Book Review – Kana’s Standard

 

I thought it might be helpful, if you’re inspired by some of the garments seen in the #sewjapaneseinjanuary hashtag, to go through the books I have and will hopefully be using using this month.  One thing this community sew-along has shown me is that there are loads of good books out there that I had no idea about!  I’d love to have access to a bricks and mortar shop so I can browse these offerings properly.  And do some serious shopping….   I’ll start with Kana’s Standard, the first book, as that’s what I’ve been using first!

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Kana’s Standard

The patterns are drawn to Japanese sizes 7, 9, 11 & 13.  There is NO size chart in this book!  Each pattern does have, however, a list of finished measurements for each of the sizes, so I combined that with the size chart in the Clean & Natural book, and checked online to figure out where I fitted (or didn’t fit…).  I worked out that I needed to be a 15-17, depending on how much ease I wanted.  And there is a lot of ease, especially in the tops!  You also have to thing about height – or length.  The patterns are generally drafted for a height of 1.6m, so if you’re taller, you’ll need length.

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All the styles overview

There are 5 groups of patterns, with variations.  Section A has two basic tops, on of which is on the front cover, and 4 dresses, which are variations of the tops.  B is pants, including a pair of shorts, dungarees and a jumpsuit.  There are 6 patterns in that section.  Skirts are in section C, there are 7 – the waistband needs to to be fitted to the measurement of the waist, but the skirts are full/gathered so all you need worry about after that is length.  Section D is camisole, you get a top and a dress there.  The last section is E, gown or jacket.  There are 3 patterns in this section, making a grand total of 24 patterns.  Not bad for £15.

So far I’ve made the pants B-a and the gown/jacket E-a.  I’m not a skirt person, especially a full, gathered skirt, so that section will be largely ignored by me.  But the tops interest me, the gathered frill on the sleeve on the cover pattern is such a simple addition, yet makes it more desireable.  Here are some of the photos of the contents.  If you decide you need more technical info, please pop over to this site.  It’s full of interesting info, help to translate the instructions, etc.  For buying Japanese books, I use this Etsy shop (no affiliate links!!!) because she has loads to choose from, is so quick to post out and is reasonable in her charges too.  I’d look in her shop before checking anywhere else.

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All the tops & dresses in Section A
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Pants – Long, cropped, shorts and a jumpsuit & dungaree version
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Skirt styles, including a reversable skirt and a wrap version (bottom left images)
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Cami dress & 3 versions of the gown

At the end of each section there are some “action shots” of the author and model styling the garments in different ways.

 

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Styling the tops & dresses
collage ks style 2
Styling the pants
collage ks style 3
Styling the skirts
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Stying the cami dress & top and the gowns

A Little Unselfish Sewing – Xmas Presents

 

I know it’s the new year and all, but I have a little catching up to do!  In 2017 I made quite a few Christmas presents, but this time I limited myself just a little bit.  I made two black tees for Daughter No1 who wanted some tee shirts that weren’t too fitted, and I went for black because you can always wear a black tee!  And because I already happened to have 3m of black viscose jersey in the stash…

 

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Renfrew Tee by Sewaholic

I chose to make a long sleeved, scoop neck Renfrew by Sewaholic first.  This pattern has been adjusted with a swayback adjustment already, and this is her favourite neckline on a tee.  The long sleeves are the perfect length with the cuffs on, and she likes the way it makes the tee feel a little like a sweatshirt.  I leave the hemband off this pattern when making for Daughter No1, the length is fine without it and she prefers it that way.

black renfrew 2

 

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The second pattern I used is the Uvita Top, the free pattern on offer from Itch to Stitch.  I’ve made a few for myself so thought it would be perfect for her too.  Overall, it got the approving nod, but with a few requests for next time. (At least there will be a next time!)  I need to narrow the sleeves a fair bit and flare the side seams out a bit over the hips.  Not too long a list!  🙂

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Uvita Top from Itch to Stitch

 

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I also ran up a couple of Toaster Sweaters.  I know how much both girls like them, so made them one each using the fleece blankets from Asda, again.  I had bought two two-packs earlier in December, I needed the mustard colour for backing some quilted fabric I bought from a charity shop to make throws.  So I was left with two grey and white chevron blankets – perfect Toaster fabric!

