Phoebe Dungarees

 

One item that has been long missing in my wardrobe is a good pair of dungarees. Actually, any pair of dungarees!  I looked at the Turia Dungarees from Pauline Alice when they came out, but didn’t buy them, eventually bought the Burnside Bibs from Sew House Seven last year (still haven’t even traced those!) and spent another year on the allotment without the most perfectly practical item of clothing.  Dungarees.

 

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So exactly why am I so keen on dungarees for the allotment?  Well, in the colder weather I wear an ancient pair of Next jeans.  The elasticity isn’t very good in those anymore and they definitely require the use of a belt.  But they still keep slipping down, so require frequent hoiking up – not easily done with muddy gloves. In the summer I use old linen trousers, they’re generally ok, but also need pulling up now and then. I don’t like tucking my shirts in, so the other problem is tee shirts going the wrong way when I’m weeding or digging.  The wind likes it when it can blow my clothes the wrong way.  So I’m after something that has good pockets, doesn’t need pulling up – or down, and is loose and comfy to wear when I get hot and bothered!

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Enter the best enabler around these days, Instagram.  Sue from Fadinista posted a couple of pairs of dungarees she’d made from a Pattern Union pattern, the Phoebe Jumpsuit with the Bib and Tucker add-on.  It was perfect!  I immediately clicked through to her blog and devoured all the details. I just knew this was the perfect pattern to make for my allotment dungarees, so I clicked through to the Pattern Union website and made my purchase. The Phoebe Jumpsuit pattern is actually FREE! I know, right?! You pay for the add-ons, there’s the Bib & Tucker add-on, a package for pockets, a skirt to make a pinafore, a shirred top version, and now a flared trouser add-on.  I just bought the Bib & Tucker, figuring I could draft my own pockets fairly easily enough.

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The PDF pattern comes with a print at home option, as well as my favourite copy shop version.  Hubby did the honours for me, and I set about tracing.  The pattern has different cup sizes, I made the 14, with D&E cup option, opting for the low-waisted trousers and high waisted top, hoping the right pieces would hit in the right places.  I toiled in an old sheet from the charity shop, and then set about making alterations. The crotch hit me mid-thigh….  The hem finished about 5cm beyond my big toe, and the seam joining top to trousers lay at the top of my hip bone, about 5cm short of my waist. That’s most definitely not what I’d expected for “high-waisted”!! Sooooo….

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I took 5cm out of the leg length, 3cm out of the crotch, kept the low waist trousers, shortened the bodice by 3cm and kept the high waisted line.  I also took up a 4cm deep hem.  And went down a size!  The fit is much better in the size 12, the length is better too, but the waistline is still not on my waist.  I don’t think it’s a train-smash, but I might shorten the bodice again, transferring the length lost to the trousers, probably lifting the waist seam.

 

The pockets were going to be self-drafted, but then again, why re-invent the wheel??  I used the Zadie Jumpsuit pockets, nice and big.  I’ve opted to have buttons on the straps this time, they’re vintage wooden buttons that were sent to me by a friend.  They go very well with the hazel coloured linen I bought from Fabworks earlier this year for making my dungarees.  The fabric thought it was destined for those un-traced Burnside Bibs!

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I’m really liking these dungarees, they’re almost too nice to wear on the allotment!  I might have to make more, definitely a denim or twill version for the cooler weather. But I will wear these, they will be fabulously practical to wear for gardening, and I can’t wait for the weather to improve so I can get back out there!  With all this rain, I’ll need a pair in raincoat fabric.  After wearing these on the allotment all day, I think I’ll be looking to alter the curve of the crotch seam, it’s not sitting quite right.  I’ll also make sure any new pair has more interfacing along the top edge, with all the moving and digging the buttonhole area gets a lot of stress.  I am thinking of adding a bib pocket, and possible a bum pocket too.  The Zadie pockets have worked really well, they’re a good depth for holding loads in!  I’ve been really comfy in these all day, they’re well deserving of a big thumbs up!  This is my entry to the #SewTogetherForSummer challenge being run on Instagram, I needed the push to get these made! 

Black, White & Grey all Over

So far, June has been a thouroughly disappointing summer month.  Totally unlike the lovely hot weather we had last year, even though that was highly unusual weather.  June in the UK is quite like April, it rains on and off all month.  But this June seems to have been extra wet, which means I’m not gardening, so more sewing time!

