Tag Archives: I made this

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.

Made By Me: Nina Lee – Bloomsbury

When I went to the Great British Sewing Bee Live at the Excel (waaaay back last year)  I got to meet some of the pattern creators, and discover some new ones too.

One of these was Nina Lee.  It was so nice meeting the people involved in these patterns,  I think no one can be as passionate about a pattern more than the person who makes it.  Plus both of the ladies at the both (who were lovely btw)  were wearing at least one make and that always helps.

One thing I love about these types of shows is something that crosses over with the fashion world.  Little booths of clothing concessions.  That little stand had a lovely boutique feel to it, and a great rack of pre-mades for me to coo over.   I couldn’t justify buying the Kew Dress pattern that day (I already had invested in a lot of dress patterns) so instead I opted for the Bloomsbury, as it was a blouse, and I was not disappointed.  I think I was also swayed with the sheer amount I had seen on Instagram too at the time.

So How did it Sew?

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I chose a light white cotton with holes in it.   I have used this previously on an Alder shirtdress make.  But when you buy 6 metres, you need to get imaginiative with the different patterns to use and what projects wont look the same.

The pattern itself is beautiful.  I love the chintzy feel of the brand, expressed through its illustrations and colours.

The pattern itself is awesome, I love the lay out and the instructions were a pleasure to work with.

The actual make itself was amazing.  Being plus size I was worried that it wouldn’t fit, since the fabric was woven and unforgiving.  But it fits beautifully, and I would say very true to size.

If you are thinking of tackling  this pattern yourself I would recommend to make a toille first as the wider collar/ruffle may not suit all fabrics.  Its definitely better for softer fabrics as the stiffer ones tend to stick out, unless of course that is what you want,  But be warned.

The make was simple; the ruching was probably the most time consuming element of the whole thing.  But keeping that in mind, it was a surprisingly quick make.

On my version I opted for adding a ribbon to the collar,  I was going for a Victorian- esque vibe and I really love that little embellishment, and it hides the button well.

I wish I had to make a Victorian costume as it would have been perfect.  But don’t let me talking costumes fool you.  I feel like this, at present is really on trend.  Especially heading for Autumn.  The frill like collar and longer chest ruching has been seen throughout my shopping endeavours of late.

I have even seen some gorgeous band tees bought to life with a chiffon ruffle across the chest , which I love as a concept, I think that this with a contrast chiffon ruffle on a bold pattern would look amazing and is definitely a note in my future makes

As for my Version I will probably wear this with some form of pinafore in the future and look to make a hacked version from lace into an oversized bat wing Dress ( For someone who moans about having too many dress patterns and not enough tops I really shouldn’t hack into a dress, but there is space in my life for a dramatic gothic lace dress and this would be perfect)

I am looking at getting both the Mayfair dress AND the Kew Dress in the future and incorporating them into my wardrobe.  Check out Nina Lee Here.

 

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.

 

Made By Me: Sew House 7 – Bridgetown Backless

Thank god for Black Friday sales.  Honestly It has taken a significant chunk out of my future buys list that weekend.  This pattern being one of them that has lingered on their for a while.  I bought this along with both versions of the Toaster jumper.  Both of which I cant wait to make.

This is obviously more of a summer pattern.  But I really wanted to see it made, to see if it suited me being plus size.  so I used some basic bulk white I had to make one up as a test run.  What I have ended up with is probably the most perfect little holiday dress ever.  One that, as is, I will definitely wear and definitely make more of.

So How did It Sew?:

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The graphics on the pattern instructions are beautiful, simply laid out and easy to follow.  The actual make was so simple to put together, but still looks great on.  What I love about this pattern is how it has a ready made feel about it.  Something I strive to achieve in my sewing is not looking like I am wearing me made clothing, almost like i am bridging the gap from store bought to me made and proving it is sustainable with fashion.  And this type of good basic pieces to throw on in summer do just that.

