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Archives: July 2019

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Simplicity Pattern 8551 - Tunic Dress

Hi friends!

My name is Kristin Vaag (@vaag.oslo) from Oslo, Norway, and I am very happy to announce that I have joined the fabulous Minerva Makers team. I have been sewing for about two years now, and it has been my passion ever since I made my first garment. I have always been very interested in Scandinavian fashion and design, and I am hoping that the makes I share here will inspire you to make your own clothes!

This spring I have been seeing a lot of cool, oversized cotton dresses in the Scandinavian fashion landscape, and I have wanted to make one for myself for some time now. When I found this pretty cotton poplin fabric from Minerva, there was no doubt what I wanted to make from it.

I used some time to find a pattern that I thought would be a good fit, and ended up choosing a tunic dress from Simplicity Sewing Patterns (number 8551, model B). I wanted the dress to have that oversized look, so I chose to make it a couple of sizes bigger than my usual fit.

In addition to the main fabric, I needed some 10mm elastic and thin interfacing to make the dress.

Firstly, I have to say that working with this Cotton Fabric was like a dream. I just love working with stable, non-stretchy fabrics that makes pins unnecessary. It was easy to cut out the different parts of the pattern and the seam allowance stayed absolutely flat after pressing the seams. I will absolutely recommend this fabric for sew-beginners.

The pattern had a very good step-by-step description that was easy to follow. It was not very advanced, but because of a few complicated details I will recommend sewing a few other garments before attempting this pattern if you are an absolute beginner. It took me about three evenings to make the dress, without any stress and while listening to a good audio book.

The dress is very comfortable and the fabric feels good to wear. One thing I really love with this dress is that it is very versatile. You can wear it for all seasons of the year, with or without tights underneath. And you can dress it up with heals or down with sneakers. Although I am wearing pumps in this picture, I actually am a huge fan of the dress and sneaker trend.

I ran out of fabric, so I had to add a solid black part for the back skirt. I think it works fine, although it would be prettiest to use the floral print for all pattern pieces. I will learn from this for next time.

Thank you for checking out my first blog post for Minerva, and I hope you liked it! Feel free to send me questions or feedback if you have any – my Instagram is @vaag.oslo.

Enjoy sewing!

X Kristin


Fun and BOLD!

Hey there! I’m Adrian with Inspired By Adrian Denise! I am so excited to share a little about one of my most favorite sews to date! This is my first time here on the blog and I am so excited to share my make with you guys!

This jacket and this fabric were a match made in heaven!! I chose this Viscose Jersey Fabric and I seriously couldn’t be more happy with my choice! I am just smitten and I never want to take it off!!

When I saw this fabric, it was seriously love at first sight! I am sucker for all things stretchy, bold and fun! I have heard so many people speak about their fear of knits but I am the exact opposite! Sewing with knits is my happy place and so easy for me, especially when I find knits as smooth and easy to work with as this one!

This fabric has every bit of my personality all rolled up into sheer amazingness (if that’s even a word! lol) I knew that when I got this fabric that I had to pair it with my absolute most FAVORITE pattern of all time, which is McCalls 6844!!! This jacket will be a staple in my closet for sure! OMG, it’s love y’all!

So now, I’ll get into the details! As with all of my knit fabrics I serge the seams and hem with either my twin needle or cover stitch machine! This fabric went together so beautifully with absolutely no issue! From start to finish, I would say it only took me 2 hours total! I could seriously probably sew this pattern in my sleep!!! It is truly a staple and so quick and easy to sew up! I chose view C of the pattern and opted for the petite version as it gives me a better fit! It took some tweaking to finally figure out just how I like the fit and this fit is just perfect!

One of the things that I love about this pattern + fabric match is that I can seriously dress it up or down, as you can see the way I paired it with this tee that I made! It’s such a versatile piece, the options are endless!

Another reason to love this pattern is the fact that it can be made with knit or woven fabrics with absolutely no grading or changing up the fabric!!! OMG…another win win, right? As if you need anymore convincing, right?

