What to Sew When You Have an Evening vs. a Weekend

Pattern Standoff Evening vs. WeekendHello there! Today we’re talking pattern standoffs!

Do you have sewing cravings? Sometimes I want to sew just for fun, some days I really want to make something that I urgently need in my wardrobe and, well, sometimes I want to take up a masterpiece project. Most of the time the particular craving depends a lot on the time I have on my hands.

Time is actually quite an important factor when choosing a pattern for your next project. There are a hundred ways to sew a skirt. I can be done in half an hour or it might take a couple of days. That’s completely up to you and the pattern you pick.

I thought it would be fun having a look at some unlikely couples. I’ll share two pattern options for sewing projects – one that can be done in an evening and one that will keep you busy for a weekend. Shall we have a look?

Jeans: Mia vs. Ginger

Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotofryou.com

Speedy

Are you looking for the perfect jeans project? If you need a new pair of jeans by tomorrow – Mia to the rescue! The Mia Jeans pattern by Sew Over It (included in the ebook My Capsule Wardrobe) is the perfect ‘very quick & perfect fit’ pattern for you. I have made 4 pairs so far and they all turned out amazing. The pattern comes together really quick, the only two trickier bits being the front fly and the patch pockets in the back. Fitting is made very easy with a generous seam allowance that’s included in the pattern. I really recommend checking out Sew Over It’s Youtube channel for the video on constructing the front fly.

My tip: choose a stretch denim fabric to make fitting even easier!

Slow & Steady:

You finally want to tackle that masterpiece jeans project of yours that’s been on your list for ages? The Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns is a very well designed five-pockets-jeans pattern with a higher back rise, belt loops, rivets and all! The pattern is incredibly popular and known for a flattering fit and a professional look. You’ll need more supplies compared to Mia, but this is a project of love and a masterpiece you will be proud of! In Germany we say it’s for those with “patience and spittle”.

My tip: Make sure you have all the supplies ready by the time your sewing weekend starts, so you can work without frustrating shopping runs. Take your time and enjoy the ride!

Blouses: Silk CamiĀ  vs. Carme Blouse

There are just soo many great blouse patterns, but these two are my current favourites.

Speedy:

The Silk Cami (Sew Over It) is such a satisfying quick sew. I can’t recommend it enough. It comes together very quick: no fastenings, bias binding or darts! It’s a basic French seamed sleeveless cami top finished at the neckline with a facing. You’ll need very little fabric and very little time! I love to use this pattern for hacks, such as thisĀ dress. It probably doesn’t even count as a blouse, as there are no sleeves or anything involved. But this is such an elegant little garment, it is more than just a top.

My tip: Spend some money on a high quality polyester, cotton lawn or silk fabric. You won’t need much fabric, so you can go for quality over quantity.

Slow & Steady:

If you want to take your time and get into more technical handiwork, the Carme Blouse by Pauline Alice Patterns is a great project. It’s a sophisticated-looking, but versatile blouse. It offers a couple of challenges such as pin tucks,Ā a small mao collar, a front yoke, a button placket and sleeve tabs. The instructions are very easy to follow and you’ll also find sewalong videos for this project on Youtube.

My tip: Instead of just following the pattern markings for the pin tucks, take your time and measure – press – sew one by one. I found that measuring the intervals gives a much neater outcome.

Coats: Burdastyle Wool Coat vs. Ellsworth Coat

Burda 09/2015 #117 and Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Speedy:

The Burdastyle pattern 09/2015 #117AĀ is such a rewarding little project. Not much effort but making a big impact. View B is belted and slightly shorter than View A. The pattern is pretty brilliant as long as you use the right fabric. Theyā€™re asking for double-sided wool because it comes without lining.Ā Therefore, itā€™s a really quick, simple sew. No interfacing, no lining, no bindings. Itā€™s pretty much just three pattern pieces: front, back and back sleeve (plus pockets). The sleeves are two pieces. The front one is cut as a kimono sleeve and part of the front bodice pattern. I got many compliments on this coat and people can’t believe I made it myself. You can check out my version here. No-sweat coat making with this little number!

