• Tops, blouses and shirts

    Sew Over It Libby

    Sewing enthusiasm has finally returned to my sewing room. I’m bursting with ideas again! Today I’m sharing a quick make that is really a wearable toile, the Libby shirt from Sew Over It.

    Almond rock coral peachskin Sew Over It Libby shirt blouse

    I had been admiring many people’s versions of this cute cropped blouse before buying the pattern. I love notch collars and grown on sleeves so a combination of the two is glorious.

    Almond rock coral peachskin Sew Over It Libby shirt blouse

    I bought the pdf pattern and sent the copyshop file to get printed at Fabulosew as I like that they print on tissue rather than paper. I made a straight size 10 and the only alteration was to move the bust darts down a bit.

    Almond rock coral peachskin Sew Over It Libby shirt blouse

    This fabric is a thick opaque polyester peachskin I got as lining for my coral eyelet Anna dress. There was lots leftover so I’d been waiting for something to use it for. It’s probably a bit thick for the pattern but such a good colour!

    The Libby shirt gets a lot of bad press online because of the back facing/collar construction which can be considered unnecessarily complicated, when you know there are other methods that would be quicker and simpler.

    You attach the back facing to each inner curve of the collar before stitching the collar pieces RST. I’ve constructed this way before on tailored coats and jackets so I didn’t have any bother with it but can see how it would stress many sewists out. There’s a sewalong with nice clear pictures if this is your first time using this method.

    Almond rock coral peachskin Sew Over It Libby shirt blouse

    I used a set of mixed print Tilda fabric covered buttons from my stash as some had a hint of coral in them. And I chose pink, coral and orange overlocker threads to keep it pretty inside. The turned up cuffs on the sleeves are quite easy to do and only take a couple of hand stitches to hold in place.

    Almond rock coral peachskin Sew Over It Libby shirt blouse

    I don’t think the back is flattering but I like the front and will still get plenty of wear out of it. For my next version I’ll use viscose or crepe de chine for a less thick version. As you can see my love of notched collars continues.

  • Tops, blouses and shirts

    Watercolour Sutton blouse

    Hello everyone! Things are returning back to normal and I’m pleased I’ve had time to write blog posts here and there. I’ve got to write up about my honeymoon wardrobe but maybe that will be a fun activity when the inevitable crap weather arrives. It’s already gone pretty chilly so I’m trying to plan winter garments (something I’m rubbish at). I also made sure to sign myself up to the 2019 Dressmaker’s Ball! It was such a blast last time, I had to get in on the fun again! Will I see you there?

    almond rock sutton blouse true bias indie patterns croft mill polyester

    So what am I sharing today? I made another version of the Sutton blouse by True Bias. Again, without the centre front seam and self made bias binding for that lovely inside finish.

    I think this will be my last but I’m still happy with how this great little scrap buster turned out. The shoulder yoke means you can get the pattern out of short length of 60″ wide fabric, because the front and back bodices are much shorter. I wore this top a lot on honeymoon as it was breezy but still pretty, but it’s important (for me) to wear a camsiole underneath where possible as one lean over and you can see everything down the front. Ooh la la!

    almond rock sutton blouse true bias indie patterns croft mill polyester

    Polyester like this watercolour print, can be prone to snag so I always use a sharp needle around size 70. Static cling will always be a risk, but that  camsiole top underneath will help with that too. French seams are great for the yoke seams but those pesky side splits and drop hem mean overlocking and pressing open your seams is needed. That lower hem is great bum coverage though!

    almond rock sutton blouse true bias indie patterns croft mill polyester

    I love the colours in this 100% polyester print; teal, brick and blush. It’s from Croft Mill and is slightly sheer but with a good handle and weight. It didn’t shrink in the wash and I took care not to put a hot iron near it, using a pressing cloth where needed. Staystitching that neckline is a must by the way, as it’s quite open and would surely stretch out just by looking at it wrong if you didn’t haha.

    almond rock sutton blouse true bias indie patterns croft mill polyester

    If I look a little delirious in these photos, they were taken at the end of a crazily long shoot day with what felt like a thousand props to pack away at the end of the day. Some days all I want to do after photoshoots is get in the bath, then get my jammies on and then go straight to sleep. I think I need to build up my stamina!

  • Events and day trips

    Thoughts on neglected clothes

    Hello June! And hello everyone else. We’re well into a new month and well past the end of Me Made May. If you participated I hope you enjoyed the challenge. Maybe you’re keeping the fun going with #memadeveryday a great way of documenting your outfits more regularly.

    Almond rock me made May neglected clothes

    If you weren’t aware, I started my blog with Me Made May way back when. I had only a handful of handmade garments but I wanted the kick to wear them out in public and share my thoughts online. This was several years ago so it’s always like a kind of anniversary for me when I take part now. I wear my handmade wardrobe everyday now so I have to get a bit more creative with the challenge aspect of the month.

