June 9, 2014

Belated March Outfit

Filed under:Blouses/Tops,Finished Objects,Sewing,Skirts — Aileen @ 12:01

Hope you all had a lovely weekend! It did pour in Galway but I had a good time anyway. I didn’t finish any sleeves on my red cardigan, but I did get the button band done. I’m not sure how much yarn the sleeves are going to take so I figured I should do the band first since that’s more important in a way!

So here’s something I finished up in March. It was an extremely busy month, musically speaking, so this was the majority of what I achieved.


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From the first time I saw it, I really loved the newest Lisette for Simplicity pattern. I think it’s number 1666. The pattern includes these two – a very simple, unlined straight skirt and peplum top, as well as a beautiful dress version of the top and a bag. The bag is like a big tote and, although super practical-looking, is not the best match for the other outfits. I’ll probably make it all the same though!


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I used polyester georgette from Hickey’s for the whole thing. I bought the red months apart from the black but they turned out to be exactly the same type. Georgette has a sort of matt, crepe feel to it, so it has a good drape but isn’t quite as posh looking as satin.


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I was really unsure about the top, because I’ve never worn a peplum before and I was afraid it would make me look huge. Can you see how the centre back panel lays flat? It’s the same on the front…so the end result is a bit more streamlined than the usual circus tent.

I finished the skirt first and have worn it many times. The top I haven’t worn at all but like all concerting gear, I’m always glad to have it on hand during a busy period.


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I don’t usually stand like this…but you can see how the sides flutter!

All in all, this was a very manageable pattern. I think that it really lends itself to dressing up or down. For example, you could make a totally casual outfit in a denim skirt and floral top. Or even more dressy in lace or brocade. As with all of the Lisette patterns, the fit is a true petite: I cut the size for my measurements (I think it was a 10?) and needed no shortening of the torso or a different size for narrow shoulders.

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June 6, 2014

A little something for the weekend

Filed under:Finished Objects,Sewing,Skirts — Aileen @ 18:09

Have you heard of Deer and Doe patterns? The brainchild of Eléonore Klein, I found them when there were only a few available and only in French. I made the Airelle blouse already and covet pretty much every design she releases. The patterns are so very French, how could you not adore them?



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This is the Jupe Chardon. High-waisted with ample box parts, this is flattering on almost every person I’ve seen it on. The best thing about it are the seriously big pockets 💖



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As you can see, it has a centre back zip. If you didn’t like having your zip so conspicuous, you could put it in the side but that also entails getting it to work with the pockets…



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The fabric is a polka dot chambray that I ordered online. I was hoping to have enough for a shirt dress but couldn’t quite eke it out. I think I’ll manage with the skirt though!

I’m off to Galway for the weekend! I have a feeling it’s going to pour but I don’t care…I’m looking forward to showing you my red cardigan as I have finished the body already. Maybe I’ll have sleeves by Monday?

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February 3, 2014

January outfit #2

Nobody probably noticed but I was foiled in my attempts to post an outfit for October. There were two reasons. Firstly, all my photos were out of focus thanks to user error and secondly, in said photos, I noticed a fitting problem that I couldn’t rectify. So I have put the blouse of said post to one side and here’s the skirt that I made in another combination.

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The skirt is Sewaholic’s Hollyburn, a flared number that comes in three lengths – this is the middle length. I used a chocolate brown wool crepe from Truro fabrics. It was my first time using a wool crepe but it won’t be my last! It’s one of the easiest fabrics I’ve ever seen and pressed like a dream. Swoon! The pattern is very straight forward, with a high waist and pockets. I’ll definitely be making this in a shorter length for summer!

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The shirt is the Grainline Archer modified into a henley. I kind of tore my hair out over this one (needlessly) but I learned lots from doing it and it turned out well. I used a lovely light, pale blue chambray that I got before Christmas.

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I don’t think this is necessarily the best blouse to wear with this skirt but I do like pale blue and brown together.

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I also finished my Larch cardigan! Short row shawl collars are sloooow to knit. Everything looked a bit uneven so I blocked it with great results.

For this, I used eight balls of Debbie Bliss Rialto 4-ply so as cardigans go, definitely not the most expensive.

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It has a really, really nice drape which I think will go even better over skinny jeans or belted with a pencil skirt.

The instructions say to work the shawl collar and then sew the side edge to the cardigan. I didn’t think that would be easy to accomplish neatly so I attached it as I went, picking up a stitch each time and working two together. It worked fine but because I was working back and forth, the two sides ended up a bit different.

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In the end, I sewed in a little ridge in the inside to make them both look the same. Upon close examination I guess it’s not undetectable but I doubt many will care to examine.

