Tag Archives: Collar

Style Crush: Alison Brie

I’ve loved Alison Brie since binge-watching Community a couple of years ago when it was on Netflix – for some reason it has now disappeared, which is a shame because it’s brilliant! Also, of course, I then enjoyed her role as Trudy in Mad Men.

Then last month Netflix released GLOW – Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. We watched it all in 2 days and could easily have watched it all in one go. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a funny, smart show about women. The central friendship between Alison Brie’s and Betty Gilpin’s characters is a refreshingly 3 dimensional look at female friendship. And there are lots of good female characters as all the wrestlers have personalities and get time being more of a central character. And they don’t just talk about men all the time, so this definitely passes the Bechdel Test!

I also slightly love all the terrible 80s fashion, hair and make-up! Can someone please invite me to an 80s party so I have an excuse to make an 80s outfit?

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I saw an interview with Alison Brie where she said she got a perm for the role! Now that’s dedication to your craft.

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Since I now have a total girl crush on her, I thought I’d do a post about her style, which I really like. I also totally want to be as fit as she is in GLOW. I have (again) started jogging, so maybe one day!

I’m not sure I could pull off leather trousers tbh (I’m not Theresa May after all!), but I do like this look. I like the top and the lipstick too. If only I ever wore lipstick…..

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I really like the details on this dress – the black side panels and the unlined part of the skirt at the bottom. I really want to know what kind of fabric this is! On the skirt it looks almost like chain, but that would weigh a tonne, so I’m sure it’s not! Answers on a postcard please if you know.

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I really, really like this sweatshirt. I reckon it would be fairly easy to knock off, with the Grainline Linden pattern, but the tricky thing would be finding the right fabric. I like it with the shirt underneath, too.

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Ah, my love of collars is definitely coming back! Not totally sure about the cuffs, but I love her hair and make-up here.

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I’m not normally a huge fan of strapless dresses, but for some reason I really like this one. Look at the embroidery! I assume it’s embroidery, but it could be on the actual fabric and they’ve done some really clever pattern placement?

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I like the fake cut out type panels on this dress. The (I assume) lace inserts look really cool.

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I really love this dress which she wore to the People’s Choice Awards in 2016. After some googling I have discovered it was designed by Cushnie Et Ochs. I love the minty colour and she shape of the front panel, and the cut outs look great. A contender for my dress for next year’s Dressmaker’s Ball perhaps?

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I really like the simplicity of this dress. I think it works so well because it fits her perfectly. It looks like the edges might be leather/faux leather, which adds a bit of an edge to what might have been a slightly twee dress.

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I love this jumpsuit! I’ve had a couple of jumpsuits patterns in my stash for ages and I’ve still not made one. I’m not generally a fan of wrap fronts (as I don’t have the chest to fill them) but I really like this. Probably mostly in love with it for the colour! And it has pockets!

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I really like this coat and scarf combo. I always feel like I don’t look that stylish when I wear scarves, but I’m not sure how to tie/wrap them to look cool. I might copy this coat at some point in the future……when I apparently have unlimited sewing time and money!

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To be honest, I’m not entirely sure why I like this Bella Freud dress so much, but I do really like it. I love the colour, even if it’s one I wouldn’t wear, and I like the seam details across the upper chest and the sleeves. It’s quite 70s I think.

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Have you watched GLOW yet? If so, did you love it? I’m almost certainly going to watch it again next week when I have a sewcation from work 😀




Blue Spotty Archer Button Up

I made a shirt! With a collar and cuffs and sleeve plackets and a yoke and pockets and everything! Can you tell I’m pleased with myself!?


This is, of course, the Grainline Archer Button Up Shirt. I bought the pattern a while back from Raystitch and the fabric at (are you getting sick of this yet) Rolls and Rems. It’s a nice soft cotton, and it’s spotty, though you can’t really tell! I bought it in this shade and in navy blue. I intended it for something else when I first bought it (I can’t remember what that was now), but then I thought it would be perfect for my first Archer.


