In Which A Bit of an Enthusiast Wraps That Challenge Up

By Hand London Victoria Blazer in chambray

Oh reader:  our time has come.  Thanks for sticking here.  I may have stretched the rules a wee bit by allowing my challenge to end in (cough) June when a year was technically a month ago.

Now I’m going to state the blindingly obvious-  I made more than six garments this last year.  But I’m jolly pleased with how it’s all turned out!  My technique has improved vastly and my speed (whilst not exactly hare-paced) is better than when I started out.  Heavens- I even pin faster!

Before we continue, shall we look at my final piece for the Six Pattern Challenge?  I present my By Hand London Victoria chambray blazer.

By Hand London Victoria Blazer in chambray

This was last minute sub for a bra which was the substitute (less said of that mess the better, she says shaking her fist at the tatty pile of threads and elastics that’s masquerading as a half-finished toile in the sewing box…)  for the rain jacket.

The rain jacket pattern, by the way, I still like a lot.  I simply decided towards the end of the year that I’d had enough following rules and I wanted to make something that I really wanted.

By Hand London Victoria Blazer in chambray

So let me wrap up (with a fist pump, yeah!) my year of six patterns.  I started with the notion that if- if- I could only accomplish making these six (and if I’m honest this time last year I wasn’t convinced I could) patterns that would be an awful lot more making than before.  I’d been aching to make more…stuff.  Wasn’t sure what direction to take for the longest time.  So now I’m properly on this me-made clothes wagon I’m pretty chuffed I’ve made it this far with many more than six items to wear with love and pride!  Will I wrap up the blog now I’m done?  No.

By Hand London Victoria Blazer in chambray

This has been excellent impetus to keep making, keep getting inspired, keep learning new techniques, keep the conversation going with other makers who I now call friends.  I’m part of the community and I love it.  It’s such a joy adding my own little thread into the always-weaving story that’s happening amongst people who love to distil some of themselves into a handmade, hand worked, hand crafted, personal item.  Thanks for cheering me on here, on social media, in real life.  Now to enjoy some rule-free sewing, hurrah!

By Hand London Victoria Blazer in chambray

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Details:

Pattern is the By Hand London Victoria Blazer  for my Six Pattern Challenge.  

The Chambray One- view A- the outer is of a dark blue chambray from Rolls & Rems (Lewisham) and the lining is a lovely cream polyester (I think!) something-or-other (very heavy and very drapey) with tiny black- adorable- bows from my expert-enabler mother.  Because of the nature of the lining it will not lie flat which is a burden I can bear considering it- as before noted- has tiny black bows on it.  It was shortened a small amount so I can wear with skirts and not flatten them.   Look, the pockets are wonderful.  I’m rather proud of my fabric combos.  Could probably do with a bit more room in the upper arms but my arms are skinny twigs so I’m not sure I want to grade up to the next size (any advice on such things gratefully received!).  Adios, friends.  I’m celebrating with a cup of tea and sewing a couple of darts into my next project!

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In Which A Bit of an Enthusiast Has Her Apple Cart Upset (to Delightful Result)

Friends, what do you do when a beautiful shirt dress pattern comes your way?  You incorporate it into your Six Pattern Challenge, of course.  Now, when I added M6696 to the challenge, it was my favourite (if you’re a regular sewing blog reader I’ll bet you know which one it is without even having to look).   I couldn’t wait to sew this one up!  But first, get some skills, woman.  So I did.McCalls 6696 Shirt Dress

First we had what turned out to be a wonderful pleated skirt pattern (here and here).  Then we had a cute jersey Summer throw-it-on dress.  Then came the over-engineered pyjamas (to be blogged) and The Dress That Must Not Be Named.  All good for working those skills and building up to a glorious fit & flare style shirtdress.  And then something happened to pique my pride.

McCalls 6696 Shirt Dress

It got popular.

Shirtdress in Liberty seasonal Farhad, grey

M6696 became the pattern to blog about in 2014 and it somewhat upset my apple cart.  The apple cart being my imaginary world of uniqueness.  What to do when everyone makes your (how proprietary of me!) dress?  Pondering here, pouting (a little) there, I finally smelled the coffee and decided just to get on with it.  It’s one of the challenge patterns and not one I wanted to swap out (I’m allowed, according to my totally arbitrary set of rules, to do so to one pattern only).  So I swallowed my foolish pride and just went with it.

McCalls 6696 Shirt Dress

I’m glad I did!  It’s as lovely a dress as I’d hoped and, aided by a speedy make thanks to a few days at my parents’ house with my mother’s sewing room available all hours (lucky me!) I realised that this must not be a one-off.  No!  I have at least one more of these to make (with sleeves next time).  I so enjoy wearing this dress!

McCalls 6696 Shirt Dress

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Details: Dress is the McCall’s 6696 shirtdress pattern, made up with another wonderful Liberty lawn second (style: Farhad available here)in just the right, soft, grey with a great little early-mid 20th century print detail.  I made the sleeveless version and kept the gathered back.  Because I’m daft I made three bodice toiles for this- but the first was cut in the wrong bust size- the pattern comes with separate pieces for various bust sizes.  Once I’d put that right I ended up doing a small bust adjustment (toile the third) which was a first and I’m pleased with how simple it was to do!

 

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