Getting ruthless with my pattern stash

I’m not much of a hoarder, but like most I do accumulate stuff at a rate of knots. Moving continent has given us a great chance to have a bit of a purge and if I can’t take it, it’s either going in storage or to the Tooting Oxfam.

As we’re going to be travelling light I can’t take much sewing stuff. I’ll be buying a new machine in the US  and I’ve been thinking about what equipment I can take from my sewing box to get me started. This means some pretty straightforward decisions, but I’ve had to be ruthless with my many paper patterns.  The ones I know I’ll never make went straight to the charity shop. Then I had to choose what would make the trip and what would go into storage. I limited myself to taking ten essential and versatile printed patterns, with the aim of creating a capsule wardrobe.

So what made  the list?

  1. Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress – great office wear in the winter and makes a wonderful summer dress in cotton lawn
  2. By Hand London Anna dress – multi-purpose dress that works in all the fabrics, plus the instructions are so clear on inserting an invisible zip. I forget how to do it every time, but the BHL ladies help me through.5dafceed-c554-42e6-845d-6a2dd38025cel0001
  3. Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dress – I made one of these the other day and now I want more! Watch out for a post on this coming soon.
  4. Deer & Doe Chardon skirt – I wear my Chardons all the time – in the office and at home. You will be seeing more!Anchor chardon front
  5. Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt – I’ve worn my previous versions of this into the ground. Need more.
  6. Tilly and the Buttons Arielle skirt – this is purely a work skirt for me, but I love it as it’s so different to my usual fit n’ flare skirts.Arielle pose
  7. Sew Over It Ultimate Shirt – I’m taking the class at the moment and I’m pretty pleased with my progress. It’s a fitted shirt that will work best for smart/office wear.
  8. Grainline Archer shirt – it’s been in my stash for ages. It’ll be awesome for all sorts of casual wear.
  9. Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top – I haven’t made this one either, but it’s a wardrobe basic, and the online class will hold my hand as I get to grips with jersey.
  10. My copied Oasis top – I’ve made loads of these, but they’re so useful to have for layering under cardies.50s pleated skirt front 1
  11. Simple Sew Shannon trousers (free with Love Sewing magazine in Sept/Oct last year) – I haven’t made these yet but I will need some pants, and these wide-leg trousers will suit my eastern European shotputter’s legs quite nicely.
  12. By Hand London Victoria blazer – because I need something to throw over the top of everything.

So I may have gone slightly over my target of ten, but I’ll just have to sit on my suitcase to get it closed (and let’s not talk about the bonus home décor patterns I ripped out from some sewing magazines. They totally don’t count).

How about you? If you could only take a few patterns with you to a new place, which ones would you choose?

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Me Made May round up no. 2

It’s Wednesday, so it’s time for another Me Made May round up! (FYI I’m trying to keep Sundays for finished garments and Wednesdays for general chat)

5th

Day 5: My grey rayon Mathilde. I think I need to revisit this pattern – I noticed the darts are sitting a bit too high on my bust. This is my hipster pose on the streets of Kentish Town.

Day 6: You’ll have to take my word for it that I wore my white patterned Scout tee. I just forgot to get a photo.

7th

Day 7: An unblogged Tilly and the Buttons Clemence skirt in floaty double gauze. Later on that day I would flash Tooting High Street, Marilyn style, thanks to a sudden gust of wind, but here I am in the queue for Sainsburys having done a big shop. BTW Margaret on the till is ace. She told me to say cheese and everything.

8th

Day 8: My favourite of my Grace dresses – finally getting to wear it now that the sun’s out. This is Sunday’s BBQ and those are chicken kebabs.

 

9th

Day 9: My Mortmain. If I make this again, I will also take a look at the darts. I should have done an FBA but didn’t bother at the time. Still a wearable dress and good for this warm weather. This was taken at the top of Parliament Hill at Hampstead Heath on my lunch hour, and that is Canary Wharf in the distance.

