Messing about on the river

My son loves prints as much as he loves colours and it’s so hard to find boyish ones, or rather, not girly ones, so I tend to snatch them up when I stumble across them.

A while ago I bought this boat print, which is very lovely, but the long sleeved ADV T I made it into hasn’t got worn so much, on reflection the design is probably a bit young for him, or maybe just not his thing.

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With the remnants of the long sleeve T I started making a short sleeved negative version shortly after this was finished. (I used turquoise ribbing for the neckband, the closest match I had, I didn’t want lots of bits of boats there!)

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I had to piece the back as I didn’t have enough red left and I foolishly decided to applique a boat on it whilst I was at it to match the print. It looked naff. My son loved it and wanted me to make it the front, which a) I didn’t want to do and b) would’ve been very complicated. So it languished in a pile for far too long, until I unearthed it in April when I joined in with the Sew Alongs and Sewing Contests UFO Purge.

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After a brief try at sprucing up the applique, in the end I just manged to re-piece the back out of red remnants so it was plain red. Phew. After that it was a quick finish.

I wasn’t sure how much it’d be worn though, however, there was a lot of the boat fabric left and still a little red, so I made up some matching Domi shorts to make a summer pj set.  I even retraced them in the next size up.

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Night Night!

X marks the spot

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In a (quite possibly futile) effort to persuade my son that some of the trousers that I made him previously really are getting too short to wear now, I have made the Boy some new ones.

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This is a new to me pattern , Ottobre 01 /18, no33 Metsäretki sweatpants (jogging bottoms) with front and back pieces, inset front hip pockets, side patch pockets, no ribbing at the hem (unlike previous pairs I’ve made him) and no separate waistband.  Oh and they were supposed to have a mock fly, but I left that off and went with a straightforward front crotch seam cos I coudn’t be bothered.

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This metre of looped backed sweatshrt fabric (French terry?) had been in the stash a while and I just managed to squeeze the pattern pieces on, so I couldn’t really do much with pattern placement. Which means when he next goes up a size I’ll need over a metre of fabric to make him trousers. Eek.

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I was just putting some of the offcuts on one side to use to patch the knees later (he always wears them through in the knees and it’s nice to have matching fabric to fix them with) when I realised I could be a bit pre-emptive, and I quilted the a patch in place behind each knee to reinforce them.   My leftovers weren’t quite the width of the trouser front, but I extended the quilting lines right the way across.

The front hip pocket pieces were a bit of an unusual shape what with the included waistband, but after a bit of headscratching over the instructions I got there in the end.

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I made liberal use of the “coverstitch” on my (regular) machine in matching yellow thread, but it did stretch the top of the pocket and the pocket flap out a bit, so maybe I shouldn’t have used it there (or maybe I should invest in a walking foot). I left the snaps off the pockets as I couldn’t be bothered and they’re not really big enough to hold much anyhows.

In general he approves, but he says the side pockets aren’t big enough. Oh and I still haven’t go the old pair off him yet.

T shirt twins.

Question, what to do with the rest of the fabric from the Halfblood Headbands?

Answer, dig out a t shirt pattern, cut out the parts for a red and a black t shirt, and mix them up!

If you happen to have misfiled the instructions for said pattern, search out a handy v neck tutorial and maybe Kelly’s thumbhole cuff tutorial too.  Oh and add a hem band too.

Use any left over fabric to facilitate some more Cabin 9 themed reverse applique, et voila. (You have to imagine the black thumbhole cuffs, they would’ve been great, but I fluffed it up, and when I tried to unpick them the fabric ripped and I didn’t have a big enough piece left to recut).

Two matching, yet different, t shirts. For two friends.  (No, this one didn’t end up with thumbhole cuffs either, I was interrupted by arguing children so many times whilst trying to cut them out that I accidentally forgot to cut the pattern piece on the fold and didn’t have enough fabric left to recut, so you’ll have to imagine the red cuffs.)

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With thanks to LSH for his design input and drafting help.

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One to give away.  (Apparently the t-shirt is just his style. The headband was a bit more of an alien concept. )

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And one to keep.

Starting Slow

I have barely sewn in 3 months. Apart from The Girl’s birthday dress which I then failed to photograph. But, perhaps spurred on by the fabric I bought on holiday last week (if you’re ever in Glasgow, check out Mandors with the conveniently sited Project Cafe next door) I have managed some things this weekend.

First up a new pin cushion/sewing organiser, which I started in January and has been sat waiting me to sew up a 2″ gap for 3 months. 3 months. For 10 mins sewing. Yikes. Even by my standards that’s bad. Anyway, it’s a blatant copy of one I saw in a blog post now long lost in the mists of time (I tried to find it to link to, I really did), although I figured I didn’t need to buy the pattern to make a cube with pockets on and a flap for putting needles in. I used up batting remnants from the baby quilt to quilt the main panels as per the original but I’m not convinced it was necessary. I stuffed it with ground walnut shells because apparently that’s the done thing (it’s supposed to keep the pins sharp, not sure I believe that but it was an excuse to go investigate my local reptile shop) and I’m hoping it’s huge solidness will make sure that it doesn’t go a wandering like it’s predecessor leaving me bereft of somewhere to stick the pins I pull out whilst sewing and forcing me instead to resort to balancing them on the edge of the desk or sticking them in a piece of scrap fabric. Yup I am that messy a sew. Speaking of which…

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The pincushion needs somewhere to sit of course, so I was inspired to tidy the sewing table in my sewing room. You’ll notice that the rest of the room is not shown. There’s a good reason for that.  Note to self, still need a frame to buy the picture I bought last summer so I can hang it.