My tip: Find a show-stopper fabric in a bold colour. Make sure your fabric is double-sided!

Slow & Steady:

The Ellsworth Coat by Christine Haynes is a fully lined classic 1960’s-inspired double breasted overcoat. You can go topstitching galore on this one! There’s a collar, lots of buttons and buttonholes, pockets, lining… basically everything you want and more when your sewing mojo is top-notch and you have the whole weekend in front of you. Add a season of Game of Thrones or Homeland to the mix and you’re good to go!

My Tip: If you’re planning on using a patterned fabric, buy a little extra and take your time before you cut to get the pattern matching right.

Skirts: Ultimate Pencil Skirt vs. Hepburn Skirt

Ultimate Pencil Skirt by Thisblogisnotforyou.com
The Hepburn Skirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Skirts are generally easygoing and quick projects. It depends on pleating, button plackets, zips or pockets how much time you’ll need.

Speedy:

The Ultimate Pencil Skirt by Sew Over It is one of my all-time favourite patterns. It’s very elegant but simple, works also as a mini skirt and can be made in woven or knitted fabrics (I tested this!). The trickiest part of this skirt is at most the concealed side zip. I made a version with a exposed front zip which also worked brilliantly. I’ve made many versions and hacks of this skirt, it’s the perfect base once you got the fit right. I made a faux-wrap hack with belt-and-all. I even based the design of my wedding dress on this pattern! It’s so very versatile, it’s definitely worth buying.

My Tip: Find a fabric with a little stretch and focus on getting a perfect fit. It’s a great base for many future skirt projects.

Slow & Steady:

My very own Hepburn Skirt PDF pattern is another great option for a high-waisted pencil skirt. The vertical and horizontal seam lines are perfect for colour-blocking and give you some options for experimenting with style lines and colours. Cutting, sewing, pressing and finishing seams takes a little bit longer, although the skirt is fairly easy to sew. It’s certainly a project for a confident beginner to tackle.

My Tip: Depending on the type of fabric you choose, you might want to take the time to add a lining, as well. Thus, you prevent the skirt from riding up when you walk.Ā 

* * *

Did you find this helpful? Would you like to see more content like this? And what are your evening vs. weekend pattern recommendations? Please don’t be shy and let me know in the comments!

Next time we’ll have a look at blazers, cardigans, trousers and dresses!

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!

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A Festive Party Outfit – Two Ways

LaLinna SchnittgeflĆ¼ster and Sew Over It Pencil Skirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com

LaLinna SchnittgeflĆ¼ster and Sew Over It Pencil Skirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com
LaLinna SchnittgeflĆ¼ster and Sew Over It Pencil Skirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com

LaLinna SchnittgeflĆ¼ster and Sew Over It Pencil Skirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com

LaLinna SchnittgeflĆ¼ster and Sew Over It Pencil Skirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com
LaLinna SchnittgeflĆ¼ster and Sew Over It Pencil Skirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com

LaLinna SchnittgeflĆ¼ster and Sew Over It Pencil Skirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Classy Comfort

Happy New Year, everyone! Hope you all had a great start into the new year. In Germany we say ‘Have a great Rutsch‘, whishing you a lovely skid into the new year… I’m starting 2018 by sharing my Christmas and NYE outfit. I sincerely hope you guys are not too tired of hearing about holiday outfits by now!

Isn’t this a beautiful combination of patterns? Before I get into too much self-praise, let me tell you how this outfit came together.

Last December I was approached by the lovely folks over at Stoffe.de (also known as myfabrics.co.uk) offering to sponsor my holiday outfit. Yup, December and I didn’t already have one. I’m a classic last-minute sewer, so I had neither an outfit nor plans for one (yet).

I wanted to create a festive look that would work both for Christmas and New Years Eve. But how to do formal and casual in one?

I went for quite festive fabrics, combined with a more minimalist and casual cut. Well, you know I love my pencil skirts for every occasion. They can be worn two ways – top tucked in or left out. It creates two very different looks.

