Envelope Dress Criswoodsews

Around April time, I made a top version of the Criswoodsews envelope dress in absence of the appropriate length of fabric to make the dress. It was a very easy project and I have worn it loads since then. It is also one of my most liked posts on Instagram. I haven’t been following Cris for a very long time, but I am a big fan of her style and aesthetic, also her ability to combine anything into a great outfit.Whitagram-ImageI bought the pattern our of curiosity mostly and because I really liked the effortless silhouette of the dress, which is at the same time quite different to the silhouettes I am usually drawn to.  I’ve been putting off the dress version of it for a while, because the weather had been quite volatile and also as time goes by, I feel that any form of summer holidays in a hot country (ie Greece) is disappearing for this year, along with the summer. One hot, sunny day was enough to change my mind, though.

IMG_0379The pattern consists of three pieces and the downloadable file itself doesn’t even need to be printed. There are two versions, one made to measure and one that is one size.  I went for the latter because I was too lazy to do the actual maths.


The front of the dress is two separate pieces that are sewn together leaving only an opening for the head. I carried on sewing a little further than what the pattern asked as in the top version the opening was a bit too low. You finish by topstitching around the seams.



The back is made out of one continuous piece that is then sewn on the front piece and finished with topstitching that creates a beautiful detail as seen above. I really like the fluidity of the dress and how it falls on the body creating an elegant yet extremely comfortable garment.


I bought 1.5 metres of cotton double gauze from Sew Me Sunshine . It is cut across the grain with the selvedge at the top and bottom of each piece. In full length it covered my feet, so I estimate I took off about 20cm to get to the length in the photo. (sorry I didn’t actually measure it)

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As the pattern says, this is a very versatile dress that can be formal or casual, a beach cover-up, a maternity dress, or a night-gown. It was sewn in a breeze even by myself who manages to sew the simplest things in very slow motion. I finished all raw edges with a serger. There are two more in the cards as presents so I hope I have enough leftover double gauze for a colour blocked top at least. I felt extremely stylish the whole day I wore the above outfit. I wish I could dress up like that every day.

(my hair has ben so horrible during corona times that I think it’s only acceptable accessorised withe a scarf, haha)

photography: @juniperific

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Pietra Pants Closet Case Patterns


When I took the photos for my newly made Pietra Pants, I had finally dyed my hair after eight weeks. It seemed my dye had been out of stock everywhere I looked.  Putting on some proper clothes and some make up, definitely made me feel more human, than what I had in the past few weeks of the lockdown. Going around for hours to find a nice spot for the photography was off limits, but because of all the above occurrences I wanted to still have a bit of a creative setting, which was achieved by bringing some of the inside outside. The gloomy weather of the day created some added drama.


I tried to make the Pietra Pants during the great module sew along challenge, see previous post, more with a refashioning approach, than starting from scratch and it ended up in a disaster. Due to the amount of fabric I had in my hands, I could only make version B, the slim and tampered leg one. This has never been a flattering shape for my body, due to the ration between my waist and my hips size. I have a couple of RTW ones which are a good fit but in general I avoid them. According to the size chart in the instructions I am a size 4 waist and size 6 hips. However, I know that Closet Case Patterns have a lot of ease, I made one Cielo dress and it was huge, so now I always go one size smaller than the one on the size chart. These trousers were no exception. I started this pair with a size 2 waist grading to size 4 for the hips. Unfortunately the trousers were still quite baggy everywhere so I went to size 0 for the waist and 2 for the hips, which was a big mistake, as I ended up with really tight hips and still not a tight waist. I did a few other mistakes, like interfacing the whole pocket rather than the top part only, and not inserting the front facing correctly. I still feel though that the fabric combo is great, so I am determined to at least make winter Pietra shorts with it.


The failed Pietra Pants though, was a great exercise that helped me create the much nicer pair above. Admittedly this is view A the wide leg version, which is my favourite and the reason I bought this pattern. Here I went for the 0 waist again and the size 2 hips and I think it’s worked fine. You can see how small my waist is compared to my hips. The fabric is a cotton linen blend from Minerva Crafts in the most gorgeous rust colour.


