Saturday, 31 December 2016

Final garment for my #VintagePledge 2016

Just squeaking in with my last garment before the big Vintage Pattern Pledge 2016 deadline at midnight tonight! Strangely this was the first thing I sewed up for my pledge but ends up being the last one I blog about as it took me ages to find the right buttons. So, I've met my pledge to sew up three garments using vintage patterns. The final pattern is a reprint of Simplicity2154 from the 1960s. Not a decade that I sew from as I seem to naturally gravitate towards the 1980's. This has also resulted in a very plain garment but as I'm increasingly realising, I need quite a few of those in my wardrobe too and I've been sewing up quite a few plain tops but you'll see those in 2017.

The fabric is a rather scratchy boiled wool that I bought in a sale at John Lewis about a year ago, so I can't remember how much I paid for it. It has a slight stretch to it although there's no lycra in it. I think there could be some polyester in it.

I like this pattern. I made some alterations to it by adding some length to the sleeves and body. I also added some width across the back and added darts from the back shoulder seams. I added too much width and the back is too broad. It's still wearable. I did a full bust adjustment that worked well.

I overlocked most seams and finished the sleeve and body hems by overlocking the edge, then turning up and machining the hems using a twin needle. I like the double row of stitching. It adds an interesting detail to an otherwise very plain top.

The button and buttonhole bands are really well thought through. You use 3/4" or 1" wide satin ribbon which has just the right amount of softness to cope with the soft fabric but acts as a solid base to sew the buttonholes and buttons. You sew the edge of the ribbon to the right side of the fabric and turn it to the inside. Then you topstitch the other edge of the ribbon to secure it, tucking the ends in and hand stitching them to secure them. Very neat and I'll be stealing that idea in the future! The ribbon finish looks really good if your cardigan flaps open.

It took me ages to find the right buttons. they have to fit within the width of the button/buttonhole bands and look 'right' with the cardigan. eventually I found these square ones in the right colour.

I'm not so sure if I'll wear this though, the wool is just a bit too scratchy for me, something I didn't realise until I was taking the photos for this blog post. There are also 'self-inflicted' fit problems but they aren't too bad. I did, however, thoroughly enjoy sewing this up. A lot of the time I don't follow pattern instructions and do my own thing but I was good this time and followed them. I enjoyed learning about the ribbon finish for the buttons/buttonhole bands and really liked the finish of them. I think this is really a wearable muslin and I've learnt lots. It's good to be challenged and to learn new things and this pattern did that.

So, it's Hogmanay in my part of the world and so much of an important celebration in Scotland that our public holidays are 1st and 2nd January. I'm staying at home and welcoming the holiday as we've had a house guest for a week so now they've gone we're enjoying having the place to ourselves again. Having said that, there will be quiet feasting and drinking over the next few days! So wherever you are in the world and whatever you're doing, I wish you all a happy, healthy 2017 (or in Scots dialect- 'Lang may yer lum reek'!).

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Top 5 non-sewing highlights of 2016

So this appears to be the third in a short series of posts for Gillian at Crafting a Rainbow's annual Top 5 of 2016. Today it's time for non-sewing highlights. I'm struggling with this a bit! And it seems strange to be blogging about a non-sewing thing on a sewing blog. But I suppose the top highlight of the year is being made permanent in my role after almost 2 years of secondment. I'm happy to be doing a job I love.

Ah, another highlight is getting C to take 2 holidays and 3 weekends on holiday in 2016. I have a stealth plan to slowly increase the amount of time he takes off work up to the level of days off that that normal people take. There's a price to pay when you have your own business, you work lots more hours than employees do.

This image is from the Royal Shakespeare Company's performance of a Midsummer Night's Dream which we saw at the Citizen's Theatre, Glasgow. Magnificent! This was a weekend holiday we had in April.

The next thing that's a highlight (and this is a fairly eclectic selection here....) is learning butterfly stroke at swimming lessons. I've been going to lessons for over three years and I'm loving it. I especially love strokes like this where I can pull myself through the water with my arms and shoulders. I really feel powerful and now have muscles! This has caused a few fitting hiccups though as it's subtly changed my arms, shoulders and across my upper back. Unfortunately I've now got a frozen shoulder (used to be 'ouch' but now it's very stiff and limits some movement) which has stopped the butterfly but I'm still swimming my favourite stroke, breast stroke, which is totally unaffected by the shoulder problem. That's not me in the photo above, just to be clear about that. There's no photography allowed in the public swimming pool I go to, quite rightly.

