Saturday, March 18, 2017

Amuse in silk

One Thimble is a digital sewing magazine (you probably know it)  that is released four times a year and every edition contains several pdf patterns plus all kinds of sewing related articles and tutorials. I have already told you about One Thimble a few times before because I have showed you several patterns that I tested for contributing designers, like this and this one. Now that I have become part of the new One Thimble promotion team, I can show you even more of the awesome pattern database they have build up over their current 14 issues!

Today, I am showing you my second sew from the most recent issue, the Amuse*. The pattern is designed by Winter Wear Designs and it immediately grabbed my attention when it was released. I have been planning to sew myself more woven patterns (I blame her for this urge), and this one immediately entered the top 10 of my wish list upon release, I mean just look at that lovely detail on the front!. The Amuse can be sewn either as a dress, shirt or tunic. I went for the dress length, I just love not having to style/combine my garments with anything else.

The fabric has been waiting for selfish sewing for long. I bought it years ago, and I once cut into my large piece to make this blouse for my daughter, but I still had a good amount of fabric left. The silk is so delicate that I lined the bodice part instead of having a facing. I am wearing an under dress on these pictures to counter the possible seethroughness of the skirt part. I had to sew scraps together to be able to make the lining and the length of the lining was determined by the available fabric, now all is gone.

The silk is fraying a lot, so I had to carefully finish the seams. I was considering French seams, but even normal stitching is hard on this fabric (even with a new needle and the straight stitch sewing plate that I own). Recently I discovered my rolled hem foot (due to the instructions of this pattern). and I sewed most of the seams as rolled hems. The side seams, the raglan sleeves for example were all sewn and finished in one go through this. It made sewing this delicate fabric almost as comfortable as sewing jersey with a serger. I thought it  was a pretty smart move.

Although the weather was not that bad this week, it was  windy and there was no way that I could get nice pictures outside, so it was the white background again. I really am trying to increase my own modelling style and this time I tried accessories. My mother and me laughed our ass of on how I should "naturally" hold a plant on a picture, but I was not dissatisfied with the end result.

The Amuse is available as a stand alone pattern here*, or as part as One Thimble issue 14*.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Antje and Lina, a matching set

Näh Connection has released new translated patterns, the Lina and Antje, a cute skirt and top. They are separate patterns, by two different designers, but I made a matching set out of them. I am not a matching set type. I actually try to avoid them as much as possible. This one is probably the only one that I made, and they were actually made not be worn together. This Lina and Antje set is super cute though and both pieces will easily match with other pieces from her wardrobe.

The Antje skirt is a quick and satisfying sew. The skirt has box pleats and a yoga waistband (without elastic inside). I love the suggested crosses to keep the box pleats in place, I used them as a cute detail and sewed them with gold colored thread (I used the same for a pretty hem). The pattern gives the crosses as an example, but you can be as creative as you like of course. I sewed a slightly higher waistband (the height of two sizes bigger) due to my daughter's toddler belly. This way there is a bigger likelihood it stays covered up.

The Lina skirt is a faux layered shirt. It gives the illusion of a tank top on a shirt and gives you the possibility to color block or add additional trims. I went with a rather plain version, but I did use the puff sleeves (two types are included). Both patterns do NOT have included seam allowances, which made it super easy to slightly adjust the pattern to have a regular bottom hem instead of a waistband. I thought the outfit's look would be better like than, than with two waistbands on each other. This way there is the illusion of wearing a tank on a dress.

All of these fabrics were bought at Joyfits, but they are a gathered collection from multiple orders. The brown dots were bought at least three years ago and I used it here (on the back). The fabric with the deers was from last fall and I used it in this dress. I recently ordered several ribbing fabrics.

Both patterns are now on introduction sale until Sunday. The Antje skirt is also available for women. Here you can find all my sews as a Näh Connection ambassador

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Marlow dresses

You might think that I am participating in the 40 days of blogging movement, because I am again showing you a new release. Today, Jilly Atlanta's new Marlow is the in spot light. During testing I sewed two versions, a simple version and an all-in version with ruffles and sequins! My daughter likes both, but of course the shinny one really stole her heart.

The Marlow pattern has two dress lengths, vintage and knee length. I went twice for knee length, because this way I get more live out of the dress. She will keep wearing these until it becomes vintage length (or shorter) for sure. The dress is designed for playability and comfort so it has a wide waist. This way it is also easy to get on and off you daughter. You can sew short or long sleeves and there s a possible sleeve ruffle for the short sleeves.

Both dresses were made with fabrics that I took from the "free pop-up shop" that we had on our sewing weekend. The brown orange one is from Hanne and the white with trees is from Katrien. Neither one of the original projects were blogged, so I can not tell you more about these fabrics, besides the fact that the pink tree one a Michael Miller one is. The sequins were a left over from when I upcycled this dress. The strip was too narrow for the front, so I sewed the front and back pieces together (by hand). The ruffles were a left over from when I made this dress. The V can be sewn with the included ruffles, but you can also use piping or just go for a color block.

The pocket on the basic version is a lovely detail. It is such a smart idea! I really love the fact that it is reversible and therefore easily gives a different look to the dress. The instructions will have you sew two button loops and attach the pocket on two buttons. I went a different way and actually used one side of snaps to attach the pocket. In my version the pocket can not be removed, but this is not a problem for me, this way it can not get lost neither. I added side seam pockets to the sequin dress. These are not included in the pattern.