I followed the excellent tutorial at Closet Case Patterns site on how to insert an invisible zipper in order to accommodate for the small waist-big hips ratio. TheThe photography shows step by step how to insert the zipper and the sew the elastic band at at the back. Great also for when you are sewing the trousers with sturdier fabrics. I didn’t have a zipper in the same colour as the trousers so I used a white one, but I think I have done a good job with the invisible sewing that it’s hardly noticeable. I love the shape of the pockets which are perfect to put my phone and keys in when I pop to the corner shop. I also like how the split leg creates this nice stripe at the front.


I think the back looks ok too, not sure I have gathered the elastic as evenly as I was meant to, but it’s good enough for me at this stage. I feel due to the fact that the fabric is quite soft and as it happens with this stock of linen and linen blends, they seem to become a bit looser as you wear them, or maybe I wear them too much, I could probably take it in a little bit more, definitely between the waist and hips, but overall I am quite happy with them. I would like to try them in a heavier stock fabric. I feel there is a few more of them in my sewing days, probably in the same way I keep sewing Cielo Tops.


The top is another Cielo top, which I sewed for our Christmas day dress up. It’s a beautiful Japanese inspired cotton that I bought on eBay. The mask is made out of the leftover fabric and it is the free pattern (with optional donation, which I took) from Trend Patterns

Photography @juniperific


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The Great Module SewAlong Challenge

I started reading The Curated Closet some time ago and although I didn’t finish it, it got me thinking as to what clothes I like wearing most but also what kind of clothes my wardrobe is missing. I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe but at the same time I like variety and a combo of serious and playful outfits. Sometimes, yes, my clothes and the way I choose to wear them are a little bit out there, which is, I would say is an accurate description of myself as well, but this is how I roll, haha!

My reasoning behind participating in The Great Module SewAlong isn’t exactly to create a capsule collection, it is more a way to force myself to create clothes that I need, they fit with what I already have and they come from the resources already existing in my stash, although I admit, I managed to sneak in another piece of fabric from the Cloth House. I blame my workplace that’s so close to it. I’m also not creating for a particular season, it’s a mix of garments and fabrics so some will work with the winter clothes, others with the spring ones.

In the process of mixing and matching my existing garments, I have discovered that I love my clothes more, now the majority of them is hanging in the wardrobe rather than them being inside drawers. I feel I can actually see them.

So here are the details for the challenge. Sew  3 tops, 2 bottoms and a topper till March 24th. The time will be the real challenge but I think it’s achievable with what I have in mind.

For the three toppers I have chosen the below:

Turtleneck Monroe, a free pattern by Tessuti, in a combo of two brown jerseys, neither of which is enough for a whole top. I have been holding on to the sequined one for at least seven years. The other one is a remnant from some leggings I made for my son, when he was very little. This top is actually finished and has been worn since then.


Next is the new pattern by Secondo Piano, the Dolce top, also in the turtleneck version but this time in a lighter brighter yellow.  I have just put the PDF together and will soon be cutting the fabric.


The last top is a bit tricky as it’s based on an inspiration image that appeared on my IG feed. I just fell in love with all the stripes.

I’m going to use three different stripey fabrics and perhaps one more for some fun details. As for the pattern, I have an old Salme Patterns shirt pattern that I made in two muslins, none of which was wearable, but always liked the style and the mandarin collar. As for the sleeves, I think I will use those from a vintage dress pattern and maybe expand them a bit more. I haven’t made any final decisions on that front.


One of the two bottoms is the Axis Skirt by Papercut patterns, which I bought recently wanting to make the dress initially but I like the pencil skirt version as it is a bit different to the classic one. I have already made a version of it, which is, how do I put it, a bit too small. I forgot to grade between sizes and as my hips are two sizes bigger than my waist, you can appreciate I suppose, why it didn’t work. The fabric is another stripe version, although it creates a much more playful visual effect than on the sample below.


For my second bottom, I decided to finally fix this pair of trousers I made when I was about 4 months pregnant and is a but too big now. I’m not loving the style a lot but this is also the only fabric I have, so I can’t create a different design. I do like the fabric though.


Finally, I’m anticipating that I will have run out of time by the time we get to the topper section, so instead of making one from scratch, I will try and fix this Belatrix Blazer (Papercut fan), which I love, but don’t wear due to the fact that I’m not happy with the sewing on it and also because the lining has ripped. Of course, unpicking and sewing again something is almost as time consuming as making one from scratch but at least I will not have to cut the pieces again, or at least not all of them.


