My first Kalle Tunic Shirt

I have seen numerous pictures of the Kalle shirt popping up on my Instagram Feed for some time now, It was part of the Sew My Style 2018 challenge back in March but I did not take part at the time not feeling confident of my ability to make a shirt.

I am not really a frequent wearer of shirts possibly because of past fitting issues with off the shelf ones but I finally decided it was time to have a go at making one for myself. I do have some experience of making shirts before having sewn a couple up for my husband this year. This is the first Closet Case Pattern I have purchased but I am pleased to say that like most of the indie patterns I have used to date the instructions are very good (much better than those I followed for a man’s shirt). It is also worth noting that there is an online tutorial which goes into more detailed instructions if you find yourself struggling at stage.

There are 17 pattern pieces in total which is quite daunting but this is due to the numerous style choices that the pattern offers, I only in fact needed 8 of the pieces for my choice – I went with the tunic length shirt with a band collar and a popover placket and inverted pleat. The fabric is a lovely brushed cotton that I picked up from a recent visit to Sewisfaction – more details on my visit and fabric haul are in my previous post.

https://wordpress.com/post/jennylovestosew.wordpress.com/355

I cut a size 6 using my bust measurements, I usually need to grade up for the waist and hips but the instructions say that due to the amount of ease this is not necessary so I kept with the size 6 throughout.

The first stage involves the popover placket which I was a little nervous about due to all of the markings on the pattern piece but it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it was going to be. I did read through the instructions a couple of times and also read the tutorial very carefully making sure I had everything the correct way round because I was very nervous about getting it wrong (in part due to the fact that you need to cut down the middle of the garment). I can assure you that it all worked out fine and everything turned out correctly.

I struggled with the inverted pleat but I must hold my hands up and say this was down to me and not the instructions which tell you to match the 2 outer markings -I kept trying to match the outer to the inner marking of either side and then finding that the bottom half of the shirt was wider than the yoke, finally the penny dropped!

I love the fact that all the seams are neatly tucked away using flat fell seams which gives a lovely finish on the inside and the hem can be finished off with bias binding, this was the first time I have used this technique and although it wasn’t perfect, (I will do better next time) I love the way it hides the raw edges.

The collar instructions are easy to follow but I do struggle to get nice curves that match on both ends but I think this is due to lack of practice, I did have to fiddle about quite a lot until I was happy with the result.

I steamed ahead with adding the sleeve cuffs without taking much notice of the instructions – my mistake! I ended up having to unpick and re do them because I put them on the wrong way up, once that was sorted it was just a case of adding the buttonholes, I have learnt from past experience that it is a good idea to put pins in each end of the buttonhole before using a seam ripper.

I am really pleased with the result and will definitely be adding more shirts to my wardrobe, I have just discovered that there is a sleeve add on available for the pattern so I will be sending for that, I really like the idea of a long sleeved version. There are numerous different versions with 3 length choices, different button fastenings and collar choices an optional breast pocket and with the add on sleeve option this gives 2 sleeve lengths so although the pattern is more expensive than the big 4 I think it is well worth the money.

I have some links below:

Pattern

Kalle Shirt & Shirtdress Pattern

Sleeve Expansion Pack

Sleeve Expansion for Kalle Shirtdress

Fabric

https://www.sewisfaction.co.uk/product-category/fabric/

 

Advertisements

Goodwood Revival and Polka Dots

Last March I blogged about an outfit I was making for Goodwood Revival, it has been sitting in my wardrobe since waiting for the occasion.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Goodwood the Revival is an event that is held every year around September and it celebrates all things vintage. There is racing with vehicles from the 20’s onward and fashion that mostly covers the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. There was also a superb air display featuring Spitfires and Hurricanes which was in celebration of the centenary of the founding of the RAF. Tickets were available for the whole weekend but we had a day pass on the Saturday.

Arriving is like stepping back into another decade, so much effort is put into keeping the vintage theme throughout the event, from the stewards in period dress, to the fun fair rides and the food stalls which are all in keeping with a bygone era.

I wore my Polka Dot dress (New Look K6391 – full details in earlier post) with a full underskirt to give it some 50’s flare.

I loved my bag that I picked up on Ebay for a bargain it came with the mirror and a couple of car parking tickets from 1970 which I have kept to add to its history.

My husband looked rather dapper in his retro tweed style suit and the cap which he bought at one of the numerous stalls in the ‘Over the Road’ section of Goodwood.

I can’t recommend this event enough the sights and sounds were amazing, watching old vehicles racing around a track can’t really be portrayed sufficiently in the photos not without the sound of the engines.

Would we go again – yes without a shadow of a doubt I don’t think we had enough time to experience everything that was on offer and next time we will probably do a Friday and Saturday if not the whole weekend.

