Another shorts hack

Anyone spot the deliberate error?  My short posts went 1, 2, 4  and that was not because I’m into doubling, but rather because I missed a pair out.  When we went looking for shorts inspiration last summer, whilst the Girls favourite were the scalloped hem ones, I rather liked these ones with a gathered hem and tulip pockets from Ottobre 03/2017.

They also didn’t go up to her size, so I hacked these too.

I used some red linen left over from trousers I made myself and I reckon I did a pretty good job, right?

I had the benefit of having the Ottobre pattern piece to hand and I used this when hacking the shorts. I started with the City Gym Shorts pattern again, which is the white paper on top, the pattern I ended up with is the brown underneath. This first pic is trying to show you that the crotch seams are the same on both patterns. Also there is a little extra wedge on the inseam at the front (left hand pic). I was following the lines of the Ottobre pattern.

Then I kind of swung the pattern out a bit so that the waistband line of the city gym shorts matched the angle of the waistband on the Ottobre ones and used the width of the City Gym Shorts waistband and traced down the side seam from there. This creates extra fullness which is then gathered in by sewing a casing and threading a drawstring through I was just kind of making it up as I went along. Also, like on the scalloped shorts I straightened the edge and lengthened them slightly. The extra length is to allow for the casing.

IMG_0070

As on the scalloped shorts, the order of construction needs changing around, sewing up the side seams first so that you have a nice flat surface to attach the pocket too. For the pocket I just used the template from the actual pattern. You cut two for each pocket, sew them right sides together leaving a gap, then turn them. The top zig zag portion is topstitched before they’re sewn on.  The elasticated waistband is just done like the City Gym shorts

City Gym Shorts part 4

So, after failing to make my daughter some scalloped edged shorts last year, this year I finally got around to it.  I traced the next size up of the City Gym pattern, cos whilst last years pairs still fit her, she does still keep growing and had pointed out to me herself that they wouldn’t fit forever. Whilst I was at it I added 2″ to the pattern length at the lengthen line (on both front and back pieces, obviously) and straightened the edges to lose the signature curve at the bottom. I also added pockets as before.

IMG_0077

Construction wise, I started with those front hip pockets, except this time around I sewed the opening right sides together before grading my seam allowance, understitching and topstitching, as I wasn’t using bias binding.

IMG_0076

Then I sewed the fronts to the backs along the side seam. I chose to use a 1/4″ seam allowance, like the pattern suggests for the crotch seam, and figures that way I didn’t have to add any extra seam allowance (when constructed as per instructions, that side seam is made by overlapping the bias bound front and back edges).  It was even narrower than my usual 1cm default. I finished by zig zagging with my overlocker foot on my sewing machine and topstitching the seam allowance down.

Next up I drafted a facing piece the width of the bottom of the short leg and about two inches deep and cut two of these out. Then I folded over the pattern piece paper doll style (after folding over the seam allowance) and cut out an arch.

That gave me a scallop template to trace onto my facing. I hemmed the other side of my facing before pining it to my shorts and stitching along the scalloped line. Then I trimmed, turned the facing and hand tacked everything in place so I could give it a good press.

IMG_0081

Finally I unpicked my tacking and topsitched the edge of the scallops. Then  I added a second line of scalloped stitching, mainly to hold the top of the facing in place as I wasn’t liking the other options I could think of to do that (either a straight line of machine stitching going across, or hand finishing on the inside). I’m rather pleased with how they turned out.

img_00821.jpg

After that the shorts finished up pretty quickly, sewing the crotch seams, inside leg and adding a waistband.

 

I’m pretty pleased with the result, which definitely has some growing room, and I don’t think you’d guess what pattern I’d used, they look so different from the original.  She is more reticent with her feedback, but as she’s wearing them the day after they’re finished I’m taking that as a win. She even was persuaded (just) to read standing up for a minute so that I could photograph them.

