Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Sewing Plans for May and beyond

Well, it's almost May and it looks like we still will be inside for the month ahead. I'd hoped that by this time I would have burned through my sewing queue, but everything has been taking me much, much longer to complete. My concentration and focus is way down, as I am sure it is for many others as well.

I am currently working on my own project for my Literary Sewing Circle; the current round closes on Friday so I'll have to post it soon -- but I have been having to redo so much of it as I go. It's nearly done now, though, and so I've been thinking about what I should tackle next. I have so many ideas I thought I should put them in order so I don't spend all my time dithering over what to try next instead of making something!

I only made 2 items this month (aside from various mending and such). So even with all the time I have at home, planning 4 items feels a bit ambitious right now. But plans are more like guidance, so here they are. I didn't realize until I laid these out that I was feeling so blue...

Burda 118 from the April 2020 issue + a floral rayon

Style Arc Lacey dress + a vintage rayon gifted to me ages ago.
 I've made this pattern before but in a heavy cotton
so this should look quite different!
New Look 6340 + floral rayon
Very Easy Vogue 9166 + denim look lightweight cotton (perhaps I
will topstitch with this golden thread as a nod to traditional jeans)

I am also hoping to trace out a bunch of pdf patterns that I have had on my list for quite a while. Fortunately before all this stay at home routine started I'd bought a new pack of my favourite tracing material, plant cover 'fabric' from the Dollar Store. There is a lot in a pack so I should be able to trace all these things, if I find the time to do it.

First, 3 more patterns from the April 2020 Burda magazine. If I ever get my May issue I'm sure there will be at least one more to trace from that issue!

I also want to trace two dresses, the Everyday Dress from In the Folds for Peppermint Magazine, and the Chalk & Notch Fringe Dress, which was top of my list for last summer when I bought it!

Finally, two very useful summer tops: the Sointu Tee from Named Patterns, and the Antero Shell Top from a recent capsule collection from Sew News. There are more tops I'd like to try, but I'll start with these two.

What about you? Are you making solid plans? Going through your stash for ideas? Sewing according to mood? Finishing UFOs? Taking up other hobbies or crafts? I am getting out some of my embroidery again as well and have been finding that very relaxing.

Whatever you are doing, I hope that you are staying safe and taking care of yourself in all ways.


Sunday, April 26, 2020

Weekend Review: Women in Black

The Women in Black / Madeleine St John
NY: Scribner, 2020, c1993.
224 p.
I picked up a copy of this book second-hand after reading it first in 2018. It's the kind of book you want to have on your own shelf for frequent rereading. I can't believe I haven't reviewed it here yet! While it's not strictly a sewing book, it has so much about dresses and clothing and women and it is a true  heartwarming gem.

It's set in Sydney, Australia in the summer of 1959; young Lesley (who changes her name to the more fashionable and feminine Lisa) gets a temporary job helping out at Goode's Department store in the weeks before Christmas, while waiting for her test results to see if she'll be able to go to university. She ends up in Ladies' Cocktail Frocks, mainly, with Mrs. Patty Williams and Miss Fay Baines as her fellow saleswomen; Miss Jones is their alterationist; and Magda is the glamorous Continental refugee who runs the inner sanctum, Model Gowns. But they all wear a uniform: black dresses.

All these women (well, except perhaps Miss Jones) have their own lives that are slowly expanded upon in the short chapters that follow. And they begin to cross over into one another's lives, too, once Magda takes an interest in Lisa. Most of the story revolves around romance in one way or another, but it's utterly charming -- full of female relationships, and of course frocks. Oh, those dresses!

The writing is exquisite: it's clever and quick, with wonderful characterizations and settings. Goode's Department Store is a great canvas for this story. It opens 6 weeks before Christmas, and is full of details of the retail setting and the chaos of big sales. I do love store novels!

