Tag Archives: indie patterns

How could I not sew a Zadie Jumpsuit?

Only if you’ve been living on a desert island for the last six months you are not aware of the sewing storm the Zadie Jumpsuit from Paper Theory Pattern has caused. On Instagram alone, there are at this moment about 1700 posts with the #zadiejumpsuit!

Zadie Jumpsuit

When I first saw the pattern, I was intrigued by it but at that time I was sewing another jumpsuit for the Minerva Crafts Blogger network. (This post will come online on July 10!) So the need to sew a Zadie Jumpsuit got a little diffused.

Zadie Jumpsuit

Then the ‘Sew Together for Summer 2019‘ challenge opened and guess what was the focus? A jumpsuit of course! This brought the idea of sewing the Zadie back to live. But the thing that really got me started was the message I received from Gerda, @three_eight_cake to sew together a Zadie Jumpsuit with some other Belgian sewists (Melissa, @floating_sewist, and Kirstin, @smallbobbins). We even talked about meeting and shooting some pictures together with our Zadies. Unfortunately, it was a bit difficult to find a date. But I sewed a Zadie Jumpsuit and I am super thrilled with it!

Zadie Jumpsuit

 

The Zady Jumpsuit pattern

Why is this such a good pattern? First of all, no need for buttons or a zip! The jumpsuit wraps around the body and fastens with a tie at the waist. Secondly, it has a relaxed fit. These two features make it an uncomplicated sew.

Zadie Jumpsuit

Due to the relaxing fit and based on the finished garment measurements, I cut out size 16 and didn’t grade between sizes.
The pattern is drafted for the height of 170 cm and I’m 180 cm so I had at least to lengthen the bodice. I did so with 2 cm at the provided line on the pattern piece and I took  1 cm extra seam allowance at the hem of the bodice.

Zadie Jumpsuit

To check if the crotch depth was long enough I pinned together (half) the pattern and tried it on. I raised my arms and the tissue paper tore a bit at the crotch. The message was clear:  I also had to lengthen the crotch line with 2 cm.

Zadie Jumpsuit
Yep! I can raise my arms without hurting myself!

At last, I lengthened the legs with 10 cm because I want to be able to wear this jumpsuit in the colder seasons.

 

The Fabric

One of my sewing goals for 2019 is to shop my fabric stash. So I browsed through my collection and found this eggplant crèpe that I bought last September at ‘The Fabric Sales‘. I remember now that I bought it with a jumpsuit in mind.

Zadie Jumpsuit
The texture of the crèpe fabric. Also, the eggplant colour is very difficult to capture.

I only had 2,50 m of this fabric and with all the lengthening I had to do there wasn’t enough fabric for the pockets. So I used a remnant of the silk of the Kingfisher Top for the pocket facings. And even these remnant pieces weren’t big enough so I had to divide the pocket pattern into 3 pieces.

Zadie Jumpsuit
Sometimes the pocket facing is peeking!

 

The sewing process

Paper Theory Patterns itself announces the sewing of the Zadie Jumpsuit as a quick and an easy sew and they are right. The instructions are concise and clear. I followed the work sequence except for one step! I always immediately staystitch all the curved and slanted seams. In the instructions, it happens after already having manipulated the bodice a few times.

After sewing the bodice and the trousers part separately I pinned it to form the jumpsuit and the fit was spot on. This asked for a happy dance!

Zadie Jumpsuit

To attach the binding I used a zillion pins and this also worked perfectly.

Conclusion

It’s a cliché but I am JUMPING of joy for my Zadie Jumpsuit! Everything is great about it: the design, the feel, the fit, the comfort when you wear it, the compliments people give you, the sewing… In short, a sewing project that only gives you happiness!

Zadie Jumpsuit

Will I sew more Zadies? I am really tempted but my sewing queue is SEW long so I think it is not going to happen in the foreseeable future.

Are there still people who haven’t made a Zadie Jumpsuit? If you are hesitating I can strongly commend to go for it!

 

Blog Tour: The Madrid Dress from Coffee and Thread

Hello, my lovely readers!

Can you believe it? This is my 100th blog post! I never would have thought that I would reach this milestone when I pushed that publish button for the first time in December 2016.
Although it wasn’t intentional, it is kind of fun that this 100th post is part of a blog tour which is a first for me. So reviewing the Madrid Dress from Coffee and Thread is the birthday party for my 100th blog post.

