Autumn wardrobe staple

The Jamie Cardigan

So, you know when you find yourself down an Instagram rabbit hole and come across a pattern or garment and you think it immediately has to go to the top of your sewing list?! Well this is what happened to me a couple of months ago! I found the Ready to Sew Jamie Cardigan and fell in love! I love the slouchy style and, of course, the big pockets, and I think it’s something that could be dressed up or down. Despite my self imposed pattern purchasing ban I decided I just had to have this cardigan in readiness for the autumn and  spent some of my birthday pennies on it. I’ve also been keeping my eye on this amazing giant leopard print jersey – we all know how I feel about animal print, now, don’t we?! So when it came to choosing my next #scdesignteam project it was as if the stars had aligned!

The cardigan comes in two options – view 1 is hip length with long sleeves and patch pockets and view 2 falls at the waist with slightly shorter sleeves. They are quite economical with fabric with the longer version only taking 1.5m so this was the one I decided to go for to make the most of my fabric. 

Jamie cardigan pattern

I was very excited to use my new overlocker skills and constructed the majority of the cardi on the overlocker. This made it super quick to make. The pockets aren’t very neatly sewn on as the machine struggled at the corners with the multiple layers of fabric, but nobody will notice that except me. There were a couple of parts that slowed me down, one was the gathering of the sleeves to attach the cuff. For some reason my long straight stitch just wouldn’t gather in this fabric so I ended up removing it and hand sewing my gathering stitch which worked absolutely fine in the end. And the button holes were a bit of a nightmare because the thread kept breaking half way through and I had to unpick the whole thing and start again… at least three times! 

But despite these issues I absolutely love it and need to make the short version now! The fabric is gorgeous and soft and the perfect weight for the kind of project. And it’s quite a statement piece in this fabric! And that just makes me love it more! Nothing like a bit of leopard print to jazz up a pair on jeans! The day I took these photos it was 26 degrees outside, but two weeks before on my rainy summer hols in Cornwall it was a lovely cover up in the evenings when it got a little chilly. Initially it seemed a bit odd to be making this in August but I think it’s going to be the first thing I reach for whenever I want an extra layer.
 

A/W 2019 Fashion Trends…

Autumn winter trends fashion fabric

With the weather starting to turn (how the heck did that happen!!) we have been planning our Autumn/ Winter makes over here at Samantha Claridge Studio HQ! 

I’ve just bought the brand new Tilly and the Buttons Indigo smock pattern and am planning on making a few dresses to see me through the colder months with tights and a cosy cardi, and Sammy is planning some makes with the incredible organic jersey’s we have in stock.

As an ex-fashion design student I love seeing what new trends are emerging every season, even if I don’t particulary choose to follow them. Autumn/ Winter has always been one of my fave seasons in terms of fashion as the colours tend to get richer and fabrics softer and more sumptious! 

I had a little browse of some of the trends emerging for Autumn/ Winter and have picked a few corkers along with some of our current stock of fabric to hopefully inspire your winter wardrobe…

 

*Pictures coutesey of Glamour Magazine

Florals...

Florals are still a huge trend for Autumn/ Winter so some of your summer makes will be able to transition through the colder seasons with the additon of some cosy tights and winter woolens!

Some of our favouriite florals in stock are…

Ruffles

Ruffles add such drama to any outfit. You could add them to a jacket or skirt for a nod to this fun trend! We have some lovely floaty fabrics in stock perfect for making a ruffled dress or skirt, perfect for party season…

Plaids/ Tartan

Checks are such a classic winter look! I love it for it’s grungy vibes…Vivienne Westwood was a huge influence of mine when I was at University in the late 90s.

It’s a lovely fabric for shirts and coats depending on the weight. We have a few new fabrics in which are perfect for this trend…

Corduroy

Corduroy has grown in popularity over the last few years, a versatile and warm fabric it’s great for dungarees, dresses, trousers and coats. This season designers have been focussing on suits…I love this idea, how about you?

So that’s a breif run down of a few of my favourite trends for the season, which ones do you think you’ll be following/ adapting to suit your personal style? We’d love to know in the comments below!

Green Jersey Ruska Tunic

A wardrobe staple with Lucy Hannah...

One of the sewing books I’m obsessed with at the moment is Named Clothing ‘breaking the Pattern’. I got it for Christmas and I’ve made so many things out of it this year! The Ruska pattern is my go-to for t-shirts at the moment, but one variation of the pattern I hadn’t tried yet was the Tunic dress. I want to build up a selection of clothes that are comfy for working from home in, but also look nice if I need to jump on a Skype call. So I figured the Ruska Tunic paired with a lovely jersey could be just what I’m looking for.

