We left the last blog with the two Zadie Jumpsuits, my Mum tells me they were called catsuits in her day which I think sounds more racy, so catsuit it is.
Next up was the Richmond Blazer from Nina Lee London, which I made in linen ramie from Lulou Designs. Clearly, I was having a bit of experimentation with rusty/orange shades. This colour took me out of my comfort zone, but I figured that it would work for Spring/Summer. This is England after all, and we're just as likely to be freezing as we are to swelter. It took me years of sewing before I felt I could tackle outerwear, and it is right to say this isn't a pattern for a beginner. However, the instructions are very clear and detailed, and I love immersing myself in a more complex project. I have to be honest I haven't really worn this blazer very much, I don't know why but it just hasn't been something I've reached for.
Around the same time, I did some pattern testing for The Sewing Revival, I have no affiliation with them, but I do enjoy a lot of their patterns. The Sidewinder Pants are a slim leg pull-on pant with an interesting seam detail that twists around your leg (sadly you can't see it in the photograph) they come in a couple of lengths and options for turned up or elasticated hem. I had enough of the linen ramie left to make a pair, and I think they're a great wardrobe staple that I've worn a lot over the last couple of months. The sewing pattern is designed for an advanced beginner, which I would agree with, the waistband is flat at the front and gathered at the back so no worrying about any fastenings. The only thing you have to consider with this pattern is the fabric choice, anything too crisp is going to bunch up at the gathered waist and around your bottom, and nobody needs that. It wasn't my intention to wear the trousers and jacket together, but the consensus on Instagram was that it was a great combination, I'm just waiting for an opportunity (and confidence) to wear them together.
had the perfect viscose fabric from my local Abakhan Fabrics in my stash to make a Kalle Shirt from Closet Case Patterns to wear with the trousers. It's so satisfying to use up some fabric that's been sitting around for ages. The Kalle comes in several lengths from cropped to shirt dress and ordinarily has a deep curved hem. I chose to make mine a dress length so I could either wear it on its own in warm weather or as a shirt and I'm not fond of curved hems on shirt dresses so just straightened it out. I've made this pattern a few times, and it's a bit of a sewing community classic because it's so versatile and for me, it's a shirt, and I love making shirts. I do love it as a shirt, but the fabric is too flimsy for me ever to wear it as a dress, so lesson learnt for the future.
Having made a pair of easy to construct trousers I decided it was time for another pair of Ginger Jeans. My first pair are on my previous post. They're also from Closet Case Patterns, this time I made them in dark stretch denim from Leons Fabrics Manchester. It's so wonderful to have a pair of jeans that fit you well, I'll never go back to ready to wear jeans now. I made them in precisely the same way as the last pair with the high waist option and the stovepipe leg, and am particularly proud of how they look inside. The fabric for the pocket bags was from an Instagram destash, I had no idea what I'd use it for at the time, but I think it works well.
My next project was also one in which I used fabric from my stash. This time it was painted triangles rayon/linen from Japanese fabric company Kokka that I'd bought from The Drapers Daughter. I have a few round neck woven Scout T's including the one in pale grey I'm wearing with the blazer above. I wanted to find an alternative and thought perhaps a different neckline would be interesting. This is the Robin top from StyleArc Patterns; it's rather unusual as it has an invisible zip at the back that zips up rather than down. This makes it much easier to zip up by yourself. However I'm not convinced that it needs a zip at all, perhaps if you are more busty, but I can wriggle into mine without bothering with the zip. If you've ever worked with StyleArc patterns, you'll know that the instructions are sparse. I quite like that, but if you like instructions that hold your hand, this probably isn't the pattern company for you.
You know how I said this update would be in two parts? I think that was a bit ambitious, so it's going to have to be three parts instead. Bye for now, part three will be with you in the next few days.