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Friday, 29 April 2016

Kommatia Going Out Dress

I’d never heard of Kommatia Patterns before I read about them on Fiona’s blog, Diary of a Chain-stitcher. I've been reading Fiona's blog for ages now and she really does have great taste in patterns so I thought I’d better check them out!

Kommatia is run by Jess and her patterns are all cool modern designs that would be great to make for when you’re going out out. There are lots of 80s inspired batwings, slouchy jumper dresses, bodycons and leggings.

I wasn’t intending on buying a pattern but I saw this one and decided I had to have it. I had the perfect jersey in my stash from my recent trip to Abakhan in Manchester (which a whole other blog post! Needless to say I was like a child in a sweet shop).

The jersey itself is a lightweight poly blend with an amazing large scale geometric colour block pattern and the surface is foiled with tiny bits of gold. It was on clearance too so I got a metre and half for about £3! Bargain!

Lovely cheapy cheap fabric...
I made some alterations to the pattern before I cut it out by taking out of inch of length between the bust and waist and adding it back in between the waist and hip. I usually have to do something like this because I have a very short torso and quite long legs (for my height anyway!). However with this pattern I could have easily left the inch in at the top for a slightly more blouson effect. It is pretty short though so I’m grateful for the extra inch I added there.

When I started cutting out I found that there was a large black mark in the middle of the fabric so I had to avoid that while cutting out. I didn’t have quite enough fabric so I really had to squeeze pattern pieces at much as I could. To aid my pattern tetris I cut the wrist section of the sleeve separately to reduce some of the pattern width and seamed it back onto the sleeve during construction which worked pretty well.

The pattern instructions were pretty clear too which was good and the pattern came together relatively well. The one thing I don't really like is the way the top is joined to the skirt because it results in a rather wavy seam which I think looks untidy. If I make this again I’d gather the top onto the skirt instead of stretching the skirt to fit the top (which is what the instructions specified). I’d also probably add a full waistband to the pattern rather than the external elastic casing as I think it would help with the waist seam issues.

I did really like the application of the clear elastic around the neckline though and I’ve since used clear elastic in a few other projects for stabilising knit seams.

Overall though I really like this dress… I wore this on a night out in Leeds and felt pretty damn cool. What more can you ask of your clothes really?

A photo posted by Charlotte Boul (@cboul92) on

I do really like the cross-over back and with a belt, you can't even see that annoying waist seam!


Thursday, 21 April 2016

OhhhLuLu Giselle Knickers - Pattern Hack

I love the Giselle by OhhhLuLu. They fit like a dream and you can make them in less than an hour. Basically, they're perfect.

I made a couple of pairs of Giselles a little while ago and have been meaning to make some more for ages. They're ridiculously comfortable, with just the right amount of coverage. And don't get me started on the ruching in the back, it really is just the icing on the cake. 

For my first pair I made a size L in black stretch mesh with lace overlays and burgundy elastic. The second iteration had deep green satin in the front and sheer stretch lace in the back. 

The third pair are something else entirely. I used black and lilac galloon lace for the front and back, making a feature of the scallop edges. The width of the lace was perfect too - just the right width to leave a little peek-a-boo V in the centre back. 

Aren't they just pure loveliness in knicker form?
I cut a medium this time round which helps the lace to hug the body in the absence of leg and and waist elastic. 

The pattern actually has the back cut in one piece but, because I wanted to preserve the scallops, I cut it in two pieces and seamed up the back. I added the ruching elastic to the centre back seam allowance to help keep the edges of that lovely, peek-a-boo V taut. 

I finished the back waist and front leg openings with fold over elastic which is really soft against he skin. The gusset is lined with black cotton jersey for even more comfort. 

I just squeezed this pair out of a scant yard of lace from seller rongwei5516 which I bought for just over a quid.  I have a pretty big stash of stretch galloon lace from them (how could I resist at that price?) so I think there will be few more pairs of these sexy-comfy pants in my very near future.

