I owe this post since September, actually, but I was hoping to get better photos. I didn`t manage this since of course the days got shorter and shorter and there is the same old problem with daylight in winter. Being really fed up with this, I just ordered a photo booth set and it should be here by Christmas! We will see if this will be of any help, but since it includes softboxes and bulbs and a set up for the background, I am thinking it must make at least some difference.
Anyway, I finished the jacket a few days before its first outing which was for a special occasion at work. More than ten ambassadors from different countries residing in Estonia accompanied by the people from the State Protocol came to my workplace for a visit and I was one of the hosts. So I wanted something comfortable, yet bright and eye catching to wear. This was my outfit for the day:
The pattern of the jacket is Style Arc Janet and the fabric is cotton bucle from Chanel that I bought from a small local store that brings fabrics straight from Italy. The prices are sometimes really painful, but I have never been disappointed in the fabrics. They also have an online shop but I don´t know whether they would ship internationally: Kangalavka
Funny fact – I got this perfectly matching stretch lining from the same shop about a year earlier, having another project in mind, but how lucky that I never got to that project:
Since the boucle is actually very lightweight and does not hold shape, I interfaced all the pieces apart from the sleeves (maybe I should have done that too because the sleeves crease at the elbows) and I also added even sturdier interfacing for the hem and sleeve hems. The interfacing helps to achieve the crisp look of the front. Also, for the first time I used shoulder pads for a jacket. I bought several options online and thankfully one of the pairs was a good fit – not too bulky and hard and they leave a natural looking shoulder. As for pattern modifications, there were none necessary (do you see why Style Arc is an absolute winner for me?), but I omitted the front closures because I knew that I would never wear it closed anyway.
And since I am a person who likes to match colours, I just had to get the exact shade of shoes to finish off the outfit. Again, funny fact, made in Italy!
My pants are Jalie Vanessa, one of the three four pairs I have made. While writing this, I remembered the fourth pair that I also made in September but that have not made it to the blog either… One day hopefully I will be able to show these too!
While preparing for the trip I felt that I can be satisfied if I manage to finish one item and eventually managed three! In addition, during what could have been my most productive week in all history, I also made a sweatshirt dress and a set of pajamas as a gift for the kids of my friends.
This dress was cut already sometime in summer and then put aside as more urgent projects came on. But honestly I had been preparing for this for a very long time already, at least from the beginning of the year. It started with a RTW dress that I saw on a website and later on some instagrammer and I loved the style and the colour:
I started looking for a pattern that I could use to try to copy the look and I succeeded with Style Arc again. They have some patterns that are only sold as paper versions and not pdf-s and I always shopped the latter but once more or less accidentally happened to check out the paper pattern section and there it was – the Vivian vest/dress. I ordered it and although there were warnings that due to the lockdown and restrictions all over the world, the package might take very long to arrive, it was with me in about 2 weeks I would say. Anyway, I was surprised at the speed. Since if you order at least one paper pattern you are eligible for the freebie of the month in the same format, I saved myself the effort of printing and also got that month´s freebie pattern on paper.
I then started looking for a suitable fabric, which I again consider a jackpot as I found this velvety tencel (?) heavily discounted at one of the shops that I can visit maybe once or twice a year in another town. I think it was 80% off at about 3 euros per meter (can you believe?) and I got almost 3 meters having exactly this pattern in mind. I was actually really surprised at how much fabric this apparently simple dress uses up but if you consider that there is a wide facing on both of the fronts as well as half of the back then it is like sewing 1,5 or even more dresses at once. I didn`t realize this until I saw the pattern. It is very cleverly designed and the design leaves the inside very neat. For example, the cuffs are sewn on only on the outside, on the inside it s all facing! The assembly is a bit tricky due to this construction, but completely doable. I got a bit shaky when I reached the buttonholes though!