Samantha Claridge Studio has so many lovely jersey fabrics on the website and i couldn’t resist the Bottle Green Bellissima Jersey It’s such a lovely colour! When I was ordering I took advantage of the thread matching service, it’s always a worry when ordering fabric online that you’ll choose a thread based on a photo but it won’t be quite right against your fabric when you get it, but the thread matching service makes it easy. The thread I got was a perfect match! The Bellissima jersey itself is a beautiful fabric. I got so excited when I opened my parcel and got my hands on the fabric. It’s super soft, such great quality and has a lovely drape. It’s softness would make it great for children’s wear or loungewear.

 

The Ruska tunic is a much looser fitted garment than the style I normally go of so I made a toile out of some jersey I had in my stash, and it seemed to fit fine, so I went right ahead and cut it out of my bottle green jersey. I chose the medium length sleeve, and accidentally sewed the side seams of the tunic before I’d attached the sleeves so just sewed them as set in sleeves which worked fine. I love a bit of top stitching so finished the neckline off with a row of stitches. I like the added detail it gives and I find necklines sit a bit better for me when they’re topstitched. I used a twin needle to hem the tunic and sleeves – and this is where having the right colour thread really makes your garments look well made.

Once it was finished I felt like the split up the front of the tunic was a bit high for me so I closed the opening by about 2 inches with a zigzag stitch. My husband wasn’t too sure about the dress at first, he’s used to seeing me in prints so I think a solid colour and the fact it was looser than my normal style kind of put him off. I had a little wobble at first when he didn’t like it ( I thought it was lovely!) and I ended up taking about 2 inches off the waist, and actually, he was right. With a bit more shape to the waist it’s much more me!

The Bellissima Jersey was an absolute treat to work with. It was easy to cut and sew so it made the project really quick. It’s a lovely texture against the skin and has kept it’s softness after washing. I need to think up some more ideas for the other colours now! The mustard version is gorgeous!

Transitional dungarees

Romy's summer to Autumn overalls...

When I was deciding what to make for my July blog post I thought it’d be good to make something that would suit the indecisive British weather where it can often be cool and hot in the same week.

I then experienced 42 degrees on a trip to Paris followed by torrential thunderstorms and 18 degree weather back in the UK! 

Luckily my July make is pretty versatile so I’ll be able to wear it all through the unpredictable summer and into autumn.

I recently purchased the Helen’s Closet Yanta Overalls after seeing versions popping up on Instagram. I probably wouldn’t have chosen it a couple of years ago but this summer I’ve been really into jumpsuits and trousers and thought it looked really comfy. I had seen the Indigo Chambray Denim on the website and thought that would make a lovely, light version and after checking with Sam that it was the right weight, I decided to go ahead with it. 

The package arrived wrapped up very nicely as usual and after prewashing and cutting out my pattern I started sewing. I even remembered to wind an extra bobbin at the beginning as I always end up running out mid-seam and swearing at my machine.
 
I chose to make a size 16 as this fitted my measurements, and I thought it was better to go big and take it in than for it to be too tight around my hips and not be able to sit down. The pattern gives you information on how to adjust the fit depending on your size and how to solve common fitting issues, which is helpful. 

 

 

I overlocked the inside seams to keep it neat and the bib is enclosed with a facing so looks very tidy on the inside. I am always looking for opportunities to use scraps from my stash so went with this sweet shop print for the facing. It’s not exactly subtle and you can see a peek of it from the outside but it makes me happy when I see it so I don’t care!

The construction was fairly simple, if a little time consuming and fiddly with the topstitching and making pockets. I decided just to go with the chest pocket for simplicity but there are also front and back hip height pockets included. I attached the chest pocket upside down as I wasn’t sold on the triangle top style on the pattern, and think I prefer it that way.

I was planning on making the straps longer and tying them in a knot as it’s a look I’ve seen quite a lot with RTW jumpsuits, but when I found these two buttons in my stash I thought it would be a shame not to use them. I think they came in a mixed button bag from the Sewing Weekender; it’s always satisfying to find the perfect buttons in my stash, especially when they’re quite unusual.

The finished overalls did end up being too loose at the waist for my liking. I have a small waist compared to my hips so think having that area too wide doesn’t flatter my shape. I ended up taking 10cm off the waist and grading out at the hips, then tapering the legs down to the ankle and am happy with the fit. I foolishly didn’t add a side zip as I thought I could wriggle it on easily enough, but it is a bit snug and the side seams have started to pull slightly as it’s a lightweight fabric, so next time I’ll definitely add one. 