What do you think to these Giselles? Do you like my pattern hack? And have you ever used OhhhLulu patterns?

Until next time,


Tuesday, 5 April 2016


Back in July, I moved to Cardiff for a job and found myself living on my own for the first time in my life. After my family and I had cleaned, moved all my stuff in and done the obligatory Dunelm Mills shopping trip for home accessories there was still one thing missing.

I'd bought some lovely placemats from Dunelm but they had sold out of the matching coasters and I hadn't found any others that I liked in the shops. I vaguely remembered pinning a coaster tutorial or two on my Sewing: Small Projects Pinterest board and I have pretty fat quarters coming out my ears  so I decided to make some myself.

I went with this tutorial for quilted coasters from A Pretty Cool Life but with a couple of small adjustments. One to make the wrong side a bit neater and one to reduce bulk at the edges.

In the tutorial each quilted square is sewn separately and tied off at the back. I didn't really fancy tying all those fiddly knots so I did the quilting in one continuous line of stitching (SEE PIC) and then just had the two ends to tie off. I then threaded the ends through a needle and buried them in the middle of the coaster so they're no loose ends on either side, yay!. 

The tutorial also had you iron on the batting all the way to the edge. I decided to do it to the edge of the coaster rather than the fabric (as above) to reduce bulk at the edges.

The finished item!

I'm really pleased with how these turned out and I might just have to make a few more, I always seem to need more coasters!

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Berlin T-Shirt

A photo posted by Charlotte Boul (@cboul92) on

This is the first thing I made after perfecting my bodice sloper. And for my first foray into pattern drafting I can say that is pretty good. 

The fit is spot on and I've worn it so many times since I made it! The fabric choice really helps here as it's so comfy and soft and goes with so much of my wardrobe AND it had subtle sparkles 😍 

The actual pattern is pretty straight forward. It's a darted, kimono sleeved, T-shirt with side and back seam shaping made interesting by the slit in the front and raw edged neck binding. I used [book] to draft the pattern from my sloper and I used this tutorial [link] to make the placket in the front.

The binding is probably by favourite part. I sewed the binding (a strip of self-fabric jersey) to the inside of the T-shirt neckline and folded it to the outside to cover the seam allowances and stitched it down leaving the edge of the binding raw. I stretched it a bit so it rolled back on itself and just love how it looks. For the sleeve hems I folded the edge to the outside rather than in and tacked in down in 4 places to give a turn-up effect.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Faux Wool Kennedy Bag

Last week I took a day off work so I could have a sewing day at a friend's house. I took a few half finished projects hoping that I would be able to get some of my many many WIPs finished.

All in all it was really productive day. I cut out my new Kommatia dress pattern and made my usual alterations to the pattern by shortening the bodice between the waist and bust and then adding the length back in between the waist and hip. I have some great sparkly geometric jersey from Abakhan for this dress - I can’t wait to get it cut out!

I also finally finished the Kennedy bag that I’ve had cut out since last April. Luckily, past-Charlotte had been really rather organised for once - all the pieces were labelled and stacked so putting the bag together was a breeze.

My favourite thing about this bag is the lining. It’s made from really soft, 100% cotton lawn with a gorgeous matryoshka doll print and it makes me so happy every time I open the bag.

I’ve was also very impressed with how well my machine coped with all the layers. The only part where it started to struggle was where the straps attached to the bag. There are about 14 layers there and 12 of them are pretty thick (the outer fabric, interlining and leather). In the end I switched to a finer needle instead of the heavy duty one that I had been using and after that there were no more skipped stitches, go machine!

All in all I’m pretty pleased with how the bag turned out. The strap is a little short and the body isn’t quite a stiff as I would like resulting in a bit of a floppy bag but in my opinion, the lining more than makes up for it.

Here's another close up of that lovely lining for your viewing pleasure <3

Don't you just love those little Matryoshkas?
What's your stance on linings? Do you love prints and bright contrasting linings? Or are nice matching linings more your thing? - I'd love to hear your opinions.

Until next time,