Papaver Gigantus

Until last weekend – halfway through the month- not much sewing had been done in February, excluding a little coat toiling.  I just haven’t been in the mood, and I was waiting for fabric to come to lift me out of my funk!  At the end of January I ordered a whole pile of flower seeds, and 1.5m of poppy print viscose from Selvedge and Bolts.  The fabric arrived a week later, the seeds took another week!

Anyway, the fabric on the website was super delicious, and I thought long and hard about whether or not I really need it.  In the end, I decided on a pattern and ordered the 1.5m I needed, no extra!  But when it came I was disappointed, to be perfectly honest.  It had a shine I was not expecting – and, to be honest,  I thought I’d bought viscose lining.  I left it in my sewing room for a day or two before I could look at it properly, and then threw it in the wash, maybe that would make the finish better.  It still has a sheen, that’s because it has a satin weave that I hadn’t bargained on.   I really do need to order samples before spending my limited funds!!

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Top E from Asuka Hamada’s Sweet Clothes

In the end, the girls convinced me to make the top I’d planned, and then see how I felt.  So I went ahead and cut out another version of the Top E from Asuka Hamada’s Sweet Clothes.  This was the top I saw in my mind’s eye when I bought the fabric.  As usual, I cut the sleeve on the cross grain to fit the width.  I’ve used French seams throughout and double turned the hem.  The cuffs and bias neck trim are stitched on the inside by hand.  I did the bias by hand because I knew it would slip and slink around under the machine and drive me mad!  Unfortunately, because of the nature of the fabric, you now see all the tiny catches made when stitching.  I might just run it under the machine now anyway, can’t get any worse!

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poppy 1

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I still love the print, it’s so huge and gorgeous, but I am wondering now if a top with a smaller sleeve wouldn’t have been better….  Oh well, it’s too late now!!  I am looking forward to wearing this with the rest of my wardrobe, and it’ll be lovely in the summer.

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On the coat front, toiles are all done, alterations made and the cutting out and interfacing has started.  I’ve not got that far, again, I’m just not in the mood, and that’s very unlike me!  I’m thinking back to February last year and how worried we all were for my Dad who’d gone into hospital, and my Mum who was left holding and juggling all the balls.  It’s the lead up to a not very good time, and I think deep down I’m struggling a little.  I had hoped sewing would give me something else to focus on, especially as I cannot get into the garden yet and it’s a bit too early to sow too many of my new seeds! I’ll get there, but it will be much slower than usual.

Sewing Japanese in January

Finally!  I have finally, after two and a bit years, made a pattern from the book “Basically 7 Dresses”.  Except that it isn’t a dress.  But nevermind, it’s done, and I like it!  In my first Work in Progress Wednesday of the year, I shared the beginning stages of the project, toiling and making the alterations to the pattern.  I needed a bit more time than I thought to find a fabric to make it up in though, it turns out my stash consists of less usable-to-me fabrics than I first thought!  But I won’t go into that now.

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Blouse from Basically 7 Dresses and Kana’s Standard trousers

I did decide on using some of a 3m piece of cotton voile bought from Seasalt a while ago.  I love the muted blue background and off white seagulls, perfect combination for a summer top – which means not so good to photograph in the middle of winter – brrr!  As it’s a lovely drapey, thin fabric, I’ve used French seams throughout, and stabilised the top collar and facings with some fine sheer fusible interfacing.  I also opted for lightweight shell buttons, although I really wanted to use some of the vintage glass ones in my button drawer!

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Blouse details

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I went through the trouble of doing a FBA on this, but now it’s finished, I wish I’d added less across the front, it has lost some of the shape and definition. However, I’m sure that when it’s hot and humid in the summer, it’ll be fine.  Right now though, it lets the draft in!  I also think it’ll look better in a plain fabric, to be honest I feel this has gone dowdy – fast!  Something to think of for next time, the facings in the armhole have a tendency to flap out when putting it on – might not be such a problem for someone with skinnier arms.  So I’ll topstitch the facing down around the armhole instead of just catching it at the shoulder and under arm seams.

