Simplicity 8608 Hack in Bubble Satin Crepe

It's been a while... and part of the reason why is that I honestly needed a break after spending what felt like half a lifetime sewing (and hand hemming) this Simplicity 8608 hack. Luckily I think the finished thing is sort of beautiful and it's up on the Minerva blog now!

Now to find an appropriate occasion to wear such a luxe dress and... take a step back onto the everyday sewing wagon! I have plenty of plans lined up for my favourite sewing season - Autumn!

Thanks to Minerva for providing the fabric for this project. See the full review over on their blog now.

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Trend Patterns TPC10 Wide Leg Flares

WOW I LOVE THESE FLARES! If you followed my Me Made May efforts then you're probably already aware of that fact. Anyway, I'm pleased to say that the full review of the Trend Patterns TPC10 Wide Leg Flares in this seriously luxurious chunky cord is now live over on the Minerva Crafts Blog!
Trend Patterns TPC10 Wide Leg Flares
I'm talking adjustments (there were many), muslins (I did two) and finishing the hem by hand (which took a looooonnng time) in the post! Read it in full here.

The 'legs for days' illusion 
Thanks Minerva Crafts for providing the fabric for this project!

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A Parisian Paper Theory Olya Shirt Dress

After making the Paper Theory Olya Shirt in March, I vowed to make it again in a block colour to really show off the outrageously good construction/style lines... but it's just so hard to keep a word when the perfect fabric presents itself! 

Olya Shirt Dress
I at least half followed through on my promise to this fantastic pattern, this time making the dress version. Whilst I like my previous Olya Shirt, and had the most fun making it, it hasn't seen as much wear as I would've liked, in part because I just don't really wear shirts! I haven't seen as many people make the lengthened Olya Shirt Dress, but for me, it hands-down tops the shirt, with absolutely perfect proportions. 

Sacrés Coupons on Rue d'Orsel
Now let's talk fabric. This viscose twill is arguably one of my best fabric buys of all time and it's purchase perfectly rounded off the best long weekend spent with fellow sewists in Paris for #parissewcial. Jess, Roz and I were lucky enough that our cheap-Eurostar-deal hotel was located almost at the foot of the steps to thSacré-Cœur, and even luckier still that it was in the centre of the local fabric district. Housed at the end of our street on Rue d'Orsel was my favourite of the bunch, Sacrés Coupons.

Lovely #Parissewcial crowd! Thank you Charlotte and Carmen for organising the best weekend!
Most of the fabric shops sold pre-cut 3m lengths, and it was often a case of digging through the mountains of fabric available. I was particularly reserved, only buying fabric I considered to be different to that I could get at home. For me, the unusual graphic and abstract prints are the rarest of fabric finds, so I was very lucky to grab a 3m length of this crazy printed viscose on our final morning (we ducked in Sacrés Coupons as the shutters opened, whilst on our way to catch the Eurostar home)! 

The last fabric in my case definitely demanded to be the first one sewn, and the weight and drape seemed perfect for an Olya Shirt Dress. It's definitely lighter than my previous shirt version, plus I used extra light interfacing for the placket/cuffs/collar and it's much improved - is it just me who stills struggles to pick the right interfacing for a project?

Front details
The most exciting sleeve/yoke detailing
Whilst the pattern of the fabric might detract from some of the garment's design details, it does make them even more exciting at close inspection. I talked all about the cool construction in my previous review, but I have to say, I still can't get over the wonder that is the sleeve/yoke square seam.

One big change I made this time was to entirely eliminate the breast pockets. Whilst their design is no doubt excellent, I found the pockets on my last version just didn't sit right across my fairly full bust - I ended up stitching them closed as they gaped during wear. I still stuck with the topstitching detail along the yoke, and I think overall it's made for a much neater wear/finish for me!

Back view
The length is great and really balances out the full sleeves - I'd even consider adding another inch or two to future versions. I'm also all for a skirt side split - I even skipped the bottom button to have a bit more movement in the front too (risqué)! 

I feel like I'm really gushing now, but this absolutely my dress of the summer and currently feels like my dress of full-hearted happiness. It was created in a lovely calm week off work, sewing at a slow pace, and the fabric holds memories of a dear weekend in one of my favourite cities, with my inspirational internet friends, new and old.

I fully recommend a viscose for the Shirt Dress as this has been the perfect pattern/fabric pairing. Now to commit to making a plain version, maybe in a very basic black or khaki viscose... one day! I have another piece of Parisian patterned viscose earmarked for the Paper Theory Zadie Jumpsuit next!

P.S. You may have also noticed, I got new hair, which somehow seems to improve all my outfits! My hairdresser works actual wonders!

