During this year, I’ve finally bitten the bullet and sewn up more trousers/pants than what I was expecting and I’m still kinda shocked on how straightforward it has been, ok there has been some minor issues but nothing that has put me off so far.
This blog post will be summarising what I’ve sewn and tried so far and what I’m looking forward to sewing up next!
First up is the Winslow Culottes by Helen’s Closet. I’d say if you don’t want massive fitting issues and you want an easy trouser project to ease yourself into then, I’d totally recommened the Winslow’s right now!
The Winslow’s are designed for ultimate comfort and style and that they are! They come in four lengths and so many possibilites with all the hacks. You don’t even need to have the original zip as there are elasticated waist hacks that to get you round that one.
I started my trouser journey a while ago with the Megan Neilson Opal Pants but have reignighted my confidence and sewing trouser journey with the Winslow’s, don’t fret – I’ll talk about the Opals shortly.
Right , before I move on I’d better sit down and mention the Opals. The opals have 2 views and 2 lengths. It has that adorable paperbag siloheutte that’s strong on the high street at the moment as a standard elasticated waist band. I was one of the testers for this pattern and really like the fit of it. It’s a great match for a viscose particuarly in standard elasticated waistband version as I’ve done two of that exact look. I’ve yet to finish a linen paperbag version … which is is still in the wip pile as we speak – oops!
Next up, is a very new pattern on the scene and I love making them up. Perhaps it’s because the instructions are really detailed and there was little confusion or the fact that they go up to a 64″ hip … It’s the Soline Culottes and Shorts from Staystitch Patterns. If you follow me on instagram, you’ll have seen all of my versions so far. I don’t think I’ll be stop at three, I’m not quite ready for that.
The latest in the trouser addition is the Nina Lee Portobello Trousers, which are now in the 16-28 size range and yep, another tester under my belt. I really like the shape of those although the zip closure and button is at the back, there’s a degree of tactic when needing to go to the toilet! I’ve also got a couple of tweaks where I want to adjust the crotch curve to give me slightly more room and maybe I could move the zip to the side?
So, what’s the next trousers on the table, you ask. Well, I’ve got the Chandler Trousers by Untitled Thoughts printed out to which I have a dark aubergine wool suiting that I’m thinking of pairing it with and I would like to use the reminder of that wool suiting to make a Friday Pattern Heather Blazer. The other trousers that I’ve got firm plans are the Megan Neilson Dawns for some stretch corduroy that I’ve been gifted by The Rag Shop for my A/W Edit and there’s gonna be so much more chat about that very soon!
The Bardot Dress has a decent size range and a good amount of ease. The body measurements start from high bust 28, full bust 31, waist 24.4 and hips 34.6 inches to high bust 51, full bust 53, waist 46, hips 56.3 inches.
Because of the ease and the amount of fabric I had I choose size H for the bodice and I.
The fabric that I choose was “Bird Parade” viscose twill from @FabricGodmother … which I think suits this dress so well, especially for a spring summer print and dress!
I used 3 metres of this viscose twill and that’s all I had. I didn’t use the fabric layout … recently I’ve been playing pattern Tetris and loving the challenge!
Sewing this up I noticed the fabric was fraying ever so slightly but it was as bad as other viscoses but I did try out French seams and they are on the majority of seams including the pockets and the bodice! This was my first time trying out such skills and I’m gobsmacked that it worked out so well.
I made my own bias to add to the edges just by cutting out strips of 2cm wide on the bias on a s small piece of left over fabric. It wasn’t straight or neat but it does the job and you can’t see the wobbly edges as they are on the inside.
This dress took a lot of gathering and I mean a lot! Lots of patience, even more pins and delicate precision were required to get even gathers.
I’d definitely recommend this dress for summer holidays or lounging about at home on a hot day. The instructions are really good but I really didn’t use them that much. I kinda just went for it!
When I do this dress again and I will do it again, I’ll size down further on the bodice and shorten the shoulder straps and I’ll probably shorten the bodice. I’ll still swan about in this dress though as it’s got swoosh appeal!
I just want to thank both Ruan and Sam for this amazing challenge. It’s been so nice to see so many lovely makes from the community and find some more free patterns that are size inclusive. On that note, I think I’ll be trying the Peppermint Maxi Dress and the Lucia from Mood fabrics, very soon.
Disclaimer: I was given the Block Tee from Tara (Paper Theory Patterns) in exchange for my thoughts. I didn’t have to post anything but here you have it!
Formerly known as the Kabuki Tee it’s been given the new name and now goes under The Block tee.
