Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life

1 Comment

#makenine2021 A vintage knitting project and what colour is frostbite?

I was looking at my Make Nine choices. There comes a point in every plan where the initial enthusiasm wears off and it becomes harder to realise all the garments I have chosen. Generally, I think this point comes when I reach the more challenging items. One of the most difficult items in my plan is, without doubt, the knitted jumper. It is probably no coincidence that it is also the most needed item too.

The last year I have worked mostly form home. Home is hard to heat. Although that isn’t a problem at the weekend when moving around keeps me warm, but on work days when I’m sitting still and chained to the desk I can quickly feel cold.

Finding a pattern that I wanted to knit proved to be a difficult step. Essentially I have two specifications – that the sweater shouldn’t be too fancy so that it gets maximum wear and also that the pattern uses only techniques I have used before (or at least not too many new ones).

Extensive browsing on Ravelry came up with limited possibilities. There are so many beautiful patterns with colourwork or cables that I itch to do. However, I’m determined to have a warm jumper in my wardrobe by winter so I need to rein in my ambitions until I have a bit more knitting experience under my belt.

Of course, I could just choose a jumper for it’s shape and leave out any cables or colourwork, but that requires modifying the pattern. With my previous make, a striped tank top, I re-wrote the whole pattern adding in the stripes, but also correcting mistakes I found in the maths. I didn’t want a repeat of that experience, it was pretty soul-destroying for a beginner.

Fortunately, I found this fantastic vintage pattern in a charity shop. I picked up quite a few of these 70s patterns, but this was the plainest one. In fact, I’m now thinking it looks a bit like a school jumper. (Thank goodness I didn’t consider making this in grey otherwise it would definitely look like school uniform! Although perhaps it looks a bit like a Slitherin house, Hogwarts school jumper because it is green.) I think it fufils my criteria well; plain enough to wear with most of my wardrobe and using all the techniques I’ve used before – increasing, decreasing, ribbing, picking up stitches.

Sirdar 5525 – a plain classic jumper. I like the styling here too on the cover – brown and cream with the “dog-ear collar” blouse.

Features of my vintage pattern:

  • Ribbed finishes on the hem, neckline and cuff including two bands of a second colour.
  • Worked flat and then seamed
  • Round neckline, perfect for wearing shirts underneath

My next obstacle was buying the wool. Sadly the pattern didn’t help much with this – “7 balls “of a long departed product wasn’t going to provide me with any guidance on the quantity I needed. Fortunately, this is where Ravelry is helpful. I found a similar style of jumper in a similar size and made a guess. I decided that to be on the safe side I would order 1000 m of yarn, and buy a few extra balls in different colours. That way I could decide which second colour to use when the wool arrived and (ambitiously) I thought I could even make something else with all the left-overs. I still have a little of the two blues from the tank top.

I decided to use Lett lopi yarn again. I enjoyed using it before and it comes in a great range of colours. Also, it isn’t too expensive. I picked 1407 – pine green heather for the main colour and also ordered 0005 – black heather, 1417 – frostbite, and 9421 – celery green heather as possible contenders for the second colour.

When the yarn arrived I decided to choose the palest green (1417 – frostbite) as a contrast to my pine green. Is frostbite ever that green, I thought frost-bitten toes tend to be black – not a pleasant thought? Or perhaps it isn’t really about toes, but more like frost on a leaf? Anyway, I made a swatch and picked my needle sizes based on that.

I suspect this project is going to take a long time, so I’ve decided that I’m going to knit it in stages, starting with the back piece first. I’ll then go back to some sewing before I attempt the front.

Does anyone else have experience with vintage knitting patterns? My biggest obstacle, so far, has been picking the yarn. But I’m still quite an inexperienced knitter and I’m bound to come across more problems. Are there any other drawbacks? On the plus side I’ve found that patterns of this vintage are often knitted flat, as opposed to in the round. At the moment I’m finding that this is my preferred method, but perhaps I’m just recalling the horror that was this cabled hat when I think about knitting in the round.