 

City Gym Shorts – parts 1 and 2

Last summer, The Girl and I went through her wardrobe to see what gaps there were and we noticed a shortage of shorts (so to speak).   So, we sat and went through my Ottobre magazines and she picked out these scalloped edge shorts from 01/2017.

Except when I measured up they didn’t go up to her size. So whilst I pondered over how to hack them, I made up some City Gym Shorts from the free pattern from Purl Soho. She only just fit into the largest measurements for the largest child pattern, so I used the smallest adult one instead. As they were a trial pair I  was determined to use something from stash and I just squeezed them out most of a fat quarter of fabric that I had only used a couple of strips from (for a communal quilting project, I was the turquoise row). I had to piece one of the back pieces at the top to make it work but in the end that is mainly hidden in the waistband seam allowance. I trimmed them in satin bias binding (which looked ace at the time but has pilled with wear).

IMG_0056

The result?  She loves these shorts, declaring them her Peacock Shorts of Power (apparently when wearing them she can control all the peacocks in the world, not a superpower that had ever occurred to me).  She wore them All The Time and moaned when they were in the wash. Not bad considering that I was worried she wouldn’t wear them at all as the background of the fabric is black. Anyway, I said we could go back to the shop and buy some more of that fabric and I’d make her a second pair, maybe with a different colour trim. But of course, they didn’t have any more of that fabric left in the shop, so after a long time, she finally chose some navy blue fabric with bears, foxes, dear, birds, squirrels and rabbits on instead. She was particularly taken with the gold highlights I think.

Second time around I hacked them to have pockets, I was rather kicking myself for not doing this the first time to be honest. I just freehanded a pocket pattern piece that fit the fronts (making sure there was seam allowance included on that long curved L shape) and used that to cut my pocket piece.  Then I folded the corner of that piece over to make my pocket facing pattern piece and folded the front pattern piece over the corresponding amount to make the the pocket opening before cutting out.  I had a mere sliver of fabric left after cutting out and one of my pockets is pieced and one of the facings is cut crossgrain, it was so satisfying to make this work with negligable waste.

Once everything was cut out I attached the pocket pieces to the front along the opening wrong sides together then finished with bias binding (satin again, this was too soon after the first pair to realise it wouldn’t wear well). Then I sewed my pocket piece to the facing, finished the seam allowance, then tacked the pockets to the front piece at the top and side within the seam allowance. Then I proceeded as normal with construction, and voila.

Pair number two were nearly as successful as the first ones, but aren’t quite as popular despite the fact that you can control Even More animals in them AND they have pockets. Sometimes you just strike it lucky first time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pale imitation

So, a couple of months ago I saw Kelly’s awesome skirted leggings and thought now there’s a solution to the Leggings Aren’t Outerwear disagreement The Girl and I have.

IMG_0014

So I made a pair and felt kind of meh about them so never got around to blogging them. (Yesterdays post reminded me cos the leftovers ended up in my new knickers).

On the advice of Kelly (she is a generous woman) I curved the skirt portions out a bit going down the side seam and made them lower at the centre than the sides. The side seam curve worked well but with hindsight the hemline is far too curvy.  (On the plus side, note my dots and crosses paper (1 inch grid) that came as packaging with something non sewing related orderd online. I have ironed it out and am repurposing it).

IMG_0018

The skirt hem is turned and zig zagged, which would’ve been easier with a less pronounced curve. And it has a tendancy to flip up in the middle – the resulting duck tail look is not a favourite of mine. I wonder if this is the curve, or the fabric (a nice jersey, but not anything as fancy as the Haci sweater knit that Kelly used).

IMG_0017

The skirt is then basted at the top to the leggings before adding some kind of hem band, or in my case, this rainbow elastic. I was pleased how neatly I sewed it on at the time (the blue and orange zig zags just melt into the background stripe colour as planned) but overall the look screams “Home made” in a “could do better” kind of way to me.

So yeah, without wishing to sound too negative, these fall firmly into the “room for improvement” category to me (the fit of the leggings isn’t that great either). However, The Girl does not seem to share my reservations and has been wearing them, and they do cover her bum, so maybe I will just need to make a new pair that fixes my grouches and puts these into the Wearable Muslin category.

