Retro Floral Leini Dress

Floral Leini Dress

My love affair with Named Patterns continues… This time I made the Leini Dress from their Summer 2014 collection.

The fabric is a cotton jersey from Mood (sold out, but there’s another colorway available here). It’s not my usual style, but for some reason I was really drawn to this bold floral print. I think it has to do with the colors – navy, mustard, and olive green are some of my favorites to wear, so I think they made the print seem more approachable. And I’m really glad I decided to buy it, because I’ve grown to love this fabric (and dress) a lot!

I thought the print would work best with a fairly simple design, so I decided on the Leini Dress from Named. The elastic waist makes it easy to wear, but the bodice pleats and clean finish around the neckline and armholes make it a bit more interesting and polished.

Floral Leini Dress

Floral Leini Dress

Floral Leini Dress

Floral Leini Dress

This fabric is just a touch see-through, so I had trouble deciding on how to line the bodice. I was going to use self fabric, but the outlines of the flowers were visible from the right side. I also didn’t have any white jersey in my stash, and any other color would have cast a tint. Finally I hit upon using some light beige mesh I have in my stash for bra-making. It’s nice and lightweight, and it allowed me to get the clean finish I wanted.

The pattern says it works with either knits or wovens, although all the other Leinis I’ve seen seem to be wovens. I think it worked really well in jersey, although I’d also like to make one in something like rayon challis. I used a combination of serging, zig-zag stitching, and straight stitching, based on whatever seemed appropriate at each step.

Floral Leini Dress

Floral Leini Dress

Floral Leini Dress

Floral Leini Dress

I made my usual size 34 and the only adjustment I made was to shorten the skirt by a few inches. I think the fit is meant to be a bit loose through the bodice, so you could probably size down if you wanted to, especially if you’re using knit fabric. The only change I’d make next time is to raise the armhole just a bit – maybe 3/8″. Overall, I think this is a great basic pattern and would work well for anything from a casual day dress to a fancier silk number.

What’s your favorite summer dress pattern?

<3 Lindsay

Red Chambray for Summer

Red ChambrayThis is just a quick post to share the last shirt I made for my husband. I used the same BurdaStyle pattern (the one from the book Sewing Vintage Modern) that I’ve used many, many times before, so I don’t have much to add. On this one I left off the collar, did short sleeves, and added a pocket with rounded corners.

The fabric is a mid-weight Kaufman linen/cotton blend. It sews up nicely and wears really well. I made Nathaniel a shirt in the green colorway a couple years ago and it’s still going strong!

Red Chambray

 

Red Chambray

Red Chambray

I recently bought Thread Theory’s new button-up pattern, so I’ll be using that one for his next shirt. It’ll be nice to change things up a bit!

How many times do you usually sew up a pattern? Looking back I’ve probably used about half my patterns only once, many of them two or three times, and then there’s a handful (like this one) that get used over and over again.

<3 Lindsay

Lauha Vent Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi SkirtMeet my new favorite skirt! Ever since I made this dress last year (and realized I both could wear and enjoyed wearing maxi-length clothing) I’ve been wanting to try out a maxi skirt. It’s a silhouette I’ve never worn before, but I definitely love it.

I found the perfect skirt pattern, the Lauha Vent Skirt, in one of Named’s older collections. It has a gorgeous deep vent at the front and multiple small pleats at the front and back waistlines.

The fabric is a really fun parrot print rayon from Blackbird Fabrics (sadly sold out). It’s perfectly swishy for this pattern!

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi SkirtDemonstrating the width… they kind of look like palazzo pants in this pic!

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

I made my usual Named pattern size of 34 and the fit is perfect! I shortened the skirt by a few inches (I forgot to write down the exact amount – oops!) before I cut it out which allowed me to just barely squeeze it out of 1.5 meters of fabric.

Construction is super straight-forward. The most challenging bit was probably cutting out those long pattern pieces while making sure the fabric stayed on grain. After that it came together really quickly!

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

I’m totally in love with this skirt! It was one of those cases where the stars aligned and the fabric and pattern were just perfect for each other.

Do you have a favorite maxi skirt or dress pattern? I’d definitely like to explore this silhouette some more!

<3 Lindsay

How to Watch the Great British Sewing Bee Outside the UK

gbsb

Wondering how you can watch the Great British Sewing Bee if you’re not in the UK? I’ve seen a lot of comments on Instagram from people in other countries wanting to get in on the fun. It’s totally possible (I found it in two minutes last night) as long as you’re a bit tech-savvy and don’t mind breaking the rules. I should state up front that this is murky legal territory, but the fact is that there’s no legal way to watch GBSB in the US or most other countries. As such, I’m not going to provide direct links, but I made the following tutorial in case you want to search on your own.

*UPDATE* If you’re just looking to watch the current season, you can now find them on YouTube right here. Try out Methods 1 or 4 if you want to watch past seasons.

Method 1:

Step 1: INSTALL AD BLOCKER. I can’t emphasize this enough. If you don’t currently have an ad blocker installed on your browser DO NOT attempt the following steps. I firmly believe everyone should have an ad blocker installed anyway. It’s super easy to do – just google search “ad blocker [your browser (safari, chrome, etc.)]” and click on the first one that comes up. It’s free, only takes a minute, and you’ll never have to watch an ad on youtube again!

