Saturday, 9 December 2017

Isca shirt instructions

Hi there, just a quick announcement. I have been thinking how to make these files a bit easier to access, so instead of leaving a link on my blog which can get easily lost I have created a listing on Etsy for the minimum amount they allow. I hope this is still as good as free! From there you will receive files for the pattern, an A0 copy shop file and also instructions.



Have a good weekend everyone! xxx

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Isca shirt pattern - free extra pattern pieces

Edit - I have now published a listing on Etsy for the minimum amount they allow to make accessing the files a lot easier. Hopefully this is still as good as free! Included is a print at home, copyshop and instruction file.

Hey, hey, it's Christmas treat time!!! When working on the Isca shirtdress I was always considering the possible variations which could come from the pattern. I do this with every pattern I design, but in order to get a pattern out, sometimes you just have to keep it really concise. The obvious pattern variation is to turn the pattern into a shirt and I was so close to including it, but the pattern was just getting too huge. I mean literally at 4 x A0 pages as published! The pattern pieces were already created and have been sitting in a file, so I thought I would share them with you today. I shall write a separate post with construction notes on how to sew up the new pieces this weekend, but for now I shall just talk about the design details. P.S. skip to the end for an exciting discount on all PDF patterns!

So the shirt is such a great shape. It has shaping through the bust and shoulders as per version A of the main pattern with additional shaping to the back in the form of darts. It has the right amount of relaxed fit for comfort with a flattering shape to follow the shape of your curves. Can you tell that I love it?

I have created a link direct to the PDF here containing the additional pattern pieces you will need to sew this shirt. A new lower front, new back, new button placket and sleeve cuff. You will absolutely need to buy the pattern to make use of these pieces as there is no sleeve, armhole or collar but it's so worth it!




There is no skimping on the finish here and I think it is really fun to construct. I hope you do too! ;-)

The hem is curved and sewn before the side seam, but then bar tacked to reinforce the area. This may not be an order of work you have come across before, but it is by no means unique!



The sleeves have an additional cuff to add a wee bit of length, but to also give you something to turn back. If like me you like the look of a traditional cuff, but always roll your sleeves back then this is for you. It gives the look of a full length sleeve without the extra bulk or constant pushing back of the sleeves. This is something that I have seriously considered.... VERY IMPORTANT STUFF!


The seams are finished as nicely as possible so that when the cuffs are pulled back there are no rough edges.


While I'm showing you stuff, here's a close up of the shoulder reinforcements from the inside. Designed to offer longevity to your garment they also add a nice detail to the overall shirt. You'll just notice that I have finished the armhole seam with a zig zag. This is the only seam finish which is not concealed. I prefer to trim and zig zag to reduce bulk. Top stitching the seam allowance down can cause unnecessary pulling in this area, so I'm happy to leave it plain. As with all sewing, it is down to preference, so I wouldn't be surprised if you like to finish this area differently to me.



I just love how it looks from the inside.


To round off here are some pictures of the shirt on a real body. Dress stands are fine, but sometimes it's more helpful to see a garment on a moving person. I don't own many shirts so it's hard to define what I want from one, but this feels very me!






Now onto that discount I mentioned..... If you would like 25% off any of the PDF patterns in my shop then just type in the code MERRYXMAS17 at the check out. I cannot apply discounts to my paper patterns I'm afraid as I don't have the capacity to manage that kind of sale. I hope you understand!

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

My Honetone coat!

Hello! I thought I would just pop by to show you my Honetone coat which I personally wear. Although not brand newly made it is keeping me very warm at the moment and I made a few changes to suit my own personal preferences.

I just love the colour of this coat first of all, but I can't link to the fabric as it was low in stock when I bought it and has since sold out. It is a double twill weave from Fabworks mill shop and is similar to this pink one which I used for a version here. The difference is that this has a very slight hairy texture.


This is 10cm longer than drafted and because the addition was nothing to do with my proportions I just added the length to the bottom of the pattern.

The button band is also narrower than that of version A. I used the narrower band as I thought the poppers I was planning on using would look better. I actually rarely wear it done up to be honest as it is very warm! This is probably because I interfaced the entire front and back as well as used a pre-quilted lining.



Considering how much I have worn this coat it is still looking pretty fresh. I have sat on it, used it as a blanket and generally thrown it around as I do all my coats and the only creasing is in the non-interfaced arms. Definitely don't skimp on the quality of interfacing. I use this one from English couture and it's beautifully soft and yet stabilising. There is also a horsehair canvas back stay and front armhole reinforcement which really stabilises the top half of the coat.



