Cherry Blossom Co-Ords

DIY Co-ords | ADA SPRAGG | www.adaspragg.comDIY Co-ords | ADA SPRAGG | www.adaspragg.comDIY Co-ords | ADA SPRAGG | www.adaspragg.com The co-ords are back! And I like to think they’ve had a little coming-of-age: less kitsch, more chic. Right now I’m feeling deeply inspired by all things The Reformation: colours, silhouettes, 70’s off the shoulder, 90’s sundresses. And I’m not sure if it’s because fashion seems to be drawing so much influence from previous decades at the moment, but I’m discovering that nearly all of the RTW versions have a matching sewing pattern out there somewhere. If there’s not a new one, there’s a vintage one. I’ve been hungrily pinning fabrics, patterns and inspiration to a summer sewing moodboard (feel free to pilfer). On that note, I think i’ll just keep sewing summer clothes. All year. Because Winter is not coming. Which is equal parts unnerving and convenient. Unnerving because we’re screwed. And convenient because now there’s no more FOMO about being in opposite sewing seasons to everrrryone else. Sometimes it feels that way…all arrone…down here in the southern hemisphere. Happy Spring y’all!
DIY Co-ords | ADA SPRAGG | www.adaspragg.comThe top is another version of vintage Simplicity pattern 9967. If you’re looking for this pattern, keep a close eye on Etsy or Ebay. When I bought this one there were several others available from other sellers. Plus it was cheap too, so I don’t think it’s a particularly rare pattern.  The fabric is a silk crepe de chine from The Fabric Store (they’re online now). Originally I was thinking maybe a kimono but then realised I would get the most mileage out of two co-ordinating separates, which could be worn together as a grown up romper.

IMG_6915IMG_6924I’ve only sewn up two patterns from Pattern Runway, but it’s enough to knows I like them. My first foray was these scalloped shorts, which surprisingly have become one of my most worn hand-made items and have recently been retired due to structural instability (literally, falling apart at the seams). That their heir, version no.3, is already cut out, is telling of how I feel about them. And now a new one! These paperbag waist babies; a Pattern Runway freebie that I am rather smitten with, from the pages of beloved Aussie eco-fashion magazine, Peppermint. It’s so exciting when you discover a pattern with the whole package…beautiful drafting, interesting design features and pretty insides. It really make this whole hand-made wardrobe business a legit and preferable alternative to buying clothes! Why wouldn’t you bother?

DIY Co-ords | ADA SPRAGG | www.adaspragg.comWhat makes a beautiful pattern? Or better still, a sew-again pattern? Good drafting and fit always. They tend to determine whether a hand-made garment becomes a much-loved garment and if it gets worn at all, regularly or demoted. Personally I feel it’s the smaller details that really make a piece sing; a facing here, a french seam there. We all have our favourite pattern companies too, the ones you know you can rely on to leave you satisfied.

DIY Co-ords | ADA SPRAGG | www.adaspragg.comI had good feels about these. Design wise, they are simple but have enough special details to elevate them from shorts to Le Shorts. French seamed pockets; not necessary but a delight! Faced hem bands, scooped ever so slightly up into the side seams. A paperbag waist with drawstring…ok, that’s enough (fans face). And the process! No guesswork. This I like. Everything lined up. This I also like. It was interesting to see the waist section come together…I know by now that the instructions from Pattern Runway patterns are always great. So I just trusted and followed them like a diligent, well behaved sewer.

DIY Co-ords | ADA SPRAGG | www.adaspragg.comI went for self fabric ties with little brass stoppers, which are actually a bit clunky and pelt my thighs when I walk. I do love the effect of using ropey cord for the drawstring, like the pattern version. The shorts really look nice in a solid fabric too, and the design details are more obvious. Oh understitching, you complete me! It’s like a little pause where you get to tune out and zone into something small and detailed. Much the same joy as top-stitching jeans brings. One thing I am never sure of is when you turn your facing and seam away from the main fabric in preparation to understitch, sometimes they get you to jump straight into the understitching without pressing first and other times you press the facing and seam away first. I prefer to press away first as I never feel totally confident that that I will understitch accurately with billowy unpressed fabric. Is there a right way?

DIY Co-ords | ADA SPRAGG | www.adaspragg.com

Construction notes 

  • The pattern asks for 28mm elastic. Couldn’t find this width and received a puzzled look from the lady at Spotlight. 25mm ended up being perfect…not sure if this was a typo.
  • Before stitching the button holes (or punching in eyelets) in the waistband, I was graced with the sewers foresight to interface this area. An especially good idea when sewing silk.
  • Instead of top-stitching the hem facing down, like the pattern asks, I thought I should honour this fabric with an invisible (mostly) hem.
  • Epic sad face: when my serger ate up fabric, going around the curve of the crotch seams. It kept munching into the fabric before I could usher it out of the way!

