Another Giselle Maxi Dress for Indie Pattern Month 2017

July is Indie Pattern Month over at The Monthly Stitch. Its a month set aside for celebrating indie patterns. I always the challenges set by Kat and Mel and this year is no exception. Week 1 is dresses and I made yet another Giselle maxi dress using fabric bought from my first Yorkshire Spoolette meet up in Feb 2016 <link here>. Tangentially, I have used all but 1 of the fabrics I bought then and that’s great for me :-). I digress, lets get to it ……..

Can I just start off by saying that I love this dress! OK. So when Kat and Mel announced the themes I was pleased to see that dresses were in Week 1. It didn’t take me long at all to decide on which indie pattern dress to make – Giselle by Kate and Rose Patterns.

I have made 3 of them ( here and here) before but none in a rayon challis fabric. The fabric is irresistibly soft and I  very nearly made pyjamas with it. It also gets double points for stash busting as it has been in the stash since Feb 2016 :-).

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Since I have sewn this before fitting was not an issue. I made the version with the under bust yoke but sleeveless. The sleeves and neckline were finished with cotton bias binding.

This is a quick dress to sew up. The skirt panels are basically rectangles that are gathered and sewn together. I always add in seam pockets to this pattern as it comes without pockets and that’s my only complaint (a very minor one 🙂). I finished my seams with the overlocker.

Its a loose fit easy to wear dress. Very swishy and its one of those dresses that always has me on my best posture. You know the sort of dress you feel like you are letting it down if you slouch or don’t stand proud :-).

Thanks for stopping by!

Peace and love,

Hila

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Named Talvikki Sweater

I made this after buying the pattern during the 12 days of Christmas sale. It was a bargain at £5. Here is the line drawing.

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My thoughts are that it is very quick to sew up and took one sitting to finish. The sleeves are very straight forward and there is no easing involved. The most challenging part for the beginner might be the mitred corners. The sizing was spot on and I didn’t make any alterations at all.

Personally I feel like the side vent is too high for a winter garment given that its supposed to keep me warm and cosy. With my poor circulation I would feel this gap acutely. In winter I wore it layered over thermal sweater underneath. The fabric is a wool jersey that I bought form Fabworks. It washes in the machine and I tumble dry it on low – that seems just fine. I have since washed this about 5 times now with no problems.

I plan on making this again in a cobalt blue wool jersey also from Fabworks but I will lengthen it while shortening the side vent.

The other issue was with my broad shoulder. though the fit is quite good there is some puddling under the collar and I had to do something like swayback adjustment to remove the pooling fabric.

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Talvikki Sweater – Vent depth
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Talviki Sweater – funnel neck detail
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Named Talvikki Sweater – Sleeve
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Pooling fabric at front neck base

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It simple minimalist chic and quite appealing on gray days. I was a bit ‘meh‘ about it when I finished it but surprisingly found myself pulling it on a lot. Which can only tell me that I like it :-).

I will report back on the ‘neck swayback’ adjustment in autumn when I get round to making the second one. Thanks for stopping by!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

 

Retro Vibes Coco Dress – Tilly and the Buttons

Coco dress 4.0

This past winter I caught a bit of the Coco bug. It’s an easy super quick make – I totally blame SewChet for her beautiful stag print Coco <link here> which reminded me of the versatility of this pattern :-).

I have had this quilted ponte for a long while now (bought from Jacks Fabrics in Leeds Market) and its one I had set aside on the “sew or donate within 1 month” pile. Luckily it got sewn. The thing with this fabric is that it’s a workhorse – I have made my girls sweater dresses <link here> and they got washed loads over the 15 months my girls wore them. Despite all the laundering the fabric didn’t bobble or pil horribly so I knew that this will be a good workhorse dress.

To add to the sixties vibe I was getting off the fabric I interfaced the collar band so it would stand tall and proud in a contrasting black ponte.

I have much love for this dress and its been worn loads this past winter.

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Tilly and the Buttons Coco Dress

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Verdict: I likey – a lot. Comfy, warm and makes me feel stylish 🙂 Just like my other Coco dress too.

