Tried and tested

I’ve a few things here which I’ve made up before and in the interests of completeness, I’m blogging these.

Ogden Cami

Another one of these was on my Make Nine, but it’s such a useful top that I had to make another. This border print fabric came from Tessuti in Melbourne. It was a remnant and is a beautiful silk.

I made my normal changes, so I’ve raised the front neckline, widened the straps and also lengthened the facing by a couple of inches. There’s possibly some more adjustments I could make to this pattern to fit properly, such as a proper FBA and adding darts, but I’m lazy and hence I’ve not done it.

The facing I’ve made from a plain black silk which I had in my stash.

The details
Fabric:  Black silk border print from Tessuti and a black silk from stash (I think it was from the Fabric Warehouse)
Notions:  Thread
Pattern:  True Bias Ogden cami, size 14
Changes made:  Raised the front neckline, lengthened the lining/facing, widened the straps

Recommendations/Another one:  Mm, well this is version 4! I definitely do recommend this pattern, but be careful you may need to make changes. I love it and I wear all of mine a lot. No doubt there will be another one!

Blue skirt

This is a self-drafted pattern. I’ve made up three like this now. This white and pink one and a rust coloured version. The shaped basque comes from a Prima magazine pattern and is shortened by a couple of inches. The skirt is just a basic rectangle pleated to fit. Each time I set the pleats to get an inverted pleat at the centre front and back.

The skirt is fastened with a lapped zip in the side seam. It doesn’t have pockets! 😦 I probably ought to put pockets in, but have never really thought about it!

This fabric was another remnant which came from The Fabric Warehouse in Wellington and is a lovely heavier viscose. It has a lovely drape and also doesn’t crease a great deal.

There was little if nothing left over from this skirt and I had to use hug snug to hem the skirt.

The deets
Fabric:  Blue viscose remnant from The Fabric Warehouse, which has been in my stash a couple of years.
Notions:  Thread, interfacing, dress zip and hug snug
Pattern:  The basque is from a Prima pattern, the rest is self-drafted
Changes made:  I shortened the basque by a couple of inches. The details are in the posts from the previous skirts

Another one/recommendations:  Considering I’ve made up three skirts like this, it’s definitely a tried and tested pattern, but I guess it’s difficult to recommend since it’s not a freely available pattern! If the right fabric comes up, I wouldn’t be surprised if I made another version!

Muse Hipi Top

This top/T-shirt was released earlier this year. It was a pattern I was lucky to test and made a navy blue cotton t-shirting. This fabric is a very drapey viscose knit from my stash. I think I possibly got this from Fabric-a-Brac. This is a lot of this fabric! It has a texture to it. (I also have some in a dark grey which I used to make up a nightie.)

I made the same size as last time and also lengthened the t-shirt this time. The idea originally was for a longer loose fit top I could use for the gym and for Pilates. Well that didn’t really work, since it’s not a long as I need for Pilates and also keeps riding up when I lift my arms up.

On the other hand, I’ve used this as an easy to wear t-shirt and it’s already had a lot of wear! It’s been in constant demand in my wardrobe. I call that a success.

Due to the drapey-ness (is that a word) of this fabric, this version has ended up really oversized, and I definitely think I might make a size smaller next time.

The details
Fabric: White textured viscose knit from Fabric-a-Brac.
Notions:  Thread and white tape for the shoulders
Pattern: Muse Patterns Hipi top, size 40, short-sleeved, crew neck version
Changes made:  I lengthened this by a couple of inches.
Another one/recommendations:  This is number 2, but I don’t think it will be the last. I’m definitely looking at what I can use to make another one. May be something cosy to make a sweater version for the winter.

Itch to Stitch Newport top

I have a number of Itch to Stitch patterns (ahem, eight!), but the only one I’ve made up is the Lindy Petal Skirt. Time to change that! This is the Newport top, described as one garment you won’t regret making…

I made this after realising I had a gap in my wardrobe for a light coloured (read cream or white) merino top. Rather than make another Sewaholic Renfrew, change a Muse Jenna cardi into a top or make a Papercut Ensis from single fabric, I thought I’d try something new. Why try something which works? Well I had the pattern in stash and decided I’d give it a go.

