About sewbusylizzy

Australian sewing blogger

Papercut Patterns, Guise Pants aka Does Lizzy Wear The Pants?

It’s been awhile.

I was in a sewing ‘funk’, didn’t know what to sew or where to start. So I asked Instagram how to drag myself out of it. Amid the many suggestions was a very funny comment from Jen of The Stitcher and Gatherer to make some pants. As she pointed out, I make a lot of skirts, dress, tops and jackets… and I needed to challenge myself.

So I did.

Hello Guise Pants from Papercut Patterns.

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants - front view

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants – front view

Now I will be 100% honest, I had plenty of reservations about this pattern – and I even told Katie of Papercut Patterns that :-)

  1. I generally prefer skinny jeans or wide-legged flat-front trousers – it’s all or nothing with me; and
  2. elastic back waist. I live in a holiday/retirement destination and elastic waists of any description remind me of sensible shoes and comfortable pants worn by a significant proportion of my community…l’m not ready to go there yet!; and
  3. I wasn’t sold on the pattern photography – not my colours and styling. That said, I like to look beyond that and see if I can ‘make it my own’ – that’s part of what inspires me to sew.

However I love a challenge.
Katie had sent me the pattern (along with the Flutter and Sway) when I had enquired about the Papercut Pleated Pants – that’s another blog post in the not too-distant future.
Plus I had traced the Guise out weeks ago, I fell in love with the new tencel denim at Spotlight and the rest is history!

SEWING THE GUISE PANTS

Size: There are a few versions of these pants floating about the internet (see end of post for links) and a couple mentioned that they had sized down or would next time around. My hip measurement fell just below the XS size so I decided to make the XXS. I admit, making pants that are too small terrifies me as there is nothing more ego deflating than too-tight pants. I could have made a toile/muslin… however having made a few Papercut Patterns I decided to trust my instincts and just leapt in.

Fit: I don’t know!
I don’t often wear pants of this loose-fitting, pleated and casual style. In fact, one of the reasons I made the belt as I really don’t own belts for trousers.
They feel OK and are certainly very comfortable.
They do seem very generously sized. Even sizing down, they are a little droopy about my waist and hips. However I think the soft drape suits them with this fabric choice.
I love how the legs are taper around my calves and ankles. I cut about 1 inch off the length (I’m 5 foot 4). I’m going to try these with the hems rolled up a little. I like how Jolies Bobines styled hers.
There is quite a lot of ‘room’ in the crotch however they seem to sit nicely over the junk trunk and hang well at the front.
If you are a pleated pant fit guru – please share your thoughts!

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants without a belt

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants without a belt

Construction: The pattern went together without a hitch. One of the easiest makes yet. You can read quite a detailed post about it at Gingermakes – and she notes an error in the instructions and some other quirks with Papercut Patterns – it’s well worth a read if you are making these.
I found the instructions really straight-forward and comprehensive. I have sewn welt pockets and fly fronts before – however I found these instructions really helpful and clear. There wasn’t any ‘support’ from Google search.
I did overlock all the edges of each piece before I sewed. I don’t always do this as I think overlocking can distort the fabric edges. However as this fabric was stable, I overlocked the edges – as I find Papercut Patterns 1cm seam allowances rather small when feeding them through the overlocker (not overlocking both together). They just never turn out as neat as I would like.

Pockets: Four pockets! Two front and two back welt pockets. I had some floral silk fabric that I decided to use for pocketing. I found this on a remanent table at my local independent fabric shop in Port Macquarie. All five metres of it for $5. I’ve been hoarding it for lining purposes.

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants, sewn by Sew Busy Lizzy

Back pocket detail

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants side pockets, front pleats and self-fabric belt

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants side pockets, front pleats and self-fabric belt. Sorry my belt is twisted – no mirrors at the beach. I pulled these on in the car!

Welts: My back welts are not quite perfect – but they are OK. I love these little details. I thought the welt fusing piece (inside the trousers) could be just a little bit narrower so it isn’t visible above the pocket on the inside. That’s just a visual detail if you like picture perfect garment guts.

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants - welt pockets

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants – welt pockets. I’m mid stride here.

Fly front: I found the pieces and instructions fabulous, this is one of my best fly fronts yet.

