Named Clothing Stella Shirt

Hi everyone,

Last year, I was lucky enough to win a prize in dress week for Indie pattern month over on The Monthly Stitch. My prize was 3 PDF patterns from Named Clothing. This came at a fortunate time as along with their new book, Named Clothing are my new obsession. Their patterns are so innovative, really well thought-out and just a little bit different.

One of the patterns I chose was the Stella shirt and dress. It has an option for a shirt, with a really funky triangular collar and for a lovely floaty dress with elasticated waist. They have a raglan style sleeve with cuffs and a pussy bow collar option. I was keen to try this to continue to expan my skills with making shirts. I opted for the shirt version and used a really cool viscose style fabric I got from Ebay.

The pattern calls for a French seam along the sleeves, which come in two pieces and I continued this by completing French seams throughout the whole shirt. You complete the sleeves, then the raglan and complete the sleeve and side seams in one go. The front, placket is self-facing so super easy and luckily this fabric was super easy and crisp to press. I added the collar and the cuffs and it was complete, which is quite simple for a shirt top.
The collar was surprisingly simple to sew up in the end, though I do think it has turned out a little wonky somehow. The pattern calls for poppers but I opted for button holes and made self-covered buttons, which are one of my favourite things to make, as they’re super relaxing. I used blue poppers to make the fastenings on the cuffs.


My thoughts on the pattern; it’s another great, stylish and youthful pattern as I’ve come to expect from Named Clothing. However, for me, it slightly lacks shape and if I made it again I would add some darts and shaping. I’m also not overly keen on the folded cuff option and would complete pleats in the sleeves before adding the cuffs in the traditional way next time. I have not ruled out making a dress version though and my love for Named Clothing patterns remains!

Sade Blouse

Hi everyone,

This is my first make of the book that everyone is talking about, that is, of course, Breaking the Pattern by Named Clothing! I wanted to leisurely look through it and carefully select a project, however, I got immediately distracted by the first pattern I came to, which was the Sade Blouse. I got the book for Christmas, from my lovely brother and I did some research on the patterns. There are so many amazing versions already and if you are thinking about buying the book, DO IT! You will not be disappointed!

Anyway, The Sade Blouse is designed to have open sleeves and an open back with ties at the hems. It is obviously made for drape fabric and I dug out this gorgeous mandala style print that I got last year from My Fabrics. I carefully traced the pattern, I could tell from researching it that the blouse came quite short so I added 3 cm to the length. I think I would add even more If I made it again. I also completed a full bust allowance change to the front pattern piece, something I am so glad I took the time to do with this pattern. I thought that I might be outsized by the book but the biggest size does it for me as long as I FBA it would seem. 🙂 The pattern pieces are quite large and because they overlap, it uses quite a bit of fabric. I had a metre and a half of wide fabric and JUST fit it on.

It is a satisfying make, in that you prepare all the pattern pieces first, completing 1 cm hems on all the edges of the pattern pieces, then you tack these pieces together and complete the top as normal. It takes quite a bit of concentration not to twist pieces or get confused. I felt like I had lots of bits going on. The sleeves are inserted on the flat and then it is all sewn together with large hems for the sleeves and the hem. The neckline is finished with bias binding, which is a winner for me, as I am not a facing fan.

I finished my sleeves with black ribbon but chose to omit the tie from the bottom hem, as I didn’t think the shape would be flattering. If I make it again I would lengthen it further and would still omit the bottom tie. I have seen some makers use elastic in the sleeve hems and I think that’s a great idea!

I hope you like it and if you have the book – enjoy!

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Heirloom Birthday Boy Quilt

Hi everyone,

What I am sharing today is the definition of a labour of love. I don’t usually hand-embroider much, possibly because that quick satisfaction of the whir of my sewing machine cannot really be beaten but when I inherited my Nana’s embroidery threads in February, I decided I wanted to use them on something meaningful.

