Finished Projects, planning, Sewing

Make Nine – 2017 round up, 2018 plans

I was late joining the #makenine 2017 bandwagon – I think I first posted in May about the nine patterns I was hoping to get done in the year. I did a hunt through yesterday, and discovered that I made eight of the nine patterns I’d selected. The Sammi Pants pattern was the only one I didn’t get around the making. Most of these patterns are now in my regular rotation, and I plans to make many more of them in 2018 (and probably beyond, based on the amount of fabric currently in my stash… 🙈🙈🙈)

2017-12-29 18.11.57 I did also add quite a number of other patterns to my collection that weren’t on the Make Nine list. All of these ones are in my regular rotation, and there will be many more of these appearing in my wardrobe during 2018 and beyond.

2017-12-29 22.57.34 Now for my Make Nine plans for 2018. I had to think for a while whether I was going to have time to commit to the full nine for 2018. I’m going to be making the bridesmaids dresses 👗 👗👗 for my sisters wedding 👰 (I’m the maid of honour), which is going to take a fair bit of time. But, I’ve spent the last couple of days making another practice version and I don’t think that the bridesmaid dresses are going to be as time consuming as I first thought – so I’ve selected nine patterns (including the one for the bridesmaids dresses) and here they are…

2017-12-30 19.34.59 None of the links in this post are affiliate links, I’m just sharing where I sourced my patterns from in case you’d like to check them out for yourself.

Finished Projects, Sewing

Stripe matching like a boss…

I shared a few progress photos of this skirt on Instagram and in a couple of sewing related Facebook groups I’m in, mainly photos of successful stripe matching on the side seams of the skirt.

And quite a few people asked about the stripe matching. Now, I’ve blogged about this particular skirt pattern before here, so I won’t go into the specifics about the pattern, but I will share how I managed the stripe matching.

TL:DR – take your time lining stuff up before you cut it out, and use about eleventy-billion pins… 💁🏼

But if you want more details, here they are… also more photos of satisfyingly lined up stripes if I do say myself!

This skirt is not the worlds most complicated pattern – it’s 3 pattern pieces. There’s the main part of the skirt, of which you cut a pair, the single waistband piece and the pocket…

Because this is a PDF pattern it has obvious horizontal and vertical markers in the joins of the paper and I used one of the horizontal ones and made sure it lined up with one of the stripes on the fabric to make ensure the first skirt panel sat squarely (stripely?? 🤔)

Once I had one of the skirt panels cut out I placed it right sides together on the next bit of the fabric and took my time making sure all the stripes lined up *exactly* before I picked up the scissors to cut out the second panel. No photos of this, I didn’t realise it would interest people ‘til I was a long way past this point…

The waistband is a single piece that is folded in half (height-wise) during the construction process so there is a notch on the pattern at the fold point. I worked out what colour stripes I wanted showing on the waistband and positioned the pattern so that the notch marks lined up with the top of the stripe I wanted at the top of the waist band.

I wasn’t too worried about making sure the pocket stripes lined up with the skirt stripes colour wise – it’s an inseam pocket so it won’t be visible… there is a pocket hiding in this picture…

During construction, there were two main places I wanted the stripes to line up. Down the side seams, and on the pleats across the waist line.

I marked on the skirt the outer edges of each pleat, and the centre point (big shout out for the Frixion markers – they are excellent for marking pleats as the marks just disappear when you press the pleats). As I folded each pleat I made sure the colours lined up and then pinned them in place, with TWO pins on each side of the pleat. In most cases the stripes lined up naturally as I folder the pleats, I didn’t need to mess with them too much at all. I didn’t baste the pleats, because I’m a rebel like that…

The side seams I again lined up the stripes as I pinned and I pinned on the ‘join’ between every single stripe – instead of my usual twice, or often not at all…

I did take my time sewing the seams, making sure that fabric fed evenly. I was also careful when inserting the invisible zip not to ‘stretch’ one side more than the other (which happens to me more often than I care to admit) so that the stripes below the bottom of the zip would line up, without any puckers, or tucks at the bottom of the zip.