I appreciate that this style is not everyone’s beef. But if you love the concept of a high waist and mid thigh length you will love the result. Personally I think I would like an extra inch in length…


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  • Ingridwrote:

    Utterly delicious. The colours, the styling….. I’m not sure that off the shoulders look would work on me, but I sure am admiring it from afar. Also just gave you a shout-out on my Facebook page. Trying to make all my non-sewing friends jealous.

  • Bellawrote:

    So very lovely! I love what you’ve done with that gorgeous fabric. Wish I had bought more of it when I could have. Very keen to try that shorts pattern now! Also, that bag is pretty sweet.

  • Kat @ House of Lanewrote:

    omg this is beautiful! Everything you make is stunning. What a great two piece and each piece would work spectacularly on their own as well.

  • salliewrote:

    This is lovely!! As always you just kill me with your style! I am SO loving these off the shoulder tops, and in silk, paired with some matching silky shorts??? Definitely secret pajama dreamland!

  • debbie ileswrote:

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. I love the idea of co-ords disguised as a romper. It goes without saying that yours is particularly nice! I have this gorgeous old white linen and lace tablecloth that I’m thinking of cutting up but I can’t commit to a romper – love them in my mind, but not always in real life ;-). I keep putting the fabric away and then bringing it back to my to-sew pile. You may have just committed it to the to-sew pile. The co-ords could be the perfect solution, AND save my poor tired brain…

  • Lindsaywrote:

    Ooh, this is such a lovely outfit! I’ve been on the hunt for new shorts patterns, so I’m definitely adding both those Pattern Runway ones to my list!

  • Vanessawrote:

    I love this! I quite honestly want to make everything on your blog. I’m so glad I found you in time for #MMMay16!

  • Nathaliewrote:

    Wow this is a great outfit! It looks amazing on you. I love the idea of making a romper out of two pieces. It makes for many more possible outfits.

  • Lilianawrote:

    So pretty! I love everything abpout it – cut, fabric, colour, the little brass stoppers…. And I would never have thought that these are seperates – very clever 🙂

  • Sara in Stitcheswrote:

    Aha! So this solves the problem I have with rompers, namely of having to almost completely disrobe to use the bathroom. (Too gross?) Lovely make, and thanks for the heads-up on Pattern Runway!

  • magaliwrote:

    I just love everything about this !! I have been to the Peppermint web site and found so many other free patterns. But I can not found if seam values are already included or not in their pattern? Any clue about it? Thanks.

    • Sophiewrote:

      Hello! Yes seam allowances are included, thank god! Happy sewing, there are some great patterns on the site! x

  • Helenawrote:

    You look gorgeous! No need for the extra inch 😉 love the fabric, color and pattern! xx

  • Abigail Doylewrote:

    Sophie, this coordinates idea is brilliant! Can’t wait to see how you wear them separately, if this faux jumpsuit is so awesome!

  • Jadewrote:

    Ahhhhh so cute!! My inspiration board is filled with Reformation too~

  • Inawrote:

    Very pretty! I really like the cherry flowers, so demure 🙂

  • Sweet and simple spring shorts - Life on Wallacewrote:

    […] busy and I simply forgot to blog about them. Then I saw a beautiful picture on Instagram of Ada Spragg sporting a gorgeous pair of paper bag spring shorts. While my shorts are not a patch on […]

  • CindyMwrote:

    To answer your question, “the right way” is whatever way you like the most that gets you the result you want!

  • Mareewrote:

    Utterly gorgeous, love everything about it I can even see my BOHO nieces wanting one of these!

  • Madywrote:

    A perfect summer outfit! Totally in love with it!

  • Beth - Sew DIYwrote:

    I love these!!! I have that shorts pattern on my list for summer sewing and this encourages me to actually do it. 🙂

    • Sophiewrote:

      Beth I can so see these on you! In a nice chambray or a ticking stripe…I feel like i’ve seen you in something similar already! It’s a great pattern, you’ll love it.

  • Vintage lace cold shoulder ensemblewrote:

    […] stop at the top though. I also made myself a pair of matching shorts, inspired by the one and only Sophie (Ada Spragg). I still have a lot of leftover fabric. This is the tablecloth that never stops. And the best bit […]

  • Anniewrote:

    Love your fabric choice. I’m inspired! Thank you xx

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