Today you are witness to my latest victory in the world of men’s fashion – Matt has officially decided he likes wearing prints! Wahoo! The world of menswear fabric shopping just became SO MUCH MORE FUN for me. This awesome cotton/spandex knit came from Girl Charlee – an online fabric store where the most beautiful printed knits that are perfectly suited to the Strathcona Henley and T-shirt pattern exist in abundance. I had a lot of fun planning out how the stripey ‘Aztec’ inspired print would fall on the tee. I cut the neckline binding so that it would feature one of the smaller designs so that it wouldn’t look too wild and then, when Matt tried the un-hemmed t-shirt on, we decided it would be neat to end the sleeves and the t-shirt hem at the same section of the pattern for a bit of consistency. I think little decisions like this (plus a conservative sleeve length and overall style) help to calm the impression made by the wild print. It’s all a game of balance! I’m learning that it’s best to snag Matt for a photo shoot when he’s planning to do something that keeps his mind off the awkwardness of posing for photos – in this case, he was just about to ride his bike to work this morning. (By the way, I would be remiss not to ask you to admire his bike a little after he so patiently posed for me! He just finished repainting it and re-assembling it after switching it from a regular mountain bike to a fixed gear bike, isn’t he clever?!) Now, to share the fun I’ve been having sewing menswear with prints, Girl Charlee has very generously offered to give one of you readers a $30 gift certificate to their store. They are one of our newest PDF pattern stockists so now you can head to their store for a one stop shopping experience when you next want to sew up a pair of knit Comox Trunks (for example)…which, coincidentally, are the PERFECT platform for the most wild of prints – only you will ever see how crazy they look! To enter yourself in the contest for this $30 gift certificate, simply leave a comment explaining what menswear garment you would want to sew in a Girl Charlee knit fabric. The winner will be chosen this Friday, July 18th so head on over to Girl Charlee right away to pick your knit and then leave a comment below. Have fun planning your garments!
It’s been really hot and sunny here lately (love!)! But…since we have to keep our window closed at night to prevent our cat, Jazzy, from climbing over our faces so she can meow into the night breeze for hours on end, we’ve been soooooo hot and uncomfortable when trying to sleep (don’t love!).
I really love the new Papercut Patterns Tri Collection. The designs were presented in such a modern, and (for our yoga crazy, Lulu Lemon loving area of the world) relevant manner. I’ve been planning an entire sports wardrobe around them for my sister and I. For a little while now I’ve been sewing my yogi sister crazily patterned leggings. Since the Pneuma release we have elaborated on our yoga gear plans and have been working towards creating her ideal sports bra – how awesome would crazy matching bra and legging yoga outfits be?!
I’ve sewn up four versions of the Pneuma pattern at this point, each one improving by miles as I got used to working with thin stretch knits, with my new sewing machine and also with my sister’s very specific requirements and preferences (the first one is absolutely hideous, these are my second and third ones and then the fourth has happily headed off to my sister!).
The tank version above has been sewn almost as per the pattern instructions. I added bands of fabric on the front to make the intersection point between the straps and tank narrower and more gathered. The width at this area made my sister and I look like football players since we already have very square shoulders. This gathering is (hopefully) much more flattering on the both of us.
After sewing this second version of the pattern, I’ve made more elaborate changes to suit both my sister’s and my individual preferences. Of course, this isn’t at all necessary – the garment that results from the instructions provided is just great! My sister is REALLY picky though (love you KK! :P) so I want to make something that she deems to be PERFECT. You can see the outcome of these changes on my third Pneuma – the blue sports bra.
I’ve begun avoiding bra strapping since I can’t find any locally that matches the printed fabrics I’ve bought and that is thin, soft and delicate enough to gain my sister’s approval. I like these thick fabric straps I created because they are super easy to sew (and easy to turn right side out because they’re so thick!) and they are way more comfortable than bra straps. It would be simple to put some elastic inside the tube so that they don’t stretch out over time (will do this on my next one!).
I also prefer the cross-over method I came up with because I am quite prone to getting myself tangled in garments as I try to put them on and would like to feel elegant when slipping into my sportswear or pjs rather than look like a salmon thrashing about at the end of a fishing line! I have no idea if my sister is the same…hopefully she is a little more graceful at donning yoga wear since she is such a skilled yogi lol.