To do this, I decided to make a quilt for my nephew. I bought an alphabet quilt topper template and began with enthusiasm… then life took over, I worked lots, we moved house, went on holiday and the quilt remained 4 letters in for about 3 months. I picked it up again in September and I pretty much worked on it until about 3 days before my gorgeous nephew’s birthday! I wish I could say, “oh, this… this was easy”. But that would be a LIE! It was a long process but I knew that Ollie and his Mummy and Daddy would absolutely love it and this kept me going. It wasn’t all bad, of course, I sat in front of the TV mostly and worked away at it and the fact that they are individual letters meant I felt like I was doing it step by step, rather than one big picture.

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The colours of the threads are so bright and pretty and the images are childlike and just perfect for the occasion. I added his name to the middle and then backed it with an iron-on wadding. The quilting lines between were then added by hand too. I was tempted to do this by machine but the pattern is designed to overlap the lines sometimes so I sewed this by hand too.

I then backed it in a lovely bright blue by sewing them right sides together, trimming it, turning out and then hand sewing the hole shut. I then ironed on my little “made by Autnie Emma” label, which my niece designed on the Dutch Label Shop.

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It was so well received and totally worth it, my sister absolutely loved it and I know it will be an heirloom forever, which will carry a little bit of my Nana with it.

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Until I get another bright idea like this, I will definitely be sticking to machine sewing!

Kielo Wrap Dress

Hi everyone,

I have seen soooo many Keilo dresses in my research before making this dress, but I’m so pleased with my recent make, that I had to show it off.

The kielo wrap dress looks like it would be unshapely and has a really odd shape, however, due to the amazing long ties, which are cleverly concealed within the seams of the dress, it wraps exactly at the waist, taking the fabric around you and creating a lovely, flattering, silhouette.

The Kielo is made to be a maxi dress, however, I know for past experience, that I rarely end up wearing a full-length dress so I shortened it significantly to a knee-length dress. I found that due to the shape, it requires quite a lot of fabric but I did expect this. I bought some lovely, crackle look black jersey from Sewlicious and went ahead.

Picture of Metallic Bronze Gold Splashes on Black - Jersey Fabric

There are surprisingly few pieces to cut, just the front and back and the ties, though I cut the back in two pieces due to fabric restraints. I also included sleeves as I don’t like to not have sleeves. Named Clothing have released sleeves to go with this and I couldn’t be bothered printing them out but I used my familiar Moneta dress sleeves and it worked perfectly.

The dress calls for darts at the bust and the back. I have rarely sewed darts in jersey and found it a bit challenging to be honest but it was completed and I continued. I inserted the sleeves and everything else on the flat, which is my favourite way to sew and then you essentially sew up the sides. Easy. The neckline is simply folded and sewn as a hem.

When I make this again (there will be an again) I will lower the bust darts slightly and I would also lower and round-off the neckline but I love it. I cannot believe I left it this long to make it!

This was a good choice of fabric by the way, it feels really glamourous whilst still being a jersey and I love it!

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Tamsyn Top

Hi everyone,
On the advice and recommendations of the lovely people over on Instagram, I’ve decided to update with a blog post. I haven’t been writing more recently, for a few reasons; I wasn’t actually sure that people were reading them, I have actually remade quite a few garments recently and it seems silly to blog them again and I have also done quite a bit of Christmas sewing.

However, I have recently made the Tamsyn Top that was free with Simply Sewing Managzine in Issue 46, back in August. It would appear that, like me, many sewcialists look up Instagram and blog posts before they attempt patterns themselves and it seems that it is only fair that I give back.

Simply Sewing Tamsyn Top sewing pattern

On that note, the Tamsyn top is a simple, tunic style blouse with long sleeves and cuffs. There are no alternative options. I think the version on the packet is really nice and would love to replicate one like it. However, I had this lovely fabric called Ladies Faces from Sewalicious and wanted to use the simple lines of this pattern to show it off.