I haven’t actually hemmed the trousers yet as I couldn’t decide between a normal hem and the turn up look that many people have gone with, but think I prefer the plain hem I’ve gone for here. I was tempted to turn it into a playsuit for warmer weather but think I’ll get more wear out of it like this, especially paired with a long sleeved t-shirt in cooler months.
 
I’d definitely recommend this fabric for a light jumpsuit or trousers; it’s really cool and comfortable on warmer days and enough coverage for breezy weather, and sews up really easily. 
 

Slow craft…

Denim jacket re-fresh

I love all types of craft but I’ve been particularly inspired by embroidery lately. I have found some wonderful examples on Pinterest (pics above) of  beautiful clothing and accessories adorned with hand embroidery. I’ve been wanting to do a craft I can pick up and put down lately, something relaxing that I can do socially and in front of the telly, so I thought I’d give it a go! 

I’ve had these ombre (or varigated) embroidery threads in my stash for a while now and throught they would be perfect for this project. You get a whole pack for only £9.50 and they really are goregous and great value, plus it means I can get a lovely graduated colour effect with minimal effort…that’s my type of craft! Shop here

I thought I’d give a new lease of life to my classic blue denim jacket, it’s very plain and could do with something to make it a bit more individual!

So I popped an embroidery hoop on it…then sat there and looked at it for ages! I wasn’t sure If i wanted something quite graphical or some beautiful flowers for my first project…

After a little browse on Instagram, looking at tattoos and artwork for inspiration, I decided to do a graphical picture of a triangle with a moon and sunrise…I may add an egyptian eye too as it turns out the triangle is looking awfully like a pyramid! 

I drew out my design with a water soluable dress making marker, it’s blue so not easy to see in these pics but was enough of a guide for me.

It’s funny how these ideas can organically develop as you go and sometimes it’s nice to just go with the flow and not plan it out to meticulously.

I used a chain stitch for the triangle and straight stitches for the rest. I’m pleased with my progress so far and will report back when it’s finished!

I’m really enjoying the gentle nature of hand stitching, it’s making me slow down and take my time which is a first! I think it’s really important to try and take back some time for yourself. According to psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi crafts such as embroidery allow us to enter a ‘flow’ state, a perfect immersive state of balance between skill and challenge which is beneficial for our mental health.

I truley believe crafts are good for the soul 🙂

What projects are you working on? Where do you take your inspiration from? Leave us a comment!

Another Blackwood Cardigan

Kathrine's favourite wardrobe staple...

The Blackwood Cardigan pattern from Helen’s closet is one of my favourite sewing patterns. I’ve made several in different colours and prints, I don’t think you can have too many as they are a real wardrobe staple. In my previous versions I’ve stuck very much to the pattern for the longer length cardigan with patch pockets, apart from a cropped one I made from a small remnant of quilted jersey. That one has more of a Chanel jacket feel about it. Depending on the fabric the cardigan can have a casual or a smarter more blazer look to it. I love the versatility of the pattern.

For my latest sewing project I fancied a looser slouchier feel in a warm sweatshirt type jersey. Originally I had my eye on an indigo French Terry but when it was out of stock Samantha suggested this lovely mint green, flecked with lilac. It’s tricky to see the true colours in a photo but it’s very pretty. The fabric is beautifully soft but stable enough to hold it’s shape.

In order to create the looser look I wanted I decided to cut out the D cup pattern instead of the B cup I’d used previously. I also increased the front band by a third to make it cosier and cut large sloping pockets which go into the side and front seams. Nice big pockets for cold hands!

I started sewing this lovely warm fabric on the 29th July when the temperature outside was 29 degrees-perfect!

As usual the pattern came together very quickly without any issues and the fabric was easy to sew. I used my overlocker for the main seams and then my regular machine for the rest. I never use the cuff bands, so I do add a little extra length to the sleeves and just turn a small hem as it’s less bulky under jackets and coats and easier to push the sleeves up if I want to.

I top stitched the seams around the front band and hem band to give a neat finish and it helps to keep the bands in place. I love my bigger pockets; this will be something I repeat on future versions. I’m pleased I only increased the front band by a third as it’s just enough to make the collar at the back of my neck really cosy, I think double would be too much.

I finished my cardigan in a couple of hours on the same day but due to the heatwave it’s been worn ever since by Madeline, my mannequin (or body double as my OH has named her).

 

This weekend I finally managed to get some photos whilst wearing it. It is a great cosy layer for evenings at my caravan when the east wind picks up. Please bear in mind these photos were taken at the end of a beach day, so I look a little windswept!