Paper Theory Kabuki Tee in stripe linen

I’ve made a start on using the fabric I bought while in South Africa, it’s all washed and ironed and ready to use, and I’ve managed to find some patterns to go with some of the pieces.  One piece I’d bought with a pattern in mind, the LB Pullover from Paper Theory.  But – I changed my mind at the last minute and went with the Kabuki Tee instead.  The fabric in question is linen, it used to be black and white wide stripes, but after washing is now black and pale grey!

I quickly ran into a problem with the fabric though, I’d seen it in my head with the stripes running horizontally, but on laying it out on the cutting table realised the stripes ran parallel with the grain, so now they had to be vertical!  I really wasn’t sure if I wanted stripes running up and down.  I draped the fabric over my shoulder and swanned about in front of the mirror for a bit, to make up my mind, and eventually went with the stripes running vertically.  As it turns out, it was the right decision.

As with the last Kabuki Tee, I reinforced the pivot area with a scrap of fusible interfacing to give it a bit more strength, and I overlocked the insides as I sewed.  I have a feeling though, that the next one I make will have to be a size down, as my measurements continue to get smaller, I think it’s time to re-trace some of my patterns.  Now all I need is the right weather to wear the finished article!  I could wear it with a long sleeve tee underneath, but unfortunately all my winter wear is in the loft!

I prefer wearing this top with a more straight leg or fitted pair of trousers, jeans are great, but wide legs don’t suit it quite that well. Which is odd, because the chambray Kabuki I made before heading off on holiday looks great with wide leg trousers…

A Monochrome Selection

I have tried to inject colour into my wardrobe, but I keep adding more of the basics, black, blue, white, beige and grey.  I guess they’re just too easy to use!  Speaking of basics…

I’ve added two Basic Instinct Tees to my summer collection this year, one I made just before heading off on holiday, the other I made just last week.  This is a tee shirt pattern I really like.  It’s loose enough to be comfy without being tent-like but still has shape, and made in a viscose jersey – it’s heaven to wear!  I like it for all those reasons and more.  For me, it’s the perfect design for wearing while gardening!  Sleeves that cover the upper arm and prevent sunburn, crew neckline that doesn’t allow flashing when bending over and keeps the sun off delicate décolletage and back neck areas, and long enough to tuck in without popping out.

My first Basic Instinct tee this year was made in black viscose jersey – I think I bought it from Fabworks.  The fabric was what remained after making Daughter No 1 two long sleeve tees in December, and was just enough.  It’s lovely to wear, I love the feel and flow of viscose jersey, and in basic black, what’s not to like??  Then last week, I made another.  This time in pale grey marle viscose jersey, again, I seem to recall I might have got the fabric from Fabworks, but it may have been Croft Mill Fabrics – honestly – I cannot remember!

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It’s such a quick and simple tee to make, even with a floaty viscose jersey.  I just love it, I need more of these in my life.  Maybe I’ll find an actual colour to make one in!  I think I’ll have to go down a size now, but the three I’ve made so far will still get use – lots of use!

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Basic Instinct Tee on the allotment

Next on my round up of recent monochrome projects in another LB Pullover from Paper Theory.  I went down a size this time, this is a size 14.  I had been innocently browsing The Textile Centre’s website sale page when an interesting geometric ponte jumped out and hit me in the face, at £2.50 a metre, it was begging me to buy it!  So I did!  It’s a border print, solid black with this grey and white broken geometric print running parallel to both selveges.  And the print is soooo nice!  I took my time deciding where to place the print, it was too easy to pop it straight down the middle.

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LB Pullover from Paper Theory

In the end, I decided to run it down the right of the pullover, as I wear it, but right over, with only some of the design coming up to the centre front.  Then I placed the neckband to be in the same position, and cut the back so the design is mirrored.  That was the easy part.  The sleeves are wide enough that unless they are centered on the centre of the fabric, the all black part, they catch the design.  I didn’t want the design running down the centre of the sleeve, and didn’t want a lot of it there anyway.  I also didn’t really want to “waste” fabric by cutting both sleeves down the middle of the metre or so that was left…

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So I went with just a small section of design on the front part of the sleeve, closest to the underarm seam.  This was the sleeves are still part of something, but not covered in geometric print, thus taking away from the design on the body pieces.  I think it’s worked out rather well, and I like the result!  Only one beef – the fabric is not that good quality.  This was the first time I’d worn the pullover, I’d carried some hessian shopping bags to the supermarket, and this pilling you see is from that.  First time.  I can only imagine how much pilling will happen with regular wear and washing.  Maybe there’s a reason it was only £2.50/m.

