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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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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Buzzing about my Kalle Shirt

Not to sound like a broken record… but life is busy at the minute. I am determined that my blog will continue through all the business as it is my little bit of me. It does mean that I’m getting behind and I’m not able to keep up with the sewing challenges the same as I usually would… so on that note I give you Sew My Style’s March entry… in April!

The Kalle shirt dress is one of the reasons I wanted to try the Sew My Style challenge because I had my eye on the pattern anyway.

I wasn’t sure on the sizing as I have never made a Closet Case Pattern before so I decided to toile it first. I chose a denim look linen which I got from Sew Sew Sew last year. There are so many pieces to cut out for the Kalle, which is one of the reasons I took so long to make it. I thought putting together the PDF was never going to end! Anyway, once I had my million pieces, I chose the pop over placket and tunic length (it’s great that there’s so many variations). I’ll share my toile soon as I’m waiting on some poppers to finish it! My toile was a success so I decided to use the beautiful Kokka Trefle Bee Cotton Gauze I bought last year.

For this I chose the button front and the tunic length but I changed it a little. I’m not a facings lover at all so when I saw that it had facings for the hem (literally never seen anything like those before) I promptly completely ignored them. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get around it but in the end I overlocked the bottom and turn it over once. I find this is a really successful way of hemming curves and it looks really neat. It worked really well on my toile so I repeated it on my second version and even hacked it so I could have a high low hem.

Anyway, here she is, I’m really happy with the fit. The instructions were great! I’m happy with it and the buttons were from my stash; it’s amazing what a perfect match they are. The length is maybe a little short at the front but I love it!

Perfect buttons!

She has not disappointed AND… I think I have FINALLY found my ultimate go-to blouse pattern after I have made soooo many in my search for the one! Did I mention, I love it! See you soon with another!

Mia Set

I’ve been making attempts to get through my to-do box before getting distracted by some of the lovely fabrics you may have seen in my last post.

The Mia set which came with Simply Sewing Magazine last July, tempted me straight away and I used this unusual fabric I got for a bargain on eBay. I thought it would look really cool as it’s quite a wacky fabric but the pattern is quite simple apart from the sleeves. I have shown this over on Youtube already but I wanted to give a few more details.

I cut it out straight away. Due to fabric restrictions, I only cut one of the two optional sleeve pieces which make the fluted look at the ends. Then… I got distracted and it sat in my to do box until I have been off over Christmas! I felt it was about time I showed it some love!

So, out it came! It’s a really quick sew so it was a travesty that it remained untouched for so long but at least it meant that I could use my overlocker so the whole thing looks so much more professional. I was able to overlock the curved edge of the sleeve and fold it over to hem it, it’s such an easy way to hem curves. It has a simple shape like a shift dress, with darts from the arm hole to the bust and that’s it. I would definitely give the dress version a go at some point.

The sleeve options are either, one big circular sleeve or two flutes which are smaller. I only used one of the smaller pieces as I thought two might be a little much in this fabric.

The set comes with no fastenings but with the option for a small opening the back, I chose to ignore this and cut the back piece on the fold. Similarly, I ignored the facings (as I usually do) and used bias binding. I cut the fabric to use the border along the bottom so all that was left was to use the lines in the border print to do a quick hem and I’ve got a simple top with fluted sleeves, which I love! Other than the border print, I have kept the pattern placement random as I think with a fabric like this you just need to just go with the flow.

I wore this over Christmas and on a day out to Carlisle with my husband. He, as always, completed his marital duties on being my photographer in chief. I am a little travel creased though, I’m afraid!

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Simple Sew Pussy-bow Blouse

Well, I think I may have found it – it has taken several  blouse making attempts (here, here and here, to name a few!) and a lot of frustration but I appear to have actually made a blouse which has the perfect fit!

It is the simple Sew Pussy-bow dress and blouse and I’ve had it cut out since before summer. I had a bit of a to-do pile sort out and brought this to the top and I’m so glad that I did!

The pattern is (as the name suggests) really simple. The instructions are minimalist and when I was first learning, I couldn’t really access the Simple Sew patterns for that reason but I find them really easy and convenient to follow now! It has several darts, at the front and the back, which lend for a really nice shape. There’s no pulling across the chest and it doesn’t feel uncomfortable at all.

