Stripey Cropped Inari Tee

I made a cropped Inari Tee! I haven’t actually worn it yet as it feels a little breezy around the midriff and it’s been pretty cold recently in Cirencester. I do really like the proportions and the shape of this top, though – that’s one of the things that made me want to make it, seeing everyone else’s great makes.

I made the size 8 with no changes as this was kind of a wearable toile – I used leftover fabric from my Marianne dress so if it had been a disaster I had only used some leftovers! I did the same thing as on the Marianne dress by using the stripes the other way around on the neckline, and I still like how it looks!

I also love the cuffs, which I also did with the stripes going the other way. As I mentioned in my post about taking in a raglan tee, I’m really liking cuffs on short sleeves at the moment. It’s definitely one of my favourite things about my new melilot shirt, too.

Although I quite like the proportions of the top, which I’m wearing here with some high waisted trousers (which I altered last year), I think on my next version – yes, I’m already planning another version – I might lengthen it by an inch, just so I feel a bit more comfortable. If I put my arms up at all, there is a lot of skin on show – and if I put my arms really high, you can basically see my bra! I guess this is not a top to wear on days when I have to reach for anything in public! I might also level off the hem as I don’t really love how it’s higher at the front for some reason.

I wonder if I should maybe take it in a bit at the shoulders with the next version? In a less drapey fabric, it might not sit as nicely – I can see a little bit of pooling in the upper bust area, which might look worse in the fabric I’ve got planned, which is a little more structured than this jersey, though still quite drapey. What do you think? Is it worth making lots of changes to a fairly simple t-shirt?

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I made trousers!

These are my Simplicity 1696 trousers in navy twill, which I’ve been saying I would make since October!!!! I finally finished them! OMG! It turns out it’s almost as difficult to photograph navy blue as it is black!

I did have to make a few changes to the pattern to get it to this level of fit, which is still not perfect. Any tips on tweaks I can make will be gratefully received! I took about 4cm off each outside leg seam and 2cm from the inside leg seams. I also had to shave a little of fullness of the bum curve and angle in the waistband, but I didn’t note down by much, which is stupid because I’ll have to work it out again if I make these again!

I think the tweaking of the outside seams means that the pockets now stick out a little from the line of the trousers, but I’m not too bothered about it to be honest. The pockets are nice and deep, which I like! Also I wore these to work (exactly like this, with my melilot shirt) and no-one said anything, so clearly they weren’t thinking ‘wow, those trousers look weird.’

I think the fit is a little bit less good across the back. The pattern gives you room to tweak the fitting as you go, but I maybe will count these as a wearable toile and make some more adjustments if I make them again. There are some drag lines across the back of my thighs, so I’ll need to work out how to fix that!

This side view photo is possibly one of the least flattering photos I’ve taken of me wearing something I’ve made. My natural posture (if I’m not thinking about standing up straight) is with a pretty curved back and with my stomach sticking out (and with hunched shoulders too!), which is particularly unfortunately if I’m a bit bloated, as I was when I took these photos! I’m not pregnant, I promise!

I feel like these trousers may not be the most flattering shape on me – they do make my bottom half look quite heavy, but I don’t really mind as they are comfortable. I was conscious not to over-fit the waistband so they’d still be comfortable to sit down in.

Speaking of sitting down, here’s a close up of my arse! The fake welt pockets are definitely not my finest work, but hey ho. I’d almost rather have done real ones to be honest, or left them off as they were a kind of irritating fiddley step, but without the payoff of actual pockets!

And here’s a close-up of the front. I’m pretty happy with how the fly turned out as it did not look like this when I first sewed it, so there was some unpicking and some fiddling to get it looking okay. I also got a bit confused by the pockets, but luckily I had made the moss skirt for my sister, which has a similar pocket/fly arrangement, so I managed to figure it out. I think part of the problem is that it’s so long since I made a big 4 pattern, I was unfamiliar with their instructions – I’m too spoiled by the extra help and sewalongs that indie patterns give you. The button was just one from my stash.

I can’t think of much else to say about these trousers, except I MADE MOTHERF*CKING TROUSERS!!!! I’m pretty please with myself, if you can’t tell!

I’ll leave you with these outtakes from my photoshoot. The boyfriend suggested we take an action shot of me walking in the trousers and this is what happened……

This is me trying to think of other interesting ways to photography navy blue trousers, but it looks like I’m talking to our penguin (which doesn’t have a name, any suggestions?)

Then I gave up trying to think of photos so just posed with the penguin!

