Mens Hooded T-Shirt For Him, Drafted by Me

Honey, can I wear this sharks top?” He called out from the top of the stairs.

Sure you can babe. You don’t need to ask my permission, its in your closet” came my mildly annoyed reply as I hurried to get the laundry going seeing as 3 of the kids had wet their beds.

OK its just that it hasn’t been photographed yet for the blog has it?” with genuine confusion and concern in his voice and on his face as he comes round the door while pulling the top over his head.

I stop loading the machine to look at him and suddenly realise that he was right. I used to be manic in my determination to catalog every single thing I made. When I started the blog that was the purpose – to have an evidence journal of my creative outputs as part of managing depression. An easy to access record.

I relaxed my posture, “its all good now, I don’t have to do a photoshoot”. It is at this juncture that it occurs to me that I have matured in my hobby/craft/passion. Although strictly speaking there are 2 separate things here: sewing and blogging. I am aware that there are many (many) more people who sew and don’t blog about it.

I love blogging and I love sewing.

Maturity is when your identity solidifies a little bit and your energy levels reach a steady level point – nicely located halfway between having no sewjo and being panicked there is no time to possibly sew everything I want to sew.

Maturity means I now curate my fabric collection rather than add to my stash.

It means I mindfully add to my sewing pattern collection not just for me but for possible future generations.

Maturity means my husband is now allowed to wear a new off the sewing machine garment without waiting for photoshoots to be done first! That’s growth people!

But just for the fun of it – here is the hooded T-shirt I made him. Pictures taken on my phone :-). The pattern is self-drafted. This was the first go and it has a few adjustments to be made. He loves the upper half but would like it to be a narrower at the hem – something about it letting in too much of a draft. The next iteration will have cuff bands and a hem band.

The fabric was from Laura whom I have had the pleasure of meeting in person several times. She is just so lovely and please do go check out her small online business she started where she curates the fabric she sells (also reasonably priced). Her online shop is called The Fabric Magpie .

If you have been blogging for a while now do you find that your reason for blogging has changed? Or is it still the same? 

Thanks for stopping by and until next time,

Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

 

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My 8th Moneta needs no introduction….

Hey hey guys!

One of my favourite dresses on the planet is finally on the blog! Whoop! Its a Moneta dress – number 8! Will there ever be a number 10? How many more can I make? Only time will tell. In the meantime this is a pictures post :-)..

Colette Patterns Moneta Dress
Colette Patterns Moneta Dress – awesome stripe matching!
Colette Patterns Moneta Dress – Pockets are EVERYTHING!
Colette Patterns Moneta Dress
Colette Patterns Moneta Dress – Slightly wonky but who cares?
Colette Patterns Moneta Dress – Dancing!
Colette Patterns Moneta Dress – “Oh no Mr Mad Hatter, I drank from the bottle that said ‘Drink Me’ and now I can almost touch the ceiling!” Caption by Diane DreamCutSew.com
Colette Patterns Moneta Dress Dont know what to call this pose….
Colette Patterns Moneta Dress – “I woke up like this and this is how I yawn” 🙂
Colette Patterns Moneta Dress – This is my ” I mean business pose” 🙂

Pictures taken at The StitchRoom Sewcial. Fabric was from Fletchers Fabrics in Leeds Market.

Dress in motion here..

Thanks for stopping by and until next time happy sewing 🙂

Peace and love,

Hila

xox

Sleeveless Peplum Blouse BurdaStyle 07/2015 #114 #burdachallenge2018

BurdaStyle 07/2015 #114B

Here is a pattern that I like so much I made several of them in succession! I like the simple look and feel of the pattern. It is something that I have had traced for almost 2 years but never got round to making it. It seems I have made up for that.

Sleeveless Peplum Blouse 07/2015 #114

Sleeveless Peplum Blouse 07/2015 #114

I have the tops in this Youtube video here

So I made it in the John Kaldor Lizzano sateen fabric first. The John Kaldor was something I fell for when my friend Ali (akathimberlina) showed hers on IG and I quickly bought from an online shop. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the shop. Its beautiful vibrant fabric that I used to make a shirtdress the M6696 shirtdress and used leftovers to make some this top.

