Tag Archives: sewing blog

Jenny H’s Deer and Doe Plantain Top

Jenny from the Wardrobe Architect, has completed her next make for the LSABlogSquad – the Plantain top by Deer and Doe from our Clara yarn dyed jersey. It is such a simple but staple garment for your handmade wardrobe.

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For my second Like Sew Amazing Blog Squad make I opted to try a pattern I have not made before – The Deer and Doe Plantain top. I’ve seen loads of amazing versions of it all over Instagram and can’t believe it has taken me this long to try it!

The Plantain is a free pattern from Deer and Doe when you register your details with them. It has a scoop neck and a slightly flared shape. There are optional elbow patches but I left these off. There are 3 sleeve lengths and I was initially planning 3/4 sleeves, but decided on elbow length. To get the length right I folded the pattern piece halfway across the elbow patch marking, so that it would hit at my elbow.
The fabric I chose is this beautiful striped cotton jersey. It is white and pale sage/teal and is lovely and fresh for this time of year. It is a good weight, very opaque and has a lot of stretch recovery. It is very soft and was stable and easy to work with. The edges do roll slightly when it is cut, but it stays still when cutting and sewing so the stripe matching was much easier!
The Plantain is a very quick, easy sew. In this jersey, including cutting out and stripe matching, the whole process was under an hour and a half. I think cotton jerseys like this make speedy sewing a lot easier because they don’t shift around or stretch out awkwardly.
The one part I struggled very slightly with was the neckband, it really has to be stretched a lot to fit the neckline. I thought I would end up with a very puckered neckline, but this fabric held up really well under the tension and with a little bit of a press it lies so flat and neat. I topstitched the seam allowance down all around the neck and I think it might be my neatest one yet!
I think this is a really flattering and versatile pattern and I can see myself making a lot more. I love the fabric and after I made it I spotted a similar fabric on Boden, made into a long sleeved top.
This top reminds me of the I AM Patterns Zebre, I think it could be completely recreated using this fabric. I also think the fabric is probably better quality than the Boden option as it contains elastane to help it bounce back into shape.
Boden also do a pink version, and the same fabric I used is also available in pink! I love these colours for this time of year and you can’t go wrong with stripes!
Jenny x

Seren dress – pattern review

With two new Tilly and the Buttons patterns released this month, we are spoilt for choice but I decided to start with the Seren dress as I haven’t sewn a lovely summery dress in a while.

I was a bit torn between the tie front and plain front but I decided to go with something a bit different altogether – separates! When I first saw the Ariana embroidered chambray, I had a vision of it being made into a cool midi length button up skirt, worn with tan coloured clogs. I decided to make that vision a reality by hacking the Seren into the midi skirt I had in my mind, with a matching tie front top!

I made some other crucial changes too. Firstly, I added the all important side seam pockets. I just would have felt weird not having them there and they are super easy to add in. Secondly, I lined the bodice using white cotton lawn, rather than using the facings. I prefer the clean finish of a lined garment, and there is no faffing about with keeping the facings down. I also thought the flash of white  on the tie front would be a cute detail.

To make the lined bodice, I simply omitted the facings and cut another set of back and front pieces out of my lining fabric. I did interface them using the facing pieces as a template, just so that the button holes would be easier. I left a gap in one of the lining side seams to enable me to turn it all through and then I sewed the perimeter of the bodice together (RST). After trimming the seams, I then pulled it through and hand stitched the side seam gap using a ladder stitch. Easy peasy!

The skirt was a little trickier, as after I had sewn the front button stand facing on and understitched them, and sewn the side seams to the back skirt, I tried it on and it was way too big. It would have been a lot of work to unpick either of the seams and the fabric I used was not the easiest to unpick, due the embroidery. My solution was to fold the button stand back on itself on both sides and topstitch in place. This gave it a cleaner finish but did add a lot of bulk which made sewing the buttonholes slightly challenging.

I then attached the waistband and just sewed it to meet the new front end pieces.

