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April Sewing Challenge: A Shirt

As my sewing challenge continues, I’m stepping it up each time. This time I challenged myself to a fitted shirt. I decided against a collar in the end which kind of seems like I’m cheating but there’s always next time.

I decided to use a pattern that I made a while ago with the help of my sewing teacher at the time. We took my measurements and drew up the pattern together; it’d be quite a good exercise for me to draw it up again to see if I can remember how to do it at some point. It definitely looks more complicated than it is!

I did a double check of the pattern as I made it a while ago and wanted to make sure that the sizing was correct, luckily it was still ok! I decided to use a nice plain turquoise fabric that I had bought when I was in Thailand. I have made so many patterned skirts and trousers that I needed something plain to go with them.

I decided to be over cautious with this make as the fabric was quite slippery. So that meant loads of pins and tacking stitches which turned out to be a huge help.

After the palava of my sleeves challenge, I was dreading setting them in. This was really nice and simple though; I have no idea what I did differently but at least I managed it without wanting to throw my machine out of the window.

When I started trying to pair the finished shirt up with what I already have, I found that it goes quite well with one of my me-made skirts. So here is the finished outfit; perfect for when I need to be a bit smarter! 


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March Sewing Challenge: Pockets

After the debacle of my challenge last month, I was quite pleased to have a slightly easier challenge this time round. I still didn’t finish it before the end of March… but what’s 10 days.

I think any outfit can be improved with pockets and really wanted to learn how to add them in to patterns. I decided to make the Miette skirt by Tilly and the Buttons. This pattern has big patch pockets but I fancied trying in seam pockets (for those little things that you need to hand). As a side note, I’m so in love with this fabric; I bought the last bits from the shop and had to buy an extra half metre from elsewhere! I just knew it had to be made into a skirt.


Instead of winging it, I found some instructions by Tilly herself which even came with a pdf pattern. The instructions are pretty easy to follow with photos for you to check you’re on the right track. For my next project I’m going to make the pattern a little bigger so that my very large phone will fit inside.

I marked where I wanted the pocket to sit and reinforced it with interfacing then stitched it in place within the seam allowance. Can we just take a moment to admire the pattern matching? I then sewed the side seam, going around the pocket and voila! Easy peasy. I’m definitely going to use this technique on some of my future makes; I think it’ll be great in circle skirts and is such an easy addition to make.

My challenge for this month is going to be to make a shirt… a whole real life shirt, so only time will tell if my next post will be as positive! Wish me luck!