10th- resize

Day 10: My latest Zinnia taken while cooking a chicken and chorizo paella. I love this skirt. I also love that paella.

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Day 11:  Blue Hollyburn. I like the shape of this skirt, but it’s been worn pretty regularly for two years now and the colour is starting to fade. Might be time to remake in something less washed out. Another kitchen shot – tonight’s tea is spinach and feta filo pie from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals. It takes an hour, easily.

So what have I learned so far? Well, judging by these photos, I am definitely in my blue period. If it’s not denim or navy, I clearly don’t want to know! It certainly looks like I need a bit more colour in my life. I’ve been half-following Christine Haynes’ take on the Wardrobe Architect project which has a section on colour palette and I’m toying with the idea of doing it myself in time for this Autumn (not right now – a project like that needs a bit of attention and right now I’m focused on sewing my list and from my stash).

I’ve also noticed a couple of patterns that I still love, but need to revisit because they don’t fit as well as I’d like/the colour has faded/I just haven’t made it in a while. These tend to be clothes I wear all the time, so it’d definitely be worth the effort.

How about you? Has Me Made May provoked any flashes of enlightenment yet?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I heart Hollyburn

Having set up camp on the sofa over Christmas I managed to roll off it and get my sewing resolutions off to a flying start over New Year. *smug face* Since I’m still in full-on holiday mode I didn’t really want to stretch the brain cells all that much so I went for a couple of tried n’ tested patterns – a smart Hollyburn skirt for work and a crazy-print Mimi blouse for the hell of it and casual wear. More on that another day – it’s in the wash at the moment since it’s covered in chalk.

Smug face.

Smug face.

So anyway, the Hollyburn. I used to have a lined grey wool skirt from H&M that I wore to work on constant rotation since about 2008. I finally got rid of it late last year – it was pilling pretty badly and generally looking past its best. Now that the weather’s turned cold, it’s highlighted a gap in my wardrobe for a warm, smart skirt which the Hollyburn could fill quite nicely. And since I’ve never lined a skirt on my own before it’s ticking the new skills box too (my tulip skirt involved a fair bit of help). Wins all round!

The mystery of the washing machine
I picked up a couple of metres of dark navy blue fabric from the fabric shop in Balham. I think it’s some sort of wool blend as it was around £7 per metre which is considerably cheaper than the pure stuff. It’s also so dark I had to ask a fellow shopper what colour it actually was – it didn’t really matter as I was going to buy it anyway, but it had a bearing on the zip colour – we both settled on navy. However, when I chucked it in for pre-washing it came out covered in white fluff so I spent a good 20 minutes with my hand wrapped in sellotape as a makeshift lint roll. I don’t even know how it happened – it went in on its own and I didn’t tumble dry it. Hmmmm, a mystery, but one that looks set to remain that way as I will be washing this one by hand at least for the first few washes. For the lining I just went for a plain blue/grey synthetic fabric which was a snip at £2 per metre.

 

This is just an example. It was everywhere. But where did it come from???

This is just an example. It was everywhere. But where did it come from???

 

As I’ve made the Hollyburn a couple of times before (here and here) I don’t have a great deal to say about the construction apart from:

  • I used open and mock-overlocked seams on the shell, so that everything would lie nice and flat with minimal bulk, then French seams for the lining (apart from the centre back to accommodate the zip) as the fabric frayed like buggery.
  • Once again I used the Hollyburn Sewalong over on My Messings for a bit of hand holding for constructing and inserting the lining. It’s a really good resource – the super-clear instructions include lots of pictures so it’s nigh-on impossible to go wrong, and it give a nice neat finish to the zip.
  • I chopped an inch off the lining so that it wouldn’t peep out anywhere. I then did a one-inch hem on both the lining and the shell to try and keep a bit of length. It sits slightly above the knee, which is about as short as I’ll go – I don’t want to flash anyone. The street outside work is a bit of a wind tunnel and I’ve had enough Marilyn moments out there without adding to it, but that’s another story.
The lining on Elsie. Note the wonky hem is hidden on the other side.

