Category Archives: General

French Navy Forsythe

Another Black Friday grab, the Forsythe from French Navy has been on my radar for a while now.  I have always wanted this pattern, but never felt I had the right fabric for it.  So I re-purposed some Jersey stripe from Girl Charlee that was originally intended for my grunge dress that has failed to materialise into existence.

The main thing I love about french navy is the illustrations – I love a good sketch.  I don’t know if it is because I appreciate it more as someone with a background in art, or that it just looks better in a pattern as apposed to a photograph.  Either way it is perfect and something I would like to do if I too made patterns.

I already have the Orla Dress Free pattern (if you don’t, i recommend you get that here)  but I am yet to use it, despite many plans for it.

So How Did It Sew?

 

Overall, I think this particular Jersey may have not been the best idea and a stiffer fabric would be better.  Although I tried to pattern match, it seems I lost my way around the pocket area and it was a complete fail.  The dress is comfy and I like to wear it, but the pattern and draping feel a bit off to me.  This is purely my choice of fabric, that I had purposely bought for another project.  I have some lovely linen like pieces in my stash that I would love to give this another go with in the future.

The pattern itself is amazing, and I love that the instructions have photographs!  As much as I praised the main illustration, and was surprised this trend didn’t follow throughout, I still loved the neatness and precision of photo instructions.

Please check out the PDF here, you won’t be disappointed and it is a staple sustainable sewer pattern.

Pattern: DP Studios – Le 604

I think that the DP Studios is one of those sewing pattern companies that just get me.  I often feel slightly on the fringes of the sewing community.  I tend to shy away from the endless tea dress patterns made up in gaudy floral prints, instead I opt for a muted palette and style that boarders fashion design as apposed to quaint homely dressmaker.  Just a note, there is nothing wrong with this type of sewing, it just is at times I am treading a very lonely path in my seining adventure and finding it harder to find patterns and fabrics that may not appeal to the masses.

FInding DP studios bridges that gap – Its home sewer meets high fashion and high design.  Its modern and timeless rolled into one and I feel so inspired by their pieces that it just makes me want to make them all so they can sit together in my very own beautiful capsule wardrobe.

So How did it Sew?

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There was no hand holding with this one guys!   Some seams caused a bit of a headache.  You are given one page of instructions and that is it.  They have very good diagrams though, I think as someone who works more visually I loved the more graphic approach to instructions.

The box itself is amazing, No fiddly pattern envelope that you are trying to squeeze the paper back into, this has depth!  Its amazing how such a little detail can cause so much convenience.  Why aren’t all patterns like this, we shouldn’t have to struggle.

I chose to make this in a very fiddly, but beautiful, leopard print fabric.  I had been lusting after long tunic/ dress shirts in leopard print, but sheer was all i could find, apparently i am very fussy with animal print sizes and densities.  In hindsight it may have not been the best choice, but after fiddling around with all the bust seems and using a guide stitch, all the trouble was worth it for the result.

As well as the epaulettes on the shoulder, the shit also comes with a detachable collar embellishment.  Its cute, and really gives this design another dimension.  I did eventually leave the points on the collar off.  In fact, I snipped them off and it looked fine.  They just kept sticking in me and not staying where i want them.  But that is the beauty of sewing, it can be suggested rather that carried out.

I am definitely making this again.  Now i have done one, i feel like the next will be smooth sailing, although I really enjoyed having a project where I was trying something new, this made me pace out the work and not speed through like I normally do.  I definitely think I will make it longer next time.

Check out Le 604 Here.

 

I AM Hermes – Stripped 90’s Wonder

One thing I have loved seeing in my fashion travels is open long stripped shirts, worn over matching trouser.  Oversized striped pant suits are amazing, don’t let anyone convince you otherwise!   I have no source material on this obsession, but I think its coming from the 90’s Hip hop world of female artists.  I cant find any pictures to support this, so just go with it…

Whilst I was at the Sewing Bee at Excel, I happened upon The I AM booth.  I am a massive fan of them, having made many versions of the Aphrodite and Cassiopee, and i love their packaging and branding.  Having some money to spend, I ended up going for the Hermes.  Just a note, the girls on the stall were amazingly helpful, talked passionately about I AM and were extremely friendly.

I had some stripped fabric from my cheap shop, that had a beautiful feel and drape to it.  It definately spoke shirt fabric to me.

So How did it Sew?

 

As with all  I AM patterns, they are always a pleasure to work with.  I myself am not someone who usually traces their patterns before hand, rather a brash cut and keep sewist.  But I found this to be quite easy, and it was nice to be able to fold up one sheet of paper back into the beautiful gold envelope, as apposed to my usual approach of ramming all the pieces in.