After some feedback and consultation with the community, Tara felt that having no Japanese heritage herself, it was only right to change the the name.
As well as a big name change, The Block Tee has has some small changes in the grading. This was also from feedback from previous customers. The change is small yet will help with the fit on the shoulders. The shoulder grading increments has decreased between the sizes 18-28, so the length of the sleeves aren’t as long.
Making the Block Tee was fun, quick but somewhat challenging as doing sharp right angle turns is not a quick job and you want to take care doing it.
If you are stuck and I was just needing that little extra visual, Tara has a really good video of how to do the Right Handed corners on her website, which helped me a lot.
Without any doubt, I cut two Block Tees’ … yep I didn’t do a toile, yep I’m a bad ass but I had totally faith in Tara’s design. I used linen: mustard yellow from Selvage and Bolts and the green from Blackbird Fabrics.
I graded from a 22 at the arms and bust to a 26 at the hips. I could always go down a size all over since the pattern has lots of ease.
I found that I used under 1.5 metres especially without needing to cut the piece for the bias binding as I wanted to use some of the bindings that I bought from The Specky Seamstress (The “Sewing Appreciation Society” Bias was received as a gift).
It’s quite a handy pattern and I feel I’m going to potential do a Block Tee with some of my scraps (watch out for that!).
I’m pretty chuffed with the results and yes I feel I need to practice these right angles! It’s a lot trickier than I thought but don’t let that put you off. Just take your time and pin pin pin!
Like most makes these days, before I start sewing pieces together, I overlock the edges. One for finish and two, to stop any fraying.
The details of the Block Tee are really smart. I like the lines that it has. It’s just has a different spin on the Box top.
I’m super chuffed that the block tee goes to 57.5”/146cm hip body measurements. It’s got a good amount of ease in it too. It’s going to be a nice staple in my wardrobe, especially in linen over the summer period.
If you haven’t tried The Block Tee yet and would like to give it a try, I’d definitely give you a gentle nudge of encouragement. However (again!), go slow round those corners!
The Mustard Yellow Block Tee Details:
Mustard Linen from Selvedge and Bolts
Label – “Handmade” This is for Makers
Label – “Slowly Does It” The Pink Coat Club
Bias Binding “Ruler” – The Specky Seamstress
Label – “Sewing is the F♥️cking Best” – Kylie and the Machine.
Necklace from Lynsey Walters
The Green Block Tee Details:
Green linen from Blackbird Fabrics
“Perfect Me” label from Little Rosy Cheeks
Bias Binding “Sewing Appreciation Society” – The Specky Seamstress.
Gold and white cord necklace from Stitching Me Softly
Oh Bakerloo … ha ha (yes easily changed from ABBAs classic “Waterloo” Song.
As part of the new inclusive sizing (18-28), I was part of the tester team for Nina Lee’s newest pattern, the Bakerloo Blouse and Dress.
With it’s Statement collar with a frill and big voluminous sleeves, what more could you want?
You can either go for the blouse or you can add a skirt.
For the tester version I made the dress, yes … I am a sucker for a gathered skirt!
Before we get into the details. I want to say thank you to Nina who, after I reached out when the 6-20 range was released to say I was slightly disappointed to not seeing both of the size ranges being released at the same time, asked me to be a tester. So Thank You Nina!
Ok details … I’m sure you want them, yes?
Right. The instructions are pretty much really detailed. Lots of illustrations and descriptions with step by step details on how to get the statement collar and fabulous frill perfect.
Size wise, I went with a 22 with the bust and then graded out at the waist to a 28 but could probably go down a size as it is quite roomy. The skirt is a size 28. My measurements are: Bust 46, Waist 46 and hips 57/58.
For my fabric, I chose a tencel twill from The Fabric Room, which I’ve had in my stash for a good while now. I think I heard about The Fabric Room’s Tencel Twill via my good friends in Sew Scottish. Minimum order is 3 metres and the colours are limited but it’s worth a look as it’s £4.50 a metre!!!
Also, worth noting if you have a plain fabric you can really play around with the cross grain of the woven. For my size, it quoted 3.10metres but I managed to use 2.6metres out of the 3m of tencel, which is pretty good I’d say.
Maybe tencel twill wasn’t the best fabric choice as I think the collar pulls the neck down a little because once you’ve got the interfacing in the collar and added the frills, it’s quite a substantial weight. But it won’t stop me from wearing it – oh no!
Will I make this again?
Yes, but I’ll make the Blouse version with longer sleeves. I might raise the darts at the bust on any future versions. And when I do the dress I’ll shorten the bodice. I think that’s all. But yeah, I’ll make it again 😄
So I’ve added a few labels …
1) “One of a Kind” by Stitch Collective on the Frill.
