So, after showing you my latest t shirt I was hoping to show you some new jeans next, but they are coming together very slowly as I’m quite under the weather with a nasty chesty cold thingy and jeans are just a tad too complicated for me at the moment.
However, yesterday, I decided I needed some fresh air, so took a little trip down the road to my very local fabric shop. I had a fun time chatting to all the staff, shame about the massive coughing fit on the way home that saw me going in a corner shop with tears streaming down my face to buy a drink 😦 Luckily I don’t think the shop assistant looked in my direction once whilst serving me so presumably hasn’t jumped to any conclusions about my distressed looking state.
However, as well as some more thread for my jeans, I picked up a few other things. In my defence, I only got 1/2 m of one, two more were from the remnants basket (and one of those was something I’d been eyeing up on the roll before) and the other was a little grey jersey. Just perfect for trying out Maria’s draped skirt tutorial. (I just may have worked out measurements before hand and took them with me my trip.)
Basically, you make a tube, twice as long as you want your skirt to be, then fold it in half (so you have a double layer), but twist one of the tops round 180 degrees. (If you’re confused, check out the tutorial, it’s very clear).
I put a yoga style folded waistband at the top made from some ribbing. It was the sort that comes in a knitted tube which was a close enough match sizewise to what I needed the waistband to be, so I managed not to have any side seams.
The skirt looks like a weird jumbled mess when it’s not on and your feet have to fight their way through when putting it on as it doesn’t feel as if there’s a hole at the bottom. When I first put it on, it feels very tight around the knees (bearing in mind I tend to live in jeans and don’t have any pencil skirts), but I can walk in it just fine and it’s very comfy to wear. I won’t go cycling or tree climbing in it, but if I worked in an office I think I might run up another couple to be secret office pajamas.
There was a long strip of fabric left over, so I made a quick scarf.
As these things tend to flip out, I used a french seam to stop the seam showing, then sewed it down, faux flat felled seam style. The sides I left raw.
And doubled up it works as a shorter scarf and it can also function as a headband (although it’s a bit bulky that way).
All in all, a quick couple of makes to cheer me up and there was no left over fabric at all! Double win. Now, back to edging forward with the jeans…
Hi there. I’ll try to be quick today as this is not super exciting make (but it is super useful and all being well I will have a more interesting thing to show you soon).
As part of the outfit sew a long I had plans to make t shirts. Three or four. After all they’re quick to make aren’t they? I managed one. Then I got ill. But I’m recovering now. So, one t shirt is in some ways is a start towards my September outfit for the sew along, except I’m not sure that it’ll go with the rest of my outfit plans.
However, this teal coloured Maria Denmark Birgitte t shirt does go rather well with the skirt I made earlier this summer and is a colour that I love to wear, so I’m not too disappointed. And it was quick make as I’ve already made it before and tweaked the fit.
The fabric is some gorgeous organic jersey from Kitschy Coo (warning, this stuff is seriously addictive, check your willpower before clicking on that link) that I got exactly matching ribbing for (previously seen on my niece’s birthday pressie) – every home sewists dream. So you can imagine I was less than impressed that it’s done this. My neck bindings don’t normally do that, have I offended the sewing gods? Can anyone suggest a suitable offering to get back in their good books?
This problem however, is fairly common. I sew my hems with my twin needle, they look fine, and then when I wear them they flip up. Any suggestions on this one? (preferably not involving buying an expensive piece of hardware). I know Amanda suggests binding the arms to stop this, but I don’t always want to do that.
Finally, while we’re being picky, when looking through the photo’s I saw these wierd creases. What’s that all about? Or am I being fussy now.
Anyway, don’t pay too much attention to my moaning, this t shirt is going to get a lot of wear. And Anne has just reminded me that there is a longer sleeved option that I’d forgotten about. Oh and have you spotted my mistake in the construction of the t shirt above?
I resurfaced after a lot of summer traveling (less glamorous than it sounds that, think long journeys on trains with kids in tow, packed lunches and heavy rucksacks) to find that the Sew-A-Longs & Sewing Contests group on facebook had been making Messenger Bags in August. I love making bags and felt slightly sad to have missed out on all the fun (only slightly, after all I’d made my own bag in July). Never mind, I thought, I’d join in with the September sew a long.
