The Homewear Set

Hi! I hope this new year has started well at least in personal matters for you all! I don´t know what is wrong with me, but I don´t seem to be able to fully enjoy staying at home even on paid maternity leave, so I have started working part time from home again. I do realize that this means reduced time for sewing, but I really enjoy having different things to think about, not just sewing projects or baby stuff…

For as long as I can remember, my mother has always worn a skirt at home, but I never find it comfortable, even in summer. At home I usually wear a pair of old jeans or track pants and my husband still talks about an especially hideous pair of extra slouchy pants I used to wear at home a few years ago. If it was up to him, I would be wearing dresses, but …

I realized I could make myself a comfy homewear set after I completed my morning robe. I don´t know why, but it never occurred to me earlier than now, when I made an agreement with myself to try to make all of my clothes (excluding underwear, sportswear etc), that I could also make this kind of casual stuff.

I was drawn to Ottobre woman 5/2017 model 10 due to its interesting angled princess seams on the front. This model is also currently the topic of a sew-along on the Estonian biggest online sewing community so I am not the only one who liked this pattern. For the pants, I used Style Arc Joni Knit Track Pant pattern that was the freebie of December 2020. To me, the side seam of the pants that curves to the front, echoes the angled seams of the hoody and I thought these two would work great together.

And they do, actually! There are some minor things to remember for the potential next time: the jacket is a tad too long for my liking, I would prefer it to be about 5 cm shorter (not sure however, if I would like to go through the pain of shortening it, due to the angled seams) and I think if there will be a second time, I would add facings to the fronts because I don´t like the way it looks on the inside right now. There could be a mistake from my side regarding the neckline finishing, but still. But I must admit I was surprised that the general fit of the jacket is spot on, I had heard many times that Ottobre patterns have too much ease, but I measured this one and cut the size 38 and it is exactly as fitted as I wanted it to be.

As for the pants, I went with my regular size 10 for Style Arc patterns and they are true to size, slouchy around the hips and tight around the calves, that is the style. The dropped crotch was a bit scary at first, but eventually they do fit nicely. The only thing I would definitely change another time is the back pockets. The placement is too high for me and I guess I would even leave them off the next time.

I couldn´t find ribbing in the exact shade as the french terry I used, but I think eventually this is good, otherwise the whole thing would look too plain. The cotton jersey I used for the top and for the hood and pocket matches perfectly and to my great surprise I was also able to find perfect zippers, cord and cord end caps locally. Finding the correct size and colour of eyelets was more complicated, but a sewing buddy living in Tallinn helped me out with these too.

I waited until taking photos of these items before wearing them because I knew once I put them on, they will stay as they are really comfortable and now I feel that I look put together at home, too. Little Liisa-Mai (2 years and 8 months old) also exclaimed: “Mommy, this is a very nice set! I like it!” And it must be nice because this girl has an eye for this stuff – she is choosing her own outfits almost every day and also has a say in what her baby brother should wear. I once put on a pair of socks that really didn´t match the rest of his clothes and when we got downstairs, Liisa-Mai immediately demanded that I should change them 😀

Some close ups too:

I have been wearing this set the whole day today and I have also realized that I need another one for sure. I just have to decide whether to use the same patterns or pick something new and what colour should the second set be – I am between really dark purple (too dark?), navy/blue (too boring?) and dark green (too weird?). Anyway, there is thought food for a few days for sure 🙂

I guess I have fooled you a bit, because although these are the first things I am showing you in 2021, they are not the first things I have made. Just hoping to get more photos taken soon.

Happy sewing!

Finally done! (The Fireworks Project)

I know many of you will expect this title to have to do with the worst year in so many people´s lives. I don´t rush to call 2020 that bad PERSONALLY because how could I, having had our precious baby boy arrive in mid July? But I have to admit that the overall Covid situation even though no one in our family has fallen ill or been affected too badly by its collateral damage in terms of job loss etc, has grown heavy on me as well.

