Pattern review: Aomori twist top by Papercut Patterns

PATTERN: Aomori Twist top by Papercut Patterns

DIFFICULTY: Says skilled, but I think a beginner wanting a challenge could manage it

SEWING TIME: Around 5/6 hours (minus taping pattern pieces together)

FABRIC: Metallic lightweight jersey (from Rolls & Rems in Islington.

ADJUSTMENTS: I took it in a little at the waist because I wanted it a little more fitted. It’s very baggy.

DOES IT LOOK LIKE THE DRAWINGS?: Yup!

This was so much fun to sew! What a start to 2018’s sewing. Because it’s very baggy, I didn’t bother making a muslin. I was initially nervous about the twist bit, but the instructions turned out extremely straightforward. Also this fabric was so easy to sew with – the glittery parts of the jersey give it stability when sewing, which meant it didn’t slip around so much. On the inside, it’s smoother, and it’s not itchy to wear at all.

Normally, I wear a vintage/retro style but I’m enjoying wearing more modern styles. Papercut Patterns have a tonne of really cute patterns – I’m definitely up for trying one of theirs again.

At a glance: Sew Over It’s City Break capsule wardrobe

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I found myself thinking about capsule wardrobes the other day.

As you do.

The concept is simple: it’s a mini-wardrobe of basic clothing you wear again and again. Everything’s versatile, so you can mix and match most pieces with each other. How practical! And how unlike me. My wardrobe is full of colourful florals – if my travels through capsule wardrobe Pinterest boards have taught me anything, this is block colour country.

I’m not the type to buy into Pinterest-able concepts, truth be told. Isn’t it funny how most of the blogs you’ll find on capsule wardrobes specify at least 40 items? I thought this was meant to be a mini wardrobe!

But anyway, there I was, thinking about capsule wardrobes, as you do, and up pops an email from Sew Over It – would I like to take a look at their new e-book offering? ER, yes please!

This was last month, mind you, and it’s taken me a little while to get around to actually writing up my review. I’ve just this week moved to Germany (more on that another time), so everything’s been a whirlwind of packing. I haven’t even had a chance to actually make any of it yet, sob. But once I’m reunited with my sewing machine, I’ll be straight on it.

The e-Book comes with five patterns – the Erin skirt, the Molly top and dress, the Alex shirt and shirt dress, the Mia jeans and, my favourite, the Lola coat. Each item is designed to slot in with the others.

As a result, you have an entire wardrobe of six to seven items for your city break explorations. After traipsing around Paris during Me Made May in a giant princessy pleated skirt, the idea of having some me-made jeans at the ready is particularly appealing.

I’m not one for printed patterns these days. I much rather books or PDFs, even if tracing or taping together can be a pain. And this is both in one!

Each pattern comes with beautifully photographed instructions, which we’ve come to expect from the Sew Over It line. And the pictures of Lisa out and about in Paris in her patterns are just lovely.

So, if you’re anything like me, making stuff without thinking about how it fits in with the rest of your wardrobe – then this could be the e-book for you.

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First on my to-make list, as you may have guessed, is the Lola. Dear god, I am obsessed. I want it, I need it, why can’t I have it nowwwwww…

(As you can probably tell, I’m trying to ~ease~ myself back into blogging. So hello again! And hopefully I’ll see you again soon…)

Me Made May ’15: the first 15 days

first 15 days of me made may

 

As if we’re more than half way through Me Made May! I think this may be the first year I’ve actually managed to photograph most of my outfits, which is a change. So far, I’ve learned:

  • I’ve got a lot more killer me-made looks than I thought
  • Wearing velveteen dresses to work is fun even if your colleagues think you dressed up especially for the election results
  • I could do a mean Peggy Carter cosplay if I wanted to
  • A fringe makes everything better
  • What I lack in me-made basics, I make up for in awesome dresses and skirts
  • When in doubt, headscarf, headscarf, headscarf

Woop! How’s Me Made May going for everyone else? If you want to follow my progress, I’m posting everything on Instagram.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope your stockings were full of sewing goodies and you’ve had a great day with the family. I know I have!