This was actually my first experience using Viscose but definitely won’t be my last! I can’t rave enough about it! I have just a bit more left over and I’m really thinking of my next project because it really has to be used down to the last drop! Haha! Or I may just hoard it and never part with it!

So just a little recap…BUY ALL OF THIS FABRIC NOW! Hehe! You’ll be glad you did!!! Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Thanks for reading!

Adrian @inspiredbyadriandenise

1 Comment

Butterick Culottes 6173 and Ultimate Shift Dress Top by Sewoverit

Hello fellow sewers. It's Ruth here and this is my second Minerva Blog post. I ordered this lovely navy spot Crepe Fabric because I thought immediately of making culottes. I'd seen a few spotted pairs last year and really liked them.

As I also like a faux jump suit I thought of making a matching top which could then be worn with other things, so mix and match! I've made this culotte pattern before so I knew to lengthen them 3" but otherwise I was confident of the fit.

However it was entirely different this time, going to show that the type of fabric used does often affect the fit. I had used a very floaty Viscose before and a stretchy crepe.

This crepe was easy to work with and not too slippery, but strangely kept slipping off the ironing board!

First I did the tailor tacks for the darts front and back and sewed them in. My top tip for this is that I always reverse into the small allowance at the end of the dart rather than tying the ends. As long as you are accurate it doesn't pocket the dart.

The zip is inserted in the back and this time I decided to use an invisible zip rather than a regular one and think this is what also changed the fit. I did shorten it by sewing over the teeth a few times and cutting off the excess.

Somehow or other by inserting this type of zip in the back seam made the culottes feel a bit too snug.! It was only marginal but I really like a bit of space in my clothes, so I decided to unpick the zip and take less seam allowance. Luckily I hadn't trimmed this in the zip area. This was less laborious than it sounds and I just sat and unpicked it that evening so I'd be ready to insert it again the next day. It gave me about 1/2" more space but made a difference. Ideally next time I'd insert an invisible zip in the side, although I do like the smooth finish at the sides that the back zip provides so I will ponder on that.

Then I restitched the waist band and attached a white popper to close it rather than a hook and bar.

I decided to use a wide bias for the hems rather than a very small hem. I could really have lengthened these another inch at the beginning, on reflection. I applied this and finished off the hems with a visible top stitch.

Then on to the top! I was very undecided but in the end chose to make the Ultimate Shift Dress pattern as I have made this top and dress a few times and it has been successful. I wanted it a medium length so I could pair it with jeans and wasn't keen on the split spots on the front and back seam of my culottes. I'm being fussy and hadn't thought to match up the spots! Maybe I would another time though.

The Ultimate Shift Top is very straightforward once you have the fit spot on! I always add 5/8" to the back seam as it fits me better and I lower the bust darts. It has an opening at the neck where I put a small silver button from another project and a thread loop. I finished the arm holes with navy bias binding and did 3" slits at each side seam. I thought it could then be partially tucked in or worn with a narrow belt.

So there is my honest review of Butterick 6178 and Sewoverit's Ultimate Shift Top. These are both staple patterns which I will use again very soon, as many different options and fabrics make them very versatile. Oh also I found a lovely piece of pink viscose in my stash, really quite by chance that looks very good with the culottes, so plan another top, but just haven't had time as yet.

Anyway I'm very pleased with my matching set and off to decide on a pattern for the pink fabric.

Thank you for reading and to Minerva for the fabric.

Bye for now,

Ruth x



SOI Molly Dress

I know that the weather is slowly warming up, but I still have days where I need to wear something really warm and cosy. I opted for this Jersey Fabric because even though it has a dark base, it still has lots of colour thrown about! The pattern on it is rather crazy – which I love…. It’s a bit like me!
I decided to make the Sew Over It Molly dress. I thought it would be perfect to pair with some snuggly tights and boots if I am cold – or to go bare legged if the weather decided to warm up a bit.