Leave a comment

Me-Made-May 2021 Summary and some graphs

I thought I was a belatedly writing up my observations from Me-Made-May but then I looked back at last year and found I didn’t manage it till July then! This year I took a slightly different approach to Me-Made-May. I suppose, I wanted to keep my participation relevant and introduce fresh ideas.

I decided to create three mini-wardrobes to be worn over 9 days each in the challenge, each with a colour theme. One of the reasons for doing this was purely practical, essentially I didn’t want to end up emptying my wardrobe onto the bedroom chair and floor so I could pick something each day! I also wanted Me-Made-May to be more representative of the way I normally dress – wearing clothes for a few days in succession, or mixing and matching from those that are on the chair, rather than diving back into the wardrobe each morning. This new approach felt more akin to that process. Actually constructing the mini-wardrobes was rather fun too; I liked finding different combinations and picking “sudoko-style” my three separates from the grid each day.

Green-blue wardrobe grid

Graph 1 shows the number of wears per pattern company or magazine. I think that there was no particular surprise that the highest share was garments made from Burda patterns (34%). Although I would say that without exception I usually only make these items once. That may be because the designs are a little unique, or it could be that there are so many lovely designs to choose from that I find something new each time that I fancy making. The next most popular pattern companies were Grainline Studios (14%) and Papercut patterns (10%). Both indie designers, I have made repeats with these patterns. I think if I commit to an indie pattern, because of the expense, I like to buy designs that I’m going to make more than once. There are quite a few garments made from big four patterns, but on closer inspection, these all turned out to use vintage (mostly 70s) patterns. I have made a few garments with recent big four patterns, but they are few and far between and didn’t get picked this month.

Graph 1 Number of wears per pattern company

Graph 2 looks a little different from last year’s graph. Like last year, the most frequently worn colour was blue (26%). No surprises there! But, because I had selected the mini-wardrobes on a colour theme (brown, grey, green) there were far more of these colours worn. Other colours such as red (3%) and purple (1%) were hardly worn at all.

Graph 2 Number of wears per colour

Graph 3 speaks for itself. There has been a steady increase each year in me-mades worn (bar the 2017 blip where I pledged to wear only me-mades). This will I’m sure continue as new me-mades enter my wardrobe to replace RTW items.

From last year’s Me-Made-May, I identified that more jeans and a new hoodie were required. Well, I suppose I fulfilled that brief, more or less. I have made three new pairs of trousers since then, the brown corduroy trousers, the grey light-weight trousers and the shattered glass jeans. I didn’t make another hoodie, but the velvet zip-up I made is certainly another versatile layer.

What would be the take home messages from this year? Firstly, I enjoyed creating the wardrobe grids and they helped me keep to a plan. I can’t say that I didn’t end up with a pile of clothes that were worn but not quite dirty enough for the laundry in the bedroom, but it was better than previous years. Secondly, there was a real cold patch in the middle of May where my planned wardrobe (the green one), didn’t work well. This year my Make Nine includes numerous woolen and warm items to help me through all the cold, working-from-home days.


The Serpent Outfit: Top with dramatic sleeves

After watching The Serpent earlier in the year, I was attracted to all the costumes in the show and in particular to this outfit worn by Monique / Marie-Andree (she goes by both names), played by Jenna Coleman.

Cheers! This is one of my favourite outfits from the series so far. Those big sleeves! That colour combination!
Cheers! This is one of my favourite outfits from the series so far. Those big sleeves! That colour combination!

I particularly liked the big dramatic sleeves and found that this Burda pattern in my collection fitted the bill well:

Looking at the line drawing I can see that this top has a v-neck. This is shared with the top in the TV show too. I also noticed that in the photo of Jenna Coleman the sleeves have two pleats that add even more volume. However, I thought I would stick with the Burda version as I wasn’t sure how much I’m going to love the sleeves in everyday life. Would they get in the way too much?