The title actually has to do with the last project of 2020 and it is this dress accompanied by a jacket that looks plain on the outside but is quite fierce on the inside 🙂

And it is no usual project either, being my first collab with a company, Abakhan Fabrics, that has several shops all over Estonia, the other Baltic States and Great Britain. I have personally visited one in Riga and one in Liverpool. They have a large variety of fabrics and honestly I was quite thrilled when they approached me because when they opened their beautiful store in downtown Tartu (my childhood hometown), I was a teenager, already interested in sewing and I remember vividly how I loved to indulge myself in the fabrics on offer.

After taking a look at their website which unfortunately does not represent even half of what you can find in stores, I decided to go for a simple dress in a remarkable fabric. However, it turned out that there was not enough yardage left for my project so I quickly rearranged my plans and decided to go for a skirt in said fabric, a top and a jacket. BUT…. when the package arrived, it appeared that since the piece had been the very last one on the roll, there was actually enough for my dress! So once again, plans changed and here we have a jacket and a dress.

Now the reason for such a title is that the pattern for the dress, Burdastyle 12/2020 model 112, is really off. I was careful enough to measure the pattern first and to my great surprise I had to cut a size larger than normal and still add extra room for the hip area. When comparing the pattern to the measurement chart, it looks like the pattern has been designed with zero wearing ease! And no, not for knits, but wovens!

The muslin did help out in terms of avoiding complete failure, but there was still too much tweaking to do around the bodice and even after all this work, I can´t say that I am 100% happy with the fit since the back neckline is gaping slightly.

The pattern is originally designed unlined, but due to the fabric I chose (slightly sheer and scratchy on the wrong side), I had to add a lining to the dress. At some point, when I could try the dress on already, I realized I want to skip the sleeves. This is again weird, but the armholes are not big at all although this is what usually happens when the pattern is designed with sleeves and you just leave them off. I wonder if I would have pushed through with the sleeves, would that have been another nightmare in the process?

So a dress that looks really simple, turned out to be a lot of work – fit issues, adding a lining, main fabric that only accepted tailor´s tacks for markings… you name it! I guess the two things that kept me going were the fact that the fabric is really beautiful and that I was working on a sponsored project that I was documenting on Instagram stories.

The jacket is a pattern that I have used three times already, Simplicity 1421. I think it is a wonderful pattern that fits well and works great with a wide range of fabrics and is a simple design that looks good for special occasions. It is not designed as lined, but I have always added a lining because it just upgrades the whole thing. Plus my favorite, the piping, of course!

In this case the pattern was tried and tested, but both fabrics frayed like crazy, making the process more difficult than it could have been. The fabric that I chose for the lining is not a lining per se, but just a very fluid, silky polyester that can be used for a top or even a slip dress. I am not sure whether this and my dress fabric are from the same producer, but it looks like exactly the same pattern, doesn´t it? And I know that while wearing the complete set, no one will see the lining, but this is what makes sewing so fascinating – the ability to create things that at first exist only in your head and then adding those “secret” personal touches. If ten sewists would be given these fabrics, we would have ten different end results! And this is mine!

To those of you who will wonder, where and when will I have the chance to wear these clothes, the answer is that the dress will be worn for New Year´s Eve at home because we will have friends over and I always like to dress up even at home on Christmas and New Year´s Eve. The jacket will have to wait its turn, but given that it is a classic black piece, it will definitely have many occasions in the future.

In terms of sewing, 2020 has actually been a good one – I upgraded techically as I bought my Juki HZL-F600 (it is technically the same as the F700 but white instead of fuchsia on top) and as my husband fulfilled my birthday wish by gifting me a remote and a tripod for taking photos. Considering how cumbersome it was to find time for both of us at the same moment especially with two kids, the tripod and the remote have been a relief for him as well. I also completed some garments that I am proud of, for example the Tommy coat and the Burgundy jacket. Considering that I was pregnant for the first half of the year and later having two kids at home, I have also been rather productive. And to top this, I was offered this exciting collab from Abakhan!

I hope for the new year to bring further adventures in sewing but most importantly I hope that the vaccines will help the world to turn to normalcy sooner than later!

Lisbon x3

Hi!

