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Friday, 3 June 2022

Green Camo Joggers and Top

Maybe I've been watching too much M*A*S*H but for some reason I wanted to make up some green camo knit fabric, and the matching plain green knit into some joggers.

I used the camo fabric for the front and back, and added side seam pockets, waistband and hem bands in the plain green.
I did debate the hem bands being elasticated, but for now have left them alone.

There was some camo fabric left, so I've got the front and sleeves for a top from it, with a plain green back and neckband.
Not sure I'd wear them both together as a co-ord ;-)

Wearing the Platinum Jubilee Dress

 The event we are attending is on a cricket pitch so I've gone for plimsolls with the dress.

Saturday, 28 May 2022

Upcycled Curtains -> Futon cover and Cushions

In the new house, the sewing room has an old futon. It is very comfortable but the cover is terracotta and faded unevenly. I've had a throw on it, but have now replaced that with a fitted cover. The seat depth is a little too deep for me so I like cushions to support my back. Its a great place to sit when unpicking, drinking morning coffee, or for OH to chat whilst I sew.

It can also be a spare bed for guests, and the bedding is all stored underneath.

I didn't buy anything new for this project, which is good from both a financial and a reuse/recycle perspective.

The sofa cover is made from old curtain lining fabric. It is just a simple envelope with the far end left open. 

I went for huge cushions, 65 x 65 cm, and stuffed them well as they tend to flatten down with use.

The cushion inserts are made from the front of the same curtains (plain thin cream cotton) stuffed with wadding from various unused smaller cushions etc.

The cushion cover fronts are made from another old curtain of mine, and the back from some really old curtains, from a friend's house many years ago.

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Platinum Jubilee Dress Completed

I've finished the Platinum Jubilee Dress.

It has one sleeve and the outer wrap front in the Union Flag print (on the diagonal).

The other sleeve, other front and back in red. The neck band and ties in dark blue.

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Pocket for a Polo Shirt

 I had this shirt which had a logo on it (related to something I was involved in many years ago).

As the shirt was still in good condition I decided to add a pocket to cover the logo (for the photo below  I have coloured over the logo as its not relevant).

I chose a quilting fabric from Auntie J, which I interfaced and lined with plain purple fabric from Auntie A.

I plan to wear this with olive or tan pants as it doesn't particularly match the other purples in my wardrobe (purple is not a key colour for me)

Saturday, 14 May 2022

Platinum Jubilee Dress Ideas

I rummaged in the knits box and found these 3 fabrics which work quite well together.

I am envisioning a wrap dress, using the blue fabric for the neck binding and ties, and then the red and print for the rest.

I've sketched 3 options all with the blue bands. 

The first has the front wrap and one sleeve in the print and the rest of the dress in red. 

The second has the body in red and only the sleeves in the print, and the third has the upper body in red and the skirt in the print.

In any of them I could also run the blue band down the front edge of the skirt overlap to add a vertical line.

I have 2.8 metres of the plain red, 0.6metres of the blue and 1.4 metres of the union jack flag print.

All of them are lightweight viscose jersey with a little stretch.

I'm planning to adapt this wrap dress pattern from Prima September 2014 (nice to use a British pattern).

Which dress layout do you prefer?

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Platinum Jubilee Capsule Wardrobe Plan

I had an idea for a capsule wardrobe for the Platinum Jubilee weekend.

I've not done a capsule wardrobe for ages, so a new one would be fun for me.

Where I can I will reuse or repurpose existing items as this just seems to make sense.

This shirt from February, cotton so could be worn in summer.

Perhaps this dress from January, though ponte may be too warm for June.

This top also from January, this is viscose jersey so fine for summer

worn with the blue jeans from March, not too thick so should be OK.
Blue Cardigan from Oct 2020, over the red dress.

Red cardigan from April 2020, over anything blue

T shirt from Jan 2020, has brushed poly sleeves so can feel quite warm.

Hmm that would cover the 4 days without me sewing anything new! 

However if the weather is warm on those days, several of these outfits would just be too hot so perhaps there is some scope for sewing some more summery items.

Sunday, 8 May 2022

New Sleeves for Old Shirts

I own a number of short sleeved shirts from Regatta, unfortunately the cut of the very short sleeves was neither comfortable nor flattering and they were in the alter or donate pile.
So I decided to remove the short sleeves and add alternative sleeves to the shirts, which has made them all wearable. I used the sleeve and cuff pattern from the Prima Shirtdress (March 2020 Prima Magazine) as the starting point.

I'll start with my last one as it is my favourite.

I didn't have any co-ordinating print fabric in my resources for this one, so used plain white and added 3 machine embroideries on each sleeve, all done with the same pink/wine/tan threads. The butterfly at the top is built in to the Janome 200E, the dragonfly is from Kiwi Kreatives and the floral from Oh My Crafty Supplies Inc.

