Last Minute Shenanigans II

S0011201.JPGThe apron for my friends vertically challenged mother in law that I made 2 years ago was such a big hit that this year she asked for another one, in olive green. My friend gave me a bag with some lovely fabric that she’d bought and co-ordinating green webbing. (I no some people never sew for others but I have no qualms sewing for this particular friend as she does so much for me and others, for instance she just looked¬† after our dog for 2 days so we could all go cuddle a baby).

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So the morning of Christmas Eve I set to work (before it was too late!). With grey thread because I had nothing appropriate in green and my non-sewing friend hadn’t thought to buy any. I made the neckband adjustable again, like before, and I was a little worried there wasn’t quite enough webbing left for the straps, so I raided my box of bits salvaged from defunct rucksacks and added an adjustable clip there too (takes less strap as you don’t need to tie a bow).

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I mainly followed this tutorial to make a slightly fancier pocket on the front, it all got a bit rushed at this point so I may not have followed it exactly. It’s lined in some pinkish fabric from my scrapbox.

All safely delivered to my friend after lunch on Christmas Eve, I have yet to hear if her Mother in Law approves.

 

Hello Goodbye

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This week the wonderful Jewel is hosting a pop up sew a long over on the Sew Alongs & Sewing Contests Facebook Page to encourage us to finish up some UFO’s (Un Finished Objects, aka abandoned projects). Her enthusiasm is infectious and my 3rd finished UFO this week is this Jalie 3132 .

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Scuse the wet hair, this was a rather rushed “while you’re on your way to work could you just take a pic of this” photo shoot this morning, the reason being so that I could take it with me to a coffee date to donate to a friend.

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This top is just too tight for my liking (see concertina effect on my inner elbow). Yes, I can wear it, but I don’t find it comfy or flattering and rather than keeping it in the hope it’ll fit better at some stage in the future, or to wear as a base layer, I’m liberating it so that it can find a forever home where it is loved and appreciated.

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I got this fabric about 2 and a half years ago on a tourist visit to Guthrie and Ghani thinking I’d make something for my then 6 year old with it, but when I got the pattern from Katrin in a CSC sewing swap I decided to use it for that instead. I got as far as tracing the pattern and doing a FBA but only cut out the back. The reason being that this fabric is thin and shifty and I was struggling to match the stripes up. Well, this week I commenced Operation Lower Your Standards and Get On With It and the top was duly cut out. The make itself was fairly straight forward, I even managed the binding on the V neck as per the instructions without any tears.

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With such a big gap between tracing the pattern and doing most of the cutting out and sewing up, I can’t really comment on if the sizing issue was my fault in choosing the wrong size, the pattern drafting, or my shape changing in the meantime. The pattern came together nicely and had a sensible amount of notches for matching up. It’s drafted with a 2″ hem, wider than the markings on my sewing machine, so I had to use masking tape to help me line it up for sewing! The sleeve is cut on the fold, which is slightly unusual and I must admit as someone used to asymmetric sleeves I’m a little skeptical that this is the best way to go. My main conclusion about this top is that pretty as it is, I don’t like working with this fabric. It’s a bit see through and not that fun to work with. However, I think it’s made up into a lovely top and I hope it gets lots of wear with my friend.

Hello Goodbye it is then.

Attack Kitties

They may look cute, but these kitties are on constant look out for the Mean Reds, ready to pounce on them in an instant.

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Now my only problem is to rustle up something suitable to wear my new leggings with.

(BTW the waistband, unseen here, is cunningly constructed to omit bulky elastic overlap, thanks to the top tip in this Thread Theory Tutorial).

 

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.

 

 

 

 

When is Selfless Sewing Really Selfish Sewing?

When your kids are playing up and you have guests imminent/staying and you want to forget it all and go to your happy place, of course.

Of course, under those circumstances, you need some quick makes, simple things, either rectangles or well known patterns.

