While I’m still waiting for the fabric to arrive from America for my last Christmas present, I decided to add to my trouser collection and make a second pair of the black biker trousers, which are BWOF 05/2006 #112. I realised in my observations of what I’m wearing this month that my trousers in general are way too dark and I need some slightly lighter ones to allow me to wear (my many) black tops with them.
Sometimes you have to just close yourself into your sewing room, try to block out the world, and just make. This weekend I closed myself in my sewing cave and emerged on Sunday with a new pair of jeans and a teeshirt.
Let’s start with the jeans – I’ve lost track, but these are probably at least the 10-15th pair of jeans I’ve sewn myself, so I pretty much know what I want and how to achieve it by now. I usually try to make at least a pair a year, as they seem to live for just over a year of hard wear before the inner thighs inevitably start to wear thin and they’re relegated into “boat work jeans”.
When I first saw the tech drawing for this skirt (#13) in Patrones 292, I assumed the curved upper back section wrapped around seamlessly into the angled front pockets, and it’s what initially drew me to this design.
But on closer inspection of the pattern pieces, I realised this wasn’t the case and that there were side seams on the upper portion as you’d expect in most skirts. So after tracing the pattern, I went about transferring the curved side seam “dart” into an area that would be hidden by the pocket, went so far as cutting out the piece…. and then realised it seemed like a kinda stupid amount of faff just to remove a seam line on a colour-blocked skirt where the seam would be so overshadowed by the overall colour-blocking anyway. So I reverted everything back to the pattern as drafted, recut the nude fabric pieces, and made the skirt as intended.
In continuation of my quest for comfortable pyjamas and tops that can work as pyjamas or casualwear, I’ve made BWOF 12/08 #113 pleated neck tee and KnipMode 03/2007 #11 leggings, which I made once before as pyjama bottoms in the pink retro guitars waffle knit.
The heathered and super soft grey jersey is from my first trip to Goldhawk Road, which I bought for £4 a metre, and it was enough to make both the top and leggings, with enough spare for another top someday, I reckon.
What better to round out my current purple and grey kick than by using up the silk charmeuse leftover from Pip’s purple pyjamas! I used the Toypes top pattern, #76,
from Patrones 261 (borrowed and traced from my Patrones benefactor, Zoe), which I’ve had languishing in my pattern catalogue for nearly a year now.
I had just enough fabric to make this top and a full lining, though I opted to leave out the tie waistband and instead just lengthen the bottom by two inches to compensate…
If this top looks familiar, then it’s because this is the fourth time I’ve sewn this pattern!
First, I made it in blue ribbed knit over the summer, then again in the same fabric for my mom. Then I transformed it into a dress. And this time, well, it looks an awful lot like the Plus size version that was reprinted in the October edition! Combine those with Trena’s recent version and you’ve got a strong contender for my Pattern of The Year 2008!
And here it is, in purple cotton interlock from Pennine Outdoor!
At the beginning of the month, I thought it’d be an interesting experiment to document exactly what I wear to work over the course of a month in order to observe how much of my wardrobe I actually wear, and how much of that I’ve made. I made a really informal attempt at this in the form of my Most Worn Awards last winter, but I felt it was high time to do something slightly more scientific and allowing FehrTrade creations to go head-to-head with ready to wear.
I didn’t include weekends into this because my clothing choices are usually the same grotty work clothes for doing boat DIY, and also because I change a few times during the day which would complicate things. I made a real attempt not to let my experiment influence my clothing choices in the morning, and I think I’ve been as impartial as I could’ve been.
Monday 3 Nov – brown twill trousers and Uni Qlo white cashmere sweater
Tuesday 4 Nov – green corduroys, brown sleeveless turtleneck, and mom’s vintage mustard cardigan
Wednesday 5 Nov – chocolate brown bamboo wrap dress
Thursday 6 Nov – Thames jeans and beige cashmere sweater
Friday 7 Nov – stretch jeans and blue KnipMode twist top
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!
Summer in England is a rare thing, but we have had an overflowing bounty of gorgeous, sunny, and hot weather for the past three weeks and counting! So it’s natural that the heat would go to my brain and cause me to make some out-of-character sewing choices, right?
As I revealed last week, this manifested in the form of some super-bright pink trousers, and a teeshirt made from cream stretch lace:
The lace teeshirt was ridiculously quick to sew up – I’ve had the lace in my stash for several years now after buying it at Tissu Dreyfus on one of my Paris trips, and some of you may even remember it from when I used it on a long-sleeved KnipMode tee. I love that those photos were in the snow and now I’m using it again in a heatwave! I just used my knit sloper I’d drafted from the Kristina Shin book, only I levelled off the sleeve hem rather than the usual scoop.
The construction was identical to any other teeshirt, and the only real point of note here is in the neckline binding – I didn’t have any matching cream jersey, and I didn’t want to just fold it under and topstitch, so I had the great idea to use the selvedge as a band, and just overlocked it in place. It matches, it’s lightweight, and it’s guaranteed not to fray!
The trousers were much more interesting from a construction standpoint! I had a bunch of Mood fuchsia stretch cotton sateen leftover from my fuchsia party dress (which is still my go-to party dress btw – I’m getting lots of wear out of that!) and I knew I wanted some fun Spring/Summer trousers. In my original Spring/Summer 2013 ideas, I thought I’d reuse the Burda Jan 12 pattern I’d made in grey flannel, but then I really wanted to try a StyleArc trouser pattern, and I already had the Jasmine pattern to hand, and it’s for stretch wovens. Perfect!
Things I like about the Jasmine pattern:
From the rugged outdoor feature, I really loved this pair of jeans. Mid-leg seams are always so slimming, the ankle zips look great on a tapered leg, and I just love Knip’s trouser details. The only thing I’m not so sure about are those vertical front pockets…
The tech drawing makes this jacket look quite ordinary, but I love it in the pique they’ve used here – it looks simultaneously 60s and current! And the skirt pattern it’s paired with would be a great basic in any fabric.