Yes the biggest size has failed to cover my breasts, but wearing it open as a duster is probably how I would wear it anyway.  Being able to shape it at the back with the belt has been an added bonus.

I love this pattern.  Yes, I may have a large collection of shirt patterns, but this one really stands out and will definitely be a remake.

If you want to make one yourself, check out I AM patterns HERE.

 

Top 10 Patterns – Part 2: 5 – 1

*Continued from part one… If you haven’t read that yet, please check that out here*


5. Megan Nielson – Sudley Dress

I love how when you get a pattern that you know you are going to love and do.  That’s exactly what happened with the Sudley – it was love at first sight.  It’s very much my casual chuck on dress style, I have made this in both heavy red velvet and a soft chiffon fabric, and both give completely different looks.  But one of the reasons it has placed so high is that it is such a current and fashionable pattern.  Something similar will always grace the shelves of the High street shops, but instead of buying into that throw away fashion, I can simply find a fabric I will love and make one from that,  The ones I have made and wear a lot always get compliments, yet its such a simple design.

Also a massive plus it that you can wear it either way, with the tie at the front or the back… perfect for messy me who will definitely drip something down me whilst I am out, so I can just turn it around and hide any stain!!

I have also tried the Darling (blog to follow soon) and I have the Karri ready to go, both from Megan Neilson, so check them out.


4. Sewliberated – School House Tunic

This was one of the first independent patterns I bought, also one of the first PDFs I printed out and made, and I have had a deep love for it ever since.

I was completely sold by this striped version (see pic) I just love everything about this casual look.  Sew liberated themselves have this great earthy, casual vibe.  Where everything thing can be dressed with a chunky knitted cardi, tights and boots in Autumn or made in light feminine lace or florals for the summer.  My favourite I have made so far, is the dark flower stretch denim.  The Tunic length on this is perfect for me as a Dress, (especially since I have short legs) and I am always thinking up ways to try and Hack the front and make it different (I am yet to try rivets and ribbon)


3. Closet Case Patterns –  Kalle Shirt Dress

A recent but a fast favourite.  Its just perfect.  I love all the different options it comes with, the length and collars.  The fit is amazing.  I have made two short sleeve ones, one of which was a present.  And now with the recent release of a sleeve, I am in my element.  I made a black and white version straight away.  This originally was placed lower, but after the sleeve hack came into my life, it went up the list.  Keep an eye out for my future blog post on this one.


2. Ready to Sew –  Jude

The Jude is again another casual that have revolutionised my everyday wardrobe.  I have a small group of these in basic colours that I wear all the time.  I also made one with a silk fabric that I have worn for more special occasions.  This placed so high, purely because the amount I have and the amount I wear them.  Its such a simple yet effective pattern and I would like to hack it to a full sleeve version as we all know I am a full sleeve fiend!

Ready to Sew also get an honorable mention of  the Janis and Jolene, both of which I love (but still only made a few of)


1. Named Clothing – Inari

So my number one is one pattern that rises above the others… Named clothings the Inari.

All Images from Named Clothing Website.

Could it really have been anything else?   How many times have I made this pattern, in many different versions?  And I still want to make more!  I just love it, everthing from the fit to the simple construction,  yet the seams and the rolls sleeves just make it so stylish and current.  From the many of these, my favourite so far is the white one, the structured material is amazing.  But I have several Jersey versions that I live in as part of my everyday wardrobe.


 

So that is my top 10, is yours similar?  Do you agree?  Do you have any suggestions that you think I might like?

I am going to use the tag #toptensewingpatterns for you to add your own to the debate.

Leave a comment.

And Have Happy New Year from Frock & Sew.  As 2017 comes to an end I hope 2018 brings you all the fabric and patterns and sewing time you could wish for!  

x X x

Made by Me: My First Burda – PDF

I have often trowelled though the many Burda patterns online (since I have given up ever buying the mag as it is never in store)  I was never overly impressed with their Plus Size range, until a few months back when they bought out a couple of collections that were extremely wearable, that tackled my frumpy view of Burda.  I had to make one.

So I downloaded the Draped Sleeve Tunic (Plus Size) 06/2015 #130A (added a link because even after I downloaded it I found it impossible to find again)

130A-062015-B_large

 

130-062015-M_large

How Beautiful is it!  And also HOW WEARABLE for me!

As a seamstress who focuses on wear-ability of a pattern, I am getting a bit fed up of all the dresses I know I will wear only occasionally.  Something like this will fit in with my everyday, oversized, slightly smarter than the slob around clothes (but still comfy) AND i could possibly leave the house in it wardrobe.

Perfect.

