Mercy, Mercy Me

I bought a new to me magazine last month, but not new to the sewing world!  I thought I’d try out the Ottobre magazines, as some people think they’re a better option to Burda.  Unfortunately there aren’t as many each year as the Burda, only one for Spring/Summer and one for Autumn Winter.  They’re around £11 each and this one contains 18 patterns.  The one I got is Spring/Summer 2020.

First impressions. The styles aren’t as “trendy” as the Burda, but there is a good variety of items.  Three patterns stood out to me, a pair of trousers, a jersey top and a camisole top.  So for £11 it’s not bad value, especially when you consider the Burdas are now £7.50 an issue and I often find nothing I want to make.  My measurements put me in the same size as the Burda sizing, but these patterns all go from a 34 to a 52, so much more inclusive than Burda.

I traced the pattern for the trousers #8, the Utility Pants, in the size 44.  Looking at the pattern, the crotch depth is much deeper than I’d expect.  Chris made a pair last year and commented that they didn’t fit as expected, definitely a crotch fit issue.  I noticed the zip opening seemed very low.  Once toiled, I also needed to check on just where the pattern was supposed to sit!  On Chris the waistband sits on the hip, as does the one on the model.  On me, much higher up.

Toile issues…  Too wide on the waist, take in total 4cm.  Pants too wide to around mid-thigh, then getting too snug around the knee area and definitely too snug around the calf.  The crotch was also defintely hinkey.  It wasn’t close enough to the body, it was too long by about 4cm and had too much fabric, causing bunching in an akward area!  So here’s what I did.

Pants pattern crotch adjustments. Original line marked in red.
  • Shortened the crotch depth by 1cm at the crotch depth line.
  • Took in the inseam in the front by 1cm from the crotch to mid-thigh, then out again by 1cm at the knee down to the hem.
  • Lifted the crotch curve just over 1cm and altered the shape of the curve.  In the front, the centre front seam was moved in half a centimetre to remove excess fabric and tapered to the original CF spot at the top.
  • Shortened the zip opening by 5cm.
  • Crotch curve in the back – also lifted 1cm, curve adjusted by moving in 1cm and tapering to the original line 10cm below the waistline.
  • Back waistline dropped 1cm in centre back, tapering to the original side seam.
  • Back inseam adjusted the same as the front.
  • Side seams, back and front:  took in 0.75cm at top of waistband, tapering to 1cm at the bottom of the waistband.  From the top of the trousers, 1cm taken in all the way to just below the crotch depth line where it goes back to the orignal line, then tapers out 1cm by the knee and then straight down to the hem.
  • Shortened legs by 2cm by double turning the original 2cm hem depth.

The crotch adjustments take out the excess fabric that was causing bunching and weird lines, front and back.  The zip shortening makes it look so much better, no-one needs a zip opening that long, they usually stop at the hip line.

There’s only one thing I’d change when I make the next pair, use two, smaller buttons in the waistband.  At almost 6cm in width, it would work better with two buttons than the one.  I just might take half a centimetre out of the trouser leg width, all depending on the fabric used!  So yes, despite all the adjusting, I will be making another pair.

Making wasn’t tricky.  I cut the pocket linings from cotton remnants, as well as the inner waistband pieces and the underside of the belt tabs.  The welt pocket at the back makes the welt, folded up, you don’t need to cut seperate welt pieces.  This cuts out bulk!  The tabs were going to be purely decorative, but at the last minute I made working buttonholes.  All seams are overlocked, simple but effective.

Fabric notes;  I bought 3m of a cotton/linen twill from Fabworks last month, loving the brilliant blue colour.  I hadn’t expected it to be quite so sturdy and stretch-less when it arrived, so it prompted a re-think on the patterns I was going to use.  Originally I thought I’d make a dress or jumpsuit, but there’s not enough movement for that.  So, new plan was to make more trousers!  There is no movement in this fabric at all, so perfect for Landers!  That’s what I’ll be making with the rest of the 3m length.  They still have some black and a mossy/khaki colour, which I’m tempted to get for a short Sienna Maker Jacket.

I don’t want to get too distracted with “maybe” projects though, I have the Olya Shirt from Paper Theory waiting to be toiled, waiting rather patiently since October!!  So while I have a foot injury and cannot get to the allotment, I need to get on with the sewing, at least I can sit for that!