Turning Out T shirts.

Recently I have stayed in my comfort zone and made lots of T shirts, which makes sense as I wear a t shirt nearly every day. I stayed well within my comfort zone and have mainly been using tried and tested Maria Denmark patterns that I have already adjusted.  I have considered several new to me patterns, but at the end of the day, how different are t shirt patterns?  So I have stuck to the ones I know work but snuck a few tweaks in to change things up.

Dorsal Fin Indications

First up a Happy Holiday/Easter/Birthday present to myself of this Kirsten Kimono T shirt (already adjusted for full bust and sway back). A simple design, perfect to showcase some loverly holiday splurge shopping fish fabric. Bonus knickers and headscarfbandthingies made from the remnants (the latter of which my kids nicked).

I have more of this fabric in the green colourway earmarked for The Girl and I nicked a bit! There was some debate on the correct way up for this fabric, and we decided the bulge on the fishes indicated a dorsal fin and therefore went at the top.

Knit one purl one

Couldn’t resist this fabric in some of my fav colours and a knit stitch pattern. As a bonus it feels slinky and my family gave me lots of hugs wearing it. This is a hacked Birgitte Basic Tee (that I apparently only have dodgy phone photos of, sorry).


As per usual, I forgot to save the link to the tutorial I found. Basically, place centre of pattern piece at an angle to the fold instead of along the fold line. I think I added about 5cm each side (so 10cm) overall at the top, tapering to nothing at the bottom. Then I marked out double that length either side of the centre front and gathered it with clear elastic, that later ended up in the seam allowance (until I cut it out as it itched like crazy). Then I sewed on the neckband as normal, but couldn’t do my usual zig zag to sitch the seam allowance down so I did a stitch in the ditch with the stretch straight stitch instead, which didn’t look as neat as I’d like (the photo is pre stitching).

I eeked a toddler t shirt out of the left overs (spot the extra seam on the back) for the daughter of a knitting friend who was in the area. I used a pattern I made ages ago. The neckband looked to small once on though, and I know from experience that things that are tight getting taken on and off dont get worn, so I cut it off, thereby enlarging the hole, and added a new one. It also has a pocket on the front purely so I had an excuse to incorporate this sheep ribbon that I had a little of in my stash.

Feeling Blue

Sometimes you just need basics. This is another Birgitte, this time I raised the neckline slightly. I also lowered the armhole half an inch to try and get rid of the creases radiating from my armpit. This only had a negligable effect on the length of the armscyth so I left the sleevehead as it was. It does feel a little more comfy I think, but the creases are still there.

Irony Warning

And sometimes you need to make a statement. Another Birgitte, same armhole adjustment as last time, neckline moved even higher. My first time using iron on decoration which I bought online, they are really glittery 🙂 (and the fabric is more lush stuff from Kitschy Coo like the last two t’s, that this selfie really doesn’t do justice to).

IMG_0041.JPG

I feel I need to explain as this is not a comment on the latest Dr Who casting (that’s a fortuitous coincidence). Neither is it me pretending to be a gynecologist.

As a Quaker I would like to live in a world where titles aren’t used (George Fox famously greeted the King “Good Day to thee Charles Stuart”, which was a very radical thing to do). As a realist I know this isn’t happening any time soon (I tried leaving boxes unticked on forms as a teenager. They just assumed I was a Mr. These days digital forms wont even submit if you leave boxes unticked). As a feminist I object to the fact that my title changes with my marital status but this isn’t true for men. As someone who studied hard for 4 years, I’m proud of my PhD. So as a preference I use no title (my qualification is rarely relevant to the conversation), but if people insist, I like them to use my hard won “Dr”.  After all, with aspie traits running int he family it’s important to get things right 😉

So when a family member called me Mrs, LSH pulled them up on it, and the reply was “isn’t it techically Mrs Dr if you’re a woman”. No. No it isn’t. Unless, apparently, you’re German, but they use Mr Dr too. (Or more accurately Frau/Herr Dr.)