The neckline was the part of the design which caught my attention, I thought it would make a change from the normal round necked tops and I love these boat necklines. My merino was also perfect to provide some drape which is needed.

I cut a size 12 based on my high bust measurement. That was a mistake. There is so much ease in this top that I ended up taking it in. The main body was so big! I made up the long sleeves but shortened these to straitght ¾ length pretty soon after sewing the seam, I knew straight off that bell shaped sleeves would be a pain. This is a before photo below which is too big.

I ended up taking in the side seams by about ¾ inch each side. It fits a lot better now. I wasn’t so sure about the neckline too when I first made it up. I’m still not completely convinced by the neckline, but I have to say this top has been worn a lot since I made it, and I mean a lot! It has been a great addition to my wardrobe and I don’t think that is just because it’s a cream coloured merino top! I think it’s actually growing on me!

The details
Fabric:  Cream merino knit. I’m unsure where from, it’s been in my stash for a while.
Notions:  Lightweight knit interfacing
Pattern:  Itch to Stitch Newport top, size 12
Changes made:  I took it in by about 3/4″ on the side seams and also shortened the long straight sleeves to 3/4 length sleeves.

Another one/recommendations:  This is a really good simple pattern. It’s easy to make up and the neckline is really effective. Although I wasn’t sure of this originally, this top has been in high rotation since I made it up.

Muse Patterns Hipi Top

I wasn’t expecting to be able to fit in pattern testing this year, mainly because I’m determined to sew from stash so it depends on the fabric requirements. I also am determined to complete my #2019makenine.

When the call went out for this top, however, I decided I could definitely make time to try it out and could use fabric from stash. So, welcome Muse Patterns latest release, the Hipi top.

This is a loose-fitting top with seams running from the half-way along the shoulder seams to the hem. This side bodice also encompasses the sleeve, creating a batwing sleeve. There are two neck options, a crew neck and scoop neck. There are also two sleeve options, short and long and two hem options, a band hem or regular turned under hem. The loose-fit style means it’s possible to make this in a woven fabric.

I made the short-sleeve, crew neck version with the turned-under hem. The fabric is a navy cotton knit, left over from the navy Nina cardigan I made about three years ago! There was just enough to cut this out, although it was not fun. The fabric was way off grain, the sides curled so much making it difficult to line up the seams, as well as even just cutting out! The image below shows how off grain this fabric is. The red line showing the line and the green where it should be!

All being told, this went together very quickly. I managed to get it sewn up in one evening. 🙂 The main seams were all sewn on my overlocker. The pattern doesn’t ask for top stitching on the sleeve bands, but I couldn’t get them to lay flat, so added this step. I then used my double needle to finish the hem.

The details
Fabric: Navy cotton jersey knit, from The Fabric Warehouse in 2015.
Notions:  Thread and black tape for the shoulders
Pattern: Muse Patterns Hipi top, size 40, short-sleeved, crew neck version
Changes made:  None
Another one/Recommendations: I’ve made a number of Muse Patterns and this is another winner. So quick and easy to make up. The drafting as always is spot on. This is such a wearable top which I reckon is going to be a wardrobe winner. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. It’s also possible to get this out of minimal fabric if it’s non-directional. (I had 0.8m of 160cm wide fabric.) I’m already looking at my stash to see what I can make the next one in. Mm, thinks, merino, winter is coming.
There have already been some awesome versions of this on Instagram. Some with a mix of woven for the front and back and a knit for the side pieces. I have so many ideas now going around in my head for different versions to use up small pieces of fabric which for some strange reason I may have kept in stash!
As always the funds from the first week will be going to a local community/charity. For the Hipi top, they will be donated to the fund for the Christchurch shooting victims. A cause which is very close to our hearts here in NZ currently.

Wardrobe staples

Does something make you think I’m trying to catch up? When I’m making up something new, I like to search for blog posts and reviews. There’s definitely not so many now, but I think through blogging there is still a need for them. Which is why I’m still blogging and these older makes are going up. So these are some more older makes, which have made it to the TNT category in my sewing.

Papercut Ensis Tee

Are you the same as me when going on holiday? That overwhelming need to make something new? Well when we headed off to the UK last January (told you I made them ages ago), I decided I needed another warm tee. Enter the Papercut Ensis Tee which I’ve made once before.