The lining on Elsie. Note the wonky hem is hidden on the other side.

Things we’re not looking too closely at
This is such a simple make and I’m so pleased with the way it’s turned out. The only thing I’m not completely ecstatic with is the hem on the lining. It’s a bit ruffly but as it’s essentially hidden in the innards of the skirt and it looks nice and neat from the outside I am really not that bothered by it.

The other problem I had with the lining was all my own fault for not concentrating hard enough. Obviously a lining doesn’t need space for pockets, so when I pinned the pattern piece to the fabric ready for cutting out I traced the line up to fill it in. Just a shame that in a senior moment I cut out the pocket space anyway. Luckily I had enough to cut another piece out but I was going to save the spare fabric for a bodice lining or something. It might teach me to pay more attention in the future, but then again probably not…

Anyway, despite my continuing idiocy I absolutely frickin’ love this skirt. I love the flare and the finish, and I am so very pleased with myself for putting the lining in (even though it was pretty easy and I don’t know what I was bothered about). I will most probably make more this year – I’d love it in red à la Karen of Did You Make That – so it could be a contender for One Week One Pattern. It’s dead comfy and the belt loops mean it can be accessorised with a nice neat belt. I have back to work dread for tomorrow, but I think this Hollyburn is going to cheer me up quite nicely. This resolution malarkey is easy 😉

From the side

From the side

 

And from the back

And from the back

What I wore on my holiday, by Jo, aged 31 and 0 months.

OK, I swear I’ll stop going on about my holiday after this post, but I promised pictures in front of famous Italian landmarks like all the other tourists, and that’s what you’re going to get. Here is a round up of what I wore on my holiday, interspersed with some photos of nice buildings, pigeons and ice cream.

The Salvaged Sorbetto in Pompeii

The Salvaged Sorbetto in Pompeii

 

A spotty Sorbetto in Siena

A spotty Sorbetto in Siena

 

Ice cream as far as the eye can see in Siena

Ice cream as far as the eye can see in Siena

 

Chris about to enjoy said ice cream

Chris about to enjoy said ice cream

 

Non-posed box pleat skirt at the Duomo in Siena

Non-posed box pleat skirt at the Duomo in Siena

 

Floaty Sewaholic Hollyburn at the Colosseum

Floaty Sewaholic Hollyburn at the Colosseum

 

A Colosseum pigeon. Not in handmade wear.

A Colosseum pigeon. Not in handmade wear.

 

Gather Mortmain, or my birthday dress

Gather Mortmain, or my birthday dress

 

Ponte Vecchio, Florence. Must go back.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence. Must go back.

 

Messing with the iPhone's panorama setting, Pisa

Messing with the iPhone’s panorama setting, Pisa

 

Another box pleat skirt and the Grainline scout tee, with Vesuvius sleeping in the background

Another box pleat skirt and the Grainline scout tee, with Vesuvius sleeping in the background

 

The monster pile of ironing I had to do when I got back.

The monster pile of ironing I had to do when I got back.

 

Not pictured: my Colette Moneta and my Wiksten Tank. Sometimes you just can’t be bothered to take pictures.

 

Hot summer Hollyburn

Hollyburn front 1

London. New York. Paris. Milan… Redhill???

Sheesh kebab, it’s hot! Aside from spending some quality time with a mega-report for work, one of the reasons I’m working from home this week is that it’s just too hot in the office at the moment. At home no-one cares if I’m sitting in my shorts and t-shirt, or if I’ve got my feet in a washing up bowl of cold water in an attempt to cool down (top tip – it really does work!). With ready access to the freezer and a decent supply of ice, the only thing that is making this week less than wonderful (besides the work) is that our wifi doesn’t stretch down to the garden. Hey ho.

All this hot weather and lovely sunshine calls for light summer clothes. You might recall this lovely navy polka dot mystery fabric from my stashbuilding exercise. It’s been turned into a summer weight Hollyburn!