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the interwebs. Until next time – happy sewing all!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

SWAP2017: An Over and a Lower

My SWAP has 4 overs which are :

  1. Fitted shirt in shocking pink.
  2. Embroidered fitted top
  3. Knitted red and white jumper
  4. White tie back top
  5. A ‘rogue’ dress

For this post I am looking at the pink fitted shirt and the yellow maxi skirt.

Fitted Shirt

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Sewaholic Granville and I got back a long way. See here <link>. Its a tried and true patterns that I love.

I had already seen the shocking pink fabric at the Shuttle in Shipley before deciding on the SWAP colours. Once my colours were settled, I was forced to go back to The Shuttle (I want to be clear on this – I did NOT want to go to a fabric shop but in the spirit of SWAP I had to – I was a reluctant  fabric shopper – those other fabrics followed me home – I was reluctant but I am so proud of myself for my restraint). Luckily it was still there when I went back and I bought 3 meters of it. Its  a stretch cotton sateen that was interesting to work with.

I cant say its been my best sewing experience ever. I found that the sateen had a strong needle memory and I couldn’t unpick the fabric without creating a visual disturbance. I quickly caught on though and started using wonder clips instead of pins where necessary. I also needed to use a walking foot to prevent it stretching out as I sewed. It also why I opted not to topsticth the button placket.

Because of the stretch nature of the fabric it is very comfortable. Pictures do not do this fabric justice. Its is very bright pink. As in incredibly in your face unapologetic pink. It makes me happy.

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For the maxi skirt I used the skirt portion of the Anna dress. I love this pattern and have made it several times already. The fabric was hard to come by. I wanted a really bright sunshine yellow. I did something I haven’t done before – ordering loads of swatches. I must say that made me feel very grown up indeed. I eventually found the right colour and weight from an Ebay shop called (apologies in advance to any brexiters reading this) EuroFabrics. Its a very beautiful high quality stretchy crepe with viscose fabric that has a micro texture. It has a bit of give on the cross grain which makes for a very comfortable wear.

I sewed up the skirt but while checking fit I realised that I wanted pockets. I try to add pockets where I can in a way that doesn’t interfere too much with the design lines. Because this skirt is close fitting at the hip, in seam pockets would not have worked. So I decided to draft quasi-patch pockets that attach at the princess seams. I felt like this was the most sympathetic addition of pockets.

I still have the option of cutting out the thigh slit but as yet am undecided. I quite like it as is for now. Initially the plan was to add a narrow waistband but I didnt like after the initial basting – it made it even  more high waisted that I was envisioning. So it was Petersham ribbon to the rescue!!!  The only fly in the ointment , however is that I did think it needed lining but when I wore it for pictures – I could see my panty lines – as I grow older I get less keen on VPLs on my own self. I have since bought some lining to add which is an easy fix. I will only line the upper third of the skirt. The other option is to go commando when in this skirt and……. mmm……..again as I get older I am less keen on the whole going commando thing 🙂

Pictures…..

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SWAP2017 Granville Shirt and Anna Maxi skirt

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So here we are reader, the first 2 of my 11 SWAP2017 blogged. Whats next? The orange skirt I think….undecided

Thanks so much for stopping my little corner of the interwebs. Until next time,

Happy sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

Additions to my Moneta colleterie

I made 2 more Moneta dresses!

To add to my growing colleterie of Monetas (it has been officially designated that a group or collection of Moneta dresses is refered to by the term colleterrie).

At last count I now have made 7 Moneta dresses. And readers, I have plans for more:-). So yes this is a pattern that keeps on giving for me.

Enough waxing lyicals – I made them for the #monetaparty which was this really huge event on Instagram. It was fun seeing all the different Monetas that our incredibly creative community made. It always amazes me how only one pattern can literally be made by 1000 seamstress and not a single one is the same! Continue reading

Alder Shirt Dress by Grainline Studio Pt 4

Hello chums,

I must apologise in advance for the deluge of daily posts – I want to catch up with my blogging – only a few more posts to go before I am up to 2017. Please bear with me. And on that note………..

It’s no secret that I am huge fan of the Alder shirtdress having made 3 versions to date

First one was a cotton lawn palm trees & flamingos Alder

The second one was John Kaldor cotton lawn,

The third one was a Nani Iro double gauze.

