Tag Archives: floral

Oh go on then! I’ll have a floral Linden this time….

Oh people I have had some mega sewing going on this last week, but because I was also hugely busy work wise I am a bit behind with my writing – & I have so much to write about!   I have to start with the simplest as some downtime calls (& I’m watching something with subtitles at the moment which means no multi tasking!) So here we go on the next episode of my causal wardrobe, suitable for warehouse work (maybe rather posh for warehouse work in all honesty but I’ll do it anyway) & also for general mooching around looking rather groovy.

Linden sweatshirt

Yes, my attraction to the Linden sweatshirt continues, not having resolved the pocket issues from the green one, but having worn the grey one * very much indeed*, may I present the newest addition to the Linden sweatshirt stable?

This fabric is from the Fabric Godmother (& was provided for me to review)- the floral is a rose pique jersey in blue  (there are two other colourways- pink & purple) & the solid navy is a gorgeous Milano jersey, stretchier than a ponte, thicker than your usual t-shirt weight with something *very* cosy about it, without it being too thick.  I am smitten with it to be honest, & am already thinking of some navy Hudsons – it would be perfect …. just like it is for the sleeves, cuffs & bands for this Linden sweatshirt.

Linden sweatshirt

Don’t you just love the two-tone raglan sleeve top effect?  I love raglan sleeves anyway, but it’s times like these when two fabrics pair so wonderfully that the raglan comes into its own.  I may have been swooning over the navy Milano jersey, but let’s face it, the rose pique jersey is the star.  It works so well in its pattern – bring on the flowers I say!  Sweatshirts can be pretty too!

Linden sweatshirt I ‘ve made this a few times now & it’s a 100% overlocker make – I think it took me about an hour to sew….

Linden sweatshirt

So many photos! That’s because I LOVE this sweatshirt. I’m so thrilled to have made something that is eminently functional but pretty. But I’ve also taken a few extra to show you  a new part of my cottage  – surreptitiously.  This is the upstairs hallway.  To the left is the bathroom & straight ahead is my bedroom.  It has loads of olde features – including these doors with latchy handles (note technical olde worlde terminology).  The camera in in the doorway of the back bedroom (aka sewing room/ office) & both bedrooms are on a higher level than the hallway & bathroom.  Nice step up to both.

Linden sweatshirt To my right are the open plan stairs.  There are a few nooks & crannies including the recess to my left which is a nice little presentation space….

There ends the guided tour of the only non room in my cottage.  Just because you might be curious.  I will bring you other backdrops as time progresses!  And who knows, maybe even more Linden sweatshirts!!!

In the meantime have a very good week & I’ll be back soon with some more – I have a couple more tops to show, some trousers using my block pattern & then a special posh frock that I wore to a bit of a do in London last week…

Disclaimer, the fabric was provided to me free of charge for me to review.  All views are my own.

Pacific Leggings- floral leggings take 2

Happy Friday everyone!  For anyone who has been following me on Instagram – (thanks new phone 🙂 ) – you will have seen a few details of my floral leggings.   These are the Pacific Leggings by Sewaholic which I purchased a bit ago, intrigued by the added details from your standard leggings – a crotch piece (behave!) and a zipped back pocket in the waistband.  ooooh!

Floral leggings

Having sewn Sewaholic patterns before I have certain expectations of great pattern cutting, clear instructions and generally some nifty sewing detail.  I was not disappointed.  In fact I have been delighted & will proceed to explain why.

Floral leggings

But first, the fabric.  This is a Spoonflower Sport Lycra and in this design- baroque flowers.   Check out the specifications but this is a breathable activewear fabric with 4 way stretch.  Perfect for leggings.  (I have roadtested them & can assure you how comfortable they have turned out).  Spoonflower’s first activewear fabric is Performance Knit which I have used a few times – my marathon top and running skirt as well as my badger running top also.  BUT this fabric is 2 way stretch and I made the fatal error of making leggings out of some performance knit without taking into account lack of vertical stretch – something that you can allow for in the cutting out – adding more depth in the body & leg length- but I did not & had to learn the hard way.  I would say Performance Knit is much better suited to tops & skirts now that there is the Sport Lycra for leggings.   Want to do a spot the difference?