I made no changes to the pattern, it’s a perfect fit as it is. The cream lower half is merino, so nice and cosy and warm. I honestly can’t remember where from though. The top, if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might recognise this red stretch lace. I used it to make this shrug. There was plenty enough left to make the top of this tee. I think there may still be some left, I might make another with a black bottom? Mm, I’ll leave that until the weather starts to get cooler again! 🙂

The details
Fabric:  Cream merino for the main body and a red stretch lace for the tops. The cream was a remnant from somewhere and the red apparently was a remnant from the Fabric Warehouse.
Notions:  Thread and clear elastic for the shoulders
Pattern:  Papercut Ensis Tee, size L
Changes made:  I shortened the sleeves to give 3/4 sleeves.

Another one/Recommendations:  This is number two, it’s so easy to make up. I actually even changed my overlocking thread between the red and the cream, so that I could continue to use my overlocker. I’m definitely looking at another one, maybe I should make some short sleeved versions for summer, I need more t-shirts.

Sew House Seven Alberta Skirt

This is another pattern I’ve made up a couple of times, once in denim and a knit hack with a back zip. I do like a TNT. This fabric is an upholstery fabric which I think came from IKEA, Melbourne in Sept 2017. It doesn’t have the stretch that the Alberta skirt asks for, so I made a larger size to ensure my hips and backside would fit will sitting down.
I didn’t make any other changes, I even put the pockets on as they are on the pattern, although I was tempted to turn them the other way, so the lower side was on the side seam. I didn’t try to pattern match with the pockets. I didn’t have enough fabric and it was too much like hard work!
The details
Fabric:  Upholstery fabric remnant, I think from IKEA in Melbourne.
Notions:  Thread, interfacing and a dress zip
Pattern:  Sew House Seven Alberta Street skirt, size 16 to give more room for non-stretch fabric
Changes made:  I used a dress zip rather than an invisible zip and took the waist in slightly..
Another one/Recommendations:  This is my third reiteration of this skirt. It’s a great pattern which is easy and quick to make up. I definitely recommend it. It’s a classic shape and fits really well. I doubt this will be my last. 🙂

Sewaholic Renfrew

The Renfrew was the first pattern I made up when I finally felt comfortable with sewing knit fabric. I made up a couple of Renfrews, which have been worn a lot and have been staples in my wardrobe. To fill a gap with the need for more knit tops which I can just throw on and go with everything, I went shopping in my stash and found this white and grey striped knit, which I think came from Fabric-a-Brac. It was definitely a remnant.
What can I say about the Renfrew? Erm, it too is easy and quick to make. Since I made the first ones, I’ve bought my overlocker, so it was even easier to make this up! It’s the basic scoop neck version with 3/4 sleeves (my fave length). I’ve only ever made the scoop neck version, but it’s the neckline which suits me best! I made sure to stitch the cuffs and hem band properly this time, so these now lay flat much better than the originals.
The details
Fabric:  Grey and white striped cotton knit, possibly from Fabric-a-Brac
Notions:  Thread
Pattern:  Sewaholic Renfrew, view A with 3/4 sleeves, size 14
Changes made:  none
Another one/Recommendations:  A definite TNT. I’ve made two of these previously too. The purple merino version is still going strong, but the cream version didn’t last as long and has already gone from the wardrobe.

Sew House Seven Toaster sweater

This is my second Toaster sweater. The first I made from a boiled wool which had little stretch and was quite stiff, although very toasty. 🙂 After seeing a few other versions online, I thought I’d try another from this merino mix knit I picked up as a remnant.
Since this fabric is completely different, this version has come out so unlike my first Toaster sweater, but actually I love this version too. It’s actually pretty warm and so easy to throw on over a tee or top.
The details
Fabric:  Grey and white striped merino knit, possibly from Fabric-a-Brac
Notions:  Thread
Pattern:  Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater, version 2, between size M and L
Changes made:  Again I straightened the sides and also shortened the sleeves.
Another one/Recommendations:  It took me a while to make this second sweater, but am definitely happy with this second version. It’s so easy to wear and certainly fills a gap in my wardrobe. I love these sweaters. It’s been a great learning experience for me to make both of my versions in completely different fabrics.