My last change is that I lined the bra because my top stitching left MUCH to be desired when I sewed on the bra straps on my first sports bra. By changing the construction methods, I could sandwich the straps between the lining and the self fabric on both the front and back and then later treat the self and lining layers as one when I folded up the thick bottom elastic (this will make sense to you once you’ve read over the pattern directions). I think the lined version looks much tidier than the unlined version (below). Probably mostly to do with how messy I am when zig-zagging!
My goal is to add some more layering to match my sister’s favorite sports bras – hers tend to include an exterior layer (often with interesting seams and mesh vented areas), a mesh lining, and then a third partial lining that holds removable padding. This partial lining and padding will be my next addition to the 5th sports bra!
As for the underwear, I have used the Rosy Ladyshorts pattern a couple times before and love it for everyday comfortable underwear. Here is my original post on this pattern along with the two pairs I made last summer.
The only problem I have with these underwear stem from the stretch lace that I use – of the many types I have tried so far, I find they are either lovely and soft but deteriorate extremely quick or they are scratchy and not stretchy enough but hold up over time. I wish I could find some that lasts as well and feels as nice as the lace that is used on my store-bought underwear! So for my ‘galaxy’ pair, I used elastic trim with a picot edge. Hopefully this will help these undies last longer.
Aside from showing you my latest sewing projects, I have an important question to ask you today: Matt and I are making some secret plans for future pattern releases which involve some thought on packaging and printing. Also, just the other day, a worker at one of our local retailers was chatting with me about feedback she has had on printed patterns in general (not just pertaining to our company). She said that she often hears customers complain about thin tissue patterns and that her customers in general prefer when patterns are printed on heavier paper. I was very surprised to hear this because Matt and I had done extensive research when we initially planned our packaging and had come to the conclusion that most sewers prefer tissue to be used. We found that this is because it is easier to flatten and re-use and it is also easier to pack away and store since it is not bulky to fold. People, we read at the time, prefer to pin into tissue and generally trace off their patterns and thus don’t mind that tissue doesn’t withstand long term wear.
So, now that we have a pretty broad customer base (when we were initially planning our packaging we didn’t have all of you guys to ask!), we want to hear what you think! Thanks so much for your feedback!
Did you enter one of the sew-along contests for Sewing Indie Month? I just finished my entry using the Out And About dress pattern from indie pattern company, SewCaroline, and a wonderfully soft and drapey bamboo jersey knit from Britex. This post was originally posted on the Britex blog yesterday but I thought I’d share it here as well since it’s always fun to add a little selfish sewing amid all the menswear projects on the blog :). I made a number of alterations to the pattern (since I’m entering my dress in the Pattern Hacking contest) and am really happy with how the dress turned out!
The Out and About Dress has two sleeve options – elbow length and full length – but Caroline has also made a tutorial to create a sleeveless version. I thought a dress with full sleeves and a full length skirt in a distinctive stripe would be a bit too stripey and I am glad I went with this sleeveless version as ever since I finished the dress it has been so hot that there has been no need for sleeves!
The next change I made was to create a chevron effect on the front and back bodice. I did this by placing the pattern pieces on the bias and adding seam allowances at centre front and centre back.
I made sure to line up the stripes on the side seams so that the chevron would continue all the way around the body (you can sort of see this effect in the photo below).
And here are the back chevrons!
The only thing I don’t like about the results from this little alteration is that the bias cut fabric (understandably) likes to stretch out and resulted in drag lines at my shoulders. I don’t think they are too noticeable though.
This pale lemon and tan striped bamboo jersey is so beautifully drapey – perfect to show off the gathered maxi skirt. It feels very swishy when I walk but also very light. I really dislike when maxi dresses make me feel weighed down by folds and folds of skirt fabric but this light jersey almost feels like I’m wearing nothing! Although it is light and delicate feeling, its strength has been thoroughly tested with this dress. I spent a day out in the sun with Matt and my brother and sister-in-law playing bocce, attempting handstands and taking a stab at acro yoga (so much fun!) and the dress survived all sorts of horseplay and even a blood stain from aggressive acro . The blood stain came out easily and the dress had no sign of heavy wear – this was a level of resilience I would not expect from a delicate knit maxi dress! Indeed, it hadn’t even been washed when I took these photos (after wearing it for two hot days and storing it in a suitcase) and it still looks crisp and new.