I paired it with a jumper pattern – mostly for comfort (and to have enough room for all the holiday meals).Ā  I’ve followed the newly arisen velvet craze and wasn’t too big a fan at first. Velvet can look outdated very, very quickly. But I thought I’d challenge myself a little and use fabrics I hadn’t used before: animal print plus velvet. If this isn’t stepping out of your comfort zone, then I don’t know what is.

LaLinna SchnittgeflĆ¼ster and Sew Over It Pencil Skirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com

LaLinna SchnittgeflĆ¼ster and Sew Over It Pencil Skirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com
LaLinna SchnittgeflĆ¼ster and Sew Over It Pencil Skirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com

A Pattern Dream Team

Let’s get into all the details, right? Pattern-wise I combined an old love with a new one! My beloved, fitted-to-deathĀ  Ultimate Pencil Skirt pattern by SEW OVER IT, which I loooove to pieces. I stopped keeping track of how many I made so far. Roughly ten, I guess. I suppose I couldĀ sew it in my sleep now. I won’t go into too much detail, as I’ve been gushing over this skirt for years now. Well, it’s a classic and therefore qualifies as perfect base for any two-piece outfit.

Since moving back to Germany, I slowly make my way around German sewing blogs and indie pattern companies. There are so many amazingly talented people out there, it’s unbelievable. I wish I had the time to follow more and try more patterns.

For this project, I tried the wonderful LaLinna jumper pattern by SCHNITTGEFLƜSTER (‘pattern whisperings’), who’s made it her goal to create super minimalist,Ā basic patterns for all sizes. Their patternsĀ range normal to plus size and are available as PDF-Download. They’re also very affordable and easy makes for beginners. As an advanced sewer, I had a lot of fun to use this cutĀ as a foundation to add some fun details. Man, they have just SO many gorgeous patterns to gush over, I bet from now on you’ll never hear the end of it. I see a whole SchnittgeflĆ¼ster year coming. Brace yourselves, I warned you.

LaLinna is perfect tucked in or casually worn over the skirt. The batwing-sleeves are very comfy, add to a beautiful drape and look quite elegant with narrow cuffs. I changed the neckline to a boat neckline and lengthened the cuffs to make them appear even narrower. The hemline drops down at the back, adding even more volume and creating a gorgeous silhouette. The jumper looks great worn over skinny jeans, too. I wouldn’t mix it with really wide-fitting trousers or A-line skirts, though.

LaLinna SchnittgeflĆ¼ster and Sew Over It Pencil Skirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comLaLinna SchnittgeflĆ¼ster and Sew Over It Pencil Skirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comLaLinna SchnittgeflĆ¼ster and Sew Over It Pencil Skirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com

LaLinna SchnittgeflĆ¼ster and Sew Over It Pencil Skirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com
LaLinna SchnittgeflĆ¼ster and Sew Over It Pencil Skirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com

LaLinna SchnittgeflĆ¼ster and Sew Over It Pencil Skirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Who Said Animal Print and Velvet Isn’t Cool?

Let’s talk about these fabrics now, shall we? I really went for something I haven’t tried before and picked a crushed stretch velvet in antique silverĀ (HERE‘s the link for you German folks) and a leopard print stretch jacquard in black (which appears to be out of stock, unfortunately!). Both fabrics are courtesy of Stoffe.de (also known to UK folks as myfabrics.co.uk).

Despite having heard many horror stories about sewing with velvet, this wasn’t one of them. The velvet sewed like a breeze and wasn’t sliding around at all. It’s got a very lovely soft texture with an elegant shine.

The leopard jacquard is perfect for sewing close-fitting skirts (or trousers) as it has a nice amount of stretch. I used a stretch lining fabricĀ (link for Stoffe.de) to go with it. The jacquard has a nice sheen and matches the velvet perfectly.

LaLinna SchnittgeflĆ¼ster and Sew Over It Pencil Skirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com
LaLinna SchnittgeflĆ¼ster and Sew Over It Pencil Skirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com

LaLinna SchnittgeflĆ¼ster and Sew Over It Pencil Skirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com

So far so good, I’m VERY happy with this combo. I’ve worn the LaLinna jumper loads since the holidays, mostly with skinny jeans to work and can’t wait to rock that skirt again some time soon.

