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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