Sunday, 19 June 2016

Liberty Silk Crepe de Chine Moana Top

In the midst of a particularly crazy time at work a while back I decided to squeeze in a bit of a break in the form of some sewing to ease my tired brain. You might think that in that circumstance a quick, gratifying, no brainer of a project would be in order but no no no I decided to pick a super delicate silk and a new pattern to work with! It actual turned out to be the perfect project as the patience and focus that it required really slowed me down and pushed work stress out of my head for a few hours.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Liberty Spring Silhouette Print Silk Crepe de Chine Papercut Patterns Moana Top

This is the top version of the Moana Dress from Papercut Patterns which I pounced on along with the Bowline Sweater when it was released earlier in the year. I love these designs which aren't like any other pattern in my collection. They have unique features to construct whilst still retaining clean, wearable lines. I love summer dresses and skirts but the temperamental British summer temperatures combined with the practical nature of my job often sees me in jeans and tees for the majority of it. This year I'm after some interesting tops and this is just the ticket.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Liberty Spring Silhouette Print Silk Crepe de Chine Papercut Patterns Moana Top

The fabric is a print from this years Spring/Summer collection from Liberty called Spring Silhouette. I'm not usually a Liberty print girl for my clothing but their latest collection has really stepped up it's game in terms of modern, wearable prints and I've had my eye on a few! It's not like me to pick a small, delicate floral to wear but there's something about the subtlety of this I like; it's got quite a fresh, modern appeal. Liberty have been expanding their selection of base fabrics of late (I even spied some swimwear lycra on the Fabrics Galore Instagram account a few months back!) and this is their silk crepe de chine. It's pretty fine, verging on sheer but you can just about get away with it unlined for a top! It's quite matte for a crepe de chine which I really like. I managed to SQUEEZE it out of a metre but I was almost tempted to do the ruffle in an even more delicate chiffon or georgette.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Liberty Spring Silhouette Print Silk Crepe de Chine Papercut Patterns Moana Top

I was worried about how this silk might hold up to washing and sewing as it seems so delicate and I've had trouble with skipped stitches in silk crepes in the past. It gave me no troubles at all though; even the rolled hem foot loved it! I used a size 70 microtex needle and pre-washed it on a delicate cycle in my machine so I can machine wash the top and get lots of wear out of it! I pressed it on slightly higher than the usual cool iron for silk to get a nice crisp finish. Cutting was the trickiest part, as you'd probably expect with a slippery silk but I cut it out on the carpet, the grip of which I find helps reduce the shifting about and used lots of fine pins within the seam allowances to keep everything in place. From the way the top sits on me I'm pleased to report that I managed to get everything cut out on grain!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Liberty Spring Silhouette Print Silk Crepe de Chine Papercut Patterns Moana Top

I went all out with the slow and special techniques on this one as it's such a lovely piece of silk. In addition to what was instructed I under-stitched the neckline and french seamed the side and shoulder seams. The pattern comes with 1cm seam allowances and a less confident past me would have been tempted to increase them to 5/8" so those french seams were less fiddly but I'm really proud of how neat and tiny they are! I resorted to just pinking the neckline and armhole seams as I didn't want to create too much bulk in those areas and that finish is holding up well. I also pinked the ruffle seam as I wasn't sure how neat I could make a french seam along such a curved line. Perhaps I should have had more confidence in my skills but I'm happy as it is. There was no way this gorgeous silk was going under my tough old overlocker!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Liberty Spring Silhouette Print Silk Crepe de Chine Papercut Patterns Moana Top

I did a machine rolled hem on both the ruffle and the facing pieces. I had some slight issues getting across the french seam at the centre back of the facing piece as that bulk didn't want to neatly feed through the spiral of my rolled hem foot. I gave it a few attempts but in the end resorted to hand rolling an inch or so either side. The ruffle pieces I hemmed flat before they were assembled as its is so much easier to start and finish at an end rather than in the middle of a loop. If you are thinking about making this top it's worth bearing in mind that it would be really easy to stretch out the hem ruffle as it's two big curved pieces so be careful how you handle them.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Liberty Spring Silhouette Print Silk Crepe de Chine Papercut Patterns Moana Top

