SWAP2017 Pt 6: By Hand London Anna Dress in Frida Kahlo

Last year I was working full steam on a SWAP2017 wardrobe. You can read some of the previous SWAP2017 posts here <link here>.

This is the fifth garment that I made for the SWAP2017 capsule – an endeavour which started in 2016! I did finish this in time for the April 2017 deadline but for some reason its taken its time to get to the blog.

The capsule plan was to have one statement-y dress.

My SWAP2017 “Vision Board”

There was a limit on how many patterns you could use – the max was 8 patterns for 11 garments. I used the Anna dress because it could be easily modified.

The trick was to find a fabric that I loved but that could go with all the other pieces. After much searching, I eventually landed on the Frida y Catarina fabric in a blue background on EBay. To say I fell for this fabric is an understatement. I freaking love this fabric and consequently the dress.

I have made the Anna dress three times before. I have not made it using a medium weight quilting cotton like this Alexander Henry fabric. Ruth’s Core Couture tutorial was a godsend. She shows with well-detailed instruction and rationale how to prevent neckline gaping that can be an issue with wide V necklines. You can check out the tutorial here – a must-read for anyone who has ever been exasperated with a neckline that won’t lay flat.

Stay tape in the neckline of the BHL Anna Dress

The results more than speak for themselves. I have since used that same approach on many more projects with great results.

 

When we went to the US last year for my FIL’s 70th birthday celebrations I took it along. Its one of what I like to call “The Magnificent 3” dresses. Whenever I wear any of those 3, I get a lot of compliments. I will probably write up a post about them and why I think they get so many compliments – advance spoiler – it is not about the dress per se. Anyway, I digress pictures.

BHL Anna Dress on location in Central Park, New York – hence the walking sandals 🙂
BHL Anna Dress

The fabric is a border print and I was not keen to cut into the print. I cut the bodice on the cross grain so that the Frida print was only at the hem. The skirt pieces are rectangles with darts added. The darts matched up with the bodice darts. That created the A line shape of the skirt. I contemplated adding pockets but decided that the design lines were more important. My problem is that I do actually use my pockets heavily and there are some styles that look and feel odd to me when the pocket is in use.

The hem is exactly at the selvedge edge. I wanted the maximum length I could get. It used 3 meters of fabric with very little scraps. The benefit of quilting cottons like the Alexander Henry ones is that they do wash and keep the colours well. I imagine that in time, with more washes, the fabric will get softer. The thought brings a smile to my face as I hope to be wearing this dress for decades.

Picture was taken in May this year – with my frohawk and post SticthRoom Sewcial so my eyebrows were neat 🙂
I love the vibrant orange flowers on the fabric.  BHL Anna Dress
Power pose….LIKE A BOSS!!! BHL Anna Dress
BHL Anna Dress

Last week on Saturday I went to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit in London – I believe that’s what prompted me to finally write about this dress on the blog. I am still processing my thoughts on the experience and will be writing a post about it soon.

Back to the SWAP2017 – I still have more of the garments to write about and those posts should be ready…..soonish :-).

In the meantime, I do have a video on my YouTube channel if you’d like to see this dress in motion.

Thanks for stopping by this corner of the interwebs.

Peace and love,

Hila

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Panel Overlay Skirt BurdaStyle 03/2018 #116 #burdachallenge2018

 

 

This was one of my March #burdachallenge2018 planned makes. Its the panel overlay skirt from the March 2018 issue. The issue itself was not very exciting and I struggled to select what to sew from it. After several browse throughs I landed on this skirt.

I rather liked the idea of the asymmetric panel on the top with the extra gathering. That bit was quite a challenge to sew up though it looks like a simple enough skirt.

BurdaStyle 03/2018 #116

The gathered overlay goes over the waistband but its also part of the in seam pocket. There is two sets of gathering in this skirt – the first is the main skirt itself gathered to fit the waistband. The second is the panel overlay which is gathered by way of elastic inserted into a casing. Quite a clever little feature when you think about it.

The fabric was bought from a flea market in Ocean’s Grove, New Jersey last year. Technically this is an upcycled project since they were originally a pair of bark-cloth curtains. The curtains were only $2 :-). Barkcloth is always such a pleasure to sew with. I finished the waistband with a cheerful yellow bias binding and an invisible zip at the center back.

By the time I snipped my last thread on this project, I had got over my ambivalence to the skirt and found that I actually liked it. Perhaps its the nice deep pockets or the barkcloth or the fact that the fabric cost me $2 in total. I have worn this quite a lot and find it to be very comfortable.