It doesn´t show I guess, but I am doing something sewing related every day, if I can´t literally stitch, at least I can tape patterns or do some other preparatory work. And I have been sewing like mad recently as well, great fabrics are waiting and my head is full of ideas. However, life with two little kids has its own plans sometimes and some things take more time than they should. These three Lisbon cardis could have been made in a week, but it took me maybe four? Among other things of course!

When I noticed this Itch to Stitch cardigan pattern, I knew that there will be more than one of these in my wardrobe. Why? Because you can make them in basically any fabric combination you can imagine, but what immediately came to my mind was that I could achieve a rather pulled together look with the comfort of a hoodie.

For the first one, I had fabric in my stash, for the last two, I shopped already with Lisbon on my mind. All of the black details are made of the same fabric, a remnant of leather-look ponte that I had in my stash. For the first two cardigans I used the wrong, simply black side of it but for the last one, I decided to go with the leathery effect.

Because taking the photos can be a problem if you have to line up a sleeping baby, the brief sunlight of the winter and your own looks of the day (some days whatever I do, I don´t like myself on any of the photos) so I did not have the time to play around with various other garments in my wardrobe that can be paired with the cardigans, so just my Jalie Vanessa pants (another beloved pattern sewn x3) this time. However, after I completed the first version, I did take some pics combining the Lisbon with a pleather skirt:

I made all three versions slightly different (in addition to the fabric choice, obviously!). The first one has five big buttons, the second has none and the final version has seven smaller buttons. By playing around with the pattern, I can also visualise it looking nice with a statement zipper….

Just by a lucky chance, I was able to find perfect buttons for the pepita print version – the buttons have the same print embossed! This makes them look a bit leathery, again matching the leather look ponte that I used for the black details.

For a while already, I have been emptying my wardrobe of the ready-to-wear clothes that I don´t wear anymore and my secret goal has been to get to the point where the majority of what I wear is made by me. This will exclude sportswear, underwear, socks and knitwear since all of the years that I have been sewing, I have never felt the pull to make any of these things.

These cardigans take me closer to the goal in terms of having something easy and comfortable to wear in addition to all the dresses that I have made and will make more, but that are not always the most practical for my lifestyle.

In other news, I recently won a year of Burdastyle subscription! I can´t believe my luck, since as a rule, I never win anything, either the lottery (ok, I almost never play either) or any social media draws. However, I hit the nail this time! This generous prize was put out by Kadri, who is the administrator of the biggest online Estonian sewing community as well as one of the admins of Itch to Stitch Facebook support group. You should go and check out her sewing blog Kadristik!

Happy sewing!

Easy Like A Sunday Morning… Right?

Hi!

So all the while I have been whipping up dresses and what else, I didn´t notice that the one garment that I start and end my day with is literally falling apart – my morning robe! Even my 2-year old started pointing out that it looks “broken” and commented that “daddy will have to buy you a new one!” I loved the last idea, but then I realized I could also make it myself and love it even more because of that. And “daddy” can always spend his money on something else I like but can´t make, right?! But good thinking baby girl 😀

So it seemed like a piece of cake – just find a pattern out of a gazillion patterns out there, but the first obstacle emerged as I realized if I wanted a shawl collar like the old one had, there are not so many patterns at all. There were some that were not in my size range and others that looked good but just without the shawl. Ok, so I finally found Simplicity 8804 that seemed to be perfect until I received the pattern and looked at the back of the envelope. Finished chest circumference 128 cm. 128 cm? 128 cm! So that was about 20 cm too much and the shoulders were also way wider that the original robe had. One thing is that I don´t want to be lost inside my morning robe but the other also that I had bought 2,3 m of cotton velvet for the purpose already and the huge robe would have needed 3,3 m.

So I ended up doing what I had never done before – since the original robe was so worn, I just cut it into pieces and used the pieces as a pattern. It would have been a good idea to create a proper pattern and make everything symmetrical and match up on paper but I just went with it. Even my husband asked: “Didn´t you make a paper pattern first?” Nope.