I loved this book. It's a fairy tale in which all goes well and everyone ends up happy, but it isn't saccharine. There are jabs, there are clear-eyed observations of the characters, and there is a lot of witty humour. And there are really some lovely bits. One of the highlights for me was when the mysterious Miss Jones speaks to Lisa near the end, after everyone has heard that she has aced her leaving exams and will be heading to university. She says:
"Well, it's no surprise to me at all. I don't expect it's a surprise to you either. You're a clever girl, I could see that... A clever girl is the most wonderful thing in all Creation you know; you must never forget that. People expect men to be clever. They expect girls to be stupid or at least silly, which very few girls really are, but most girls oblige them by acting like it. So you just go away and be as clever as ever you can; put their noses out of joint for them. It's the best thing you could possibly do, you and all the clever girls in this city and the world."
If you love clever stories about clever girls, and beautiful dresses, and women and men together, pick this one up as soon as you can. What a delight.

There is apparently also a movie that has been made by Bruce Beresford, a friend of the author's. I haven't seen it since the only place it seems to be available now is Amazon Prime which I don't have. But if you do, check it out! Here is the delightful trailer.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Retro La Brea Tee in Knit

Earlier this year I posted about the La Brea Tee top that I made from a silk woven. At that time I mentioned that I had attempted the knit version but it hadn't worked out. 

Since I have a lot more time now, I went back to it and tried to fix it up to make it wearable. It isn't quite there, but will do nicely as a top to exercise in or just wear around the house. The attempt to attach knit binding to the knit neckline isn't salvageable for real wear, unfortunately. But the rest of it is okay! I think a second try would work out now that I have more of a feel for this. 

The binding around the tee is so cute and retro, I have to try again to get it right. The colour choice is a bit startling, but that is because I'd begun this top for the PatternReview contest in which we were challenged to make something inspired by childhood, and these are the exact colours of my elementary school.

I like this pattern in both woven and knit! I like the details - the bias trim, the fit, the band at the bottom of the knit version. I made it a little looser fitting and longer than the original pattern images indicate, because I don't like form fitting clothing. I think I got the overall shape to my liking, even that bottom band, which I don't often appreciate in a pattern! Just have to choose the right fabrics and get the hang of tidy binding and I might get a wearable version out of it. 

Even the back looks okay to me. This pattern is really nicely drafted for a simple shape, and has those extra little details that add more interest to a tee. The finishing is lovely, the potential for lots of variety is definitely there. There are some sewalongs and hacking tutorials for this pattern on the designer's website, Halfmoon Atelier. I recommend you check it out if this pattern appeals to you.

I hope to have another, more successful version of this to show you soon. Do you ever find that you go back to rescue projects you've given up on? Or do you just get rid of the project and/or the pattern wholesale and go on to another?

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Vogue 1671 in Multicolour Rayon

What better thing to do while you are required to stay home than tackle a more complicated sewing project? Well, fortunately for me, I'd received this Vogue 1671 and this absolutely glorious viscose/rayon poplin as my latest Fabricville blogger project just before this lockdown started. So I had a more difficult project on tap! 

This is an "easy" pattern, and when you look at the component steps it is fairly straightforward. But there are SO MANY steps! Only a couple of tricky ones that I noted when reading through the instructions, like attaching the front inset -- but once the pieces are in hand it makes sense and isn't hard at all.

The steps, taken one by one, may not be too difficult,  but this dress takes a time commitment. I didn't track my hours, but I did work on it exclusively for at least a week, in my sewing hours I had available. I made as many flat pattern adjustments as I could for my height and so forth, then decided to cut the lining first to use it as my fitting shell; I didn't want to waste this gorgeous rayon poplin.

That worked quite well, but I did discover that my dress form isn't quite the same size as I am after all. Just minor differences but in a fitted bodice like this one that really matters. I will have to try to adjust her a bit. I followed my flat pattern measurements in the end, and I am so pleased I got a good fit. I was concerned that I hadn't taken up anything between bust and shoulder, where I usually do, but the measurements indicated it was fine. I'm glad I left it because it really is well fitting as is. I might drop the vertical dart by 1/2" or so if I make this again, but otherwise, everything seems to lie where it should and the sleeve band covers the underarm bra area -- it didn't completely do so on my form so I am glad it does on me!

