Sorry its been so long! I’m only going to show pictures of patterns on this blog entry, rather than fabric as well, because I want to get this up quickly and give you guys something to read before I put my makes up. Catherine will be posting soon too, just as soon as I remember to pass on our password to her again (she is hopeless with remembering passwords)!
So until the end of December, I plan on making one project per week, and working on or finishing an additional project from my pile of unfinished makes. Most of these just need buttons sewn on, or to be hemmed, and there are a few garments I’ve made or bought which need some minor adjustments.
Exciting News!! At the end of December I will be moving, for a whole year, overseas! I’m doing an exchange year with University, probably to Glasgow, or if not Dublin! I’m a little daunted as well though, because I started Uni later than most so I already tend to feel a bit isolated by my age at Melbourne, and I think moving to a new country will be more isolating still. SO, if you are in the area, please please please let me know – I’d love to meet up and do some fabric shopping! I will most definitely also go to London at some stage to see Sew Over It and that street everyone goes on about, so if you’re in the UK and want to meet let me know too.
So, back to the projects/patterns. Almost everything I am planning is (hopefully) something I will be able to wear in Melbourne Spring, and also layer up when I get to Glasgow. This may turn out to be wishful thinking, but if I don’t wear it over Winter in Glasgow hopefully I’ll at least be able to in Spring. The aim then, are interesting but trans-seasonal garments. I’m trying to make quick patterns for the most part, which I can manage to make in the time I have leftover from Uni and work.
Enter Pattern One: Vintage (looks 70s but actually 90s) New Look 6425
I got this at the op-shop for just over $1. It looks like an easy make, but one with a few features I can add to make a more interesting garment. If I find some lightweight wool, I’d definitely use it to make view B with the buttons up the side, and do those as self-covered buttons. For the moment though, I’m going to make View D with the v-neck, out of two fabrics. Firstly a dark green cotton with cream coloured flowers that I got at The Fabric Store (they do ship to the UK and have a great range), and secondly in a lovely silky tencel in a blue grey with little grey pineapples on, for a summery version. I think both will be able to be worn with tights, and I actually have a dark green long-sleeve dress that will go under the floral one, so both have packing potential. Best of all, View D has no fastenings!
Pattern Two: Simplicity 1370
This pattern was recommended by the lovely Rosa from Sewn, as something simple, very wearable, and quick to make. I’ve already made a version in black cotton sateen with an exposed zipper for work, and it does go together quickly and easily (although I need to learn how to use a zipper foot properly). I have a hounds tooth stretch bengaline from the Remnant Warehouse to make this in, which is almost a direct copy of a skirt Rosa made! I am also recycling a tablecloth of my mothers, which is a navy linen with white and red birds embroidered on it, quite South American looking. I’ll use some trims to add some details to this one, kind of a shorter version of a Frida Kahlo skirt (and much more fitted). Finally, I have an old pair of white jeans with a blue and black Aztec print on them that are too small for me now, I think there should be just enough fabric in them to make this skit from.
Pattern Three: Simplicity 1887
I bought this pattern because I love how the waistband is flat at the front but elasticated at the back – quick to make but a smarter finish. I’m going to make Version A, without the elastic at the ankle, and probably with some volume shaved out at the side seams so they’re a bit less clown-like. Hopefully you can add the tie to this version, because I think that’s a really lovely feature.
This will be out of a khaki tencel from Spotlight. It won’t be something for overseas, just for Spring/Summer in Aus. I have a little cropped bustier-type top with a khaki jungle print that I love, but struggle to wear. I don’t like just wearing it with jeans, because it is so cropped – but until now I also haven’t had any other bottoms it will go with. These will hopefully change that.
Pattern Four: Vogue 1168
I’ve had this pattern for a few years and have never made anything from it because it looks, well, hard. Classy, not something I could just mess up. I love the shirt, but I think I’d reserve it for a sewing class or some one-on-one tutorials because I’m not comfortable with collars. I am finally planning to make the wide leg/palazzo pants though. I bought a RTW pair last Summer, and found them luxurious and flattering to wear, lovely and cool even in a Melbourne heatwave. They cinch in my waist, hide my larger bum and thighs, and exaggerate my height which is all fab.
I’m going to make them from a dark blue tencel with paler tiny polka dots on it. The fabric will probably be a bit heavy for most of Summer here, but perfect in Spring or at night. I think that there is enough softness and drape to the tencel for it to suit the wide leg. They might just be fine for Glasgow/Dublin as well, although I’m not sure about the rain…
Pattern Five: Mesa Dress by Seamwork and Closet Case Files Nettie Bodysuit
I’ve put these two together because I’m not sure which pattern I’ll use with which fabric.
I have 3 or 4 knits sitting at home waiting to be sewn into it, I’m just a little terrified of using a twin needle and all the other fiddling things to be done with knits. We do have an overlocker so that will make it easier, and I really should just take the plunge.
