Tag Archives: Papercut patterns

Farewell my friends and thank you, thank you – it’s been a blast x

Dear all lovely blog readers, generous commenters and all round warm hearted lovers of sewing.  This post has been a long time in the offing, attested by me not having posted for er…. quite a few months.

In a month’s time I will be closing my blog down.  I just haven’ got the time to write these days, nor photograph myself in all the things I continue to sew.   So I wanted a chance to say a massive thank you to you all, for the fun I have had over the years expressing myself …in the means of my wardrobe in daft & less daft scenarios.  I have loved sharing my sewing process & mistakes and learnings.  I have soaked up (& still soak up) everything I learn from others to make me a better sewster.  From the bottom of my heart thank you for all your support.

One last update.

The last 18 months have been a time of vast change:  moving house from the city to the beautiful Somerset countryside and leaving my employer of 15 years to work for a wonderful new company.  I work full time in four days sat at a PC all day (my hours will change soon) and this has squeezed my free time & energy meaning that I have had to prioritise.  Sadly for this ol’ blog, but not surprisingly, the last thing I fancy is yet more screen time!

A badger sett- no kidding this wood is festooned with them

I have a new relationship – with my surroundings.  I am besotted with the countryside & love being outside in my garden.  I am a yearning runner – I need to get out and about after being restrained for the first four days of my week.  There are millions of footpaths to explore & lambing time?  Oh simple pleasures, but such a novelty for a town mouse like me.  I take walks/ runs through the fields to check on their progress.

Sewing still gets a big chunk of my time.  I am truly addicted to sewing new things to wear- there is always a reason – whether it’s a holiday or a night out.  Or just a new look.  I am a sucker and over the next year will try to channel my sewing & design skills into a few cushions & a bit of patchwork for the cottage.  Don’t expect me to be making covers for my food processor though 😉  And when I say channel, it’s just to check myself that I am not becoming too obsessive & a serial sewer!  I am making much more ‘value’ clothing using more expensive fabrics so that I feel I am less of a consumer of fast fabrics/ sewing.  This summer I have invested in a few linens to make what I hope will be timeless classics….

I did patchwork!

I had wanted to write to tell you about some of my recent sewing adventures.  For example I bought myself a sewing holiday.  The Sew La Di Da Vintage Body Blueprint course.  Four days in Caroline’s studio creating a pattern that fits my body shape, developed ( using pattern cutting superpowers) into a dress design of my choice.  It is even more of a sewing holiday as the setting is Beautiful Lyme Regis, on the Dorset coast, which is a place worth visiting in its own right.   I cannot recommend this course enough.  We all come in different shapes & sizes & it’s amazing how even a customised toile in calico can make everyone look a million dollars.  Seeing everyone in their own beautifully fitting toile was a delight.

My day’s sewing

 

With the ace support during the course I wanted to make a basic ‘quick & easy’ perfect  dress – ‘A’ line skirt, sleeveless bodice with French darts.  Tick.  (And I whipped up one of these yesterday to wear to a Hen do -photo above) From this basic I designed something a bit more special.  Flared the skirt a bit more, adapted the bodice –  added a bias collar, ruched waistband, gathered bust darts.

All conjured up in beautiful cotton lawn.  Serious adoration.

I’ve also been pattern testing – most recently the Orsola dress for By Hand London.  I made the wrap skirt in red linen & it’s been a firm fave this summer.  So pretty.

I have made a maxi dress – for the daytime- this has always been a challenge for me as I don’t like covering myself up if the sun’s out, but recognised there is a time & a place for a longer skirt … on holiday for me.  This is the Named Kielo Wrap dress in a viscose.  Lovely to wear – in my case early evening when it’s still warm enough but once the sun’s gone down I’m grateful for a little more leg covering, but still so lovely & cool & floaty.  A gorgeous pattern.

I have also made the Deer and Doe Datura top in a silk from the Fabric Godmother.  With piping.

Since taking the photo I went back & stabilised the hem and resewed it.  Where its silk & has some bias in the hemline, it really benefitted from being secured by that double sided hemming tape (this disappears in the wash).

My favorite this summer has been a pair of 1980s cropped wideleg trousers.  Sadly no photo to show, but this is the original!

Betty Jackson wideleg cropped trousers in a lovely indigo soft chambray.