Princess Diana see through skirt

Not sure why people made such a fuss about this photo. I can see the headlines now… Woman: has legs, carries children.

I love this fabric as a Hollyburn. It drapes so nicely, it feels really light and it’s got a lovely swish. It’s, ahem, mostly opaque so if I stand in front of a light source I risk having a bit of a Princess Diana moment going on, but I am pretty much ok with that. It’s just so light and breezy! I particularly like how the fabric makes it practically unrecognisable from my other Hollyburn – because the other one is a cotton twill it stands to attention, whereas this one floats about making it a bit more casual. And you know the best thing about it? It doesn’t crease. AT ALL. By the time these pictures were taken I’d done a full day at work, including sitting for three hours in a traffic jam on the M25, and there is not a single crease. Win.

Hollyburn back 1

See that? Not one crease! Even after a long, long time sitting on my bum in a nasty traffic jam!

I don’t have a lot more to say construction wise. It came together really easily and despite being quite a slippery fabric I didn’t have many problems. Nevertheless there are a couple of things I’m not completely pleased with. I used a royal blue zip instead of a navy one because that was what I had to hand. You can see the zip from the back and although it’s neatly sewn it looks a bit odd – i.e. not close enough a match to look right, and not odd enough to make it look like a deliberate feature. If I was doing it again I’d use a yellow or red zip to make it pop, but I won’t lose sleep over it – after all, it’s at the back so I can’t see it!

Hollyburn side 1

This posing’s just getting silly.

The other “issue” was that the machine seems to have skipped some stitches on the seams, so I’m going to have to go back and get them fixed. It’s a quick and easy job, just a bit annoying that I didn’t notice it until I wore it!

These are small problems though, and I have to say I am a big, BIG fan of this skirt. It’s going to be getting a lot of wear over the summer, especially if they don’t sort out the air con at work!

Belcarra sewalong done! Woo!

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Nice and loose for the summer, but it’ll look ace tucked into a skirt for work

It’s a good job this is not a smelloblog, cos I smell strongly of campfire this evening. Tonight I built a fire with the Guides and boiled up a billy of water to make hot chocolate. On the hottest day of the year so far. Anywho, I need to show you my finished Belcarra this evening so I can post it on the Sewaholic site before the deadline. I actually finished this on Sunday but it’s been sitting in the laundry basket since then waiting to be put through the wash. That’s not going to happen till tomorrow, cos I’m lazy, so I’ve given my finished blouse a quick iron and hang the red chalk marks on my shoulders.

I really enjoyed doing the sewalong – it was nice to take my time over a project, and although I probably could have managed it easily with the pattern instructions, Caroline’s extra detail was really helpful.

I cute a straight size 8 and sewed this up without making any alterations to the pattern. It fits me fine, and will look nice tucked into a skirt for work, but I think I could get away with a 6 in the body, but perhaps not on the sleeves (I need to work on my bingo wings). I think I’d also narrow the neckline a little, but I’m generally not too bothered about showing my bra straps. It was my first time sewing pin tucks – my left sleeve is a little out, but my right sleeve is perfect, so not sure what went wrong there. I also didn’t turn up the sleeve cuffs as suggested as I like the extra length.

Yeah, slightly wonky, but what're you gonna do?

Yeah, slightly wonky, but what’re you gonna do?

I used some unknown fabric from Classic Textiles on Goldhawk Road that’s a little bit slippy but has a nice drape (maybe rayon?). I really like it and wish I had more of it – it’ll look ace as a skirt lining or contrast pockets, so you may see it pop up here and there on other projects.

All in all, the Belcarra is a simple, fun blouse to sew. My version is going into regular wardrobe circulation for work, and there will be others. I’d like to make my own pyjama set, and this will work very nicely indeed in a nice, soft cotton. Watch this space!

Belcarra back

What’s next?
After my slight disappointment with my Moneta dress, I am DETERMINED to master knits. Luckily Colette Patterns have announced a sewalong themselves, so I’m going to make a hot pink version in a more stable knit. I’m also going to take on that bloody awful clear elastic, and goddammit I’m going to win! I am Jo, HEAR ME ROAR!

