Messing about on the river

My son loves prints as much as he loves colours and it’s so hard to find boyish ones, or rather, not girly ones, so I tend to snatch them up when I stumble across them.

A while ago I bought this boat print, which is very lovely, but the long sleeved ADV T I made it into hasn’t got worn so much, on reflection the design is probably a bit young for him, or maybe just not his thing.

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With the remnants of the long sleeve T I started making a short sleeved negative version shortly after this was finished. (I used turquoise ribbing for the neckband, the closest match I had, I didn’t want lots of bits of boats there!)

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I had to piece the back as I didn’t have enough red left and I foolishly decided to applique a boat on it whilst I was at it to match the print. It looked naff. My son loved it and wanted me to make it the front, which a) I didn’t want to do and b) would’ve been very complicated. So it languished in a pile for far too long, until I unearthed it in April when I joined in with the Sew Alongs and Sewing Contests UFO Purge.

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After a brief try at sprucing up the applique, in the end I just manged to re-piece the back out of red remnants so it was plain red. Phew. After that it was a quick finish.

I wasn’t sure how much it’d be worn though, however, there was a lot of the boat fabric left and still a little red, so I made up some matching Domi shorts to make a summer pj set.  I even retraced them in the next size up.

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Night Night!

Dandelion Tea

T shirts. A staple make for me, cos that’s what I wear day in day out, but I tend to make the same ones all the time, because I’ve adjusted the pattern for me and lets face it, how different can a t shirt be?

Then I saw the Chai t-shirt pattern by Liesl and Co, and not only do the pleats stand out, but the sleeves are different from the t-shirt patterns I have too, plus it has A/B, C and D cup size options, so I thought I might be able to get away with not doing a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) and I decided to give it a go.

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Looking through my fabric to make a test one, I found this burgundy knit, with not much stretch, that I thought would do. I didn’t think there would be enough, so I pulled out a remnant of black jersey with a styilised dandelion print and thought I’d have to use it for the yokes and sleeves. In the end, I had enough to cut everything in the burgundy, but I had the idea in my head then so I cut the yokes and neckband in the dandelions.

Then one night whilst noodling on the internet I saw someone painting dandelions with a toilet roll tube. It looked so easy (this gives you the idea) and I thought, “I know, I’ll put a couple of dandelions onto the shirt front using some of my screenprint dye”.

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Needless to say it did not come out as well as the internet suggested it would. Luckily I tried it on a scrap bit of fabric. But LSH liked the seeds flying off that I’d done with the glue spreader.

So I tried again using my glue spreader, working lines around in a circle and then adding them inwards and that worked much better and I decided to go for it on my real fabric. (Obviously they didn’t come out quite as good as my test, but hey). Painting a flat piece of fabric that isn’t sewn up yet is definitely easier than painting a t shirt, a definite sewing perk.

So, after faffing around with printing the fabric and setting the dye, the t shirt came together really quickly. I attached the neckband my usual way rather than as the instructions.

The yokes and sleeves are size L, the main pieces are L graded to XL at the waist and the side seams are sewn in a slightly smaller seam allowance than the 1/2″ in the pattern because I was worried it would be a bit tight having had it over my head.  I chose the D cup. The fit is alright, but I think maybe I could use a little more room in the chest, the pleats hide what’s going on a little but I think there’s fabric pooling at the top due to it being a bit tight around my, err, chest apex.

So, as test garments go this is pretty wearable and I’m really chuffed with how the dandelions came out, it turns it from a “using up the oddments” garment into something special. Now to decide what to do next time, do I size up, or try and work out how to do an FBA on the front (which is a different shape to your average t shirt, cos pleats). Any thoughts on top tips?

When someone is having a rough time…

… what better way to go than to make them a Cactus T shirt?

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Kimono T-shirt pattern free from Maria Denmark

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With added length for the beanpole it’s made for

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beautiful fabric from Kitschy Coo, perfect for the succulent growing recipient.

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Much better than flowers, don’t you think?

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It’s winging its way to her as I type.

Generation Gap

It’s official, I am now an Old Fogey who doesn’t understand modern fashion. Namely, the trend of wearing leggings as outerwear. The Girl now prefers to wear leggings and t shirts to the dresses with leggings that she lived in for so long. Cue lots of arguments between me and The Girl about the need for her to cover her bum before she goes out.

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She does have a couple of long t shirts that I let her get away with, so I made her another one. This is an Adv Tee, age 11, with 4 1/2″ added length.

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I just extended the sides straight, so I put 4″ slits at the bottom for ease of movement.

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I changed the front neckline from a v neck to a round neck, just cutting it by eye. The neckband came out rather narrow, but I like it. And to show which is the front, I sewed on 3 of these handmade Stuttgart buttons that I got for Christmas from a lovely friend who lives in Germany.

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And look, decency is preserved. (Well kind of, it runs up a bit cos it’s quite a fitting t shirt).

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Speaking of bum coverage, I made a little something for myself out of the remnants.

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.

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).

 

 

A circus of Puffins

*Actually, the time before I made this t shirt was my first ever Full Bust Adjustment and I messed it up and fudged it. I wasn’t quite sure how to manage one on a kimono sleeve t shirt but according to a comment on Maria’s blog“you just cut off the sleeves, and then put them back on after the adjustment”. Righto. I think I did this right.

Next up, the back. I decided that as I’d gone to all that fuss with the front, maybe I should finally learn how to do a sway back adjustment on the front, using this tutorial from Kitschycoo, in for a penny, in for a pound, right?

 

So, more taping (does anyone actually tape the whole pdf together before starting to cut pattern pieces out?), chose where to do it (err, no lengthen/shorten line as per tutorial, so I chose a handily looking placed join in the taped together pieces), mark wedge to be taken out (in blue) scratch head, re-read tutorial, mark wedge the correct way around (in pink, I’m loosing 2cm height from the centre back here), trace top half of pattern (with seam allowance included trick), mark top part of wedge, rotate greaseproof tracing paper so that line is now at the bottom of wedge, trace bottom part of pattern. See, that wasn’t so bad was it?  And now there are two personalised pattern pieces and walking the side seams looks like the side seams are still about the same length. Brill.

A short panic about cutting into my precious fabric later (really I should use a fabric I don’t care about to test my fit, but all my jersey is precious), 4 seams (with clear elastic in the shoulder seams) later and I’m ready to try it on.

Not too shabby, the swayback has definitely helped reduce pooling in my lower back, it’s a little tight around my ever expanding waistline (no, no happy news here, just pies) and it’s far too long, as despite making this mistake last time, I cut the 4XL length with the L size.

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Just some finishing to do. Inspired by Dandelion Drift recent shoreline boatneck  post I use this variant of this technique to finish my sleeves and neckline in orange ribbing. Happy colours! (I cut the neckline ribbing at about 90% the length of my neckline).  This was a bit of a spur of the moment decision, I love the orange but had to trim my seam allowance to get the binding to work as instructed. The inside looks a bit messy but worst of all the sleeve hem is still flipping up in the pictures above. Arghh. Bane of my sewing with knits life.

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Then I hacked off some inches from the bottom and added a wider orange rib band (so the length ended up back to about where it was drafted, nice and long without being silly).

And the jobs a good un. And now I can wear puffins all day long! My daughter’s comment on it was “these two are talking to each other and this one is ignoring that one”…