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Wednesday 16 December 2020

'Ready for Anything' Capsule - side stripe sports tee (refashion)

To go with my Pilates trousers I refashioned a slightly snug RTW sports tee by adding red stripes.

Here it is with the red stripes. They are up the side seam, up the centre of the sleeve and around the armhole. The straight stripes are a 2 inch wide strip, and the armhole section is a shaped piece drafted to fit. Its a lot of fun!

Here's the tee shirt before - plain black and a bit snug.

Sunday 13 December 2020

'Ready for Anything' Capsule - side stripe yoga pants

 From the plan I posted I decided to start with the side stripe leggings, though they are more yoga pants.

My original drawing from the Plan

The trousers from the side

the trousers from the front

Style Arc Barb Pants

Pattern: I used the Style Arc Barb pants, with style and fit alterations. Style changes - I added a side stripe in a contrast pinky red stretch fabric. Fit alterations - shortened the leg, added 1/4 to the top, scooped the back crotch, angled in the back waist, cut the front waistband slightly longer, and the back waistband slightly shorter.

Fabric: A very stretchy (in all directions) matt black fabric bought from the local B&M roll end shop. It is slightly spongy and seems dense with no see through. The contrast side stripe is from a pinky red fabric with similar stretch properties but a much lighter weight.

I'll have to see how these hold up in the next Pilates class.

Sunday 6 December 2020

Plans for my 2021 "Ready for Anything" Capsule wardrobe

I've been thinking about what I'd like to sew a capsule wardrobe that helps me to be ready for anything that may come in 2021.

3 Plain dark bottoms - leggings, casual trousers, smart trousers

1 Simple dark coloured dress

4 tops - smart blouse, workout top, 2 long sleeved tees

3 layers - sweatshirt or hoody,  cardigan and jacket

My current colour theme is charcoal and warm pink with some black.

I had a look through my fabric stash and came up with some options

The key fabric for the scheme is some charcoal woven fabric with what seems like coral pink and off white variegated threads through it, I think this will be some sort of jacket.

Next I have a charcoal pinstripe that will be trousers.

Black ponte for a dress, black stretch woven for outdoor trousers and black super stretchy fabric for leggings. (I think the leggings could have a pink stripe down the leg)

Blush pink sweater knit for a cardigan.

Grey and pink jersey for knit tops.

Coral pink and off white fabric for floaty blouses.

Grey fleece for a sweatshirt, or perhaps a simple rain jacket from flamingo print fabric (I couldn't resist!).

One garment can be sewn up before the start date, perhaps the leggings with the pink stripe?

Here's what that might look like

Saturday 5 December 2020

Festive Season Silver Top

 Here's my entry for the 

The Sewing Place Contest : Creating for the Festive Season Dec 1-31 2020

Silvery cowl neck top

I used a novelty knit fabric purchases pre lockdown from my local roll end shop. It is a black crinkled stretchy fabric printed with silver.

I used the style Arc Molly Top though for now I've omitted the front pleat detail.

Tuesday 1 December 2020

The Sewing Place Contest : Creating for the Festive Season Dec 1-31 2020

 A new contest starts today at The Sewing Place website

Creating for the Festive Season Dec 1-31 2020

Rules: Create a festive item (or items) by sewing, knitting, crochet, weaving, leatherwork or any other crafty pursuit you enjoy.
This can be anything handcrafted whether it be a gift, clothing or decorative item.

Timeframe: Construction starts on Tuesday 1st December and the item must be completed by Thursday 31st December.
You can post pictures of your item as soon as its completed, or wait until the end of the construction time. All entries need to be uploaded with the template and at least one photo by Sunday 6th January.

It has been a very strange year for everyone, but happily getting creative and spending time on a crafty project is really good for our mental health. Being in the 'zone' is a form of meditation which helps build resilience.
So please join in and share the amazing, wonderful, quirky, sparkly and creative things you make this December.

For my entry I am planning a silver top to wear for those Zoom parties!

This is a novelty knit, crinkled black fabric with silvery sparkles.
I plan to make it up in the Style Arc Molly Knit Top pattern, as the tucks and drapes should showcase the sparkle nicely.

Monday 30 November 2020

Cowl neck sweater

 I managed to cut a cowl necked sweater out of the pieces left over from the cardigan.

I used the top from my favourite pattern New Look 6735 as the starting point. Lengthening the sleeves, raising the neckline, flaring the body a little and adding a cowl neckline instead of the neckband.
I added elastic in the shoulder and neck seams to keep the shape.

Here's the sweater and cardigan together.

Sunday 22 November 2020

Prima November 2020 Cardigan

 Prima November 2020 Cardigan

Made up in a very soft sweater knit.  It is very light but warm but perhaps not very exciting.

