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.

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).

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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).

Kushion Karma

This Niephlet present is even later than the last one. Badder Aunty. Hopefully it’s smooth satin blackness, supportive comfiness and amusing keyboard positioning handles will make up for the wait.

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Having used this pattern to make these neck support pillows before, it should’ve been a quick easy make, but clearly to punish me for my lax auntyingness, the fabric/machine/thread conspired to slip, snarl and break. However I won in the end and I now have a box of wrapped presents that I just need to get my act together and post.  Soon, I’ll do it soon. Honest.

Still seeing red

When I made myself a top recently, I made the leftover fabric into some shorts for The Girl. So, when I then had some more of the same fabric, but in red, left over from making The Boy a Semper Top it seemed only natural to make The Girl some more shorts.

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I realised that if I didn’t cut the waistband out of the red fabric, then I would have enough of it left to make a theraputic neck pillow for The Boy (who is jealous of his sisters and has requested a red one with black elastic handles). I figured I could get away with using this knit fabric as it’s quite thick and stable.

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So, the waistband for the shorts is made from some grey ribbing which ties in with the grey bias binding edging the pockets (originally bought to finish the hood of his Semper). I wish I’d got the edging sewn down as neatly as I did last time, as red on grey shows up much more than navy on dark purples, but them’s the breaks.

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They’re a hit!

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As it the pillow/punchbag.

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Now I just need to find the purple shorts, which went AWOL less than a week after I made them. Sigh.

 

 

 

 

Banana bib bungle

Front, not so bad

Front, not so bad

Goal: Post illness, post Christmas, easy simple quick sewing project to get me back in the swing of things.

Result: Got far too complicated, took far too long, went wrong in many ways, looks awful, has been THROWN AWAY.

Avert your eyes from the mess

Avert your eyes from the mess

Pattern: Cosy Piece Neckwarmer from Ottobre Autumn 4/2014. It’s two pieces of fabric (one fleece one knit) sewn together and finished with some ribbing. How hard can it be?

Ridiculous Complications: I decided to use fleece (left over from the magnificent Pikachu) on the inside rather than the outside, so far so good, and some more scraps of the multicoloured wierd knit stuff (that I used as the arms on his Christmas t shirt) on the outside. Except my piece wasn’t big enough, so I had to cut 2 halves (instead of cutting on the fold, I did remember to add seam allowance, my brain was obviously semi funcitonal) and sew them together. But now I had a really obvious seam running down the front with different colours either side. So I decided to cut out his initial from fleece and sew it down. Fleece doesn’t fray so it should’ve been easy, right? Fairly predictably this went badly, so I had to unpick it and resew it, second time it only looked scruffy. At this point I’d been faffing about for an hour and was finally ready to start the quick easy make.

Shudder

Shudder

To make matters worse: The ribbing was too narrow, probably I cut it too narrow. There was no pattern piece, you just had to cut it 3.5m wide and 70% of the circumference. I had to measure the circumference, which I felt was a bit much, as there are only 2 sizes to this pattern surely they could have bothered to tell you the measurement. Anyway, that bit worked ok, but once I’d sewn the binding down I didn’t really have enough to fold it over, turn the raw edge under and sew it down. I tried to get it to work, stretched hard, put in loads of pins and crossed my fingers. I ended up with the binding escaping the stitching in loads of places on the back. At this point, I should have unpicked it and cut new ribbing but the boy wandered by and told me it looked like a bib and he was too old for bibs (he had a point).

The nail in the coffin: The snaps, which had been in my stash for, I dunno, 20 years (I think they’re about as old as my long lost dress). I tried them on some scrap fleece, they worked fine, but on the real thing, they weren’t playing ball. Some didn’t line up properly and ended up with little spikey bits poking through the fabric. On the other side, they wouldn’t attach at all, whatever I tried. At this point I knew it was irrideemable. Plus it’s too small to cut it down into something else. It was at this point the boy decided he wanted it finished as he’d like to wear it. I waited a couple of days until he’d forgotten about it and hid it in the bottom of the bin.

This project annoys me disproportiontely. It was basically made from scraps from other projects and didn’t cost me anything. Yes, it took longer than it should, but not that long, it was over in an afternoon. Any top tips for moving on from duff projects? Or are you still haunted by past mistakes?

