STYLISH DRESS BOOK ‘B’ : COTTON + STEEL

Stylish Dress Book 'B' : Cotton + Steel

Stylish Dress Book : Tunic ‘B’
Spark Navy from the Cotton + Steel Bespoke collection in Double Gauze Cotton

This pattern is a staple for me. I love reaching into my closet and pulling out any of my many versions – most of them in nani IRO double gauze. I just love the silhouette and those cute puffy sleeves! This was my first time trying  the new Cotton + Steel double gauze and it was perfect.

Stylish Dress Book 'B' : Cotton + Steel

Stylish Dress Book 'B' : Cotton + Steel

Stylish Dress Book 'B' : Cotton + Steel

FACTORY DRESS WITH INDIGO OMBRE LEGGINGS

Factory Dress with Indigo Ombre Leggings

 

Merchant & Mills Factory Dress : Shine Many Ways nani IRO cotton sateen
Hand Dyed Indigo Ombre Leggings

This outfit is so happy that Spring weather is finally here, so it can get out of my closet. So many of my favourite things happening right here.

The Factory Dress is another great pattern from Merchant & Mills. I’ve had great success working my way through their collection. The styling is loose and so comfortable. For the Camber Set & the Dress Shirt (you’ll see this dress soon!) I took the sides in a bit. For this dress I thought I’d see how it turned out without making that adjustment. I think my next version could easily have a few inches removed for a slimmer fit, but I am liking this looser fit.

The collar and neckline of the dress are cleverly sewn together and I love the look. Also these cuffed sleeves are so cute! Wearing this dress today makes me realize that I would like a few more in my wardrobe.

We have to talk about this Nani IRO cotton sateen. It’s dreamy!! I adore everything Nani IRO and most of her collection is released in double gauze cotton which is lovely but whenever she puts out other substrates like flannel or canvas I try to snap some up. This is the first cotton sateen that I’ve sewn with and it’s perfect. Just a slight sheen, great drape and wonderful to sew with. I have another piece of this Shine Many Ways print in the darker colourway that I’m trying to find the perfect pattern for.

The leggings were hand dyed and also handmade by me! I’m always so proud when I make clothes that are hand dyed and have some ideas for more pieces I want to dye this summer. I ombré dyed some bamboo jersey in our Indigo class last summer and then made them into leggings. They are like a piece of wearable art!

Dream outfit!!

Factory Dress with Indigo Ombre Leggings

Factory Dress with Indigo Ombre Leggings

Factory Dress with Indigo Ombre Leggings

Factory Dress with Indigo Ombre Leggings

TINY POCKET TANK : TOKYO TRAIN RIDE

Tiny Pocket Tank : Tokyo Train Ride

Grainline Studio : Tiny Pocket Tank
Mystery Food print in Cotton Lawn from the Cotton + Steel Tokyo Train Ride collection

I’ve made so many Wiksten Tanks that I haven’t been in a rush to try any other tank patterns. I thought this cute octopus print would be perfect for a summer tank and for a new tank experiment.

I was excited about the prospect of the darts to get a more shapely fit. I could tell right away when I looked at the darts on the pattern that they were too big for me. I double checked online and the pattern is drafted for a B-cup, so I thought I would be able to just reduce it by half and call it a day. I didn’t quite like how that looked so I reduced it a bit more. As I was reading online about other people’s pattern adjustments, I decided that rather than dissecting the pattern any further I would just stay with my dart adjustment and finish it up so I could get to wearing it.

I enjoyed all the extra details on the bias trim like clipping notches and understitching to make things lay flat. Plus, the curved hem of this pattern is much easier to stitch since it is not as severe as the Wiksten. Even though I love a good pocket matching challenge, I decided to leave off the tiny pocket because of all the extra stitching it took to get the dart just right.

I know a lot of people find the fit of the Wiksten Tank doesn’t work for them and likely this pattern might be better. Has anyone else made both? What are your thoughts?

I’m happily putting this cute tank into my wardrobe rotation right away!