I’m hoping to be able to make all of these items and present you not only with the finished garments but also with how I have incorporated them in my existing wardrobe.

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Cielo Top, Alter it August and Bruna blouse

I bought the Rome collection by Closet Case Patterns, as soon as it was released, because I felt all three pieces were really versatile and also a lovely capsule collection.

Some time ago, I sewed the Osaka dress from La Maison Victor magazine, in this lovely  cotton poplin by Minerva. Unfortunately the dress ended up a complete disaster both in construction and in fit. I hated it so much that I didn’t even take a single picture of it. to be fair, big part of the problem was the fabric, which was initially purchased for a different, more appropriate project. I did love it though, and as soon as I saw the Cielo top, I hoped that the dress would transform into it. And Alteritagust, gave me the motivation that I needed to go for it.


I was dying to try the lantern sleeve option so this was the one I sewed first. Although I liked it on the hanger, but when I put it on, I was terrified by the look of the sleeves. They seemed huge and I felt at best like a rugby player.


However, after pairing it with different items in my wardrobe, it grew on me and two weeks later, it’s become one of my favourite items.


It was a bit of a puzzle construction at points, but there was enough fabric for most of it. i have finished the hem and the sleeves with a bias tape that’s been in my stash for much longer than I can remember.

Following that and being really inspired by alteritaugust, I used an old curtain to create the version with the short sleeves. This was a dream to sew, since I had already done it once. With the help of some fabric paint, I added some splashes of colour in an attempt to recreate an outfit 11 of Stranger things tries on briefly, while at the mall.

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I had so much fun making this and I had to stop myself from pairing it with a skirt from the remaining curtain, to copy the complete outfit, haha!


Although a simple top, it has some lovely details like the cuffs of the short sleeves.


The neckline facing, that is probably one of the few facings I am pleased with and the back shoulder pieces, which you may not be able to see in any of my two versions due to the pattern of the fabric. I have hemmed this version properly. For both versions I went down a size from that corresponding to my actual measurements. I like a boxy top but I don’t like it when there is too much of a box around me. I probably need to go down one more size at shoulder/neckline as it is a bit too loose on that front but not especially noticeable.



Since I’ve mentioned Maison Victor here and although this started life as a solid fabric with the intention of making the Bruna Blouse. I asked in my instagram stories what you thought I should sew with it and two of my friends suggested different types of dresses. To be honest, I wasn’t really sold on the idea. This is a very busy fabric and I didn’t think it would look good on me as a dress. Nevertheless, I went ahead with one of the suggestions, secretly to also prove me wrong. I made two versions of a similar dress which I hated, so went back to plan A and sewed the Bruna Blouse.


The collar needs a bit of work I grant you, but at this point I have already sewn it three times, so I will have to fix it at a later stage.


Again you will see that due to its previous incarnations there weren’t long enough pieces to accommodate the pattern, so I resorted again to my favourite method of puzzle construction, haha! I think it’s far from perfect but it is acceptable for me and I really like the look of the shirt, which I have already worn.

I didn’t sew the side seams all the way to the bottom but decided to leave them open on the sides as a design feature. I have finished the hem and the sleeves with the same bias tape as the cielo top.


I didn’t submit this for alteritaugust, but again, it was the challenge that really pushed me to finish this one too. Mending and altering garments was very satisfactory, even more so than sewing something from scratch and I’d love to carry on doing this kind of sewing for longer than the 30 days of last month, because i may not have a big fabric stash, but I have a huge pile of clothes that either need mending or could be refashioned into something more wearable. Watch this spot.





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The Very Greek Jumpsuit, AK Patterns Rachel Jumpsuit

If there is a garment that I never wish for it to go out of fashion, this is the jumpsuit. I love it in all forms and shapes, dressed up or down, formal or casual. I don’t even see the problem with the toilet, I’m even willing to tell you there isn’t one, haha! You can imagine my immense happiness when I realised that the #sewtogetherforsummer garment of this year was going to be the jumpsuit. When it was confirmed, I threw the greatest imaginary party in the history of sewing parties.