The Molly dress is such a fab pattern – it’s a really quick and easy sew, which I always find really satisfying. I also love the Sew Over It patterns because they seem to fit me really well – I have to make hardly any adjustments so save lots of time which is a bonus as I can sew more projects! Cutting the fabric was easy – some knits and jersey like to bounce about when cutting which can make the task quite hard. With some pattern weights and my rotary cutter, I whizzed through it and got some nice clean cuts.

I usually shorten the length before sewing it together to make the job at the end a little easier and to have less fabric waste. I did find the dress came up a little short, but that’s because I think I took off a tad too much. Normally with patterns I need to chop off at least 3-4 inches from the length…… I just need to get used to the fact that Sew Over It patterns really are perfect for me.

With the dress being a little short, I decided not to fold up and hem the normal way as that would take it up even more. After a cup of tea and some thinking, I decided to use some bias binding for the bottom and it worked really well! I also thought about adding a band but I wanted a nice even finish with the pattern, I was way too excited to wear it so taking more time to do the pattern matching was not an option haha!

I am really happy with my Molly dress – though will definitely not take any length off the next one – I may add a bit because Wales doesn’t really get that hot often enough to get the bare legs out haha!

Until next time




Cotton Lawn Emery Dress

Hello friends! I’m so happy to be back with another Minerva Make for you! I feel like it has been forever since the last time! Life just gets that way sometimes and sewing takes the back seat to everything else and that is totally fine but I am happy to have finally finished this dress and I’m so excited to share it with you! 

I was fortunate enough to be able to snag up a few metres of this beautiful floral Cotton Lawn Fabric from Minerva and I really agonized over what to make out of it. I didn’t want to choose the wrong project for it. You know how some fabric you see and right away you know what it is destined to become? Well this wasn’t one of those times for me and I had a stack of patterns that I was trying to choose between. In the end, practicality won. My wardrobe has been in desperate need of some simple every day dresses and especially ones with pockets! So I went with Christine Haynes’ Emery dress pattern. It is uncomplicated and comes together fairly quickly (when you actually have the time to sit down and work on it).

The fabric was lovely to work with, it didn’t give me any trouble. It wrinkles a little but nothing out of the ordinary and once pressed it looks and feels like a dream. So soft and flowy and perfect. I decided to go without the collar for this dress because I have SO MANY dresses with collars and wanted to simplify. I also chose the short sleeved version since summer is on its way (YAY!!!).

The cotton lawn lends itself well to this pattern- the gently gathered skirt with inseam pockets turned out PERFECT. It feels so light and floaty and soft and incredibly comfortable. I know it’s going to be one of my go-to dresses this summer for picnics and outings. 

I didn’t make any adjustments to the pattern and while I am happy with how it turned out, I think that next time I make it, I will try to get a better fit in the bodice. It’s just a bit loose and gapey at the top.This is a common occurrence for me though and I’m not worried about it enough to take it apart and try to adjust it. It feels just fine to me, but I wouldn’t say it is perfectly fitted. 

Other than that, I call this dress a winner. It’s great for lounging around and for going out. I have already worn it to work, to go out running errands and around the house relaxing (and I just finished it last week). It’s perfect for everything!

So my advise to you, dear friends, is to snatch some of this cotton lawn up for yourselves and make your own secret pajama dress to wear for every occasion! You won’t be sorry!

Happy sewing!




