Review || The Block Tee by Paper Theory

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!

Image from paper theory – the block tee

Formerly known as the Kabuki Tee it’s been given the new name and now goes under The Block tee.

Line Drawing of 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

Happy Sewing!

Review || Dulcie Pinafore

Disclaimer: Jennifer Lauren Handmade gave me a copy of the Dulcie Pinafore in return of a honest review.

The Dulcie Pinafore is one of JHL’s most recent patterns and it really did appeal to me. The pinafore is in the new size range which goes from a size 6 to a 34 and also includes 6 cup sizes.

One of the design aspects of the pinafore that appealed to me was the square neckline as was the princess seams and the button details.

For sizing, I carefully followed Jennifer’s instructions and cut a 22 C-cup size in the new curve range for the bodice. And for the skirt I cut out the size 28. I used the back darts in the skirt to take out the excess that was left where I matched the bodice and waistband to the skirt piece. Ideally I think if I had realised how much excess there was before I added the side pockets I would put some of the extra fabric in the dart behind the pocket. Nevertheless it seemed to work out.

Talking of the pockets, they are a really good size and I like how they are positioned. I had to add a label to one of them just to highlight them!

If you think that’s the only label I stitched in, well you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s not! I added KATBs’ “Look After Me” and Little Rosy Cheeks’ “You Do You” to the back neckline.

This red corduroy was from my stash, unfortunately I can’t remember where I bought it from but it’s a lovely jewel tone. I had 2.5 meters of the corduroy and it worked out well although I seemed to have got the nap upside down … you know the stroke direction. The corduroy has a slight stretch to it as well which isn’t a bad thing especially with a pinafore and lockdown weight!

Lovely stretch corduroy and perfect for the Dulcie Pinafore!

The 22mm buttons were from the Textile Garden. I wanted something that was going to compliment the red earthy tones and I think I did pretty well matching up via the internet. If I was stuck on buttons I would have normally went and checked out The Cloth Shop (Remnant Kings) but they closed just before the pandemic hit and if we are in lockdown and in tiers, it makes it more difficult to factor in travel and sourcing locally. Anyway, I think the Textile Garden buttons are just the match for this pinafore!

I love how the bodice is lined. It just finishes it well. I used some lining that was gifted to me by a friend and it lay in my stash waiting for the right project. I wonder, if I could line the skirt on and future Dulcies’? I probably could, I’d would just need to sit down and work it out.

Ok, the verdict – I really do love it. However, I know I need to make some knit tops that will work with it other than this black RTW top but that’s not a bad thing now is it?!

I might go up a size in the bodice, just for a little more wiggle room, cancel that – its fine. Stretch corduroy is a good friend!

Ok. I’m definitely loving this pinafore. Prepare for another one in the future!

Happy Sewing!

Make Nine: Pona Jacket

Disclaimer: I was given this fabric in return for a review over on Minerva. This is a basic post, so please check out my blog post over on Minerva!

What is happening? After three years of not completing make nine and a year off, I am powering through this years make nines.

Could it be I’ve managed to get confidence with my sewing skills – who knows, but I like it.

So, the Pona Jacket by Helen’s Closet Patterns kinda reminds me of similar RTW jackets that I’ve had in the past and will be a to go to pattern for the future.

I really enjoyed making the Pona Jacket. Helen’s instructions are second to none one of the best instructions around. I used the lining hack on her blog post on her website to insert the lining to this jacket.

For more information … please go to Minerva!

Thanks for reading

New Make: Bakerloo Dress

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?

Practicing my dance moves!

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!!!

The Khaki Tencel Twill

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.

Happy Sewing!

Adrianna || Make Nine

Why did it take me so long to try this pattern?

I think I overlooked it as I didn’t realise it was within my sizes, particularly my hips but I was so so wrong!

So I’m hoping there’s a few of you who would like the juicy bits of how I found this pattern, Yes?

The Adrianna Dress by Friday Pattern Company is kinda like the woven sister of The Adrienne Blouse, whom is a jersey pattern. Adrianna comes in sizes XS-4X. The top sizes are: Bust: 54”/137cm, Waist: 47”/119cm and Hips: 57”/145cm.

