Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life


7 Comments

#MakeNine2023 Clair Skirt Part 1

One of main ambitions for #MakeNine2022 was to create some really warm clothing. So, I added garment plans that included lots of wool fabric. However, due to some constraints in my ability to buy fabric in-person this year, it was only when I attended Sew Brum towards the end of the year that I finally got the fabric that I was after.

I bought this window-pane check fabric in 100% wool from Barry’s in Birmingham (they do have a good selection of wool fabrics) and I was finally able to make my wool skirt.

The pattern

For this make I used the zero-waste pattern, the Clair skirt designed by Liz Haywood. I decided to go for the mid-length skirt, which I hoped would fall to a below knee to mid-calf length depending on where in the circumference of the skirt you look.

At first I was a little intimidated by the pattern, as there really isn’t one at all! There are just instructions, which is daunting departure from my usual modus operandi. Essentially, the instructions are to draw two quarter circles templates – one for the waist and another for the hem and use these for cutting out. The novelty of this approach made me read and re-read the instructions half a dozen times (even though they were well-written and clear) to make sure I was on the right track. I admit that I breathed a sigh of relief when I had done the cutting out without any mistakes and I was onto the sewing stages.

The construction

Once underway with the sewing, everything was a lot simpler, The skirt falls into two halfs; the top half attaching itself to the waistband and the lower half joins to make the asymmetrically shaped hem. Because I have a checked fabric, I offset my lower skirt so that there was pattern-matching, at least at the front. At the back the checks don’t match but are reversed (the yellow stripe matching with the black stripes).

The pattern is clever because the piece of fabric cut out for the waist becomes a pocket. For some unknown reason, this ended up on the left rather than the right as intended, but I’m not that bothered about this. I will recluse this as an “intentional design deviation” on my part.

As my fabric was a few centimetres wider that the pattern requirements I had a little left over and decided to make some belt hoops. I haven’t actually used these for a belt, as for once my waist circumference and finished skirt seemed to miraculously coincide measurement-wise, although I suspect that this won’t last and a belt may be required at some point. Generally speaking I usually include belt loops on everything I make because of my fluctuating waistline.

Clair Skirt
Clair Skirt: Interesting asymmetry

The outcome

I’m wearing my skirt today and I’m working from home. The weather is cold (below zero at night) and being stingy with the heating, we have kept it between 14 and 17 degrees during the day. So, not warm by most people’s standards. I must admit that I do feel like I am wearing a blanket; my legs have been warm and I think it works well worn with my Lett lopi wool jumper. There is a kind of luxury to wearing so much wool, I find. Anyway, I’m not sure what aesthetic I’m aiming for here. I like it, even though I am getting some distinct Viking vibes wearing this ensemble!

Viking chic
I’m clearly missing the most vital of accessories – a sword!
Clair skirt
Clair Skirt: The other side of the skirt showing the pocket

Keeping it real, it was so cold at home I also put a hoodie on over the top. Not so elegant now, but I was the right temperature.

Clair Skirt
Clair Skirt: Wool skirt and jumper, topped with a hoodie

Of course, I haven’t really finished by make, as the remaining fabric can be used on one of three different projects; an apron, a hat or a bag. I’m going with the bag. I am glad that there is a choice of projects here because it really makes this pattern far more versatile.


2 Comments

True Bias Nikko Top in cream ribbed knit

This particular make had been on my radar for some while, but I have sewn lots of different t-shirt patterns and I was beginning to wonder why I needed to invest in another. By invest I mean buying the pattern, but also committing time to getting the fit right too.

The pattern

The Nikko Top and Dress has 4 views. The top in sleeveless and long-sleeved versions and the dress, again in sleeveless and long-sleeved models. I used the the long-sleeved top version (View B) here.

