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
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 theyare positioned. I had to add a label to one of them just to highlight them!
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!
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!
Already into a month of lockdown and I’ve been buying fabric left right and centre from little independent fabric businesses across the UK.
It’s good that I’m buying though but seriously I have no more space. I keep trying to tell myself this, but now it has to happen!
Anyway, as you probably guessed by the title of this post is that as from May 1st, there will be no more buying fabrics for at least three months and maybe even longer.
Reasons for going on this fabricsabbatical:
1. I really not NEED any more fabric!
You’ve seen pictures of my 20 odd boxes bins and counting full of knits and wovens! Metres and metres of used but beautiful fabrics!
2. I’ve managed to do three months last year as part of slow fashion season, which started in June.
Admittedly, it was hard but I stuck at it and miraculously I survived unharmed. The original idea was to get 10’ 000 people not to buy ANY clothes for three months. I did both – pat on the back for me!
3. Another destashing will be coming to the destash grid.
Soon. Once this horrid pandemic is over. Once the Royal Mail gets back on its feet. Just now it’s slow and as I keep saying there’s no point putting more pressure on it with me adding more parcels. I’ll be putting the fabrics on the destash grid and you can have a mosey, Just don’t expect me to sell it to you right there and then. Let’s keep it simple! I’ll be just posting piccies of fabrics with zero, squad all details until the destash opens, don’t freak – I’ll be notifying on stories when it is going to live! Oh @sdie_destash is where it’s happening.
4. Another reason to stop buying fabrics is to actually see what I’ve got and record it!
That’s right, I’m going to record what I’m going to keep! It’s simple, it’s not technical either. It’s in black and white on “flat white” recycled cardstock! Kudos to Anna @annatriestosew for letting me know how she did it. Why not trello? Hmm, it’s way to meh to start with such a massive stash. And I get to keep a “touch and feel” of the fabric too!
5. I won’t have a job come mid May.
My contract ends on the 13th, which is really sad as I enjoyed working with fabulous colleagues. I have to say that these 3 months which turned out to 9 nine as they kept renewing my contract, has been the best! I don’t have any bad feeling against the company especially in the current climate for their decision not to renew my contract, just a bit of anxiety for what will happen in the coming weeks, if not, months for me and my future job. I won’t be the only one in this situation.
So I’m going to have to tighten up the purse strings and I’ve got plenty of fabric to see me through many years.
Before I finish, I’m allowed haberdashery items, such as interfacing, buttons, trims and all that jazz, just not Fabric meterage!
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!
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!
It’s taken a little over a year and half for this make. It’s made up of a heck of raw emotion plus skill since my Mum started making it for me but never got the chance to finish it because cancer decided to take hold on her (f£&* cancer in every form).
The coat itself is made of Harris Tweed bought from Fabric Focus alongside the silver paisley lining.
Kevin, the owner of fabric focus has been eager for me to finish the coat but understood how emotional the make was. He always asked when I was going to finish it, very gently pushing me to do it!
Sometimes I felt like working on the coat and sometimes not. When it got close to her Birthdays, Anniversary of her passing or Mother’s Day, I just had to put the coat down and only started working on it when I felt I could. It’s a bit like counselling (not that I’ve managed to go, nor feel quite ready for) but I know I’m working with mum on this on each step.
It’s quite nice finishing it now just before this year’s “Mother’s Day”.
Mum did most of the tacking (thank *%&@!) I hate tacking, I know it does wonders but I still actually hate doing it.
Bagging the outer and the lining literally to played tricks on my mind but wanted a neat finish. Making sure that the outer and the lining were all level was time consuming but boy does it pay off!
I don’t think finishing this coat would’ve been possible with the helpful tips and excellent guidance that I received from Abi, sewing teacher to both my mum and I, so thank you Abi for helping me on this journey.
By adding little details such as the Kylie and the Machine “one of a kind” and Harris Tweed labels it really finishes it off. Also “One of a Kind” kinda puts a nice touch on the memory of my mum.
Not to forget to mention the beautiful frogs that make that statement piece, also sourced from Fabric Focus.