A trio of Darling Ranges

The first project with buttonholes that I tackled was the Megan Nielsen Darling Ranges dress. At the time of sewing, I was pregnant and needed something that would be roomy enough to hide (in the first 3 months) and later fit my growing bump. At the time, I couldn’t be bothered to tweak the waistline of version 1 so I went for version 3, the tunic. The first one I made was out of this cotton lawn weight chambray. All of my versions have pockets because…well…pockets. That’s self explanatory.

IMG_20170131_143531

As you can see, the fabric is really light and even though I made the dress length, it was still a bit short for me so I always wore them with tights or leggings. Super comfy and roomy though.

My next version was out of this black viscose fabric from The Textile Centre. It has a flower-like pattern on it that reminds me of Chinese characters. I think I got the most wear out of this version, because it didn’t need ironing. Even though it’s a viscose fabric, it has a nice weight to it which made it surprisingly warm.

IMG_20170131_143017

Last but not least, a linen sleeveless version. This probably got the second-most wears because when it was colder, I could layer with a turtleneck or long sleeve top, and when it was warmer, I either wore it on its own, or with a short sleeved t-shirt underneath.

IMG_20170131_143343

IMG_20170131_143244

From what I remember, these tunics fit me up until my 8th month, and I continued to wear them after pregnancy because they were just so loose and comfy.

One big thing to point out is that Megan’s post about sewing closures is an absolute gem. It has transformed how I find doing buttonholes and sewing buttons onto clothing. The tip about putting the pin through the sewn and open button hole to line up perfectly with where the button will go…genius. Sewing buttons with a machine? Even better. I am terrible at hand sewing and my first few attempts at doing so meant I had a flimsy button on there. Using the machine is a time and life saver. Check out her tips!

Summer shirt round-up

Over the summer I sewed a lot of short sleeved shirts that I never got around to blogging about. In the time since then, they have been loved, worn a lot and then packed away as the weather in London cooled.

First up, the Sewaholic Belcarra. This is a simple raglan sleeve top that goes with just about anything and is super easy to make. I made a few that were too big, but ended up giving away as gifts (I really need to look at the finished garment measurements better). This shirt is the culmination of quite a bit of tweaking, but I’m really happy with the final fit and will be making good use of the adjustments to make more when the weather gets warmer. This shirt is made from a cotton fabric I bought on Goldhawk road.
DSC_3711
DSC_3712

The ever popular Grainline Scout Tee was my most worn and made tee this summer. This pattern is really popular in the blog world and it’s not hard to see why. It is a clean and simple pattern that you can make out of pretty much any type of fabric. This pattern is what made me realise that all of my measurements could be spot on one of the sizes, but my shoulders are broader than usual at that size. I end up having to go a size up at the shoulders and then everything else is the same. Once I got that fit right, it was a breeze.

This first version is also made of a cotton fabric I found on Goldhawk Road. I’d originally bought some to make a Belcarra out of, but it was a bit too big so I gave it to my sister. I loved the fabric so much I went back to Goldhawk Road and found the fabric again (thankfully they still had some left) so that I could make a Scout Tee.
DSC_3708
DSC_3709

This Scout is made out of a lightweight viscose that has a fish scale type pattern to it. I bought this from the Textile Centre.
20150901_210018[1]
DSC_3716
DSC_3720
On this version of the tee, I tried the blind hem stitch on my machine to hem the bottom of the shirt. It worked out really nicely! I’d done the blind hem stitch when I hemmed a pair of work trousers and thought I’d try it here to a) cut down on the amount of hand sewing and b) making sure I actually finished this project because I tend to procrastinate on hand sewing.
20150901_205950[1]

Last but not least, my favourite Scout of all. I lengthened this top and made it out of another flowy viscose from Textile Centre. The print is florally, but it also looked a bit Asian-inspired which I really liked. It’s not as lightweight as my fish scale viscose fabric but it’s still really drapey. I wore this top a lot when we were on holiday in Asia.
DSC_3722
DSC_3724
DSC_3725

 

A Victoria Blazer for me!

A while back, I purchased a paper version of By Hand London’s Victoria Blazer. I’ve mentioned before that I love their patterns so I figured that even if I didn’t have immediate plans to make it, I would still buy the pattern. It’s ironic that the few paper patterns I own have been the most neglected yet I have completed loads of PDF patterns. PDF patterns need to be printed, a couple of sides trimmed off, taped together, cut out and then traced. It’s a laborious process, but one that ends up being very worth it once done.

With the weather getting colder, I thought it’d be nice to make this up. I pondered making it a full long sleeved blazer but decided for the cropped sleeve because it’d be perfect for layering over a long sleeved shirt or turtleneck in the colder months and over a short sleeved tee in the warmer months.

The Victoria Blazer is more of a slouchy blazer rather than a structured one. The fit is still really great, but if you’re after a structured pattern, then this may not be for you. I personally love structured clothing. I don’t do oversized or baggy clothing, and all of the blazers I own are very structured. That’s why it surprised me how much I love my Victoria Blazer.

It’s made out of a stretchy denim with white polka dots on it that I bought from the Textile Centre‘s ebay shop. For the lining, I went JAZZY and used the bright blue and patterned fabric I bought in Dubai. Beth from 110 Creations has a great blog post about tips and tricks for the Victoria Blazer. I didn’t see these until after I created my blazer but will definitely use some of them for my next one which is currently in progress!

I’m really happy with how this turned out. You kind of just follow step-by-step and before you know it…you have a lined blazer! The dart is a bit confusing at first, but I utilised BHL’s sewalong and it worked out just fine. One thing I realised after I’d already started sewing was that I’d missed a couple notch markings on my pattern. I had to go back and mark them on my pattern pieces after I’d already sewn some pieces together…oops. I think I miss those notches a lot easier on the tissue paper patterns when tracing. It was a bit fiddly, but worked out perfectly in the end!

The shell in progress
20151010_125214

Setting the sleeve
20151010_171100

Finished product with the jazzy lining showing a little 🙂
DSC_3751

Sleeve cuff up
DSC_3753

Sleeve cuff down
DSC_3754

After some pondering, I decided to topstitch the lapels and collar down so that they stay in place a bit better. I like the final result even more!
20151013_120734