When you compare the inspiration dress to mine then of course the “original” doesn`t have buttons and at first I was quite sure that I will not add them to my version either. I changed my mind when I tried sitting with my dress and I realized that without the buttons (since mine is open in front) I would have to think too much about decency and I also would like to wear it to work in summer. So hence the buttons and buttonholes. Well, 6 buttonholes that have to be perfectly aligned. The ones farther from the edge were tricky to get pretty because of the amount of fabric on the way. But eventually I only had to rip one of them!
Then there were the buttons. I had some at home that I was planning to use if I can`t find a better shade. I thought I had seen the same buttons but slightly greenish at the local store and was planning to go there but got soaked in rain and turned back. The second chance was also the last as it was the day before my flight and eventually I had to ask my husband to go to the store like 10 min before closing time to pick the buttons. It turned out they did not have the greenish shade that I had imagined and he brought two sets of others to choose from. Finally it was my daughter who decided which ones to go with!
Another detail of course is the pockets. While my dress was still without buttonholes, I thought that I would add them in order to mimic the inspiration dress, but after the buttons were in place I decided it would look too busy and left it as is. BUT, I love love love the outcome and I am planning to make another version that would be more wintery and that could be worn more like a vest, over a top or turtleneck and possibly even slim fitting pants underneath? I can reconsider then.
Seriously, I picked the title of this post just because this dress makes me feel so good! Casual enough, classic enough and very comfortable. I wore it to an other fabric hunt, this time in downtown Telde where my friend took me. It is a shop with long history and they have even kept their insignia from 30 years back as the friendly and (typically Spanish) talkative lady told us.
I was already worried about the limitations of my luggage so I only got one fabric. I could have gotten three… Anyway, I picked a light colored checkered fabric that I believe is a blend of viscose and polyester but I cannot be sure. The shop reminded me of the Athenian fabric stores where for every detail you have to ask the shop assistant. How could one possibly remember the exact composition of each fabric and their price, is beyond me. Actually of course it is not possible, so you just have to trust their word or use your own common sense when it comes to the composition and the price.. well you never know, right? I didn`t get this feeling here but I did many times in Athens that the shop owner just decides on the spot, what they will ask you.
As you can see, I also got some haberdashery, mainly elastics, buttons (from a giant Chinese store) and quality thread (Gütermann annd Coats, from the department store of El Corte Ingles the other day).
Although I had planned to, eventually I did not visit any fabric stores in Las Palmas, We were thinking to go there to another Kilo shop but as the assistant in this small one told us, the Las Palmas store is bigger but they offer lots of craft and costume fabrics, so that at least according to her, the selection of dress fabrics is actually smaller there. And anyway, can I complain? I got 10 meters of fabric altogether during one week and my luggage was full of all kinds of stuff to take home – from kids´ clothes and shoes to wines, cheese, jamon, local sweets and so on.
Now that I am back at home, it is such a nice throwback to this warm and sunny week in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Just today my dear friend sent me a few pics of her sweet daughter E, for whom I made one of the sweatshirt dresses (in September and October I made 4 all in all!) I guess she likes it!
As I mentioned, I actually completed 4 of such dresses, the first three are below, the pattern is from Burdastyle 10/2013, model 146. Three of the dresses, as well as the one E is wearing, are in size 110 and one in 122. You can see that it is a tad big for her but children grow so fast that this will not be an issue for long. I used brushed sweatshirt fabric with metallic thread in 4 different colors altogether and even the cuff fabrics were all lurex. Since I made little E´s dress the last, I had to get some extra fabric and chose this brighter strawberry pink. I think it matches her sunny and sparkling character perfectly!
One of the items I made just before the trip to Gran Canaria was the dress that seemingly half of Insta-sewists have made already – the Hope Dress from Style Arc. I remember being quite “meh” about it, but at some point when all of their dress patterns were discounted, I still grabbed one. I realized I could use a fabric that had sat in my stash already for a couple of years and although I liked it very much, I struggled with finding a suitable pattern. I think these two, the Hope pattern and the cotton and silk blend go very well together.
