Interview Kommatia + Giveaway!

For a second I was worried about the Independent pattern company…I thought maybe the sector had reached it’s peak and was going to disappear. Obviously I shouldn’t have been so pessimistic! Spending money on new pattern releases is going to be the eternal stash struggle!

Enter Jessica, creator of Kommatia. First things first, Jessica has loads of fashion credentials and her website Kommatia Patterns is really worth a visit as she gives really understandable, concise advice about many sewing issues and general sewing information.

Such as help with trouser fitting here

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Plus, awesome infographics. I want to stick them on my sewing wall. I just wish I had access to a laminator!!

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What has changed with the indie patterns, in my opinion at least, is that new companies enter the scene with much less fanfare (which kinda echos the evolution of having so many independent patterns around). I’m discovering these pattern makers largely by spending too much time on Instagram or Etsy. So, I’m getting old skool and I contacted the owner/designer for an interview.

1. How did you find out about the resurgence of sewing and the new growth of the the sewing community ?

Seriously, I had no idea that PDF patterns were existing – I just found out randomly while browsing vintage clothes on Etsy. I was quite curious about it and did a lot of research. I found out that actually many people were interested in buying patterns and that there was many sewing blogs/you tube channels out there.

2. Did it surprise you that more and more people are sewing there own clothes?

Yes and no.
Yes because sewing is quite traditional and also clothes are getting even more affordable every year, which makes sewing optional. On the other hand, sewing is a creative activity that allows people to wear customized garments to their taste. Ready to wear clothes are made according to a standard body shape, but the reality is that few people has a “standard” shape. Making your own clothes allows you to adjust everything. On a darker tone, we hear more and more stories about the work conditions in sweat shops (in India, China, Bangladesh…). The quality is lowering and garments are not made to last anymore. So I understand why some people prefer to stay away from today’s fashion industry.

3. You have quite a lot of patterns available for a new pattern company,  how do you plan on which patterns to release ?

I just do what I like and would want to wear myself. Sometimes it’s hard for designers to create their own style and I believe it’s because we over think too much. Modifying your ideas to the point that it’s not your style anymore is pointless. For instance, I worked for designers which requested to modify a collection at least 10 to 25 times. But in the end, they always come back to the first version.

4. Could you tell us where your design inspiration come from?

My main sources of inspirations are the people in the street and a lot of 80’s movies. When I travel, I always scan the crowds for new ideas and inspirations.

5. What were the main surprises and challenges in starting your own company ?

Obviously, starting an new company means there is a lot of work to do and few profits… But since started working on my own, about 1 year ago, I’m really impressed by all the new things I learned and what I could achieve by myself.

6 and finally are there any tips you can give to people who want to follow there dream ?

To not be scared of failures and to experiment a lot. Think about your goals and take the path where it will lead you there. Sometimes, it’s not the easiest path, but it doesn’t matter. On my side, I felt like I needed to work several years in companies before going independent. It was not easy and I struggled a lot but it gave me the possibility to travel and learn a lot about the fashion industry.

If you want to find out more about the pattern making process Jessica gives more detail here, with a little detail about her career and the start of the shop.

NOW! PRIZE GIVING TIME! I reached 100 followers on wordpress, wooooooot, and yeah, I want to celebrate! To correlate with this post the prize is a Kommatia pattern of your choosing. Visit the Etsy shop here.

This is 110% funded by me as a thank you. This is only for the people who internet love me enough to follow me. So you must be following me on either WordPress or Bloglovin to win :p

To enter write the kommatia19 sewing pattern you want plus your email address. Competition ends on 14th March. Open worldwide.

 

#2016makenine

Hello! It’s been awhile! I been buying loads of fabric and dreaming of all the things I will make…tomorrow. I’ve been hit by a serious block.

The only fix to a sewing block is thinking up exciting plans. I’ve been loving seeing everyones resolutions and #2016makenine on instagram, so slightly late to the party, I’m making my own list.

I believe in the power of making a list. While I am shocked and guilty of how many projects I’ve posted here which I SAY I’ll do but never get round to, having a list of patterns I want to make/fabric I want to use always keeps my sewing productivity levels up.

 

By Hand London, Victoria Blazer

Making a coat has been on my list for months and months….and I’m still working up the courage to tackle one. I’m a nervous sewer and sticking to patterns which hold my hand is my safety blanket. I’ve got the fabric and the pattern, my plan is the sleeveless version.

NamedClothing, Inari Top

I finally caved!! This pattern was on sale during Christmas and I snapped it up. I’ve seen so many gorgeous versions. I’ve had one metre of some Nani Iro fabric which I’ve had for  two years which I had absolutely no idea what to do with. Now I’m planning on the seasonally inappropriate top. Nani Iro + Inari pattern is perfection. See the examples here and here

Sew Over It, Anderson Blouse

This is cut out and ready to sew up! I’m hoping it’s going to be the perfect work top.

