Hoodie 2.0

(or Yay, I finally sewed something)

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First there was Hoodie 1.0, AKA the Hobbit Hoodie (short and fat).

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Then there was the beta (aka test) version of the What-No-Decent-Mens-Hoodie-Patterns?-Surely-Even-My-Drafting -Has-to-Fit-Better-Than-the-First-One Hoodie (known as the bike hoodie for short).

Now meet, Hoodie 2.0, the Vaguely Steampunk Cogs Hoodie (in teal).

This is basically the same pattern as the Bike Hoodie (i.e. self drafted raglan with hood and pockets from a free Lekala pattern) with a few very technical and highly skilled fitting tweaks. (Bear with me here while I describe these for fellow pro’s and don’t worry too much if you find my description too indecipherable, you probably just don’t have my amazing fitting skills, so just nod in awe instead.) I took a thumbs length out of the underarm sleeve, tapering it down to the nothing at the cuff seam and I took half a thumb out of the middle of the raglan seam tapering to nothing at either end of the seam. Oh and I redrew the side seam so it was actually straight and perpendicular to the hem. I know, I know, technical stuff.

My other change was to line the hood. Which I did by underlining, as I wanted to keep the main fabric folded over to the inside and I wasn’t sure how else to achieve this didn’t want to show anyone up any more by redrafting the pieces to make that happen.  Basically I cut out and sewed 2 hood pieces, one in my main fabric and one in leftover fabric from my stash (my initial thought was to buy something, quite pleased I double checked I really needed to, not least as this stuff feels very soft and warm). Then I tacked (basted) them together. Then I folded the front edge over and pressed in place. Oh and I wanted to use twill tape to thread through the channel but as last time I had trouble getting safety pins through my eyelets I tacked this into the crease of the foldover before sewing my edges down (so it wouldn’t shift and get caught in the stitching), crossed my fingers and by jove it worked, when I unpicked my tacking I had succesfully sewn my drawstring into the casing but left it free to move. Less haste more speed and all that.  Oh and I used the same twill tape to cover the hood/hoodie seam and to make a hanging loop (always useful).

Finished last night, roadtested on a family day out today, thumbs up, made me smile lots and hubby seemed to like it too. The fit is definitely better again (although as always there is room for improvement) and I wish I’d cut the inerfacing tape I used to stabilise the front with in half as due to my narrow seam allowance it shows. But as Points To Improve On go, that’s pretty minor.

Gosh all this Science is hard work (especially after a late night sewing finish). I hope you had a great Easter Weekend too.

Beta Bicycle Hoodie

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After the so close and yet so far Hobbit Hoodie, I knew I wanted to make Long Suffering Husband another hoodie for his upcoming birthday. Things were discussed. Very complicated things. I also had a look around for a better pattern and didn’t get very far, I was beginning to think I’d have to draft one myself. Eek.  And then I spied this grey (terry?) knit in my local fabric shop. It’s not much thicker than a t shirt weight and not great quality, but it was cheap so I snapped up 2 metres and got drafting, making a raglan pattern using an existing top of his as a guide and pinching the pockets and the hood from the Lekala pattern that I used last time.

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Turns out 2m wasn’t quite enough but I decided to use some nice thickish black t shirt knit for the pockets and hood (with a pieced bicycle central stripe as directed) and with the black ribbing I think that looks pretty good.

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If I’m being critical the fit isn’t perfect, there’s a lot of excess fabric pooling along the raglan seams at the front and it has a bit of a bat wing thing going on, but it’s sooo much better than the Lekala/hobbit version so it’s definitely a step in the right direction. In particular it’s long enough to stop drafts getting to his lower back and also reaches the end of his wrists which he’s quite pleased about.

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I didn’t bother with holes for cord in the end as I’m not sure he’ll actually wear the hood up. Which made me wonder why I’d made the hood, but then you can’t really have a hoodie without a hood. The hood looks quite odd up, so in hindsight I probably should’ve bothered, but I’m not worried enough to change it unless I get complaints!

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Christmas is Icumen In

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Bam. Second Christmas present made. Still more than a week before Christmas. Not sure what’s come over me.

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Super quick raglan t shirt made with left over falling coins jersey fabric (from the Grimms brothers fairy tale Sterntaler) and some orange jersey from the stash for the arms and extra length for the body.  Think I might have gone a bit overboard on the extra length. Oh well.

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The ribbing is navy, but a darker blue than the main fabric. I didn’t hand stitch it down this time, but topstitched my raw cuff edges down with navy blue zig zag. I’m not entirely happy with how this has come out but when I use a twin needle I get stitches popping and I’d like not to buy a coverstitch machine.

Oh and confession time the print is upside down on the back. Whoops. Don’t think anyone will ever know though.

Are you making anything for Christmas?

New Pajama’s

I gave up on the idea of 2 pairs of pajama’s from the knits in the mystery bundle, there simply wasn’t enough. Once I’d done that I could concentrate on getting one good pair.

Pleased as Popeye

Pleased as Popeye

I think I managed that.