I decided to make it out of the bulk buy of white Jersey I had, for two reasons; a)  I like the Idea of a wearable toille that I can try then maybe attempt in a beautiful mocha colour like the picture above and b)  even though its knit, I can always attempt to dye it as it is white.

I like having options.

Something I would like to mention before we talk about the Sew, I have heard a lot of negatives about Burda Patterns; The actual pattern themselves as apposed to the final pieces.  This is also something I considered when buying, and maybe why only now, with a bit more confidence level in sewing, that I have chosen to tackle my first Burda.

So How Did It Sew?

Date Completed:  3rd August 2017

The make itself is great, I love the Fit and style its very me… the only issue is the fabric was too thin and stretchy.  Its kind of misshapen the piece.

The sleeves are driving me mad, looking at the above Burda picture, I am thinking this is again to do with my fabric choice.  I tried to combat this by adding an elastic insert… but It failed and I just left it alone.  Another me issue I had was getting the front panel caught in my overlocker.  Honestly of all the pieces to get stuck, it had to be the front centre.  After unpicking it was dotted with holes… I combated this simply by cutting it off and setting the faux overlay further back… a complete lazy cheat tbh, I should have recut that piece.

Now, to the pattern itself…

I completely understand the issue some sewists seem to have with Burda.

I am not a sewer that needs their hand held through a pattern… truthfully, I will skim a pattern quite a bit and figure it our without referencing every single word and it still works.  Yet, I felt it was as sparse as the recipe of a Great Britsih Bake off technical challenge!  Not having pictures also was a bit of a pain in the butt.

Its not a MASSIVE issue, and i do like to challenge myself with my makes, it just seems for a big pattern company that its a bit lazy, skimping on the instructions to just one A4 page.  This is especially annoying when you compare it to the masses of Indie Patterns that their creators pour their heart and souls into really good instructions.

Despite that, I hope this blog is a slight warning to the novice sewer… save a Burda for a bit down the line maybe, and know that even if your skills are good, you will skill at some point start tearing your hair our.

Overall, I love this dress, now i have done it once I know what I am doing.  I probably wont wear the white as I look kinda like an angel in it, but look forward to keeping this on the ‘patterns that need the perfect material’ pile.

Happy Sewing Everyone

x

 

 

Update: When September Ends…

Another month has flown by again.  September is always a quick one as it is filled with Birthdays (mine included) and other things going on.  The change of season always brings about a reflective period of going forward, new beginnings and preparing for the cold.  This is extremely prevalent in my sewing… all the best laid plans we scrapped as I thought ahead, packing away summer and planning my winter wardrobe.

This year, after many festivals and concerts, I am fully going to embrace my rock chick/grunge queen.  Everything must be able to be worn along side my Dr. Martens and be comfortable.  I have come to the conclusion that pattern and colour are just not for me, so out the window they go, permanently.  It sounds drastic but I am reassessing my imprint: making too many clothes is as bad as a mindless Primark haul.  I need to be more mindful.

I officially moved my Birthday forwards and spent some of my birthday money at the Great British Sewing Bee live.  I really enjoyed it, I wish I had been able to go either Friday or Saturday, but I was busy.  It was nice to say hi to lots of people, and I loved the talk by Esme and Patrick.  Esme is basically who I want to be, she is so apologetically stylish and interesting.  Patrick really impressed me with his passion of Buying British that added a depth to him.  Its nice to see this happening, hopefully he is held up as an example to business moving forward, changing our mindset.

As I write this mini update, I have partially tackled my back log of blog posts for the recent makes.  So watch out for those dotted over October. I will post my To-Do list (lists?)  In the upcoming Insta-posts.  SO make sure you are following me for that.

 

 

 

 

Made It patterns – Drop

I am still very much in love with made it patterns.  Their groove dress gives me pattern envy – I wish I had thought of something so basic, yet so good and versatile! The mix and match style means there are all kinds of possibilities that can transition through seasons, and you really get value out of one pattern.

At the time I purchased the Groove, I also got the Drop.  I will admit this isn’t my first attempt… I went for a beige Jersey scrap i had big enough for this.  Unfortunately i messed it up epically, and not having enough fabric to repair, I put the pattern to one side.

Recently, in need of long sleeved light tops, I remembered I had not yet made an worn this pattern.  I was so excited, especially as I had more than enough white fabric to use.

So how did it sew?

Second time was a complete success.  I love this top.  I say top as that’s what I wear it as, although I did use the dress length pattern.  I like my tops long as I have a long body.

It is a simple sew and the instructions are amazing, They give you a couple of choices of finished with the collar.  The asymetrical shape is flattering, as is the ruching on the ‘drop’ part.

I can see this fast becoming as good a basic as an Inari that I reach for.

When I want to make it again (and I will)  it will be just a matter of having the right fabric.