I made a size 18 in the middle length. The bottom hem is done on the coverstitch machine, the front edge is overlocked, rolled over twice and straight stitched. I added elastic in the wrists (which makes it very cosy) and elastic on the shoulder seams and back neck to try to avoid too much droop. The other seams are sewn with a straight stitch and overlocked to prevent fraying.

Monday 16 November 2020

Soft and Snuggly November

 I want to make some soft and snuggly things for November. So I think I'll use the cardigan pattern from Prima November 2020.


Sunday 15 November 2020

Navy 6PAC for The Sewing Place

 Here's my navy 6PAC for the sewing place.

Navy red and white floral tee - New Look 6735.

Navy culottes - Butterick 6947

Navy and red stripe top - Simplicity 8375/6

Navy multi floral tee - New Look 6735

Navy and red print tee - Butterick 3344

Navy trousers - New Look 6216

And the Navy 19

Wednesday 11 November 2020

Shibori style dyed belt


This is a long strip of taupe cotton fabric I sewed into a belt using cotton thread and then dyed using a shibori style triangle fold. 

Saturday 7 November 2020

Diagonal Stripe Tee

I had some dark navy and cream striped fabric, which I overdyed with Tulip red.

I wanted to do something different than the classic horizontal striped tee, so folded the fabric on the diagonal and cut all the pieces out like that. I treated the diagonal fold as the new grain line, cutting the front, back and neckband on that fold and the sleeves parallel to it.

here's the front
and the back

For the pattern I again used a mash up of the sleeve from Simplicity 8375 and the body and neckline from Simplicity 8376.

It is quite fun, but perhaps would have been better with the neckband on the cross grain.

Sunday 1 November 2020

Navy and red knit top

This jersey fabric was originally navy and off white, but I decided to dye it with Dylon 'Tulip Red' for a bit more colour.

I was pleased to get the print level across the front, sleeves and back, lining up at the seams.

I chose a bit of the print I liked and cut a wide but short band (so it would hug the neck nicely).

The neckline need quite a bit of unpicking and resewing to have a nice smooth finish, but its worked out well in the end.

I used Butterick 3344 as a starting point. 

- I kept the shoulders, armhole, sleeve cap and sleeve length.

- Widened the sleeves from the underarm to the wrist to allow for full arms. 

- Made the body wider and longer for a relaxed fit rather than negative ease. 

- Cut the neckline so it wasn't as deep.

- Cut a wide neckband, which I stretched to the max to fit the neckline, this means it sits flat against the neck and the folded edge.

- Used the coverhem to finish the hems.

Where fabric permits I am also cutting myself a tube scarf (a bit like a buff with a seam).

This is a piece of knit fabric with a good stretch approx 50cm x 50xm (20" x 20"). I finish the edges on the greatest direction of stretch with the coverhem, then sew up the one seam on the overlocker.

I like these for the different ways you can wear them - snood, ear/nose/mouth cover, hair band, scarf etc.

Here's a picture I found of different ways to wear these tube scarves

Wednesday 28 October 2020

Dress to Cardigan refashion completed

I finished the refashion and now have a great button front cardigan with split cuff detail.

You may remember the original dress

First of all I measured the centre front and marked with a sliver of soap, and then cut up  the centre front with shears.

Next I cut the collar off, leaving the original seam for stability.

I then smoothed the line from the centre front cut into the neckline cut using the french curve and replicated to the other side.

I didn't finish the cut edges at this point, but I did lay it carefully to one side and not handle it.

Next I took the collar and cut it into strips. I sewed 3 strips together to make the front band.

I applied very lightweight interfacing to the front band area, leaving the neck area of the band stretchy to go around the neckline.

Next I made buttonholes in one side of the front band (carefully checking placement against a RTW cardigan), applied fray check and allowed to dry. I then cut them open with a buttonhole chisel.

Then I sewed the front band onto the cardigan with a straight stitch, and zigzagged the seam together. (I thought serging would be too bulky). I then pressed the band and left it on the dummy.

The next day the area where the front band joined the front was still very wiggly where the zigzag stitching had stretched things out. It looked quite bad I thought, so I hovered the steam iron above the seam (on the wrong side) and pressed a bit more and eventually got a fairly flat front.

I then marked the button positions and sewed them on by hand with a tapestry needle so as not to split the fibres. As a happy coincidence I had some buttons exactly the right colour which had been saved from a button front skirt suit I made in the late 1990s! (Though I slightly question the wisdom of keeping buttons for 20 years but hey ho).

I then made some cuffs with a split from the remainder of the collar pieces, added a button to each and sewed to the end of the sleeves.

