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Simple Modern Sewing – a book of dress patterns

Finally spring seems to be here! It’s been perfect bank holiday weather today; you could almost believe it’ll be like this for months to come now, but the British weather is notoriously fickle (like me), so best not get too over excited…

Still, the brighter and warmer days have got me rummaging around my wardrobe for some lighter coloured clothes and the other day I pulled out this linen shirt that I made last summer. I love wearing it layered or under sleeveless jumpers at this time of year.

Hand made linen pink linen shirt. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Front view of my handmade linen shirt

The shirt (or would you call it a blouse?) is a very simple shape and easy to make, so I decided to spend some time practicing some hand sewing and stitched the buttonholes by hand – I even made button hole bars across the buttons (on a pure whim) and stitched an invisible hem (I would have taken a photo but… 😀 )

Hand made linen pink linen shirt. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Detail of buttonhole bar (and bad ironing!!!)

As you can see it’s a very loose design, so I decided to add ties that I can tie looser or tighter to give it more shape at the waist if I want to.

Hand made linen pink linen shirt. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Tie at the back (yep, still not ironed!!)

Fancy A Read?

I made the pattern from the following book. I wanted to make my own pattern, but didn’t have the time to make up new blocks and this seemed like a good compromise.

Simple Modern Sewing, 8 Basic Patterns to Create 25 Favorite Garments. Shufu To Seikatsu

Simple Modern Sewing, by Shofu To Seikatsuy Sha, with sewing notions. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Make some clothes!

I love this book! It has a clear layout, the instructions and diagrams are very good, and of course there are pre printed patterns for you to work from. As it says on the front cover, there are 8 designs from which you can create 25 garments, but if you know what you’re up to, or you don’t mind experimenting you can adapt the basic designs in endless ways.

As well as the patterns, there are suggestions for pattern layouts and basic construction techniques. There are great photos of all the garments, not just the 8 basic ones, so you get an idea of varying fabrics that you could use, from prints to plains to plaids.

Simple Modern Sewing, by Shofu To Seikatsuy Sha, with sewing notions. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Wraparound dress design

Simple Modern Sewing, by Shofu To Seikatsuy Sha, with sewing notions. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Blouse with a gathered neckline

There are dresses, skirts, trousers and tops, and most of them would suit light to medium weight fabrics so are great for adding to your summer wardrobe. Most of the garments are loose fitting and would make up well in cottons and linens, but it wouldn’t be the book for you if you were after something fitted.

So far I’ve made the shirt above and a couple of skirts so feel like I’ve already got my money’s worth. You can pick the book up on Amazon for a good price, and it’s far more cost effective than buying your usual pattern from Butterick, or one of the other pattern brands. The designs aren’t high fashion, but easy, wearable clothes that you can easily personalise or adapt as trends change.

If, like me, you’re thinking about making some new things for your warm weather wardrobe, this book is a great one to have on hand, I definitely recommend it!

 

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