A skirt for the hurt

I ponied up the $1.50 (76p) for BurdaStyle’s Alexis 7945 skirt on Monday. On Tuesday, I printed out all the sheets, taped them together, then trimmed them down to size 42. On Saturday I got out some offcuts of grey summer wool leftover from my Mouret Galaxy dress and some assorted bits of lining, and sewed it up right then and there.

And then on Sunday we dropped a fridge on my foot. Oww. So pardon the fact that I’m barefoot, but at least the X Rays say it’s not broken.

A neon cropped tee

As you heard earlier this week, I bought this eye-wateringly n-e-o-n peach, 100% polyester pique jersey at Abakhan in Liverpool to pair with some grey scuba to make the Triple Triangle Dress from the new No Patterns Needed book.

But I really only used the pique jersey in strips to bind the armholes, neckline, and waist, so there was quite a bit leftover. Now, I must point out that this pique jersey is craaaaaaazy bright in real life. Like, “it hurts your eyes to look at it for too long” bright. So most women would probably shy away from both wearing it near their face and wearing it in big blocks of colour.

I am not most women.

Happy 2016! (My year in review)

Each year I like to take the first of January to look back on what I’ve sewn in the previous year. So while this post is a celebration of the new year, it also helps me to put into perspective the year that has just gone. Somehow I always think the year has been a bit low on finished makes until I put everything together for the year’s collage!


Click the image to see it better, or right-click here to see it in a new tab to get a better look!

Tip: If you’d like to skim back through the posts for the above projects, you can click Gallery in the top menu, which will only show you finished projects, without all the magazine reviews and in-progress reports getting in the way! (Though a few of the makes in the bottom row I haven’t blogged about yet!)

The Year in Stats

In terms of pattern companies used this year, I made:

  • 25 FehrTrade patterns (I put my money where my mouth is I guess!?),
  • 9 Seamwork magazine,
  • 6 Self-drafted (including traced from RTW),
  • 4 Jalie (well, the same sports bra pattern four times!),
  • 3 from the Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion in Fabric book,
  • 2 Burda Style magazine,
  • 2 Style Arc,
  • 2 Orange Lingerie,
  • and 1 each from La Maison Victor magazine, Named, Paprika Patterns, Imagine Gnats, Simple Sew, and Kwik Sew.

By my count, I made: 21 tops, 19 trousers (including leggings & shorts), 2 jumpsuits,
2 dresses, 10 pieces of lingerie (bras, panties, slips, etc), 1 bikini, 2 jackets/coats/cardigans and zero skirts (!). I made presents for my mom, sister-in-law, niece, and nephew, and James also received four tops and a pair of lounging bottoms this year, the lucky guy!

Manequim May 2012

Hooray! It’s a new issue of our favourite soap opera-obsessed, Brazilian sewing pattern magazine, Manequim!

Oh look – it’s a shopper tote bag that folds up into it’s own zippered pouch! This is something I’ve seen a bunch in shops, but not in pattern form before.

I really like the square neckline and offset zipper opening to this shirtdress. On first glance, it looks quite standard, but the more I stare at the tech drawing, the more cool details I see in this!

Manequim November, December 2011 and January 2012

I’ve got a bumper stack of Manequim magazines to show you! A few turned around the same time in December due to the holiday post office disruption, and then the summer styles didn’t really inspire me to review these right away, and then the flu struck me down for a full fortnight… but it means you get to see a bunch of Brazilian summer fashions all at once!

There actually should’ve been a fourth issue here, too, but the other November issue (629) never turned up, and was presumably lost in the post. Bummer. I don’t really understand why Manequim always do two issues in November, but it seems that this one was lost for a lot of people – when I requested a replacement, they didn’t have any more in stock, so my subscription was extended instead. I’ve since seen that Melissa‘s copy of this issue was also lost but turned up months later, so I still live in hope! In any case, if you want to see photos, you’ll have to check out her review

November 2011 (630)

I quite like this teeshirt with the draped hem, though I have no idea why they decided to hide its defining aspect by tucking it in…

I really like the cut of this relaxed tee, especially the shoulder seaming, but I’d love to see this in an unexpected fabric, like a silk crepe or linen instead of the usual jersey.

Happy 2012!

As is traditional, I like to take the opportunity at the start of a new year to look back on what I’ve sewn in the previous calendar year.

Somehow I keep getting more and more prolific each year… and it’s a bonus that you get to watch my hair grow as you skim downwards, ha!


(Click the above to en-biggen, or right-click here to open it in a new tab to get a better look

You’ll notice a few at the bottom that I haven’t shown you yet (seriously I only just finished the maternity maxidress with mere hours to go!), but all the rest can be seen by clicking the Gallery link on the top left of the site, then clicking through to the full article.

