Named Isla Trench Coat: Part 1

Named Isla Trench Coat: Part 1

I have a long-running ‘wardrobe wishlist’ of core, classic pieces I want to make for my wardrobe. Many of the items feature on the usual ‘capsule wardrobe’ lists – you know: a pencil skirt, cigarette pants, a smart wool coat, the perfect white shirt, and so on. In fact, my search for a classic pencil skirt sewing pattern with all my ideal features led me to draft the first version of my Agnes Skirt sewing pattern.

Last summer, given the restrictions imposed in response to the Covid pandemic, like so many other people I spent a lot more time than usual at home. I started to think about working through that list again, and I found my eye drawn repeatedly to one item in particular: the trench coat. And so began a project that took almost six months to complete, but that I FINALLY finished in the last days of 2020! To be fair, I had to set the project aside for long periods within that six months, so in real terms this was probably more of a two-week kind of project. But, here we are!

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Mimi G Simplicity s9114 trousers

Mimi G Simplicity s9114 trousers

As soon as I saw this pattern, I knew I had to make the trousers. I really loved the clean lines and rounded pegged shape to the legs – and how amazing does Mimi’s white version look?

In this linen version I’ve slightly cropped the trousers and – forgive me – I haven’t got quite the right bar and hook in my stash for the waistband, so I just secured with a couple of pins in order to take these pictures on the day that I was photographing my McCall’s 7948 sundress!

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McCalls 7948 Sundress

McCalls 7948 Sundress

This dress was a departure from my usual style of sewing, in many ways. It features a bold, colourful print, gathered tiers, a cotton blend fabric and not even short sleeves with which to combat the office air conditioning. Let’s face it, “the office” (as opposed to my working from home setup) feels a million miles away at the moment.

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Closet Case: Ceilo Top

Closet Case: Ceilo Top

The first thing that struck me about the Cielo was its versatility. As I did my usual stalking of the hashtag before deciding whether to buy the pattern, I came across quite a few sewers who had made several versions of the Cielo – always a good sign – and had hacked it in interesting ways. On the face of it, it’s a basic woven boxy tee / shift dress, with an interesting statement sleeve variation. But if you know me, you know I love a good basic – give me a simple, classic silhouette and I am sold! So let me tell you how I got on with the Cielo top…

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Kalle shirtdress

Kalle shirtdress

I know, I know.. I’m seriously late to the Kalle party. As I write this, the #kalleshirtdress hashtag features on over 5000 posts on Instagram. And they all look beautiful!

And yet, somehow, I have shied away from Kalle for the longest time. It’s one of those patterns I find myself looking at from time to time, wondering whether to go for it. My usual silhouette is fairly fitted – I don’t have a lot of oversized garments as I’m always worried about the ‘tent-like sack’ look. And yet I do like the look of perfectly proportioned RTW ‘baggy shirts’. So I gathered my courage and decided to give Kalle a chance, in a vibrant red linen. As you’ve probably guessed, I love it and I’m just kicking myself for not having made one sooner!

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