Well, I know there are only three things but I can't think of anything else for this category and I'm happy with that. These are three major things to me. Actually I'm a 'glass half full' person and generally happy and content most of the time. I obviously have my ups and downs but life could be a lot worse. It could be better too (go away frozen shoulder!) but it is what it is and it's good.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Top misses of 2016

Something strange about the title of this post but I'm not going to spend time trying to sort it. So, here goes for the next part of Gillian from Crafting a rainbow's annual round-up. They're not in any order of preference.

Miss number 1. Random squares blouse

Now, there's nothing actually wrong with this blouse. It fits beautifully and I love the squares fabric and the square buttons too. But it's just a bit...dark...and this makes it difficult to wear with jeans. I could wear it with black trousers but then that would make the whole outfit too...dark. I'll keep it and see if I wear it in 2017.

Miss number 2. Experimental make-up bag

I rather liked this. But it was too long and became a pencil case for C's work. I keep saying I should make myself another one and get the measurements worked out properly but there's always another lovely pattern and fabric to sew with that distracts me. I still need another make-up bag, by the way!

Miss number 3. Chrysanthemum print top

It's alright. I think I just don't like the shade of pink binding at the neck. And the fabric is not so nice a polyester. Some polyesters are ok but this one I'm not fussed about. That about sums it up!

Misses number 4 and 5: two New Look 6217 tops

I know, how did this happen? Two misses from my favourite top pattern ever!!! Well, for this top although it's made in a viscose, I'm just not keen on the print. It fits and the neckline is well finished and not too big or too small. Just not keen on it at all. I'll haul it out next summer and see how I feel about it.

My fabric choice is one problem with the other miss. I bought a triple crepe and it's a lovely colour but the fabric has a scratchy texture especially at the sleeve edges. The neckline I bound in purchased bias binding and it's too wide. So wide that I need to keep pulling it back up onto my shoulders and that gets annoying. Again, I'll haul it out next summer and see what I want to do with it. 

Interestingly I was having to work hard to find five misses. I'm going to take that as a good thing because it means I've been better with fabric selection and purchasing, and pattern choice. I've still got lots of things to blog that I've made recently so we'll see how that goes over the Christmas holidays. Just the small matter of photographing the final garment for my Vintage Pledge of 2016 but with Storm Barbara heading our way that's not going to happen anytime soon! 

Friday, 16 December 2016

The Top 5 of 2016

Ah, I know it's been a while since I posted on this blog but life is just full, at the moment. I came across Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow's annual sewing round-up and thought I'd add my things to it. Here goes for my hits of 2016!

Hit number 1. Cocoon cardigan

I absolutely love this and it's partly because of the lovely John Kaldor (not cheap) fabric with a portion of non-scratchy wool in it. The other part of why I love it it...batwing sleeves! What's not to like! I made this in April using the Jalie Cocoon Cardigan pattern and it's definitely suitable for a taller person (I'm 5'9"). No sleeves to set in and the only really tricky thing is attaching the band all the way around the edge. Once you've sewn/overlocked it, it needs a good press.

Hit number 2. The swimsuit

Yes, I sewed a swimsuit! And even more than that, I've been wearing it to swim in at a public swimming pool and not had any unfortunate 'wardrobe malfunctions'. If I can sew this, so can you. Although it does take a surprising amount of time to sew a garment which doesn't really cover much of you. This was a muslin that ended up wearable but I can see that the piece of elastic I used when I drafted and made a shelf bra is showing the effects of being dipped in chlorine each week. time to start planning the next one.

Hit number 3. Sutton Blouse

Live this too! I bought this before realising it's sewn with french seams. Oh well, another skill gained. Unexpectedly! I absolutely love this and would gladly fill my wardrobe with them. I was too much of a 'feartie' (ie. scaredy cat) to make one in silk but having recently sewn a silk top (unblogged but worn, washed and in the ironing pile) I've now got over that fear. I really like the fit on this top, love the v-neck, yoke and kimono sleeves and the high-lo hem...basically I love everything about this top.

Hit number 4. Pyjamas 

If the weather hadn't turned too cold to wear these I'd still be in them! It's a tried and tested pattern that I've used many times before and I like the loose, slouchy fit. Jammies are made for lounging about in, I say. I really wasn't sure I'd like these when they were sewn up but thought I'd take a risk with this out of my comfort zone beige-ey grey colour. I think brightening it up with dark red piping and buttons was safely within my comfort zone though.

