The Placket of Doom

(On the Sorry You’re Feeling Ill T-Shirt with Get Better Faster Stripes)

So, the Boy got a tummy bug and got sent home from school. My children have a combined age of approx 20, so needless to say I have dealt with a few tummy bugs in my time. Never have I seen someone laid so low with one though. It wasn’t the typical symptoms so much that were extreme, more his general demeanor, listlessness, staring into space-ness, asking for help to sit up, not reading and barely talking. On Day 5, when he still wasn’t eating at all or showing any signs of improvement, I consulted our GP, which led to him being sent to the hospital to rule out appendicitis. It wasn’t appendicitis (the official diagnosis in the end was viral gastroenteritis), but he did end up getting admitted for 3 nights and put on a drip to counteract the dehydration.

IMG_0019.JPG

It was a busy week. Sitting around doing nothing at the hospital is surprisingly exhausting. Taking my turn being the parent at home with The Girl was surprisingly stressful too. So I decided to make the Boy a t shirt. Ostentatiously that was to cheer him up in the hospital, but really, it was to take my mind of things, which is good, as I didn’t finish it until several days after he got home from the hospital.

IMG_0021.JPG

Being unwell brings out the Aspergers side in my son, and as well as being the exact opposite of his normal chatty self at the hospital (one member of staff commented on how shy he was and I had to explain that he’s actually very outgoing usually, which is one of the reasons I knew he felt so ill), it also seemed to ramp up his sensory sensitivity and he kept complaining that his t shirt was too restrictive around his throat. By the time he was admitted to the ward, he’d stripped of his t shirt and covered himself up in a blanket instead and after that he couldn’t have put a tshirt on if he wanted as by then he had a line in his arm. We took some shirts in to the hospital so that he could wear them as unbuttoned as he liked, but mainly he rocked the bare chested “look you can see even more of my ribs than normal” look.

IMG_0022.JPG

Hence I chose to make no 37 from Ottobre 03/2016 , a raglan Henly style t shirt with stripes up the side, because I thought he could undo the placket and it would feel less restrictive.  Great plan. The downside of the plan turned out to be that I had to make a placket.

Tracing and cutting went well. I made it in a size I was pretty sure had some growing room (as he wasn’t there to measure), but cut it to the length of the pattern 2 sizes up, for my string bean. At this point I was still delusional that I would finish it in an evening and take it with me to the hospital the next day. Ha.

IMG_0018

Mistake no 1: The t shirt was made on a whim so I used scrap fabric that I had in. The grey knots was the only thing really suitable that I had to hand, and I decided to brighten it up a bit with the red (after all what is the point of a faffing around with an extra pattern piece for a side stripe if you never notice it). This was my first mistake as I think the red is a 4 way stretch and it shifted like billy o when I tried to wrangle it into shape and sew it down. Particularly troublesome on that placket. Which brings me to….

IMG_0038.JPG

Mistake no 2: I tried to follow the Ottobre Minimalist Diagrams Are For Wimps Instructions when inserting the placket. This didn’t go well and I ended up with the hot mess you see above. After sleeping on it I decided to recut the front and try again.

IMG_0008

Second time around I used the Thread Theory placket tutorial for their Strathcona henly t shirt. To make this work I cut the placket piece on the fold, rather than as two separate pieces. I didn’t quite follow the instructions to the word, but it went sooo much better this time again. Definitely still room for improvement but liveable with.  The sharp eyed may notice that this placket is the “wrong” way around, that’s because despite tacking the other side, it stretched as I was sewing it and has little tucks in. Grr.

IMG_0010.JPG

Mistake no 3:  Prym poppers. Past experience shows that no matter how many times I reread the instructions or do trial runs on scrap fabric (ok, actually I did 0 trial runs this time), at least one of them always screws up on the real garment. I’ve never had the inserty applicator thingy jam onto the popper before though. Turned out it was due to the popper front and back being misalinged. Another sleep on it moment, before then taking apart with pliers and carefully lining up the replacement popper through the holes it’s predecessor left behind before attaching it.

Mistake no 4: I then sewed the original front with the awful placket to the rest of the t shirt and had to unpick the triple stretch lightening stitch raglan seems. Urgh.

IMG_0016.JPG

The neckband isn’t technically a mistake, but I did follow the Strathcona instructions and tried the slanty edge look and it’s not entirely successful. In particular I’m not happy with the scruffy insides showing when it’s worn open.  However I am now officially past caring.

IMG_0014.JPG

Because tis done now.  And it looks ok, although I wouldn’t want to subject it to close inspection from someone who knows how to sew. I think it has a bit of a cycling top vibe to it.  But most importantly The Boy is now home and on the mend. He hasn’t really passed comment on the new t shirt, but he did chose to wear it.

 

Hello Goodbye

img_00951

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 .

img_00961

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.

img_00971

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.

IMG_0085[2].JPG

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.