Did you make something for the holidays? Also, if you have some great pattern recommendations for me to try in 2018, please share!

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!
ā™„

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A KEIRA Hack: The Waterfall Cardigan

Keira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.comKeira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Keira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Keira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Keira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Hello everyone! I hope you are all cosy and warm behind the sewing machine or on the couch. As gorgeous as it looks, the weather is quite unpleasant at the moment. I spend most of the time these days on the sofa, I have to admit. As much as I love sewing, nothing beats a hot tea or coffee and a great book when it’s freezing outside. I will try and squeeze in some sewing tomorrow, though. I’m in desperate need of some thick, cosy sweaters!

Today I’m sharing another version of the KEIRA Cardigan with you. This time I tried hacking the pattern into a waterfall cardigan. They’ve been fashionable for the last few years and are super comfyĀ during the cold season while looking quite chic. The extra fabric at the front ensures a bit more warmth even when you’re wearing the cardigan open.Keira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.comKeira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.comKeira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.comKeira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.com

The pattern hack is quite simple. First, print out and assemble the PDF pattern. (You can download it for free or pay whatever you think is appropriate.)

Once you cut out your size, you’ll need the front and back pattern pieces and a large piece of paper. Dot-and-cross paper works really well, but you can also tape together some printer paper.

As I wanted to preserve the original pattern that I had already assembled, I traced it first. I’d recommend keeping one set of original pattern pieces to use and trace for multiple hacks, if it’s a pattern you use often. If it’s a one-time project, you might as well glue additional paper onto the pattern and apply all changes directly onto it.Keira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Once traced, I lengthened the shoulder seam byĀ 3.5 cm, as I did not want to add any binding. Thus, the neckline would sit a bit higher up and closer to the neck. I then moved the centre front by 36cm (14in). This is the extra fabric that will create the waterfall effect.

You will need to redraw the curved neckline which now doesn’t plunge down as far (approx. 5cm) and then proceeds as a straight, perpendicular line until it meets the centre front line. There are two style options for the hem. You could either Ā just draw a straight line towards the centre front or, as I did, go for a curved hem and shave off that lower corner on the new front pattern piece.

If you leave that corner, the fabric will dip down below the hemline as the fabric drapes into the waterfall. I tried that at first, but it wasn’t for me.
Keira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.com

There are only minor changes to be made on the back pattern piece. Just add those extra 3.5 cm at the shoulder seam line, so both pattern pieces match up in the end. You’ll also need to redraw the neckline here.
Keira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.com

And that’s basically it! You can now cut out and construct the cardigan as shown in the instructions. Instead of using a binding, I folded the hem over twice by 1 cm, stitching everything in place close to the edge of the fold. This needs a bit of skill where the hem curves. I used a lot of pins to create a smooth, even curve and gave it a thorough press before machine stitching the hem.Ā Keira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.comKeira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Keira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Keira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Keira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Cardigan: handmade (Keira Cardigan)
Dress: handmade
Lace trim socks: Primark
Shoes: Clarks
Jewellery: Skagen

Hope you liked this easy pattern hack! Feel free to download the pattern and try it yourself. It’s such a quick project – perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon! I’ll definitely make another one. Next time probably is an even cosier fabric, such as wool or fleece-back jersey.

Have a great weekend & keep warm!

You can DOWNLOAD the pattern HERE.

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!
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Keira Cardigan in Black

Keira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.comKeira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.comKeira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Keira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Keira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Lately, I was so busy sewing (and reading and knitting in order to muster some willingness towardsĀ the cold season) that I completely forgot to blog some of the makes we photographed a little while ago. One of these is another version of my KEIRA CARDIGAN, which I released a few weeks ago:

Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

The KEIRA Cardigan pattern is a pay as you wish pattern – so it’s basically free unless you choose to pay for it. You can download it here and read more about it here.

Pattern & Adjustments:Ā As mentioned above, I used one of my own patterns for this cardigan. This one is actually one of my test versions I made prior to releasing this pattern. I sewed it up pretty much over a year ago, as I was planning to release the pattern last winter. I made the version with the wide binding around the edges. I only tweaked the sleeves a bit after this one, as the fit was a bit too snug – still wearable though.