I will leave you with just a small selection of the photos that I took, I am still sorting through them, I got a little carried away with the camera but who wouldn’t with such interesting fashion and style.

IMG_3559

IMG_3465IMG_4061IMG_3902

 

IMG_3959IMG_3566IMG_3894

IMG_3836

 

Sewisfaction and Holme Grange Craft Village

I recently had the pleasure of visiting the bricks and mortar shop – Sewisfaction. Since I discovered my love of sewing I have also discovered several independent fabric and haberdashery shops and this is one of my favourites. Unfortunately it is not local to me so I have only every purchased on line before therefore I was really excited when I discovered that it was fairly close by on a recent short break.

https://www.sewisfaction.co.uk/

I discovered Sewisfaction last year not long after I started to sew, in fact I think that Shoena opened her shop around the same time as I started sewing. Not only does she sell fabric and habedashery both online and direct she also offers sewing classes and does a great vlog and blog which I always look forward to watching or reading.

Sewisfaction is set in a lovely Craft Village called Holme Grange, it is in a great location with lots of independent shops that sell a variety of items from jewellery, crafts, furniture and the perfect shop for my husband – ‘Beyond the Download’ a record shop that sells a huge selection of vinyl records both old and new.

https://holmegrangecraftvillage.co.uk/

When we visited there were also some children’s summer holiday activities – pony rides the day we were there but I think it varies from day to day and if that wasn’t enough for the children then you can visit the Brickies Club where you can get creative with Lego.

So on to my purchases: first up was a pattern that I have had my eye on for a while, Closet Case Kalle, I had also spotted some fabric on the website which I had in mind for this pattern but when I arrived and started to browse another fabric jumped out at me, it wasn’t on the website so as possibly just arrived. It is a lovely brushed cotton which feels so soft and I just couldn’t resist it.

Next up was a gorgeous Ponte fabric called Tulip Stamp which is a turquoise tulip print on a pink background, I am thinking of making another Nina Lee Southbank Sweater Dress with this, I made a couple last year and they were by most frequently worn outfits over the autumn/winter and even into spring.

When I got home I realised there was a bit of a theme going on with the fabrics I had picked – lots of pink, blue and red tones so unsurprisingly the next fabric is cerise pink – it is called gilded cage and is a Japanese cotton, as soon as I saw it I knew what I would make. One of my first makes when I started sewing was the Tilly and the Buttons Delphine Skirt which can be found in the book ‘Love at First Stitch’, I now own about 6 of these skirts, several of them in bold prints. It is a really easy make and I think it look great paired with thick tights and a plain jumpers in the colder months, it’s a great way to add a bit of colour to a gloomy winters day.

My final purchase was this black jersey with a bit of sparkle called Midnight Shimmer, again I can’t see it on the website so it is possibly sold out or not yet listed. I haven’t quite decided what to make with it yet but it would make a lovely dress for the festive season.

If you should find yourself in the Wokingham area then I would certainly recommend a visit to the Craft Village, you could easily spend a couple of hours browsing and then I forgot to mention earlier but there is a lovely cafe where you can enjoy a drink and a delicious piece of homemade cake.

Tilly and the Buttons Stevie Tunic

Picture 7

I recently had the opportunity to write my first blog post for Minerva Crafts with a review of one of the latest Tilly and the Buttons patterns – The Stevie Tunic.

My full review of the pattern can be found at the link below:

https://www.minervacrafts.com/blog/projects/dotty-about-stevie

All I will say here is that I loved the pattern so much that I had a second one on my cutting table straight after the first.

My second tunic was made with some lovely Ikat fabric from Lamazi Fabrics which as the time of writing is still available, I have put a link below:

John Louden – Ikat – Ivory on Delph – Colour Woven Cotton

The Gentleman’s Wardrobe

I decided to take a little time away from sewing for myself (I am acquiring far too many clothes – this sewing lark is addictive!) and make my husband a shirt for his birthday. The fabric was chosen by him a few months ago when we visited Doughty Bros in Hereford.

https://www.doughtysonline.co.uk/

Personally I find coming by good men’s sewing patterns difficult – if anyone knows where to find them please enlighten me? I did however have a book given me for Christmas called ‘The Gentleman’s Wardrobe’ by Vanessa Mooncie. The book contains a good selection of patterns including shirts, trousers, boxer shorts, slippers and even a bag. I did make a long sleeved formal shirt earlier in the year but this time he wanted something a little more casual and the short sleeved summer shirt in the book looked just the job.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gentlemans-Wardrobe-Vintage-Style-Projects-Modern/dp/1861087470

Having already made the formal/long sleeved shirt in the book I only needed to trace and cut out the pattern piece for the sleeves so that saved some time. I would call myself an advanced beginner now when it comes to following patterns and I found the instructions easier to follow this time although I still turned to YouTube for the yoke and followed the burrito method. I still haven’t quite perfected joining the collar to the shirt and had to fiddle about with the stitching on the edges to make it fit – not perfect but I was happy with it in the end.