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Once the top was done, I realised I might want a new pair of trousers to go with it.  And I had just the piece of left over cotton twill in a nice dark navy in the stash.  The fabric has a lovely sheen to it, and is super yummy to wear.  To go with the theme, I chose to make another pair of the trousers from Kana’s Standard, book number 1.  The pants are in section B, and I decided on the longest, narrowest version of those, style f.  Now this version has straps attached to the top, making braces – I left those off.  I had to retrace my pattern, goodness knows what I’d been doing with the last tracing, it was a mess! 

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These are the size 13 – the biggest size in the book – and they are perfect.  I had previously graded the pattern up 2 sizes, then spent the last two years making the pants that used that pattern two sizes smaller!   The elastic in the back waistband makes them rather comfy!  I can see these being worn loads in both season’s wardrobes, rolled up at the hem, they’re fine for summer.  By making the longer length, they are also perfectly sized for my short legs!  The hem breaks nicely on the top of my foot, so I can wear them in winter without my socks showing.  They’re also well stocked with good sized pockets, two hip-yoke pockets in front and two patch pockets in the back.  Practically perfect pants!

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Distracted by the blackbird tossing all the leaves out of the gutter while racing down the gutter at speed!

I can’t wait for the weather to turn – I know we still have to survive February, but the signs are there, snowdrops are up, hellebores are flowering and the daffs are showing pointy green growth.  But I’m getting itchy to plant seeds and get gardening again, I just want to be outside in the sun!

Work in Progress Wednesday 2/2021

In amongst all the quick fix projects and, of course, the Sewing Japanese in January, I have started work on a coat pattern.  This particular coat pattern has been in the making queue for some time, at least 5 years!  Every spring I commit to getting it made, and every autumn I put the fabric back in the cupboard, because I haven’t got round to it.  But not this year.  I have the pattern, and I have actually cut it out!!!  Mind you only the pattern – let’s not get carried away!    I’ve checked the measurements of the pattern against my measurements and have been looking at what adjustments will be needed.

So, what am I going to make?  I have a length of blue and white cotton jacquard that the girls bought me for Mother’s Day ages ago, I just fell in love with it.  Then, in 2016 I saw a coat that Stephanie from Sea of Teal had just made, and it all clicked!  That was the pattern I wanted for the fabric!  A spring/summer coat, perfect.  The pattern is Burda 6772, unfortunately it doesn’t look like you can buy it anywhere at the moment!

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Burda 6772

According to measurements, I’ll be making the 44 with a small FBA and narrowing the shoulders.  I might technically get away without an FBA, will need to toile the pattern as is before deciding.  There is a hitch though, this pattern has a sidebody.  Princess seams result in a side front, this has been attached to the side back as one piece, so you have centre back, side piece and centre front.  I’ve not done an FBA with a sidebody before, so this could be interesting….

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Measurement comparison, in centimetres

So, according to those measurements, I’d need to add 4cm of ease across the bust, 2cm at the waist but nothing on the hip.  If I start by toiling the 44 as is, I know the bust will fit, but it will be too big across the shoulders and upper chest.  I’ll have to figure out which way will work better for me.  I guess that means it’s time to dig out the scrap fabric and start sewing.  See you on the other side, but first, I have admin to finish so the toiling will have to wait for the weekend.

Contrasts

I made another LB Pullover on the day I started the Teddy Pants!  I had some left-over black wool from a pair of trousers made years ago, not enough for another pair, sadly.  I had thought to cut the top part of the Assembly Line A-Line dress and make a top, but there wasn’t enough space for all the pieces, when I thought of the LB.  Sure enough, it fitted and I cut it out!  It makes up so quickly!  I thought it might be a little scratchy on the neck, but so far so good, a perfect extra layer for those cold days.  Now I know, I have a few of these now, but you know, it’s a darn good pattern, so comfy to wear.  I have no problem making numerous versions of the same pattern – hence the 5 pairs of Teddy Pants!

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I have made myself an unofficial pledge to use up my stash, not that it’s huge, it’s just there.  It’s time for me to start with the fabric and find a pattern, rather than the other way around!  And if I can’t find anything, instead of offering the fabric to the girls, I’m going to sell it on, let someone else have the joy of making something lovely.  It’s the same principal with the vintage patterns.  I don’t need to hoard hundereds of vintage patterns!  What for??  Let someone else have them, use them, frame them, whatever.  They don’t deserve to be hidden in my sewing room in a chest of drawers.

