October 28, 2013

October Outfit

Managing to sneak in with this just before the end of October. Phew! I’m feeling extremely frustrated right now because I spent quite a while taking lots of photos of all the things I have finished up since I last posted… but 75% of them were out of focus. I use an old camera of Alb’s because it has a remote control but when I take out the battery to charge it, the settings on the camera reset. Oh well, lesson learned! At least I realised before I had completely finished and so have a few things to share today.

My most recent finish was this cozy outfit. I showed the flannel in my last post and here it is, as a shirt/tunic.

Pattern: Simplicity 2246 (Lisette Traveller Dress). I’ve made a few of these Lisette patterns and I love them. Sad to say, I think most of them are going out of print, so if you’ve been hmming or hawwing about picking up one, do it soon. What I love most about them is that they are a true petite fit. I am about a 35″ bust and picked the size for 36 1/2″ finished measurement – it fits great and has enough room for a long-sleeved top underneath should I so desire.

I made a few modifications, but I kept the recommended length of View B, the tunic.

I cut an extra cuff piece on the bias, traced off the bottom bit of the sleeve that’s meant to be turned up. I also lengthened the sleeve so that it’s full length and that the cuff stays turned up. You may be able to make out from the photo, I also cut the pockets on the bias. I’m not a huge fan of sewing on pockets, mostly because they’re exposed and difficult to get exactly right. These took me a long time to get to my liking. In hindsight, I should have used a very light interfacing for the whole pocket to keep it from stretching out.

None of my photos that are in focus show an extra modification I added – a wedge piece at each side seam at the hem. I tacked the sides together to check the fit before I overlocked it and found it very tight across the hips. If I wanted a straight skirt on the dress view, I guess it would be ok to let it out a bit from the waist down. But for a tunic, I need to be able to move freely, so I added in a wedge tapering from the waist out to about 10cm at the hem on each side. This alters the overall silhouette, making it a bit more baggy than intended, but I think that adding a belt will help.

The other part of this outfit is the leggings! I have never made leggings before and truth be told, I am suspicious of the whole leggings-as-pants trend. However, whilst looking for something completely different, I came across a large selection of Jodhpur material on Textile Express. It is pretty much what you want for leggings, you know? I never really thought about it before then. I bought 2m since it was so cheap which is enough for a test pair and then another pair in case the test goes badly.

I used the Espresso leggings pattern from Sewing Cake. It’s more a template based on measurements that you take yourself. I was intrigued, to say the least. I sewed them mostly straight on the overlocker, using the machine only to sew down the hems and waistband, so it was a really quick project. I sewed one leg, tried it on and freaked to find that it was reallllllly small! But I finished it off and found that actually, they fit perfectly. Here is an out-of-focus photo to show the length and fit from the back.

The service from Textile Express was very good and I can recommend the navy jodhpur fabric anyway. It’s pretty dense – I was not expecting how unbelievably warm these are. They’re like thermals.


October 7, 2013

Time passes quickly being back at school! All goes well. I have tidied up a few things so I have the same number of hours but less travelling, and an extra day in my main school. I have been working on a few things but I’m forgetful about taking photos! I have almost completed my October outfit so here are a few hints until I get it finished up.


silk and cotton lawn that I couldn’t resist getting stuck into.


A brown wool crepe skirt that has the texture of a loaf of bread (in a good way?).

I’ll talk about the patterns when I show the outfit. The fabrics are part of a package I ordered from Truro Fabrics in England. I picked them because they have a great selection, pretty good prices, reasonable delivery if I use my Parcel Motel, and they had everything I was looking for. I ordered a number of things, including a black poplin which I have made up into a shirt for Alb. I hit a few roadblocks – I was hoping to finish it before September was out – so maybe you’ll see it next weekend.

Speaking of fabric, I ‘inherited’ this rather fabulous suiting. There is a whole story to this so when I get started on it, I will share then. The red stripe isn’t nearly so conspicuous in person.


I tend to gather a lot of vague ideas (see my Pinterest here), returning to them when I see something that triggers my memory. This is where these come in.


The birds print is a cotton lawn from Murphy Sheehy’s that I saw quite a few months ago, noticed but ultimately passed over. Later in the summer, I was in Tommy Hilfiger on Grafton St (not because I ever shop there – I think I was waiting for something) and spotted this bird print shirt. I really rather liked it but there were maybe too many birds on it and it was €100+. Fast forward to last Friday when I was browsing in Murphy Sheehy’s and at €12.50/m, enough for a shirt came home with me.

As for the plaid, what can I say? I did not realise how picky I was about plaid, or even pickier about plaid flannel. Prompted by all sides, I started to consider various things like a flannel dress, or a tunic with shirt tails, or just a cotton plaid shirtdress. But the problem with flannel is that it can be very flannelly and I don’t want something that I will be constantly peeling off my tights or leggings. Add to this mix the popularity of really bright plaid at the moment – which is great, don’t get me wrong, just not for this imaginary dress. So, quite by chance I happened upon this soft cotton plaid in The Cloth Shop. It’s soft enough to be not a straight-forward cotton but not so fluffy to be an outright flannel. Win!

(I find it amusing that everyone I’ve ever met who says that they’re not a picky person inevitably finds a way to show me something they’re irrationally picky about. I am very unpicky about most things but it appears that I have found my one thing!)