A short while ago I approached Gabrielle (better know as Bibbity Bobbity Buttons on social media) to see if she'd like to jump on board as a contributing blogger and I'm so pleased she said yes! Gabrielle is a thoughtful stitcher who is in the process of creating a beautiful and versatile handmade wardrobe.
Today I'm really excited to share the first of what will hopefully be many guest blogger contributions. Gabrielle's first review is of the Beryl Bomber Dress by Named Clothing . For transparency, I have provided the fabrics, pattern and paid for her precious time - but I have explicitly asked for an honest and open review. So without further adieu....
The Fielder Top and Dress pattern by Merchant and Mills is definitely the most popular pattern in the store at the moment. And I understand why! It is a classic style that combines the casual comfort of a sweater with the versatility (and let's face it - ease of construction..) of woven fabrics.
The bodice and arms are designed to be sewn with laundered linen, soft cottons, lightweight denim, wool, light flannel or crepe; it is then finished with comfortable cotton ribbing at the neck, cuffs and hem.
For the neon pink and white version in the photo above I used virgin white laundered linen for the sleeves, and a lightweight cotton canvas for the bodice. I also swapped out the rib hem for more of the neon pink!
While I have only made the top ( a few times...!!), this pattern also includes a dress version - which I'm sure is equally as comfortable as the top. Judging by the photo below, it certainly exudes understated style and effortless elegance.
I've just finished a pair of jeans.. Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns to be precise. I've made View A (mid rise stove pipe) in the organic stretch denim I have in the store. I'm pretty happy with the end result, but it's not to say there aren't things to improve next time.
The most time consuming part for me was getting the fit right - this is always a bit of a challenge as I vary so much across sizes, and sometimes I just want to give up and sew! But perseverance is rewarded - I am really happy with how these fit.
Colette Patterns have released a new skirt pattern. Selene - a classic pencil skirt. I have been lucky enough to get an advanced copy, so I've made one up in denim for casual autumn style. It is perfect timing as my autumn wardrobe is somewhat lacking (to say the least!).
I made a couple of Hestia Skirts by I Am Patterns this summer - and I loved them. So it stands to reason that while it's getting cooler here, I'm not ready to give up on my summer favourites. That's where the beauty of layering comes into play.
I've swapped out the sneakers and singlets for boots, tights and a simple cashmere top. Still super comfortable, easy to wear and warm! For everyday use, and walking the kids to school, I think I might throw on some flat shoes though!
I think this might just be my last summer make for the season....a Moana Top by Papercut Patterns. This is from their brand new Ahoy! Collection. I have made it up in Virgin White Laundered Linen from the Merchant and Mills range of linens in store.
I have to be honest on this one, there are parts of this top that I love and parts that are a little, well, meh for me.
Firstly I love the neckline and arm shaping - just perfect, and it sits so beautifully. This may seem like a simple thing, but believe me, the radius of a curve can make or break a design. Whether that be a garment, a chair, or a guttering profile. The devil is certainly in the details.
Then there is the gold (brass) zip. I love this little bit of subtle bling contrasting with the natural linen. As a side note - the neck line is big enough for me to take the top on and off without undoing the zip. So you could probably make this without the zip if that took your fancy...
I also like how the top hangs at the front. The back is where I start to have my doubts. I normally prefer a bit more shape through my waist - I have broad shoulders, so I can very easily end up looking like a box if I don't highlight my waist somehow.
The frill is also a little out of the ordinary for me. I am waxing and waning over it. I actually think it looks great, but I am struggling to feel comfortable wearing it. I guess I just need to wear it a little more and see how I go. After all, variety is the spice of life, no?
What do you think? I'd love to know your thoughts!
Miss Maude Made Summary
Pattern: Moana Dress and Top by Papercut Patterns
Size: Small, graded down to Extra Small through the waist. Papercut Patterns have generous sizing.
Alterations: Lowered position of dart and lengthened top by 5cm in the waist area.
Fabric: Virgin White Laundered Linen from the Merchant and Mills range in store
Special Equipment: None
Would I make it again? Once I've made my mind up about the frill, I might look at swapping it out with a colour block panel. And possibly shaping the back a little more - the centre back seam and existing darts will easily allow this.