As a hindsight I should have considered the stripes more but I believed that they are busy and uneven enough to not pay too much attention, but you can see for yourself that I should have given it a tad more thought. Anyway, at the same time I admit that I can live with the result and after I found the right shoes to go with the dress I am very positively surprised. The fabric is amazing to wear, luxuriously soft and breathable and of course the colors, the main reason why I was drawn to it in the first place! However, there is something about this fabric that I had not encountered before – the sewing machine skipped stitches and the only thing that helped was changing the thread! I suspected the fabric to be too slippery or the needle to be worn, but it was the thread that did not do well with the material. You live and you learn….
As you can see, I shortened the dress by 15 cm and instead of chopping the extra length off, I created an extra wide hem. This gives the otherwise very airy fabric some weight. I also wanted to cut the bodice front and back both so that the stripes would be horizontal, but didn´t have enough fabric (probably just bad planning). I omitted the back slit and button and cut the back facing in one piece taking out the seam allowance in the center because I knew from the numerous reviews on internet that the dress goes over the head easily even without the slit.
I loved the way the pockets were instructed to be sewn – both pocket pieces are sewn to the front of the dress, creating a small dent on the front piece and then the front is sewn to the back at sides. A very easy and clear way that gives this kind of inseam pockets somewhat more structure.
In summary, I would say that the Hope is quite worth the hype. It suits all figures I would say, is easy to wear and quick to make and … and what else would you want from a dress anyway?
I wore my dress for (fabric) shopping in the vicinity of Telde. The fabric shop is actually a huge hangar and is mainly filled with thousands of home textiles and curtain fabrics. The selection of dress fabrics is small, especially in comparison to the amount of others, but I still scored 7.5 meters of fabric!
I got black and off-white textured viscose-poly blend that has a beautiful drape and does not seem to wrinkle. They also had the same fabric in fuchsia, white, red, cobalt blue and powder pink, leaving me with a heartache about the latter. I also got two pieces of steel blue polyester (but nice quality) fabric that I have the devilish idea to turn into either a jumpsuit (devilish because my husband doesn´t like jumpsuits) or then a faux jumpsuit. The color is identical, but the two cuts differ in texture and weight. One of them is a crepe and the other one heavier and smooth, perfect for pants or the lower part of the said jumpsuit.
This place is defnitely worth a visit if you have a rental car at hand or have such a great local friend like mine!
The very last item I finished before my holidays was something that I had never made before – a jumpsuit!
I am not even sure why it took me so long to make one since I like how they look on other people (most of the times). Probably one of the thoughts holding me back was that I once had a RTW jumpsuit that I ended up wearing maybe 2 or 3 times because my husband was not a fan. And I can see his point because there is a danger of looking like a giant toddler when wearing this type of garment.
But this time I had finished everything I had planned for the trip and just when I had two days left to my flight, I saw Mie´s Instagram post:
I think it is a very clever idea to make separates that can be work as a faux jumpsuit, but this is actually not what got me, it was more the fabric! So two keywords or thoughts clicked in my head – “jumpsuit” and “wait, I have a somewhat similar fabric in my stash” followed by another two: “I also have a suitable pattern”, “I probably even have enough time to pull it off”.
So real quick I had cut the Butterick 6691 pattern out (view D) and managed to finish it so quickly that this time I was actually done with sewing without needing to stay up until the morning on the previous day of my flight! I really surprised myself here!
The process would have been even faster if I had bought the correct size. I usually sew size 12 from the Big 4, but this time I had accidentally bought the pattern in size bracket 14 and above. However, the pants fit perfectly, I just had to take in the sides of the bodice which is still loose but it is also the style. Since I took the sides in, I didn`t gather the front piece on the sides as the instructions tell you to. I actually also don`t get the point of it because the elastic in the waist gathers it anyway?
