I decided it would be a bit of an overload if I included these projects in the previous post of pyjama gifts. Sometimes less is more. This time I’m showing a couple of tops I’ve made for my Mum. The pattern is one that has been used so very many times, I honestly can say I have lost count of how many versions of this top have been made for her. It’s #134 from the March 2004 issue of Burda magazine.
The magazine version is made with raw edges on neckline, sleeves and hem. They’ve also got bias cut strips sewn diagonally across the front. Now, mum is even less interested in “fluff” on her clothes than I am, so these bias strips have never seen the light of day on one of her tops. She’s also not into raw edges. So I’ve added 1.5cm hems to the sleeves and hem which are double turned and topstitched to keep everything nice and neat.
There are only three main pattern pieces, front, back and sleeves. It’s cut on the bias, but even so you don’t need an awful lot of fabric for this garment, just 1.2m of 150cm wide fabric will do the trick. For finishing off the neckline I add a 4cm wide bias strip, sewn with a 1cm allowance. Sometimes it’s double folded and turned to the inside, sometimes it’s folded up and exposed, as you would a jersey neckband. All depends on how I feel doing it at the time! French seams have been used throughout, it makes for such a neat finish. I’ve also straightened the point at the neck to make it more of an angle than a curve.
The fabrics for these two tops came from Truro Fabrics in September. The red is a cotton voile, that I only realised had flaws after I’d cut out the pieces. Unfortunately they were placed on the fabric so that I wouldn’t have had a chance of avoiding them even if I had noticed them in time. They aren’t obvious and shouldn’t be too weak, but just incase, I reinforced the back of those areas with some fine sheer polyester fusible interfacing.
The blue shell fabric is a lovely crisp cotton lawn, I love the dramatic colour contrast and I hope Mum will too! These will make a good adition to her summer wardrobe, the blue shell top might even make it to winter, to be worn under a cardi or light jumper. It never really gets that cold on the coast where they live. Not like the snow and -7C temperatures we’ve had here in the last few days! But I’m not complaining, I love snow!
For Dad I chose to crochet a throw/lap blanket. Before my local wool shop and haberdashery closes forever on Chrismas eve, I grapped a load of wool on the cheap and proceeded to get busy with the crochet hook. The blanket is about 1m wide and 1.2m long, so big enough as a cover while watching the telly in the winter. I chose dark grey, teal, oatmeal and a lime for a bit of pop and make a few versions of a couple of different granny squares, trying to make the colours as varied as possible. Some of the squares I used can be found on this list.
It’s lovely to give handmade items as Christmas gifts, but you do have to plan in advance, because if you wait for the beginning of December to wake up, you’ll have to make really quick and easy projects! I might just do this again next year, starting my making in October seems to be about right.