This is my second Make Nine 2021 that I’ve completed before the end of January, which in itself a complete and utter shock to myself and probably a few of you as previous years I’ve just fallen by the road side!

On top of the Adrianna Dress being part of the make nine challenge, I also completed it for my birthday and as part of the lovely @SisterMintaka’s #FeelingSewMuchBetter annual challenge. It was really fun to photograph and document my progress through the week on Instagram.

Ok, the instructions were flawless – really easy to follow. There was one area where it wasn’t so clear and I was scouting the web for a sewalong and could find one (or any)! that would just glide me through that part. BUT I figured it out. Yay!!

Oh, now the area I was stuck on was step 11. But once it came relevant, it was plain sailing.

Top Tip: Because I was working with a viscose crepe I overlocked all of the edges and used a microtex needle on the sewing machine to sew it together.

I love how the fabric behaves with the elastic in cased at the shoulders and the cuffs. It’s simple to do but the drama it gives is just lush! Chelsea is a genius.

There’s one thing I really shouldn’t have overlooked though. In the instructions booklet on page 5 is a but/hip adjustment guide. Now I usually just grade from my bust-waist-hip but I think I should’ve just went and did this adjustment as I wouldn’t have got this excess (see photo below).

But apart from that, I really enjoyed reading the instructions and sewing this pattern up. On top of that the Viscose Crepe was a dream to work with, yes I’m surprised as it’s Atelier Brunette and sometimes (I have heard of mixed reviews!) notoriously difficult to work with. But it sewed up like a dream!

You can bet on your cotton socks that I will be sewing more Adrianna Dresses in the future. But I’ll be adding a little more length on future Adriannas’ as I’m a little scared I’ll reveal too much if I bend over!

For This Adrianna Dress – I used Atelier Brunette Viscose Crepe “Dune Smokey”, purchased from @ohsewshop with a voucher that I won a while ago. It was a decent remnant and I was completely impressed with myself that I got all the pattern pieces cut out of 2.40cm when the pattern call for between 2.88 and 3.88!

Although I didn’t have to pattern match, I managed to wow myself … and on top of that used the crossed grain to fit all the pieces in. This was really down to the print not being directional and I think I got away with it by the skin of my teeth!!

The Pattern for Adrianna can be found here. I mean, what are you waiting for? Yes, I am a enabler but come on!!

I used #SizeMe label from Stitch Collective, if you are in the Uk and don’t want to wait ages due to the pandemic postage delays then you can buy some of stitch collectives labels at a brilliant online shop run by the lovely Amy, which is Craft and Thrift.

But I just don’t use one label … I mean come on, I am a label fanatic! The #HelloGeorgeous label, I think just finished the insides nicely … don’t you? This is a Kylie and the Machine label, which are stocked in quite a few places now (worldwide) – yes I’ve had them shipped from KATM HQ a couple of times too and it didn’t cost that much extra to be sent over. But that was pre-Brexit and pre-Covid!

Oh! That necklace was a generous gift to myself. I saw it on wolf and moon’s Instagram and was like instantly magpied – it’s such a statement piece and yet flawlessly goes with the Adrianna perfectly! I’ve got a few me mades planned and the fabric will match this beauty very nicely.

Once again, thank you for reading!

Happy sewing …

New Make: Sagebrush Top

Ever since I did my tester on Friday Pattern Company‘s Sagebrush Top, I’ve been hooked!

The brilliant Sagebrush Top – definitely a TNT pattern with me!
My Sagebrush Tester

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 fabulous Jen in her “Ladies” Sagebrush Top

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!

@LouisaLovesToSew in her Chantilly single Ladies Sagebrush Top.

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 …

I was seriously lost for words!

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 😂

This is a close up of the repair after being interfaced. Not bad and if I don’t point it out I doubt people will notice.

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.

All smiles!

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.

I love the new length!

Well, that’s the 4th Sagebrush of many more to come … I’m excited to do more!

Fiamma wanted in on the action 😂

Again, thank you for reading and happy sewing!

Myosotis Dress by Deer & Doe

Although I’ve published my photos on Instagram, I thought it would be good just to have my thoughts on the pattern and fit here for my first myosotis dress.

