This is also an old project from last year. I participated in the testing for the North Point Trousers from Itch to Stitch. The North Point Trousers feature the classically sleek straight leg silhouette, a medium rise and curve through hip and thigh, ankle length, contour waistband, front slanted pockets, back single-welt pockets and a fly front with zipper and double hook and bar closure. For me, they were just the perfect office trousers. If you follow my blog for a while, you know that traousers and me are not the best friends fitting wise. So it is no surprise that I debated with myself if I should apply for the testing or not. First I said it is nonsense to try to get these trousers fitted within the always short testing deadline. But somehow my unreasonable self won and I applied. Because these trousers have everything I would wish for, and trousers for the office are a big gap in my wardrobe.
After applying to the pattern test, I ordered some fabric somewhere in UK, but it did not arrive in time. So I had to dive deep into my stash and found this olive green stretch twill. As it turned out it was very suitable for the pattern and easy to sew with. For the pockets I found some scraps of dark green lining fabric.
I had to do a lot of fitting alterations. In the end, my pattern looked very different from the original pattern. If I would not have had the deadline and the help of Kennis, I would have given up after two days. There might stillbe room for improvement, but this is the best I could achieve so far.
To give you an impression, this is where I started with a size 4 cut without any alterations:
The back is too tight, too much fabric in the front, a lot of wrinkles in the back leg and not enough room for the calves. I started again with a size 6 and made the following alterations:
I shortened the crotch curve and made it nearly rectangular (red line)
I shortened between crotch and fly (green line). I added the same amount back in the center front.
I added more room for my thighs (blue line)
I took out a lot below the crotch (red line) and added the same amount back at the hem
To get rid of some more wrinkles I slashed the leg diagonally and took out some more at the inseam (blue line)
I lenghtened the crotch seam a bit (black line)
I made a full calves adjustment (red line)
and added still a bit more at the back inseam (blue line)
Of course I then had to make sure that all seams were the same length with the back inseam a bit shorter. In the end I took in the side seams a bit, so the result might be something between size 4 and 6.
The instructions were very detailed, as always, and you get trousers with a RTW finishing. The inside of my trousers are quite messy though. This is the downside of pattern testing, for a clean finish I just need more time.
The front pockets go up to the center front and the waistband is finished with a bias strip.
With more careful sewing, the back pockets cover the interfaced section…
I like how the bias strip curves upwards to the center front. I have seen this finishing in some RTW trousers. During sewing my zipper handle broke and I was really desperate and thought I would have to replace the whole zipper. Fortunately, Crystal came to my rescue and suggested just to replace the zipper handle. I did not know that you can buy these in all different sizes and shapes.
These trousers totally fit my bill for office wear. I already made a second pair with a few alterations, and this was not my last.
This is the first complete project I made this year, the Visby Henley Top from Itch to Stitch. The Visby Henley Top is a raglan top with different options: with or without placket, with or without hoodie, and with or without band. I made view A, with placket. The placket was the reason why I wanted to test this design. I made some plackets before, but with questionable results and I was curious about the instructions from Kennis. I was sure I could rely on those and I was not dissapointed.
I used two organic cotton knit farbics, both with 5% spandex. The black one is from Nosh and the print is from Lillestoff, called catched hearts. It’s the first time I used fabrics from Nosh or Lillestoff. The Nosh fabric is ok and behaved very well, but the feel of the fabric is not as cozy as I would have expected. The Lillestoff is very lovely. I bought it on a whim with no project in mind because I loved the print. The buttons were saved from an old T-shirt.
I cut a size 2 and blended to a size 6 at the hips. Usually I go only up to a size 4, but my hip measurement put me between size 4 and 6. As this top is a bit longer I did not want it to be too tight in the hip area. Else no changes. Next time I would lower the neckline a tiny bit as it feels a bit too high for my preference.
The top itself is a no brainer. The placket needs precise sewing, but with the great instructions from Kennis I wonderd in the end why I ever had a problem with such a placket.
As I said before the placket (i.e. the instructions for the placket) was the main reason why I wanted to make this pattern. I usually avoid raglan shirts as they make my shoulders look broad especially from the back. Also, this print is not something I would wear in my everyday life, but it is perfect as a pyjama top and I am in great need of pyjamas. I still have enough of the Lillestoff fabric left for some pyjama pants. So, I am not sure if I would make this pattern again as is. But I can imagine to combine the details (placket and hoodie) with a regular sleeve top.
The Visby Henley Top is still on sale until next Wednesney.
Disclaimer: I got the pattern for free in exchange of testing. All opinions are my own.
This is a small project I made last summer. I am in great need of simple T-shirts, and I have a good fitting pattern (the ITS Idyllwild), but I was reluctant to start. Plain simple T-shirts are a bit boring. So when I read a review of the book “Alles Jersey” I was intrigued because the book gives examples how to add special details to a simple T-Shirt. I bought the book and made the shirt “Bergen”.