There are no darts and I was unsure about how to complete a Full Bust Allowance because of this but I lined it up with a pattern piece I knew fit me and it seemed OK. The body of the top comes together really easily… then it gets tricky, well not tricky, just more tricky than the simple tunic top would suggest, I feel. First of all, it requires set in sleeves. Eurgh, my nemesis… though, I think I’m getting better at that. Then you have to gather the bottoms of the sleeves to fit within a cuff, which creates a lovely, lose shape but is rather fiddly.

You complete an all-in-one collar for this blouse, which needed lots of clipping at the curves to sit nicely. It also makes the pattern quite fabric hungry as you have to cut it on quite a large curve and the sleeves are pretty meaty too! It was a complete fluke but I’m pleased that there are no faces in the pieces that I cut for this, as it wouldn’t look right.

The pattern gives the option for tassels, having never made tassels before, I tootled off to research this and easily followed this photo on Pinterest, incidentally, if you love a bit of Pinterest, follow me here. The tassles are simple tacked in before you make the collar.DIY Crafts :  How to make a yarn tassel

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I’m really pleased with it, I think it’s a really relaxed fit, if not, a bit out there but it’s perfect with black jeans for a day exploring. I would make this blouse again, but only when I’m in the mood to try that collar.

Ness and Nora

I finally have my sewing room back and although I left a few projects and plans in my to-do box, in the said sewing room, I thought I would restart my sewing with an exciting new project and Tilly’s new patterns seemed ideal. I immediately fell in love with the Ness and didn’t think I would bother with the Nora top but as part of the launch, they were bundled together so I went with both.

I bought the patterns from Sew Me Sunshine along with a beautiful thick, striped jersey for the top. I then treated myself to a pink Cord from Sewalicious. I’m not usually a pink girl but I thought this Skirt would be fab in this colour and they would go really well together. I also bought a super cute little bee iron-on for the top.

Nora: this top is a super satisfying and quick make. I am so glad that I decided to go with it. I don’t work much with stripes so paying attention to the stripe matching, it still only took me about an hour of sewing time. Perfect for me. The sleeves are super easy to sew and a really relaxed style. I thought the style might be a little lose for me but I’m really pleased with the result.

 

 

I have since made another in waffle jersey from Sew Me Sunshine, which I’m in love with. I couldn’t resist a patch for this one either. I’ve been getting my patches from Koo Style and they’re a great way to brighten a garment!

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Ness: The Ness Skirt is a jean style skirt, which would work well in denim as well as cord. I love that the pattern comes with little tips, for example, it tells you to use a lower tension when sewing through cord and I really found this helped. As the skirt is like a traditional denim-style skirt, it has lots of jean-type elements in it. Such as the pockets, which I lined with this fabulous Beauty and The Beast fabric, I’ve been stashing. I also happened to be working on my pockets on the day that Tilly released the free coin pocket, so I added that too.

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The fly zip comes with a very detailed and easy to follow video, thank goodness, as I thought it was tricky and definitely out of my comfort zone. I say this a lot but I love that there are always new skills to learn in sewing. Anyway, I’m quite pleased with the way it turned out and I would like to try it again at some point.

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The waistband was pretty simple after this and I then added 5 little belt hooks, it is little details like this which I would usually leave out but I’m so glad I didn’t! I’ve enjoyed taking this skirt as a really slow sew and I have worked through it in stages.

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I am so pleased with the way the two have gone together and I definitely think that Ness and Nora are a match made in heaven. What do you think?

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One Week One Pattern 2018

Hi everyone,

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. You know how life is, super busy and mine is also currently filled with Christmas sewing!

Anyway, having not successfully taken part in a instagram, Sewing related challenge, I decided to give One Week One Pattern #owop18 a go. Originally a Tilly and the buttons venture, it has been valiantly ran by the lovely Sheona at Sewisfaction this year. The idea, of course, is that you make the most out of you patterns and wear the same pattern every day for a week.