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Toaster Sweater by Sew House 7

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Unfortunately, I did not check the direction of stretch…..  It ran (runs) perpendicular to the chevron pattern.  Now that’s something I didn’t even consider!  So I had already made Daughter No1’s Toaster with the chevrons running around the body, and against the stretch before realising.  Daughter No2’s chevrons run up and down, and the stretch is in the right direction.  Oh dear…  Nevermind, they still work.

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I ran out of time to make a tee for Daughter No2 out of the rest of the black jersey.  She was after a raglan tee.  I found one in a Burda magazine and will get that done this month – hopefully!

Sew Japanese in January

Who’s got their 2019 sewing plans started?  There have been a lot of “themes” going round in the last week or two of December to get us all started, and I’m keen to jump onto a few of them.  This one. however, will get me finally using those Japanese Sewing Books I’ve been hoarding.

I spotted the #sewjapaneseinjanuary hashtag on instagram mid way through December and I thought it might be a good way to start the new year.  It’s hosted by @bloglessanna & @craftyjane_makes & runs for the month of January.  I’ve got a few Japanese sewing books now and so far have really only made the trousers from the first Kana’s Standard book & the short jacket from the second book successfully.  There are many, many other patterns I’d like to try, some for me and some for the girls.

I have all the Pattern Magic books, but might to use those this time round.  There are plenty of others to use with patterns already available!  I will have to grade up a couple of sizes.  Starting with the Clean and Natural Book, I’ve always liked the bell/puff sleeve pullover top.  I have some black & white gingham with a 1cm square that I thought would look fabulous in that pattern.

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Clean & Natural
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Puff Sleeved Top

 

Next up are the Kana’s Standard books.  From the first one I still want to make the first top with the ruffle on the sleeve – A, the “gown” E and the cropped version of the pants B.  I’ve also loved the top on the cover, and it’s all because of that ruffle, there’s nothing fanccy about the rest of it at all!  I have a reversible double gauze earmarked for the gown, which I plan on using as a lightweight summer jacket.  I haven’t identified fabric for the other patterns just yet.

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Kana’s Standard, Book 1
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Jacket/Gown E
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Ruffle sleeve top

From Kana’s Standard II, I’d love to make another version of the jacket A and I still want to make the wide pants, E.  I haven’t allocated any specific fabrics yet, but I’m sure I’ll dig something up!  I also love the wrap dress on the front cover, but that I will have to grade up and toile carefully.

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Kana’s Standard, Book 2
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Wrap dress
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Cropped, wide leg pants

The gathered blouse from She Wears the Pants has been on the list to make for Daughter No 1 for a while, but I still haven’t made it, and I’ve always wanted to make the top with Epaulettes for myself.

Then there’s a book I’d completely forgotten about until I browsed the hashtag more thoroughly, Simply Sewn by Michiyo Ito.  There are a few good for me items in this book, but I’m starting with the French Sailor Top.  I like the shape, and have decided to risk it in a viscose, instead of a more structured fabric like linen or cotton.

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Simply Sewn

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I bought myself a birthday present on Etsy that arrived on my birthday itself (I only expected it sometime in the first week of January).  The book is 7 Basic Dresses & Modifications, by Aoi Koda.  I’d seen it on Instagram earlier this year in a post by @sewbusylizzy and it went on my “list of books to have”.  There are a few tops/blouses and a couple of dresses I really like.  Daughter No1 has approved one of the shirt dresses already.

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7 Dresses and modifications

The dress on the cover has been admired by all three of us, so it just might be found in each wardrobe soon!

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I’d like to make this as a shirt, in a lightweight cotton it’ll be lovely
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This is so simple and I can see myself wearing it. Might just change the wide sleeve hem elastic to a narrower one though.

