Olive! A Twist!

I’ve been fantasising about making this dress ever since February, and I finally got the right inspiration to make it, and in a lovely fabric that nicely bridges the Summer/Fall/Winter gap. BWOF 02/2008 #103 is a knit dress with raglan sleeves, wide boatneck collar, and a really distinctive front twist leading down into a wrap skirt.

A Houndstooth-Quilted Top & Olive Trousers

It seems like no matter how many separates I make, I always seem to need more in my wardrobe. I feel like I do a pretty good job at sewing what I actually wear, but each morning when I go to get dressed for the office, I still end up reaching for the same few pairs of jeans and trousers, so I wanted to shake things up a bit and sew something outside my comfort zone that would still be useful and acceptable to wear to work.

Perfect Pandemic trousers – for her!

After the success of James’s pandemic trousers (he’s barely taken them off since I gave them to him!), I decided that I needed some elastic-waisted joys of my own to wear while working from home (and relaxing from home, and eating from home, and socialising from home, and everything else from home!). And then I realised that I actually already had a casual woven trouser pattern (complete with separate drawstring waistband!) that I had printed onto A0 a few years back and never sewn – Seamwork Moji!

The Burda September cover dress (winter version)

I made no secret of my total love and adoration of Burda’s September issue last year. In my opinion (and many of you!) this was the standout, stellar issue in an otherwise mediocre year for the magazine. I’m slowly working my way through everything I wanted to sew from that issue (some good and some bad!) but now it was the time for the cover dress, #122.

I showed you the pattern alterations I made to “un-petite” this pattern, though I reckon I could have even added a bit more to the middle of piece 2 as my pointiroma has less lengthwise stretch as my muslin knit, making the underbust seam just barely under my bust. The horizontal seam between pieces 3 and 4 hits me right at my natural waist on the sides, which I think is just great. I also took 6 inches off the hem of pieces 7 and 8 so that this is above the knee rather than below.

The Motherload of KnipMode – Part One

About 8 months ago, I got an awesome email from FehrTrade reader Hilde asking if I’d like her mom’s stash of KnipMode magazines from 2005-2007 as she wasn’t really using them much any more and they both thought I’d give them a good home.

Would I??? Omg.

So therein started the logistical planning to transport a rather heavy stack of magazines from The Netherlands over to London… Around this time we thought we’d be driving navigation equipment over to northern Holland in preparation for a neighbour’s North Sea crossing, so we’d make a detour to Hilde’s, but logistics didn’t work out and we weren’t needed for the neighbour’s barge anyway. And then, in a fantastic twist, a few weeks ago Hilde told me her sister lives in London and brought the stash over in her suitcase for me! So I only had to make a 10 minute walk from my office to her sister’s flat (seriously, what luck that she lives so close!) to pick up the magazines and thank her profusely for lugging them in her suitcase.

And for the past fortnight or so I’ve been absolutely pouring over them, picking out my Must Sews, investigating tiny design details, and noticing what changes Knip have made in the past 5 years.

There were too many for me to scan in one session, so here’s my picks from the early half of the stash, with Part Two to follow next week!

KnipMode 11-2005

OMG Lingerie!! I have already got the most perfect fabrics in my stash to make the camisole with the bra cups – the olive green stretch lace I bought in Paris coordinates perfectly with a teeshirt I got free with a magazine but was comically tiny (what percentage of the UK female population has a bust smaller than 27 inches? Seriously.). I think there might be enough to do the cami with a bit of the teeshirt’s sleeves left for a thong gusset. And you know how much I liked the KnipMode lingerie pattern I already had

Vintage Sewing Books

I recently had a spate of vintage book buying, and I’ve finally had a chance over the last month or so to properly digest them. Most of them were purchased from AbeBooks.com, which I’d used and loved years ago and then promptly forgot existed until they sent me a “come back to us!” voucher out of the blue. Well, it worked because I ended up with Kwik Sew Method Swim Wear and Kwik Sew Method Lingerie, both by Kerstin Martensson, plus The Complete Book of Sewing by Constance Talbot, and a reproduction of the famous WWII pamphlet Make Do And Mend (bought from Bletchley Park‘s gift shop).

Summer Sewing

Back in September I laid out my plans for my fall and winter collection, and for the most part, I followed through with the plans (though I did make some midseason changes). This was the first time I attempted to SWAP (sew with a plan), and, while I appreciate the focus it gives me in concentrating on pairing fabrics to patterns and thinking about what my wardrobe needs, I really didn’t enjoy such structured sewing for such a long time. The problem with loving pattern magazines is that you get a constant influx of new patterns that scream “make me now!” and take your attention away from your best laid plans… And if I feel like the sewing is controlling me instead of the other way around, it stops being fun (which is the whole point of all of this!).

So with all those things in mind, I’ve laid out my summer sewing plans. I’m not imposing a strict set of rules on myself, but it’s a way for me to focus a bit more and make the most of some of the fabrics in my stash…

So without further ado, I present, the FehrTrade Summer 08 Collection!

(or click here to open it in a new tab so you can refer back while you read along!)