Pretty pleased with my seal placement

Pretty pleased with my seal placement

There’s not much to say about these. The shorts are the Ottobre sweatpant pattern, again. But shortened (by the oh so scientific method of fold pattern piece up so hemline meets bottom of pocket). Oh yeah, I left the pockets off. But I’d already traced one pocket (in washable pen) first before deciding. So he noticed. And has sulked. Don’t look too closely at the waistband, I used seal fabric and cut it far too narrow and as a result have an ugly bodged wasitband.

ouch!

ouch!

However, I did this after sewing the left front side of the raglan to the right front side (rather than the left back). And unpicking was not pleasant. So I decided to live with bodged waistbands. I resewed the raglan with larger seam allowance and then trimmed the ugliness off.

No, I hadn't sent him to the naughty corner

No, I hadn’t sent him to the naughty corner

The top is a self drafted raglan I had in my pattern folder, not sure when from (this superhero t shirt?), but it seemed wide enough and I added a bit of length (he only ever seems to grow up). I also added a pocket, because the first thing he said when he saw these two fabrics together was “you could have a pocket in this on that”. And cos, you know, pockets.

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The fabric is beautiful, lovely and soft and they compliment each other really well. The blue print is quite pale and subtle and doesn’t show up well in these photo’s, sorry about that, still getting used to my new camera. I still think they would make excellent baby clothes, but I’m in no need of those. I have about enough left to make a toddler t shirt, but can’t help thinking this is the most unpractical colour ever for a toddler t shirt! Anyway, if this jersey is your kind of thing, I can wholeheartedly recommend them, check out the Organic Textile Company website. They have loads of other stuff too and their ethics are clearly in the right place. (I don’t know them, they don’t know I’m writing this, my order last week was my first dealing with them and I’m impressed so I’m spreading the word as I only stumbled across them by accident.)

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I would never have chosen to buy these but I love the pajama’s and I’m really glad they came in the parcel. I think the vertical stripes on the shorts make them kind of old fashioned somehow. If the rest of the projects from this parcel come out this well I’ll be stoked!

The Good, The Bad and The Frantic

The Good:

The front - you can also see the hastily added hanging loop so he could tell which way round it went as I'd forgotten to sew a ribbon label in

The front – you can also see the hastily added hanging loop so he could tell which way round it went as I’d forgotten to sew a ribbon label in (and this time I lowered the front neckline slightly)

I made The Boy a top. Another thing crossed off my Christmas Makes List (which is good as more things keep getting added all the time). And he was very keen to have something made from the left over fabric from some mad leggings I made that I just realised haven’t been blogged yet – can you tell which of the two fabrics I’m referring to? I used the green as it’s a similar weight and toned it down a little. The pattern, a slightly modified version of a raglan t shirt that I drafted before, but a little longer and slightly wider and with long sleeves. I compared it to some long sleeve t shirts already in his wardrobe. I think it will fit. Oh and I curved in the raglan seams a little as suggested in this tutorial. I never knew you were supposed to do this.

The back, no that much difference. The neckline and caffs are just folded over and stitched down by the way, lazy me.

The back, no that much difference. The neckline and caffs are just folded over and stitched down by the way, lazy me.

The Bad:

I can’t find the leftover spotty cordrouy fabric. Which is annoying as I want to use a bit for something. I’ve searched in all my various piles of fabric. I must have put it in a safe place so The Girl didn’t see it. Grr.

The Frantic:

There are two extra big people staying in the house. They came the day after the last one left. This is good, I like family, but it does generate a lot of washing, more things to do and less time to do them.

Oh, and I nearly forgot The Complicated:

The Girl met Father Christmas today and told him that she wanted an Anna (from Frozen) dress for Christmas. I have already bought fabric to make an Elsa dress and worked out how to do it. Hurumph.

A little something extra

I used my left over ponte to make the boy a t shirt. I made it long sleeved as the fabric is fairly thick so I thought it was more suited to an extra layer.

I used the same method I used to make a raglan t shirt before, except I didn’t revise the tutorial so I may not have done it right, still it worked.

My original idea was a grey t shirt back and front, turquoise sleeves and a big turquoise star on the front, so it sort of went with my new top without being matchy matchy. But then the boy (who knew nothing of my plans as he would only complicate them) told me that I should have put the pockets on my coco at a slant and that gave me the idea of putting a kangaroo pouch pocket on the front of his top. And I didn’t have enough grey for the back as well as the front, so I put a blue band in the middle (I figured to keep some grey at the bottom as that’s where it gets dirtiest). This time I used blue thread throughout as I was feeling lazy.

Pose, models own

Pose, models own

Twin needle love. Also, not sure the raglan sleeve is supposed to come to a point like that but hey, it looks good (and the other side matches).

twin needle love. Also, not sure the raglan sleeve is supposed to come to a point like that but hey, it looks good (and the other side matches)

Oh and I changed my idea of appliquing a star. Can you tell what it is? It’s meant to be a lego brick, but the recipient and his grandma are adament that it’s a castle. Ho hum, outnumbered, but it’s been accepted anyway.

The contested lego/castle logo

The contested lego/castle logo

I’m pleased I didn’t have enought fabric for the back as orginally intended as the back looks great, the boy agrees.

More model own poses.

More model own poses.