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Sleeve details! Apologies for hiding behind the bronze fennel, my photographer had to move me away from there a few times!

Now I have some of this left, but not enough for a Toaster Sweater or a Sauni Cardigan, trust me, I tried!  But – I think there might be enough for a cropped sweater, this Burda one, for example.  I just need to dig out the traced pattern from a file somewhere – I made two of these for the girls in the lead up to Christmas 2017.

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Blue Paradise

So, I’ve been on holiday for a month, almost a month ago now (where did the time go?!), and come back to find two allotments needing lots of care and attention, a backlog of sewing projects and a mountain of fabric purchased while on holiday to wash and iron.  And allocate to future projects.  So what do you do?  You go gardening!  One thing that will not wait, is the allotment.  Weather permitting, that’s where I needed to be, but I was desperate to get back to my sewing, just needed to pick a project to start.

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Butterick 5487 cowl drape cami in silk

As it just so happened, that first project was something for Daughter No1.  She had a wedding to go to, (a family member of her partner) had a fabulous pair of tropical print wide leg pants, but no top to wear with them.  So I dug through the stash, I had a feeling a silk cowl drape cami would do the trick!  Originally on seeing the pants, I thought a gorgeous coral satin back crepe would look fabulous, but despite trawlling numerous shops, we couldn’t find anything, and I had no time to look for fabric, buy it and still wait for delivery.

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Nice simple back

In the end, the stash came up trumps.  I had just the right coloured blue silk, it was approved and I set to work.  The pattern is Butterick 5487 (from the 90s),  I’m sure you could find a copy of it on Ebay or Etsy.  Going by the bust measurements, and the finished measurements, I cut the 10 with no adjustments apart from shortening the length on Daughter No1’s request.

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Some close up details

The cami is cut on the bias and has armhole and back facing pieces seperate. The straps are cut on the straight.  Gill Arnold’s black fine sheer polyester fusible interfacing was used on the facing pieces.  The cami was sewn with French Seams, makes it all nice and neat inside, and really doesn’t take long with just two seams!  It looks brilliant, the colour goes well with the pants and I’m sure she’ll look fabulous on the day.

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I’d rather fancy some of that fabric the pants are made from!

Now that I’ve got my feet wet again, it’s time to get cracking on that stash again, isn’t it…  Or better still, make up a pattern I cut out before going away, but ran out of time to make to take!

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P.S. As it turns out, she got cold feet about wearing a cami as a top and went in a navy jumpsuit.  Ah well, at least there’s an option in the wardrobe for another occasion!

Kabuki Tee

 

I’m on a Paper Theory roll at the moment!  I’ve enjoyed making and wearing the LB Pullover this year, and the Zadie Jumpsuit had its christening this week on holiday in South Africa. It was lovely to wear!  The other pattern I’ve made is the Kabuki Tee.  It’s a loose, boxy, oversized tee pattern, designed for woven fabrics.  I’d admired the large sleeves and front detail, with the opportunity to play with direction with stripes or other patterns.

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Wearing my new Kabuki Tee on a beach walk

This first garment is a plain, I bought some grey chambray earlier in the year with the Kabuki in mind.  It’s probably a little stiffer than would be preferable, but I like the way it keeps the boxy shape of the design.  All the edges were overlocked after sewing the relevant seams to keep it all neat and tidy inside, and I topstitched the armhole/sleeve seams.

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Topstitched seam detail

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It’s a relatively quick pattern to make, the instructions, as with all the other Paper Theory patterns are pretty straightforward.  To make sure that there wouldn’t be any holes or inclination to tear once the corners on the front and back were snipped to allow for rotation and insertion of the sleeves, I interfaced that area with a scrap of fine sheer fusible.  It just gives a little more stability to the fabric that’s going to be weakened.