So before I started I check my back measurements according to the pattern piece and shortened the bodice. I think it’s a tad too short in this version but hey ho I’ll still wear it. For my next version I’ll definitely used the for bodice piece and original length. I cut the largest size and instead of 1.5cm/5/8” seam allowance I went for 1cm. The bodice fits really well.

The skirt has no real issues and was fairly straight forward although I only cut one of the lower ruffle and had to do a last minute panic of “ok where’s the remaining pieces of fabric” – which was fine. I pattern match this piece because there’s an extra seam at the back of the dress now because of this rookie mistake!

I think my favourite part of the dress is the sleeves. I’m just loving the ruffles and to me that’s something that’s surprising to me!

The fabric is a Lady McElroy Cotton “Marlie” lawn. The print is digitally printed onto the fabric. The print itself is called “Shades of Autumn – Midnight”. I bought this from The Cloth Shop by Remnant Kings, Edinburgh a good year ago for a myosotis dress and who knew it would turn out so well! I’m pleased it didn’t have too much time in the stash.

I found the collar to be a bit of a nightmare though. The instructions aren’t clear to be frank and if you follow them it leads you into a fiddle. So conferring with my sewing buddies, I’m advised to go and have a look at Professor pincushion on youtube and hey presto, the dress lives!

So there you go – my first and not last Myosotis Dress by Deer & Doe patterns. Thanks for reading and see you back here soon!

Making Kalle

Hey all!

It’s been an age since I wrote anything on here but now that we are in lockdown for this Convid-19 I have a bit more time to make and blog!

I’m currently making a few things, one of which is the Kalle Shirt by Closet Case.

I’m doing version A, the cropped shirt in a liberty cotton lawn. This is the first time I’ve tackled a shirt!

I’ll add more pictures and information as I go but in the meantime I’ll get going and hopefully soon I can model it!

The many faces of Moneta

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!

Seamwork’s Skipper Sweater

This Liberty fabric has been sitting in my stash for a wee while now. I knew it was going to be a sweater but was unsure which pattern I was going to go for.  I think originally it was going to be a SH7’s Toaster but changed it for the Seamwork’s Skipper purely because it was going to be in my size range for hips.

screenshot 2019-01-30 11.23.46
Seamwork’s Skipper

screenshot 2019-01-30 11.22.44
Sew House Seven’s Toaster

screenshot 2019-01-30 11.24.32
“Heketh” (Snowdrop) Liberty Sweatshirt Fabric

The fabric was bought online from @FabricsGalore a while ago and now is no longer stocked (sorry!) although you might be lucky and see if eBay has it.  I bought 1.5m of it, it was £11.00 per half a meter, so not cheap.  Although the pattern asked for 1.7 for my sizing, I managed to get all the pattern pieces out of the piece of fabric – PHEW!

The humble snowdrop – Galanthus nivalis is my birth month flower (January) and I always look out it at this time of year, so this jumper will always fill me with joy.  When I was born, the snowdrops in my Gran’s garden came up and my gran always referred to me as “Granny’s little snowdrop” even when I was thirty!

“Already now the snowdrop dares appear,
The first pale blossom of th’unripen’d year”

Anna Laetitia Barbauld, “The Snowdrop” (1835)

My Gran & Grandad lived up in the Cairngorms, so any school holiday we (Mum, my Brother and I) were up walking, orienteering, ski-ing (both cross-country and down-hill!) and get our bit of fresh mountain air, not forgetting engulfing ourselves with Gran’s fudge and gingerbread cake and listening to Grandad’s tales of Billy Gruffs and Trolls!

Right, better skip back to Skipper.

Cutting the pattern out was really straight forward. I graded it from a 20-22 bust & waist to a 24-26 hips as i didn’t want the top bit to be too big.  I left the pocket out as I thought that the busiest of the fabric pattern would be spoilt.

Constructing the pieces was a dream and this was my first sweater pattern, so was super surprised how well I coped. I found Cheryl from Stitchy Bee’s tutorial a real help doing the neckline.  It’s also a really good vlog on how different materials look different in the same sweater pattern (Cheryl used Grainline’s Linden).

So hear it is …