The Assembly Line V-Neck Dress

Ok, I know you’re waiting to see my coat, but I have something more fun! I made another dress!! I know what the other half is going to say when he sees it. He’s going to make a “nun outfit” reference, Sound of Music costume…. But I really don’t care, as an addition to my wardrobe with the Tea House Dress, it’s going to be well worn this season!

The Assembly Line’s V-Neck Dress

I made D:106, The V-Neck Dress from The Assembly Line. The fabric is a navy fine wool suiting that I bought specifically for this project from Fabworks Online. It’s soft and drapey and has the most wonderful sheen on it, as well as a fine pattern of lines in the weave that make it interesting close up.

This is the kind of wool I really like, because I shove it in the washing machine on a woolens wash and then hang it up to dry. Unless I completely forget that it’s in the wash and put it in a normal load, it’ll be washed on that woolen cycle for the rest of its life, and it won’t shrink! It also saves me a load of dry cleaning bills!

I detailed the toile in my previous post, but if you haven’t read that yet (whaaat??) here’s a round up. I traced the Large and made it up, looking for areas to fix. The only thing that stood out was the length, my legs aren’t supermodel length, so I took 4cm out of the skirt length, decided to go without a FBA and went for it!

The pattern pieces are rather long, but as the skirt isn’t massively flared you can actually get them staggered next to each other for cutting out, if your fabric is a suitably wide 140cm or above. I bought 3m just in case, and ended up using about 2.2m. That means enough for a skirt or cropped pair of trousers with the rest, free clothes!! ūüôā The instructions are very clear, good illustrations to follow if you’re a beginner or not too confident. The inseam pocket instructions are great and are the way I do mine normally. The result is a neat, hidden pocket. I used Gill Arnold’s fine sheer fusible for interfacing the collar facing, the belt and to stabilise the pocket seam areas.

The dress goes together easily if you follow those instructions, the only thing I felt was necessary that they don’t mention is to stabilise that v-neck while you’re working with the pieces to stop it stretching out. I ran a line of staystitching from the top down within the 1cm seam allowance, just to be safe. Another thing that beginners will like is that the instructions include where, and when to finish the seam allowances. They say to overlock, but you could just zigzag. I wouldn’t use French Seams unless you were using a really fine fabric because the resulting stiffness will affect the shape of the skirt.

I was initially worried that the V would be too low, I’m not necessarily comfy with showing off cleavage. But, I think at some point I need to stop being so prudish! A friend who saw the dress said it was fine, she didn’t see any underwear (one thing I don’t like showing) and that the depth worked. So there you go, it works and I’ll get on with it! It’s great for showing off a pretty pendant!

I’m really happy with the dress, I love the sleeves and the length, and that I can adjust the belt to be comfy. I definitely won’t be wearing the dress without the belt!! But I’m thinking of adding thread belt loops to hold it in place, as it tends to move up and down a bit. I also probably should have made the belt a little longer…. Nevermind, it’s ok for this time! Now I hope to influence the girls to each have a version, I think it will look fantastic on Daughter No 2 with her height, and nice and dramatic on Daughter No 1, especially if worn with one for her many new jackets!

****!!UPDATE!!****

My dress has been shortlisted as a finalist in the “Around the World” section of The Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern Month 2018.¬† Here’s the link to the voting page, I’d be delighted if you decided to vote for me, but you also get to choose 2 other garments to vote for.¬† You can only vote once, but you get three choices.

Work in Progress Wednesday

So much has been going on this week! I finished my coat on Sunday, I have some photos to edit and the post to finish before you can see it all, but it’s so nice and warm!¬† It’s just what I needed.

One of the projects I really want to finish this month is Hubby’s coat.¬† The main pattern pieces were drafted last November, adjustments made and pattern altered.¬† But we were no nearer finding the right sort of lining, so the whole thing stalled.¬† I think I have finally persuaded the other half to accept a plain lining, with a patterned piping strip and other internal details for this version.¬† I can make another coat, or even a jacket (one day) when we find and buy that elusive “perfect lining”.