Waist: The pattern has you neaten the inner waist band edge and stitch it down. I decided to finish my edge with bias binding for ‘neatness sake’. Gingermakes widened her pattern piece and folded the raw edge under – do whatever rocks your world I say.
I machined the bias on the right side and then took the pants to work and handstitched the bias edge under to the wrong side. Why so pedantic? Mainly because I do like neat finishes… and then I could get sewing on the rest of the pants as soon as I got home! I love to maximise every minute of my day.
The elastic back waist may be a deterrent for some. It was for me at first. However the back doesn’t make the fabric fall in an unflattering way over the ‘junk trunk’ – or mine at least.

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants - I've included this so you can see how the elastic back looks. It is not 'that' gathered

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants – I’ve included this so you can see how the elastic back looks. It is not ‘that’ gathered

Belt and belt loops: I laid out my pieces with the intention of having a skerrick of fabric left running down the selvedge to make a self-fabric tie belt. It’s a little wider than the belt loops but I wanted the belt to look like that – I know, not everyone’s style but it was the look that was in my head. I would have loved it slightly longer and flared at the ends… but no fabric left!
I opted for the fabric belt as well as sometimes a different coloured belt seems to chop me in half and visually shorten me.
If I make these again, I would make the belt loops slightly longer, they seemed ‘just the right’ size. I would rather cut them slightly longer and them trim them back. That’s just how I construct things. I like a bit more room for fiddling.

Fabric: Tencel denim from Spotlight, Australia. This is LOVELY stuff. Beautiful to work with and I will be curious to see how it wears. (Note: after 6 hours of wear I was pleasantly surprised at how this fabric didn’t crease excessively).
I opted for tencel denim as I decided that anything with too much body would potentially make the pleats a little too ‘sticky-outie’ and result in unwanted lower tummy/crotch ‘poofiness’. I’m really happy with this fabric and pattern match.
I think these would be great in a light wool crepe for casual office pants aka secret pyjamas.

…and how I’m most likely to wear my pants… beltless & casual… that’s how I roll (or prefer to).

guise pants_me1

Beltless – they really need a belt to hold them up… but the seagulls don’t seem to mind so much.

Also See: Gingermakes | Jolies Bobines | Craft Sanctuary | The Monthly Stitch

Thanks Jen for the suggestion – I’m back to ‘normal’.

sewing again and back at the beach

sewing again and back at the beach

Pattern: Papercut Patterns Guise Pants
Note: Papercut Patterns provided this pattern for preview purposes. All opinions my own. No affiliate links in this post.
Shirts: RTW – Just Jeans, Australia
Shoes: Zensu (lovely red patent leather… never-been-worn from the op shop for the princely sum of $5)
Earrings: Pandora
Location: Oxley Beach, Port Macquarie

This post first appeared on http://www.sewbusylizzy.com

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Floral Riot, Burda 6849 from Mood Fabrics NY

On the side, I’ve been suffering from a quiet obsession with shirts… this one I’ve made as my Mood Fabrics NY project, using a lovely Pink Carnation Floral Printed Cotton Voile.

I took two lots of pictures – one just as a storm was hitting at lunchtime – then about 24 hours later on the beach… this winter has been ‘all over the place’! I decided to use a few from both as the stormy backdrop really did make the colours jump off the screen – I habitually roll up my sleeves – fortunately I managed to get one photo before the sleeves assumed their ‘normal position’, half way up my forearm.

Burda 6849, sewn with Pink Carnation Floral Printed Cotton Voile from Mood Fabrics NY

Burda 6849, view C – yes it’s mid-winter here…

When I unpacked this fabric I immediately thought of making a shirt. I think voile would be one of my favourite fabrics. It’s not as fancy as silk or wool but it’s one of the most wearable and washable fabrics I’ve encountered – which means that it passes my ‘lifestyle’ test with flying colours.

According to the Mood Fabric Dictionary (this always helps me when I’m stuck wondering what some mystery fabric is in BurdaStyle!) Voile is: “Plain, loosely woven. Characteristics: A thin semi-transparent dress material of cotton, wool, or silk. Sheer and very light weight. Usually made with cylindrical combed yarns. To obtain a top quality fabric, very highly twisted yarns are used. Voilé drapes and gathers very well. The clear surface is obtained by singeing away any fuzzy yarns. Has a hard finish and crisp, sometimes wiry hand”

This fabric is not loosely woven and is not semi-transparent as I would expect with a voile. It strikes me more as a lawn than a voile. A fabric of this nature is perfect for shirtmaking – I found it an exceptionally easy fabric to work with to create finishes such as flat-fell and French seams, rolled hems and more. It’s remarkably easy to cut out and iron. In short, it’s a dream to sew with.