I traced the pattern on Swedish tracing pattern, fully expecting to do a variety of adjustments on the flat pattern, especially around the shoulders, and armscye. But surprisingly when I started to compare the size 6 I had traced with the shoulder width from my adjusted Cashmerette Concord pattern, it was spot on and didn’t need altering at all. The length was a little long, compared to the intended length shown on the True Bias website, but I didn’t adjust it. I’m quite willing to have extra long t-shirts in the winter. The sleeves again were a bit long, but I can pull them down tortoise-fashion which again is no bad thing in the winter.

I was rather shocked at this point that the job of tracing had taken me next to no time and the next evening I was ready to sew.

True Bias Nikko top: Worn with True Bias Lander trousers and RTW cardigan

The Fabric

I purchased one metre of MeetMilk ribbed knit from Guthrie and Ghani. I chose the colour described as “Shell” which seems like a cream colour to me. This fabric is a good pairing with the True Bias Nikko pattern as it has just the right stretch and recovery requirements. Although I only bought one metre, I managed to squeeze out the long-sleeved top in a size 6 from the fabric.

Construction

This was an absolute breeze. Most of the sewing was achieved on the overlocker. I had to change my thread to white for this project, but even this didn’t involve too much swearing. I picked up a really good tip from the Concord: tacking the neck binding together in its folded position prior to inserting it into the t-shirt. This really makes the process easier and the result tidier. I did this again on this t-shirt.

True Bias Nikko Top: Apologies for the camisole clearly visible underneath, but it is a cold day!

The outcome

I absolutely love this new top. The pattern has fitted me perfectly out the packet so this t-shirt took next to no time to make. Despite the expense of the fabric (£23.90/m at the time I write this), I am convinced that I made a good choice because it had just the right stretch for the garment. The fabric also comes in a variety of colours, so there is plenty of room for future fuss-free Nikkos in my wardrobe because I won’t need to adjust for different stretch percentages by buying the same fabric.

I’m glad I chose this colour too. This t-shirt can easily be paired with all manner of garments in my wardrobe. Here I’m trying it out with the Lander trousers, and a much-loved RTW cardigan. However, I can see it working well with lots of the blue items in my wardrobe too.

I always feel that a simple t-shirt pattern needs to work hard to justify the price. This pattern has separate body pieces for the dress and also the sleeveless versions. I expect this is to take into account the arm hole bindings for the sleeveless version and the looser fit around the waist in the dress version. I think these considerations make the pattern very good value and elevate it above similar offerings.

I’m really interested in taking this pattern to a new level, by making some customised versions of it. Watch this space!

True Bias Nikko Top: Back View


5 Comments

#MakeNine2022 Final Update

I must admit I have been struggling with my nine projects this year. My completed count is currently at 2 and a half. I managed to make the underwear and also the Lander trousers. I have also started on the Nikko top.

It isn’t because I’m not excited about my selection, it is mainly that I haven’t been able to do much in the way of in-person fabric shopping. If there is anything that my chosen Make Nine have in common it is that they use fabrics that I haven’t sewn much with before, which for me necessitates the need to make decisions based on fabric stroking.

But fear not, I told myself, when Sew Brum was on the horizon! The Birmingham emporia are sure to provide for my every whim! It was one of the highlights of my year to finally get out and be among like-minded sewing enthusiasts, after two years of Covid restrictions. We enjoyed the day mooching around the Rag Market, Fancy Silk Store, Barry’s Fabrics and Guthrie and Ghani. The fabric shops didn’t disappoint either and I now have fabric to make some of the more challenging projects on the list. Here is what I bought:

1. A window pane checked green wool fabric. This is going to be made into the Zero Waste Clair Skirt. A proposed make that has been on the cards for a while. This fabric pairs well with my super-warm green jumper. This is definitely going to be a warm but elegant outfit.

