Tag Archives: plus size wardrobe

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Update: Jan/Feb 2018

January came and went, but felt like it took forever, and now February is whizzing by as it’s so short.  As for new year sewing, there has not been much, apart from a few adjustments and a (boring) curtain for my balcony door, and occasionally fannying around with the unfinished pile (and making little progress)

So what has been eating into my valuable sewing time?: Organising all of the things! Literally every cupboard, drawer and box has been re-organised (including my fabrics and patterns) Think Premature spring clean in the lull after Christmas.

My wardrobe has been pulled to pieces as I have forced myself to confront my clothing, and the stored stuff coming into spring, and the stuff that doesn’t fit but I hoard as memories of a different time.  After the streamline, I either donated, Ebayed or scrapped what I removed and I feel better!  Also by doing this I feel I can really focus on where  I want to take my sewing in regards to my style and incorporating trends.

This brings me to my 2018 plans.  I think lace and chiffon need to make a comeback for me, incorporated in a boho-esque casual chic… with a good old dollop of goth.  Basically a laid back easy look with some key pieces, good colours and layers.  I love having light fabric pieces to layer into an outfit and can transcend most seasons dressed up or down.

My #2018makenine saw some great contenders.  Even though six of my choices are dresses (these were already on my to do list or i already have the pattern) Hopefully this year I pull back from the dress makes.  Our community is swamped with them from all angles, instead I would like to focus on the basics, and the pieces that are not so glam, but do the hard slog of a wardrobe.  I also want to be really considerate over my fabric choices to get the best from the patterns.

 

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1. I am Patterns – Cassiopee 2. Megan Nielsen – Acacia 3. Mimi G – #8392
4. Trend Patterns – 70s Dress 5. Daughters of Style – knit dress 6. Megan Neilson – Karri
7. Dp Studio – Le 604 8. By Hand London – Sabrina 9. Sewliberated – Metamorphic Dress

 

Also I have made some headway into my blogging.  With the return of the sun in the sky I have managed to photograph everything I have had stored in my drafts section of the blog.  So over the next few weeks you will probably end up seeing most of my December makes roll out, maybe with some edits on what and How i have been wearing them.

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