I have also been compulsively sewing Grainline Scout Tees for the summer.  They must be one of the best wardrobe builders & perfect for showcasing cute fabrics.

Croft Mill bumble bees 

Cotton and Steel from the Village Haberdashery (a few years in my stash)

Liberty Lawn from Sewbox (I got this at the Knitting & Stitching Show when I actually met Susan, the lovely owner 🙂 )

I’ve been playing with my firm favorite: ric rac.  On a Tilly and the Buttons Rosa shirt in yellow polka dot poplin.

And was obsessed with the latest Papercut collection, having fallen hardest for the Kochi Kimono jacket via MisforMake.

I used a textured linen from Minerva Fabrics. This is teal (but I’d say more blue than teal).  I have only just finished this so will be test driving it this summer.

 

Merlin & I are super content in our little cottage in the country.

I shall be making the odd appearance on Instagram (@scruffybadgerti ) and will think about using my facebook page a bit more.  No promises though!

In the meantime, all I can wish you all is for much happiness and successful sewing!

I am eternally grateful for the friends I have made through blogging that I can share more than just my love of sewing with.

Big hugs xxx

 

 

Bellatrix blazer

Well hello ! At last I have something to show you which means a winning formula of having completed my sewing plus engineered the opportunity to to take my snaps.  So you saw I have been making the Bellatrix Blazer by Papercut patterns, supplied  very kindly by Susan of Sewbox.   I have been coveting a blazer for some time & when I settled on the Bellatrix I did not appreciate what a lovely design it was until I started sewing, and in my recent post about welt pockets I think I waxed lyrical about how it has been designed brilliantly with a lovely cut that also makes it a great first taste of welt pocket sewing – the shaping is created by princess seams & upper bodice and lower bodice piecing so that the welt pockets are inserted at this waist seam.   Sewing adventures!

Bellatrix blazer

It has a long collar with a curved edge – so special.  To achieve the contrast collar you need to plan your front facing to be cut out of your collar fabric- it is all one piece.

Bellatrix blazer

I was using some reversible fabric which is great because I knew the contrast would work & be the right weight & colour tone.  It meant that I used the reverse side of the fabric for all of the facing pieces so my jacket has a pinkish lining (with polka dot satin) and the grey outer,

Bellatrix blazer

See the princess seams and welt pockets

I am in love with the style – it’s almost got a peplum, but barely.

Bellatrix blazer

Bellatrix blazer

It is a snug fit, mind you.  And I haven’t quite got around to sort the buttons out.  So I am holding the edges together in the first pic with good reason.  I had a slight problem.  The instructions are printed on the paper pattern and you cut them out to make a book –  it comes in a few fold-constructed pieces that should be glued together (but of course I didn’t get around to that).   Because I am camping sewing & have a few bags that I am using to pack away my sewing after each sitting, I seemed to have misplaced the last part of the instructions ….& so felt my way through the last part of making up my jacket (attaching the lining & adding buttonholes).  And when I came to try on, the waist is very small on me- probably quite rightly, but there is no room for your usual overlap that one button and one buttonhole needs.  But I wasnt able to reference the instructions to see if my approach is the right one – I think this needs a double buttonhole approach-barely  joined together so that the fronts meet at the centre- by a pair of buttons attached to each other with some ribbon or some elastic.  I havent bought a pair of buttons to tell you how it works, as I wouldn’t wear it like that.  I wear this unbuttoned.  But do you understand what I mean?

bellatrix blazer

And the welt pockets are a decent size….not purely decorative.

bellatrix blazer

I did make my interior welt pocket and might explain my understanding of welt pockets at some point.  maybe.  It meant that I was able to design & sew my own with a satisfying degree of accuracy.

Bellatrix blazer

That pocket has not been road tested however and I placed it at the widest part of the front facing, however it is just a weeny bit high up the body, but apart from that I’m very pleased.