Clair Skirt Fabric (Green windowpane check)
Clair Skirt Fabric (Green windowpane check)

2. A tartan checked wool fabric in muted shades of fawn, mauve and blue with an orange accent. I think this will be great for my hooded Dropje vest. This is going to be one a wearing-round-the-house item, since anything to be worn outdoors in the south-west of the UK needs to be waterproof. I haven’t bought any lining for this garment yet, but that will be an easier online purchase. This fabric looks super with my recent Lander trousers.

Dropje Vest Fabric (Muted shades of green, fawn and blue with an orange accent)
Dropje Vest Fabric (Muted shades of green, fawn and blue with an orange accent)

3. A cream ribbed jersey. I have made a few t-shirts this year, but I really would like a Nikko top and this will be to replace a much-worn RTW cream t-shirt that has a hole in it and rather nasty looking armpits.

Nikko Top Fabric (Cream rib jersey)
Nikko Top Fabric (Cream rib jersey)

4. A striped silk fabric. This was an impulse purchase; surely I was allowed one? I loved the idea of making a top that positions the stripes in an interesting manner. I like the idea of this Burda top, but I fear I may not have enough fabric for it, but you never know.

Striped silk fabric
Striped silk fabric

In essence these are all projects I have probably already talked about, but I may actually get to make now I have the fabric. I’m really looking forward to finally getting on with these. And as I have knocked nearly three items from my list, I can come up with a new three to add to my list. I’ll post soon with my new ideas too!


4 Comments

Making Cargo Trousers Part 2 (Lekala #5066)

I finished my my Cargo Trousers a few days ago. Here is my Part 1 post where I talk about the inspiration for the trousers and their construction. Unfortunately, I got very dispirited when I tried them on. Lekala supposedly make a custom-fit pattern according to the measurements that you supply to them. So, why is it that when I tried the trousers on the waistband is huge? The rest of the trousers are a perfect fit! I don’t know, I could agonise over the measurements I took, I could make some judgement on whether the waist band sits in relation to my natural waist. But none of this fully accounts for being about 4 inches too big! I’m suspecting some assumptions in their algorithm about waist measurements being x distance from the hip measurement, or assumptions about the circumference being equally distributed between the back and the front of the body. This is the first time I have made trousers with a Lekala pattern, so I think this is a lesson learned. Always measure!

Lekala #5066

After much cursing, I did the following:

  • Took off the centre back belt hoop
  • Took the waistband part at the centre back
  • Cut it in half at the centre back
  • Reduced the circumference at the waist by about two inches, but cutting out a load of excess at the centre back
  • Sewed it all back up, adding the belt loop back in

I put the trousers back on and they are still loose, but adjusting the button position at the front and the use of a belt means that they are fully wearable.

Lekala #5066

I wore them to see a friend yesterday in town, and wore a wide leather belt. This turned out to be a rather uncomfortable combination as the belt tried to pull the trousers up to my natural waist and it was a little restrictive in the bum department!

Today I have been wearing a thinner elasticated belt with the trousers. They sit lower down, below the natural waist and they are now far more comfortable. In fact, they nicely adhere to the more slouchy look and feel which is more in harmony with their style.

Lekala #5066

I love the colour of these trousers though. In the back of my mind I the colour reminded of something? And then I realised where I had seen this exact shade before. It is a wife’s colour from The Handmaid’s Tale! Taking into account the lighting in these photos. Thank goodness I didn’t make this into a dress!

Handmaid's tale wife

Would I make another pair of these? Yes. I love the pockets and now I have worked my way around the construction I won’t find it so challenging a second time round. I can see a black pair would be a great addition to my wardrobe, obviously making sure the waistband fits properly.

Lekala #5066


3 Comments

Making Cargo Trousers Part 1 (Lekala #5066)

Possibly two decades ago, I recall I had a pair of shop-bought cargo trousers that I used to love and wore a lot. They were grey, straight-legged and with loads of pockets. Although I don’t buy clothes from shops anymore, I do sometimes visit the “Inspiration Emporia”, as I now call them, just for a look around. Anyway, I kept on noticing a pair of red cargo trousers in Urban Outfitters. They ticked all my boxes – loads of pockets, straight-legged and with cool top-stitching.