See that crumpled pile top right. That was abandoned in the cupboard of my sewing room just before Christmas. Turned out it didn’t take that much to finish sewing up the side seams and attach the arms, then I just needed to rootle around in the pit sewing room for the rest of the grey fabric so I could do the neckband and bottom band and voila, a new top for the boy.

The boy liked the top, but not the photo shoot, can you tell?  I like the origami style print, it’s so hard to find a good non girly print and this one is right up his street, although of course he was bemoaning the lack of instructions as to how to make the birds shown for real. I only got a metre of the fabric and he’s now officially too big for that to make a long sleeve top, hence the grey, which is irritatingly a thinner fabric, but I figured that’d be ok on the side panels of the Semper.  I appear to have hacked the neckline back in December to forgo a hood (hoods are a mixed blessing with the boy, he loves them, but will happily wear a tshirt hood, a jumper hood and a coat hood all up at the same time quite possibly with a ear warmer or a hat too, which makes conversing with him tricky). So I just cut a neckband at 90% of the neckline width. I may have lengthened the pattern too as it’s super long, but as my little sunflower is still growing skywards at an alarming rate I have no problems with that.

Now to motivate myself to do a little more tidying so I can get stuck into my lovely new fabric. Mmm. Fabric.

Cool Dude

When you see the fabric you bought full price on sale, it’s annoying. When you’ve had that fabric sat in your cupboard, for, your not even sure how long any more (over a year?), it’s probably a sign that it’s long overdue that you got cracking on the project you bought it for.

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A long sleeved tee shirt for The Boy. Still, at least things loitering in the stash far too long is a different problem to not having enough fabric.

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Unless you also don’t have enough fabric.

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Luckily I’m getting good at eeking and piecing, must be all the practice.

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This is a Semper, option A (without side panels and pockets), no hood, so slightly altered neckline (just cut a bit higher, make sure that you’re cut is at at right angles when you hit the fold in the fabric), neckband instead (quite wide to account for the fact that I decided at trying on stage I’d’ve preferred it cut higher still), no sleeve bands or bottom band, the pattern pieces were just extended instead, and the front and back were extended a bit extra too, as he’s a bean pole. (Are you still awake at the back there?).

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After fiddling around with alterations and pattern matching at the cutting stage (Good marks for centering the patterns, getting things straight, pattern matching at side seam and underarms, could do better on raglan sleeve), it was a quick make.

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And now I have a happy boy.  (Also modelling a circular scarf he just acquired).

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Why is it the gorgeous fabric I don’t buy straight away always seems to sell out, and the stuff I do get ends up on sale?  Is this just me?

RED-y to go

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My model was not being terribly helpful

Pattern: Semper Sweater from Sofilantjes patterns.

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Fabric: Thick spongey mystery knit from my local fabric shop (probably containing some synthetic fabric) with slightly shiny right side and a stripey reverse (used here for contrasts). The same stuff (in a different colour) to my top.

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Size: Age 11, chosen after comparing the finished garment measurements to an existing top. (Tops are more compliant when you want to measure them than boys can be). It has come out wearable with growing room for my lanky 10 year old. Perfect.

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Modifications: The hood is unlined. I thought about binding the edge in knit bias tape but in the end I just turned the seam allowance over and topstitched it down with a fake coverstitch. (A bit of fudging was required where the hood piece turns a sharp corner as the front cowl-y bit starts).

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Additions: Lots of topstitching in my favourite stretch “coverstitch” stitch (including sewing down the trimmed seam allowance where the two hood pieces meet).

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Well drafted? Yes, everything came together perfectly.  Even attaching the made up sleeve to the scary looking U shaped underam hole. (Topstitching that seam however, was not so easy, I managed to catch the neckline and had to unpick it. That however is a mess entirely of my own making due to my current topstitching addiction.)

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Most confusing bit? Trying to use the table provided to work out how much fabric to buy (it’s designed with colour blocking in mind, showing you how much you need of a given fabric for different elements of the different views in different sizes, less helpful if you just want to make it all in one fabric like me.)  In the end I just bought an overly cautious 2 m.  After washing the fabric and cutting out I still had 80cm left of 1m60 wide fabric (plus extra wibbly bits), so I could’ve got away with buying 1m20.

Review? It got a thumbs up. Literally that was all the comment I got.

That’s my boy

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Engrossed in a comic explaining gravitational waves, after hearing about them on the radio this morning while he was washing up the breakfast things.

Hat update, the hat has found an owner, turns up it wasn’t quite as small as I thought (just smaller than I intended). The only disappointed was when I had to tell him there wasn’t enough of the fabric left over to make a matching bigger one for his dad.

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The same hat owner also finished off the rat today that he started earlier this week (he came home from school one day really keen to make a rat, no idea why, his sister thinks it might be something to do with Chinease New Year). We used this page for the pattern pieces by the way, but followed my nose for construction, sewing it on the machine with the seam allowances on the inside.

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Next up, “can I make a dog?” (his Chinease zodiac year). 5 minutes before bedtime of course. Of course, I said, just not now, why don’t you draw a picture of what you want the dog to look like and we can work out how to make it in the morning. So he drew a plan. Including 2 pieces to be the side of the dogs face and a strip to go around in between them giving them depth. “Of course we’ll have to get the sizes right”. I was however told that it would be ok if I found something useful on the internet.

Good job it’s the start of the half term holidays then!  Do you have any plans for this week?