Tag Archives | Christine Jonson

February 2, 2015

Stripy, lacy, swooshy goodness! (aka yet another McCall’s 6931)

Last year I got quite the stash from Kashi at Metro Textiles in NYC, including Pendleton silk, wool for baby coats, aaaaaaannnnd
McCalls M6931 and Christine Jonson wrap top
Wargh! I don’t usually like lace but this very simple design called my name. Loudly. ┬áIt has sat in my stash ever since, being brought out frequently for petting and draping (my favourite thing to do with uncut yardage is to drape it over myself to make full length strapless ballgowns with a train….). I finally decided that it was time to Liberate the Lace, and plotting began.
McCalls M6931 and Christine Jonson wrap top

As soon as I saw it at Kashi’s I thought a full, tea-length, skirt with an underskirt would be just the job. For the fullness a circle skirt would have been great, but I wanted to keep the stripes horizontal and you can’t do that with a circle skirt (or at least without tons of individual panels and just imagine the stripe matching on that).

Instead, I got out my old trusty TNT: the McCall’s M6931. It has both pleats and a slightly gathered waist (thanks to the elastic waistband), and actually comes with a suggestion to do a sheer/under layered version. The underskirt is black silk (also from Kashi!), hemmed slightly shorter than I usually do with this pattern. And then the overskirt is exactly the same, just longer.

McCalls M6931 and Christine Jonson wrap top

I was pretty nervous about sewing with it, because it boggles the mind a little to figure out how a sewing machine can sew what is mostly air. But, surprisingly, it worked (yet another case of just giving things a try rather than freaking out). I used French seams at the side which worked fine although they’re slightly bulky because I was erring on the side of caution. For the hem, I just cut underneath one of the solid lines, and because of the way lace is woven, no finishing is required.

McCalls M6931 and Christine Jonson wrap top
What can I say? I LOVE IT. It goes well with my black Christine Jonson wrap-dress top hack (believe it or not this is exactly the same combo of patterns as my flamingo outfit!) and my ever-trusty gold JCrew belt (top tip: they have plus sizes ones online).
McCalls M6931 and Christine Jonson wrap top

Now I just have to engineer a bunch of opportunities to wear this gauzy lady out of the house. Either that, or I need to be super trendy and wear it with a turtle neck and some sneakers, JCrew style…

Have you ever worked with lace? What other modern ways have you found to use it?

October 23, 2014

Flamingos and a blog hop: a classic combination

While I continue battling on with my coat, I thought I’d whip up an easy TNT outfit and make full use of those adorable flamingos, which I wisely over-bought when purchasing the lining for the aforementioned coat. Another McCalls 6931 if you please! 
Even though this pattern is pretty basic, the combo of pleats and elastic waistband and only taking 90 minutes to make is a winner in my book. It works best with swooshy fabrics, and these flamingos were most certainly swooshing around on the poly crepe de chine. I bought mine from EmmaOneSock, but it’s still available from Caroline Amanda’s new venture, Blackbird Fabrics.

Can you guess…..?


In addition, I have been mulling the possibility of making a wrap top with my dear Christine Jonson wrap dress pattern, and finally made it happen. I don’t know what I was waiting for – it took all of an hour and I totally love it. All I did was hack the pattern off just below the waist, and then add a 1 inch hem band. I didn’t bother making a hole for the ties to go through, and it seems to work fine just wrapping around my waist. I used an gorgeous merino wool sent all the way from New Zealand by the lovely pink-haired Sophie-Lee.


My other bit of news is that I was nominated by my dearest sewing friend Mary of Idle Fancy to participate in the seemingly never-ending blog hop that’s been going around. So if you’re interested, read on – and if not, scroll back up… look! flamingos!
Why do you write?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, although for a long time it was mostly confined to schoolwork. However a while back I started up a blog about books, after telling someone that I read about a book a week during the year and then wondering if that was really true. Turns out it was! Then, there was a hiatus until Lauren and I learned how to sew, rapidly started learning almost everything from the sewing blogosphere, and then decided to join. Rediscovering the joy of writing has been just one of the many things blogging has brought me, and for that I am grateful. 
How do you write?
My blog posts usually start with pictures, and I’m lucky enough to have a sewing lady blog photo posse. I’m most often joined by Katy & Laney but also sometimes by Ping, Carrie and MacKenzie, and the day usually goes like this: rendezvous at my house. Get coffee. Wander the streets looking for a blank wall with good light. Two or three of us take photos of the other one, paparazzi style, hiding in bushes, up trees, and, a favourite, standing directly in the middle of the road. Repeat. Get the lint roller out. Adjust hair. Get another coffee. Well deserved brunch. As you can tell it is a most pleasurable approach to blog writing. 
Then it’s back home, and I usually edit and write my posts straight away. I’m generally a “fast” person  – I read fast, write fast, talk fast and so on. So blog post writing gets done fast – I don’t think it ever takes more than an hour from photo editing to finishing. Luckily (for me at least), my writing is pretty similar to how I think and talk so it tends to come easily, and I don’t worry much about how things come across – I figure if you like it, you like it, if you don’t, you’ll stop reading!
How does your blog differ from others of its genre?
I don’t think my blog is entirely unique (apart from the fact it’s the only one exclusively featuring me!) but I do think I’m in a small but growing group of curvier bloggers who don’t talk about trying to get smaller or look thinner, but rather just get on with looking good and making what we want to wear. When I started reading blogs it took a while before I found kindred spirits, but just in the past few years I’ve noticed so many more compatriots and that’s incredibly heartening. Of course there’s also the Curvy Sewing Collective, which has also hopefully helped encourage more curvy women to get sewing and blogging!
What are you working on next?
Well that’s that #*?!@ coat… But I also have some awesome laser cut neoprene that I’ll be making a pencil skirt from; some Prada (apparently!) silk to make a busty-lady Archer, and some pattern testing which hopefully will yield an incredible silk Christmas party dress! 

