review you need I think.

I did make some very minor changes to the pattern on this one though so it's not technically identical! (::trying to justify it to myself::) I omitted the deep curved hem and just cut it straight across. This was just you're basic shirt dress so no leg flashing necessary, I'm fairly tall so found the height of the curve came pretty high up my thigh last time. Leveling off the hem still gave it that nice dipped shaping which I quite liked.

Vogue Edit - "White Leg and Trucker Arm Tan all the rage this season"
Second minor hack was to miss out the sleeve cuffs. The pattern calls for a couple of bands around the arms but to be fair it really doesn't need them, its just a nice addition to the full design. This print is pretty busy anyway so I left them out.

I do need to rave for just a second about this awesome fabric. It's from Cotton Reel Studio
and is the most beautiful drape viscose. Yummy. As luck would have it I also had the best buttons for this project in the stash. Now these buttons were bought right when I first started sewing, I had no clue what to make with them I just thought they were nice and ended up with about 50 of them! They've sat in a jar all these years so I'm so pleased they got to fulfill their button destiny after all this time, especially on something I know I will actually wear. (Anyone else get sentimental about their stash?!)

This one was made to be belted and the blousy-ness lends itself well to that, the back pleat looks lovely and straight even when nipped in.

I think I shall be hanging up my Kalle obsession for a little while and trying something new - however like all addictions it will be difficult to kick the habit.

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Union Street Party - Dress Hack

Sooooooooo........ this pattern lends itself pretty well to a tee dress. 

::disappears stage left to make ALL the tee dresses::

Don't get me wrong, I love a Lodo like the next guy but damn there's something juicy about the Union Street Tee. It's my new favourite basic dont'cha know. It's all about that wait, I mean drape. I just LOVE how this relaxed tee hangs. 

Much to my dismay/reluctant acceptance I can no longer wear anything too body clingy or tight. I just ain't shaped for that any more. My brain and body has taken a right ol' bashing this last year and I've dramatically changed shape, for the larger. That being said I've started weight lifting (shout out to Sallie Oh and Gemma Lipstick, Lettuce & Lycra for that help and recommendation) so some of that is becoming muscle....which is nice.....but not all. Anyway what I'm saying is, I need new summer clothes and this fits the bill! It's loose but not a sack, its comfy and its so easy to throw on and go. My ideal criteria as you may well know.

This hack from t-shirt pattern to dress was really as simple as just drawing a line down from the hip. The t-shirt pattern itself is already quite long i.e. it hits the hip rather than above it and so drafting downwards was quite straight forward - in fact there was no drafting involved, I just laid out the front and back pieces with enough room below and kept on snipping.
So how about this fabric?! My love for a sea creature continues and I was lucky enough to bag a bit of this Cotton + Steel jersey fabric in 'Mystery Food' from Sew Me Sunshine.

Harriet has been absolutely killing it recently with her fabric stock, so much so that the next purchase turned me into a fabric-hunting-lunatic and was checking my phone daily for restocks. Then it reappeared! Yes, it's that rainbow jersey that is all over Instagram (or at least it was - there's always one late to the party).

Those colours, those lines! The reason I was obsessed about this is because it reminded me colour-wise of a Sonia Rykiel dress that played on my mind for years. Sad, but true. Of course unable to afford an original I gave up, however H&M brought out an affordable(ish) range in 2010 but alas that sold out within about 60 seconds. In fact that was about the time I started sewing...

source: H&M

But like fate, the stripes came back into my life and now I can make my own dress! There was a time where I only ever wore black, so the fact I'm willing to pop on a multi-coloured stripey dress is bizarre. Yet great. Life now has colour in it :)

Wishing you all a good week x

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Thread Theory - Strathcona Men's T-shirt

A bit of selfless sewing here today - one for the gents. This one is the Strathcona T-Shirt by Tread Theory.

I was in two minds about posting this as the shirt is so far removed from the original pattern that I'm not sure it counts as an actual Strathcona t-shirt anymore... In fact I spent the entire time calling it Strathclyde by mistake. I guess that is fitting. (Unlike the first attempt at this tee).

The men's t-shirt pattern was recommended to me by the lovely Laura of Fabric Habit who has made several for her fella and highly rated it. 

I had just under a meter of this amazing Octopus fabric (Mystery Food by Cotton + Steel) from Sew Me Sunshine leftover from another project (coming soon ;) and really wanted to make a present out of it as my other half loves this print.

This was my first foray into Thread Theory patterns and I am a bit of a convert now I think. I bought the PDF ad had it taped up within the hour. This was an XL which looked huge once cut out but actually ended up fitting really well in the important places- so the measurement chart is very accurate I would say.

The only odd fitting part was that we found the length of the t-shirt to be really long. I cut a bit off - however I obviously misjudged and cut too much off - therefore I folded that piece into a band and sewed it back on. Impromptu hem band.

I also totally messed the neckline up as the neck band was way too big and therefore gaped horrendously. After putting it down and mulling it over a while (look no hissy fit, my how I've grown) - it was fixed by pinching the excess out of the front and creating a mild v-neck instead.

So considering the Strathcona is actually supposed to be a rounded-neck, Henley style shirt - this one looks nothing like the packet. Although that is entirely my fault. And the end result is entirely wearable and the best bit is he loves it too :)

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Palazzo Pant Parade

Damn do I love a comfortable trouser.

I think my face says it all in the right hand picture! These bad boys are sooooooo comfy. Not so secret pajamas. I always feel the need to wear jewellery with this kind of outfit to make it very clear to outsiders that I am not wearing my PJs in the supermarket.  Home working in the heat, errands, casual weekends with a cold beer. These have got you covered.

Essentially you are looking at the summer of what leggings and a jumper are to my winter. Now having struck gold with this pattern the possibilities are unending! :::insert evil laugh here:::

Polka Dot pair all whipped up from left overs...
This pattern is a copy of a pair of 'palazzi' (is that the plural?!) I have had for YEARS. I have worn them to death and always wanted something similar. They are not just any palazzos you see, they have a really smooth flat front with no elastic - the elastic is only at the back and they drape nicely over the bum rather than showing loads of gathers.

Now I know some people are averse to copying RTW however I am highly averse to the phrase.....'rubbing off'.... ::gag::  which seems to mean (amoungst other things hence my aversion) copying an RTW pattern.

The Fabric Wrangler ran a class in Norwich a while back about how to create a pattern from RTW. I was running late (what's new) and hadn't found anything straightforward to copy to threw the palazzos in the bag. Much pinning and tracing was involved but thank you past-self for future-self enjoyed her new trews! I had forgotten I had created the pattern and cut out pieces, then rediscovered them recently when sorting out UFOs.

Whilst the construction isn't perfect it's certainly passable and wearable. And wear them I shall.

The lesson here, and one I like to implement in all areas of life these days: always do your future-self a favour.

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Jurassic Park! An Everyday Tote for Minerva Crafts

Oh I have been looking forward to sharing this!

Since making this beautiful bag (flaws and all) I have not stopped using it - it is so ridiculously practical and seems to fit in everything you could possibly need and more, a la Mary Poppins.

This is the Everyday Tote bag pattern by Bagstock for a product review on some spectacular dinosaur canvas fabric for Minerva Crafts

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