Where will I wear this? This will be a great piece to wear with jeans and a little blazer/cardigan during the changeable autumn weather coming.
This weekend's project was the Artemis Coat by I Am Patterns - the first French Indie Pattern designer to land at Miss Maude. The coat is unlined and is a simple make - probably the quickest coat you could make for winter. The pattern recommends heavy weight fabrics - nice and warm types for winter. I was looking for something to see me through autumn, so I chose to use the Scout Denim Laundered Linen in store. Thick and soft enough to head off autumn chills, but not too heavy...
And it has turned out to be a great fabric choice! I have ended up with a very versatile coat...which I love!
Because the linen is already laundered, is has a natural drape and softness to it that you don't get with a crisp unwashed linen (although that does come with age). Thus making it a great choice for an easy care coat - no time for unnecessary ironing in my life! The more wrinkles this coat gets, the better.
I love it that. depending on my mood,, the weather, or where I'm heading I can completely change the look of this coat.
The coat is unlined so I decided to bind most of the seams. Beautiful detailing on the inside of a garment always makes me smile. Plus when I wear the coat open there are pretty little flashes of Liberty Tana Lawn pocking out.
Miss Maude Made Summary
Pattern: Artemis Coat by I Am Patterns
Size: 42, but sized down as I was sewing. This would be due to using a lighter weight fabric than the pattern recommended.
Alterations: took 1.5cm width out of arm
Fabric: Laundered Linen Scout Denim from the Merchant and Mills range in store
Special Equipment: Stitch in the ditch foot on my sewing machine - helps get lovely looking binding.
Would I make it again? Yes, next time I'll try something heavier for winter.
Where will I wear this? Pretty much anywhere. Thrown on to walk the kids to school, or belted with heels for a night out.
I'm not entirely sure that this blouse was meant to be. I finished it a couple of days ago, after what felt like everything that could go wrong did! In fact I'm a little surprised that I got to the end with a somewhat wearable piece...
I should point out that the problems I had creating this blouse were mostly mine, and not the pattern - so I am definitely going to try this one again.
My biggest challenge was sewing the placket - this was the first time for sewing a placket using a knit. I struggled attaching it at the centre front and getting it to lay flat**. I ended unpicking it about five times... The instructions calls for stay stitching around the neckline, but not the centre front. Next time, I will stay stitch the centre front before attaching the placket. I am also looking forward to the next step of the Thread Theory Camas Blouse Sewalong which is going to be all about the placket. I'm sure Morgan will have some great tips!
**This was not helped by the fact that I had a burr on my walking foot which made a series of little holes in my fabric before I noticed what was going on, so I had to change to my normal presser foot.
I loved using the Liberty Dufour Jersey for this project. It is silky smooth and has great stretch. Now I have a super comfortable top. If you are using this or a similar weight jersey knit, I recommend interfacing all yolk pieces, hems and of course the placket.
I used a light weight fusible tricot interfacing I picked up at Spotlight in Wellington. This stabilises the fabric but still maintains the gorgeous drape and stretch.
I cut strips of interfacing the width of my hem allowance, fuse these and press the hem allowance before sewing the arms and side seams. I find this makes it a lot easier to get an even hem.
I have tried hemming the Liberty jersey both with and without the knit interfacing. I definitely get a much neater and smoother finish when using the interfacing and the hem maintains it shape wash after wash.
So aside from the walking foot, what else conspired against me for this project?
Miss Maude Made Summary
Pattern: Camas Blouse by Thread Theory Designs
Size: 12, graded down to 8 through torso.
Alterations: took 1.5cm width out of arm to give mores streamlined silhouette
Fabric: Liberty Dufour Jersey - Meadow Rain
Special Equipment: none - both my walking foot and overlocker packed up on me!
Would I make it again? Definitely! I will not let the placket, my walking foot or overlocker beat me! I am also really excited to try it as an oversized woven blouse.
Where will I wear this? I think this is a great top to wear to the office - so, so comfortable and it is easy to dress up. But seeing I currently have no need to be in a corporate office all day, I think I'll just wear it whenever I want to be super comfy and smart.
She has a thing for stacks of beautiful fabrics, delights in holding something made to last, and respects good craftsmanship. These are the driving forces behind the Miss Maude shop. And here are her musings.