The red and tan check shirt has white embroidered sleeves.

This shirt has turquoise batik sleeves.

This shirt has pale blue sleeves, picking up the blue in the check.

This green and white check shirt has sleeves from a green sewing themed fabric.

This blue and white checked shirt has 3/4 sleeves in a blue, white and aqua print and extra long cuffs with 3 buttons.
Although a lot of work went into the cuffs and their 6 buttons and button holes it is my least favourite as the 3/4 length sleeves are rather awkward. I suspect it'll get edited again to have elbow length sleeves.

This white shirt has bright floral print elbow length sleeves, the fabric rescued from a gone wrong dress project.

I don't have any pictures of the shirts before the alterations, however they were all of this sort of style. The short sleeves taper towards the end, in a way that my own arms do not ;-) hence the need for the work.

Friday, 29 April 2022

Leopard print and cream jim jams

I've just used my favourite elastic waist trousers (New Look 6216) and my favourite knit top (New Look 6735) with a few alterations.

For the trousers I added inseam pockets instead of the angled pockets in the pattern as I felt they would work better in this very soft viscose knit.

The waistband has a combined elastic and drawstring waistband (using a shoelace for the drawstring part). To support this I interfaced a small part of the front of the waistband and made 2 buttonholes for the shoelace ends to come out and be tied.

For the top I sewed as per the pattern, although I added cuffs to the 3/4 sleeves in the print. Both the print (viscose knit) and the plain (cotton mini rib knit) have poor recovery so I inserted elastic into the neckband as I constructed it.

The hems are done on the twin needle on the sewing machine. Hopefully the neckline and hem will look a little better after after pressing.

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Long Janes using Burda Leggings 01/2011 #130B

I used the same fabric to make myself some Long Janes (thermal baselayer leggings) with the Burda Leggings 01/2011 #130B.

I added a bit of lace trim at the hem.

This is a one piece legging pattern with some nice shaping. I scooped the crotch to better fit my low derriere.

Monday, 25 April 2022

Trio of Hyacinth Bralettes

 I've used an adapted version of the The Hyacinth FREE Bralette PDF Sewing Pattern – Ohhh Lulu (ohhhlululingerie.com) to make three peach and cream bralettes for myself.

I made a test version before these ones which came out very badly, but taught me a lot about which of my elastics I could use successfully. (No photo of that one!)

I have modified the patterns and assembly to work with my materials and body.

- first I enlarged the front by scooping it down further to give more bust coverage.

- I used wide stretch lace for the band instead of 1/2" elastic. It sits nicely for me. I stitched this on with a narrow zig zag from the wrong side.

- I used FOE for the front neckline, armholes and straps as it was a good colour match and very stretchy, plus I had loads of it!

- I did the narrow sig zag from the right side, then folded the elastic and stitched again from the right side.

- My straps are not adjustable as I was not able to source the adjusters locally

These bralettes don't give much support, but are very comfortable and being close to my skin tone won't show under light coloured summer tops.

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Itch to Stitch Mountain View Jeans

After much debate I bought the pdf pattern for the Itch to Stitch Mountain View Jeans, printed them out from Adobe Acrobat using the layers option and stuck them together.

I made a test pair which worked out quite well (charcoal grey), so with a few tweaks I then made another pair (dark brown) including contrast topstitching (tan) and the rear pockets. These were slightly tight as I'd used a fabric with only 15 percent stretch (the pattern needs 20-30%).  I then went on to make the denim ones, allowing a little more room and the most beautiful Celtic Illumination fat quarter for the pocket linings. These were a little loose on the back waistband, so I unpicked and took the elastic in by 2 inches, and they are now really great. 

I have now donated all my old RTW jeans as they were uncomfortable.

Blue jeans

Blue jeans pockets (gold Celtic Illumination fat quarter)
fabric closeup

Charcoal trousers

Dark brown trousers

My notes of tweaks between pair one and two

Now wearing my test Itch to Stitch Mountain view jeanstrousers. They are not bad, but could be even better.

Alterations made to original pattern
- extra length added to back crotch in 3 places
- stuck the two back leg pieces together and cut as one
- left off a lot of the topstitching
- although I cut out the back pockets I've not put them on (yet)
otherwise sewn as per pattern

Suggested tweaks for next pair
- take in at upper back crotch and back yoke
- make back waistband smaller and much more curved
- have shorter length of elastic for back waist.
- shorten leg length by 1/2” (or take a slightly larger hem!)
- take a narrow seam on inside leg to allow a little more room on thigh
- scoop the back crotch curve to allow for low derriere

My notes after pair two

I put the back pockets on the brown pair and they do look quite jeansy, but are snug - fine for standing up in but a bit tight when I sit.
I've just checked and they only have about 15% stretch in the fabric (I thought it was more than that) which must be why.