Bonus Item

When I bought the “Mrs Dr” I noticed they had Alicorns too (I am adamantly informed that is the proper term for winged unicorns, who am I to argue with a 9 year old on such matters). So I let my daughter chose one (this is the rainbow holograph option). They must’ve printed it out the wrong size or something cos we got a second smaller one free.

The resulting AdvTee is now in heavy rotation, even if I’m slightly annoyed that I got a bubble at the centre front when adding the v neckline.

It has also prompted much discussion. Are Alicorns a species in their own right or the result of cross breeding between Unicorns and Pegasi? Are they born with a horn?  With Wings? Do they have nests? Are they mammals? Hours of fun for all the family (and innocent passers by, like the assistants in the sewing machine shop, and an old work colleague we bumped into).

Foxido?

What do you get if you cross Foxy Jeans Remnants with Seamstress Erin’s Presido Purse?

fox detail

+

Spotty Bag

=

A foxido perhaps?

A foxido perhaps?

With hidden pockets

With hidden pockets

and a foxy lining

and a foxy lining

scuse the goofy look, I'm trying to show you the tail/strap

scuse the goofy look, I’m trying to show you the tail/strap

This was supposed to be my accessory for the September Outfit A Long, but I ran out of time. The shame is that I didn’t admit this sooner, as bits of it are a bit rushed. It was much easier to finish it after the deadline once the pressure was off. (Actually, technically it needs a smidgen hand sewing to finish off, but I can’t be arsed am too tired tonight.

I took lots of photo’s whilst making it so could write a quick pattern hack/tutorial if anyone’s interested – let me know in the comments below.

(The red fabric is remnant from my jeans and its stretchyness caused some swearing when I was top stitching as it did want to stretch and create little fold marks so. Some left over white denim from Crystals jeans would’ve gone perfectly with it but due to the distance between us, I bought 1/2 m of some grey mystery fabric instead (figuring it was more practical than white) and picked up some cream flanged piping at the same time. The zips are all from my stash (the main one came off my old coat, the two front pockets came in a bundle of zips I bought from facebook and the shiny new one inside was part of my Curvy Sewing Swap Christmas present), as were the odd bits of black fleece and orange indian print cotton.)

All in all, a fun new hack of an old favourite pattern (I am too embarrassed to count how many times I have made the Presido, although this is only the second for me as my first is starting to wear out from overuse).

Summer Stripes

Recently I let The Girl loose on my knit stash to pick out her favourite. She surprised me with her choice, a navy and white stripe, normal t shirt weight, a bit slinky and drapey, nice quality. I’d bought a metre from my local fabric shop thinking of a t shirt for me.

Well, she wanted a t shirt. Then I said I could make a matching one for her friend with the leftovers. Then they decided they want dresses.

So, I started with my standard kids t shirt pattern (Simplicity 1571), age 7, extended it , flared it to an A line from the waist down, and added Kimono sleeves inspired by this tutorial (but guesstimated rather than measured) and generally hacked it into a two piece dress pattern.

High wire act

High wire act

The girl chose some turquoise ribbing for the neck binding and I ended up adding some to the sleeves too to finish them (they came out a bit narrow, so I cut the opening diagonally to increase room, and then they didn’t want to hem). She also chose a scrap of one of my old t shirts for a pocket (I didn’t think the main fabric would hold up to the weight of proper pockets but I wanted her to be able to keep a tissue about her person).

Finally I added 3 rows of shirring to the waist to give it a bit of shape. As I made the dress with growing room I put them a little lower than needed so that the top half is a bit baggy now and will grow with her.

A dress for having adventures in

A dress for having adventures in

Then, ta da, dress done. Onto the second one. Except I made a faux pas, I only had enough fabric for 1 1/2 dresses. Whoops. No problem, I went to buy some more fabric, except they sold out of this stuff really quickly apparently and there was none left. (Which is a shame as I was going to by extra for me too). We found some similar blue and white stripes in a slightly less drapey jersey though and with the same trim and a pocket from the same old t shirt it looks very similar.

spot the difference

spot the difference

Right, now to work out what to do with half a dress worth of fabric….
And also to figure out what to do about having used up all my storage on WordPress which means I can’t upload any more pictures. Eek.