Actually, being a simple thing as a morning robe is, there was not that much trouble sewing it up per se, but it took me a week because… well… children 😀 Baby Lennart turned 4 months old and I guess he was going through what they say is the 4 month sleep regression because while he has been sleeping tight every night since birth, he pretty much kept me awake all through the past week. Not crying, thankfully, but just sniffing around in his crib, nursing more often than usual and waking up earlier than usual. However the past two nights have been normal again, so let´s hope we are done with this! But the robe… The most complicated part were the pockets where I accidentally didn´t consider the nap of the fabric and one of the pockets would have looked darker than the rest of the garment. But I realized it relatively early… relatively is emphasized here…. so at least I didn´t sew it on yet but I had to create a new pocket and it took some time since the lace, the piping and the bias tape had to be sewn again on top of the pocket.

So what I made differently in comparison to the original robe is that the original did not have the piping feature but the front edge was overcast with bias tape. I figured I could never make the silky tape look pretty and since it runs all over the edge, it would have to be perfecr for sure. So instead, I put a silky piping between the two layers and I love the result. I am telling you, if you contemplate whether or not to use piping, usually “yes” is the correct answer 😀

In the end, although it took me that long, I am happy with the result. The original robe was made of bamboo velvet, the new one is cotton velvet, but they feel very similar, cosy and not too warm. And the shawl collar is a must, it keeps the neck toasty. Initially I tried finding a matching shade of lace an other trimmings, but no luck. Now looking at the photos, I think the cream details are actually even better! And did you notice that the robe has no side seams? So nice against the skin!

I guess you can tell how much I like it 😀 Just loads of photos! By the way, the fact that it matches my bedroom is purely accidental. I ordered the fabric and only realized it later! I was actually looking for a peach shade as the original, but couldn´t find any and now it seems like it had to be this way!

Happy sewing and until soon!

Burgundy Ziggi Biker Jacket

Being a member of the largest Estonian hobby sewists´ Facebook group, I participated in a sew-along that was arranged by secret topics – no one who entered knew initially what the topic will be and everyone had to pick a number from 1 to 6 and only after that the topic was revealed. So I chose number 5 and the topic is “Sew a project that has been haunting you forever!”

I immediately knew – I have been gearing up for a leather jacket, bought the hides and even buying the new sewing machine had something to do with this. But having read a bit on sewing with leather, I was also convinced that this time I need to make a trial jacket before getting to the real thing. As the deadline for this sew-along is November the 2nd, I will not be able to sew the real ghost project by that time, but I did manage to finish the trial 🙂

So the jacket is the Ziggi Biker Jacket by Style Arc sewn up in a soft fabric that has an interesting effect on its good side – a geometric pattern print that varies from a glossy surface to a suede. I bought it maybe a year ago from Abakhan Fabrics in Estonia but a funny fact – I bought the same fabric just in black over ten years ago from Athens! The black is even more stunning, but I tried to make a dress out of it several years ago and messed up…

I wanted to make the jacket in order to test the fit and sew it through in order to prepare for sewing leather where you cant really go wrong with stitching. However, after making this one I am a bit confused – should I make it again in leather or pick another pattern? The fit is good, but the pattern instructions are realy really bad – there is no mentioning of the zipped pockets for example – if you follow the instructions the result is in seam pockets without zippers.

In order to be able to complete this, I relied heavily on some great blog posts by Stacy at StacySews and Maris at SewMaris. But the most helpful and insipiring was Birdy Sew Obsessed instagram, where she has saved the whole process in stories with very detailed photos. Since the pattern is not new, some posts date back to 2014, I was really disappointed to see that while all the sewists mentioned a mistake in the pattern and reporting it to Style Arc, the mistake has not been corrected all these years. Unless we all misunderstand something profoundly, the lining pattern for the lower back is a seam allowance shorter than it should be. Also, the required length for the pocket zippers do not match the pocket facings – the latter are shorter.

I hesitated whether to go through the pain of quilting some details, but eventually I think this is what makes the jacket stand out and of course I am very satisfied that I did take the extra mile. For this, I use a piece of windstop felt which is thin but structural enough for that purpose. There is no pattern or suggestion for quilting, so I simply tried a few times and ended up spacing the lines 1,5 cm apart, so each square is roughly 1,5×1,5 cm.