Urban Outfitters cargo trousers – the inspiration

The Pattern

I looked around for a pattern to use. A couple of months back there was a pattern for cargo trousers in Burda magazine. I liked them, but the number of pockets just wasn’t up there. There weren’t any back pockets. Then I remembered that I had some credits left on the Lekala website and I spotted this pair. Are these not the coolest cargo trousers? I was salivating at the prospect of sewing all those pockets!

Lekala #5066 line drawing

I put in my measurements and the website comes up with a proposed fabric requirement now. Definitely a handy feature, as I’m sure it didn’t used to do that.

Lekala #5066 Artist’s impression

The Fabric and Notions

I bought the fabric at Like Sew Amazing. They only had a couple of different colour choices for this cotton canvas fabric. They still have some of the lilac in stock. The colour I chose though was this bright turquoise. I felt it was rather bright, but then it is very much in the same spirit as my inspiration – those red cargo trousers from Urban Outfitters. For the top-stitching, again, I was quite unsure, but settled on a cream colour. I found some cream-coloured buttons too, to complete the look.

The Construction

Lekala pattern instructions are sparse and very much in the same style as the average Burda magazine instructions. But these instructions were particular bad. Half-way through it just directs you to a Youtube video on the So Sew Easy website for inserting a zip. The video itself is great but it inserts the zip in a skirt. No problem, except that there are no instructions for sewing either the fly guard on, or for doing the crotch seam as a result. I did look at the instructions for the Burda trousers, mentioned earlier, but sadly that didn’t help either as the two patterns were quite different in the way they tackled inserting the zip fly. So, I just swore a lot and muddled through.

Next problem was that I made a mistake on the pockets. Between you and me, let’s just call it a style change. In the useless instructions, which I was increasingly failing to follow, it tells you to sew the top-stitching on the side pockets so that the pockets concertina. However, mine are just sewn so they no longer do this. Actually I don’t care. It means that my pockets won’t get overfilled and look all baggy. I maintain this is a style change, not a mistake!

And, here we are! The finished trousers….. well, almost. I still have the hems to finish and the button and buttonhole on the waistband.

Cargo Trousers: Back View. Got to have back pockets too!

I’ve decided to write a second post in a few days once I have worn them for a bit and can comment on fit and comfort. I will also report back on the outfit choices I have made with them.

Cargo Trousers: Front view. Obviously more pockets!


2 Comments

Mission Accomplished: A long-sleeved Cashmerette Concord

I was tempted not to bother writing this post, because the make I am sharing is just another Concord t-shirt. What more can I have to say about this t-shirt pattern that could possibly be worth me writing another post? On the other hand, I am very pleased with this new t-shirt and when I hit that sweet spot with a make, why wouldn’t I share?

The Fabric

The fabric is from Like Sew Amazing. It is basically a navy cotton-elastane blend jersey, but with speckles in white and turquoise. If I remember right, it is called “galaxy”. Essentially, the fabric was just the sort of thing I was looking for; it fits in with the palette of my wardrobe, isn’t too plain and isn’t too exciting either. I can see that this t-shirt is going to get a lot of wears.

The Pattern

I plumped for making the long-sleeved version of the Concord t-shirt this time. With my long-established tessellation skills and a bit of a nibble on the overall length of the t-shirt, I managed to squeeze out a long-sleeved t-shirt from just 1 metre. This long-sleeved version uses bands to finish the sleeves and I selected the crew neckline.

Concord Galaxy T-shirt: a great layering piece

The Outcome

My intention with this t-shirt was to create a long-sleeved version that could be used as a layering item in winter. For me, this means that not only should it wearable under a jumper or cardigan, but it should be wearable over a camisole/ vest and under another t-shirt, a shirt, and then a jumper and coat. Layering is definitely a considerable when I’ve just read articles about three-hour winter power cuts.

