Snowdrops in September 

I was totally smitten with Named Clothing’s new collection when it recently launched, in particular the Tuuli dress. I’d actually been scouring the Internet for a pattern like the Tuuli for a few months, to dressify some stunning jersey (print: my beloved Hesketh) I had picked up in the summer at the Liberty sale. 

I took a day off and set to dressmaking! 

I just love this dress. It’s so comfortable and gorgeous and soft and fine, and moves like a dream. But I really do need to get a better sewing machine. Even just having a straight stretch stitch would be a huge improvement. 

Sweating it

A year ago, I made a sweatshirt in delicious fluffy-backed liberty sweatshirt fabric in one of my favourite prints, Hesketh. I’d self-drafted it based on my very first self-drafted sweatshirt, which sadly shrank lengthwise by about 6 inches the first time it was ever washed. It’s now a mainstay of my winter pyjamas, but nonetheless, tragic. 

So I carefully pre-washed my fabric and cut a new sweatshirt out of the Hesketh. And… It was still pretty tragic! The fabric this time stretched, so it was falling off my shoulders and the sleeves drowning my already apeishly long arms. I wore it on weekends sometimes, but generally just felt bad about it whenever I looked at it.  

Thankfully, its  enormity gave me a bit of wriggle room. I sliced it apart at the seams this weekend and managed to salvage the front and back pieces, and then miraculously had enough left over for new sleeves, cuffs, neckband and waistband. I recut it into a slightly modified (wider neck!) Apollon sweatshirt, my first experience of French I AM Patterns

I’m delighted! Its such a relief that it’s wearable now, and just in time for autumn. 

The pattern itself was a bit dodgy – firstly, my printer only printed some of the lines (!), and secondly, even on screen there were no notches to tell the front from the back of the sleeves. Anyway, it all came together and I’m very grateful for this pattern having rescued what seemed like a lost-cause project. 

As a basic, quick pattern, it’s brilliant. I like the set-in sleeves much more than the raglan sleeves of the Linden sweatshirt I made many moons ago (and have since given to a friend… Raglan sleeves and I don’t mix), and I look forward to making more. 

One sweatshirt clearly wasn’t enough, so on the same day I also whipped up another Named Clothing Sloane sweatshirt. This one’s in the same Liberty fleece, the print is apparently called Poppytot. I got 3m as a half price remnant at Liberty last winter. Hopefully still enough left to make my mum a dress. 

The Sloane sweatshirt remains a perfect pattern. The darts make it just a bit sophisticated. I’ve just printed out the Tuuli pattern from Named Clothing’s new range and I have very high hopes (watch this space). 

Afterthought

After my little cousin’s dungarees proved colossally too big, I whipped up a wee halterneck top/dress for her out of cobbled together scraps, so she would have something to wear with her bonnet this summer. 

Here’s the front:

Here’s the back:

I guess it could also work as a skirt in a pinch. 

I loosely followed this pattern from Purl Soho. 

I’m honoured that she stood up unaided for the first time wearing my full alpaca-Liberty outfit. 

 What a sweetheart! 

Troubled waters

It’s been a pretty grim couple of weeks in the UK. Rain, politics, and work have been a bit unrelenting.

However, I did find time last week to start mentally preparing myself to sail away from all these tempests (on holiday!), staying up late one night to convert a recent gem from the Liberty summer sale into a fantastic Sloane sweatshirt from Named Clothing.

I’ve only made one other Named thing – my Leini dress – but it got me a bit hooked. The Sloane sweatshirt is every bit as good – elegant, comfortable and easily wearable. I actually wore it to work this week  without criticism.

Espadrilles

On the day I finished my exams in mid May I took the train to Wales and sewed these espadrilles together in the sunshine at my train table, letting my hands remember sewing after all that frantic essay writing.

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I’d prepared all the pieces before my exam so all I had to do was stitch the uppers to the soles.

I used Nani Iron canvas in the design “Clear Heart”. The lining is in Liberty tana lawn. The espadrilles match my rucksack and duffel bag in the same fabric.

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Tragically these are a bit big on me so I’ll need to make another pair, and give these away. C’est la vie. I’m still very proud of my first ever pair of handmade shoes.

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