I also added piping between the lining and the main fabric which as some of you may know already, is one of my favorite details. The lining is dark green and I thought the golden beige piping will stand out nicely and echoes the golden zippers.

I read somewhere in the numerous blog posts on this jacket that the result will be “much boxier than you expect” but I would say then the size has been picked too large. I made it in size 10 as all of the stuff I make from Style Arc and the fit is just right, not boxy, not too tight either.

So I really don´t know what should I say if someone wanted to know whether I would recommend this pattern or not. Definitely not for a beginner but I would say it is a tough nut for an experienced sewist as well. It also took me nearly two months because I was struggling with it due to the missing instructions and I think only thanks to the sew-along of the FB group was I able to push through. Also, it helps if you let others know you are making something challenging, I told two of my sewing buddies and felt accountable to provide a result 🙂

Anyway, I am super satisfied with myself for having DONE IT! And as you may have noticed, I am on a roll with this burgundy colour, I am planning a pair of pants in a similar colour as well. Oups, now I am accountable for that one as well 😀

Happy sewing everyone!

Burgundy Inspiration Dress

It seems to me that the word “love” has been used excessively to the point of devaluation. We use the same word to describe our feelings for our children as well as a nice juicy burger for example. So what words or expressions should I use for this fabric here? Because it seems that saying I loved it from the moment I saw it does not really convey the feeling when I first noticed it on Minerva Crafts Instagram account, sewn up and worn by Hila from Saturday Night Stitch. You can check the post up here. My heart sank for real! And it was one of those times where the fabric bought online was exactly as I had envisioned it when it arrived!

And as fate would have it, just about the same time I tried copyshop printing for the first time for my pdf patterns. And while adding files to the online order system, I recalled having a bunch of Jalie patterns on my account. And there it was, the perfect match for my fabric, Jalie Rachel! And here is the result:

I have used Jalie patterns before and have always been happy with them and I now made a mental note to try some more soon, after having been on Style Arc train for a while already.

So what to say about this simple but fun pattern and dress? It is easy to make really, but watch out for the fabric, I would love to make one or possibly even two more with different necklines and tie options that are provided with the pattern, but due to the way the front piece is cut, I don´t think it would work with visibly striped patterns. I have one snakeskin viscose jersey in my stash that I was about to cut for the same dress but noticed the last minute that from a distance it has a repetitive pattern in lines and probably that would not play out nicely for this pattern. The houndstooth print on my dress also has a direction, but the way it looks on the dress rather benefits it, I think (on the bust it is perpendicular and on the skirt diagonal). For comparison, look at the back:

My Jalie size is constantly V and I didn´t need to make any modifications really. I didn´t use the pattern piece provided for the neckline, just calculated the length of the binding by multiplying the neckline circumference by 0,8 and dividing it into 4 equal parts as well as the neckline in order to stretch and stitch it evenly. The sleeves are a tad long I would say, but as you can see I have the habit of pulling them up anyway, so I decided to leave them as is, it might be nice to be able to pull them down when it is colder.

The only trouble with this dress at the moment is that since I am breastfeeding little Lennart, I have to consider the occasion for wearing it time wise because I would have to undress almost completely for feeding him! But otherwise it is as comfortable as a nightgown, I really like this fabric not only for the print but for the soft touch of it as well. And the burgundy is so good for autumn! I might have one or more projects in the works in this shade….

It is the first time I have used a tripod and a remote for the photos. These were a gift from my husband for my birthday in September. I also need to get some sort of light source for the winter photos, the trouble with daylight is real… But unless you really zoom in, I guess the photos will do for now.

Baby News Vol 2 and Some Old Debts

Hey!

This is my first post as a mother of two! Our little baby boy Lennart was born on July 12th and everyone in the family is trying to find their place in this new situation. There are moments where everyone has a different “want” and “need” and it is hard to decide who gets what first 😀 However, we are so privileged to have the best grandmother and mother in law one can wish for (and Lennart was born exactly on her birthday!!), so there have been moments that I have actually been doing some sewing and now writing this post as well. Both kiddos are asleep, what a bliss 🙂

The old debts that I mention are the three pairs of Jalie Vanessa pants that I have made over the last year and mentioned several times but not really talked about them. One reason was that there were no proper photos, the other that soon after making the last two pairs I started to show some baby belly and I was at that point not ready to give any hints to anyone. Now that almost two weeks have passed since I gave birth, I don´t mind showing them even with my postpartum belly. I wore the first pair I made, which was about the same time last year, together with my new Style Arc Como Knit Top. The latter was sewn “blind” during the last weeks of my pregnancy, since I had no idea how it will fit, but I decided to trust Style Arc.