The very hardest part of this pattern was sewing on the sleeve bands -- opposing curves are a bear! You can staystitch the curve and then clip into it to allow your fabric to adjust and fit more effectively, or you can "walk" your curves slowly to match them up. I'm generally a lazy sewist so I decided to try walking the curves -- just adjusting the fabric as you go, no pre-clipping etc. and only a few pins to keep matchpoints even.. I only had to pick out one little tuck and redo it so I think it worked well. Just very slow work indeed!

Other than length issues I didn't make too many changes to the pattern pieces themselves (and you'll note that I left this one midi length.) The main change that I made was in order of construction. I didn't like the interior finish when done as the pattern directed. There is so much work to this dress, I couldn't see why I'd rush the last steps and have the interior waist seam and zipper seam showing. Some others who've made this dress have serged their edges, or bound them. Both ways looked nice. But I decided that a little extra work wasn't going to make much difference to this project considering how long it was already taking.

When I stitched the collar and waist bodice seams, I left a 5/8" gap at the zipper ends, and at the side seams. I also changed the skirt construction - it is to be sewn to the zip mark and hemmed prior to attaching to the bodice. I left it open like I do for all invisible zip seams and also left a gap at the hem edge to finish later. I then attached the outer skirt to the outer bodice only, and inserted the zipper.

Then I attached the skirt lining (with back seam already stitched and hem made) to the lining only, and hand stitched the prepressed 5/8" seam allowances to the zipper tape. I think that this gives a very nice clean finish to the inside, with no seam allowances showing anywhere. The only thing that didn't turn out perfectly is that the inside seam of the collar piece is uneven - probably due to my manhandling the rayon a bit too much.

But it looks great from the outside and now the inside too, and it fits really well, so I am very pleased with it! I am glad that my decision to try this from a rayon poplin and not the heavier fabrics recommended by the pattern worked out; I thought the lining would give it enough structure, and it has turned out just as I'd imagined.

Just look at this gorgeous fabric and how it ripples and swirls!

So many people have made this, thanks to the #YellowDressChallenge that Vogue began just after it was released (contest was only for the US though, unfortunately!) Check out the hashtag on Instagram if you want to see some more lovely versions.

I now have an idea for another version made of a floral cotton in my stash with some piping in the band seams... we'll see if I want to tackle this one again any time soon! I enjoyed the process though, and I am really enjoying the final product. Now to be able to wear it past the back yard!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Weekend Review: Tim Gunn: a Guide to Quality, Taste & Style

New York: Abrams, c2007.
201 p.

Although not a book with patterns like the last two I've shared, this slim little style guide from the early days of Tim Gunn's style guru status is also quite dated! It is lightweight but not too bad overall. It covers a bit of closet diagnosis, style mentor discovery, posture, affordability, identity and finally also shopping.

I actually found the chapter of posture and fit most interesting. He notes that standing correctly will always make your clothes look better on you, and I definitely have to work on that. Like most North Americans (in his judgement) I do slump and lean a bit too much!

This book provides an interesting look back at style from over a decade ago -- not for the actual clothing discussions but for the assumptions. Things have really changed in the last decade. He states right out, early on, that good clothes should make you look slimmer and taller. I think even Tim Gunn is far more aware of body positivity and the changes in perception about clothing that has occurred over the last few years.

I did like his differentiation between style and trends. He recommends against buying fast trends that will languish in your closet after one wear, and also against being sucked in to buying overpriced and inefficient purchases like the "It" bag of the moment. It's a bit unusual for a fashion guide to say so.

