New Patrones Mag (311)

My dear friends came back from Spain last night – and brought me Patrones issue 311. I have had a little look through and earmarked a handful of things I really need. NOW. Despite the fact it is still too cold I really want these things.

I loved this very simple shirtdress – perfect to avoid the ‘jeans and t-shirt’ trap I seem to be stuck in. Although it is simple I loved the detail of putting a placket on a short sleeve. Pretty.

I have the perfect fabric for this jacket (actually two fabrics – one cream and one minty green!) and it looks as though it would dress up and down very well. It has lots of lovely detail, and there is a tuck in the centre back with a tab closure. Love it. I am going on holiday to Portugal in May and I think this will have to be in my suitcase. The dress is pretty – but it’s the jacket that I really want.

I love this ruffle fronted blouse – I have a picture of a similar design by Ralph Lauren but that always looked a bit too ‘tidy’. The slightly messy finish on the ruffles of this appealed to me more. It isn’t terribly clear from the photograph but there is an interesting front yoke and darts detail that makes this much more than ‘just a shirt’. Lovely – but not next.

Because this is. I have some gorgeous cotton sateen with a bit of stretch in stock and have been waiting for the opportunity to make it into Vogue 8747. I think that even with my ‘frontage’ this blouse could look really good. I intend to make it without using the overlocker – it is a fabulous machine but I fear it is making me lazy! Time to dust off the french seams. I should start work on this in the next few days but probably wont have anything to show as I am visiting my daughter in London  this weekend. I am planning a trip to the V&A Museum while I am there to see Annie Lennox’ stage costumes. Hopefully I will have a report early next week.

Spotty shirt (January SAM)

1st shirt done with 3 days to spare! If I am totally honest it was finished last night, worn today, and I have already managed to drip ‘bloody mary salsa’ on the front. Darn. (Not out of character – and the burger was worth it!)

As I promised, this was the basic shirt drawn from a bodice block made to my measures from the Winifred Aldrich pattern cutting book. I have used this book for years and whilst I like most of the instructions I have found some to be less than ideal (I really couldn’t recommend the trouser block, for example). I made few adjustments to the basic block – added wearing ease at the side seams (the original is a ‘second skin’ to be worked up to pattern point), moved the dart to the side bust position, ignored the front waist shaping but used the back darts, added extra length and a button stand. Apart from the addition of a collar and stand, sleeve placket (nicked off a Vogue pattern because it is perfect), and sleeve cuffs I was done. This really was going to be the easiest of projects. Until I tried to cut it out.

Contrast is 'all the rage'

I had two remnant pieces of this lovely spotted cotton fabric in stock, and the first seemed so obviously the right size I got right to it. And discovered I couldn’t quite fit the collar and stand pieces on – or not if I wanted cuffs too. I was by now determined that this was the piece to be used so I decided to follow the lead that is growing at Artisan Square and make contrast collar and cuff backs. Plain white looked good, and I have loads of that, so I went ahead and sewed this together yesterday. I didn’t (and generally don’t) do anything clever with my shirts – the only thing that I do that isn’t detailed when you look at commercial instructions is to sew my inside collar band onto the shirt by machine first and then turn the seam allowance of the outside away and sew it down later. This looks tidier on me as I never button my collar, so the inside collar band is what is seen most on the front. I really couldn’t do much to make this individual – but I decided the buttons (plain lilac) were a bit dull  so I replaced two with black to echo the dots on the fabric.

Shirt and Patrones jeans


Having worn this all day I can report that I am very happy with the fit and am ready to do some ‘tweaking’ to make another style from the pattern. I think I will wear this shirt alot – if the salsa comes out….