I downloaded and printed the Named Esme cardigan pattern a few months ago to make with some beautiful Fabworks double faced wool. I actually ended up buying two lots of this fabric as I didn’t have enough the first time I tried to cut it out. The #cosycardichallenge on Instagram motivated me and I finally got round to making it last week. From cutting to finishing the last stitch it took me about four hours.
There are not many pattern pieces to stick together for the PDF version but you do have to trace off the sleeve and button band as they overlap the other pieces.
I modified the pattern a bit to suit me. The original length was almost down to my ankles so I reduced the length by about 8 inches. I also decided not to add the cuff or buttons as I liked the look without them.
As the wool is double faced, I could have used either side for the cuffs and neckband. I decided I preferred to keep it one colour and just use the contrast for the pocket. It breaks up the block colour and adds a bit of interest. This did lead to a bit of brain gymnastics as I had to work out which was the right and wrong side for attaching the pockets.
Next time I would also reduce the length in the top of the front bodice as well as the pockets are a little low for my liking and I definitely can’t reach to the bottom of them easily! They are lovely deep pockets though.
A word about the fabric – the above photo is a product shot from Fabworks mill. I met some friends at GBSB Live who said they never buy fabric online after disappointments, but I have found the sample service from Fabworks very good and the quality and value of their fabrics is amazing. I originally bought this fabric for £5 a metre during their Fabric of the Week offer but at £10 a metre it is still a bargain. I prewashed it on a wool setting on my machine and it came out perfect. It is also soft, non itchy and very sturdy with no sign of pilling. It was easy to sew and overlock as well. I have enough left to make a Finlayson sweater for my husband too, although I will use the navy side so we don’t end up twinning!
All in all, I’m really pleased with this project and I’m sure it will get lots of use. Despite being a fairly simple sew it has the ‘did you make that?’ factor! It’s so useful and the type of garment that would be £££ in the shops.
There’s been a bit of a blogging hiatus again! Ramadan was busy and then we had the usual end of term madness. You may have seen some of my makes over on Instagram but I will try and catch up here as I’ve made quite a few new things recently that I want to share.
This is the Rachel top by See Kate Sew. I really liked the shape of the sleeves and the exposed zip at the back.
Ruffled sleeves are a big trend this summer and they are everywhere at the moment! It was actually very easy to add the ruffle.
I added a pink exposed zip which pops against the dark blue Art Gallery print fabric. This is a cotton voile from the Katarina Roccella collection.
I wore it with some pink Biden Richmond trousers and an Inayah collection sleeveless crepe jacket. I also have quite a lot of aqua in my wardrobe so it coordinates well with other items. It is a little short for my preference and has a bit of a maternity look to it because of the gathers above the bust so I’m not sure I’ll make it again but I learned a lot doing this project and will use the skills again.
It’s been a little while since I made this dress but it has a springy palette so provided the weather improves, it should get some wear soon!
This dress is made entirely in Liberty Tana lawn. The main fabric is Tuesday Trees, which was designed by Lauren Child (the creator of Charlie and Lola). It’s a pretty print with a hint of colour, just enough to complement the patchwork panel.
The pattern is the Painted Portrait Dress by Anna Maria Horner. I purchased both the pattern and fabric quite a few years ago and it is wonderful to actually see them made up into something wearable finally.
I used a variety of prints to make up the panel, which was actually very easy to sew. I found it a bit tricky to attach the side panels to the main bodice and had to reduce a bit of the fullness to get it to fit in. The fitting is still fine, I made a size Small.
My only regret is not making the sleeves full length, as it would be much more practical for me in the summer. I even considered remaking the sleeves but didn’t want to unpick all my stitching and overlocking. This may be an option still if it annoys me enough! But overall I’m very happy with the style and fabric combination, it’s something that would catch my eye if I saw it in the shops and it is comfortable and light to wear (once the weather cheers up!)
This shift dress has been in my wardrobe for a while now. I bought the fabric and pattern at the Knitting and Stitch Show in October. There was a dress on display in another print and it looked like a straightforward project. Another friend on Instagram also posted about her plans to sew the same dress so we ended up having a mini-sewalong.