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I’ve worn the tee twice on my holiday in South Africa, and it’s been really comfy to wear.  Hubby doesn’t like the oversized armholes, says  need slimmer sleeves, but I like the look.  I’ve also made a version in viscose, just to see how it looks in a much more drapey, fluid fabric.  But I haven’t managed to wear that one just yet, so pics are non-existant!

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I dragged the other half to a fabric shop to stock up on fabric to refill my suitcase (having emptied it of loads of stuff I brought out for friends and family) and picked up a black and white wide stripe linen that will either be another Kabuki or possibly another LB Pullover.  I’m liking the idea of stripe manipulation…

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Apple Green Pinafore

After seeing the #SewBibs hashtag on Instagram earlier this year, I decided that would be the push I needed to make myself a pair of Burneside Bibs. I’ve had the pattern and fabric for ages, just never got round to getting them sorted. Well, I still haven’t!

The bibs I’ve finally made are for Daughter no 2, and it’s a Burdastyle pattern, surprise surprise. She’d like the pattern for a while and wanted me to make it before Christmas, but that wasn’t really good timing. The fabric is a lovely green organic stretch cotton twill (probably not most recommended for this pattern, but who cares) from Fabworks, and they still have stock.

I traced the 38 and toiled in a sturdy fabric. I had a feeling the skirt would need to be longer, it is a petite pattern afterall. The toile revealed it needed a fair bit more in the length, I added 10cm, and to take a little out on the upper skirt/waistband pieces. I took in the sides from the top of the waistband to just above where the pocket opening ends by 0.75 cm each side, effectively going down a size. The construction is straightforward. The front and back bib pieces are doubled, attached to the waistband and then the skirt.

Facings and underlaps provide support for snaps, but you could use buttons instead, which is what I ended up doing. Actually, as this fabric stretches so well, we could have made the buttons decorative instead of functional! Buttons were used instead of snaps because althou I have a box of different ones, I didn’t have nough pieces to put together 6 of the same snap! I think I need a clear-out of that box. There also waasn’t time to order more snaps, and we decided buttons form the stash would work just as well.

The insides are all overlocked & I used double rows of topstitching. The pinafore comes together pretty quickly and Burda’s precise instructions are easy to understand. I have a feeling I might be making more of these in the future.

My New Favourite Trousers

It hasn’t taken me long to make another pair of StyleArc’s Teddy Designer Pants.  I had a 3m length of black herringbone linen that I bought from Croft Mill ages ago that had been destined for a jumpsuit, but now has made the perfect pair of black linen Teddy Pants.

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Teddy Designer Pants from Style Arc

The fabric is a soft, drapey linen, but has good body.  It also attracts every last bit of fluff, dust and feathers…  It was narrower than linen usually is, so I used more meterage than I had done with the green pants.  I had hoped to get another of the Kana’s Standard jackets I made last year out of the remaining fabric, but it’s looking unlikely.  The pants are pretty much the same as the green ones, apart from an adjustment in the back.  I darted the back waistband in line with the trouser darts to take out 2x 0.75cm and enlarge and extend the darts a centimetre and a bit.  The back fits better now, and has less opportunity to “grow” as the day goes on.  I had noticed with the green pair that I was pulling them up more later in the day, so this little adjustment will sort that out.

 

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I changed the order of work, once the front pleats were constructed and basted in place, the centre front was sewn from the base of the zip approx. 5cm.  I had cut the front trouser pieces with the fly facing “grwon-on”.  Basically, the fly facing pattern piece was taped to the centre front of the trouser piece, marked the centre front line with tailor’s tacks and went from there.  The whole fly zip went in like a breeze and looks better finished too.  Then I attached the pocket bags to the side seams and then sewed the front and back trouser pieces together.  It was a pain in the whatsit trying to do the zip after having sewn the side seams first the last time.

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I didn’t alter the length in the end, I’ve decided I like them as they are and I have enough cropped trousers anyway.  I can imagine this pattern will be fabulous in a wool suiting or crepe for the winter too.  I have a feeling that I’ll be buying something to make another summer pair when on holiday!

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Maybe a patterned pair next time?  Stripes??

Here’s another shot of that pleat, just for luck.

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This pattern’s USP, the pleat and cocoon leg shape