Firehose

A friend invited me to room with her on a trip to Playa del Carmen that she was going on with a group of her friends in August, and of course I said yes!  Leading up to the trip, I sewed up a bunch of summer clothes.  My idea was that I wanted a lot of loose, flowy clothes made from breathable fibers, preferably with no zippers or buttons.

I definitely wanted some maxi dresses for strolling on the beach and I have several gorgeous rayon knits that are just begging to be made into a wrap dress.  But the only wrap dress I had previously made that I actually liked was the Named Olivia, but that wasn't quite the style I was after.  So I took a look at my pattern stash and decided the Striped Swallow Summer Dawn had the look I was after.  It has lovely gathers at the shoulder seams, fluttery sleeves and ties that wrap all the way around the body.

Since I'd never... [read more]

Apologies for the radio silence recently, but I promise it’s for a very good reason! Actually, two reasons, because I have been spending every single second of “work sewing” time for the past few months working to release a new, beginner-focused activewear pattern AND a full beginner activewear-focused eBook to accompany it. Wooooo! Even though the pattern is aimed at beginners, there are plenty of opportunities for upskilling options that have won it rave reviews from my more experienced testers, too.

So as you can imagine, it’s a lot of work getting both of these huge projects written, illustrated (and photographed), tested, adjusted, and ready to go, but they should be live within the next week or two I hope, and then I can get back to my regular sewing, blogging, and socials for a while… at least until the next two patterns I have in development enter into the... [read more]

Ready for a super simple DIY project? Have 20 minutes to spare? Because that’s all you will need to make some adorable yarn pom … More adding pom poms to a blanket »

The post adding pom poms to a blanket appeared first on My French Twist.



We have jumped right into the Literary Sewing Circle round for this fall! Today's the day for some beginning book talk! How are you doing with the book? Have you started it yet? Finished it? Do you have any reactions you'd like to share? 

Here are a few questions to ponder today and for the next while -- whether you have begun reading, or you've only read blurbs & author interviews so far and still have something to say, join in! Although there might be a few spoilers in the questions and discussion below so if you haven't got too far yet you might want to come back to this post.

I'll add some of my own thoughts and you can reply to them or add your own impressions. If you want to hear other takes on a part of the book that you are curious about, leave your own questions in the comments, too. 


If you decided to pick up this book and... [read more]

Recently, we hosted our second annual WordPress.com Growth Summit and welcomed over 1,300 attendees at the event. The summit was fully online, and it built on the momentum of our inaugural Growth Summit in 2020 after hearing from you, our community, that another conference would be a great learning and networking opportunity for people looking to grow their WordPress.com sites. Based on the positive feedback from last year, this year’s programming continued to be customer-focused by highlighting people — just like you! — who started sites and businesses on WordPress.com and have seen them flourish.

We also changed up the tech stack we used, which allowed us to offer a better user experience and to improve the process of selling tickets and, later, access to recorded videos from the event. If you enjoy building sites with... [read more]

Welcome to week two of the Fall 2021 One Room Challenge.  I’m excited to be a participant; come join me as I create a … More One Room Challenge Week 2 – moody blues »

The post One Room Challenge Week 2 – moody blues appeared first on My French Twist.

As I continue sewing with a plan, but still take the occasional detour, I think a lot about what I want to wear and what I actually need. For the past year and a half, as I’ve been mostly working from home, I’ve realised that I like to get dressed when working (no sweat pants!) but my wardrobe has been much more casual than when going to the office. T-shirts have been worn aplenty, some to the point of disintegrating.

The Autumn Plan

(Disclaimer: I did once have a Zoom meeting in my robe as I had worked out and showered during lunch and the person I met called me earlier than scheduled).

So, now we are hoping that a more regular presence at the office is near (currently I have two set days, and “when necessary”) it’s time to update my work wardrobe, something that has been reflected in the fall plan I’ve sewn.

The Autumn Outcome

My autumn plan was... [read more]




When I feel like wearing sweats or yoga pants but I must wear a dress, this is the dress for me! I love when I make something and it surprises me. This dress did just that! My go-to outfits most of this homebound year have had casual comfort as the paramount feature. Few of them have been dresses. With this make that is going to change. When I chose this bullet knit from Nature's Fabrics I knew it would be comfortable. When I paired it with this pattern, I didn't know I would want to wear it all the time.


I love this faux wrap dress with ruched details. I chose to make view D with the the gathers at the shoulders. The construction was easy and I sewed it mainly on my serger. The bullet knit is a stable knit, so it can be sewn on a standard machine if you don't own a serger. 



I have used bullet knit  to make dresses, tops and cardigans. I love all of... [read more]

My latest shirt was inspired by a fabric called Womens Business by Mavis Marks, who is a member of the ikuntji indigenous artist group. Here this fabric is used by Tessuti to show off their latest shirt pattern. I love the colours and the bold design.

Not long after the women’s business fabric made itself at home in my brain I came across another shirt, painted by artist Kay Chapman.

You can see where that fusion came from, can’t you? I painted with thickened dye, with a brush, free-hand, but with one eye on my inspiration shirts.