Grey Stripe Wrap Dess

Hi fellow Sewists!
Let me introduce you to my very first wrap dress and its challenging Stripe Fabric.
I love stripes and I will never back down from a challenge. But when I picked this McCalls Pattern 6959, which places the dress pieces onto the bias, I was deeply concerned about the directions these would take. But I thought: "Hum ... that could be interesting! Multi-directional stripes on a wrap dress!"
This grey stripe cotton fabric, called Seersucker, was very easy to manipulate. Never had the chance to make anything with it, I believe it has now become my favourite fabric to play around with. It's light, bouncy and doesn't keep creases. It's a garment I won't need to iron each time I take it out of the closet. (And that's a massive selling point for me, haha).
As I mentioned above, this is my first wrap dress making. The idea to put on a dress that easily is just amazing. One doesn't need to wiggle around to undress and that's just a relief! That fact aside, it is also very breathable. The movement it gives is magical. Let me explain, I love a dress that floats about without showing "too much" of yourself. Yet, you still feel free to move around without a worry, as if you were wearing nothing. For those sweaty days, I will adore this concept.
The stripes: yes, the stripes were a challenge. I was worried the directions of the stripes would give a weird impression of the whole garment. As if pieces would have been cut the wrong way. However, the more I sewd the pieces together and the darts, the more it made sense. Multi-directional is a concept that attracts the eye. When it is well put together, the garment gets this "artistic" look. So instead of looking like a woman referee, this garment makes it look like a clever patchwork.
Although I wanted this final garment to be inspired by Tim Burton's style, I still managed to bring a personal touch. No, it's not too much of a gothic impression, sadly, but it reminds the victorian era with a subtle "nowadays" design. This fabric has a bouncy feel, which naturally gives a body to the whole dress. It falls amazingly well on the hips and keeps a pleasant shape at the bottom.
The tie adds an interesting dimension to the dress too. It cuts the whole garment at the waist and the horizontal stripes enhance the concept. It becomes much more than a simple belt, it is essential.
I can't wait to wear it on the sunny days. This dress would fit so much in a park with a cup of tea and a little umbrella, hahaha.
What are your thoughts about it? Would you wear that referee/victorian dress in this summer time?
Thank you for reading,
Live long and Sew well!
Camille @ Irvhan

Simplicity 1425 Peplum Top

Hello everybody!

I've had the Simplicity 1425 peplum top in my pattern collection for many years6y and I had never found the right fabric to do it justice. Until I saw this black floral Stretch Mesh Fabric!

Combined with some black light Stretch Lining Fabric (also from Minerva - would definitely buy again) it was the perfect match. The lining provided a solid background to showcase the floral pattern, while also taking care of the issue of being see-through.

The pattern comes with a multitude of options that are quite similar. I ended up cutting all of the pieces out and having a play around to see what I liked the most for what I had. I decided on option C, with the back just being the mesh as a nice design feature. I was unsure how this would go as the weight of the peplum would have to be fully supported by the mesh alone and could possibly pull the back out of shape. If I was to have had the collar, I'd probably want something that had a bit more structure to hold the shape better. I felt I wanted something feminine and loved the shape of option C.

My first impressions were that it was incredibly soft and so easy to work with. When cutting out I used both weights and pins to ensure it didn't shift when I used the roller cutter; being more accurate than scissors given the stretch.

Now, I used 4 different colours of bias binding. I was trying to use up my stash! I quite like the inside of my garment looking colourful, even if the joins are a little messy. For the visible binding around the back edges I used a satin bias, it gave a beautiful finish but did start to fray quite quickly.

The main front section went together easy as pie as did the peplum. However I had quite a bit of difficulty putting the back together. Partly because I'm a perfectionist and I think it's quite a focal point of the outfit (so I wanted it to be perfect) and I feel like I may have stretched the mesh when sewing the binding.

It took a fair bit of pinning, baste stitching, trying on and redoing to get the right fit for me. But we got there eventually! I decided to use 4 fastenings on the top rather than the 3 specified. Mainly because the back still bowed a little at the top and I loved the way it looks.

I'm so happy with the results! I think it has a lovely shape and the peplum is very flattering. I can't wait to wear it! I've got some spare material left from this, which I was planning to make a matching co-ord two tier skirt. I still like that idea so when the two are together it could look like a dress but I think I might change that to a pair of floaty shorts instead. Who knows!

Thanks for reading!



