Fern Shorts

This month I was asked to do some pattern testing for Afternoon Patterns.

Their new pattern, the Fern Shorts, is due to be released today, the 1st September 2017.

I was really excited to be asked to pattern test for them. I have followed and admired Afternoon patterns for a long time. If you haven’t heard of them check out their amazing website. I love the aesthetic of their designs and their printed pattern covers are gorgeous.

When I first heard that the pattern I would be testing was shorts I did have an ‘uh oh’ moment. As you know I live in Shetland, and it isn’t really known for its shorts weather :). However, the lovely Jenny of Afternoon patterns mentioned that they would look great sewn up in lightweight wool fabrics and worn with tights, so I knew I wanted to go in this direction to get the most wear out of them all year round.

I had a piece of cotton and wool blend liberty fabric in my stash that was gifted to me by a really kind friend who knows how obsessed I am with fabric. It was 1.85m length which just happened to be the perfect length for this project so I felt it was fate.

I am so happy with how these turned out. I was nervous about the fit as I have struggled in the past to find shorts that I feel comfortable in, but I think these are really flattering. I did lengthen them by 2cm on the “lengthen or shorten here” line and that seems to have given me the perfect amount of room and they don’t ride up or feel remotely tight. I did size up to make sure they were loose fitting as I feel self conscious in tight shorts.

I would thoroughly recommend this pattern. It was a fun sew and I love my Fern Shorts. I can see myself wearing them a lot as they can be dressed up or down. The fabric is so soft, I could even get away with wearing them without tights on warmer days in the summer.

Fern Shorts Afternoon Patterns made by Attie and Dora

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Fern Shorts Afternoon Patterns made by Attie and Dora

Fern Shorts Afternoon Patterns made by Attie and Dora

 

 

 

 

Chambray Kalle Shirt Dress

Hello!

Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet recently. We were on holiday, then moved house so I have been rather busy.

Anyway. I got my new sewing room set up, and finished this Kalle shirtdress (pattern by Closet Case Patterns).

Kalle Shirt Dress 2

I didn’t make any modifications, which was silly as it is a bit short for me. I also possibly should have sized down. For some strange reason I cut a size larger than I would normally. I think I thought it would look good even more oversized.

However, I still think it’s a great pattern. I will definitely make another in the right size. I am planning to make one in a slightly lighter weight fabric with more drape. Will let you know how it goes.

I am really into the style of this garment. I love how effortless, yet put together, it looks.

The fabric was some chambray from Merchant and Mills. It’s really soft and comfy to wear. Plus I love the colour.

Aaron and I took these photos on a beautiful evening in Burra. These photos were taken at 8pm. I love how bright Shetland is at night in the summer. We even spotted a whale on the way home, which was so exciting. Oh, and a wave splashed into my boot while I was trying to pose near the waters edge, the perils of blogging.

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Attie and Dora

Emptying my sea water filled shoe

Attie and Dora Kalle Shirt Dress

Attie and Dora Kalle Shirt Side

Attie and Dora Handmade Outfit

 

 

 

Driftless Cardigan

Just a quick post today. I wanted to show you the Driftless cardigan I made this week. The pattern is by Grainline Studio and it gets a big thumbs up from me.  I love the design and it came together really quickly on the overlocker.

The pattern calls for a medium weight knit and I wasn’t sure if this really soft and stretchy hacci sweater knit fabric from Girl Charlee UK would suit the pattern, but I think it worked. The fabric drapes beautifully and I feel effortlessly chic in this cardigan.

I actually made no alterations to the pattern for my height and it fits really well. I think if I make this again in a sturdier knit, I will add a bit of length to the bodice and sleeves, as I’m guessing the stretchiness of the fabric is having an effect on the fit.

I’ve already ordered more fabric to make more of these, so keep an eye out for more versions coming soon.

Driftless Cardigan Front

Driftless Cardigan Side

Driftless Cardigan Front

Driftless Cardigan Back

10 Things People Who Love Sewing Do

Making Jeans buttons

  1. Stand on pins, sometimes they go in really deep and you have to pull them out while trying not to cry…glamourous.
  2. Bore their friends and family by talking about sewing. That glazed eye look that comes over people who don’t sew, as soon as you get into your full sewing-chat flow.
  3. Become instant friends with anyone who sews bypassing all social norms about getting to know people, and going straight to getting excited about each others WIPs (see point 9.)
  4. Cry with frustration over a dud garment or sewing mistake.
  5. Spend all their money on fabric and patterns some of which you will probably never get around to using, but will just enjoy looking at.
  6. Make a mess. Some days (most days) your sewing room will look like a bomb has gone off in a lint bin.
  7. Become obsessed with Instagram. Partner: For gods sake go to sleep what are you doing on your phone? You: yeh yeh I’m finished *turns down screen brightness and continues to scroll surreptitiously under the covers* (those bloggers new makes aren’t going to like themselves).
  8. See flaws in their handmade garments that no one else can and point them all out to anyone who compliments you on a handmade garment you are wearing.
  9. Speak in sewing jargon that only dedicated sewing blog readers will understand. For example: WIP (work in progress), UFO (unfinished object), not to mention all the pattern names we all know and love.
  10. Become bored of shopping for clothes and you will not believe that something finally brought your shopping habit to a halt. Although you’ve probably just substituted clothes shopping for fabric shopping, but sshh lets feel smug for a little while longer.

Ogden Cami Dress

If you write a sewing blog you will know how frustrating it is when you make a plan to finally take photos of that fabulous new dress you have made, only to discover that it is pouring with rain.

Well today Aaron, who takes most of my blog photos, and I decided we would brave the rain and take the photos anyway.

