So we’re on the Q2 roundup already… sheeeeeesh ?
The longest day of the year has passed – so the nights will be gradually getting shorter – and we’re officially closer to the coming Christmas than the one that’s just gone ? I know, I know, SHUT UP SARAH ? Usually I dread the summer because its just SO hot (plus there are wasps, which are the devils creatures) but cycling to work seems to flip my point of view – there’s nothing better than being out on your bike with the (hot) wind in your face and the sun on your arms, while everyone else is on a sweaty commuter train. I’m actually – for once – looking forward to the proper summer on my bike because she – Lyra, her name is – has a metallic ombré finish and when the sun catches her she looks ??????
Despite the summer coming, I’ve still not really made what I call any ‘summer makes’ though – unless you count a couple of Grainline Scout Tees. Which I don’t, really. There’s a couple of sleeveless Kielo dresses in the works too, but these things are all repeats of patterns that I’ve made previously – there’s nothing new. I just haven’t really spotted anything that makes me go YAS. I wouldn’t actually mind some new summer dresses – because nobody wants to sweat out in jeans – but I don’t tend to look at dress patterns ??♀️ Which is probably why I haven’t found anything that I want to make… ?
I’d prefer to sew something in rayon – as it’s nice and cool, sort of drapey-ish and comes in some funky prints. I’ll admit that I just broke my fabric-buying-ban AGAIN (let’s just forget the ban now, shall we? ?) to buy some of this rayon from an Etsy seller in India:
Totes worth it, right? I got the last three yards, which will turn into a summer dress once I find a suitable pattern.
So back to the things that I have actually made (which believe me are considerably less in number than the things I’m thinking about making ?) this second quarter feels a bit… meh. But I think I’ve made some progress and learnings around developing my style a bit more, which will hopefully steer future makes in the right direction.
So without further ado – here’s the recap!
Deer and Doe Agave Skirt
This skirt was sewn for the launch of the pattern. You know how much I love Deer and Doe patterns (having made their Belladonne dress, Datura blouse, Chardon skirt, sleeveless Bruyere shirt, sleeved Bruyere, and their Opium coat ???) but in the end, this skirt wasn’t for me. I have a very rocky relationship with skirts, and this one just didn’t pass the test. The wrap didn’t appeal in the end (I don’t like wrap bodices, either, for the record – I’d never made a wrap skirt though so felt I ought to give it a shot), and the asymmetrical look just felt a bit weird to me – like I wanted to keep pulling up the longer side to make the hem level ?
Paired with those boots though, it was on point! ??
The fabric will be repurposed (it’s Alexander Henry, which obvs it’s a crime to waste) so all is not lost – I’m just not sure what it will become yet.
Kindred Mitts – Carina Spencer
The mittens were a kind of win – they got worn all winter, but sadly the yarn isn’t hard wearing enough to last another season I don’t think. The mitts are properly bobbled and worn now. The pattern was cool, so I’d probably try it again, but in a yarn that’s a bit more hardy.
I’d never knitted gloves before, so I had no idea that pilling like that could be an issue – gonna remember it now though, fo sho (why does learning something the hard way always turn out to be the best way?! ?) There is, of course, that very fine line between hardwearing and downright itchy though, which the husbeast is more sensitive to than me, so we’re gonna need some careful yarn choices.
Madeline Skirt – Victory Patterns
Nope nope nope ?
I gave this skirt a second chance (I made one previously here)… but I just can’t do it. It makes me look like a milkmaid, it’s not flattering on my hips, the (straight) waistband doesn’t sit right on me, and the straps fall down ALL THE TIME.
I just can’t bring myself to wear this in everyday life. It’s too faffy. It breaks my ‘low maintenance’ clothing rule that I recently introduced (because I’m getting old and my tolerance for things is decreasing by the minute ?) and black corduroy is THE WORST at attracting every piece of fluff within a five-mile radius. When you have a white dog, it ain’t good.
