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?

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!

Rachel Top

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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.

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This is the Rachel top by See Kate Sew. I really liked the shape of the sleeves and the exposed zip at the back.

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Ruffled sleeves are a big trend this summer and they are everywhere at the moment! It was actually very easy to add the ruffle.

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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.

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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.

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.

Tova Finished

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.

The back:

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!

Tova Along

Kerry over at Verykerryberry is hosting a Tova Along.  This beautiful pattern can be purchased here .  It was first available as a paper pattern only and sold out quite quickly, but is now available as a PDF.  I love this pattern – it is so versatile for all kinds of fabrics, and looks comfy and practical too. I am hoping to make mine in a beautiful Nani Iro double gauze I’ve had in my stash for a while.  I will be printing the pattern and cutting my fabric tonight!

Check out everyone else’s Tovas in the Flickr pool here.