The last modification I made to the Out and About dress pattern is that I added a tie belt to help support the weight of the gathered skirt and to camouflage the bulk added by gathers at the waist. Each tie is 50” long and is a sewn tube of fabric with one end that has been finished and another that is sewn into the side seams directly above the waist seam. I made them really long so I could wrap them around a couple times so I had more coverage across my stomach (I like the feeling of structure this adds to an otherwise very comfortable and floaty dress). Aside from the tie belt, I also added clear bathing suit elastic along the waist seam
and shoulder seams to further help these seams hold their shape.
I really enjoyed sewing Caroline’s dress pattern and have already begun to imagine many more dresses to create with it! In fact, I think a maxi using the Abstract Smoke & Gold Rayon Knitjersey would be absolutely perfect for a wedding that I am attending in August. I think I’ll add the flutter sleeves that Dixie made a tutorial for as part of Sewing Indie Month and finish off the dress with a shimmery gold belt.
In my opinion, there is nothing more comfortable and also elegant than swanning around in a maxi dress on a hot summer afternoon – something I know I will be doing all summer long!
Sewing Indie Month is just over half way over but there are still loads of great tutorials and events to come! Today, my Coco hacks have been published on Tilly and the Buttons. Head on over to Tilly’s blog to check out what projects I’ve been working on and to get the Coco pattern for yourself! Its an excellent canvas for countless different variations. You could have a closet full of garments sewn from this pattern and I don’t think anyone would realize that they stemmed from the same design.
Happy Friday everyone! We’re really excited by the response we’ve received about our new free Arrowsmith Undershirt! I can’t wait to see what all you downloaders sew up with the pattern!
Today I have a tutorial to help you through our Strathcona Henley placket. Not long ago I was offered a spot as a Britex Guest Blogger. Have you shopped for fabric at Britex before? They have a huge brick and mortar store in San Fransisco and an extremely well organized and frequently updated online store. Their selection of knits is quite large and includes some really unique medium weights and tissue knits that I know I would never find at any of my local fabric stores. They also have BEAUTIFUL selection of wools (and a great selection of plaids!) that I really look forward to sampling for the Goldstream Peacoat in the future!
As a guest blogger on the Britex blog, I will be contributing blog posts that include tutorials using Britex fabrics. I will likely focus on menswear (since that is where my main interest lies!) but will include some of the projects I make for myself or maybe even for our houme in future posts.
Head on over to the Britex blog to see all the other great guest posts (there are loads of really well photographed tutorials!) and read on her or on the Britex blog to see what I contributed for my first post:
For my first tutorial using Britex Fabrics, I have selected the sumptuous Midweight Tweedy Fern & Taupe Wool Blend Knit in order to make a Strathcona Henley for Matt and to show you how to sew the Henley placket. This fabric is wonderfully unusual – I know I wouldn’t find anything of this weight and gorgeous texture, let alone with a lovely wool content, at any of my local fabric shops!
Since this fabric is of medium weight, I decided to sew the Henley placket using a lighter scrap of contrast cotton knit that I had left over from a past project. I opted to sew the placket using the most fool-proof manner possible – hand sewing!
Even though I love sewing with knits (especially since I know that any knit garment will become a staple in my closet!), I am often filled with trepidation when a design requires me to sew something small or detailed with a knit, such as the Henley placket. In order to avoid the worry of nicking and unravelling my knit fabric while unpicking crooked topstitching, I simply hand stitch any small details and enjoy the relaxing few extra worry-free minutes that this takes!
To begin the placket, you will first need to prepare the fabric piece by ironing a selection of folds. These folds will provide you with a guide to apply the interfacing and will later help you fold your placket correctly when it has been attached to the Henley front. Here are a series of photos to walk you through these steps:
Now you can open up your folded fabric to see your ironed guidelines.