I managed to sew this out of just under a meter of fabric. The rest was used to make a sash.

BurdaStyle 07/2015 #114B
BurdaStyle 07/2015 #114B
BurdaStyle 07/2015 #114B
BurdaStyle 07/2015 #114B

The instructions tell you to insert an elastic on the waist but opted not to do that as I found (much to my surprise) that I like the free boxy look.

Instead of sewing the armhole bias binding in the round, here is what I did:

After finishing the neckline I sewed up the shoulder seams. Then sewed the armhole binding in the flat. Next, I sewed the side seams. I fell like this was far easier and neater than sewing in the round.

 

So when it came time to think about my #makenine2018 I knew that the barkcloth would look amazing in this pattern and I did not hesitate to cut into it. I love it!

BurdaStyle 07/2015 #114B
BurdaStyle 07/2015 #114B
BurdaStyle 07/2015 #114B
BurdaStyle 07/2015 #114B
BurdaStyle 07/2015 #114B

I also had some linen left over from the Hollyburn skirt I made a couple of years ago and it was just enough to make this top too. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures but you can see it on my Youtube channel at the link above.

And then I tried the longer non-peplum version of the top but with a few twists, i.e. adding a knit cuff neckline on a woven like I learnt when I made the Merchant and Mills Tee for my husband. It did quite work out though because I forgot to not stretch out the knit cuffing. I am so used to stretching it slightly when sewing but I needn’t have done it with this one so. It does do a bit of a puddle but never mind. The John Kaldor fabric is so comfy against the skin. I barely had 3/4m left from when I made the Sheath Dress.

Alterations

The line drawing shows that the back has a CB seam which means cutting 2 back pieces. I only did that with the first one. Subsequent ones were cut on the fold. It makes no difference at all because the CB is straight.

Size traced: 38.

Verdict – Definitely, a great top that I have no doubt I will come back to again and again. I had a think about which one is my favourite and………..its…………

Making my first print at The StitchRoom Sewcial, Loughborough University, June 2018. Picture courtesy of Lucy Regan, SewEssential.co.uk

 

Thanks for stopping by and until next time

Happy Sewing!

Hila

XoX

Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113 #burdachallenge2018

 

Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113 

In March I decided to sew up this interesting shirt dress pattern from the March Issue of BurdaStyle Magazine. The March issue itself was not that awe inspiring to me and I struggled to select styles to sew. I ended up with 2 things this dress and the panel skirt here.

The shirtdress has a twisted bustier which piqued my interest – if only to see how it sews up. The skirt is wide with some sections of gathering and the bodice is accented with the casual twisted bustier that has the look of a bikini top. This style gives the traditional shirtdress a playful makeover. Here is the line drawing:

Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113

The fabric recommendations were lightweight cotton dress fabrics, with stretch blend. I used a shirting cotton that I bought from SewDown Dewsbury here. It has a twill weave which makes it reversible – its raspberry pink on one side and pale pink on the other side.

I thought the fabric could work even though it doesn’t necessarily have any stretch in it being a woven cotton. It is crisp and I felt that might look good with the full skirt.

The process of sewing it was quite easy. It is the featured sewing course in the issue which means it comes with full instructions supported by illustrations. The magazine instructions say the pattern pieces to be traced are shaded in but there is a printing error. It is actually the green lines of sheet A.

The only change I made was to remove the long sleeves and keep it sleeveless. In my head I was imagining this as a summer wear, especially with the pink fabric so I just couldn’t fit the long sleeve with the my vision. All I did was to not sew in the sleeve and used a satin bias binding instead to finish the armhole. It has side zip and it fit like a dream when I made it. I sewed size 38.

Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113
Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113
Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113
Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113
Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113
Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113
Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113
Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113
Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113

I love the dress – I positively feel like gliding and bouncing everywhere when I am wearing it! Here is my YouTube video review of the dress so you can see it in motion.

It so funny how the March issue was one that really struggled with and yet it has produced two really outstanding garments for me! Goes to show that sometimes you don’t have to be madly in love to try something.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

This was a planned make for my  March #burdachallenge2018.

 

Cowl Neck Top 01/2017 #119 #burdachallenge2018

This was another unplanned make for my #burdachallenge2018. The idea for this developed after meeting the fabric. SO I will start with the fabric. This is a beautiful shiny viscose jersey with the most beautiful drape – it is like a liquid gemstone. I picked it up from Fletchers Fabrics in Leeds while shopping with my friend Eleanor. I bought 1.5m without any idea of what to make with it. It was only when I was shooting my Youtube fabric haul video that I realised what this fabric could become.

The pattern is from the Jan 2017 issue of BurdaStyle. Here is the line drawing:

BurdaStyle 01/2017 #119

And here is the style picture 

The recommended fabric is silk jersey in order to achieve the exaggerated cowl neck. The instructions were easy to follow. The neck is finished in an ingenious way IMO. I handstitched the shoulder yoke facing as I didn’t want to topstitch. The sleeves are set in which is a little tedious to do on jersey fabrics but worth it in the end.

It came together quickly. The little bralet is a gem of a pattern as well. I used rainbow foldover elastic because I like it. The pattern calls for cutting out strips of fashion fabric otherwise. Technically this is the first bra I have sewn :-). I am looking forward to whipping up more of the bralets using scrap fabrics.

BurdaStyle 01/2017 #119 Cowl Top
BurdaStyle 01/2017 #119 Cowl Top
BurdaStyle 01/2017 #119 Cowl Top
BurdaStyle 01/2017 #119 Cowl Top – The bralet on its own is a great pattern with a good fit.

BurdaStyle 01/2017 #119 Cowl Top Rainbow foldover elastic
Interior view of the back.
Handstitched inner shoulder yoke facings.
BurdaStyle 01/2017 #119 Cowl Top

I cut my usual Burda 38 but I felt like I could have gone down a size on this which is unusual.

Verdict – a great stylish pattern with the deep cowl. I think I could have done a better job with styling it though. I feel this was designed to be tucked in but in my pictures, I didn’t do that. It does make a difference to how the top looks. Its a lovely top though I doubt I shall be making another one any time soon – I might try it again in size 36.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

 

Thanks for stopping by and until next time

Happy Sewing!

Hila

XoX

One Shoulder Dress with Cutout 07/2017 #111 #burdachallenge2018

 

Up next is a dress that has been “marinating” for a while. I traced this out when the magazine came out as soon as I saw it because I was smitten with the one shoulder style and the peekaboo circle at the shoulder.

On a tangent – my shoulders are my absolute favourite part of my body. Yes they have a forward roll and they are just a bit broader than what is considered normal for a feminine look but I love them. And so the point is that any pattern that shines a light on the shoulder is almost always something I’ll love 🙂

Back to the pattern – the one shoulder dress is one of those rare instances where it was the styled model picture that caught my eye rather than the line drawing. In fact the line drawing is really rather unattractive :

BurdaStyle 07/2017 #101 One shoulder dress
Burdastyle 07/2017 #111 Dress – This is what caught my eye.

BurdaStyle 07/2017 #111

The front and back pattern pieces are more or less similar – given the size of the pieces and how much greaseproof paper they took up – I might have tried to use only one traced pattern piece of each. But its an experiance thing really. In future, if pattern pieces look similar to me I will check if they are the same and not bother with tracing another one. This has happened to me more times than I care to count.

Any how – this is a relatively simple pattern to sew up. The bit that goes across the chest is hemmed and the circular detail is finished with a casing. The sleeve seam is sewn right up to the point where it joins the casing before its artfully tucked into the casing. A tie band is then threaded through to make that oh so cut bow on the shoulder.