IMG_0087[1].JPG

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.

Bad Aunty

IMG_0012[1].JPG

After a busy summer,the kids are now back at school and I’m finally catching up on organising overdue birthday presents for all my Niephlings north of the border.

Exibit A is a Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono t-shirt in awesome print, with extra length for my superhero niece who is so tall that she doesn’t need to jump over buildings, she can just walk over them (well, almost).

IMG_0014[1].JPG

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.

IMG_0300[1].JPG

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.

IMG_0298[1].JPG

Unless you also don’t have enough fabric.

IMG_0299[1].JPG

Luckily I’m getting good at eeking and piecing, must be all the practice.

IMG_0297[1].JPG

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?).

IMG_0304[1]

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.

IMG_0319[1].JPG

And now I have a happy boy.  (Also modelling a circular scarf he just acquired).

IMG_0323[1].JPG

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?

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.

IMG_3932

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.

IMG_3930

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”…

Christmas is Icumen In

IMG_3406

Bam. Second Christmas present made. Still more than a week before Christmas. Not sure what’s come over me.

IMG_3407

Super quick raglan t shirt made with left over falling coins jersey fabric (from the Grimms brothers fairy tale Sterntaler) and some orange jersey from the stash for the arms and extra length for the body.  Think I might have gone a bit overboard on the extra length. Oh well.

IMG_3409

The ribbing is navy, but a darker blue than the main fabric. I didn’t hand stitch it down this time, but topstitched my raw cuff edges down with navy blue zig zag. I’m not entirely happy with how this has come out but when I use a twin needle I get stitches popping and I’d like not to buy a coverstitch machine.

Oh and confession time the print is upside down on the back. Whoops. Don’t think anyone will ever know though.

Are you making anything for Christmas?

Sometimes you just need a quick win

This week has been slow sewing wise. Actually, that’s not entirely true, the other day I had a mending blitz and replaced a broken strap clip on hubby’s favourite bag as well as replacing some stitching on a leather patch on the bag before it came off taking the other end of the strap with it. Then I fixed a coat the Boy has just grown out of so I can pass it on, fixed one of my dresses, one of the Boy’s pajama top and finally got around to adjusting the elastic in the Girl’s Christmas skirt. Phew.

But new things making wise, it has been slow.

Partly this has been due to non sewing things, but I realised yesterday it was also that I was also a little bit put off by my plan for this week. I have 2 pieces of material I’d like to try the Day To Night top again. But after last time, I need to try and fiddle with the pattern a bit (although I suspect my friend wouldn’t mind so much if I gave her another iteration or two of that top as she really likes it). And the thought of working out how to do a FBA on a drape top seemed hard. So I kept waiting for the right time to start. Which never seemed to come.

So, today I switched it up and did a project from further down my to do list. A remake of my favourite Birgitte T shirt, in some scrumptious new fabric I got when in a recent splurge on the Kitschy Koo website. There’s not that much to say about the make, I used the same full bust adjustment (FBA) on the front as last time (which adds 3cm to the pattern piece so 6cm to the fabric as it’s cut on the fold), but I used the unadjusted sleeve this time.

Wanna see?

the front ....

the front ….

Can you tell I’m pleased with it? Although those creases pointing at my armpit make me think there is a little room for improvement (maybe it needs even more adding in the bust?). Although I was wearing the 70’s Birgitte cut from the same pattern pieces yesterday and I’m pretty sure that one doesn’t have those creases.

... aand the back

… and the back

I think doing FBA’s makes my back’s fit a little better, as the t shirt back is only a large (it would need to be XL or 2XL if I wasn’t doing a FBA), but there’s still folds of fabric in the small of my back. I think the next step is to investigate what sway back adjustments entail, unless anyone has a better suggestion?

Image of Stripy Hearts Blue and Pink cotton jersey (by the half metre)

For some reason the fabric seems a little out of focus in all my photo’. It’s this print which I bought from Kitschy Coo (and the above photo is from there too). The fabric is lovely quality, all the fabric I’ve ever had from there is lovely quality and it wears well, so I don’t mind the price so much as the much cheaper t shirt fabric I got last year is pilling like crazy (unlike the heavily worn t shirts I made the kids from fabric from this source). And did I mention the service is great too? Amanda is even patient and understanding with daft customers who hassle them about missing orders which turn out to be due to the customer giving her the wrong address.

The other place where there is a small room for improvement is the neck band, which doesn’t quite lie flat. Probably due to a combination of it being quite wide and being in self fabric not rib. I didn’t have any appropriate rib and wanted it to have a whole depth of a heart on, which I managed and looks nice, so I can live with the slight wobble.

action shot

action shot

Overall I give this make 9/10, it was quick to make, nothing went wrong, the fabric is lovely and wearing it makes me smile. I’ve even made a start on adjusting the pattern pieces for the Day to Night top.