Linen Burnside Bibs

Hello there!  I am very excited to share with you today about making the Burnside Bibs by Sew House Seven. This pattern has been on my wish list to sew for a long time.  

I wore a pair of commercial overalls regularly as a teenager in the 90’s.  I still have them and thought I’d share a photo for nostalgia’s sake.

When I saw this lovely pattern, I had in mind to make an updated pair of bibs for myself.  I had linen in mind for this project and was blown away with this amazing linen from Minerva.

I’m not typically an over dramatic person, but when I received this fabric in the mail and saw it in person, I literally said out loud, “Wow!”  It’s a lighter-medium weight linen, which is perfect for multi-season wear. The drape is lovely, the color is stunning and the texture of the white threads woven throughout the weft is my FAVORITE detail.

I have to share that there is a sew-along link for this pattern on Sew House Seven’s blog!!  I love it when designers include extra details for their patterns via SAL’s:

There are multiple options included in this pattern that I thought I’d mention:

  • Scooped or straight front?

  • Cropped or full length pants?

  • Omit or include back pockets?

  • Version #1 features a slightly fitted back pant with back waist darts and an invisible side zipper opening. 

  • Version #2 features a looser back, which omits the need for a closure.  

Both versions feature ties that can loop around the front and gather the back waist. Both versions also feature a front waistband, curved front patch pockets, and cross-back strap. The legs are a stovepipe width.


3m Mint Green Georgio Linen Fabric

Matching Sewing Thread

Contrasting Sewing Machine Thread (I used navy)

Marking pen

80/12 sewing machine needle

Lightweight fusible woven interfacing

Invisible zipper foot

7-9” (17-22cm) Invisible Zipper

Muslin:  If you’ve followed my previous posts you’ll be shocked to hear that I didn’t sew a muslin for this project.  I share that jokingly, as I’m an avid muslin/toile sewer (and I know not everyone likes the process of making a test garment).  I love Sew House Seven patterns. I’ve participated in multiple pattern tests for Sew House Seven’s patterns so I felt comfortable with estimating on the sizing without sewing a test garment first.

Final Garment:  

I made the following decisions for pattern options to make with this project:

  • Bib front: scooped neck

  • Back pockets: include

  • Version 1 with invisible zip and back darts

  • Full length pants

Size:  I sewed a straight 8 for this project.  I referenced the hip dimension to pick sizing.

I included the back pockets. Although this choice adds extra fabric and steps, I really love the modesty and functionality that pockets bring to add an extra layer of fabric on the back side.


ALWAYS buy more fabric then what the pattern calls for:  I hear this tip but I don’t always follow it. I’m so glad I followed it this time.  When I sew a project, I prefer to take my time. I don’t typically have 3+ hours to sit down and sew a project.  I’m usually working in smaller chunks of time (10 mins here, 15 minutes there). It might take me a couple of weeks to finish a sewing project with this slower approach but I find that I make less mistakes when I think through the steps and sew a project more slowly. 

For this project I had to work in a faster timeframe.  I intentionally skipped the muslin (which is usually where I make a lot of my mistakes).  I had final beach photos in mind for sharing this project so I had to quickly get this done before we left for vacation.  I made two mistakes early on in the project; I didn’t cut the bib front on the fold and I didn’t sew the pockets mirrored.  Thankfully, I had enough extra fabric to cut out the bib front and pocket a second time.

Keep sewing supplies for a project together:  I’ve lost materials (between the start and end of a project) too often so this tip has become a habit for me.  I like to keep pattern pieces together in a basket and any other supplies with them as well so they aren’t lost (thread, sewing machine needles, etc.).

Bib Ties:  I used a hair tie as I was sewing from the zipper section on to help keep the ties out of the way from the sewing machine.  The ties are very long. I was concerned I would accidently get the ties caught in seams if I didn’t keep them looped together.  

Topstitching:  I didn’t use a double needle or my coverstitch machine for this project.  I sewed one seam at 1/8” (3mm) and a second seam at 1/4” (0.6cm).  