Turns out that is to make an outfit, skirt, top, trousers and accessory. One a week for a month. Eek. Talk about upping the sewing ante.
So, time to get cracking then. Except I couldn’t start. I just had too many things to do, in theory as well as literally. I wanted to join in with so many online things (shirt refashion, Sew Indie Month, a leggings sew a long I now can’t find, the September outerwear stashbusting theme), and then there were all the half finished projects threatening to engulf my dining room at home. Oh and an upcoming birthday.
Anyway, once again my Sewing Fairy Godmother helped (thanks Crystal), this time in the form of a much needed message to stop worrying and get on with it. As the first item on the outfit sew a long was skirt, I decided if I couldn’t face making one from scratch, I could at least start by digging out all the skirts from the pile and seeing what needed doing to them. First off, 3 skirts got mended (hmm, I suspect the underlying problem was strain, although the symptoms were different), and one that needed altering for “a friend” got put back.
Next up I made an inserting the lining that this skirt should’ve had all along. The fabric was a pig to work with and I wasn’t in the mood, so the finished result is not pretty, but it works and it’s not visible.
After whetting my sewing appetite I decided to tackle a skirt that was part made and in the naughty corner because I traced the wrong line so my pocket facings and skirt fronts didn’t line up. This is another Ottobre Aztec skirt 05/201, made with pockets as intended this time. Turned out this was an easy fix, just recut the skirt fronts to match and bob’s your uncle. It came together quite easily after that.
Although I’m not sure if past me cut the pocket pieces the other way up on purpose or not, which of course, shows a bit as the cord has a nap, but it kind of looks like a deliberate design feature, so I kept it.
Still, in no time I had a skirt.
And I found a pansy I’d made at a workshop and decided to add that on a whim. I oh so badly handstitched it on, hoping that the interfacing behind the velvet petals would work magic. This picture is taken after a wash and it’s clear that I need to redo this. I may just zig zag on the machine.
Buying the zip was a dream as I had to take my half made skirt with me to get a good match and the fabric got oohed and ahhed over by all the staff in the shop 🙂 I bought an invisible zip, but I’m thinking I didn’t do so well inserting that. Still, it works.
The lining had been made previously from stash, but I didn’t have enough of this batik style print cotton, so it ended up a half lining. I’m quite proud of my handstitching down of the waistband. (Not sure what came over me). I even remembered to add ribbon hanging loops this time. The handstitching of the hem isn’t too bad, but a little wonky as when shortening the skirt I don’t appear to have cut my seam allowances evenly.
Then my button hole on the machine stopped working. I thought I would have to put this back on hold until someone pointed out I could handstitch that. I had a quick search and found suggestions to use strong thick thread held double. Well, I think I should’ve gone with my instinct to use it single, as this vintage button thread was a bit thick double. So again, no prizes for my hand stitching, but at least it works.
And it fits! The fabric is so soft and drapey, it feels lovely.
I’m still not quite sure about the impulse pansy, but I think it works.
Of course, the photo session had to be supervised!
This is all I have of a back shot. I’m wearing my Dimpsy T from the naughty corner here. Thimberlina has made lovely versions and I’m sure part of the problem is my poor choice of fabric.
But though it would be less obvious in a drapier fabric, I still don’t like the excess here and have no idea how to fix it. I’m pretty sure that the issue is that whilst it’s drafted for a larger cup size than your average pattern, my cup size is larger still (F-G) so I should have chosen my size based on my upper bust measurement and done an FBA, but had no idea how with that unusual dart. So back on the naughty pile it has gone.
Anyway, half way through September and I have finished a skirt that doesn’t count towards the sew a long as I started it ages ago. Still, this is my hobby, so I don’t mind, the point is to have fun and I’ve been loving wearing my new skirt and the challenge got it finished for me.
Are you a challenge joiner-in-er or a do-your-own-thing-er?
Earlier this summer I made a bag for hubby, to replace one that was starting to look a little the worse for wear (despite mending) and had a tendency to gape.