The past month has been a touch hectic as you can imagine but I’ll get round to posting some updates (including on my coat!) as soon as I’m back in London.

We Can Sew It – Trouser fitting has got me stumped

Well, it’s been a little while since I’ve had a chance to update, hasn’t it?

It’s also been pretty slow on the sewing front.

I finally got around to starting my Clover muslin this week and am already a little bit stumped.

So can you see those creases at the front of the trousers going towards the crotch area?

I have no idea what causes those, or how you’d sort them out!

Anyone got any ideas?

(I promise a lengthier update soon…)

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BRB

It’s been a bit quiet in these parts of late because I’ve just moved house and I’m Internetless for a little bit. Until I’m hooked up, here’s a peek at my new makeshift sewing hall space. When needs must!

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Meet Dorothy – my floral dressmaker’s dummy

You may have noticed a certain floral addition to my sewing arsenal…

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Meet Dorothy, my lovely sewing assistant – or mannequin, if we’re going to be formal about it. I’m only getting around to blogging about her now because, when she first arrived, I was in the middle of a horrendous bout of tonsilitis and didn’t really care to open up the huge box she came in, let alone write about it.

I’d been mulling over buying a dummy for a while. I think every sewist can make do without one, but you can’t really deny the benefits. For example, it was so much easier to visualise the ‘80s blouse refashion after I popped her on Dorothy and had a look at how I could change up the neckline and work darts into the front. It’s just so much easier to fit a dummy with your measurements rather than become a human pincushion as you try to awkwardly make alterations while still wearing your muslin.

The body itself is split into eight parts, which can be adjusted using one of 12 wheels – three on the front and back and three on either side. If you’re thinking of buying a dummy, do check the measurements – the minimum measurements shouldn’t be bigger than yours, otherwise the mannequin is no good to you. 

Dorothy’s slightly padded, meaning I can stitch pins in on an angle. There’s also a great hem marker on the bottom – hems are my least favourite part of the dressmaking process, so hopefully it’ll come in handy.

So far, I’m a happy customer! And I just love the design on the fabric. If you want one like this, you can buy it here.

Me Made May ’13 – A celebration of all things refashioning

Last minute to the party, as per usual. Count me in for Me Made May ’13! Woohoo!

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Now, as many of you know, last year I was a scatty student who could justifiably spend all day indoors “revising” in some of my more questionable makes. These days, I’m an actual grown-up who needs to look somewhat presentable.

Why oh why is past Len such a slapdash sewist? Last year, I found myself rummaging in my drawers for makes I had long since written off because they were a bit rubbish. I’m sure the same will happen again this year.

For the sake of maintaining a professional wardrobe in the office, I plan on including refashioned and second-hand items along with my me-mades – I was lucky enough to get a good haul of office-appropriate garments in Guildford, which means I shan’t be caught short in the mad morning rush for work.

Without further ado, here is the pledge:

 I, Elena of seamlessblog.wordpress.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made, refashioned or second hand item each day for the duration of May 2013. To document my challenge, I shall tweet/instagram/flickr/facebook the bejeezus out of my daily outfits, even if it means taking mirror pics in work’s loos. I will also endeavour to make my way and finish all of the refashions I haven’t quite got around to and document how I did so, even if I mess it up.

It’s no blogging every day for May, but I’ll sure as hell be tweeting. You can follow me on Instagram or Flickr too for daily outfit posts and I’ll collate them each Sunday here on the blog.

And did you spot the little extra I popped in there? That’s right, I’ve got a whole bundle of refashions to get through. They’re mostly things I’ve bought or have been given with the best intentions of refashioning, yet haven’t quite got around to it just yet. Here’s a sneak peek at one, as modelled by my lovely new mannequin (who will have an introduction post soon, promise!)

