Rose and lace teeshirt

It’s absolutely freezing in London and I really need more long-sleeved knits, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to use this pattern from KnipMode Dec 2005 with a yard of rose jersey from Fabric.com and some of my gorgeous cream stretch lace that I bought in Paris. Et voila! A raglan-look lacey long sleeved teeshirt (Lace but without the Brrrrrr!).

This is a really basic long-sleeved teeshirt pattern, but with lines drawn in from the neckline to the side seams on the front and back. I left off the weird cuffs (in fact, I just reused the sleeve from my drape-front dress because I’m lazy like that and don’t see the point in tracing an identical sleeve again!), and decided to create my own neck binding which I serged on and then coverstitched down.

Shocking Pink Trousers and a Cream Lace Tee

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:

Lycra & Lace running top and leggings

It feels like I’ve been talking about sewing my running gear for ages now, but I think that’s just because anything self-drafted and a bit custom tends to take a bit more time and head space than my average project! But I’m happy to report that two out of three of my first pieces are finished now (the sequin vest is awaiting more coverstitch binder practice, but more on that next week).

Both of these pieces are heavily modified (bordering on self drafted) from the originals, but the leggings are based on the Jalie 3135 skinsuit pattern and the top started life as my basic KnipMode long sleeved teeshirt.

You’ve seen a sneak peek of the leggings earlier, but now you can see them paired with my long sleeved top, though the different turquoise shades mean I probably won’t wear them together often in real life.

The long sleeved top needs three different fabrics in order to get a contrast on the upper body and again at the hip pockets. So I’ve used the black supplex for the top and sleeves, leftover turquoise for the lower back (which wraps around to the front hips), and the same turquoise but overlaid with olive green stretch lace for the front body.

The leggings use black supplex and dark turquoise “silk touch” lycra for the contrast panels. You can see my cool seaming on the thighs below, and in getting design lines to match up, I favoured the outer seams matching. It means it’s not quite as cool on the inner thigh seams, but it means I get a nicer overall panelling.

Asymmetric Plum Lace Top

The latest installment in my post-coat winter sewing plans is the asymmetric pleated turtleneck, Patrones 296 #14.

In this design, you’re given the pattern pieces for a turtleneck top, where the front has been cut diagonally across the front. So if you’ve not got this issue of Patrones, just go and draw a curvy line across your favourite turtleneck pattern!

In the magazine photo, the sleeves and upper front piece are pleated and underlined, but I chose to overlay lace on mine instead. Patrones provide the pattern pieces for the post-pleated fabric (allowing you the fun of working out exactly how much fabric you’d need for whatever size pleats you choose!), so it was super simple to just use those finished pieces to cut out the lace overlays instead.

The plum fabric here is a gorgeous bamboo/lycra jersey that I bought from Ditto in Brighton last month, and it’s so unbelievably soft, and with a nice, beefy weight and good stretch. I loved Wazoodle’s bamboo years ago, but this stuff is even better as it’s thicker and doesn’t wrinkle anywhere near as readily. I am utterly in love with this fabric! I’ve got another of their bamboo/lycras in red and I’m itching to make something from that now, too. The green stretch lace I bought at Tissues Dreyfus in Paris last summer, and I love how the two together give a bit of an antique look….

Burda magazine September 2012

Thank you so much for all your compliments on my Fuchsia party dress (and marathon legs, ha)! Apologies if any of you had trouble with the link – I’d originally categorised it wrong and had to correct it, which changed the URL.

Also, big thanks to everyone who entered my competition for the MyImage magazine – I was blown away by the number and wonderful variety of pattern request ideas in your comments! Now, if I ever had a chunk of time spare to draft them all, I’d be a rich woman… Anyway, the random number generator drew 32, which means Silvia is the lucky recipient!

The calendar might still say August for another day, but at least in London, there’s a definite crispness in the air that signals the return of Fall, and Burda’s already got this covered with another fantastic issue!

We had a similar (but A-line) dress in the May issue, but I actually prefer the lines on this petite dress instead, and that it can be worn with a bolero to give it sleeves is just a bonus!