Here is what it looks like without the scarf even though this sweater is not the best neckline with the coat...


Quick shot of the beautiful pre-quilted silk lining. I bought this from a silk shop in Berwick street, London a million years ago. I hadn't been to London very many times at this point and was so over excited to be in these posh silk shops that I completely splurged on this fabric. I have then been bitten by 'the fear' for over 10 or more years unable to cut into it. So happy I finally used it and it's so nice to see it every day. Because it is quilted I hemmed the main coat and the coat lining separately and then did some chain links to keep the two layers together.




I really love wearing this and it is making my other coats pretty redundant at the moment. I haven't even reached for my feather down coat yet as this is so toasty so that's excellent, although it's always nice having that in the cupboard. I somehow feel a bit smarter in this though and yet still casual. Basically I love wearing it!

Sunday, 19 November 2017

isca shirtdress in denim tencel

I really, really want to share this version of my new Isca pattern with you as it's the one I wear most of the time, but I am finding my desire to have be picture taken is lower than ever. I decided to just go and do it this morning in my one day worn and creased dress before we go out for the day in this same outfit. So this is me being me and trying not to look too uncomfortable in the process. I hope you likely!

There is not much to say about said dress other than the super drapey slubby denim tencel is from Blackbird fabrics. I bought it about a year ago, but I think its the same one as this one here.

So here are some pictures of how I'm wearing it today! xxx











Thursday, 16 November 2017

New pattern releases!!!

Hello, hello!

It is a long time since I released any new patterns (over a year), but I have been working slowly on things behind the scenes and this week saw the release of a new coat pattern and a new dress pattern. So just like the saying goes, no patterns for ages and then two come along at once...

First up is the Isca shirtdress. This is a design that is probably the most badly timed in terms of aaaall the shirtdress patterns that have been released this year, ha, but one that has been on my mind for the longest time. When I set up my pattern company I really wanted to reproduce a dress I drafted from a mens shirt block. It had a draped front so the button placket was skewed and flopped to the side. I wore it until it fell apart so was a dream dress, but as time has gone by some of the elements felt a bit dated. Below is my more up to date interpretation of that design and it has two very different views of the same bodice.


View A is a loose fitting dress with bust shaping and a close fit at the shoulders. There is a diagonal princess seam detail which is a bit lost in the sample print, but hopefully more visible in my blue version below. It has some really nice features in the roomy pockets and shoulder reinforcements.



View B is a draped front dress which gets tied to one side to create a wrap effect. The princess seam lines are still present as is the shoulder detail, but the silhouette is much sleeker. It's a great dress to wear if you favour a closer look, but still has the ease from the front wrap to make it incredibly comfortable. The back is fitted with back darts and the curved hem and patch pockets reference traditional shirt details. I shall share a version of this dress next week I made in a drapey tencel denim fabric from Blackbird fabrics. It is so gloriously soft and I wear it probably 3 out 7 days a week!

Note: All fabrics for the dresses (the grey was hand painted by me) are no longer available! :-(



This dress pattern speaks to me so much I can't even tell you. I have forgotten that I have any other clothes in my wardrobe I wear my versions so much! This is exactly how I felt when I released the Roberts collection, so I'm hoping you all feel the same way about it too!

Next up is the Honetone coat. This is just a very simple shape coat with a kimono sleeve. I went through loads of different ideas, but ended with this. I just wanted something clean and really well made. View A is a fully lined wool coat with some simple tailoring. I feel with coats that everyone has a preferred method. Mine is to hand sew the main fabric and lining hems. If you prefer to bag out the lining then you can totally do that, but the instructions are written with hand sewing in mind (just to let you know). View B is a great unlined denim jacket with loads of detail packed in via the topstitching. You can skip all the topstitching if it's not something you enjoy and still have a great jacket!

Mint coat fabric from Fabworks here.
Denim jacket fabric from Merchant and Mills here.





The wool coat (view A) can have both pocket options if you wish. It's probably better to select a fabric which is not too bulky if this is your plan as the inserted top pockets can be challenging on bulkier fabrics. Do not stress though, just test on some fabric scraps first if you have some spare. Here is a pink version I made from this gorgeous double faced twill weave wool from Fabworks. Such a good quality fabric!





I have had to chop my head off because as you can see below I look grumpy as anything! I don't know why. I'm happy, I promise. I just released some patterns...


There are printed versions of both patterns available in the shop for now. I have started printing A4 booklets that are really easy to read and follow and I really love how they turned out. You can also find FBA instructions for the shirtdress in the booklet.

Anyway, there's quite a lot for you to digest and I hope you like my new designs. Can't wait to see versions popping up. x