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.