He does talk about body shape and what clothes are 'best' for short chubby people like me -- but I don't agree with never wearing big prints or bright colours. So I will dispense of that advice; once again, it's tied to the desire to make a person look taller and slimmer, neither of which are primary goals in my own closet. I'm not ever going to magically become taller, and I am perfectly happy with my shape. In this section he also mentions that the tall, long-legged, slim figure has hit the lucky jackpot... clearly it is the ideal. Despite that, he does say that sizes are just numbers, and in wardrobe building you should be focusing on fit and not a random number. I think most sewists would agree that fit is paramount!

He also talks about tone, ie: making sure your clothing and makeup/hair styles and accessories all match, in the sense of being at the same level of casual or dressy. I agree with this -- for example, I dislike seeing gorgeous gowns on the red carpet on someone who is wearing normal everyday hair and aren't really dolled up with any makeup or jewelry to go with it.

Anyhow, for a book so old, I still enjoyed it. He is so entertaining, and I like the erudition in his books. He invokes Kierkegaard and the dilemma of choice in his chapter on closet cleanouts, which amused me. But it also kind of makes sense!

As an addition to my study of personal style and wardrobe building this year, this one had some useful tidbits.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Scroop Patterns Robin Dress

I don't often test patterns, but this pretty dress by Scroop Patterns caught my eye and so I offered to be a tester for it. The Robin Dress is a princess seam button front dress, with different cup sizes for a bust ranging from a 30" - 59".  I made mine from a rayon twill from my stash. The pattern is now available from Scroop Patterns here, and it is 25% off for the whole launch week. I'm so happy to finally share my version.

Scroop Patterns is a company based in New Zealand, and so it was with delight that I realized I had enough New Zealand paua shell buttons to feature on this dress -- they've come from my sisters' trips to NZ, I always ask for buttons or fabric as gifts :) I think they match this lovely fabric well.

The pattern is well made; aside from my normal shortening, I didn't have to make many adjustments to it. I took half and inch out above the waist and an inch below. It's drafted for 5'7" so obviously this 5'2" person needed to take some length out. 

It's a relaxed fit; the back skims the body nicely, just to my preference! I suppose you could add ties to the side seams at the waist if you wanted to pull it in a little, but I like it falling loose like the pattern is designed.

I made the short view, View B. In View A, the length is more midi and there are side seam pockets. In this view it is knee length and has really cool patch pockets that are sewn in between the side seam and the princess seam. I love them! You can sort of see them in this picture. 

The only real adjustment I had to make was in the sleeve. In my muslin, I found the straight sleeve too tight around my bicep. I tried the flutter sleeve option as well, but found it overwhelmed me. So I used the full bicep adjustment from my old classic Singer fitting series book, and added one inch to the bicep. It worked perfectly and I love the way it looks in the final version. 

This is going to be a fabulous summer dress; light, fitted, comfortable, great pockets -- what more can I ask? Just that we can actually get out this summer, hopefully to somewhere further than the back yard. I hope you are all doing well and staying occupied and hopeful. Sewing is helping me to maintain some routine, creativity and joy, and I hope it is for you too. This springy Robin Dress is a mood lifter! 

Check it out on Scroop Patterns and take advantage of the 25% launch discount for this fun 90s style dress.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Small Yardage Patterns

Just a few days ago, the Sew and Tell Podcast was talking about small yardage patterns. They defined "small yardage" as those items that can be sewn up with under 2 m. of fabric, useful considering we are mostly sewing from our stashes these days! 

I enjoyed the podcast, and their many suggestions. You can see the full list at their podcast show notes page.  A couple of their suggestions are on my 2020 To-Sew list, like the Antero Shell Top or the Cielo Top. But there are also quite a few that I have in my own stash that fit this category, and are great to make with less than 2 m. of fabric. So here are my own suggestions. 

This one is great because you can make it in either knit or woven, and it uses about a yard, plus bias tape if you choose to use it. It gives two different looks for one easy pattern! Here is my woven version.


