Saturday, 3 February 2018

Swishy Winslows

I didn’t really *need* this pattern, but have been admiring the Winslow Culottes from afar when I've seen them crop up on the blogosphere. I’ve become an avid fan of the Love to Sew Podcast, and so when Helen announced a Black Friday pattern sale I decided that this was the impetus I needed to support an indie designer who comes across as so nice, so I took the plunge and bought it. Plus I could justify it in that I had a friend’s birthday coming up and knew that she would love this design, which I thought would be easy to make in her size without any need for in-person fitting sessions as the crotch is dropped and there is an easy flowy fit over the hips.

While waiting for my friend’s measurements to be sent over, I decided to crack on and make a test pair for myself. I put on the latest episode of Love to Sew and proceeded to get into the zone. I don’t usually enjoy the cutting stage - I just want to get it over with - but when I have something lovely to listen to it definitely encourages me to get more absorbed in the process and take my time.

The Winslows are an easy make, my only slight hiccups were that I decided to interface the pocket openings as per a tip from another pattern, which I think was a mistake in this crepe as it’s added a bit of structure over the hips, exaggerating the proportions a bit more (I should have learnt my lesson after doing the same thing with my Clemence skirt, but oh well, I’ve thoroughly learned it now!).

I also inserted the centre back zip slightly too high so that the top would have been a fraction of an inch above the notch for the fold. I was tempted to leave it and fudge the waistband fold, but knew this would make the waistband all skewed so ripped it out and started again with more attention to making sure the top of the zip wouldn’t interfere with the turn of cloth - definitely worth taking your time over! I’m also totally rubbish at stitching in the ditch, so gave up and just edgestitched the bottom of the waistband down. It doesn’t look as clean, but I am terrible at catching the inside of the waistband when stitching in the ditch. I also experimented with machine blindstitching the hem, but this bouncy crepe was having none of it so I reverted to the original instructions, but wish I’d pressed a little better!

Anyway, there’s always something to improve in my construction, but I have to say that this is a lovely pattern that is fun to make and fun to wear! It looks great with my cropped vintage sweaters, and makes really easy workwear too as this fabric looks professional but doesn’t need much ironing. I do need to watch out for the static cling though, as this fabric (a “luxury French crepe” from Minerva crafts) loves to crackle, especially when I’m wearing tights for warmth underneath (my friend told me to avoid this I should moisturise under my tights - my dry shins are obviously causing an electricity build up!).

I made a straight size 12 and these have worked out great. The waistband is nice and nipped in, but I have just enough room to tuck tops in for a more streamlined look, and the flare gives some nice drama. These are also a decent contender in their full length for the dramatic Alice from Godless trousers I’m keen to make up for myself too...

I might be a bit late to the trend (as with my tipsy Roberts overalls purchase) but I’ve already got a lot of wear out of these (including a mad dash to and from Belfast in a day, which saw them last admirably through two flights) and love the fact that they provide an easy and elegant option for my everyday wardrobe, and in this fabric don’t need ironing. I'm very happy I bought these, they're a lovely pattern and I really like the styling ideas that are included in the instructions as an extra thoughtful touch. FYI if anyone's interested in the jumper I'm wearing, this is made up from a 1940s vintage knitting pattern by my mum. I'm afraid I can't remember the name offhand, but she always types up a detailed report on Ravelry - check out Knichet if you're on there!

Have you ever been swayed to buy a pattern based on the designer's personality? This isn't the first time it's happened to me actually, I've also been wooed by Heather of Closet Case patterns, Kelli of True Bias and Megan of Megan Nielsen, Gertie and all her lovely vintage pattern books - and not to neglect my first real sewing hero Tilly, of Tilly and the Buttons!

Until next time,

NorseOtter xx

Sunday, 14 January 2018

My #MakeNine and Top 5 Sewing Goals for 2018

Hi everyone!

How this year shaping up for you so far? I have to confess I haven't even started sewing yet, but I have some lovely plans that I'm keen to get cracking with. I've mashed up two social sewing tags with Crafting a Rainbow's Top 5 for the skills I want to work on this year, plus Lucky Lucille's Make Nine which I like the open-ness and flexibility of. 