Another thing I love the name Sew house 7, to me it sounds like the title of a Quinton Tarantino movie, so I just think its amazing.

I am definitely making more of these for the better weather, I now have a similar black fabric so I can make another good basic for my wardrobe.  I think some sort of lace panel in the back would look amazing too, and maybe give the dress a bit more support in shape.

Kalle Shirt Dress – LONG SLEEVES!

When the Kalle was first launched it was probably the most near perfect pattern.  I loved it.  But I longed for a sleeve hack.  The original Kalle sleeve as is, was far too short for me.  I tend to wear them layered under cardigans  I even asked my beautiful Instagram community for help for a hack in desperation – and still no luck.

Then the BEAUTIFUL people from Closet case patterns bought out the long sleeve hack.  And it was EVERYTHING…

Images from Closet Case Website

Now, before we go on, just a little negative here: I have had many patterns that introduce a hack, for example the Keilo and Inari from Named Clothing both had a sleeve and collar hack.  Both of which were completely free.  On the other hand, I was so desperate for a long sleeve hack and was happy to pay for that privileged of not figuring it out my self.  Its just something to consider if you are reading this post before purchasing the Kalle and/or just the sleeve hack.  So its more of a neutral comment that a complaint, but I always like to support independent business, so its all good.

So How did it Sew?

I will leave the details of the Kalle make itself  to my previous post where I covered that, instead I will focus on the Sleeves:

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As you can tell I absolutely love it.  So much so (sew?) that I ended up unpicking a sleeve on a Kalle I was working on and adding the hack to it (black Version)

The fabric I chose for both Black and white shirt, I thought was the same.  It had the same texture embossed into it, but the white was much softer and had a slight stretch, as apposed to the black that was a bit shinier.  I enjoyed sewing with the white more, but both were extremely light and have great movement.

The sleeve was incredibly simple to install.  I like how they approached it with the longer cuff, and how it took up a lot of the sleeve.  It Looks chic and can be worn up or down.  What really makes this is the shape of the existing sleeve (if you have made the kalle it is before you put the cuff on) which gives the overall piece a great shape and much more than the average shirt/shirt dress.

With the sleeve, I feel I will get much more use out of this pattern.  I still need to make the short and the tunic length versions, but having sleeves, for me, opens up more possibilities.

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

 

 

Made By Me: Janis – Ready to Sew

Whilst purchasing the Jolene, I snuck a Janis into my basket for good measure.  It seemed to balance out my dress to other clothing items ratio;  I could justify another dress pattern with the purchase of a top.

I am a massive fan of ready to sew, so I was eager to see this completed.

The pattern as a pdf was easy to put together, the instructions as as always excellent from ready to sew.

One thing I will like to mention with them is the absolute beautiful options on the website.  It started with my purchase of Jude, I noticed the extent they went to to show all the possibilities of their pattern.  I know that others do this, but Ready to sew always seem to show things that I myself would like to make and wear.

So How did it sew?

 

Top Row: Loop at front  – Bottom Row:  Loop on Back

The material I chose was almost ribbed scuba.  It was part of the stash and I had planned to use it for a casual blazer, but I let the fabric speak to me… and it said JANIS!  Ordinarily, I would not have chose this fabric if I had gone shopping specifically for a fabric to use with this pattern.  Next time will definitely choose a thinner fabric.  This one was good for the main part of the garment, but I soon realised that the folded over lining had started to bulk and snag and didn’t look great.  Especially when I lightly stitched it in place.  It may need to be either removed and left with a raw edge, or possibly a wonder Webb or fabric glue job!

It may need a few tweaks before I wear it , but this was all to do with my fabric choice, The actual garment is amazingly beautiful and flattering on… also the fact is doesn’t matter which way you put it on is a bonus for the lazy fashionista in me… I mean come on!  Its white, I am bound to drop something down me, now if i do I can just turn it round and wear it backwards!