Thank my lucky stars for selfish sewing

Hooray for the kick up the backside that Me Made May provided, after careful deliberation, I made a colour blocked coco, with a little quick and dirty applique. My husband is away at the moment, I posted a quick selfie yesterday (selfies are not my strong point). And I have persuaded the assistant deputy photographer, age 7, to take a couple more shots, although he wasn’t so good at listening to his brief (“make sure you can see mummy’s top and her face”).

The make itself was quite straightforward. I had some grey and some turquoise ponte (I think it’s ponte) and I was inspired by Karen at Did You Make that but I dithered on which way round to use the colours. I like the turquoise better and wanted to use more of it (the grey was originally bought to make leggins but I’ve since decided it’s not a suitable fabric) but I wasn’t sure I wanted the grey next to my face. In the end I realised that blue with a dark grey top yoke would look a little too Star Trek Next Generation, so turquoise with a hint of grey it was.

Adapting the pattern was quite easy following Tilly’s instructions. I decided to make sure the fabric join lay above my bosom, I wasn’t sure that a stripe accross my widest point would be flattering.

I complicated matters by buying a twin needle. I know I have used one before, umm, about 20 years ago, and couldn’t remember how. An internet search and some overly long instructions later I came up with: put double needle in, put a bobin of second thread on the bobin winder (as I don’t have a fold out extra spindle on my machine. I remember using one, that’s how I know I must have used a twin needle before), thread machine as usual holding both strands as one, then thread each needle with a thread (whilst cursing under breath as the automatic needle threader on the machine doesn’t line up with the twin needles), set to straight stitch (not stretch, a quick practice proved that messy) slightly longer than normal (I used just over 3, my stitch length goes up to 4).

Oh, and I topstitched down all my seams down in contrasting thread. Cue much thread and needle changing. Even so it was a quick make.


someone got a bit carried away with contrast topstitching

I bought heming tape as suggested for the neckline. I’ve never used it before. It worked really well on the shoulder seams. I was less impressed with using it for the neckline. It was stiff (there was only one kind available locally) so I had to cut little sections to go around the curve. And it was wider than the seam allowance, so after I folded over and sewed down the neckline you can see bits of white on the inside, which bugs me. And the neckline ended up with lots of little creases in it. I thought of Lladybird and “steamed the shit out of it”, which helped the appearence (thanks) but it’s still too stiff. I think I won’t try this one again.

I decided to tie the colours in and personalise it a bit with contrast star applique. I like applique in jersey as you an be lazy and straight stitch as it doesn’t fray, yay! But I forgot to practice on scrap fabric (I was too busy hoarding my precious turquoise ponte for the next project0 so the one on my arm came out a little scruffy due to it being too small to do neatly (at least by me).

I like the ones on the back and one of the pockets better.


Trio of stars on the back

Of course, then I realised that the stars were a bit Star Trek. So now I think of it as my Star Trek top, despite my careful planning.


Beam me up….

13 thoughts on “Thank my lucky stars for selfish sewing

  1. love it! Sadly I cant do the Star Trek Hand thingie here.

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  3. Oh it looks fabulous! All that twin needling (might be a new expression) must have taken ages, but it looks so professional (a little jealous too – I chickened out and zig zagged mine, although I have twin needled before). The stars just add that personal touch. I always snip that seam reinforcing stuff at one edge to get it around curves but it is a bit tricky. It’s my least favourite bit of the construction actually, but I think my stuff (which was incredibly cheap) might be a bit thinner than yours. Live and learn!

    • ahh, seam snipping, that would have made sense. Tilly’s instructions are very thorough in general but not so much with that particular hint. I don’t think twin needles take longer than zig zag, but I did give myself a bit of a job topstitching all the seams.
      Oh, and thanks for the compliment (I’m rubbish at receiving compliments, don’t mean to be rude)

  4. btw I only snip bottom of tape not the actual seam allowance (for clarification), easier for me than short strips.

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