 

Simplicity, 8013

9 Metres of £8 fabric later (no regrets) this dress is high on the priority list. Buying this was the first time in ages I’ve bought a dress I have absolutely no occasion for but ..still…#NoRagrets

Kommatia Patterns, Loose Batwing Tunic

I went back to Kommatia Patterns and bought two more during her New Year sale. I am officially her fangirl.

Ralph Pink, Audrey Dress

This is one pattern I don’t already own. Ralph Pink’s revamp of his website is amazing. I’ve always liked how modern his patterns are but before he only showed the pattern illustrations and I only thought his patterns where for advanced seamstresses (his corsets are AH.MAZING.) I have the two perfect fabrics for this dress….which is why it’s completely necessary to buy this :p

Thread Theory, Finlayson Sweater

This might be the year my husband finally gets the pros of having a wife that sews. I have everything for this, Valentines day??

La Maison Victor, Chessie Top

The most practical item on the list. It is freezing! but I just can’t keep away from wanting to make Summer clothes. This jumper is exactly the oversized, comfort over everything style I like.

Butterick, B6121 Backpack

I’ve been looking for a backpack pattern for a year. I’ve been so fussy. This is on sale and I really need a backpack. I can’t wait to make something I can use everyday.

 

Looking at this list I already see my wardrobe gaps. Bottoms and clothes warm enough to survive the British weather but I’m so happy my sewing has progressed so much that I’m very confident that I can make all these thing!

Thank you for reading and commenting.

Meg xx

An Extra Long Asaka Kimono, Named Clothing

When my mum saw my completed Asaka Kimono she immediately ordered one for herself. Floor length, of course, my mum likes to sweep into a room.  I fussed about it but then agreed, we bought the fabric, I started…..and then it got put in the UFO pile because a newer, shiner project called to me….that was for me.

Selfish Sewer. Yikes, I don’t like that term but it completely applies to me. Sewing is my way of switching off from the world and my problems and unfortunately, especially for my friends and family, when I sew for other people I feel deadlines and pressure for the item to turn out perfect. After this project however I can see the benefits of the odd gift here and there 😉

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The Fabric

I bought this fabric back in August! So I don’t remember too many details. I got the fabric from Goldhawk Road, sorry I forgot the name of the shop. I think it was £4 per meter.

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When I first saw the fabric I was hesitant…..It kinda reminds me of an artistic interpretation of Camouflage Army print….but I just kept coming back to it! I do love the colours, they are sorta dreamy and calming. The fabric also reminds me of ink blot. Plus, the drape is lovely.

The Changes

The biggest change was to add length to the kimono. As always it wasn’t the most precise way of doing things, I added on the length I think I needed to the middle of the kimonos sides and back. Which worked out alright.

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I had cut something wrong and was running out of fabric, so my second change was to shorten the collar and unintentionally the kimono looks more like a traditional Japanese kimono.

The Pattern

The pattern was the Asaka Kimono by Named. It has to be said that I find their pdf patterns the most frustrating ever. They only print out two sizes at a time (8-10 together, 12-14 together etc.) and I was making two kimonos for two different sized women. One size 10 the other size 14. So I had to print and tape the pattern together twice.

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It is fantastic seeing my mum in something I made. She might even get a few more pieces out of me in 2016 🙂

Happy 2016 xxx

 

Ultimate Shift Dress, Sew Over It

This project post has been a loooooooong time coming. I actually finished this dress about three months ago but it has always felt like it’s missing something (even now). I tried adding front pockets…they looked sloppy and left holes in the fabric when I took them off! I though about adding darts to the back but I don’t want to risk inserting them badly. Then the dress (and me) just seemed defeated and tired.

One day I wanted to wear something I made and even though this was sitting on my unfinished pile I wore it out….and people really like it! I love the fabric and the style. There are fitting issues I can’t fix that bother me but I’m working on trying to move past that!!

If you have this pattern and have bigger hips/wider shoulders PLEASE loosely hand sew it together (if you’re not making a toile) to check the fit. I got the Ultimate Shift Dress kit which had everything I needed to sew the dress. I measured myself (size 10) sewed it up, did flat felled seams!!! (I know fancy!) Finished….Then tried it on. It won’t go over my bum/hip and was very tight on the shoulders/chest. Sewing fail.

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The Size:

This dress was size 12 with it going out on the hips to size 14 and it’s still feels tight on the bum and shoulders.

The Fabric:

If anyone saw my previous post you’ll remember I showed this fabric as part of the Anna Ka Bazaar fabric I got in their sale. I originally intended the fabric for a summer dress but thinking of the long Autumn/ Winter /Spring I decided to make a pattern I could wear for all seasons. This is a lovely cotton that was so easy to sew with and soft but not too sturdy. It hated the seam ripper and easily got holes from it.