Tiny Pocket Tank : Tokyo Train Ride

Tiny Pocket Tank : Tokyo Train Ride

LINDEN SWEATSHIRT : MY LITTLE STAR LIBERTY

Linden Sweatshirt : Liberty Dufour Jersey

Grainline Studio : Linden Sweatshirt
Liberty of London Dufour Jersey : My Little Star

When I went to London in January with Lizzy & Katherine, one of our shopping adventures took us to the famous Shaukat store. By far, the biggest collection of Liberty past and present that I’ve ever seen. I treated myself to two old favourite Liberty prints in Dufour Jersey – My Little Star and Stanley. I’ve been wanting to try this lightweight jersey for such a long time. I’ll admit that this thin jersey had me a little fearful, but I didn’t have a single problem working with it the same way I’ve been working with other knits.

I love how slinky the fabric is and how it changes the look of the Linden. To me, it definitely feels and looks so much dressier with this weight of fabric.

If this print looks familiar, maybe you remember my dress from summer 2009? I still love these Liberty stars just as much! (maybe even more)

Make a Linden with me at the workroom or pick up a copy of the pattern here.

Linden Sweatshirt : Liberty Dufour Jersey

Linden Sweatshirt : Liberty Dufour Jersey

101 TROUSER : FREEDOM GARDEN

101 Trouser : Nani IRO

101 Trouser by Merchant & Mills
Freedom Garden Greece double gauze cotton by nani IRO
worn with Camber Set Tee

It’s been ages since I made these pants but the weather got cold right after and I haven’t been able to wear them until now. The choice of print for this pattern is quite the opposite of what I would normally choose, but once in a while I try to surprise myself. I’m starting to think more about pants (not jeans) as something I might wear and this seems like a good start.

The 101 Trouser is a very straightforward pattern and I made one little modification, based on a suggestion from Marnie that I might like a bit more of the ‘paper bag effect’ at the waist, so I added two inches to the height of the waistband piece (to give an overall 1″ extra).

In the double gauze these pants are so light and comfy. I usually use double gauze for tops and dresses, but it works really well with this style.  I’m going to try another version in a linen next to add to my summer wardrobe.

101 Trouser : Nani IRO

101 Trouser : Nani IRO

101 Trouser : Nani IRO

101 Trouser : Nani IRO

101 Trouser : Nani IRO

SAILOR TOP : MORNING WALK

Sailor Top : Morning Walk

Fancy Tiger Sailor Top
Bare Nopal Gloom from the Leah Duncan ‘Morning Walk’ collection

Happy May 1st!! Today marks the start of Me Made May – a month to celebrate wearing handmade. Last year was my first year joining in and I enjoyed the opportunity to look at my closet with fresh eyes and share some handmade items that had missed getting documented along the way. I’ll be posting mostly on Instagram, but doing my best to keep up with regular posts here. With some planning, I’ll be photographing some pieces ahead of time, so that I can share the detailed photos here.

First up is my new Fancy Tiger Sailor Top! It’s been months since I made my first one and I’d been wanting to make a new one for a while. The new Leah Duncan ‘Morning Walk’ collection came in and I just fell in love with this dark teal floral print.

Again, I was able to sew it up in just one night. This time I made one change – once I sewed on the sleeves, I serged/trimmed all the extra seam allowance off. Then, once I had sewn the side seams, I also serged/trimmed those extra seam allowances off too. Because the seam allowance is so wide (5/8″) I found that it created some tightness along the curves of the sleeve area in my last version. Trimming all the extra seam allowances off made a noticeable difference. It would be best to do this after you know that the shirt fits if you haven’t made the pattern yet. Meaning you should get the neck yoke finished first before trimming away the side seams, especially.

I’ve got a pretty coral Liberty print washed and ready for cutting as my next Sailor Top.

I’ll be collecting all my Me Made May 2015 photos here, or follow along on Instagram!

We have the Sailor Top Pattern at the workroom and we also have a class, if you’d like to learn to make one with me!

Sailor Top : Morning Walk

Sailor Top : Morning Walk

LINDEN SWEATSHIRT : MORRIS LIBERTY

Linden : Liberty Morris

Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt
Liberty of London : Murray Loopback Fleece in Pink Morris

Surprise! Another Linden in Liberty. This was my first time using the Murray Loopback fleece. This is the summer weight fleece that isn’t brushed on the inside like the Linford Fleece. It has more of a terry feel and it’s just as lovely.

Normally I just cut my sleeve cuffs and neck band on the bias, but for this version I also cut my hem band on the bias too. I had enough fabric and I like the way the Liberty Morris pattern looks on the bias.

In anticipation of the warmer weather, I’m starting to experiment with using lightweight jersey with this pattern. I’m afraid you’re going to have to endure my ongoing Linden obsession for a bit longer!