The main fabric I used was some thick organic cotton fabric from Wheeler Fabrics in Machynllyth especially for the purpose. Lovely stuff, not cheap but great quality and we liked the subtle pattern. Not waterproof, but then neither was the original bag.
Nearly everything else was from stash. I lined it with some leftover khaki fabric that is a really tight weave and if not waterproof, its slightly water repellent. I made the lining first to check the sizing as I was
winging it self drafting.
I was all for filling it with pockets (I love pockets), but the Man was not so keen. He did relent and say a pen pocket would be useful…
… and maybe somewhere to put his sealable reusable coffee cup that goes everywhere with him.
Apparently an essential feature with the deep pockets on the outside.
I lined these with scraps of various things, including his old waterproof coat. The front pocket started rectangular and had the “fold lines” stitched.
Then I mitred the bottom corners and stitched in place. I didn’t cut the excess fabric, but left it there.
It seemed to work ok.
I zig zagged at the top of the sides when sewing them on, to add strength at this stress point, and I zig zagged along the bottom edge too.
After sewing them on I decided to topstitch along the edges to add definition. And I added some snaps with my new favourite tool. I could only get nave blue ones the right size/weight locally, which was annoying, but not enough to do anything about.
I didn’t have quite enough fabric (only having bought a metre) so I used some left over green cord, which ended up being a nice feature. As this was just used as the sides of the side pockets, I constructing them differently, cutting a long strip of green for the sides and base and sewing it around 3 sides of the chevron front piece – which is how the original pockets were constructed. The insides of these pockets are a mish mash of different fabrics and are constructed in the same way to the outside.
The original bag has some kind of reinforcing along the top of the back. I managed this by cutting a strip off a thin plastic chopping board, rounding the edges slightly to avoid them tearing the fabric and sliding it inside a strip of cord sewn across, with a handle peeking out.
All the pocket fastenings come from my box of stuff culled off old bags. I put them on in the way that makes sense to me, which is apparently upside down, but hey, they work and are still adjustable. I had to buy extra strapping for the shoulder straps as I didn’t have a long enough piece, it looks like the right kind of stuff but is annoyingly slippier, not what you want, but hubby has managed to get it to stay in place in the end (makes it harder to adjust thought).
So, the verdict, pretty good. Looks the part, but is a bit wide and the top still gapes a bit despite me adding flaps to the top of the front and sides designed to sit under the main flap. I love the external pockets though and my flaps have much better coverage than the originals (if I say so myself). With hindsight, I rushed making it a bit, and should have started from scratch design wise rather, than copying a less than perfect design. But then, instead of making it around Scotland, it would probably still be sitting on my to do pile, which is no use to anyone. And is it is, it’s still being used regularly (I saw him with it today), so I’m not too disappointed. Next time however….
Life is busy sometimes. I’d been planning this a little while, but only started tracing the pattern yesterday afternoon. Finished in the early hours of this morning for his birthday today. Cutting it fine.
I’m not going to look at it too closely, cos I’m sure the sewing could be better (the seams are fine, it its the more visible pocket application and bindings that have room for improvement). But it is finished, it fits, and he’s worn it all day (despite it not being school uniform, not sure how he managed that).
The idea was to replace a snuggly hooded fleece top that he’d grown out of. The pattern is a mash up of two hooded tops from Ottobre 4/2014, mainly the older boys top (number 39) but with the hood (and hence necklines too) of the girls top (number 37) as
I couldn’t be bothered with plackets and buttons I preferred the look of the cross over hood. I also extended the sleeves by the length of the ribbing and left that off, and added a kangaroo pocket.
The skull and crossbone fleece was a holiday purchase. I can’t remember which came first, the decision only to buy a precut 1/2m length, or the choice to mix it with a contrasting solid. The red came from my local fabric shop and has a looped back. I knew the fleece wouldn’t fray so didn’t need a seam finish, but I was worried the seams would be bulky, so I topstitched the seam allowances flat (everywhere except the sleeves, as that wasn’t possible). I used black thread throughout, as
I was feeling lazy a design feature.
I bound all the raw edges with strips of contrast fleece as if it was bias binding (not that it was cut on the bias mind). This is how the original hoodie was finished. Some worked better than others, probably as some were different widths than others.