Just over a week ago I ended up giving a neighbour who was in labour a lift to the maternity hospital. Which of course meant that she (and her partner, and her mum, and her sister) had to go in the camper van (and the kids ended up hanging out with my slightly bemused next door neighbour for half an hour). She got there in time (in fact, in plenty of time, despite looking like she only had a couple of hours to go it turned out to be a long labour) and they are now at home with their new daughter.

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So of course, I wanted make a little something as a momento for them and I ended up getting some more of the camper van fabric to do some, plus some co-ordinating yellow polka dots (as our van is yellow).

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This taggie blanket uses ribbons from my stash and has her initial on one side in satin.

 

And the matching sunhat is maybe a little big for her at the moment but I hope it gets some use (her Dad modelled it for me, I think he was quite taken with it). This one is not rectangles but I have used this pattern so  many times I can run it up so fast now.

Even though I only bought half a metre of each fabric, I still had some left over. Which was useful for making a couple of pencil cases to give as presents (the girl was invited to two birthday parties on consecutive days), they have a few pens and things inside them.

And then thanks to Felafel and the BeeFelafel and the Bee I stumbled across this little wallet/purse tutorial and managed to make one of those up too as it takes quite a small amount of fabric. (It’s a little deeper than the tutorial to minimise the number of vans mangled in its making). I still have a little left over, although hubby has run off with the scraps of the polka dots.

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Finally, this one is not camper van themed, rather a (very badly photographed) satin pillowcase as a gift for a friend who was supposed to be convalescing after a major operation, but as that has been postponed for a while, it’s now to give her sweet dreams in the mean time.

 

 

 

Supercats to the rescue

Eek, it’s nearly the end of May and I have yet to cross the finish line for the 2016 Spring Seasonal Sew Wardrobe. There’s only one thing to do. Break out the supercats…

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and make another Maria Denmark Kimono T shirt.

Bonus points if you spot the table top ironing board I found at the tip today. Pretty useless as an autoharp, but I’m hoping to add it to my pressing armoury once I recover it.

 

M is for?

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Mind the Moose Mila shirt, natch (with printed selvage edge made into a label).

 

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Stashbust? Check. Bought this last year on holiday in Wales (later found my local fabric shop stocks it too). Pretty much the whole 2m used.

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Seasonal Sewing Wardrobe Challenge? Check.

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Pattern? Itch to Sitch Mila shirt. So now I can be a total fan girl in this and my Liana jeans.

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Well drafted? Check, all lined up perfectly and you get to chose your upper chest in A, B, C, D or DD cups.

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Customer service? Excellent. When I got confused as to which size to choose someone suggested I ask Kennis on facebook and she looked at my measurements and suggested 12DD top graded to 18 a the waist and hips. Seams to have worked fine.

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Instructions: Excellent, and leads to to really professional finish. I had never inserted a partial placket before and it went swimmingly.

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Any deviation from said instructions? I wimped out on narrow curved hem and used satin bias binding instead.

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Pattern Alerations: As it was drafted for people up to 5’7″ and I’m 5’8″ and like things long, I added 1 1/2″ to the length. I probably didn’t need too.

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Sulkiest Machine Moment: Buttonholes. My machine, always fickle with buttonholes at best, decided to try and chew up the fabric. Eventually, I had a brainwave and unscrewed the throat plate and found a serious lint build up, eurghhh. I spent 15 minutes clearing it all out and after a wait while I made jeans, gave it a go, and it was much better. I also worked out that I need to turn the stitch length down 3 notches for the last step of the buttonhole (when it stiches forward down the right hand side) in order for the two sides to match up.

Overall? Not the quickest make, but the finish is great and I have a sunny yellow shirt.

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Best pattern matching moment: Check out the moose down the placket and on the centre back of the collar.

Best comment: “with that label in it it looks like you bought it” LSH.

Fabric bought for the next one? You betcha (don’t tell the stashbusters, but I really don’t have much lightweight fabric in my stash).