It turned out to be quite a lot of work but I'm fairly pleased with the outcome.

Tuesday 13 October 2020

Dress to Cardigan refashion plans

 There's a contest - The Sewing Place's Refashion and Repurpose Competition 2020 - which caught my interest. 

This is a Ben De Lisi for Principles sweater dress I bought on the sale rack at Debenhams a few years ago. Its a blue and black marl but reads as navy.

I've never actually worn it (I've tried it on plenty and tried to style it). I think the two main issues are the sleeves are only 3/4 length so I would have a warm body but cold wrists and more importantly I have hot flashes so would want to be able to take it off if I overheated which is rather impractical for a dress.

So I have several options I've been thinking about.

1 - shorten the length to make a top (ie turn the sweater dress into a sweater). Leave the neckline as is. Use the fabric cut off the bottom to make cuffs to make the sleeves full length. I would then wear it as a sweater/jumper and if I got too hot, could take it off and be wearing a top underneath. This would be fairly easy but not very exciting for the contest.

2a - cut it up the front to make a cardigan, keep the length but repurpose the fabric from the cowl to make front bands and cuffs. To make it different to my other navy/blue cardigans I could add buttons to the front so I could close it. This would be a lot more work and might need to use another fabric for the bands and cuffs if the cowl pieces don't work

2b - same as 2a but planning from the start to use another fabric for the bands and cuffs. Turn the cowl section into a cowl scarf which can be worn with it if wanted.

I think 2b is my favourite, I'm envisioning black bands and cuffs and antiqued silver buttons.

What do you think?

Monday 12 October 2020

14 made out of the Navy Nineteen

 Fourteen made!

I've added the blue cardigan, blue knit trousers and plain blue tee shirt into the collection which now looks like this.

It looks to need more tops, maybe an accessory (snood?) and possibly also a refashion.

Sunday 11 October 2020

Blue Knit Trousers

 Blue Knit Trousers

These knit trousers are made from the same fabric as the blue tee shirt and another 'new' pattern! (The pattern is from stash but I've not used it before).

Here I used the trousers from the Simplicity 4697 wardrobe pattern though I made some alterations.

On the front I cut the crotch depth slightly deeper but reduced the crotch height at centre front tapering back to the original at the side. On the back I extended the crotch depth and scooped the curve for a low seat. I also increased the crotch height at the centre back tapering back to the original at the side.

Once I had done all of this (my normal trouser alterations) the original waistband approach of stitching the elastic directly to the top of the trousers and folding over was going to be tricky with the shaping I had brought in. The fabric was also very prone to rolling and flimsy on the edges, so I added a separate casing for the elastic which I stitched to the top of the trousers,

I did a deep stitched hem on the coverhem machine.

With the matching top this is a lounging outfit/PJs for sure.

Blue long sleeved t shirt

Blue long sleeved t shirt

This is made from a blue 100% cotton knit from my stash. It has no elastane and poor recovery. I seem to have bought quite a lot of it.

For this t shirt I decided to try a new pattern, I laid a purchased tee on the pattern and then cut up a size, but next time I will probably size down as its too large all over. The sleeve is from Simplicity 8375 and the body from Simplicity 8376. High round necklines don't work well for me so I scooped the front neckline down a little, but otherwise sewed as is.

This isn't (yet) a new basic for me so I'll need to tweak the fit before I start hacking!

Saturday 10 October 2020

Blue Cardigan with lace pockets

 Blue Cardigan with lace pockets

This cardigan is adapted from the "Kinder" cardigan pattern in Wendy Wards Sewing with Knits book.

I used the mid length but also added a bottom band. I tapered the sleeves a bit and added a cuff. And I made a belt. To keep the belt in place there are small elastic loops in the side seams. When I constructed the pockets I laid some wide stretch lace along the top.

The other versions I've made of this cardigan sometimes feel a bit cold due to the width of the sleeves at the wrist and lack of front closure, so the belt and cuffs are an attempt to mitigate that in this version.

I have loads of the stretch lace left, but couldn't quite imagine where it could be used. I suppose it could have been used on the shoulders or for faux breast pockets to balance the volume of the lower body a bit.

Wednesday 16 September 2020

Navy morphs into denim blue

 Much as I love the dark navy I decided to make a few pieces in a slightly lighter shade, more a classic denim blue.

These will probably be tops in plain blue, blue with a white stripe and a print/burnout, plus another cardigan (Fabric permitting).

I'm also hoping to add a little more red to liven up the blue a bit.

I'm still working from home, and will be until at the earliest early November. We don't use video calling though so I really can wear whatever I want to. This generally is a top/shirt, with trousers and a cardigan.