Hit number 5. Flower top

Again this was a tried and tested pattern I've made many times before. It was the fabric that gave me the huge challenge when cutting it out and deciding upon pattern placement. The pattern repeats were printed along the edges, with gaps of plain fabric in between the flower repeats. I bought 5 pattern repeats thinking - one for the front, two for the sleeves, and allow 2 to match the pattern with the back zip. I needed all those pattern repeats! Facings were cut from the scraps and that worked well.

Now, off to think about the interesting fails...  

Thursday, 3 November 2016

New old pyjamas and the next Big Project

Yes it's been a while since I last posted anything on this blog. I've just been so busy over the last couple of months that there's only been a little time left for sewing and I'd rather get on with sewing than photographing! However, there is a bit of a queue of finished projects to blog about so I thought I'd just get on with taking some dodgy photos and making a start on the backlog. You've been warned!

These are a pair of summer pyjamas I made quite a few months ago and I love them! I've worn them throughout the summer and I'm almost putting them away for the winter but we're having a lovely mild, mellow autumn so I'm wearing them as I'm writing this post.

The fabric is a lovely 100% printed cotton bought from John Lewis. It was in their spring sale and cost £7 a metre, I think I bought 3 metres or maybe 3.5metres. I prewashed the fabric before cutting out and made the usual adjustments of adding length to legs and sleeves. I didn't have enough fabric to lengthen the body or to match the 'stripes' of the pattern but so be it.

I added purchased bias binding as flat piping on the pocket, leg and sleeve bands and around the collar. As you can see from the top photo one side of the collar is more successful than the other. It's good to share the things that didn't quite work out as planned! Everyone makes mistakes. And despite these mistakes still I love these pyjamas! So much so that the piping is beginning to fray a little as they've been washed and worn so much. Well, they didn't cost me much. I think the buttons were given to me earlier this year by my mum when she gave me a big bag of buttons she's collected over the years. Ah yes, I used my usual pattern, Kwik Sew 2811.

Now, on to the Big Project I'm working on at the moment and which is taking up my sewing time. Bit of a story first! I went to London in mid-October for a conference and took a day off to see the sights...well, to trawl the fabric shops along Berwick Street in Soho. There are some lovely fabric shops there, some with eye-watering prices too. I desperately need jackets so I was (mostly) focusing on outerwear fabrics and looking for something I haven't been able to get in the fabric shops of Edinburgh or Glasgow. Well, I found it in the Berwick Street Cloth Shop! It's a loud orange/red colour waterproof fabric (I tested it when I got home). It was eye-wateringly expensive at £35 a metre. That price was excluding VAT at 20%. I swithered and tried to find something else but after persuading myself that as I have no jackets this is actually less than the cost of all the jackets I haven't bought (do you see what I did there?) - I just went for it and handed over my credit card. Then I went to another shop in Berwick Street and bought...more fabric (not as good quality, thickness, heft etc. as the loud orangey-red one, of course, but cheaper at £16 a metre) for another jacket.

I've cut into the expensive orangey-red fabric already and used the Waffle Patterns Tosti jacket which I made in the summer here, and have completed the lining which I quilted with some polyester wadding and satin lining fabric. I'm not making a winter jacket, just something for the very difficult transition period so I may finish it and not wear it till the spring. We'll see. Anyone tried making a waterproof or transition jacket?

Sunday, 25 September 2016

A couple of Jamies

Oh dear! It's been over a month since I last blogged and I certainly didn't intend on leaving it so long between posts. But I haven't been idle...I've been sewing quite a few things and here are two pairs of Named Jame jeans to show you. It's certainly a pattern that I love and with all the alterations I've made to it, it's definitely a tried and tested pattern for me.

Here are some blue Jamies I made using stretch denim I bought from John Lewis in Edinburgh. I decided to topstitch in a matching thread and didn't use any rivets on these. I did get to hammer on the jeans button at the waistband though and there's some secret Paisley fabric in the pocket linings of both pairs.

These are the second pair of Jamies, this time made in stretch denim that I bought from Mandors in Glasgow when I was there in April. This is a lovely, good quality fabric and makes a great pair of jeans. This time I decided to add some mustard coloured topstitching, just like classic jeans and I like it. The topstitching isn't perfect but, you know what? I'm leaving it as it is.