Madrid Dress

The Madrid Dress pattern

The Madrid dress is a Bohemian inspired faux wrap dress or tunic with a tiered skirt. It offers three length options and three sleeve variations and comes in sizes 2-20. It is designed for woven fabrics with drape.
I particularly love the faux wrap bodice of the design and I went for the maxi dress with straight sleeves, not the flared ones.

For the maxi dress, there are 5 pattern pieces and two facing pattern pieces. The pattern is available in A0 format so I let it print by Paternsy.

Based on the finished garment measurements I cut out size 18 and didn’t grade between sizes. Being a tall girl I lengthened the bodice with 3,5 cm. There’s a line on the front and back pattern piece to indicate the best place to lengthen (or shorten) your pattern. But don’t forget you have to lengthen the front facing too, for which there is no line indicated. You can draw it yourself by putting it on the front piece.
To be absolutely sure the maxi dress was a maxi dress I lengthened every tier with 1 cm.

Madrid Dress
Why does it always start to rain when you want to take pictures?
The fabric

I bought this special African Wax fabric at Goldhawk Road in April 2017. Last year I tried to make a maxi skirt out of it but this went wrong completely. So I’m glad I could recuperate this fabric for the bodice and I had enough left for the tiers. Because, boy you need a lot of fabric for these.

The sewing process

Sewing the Madrid Dress is not difficult. The instructions are concise and clear. Every step is illustrated with crisp designs. I never had to scratch my head to figure out how to go on.
After sewing the bodice I tried it on and I was able to get it over my head although I accidentally closed both side seams. So I decided to omit the blind zipper.

Madrid Dress
Yes, you can go grocery shopping wearing the Madrid Dress!

One thing that takes time is the gathering and the sewing of the tiers. Like I said hereabove these tiers are magnum!! You stitch two rows of gathering stitches, one inside and one outside the seam allowances. I use a different colour in my bobbin when I stitch gathering stitches. This makes it easy to know which thread to pull to make the gathers, always the bobbin thread!

 

Conclusion

I’m SEW happy with my Madrid Dress! It’s the first time in my life that I have a dress with a tiered skirt. And I love it! I wore it already and the width and the fluidity of the skirt make it a dream to whirl. I’m convinced this dress is going to see a lot of wear this summer.


One thing though to be careful about is when you descend stairs to be aware that your husband isn’t close behind you because he already stepped twice on the third tier!!

If you are looking for a Bohemian inspired faux wrap dress or tunic with a tiered skirt go for the Madrid Dress from Coffee & Thread.

So thank you, Olga and Claudia, for taking me in on this blog tour.

During the tour, Olga offers 25% off on any of the
Coffee & Thread patterns with the code ‘madridtour’

What I sewed in 2018 –Top 5: the hits

Nope, we can’t ignore it any longer. The new year—2019!—is definitely here. That makes that I can look back again and reflect. What kind of sewing year was 2018?
Like the previous years, I collected all my sewing data in an infographic and here below you see the result of my 2018 sewing!

2018 sewing

What do these numbers say?

I sew mostly for women, using a pdf pattern from an Indie Pattern Designer.  Although, compared to previous years, it isn’t that pronounced anymore. There is a shift in who I sew for. In 2018 I sewed more for babies. How else could it be with the birth of our first grandson! This joyful event is, of course, THE highlight of 2018!

2018 sewing
M. wearing his long sleeve sweater. Free pattern from Dromenfabriek.
54 sewing projects

I was a bit surprised by this number when I did the counting.  I didn’t have the feeling that I sewed approximately 1 item per week! Say what? The previous years this was somewhat of a (hidden) goal that I could not reach and this year it came to fruition without special effort. Of course, with the 13 Bombazine Mitts, which I sewed in January,  I took already a big jumpstart.
And yes, these 54 projects are ALL finished projects! Alas, I also have 7 (seven!!) WIP’s! But I am going to catch up on them!
Another thing that helped to get this high number of finished projects is that I didn’t lose my sewing-mojo this year. Last year, I didn’t sew every day and certainly not 300 times like I set out to at the start of the year, but there wasn’t a significant period of non-sewing!
A new item that I checked for this year is for how many projects I used fabric from my stash. It’s about 47%. This figure could be higher but I’m already pleased with it. Even more so, because it came naturally. It was not a specific goal of me to sew as much as possible from my stash.

sewing 2018
Buying new fabric or searching through my stash?
Top 5 of 2018

Gillian form ‘Crafting a rainbow’ has this nice challenge for your #sewingtop5. I enjoyed following this last year so I will do it again this year.