 

Inside welt pocket

Inside welt pocket

In the end I used Lladybird’s classic welt pocket tutorial to steer my sewing of this welt pocket- it really is so simple, & despite trying to follow the David Coffin article in this month’s Seamwork it acted as inspiration as I work better with step by step photos.  Hurrah!  Let’s see how they perform in the wild as there were so many comments in my last post about why women’s jackets do not always have inside pockets …

Fit?  As already mentioned it is a snug fit- I made the lining up as a toile to gauge what adjustments I needed (decided upon shoulder pads- an optional ).  Considering I have less access to mirrors at the moment, it’s not too bad at the back is it?  OK, not perfect but I am not sure how much I would have detected & been able to change – I find the back such a tricky body part!!  I think if anything I could have taken out a little as a sway back looking at these pics carefully. But when I’m wearing it I can live with it. Incidentally I did lengthen the sleeves as there is nothing I hate more than cold wrists …

bellatrix blazer

I found the instructions I used very easy to follow & the construction went well, with easy to  match princess seams, markings in the right place for sewing the collar/ shoulder. As I couldn’t find the last part of the instructions I remembered that the Spearmint coat sewalong has a great method for bagging the lining and sewing by machine, but the Bellatrix blazer is simpler to line than the Spearmint coat, & didn’t need all the steps, however it was the video on three dresses blog explaining the steps for sewing the sleeve linings by machine that was invaluable, avoiding Gordian knots of sleeves & linings…

Bellatrix blazer

The worst thing is that I have hardly anything with me at the moment to wear this jacket with –  the few skirts & trousers I have with me  just don’t work with it so it is currently awaiting a jeans-out night.  That I think is all that I have –  I can’t wait to see what it’ll look good with from my wider winter wardrobe when it comes out of storage.

Bellatrix blazer

You see this is a warmish jacket – the fabric has some wool/ acrylic content & with all pieces (except the satin lining) being interfaced, it has some weight to it.   It has potential to be worn a lot this time of the year …..

Thank you for reading x

Welt pockets!

I can’t believe a whole week has gone by already!  I am not sewing nearly as much as usual, as you know, but just wait until I move into my new (very old) place.  Give me enough time to unpack & I’ll be back to full strength again.  As soon as I have exchanged contracts I will tell you MY NEWS…..

The view Camping sewing

The view Camping sewing

I am currently creating a slower sewing project, the Bellatrix Blazer by Papercut patterns, courtesy of the lovely Susan at Sewbox.   I had been coveting this tuxedo style jacket for some time it has to be said.  Have you seen Rachel’s black Bellatrix?  She has even used a shiny fabric for the collar to give it a real  classy DJ look.   It deserves to be made like this I think.  Looks fab.  As for me I had my own ideas in mind for creating a contrast collar.  I have this fabric from my local fabric shop, the Sewing Studio.  It must have some kind of wool in it but I have no idea what the content really is, I was drawn to its reversible nature – same weave but one side is grey, the other a dull raspberry.  GORGEOUS.  I have decided to make the jacket in grey with a fruity contrast collar.

Sewing the princess seam

Sewing the princess seam

I don’t usually show many ‘in progress ‘ photos, but rather than save them all up for the fait accompli I have enough to show you where I have got to now & to talk about welt pockets!  Oh yes.  This jacket has welt pockets in both versions – the cropped length & the longer length.  Guys if you are at all cautious but curious about welt pockets this could well be the jacket for you!  The pockets are installed in the horizontal seam that joins the jacket’s bodice to its lower half.  This takes away some of the scariest elements of sewing a welt pocket – as you do not need all of the steps associated with creating the ‘window’ for the welt pocket to occupy – the horizontal seam becomes your pocket’s window.

Inside the welt pockets

Inside the welt pockets

I think I may have laughed with joy when I realised how much simpler this made the pocket process.

Welt pocket cuteness

Welt pocket cuteness

And I am pleased with them.  So darling.

In fact so darling are they that when I finished my Saturday sewing I showed them off to my son: ‘Look at my pockets’, I said.  Do you know what came next, after a spot of admiration?  A brilliant idea – from the perspective of a bloke: ‘why don’t you have an inside pocket or even two?  So handy for tickets or keeping things safe’.

IMG_4685

Of course, why do ladies’ jacket sewing patterns rarely have inner pockets?  Not that i have made thousands of jackets, but none of them have interior pockets.  Is this because the content of an inner pocket interferes with how the jacket hangs + boobage?

Designing the inner welt pocket

Preparing for the inner welt pocket

Anyway, I want an inside pocket.  And despite having got away with the simplest welt pockets I have ever sewn in my life, I am now drafting one inner welt pocket, to be constructed the slightly less simple way.  All of my sewing reference books are in storage so I was eternally grateful to see that there is a very comprehensive article on sewing welt pockets in this month’s Seamwork magazine by none other than David Page Coffin.   Hurrah for welt pockets!