Shirts have a few tricky elements if you have never sewn one before – I confess my first few shirts gave me several heart attacks during construction. Perhaps that is part of the addiction, conquering the challenges one by one. There is no doubt for me that sewing with a lightweight fabric with high thread count certainly makes those tricky elements much easier to handle.

Burda 6849

The insides – no overlocker required! I flat felled the centre back seam and then French seamed the sleeves and side seams.

Shirts are a staple in my wardrobe. I tend to wear dresses to work however my out-of-work uniform tends to be denim jeans/skirts with t-shirts and button-up shirts.

I decided to wanted a feminine, slim-fitting shirt and Burda 6849 delivered. It has a shaped centre back seam, four fish eye darts at the waist, shaped side seams and a curved hem. The sleeves are also quite slim fitting.

Burda 6849, sewn with Pink Carnation Floral Printed Cotton Voile from Mood Fabrics NY

Burda 6849, view C

Due to the nature of the print and the weight of the fabric, the seams, darts and pockets just disappear and you focus on the silhouette created by the sewing pattern. And this fabric just sings, it’s so pretty!

Burda 6849

Pocket and buttons

As this lawn was so lovely and fine, I flat-felled the back seam with a neat 4mm seam. I also decided to French seam the sleeves and side seams. These types of seams are so easy to achieve in a high-count light-weight cotton.

Burda 6849

The cuffs

I did add a slight curve to the cuff edges. The placket is a simple one and while I thought about adding a tower placket, I decided not to as I liked the light nature of the fabric and how neatly it rolled up at the sleeve end.

Some techniques used:-

Burda 6849, sewn with Pink Carnation Floral Printed Cotton Voile from Mood Fabrics NY

Burda 6849, view C

Pattern: Burda 6849
Fabric: Pink Carnation Cotton Voile, Mood Fabrics NY
Also see: Creating in the Gap – gorgeous shirt by Margo. I’d like to steal it :-)

Buttons: the buttons were a surprise gift from Vicki Kate Makes – which were also perfect on my daughter’s Japanese shirt. They just seem to go with everything! Thank you xo.

Shirtmaking

I think shirtmaking is a long journey, I have many miles to go. I love making shirts, I find them methodical and precise – it’s like sewing yoga to me – I really relax when making them.

I decided to invest in a few resources including both David Page Coffin books (read GingerMakes. review of The Shirtmaking Workbook). I’ve made a couple of shirts (sorry behind in blog posts), stalked menswear stores for inspiration (just the shirts I promise!) and crawled my way across Pinterest.

So I hope there will be more shirts to share in the future.

Out & About

Busy times coming up with three weekends away. This weekend it’s Newcastle for dancing mum duties, then Melbourne for Frocktails, followed by Brisbane for the theatre – Dracula! Somehow must find time to sew.

Burda 6849, sewn with Pink Carnation Floral Printed Cotton Voile from Mood Fabrics NY

Burda 6849, view C. Sometimes I get demure and cover my wrists…

Not a city girl anymore… Sydney Jacket by Tessuti Fabrics

I expected to love this more… maybe it will grow on me – never say never. I can take a little longer to fall in love or warm to things… so I’m trying to be patient (not one of my finer qualities).

Sydney Jacket by Tessuti Fabrics, Australia.

Styled to death :-) because that’s how I roll.

This is the Sydney Jacket by Tessuti Fabrics. Every other blogger in the southern hemisphere seems to have made this (some multiple times), talked about it, considered making it or read about it – OK I’m exaggerating but that’s how it feels! It will be interesting to see if Sydney fever hits our northern hemisphere friends as their winter approaches.

It’s certainly a different jacket pattern with a fresh take on construction techniques. We all love a challenge, so curiosity might get the better of some bloggers – certainly did me!

I loved it as soon as it was released. It’s got all of the perfect ingredients – a slightly deconstructed feel, modern, perfect for layering, exposed seams and of course… draped. It should be my perfect jacket. I’m Sydney born and bred so this was a sentimental make, I adore Sydney but I have lived on my beautiful coastal patch for nearly 15 years now. Maybe the salt and sand has seduced me after all.

Sydney Jacket by Tessuti Fabrics, Australia.

I love the shorter sleeves, it’s very cool layering piece

There are lots of things that I like about this particular style, I love…

  • the short sleeves – it’s ideal for those not so cold days, perfect for layering and accessorising
  • the seam details
  • the pockets
  • the length – I love a longer line jacket for when I’m cruising about, they have a bit of flair and drama about them

I think a slightly heavier or more textured fabric might have worked better. I’m not a massive fan of the curved back yoke on me, I feel a little slumped. The lapels feel massive. Yes, I guess I could have fiddled with them for the photos… but this is how they fall on me so that’s how I left them.