2018 sewing

Top 5 Hits

The first thing I want to share with you is my sewing hits! My hits are sewing projects that give me the most joy! And this joy can be caused by several things: from the pleasure of wearing it, the challenge of sewing, the first time tackling a particular technique, or the gratitude you receive from the person you sewed for…

Here is my selection of joy for 2018.

#1. My Jumpsuit

The Vogue V9075 Jumpsuit is without a doubt #myproudestmake. Why? I made a muslin for it so I would not have any fitting issues. This paid off. The fit is perfect!
This is also my best fabric-pattern combination of the year: a cotton and silk blend that I bought at Goldhawk Road in 2017. This counts for sewing from my stash! And I wore it a lot and with pleasure!

#2. The Statement dress

When you make a summer dress in a red/black plaid then you make a statement dress!! This dress gives me so much joy. Why? I had severe grading to do and it worked! The pattern matching is impeccable! And last but not least, my daughter loves it and that makes me happy!

#3. The Jill Coat

It was such a good decision to put a lining in the Seamwork Jill Coatigan. Even more, to put two buttons with a loop closure on it so this coat is totally suitable for Belgian winters.
I particularly enjoyed all the hand stitching I did because of the furry character of the fabric.

#4. All the baby clothes

I started sewing baby clothes in November 2017 when the first grandson of my brother was born. Then in 2018, there was the first granddaughter of my other brother and then in August our little treasure was born. Sewing all these cute baby clothes is great fun and these projects are great stash busters too!

#5. The Kingfisher Top for my daughter-in-law L.

I was over the moon that I could cut out the Kingfisher top out of one panel of Lotte Martens handprinted fabric. This panel was 60cm by 150cm. I had some serious pattern tetris to do but it worked. I was even more over the moon when L. loved this top I made for her birthday! It makes me happy when my family loves and wears the garments I sewed for them!

Next up in the top 5 of 2018 are Misses & Highlights, and Reflections & Goals.

Sewing seconds or more…

If you read this blog regularly you know that I ask myself every time when I finish a garment: “Will I sew some more of this pattern?” Often I do but I never showed them to you. So now with December being the traditional month of overviews, I checked my sewing archives and found several second sewings (or even more…).

So, here are some of them.

The Moneta dress from Colette patterns

Moneta Dress

I sewed my first Moneta dress for the Moneta party in February 2017 and the urge to sew another has always been there. Then, when I was sewing my Beryl Bomber dress I put the leftover fabric on Lola, my dress form, who was already wearing my Wren dress. It was then that I noticed that the two fabrics worked together. Luckily, I had enough leftovers from both fabrics to cut out a new Moneta dress with 3/4 sleeves.
I made no alterations to the pattern and the sewing went super smooth. In hindsight, I should have made the bodice a little wider because this fabric has not the same level of stretch like the one of my first Moneta. It’s a little on the snug side but I’ll leave it this way.
I did not use clear elastic—I hate sewing with clear elastic—for the gathering of the skirt but a small, regular white elastic which I had in my stash. It worked out perfect.
One small sewing secret: I didn’t hem the sleeves and the skirt. I wore the dress already several times and the fabric doesn’t fray at all. So I am just going to leave it this way!

 

The Ali Sweatshirt from Sew DIY

Ali Sweater DIY

When I finished my Ali Sweatshirt,  E., my daughter-in-law, was very enthusiastic about the pattern. So it wasn’t hard to find something to sew for her birthday! I used two brushed sweater fabrics from Chat Chocolat: Mackerels for the bodice and Mackerels- the essential for the yoke, sleeve and cuffs.
The birthday gift was a huge success. She likes the sweater a lot and that makes me very happy!

