Sunday, 29 June 2014

Time for the Endless Summer Tunic.

I saw this pattern on the fancytiger blog and it had been made by Jaime in a lovely hemp cotton fabric and the shape of the Endless summer tunic appealed to me.  Summer holidays are just around the corner, everything is much more laid back and easy-going in July and August, so I thought it would be a useful dress to have.

I had been tempted to some fabric purchases from misformake and really fancied trying the Brussels Washer fabric which is a linen/rayon mix by Robert Kaufman.  The one I chose is called 'brick', in reality it is quite a blueish red which I really like.

The Glastonbury look.
The pattern itself is a pdf pattern, easily assembled and overall very clear instructions.  The dress itself has a lovely V-neck with a faced yoke and gather details on the front shoulders and centre back. The front and back are both assembled in two panels and it has a lovely curved hem and the sleeves are finished in bias binding.

Facing of yoke.
There are no diagrams in the pattern but really they are not needed.  All of the steps are straightforward and very well explained.

Gathers at shoulder yoke.
I love the way the dress turned out, it will definitely be a holiday winner.  I think it would be a lovely comfy dress for travelling in.  Did I mention it also has in-seam pockets?  Perfect.

I tried a few different ways of wearing it just for fun.

With heels, maybe a tad short?
The Brussels Washer is quite lightweight and there is a risk of 'see through' so not really sure if I would wear it like this, might get away with it on hols.
Avec leggings & flat sandals.
And, of course, the Glastonbury look, although clearly not enough mud here.

Whatever way you wear it I would definitely give it a go.  I love it, it's so easy to wear, I might have to make another, so roll on an Endless summer.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

A Kwik Sew for the boys.

So after Me-Made-May there has been a strange period of itsy-bitsy unfinished sewing projects. My Peggy skirt is so nearly finished, I mean really it has taken a ridiculously long time.  All I have to do is make a buttonhole, sew on a button and hem it.  Soon, honest.  There have been other dabblings but disappointingly I haven't sewn anywhere near what I wanted to for summer, other things in life have just taken over.  However, it's not as if I don't have any clothes to wear, so it has to be put into perspective.

It is lovely in amongst all the skirt, dress, blouse desires to once in a while make something for one of my boys.  In this case it is the hubbie and a summery shirt.  This is actually the second time I have made this for him and he liked it so much last year, he requested another one.

The pattern is the Kwik Sew 3250 which I got from Sewbox which has a great range of patterns. Some of the Kwik Sew patterns might initially look slightly old-fashioned but I think a lot of the time it depends on your choice of fabric and your own 'interpretation' of the style.  This is only my second Kwik Sew pattern, but both have been for males and I found them great, very straightforward instructions and some nice wee touches, so I would highly recommend them.

So last years version was made in this handloom organic cotton bamboo mix and was great in very hot continental hot weather, very soft and cooling.  I was a bit short of time so used a similar fabric from which is a crossweave fabric called chirpy green, which I had in my stash.  I have used a lot of fabrics from this company now and personally I like them.  As the fabrics are handmade in a traditional way there may be marks which might look like flaws, but this is part of the nature of the fabric.  If you like this 'au naturel' look then you will like these fabrics.  The crossweave is slightly heavier and a bit more coarse than the bamboo cotton, but as we will be holidaying in the U.K.  I think it will be fine.

So this is Version C of the pattern, short sleeves, no collar and lots of practice of top-stitching, just in time for Father's Day. I would say it is a loose-fitting, very casual style ideal for those men who wear the tradional button up shirt and tie for work about 320 days of the year, like my hubbie does. Other male patterns to try might be the Colette Negroni or the range of patterns from Thread Theory Collection, there are a few in it I would like to try for my sons, which have a more modern edge.

So there you go, some selfless male sewing for a change.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Me-Made-May - the final week and a half.

So, was it just me or did May just fly by and, of course, Me-Made-May.  I only missed one day (unexpectedly had to stay with my dad as he had a fall) so that's not too bad.  I wore different things every day which does not reflect how I will be wearing my summer clothing.  It was an excuse to wear some things I hadn't worn in a while and also the first two weeks there were tail-end more wintery items which will be put away.  The idea, for me, is now to look at what I wore and decide on a capsule wardrobe for the months of June, July and August.  This I haven't done as yet, but will very soon so that will be for the next post.  So here are my final May outfits:

Day 22 - Colette Laurel & M & S trousers.

Wiksten Tova Tunic & black leggings.

Red bamboo jersey Briar & Tessuti Anita Ponte Trousers

Navy Camber top (Merchant & Mills)
Deer & Doe Chardon skirt
By Hand London Victoria blazer. 

Merchant & Mills Grandad Shirt (Tunic length)

Lisette Portfolio

Tessuti Laura Pants & bamboo jersey Sewaholic V-neck top

Top No 64 (Merchant & Mills)

Simplicity 1806 in Nani Iro Peaceful Cooing double gauze

Megan Nielson Banksia blouse in Liberty Travelling Threads Tana Lawn.
So most of my Me-Made items are tops or tunic dresses.  I have made some dresses, but most are jersey.  I have also made some trousers but again the easier type like jersey leggings or elastic waist linen trousers. I have only made one proper jacket (the By Hand London Victoria jacket) and it is slightly on the neat side.


1.  I do not need to make any more tops for a while, I have way too many really. (that's not to say I won't, of course)
2.  I need to attempt proper trouser making (although I do have those unfinished Clovers).  In particular I would like wide-leg linen trousers.
3.  Some hand-sewn cardigans would be a good addition, because I love knitting, I just seem to have less time at the moment to devote to stitch by stitch projects.
4.  I don't wear skirts all that much (maybe holidays) so probably shouldn't really be on my list of things to sew, but I keep being tempted by lovely patterns and indeed the Bluegingerdoll Peggy is almost finished.
5.  Most of my necklines are round - I should probably try some crossover styles, more shaping, wrap dresses and embrace my shape (haha)
6.  Even though I only started making my own clothes two years ago, I have made quite a lot, but let's be honest they don't all work, so I should be hard and get rid of those items.
7.  I would love to make a proper jacket or coat.  After all if I can make one for the hubbie, here, I should really be able to make one for myself.

But what a great experience taking part in Me-Made-May is and a great bunch of positive, lovely people.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I hope to share my summer capsule wardrobe next time (which I hasten to add will be a trial, we shall see)