Waist Facing:  When basting the waist facing in place, I used a contrasting navy thread.  I sewed this seam with the wrong side of the project facing. Then when I switched to the RS and using matching thread, I sewed the final seam.  This helped me to both catch the edge of the facing while also following the seam that stayed visually above the first topstitch line. The photo below shows the navy basting line in between the first seam and the second top stitched seam (in matching thread).  

Belt Loops:  I decided to sew the ends of the belt loops in a chain stitch approach. I serged both ends of the belt loops, back to back. I repeated this process as I folded over the ends of the belt loops and sewed the ends flat on the standard machine, back to back. This helps save time and thread as well.

Invisible zipper:

So this project was my FIRST TIME sewing an invisible zipper.  I purchased an invisible zipper foot as I’ve heard this step highly recommended.  

I decided not to color match the invisible zipper but instead use a grey zipper (for a tone within the same color family).  The pattern calls for a 7-9” long zipper but I couldn’t find a grey invisible zipper at that length at my local fabric store.  The length I found was 20-22”. I shortened the zipper by cutting the length and then hand tacking the new zipper stop.

I followed the suggested directions on the zipper packaging to shorten the zipper.    

Being honest, my execution of the invisible zipper was not perfect. With my errors, the top of the zipper did not match up to the top of the garment, as intended (shown in the photo below).

To hide this a bit, I hand sewed a large hook and eye closure. I was excited to share these details as I wanted to offer encouragement to those that have also not sewn an invisible zipper. I find that a lot of sewing techniques become easier with practice.  I am looking forward to continuing to make garments with invisible zippers in the near future. You also have the option of sewing Version 2 with this pattern. This version is less fitted, omitting the back darts and invisible zipper.

Final thoughts:

I love this project!  It was so fun to make and even more fun to wear.  The fabric is so drapey and comfortable. We took these photos at the beach when the weather was quite hot and humid.  The fabric breathes very well and hid my legs from burning with the sun.

I decided for the size that I made, I didn’t  like bringing the ties around to the front. I like that you have options with this pattern.  I chose to leave them tied in the back.

The shirt that I’m wearing in the final photos is the Beatrix top in an Atelier Brunette, Double Gauze fabric, shared in this post.    

I wish you well on your own summer sewing adventures.  Let me know if you have made garments with this fabric.  I’m quite in love with this finished project. 

Rachel @oakbluedesigns


More Fun Practicality!

As some of you may have read in previous posts, I am on a quest. My quest is simultaneously easy, yet seemingly out of reach. I am in the process of building a wardrobe that is practical, easy to maintain (no dry clean only items) but most importantly FUN! I want to WANT to wear my handmade items instead of shoving them to the back of the closet. I really enjoy wearing something that fits me just so and is in colors and prints that I love. Why wouldn’t I?

I think as consumers we tend to settle for what “fits” or what works. When in reality, garments from the shops don’t fit well, or at least as good as they ought to fit. We buy things that will work for this purpose or that purpose, something we can wear to this event or we can get X, Y, or Z done in. For myself, I want clothes in my wardrobe that can (for the most part) work for wherever I go or whatever I am doing. Now obviously I can’t wear jeans to a black tie event and I can’t wear an evening gown to a summer picnic. So, how can you have a wardrobe that can function across the board if this is the case you ask? Well, I don’t attend black tie events, and I don’t live a lifestyle that requires an evening dress, so I can cross those off my list. I do need a few dressier items and versatile pieces that could be worn in an office or church setting. So that is precisely what I focus on, as well as my practical every day items.

The Cotton Jersey Fabric from Minerva was perfect for what I had in mind. I recently made a Bettine dress from Tilly and the Buttons out of a linen fabric and as soon as I put it on I knew I wanted one in jersey. Jersey would make it the perfect run-around dress; errands, grocery shopping, doctor appointments, picking the kids up from school would be a pleasure in the super comfy version of the well loved Bettine. I washed and dried it in cool water and a regular dryer, it is so soft to the touch and great in the heat that has already shown up here in Texas. I had no issue cutting out or pressing my sewing as I went. It is holding up well to the wear it is receiving.