The fabric I used is a very high thread count viscose/cotton, one of Ikea’s single bed sheets. It has a subtle lustre and a lovely feel, and is so smooth that you can paint on it almost like you can on paper. I used thickened dye, which stops the dye from running like ink on a blotter, and makes... [read more]


I decided to participate in Pattern Review's September mini wardrobe contest, and so made two skirts to go with the black and white tops I was making. I had this red ponte in the stash and realized it was the exact red of the print in my Kirsten tee. So I chose a Burda skirt pattern from 1992 that I'd been wanting to try, and made it up. 





I made a few changes since the pattern was drafted for wovens. I cut a 42 instead of my regular 44, and I left out the back kick pleat. Not really necessary with the stretch in the fabric, and the length (I made it a touch shorter than intended by the pattern). 

It has slant pockets - my favourite kind - and an elastic waist. I used some random red poly lining material from the stash for the interior of the pocket, for its lightweight nature and how soft it feels. 

The waistband has two channels for 3/4" elastic and honestly it was the... [read more]

Inspired by Muna and Broad's recent outerwear week, I cut out and sewed up this Belmore Jacket on a whim, but I am pretty delighted with it!

Read more »

 I made it back to my sewing room! Slowly I have been reprinting, taping, and tracing another Laundry Day pattern. This one will not be a tunic as I wanted to make the shirt length with this one.

I made adjustments that are my usual now:

  • Upper round back adjustment of 5/8 inches
  • Swayback adjustment of 3/4 inches-this was what I ended up doing with the first one
  • One inch FBA
  • 5/8 forward shoulder adjustment
  • Shortened length by 1 inch
Today I cut out the fabric and took a few pics to post my current progress.

FBA -1 inch
I used Maria Denmark's version of FBA without adding a dart. I used this on my first one and worked well. Here is a link if interested.


Fabric cut





Sneak Peek of the Fabric Layout

Next step thread the sewing and serger machines!

More soon!

This year’s UK Black History Month theme, Proud To Be, is about celebrating the Black experience. As a distributed company with employees around the world, including the United Kingdom, we believe that the more perspectives we embrace, and the more we learn about our teammates, the better we are at engaging and helping our global community. 

This October, we encourage individuals and organizations to learn more about Black history, heritage, and culture in the UK. “Black British history is British history. It’s more than a month; it is interwoven in everything,” says Ama, a colleague based in Scotland. “We have changed landscapes in education, law, politics, work, and equality for all within the UK.” Black history is deeply embedded in UK culture, says Ama, from institutions — like the National Health Service — to music, sports,... [read more]

 

Loved Clothes Last / Orsola de Castro
Dublin: Penguin Life, c2021
263 p.

I was really interested in checking out this book when I first heard of it, as the author is a known name in the fashion world, being a founder of Fashion Revolution, an organization that is doing a lot of good in the push for more transparent and equitable fashion across the world. 

It's a collection of essays on a variety of topics to do with reducing one's dependence on fast fashion as it currently exists. This could be a strength, but unfortunately it felt quite disjointed to me, and aimed at a bunch of different audiences. Anyone interested in this topic will already know most of the information in this book, which has fast fashion facts, ideas for mending and fixing minor problems with one's clothes (definitely basic knowledge for sewists), overdyeing, explaining garment... [read more]

 

It's the first week of our Literary Sewing Circle featuring The Sun Down Motel. Have you found a copy yet? Have you started reading? If so, how are you finding the opening chapters? 

This week we'll be looking at one of the storyline eras to inspire a project. This story is partly set in 1982 and partly in 2017 -- today we'll be looking at the 80s. 

While the action doesn't move around much, mostly taking place right at the Sun Down Motel or in and around small Fell, NY, there is still scope for some 80s fashion there. 

Take a look at this retrospective of 80s fashion in America to get a sense of what was happening, and what might be rescuable! Or take a browse through this lengthy overview of 80s clothing, accessories and makeup for some fun reading (just ignore the 'buy here' links). This is, of course, if you enjoy looking through old 80s... [read more]


Do you ever just want to make something ridiculous? Like completely outrageous, that you will have slim chance to wear in every day life, but your soul just aches to make it so you can take beautiful pictures and swan around your house in it?? And ultimately so you can just know, you did it.  You made the thing that was in your head!

 

 
 


Enter, this black swan, perfume ad, Dior-esque, Imakestagram boldness. I knew I wanted it to have a lot of ruffles and a lot of volume and I eventually decided that if it was going to be something I could work into my wardrobe every now and then, separates would be best. There wasn’t exactly a pattern than encapsulated eeeeverything I wanted though, so I ended up draping this puppy on my dressform.  If you wanted something similar, there are tons of patterns you could hack to get a similar look.  Some suggestions would be the... [read more]

 I am working on a separate blog about Issey Miyake's Vogue patterns. I have been at it for a couple of years, so don't get all excited.

I know that there have been several designers from Miyake's 'house' on the job for these patterns over the years, I don't know all of them yet. There is much more information out there than I have included (which is why these are still in progress), but for my sanity's sake, I am starting to put these posts on my main blog. Because this is what I am sewing now, and this proves that this is STILL a blog about sewing.