My jumpsuit sewing queue is endless and I don’t even own half of the patterns, I’d love to sew. However for this particular challenge I decided to take advantage of the discount that was offered once the challenge was announced and chose the Rachel Jumpsuit by AK Patterns. I’ve admired Athina’s patterns for a while but never got round to buying any of them, so saw this as the perfect opportunity to give it a go.


During Me Made May, I kind of pledged that I would participate by casually wearing my me mades but also refashioning/mending something. The Rachel jumpsuit is also part of this pledge. I had originally cut and sewn the bottom as a different jumpsuit from Burda, hacked with a corset stye top, which I ended up not liking, mostly because it was too big and needed too many alterations, that I didn’t feel like making. I recut it but as the legs for the Rachel are a bit wider, I had to add an extra piece on the side of each leg, front and back, which created a really nice effect of some sort of stripe on the side. I’m not sure how visible it is in the photo. The fabric is a type of cotton sateen, I’m assuming, with a nice texture that’s not very visible in the photos.


I cut a straight size 10 and made no alterations. I think the fit is spot on and managed to do not a too bad job with the invisible zipper, which naturally had to install and uninstall a couple of times.

I love the top of the pattern front and back, I find it unusual and unique at the same time and I already have some ideas for adding things to it. The trousers also work great as trousers, so watch this space for a pair too. I can’t recommend the pattern enough. Not only it’s extremely well drafted, the instructions are very detailed and clear too.


I call this the very Greek jumpsuit, pattern designed by a Greek, sewn by another Greek, with a fabric that was bought in Greece. Perfect for relaxing on the grass too. Thank you Monika, Sarah and Suzy for organising!


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Yellow Tartan Dress

DSC_2128I’m not sure what I am trying to say with these pictures. I love the colourful editorial photography that takes place in a domestic environment and since this one took place in the middle of the night, like most of my extra-curricular activities, it could have only taken place in such environment. I was determined to have yellow bright or at least colourful things surrounding me that I even unearthed my son’s yellow plastic balls, which haven’t been used in a while.



The inspiration for the dress came from this Delpozo dress I stumbled across on Pinterest, the place of my eternal inspiration for everything. I really wanted to find something in a pink hue but after having searched in various fabric shops, I ended up buying two metres of this wonderful yellow Cornish tartan from Truro fabrics. Their fabrics are of the highest quality and I love buying from them when the budget allows.

DSC_2147The top of the dress is this burda peplum top,  minus the peplum and the sleeves. The top is also the only part of the dress, I pattern matched, as per my usual bad habit, I didn’t think of buying enough fabric to accommodate that.


As you can see any sense of pattern matching has disappeared in the back, which looks a bit messy. To be fair though, I had matched everything but due to some modification it seems that the pattern wouldn’t align anymore. I have to admit, I find the process a bit intimidating and try to avoid it when possible. What can I say, I am a bit lazy in that department and also don’t care too much. It does look great when it happens though.

The bottom is a self-drafted A line skirt, cut on the bias, ending in a handkerchief style hem on one side.


The skirt is underlined as the fabric is very drapey and I wanted it to have a bit more structure. I have added facings for the neckline but have finished the arms with bias binding. There is also an invisible zipper on the side.


Despite the simplicity of it, it took ages to finish as it was a bit troubling getting the right fit at the top. Overall, I’m really pleased with it and I think it’s a dress that could be dressed up and down, simply by changing my shoes and hair style haha!


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Designin’ December 2018


Although well in to 2019, only now did I manage to take some pictures of my finished entry for Linda’s of Nice Dress! Thanks, I made it! Designing’ December. I’ve been trying for a couple of years now to take part but always run out of time. This year was no exception and I barely made it. Part of the problem for me isn’t just the lack of time and the fact that I want to sew a trillion more things that I can, but also the too many ideas and inspirational images I pin on Pinterest, that make any decision, simply impossible.


My inspiration  was this photo that I originally saw in Stylist magazine and immediately cut out and stuck in my notebook, so that I don’t lose. Later on, I found it on Pinterest by chance.


To construct my version, I used the Papercut Patterns Mito Cami. I cut the bottom front into two pieces and sewed an extra black fabric around the edge of each of the front pieces, top and bottom.


The first top buttons are functional and keep the front together, whereas the all the rest are decorative, purely for recreating the look of the original piece. The inside is fully lined, front and back.


