Tag Archives: plus size fashion

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.

Yet Another Kielo: Basic Black Version.

Yes the title says it all, another Kielo make!  Named clothing are my go to pattern company, and my amount of Kielo’s are second to the amount of Inari’s I have (but no where near in number as I am Inari OBSESSED!)

There was a lot of inspiration on the Instagram from a few different Sewers, unfortunately the only one I can remember (and find) is Rumana’s version (aka @thelittlpomergranate) which she wore through different stages of her pregnancy.  No I am not pregnant myself (just fat) but I love the versatility of this garment.  And the fact I have not yet made a Plain black one is beyond me, since I have a black Jersey Inari that I wear to death!

So How did It sew?

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It is always smooth sailing with a Named clothing make, especially one of the classics such as this, Its a quick make, despite the long seams.  I also used the arm hack that is free on their site to make a long sleeve version. (you can get that here if you haven’t already)

As much as I love the dress, for the full on Goth effect that I always seem to gravitate towards, I prefer wearing it open.  So I went back to the sewing table and inserted a tiny hole under each of the ties.  Now when I want to wear it loose, all i do is tuck the ties neatly inside and the can not be seen.  Since making this I have also fiddled around with tying it on the inside or using a belt through the little holes.  All giving amazing new looks to the same garment.

I am pretty sure another Kielo will appear in my wardrobe in the future.  But I now feel I will have to wait for the perfect fabric for any future makes.

Me Made: Oversized Smock Dress

I always like finding out how other sewers work, how they went through the thought process that bought them to a certain garment.

Its a bit of a riddle like what came first, the chicken or the egg?  Was it the pattern or was it the fabric.  Usually with myself, it is the pattern leads to the choice of fabric (although if I was more organised and only bought what I need for patterns I would have a very small fabric stash!)  But this time round, I used a fabric which dictated a pattern to me, I have now made oversized smock dress 2.0.

Way back when I first had this idea with a beautiful grungy coloured tie dye fabric and self drafted a pattern.  I wanted it almost baby doll like and almost too exaggerated.  It worked and I still wear this to death, but it could be baggier! (check that out here)

So into my life via my cheap shop came this beautiful Mauve Fabric.  It was quite heavy, soft to the touch and had an amazing drape.  It also was the most beautiful mauve colour I had ever seen, and for someone who limits her colour palette to black/white/grey&nude, I was in strange territory…

So How Did It Sew?

 

I think I have sussed out what I want from a smock dress.  I think the key for me it the amount of length on the shoulder, from collar to sleeve.  I exaggerated this aspect and it has turned out extremely successful compared to other attempts.  Also keeping it ‘boxy’ and square really gives that oversized feel, with no shape.  I love how the waistband hangs with an arc, and the skirt follows.

The colour looks great on, despite still being quite muted, it IS indeed a colour that has snuck its way into my wardrobe, but a beautiful Autumnal colour at that.!

I can’t wait to wear this layered up over tights and boots this Autumn/winter  the heavier fabric really gives that added warmth to the piece.

I am sure this is not my last oversized smock dress, so watch this space!

 

Ready to Sew: Jamie x2

Ready to Sew are one of my favourite pattern companies, including my recent purchase I have Seven of their patterns, and the Jude I have made a ridiculous amount of times.

My latest purchase was with the release of the Jack cardigan.  Oh what a perfect little cardi it is!  I was so happy with my first make that I dug deep into the stash and made a second, which I also equally love.

So How Did It Sew?

First, lets talk about the pattern.  As having a lot of experience with their patterns, this is no different.  It is a perfect pattern for all levels, and a great beginner (the Jamie itself it classed as Advanced Beginner)  The Layout and Diagrams in the Instructions are close to perfection by sewing standards.  They are so simple and easy.

What I love about Ready to Sew Items is that they are fashionable and timeless.  I make them the most because they just slot into my everyday wardrobe so easily.  And the Jamie is no exception.  It just adds something to my wardrobe, since the arms are slightly puffy at the cuff I get a more Bomber/sports jacket feel to it, other than just a cardigan.

I choose to use an old Scuba with a grey pattern, and a black and white geometric grid pattern.

The Grey Version:

This fabric was from my cheap shop and it is a Jersey scuba.  It is very thick and perfect for a more heavyweight cardigan such as this.  The pattern placement was key with this piece and I even pattern matched the pockets.

The Geometric Version:

This has a slight beige tone to the fabric, and came from an ebay haul I did way back when I didn’t know much about fabrics.  Turns out it is perfect for a Jamie, and has a nice stiffness to it that gives the cardigan some shape.

Overall I think I have finally found a go to Cardigan Pattern.  I would also like to hack it and maybe bring it down over the bum and to the thigh area, but after two in such a short time I will leave that for future me.

 

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.

 

Hack: Inari to Basic Tee

Inari by named clothing, to me, is one of the best patterns ever. Not only do you get such a simple, sleek dress and top, but you can also hack this pattern every which way.

If you want to introduce someone to sewing, this is that pattern. Not only is it quick and easy, but its definitely a fashionable item.

Looking at my wardrobe, I decided I was in need of a good basic white tee to tie in a few pieces. Sometimes you need to take stock of your wardrobe, think why am I not wearing certain things more, and link them together with simple basics. Something about ‘dressing down’ a fancy skirt or even putting on a structures blazer over a simple tee is just really chic and effortlessly cool.

I knew I wanted an Inari like cuff on the sleeve, so I decided instead on drafting one, I would just use the Inari. I chose to use my bulk light jersey fabric. It is definitely the ultimate jersey tee fabric – Its very light, has a great drape and if you leave a raw edge, it looks amazing.

So How did it Sew?

Okay, so this tee, from beginning to end took about 45 minutes.

45 minutes from cut to on my body!

I did cut a few corners to make it how I wanted, but it shows things don’t need to take forever.

Whilst cutting it out, I simply folded the rest of the dress pattern to the length I wanted then cut out the fabric.  I was too lazy to even trace it, i just made do.   As I cut the side seam, it went from the armpit and fanned it out a couple of centimetres and followed the ‘bubble’ curve of the top. I also left an extra bit on the bottom so I had some playing room to tidy the hem.

A quick wiz though the overlocker and the top was almost finished. I ended up with the front slightly shorter than the back, but I think it has an edgy look. I tidied this up but using my ruler rotary cutter, the raw edge looks amazing, but only really holds together when cut neatly. I just tidied the dangley bits left by the scissors.

The hand sewing of the roll sleeve was a quick needle thread, and amazingly I fought the perfectionist in me, and it turned out not much different to how it would have if i had spent longer on it.

Overall, I am pleased as punch with this. I had intended to use it as a base to customise it by cutting it and distressing it, But now I love it too much as is.