I obviously turned to my trusty Moneta, which I have made several times as many of you will know. It turns out that I don’t actually have 7 though… So this was a perfect reason to sew a couple more! They are so quick.

Monday: I’ve used some Black Jersey from Pound Fabrics to whip an easy one up. I lowered the back neckline slightly and extended the sleeve length to full length. I pleated the fabric at once centimetre intervals instead of gathering, using a cheaper fabric as an excuse to experiment and it has worked brilliantly. Every girl needs a comfy black dress.

Tuesday: I wore my Paisley Moneta which I wear a lot. Now I’ve been sewing a while, it’s made me realise how long the clothes you make can last. I made this in summer 2017 and it’s still going strong.

Wednesday: I made this version last christmas. I used a block burgundy colour for the top and a ditzy, black Jersey for the bottom, which gives it a different look again and is a perfect stash buster.

Thursday: this was my second weekend owop make. I used another border print jersey from Ebay. I tried to use the border print to my advantage. I made the skirt much longer; it’s midcalf. I also extended the sleeve length, an easy but satisfying hack. I also lowered the neckline and used to strips to make a cris cross effect at the back.

Friday: This is my version in brushed Jersey, which is beautifully super soft from Sew Me Sunshine. This is the original pattern, with pockets.

Please see over on instagram for the daily updates.

Whilst I’m showing my Monetas, I though I would share a few tips from my experience. I always add an inch to the inside of the neckline because otherwise you end up showing your bra. I personally lengthen the bodice an inch so it doesn’t finish too low under my bust. I always overlock my neckline before I sew so that I can turn it under neatly.

I’ve loved watching everyone take part and feel really inspired by the way people have used the patterns they love in different ways. Thanks to Sheona for organising. If you want to see more Monetas, Amy also chose Monetas for their Owop.

Sunshine Rosie Dress

Today’s dress is another Cotton and Chalk Rosie Dress. This will be the third time I have made this dress and I don’t want to bore anyone but I also want to show off the sunshiny loveliness of this dress. It’s a super flattering pattern as it has a V-neck and a middle panel, which adds shape.

This and the last one I made are a far cry from my first one and I feel it really showcases how far I have come in terms of the fit of my garments. My first did not fit at all, it was badly made and I didn’t know how to change it. Fast forward 18 months and I’m able to change the fit of my garments so much more to fit me.

I decided to leave this one sleeveless, both due to fabric restrictions and the fact that I have to accept that I needed some sleeveless dresses in the warm weather for my holidays! I used this lovely yellow block print cotton from Sew Me Sunshine and because of the wide skirt, two metres was just enough to make it.

I did not make my own binding because I did not have enough fabric so I used some plain yellow in my stash. I love binding my necklines so I love a pattern which actually plans for it even more! I also used it to finish the arm holes.

I used clear elastic to gather the skirt, which is my favourite way to get lovely, even gathers, I have written a tutorial for this over on Sew Me Sunshine and I use bias binding to finish the hem to give neat finish.

I don’t make much in yellow but it’s beautiful and bright and I absolutely love it. Sorry for the holiday pictures but I thought it might brighten autumn up a bit as I definitely wouldn’t be wearing this now! 😔

By the way, my amazing necklace in a Jazzy Lapin design for Sewalicious. It’s amazing!

I’ll be there for you… For Sewing the Scene 2018

I love the #sewingthescene challenge which Jo (the unfinished seamstress) organises over on instagram. I think it is a brilliant way to be inspired. I find it really gets creativity going and I have a pinterest board dedicated to it, if anyone is interested.

I made an outfit inspired by Louisa Clarke from Me Before You last year and replicated it as closely as I could.

This year, I have used a bit more creative license as I was inspired by 90s Rachel Green from friends (the first series!) I knew what I wanted but it turns out that Rachel didn’t wear a dress like the one I have created but I would like to think that with all her tartan and pinafore wearing during the 90s, it could easily fit in her wardrobe (assuming she went up about 6 dress sizes of course!) I took these two elements and created my ideal pinafore dress.

