More nursing layers

I am enjoying my previous Agnes and Amber pattern mash-up, but I wanted to try another method of getting breastfeeding access with a t-shirt. My previous hack works great, but variety is always nice, and I fancied a long sleeve tee with a neckband because my upper chest/neck keeps getting cold!

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This is based on the Tilly and the Buttons Agnes Top and is a much simpler pattern hack than the previous one because it involves modifying fewer pieces. I would detail the changes, but Zoe from SoZo what do you know already has a great tutorial and I didn’t really do anything different.  I think the overlap would be less obvious if I had found a better thread colour match for the topstitching, but I found this fabric difficult to match and it will probably be hidden under my layers anyway.

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This option is quicker to construct and does give a sleeker silhouette for layering, though I think my other hack is easier to use. I will definitely be using both options, and will probably make some more too. I have some lovely peacock blue cotton spandex which would look great.

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One of the best things about this top is the way it has helped me to reconsider and start wearing a few clothes that had been slightly forgotten. Here it is layered under my Bridgetown Backless Dress as a tunic, and worn with the crossover at the front.

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Slightly different styling from wearing it to the wedding I made it for.

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I also made Matt another Metro tee to match! It doesn’t really deserve its own post as I’m pretty sure I’ve already said all there is to say about making up that pattern. It’s probably one of the best value patterns I own though for the number of times that it has been used (closely followed by the Agnes and Amber patterns too!)

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Layering tee for Matt

Last year in my end of year review the Liesl and Co. Metro Tee’s that I made for Matt were one of my most successful makes of the year.  I made him a whole selection of short sleeved shirts (see here and here), but this year he asked for some long sleeved tees so I’ve broken out the pattern again to try the long sleeved version.

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This is such a simple pattern, especially on the overlocker with just 4 pattern pieces.  One thing to watch though is that the seam allowances are just 6mm (perfect for the overlocker), but you do have to be a bit more careful when snipping notches that they are nice and short or you might end up with holes in the seamline.

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I only had one cone of green overlocking thread so I left 3 blue cones on, and I think it looks quite nice in the seams.

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I’ve also used blue for the topstitching.  This is such a plain t-shirt, so its nice to be able to play a little with the details.

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Once again, this is sewn up in my favorite Girl Charlee solid cotton spandex, this time in Sage Green.  I managed to cut out two long sleeved t-shirts from 2m (one for matt and one for myself) because it is a full 1.5m wide.  Its not the cheapest jersey, but the quality is just fantastic.

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I’m sure there will be more of these t-shirts to come.  The sleeve length is good, as is the overall fit.  This pattern is a quick and easy sew.  It’s well drafted and all the notches line up beautifully.

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Just perfect for enjoying the Great British countryside.

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Top 5 Hits and Misses of 2017

It’s always good at the turning of the year to review, so I thought I’d go through my makes from this year with the benefit of hindsight and see which had been ultimate successes, and which hadn’t got as much use as I had hoped.  Reviewing makes like this does help to gain an overview of what sorts of projects did or didn’t work in my lifestyle, so I’ll be using that to start making my plans for next year too!

Top 5 Hits

Ginger Jeans

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I think my first attempt at jeans definitely was a highlight this year. They fitted great, the fabric choice was spot on and I felt justifiably proud with the result.  Sadly, because they are fitted and fairly high-waisted, they don’t fit over the bump any more, so I will have to wait a while before I can wear them again, but I have plans to make jeans again in the future and will just have to wait and see if I end up the same shape post baby or need to make some other fit adjustments to the next pair!

Archer Shirts

Maybe this is a cheat, because I actually made two archers, and mended another with some sashiko mending, but I love them all and they have been in regular wardrobe rotation all year.  I think I love most that they are so versatile.  The relaxed fit is spot on, and there is something so satisfying about the precision involved in shirt making.

Kwik Sew Coat

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The slightly oversized fit of this coat has been an unexpected bonus- I think I will fit into it for most of the winter, even as I grow!  That aside, I would change a few things next time I make a coat, but you have to start somewhere, and this project has given me the courage to try some other trickier and more involved sewing projects again in the future.

Flint Shorts

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No longer a weather appropriate option, but these flint shorts were all I wanted to wear on holiday this summer.  I felt put together in the cities, sufficiently cool to belong in Italy and they were comfortable and practical too.  The fabric might be one of my favorite parts of these, and was a lucky charity shop find.  One to make again next summer.