Make Nine Plans

Inspiration image from Old Town

1. Popover Shirt
I have to make this as it's Angus's Christmas present and is already overdue! There isn't a pattern for a men's popover that I can currently find. I was going to hack the Colette Negroni, which I've made for Angus once before, but having bookmarked all the tutorials I got frozen with fear at how many changes would need to be made to the pattern to change the neckline to a stand collar and convert the front to popover. Instead I decided to draft a shirt on which hopefully should be a bit easier to hack. Will let you know how I get on! I'm hoping it will go well so I can use these skills to play with popover shirts for myself too...

2. Mimi G Flares (Simplicity 1283)
I've had a nice little run of making fun black trousers for myself and am keen to get cracking with these; I've had the pattern for years but have just bought myself some black ponte (although it seems they can also be made up in a stretch woven, which isn't listed on the envelope but perhaps I might prefer). 

3. Mimi G Polo Necks (also Simplicity 1283)
I also really like the polo neck that comes in the same pattern pack, but would need to lengthen it as I most certainly do not have washboard abs! I think this could be a great candidate for using up some merino jersey I've been holding onto for too long. I have a black polo neck jumper that I've had since I was at university, over ten years, and it still gets almost weekly wear during the colder months. I definitely need to increase my offering in this department.

© Marilla Walker

I follow What Katie Sews and have been stalking her travel blog lately for Japan tips; I'm very late to the party with this pattern (it was released in 2014) but think it would be quite fun and hopefully good travel wear for Japan. I like the woven tee as well, am hoping it will be a candidate for some lovely rabbit-print Japanese fabric I have (as the Patrones woven tee is out the window).

© Marilla Walker

I'm not sure if the dress version is really me, but I love the shirt! I'd like to make this up in chambray or something solid with a bit of texture or interest like the sample, I love the interesting design lines.

6. A short sleeved Surf to Summit Cycling Jersey
I meant to make this up last summer and have all the materials; I just never got it ready in time for the weather and ended up pushing up the sleeves of my winter one all summer instead. I do already have a pair of unblogged cycling shorts that are meant to be part of the set with hilarious knock-off Olympics 2012 fabric! I need to make more of the long-sleeved version too, and lengthen the duathlon shorts to leggings for winter cycling...

© True Bias

7. More Lander Pants
Either the long version or the shorts – or both! I love this pattern, but I would have to do some shopping for new fabric as this is not stashable and I am trying to get through it all.

© Secondo Piano

8. Basic InstincTt-shirt (Free pattern!)
I really need to make myself some basic black and white t-shirts as, when I wear tees that's what I like to wear. Plus, I need to have some instant gratification basics in the mix for low-sewjo days.

© Self Assembly Required

Ruffles may have been a big hit last year but this looks like fun and I'd like to have a go. It's a free pattern after all!

I'm sure I'll make a dress at some point; I have a hankering for a wrap dress but haven't fixed on the pattern, and still want to sew the French Gypsy dress I still haven't got around to, and I have denim for more jeans (I need to make a better fitting pair of high-waisted Gingers but am scared of cutting into the Cone Mills denim I've had in my stash forever).

I also plan to use up my scrap stash a bit more by making “reusable wrapping paper” gift bags like I did for Christmas. They're quick to make and a great alternative to wasteful paper, and the recipient can gift them on too if they like, or keep the bags as a souvenir. Plus they clear out space for fabric I actually want!

Top 5 Sewing Goals for 2018:

1. Waistbands. I'd like to nail my perfect curved waistband and learn how reinforce it with stay tape or whatever, not be lazy and fall back on straight waistbands provided with the pattern that crumple and gape.

2. Improve my finishing – particularly at the top of zips. I often manage to distort my neckline with a messy top of the zip finish and need to learn the tips and tricks to get this looking good going forward.

3. Continue to improve on my fitting journey. I need to remind myself not to rush ahead for a quick finish and get an ill-fitting garment out of it, and learn to take it a bit more slow.

4. Learn how to use some of the other functions on my overlocker and sewing machine.

5. Try and plan to use up seasonally appropriate fabrics! I have some merino that I've been holding onto for too long that I need to prioritise into making something snuggly while it's still cold. I have a habit of trying to stick to my queue even if there've been delays because I want to wear that thing *right now* even if that means only wearing it a few times before having to put it away for the season.

I hope that's a sensible mix of fun and practical. Here's to a more thoughtful sewing year!

NorseOtter xx

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Top 5 Hits and Misses of 2017 AKA Let's Have You 2018

Hi gang,

I hope you all had a wonderful festive period and Happy New Year! I barely did any sewing but enjoyed taking some time out to rest, socialise, and plan for our upcoming trip to Japan! I've just started back at work for the new year and it's been a bit of a struggle battling through the (albeit milder in London) winds of Storm Eleanor on my cycle commute after having been very lazy. 