The fabric for these pants is a rather cheap polyester that is very surprisingly really comfortable and perfect for this pattern: it is light and airy and it barely wrinkles, making them perfect for travel, for example. After making them last summer, I wore them to work almost every day because these pants look work-appropriate despite being so comfy and they were also a wardrobe staple during our trip to Spain (oh, those pre-corona perks of life!). No wonder I made another two pairs and I have fabric in stash for a brown version as well. I cut size V but I would suggest widening the calf part of the pants just a little bit, I have managed to make them fit by leaving a very small seam allowance, but anyone with stronger calves would need a little more space there.

A few pics from Spain here, wearing the pants with an oversized flounce top I made for the trip as well. By the way, this top turned out to be great during the last weeks of pregnancy as one of the very few (non-stretch) things I could fit my belly into. I used a very nice breezy viscose fabric for the top and together with the pants they were great, apart from the wrinkling of the viscose. The pattern for this top has somehow gone missing from my sewing room, otherwise I would have made more by now, but I am too bored for tracing…. It is originally a Simplicity/New Look/something from these companies pattern, but I cannot find the original pattern number online. I traced mine from Meine Nähmode 2/2019, but they don´t print the original pattern numbers.

But now back to the Vanessa pants themselves… I guess the following photos show the versatility of this pant pattern the best, and I am sorry that I don´t have any better pics of the checkered version although these were my go-to work pants in autumn.

Below you can see the tech drawings for the Jalie Vanessa pants and for the Como Knit Top by Style Arc. Maybe not here on the blog, but definitely on my Instagram account, I have mentioned that I have fallen in love with Style Arc recently. To be honest, I blind-sewed several things using their patterns during the last weeks and days of my pregnancy (this time it was the only thing to provide pleasure and kind of escape from my body that was just HUGE) and some of them are unfinished, waiting for a try-on and fitting adjustments. Hopefully blogging about them will not take a whole year as has happened with these pants here!

For the Como Knit Top, I made one major change that came about partially accidentally – I cut the top out and then realized the pattern called for a double front! No spare fabric left, but also thinking that it would be too warm for summer anyway, I just drafted a facing and I guess it was the right call, preserving the intended look but keeping it thin enough for the summer. I actually don´t see a reason why I would waste fabric for the double front anyway.

And finally a couple of pics of the three versions of the pants together. As you can see I haven´t added a drawstring to any of the pairs and for the black version, I even omitted the buttonholes.

Happy sewing everyone!

The Fitting Fiasco Jacket

Hi!

I notice that it is exactly a month ago I kind of promised to post something I made for myself 😀 Well I haven´t been lazy especially considering my condition, but taking the photos is the problem, somehow it is never the right moment! I found a second for this today and here you go:

But let´s talk about my recent love affair with Style Arc patterns! Despite of being bad at blogging about my projects, I have sewn up a few of them already (you can see one project in the background of the left photo as well) and there are others in the works. I don´t know really what it is about their patterns, but I guess it must be the simple lines and wearable designs that attract me, plus there have been zero issues with printing and taping the patterns together (at least from the company´s side, that is, haha). And as their motto goes, these are sewing patterns that fit! ……. Which makes it extra ridiculous that I managed to make what is probably the worst mistake during my sewing years!

I chose this easy jacket pattern to keep up with my promise to myself that I should up my game in jackets and to create something easy to wear for this summer, the first part of which I will be very much out of my normal shape with my hip circumference being exceeded by my waist! I liked the lines of the Dorothy jacket and while no jacket would close around my belly, this one with its angled fronts seemed to do better than the more traditional options while worn open.