Inside view of the Bellatrix blazer in progress

Inside view of the Bellatrix blazer in progress

And if you know whether there is a reason for women’s jacket patterns not having inside pockets it won’t change my decision but I will feel far better informed!  Do please let us know ….(is it the boobs?)

Ooh La la, they’re leggings this time

First up, can I shout some more about just how amazingly versatile & warm (yet not too hot & extremely self regulating) my Merino Renfrew is?  I have worn it tons, & here it is, with belt & pin stripes after a winter day at the office:

Yes, I am standing straight otherwise those pots could fall….

It’s also been a true partner to my loveable Thurlows, but no pics to prove it.  Please just believe.  I recommend making the Renfrew in a sweater type knit.  I think it’s a characteristic of the Merino, but I just cut my usual size & it ended up coming up a little larger, which is perfect for a sweater style.

OK so onto the stars of this particular post.  Yep, I have made another variant of leggings.  I have been wowed by Melissa’s (Fehr Trade)  silver pair and purple pair and KBenco’s running tights  made using the Ooh La La leggings 1004 by Papercut patterns.

Image from Papercut Patterns

 I shall state now that I have every intention to perform the utmost act of flattery & imitate to make my own running leggings.  Before I did that however, I needed to make a pilot in bog standard jersey knit.  Black in fact (from the Rag Market of course).  A replacement for my worn out & not quite helpful for cold climes 3/4 length RTW & holey pair (now verging on grey they have been washed so often).

I was intrigued when the beautiful pattern arrived in very special packaging ( a box with its own self-hanger 🙂 ), pattern pieces themselves printed onto brown paper & cute little instruction booklet.  I decided to make these up in black exactly as they came to understand the construction.  This leggings pattern, unlike my previous pair of McCalls 6173, has a few more pieces and many more seams not side seams though): there are three pieces per leg plus a back & front yoke.

As well as piecing these seams together there is also top stitching, which all adds up to much more careful sewing than the McCalls whip-up job (especially if your fabric has edges that intend to curl up at every opportunity).  I used my overlocker throughout except for top stitching (single needle, ballpoint) & the hems (twin needle).  I also used Melissa’s easy elastic waist method.

I do really like the styling & the construction though.  The yoke creates a fit that feels good, snug, not too tight, & not too gathered.  It also adds great styling to what is normally a pretty boring make, instead livening it up with shape & curves & points.  See the diagram here for a better idea.  Of course in black this doesn’t show up as much.   Fit-wise, I probably could go down a size in the yoke next time I make them (eg for running), but for wearing these underneath dresses etc, they are fine this time.  Kbenco’s post contains a detailed review of the pattern, sizing, yardage required as well as lot of information about how she fitted them, & her experience to create a great pair of running tights that I will definitely refer back to.

I was also intrigued by the top stitching – would it work, a straight stitch on a knit?  Well, it seems to, threads haven’t snapped & seams have not seemed under any strain.  The top stitching is also a nice touch & reminds me of some 60s style ski pants I once had….

So what’s the verdict?  I think most definitely a hit & I shall explore making them again.  They are too long for me, but that’s OK – extra can be tucked up, or left to gather around ankles which I like anyway.  They are tight-legged like leggings, unlike my McCalls pair that, remember, have become stretchy trousers!

Now I will be wearing them as warmth with my Patty Young fabric dress, or my Lisette Portfolio tunic, but you wouldn’t get a very good view of them that way, so, out of character, I’ve tried to show their shape.

Made me feel a bit creative…

And rather wobbly. So much easier to do when you are 6 years old!

And instead felt more like the kind of outfit ….

 Worn by a cat burglar! Shhh!

Anyway, whilst on the subject of Papercut paterns, have you seen the new Covent Garden collection?  I am in swoon city.  All images below are from Papercut Patterns’ website.  Most favorite is La Sylphide dress

But I am also coveting the Coppelia top

The shorts (Rite of Spring shorts) are super cute, but I’ll leave them for youngsters to do well I think! I’ll try to maintain some form of decorum….and there’s more – go check out the goodies!