Atelier Brunette Collins Top

Back in August, when it was still kind of warm (though some of October has been unseasonably warm!) I made another Collins Top by In The Folds. I really love this top, and the swingy shape of it. My first one was definitely one of the most comfortable things in my wardrobe when we had a heat wave! I might try the version with sleeves for Winter. Sadly because September went pretty cold, I haven’t worn this top yet apart from to take these rather blurry photos. But it will be waiting for my next Summer!

The fabric is some cotton from Atelier Brunette, from Sew Over It. They don’t still have it in stock, sadly. I had admired Atelier Brunette fabrics for quite a while, though they were always a little out of my budget. The I decided to have a little splurge a few months back and ordered either 1m or 1.5m, thinking I could squeeze a sleeveless top out of it for the Summer. I have to confess I was a little disappointed with the fabric, because it is a little see-through and not as soft as I had expected. Maybe it will soften with repeated washes and wears?

I used a yellow button from my stash and as with my first version, I made a rookie error. I was clipping a seam and cut through the stitches, making a little hole – perhaps this pattern is cursed, even though I love it?! I managed to sew the little hole up with some zig-zag stitches – the hole wasn’t as bad as the overlocker hole I made in my first version!

Love the high-low hem! Speaking of the hem, I just turned this one up, without using the bias tape method I did on my first one. It seemed to work fine, as this cotton has a little give, so there weren’t any massive puckers, as I had feared!

I can’t wait until next Summer so I can wear this top! Or maybe I should move somewhere warm!? Any suggestions? 😉

 

 

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Pink Stripey Collins Top

This is definitely one of my favourite makes I’ve made in a while, and certainly one that fits me the best straight out of the packet. As I’m sure you know, I am lazy when it comes to fitting things, and I treated this as a sort of wearable toile – I basically always do that but then I never make any fit changes to the second version!  But this fits me really well, and I like how it falls.

I made the size b and used some leftover fabric I’ve had for several years after making my first Banksia top out of it. It was from Goldhawk Road, probably one of the first times I went, if not the first time I went. It’s just a cotton, but it’s really soft. I thought I wasn’t going to have enough fabric, but given that this pattern was made for the stripes to go different ways,  I managed to do some expert tetrissing (I know this isn’t a word, but it should be: v the act of squeezing a sewing pattern out of a tiny amount of fabric) and just squeezed it out. I did the version with the facing, which is in some cheap white polycotton I had in my stash. The only change I made to the pattern/instructions was to stitch the facing down to the side seams – I did this as top stitching right in the ditch of the seam line.

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen that when I was overlocking a seam on this top, I was pulling it through to get a long enough tail to cut and stopped paying attention for a second, which led to me accidentally cutting part of one of the back shoulder pieces. Luckily I cut it along the same direction as the stripes and so I put an odd piece of white fabric behind it and zig-zagged it a few times to secure it. And now you can’t really see it – I think unless I pointed it out, you wouldn’t know it was there! It must be visible in the below photo, but I can’t see it, hurrah!

I wanted a close up of the stripes all going different ways, so here you go!

I think I might be pretty bad at gathering all the supplies I might need for a certain project – I always think about the fabric and, say, a zip for a dress or buttons for a shirt, but I rarely actually check the list of notions needed for a pattern, so when I got to the hemming stage of this make, that was the first time I realised I needed bias binding. I could have maybe done without, but luckily I had this baby pink stuff in my stash – it was literally the only bias binding I had and luckily it sort of matches! I think I might do bias hems more often as I like how it looks and it’s pretty easy!

I feel that with more of these makes I share, the less I have to say about them. I’ve got a few more of these kinds of quick projects, but I do have some ideas about some more involved projects, so then hopefully I would have a bit more to talk about!  Jeans are definitely in this category and I want to make a coat (it’s one of my #2017MakeNine after all) and a bag, so they should keep me a bit busier.

I have already bought some more fabric to make another version of this, but given I’ve only managed to wear this one about twice because the weather has gone totally to pot in the last couple of weeks, I’m not sure how much wear I would get out of it. *sobs* I’m wondering about layering them over long-sleeved basic tops when it’s cold, though. What do you think? Would that look terrible? I feel like a white top with this one would look okay?

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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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Another Coco top, but this time I’m not in love

This is my fourth coco (I think, at last count! 1, 2 & 3 here) and I have to be honest, I don’t love it 😦 After my last post where I wondered if it was bad that I liked most of what I make, now I get to something I’m not so pleased with. Sod’s law!

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I love this fabric – it’s one of my remnants left over from Rolls and Rems. There was just enough fabric to make this top, which was great obviously. The flowers have light blue, a limey green and a corally pink, plus the black blobs, so there is plenty that I can wear with it, including a skirt my friend gave me in her big wardrobe clear out.

I think the fabric is too drapey for this pattern unfortunately. I think it works better with more stable knits – I feel the same really about the dress version I made, I don’t like how it hangs on me.

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Definitely some pooling at the back. I think it’s because of the shape of the top as well as the fabric – the non-boxy, slightly shaped in at the waist and out again at the hips is oddly not my favourite. I find I’m more drawn to boxy tops. Especially because this is loose on my waist and then kind of tight on my hips.

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The neckline is a particular issue for me – it seems a bit too wide. And it doesn’t sit quite right. I used my twin needle for all the hems. I think this might have been better with some kind of neckband, which of course isn’t part of this pattern – but it is a part of many other tee shirt patterns, so I might steel one of those if I make a coco top again.

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This top is part of my exploration of the perfect t-shirt. I’ve already made the Plantain twice (1 & 2) and I’ve made a Hemlock, which I’ll blog soon hopefully. I also have the Maya top and the top which is part of the Roberts Collection. I also have my trusty Scout Tee pattern still. Hopefully I’ll realise which of these are good on me and which aren’t – and hopefully I’ll end up with a go-to tee pattern for woven and jersey fabric. Do you have a favourite basic top pattern? It feels like there are so many it’s sometimes overwhelming!

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