Monthly Archives: December 2016
I've been wanting to make a Merchant and Mills Top 64 in Brussels Washer Linen for ages. I love the little pockets on the front of the top, the raglan sleeves, and the simple lines. I decided to make this English pattern look like a baseball shirt because I am so international.
Pattern: Merchant and Mills Top 64
Pattern Description: The Top 64 can be interpreted as a workwear garment, an artist's smock, or a smart jumper. With in-seam pockets, it is Merchant and Mills' feminine take on the style and function of a fisherman's top.
Pattern Sizing: British sizes 8 to 18. I made a 16.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope? Yes!
Were the instructions easy to follow? YES!
What did you particularly like or dislike about this pattern? Like all Merchant and Mills patterns, I loved the drafting. Each piece fit together perfectly.
Fabric used: Robert Kaufman's Brussels Washer Linen in Purple and Black.
Pattern alterations or changes you made: I selected my size based on my bust measurement, and the bust and shoulders fit perfectly. The size 16 hip measurement was too large, which was easy to fix with bigger seam allowances. I narrowed the hip area by 3 inches.
I decided to make the sleeves a different color than the body. I’m glad I did – the contrast showcases the raglan sleeves and slims the body of the top.
I didn’t need to lengthen the sleeves and I’m six-feet-tall, so others may need to shorten the sleeves considerably.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, definitely. We have so many fabrics that work for this shirt! I want one in plaid flannel, lightweight wool, tencel...The Top 64 works on its own as a shirt, but can also work as a sweater-like second layer.
Merchant and Mills patterns fit my body and my lifestyle so well. This top looks great with jeans, which combined with the wash-and-dry ability of Brussels Washer Linen, makes it a welcome addition to my wardrobe.
The Clare Coat from Closet Case Files is a great pattern that can be made up in a cozy wool, a lighter-weight twill for spring, or this mid-weight appliqué denim. It has beautiful structure and a flattering fit. It's a great starter coat if you've never sewn one before!
Pattern: "Clare Coat" from Closet Case Files.
Pattern Description: "The Clare Coat is a chic cool-weather staple. Featuring raglan sleeves and an unstructured A-line silhouette, Clare is a great introduction to the joys of coat making."
Pattern Sizing: 0-20. Bonnie made a size 12.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow? There are a lot of pattern pieces because it is lined, but the Clare Coat has a really nice design.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Pattern does not include finished garment measurements, which makes sizing somewhat difficult, but it does stat that it's designed for a woman 5'6" tall.
Fabric used: This fabulous stretch denim appliqué. It has a fairly wide plain border, which was used for the bottom and the cuffs.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Bonnie added 2" to the length below the original pocket placement on the pattern pieces. She also did not fully interface the front or side panels, and narrowed the collar width by 1" so it didn't overwhelm her. She also changed the pattern layout to accommodate the appliqué design and the plain border.
Would you sew it again? Absolutely! It is a great coat pattern, and the fabric is easy wash-and-wear!
Bonnie made this classic raglan-sleeve sweatshirt using a woven plaid flannel cut on the bias. Paired with some bamboo rib-knit cuffs and binding, it's the perfect marriage of sweatshirt and lumberjack button-up!
Pattern: Grainline Studio's Linden Sweatshirt
Pattern Sizing: This pattern comes in sizes 0-18. Bonnie made this version in a size 8.
Pattern Description: "The Linden Sweatshirt gives a modern update to the classic sweatshirt. Featuring a relaxed fit, raglan sleeves, and a graceful slightly scooped neckline, this sweatshirt is perfect for fall layering."
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelop once you were done sewing with it? Yes!
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. Because the instructions are for a knit, they call for 1/4" seam allowances. Bonnies used a slightly larger seam allowance with the woven fabric.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The Grainline Linden is really a very simple pattern, even when using a woven fabric instead of a knit. She also like that it had some slight shaping--the cut wasn't too full.
Fabric Used: Robert Kaufman Mammoth Flannel in Adventure Bonnie used an extra 1/2 yard of fabric to cut the pieces on the bias and to allow for pattern matching. She made the cuffs and bindings (neck and bottom) in a navy blue bamboo/cotton rib knit.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Bonnie added 2" to the hem so it was a slightly longer in the torso.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, definitely! Bonnie would sew it in a knit or a woven again.
Conclusion: The Grainline Linden Sweatshirt is a great basic pattern with lots of options for customization. The fabric is very easy to work with and the finished look is cute and contemporary!
The Morris Blazer is a deceptively simple pattern that results in a polished but comfortable blazer you can dress up or down. The quilted knit is a unique fabric that is wash-and-wear! This blazer will definitely become a wardrobe staple...
Pattern: Grainline Studio Morris Blazer
Pattern Description: "The Morris Blazer is the perfect mix of casual and cool. It will quickly become the go-to garment to complete any outfit. With a mixture of drape and structure, bracelet length sleeves, and gentle shawl collar, it looks great dressed up or down. It works up well in fabrics with stretch, making it comfortable on top of everything else!"
Pattern Sizing: Pattern includes sizes 0-18. Bonnie made this version in a size 6 graded out to an 8.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelop once you were done sewing it? Yes.
Were the instructions east to follow? For the most part, yes. The instructions for attaching the bottom facing get a little confusing. (Luckily, Grainline Studio has a sew-along for this pattern, available here.)
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The finishing details are really nice and add a polished touch to the blazer.
Fabric Used: This soft quilted knit in navy. It has some heft and a little stretch, making it comfortable and flattering.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Bonnie added 2" to the sleeve length (the pattern is for "bracelet"-length sleeves). This fabric was thick enough that she did not use interfacing. The back center seam is nice for making adjustments to fit.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes! It'd be nice to have one in the black quilted knit as well!
Conclusions: Bonnie recommends checking the shoulder width before sewing in the sleeves, and trim excess if necessary -- the shoulders tend to run a bit wide. Overall this is a great pattern that makes a classic blazer that'll never go out of style!
Why have we discounted all our ponte knits?
In order to be more competitive on the world wide web, we have discounted all our ponte knits – forever, not just today!
What the heck is ponte?
Ponte is a fancy word for good, old-fashioned double knit. We carefully select our pontes from a variety of sources to ensure they are beefy, soft, and don’t feel synthetic. Ponte is a great first-time-sewing-with-knits fabric because it stretches cross-wise, but not length-wise. Also, its edges don’t curl, and it doesn’t show bodily lumps and bumps.
Ponte is great for pants, jackets, skirts and dresses. I recently ran across a blog post by a British blogger entitled, “Cancel Your Gym Membership This Christmas – I’ve Found the Miracle Dress.” Of course, the Miracle Dress is made of ponte! And, it “only” costs $125.00.
The Confident Stitch ponte knits now range from $9.00 to $15.00 per yard, so we’re talking bargain-city for a miracle dress. For instance, our Jalie Knit Dress uses 1.6 yards of fabric ($14.40 - $24.00), and our Colette Wren Dress uses 2.5 yards of fabric ($22.50 - $37.50).
We have ponte in warm, cool, quiet and loud colors. They are all on this page (along with other knits). Check them out and make yourself a “Miracle Dress!”