I am so positively surprised at this outcome and it is SO comfortable to wear, just throw it on and done. I originally bought the fabric with Style Arc Nova Midi Dress in mind, but now I am convinced that the bright colors and flowy nature of the fabric go so much better with this fun style. The fabric is a viscose an poly blend if I remember correctly and I got it from someone on a Facebook fabric market group.
What about my husband? you may ask. Well, his response was as expected – still not a fan. He told me that only the red clown`s nose is missing. Just as he had finished his sentence, our 3,5 year old daughter rushed in, stopped and burst out: “Oh, mommy, now THIS is really pretty!” Opinions…
But I wasn`t too worried, after all I was the one going on the trip and my husband was saved from accompanying a clown. I am not even sure what exactly bothers him about this garment (I mean not the exact piece, but jumpsuits in general). What if I had made a separate top and pants from the same material and then worn them together? Would that change anything? Or otherwise, if I had used a different fabric for the top or the pants, would that be more acceptable? Knowing myself, I will probably try to find out by testing these ideas…
As you can see, the pattern does not include a sash, but I made one anyway. I like to tie it on the side of the wrap so that it looks like the top itself is tied on the side. I also tested a black leather belt, which also looks good, but the sash is definitely more holiday-y.
The holiday itself is probably the most relaxing one I have ever been on. It is not just the big comparison with my daily life of juggling the work and home balance but also that in the pre-babies times I used to get so excited on trips that I could walk all day from morning to evening and explore and experience endlessly so that I would drop to bed every night and be almost exhausted after the trip. This time, because I know the island a bit from the past and partially also because I have quite a bit of time for myself as my friend is working part time, I am taking it extra slow. Long walks by the beach (I am staying in an AirBnB rental just a few steps away from my friends home) and preparing some blog posts, reading, enjoying a glass of wine late in the evening etc, it is just so good. I do think about my sweet family and we do daily video calls, but otherwise it has been a great week and I have enjoyed it thoroughly!
I really believed that I had posted something in September, but wow… It has been two months exactly since my last word here!
The truth is that I would post so much more often if I could somehow automatically type my thoughts because usually there is a whole story in my head with each item I make but in reality as you can see, I am having a hard time to keep up even with this self set goal of a post per month.
But it is quite indicative that the last post is from my last holiday and this current one is again written while on holiday. It just illustrates so well the lack of time for blogging in my life right now. Thankfully not for sewing, but I definitely make my choices when it comes to sewing time vs blogging time.
Again, not to give any false impressions, the amount of holidays that I get from my work is not much more than the minimum what is required by the law, but thanks to the same law I have accumulated a number of days from the time pre-baby #2 and this means that I do have exceptionally lot of time off work in 2021.
So yes, I am on holidays again and this time traveled a rather long distance to visit a place I spent 3 months in during my studies – Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. I was there 16 years ago the last time together with a long time close friend of mine, doing our clinical placement before graduation. Needless to say, when you are 20 and have been sent to an exotic island with a decent scholarship in the middle of January while all is under snow in Estonia and you find an apartment on the main street of the city just off the famous Las Canteras beach, you make memories. I actually think this experience was truly life changing for both of us. My friend met her now-husband and I got inspired to travel more which resulted in my own endeavours in Cyprus and Greece for altogether 7 years. Since my friend also lived in several places in the meanwhile, I never got back until now that she has been living in Gran Canaria for about a year again.
I made three pieces in preparation for the trip and I am hoping to be able to take some photos while here for future posts. But why not first make a note here about a dress that I made in summer but never posted about. Especially since the fabric is somewhat coming home as I got it in a really sweet and funny way.
I have mentioned that I have a couple of fellow sewists with whom we chat almost daily, mainly about fabrics, patterns and sewing but also share some life stories. One of the ladies vacationed in Marbella in spring and when she visited the local fabric stores she gave the others a real-time overview of the shop and fabrics. I remember having to attend an online meeting in any minute and actually confirming the details of the purchase while already in the meeting. So I was sitting in Estonia and she bought the fabric for me in Marbella! I made it into a Butterick 6723 dress pretty quickly and wore it during the summer and of course it was one of the first items that I packed for this holiday as well. I really like this fun animal print and I feel a bit like laughing at myself when I wear it. You can`t be too serious when you have all kinds of jungle animals all over your dress!