I wore the t-shirt for working from home yesterday. It wasn’t a particularly warm day and I appreciated the deliberately-overlong sleeves and the high neck line. It isn’t quite time for full-layering yet, but I could see that the t-shirt was close-fitting enough that it could easily cope with more layers on top, but had enough stretch to accommodate warmer underwear underneath. Mission accomplished!

Concord Galaxy T-shirt: good overlong sleeves


Leave a comment

Cashmerette Concord t-shirt: A great pairing of two jersey fabrics

I have always admired anyone who can pair two (or more) fabrics together and make it look chic. I have quite few left over scraps, usually enough for a t-shirt front, or two t-shirt arms, but never seem to be able to pair anything together that looks good.

A couple of weekends ago, I was in Like Sew Amazing looking at the remnants and I spotted a reasonably sized piece of cotton-elastane jersey that I knew would make a short-sleeved t-shirt. Great, lovely – I need more t-shirts. When I got home I happened to be looking through my scraps and noted I still had a small amount of this violet jersey. It was a match made in heaven! Just look how brilliant these two fabrics look together!

Cashmerette concord t-shirt: Using two jersey fabrics

The pattern I used was the Cashmerette concord t-shirt. I made a previous version here and noted the excess fabric at the front shoulders. I made a small adjustment here to try to lose some of the excess . I think it is a mild improvement. I’m not sure whether this is the perfect fit yet?

This t-shirt is a little short, an awkward length really that just about tucks in, but doesn’t fulfil the untucked look either. I was limited by the amount of fabric I had available (as I was using a remnant) and did consider using some of the purple jersey as a hem band. But that would have compromised the sleeves and the neckband, and I was keen that those should be prioritised.

Cashmerette concord t-shirt: Does the shoulder fit look good?

Do you ever find you have an unexpected talent in life that really isn’t that useful. Well, mine is that I can match buttons and thread, with only a memory of the fabric. I really do get this so spot on I shock myself with this ability. Handy if I forget to go to a fabric shop without a swatch of fabric, but other than this what possible use is this weird talent? I would instantly trade it for better sea legs or a remotely average sense of direction!

Button matched with fabric from memory!


8 Comments

Tai Chi Uniform: The finished jacket

I’ve been writing a series of posts about my progress with this self-drafted jacket that is part of a Tai Chi uniform. Here are the previous posts:

First thoughts on designing the pattern

Selecting the fabric

Cutting out and first sewing steps

It’s all coming together

Since my last post, I have completed the collar and the sleeves with their contrast cuffs. I have also finished the mitred corners and jacket hem. These were relatively easy steps given that I had worked out what I needed to do in each case. I did have to redo the collar, because I decided that I needed to work with white bobbin thread to make my slightly wobbly stitching less visible. I am now reasonably happy with the collar, although it isn’t particularly neat. I have even attached a special Kylie and the Machine “Ta Da” label.

Finished Tai Chi Jacket: worn unbuttoned

The last month I have mostly been finishing off the Chinese ball buttons. These, along with the button-holes that complete the frog fastenings have been extremely time consuming. I also managed to replicate the very fancy top button and button-hole which are finished with spirals. I found finishing buttons and button-holes very tricky. I am left wondering whether the materials I have been using were actually the most suitable for such a fiddly job. The video I used is in Chinese and although I could follow it very easily, it doesn’t tell me in English what materials they used. I used some shiny polyester bias binding, but would silk bias binding have worked better? Is this actually easy to get hold of silk bias binding. Then at one stage some “starch” is used, presumably to stick and stiffen the frayed ends together. I purchased some starch that looked similar from the internet, but again I have no idea if this was a good approximation of that used in the video. The buttons are also quite a different navy blue, but I am trying to think of that as a “feature”. This is very noticeable in all the photos below, so I expect given time I’ll stop noticing it too.