The Jilly Atlanta patterns have a beautiful finish. With the sequin version the sequins are totally encased on the inside of the dress within the V. No itchy seams there. I did have to cut away several sequins after sewing them, to be able to fold the seams. The effect of the sequins is great, but unpicking them is really horrible. The pattern includes the instructions to make French seams (not for the armholes) and the neckline has bias finish on the inside. I chose to sew some french seams, but not all.

For just a few more hours the pattern is available for just 5 dollars (excluding VAT).

Monday, March 13, 2017

Newport top

Today, Itch to Stitch has released a new shirt pattern, the Newport top*, with several intriguing design details. To start, the pattern has a wide envelop neckline, which creates a kind of boat neckline view. Second the top has a high low hem on the bottom of the shirt. Third, the 3/4 sleeves have a flute shaped bottom. Besides the 3/4 sleeves, regular long sleeves are included. I could not stop at one, and made two sweaters.

Both the petrol and the golden sweater are sewed with the same version of the pattern. I simply sewed a second because I liked the pattern and was curious to see the different vibe of the different fabrics. The petrol version is sewn with a Lillestoff sweat fabric. It is therefore very nice and warm and it looks very cosy. She also tested, and during one of her versions she used a special stitch to fixate the lining. I was clearly inspired and used a honeycomb stitch on the petrol sweater. I have not bought myself coverlock.

The golden dots version is sewn with the same fabric as these leggings and this toddler top. I squeezed the last remaining fabric into that top for my youngest, so all fabric is used now. The fabric is thinner than the petrol sweat but it still is stable. Some testers had a very drapy fabric, that also gave very nice results. The top really gets a different feel with different fabrics.

If you are not a fan of the flute shaped sleeves, you can easily cut the long sleeves width and the 3/4 length option, giving you regular 3/4 sleeves. I think it took be about an hour to make the second top that includes cutting the fabric, ironing on the stabilizer and the actual sewing. Perfect pattern if you realize that you want something special, and you want it now.

The pattern* is now available in the Itch to Stitch web shop with a 20% discount for a week. Itch to Stitch uses a volume discount so check out other patterns while you are at it: spend $20 or more, get 15% off your entire cart; spend $30 or more, get 20% off your entire cart. The Kathryn is one of my favorites.

Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian). If you buy anything through my affiliate links (*), I get a small commission (the price stays the same for you), I am very grateful for everything that feeds my fabric addiction.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Mira release

My apologies, but I am tempting you again today. She commented yesterday that reading here might be dangerous for your budget, well today is one of those days again! I tested the new Mira dress from Elegance and Elephants and my girls loved it. I had planned to make only one, I have been sewing like crazy lately. My middle one was so sad that she did not get the pink dot fabrics, so, the day after finishing the bigger version, I sewed a matching on for my middle daughter. So proceed, carefully, do not tell me I did not warn you!

The Mira is a fitting dress for woven fabrics with three different bodice details. There is the plain version, a color blocked one and a gathered panel one. I sewed the later two. Like I said, I started with the bigger dress. I found this nice color block with two sizes of pink dots in my stash. I bought the one with small dots over four years ago, and I used it to line this coat. The one with the bigger dots was part of the last years sewing weekend goodie bag. The pink in the fabrics is a perfect match, so I presume they are from the same line.

I did not have enough fabric to make an identical dress (which was the original request from my daughter), but I could make a matching one by using more of the smaller dot fabric. That I could try the gathered panel option was an added bonus for me. I should have pressed the gathered panel before the shoot, but I somehow missed that. I still did it after I made the pictures, but I did not want to re shoot. The sizing of this pattern is spot on, I somehow missed that my eldest jumped almost 2 centimeter in her chest measurements. I therefore choose to have a little bit more growth room around the chest in the dress for my middle one.

The skirt of the pattern is super full and that scores me extra points with my kids. Usually I just use one gathering line when I make a gathered skirt. I knew that more lines give a nicer effect , but I am easily satisfied. When I saw the gatherings from Heidi (the designer) up close, I wanted to do better though. In her instructions she advises to have two gatherings lines, and to stitch the skirt to the bodice between those lines. That has now become my new favorite method! You have to unpick the lower gatherings stitch line, but seeing that my machine has tension problems, taking out  gathering line is done in a second.

The weather is still horrible outside, so I needed indoor pictures. I only have a white screen and white dresses on a white screen is not ideal (I got some Cheshire cat visions from Allice in Wonderland). I therefore kept the pictures a bit moodie, the background now looks more pinkish, but at least there is a contrast with the dresses. My middle one has a very dry skin and specially her knees are always itchy. She knows she should not scratch and somehow she got it in her head that her knees itch less when she is wearing leggings. In the past I really wanted pictures without the (usually not matching) leggings, but I have given up. I find the most matching one and we just roll with it. 

The Mira dress is on special release sale only today, with a code that you van find in the E+E Facebook group. That code gives you an extra 20% discount. The prices on the E+E site are in Canadian dollars, so the extra release discount brings the pattern down to about American $5.65.