 

Belcarra blouse – so far, so good

Just a quick one tonight. I’ve caught up with the Belcarra sewalong being run over on Sewaholic.net at the moment. I’m doing version 2 with the pin tucked sleeves using some unknown drapey fabric from Classic Textiles on Goldhawk Road. And it seems to be going ok for the time being! Just got the sleeve cuffs and the hem to go, which will be happening sometime this week. Woo!

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Two weeks in the making

Ah, the back garden. Check out the lavender to my left and the jasmine (which is unfortunately on its way out) on my right. Fragrant.

Ah, the back garden. Check out the lavender to my left and the jasmine (which is unfortunately on its way out) on my right. Fragrant.

WARNING: Those blindingly bright white things in these photos are my legs. They have not seen the light of day since August 2013. Please protect your eyes with sunglasses before proceeding.

Two weeks ago I started my Hollyburn skirt. I had a good run for about a week, cutting out my fabric and starting sewing in the evenings after work. And then the weather turned for the better and things ground to a halt as I had my first ice cream and BBQs of the season. And do you know what? It was damn good. Mojitos with mint you’ve just picked from your own garden can’t be beat! Anyway, it chucked it down on Saturday so it was time to finally get it finished.

Before I started on Saturday I had got up to the point of inserting the nine inch centred zip and till then things had been going pretty well. I’d French seamed the side seams and pockets, done bound seams on the centre front seam and tested out my new overcast foot on the centre back seam (I love this foot. Overcast stitches take up a lot of thread, but no more will my seam allowances pucker when I try to sew over the edge!). I popped the zip in thinking everything was ok despite having a bit of trouble pivoting at the bottom. It was not ok. When I came to finish the waistband I found that I was about half a centimetre off the top. I spent a while trying to think of a convenient work around, like a hook and eye or something, but to no avail. The little bugger had to come out, leading me to think that I should rename this blog Jo vs Zips or something. Anyway, I took my time over doing it again, and while it may not be perfect, it is a vast improvement. I’m especially pround of myself for managing to remain calm throughout – I think I can safely say that inserting zips has taught me something about anger management.

Check out my zip! Also please note just how far my feet have sunk into the gravel.

Check out my zip! Also please note just how far my feet have sunk into the gravel.

My next issue was finishing the waistband. All was going well until I came to doing the last bit of top stitching to attach the folded over waistband to the rest of the skirt. I could not manage to catch the skirt in my stitching for love nor money, so I did a bit of slip stitching by hand to sort it out – unpicking it and trying again being way too tedious. It seems to work, but time will tell. I really shouldn’t have had so many problems though perhaps my heart wasn’t quite in it at the time.

So is there anything I actually like about this skirt?! Well, yes, quite a lot actually. I used a cotton twill, which was really easy to work with – that stuff just will not budge, you practically don’t need pins. However, the fabric does produce a lot of bulk so I had to trim down my seam allowance for hemming and I didn’t bother interfacing the waistband or the tabs. Because it’s quite stiff, the skirt also hangs in a pleasing A-line, which is perfect for work. The waistband tabs are also pretty cool. I wasn’t convinced that they’d work because the straight ends were left open – turns out folding them over and top stitching them down like the pattern suggests is the way to go! Remember kids – always read the pattern first.

I will make this again – despite the issues with the zip and the waistband, it’s a pretty easy sew and in the right fabric it’s perfect for work. Next time though, I think I’ll make it with a drapier fabric so it’s a bit more casual, preferably with the belt loops instead of the tabs and View C, which is the shortest length. I know the midi length is in for the spring, but I think it just makes me look a bit dumpy – mine is supposed to be a midi, but I’ve turned up the hem by about an inch and a half to make it sit more on the knee.