Finished Tai Chi Jacket, worn buttoned

On Tuesday the jacket had its first outing at the Tai Chi class and everyone was very complementary. I took it as a compliment (as was intended), but I do wonder why people say “you wouldn’t know it was home-made”? I mean, essentially every sewn garment is hand-made and there isn’t a huge difference between the fabrics, equipment and construction techniques used at home and commercially. Why wouldn’t it look like something you’d buy in a shop?

A bit of a Tai Chi pose!

I was pleased with the fit of the jacket. I definitely made the right choice changing the design so that the sleeves came out horizontally, rather than at a slant. I talked about that design change here. I do notice that the jacket rustles a bit when being worn and I felt a bit conspicuous because of the noise it was making. I bet no-one else noticed, though!

Finished Tai Chi Jacket: Really easy to move and I think it does look the business!

At the moment I am still in the mental phase of seeing all the “faults” with this jacket. But I’m sure that in the winter I will really appreciate wearing it. Our teacher is a bit of a fresh air fiend and with COVID still circulating, even in January I bet the doors and windows in the hall where we practice will be fully open!


2 Comments

Quick Make: Quilted Bottle Cosy

I made something very quickly yesterday. I suppose I must be used to making tricky items of clothing with convoluted instructions, so this little make really surprised me. It was done and dusted within the day.

I have this little flask that I take on cycle rides with me. I have had it for many years and it is just one of those really useful objects that I wouldn’t be without. Except there is a problem. It just doesn’t properly fit the holder on my bicycle and for ages I have just wrapped a little bubble-wrapping around the bottle so it stays tightly in the holder. Anyway, yesterday I decided enough was enough and my sewing skills came to the rescue.

The flask I take on cycle rides

I decided to make a quilted bottle cosy so that the bottle would sit in the holder better. The added advantage is that I thought that the quilting would really help insulate the bottle too keeping a cold drink cool and a hot drink warm.

I chose a couple of scraps of fabric. The outside fabric is left over from my Lander trousers. The inside, is some travel-themed fabric which I used previously to make a passport holder. The bias-binding was found in the stash. I found some batting in the stash too.

My finished quilted bottle cosy

I used two fabrics (cotton lawn for inner fabric and cotton twill for the outer fabric) and batting measuring 30 cm x 30 cm. This was sufficient for my flask. However, you may wish to measure the circumference of the flask and the diameter of the base of the flask. Add these two together and add seam allowances to get a rough fabric size.

Fabric size (length and width) = Circumference of flask + Diameter of flask + 6 cm

I also used bias-binding approximately 3 cm longer than the circumference of the flask and a length of cord, which I just cut at the length I thought looked right once I had threaded it through the bias-binding.

The bottle cosy holding the bottle.
  1. Fold the outer fabric square in half along the diagonal. Press. Draw a line (using a fabric marker) on the fabric along the press line.
  2. Next draw additional diagonal lines. I drew these evenly spaced by using the ruler width as a guide.
  3. Draw additional diagonal lines at 90 degrees to the original line. These lines will create the stitching guides.
  4. Place the inner fabric right-side down, then the batting and finally the outer fabric right-side up on the table.
  5. Pin the fabrics together.
  6. Next tack (baste) the fabrics together.
  7. Sew along the stitching lines using your sewing machine.
  8. Wrap the flask in the fabric and mark how much of the fabric is needed. I used enough to completely wrap the flask and then added 3 cms for a seam allowance (1.5 cm at each side) . Trim the fabric.
  9. Fold the fabric in half right-sides together and stitch using 1.5 cm as the seam allowance.
  10. Cut a circle of fabric the size of the base of the flask + 1.5 cm around the entire circumference from the remaining quilted fabric.
  11. Pin the circle of fabric to the cylinder of fabric already created, making sure that the right side of the fabric is on the inside. Stitch.
  12. Turn so that the right side is visible.
  13. Fold out one side of the bias-binding and place the raw edge, with the right-side against the top edge of the inside of the cosy. Pin in place. Fold the short ends under and pin these in place too. Stitch along the fold line of the bias binding. Keep the short ends of the bias binding open as these will be the openings for the cord.
  14. Fold the bias binding over the top edge of the cosy and pin in place on the outside of the cosy. Edge stitch this in place.
  15. Thread a cord through the bias binding. Cut to a length that looks good and knot.