Using the ironed guidelines, apply 1” strips of interfacing to the areas either side of the center section. You may need to re-press your guidelines after applying your interfacing. Then, fold the entire placket in half and press just along the fold to create the center line that you see in the photo below. This center crease will act as a guide for you to cut along later.
On your Henley front, you will have marked the “Placket Placement Line.” Make sure you are working on the WRONG side of your garment. This is very important, because if you attach your placket to the right side of the shirt front, your placket will end up backwards later on!
Pin the placket’s center crease to this marked line. Also, place a pin or mark with chalk the future bottom of the placket. The bottom is indicated by the notches on the left and right of the placket.
Now you can sew along the creased lines either side of the center and across the bottom to create a squared off “U” shape. Cut along the center line through both layers of fabric until approximately 1” from your bottom stitching. At this point, clip outwards to each corner as pictured below. Clip quite close to your stitching but be careful not to actually clip over it!
Now trim the fabric flaps to 1/8”-1/4” to reduce the bulk.
And you are ready to start folding and sewing! Push the entire placket through the opening you just created and flip the shirt around so you are now looking at the right side of the shirt. Fold along the creased fold lines so that each side of the placket is sandwiching the trimmed seam allowances. Pin the right front placket (if you were wearing the shirt) and sew it in place using tiny, invisible stitches from top until bottom (the bottom is where the notches and your stitching are, not the bottom of the placket fabric). Alternatively, you could topstitch 1/8” from the placket edge using your machine.
Before sewing the left placket, you will need to prepare the bottom of the fabric. Tidy up the loose fabric at the bottom so it becomes a series of 1” folds.
Trim all but the top two layers to within ½” from your bottom stitching. This will reduce the bulk at the bottom of your placket.
Fold the bottom fabric under squarely and pin in place. Now it is time to hand sew the left side of the placket!
Continue sewing around the bottom of the placket until all edges are secure. Press your placket really thoroughly at this point to make sure that the shirt is sitting nicely without any pulling or puckers.
For this next step, you could skip all the hand stitching and move directly to finishing the bottom of your placket with topstitching, but you’ll probably notice there are still a lot of areas on the underside of the placket where fabric could shift around and get caught out of place when topstitching. It’s super quick and easy to just do a few hand stitches to ensure everything stays where it should. First, turn the garment over so you’re looking at the wrong side of the Henley front. Tuck the bottom of the placket into the ‘pocket’ made by your previous hand stitching.
Stitch where you just tucked so that the fabric can’t sneak out again!
You can also open up the placket as pictured below and make a few stitches to join the left and right plackets pieces together across the bottom.
Now, the last step is some very visible topstitching which I invariably fail to make perfectly square! It is possible to stitch a perfect square and cross-lines if you are more precise with your machine stitching than I am, but if you are like me, just embrace the rustic manliness your slightly un-square topstitched square gives your Henley! Once snaps or buttons are applied and the rest of the garment is sewn, it will blend in nicely.
The rest of the Henley is a breeze after this and takes me about an hour to finish from this point! And voila, Matt has a new sweater to wear for spring hikes and around the campfire (because, in my opinion, these are the perfect sorts of situations to wear an earthy and rugged wool Henley)!
One of our newest stockists, the Pendleton Woolen Mills Store, asked me to sew up a sample of the Goldstream Peacoat for display beside our patterns in their store. They have a great selection of indie sewing patterns that are nicely curated so that all are compatable with Pendleton Wools. Their walls are festooned with an inspiring selection of sewn up samples and I am proud that our Goldstream Peacoat will now join these ranks!
Matt and I did a silly ‘nautical’ photo shoot at the park behind our house. We had to squeeze it in before Matt headed off to work so we didn’t have time to go to one of the beaches or forests that represent our usual photo shoot stomping grounds.
This Goldstream is sewn up using Pendleton Eco-wise wool in a midnight black colour (slightly off-black with a hint of navy blue). The Pendleton Woolen Mill Store carries this wool in a rainbow of colours. In case you are wondering what Eco-wise means, staff told me that there is much less water used in the production of these wools. They are also certified to be an environmentally friendly fabric option. Here is what Pendleton has to say about this sumptious wool (it is SERIOUSLY soft and dense):
Pendleton Eco-Wise wool fabric has been Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM by MBDC. Wool is an environmentally friendly and naturally renewable fiber. This fabric can be recycled or composted as a healthy additive to the soil. The ingredients and manufacturing process meet or exceed the sustainability criteria for this certification. Our goal is to manufacture wool in a way that leaves the smallest possible footprint on the earth.