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Isn’t it just delightfully HIDEOUS?! It used to have shoulder pads. I was one perm away from being an ’80s throwback when I tried this bad boy on.

Alright, hands up – who’s doing Me Made May this year?

Seamless needs YOU

Things are looking a little different around here! My good friend and all-round talented lady Martha Moreno kindly donated some of her time and waved her wand of creativity to spruce Seamless up a little. Doesn’t it look great? I love how the blog has a real retro feel to it now.

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If you want to update the button on your blog, the new code is:

[a href=”https://seamlessblog.wordpress.com/the-pledge/&#8221; target=”_blank”>[img src=”https://seamlessblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/button.png&#8221; alt=”The Seamless Pledge” /]</a] (replace the [ ] with < >)

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She also created this schnazzy little card you can download and print off to fit in your wallet. The brainchild of fellow blogger Gillian, it’s a gentle reminder in your purse just in case you get tempted while out shopping.

It seemed right to go for a little redesign now – when I started the pledge as a baby journalist a little more than a year ago, I didn’t really expect anyone to pay any attention. 100 posts, 901 comments, 55,200 views and an amazing 150 pledgers later (give or take!), I think it’s safe to say I was mistaken.

I definitely don’t plan on quitting anytime soon – and here’s where you come in. I’ve got an idea for a little project to get people thinking about the pledge once more, but I need your help to get this ball rolling.

All I need are some willing volunteers who aren’t camera-shy. You don’t have to be from the UK, no siree. In fact, the more people from across the world, the better. You also don’t have to be pledging  right now. Perhaps you’ve done it in the past or you’re planning to. As I said, the more the merrier.

While I’m calling for volunteers, I may as well mention that if you’re interested in doing any guest posts, do let me know.

You can probably tell I’m wanting to keep this project under wraps until I get it off the ground! For more details (only if you can keep a secret!) just shoot me an email on elenamcresci at gmail dot com with the subject “Seamless project”.

In the meantime, what do you all make of the new design? Do you love it as much as I do?

Mission: Create my perfect pencil skirt

I flipping love a good pencil skirt, me.

Wearable muslin purple pencil skirt with scarf1

By far the most worn item in my wardrobe is a jersey double-knit black pencil skirt – bought from H&M for my 19th birthday.  If I were to lose anything in my wardrobe, I’d probably be most upset about this – things you can just throw on in the morning for an early start at work really are priceless.

Pencil skirts are one of those great wardrobe staples. But I can’t say I’ve yet made the “perfect” pencil skirt. Oh, but I have tried – even made one of those wearable muslin things.

Gertie's New Book For Better Sewing

Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing

As a little treat to myself, I bought Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing, which has reams of glorious patterns plus plenty of room for alterations. I traced out the pencil skirt pattern last night with every intention of cutting the cheap-ish floral poplin I’d bought for a wearable muslin.

But, to date, I haven’t had the best of luck when it comes to pencil skirts. They may be my favourite item to wear, but not to make – odd, really, as you would have thought two straight seams and a few darts make for some easy-peasy sewing. But get some measurements slightly off and you can end up with the dreaded wrinkles, which just ruin the whole effect if you ask me.

So, before trying what will be my third pencil skirt pattern in recent years, I’ve decided to put the breaks on and maybe, actually, do a PROPER muslin this time. As in, one I will take apart and keep for future pencil skirtness.

For one thing, in Gertie’s book, the patterns are adjusted to take into account that most women are bigger size in the hips than they are in the waist. Not me!

But if I nail this with a decent muslin, then there’s nothing stopping me from creating pencil skirts in every colour of the rainbow… not to mention the other garments which build upon the foundation of this skirt block in the book.

So that was a very roundabout way of saying that I had planned to sew loads tonight, but actually, I’ve decided to put the brakes on.

Or I may have just sat and watched the Comic Relief Great British Bake Off and left the sewing too late…