2017 was a tough year for me and to be honest I was glad to see the back of it; the first part of the year was basically months of stress while redundancies took place at work; then more unsettledness as I changed roles and tried to get on with things while learning the ropes of a new job in the same company. While there have been some positives in all that (perhaps it even worked out for the best, all things considered?!), it certainly took the wind out of my sails for a while. As a result my making did take a bit of a hit through all this as if I wasn't jobhunting in the evenings I was just feeling overwhelmed to be honest. In the grand scheme of things it's not the worst thing in the world and I do have a very supportive partner who took great care of me when I was down and wonderful family and friends, but we all feel challenges and knockbacks in our own way. 

However, I'm proud of what I did manage to make, although it didn't all make it to the blog; unrecorded handmade items include a baby jacket made for a friend's newborn, a pair of cycling shorts with the 2012 Olympics themed stripes (these are cool in a "so bad they're good" kind of way and I'd love to get them photographed at some point); a bright orange Simple Sew Shannon t-shirt from ancient jersey; a denim shorts version of the Flints, some crepe Winslow culottes for myself and a friend (to be blogged soon!) a Plantain tee for my mother for Christmas in amazing dark floral-and-key-print fleece, and some “reuseable wrapping paper” gift bags that I knocked out for Christmas to use up some scraps (definitely taking this idea forward this year - my presents usually look like they've been wrapped by a dog wearing oven mitts!).

This was a year of finally making up some projects that had been ideas for ages (well, I always have a backlog to be fair) and giving in to new trends. I was a bit late on the bandwagon for some things like the Flints, but I loved them once I'd given in and wished I'd made them earlier in the year- likewise with my Winslows. I really love my Landers too (although I'd learned my lesson by then and snapped them up straightaway!) and hope to make more of those next year. It also ended up being a bit of a year of separates, but I haven't given up on dresses entirely!

Anyway, from what I did manage to make and blog about, here are my Top and Bottom 5s, as per Crafting a Rainbow's annual prompt to look back and evaluate. I didn't want to miss this year, even if it hasn't been the greatest in terms of output! Have a look below and a laugh at my many, many different haircuts. 

Top 5 Misses

Nothing I made this year was soul-crushingly disappointing really and I actually got a decent amount of wear out of everything, but the below are a few garments marred by fit, finish or fabric mishaps. Oh well, you live and learn!

This is in my top 5 too as I was very proud of making these, but I skipped a muslin when tweaking the fit and these have ended up too tight as a result. Really gutting given the time and effort I spent working with silk for the first time!

I was feeling lazy/ distracted/ stressed out when I made this set and as a result tried to cheat the fact that Patrones doesn't include seam allowances by tracing the size up and hoping for the best. As a result the skirt is way too tight over the abdomen which causes the zip to buckle in the back. The boxy top isn't really doing much for me either, although I still kind of like it. It was fun to try the trend though and, bar the fit issues I really like the results. I've happily worn this set plus both garments as separates mixed in with other clothing.

I love the idea of these and they are really fun to wear when they're fresh out of the wash first thing in the morning. However, the fabric really grows and these become drop-crotched hipsters by lunchtime, and I have to walk around pulling them up continuously. I also managed to insert the zip too close to the fly opening which isn't my best work. Sadly, these have been relegated to house-only wear.

First up, there is nothing wrong with this pattern and there are loads of lovely versions on the internet – plus, it's free! I think fabric choice is the problem here; plus the fact that I just don't look very good in casual clothes. The neck binding on this got a little puckered too and the drop sleeves make my upper arms look bigger – as with the tartan trews this only really gets wear as house pyjamas, although I love the colour!

I was so excited about this dress and it's just ended up being a bit meh/ matronly. That said, I love the colour and do still wear it, but I would need to do some serious work for a new version and I just don't know if I love the design enough to make the effort.

Top 5 Hits

I'm quite proud of the fact that I learned some new skills this year; I did a trouser-making class (though my fitting is better it is still a work in progress), I sewed with proper slippery silk for the first time; and I made swimwear! I made loads of lovely separates too which feel like my idea of an easy sew is levelling up a little.

This may not have been the most elegant hack and it's cheap material, but I'm so pleased with this dress and got loads of wear out of it this summer, and can see it being brought out again a lot next year.