At least now though, I know for certain that I should not bother with any skirt that has a straight waistband, or any circle skirts. I recently bought the Salida Skirt from True Bias (it’s yet to be confirmed whether the waistband is curved or straight – it looks straight ?) and I was pretty happy with how the Wonderland Skirt looked on me, but it needs a thicker – and curved – waistband for the next version.
The Indian wedding outfit
YAS! Apart from the fact that it was hard to squish myself into the outfit – requiring, in the end, control tights to be purchased** – this outfit was DA BOMB ? It was a huge success at the Indian wedding I wore it to, and the colours make me SO happy. I mean, this outfit isn’t gonna get worn on the regular (because let’s be real, it’s a little too extra to bust out for the office), but it definitely stays in the wardrobe.
The skirt was Simplicity 1099, and the top was Deer and Doe Datura blouse – you can read the (very lengthy) post here.
**Fun Fact – I bought my tights from Primark on Oxford Street, and me and the husbeast queued up at the tills behind this guy ?
Range Backpack – Noodlehead Patterns
My first backpack! ??
And I really enjoyed making it. I love the gold leather – I feel like it makes the bag look really profesh, and not like it was my first bash at the pattern ?
It gets used, too – it holds quite a lot, but I feel like if you were really gonna carry some gear in it, you’d want padded straps. These ones are just quilting cotton and medium interfacing, and they’d get pretty shoulder-diggy with a bit of weight on them. I really like the Making Backpack by Noodlehead too, and I bought the Raspberry Rucksack from Sarah Kirsten as well – so let’s just say I’m all set for bags for a while ??♀️
Kielo dress – Named Patterns
You know these are always a success! This one was a pivotal make – I’ve decided that for future ones I ‘d like to take some more fabric out of the back of the dress (it’s a little bit baggy) and I’d also like to change the neckline up on long sleeved versions – I want to graft on the high neck of the Rowan Tee by Megan Nielsen, because yes, I get that cold ?
Charlotte Skirt – Republique Du Chiffon
While this particular iteration of the skirt was a fail (for so many reasons that you can read about in the original post!), I’ll be making another. I like the style of it on me – which is a BIG achievement for a skirt. Usually, skirts make me look about twenty years older and give me humongous child-bearing hips – neither of which is a desirable effect.
But this one, I don’t mind so much. Once I rectify the issues with this one (mainly: make it in the correct size ?) I think I’ll make a couple more. Perhaps a corduroy one for the winter ?
Annnnnd there you have it. That’s my last three months of sewing.
The Charlotte Skirt will make it to the next stage, while the Agave and the Madeline have been officially voted off. The Kielo will, of course, continue, and the Kindred Mitts could possibly feature again this winter. The Range backpack has encouraged me to look at the Making Backpack and the Raspberry Rucksack. You win some, you lose some – it’s a fair balance, I guess.
What’s in the works?
I’m also plodding along with knitting the Volt sweater (the front is now done!) and my knitting needle case is alllllmost done too. It’s my first experience of a By Annie pattern (it’s the Case In Point), and while it’s looking sort-of okay, there are a few little niggles with it that just make the whole thing look a bit scrappy. I mean, I know that I’m a bit OCD with neat seam finishes and all that on the clothes I make, but I guess I just thought that the same level of finishing would apply to bags – especially from such a large pattern company as By Annie. One of my upcoming Minerva Crafts Blogger Network makes is the Round Trip Duffle pattern of theirs, and I’m hoping that it turns out looking a little better than the needle case because I want to take it to Paris later on in the year (and also the fabrics I’ve chosen for it are ??)
I’m trying out the Thread Theory Henley T-shirt for the husbeast, which I made him trace himself and cut out the fabric for ? That’s along with the Patrons Le BG Teddy bomber jacket which I’ve so nearly finished (I think it’s been a success) and the Goldstream Peacoat (also a success, and better than the Vogue pattern I’ve used before) which I’ll finish off at the weekend (when it’s going to be 32C, because obvs the hottest day of the year so far is the day you want to be handing wool coating ???).
