2018 MVP

I love a good round up post. I’ve been keeping a note on my phone of everything I’ve made this year and in what month which makes these round up posts even easier to write. This one is about my favourite makes of 2018. Also you can see the various changes in my hair over the last year. October 2017 I started growing my fringe out – December 2018 it’s back!

Sewaholic Liberty blouse

The oak ridge blouse was the first thing I made in 2018 and it gets pulled out of the washing machine every time it’s clean. I wear it for work and feel smart and put together. I also interviewed in this top and got the job which makes it another favourite! In fact I love it so much I’ve just cut out another.

Lois dress

I love this dress – at the moment I wear it for work (with a tank top underneath) but it’s a nice going out dress too.

High waisted ginger jeans

I am so over wearing low waisted jeans. I pulled my old Levi’s out and was so sick of them gaping and having to pull them up constantly. 2019 make nine will definitely have more jeans to make. Note that these photos are old, since then I’ve hemmed them and taken them in an inch at the waist.

Mandy boat tee

Another one that gets constantly pulled out of the wash and reworn. It’s definitely a weekend tee but so comfy – I need to buy some more jersey for the stash so I can add more to my wardrobe.

Nikko top

Out of everything this is my most favourite make for a few reasons; the first is I can wear it for work or weekend which is important, the second is that it’s a style I previously discounted and am so happy I tried it again.

Camel Rumana coat

Despite an obvious annoying issue with the coat it gets worn nearly everyday for work. I feel smart and put together – almost like I know what I’m doing!?

One takeaway from this is my most favourite makes come from the mini capsule wardrobe I did at the end of the year. I dislike them to wear but to make it’s fab because you have a few small pieces that work well together and you don’t need to think about what to wear it with. I’m definitely trying this again next year!

Fiona (sun)dress

I’m super excited about this next make. It’s one of the last things I made in 2018 and the whole time I was making it I was second guessing myself. Would it fit? Would I wear it? Would it be ‘me’? Right up until sewing that last button on I was still in two minds about it.

I’ve always loved wearing pinafores and dungarees but since having my little girl just don’t feel comfortable wearing that style anymore. I’ve seen a couple of my friends wearing cute pinafores and this seemed like a less toddler and more adult version. I haven’t seen anyone do a cold weather version of the Fiona but actually in a thicker fabric it works well layered.

As usual right on time Blackbird fabrics released exactly what I was looking for – a burgundy corduroy – and taking advantage of the Black Friday discount I bought the last 1.3 metres which was more than enough for this dress. It arrived just before Christmas which is amazing considering it usually takes up to 2 months for delivery.

Scrutinising the pattern on Instagram I decided I hated the band at the top (why? It makes it weirdly modest for a sundress) and the straps are way too thick. I’m not sure what Closet Case were going for really with this pattern. I turned the band into a facing and doubled the strap seam allowance to reduce width. I also shortened the mini version by an inch or so.

It comes up true to size which means your usual size will be too small if you want to layer it. I reduced the width of the front button band and the seam allowance to accommodate a shirt underneath. I’ll be wearing it layered with my Nikko turtlenecks. Whilst ordering the corduroy I also bought some more rib knit because I need more Nikkos in my life.

2018 roundup and the ones that got away

Aaah I’m really stretching these posts out because I love looking back and recapping. All in all I made 36 items this year and averaged around 2/3 items a month. I made 2 coats, 2 pairs of jeans, 11 blouses/tops, 11 dresses, 2 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of trousers, 1 cardigan, 1 purse and a cardigan.

I only had a couple of items which really bombed. The first are my black ginger jeans which are just far too tight, the denim doesn’t stretch much and I just want to take them off as soon as I put them on.

The second is my Hadley top which I’ve already talked about just isn’t me.

The last is the Sasha trousers.

The first pair bombed entirely due to poor fabric quality and the second pair are slightly better but the legs are too large and the fabric stretches out during the course of the day so they only fit for a day or two before needing washing again.

Not bad for the whole year really!

Nikko top

Whilst in Canada I decided to order some fabric from my favourite shop blackbird fabrics. I love her shop because it’s so current. She keeps an eye on indie pattern releases and buys fabric to suit. I’ve bought plenty of fabric from her but it always carries a hefty customs charge and takes about 2 months to arrive. I didn’t order until the last minute as she didn’t have anything in that struck me until I was planning my autumn wardrobe. I was looking for uk suppliers of rib knit and then like magic an email dropped to say they’d just stocked a load of rib knit.

I had 5 days left in canada, ordered express shipping but thanks to the wild fires it didn’t arrive until well after we’d gone home. My poor sister then had to post it to me – at more additional expense and THEN to add insult to injury I got a customs card! Argh! Long story short – this fabric cost an arm and a leg. But worth it! Oh so worth it. It’s so soft and will definitely be a wardrobe staple.