So far I have traced the gown/jacket, the puff sleeve top, top with sleeve ruffle and the sailor top.  I graded the puff sleeve top up two sizes, and the sailor top one size.  I don’t think I’ll need to toile the jacket/gown, it’s pretty much one size fits all apart from the sleeve and armhole.  I’ll get to toiling asap and we’ll see how I go from there!  But by the end of the month I certainly want to have made that double gauze up, it’s been stewing in the stash for too long…

So let’s see how it goes, let’s get our 2019 sewing off to a promising start, shall we?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Peppermint Crisp

 

I’ve finally made those darlings of the summer, the Peppermint Wide Leg Pants!  I was going to make them in the summer using a piece of turquoise linen, but chickened out and used that fabric for a TNT pattern instead.  But I stilll wanted to make the pattern so needed another fabric.  I have found these to be super comfy, and I’ve worn them loads since making.  They even made it to be part of the Christmas Day outfit!  Apologies for the creasing, photos only taken halfway through the day…  Real life! 🙂

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Peppermint Wide Leg Pants by In The Folds

My choice was the green denim I bought from Higgs & Higgs at the sewing show in London in October.  Daughter No1 had convinced me that I needed green jeans in my life, hence the fabric.  I started by tracing the G & H sizes, based on my measurements.  I needed the H for the waist and graded down to the G for hip down.  I shortened the legs by 4cm in advance, knowing my height and that of the “ideal” 1.7m tall Amazon for whom the pattern is designed.  I toiled the pants in a stiff, thick fabric rescued from the charity shop and realised I could size down!  They were too baggy, too loose all over.

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I then traced the F, using the waist of the G, and moving to the F by 7cm from the base of the waistband.  I didn’t re-toile, but got ready to cut.  Then I realised I might have made a bloop.  The fabric has stretch!  The pattern is designed for fabric with no stretch…  But by this time I really wanted these pants in this fabric.  So I decided to start with cutting the F-G, the waistband was interfaced on the cross grain so there was no stretch.  The pocket bags are cut in cotton poplin, leftovers from the lining of Daughter No1’s pink trench coat.  These helped to control the stretch across the front.  I cut a small facing piece like you do for a pair of jeans, from the green denim.

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What I should have done is cut a couple of patch pockets for the back.  I find it more comfortable to pop my phone in the back pocket than in a front one.  Now, on the subject of pockets…  These are HUGE!  I thought when  was tracing them that I really should reshape them to a more usual shape and size.  So when I do put my phone in there, it swims around.  I imagine I’d lose many a bit of loose change in these pockets, so I will be stitching a better shape this time, and changing the shape completely for the future.

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I decided to sew the side seams with a 1.5cm allowance, rather than the 1.2cm  allowed, to compensate for the stretch.  I checked them before adding the waistband and realised they were still to loose, I needed to get the negative ease levels up to make the pants look like the others made with no-stretch fabric.  So I took another 1.5cm off the outer leg seam and 1cm form the inner seam.  This seamed to work, so I sewed on the waistband and crossed my fingers.  It worked!  So I guess you could say I’ve technically made the E size??  I still had the F for the waistband, and the “E” came in by about 10cm below the waistband seam.

crisp 4

I have to admit I got confunded by the zip instructions.  I decided to follow the instructions as written, but then got to a part when I realised it just wasn’t going to work.  The instructions are backwards!  Next time I’ll do the fly the normal way, and change the centre front seam to allow for additional width.  If you want fabulous fly zip instructions for jeans, read the Birkin Flares by Baste & Gather.  You cannot go wrong with those.  Anyway, I ended up unpicking much of what I had already sewn and topstitched in order to finish off the fly, but thankfully it doesn’t look too bad.

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I do like the shape, and the fit is rather good, despite my fiddling and the incorrect fabric!  So all this will be completely out of the window when I make the pattern again in the right fabric.  But for now, I’m happy – and even happier because the other half, who doesn’t really like cropped, wide leg pants on me, likes these!  I think it’s because of the fit at the waist and hip, so it’s not all baggy.

I love the colour, love the length and the width of the hemline.  These pants fit into my wardrobe so well, the colour give the blues, greys and blacks a little pop, just like those rust pants I made in November, and the rust corduroy Kana’s Standard pants I made in October!

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These pants have hit a record for me.  They are the 100th project I’ve made this year!  Since I started tracking my projects, I’ve never got this far, so Im pretty chuffed, although I think some in the slow sewing movement wouldn’t be as impressed!  So now I need a new challenge for next year – and it won’t be to see how many more than that I can make.

crisp 2

 

Pumped up Kicks

 

One more post squeezed into what’s left of 2018!  I made these cropped trousers last month, but had to wait for assistance to get photos.  I really need to make a plan with photographing trousers or dresses on my own.  Anyway, the fabric is English wool suiting, with a textured herringbone stripe and a bit of colour that you really don’t read unless you’re up close and personal sewing it – or doing the ironing.  It was a find from a charity shop!