Version 1 – ‘Legs with nothing but flowers’

Yes, this is the same fabric design – I am heartbroken to have given up on the first pair but people they are at serious risk of ‘builder’s arse’ so short are they in the body.  (I allowed no one behind me when doing post run stretches).  They are also very tight around my legs as well – I think the fabric’s stretch was being pulled in all ways to capacity- I have worn these quite a lot, stubbornly refusing to admit my mistake, but when comparing these to the latest pair- I can let them go as a lesson learnt.

Floral leggings

So I bought a yard in a free shipping sale last year & I am sure I have managed to get a pair of leggings out of 1m of fabric in the past, and whilst there’s a small difference between metric & imperial I had to rethink my plans to get full leg leggings as there was no way this would fit & so I cut the cropped length – but to the length of the largest size.  There is no obvious pattern direction on this fabric (I am sorry if I have upset the designer here!) but I had to cut pieces different ways up.

Pattern pieces

Leggings generally fall into two pattern types- those with one-piece legs & therefore one leg seam – usually inside leg apart from Fehr Trade’s innovative Steeplechase leggings – & two-piece leggings with an outer & inner leg seam.

Pacific leggings fall into the latter category, however the outer leg seam has a nice upper curve to it so that it sweeps behind & over your hips to meet the bottom edge of the pocket.  You won’t really see it with these leggings as the fabric’s pattern is far too busy- but you can see it on the line drawings  & here below you can see the seamlines.

Pacific leggings

Now that pocket.  It is the business- really easy to sew – just remember to interface the folded zip edge before inserting the zip.  (All explained in the instructions).  The pocket fits nicely within the waistband – a fantastic deep waistband – so comfy & providing enough depth for even larger smartphones in that pocket at the back.  The waistband ‘s shape is kept from sagging / stretching too much by some thin elastic sewn into the seam allowance at the top edge.

Floral leggings

I am thrilled with these leggings, seriously.  No that is the zip, not a piercing.

I took them for a spin yesterday & they felt luxurious, well fitted (that crotch piece adds a certain something to the comfort factor) & easy to run in- the running itself may have been a struggle, but it wasn’t the leggings holding me back this time!

80% Betty Dress

During the spring you may have seen the appearance onto the sewing scene of sweetest dresses sporting rather a lot of skirt under the cover of the Betty Dress by Sew Over It.   My first peek was via the impeccably stylish Jane as she was pattern testing the Betty & even though such testings are secret I think I was staying with her *just as* the pattern was being launched, & couldn’t help but notice rather a spectacular swish swoonworthy skirtsome Betty dress adorning her dress form during an overnighter before a trip to Goldhawk Road.  I think we all agree that this is so perfectly Handmade Jane, wouldn’t we?   Rachel was with us too whose Betty in all its swishing glory was making itself known – that skirt!

Betty dress But I left it at that for then- I had so many other things to sew, but I did carry on doing some serious admiring.  And then Jane & I met up at the end of the summer with a few friends with the intentions to do a few swaps, among other things.  Jane brought a cut out Betty dress with an underlined skirt (yes – the hard work had all been done for me- what a veritable sewing saint).  She said she was on the verge of dispatching it to the recyclers, but thought some opportunist (like me 😉 ) might be able to do something with it.  Plus she brought an untouched copy of the Betty dress pattern with it.  I mean it would be rude not to, wouldn’t it?

Betty dresss

The fabric is a delicious linen floral with a beige background & rich red flowers.  From Goldhawk Road apparently.  Just.my.cup.of.tea (as well as Jane’s clearly).  Jane had made some kind of mistake when she cut it out.  I have no idea what kind of mistake, but it was irredeemable apparently.

Betty dress

But from someone else’s disaster, this Badger was able to profit.  Our long late summer created the ideal conditions for me to get stuck in to this rather pronto.   I could see it having quite a few wearage miles with a cardi.