You might notice that my top in these photos is the Afternoon Blouse I blogged about a couple of weeks ago. I made it up in a lovely Liberty cotton lawn – the first time I’ve worked with such a posh fabric. I’m generally not a fan of Liberty prints. They’re a little bit too densely flowery for my liking and they remind me of my Grandma’s crackly nylon housecoats she’d wear for doing the cleaning, but this one seems quite tasteful, plus it’s a dream to sew with. I would use it again, but only if a nice print catches my eye – it’s ridiculously expensive for what it is, so it would have to be pretty special.

I don't know what I'm trying to convey with this face.

I don’t know what I’m trying to convey with this face.

So what’s next?
In theory I am supposed to be off work this week (though an issue has arisen which means I’ve had to work today – not best pleased), so I am hoping to get some decent sewing time in. I have booked myself in to the two-part Tulip Skirt class at Sew Over It in Clapham North which begins tomorrow and finishes next week, there’s the Belcarra sewalong to be getting on with and I’ll be learning how to sew with knits and making the new Moneta dress from Colette Patterns at the Village Haberdashery next Saturday. I hope I’ll be able to squeeze in some other bits in between sleeping in and watching Neighbours early. I’m not promising anything apart from that it’s gonna be ace.

Jo’s first sewalong – the Belcarra blouse

After the Zinnia sewalong proved to be a bit of a non-starter (it started in February and it looks like it’s still going…), I’m pleased to see that Sewaholic have announced that their next sewalong will be for the Belcarra blouse. It just so happens that it’s on my sewing list, and it just so happens that they’ve just released the pattern in pdf format. I know some much prefer a classic paper pattern, but pdf versions are so convenient especially for a lazy bum who doesn’t want to leave the house. I bought mine directly from Sewaholic, which cost me about £5.50 – I’ve seen the paper version in online shops for £13. It’s a bit of a no-brainer, even if you do have to fanny about with sellotape for about an hour before you have a usable pattern.

Anywho, I’m going to be joining in the sewalong which starts on Tuesday and finishes in the first week of June. I quite fancy view 2 which has some fancy tuck details on the shoulder, but with the majority of the actual sewing scheduled to take place during my week off I could end up making several different versions for all sorts of occasions. I could always do with some plain/neutral tops so making this in black or white would be a useful addition to my wardrobe, but if there’s a print out there that’s screaming to be used, who am I to ignore the call?

Belcarra blouse view 2 - check out Sewaholic.net for more versions

Belcarra blouse view 2 – check out Sewaholic.net for more versions

I’m looking forward to the process, but what I am currently most excited about is the fact that I’ve managed to attach the sewalong button to my sidebar. Check it out! Well done me.

I had hoped to make a Hollyburn skirt this weekend (I have the fabric all ready), but I’ve been having a busy time of it recently. This morning I went to see the wedding dresses exhibition at the V&A (I saw Kate Moss’ dress, and Gwen Stefani’s but my favourite was the muslin dress from the Regency period – very Pride and Prejudice) and then spent the afternoon having a very important playtime with my goddaughter. This evening is Eurovision and then tomorrow a shitty week of work will kick off with me having to go into the office. On a Sunday. Humph. The Hollyburn will just have to wait till next weekend.

A new look for me and a new look for the blog

I made a mistake. In an idle moment today I started playing around with my blog’s theme. I hit the wrong button and ended up changing it to something I wasn’t happy with. Permanently. My old WordPress theme (Bueno) has been discontinued and now I can’t work out how to get it back. So, after a bit of searching and messing around with colours and stuff, I’m now using Sorbet. It’s ok, but I liked Bueno…

Anyway, I’ve been doing a bit of thinking recently, and before you ask, yes it did hurt my head a little. I find events in the sewing blogging community, like Me Made May, really inspirational what with all the creativity and so many pretty dresses out there. I don’t have anywhere near enough handmade clothes to take part (even if you include that Zinnia muslin with the horrible zip. I think wearing that would set me into a permanent rage), but I’d like to set some plans in motion to build my self-sewn wardrobe so I can get a bit more experience in making my own clothes, and maybe take part in Me Made May next year. In the meantime I’ll be watching, and most probably gushing, at all the loveliness over the interwebs in the next month.