“Bergen” features facings at the neckline and sleeves and also a little pocket. The book comes with a shirt pattern too, but compared to the Idylwilld it looked quite different, so I used the Idyllwild as a starting point. I was not in the mood of fitting a T-shirt pattern.
The book has like most of these new sewing books appealing pictures and is an eye candy to flip through. It has a general section about sewing with knits and in the second part are the projects.
As I just wanted to try if I liked the style I used some old rib knit I had in my stash that is a very bad quality. It stretches already when you look at it and it has no recovery. This is really a pity as I love how it turned out, especially the color combination. In the picture below you can see that I used scraps for the facings too, that’s why there is a center front seam. Usually you would cut the facing on fold.
It was a fun project and I plan to make more from this book.
I participated in one last testing before I had to pack away my sewing machine for the move. It is the Bellavista Top from Itch-to-Stitch. The Bellavista Top comes in a comfortable swing bodice with a center-front panel. It also comes with two neck options and two sleeve options. I choose the cowl neck and long sleeve version.
I had this sweater knit in my stash for years now, and I have often tried to figure out what to do with it. As it is really bulky it took up a lot of space in my stash and I wanted to get rid of it. I thought the Bellavista Top would be a good pattern for this fabric. And it is. the cowl turned out to be really big, but I like it. I am not sure about the fiber content of this fabric. From the feel I would say there is some poly in it and it is a bit scratchy, but I can wear it on my skin. I always thought I have a lot of this fabric (as I said, it took up a lot of space), but in the end I did have to piece the second cowl piece. The fabric width was not the usual 140 cm, but somewhat smaller. The good side is, that I do not have scraps left.
I sewed a size 4. This is one size bigger than usual, but the pattern calls for a 50% stretch knit fabric and my fabric is not that stretchy. I did not want to end up with a tight sweater in a thick fabric. As it turned out, this decision was the right one. Else I did not make any alterations. The fit is quite loose below the bust area.
The Bellavista Top is an easy pattern. Due to the bulky fabric I serged each edge, sewed the seam on my usual sewing machine and pressed the seam open. I had tried before on a sample to serge both seam allowances together, but the result was a really stiff and bulky seam.
I found it unusaul that the cowl neck is a double layer, which means you have two identical pieces sewn together. This way you will never see a left side of fabric showing in case the cowl shifts during wear. I could have reduced a bit of the bulk and use a lighter weight knit for the inner cowl, but I decided against it. I did want to get rid of my fabric and I did want to have an oversized cowl.
Easy to sew and easy to wear. Dependent of the fabric choice this top can have a lot of different looks. Check out the other testers’ versions. Due to the center front panel you can even create the illusion of wearing a cardigan over a top. I did not yet wear my Bellavista very often as it just wasn’t cold enough. But maybe winter is still coming.
Hopefully you are not yet tired of reading “year in review” posts. I am a bit late, but due to our move I am still unpacking boxes and trying to get rid of the chaos. I had hoped to catch up and blog all projects from 2017, but this did not happen. Nevertheless I will include these in my review (and write a detailed post later).
In 2017, I made finished 17 garments and two bags. Compared to others, this is not much (I just read about a 100 items per year challenge…). But nearly everything I made is already loved so much that I do not know how I got along before. I count this as a good sign and I rather own less garments, but every one is a favorite, than producing a lot just for numbers (honestly, what am I supposed to do with 100 new garments?).
Like last year, picking my top five is not easy, but here we go:
From left to right:
The Lago Tank from Itch to Stitch turned out to be a great basic top for summer and also for layering.
My yogabag from Keko kreativ makes me so happy everytime I use it. I had procastinated sewing it quite long, and I also cursed a lot while sewing (bags are just not my favorite thing to sew), but now I am so happy I finally made it. I love the yellow lining so much.
The North Point Trousers from Itch to Stitch (not yet blogged) filled a big gap in my wardrobe. I had to do a lot of fitting alterations, and there still might be room for improvement, but they are wearable and very comfy due to the stretch fabric. I have already nearly finished a second pair.
When I made the Paro Cardigan from Itch to Stitch, I wasn’t sure if I would wear it often. It turned out that I can wear it with trousers, skirts and dresses, so a definitive win.
I made these Knot-Maste Yogapants from Fehr Trade begin of 2017 (and did not get around to blog about), and they immediately became my favorite pants to wear to my yoga classes. I plan on making a long version, too.
Now to the items not worn so much:
As you see, there are only three garments. I just was not able to choose another two. From left to right:
I just do not love the color combination of the Danielle Batwing Top from Sinclair patterns. This top was out of my comfort zone anyway, but it turned out that it is great for doing housework. Tthe fit is relaxed and comfy and allows a lot of movement, but the sleeves are tight so that they are not in the way.
I love how my Chai dress from Itch to Stich turned out, and as the fabric does not need ironing, it is easy to care for. Nevertheless, the waistband sits a bit too high for me to feel comfortable. Should I make this dress again, I will lower the waist by 1-2 cm.