So today as I wore my Jungle Dress as I call it, it occurred to me that this fabric is back to its roots in a way, down the memory lane as myself when I stood in front of that old green block of flats where I last was so many years ago. And as if this was not enough, my leather jacket is also from Spain, our trip to Bilbao and Basque Country in 2019!
I guess you can imagine that I am having a great time and what makes this vacation extra special is that I am here without my children or husband, who so so kindly agreed to stay back and do the daily drill while I truly relax. Believe me, just being able to sit and eat uninterrupted is a blessing!
Since the fabric is viscose it does wrinkle easily but at the same time feels really nice on the skin. The dress itself was really quick and fun to sew and I like that the channel for the elastic is sewn to the bodice as opposed to just leaving it hang on the inside. I used up all of the fabric and there was none left for the sash, but I got lucky and found a suitable belt instead. However, initially I also planned to make the sleeves of version B, but did not have enough material. Now I think that it looks better this way because the sleeves are quite full already, if they would also be longer and involve a tie they might steal the show a bit too much.
For quite some time I also contemplated whether I should use brown or green buttons, but went with the first, thinking that it might end up childish. Now I have been wearing the dress at work during the summertime.
In the following days I will be able to check out at least two local fabric shops and of course I am really excited about this and hoping to find something nice that I can share with you the next time!
As I type this, it is a rather gloomy, windy and cold day outside with occasional rain. We had an abnormally hot June and July and then August has been somewhat of a disappointment. Therefore I look at these photos with a bittersweet feeling as it seems that another summer has come to its end. They also bring back memories of our fun little family vacation to Narva-Jõesuu and Narva in July.
This dress has somewhat of a funny history. First of all, I call it the Dress of Two Summers because it was as good as finished already last summer. But as you know, I was pregnant until the middle of July and then had the post-partum/breast-feeding body that I wasn´t even sure would ever allow me to wear the dress and I didn´t want to hem it until I knew if and how many alterations it needed. This summer, I finally hemmed it and only decided to add a snap to the front of the dress for extra security although I am actually happy how it fits even without the snap. Another great pattern from Style Arc, of course! It is the Annabelle dress sans the ruffles:
Secondly, the fabric of the dress. I just adore it. I am not sure I have used this word on this blog before. I love the print, the color combo, the slightly crinkled look of it, the feel of it, just everything. And it is also the fabric for the cover sample of McCalls 8104:
I first saw the fabric on this pattern cover when it was released and then shortly afterwards saw it at Abakhan store in Tallinn. Initially I was sure I would make the McCalls dress, but I didn´t buy enough and therefore had to change my plans. It would have been fun though to copy the look, wouldn´t it? And just recently I saw it on sale and grabbed myself another 2 m, again not enough for the McCalls, but I am thinking a flowy wrap skirt one day..?
Anyway, I was a bit meh at first (that means before hemming it) but once finished it has turned to one of the most popular dresses for this ending summer. Just makes me feel nice!
I also think that this must be my first real wrap dress and since it seems to have become quite a habit, I am once again planning to make more with this pattern. Some of the details below:
I think this dress is equally appropriate for holiday as well as workplace, at least for my job. Basically from the office to the beach dress 😀
Talking about beaches, I really recommend Narva-Jõesuu. It used to be the summer resort for many Russian aristocrats before WWII and even now there must be many Russians spending their summers there deciding by the look, style and size of the summer homes. But at the same time there is another layer of history, the Soviet era that lurks around some abandoned resort buildings from that time, mixed with new or restorated old ones that are quite fancy. All in all, an interesting combo of old and new, wealthy and poor, but nevertheless the whole place has a wonderful relaxed atmosphere and the beach is actually breathtaking. A really long (it must be a few kilometers) stretch of sand, the sun dropping to the sea in the evening, cooling water and most importantly not crowded and not too “developed” meaning there is only one beach bar on the actual sand.
