Instant sunshine

I know I have been missing again – but I have been sewing. For me!

I cut this pair of garments out weeks ago with the intention of getting them made up immediately so that they could be enjoyed in the summer sunshine. Hah! Who am I kidding. Firstly, customers always come first. Secondly, I live in the UK – sunshine is rare and must be appreciated when it is there. Where possible no sewing on sunny days!

Perfect for sunny weather

Perfect for sunny weather

As you can see these garments are made as fillers in a summer wardrobe. At least I sound organised. They were cut out weeks ago and left to mature gently while the weather got colder. They are both cut from a linen/viscose blend that I bought from Barrys Fabric Market in Birmingham. I think I may have even scored this from their £2 a metre table. It was pre washed and, though softer, still very nice to handle with a bit of crispness to it. And yes, it will crease like the devil but I don’t care.

Front pockets into the yoke seam

Patch pockets to back

The trousers were from my own block. After making the Vogue 2948 pattern included in the Sandra Betzina Craftsy course I decided I should really dust off the blocks and draft my own patterns again. I use the trouser block from Hilary Campbell rather than Winnie as I found the fit better. (But if you decide to try this check the waist measurement against yours – this block waist is for a neater waist than mine!).

The details on the original pattern were nice so I used that as a starting point. I liked the little front pockets into the yoke seam which were very easy to replicate, and used patch pockets to the back. I didn’t split the legs to give a centre seam as this was the first time in a while that this block had been used, and I moved the zipper to give a front fly. If I make these again I may split the leg to get the lovely Betzina design. I intend to make a separate trouser lining that can go under several pairs that would benefit from the extra layer. I could wear these as they are but….

Back vent, lined and mitered hem.

Back vent, lined and mitered hem corner.

Pockets, always useful for collecting stones and stuff.

The skirt is the same as this one which I based on Vogue 1247 which is a huge favourite across the interweb. Again, the pattern was from my block (Winnie Aldrich this time) and fitted almost without adjustment. Astonishingly I needed to take in the waist a little. Hmm. Because I had a bit of time I decided to make a bit of effort on the finish. My customers get this all the time, me – not so much. I did just overlock the seams but handpicked the lapped zipper and mitered the corners of the back vent. Not very time consuming but with a bit more effort all round on the finish I get a garment I am proud of rather than a rushed finish.

So all finished, and it is now too cold to wear these most days in the UK. I had been waiting (not long , I confess) for a warm day to photograph me wearing these but it just wasn’t working – though I can say I am happy with the fit of both garments and will post pictures eventually. The Management and I do have a bit of winter sunshine planned in the not too distant future so I hope to be able to make good use of them then.

On to warmer sewing now I suppose.

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22 Comments on “Instant sunshine”

  1. Fadanista says:

    These both look great! It’s a bit sad that you might not get to wear them until next year. I love the idea of the separate trouser lining – genius!

  2. sew2pro says:

    I’m freezing today and keep pulling out warmer and warmer (duller and duller) garments. But nice work and you’ll be ready if we get a bonus day or two in the next month.

  3. fabrickated says:

    Of course I love the colour! They will look fantastic on you. The weather is a bit peevish right now, but if you are off soon to somewhere nice, I am sure the skirt and trousers will be just the job to create a travel wardrobe from.

    • Peevish is a perfect description! The colour was what sold the fabric to me. I am a sucker for yellows – I am assuming that this pair will work with everything I planned since I haven’t checked yet. It would probably be an idea to do that first in future.

  4. Thimberlina says:

    Perfect title for your post! Love the super neat finishing touches 😀

  5. Lovely – and well done on getting something done fro yourself! Maybe we’ll have a late weekend of sunshine 🙂 I really like handpicking zips, I love the finish too.

  6. Carolyn says:

    These both look really nice! I love the pretty lemon colour. Separate trousers lining is a terrific idea. A friend of mine who wears trousers frequently had a pair of trousers made up in polyacetate lining fabric, that she wears underneath all her “dressy” wool trousers. It adds warmth and also means she doesn’t have to get her dress pants dry-cleaned as frequently, which is both practical and economical.

  7. Those trousers are gorgeous! I love the lemony yellow, certainly cheery. Love seeing how accomplished seamstresses do things. Hand picking the zipper? So nice. May I ask, please, what is a pattern block?

    • Thank you!
      A pattern block is the starting point for making your own patterns. It should have been made up in calico to test the fit so you know that if your pattern doesn’t fit how you wanted it is your design changes that are wrong. Pattern cutting is actually not as difficult as many people imagine, and is incredibly useful in checking commercial patterns. I would encourage anyone to find a class and have a go 😃

  8. mrsmole says:

    What a treat to make something for yourself with the same great techniques as clients get!!! We cheat ourselves so much for lack of time don’t we? Love the mitered corner and color…nothing like a cheerful color to start the day and if you get away to some place warm…well even better! I remember living in Southport dreaming of 2 weeks away to get warm and dry…anywhere…just book the trip!

  9. Lynn says:

    What a lovely color! I always have a hard time switching from summer sewing to fall sewing. The weather is still hot here in mid-September and sometimes into early October so I am still in the mood for summer sewing but there isn’t much time left to wear summer clothes.

  10. Kayla Green says:

    Ah, the UK summer. I think the last weekend was the last “hurrah” and the weather was really nice and warm. Were you able to wear these? By the way, did you make a lining for the pants, too?

    • I’m enjoying today’s sunshine and hoping it will last for the weekend at least. I made a separate lining for the trousers – they were OK but benefited from another opaque layer. I have worn them (on holiday) but no pictures sadly.


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