Overall, I like this a lot, but would never enter it for a competition. My main issue constructing it was sewing the hood binding to the bottom edge (the one that gets sewn to the main jumper) by mistake, rather than to the front edge. I always struggle telling which way up an unattached hood is. That was 2 rows of stitching to unpick, stitching that had sunk into the fleece. Gah. Overall the fit is really quite skinny, even on my beanpole, maybe that’s bad fabric choice, the model looks to be wearing more a thick t shit fabric. It’s fine for now but I worry he won’t want to layer it over long sleeved tops and that it’ll be too tight before the arms are the right length.
I can’t comment on the sewing instructions as I ignored them, but the pattern was just fine, just be aware of the skinny fit. Oh, and I love the fabric combinations, my favourite bit, the two together are better than the sum of the parts. Slightly more grown up than his last top, but still fun, and me made this time.
While we were galavanting about far flung corners of Great Britain this summer, our lovely cat sitter took in a parcel for me. So on one of my brief trips back home, I got to open a present from Sewing Fairy Godmother as part of the Challenge Anya.
I had been sent some pink/grey stripey (blended stripes?) raw silk suiting and some toning grey stretchy cotton sateen, both kindly prewashed three times (I only managed once with the parcel I sent, sorry H!). Wow. Lovely. And, err, what next. Raw Silk Suiting! What does one do with that?
I must admit my first thought on seeing the fabric was a bag, as they’re not normally colours I wear. But surely that would be a waste. My next thought was a moss mini skirt, in the stripey stuff, with a grey yoke at the back, grey showing inside the pocket and grey waistband. And possibly something cunning with back pockets. I think I might have enough, but I haven’t checked yet.
Then I found out about the Sew-A-Longs-and-Sewing-Contest (facebook) group September sew a long, which is to make a skirt, a blouse/top, a pair of trousers and an accessory. This could be the skirt part, but what on earth could I make to go with it, my stash doesn’t have any of these tones. Would black go ok?
Then I remembered some lovely border print silk that I got as a gift when I attended my brother in law’s wedding in Thailand. At the time I sewed it into a tube and attached straps to make a very simple tie skirt of the sort I’d seen in Thailand, as I daren’t cut into it. But it doesn’t stay up well and I’ve only worn it once.
It sort of goes with the other silk but not as much in reality as it did in my head. So now I have absolutley no idea what to make out of two pieces of silk. Silk. Me. Arrgh.
What would you do? Answers on a postcard please, or if that’s too much effort, just leave a comment below…
*with superfluous bicosse deleted (luckily for me my brother is staying who pointed out my shocking spelling of the word dilema’s)
Hello, hello, testing, testing, 1, 2, 3, anyone still there? I’m afraid this blog has got a bit rusty and out of use in the last few weeks as we have been here there and everywhere. However, I’m pleased to report a new outfit has been sewn and worn this past week. Hurrah. So I’m going to spray everything liberally with WD40 and see if I can get the cogs turning again, because I really want to show you all this one.
Way back when at the beginning of the summer, when we were camping in Wales, I stumbled across the excellent Wheeler Fabrics shop in Wales. Turned out that amongst it’s pretties there was a lot of fabric from the Organic Textile Company hiding away in their basement. Yes, I was in the sister company to the place where I bought some sweatshirt fabric and a bundle of other goodies online. Honestly, I had no idea we were camping so near to such a place!
Anyway, one* of the fabrics I bought was a metre of this welsh dragon print cotton. I didn’t like the look of it online, but once I saw it in the flesh I knew it would make an excellent shirt for The Boy. Especially as the “original” shirt that I made him is now getting a little on the short side.
So I rolled out Simplicity 4760 again. Turns out last time I cut the pattern pieces along the large size line (the choice is S/M/L), so I just added an entirely unscientific 3″ to the length (an average of my guesstimate of 2″ and The Man’s 4″), as the skull and cross bones one is still plenty wide enough on him (partly I think this is Big 4 Sizing and partly that The Boy is a beanpole).
