Myosotis Mash Up

I just wanted to hop on today and share a little 'mash up' make using the Deer & Doe Myosotis dress pattern.

A while back I went on an absolute 'shirt bender' trying to find the perfect loose fitting shirt for hot summer days, but when you need to cover shoulders and arms. 

It all came about from this BEAUTIFUL fabric - a light, slightly sheer, cotton batiste by Cloud 9 called Island of the Moon (I think). It was from Hey Sew Sister a while back and I stashed it because I didn't want to chop until I was certain. 

Along came the Helen's Closet Cameron, the Fayma (the little said about that the better), the Melilot, The Blouse....but in Goldilocks fashion, they just weren't right for this fabric. 

The a flash of inspiration - my Myosotis (previous versions here) pattern fits my broad back perfectly and without fuss! 

The irony of forgetting this lovely pattern is not lost on me given it's name. ('Forget-Me-Not'). In fact why haven't I made one of these dresses in a while? I need to rectify that. Anyway back to the shirt...

The Myosotis has a lovely sloped collar detail and darts in the front and back. I mashed up this pattern with the Avid Seamstress - The Blouse by taking the bodice shape down, lengthening and omitting the darts. The Mysosotis sleeves were laid against The Blouse and lengthened just below the elbow, and I used that nice cuff detail to finish it off. 

Here's the result!

I actually tried making elastic cuffs but didn't like them. Instead I just made a little interfaced rectangle and applied that to the sleeve cuff, pleating the excess into it. 

One of my favourite details is the buttons, again stash busted. I think they just look like water for the fish and herons.

Sally from Secret Life of a Seamstress and Cath of Made By Cath Craft are running a #SewMashUp challenge over on Instagram this July so the timing is perfect!

Here is the shirt in action with Clyde photobombing again. 

Let me know of your successful mashed up patterns! 

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Sauvie the Summer Saviour

This week has been the hottest on record in the UK reaching 40 degrees (104 F) and we all just came to a standstill as Brits just aren't designed for that kind of thing. Anything above or below 'grey' is cause to raise an eyebrow.

One thing that absolutely kept me going this week was the new Sauvie pattern by Sew House Seven.

The pattern calls itself a 'strappy sundress' (although the straps are a really nice width) for when you need 'comfort and ease in the hot summer months. Done deal.


 Measurements put me at a 14/16/18 grade and I went with that. You can easily test the fit of this dress by making up the facing and pinning the straps which is really handy. No need to waste all your fabric if the facing isn't right. Fortunately it was which was a pleasant surprise. This shorter version below is a wearable toile.

The fabric for my toile version is a ladybird print viscose from Soimoi Fabrics - it doesn't feel as soft as previous viscose I've had from them and is a little bit more like a cotton mix.

The dress has lovely long bust darts going upwards on the bodice and the pockets are huge. There's a couple of pocket versions and I chose the one where it's one layer stitched to the outer of the dress. No flapping about then. 

 The instruction on this pattern are fantastic - 25 pages of illustrated guidance with a great method of construction for the bodice. 

 There is a choice to put elastic at the waist but I wasn't keen on that. The facing is long and the elastic gets popped into tunnel made between the facing and dress however when I pinned it, it was a bit more empire line on me and looked - off.  So I left it.

The shaping of the neckline is gorgeous. I do love a deep V - but one where you can still wear a bra. This definitely fits this criteria. In fact there's a beautiful little addition of a 'bra strap keeper' where you can snap your straps into the dress so they don't show. 

A detail I fail miserably to demonstrate here in the pictures as I'd forgotten to do that part! It was far too hot to retake pictures so you'll have to trust me on that. (I have a slopey shoulder hence why it always does this)

I'll be honest I didn't like my dress when I first made it. I thought it was a bit sack like and shapeless however I seem to have reached for it several times since I made it. It is a definite win for a hot day just worn loose and barely touching your skin. 


 Despite my reservations I thought I'd try the maxi length version but make a tie belt for it to give some waist shape. This one I loved. The drapier fabric gave it more flow and it's a really easy wear.

The fabric for the long version is a gifted fabric from Minerva - it is their new Exclusive Range Viscose Challis in the print 'candy confetti'. So full disclaimer again, I was given this fabric in exchange for a post on their website which you can see here if you want to.

The colours are fantastic, and although this was a gifted fabric, I did go on to buy a fair amount of the other prints as they are lovely to work with.
 


 It's now a pattern I think I will repeat as it shows off a good print and is great to just throw on for the day. In my latest obsession with 'what to do with fabric scraps', no doubt I may also use this to make a cami top!