I feel a bit sad that I didn’t take pictures of the steps. So, if the instructions aren’t too clear just let me know and I will try to add some.

Note: I did not finish any of the inside seams. Ideally I would finish these with bias-binding, but the small size of the flask and the thickness of the fabric would have made this fundamentally too fiddly.

The bottle is now held snugly in the holder on my bicycle.


2 Comments

Grainline Augusta Dress for the Hot Weather

I have been procrastinating. The Tai Chi jacket is still on hold, because I can’t face the fiddly job of finishing the Chinese buttons in this heat. And then, there are all the makes I promised myself in my #makenine which still aren’t happening. So what have I been making? A dress. Don’t fall off your chair! Yep, dresses and me aren’t exactly best friends, but with the weather ramping up to 40 degrees, even I have to admit that I actually want to wear a dress!

For Christmas I received a 2 metre length of cotton lawn fabric, in a bold print. On Instagram there are a couple of versions of the Grainline Augusta in really bold floral prints and these were the inspiration for my version (see Below). Naturally, I would have been happy with an Augusta shirt, but with 2 metres to play with I decided to make the dress. My reasoning was that if I didn’t exactly like it as a dress, I could always convert it to a shirt.

Here, I will just mention my one and only bugbear with Grainline Studios patterns. Jen is very very generous with the fabric requirements for her patterns. Looking at my size the Augusta is said to require 2.8 metres. Well, I used only 2 metres and I wasn’t skimping at all. In fact, I actually put the interfacing on one of the wrong lapel pieces and simply cut it again. I still have a little left over, but not much. My guess of needing 2 metres was actually pretty close; 2.8 metres are definitely not needed.

Augusta Dress Back View

The fabric

The fabric is a cotton lawn from Like Sew Amazing. It is quite a crisp fabric and isn’t transparent, so a perfect choice for this pattern.

Grainline Studios Augusta Dress

The construction

Having made this pattern before, it wasn’t a difficult make. I speeded through it nicely. There is also a very comprehensive sew-along on YouTube which is very clear. The lapels look tricky, but being guided through the process they come together beautifully. The instructions for the mitred corner hems are impeccable too. I think I made a better job of these two steps on this version too. (Practice really does indeed make perfect).

Yes, I made a minor error when I ironed the interfacing to the wrong lapel piece, but that was a total user error. I was doing some general ironing, and thought “oh yes, there is an ironing stage I can do on my Augusta” and I couldn’t be bothered to look at the instructions. It happens.

With this version I made the short sleeves with the cuffs. The cuffs are odd. They look fine when completed, but I really thought they were going to look like a hot mess until I got close to finishing them. The way they are folded up hides some seriously weird, “inside on the outside” action. The cuffs work, but somehow I feel uncomfortable knowing that only the fold hides an overlocked edge. I will have to just suppress that thought until the memory of the construction fades. Surely cuffs like this can be made more elegantly? That said the fold does stay firmly in place, unlike other cuffs I’ve made in the past, so perhaps this can be forgiven?

Grainline Studios Augusta Dress

The Outcome

It’s been hot this week and I am so grateful to have this dress to wear. There is plenty of air around me and it looks summery too. But there are no pockets. I know that that will put a lot of people off this pattern. I did toy with the idea of adding in-seam pockets, but I wasn’t sure and left them out. I like the Augusta dress modelled with the Grainline Driftless cardigan, so this would get round the pocket problem, although not in hot weather.