Bank Holiday Outfit

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.

the shirt was a big hit with everyone we were camping with

the shirt was a big hit with everyone we were camping with

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…

Trouser ends with crotch curves cut out

Trouser ends with crotch curves cut out

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.

baggy trousers!

baggy trousers!

Then I sewed the pieces together and got him to try them on.

that should sort it out

that should sort it out

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.

hmm,  surely they arent supposed to look that curvy in the waistband?

hmm, surely they arent supposed to look that curvy in the waistband?

that's a bit better

a brief snip later and that’s a bit better

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.

and a waistband

and a waistband

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).

insides, not too shabby

insides, not too shabby

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.)

pocket and collar, upside down, because this photo won't upload if I turn it the rightway up #luddite

pocket and collar. Yes, this picture is upside down, because this photo won’t upload if I turn it the right way up #luddite

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.

press stud / popper / snap fail

press stud / popper / snap fail

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?

festival marquee’s make a good “bloggers wall”

Anyway 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.

Toodle pip.

*Holiday fabric shopping comes under the heading Souvenir, and not Stash Acquisition, so is guilt free. Fact.

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