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My Signature Style with Rebecca

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We have asked members of The Fold Line sewing community to share their pattern style with you all. It’s often hard to know whether a dressmaking pattern will suit you or not. We hope that in these posts you will find a fellow sewist with a similar body shape or style and discover new sewing patterns for your handmade wardrobe.

This week we have Rebecca (follow her on The Fold Line @redwsews), who blogs at Red W Sews and has been sewing for about 2 years. Let’s find out about her signature pattern style …

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1. How would you describe your style?

Evolving?  Like lots of people with young families, my life style and body shape have gone through a lot of changes over the past few years and it can leave me feeling a little lost about what suits me and what doesn’t.  I’m trying to turn that into a motivation to try new things!  I favour strong colours and simple shapes; I’m not one for frills, flounces and bows and I may be marginally allergic to ruffles.

At work, I need to be reasonably suited and booted so go with tailored trousers and tops or dresses.  By Hand London’s Anna dressis a firm favourite and I’ve been loving the Sew Over It Tulip skirtand the Seamwork Brooklyn skirt.  I’m hoping to make another Tilly and the Buttons Orla topand I have a second Deer and Doe Melilot shirtin the pipeline which will hopefully work in and out of work.

At home, I have a young family, so comfort and practicality play a part.  I’m trying to get away from that always meaning jeans and a t-shirt; the Sew Over It Carrie trousers have been a godsend over summer and I have several versions of the Seamwork Astoria jumperand the Grainline Linden sweatshirtlined up; at least if it’s jeans and a top, they can be interesting fabrics!  The big learning curve for me is hopefully going to be making my own trousers and jeans this season: wish me luck!

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2. How would you describe your body shape and how does that influence what patterns you pick?

Shape wise, after many changes thanks to two pregnancies and some weight gain followed by weight loss, I’m still a slight pear.  I no longer have the tiny waist I used to have, but there’s still at least 11″ between waist and hips so I often have to grade between sizes and I love me a fit and flare (they hide a multitude of sins!)  Whilst my bust measurement is usually a size lower, I’m actually a DD cup with a small back and a hollow chest, so I often have to make a number of adjustments to both front and back bodice pieces to get a good fit.

That tends to mean that there are certain pattern companies that I aim towards, knowing that their block is closer to my shape and won’t need too much alteration.  Deer and Doe appear to fit me almost out of the envelope (although I’ve only tried their tops so far).  By Hand London dresses are good for me; there are some alterations needed, particularly around the positioning and length of straps, but below the bust things tend to fit well.  Others fit me well on one half and not the other: Sew Over It for example has a trouser / skirt block that fits me pretty well but I have to make a lot of adjustments to their bodices to get a good result.  There are always patterns for which that’s worthwhile though and currently I’m working on making my own bodice block in the interest of being able to use that to make a lot of pattern alterations before I ever get to making my first toile.

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3. What are the top three sewing patterns that suit your style/ shape and why?

I would say my top dress pattern is the Christine Haynes Emery dress.  It’s a style that can be easily dressed up for the office with heels and down for home with a pair of brogues; multi tasking clothes are always a win in my book!  I’m not a big fan of a gathered waist as I tend to like less bulk: I get around this by pleating the skirt instead of gathering it for a more tailored look.  After making bodice adjustments mainly around the neckline, it gives me a flatteringly fitted look around the top, is high necked (great when you spend a lot of time leaning down over small children or leaning over other people’s desks at work to provide training) and it has the all important fuller skirt which I love.

Over this summer, my go to top has been the Deer and Doe Datura.  I made three versions for my holidays, they’re perfect sun tops for pasty red heads like me as they provide good coverage over the chest whilst being nicely cool.  But I’ve actually also been wearing all three to the office with slim tailored trousers and received lots of compliments: another win for the multi tasking pattern!

I think my third pattern at the moment (just 3? so hard!) would be the Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top.  It’s a great casual top; being jersey, it’s fitted without the need for fastenings, the neckline is perfect for showing off a necklace without flashing the cleavage and it’s great for the days at home with kids.  I prefer the 3/4 length sleeves, although I have hacked it once into a t-shirt, and unsurprisingly, I’m not a fan of the version with gathered neckline and sleeve caps. But that’s the joy of sewing, isn’t it; if I don’t like it that way, I don’t have to make it that way!

4. What are you planning to make next…?

After my trip to Sew Brum, I’ve loads of lovely fabric lined up for some seasonal makes.  Vying for top place are some purple needlecord for a Grainline Moss mini skirt, some stretch denim for my first pair of skinny jeans (Deer and Doe Safran) and some bunny print voile for a Deer and Doe Melilotwith long sleeves.  But I’m a fickle creature, so you never know!

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