My husband wanted a button down collar but I wasn’t confident adding buttonholes to the edge of the collar so instead I just sewed the buttons down to the shirt which I think looks fine, another adjustment I made was on the sleeves, when he tried it on we decided they looked a little too long so I adjusted them by adding a turn up and just stitching them in place.

I am pleased with how it turned out although I do find myself to be very critical on myself when I make anything. My husband (and the cat) on the other hand are delighted with the result and that’s what matters.

Cotswolds Break

This post isn’t sewing related although I did take my me made outfits with me if that counts😀

I have just returned from a short break with family. We went to a village called Sibford Ferris in the Cotswolds, (the nearest large town is Banbury). What a glorious place it was – we stayed in a house called Holmby House which was absolutely idealic.

http://www.holmbyhouse.co.uk/

The group consisted of myself and my husband along with our 3 boys who are late teens/early 20s and their girlfriends. We couldn’t have picked a better spot. The house had 4 lovely bedrooms all with ensuite with a lounge, dining room and kitchen and the gardens where beautiful. We had a lovely heated outdoor pool which was definitely the hub of the break, tennis court and croquet lawn (we made up the rules as we played 😂) and wonderful gardens, there were so many different seating areas dotted around the gardens that I lost count.

My husband and I are keen walkers and the area is perfect for that with stunning views and beautiful Cotswold stone cottages.

There was a pub within a short walk of our accommodation called The Wykham Arms which I would highly recommend if you fancy an evening out, (it is well worth ringing up and booking a table if there are a few of you).

http://wykhamarms.co.uk/

There is a good selection of meals on the menu which are very well presented as well as being delicious and if you have room left for pudding then you are in for a treat: tiramisu, chocolate teardrops and sticky toffee pudding were just a few of the tempting dishes to choose from when we visited.

With the glorious weather that we are currently enjoying we couldn’t of asked for a better family break and it is somewhere I would be very happy to visit again.

Kielo Wrap Dress

Late to the party as usual I have just sewn my first Kielo Wrap Dress. This dress wasn’t even on my radar until the recent #sewtogetherforsummer competition over on Instagram. I didn’t take part because I was convinced wrap dresses weren’t for me but this one kept coming up in my feed and grabbing my […]

Late to the party as usual I have just sewn my first Kielo Wrap Dress. This dress wasn’t even on my radar until the recent #sewtogetherforsummer competition over on Instagram. I didn’t take part because I was convinced wrap dresses weren’t for me but this one kept coming up in my feed and grabbing my attention.

Having decided to give it a go I scoured the internet, the paper pattern was pretty much sold out everywhere (I am not a fan of printing my own pdf patterns for piecing together). I finally found the pattern available over at Sewalicious where for an extra £5 the pattern is printed off for you ready to be traced). The instructions are then easily printed off online.

https://www.sewalicious.co.uk

The pattern indicates that it is designed for someone who is 5ft 8″ at only 5ft 2″ I knew I was going to need some adjustments. There are no shorten/lengthen lines on the pattern so I pretty much winged it and hoped for the best. I took 3″ off the pattern just below the mark for the waist and then a further 3 inches below the hip mark.

Be it luck or good judgement the sizing worked out perfectly☺ I did take a further few inches off the bottom because I decided that I didn’t what it full length so with the help of my husband I adjusted it to a length that I was happy with.

The fabric used was a Ponte Roma from Weaver Dee that I purchased online:

Abstract Ponte Roma Jersey Fabric (Dark Navy Blue)

I bought 2.5 metres but only used 1.9 metres – it was actually less than this once I had taken some fabric off the bottom. With the left over fabric I was able to make a vest top so at a cost of £20 for the fabric I have a dress that I absolutely love and a tee shirt.

The vest top is made up from a pattern hack of the Tilly and the Buttons Agnes Top which is over on the LikeSewAmazing vlog.

https://likesewamazing.com/videos/

As far as sewing the dress up the instructions are fairly basic but there are only 4 pieces – front and back and 2 ties that need to be sandwiched in between. There is an option to have bias binding around the neck and armholes but the jersey I used was fine to just turn over and hem.

I can’t tell you how much enjoyment I get out of sewing my own clothes. I recently made the Tilly and the Buttons Joni dress which I thought was the best dress ever but I think the Kielo Wrap Dress may of just taken over the top position (It a close call between the 2) and they are both dresses I would like more of in my wardrobe.