My standard knit top, this can be made with about 1-1.5 m., if you cut it at shirt length and not dress length. I've made a bunch of these. This one will have to be in your stash already though, as I'm pretty sure it is out of print. You may find it online somewhere though! 

This old standard is still useful! I've made quite a few, and it is a great free pattern. You could use any of the many, many camisole/tank patterns out there in the sewing world though, whichever is a favourite for you. Most of them use barely a yard.

This is a lovely top, great design and fit. I can't understand why I haven't made more of them! I've made one for myself and one for my mom, and think I'll get it out again and make another this year. It has lovely finishing details (mine has an added scarf from the leftovers). It uses between 1.5 - 2 m. depending on size.

This free pattern is wonderful! It is a great use for small pieces of knit and I wear mine a ton. The shape is flattering and comfortable. It is a quick sew as well. It uses from 3/4 - 1 1/4 y. depending on size. 

There are probably a whole bunch of Big Four small yardage patterns in my stash that I could try next, and I know I have a handful of small yardage indies printed and waiting for their turn on the table. The Harvest Boxy Top by Peppermint Magazine, the Five Points Blouse by Jennifer Kempler for Sew News, or the Justine Skirt by Ready to Sew (only 2 m.) are all awaiting my attention.


You might also want to sew from scraps, and piece together some of your stash remnants to make something new. I have a whole post about scrappy projects here

Want to make soon!
Or take some inspiration from this great Burda patchwork jacket by Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow. Making a copy of that is now on my wishlist!

Do you have any favourite small yardage patterns that you go back to often? If you have more suggestions, please share them! I'm always looking for new ideas for my stash fabrics. Hope you are finding sewing a relaxing and helpful habit during these unsettled times, like I am. 

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Weekend Review: The Illustrated Hassle-Free make your own clothes book

The Illustrated Hassle-Free Make Your Own Clothes Book /
Sharon Rosenberg & Joan Wiener
San Francisco: Straight Arrow Books, c1971.
154 p.
I couldn't believe it when I saw this book at Open Library -- I remember this book from an old library collection, I read it probably 30 years ago. It cracked me up!

Rereading it now, it's not as loosey-goosey as I'd recalled. Less so than the most recent book I reviewed from the late 60s, by a fashion designer! This book still recommends and talks about details like facings and hems, although the clothes are kind of popover hippie styles.

And boy oh boy, is this book groovy! The authors want to put the power back into your hands to make your own clothes, for many reasons that you might imagine a hippie commune kind of person would share. The blurb is charmingly quirky and so, so 70s.
Here is the straight-up dope on how to make your own clothing. With or without patterns, machines, or fancy materials—anyone can do it! Got some old clothes that you love and that fit well? Use them as patterns for new ones. Want something new and spectacular, something that fits right along where your head is moving? Cut up, remodel, add on, and let your old stuff evolve!

There are actually some useful ideas and designs, though. Even if the pattern diagrams are all wonkily hand drawn, they are still readable and clear. The patterns are pretty simple; lots of quick body measurements and a caftan, poncho, skirt, tunic or bikini is yours. They do share ideas like adding hoods to kaftans, or extra neckline details, or trim - lots of ways to make things look a little more complex.

I did find this one had enough detail that you could tell the authors actually sewed, though. And I liked their approach to mending and upcycling -- a quick wedge of fabric in your jean seams and you've got yourself some groovy bell bottoms. A bit of embroidery -- even better. They do have some instruction for more complicated things like set in sleeves, nonetheless. And good basics like how to choose the right fabric for your project.

If you want to make up some simple silhouettes by hand, and want a bit of earnest anti-capitalism at the same time, with charming 70s hand done illustrations, check this one out! I actually feel that this one is more than a period piece, that you could actually use their instructions to get something wearable even now. Avoid the garish florals or groovy velvets perhaps, but the looser fitting silhouettes can still be worn.