Just one more thing.... The Fabric Wrangler sent me a little label present a while back, so it went in this dress. 

 I don't entirely agree but it makes the facing of my dress more fun that's for sure!


 Hopefully this mini review is useful to someone out there - until the next time :)

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Esther Shorts - Not Esther's Shorts

 Just to be clear. I have not made a pair of shorts for Esther. Although she did stop by to check out her namesake pattern... She is getting bigger so they might fit one day.

Now I don't want to speak to soon buy I may have found the best shorts pattern ever. And trust me I've tried MANY shorts

These came about by chance because Tessuti contacted me and said they loved my red Lois dress, and would I like to choose another of their patterns?! Errr yes please. After a little browse the Esther Shorts pattern called out and I picked those. 

Just FYI, I was not asked to blog, post or whatever about this pattern so this is done of my own accord and not a 'paid for' or 'advert' for Tessuti.But it turns out it's another great Tessuti pattern so worth a share.

The only thing about Tessuti patterns that is a bit of a shame, is that they stop at a size 16. I am a 16 so I did think these shorts would be another gamble on fit and I was very much expecting them to be too small and too tight around the ol' big butt.

I have some viscose linen in the stash for making toiles so I quickly cut out a pair of the shorts in a straight 16 and didn't think much about them. Then some kind of Australian pattern drafting magic occurred.

Hello shorts - no changes!!!!!!! 


 The 16 fit absolutely fine, the crotch curve was insanely accurate and required no messing about and if anything I could take the waist in a fraction but didn't - cos comfy.

I think there must be something about Australian designers. Both Tessuti and Style Arc have been winners for me in terms of body shape fit. Do I have an Australian booty?!

Excuse the pictures - I'd had Covid and this was the first time I'd been upright and out in two weeks, rocking a fever in a heatwave is not a comfortable vibe!

 The styling of this pattern is lovely. There's a high waisted, vintage feel about them and I liked the fact there was also some leg coverage. The pattern pieces are simple, but so well drafted again.

I made my 'real pair' out of some Cloud 9 canvas linen. I believe this came from Hey Sew Sister originally and the print is called 'Under One Sky' which is just such a beautiful name. 

Unfortunately these are pretty tight as I had forgotten how much stiffer the fabric was than the toile. They may give a little with wear but they are definitely not easy to zip up! Esther may inherit these after all.

Cheeky little Clyde popping into these pictures for a nosey and an attempted toe-bite.

Having made these Esther Shorts and the Lois dress (which is now one of my favourite patterns and a TNT) it does make me want to try a few more Tessuti patterns. Although I'm right on the upper edge of their sizing, I've found both patterns to come out bigger than expected.

Have you tried Tessuti and have any recommendations?

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Harper Cardigan Sinclair Patterns

 Bonjour

Today I'm bringing some FREE pattern action in the form of the Harper Cardigan by Sinclair Patterns.

This came to my attention during the #SewFrugal22 challenge over on Instagram and Youtube this year and I can't believe I've been missing out all this time. 

 

The pattern does bear a striking resemblance to the ol' favourite Blackwood Cardigan by Helen's Closet so I thought it would be interesting to have a go at and see what the differences were. 

For starters, this free Harper Cardigan pattern comes with about 8000 variations. Slight exaggeration but it's not far off! There's cropped, classic, long-line and duster lengths; petite, regular and tall fit; and short mid and long sleeve variations. Oh and the size range is 0-30. All mix and match. Now that's some serious value for ..no money. 


 Sizing put me at a14/16 which translated to a L/XL and I went for those choices to see how it fit. Bang on with that.  

 I initially chose to make the 'long-line' version. However I didn't have enough fabric for the length, so opted chop the 'classic cut'. In actual fact the classic length was perfect and what I was expecting from a longer cardigan anyway. I did cut the 'tall' pattern as the chart put me into that category however at 5'7" I was at the low end of  'tall'. 

The pattern whizzes up like a dream, mostly on the overlocker. Two front pieces, one back, in go the sleeves in the flat then all you're left with is folding and adding the cuffs, hem band and front piece. Optional pockets of course!

I found the sleeves to be very long and so I cut them back the same length as the cuff, to then add the cuff piece back on. The fit of the cardigan is a much more relaxed version of the Blackwood. It's definitely roomier and the front comes in closer to the middle to you can pull it around you a little more if chilly. 