I used a slightly stretchy fabric I ordered about 2 years ago from Italy on the bolt, I think I got 6 meters of it since I was contemplating starting my own webshop for fabrics. I have since dropped the idea, but honestly, the few fabrics I got then, have been such a pleasure to sew, albeit together with the shipping, far from economical.

The fabric has two good sides, both nicely textured, and it took me a while to decide which side to use. Since I have lots of it left, I will definitely use the darker side as well and who knows, maybe even for the same pattern because as I have mentioned already, I managed to make an unbelievable mistake with this one. I am aware that most of the people will not notice anything too strange about this jacket, but it hit me when I uploaded the first photo to my Instagram account. I had set in the sleeves the wrong way!

I struggled with them while sewing the jacket up and was surprised as I am used to Style Arc patterns coming together easily and also the notches didn´t seem to match… which should have rang a bell, but with my pregnant brain, I just continued and struggled to make it fit (as much it is possible considering the belly) and then completed it just to realize the fact! 😀 Honestly, I could rip it up and make amends, but since the fabric helps to hide the problem I will leave it as it is. In addition, can we actually talk about “fit” at all, given my current shape? However, I love the pattern and this will not be the last Dorothy jacket you see.

We will see when I will finally follow instructions and make an unlined jacket when it is said so, because so far even if I have tried to refrain from the lining, eventually I have still added one. I like how it makes the whole garment look much more professional and I love using either a matching or even better, a contrasting piping between the main fabric and the lining. This one is no exception:

You may wonder why the lining of the sleeves is black while the rest of it is navy – the answer is that I made it during the strictest quarantine and I was not able to get more of the navy stretch lining so I just had to accept the fact that if I wanted to finish it, I needed to use what I had.

I am interested to see how this will fit once I regain my normal shape. Probably we will see that sometime in July 🙂

Happy sewing!

Double Trouble Set

Hi!

During these weird times I am one of the lucky ones who can work from home quite effortlessly and therefore I am not one of those who now find extra amount of time for their hobby.

But I have been quie busy in my sewing room/office during the last month, just not quick enough to finish everything yet, not to mention blogging about it.

However, one project that turned out to be bigger than I imagined, is an outdoor softshell set for Liisa-Mai and possibly for her little brother who will be born in early July, Hence the selection of a rather neutral fabric in terms of girl/boy suitable colors, all this work has to pay back, right!?

It is my first time sewing softshell and first time sewing anything so technical and it really took more time than I assumed, mainly because I was thinking ahead every step and also because I had to buy new materials and tools and then wait for their delivery.

The three pieces are all from different pattern magazines/companies but funny enough, all Finnish 😀 I guess it must be the climate that has inspired our Northern neighbours to create patterns for outdoor fun for children. You can´t get by with little dresses and maybe a hoodie in this part of the world.

Anyway, so the jacket is Ottobre 4/2015, model Warm Inside; the pants are from jujuna.fi, model Autumn Wind and the hat is a free downloadable pattern from kangaskapina.fi.

As you can see, my version of the jacket and the pants do not have pockets and I didn´t bother makng the velcro straps for the sleeves of the jacket either. I just felt that in this size or at this age, the pockets and the straps are not really functional anyway, so why spend more energy on them.

It took me long time to decide and then find material for hood facing and knee and bum pieces. The Ottobre pattern for the jacket suggested poplin (!) but this simply felt wrong for an outdoor jacket and I also didn´t have a clue what to use for the knees and bum. But then I got really lucky by just stumbling across a seller in an Estonian FB fabric marketplace group and ordered GoreTex fabric in a perfectly matching shade of blue. Problem solved!

Other things that I did differently regarding the jacket pattern was using piping instead of bias tape for finishing the hood facing on the inside. Also, the pattern suggests leaving the seam allowances untreated because softshell doesn´t fray, which is true, but I don´t like the way it looks. So instead, I serged the seam allowances together and pressed and topstitched down to one side. I think this way the whole thing looks much more professional. And lastly, one thing that really made me rise my eyebrows was the fact that Ottobre doesn´t seem to know that once you have understitched a seam, it is basically impossible to achieve a sharp corner if the instructions have you sew a perpendicular seam after that and then turn the piece inside out.