I have shown bits and pieces of the construction of this top, but it's been put in the naughty pile while other things got done.

Let's see what happened.

I learned on Miyake Vogue 1309 to mark all the tailors marks, no matter what they might be.
I made this into a dress


Vintage Curls & Diamond Roses

Let’s meet at WCUS 2021! WordPress.com will be there and we hope to see you there as well!

Although we’d love to be at an in-real-life WordCamp right now, we’re still excited about attending the online version of WordCamp US this year. 

What is WordCamp US 2021?

WordCamps are informal events that are organized and hosted by the WordPress community. WordCamp US 2021 is a one-day online event for the US WordPress community to attend sessions, network with one another, participate in WordPress-related workshops, and more. Of course, it’s not only for US residents – everyone is invited to attend!

Reminder: It’s free to attend, but you need a ticket so get yours now

WordCamps are welcoming places for all WordPress businesses, users, bloggers, and enthusiasts to gather. No matter where you host your WordPress site, no matter how big or small your... [read more]

I’m so excited to participate in the Fall 2021 One Room Challenge. Come me join me as I create a sweet boho study on … More One Room Challenge Week 1 – the power of millennials »

The post One Room Challenge Week 1 – the power of millennials appeared first on My French Twist.

I’m not sure how to number these quilts as I have several ongoing, but I guess I’ll just number them as I completely finish them. This quilt was one of the last ones I started, but it sewed up very quickly and then I got a bit obsessed with free motion quilting it on my home machine.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before that we are massive Halloween fans, but I’m sure I have. I was in the local quilting shop to pick up a small order and I saw some cute Moda jelly rolls on sale in this fabulous Halloween fabric, which I promptly snapped up. This whole quilt was made with one jelly roll and two little extra strips from another fabric (the same as the binding).

This brings me onto another recent obsession of mine. I discovered The Midnight Quilt Show on Craftsy with Angela Walters. Now, if you’re already a quilter, you’re... [read more]

I always love adding handmade touches to my seasonal decor. And these little pinecones fashioned from paper and foam balls are a perfect accent … More diy paper pinecones »

The post diy paper pinecones appeared first on My French Twist.

Sometimes you start a project thinking... it might be a little challenging, but it’s just gonna be another project. Then you cross your fingers and hope for the best and generally things just come together, easy peasy and you move on. ....And sooooometimes, you work on a project and at the end of it, you feel like you’re literally a whole new maker. You grew three inches taller and leveled up. That was this kind of project for me... 


When I originally ordered this Robert Kaufman, mammoth flannel I thought it I was going to make it into a standard button down flannel shirt. A bit of a nod to 90’s grunge fashion. But when it arrived it had a nicer heft to it than I remembered my own thin flannel shirts having in the 90’s. I don’t know if that’s because I wore cheap shirts or if I was mis remembering or what but, that perceived tactile... [read more]

 

I honestly didn’t think it would be such a huge gap between posts this month, especially given how much sewing I’ve done!  Anyway, you cannot turn back time, so all I can do is get on and show you all what I’ve been up to!  I’m starting with my latest Olya Shirt, pattern from Paper Theory.  This is my fourth, and I really do have a plan to make another.  We were in London last weekend, so I finally managed to get photos, thanks to Daughter No1!

waves 3

After making two in different types of viscose and one in cotton lawn, I now have a linen shirt.  I sized down with this version, the others are a tad too long in the sleeve, more noticeable in the viscose versions.  I thought it might be nice to have an oversized shirt that wasn’t quite that oversized, especially in a fabric that’s stiffer and less drapey.  It was the right decision!  So this is the size 12, with no... [read more]

After my dotty shirt I thought I would like to try a large area design. You don’t see these often in RTW fashion because fabric with very large repeats is hideously uneconomical to cut with a commercial process or it has to be pieced which is tricky to sew and therefore expensive. When you do see large area prints it is usually in the $$$ price bracket to allow for this. Here is an linen vest designed by Cynthia Ashby for the Artful Home, for the cool crowd at a cool $288.

Of course hand painting is ideal for these types of designs, so here is my first go at this.

I drew the outlines of the coloured shapes onto the fabric with an ordinary pencil and then coloured them in with thickened dye. I didn’t quite get the waves to meet perfectly at centre front and at the shoulder seams, although I tried. Next time I will need to measure and put in a couple of... [read more]

Nearly all of my skirts were made with an elastic waist pattern… that I lopped the elastic off of and converted to a flat waistband. That doesn’t mean I don’t love an elasticated skirt though! Holly Darling often makes these suuuuper basic, elastic-waist skirts and I’ve admired them for ages but never seem to have the exact perfect fabric for it–she has such a good eye for pairing pattern and fabric.

This skirt of hers is probably my favorite of the genre, and I remember wanting to copy it when she originally posted it, but couldn’t find the fabric–leopard prints are hard to get right!–so when she did a little destash sale on her insta and included a yard of this fabric I immediately snatched it up with the express intention of totally copying her.

Holly used a pattern in her original version, but I used her more generic tutorial for a rectangle skirt (linked... [read more]

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