There are 15 buttonholes on the midi length version of the Seren. And that is a lot of buttonholes when you are having to fight with the machine on every one! It is also a lot of buttons to sew on, but I sat in the sunshine doing that so it wasn’t too onerous.

I was thinking about using copper jeans buttons but in the end I found some cute wooden ones which will match my shoes perfectly!

I am really pleased with the look of the outfit together. And I have great options to wear them as separates and combine multiple looks.

The instructions, as always, are really easy to follow. Obviously I went off piste for a lot of the steps but if you are making the dress as normal, it should be a breeze!

I would really like to make the ruffle front version of the dress in a cool floaty rayon next.

 

Honeycomb shirt – pattern review

Honeycomb is the latest pattern release from indie designer Ana from Cocowawa Crafts. It has an option of making it as a dress or a shirt.

The gorgeous Ana invited me and a few other sewing bloggers to a sewing day at the Village Haberdashery to make our own Honeycombs. It was a wonderful day and I was very honoured to have been included!

I chose to make the shirt version of the Honeycomb as I want to try and make some more separates for my handmade wardrobe.

I used this lovely Silverleaf cotton lawn Lady McElroy fabric. I love the red details of the leaves against the soft grey blue colour. I picked out this red detail with the prettiest little heart buttons too!

I also chose to line the yoke and inner collar band with a white cotton lawn as I love the way it looks.

The pattern itself is fairly straightforward. It is really easy to fit as you use the waist ties to synch it in.

Ana’s instructions are great and she does a fab job of explaining the burrito method, which gives a lovely clean finish to the lined yoke. There is also a great sew along on her blog if you get stuck!

I’m really pleased with how my shirt came together. It is lovely on a hot day if you want to be a bit more covered up from the sun.

I plan to make a Honeycomb dress next out of a lovely drapey rayon – I’ll probably make the sleeveless version as I like how it is balanced.

 

 

 

The cat’s pyjamas

I had some of this stunning Cat Nap Pink Art Gallery Fabrics cotton that I bought from Sew Me Sunshine in my stash for a little while. I was planning on making the Carolyn pyjamas by Closet Case Patterns, however, as I always wear vest tops to bed, I didn’t want to make the Carolyn top as I knew it wouldn’t get worn.

While browsing through one of my wholesalers, I spotted that they had the same design in a jersey and I couldn’t resist getting some for the shop. I then decided to go the whole hog and make my perfect pyjamas using the Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top as a base.

I have made several Agnes vests previously and it is my go to pattern so this was a no brainer.

I only had enough fabric for the Carolyn shorts, but I think it worked out really well as I love wearing pj shorts in the summer time. I opted for the piped version, using some shop-bought ivory satin bias binding. For the three pairs of Carolyns that I have made, I have adapted the waistband so that I can add ribbon as a waist tie. To do this, I simply attach the waistband side seams to match the trouser side seams. I then add two buttonholes to the front to lace the ribbon through. Easy peasy and I think it gives a lovely professional finish.

The Agnes vest was made in my usual way, with a dipped back and then coverstitched hem, neckband and armholes. I also added a bit of the lace trim to tie the two together.

I think these are officially my favourite pjs ever!

Oh and maybe I made a little cape for Jasmine too…just maybe!!

 

 

 

Me Made May 2018

I have taken in part in Me Made May for the last few years and am really pleased to be taking part again this year. So pleased in fact, that I am getting involved even further by offering a discount to participants during the last week of May! Zoe, who organises the event, will be sharing more information about this as we get into May.

As I have just launched my own business, my working wardrobe has changed significantly. Gone are the corporate dresses and skirts, in favour of a more relaxed working style ( I am still getting dressed every day by the way, even though pjs are tempting!)

I will therefore be using mmmay 18 to identify the gaps in my new style working wardrobe. To see where I need more of a certain type of garment. I will also use this challenge to identify garments that I know I won’t wear any more and donate them to charity.

So my pledge is this:

I, Sarah McKenna, of Like Sew Amazing, sign up as a participant of Me Made May. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade garment every day for the month of May and I will document my daily outfits on Instagram and do a round up blog post at the end of the month. I will use this challenge to identify and wardrobe gaps and donate any handmade garments that I no longer need to charity.