Red Brick Linen

After a successful winter making terracotta/parika/rust coloured trousers to counter the denim, black and grey, it was time to do the same with the summer wardrobe – assuming summer is actually on the way (along with getting out of lockdown)!  I bought a little pile of fabrics from Rainbow Fabrics in the Autumn, one of which was a piece of viscose linen in what I thought was rust, but turns out to be more a red brick/terracotta colour.  No matter, I still like the colour, and it will still work with my summer wardrobe!

Burda trousers 102 July 2009

Having already decided on using a tried and tested pattern, Burda 102 from July ’09, I thought it would be a straightforward project.  But it seems I’ve done a lot of scribbling on the traced pattern in the past, jumped around with sizes and shortening locations, and generally just made a mess.  So I retraced the pattern, the 42 and 44 and toiled the 44, straight – no alterations.  I prefer to do that with a pattern I’m using for the first time, then I can see what I need to alter.  Given the different cuts and styles, you can’t really assume too much before-hand.  I knew I’d need to shorten the leg, guessing around 6 or so cm, and that there would need to be some sort of fiddling with the crotch depth/length.  And possibly some faffing with the waist….

In the end, I took a total of 5.5cm out of the leg length, 2.5 in the area between hip and knee and the remainder at the hem.  The waistband fitted just fine, but I felt the crotch depth was too short.  On measuring the crotch length, and comparing it to the length of the Teddy pants, which are really comfortable, I realised I needed to add 4cm to the overall length.  So I lengthened the crotch depth 1cm and added another centimetre to the depth of the waistband.  This made all the difference and the pants are now perfectly comfortable to wear!

Finding a suitably coloured zip was impossible, so a red one has sufficed.  I used some African waxed cotton for the inside waistband, which helps with stability (no stretching out of linen on my waistband!)  The insides are all overlocked to keep them neat and tidy, and found the right button in my stash. 

I love the richness of the colour and I just hope it doesn’t fade.  This is one problem I’ve been finding with the terracotta coloured fabric.  This particular piece is lovely, there’s something devine about a linen and viscose blend.  So much so, that when Rainbow Fabrics released new fabrics last month and I saw they had more – I bought more!!  This time the colour is more paprika/rust, and I have 3m…  I need to decide whether to make another Zadie Jumpsuit or the Wildwood Wrap Dress from Sew House Seven!  I bought the dress pattern when it came out – even though I’m not a dress person – because I just loved how it looked on everyone!  I have yet to trace and toile the pattern though!

 

Luxury Pyjamas

Better late than never with this post!!  I have a very quiet time on IG and here in the lead up to Christmas time because I was busy making presents!  Then we had the announcement that Chirstmas wasn’t happening the way we’d all planned and I had to post everything.  I waited for the mad rush to be over before I sent mine, I really didn’t want my handmade items getting lost or going missing in the huge pile the post office had to deal with all of a sudden.  Which all means getting photos of said items was heavily delayed.  But I have some now!

Grown up pyjamas

I’d decided to make luxurious pjs for the girls for Christmas – proper, grown-up pjs!  I looked at all sorts of fabrics;  double gauze, flowing viscose, tencel and cotton lawn.  I knew Daughter No1 would want hers in a plain fabric, and I tried very hard to find a terracotta or something that looks like it’s been dyed with avocado.  In the end I decided I really wanted tencel, it would give the luxurious feel I was after, would be lovely to sleep in, and not get hot!  But budget constraints hit hard, tencel is expensive!  In the end I found some tencel twill in suitable plain colours from The Fabric Room, minimum order was 3m per fabric, which is fine for a pair of pjs!

I ordered two samples and waited.  They were quick to come and I was perfectly happy with both.  The colour, handle and drape were perfect, so I jumped in and ordered 3m of each of two colours.  They were realtively quick to arrive, given the pressures the postal service was under at the end of November and  beginning of December.