 The only thing that niggles me a bit is the neckband doesn't sit too flat and pokes out a little at the back neck. I think that's user error and I probably haven't stretched the fabric enough across the back neck area enough. However since watching the Sewing Bee and finding out that a feature of a Kimono is that it sits away from the neck at the back, I'm kind of ok with with this 'wrong' detail on my cardigan!

The fabric I used is a painterly stripe jersey from Beyond The Pink Door. I've started watching Andrea's Sunday Night Live Youtube sessions from her shop and it's dangerous for the wallet I tell you.  

If you haven't shopped with her before please do have a look, her fabrics are exceptional quality and the service outstanding. 

My sister loves a cardigan I made her a version from this fantastic Doops Design jersey. It's from Australia and I did get a fair few other pieces aswell to make the postage worth it. I am however pleased to report I did not get stung for additional import fees. Woop.

Another bonus bit of info for you is I also tried to make a 'Full Moon Bag' from Allwell Workshop. Another free pattern! This is a super cute round bag, although not my finest make as it all went a bit 'squashy' and doesn't hold its shape much. I gifted it to my sister none the less and she seemed to like it :)

The fabric is Cloud 9 'Under One Sky', a canvas weight fabric which I cannot remeber for the life of me where I got. My gut says Sew Me Sunshine.

There we have it - a couple of freebie pattern makes. I hope they are useful to someone out there! 

À la prochaine

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Zadie Hack - Paper Theory

Greetings :)

I have been MIA from the blog a little bit just because my sewjo has also gone a little MIA of late. I think I've just not had enough time to get stuck into anything, including taking pictures...hopefully it shall return!

I do have a little backlog of creations though so thought I'd share these Zadie creations. This is the Zadie Jumpsuit by Paper Theory Patterns - a pattern that has reached cult status and seems to be in everyone's me-made wardrobes. Except mine as I'm not a bit jumpsuit wearer. 

 


The Zadie jumpsuit is immaculately drafted, which is why I don't think there's a version out there that isn't brilliant. I had the pleasure of meeting Tara from Paper Theory many years ago at The Sewing Weekender and it's safe to safe she knows her stuff inside out having worked for high street brands and high end couture alike. 

My first go at the Zadie pattern was back in January but I never took any pictures. I then did in April and forgot about them. So here we are in July.

The sizing on this is interesting - the body measurement chart would put me at a 16/18/20. Which initially sounds about right as I tend to be a 16 in other indie patterns.  

There is a lot of ease in this though and The Fabric Wrangler very kindly let me try on her version just to gauge the fit and low and behold - the size 12 fit!! I think if I was doing the full jumpsuit  I would cut a 12/14 for hips however I actually just wanted a tunic version. 


 I used some chicken print fabric from the stash as a toile however it turned out great and I have actually worn this several times. There's a lot of bias binding to make and go around the neckline but I quite like doing that and the end results are worth it. 


 To make this tunic version I simply extended the pattern down from the waist and omitted the pleats. That may be why the 12 fits, with the pleats a 14 would make more sense. 

A second version of a tunic Zadie materialized more recently as I couldn't resist this fantastic 'inky elephant' print viscose linen from Guthrie and Ghani.

This is a gorgeous fabric, really soft and light to wear. I thought it would go nicely with some navy shorts for summer. 

The shape I find to be quite flattering, although perhaps it's because it's not my usual oversized sack style I tend to drown myself in. 

The best thing about the Zadie is that it just stays put. Wrap garments tend to loosen up during the day or I fiddle with them but this just stayed right in place! The cross at the chest doesn't need any help to stay put however I always stitch a little popper on the inside of mine - and I did this on these Zadies too for extra measure. 

The Zadie has so many hacking potentials - tops, tunics, dresses, in addition to the original jumpsuit version. Definitely a satisfying make if you're after simple lines and a beginner friendly experience.

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It's Back and its Hacked - Kew Skirt

 It's been about 2 seconds since I last posted about the Kew pattern from Nina Lee but I thought it deserved another little squeeze onto the blog.... just one more.

The versatility of this pattern is wonderful, as I have previously raved about - sleeve options, skirt options, size inclusion. Mwah :chef kiss:

This project started with the fabric - some wonderful quality rayon from Nerida Hansen. I mean - look at it. There was no way I was passing up on this wonder containing all my favourite things! The design is by The Scenic Route, an Australian illustrator of beautiful things.

I fancied making a button front skirt but came to a massive indecision about the pattern to use as I needed a bit of elastic in the waistband. 