Other things-in-progress include the Evie La Luve Effie Crop top (made the size as per measurement chart, should have sized up), the Maxine Pants to match it (should have sized down, and also gone for something not quite so high waisted because mate are these bloomers and holy hell fold over elastic is not good in the crease of your leg), and also the Megan Nielsen Rowan Tee (fit and sizing issues – deets to follow). I’m also midway through the Avery Leggings which seem to come up alarmingly small (legit feel like these will only fit a child) and I’m not 100% confident in the strength of overlocked seams to hold my ass in securely enough through some squats ?
Especially as people that I work with also attend these classes. My co-workers defo don’t need to be seeing that right before their lunch.
So, I’m feeling a bit underwhelmed with the last few months. It’s all just a bit meh. I feel like I’ve tried a lot of things and not had a brilliant win rate. But I’ll take it all on the chin and look at it as a learning curve, a process which will hopefully boost successes of future makes. S’alright. I kind of get caught up in the I-want-to-sew-new-patterns vs I-know-this-pattern-fits-now battle… It’s always disappointing when something turns out a bit iffy in the fit department, which is generally only fixed by making some adjustments and trying again (the tried-and-true pattern), but that’s at odds with variety – the spice of life, don’tcha know ??♀️
Saying that, I have just finished the (new to me!) Gemma Tank which I think seems to be okay – yay! – but I have nothing to wear it with other than jeans. I’m considering making a black version of the Wonderland Skirt I made last year, because that would go perfectly with it ? I made the mistake of using wool suiting for that first version, and it made me feel all ick because it reminded me of corporate wear (?) so I think a lightweight denim would be a good option for this one – but a proper black one, none of this ‘washed black’ business ?
I know that I said at the start of the year that I was on a fabric buying ban, but I’ve sort of broken that (sort of? I don’t think there’s any ‘sort of’ about it) with some rainbow leopard fabric that you saw a couple of posts back, and the tie-dye rayon at the top of this post AND NOW ALSO some Dogwood Denim from Spoonflower ? BUT – the aim of not buying fabric was to use up my stash, and there is no denim in my stash. Or rayon. So, it’s okay, yah? ?? The denim – you will not be surprised to hear – is hot pink leopard print, and it’s gonna be a pair of Megan Nielsen Dawn Jeans. I recently made my first pair (they’re hitting the blog in a couple of weeks!) and I’m *pretty* happy with them – I think I need more room in the leg, and more in the bum somehow – so will try and adjust for those fit-dramas on this next pair.
Speaking of fabric purchases… there will be considerably more bought next year – because we are going back to New York City ??
Yep. Yuh-huh. You read that right. Just for a few days, not until next year, and not such a long trip as it was last time – we’re feeling super grown up about the whole thing because YOU GUYS WE’VE USED OUR AIR MILES FOR OUR TICKETS. I’ve always thought that air-miles flights were reserved for dull businessmen in grey suits that travelled all the time with an equally boring job (and briefcase) to get away from their wives that they disliked – but no! It’s for normal people like us too!
So yeah, super excited for that, and we’re heading to Paris a bit later in the year for a weekend so obvs am gonna be hitting up the fabric and yarn shops there as well. Oh – and the beading shops too, because the husbeast has taken up beadwork! So far he’s made a bracelet (for me ??) and is now working on another one which he’s only a few rows into but it’s already looking AMAZING (and yes, it’s hot pink?). He will be doing a blog post on them at some point, don’t worry! (and I’m also nagging him to finish the blog post for the t-shirts he made himself, but now he’s distracted with the beading so who knows when he’s gonna finish it ?)
I’ll keep nagging ?
Are you guys in full summer-sewing mode now? Share your plans with me, I need some inspo! ?
Next week on the blog is my trial run of the Deer and Doe short sleeved Melilot shirt – subscribe below to have it drop straight into your inbox!??