The Long and Short of It - La Jupe

Dressed - La Jupe.

Le Nope.

Continuing my quest through Dressed by Deer & Doe I thought I'd make the skirt pattern 'La Jupe'.

This was against my gut feeling and knowledge that I just don't wear skirts. At all. I did however want to try the whole book and I wondered whether this pattern might change my mind. 

It did not.

What looks trendy and cool on many people just made me feel frumpy and about 87 years old. This pic was taken on my 37th birthday. I did not need that feeling.

At first I thought it was the length so I remembered Year 7 school skirt rolling up tricks and tried it on like that.

Still nope.

Fortunately I still have a large piece of this lovely berry viscose left and therefore 'la jupe' will face reincarnation at some point. I was actually saving it for another Myosotis dress and wish I had now however perhaps it can be squeezed into that in the end and fulfill it's proper destiny.

For now though at least I can say with 100% certainty. I don't do skirts.

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Elodie Wrap Dress - Painted Lady

Coming to you this weekend with a highly seasonally inappropriate bit of sewing, but it's a belter of a pattern.

This is the latest release from Closet Core Patterns - the Elodie Wrap Dress.  

Of course it coming from Heather and crew, there's not much doubt about the fact it's fantastically drafted as usual. 

Quick bit on the fabric - this amazing painterly brush stroke print is a cotton lawn from The Eternal Maker called 'Amarachi Art'. No super drapey but enough to hang and sew well. 

This is View A - the short sleeve and shorter length version.

As per instructions I picked my size as a 14 bust and 16 waist. I didn't grade any further to be 18 hips due to the skirt being fairly flared and the wrap-ness being a bit more forgiving aswell. 

 No alterations were made during the making of this pattern. Straight up out of the packet sewing.

I only had 2 meters of this fabric and I managed to squeeze the entire thing into those 2 meters!!!! Facings, belt and all. Very pleased about that. The inner waistband is a bit patch-worked together but it was pretty satisfying to have so little waste. 

Cue 'touch the hair, show off the pockets' posing as recommended on Closet Core Patterns site!

The instructions are easy to follow with plenty of diagrams and comes together surprisingly quickly at first given how detailed it is. You can't see on my dress due to this jazzy fabric, but there are under bust pleats and back pleats that give it shaping.


How flat is that neckline?? I was expecting gaping every which way but no, it stays intact! Even if you got a bit of gaping it's an easy fix just to add a little popper in at the bust. I did this anyway.

Voila. Additional security measures. 

The bit I slightly struggled over was attaching the waistband and belt pieces so that it all flowed into one piece with no raw edges and a gap for the belt to come through. At this point I found an amazing tutorial by Sewing Therapy on You Tube where she shows how to make all the details of the Elodie dress. Would Recommend!

She recommended sticking the seams down with wonder tape first before stitching and this worked really well.

The side seams in the waist get opened up from the right and wrong sides to form the belt opening. This was very fiddly and I ended up hand sewing the raw edges shut. The print is fairly forgiving to see any dodgy sewing!

To finish the dress off with all the bells and whistles I added a Kylie and the Machine label from Sewisfaction - love these! (Plus wow they are really soft.)

Really enjoyed making something a bit different and new this time. It's getting worn to a restaurant this week but after that it may have to retire until Spring time! #winteriscoming

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The Gift of Lahja

 Lahja; 'a gift'. Also a pretty great unisex dressing gown from Named Patterns.

This is potentially the fanciest thing I have ever sewn. Mainly because of the fabric. Yeaahhhh that's Liberty baby.

 My husband really wanted a lightweight robe for warmer days and lounging. He kept joking that he wanted an old fashioned smoking jacket, with crazy paisley print, that you could sit and drink whiskey in looking like a bond villain. I took this as a challenge and came up with this in secret! 

I thought the lizards were a good twist on paisley and the Liberty print gives it that kind of look he was after. The robe is full length and full sleeve version in size XL. 

Ignore the boobs, the mannequin is just for display. However it is unisex so who cares right.   

The contrast bands are tencel fabric from the stash that just happened to colour match, happy coincidence. 

Like most sewing I do when there's an element of pressure - for others, for special occasions etc, I made a bit of an epic mistake and the entire back piece was cut upside down. There are some upwards facing lizards back there!

A nice make this one, there are 2 size ranges, male and female to take into account general proportions but the pattern pieces are all the same. It whizzes up nicely and I definitely would give it another go. It's got a good amount of wrap around coverage which would make it lovely and cosy in a knit or winter weight fabric. 

I can report it has been worn throughout summer and deemed a nice surprise!

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Gilbert Got The Chop

 It's the turn of the Gilbert Top by Helen's Closet this week. ' A button up shirt with a camp-style collar and a relaxed fit'. It's certainly relaxed.

Size wise I went for a 16/18 however I think it would be alright a size smaller. 

