Like so many of us, I have been spending more time at home than I would like these past few months. This has had a profound effect on my wardrobe. Usually I am a very dressy kind of girl, no matter the occasion. Pretty dresses or blouses and skirts were always my go to. However, these are not the most practical to wear at home, or rather I do not feel like wearing them, saving them for something more special. Like… I don’t know… actually going to the office sometime this year?
Anyway, back to my working-from-home wardrobe, which now consists mainly of leggings and jersey tops. I’ve made a few in my last burst of sewjo in the autumn, before it went into hibernation (from which it has, thankfully, recently awoken), so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the various patterns I have tried, both recently and previously, so get ready for a mix of old and new photos. So here goes:
Agnes top & dress (Tilly and the Buttons)
The Agnes was the first ever jersey pattern I’ve made. I went straight in for the bow back hack which you can find instructions for on Tilly’s blog, though at the time she used a different pattern as her starting point. I absolutely love bows, as you know, so I think it’s a great little detail.
I’ve also made the long-sleeved version into a dress. Tilly has a blogpost about how to add a gathered skirt to the bodice. I prefer when the skirt has a bit more shape to it, so I drafted my own 3/4 circle skirt and it worked a treat!
The final version you can see in the picture is one I made in the autumn and it’s just the plain 3/4-sleeve version – no hacking this time!
Overall, it is a fabulous basic jersey top pattern which is very hackable, as you can see. It also makes for a perfect present. I made quite a few of these for my friends and they love them. I’ve made pretty much all of them from Art Gallery Fabrics jersey, which is incredibly soft and comes in lovely designs.
Molly top & dress (Sew Over It)
The Molly makes for a perfect casual striped top. It’s from the Sew Over It City Break e-book and goes well with the other patterns in there, like the Erin skirt, which you can see me wearing in the picture on the right. I love the v-shape effect on the sleeves when you match your stripes well, as well as reversing the stripe direction on the neckband. The fit is quite loose, which adds to the casual look, but you can easily size down to achieve a tighter fit.
It also comes in a dress version, but me being me, I’ve hacked my own dress version which you can see in the middle. I went down two sizes to have a close-fitting bodice, chopped it off at the waist, omitted the sleeves, and added a gathered skirt based on the Sew Over It Marguerite dress skirt pieces. The back is the real show-stopper of this hack, but you’ll have to wait to see it in a separate blogpost (hint: shockingly, it involves a bow!).
Freya top (Tilly and the Buttons)
Did I mention I like bows? Those of you who have visited this blog before might remember I wrote a blogpost how to hack the Freya top from Tilly’s Stretch book to have a keyhole and a tie at the neckline. It’s a firm favourite, so last year, during the first lockdown, I decided I needed a dress version too. I added the same 3/4 circle skirt I used for the Agnes hack, and cut the top off at the waist to create this pretty number, sewn from a gorgeous Rifle Paper Company jersey.
The Freya is another fabulous basic t-shirt pattern with many possibilities. The original comes with a mock-neck, and it’s definitely on my list of future makes, once I get the urge to sew some basics again.
Edie top (Sew Over It)
I love the neckline of the Edie top, which comes in the Sew Over It Work to Weekend e-book, but the shape of the bodice somehow did not suit me very much. I don’t have a picture of the first attempt I made, but since then I’ve been using the neckline with other bodices. This is the Freya, but I’ve combined it with the Agnes as well, and it works too.
The subtle boat neckline is a very classic shape and makes for an elegant top, perfect with skirts. Both of these versions are made from pointelle jersey, though it’s not really visible from the photos. I’ve made both of these tops in the autumn and have been wearing them a lot around the house, though not with the lovely wrap skirts, but paired with leggings.
Hug Hoodie (MadeIt Patterns)
Pre-lockdown, I didn’t really own sweatshirts and had one hoodie in my closet. I just don’t wear them out of the house, really, unless I’m going hiking or siting by the campfire. But since spending so much time at home, I felt I needed a pretty sweatshirt, and this one from MadeIt Patterns took my fancy the first time I came across it on Instagram. I love the beatiful curved hem band detail!
I used a remnant of sparkly jersey I had from another project and paired it with the softest sweatshirting in marshmallow pink from my local fabric shop. I made the version without the hood, but I will try the hooded version as well at some point, I think, and try a different colour combination, as it is really well suited to colour blocking.
Since hugs are in short supply at the moment, this seems like the next best thing, as it really does feel like a hug. But I still can’t wait to hug all my friends I can’t see in person at the moment in real life!
Stella Joggers (Tilly and the Buttons)
Since I made a sweatshirt, I decided I might as well make joggers too. I remember seeing this cute fabric with deer with flower crowns and sparkly antlers in the shop in the summer. I really liked it, but had no idea what I would make with it. Then it went on sale around Christmas, when I had my loungewear-making phase, so I got just enough for the Stella joggers. I’ve basically been living in them ever since.
They are super comfortable. I love the wide waistband, the pockets, as well as the almost legging-like shape. And did I say the fabric is sparkly? Pure love.
This pattern also comes from Tilly’s Stretch book and it was the only one I haven’t tried until now. Honestly, if you are thinking of sewing with jersey, get this book. I own several sewing books, but this one is hands down my most used one and I’ve tried at least one variation of every pattern in there. So if you’re after a comfy lockdown wardrobe, as well as some everyday staples once the world goes back to normal, I highly recommend this book!
Current sewjo & wardrobe situation
So, there you have it. Even though the lockdown in the Czech Republic is still in place and the situation here is quite bad, my usual sewjo has returned and all I want to make now are gorgeous dresses (let’s be honest, it’s so much more fun!). And more importantly, I want to wear them out! Someone please make it happen soon and save me from wearing (and sewing) loungewear!
For the time being, I’m consciously trying to steer myself in other, more practical directions for the present time. So besides a couple of dresses, I’ve made a beautiful shirt, which I can wear for Zoom calls, and a drapey trench coat, which I can wear to do my shopping in style. And as the weather warms up, if nothing else, I will be able to promenade around the park in the pretty dresses. So brighter days for my style are coming!
I’ll eventually post about the makes I’ve mentioned too, but if you want to stay up to date with my sewing, keep an eye on my Instagram account.
Till next time,