The Anza dress is lovely to wear, but the fabric is rather thin, and at least this summer, there weren’t a lot of days warm enough for this dress. I once wore it with tights, but the fabric was clinging to them, so I will either line the dress or sew an underdress (which is on my to-sew list for a few years already).
Looking at my goals from last year, I was not so successful. I wanted:
Sew up as much of my UFOs as possible. I think I finished 1 UFO and produced some more. I need to improve here.
Work through some of my Craftsy classes. I watched 1 class, and browsed a bit through others, but I did not really work through a class. Instead, I bought some more, hm. I plan, however, to sew a lace skirt with the help of Susan Khaljes class “The couture lace skirt”. I already have all the fabric needed.
Participate in the 365 challenge Ok, I finished two months, but I did not expect to follow this challenge the whole year anyway.
Sewing Active Wear.I started with the Yoga pants and did not get around to sewing more.
Build my business.This is a tough one. I have now six patterns in my shop and this is a lot more work than I expected. It is not the translation itself, but finding enough testers and coordinate everything. I have a core team of testers now, but still not enough. So this is something I will have to work on in the new year.
The goals from last year are still good for the new year and I will stick to them. And I will participate in the RTW-fast again. there are over 1000 members in the FB group. Isn’t that amazing? But most important, I want to enjoy sewing and have fun.
What about you? Do you have sewing related goals for the new year?
I hope you all had a lovely holiday and spent a few quite days with your family. I was at my mother’s as every year, but returned one day earlier, as we are moving into a new flat on the 29th. This is also the reason why it was so quite here. Besides work there was and still is a lot of organizing, planning and packing so that I did not have any energy left for writing blog posts. I still have a few unblogged garments, but they have to wait until I am settled in the new flat.
I want to thank you all for reading my blog this last year and hopefully I will be back soon.
I translated the next pattern from Itch to Stitch, the Zamora Blouse. This blouse is very versatile and with the right fabric perfect for the holiday season.
So, all of you who are German speaking, please go to the German page to learn more details about the pattern. And for the rest, feel free to grab your English version from Itch to Stitch here and support Kennis to recover from the house burglary 🙂
Here I wear the top with my already very faded Angelia shorts in Bastia, Corsica, where we spend a lovely week end of October. I made the Lago Tank sometime during summer on a Friday evening. I had a lot of other things to do, but I just wanted to sew something, so I was in need of a small project. The Lago Tank is fitted around the bust, has some flare in the hip area and features a racer back. The straps are set a bit to the neck which makes the Lago Tank look a bit different from your usual tank top.
None. I could rely on my usual ITS-measurements, size 2 for the bust and size 4 for the hips.
This is a really simple sew, nothing special to say about the construction. Just sew the shoulder seams, bind the neckline, sew the side seams, bind the armholes and hem the top. As I was afraid that the rayon might stretch out a lot, I added kind of a stay in the bust area to keep the neckline and armholes in place. This is a more stable knit I found in my stash. I simply finished the lower edge, basted the stay to the front piece and sewed the top as per instruction.
I was not sure if I would wear the top often, but I did. It is great for layering and I could use some more. Only disadvantage is that the bra straps are showing. I will need to sew some bras with crossing straps in the back now.
On a whim I applied for a pattern testing for Sinclair Patterns. I never sewed a Sinclair pattern before, so I was quite exited when I was chosen as a tester. The new pattern is the Danielle Batwing Top, a loose fitting top with tight cuffs and bottom band which allows to drape the top in different ways.
The pattern is well drafted and the instructions are easy to follow. I liked especially the pictured tutorial. On the downside each size comes in a separate pdf file, so you cannot easily blend between sizes. For this top I sewed a size 2, even if my measurement put me to a size 2 for the bust and a size 4 for the hip.
You need a knit with a very good drape to get oust most of this top. I knew that I would have to buy fabric for the test. But a nasty cold kept me in bed during the only day of the week when I would have had the time to go fabric shopping. In the end I destructed a knit dress that I loved a lot but did not wear anymore as the rayon knit had streched over time and the neckline had become too low for my liking. I had to do a lot of piecing and still use a different knit for the cuffs and bottom band. Due to the busy print the piecing is not too obvious, I think. I am a bit sad though that the dress does not exist anymore. I need to make a new one.
This is a size 2 out of the envelope. Only change I made is that I kept the longer and wider sleeves from the first test version. If I want to I can pull the sleeves over my hands which is great for somebody like me who is cold easily.
The Danielle Batwing Top is easy to sew. It is just shoulder and side seams, adding straps and neckline and then the cuffs and bottom band. The most “difficult” part is the straps/neckline binding. With the pictures and clear instructions this is easy going as well.
It was a nice experience to test a pattern from a different company and the top itself is also a bit out of my comfort zone. I did not expect it to be so comfy. The perfect top to spend the day at home. With a different fabric choice it can be dressy for an evening out. I am not sure if I will sew the Danielle Batwing Top again as this is a quite unique style and at the moment I have enough long sleeved tops/pullovers in my wardrobe.