I'm just back from an overnight stay in Glasgow and yes, I went to Mandors again and also Remnant Kings. I've bought lots of fabric, of course, so there's lots of pre-washing to do before cutting out etc. I bought a particularly lovely stretch black denim from Mandors so I guess that'll become a pair of black jeans! Maybe Jamies but then again, there are other jeans patterns out there, it's just the amount of adjustments that I'll need to make that puts me off trying another pattern. We'll see!

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Summer jacket

Well, I don't know how it is with you, but the thing I always have bother with, and I mean REAL bother with, is finding jackets and coats to fit me. I'm talking decades of bother! I'm tall at 5'9", I have really long arms and quite broad shoulders and basically ready to wear jackets and coats just Do Not Fit. I once took my friend with me to shop for summer jacket. We're still friends and if I want to joke with her I'll threaten that we should repeat the shopping trip. I had to throw out the summer jacket we bought on that one trip. It had done well, lasting 7 years. So I decided I just had to sew one...

After extensive internet searching, I came across Waffle patterns Tosti jacket. It has everything I like in a summer jacket - funnel neck, lots of pocket designs to choose from, set in sleeves, interesting two piece sleeves, shoulder tabs, poppers, zip....and then I saw this version on Handmade by Carolyn. She had sewn it in cotton drill and I loved the green but couldn't find it in local shops. I did however, find this burgundy cotton twill so the plan was sorted! It took a while to gather the supplies together and pre-wash everything though.

There were lots of pages to print off. I think just under 100, including the instructions, separate lining pattern pieces, a whole file for all the pockets available and of course the outer fabric pattern pieces. Then there was the taping together. Then the cutting out. I don't trace if I can possibly avoid it, I'd rather print off more pages. Then came the alterations. I added about 3" to the body length, 2" to sleeve length and did a 2" FBA. Phew! Then came the cutting out which took a while....

The instructions are good and there are illustrations for most of the steps. It certainly is an undertaking, a serious project, to create a new, fully lined jacket or coat even without using any tailoring techniques. I did, of course, make a muslin for this new-to-me pattern but didn't need to make any changes.

For the lining I used black 100% cupro lining from John Lewis (at £12 a metre it was more expensive than the £8 a metre cotton drill of the outer fabric, but totally worth it) I wanted the jacket to be breathable, with the cotton outer layer and cupro lining. I used medium iron on black interfacing for the front zip flaps, pocket flaps and the bellows pockets (but not the concertina sides of the bellows pockets). I also added the same interfacing around the body hem and sleeve hems and reinforced the places I sewed on the pockets and pocket flaps. I used horsehair iron on interfacing on both of the collar pieces and this has worked really well. The collar sits up and doesn't flop about.

I added bellows pockets and spent about a whole morning making them. I interfaced and lined the pocket fronts but the pattern doesn't tell you to do this. When sewing the pockets onto the jacket, I just couldn't sew the concertina bellows edge all the way down to the bottom edge of the pocket. There's about an inch gap on each edge but I just won't put anything small in them! I omitted the interior welt pocket in the jacket lining and just cut two facings instead and right facings. I also made such a botch-up of sewing the metal zip within the opening for the sleeve pocket that I threw it in the bin and didn't bother making another.

I really like my new jacket and enjoy wearing it. There are a few small details I'd perhaps do differently next time but it's totally wearable and in a lovely colour. Realistically I'll probably get a few weeks more wearing it before I feel autumn coming, usually at the very beginning of September. I'd like to make the Tosti as a more trans-seasonal, autumnal jacket, maybe with a thin padded lining for a layer of warmth. Guess what? I think I've convinced myself that I really need a new autumnal jacket! Mind you, autumn sometimes doesn't feel so far away...when taking these pictures the wind gusts blew my tripod over! Time to head indoors....

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Too cool for School!

Ah people, I've been looking forward to writing this post for a while! This is my second make for the Vintage Pattern Pledge organised by Marie from The Stitching Odyssey and Kerry from Kestrel Makes. So, it's a skirt. But not just any skirt. This is another 'Blast from the Past' pattern, one that I owned when it was first released, re-found it on EBay and sewn it up again. Why the post title? Well the first time I sewed this beauty up was as my school skirt! So, get comfy everyone, and I'll tell you the story of my old school skirt. First we have to go back in time to the glory days of 1980....

I grew fairly tall when a young lass and my mum despaired of finding a school skirt that we both felt was long enough (and decent enough!). So, after trying on umpteen skirts, she asked if I wanted to sew a school skirt. Yep! So we went shopping in Carlisle and bought this pattern Style 3092.

