Tag Archives: Handmade Wardrobe

I made ALL THE UNDERWEAR

If you don’t follow me on YouTube (or Instagram) you may not have seen that I have made rather a lot of underwear in the last few weeks! I have a whole new underwear wardrobe, which is awesome because I was getting a bit low on pants – does anyone else find lots of pairs seem to wear out all at the same time, leaving you with barely a week’s worth? Well I no longer have that problem, lol.

Fair warning: there are a lot of photos in this post. You can see a video of all the combinations on YouTube or Instagram Reels.

The 2 patterns I used for all of these makes were the Sophie Hines Axis Tank – which I took off 5cm from for the bralette versions and added 7cm to for the vest versions; and the Megan Nielsen Acacia Pants – which is free, and which I added 4cm to the rise of as I like my pants to sit slightly higher. The Axis Tank goes up to a 50″ bust, 42″ waist, and the Acacia Pants go up to a 48″ waist and 58″ hip. It’s free to newsletter subscribers.

I decided I wanted most of my underwear to be made from nice, breathable jerseys. I did use some random stuff from the stash (the navy, mustard stripe and navy stripe) but I also ordered some bamboo jerseys from Ray Stitch, plus the mustardy-peach was a different organic jersey (but not bamboo).

This was my first time sewing with bamboo jersey and while it is really soft and lovely to wear, it wasn’t my favourite to sew with, if I’m honest. It’s very slippery and I’m often a bit slapdash with cutting out so some of my pieces maybe weren’t quite the exact right shape/size but it all seemed to work out okay in the end. I’m happy to have a break from sewing with it though!

I bought a bunch of foldover elastic from ebay and it obviously isn’t the best quality but it’s good enough and the thicker stuff I bought is actually a little too strong so it’s a delicate balance finding the right elastic, imho. I did have some bright blue elastic which was just about enough for one pair of pants so I used it on a white pair for maximum contrast and I do love this pair!

I know it might be kind of a boring colour, but I think the grey ones might be my favourite. I only ordered white, black and navy elastic so I decided to use white elastic on the grey (I briefly considered black but it didn’t look as good) and I’m really happy with how they look.

I just realised I didn’t mention the sizes I made – I made the size xs of the Axis tank and the size 2 of the Acacia pants. My measurements are 32″ bust, 25″ waist, 35″ hip.

At some point in the last 18 months/ 2 years or so I decided I didn’t want to keep wearing underwired bras. In the Winter, working in a freezing cold bookshop, I’d be wearing 8 layers of clothes on average, so it really didn’t matter whether I had a bra on or not and I got used to not wearing them. Then when I tried after a break, I felt like the wire was REALLY digging into my ribs – I guess that was always the case, but I was used to it? I then decided I needed some soft bralettes for when I want a layer underneath my clothes. Luckily I don’t feel like I need the support of underwiring.

I had a mammoth cutting out session of cutting out all the things before I moved (at the beginning of May) so I would have some projects ready to go for after the move. I thought batch sewing would be fun – and the actual construction seams are really minimal across both patterns (2 gussets via the burrito method and side seams for the pants; and one back seam and 2 shoulder seams for the tank). But then there’s the hem bands and the elastic. I definitely would be happy to not sew any elastic for a while!

In total I made 4 pairs of pants in each plain colour (black, white, grey, navy, mustardy-peach) and 2 in the mustard stripe. Then I made 2 bralettes and one vest in each of the plain colours, plus one vest in each of the striped fabrics. It definitely should keep me going for a while! I could maybe cut out individual items when I’m next making a knit project to use up any scraps but I don’t want to batch in the same way again!

This striped fabric is actually a ponte and it doesn’t really have enough stretch to be as easy to get on and off or as comfortable to wear.

I am digging how from the back it looks like an old fashioned style swimming costume! I was thinking before I took all these photos that actually these 2 patterns could make a good bikini-type swimming costume. I would leave the pants as they are and maybe use the original length of the Axis Tank for the top – I think the vest is a little too long and the bralette a little too short. Not that I ever wear swimming costumes, but I’m kind of digging the idea now I’ve thought of it! I might keep my eyes open for some nice swim fabric (oooh, maybe a mix and match set with 2 pairs….)

I do really love this fabric. It’s been sitting in my stash for ages, waiting for the right project and I’m glad I’ve finally used some up. I think I might still have enough left for a t-shirt so I might have to move that to the top of my to-make list. I’m definitely craving some simpler projects to cleanse my palette from the endless elastic and hem band sewing!

I said for the longest time that I wasn’t going to bother making underwear as it would be too fiddly, I can buy it and there are more fun and exciting projects to make! But then last year I was furloughed for months and months and so had the time to work through my whole back-catalogue of projects I wanted to make and so suddenly making underwear seemed useful instead of a waste of time. I maybe could have made fewer items (lol) but at least I’m all set for a good while. Now I’ve finished them all, maybe I can make some completely frivolous frosting makes to try different fabrics? Or do some proper full on tailoring? Or some hand sewn projects? Who knows…..