I was very happy with the ease of the instructions and I sewed it up in less than a couple of hours.

The fabric was bought from Fletchers Fabrics in Leeds Market last year. Its a John Kaldor jersey with vibrant red and blue flowers. I have washed it and its maintained its vibrancy.

The thing is I actually cut this out a few months ago before I did a major reorganisation of my sewing cave so I overenthusiastically got rid of a lot of scraps including the scraps of this John Kaldor. When I read the instructions on the sewing pattern pieces I missed the measured out bits that Burda sometimes has you mark straight onto to the fabric. The essence of the story is that though it may look like a design feature to have used some Art Gallery Fabric for the casing – it was actually because I had no access AT ALL to this exact John Kaldor fabric 🙂 . Still, I think it worked out well and looks good.

BurdaStyle 07/2017 #111 One shoulder dress

BurdaStyle 07/2017 #111 Dress – Art Gallery Jersey for the casing.

BurdaStyle 07/2017 #111

Wearing this dress is an interesting experience. It definitely exposes a lot of skin and perhaps it felt strange at first since I was just coming out of winter wherein covering up is de riguer. Apart from the novelty of feeling the breeze against my skin – I liked wearing this dress. The one flutter sleeve is very dramatic while the fact that it is made of jersey makes it very comfortable.

Foundation garment wise – I found that I couldn’t carry it off without a bra (I’d need to make a smaller size for that – my bust measurement is based on wearing a t shirt bra, without it I am quite flat chested). I have a strapless bra which worked just fine. I also realised that this could work well as a beach coverup, it goes on and off very easily.

Here is how I wear it – with a belt just like in the magazine style picture-

There is a top version of the pattern which I will try next in a smaller size so I can go braless with it.

 

 

Thanks so much for stopping by! Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

This was an unplanned make for my  April #burdachallenge2018.

 

Day & Night Dress Challenge 2018 : Simplicity S8045 & Burdastyle 02/2018 #101 Dress

I neglected to mention that I made 2 dresses for the Day and Night Dress challenge hosted by ElizabethMadeThis.com.

 

 

BurdaStyle 02/2018 #101 Dress

For my day dress, I decided to multi task by also making a dress for my #burdachallenge2018 plan for the month. The dress I chose was style number 101 from the February issue of BurdaStyle magazine.

The style was a bit outside my comfort zone given its vintage vibes. Normally the vintage I like tends to be the maxi variety. Here is the line drawing :

BurdaStyle 02/2018 #101

It was actually the line drawing that drew me to this pattern. The details were quite unique to me especially the lower skirt godet.

I used a fabric that I bought a while back on holiday abroad. It’s a peach skin that has the most glorious drape. My husband actually chose this for me – though I was sceptical of the Pollock-like abstract print – it worked really well for me. The only downside is that with the print it hard to see the design lines clearly.

With my usual Burda size 38, this fit right off the pattern sheet. The only alterations I made were to omit the cute but labourious self-faced buttons and loops on the sleeves and the lower skirt.

Sewing with peach skin was not as challenging as I thought it would be, which is a relief as I have a few other lovely peachskins that have been sitting in my fabric collection.

Its a very pretty dress and something that makes me feel quite charming :-). By the way, the instructions on this pattern were actually quite good.

BurdaStyle 02/2018 #101
BurdaStyle 02/2018 #101 Dress

 

Simplicity S8045

For the night dress, I had in mind to make something for a date night we had planned to eat out at a Cuban Tapas restaurant. So when I saw the red viscose jersey with a lovely surface sheen my idea of a little red dress was cemented.

I have sewn with this Mimi G pattern before here and had plans to make it again because I wasn’t happy with my fabric selection especially after a few washes. The sizing on this pattern was spot on and the drape of this viscose was better suited than the ponte I used previously. Its a sexy little number and I do feel like roaring when I am wearing it :-). The collar band that goes over the shoulders is quite snug and tends to roll up as seen in the pictures so its not as wide as shown on the pattern envelope. I think for the more endowed in the bust area that a toile is definitely recommended if you are thinking of making this pattern. Pictures-

Simplicity S8045
Simplicity S8045

Here is my video review of the two dresses:

The Burdastyle dress was my planned February make for #burdachallenge as well 🙂

Thanks so much for stopping by! Until next time – Happy Sewing!!!!