Now, I’m not suggesting that I’m going to make a whole bunch of clothes just because I can; I actually do need much of what I’m planning to sew. I’ve split my plans into two – a work wardrobe and casual clothes for the summer. It’ll likely take the rest of my life, but as long as I make a reasonable dent in it, I won’t mind too much.

Workwear

The Afternoon Blouse - I prefer the rounded button detail to the pointy one

The Afternoon Blouse – I prefer the rounded button detail to the pointy one

My work wardrobe needs updating so badly. At the moment it’s a mish mash of stuff I’ve bought without really thinking about it. I’ve got one grey H&M skirt that’s been in constant rotation since about 2008, it’s now looking a bit tatty… It’s perhaps time to send it to the nearest charity shop, but that would leave me without an office-appropriate skirt. I’ve also got a lot of outfits, but not many items that can be mixed and matched. It’s time to get creative.

I’ve been keeping an eye on Colette Patterns’ Wardrobe Architect series recently, and while I haven’t been actively participating, it’s got me thinking about colours and styles and how they work so you end up looking a bit more put together. I wear a lot of jewel colours – I love emerald green at the moment, and red and purple are high on my list. That’s great, but I could do with some neutrals in there to swap in and out. So, I’m going to be making clothes in: red, emerald green, navy blue, black, cream, white and beigey/taupe colours. I think I’ve got a lot of purple already, so I’m going to leave that to one side for the time being. Working within these colours, I’m going to keep patterns to a minimum and only use them for tops.

The Hollyburn skirt - a versatile pattern, because a girl can never have too many skirts. And it's got great pockets.

The Hollyburn skirt – a versatile pattern, because a girl can never have too many skirts. And it’s got great pockets.

Style-wise I need to be quite smart at work – not suit-smart, but not jeans and t-shirt casual either (unless it’s dress down Friday of course). I think clothes with a bit of shape tend to suit me. I like an A-line skirt and I love the shape (and fit) of my Anna dress, but I also like a floaty top I can tuck into a waistband.

WIth all that in mind, my work sewing plans are:

  • The Afternoon Blouse by Jennifer Lauren Vintage
  • Two Hollyburn skirts by Sewaholic – one in black, one in red
  • A tulip skirt from Sew Over It in navy blue (I am booked in for the class at the end of May)
  • Sencha blouse by Colette Patterns
  • Two Anna dresses – one boat neck, one v-neck, both knee length, just because I want to do more super-neat French seams. I’m obsessed.
  • Thurlow trousers by Sewaholic – I’ve never made trousers before so this will be an experience!
  • Belcarra blouse by Sewaholic in a variety of prints and colours

And I’ll top this up with some shop-bought cardigans and I’ll finally get my blue blazer dry cleaned.

The Sencha blouse - you can't tell from this photo, but it's got buttons right down the back, which will give me the chance to test my new machine's button skills.

The Sencha blouse – you can’t tell from this photo, but it’s got buttons right down the back, which will give me the chance to test my new machine’s button skills.

Summer casual
At the weekend I’m more of a jeans and t-shirt kind of person. I don’t see this changing all that much this summer, though I’d like to wear more dresses outside work. With that in mind, my summer sewing list is all about making sure I have enough casual tops to go with shorts. I’ll make a few dresses, but I don’t want to waste my time making loads and then never wearing them. In terms of colour palette, as long as it suits me and goes with my [mostly blue] shorts, anything goes – print, plains etc. So here’s the list:

The Miette - super simple, but super cute!

The Miette – super simple, but super cute!

So as you can see,  in the next few weeks I’m going to be a) very busy and b) putting a lot of money Sewaholic’s way.

This weekend I will be making the Afternoon blouse and hopefully making a start on a Hollyburn skirt. Watch out for the pictures in a future post!