This pattern is available as PDF (and printed) and at $10 for a PDF it’s a competitive price. It also comes with an A0 print shop version… which is often a deal clincher for me. My local Xerox shop prints A0 sheets for about $2.50 each. I really can’t stand sticking together A4 sheets and will avoid it whenever possible. It also comes as a ‘print at home’ file option.

The fabric is Italian cashmere coating from The Fabric Store, Brisbane – I can’t go to Brisbane and not go there, lovely store and lovely staff. This is gorgeous fabric that has a beautiful sheen and feels like liquid. If I don’t even up wearing this, I’m hoping to salvage enough fabric from my leftovers and the jacket itself to make a smaller jacket… I’m going to wait.

Sydney Jacket by Tessuti Fabrics

No scarf… BTW I made up the ‘petite’ version of the Sydney.

Despite my bellyaching, I really like this pattern and recommend it if you are a little jaded of traditional jacket patterns – or lining, collars and buttons/zippers scare you. It’s fun and interesting to make. Most of the seams are overlapped by 3/8 inch and you sew down the centre of the overlap. The side seams are sewn in a traditional manner.

Sydney Jacket by Tessuti Fabrics, Australia. Construction, the seams

I marked 3/8 inch in from the edge with pins, overlapped the edges and then sewed down the middle. You could choose to mark this with chalk or with thread – or by eye!

The instructions provide lots of photographs which is helpful. However sometimes the text is on one page & the photo is on the next. It’s not a drama it’s just a couple of times I’d find myself looking at a photograph at the top of the page & reading the text underneath… then realising the associated text was on a previous page. It’s just how I read, nothing wrong with the pattern instructions. I just found flicking between pages for one step threw out my rhythm a little.

There are pockets… not in the side seams… and no welts… oh no, you cut through the front of the jacket piece to gain access… yes, that requires a little bit of faith! And yes, more raw edges. The pockets certainly made for an interesting construction step – I love trying and learning new things.

Sydney Jacket by Tessuti Fabrics, Australia.

Those lapels swamp me. I didn’t fiddle with them for photos and that is how they fell which I think has to do with the weight of the fabric.

All the edges are raw. So if you hate hems – this is the pattern for you! You do need to keep that in mind when selecting fabric as something that frays will not be suitable. Think boiled/felted wools, neoprene and ponte.

I really enjoyed making this – fun pattern, interesting jacket… Love at first sight doesn’t always happen – how many times have you dreamed of a garment, tried it on RTW and felt slightly deflated? Or felt lukewarm about something and then worn it forever? Well, that happens with sewing as well. This is definitely a case of ‘it’s not you, it’s me’. Great pattern.. perhaps not on me (I feel like the lone blogger *sobs*).

Sydney Jacket by Tessuti Fabrics, Australia.

Taking a moment to soak up some warm winter sun.

Sorry can’t type much more – I’m typing like demented drunk monkey as I managed to sew straight through the pad of my left index finger on Friday morning… twice… yes, it hurt and still hurts – a lot. Funnily enough, I was madly stitching down fused (but not cooperative) stars onto my daughter’s ‘superhero’ tshirt (complete with gold net cape – her special power was ‘kindness and generosity’) so she could read her story to the kindergarten class in character that day.Giselle was thrilled (apart from the bleeding and swearing mother element) as the teacher said that if there was a ‘best dressed award’ it would have been her – more exciting because it was all thought out and designed by her. Superhero daughter status… but right now I’m sewing and typing a lot slower for a while!

There are lots of gorgeous version out there to inspire you…

Pattern: Sydney Jacket by Tessuti
Fabric: Cashmere coating, The Fabric Store (Brisbane)
Boots: Flore from Duo, scarf from Metalicus (old fave), beads from Portmans (years ago)

There’s potential for scoring a part-time job as a windsock at least…

Sydney Jacket by Tessuti Fabrics,

A little bit of swooping action… who doesn’t love a dramatic coat?

A Casual Flutter (Tunic) & Papercut Pattern Giveaway Winner

or One Good Flutter Deserves Another…

I’ve worn my rayon Flutter Tunic several times and was even stopped this week by a lady who asked “where did you get that amazing dress?” I was wearing it with my beloved black Avani boots as blogged – plus opaque black tights, a white scarf and long red wool coat.