After making New Look 6471 recently and having huge problems with the neckline, I found the way that the neckline comes together really clever. You sew it all right sides together and then turn it out on itself through a hole in the back of the neckline which you then hand stitch shut. It makes for a really easy way to do it.

The pattern calls for a side zip insertion, which I’m definitely getting better at (still to master that invisible zip though)

And… that’s it. I chose this fabric especially from my local market and although I’m not much of a pink person, I just thought it was really cheerful and i’m really pleased with it. I’m thinking a nice, simple black version would look really chic for my next attempt at this! It’s a dress too so I might even make that version.

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Sewing the Scene

Just when I was in a post Indie Pattern Month dip, in which I won amazing prizes for my dress and my wanted Tee and Culottes combination, I noticed the #sewingthescene challenge which Jo at The Unfinished Seamstress has organised. I talked about all the challenges in my last vlog post

The idea behind the challenge is that you copy an outfit to be worn every day (not a costume) based on an outfit you have seen in a film or TV programme. There are prizes in three categories.

I have found this ridiculously inspiring. I’ve been scouring the Internet and pinterest (see my film outfit inspiration board here if you’re interested). My original thoughts were from the following:

But in my searching I got over these ideas a little bit and was lusting over the amazing outfits that Louisa wears in Me Before You.

I’m sure lots of people are using this character as inspiration but I couldn’t resist! I decided on this deceptively simple blouse and skirt combination. I’m quite keen to hone my shirt making skills so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity. Plus, it’s practical, I could easily wear both items separately and without the tights of course! I’m also obviously hoping that I will look like her when I’m done…

 I had a rummage through my pattern stash for something which would fit the bill for the blouse and found Simplicity 6232 which I had used to make my brother a shirt last Christmas  so I had never used the female version. I cut it out and used a white cotton from my stash (this challenge was getting better and better – I hadn’t spent anything at this point!)

I tried really hard to be super precise in my cutting and as I was constructing it, everything came together really easily. I find with some garments, I don’t have to follow the instructions too much now, but I followed this to the letter and it seemed to pay off, I’ve got neat plackets and cuffs anyway (sewing win!)

Trying to stay true to Louisa’s outfit I went against my inner embellisher and kept it plain white, but I couldn’t resist throwing in a contrast yoke! I used this lovely bird print which was in my stash, which reminds me of a China cup.

Anyway, the shirt doesn’t have any buttons showing along the placket and I wasn’t sure how I could replicate this so I got out my trusty popper gadget and I inserted poppers along the inside of the placket before I attached it so that they couldn’t be seen on the outside. Then, once I had finished the shirt I inserted the poppers for the other side.

I’m going to try this blouse again with some funky iron-on embellishments like this shirt I saw somewhere online on a website called Shein…. So cheap I don’t trust it but still a good shirt! 

For the skirt – I looked around to try and source a fabric for the skirt which would lend itself to big deep pleats, like in the picture. I couldn’t find anything which stood out so I reverted to an indigo cotton. I self-drafted a skirt and used lots of fabric to insert big box pleats. The fabric isn’t the same blue as in the picture sadly but I like it.

All that was left to do was dig out my black and yellow tights and I had my Sewing the Scene outfit.

Trying to get yellow tights shot!

Are you planning on joining this challenge? Even if you aren’t, I definitely recommend using film and TV wardrobes for inspiration. There’s  so much out there! Thanks so much to Jo for organising!

Dragonfly Blouse

I bought this amazing Dragonfly fabric from the lovely ladies over at Sewalicious when they had a sale on. It’s a lovely thick crepe and I was lucky enough to receive a bit extra as it was the end of the bolt.

I’m still on my never ending hunt for a go to blouse and let me tell you- I haven’t found it in my pattern choice for the blouse, I’m afraid. New Look K6471 came with this month’s Sew Magazine. I don’t subscribe to it so I bought the magazine because I liked the look of the pattern. It is a Raglan sleeve style blouse with two sleeve options and two neckline options. It also has two hem options, straight and with a drop back hem. The drape neckline (View A) looked perfect for this gorgeous drapey fabric so it seemed a match made in heaven.