When is a sewing success not a success?

When you manage to piece together nearly all the scraps from your last two projects to make the lovely garment you envisaged, all your pattern hacking came out ok, nothing went wrong, no seam needed unpicking, it fits fine, a little growing room but doesn’t look too big just as you hoped and then your daughter declares it to be unwearable.

Apparently it is too long to be a top and too short to be a dress.

Sigh.

I think trying to get her to try it on with her denim shorts didn’t help. They were ok last summer, but that was a life time ago when you’re seven and the “I don’t wear trousers” has spread to “I don’t wear shorts”. Sigh.

Needless to say, there are no modelled photo’s.

inspiration

inspiration (please excuse the bad photo’s, I’ve waited all winter to be able to take them outside and now it’s too bright, gah!)

This tunic top was my inspiration. She loves wearing it, with it’s big flarey gathers into a pretty yoke. But in navy blue with long sleeves she isn’t going to be wearing it for much longer in all the sunshine we’ve been having. And she’s about to grow out of about half her short sleeved tops, there are only 3 that stand a chance of fitting her next summer. So the obvious thing to do seemed to be a short sleeved gathery fluttery top, a bit pretty, long enough to last at least next summer as well as this.

front

front – the pockets are level in real life, honest

I think it came out well. The heart fabric is good quality and quite thick, but the navy denim effect jersey is lightweight and quite flimsy and would be quite cool to wear I think. I hacked my good old trusty Simplicity 1573 pajama pattern, making the yoke finish just below the armholes, just to make life easier so I didn’t have to worry about attaching my sleeves over the fabric change. Also there was no more length of the navy than what I used so I couldn’t really have gone much smaller on the yoke as I wanted a slightly long top that would last a year or two (the top, being big 4, is plenty wide enough in the size 7 (her age), without being overwhelming). I think a smaller yoke looks better, in the unlikely event I ever make this again. The navy fabric is 1 1/2 times the width of the yoke, gathered, hemmed, seam allowance pressed down. The pockets just about used the last of my heart scraps up, I like that they balance it out. (They were also slated as being too small to fit her entire hand in at once.) Do you like the contrast pink topstitching at the bottom because I ran out of navy?

back

back

The back yoke had to be cut in two pieces but I got it matched ok (I wasn’t trying for perfection on this one, just getting all the pieces out of my scraps was hard enough). I had to piece the navy too, but I couldn’t make the seam go down the middle. I considered cutting it again and having two symmetrical seams but I really couldn’t be bothered. Then, after all that, it was a little wide, so I put a pleat in the centre (I couldn’t even be bothered with gathers at this point).

neckline elastic

neckline elastic, which is very hard to see as it’s clear, it’s hiding under the zig zags, honest!

I didn’t really have enough left of anything for a band, so rather than just fold the edge over and stitch it down, I tried the technique from the back of the Day to Night top. I sewed clear elastic (which I prestretched then let relax as per the instructions) in the seam allowance with a zig zag. Then I turned it over and topstitched it down with a twin needle. I’d like to see how that wears, but I’m not going to find out am I!

The t shirt has been left at a friends house to see if her daughter will wear it (she’s the same size as my girl). I wasn’t upset that my daughter didn’t like it (after all, she hadn’t been requested it or been involved in the design process) but she was quite rude to me about it which just made me want shot of it rather than keep it hanging around in case she changes her mind.

So, next time, I reckon I’m due a garment that fits and is appreciated by the person I make it for, right?

Oh no , not again.

Guess what? I made pants. Again. Ok, so I’ve also made pants American English style this week, well nearly, but I’ve been to busy wearing them to finish them and now they need a wash, so blog post soon. In the mean time, British English pants, yet again.