And one good Flutter deserves another… yes? So I decided to try a more casual look…

Flutter Tunic, Papercut Patterns. Front view.

Yes those are crazy OTT vintage cowboy boots… they inspire deep hatred or love. I don’t mind either way – they are fun to wear and make me smile. Although the lower front boot cut makes my legs look longer (or tunic shorter!) than my styling of the first Flutter dress!

Yes, it’s short but you only live once, my new boots (in transit) which I planned to wear with this, finish closer to my knee – which means less legs and the tunic doesn’t look quite as… frisky… I’ll wear this with tights in winter – it was such a beautiful winter afternoon I couldn’t be bothered. All the headlands and beaches were packed with people, walking and watching for the migrating whales. We saw a whale breach near the lighthouse – I still get excited by that stuff!

This Casual Flutter was inspired by Kirsty of Top Notch – she blogged her gorgeous frocktails Silk Flutter last week and mentioned she’d like a denim one. So when this paisley denim fabric threw itself out of the stash on Saturday afternoon shrieking it needed to be a Flutter, I made it – in less than three hours. I’m not the only one who has a chatterbox fabric stash am I?

I’d like to make another in plain denim with feature stitching and pockets. Pretty sure that might happen soon.

Flutter Tunic, Papercut Patterns. Side view.

Flutter Tunic, Papercut Patterns. Side view. My more sensible (flat!) Flore Duo Boots.

Flutter Tunic, Papercut Patterns. Back view.

Flutter Tunic, Papercut Patterns. Back view. While the tunic is loose, I don’t think it’s shapeless.

I used readymade bias binding for the neckline as I felt the denim would have been bulky. It worked beautifully.

Flutter Tunic, Papercut Patterns. Neckline binding

Flutter Tunic, Papercut Patterns. Neckline binding

I overlocked/serged all the pieces before I sewed the seams. I don’t usually do this for fear of warping or stretching the edges – however denim is quite stable to work with. I find the 1cm seam allowance is a bit fiddly to feed through my overlocker after sewing the seams so I decided the neaten the edges before I began.

PAPERCUT PATTERNS GIVEAWAY WINNER
Wow, there were a lot of entrants – over 120! Thank you so much for your interest and comments. I put everyone’s name in a spreadsheet to provide each name with a number. Then I used random.org to generate a number… and the winner is…

PIPS! of The Girl in a Teacup!

Flutter Tunic, Papercut Patterns. Front view.

Ahhhhh, those flutter sleeves… I love them! Flutter Tunic, Papercut Patterns.

Pattern: Flutter Tunic, Papercut Patterns
Fabric: Paisley printed denim, Spotlight
Boots: Flore Duo Boots & vintage American boots (obviously I suffered a severe bout of boot indecisiveness today)
Scarf: Cotton lace of forgotten origin. It is a paisley pattern though. Pure coincidence!

Note: Papercut Patterns provided this pattern for preview purposes. All opinions my own – I’ve made it twice just because I enjoy making and wearing it so much. No affiliate links in this post.

Oxley Beach, Port Macquarie.

Oxley Beach, Port Macquarie.

This post first appeared on http://www.sewbusylizzy.com

Flutter Tunic, Papercut Patterns

I didn’t expect to knock out another Papercut Patterns project so quickly… but when the inspiration strikes, one must sew along with it… meet my new Flutter Tunic (with a little bit of grrrrr)

Papercut Patterns, Flutter tunic, front view

Flutter Tunic, front view

This is a garment shape that people either love and shy away from. One of the responses I have had to this is “grrrrrrr” which is apparently manspeak for “sexy“. Not quite the response I anticipated to a loose & simple dress.

I planned to make the Flutter blouse – then I spotted this blue/blue/white splatter print rayon ottoman suiting in my stash… and it just seemed the obvious choice for the tunic. I love this fabric, it’s got a bit of weight to it yet has a nice drape.

Papercut Patterns Flutter tunic, side view

Flutter tunic, side view

I added 1.5 inches to the length as it seemed a little saucy… and then cut it off when I finished the tunic – perhaps I’m a hussy at heart after all :-) The added length transformed the  ‘flutter’ into a ‘feedsack’. On my frame and height, the loose silhouette needs to be balanced by a shorter length. I turned the hem up by 1.25 inches. I’m an un-statuesque 5 foot 4 if that helps with your future Flutter tunic length decisions.

THE PATTERN

The tunic has French darts to provide some shape to the boxy body. The shoulders are dropped, the sleeves are flared and the back hem dips slightly.