Ali Sweatshirt DIY

The Kingfisher top

Kingfisher Top Sewing Revival

When I finished my Kingfisher Top I knew without a doubt that I would sew more very soon! I proved to be right.
Here again, two things came together. My other daughter-in-law’s birthday was nearing and there was a sale of Lotte Martens handprinted fabric in my neighbourhood. I love Lotte Martens handprinted fabric. I used one of her panels for my plisé skirt last year.
When I saw this panel with the copper birds I knew immediately that it would be perfect for a top for L. There was only a minor problem: the panel was 60 cm by 150 cm.
To make it work, I divided the sleeve in two and cut them on the bias. As you can see in the photo I only have some small pieces of the fabric left.Kingfisher Top Sewing Revival

Just like with the first Kingfisher top the sewing was a walk in the park. For the binding of the neck and the sleeve cuffs, I used some peanuts brown rib I had in my stash.
This birthday gift was also a huge success. And seeing somebody being very happy with something I sewed makes me (again) very happy.

Kingfisher Top Sewing Revival

 

The Burda Turtleneck Top

Burda Turtleneck Top

I loved my Burda Turtleneck Top so much that I immediately sewed another one the same week. I had this soft jersey in my stash for about 3 years so it was about time to use it. Again this pattern proved to be very easy to sew. One of the joys of sewing a pattern for the second time is that you already know all the tricks.
I am so enthusiastic about this pattern that I have cut out the third one. Alas, this is one of my WIP’s. I cut it out in April but I have to tackle it soon. Like I said: ‘It’s an easy sew. Just a few hours work!’
Burda Turtleneck Top

 

And you? Do you have sewing seconds??

 

 

The Snowball high neck dress from Waffle Patterns

The Snowball high neck dress from Waffle Patterns was already on my 2017MakeNine and my 2018MakeNine sewing wish list. When I first saw this pattern back in August 2016, I was charmed by the lines and the shape. I immediately bought the pattern and then it got pushed to the back of my mind… like so many things.
I don’t know how your sewing mind works—hmm, I don’t even know how mine works!— but it was the sew frosting challenge that made me think about this pattern again. In fact, I wanted to sew it out of the piece of Mahlia Kent fabric I have (one hundred percent frosting!) but I didn’t have enough fabric. Then I thought I could make a wearable muslin out of this metallic fabric to see how the fit went. Maybe I had to take in some seams and then I still could use the Mahlia Kent fabric. As you can see, that didn’t happen.

snowball high neck dress waffle patterns

 

The Snowball high neck dress pattern

It’s the first time I sewed a garment from Waffle Patterns and I liked all of it. As the idea of sewing this dress came up on a Saturday night I hadn’t the time to use Patternsy to print an A0 format. So I printed 24 pages of the pattern and glued them together. There were very clear marks so it didn’t take long.
The Snowball high neck dress consists of 10 pieces: 7 pieces for the dress and 3 pieces for the facing. To give the facing a smooth fit the back facing has shoulder darts with curved dart legs. This is a classy tailoring technique that I like.

snowball high neck dress waffle patterns
The first fit with machine basted seams

Based on the finished garment measurements I cut out size  48. I made no alterations on the bodice and lengthened the hem with 5 cm.
After the first fit—I machine basted al the seams with a stitch length 5 and hand basted the zipper— I slightly narrowed the upper front bodice above the bust.

snowball high neck dress waffle patterns

 

The fabric

I bought this fabric last Summer at the market in Castel del Piano. As with all the fabrics I buy there I don’t know what the exact composition of this fabric is.  Probably a poly combo. It has this metallic shine and depending on the light it varies from colour. It’s more beige-ish than greyish though!
This fabric has a medium weight but for this pattern, a more sturdy fabric might have been better.

snowball high neck dress waffle patterns

I didn’t have enough fabric for the facings so I used some blue gingham from my stash.snowball high neck dress waffle patterns

 

The sewing process

The sewing was plain sailing. I enjoyed every bit of it. The instructions were spot on and illustrated with clear drawings. I loved the drawing of the little iron to indicate which seams should be pressed!
For inserting the blind zipper I followed my own method which is rather simple. First, I hand-basted the zipper and then I stitch it with my blind zipper foot.

snowball high neck dress waffle patterns

snowball high neck dress waffle patterns

Conclusion

I’m very happy with my Snowball high neck dress! I don’t consider it a muslin any longer but a perfect wearable dress.  Though I particularly like the design of the high neck it takes some time to get used to it. Probably I should have interfaced the facings—which I didn’t🤦🏻‍♀️—so the collar would stand more.
Will I sew another Snowball dress? Maybe! But then I surely would use a fabric with more body.

