Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Autumnal Liberty Undercover Hood

Liberty Mawston Meadow fleece

I treated myself to this lovely Liberty fleece with some money I got for my birthday last September. Like all Liberty fabrics it is ablaze with colour, strangely enough most of them are not my usual colour choices, orange, yellow and lime appear, but also blues and purples. It was a little bit pricey and I seemed to develop a fear of approaching it with a pair of scissors and also what was I going to make with it?!

I had seen a rtw edge to edge jacket made up in this exact fabric (you can see it on my pinterest here) and thought that might be an idea, then I toyed with the Papercut rigel bomber jacket which I think would have worked very well, except... well I'm just not sure that in my late 40's I should be wearing a floral bomber jacket.  Yes, I did sort of chicken out and hid it away for a year.

So out it came a year later and quick-as-a-flash I decided to make some sort of sweatshirt.  I looked at several patterns on the net and on pinterest and there are many, but I decided on the Papercut Undercover Hood.  I have made up a couple of their patterns now and really like them, this time going for the pdf option for speed.

Papercut Undercover Hood pattern

I opted for the hoodless version and chose to make the length half-way between the cropped and the longer length.  I am glad I didn't pick the cropped version as it would have been extremely short on me (I have a long back).  The sewing pattern is a simple raglan sleeve top with cuffed sleeves and a waistband cuff, nothing too difficult. The basic sweatshirt seems to be very popular at the moment so there may be other versions made. There is also a kangaroo pocket.

Kangaroo pocket.
It is lovely fleece fabric, so soft and cosy.  Yes I could have bought a sweatshirt for much less than this cost to make, but it wouldn't have been a Liberty sweatshirt and I also have some left over.

I don't look very pleased, but I am, ha.
Now, what else do I need for autumn? I think I need a plan.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

My OWOP 2014

So OWOP (One Week One Pattern) is now over and my week of wearing all Coco's (in case any of you don't know - the Tilly & the Buttons pattern).  Whenever I had decided on which pattern to use I looked at the forecast and thought that there was going to be an autumnal nip in the air.  There were very few chilly 'nips' last week and, in fact, it was a beautiful sunny week and I was a little bit warm at times.  Anyway I still enjoyed the challenge and also another Coco top was made mid week, one of the great advantages of the Coco is that it can sewn up pretty quickly.

So here they are:

Day 1 - Saturday

Merino Coco

I love the colour of this Coco top, it is a lightweight merino, made up with the funnel roll neck and cuffs.  As it was a Saturday it went very well with jeans.

Day 2  - Sunday  (and another year older!)

Navy Coco top with Deer & Doe Chardon skirt and ByHandLondon Victoria Blazer.
Sunday was my birthday so had to make an effort!  It was another lovely day and nice pressies and eats.  This Coco top (it is tucked in so probably doesn't look much like the Coco) has been much worn over the summer.  It is a lightweight cotton jersey with no stretch so ideal fabric for the pattern and you can't go wrong with navy.

Day 3 - Monday

Black and white double knit jersey Coco

This was my 'panic make' the week before OWOP.  It is a lightweight doubleknit jersey from minervacrafts, again an ideal fabric for the Coco and very comfortable.

Day 4 - Tuesday

Navy Coco under the Endless summer tunic

Again the very versatile navy Coco worn as an autumn layer under the tunic dress.  I haven't worn the dress with a top under it, might get a few more wears out of it before packing it away.

Day 5 - Wednesday

Merino Coco with Anima pants
A very casual day doing stuff in the garden and housework, very comfy.

Day 6 - Thursday

Lilac Coco, pockets trimmed with Kaffe Fassett ribbon.
This Coco was dreamed up and made during the week, it is made from double knit which is quite a stiff fabric, not sure I really like the 'feel' of it.  Anyway I wore it with my Toast sailor trousers and decided to trim the pockets just to take the plain look off it.

Pocket trim - Kaffe Fassett ribbon.
 Day 7 - Friday

This was the first Coco I made, I think, or was it the merino, not sure. I wish I had got the stripes joined to the red fabric a bit more even.  I was still trying to get used to my overlocker and it was the first time trying it out to make a garment.  Both fabrics are ponte roma jersey.

So there you are, a week of Coco's, 2 dresses and 3 tops, definitely a super pattern and depending on your weight of fabric can be great for all seasons, can be worn casual or dressed up more. The top (especially my navy one) can be worn on it's own, over a blouse or under a dress. It suits my lifestyle so what more do you want.

Coco, I hope I have done you justice.

It's been great doing the OWOP sewing challenge, thank you Jane for organizing.

Friday, 5 September 2014

OWOP 2014 and thoughts of autumn ten-item wardrobe.

As a newcomer to blogging and indeed a relative newcomer to sewing I am partaking in OWOP.  This is a sewing and wardrobe challenge which is being organised this year by Jane from blog (I think it was originally started by Tilly from Tilly & the Buttons from Sewing Bee fame)  The idea is to show how one pattern can make you wonderful 'pieces' that can be worn regularly in your everyday life.

I (after much deliberation) decided to opt for Tilly's Coco pattern. I have used quite a few patterns several times in my two years of sewing, namely the Lisette portfolio (my first and still a favourite), Merchantandmills dress shirt patternSewaholicpatterns Renfrew top and the the Wiksten tova dress & top.  Most of these were makes before my blogging so no photos but I love all these patterns. In reality, at the time of deciding, I only had made two Coco tops and one dress, so had a little panic as to how these items were going to last me for a week.  Missing the point completely I then proceeded to make another Coco dress.  Don't get me wrong I love my latest Coco dress but, of course, the point of the challenge is to show how many different ways you can wear an item by accessorizing and using your flair and creativity, so even if you only have two versions of a pattern, well - that's your challenge.

Tilly & the Buttons Coco dress.

This challenge comes at a great time for me, firstly because it's the start of a new season, namely autumn, my favourite time of the year and also because I have been trying to follow the dailyconnoisseur ten item wardrobe idea.  I have been trying to live a more minimal type life for a while now and embarked on My summer ten item wardrobe at the beginning of the summer for the first time.  I entered into the idea really in trepidation thinking I wouldn't last a fortnight but it worked amazingly well.  If I'm honest I went over the top with my 'extras', namely lots of t-shirts just in case, but this was really too much, so I now have the confidence to cut down even more.

I really shouldn't make a big deal of this, I mean this is the way my mum dressed in the 70's/80's. People just had less then, what she did have was good quality, a great cut and really suited her and that's really all it's about.  In modern day we are bombarded with so many choices we have forgotten how to have our own individual style and we are very, very excessive!

Anyway, my summer ten item wardrobe was a great success.  The only item I didn't wear much was my Toast sailor style trousers - I just felt a bit self-conscious wearing them at home although I did wear them on holiday. (I will be keeping them for next year though)  Everything else I wore a lot and that was great.  Other benefits were that my wardrobe and bedroom are a lot tidier and easier to manage, I also wasn't that interested in shops or sales and so spent less than normal. Now as a sewist I am also becoming more selective in choosing fabrics and sewing patterns and thinking exactly what suits me and works for my lifestyle.  I wasn't sure if I would last, but I really like this mindset (and that definitely is what it is.) It definitely has an element of 'freeing the mind'

So this coming week will be great for planning my ten item wardrobe for autumn - I'm not sure I will be able to go for only 10 core items (we do have very diverse weather here in Northern Ireland)  but I will certainly make a good attempt.  I would say that at least some of my Coco's will feature. It starts tomorrow (6 September - 12 September) so not too late to start, you can sign up here.