I am not such a fan of Narva, though. It is the border town with Russia and it is definitely worth visiting and it has developed a lot over the recent years, but unfortunately as it was basically bombed to the ground during the WWII there is not much left of the historical city center and it feels kind of center-less if there is such a thing.
I have a couple of more projects from summer that I have been wanting to post about, I am hoping to get there before it is already weird! And I have also participated in some workshops that I really want to share about more, but that is also a story for another time!
You may remember my recent black embroidered cotton dress and how happy I was with the pattern. In fact, I immediately decided that I will repeat the pattern so soon that I didn´t even put it away from my sewing table. I didn´t have a certain fabric in mind but it came to me by itself if I can say so.
We were on a day trip to Pärnu and since I had been looking for a specific color and size of buttons for a while, I jumped into the local fabric shop to try my luck. And lucky I got! In addition to the buttons I had been looking for, I just took a glimpse at some of the fabrics sold by weight and you know the feeling when your heart skips a beat…. I have always had a soft spot for stripes, but if they come combined with floral, I am pretty much sold! Also, thankfully there was enough fabric because although lengthwise the piece was 3 meters long, the width was only 1,1 m. The shop assistant told me that the fabric is for crafts, but being 100% cotton, it is ideal for a summer dress as well.
If I wasn´t so excited about the result, I probably even would not write a second post on the same pattern (Vogue 8829), but for the second time, it really is a great pattern to work with! This time it went together even faster because I didn´t need to add lining to the skirt piece, the cotton fabric is dense enough.
For the black details, I used the leftovers of the black “sister” dress and thus used up all of the black poplin I was gifted by Black Carrot Fabrics. Since I usually tend to have big scraps, it really feels nice when I can use up all of my material.
I had to wait a few days for the suitable belt to arrive and I ordered two slightly different ones just to make sure one would fit and thankfully one of them really is quite similar in width to the front placket. It really is one of the best feelings about sewing when your vision becomes reality!
On the inside I used a piece of white cotton batiste for the yoke because I was afraid that the contrasting stripes would show through on the outside. Also, as with the first version of the dress, I stitched in the ditch on the front placket as opposed to slipstitching on the inside by hand.
I think I also got lucky that the front placket is about the same width as the stripes on the fabric, looks so much better like this.
Whoever has taken photos in a more or less public place with a tripod and a remote, probably knows that it is not always a very comfortable feeling when people stare at you. Or maybe it is just me? But on the other hand taking all of the photos at home would also be very boring, so as long as there is good daylight, I prefer to take my pics outside, even if it means stepping out of my comfort zone. This time, as well as the last time (for the maxi dress post), I had a little helper and it is unbelievable how much courage a child who doesn ´t question your actions can provide! It has been great taking photos with my daughter (despite the occasional photobombing) and I have enjoyed the playground time after the shoot so much!
The kind people at Black Carrot offered me to continue with the sponsored projects and here is the second “fruit” of this collab. I picked an interesting fabric that I had only touched but never used before – viscose ritchel. I don´t know the exact composition but it is nicely cool, flowy and has a good weight to it, perfect for a summery maxi dress. Black Carrot has a wide range of colors if you want to check out. Honestly, I hesitated quite a while before picking this muted greyish blue version.
If you imagine the title as a bit of a crazy cocktail (carrot mixed with peppermint??) then yes, the dress actually is a bit crazy as is the maker! To explain this, just look at the photos below, straight to the details:
Do you realize that I have attached the back piece wrong side out? I did realize it, but only after having taken the dress to the beach to play with my daughter already. As I was taking some close up photos for this post, I finally realized the mistake and you know what? I can live with it! I am NOT going to unpick the whole construction of the elastic, the facing (including clipped seam allowances), the straps etc just to please my inner perfectionist. Not this time, devil!