So this definitely counts as stash busting, the best kind quick, fun, appreciated, finsihed.

dual purpose new top and boy made glittery shakey bottle photo shoot

Dual purpose new top and boy made glittery shakey bottle photo shoot – I know how to trick motivate my workforce.

The only things I would change are – 1) to make it bigger. I thought I had made it a little big, but the sleeves are just right and if anything the length is a little short, which is becuase I messed up somewehre on the stripey back and it ended up and inch shorter than the front. So I trimmed the front. And 2) – to change the shape of the kangaroo pocket so it goes up a little at the sides before it slants in, it’s not been a problem yet but doing it “properly” would help stop things falling out. (In case you noticed, I did cut it symmetrical, i just messed up hemming the slants as I didn’t bother pinning (I know scandalous) and now one side is at a steeper angle than the other (I trimmed the excess fabtric off rather than trying to unpick stitches in knit fabric)). However, I did finish it in an evening when he was asleep and we had been left alone for the weekend by the other two, so I think that gets me extra points.

OK, one more gratuitous shot of the cutest 7 year old in my house.

see, he can sit still, momentarily at least

see, he can sit still, momentarily at least

Pretty in Pink?

So, I have some hot pink shiny metallic jersey foil stuff left from that dress, and it needs using up before it’s too small to make something for anyone I know and/or they’ve grown out of the pink phase. 

A friend of ours is having a 6th birthday party at the weekend, and I thought maybe I could utilise the left over fabric to make an extra present.

Quick birthday pressie

Quick birthday pressie

I used this tutorial for a raglan t shirt, drawing round one of big brothers baggy t shirts for the pattern (new things always need growing room and he’s not much bigger than the girls). My only issue with the tutorial was working out if I used a different neckline front and back, I finally decided after some peering at pictures and much reading of comments to use the front neckline of big brothers t shirt for both the front and back of the pattern.

childs raglan t shirt

childs raglan t shirt

I didn’t really have any fabric that would work well with the hot pink metallic for contrasting sleeves, so I reversed the fabric I had to make shiny front and back pieces with matt sleeves.  I wasn’t sure how to finish the edges on the raglan seams (I was making it up as I went along), the material doesn’t seem to fray but the recipient suffers with excema, so I folded the raw edges down towards the front (I wasn’t sure how it would take being pressed) and topstitched in a black stretch straight stich.  I added a matt big initial “L” on the front too to personalise it, stitched on in black stretch zig zag. 

I decided as I went along to do French seams at the side/under arm seam – I should’ve deided this sooner and added more seam allowance really as I think it will be a skinny fit t shirt now as french seams eat up more material, so it won’t last as long now before it’s outgrown, but hey. I made fold over hems on the bottom and sleeves, but folded them the wrong way, (so over twice to the outside not the inside) to get a contrast matt hem on the shiny body and shiny hem on the matt sleeves, again stitchd in black stretch zig zag. The hems stand slightly proud too. 

inside of seams

inside of seams

I tried the t-shirt on my daughter to check the fit before finishing the neckline.  All fine there. I didn’t have any rib for the neckline so I cut an inch wide piece of fabric on the bias to edge it. I thought I’d use the matt side, as I couldn’t contrast both the front/back and the sleeves I decided contrast with the main pieces would be more noticable.

Pinning the binding on, right side to wrong side of neckline

Pinning the binding on, right side to wrong side of neckline


I sort of made up sewing the neckline as I went. I didn’t iron the bias strip into bias binding as I cannot get the hang of my bias binding maker tool, it just makes a raggedy mess and I wasn’t sure how the fabric would take to pressing. I started off pinning the right (i.e. matt in this case) side of the strip to the inside of the neckline, with the end I started with folded over for a neat edge and the other end overlapping it so it didn’t show. I sewed the bias with a straight stretch stitch, then clipped notches on the curve. Then I turned the t shirt back the right way out and folded the binding over twice and pinned it down, making sure it covered up the stitching line from when it was attached. Then I zig zag stretch stitched it down, to match the applique and other hems.
binding sewn onto wrong side of neckline and clipped

binding sewn onto wrong side of neckline and clipped

The final result fit my son, big head and all, so it should be ok for the birthday girl too. All in all this was a quick easy make.   Around an hour, maybe a bit more, but that included breaks and interruptions.  Plus it was practically cost free in materials and yet another confidence boost to my skills at sewing with jersey.  (I did switch to a jersey needle as I have some and used the stretch stitch options, but I don’t have an overlocker, just a normal machine – so don’t be put off sewing knits if you don’t have an overlocker/serger). And I think it looks ok, well actually I think it looks horrendously and shinilly pink, which is a little overwhelming, but then it’s intended for a 6 year old girl, so that’ll probably be seen as a good thing. Also the fabric is quite stiff, so it looks a bit like a wetsuit, but that’s what you get working with this fabric and whilst I wouldn’t like it again I don’t think it will be an issue. But I’m really pleased with the use of both sides of the fabric, which helps tone down the overall effect a smidgen.

So Philippa, does this count as a scrap buster even though I didn’t have to piece it together?  I have had a request to make hairbands with the remaining scraps…..