The pattern for Daughter No 1 was going to be the Carolyn PJ pants.  I chose a couple of sizes bigger in the width, to give the baggy look she was after, and an oversized shirt pattern from Burda.  She wanted the “I’m wearing my bigger boyfriend’s shirt” look.  The pj trousers were to be simple, no piping.  I should have found a way to get her leg length correct though, I need to go back and shorten the trousers!  The tencel sewed so beautifully, creases steam out quickly and, when pressed, it stays in place.  I used French seams throughout  to give the pants a high quality, and double turned the trouser hem.  There are no raw edges here!

Shirt 120b Burda 10/2016

The top was chosen a, because it was nice and big but proportionally still worked for a small size, and b, because it was long enough to be able to be worn without pants if wanted.  It has a shirt hem that is longer in the back than the front.  The pattern is shirt 120B from Burda October 2016, link to the German site, as the other one is as useful as a chocolate teapot.  The shirt has a front button band, small collar and stand and a back yoke that comes forward to the front with angled seams.  The sleeve is nice and wide and inserted on the flat, pleated into a buttoned cuff.  I’ve liked this pattern for ages, so when Daughter No1 hinted that she wanted an oversized shirt for pjs, this was the first one I thought of!

Again, it’s French seamed throughout and has double turned hems, lightweight fusible interfacing on cuffs, buttonband and collar pieces.  The buttons are from my stash of mother-of-pearl buttons.  I only use these for special projects, and when that project has reached the end of its life, the expectation is that the buttons are returned to live again on another project!  I really love the sky-blue colour of this tencel twill, and the sandwashed effect it has. 

Pj top details

 

The pyjamas were met with delight, once they were posted!  We had hit a snag with the sudden announcement of level 4 restrictions in London before Christmas, and again when Christmas travel was severely restricted, so we were unable to deliver in person.  However, thank goodness for WhatsApp and video calling!  The pjs have gone down a treat and I know she’s happy with her proper, grown-up pjs!

Work in Progress Wednesday 3/21

Sewing plans for March!  Having managed to get the coat finished in time has given me a bit of a boost, and I’ve decided on three new projects for the month, providing all goes well!  I have some yummy fabric to use up, and I fancy some new, spring/summer appropriate trousers.  Two are new patterns and one is a pattern I’ve used in the past, but haven’t made up in the last 5 years, so…  Toile time!!

First, the patterns.  I’ve been disappointed with Burda’s offerings this last year.  If you’re not a skirt/dress person, there really isn’t much to make, unless you’re into lots of loose, floppy tops.  But, there’s a pattern in the March magazine that interests me, and I think it might look good in the cotton/linen twill I got from Fabworks last month.  The colour is even better in real life, so glad I got 3m!!  It’s a sturdy fabric, the cotton definitely plays more of a role in the feel and body of the fabric than the linen does.  Which means no flowing linen pants, but something with a bit more shape.

collage burda 107 03 2021

Pants 106 & 107 are basically the same pattern, but it’s 107 that I’ll go with.  Only one little problem – no pockets!  I’m sorry, but trousers need pockets!!  So, I’ll toile them to check fit and length and whether or not I actually like them first, and then see if I can get pockets in there somewhere.  I don’t think a patch pocket on the bum will look wrong, but I think the answer might be in-seam pockets.

collage ottobre pants

With 3m of fabric to play with, I want to make something from a new-to-me company, Ottobre.  I bought the 2020 Spring/Summer magazine and there’s a pair of trousers there I can see myself wearing – and guess what…  It has pockets!  It’s pattern #8, Utility  Pants in cotton twill, so perfect for the fabric.  These I’m definitely going to toile as I’ve never used this company before and hae zero idea of how they’ll fit.  I am crossing my fingers though, I don’t want to have wasted the £11 for the book!!

burda 102 07 2009

And on to the third pair.  This is a pattern I’ve use a fair bit, but forgotten I had until recently!  My tailoring student had a question about frog mouth pockets and, after saying “what?” I found they were a popular shape pocket in the 60s in men’s pants, and favoured by James Bond!  On seeing the photos, I remembered this pattern and hauled it out.  It’s trousers 102 from the July 2009 Burda.   It has the same pocket shape.  I had thought I could use this pattern for the twill, but I think it’s too sturdy, but I also have some teracotta linen in the stash that I bought last summer….  I’ll toile the pattern because I have unfolded the shortenings, made too many contrasting pencil notes and drawn too many lines in the past over the seam lines to accommodate changing shapes!  I’ll start with a straight 44 and see what needs to change from there.