There is a good section near the end on making belts, scarves, pouches, bags etc from the smaller offcuts, and using them for children's clothes and toys as well. Lots of thought about recycling and reducing waste, and much of it still very useful.

I recall that I thought of this one as a bit too dated when I first read it; but it has been so long since I first saw it that I now think of it as charmingly retro! It has been really enjoyable to revisit it thanks to Open Library. 

Friday, April 10, 2020

Literary Sewing Circle: Finale & Project Link Up

Today is already our final day of the Literary Sewing Circle focusing on Susanna Kearsley's Bellewether! I hope you've had the chance to read the book, and both the first and second inspiration posts, and are getting lots of ideas for a project of your own.

The project linkup will be added to the bottom of this post: as soon as you are done your project, just pop a link to your post into the linkup and we will all be able to visit your blog/instagram etc. and explore your creation -- remember, it can be sewn, or knitted, crocheted, embroidered... any textile art that you practice.

Today's post also gives us the chance to talk about our reading experience a little more. If you haven't yet had a chance, check out our first discussion post for some specific questions and feedback from readers. Here are a few general things to think about and share here as well.

Did you enjoy this novel? Did you have a favourite character? Was there a theme which particularly resonated? What part of it stood out for you as your inspiration for your project? Was there anything you didn't like about this novel? Had you heard of it prior to this readalong? Were you aware of the 7 Years War before reading? Did you recognize any of the personalities in the story? What did you think of the mix of narratives? Do you like a pinch of the supernatural in your stories? Are you interested in reading any of Kearsley's other books now?

Here are some of my thoughts on this novel.

I read it first in 2018, when it was published. I loved it then, and I've really enjoyed rereading it and looking at it from a new perspective, while thinking about themes and sewing projects.

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, there is so much I love about this book. I like Susanna Kearsley's writing in general; her style and themes are right up my alley as a reader. I enjoy a dual narrative story, and in this one, the connection being made both through family history and through Charley's work as a museum curator appealed to me. People who spend time working with the past seem likely to feel strong connections to it! I liked Charley as a character; with all of the sadness and trouble her family has seen, her vitality is still there. She is an intelligent worker, a caring aunt and daughter, a determined business person, and a good friend to her new acquaintances. I did question her romantic judgement quite a bit -- I might have even liked to see her romantic storyline downplayed a bit in relation to the overall story. And I also enjoyed reading about Lydia. She felt like a strong and complex character, one who fully inhabited her life. Her romance also felt more organic to me, and the storyline she was living was more uncertain and held more drama, to me.

I liked the complexity of relationships in the book, too. Though it seemed like there were a lot of players, it felt rich to me; often in romantic stories the leads seem isolated or living in a vacuum of sorts. In this story, family and all of its tangles played a large part in the plot and in the way both characters navigated their lives. This feels very real and served to highlight one of Kearsley's points in this story, that we are all connected and our actions have real effects on other people, personally and in a wider sense too.

The settings were also appealing to me. I was a history nerd as a kid -- I read many books about Colonial America, about settling the Canadian West, and about Champlain and Quebec (weird, I know) and I loved novels like The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare that were set in colonial New England. So I really connected with this setting. The era of Wolfe and Montcalm is so fascinating to me, and one of my favourite university classes during my history degree was one in which I examined the writings of Francis Parkman to uncover the literary techniques he used in his 'histories' of Montreal and Quebec. So I loved the descriptions of Quebec, the officers' uniforms, the differences between Quebec born soliders and France born ones, the status of Jean-Philippe's family, the plight of the Acadians, and all of those things. The descriptions of Lydia's New York and Charley's New York sparked some ideas too!

And I like a soup├žon of the supernatural in my stories. The ghostly element in this one was very gentle and much more of a traditional ghost than in some others by Kearsley. I thought it added just that little bit of chill now and again, and the reveal at the end was charming rather than shocking. I liked the idea of a protective ghost! The way that Lydia and Jean-Philippe's legend had been passed down, like a game of telephone, was also intriguing; what does it say about history in general? What can we trust, what should we investigate further? And that applies to stories and rumours today too! So there was a lot I liked about this book, and a feel-good read that does not leave you ragged is sometimes just the thing. I hope you all found it a timely read also.

