Boxed Up

Boxed Up Boxed Up Boxed Up Boxed UpTop: DIY from Marilla Walker pattern

Trousers: Taking Shape “State of the Art” pants

Shoes: Comfortview

┬áThe mister’s marvelous Mum gave me a very generous Spotlight voucher for my birthday in May, and I was looking forward to a quiet unplanned weekend when I could redeem it. Finally it came, a couple of weeks ago, and this top is one of the pieces that I made!

I snapped up this gorgeous poppy-print rayon the moment I saw it on the shelves – it’s got a lovely soft drape, and the bold print makes a statement in some of my favourite colours. The mustard, deep red, black and navy mean that there aren’t many items in my wardrobe this top won’t match.

Frocks and Frou FrouI took the opportunity to crack out my newest pattern, an easy little downloadable number that I’d bought from Marilla Walker after seeing Meg from the Curvy Sewing Collective rhapsodising about it.

It’s a great basic top, and a really good project for beginner sewists – There’s no tricky darts, or sleeves to set in and while the neckline and sleeves are interfaced you could easily skip those and just hem them if you were a real newbie. The pattern sizing is spot on. I recently made a second version of this top with a friend who’s quite a few sizes smaller than me, and just like the version I’d sewn for myself, the size the pattern recommended for her measurements fit perfectly.

It looks great tucked in as well, but for a casual work day I wear it loose over slim-fit trousers. These are some not-so-cheapie ponte pull-on pants that I succumbed to at Taking Shape. I don’t know why it’s so bloody hard to find well-fitting slim-leg trousers for plus sizes – I’d been searching for weeks before I finally caved and bought these. The elasticised waist (WHYYYYYYY?) means I can’t really wear them with anything tucked into them, but they fit well and are really comfortable, so I’m making my peace with the fact that cost SO MUCH, and don’t even have a functioning fly.

For warmth I went with a mustard cardigan.

Naturally.

Boxed Up

Herringboned

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouFrocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouDress: DIY from Colette Hawthorn pattern

Belt: Princess Highway

Shoes: Hush Puppies

I had so much success with my first Colette Patterns Hawthorn Dress that I decided to give the pattern a second go with sleeves for the cooler months.

The Hawthorn was the first time I’d sewn a collar, and with the clear instructions provided it went off (more or less) without a hitch, so I was looking forward to having a whirl at making my own shirt cuffs. In the interest of warmth I picked a wool blend fabric in a charcoal grey herringbone – it was a much heavier fabric than the cotton I made the first dress in… and that was my first mistake. (It also frayed like the devil, and was a total pain-in-the-ass to sew with.)

So, the heavier fabric meant that the collar didn’t sit as neatly as my previous attempt, and no amount of pressing could get it to lie flat. Between the collar, the facing, the interfacing, and the main body of the dress there’s a lot of layers of fabric, so in retrospect it wasn’t entirely surprising I was getting collar pop. It might soften over time, but in the meanwhile I’ve just been coaxing the collar flat by pinning it with a brooch!

Frocks and Frou FrouThe heaviness of the fabric also meant that I ran into trouble making the cuffs, which – just so you know – are a total nuisance to sew. If I ever say I’m going to sew something with cuffs again slap me, ok?

As usual for Colette Patterns, the arms were hilariously too baggy, and I had to tweak both sleeves and cuffs dramatically before I was satisfied. Well, satisfied-ish.

Frocks and Frou FrouThey’re a bit wobbly and warped, but they’ll do, and they look better shoved halfway up to my elbows (though it does result in billowing sleeves).

The fabric was a nightmare, fraying if I even looked at it sideways, which meant I lost patience with perfecting the fit long before it, well, fit. So it’s a bit boxier and lumpier, and the waist isn’t quite straight (which is fine, I need to belt it anyway) but it’s comfortable and warm, and while it might not be the first winter dress I reach for in the morning it’s definitely wearable in public.