I chose not to interface the facing pieces as the silk was so fine and I was worried than even the lightest weight interfacing would effect the drape. I considered hand basting in silk organza but decided that had too much body for this kind of silk. I was then worried about the neckline stretching out and not sitting flat and looked into various tutorials for stabilising a neckline as my fail safe addition of twill/stay tape was going to be too heavy for this fabric. I found this great post from Gertie including three different techniques which I'll definitely be referring back to but in the end decided that the under stitching would do a good enough job of reinforcing that area. I'm really pleased with how this sits. The delicacy of the silk also led me to omit the zip. I was planning on using a lightweight invisible zip if necessary but tried sewing up my facing piece first to check the size of the neckline and voila it slipped right on over my head!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Liberty Spring Silhouette Print Silk Crepe de Chine Papercut Patterns Moana Top

An all in one facing is probably my favourite way to finish a neckline. I really don't enjoy fussing around with fiddly bias tape; for a delicate top like this I only like the look of that finish when it's really neat and slim but in a slippery silk that takes some real patience for me to achieve. Alternatively separate facing pieces have a tendency to flip out or cause the neckline to sit unevenly as you move about. By joining your armhole and neckline facings you're eliminating that problem and it's easier to handle too! The only thing that I don't like about it is that it makes under stitching both the armholes impossible because you can't get to the piece that you need. Luckily with a fabric that holds a press as well as this it's not a problem.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Liberty Spring Silhouette Print Silk Crepe de Chine Papercut Patterns Moana Top

I like the amount of ease in it and am happy with the fit apart from the armholes which seem a little roomy. There's a chance I might have stretched them out slightly as I sewed (as this is such delicate silk it was really tricky to handle around all those curves!) but I think sometimes it's easy to blame your sewing and really it's an alteration I need to address next time. I could easily just take a little out of the side seams under the arms, grading to nothing at the waist to resolve this or alternatively (as there is a little bit of excess fabric across the upper chest too) just try going down a size for a closer fit.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Liberty Spring Silhouette Print Silk Crepe de Chine Papercut Patterns Moana Top

I was warned before making this pattern up that it comes up very short as a top but I measured my pattern pieces and myself beforehand and decided it would be pretty much spot on on me and spot on it is! It's exactly how I envisioned it lengthwise and the curve of the hem is just lovely, that dip to the back really accentuates those ruffles. However, I am quite short waisted and petite to boot so I imagine on a lot of people it will come up a little tummy skimming. It hangs over the waistband of my favourite jeans just enough for me to feel comfortable about not exposing skin and its the length I usually like me tops to be at the back. I think the design is really well proportioned, the depth of the ruffle is spot on and the size the neckline is flattering. When I first put it on I did worry about the style accentuating the tummy and hips a bit but I've really warmed to it; just a new silhouette to get used too I suppose. I've been wearing it a lot with jeans for spring but I also really love it with a high waisted pencil skirt or maxi. It turned out exactly as I hoped and I'm glad I'm getting some wear out of this treasured piece of silk!

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Honey Mustard Corduroy Rosari Skirt

So I'm playing major blog catch up here! I've been working away from home for the last couple of months and have zero time to sew. But before I went away I had a little run of successful projects, those kind of garments that turn out just as you'd hoped (if not better!)and ones which I just can't stop wearing. Isn't that the true mark of a good handmade garment?! I'm not sure what the reason is behind my lucky run. I would have thought a serious lack of sewing time would have meant a series of rushed projects that I ended up disappointed in but in fact I think it has meant that I'm thinking really carefully about what I spend my time making. I'm only making what I REALLY want to. And what I'm making I REALLY want to get right. I've also only been sewing when I've got a decent few hours to do it in so I can really get into it and switch all the other life chaos and distractions off. There's definitely something to be said for being in the right frame of mind and forcing yourself to be slow and patient. The first half of this year has been really crazy work wise and I'm really appreciating the value of a few hours cutting or at the machine to soothe anxiety and a tired brain.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Honey Mustard Cotton Corduroy Rosari Mini Skirt from Pauline Alice

Anyway, onto what you've all come here for and what must be one of my most worn garments to date! Seriously, I've been in this at least once if not twice a week since it came off the machine. It's the Rosari Skirt from Pauline Alice and it's a gorgeous little 70's inspired design which is really interesting to sew as it has lots of interesting little details like jeans style pockets and belt loops. The instructions are nice and thorough and guide you to a lovely clean finish inside and out which always pleases me!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Honey Mustard Cotton Corduroy Rosari Mini Skirt from Pauline Alice