And now for my own project! I had many ideas I was mulling over, but I think I've decided on the one I'm going to make. I have a fabulous cotton with a New York themed print -- actually it's an IKEA sheet that I thrifted a while back. It's a neutral colour but has highlights of yellow on it which make me think of that splash of Lydia's yellow dress that brightened Jean-Philippe's miserable first day on his way to the Wilde farm. I am most likely going to make a shirtdress, as the fabric has a lot of body, so my inspiration is coming from the scenes in New York; the modern setting of Charley's era and the hint of Lydia coming through.

If you are currently making plans, please feel free to share them in the comments, too -- I'd love to see them. Or if you are posting about your thoughts on the book somewhere else, share that link also.

What project have you made, inspired by your reading of Bellewether? Share a link to your project post here! Links are open until May 1 so you have another 3 weeks of sewing time to finish and share.

Don't forget that any finished project shared by the deadline will be eligible for a draw for a free pattern either from Closet Case Patterns or Jalie! Get your projects in!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

That 70s Thing: Butterick 5149

The Sewcialists held a sewing mini-challenge recently: Sew Your Birth Year! It was pretty lax, allowing you to take inspiration loosely from your birth year, or even someone else's if it was important to you, and interpreting it in any way you saw fit.

I was stuck with the 70s, and so did a little research into some inspiration, using blogs and catalogues to get some ideas of average wear in the early 70s. Here's what I settled on as inspiration.

My sudden interest in jumpers and pinafores this year is right on target with the early 70s. Hmmm! 

I sorted through my jumper patterns and found a button front version, Butterick 5149, that I thought would do the trick. And I looked through my fabric stash and found the perfect mustardy marigold cotton for a 70s inspired make. It was actually a sheet but just right for this. 

Because it is a heavier cotton, I knew I'd have to line it in order to wear it. Fortunately I had some cream bemberg left over in my stash, and since this pattern only required 1.5 m. I had enough. I also found some shiny contrast buttons in the stash and had enough of those too! So I forged ahead with this amusing challenge.

What do you think? Does the 70s influence come through? 

Despite this being quite a strong yellow, I had a number of things in my closet that matched with it. Along with the Liberty of London blouse that I thrifted (seen above), a classic black turtleneck goes well. 

My bright floral Drop Sleeve Top by the Avid Seamstress (a free pattern) has streaks of marigold in it so goes in another way. 

And my Egyptian Art Deco print Burda tee is, I think, my favourite combo so far. 

Looking at this photos I am planning on shortening it by another inch to make it a little less 70s and a little more chic. And I may take it in a pinch across the bust/high waist. 

I used my new favourite patch pocket technique (thanks Burda) and lined them and turned them before topstitching them on. And in my last jumper, the way I attached my lining as an afterthought under the bindings was so easy and attractive that I repeated that here. I just cut the lining as a second jumper and basted it to the cotton before sewing on the bias facing at neck and arm. I also basted it under the front facings before top stitching and then sewing on the buttons and making buttonholes. To complete it I turned up the hem, covering the lining and stitched it down over both layers. 

It is bright, cheery, and a bit retro. I had fun making this up out of my stash, and trying different outfit combos. While the Sewcialists mini-challenge was my inspiration for this make, I also found a fun challenge via the Sew and Tell podcast, Sew Your Roll. You could roll 3 numbers and get an 'assignment' from their lists. I rolled and received "Yellow / Neutral / Buttons" as my theme. Which also fit this project perfectly! Since I was just about to begin this project when I rolled I counted it as good fortune. 

 I prefer 80s fashion to 70s, but that's probably because of teenage nostalgia. Would you sew from your birth year? What would you make?