Alders for Spring

Hi everyone!

Lately I’ve been churning out Spring appropriate clothes in anticipation of warmer weather. Today was one of the first bare-legs days so far, so I twisted Ben’s elbow and we hit the streets to get pics of two of my newest Grainline Alder dresses.

Grainline Alder

This first one seemed quite popular when I posted an in-progress shot to Instagram and I think that’s all down to the amazing fabric, which is a gorgeous medium-weight cotton that I bought at Tessuti on a visit to Melbourne last month. It has a fantastic geometric pattern that I think looks quite cool broken up across the Alder style lines. With a full-on print like this I don’t think you can go past self covered buttons, so I had some made at Hawes and Freer. I like the way they blend in while still providing an opportunity for some extra print placement fun.

Grainline Alder

Grainline Alder

Grainline Alder

For this view B version I cut a size four and lengthened the hem by about an inch, as well as raising the bust darts a little as they sit a bit low on me. Originally I sewed the pockets on but removed them after determining that too much was going on. I’ve been wearing this with my favourite new cardi, which has proved to be super versatile and is featuring in most of my outfits at the moment!

Grainline alder

My view A denim Alder came about on a bit of a whim, as its my belief that since sewing is my favourite hobby I’ll sew what I want, when I want, otherwise the fun might diminish! Anyway it was very enjoyable to make and I am surprised by how much I love the finished dress – I thought that I preferred the view A gathered style but I’ve really fallen for this one.

Grainline Alder

Grainline Alder

The denim that I used for this is a lovely medium weight. I’m not sure if it’s technically denim or more of a thick chambray, but either way I’m into it. I used some nice black metal buttons that I got from a wholesaler, and I really like the way that they look with this fabric. Looking at the photo below I wonder if I should have played with the shoulder slope a bit, but I’m not too worried about it – I’ll definitely wear it even if it has some shoulder wrinkles.

Grainline Alder

Grainline Alder

I used a scrap of Japanese quilting cotton for the inner yoke and the armhole bias binding. I love the way it looks!

Grainline Alder

I’m so happy with how these two dresses are fitting into my wardrobe, they seem to go with everything. Right before I made these I sewed up another view B Alder in a gorgeous dark navy cotton with a textured stripe, and it’s been on high rotation. I would show it here on the blog but I’m not sure that photos would accurately depict the fabric, and at this point I don’t think I need to blog a fifth Alder! You can see my previous two versions from last year here and here.

How about you guys, are you sewing for the new season?

A fluffy number

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that wherever you were, it was a good one!

I’ve been reading everyone’s year-end posts with admiration, and it’s got me thinking about the way that I sew. In general I’m always looking ahead, to the next fabric or pattern. The second I complete a project I’m immediately thinking about the one to come. As a result I don’t often reflect on what I’ve made, other than to be pleased that there are clothes in the cupboard! I’m sure a round-up of sorts would be useful, to take stock of what I’ve made, and to determine what worked and what didn’t. But… I’m too impatient to tell you about the last thing I sewed, so there you have it. Maybe next year.

Bellbird/vogue 8805

This fluffly, wooly number is a rendition of Vogue 8805, in 100% wool boucle. As usual the fabric came first, and the pattern followed. I found this satisfyingly loopy stuff at The Fabric Store, my usual haunt. To be honest this fabric felt quite far out of my comfort zone, and I wasn’t sure what I’d make with it at first. I think it worked pretty well for this tunic dress though.

Bellbird/vogue 8805What drew me to this pattern in the first place were the oversized dolman style sleeves and all-in-one sleeve and yoke, and I quite like the way that the thickness of the boucle helps to exaggerate the shape. When I wear it, it feels akin to a dress-shaped blanket.

Bellbird/vogue 8805

Like lots of wool, this fabric is a bit scratchy on the skin, so I underlined the whole thing with silk cotton. For the neckline facing I used a scrap of Liberty, and top-stitched it down to the dress, including around the back neck opening. I had to extend the facing to accommodate this, as the pattern just instructs you to fold and stitch, but I like the clean look of a full facing. To eliminate further scratchyness I drafted facings for the dress and sleeve hems, too.

Bellbird/vogue 8805

Overall this is a really comfy and cozy dress that will get lots of wear! I’m looking forward to making it up in a linen for summer. Til next time!


Papercut Saiph Tunic

Hi y’all, I’m back again with another make I sewed up to wear on holiday.

Papercut Saiph

It’s a Papercut Saiph Tunic, heavily inspired by Sallie’s gorgeous versions of this pattern (here and here). I used a ponte-like merino blend (I think it’s merino and nylon) that I found in the remnant bin at The Fabric Store. Score! It’s a very stable knit, quite thick, and with a textured wrong side. It is fantastic to sew and to wear.

Papercut Saiph, Bellbird

I made a toile to begin with as I’ve been feeling very rule-abide-y lately. I think I started with an XS but the shoulders were a little wide and the back neck gaped a bit, so I squared off the shoulder seams and cut more of an XS/XXS hybrid. I’m glad I did since the knit has a bit of give anyway. I pretty much sewed it up as written, but I did add a couple of inches to the hem, and I interfaced the pocket pieces so that they wouldn’t gape. I sewed the neckline facing down with my machine which is something I’ve been doing on a lot of garments lately. I like the way it looks, and it fixes the facing flappage that can be so annoying! Also, I cut the facing out of a scrap of Liberty lawn, and interfaced it as usual. I’ve found that a woven facing works just fine with a knit as long as the knit is a stable one. Using a woven instead of the thick knit helped to cut down on bulk. Unfortunately I don’t have photos of the insides so you’ll have to take my word for it.

Papercut Saiph Bellbird

I’ve been wearing this a lot over wool tights and a thermal top. It’s roomy enough that you can layer up underneath, which I like. It’s extremely cozy and comfortable and doesn’t wrinkle. Must make more of these.

The hat that I’m wearing is the Snoflinga hat pattern by Wiksten, made up in wool leftover from my Lila pullover. This too has been getting lots of wear, I’m liking that Zealana yarn more and more.

I hope that everyone is enjoying a well deserved break, either on the beach or in the cold. I for one am staying cozy!