The Burda line drawing also shows the back view which has a yoke and pleat, just like a shirt. I have kept these features in my make, because I really don’t know what the original top looks like from the back.

Fabric Choice

The fabric choice was quite a dilemma for me. There is a certain vibe about the print used in the original top that is largely missing from modern prints. There is a tendency for certain colour combinations in 70s designs that don’t appear on fabrics today. The patterns can also be big and bold. On The Serpent blouse, the colours are complementary, and the pattern itself, although big, is a somewhat indistinct, abstract floral design.

I wanted these elements in my choice; complementary colours and abstract floral design. It actually turned out more difficult to meet these requirements than I’d first thought.

I looked at various floral designs on online fabric stores and came up with these ideas.

Fabric Inspiration: clockwise from top left – 1. from Minerva fabrics 2. from Minerva fabrics 3. from Storrs 4. from Storrs 5. from Storrs 6. from Like Sew Amazing

Before I went ahead I looked on Instagram to see if anyone else had made the Burda top. I spotted this amazing floral version from Merine on Instagram and I couldn’t have imagined a better fabric. I wonder whether this version may have swayed me in my final choice, because I went for the bold coral and mint dahlia print from Like Sew Amazing (shown above in the bottom right hand corner), which is a cotton lawn.


I used French seams throughout for my make. I was pleased that the pattern included cutting out two back yoke pieces. Yes, I know that is normal for a shirt, but you’ll be surprised that I have seen more than one blouse pattern where only one back yoke piece is mentioned. I was a little concerned that the fabric might be quite transparent, so I cut the inner yoke piece from plain white cotton lawn. I wanted to make sure that the bold pattern didn’t show through where the fabric is white.

I made the v-neck a little higher, this is a normal adjustment for me. I think it may have been too revealing otherwise. I was very careful with the construction of the v-neck opening. I’ve made a couple of neck openings of a similar construction (allowance clipped and then facing turned to inside) recently and felt that the finish on these didn’t quite meet my exacting standards. I think it can be a tricky finish to get right with the possibility of fraying and making a very obvious hole. I think the closely woven fabric helped enormously this time and I didn’t feel that the point of the “V” became unduly weak.

I left the hem on the sleeve till last and then spend several days deliberating on the finished length. In the Burda picture and also in The Serpent, the tops have wrist length sleeves, but the pattern is drafted for someone with slightly longer arms, so I knew I would have to take off some of the length. Then I wondered whether I should go with a shorter, more practical length, but I wanted to be true to the original inspiration. Once I’d decided, I cut off 4 cm so that the sleeve came to my wrist.


Well, here’s the top in all its glory!

The Serpent blouse

I also really like the yoke and pleat at the back. It makes the top light and airy, in fact perfect for summer. I would even consider making this top with more restrained sleeves, because I like the other features such as the back pleat and the v-neck, so much.

Back view of “The Serpent” top showing the back yoke and pleat.

And finally here is a shot where I’ve semi-tucked the blouse in. I’m not big on wearing summer blouses tucked in (I just like a bit of circulating air), but I thought it would show another way this top could be styled. I noticed that Jenna Coleman wears hers tucked in and I may give that a go when I make the mint-coloured trousers.


#makenine2021 Grey Trousers (Burda Style 08/2019 #120B)

Today, I have another make from my Make Nine 2021 to share with you. Here’s a previous post on the plans I have for the full nine. This is my second make from a collection in the 08/2019 Burda Style magazine, here’s the first. The trousers are quite unusual. They look like cargo trousers, but are designed to be made with a flowing viscose twill rather than a more sturdy fabric. I was immediately attracted to them as a light-weight pair of trousers for spring / summer.

Burda Style #120 08/2020
Burda Style #120 08/2020

Below is the line drawing. There are big front pockets, some faux pocket flaps and bands and a belt constructed from twill tape and D-rings. I was nervously relishing the complexity of the construction here. Nervously, because it’s a Burda pattern!