102 07 2009 burda

I’m looking forward to making these!  The weather is set to take a spring dip for the next few days, so it’ll be indoors anyway.  Once I’ve finished my admin tasks, I’ll dig out the tracing paper and get cracking.  Nothing better than sewing up a storm while the wind and the rain batter everything outside!

What March plans do you guys have??

Mother’s Day Coat

I’ve finally made it!!  I honestly cannot remember when I got the fabric for this coat, but it was a good few years back, for Mother’s Day.  I’d seen it on the Fabrics Galore website and hinted to the girls that if they were looking for a present but hadn’t found anything yet….  Naturally the hint worked, and the fabric duly arrived.  I had an idea of what I wanted, a coat with a simple shape without too much detail, to show off the woven pattern in the fabric.  Eventually I saw Stephanie’s coat, and then other versions appeared, and I knew this was the one, Burda 6772, now out of print.

D72958A0-3B31-4186-9F8E-10B2D6BE8E06
Burdastyle Coat 6772

I’ve been meaning to get the coat made ever since buying the pattern, but for some reason spring and summer pass by in a flash and I never get round to it!  Last year I decided it was my “year of coats” and added it to the list.  I made 2 and a quarter of the coats on the list before everything changed and the world turned upside down.  So here we are again, a new year and another Spring season.  But this time it’s different, this time I have my Spring coat!  Made from Mother’s Day fabric, in time to wear for Mother’s Day!

I decided on version A, but to keep it simple, eliminated the belt and belt loops.  And because I want to have warm arms in Spring, used the full length sleeves of version B.  At first I thought of a contrasting colour for the lining, but reminded myself that I was supposed to be keeping things simple, so kept it blue!

mum coat 2

mum 9

I made a toile of the bodice to check for fit across the bust and decided to make an adjustment in the bust area for depth, but not width.  This increased the size of the bust dart which had an impact on the stripe matching later.  I also shortened the upper bodice and sleeve depth by a centimetre, and made a small full bicep adjustment to the two piece sleeves.  The shoulders were also narrowed by a centimetre, which doesn’t sound like much, but it moves the armhole into the right position.   A second toile proved I’d got the kinks out, and once the skirt was pinned on to the front and folded up a lot, I had the overall issues sorted!  The skirt was shortened by 8cm in the end!  I definitely think I’ve got the right length.

mum coat 7

mum coat 4

The coat is interfaced with speed tailoring interfacing, a mixture of a fine sheer fo the facings, and a woven weft insertion for the back stay, sleeve heads and the t-piece in the front.  The hems of the skirt piece and sleeves are interfaced with weft insertion interfacing cut on the bias. I also made a chest plastron from canvas and used some of the same in the collar stand for more rigidity.  Shoulder pads complete the structure.

mum coat 5

mum coat 8

Lining is a pretty blue viscose lining from Fabworks, I ordered a metre which was enough for the main, and used grey and white striped lining from the stash for the sleeves.  Buttons were from the stash too!  I love it when I don’t need to go button shopping, because, lets face it – I have enough buttons.  I managed to get the stripes to match up in most places, but I obviously wasn’t as careful as I would have liked!  In some areas they are out, and there’s just nothing I can do about it now.  I guess that means my head wasn’t quite as focused on the job as I would have liked.  With the sleeve, I decided to match the pattern from the armhole down, rather that try to match in across the front and back.  This is because of the bodice dart affecting the stripe placement.

mum coat 6
Destashed buttons for the win!

mum coat 1

mum coat 3

I think I might be getting to the stage when I can say, I have enough coats too!  Never thought I’d be saying that!!  I just have two more on the list I really want to get made, one being a waterproof that I want this summer.  I bought navy oilskin from Merchant and Mills in 2016 and it’s still on the roll in the corner of my sewing room!  I also want to make a peacoat from fabric I’ve had for more than 10 years…  I have the lining – silk Liberty, and the pattern is traced and ready to toile.  One day!

