Yellow Flowers in the Sunshine

Happy Around the World week of IPM2018!

I’m cutting it a little fine with this make, but I don’t care one dot because I am so happy with this coat.

Being that I live in New Zealand, I do have pick of the bunch when it comes to patterns that aren’t from my country! I ended up choosing The Chilton Trench by Cashmerette Patterns. I have been meaning to make myself some jackets and coats (given I own the grand total of one!) and this pattern just spoke to me. Clean lines and fun details, it was just what I was looking for.

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I went ahead and made the full length version right out of the gate, as I had a good five and a half metres of this lovely mid weight cotton, and it seemed silly not to have as much of it as possible on me at one time!

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I cut a size 20G-H through the body, with a 24 in the sleeves as ya girl has Hulk biceps and no one needs that on a new make! The sleeve length was perfect, which made me very happy. I kind of adored the two part sleeve and the design lines it created – they give a little interest to the back.

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I chose not to line my Chilton as I wanted something for the upcoming summer – Christchurch isn’t the most tropical of places, and often the middle of the day will be lovely and hot, but the start and end have a bite that needs just a bit more.

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I bias bound the seams with a 12mm double fold bias binding in a matching yellow, and I love the clean lines it created. I won’t lie, the sleeves are missing their binding as it turns out I needed more than 7m of the stuff! Will be fixing that later, but for now it is entirely wearable. Going around the pockets was a bit of a mission, but well worth it for the end result.

Despite not making what I would call an actual trench, I did keep the trench details in the finished coat as I love the look of them. I think it breaks up the print of the fabric, and makes it feel a bit more finished. I have at this stage however opted not to go with the belt, though I did sew it up – I feel like it just isn’t the right look for me, and I feel like i am wearing a very OTT dressing gown with it!

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I am especially happy with the kick-pleat as I haven’t made one before, and I was a bit worried about how it would turn out without the lining – a bit of my yellow binding and it looks great!

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You may have noticed through this that something is missing from my Chilton. That’s right, it doesn’t have any buttons. I just couldn’t find the perfect ones, and I’m not prepared to give such a gorgeous coat anything less than perfect buttons. Given I intended it to be a throw on as I leave the house coat, I am not too worried about missing the buttons for the moment, though I do intend to find them.

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I can’t recommend The Chilton Trench pattern enough. The details are beautiful, the drafting is fantastic, and as always the instructions were my favourite kind – written with pictures. So much better than one or the other! I am definitely going to be making another…

Planner Tote – totally not clothes! IPM Week 2

Hi internet!

For week two of Indie Pattern Month I decided to sew up the Oslo Craft Bag from Sew Sweetness – I’ve loved her patterns for a while, and the Oslo is exactly what I was have been looking for in a planner tote. An added bonus is that it is free when you subscribe to her newsletter. I wanted something big enough that would carry my planner, my sticker books of two different sizes, scissors, pens, and also have space for A4 sheets of print-and-cut stickers. A big ask! But this tote delivers everything I wanted.

I used stashed fabrics, which I can’t 100% remember what they were intended to be when I purchased them, but they work great together for this tote.

Construction took a bit out of me, as I have never worked with foam interfacing before! This is actually a great project to learn to use it with, as there are just five pieces that need it – the long sides, short sides, and the base of the outer bag. I used Pellon Flex foam, and you can bet that next time I get a coupon for Spotlight I’ll be stocking up – this stuff is great! The inner lining and pocket pieces are all made with medium weight fusible interfacing – I used Birch.

I ended up using buttons for the side pockets, rather than snaps as I don’t own a snap setter – yet!

I opted not to use the rectangle rings on the straps because a) I like the look without them and b) because Spotlight didn’t have any when I went!

The big back pocket is perfect for A4 print outs, just as I had hoped.

The inside of the bag has two pockets, as well as a divider – this thing is huge on the inside too! If you omitted the divider you could fit things up to 14″ or so long, which is a really great size.

And here it is all full of my planner supplies – and it still has acres of room for more!

You can see that in the pocket with my actual planner I could easily fit at least another whole planner in that side, perfect.

Overall, this pattern is fantastic. Because it is mainly constructed from rectangles of various sizes there is only one piece of paper needed to print the pattern, and the rest are listed as dimensions to cut out. I drew out the other pieces out on some A3 paper I had handy, as I know I will be making this again! I think my mother might be quite hopeful of one, as she was cooing over it rather a lot when she came to visit – it would make a fantastic project bag for knitting. I’m also thinking about making one for a friend who is expecting, it would be a good nappy bag too!

An extra that this pattern has which I think is just fantastic is that there is a sew along video which was brilliant. That is alongside picture based instructions – it made all the steps so easy!

If you’re in the market for a tote for any reason at all that I can think of, this pattern should definitely be on your radar!

Indie Pattern Month Week One: Dresses

Hey internet!