2) Worth the Effort by Kylie and the Machine at the back closure.
3) “Handmade” by This is for Makers on the inside at the back
I think the most favourite thing about this make is the sleeves! It’s so simple, the elastic cuff but punches a statement as does the collar and the frills. Overall it’s a great dress, It delivers and it’s very now but I’m sure I’ll wear it to lots of occasions in the future.
Ever since I did my tester on Friday Pattern Company‘s Sagebrush Top, I’ve been hooked!
Hooked in the sense that recently I did a batch cut and I’ve already sewn one of the up – yes already I’m churning Sagebrush Tops out!
I really love this pattern and the details of it. From the frill at the front to the gathering at the sleeves it just makes me happy.
This Sagebrush is slightly different to the others and I’ll explain why, in a moment.
You see it lies with the fabric choice. Previously I’ve went with a viscoses and a viscose-linen blend but I decided to take inspiration from the lovely Jen (@jenlegg_teescreatives) (I’ve met her in real life, as she came up to Edinburgh Frocktails, October 2019 and she is really lovely) who has already sewn the Sagebrush in the very same fabric.
The fabric is a Lady McElroy Chantilly Single Ladies Cotton Lawn from Sister Mintaka which I bought a wee while ago after seeing Jen’s version and looks like there is some in stock. It’s a lovely quality and has sewn up a treat. I love the colours of the print, it will be so diverse! I’ve already thought of a few outfits featuring this top, including pairing it with Jeans, as shown in the photos.
And apparently I’m not the only one who was inspired by Jen, Louisa was too!
Ok, my top was going so well until I decided to use my overlocker to finish the seams on the sleeve and front and back pieces …
At that point of seeing the blade chop into the shoulder what like watching a horror movie. Urgh. I had to step away. It didn’t stop me from sharing my disaster on Instagram stories that night – but it also helped me come up with a plan to save this make.
I had two options, one seeing if I had enough fabric to cut out a new sleeve altogether but I couldn’t really justify using it as I was going to try and make a scrunchie and hair band plus other things from it. The other option was two interface the wrong side and the right side and hope that I wouldn’t need to do a patch work … my needlework is erm shockingly bad 😂
So once I got that bit out the way I could move on and get it finished – yes that’s what we like – a happy ending!
On this Sagebrush I took a bit off the length off and made the hem deep And I actually really like it. So I think I’ll do the next couple this new length.
As you can see, using the cotton lawn gives the frill real structure and the sleeves extra va va voom! I do really like the effect that this cotton lawn has on the pattern.
Well, that’s the 4th Sagebrush of many more to come … I’m excited to do more!
Well here we are and I’m off to a flying start as I’ve almost finished one off my make nine grid!
This going alongside a YouTube video where you can see me chatting about my make nine 2021 plans. It’s kinda like the show notes from The Love Sewing podcast if you’ve ever read them – I find them really interesting!
Ok … so here’s my #MakeNine2021 / the image below is linked to my Instagram Post! The individual graphics are linked to the pdf patterns corresponding to to pattern house shop just in case you would like to buy it. (I get squad all for this but they are lovely independent pattern brands that I love)!
I’m taking part in the Sheffield Sewcial “Jeans January” over on Instagram. I’m hoping to cut them out ASAP and hoping that they fit well. I go for this style in jeans in Rtw/ Shop bought.
I’ve got some stretch denim but haven’t yet made up my mind which one to choose, that’s the trouble with hoarding fabrics 😂
I’m not sure on the finished garment measurements though …
I’ll be grading waist size 28 and hip size 30.
Ok next up is …
I’ve got at least three fabrics set aside for this and I can’t tell you how often I’ve hesitated about Zadie.
I’m absolutely going to toile it. One reason being it’s generously sized or so I’ve heard. So I think I should just be cautious and do a mock up before I cut into precious fabrics.
However, I will probably going to have to grade between a 20/22 bodice and 26/28 trousers, which is the usual for me.
Back to Megan Neilson and this time we have The Darling Ranges Dress.
Without a doubt I was really in love with this style/pattern before it had the upgrade to the curve range but I patiently waited and now it’s here I have no excuses not to make it.
Although I have heard some grumblings about the bodice fit … I’ll need to look into this as I’m not sure what the details are regarding the grumbling! Have you tried the new Darling Ranges dress, did you have fit issues?
I’ve not yet decided on what fabric for this project, but no doubt I’ll let you know when I do find something from my stash that I’ll go – “that’s the one”!
