A little bit of Frosting

Note: I’ve been paying attention to the current conversations happening on social media about cultural appropriation and violence towards Asian communities. Since making these garments my understanding of cultural appropriation has grown and I now see how the naming of this collection is problematic, and is a form of cultural appropriation. I’m also aware that a considerable number of people contacted Papercut Patterns some time ago in relation to this collection, and that it’s taken several years to be resolved. When the new pattern names are announced I will amend my posts relating to the collection, and I am also making a donation to a local charity to reflect the amount I have spent on these patterns. I’m considering other courses of action I can take, including removing these blog posts all together, I welcome any suggestions people might have regarding this. I’m very grateful to the people on social media who have done so much work to educate and inform me about these topics.

I follow Drapers Fabrics in Auckland on Instagram, and every so often they post a remnant for sale in their insta-stories. Usually I manage to resist, but when I saw this delicious blush and mustard abstract silk crepe de chine pop up I messaged them and bought it without a second thought! I’m obsessed with this colour combination at the moment (see also: my Wiksten Unfolding Jacket), and I’ve been in desperate need of some ‘nice’ tops to wear when I don’t want to be full on dresses up but also don’t want to just be in a tee shirt (any one else struggle with that in-between dress code?).


I waffled a bit about what pattern to pick for this fabric, but then I remembered seeing Chloe (@faburikku_) post about her Papercut Patterns Solar Tee which she made in a woven. I thought the ruffled sleeves would be lovely and floaty in this silk, so I threw caution to the wind and cut it out…


And it worked! I didn’t make any changes to the size, as it’s a pretty loose fit (and my knit version had plenty of ease through the bust), but I did draft a facing for the neckline. I also had to crop it by several inches, as the hem wouldn’t fit over my hips with no stretch, but I think the cropped length really suits the shape of the pattern. It balances out those ruffles a little bit!

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I used French seams throughout, remembering too late (as I always do) that Papercut uses a 1cm seam allowance. That means my French seams are lovely and small, but does add to the fiddle factor! I rolled the edges of the ruffles and the sleeves on my machine, but I did the hem with the blind hem stitch, as I wanted a bit more heft to the bottom edge.


I also got a bit fancy with my facing. The silk is so fine that I didn’t want a rolled seam or an overlooked edge showing though where the edge of the facing was finished, so I sewed the facing and some super lightweight fusible interfacing with the wrong sides together, then trimmed the seam allowance, flipped them right sides out, and pressed to fuse the interfacing to the facing. It’s not invisible, but it has a much softer edge than if I had finished it another way.


I’m so happy with how this top turned out! I think it fills the gap in my wardrobe perfectly, and I love the way the silk feels. In fact, it turns out that this is really pretty fancy silk, because I spotted a whole rack of garments made out of it when I walked past the Juliette Hogan store in Wellington a few weeks ago! Juliette Hogan makes gorgeous but eye watering-ly expensive clothes, and the ones made out of this silk seem to be priced at upwards of $400. I wonder if I would have chopped into my remnant so happily without making a muslin if I had known? Just as well it worked out so well… I’m considering this top the first garment for my entry into the #sewfrosting challenge, because the fabric is apparently so fancy and because a silk tee seems pretty frosting-like! I’m still up to my elbows in velvet dust working on my other garment, so stay tuned…


I’ll also talk briefly about my trousers in these photos, they’re a pair of Named Alexandria Peg Trousers in a linen chambray from The Fabric Store. I’ve made this pattern twice before (here and here) but neither pair is still in my wardrobe, for one reason or another. I really love this pair though! The linen is soft and cool, and I think it suits the pattern really well. I can see them getting so much wear over the summer!


The fit on these trousers is great, I should use the crotch curve to adjust less well fitting patterns! I also love the pleat-and-pocket combo. And elastic waists are always a good thing. I did the two rows of top stitching around the elastic waistband, but just looped the twill tape through the two buttonholes and tied it in a bow instead of threading it around the whole waistband.


Is anyone else furiously sewing up their #sewfrosting entries? The end of November seems to have crept up super fast!

What’s black and white and black and white and black and white?