    This year I pledged to wear unloved or neglected makes to see whether they could be resurrected. You can see the highlights of this experiments at the top of my Instagram wall.

    Almond rock me made May neglected clothes

    The main reasons for neglect were:

    • I hate ironing
    • Too short/too big/too tight
    • Needs nude lingerie
    • Inexperience on early makes
    • Style mistakes

    This list contains both easily avoidable issues and things that you need to accept as part of life!

    Almond rock me made May neglected clothes

    I really don’t need to pick fabrics that rely on ironing. That’s my own stupid mistake. I know my lifestyle and patience levels aren’t compatible with ironing. I’ve got better things to do and I don’t get any enjoyment out of it! And nude lingerie is easily available so that has been pure laziness on my part. It’s been brilliant to rediscover some of those light-coloured garments.

    Almond rock me made May neglected clothes

    Working out your style is a lifelong exploit. Anyone who doesn’t experiment can’t be having much fun with their wardrobe. You’ll create a few mistakes but you’ll get a clearer idea of what you like!

    Almond rock me made May neglected clothes

    While it was fun to try on some of those experimental garments again, I’m still not convinced they have a place in my wardrobe. Other than the maxi skirt… I really need to try that out a bit more!

    Almond rock me made May neglected clothes

    Chasing a great fit can be an endless obsession with fluctuating success. Our bodies are constantly changing with age, activity and diet.

    Almond rock me made May neglected clothes

    And interpreting wrinkles and drag lines on garments can be a black hole of fit iterations that you have to start again when you revisit the pattern after your body has changed or even just if you’re changing fabric!

    Almond rock me made May neglected clothes

    Lastly, I’m both fiercely proud and terribly embarrassed by my early makes. So I don’t think I’ll be ever able to get rid of them but they can stay out of heavy rotation.

    I know I’m a little late with this round up but I hope you enjoyed stepping into the world of my neglected clothes. Sometimes I worry that it looks like everything goes dreamily for me but that’s not real life! Failure and mistakes are part of learning and succeeding.

  • Tops, blouses and shirts

    Swan print True Bias Sutton top

    I love novelty prints. Especially when they’re on a crepe or polyester-mix, something I don’t have to iron. This swan print polyester crepe de chine was from Fabricland’s online shop. They had it in navy as well but red has to be one of my favourite colours.

    Almond rock swan print true bias Sutton blouse

    I used to wear red shoes everyday when I was a young girl and I wear red converse, red ballet pumps or red loafers most days. I used to have the most beautiful pair of red Carvela heels but they are sooooo worn in now that they’re a danger to wear in case the sole splits in half. I’m most commonly found with red nail varnish on my fingers and as you may have guessed, my car is red. So why don’t I have more red clothes?

    Almond rock swan print true bias Sutton blouse

    I got the True Bias Sutton top as part of the Sew Indie Month pattern bundle but wasn’t sure the boxy style would suit me. It’s a great top with fun features like the yoke that rolls over into a dropped front shoulder seam, high low hem and nice v neckline so I thought I’d give it a go… and it’s a top, not a blouse, let’s not fall out over this.

    Almond rock swan print true bias Sutton blouse

    Just to add if I hadn’t found my favourite new jeans I’m not sure I would have been able to pull this look off. For me boxy tops need a streamlined lower half to stop things looking entirely box shaped.

    Almond rock swan print true bias Sutton blouse

    The centre front seam was a real bother for me so that went straight away, and I made the centre front the cut on the fold line. That changed how I finished the neckline a little but I did follow the instructions roughly. It sews up really quickly!

    Almond rock swan print true bias Sutton blouse

    Self made bias binding finished things off prettily inside but polyester cdc fights you with every press. I have tape makers in multiple sizes which is very useful but you can always use a pin attached to your ironing board and make a little channel to feed the fabric through. I’d kill for one of those mechanised tape makers but they stopped producing them.

    Almond rock swan print true bias Sutton blouse

    Above is my 90s tv star pose which shows off the hem step. I wish I could reduce the amount of polyester in my wardrobe but I do not have time for ironing. I barely have time to check I’ve put together a decent outfit in a morning and most days I get to work and discover my make up is all uneven. The perils of leaving the house in the dark.

    Almond rock swan print true bias Sutton blouse

    The crepe is floaty but stable and didn’t snag as I worked. It only gets a little static throughout the day but I wear a cotton vest underneath most days anyway. It makes me feel like I’m wearing a Hawaiian shirt somehow, which I LOVE. Just call me Magnum PI.

    Almond rock swan print true bias Sutton blouse

    For other gorgeous versions see this dreamy coral top, Shannon’s terrific trims and Katie’s chic silk version