I can definitely see more Archers in my future! It’s still fairly casual to wear a button down with skinny jeans, but it can easily be dressed up to look a bit smarter for work. I don’t own a plain white shirt, so I think a white one will be next. And then maybe some in plaid for weekends – I (uncharacteristically) popped into New Look today and they had a bunch of quite nice plaid and stripey shirts, so I now feel inspired to make about 10!


I had never sewn any of the special things that make a shirt a shirt – namely the collar, cuffs and sleeve plackets. All I can say is thank god for the sewalong! I’m sure the next time I make this the instructions included with the pattern will be sufficient, but some of the parts definitely needed more explanation the first time.


I made the straight size 4 and am pretty happy with the fit. It’s a bit gapey at the back, as everything is, so I think I may finally actually tackle a swayback adjustment the next time I make it to try to make it pool a bit less than this one does, though it doesn’t bother me particularly. But part of the point of making your own clothes is to make ones that fit you perfectly, so I should really fit it a bit.


I wonder if the pockets are a little big on me – what do you think? I wonder if making them a little less long might make them look more in proportion?

This was meant to be a close-up of the details on the back and my amazingly neat top-stitching, but The Boyfriend didn’t really under stand. But at least here you can see that the fabric is spotty! It also does look a bit wide on me across the shoulders at the back, boo!


The only other change I might make would be to slightly shorten the sleeves as they are a little long on me. I think I’ll wear them rolled up most of the time – I tend to wear all my sleeves rolled up most of the time – but it would be nice for them to be a little shorter for wearing under jumpers.


Apparently this is the way to demonstrate that the sleeves are too long…….


Also, I thought you might enjoy this outtake photo – it’s fairly subtle but I definitely look a bit drunk or something!


Have you made the Archer? If not, are you tempted to give it a go? I found I really enjoyed working steadily through all the new techniques and details like top-stitching. I tried to enjoy the process of making it instead of racing for the finish line, as I sometimes do (and then I get frustrated because things always take longer to make than I think!). I made this in little chunks over 3 different weekends, having cut it out the weekend before I started it, which is pretty slow for me. Do you enjoy the process or focus on the finished product?

My First Banksia

Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet this last week – I was away last weekend, hanging out with my best friends, then last week at work was too busy for me to have the energy to write any posts – I organise events for a bookshop and last week there were 9 events! Also I’d finished my Banksia a little while ago but hadn’t had a chance to take any photos. Any way, enough with apologies and onto my new favourite top!

As I mentioned a while ago, I bought Megan Nielsen’s Banksia Top a little while ago and I almost immediately got to work on it. I cut out the xs as it was still a bit big for my bust measurement – but since it’s not meant to be fitted, I figured it wouldn’t matter. And I love it!


The fabric is some lovely, soft pink stripey cotton I got from one of the shops in Goldhawk Road – I forget which one. It’s the same one where I bought the cake fabric for my friend’s apron and the price was meant to be £7.99 per metre but he did it at £5.99 per metre because I had bought some other things – lovely man!

I tried my hardest to match the stripes on the side seams and it almost worked:


I also french seamed all of the seams, including the sleeve seams. I’d never done that before so used the French All Your Seams tutorial on Grainline Studio’s blog. It looks so pretty on the inside, it makes me stupidly happy!


I like the look of the bias binding that neatens the collar too – clever pattern drafting:

P1010747-mediumAs you can see in that photo, I cheated and used poppers instead of buttons. I hate, hate, hate, sewing button holes and wanted the top finished and didn’t want to mess it up with the fabric getting chewed up with the button holes going wrong. I sewed some buttons on the top to make it look like it was fastened with buttons – cheater!

P1010749-mediumP1010750-PS-mediumI love the over-sized collar but boy did it take ages to clip all the notches before turning it the right way round!

P1010583-PS-mediumThe pattern was pretty easy to assemble – the collar was easy to sew in. The only complicated bit is the placket – I used method 2 for putting it in and there was one point where I got a bit confused,  but Megan Nielsen has a sew-along on her website and with some more photos, it became clear how to do it.


I’m just going to put this last picture in because what am I doing with my face?!

P1010718-PS-mediumSo to sum up, I love this top! I also love pink, which is a new development!