I finally got around to making the fourth one using the same fabric as my Laurel shift dress. Continue reading

Sew It With Love Delia Top

Hello chums,

Today I am sharing my tester version of the Delia top which is a pattern that was released just before or after Christmas last year. I signed up when I saw that it had raglan sleeves.sew-it-with-love-patterns_delia-top_instructions

I decided that I wanted a peplum after I had cut out the hip length variation and saw no reason why I couldn’t add the peplum too :-).

I double-faced the peplum so I wouldn’t have any hemming to do. I also added cuffs to the long sleeves to avoid hemming. Sewing it up was quite easy and I thought the instructions were great making this a beginner friendly pattern.

The fabric has been in my stash for about 2 years now. I had bought it to make a Moneta dress but I fell out of love with the idea of an apple green Moneta. It’s a ponte knit with a lovely sheen. I used just under 1m to make this and my fabric is  57″ wide.

The hip length variation is not supposed to have a peplum – that is one of the 2 design changes I made. The other being the cuffs. In hindsight, I realise that I suck at pattern testing because I should have made it as it was supposed to and report back on that. I will do that in the future if I ever find myself pattern testing again.

Fit wise I thought it was true to size. I cut the size 10 based on my bust measurement and despite the wrinkles, it has a good fit. It’s also very comfortable. The one thing I will change though is the neckline. It’s a bit too high on me – I will lower it by about 1/2″.

I forgot to mention that this is not a sponsored post. I was given the PDF file for free but everything else was bought with my own money. There was no stipulation that testers had to blog about their make. I am sharing it because I like this top and I have been wearing it most weekends.

Pictures

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I like the subtlety of the peplum – I don’t think its too much
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I may need to size up the sleeves and that might reduce those drag lines…
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I need to lower the neckline

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Thank you so much for stopping by! Until next time Happy Sewing All!

Peace and love,

Hila

P.S. You can watch me prattling on about it below 🙂

Lady Skater Dress No. 3

Hello everyone,

Just before Christmas last year I sewed another Lady Skater dress – and its quite possibly my favourite. I already get quite a lot of wear out of my teal scuba one (post here) and my light weight jersey one (post here).

The nice thing about a TNT, as you well know I’m sure, is that there is no added stress of fitting woes etc. This gives extra mental space to think about creative ways of making the same pattern. But first, let me talk fabric as the fabric directed the changes I made.

The fabric was described as blister ponte but I rather disagree and think it’s actually cloque fabric knitted from two colours (pink and black). It has (for want of a better word), oodles of beautiful texture that has a baroque look to it.Joe Cover CD pics 136.jpg

I made this one using leftover fabric from another dress project so the cap sleeves were a necessity. The fabric, despite being a poly mix of some sort, is rather comfortable and cozy. Much as I love the scoop neck on the Skater dress – I needed this dress to be more covered for winter – the fabric texture and thickness won’t work in spring or summer. I decided to raise the neckline and make it a slash neckline to maximise chest coverage. I tried to make a roll neck but alas there was insufficient fabric. This had to do.

I sewed it all up on my overlocker and used a zigzag stitch for the hems, sleeves and neck. I am always impressed at how quickly this dress comes together and no doubt there will be more variations in my future.

Pictures….*the skirt is slightly off grain and I am calling this a design feature people. Design feature m’kay.

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Lady Skater Dress
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Lady Skater Dress

With this third make, Lady Skater Dress has made it into my TNT Hall of Fame! Next up – a maxi version I think…….red and white stripes maybe……

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

Paece and love,

Hila

XoX

Lekala 4437: A Christmas Day Dress

Season’s greetings to all. I hope you are all enjoying Christmas Day. I am thoroughly bushed and looking forward to bedtime. We have just finished bedtime for the kids and they were so tired that they fell asleep while stories were still being read – a rare occurrence.

I thought I may have time to share a quick post on my little red dress that I wore for today. Its a dress made for The Little Red Dress Challenge which was created by RunningNStyle. Basically anyone who wanted to could make a red dress for the festive season. This challenge fitted in with my plans so I took it up.