If you don’t have ad blocker installed and turned on then you’re going to see tons of ads and pop-ups, likely lewd, possibly loud, during the following steps. You’ll also probably get a virus. Be careful out there.

Step 2: Go to www.thewatchseries.to and do a search for the Great British Sewing Bee. The show page should come up, which you can then click on to see links to episodes from the past couple seasons. Episodes are usually uploaded within a few hours of airing.

Step 3: Click on the episode you want to see and you’ll see a long list of links. It’s up to you which link to click on – they’re all generally about the same, although sometimes links are broken. This is where you really need to make sure you have ad blocker on, because as soon as you click you’ll be taken to an external site that’ll likely be pretty ad-heavy. Make sure you click the real “play” or “watch” button – some sites may try to trick you with a fake one.

And that’s it! The episode should load on the page and you can play it right there – no need to download it first.

Note: there are similar sites to thewatchseries.to out there – if you do a google search for “great british sewing bee streaming” or something like that you may find a site you like better.

Method 2:

You can install a plug-in in your browser that makes it look like your IP address is coming from the UK. Then you’ll be able to watch the GBSB episodes on the BBC iPlayer. This won’t work, however, if you’re wanting to watch episodes from previous seasons, as they only stay up on the iPlayer for 30 days.

This article is a few years old, but it explains some of your options: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/access-bbc-iplayer-online-video-internationally-free/

I’ve used expat shield and similar programs with limited success. I think TunnelBear might be a good one, but don’t quote me on that. It’s been a couple years since I’ve tried this method, so I can’t really recommend any particular course of action here – just know it’s an option if you’re interested!

Method 3:

YouTube. It looks like there are a few episodes from the first season up on YouTube now, but nothing more recent. There are always a lot of fake videos on YouTube – make sure not to click a link from a video description that promises to take you to the episode! I’m not really sure why the BBC takes down GBSB episodes when they allow plenty of series to stay up… I always watch QI and University Challenge on YouTube.

*UPDATE* Some kind soul has been uploading the current season to YouTube: find it here.

Method 4:

BitTorrent. Definitely more complicated if you’re not familiar with it, and more obviously illegal of course. I won’t explain it here but you can look it up if you’re interested.

I hope that was helpful! Please note that I’m just trying to spread the sewing love here, and I’m not advocating doing anything like this for shows you’re able to watch legally in your country. I’m not interested in hearing any moral arguments in the comment section. I’m sure it would be helpful to other readers, though, if you share which method works for you or if you know of another way to watch it which I haven’t mentioned!

<3 Lindsay

The Grenville Granville

Sleeveless Liberty Granville

This was my first time sewing with (and wearing) Liberty fabric and I’m in love. In fact, after sewing this shirt I promptly ordered a couple yards of the Hesketh print to make my birthday dress. This particular fabric is a tana lawn with a floral design by the artist Hugo Grenville.

I bought this fabric a year ago during a fabric.com sale with the intention of making a sleeveless buttondown shirt last summer. I’d used the Archer pattern for similar style shirts in the past, but I wanted this one to be more fitted. I played with drafting my own for a while, but the fit wasn’t right and the project ended up getting sidelined.

Last winter I finally decided to buy the Granville shirt pattern (again tempted by a sale). I hate making muslins but I knew it would be a necessity for this pattern, especially if I didn’t want to mess up my precious Liberty fabric.

Before I made the first muslin I started with a size 2 pattern and made the following changes:

  • Sleeveless adjustments (-1″ from shoulder line and -3/8″ from yokeline as detailed in this tutorial)
  • 1/2″ SBA
  • Slim hips by ~1.5″ total (Sewaholic drafts for a pear shape, which I’m not)

Then I made Muslin #1, assessed the fit, and made these additional alterations:

  • Petite adjustments – shorten by 1/2″ above bust (which fixed armhole gaping) and by 1/2″ at hip
  • Swayback – took out 1/2″ at both lower back princess seams

After I applied these to my pattern I made Muslin #2 and thankfully the fit was much better! At this point I forged ahead with my sewing, which was all pretty straightforward. I took my time with this make and tried to finish everything as neatly as possible. I did flat-felled seams, a twice-turned hem, and made self bias tape for the armholes.

Sleeveless Liberty Granville

Sleeveless Liberty Granville

Sleeveless Liberty Granville

Overall I’m really happy with the fit! The only slight problem is a dragline between the shoulder and the center front at the bust. It’s not super visible in these pictures, but it becomes more obvious if I do up another button. I think I must have over-fit something in this area. Any ideas what I should do to fix it for my next version?

Sleeveless Liberty Granville

Sleeveless Liberty Granville

I’ve already worn this shirt a ton and I’m totally in love with both the fabric and the style. I’ll definitely be making a couple more sleeveless Granvilles this summer!

And in other news, I got into grad school! I’ll be staying in Austin and attending the University of Texas to get an MS in Information Studies. I’m really excited even though I imagine it’ll cut pretty dearly into my sewing time. ; )

<3 Lindsay