So, passing on the blog hop next.. it’s hard to choose! As I’ve mostly seen fairly well-known bloggers participate so far,  I thought I’d throw it to a newbie: Rosie from SparkleNeedles.

Rosie has only just started sewing and blogging but 1) she is hilarious. Like, really, really funny 2) she is already getting so good! 3) I love her style (it is, in her words “a 5 year old at a rave”)  4) it’s fun to revisit the beginner days and 5) did I mention she’s hilarious? Anyway, you should totally check out her site, and even though I know she’s only just started blogging I would love to hear her answers to the blog hop. Over to you, Rosie!

August 4, 2014

Wrapper’s delight (sorry.)

I find my sewing swings like a pendulum between trying exciting new patterns and techniques that are a bit hit or miss, and sewing basics that I know I’ll wear constantly. Summer 2014 seems to be the peak of a basics swing, and while it’s not quite as creative as the other side, it’s arguably even more satisfying.
To that end: I realized the other day that my favourite thing to wear to work in the summer is a short-sleeved wrap dress, and that I was down to a mere three, two of which were, er, tatty. So, I fired up the wrap dress production line: four sets of jersey were cut out and two dresses assembled in a single Sunday, and the other two shortly later. Exciting? Not particularly. But will this now compromise 50% of my summer wardrobe? Almost certainly so.
First up was the OonaPalooza dress, and here’s the next: 
I wasn’t at all sure about this fabric when it was in my stash: I thought it was a little garish and not very me. But now it’s a dress, I love it! Funny how that happens. 
All the usuals here folks, neckline banding, short sleeves…
And this time the pattern isn’t symmetrical so no spinal pattern placement issues!

Simple, basic, and I’ll wear it all the time. Thank you, sewing!

July 21, 2014

Oonapalooza wrap dress!

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are gathered here to today to honour our dear sage and guide, OonaBalloona of Kalkatroona.


OonaPalooza wrap dress by Christine Jonson

Who else is there who whips up crazily patterned, eye-poppingly coloured and extravagantly swooshy dresses practically twice a week? Who else regales us of her drinking adventures and dresses up as a pink powderpuff alien overlord ? No-one, that’s who. There’s a special place in the world for our dear Oona.

Therefore, I felt it only fitting to combine the goodness of Cashmerette + Oonaworld (I believe the fashion world would call this Cashmerette X Oona) in an Oonapalooza wrap dress. And then to pull funny poses in an alleyway. FOR THAT IS THE WAY OF OUR FEARLESS LEADER.

Is this my best Oona face? Why yes it is. Hey girl!

If the dress looks familiar, you are not mistaken. It is my darling Christine Jonson pattern, smeared with my grubby fingerprints and rotary cut once again (it is no doubt getting slightly smaller every time, for my rotary cutting skills are poor, as my fingertip will attest). I used a fab quality jersey that I believe my dear Mum bought me last time I was in the UK, at John Lewis (please, America, bring John Lewis over here). I hope that Ms. Balloona finds it worthy.

For the neckline I have now perfected my technique: basically a t-shirt band, serged to the right side of the neckline, flipped over, and then “understitched” with a coverstitch.

And now onto the back.
Oh dear.
See the problem? Is it symmetrical over my spine? Not it is not. It’s like… 3 inches out. D’OH! I am mightily annoyed at this. However, I rarely (ever?) see my back, so the citizens of the world will just have to cope. I feel that this is an attribute OB will endorse. 
On the plus side: look at that amazing sleeve pattern matching! Entirely a coincidence?! Surely not. 

So that’s it! A fun little dress for wearing to the office, hanging out in alleyways, and otherwise painting the town red. I have no doubt it will get lots of use, back non-symmetry, be damned! So let’s raise a glass to our dear old Oona and wish her many more years of highly entertaining sewing.


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