I actually decided to buy this pattern because I've got a RTW skirt just like it which get's worn to death but yet never quite sits right on me. It's not high waisted but doesn't sit low on the hips and therefore just kind of shifts around all day. I saw the release of the Rosari and thought perfect, a high waisted a-line mini skirt with all the design features I like of my other one. I pretty much just flat out copied that skirt with every decision I had to make. I loved the snaps down the front so did the same, I loved that it was needlecord so used the same in a different colour. It took me a while to decide what to do about the topstitching as it's a technique I really love doing and this is the perfect design to showcase a bit of it. However I wasn't sure how big bold topstitching would look on the needlecord so I again took my lead from my RTW skirt and used it all over but with a subtle thread choice. I happened to have this golden brown thread to hand and I like the clean and simple effect. I made a real effort with accurate and tidy stitching on this one and it makes such a difference to how pleased I am with the finished garment.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Honey Mustard Cotton Corduroy Rosari Mini Skirt from Pauline Alice

The fabric I bought from Mood with part of my MSN allowance a while back. It's a lovely light weight for a project like this with a soft drape and movement to it. It's actually the very same fabric that Lauren used for her Rosari Skirt at exactly the same time haha! Great minds think alike and all that. I was having a bit of a mustard moment this winter and it's a lovely rich colour. It has a super soft pile and actually washes and wears better than my original skirt! It still looks super smooth and fresh and the pile hasn't flattened out at all. It's 100% cotton and didn't need any particularly special care or attention. I sewed it up with a standard size 80 needle, washed it on a 40 degree cycle and pressed with a hot steamy iron. It's usually recommended to be extra careful pressing fabrics with a pile like cord or velvet and to only press it on top of a needle board or another piece of the same fabric to preserve the plushness of the pile but I was naughty and didn't find it necessary here.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Honey Mustard Cotton Corduroy Rosari Mini Skirt from Pauline Alice

It took less than a yard of fabric to cut the size 38 which fits like a glove, nice and snug around the waist so it doesn't shift around and I absolutely love the flared cut of it. The corduroy is just the right weight to show off the shape. It is pretty short (especially as I'm pretty short at 5ft 3") but I quite like that for a winter/autumn look with tights. The pattern does include a longer length anyway. The only problem I've discovered while wearing it is although the rear side of the corduroy has a lovely smooth finish it does love to ride up when worn with tights! Not one to wear when doing a lot of walking. If I'd realised this earlier I might have lined it but it's a small issue to deal with as it is now.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Honey Mustard Cotton Corduroy Rosari Mini Skirt from Pauline Alice

You only need to worry about finishing the seam allowances on your side and centre back seams and the bottom pocket bag edges as everything else is hidden away because of the way it is assembled. I just overlocked these edges with mid grey thread and am very happy with how this looks inside. This corduroy definitely needs to be finished and with something more resilient than pinking as it sheds fibres all over the place. After cutting my carpet was covered!

I like the slim waistband, it sits very comfortably without wrinkling and I also liked the way the belt loops are done. They are sandwiched into the seam between the skirt and waistband and then just folded under and topstitched on the top edge. Very clean and not as fiddly as trying to attach them separately after the waistband is complete.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Honey Mustard Cotton Corduroy Rosari Mini Skirt from Pauline Alice

The pattern includes four different types of pocket. These are the classic pocket style from view A and they were really fun to construct, I love a pattern with lots of little fiddly bits to play with! I had a bit of a eureka moment when thinking about what fabric to use as pocket lining. I have various bits and pieces of quilting weight cotton stored away for crafty projects and gifts and in amongst them were two lovely sewing themed fat quarters from Berylune which were part of my Secret Santa gift from Roisin last Christmas. I was saving them for just the right project and this mustard scissor print was an absolutely perfect match colour wise for the corduroy. I couldn't have been more delighted.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Honey Mustard Cotton Corduroy Rosari Mini Skirt from Pauline Alice

I've only used these kind of snaps once before on my Alder Shirtdress and on that occasion used a hammer to set them in. I've since been lucky enough to get my hands on a pair of the Prym Vario Pliers and man what a difference these babies make! I was doubtful as to how effective these could be through a thick placket/waistband and whether I'd have the strength in my little hands to get them to close tightly but they are super easy and quick. The most time consuming part of the process is marking the placement of them accurately! They feel even more secure than the ones I whacked in with the hammer and I in fact went back over the snaps on my Alder with the pliers after making this to get them set nice and securely. These are the antique brass colour and I'm really pleased with how they look against the mustard.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Honey Mustard Cotton Corduroy Rosari Mini Skirt from Pauline Alice

I know I say this a lot but I genuinely can't wait to make up one of the other variations of this pattern. I kind of want to try all four pocket styles and can see this working in so many different interesting fabrics; denim, linen, suede and leather...I'm super excited to see what Pauline is going to release next!

