Mentha Jacket (Chaqueta Mentha) : Guest Sewing Pattern Review

Hello sewing friends!  Suzy, of @sewing_in_spain on Instagram, here.  The lovely Sarah has invited me to take over her blog today to tell you about this jacket; the new pattern release (and sewing class) from Lara Sanner –  I’m taking part in the Mentha Jacket blog tour to give my thoughts – with a Spanish translation – and show my version of this clever pattern!

¡Hola amigas costureras! Soy Suzy y podéis encontrarme en Instagram en @sewing_in_spain Hoy, la encantadora Sara me ha invitado a su blog para hablaros de esta chaqueta, ya que formo parte del Blog Tour de la chaqueta Mentha para enseñarle a más costureras y costureros este increíble patrón, el patrón Mentha.

If you want to try to make a jacket, but feel it could be overwhelming, this could be just the pattern for you!  The Mentha jacket – that’s Peppermint in English – is a fresh approach to a jacket making; it has some lovely design features – inseam pockets at the front; funnel neckline; splayed front and cute overlapped cuffs.  However, the folks at Lara Sanner have given a lot of thought to demystifying the tailoring process; the design is simpler than it looks! There are no lapels or traditional collar and the clever raglan sleeve design means no sleeves to set in. Here is the line drawing of the pattern…..see what I mean about the fabulous sleeve seams?

Si queréis probar a coser una chaqueta, pero quizás os sentís un poco intimidados, este es el patrón ideal para vosotras. La chaqueta Mentha es un buen acercamiento a la confección de chaquetas de sastre. Tiene algunos detalles increíbles – bolsillos en la parte delantera, cuello chimenea, delantero abierto y que cruza y unos bonitos puños superpuestos. Sin embargo, el equipo de Lara Sanner https://thesewingrecipe.com/ han pensado mucho para poder desmitificar el proceso de confeccionar una chaqueta de sastre y hacerlo más sencillo. El diseño es más simple de lo que parece – sin solapas o el tradicional cuello y con un ingenioso diseño con mangas ranglán, lo que significa que no hay que montar mangas tradicionales. Aquí os dejo el dibujo técnico del patrón, ¿veis las maravillosas costuras ranglán de las mangas?

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Finally! Sewing my own Lingerie : the Black Beauty Bra Review

I am so happy to be writing this post as it’s been such a long time coming! I first starting banging on about sewing my own bras back in my 2017MakeNine list (which is a perfect example of why I’ve stopped making these lists!) Why has it taken me so long? A couple of reasons, confusion being one – fear definitely being the second.

black beauty bra

If this is you, let me attempt to talk you out of that, hopefully convincing you that there really is nothing to fear – whilst I try to simplify any confusion you may have with regard to the seeming myriad of different elastics and supplies you might think you need. But first…

Why Sew Your Own Bras?

Why did I so desperately want to sew my own bras? It wasn’t about design choice for me, or even about accomplishing new sewing skills – which, of course, are both extremely valid reasons! It was because wearing bras tended to make me, what I term, ‘Brangry’ (Bra = Angry)! I would wrestle my way out of any bra I was wearing the nano-second I walked through the front door. I wouldn’t even stop in my tracks to do it; I’d end up tossing said bra over whatever I was passing as I furiously whipped it off. Family and visiting friends were accustomed to finding bras discarded in a Brangry fit over the back of dining chairs, in the fruit bowl (it was otherwise empty!), down the back of the sofa – even in the shoe rack! No matter what size bra, no matter what style, no matter whether I’d had it professionally fitted or not – I hated wearing bras – they were uncomfortable to the point they’d make me seriously agitated.

I’d long suspected its partly down to my shape – I’m a DD cup on a relatively narrow petite frame. Bra straps would constantly fall off my shoulders (tightening them didn’t help). My boobs are also quite bottom heavy – 90% of shop-bought bras would squish and flatten my boobs in the lower cup so they’d end up overspilling in the top cup – even if it was ‘technically’ the right size. If I sized up, they’d fit in the bottom cup and then gape in the top. I could go on and on…suffice to say my loathing of bras goes a long way to explaining why I tended to live in PJs when at home!

Black Beauty Bra sewing pattern review Sew Sarah Smith

Are you noticing the past tense I’ve been using? Oh yes, things have very definitely changed – I’ve gone from stark raving Brangry to being very Brappy. (I’ll let you work that one out 😉 ) So, here’s why…

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Two pairs of Morgan Jeans … and a chat about Raw Denim

Hi! I’ve finally got around to writing this post having been bed-ridden for 9 days straight with the worst flu I’ve ever had – I say flu, but I really don’t know – it was the weirdest case of flu ever! But thankfully I’m back to normal now (‘normal’ being a relative term, obvs!)

Sarah Smith v Raw Denim, Round 1

[*EDIT : this post has been amended retrospectively to take into account, lessons learned since initially writing it!]

I’ve sewn a few pairs of skinny jeans in my time (using the Eleanore stretch pants pattern by Jalie – see here) but I really felt my wardrobe was lacking a relaxed pair; my last RTW ones having finally fallen apart! The Morgan ‘boyfriend’ jeans have a traditional coin pocket and button fly and are suited to a roll-up hem – in other words, exactly what I was looking for. PDF duly purchased!