She did say that her first attempt was quite small so I erred on the side of caution and used a smaller seam allowance than stated. It’s actually a bit loose now but I don’t mind that too much.
I improvised a loop with elastic and used a button instead of a hook and eye fastening. I find them a bit fiddly when I can’t see the fastening easily.
The fabric is a beautiful navy floral crepe which washes perfectly. The colours were less bright when wet but got brighter again once the fabric dried, to my relief. I couldn’t find it on the website so it may have sold out, but they have a great selection of dressmaking fabric available.
I usually throw the dress on with navy smart trousers for work or jeans on my days off.
It also goes well with my Driftless cardigan. It’s a versatile and comfy dress and great for showing off patterned fabrics which don’t need a lot of design details.
Next I’m working on my dress for the Moneta Party. There’s still time to join in if you haven’t already!
I’m playing catch up with a few makes so you’ll all have to bear with me while I race through them so I can get to the new stuff! I have been posting some of them on Instagram so they might be familiar to anyone who follows me there.
This skirt was made using a tutorial for a Flat Fronted Skirt found here on the Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom blog. I love this Dashwood cuckoo clocks print and it has been very versatile due to all the colours in the print.
My daughter has worn it lots with coloured tights and bright cardigans.
Didn’t realise the above shot was so moody but I still love her little poses!
This is the Oliver and S Culottes pattern (from the Lunch Box Tee + Culottes set). I bought the Cotton and Steel apples print with a skirt in mind but thought this pattern would also work well.
I cut a size 4 and the waist was a little big for her, but I cinched it with a row of hemming inside the waist seam. The box pleats are very cute and gives a very nice tailored look.
She chose to wear this with red sparkly tights, an orangey-red cardigan and a cute Uniqlo x Liberty top. Bright and a bit over the top!
This mirror from Bangladesh is her current obsession. She has her fads (like her mother!)
These moments are rare but precious. The little one takes every opportunity to attack his sister, and he finds plenty of them! But he gets away with it thanks to his mischievous smile.
He’s wearing the Oliver + S School bus Tee in a C. Pauli organic interlock from The Village Haberdashery. I wasn’t too hopeful as my printer scaled the pattern smaller and although I cut a 2T it was tiny and I realised too late. I used a 1/4″ seam and it fits, because he is small for his age. It won’t last too long though.
So that’s a whistlestop tour of a few things I’ve made. I have also made a few clothes for myself which I will blog soon.
I finished my Tova and am really pleased with it! The fabric is a beautiful double gauze called Fuccra from the 2010 Nani Iro collection . The fabric is very soft and lightweight, perfect for summer. The weather today is dull and miserable, so I have done my best with indoor photos.
(I probably shouldn’t admit this, but the yoke and body matching is entirely accidental. I was really lucky!)
I also love how all the little pops of colour in this make it very versatile to match with other items I already have. I made the small size, which fits very well but if I make it again I would add an inch or two more in the hip area as I like my dresses a bit looser and also maybe a couple of inchest to make it longer. The pattern was very easy to print and cut out once I’d worked out how to lay out the pieces. The instructions are also very clear, but the instructions that Kerry (over at Verykerryberry) put together as part of the Tova-along are superb and make it the perfect project for someone wanting to develop their dressmaking skills. The only problem I had was that the collar pieces were a bit narrow so it was a bit hard to ease it all together without forming pleats, but it was accomplished after a bit of unpicking. Next time I would probably make the pieces a bit wider. The fabric does fray quite easily so I didn’t want to keep redoing my sewing.
This is how I will typically wear my Tova:
I’m planning a couple of other Tova dresses, one in a beautiful sky blue ramie blend fabric and I also love this Tova in Innocent Crush voile, which I have in my stash ready to turn into a top.
I also have my eye on the Wiksten tank now – there are so many amazing versions in the Flickr pool!
Thanks to Kerry for the sew-along, it gave me the boost to get this done, and am so pleased to have taken part!