Flutter tunic - Papercut Patterns package

Flutter tunic – Papercut Patterns package (in the background is a hoarded silk I’m thinking about turning into a Summer Flutter Tunic…

My fabric is rather ‘busy’ so here is the line art so you can see the detail.

Flutter tunic - Papercut Patterns: line art, measurements and fabric requirements

Flutter tunic – Papercut Patterns: line art, measurements and fabric requirements

This is an easy sew… the most work is the bias binding on the neckline, which in this fabric was not at all fiddly and was easy to achieve a nice neat finish. I didn’t have quite enough fabric to cut the strip on the bias… so I cut it on the ‘semi bias’ ie at an angle but not quite 45 degrees… it seemed to work, probably helped along by the agreeable nature of the fabric.

Back neck detail

Back neck detail, finished with self-fabric bias binding. Sorry, pattern matching impossibility with this one!

THOUGHTS

  • This is an easy garment to make. There are a couple of darts, you set the sleeves in flat (then sew up the side seams all in one go) and the hem only has a slight curve to it. The neckline is finished with a bias strip. You could do this in a contrast fabric or trim as per the pattern envelope.
  • I didn’t expect to love this quite as much as I do. It’s one of the strangely fabulous garments to wear. I stitched it up with a sickening ‘sack dress anxiety’ sensation and got a big surprise when I put it on! I’m wearing it out to a work dinner tonight.
  • I like the wide neckline with the v-back.

    This wide deep neckline is growing on me...

    This wide deep neckline is growing on me…

  • Yes it is short… however as it is straight there is no ‘oops’ that can happen with the Saiph circle skirt tunic in a sea breeze (which happened once… in front of a bunch of bikies… seriously).
  • I can imagine wearing this with leggings, a long scarf and a light, loose wool jacket on colder days. I think it would make a gorgeous summer dress as well in a different fabric.
  • I suspect some people will be tempted to add shape to this silhouette with some darts or a belt… however I love it as is. I think the loose shape works in a shorter length. The legs get enough attention without drawing more attention to the rest of my figure. This is definitely ‘all about the legs’ garment for me.

DETAILS
Pattern: Papercut Patterns, Flutter Tunic/Top. I made the tunic in XXS, choosing my size based on bust measurement, no grading for my XS hips. I left the length as drafted, I am 5 foot 4.
Fabric: 1.5m Rayon Ottoman Suiting from Spotlight, Australia. About $15 per metre, I think I scooped this up during a 30% or 40% off sale.
Necklace: Jellystones
Boots: Avani, Duo Boots

Also see: Beautyfull Handmade Tunic & Blouse | High tea & Hydrangeas Tunic & Blouse | Jolies Bobines Blouse

GIVEAWAY
(now closed – thank you for your interest!)
Katie from Papercut Patterns has generously offered to send one of my readers a Papercut Pattern of their choice – anywhere in the world – thanks Katie!

Just let me know the comments below if you would like to be included in the giveaway draw! (giveaway is now closed. Closed on Sunday 6 July, 6pm – Australian Eastern Standard Time). My Sway Dress and Flutter Tunic are from the recently released Chameleon range. The full Papercut Patterns range is available here.

Note: Papercut Patterns provided this pattern for preview purposes. All opinions my own. No affiliate links in this post.

Papercut Patterns, Flutter tunic, side view

These photos were taken in Port Macquarie, at the end of the ‘eat street’ in the CBD.

This post first appeared on http://www.sewbusylizzy.com

Sway Dress, a simple LBD – Papercut Patterns

Recently I sent Katie at Papercut Patterns an email because I was searching (unsuccessfully) for a copy of the Pleated Pants pattern and noticed that it was sold out online.

Katie let me know that it was indeed out of print (*sobs* she who hesitates is patternless). Then she told me she had a new trouser pattern coming out and would I be interested in trying it… well… yes!

Sway Dress by Papercut Patterns

Sway Dress

I know this is not even nearly a pair of trousers… Katie sent me a few patterns and I was swayed by the Sway Dress immediately. I know. I get distracted easily. #squirrel

Why? It’s a very simple dress and often I’m drawn to patterns with details or unusual shapes (hello Drape Drape). However it is something that I could see myself wearing in a solid or a floral. Dressed up and dressed down. While I wear a lot of fitted sheath dresses to work, so I tend to prefer softer, loosely fitted styles when I’m not at work. I guess I just feel more relaxed in them.

Swingin' in the Sway

Swingin’ in the Sway

While I had planned to make this is a floral, when I stumbled across this strange micro-pleated woven fabric in Spotlight it just seemed perfect… and on a bargain table!

