Earlier this week I showed you my finished version of the Cos “Made By You” women’s shirt kit with the promise of giving far, far more details on the kit itself and some construction instructions so strap on in! This is a HEFTY brain dump intended to help others who’ve bought this thinking they were getting a full sewing pattern, or who bought it and no longer have Cos’s video online to help. Or frankly, if you’re just intrigued about what a high street shop thinks a home sewing product should be!
Back in November I caught wind that the high-end high street shop Cos were selling sewing kits for two of their classic white shirt designs. Coincidentally, it was right after Black Friday so I managed to buy both with a hefty discount, purchasing size M/L for the women’s and size S/M for the men’s (the RRP for each kit is £29/€35 but I think I paid less than £20 each). Now, Cos label these as “women’s” and “men’s” but to my eyes they’re really both unisex designs, so I’m sewing up both for myself! I decided to dedicate my January sewing to tackling these kits, starting with the women’s one (as voted by my Instagram followers), so this post is to show off the finished shirt!
I will readily admit that I don’t pre-order many books. But I absolutely pre-ordered the Named Patterns new “Building the Pattern” book as soon as I could! I mean, why wouldn’t I after making so many patterns from their first book (and a few more planned, too!)?! The focus on this book is fitting alterations so there are TONS of diagrams and instructions and advice on getting a great fit even before you get to the patterns in the book (which can either be traced from the sheets in the book, or downloaded in A4/AO formats from their website).
The Luova pattern comes in three styles: a blouse, tunic, or dress, with two different collars and three different sleeves to choose from. The tunic (a short dress, really) stood out to me and I thought that perhaps I’d be able to make it from a 1.5m remnant of stonewashed denim from Fabrics Galore I’d recently bought. I got it thinking I’d use it to make another pair of jeans but it’s in no way what I’d consider a “denim”, btw – it’s far lighter than jeans and what I’d call a chambray, suitable for shirts or dresses. So it seemed perfect for this tunic!
The fabric is not actually leftovers from the Thankful tee I made last year, as you might expect, but actually a 0.5m remnant I bought from Lamazi Fabrics recently for a fiver (bargain!) that is an exact colour match to my previous tee, despite buying the cotton jersey from different shops over different years. I’m not sure why this delighted me so much, but it does!
As I mentioned before, I lost my sewing mojo at the end of summer and start of fall. Usually around this time I’d be buzzing with ideas for new, colder weather sewing projects – coats! sweaters! warm running and cycling gear! party dresses! But with shielding continuing long throughout the winter, I literally have no need of any of those things, and my wardrobe is already bursting with clothes (I literally don’t need any more clothes).
I have lost my sewing mojo. I think it occurred because I actually completed both sewing plans I laid out at the start of summer (casualwear and activewear), and then I realised that I really don’t need any more clothes. And with no events on the horizon to sew for, I’m kinda left a bit deflated. I actually sewed this dress a few weeks ago, more for something to do but also because I really liked its sister dress, but with summer waning, I’m not sure how much opportunity I’ll have to wear it.
One aspect that drew me to this project was rediscovering this fabric in my stash when I was hunting around for anything to turn into face masks earlier in the summer. I’d kinda forgotten about this cotton fabric that a friend had bought in Tokyo and brought back for me. Its bright and cheery bottle cap print spoke to me now, bringing a bit of a holiday feel to my home-bound existence. It was a narrow width fabric but my friend had the foresight to buy plenty of it so I didn’t have any struggle fitting McCalls 7381 into it.
Happy Friday everyone! I sewed this a few weeks ago when I was in desperate need of a pick-me-up so I went off-plan for a purely joyful sew! It’s all because of this incredible fabric I found, the Lucha Libre kitties cotton jersey from Like Sew Amazing. I mean, how could I not click buy?!
Sarah had actually had some of this jersey in stock before, but it pretty much sold out immediately – I pounced on this the second I saw she got stock back in, and I’m glad I did, because that round sold out quickly, too. She actually restocked this last weekend, and (yep, you guessed it!) it sold out again. So what I’m saying is, if you want this fabric, definitely follow Like Sew Amazing on Instagram and keep an eye on her IG Stories so you can pounce when she gets another shipment.
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.
A while back I’d heard of a fabric called “double gauze” that was supposedly perfect for hot weather, but at the time it was really only available imported from Japanese shops and really expensive at that! Fast forward a few years and it’s now much more readily available locally, so when I was in Brighton last August I bought some of their muted teal double gauze fabric (also available in a bunch of other colours), keen to try it out. Double gauze is two layers of cotton gauze/muslin fabric joined together with stitches in a grid pattern which creates a sort of seeersucker or quilted texture. It also means the two layers may not be 100% on grain to each other, and it really likes to shrink in the wash so be sure to pre-wash it.
I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it though until I saw the perfect day dress in the May 2019 edition of KnipMode magazine (#11, though #12 is a longer version with longer sleeves). The pattern is available to buy online, too, though be aware the instructions are in Dutch.
Like the best comic book superheroes, this dress has an almost unbelievable origin story.
As you know, I’ve been sick with multiple viral infections for months, and have been pretty down about it all. Well, I stepped out of the flat one day a few weeks ago and bam! right on the pavement outside the flat was a Tilly & the Buttons Bettine dress pattern, just lying there! I mean, seriously, what are the chances?
I could’ve just left it there for whomever dropped it to recover, but with rain forecast later in the day I didn’t want it to get ruined and besides, this was the Universe giving me A Sign, and I didn’t feel like I should overlook the only good luck I’d had in months! So I took it home and started fabric shopping immediately.