Adventures in Patterns

May 24, 2012

I’ve only just started venturing into independent modern pattern companies.  I’d seen the Colette patterns at the local fabric shop but wasn’t sure how good they’d look from looking at the illustrations.  Then I saw some pictures online and decided to give them a go.  I even found some perfect fabric (on sale!) to do a Rooibos, but I when went to to the shop the only dress pattern they had was Ceylon.  I decided to try it anyway, which was possibly not the best idea, given how many pieces it has – it probably wasn’t going to be that quick to whip up just to see how I like the pattern company.

Ceylon by Colette Patterns

However! All went well.  I love the cute booklet and the clear instructions. The slightly unusual construction of the yoke went together beautifully and the finished product is comfortable and flattering.  I now know which sizes fit me and that I can probably get away with less fabric than the pattern says.

So now I want more! But where to start?

  • I already have the fabric for Rooibos
  • Macaron looks really  sweet, though it seems like finding a perfect mix of fabrics is hard
  • The Beignet skirt looks really versatile and a good change from dresses
  • I want some high-waisted shorts like Iris (though I don’t need them, having bought 3 pairs of shorts last summer…)

I wasn’t that inspired by the Sewaholic patterns – Lonsdale is a bit angular for me, and I’m not that enthused by sewing tops.  But the other day I saw the Cambie dress and I LOVE it, so I’m very willing to be converted.

And on top of those…

I want some lightweight pants for our trip to Turkey, so I should start that.

I also have some Liberty fabric to do a skirt, plus a couple more pieces I haven’t decided what to do with.

Plus I love this patttern.

And this dress, which could work with the Burda pattern I’ve used a few times.

Oh, and this dress.

Not enough time! So many patterns to buy, and make!


Blue Poplin Burda Dress

April 19, 2012

Fabric: printed poplin from Lincraft

Pattern:  BurdaStyle 02/2011 #104

This was my first attempt at this pattern (later used in the London-Delft dress) which I made last year.  I cut a size 40 but I think I should’ve cut a 38 – I took it in at the sides and kept having to cut the armholes deeper as they cut in at the front every time I tried to move my arms.  I added a waistband because I thought the bodice looked rather short, then realised it looked terrible with the extra length.  So I kept the waistband, but this time I just laid it on top of the existing bodice.  So it may look like it has an extra piece, but it isn’t really functional.  It adds some extra definition to the waist though, which is nice.  I think the skirt might have more fabric in it than it’s meant to – I just used the whole width.  Anyway, I’m very happy with this dress : )


The London-Delft Dress

April 17, 2012

I’ve been following The Sew Weekly closely for the last few months.  I haven’t joined it (I can’t sew something every week and I’m not sure how it all works anyway) but I really like the idea of the weekly themes.  They’ve been making me think more creatively about my projects and their back stories, but not enough for me to actually finish anything coordinated with the themes… But this week I finally finished something that does fit in with a theme! And it’s only a day late!

Fabric: Lillian’s Berries Tana Lawn from Liberty of London, bodice and skirt lined with white cotton voile.

Pattern: BurdaStyle 02/2011 #104

I remember when I was growing up hearing ‘Liberty’ fabric mentioned, and my Mum had a few pieces in the cupboard which I knew I wasn’t allowed to use, but I don’t think I really understood what made it special.  Then when I was studying in Denmark we finally managed to make it to London for a few days and I saw the Liberty shop marked on the map and decided to check it out.  I think during the 5 day trip I managed to drag us back another 2 times, and I’ve basically been obsessed since then.  The fabric was all so beautiful but rather pricey, so I decided I could get enough for one dress as a special London souvenir.  Given how much it costs elsewhere, as I’ve since discovered, I wish I’d bought more!

I was really torn on which fabric to choose and I didn’t have a particular project in mind.  Eventually I settled on this one because the simple blue and white colour scheme reminded me of Delft tiles.  I’d spent a very pleasant afternoon in Delft a few years before and had been a Vermeer/Girl with a Pearl Earring fan for a few years before that.  I also bought a Delft tile cross stitch pattern at Liberty the same day.  I don’t know why my mind was making the connection that day but anyway, it was.  Once I finished the dress I felt it just needed a little something to accent it a bit so I got some matching blue grosgrain ribbon, which I think turned out beautifully.

As for the pattern: I’ve made this pattern twice before (more on that later) and each time I’ve got the fit a little better, so hopefully it’s pretty good on this one! As in the last version I didn’t cut the bodice on the cross as recommended because it takes more fabric.  I think it’s fine like this.  I added a lining to the skirt, just a rectangle but less gathered than the main skirt.  The skirt itself uses more fabric than the pattern recommends – Liberty fabric comes about 135cm wide so I used the whole width. The ribbon sash sits just above the waist seam and I added a little double bow for some subtle girliness (in case this dress needed to be more girly).

I decided to use this pattern because it’s fairly classic –  it can be casual or dressy and hopefully I won’t hate it in 10 years time.  Also the skirt pieces are just big rectangles, so if I do I can always pull it apart!

Then last night I thought of a really good way to do a dress representing Canberra, my home city.  But I’ll have to order the fabric.  Oh well, that’s another project…