Stretch Crepe Trousers

A month ago, I had taken on a new lease of life. I’d just finished the self-guided version of Seamwork’s ‘Design Your Wardrobe’ and had convinced myself that I was going to be uber-organised from now on and, most importantly, I was going to sew one project at a time. No more UFOs for me!

Well, I guess I was kidding myself. The ‘Design Your Wardrobe’ process has certainly revolutionised the way I design my sewing. Thinking in collections rather than ad-hock, spur of the moment choices has made me feel like I’m achieving more and has resulted in a far more useful everyday wardrobe. Still, it hasn’t managed to tame my wandering eye, always in search of the shiniest new project. Although, whilst my Pulmu skirt from last month is waiting dutifully for its finishing touches, at least I managed to get something finished.

I made trousers! And I’m insanely proud of myself! Trousers and I have been in a battle of wits pretty much since I started sewing and up until now they’ve easily been winning. In all my previous, failed attempts, no matter what I did I always ended up with a skirt! But now, I think I’ve finally hacked it. This is actually my second pair of these that I’ve made in the past month – the other being part of a matching set – and I absolutely adore them

The pattern is actually an old Threadcount pattern (#1605} that I got out of a magazine years ago and to be honest, I wasn’t exactly expecting much. I’ve used patterns from magazines several times when I was younger and have always found it a little tricky to get a good result. Well, I can safely say that this pattern has bowled me over and completely surpassed all of my expectations.

I made the size 14 in our gorgeous Navy and Mustard Stripe Stretch Crepe with very little adjustment. In fact the fit was almost perfect! Although I did opt to slim down the legs by 1.5cm on each side simply to make them a little sleeker. I couldn’t be happier with the result! The crepe is a gorgeous weight for dressmaking, just heavy enough to feel substantial without dragging you down, and that little bit of stretch is perfect for making a sleeker garment. And, for my own little finishing touch, I Hong Kong bound the waistband in our Atelier Brunette Crepe Bias! This technique is super easy to do using a stitch-in-the-ditch foot and really adds a little bit of class to your final garment.

These beauties only took me a day, excluding cutting out, even with my little attempt at waistband pattern matching and in-seam pockets. I would definitely recommend this to beginner sewers looking for a challenge or those on the more intermediate side. The concealed zip in the back is so much easier then tackling a fly front and you end up with a really fab looking garment without too much of the rigmarole. And the result definitely is fab! I really hope that I did this wonderful fabric justice, but I definitely feel incredible wearing them. And in the end, isn’t that all that really matters?

Aster Shirt

Spring is most definitely in the air and with the warm weather sweeping in, although who knows how long it will last, I’m definitely in the mood for some summer sewing. However, as much as I love to make summer dresses, sometimes both warm weather appropriate and work appropriate clothes are needed. This month one of my main projects has been the Aster Shirt, here’s my take on it.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Shown in: Dovestone Mustard Rayon

Size: 6

I love this shirt pattern by Colette; it’s so versatile, able to be worn casually or professionally depending on what you put with it. For me, this is a nice invitation into the world of making shirt, which can often seem very daunting. It has many features of a traditional shirt, but the collarless design gives it a softer, more feminine feel. 

Here, I chose to make version one, which has short, cuffed sleeves, in our Dashwood mustard rayon. Mustard is definitely one of the great loves of my life and, as we are now approaching spring, the lightness and fluidity of the rayon is perfect for keeping me cool in the warmer months. 

I made the size 6, without any alterations, but I would recommend checking the finished measurements of the pattern against your body measurements thoroughly before you cut out. The pattern has a relatively boxy design, but is sized up fairly largely and you will likely find yourself making a size much smaller than you are used to.  You may want to consider slimming down the sides of the pattern if you prefer a more fitted look.

The pattern is self-bound around the neckline, however I chose to deviate slightly and engineer a facing, as I had not left myself enough fabric to make bias binding. However, you may choose to self-bind or even add a contrast bias. Finally I added these beautiful, flower-patterned shell buttons from The Textile Garden to fasten the final garment. 

This was a fairly uncomplicated make, the rayon handles beautifully and the instructions are clear. However, some of the techniques, buttonholes, attaching the yolks and binding may be new to some beginner sewers. However, this issue can be easily rectified with a few handy articles or YouTube videos and the result is fantastic. I would definitely recommend this project to anyone wanting to improve their sewing skills 

Nica Print Sundress

Hi! Welcome to our brand new, revamped blog. In January, we announced the release of our first pattern kit, the Nica Print Sundress, and to christen this new site I’d like to talk a little about this dress. You can purchase this kit here.

Lucy modelling the sundress

Difficulty: Beginner

Shown in: Nica Cotton Batiste

Size: 12

This is an absolute gem of a dress, and I would definitely recommend it as a beginner project. Even with the lining, it only took me about a day and a half to make. It’s simple but, most importantly of all, it looks fantastic. 

For this project, I chose to make option C of this pattern in our mustard and navy batiste as I wanted something bright and fun to put a dent in the winter blues. The dress works perfectly with a t-shirt underneath, but could definitely go without in the summer. 

The batiste is lightweight and absolutely needed to be lined, so I paired it with a paisley Jacquard lining in matching colours. Both are beautiful to work with, but the lining especially is brilliant for beginners as it is surprisingly stable and easy to work with, without compromising on a lovely finish. 

Beautiful Paisley Lining

I made the size 12, without any alterations, and was very pleased with the fit. It comes up a little wide over the hip for my body shape and it would be very easy to slim it down if you preferred something tighter fitting, but I think the slightly boxy lower half makes the dress a little more casual. 

One of the brilliant things about this dress that it required practically no faffing about – a simple cut out, sew and go. As someone who practically makes a hobby of underestimating the amount of work that goes into a sewing project it was fantastic to do something so easy, quick and straightforward. This is definitely a dress I’ll be making again and again.