Yes, Virginia, I sewed this year: Sort-of self drafted turtleneck tops

Nothing like the end of year for some slapdash posting about the garments I made in 2020. To be honest, I didn’t sew or knit that much: between my concussion, other family member’s debilitating health concerns, a massive relapse and living in a society with people who value their desire for a monthly holiday over Disabled people’s right to live, my brain and body were in no state for any kind of demanding motor/mental task.

Two images of Siobhan sitting down wearing black and grey turtleneck tops.
Please enjoy my truly atrocious COVID self-haircut.

Anyway, I made a few things, including these tops. Like many others, this project was born of a need for a specific garment in my wardrobe: a long sleeved turtleneck top, semi-fitted, with the collar close enough to keep me warm, but loose enough to allow room to breathe. Particular, I know! I looked and looked for patterns but didn’t find any that fit the bill, so turned to a TNT (tried ‘n’ true) t shirt pattern for a base. Continue reading “Yes, Virginia, I sewed this year: Sort-of self drafted turtleneck tops”

Outlander-inspired shawl and mitts; and a note on Ravelry

What does one do when one’s best friend is an avid Outlander fan, and her first overseas trip EVER to Scotland was postponed due to COVID-19? Knit her an Outlander-inspired shawl and mitten set that Claire Fraser would be proud to wear.

A cropped photo showing a person wearing bulky handknit fingerless mitts and matching shawl in grey and navy yarn.

Continue reading “Outlander-inspired shawl and mitts; and a note on Ravelry”

How to make a Regency bonnet

Siobhan, a young white woman, stands in a garden archway. She wears a white, empire-waist Regency gown with gathered bodice and full skirt, with puff sleeves gathered to a cuff. The image is close up to show her straw and fabric bonnet that ties with a brown ribbon under the chin.

When I shared my Pride & Prejudice inspired Regency gown project, I said I’d go over making my bonnet in more detail. I can’t claim to have come up with the idea myself – I directly followed the instructions from Stephanie Johanesen’s YouTube tutorial, and the accompanying blog post from Better Dresses Vintage who also followed the video.

Continue reading “How to make a Regency bonnet”

A Regency gown fit for Lizzy Bennet

Happy new year! Let’s cast our minds back to October and my much preferred holiday, Halloween. My friends and I planned to have a quiet morning tea* wearing costumes, which naturally I wanted to make myself. I was quite pleased with the end result, so prepare for lots of pictures!

Siobhan, a young white woman, stands in a garden archway. She wears a white, empire-waist Regency gown with gathered bodice and full skirt, with puff sleeves gathered to a cuff. She has short purple lacey gloves, a fan, and a straw and fabric bonnet.
Spoiler alert: this is what I made.

Continue reading “A Regency gown fit for Lizzy Bennet”

Sew Over It Molly Top and Maria Denmark self-drafted stretch skirt

Unlike some sewists, my sewing output isn’t that great to warrant multiple garments per post. So you know when I do have a few creations together, they are super-simple makes. These two fit that description: easy-to-sew wardrobe staples made entirely from scraps. They were sewn way back in March (or earlier), and only photographed recently!

Siobhan stands in front of a weatherboard house. She wears a drop shoulder knit tee with grey/black striped body and concrete grey neckband and sleeves, with black straight knee length skirt, black leggings and ankle boots. She is smiling.

Continue reading “Sew Over It Molly Top and Maria Denmark self-drafted stretch skirt”

Two winter dresses: Frankie vs Ottobre

This winter I was on the search for a comfortable jersey dress, one with long sleeves and reasonably thick fabric which wasn’t a mini. You’d think that would be an easy ask, but apparently not. After scouring the shops, both local and online, I resorted to making my own. I ended up making two dresses using two similar patterns, so if you’re the kind of sewing nerd who likes detailed pattern comparison (or a PATTERN SHOWDOWN), read on!

Two images of a woman standing against a garden fence, wearing nearly identical black dresses.
Left: Tessuti Frankie Dress, right: modified Ottobre #18. Ladder Stripes – viscose knit dress from Autumn/Winter 5/2017.

Continue reading “Two winter dresses: Frankie vs Ottobre”

Maria Denmark knit ponte skirt (self-drafted)

Even though I’ve been trying to keep up with my blog posts, I haven’t really been sewing as much lately as is usual for me. Sitting at the machine requires a lot more effort than I can muster most days, so my output has slowed considerably. This has led to a rethink of my sewing strategy: I can’t buy a lot of fabric with the guarantee that I will burn through it quickly, so I’ve been taking stock of what I already have and working out what to do with it.

A woman stands in front of a blue brick wall. She wears a white peplum top, navy white stripe knit pencil skirt, and animal print tights and clogs.
Leopard print matches leopard print, right? That’s my In the Folds Peplum Top, BTW.

Continue reading “Maria Denmark knit ponte skirt (self-drafted)”

Free vintage lingerie patterns

Hey folks! I was discussing vintage patterns on Pattern Review and mentioned that I had a few images of vintage patterns for lingerie, which I thought might be worth sharing.

They are draft-your-own patterns, based on diagrams from which you plug in your measurements and draft a perfectly-fitted pattern. If you want a vintage slip, some cami-knickers or tap pants, this is an easy (and free!) way to get started. I can’t vouch for them all, but the pattern I made from the Princess Slip diagram was a success.

Click the images below or check them all out on my album.

Edit: someone has informed me in the comments that the first image is from Complete Dressmaking in Pictures by Constance Howard.

Panelled Slip

Pattern for a panelled slip Continue reading “Free vintage lingerie patterns”

Lindy Bop Ophelia knock-off (or why I despise drafting)

A woman poses in a retro car. She wears a 50s inspired shelf bust dress, kimono jacket and petticoats.
BABE.

Last time, I shared with you a few dresses I’d made for my friends. I felt this particular dress deserved a post of its own.

This dress is my pièce de résistance – a knock off the Lindy Bop Ophelia dress, drafted from New Look 6773. It was made from Spotlight poly poplin. Before you ask, I am aware that Gertie produced a pattern for Butterick (5882) which is similar in style to the Ophelia. I did consider using it, but the bust piece is so small that it looks less like a design feature and more like a pair of small birds landed on the model’s chest.

Continue reading “Lindy Bop Ophelia knock-off (or why I despise drafting)”

Burda / McCall’s 6696 shirt dress hack: on slopers vs blocks

Warning: contains a GIF

Any sewing aficionado not living under a rock will be aware of McCall’s 6696, their famous shirtdress pattern. Gorgeous variations abound online, and for good reason – it seems to be one of those unicorn patterns that looks good on just about anyone. Except me, of course.

A woman in a floral print shirtdress.
But you made a shirtdress, you say! Read on.

Continue reading “Burda / McCall’s 6696 shirt dress hack: on slopers vs blocks”