The whole area of stretch wovens is a bit of a minefield so I think basting the main side seams before finalising is probably a good idea on this pattern. Once its overlocked and topstitched its a bit late :-)

Anyway I was happy enough with them to cut out the ones in the classic dark blue stretch denim, which I plan to topstitch in gold to look as much like jeans as possible.

My notes after pair three

I finished the dark blue denim jeans last night and am wearing them today.

Generally they are great, a good length, plenty of back rise, soft round the tummy.
They are slightly loose on the waist, specifically the back waist (I need the front) and it would be interesting to alter that as the elastic is sewn in and the waist seam is serged - maybe I should change the construction slightly on the next pair to make access to the waist easier.

Took the last 45 mins to unpick enough of the overlocking, 2 lots of straight stitching and a load of zig zagging to be able to shorten the elastic by 2 inches and resew it all back together. That has now eliminated that little back gap I had and the jeans are staying up better.

Other notes
I cut a size 16 based on my measurements. I did not use rivets.

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Turquoise Shrug

I wanted a little shrug to wear on top of the sleeveless dress, some time ago I had printed out a free pattern, so once I'd found it I stuck it together and used it. (I will share the link to the free pattern further down but have some issues with it).

Here's my version, the teal ribbing is a slightly different shade to the main knit use, but was the closest I had.

Here's the line drawings for the garment, I made a size 14 (thinking US sizing) and cut the neckline ribbing the same width as the cuffs (on the pattern its twice the width which I thought would be too much).

The pattern I used is the Slinky Shrug, free download from Fabric.com.

You'll adore this super-simple Shrug designed for drapery knits and woven fabrics, and finished with a stretchy rib trim. You can also use a self-fabric finish around the shrug if you are using knits. Try rayon, cotton, bamboo or silk knits, or choose soft, drapery wovens like georgette or crepe.

Relaxed-fit, batwing-sleeved Shrug has a curved edge-to-edge front and 3/4 length sleeves. The neckline, hem and sleeves are finished with a deep ribbed trim. Shrug finishes at the hip.

Wear this fabulously easy Shrug to add a little festive glamour to a classic pants-and-T-shirt look, or slip it on over your favorite party dress for a little extra warmth and coverage.

It's an old pattern which has been on their site for a long time. I quite like the style BUT it is very poorly laid out in the PDF and uses 27 pages of paper (I'm hoping this is due to the limited technology for creating pdf patterns at the time). I would actually recommend that you save half a tree and do a rough draft of a batwing top and then some rectangles of ribbing for the cuffs and neckband.

If you still want to download it then its here - Slinky Shrug - Discount Designer Fabric - Fabric.com

Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Linen summer dress

Well I'm ready for Summer even though it is months away, with my new black linen printed sleeveless dress.

Ok let me explain! My friend C is getting into sewing more and comes round to my sewing room so we can work on projects together.

It has been great working with her. Her aesthetic is different to mine and she wants to try all sorts of techniques, so helping her is really keeping me on my toes.

She loves the style of Gretchen “Gertie” Hirsch and has several of her books including "Gertie sews Jiffy Dresses"

She decided she would like to sew the Popover dress from the book (its the one on the cover), but without the shoulder bows and pockets, but with waistline shirring.
I don't have a photo of her dress, which we made from a black floral viscose that draped beautifully but was a challenge to cut out!

We split the sewing between 2 sessions, so in between I managed to cut out a version for myself and partly sew it up, finishing it after we'd finished C's dress.

Sizing: the popover dress has a lot of ease so we went on the finished garment measurements in the book, and chose a size which allowed a little bit of ease. This was 2 sizes smaller than indicated by our measurements.

Layout: We did not use either of the cutting layouts given in the book. 

C's fabric had an obvious directional print, so we cut the 4 pieces out single layer, making sure to flip the pattern piece to have pairs (and not all left side pieces!). This used more fabric than the book indicates.

Here's a photo of C's fabric and the shirring, I don't have one of the whole dress.

My fabric was very limited yardage (2 metres of 150 cm wide), but as the floral print looked OK in any direction I wasn't limited to one direction. So I folded the fabric crossways and cut the pieces out with the centre front on the diagonal, I had to narrow the skirt very slightly to fit it on. The bias sleeve facings came from the centre, and I even managed to cut some inseam pockets from the corners. As the side seams on my dress were on the cross grain, it was nice and stable and able to support the pockets.

Shirring: C was very keen to have the shirred waist option, and it really gives the dress shape, so definitely a good call. I copied! Although there is a line for the shirring marked on the pattern, I got C to try the dress on, added an elastic belt and then marked (with a sliver of soap) where we wanted the shirring to go. We started with 7 rows of shirring, but increased it to 10.

I marked mine in a similar way and also did 10 rows of shirring. Here's a shot of the inside of my dress.