4. Winslow Culottes
I'm sorry, I'll post them soon but I love these! I made myself a 'tester version' after buying the pattern to make a pair for a friend and they have come out so well that I wear them all the time. The nipped in waist looks lovely with so many of my other garments, and they make easy office wear.

This may not be perfectly executed, but it's a damn good job for my first try! I probably don't need to make any more swimwear, but I enjoyed making this (other than getting my gathering all even) and I think I look pretty good in it, if I say so myself.

These are just a muslin but I love them. They are so flattering and easy to wear, I can't wait to make more in the other lengths!

Despite the fit issues, this is still a stunning outfit and I'm so pleased I made it! It's also really comfortable (other than the fear of busting the seams) and I hope to get more wear out if it but using the separates. I also felt pleased that I'd managed to finally make something from my Famous Frocks book (I feel guilty if I have sewing books I haven't made anything from!).

Honourable mentions: Flint pants and Melilot shirts got made up in lots of different ways this year; I love both these patterns and would recommend them to anyone. I also really love my Erin skirt and plan to plan a longer version for the new year - great stylish basics all!

Stay tuned for my 2018 making plans up next on the blog (I'm totally getting on board with #makenine) plus my Top 5 sewing goals (because why not combine two positive sewing social media campaigns in one blog post?). 

Hope 2017 treated you well and that 2018 has even better in store,

NorseOtter xx

Note: Any links in my posts are for pattern-crediting convenience only; I don't have any affiliations. 

Saturday, 16 December 2017

I ❤ the Lander Pants: A Very Wearable Muslin in Black Cotton Drill

I bought the True Bias Lander Pants pattern as soon as it was released, hoping to make up the shorts in time for my last holiday. This was a bit too ambitious, but I’m glad I’ve had a chance to make them within a couple of months of purchase. Usually it can take me quite a while to get round to it, despite my best intentions!

These are made up of some non-stretch black cotton drill that I made up my vintage Simplicity skirt in a couple of years ago. I didn’t have quite enough so had to shorten the cropped length a little more, and the waistband is actually leftover black stretch denim from my Gingers that’s a decent colour match (which hopefully hasn't affected the fit too much).

Despite being cobbled together with remnants from my stash, I love these, and that sings to the quality of the pattern! I love the high waist, the exposed button fly (my buttons are just plain silver from Prym, and I did manage to snap one when hammering in!), and the flattering transition from close fitting around the lower torso to a looser but structured flow over the legs.

There are (always!) some things I’d tweak next time for fit, although I have been wearing these continually since making them and haven't been bothered too much by my perceived fit issues. As we sewists always like to say, the fit may not be perfect but it's still better than RTW, and they’ve turned out flattering anyway, very easy to wear, and go with so much in my wardrobe.

I made the size 10 at the waist, graded to a 12 over the hips. I had to fold up the pattern in the legs at the lengthen/ shorten line and lose approx 2 inches of length even on the cropped version due to fabric restrictions, so I decided to do a small double-turned hem of ⅜” then ½” (rather than the deep hem of ¼” followed by 3” called for by the pattern). I really like the length I ended up with, but am keen to make a ‘70s style mid-blue full-length pair.

There are a couple of things I could have done better that I’ll pay closer attention to next time:
  • I managed to slightly misalign the tops of the back pockets so they’re a bit wonky. Not sure if this was a cutting or marking error, but as the fabric is such a dark, matte black it’s not really easy to tell (and impossible in these photos, sorry!). Will be more careful next time though!
  • I might make a note to remind myself where to topstitch, as while blindly following instructions to edgestitch I didn’t think to switch up the thread for the pockets, so only the fly, hem and waistband are topstitched.
  • I also slightly misaligned the waistband button (the perils of marking button placement yourself while bending over to do so!), so it’s allowing more gape there than if the buttons were in a straight line, which I think be more sturdy. I do also need to make some fit adjustments there for my belly.
  • You can see little glimpses of the pocket lining on the outline of the pockets on the front leg. I did trim as per the instructions, but I should have made more effort to match up the raw edges so the lining would be pulled to the inside further. Next time I’d be more careful in this step and maybe use a dark rather than contrast lining to be on the safe side!
  • This is personal preference, but the pattern has you put the belt loops on the side seams. I actually think it’s more visually slimming the have the side belt loops tucked a few centimetres back from the side seams so they’re not visible from the front, giving a more streamlined silhouette. I kept them as is for this pair, but next time I’d amend them as per the spacing on the Ginger jeans. 