It always feels like such a special time of year which really brings the sewing community together and I can’t wait to see everyone’s pledges and outfits!

Sarah x

Jenny’s Cute Kitty Agnes

Jenny from Give us a Toile shares the first LSA Blog Squad blog post, and it is cute as a button!!
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Given that I was so late to the indie pattern party after my long break from sewing, I couldn’t go on too much longer without tackling some Tilly and the Buttons. After making her name appearing on the first series of the Great British Sewing Bee, she’s now so famous in the sewing world that she’s even become a drinking game on my favourite crafty podcast Stitcher’s Brew, and I must admit that her Stretch book has become my bible with all the jersey sewing I’ve been doing. Her patterns are incredibly popular, thanks I’m sure to their simplicity, great visual instructions, and high quality paper which you can easily re-fold and get back in the packet unlike traditional patterns which seems to expand as soon as you release them from their paper prison. As I’m on a bit of a stretchy roll at the moment I chose to start with the Agnes top. A great wardrobe staple with a few options to choose from to mix things up.
Usually I would diligently trace off my pattern to allow for alterations but this time I was feeling impatient and I figured ‘It’s Tilly, she knows what she’s doing’ so I just went from my measurements and cut the size 4 straight from the packet. My wearable toile showed up a few issues, namely my age-old problem of having narrow shoulders. Luckily as I’d chosen the ruche sleeved version I didn’t have to faff about adding anything to the sleeve head. Score! it was also just a bit too tight in the body for me. It’s a pretty curvy pattern so I just added a little to the waist curve and hip and it was problem solved.
Being as the sleeves are so pretty it deserved a pretty fabric and this good quality jersey from Like Sew Amazing was the perfect choice.
What’s not to love about the kitsch but wearable qualities of a fabric like this?! Best thing about it too was that it didn’t roll at the cut edges which made the process of constructing my Agnes a whole lot easier.
My one top tip for anyone making the ruched sleeve version is to allow more elastic than Tilly tells you to. She gives you an extra bit to hold onto at the bottom as you pull to get it through the machine, but if you also allow yourself a bit extra at the top you avoid potentially back-tacking off the end and you get a much more robust starting point for all the tugging it takes to get a good result. See the difference?
Just a little snip of the excess at the top and you have a far nicer effect.
Given the kitty print I couldn’t resist a little extra cuteness with a feature bow at the neckline. Some good quality cream scuba gave the perfect spring-back to make it hold it’s shape. Do you think Tilly would approve?

Simplicity 8558 Pattern Review

The team at Simplicity Patterns asked me if I would review a couple of the patterns from their new collection. When I had a look at the new styles, I was delighted to say yes.

The first pattern I chose was 8558, a three in one pattern from Mimi G. I’ve heard lots of good things about her collection so was excited to start on this one. There is a jacket, a cropped vest and culottes (either ankle or knee length).

I opted for the vest top and ankle length culottes.

I made the vest from the most divine Art Gallery Fabric, that I have been dying to work with since I got it in the shop! It was lovely to work with and washed really well. It has tiny white crosses on it.

I think that the cropped vest looks really cute and summery but I do have some issues with the pattern.

I found that the vest top doesn’t fit that well. I need more coverage in some areas and less in others so would need to do a lot of tweaking to be really happy with this pattern.

I think the vest design is overly complicated and takes far too long for such a tiny garment! This is due to all of the bindings and having to press in such narrow folds. My preferred vest pattern is a hack of the Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top, where I can just turn over the edges and coverstitch them. I think this is a much easier method and is quicker, as well as giving better coverage over the bra.

I made the culottes from a tencel chambray in the most stunning mid blue colour. The tencel is dreamily soft and I wish all of my clothes were made out it! The fabric has a similar drape to viscose but is slightly easier to work with.

The culottes have in-seam pockets, which immediately gets them extra brownie points! The construction is pretty straightforward and they can be made in a few hours. The only elements I changed were, shortening the hem by an inch, as they came up fairly long on me, and I also omitted the three smaller elastic pieces that make up the waistband, in favour of one wide piece of elastic. I then top stitched the elastic in place to give it a nice ruched effect.

