The Seamwork’s Savannah


All seems a bit familiar? 😉 Well, seeing as my last efforts turned out looking more like nightwear than outerwear, I thought I might as well have a go at making some deliberate nightwear. It was also a good excuse to use up some leftover fabric and attempt another Seamwork pattern at the same time- this time the Savannah.

Savannah is described as an ‘elegant camisole’ and is designed for ‘nearly any lightweight fabric’ from silk to Swiss dot. In the small print it also stated that you could even use it for knits, so a plan was hatched. I just about had enough fabric, but as you can see I had to cut the back piece in two halves. If I’d have had more fabric I also would have attempted to ‘match’ the dots a bit more evenly (dots aren’t a pattern I’d have thought you’d ever have to match up, so you always learn something). My husband printed this out on his computer at work, as ours was on the blink at the time, and luckily I checked the test square first. Sure enough it had come out too small, so I erred on the cautious side and opted for a size 4, which worked out well.

It was a fairly simple pattern and the main body came together easily as my overlocker and I have (probably temporarily) made up. However the instructions were not specifically designed for knits (except for the odd, additional, bracket-ed comment). I didn’t quite know how to hem the ‘pointed’ bits where the bodice met the straps. I got quite frustrated with myself, as this seemed like a relatively simple job, but the light-weight material made it pretty fiddly. I didn’t have any stretch lace either  to cover it up with. The lace I’d used on my Agnes was pretty stiff in fact, so rather than overlaying it, I simply attached it on top, with plenty of rows of machine stitching to keep it in place. In the end it didn’t look too bad at all 🙂

I don’t possess a loop turner, so I attempted to turn the straps inside out with the next best thing I had: a knitting needle. I really wouldn’t recommend this method though. It worked eventually, but I was left with a couple of holes in the fabric where it had poked through. It’s a good job I’m pretty short, so I was easily able to trim these bits off… I also found sewing the straps on pretty fiddly. In the end I attached them at their base on my regular machine to secure them, but then aligned them to the ‘pointed’ bits (is there a technical word for these bits?) by hand which worked well.

It’s a lovely, soft fabric, so ideal for nightwear, but it was pretty difficult to photograph well. These are the ‘best’ of a bad bunch. As I said in my last post, this colour does my complexion absolutely no favours…


And clearly the bra straps really aren’t helping… Next up I clearly need some pj bottoms to match and I’ve been dreaming of attempting underwear for a while, so maybe even a bed-bra? Seamworks did a lovely one recently, although they described it as a casual or yoga bra. Not supportive enough for daywear for me, but might just work for bed? I have some small pieces of this material left, but need to invest in some stretch lace and other lingerie paraphernalia. We’ll see…


First Come, First Served…


So I’ve sailed through the first week of my RTW fast. It wasn’t especially taxing given the business of going back to school and my son’s birthday which have both easily kept me out of temptation’s way. It’s a small step, and no doubt by the end of the month I’ll be finding things a lot more difficult, but it’s a step in the right direction…

However just fasting alone is not helping to shift the excess amount of clothes already in my wardrobe and other accumulated stuff around the house. I realised that I needed to rid myself of some unwanted patterns back at the start of the Summer, when I cleared myself a new, sewing space. So here’s the first batch, up for grabs, free of charge, to anyone who wants them 🙂 I’m happy to post out anywhere (again free of charge) as a thank you for all the enjoyment I get from interacting with you all. So shout up if you fancy a particular pattern and I’ll allocate them to the first person to indicate an interest in the comments below. I’ll allocate them one per person, unless of course there’s no other takers for said pattern and then I’ll be happy to send two, so if you like you could mention a second just in case. I’ll leave it open until Wednesday…


First up is Simple Sew’s Two-in-one Skirt Collection. Designed for ‘adventurous beginners’, it comes in UK sizes 8-16. This is a lovely pattern and if I didn’t already have my trusty BHL Charlotte then I would have had a go at this. But the latter fits so perfectly that I have no need of another.


Secondly there is Simplicity’s K1620 in U.S. Sizes 10-18. A lack of any definition around the waist area means that this is never going to get made by me, despite its multiple options.


Ditto this third pattern: NewLook’s K6145. It also strikes me as being pretty similar to a dress version of Tilly’s Coco top which I already have. This one comes in U.S. Sizes 8-18 and is labelled as ‘easy’.


I love this fourth pattern up for grabs, but despite the lovely illustrations on the cover, the photos of it made up in the accompanying magazine confirmed my suspicions that its high neckline would be totally unflattering on my short torso and slightly larger bust. It’s Simple Sew’s 2-in-1 Halter-Neck Dress & Blouse and comes in UK sizes 8-20. It’s labelled as a ‘beginner level’.


And last but not least is NewLook’s K6181 Workroom from Project Runway. The long length of the maxi version would drown me and the shorter version doesn’t appeal either, far better for it to find a new home. It comes in U.S. Sizes 8-18 and although it doesn’t have a difficulty label that I can see, I suspect it’s pretty easy.

All patterns came free with various magazines and are unopened. I’m aiming to post this around 9pm tonight as this is, according to my insights page, my most popular viewing time. So if you can see anything that takes your fancy then shout up and help me clear some space 🙂

The Accidental Agnes


I should have known when my overlocker actually made me cry earlier in the day (boy do we have a tempestuous relationship) that this seemingly simple project wasn’t going to go to plan…

The pattern in question was Tilly’s recent Agnes design, which is both pretty and practical in equal measures 🙂 I had high hopes for this pattern (and actually still do, despite this setback). I was torn between the ruched shoulder version and the ruched neckline version. I opted for the ruched neckline, thinking it would be easier to layer up as the weather gets colder. My measurements fell between the size 2 and the size 3, but I really didn’t want this to strain over the bust area given the design, so opted for the larger size and I’m really glad that I did as it came up a little smaller than expected (using a knit with slightly more stretch would probably fix this though).

The fabric came from my recent Guthrie and Ghani order and was the only choice I was slightly disappointed with. The quality is just as pleasingly soft as my other choices (a kind of lightly brushed jersey), but the colour was a lot deeper cream than I’d imagined. I guess this is the obvious pitfall of buying on line and not being able to see the ‘real’ colour in person. While I love a pale ivory, this darker (slightly dirtier?) shade does nothing for my colouring as you can probably see from the photos. I look totally washed out, despite having reasonably tanned skin from the Summer.

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Tilly’s instructions were clear and plentiful as usual. The first few steps were plain sailing, once my overlocker and I had made up! I switched to my regular machine to top stitch the seam allowance of the neckband to the bodice and totally messed up by selecting the wrong stitch. I’ve completed similar steps before, so really not sure how I got it so wrong, but I did and with such style! And of course, despite having tested it out first (which seemed fine) I didn’t notice just how wrong until I’d completed the entire front section, grrr… And unpicking top stitching on a seam that’s already been overlocked is no easy task. Suffice to say that I was left with a bit of a mess, complete with several very small, but visible holes (see top left).

So I was forced to abandon the ruched front and search around for something decorative to disguise and hopefully stem the holes. This piece of lace did the trick  and hopefully will stop the holes getting any bigger… However it does make it look more like a pyjama top now to my eye…

So while I kind of saved it, it’s pretty far from the look I originally wanted. That said, I did kind of need some new PJs, so maybe I just need to source some plaid or striped flannel in a matching colour for a matching set? What do you think: outerwear or pj wear? Undecided, but will definitely be trying this pattern again, but next time in a fabric with a crisp, white background…

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