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Me Made May 2019 - the final round up

It's been quite a May - maybe one of the best! I tried a little too hard to wear something different each day in the first half of the month, which in hindsight, was quite superficial - it's something I wouldn't normally strive to do. I'm pleased that in week 3 and 4 I fully embraced the clothes and combinations I know and love, and I felt happy, comfortable and confident as a result - maybe it shows, or maybe it's just that Parisian glow..?
Week three - garments linked below if blogged
15th - Sleeveless Papercut Patterns Rise Turtleneck, self-drafted skirt
16th - Pretty Mercerie Sayan Blouse, M7661 Trousers
17th - Ready to Sew Jeanne t-shirt, Stoff & Stil Skirt, Making Backpack
18th - Fibre Mood/Named/Butterick jumpsuit hack, Ready to Sew Julien Jacket
19th - Simplicity 8608 Jumpsuit, Making Backpack
20th - Fibre Mood Carmella Jumpsuit
21st - Ready to Sew Jeanne t-shirt, True Bias Lander Pants

Week four - garments linked below if blogged
22nd - Ready to Sew Jeanne t-shirt, M7661 Trousers
23rd - Named Reeta Shirt hack, Trend Patterns TPC10 Wide Leg Flares
24th - Stoff & Stil Skirt, True Bias Nikko Skirt
25th - Fibre Mood Carmella Jumpsuit, Making Backpack
26th - Trend Patterns TPC10 Wide Leg Flares, Ready to Sew Jeanne t-shirt, Read to Sew Julien Jacket, Kylie and the Machine Ida Clutch
27th - A 'didn't get dressed' kind of day
28th - Ready to Sew Julien Jacket, Ready to Sew Jeanne t-shirt, Ready to Sew Juliette Skirt

I totally nailed my personal style with some of the best outfit combinations in week 4. I always wondered what I'd pick if I tried a 10x10 challenge, but (accessories not included) I seem to have accidentally stumbled upon 9 out of 10 items right here!

Last few days!
29th - Fibre Mood/Named/Butterick jumpsuit hack
30th - Ready to Sew Jane Blouse, Trend Patterns TPC10 Wide Leg Flares
31st - M7661 Trousers, Named Reeta Shirt hack, Ready to Sew Julien Jacket

I've learned to stick with the garments I love. In some cases, this might mean revisiting favourite patterns - the Stoff & Stil Skirt, Fibre Mood Carmella, Trend Patterns Flares and the Ready to Sew Jeanne are definitely up there in this months faves. I don't see any huge gaps in my wardrobe anymore, and everything seems to gel together quite well, so I really am classing my Me Made May as a celebration of a versatile and fun wardrobe that fits my lifestyle, as well as making me feel great! Hope yours went just as well :)

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Fibre Mood/Named/Butterick mega jumpsuit

If it isn't the permanent year of the jumpsuit/boilersuit for you, well it certainly is for me (the #sewtogetherforsummer ladies have made a challenge that truly speaks to me)! After the success with my first Fibre Mood Carmella, I started dreaming up all manner of hackable possibilities for the pattern. So here's my jumpsuit mega mash up, starting with Carmella and combining two of my other long time favourite (and also perfectly hackable) patterns.

Carmella jumpsuit hack!
I'll start by saying this was such a no think hack - no big adjustments, just taping my favourite elements of each pattern together. I swapped the slim legs of the Carmella out in favour of my absolute favourite Butterick B6178 Culottes in view D, simply lining up the grainlines/crotches of both pattern pieces. The B6178s have come in handy for a number of hacks (like this one and this one) mainly because they're so easy to just tack onto different bodices.

All my fave patterns pooled
The sleeves come from the Named Clothing Reeta Shirt Dress - again, another pattern that for me, has many miles. The Reeta usually ends up as a shirt for me, and I don't usually favour the turn up sleeves, but when balanced with the volume of the culotte legs, they just seemed right. For ease, I stuck with the existing sleeve head (they didn't differ massively anyway) and just used the length and instructions from the Reeta to create the turn up.

And just a few little details... The inseam pockets of the Carmella are quite shallow, so I mashed them together with the B6178 pockets for extra depth - I mean, phones are getting bigger these days, baby pockets are of no use to me. I would have quite liked to use the chest pockets from the Reeta too, but previous experience tells me they are unfortunately just too fussy for my full bust, so I stuck with the originals.

This was quite a fabric-intensive and fairly experimental project, so I picked out a bargain mid-weight poly-mix with a bit of stretch - it has a bit of a crepe feel/drape to it - for £4 a metre from Lucky Fashion in Dewsbury. I used 3m in total.

Unbelted, it's a bit of a baggy romper!

The fabric is weightier than my previous Carmella, so it's turned out a bit heavier and looser than the last version, but it definitely has the 'secret pyjama' value to it. In all, it's more casual than I was intending, but still easy and versatile to wear and I'm really please that all my favourite patterns came together successfully!

Regardless of how fancy it turned out, I made it to wear to a fancy work event I had to go to on day 1 of this year's Me Made May, and of course, I stuck to it - I was even hand hemming the trouser legs on the morning. I wore it with trainers all day and dressed it up with posh shoes and a bag for the evening do.

Dressing it up!
The sleeve heads need an edit next time. The Carmella has a slight drop shoulder, which the weight and little bit of stretch in this fabric emphasised more than I would have liked. I ended up unpicking the sleeves and sewing them with a really deep seam allowance across the sleeve head, but obviously it's better to have things right from the start, so I'll be giving the pattern a little tweak before the next version.

And yes! There will of course be a next time as I'm a firm believer in sticking with things once you've found something you like. I'd really like to wear a similar jumpsuit to a friend's wedding this summer, but I think the fabric needs to be ever so slightly lighter/more luxe for the occasion. I'm on the hunt the perfect fabric now and have until August. If anyone has any suitable suggestions, please let me know!

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