My mum said I could have a wrap skirt but not a skirt with a split. Looks like a wrap skirt, doesn't it? We also bought some black needle cord fabric, the zip and black lining.  Later, at home nearly 30 miles from Carlisle, I started cutting out the paper pattern only to discover it was a 'mock' wrap skirt and it did indeed have....the forbidden split! However, I received special  dispensation to go ahead and sew it up but I was warned not to make the split too high. Hand on heart, I did not know this pattern had a split until I was home. Just wanted to make that clear! I loved the finished skirt and loved wearing it at school. Nobody else had one like it!

So, here's my favourite bit, what was happening in the most important part of my life (music obviously!) in 1980? I know you're all holding your breath wondering what I was dancing to at school discos back in the day. Well, I was a big fan of Madness and the first vinyl single I ever bought was 'Baggy Trousers'. Even today I am word perfect for the lyrics of this song. Proud to say! Ska was a big thing at school and other bands like The Specials, Bad MannersThe Jam were also on the turntables and we had varying degrees of success at dancing to this music! Disco was still on the school disco turntables too...remember Kelly Marie and Feels like I'm in love (please, please you've GOT to watch this's brilliant...the hair, the make up...the dancers...soooooo 1980!). Mind you, I do remember piling on the green eye-shadow myself for school discos. What about Blondie and The Tide is High? My mum made me walk into the nearest record shop to buy this single for her. The Nolans with 'I'm in the mood for dancing'? Classics. Every one of them!

So, back to the sewing in 2016. This is a fairly simple pattern, with the back cut on the fold, the front has a left thigh seam and split and the waistband is simply a rectangle. I didn't have to make many alterations at all to this pattern, I just added some length to it but can't remember how much as it was a few months ago. The tricky thing is with cutting out the pattern. You have to cut the front pieces on a single layer of fabric and you have to make sure the pieces are the correct way up. I confess I did try making this pattern at the start of the year but accidentally flipped one of the front pieces over. Undo-able mistake! I threw that mess away.

The outer fabric is a non-stretch dark-ish 100% cotton denim bought from Edinburgh Fabrics. I used an 8" jeans zip and some cream cupro lining bought from John Lewis (which at £12 a metre was more expensive than the £10 a metre denim but totally worth it). The pattern was not lined but I just adapted the skirt pieces to make the lining. I used a jeans button I already had and topstitched using black thread. To finish the skirt hem I used some 1" tan and black tiger print ribbon I bought last year from Edinburgh Fabrics during a blogger meet-up in Edinburgh organised by Helen from Grosgrain Green. I knew I'd find a use for it someday! I like using little souvenirs in my sewing.

The verdict? I like this skirt, I don't love it but then again I took it on holiday to Prague and Vienna and wore it a couple of days so it has been a success. The rectangular waistband is not a great fit on me and a bit baggy. The skirt is quite loose, especially in the front and I wonder of that's due to the front seam. I like the off centre split but I think I'm still getting used to the longer length. Will I make it again? I'm not sure but I'd need to make some changes to the pattern if I did. But I did enjoy making it and wearing it on holiday, just need to incorporate it in my everyday wardrobe now!

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Lots of Named patterns Alpi Chinos

Well, it seems I've developed a bit of a habit for making a pattern....and then making lots more versions of it. I needed some new linen trousers for going on holiday at the end of June. We went to Prague and Vienna so I knew it could potentially be very warm at that time of year. And for the most part it was and we had temperatures of 36 degrees. After the success of Named Jamie jeans, I thought I'd have another look at the Named website and ended up buying the Alpi Chino pattern. Yes...Alpi Chino sounds like Al Pacino to me too!

The pattern is for non stretch light or mid-weight woven fabrics. Linen was one of the suggested fabrics. Great! I made a few alterations to the pattern before cutting out, I added 1.5" to the front rise and 1.25" to the back rise. I also increased the leg length by 4". These are the same adjustments I make to the Jamie jeans pattern. I also had to take in the centre back seam quite a bit but that's normal for me.

I love the front pockets and the back pockets. I wanted ALL the details on these trousers! The first pair I made was using some Essex Linen, I think it's a Robert Kaufman fabric, that I bought from John Lewis in Edinburgh. It's a 50% linen and 50% cotton blend which I pre-washed before cutting out. I used a jeans button from my stash, a metal jeans zip and added some rivets to the back pockets too. I like the coppery colour of the rivets and button compared with the fabric colour.