Not liking the stripe

Not liking the stripe

Spot the difference? Not an opening in sight. Because this time I followed Nicole’s tutorial and made them for me.

The back looks ok though

The back looks ok though

In theory this is so much simpler. Especially if you’ve already made them 3 times. But then again, if you will persist in wasting lots of time trying on fitting them onto some scrap fabric that simply isn’t quite big enough, then cutting the front piece too short so that you have to make that in a contrast too, then sewing the back piece on upside down, then unpicking one of the front seams by mistake instead of a back seam, then you too will not have an easy ride. As a bonus I discovered the back just fit on the last bit of the t shirt I bought for especially to make t shirt sleeves – there was just a sleeve left and when I cut it along the seamline the back fit perfectly.

I reckon if I hadn’t messed up so much they would’ve taken half an hour to construct.

Oh so technical pattern alteration

Oh so technical pattern alteration

At Nicoles suggestion, I cut an ammended piece 3 on the fold (losing one part of it so it’s pretty much rectangular, she has really clear photo’s and description if you’re interested). I only cut one though as I couldn’t see the point in 2 of them – normal womens pants don’t have double layer front, I’m pretty sure it’s just for modesty in the mens version. I also amended the back piece so it was 2 inches taller at the centre point tapering to 1/2 inch at the edge. I also extended the edge of the side piece 1/2 inch to match, tapering to nothing. Oh the joy of being sort of the same size as your other half and being able to use the things you make him as a muslin before you give them to him (shh, don’t tell).

Apart from the mistakes the construction was simple. The slippery viscose and the old t shirt played very well together despite my fears that they would fight. Gold stars all round.

Nicole said she finds the front roomy, but I was ok with it. But I think if I did make them again I’d extend the legs of the shorts a bit at the back (assuming I can figure out how) as they don’t quite cover everything in the way I’d like. However, they were comfy to wear (I forgot I was wearing them, always a good sign with underwear I think).

I’m not sure I will make them again though. They’re comfy to wear but not any better than my other homemade ones and more pfaff to make. I also suspect they take more fabric. However, they use a different type of elastic so they give me more options.

OK, that should be the last post about underwear in quite some time. Trousers next. Assuming they don’t fall apart in the wash, I actually get around to finishing them and manage to get some half decent photo’s. Fingers crossed cos I’m really pleased with them.

Queen of Hearts

Yay for feeling better (and incidently boo for boys yo yo ing out of bed instead of staying there long enough to fall asleep, but you can’t win ’em all). I finished sewing another thing.

coming ready or not where are you

coming ready or not where are you

The original idea Use some left over very soft and lovely knit fabric from my prototype tunic dress to make some kind of long sleeved top for my daughter. This was fairly obviously to me the thing to do as it’s “her” colour, she likes the feel of it and I struggle to get her to wear long sleeves/layers and yet the weather round here (plus her tendency to asthma) means that even she needs to wrap up a little sometimes.

velvet ribbon hanging loop from great grandma's stash

velvet ribbon hanging loop from great grandma’s stash

The design brief A cardy was requested rather than a long sleeved top. She drew a lovely picture of a cardy, with round neck, buttons and two squarish patch pockets. I left it in the middle of the table carefully saved it to scan in for the blog but due to my carelessness despite my best efforts hubby threw it away when tidying up. It was a cute picture, honest.

Contrast cuff action plus hold the seam allowance down twin needle topstitching

Contrast cuff action plus hold the seam allowance down twin needle topstitching

The distraction I wasn’t going to buy buttons until it was finished, to check they were right. I was eyeing some up alright, but I was not going to buy any. And then I ended up in Guthrie and Ghani when I was away and my patient friend suggested I look at buttons and they had these amazing clear circular buttons with red hearts outlined on. I didn’t stand a chance. (They don’t seem to have them in the online shop. I also got some with turquoise cat heads on, which are much nicer than that sounds).

