Puffin Kalle Shirt

Hi everyone,

Today, I showcase another Closet Case Patterns Kalle Shirt. This is my fourth version of this brilliantly reliable and casual pattern. I made very few changes to the pattern, as it’s a loose fit, you don’t have to worry too much about fitting and it works a treat. For my previous versions, see here, here and here.

I made the shirt version, which is super easy as it has grown on sleeves. I used the cuffs and the cropped collar. I cut the front shorter and the back long to give a high/low hem, which I really like the look of. To do this simply, I just overlock the sides and hem then when I sew the sides, I split it and turn the hem up in a neat curve. I used a full placket as, if I’m honest, I struggled to get the pop over placket perfect on previous versions.

Also, worth mentioning that if I made another, I would use an inverted pleat rather than an outward one as I have here, I just think it looks nicer.

I bought this cute puffin cotton from Sewing Quarter because I’ve wanted puffin fabric forever as they love just on the little Farne Islands across from where we stay in Northumberland!

The fabric was great to work with because it’s a nice, soft cotton and even better because the puffins face two ways so I didn’t have to worry to much about the direction I was cutting the fabric. I even made my own buttons with the little puffin heads, because, how could you not?!

I wore this in Northumberland, especially because it is meant to represent my holidays for me.

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!

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!

Getting Shirty for Santa

I’ll start this post by a bit of an explanation of my family dynamic,  I’m the eldest but so far from the coolest of 3 siblings,  my brother and sister are and always have been a billion times cooler than I will ever be and although they love me and we are so lucky to be as close as we are as a family, they consider me to be a complete geek…  Rightly so to be honest and it isn’t a title that I shun. Andrew, my brother, doesn’t usually find my home-made clothes very on trend,  until more recently as I’ve started to get better anyway. When he noticed this, he told me that if I made him a shirt, he would wear it so…  The challenge begun.

I bought Simplicity 6232 Shirt Pattern and cut a small in a lovely dove grey cotton and begun. I didn’t want to get overwhelmed by all the parts so I bought plenty of cotton so I could recut if anything went terribly wrong and tried to take a step by step approach. I really wouldn’t have been able to do it without this tutorial from Male Devon Sewing, it’s a fantastic tutorial and it made the whole thing much easier.  I did also follow this video from Sew Over It when it came to the yoke as I messed up the last one I did. I was doubtful the whole time, until I turned it out and it had only gone and worked!!

I used this brilliant Downton Abbey Fabric for a nice,  manly contrast, even though it is called Dowager Grey Paisley! I used it on the collar, cuffs, yoke and inside the pocket.

dsc_0123.jpgIt all seemed to be going so well and I didn’t have the ‘this doesn’t look right’ feeling but that was such a mistake, as it turned out that I had turned the packets in instead of out. I didn’t realise this until I came to the collar and it was about 1 and a half inches too short on each side. So…  I unpicked the right side and had to do the left side again as I had already done the button holes (gggrrr) Anyway, that solved that, so I moved on. I was dreading the collar but I felt it went really well as I followed the instructions and the tutorial. I found doing the button holes really therapeutic,  which was a good job as I did them twice! I chose these really cool metal buttons to go with it, I wasn’t sure whether they would look cheap or trendy but I decided on the latter.. My father-in-law pointed out that they look like little screws.

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The next problem I came up against was the cuffs,  I couldn’t get them to line up well and they just weren’t really up to standard,  I ummed and ahhed and then unpicked the lot and started again..  I’m glad I did though as it was unwearable with the original cuffs. They look quite neat now and I decided to use more on the contrast fabric the second time round.

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I’m really pleased with it,  this is easily the most complicated garment I’ve ever made and it was a great learning curve. I was really pleased to end a year in which I’ve been learning to sew with a big project like this. I’m very proud of it and Andrew liked it too, which is fantastic. They’ll be no pictures of him wearing it though as he is VERY camera shy!

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