BurdaStyle 03/2018 #116 Skirt
BurdaStyle 03/2018 #116 Gathered panel detail
Side seam where the gathered overlay and main skirt are sewn.
I love the cheerful yellow bias binding (I made that from a fat quarter Kona cotton)
Other end of the panel that “sits” over the main skirt. I did some hand-stitching here. I like this waist detail and this is one of the things I like about BurdaStyle patterns -little details.
In case you didnt realise it was a panel – there is a panel here people!

The morale of this particular project for me is that I am glad I tried something that I wasn’t too over the moon about. This is one of those projects that I feel has given me some growth in terms of my approach to sewing : its okay to sew things that don’t make my heart race with excitement at the prospect of wearing them.

Thanks for stopping by and until next time Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

Swishy Yoga Skirt BurdaStyle 01/2016 #113 #burdachallenge2018

This project is something of a fail. More specifically, a fabric fail. The pattern is a yoga skirt from the 01/2016 issue of BurdaStyle. The style caught my eye with the overlayered skirt, the ruched waistband and I am sucker for high low hemlines. Here is the line drawing and style picture:

 

Burdastyle 01/2016 #113

I like the idea of building up my yoga wardrobe. I traced this pattern way back in 2016 when I received the magazine. This is the second time I made this. The first one was sent to my little sister. She never reported back on it so I can assume all is well with the skirt.

The design calls for a side zipper but I omitted this because I couldn’t be asked (perhaps I subconsciously realised that this was headed for the fail category). The instructions were quite good with this pattern (translates as no head scratching). Its a  bit of a fabric piggy on account of the overlays.

To cut a long tale short – the fabric – a four way stretch viscose jersey – did not like being overlocked. This picture succinctly captures the issue. 

I have been wearing it despite the imminent disintegration. I quite like how it moves – very swishy. I tend to alternate between a saunter and a sashay when I am wearing it.  So its worth making it again but I need a better quality fabric. The fabric has been in my collection since 2014 – I picked it up from a closing down sale in Bradford. It cost 50p per meter. Pictures –

BurdaStyle 01/2017 #113

 

Back to pattern. So taking out the zipper means that I cant get the snug fit shown on the model so I am playing with the idea of inserting elastic in the waistband for my third try. Wish me luck 🙂

This was one of my January #burdachallenge2018 planned makes. I need to get better at blogging my makes sooner 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and until next time Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

SWAP2017 Pt 5: Ansterick Holsten Sweater and an Experiment in pre washing yarn

Last year I was working full steam on a SWAP2017 wardrobe. You can read some of the previous SWAP2017 posts here <link here>:

For one of my uppers – I opted for a  knitted item. The inspiration was based on a Bella Freud 1970 Jumper . This jumper retails at ÂŁ300.

The pattern I used was the Holsten jumper by Anstrick. 

Once I had selected the pattern the next challenge was finding the bright red yarn colour. Someone on Ravelry recommended Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton DK yarn. The yarn has a lovely lustre to it and it had a lipstick red shade that looked promising. I ordered several balls of different reds from various brands but this was the one that nailed it. Luckily they also had the black and white of the same yarn.

The next challenge was how to prevent bleeding. From the many posts that I read where people had knitted with red and white or black and white – there was a bleeding issue when the garment was washed. After ruminating on the issue for a while I thought that maybe I could try pre-washing the yarn before knitting to reduce any bleeding potential in the same way we prewash fabric for sewing.

Luckily the yarn comes in skeins. My first attempt was a bit of a travesty because I didnt do anything to prevent the yarn from tangling. On my second attempt, I loosely tied the skein at 4 different points so that I could easily reconstitute the skein.

The prewashing process involved filling the sink with hot water and soaking for about an hour, gently wringing the water out and repeating until the water ran clear. For the red this took approximately 4 soakings, the black took 6 soakings to run clear. I also did the white twice because I needed it to have a similar texture to the black and red.

After drying out the skeins I then had to wind them into yarn balls. There were a lot of online tutorials to help. I used a kitchen roll tube and spent several hours balling up the skein. It was tedious but I think it was worth it in the end. 

Dryng the prewashed yarn

Pre washed and un washed side by side
Prewashed on left. Has a ‘fuller’ look and feel. Unwashed on right.

 

I swatched with 3.75, then 3,5 but it was 3,25 that got the correct stitch gauge. I should have done some mods since the pattern calls for fingering 4 ply but my yarn was DK. However, I still do not understand these things so I went on ahead with the proviso that I would be trying it along the way to see what I need to change. On the whole this worked, I think I managed to get away with it :-).