Typically, when I make something in knit that calls for woven fabric I size down. I chose not to with the Bettine. I was after a super comfy dress that I could run around in, walk the dog or chase the ice cream truck down in, so sizing down was not on my radar. I made a straight size 6 and only did a one inch hem, again to facilitate ease of running around in it.

I am thoroughly enjoying wearing this with my converse shoes, sandals or flip flops. If I want to look a little more put together, I can toss on my wedge sandals and a cute necklace. It definitely isn’t a dress I can wear to the opera but nearly everywhere else! I hope you all enjoy my version and I hope you give it a try yourselves.

Sew, Laugh, Repeat




Dotty for Viscose

Before I start a new sewing project I ask myself a few simple questions.
1. What does this add to my wardrobe that I don’t already have?
2. Will it go with other garments I own?
3. Does it suit my lifestyle?
I find this is a good way to stop myself veering into dangerous territory where I have a wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear. I’d been wanting to make something with viscose for a little while when this tiny spotted Viscose Fabric made its way into my life. I don’t use a lot of drapey fabrics and I was keen to give something new a try. I could see the lovely drape of the viscose pairing beautifully with my boxy linen tops, perfect for the spring weather. But I wanted more than just a skirt, I had 3m and a wedding coming up, so I was looking for an outfit. I decided on co-ord cropped top and high waisted skirt. Both pieces could be seamlessly integrated into my wardrobe of cropped tops and high wasted skirts but also worn together as a matchy-matchy outfit.
As well as wonderful drape, the fabric had a wee bit of stretch and proved to be a challenge for someone used to working with more structured fabric. I was careful to make sure it didn’t stretch out or move as I cut out the pattern pieces so there would be no distortion. But it sewed up well and treating it with a bit of care seemed to work. 
The two patterns I used were the Named Clothing Inari Tee, a beautiful little pattern that I’ve made once before and the Ready to Sew Justine skirt, a free pattern. I think the Inari Tee is the perfect length of crop to go with a high waisted skirt, giving full belly coverage but still giving the impression of a nipped in waist. I sized down to a 10 because I wanted a neater fit and I knew the slightly stretchy fabric would be more forgiving. The Justine Skirt has these wonderful deep pockets sewn into the seam that should make any pocket enthusiast happy. I made the size 40 according to my measurements.
Both patterns were nice, easy projects, with fantastic instructions. Ready to Sew always include an optional playlist at the start of their digital instruction booklet (a link that takes you to a youtube playlist), a lovely touch! I did have a couple of minor issues in construction. I always feel like waistbands are going to be too tight on me, so I never fit them properly. Once the skirt was done, I realised that the waistband was 5cm too big and dropping off my natural waist. I went back, armed with my seam ripper, and reduced it by 2.5cm on either side (faffy, but not impossible as Justine is a gathered skirt) and it fits snuggly now. I really need to concentrate a bit more when fitting to stop this being a recurring issue! The Inari Tee was an easy sew until I got to the facing and found the front far too short. I simply re-cut it and the second one fit perfectly. When I was cutting the pattern out the first time the shiftiness of the viscose must have got the better of me. Lessons learnt: concentrate and double check your work.
To finish off my swishy skirt I added nine buttons, bought at a local charity shop for 50p. A sewing bargain. They’re faux mother of pearl and I think they give the skirt the added bling that it needs. 
What I love about this outfit and the reason it works for my wardrobe is that I can be dressed up or down. I love a skirt with trainers for a day out exploring, meandering around the city checking out bakeries, flea markets and walking in the park. But when I put on my trusty clogs, suddenly I’m ready to sashay into my cousins wedding. A flash of red lipstick to elevate the look, and I’m good to go! 
Thanks for reading,

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