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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Mustard Yellow Astoria

A little while ago (I’m a little backed up with finished makes due to my unplanned blogging break) I made this mustard yellow Astoria top.

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This is the first Colette Seamwork pattern I’ve made and they are not lying when they say they are quick to make up. I made a size small and didn’t make any changes – and there are only a couple of pattern pieces.

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I thought the fit of it was fine until I looked at these pictures – I guess with knits it’s easier to feel comfortable even if the fit of something isn’t perfect. Does anyone know what I can do to fix the drag lines around my armpits? This is the area I always find is tight on me, so do I just need to go up a size on the armscyes and sleeves? Maybe it’s easier to just go up a whole size? Also the neckband stands up a little – I’m not sure if that’s because the fabric stretches only one way. And I seem to remember having to work hard to squeeze on all the pattern pieces.

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The fabric was the leftovers from the jacket from the wedding outfit I made back in May. It’s a really nice ponte roma and I’ll definitely look to sew with it again in the future. This one is also relatively thick so it’s almost warm. I like wearing it with the high-waisted navy trousers I altered as I don’t like to have a midriff gap – especially in the Winter!

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Have you made any Seamwork patterns? I also have the Alder blouse. I haven’t subscribed as I’m not sure I would want enough of the patterns to justify it, but I do think Seamwork is a genius idea. I particularly like the podcast – I find myself getting really into podcasts (and the radio) recently. They’re better to listen to while sewing than trying to watch shows as I’ve done in the past. I always end up sitting behind my machine watching the tv!

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A Hemlock and a Life Update

Well that was a bit of a break from blogging! Oops! My last post was over a month ago – and there have been some changes (mostly positive ones!) in my life since then. But I do also have a make to share with you – a mostly successful Grainline Hemlock Tee. I find myself wanting to apologise for the quality of my photos…..again! These were soooo bright. I’ve darkened them as much as I could on Photoshop but they’ve ended up looking a bit weird!

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So the major life news is I now have a permanent job, after moving from London to Cirencester 5 months ago, hurrah! I was temping for a couple of months before that, which was handy as I was quickly getting through the money I managed to save before we moved. I started yesterday and so far it’s going well – I’m just doing admin and looking after the post for a small local company, but so far everyone seems nice and the job seems doable. This is the first job where I have to dress smartly – though thankfully not quite as smart as I feared, women don’t have to wear suits.

I really like the Hemlock and feel like it could become a good smart wardrobe staple, paired with smart trousers or a pencil skirt. The neckband definitely needs work, though, for that! As I’m sure you can see, there is a fair amount of puckering around the neckline – I think this is mostly because of the incompetent way I sewed it in! Also for some reason I ended up with a super wide band, so I folded it in half on the inside and top-stitched it again. There isn’t a pattern piece for the neckband, and I think because this jersey is quite slippery and drapey and moved around A LOT when I was cutting it out, I suspect my measuring wasn’t super accurate! Though I think IRL it almost looks deliberate and it’s not going to stop me wearing it!

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Now having a job means that we also now have a flat lined up to hopefully move into this weekend – assuming all the references and checks and things happen on time (and we don’t get rejected!). Since we’re staying with The Boyfriend’s parents, though, it means we can be flexible with moving dates. I can’t help myself from planning what furniture is going to go where – and we need to buy it all new (or second hand) so I’m planning rooms of my dreams, though I’ll have to be patient as it won’t all look perfect immediately, especially if we’re going to buy some furniture by auction/ second hand. Also we have a little back garden (which is part of a larger shared courtyard) so hopefully I can take some outside photos and it won’t be so difficult to get good lighting. Maybe I’ll get over my fear of looking stupid and find some lovely parts of Cirencester to take pictures in front of – it really is a pretty place, you should google it if you’ve never heard of it! For now, though, you’ve still got indoor pictures……

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We had had another house lined up, which we were going to move into with The Boyfriend’s brother, but 2 weeks before we were supposed to move in, the landlady decided to sell it instead so we lost it. This was a fairly big house, with 3 bedrooms and an aga in the kitchen. But I was going to get my own sewing room – the 3rd bedroom was too small for a bedroom really but perfect for a little sewing space of one’s own (to paraphrase Virginia Woolf!). I’m a little sad that the flat we’ve got now doesn’t have enough space for a dedicated room, but there is a bedroom, living room and large dining room space which all the other rooms lead off, so I’m commandeering a corner of that room, and I’ll have some proper storage for my stash of fabric and patterns, so that’s at least something. It is a shame that I’ll be working on the dining table, so I’ll have to pack away every day, but I’m coming up with plans of how to make this as painless as possible. And I think it will mean I have to keep my stash under control, which can’t be a bad thing. I’m starting to think about consuming fabric more mindfully and not buying long remnants just because they’re cheap, but buying fabric of a better quality and for specific projects. I also think I’m okay for patterns for a while – I’m sure this will be famous last words, but I have skirts, dresses, trousers, jeans, tops and pajamas and I can’t think of anything that I’m missing.