Liisa-Mai is 89 cm tall right now and I made the set in size 92 and Ottobre is definitely rather loose-cut in general, so the whole thing is a tad big for her at the moment, but then again I think it is going to be just a blink of an eye and she will have outgrown this, so I believe she can get more out of it this way.

And while the whole process was at some point really dragging due to the search for materials and tools (I got a pair of Prym snap pliers and snaps for the removable hood as well), it really paid off when she tried the jacket on for the first time and then was dancing around in front of the mirror 🙂 Also today, wearing the set for the first time as a whole, she looked really satisfied and what else can make a mommy´s heart sing, right?

The pattern for the pants suggests using buttons and elastic bands with buttonholes for keeping the pants down and this might be one thing I will add, although they do not really slide up at the moment, probably because they are a bit long on her.

And finally the little hat, this is a great pattern in terms of ear coverage, but the black thin merino knit lining that I used wants to peep out all the time and understitching seemed to stretch the edge of the hat too much, so it is not the most successful project, but again, she loves it and it matches the rest of the outfit, so I will take it easy.

Hopefully the next post will be something for me if I do a good job and finish some stuff during this weekend 🙂

Enjoy the spring!

The Tommy Coat

Hey!

I am quite sure this is the longest break from blogging that I have taken during all these years – it is about to be three months without a word here!

I have a very good reason for this, though 🙂 I now know from experience that expecting a baby drains all my sewing mojo despite of not having any nausea at all, but I just feel tired and apathy takes over in the early stages. In later stages, I find it very hard to sit for prolonged time so then there is this reason. So if there hadn´t been a very conveniently organised sewing course right in my hometown, I wouldn´t have anything much to show you even after this three month hiatus! But now there is this….

I started the coat sometime in autumn, but as I said, lost all my mojo until I had the chance to participate in a sewing course. The course was not designed for coatmaking, but the participants could make basically anything they wanted, so I wasn´t the only one making a coat. There were also people who started with their first ever garments from scratch. As I am self-taught, I always find interesting to learn from this kind of courses and I also enjoy the company of people with similar hobbies.

And really, without that course, there would not be another coat in my wardrobe. There were weeks where I only progressed during the three-hour weekly class and when initially the ten meetings seemed to be more than enough, in the end I managed to finish the coat but nothing else.

The pattern is Burdastyle model 113 from November 2017 issue. With the help of my teacher I added a semi-self drafted collar as I felt that making a fully (except for the sleeves) windproofed coat without a collar wouldn´t make sense.

The fabrics I used are both 100% wool and initially bought for a jacket and a coat, so I have plenty of the camel tone material left over. The lining is Tommy Hilfiger, hence the name of my coat 🙂

I guess my favorite thing about coats and jackets is the piping between the lining ant the facing. This time I hesitated between a plain blue one and the one that you see I finally used. I love how it echoes the golden snaps that my husband attached to the pockets and front of the coat.

Right now I can still wear the coat buttoned up, but not for long. However, the slightly oversized look is exactly what I wanted so in autumn there will be a chance to wear it as intended. Together with the instructor we decided to take out 4 cm from both of the side seams, tapering to nothing towards the hem. I think without that change it would be too baggy on me even in my current condition.

Of course, narrowing the coat that much from the under arms meant that getting the sleeves right was also a bigger deal than usually. I am so happy that I had professional help!

My teacher wasn´t so happy about the length of the sleeves after we managed to set them in since they turned out a bit shorter than they should have been. However, I only noticed this after she mentioned that, so for me this is no big deal. But I do need some kind of a hat or a suitable headband to wear with the coat as the weather is still quite chilly here.

So this is what I have been up to, basically! I have also made a few things for Liisa-Mai and for her sibling who should arrive in summer. I really hope by that time the world is functioning more or less normally again.

I am currently working from home and so grateful that I can do that, but next week will be off as I had plans for a short getaway to Cyprus…. of course no way to do that even if I still wanted to!

So, stay safe and maybe this situation offers opportunities for sewing that we otherwise do not have due to the busy schedules!