It was the third one that nearly killed me

OK, so that’s an exageration, but by the time I was finishing the third and final last minute Christmas make I was feeling pretty rough. That’s what coming down with a stomach bug does to you.

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Still, if you will leave taping and cutting out the pdf until first thing Christmas Eve morning (the house was blissfully quiet as I was the only one up) and cutting and sewing until after the kids are in bed and you’ve walked your mum home (I’m thinking it was about 9pm, it’s a bit of a blur now), then you don’t have a lot of choice if you need to get it done in time. Let this be a lesson to you me.

I was fairly confident as I knew a tshirt dress, with only 5 pieces (front, back, 2 sleeves, neckband) would be a pretty quick make, but I hadn’t counted on how rough I would feel. I even switched the pedal over to slow mode to help me cope (usually only used when kids are on the machine).

But, I did it, well almost, it didn’t get hemmed until a  couple of days later but it did get worn on Christmas day. And I decided to skip the planned step of adding in some side pockets.

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So, this is Nivalis number 2, sized up 2 sizes from last time, one size because the last one is quite slim fitting with not much growing room and the second size because this fabric was a bit thicker and not quite so stretchy as last time (I think it might be ponte). Probably I should’ve only sized up one size as now it’s really quite long, but never mind, she’ll grow.  Also, I left off the tabs this time (that was planned, not just because I ran out of time).

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?

Nivalis

Recently I saw a 10% off code for Sofilantjes. It lasted 1 day.  So I quickly told my friend who I knew was considering getting the Domi pattern and she dully bought them. The next day I remembered that I was planning to get the Nivalis tunic and dress pattern, doh. Needless to say I bought it anyway as I had two lots of remnants with this pattern in mind. First up, use the colour block dress version to make a minuture copy of this black and pink dress to give to The Girls friend who’d admired the original (The Girl won’t touch that fabric with a bargepole). I didn’t have enough fabric, not even for a tunic, so I made myself commiseratory pants instead.  Never mind, I had plans to make the leftover of my floral mustard leggings into a tunic for the girl. Guess what, not enough of that either. (I think I’ve found something else to do with it though, so watch this space). When Will I Learn?

Now I had the pattern though, I had to do something with it. So I broke out my secret “this was going to be a Christmas present dress (in 2015, I ran out of time)” blue/teal/purple/pink/yellow peacock/rainbow/shell fabric and got to work. Directional print, limited fabric, I only just squeezed it out without having to have the back upside down or cut it in two pieces. I think I refolded it about 6 times before I managed it. Still Learning.

I used the layer printing option for the first time to reduce the number of sizes printed (several designers do this) and guess what, it makes life easier! This came together quick and easy (one evening to finish the last bits of pdf taping, cut it out and sew it), the most time was spent fiddling with the (optional) tabs (although I lost the mark of where to attach them on the pattern piece somehow and had to work it out based on the button placement mark) and the (self drafted) pocket (less said about that the better, it’s a bit wobbly). I didn’t do the hood (which she wouldn’t use) or the collar (not my style), so if you went for one of those options it’d take a bit longer. I got a bit confused as to how to finish the cap sleeves, the inside of the underarms are a bit messy, maybe I was supposed to hem them before doing the side seam? Anyway, that might well be me as I wasn’t having my best sewing day yesterday and there a couple of things on this that weren’t my best work. But the overall result is lovely, and she’s happily wearing it today. It’s slimmer fit that I’m used to seeing her wear, this pattern range seems to be drafted that way, so when I make it again (and I plan to, I want to try a long sleeve tunic top), I think I’ll size up a bit.

But overall, the Nivalis is a stylish, slender, quick win.

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.

 

 

 

 

Bonus shorts

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I offered to make the girl a swishy skirt out of the leftovers of my latest coco, but she chose shorts instead.

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I thought she might want the Domi short pattern (as used on her pyjamas) shortened, to be a similar length to her shop bought ones, but she chose to keep them long. She also kept the patch pockets (rather than opting for the circle openings) and designed them with the reverse, slightly stripey side of the fabric, on the pockets and waistband.

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I used the rest of the knit bias tape to bind the edge of the pockets and neaten them off. I think it looks pretty good. (Another option would be to line them I guess.)

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One quick and easy make and they’re are a hit, especially as the fabric feels “silky”.

Puffin Pyjama’s

Seasonal Sewing Wardrobe 2, the sleepwear edition, and my third pair of kids summer pj’s are now completed. (Which means I’m either half way through or I’ve finished depending on if you count a set of pj’s as one item or two.)

These are quite clearly made from the leftovers of my puffin t shirt.

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However there wasn’t quite enough so the shorts are made from some grey knit. I was a little worried that The Girl would reject the grey, as too grey-ey, so as well as puffins on the pockets and the waistband I added orange puffin feet. I’m quite pleased with these, the “toes” are sewn with my twin needle for an authentic raised effect (do a search or puffin feet and you’ll see what I mean) and you might just make out the claws that I zig zagged on in black. Not bad for 10 minutes work!