Papercut Aomori Twists

So many things I need to blog and photograph if I’m going to have a record on here of my makes! Oh well, one step at a time!

My love affair with Papercut Patterns continues. I bought the Aomori Twist Top when the Sakura Collection was released last year. This pattern was calling to me.

I’ve now made two of these and they both get so much wear. The oversize look may not be perfect for my shape, but I love these tops. The first one I made was in a rust coloured merino from stash. I made this in January before we headed off to the UK and Tokyo. The second one I made from the pink merino knit (also from stash) about a month ago.

The first version I cut my standard halfway between M and L for Papercut. It was so big! The sleeves were about two inches too long as well (the depth of the cuff). I ended up taking in the sleeves and the side seams by around an inch and a half (~4 cm).

The second version I sized down. The fit is generally better, but this fabric is very loosely woven and has still come up big! I ended up taking in this version at the waist to give it a bit more definition. The sleeves I also shortened by the depth of the cuff.

From the photos on the website, I think the sleeves are meant to be long and big around the wrist. I’m not a fan of this and so I made changes. The rust coloured cuffs were really big, so I decided I’d pleat the bottom of the sleeve into the cuff, so that the cuff was small enough for me. The second version, I decided to grade in the sleeves and then stretch the cuff slightly to fit.

For both versions I attached cotton tape to the shoulder seams. I do this with all knit items. I’ve tried clear elastic but it just didn’t work. With the pink version I also added tape to the back of the neck, although you can’t see this since it’s enclosed in the binding.

Don’t look at the binding on the inside. It’s a mess on both versions! I had a nightmare making it neat and tidy on both, so it looks fine on the outside, it’s the inside which looks a mess!

The deets
Fabric:  Rust coloured merino from stash, not sure how long it’s been there and I don’t know where it came from! Pink merino also from stash. If memory serves me right on this one, I think it came from Levana some time ago. 
Notions: 
 Thread and tape for the shoulder seams.
Pattern:  
Papercut Patterns Aomori Twist top, size M/L for one and S/M for the other.
Changes made:  
Shortened the sleeves by the cuff length – around 4-5 cm. Took in the side seams and sleeve seams. Pleated the sleeve into the cuff on one version to fit cuff around wrist.

Recommendation/Make again:  These two jumpers are in permanent rotation. I love them. They are not fitted and don’t show my curves off, but I’m loving this pattern. It’s easy to wear and easy to put together. I’m tempted to try a sleeveless version for the summer in a woven fabric. This pattern will work really well in a woven with drape. I might even be able to get the binding neater! 🙂

Driftless cardigan

When we headed to the UK and Japan in January, I felt the need for a warm cardigan with pockets. Enter the Grainline Driftless cardigan.

It was fellow WSBN member Kirsten who has made a number of these and convinced me that I needed one in my wardrobe. I bought the pattern and then went to shop my stash to find suitable fabric.

This pink rib knit, I think came from Levana some time ago. It is quite a bright pink, but I love it. Kirsten gave me some tips on sizing and I’m glad I took note. Those sleeves are really quite fitted and if you’re wanting to layer up, I’d recommend cutting them larger so there’s room for another layer underneath.

This is view A with the straight hem across the bottom. I have to say, this was not a difficult make. The only thing I initially got a bit confused with was the pocket, but mainly because I just looked at the picture rather than read the text!

I was very careful with this fabric which was great to sew with, but I still managed to stretch the back waist seam slightly and so that’s quite obvious in this fabric. I possibly tried too hard trying to match the rib knit too! This fabric has a reasonable stretch in one direction, it has very little in the other.

It’s a while since I made this up, but I don’t remember anything strange or odd about this pattern. The instructions as always for Grainline patterns were clear and easy to follow. I didn’t even deviate – wonders will never cease! The only think I decided against was adding the buttons and buttonholes. To be honest, I don’t think I would need them and so left them off – it’s not been an issue so far!

I have two main gripes with Grainline patterns. They are all completely in Imperial measurements. I work with both, but there are so many countries now which are completely metric, both measurements really need to be included now. Secondly, the seam allowance. Their print patterns are all 1/2″, their knit patterns are all 1/4″. Why, why are they an 1/8″ less than the rest of the pattern making community?