Next up is the beautiful Pona Jacket from Helen’s Closet.
Now … I must I have AT LEAST 5 fabrics now set aside for this project. I think I just love this jacket because it’s so versatile. I’m really drawn to the short version but I think I’ll do at least a couple of longer versions in the future. I’ll probably do a batch cut & sew just to get them sewn up so I can wear them!
I might have to grade from a 22 to 28 but I’ll assess that when I come to looking at the pattern pieces and measurements.
To start I’ll be trying up a wool from Minerva as part of the blogger network. It’s black so it’ll probably go with a lot of other things in my wardrobe, both me-made and RTW.
Another jacket which I’ve been eyeing up is the Sapporo from PaperCut Patterns.
It’s funny how a lot of people raved about it and “had no problems” making this jacket up and it took one person to really point out the flaws that so many didn’t to get a update on the pattern pieces and a bigger size range.
Like the Pona Jacket and you shouldn’t be surprised – I have been collecting a few fabrics for the Sapporo.
I think I’ll be doing videos on my makes as we go this year, plus I’ll pop into posts on here with photos of the fabrics. That way, you can see the movement and colour – how’s that?
Now the Cielo Top from Closet Core Patterns.
I’m baffled this is my only top in my make nine but it won’t be the only one I make this year. I’ve already batch cut a little pile of Friday Pattern Company’s Sagebrush Top, my tnt pattern of the moment!
To my amazement I’m almost finished the first cielo top and I’ll probably be starting a second very soon.
For my first version I choose to go all out and went for option B / see the big gathered sleeves always draw me, I like a little drama in my clothes.
I think the second version I’ll let the fabric do the talking and just go for version A as pictured. Yes, I’ve got rifle paper co fabric set aside … and it’s so dreamy! But I’ll not spoil the surprise 😉
The sizing is good. Like the Elodie I’m really happy with the fit. I think this is going to one top pattern that I’ll come back to again and again!
Ok – I don’t think it would be right if I didn’t squeeze in a Friday Pattern Company pattern into this make nine, so I’ve chosen the Adrianna Dress.
Unlike its sister (Adrienne Blouse), the Adrianna is designed for Wovens in mind. I’ve completely overlooked this pattern as I didn’t realise that it went up to 4X until recently!
Sooooo … I’ve decided on some fabric for the Adrianna BUT I’ll need to lay it out with the pattern pieces in the next coming week or two as I’m hoping to cut this out and have this as a birthday dress. My birthday is the 17th of January… just in case you need to know 😂
The fabric is an Atelier Brunette Viscose which I’m hoping I’ve got enough to squeeze this dress out off. I might have to lessen the bulk and length in the sleeves to do this.
Ending on two trousers and first up is the Flint Trousers by Megan Neilson Patterns.
I’ve heard so many good things about the Flints, so again I’m eager to go through my Stash and see what would be a good choice to start off with for this pattern.
I’m also liking this pattern because it could be a good staple for work – when I finally get another one. TBH, At the moment the job searching isn’t strong but I think come mid January I’ll have a wee look!
Anyway back to the flints. I like the detail and the fact they now come in the curve range is 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻
And the final make nine choice is …
This will be the third pair of trousers I’ll be aiming to make this year.
On top of being floaty (frickin love culottes) I’m going in for comfort and doing the elasticated back and flat front hack that Helen has in her blog.
I’m going to make a pair out of black viscose but I’m thinking for another pair perhaps for something heavier as I don’t think viscose is a suitable option if I’m trying to stay warm, do you have any suggestions on this?
The culottes are said to be quite roomy and I’ve read somewhere (probably HC’s website) that I can adjust the darts as-well!
So if you haven’t already picked this up yet – I’m super excited and geared up for this year’s #MakeNine2021 – eeeek!
I feel like the last couple of years I’ve learned enough skills now to not get that overwhelmed feeling and can honestly say that I think I actually might just manage this make nine!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post relating to my YouTube, please comment in the box below if you have any questions or suggestions in relation to the choice of makes I’ve made and this blog post and if you have a chance, please go and view my YouTube video!
I did a poll back over on Instagram whether or not you would like to see all my makes that I did in 2020 over here, in a blog post.
Well, the answer was a huge “yes, Please!”, so here goes.
Also if you don’t know I’ve recently started doing my YouTube channel again (yay!) and I’ve uploaded a video with some of my favourite makes from this year! So if you can, please check it out and let me know what your favourite make is (either here in the comments or in the youtube video comments).
I’ve listed the makes in no particular order.