The fabric seems to be wool of coating weight, which I found in a plastic bag marked as rubbish near where I live. I suspect that behind the closed doors, outside which this bag was lying, there is a small coats sewing operation and these pieces were discarded as scraps. It was very fortunate that they came in good shapes and sizes to be used in this project. Of course, there wasn’t enough fabric for any pattern matching but it’s not the end of the world, especially since this process isn’t my favourite. I also opted for a high-low hem.


I had initially cut the back the wrong way round and only realised after I had finished it and while wearing it, I noticed that the nice shape of the low cut back was missing. Luckily there was still enough fabric to recut it. I also omitted the adjustable sliders as the straps fabric is quite thick and it wouldn’t fit the sliders I already had. Delightfully-Peculiar-Blue-08254

All things considering, I’m very pleased with how it turned out and I think I may like it a tad bit more than the original piece. Linda was very generous with the presents and gave each participant one. I chose the Lliria Dress from Pauline Alice Patterns, which I’m hoping to be able to sew this year. Again big thanks to Linda for organising.


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Fur Fleece Bomber Jacket


Back in 2018, I got once more the opportunity to play with some fabric from MinervaCrafts. You can find all the details on how I used it to make this bomber jacket here It’s got pockets, hood and a quilted thinsulate lining.

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The Refashioners 2018

The refashioners is every year the challenge, I mostly look forward to. Not only because for me is my chance to make something a little out of the ordinary but also to see all the wonderful creations of fellow sewists.  So far I have managed to participate once and my entry was only half of what I had envisioned. This year I followed a different approach, that of planning and starting early enough. Also trying not to overcomplicate my project.


I made this Tilly and the Buttons Francoise dress some years ago when the pattern was first released and I am ashamed to admit that I never wore, except to take photos for the blogpost. I had long decided, it was going to turn into a pencil skirt as there wasn’t enough fabric for anything else.


When I made the Francoise dress, I used the leftover fabric to make a colour-blocked jacket, which you can see here. I liked the combination of the two fabrics and decided to repeat the colour-blocking for a skirt this time. The second piece of my refashion was a skirt I made around the same time following the tutorial by Cotton and Curls. This skirt was more fortunate and got a lot of wear, but it always felt a bit too short, so eventually it resided mostly inside my wardrobe.


One of the things that I love the most when it comes to sewing, is creating let’s say my own fabric by colour blocking or mixing prints. I know sometimes this yields pieces that a lot of people wouldn’t wear or wouldn’t know how to, but I feel I would probably die instantly if my clothes became too boring. For this refashion, I was hugely inspired by the work of Roksanda Ilincic and Fausto Puglisi. Looking at the fabric I had to play with I decided to to go with the dress and the yin-yang type of design.

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To avoid spending too much time with fitting, I used my tried and tested Lottie pencil skirt pattern, which came with an old issue of Love Sewing Magazine. I cut the pieces in stages, while laying them on the floor to see how I could actually recreate the design.


The suspicion, I didn’t have enough green fabric for the whole skirt, became a reality once the front of the skirt was lain on the floor. I’m always in denial when it comes to admitting, I don’t have endless supply of any desired fabric. At that point, I turned to my eternal inspiration Cate Blanchett who happened to be wearing this Roksanda Ilincic dress and decided the back of the skirt would be in the beige colour of the details on the front.


I did a back pleat vent in green, so that everything was more coherent and also a green zipper, which I actually intended to make more visible than it is, in order to replicate that design feature of the original dress.



Because I still had some leftover green fabric, I decided to go a little bit further and although I knew there wasn’t enough to make a dress, I thought maybe I could make a top.tempImageForSaveI unearthed another skirt, RTW this time, from the to be refashioned pile and used the Aimme Comme Marie Magelan pattern, which I had made a couple of times before.



On the back I used a green strip of the darts part of the Francoise dress, which created a really nice effect, if I may say so. The ruffles of the skirt became ruffled sleeves.


While finishing the above ensemble, I saw the below picture of the Marc Jacobs show and became slightly obsessed with this jacket. That was my chance to create something slightly crazier (because I mean the green skirt and top are quite normal haha)


Two more garments came out of the pile in my closet, this time both RTW from H&M. The skirt is completely unwarned and have no idea what possessed me to buy it. The jacket, I’d say has served it’s time but never felt very comfortable or the right size. I wasn’t sad to lose either of them.


