Month: September 2014

Sailors Top

Ahoy mateys! This is the FREE Sailors Top pattern by the wonderful and stylish Marilla Walker!

Sailors top

I really like stripes. Especially those of the navy variety. Who doesn’t! I also love a good boxy top, particularly if it involves dropped shoulders.

Sailors top

When I saw Marilla’s self-drafted pattern, I knew I had found my match. I’ve been looking for a pattern like this for a while, ever since I bought this navy and white striped fabric. I found it at Geoff’s Emporium, an eccentric local haberdashery, for $6 p/m, which is pretty much unheard of around here. It’s a cotton knit with a nice weight and drape, although the amount of colour that rubs off it onto everything else is probably a good indicator for why it was so cheap!

The pattern itself is very simple and a breeze to sew, with good clear instructions. The pattern is simply two rectangular shapes, one for the front and back, and one for the sleeves, with triangular gussets for the shoulders plus small under arm gussets (which are optional, but I like they way they look). Oh and an optional pocket!

Sailors topThe inside edge of the neckline is bound with bias tape, and I also chose to bind the inside edges of the shoulder gussets for some added stability. I used a Nani Iro binding from my stash. I used my sewing machine to sew the neckline and hems, and overlocked everything else. The whole thing was done in an afternoon. So satisfying!

Sailors top

Perhaps my favourite thing about this top is the way the dropped shoulders look from the side:

Sailors top

I really love the effect of this simple design. I have plans to make more of these, in more stripes of course! A dress version could be on the cards too. I hope you’ll give this pattern a go, thank you to Marilla for making it available for everyone!

Spring jacket


I’m back today with a springy jacket that I made quite a while ago. It is the Victoria blazer pattern from By Hand London.

Victoria blazer

When I constructed this jacket I decided to get a bit ambitious, fully interfacing both the front and the back. I was in a ‘learning new skills’ phase, and although ¬†this probably wasn’t quite the right pattern for tailoring techniques due to the casual style, I’m glad that I put in the effort as I did learn one or two things! One of the things that I learned is that I’m not really that into shoulder pads. This jacket had them, and I never wore it. It made me feel like a football player. My shoulders are on the square side as it is, so the addition of shoulder pads to this already cropped and boxy jacket resulted in a garment that was not doing me any favours.

Victoria side - bellbird

It took me about a year but the other day I finally got around to removing the offending articles. I am so much happier with the jacket now! It is the perfect weight for a beautiful spring day like the one we had here last Sunday. I took these photos under a grove of magnolias down the road from me, aren’t they beautiful?

Magnolia and palm - Bellbird

But back to the jacket. I made this from a slubby grey linen-cotton blend, and fully lined it in a slippery silk. This was my first time sewing such a slinky fabric, and although I can’t report enjoying the experience, I’m pretty happy with how it came out. I drafted the lining so that it has some wearing ease in the CB and at the sleeve and jacket hem edges. It makes putting this on and taking it off a breeze! I also made a top out of the lining fabric in a slightly different colour way, so it is possible for me to wear a matching lining/top combo. I wonder if that counts as a two-piece? You’ll just have to imagine it as in these pics I’m wearing it with one of my Alders. Lining pic ahoy:

Victoria lining - Bellbird

I like wearing this blazer with a beautiful brooch that Ben gave me for my birthday. I think he got it from this Etsy store No Milk Today. Can you believe this is made out of Fimo? It’s supposed to look like a yeti.

Victoria lapel - bellbird

I am excited by how much more I like this jacket now that the shoulder pads are gone. To be honest it probably didn’t look that bad before but I had a sort of mental block that stopped me from wearing it. I have one or two more hand made things in my wardrobe that need slight alterations before I’ll feel good in them, and I’ll get to them eventually, slowly but surely.

Do you have me-mades that could use some attention?

Victoria blazer - Bellbird