Both garment here are really simple, but as you can see from the photos that you can really create a lot of interest just with fabrics. The top is really just a long sleeved teeshirt with inserted seams at the shoulders (like my Knipmode rose and lace teeshirt!) and the skirt is just a basic pencil skirt, but together, they really work, and are within reach of most beginner sewists.

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

Happy 2017 (my year in review)

Woohoo! It’s a fresh new year! 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’s also a look back at what I’ve been up to in the last twelve months, which I always find to be a helpful exercise!

Weekend bits & pieces

Sorry for the stream of consciousness, but I’ve had a busy few days of sewing activity, but in more disjointed areas than any one common goal.

Burda and KnipMode magazines & PM3

The June editions of Burda & KnipMode arrived on the same day and made for a nice comparison. I loooooooved the May Burda, but the June one is way too summery for me, and I’m not really feeling it. I’ll review the KnipMode shortly, as soon as I can get the scanner going. I almost feel like I should start doing Burda magazine reviews since their online previews are getting more and more cumbersome to use, now that they’re eliminating the French site, the German does is a total PITA to view on mobile devices, and the English site only gets a third of the patterns a month after everyone else. But then again, so many other bloggers already do this so I don’t want to create a “New Vogue effect” where every sewing blog suddenly shows the same five pictures all at once.

What do you think? Is Burda niche enough that you want to see my picks like I do for Manequim and (soon to be much less frequently) KnipMode?

Also at the same time, my KnipMode renewal notice came through. I don’t want to renew, but I want to make sure I don’t need to do anything in order to cancel (ie: I don’t want it to renew me automatically). Could I pretty please send an image of the latter to a Dutch speaker just to confirm what I need to do? (Volunteers, please leave a comment) I don’t need a full translation, just someone to tell me whether I need to formally cancel or not.

My copy of Pattern Magic 3 (in English) also finally arrived, after the first copy got lost in the post from Amazon! There are some Must Sews in there (including one I’ve started drafting already) but also some hi-LAR-ious things in there. A review will be coming soon for this, too.

Underwear!

On Saturday, after my long run with friends, I made some new pants (underwear). As per usual, I used my TNT thong pattern, which originally came from a KnipMode magazine from 2007 or 2008.

Morphing the Manequim sweater pattern to my size

If you remember from earlier in the week, my next project is to make this collared sweater from the June 2011 Manequim magazine:

Since the pattern is only in one size, “Small”, my strategy was to take an existing long sleeved teeshirt pattern that I know fits me well, trace that, then trace the neckline area from the Manequim pattern overlaid onto it and morph the two together. For simplicity’s sake, I wanted to keep the collar piece as unaltered as possible.

Here’s that wonderful diagram again showing how the Manequim pattern fits together, so we all have an idea in our head of what we’re aiming towards:

While overlaying the Manequim pattern onto mine, I wasn’t quite sure what I should use as the “frame of reference” to align the two patterns together – should I use the Centre Front & Centre Back? Or the shoulder seam/armscye corner?

In the end, it turned out that sorting out the Back first was the key to making the bigger changes on the Front piece work, since the Back of my teeshirt and the Back of this pattern were much more similar.


I’ve shaded my final pattern shapes in blue here to try to make it clearer. The original teeshirt pattern is (mostly) at the cut edge of the paper. Ignore the red lines – they were misaligned tracings!

Upcoming January sewing

I’ve finally emerged from the craptacular flu (which then turned into bronchitis) that I’ve been under since Dec 28 – thank you for all your well wishes! For me, it really feels like the new year, 16 days late!

The Ruby Slip was my first garment of 2012, but my second and third aren’t far away…

Grey flannel trousers

Just before Christmas, I met up with Claire for lunch and she gifted me a massive length of wonderful dark grey flannel. It’s so soft and lovely that initially I thought a dress, but then realised I’m likely to get much more wear out of a really chic, comfortable pair of dress trousers. So on Friday night I traced and cut Burda Jan 12 #122, mostly because the issue was handy, but also because they looked to be a great basic. These have the illustrated instructions for this issue, but I could sew trousers blindfolded by this point, so the instructions didn’t make much difference to me.

I sewed this on and off over the weekend and nearly completed these despite hardly being at home. As a nice tie-in to my previous garment, the pockets, fly underlap, and waistband lining are all done in the pale green silk leftover from my Ruby Slip.