snowball high neck dress waffle patterns

 

The Beryl Bomber Dress from Named Clothing

The seed for sewing the Beryl Bomber Dress was planted during Sew My Style 2017. The chosen pattern for  December 2017 was a pattern from the then not yet launched Named Clothing AW17 New Collection. Although I gave up the Sew My Style challenge,  I kept following it on IG and blogs. So, when Named Clothing launched their AW17 Collection, it was the Beryl Bomber Dress that caught my attention. I love the design of a bomber jacket and I find it very clever of Named Clothing to use this design and turn it into a dress! Then it only took me nearly a year to sew one for myself!

Beryl Bomber Dress

 

Bomber Jackets

Whenever I think about bomber jackets this photo of ca. 1944 comes to mind. It’s a group of Women Airforce Service Pilots leaving their B-17. Look at their cool bomber jackets! And they named their B-17 “Pistol-Packin’ Mama”!Beryl Bomber Dress

 

The Beryl Bomber Dress pattern

The Beryl Bomber Dress pattern consists of 9 pieces. As I planned to sew the dress I ordered a printed A0 pdf-pattern at Patternsy. This was my first time I used this platform and I was 100% satisfied. You upload your pattern, they email you the price and if you agree, they print your pattern on very usable tissue paper. And it only takes a few days!

Beryl Bomber dress
I love the decorative loop at the back.

Based on the finished measurements I cut out size 46. I lengthened the sleeves with 4 cm (2 cm under the biceps line and 2 cm under the elbow line).  Further, I lengthed the hem and the facing with 4  cm.

Beryl Bomber Dress

 

The Fabric

I bought this fabric at my small local fabric store. It’s a knit of medium weight with an unknown composition. The fabric salesman in this store is a man of few words. So when I asked about it he just shrugged. I was attracted to the combination of the colours and the black design lines.
Somehow I thought that I needed a knit for the Beryl Bomber dress but after reading the instructions thoroughly I discovered this wasn’t the case. Luckily this fabric has only a minor stretch percentage so it worked out well.
One downside of this fabric is that threads are easily caught on desks and chairs. So I don’t know if the dress is going to lead a long life???

Beryl Bomber DressFor the collar and sleeve cuffs, I used a strong black rib knit with small golden speckles.

When I started to cut out the pattern pieces I became aware that I had to do some stripe matching! You wouldn’t say it at first glance when you see the fabric. But when the seams were a little askew it disturbed me a lot. So, I cut out the pieces on a single layer of fabric.

Beryl Bomber Dress

The sewing process

The sewing of the Beryl Bomber dress was fun. Sewing the collar and the zipper were a bit challenging but I liked it. The instructions are clear with crisp designs. I followed them for about 90%.

As I worked with a knit fabric I used my overlocker for all the seams. I machine basted (stitch length 5) the collar and finished it too with the overlocker. To reach a perfect fabric matching I hand basted the zipper and the pockets.

Beryl Bomber Dress

 

Conclusion

I’m very, very happy with my Beryl Bomber Dress. I wore it a lot already for several occasions. It’s extremely comfortable, due to the knit fabric I guess. I wore it during a two-hour flight and it never felt uneasy.
Will I sew more? I hope to. Also because my daughter and daughter-in-law expressed their enthusiasm for this model and design. Now, I just have to find some time (an old story I know!).

Beryl Bomber Dress

The Kingfisher Top from The Sewing Revival

Sometimes a pattern just falls on your head! I blame @robinsnest1926 😉 . When she posted her first Kingfisher Top on Instagram I immediately wanted to sew one myself. The pattern ticked several of my boxes: the combination of a woven fabric with knit bindings, a deep neck, a loosely—but not too wide— fit and raglan sleeves. I love raglan sleeves!
So, I bought and downloaded the Kingfisher Top immediately. Alas, actually starting to sew the top took longer than expected.

Kingfisher Top Sewing Revival

 

The Kingfisher Top pattern

The Kingfisher Top is a pattern from the New Zealand indie pattern company The Sewing Revival. It was the first time I heard from them and I was pleasantly surprised by their offer of patterns in their webshop. So, I also bought the Tui Dress, since it was the beginning of September and still very warm. Optimistically, I thought I would still have enough time to sew that too!

