“Bigger on the inside” travel set

I wish I had made a Tardis (preferably with The Doctor included – preferably David Tennant) but I made a travel set instead!

We had an upcoming holiday to France. Only problem: Baby is not a light packer… Or rather mommy is not a light packer for the baby. So with a car filled with baby necessities we needed luggage that we could push and shove into the last remaining airpocket ๐Ÿ™‚

Enter: the Portside Travel Set by Grainline Studio.

I’m seriously IN LOVE with this pattern. I’ve never been the one to sew anything but clothes but this was the exception. I decided to make a set for me, my husband and the baby (talking about being ambitious)

I could praise this pattern all night long. It’s perfectly drafted, everything matches up perfectly and the explanation is very clear!

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I used a brown cotton canvas for the bottoms, a white/navy blue linen look canvas for the upper part and off white canvas for the lining. I opted for navy blue webbing for the straps and a navy blue metal zip (I heart metal zips). This might not seem like the most ‘fun’ bag (I’m totally jealous of the one I made the baby) but I felt great carrying it around and my husband loved it as well. And doesn’t this fabric look like it could be a 10th Doctor suit?

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I decided to omit the shoulder strap since I knew I would never use it.
Apart from that I followed the pattern to a T.
Once you get past interfacing the gazillion pieces (seriously, so many pieces! – Note: I did have to interface 3 sets!) this is actually quite a quick sew. The only trouble I had was when I had to insert the zips ’cause I suck at putting them in by machine, so I decided to hand pick them.

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In retrospect the only mistake I made is that I didn’t attach the straps like Jen suggested and it ripped in transport, they did look nice though and I love the pockets! (Note: Very easy fix)

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I sadly wasn’t able to finish the entire set because I started this only the day before we were supposed to leave. (It’s a quick sew, but not that quick) But I did manage to finish the three duffel (duffle?) bags and those were the most important ones anyway!

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But why did I call them “Bigger on the inside”? Because these are HUGE on the inside! I was able to fit an entire week worth of stuff inside one of them (apart from my shoes obviously, but then again, if I had only taken two pair instead of three, they would have fitted inside as well). To give you an idea. My bag contained: 2 small towels, 1 large, 5 dresses, 2 jumpsuits, underwear and socks, a jacket, my toiletries, accessories, a bikini, two scarves, 2 books and all my chargers).

One last thing: Baby LOVES her bag!

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The ‘mixed feelings’ dress that is the Colette Myrtle

(This is a word heavy post, if you want a review, read on. If you just came for pictures scroll to the bottom)

When Sarai released the newest Colette knit pattern, I was jumping with joy. Seriously, I felt like a bouncy castle. I don’t think I ever purchased a pattern this fast and seconds later my printer got to life. I’m not the one to start on a pattern right away, like ‘forget all the rest, nothing is more important’ right away. But with this one I did.

The Myrtle was everything I was looking for and more. I had immediate vision of a wardrobe filled with Myrtles, Myrtle variations and Myrtle hacks. But what goes up must come down…

It started with assembling the 64 pages… I would have liked it if I didn’t had to print the extra bodice pieces for the 2X and 3X sizes. (Edit: Apparently, they are releasing a new version so you don’t have to assemble as many pages) It’s an easy pattern to assemble and everything matched up perfectly, no complaints there!

But then I had to pick my size… According to my measurements I had to make a size L (which made me cringe a little) and it specifically said on the pattern that the waist was supposed to have negative ease, so you had to pick your size based on your body measurements, not the finished measurements. I’ve gotten into a habit of measuring pattern pieces for knit patterns because not everyone likes the same amount of ease. I like my knit garments somewhat fitted, especially around my bewbs (you have to highlight your good features amirite). I wanted my dress to look like the black model (seriously, I want her curves!)

(Note: I’ve edited this part as I mentioned before that it had 10″ of ease, I must have mixed up the measurements I took because it turns out it’s only 4″ after remeasuring. But in my defense, that’s still way too much imho) I’ve come across knit patterns with zero ease, I even came across some Big 4 patterns which have a lot of ease because they use the same block for wovens, but the amount of ease in this pattern is huge! My bust measures 100 cm (39″) and the flat pattern pieces (SA included) measure 115 cm (45″)! For a knit…

I wasn’t even going to muslin that size. Based on my measurements I could have gone with an XS instead, but I went the safe route and made a size S. I did my usual 3cm swayback adjustment.

The instructions are very clear, but I would have sewn it differently (which I did). I self lined the entire bodice. The pattern has you cut one back piece and fold over the neckline and armholes and twin needle them down. Twin needles are tricky enough in the best situations, so I wasn’t even going to try it. I don’t like the look of it either. Instead I cut 2 back pieces so I could self line it and have a nicer finish. Worked like a charm. It took me about have an hour to assemble this dress, so instant gratification it was. And when assembling the whole thing I first sewed the front armholes and then the side seams, this made it a lot easier to avoid catching your back in the seam.

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When I put on the finished dress and posted about it on Instagram, I had mixed feelings about it. It looks nice enough. I like the drape of the collar and the whole things feels very comfortable to wear. As you can see, it’s still not very fitted in the waist so I could have gone down a size easily. But the shoulders and armholes look off. They’re too wide for my taste. So that was something I’d have to change.

I also own the Maria Denmark Day-to-Night Drape Top and I did like the shoulders on that one, so I put one on top of the other and changed the shape of the armhole.

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I also stabilised my back neckline with some fusible seamtape to reduce gaping. The result was much more my taste.

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While still pretty loose, I’ve already worn my three Myrtles (there is a maxi dress but I don’t have pictures yet) multiple times. I really really like them. I don’t like a lot of things about the original pattern, but I think it comes down to the simple fact: How much ease do you want? Which model do you prefer? If you prefer the model with the looser fit, I’d say make the suggested size. If you prefer the tighter fit, go down 2 sizes ๐Ÿ™‚