West Cliff Dress – Friday Pattern Company Bodice XL, Skirt graded from XL at waist to 3XL at hips. Viscose Jersey from Lamazi Fabrics
Well, there we have it … over 30 me-mades this year. A lot of Testers and I’m starting to dabble a bit more in separates. I’m super chuffed at what I’ve sewn up. Some were WIPs and some spontaneous but nevertheless I love them all.
In 2021, I hope to make more Trousers, skirts and other separates. I’m going back to planning my make nine this year, which I fine tuned with plans that will hopefully help push me and expand my me made wardrobe.
Talking of which, I will be posting something on here and on YouTube regarding my make nine plans … watch this space!
It all started when I saw By Hand London’s sample of the Jessica Skirt in this Valentine Red and Pink viscose … it was love at first sight!
I thought the chances of sourcing it would be second to none but what’s the harm asking? The worst answer would be no or sorry we’ve ran out, so with that in mind I did some digging! You guess it, long story short I found some at The Rag Shop via pigeonwishes shop.
Yay! So I contacted Steph at The Rag Shop to let her know that I was doing a blog post on the viscose and she kindly gave one meter in return for the blog post (I already purchase two metres) so having that extra meter allowed me to play about with more options.
The Wildergown by Friday Pattern company has been on my sewing list for ages, I just love the fluidity of the dress. The Valentine Viscose and the wildergown dress would be a beautiful match!
I choose the xl according to the finished measurements but I could’ve gone up an extra size on the skirt but I might come back to that as I’ve still got some fabric left. Obviously, I was going to go on the full-on gown – I think it would have been be rude not too!
Ok, for adjustments I shortend the bodice because I’m only 5’3″ and my torso isn’t long at all. I went for even layers in the skirt but on hindsight, shouldve keep the top tier longer and the bottom tier shorter – but nevermind.
Sewing with the viscose was a dream. I didn’t find it too slippery to work with either. I did use a light weight needle just to be sure it didn’t punture the fabric whilst sewing it. I’ve been reading that even using a microtex needle can sometimes still lead to tiny fractures in the fabric (in some makes more than others) which is quite nerving wracking after you’ve made that investment.
Before I started putting the pieces together I overlocked all the edges to stop them fraying. Of course, I could always try french seams to finish the seams but let’s be frank here, 1. I’ve not got the patience to do that and 2. I’ve still not got the patience.
I really wanted to try and pattern match some of the lines of the grids and this worked out better than expected even with the gathering. For gathering I used lots of pins … LOTS of them and I tend to use the Prym glass headed pins now, just my preference.
I’m still sitting on the fence if I should add waist ties just to give a bit of shape and I may shorten the bottom tier to be just below the knee. I think it’s all to do with my height but I may leave the length as it is if the waist ties help. I’ve heard that Julie Uzor has a great tutorial on her Instagram for rouleau loops via theminisewist (but I’ve yet to find it).
However I’m slowly falling in love with the dress as when I first tried it on, I was like “what have I done?”. For me it’s a bold change with the grid lines, because I’m short and rather curvy I think it accentuates certain features. But everytime I’ve tried it on I’m feeling more confident.
To add to the love of this wildergown I am loving the drama of the neckline. The pull tie that gathers the neck and gives the shape is such a simple yet clever design feature.
So you might gather I’m quite a sucker for the “Moneta” by Colette Patterns and the fact that it’s been a few months since I’ve last wrote a blog post, would be too good an opportunity to miss to give the wee blog a bit of a boost!
So in no order here’s my “Moneta Collection”
🧵Fabric from Pin & Sew
🧵Hacked neckline and sleeves from Seamwork Alice and added a polo neck!
🧵Fabric from the Edinburgh Dress Fabric Company
🧵Hack – scoop back
🧵The Moneta that started it all!
🧵Fabric from John Lewis
🧵Fabric from Fabric Focus
🧵First scoop back hack
🧵The Scoop back with petal sleeves dress
🧵Fabric bought from Fabricate Mirfield
🧵Made it for my 39th Birthday
🧵Fabric from Sewisfaction
🧵Scoop back – ooo er.
🧵Made this for going out to dinner for our 10th Wedding Anniversary
🧵Fabric from Fabric Focus
🧵Scoop back hack
🧵Fabric from Holm Sown
🧵My Christmas Day 2018 dress
🧵Fabric from Fabric Focus
🧵Scoop back & 3/4 length sleeves (must be my favourite combo)!
Would it surprise you if there a few others that are works in progress? Once they are completed, I’ll share them on Instagram @sewdoitemma.
Ok, well hopefully it won’t be as long as last time until I write a blog, but until then … see you soon!