Pattern: Style Arc Candice

Size: 20, with a bit added to the waist band, and the pleat depth messed with a little to suit (too lazy to print and stick together the next size up)

Fabric: Something of a mystery from East Coast Fabrics. It was on a quilting bolt, but there was nothing printed on the selvedge. It’s got an interesting texture – makes me think there’s a little poly in it. I also think I bought the last of it… sorry…

Finished Projects, Sewing

Carolyn Pajama Production Line

I started my Carolyn Pajama Production Line (that’s a thing now, by the way) a couple of weeks ago and got both pairs of pants finished in a day. Finishing the shirts took a lot longer than I expected… work this week was c-razy – a 2330 finish one night, back at it at 0700 the next day, anyone? 😳😳


I’ve got a big sewing project in the works and I’ve been doing some planning over the last few weeks – I know that this special project is going to take some time so I looked at what my wardrobe needed to make sure I could get through a few weeks (maybe even longer – I’m scheduled to be travelling for work again shortly too) without adding any new wearable garments to it.

My checking revealed that I really needed at least one more pair of jammies, particularly if I was going to be travelling – the ‘need something suitable in case the fire alarm goes off in the middle of the night at my hotel and I end up standing around outside for hours’ scenario is a real fear… 🤷🏼‍♀️

I had fabric set aside until the stash for two pairs of flannelette pjs and two pairs of cotton pjs, and as cute as the flannelette pjs would have been, but it’s starting to warm up here, so I went with the cotton, not the flannelette. I probably won’t get to making up the flannelette ones until next winter now.

Back in June I made my first test of the Closet Case File, Carolyn Pajamas pattern. I did a Full Bust Adjustment to the top pattern, and it fit great. The pants took quite a bit more fiddling with, and three muslins before I was happy with the fit…

  • I removed pockets,
  • full tummy adjustment,
  • shortened the front rise,
  • lengthened the back rise,
  • did a flat seat adjustment, and
  • did another adjustment to add some more width across the front of the thigh…

Nothing major… 🙄🙄🙄

I used bias binding as flat piping in both pairs of pajamas. I had the bias binding left from another project, although I did have to make up some extra to finish the hem finding on the flamingo shirt – I ran just a little short! I did double rows of top stitching when finishing the pants and sleeve cuffs, I just like how it looks ☺️


The stripey pair are very definitely at-home lounge wear, so I used novelty buttons, and zany binding.


I liked the option of being able to perhaps wearing the flamingo top out – with either dress pants or jeans – so I finished it with regular buttons instead of novelty ones. I’m still not 100% sure I will wear it out – from a distance the print kinda of blurs into a soft pink haze, and isn’t clearly flamingos so it may just stay as pjs.


Up next is the big sewing project – which we’re going to code name as OSP for now…

Finished Projects, Sewing

Happiness is…

Finished a new Upton Skirt, and I'm so in love I'm going to wear it tomorrow, even though I haven't gotten around to making a solid pink top yet and will have to wear this teal top.

I've loved this fabric for ages and originally bought some to make a top that ended up being an utter disaster. Even though I bought the fabric that first time to be a wearable muslin I fell it love with it as I was working on the shirt and was devastated when the shirt didn't turn out and I couldn't find more of the fabric the next time I went to the store.

I'm not sure what it is about the fabric, it just makes me happy looking at it 😁😍

I looked out for it every time I visited after that and about a month later I scored, and there it was!

I bought all of what was left on the only bolt of it in stock on the spot, and with some creative piecing of the waistband (which I'm trying not to let annoy me, because it's very noticeable to me) I managed to squeeze this Upton Skirt out of 2.6m… and let me tell you there is not a bit left – I managed to get just enough bias tape out of the off cuts to enclose all the seams and bind the hem 👊🏻😎

Finished Projects, Sewing

Let’s Meet for Brunch

This is my take on the Style Arc Candice skirt. Excuse the severe pattern clashing, solid colour tops are on the make list and rising rapidly to the top of it!!

It's quite similar in style to the Upton Skirt, the primary difference is that in the pattern the pleats are stitched down for 5 inches from the waistband.

I wasn't entirely convinced that I'd be able to sit down in a skirt with pleats stitched down that far, so it tried pinning the pleats of my Upton Skirt down that far and trying it on. Turns out my suspicion was correct – the skirt looked weird on even while standing and sitting was an issue. So, on my version of the skirt I didn't stitch the pleats down.

The size of the pattern pieces for this skirt mean you either have to use 150cm wide fabric, or run it down 112cm wide quilting cotton – it's too wide to fit selvage to selvage on quilting cotton. Although this makes it perfect for full width border prints which is what I used for this one!

