For once I’ve actually coordinated my sewing with the weather! Though, like most of my makes, this had a rather long lead time… I actually bought this 1.5m of Atelier Brunette “Shade Ochre” viscose fabric from Lamazi Fabrics last summer but didn’t quite work out which pattern to pair with it until recently, when I decided I wanted to try another variation of the Saraste shirt/dress/top from the first Named book, “Breaking the Pattern”.
Last year my mom bought me a surprise off my wish list – the dP Studio book, “Fashion Couture”, which ended up being one of my favourite sewing books of recent years. The included 12 patterns are all tops (hooray! No dresses I’m unlikely to wear taking up space in the book!) which are all really interesting and fashion-forward designs. Be aware that the size range is quite limited – it only goes up to a B111/W91/H118. I made the “wink top” in a jungle print viscose last summer in size 46 and it’s one of my favourite makes from 2020.
Strap in because this may be my first finished make of 2021, but it started in 2019, and it’s a whopper.
I learned to loom knit a few years ago because I was really only interested in making socks, and I have zero desire whatsoever to learn “regular” needle knitting (I am beyond bored of people telling me I should – I don’t care – there’s the door!) so to discover there was an old-fashioned method to do so got me excited and I made a LOT of socks over the years. I also made a few hats, and a cowl, and a pair of weird mittens, but then the worm of an idea grew in my head – “You should make a sweater.”
Back in May I bought some irregular striped rib knit jersey from Like Sew Amazing (now sold out) at the same time as I bought the fabric for my Burda jumpsuit. I didn’t really have a plan for it, but I could tell it was high quality and a steal at £15 for 1.5m, so I kept hold of it in my stash until a plan presented itself back in early November when I thought to myself – I should definitely make a long sleeved top with it.
I’d been meaning to sew more from the excellent Named Patterns “Breaking the Pattern” book (since everything I’ve made so far has been incredible!), and having most recently made the Ruska knot dress back in March for my birthday, the other Ruska variations were already printed and cut to size. Even though it’s all one pattern, you actually get two fit choices – a looser cut through the body (used by the teeshirt, tunic, and outer layer of the knot dress) or a more slim-fit version (used by the dress and inner layer of the knot dress). Since I already liked the fit of the knot dress, I opted for the slim-fit with long sleeves and a taller collar similar to the dress in the book (I’ll get to that in a second though).
Our family have had a rough 2020, and my mom especially. We’ve had three family members die this year, and the enforced separation during these times makes the distance between us feel even greater. I feel thankful that I was able to fly over in February when my dad was in hospital (which actually feels like a lifetime ago), but it’s been impossible for a multitude of reasons to visit since then.
So I wanted to do what I can to both give her a boost, and to make the distance between us feel a little less severe. I’d sent over a few care packages full of face masks but as practical as they are, they’re not particularly cheery. Back in February I’d I made her (and myself) this tie-sleeved top from the June 2019 Burda magazine, and she really loved that we had “twin shirts”. You can see more about the shape of the sleeve pieces and the general construction notes in this post, so I won’t repeat it here. She really loved that one so much that she picked out some fabric at JoAnn for another version and I brought it home in my suitcase to sew up at some point.
A month or two ago my mom sent me a surprise gift in the form of the dP Studio book “Fashion Couture”, which had been on my Amazon Wish List since it was released, while I secretly hoped it might get translated into English at some point.
For some reason the dP Studio standalone patterns never really grabbed me, but I LOVE so many of the tops in this book (and they’re all tops, yay!!). The book is only available in French but the instructions are fully illustrated and should be totally fine for any intermediate sewist with google translate to hand.
I’ve gotten loads of Pattern Magic vibes off several of the designs, and there are about five I really want to make! So I started with Le 516 “Wink Top”, but the Slash Top is also very high on my list (and that sweatshirt, yessss!). You can swoon over a bunch of the designs from the book here.
You saw a peek of this in Monday’s post about my mustard wool shorts, but today I can tell you all about this sleeveless blouse.
The pattern is No115 from the May 2020 Burda magazine and is available to purchase as a pdf here. This was a real standout for me from this issue and I knew right away that I’d be sewing it up – it has a distinctive gathered front neckline with no shoulder seams and it only requires 1m of fabric as a bonus, yay! And frankly I love anything with a cutaway shoulder…
I only rarely sew an exact replica of a pattern, but sometimes I’m just drawn to the same pattern and similar fabric to recreate a look that I know really works for me. ATACAC are Swedish designers who sell short-runs of their very interesting wraparound and zero-waste designs to the public but also offer up sharewear patterns on a “pay what you want” basis, which is SUPER cool. These patterns are pretty bare bones though, so you’ve really got to know what you’re doing. They’re only offered in one size only (size 3), for starters, and with no instructions! I personally love nothing more than seeing a “wtf pattern piece” and trying to make my 3D brain contort it into shape, so I absolutely love figuring out their designs, but you might prefer something more user-friendly!
Thank you all for your comments and sympathy regarding the death of my father and my tribute vest. I’ve been sewing a LOT over the past few weeks while he’d been dying, but for obvious reasons I hadn’t felt like writing blog posts or taking photos, so I’ve got a bunch of garments to show you, completely out of order and with some photos taken recently and some from weeks ago (just don’t look at the length of my hair too closely!).
The first I wanted to show you is the Rest Vest from MadeIt patterns – a new-to-me pattern company that is also based in London! This is the pattern I used for my tribute vest, but this version today is the one I made first.
I saw the back view of this vest (British English for “tank top”, Americans!) in my Instagram feed and basically clicked buy then and there. It was still under its launch discount, too, which was just a bonus, but I love that the top wraps around at the back to create that upper back interest and the back wraps around at the body to shift the side seams forward. It feels like a design I’d draft myself, which is high praise indeed!
This top is doubly German! First of all, the pattern is from the German-language book, “Alles Active”, which I bought to see what the “competition” were up to in Germany vs my own book’s German edition (“Näh dir deine Sportswear”). It’s a decent enough book with a handful of nice activewear designs, but there is a LOT of athleisure filler in it and some very ropey-looking samples on the model, too.
But I liked this top (creatively titled, err, “Top”), and traced it out last summer when I bought the book. I even bought two gorgeous and lightweight activewear fabrics from extremtextil’s Berlin shop when I was over last July to teach the workshop, but then the weather turned cold and I missed my chance to sew it up.