These trousers have been a long time in the making. I started making them early in the year (probably February), but the shops were all closed. I had purchased the fabric from Like Sew Amazing before the lockdown, but I didn’t have the buttons, twill tape and D-rings. So, I made them up as far as I could go and then left them in a bag for a while. Once I’d purchased the notions in April, I was able to press on with the construction. There were some really tricky parts to this. The Burda instructions were, as usual, completely awful. The trousers shared some instructions with #120A, which has a different waistband. I rewrote them for clarity as they jumped around between the two views and it was too much for my brain to cope with. The weight of the D-rings and twill tape also made manipulating the fabric difficult and I think it would make sense to rearrange the order of the instructions and add the D-rings right at the end.

Burda Style #120 08/2020 line drawing
Burda Style #120 08/2020 line drawing

The first time I tried the trousers on the waistband seemed really tight. I was super annoyed with myself over that. But weirdly, I’ve worn them several times since then and they have fitted fine. (One of these days I’m going to write a whole post on how hard I find it to fit clothes at the waist – my waist size seems to fluctuate so much even within the course of a day). Then, an even bigger disaster, the first time I sat down in them I heard the popping sound of all the stitches on the back seam breaking. I can’t imagine how this happened because once I sewed them up again, with the teeniest of extra ease (0.5 cm was about as much as I could squeeze out of the seam) they seemed (or seamed, if you prefer) completely okay. I even jumped around the living room doing weird poses and crouches and no more seam popping ensued! Perhaps I just caught the fabric somehow, but I don’t really like mysteries like this.

Back View – does it look too tight? Bit difficult to tell with the drape of this fabric. Certainly doesn’t feel tight at all. The Wearing A Square top looks a little weird here, only because I was in the process of putting it back on, it doesn’t normally drape like that.

Burda top #105 – Burda 11/2016 made in double-gauze. A perfect combination.

I’ve now been experimenting with wearing these trousers with various different me-mades from my wardrobe. So far, I’ve found that a top I made back in 2017, above looks great with these trousers and also the Wearing A Square top, but that was always intended to go with these trousers as an outfit.

All in all, I’m really pleased with this make. I felt it was a little risky since they are quite an unusual pair of trousers, but that didn’t mean that they are really easy to wear and incorporate in my wardrobe.

Leave a comment

Me-Made-May 2021: Blue-grey mini wardrobe

I actually quite enjoyed my previous Blue-brown wardrobe, although I did get a bit bored half way through with the repetitive nature of it. However, no huge pile of clothes on the bedroom floor, so part of my Me-Made-May pledge covered there. I’m going to save a full evaluation (and geeky charts) for the end of the month and introduce my next Soduko grid.

This grid follows a Blue-grey theme and there are four items in it that have been added to my wardrobe in the last year, including a pair of trousers (yet to be blogged) that I haven’t worn yet. So, this is going to be a great opportunity to see how those garments fit into my wardrobe. There are, of course, some old favourites in here, such as my grey hoodie and the grey corduroy Moss skirt. I think that skirt it has featured in every Me-Made-May that I’ve participated in (and this is my eighth!)

Blue-grey wardrobe Sudoko style: From the top, left to right 1. Grey RTW t-shirt 2. Grey trousers (Burda Style) unblogged 3. Navy blue velvet Ensis Tee (Papercut Patterns) 4. Shattered glass trousers (Burda Style) 5. Grey hoodie (Burda Style) 6. Blue striped t-shirt (Burda Style) 7. Wearing a Square (Pattern Magic) 8. Grey double-gauze top (Burda Style) 9. Grey Moss skirt (Grainline Studios)

1 Comment

Me-Made-May 2021 Initial Plans

Each Me Made May I do like to try something different and this year I thought I’d play with the concept of a capsule wardrobe. What I’m going to do, is choose three colour-themed wardrobes based on nine different items and then mix and match those items to create my outfits. Each wardrobe is a 3 x 3 grid Soduko style, so I choose a top, a bottom and an over layer for each day.