Papaver Gigantus

Until last weekend – halfway through the month- not much sewing had been done in February, excluding a little coat toiling.  I just haven’t been in the mood, and I was waiting for fabric to come to lift me out of my funk!  At the end of January I ordered a whole pile of flower seeds, and 1.5m of poppy print viscose from Selvedge and Bolts.  The fabric arrived a week later, the seeds took another week!

Anyway, the fabric on the website was super delicious, and I thought long and hard about whether or not I really need it.  In the end, I decided on a pattern and ordered the 1.5m I needed, no extra!  But when it came I was disappointed, to be perfectly honest.  It had a shine I was not expecting – and, to be honest,  I thought I’d bought viscose lining.  I left it in my sewing room for a day or two before I could look at it properly, and then threw it in the wash, maybe that would make the finish better.  It still has a sheen, that’s because it has a satin weave that I hadn’t bargained on.   I really do need to order samples before spending my limited funds!!

poppy 2
Top E from Asuka Hamada’s Sweet Clothes

In the end, the girls convinced me to make the top I’d planned, and then see how I felt.  So I went ahead and cut out another version of the Top E from Asuka Hamada’s Sweet Clothes.  This was the top I saw in my mind’s eye when I bought the fabric.  As usual, I cut the sleeve on the cross grain to fit the width.  I’ve used French seams throughout and double turned the hem.  The cuffs and bias neck trim are stitched on the inside by hand.  I did the bias by hand because I knew it would slip and slink around under the machine and drive me mad!  Unfortunately, because of the nature of the fabric, you now see all the tiny catches made when stitching.  I might just run it under the machine now anyway, can’t get any worse!

poppy 4

poppy 1

poppy 5

I still love the print, it’s so huge and gorgeous, but I am wondering now if a top with a smaller sleeve wouldn’t have been better….  Oh well, it’s too late now!!  I am looking forward to wearing this with the rest of my wardrobe, and it’ll be lovely in the summer.

collage poppy

On the coat front, toiles are all done, alterations made and the cutting out and interfacing has started.  I’ve not got that far, again, I’m just not in the mood, and that’s very unlike me!  I’m thinking back to February last year and how worried we all were for my Dad who’d gone into hospital, and my Mum who was left holding and juggling all the balls.  It’s the lead up to a not very good time, and I think deep down I’m struggling a little.  I had hoped sewing would give me something else to focus on, especially as I cannot get into the garden yet and it’s a bit too early to sow too many of my new seeds! I’ll get there, but it will be much slower than usual.

Sewing Japanese in January

Finally!  I have finally, after two and a bit years, made a pattern from the book “Basically 7 Dresses”.  Except that it isn’t a dress.  But nevermind, it’s done, and I like it!  In my first Work in Progress Wednesday of the year, I shared the beginning stages of the project, toiling and making the alterations to the pattern.  I needed a bit more time than I thought to find a fabric to make it up in though, it turns out my stash consists of less usable-to-me fabrics than I first thought!  But I won’t go into that now.

sjin 1
Blouse from Basically 7 Dresses and Kana’s Standard trousers

I did decide on using some of a 3m piece of cotton voile bought from Seasalt a while ago.  I love the muted blue background and off white seagulls, perfect combination for a summer top – which means not so good to photograph in the middle of winter – brrr!  As it’s a lovely drapey, thin fabric, I’ve used French seams throughout, and stabilised the top collar and facings with some fine sheer fusible interfacing.  I also opted for lightweight shell buttons, although I really wanted to use some of the vintage glass ones in my button drawer!

collage sjin
Blouse details

sjin 2

I went through the trouble of doing a FBA on this, but now it’s finished, I wish I’d added less across the front, it has lost some of the shape and definition. However, I’m sure that when it’s hot and humid in the summer, it’ll be fine.  Right now though, it lets the draft in!  I also think it’ll look better in a plain fabric, to be honest I feel this has gone dowdy – fast!  Something to think of for next time, the facings in the armhole have a tendency to flap out when putting it on – might not be such a problem for someone with skinnier arms.  So I’ll topstitch the facing down around the armhole instead of just catching it at the shoulder and under arm seams.