The make was pretty uneventful except that I didn’t have enough fabric left to cut the facings. However, I did have some red linen trousers of mine that had got put on the mending pile and then left there
because I’m really bad at mending when I realised that the entire seat was almost threadbare and could give way spectacularly at any time. I’d had a vague thought about hacking them into shorts for the boy. Better do that first then so I don’t use the wrong bit of fabric.
So, brief detour…
I wanted to reuse the existing hems. The trousers were wide legged so I thought there’d be enough space to fit the crotch in the bottom of the legs (I don’t think I could get away with this usually). So, I used some existing shorts of his to measure from the bottom of the trousers/shorts to the bottom of the waistband, added seam allowance, and cut them off. I fixed a small hole by putting a scrap behind and zig zagging over the top.
Then I used the Simplicity 4760 pants pattern to trace the front and back crotch curves and cut them out.
Then I sewed the pieces together and got him to try them on.
Hmm, they’d be fine as girls culottes, but unsurprisingly they’re too baggy at the hem for what I want. So I cut an unscientific wedge shape of each side (hopefully evenly), re sewed. Then I put a couple of pleats in before adding an elasticated waistband made form the dragon fabric.
Oh, and I unpicked and reused the back pockets of the trousers. I did consider front pockets, but as I’m not sure how much wear and tear this old fabric will stand up to I decided I couldn’t be bothered.
So that was how I remade my trousers into shorts. Not sure if it’s was the “right” way of doing it, but it worked.
Anyway, where was I. Facings for the shirt. Now I don’t have a long enough piece of red linen left to cut them out! Grr. So I pieced some bits together, and used the inside, which was less faded and a better match for the red dragons. (Well, mainly I used the “wrong” side, 1/2 of one facing is accidentally a lighter red than the rest of them).
The make itself was quite straightforward. I missed off the yokes again (I can’t see what they add). I didn’t bother trying pattern matching (didn’t seem much point on this fabric even if I’d had enough, although I did get ubraided about this by the boy! However I like some of the multi leg beasts on the seams, they look a little Isle of Mann to me). I still got slightly confused with the collar, not sure I did it as well this time, but it’s functional. I used french seams throughout (even on the armholes) which I then topstitched down, I think this might be a faux flat felled seam? I also used red thread throughout (very brave, but I didn’t have green thread that matched) and put 2 pockets on (as it was as easy as one) and it took pretty much no time at all. (Hooray for getting better at sewing in the last two years.)
Oh, and I was finishing this sewing the morning we were going away. The Man was very patient with me. I then handstitched the inside of the collar down in the car. As I did this after I topstitched around the front facings/hem/underside of the collar in one go (no idea why, seemed a good idea at the time), I had a couple of messy bits I had to fudge, but the boy kindly told me they made it look homemade. Anyway, they’re on the inside where no-one will notice and I don’t think anything is going to unravel.
I didn’t have time for buttons, so I took my snaps and prym plier tool thingy that I got for my birthday. I only had enough of some navy blue ones, which was a shame as they don’t really match, but I decided The Boy would rather have it finished than matching (plus he doesn’t see colours like most of us do so its unlikely to bother him). Inserting snaps in a car on a motorway (in the passenger seat I hasten to add!). Hmm, maybe not my best idea. One is slightly off line and one is upside down (i.e. press stud facing outwards) so doesn’t do up. Luckily it’s the bottom one so he can still wear the shirt.
Anyway, the boy didn’t mind, he had the shirt on before the car journey was finished and it was much admired by everyone upon arrival at our destination (Shrewsbury Folk Festival).
The question is, does anyone reading this have any experience of trying to remove them? Will it ruin my fabric or is it doable? And is it worth buying a whole new pack of snaps just to replace half of one?
ballsups mishaps or not this outfit is definitely a win. And a great souvinear of a lovely holiday. I have also decided to make it my Made Up Initiative pledge. Which is kind of the wrong way around as I pledged after it was finished, but as Karen is happy for people to donate and not make I’m sure she won’t mind! And I was away when the initiative was launched and I’m still catching up on all the blogs I follow. So my conscience is clear!
Right, enough burbling from me, hope you had a great summer and that your pledge sewing is coming along nicely if you’re taking part.
*Holiday fabric shopping comes under the heading Souvenir, and not Stash Acquisition, so is guilt free. Fact.