You may be able to advise me further on this (although I think it’s hard to tell in this black) but the fit adjustments I think I need are:

  • Full belly adjustment (wah).
  • Full seat adjustment.
  • Maybe a swayback too.

I could perhaps have given myself a bit more room in both these areas but adjusting along the generous 1” seam allowance at the sides (or just making a straight size 12 instead of narrowing to a 10 at the waist), but not sure if that would achieve the best results. Anyway, these are not a terrible fit out of the packet, even if I do need to remember to suck my belly in a bit more!

I’d love to make another pair; I really like them in this black drill, but maybe a navy and/ or burgundy pair (like the pattern's official photos) would be nice. And of course the mid-blue pair dreamed up above. What do you think?

I’m on a real trouser-making kick at the moment; I still don’t have fitting nailed, but I’m loving having a decent selection of me-made bottoms in my wardrobe. I’ve already made a pair of Winslows which hopefully I’ll have some free time to catch the light and photograph soon, and I’ve bought supplies to make the Mimi G flares pattern Simplicity 1283 (inspired by Laura Dern’s character’s elegant flares in Big Little Lies, even though she and I are hardly body doubles!).

I’ve just watched Godless too and I want a pair of trousers like the amazing floor-sweeping ones Alice wears, with a buttoned waistband (I like her princess seamed blouses too). Perhaps modifying my Flints and adding a button front to the Elisalex bodice? After a couple of festive drinks I also bought the Marilla Walker Roberts Collection (and the Isca for the lovely shirt variation) on a whim, even though I swore I’d never do the overalls thing, so watch out to see if I make that a reality!

Anyway, exciting trouser plans aside, I’d better crack on with handmade Christmas gifts. I hope your festive making is going well, whether it’s party wear for yourself or gifts for others!

NorseOtter xxx

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Fancy Festive Outfit: Flint Pants and Anjelica Huston Top in Emerald Silk

I've been working on something rather special recently, and while simple a little more involved. This is an outfit made especially for my friends' wedding where the dress code was "smart but colourful". I'm not sure how smart this is, and it does definitely feel and look like luxe pyjamas, but it is colourful! I wanted the jumpsuit look, but without the impracticality, so decided to match up the Flint pants with a drapy cowl neck top discovered in the back of my Famous Frocks: Little Black Dress book.

I've been hoarding this emerald green silk from Goldhawk Road for ever (although I feel like the last time I was in Classic Textiles it was still there). I had initially intended to make a Colette Licorice dress, using the matte reverse of the silk, but went off the idea (I'm still torn about whether I want to make that dress- maybe in a dark crepe with full length sleeves and no waist tie it might be more me?).

I was debating whether to use the reverse for this outfit too, but the idea of special occasion shininess won out. I've not worked much with silk before; the one time I did it was raw and slubby so the rougher texture made it easier to cut and handle. This time I tried to follow all the best practice tips out there: I starched when ironing to lose some of the slipperiness; cut everything out on a single layer using a fresh rotary blade in my cutter; I bought some silk pins especially and used the tissue paper method to stop the seams slipping through the machine (which was equipped with a fresh and fine microtex needle).

I French seamed most seams too, although I did use the overlocker where necessary but I'm not as keen on this finish as the navy thread looks a bit shoddy, but I wasn't going to rush out and buy 3 cones of matching green thread - especially when I'd bought the original thread ages ago with my original sewing plan in mind. I tried to avoid handling the pieces too much as well to minimise distortion (although I'm sure there was some). I think all this worked in my favour, but I may have stretched out the back neck a little for the top.

These are the Flint pants, which I chose for the luxe Miss Fisher-esque 20s pyjama look, but also because I thought my first go in silk should be in a relatively simple pattern that I'm confident with the fit. This is the flat waistband version, but instead of adding buttons I decided to sew in four tiny polyester snaps to keep the front smooth and avoid any pulling. I made a couple of tiny tweaks - one to add more space over my "rump apex", another to pinch out a swayback ripple just under the waistline, and another to smooth the rear crotch curve. I also shortened the legs, but in trying on during construction I preferred the longer length so just did a baby hem to preserve as much of this as possible.

