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 bass...no 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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Riding that Blackwood Bandwagon

This pattern is one that mystifies me as to why I hadn't made it earlier..... I cannot count the times I have needed a good cardigan and gone searching high and low around the shops for something suitable. (To no avail either!) I think it was my last foray into knitwear that may have put me off.

It's not like it hasn't been across the whole sewing world or anything is it... Man is this a popular pattern and now I see why!

Another minor mystery is why I cut it out in February, and then only just got round to finding it in my UFO pile and finishing it off. All told it took less than an hour to cut out, then less than an hour to sew up. In just happens that those two hours were about 3 months apart.

So here it is, and just in time for the spring weather - my Blackwood Cardigan by Helen's Closet!


I used some coral cable knit fabric from Higgs & Higgs  which turned out to be PERFECT for this pattern. The right amount of weight-cosy-colour ratio together with being incredibly workable and sewing machine friendly. I hadn't considered myself to be a 'pink' kind of gal but I really love this. So cheerful to wear. It's already been a staple go-to piece for the last few weeks so it must be a winner.


The pattern size for this one was a Large graded out to Extra-Large at the hips. I'll be honest I did fall prey to vanity and exclaimed at the 'extra-large' label however it fit like an absolute dream.

The only change I made was to give the sleeve a wider width at the bicep than the XL called for, which then meant pinning and tapering it back down from the elbow to the wrist. Not a big deal though as it was so easy to alter with the ol' pin and fit method.


I went for the full length version, with cuffs that come mid-hand for keeping warm. You could easily omit the cuffs, as a friend of mine has done, which made for an equally very smart and chic look.

Pretty much the entire thing was done on the over-locker save for attaching pockets and top stitching the edges. It's been an absolute revelation to me  that you can use regular thread in an over-locker to do decorative stitching. So coral and yellow insides it is!


The pattern is so versatile - colours, fabric types, weights. I'm particularly looking forward to trying the maxi-hack with split hems. Definitely a repeat make pattern!


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Grainline Linden - It's the absolute dogs...

Hellloooo! Back up on the blog today after a mini-break and another minor loss of sew-jo. However, I'm pleased to report that's now back in action - funny what a bit of sunshine can do.

Today is not a massive post and nothing particularly original however I did want to share this make due to the absolute epic nature of the fabric.

Now, we all know that the Grainline Linden is an absolute gem of a pattern, and despite not having made myself one yet, I did make a polar bear version for my sister. This time another bit of selfless sewing for my sis in the form of this Dog Linden!!

She has a lovely little dog called Treacle and when I saw this fabric from Stoff + Stil I knew it would make a great present. When I bought this fabric, the shipping costs where absolutely crazy so it did make this a rather expensive make, however I have noticed just now that they seem to have added a UK site with UK shipping prices. This is still priced at £8 for DHL but free over £50 spend so maybe if you were buying in bulk it would be good as some of the jerseys are beautiful and very original.


 I am pleased with how this turned out and the fabric was superb to work with, such high quality and went through the machine like butter. There was even a fair amount left so maybe a summer vest top could be squeezed out of it? Any pattern suggestions for a vest-top?
 

So it's bank holiday weekend here in the UK and weirdly the sun is out so off I go like every other person in the country racing outdoors whilst it lasts! Happy weekend folks x

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Cobra Kalle and Heist Tights Love

It's bacccckkkkkkk.... of course I made another Kalle. I bloody love it.

 

This gorgeous fabric is the Cobra Corsage viscose crepe from Fabric Godmother. I already used the lawn version for a McCalls shirt (which has already hit the 'out' pile as I didn't really like the shape)

The fabric has a lovely drape and is opaque so I wanted to make an easy to wear shirt dress - enter Kalle! This is the 3rd Kalle I have made - and I like this one as much as the others. The style is pretty roomy so this one got belted for a sleeker silhouette.


The high/low hem still works I think and adds a bit of interest, great with tights underneath for this cooler weather.

And just a little minute here to appreciate the wonder of Textile Garden buttons that added that extra pow to this beauty. 


On the subject of tights - I really just wanted to share something I have recently discovered (I may be 100 years late to this but whatever, revolutionary for me!) - Heist Tights!!

This is in no way sponsored, I just wanted to give them a shout out as I hate wearing tights, they make me feel like a segmented worm. However, I gave these bad boys a go and MAN are they comfy!!!! Firstly - just look at the pretty packaging (all recyclable aswell)


I received HANDS DOWN the best customer service of my life. The lady online advised as to what size I needed, high waist requirements and she sent me 2 pairs that arrived the next day. One of them was a bit tight so I inquired again - and they sent 2 more pairs in the next size for free!!!

The tights themselves are so high quality its unbelievable. You get a little cotton bag to keep them in labelled with the size, denier and style and the tights have a ridged marker inside indicating the back.

They don't pull or move, they have no seams, the waist stays up and over your tummy giving a nice shape and also pretty wonderful is that they don't really stick to clothes!

If you have also seen these and were wondering, here's 20% off. 


  Now time to make some more shirt dresses I think...

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