I chose not to create a self-fabric belt – mainly because of the pleats in the fabric. I felt having the pleats run one way down my body and then another way across my waist would have been distracting. So I’ve used a black satin ribbon instead. This fabric does not fray at all so I let the dress hang for 24 hours and then re-cut the hem so it was straight (it did drop all over the place). Yes you read that right – no hem on this LBD.

I don’t like these photos. I’m just so tired at the moment. Everything feels a little blah and I had horrid hair after a morning at the beach – seaspray is not my hair’s friend. That’s life though – and we are here for the dress not me LOL. If I don’t blog now – who knows when I’ll do some more photos!

Sway Dress - back

Sway Dress – back neckline. Not a great picture but this is just to show the shape of the back neck (you can wear the dress either way)

FACINGS…

I used black tricot for the facings, interfaced with a light tricot interfacing. Yes I said facings… and like my Top with Epaulettes I think this is a superior way to finish this particular dress rather than bias binding.

As the dress is sleeveless, the facing is attached using one of those Houdini methods… you know those type of sewing steps when if you haven’t done it before, you read the instructions, google, re-read the instructions… take a deep breath and then sew. If you have sewn a button-up shirt using the yoke burrito method (as seen here on the Grainline blog)… then I think you will master this technique easily. While the yoke is different, you do rolled the dress over to one side and then wrap the shoulder around the dress – I know, sounds weird but works perfectly. While I could demonstrate this on my blog, there are plenty of bloggers who have already done so – so check out Poppykettle for starters. My lovely friend Marjorie in Brisbane also emailed me a tutorial as well – so this was easy – just needed a little sewing faith.

BELT LOOPS…

Rather than making self-fabric belt loops I created thread loops. I had not made these before… however thread loops are SERIOUSLY the simplest thing to create. I cut six lengths of Gutermann thread (just my normal thread) I tied a knot at one end. Then I set my machine to a zig-zag stitch with the width at 3 and length at 1. I held the threads behind and in front of my machine foot with a light tension and away I went. Yes, it’s that easy.

sewing thread loops

my first self-made thread loops

I found this tutorial on Coletterie very helpful.

THOUGHTS…

It’s such a simple dress, four pattern pieces. Sometimes that’s just what I love to wear the most – very simple clothes that fit (loosely) and flatter – that’s enough more days than not. This is one of those dresses where you can let the fabric sing. Now I want one in a floral (of course). You can bet there will be exactly that in my summer wardrobe this year.

An amazingly quick and gratifying make. I love the neckline and you can wear it either way. I love the V-neck, it’s not too deep or too wide.

This dress has a front and back centre seam. I did think about eliminating them – however with this fabric you can’t see the seams so I chose to leave them.

I love Papercut Patterns. I’ve actually got quite a collection, I just haven’t had a chance to sew them all, except the Saiph Tunic and the Bellatrix Blazer.

The patterns come in a sturdy cardboard package, the pattern photo can be removed from the package… where you will discover all the measurements and fabric requirements. These really do look and feel like excellent value for money – the sort of pattern you keep and display on your shelf. Check them out here.

The patterns are easy to trace and the instructions are thorough without being too wordy. You can cut up the pattern and cerate a booklet from the instruction section of the sheet – however I can’t bear to cut these lovely patterns up.

STILL TO COME…

The Guise Pants (traced). I was initially a little hesitant about these – the back waist is elastic however I’ve seen some great reviews (Gingermakes and Jolies Bobines – and I am going to try them. In basic black. I’ve also cut out the Flutter Tunic .

GIVEAWAY TO COME…

Katie has offered a Papercut pattern as a giveaway – I’m a little tired this week so let’s do it with my next Papercut make! Watch this space.

Pattern: Sway Dress by Papercut Patterns, I made XXS cut to the longer hemline.
Fabric: Mystery woven from Spotlight (bargain table)
Shoes: Urban Soul (I do love these crazy shows but they have a history so I’m not overly fond of them… #itscomplicated – chosen by Miss 10 for these photos). I really need a pair of classic black patent heels… I got distracted last shoe shopping trip… it happens #squirrel

Note: Papercut Patterns provided this pattern for preview purposes. All opinions my own. No affiliate links in this post.

This post first appeared on http://www.sewbusylizzy.com

Book Review: Sewing For Your Girls

When Tuttle Publishing sent me the much-anticipated She Wears The Pants to review, they also sent a copy of Sewing For Your Girls. Talk about different ends of the spectrum! Today I’m blogging about the Girls book a the little blouse I made from the book.