But why Peppermint? But because if you haven´t discovered peppermintmag.com yet then you are missing out. They have several patterns to try out for free and since I am normally not into maxi dresses (I think it is the second I´ve made), I thought if I have a gifted fabric and a free pattern, why not try. But you know that there are no free lunches, right? So although it was supposed to be a quick project, almost a kind of “side” project, I ended up unpicking the long center front french seam at least 5 if not 6 times.
The fabric is a bit slippery, but not too much and it is generally nice to sew with, but to topstitch the seam was almost impossible. In fact, I turned it inside out in the end, because it was easier to topstitch it from the wrong side. But the pattern itself is actually really great, I love that the french seams throughout and facings with seam allowance turned under rather than just overlocked, leave such a neat and clean finish on the inside that the dress is almost wearable both ways. And in my case, half of it is the wrong side out already! Which also shows another feature of the fabric – both sides look the same so it would be really useful for some patterns where the wrong side of the fabric is visible.
This is the inside:
Some close ups:
I am in the middle of a long holiday and I think this dress carries the holiday vibe perfectly – careless, eat-all-you-can and even ticks the box for the so on-trend square neck line!
While writing this, I am getting all sorts of ideas for a second one and who knows… The last time I said so, I did so, you will see very soon 😉
I didn´t even realize that I didn´t post anything in June! Wow! I blame the extraordinarily warm summer and I have always enjoyed sewing itself more than writing about it so I guess I made my choices last month. If you follow me on Instagram, however, you know that there are a bunch of things I have made that have not ended up here, yet.
But today I have a few good reasons to post and number one is that another Estonia-based fabric shop approached me with an offer to cooperate and I gladly accepted. The shop is Black Carrot and they offer a decent choice of dressmaking and home decor fabrics. In fact I regularly shop there anyway so it wasn´t difficult to choose a fabric for the sponsored project. And if you like my dress, they still have both of the fabrics available so why not make a similar one!
I picked their wonderful embroidered cotton and plain poplin, both in a deep black shade to make a work-appropriate summer dress, using an old-timer of a pattern in my stash – Vogue 8829.
I combined views D and C, the armhole bands of the latter were actually the key reason for liking the pattern as well as the opportunity to use a contrast color/fabric for this and other details. And before I say anything else, this pattern will be repeated soon. It is just so good. And this is the second good reason for posting today – I have made myself a wardrobe staple that I just hope will not fade in sun and wash too soon.
It has been a while since using a Big4 pattern because of my love affair with Style Arc and I had to keep reminding myself that the seam allowances are 1,5 cm and not 1, but other than that, a really enjoyable pattern.
I made a few modifications too. The most noticeable is that I added a lining to the skirt because the embroidery is see through enough to make me (and possibly others around me) uncomfortable if left unlined. I used a nice drapey and cool against the skin (viscose mix?) fabric that I purchased a long time ago with plans for a dress, but I have only used bits of it for pocket linings and now for the dress lining as well. It is quite precisely the colour of my skin so very subtle under the embroidered cotton and I think it gives the skirt some movement as opposed to having used a poplin lining, which was my first idea. But thankfully I checked with my sewing buddies and within a minute we made a common decision that the lining has to be silky, beige (not black) and I should use different pleats than the main fabric. So the lining has knife pleats where the skirt has inverted pleats. As for the color, I have a feeling that if I would have found a similar dress in a store, it would have been lined with black, but that would of course not show the beauty of the main fabric.
For the other modifications, I used the famous burrito-method for the yoke treatment which for some reason has not made its way into the Big4 pattern instructions as far as I know. I also skipped slipstitching the front bands and stitched in the ditch instead. It is not my favorite thing to do at all, but this time it went well enough.