You can order this fabric by phoning ((503) 535-5786) or emailing (WoolenMillStore@penwool.com) the store.
I really like how stiff the collar turned out with this dense wool. I didn’t purchase any special horse hair canvas or even stiffer interfacing, I just used what I had on hand (medium weight fusible) and sewed the coat as per the directions.
It was tempting to delve into all the tailoring techniques I learned during the Tailored Peacoat Series, but due to time constraints and the fact that this peacoat would likely never actually be worn since it was destined to become a store sample, I refrained! As a result, I had a little trouble setting in the sleeves since I am used to much spongier (and cheaper quality) wools or wool blends and am sadly lacking a tailors ham in the sewing studio…something that clearly needs to be remedied soon! I’m hoping they have a tailors ham at the Pendleton Woolen Mills store and imagine a thorough iron with the ham as an aid will set the rumpled sleeve heads straight!
I sewed a size Small with the optional slim-fit darts. I made the interior pocket the exact size of Matt’s new wallet…just in case this jacket ever gets sent back across the border when Pendleton Woollen Mill Store doesn’t need it any longer :P.
As a finishing touch for this coat, I picked up some PERFECT fouled anchor buttons from another Portland based sewing store (and also one of our stockists), Modern Domestic. They give the peacoat such a classic and refined look!
I used simple dark grey buttons instead of gold for the epaulets and sleeve tabs for fear of turning the jacket into something too flashy and costume-like.
After all these dark navy and black peacoats I’ve sewn, I’m really itching to sew up this pattern in something a little more adventurous. Matt was feeling brave and inspired while we were walking around the Woollen Mills Store while in Portland (on our U.S. trip a couple weeks ago) and actually requested a peacoat made up in one of the Pendleton Jacquards. Can you imagine how awesome the Goldstream would look in something like this?:
This gorgeous wool is called Maize Spirit in the Charcoal colour-way. Check it out and all the other amazing Jacquards on the Pendleton Woollen Mill Store website.
Maybe one day… (complete with leather buttons or toggles and leather elbow patches)! In the meantime, I love the classic British navy look that I seem to be producing at alarming rates…seriously, I’ve sewn so many now that it takes me 3 short evenings of sewing to finish a peacoat!
Would you be brave enough to sew a Goldstream Peacoat in a print? Or do you prefer the classic solid black or navy look?
As you will see by the end of this post, I have recently developed a bit of a back-log of finished projects that I haven’t posted about. For the last couple months I’ve been madly sewing away whenever I have a spare 10 minutes (yes, it is possible to sew garments in 10 minute chunks!) in hopes of having some fresh handmade clothes to wear during out trip to the US. I’ll be meeting lots of sewers and fabric store staff who I know will ask the big question, “So, did you make what you’re wearing?” Since I’ve spent the last year mainly sewing menswear, my handmade wardrobe has become a little tired and frayed around the edges. But I’ve taken a small step to fix this and, since this is the last Friday before we leave to the states (we leave next Wednesday!) there is no better time than now to show you what I’ve finished!
First up is one of two modified Grainline Studio Hemlock Tees – which is an awesome (and free!) pattern, as I am sure you have heard by now! I left off the sleeves, created a HUGE and slouchy neckline and lengthened the body to create a high-low hem. I added a cute little pocket too. Its a bit of a different look for me. Usually I like things that are nipped in at the waist and fairly fitted but I bet it’s going to be super comfy and breezy to wear when it gets hot this summer!
I really admire the aesthetic of Jen’s pattern company and love her writing style and tutorials on her blog. I’ve been on quite the Grainline Studio kick and started with her patterns that are the quickest to sew due to my time constraints. I have not yet got around to sewing two of my favorite patterns of hers: the Archer Button-up Shirt and her Portside Travel Set (which would have been fitting for this trip…darn, if only I had the time!).
