A while back I made a first version of Seamwork's Skipper bonus variation. I love the previous version, but it's not perfect.

- For one, it's too big. I made it in an XL, so I made this version in an L.
- I also made this version longer, still not as long as the pattern, removing 22cm front and back.
- I also added 5cm to the sleeves. I'm not sure if it's just a feature I like, or if it's a my-body thing, but I find most Seamwork sleeves to be on the short side.
- Included the side pockets again.
- Left out the hood string ties, and front patch pocket, again.
- Didn't add the zipper this time.

The L is in the Misses set (the XL in the Curvy set), so I had to print them out (pattern, and bonus variation) and assemble them all over again. But it was worth it, the fit is much better. The sleeves, and general body, is a good length. Also, I noticed that the back hem is much lower than the front. This feature is almost unnoticeable in my previous version.

I made this version in a super-soft lightweight black loopback jersey. And if I could live in this fabric for the rest of my life I'd be very, very happy.



Finished Skipper v.2, with hood and side pockets, front
Photo by chebegeek


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Seamwork released their corrected pattern of Natalie, button-up blouse, a little while ago. (You can see my first attempt with version one here.) I often have trouble finding materials I see used online locally. Whether they have different names, sell out quickly, or simply aren't common, I can't be sure. So I decided to buy some cotton lawn, as recommended by the pattern, online and experience it for myself. I ordered some black cotton lawn, used black interfacing, black thread, and black buttons. You could say my aesthetic is quite black.

The pattern itself has changed subtly in a few ways. The front and back pieces are narrower, the collar is longer but of a more traditional shape, the sleeve is set deeper in, and the sleeve itself has slightly changed shape as well. But the construction instructions and details remained the same. I also made this version is a smaller size. The fit is better; the sleeves pull less, and it's more comfortable. But I find the front taut while there is still a considerable excess in the back. I'm thinking perhaps going down another size but adding a FBA might be needed.

The cotton lawn is interesting. It is matte, but with a slight sheen. It is a stable woven, but distorts easily. It is not sheer, but it is quite see-through. It frays easily and isn't strong enough to tolerate my overlocker-foot-and-stitch, so I had to finish all the seams in the overlocker itself. And did I mention it's see-through? I got some more cotton lawn in a purple, hopefully that won't be as see-through.



Finished Natalie v.2, front view
Photo by chebegeek



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Seamwork's Audrey is a sweet little denim jacket. It has a great many pieces, and the breast pockets are fake, but I absolutely completely and utterly adore this jacket! I made mine in a fairly light-weight dark navy denim. I did not do contrast stitching. The breast pockets may be fake (though the flaps are great for attaching badges) but there are welt pockets on the tummy! It was only my second time (that I recall) ever making welt pockets, so they aren't perfect, but they certainly do work. The buttons had to be hammered on (with a rubber camping mallet), and I always get confused about which side they go on. I know I got it wrong because my plankets (I made plankets!) are twisted. I finished the seams on the overlocker, and had to fight my sewing machine to get the buttonholes to happen on some parts which are multiple layers thick. But it all works, looks really good, and has been perfect for the unusually warm weather lately. I intend to make more, in many colours.



Finished Audrey denim jacket, front view
Photo by chebegeek



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Colette's Nutmeg is a collection of a bralette and two bottoms. Having previously made both the knickers and the tap pants all that was left was to make the bralette.

The pattern includes various cup sizes (A/B, C/D, DD) but doesn't provide any guidance on selecting them. They are constructed from a lower front band (with darts and elasticated hem), upper front band (with interfaced facing), and two back bands of doubled layers. The 'straps' are ribbon, caught between the back band layers and the top front band and its facing. Made from stable wovens, straight stitch construction (except for the elastic) and overlock stitch/foot for finishing seams. I made mine in the same pretty patterned pink cotton as the tap pants.

This is possibly the worst fitting garment I've ever made. Putting aside how the ribbons are purely decorative, there is still no support in this style. The stable fabric doesn't move, and the only bit with any give is the elasticated edge, the lower front, which is the only part on a regular bra that doesn't stretch. Perhaps on a person with a smaller bust this could be made to work, but it is definitely not for me.

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Colette's Nutmeg is a collection of a bralette and two bottoms. A long time ago I made the view 1, knickers. This time I made the view 2, tap pants.

Longer than they appear on the packaging these shorts consist of eight pieces; yoke piece and leg piece, left and right, front and back. Made of stable woven fabrics, and cut on the bias. With an elasticated waist. I made mine in a pretty patterned pink cotton. Straight stitch construction, seams finished with overlock stitch/foot. Except for the visible topstitching joining the yoke and leg pieces, which is a zigzag.

The fit of these shorts do not suit me. The rear is pulled too tight and the front belly has too much material. My usual gripe with shorts/trousers patterns. Hopefully I'll get some use out of them.