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Striped Brightside Shrug

I'd like to introduce you to the quickest, most satisfying thing I've ever made! If you're ever in one of those moods where you just need a speedy, gratifying project to make you feel good because you've made and accomplished something this is the garment for you!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: MIY Collection Brightside Shrug in Striped Grey French Terry

A little while back Brighton based Wendy from MIY Collection contacted me to see if I'd like to try one of her kits, specifically the one including pattern, fabric and thread for sewing up the Brightside Shrug. I'd long been meaning to try out one of Wendy's patterns (and had in fact been severely eyeing up the Longley Draped Waterfall Cardigan at the Knitting and Stitching Show last year!) so jumped at the opportunity. I actually had it sewn up a matter of days after the parcel arrived but the last few months have been so chaotic with moving, holidays and working away from home a lot I've only just got around to taking pictures. At least it means I've had a good bit of wear out of it so when I say it's comfy, useful and the fabric wears well you can believe me!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: MIY Collection Brightside Shrug in Striped Grey French Terry

It arrived in such a beautiful little parcel and the whole thing had a real personal, handmade feel to it. It would be a great gift for someone who wants to learn to sew or has just bought their first machine. The pattern is printed on standard weight paper (I know some people prefer tissue and I very much like that for more complex patterns but for something simple like this I like the sturdier paper, especially if using pattern weights not pins. The instructions are printed into an A4 colour booklet, nice and big and clear to read with bold illustrations.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: MIY Collection Brightside Shrug in Striped Grey French Terry

As I was saying, it's the fastest thing I've ever made! Including cutting it was about an hour and a half total. The shrug itself is one large piece, folded in half and sewn up to create sleeves. The long raw edge next to the body is finished with a band, as are the cuffs and you're done! It was kind of fascinating to me that interesting clothing can be made up so quickly and simply and it's got me intrigued about what can be achieved by draping a few pieces of fabric.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: MIY Collection Brightside Shrug in Striped Grey French Terry

As it's a knit you don't even need to finish the raw edges but I like to keep things looking as professional as possible on the insides so whilst I sewed it up with a narrow zig zag stitch on my regular machine (with a ball point needle) I finished everything with black thread on my overlocker. As the fabric is a loopback terry knit it does shed little pieces everywhere when cut so I'm pleased I had the option of overlocking.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: MIY Collection Brightside Shrug in Striped Grey French Terry

There are three sizes and I cut the smallest one despite being on the cusp of two as I prefer my clothes fairly fitted and it's described as a 'fairly loose fitting style'. I'm really happy with how this hugs my shoulders but as the fabric that comes with the kit is quite stable without a huge amount of stretch I perhaps could have gone bigger for a more exaggerated drape and shape across the back.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: MIY Collection Brightside Shrug in Striped Grey French Terry

The only thing I'm not 100% sold on now it's finished is the fabric itself, but that's just personal choice about what I'd most like to wear. There are three colours to choose from and I'm happy I went with a stripe as I like the way that these work with the band and cuffs but I think it's the drape that's bugging me most. It's a thick cotton rich french terry in a sweatshirt weight so it has quite a but of body and creates quite 'full' folds which does work for the garment but isn't quite what I had in mind. It is top quality and washes up lovely and actually the stability of it makes it very easy to handle so that's great for the beginner that I think the kit is aimed at. I was really taken with the texture of the loopback of the fabric and almost used it wrong side out!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: MIY Collection Brightside Shrug in Striped Grey French Terry

While I was sewing it I was unsure about whether this type of shrug was really my style but since making it I have found a whole heap of garments in my wardrobe that this style is perfect to throw over. Made up in the thicker knit that comes with the kits I think it's more of a winter weight but I'm thinking about making one up in a lighter weight, softer knit (possibly a linen since I made my Bowline Sweater and discovered how gorgeous it is to wear!). I'd also consider making it in a size up in a more drapey knit for a more slouchy and relaxed feel so I can wear it over all my summer dresses to take the edge off the mornings and evenings.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: MIY Collection Brightside Shrug in Striped Grey French Terry

I'd highly recommend this pattern for a beginner seamstress or a newbie to knits. There are only three pattern pieces, not much to worry about in the way of fit but it's a great way to practice adding bands and cuffs and it you wanted to push yourself you could play around with pattern placement quite easily. The instructions are really thorough too for such a simple garment and include a couple of pages on how to work with knits and cut your fabric. Thanks Wendy for giving me the opportunity to try out one of your patterns...I'm off to see what else you've got in your shop!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: MIY Collection Brightside Shrug in Striped Grey French Terry

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

May Indie Pattern Update!



Phew where did that month go?! I've been working away from home most of this month so have got a bit behind with blogging projects, I'm hoping to get a lot of them photographed and posted about over the next couple of weeks as I've had a run of successful projects that have seen me through spring! There have been a huge number of new releases this month (in may in fact be the longest list I've published yet!) and that's got me itching to sew a whole new summer wardrobe.


New Patterns


  • Blank State Patterns released the relaxed fitting Blanc T-Shirt. Not only is this pattern free but you can also download the free hack pack with different sleeve, placket, collar and pocket options.
  • The latest release from Jennifer Lauren is another vintage inspired design. The Hunter Tank is a bias cut waist length top with a tie front. I'd love one of these to wear with high-waisted, slim cropped trousers over the summer, very Audrey Hepburn!
  • Kennis from Itch to Stitch released the Lisbon Cardigan and Sirena Dress. I love the variety of style options that come with Sirena; particularly the sleeve flounce and the cup sizing.
  • There were two new patterns released by Tessuti this month. Helga is an oversized shirt with two collar options, shaped side seams and a stepped hem. The Brooklyn Coat is an oversized and boxy style with dropped shoulders that looks ideal for a first time coat maker to try.
  • There's a new menswear pattern on the market in the form of the Fairfield Button Up Shirt from Thread Theory. The size range now includes a 4XL and this particular pattern is drafted to include a larger size variation to accommodate a round or wide waist. 
  • The second menswear release this month was the Wahid Waistcoat from Make My Pattern. Joost always includes many design options with his patterns and this is no exception with 17 custom choices including hem styles and necklines.
  • The new Annie A-Line Skirt from Sew This Pattern is free to download! Perfect if you're looking for a first sewing project to try as it has a faced waistband and simple centre back zip.
  • Bang on trend as always, Kommatia released a pattern for a knit cropped top. It's a classic design with cap sleeves and crew neck; to me it's got something of a nineties Rachel from friends about it!
  • Muse Patterns released the Philippa Dress. It has got 1960s mod styling with its slim fitting cut, jewel neckline and collar.
  • Straight Stitch Designs released the View Ridge Top. I really like the size of the button fastening keyhole neckline at the back.
  • The latest design from Wear Lemonade is the Chiara Dress which has a retro style with a boat neck and gathered skirt. I particularly like the way the sleeves are finished with a band which creates a tiny cap style sleeve.
  • The Tailoress released the Frane Jumper Dress. Its designed for knits with a relaxed fit on top but more close fitting around the hips. A version with a snugger fit all over is soon to follow.
  • New from Christine Haynes is the Lottie Dress and Shirt. There's a lot of mileage to be had out of this pattern by combining aspects of the three different views. I think the maxi is my fave!
  • Charlotte Kan released the Garconne Shirt & Dress. It's a boyfriend style fit shirt with slim mandarin collar which to me has a slightly Scandinavian style feel about it, particularly when sewn up in the minimalist print chosen for the sample.
  • A gorgeous style for summer is the new Peony Dress from Fabrics for Sale. Its a simple style which looks like it would be a speedy sew with an elasticated waist and neckline and on trend off the shoulder frill.
  • Megan Nielson released the Axel Skirt which is a pattern designed for stable knits with three variations including a tie front and slit or handkerchief hem.
  • Maven Patterns released a new PDF; the Maria Wrap Apron. It's a Japanese inspired style with cross over wrap back and there's a tutorial up for how to make it reversible/fully lined.
  • New from Hey June Handmade is the Santa Fe Top. It's a design for knits with plenty of scope for colour blocking with a variety of panels and options to make as a tank or with a dolman sleeve.
  • Grainline Studio released another beautifully drafted basic in the form of the Willow Tank and Dress. The perfect black canvas to showcase a special fabric, its fitted through the shoulders calling into a loose fit below the bust.
  • The two patterns released with this month's issue of Seamwork Magazine were the Layton Romper and Perry Dress. I really like the relaxed fit of Perry combined with the front slits in the skirt.
  • Amongst the new releases from Style Arc this month were the Maxine Maxi Dress and Leah Lounge Pant which as summer trousers are high on my agenda I'm looking forward to seeing made up so I can assess the cut.
  • This week's episode of the Great British Sewing Bee has piqued my interest in sewing bras again. Elise Patterns' new Chelsea Bra pattern is now available through Etsy and Kollabora in PDF form.
  • Schnittchen released a whole new Summer 2016 collection! It includes the Michelle Blouse, Ute Dress, Swantje Skirt, Tara Top, Mary Trousers, Mila Blouse and Rose Dress. Again those trousers have caught my eye but the louche fit of the Rose Dress also appeals made up in linen for hot days.
  • The latest patterns from Sew Caroline is the Parkside Shorts and Skirt. They're a nice simple style to sew with inseam pockets and an elasticated waistband.
  • Marilla Walker's new Bennett Dress is a loose fitting summer shift which can be gathered in at the waist or have an added button front detail. My favourite feature is the back v neckline.
  • Pauline Alice has treated us to three new patterns this month! The Reina Shirt, Safor Skirt and Saler Jacket. They have a slightly nautical theme and my favourite is the shirt with the skinny neck tie combined with the deep v neckline.
  • New from Paprika Patterns and continuing to fuel my summer trousers obsession, are the Amber Trousers. They have a v-shaped fitted yoke with inverted box pleat below to give the style fullness while flattering the figure.
  • The next pattern in Jenny from Cashmerette's line of plus size sewing patterns is the Upton Dress. Its a fit and flare style for woven fabrics and has various neckline and skirt options.
  • The Maker's Atelier released the Gypsy Dress and Blouse; a classic take on this style of dress with a drawstring neckline and raglan sleeves. Whilst the plain samples are beautiful I think this design would really make the most of an intricate print.
  • The Wanderlust Tee is the latest release from Fancy Tiger Crafts. Its a boxy knit tee with a slightly a-line shape and I really like the slightly longer length slim sleeves.
  • Patty Doo launched two patterns this month. The Kyra Tunic has a pretty bib front which can be highlighted with piping and the Maya Jersey Top is a a staple shape with skinny spaghetti straps.
  • Debbie from Lily Sage & Co released the Chloe Dress & Top as a PDF download. This exposed shoulder look is all over the shops for summer and I'm seriously considering adding it to my summer sewing plans after seeing the samples.
  • Blue Prints for Sewing launched a limited edition 'pattern zine' for the Prairie Skirt. The booklet walks you through the process of creating a simple skirt with elasticated waist and patch pockets. A PDF version is to follow.


Expansion Packs and Re-Releases




Sew-Alongs




Upcoming!


There have been a few testing calls over the last week or so giving us a hint of what might be to come next month:
  • After the release of Garconne this month Charlotte Kan has moved straight on to testing the Kitsune Strapless Dress. It looks like a great casual style for a hot summer so I'm looking forward to seeing what the fit of it is like sewn up.
  • Ohhh Lulu are testing as whole new collection! I'm dying to try out sewing some underwear as I said so perhaps one of the new designs will see me take the plunge!
  • Kennis from Itch to Stitch impresses me with her ability to turn out patterns so regularly when she has such a thorough testing process and instructions. After two new releases in May she's now testing a summer style in the shape of the Vienna Tank.
  • The next pattern from The Tailoress will be a three piece camisole/slip set. I'm always thinking that I could benefit from a few of these but never get round to buying any...maybe I'll make some now!
  • And last but by no means least Helen from Helen's Closet is testing the Winslow Culottes. I wasn't a big fan of the midi length culotte trend when it first came about but now I'm thinking it could be a winner for summer...


Other Exciting News



With the length of that list of new releases I find it hard to believe that there can be any more but if I have missed anything you know of please let me know in the comments below and I'll be sure to add it in! If the promise of summer sunshine hasn't been reason enough to get you racing to your machine just yet here's a bit of indie sewing inspiration to get you doing just that...




  • The appearance of summer sunshine always gets me eyeing up maxi lengths and bright, colourful prints and Lindsay has nailed the perfect combination of these with her Laura Vent Skirt.
  • Someone else who has an eye for a beautiful print is Sallie. She's knocked it out of the park with her marble print Catarina Dress. So chic in that midi length.
  • Jasika has gone bold with her choice of monochrome stripes for a Sallie Dress and is totally rocking it! I've got this pattern on my summer sewing list and this has go me thinking about what fabric would work best for the variations I've got my eye on.
  • Katryna's flower power Martha Dress is super cute! The body of the crepe really accentuates the shape of the dress in a lovely way. Combined with that vivid summer print it's a winner.
  • Debbie has been absolutely rocking her latest pattern the Chloe Dress recently with numerous versions in stunning fabrics. I love a bit of tie dye so this latest one is my fave.
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