Here is my second Hemlock Tee:
I lengthened the sleeves on this one and lowered the neckline so it has more of a scooped shape. You can’t see from the photos but I also lengthened the hem on this one though wish I hadn’t in the end because the fabric is a medium-weight t-shirt knit that is very comfy but not especially drapey so the longer and wider hem doesn’t hang overly well. I’ll probably chop it off to Jen’s original intended length before we leave so that it will look good with skinny jeans too.
I’m not sure if this outfit is a bit out there…it’s my first attempt at print-mixing. I love the look but tend to find it much easier to dress matchy-matchy.
This skirt is my favorite thrifted piece of clothing – it’s silk and has the most dramatic pleating.
I never know what to wear on the top (hence the print-mixing!) but I think it would look pretty nice with a chambray Archer button-up like this one if I ever get around to sewing one (I swear, my entire wardrobe would be perfect if only I had that one shirt haha)
And, since I’ve been into quick projects, I decided to whip up a dress from my go to dress pattern, the Sewaholic Cambie dress. This is my third Cambie (the first two are here and here) so I thought I would be practised enough to sew it REALLY fast. I would have been able to do so but I got carried away with all sorts of little details…I think due to the months and months of dress-free sewing, when I started getting into the girly details, I couldn’t stop!
I added a contrast waistband using thick upholstery fabric (probably not the smartest idea as it split open my perfectly installed invisible zip and I had to use a regular zip instead). I accented with all sorts of other red details to match the waistband – including the aforementioned exposed red zipper…
…subtle red embroidery along the neckline…
…and red lace along the blind-stitched hem.
Now back to quick makes – the last one I’ve managed to fit in – I sewed up a Scout Tee dress! Another of the much loved Grainline patterns, this was made using some leftover fabric from a sample for one of our future patterns. Its a really cozy and soft flannel and is one of only two plaid garments I own (I love plaid, I don’t know why I wear it so little!). Here it is photographed without a belt but I almost always wear it either with a belt or with a cardigan done up over top of it to cinch in the waist.
Also, I might as well mention the accessories I made to go with my new outfits a couple months ago – some long necklaces!
I have all sorts of random jewellery that I keep stuffed in my jewellery box but don’t often wear because I don’t especially like it for one reason or another. I was on the verge of giving it to the second hand store (it’s mostly just costume jewellery) but lots of it has sentimental value so I decided to re-purpose it to make it wearable! It worked really well – these three necklaces that I have layered in the above photo were originally seven different pieces of unworn jewellery! And isn’t the little sewing machine cute? My local machine repair shop gives out sewing related charms each time you make a purchase :).
Later on this weekend I’ll post some photos of the clothes I made for Matt’s travel wardrobe – his are the most important because, of course, they are Thread Theory garments and will likely be examined closely at stockists and on the TV show set!
***By the way: Sorry for the slightly blurry photos. I was a one-woman photography crew today because Matt has been so busy lately and can now understand the frustration of bloggers who aren’t married to photographer husbands!***
Today I interrupt our Comox Trunks Sew-Along to bring you a rare insider’s photoshoot of the elusive and very dangerous PEACOAT MAFIA…
Meet Will “The Grandfather” Whitehouse, Farrell “The Rosso” VanderRee, Clayton “The Boss” Whitehouse, and Matthew “Hitman” Meredith. All are dangerously armed with Goldstream Peacoats…
…And are not afraid to use them!
And things just about went down right in front of the camera! Weapons were reached for from their concealed positions in the peacoat interior patch pockets…
I asked them to move closer together and crack a smile but Matthew “Hitman” lowered his shades and coldly whispered, “You talking to me?”
And I escaped with my life only to become a “rat” by showing these photos to you!
We are so thrilled to finally be able to offer you this pattern, especially since it is the pattern we have received the most requests and comments about. To reward you for your patience and enthusiasm, purchase the Goldstream PDF now until noon (PST) tomorrow for 15% off! Enter the code HURRAH at checkout to help us celebrate the launch and to receive your discount! For those of you who are holding out for the printed version of our pattern, it is currently at our printers and we swear, you won’t have to wait much longer!