Giselle blouse 3

THE BOOK

I must say this book surprised me. Japanese pattern books are famed for their scanty sewing instructions and daunting pattern sheets! Sewing for your girls is not one of ‘those’ books.

Sewing For Your Girls published by Tuttle Publishing

There are seven relatively simple patterns – along with a variation on each basic pattern (oops sorry – forgot to take a photo of one, it’s No.1 an A-line smock… and it’s nearly 10pm now). You can click on the images below to enlarge them.

It has by far the most comprehensive sewing instructions I’ve seen in a Japanese sewing book in a long time. I learnt a few new tricks – I love that! Nothing of rocket science proportions but little clever things that just make life easier.

A typical pattern instruction page... the instructions are brief but point to the more detailed techniques section of the book which contain LOTS of photos!

A typical pattern instruction page… the instructions are brief but point to the more detailed techniques section of the book which contain LOTS of photos!

The book includes a guide for no less than 70 dressmaking and basic sewing techniques. Each of theses are accompanied by step-by-step photos. In fact some techniques are extensively demonstrated…. for example when I attached the collar to this shirt, the book provided a 20-step guide, each step was paired with a photograph.

This is the 'how to attach a collar' technique section of the book - it's very detailed!

This is the ‘how to attach a collar’ technique section of the book – it’s very detailed!

The pattern sheet has some over-lapping and it’s printed in one colour. However, it is not overcrowded and tracing is quite straightforward. You just need to remember to add seam allowances!

The pattern sheet is not as crowded as other Japanese books I have used - and much, much easier than a Burda sheet!

The pattern sheet is not as crowded as other Japanese books I have used – and much, much easier than a Burda sheet!

I prefer to sewing something from a book when I’m talking to you about it. I think it’s integral to the experience of a sewing book when the book is primarily about patterns. That said, I don’t claim to have sewn every pattern or read the book or pattern in ‘editing’ terms. With translated books or measurements converted between metric & imperial there are often slip-ups just be conscious you need to exert a level of awareness – I often double check everything. Just.in.case.

Everyone asks about Japanese sizing, so here is the chart for your reference.

Sewing For Your Girls published by Tuttle Publishing

Sizing chart: Sewing For Your Girls

THE BLOUSE

Cute. I love this little blouse. It was utterly delightful to sew. Giselle wasn’t keen for photos – fair enough, she had surfing to do. So today’s post has a blouse minus the body.

I absolutely loved making this blouse, a real joy. Better still, she loves it.

I absolutely loved making this blouse, a real joy. Better still, she loves it.

NEW TRICKS

What did I learn? Frills have been few & far between on my blog… so these little bias cut frills were new to me. Rather than running a gathering stitch up the centre of the frill, I ran a gathering stitch up either side of the centre.

A simple and neat way to create perfect little frills.

A simple and neat way to create perfect little frills.

I also learnt to run a line of gathering stitches around the seam allowance of a Peter Pan collar curve, gently gather the seam allowance up so the allowance curves over into the collar itself, a light press, trim off the excess seam allowance (and gathering stitches) and then turn the collar right side out… perfect collar curves!

THOUGHTS

This book was quite different to what I expected – far more detailed instructions and construction photographs than I have found in other Japanese sewing books.

The clothes are simple but I often preferred to dress my girls in simple, play-friendly clothes when they were little. Many of these patterns would be perfect for sweet floral and kooky lawns, voiles, linens and poplins. Let the fabric sing and the child play unfettered by fussy clothes I say!

THANK YOU
A big thank you to Colette of Colette’s Sewing Stuff for bringing this sweet fabric to the March Brisbane meet-up. And a thank you to the ever-lovely Vicki-Kate of Vicki-Kate Makes for sending me a sweet little gift package a few months ago which included these perfect little buttons!

THE DETAILS
Pattern: Basic Pattern #7 from Sewing For Your Girls, published by Tuttle Publishing
Note: Tuttle Publishing provided this book for preview purposes. All opinions my own. No affiliate links in this post.
Fabric: from the march Brisbane High Tea, donated by Colette
Buttons: from Vicki Kate Makes

THE WEARER
This is the blouse recipient, my dear little crazy poppet Giselle Violet. A fuzzy iPhone snap taken one night… one of those sweet little moments in life. She’s in her school uniform and wearing a much-loved beanie crocheted by the boss at work!

Giselle Violet

Giselle Violet

This post first appeared on http://www.sewbusylizzy.com