sjin 4

Once the top was done, I realised I might want a new pair of trousers to go with it.  And I had just the piece of left over cotton twill in a nice dark navy in the stash.  The fabric has a lovely sheen to it, and is super yummy to wear.  To go with the theme, I chose to make another pair of the trousers from Kana’s Standard, book number 1.  The pants are in section B, and I decided on the longest, narrowest version of those, style f.  Now this version has straps attached to the top, making braces – I left those off.  I had to retrace my pattern, goodness knows what I’d been doing with the last tracing, it was a mess! 

sjin 5

These are the size 13 – the biggest size in the book – and they are perfect.  I had previously graded the pattern up 2 sizes, then spent the last two years making the pants that used that pattern two sizes smaller!   The elastic in the back waistband makes them rather comfy!  I can see these being worn loads in both season’s wardrobes, rolled up at the hem, they’re fine for summer.  By making the longer length, they are also perfectly sized for my short legs!  The hem breaks nicely on the top of my foot, so I can wear them in winter without my socks showing.  They’re also well stocked with good sized pockets, two hip-yoke pockets in front and two patch pockets in the back.  Practically perfect pants!

sjin 3
Distracted by the blackbird tossing all the leaves out of the gutter while racing down the gutter at speed!

I can’t wait for the weather to turn – I know we still have to survive February, but the signs are there, snowdrops are up, hellebores are flowering and the daffs are showing pointy green growth.  But I’m getting itchy to plant seeds and get gardening again, I just want to be outside in the sun!

Work in Progress Wednesday 2/2021

In amongst all the quick fix projects and, of course, the Sewing Japanese in January, I have started work on a coat pattern.  This particular coat pattern has been in the making queue for some time, at least 5 years!  Every spring I commit to getting it made, and every autumn I put the fabric back in the cupboard, because I haven’t got round to it.  But not this year.  I have the pattern, and I have actually cut it out!!!  Mind you only the pattern – let’s not get carried away!    I’ve checked the measurements of the pattern against my measurements and have been looking at what adjustments will be needed.

So, what am I going to make?  I have a length of blue and white cotton jacquard that the girls bought me for Mother’s Day ages ago, I just fell in love with it.  Then, in 2016 I saw a coat that Stephanie from Sea of Teal had just made, and it all clicked!  That was the pattern I wanted for the fabric!  A spring/summer coat, perfect.  The pattern is Burda 6772, unfortunately it doesn’t look like you can buy it anywhere at the moment!

img_4419
Burda 6772

According to measurements, I’ll be making the 44 with a small FBA and narrowing the shoulders.  I might technically get away without an FBA, will need to toile the pattern as is before deciding.  There is a hitch though, this pattern has a sidebody.  Princess seams result in a side front, this has been attached to the side back as one piece, so you have centre back, side piece and centre front.  I’ve not done an FBA with a sidebody before, so this could be interesting….

burda 6772
Measurement comparison, in centimetres

So, according to those measurements, I’d need to add 4cm of ease across the bust, 2cm at the waist but nothing on the hip.  If I start by toiling the 44 as is, I know the bust will fit, but it will be too big across the shoulders and upper chest.  I’ll have to figure out which way will work better for me.  I guess that means it’s time to dig out the scrap fabric and start sewing.  See you on the other side, but first, I have admin to finish so the toiling will have to wait for the weekend.

Contrasts

I made another LB Pullover on the day I started the Teddy Pants!  I had some left-over black wool from a pair of trousers made years ago, not enough for another pair, sadly.  I had thought to cut the top part of the Assembly Line A-Line dress and make a top, but there wasn’t enough space for all the pieces, when I thought of the LB.  Sure enough, it fitted and I cut it out!  It makes up so quickly!  I thought it might be a little scratchy on the neck, but so far so good, a perfect extra layer for those cold days.  Now I know, I have a few of these now, but you know, it’s a darn good pattern, so comfy to wear.  I have no problem making numerous versions of the same pattern – hence the 5 pairs of Teddy Pants!

black lb 1

I have made myself an unofficial pledge to use up my stash, not that it’s huge, it’s just there.  It’s time for me to start with the fabric and find a pattern, rather than the other way around!  And if I can’t find anything, instead of offering the fabric to the girls, I’m going to sell it on, let someone else have the joy of making something lovely.  It’s the same principal with the vintage patterns.  I don’t need to hoard hundereds of vintage patterns!  What for??  Let someone else have them, use them, frame them, whatever.  They don’t deserve to be hidden in my sewing room in a chest of drawers.

black lb 2
Yes, it was windy, but I wanted photos outside in the sun! So now I have a moustache….