Have you sewn jeans before? If not, are you intimidated by the idea? I’ve got to say from the off, in terms of actual sewing, making jeans is not difficult. And I found the Morgan instructions to be absolutely faultless; which of course helps – in fact, I find sewing jeans a methodical and therefore joyfully therapeutic process. All that lovely topstitching for example!

I will say, having the right notions and tools for the job really makes a difference though; I found my Hump Jumper / Bulky Seam Aid absolutely came into its own with this project, ensuring that my sewing machine foot navigated bulky seams with ease and ensuring that my topstitching didn’t ‘skip’. A seam guide (the 1/4″ mark is particularly useful) and a fabric marker (I used my Clover Chalk Pen) are also incredibly useful for marking your double topstitching lines so you can sew them equidistant.  You will also need good quality jean topstitching thread (choosing your colour is fun in itself!) I used these rivets and these ‘laurel wreath’ jeans buttons. (If you’re unsure how they’re installed; I use the same method as in my Snap tutorial – no hammer required!)

To my mind, the hardest part of sewing jeans is not the construction; it’s not even, technically speaking, the fitting of the jeans – it’s accounting for the particularity of your chosen raw denim. Raw denim, being 100% cotton, tends to relax substantially throughout the day  – so what fitted perfectly in the morning may be a baggy mess by the evening. Conversely, a pair that has marginal breathing room over breakfast fit beautifully come dinner  – or so I’ve found! Which can make ‘seeing’ what fit adjustments you need to make that bit trickier!

Using fabric scraps leftover from my Panda Pajamas for the pockets and waistband

The weight of your denim is really important then. I would say for this particularly pattern, you don’t want to use anything less than 10 oz. Mine for both pairs – was 9.5 oz – I didn’t think that half ounce would make a real difference but it does feel too lightweight for the cut of these pants  – if I sew this pattern again, and I’m sure I will with further mods, I think I’d be looking for something substantially firmer – between 10 – 11 oz, as these are likely to have less ‘give’.

Let me talk you through my experience – I’ve sewn the Morgans twice now with different adjustments – and I’ve washed and worn both pairs loads

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The Sallie Jumpsuit by Closet Case Patterns – Makes Me Feel a Sassy Lassie!

This is the first of my makes under the umbrella of this years’ #sewtogetherforsummer Challenge (if you missed Suzy’s review of the Zadie Jumpsuit, you can catch that HERE )

I opted to sew the Sallie Jumpsuit by Closet Case Patterns for my first jumpsuit pattern; I’m something of a fangirl of CCF, so it seemed an apt place to start. However, the resultant make has proved to be somewhat of a divisive garment in my household! The verdict is split strictly down the middle between the sexes – my daughter and I love it; in fact when she first saw me in it, she insisted that I demonstrate it by strutting my stuff, catwalk-style, across the Lounge! But my son’s verdict was “it’s a bit weird” and my husband said he wasn’t sure he liked it. Does this split-verdict make me feel differently about it in anyway? No, it does not. Frankly it almost feels immaterial what I do or don’t look like in it, or what anybody else thinks about it because, in wearing it, I feel absolutely bloomin’ fantastic..

… a totally empowered Sassy Lassie, if you will!

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#sewtogetherforsummer 2019 – Sewing Pattern Picks! Burda, Big4, Indie (& A load of Freebies!)

Looking for some #sewtogetherforsummer pattern inspiration? You may be aware this years’ theme is all about the Jumpsuit (dungarees / romper / playsuit / overalls / boilersuit / coveralls). Suzy, Monika and I have picked a range of patterns which hopefully shows the diversity and range of styles available (some of which will be making ourselves and will review and post on separately) but, for simple inspiration, we thought we’d share the patterns that got us all excited for this years’ theme in the first place!

We’re selecting from Burda, The Big Four and Indie companies. Before we jump into that (pun intended 😉 ), a reminder that we have also listed some great discount codes on some fantastic patterns not listed here, over on our Launch blog post.

If you are looking for a great freebie pattern, perhaps you’d like to check out Lisa Kisch’s YouTube Channel ‘And Sew On’ – she’s posted a vlog listing 30 FREE Jumpsuit sewing patterns!

  • If you’re interested in any of the patterns listed here, you can click on the graphics to find out more!

BurdaStyle Pattern Picks:

@sewing_in_spain

First up is Suzy with her pick from the BurdaStyle collection:

“BurdaStyle is a great resource for patterns, in fact if you search ‘jumpsuits’ on their site you will find a cool 72 of them!  One of the things I love is they have many versions for petite and plus sizes too. So without further ado here are my picks (but I also definitely recommend taking a look at their website!)

What could be more summery than a halter neck jumpsuit?  This version 06/2015 #119 with its loose trousers but closefitting bodice ticks all the boxes, and you can make a shorter romper version too!

This dress works perfectly for evening wear…

If you are rocking the Overalls look, you might want to check out this next pattern from 04/18, #106B, which has so many gorgeous details.  It’s also great if you want to join in the Challenge but it’s not actually summer where you are!

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