Kingfisher Top Sewing Revival

I ordered the pattern on a weekend and I wanted to start sewing immediately so I printed the pattern tiles and glued them together. The marks on the pattern tiles were clear so this was a quick job.
The Kingfisher Top pattern consists of 3 basic pieces: the front, back, and the sleeves. Then there are the pieces for the neckband and the sleeve cuffs, both for the short and the 3/4 version. I like that you don’t have to draft the bindings yourself.
Based on the measurements on the size chart, I cut out the XL and didn’t make any adjustments. Although I like the fit, next time I maybe will grade down a size on the shoulder-arm part.

 

The Fabric

I bought this Italian silk at my favourite fabric stall at the market in Castel del Piano. It was a remnant so I had no other option than to make the top with short sleeves.
For the contrasting fabric, I used this black rib with bronze sparkles I still had in my stash. I used it for my second Juniper cardigan.

Kingfisher Top Sewing Revival

 

The sewing process

The sewing of the Kingfisher Top went smoothly without hiccups. The Sewing Revival gives it a 4/10 on the easy score and that’s a fair score.
The instructions are extensive with photos and illustrations. Not so much for me but very useful for a beginning sewist. This top came together in about two hours. First, I sewed all the seams on the overlocker. Then I machine basted (stitch length 5) the neckband and the cuffs and also finished them with the overlocker.

 

Kingfisher Top Sewing Revival

 

Conclusion

I think it’s obvious that I am happy with my Kingfisher Top. It’s a joy to sew and a joy to wear. I particularly love the feel and the drape of the silk. And I am lucky that we are now having these extremely sunny days here so I can wear it a lot!
Will I sew some more of this top. I guess you already know the answer. So thank you @robinsnest1926 for showing me the Kingfisher Top.

Kingfisher Top Sewing Revival

The Ali Sweatshirt from Sew DIY

Last Tuesday Sew DIY launched a new pattern: the Ali Sweatshirt. It’s a casual and comfy sweatshirt with some interesting design features. The design of the back yoke just asks for experimenting. I was one of the lucky sewists to test the pattern back in July.  Although it was high summer at that time, the testing was a joyful ride.

Ali Sweatshirt

 

The Ali Sweatshirt pattern

The Ali Sweatshirt comes in two versions: one with a crewneck a one with a scoop-neck. I choose view B, the scoop-neck. The pattern consists of 7 pieces. Based on my measurements I cut out the XL but in hindsight, I should have cut out the L because there is a lot of ease at the bust. I understand Beth updated the pattern now with more narrow sleeves.  I assume that I would prefer this option.
As usual,  I lengthened the bodice by 4 cm. This is easily done because of the lengthen/shorten line on the pattern piece.

Ali Sweatshirt

 

The red striped fabric

After sewing the maternity dress for my daughter-in-law I had still enough of this beautiful Red and White Stripe Cotton Knit from Girl Charlee UK. It’s soft and I had already experienced that, even though being a knit, that it behaved very well under the machine! This and the possibilities the stripes give for some experimenting with the placement of the back yoke, are the reasons why I choose this fabric. Because usually, I am so NOT a striped-garment-wearing person. I think my latest striped sweater dated from 1975!

Ali Sweatshirt

 

The sewing process

Sewing the Ali Sweatshirt is a joyful ride. Nearly all the seams are straight seams and Beth wrote very clear instructions. I sewed the sweater totally on my overlocker and I topstitched the seams on my regular machine with a walking foot and a very small zig-zag stitch.

The one thing of the construction that took some thinking was the chevron I had in my head for the back yoke. How did I do it?

  1. I drew a 45° line (the green one) on the pattern piece of the yoke. I transferred some of the red stripes on the pattern piece too. This would make it more easy to cut out the second part of the yoke.Ali Sweatshirt
  2. I cut out one piece of the yoke in a single layer.
    Then I transferred the 45° line and the red stripe marks to the back side of the pattern piece and checked the placement on the fabric.
    Ali Sweatshirt
  3. After, I put the already cut out piece with right sides together on the fabric to cut out the second piece of the yoke. I carefully matched the stripes.Ali Sweatshirt
  4. Then I basted the yoke and stitched it with my overlocker. For the topstitching, I used the small zig-zag stitch on my sewing machineAli Sweatshirt

 

I used the same procedure for the plaid Zéphyr dress I sewed for my daughter.