So, I was very pleased with how these turned out and decided to make some more! The next pairs were using a black linen that I bought from John Lewis and some kakhi linen I bought from Edinburgh Fabrics. I'm really pleased with both those pairs too! 

Can you see the four piece curved waistband? It's utterly brilliant and I love it! It fits so well. I used to hate waistbands so much because they didn't fit me at all and gaped. Now I know that curved waistbands are great and fit me so well and are the only way forward for me.

Em...confession time. Did you see the cream top I made throughout this post? Yep, it's yet another New Look 6217. I used cream polyester triple crepe but I thought I'd need to wear a camisole underneath so I lined it using cupro lining. This lining says do not wash/dry clean but I just wash it in a silk or wool wash in my washing machine, using an appropriate delicates liquid soap and it's always worked for me. The only thing is, if you let it fully dry out after washing, you will never iron all the creases out of it. That seems a small price to pay when you can just chuck it in the washing machine (either intentionally or unintentionally!).

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Vintage Sewing Pattern guest blogger!

This post has previously appeared on Kerry's blog, Kestrel Makes, as part of the Vintage Pattern Pledge month of July #vpjuly guest blogger extravaganza! Well, that's what I'm calling it, anyway. I was totally astounded at being asked! Anyhow, it lets me ramble on about my favourite vintage decade for sewing patterns, the 1980s.

One day I was just browsing through Ebay, as you do, when I came across a sewing pattern I’d used as a young sewist in the 1980s. I just had to buy it! I’ve found and bought other sewing patterns that I bought and sewed in the 1980s and this has led to me developing a love for 1980s sewing patterns. Perhaps this could be a new sub-category of the Vintage Pattern Pledge, ‘Blast from the Past’…patterns you’ve previously owned, sewn and re-discovered!

This particular pattern is Style 4824 with a copyright date of 1986. There are collar and sleeve or sleeveless options so it’s quite a versatile pattern. The first and only time I sewed it, I made View 2 in a rust coloured poly-cotton fabric that I also used for the self-covered buttons. The shirt did actually work well in a poly-cotton and I wore for quite a few years.

These 1980’s patterns make me think back to what was happening and what I was doing at that time. It was quite a decade of change for me growing up then. In 1986 I was in art college and having quite frankly, a rare old time. I remember going along to weekly art college discos wearing what I thought was a very cool combo of Doc Martens and (very) mini-skirts, dancing along to a varied and eclectic range of music, including The Communards ‘Don’t leave me this way’, Doctor and the Medics ‘Spirit in the sky’ and Farley Jackmaster Funk with ‘Love can’t turn around’. Alongside this chart music they also played much cooler non-chart stuff too, especially James Brown, Louis Prima and Stevie Wonder. What can I say? I was young! It was the 1980s!

So, back to the sewing in 2016. One thing about using vintage patterns is that sometimes they have been used before. This one had. The descriptions said the size 10 had been cut out but the cut off bits were there. They were…but not all of them! I pieced all the bits together that I could and did a ‘best guess-timate’ of the missing bits, which seemed to work out fine, thank goodness. Just something to be aware of but it’s all part of the charm and sometimes challenge of sewing used vintage patterns!

I cut out the size 14 and added 2 inches to the body length. I also did a 2 inch FBA. Next time I make this, and there will be a next time as this is a lovely fitting garment, I would add an inch or more to the length of the sleeves, they’re just a tiny bit shorter than I’d like. I’d also add some width to the sleeves as they are a shade too fitted for my liking (I blame my swimmer’s arms!).

The fabric is a John Kaldor print 100% polyester bought from John Lewis in Edinburgh. This was quite a risky purchase. I like the mix of subtle grey stripes in the background but yellow….that’s not a colour I’d put near my face but sometimes a ‘diluted risk’ is worth taking. I think it’s worked well in this case. Yellow and grey…a very 1980s colour combination too!

I was very surprised at how challenging this shirt pattern was, much more than I expected or remembered it to be. The shawl collar with its back neck seam and the gathered front is tricky to sew and get right. I have a new respect and admiration for the sewing skills of ‘young me’ in tackling such a deceptively complicated garment! 

I wanted to make a more challenging pattern from my surprisingly favourite decade of the 1980’s (who’d have thought!), something just a bit different from the batwing sleeved tops I absolutely love, adore and can’t get enough of. This ‘Blast from the past’ has certainly lived up to that…and there’s another Vintage Pattern Pledge ‘Blast from the past’ from 1980 coming up soon on my blog. Love the music from that year!