My waistline seems to go in and out with the tides these days so there was a definite need for a bit of 'forgiveness' in that area so there are no makes I can only wear once then not fit into anymore. I had overlooked the Kew skirt at first because of it's fixed waistband - but then I realized those rules don't matter and hacked it. Cos' we can do that.

Boom. Elasticated back waistband. Business at the front, party at the back.

If you want to do this hack - keep the front pieces exactly how they are, they can look all lovely and flat from the front view.

For the back piece - add about 6" to the width of the pattern (about 3" from centre back on fold). Same again for the back waistband piece. That gives you some elastic gathering room for comfy factor!

 (Now let's not pretend it was as easy as that. I initially cut my back piece like a rectangle, the entire width of the hem. When I inserted the elastic into the waistband to bring it in, it was comically huge. I realised I only needed a bit of give that could get over my hips, not an entire blanket of fabric at the back. I chopped out a huge chunk of fabric so this one now has a center back. And I ended up with what should have been a very easy hack to start with.)

 Quite happy to have persevered with this one as the result is really wearable. To attach the elastic I inserted it near the side seam and secured it with a row of stitching. It then got threaded through the back waistband and pinned to the other side seam while I checked the fit. Once happy I just secured that through the waistband too with another stitch line. 

Finishing touches were the buttons that I popped on. These were from Turtlebird. They are functioning button holes but again, I probably should have realized that wasn't necessary as the skirt goes on and off with the elastic! Doh.

Another skirt for the arsenal. It's bringing me out of my anti-skirt mindset as they are a heck of a lot easier to fit that trousers....

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Loving Lois - Tessuti Dress

Today brings a new pattern (for me) and it was such a great find! 


 Whilst I have heard of Tessuti and of course, like many people, tried the free Mandy Boat Tee pattern (which unfortunately doesn't work for me at all), I hadn't really given the patterns on the site much attention.

Enter the Lois Dress which had me intrigued... It's V-neck and floaty and was calling to me. I went for the gamble and bought the pattern. I wasn't convinced it would work well as I had fit issues with the sleeves of the Mandy Boat Tee being too tight for my arms and I fully expected this to be too tight. This was also a concern as my measurements put me in the 16+ range....which doesn't exists. I figured I'd just add a bit of ease.

Before making this I went on an internet deep-dive about the fit and just about every review said it came up really big and to size down. 

I can confirm - this dress comes up big. Size down.

 For the actual size I did start with the 16 to see what happened. The fabric is red poppy viscose from Rainbow Fabrics which I chose for my toile.

What happened is that the 16 fit wonderfully across my back and shoulders. The bit I figured would pull too tight. I did however have to take it in from under the arm to waist so in reality that part is a 14.

This is a hell of a pattern with some very interesting details:

Back Wrap - there are no side seams! The skirt wraps to the back of the dress with some darts that create the shaping at the hips.

Hip Zip - the zip is inserted into the side hip dart. There dress is so roomy, there was absolutely no need for a zip and so my versions, don't have one. 

Beautiful Binding - the method of binding the neckline is amazing. There's some kind of folding and edge stitching magic going on which created a non-gaping, fitted neckline.

Interfacing Insanity - this pattern appears to be sponsored by Vislene as it has you interface just about every edge and seam with stitch and tear - and tear it all off after you have done. I did not do that. I just stay stitched the neckline and the front skirt piece. It was fine. 

Bias Binds - The arm cuff pieces are cut on the bias so ease into the armhole nicely. 

I don't think I've ever worn something so low cut but the fit of the dress is just fantastic at the neckline. I thought it was quite flattering and didn't cause any unwanted flashing when it was worn.

 

That being said I figured that if I could raise the neckline a bit, the pattern could make a great day dress. I picked some really fun poison dart frog rayon from Soimoi who sell through Amazon. (Takes about 3 weeks to arrive from India to UK).


 I made a few changes to the pattern to make this yellow frog version. 

Cuffs - due to fabric constraints I cut these on the grain not bias. They were absolutely fine. 

Bust darts - my original version had the darts in a bit of an odd place so I moved these about 1.5" across the bodice.

Neckline - Melt Stitches has a great photo of how the neckline is raised so I refer you to her site! She had also popped in a few buttons which I thought was a nice detail and so also did the same for mine. (Buttons from Etsy)


 Skirt flare - unfortunately I had to narrow and shorten the skirt pieces due to fabric constraints as I didn't realize it was a fairly narrow piece I had chosen. Works just fine for a day dress though and minimal waste!

Loving Lois.

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