Arrrghhh

Today is the last day of term, then we have one day to pack and sort out and then we’re going away. I do not feel organised at all. On the sewing front I have a pair of trousers cut out to make and take and a half made t shirt. On the campervaning front I’m a feeling in quite a bit of trepidation about the whole traveling thing. My friend has just started a blog prior to journeying around Europe with  her 4 kids, which has made me feel in equal parts inspired and completely disorganised in comparison, so now I’m busy printing out car bingo and downloading podcasts from the BBC before we go.

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I did however run up this bag last night for The Girl’s teacher, the fabric just screamed “tote” to me when I was in the shop. It has a denim bottom, mitred to add depth and is lined in red polycotton with a patch pocket inside. I really rushed it and it’s not quite as good as I imagined (I didn’t have enough webbing for my plans for a start), but I’m still pretty chuffed as it looks pretty professional.

 

 

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).

Summer Stripes

Recently I let The Girl loose on my knit stash to pick out her favourite. She surprised me with her choice, a navy and white stripe, normal t shirt weight, a bit slinky and drapey, nice quality. I’d bought a metre from my local fabric shop thinking of a t shirt for me.

Well, she wanted a t shirt. Then I said I could make a matching one for her friend with the leftovers. Then they decided they want dresses.

So, I started with my standard kids t shirt pattern (Simplicity 1571), age 7, extended it , flared it to an A line from the waist down, and added Kimono sleeves inspired by this tutorial (but guesstimated rather than measured) and generally hacked it into a two piece dress pattern.

High wire act

High wire act

The girl chose some turquoise ribbing for the neck binding and I ended up adding some to the sleeves too to finish them (they came out a bit narrow, so I cut the opening diagonally to increase room, and then they didn’t want to hem). She also chose a scrap of one of my old t shirts for a pocket (I didn’t think the main fabric would hold up to the weight of proper pockets but I wanted her to be able to keep a tissue about her person).

Finally I added 3 rows of shirring to the waist to give it a bit of shape. As I made the dress with growing room I put them a little lower than needed so that the top half is a bit baggy now and will grow with her.

A dress for having adventures in

A dress for having adventures in

Then, ta da, dress done. Onto the second one. Except I made a faux pas, I only had enough fabric for 1 1/2 dresses. Whoops. No problem, I went to buy some more fabric, except they sold out of this stuff really quickly apparently and there was none left. (Which is a shame as I was going to by extra for me too). We found some similar blue and white stripes in a slightly less drapey jersey though and with the same trim and a pocket from the same old t shirt it looks very similar.

spot the difference

spot the difference

Right, now to work out what to do with half a dress worth of fabric….
And also to figure out what to do about having used up all my storage on WordPress which means I can’t upload any more pictures. Eek.

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!

Easter Bonnets

Warning the free Oliver and S sunhat pattern is seriously addictive. A quick fun make, albeit with a rather fiddly step of getting the top to attach to the sides. Doesn’t take much fabric.

a

Five reversible sunhats, count ’em

I’ve documented my addiction with this pattern before. This particular batch got started last year. I had quite a bit of lawn fabric leftover after making my mum a Tova so I made some baby tops for small people I knew. There was still fabric left over, so I cut a matching sunhat out for the smallest baby and squeezed one out for her mun too (just, one side needed piecing). Problem is, she has 3 sisters, so before I knew it I was planning 5 reversible sunhats, plus 2 more for my two. Strangely enough I didn’t get very far.

b

bravely modelling in the park on a decidedly less than sunny day

They ended up in my pile of “current” projects for a while, until I rediscovered them whilst looking out pocket fabric for my 2nd pair of junipers. Somemhow, compared to trouser making they seemed fairly straightforward and I got 3 1/2 done. Another push yesterday saw them finished in time to hand over at a playdate in the park. Now we just need some sunny weather for them to wear them in. Well, maybe not for a few days until I’ve got around to making my two theirs…

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the baby hat her hat on for approximately 0.3 seconds before pulling it off. Again.

Construction details: err, as before really. Seam allowance of 1/2″ is included in the pattern pieces. Attaching the crown to the sides is tricky – use many, many pins. Although I seem to be able to do it without cutting notches in the sides these days, not sure how. Having the crown underneath and the side on top when you go to the machine works for me. I forgot to use interfacing on the brim and they seem ok. I use this construction method and topstitch the brim in a spiral, cos I’m lazy.

Oh yeah, and the hat cut in size 3-6 months to match the blouse is still on my pile, I had to start again with that one as it clearly wasn’t going to fit any more, as that young woman has grown a lot in the last year!