I knew from my Pinterest board that I wanted to make a turtle neck and a cardigan. I opted for True Bias Nikko top, I did look at Tessuti Monroe but it’s less fitted and someone on Instagram had trouble with the sleeves being too tight. I did a batch A0 file print with Netprinters and got a few printed together.

I based my sizing on Fiona‘s version as we have similar measurements. I graded from a 4-6-8 at the hips as I wanted it close fitting but not uncomfortably so. I’m not used to wearing tight clothes and so I’m better with more ease although a 4-6 would have been perfect.

I whipped the top up in 30 mins as the sleeves and body are unhemmed. The rib knit is so slinky it kept sliding off my table. I had to fiddle with my machine settings too to get the tension right. I hate hemming jersey tops at the best of times let alone with slinky sliding jersey so I figured forget it! I actually prefer how it looks without being hemmed.

2018 make nine

Last year I said I’d make the following;

I managed to make them all

except for the bag (which I totally forgot about and now doesn’t really go with my wardrobe) and the Harriet bra which I changed to the jordy bralette as I prefer wearing bras without underwire. I also swapped out the purse pattern as I knew I wasn’t going to make it otherwise. They were all hits in my handmade wardrobe except for the Hadley top which I detest and have never worn. I’m just not a pink person.

This years make nine is the following;

1) boxy tops – I’ve got a Burda pattern 2) jordy bralette 3) suzon blouse 4) roscoe blouse 5) penny shirt dress 6) Fiona sundress 7) Burda blazer 8) McCall’s shirt 9) Myosotis dress

The myosotis dress I think will be my Christmas Day dress (lots of room!) so technically it’s still 2018 but hey ho. I live on the edge (I don’t). I mostly need more tops as 2018 I made mostly a lot of trousers. All of these I have the planned fabric for except the blazer which I’ll need to get some nice wool suiting. I’m thinking a trip to fabworks over the Christmas holidays. Coming up soon is a review of my 2018 which are my favourite posts to read!

Rumana coat

Following on from my autumn wardrobe Pinterest binge I decided to make a camel wool coat.

I immediately knew I wanted to make the Rumana and then it was just a case of finding the fabric. Which. Was. Impossible. I searched every fabric shop I could think of, did a million google searches, ordered 5 different swatches and even had my eye on some from Fabric Godmother which was eye-wateringly expensive at £22.50 per HALF metre. Finally it was PatsyPoo who messaged me to say that Fabworks had some in for £15 p/m. I quickly rang and ordered 3 metres.

Sewing a coat isn’t difficult but cutting all the pieces out and then all the fabric and then all the lining and then interfacing everything. It’s just so dull! It’s my least favourite part of sewing and it took me a good 2 weeks just to muster up the motivation to cut that shit out. In fact it was a whole month after receiving the fabric that I actually did anything with it. Although I did sew my jeans in this time. If you’re as impatient as me then you can leave the interfacing until you’ve sewn the majority of the shell and then do all the boring bits!

I started sewing during half term. Hoping 2 baby free days would mean it would be nearly finished by the time I went back to school. Unluckily I came down with a cold as soon as we broke up and didn’t get much done.

Sizing wise I went from a 10-12-14 even though my measurements put me at a 8-10-12. I was lucky enough to try on Arianwen’s version at Sew Up North and hers was a 12, it fit lovely but I wanted to interline and wear a jumper underneath. The lining fabric was in my stash from Guthrie Ghani, the thinsulate was from eBay, interfacing from Empress Mills and the sleevehead roll and shoulder pads from English Couture company. Arianwen mentioned she thought the sleeve head sagged a little so I ordered sleeve heads to prevent this from happening. The thinsulate is a little bulky but I’m hoping with wear it will flatten down, it will mean my coat is super cosy and not just for autumn.

One thing I never do when sewing is mark the notches. Do yourself a favour and mark the notches for the sleeve head. The others are redundant really but the sleeve head ones will make your life a lot easier! I did manage to ease it in the end but it took a lot longer without the notches.

I lengthened the sleeves by an inch and then reduced that by half an inch after I tried it on. Ariawen’s was too short in the arms for me as is my Kelly anorak so I wanted to be sure.

It took me around 3 weekends to sew the coat – 4 if you count cutting it out! I finally bagged the lining out after consulting the sewalong for the vent instructions. They are as confusing as everyone says and there’s really no need as it’s not actually that complicated. Turns out I sewed the vent to the inside rather than the outside but it looks ok.

The main issue in having is that the right front flips out and I have no idea why! I love the coat so much but that bugs me no end. It’s currently being flattened in my sewing room in the hope to reduce this. An easy fix to this would’ve been to swap the buttons and buttonholes around so the left front keeps it in check but alas I’d already sewn and cut them open. Cue face palm.

Nevertheless I’ve worn this coat to death since I finished it, I feel really smart and put together in it without really trying. Perfect!