I rather ran out of time and decided to use a Lekala pattern as I know I dont need to make a toile. The pattern I chose was Lekala 4437. Here is the line drawing

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Lekala 4437

I bought the fabric from B&M Fabrics during SewUpNorth. Its a stretch fabric that is just slightly lighter in weight than ponte. Its almost got the look of kids polo shirts , you know , the ones for school. Since it has stretch I omitted the zip. I sewed it all up on the overlocker except for attaching the collar facing. The collar facing is interfaced (I used normal interfacing) – though in future I will use a heavier weight interfacing  to give the collar more structure.

I wore it all day today until after our huge festive dinner where I indulged to the extent that I looked nearly 5 months pregnant :-). Constructionwise – it does have a lot of curved seams but I didnt struggle with these. Everything lined up beautifully.

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Lekala 4437

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I like the collar but it needs more work

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Curved seams

I am keen to try this pattern again with more time to work on making the collar better and I want to make it in a woven fabric. The collar is the feature I liked the most about this dress. Its a dress that looks good on me but I know it could be much better sewn. The instructions were really quite good on this pattern as well.

Needless to say Mr SNS really likes this dress as well which is always a bonus :-)!

Thank you so much for stopping by my little corner of the interwebs. I appreciate you. Until next time – Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

Coco Dress 3.0 – Tilly and the Buttons

Hello chums,

I hope you are all enjoying December and all the festivities that come with this time of the year. Today I decided to start this post with a throwback to my second Coco top blogged in August 2014.

 

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Couture Coco

 

For some reason I didnt get round to making another Coco because I went off it. Basically this top above is one of the garments that got given away when I cleared out my wardrobe sometime ago. It just didn’t fit me well and felt baggy.

Retrospectively I now understand that there were 2 things at play here:

  1. Poor bra selection. I was still breastfeeding in 2014 and wearing bras that I had bought when my oldest was breastfeeding. They were eight years old, quite saggy with poor support (at the time I didnt think so though). My bust measurement was off because of this.
  2. Once I stopped breastfeeding my extra bust inches were all lost and I was back to my modest B cup. This meant that the top looked and felt even baggier.

Cut to more than 2 years later and I now wear better fitting bras (thanks to M&S free bra fitting service) – I tried out the Coco again. At SewUpNorth I met Pam who was wearing her striped Coco top with a funnel neck. I was quite taken by her top and the seed was planted.

Sewing it up was so incredibly quick and everything went together well. I had to cut it 2 sizes down from the 2014 version. The blister ponte is a lovely silvery grey with black embossed leaves. It has a nice texture and is very comfortable.

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Tilly and The Buttons Coco Dress

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Back view
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Funnel neck detail
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Sleeve cuffs.

I was pleased to find that I loved the fit of the dress when I tried it on. Perfect winter wear with tights and boots. I will be joining Tialys and making loads more Cocos!

I think if I ever had to recommend an easy beginner friendly pattern this would be it. I even did a Youtube vlog on it just after I finished it (at bottom).

Thanks for stopping by and happy sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

 

 

 

 

Sewaholic Renfrew Pt. 4, 5 & 6

I can’t believe I only made my first Renfrew top early this year around February time. Now I have 6 versions – with still more to make.

Renfrew Pt 4

Made in polka dot poly jersey that’s been a stasher for yonks (since stash began actually) and it makes for a drapey lightweight top. I made this for the SewDots challenge, but I didn’t submit it because I decided I wasn’t particularly keen on the prizes.

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Polka dots Renfrew – makes me feel jazzy!
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Cowl neck detail

Renfrew Pt 6.

Made from some John Kaldor fabric left over from another project. I just manged to squeeze in the scoop neck version with three-quarter length sleeves. Not bad for about 3/4meters of fabric. I am happy with this. I really quite love the dramatic floral print.

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Sewaholic Renfrew
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Scoop neck detail

Renfrew Pt 5

Made in a ponte weight fabric bought in early days. I only had  one meter but I was determined to make this a cowl neck version. After much messing about – I got it to fit but had to sacrifice the cuffs and have a narrower hem band. In lieu of same colour cuffs I colour blocked with a lovely contrasting grey. I wear this a lot as layer under stuff. Rarely on its own though.

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Neutral Renfrew – love the drape of this cowl – so much body to it.
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Cowl neck detail

 

 

That will do as far as Renfrews go for this year. Will I make more Renfrews in 2017? We will have to see………Have you made 6 of one pattern this year too? 

Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila