Threadcount blouse

Hello everyone!

I’ve been on a great run of therapeutic sewing lately! Getting my head down, pushing out the world and focusing on the task at hand. I had a super productive Christmas break and made a whopping four garments in three days. Three dresses and a blouse. I sewed them all at the same time if that makes sense. Like my own production line. Getting my head down and drowning out the world by sewing is a real stress-buster for me. It’s like I tap into the part of me that’s a freaky zen robot eagle and just focus on executing each step neatly and efficiently.

Almond rock Threadcount blouse Remnant Kings

This pattern came free with Sew Now magazine. Love Sewing’s little sister. There are a few mix and match variations but I chose the button placket with the short sleeves and I opted the length of view B without the dip hem (I just levelled everything off). Happily I lay my block on top of the pattern pieces and they matched the size 8 I only had to move the bust a smidgen and grade out the side seams to a size 14 from the waist to hip.

Almond rock Threadcount blouse Remnant Kings

I laugh when I look at this fabric because I would never had bought it normally. The team at Remnant Kings talked me into it after I attended an event at the Glasgow store. It feels lovely (like a looser than normal lawn weave but not like gauze or anything) and the print is sweet… it’s just that shade of blue that I would have sworn doesn’t suit me. Maybe it doesn’t but who cares. Find it here.

Almond rock Threadcount blouse Remnant Kings

The pearl buttons are pure plastic so I’m waiting for the washing machine to scuff them up. Amazingly after a day of wearing the top there aren’t many creases! Magic. I only wish I had enough fabric for the longer sleeves.

Almond rock Threadcount blouse Remnant Kings

I French seamed the whole garment including the armholes and I used the burrito method for the yoke – pic below of rolled up front sandwiched between the inner and outer yoke ready to sew over the shoulder seam.

Almond rock Threadcount blouse Remnant Kings

My trusty topstitching foot made easy work of the placket. I had a bit of trouble with the buttonholes because my fabric was a bit damp still after pressing. Once I let everything dry properly and finished unpicking for the third time I was able to stop worrying about them. But then like an idiot I sewed the buttons on in slightly the wrong place so the placket doesn’t sit neatly closed!! Gah!

Obligatory back shot time…

Almond rock Threadcount blouse Remnant Kings

Nice little pleats right?

I’m so happy with this make I already started another, but this time I hacked the front to have a full placket. I added hot pink stitching so need to get hot pink buttons now right? Next job on my list.

Almond rock Threadcount blouse Remnant Kings

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Elsie Overshirt

Hello campers!

I’m loving blogging again. So here’s something else from my huge backlog of finished garments. The pattern is the Elsie woven overshirt from Style Arc patterns.

style arc elsie blouse almond rock

How Style Arc works is that you get a single sized pattern delivered in the post or you can choose a multi-size pdf pattern from their Etsy store plus there are multi-sized paper patterns on Amazon.co.uk now.

The paper patterns have the instructions printed on the same sheet as the pattern pieces so you have to make sure you don’t throw them out accidentally! And only the key directions have illustrations. Sizes range from 4 to 30 and prices are in Australian dollars.

My favourite part is that every hardcopy pattern order comes with a Free bonus pattern. Such a good idea!

style arc elsie blouse almond rock

I ordered Elsie, plus the Posh Top. The free pattern was the Fern Top which wasn’t quite my style so I passed it on to Katie who made this wicked version. Let’s just say that Posh didn’t work out well so you won’t be seeing that one.

Elsie is described as a square shaped shirt with reverse revere, patch pockets and roll up sleeves. There are safari tabs and buttoned cuffs on the sleeves as well. It says to make the blouse is crepe, viscose, silk etc. I chose a random printed viscose from Barry’s in Birmingham and paired this with some white shell shank buttons from my stash.

style arc elsie blouse almond rock

The viscose wrinkles so badly!! But the top sews up really quickly. The revere is sewn in three separate pieces, attached to the front edges, then flipped out and top-stitched in place.

The safari tabs are a good touch too. I’ve always wanted a shirt with them but turns out they tickle when the sleeves are unrolled and the tab is loose on the inside.

style arc elsie blouse almond rock

I’m not massively in love with the high-low hem trend but this one actually pleases me a bit. It’s not too dramatic, I like the split seam and it helps cover my rear a little.

So I better just got to say it. I picked the wrong size. This is size 10 but I really don’t have the shoulders for it. This was sewn as the straight size (no alterations) but now I know the fit I’ll do a small shoulder adjustment and maybe a small bust adjustment too. It’s fine wearing a top underneath. I’ll probably do that even after shrinking the sizing.

style arc elsie blouse almond rock

 I’m still pretty happy with it and have made plans to make a silk version using some gorgeous blue silk with soft pink print that a family friend kindly gifted me.

So there we have it! Can’t wait to snap some more pics and put more garments on the blog. I’m remembering more about why I started my blog and needing a creative outlet from my work. Now my work is very creative and so driven towards a whole community of sewists, it’s nice to come back to my own little space to be a little selfish, just to share my own sewing.

style arc elsie blouse almond rock

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Sophia Tee Hack

Hello everyone! Sorry for my absence. It’s been excruciating because I’ve got about 15 things ready to blog but don’t have any pictures!! I’m going to attempt taking some myself this weekend while Jimi is away, but the last time that happened I forgot to smile heehee.

almond rock sophia tee abakhan

So to solve this problem I found some pics of my jeans that show off my Sophia tee.

almond rock sophia tee abakhan

For those of you who haven’t seen Love Sewing issue 19, we included a paper pattern for a long pleated waist skirt and simple dartless top. Separates are pretty on trend and a nice alternative to a dress. Plus both pieces make excellent staples. I can’t wait to make a knee length version of the skirt and many more Sophia tees.

almond rock sophia tee abakhan

The mag explains how to hack the top into tee length. Essentially you just extend the front and back around 5 or 6 inches along the fold line and side seam and the draw the new hem at a right angle to the centre front and back.

almond rock sophia tee abakhan

I used a zigzag polyester from the Abakhan remnant bin. God I love that place. I think it was £2. It’s surprisingly not that sheer, but I generally wear a little tank top underneath to avoid any hint of static.

almond rock sophia tee abakhan

The length is probably 2 or 3cm too short for my liking but I wanted to try and make a top that sat above the bottom of my Jean pockets. It’s exactly that but turns out I do prefer the added length.

So there you go! I’ll be making loooooads of these because they are insanely quick to make. And I want to swap out the facings for coordinating bias binding.

If you want to pick up issue 19, head out to shops quick as it goes offsale on November 5th! Though it will still be available to buy online.

almond rock sophia tee abakhan

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Love Sewing and Lottie Blouses

Ooh so it’s probably time to say it. If you aren’t already aware, I’m the new Editor of Love Sewing magazine. EEK! It’s a UK-based magazine based in the North of the country, available from most major supermarkets and WHSmiths, plus it sells internationally via moremags.com and is even exported for sale in Australia.

Basically this is the culmination of 10 years of professional effort and 5 years of sewing experience. I never really mentioned work on the blog before but I’m happy to change that for a good reason.

LS18 cover

I’ve been in the role three months now and it’s still amazing to be able to be able to talk about sewing on a daily basis. I’ve produced two issues in that time and I’m slowly putting my stamp on the magazine: It’s always strange taking over a title from another Editor as they’ve lined things up for either a few weeks or a few months and you need to work around what’s already in motion. I’ve had an amazing amount of support and well wishes from everyone which has warmed my heart – so thank you to everyone who gave my magazine a chance and those of you sitting out there, sending me your best. It means a lot.

There are some people who have voiced concerned I haven’t been sewing long enough to manage a sewing magazine and if you fall into that category then I’m sorry you feel that way and I might not be able to convince you otherwise. But sewing experience is only one side of running a successful magazine and I honestly believe it’s better to have an Editor in charge who is experienced with both publishing and sewing. And to offset what I don’t know in sewing, I’m very fortunate to work with experienced and talented industry experts! I’d definitely be terrified by someone who claimed to know everything.

Either way, I hope you pick up a copy and like what you see, and it makes you want to pick up another!

Onto actual sewing now. In issue 18, my second issue, the lovely Charlie of This Blog Isn’t For You wrote a hack for turning the Simple Sew Lottie blouse into a button up pussy bow and I just had to try it out! I mean she is queen of the Lottie hack!! A pic of Charlie’s version is below:

lottie

First up I made this apple print crepe de chine version using fabric from Regency Rags (who reeeeeally need to get their webshop back up and running so I don’t have to use the eBay shop anymore). It’s only a little polyester feeling and a pretty nice weight, plus it’s only £2.99 a metre.

apples crepe de chine

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Then I thought I’d try the button up but without the bow tie! Crazy I know. But look at this pretty floral crepe from Abakhan Fabrics in Manchester. I think you all know about their crazy bins of fabric remnants where you pay by weight not length. This was £2.50 for a 1.2m piece. The flowers are so stunning and it’s actually navy blue not, black like it looks in the pics.

20150911_201419-1 DSCF8371

Side note. This photo was taken the day before I got poorly with a sinus infection! I felt like I looked weird somehow but couldn’t put my finger on it. Maybe that’s an early germ detection system?

It was a worthwhile experiment, though I think the button up either needs to be higher or lower for this version. I’ll wear it a lot though because of the print and it looks great with a cardigan which makes me wish I’d had enough fabric to add sleeves.

So there you go, short and sweet. What do you think of my tops? Did you see the hack in the latest issue? And I’d love to know if you vote that I use a lower or higher neckline if I make the button up with no bow version again? I love hearing from you!!

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Colour blocking

Colour blocking doesn’t seem to be fading in popularity. It definitely isn’t in my house.

almond rock minerva blogger network colour block viscose

I’ve been waiting to sew this cute little vintage pattern since I gleefully picked it up at a sewing meet-up/ swap. A May Minerva Blogger make seemed like a good opportunity!

There are three really good variations in this pattern but I was smitten with the inset variation seen in yellow.

almond rock minerva blogger network colour block viscose

This was a pretty simple make but I think it looks really effective. I used two colours of 56 inch wide plain viscose.

The back and outer front bodice are made from the navy blue and the inset from the purple, which is actually a really pretty violet colour.

I have to say the navy feels wonderful. I know they should be exactly the same handle in slightly different colours but the navy has a slightly softer hand. It’s also lovely and cool the way viscose should be.

almond rock minerva blogger network colour block viscoseThe inset is really easy to sew and only requires a little more focus when reaching end of the point.

As you can see these sleeves look different to the pattern. Because it’s quite loose fit in the bodice I felt a bit boxy in the kimono sleeves as well, so I removed them and added a fluttery cap sleeve. I even lined the sleeves in purple so every now and then they show a peek of colour.

almond rock minerva blogger network colour block viscose

And because the team at Minerva are so good they included the perfect colour match in gütermann thread for me to use – colour 718 matches the violet and colour 387 matches the navy. Perfect!

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