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My handmade wardrobe – No pattern top and linen trousers.

Here is an outfit that I made last year and has only just hit the blogging list! The top is a project I wrote for Sew magazine that you can make without a pattern. Its a simple make that features gathered cuffs, nicely catering for the volume sleeve trend that started last year. I made this in Lady McElroy cotton lawn. I think Cotton lawn is a great choice for this top because it has enough body to create the volume in the sleeves and keep the shape quite boxy but it is soft and light enough to not feel like you are wearing a paper bag!

The cuffs are made from rectangles cut wider than sleeve edge and gathered to fit. This is a simple hack you could do on a different dress or top pattern.

I finished the neck edge with bias binding, this is one of my favourite quick and simple finishes I like to use on tops and some dresses, it works really well as long as you don’t mind a line of stitching around the neck edge.

The trousers are a rework of my self drafted cigarette trousers which I made a few years ago. I have quite a few pairs in plain and print! I wanted a more relaxed fit this time but keeping a fairly slim silhouette. I added two deep front pleats, slant pockets and a classic fly front. I made them in charcoal linen . I am really happy with the result. I love them so much I am tempted to add them to the publishing list, turning them into a pattern everyone can use. I have an idea for another pair with these same pleats, pockets and fly. This time cut with wide legs. I might also try a full length version of these.

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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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