Men’s Metro Tees

Another multi garment pick, but these t-shirts have been a big success.  I don’t make much for anyone other than me, but these were worth the effort because Matt wears them all the time.

Top 5 Misses

Valley Blouse

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This top is one of those projects that just doesn’t quite materialise as you envisioned it.  I quite like all the components- fabric, buttons etc., but the pattern wasn’t the right choice for me.  There is more volume in the sleeves than is really my preference (it makes it really hard to wear with a cardigan), but maybe I can modify them at some point to slim them down and make this more ‘me’.

Pocket Skirt

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My first problem with this skirt is that the sizing from the pattern chart seemed to be a little off, so this skirt was much to big at the waist.  I was able to bring it is with the elastic at the back waistband, but I’m still not really sure about the fit or the length.  It doesn’t really get worn, and I don’t think I will be using the pattern again because there are other patterns which were simpler to construct and more successful for me.

Alex Shirtdress

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I think the problem with this Alex dress is the fabric/pattern combination.  The cotton is a little too stiff, and doesn’t drape well enough for me to feel comfortable in this dress.  It is all just a little too oversized, and the fabric emphasised that.  This one it savable thought I think, when I eventually get around t putting some darts in the back to take out some of the extra volume.

Saunio Cardigan

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There is nothing ‘wrong’ with this Saunio Cardigan exactly, except that it never makes it off the coat rack and out of the door.  I think it is the fact that it just doesn’t quite fit my lifestyle.  3/4 sleeves on a jacket aren’t sufficiently practical on Dartmoor.  If I want or need a coat or jacket, it needs to have full sleeves!

Virginia Leggings

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Not actually a disaster of pattern, or of lifestyle, but unfortunately this lycra couldn’t really stand up to running in these Virginia leggings and so some of the seams have started to split.  I have some other fabric in mind to give this another go at some point though, so definitely not a wasted pattern.

 

More Metro tees and Rooftop Milan

Perhaps not the most exciting post because these are more of the Men’s Metro Tee by Liesl and Co. (See my previous versions here), but you can tell a pattern is a good one when you just keep making more!

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All these fabrics are from Girl Charlee, who are just the most brilliant online shop for jerseys.  I bought a whole load when they last had a discount, so there are other jersey projects in the pipeline!  The ones I chose for Matt were a heather grey cotton spandex, motorcycles on grey cotton and a monochrome triangle cotton jersey.  I also got some darker charcoal grey baby rib for contrast.

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For one of these t-shirts, I kept it very simple with the heather grey jersey, but didn’t want it to bee too boring!  I used the charcoal grey rib for the neckband and found it very stretchy so I did remove a little extra length.

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Then to co-ordinate, I drafted a very simple band for the sleeve hem.  This does make hemming the sleeve very simple, and the sleeves in this version are slightly longer too.

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The motorbike version and the triangles are just exactly as drafted in the pattern.  Sometimes the simple ones are the best!

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So this post is also a great opportunity to show of some lovely views.  Standing on the roof of the Duomo in Milan (as in the picture above) was a pretty surreal moment.

Matt models again- Men’s Metro T-shirt

This won’t be the longest blog post today, because this is such a simple pattern and there isn’t much to say!  This is the Men’s Metro T-shirt by Liesl and Co.  Liesl and Co. is the adult pattern line associated with the pattern company Oliver and S.

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This pattern is about as simple as a jersey pattern gets.  It has just a front, back, sleeve and neckband.  If you have made t-shirts before, you will only need the instructions for the seam allowances!

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This is a size S, which is Matt normal t-shirt size.  The fabric however for this shirt is a little unconventional.  It started life as a Women’s maxi dress.  I found it in the charity shop for £1, and thought that the fabric was a steal!  It is a viscose elastane mix so very stretchy!

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The advantage of reusing something which is already hemmed, means that you can also reuse the hem.  The skirt did have a seam at the centre back, so I kept this in the t-shirt too, though it isn’t very visible.

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This was constructed mostly on my overlocker, with twin-needled hems on the sleeve.  Because this first one was so successful, I also made a couple of others with fabrics from Fabworks.  They have also come out great, as you can see below!

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One is in this space print fabric.  I think it is really cool.

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The other is in a lovely cotton interlock.  I thought this airforce blue colourway was great.  Both were just £5 a metre and this t-shirt needs only one metre so it seems pretty economical.

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I’m sure there will be many more of these t-shirts as Matt needs more.  Possibly also some long sleeved versions come the autumn.