Button Love

Button Love

The pattern Simplicity 1573. Again. I used the long sleeved t shirt (technically a pajama top but hey), in a size 8 rather than the usual size 7 (so she can wear it over the other t shirts that I’ve made from this pattern) and hacked it after rather breifly looking at some tutorials on hacking t shirts patterns into adult cardies (sorry, links lost in the mists of time, but I’m sure you’d find something if you’re interested).

Pocket design to mimic buttons,. Note hand width plus ease lines I marked as my starting point to get the size right. The pockets are lined in the softer turquoise fabric for extra snuggle factor.

Pocket design to mimic buttons. Note hand width (plus ease) lines that I marked as my starting point to get the size right. The pockets are lined in the softer turquoise fabric for extra snuggle factor.

The design element I realised that I had pretty much all of the red t shirt left that I’d cut up to make a neckband for me and that the pockets could be heart shaped like the buttons. And before you know it it had red heart shaped pockets, red cuffs, collar, bottom band and cuffs.

Pocket and lining stitched together and clipped ready to turn. Then the top "M" shape was topstitched before placing on the cardy and sewing the rest into place.

Pocket and lining stitched together and clipped ready to turn. Then the top “M” shape was topstitched before placing on the cardy and sewing the rest into place.

Glorious pocket action (yeah, ok, they bag out a little, but I still like 'em)

Glorious pocket action (yeah, ok, they bag out a little, but I still like ’em)

The technical bits. The front was cut as two pieces (instead of on the fold) and extended slightly so the edges could fold over and be the button band. (Originally I was going to have the button bands as separate pieces added on. I think actually that might have been neater after all. I was swayed by what others had done). I also lowered the front curve of the neckline slightly and I stay stitched it to prevent stretching. The button band was reinforced with interfacing, as were the shoulder seams. I forgot to turn under the edge of the first button band I sewed down so it looks a bit messy, grr. The “ribbing” is standard t shirt fabric and I cut it 90% of the width required plus seam allowances, I was worried it wouldn’t cope with 85%, actually I think it would’ve but it looks fine as it is. The seams are all finished with my overlocker foot as I don’t trust the turquoise fabric not to fray. I had to trim the edge of the ribbing/main fabric seam at 45 degrees (as if you’re going to turn something) as it was poking out the front of the sitching band slightly, so then topstitched all the ribbing seam allowance in place with my twin needle, which makes the bottom a bit uneven as the overlocking had made the seam allowance wavy.

Interfacing the button band before folding it over and sewing it down.

Interfacing the button band before folding it over and sewing it down.

The finish Could do better. My cardy pattern hack worked fine but as my finished piece ended up more complicated than I orignally planned (no seperate ribbing bands) I hadn’t thought through how to hide the raw seams and on a cardy they may well show if it’s unbuttoned and flaps open. So I think a proper pattern could have led to a neater finish. (For instance, I realised after reading Sparkleneedles recent cardigan adventures that the side/shoulder/armhole seams would have been better as french seams, which would’ve been easy enough with the 5/8″ seam allowance). The top buttonhole messed up too (it would be that one) and is a little wonky. And why oh why did I decide to use turquoise thread and twin needles to topstitch a red heart pocket? That’s just asking for trouble, especially with the curved edges. So, I think it definitely looks home made to me. But it doesn’t scream home made to all and sundry, so I can live with that because it’s so fun.

Hiding the raw ends. Also the buttonholes in the middle, that were done flat rather than half over extra layers, worked much better, unsurprisingly.

Hiding the raw ends. Also the buttonholes in the middle, that were done flat rather than half over extra layers, worked much better, unsurprisingly.


The result Great, I’m really happy with it.

Ready for the big reveal photo(s)?….

The Girl likes pretty things

Cuffs folded over as the sleeves have growing room 😉

Now, where are those pockets

Now, where are those pockets

Ta Da

Ta Da


Here's looking at you kid. (and yes, she's wearing that over polka dot pajama's and with a skirt. Long story)

Here’s looking at you kid. (and yes, she’s wearing that over polka dot pajama’s and with a skirt. Long story)