You all know (or should know!) that I adore Indie Pattern Month held over on The Monthly Stitch. It is one of my favourite times of year (alongside the annual OAL on the Untangling Knots Ravelry group, and TOKmas over at Tiny Owl Knits Ravelry group), and I have great fun coming up with my response to the challenges.

Week one is an old favourite of IPM and of mine – dresses. I tend to wear a lot of dresses as I find them fun to sew, and also easy to wear. All I have to do is chuck the dress on, stick on some leggings/bike shorts to stop the dreaded chub-rub, and I am good to go.

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The dress I decided to sew for IPM Dresses is the Itch to Stitch Chai Shirtdress. I’ve wanted to make this for a while, as it is a style I think looks fantastic, and the gathered bust makes it an easy fit for my H-cups.

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I made a size 20, but increased the waist and hips by about an inch and a half as I wasn’t quite in the measurements – and I am glad I did as it is a little slim fitting right at the moment through the hips! The waist feels great now though.

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I made it up in a truly lovely rayon from Spotlight with a watercolour cactus print. I decided not to interface any of the pieces as I loved the drape of the rayon and I didn’t want to hinder it at all – I am glad I didn’t as it feels exactly like I wanted it to, a very soft and drapey but structured at the same time. Perfect.

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I will admit – this doesn’t fit quite the way I would want it to. Though, to be fair, part of that comes from the fact that I have eaten a LOT of bread and salt over the weekend, and I am rather bloated at the moment! I also, despite checking measurements, find that the bodice is a little too long on me – will definitely be shortening when I make my next one. I have plans for at least another dress or two, and several shirt versions. It is just a gorgeous pattern and I love how it looks. Next time I will also widen the hips and waist again, adding another two inches or so, just to give it a more flowing look. I spaced the buttons an inch and a half apart, as I need rather a lot to prevent boob-gaping!

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Overall, this is one of my favourite makes of late. Even with the billion button holes, and buttons, I can’t wait to make another.

“I did the only thing I could in the circumstance…I stabbed him in the shoulder!” Challenge Four – Indie Royalty

Hello again, fine people of the internet!

My Indie Royalty look is a lazy homage to my favourite lady detective, Ms Phryne Fisher. She wears a lot of fantastic oversize coats throughout the series, and that was the beginning of my outfit. Then a top, and pants to go – because how is a lady detective expected to chase down dastardly criminals wearing a dress?!

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The Herrenvolk shirt – The Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern Month Challenge Two – New To Me

Hello friends!

So, IPM is a month late this year, and while it may have thrown off my form for the Tour de Fleece (I’ve spun NOTHING) I have had a great time sewing. Challenge one didn’t eventuate due to my not being careful enough with pattern sizing (we will rectify that later!), but challenge two has me rather happy!

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I sewed up the Anderson Blouse from Sew Over It UK and absolutely adore my results!

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Indie Fangirl: Level Ultimate – plans

So, having decided I was going to participate in The Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern Month, the first three weeks I was either a) too busy, b) too sore, or c) too busy recovering from sore to actually sew. The first week my partner was sick so I had to look after him, the second week I was sick and had to stay in bed (back injuries are AWFUL), and the third week was recovering from both those weeks!
But, with one week to spare, and nothing blocking my way, I am going to go all out, for the Indie Fangirl: Level Ultimate challenge
When looking for a company which I would call myself a fangirl of, there was only one company that sprang to mind. Lekala.
I adore their patterns. Their designs are a real mix of modern and traditional – I know I could find a fantastic structured blazer and a really traditional one from the same store, which is a big pull for me. I’ve got a multitude of different styles, and for me Lekala is a one stop pattern shop.
The fact they do custom sizes is also a big, big draw for me. Not just because you can customise the sizes of the big three, but also because you can say you have a narrower back and wider chest/bust, long arms, short torso, everything. Which benefits everyone, not just us plus-size gals! I have friends of all kinds of shapes, and I always recommend Lekala to them because there is, in no uncertain terms, something for everyone.
And finally, the price. $2.49 per pattern. And 10% off if you are a registered member. Or buy a bundle deal – 5 patterns for $9.99? That’s a free pattern! Heck, that’s not even ONE pattern from any of the big companies, and would normally only cover one or two patterns from an indie designer.
I also get special glee from some of the art used to show the patterns – I’d swear it’s a picture show for BtVS!
Anyway, Lekala has a strong place in my sewing world, and I can’t wait to sew up an Indie Fangirl: Level Ultimate dedicated to them. At this point, I’m aiming for a skirt, a top (a KNIT TOP! We’re going all out!), and a blazer. I’m in the applying for jobs part of life, and having a good three piece ‘suit’ that I can wear to an interview seems a good start. ‘Cause those things are expensive to buy RTW! I also have two dresses I want to make up, so we’ll see what happens over the week!
I’ll be back with updates of my progress, and a link to The Monthly Stitch post once I’ve made it!