The changes:

I made the closing of the dress a zip instead of eye and hook because I am slightly paranoid about showing my back. This dress was my first time inserting an invisible zip (not just as a sample) and it was rough. My third effort was when I called it a day.

My offending dodgy zip insertion! Yes, it is supposed to be an invisible zip haha

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I also added a collar. The shape was taken from the Tallis Collar by Gather .   The collar was supposed to meet in the middle but I messed up :/ however it turned out to be a happy mistake because I really like the look of it not meeting.

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I don’t think a shift dress is the best choice for my shape but I love how comfortable they are and this is such a wearable dress. I also think Sew Over It patterns are always going to have fitting issues for my shape. I will hopefully be making their Anderson Blouse in December so wish me no fitting issues!

I want thank my mum for the pictures and sending me images of Victoria Beckham so I could imitate how she stand for pictures 😛

Thank you for having a look at my make and I hope all this yellow is taking your mind off being in the middle of Winter!

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BYE! xx

French Sewing magazines

Hello! I was wondering whether anyone would be interested in this post but I LOVE snooping at other countries sewing resources so maybe this might interest a few people…

I’m in the lucky position of being able to pop to a sleepy french town every so often. My mum and stepdad have decided England is too cold/expensive and want to retire in France. They’ve bought a lovely little house and are renovating it so they can spend their golden years gardening and drinking wine for breakfast.

While the crafting/sewing boom is awaking, sewing magazines have been springing up all over. I’ve taken the chance to stock up on French sewing magazines (even though I don’t speak a word of the language) and thought someone would maybe be interested in what they have to offer their home sewers.

Now, starting from my favourite!

Introducing La Victor Maison (which is actually Dutch but is sold all over France, thanks Jennystitch for letting me know! I don’t want to get in misrepresentation troubles :p)

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I’ve only got two issues but I’m going to start getting them regularly. I love how contemprary this magazine is and there is literally a project for every member of the family, so no selfish sewing excuses!!

How adorable is this dress! Sent me off on a broody spell. I’ve never been interested in sewing for children but this dress turned me.

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Every pattern is very chic and beautifully styled.

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I don’t speak French but that is not an issue because the step by step pictured instructions to sewing each garment is fantastic!!! They lead you through everything. It’s brilliantly done.

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I need to sew up this coat for Spring next year!

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The hype about this magazine are definitely well founded.

 

My other favourite but less talked about magazine is Couture Mode.

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It only has patterns for women and they are gorgeous. There are not as many patterns as Burdastyle but the tracing is much easier.

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This magazine also has fantastic instructions. They even include pictures of sewing needle to show you even more clearly that this is where you sew, I love it! No need for google translator.

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The magazine is very modern and all the patterns are lovely, a few are on my very long sewing list.

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Now I have an overlocker I can finally make this dress!! It is such a staple and for some reason I love the turtleneck, they used to bother me before but I’m dreaming of some soft Bamboo Stretch Knit on my neck keeping me warm.

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Another magazine I sometimes like to buy is Elena Couture. It definitely has an older feel to it and is one of the French sewing magazines that doesn’t seem so targeted towards trends.

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This magazine has a slightly Burdastyle feel to it. There are loads of patterns, lots of confusing tracing to do and questionable styling choices.

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But like Burdastyle they do have some nice pattern options (I particularly like the dress below) it just takes a bit more vision on your part. Nothing that screams MAKE ME IMMEDIATELY!! but nice bits that I know will get made when I find the right fabric or want to stash bust.

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This dress kinda reminds me of the Pauline Alice Xerea dress, which I was so on the fence about buying.

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So don’t be put off by the cover! Have a look and you might find something you love. If you have any friends/relatives travelling to France these would be the magazines I would ask them to bring back for me.

What I love about French sewing magazines is they give me exactly what I want. Loads of patterns and a fairly detailed sewing process. They know there is a massive  clothes making community and we want patterns!!!! that are wearable and interesting!

With sewing magazines in England it feels like I’m spending a good amount of money (£6) to buy a very long advertisment brochure Sometimes as much as 60% of the context is ‘look! you should buy this at the most expensive price possible’…*cough* Simply Sewing magazine *cough*. Fellow Brits, is this a valid point? make, sew, do did a more detailed post here which puts into words exactly my feelings too. That being said I do like the direction Love Sewing is going in and have recently bought a 6 month subscription (It can with Chinelo’s book too!!)

I still feel really envious of other European sewing magazines, from what I’ve seen/heard their magazines are filled with loads of gorgeous patterns. Finland is supposed to have some of the best sewing magazines. One which Named Clothing does all the patterns for!!

How about other countries?? America, Australia, New Zealand…I’m really curious, what are your sewing magazines like?