Peace and love,

Hila

3 X BurdaStyle Magazine 09/2010 #121A #burdachallenge2018

Ever since I sewed up the turtleneck top from Burdastyle 09/2010 in 2016, I have been planning more variations in my head. You see, this top pattern is so easy to sew up and comfy to wear as it doesnt have a neck seam. Here is the line drawing:

121a_technical_large
Burda 09/2010 #121A

 

blog-pictures-coco-etc-281
Seamless neckline from my first 2016 version

 

To be honest with you I could waffle on but there really isn’t much more to add about this pattern that I haven’t already said here. So here are pictures of the three latest ones which also fulfilled my March #burdachallenge2018 goals.

BurdaStyle 09/2010 #121 – This is a crepe jersey that I picked up from a fabric swap at SewUpNorth
BurdaStyle 09/201 #121 – Fabric is a viscose jersey from Fabworks Mill Shop
BurdaStyle 09/2010 #121 – Quite possibly my favourite made of a viscose jersey that I bought from B&M Fabrics in Leeds Market.

So these have been in heavy rotation especially for layering in the colder months. Its been getting a bit warmer so for now they have been put aside until September. Isn’t it lovely to find a TNT pattern? I now have 5 of these 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and until next time

Happy Sewing!

Hila

XoX

Tight Midi Dress BurdaStyle 01/2018 #118 #burdachallenge2018

Here is another dress that I like to call my “Go Bold or Go Home” dress. Its bright neon orange colour – the sort of orange that doesn’t blend into the background. Its a crepe jersey that I picked up at The Shuttle in Shipley for my SWAP2017 capsule. I found a better alternative for my SWAP and this had been chilling in my collection since.

When the Jan 2018 Burda dropped – I immediately knew that the orange crepe jersey would be perfect for the midi dress. Here is the style picture that hooked me:

Tight Midi Dress Burdastyle 01/2018 #118

 

I got excited that I didn’t fully check the recommended fabric part. This pattern actually calls for viscose crepe with elastine. My crepe jersey has fourway stretch and though more substantial than t-shirt jersey, it does have a lot of stretch. SO much so that I didnt include the CB zip.

I really struggled with sewing this dress. My initial ardour was dampened by an inability to comprehend the instructions. AT one point I put it aside and moved on but when I saw @AllisonCSewing’s version on Instagram, my ardour was renewed.

I tackled it with a single minded focus. Though I still did not get the instructions I just pinned it out. Using the magazine pictures I tried to pin it to best achieve what my eyes were seeing. This is what came out of it. The inside is a hot mess and its supposed to have a lined bodice but mine doesnt.

BurdaStyle 01/2018 #118

P1500438

Internal Back
Hot mess.
It was hard to capture the vividness of the orange because of all the extra light from the snow but this picture is the closest.

 

 

I really like this dress and I wore it layered with a roll neck top. I will be trying this again with a viscose crepe. Ideally I’d like to have a patterned fabric for the skirt and a solid for the bodice so it looks like a 2 piece. And I hope that the second time around the instructions will make sense to me!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

This was a planned make for my January #burdachallenge2018.

 

Flounce Dress BurdaStyle 01/2017 #112A

 

I will preface this by saying how much I love this dress! So I will go right ahead and show the pictures before all the talking.

Burdastyle 01/2017 #112

BurdaStyle 01/2017 #112

 

Now, the talking bit.

The flounce dress includes a bold flounce to drape in front – which piqued my interest. Initially, I was going to use a cobalt blue crepe, however, at the last minute, I remembered this bright pink wool fabric that I had bought from Fabworks. It is a lightweight wool fabric, similar in texture to pashmina shawls. I found it washed well in a cold water wash and low tumble dry.