The Fabrics: First off I have two $3 a meter knits I bought on sale at Spotlight. One has a white background with a sort-of abstracted large neon floral print, outlined in black. The other is a floral again, but in much deeper colours (and is a little harder to describe). Both have a bit of a sixties feel to them. I have three meters of the first and two of the second so I could potentially make both from each fabric.
I also have a dark blue sweater knit with a gold chevron, I’m hoping to make this in a long sleeve Nettie with a high back and scoop neckline. And finally I have a black knit with silver swirly designs which I’d also like to make the long sleeve version from for Winter/nights out.
Pattern Six: Simplicity 1284
I love sixties fashion! The boxy shapes of this pattern look as though they’ll be easy to make. I’m going to try View D, or possibly View E, maybe with long sleeves, out of a bright but dark chevron wool I bought yonks ago at The Fabric Store. I may end up needing to use contrast sleeves, I think I only have a meter of fabric.
I do need to find some lining for this which is slowing me down – although so is being terrified of messing up the beautiful wool. I think once something has been in your stash for over a year, though, you should just put aside your fear – you’re not going to wear it if its sitting in a box un-sewn, either.
Pattern Seven: Simplicity 2365
This is kind of cheating because I have already made one version of this top, a sleeveless view B. And I love it. It was actually quick to sew up and the pin tucks were effective but easy. However, I’m going to hack this pattern to make it suit my style a bit more. I’m hoping to adjust the neckline so it doesn’t have a collar, and the neck itself is more open – maybe a v-neck or maybe just a lower round neck. It’s hard to tell in the line drawing but that top darker bit on the center front is a split. I’m also going to make a cropped version, with the pin tucks extending to the hem – this will probably look weird on its own, but tucked into jeans or a high-waist skirt I think it will be slimming. Also both for the version I’ve made and those I plan to make, I’ve omitted the sleeves. I tend to wear sleeveless tops and dresses with long-sleeves underneath in Winter, also with this made out of cotton it leaves it light enough for Summer in Melbourne.
I have a light cotton with a beautiful vintage-y kind of odd floral pattern, and also a black rayon to make this with. I am thinking of making the black rayon with sleeves with half-circle flounces at the elbows, if I have enough fabric.
Pattern Eight: Simplicity 8131
I do like to support indie pattern makers as much as possible, so I should have bought Sew Over It’s pussy bow blouse (which I have been looking at for yonks). This one was going for cheap online though, and I don’t have much money so I just went for it. It will probably have less-good instructions and fit and I’ll end up regretting it…oh well.
I have two rayons I bought a few weeks ago for a pattern hack attempt, but I think at least one of them will end up being a trial of View B or D. I can’t decide whether I want the wide or narrow tie…I think wide?
I’m sure I have lots of suitable flowy fabrics in my stash, but the other one that comes to mind is a silk or chiffon (or something) I bought around 5 years ago from The Fabric Store. It was going to be a maxi skirt, but I had an argument with Catherine about how to construct it and I think that soured the idea for me (I know, ridiculous). Anyway, I’m glad now. It has quite a big digital print on it, with some unicorns and a full moon, in a lilac/silver/pale blue delicate colour scheme. I’m hoping to have enough for View A, although I might alter the sleeves to just be straight, not bell sleeves (those are bell sleeves, right?)
Catherine bought this book and when it arrived a few weeks ago I fell head over heels for this version of the triple triangle dress. I love the African Wax print, I love the length, I just think it looks so elegant and interesting. Almost straight away I thought of this scuba we both bought a while ago, which has a cream background and this burnt orange/khaki kind-of striped pattern. It reminds me of pipes under the ocean which have a whole lot of different coral growing on them, in maybe an artsy video game?
I got on Instagram and commented on one of Rosie’s posts, asking if it would be possible to make this dress from scuba instead of the woven its designed for. She said it definitely would, and put me on to Melissa from Fehrtrade who was planning/has now made one from scuba. They were both so lovely and quick to respond, so thank-you guys! I can’t wait to make this one, and if I see any African wax print I’m going to make a version with that straight away as well!
Inspired by House of Pinheiro’s recent Instagram challenge, I’m going to tackle a stash buster in the next few months as well. My wonderful friend Ellie is a musician, and I’ve noticed her wearing bow ties on stage recently. I have quite a lot of scrap fabric in pieces big enough, so I’m going to use this Liberty pattern and tutorial to make some for her (and hopefully I’ll get to see her play in them).
OK! That was a lot! If you’ve managed to read until the end, thank-you so very much for enduring my rambling! And a few questions for you – what should I expect in Glasgow, weather and fashion wise? Have you made or been looking at any of the above patterns? How did you go, or what will you be making them in?
Happy sewing! Helen, x.