A Jacket & A Coat – the Pona Jacket by Helen’s Closet

Hello again! It seems I’m on a bit of a sewing binge at the moment – having sewn two pairs of jeans, two sets of PJs and a turtleneck recently. Now, adding to that, two coats using the brand new sewing pattern release from Helen’s Closet; the Pona Jacket. I think its safe to say my Sewjo is back and I couldn’t be happier!

I was lucky enough to be a pattern tester for this one; as soon as I saw the initial line drawings I was in! *The Pona (a PDF pattern) was just the pattern I was looking for – a true wardrobe staple, something that will transition nicely all year round. It can either be a lightweight throw-on jacket for the warmer months or a full on warm coat for the cooler months. Or something in-between! And, as a bonus, this is incredibly simple – and quick – to make!

I love the drafting; it’s unlined but has a nifty facing that allows the front lapels to drape open. It also has no closures; it’s meant to be worn open, although there is enough cross-over if you do want to add a button or a frog fastening. I left the cropped jacket as is but added a simple hidden snap fastening to the top left on the coat version so that I can wear it closed with the collar up should I need to. I think this pattern makes for a great introduction to sewing coats and jackets for those wanting to dip their toes in these waters! If you haven’t already, I can heartily recommend you do so using this pattern – come on in, the water is warm!

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Pattern Testing the Yanta Overalls by Helen’s Closet

I’ve happily pattern tested for Helen for some while now (see here, here and here) so it was doubly-exciting to discover, when discussing this years’ sponsorship for the #sewtogetherforsummer Jumpsuit / Dungaree / Overalls Challenge, to discover that the next pattern in her testing pipeline was only, you guessed it, a pair of Overalls! 

The Yantas by Helen’s Closet are a relaxed approach to this years’ major Jumpsuit / Overall trend, described as a casual artist-style overall with a loose fit through the waist hips and legs (with the option to add a side zip should you want one). I’d describe their overall shape (see what I did there) as somewhat cocoon or lantern like; with shaping darts to front and back. Also included are classic features such as the ‘V’ shaped back and pointed front patch chest pocket. They can be made either cropped leg or as shorts.

Although these are listed as an ‘Intermediate’ sew, I think Helen has completely excelled herself with the instructions to this pattern, making them accessible to confident beginners (who aren’t afraid of buttonholes!) Her instructions are crystal clear; being extremely well thought-out and presented. She also offers plenty of easily digestible information regarding sizing and grading to get the fit you want from this pattern. I truly believe they’re fool-proof.

What I like about the Yanta pattern is, I feel, that it can act as a blank canvas for your imagination! You could embellish them in a multitude of ways; adding in-seam pockets; decorative belt loops or patch side pockets; jazz up the insides with contrast fabric for the facings and embellish the topstitching – there are so many ways you could customise these! Also you will get a very different look depending on the type of woven fabric you go for; from a structured pair using a denim or cord to softer warm-weather Overalls in a linen/viscose slub, for example.

So what did I opt to do?

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New Sewing Pattern – the Elliot Sweater & Tee by Helen’s Closet – tester make and finalised versions!

There’s a new sewing pattern launching today – you’ve probably seen – the Elliot Sweater & Tee from Helen’s Closet. I jumped at the chance to test this pattern for Helen; as again it has all the hallmarks of a closet staple; warm but not too warm – perfect as a layering piece for the transition into the colder months.

The raglan sleeved Elliot comes in three views; View A which I’ve made, features a high neck and has a high-low hem which frankly I love; it means I can pair it with leggings without feeling I’m revealing too much backside! That side slit also makes sticking your hands in your pockets easier and provides forgiveness around the hip. View B is somewhat cropped (great for high waisted bottoms) and View C is your everyday comfort tee. There’s 20% off during the launch week too! Read More

Pattern Testing the Avery Leggings by Helen’s Closet

Leggings sewing patternHi all! You’ll have, in all likelihood, seen that Helen of Helen’s Closet has just released the brand new Avery leggings pattern? (And yes, these are the leggings I hinted at in my #2018MakeNine plans post!) They have a smoothing doubled waistband, a gusset for mobility and no side seam meaning this pattern would make a great base layer, yoga pants or your everyday leggings. I love pattern testing for Helen (see my Suki Kimono here); her ethos and work methodology rocks – she really does want to produce Patterns for everyday essentials drafted so they’re accessible for all both in terms of sizing and sewing skill set. Plus the other sewists in her pattern testing team are fabulous…I’m guaranteed to learn something from their collective wisdom and feedback in the testing process. So, yes! Spoiler alert : Read More

Make your own footwear

Make your own Espadrilles: How I made Slippers to match my Suki Kimono!

Make your own footwear

Hi again!

If you’ve read my last post, you will have seen that I was fortunate enough to be a pattern tester for the brand new pattern release from Helen’s Closet; the Suki Kimono.

Well, I couldn’t very well make the robe of my dreams and then pair it with my battered ol’ slippers could I?! So I tossed them out in the trash and made my own Matchy Matchy pair using the Prym Espadrilles kit sent to me for review by Minerva Crafts.  You can read my review and demo of how I made these slip on’s using the same floaty lightweight viscose fabric I made the robe in over on Minerva’s Blog now. Clue: they’re the easiest things ever!!

Put it this way, I feel like a kid playing dress-up in this – not a bad way to start the day! I’ll be making a pair to match every robe I make!

Prym Espadrilles tutorial
I just keep thinking of Pinhead from Hellraiser!

Until next time, happy summer sewing!

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