Friday, 23 September 2016

City Break - My Capsule Wardrobe

Something a bit exciting to share with you today. Sew Over It have just realised their first eBook, that is, a book of 5 patterns in PDF format only. For those of you that come here often… you’ll know I absolutely love Sew Over It patterns. I’ve made the Ultimate Trousers, Vintage Shift Dress and Betty Dress, and each is an absolute staple in my wardrobe.
 
http://sewoverit.co.uk/product/capsule-wardrobe-city-break-ebook/

In this book the patterns are :

The Erin Skirt – a short or calf length button up pencil skirt.

Molly Top and Dress – knit item with long or short sleeves.

Lola Coat – Waterfall style coat/jacket in two lengths

Mia Jeans – stretch fabric jeans with fly front and pockets.

Alex Shirt and Dress – button up dress or shirt.

I have to say I wasn’t 100% about the concept when I first heard about it. A book of patterns specifically for a City Break? But what it really is, is a suggestion for when you might need a capsule wardrobe, and 5 (well 10 including two versions of each) great patterns that work interchangeably together to make one. I love me a city break, but these patterns would also work great for me for workwear.
I love the design of the book, it’s well thought out and well-illustrated. Lisa doesn’t just tell us these patterns work well together but jaunts around Paris and London in different combinations of the patterns throughout the book. The patterns themselves are also a great selection. I often find with pattern books the patterns are a bit over simplified, but with things like jeans and coats, these definitely aren’t. I also really appreciate it when pattern instructions are illustrated with actual photos of the process, rather than diagrams; as I learn much better from seeing things being done! (or as close as I can get..)

 
 So when it came to making one of the patterns I was a little bit naughty. Firstly I didn’t listen to Mr Makes’ advice after asking which one I should make. I went a bit outside my usual box, and went for the button-up pencil skirt, the Erin. Then I ignored the clear suggestion to NOT use a stretch fabric, and picked a mid weight chambray weave denim with just a teeny tiny 2% stretch.
I don’t think the stretch was too much of an issue, although it made the waist a little roomier. I am happy with the sew, but I can’t help but think Mr Makes was right, I’m just not convinced the style of skirt suits me. I’m contemplating hacking it a little and cutting up to the shorter length.
That being said, I’m fully intending to make other patterns from the book. The Lola coat is right up my street, and the Molly top will make a great autumn staple for layering. Watch this space….
 
Apologies for the rather pained expression on my face in these photos...I was keeping an eye on the maahoooooosive spider that was behind the camera!
 
 
******Disclaimer******* - I was sent an advance copy of the eBook with no obligation to use or write about it.
 
Emily Kate.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

The Ultimate Snazzy Trousers

This is my third pair of Ultimate Trousers from Sew Over It after my Rupert bear tartan trousers, and the original pair from my sewing class. And they really are ultimate trousers. Easily my favourite pair yet. I LOVE them.

I wasn't really sure about my fabric choice at first. It's a stretch cotton I bought months ago from Fabrics Galore with these trousers in mind, but when it got to actually making them I was worried the print might be a bit loud and not suit me.
I decided to try a high-waisted version of the trousers, which Lisa has helpfully done a pattern hack for here.
 
 
This make wasn't without issues though... I thought my days of unpicking were more or less over, but apparently not. I ended up unpicking the zip and waistband twice! After I had installed it the first time, I tried the trousers on. I don't know whether I had been a bit over generous on the extension measurement, or my waistband was a bit wide, or if they were intended to be that high, but they ended not far from the bottom of my bra. Not the most flattering of looks...
 
So I marked where I wanted them to end, ripped the zip and waistband out and cut them down to the right length. Then I got to the same stage again, everything was perfect, and the zip pull flew off the end of the zip. Third times a charm though, and after a new zip everything was sorted.
 
When it came to pattern matching these trousers. I tried. I really did.
 
 
As you may have read about in my first ultimate trousers post, I apparently have one leg fatter than the other. (yes really) This doubles my cutting out time as I have 4 separate pattern pieces. I spent a fair while trying to make sure the centre front and back of the crotch seam pattern would match up, only to discover I had accidentally cut the back pattern pieces the wrong sides up, so they were the wrong way round. I managed to fix it by laying the pattern pieces on top of the fabric ones and drawing in the stich line, but it meant the front and back seams weren't going to match anymore.
 
I was a bit miffed about it, but when they were actually finished I loved them so much I didn't care, besides which the pattern makes your eyes blur if you look too long!  
 
I finished these just a couple of days ago, and have barely taken them off since. The high-waisted style makes them flattering and comfy and they don't budge from my waist like trousers tend to.
The stretch cotton also makes the seams feel that much more secure, I don't feel like my crotch or waist seam is in danger of ripping when I bend over. I'm completely converted to using stretch cotton for this pattern, and I've already spotted a beautiful flowery fabric for my next pair.
 
 
The pattern may be a bit too snazzy for small town Somerset, I've had quite a few looks strutting them down the high street, but i'm pretty sure everyone's just jealous...or at least that's what I'll tell myself!
 
Emily Kate.



 

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Autumn/Winter Sewing Plans

September is national sewing month. It's also #sewphotohop month over on Instagram. Are you taking part?
 
August was not the most productive of months sewing-wise for me...or anything-wise really. I have a real tendency to get lots of things done, if I don't have much time. If I have very little work and lots of time, I can waste whole weeks days at a time not doing a whole lot (watching the Olympics..!)
So September is a whole new month, and the start of the autumn months. So I thought I would share my sewing plans for the Autumn/Winter season with you, in an effort to re-start my sewing mojo.
 
 
 
This was actually on my sewing plans list last Autumn, but I got somewhat sidetracked with my wedding dress. Hopefully this will be the year I finally sew a sweatshirt/jumper!
 
 
Winter Coat
 
 
I haven't got a pattern in mind to use for this one just yet. I am in love with full skirted 1950's style double-breasted coats like these, so perhaps a vintage pattern is the way to go. 
 
 
 
 
Something else that's been on my list for a long while. I've recently completed the Sophie Swimsuit course, so can't wait to get stuck into another well-explained pattern from Closet Case Files.
 
 
Deer and Doe - Melilot Shirt

 
I've not tried a pattern from Deer and Doe yet, but there are so many I'd like to! I saw a beautiful version of this shirt on Instagram recently so had it to check it out.
 
What are your sewing plans this season?
 
Emily Kate