Here is my first wardrobe as an example. I’ve chosen a brown-blue colour theme for this one. I suppose there is also a fair bit of orange too. I’m proposing to use these nine items over the next 8 to 9 days. Last month I participated for 2-3 weeks with #sewhappycolor2021. I really enjoyed the challenge and did discover a few interesting garment combinations in the process (I’m sure some will make a reappearance in Me Made May). However, I did end up with an untidy situation in the bedroom where I just kept on pulling new items out the wardrobe for a one day outing and never putting them back in. With more of a plan, I’m hoping to avoid that the chaos this time!

I’m slightly worried about the weather being too cold, so if I need to I will swap out the orange t-shirt for a long-sleeved top and update my Sudoko square. I can see that there are combinations of all sorts in there; some obvious, a few interesting ones, a couple of really boring ones, and some really “challenging” ones (possibly eye-sores).

Brown-blue wardrobe Sudoko style
Brown-blue wardrobe Sudoko style: From the top, left to right 1. Orange, brown and purple seventies shirt 2. Navy velvet Lulu cardigan (Scout Patterns) 3. Peter and the Wolf Jeans (Papercut Patterns) 4. Brown flares (vintage Butterick) 5. White linen shirt (Modellina Italian sewing magazine) 6. Striped Toasty Slipover (adapted from Martin Storey) 7. Brown RTW cardigan (must be about 20 years old and still going strong) 8. Self-drafted silk dupion skirt 9. Orange RTW t-shirt (about 15 years old)

On to the pledge for #memademay2021 (@sozoblog):

I, Steely Seamstress pledge to enjoy my me-mades, but not to the exclusion of the odd well-worn RTW item throughout May. I will follow my “Wardrobe Sudoko” plan and create interesting (and possibly wild) combinations and definitely not have a huge disorderly pile of clothes in my bedroom in the process!

1 Comment

#makenine2021 Where am I now?

If my Make Nine this year has an overall theme it is that most of the clothing is designed for the cold. Lots of us working from home during lock-down have shifted our wardrobes to a more casual vibe. However, by and large this hasn’t happened for me. Mostly my work wardrobe is fairly casual anyway (I’m allowed jeans and t-shirts at work when not meeting customers), but I have noticed that the majority of items in my wardrobe are better adapted to the much warmer climes of the office than a perpetually cold Victorian house. So, this year’s Make Nine (full details here) has been designed to reflect my new working environment. I have plans for three woolen garments (two skirts and a jumper) and also a padded gilet.

I haven’t necessarily been able to work on the items in the order that I wished, but there has been progress, albeit a little haphazard given my lack of access to shops lately. My first make was a carry over from last year – the “Wearing a Square” jacket. It’s looks cool and will get worn loads.

Top with the sleeves rolled up a bit so I can get my coat on.
Top with the sleeves rolled up a bit so I can get my coat on!

I’m particularly looking forward to wearing it with the grey Burda trousers (pictured on the left of the plan). I haven’t finished making these, because I didn’t have the twill tape and buttons before lock-down. Now I have these I’ll need to tackle the frankly horrendous, Burda instructions, for the waistband.

My second completed item is a pair of corduroy flares. Not green, as pictured in the plan, but chocolate-brown. I just didn’t feel I could select a green that I would like with an on-line purchase, so changed to brown. These were a more involved make and fortunately I had plenty of jeans hardware in the stash.

Brown corduroy flares
Brown corduroy flares with violet again!

So the score stands at nearly 3 out of 9, which I suppose is on target for the first 4 months of the year. I’m wondering what to do next? Perhaps I should start the jumper to make sure I have any chance of finishing it before the cold weather starts? I am an extremely slow knitter. I’m also tempted by the black Palisade trousers as I really liked my shorts version. I cycled in those loads last year.

