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Pietra Shorts and a belated Kabuki Tee

I am not a great lover of shorts for non-exercise purposes. I feel that they’re not terribly flattering on me and tend to ride up or bunch up when I move, so I only wear them on the hottest days of the year, and only ever around the boat (never to work!). In fact, I really only ever wear one pair, which I bought at The Gap in 1997 when I was 18. Seriously. But even those are wearing out now with the fabric beginning to disintegrate in places, so I figured now was the time to make a few pairs of shorts for summer to wear around the boat.

First up I thought I’d try the shorts version of the Closet Case Patterns Pietra Pants since I’ve already made the trouser-length twice already and loved them, so it was a fair bet that the shorts would work for me, too.

Black linen Pietra trousers

I bought the Closet Case Patterns Pietra Pants pattern when it came out last summer, and even had it printed up in A0 shortly after, but only just not got around to sewing it up for myself, and I have no idea how I managed without them this long!

I decided to make them up in a black washed 100% linen from Textile Express (bought at the same time as the yellow ramie for my Cielo Top). My friend was like “linen trousers – in winter??” but this linen is a really nice, hefty weight that is perfectly warm enough for English winters. Absolutely not the thin drapey stuff you’d wear on a tropical holiday!! I’ve been trying to buy more sustainable and/or recycled fabrics and linen is one of the best sustainable fabrics out there. The downside, of course, is that linen = wrinkles! So please forgive that these are wrinkly in the photos purely because I’d been sat at my desk in the office for half a day before we took these!

Big Sleeve Energy – A yellow ramie Cielo Top

I was instantly drawn to the lantern sleeves on the Closet Case Patterns Cielo Top when they released it as part of their Rome Collection earlier this year, and specifically to the top as I tend to wear separates a lot more often than dresses. But I wasn’t really that into the samples they made using drapey fabrics – as soon as I saw the tech drawing I knew I wanted to make it in a more structured fabric to really draw attention to those sleeves and let them stand up on their own rather than have a more 70s bell-sleeve vibe.

A totally 1980s jazzercise costume

Many of you may be frantically planning and plotting what costume to make for Halloween next weekend, but for me, the biggest costumed event of the year was last Friday, at my friend Gez’s 1980s-themed 40th birthday party. Gez has thrown fancy dress parties for years, so I already knew that people would make an effort, but by keeping a small and pared-down wardrobe for myself, I didn’t really have any suitable 80s vintage clothing already. So I knew I”d have to make something from scratch.

I didn’t want to go the full-on Dynasty “hair & shoulder pads” look, so I was a bit stuck until I realised that I could totally do the 1980s Jane Fonda jazzercise look instead! I sometimes have shiny 80s lycra on hand for making early test versions of patterns, but I’d run through all of that in developing the Lightspeed Leggings pattern (poor James!).

Sewing Indie Month: An XYT maxi dress tutorial from Closet Case Files

As part of the wonderful Sewing Indie Month celebrations, each of us are collaborating and sharing tutorials throughout the month of May. During the planning phase of the month, I requested to partner with Heather from Closet Case Files as she’s also a fellow stretch fabrics fanatic plus I loved her Bombshell Swimsuit pattern (if only English summers ever got warm enough to swim, eh?).

Well, she’s since gone and released Nettie, a fantastic bodysuit and bodycon dress pattern, and it’s already on my To-Sew list for later this summer. I can never wear RTW ones as my torso is too long, so I’m excited to finally wear some! (That, and her dress looks SO much like Wolford’s £300+ dresses!)

As we were discussing which tutorials to do, Heather was really up for hacking my XYT Workout Top pattern and making it not only something suitable for casualwear, but also a dress! She’s gone and done it, so if you’d like to make your own, read on…

The tutorial

Hello everyone! Heather here from Closet Case Files. I’m on Fehr Trade today to share a tutorial for Sewing Indie Month.

One of the things I love most about the independent pattern community is the way that the unique taste and point of view of each designer shines through in their work. I was really excited to be paired with Melissa for Sewing Indie Month; I have tremendous respect for her skills and knowledge, and love her cool and modern take on active wear. It was a good pairing, since we both love designing for stretch fabrics. For my Fehr Trade tutorial, I thought it would be fun to put a Closet Case spin on the XYT Workout Top.

Since I’m not the jogging type of girl (more of a leisurely bike riding lass), I thought it would be fun to take the great design lines of the XYT and make a summer maxi dress. I loved the racerback option, and thought it could look sexy and sporty in a mix of lycra and powermesh.

XYT Workout top by Closet Case Files-12