 

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Burda trousers 120 07/2018

I knew it would become a pair of cropped trousers, there wasn’t enough for a full length version.  And I wasn’t keen on a skirt.  I decided to use trousers 120 from Burda 7/2018 again.  I like the slightly kicked out flare of the extension piece/ wide hem band(?).  They also have a nice fit on my natural waist and are closer fitting around the hip area before becoming wider at the leg. I cut the pocket lining from a piece of navy and white cotton, but the rest is all wool.  I like this fabric – it can go in the washing machine on a woollens cycle!

 

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I’ve worn them a few times now, and I can say they’re really comfy to wear, are the perfect length and always get compliments!  Today a little old lady told me I looked nautical”.  I’ll take that.  🙂  Now, the only thing I can think of that might be missing from this pattern is a pocket on the bum.  Such a handy thing to have, don’t you think?  If you want to see the inners and a bit of construction, I posted  a Work in Progress report on it that you can read here.

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I’m hoping I’ll be able to get more photos of the other trousers I’ve been making and blog them soon!

 

 

 

 

 

All About the Tees – Part 5!

 

More tees!  Whether they’re shortsleeved for the summer, 3/4 for just about all year round or long sleeved for the cooler months, you just can’t beat tees for filling wardrobe gaps.  They don’t take much fabric, certainly don’t take much time to make and are a very satisfying, sewjo boosting project to whip up!  I’ve recently added 3 new tees to my wardrobe, and added 1 to Daughter No1’s.

 

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So what patterns did I use this time?  Let’s start with the Uvita top from Itch to Stitch.  As said before, this is a free pattern when you sign up to newsletters.  I really rate this pattern, it just works so well.  I bought a piece of blue and white jersey from Rosenberg & Son at the Knitting and Stitching Show in October, this was my first victim!  I love the swirly white dots.  I ran up the Uvita in an afternoon and it’s been in constant rotation since then!

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Itch to Stitch Uvita Top

Next up, another blue and white fabric from the show, this time from Montreux Fabrics.  I’d bought some of this earlier in the year, and was hoping they’d have more on the stand, because it wears so well!  I made the Lark Tee, v-neck with 3/4 length sleeves in this.  The drape of the fabric is perfect for the shape of this pattern.  It’s slightly flared from the waist, skimming the hips (and tummy area).  Usually I breeze through this pattern, even with that v, but this fabric has polyester modal content, so it was just slightly slippy – and it kept moving!!!  I had to do that v a few times before I thought I’d better leave it.  I also pinned and basted the side seams 3 times to get the stripes to line up!  They just weren’t playing ball so I left them after the third time, having seen little to no improvement in the pattern matching.

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Grainline Lark v-neck tee

 

lark stripe 2

 

The third of my tees is another Lark Tee, v-neck with three quarter sleeves.  This time my stripe fabric is a blue/grey with narrow white stripes, bought online from the Frugal Fabric Shop.  It’s lovely and soft and great to wear.  I had the same problem with the v on this one!!!  But the stripes were more accommodating.

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All three tees are the perfect colours for fitting into my colour palette and will undoubtably be worn loads over the winter and spring.

 

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Now on to Daughter No1’s tee.  I had some navy pique jersey in the stash, bought earlier in the year from Montreus Fabrics again, and I offered it up to her.  She chose the Lark  boat neck tee with long sleeves.

 

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Blue pique boat neck Lark Tee

If I make this again I’ll raise the neckline for her, it’s quite low cut for a boat neck.  It also needs a swayback adjustments.  You can see the fabric pooling in the small of her back.  But she loves the length and is happy with the neckline for now.

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In the mean time, I have a nice 3m of black viscose jersey I got from Croft Mill Fabrics earlier in the year, and I have plans to turn that into a long sleeved Uvita for Daughter No1.  She’s also in line for a long sleeved scoop neck Sewaholic Renfrew.  It’s a teeshirt pattern you don’t see much of online anymore, but it fits her well.  The last tee will be a Basic Instinct Tee, and that should use up all 3m!  They will need to be done in the next couple of weeks, because they need to go under a certain tree….