The cutest little booties!

Adorable animal baby shoes

 
 
So many of my friends are having babies at the moment, which means I have started to explore sewing for kids which was never something that interested me before. However, like anything miniature, kids clothes can be super cute!
A few months back I came across this pattern from Twig
and Tale and just thought they were so adorable, I had to buy it.

 

 

 

One of the great things about making clothes for little people is that they are great scrap busters,
they use hardly any fabric. However, I used making these as an excuse to use bits of the super lovely
quilting cottons that Samantha has in stock. I used a cotton and steel one for the soles and a lovely
floral Dashwood cotton for the body and some scraps for face and lining. There are loads of different
animal options for these shoes but I decided to make the bunny version and how cute are they?

 

 

 

I’ve made these for an 18 month old and since at 18 months the baby will probably be mobile, I used
this liquid latex product to add grip to the soles. I had never heard of this kind of product before but
it’s really clever. You just draw it on to a bit of fabric and leave to dry and it creates a textured non-
slip surface. I followed the pattern on the fabric with the liquid. You really don’t need much.

Thanks to Samantha Claridge Studios for the fabric and supplies which were gifted to me, all opinions are my own.
I hope the baby likes her new shoes!

Tinny Dress

The prettiest of summer dresses!

 
 
 
One of my daughter’s favourite thing to wear, particularly during summer time is, undoubtedly, twirling dress. Who can blame her, really? So girly, pretty and fun.

The last twirling dress I made her, she complained it was too hot. Having the bodice lined and bearing in mind that it would mostly be used during summer holiday in Portugal, the fabric couldn’t be too heavy. The Sevenberry Yarn Dyed cotton worked perfectly. It has a good weight and as you can see twirls beautifully but it is not too heavy and of course, being cotton, it is breathable.

 

 

For the collar and sash I used the white dobby cotton lawn. Not only makes a lovely contrast, in colour and texture, but also being a cotton lawn is lighter weight and for that reason perfect for the collar. The sash is not part of the pattern and I did not attach it to the dress as she might prefer not to wear it, depending on the occasion.

 

 

The pattern I used for the dress is one that I’ve used before to make classic dresses for my girls, the Tinny Dress by StraightGrain. This pattern offers a variety of options but to fulfil M’s request I made circle skirt option, with slim peter pan collar, regular bodice and sleeveless

 

 

Regarding the size, I made a size 8 for height with size 6 for width. I believe it worked perfectly as it is not too tight at the chest and waist area but it is not to baggy either

 

 

In conclusion, the fabric worked beautifully for this project, it has a lovely pink colour not too bright, good weight and feels nice against the skin (this is an important aspect for my daughter). I can say for sure that I have a very happy girl.

Thank you Samantha Claridge Studio for the supplies and you for reading.
 
Happy sewing,
Maria x

 

Leopard print obsession!

Lucy Hannah's Leopard print pinafore...

Anyone who knows me knows I’m *slightly* obsessed with leopard print. I wear something leopard print every day and have done for the best part of ten years. I have so many leopard print clothes and shoes that I’m often head to toe in the print, but I love it! So much so, that it creeps into my job – I’m a wedding photographer and even my website is covered in leopard print. So of course when I saw this leopard print needlecord on the Samantha Claridge Studio website I HAD TO HAVE IT!

 

 

Needlecord isn’t something I’d really worked with before, I think stuck in my head was that 70s heavy, chunky corduroy which I was never a fan of. But Needlecord is thankfully its lighter, more subtle relative. It’s one of those fabrics that has a lovely velvety texture and I could sit and stroke it all day. It’s got a nice weight to it, but it isn’t too heavy and I think it makes a great fabric for a more transitional wardrobe. I love to wear the majority of my clothes all year round so I prefer things that are lightweight so I can wear them by themselves in the sun, and layer them in the winter – this is definitely a great fabric for that.

The first pattern that sprung to mind when I saw the fabric was the Utu Pinafore by Named Clothing, and I didn’t even bother to think of alternatives because…leopard print and a pinafore – what more could you want?! The Utu pinafore is a pattern that I’ve made before, it was my first make out of the Breaking The Patten book, I made it using a lightweight denim and it gets so much wear in my wardrobe I knew I’d wear another one just as much. I’m not the biggest fan of skirts and dresses too high above my knee without tights, and as I wanted to be able to wear the dress all year round I lengthened it by a couple of inches. I also raised the neckline just a little bit so I could wear it by itself – I’m thinking its a great dress for date nights on cooler summer evenings.