This pattern knits up quite quick since it all stokinette stitch. It was also a great opportunity for me improve my Portuguese knitting skills. I think the fit is quite good. Yarn feels comfy against my skin.

The prewashing seems to have worked. When I washed this there was no bleeding.

And here I am wearing it last year.

The pattern instructions were very clear and well written. I learnt some new techniques like the saddle stitch for the raglan sleeve. It may not be the best but I had a great time knitting this. I’d have liked to do add in a HILA motif on the white section but my skills are not yet there. I am still very happy with this jumper.

Finally, I used just under 5 skeins of red and less than 1 skein each of black and white. The total cost of the yarn was ÂŁ50.48. Not bad considering the inspiration retails at ÂŁ300. Win!

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internets. Until next time, happy knitting!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for stopping by this corner of the interwebs.

Peace and love,

Hila

Vogue V1486 Pt. 3 Skirt in Bright Floral Scuba

This is a skirt that I have made 2 times already (bright floral here) and (cobalt scuba here). I always said that I wasnt done with this pattern and it still feels accurate even after this 3rd make.

Perhaps its how easy it is to make the skirt that attracts me so. Or it might be the shape of it – not quite a plain A line skirt, it has the drama of the side box pleats on the lower skirt section. left out the back zip and cut the back piece on a fold. Scuba has great stretch and recovery.

 

Size wise I traced a 10 based on the finished garment measurements (I am normally a 12 on Vogue patterns). I did this because the scuba has some stretch in it. The fabric was an impulse online purchase from FC Fabric Studio . One of those posts you see on IG and click away and before you know it, you are receiving a lovely package of fabric. And it really is lovely, just look at it. Continue reading

Pattern Review: DP Studio LE 406A AND B – LONG ASYMMETRIC SKIRT WITH RUFFLE DETAIL

At some time in December last year, I came across a French pattern company on Instagram, DP Studio Fashion. The company ethos is to keep abreast of the latest fashion news to find out about new shapes, volumes and shades. They sell a collection of ready-to-use patterns through their online boutique. I was quite taken by the designs which are so unique and fashion forward. There had so many patterns I wanted to buy, however, I limited myself to two. Here is the first one – a skirt:

Le 406 is an asymmetric skirt constructed in one piece and has no waistband. The pleats on the right side create volume that is then added to a frill sewn on the true bias creating a front ruffle of full volume and effect.

This is the picture that got me 

Postage and Service

The ordering process was very simple. The online website has pages for english and french language users. Postage was incredibly efficient with the patterns arriving within four days via courier. I was impressed. 

I knew I wanted to make my Christmas outfit using this pattern. Looking through my stash I considered using a denim and very nearly cut it out in denim but at the last minute remembered some tartan fabric that I believed would be more festive.

A note on the pattern – it has one of the largest pattern pieces I have ever worked with! The main front piece has two pieces that have to be taped together. The 2 pieces were not aligning perfectly along the grainline points. I emailed DP Studio Fashion and they responded within a couple of hours saying that this was a problem they were aware of – an error in the printing. I had to tape it along the right side seam and draw in the hem curve. It’s a simple enough thing to do – I don’t know if subsequent batches of the pattern will have this error. This picture shows what I mean – it really is a minor issue.

All the pieces are cut single layer so this pattern requires a lot of fabric. I failed with pattern matching the side seams but I figured it could be a design feature.

As an intermediate level seamstress, I found the instructions clear and well written. There is a picture tutorial available on the website.

Sizing was spot on. I chose the pattern size based on the provided grid and it was perfectly right for me.

I made no changes to the pattern. The waistband is supposed to have a facing but I opted for a Petersham ribbon. Two reasons: it is quicker and more comfortable.

I managed to finish the skirt in the nick of time on Christmas Eve and was able to wear it on Christmas morning paired with my black BurdaStyle roll neck top. A fetching combo that I felt good in.

After a couple of hours I noticed that the side where the flounce is anchored tended to ‘drop’ creating an asymmetric waist look. My assessment is that the waistband needs to be snugger to keep both sides at the same level. But then again it might just be this particular fabric which has a slightly loose weave that seems to let out over time and tightens when washed.

Pictures…..

DP Studio Fashion LE 406A AND B – LONG ASYMMETRIC SKIRT WITH RUFFLE DETAIL

 

Verdict: I love this skirt! I felt edgy when I was wearing it. The swish factor is a definite plus for me. It is a skirt made for striding forward towards…something! My sister in law said it had a Vivienne Westwood punk rock vibe. I was pleased beyond reason with that compliment :-).