The first version I made of this was View A - the cropped shirt with waist tie. I love the fact that it's not 'cropped' i.e belly-exposing, but just enough to sit nicely on top of jeans/trousers.  

(These back ponte trousers are Style Arc Parker Pants - LOVE them. No adjustments straight up size 14.)

Raiding the stash I found some lovely yellow viscose from Fabrics Galore which was waiting it's turn for a pattern match. Bingo. Just enough fabric. The buttons are from Texile Garden and made for a great partner colour-wise. The white cotton however was me being lazy as I ran out of black thread.

The shirt is really simple in terms of pattern pieces and it's a good chance to have a go at the 'burrito' method of doing a shirt yoke. I did have to split the back into 2 pieces to fit on my fabric but that's ok with me, don't mind an extra seam!

 The collar and facing fit really well, no wrangling and wrestling into place which is always a bonus.

This pattern also has a 'dress hack' where it can be lengthened and in the height of summer I thought a luxury blue linen version would be amazing. I was wrong :(

I was a fraction short of fabric for length so it turned out pretty short. The pictures aren't too bad but in reality if I lifted my arms up I was flashing my bum. The linen, despite having invested in some good quality stuff, is was really itchy and scratchy and just annoyed me.

Gilbert then got the chop. I chopped it to tunic length to wear as a shirt. I also added an extra button at the top as the lapel was gaping quite low and wide on this version and took the sides in a couple of inches. 

It's an improvement but to be's a bit boring.That being said I've actually worn in a fair bit, it's softened as promised with a wash and wear and I think it's growing on me. 

Little shot out for the trousers here which are the Patterns For Pirates 'Loggers'. Leggings with pockets. What's not to love about that. This Gilbert will absolutely get a lot more use than a dress so that's a mini win in itself.

My personal favourite part of this is that I got to use my lovely Turtlebird buttons!


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Dressed - Le T-Shirt et Le Pantalon


Gone all French today as  the Deer & Doe 'Dressed' book has arrived and I've been diving right in with some of the patterns.

Dressed is a beautiful book about creating a capsule wardrobe. The principle is that the 9 patterns give you over 100 outfits when combined and they all have that simple chic about them.   

It's now available as an e-book in English however I ordered the French paper copy as I like having the book out as reference and something tangible. There's bound to be something I've got lost in translation but so far the patterns are working as they should!

Starting very simply, I went for Le T-Shirt. I figured that I could get a good idea of how the patterns fit from doing this one first.

 The size I went for was a combo of sizes 46 bust /48 waist / 50 hip graded throughout. Bingo. It fit.

 It's a little scruffy here in the pictures but the t-shirt drapes really well at the front. The sleeves are grown on so it's a very quick make - 2 shoulder, 2 side seams. Hem.

The length is really good too, it comes to just above the hip line and is flattering tucked in or out of clothes. I messed up the neckline point but no matter - it's black and not very visible anyway!

The fabric I used is bamboo jersey and soooooo comfortable to wear. This Le T-Shirt is definitely going to be in heavy rotation as a brilliant basic. 

Onto Le Pantalon.

These are elasticated waist, pull-on style casual trousers with turn-ups. Knowing my previous with elasticated trousers I was nervous. I cut a straight up size 50 for the hip measurement and thankfully had to make NO CHANGES to the dreaded crotch curve. 

The pattern calls for stretch cotton and that kind of thing but I had some heavy duty ponte roma with little stretch from eBay that seemed like a good idea. I love how they turned out! A million miles from French sassy chic but they suit my purposes.

I did alter these after they were made up as they did come out really quite big at the waist and didn't look as streamline as the pictures in the book would suggest. I took the waistband off and pinned the sides in a little, tapering up from the hip. It meant a bit of pocket was lost but they are still big enough to be useable. The end result was more like a 50 hip graded to a 42 waist. This was still enough to be able to comfortably pull them over my hips and bonus, the waistband was therefore not as bunched up with elastic.

It can be confirmed that these are most certainly secret pyjamas. We took a trip to the seaside and I wore this outfit all day, feeling a bit paranoid I had actually gone out in nightwear.

In a break from TORTOISE photo-bombing, here's a bonus pic with the lovely white wolf Chilli who came for a visit and beach walk. Le Chien. Pattern not available.

 And an outtake just to prove I have to take about 300 pictures for every 3 decent ones. 

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Seaforth Pants September

 Happy September!

It's transition time and the summer wear gets  sidelined by slightly cooler weather clothes. I had a go at the new pattern by Hey June Handmade - the Seaforth Pants and they are ideal for less than warm days!

The pattern is for a pair of casual loose-fit trousers that has both an elastic waistband and drawstring. The pockets are zipped which makes a nice addition and there are two views. View A is a longer straight leg version with a bit of a 'kick' flare and View B has an elastic cuff ankle for more of a 'woven jogger' vibe. 

I made all views and a bonus 'View C'. Such was my liking for this pattern.

