A grey ribbed jumper

I was thrilled when The Fold Line included a free download of Paper Theory’s LB Pullover pattern in their advent promotion last year. I’ve made their Zadie jumpsuit (twice!) and their Block Tee (formerly “Kabuki Tee”) as well and worn them loads.

I’ve heard great things about the LB Pullover, too, but I balk at spending £11 for a really basic pdf pattern. I will happily admit that I was wrong though – this pattern is well worth the full price, even with its oversized shape and simple lines. It’s easy to mess up the proportions of something so simple, but this is expertly drafted.

A Burda knit top with Old Hollywood glamour

It doesn’t happen very often that I see a design inside a Burda magazine and I instantly have to make it. But when I saw this asymmetric, high necked, surplice jersey top in the January 2024 issue, I just had to make it!

This pattern comes in two versions – I actually made no105, the top version. For some reason it’s not available to buy as a pdf but 104, the dress version, is. They’re basically the same and you’ll just follow the shorten lines for the top if you buy the dress.

A gold ribbed polo neck sweater

Sometimes my garments start with a pattern, and I buy the fabric afterwards for it. Other times, I think up an item I want to sew and find the pattern and fabric to match it. And sometimes I start with a fabric, and think about how I’d most like to wear it and find a pattern from there. This top is one of the latter.

I bought the “Old Gold” ribbed jersey from Like Sew Amazing (£19.50/m) and I originally thought I’d make a sleeveless tank with a high collar, but when it arrived it was SO SOFT and I knew it should instead be a polo neck (turtleneck) sweater instead.

Happy 2024! (Year in Review)

Sigh. For the second year in a row I’m left thinking “ugh, good riddance to a rubbish year!”. And for the second year in a row I’m facing an unknown future of post-viral fatigue stretching out before me, then months and months of rebuilding my body (and my life) once that finally ends. And life feels unbearably bleak.

But hey, part of the reason I write these posts at the start of every year is so I can look back and at least appreciate the good things that happened – and there are always at least a few things! It’s human nature to remember the negative more clearly than the positive I think, and this reflection and reset helps me remember things in a more holistic way.

Even if I did only have 7.5 months in my year when all the rest of you got 12 to accomplish everything… (yes, I tallied it up and I was sick and bedridden for 4.5 months of 2023.)

Tropical cats Duathlon Shorts and Tenacity Leggings

Even though I sewed these at the end of November, they’re my final makes of the year. Despite having a week of feeling “kinda okay” (able to take 15min walks outside) around the end of November, I’ve felt truly appalling for the rest of December and am yet again spending 23hrs a day stuck in bed with post-Covid fatigue. It’s now over 100 days since I got Covid and I still can’t sit up or stand for very long, let along have a normal life.

But now that it’s crunch time at the end of the year, I want to share these before I forget the details, even though I’m not able to share anything more than flat photos of both…

These both started with a photo of a maxi dress that was doing the rounds earlier this year (or last year? It all runs together) with big blue and purple flowers on a black background, with black cats peeking out of the shadows. I really wanted to recreate the fabric on my own, but didn’t quite get to do it. And then I saw a similar print on Creative Market so I purchased it instead, and changed the colours to suit my vision.

10 Year Birthday sale!

I can scarcely believe I’m writing this, but TEN YEARS ago this month I released the first FehrTrade sewing patterns into the universe. Ten years! (Even scarier is that I’ve been blogging for something like 16 or 17 years??)

I’ve got so many great posts about our first decade that I want to share this month but to kick things off, it’s our longest ever sale – for the entire MONTH of December you can get 20% off all sewing patterns if you use code “10FREAKINGYEARS” at!

A Claudia tribute outfit – the trousers

After talking about the inspiration and my goals for this outfit, the drafting and sewing of the cape, and the incredible details of the silk shirt, we’re now onto the final piece – the plum trousers!

If you recall from my first post, the trousers used in the show were high waisted, wide legged, with a wide waistband and presumably a side zipper (as there’s no front opening on the wastband). I actually hate wearing all of these things, so making this fit my own tastes while still looking similar was going to be a challenge!

A Claudia tribute outfit – the black silk shirt

Earlier this week I talked about my inspiration and goals for this project, as well as taking a deep dive into the making of the cape, and today’s it’s time to talk about the shirt!

The shirt was the garment I could see the least details of in any of the reference photos or sketches, so it actually meant that I gave myself the most room to make what I wanted here, and one that I would want to wear again and again! I already had some beautiful textured black silk in my stash for a number of years, so it seemed the perfect opportunity to put that to good use.

Whenever I need a woven, button-down shirt these days, I tend to reach for the “Saraste” pattern from Named’s first book, “Breaking the Pattern”. I’ve made the dress version twice now, and the swing top once (with another planned), but I’d somehow not made the classic long sleeved shirt yet. One nice detail I love about the sleeve pattern is that they’ve shifted the long seam so that it falls at the side of the arm rather than the underarm. It means you can just fold the seam allowances under rather than faff around with sewing a full sleeve placket, making it much quicker to sew.

A Claudia tribute outfit – the cape

After yesterday’s post detailing the inspiration and fabric sourcing for this outfit, today I’d like to talk about the standout piece – the cape!

As I mentioned in the earlier post, I sourced the exterior cape fabric from MacCulloch and Wallis’s Soho shop after finding a few that I liked online. But before I cycled up there, though, I noted that all of my candidate fabrics were a) expensive! and b) 140 or 135cm wide. Because of both of these, I didn’t want to buy too much or too little fabric, so I drafted my pattern pieces first to ensure I only bought exactly what I needed.

I drafted this cape myself, using the same principles of a standard circle skirt, except the “waist” would be my neck, and the length would be my neck to wrist measurement. The fabric width meant I couldn’t get a complete circle, so I kept changing the angle until I could fit it into the 140cm.