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The pieces of pattern that still needed to be sorted were the linings, front and back facings and pocket pieces for both the internal pocket and the welt pocket at the waist.¬† Somehow I’d only drawn up the pieces for the chest welt pocket.¬† So now everything is ready, no excuses!¬† Except that we still have no lining…

For now.¬† I have ordered samples of The Lining Company’s shot twill lining that have already arrived (one day service, I love it!).¬† The linings are plain as in they have no pattern, but at least with the two tone colours there’s interest.¬† I found some leftover silk in the silk box that would work perfectly for the contrast piping and other bits on the inside of the coat, and will work with 4 of the 5 samples I’ve ordered.¬†¬† I also ordered a stripe lining sample from Fabric Godmother that’s still to arrive.¬† It should also work with 4 of the linings, if not all, should Hubby decide he doesn’t like the silk I’ve looked out.

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Charcoal wool, circle print silk for piping and a selection of shot linings.

I’m reluctant to cut the wool until I know I have everything I need, so while I wait for that last sample and we agree on colours and patterns, I have time to make something else!¬† Not one to sit on my laurels, I decided I’d run up a toile of The Assembly Line’s new pattern, the V-Neck Dress.¬† I liked the look of the dress the minute I saw it on IG at the launch.

I thought it would be perfect for Indie Pattern Month over on The Monthly Stitch.¬† It hadn’t arrived in time for me to make for Week 1, dresses, but I figured I’d be able to squeeze it in by the time Week 3 came around.¬† This week is¬† “Around the World”,which means you have to make a pattern form a designer from a different country to that in which you live.¬† The Assembly Line are Swedish, so that’s perfect!

The pattern is multi-sized and I decided to go with the Large, based on measurements and finished garment measurements.¬† Technically I should have done an FBA, on that size, but the measurements gave me enough width/ease to be comfortable.¬† I didn’t want it too big.¬† The toile went perfectly, I only did the main pieces.¬† I realised the skirt was a little too long, so I took 4cm out of the length.¬† The depth of the V bothered me a bit, I don’t usually go for something this low, but I told myself I was being a fuddy duddy – get on with it!!¬† And the bust seemed fine, there were no drag lines and there was definitely enough ease.¬† Done!!

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Dress toile

The dress is actually made now, but I’m not going to give it away just yet, I am going to enter that competition now!¬† See you on the other side!

October Sewing Plans

Oh boy, I can’t believe how quickly this half of the year is going already!¬† I swear the first half of the year was much slower.¬† I thought I had loads of time to think about my Autumn and Winter sewing, plenty of time to make coats and jackets and waterproof warm things before the weather changed.¬† No so.¬† So what have I been dreaming of then?

Well, I had hoped to finally make and finish the coat I started for Mr W in November last year.  I am pretty determined that it will be finished by his birthday at the end of this month, so I need to get cracking.  I also need a new coat myself.  And I have some planned for the girls!  Not only do I need to make coats, but I need some new tops for the winter, having make a whole load of new tops for the summer.

Coat fabric I have, the stash is coming up trumps in this department!¬† I have some coppery pink twill that I bought earlier in the year to make two versions of the long coat from February 2017 Burda.¬† I’ll make them different from each other by adding a different lining, using different buttons and possibly adding piping or something.¬† I have managed to get a fitting for Daughter No2’s coat, it fits pretty well but needs the sleeves lengthened by 4cm, the overall length needs to be 4cm longer and I’ll need to widen the shoulders.¬† Daughter No1 will try on her toile this weekend.

Then for me, I’m undecided.¬† I have some camel coloured casmere that I had thought of using for the Bamboo from Waffle Patterns, but I wonder if the pattern is too straight up and down for me.¬† Then I browsed this month’s Burda magazine and saw the jacket 110.¬† I like it!¬† But I also like the peacoat in the plus size section of the September Burda.¬† I’ll have to toss a coin I think!

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Peacoat 127 & jacket/coat 110

Then there are tops.¬† There are two that really tick the boxes for me that I’d love to make this month, top 103 is from August 2018 Burda.¬† I liked the working drawings when I first got the magazine, but still haven’t managed to trace the pattern.¬† Again, the stash will come to the rescue here, I have a piece of viscose that’s been trying to be used for ages now, and I think it’ll be great as this top.¬† Then in this month’s Burda, there’s an interesting top/blouse, 112.¬† The insert is what caught my attention, and again, I have just the right piece of black and white print viscose in the stash!

