Frustrations and next steps

Since getting from holiday I seem to have fallen off the sewing saddle. I tried to remedy this by making the pair of pajama trousers I planned to make hubby for his birthday back in March and I did complete them in one swoop, but whilst he has declared them wearable I am distinctly unipressed and they hasn’t helped. I’m not too ashamed to blog about them but have yet to manage to photograph them.

Tonight I decide to do some PDF pattern printing and matching, not least the pieces I need to recut for the moss skirt I’m making for a present for a friend (having cut the paper pattern out to my size the first time I forgot that not all pattern pieces of a smaller pattern lie within the bigger pattern pieces and when I came to assembly her skirt not all of the skirt pieces match up – so I need to reprint parts of the pattern and recut some of my pattern pieces. Luckily I have oodles of fabric).

This has been frustrating. I knew it would be, but I expected the frustration to be in getting my pattern pieces to match up (yes, I make sure I print them fixed and not scaled, that doesn’t seem to help) – am I the only person who has to choose whether to match up the pattern lines on the long side of the page or the short side when assembly pdf pieces? I have read helpful hints about cutting off one long and one short size to make matching easier, using selotape not glue, making sure your printer isn’t scaling the page, but haven’t come accross acounts of what to do when the pieces simply don’t line up (another problem I’ve come accross, the notches line up or the pattern lines but not both).

Anyway, I’ve not got that far as I’m having printer, wifi, computer and all combinations of the above issues that I won’t bore you with.

Instead, I have been looking at the knit fabric I bought on holiday

new stash

new stash

The plain turquoise one I think might be a ponte, its certainly thick and has a fient stripey texture going across it. It’s about 1.5m wide and I bought 2m. I estimate it has 50% stretch (but I’m not confident with knits, yet). The stripey one is thiner, more a sort of t shirt weight (except you get different kinds of t shirt fabric) and again I bought 2m x 1.5 m. I can’t decide if the dark stripe is a really dark navy or black, the other colour is green, it looks too yellow in the photo. I think it has about 60% stretch.

This more than doubles my amount of knit stash. The turquoise fabric is the same kind as one I already brought, 1.5m x 1.5m of dark grey. DSCF5254[1]. Also I have a quite thin and drapey burgandy knit, 1.75m x 1m (its a strange length as there’s a piece at one end that is marked so I got extra).

So, what to make? When we were away my kids were often wearing things I’d made, me markedly less so, so I’m inspired to do some selfish sewing. I’m also pondering taking part in Me Made May but as I currently only have 3 or 4 items I’ve made for me I’d end up making a pretty weak pledge. Some knit tops might be quick to make up, and help me forget that I still haven’t finished the muslin for my trousers despite my cat doing her best to tear my few wearable pairs to shreds so I’m heading towards trouser crisis territory.

The grey ponte was bought to make leggins with but I really screwed up the other pair I tried to make and I’m not sure now if they’re the right kind of fabric for leggins. However I’m also not sure I want the colour near my face. Hmm.

The burgandy was bought to make leggins for my daughter with but I’ve decided she won’t appreciate it and I want to make something for me. Maybe a plantain? But that’s designed for a C cup, whereas I’m at least an F. I’ve never done a full bust adjustment, can you even do them with knits? Or should I be brave and look out a pattern with a drapey neck effect – maybe something like New Look 6901 view A. I would love there to be enought left to try out the comox trunk pattern that I accidently bought despite my husband voicing reservations but I’m starting to realise that I vastly overestimate what I can make from a piece of fabric.

I have a major crush on this colour blocked coco top Karen at Did You Make That made and I’m considering making a blatant copy in grey and turquoise, which will leave me loads of turquoise left, so maybe a turquoise funnel neck coco too? I was initially wary of the coco pattern as Tilly is so petite and I didn’t think anything that suited her would suit me, but I’m impressed by how flattering it seems to be for lots of different shapes of people in the blogosphere.

And what to do with the stripey knit? A hemlock t shirt? But it’s a one size pattern and I’m not Jen’s size, would that work? I want to make something with it as a) I love the fabric, b) I spent more money than I intended on just 4m of knit (including the turquoise too), c) I want to try and make a buff style scarf (and possibly some comox trunks) with the remnants.

So any thoughts for a knit novice with a reasonable amount of sewing experience but hardly any adult clothes making experience and a slight terror of fitting? What would you make with those knits? (Bearing in mind that I have the figure I have) Holiday snap Exibit A, the only holdiay snap of me I could find. To show my general figure (as most of the pictures on this blog are of small children, except here and here). Also included as evidence of why I need to learn to make myself trousers that fit.

9 thoughts on “Frustrations and next steps

  1. Knits are not hard to sew, but you might want to read about them a bit before starting. The Colette Pattern website has two new patterns especially for knits and a new book all about sewing with them. I can also highly recommend Linda Lee’s course on knits in the Craftsy platform. Good luck!

    • Thanks Sally. The colette website is a great source of tutorials and information – I’ll check out what they say about knits but pattern wise I’m looking more for tops/tunics than dresses/skirts as that’s what I wear. I know that the Coco pattern comes with advice on sewing knits too.

  2. As far as the Hemlock tee goes, I would compare the finished measurements (I think Jen says them somewhere on the site) to similar shirts you might have in your closet. It’s possible to do an FBA on knits, but you might not have to. They’re pretty forgiving. Happy sewing! Knits are a nice change of pace from dealing with fitting wovens!

    • Doh, of course. I was just kind of holding the tape measure around myself last night at the size Jen said it made up to and trying to imagine a t shirt. Actually measuring makes much more sense, thanks. I like the idea of less fitting with knits but don’t feel so confident judging which knits are right for a pattern (after majorly stuffing up on some leggins before christmas)

  3. Did you get the Coco
    pattern yet? Tried mailing you about it a cuple of weeks back, but I think I might be a little out of date on your mail address. Can you mail me on my full.name(at)googlemail(dot)com, pretty please.

  4. OK settle down here is my contribution! Skirt PDF – I have been lucky and have never had an issue with style lines not lining up. Might be worth emailing them. Most independent companies are very helpful if there is a problem.

    Regarding your knits and the Coco, I am a E cup and the pattern worked for me but I enlarged the bust area by taking less seam allowance. There are instructions on Tilly’s blog for morphing between sizes which can be a good and easy option for enlarging the bust area for knits, especially if you have broad shoulders too (I don’t). There is a FBA you can do on knits but it will leave a dart which is rarely seen on RTW knits. This has the advantage of reducing the fullness you tend to get under the bust, where the fabric cascades off the bust when you morph between sizes. I can look for the link if you want to do this but I haven’t tried it myself. I can definitely recommend the Coco for a beginner’s knit pattern especially if your jersey is fairly stable. The instructions on Tilly’s blog are very clear and well illustrated. I have made two more Coco tops which I haven’t blogged yet you might like to look at (hopefully next week) before you decide – the tops are much more flattering on my body shape than the dress I think.

    Finally, for Me-Made-May it doesn’t really matter how many clothes you have you’ve made yourself. Even if you only pledge to wear one self-made garment for a day for each week if it is different to what you would normally do it is still a challenge. I had hardly any self-made clothes last year and I would have liked to contribute more but I enjoyed joining in, in a small way which is what I’ll be doing again this year. If you do decide it will be of value to you, you will need to get a move on with your pledge though as it has to be before May 1st I think! I really hope all that helps and you are not asleep!!

  5. It was your book day dress that nudged me towards wanting to make a coco Philippa! Watch this space for me made may…

  6. Pingback: Prolific Project Starter | New holiday fabric shopping hobby

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