I was not sure about the buttons at first and considered using black ones, but I think eventually the six golden ones that I had bought some time ago just because they were so “me” and not for some specific project (AND they were the last 6 at that shop!), fit perfectly. Otherwise I think there would be a danger of looking too serious. I did have some hesitation about a black summer dress, but adding the belt and the golden buttons and light colored shoes change the overall impression, isn´t it?
I love the outcome because I feel really comfortable, not too casual but not overdressed either and I also like thet the armhole bands offer cover for the shoulders without being sleeves!
I have another idea for this pattern – to use a more contrasting main fabric with black details again for a more striking look. Let´s see when I will get there because as you know, our hands unfortunately do not move as fast as our inspiration and thoughts!
Anyway, I am super thankful to Black Carrot to give me the opportunity to sew with these beautiful fabrics!
I think in the world of sewists on social media we inspire and get inspired often even subconsciously, the beautiful makes of others affecting our fabric and project choices without us realizing. And then there are moments when inspiration hits like a hammer and we know very clearly that we want a pattern or a fabric or a combination of these exactly as someone else just posted.
So this happened to me when I saw Keira´s (https://islandsewcialist.com) color block shirt back in February on her Instagram account. I screenshot the image and started looking for matching fabrics in terms of weight and color to straightforward copy her shirt. But I was unable to find this beautiful lemon shade of yellow and eventually opted for light pink, lilac, mint and blue cotton poplin that I finally found from Abakhan. That was really convenient as well, because they had just offered me a second collab, so the fabrics were bought using the allowance they kindly gave me and this is also the second post of the three that I said that I would write as a result of this collab.
I apologise if it is getting boring for you, but yes, I did choose a pattern from Style Arc once again. You have already heard the reasons for this so many times that I am not going to count them all here again but I particularly loved the back detail of the Roxy Shirt because I realized I could play even more with the color blocking thanks to this.
So after some head scratching on how to place the different colors on the pattern, I made the shirt and I am happy with the result. I didn´t really enjoy the instructions that stated one thing in the text and other on the drawings, but with some help from my Burda book, I managed to sew the sleeve plackets perfectly. The pattern instructions were all Greek to me, but the Burda book that is actually in Greek, was quite clear, haha!
Soon after I finished the shirt, an event was announced on the biggest Estonian sewist community on Facebook and the theme was “Inspiration”- in order to participate you would have to show the inspiration photo and next to it your own creation. I had finished the shirt but did not have suitable pants to match and so my entry is technically the pants only, but I know that the shirt steals the show 😀
Keira so kindly gave her permission to use her image for the purpose:
As you can see, I didn´t make jeans although that would have been even cooler, to try to copy the whole outfit, but I wanted to make a second pair of Liana Stretch Jeans from Itch to Stitch patterns and my jean fabrics were not stretchy enough for the purpose, so I used a dark blue stretch fabric that I bought in October from a warehouse sale paying 2 euros per meter if I recall correctly. It is of excellent quality but does not handle close up photos well, so just two of these which are heavily edited to resemble reality at least a bit.
Today was a perfect spring day that actually felt summery and as the day proceeded, the temperatures rose even higher so in the evening we went out to a children´s playground by the sea and basically wore short sleeves. But it was quite windy and as I took the photos during the day by the seaside, my tripod tripped over several times, my hair was flowing in the air and my shirt ballooned in the most unflattering way… the struggle was real! And the whole “photoshoot” was cut short by the battery dying… !
After all this winter stuck at home (and we haven´t really experienced serious lockdown as in terms of mobility restrictions and curfew) and despite knowing how lucky we have been to still have our jobs that allow us to work from home and not having any close family member catch the virus, after all this, this beautiful day felt so deliberating and I also felt that I looked good after a long long time, because I somewhat dressed up wearing this shirt. I even attended an afternoon online webinar wearing it although I normally opt for a decent jersey top when working from home.
My 3 year-old daughter asked me later in the evening: “Mommy, are we getting closer to the next winter?” and I felt goosebumps just because of the fact that the statement is true. But thankfully we are still in spring, I want to enjoy it to the fullest and wish you the same!