Of course, there are a few things that I would like to tackle outside my Make Nine, including reducing the stash. About a year ago I was feeling rather overwhelmed by the size of it and it was taking up too much room. I’m rather pleased I’ve reduced it so much. (Big pat of the back from me!) I now have only 5 pieces of fabric in it. I’m wondering at what point is a stash no longer a stash? And of course, there are always lots of other tempting projects……


Teal sleeveless top and the beauty of a pattern with well-placed notches

I’m surprising myself because I’ve made another repeat (I’m usually all for finding and experimenting with new patterns). The first time I made this top, I squeeze version D (the sleeveless version) out of less than a metre of a paisley off-cut that I bought for pennies in a charity shop. I really like the top, but sadly the fabric is definitely polyester and it does feel like wearing a plastic bag. I liked the way the top looked so I promised myself I would make another version and not soon afterwards I bought some beautiful cotton lawn with matching buttons from Britex fabrics while I was on holiday. The fabric has sat in the stash for a little while, but I pulled it out of the bag because I have been using lots of stash fabrics lately with bricks and mortar shops closed. Plus, I already had the matching buttons, whereas some of the other fabrics in the stash aren’t matched up with their notions yet.

Vogue top 8860

The pattern I used was a Vogue pattern from 1983 – Vogue 8860. I don’t tend to think of the eighties as vintage, but the style of the pattern and even the instructions themselves make it seem vintage. Let me explain: first of all, the style of the top wouldn’t be out of place in the late seventies or even earlier, secondly the instructions often suggest lots of hand-stitching including hand-sewn buttonholes. I don’t know anyone who sews hand buttonholes, although possibly for historical accuracy I would do for an eighteenth century costume, but not for everyday wear. The pattern is rather labour-intensive, given how simple it looks to the casual observer. Just sorting out the facing takes hours. Not to mention the nine buttonholes and the elasticated ties.

Pretty insides – you’ve got to love them! But look at all that work that no-one sees – the facings and the bias binding made into a casing.
Styled with the black Driftless cardigan

Having said all that, the pattern is beautifully drafted. In particular, the way the notches on the facing and the neckline match up makes my heart sing. This may not seem important, but because the front edges have a self-facing , the front facing piece is not the same size as the front neckline, hence the notches are very useful.

Teal top (Vogue 8860) from the back


Brown corduroy flares: I actually finished a project

I’m surprised in the last week that I have finally finished a project. I have three projects on the go at the moment, all requiring some purchase (usually involving colour-matching, like buttons) in order to finish them. However, there are no shops open at the moment and I’ve has to put them aside.

Despite some thread-matching dramas (swiftly fixed by Like Sew Amazing) I finally have my new trousers. I purchased the fabric from Textile Express, who have lots of 8-wale corduroys in all manner of colours. I plumped for a chocolate brown, because I felt this would complement this shirt. Although I would like to have a green pair of trousers at some point, I didn’t feel confident choosing the right green over the internet.

I used a vintage seventies pattern (Butterick 3065) which I have used before to make this pair of jeans, which have been worn loads.

Butterick 3065

Butterick 3065

I was never that happy with the size of the back pockets though. They seemed a little on the small side on the jeans. Thinking I made some school-girl error, I checked the pattern again and found that there is just one patch pocket pattern piece intended for both the front and back pockets. Weird! Anyway, I sized the back pockets up, and made a design for them. I used three different top-stitching threads in brown, orange and white to make a “seventies rainbow”.

Brown corduroy trousers back pockets

Brown corduroy trousers back pockets – the perfect seventies rainbow!

I did have some problems sorting out the instructions for adding the waist facing last time. I think the problem stemmed from my exclusion of the (unnecessary because I have a stomach) darts in the front. I made a better job this time, although it did take me a couple of attempts. Like the previous pair, instead of folding under the raw edge of the facing I used bias binding to finish. Normally I would have perused my stash, decided I needed something new and then bought it. But given the buying limitations at the moment, I went with something from the stash and I actually think the purple floral design works quite well with the chocolate brown. Anyway, it’s only to please me since unless you happen to be doing my laundry for me (oh, I wish someone would do that!) it won’t get seen.