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Seamwork's Elmira is a ballet-wrap cropped top, that also came with a free members alteration with a simpler tie-front.

I made mine up in a pink mid-weight, almost ribbed, jersey, with one-way stretch. Usual stretch-stitch with overlock-stitch/foot on regular sewing machine construction. The two front pieces are double layered, catching the ties between the layers, making the top front heavy.

I found the fit rather strange. Firstly the length seems much shorter on me than in the reference pictures, but that could be to do with having a larger bust than the models. Secondly the shape of the front pieces. They are just about the right size/shape for a wrap top. But, this is the tie-front version, which means you end tying it closed at the ends of the front pieces, above the tie-ends seam lines. Instead of with the ties. And the neckline ends up more framing your bust than covering anything. This would have been better in a lighter weight jersey, and perhaps one with two/four way stretch. If I make this again I'd try the original pattern.



Finished Elmira with tie-front mod, front view
Photo by chebegeek



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Seamwork's Alice is a long-sleeve tshirt with a high neck, that leans towards layering. The September 2017 issue explains various ways of altering Alice, including shortening the sleeves (I lazily shortened to the patterns shorten/lengthen marking) and lowering the neckline (I lowered it by 3").

I made it up in a lovely plum-purple medium-weight jersey with stretch in one direction. The end result is a bit stiff, would have been better to make this in a two/four-way stretch. It was a straight-forward construction, with my, now, usual overlock stitch/foot on the regular sewing machine to finish the seams. I didn't attempt the double-needle finishes on the sleeves, hem, or neckline this time. Despite lowering the front neckline I still find it a very high/tight neckline. Next time I'll have to look into converting it into more of a scoop-neck like the Rio. Overall it's a good pattern that I look forward to customising more, and this top will be perfect when autumn sets in.



Finished Alice with half sleeves, neckline lowered by 3", front view
Photo by chebegeek



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My second project from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual is the 40s Style Shirt. What I like about this book is that for many of the projects variations are given. For instance, this sleeveless version. You are told to add 3" to the hem front and back, and add a fifth button. There are two tucks on both the front and back. You are instructed to turn them into double-ended darts. I did this for the back, and simply left the front tuck- and dart-less. (Except for the the two front shoulder darts.) The patch pocket is left off. As are the sleeves and cuffs. Instead you finish the arms with bias tape.

My fabric is cream with a yellow, green, and blue floral pattern, in 100% non-stretch cotton. I made bias tape from the same fabric. I again got to play with my overedge stitch/foot and buttonhole stitch/foot. The buttons are of a dark blue/navy. The bottom of the side seams are split.

My favourite part was using the bias tape to finish the sleeves. It's so straight forward and neat. One technique I hope to use again. My least favourite part was the very fiddly way the collar and facings were attached. I mean, there was hand-sewing and a tailoring ham. I suppose vintage techniques are part of vintage clothing, but I found it quite frustrating. And I messed up the collar/lapel on the left-hand side because of it. I'm also not sure about the excess fabric on the back above the darts. Is this a vintage feature? Or do I need to elongate my darts? Other than that it's a lovely little pattern, and I'd like to make one in a drapier fabric.



Finished 40s Style Shirt, sleeveless modification, front view
Photo by chebegeek



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Seamwork's Natalie is a casual button-up blouse. It has short sleeves, a soft collar, bust darts, and it doesn't button all the way up to the neck. I am looking for a casual shirt pattern, and sadly this is not it. This pattern is very much a blouse, too feminine for what I'm after. Also, the light blue polycotton fabric I used really doesn't help, except to make it feel like a primary school uniform shirt. (Not my primary school mind, but one with hot weather options and possibly blazers. The kind you'd see in Australian tv shows.)

I did have fun making this though. The entire centre front and neckline is topstitched in one go. And I never had to fight the fabric. There is definitely a joy to sewing with stable non-stretch wovens. The shoulder and side seams need to be finished separately and pressed open, and the facings outer edges also need finishing. So instead of threading up the overlocker I tried out the overlock stitch on my sewing machine, with over-edge sewing foot. It's not as neat as the dedicated machine with blade, but it is very decent. I also figured out the automated buttonhole functionality (stitch with foot/plate)! It took some time, but now I want to put buttons on everything.



Finished Natalie, front view
Photo by chebegeek



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Seamwork's Aurora is a knit fabric tank top with some nice details. This had been on my to-do list for a while, but I couldn't remember why it had stayed to-do. Until I started to make it up. It is designed to be made with a coverstitch machine, which I don't have. The alternative method given is a twin ballpoint needle using a stretch stitch, which is something I haven't convinced my machine to do yet. But I'd begun so I carried on. I also hindered myself by using a tissue-weight knit. All in all, the armholes, front neckline, and hem, are not great. But it is still a cute little top, perfect for the hot weather. Next time I would definitely use a heavier fabric though.



Finished Aurora, front view
Photo by chebegeek



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