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Blouse 103 and 112

Of course, there are still items to make for the girls,  Daughter No2 has her eye on these elastic waistband pants from September 2018 and the sweatshirt 108, which is on my list too.

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Pants 103, September 2018
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Sweatshirt 108

For myself, I still want to make a pair of Burnside Bibs.¬† They were on the list from last month, and still need to be toiled.¬† Then there’s the Monthly Stitch’s Indie Pattern Month this month!¬† I left it too late to decide what I was going to try to do, so I might get a chance to enter the second week’s challenge, and the third.¬† But it will definitely depend on TIME!¬† I think this is going to be another busy sewing month!¬† What are you sewing this month?

Monochromatic

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Pulmu Pencil Skirt, Saunio Cardigan and Birgitte Tee

We’re slowly winding down on summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, not something I’m relishing. ¬†I really miss those long southern summers and quick winters that were over just as soon as you were getting used to having to wear a jersey every day. ¬†Of course, the end of July appearing doesn’t mean I am ready to show you the last of what I made in the month, I’ve barely scratched the surface, and still not finished what I got up to in June!

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But for today, I have an outfit I made for The Monthly Stitch, for Independent Pattern Month. ¬†It’s the last week of the fling and the challenge was to sew an outfit of at least two items. ¬†I’d already decided most definitely on one item, but it took a while to finalise the rest of the outfit.

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I started with the Named Clothing Pulmu Pencil Skirt.  In denim.  I know, the pattern clearly states a lightweight fabric, but I rather fancied the idea of making it in something sturdy.  I cut the 46 and after toiling it took in the side seams to remove the ease.  I wanted to use a denim with 2% stretch and wanted a fit a little more like a pair of jeans.  I also had to shorten it overall by 8cm.  I took out 2 between the waistline and hip, 3 between the hip and the knee and another 3 between the knee and the hem.

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Linen facings and zip guard on the Pulmu Skirt

In order to have a softer feel around the waist, the facings were cut from linen fabric from the scrap-box. ¬†A zip guard was cut from the same fabric and it looks good with the dark denim of the skirt. ¬†A decision was taken not to line the skirt. ¬†I used the overlocker to neaten all the raw edges and I toyed with the idea of binding the hem and the allowances of the vent edges. ¬†In the end I didn’t do it because it would mean using a third fabric and I didn’t like that idea. ¬†The hems are mitered with an uneven mitre to avoid any edges showing. ¬†They worked out really well. ¬†I like the skirt, it’s the first one to live in my wardrobe for about 10 years!

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I decided against a woven for the top, going instead for a softer look with viscose jersey. ¬†I had some lovely soft grey viscose jersey left over from a project completed earlier in the year and decided to make the Birgitte Basic Tee from Maria Denmark. ¬†I can always do with more tee shirts! ¬†Going with the v-neck, short sleeve version, I thought I’d need to do something a little “more” with it. ¬†The morning I cut the tee out I’d needed to look out some sequin ribbons for a friend and I found a scrap of gold sequined fabric salvaged from a dress made ages ago. ¬†I thought “I wonder if this is useful, what would it look like on the grey?” ¬†and then, “ooo, I can put it on the shoulder!” ¬†I picked the left shoulder because if any bags are going to be carried, they go on the right.

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Birgitte tee with sparkly shoulder

The Birgitte Tee is very quick and easy to make, so it was only a couple hours work. ¬†I slightly stretched the jersey when I laid the sequined fabric on top so that it wouldn’t be pulling against the sequins once made up and being worn. ¬†Then I pinned the scrap in place and tacked within the seam allowance. ¬†I removed the larger sequins from the seam allowance and got sewing. ¬†I quite like the finished result, understated and simple, but with a bit of bling/sparkle.