I started again with the loved and tried a couple of times pattern the Jackie-O jacket, which again was free with an issue of Love Sewing magazine. My RTW garment was quite short and narrow to fit the whole pattern pieces, so I enhanced it by adding some faux leather from my stash.


This particular process although quite time consuming, was good fun and I enjoyed the pattern puzzle I created. IMG_5995

The majority of the skirt was used to recreate the lapels, the cuffs and the facing inside.


I used the sleeves of the original garment but tried to create a sort of a puff sleeve, in order to give more volume around the shoulders as per the original photo. However, I feel that it wasn’t a success. The buttons are from an old jacket and the bias tape around the lapels is the only thing I bought for this item.


The back piece is mostly from the original garment with additional fabric on the shoulders. Perhaps this is more unconventional than the first refashion and maybe a bit costumy but I think it would make a great jacket to wear at a gig or with jeans and a t-shirt, with pop-corn on preferably.



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Sewing the scene: The Aviator

Last time sewing the scene was organised by The Unfinished Seamstress, the whole universe conspired against me to prevent me from participating. This year it did the same, but being determined to succeed, neither the hospital visit that knocked me out for two weeks, nor the nasty cold that followed it, were able to stop me.


My inspiration image was the same as the previous time. A still of Cate Blanchett playing Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator. Somehow Cate Blanchett features very often in my inspiration boards. I guess I like slim, tall figures who have no resemblance to my own, haha. If only I could grow longer legs… That aside, I consider Cate Blanchett an incredible actress and one of the most stylish women that elevates any garment she wears.


As you can see, I went for the faithful interpretation, with the golf bat and everything. I really liked the style of all the pieces and although I will probably not wear them all together as in the pictures, I think they are very useful individually. The jacket has definitely proven to be so. It was made by my grandma a bit over 40 years ago and my mum wore it over her dress at her wedding reception. I was planning to make a similar jacket for the challenge using burda jacket 06/2011 #115B by refashioning one of my partner’s jackets which was too small for him but quite big for me. I thought I could bleach the jacket so that it turns white-ish, but it only acquired a slightly pink hue, remaining otherwise unaffected, despite sitting in bleach for days. At that point 1) I was running out of time, 2) didn’t want to spend more money ( I can be very stingy at times) 3) decided it was highly unlikely I’d need another white jacket at this time of the year, 4) the existing one would work just as well in terms of achieving the style of the inspiration image.


The shirt is the burda pleated blouse 01/2018 #118B in a cotton poplin brown polka dot. It was really hard to find the specific polka dot in a different fabric, without breaking the bank. This is great but it’s a bit stiff for this shirt and you can see it creating a bit of a bulk inside the pants. Nevertheless, a perfectly wearable shirt, which I think will look great with a pair of jeans.


This is only the third shirt, I’ve ever made and the first one I’ve ever sewn with pin tucks. I have to admit that once more the burda instructions for this pattern required a bit of imagination. The original pattern has 3 pin tucks but I had to make 4 as I ended up with some excess fabric due to my bad maths. The buttons are also meant to be concealed but I decided against it, since I liked the exposed buttons of my inspiration image.  I think I could have gotten away with the smaller size too, as I feel this is a bit too buggy for my taste.


The back of the shirt features the usual pleat and is much simpler than the front.


I still find sleeve plackets quite intimidating but these turned out nicer than my previous ones. I did put the fabric on the wrong side out though, so I cut another piece of slightly smaller size to the original placket and sewed it on top. I quite like the effect it’s produced, with the wrong side of the fabric underneath, creating a frame around it.


For the trousers I used my TNT pattern the Megan Nielsen flint pants, lengthened for to about 8cm to work well with heels too. I followed the tutorial on the blog to remove the release tucks and convert to a flat front.

The fabric is a poly crepe, which is bit shiny but has this gorgeous maroon colour. Again it was hard to find a fabric in a similar colour to the original image at an affordable price. It seems like good quality and I like the drape and flow of it. This is by far my mostly made and worn pattern. You can see it here and I’ve also made a linen version, which hasn’t been blogged yet.





‘Howard, we’re not like everyone else. Too many acute angles. Too many eccentricities.’


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