 

The Trench Coat Edition

 

The trench coat 103 in the February issue of Burdstyle 2017 has been on my “to sew” list since it came out.  There was just something about the style, length and simplicity of the design that appeals.  Daughter No1 was very keen on having it, and I really wanted to make it in one of her fabric designs, but the price of doing so was just too much.  I still hope that one day I will be able to do that, but in the mean time she has her coat, and she’s still happy with it.  And so is Daughter No 2….

 

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The spy coat!

I guess I’d better explain!  🙂  Both girls liked the coat, and both wanted a version.  So I went looking online for suitable fabric and found a rather nice pink/copper cotton twill at Croft Mill Fabrics for just £5/m.  I bought 5m, which was a real bargain.  I wasn’t sure whether the girls would like the colour, but as it was cotton, I was quite prepared to dye it to whatever colour they wanted.  As it turns out, however, they were both perfectly happy with it!  That makes it easy for me then!  My Work in Progress post will take you through all the construction details.

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I traced the 38 and toiled it in an old duvet cover from the charity shop.  On trying it on Daughter No2, we noted the following alterations:

  1. Lengthen sleeves by 4cm
  2. Broad shoulder adjustment 1.5cm
  3. Lengthen coat by 4cm
  4. Lengthen belt pieces 1.5cm

For Daughter No1, these were the alterations:

  1. Forward shoulder adjustment 1cm
  2. Lengthen coat by 4cm

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chace coat 2

So, I was going to make Daughter No1’s coat first with her alterations, then reverse the shoulder adjustment and make the adjustments for Daughter No2 and make her coat. The coat itself is pretty straightforward to make.  Although Burda call it a “gathered trench coat”, there’s actually no gathering.  The waist is formed with dart tucks in the front and back, and the belt piece starts in the back panel seam to be fixed in the front with a button.  It does have the effect of  cinching the waist in a bit, but definitely not gathering.  The button is sewn through all the layers, there is no buttonhole.

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I did make them slightly differently, the coats have topstitching in different places, and Daughter No2’s coat has no shoulder pads.  I used shoulder pads in Daughter No1’s coat because of her posture.  I halved the thickness of the pads, she didn’t want “Dynasty shoulders”, but she did need the shaping they give.  Can you tell that the shoulders are different?

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Linings for the coats were chosen for each girl.  The coat wasn’t intended to be lined, the Burda instructions have you use Hong Kong finish on all the raw seams, and that would be fine for a Spring/summer coat.  We wanted these to be warmer, so I needed a lining.  I’ve not used traditional lining fabric for the main body, but I have used “proper” lining for the sleeves.  There’s nothing worse than your sleeves getting bunched up under your armpits when you put on a coat!

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I’d found the cotton poplin William Morris inspired print at Fabworks and knew it would be perfect for Daughter No1.  Daughter No2 needed something more contrasting, and I was looking for something geometric with a grey and white colour but was coming up empty handed.  Eventually I found a blue and white paisley print with bronze detail at the Rag Market in Birmingham.  It is viscose and cost a mere £2/m!  It was the right choice and Daughter No2 approved.

tayla coat 1

 

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My next problem in choice was the buttons.  I raided my button box and then all the charity shops in town.  I ended up with 3 rather yummy plum/maroon vintage buttons for the front of Daughter No2’s coat.  But there weren’t any for the sleeve tabs.  Another rummage through the button stash revealed 3 pretty pink mother of pearl buttons that would work.  So that was one done, Daughter No1’s buttons were more tricky to decide on.  She didn’t want a colour that would stand out too much, she decided subtle was the route to take.

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Buttons!

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In my raid of the local charity shops, I had found 4 beige-y/pink buttons, BIG ones!  So the colour was subtle, size – not so very much…!  But – they have worked rather well, and I found a couple of smaller similar coloured buttons in my stash that I used for the sleeve tabs.  So, there you have two pink/copper coats with different linings and different buttons for two different girls with different styles.  Although the shell colour is the same, and I used the same pattern, they do look different on.

collage coatsThat’s another Burdachallenge2018 entry for the year, and I’m glad to have made the trench coat.