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The fabric isn’t directional so I didn’t have to worry too much about the positioning of the pattern pieces. The neckline needs a very long piece and to accommodate for this I decided to do shorter sleeves. I opted for cutting the sleeves at a three quarter length instead.

Because the sleeves are made to be gathered in to a cuff at the end it meant that the pattern pieces were really wide – to  compensate for this I made a wide (1 inch) hem at the bottom and inserted elastic which was comfortable around my arm. This pulled the fabric in without the need to fashion a cuff piece.

The rest of the garment was pretty easy to construct – I have since tried to Simple Sew Pussy-bow blouse and I much prefer their way of attaching the neckband – this seems a little fiddly. If you are going to try it – I definitely recommend that you press your seam allowances before attaching the neck piece.

My facings (usually officially hated) are starting to become a lot more bearable now I have my overlocker and all my edges are nice and neat. It has made me so much more confident about working with these types of fabrics because I know that it will look neat and not fray.

Now on to the problem – The neckline – as you can probably see is supposed to be drapey and relaxed. However, it did not look right at all; the fabric wasn’t sitting right, I’m not sure whether this was because I didn’t cut well enough along the grainline.


Anyway, I shared this disaster on Instagram and on reflection decided to just fold the neckline in on itself so it was more like a collar. I pressed it in half and sewed it in place. I think and hope you will agree that it is much better like this! I’m still not 100% convinced though, which is annoying when I had such high hopes for this make. What do you think? I have considered unpicking the entire neckline!

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Simplicity Turns 90

It’s amazing to think that Simplicity have been helping sewers to create their own style for years. I feel like a real newbie in comparison as I’ve only been sewing properly for a year! I noticed the Simplicity Summer Challenge too late last year and I hadn’t been sewing long so I was super keen to get involved this year!

Anyone who knows me or reads my blog knows that I’m a Dressmaker above all else. I make other garments (avoiding trousers like the plague) but I mainly make dresses SO I assumed I would opt for Dressmaker but I loved the styling of the 8342 pattern so I chose that instead, which is for the Vintage Category. I absolutely love that they included a plus size model on the front of this pattern.

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I talked about my fabric choices on my vlog and I decided to combine two fabrics for the skirt after many people suddenly they would work well together and I’m really glad I did.

I opted for the larger of the pattern options which is sizes 20 to 28 to give me a bit of wiggle room (literally) but my measurements meant I had to cut a 26 which seemed odd. Anyway, the pattern comes together really nicely, like most of the Simplicity patterns I’ve used. I followed the instructions for an amazing lapped zip! I’ve never done one before and I was really chuffed with it. I usually have to check in to YouTube too but not for this. Hooray!!

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The fabric was a dream to sew too. The check fabric frayed more easily so it was a bit tricky to gather but I’m glad I preserved with it. The frill goes upwards at the back of the skirt to produce a great feature. I love a wiggle skirt and this one is perfect for me!

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The pattern calls for 6 buttons but I was going to omit them, then I remembered these black vintage bead type buttons I got from Tin Trunk, a vintage place near me and used them. Vintage style makes need Vintage notions.

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The top was a real worry for me but I wanted to make the whole outfit for Simplicity’s celebration. I was worried it would make me look busty and I’m also don’t like not having sleeves. I bought a plain mustard jersey to pick out the yellow tones in the skirt and with the hope that it would allow the pattern of the skirt to take the emphasis away from my chest!

The instructions for it were really easy again and it makes for a really satisfying sew that has a bit more about it than a plain vest or Tshirt.

Two things I had to alter were to take the straps in by a good 5 inches, or else it would have been ridiculous. I also hand sewed the hole under the knot together with a ladder stitch as otherwise I would have been too uncomfortable.

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I’m pleased the top fits well around my bust, usually patterns and RTW dresses or tops which have separate pieces for the bust don’t fit me, but this fits perfectly across my chest.

I shouldn’t have worried about the shape because I actually think it’s quite flattering, though I still don’t like showing my arms. I would love to be able to do a sleeve hack and still keep the knot detail.

Anyway, that’s all the construction details. I wore them together as intended and I love it, it makes me feel very feminine and definitely has an immediate Vintage feel. I hope that it’s pretty flattering.