Sewing it up was a treat. The fabric is a joy to work with and responds beautifully to a steamy iron. Since the style doesn’t have a zipper – it sews up quite fast. The only tricky bit is when cutting out the pattern. The pieces have to be cut single layer and it is important to mark the seam numbers.

The pattern is a Burda Tall size which is drafted for taller persons. I selected my size based on my bust measurement which put me on size 76. I didn’t change the length of the dress but I did reduce the sleeve length by 2″ to maintain the bracelet length sleeve.

My favourite part of this dress is the flounces at the front. My least favourite is the back fastening. I am considering redoing that back closure and inserting an exposed zip instead. I wore it quite a lot these past 2 months but the back wasn’t an issue since I always wore it layered over a roll neck top. The other annoying thing is that the wool has started pilling where my coat would rub against it :-(.

I definitely want to make this again and do some contrast blocking with the flounces.

This was one of my January #burdachallenge2018 planned makes.

Thanks for stopping by!

Hila

Burda 06/2016 #101C Wool Jersey Dress

This is a dress I made for my February #burdachallenge2018 project. It wasnt a planned make – I reacquainted myself with the dark blue wool jersey that I bought from Fabworks in Dec 2016.

When I bought the fabric I recall that I wanted to make a Talviki sweater. Alas, with only 1 meter, it was not enough. Enter Burda 06/2016 #101C dress. Here is the line drawing which shows the simplicity of this pattern.

101-062016-m_large

 

Since 1m was not enough for the mini dress – a fact I realised after cutting out three of the four pieces; inventiveness meant that I used a navy ponte for the front yoke – a design feature bourne out of necessity.

For the neckline, I just folded it under and zig zagged. I think this is a finish you can get away with when the fabric is of a more substantive weight like the wool jersey.

The picture shows how I wore it most of the time- with tights and boots and sometimes with a roll neck as well. Wool jersey is very warm and cosy which served me well for the colder days. The pictures were taken during the big snow days that ground Britain to a halt.

Burdastyle 06/2016 #101

 

This is quite a versatile pattern – it works for summer with a lighter fabric like this one that I made here and can work for winter with a thicker fabric.

Thanks for stopping by!

Hila

The Great British Sewing Bee From Stitch to Style: The Breton Dress

It gives me great pleasure to share this dress with you. Its from the book, The Great British Sewing Bee From Stitch to Style

The Breton jersey dress attracted me with its wide boat neck line. It also looked simple enough to make and yet it took me nearly 18 months between tracing out the pattern and actually sewing it. Here is the picture from the book:

Sewing the dress was a pleasure as it is instant gratification of the best kind. And to end up with something that makes me feel like a stylish well considered adult, well, that’s just the cherry on the cake! The sewing instructions in the book are really good. Plus the sizing was spot on. This size was selected based on my bust and without any alterations at all this is what it looks like.

Great British Sewing Bee: From Stitch to Style. Jersey Dress
No. I did not stripe match.
I love how the neckline is finished.
I get such a buzz from putting my name on my clothes 🙂
Going for an artistic pose…….(please ignore the holey tights)

If I had to nit pick I’d say that there is a swayback issue on the back but honestly I asked my husband what he thought and he earnestly said that the behind was fine. And that is good enough for me :-).

Fabric was from Jacks Fabrics in Leeds market, bought last year so I am quite pleased at how quickly this fabric was turned around :-).

Overall there are many things that pleased me about this project.

The book only cost £9.99 on Amazon with free P&P. Its great value given the number of patterns that come with the book (27 I think). There are a few more patterns I want to make from there. I did make the Japanese top already.

 

I have already traced out this skirt which was the reason that I bought the book. sewing-bee-book-a-skirtAfter seeing Beth’s version I was very inspired to make it.

Thanks for stopping by. Happy Sewing!

Peave and love,

Hila

XXX