Have you tackled trousers yet? Have you been scared like me?

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Lace Wedding Outfit

I’ve finally sewn up some of the lace I wrote about in my post about lace. Hurrah! (I was meant to take pictures at the wedding, but totally forgot, sorry! I blame the prosecco….)

Wedding-Outfit-11I made this dress for a wedding I went to last weekend – which was awesome, by the way. I haven’t been to loads of weddings – I’m not someone who has multiple ones every Summer for 5 years in a row (maybe I don’t have many friends!?) – so it was fun to have one to dress up for. There wasn’t an official dress code – which is awesome – but I still wanted the excuse to dress up and make myself something fancy.

You may remember in my lace post I mentioned making a dress for the wedding and I found some photos as inspiration. There was one that stayed with me and became my main inspiration for this dress. I liked the simple top, pleated skirt and sort-of-matching-but-not-really underlining and lace.

Style Inspiration: Navy Lace DressI was planning to also copy the high-low hem, but after a google of what they look like on actual people and after scratching my head about how to do it with the scallop edge of the lace being all around the bottom, I decided to forgo it.

I decided to underline the dress instead of lining it so all the seams would be hidden on the inside and I wouldn’t have to fiddle around with teeny french seams or double stitching or anything like that – I would like to have a go at this, though, and since I have plenty of lace left I can easily make something else that’s lined instead of underlined. I used the left-over fabric from my BHL Georgia dress (this is a bit of a BHL outfit btw) as the underlining. There was exactly enough left – and I had to cut the back bodice sideways to the grain. The 2 skirt pieces are on the selvedge (which cunningly meant I didn’t have to hem them!) and the front bodice is on a scrap folded in towards the middle – I had to cut out the skirt pieces before I could cut it out!

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I agonised for ages about what colour to put underneath my lace. You may remember it looked dull when put over bright colours. I had pretty much decided on cream but then changed my mind and went with navy and I’m soooo glad I did! I cut out the pieces in lace and the cotton sateen (as I think my Georgia was made from) and zig-zagged them together with bright orange thread – so it would be easy to unpick. This was the theory anyway – a lot of the time it got caught in my seams and was a pain to get out, especially in the pleats on the skirt! Definitely use either a tiny or massive seam allowance if you do this!

IMG_0139The bodice is the Emery bodice as I’ve already made it twice (1, 2) and done all the fitting work before and I’m inherently lazy when it comes to fitting! I sewed the side seams with a 1cm instead of 1.5cm seam allowance as I’d done last time when the bodice ended up a bit tight!

I didn’t really think about the pattern placement when I was cutting out the lace – apart from the scallops on the bottom. I probably should have centred the lace pattern on the bodice, I wouldn’t do well on the Great British Sewing Bee! I did manage to remember to sew in one of my labels, though.

Wedding-Outfit-8As well as the bodice, I used the pockets from the Emery. I LOVE pockets!!! It was really useful on the day of the wedding too, as they were big enough to hold my phone so I was always ready to take photos.

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The skirt of this dress was the real challenge. I used the BHL Elisalex skirt as a basis – in terms of length and width at the top of the skirt. I probably could have started from scratch given how much I changed, but it felt too scary! Since the Elisalex already has pleats in, I thought it would be a good starting point. It has box pleats, though, and I wanted knife pleats (I think they’re called knife pleats!). Each box pleat was 8cm on each side, so I could change it easily to be 2 knife pleats also of 8cm each. I initially wanted 3 pleats, though, but couldn’t fit them in nicely – the 3rd one ended up on my hip, which wasn’t the most flattering. I had already added another 8cm into the width of the skirt pieces, though, so I made 2 12cm pleats instead. I’m talking about in each ‘quarter’ so 2 pleats on each side of the front and 2 on each side of the back. I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out! They maybe could have been a little closer to the centre, but they seemed pretty close as it was on the pattern.

Wedding-Outfit-18The other bit of measuring was to make sure the width of the top of the skirt minus the pleats matched the bottom of the bodice pieces – I included the seam allowances in my measurements as it was the same on the bodice and skirt. The Emery and Elisalex were pretty close and I only had to alter it by a cm or two. It was particularly important for me to make sure these matched as I was adding the inseam pockets from the Emery, so I couldn’t alter the side seams of the skirt – and I couldn’t alter them on the bodice either, or I wouldn’t have got it on/ it wouldn’t have held together.