It was a pretty hilarious experience and very luckily after being soaked by rain, chased by waves and watched by curious seals, we actually came home with some good photos of my latest make.

I bought the Ogden Cami pattern, by True Bias, as soon as the news of it’s release dropped into my inbox. I absolutely love the design, and instantly had visions of a dress version.

If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen my first attempt at this pattern. I made one for my mum for her birthday with some silk from India. It fit her beautifully and I was inspired to try making another for myself.

The fabric I used was from Merchant and Mills and is a lovely hand block print summer weight cotton from Jaipur. I bought it intending to make a shirt dress, but it occurred to me that it would look pretty awesome as an Ogden cami, I am glad I went with my instincts.

For both myself and my mum’s version I added 5cm to the length of the top (we are both tall). Then, for my dress version, I just extended the existing design lines until the length of the blouse was sufficient to achieve a midi length dress. I roughly estimated the length I’d need by holding a tape measure against my body.

The construction of this pattern is so simple, but so effective. I love the rouleau straps and the facing/modesty shelf. It’s such a satisfying, but quick sew, and there are so many amazing versions appearing on Instagram for inspiration.

I am so happy with this make, it is such a great pattern, I will definitely be making more of these.

 

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World Map Dress

I went to my friend’s hen party a couple of weekends ago and the theme was colours or countries. I was at a loss as to what to wear, I’m usually a bit rubbish at dressing up, but then I realised I can sew and decided to make myself something fun.

The first thing that came to mind was a flag dress (Geri Halliwell at the brits style) but it’s been so overdone. I then had the idea of a world map dress so I could be ALL the countries. I googled world map fabric and found this on eBay  Most of the world map fabrics I found were more suited to upholstery projects and the one I chose was still rather thick, but I thought it would be fine as long as I chose a pattern which would work with a stiffer fabric with very little drape.

I used my block to draft this pattern a few months ago, made myself a dress which I am still yet to blog, and left it lying under my cutting table. I now have no idea why i abandoned this pattern as I love it. The design is quite simple, a fitted bodice with a half-circle skirt, but it is so flattering and I am now a complete convert to circle skirts, I love the way they fall so nicely and are simple to draft. I added side seam pockets to the skirt forgetting that the zip was to be in the side seam, so that was a bit silly, but I managed to make it work. Next time I would definitely add a seam allowance to the centre back and place the zip there instead. The bodice is lined with the same fabric and all the seams were finished with my overlocker.

I have been really busy lately, with various projects, so this was a bit of a rush job. I didn’t spend time worrying about pattern placement as I really didn’t expect to ever wear it again, other than for fancy dress, but it turns out I actually really like it and might get more wear out of it than I first thought.

I think I will make a few more of these for myself for summer, the length is perfect for casual or formal wear and I might even make one in my silk from India, which I think I have mentioned a few times. I have been hoarding it for so long and still haven’t been brave enough to use it. What do you think? Should this dress be relegated to the fancy dress wardrobe or is it nice enough to wear day to day?

world map dress front view

world map dress front view

world map dress front view 2

world map dress side view

World Map Dress back view

 

Sewing Life Update and a Scrap Busting Summer Dress

This week I have been working on a pattern design for a top which I have scanned into illustrator to use as my first trial pattern for the pattern workshop online course I am currently doing. If you aren’t aware of it already Pattern Workshop is a website that runs Courses for PDF Pattern Designers and creative entrepreneurs. I am enrolled on the ‘Creating PDF patterns: from sketch to sale’ course. So far I am loving the course and I am learning so much so quickly. I am completely new to Adobe Illustrator and at first it seemed daunting, but Lauren Dahl’s (the course creator) tutorials are so easy to follow and well explained. I would thoroughly recommend it. I am still just getting started with the tutorials and this week I scanned my first pattern in and began tracing it in illustrator. I will keep you posted on how I get on with the course.

I also started making my version of the Closet Case Files Morgan Jeans this week. When I saw the pattern I almost screamed with excitement. I think Heather Lou read my mind with this one, I have wanted a pair of boyfriend jeans for a while now, but am never quite satisfied with ready to wear offerings, so now I can make my own!  I bought denim from Merchant and Mills and I am so happy with it, it’s excellent quality and quite heavy weight so I may have some fun experimenting with distressing the denim after I’ve assembled them. Rather than make too many adjustments at the paper stage I have just gone up a size (I want them to have a loose fit) and have added 5cm to the length, so hopefully I can tack my seams together first and make any required alterations as I go. I will let you know how I get on with these.

Sewing Jeans

I have a lot of projects on the go at the moment, including making a wedding dress, in collaboration with a friend. I am planning to do some detailed posts on that after the wedding. It’s been such an interesting project and a great exercise in developing my pattern cutting and fitting skills.

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen me post a picture of another self-drafted dress a few weeks ago.

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We finally managed to get some pictures of me wearing it at the weekend, when I wasn’t out enjoying all this glorious sunshine we have been having.

I had originally planned to wear this dress to my friend’s wedding in June, but when I wore it for the first time on Saturday I felt it would work well as a casual summer dress. I really like the midi length as it covers my extremely pale legs, but doesn’t feel as over dressed as maxi length can.

This dress was drafted using my block. I was playing around with different bodice shapes and to be honest I think it needs more work,  but I will still get a lot of wear out of this and I used up some fabric scraps making it – so that was really satisfying. The skirt fabric is the leftovers from this dress. I just managed to squeeze this skirt out of the remaining fabric.

Black and white Dress attie and dora design 2

Finally, how great is this weather we have been having? I have been out on some lovely walks in the last couple of weeks. It’s been slowing up my sewing a bit, but it has been wonderful to spend some time outdoors.

Pebbles

Nesbister Böd Door

Culswick Cliffs

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