Sapporo Coat

A quick post about my Sapporo coats! I really loved the pattern as soon as I saw it popping up on Instagram and bought it soon afterwards. It is an oversized cocoon shaped coat with slanted pockets by Papercut patterns and is available as a PDF or paper pattern. I made a ‘coatigan’ to begin with, using a diamond pattern textured wool fabric from my stash. I bought this fabric a couple of years ago on eBay, with the intention of making a coat but realised it was quite soft and prone to pilling which put me off using it. I almost didn’t finish making it but I was persuaded by the good people of Instagram! It worked really well as an unlined soft jacket . I overlocked all the seams which made it very quick, and hand stitched the hems for a neat finish.

I made the smallest size and reduced the length by about 2-3 inches but didn’t make any other major modifications. As predicted, it has bobbled quite a lot but is still wearable and I’m glad I finished it.

Next I was ready to tackle the real thing. I used a teal and black wool boucle from Fabworks. It has a subtle grid pattern and is thick and warm. I made the smallest size again, and modified the shell by reducing about an inch at the dropped shoulder seam and a similar amount from the whole sleeve seam and the side seam. I did not reduce the length this time.

I really liked the lining fabric pattern which is a pretty lilac and blue flower print on a black background from Stone Fabrics. Stone Fabrics is in Devon but they have an excellent mail order service where you can telephone your order through to the shop and pay for it by card.

I found inserting the lining a bit tricky, partly because I had modified the pattern and also because I had never bagged a lining before. I watched a couple of videos on YouTube which helped me to understand the process and it worked out eventually!

I wore it for our anniversary day out and it was really comfortable and warm. The fabric does tend to catch on things, it’s a bit like Velcro!

I really enjoyed making this coat and it has given me more confidence to try other coat and jacket patterns. I’d love to make a bright wool coat for next year and have spied some great patterns such as the Rumana coat by By Hand London and the Sew Over It Cocoon coat (available with Lisa Comfort magazine). Do you have any coat patterns you would recommend?

Kyoto Tee Review

I bought the Kyoto Tee pattern by Papercute Patterns a while ago and have made two of them so far. I really liked the ruffle on the sleeve which is very on trend at the moment. I now get most of my patterns printed at A0 size at Netprinter so I was able to cut out the pieces quickly and get started. There are only a few pieces – front, back, sleeve, ruffle and hem and sleeve bands.

I made my first one in a teal boiled wool jersey from Fabworks. It didn’t have a great deal of stretch but as the fit is quite loose it worked well. The fabric was easy to sew with and doesn’t fray as it is boiled wool.

I made the small size, it was quite long so I shortened it by about two inches. I had planned to leave off the hem band but I ended up cutting it a bit shorter than I wanted so I ended up using the hem band but making it narrower and longer so it didn’t pull in as much at the waist. I hemmed the sleeves without the band as well.

I made my second Kyoto in a mustard yellow jersey from Fabrics Galore which I bought at Great British Sewing Bee Live. It was another quick make, finished in a couple of easy evenings after work. I’ve been wearing this quite a lot as it is so comfortable as a layering piece. The fabric is great quality cotton/elastane blend and washes well.

I’ve seen some short sleeved tops and ones made without the ruffle as well so plan to give those versions a try as well. It’s a very versatile pattern!

I Am Cassiopee review 

I started writing this while waiting for the RAC man to do his thing fixing my punctured tyre this morning before work. I think it’s the first time in a few months I’ve had literally nothing to do! Luckily the RAC gave me priority as I needed to be in work quickly and it was all sorted within 45 minutes.

I bought the I Am Cassiopee pattern at the Great British Sewing Bee Live show in September, and thought it would be a great match for this viscose from Fabrics Galore. I really liked the I Am Patterns stall, as they had a file showing all the different patterns as well as made up samples to look at. I have my eye on the Artemis and Pan designs too.

You do need to trace off the paper pattern which I found a bit time consuming but not difficult. I did have to add a tiny pleat at the back of the neck to get the facing to fit so my tracing may not have been completely accurate!

The pattern is classed as a beginner level pattern, and has raglan sleeves which are easier to fit than set in sleeves, and no neck closures to worry about. The gathering could be tricky for a beginner but otherwise it is straightforward. The fit is very loose on the body with lots of ease.

The cuff detail on the sleeve gives a nice finish and is easy to do. You can see here that some of the dye has come out and there are white specks all over the fabric. I have also managed to pull the fabric at the front which has left a thin white line just below the gathered waist.  This is a bit disappointing but not very obvious due to the pattern. The fabric itself is a drapey viscose which has a bit of body to it so is ideal for the shape of the dress.

I find this dress really comfortable to wear and it feels very stylish due to the monochrome abstract design. The only thing I wish I had done is to add pockets as I have them in nearly all of my memade dresses now and can’t manage without them!

I think this is a great pattern for adventurous beginners or intermediate sewists who want an easy to wear dress that can be styled for winter with boots and tights and cosy layers. I am planning a colourful midi version next!

Named Esme Cardigan Pattern Review 


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. 