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To round off the outfit I actually bought a piece of fabric! ¬†Clothspot have this gorgeous black and silver striped ponte for a pretty good price. ¬†I had the Saunio Cardigan from Named Clothing in mind. ¬†Originally I wanted to make it in a woven – I have a piece of black and cream silk that would look fabulous in the Saunio’s shape, but there wasn’t nearly enough of the fabric to make it work. ¬†The pattern is so quick to make! ¬†Even with making sure I had pins in every second stripe, it took a couple of hours in an afternoon to complete.

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Love it when the stripes play nicely and line up on the side seam!

I widened the sleeve because I have “sturdy” arms(!) and knew, from the measurements, that this ponte would never have enough stretch to make the sleeves comfortable. ¬†I love the finished length of the sleeves, I usually push all my sleeves up, but these finish at the perfect spot! ¬†This is a great addition to my wardrobe, the colours go perfectly with everything else and I love the boxy shape and cropped length. ¬†I’m going to wear it loads with my Birkin jeans!

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Ta-da! All done for another year!

So there you have it, my outfit for the Indie Royalty category. ¬†I will try to catch up on the remains of June’s makes and the July stuff that didn’t fall into the Indie Month categories as soon as possible. ¬†I seem to really have got cracking with the sewing since getting my own sewing room, but the stash isn’t going down quite as quickly as I’d hoped. ¬†Best I get a move on then, Mr Not Compulsive has been dropping hints about never getting anything made for him and I have a good stash of Paul Smith shirtings!

Lounging Pajamas

Because these are no ordinary pjs! ¬†I’ve finally upgraded my sleepwear collection this year, and these are the business. ¬†I chose a couple of Mrs Depew pajama patterns earlier this year, determined that in my 40s I deserved better sleepwear than baggy tees and a couple of self drafted pants. ¬†Last year I made a Kimono Robe, this year I’ve upped my game.

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Mrs Depew 1920s Pajama set 3068

The advent of Independent Pattern Month¬†on The Monthly Stitch galvanised me to finally get cracking on these. ¬† I thought the “New to Me” category would be perfect encouragement! ¬†The pattern is Mrs Depew 3068, a reproduction of a 1920s pattern for a robe, top with either long or short sleeves and ankle length or knee length pants. ¬†It’s one of those patterns you can see made up in fancy silk, trimmed with velvet and worn on the silver screen by a gorgeous platinum blonde. ¬†I’m neither!

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I’d seen an interesting viscose jersey print on Croft Mill Fabric’s site, black with beige, but not all over (no longer in stock, unfortunately). ¬†It looked abstract and I liked it for the pajama top. ¬†The pattern isn’t drafted for stretch fabrics, but as I’m technically a size up from the largest size of the pattern, I figured stretch would be just fine!! ¬†As it turns out, I think it would have worked just fine in a woven. ¬†For the pants and robe I chose a beige viscose, also from Croft Mill. ¬†There was black viscose in the stash that would be used for the bands on the pants and the robe.

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The pants were so quick and easy to make! ¬†They consist of just two pieces, a leg and a band. ¬†Couldn’t be easier. ¬†I’m just not sure where those 20s ladies wore their pj pants, up under their boobs so the crotch depth worked, or with the MC Hammer look… ¬†The crotch depth is – well, let’s just say they look like a baby elephant could fit in! ūüėÄ ¬†For the sake of accuracy I’m photographing them as they are, but I feel they’ll have to be altered pretty soon. ¬†I used the overlocker instead of French seams, you only have 1cm seam allowance (3/8 inches). ¬†Although French seams are certainly do-able with just 1cm, I opted for speed!

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1920s Pj construction instructions

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The top was quick too, instructions for making are brief – think Burda on a major diet! ¬†But there is a diagram to go with the minimal instructions and it’s numbered with corresponding notches on the pattern pieces, so it’s not all that tricky. ¬†I left off the band at the bottom, the top was going to be long enough on me without it. ¬†The neck band was interfaced with some of Gill Arnold’s knit interfacing to give it a bit of body and stability, as were the cuffs. ¬†I decided to make the long sleeved version to go with the long pants as I’m intending these to be worn in the winter. ¬†There is a small section of shirring at the shoulder instead of any darts.