Size wise I cut a 16/18 but it DID require a toile and some tweaking. I can't actually tell you what size I ended up with in the end as I did so much nipping and adjusting. Probably nearer a 14/16 I think. Ish. 

The pattern with no adjustments was 'fine' but for me it was a little baggy in the butt and the rise was too long. I took 4cm from the rise front and back and added the same to the length to make up for the lost height. Crotch-wise I did a full butt adjustment but then had to tweak the crotch height, length and general shaping of the crotch curve but I did that by trial and error. I'm still not 100% on the fit of the back leg but I gave up.

These sew together really quickly so ideal if you're after a quick-fix make with good results.

View A

These are my 'banana pants'. Yellow stretch linen from 1st for Fabrics.

It's a bold choice! Yellow seemed like a good idea on a sunny day. They now feel a bit ridiculous! I added the patch pockets on the back of these and the placement of the pattern is really good. Best bit of the pattern - back darts for shaping!

View B

My favourite of the bunch. Navy stretch linen also from 1st for Fabrics.  I also used some gold eyelets and gold and navy zips for these which stand out nicely as a feature. 

The pattern has you insert the zips directly into the pocket by slicing into it however I found that to be really messy at the edges. It was recommended that I do the zip on a facing and flipping that to the inside of the pocket and that worked out well.


And last but not least 'View C' which doesn't actually exist but I just made it anyway, straighter legs and a turn up..

I love this version but they are made of Ramie Linen, with no stretch and so they are difficult to get over my hips and also sag a little after wearing. That being said they are casual trousers so no big deal. 

The Ramie Linen is from Textile Express and is such an amazing texture! It's soft, but has a weird bobbly texture that feels really durable. 

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Last of the Summer Sewing V

 Just thought I'd throw out a little end of August round-up of some other makes that never got blogged this summer.

I had myself a little True Bias revival during the hotter days and whipped out the ol' Southport Dress pattern. I'd made this many years ago and needless to say I had to cut fresh pattern pieces for my new size. I'd forgotten how lovely this pattern is to sew. The bound neckline and arms are great and the front button placket can easily be made 'faux' as the dress just pops on over your head anyway.

The fabric is some lovely Lady McElroy viscose from the stash but I really liked the bright pink tones in there. I never had myself down as a 'pink' kind of person but I do like a bright fuschia!

Also in the stash I found a bit of purple cords and some pink binding so they did the job nicely! I must remember this pattern for next year should holidays become a thing again as it's a great option for throwing on and keeping cool.

I also made an Ogden Cami dress a couple of months ago, again when any fabric near the skin was annoying due to the heat. Seems like the Ogden 'dress hack' is having a thing right now so a good time to share this make.

The only change to make it into a dress was to lengthen the pattern, and make sure that it was big enough to go over my hips at the side seams. 

The fabric is a freesia print viscose originally from Fabric Godmother but had been in the stash a few years. Another I'd been saving for a special occasion but we have learnt these may never come so this lovely dress was made :)

A nice feature of this dress is that I gave it adjustable straps! I had some rose gold bra findings so used those on the straps so that it was more comfortable to fit and stop sliding off my shoulders. I need to remember to do this on future cami tops as it's really useful for my one slopey shoulder.

I had a good chunk of the freesia fabric left so I thought I'd try something entirely different -  The Hunter Tank by Jennifer Lauren.


 Not a style I've ever worn before but I figured it would look nice with high waist jeans (on the off chance I'll ever fit into those again).

It's cut on the bias so that was also a new one for me. The neckline and arms are bound with yellow bias tape. The top itself didn't actually take up too much fabric. I definitely didn't pattern match as you can see! 

Not worn yet but I will be giving it a go when it's trousers weather. Which is probably in about 5 minutes given how changeable it is right now.

Lastly a bit of menswear! I've made quite a few Liesel + Co t-shirts in bamboo jersey for the fella, however a photo is quite elusive! The pattern is lovely though and fits really well. Here's the black version (rainbow coverstitch of course heehee).

Wardrobe By Me also brought out some men's 'summer pants' and these turned out to be brilliant! I cut a size 3XL and didn't have to make any alterations at all. 

 They have a faux fly, side pockets, elastic waist also with a drawstring and the back has a yoke and flat felled seams making them look really well thought out. For me, there are about 8 pieces too many with regards to the pocket and waistband however it's a very well drafted pattern and expertly done. My machine did struggle at some points where there were about 6 layers of fabric where the pocket, facings and waistband all sat on top of each other. I'd be tempted to leave out the pocket facings next time as they were structured enough due to the fabric. 

These are made in Ramie Linen from Textile Express and it's such a good fabric. Soft but sturdy and durable. These are the shade 'midnight' however I also bought purple (for myself) and a denim look version too. The denim version was however vetoed by husband as he said he didn't want to look like he was wearing cut-offs! 

So at least someone got successful shorts this summer!!

Onwards into September 2020 then people, I wonder what's next...

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