I got some tartan from Ebay and used the Tilly and the buttons, cleo. I have made this twice previously and once for my brother’s girlfriend. It meant I could make some adjustments, to taper it in a little at my waist. I made it slightly longer than my previous versions too.

My favourite part of my Navy version is the big pocket so I added one to this, being careful to pattern match. I love sewing with squared fabric like this as it makes matching and hemming etc really easy. Anyway, the dress comes together super quickly. I added buttonholes and buttons instead of the pinafore fastenings and I was done.

I styled it with a black tee, black tights and ankle boots and my new Sewing Club pin badge from the gorgeous Sew in the Garden for a weekend trip to the garden centre. A Cleo is just perfect weekend wear!

Hubby always make me laugh!

recently went to Friendsfest with my sister and wish I could’ve wore this but it didn’t exist yet!! However, I am still happy that this would fit quite nicely in Central Perk!

Bedsheet fashion

Hi everyone,
Thank you so so much for all of your entries in to my bloggiversary giveaway. I had over 100 entries, which was really exciting! Anyway, the winner is @ceri.luna over on instagram. She wins 2 metres of Cotton Lawn from Sew Me Sunshine and pin badge from Pink Coat Club!
Now, this week’s blog post! Moving house has meant that I’ve had a bit of a Sewing stash cull. I’ve done quite a bit of clearing out and been quite firm with myself about what I will realistically make. It has made me be quite specific in my planning and I’m quite enjoying it.
Today’s make is Mccalls 7314, made with red and black checked brushed cotton, which was a bed sheet I bought from a charity shop (still in it’s packaging) and I knew I wanted a shirt dress straight away. It just looked so autumnal. The pattern has caught my eye quite a few times and although there’s quite a few indie companies with lovely shirt dresses, the fact that this was made for differing cup sizes did it for me. I could picture the kind of dress that I wanted and this was perfect.

Image result for mccalls 7314
I toiled the dress in a viscose and found that the darts and waistline sat way too high for me, so I have lengthened the bodice by about 3 inches. I made view D with the quarter length sleeves and cuffs. I included the pockets but made no other changes. It has a full collar and a really gathered skirt but quite a relaxed fit.
I’m really enjoying making some more complicated garments. I feel perfecting the collar and collar stand of shirts and shirt dresses is definitely a skill I need to keep working on. I have a few more shirt dresses in mind too as they are perfect for work.
I wore this to a Spice Girls exhibition in Manchester with my sister. I broke my personal fashion rule number 1 – “You should not wear tights if there is an R in the month” but it’s cold in England suddenly and this Autumnal dress definitely called for tights.

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Next week’s post is my Sewing the Scene entry, so look out for that!

2 year Bloggiversary and Giveaway!

Hi everyone,

It is so hard to believe it has been 2 years since I started my blog. I feel like I’ve abandoned it slightly recently and I hate that because I know when I read blogs and they suddenly tail off, it makes me sad. Fear not… It’s only temporary as I have been moving and trying to keep up with my masters at the same time. I am more in love with making my own clothes than ever and my machine has been unpacked so keep on watching this space.

Anyway, last year’s anniversary blog post went so well that I decided to do another one. I wanted to use it to make a popular pattern that I have not yet made and I chose the TATB Bettine.

As a firm fan of Sew Me Sunshine, I wanted to use their fabric to celebrate and the gorgeous Harriet said she would sponsor my giveaway- amazing! Anyway, I chose this gorgeous Jungle tropics cotton lawn and got started. I quite literally had to get my machine out of it’s box and dust it down.

