August 9, 2014

Belated July outfit

Filed under:Blouses/Tops,Finished Objects,News!,Skirts,Stash Down,Tops — Aileen @ 17:26

Hi all! Last month was a busy one as I was preparing for and then away on my usual course in Switzerland… And when I came back, I needed to continue preparations for a lunchtime recital which I gave yesterday.

Anyway, it’s good to be back! I have lots of things to show you. First up, here’s my wee July outfit. Not the most summery but perfect for a day like today.

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The skirt pattern is from an Ottobre magazine. Have you heard of these guys? It’s Finnish magazine. They put out about four issues a year for kids – which seem great but I’m no expert – and two for women. They tend to focus on nice basics. What I love most about their magazines is that they use normal people as models and give their dimensions. So there are lots of short and normal sized people in it! This wrap skirt is from an old summer issue. It’s unlined but has a total overlap at the front and pretty substantial facings, which I took the liberty of binding…

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It fastens with a button on both sides – a flat one on the inside and a decorative one on the exterior side. You’re supposed to put a decorative button on each side of the front but I didn’t bother.

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As for the top, it’s the Alexis pattern that I downloaded from the Tessuti site. I’ve used this a few times now and it’s just perfect. I bought the flannel with a massive discount at Hickey’s. I don’t know why it was reduced so much, but I’m glad! It’s so soft and snug.

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That’s it for now but I’ll be back soon… I have TWO knitted garments to show you as well as a dress and my August outfit!

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June 25, 2014

Autumnal June outfit

Filed under:Blouse,Blouses/Tops,Dress,Finished Objects — Aileen @ 12:03

I completed this early last month but didn’t have a chance to take photos until today.

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Sorry it’s a bit dark! The dress is a very dark navy wool crepe. It’s the Dakota dress from the Finnish company, Named Patterns. I’ll confess, I was blown away by their first pattern collection last winter. I really hesitated in committing to making up any design, though, because they are so fashion-forward and I didn’t know if it would suit me. Thank God for the internet! Seeing many reviews convinced me it was worth a go.

So, the dress! It has many panels and a shirt-like hem on the skirt, making it really swingy and comfortable. It also has a shawl collar.

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Since it’s meant to have something worn underneath, I didn’t bother over fitting the sleeves.

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I made an error when joining the bodice pieces. Unfortunately this was after I overlocked the whole thing so the bodice ended up a touch snugger than intended. It’s still possible to get into without any kind of closure, which is great, and I can only imagine how comfortable this would be in a heavy knit.

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And the blouse? Also from Named! It’s the Fran blouse – an unusual item with kimono/batwing sleeves and a long bow.

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I got the fabric in Japan and figured I’d get much more use out if it as a blouse! I’m excited to have used it already. The only difficult part about the blouse was tracing the pattern from the print out. With the sleeve combined, it’s sort of an awkward shape. This is mostly on me, though, because I don’t have big paper right now. Anyway! I love this blouse.

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You can see how much room there is under the arm. I thought that might be annoying but it’s not. I think this style works because it is well fitted everywhere else. It was a really quick make, mostly because you have the option to just turn under the fronts to make the button bands. They do provide extra pattern pieces in case you don’t want to do that. My only error was not giving a little extra room at the hips. You can see is a bit pulled at the back.

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However, this is only an issue when I’m wearing it out over something fairly bulky – over tights or leggings, it’s fine and I probably well never wear it like that anyway. I prefer it to be pretty fitted through the waist for tucking in.

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Look how long the ties are!

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I had to look up a video to see how to tie them properly!

Since this was my first time using this company’s patterns, here are a few thoughts. Firstly, I personally like how paper economic their PDF patterns are. They overlap the pieces and you trace it off. Some people don’t like that. I’m not a huge fan of how you only get 2 sizes nested per file because if you’re between two sizes that are in two different files, I don’t even know how you would get around that. Thankfully I don’t have that problem right now.

I think they’re fairly pricey but they’re impeccably drafted and the instructions are excellent. Add on top of that the unique design and aesthetic and basically, you get what you pay for. Between these two designs that I’ve made up, the only thing I take umbrage with is their sleeve opening finish. It’s rubbish. They have you make the slit and sew down an unfinished edge. I cut plackets and finished them properly. On the Fran blouse, they have you use the unfinished seam as the opening. Because I french seamed the lot, that wasn’t practical so I finished that seam as normal. Then, I cut a separate slit and moved the pleat. I finished the slit with the placket and sewed the little cuff on then. A little more time consuming but it will survive the wash better!

If you’d like to give these a go, they’re currently on sale for Midsummer!

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June 12, 2014

FO: Helene

Filed under:Blouses/Tops,Finished Objects,Knitting — Aileen @ 13:43

This has been a long time in the making! I first started it on honeymoon with a sport weight yarn, but it turned out too thick and dense, so I ripped it out.

I really liked the design so last summer, I bought some Katia linen and knit it again. Although I’m really happy with it, I think that something even more lace weight would be better. Other than ordering the recommended yarn, which is a 4 ply linen and $$$ when you factor in shipping, this was the closest I could get. I think a lace cotton would probably work out really nicely too.



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The pattern is from Quince & Co, who, by the way, have the most wonderful aesthetic. You may not like all their designs, but the way they’re portrayed really makes you WANT to like them. The front and back are knitted both the same and then you sew them together. They’re knitted side to side, which makes it tricky to judge the length. This turned out a little shorter than I prefer but looks fine with a high waisted skirt.

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The pattern is really well written and with a little concentration, the shaping for the neckline is no problem to follow. The rest is very straight forward.

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I’ve been trying to muster up the courage to wear this – I really wasn’t sure what to wear it with – but it seems grand with just a Penney’s t-shirt underneath.

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We’ve been having very mixed weather these days. We had big thunder and hailstones earlier this week, but today is lovely out. To put it in context for non-British Islers, lovely is 18℃ with not much of a breeze. Regardless of the sun, the air can be quite cool right into July, especially along the coast, which is the majority of Ireland. Therefore, days that can be enjoyed with neither jacket nor tights are to be treasured! Enjoy your sun – I’ll be back soon with something different!

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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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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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