 

Conclusion

I love my Ali Sweatshirt. I already wore it a lot, especially on colder evenings when it makes me feel all comfy and cozy. I’m even wearing it now! If you are looking for an easy to sew sweatshirt where the pattern design still hands you some possibilities to give it a personal touch, don’t hesitate. There is a launch discount for this pattern until Sunday.

Ali Sweatshirt

The Magenta Ogden Cami from True Bias that took forever to sew!

Well, I wasn’t going to sew a new Ogden Cami this summer; I sewed already three versions (cami, maxi dress & dress) last summer. I even didn’t bring the pattern with me to our holiday house. Then I went home for four days to celebrate my mother’s 80th birthday and—never not sewing—started sewing the presents for a sweet little girl that was just born. In my search through my fabric collection for suitable fabric for the baby, I stumbled on this piece of magenta leftover. I don’t know what its origin is, or its composition because I must have had it for more than 25 years. When I held the fabric in my hands it said: “I’m perfect for an Ogden Cami!” And so another Ogden Cami jumped to the pole position of my sewing queue.  I grabbed the pattern and put it with the fabric in my luggage back to Italy. This was going to be a sew for maximum 3 hours, I thought. Man, was I wrong!

Ogden Cami True Bias

The magenta fabric

Like I said above: I don’t know the origin and the composition of this fabric. I found two pieces in my collection: one small part with cutouts from a small waistband and a bigger part of 65 cm on a width of 114cm. The fabric has a medium weight and some drape. Perfect for an Ogden Cami!

Ogden Cami

The sewing struggle
Struggle #1 Not enough fabric

When I decided to make the Ogden Cami I roughly put the pattern on the fabric and thought I could fit it. Alas, after trying several placements I had to admit that the piece wasn’t big enough.

Ogden Cami

But no worries! I had a good experience with the self-made striped lining for my Jill Coat so I could expand the fabric with some fabric straps. When I browsed my bags of fabric I saw the leftovers of my sheer Venus Kimono. The selvedge of this fabric has these strange stripes which I found perfect.Ogden Cami

My work order to expand fabric
  1. Cut out the back piece as economical as possible.
  2. Cut the remaining piece of fabric in two.
    Ogden Cami
  3. Assemble all the fabric pieces together to make one strap. Here I made a mistake to match the top of the first strap with the lowest point of the neckline. When I did a test placement of the pattern I noticed that because of that I had not enough fabric for the hem. I tried to unpick the strip but I used a small zigzag stitch to prevent fraying.  Needless to say that trying to unpick was hopeless.
    Ogden Cami
  4. Make a patchwork with small scraps so you have a perfect rectangle.
    Ogden Cami
  5. Stitch the strap to both sides of the line you cut. Cut out the front bodice. Tadaa!
    Ogden Cami
Struggle #2 The bias binding

As I squeezed the bodice out of the small amount of fabric I had, you can imagine there was absolutely nothing left for the lining. No worries! I’ll finish the neckline and armholes with self-made bias tape! That would be easy, because I had my bias tape maker with me. I succeeded in cutting out two squares of 14 cm of the magenta fabric and one square of 15 cm of the sheer fabric. Of course, I wanted the bias tape to match with the fabric of the bodice. bias binding

Although I’ve made continuous bias tape before, I struggled a lot with these small pieces and I just didn’t see how I had to make the loop. Also, due to their fluidity and devilish character both fabrics were very difficult to put marks on. So I made a sample in tissue paper and then the light went on.bias binding

Sewing the first line of the bias tape on the bodice went smoothly. For finishing the v-neck with bias binding I used the little dart technique that I learned sewing my Chari Dress.bias binding

The second part of the bias binding finish, the fold over, was hell! Because of the small squares of fabric I used there were a lot of tiny seams in the bias tape. And again, these fabrics—although starched— wouldn’t let themselves fold. So I basted the more tricky parts. This made it easier to sew the folded over bias tape.Ogden Cami

Then finally I could hem the bodice. I couldn’t believe that this Ogden Cami was finished. It was a 4-days journey!