I am looking forward to making another version of this skirt. It has much potential when using different fabrics. There are more patterns from DP Studio Fashion that I have my eye on.

Thanks for stopping by and until then, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

SWAP2017 Pt 4: Sewaholic Hollyburn & Granville Shirt

Hi guys!

Last year I was working full steam on a SWAP2017 wardrobe. You can read some of the previous SWAP2017 posts here <link here>:

For my lower, I had the Hollyburn skirt which was to be made in an orange bright orange fabric.

I bought the fabric from Fabworks. It’s a cotton twill weave which also has a geometric pattern. It has spandex it with some (about 3% stretch on the cross grain).

Instead of a facing, I used Petersham ribbon on the waistband. Pink satin bias binding on outside

Sewaholic Granville modified –

The fabric is linen dyed a navy blue using Dylon washing machine dye. This was one of the few successful results from my experiments with dyeing fabric.

The embroidery is from Kate N Rose patterns which I had bought over 3 years ago but hadnt ever bothered with it. It’s called Faraway Garden. When Kate was helping me with inspiration pictures I remembered that I had it somewhere in my digital files. Unfortunately marking dark fabric was challenging. Chalk faded away easily and my Frixion pens were not very easily visible. Patience is not one of my strong virtues and eventually, I reached a point which I just wasn’t bothered. But that’s ok – I realised that I am not yet at the beautiful intricate embroidery stage. That’s okay.

I eliminated the center front button placket. The front is sewn together with a flap for snaps of some sort (am yet to do this). I made it sleeveless by raising the armscye by 1/2″ and narrowing the shoulder by 3/4″. This makes it have a closer fit around the armhole. I bias bound the armholes using same linen fabric.

The idea was to have further embroidery on the front and back but seriously, it’s not my thing. I should have got appliques and in future, this is what I will do. As far as embroidery goes – I need to walk before I can run :-).

I am very happy with these 2 garments, more so because they are 2 of my most beloved patterns that I have made more than a dozen of collectively. Pictures….be warned the orange is really bright :-). Pictures were taken in May 2017.

Sewaholic Patterns Hollyburn Skirt and Granville Shirt

Guess the song from the dance pose 🙂

 

Thanks for stopping by this corner of the interwebs.

Peace and love,

Hila

Echino Mod Mini aka Another self drafted skirt….

Hi everyone!

Allow me to present another self drafted skirt that I started on in 2015! I have a habit of starting a blog post for a project that has been cut out – that way I sort of have an idea of how long the project took to complete. Well this one has  been sitting at the bottom of my 32 drafts queue for a really long time :-). Still better late than never m’kay. The pattern is the same as this A Line skirt here but without the pockets and a tad bit shorter. Continue reading

Simplicity 2451 Skirt

Hello,

Following on from my previous post on the bat sleeve dress – I used the scrap fabric to make a short skirt. The fabric is a nice medium weight ponte bought from B&M Fabrics. I was tempted to use one of my self drafted knit skirts but there was a little bit more fabric to play with so I decided to try Simplicity 2451 which I bought on sale ages ago.2451

I made view D and went 2 sizes down since I was using a knit fabric. Zip was ignored altogether. An elastic waist finish makes it easy to pull on and off. It’s a very quick make. I think its meant to sit something like 3″ below the natural waist but by using an elastic its a lot more comfy for me when it sits on my natural waist.

Pictures…..I paired it with a Renfrew top that I had recently finished (post to come soon)

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Simplicity 2451 Skirt View D
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Simplicity 2451 Back View
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Side view

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I’ve grown to love this fabric!
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Pocket detail (Done is better than perfect m’kay)
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Elasticated waistband

I love the pockets on this skirt – they are nice and deep. It’s a lovely addition to my ever-growing handmade collection of garments! And also quite a good little stashbuster using up less than 1m of fabric. The other thing that endears this pattern to me is that it has so many variations and that means you will seeing more Simplicity 2451 skirts :-)….most likely in ponte.

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

Peace and love,

Hila

 

Penultimate Summer Sewing aka Another Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt…this time in linen

Hello again,

Let me start by saying that this is my last Hollyburn for a while (I promise 🙂). As the seventh one it doesnt need a lot of ceremony so here it is in linen…..

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Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt

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Side View : Hollyburn SKirt
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Inner waistband detail
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Hem
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Centered zip
insides
Lining
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Gratuitous twirl shot
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Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt
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Hollyburn Skirt the 7th

Again I am more than pleased with this skirt and I still have an appetite for another Hollyburn…….

