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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Megan Nielsen Brumby Skirt

One of the nice things about finally putting my backlog of makes on the blog is that I rediscover how much I love the item that I made. As a result, I now want to make more of what I’ve blogged about which helps the pattern-hoarder in me to make use of what I already have 🙂

The first Megan Nielsen pattern I’d sewed was this Brumby skirt. I was first drawn to it because of its massive pockets. I’m a pocket fan. Dresses, skirts, trousers…anything with pockets just ups a piece of clothing’s usefulness.

It was a really straightforward make. I made it out of this black and white viscose fabric but I don’t remember where I got it from…oops. Because the fabric is a bit slippery, I opted for an invisible zip rather than the exposed zip. Next time, I’ll definitely go for the exposed zip.

I’ve since worn this brumby to work, and gotten good use out of it when travelling, particularly in Dubai. Because it’s long and covers my knees, it’s perfect for the location, and since it’s so hot there, wearing a skirt is much more comfortable than shorts.

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Yay for pockets!

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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