Wedding-Outfit-1You may also have noticed the fact that the skirt is not tulip shaped as in the Elisalex, but more a-line. I made the bottom hem of the skirt 10cm wider than the top of the skirt (which was 24cm wider than the original pattern) and drew a straight line for the side seams, for the back and front pieces. Once I’d taken out the pleats, the difference between the top and bottom became more pronounced. I’m really pleased with how it turned out – I didn’t want it to look like a circle skirt but I wanted it to balance out my shoulders.

Wedding-Outfit-16Although I said I didn’t think about the pattern placement – particularly obviously on the bodice! – the one place I did think about it was on the skirt side seams. I made sure the scallops looked uninterrupted so the seam wouldn’t be quite so obvious on the hem. Also, as you can see, the underlining skirt was 1.5 cm shorter than the lace over skirt, so the scallop looked its best. One of the things I loved about making this dress was than I didn’t have to do any hems! Does anyone else hate doing hems?

Wedding-Outfit-13I took a further 2.5cm off the length, on top of the 2ocm I’d removed previously! I wanted it to sit just on my knees – and because of the scallops I knew it would be a massive pain to take it up, so I measured my ideal length and hoped for the best! It could maybe have been a cm or two shorter, but I think it looks fine.

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When I had the idea for this dress I didn’t really think about the weather. Here in the UK we’ve had a rather cold May and it was really really cold the weeks before the wedding, so I decided to make myself a jacket. Since I already had the BHL Victoria and had made it twice (1, 2), I thought it would be a good option and – hopefully – look nice with the dress. I decided to make the cropped version as I measured the hem would hit the waist of the dress.

Wedding-Outfit-3Mustard yellow and navy is one of my fav colour combos, so I ordered 2m of mustard yellow ponte roma from ebay and hoped there would be enough fabric to self-line it. Spoiler alert! There was.

Wedding-Outfit-2I had originally wanted to make the jacket in coral – and have matching coral shoes –  but I really struggled to find any coral fabric. If you know of anywhere that sells coral, do let me know! The other problem is no-one really agrees on what colour coral is! Sometimes it’s pretty much pink and sometimes it’s orange. I couldn’t find any coral shoes either, so I decided to go for mustard. Couldn’t find any mustard shoes either, though – hence the boring navy, though I’ll probably get more wear from navy court shoes. One other thing I learned – love wearing yellow/ mustard. It looks disgusting as nail varnish!

Wedding-Outfit-6The Victoria Blazer really is quick to sew up! It’s not too tailored, which I like – it gives it a more relaxed feeling. I think if I was in a really tailored blazer with this dress I would have felt my outfit was less young, if that makes sense? I love a tailored jacket, but with like skinny jeans. I thought about leaving off the cuffs and collar, but decided against it as I was worried it would look really weird! It was fun to sew this up in a knit – albeit a knit without a huge amount of stretch. I made sure the stretch went across the body and not up and down – I didn’t want it sagging! Because this is a pattern for wovens, though, I used a straight stitch and sewed it up as though it was a woven. Luckily I have a little left of the fabric, so I’m thinking a Colette Astoria, which I just bought in their sale this weekend!

Wedding-Outfit-17All in all I think this was a successful wedding outfit! And I mastered sewing with lace for the first time! Hurrah! Also, I’ll definitely get lots more wears out of the jacket, so it’s not an entirely ‘special occasion’ outfit.

I’ll leave you with a photo of me and The Boyfriend tearing up the dance floor! Sorry-not-sorry for my slightly manic face.

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Navy, Spotty Rushcutter Dress

I’ve made a Rushcutter Dress and I’m in love!

Navy-Spotty-Rushcutter-7RushcutterI bought the pattern a couple of months ago from In The Folds, a fairly new pattern company. Now I’m having a bit of a break from work (though I really have to start searching for a job soon!), I’ve had time to make some of the patterns I had in my stash and use up lots of my fabric stash.

Navy-Spotty-Rushcutter-1I bought this fabric at the same time as the lighter blue spotty cotton I used for my Archer Shirt from Rolls and Rems – it’s okay if you’re sick of me talking about Rolls and Rems, now I’ve left London I’ll have to find some new shops in Gloucestershire! (Btw, I accidentally just typed Gloucestershite, I hope it’s not a Freudian slip!)

Navy-Spotty-Rushcutter-5I bought 2 metres of fabric, which is generally my standard amount if I’m not buying it for anything in particular, and it was ooonly just enough – I didn’t have enough to cut the (optional) hem facing or the waist tie, which was fine because I like loose things so I wouldn’t wear it with a belt anyway.

