Blue Moon Darling Ranges

Having been separated from my sewing machine for a couple of months, I was superkeen to get stuck straight into a project. In fact I think I unpacked everything on the Friday night my trunk arrived and was cutting out a dress on Saturday morning. I felt the urge to make something “proper” with real processes and details to concentrate on and the Darling Ranges dress seemed just the ticket.

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I think I can say at this point that I’m a fan of Megan Nielsen patterns. Her designs flatter a range of body shapes and the patterns are well drafted with simple, clear instructions that are not overly hand-holdy. They come in pretty packaging too which never hurts. On this design I love the flattering v neck, the waist tie that allows for more or less shaping (bigger or smaller lunches) and of course pockets forever.

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This dress look me a leisurely weekend from start to finish (read: a happy sewing pace which allows for attentive podcast listening and long lunch breaks). I didn’t make any major changes to the pattern. I graded between sizes based on my measurements and lowered the bust dart apex once I tried the bodice on. I also decided I wanted the sleeves a little looser, so sewed a narrower seam and left off the elastic.

The fabric is Atelier Brunette cotton batiste, ordered from Tissu & Co back in June. This is my second time sewing with AB cotton and it is just dreamy. So easy to work with and so light and airy to wear. Love. This design is called “Blue Moon” and I used 2m for the dress. The design was small and random enough that I didn’t bother about pattern matching, I just made sure all my moons were running in the same direction.

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I like how it turned out. A pretty, breezy little day dress.

Siobhan xx

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Red Chambray Kelly Skirt

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Evening folks! Forgive the slight summer hiatus. It was unplanned. There were multiple (very welcome) guests and an exam to prepare for and a few other real life-y things. Anyhoo, I hope your Julys and Augusts have been superdooper.

This pattern has been in my pile for a looooong time (cough *September 2013* cough) but I finally got round to it last month. It’s Megan Nielsen’s Kelly skirt and it’s a lovely quick make. In the interests of blogger integrity I’ll admit that mine took a couple of weeks, BUT that is only because I was snatching 30 mins here and there. If you were more focused than I, this would be real quick I promise – 1 day max.

I used the red chambray I got with my Fabric Rehab voucher. It’s a deliciously soft cotton and is extremely wide – check out the layout below!! I ordered two meters and there’s plenty left for a t-shirt or something.

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Despite being a really straightforward sew, the Kelly has a couple of fantastic details: striking box pleats front and back, and these realllly pretty pockets. I’ve never put pockets in this way before but they add such a lovely detail. I lined them with scraps of contrast print and topstitched them with a double line of white.

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I was worried at first that the chambray would be a little too soft for the pattern but in the end I think it works pretty well. I did strengthen both sides of the placket (bit where the buttons/buttonholes go) and the waistband with some pretty serious medium-weight interfacing though, which feels nice and strong. The only thing I would say about this fabric is that it’s preeeeetty crease-enthusiastic so by the end of a working day (i.e. lots of sitting) she doesn’t look nearly so crisp and lovely. Clearly she’s meant for long strolls by the lake rather than office time – fair play.

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(mmmm wrinkly!!)

I found some pretty little multi-coloured wooden buttons which go really well with the chambray (M actually spotted them… and as such takes full credit for how well this whole project turned out). I faffed around practicing the buttonholes for a while before committing them to the skirt and decided to go with a thread that matches the fabric, rather than the white I used for the topstitching.

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There are a couple of fit issues I noticed on my first wear, both of which have also been noted by other bloggers. Firstly the waistband is a little gapey. It fit’s along the bottom edge but not along the top, if that makes sense. I think this is because it’s a single straight piece and I’m, well, not. If I make this skirt again I think I will try and shape the waistband to account for this. I think I can live with it on this one. Taking the waistband off would be such a faff!! Secondly, like other bloggers, I get a little bagging going on between the waistband and the first button underneath. I’m hoping this will be much easier to fix, by adding a little popper /snap fastener to keep things straight.

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On the positive side, I’m really happy with the finish I achieved on this one. It’s one of my neatest makes to date, pretty inside and out, which is supercool (in a nerdy seamstress kinda way). And, if I manage to address the two points above, it’s definitely a shape I can see myself wearing a lot. All it needs is a Nettie to play with. She is definitely nearing the top of my to-sew list!

Lastly, check out the mural!! It’s the same wall around the corner from our flat that I’ve used before, but someone has done this amazing paint job on it. However, I thought it would make a supercool background but am now thinking maybe it’s a bit… busy and insane?? What do you think? Love it? Or does it give you a headache? Be truthful now!

Siobhan xx