Ogden Cami

Conclusion

Am I happy with my Magenta Ogden Cami? You may think I am not but I am! Since I finished it I wore it non-stop and I love wearing it. Just like my other Ogdens, this is a perfect wear for these hot days. Will I sew more Ogden Camis? I guess the answer is no but you’ll never know when I find another piece of fabric that talks me into it!

 

The Statement Dress: the Zéphyr dress from Deer&Doe in Black Red Buffalo Plaid

On an afternoon a few months ago my daughter and I were browsing the internet in search of a dress pattern that she would love. We came across the Zéphyr dress from Deer&Doe and my daughter immediately liked the design of it. Because of a fitted bodice, a v-neck, a loose-fitting skirt and a sexy vibe, it ticked all of her boxes. When I saw the pattern was designed for knits I said to my daughter: “If we make it out of the Black Red Buffalo Plaid we have then it is a statement dress!” As we both are never shy about making a statement we went for it and we are both super excited about it!

Zéphyr Dress

The Zéphyr Dress pattern

The Zéphyr Dress pattern from Deer&Doe, version B, consists of 7 pieces. Based on the finished garment measurements in the instructions, I cut out the biggest size. I found it a pity though that in the English instructions the measurements are only in inches as I’m using the metric system. After conversion, I noticed I had to expand the waist with 16 cm. First,  I divided this width evenly on the waist hem of every piece of the bodice and graded to the bust or arm. Second, I broadened the skirt pattern by 4 cm in the middle of the pattern.
Further, I lengthened the bodice with 1 cm and the skirt with 5 cm. That was the maximum the length of my fabric allowed. All of the adjustments were perfect!

Zéphyr Dress
Perfect body length, perfect skirt length and perfect fit of the waist! And look at that pattern matching at the centre of the bodice and the skirt!
The Black Red Buffalo Plaid fabric

The Black Red Buffalo Plaid fabric is a cotton spandex knit from Girl Charlee. My daughter chose it a few months ago because she wanted some garment of plaid. It’s a nice fabric to work with. It has some body, good recovery, and the needed 40% elasticity.
Though two things made the cutting of the pattern a little tricky, being a knit fabric and the lines of the plaid. I solved this by cutting open, with a single layer of fabric. It’s the same technique I used for my striped Nanöo Top.

Zephyr Dress
Cutting open in a single layer of fabric.

Zephyr Dress
I’m using the already cut pattern piece of the skirt to cut out the second. The slightly visible black lines on the back of the fabric help to make the pattern match.

One of the perks of this black red plaid is that you can create chevrons! The fabric asks for a single layer cutting so you can place your pattern pieces meticulous to make these chevrons.

The sewing process

The Zephyr Dress comes together easily. Deer&Doe wrote clear instructions with crisp designs.  Though I didn’t follow them for 100%.
As my daughter was going to fit the bodice several times I first staystitched the neckline to prevent stretching. I didn’t make a muslin but I basted, with a large stitch on the sewing machine, the bodice with an extra 1 cm seam allowance on al the seams. I once read this and remembered it as a tip for sewing for curvy women. Probably it was a tip from Jenny from Cashmerette.
After the first fit, it was clear that the extra seam allowance was not necessary. So I finished the bodice on my overlocker using a 2 cm seam allowance and rainbow thread!

 

Zephyr Dress
The neckline is staystitched and I reinforced the v-neck with some lightweight interface.

Because a single bodice is easier to handle than a complete dress I first sewed the armholes and the neckline. For the armhole and neck binding, I used some of the extra red fabric that was on the selvedge side. It was my first v-neckline in a knit fabric and therefore the instructions of Deer&Doe were not extensive enough. So I searched on the web and found a good tutorial from Grainline Studio and it worked out fine!
The last thing to do was matching the skirt with the bodice and tadaa! The statement dress was ready!

Conclusion

Do I still have to say that we are over the moon with this Zéphyr Dress? I think the pictures speak for themselves. Will I sew more Zéphyr Dresses? I probably will. I’m so glad I could adjust this pattern for a perfect fit that I absolutely want to sew it again.

Bonus!

It is totally a coincidence that the three patterns from Deer&Doe I sewed so far are all red!

Zephyr Dress
Zéphyr Dress                                     Sureau Dress                                     Givre Matternity Dress