I am a bad disorganised sewer.

I have not finished my to do pile.

I keep starting more things.

And then putting them on one side and starting yet more. (I feel like an out of control mathematical expression, all open parenthesis and not an end in sight.)

My fabric is in random heaps in the spare room.

I have not sorted out my hardware issues and have written draft blog posts which I can’t upload the pictures for and started yet more blog posts using rubbish pictures but haven’t finished them.

I was going to get organised (sewing wise at least) and make myself some trousers back in October.

It’s now nearly the end of November and I’m thinking about blouses.

I blame Erin from Seamstresserin as she keeps writing about bow neck blouses of every kind imaginable for her sewalong. Not that I’m tempted to try a bow neck blouse at all as they’re really not my thing.

However I have been tempted by all the lovely Wiksten Tova blouses out there in blog land, there are too many to know where to start linking to. So tempted that despite my reservations about whether I’m the right shape to fit in suit one I went ahead and bought the pattern to celebrate finishing my curtains (by far the bulk of the remaining pile) although I had to use my mum’s printer to print it out. In the end I was swayed by the fact that I think the pattern is a bit like my favourite blouse, so has potential. Wanna see?

My fave blouse (bought from Seasalt)

My fave blouse (bought from Seasalt)

It’s all floaty in a gauzey soft cotton fabric witha subtle little print on it and it’s floaty without being tent like and Holy Moly that keyhole neckline thing has a bow. A shoestring bow maybe but it’s a bow. Where did that come from?! How did I never notice that?

Anyway, I like the collar on the Tova and I have a large piece of plain blue knit fabric from the scrapstore that I’ve used a corner from to make a toile/muslin in which has the added bonus that I won’t need to bother about finishing the seams.

So I just need to match these pattern pieces up from my printout and …. hold on, I can match the little number triangle OR the edge of the pattern pieces OR the edges of the rectangles, but not 2 of them, let alone all 3. Oh well, I’ll bodge it together and soldier on.

Right now to cut out in my blue fabric. Hang on, this fabric, err, there’s not very much of it and I seem to have used over half of what there was. There is nowhere near enough to make a blouse.

Ok, I’ll rummage upstairs. Except I don’t make clothes for me so there is nothing suitable in my fabric pile. Except maybe this that I picked up from the scrapstore for £1, which horror of horrors is pink. Ok, I can do pink, it’s just a toile after all.

Next, cutting out, ok. Put on plackets, fine. Attatch to front piece. Hmm, I’ve attached it inside out, which is even more obvious as I couldn’t be bothered to wind a pink bobbin so there’s the white reverse of my topstitching showing. And a hole on one corner where I failed to attatch the inset correctly. This needs needs redoing. 3 times . Hmm, this fabric is loose weave, it frays easily and pins leave holes.

Ok, so the front is bodged together just about assembled. Maybe I’ll just sew it to the back to try it on. Pink is not my colour, this is definitely a toile. I’ll try and take in the back, which appears to be a couple of sizes bigger than the front and add the sleeves. Hmm, I’ve added one sleeve inside out. Never mind, I can still guage the fit this way. Hmm, I wonder if I could, yes I might….

This is the only time I will wear this

This is the only time I will wear this

Behold (but not too closely) the prototype bow neck Tova. I bet this has been done before, to solve the gaping placket issue, but I can’t find an example of it. I have found a collarless Tova (done properly with bias binding not just turned over and hemmed like this one). Actually I kind of like it and I think the unfinished wider sleeves balance it nicely. Shame it’s so badly made, not great fitting and pink.

Seriously, I’m not convinced about the way the inset sits on my bust. Although hubby thinks it’s fine. Also, the upper back and the top of the sleeves feel a bit tight so I definitely don’t want to try the full bust adjustment if that results in a tighter sleeve cap. Which is a shame as I saw some great fabric for making a Tova dress (with a collar) that I had imagined I could rustle up for my weekend away on Friday. I think I need to let my subconcious mull over next steps for a while, but I hope there will be a well made properly fitted version sometime and maybe a bow necked version one day too. And if I do try again then I need to start before 9pm, takemy time, concentrate and do itproperly! If not, my mum might have the pattern as she was eyeing it up!