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This Hemlock, however, was not born of this new mindset, this black drapey jersey was from Rolls and Rems – seriously, it’s been 5 months since I left London and I’m still sewing up fabric I bought there! I don’t know it’s composition, but I like the way it hangs. And I like the way the Hemlock fits on me – definitely an improvement on my less-than-perfect Coco in my search for the perfect t shirt. I think so far it’s a tie between the Hemlock and the Plantain. I think the length is more flattering on me – the Coco is a bit long (which obviously is easily remedied by taking it up a bit!), and I like the more boxy fit. I do want to make another one up with a better neckband – I’ve heard good things about a tutorial from Megan Nielsen on how to sew in a neckband, have you used it? Or do you have any tips on sewing the band on the Hemlock specifically? What’s going on in your life? Do you find when you’re in a time of flux that blogging or sewing or both take a back seat?

I’ll leave you with this unedited photo from my Hemlock photoshoot – I look like a ghost!

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Flowery Plantain Tee

I’ve made another plantain tee, hurrah! This is definitely a thrifty make as the pattern is free from Deer and Doe and the fabric was left over from my Sallie Maxi dress. I’ve made the plantain before and again made the size 36 and again raised the neckline a bit. I failed to realise this would mean the neckband would need to change lengths, but luckily it needed shortening, which was easier than if it needed lengthening! I should have shortened it a bit more because it does gape a little bit, but not enough to stop me wearing it!

Flowery-Plantain-Tee-1I might make this a size or two bigger to get a baggier fit, which is what I prefer with t-shirts.

As with my previous plantain, I had juuuust enough fabric to cut it out. I also had a little bit of the cream jersey which I used to underline the sallie maxi left, which I used to underline the front of this top – there wasn’t enough to line the back, which was actually fine as the fabric isn’t really as see-through as I feared. Probably it would be see-through enough to see my bra, so I think it’s good that I lined the front!

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I just want to mention how much I love, love, love this fabric! I definitely need more yellow in my wardrobe. I have a beloved yellow cardigan and have lots of navy blue things, so this is definitely going to be a versatile edition to my wardrobe. And just in time for Me Made May! Hurrah!

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And now a blurry photo where my right hand is doing something weird! Seriously, what’s going on there? I think I was grabbing my hem, but didn’t quite make it before the timer went off! C’est la vie.

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Breton Style Plantain Tee

This has to be one of my thriftiest makes ever. It’s the Deer and Doe Plantain Tee, which is a free to download. I downloaded and assembled the PDF quite a while ago but only just got around to making something from it. I had this little bit of stripey fabric in my stash for a few months – it was only ¬£1.50 and was from Rolls and Rems (where else!). There was juuuust enough fabric to make this tee and I love it!

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The stripes are actually navy blue, though they look black in the photos.

With my new haircut (which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE), and in this tee shirt, I definitely feel like I’m channeling Jean Seberg!

circa 1965: Promotional portrait of American actor Jean Seberg (1938 - 1979) sitting barefoot and cross-legged on a stool, wearing rolled blue jeans and a French-striped sailor jersey pulled off one shoulder. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)(image source)

I made this tee in the size 36 and changed the neckline. The classic Breton Tee has quite a high neckline (probably a boat neckline would be best), but the Plantain has quite a low scoop-neck. I raised it to just below the back neckline. I also didn’t bother with the neck band, partly because I would have had to work out a new length for it, and partly because I wasn’t entirely sure from the instructions how I should attach it! So I just turned the neckline under by 1.5cm and stitched it with my twin needle.

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The sleeves are 3.3cm longer than the short sleeve length. I would have made longer, 3/4 length sleeves, but I didn’t have enough fabric – there was literally just enough to cut the front and back, then squeeze the sleeves from single layers left over after the other bits were cut out. I hemmed the sleeves with the twin needle too, turning under a tiny amount so as to preserve what length I had managed to eek out.

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I think the original hem is a little curved, but I straightened the bottom, using the stripes as a guide. Then I turned up one white stripe and stitched the hem with the twin needle.

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I think I’m starting to get the hang of sewing with knits. I matched the stripes on the side seams (but then, of course, forgot to take any photos) and I quite enjoy the professional look a twin needle gives to the hems. This is the thickest and most stable knit I’ve sewn with so far, and I like the fact that this is quite thick. I think I need a bit of a tweak in the armpit area to get it to sit better – I’ve had this before with other patterns, so I wonder if I have something that makes me atypical in the armpit/ sleeve area – I’ll try to make some changes if I make this pattern again, which I suspect I will. Any ideas what the issue is and how I can fix it? I think an armscye that extends lower than the pattern originally does.

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I’m trying to make more basics for my wardrobe, so I think there’ll be more and more t-shirts and basic things like that coming up on the blog! Also skinny jeans hopefully!