Waterfall Raglan Dress and Top

I managed to send off both my giveaway packages this week, thanks to everyone who took part on Instagram. I made this patchwork pouch out of a stack of my favourite Anna Maria Horner prints using the In Color Order Lined Drawstring Bag tutorial . It took a bit of time as I haven’t done any patchwork in a long time but I really enjoyed the process and love the result.

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I used a pink and red striped Tula Pink print for the top of the bag which I think complements the colours nicely. I hope its new owner enjoys using it, and I’m thinking of making another one for myself.

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I’ve been meaning to share this top for a little while, its the Waterfall Raglan by Chalk and Notch patterns. I made both the top and dress versions for my daughter.

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I used a beautiful Art Gallery Fabrics knit for this. The fabric is from the Fleet and Flourish collection  by Maureen Cracknell and is called Swifting Flora Fond.

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I cut a size 5 for my daughter and it fits her well with some room to grow (she is just over 4 but quite tall).

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The loose style of the top looks great over trousers. She doesn’t have many tops at the moment so I am planning to make a few more using this pattern.

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I made the dress using a jersey which is overlaid with a cream corded lace which I bought from Simply Fabrics in Brixton.

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At first I thought the fabric would be fine to use as it has a jersey base but when I did the stretch test I found that it only had about 20% stretch due to the lace which is bonded on to the jersey. When I initially sewed the sleeves they were a bit tight so I unpicked and sewed them again using a 1/4 inch seam instead, which gave a bit of extra room.

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I also  used a thinner fabric to make the facing for the neckline and turned that inwards which made the neckhole a bit bigger. waterfall3

It’s a great dress for twirling in and the fabric makes it special. I also bought some velvet as I have seen some beautiful velvet versions online too.

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Akita Top

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I just subscribed to Seamwork which is a brilliant sewing magazine. The best thing about it that you get two downloadable pattern credits a month, and all the patterns are designed to be quick to make. I have seen lots of these beautiful tops on Instagram and had looked at the link before but didn’t want to pay for the individual pattern. I used one of my credits to get this pattern and the second for the Moji trousers pattern. This is a link to subscribe to Seamwork which will give you the first month for half price, which makes it an even more amazing bargain!

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The fabric is organic cotton voile from the Palos Verdes collection, Cloud 9 fabrics. It is much lighter than most of the clothes I wear but is nice as a layer under a cardigan or for wearing at home instead of a t-shirt.

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I am not a huge fan of bias tape especially as I had to make it myself, but it didn’t actually take a terribly long time. I misunderstood the instructions and had to unpick the seam and the bias tape seams on one side which slowed me right down. I plan to make a couple more of these as I have a lot of one and two yard pieces of fabric in my stash. It is possible to make the top out of one yard of fabric by seaming at the shoulders.

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This is a straightforward pattern and I’m sure my second attempt will be quicker. I’m looking forward to trying more Seamwork patterns soon.

 

Winter Coat patterns + Simply Fabrics Brixton

I have been thinking about making a wool coat for my daughter and saw some beautiful ones  at the Hand made Fair last weekend. I don’t think I could ever justify spending nearly £200 on a child’s coat no matter how beautiful so have been looking at patterns and fabrics online. I also went to Simply Fabrics a few years ago and remembered they had a selection of coat material so thought it would be worth going on a little outing.

The shop (or rather two shops on the same road) has been mentioned on a few blogs, including on Tilly and the Buttons, so is not such a well kept secret any more but is a great place to pick up something unusual at a good price.

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photo 2 There are some beautiful wools and unusual technical fabrics, including Japanese wools and coated silks. I spied some lovely delicate Roland Mouret silks and a shelf of Liberty silks, lawns and wool blend fabrics. They also had dupion silk, linens, jersey and faux fur fabrics. In the end I came away with a piece of faux fur to make my daughter a gilet for the winter and some Liberty Lifestyle Garnett fabric in a colourway which I’m fairly sure is sold out elsewhere. The prices are amazing also – all the Liberty fabric is £12/m, and most of the other fabrics are much cheaper.

I also wandered into the Brixton market which was a real surprise – quirky shops and wonderful places to eat. We stopped at French and Grace where we enjoyed a delicious mezze plate before heading back home

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As for children’s coat patterns, here are a few that are in the running:

Make it Perfect Serendipity coat

I made this last year for my daughter so of course I could reuse the pattern. I do love this coat and it was adorable, so will definitely consider it if I don’t find anything I love more.

Sydney by C’est Dimanche

This version is stunning but I’m not sure my French is up to the challenge! The Volga pattern is also lovely. I like that you can add on variations to the patterns to change the look, but they start from age 4 so think I’ll have to save these until she is older.

Stylish Double breasted coat by Dear My Kids

Another double breasted coat – can you see a theme? I do like classic shapes on young children!

The Bubblegum Coat by See Kate Sew

I love this pink version, it has a more modern look, maybe a bit more sixties because of the big buttons.

Cecily by Citronille

Another classic coat, this time by French company Citronille – again a little deterred by it being in French but could give it a go with the help of Google Translate!

School Days Jacket by Oliver + S

This is a different style with a practical hood and nice finishing details, but also looks a little more challenging.

Of course, I haven’t had a chance to look at the Simplicity etc pattern books and I’m sure they will also have some great patterns. For now I will start thinking about fabrics and colours and hope to get going before the cold sets in.