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I made size B, with no changes. The way the pattern is written, you can adjust the size at the back seam/ zip if you feel it’s going to be too loose. I did think I should have measured this and then maybe taken it in a bit as things tend to be big on my back, but I didn’t make any changes and I feel like the fit is fine across the back – it’s obviously drafted to be slightly over-sized, but it doesn’t look like I just make it a size too big.

Navy-Spotty-Rushcutter-2The design element of the Rushcutter that I particularly love (apart from everything else!) is the yoke – the curve where it meets the rest of the dress and the nice seams. Lovely! Also giant pockets!
Navy-Spotty-Rushcutter-8Also, the only bias binding I had to neaten the neckline was pink, like the sample one in the instructions!

Navy-Spotty-Rushcutter-9I’ll leave you with this outtake – obviously I didn’t smile in time for the timer! I look like I might punch the next person I see…….

Navy-Spotty-Rushcutter-10I’m definitely going to make more Rushcutters, I love everything about it – the shape, the style, the fit. It’s definitely a secret-pajamas kind of dress, but makes me feel quite put together. I’m also dreaming of a Summer version with no sleeves (which is the other view of the pattern)……and maybe a hack as a tunic, over skinny jeans.

Have you made the Rushcutter? Are you tempted to?

 
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Refashion Friday: Blue, Mustard and Orange shirt dress refashion

I was struggling to think how to start this post so The Boyfriend said I should say ‘hello, here is the start of my post’.

Hello, this is the start of my post. This original shirt dress, with a dropped-waist waist band was from my friend – the one who gave me the big pile of clothes which precipitated my big wardrobe clear out.  I immediately fell in love with the fabric. But this is possibly the most difficult fabric to photograph ever, in the whole world! This is possibly the most ‘first-world-problem’ ever…….

Also, sorry for the worst ‘before’ photo ever – but maybe it’s good to have a terrible before so the after looks even better by comparison!?

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There were a couple of buttons missing at the bottom of the dress, but I like how the buttons are in pairs – it’s a bit more interesting than them being evenly spaced!

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It also did have this cute little pocket – if you can make it out?

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Below is the best picture I could get of the ‘waist’ band, which sat on my hips – pretty much the least flattering silhouette on me. So I unpicked the waistband, removing the bottom part of the dress and removing the band from the top part. I measures I needed to raise the waist band by 15cm to put it on my natural waits, so I measured that and then sewed the inside part of the waist band back in using normal seams, cutting off the excess 15cm from the top part of the shirt. I then top-stitched the top part of the waist band, using the holes from the original stitching as a guide.

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Originally the bottom part of the dress was gathered, to give it a bit of fullness, but I decided I wanted a more sleek look so I replaced the gathers with pleats. I also used pleats to narrow the top part of the dress, which then attached to the waistband. I removed 13cm from the original waistband (to make it fit my waist instead of my hips) and then put in 2 pleats on the front and 2 on the back, evenly spaced, each of 3cm. I took the Deer and Doe Bruyere shirt as my inspiration. Though you can’t really see the waitsband or the pleats because of the pattern on the fabric!

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Once I’d put the waistband back in, I slotted the front edges back into the button bands where I’d unpicked them, topstitched both sides in place, trimmed the bottom and hemmed them. Then I just had to sew the buttons back on – I’d had to take them off when unpicking the button band. Sorry there aren’t any ‘in progress’ shots, I tried but none of them looked like anything!

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The fit of the sleeves, shoulders and collar fitted quite well from the beginning, so win! I’m glad I didn’t have to fiddle around with resizing the collar!

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Did I mention that I love my new top!? I’ve already worn it a couple of times – I refashioned it a couple of weeks ago. It goes well with my beloved mustard yellow cardigan and I’ll definitely get a lot more wear out of it as a top than if I’d left it as a dress. I’ve finally accepted I wear more separates – and especially trousers – than I do dresses. I do wear dresses sometimes, but not enough to keep making loads more! My friend who gave me the clothes pretty much always wears dresses, so most of what she gave me were dresses. So hopefully there will be some other ways to making tops out of dresses in my future!

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In the below photo you can actually make out the newly placed waist band! And you can almost make out the pleats. I think it was an advantage that the pattern is so busy as it meant it didn’t really matter how neat my sewing was!

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I’ll leave you with one more, slightly smug looking, photo!

Also, check out my matching coral nail varnish! That wasn’t on purpose, but a happy coincidence when I took these pictures!

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