 

The first time I made the Utu pinafore I skipped the buttons and opted for a zip down the front which gave a lovely asymmetric effect. This time I wanted to add buttons but still wanted to have an asymmetric feel so opted to only add the functional buttons. I wanted to make the most of the fabric so I decided to try the Hemline Self Cover Buttons. I went with the 22mm ones which come in a set of 5 so the perfect amount for one row of buttons. I’d never used self cover buttons before but I liked that these didn’t need a special tool or anything and they looked quite simple so I thought I’d give them a go. At the back of the packet is a template you can cut your fabric around so you’re using the perfect amount and you literally just have to clip the two sides together. I struggled a bit at first to clip the shank and the back button together but once I figured it out it was really simple and quick – by the time I covered my fifth button I was a pro! I love the matching buttons and how you get an almost invisible button effect.

 

 

 

I used 2 meters of the needlecord for the pinafore, so at £4.50 per 1/2 meter, it’s a really affordable project. The pattern does call for lining the pinafore but I didn’t line the first one I made, so I didn’t line this one either. I just added a facing to the front pieces so the button holes had a bit more stability. If you did want to line the pinafore the Sew Crafty shop has a great selection of lining fabrics.

 

 

 

The leopard print needlecord was a really nice fabric to work with. I love those projects where you know your sewing machine will breeze through it and you can just enjoy the make instead of it being bit of a stressful process. A bold print on a dress isn’t always for everyone, but you can grab some lovely plain needlecord in the Sew crafty shop too! I think this corn colour needlecord is my favourite of the plains, but theres about six lovely colours to choose from.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m so excited to wear this dress, and I’m kind of now really fancying the idea of leopard print needle cord jeans so I might have to get my hands on some more of it!

Summer holiday make!

Lisa's perfect holiday top!

 
 
Hi again
It’s time for a new blog post, and as I write this one I’m currently 40,000ft flying over Miami!  I’ve got to admit this is a good distraction as I’m not the happiest flyer!! Grab yourself a cuppa and have a nosey what I’ve been up to and my thoughts on the fabric and pattern.

 When I got the email to choose my fabric for July for the #scdesignteam project, again I had difficulty choosing from all of the fabulous fabrics that Sammy stocks on the website.  Much dithering and I eventually decided to go for one of the white lace fabrics with a plan to make a top aware that I didn’t have much time before I left for our holiday to complete a more intricate make.  I decided to do the #cufftop pattern (by The Assembly Line) which seems to be quite popular on my Instagram feed at the minute. I admit that when it first surfaced I wasn’t overly taken with it. In fact I didn’t like it at all. But the more that have appeared the more its “grown” on me.  

White jupiter lace

When the fabric arrived I got it straight into the pre wash and it washed and dried lovely in no time.  It’s a very crisp white with good detailing. I’ve been anchoring after a white shirt for a while and this was going to be ideal.

 

White Jupiter Lave £4.50 per half mtr

I motored on full steam ahead without thoroughly reading the instructions in typical Lisa stylee!  Well what I hadn’t realised was that there was an option to miss out the centre seam on the front and back which, had I read them, I would definitely have done for this top as I feel that the lace is enough to speak volumes on its own without the need for added detailing.  Anyway too late as it was cut out and ready to sew together so seams it was! It’s quite a quick an easy make so didn’t take long at all. It was important though with this fabric to get the lace straight as it has vertical lines running through it.  

As you can see from the photos you can only just see the join in the front and the topstitching as it gets lost in the pattern which is another reason I would have cut it on the fold rather than having central seams.  The sleeves have 2” wide elastic encased at the hem, which Sammy sent with my order and I have to say it’s a lovely quality elastic. Not hard and stiff like some elastics out there.

I shortened the length by about 4” and I think its quite a nice length especially if the bottom half you are wearing it with is relatively high waisted too.  I plan on wearing mine lots whilst on holiday as it’ll be perfect with #MNflintshorts or my spotty #MNflintpants. I was slightly worried about how see through the lace would be and whether I would feel too exposed but I think because it isn’t the same lace all over it doesn’t seem as revealing as I first thought it might.  I do however plan on making a nice bralette to wear under it too so will see which I like best.

 

 

 

 

Overall I’m super happy with how this top turned out and think this lace works perfectly with it.  Whilst I was choosing this lace I noticed another, the Daisy Lace so maybe I might need to make another 😉

Hope you enjoy reading and maybe it might give you a nudge to visit Samantha Claridge Studio and have a peek for yourselves to see what gorgeous fabrics are available.
Happy summer
Lisa
@sewlastminutelisa

This fabric was gifted to me as part of my #scdesignteam project however all opinions are honest and my own.