Freak Out!

Here it is!  20140328-152900.jpgA sewing post!  Please don’t think for a minute that I’ve not been sewing away during my long absence, but my utter hatred of having my photo taken has REALLY put me off posting about it!  Also, you may notice that my hair has changed into something much more in tune with my clothes…!

I’ve always greatly admired ‘Named‘ for their simple, yet slickly designed patterns, but I was very put off by the high cost for only two sizes and reported lack of decent instructions.  However, all that changed when Named listened to the chorus of complaints online, and did a radical reboot of their instructions and offered all sizes immediately.  I quickly bought the Blair Batwing Top, Ailakki Jumpsuit, and Jamie Jeans, and I doubt they will be the only ones! Named are very unusual in that their PDF patterns are nested within each other which saves on printer ink, but this does mean that you have to trace the individual pieces after taping it together. 20140328-152910.jpg I really didn’t mind doing this, especially as there was a good drama on Radio 4 Extra (I love you BBC!), but I can see why some people may have an issue.  The Blair Batwing only has three pieces so this wasn’t too bad, but I am going to have to wait for another very long series to listen to while I trace all thirteen of the Jamie Jeans!  However, I see it as much more economical this way because I can modify the pattern pieces immediately and save my super expensive printer ink!  Definitely a win for me!

I chose a very light knit fabric for the Blair Batwing Top which turned out to be a real pain to work with, but now that it’s finished I love the drapey ultra softness of it.  As it is highly patterned, I tried to make sure the lines were as straight as possible across and up my body.  I chose to sew this together on my sewing machine using a ballpoint needle because it has lots of curves and I wanted to make sure I didn’t chop them off with my overlocker.  Also the constant slipping of the fabric meant that many many pins had to be used (& I am always afraid I will chop one up!) to make it easier to handle.  There’s a rather ingenious use of framilon tape to stabilise the shoulders and stop the top from stretching out of shape, but I decided to use ribbon instead.  The instructions are very straightforward and clear with a particularly comprehensive glossary which I think would be very useful for an absolute beginner (or a confused me!).  I think next time, I may make the hemline a little more fitted around the hips to give the top a little more shape as it is a little billowy.

20140328-153005.jpgThis top was made exactly as written, but I did bind the sleeve hems using some waste fabric.  The neckline was also bound, but I found it made the fabric very unstable and so I unpicked it (not something I would recommend!) and finished as per the instructions.  I also added a loop of ribbon to the back of the top to make it easier to tell which is front and back (for sleepier days) – I really like having little bits of scrap fabric/haberdashery in my clothes that only I (and now you!) know about!  The sleeves are MASSIVE!  I feel like a flying fox in this top, but it does make yawning much more interesting!  I can see many more Blair tops in my wardrobe in the future because they are so quick and simple to make.  That, and they match my new super curly hair very well!

The skirt I am wearing is a very simple black knit fabric tube with an elasticated waistband.  I used this tutorial from ‘Make It & Love It’ to guide me, but it really is a super simple sew!  The hem on it is a little puckered, but it is so comfortable (and also the ONLY solid colour skirt I own) so I’ve been wearing it very frequently.

My necklace is also handmade, but not by me!  A very talented friend of a friend makes and sells them on Etsy here and is using the money raised to come to Singapore for a visit, so every little helps!  It is a series of crocheted circles bound together so that they move around and serves as a reminder that I need to learn to crochet!  I really recommend that you have a peep over at her store because she has so many beautiful things (I wish I had pierced ears!) and a great eye for bright colour.

What about you?  Do you have any simple, but very effective patterns you love?20140328-153505.jpg

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17 responses to “Freak Out!

  1. AAAAH! Amazing! The top and even more so: your hair! I LOVE it! And great infos on the Named patterns! I wanted to ask you about them anyway! (They look great but they are so expensive vor a spoiled Burdastyle student abo owner like me!)

    And I just discovered your Liebster award and the nomination! Thank you very much, dear Beth! Will try to answer your question soon!

    • Ha ha! My hair IS quite dramatic now! Thank you for your sweet comment! I’ve not yet tried the more complicated Named patterns, but I will certainly let you know if they are worth the money. I think the drafting is really good, but, yes, they are definitely expensive! I’m sure a sewing specialist like you could draft this pattern in seconds though! ;-) I LOVE my BurdaStyle too! They are just a little tricky to hunt down here in Singapore. :-(
      Don’t worry about the Liebster! I know how busy you are!

      • You are too sweet! :) Also I thpugh about your photography problems (while I was reading up on your older blog posts! I LOVE all the prints you used, especially the animal and astronaut ones!) and I thought of some things that may help, although they are not very original. Like, maybe let your husband take pictures? When my boyfriend takes pictures we often end up laughing because we are joking along the way or because I did something awkward in front of the camera (I don’t like to have my picture taken, either). Or just take pictures without your head on them to take the pressure off. (That sounds weird, right?) Or just look serious or neutral. You don’t have to laugh, if that makes you feel uncomfortable. That’s just my two cents. :) Anyhow I LOVE your pictures and all the things you sew and knit so it’s rather selfish because if you take more pictures I get to see them! Oh, and another thing: You could just take pictures of the garments on a hanger for a start. :)
        And about the Burdas: if there are issues with a few patterns you like just say the word and I’ll try to get them (if they are older) or send you one right away (if it’s a more recent issues) or even if you need a single pattern that’s not available online I could send it to you. I have all Burda issues since 8/12 and a few Burda easy issues since then so really just say the word.
        Also I am now quite speedy at tracing since I use thin paper that is sold here as sandwich wrapping. It’s cheap, see through and you can get it in rolls and it has revolutionized my Burda tracing! The only thing you need to tell me is which size to trace and it is yours!

      • You are such a lovely & kind friend! I really appreciate the offer for the Burda patterns & will definitely let you know – thank you so much! I can send you some of my extra warm woolly fabric (ie anything that isn’t ultra light cotton/linen!) that is languishing in my stash in exchange, if you’d like? We will work something out for sure, but again, thank you so much for the thought!

        Great ideas on the photos! I’m even more awkward (if that’s possible!) when someone else is taking my photo, but I may try asking my husband to take photos when we’re on holiday when I’m a little more relaxed! I think the main problem is that my default expression is to smile, but once a camera comes out, I forget how to smile naturally and look like a squinting maniac! Looking serious is even trickier! I might try the hanger thing, but I find that I prefer to see clothes on people to get a better idea how they fit & fall. Still, it’s a better plan that not posting at all, so thank you for all your ideas! You are so sweet! I love your posts and photos too! And I can’t wait to see (& hear about) your rollerskating outfit! If only we lived closer, we could dream up some crazy photoshoots together so that I couldn’t help but laugh naturally!

  2. What a gorgeous top! I love batwing tops, they are so “superhero-y” and 80′s glamorous at the same time. And look at you wearing something black and solid!
    Love the hair, too! It fits your (online?) personality so much, I think!

    • Exactly! I wore mine to see the new Captain America & I felt like I could join in some of the flying scenes! I know! I never wear black or solids so this is quite a shock! Perhaps your influence is having an effect? Soon you will be wearing very bright animal prints! ;-)

      Thank you! My hair makes me feel extra bouncy & happy!

    • Ha ha! Thank you so much! It’s getting a little wild now, but I don’t want to prune it because it looks so happy! :-) I wish I could find more geometric fabrics, but they seem to be in short supply here… :-(

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