The Goldstream Peacoat is a large PDF file so we recommend taking it to the printers to save yourself printer ink, tape and time. If you have a Staples near by or a similar roll feed printer, it is quite affordable and very quick to have it printed. At Staples, ask for their cheap Engineer Prints. If you don’t have a roll feed print shop available to you, it is still, of course, completely possible to print it at home and tape it together. I did so myself when I sewed Matt’s Christmas peacoat. I always collect the paper we have printed things onto and re-use the second side of the paper for PDF patterns, that way it feels like I’m not ‘wasting’ quite so many resources. Despite the pattern being quite large I was able to get into the rhythm of things and finish the taping and cutting out of the paper pattern pieces in one marathon evening. I think PDF assembly is my cat Jazzy’s favourite thing in the whole wide world so her paper-hunting antics greatly add to my enjoyment of the process!
Now, excuse us as we head off to celebrate the launch of our BIGGEST AND BEST pattern yet with a home-made pizza night (that’s the best way to celebrate any sort of momentous occasion). Yummm…
We are so proud of this pattern – we think it really is the perfect foray into outerwear for an intermediate sewer and hope that you will agree! For a thorough description of what the pattern has to offer, check out this post which highlights my father-in-law’s Goldstream Peacoat. And, for your viewing pleasure, here is a gallery of photos so you can thoroughly examine Matt’s Christmas Goldstream Peacoat while you begin planning your own version:
Now go make yours – we can’t wait to see your perfect peacoat! Happy Sewing!
I’ve managed to sneak in a few sewing projects lately as gifts for friends and family. Since I don’t think either recipient reads my blog I think I am safe to post about these (and if they do, I hope seeing their gifts will only add to the anticipation of receiving them…I am terrible at surprises!).
The first bit of sewing I did really was just a little wee project – my very first baby dress! I’ve always oohed and awed at the adorable baby dresses my Mom and Grandmother sewed for my sister and I when we were little but have never had the occasion to sew such sumptuous and girly ruffles and frills myself. My friend in Halifax had a baby girl named Isla (isn’t that a beautiful name?) last February so I promptly cut a baby quilt for her and of course never got around to sewing it. Instead, months and months later I started on a project that I found to be much more inspiring and fun – a frilly dupioni silk Christmas dress! I had a wonderful evening of fabric choosing, ruffle making, button picking and giggling at the obnoxious cuteness of the little dress that I came up with – it is sooooooooo tiny and sooooooooo cute!
Since I am very used to sewing with reserved and muted colour palettes and paying mind to precisely square corners and the careful construction of lapels while sewing menswear, the contrast of girlish colours, sewing techniques such as creating ruffles and applying lace trim, and just how tiny and quick it was to make made this little dress a nicely refreshing contrast!
I used this excellent tutorial which included great photos and two sizes of pattern. I was unsure whether the pattern included seam allowances so I decided to assume that it did since, even if it didn’t, it was sized for a baby several months older than Isla so a slightly smaller dress would not be a problem (I hope) if it really didn’t include seam allowances. The resulting dress is so tiny and I don’t really have a lot of experience with baby clothing or even babies for that matter so I simply can’t imagine a small enough human being to fit into it! I really hope Isla will fit it, but if she doesn’t I know her mom will be able to find another more suited recipient since she is a Doula (someone who assists new mothers before, during and after childbirth) and is thus surrounded by a lovely community of new moms!
My second project is a Newcastle Cardigan for my Grandad for his birthday. He was very kind to model our sample many months ago and confessed that he would love a similar cardigan for himself (but with shortened arms and cuffs – both of which I shortened for his version).
Here is the Size Medium sample that he modelled for us:
Since then we have moved from Victoria to the Comox Valley so my choice of fabrics has become a bit more limited. I couldn’t find a loose cotton sweater knit like the one I used for our size medium sample so I instead chose this grey wool blend and some contrast stretch suiting. I love the buttons that I found but I am worried that the entire cardigan ended up quite different from his taste (maybe the stark contrast of very light and very dark grey is what is worrying me?). I will be giving it to him when he returns from holiday this weekend so we will see how it looks on him and add more photos at that point! I hope he likes it!