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Mrs Depew 3068 Details

On to the robe. ¬†Again, only three main pieces – front, back, and sleeves (in two lengths). ¬†The borders were cut in the black viscose and seamed together in one long length before attaching them to the robe. ¬†It pays to stitch a guideline on the inside to iron under the raw edge so that topstitching from the right side catches all the insides nice and neatly. ¬†Also, although the instructions say nothing (naturally) don’t stitch the mitred corners from the edge of the fabric, start 1cm in so you can turn the corner properly! ¬†The sleeve cuffs are double folded rectangles inserted into the armhole.

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I really like this pajama set and will happily make another! ¬†The viscose feels lovely and luxurious, and I’m sure it will feel cool even in the late summer. ¬†I just don’t want to think of what it will look like after one sleep! ¬† It’ll be like napping in linen… And I’m definitely going to alter that crotch depth issue with the pants. ¬†*edit* ¬†I’m not changing the crotch length any more, they’re so damn comfy to sleep in!!!

 

**UPDATE**

My fabulous pajamas have been shortlisted in the “New to Me” category of IPM2017 on The Monthly Stitch! ¬†Woohoo!! ūüôā ¬†To vote for me (if you’d like) – and two other brilliant projects, follow this link.

 

Butter Mellow, Sunflower Yellow

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It’s Independent Pattern Month again! ¬†I have given the whole thing a miss for a couple of years, but decided I’d like to enter again this year. ¬†The fact that IPM2017 is in July instead of June really helped! ¬†The first week’s category is dresses, and I had just the one! ¬†Usually I’d make something for the girls, but neither of them are around at the moment, making fitting and photos a trifle tricky. ¬†I could have chosen my good friend who has had me-mades in the past, but she really doesn’t like being photographed and I didn’t want to make her feel uncomfortable, just to get a free dress!! ¬†So I asked another friend if she’d be interested – the answer! “Oh God, yeah!!”

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I wanted to make the Itch to Stitch Anza Dress, which I had a pretty good feeling she’d like, and I was right! ¬†We chatted fabric choices while I took her measurements and then I went home to trawl the interwebs to find what she wanted. ¬†I sent a few links with something along the lines of what we’d discussed, and then threw in a curveball, a graduated, ombre viscose with geometric pattern – the reply was instant! “That one!”

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Based on her measurements I traced the size 2 with D cup, grading out to the 4 at the waist, moving on t the 6 over the hip. ¬†I’d printed off the A0 version of the PDF, it’s so well laid out! ¬†There aren’t any pattern pieces overlapping onto different sheets and minimal wasted space. ¬†The PDF is layered so you could just print the size(s) you needed. ¬†Using an old sheet for the toile, it went together really well.

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The Anza Dress toile in a fetching pink sheeting

 

I followed all the instructions and used all the pieces, checking the pattern instructions as well as the fit this time round. ¬†I’ve never used an Itch to Stitch pattern before, and now I’m quite tempted to try another. ¬†The instructions are spot on, enough info if you need it, and clear enough to skim through and move on. ¬†The toile fitted just fine, I like patterns with cup sizes, no need for FBA! ¬†The dress is described as knee length – my friend is on the petite side but liked the hem length as it was, below the knee. ¬†So I didn’t shorten the skirt part and thankfully there were no other adjustments required.

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The fabric is a viscose from Fabric Godmother, that is more like a voile, it’s a very lightweight viscose! ¬†I had already decided when I saw it online that it had to be cut with the gold at the hem, graduating white through grey and into the solid black for the bodice. ¬†The overlocker came in very handy for the construction, as did my daylight lamp… ¬†Sewing black on black is a killer on the eyes as you get (a little) older! ¬†The fabric was more challenging to work with than the old sheet had been! ¬†Perseverance and patience were the name of the game, neither qualities I have in abundance.

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Ombre Border Print Viscose from Fabric Godmother
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Anza Dress, pocket and hem details
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Bodice details & vintage buttons

The dress itself took me two days to make, that’s including resetting the pockets about 4 times, and eventually recutting one front because I’d stuck the seam ripper through the fabric while taking off the pocket – again!!! ¬†It was so wiggly! ¬†Anyway, it’s all worked out fine in the end and I’m really chuffed with it! ¬†My friend bought the fabric, the elastic and black bias binding I used for the drawstring came from the stash, as did the vintage faceted buttons. ¬†They’d been sent to me by another friend who lives in the States.