Mersis Dress for a wedding?

Just before I moved, I decided to make a Mersis Dress I had been planning to wear to a wedding that was to take place this Summer (having been postponed from last year), but it has been postponed by another year – but at least I’m ready early and won’t be sewing the hem on the train on my way there!

This is the Mersis Dress by Pattern Fantastique – I totally lusted after their sequinned version and immediately knew it could be a good option for this crepe I had been hoarding for my wedding outfit. There were going to be two weddings last year but one did take place with only 20 people and the other has been postponed – you wait ages for a good wedding, 2 come along at once, swiftly followed by a global pandemic!

I was originally going to make the Zadie Jumpsuit, which looks amazing on everyone I’ve ever seen it on! But then I thought about the whole ‘having to get naked to go to the toilet’ thing and decided maybe a dress would be more practical for tipsy toilet trips!

I especially love the shape of the back neckline and I’m so pleased I decided to make this pattern. It feels really loose and relaxed on, but still looks chic I think, and has interest in the ginormous sleeves!

I made the size 10 with no changes – it’s such a loose fit all over that it’s not too difficult to fit but I wanted the shoulders and neckline to fit nicely and I think I made the right choice of size. The pattern goes up to a size 26, which is 51″ bust, 44″ waist and 54″ hip. It’s not the most inclusive set of sizes but they used to only go up to a size 16 so they have improved what they offer, so I felt okay about buying the pattern.

The crepe was something I bought from an instagram destash and there was 3m, which was lucky because being so long, this does take up quite a lot of fabric. I am 5’3″ and didn’t make any changes to the length, though I like that it sits a little longer on me than in the pattern images – I assume it’s drafted for the standard 5’6″, though I can’t find that info on the website. I definitely should have ironed the dress before I took these photos, though!

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before, but I can be a bit slapdash with cutting out – I like to batch but out a few projects at a time and tend to do them a but quickly, especially if the fabric is a bit shifty, which this was. I definitely could have taken more care with the cutting out as some of my pieces ended up not quite fitting perfectly. The pockets also gape a little bit as I matched the notches instead of following my instinct to get them to lie flat, though I don’t think it looks terrible – it follows the line of the curved side seam.

I think I would be interested to make this pattern again, in a more stable fabric as a slightly glam summer dress. It could lend itself to some colour-blocking too, as there are some interesting seam lines. I also kind of want a sequinned version still…

Of course I might still change my mind about wearing this to the wedding by the time it comes around, but then I think I won’t possibly ever wear this, so I should stick to my guns. But sewing a new thing is always fun – and having an event as an excuse is my favourite thing…..

Moar Pyjamas

As I mentioned in my last post about the other pyjamas I made, I have another pair to share with you.

The fabric is some lovely brushed cotton from Fabrics Galore and I love the colours – the bright pink running through the blues really brightens it up!

As with all my other pairs of Carolyns, I made the size 8 and just shortened the sleeves and legs as I’m shorter than the pattern is drafted for. This is my fourth pair of Carolyns, so to be honest I don’t have much else to say about this pattern!

The buttons, as with my previous pair, were from Ray Stitch and thankfully they match the pink in the fabric really well.

This pair of pyjamas is a good compromise between the super warmth of the flannel pair and the much thinner cotton ones, so these are going to be great for ages yet, until the UK reaches it’s 3 weeks where it’s actually warm!

I know I’ve said this about jeans and about shirts but I think my pyjama wardrobe is definitely complete now – 4 pairs of Carolyns and 2 pairs of Lakesides. Until any of these wear out, I don’t think I need more sleep wear!

The warmest pyjamas I’ve ever owned

After making my first two pairs of Carolyn Pyjamas last year, when we entered the really cold weather in December/January I realised the thin cotton pair and the pair with short sleeves weren’t really up to the job of keeping me warm on very cold nights – and I really feel the cold (I basically have a permanent hot water bottle for, like, 6 months of the year).

So I did some searching online for some flannel or brushed cotton to make some snuggley super warm pyjamas and I came across this lovely tartan flannel from Fabrics Galore (I also made a pair out of some thinner brushed cotton, also from Fabrics Galore – coming next week). I didn’t realise flannel fabric would be so hard to come by, which is a shame because now I want ALL THE FLANNEL SHIRTS for Winter (even though I already have a bajillion shirts!)

I made the size 8, as I’d done before and did all french seams on the inside, which maybe isn’t the best for such a thick fabric, but it worked. I also ordered the amount the pattern said and it was almost the perfect amount – I hate it when you have, like half a metre left over. I think this was the fabric that was really narrow so I needed 3 1/2 metres.