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The other thing I love about these two garments is that they can be worn separately too. I put my top with a RTW black pencil skirt and cardi.

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I put my skirt with a RTW wrap grey body but it will go with lots in my wardrobe!

I can’t wait to see how everyone else has interpreted this pattern! I’ll be having a good nosey over on instagram this weekend!

Varda Top

The Christine Haynes Varda dress/top pattern had me persuaded to buy it because it has some magnificent pictures of the different versions people have made. I saw them on instagram and I was hooked. I already have the Ultimate Shift Dress pattern and use it regularly as you will see here and here but they had a sale and I had to have it.

I mentioned on my first vlog that I intended to make it as a top with this lovely light blue linen that the lovely Simona over at Adventures in the Attick sent me. It was probably about a metre and I knew I wouldn’t get the sleeves out of it so I used the cap sleeve pattern which come with the Ultimate Shift Dress and made them instead.

It’s another super reliable and quick pattern. It has more shape the the Sew Over It pattern as it has really deep side darts and darts in the back so I think the Varda could quickly replace it as a go to shift pattern. I sometimes feel I needed a bit more shape with it and often found I wore belts with the dress so I think this will offer more shape for me.

I got the the zip insertion and decided to use a patterned Zip (I don’t know the of official name of it!)  on impulse which is exposed. I love the effect this has on an otherwise simple shift top (I think I have issues keeping the things I make plain!)

I’m really happy with it, especially the sleeves which end up lined so it has a really nice finish. I followed the same steps as with the Rebecca Page Riviera Blouse which I have made twice and used a bias binding to encase the raw edge and give a neat finish, which is pretty hard to photograph! 

I wore it with RTW white jeans from Marks and Spencers and a statement necklace. I felt like it gave me a really relaxed and chilled look. You will note I have still not got my act together and made my own trousers or jeans yet! 


 


I will definitely use this pattern again and intend the make the dress version next, maybe in black as I think that would make a great wardrobe staple.

Giveaway Announcement and a Hacked Orla

As many of you will already know the winner of the Bloggiversary Giveaway was: Lynsey of Lynsey Makes

Congratulations to you Lynsey  and I’ll be in contact soon. She wins this lovely bundle: thank you again to Sheona at Sewisfaction for donating the gorgeous fabric. 

Thank you so so much to everyone who supported this. I was so overwhelmed with the amount of kind and supportive comments I had. Let’s hope it can be even bigger next year! 

Anyway, back to what I do best… The blog. 

Today’s make a a very hacked version of the French Navy Orla Dress. It actually looks nothing like an Orla Dress anymore. I find the pattern a really good block to change around so I’ll talk you through what I did. 

I used this gorgeous Cotton Lawn that I got in a Fabric Swap at Sew Up North, I’m really pleased that I’ve hardly stashed anything I got from Sew Up North. I’ve been slowly working my way through them. I made a collage of the fabrics and I’ve been updated it with my makes on instagram so you can see the fabrics I have used! 

Anyway, the pattern -I extended the bodice to curve round and make a top. I used another pattern to make some darts and treated it as a T-shirt. 

I then lowered the back neckline to above my bra strap by putting a bra on my Suzie Dressmaker doll and pinning it when it wanted it to sit. I then used the fabric to make two long straps (so therapeutic!) and pinned them to either side of the back neckline before attaching the bias binding. I think it adds a really cool feature. 

Finally, I lengthened the sleeves to three quarter length and attached them. There isn’t a lot of gather in the sleeves of the Orla which I really like. There you have it; I have a casual, comfy top with an added detail which I love. 

I will definitely use the Orla to create more personal garments. These may be some of the last pictures from my holiday, which makes me sad but it’s such a beautiful place for them. At least it means not more pictures of me in shorts for you lovely people! 

I also wore it for my first ever vlog which has also been really well supported so thanks so much, you can find my channel here.

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swarm of chickadees

a sewing blog with a nonsense title

Zoe Sews

A blog about my sewing adventures

all my own work by ann

Sewing and textiles with Ann

Fa Sew La

My adventures in sewing a handmade wardrobe.

Doctor T Designs

Clothing, Costumes, and Crafts

craftysarahsews

Selfish sewing and creative adventures in Leicester

applebymakes

Stuff that our family has made

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