 

 

We took the photos after work, (she’s a florist) and she’s informed me she’s not taking it off. ¬†Her partner will have to take her out tonight, she has a lovely new dress to wear! ¬†I think I might like to make another in linen, or a nice cotton, but I will steer clear of ¬†viscose voile for this pattern, and never make one in silk…

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UPDATE!!

My dress has been shortlisted on The Monthly Stitch in the top 14 dresses, so the voting starts now!  Follow this link to cast your vote, and see who else is in the running with more fabulous dresses!

EXTRA UPDATE

Thanks to everyone who voted for my friend’s lovely new dress, I was one of the 8 winners of the dresses category and will be donating my prize of 3 Victory Patterns to the Makers for Grenfell fundraiser, run by Portia Lawrie.

 

Floral Silk Warabi Kimono

It’s been a while, helloo there!!¬† Well, I did say back in January that blogging would be sporadic!¬† The silence since coming back from my holiday is basically due to me sewing loads and loads of stuff, and showing nothing of it here for you guys, but annoying all my Instagram followers with loads of pics of baby and little girl’s clothes!¬† There will be a write-up soon, but first wanted to show off one of the few adult’s garments I’ve made this month.

While I was away I got an email from Kat, one of the founders of The Monthly Stitch.¬† If you’ve been following along with Indie Pattern Month this year you will have noticed that there has been an “extra”.¬† In order to raise money for charities and to take The Monthly Stitch to a new level, three bundles consisting of various patterns have been put together for sale.¬† I was offered the chance to pick a bundle and make one or more patterns from the bundle in order to promote the concept.¬† As I was away at the time, I went with the last one, entitled Getaway.

As you could probably guess from the title, this bundle has patterns for holidays.¬† The pattern chosen to start is the Warabi Kimono top from Waffle Patterns.¬† I had actually bought this pattern last year and toiled it for myself, but my shape really didn’t do it any justice.¬† I decided my best friend could do with a new top and started digging in the stash for suitable fabric.¬† I had to shop the stash as there is this little pledge not to buy anything until Christmas time!

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Warabi Kimono Toile on the dress form

I rediscovered 5m of gorgeous silk that was liberated from a local charity shop a few years back for a ridiculously low price.¬† The colour is perfect for my friend’s colouring and the lightness of the fabric suits the pattern really well.¬† I toiled the 38, which fitted straight off the bat, the pattern needed to be lengthened by 3cm because my friend is quite tall and is long waisted.

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Details. French seams inside and double turned hems.

French seams were used throughout, the only finish if you’re going with a lightweight silk, and double turned all the hems.¬† I loved making this pattern, the instructions couldn’t be clearer, Yuki also supplies detailed illustrations so there’s no getting confused.¬† I have used Waffle Patterns before, with superb results.

I used the copy shop version, I have a huge aversion to cutting and taping millions of A4 pieces of paper together and will now avoid buying a PDF pattern if that option is not included.¬† What I like about this one is that the pattern pieces all fit nicely onto one A0.¬† Nice and cheap.¬† The instructions booklet is also not pages and pages long.¬† It’s informative, has everything you need and doesn’t have 8 pages showing you how to lay out the pattern pieces.

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Warabi Kimono Top in green floral silk. I love it!
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Fabulous full sleeves
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https://wordpress.com/post/bellemegan.wordpress.com/3374 The back has a higher “v” and central back seam.

Pictures are on the dress form only for now, my friend has yet to see her present, but I know she’ll love it!¬† The green of the silk looks fantastic with jeans, so this will be the perfect “dress it up” top.¬† If you like what you see, visit The Monthly Stitch‘s page to see the other patterns in the bundles and spread the sewing love.¬† I will have another pattern to show you in a couple of days, also from the Getaway bundle, also a gift!

The Kimono was finally delivered today & I’ve managed to get a couple of photos. My friend is very camera shy so these were taken on the sly!
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I love that she’s happy wearing it with shorts in a very casual way, and not just keeping it “for good”.