As you can see, they have been deemed acceptable. Yay!

Oh and the t shirt top is an version Simplicity 1573 of that I altered ages ago and the short pattern is the Domi Sweatpant shorts from Sofilantjes.

Ketchup

Or what I have been doing of late. ..

Well I finished the first Seasonal Sewalong Wardrobe, by the skin of my teeth, and by sticking to the letter of the sewalong (so including things I started before the challenge that I finished during it, which was allowed, but I hadn’t planned to include them,  however I ran out of time). My theme was Everyday Essentials, and as I’m a pretty scruffy dresser who has to resist the urge to dress like a toddler whose been given complete free range, two mad print t shirts fit the bill well, as did two pairs of jeans. I upped my style quota a bit by making a Mila shirt too. I desperately needed warm tops in my life, the planned awesome hoodie never got started (sorry Thimberlina, it’s still on the to do list), but I did include my camel jumper, and the top that it was a muslin for, my (unblogged) dandelion jumper. This was a long standing UFO as I printed the dandelions onto the fabric at the screen printing day I went to last year and then it got put on one side whilst I faffed about testing my pattern rubbing skills on the camel jumper (which required screens to be ordered etc). However, despite being made with the same pattern pieces, it doesn’t fit as well and I think I might like the ribbed neck even less than the failed collar. Hey ho, they are both comfy and will be worn lots. I also made a pair of leggings, but didn’t finish the skirt they were planned to be worn with, so they don’t really fit in. They do however look really good with the red skirt I made last year so all is not lost. Plus I have finally made a pair of leggings that I’m happy with, huzzah.

Things that didn’t make it into the SSW1 but are now languishing on my pile are: Another pair of Liana jeans that are driving me insane for no apparent reason, I think it might be the fabric. Anyway, the pockets are now done (I’m liking the illusion image topstitching but can’t help thinking they’d be better further down the pockets. Oh well, I’m not doing it again now as this wasn’t my first attempt at the pockets). A woven top that I found part made in a Box of Broken Dreams and was going to finish but just did nothing with instead. Another Mila, that will be a variation that opens all the way at the front cos I messed up cutting it out. And the Evan skirt that I got really confused by and then never finished, despite having a very lovely and comprehensive email reply to my query from the designer. Turns out I can’t read (my conclusion, not hers I should point out, but definitely a valid conclusion).

We’re now on SSW2, sleepwear, and I’m going so much better. I’ve done 2 pairs of pyjama’s, which I think means I’m 1/3 way through the 6 items I need with two months still left to go (and if I’m wrong, I’m 2/3 way through, but making more items is fine too).

The shorts are the Domi sweatpants pattern made in t shirt knit fabric. I measured both kids, there’s 18 months between them and 2 inches height difference. There was only about 1cm difference in their waist sizes and nearer 10cm difference in their hip sizes. Which is why, when reading the “if in doubt go with the hip size” comment I picked completely the wrong size for him last time, as I hadn’t figured out that doesn’t work if you have a beanpole for a son. I made an age 11 in test blue fabric and it fit both of them ok (when buying her clothes I get age 9-10 at the moment as she is tall for her age, you just don’t notice when she stands next to him). She ended up with the blue test pair, made from mystery blue knit fabric (no idea where that came from) and remnants from one of my tops. They come with a badly self drafted raglan t shirt top that got turned sleeveless as it was too tight under the arms – but I think it looks pretty cool like that now. It also has a bow at the front, which serves a double purpose of letting her know which way round it goes and hiding the mend where I accidentally cut a hole in it.  He got an orange and white/green striped pair that used a t shirt pattern I adapted before and the Domi shorts again. I love this pair of pj’s so much. I also like the Domi short pattern a lot better now I’ve worked out the sizing a bit better (but they’re still quite baggy on him), however I’m not convinced by the way the raw edge of the pocket is just zig zagged down – maybe it’d work better in sweatshirt fabric?

Fninally the stashbusting theme this month is selfless sewing, which felt right after concentrating on me for so long trying to get 8 SSW pieces done. As well as the two sets of PJ’s, I also made a hat for my friends daughter, to replace one that got lost.  Blue and elephants, with floral trim. It was very popular. Plus I squeezed a bandana out of the remainding fabric and she made a bracelet out of the scraps. Also I took the opportunity to give to her mum  the bag that I made ages ago, and then misplaced until very recently. Turns out it was her I gave my Drape Drape top too, which explains why the friend I thought I’d given it to never wears it.

I have now offically made more things than I can keep track of (including the pile of leftover fabric that I’d set on oneside to make into pj’s for the girl that I discovered I’d made into shorts and had no memory of whatsoever. They have been rejected by her, but another girl is now loving them, so all is well).