I was hunting for fabric for the top for my Japanese Sewing contribution when I re-found some white linen in the linen box.  I’ve had it a while, it’s a sturdy, thickish weave – plenty of body to hold a shape.  I’m pretty sure I made a while inin skirt for Daughter No2 out of the rest of it, years and years ago now!  I tried cutting some Kana’s Standard trousers out of it last summer, but there isn’t enough, and it isn’t drapey at all. But I had a brainwave.

white lb 2

To use it up and get it out of the stash, I’ve made another LB Pullover!  Short sleeve with simple neckband, it’ll be good to wear in the summer.  I used the bias neckband, cut to the height for the crew-neck, I love the way it stands up!  It’s got a 60s vibe now.  The neckband had to be cut in two pieces, which left a join at the centre front.  So I decided to accentuate it by adding a vintage glass button.  The thickness of the linen makes it stand away from the body – which is going to be perfect when the humidity reappears.

white lb 1

I also dug out a pile of linen leftovers.  They’re all pieces I couldn’t get rid of when making trousers, but honestly, what can you do with such small pieces?  Well, I’m going to try to assemble them into a decent looking top!  It’ll be patchwork pieced, but I hope to make it neat.  And it’ll remind me of all those trousers I’ve made in shades of blue linen over the years!!  Talking of patching pieces, there were some bits of stripey jersey in another box – they’ll either become a Lark Tee or a Basic Instinct tee for the summer.  The colours all go, and as they’re all viscose jersey, they should all behave in the same way too.  Fingers crossed!

white lb 3

It seems my go-to for a quick top is either the LB Pullover, or the Uvita Tee!  I have to admit, they’re so useful in my wardrobe, take very little time to whip up and aren’t fabric hungry.  But they aren’t overly challenging.  Then again, in the current climate, I don’t actually want too many projects that are challenging!!  Sometimes you just want to go into the sewing room and run something up – not needing acres of instructions and hours of thought.  Just get in and sew!  Anyone with me?

Just Like Heaven

 

My terracotta journey continues!  The guys at Rainbow Fabrics must have thought I was going mad last year when my order consisted of terracotta coloured everything:  linen, brushed cotton twill, viscose woven and viscose jersey!  They’re all slightly different shades, but essentially will fulfill my desire for a neutral with pop.  On ordering the viscose jersey, I already knew exactly what I would be making – and that’s the only piece of fabric that had a definite plan!

cowl 3
Self-drafted cowl tee

A few years ago, probably more than I’d like to think, I made a pattern for a cowl drape tee, from my own tee block.  Unfortunately I have none of the original notes or experiment pattern pieces, but I did find that the instructions that yeilded the best pattern actually came from a menswear pattern drafting book!  Now, I’ve never seen a guy wearing a cowl drape tee, and I’m not sure it’s an image that sits gently on the mind….  Although maybe if it’s a high cowl – but not as deep as mine! (apparently, men’s cowl neck tees are a thing!!)

cowl 2

According to the notes on the front piece of my pattern, this is version 3.  I seem to remember trying out different cowl depths to get it just right, but that was for the stable knit I was going to be using, this is going to be different!  The original tee is made from a stable knit and has three quarter length sleeves.  This time I wanted long sleeves, that’s an easy adjustment.  I knew the fibre content of the jersey would have a big impact on the look of the drape, and I was quite excited to get on and make and wear it!

cowl 1

I am completely in love with the result!  The colour is better than I’d imagined, even with similarly coloured hair!  I’d always avoided the “autumn” colour pallette, because I can’t  couldn’t stand orange (or any of the other warm shades).  But I have to admit, this works, although you won’t see me embracing orange-orange just yet!  (or yellow…)  Mind officially blown guys.  The jersey is just devine, it fells like silk!  Knowing how drapey viscose jersey is, I reinforced the shoulder seams with vilene bias tape, and extended that courtesy to the back neckline too.  It was made on the overlocker, using the twin needle on the sewing machine for hems.

Now I’m off to wear my new tee with everything, I just hope it’s not a pain to iron….