Betty dress

So having a little less up top than Jane I recut the bodice, keeping the higher back that Jane had also cut for (True Betty has a lower ‘v’ back). I  tried the skirt against my waist & being a circle skirt, assumed that there would be enough volume for my hips.  I then began to sew.

Betty dress

Gee I love that neckline in a very crazy kinda loving way

But I was bugged.  What was the problem?  Why had Jane not been able to complete it?  I felt it might have had something to do with the skirt- there was only one piece.  So in moments of paranoia I kept measuring it against me & against the bodice.  Somehow it all fit together.  Don’t ask me how!  I had quite a bit of adjustment to get the centre back the right size – (nothing new there for me – I always have to do this) sculpting out some strange wedges out of the centre back.  Luckily I sewed with a lapped zipper, which is heaps more easy to install/ try on/ unpick/ adjust/ sew again …& again a few times.  Well I think it’s easier doing it with a lapped zipper than an invisible one….but that might just be personal preference.

Betty dress

Sorry, back view photos are a bit lacking! 

Betty dress

So, once I had finished it, I recognised my skirt had quiet a lot less swish swoo than an original Betty.

Betty dress

I think I have made a half Betty skirt, hence calling this “80% Betty”.  See? It works, don’t you think?

Betty dress

But isn’t it just perfect for autumn?  The linen fabric has just a little more to it, giving structure & warmth.  And with the underlined skirt, this is still very seasonally appropriate.      Initially tights were not even required, such was the ambient September/ October.  These pics were taken once we were in November- & even my arms show that I haven’t seen a suntan session for a number of months – legs are equally in tan-blight.  I should have worn natural tights, as I usually do with Betty, but this was a weekend wearing, & I was wearing booties….

Betty dress So a massive thank you to Jane – your rubbish is someone else’s (namely moi) treasure!

Oonapalooza! Edith blouse meets box pleated skirt in eye bending stripy florals!

“Betty Draper on acid”?  (to quote @angelfishcrafts on IG)

On acidLoL- I have totally played around with the filters of this pic!!  It really is on acid!

It started with the fabric, of course.  How could it not?  The fabric was pulled out with tremendous glee from a rummage bin in Abakhan fabrics, Manchester.  My fondness for visits to this shop & all the loot I have scored over the past few years has been well documented on this blog.  Most of my early visits did not even make it to the shop’s upstairs to the rolls of fabric in the more traditional fabric buying part of the shop, so much was there to investigate in the rummage bins.

edith in white with box pleated skirt
And this delight was too good to put back.  Now I have been on the hunt for some fabric with wide stripes to make a horizontally striped box pleated skirt, but have struggled to source something apparently so simple in two colours.  And I do believe that serendipity often plays a role & the reason I hadn’t found any two-tone wide striped fabric is because if I had, I may have not been so darned sure of what I would make when I encountered this wondrous fabric.

the fabric
Let’s have a tour of the fabric shall we?  Well, it is vibrant, indeed, with a safe navy background but plenty of cerise & wide stripes of varying sizes containing two different flavours of pink vintage roses- one of these on a turquoise stripe.   And in between?  Two different (but similar) stripes of what I feel should be described as scrolly lattice/ tracery type pattern – in pink of course.  Maybe there is a more succinct word?  There is also however what I think is a discordant stripe within it – it’s a gold scrolly stripe on a cream background right through the centre which I think looks out of place with the rest of the pattern.    I hid this stripe in the skirt by taking a canny seam, but I could not avoid it appearing slightly on the blouse back, despite careful pattern placement.

Edith buttons
With self cover buttons

So we’re onto pattern placement next aren’t we?  For the top I used Maria Denmark’s Edith blouse pattern (this is a dress & a blouse in one with grown on sleeves, front & back darts & a cute turn back collar with curves (oh & back shoulder darts too which I like a lot!).  I cut each front out separately anticipating the turquoise stripe being the strongest feature flanking each side of the buttoning up.

edith back

I also gave careful thought about what to centre on the back & as above, could not avoid a small amount of the gold stripe peeking in at one side.  I suppose I could have created a centre back seam…. But that didn’t occur to me at the time!   But I didn’t want to have to include an extra seam hiding the gold stripe in a blouse – I thought it would be a bit too clunky.  The collar was fun to plan –  what part of the pattern could appear on the lapel?  Bearing in mind the turquoise front, I thought the navy striped roses would make a good contrast, but use a different part of the pattern for the back collar.  I cut each front facing individually to make sure they were in balance.