I seem to have come over all monochromatic recently. I’ve barely worn black clothes for nearly ten years, since I emerged from my mopey teenage goth years, and I can probably count on one hand the number of black clothes I’ve sewn for myself. But in the last few months I’ve bought several lengths of black fabric, and this is my second monochrome post in a row! Maybe I’ve finally got over the traumatic memories of those goth outfits…


This is another two for one post, because I’ve made and blogged both patterns before. The top is (of course) another Grainline Studio Lark tee, this time with cap sleeves and a boat neck. I used some 100% cotton that I picked up at Drapers Fabrics in Auckland when I was up there at the end of last year, and it is so soft and lovely! Being pure cotton it is starting to pill a little bit on one hip, where my bag rubs against it, which is a shame. I have enough fabric to make another one though, so if this one gets too shabby looking I’ll just replace it. Can’t just give up on my perfect striped tee!  
I took about 2″ off the length off this tee, at the lengthen/shorten line, and then took a deep hem, so I think its probably been shortened by at least 3″. I love the length it is now, just right for wearing untucked. The only thing I would change for next time would be to consider making a facing for the neckline. Turning and stitching would probably be fine for fabric with good recovery, but the 100% cotton does get a bit saggy with wear. I think a facing with some light knit interfacing would help it to hold its lovely shape.

So, onto the trousers! These are the Named Alexandria Peg Trousers, made up in a lovely wool crepe from The Fabric Store. I really wanted a ‘winter weight’ pair of these trousers, but realistically there are more spring/autumn weight and the Wellington wind cuts straight through the crepe! We’ve had some lovely fine weather here this autumn though, so they’ve been getting some decent wear.

I made them exactly the same as my rayon pair, except this time I used two gold eyelets at the centre front and ran some black grosgrain ribbon through the waistband. I didn’t pick very good elastic to use, it is very soft and I had a terrible time trying to keep it flat inside the waistband as I was topstitching it!

I made the pocket bags out of some scraps of black linen to help stabilise the stretchier crepe at the front pockets, and it seems to have worked really well, they aren’t bagging out or anything. I added the patch pockets on the back too, as they actually show up on this plain fabric! I loved sewing with the wool crepe, its so lovely and malleable. It is a tiny bit rough, but nothing major. The biggest downside to these pants is how much fluff sticks to them! Cat fur, thread, lint…its like wool crepe is a fluff magnet. I might have to buy shares in whichever company makes those sticky lint rollers. 
I got my little sister to take these photos after we had been out for lunch with Mum, its so nice to get some pictures away from my teal wall! She’s a very good photographer, but I still managed to be pulling terrible faces in about 75% of the photos. Then there are some gems like the one above… I do like this little side alleyway though, with pretty street art and trees growing out of the bricks. I really like this outfit too! Just goofy grins all round, really.
(As for what is black and white and black and white and black and white, its a penguin rolling down a hill. Obviously.)

(Not so secret) Secret Pyjamas

You know how people are always talking about how knit dresses and drapey trousers are so comfortable that they’re really secret pyjamas? I feel like these fit into that category, but with the (dubious) added extra of kinda looking like pyjamas too…

These are the Named Patterns Alexandria Peg Trousers, made up in a cute rayon crepe from the Fabric Store. I had bought the fabric with vague ideas to make a dress out of it, but when I bought the pattern in the Named advent calendar sale (which was awesome) I decided to put the two together instead. I really like the fabric, its light and airy and I think the drape works really well with the pattern. I do wish it wasn’t so crease-prone, but I just need to get over my hatred of ironing completed garments. (Does anyone else find that they quite enjoy pressing whilst sewing a garment, but as soon as the last stitch is tied off it becomes a huge effort to get it anywhere near the iron?)

I really like the pattern too, the pleating and pockets are a great combo (like on my Panthea Shorts, bit of a theme going on at the moment), and everything came together so smoothly. I made them up exactly as directed, I didn’t even have to shorten them which surprised me. I do wear them right at my waist though (thats just where I find elastic waistbands mose comfortable), so they would be too long if I wore them lower. 

The pockets combined with my extreme high-riding waist give me a serious case of unflattering-trouser-bum, but I’ll never wear anything tucked into an elastic waistband anyway so its ok! Good to know that the pockets are too high for me though. If I made them again I would consider skipping the back pockets, especially if I used a patterned fabric. I keep thinking that they would be really nice made up in a lightweight wool crepe or similar for Autumn.

My biggest problem with these is that I’m not sure how to wear them. I’ve tried them with plain fitted tee shirts, with stripes and with my lace Scout tee, and I’m just not sure. I like them best as shown here, with my grey Lark tee, so maybe I should make a few more plain ones? I want to lessen the pyjama look! Some slightly A-line sleeveless tops like the Tessuti Ruby might work too. What do you think? I’ve been wearing them around home, but I keep hesitating about wearing them out of the house, and I really want to!