The only other adjustment I made to this skirt was to lengthen the waistband just a little and make the pleats just a fraction shallower. These were primarily driven by laziness and not wanting to be bothered with cutting out and sticking together the 40-something pages required to go to the next size up, when 5 minutes of messing around did the trick.

This is probably only the downside of buying Style Arc patterns from their Etsy store – you get 3 sizes of the pattern, but they're not nested in the same file so grading between sizes either requires another round with the scissors and tape or eyeballing it… eyeballing it won 🙄 ✂️

Now I really need to make some of those solid coloured tops – this skirt needs to be out and about… the guys at work are going to love it! 😎

Finished Projects, Sewing

Halden, the Harrison Shirt 

Finished my latest Harrison Shirt yesterday, the one I started because I pulled a pattern name out of a hat (plastic container… potato, potahto).

It got its name from the alias of one of the main characters of the TV show I was watching this week while I was making it. I wonder if anyone will be able to work it out… 🤔😉

This print is probably my favourite. I always feel happy when I wear the dress I already have in it. I also have enough of it for a Lenox Shirtdress, and if I lay everything out right, hopefully an Upton Skirt as well. If planning to have four different things made in the same fabric isn't a sign that you like the fabric, I'm not sure what is!!

This is the second Harrison I've made, it's a 22G/H graded to a 24 through the waist and hips, although I've removed some of the grading from the front princess panels – I don't think it needs it. It's a size bigger than my measurements would indicate, but after I'd made a muslin I decided I wanted more ease all over so I sized up.

Through the course of making this shirt I've decided that I need to lower the bust fullness. It's almost impossible to tell in the photos (yay for bold prints) but there is some 'bubbling' in the princess seam above where my Full Bust is… which is a telltale sign of the pattern bust fullness sitting too high. I notice it every time I look down, and it annoys me, so I'm doing something about it.

Using the info I found on Curvy Sewing Collective about lowering the bust fullness on princess seams, I've adjusted my pattern, lowering the fullness point by an inch. We'll see whether that does the trick the next time a Harrison comes up in the make list!

I used grey thread for everything except the buttons and buttonholes, for them I chose pink, as a bit of a highlight.

I use bias binding on all of my seams as I don't have an overlooked/ serger. I had enough matching bias tape left over from the dress I made in the same fabric to do the bottom hem, so all of the internal seams were done in a contrasting but complementary binding.

One of the things I love about these shirts are is the opportunity to play with some contrasting elements. I often used to buy RTW button downs from Thomas Cook & Sons, and those shirts always used contrasting fabrics (usually pattern clashing to the extreme) for the under collar, inner collar stand, inside yolk, inner cuff and under placket, and even sometimes the inside button band. I always liked that design element and decided when I started making my own button down shirts that I'd make a point of doing that too 😍 so fun!

Next up – my first attempt at the Style Arc Candice skirt.

Finished Projects, Sewing

Did I just make myself a Bed Jacket??

It wasn’t until I’d pretty much finished this make, and was thinking about what it actually was, based on how I’m going to wear it, that it twigged that perhaps I was indeed making a Bed Jacket, a quick google search confirmed it – yup I’ve officially made myself a Bed Jacket.

I wanted something to wear around the house in the evenings in winter. I don’t tend to wear a lot with long sleeves and my house is fully tiled downstairs, so it can be quite chilly on nights I don’t light the fire.

I will admit that ‘chilly’ is a relative term, temps don’t often drop to single digits (centigrade!) where I live, but it is cool enough for Aliyah to be burrowing in her blankets and for me to be looking for an extra layer for around the house.

The pattern for this Jacket is the Seamworks Delavan, and this is the second time I’ve made this one. The first time I made it I was looking for a cardigan-y type thing to throw on at the office. I made a straight size 22, and chose my size based on my full bust size thinking that I wouldn’t mind it being roomy and drape-y, but it turned out too roomy and too drape-y for what I wanted.

I reprinted the pattern at a size 18, did a 1.5 inch full bust adjustment (rotating the created bust dart fullness back to the waist dart), and shortened the jacked by 1.5 inches,  and was planning to make it again in a few colours – including navy with mustard binding, hmmmm… However, before I actually got around to making more of them, I fell in love with the Morris Blazer, tried it out (last weekend) and I have decided that I’ll be making variations of it instead of variations of this Delavan. I figured I’d make up this one out of this delicious soft flanelette, because I already had the fabric and the adjusted pattern, but I’ll probably be retiring this pattern for now, and make lots more Morris Blazers.