I think these trousers are going to be my go-to trousers over the warmer months. I think they will also pair really well with my cropped Kalle shirt.

I may still make the jacket option, as it does look lovely as an ensemble and I will definitely make more of the culottes.

I think the yellow and blue go beautifully together and I think this would be such a great outfit to take on holiday.

 

Lander Pants – Pattern Review

I have had the PDF of the True Bias Lander Pants printed out and ready to go since they were first released but I was waiting for the perfect fabric to come along.

I recently got the most stunning linen/viscose blend into the shop and knew that it would be a match made in heaven. I chose the beige colour for my first pair of Landers, but I know I will be making a pair in the black colour way very soon too!

I decided to make the cropped trousers as Spring is finally here in the UK and I am feel that my wardrobe is missing some seasonally appropriate garments.

I lined the pockets in this cute green cotton fabric – the pocket linings aren’t visible at all, but I know they are there!

The construction of the trousers was pretty simple – the instructions for the fly front and very straight forward and they only took me about 5 hours to make from cutting out the pattern to last stitch.

The only adjustments I made were to take the back seam in by about half and inch and to take the side seams in by quarter of an inch on both sides. As these are high waisted and I have a big difference between my waist and hips, I prefer to nip them in as much as possible to avoid that dreaded gape at the back when I sit down.

I used these lovely wooden buttons for the closure and I think it gives them a really classic look.

Overall, I couldn’t be more pleased with these. The fabric was a dream to work with and, due to the viscose content, its softer and doesn’t crease as much as regular linen.

I think the combo of the landers with my cropped Closet Case Patterns Kalle shirt will be one of my favourite looks this Spring.

Sarah x

SewMyStyle April – Marigold Jumpsuit Hack

With Spring on the horizon, it seems fitting that the Sew My Style pattern for April is the Tilly and the Buttons Marigold jumpsuit.

Funnily enough, the pattern has never appealed to me as much as Tilly’s other patterns because I am a short girl anyway, and I think it has a tendency to make people look shorter than they are! With that in mind, I decided to carry out a bit of a hack to make it suit my style a bit better.

I had drafted a culottes pattern last year and used that as the basis of the trousers. I had also made a couple of jumpsuits last summer with culotte trousers and really liked that style.

I also decided to omit the facings from the bodice, as I love the look of a fully lined bodice. I used a white cotton lawn as the lining and I think it gives a really professional finish.

Fit wise, it was pretty spot on, but was a little tight across the bust, so I just let it out slightly.

The fabric I used is a stunning Lady McElroy fabric that was kindly gifted to me by my lovely friend Harriet from Sew Me Sunshine. It is a tropical print cotton poplin in the most perfect peach colour. Funnily enough, I had already ordered the Navy colour for my shop, and hadn’t twigged they were the same design so I must really love it!!

It is a tiny bit on the sheer side – nothing to worry about, but definitely not the time to wear black undies!

Overall, I am really pleased with how it turned out. I’m so glad I changed the trouser shape as it is just much more me! I feel like I need to book a holiday now so I can swan around in it!!

I’d love to know how all you Sew My Stylers are getting on with your Marigolds this month!

Sarah x

 

 

 

 

Join the Like Sew Amazing Blogger Team

If you are a keen sewist and would like to work as part of our blogger team, applications are now open.
Each blogger will be sent free fabric for their chosen blog projects, and their make and blog post will be featured on the Like Sew Amazing blog and shared on our social media channels.
Fill out this survey if you would like to be part of the team.

A few notes:

  • You don’t have to have huge numbers of followers – you just need to show a love of sewing!
  • You need to be able to commit to getting projects made and blog posts written within the timescales agreed.
  • You need to be comfortable with your images being shared on the Like Sew Amazing blog and social media.
  • Unfortunately, this is restricted to UK residents only.
  • Entries close on midnight GMT on Friday 20th April

Thanks

Sarah x