As with the other pairs the only fitting change I made was to shorten the sleeves and legs because the pattern is drafted for someone who is 5’6″ and I’m 5’3″. I think I went by how much I took off this pair as I didn’t write down anything in my notes.

The buttons I ordered from Ray Stitch and I just had to hope they would match – they looked pretty good on the screen, but of course you can never 100% tell how the colour will look irl until they arrive. I used the spacing of the buttons from my other pairs of Carolyns and I really wish I’d put the top on and measured it on me as the top button ended up pretty low, so my chest feels a little exposed. But once I’ve slept in these once the lapels stop staying back anyway so I just encouraged them to fold closed to keep me even warmer.

I added 2 pockets instead of the one I think the pattern suggests, because why not?!

I’m so glad that I discovered the joys of having really nice pyjamas – we spend 1/3 of our lives in bed, after all, so we may as well feel cute while we’re there imho!

 

Galentines Outfit (for the Pink and Red Party

I used Megan from Pigeon Wishes’ Pink and Red party as an excuse to make a new outfit – because why not when I’ve been sitting in my house for 11 months and have slightly lost my sewjo (because I sewed all the things I needed for my wardrobe last year!). So I made a sort of a suit!

I talked about my inspiration for making a colour-blocked suit in this YouTube video (I’ve resurrected my YouTube channel after making one video 2 years ago! Lol!)

 

I used the Joe Jacket pattern from Ready to Sew for the jacket – which is also the pattern I used for the jacket of my corduroy suit. I used a suit with a more smoking jacket-type jacket worn by Claire Foy for my inspiration and so this involved a little pattern hacking.

I sat for way longer than I would care to admit trying ti figure out how to hack the pattern to get it to overlap at the bottom – and then it turned out to be relatively simple! I just slashed up the pattern front, from the hem to almost the neck line, and pivoted the whole front edge outwards – simple! But lots of head scratching to figure out if this was correct!


I added patch pockets instead of the welt pockets – which is actually way easier than welt pockets! I used the pocket pattern piece from the Honetone Coat as a guide.

 

I also, of course, added the tie to keep the jacket closed, as in the inspiration one. I thought about adding a couple of belt loops on the back to hold it in place, but figures this was an unnecessary step as I don’t think I’ll really wear it open, so the belt doesn’t need anything to keep it in while it’s untied, if that makes sense?

I talked about the construction and fabric etc in this YouTube video:

 

The fabric was all from Fabric Godmother and the pink and blue fabrics are Tencel twills and the lining was a cotton (with a little stretch). The Tencel is very drapey so possibly wasn’t the best choice for something as structured as a jacket, but it is a pretty relaxed style of jacket – and I made sure I interfaced absolutely everything that would get any wear or that needed structure. There is quite a lot of interfacing in a jacket anyway, so that certainly helped.

I do love a spotty lining! Stupidly, though, when I pre-washed all the fabrics, I put them all in together and the blue Tencel really ran so I ended up with blue spotty fabric instead of white. Sigh – that wasn’t the look I was going for. But after washing it a couple of times with some colour catchers the colour mostly came out. You would think after sewing for so many years, I would have learnt better!

The trouser pattern I used was the Dawn Jeans as I’ve made them a bunch of times and after spending so much time hacking the jacket, I kind of wanted something I knew how to sew for the trousers.

I made the size 4, as I’ve done before, but took it in only 1.5cm on the back seam (as opposed to the I think 2cm I did on my other pairs) and sewed the side seams with a 1cm seam allowance (instead of 1.5cm) as they seemed a bit snug somehow! The waistband miraculously still fit!

I sewed the wide-legged version and I actually can’t believe I haven’t before! There was a while where everyone was making the Persephone Pants – and I made them as the trousers for my suit – but the fit was never great on me and I don’t really wear them much as a result. But I get the same look from the wide-legged Dawns so I kind of want some more wide-legged jeans/trousers in my wardrobe for days when I don’t want skinny jeans!

These are definitely going to become a Spring/Summer wardrobe staple once the weather stops being below zero – anyone else in the UK fed up of being so cold?! I know we’re known for talking about the weather ALL THE TIME but I’m a naturally cold person so when the weather is so cold I get really fed up really quickly! Roll on Summer….

I really hope I get to wear this outfit to an irl sewing party one day! Though I’ll probably use an irl party as an excuse to make another outfit, because why not, eh?!

Did you join in with the Pink and Red Party? Are you like me and you only wear pink (or only red?). I tried to force myself to wear red by knitting a cardigan years and years and years ago but I wore it, I think, twice because you can’t make yourself feel nice in a colour you don’t actually feel good in! Though speaking of knitting, I’ve rediscovered my enjoyment of knitting in front of the TV so maybe there’ll be some knitting projects coming soon(ish)….