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I’ve been wearing this a lot recently! It’s been so stormy and miserable here, I just love pulling this on.

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January 18, 2014

January outfit

Filed under:AW Wardrobe '13,Blouses/Tops,News!,Sewing,Skirts,Stash Down — Aileen @ 21:22

I started doing these outfit posts in spring last year and I found it a really good incentive. It gives me a focus for the month – sometimes I feel pulled in different directions – and it’s a decision I don’t make lightly. I try to make things that go with other things I have. I have on occasion made an outfit that doesn’t really go with many other things (like this) but I try not to do that. Anyway! Here’s January’s. Good basics.

The pattern for the blouse is an experiment in combining features of the Grainline Archer shirt and the Lisette Traveler shirt. Mostly, I just used the bodice, collar and hem curve of the Lisette pattern and the sleeve length and cuffs of the Archer. It worked ok I think. It looks better tucked in.

I used some basic cotton lawn which I had to order from Truro because it is impossible to find here. As you can see from the photos, it’s reasonably sheer but considering that I rarely wear a blouse without something over it, I don’t care about indecency. I don’t think I’ll remake this iteration, although it was a good exercise. I think for me, I like two totally different types of blouse. One is like a true Archer shirt – loose and casual with no darts; the other is a true dress shirt – fitted with darts front and back. I have yet to find the perfect shirt pattern but I grow closer as I refine my needs.

The skirt is actually a pair of culottes! When I saw Burda 6980 last autumn, I knew it had to happen. I used to have a pair as part of my school uniform in national school and even then, I thought they were amazing. I bought 1.5m of the navy herringbone from Murphy Sheehy’s expecting to need it all, given that culottes are really just giant shorts, but I got this out of 85cm comfortably. Incredible, really. I have enough for another skirt!

A special mention for this pattern and the individual Burda patterns. I’ve made a reasonable amount of patterns from both the Burda monthly magazines and the individual patterns that you buy from the catalogue. Although the magazine patterns tend to be more simplistic, I have found the drafting in both to be, by and large, really excellent. Their sizing and proportions are really geared towards reality rather than an ideal, particularly in their pants. This pattern is a perfect example. Usually I have to grade between two sizes to get the fit between my waist and hips right but in Burda, that’s just one size and absolutely spot on.

So, about the pattern. It’s very simple with a zip at the side and facings that go on the inside. The back facing is split in two to facilitate any fitting needed. I sewed my facings on to lining because the wool would stick to my tights otherwise.

So, nothing very exciting but I’ve already worn both lots. Wishing you happy sewing and knitting for the weekend!

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December 23, 2013

Eve of the Eve

Filed under:Dress,Finished Objects,Knitting,Sewing,Skirts — Aileen @ 23:09

I’m home for Christmas. In talking with others during the weekend about Christmas, it struck me just how varied and personal each and every one of our Christmases are. However and whatever you celebrate, I wish you a peaceful yuletide and safe passage should you be travelling.

Now, blessing imparted, let me tell you what I’ve been busy with. I had very little making required for present-giving which, though unstressful, have the rest of my making an unexpected demented edge.

Firstly, prompted by a dismal day wherein I mortified myself with my very worst playing in front of a panel of distinguished musicians, I retreated to This is Knit. Truly, there is no place more comforting. I bought the biggest, woolliest wool I could find and cast on the moment I got home for a giant cowl. It was an epic knit.

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… and one that practically consumed my head.

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Unfortunately I kind of like turning my head from time to time so I ripped it out and have almost finished a longer and shallower version!

Secondly, I decided last week that it would be fun to make an outfit for Christmas day: something festive but rewearable, something fairly snug but unrestrictive. I’ll show you the whole thing when I wear it in the day itself. For now, here’s a peek at the skirt.

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I was about to finish the top I made to go with this but craziness took over. I ordered this cheap jersey to make a muslin but when it arrived, it was surprisingly pretty. Queue crippling expectation to make a good job of the muslin (thus defeating the purpose of the muslin, which in my book is where I get ALL my mistakes out of my system). Thankfully, despite my many (many) mistakes, it has turned out quite wearable. Better photos soon, I hope!

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As for my tiny piece of required knitting, the ribbed hat I knit for my dad feel out of my bag in the taxi to the train and I didn’t notice until pulling out from the station. Curses!!!

Christmas Eve is usually a busy, satisfying day here with plenty of hoovering, baking and last minute visits and errands. However you fill your day, have a good one and stay out of the weather if you can (a depression of 926 is due to pass just to the north tomorrow!).

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