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.