Fabric:Ā This jumbo ribbed jersey, which I suspect is almost certainly 100% polyester, is really comfy and was a breeze to sew with. I bought it ages ago in a local fabric store when I still lived in Queen’s Park, London. It was Ā£1.50/m, 60 inch wide. I bought 2 metres of it. The fabric has made an earlier appearance on the blog, as a Lady Skater/Ultimate Pencil Skirt Frankendress. A little black dress I made with a self-drafted sequinnedĀ cardigan which is the original KEIRA cardi I based the pattern on.
After wearing this cardigan for more than a year, I am surprised how well this fabric holds up. As you can see in the picture we took recently, there’s no trace of the innumerable times this garment has been in the wash. Pretty good for spending no more thanĀ Ā£3 on it considering I managed to squeeze out two garments.

Keira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Keira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.com
img_8764

Keira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.comKeira Cardigan free pattern by thisblogisnotforyou.com

cardigan: handmade, KEIRA Cardigan by Audrey & Me Patterns
skirt: handmade, Ultimate Pencil Skirt by SEW OVER IT
belt: Primark
T-shirt: C&A

I’ve worn this KEIRA loads in the past year. All through last winter and spring and now again since it’s become really chilly again. Through summer I sometimes wore it instead of a light jacket. It goes with pretty much anything; mini skirts, fitted dresses, skinny jeans – it really is your wardrobe BFF! So far I’ve made four KEIRAs which are rotating pretty quickly as I love wearing them at the moment.

What’s your favourite (handmade?) garment this season?

Have a great week!

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!
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New Pattern: Hello, Keira Cardigan!

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.comFree Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.comFree Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Ā  HELLO KEIRA!

Have you been looking for the perfect chic little cardigan to go with most of your outfits? Well, look no further!Ā Say ‘hello’ to KEIRA, everyone! This lovely lady is the newest addition to my little pattern family!Ā 

SheĀ is a true allrounder.

KEIRA is incredibly comfy with a wide cut around the bodice and snug sleeves for an elegant, feminine silhouette. The minimalist design will allow you to go wild with adding your own touches. Add a binding for a sleek finish or play around with decorative trim to add fun details.

Made in a warm wool or knit fabric it will be the perfect companion for cold winter days. Use a lightweight jersey and it will be perfect for layering in the warmer seasons. And if you donā€™t want to go without it in summer, whip one up in a breezy chiffon!

After two years, Audrey &Ā Me PatternsĀ (which is me!) is finally releasing a new pattern and I am so excited to share this one with you! Have a look:

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com
Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.comFree Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com
Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

This KEIRA is made with a lovely warm double-sided wool knit, which is the perfect fabric for this pattern! It’s super cosy and has enough stretch for the snug fit of the sleeves. As the armhole seam hits the upper arm just above the elbow, it is perfect for layering over t-shirts and thick jumpers without feeling restricted in your movements.Ā Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.comFree Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com
Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.comFree Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

This pattern is a really quick sew and suitable for beginners. It offers different ways to add own touches and variations, so advanced sewers will have fun with it, as well! Included are sizes 6-22 (UK), all nested together so it is easy for you to grade between sizes. (Edit:Ā Don’t be confused by Size 22 missing in the sizing chart. It IS included, I’ll update the chart asap!)

The pattern includes instruction for two different styles of finishes. You can add a wide binding for a clean, minimalist finish or leave the edges raw, decorated with fun trims and ribbons!

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com
Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Oh, the best part? As my first pattern, The Fairy Tale Cape, this pattern is a Pay-As-You-Wish pattern! This means you can download it for free or donate whatever amount you feel is appropriate. So feel free to try out the pattern to see whetherĀ you like it. And if you do, you can show your appreciation by making a smallĀ donation if you want.

I’ll share some more variations and simple hacks of this pattern on the blog in the next couple of weeks – so keep you eyes peeled for more!

You can DOWNLOAD the pattern HERE.

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!
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