Happy Sunday, sewists! The world seems to be descending into all hellish colours of chaos, but here at Sew South London I am seeking solace in the peaceful pleasures of sewing. I hope I find you in a similar state.
True to form, I’ve been sewing up a few multiples. The Named Clothing Inaree Tee Dress has reached mythical status in the online sewing community. It’s taken a while for me to get round to it, but once I did I could not stop. How can such a simple shape be so universally flattering?
I made my first version in a cotton linen fabric from Simply Fabrics in Brixton. Anyone who has ever shopped there will know that every bolt has an interesting heritage. This fabric was apparently ftom Paul Smith. I’ve made several tops from it already, including an early Tilly Mathilde hack. (Gosh I look young in that photo.)
The wearable toile turned out so well that I bounced straight on to the next one. And the next. In fact I’m making a fourth in Chinese Shanghai Tang silk as I write!
The second version was in delicious denim linen mix from The Little Fabric Store in Louth. I’ve used this before on an Emery Dress and a Deer and Doe Sureau (which I don’t love). It’s such a great staple.
I’d read lots of reviews of this pattern, almost all positive, but there were a couple of mentions of armhole issues. I made it up as designed and was happy with it. I guess it’s a matter of how close to perfection you wish to be. This is the perfect casual and almost-smart dress for the climate in Malaysia.
Yes, the annoying electrical socket is still there, I think to myself! This gorgeous red linen fabric came from Tessuti Fabrics in Melbourne. There’s a certain starstruck feeling when you finally visit a real bricks and mortar shop on the ‘other side of the world’ when you’ve spent years looking longingly at their website! This fabric was a dream to sew with. Thanks to the generous fabric requirement of the pattern, there’s enough left over for an Inaree Tee too!
My new Kanerva blouse by fab Finnish company, Named Clothing, has seen some serious action already. It’s been so busy socialising that it’s taken me two weeks to arrange to get it photographed, and that’s without me in it! Two very special friends have celebrated milestone birthdays in the past fortnight. I knew I wanted to wear something new and handmade, but with limited time on my hands I decided to take a day off work and have some uninterrupted sewing time to myself. I had seen a breathtaking version of the Kanerva blouse on the Fancy Tiger Crafts blog, and I was also very fortunate to receive some Liberty gift coins for my birthday. Aren’t they gorgeous? In fact I almost thought they were too lovely to spend. But spend them I did, on the most beautiful Liberty Tana Lawn in Elizabeth D.
I wasn’t much of a fan of PDF patterns, but of late I’ve been seduced by the speed with which I can get cracking on a new garment. My two pre-schoolers are now experts with a glue-stick and sellotape! I was particularly pleased that the Kanerva PDF prints on 12 sheets, and you only have to print off the size that you require. The downside is that you then have to trace off the pattern pieces as they are overlapped on the PDF sheet.
Despite pledging to slow my hobby down to a more enjoyable pace, I wanted this top so badly that I decided not to make a toile. Home alone, Radio 4 in the background, I was well and truly in ‘The Zone’. The garment was coming together so beautifully, mainly because, as fabrics go, Tana Lawn is incredibly well-behaved. Once I’d completed the button bands I thought I’d slip it on, sans buttons, to have my first peek. I was shocked to find that it was incredibly snug. How on earth could I have potentially wasted the gorgeous fabric in my haste?! I went back to the instructions several times just to check I hadn’t made a mistake on the seam allowances. I had a vague recollection of the Fancy Tiger Crafts blog mentioning that seams allowances were not included. But that turned out to be a red herring, as the seam allowances are included in the PDF pattern, but not in the printed version.
To cut a long story short, it does fit! It’s snug, but looks sleek and fitted around the waist, and the peplum gently flares to hip height. It’s a very flattering design. I particularly love the neat pleat around the waist, above the peplum, and the buttons down the back. There’s definitely room in my wardobe for a couple of Kanervas.
This blouse is already a firm favourite and will always carry very happy memories: the first birthday party was for my lifelong best friend, Debbie, and involved catching up with school friends and after a long night of celebrating ended up in a fab living room disco; the second was a weekend in Lisbon to surprise a very special friend Sarah who had no idea we would be gate-crashing her birthday. Happy birthday, lovely ladies. I’ll be back in front of the fireplace next post once the signs of over-indulgence and sleep deprivation have faded! x