The deets
Fabric:  Bright pink wide rib knit from Levana (I think). It’s been in my stash for 2-3 years. 
Notions: 
 Thread and tape for the shoulder seams.
Pattern:  
Grainline Driftless cardigan, view A, size 10, but size 12+ for the sleeves.
Changes made:  
I didn’t add the buttons. I also made the sleeves bigger and shortened them by around 2 inches. These are pretty fitted long sleeves.

Recommendation/Make again:  I like this cardigan. I have some great fabric in stash which would make another, that’s if I have enough of it! This needs over 2m of 115cm wide. There’s also a lot of pattern pieces! It was pretty easy to put together. My fabric didn’t want to press really and so my pockets don’t sit well. There’s a nice video tutorial for the thread loops for the pockets, which I’d recommend making so the pockets don’t flap around. But pockets! Have I mentioned this cardigan has pockets!

I like the longline slouchiness of this, but the sleeves are still long and so I try to push them up which means I don’t find it as comfy as I might. I think I’m going to have to shorten those sleeves so at least they are more comfortable length-wise.

Muse Natalie and Lady Skater

These two dresses are remakes of previous patterns.

Muse Natalie

I love my other Natalie dress and really wanted to make another since the pale grey one is worn loads during the cooler months.

This fabric came from Levana and was a complete and utter nightmare to cut on the grain. It was seriously off grain and twisted throughout. I had to cut everything on a single layer, rather than on the fold or two sleeves at once. Consequently I did wonder if this would be a disaster, but it has actually worked out well and gets as much wear as the grey version.

The details
Fabric:  Pale green-blue polyester knit from Levana, Levin, I think bought at the end of 2016.
Notions:  Thread, interfacing and some cotton tape to stabilise the shoulders.
Pattern:  Muse Patterns Natalie dress, size 38
Changes made:  None


Another one/recommendations:  I would recommend this as a quick comfy make. The style lines are great, and makes it that little bit different. I made this one nearly a year ago and that I makes two which are both in constant wear.

Lady Skater

Another secret pyjama dress! This is my third lady skater. Actually I’ve noticed that the second was never blogged. Mm, OK, I’ll add that in here too!

The second was made straight after finishing my first I loved it that much. I made this second one from a plain black merino which came from Levana. I made a couple of changes from the first one, I raised the back neckline by about half inch and again raised the front by around an inch. It meant I needed to shorten the neck binding. Fortunately that worked really easily.

I also shortened the bodice again by around half inch. I only lengthened the skirt by around an inch. The other change was to remove the cuffs and finish the sleeves with a plain hem and double needle.

The third version I just wanted to make something quick and easy for instant gratification and when I didn’t have much time available. I’d gone to the Fabric Warehouse to buy fabric specifically with something in mind and saw this beautiful blossom print. I thought initially it was a woven chambray, but it was a beautiful terry knit! It didn’t take a lot of umming and ahhing for me to decide I needed this fabric and I knew exactly what to make up. I bought way too much, but have plans for this…

So for this version I decided with the summery fabric to make it with short sleeves. The neckline is the same as the black version, so the back raised by half inch and the front by an inch. Looking at it I could have shortened the bodice by a bit more. I think this knit is weighing it down, but hey, I’m not intending to change it now!

The deets
Fabric:  Pale blue terry knit with blossom from the Fabric Warehouse and black merino from Levana.
Notions:  Thread, tape for shoulders and clear elastic for waist.
Pattern:  Kitschy Coo Lady Skater dress, size 6 with short sleeves for the blue version and 3/4 sleeves for the black version
Changes made:  Raised the front neckline by an inch, raised the back neckline by half inch, shortened the bodice by 1/2 inch and lengthened the skirt by about 1.5 inches.

Recommendations:  I love this dress so much. both the blue and the black merino one have had so much wear. They are easy to style and easy to wear. The blue blossom version has been worn for evenings out too. I don’t follow the instructions at all. There are two sets, some for those who require lots of help and those who think they know it all, but may need some guidance. Of course, then there are the daft people like me who just go it alone! 🙂 #iliketosewdangerously