The guts of the operation....I chose some purple floral bias-binding to finish the waistband facing

The guts of the operation….I chose some purple floral bias-binding to finish the waistband facing

Luckily I had some jeans buttons in the stash as well, which was miraculous. I don’t really like punching holes in fabric, it seems so brutal and goes against my principles somehow. However, I think they are necessary for the jeans look.

Brown flares using a vintage 70s pattern

Brown flares using a vintage 70s pattern

Brown corduroy flares

Brown corduroy flares with violet again!

I’m in the middle of purple week at #wearhappycolor2021 so I’ve teamed the trousers with a purple checked shirt and then a violet t-shirt. They’re not great outfits, but I’ll some more photos with the seventies shirt soon.

And here are the pockets in all their glory!

And here are the pockets in all their glory!


The Serpent Outfit: Planning

I’ve reviewed The Serpent TV series recently here. The costumes really brought the 70s setting to life and I found that I was inadvertently dreaming up a wardrobe based on the fashions. I don’t have time to make the entire wardrobe, but I wanted to make at least one outfit inspired by the series. Here were my top 5 outfits:

No 5: Marie-Andree’s striped flounce top and denim skirt with a white belt.

Fantastic denim skirt with a white belt

Fantastic denim skirt with a white belt

No 4: Stephane’s hippie coat and embroidered top

Stephane introduces her mother to her grandchild

Stephane introduces her mother to her grandchild. The brown coat just screams seventies to me!

No 3: Angela’s green emsemble

Angela in a late 70s / early 80s fashions beside the pool.

Angela in a late 70s / early 80s fashions beside the pool.

No 2: Marie-Andree’s yellow jumpsuit with wide belt

Marie-Andree's yellow jumpsuit - a striking outfit for the drama of the scenes by the swimming pool

Marie-Andree’s yellow jumpsuit – a striking outfit for the drama of the scenes by the swimming pool

No 1: Mint trousers and bell-sleeved top

Cheers! This is one of my favourite outfits from the series so far. Those big sleeves! That colour combination!

Cheers! This is one of my favourite outfits from the series so far. Those big sleeves! That colour combination!

Kate at the foldline came up with some excellent pattern recommendations for some of these outfits. They selected the Dove blouse by Megan Neilson and the Jessa trousers from Tilly and the Buttons for making this outfit. Jane at Sewliloquy pointed out that the Burda pattern in January’s issue was a good match and I couldn’t agree more. However, I thought I should look through my extensive pattern collection to see what I already had. I found this Burda pattern from 2017 would work well too. It has the big sleeves and the v-neck.

I have a several trouser patterns from the seventies, but I’m toying with the idea of going with a modern pattern instead. I’m fallen in love with the flared trousers from a recent La Mia Boutique issue. It isn’t a complete match for the trousers, but then I am going for an outfit inspired by the look, rather than an identical copy.

La mia boutique flared trousers

La mia boutique flared trousers

As far as fabric is concerned, I think I will probably choose some corduroy for the trousers, it is probably easiest for me to find the colour in that fabric.

For the top, I’m not sure I’ve found exactly what I want. I liked the colour combination in the original. I mean, orangey-red, and grass green are not obvious choices with the mint-coloured trousers, but they work so well. Now that I’ve spent the last week looking at Wear Happy Color 2021 I guess I can say with confidence that it’s a complementary combination and that’s why it works!

Fabric Inspiration: clockwise from top left – 1. from Minerva fabrics 2. from Minerva fabrics 3. from Storrs 4. from Storrs 5. from Storrs 6. from Like Sew Amazing

I’ve been looking on the internet for inspiration and there are so many fantastic choices. I particularly like the Storrs fabrics, as they seem to have a particularly 70s colour palette and vibe. I’m still totally undecided though. What do you think would work best?