I’ve been a bit skeptical about the Bettine as I wasn’t sure it would suit my figure. I thought it might not be flattering for a bigger bust but it is just so popular that I was ready to give it a go. I cut the size 8 and added about an inch to the front bodice for ease. As it’s an all in one piece with no darts it’s tricky to do a proper FBA but I just added it to the centre and did the same for the skirt but graded down. Anyway, the all in one bodice made it pretty easy to sew up so it’s pretty good. True to celebratory form, I added all the extras, making the cuffs and little tabs.

The bottoms half is a little different to construct because of the big pockets but as usual Tilly has it covered and they came together wonderfully, with neat finishes all round. Then all there is to do is sew the middle seam and add the elastic. There’s no tricky fastenings and it sewed it up in about an hour an a half. I thought it would be pretty fabric hungry too but it uses less than 2 metres and less still if you leave out or contrast the pockets. I kind of feel that I should have chosen something slightly more challenging for my bloggiversary but I love it.

When I put it on, I still wasn’t convinced about the shape and resorted to be trusty belt but then I went with it and oh my actual goodness, nothing could be comfier and I actually felt pretty nice in it. I wore it to a family gathering and it was perfect for the occasion. I will definitely be making more so any hack suggestions would be appreciated.

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I styled it with my brogues and another seamstress Pin. I have them in every colour and the lovely Joy of Pink Coat Club is giving one away to celebrate!

Anyway, no celebration would be complete without a good giveaway so… To be in with the chance to winning 2 metres of Cotton lawn from Sew Me Sunshine, AND a pin of your choice from Pink Coat Club make sure you follow me on here and comment below. For an additional entry, head over to instagram and make sure you’re following me and Sew Me Sunshine and Pink Coat Club and comment over there too. I am so so grateful for these lovely ladies for sponsoring my giveaway.

T&Cs:You will be able to chose 2 metres of Cotton Lawn from Sew Me Sunshine, which will be sent directly from them. You will be able to chose 1 pin from Pink Coat Club, which will be sent directly from them. No private accounts or accounts solely used for giveaways will be entered.

The giveaway entries end Thursday 30th August 2018 at midnight British time. And it will be drawn and announced in my post on Friday 31st August. Good luck everyone!

Datura/Lily Hack dress

Hi everyone,

I’m hear to share one of my favourite makes in a long time! I did a real and quite proper hack using the Datura top pattern from Deer and Doe and the Lily Dress from Simple Sew.

First the fabrics; I used a yellow linen from my stash, which I got quite cheaply from Ebay and this beautiful viscose linen which I got as a remnant from Sew Me Sunshine. I used the yellow linen for the neckline only, to make it pop and also to make my remnant stretch further (not that we admit to things like this!) I also used it to make plenty of bias binding for the neckline and sleeves.

Anyway, I did the hack by cutting just the top section of the Datura top which comes to just above the darts in yellow. I should point out that I have done several toiles of the Datura already as the pattern doesn’t actually go up to my size (here is not the time or place for a rant about that!) Anyway, I then folded the dress piece for the Lilly Dress so that it lined up with the top piece. I made sure that all the darts remained and that the arm holes would be big enough. I then proceeded to cut the rest of the dress as usual in the lovely viscose linen.

I completed the facings for the neckline and then attached it to the bottom half of the bodice. I made bias binding, which is not something I relish but a necessity for this garment. A few people have commented that the neckline looks difficult, which was my first instinct but it’s well instructed and surprisingly easy and very very satisfying!! It just needs a lot of pins!

Once the top half was done, I decided to change up the bottom too! I drafted a quick contrast pocket in the yellow first. The Lily Dress has a gathered skirt but I decided to do pleats in line with the darts on the bodice. I’m actually amazing that I managed to pull this off because I was winging it but I just pinned everywhere and then hand tacked the darts where they should be! I think it gives shape but is a little bit more sleek.

I am so happy with the finished product. It’s a great fit and so bright and cheerful. I wore it out to dinner with my lovely hubby at Vilamoura, which is a beautiful marina in Portugal.

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