Edith collar
The skirt was my own invention for box pleats – a straight piece of fabric, with a waistband.  As mentioned above I hid the offending gold coloured stripe then had to play around with which stripes I wanted to fall at the hem/ waist before knowing how deep to cut the skirt.  I needed to know the depth (or length) before I embarked upon setting the box pleats up.  I opted to keep the turquoise stripe at the hem, furthest away from the predominantly turquoise blouse front.

edith and box pleats

With all the navy at the top of the skirt, I did feel that the turquoise stripe would make the best waistband, but wanted the pattern to fall a particular way, with the edge of the stripe on the top of the waistband – ie the centre fold.

edith in white
I followed the instructions to sew the Edith blouse as this was my first.  This is a quick make – no sleeves to insert-  help with the time saving, clearly!  Some interesting design & construction details:  no arm facings or bindings – Maria instructs you to turn the seam allowance (pinked) to the inside, clip & hem.  I overlocked mine once I had clipped them, I didn’t pink)  And the side seams are sewn after the armholes have been hemmed.

edith

I have since made another (in white, shown in the photos) which I did my own thing- I sewed the side seams first then used bias binding to finish the armhole edges.  It’s just my preference & is probably a bit more time-consuming.    Apart from that I love this blouse I have to say.  The styling is delightful!  It is not only harking back to that glorious vintage look with nipped in waist & cute collar, but the capped/ grown on sleeves are sweetly nostalgic also.  I love curved collars and often take the sharp edges off collars I sew, so was really pleased to see that the curves had already been drawn in for me!  So lovely.

oonapalooza 2

I am a huge fan of this type of blouse as I think they can be worn tucked in our out & be dressed up for work or casualified (good word?!) for home with shorts/ jeans even.  I really want to make the dress & have two fabric contenders.  I have already made two of these blouses in a week – there is a high chance that I love the dress so much I make two of those too! ( The dress looks a great summer make – no waistband, but darts to nip in the waist enough to give shape but comfort.  Great for hot sultry days – if we have any more of those coming…)

Edith and box pleats 1
I’ve already written so much about this so far I will save writing about the white blouse for when I have another Edith to show you – whether it is another blouse or a dress!  As I need to give just a bit of info about the skirt.  Not much to say really.  I have discussed how I needed to work out length (for pattern placement) before setting the pleats.  To set the pleats I started in the centre with a box pleat meeting at that point, then every pleat I then made was reflected each side of the centre.  I kept measuring the width of the skirt, knowing what my destination waist measurement needed to be, & finished the pleating in relation to this.  There is just one seam – the centre back.  Which of course means no side seam pockets- so if you wanted pockets, you’d have to incorporate side seams into your design & pleating arrangements.

oonapalooza back

Lengthwise- I felt it could be longer than my usual to balance out the top when it gets worn together – those vertical stripes create the illusion of a long torso which would look even longer with a shorter skirt!

oonapalooza 3

I was always going to make this up as a two piece, once I realised I had far too much fabric for a skirt.  Thank heavens for the sewcialists’ #oonapalooza month as it brought making this combo forward.  As soon as I saw this July  theme, I reckoned this would be something rather colourful, eye bending & joyous.  Oh yes!  Would Oona be happy that I dedicate this outfit to her?  Fingers & eyes crossed…

oonapalooza
But then what’s happening on Ada Spragg’s blog?  There has also been a two-piece- set-acular launched & in a strange way, this fits that too! Not quite the chic elegant babe look that it was perhaps initiated with, but hey, it’s a two piece never the less!  And the benefits of a two piece?  Why, you can wear it as separates.  I am really enjoying wearing the skirt with the white Edith blouse for sure.  And it is early days, too early days having only just finished it this week, to have stories to tell about other wearing fun!