I swear the adjustments I made were tiny, and all but the swayback should have added rather than taken away space, but the net result seems to have been that these are a little tighter than planned! Eep. Not sure whether this is to do with the linen I made my first pair in being more relaxed weave and dropping to accommodate my curves, or whether the tweaks were a bad idea, or the French seams made the fit a little closer; or somewhere between all three! I've not dared to let anything out because of the potential needle scarring on the silk. For my next pair I might add in a wider seam allowance over the hips and see if this fixes some of the other issues...You can really see my belly and bum threatening to bust the seams in the images above and below! The silk does really show everything though, including the pocket outlines in some shots, so I guess I'll have to just suck it up (and suck it in!).

The top is the variation pattern for the  Anjelica Huston inspired dress from the Famous Frocks: The Little Black Dress book and I made no adjustments at all. It's quite loose fitting but in a way that I think speaks to 1920s elegance; plus it's a pull-on top so can't be too close to the body. It's my first ever bias-cut make, and the cutting out was definitely the lengthiest part of the process, otherwise it was very easy and I think quite flattering. I'd certainly consider making it again, and I like the way it pairs with the Flint.

All in all though I am pleased with this outfit, even if I have to remember to suck my belly in and stand very straight! The upside of it being silk is that i could very comfortably sleep in it if I stumbled in late after a night of festive merriment. I'll leave you with my demonic face from the image below, don't have nightmares kids...!

NorseOtter xx

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Trio of Tees

Hi everyone!

Time for something a little different, and I have multiple models that aren't me for this blog post. Over the summer I had a bit of t-shirt making run (although I neglected to make any for myself and I really should, plain t-shirts are an essential and so quick to make up!).

My friend Scott was turning thirty, my brother's birthday was coming up and he hadn't yet been made anything by me, and Angus as usual had to be the guinea pig for project to check whether the pattern was going to work out. So: three tees, back-to-back.

The pattern is the Classic Men's T-Shirt from the Great British Sewing Bee Book 'Fashion with Fabric'. I don't have the book; but the pattern (plus instructions) are free to download from Love Sewing magazine's website here:

As I had a struggle with the button-down shirt I'd made from a previous GBSB book I didn't entirely trust the pattern, so made it up in scraps for Angus. The white section had to be cut on the cross-grain because my scraps were odd sizes, luckily it doesn't seem to have affected the overall hang too much. It's resulted in a rather oversized, loose-hanging look that Angus likes for a retro feel for this version (and he matches the cat!), but for Scott I knew he'd prefer something a little more fitted, so I went down a few sizes.

Making a plain t-shirt didn't seem fancy enough for a gift so I decided to do some colour blocking. This was necessary for Angus's scrap shirt, and it worked out pretty well, so I decided to use it again with the same proportions for the others. I just cut the pattern horizontally across from just below the armscye to centre front and back on both sides and added seam allowances. I could perhaps have lowered the seam a little to match the sleeve length, but it works out pretty well with the rolled-up sleeves.

I used melange jersey from Ray Stitch (many more colours available, but this bordeaux is my favourite). The fabric is much better quality than the scraps I used for Angus's tee so resulted in a garment that didn't drape as much and held its shape pretty well, with nice recovery. As you can see here, the seam allowance trimmings from my brother's shirt have made a very popular cat toy - she just loves how the fabric pings back when she tries to drag it away!

I should probably say the pattern is a pretty decent basic and the proportions look right. It'd be easy enough to customise further, and you can't argue with the price! If there's one thing I would have done differently it would be to make the sleeves shorter, but that's personal preference really. As you can see here they look pretty good rolled up to the desired length, whereas if you leave them at the length as-drafted you end up with them finishing just above the elbow.

Having fabric left over from Scott's t-shirt and the joy of making something relatively simple that looks pretty professional (if I do say so myself) I decided to repeat the trick for my brother, but to mix up the colourway a little. I had to keep the bordeaux in as I love the colour (although maybe I should have saved some for myself?). His style is more understated so I went for a semi-fitted look, keeping the sleeve length as is for him. I also decided to topstitch the chest join seam down, just to add a slightly different touch. Here's how it turned out!

T-shirts are really nice projects if you have an overlocker and a twin needle (although they can be made on a regular sewing machine too, but as mine's from the '70s it's not really designed to handle stretch fabrics). There are loads of nice free women's t-shirts out there too, although they may need adjusting for fit across the bust (men are so much easier to sew for when it comes to fit!). I've tried the Plantain and liked it (it was my first ever jersey project and made using my cranky old Toyota too, I'm certain I'd get better results now); I recently came across Secondo Piano's Basic InstincT tee which looks like something I'd like to have a go at, but I think I may have missed the boat seasonally now.

What's your favourite classic t-shirt pattern?

NorseOtter xx