Linden in Dulwich Park Liberty Fleece
Linden in Manning Liberty Fleece

Linden : Liberty Morris

Linden : Liberty Morris

Linden : Liberty Morris

Linden : Liberty Morris

Linden : Liberty Morris

LINDEN SWEATSHIRT : MANNING LIBERTY

Linden Sweatshirt in Manning

Grainline Studio : Linden Sweatshirt
Liberty of London : Manning Linford Fleece

This is my third Linden. Linden #1 is here.

One of the things that I love about the Linden is that it comes together quite quickly. When I feel like I want to sew something but don’t have a lot of time, the Linden does the trick. I get the satisfaction of sewing something from start to finish and I also get to add another sweatshirt to my collection. Win. Win.

Now that I know the fit is perfect, as I’m sewing the Linden together I like to twin needle stitch each seam. It takes a little extra time, but I love the way this detail looks.

Don’t forget! If you’re making self ribbing from the Liberty Fleece, you want to cut it on the bias.

Has anyone made any modifications to this pattern? I think I’m ready to experiment…

Linden Sweatshirt in Manning

Linden Sweatshirt in Manning

Linden Sweatshirt in Manning

Linden Sweatshirt in Manning

Linden Sweatshirt in Manning

Linden Sweatshirt in Manning

SOMERSET STAR

Somerset Star

I first spotted this technique on Pinterest a few years ago. I was smitten. Of course my first instinct was to forward the photo to Johanna to get her take on it. Johanna’s way is always the best way, so I waited. Luckily I know how to keep myself busy!

Somerset Star was recently added to the workroom’s class roster and I was first in line.

I love stars in all forms and this one is especially fun to make. The technique involves a lot of fabric folding and ironing. Of course, the best fun is in choosing all the pretty fabrics you are going to put together. For me, I can’t seem to shake pink & grey & black. Quite a few of these prints appear in my Swoon Quilt and others are in my Feather Bed Quilt. The Stamped T print from Doe is sneaking into everything these days.

When I started my Somerset Star, I knew that I wanted to frame it in a large embroidery hoop for the wall, so I did about eight ’rounds’ to build up my star to a good size. Johanna taught us how to do a very cool porthole finish, which was the only machine sewing for this project. Everything else was done by hand, which is perfect. I used Essex Yarn Dyed in Black to frame my star.

i LOVE how this turned out! Such a fun and easy project. I definitely want to make more. For now, I’m plotting out possible colour palettes.

Somerset Star in progress

Somerset Star

Somerset Star

Somerset Star

Somerset Star

GRAINLINE STUDIO ALDER : NANI IRO

Grainline Studio Alder : nani IRO

Grainline Studio : Alder Shirtdress
nani IRO Double Gauze : Green Pierre Pocho

I haven’t done a lot of sewing this year.  My mind seems to be elsewhere these days, but I’m hoping that’s going to change soon. I think I just need to get some ducks in a row before I get back my sewing mojo. I can at least say that I’ve finally made an Alder shirtdress.

I made this just before my trip to London with Lizzy & Katherine. Officially, it was finished in London. Those buttons got sewn on in our Islington Flat. The trip was so quick, that I didn’t have time for a London photoshoot, so here we are again in my usual spot! (back stairs of the workroom)

I didn’t make any changes to this pattern and it fits really well. I love clothing with double gauze, especially in nani IRO.  I will say that making technical garments with double gauze is a bit of a challenge. It’s tricky to do things like tiny hems and collar stands to the level that I expect of myself, but nonetheless everything turned out pretty great. I will never stop making clothes with double gauze. It’s just important to remember the qualities and limitations of the material you’re working with. I am definitely planning to make my next version out of Liberty of London. I’m looking forward to re-sewing this pattern with that crisp tana lawn. Two modifications that I’ll be making with my next Alder will be adding some short sleeves (from the Grainline Archer Shirt) and adding a bit of length to the overall hem.  I found this version to be a bit short on the side seams to wear on it’s own. Probably 2-3 inches should do it.

I’ve had such great luck with Grainline Studio patterns. Now that the Tiny Pocket Tank is in print, it’s next on my hit list.

Grainline Studio Alder : nani IRO

Grainline Studio Alder : nani IRO

Grainline Studio Alder : nani IRO

Grainline Studio Alder : nani IRO