Month: April 2014

Named Leini Dress

A couple of weeks ago I made the Leini dress from Named. It is aptly described on the website as a cute and relaxed knee length summer dress. This is one of those dresses that you can never have too many of!

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I made it up in a lovely soft grey Liberty print that I purchased online from Shaukat. The name of the print is Melanie Atai. I searched for a long time for this print, having been inspired by dresses made by the British designer Nadia Izruna, under the label Nadinoo. Check out the website, her clothes are so beautiful!

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The pattern itself is quite simple, although after making up a toile of the bodice I had to make a couple of changes. I had a few issues with gaping, behind the back armsceye and also at the centre back, which is normal for me. I lengthened the bodice by half an inch and also widened the neckline a bit. Even so it was quite a tight fit over my head, so I added an opening at the back neckline and put in a loop and button closure, which I think lends nice detail to an otherwise simple dress.

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Here you can see the fabric and the bodice pleats up close. The pleats are a really nice touch I think. They add extra dimension to the dress, and add enough interest so that even in a solid this pattern would look great.

Although I have a couple of Named patterns in my stash already, including the Jamie jeans and the Alva collar, this was the first garment of theirs that I have sewn up. I have read a few bloggers who disliked the fact that the patterns must be traced, however I don’t mind. I really appreciate that there are not as many pages to glue together after printing. Plus a part of me enjoys tracing! My one comment would be that the instructions are not always super clear, for example I found the instructions for attaching the lining to the bodice a little confusing, and also the part where you join the skirt to the bodice to form the elastic casing. I just had to read over them a few times to completely understand, so it’s not a big deal. In the end I think that it’s a pretty and comfortable dress, and I love it!

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If you’re wondering what the twisty bench is all about, these photos were taken on the roof of the Auckland Art Gallery. I always love going up there. Not that many people seem to know about it so it is almost always deserted. Also, photo credit goes to my ever patient man companion, Ben!

Autumnal Archer

A couple of weeks ago I completed this rather autumnal Archer and it has been in high rotation ever since! This is my third version of this pattern and I think that it’s my favourite. I am a recent fan of the colour green and I think that this fabric has something to do with it.

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I purchased this lovely floral cotton lawn at the Fabric Store here in Auckland when on a trip to help a friend choose fabric for her project. Unfortunately, as always, I ended up buying fabric too… the stash is bursting and I feel quite stressed about the sheer number of things I want to make! Does anyone else have this problem?! I often feel paralyzed by all the ideas I have floating around, to the point that I don’t sew anything at all. I guess it could be worse!

But back to the shirt. I was in Christchurch last weekend visiting my family, and my Mum took these photos on an amble through the botanic gardens.

Grainline Archer

I didn’t make any alterations to the pattern as I really like the relaxed fit. As you can see this one is looking rather wrinkly, which is because of how many wears it has been getting. It’s great for work as well as the weekend and pretty much any other time you can think of. Aside from the versatility of this excellent pattern, my favourite thing is how much I learned making my Archers. I’ve been avoiding detail oriented sewing for years due to an irrational fear of visible mess-ups, for example imperfect topstitching or an uneven collar. This pattern however has the most amazing instructions, including Jen’s fantastic online tutorial. I have conquered so many fears in the making of these shirts it’s not even funny!

Here is a close-up shot where you can really see the fabric print and some cuff deets.

Archer cuff detail

I can’t wait to see what other patterns Grainline has in store for us. I am a serious fan.

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Finished: Grainline Moss skirt

Here it is! My finished Grainline Moss skirt.

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I’m pretty pleased with the way this skirt turned out. I decided to live life in the fast lane by not doing a toile first, as my measurements fit perfectly into one size. I found however that once the side seams were sewn up and I tried it on that it was a bit tight through the hips for my liking, so I just reduced the seam allowance to 1/4 of an inch from the pockets to the hem. I also lengthened the skirt hem by two inches.

One of my favourite things about this pattern is the curved waistband and the fantastic fit that it gives. I find the back rise especially flattering and comfortable. The waistband fits perfectly against my back and there is no gaping at all!

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It would have been a very quick sew except that I kept messing things up! Such as the fly front. In any case I re-did it and it came out perfectly the second time. Jen’s instructions are faultless, especially in conjunction with the tutorial on her blog. It was my very first fly front though so I probably should have done a practice run first.

IMG_0828As it’s coming into autumn here in NZ I decided to underline the skirt with a lovely grey silk cotton, for extra warmth and for some added slippery-ness for wearing with tights. Silk cotton has to be one of my all-time favourite textiles. Luxurious yet practical. The perfect lining for cottons and linens, in my opinion.

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Without a doubt this little number will get lots of weekend wear. Anyone else getting on the April Moss making month bandwagon?

Hello

Hi and welcome to my blog! This is very new for me so I’m feeling a bit self conscious about the whole thing, but I’ve admired and been inspired by so many other sewing blogs for so long that I thought it about time I start my own.

I’ve got a few things in the works at the moment, and next up on my to-do list is the Moss skirt from Grainline Studio. I’ve had this lovely brown and yellow textured cotton in my stash for a while and I think it’s the perfect candidate for a mini. Makes the Things has declared April to be Moss Making Month. How serendipitous as I just bought and printed my pattern this morning. Cutting out to commence shortly!

Moss supplies