Thank you for stopping by and until next time Happy Sewing 🙂

Peace and love,

Hila

Alterations to pattern: changed from straight waistband to a contoured waistband using tutorial from A Fashionable Stitch (I did this alteration on my third Holyburn and haven’t looked back since).

 

Another Denim Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt

Hello chums,

I have only gone and made another of my favourite skirt sewing pattern. Since giving away my denim Holyburn back in April (it was a bit big ), I needed another one.

A true TNT pattern it took me just under 4 hours to make from start to finish including cutting.I normally expect a Holyburn to take me less than 3 hours but the addition of an exposed zipper complicated things somewhat.

Alterations to pattern: changed from straight waistband to a contoured waistband using tutorial from A Fashionable Stitch (I did this alteration on my third Holyburn and haven’t looked back since).

Construction Notes:

Medium weight indigo denim fabric.  I used a hammer a few times to flatten seams. The waistband lining is Cupro left over from my tailored jacket V8601. I used grey bias binding on the hem. Old shirt for pockets.  An exposed zip using Lladybird’s tutorial. I wasn’t planning on an exposed zip but when Lauren posted her tutorial it bolstered my confidence to give it a go.

I should also mention that I started this skirt for the OutfitAlong OAL2016  challenge of which the counterpart is a Chuck sweater that I started knitting and still haven’t finished….yet. Anyhow pictures 🙂

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Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
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Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
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Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
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Pocket lining
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Obligatory twirl shot. Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
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Bias binding on hem
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Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
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Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
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Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
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Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
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Exposed zip
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Insides back
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insides front
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Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt

I love this skirt! I am so grateful to the friend who insisted on wanting the old Holyburn. If she had never asked (and persisted), I would not have had the chance to make a much better fitting and better sewn skirt. This giving away my me mades malarkey may yet have some benefits 🙂

 Thanks for stopping by. I guess the denim skirt can count as the beginning of autumn sewing? 🙂

Have you started on your autumn sewing yet ? I will be back soon with my autumn mood board.

Peace and love,

hila

 

 

10 Fashionable Ways to style a Sewaholic Granville Shirt #OWOP16

Hello everyone,

I decided to join the One Week One Pattern (OWOP) challenge when CinderEllis announced it on her blog. The premise of OWOP  is that you select one pattern that you have made and you pledge to include that garment in your daily outfit for the week. It tends to be a lot easier if you select a pattern you have made more than once.

It didn’t sound like a great premise to me at first because well, why would I want to wear the same thing for 7 days when I have so many handmade things in my closet? Well, the beauty of this challenge, as I discovered, is that it really pushes you (at least it did for me) to find ways of overcoming wardrobe ennui. When wardrobe ennui starts to set in, the best way to beat it is with clever styling tricks. So I’d say that OWOP is more of a styling challenge rather than a wardrobe wearout challenge which inevitably happens with something like MeMadeMay.

I selected my beloved Granville shirt because for me the Granville is a fun style staple. Of course, I was also swayed by the fact that I have made 5 of them :-). Click here for all my Granville shirts makes.

Can I just say that I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of having to style them everyday for a week. So much that by the time the 7 days were up, I still had an appetite for more. Big thanks to Hannah for taking the time to host this challenge. I was so inspired by the many people who participated and again my fabric and pattern wish list has grown!

So here are my ways of wearing the Granville shirt. Enjoy 🙂 Picture quality is not the best – some days there was better light than others.

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Keeping with light hues for a relaxed smart casual look.
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Sleek silhouette with a pencil skirt.
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Paired with a voluminous skirt. Need I say more?
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Paired with Butterick B5895 and a skinny bright belt for a pop of colour.
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My sleeveless chambray Granville with a vintage 80s skirt creates a simple look with light hues.  I chose the wider belt to match the shoes.
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Simply pairing with jeans and a slim belt works a treat.
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Tis the season for layers. The sleeveless Granville is ideal to fit under a blazer.
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Double Sewaholic pairing – my denim Hollyburn goes perfectly with the chambray Granville (quite possibly my favourite because of the blue on blue action 🙂
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Another double Sewaholic day here, decidedly autumnal. I got a lot of compliments when I was wearing this outfit
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 Another favourite combo. Can you guess why? 🙂 Skinny silver belt and silver brogues complete the look.

I reckon I did OK with my sartorial choices but next time I would like to be bolder in my styling :-). I learnt that button-down shirts like the Granville can be dressed up or down and can be styled in countless creative ways.

Are you the proud owner of a Sewaholic Granville (or any) button-down shirt? How do you prefer to style yours? I’d love to hear!

Thanks for stopping by.

Mwah!

hila