To make a few statistical analyses of my own, by my count:

  • I’ve sewn 7 dresses, 18 tops, 8 trousers, 6 skirts, 6 jackets/coats, 2 bras, a ton of panties, and other miscellanea (cat toys, boat stuff, mixer covers, shopping bags, etc!)
  • The number of times I’ve sewn with pattern companies: 15 Burda magazine, 9 KnipMode, 2 Mannequim, 3 Colette Patterns, 3 Jalie, 3 Lekala, 2 La Mia Boutique, 2 Patrones, 2 My Image magazine, 2 vintage, and 1 each from Paco Peralta, Hot Patterns, Vogue, and Christine Jonson (so that’s only one Big Four pattern the entire year! I’m oddly proud of that!)
  • I taught 2 sewing lessons to help 3 friends learn to sew!
  • I’ve sewn gifts for 8(!!) other people (and 3 cats!)
  • I was published this year, with my dress variation instructions in the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook! OMG!

Manequim August 2011

I’m not sure what I did to deserve this, but this latest issue of Manequim is chock-full of lovely silk blouses! Over the past few months I’ve been wearing my silk blouses all the time – with jeans as often as with skirts! I wear them out to casual weekend outings as much as to the office or dressy dinners, and the blouse I made from the February Manequim (twice!) is my favourite of the lot.

So I foresee quite a few of these making their way into my Fall wardrobe in and around work on some other, bigger projects…

But let’s look at all my picks from this issue!

I really like this lavender sheath dress, especially the little sleeves, but I’d alter the back so it’s not quite so low. I don’t normally wear this colour, but I think it looks really light and fresh on this model, especially considering it’s coming into Spring in Brazil.

This yellow cocktail dress with its angled, pleated bodice and skirt is possibly my favourite dress of this issue. It’s a size too small from me, but there have been enough similar styles in the past that I should be able to mix and match to make it work anyway.

Me-Made March

Me-Made March has been in full swing for a month now, and as I stated in February, I’ve been playing along at home, but taking photos of what I wear every day is just completely infeasible for me, so I’ve just kept a record of what I’ve worn instead.

I did something similar a few years ago and it was really helpful in observing what I tended to wear throughout the week and which items I turned to most often. I can’t actually remember the last time I wore an outfit that didn’t contain at least one “me-made” item (not counting weekends, where I live in grotty, boat-DIY clothes), so this challenge isn’t really that challenging for me! It’s what I tend to wear anyway!

March

  1. Tues. Navy blue riding trousers & purple cashmere turtleneck (RTW)
  2. Wed. Taupe corduroy skirt & turquoise mohair sweater (layered over a RTW white long sleeved top) (so yes, I am wearing the exact same outfit as shown in my citizenship post, right down to the same tights and boots!)

  3. Thur. First Jalie jeans & plum and green lace Patrones top
  4. Fri. Foldover wool trousers (so warm!) & RTW black long sleeved top
  5. Sat. Two 40th birthday parties! Burda September cover dress

The Winter Coat – construction

About a year ago I bought some gorgeous, ex-Burberry wool coating fabric from Ditto with plans to eventually make another winter coat. The muted turquoise wool has a patterned herringbone weave on one side but it’s also very thick and un-drapey but has the advantage of not fraying at all (almost like a boiled wool or Melton).

The fabric is so thick that I knew had to choose my pattern wisely, leaving out coats with lots of pleats or gathers that would’ve meant lots of bulk here.

As soon as I saw the Armani knockoff coat in the September Burda issue, I thought I’d found the match for my fabric, but as you recall, that pattern was just downright awful. So I started looking through my coat patterns again for something suitable, and Claire (Seemane) suggested I combine Patrones 285 #29 with some elements of the other coats in that issue, which is more or less what I ended up doing (though I need to change my tech drawing here to show the applied welt pockets I finally decided on rather than buttoned welts).

Manequim April & May 2010

Are you ready for some exquisite eye candy? Remember when I showed you my one and only Manequim magazine last year, and I raved about how amazing the designs were? Well, Susannah from Cargo Cult Craft came over for Crafternoon and brought not one but two issues of Manequim with her that a friend recently brought back from Brazil!

And she is WAY nicer than I am, because she actually let me borrow them! I can’t believe she let these pretties out of her sight for a week while I scanned and traced like a mad woman… I actually only ended up tracing three patterns, but I scanned a lot more so I could go back and draft others in my size when the inspiration strikes. Manequim may have an amazingly talented design team, but the sizes offered are really limited – usually only one size per each design, with a few patterns being offered in three sizes. Not to mention that the roadmap pattern sheets are crazy to trace from. They make the new Burda sheets look like child’s play…

So thanks to Susannah, we can all have a few minutes of total escapism, as we marvel at the inventiveness in these designs (no really, some of the pattern shapes are mental!).

Manequim April 2010

I actually rather liked the dress shown on the cover, until I saw in the tech drawing that the ruffles extend from the shoulder down to mid-thigh, and are only being held in by the belt. As far as I’m concerned, belts should never be required for a dress to look good!