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Yes, it was windy, but I wanted photos outside in the sun! So now I have a moustache….

I was hunting for fabric for the top for my Japanese Sewing contribution when I re-found some white linen in the linen box.  I’ve had it a while, it’s a sturdy, thickish weave – plenty of body to hold a shape.  I’m pretty sure I made a while inin skirt for Daughter No2 out of the rest of it, years and years ago now!  I tried cutting some Kana’s Standard trousers out of it last summer, but there isn’t enough, and it isn’t drapey at all. But I had a brainwave.

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To use it up and get it out of the stash, I’ve made another LB Pullover!  Short sleeve with simple neckband, it’ll be good to wear in the summer.  I used the bias neckband, cut to the height for the crew-neck, I love the way it stands up!  It’s got a 60s vibe now.  The neckband had to be cut in two pieces, which left a join at the centre front.  So I decided to accentuate it by adding a vintage glass button.  The thickness of the linen makes it stand away from the body – which is going to be perfect when the humidity reappears.

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I also dug out a pile of linen leftovers.  They’re all pieces I couldn’t get rid of when making trousers, but honestly, what can you do with such small pieces?  Well, I’m going to try to assemble them into a decent looking top!  It’ll be patchwork pieced, but I hope to make it neat.  And it’ll remind me of all those trousers I’ve made in shades of blue linen over the years!!  Talking of patching pieces, there were some bits of stripey jersey in another box – they’ll either become a Lark Tee or a Basic Instinct tee for the summer.  The colours all go, and as they’re all viscose jersey, they should all behave in the same way too.  Fingers crossed!

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It seems my go-to for a quick top is either the LB Pullover, or the Uvita Tee!  I have to admit, they’re so useful in my wardrobe, take very little time to whip up and aren’t fabric hungry.  But they aren’t overly challenging.  Then again, in the current climate, I don’t actually want too many projects that are challenging!!  Sometimes you just want to go into the sewing room and run something up – not needing acres of instructions and hours of thought.  Just get in and sew!  Anyone with me?

Just Like Heaven

 

My terracotta journey continues!  The guys at Rainbow Fabrics must have thought I was going mad last year when my order consisted of terracotta coloured everything:  linen, brushed cotton twill, viscose woven and viscose jersey!  They’re all slightly different shades, but essentially will fulfill my desire for a neutral with pop.  On ordering the viscose jersey, I already knew exactly what I would be making – and that’s the only piece of fabric that had a definite plan!

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Self-drafted cowl tee

A few years ago, probably more than I’d like to think, I made a pattern for a cowl drape tee, from my own tee block.  Unfortunately I have none of the original notes or experiment pattern pieces, but I did find that the instructions that yeilded the best pattern actually came from a menswear pattern drafting book!  Now, I’ve never seen a guy wearing a cowl drape tee, and I’m not sure it’s an image that sits gently on the mind….  Although maybe if it’s a high cowl – but not as deep as mine! (apparently, men’s cowl neck tees are a thing!!)

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According to the notes on the front piece of my pattern, this is version 3.  I seem to remember trying out different cowl depths to get it just right, but that was for the stable knit I was going to be using, this is going to be different!  The original tee is made from a stable knit and has three quarter length sleeves.  This time I wanted long sleeves, that’s an easy adjustment.  I knew the fibre content of the jersey would have a big impact on the look of the drape, and I was quite excited to get on and make and wear it!

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I am completely in love with the result!  The colour is better than I’d imagined, even with similarly coloured hair!  I’d always avoided the “autumn” colour pallette, because I can’t  couldn’t stand orange (or any of the other warm shades).  But I have to admit, this works, although you won’t see me embracing orange-orange just yet!  (or yellow…)  Mind officially blown guys.  The jersey is just devine, it fells like silk!  Knowing how drapey viscose jersey is, I reinforced the shoulder seams with vilene bias tape, and extended that courtesy to the back neckline too.  It was made on the overlocker, using the twin needle on the sewing machine for hems.

Now I’m off to wear my new tee with everything, I just hope it’s not a pain to iron….

Terracotta – My New Favourite Colour

I’m a fairly safe person when it comes to my use of colour in my wardrobe.  For years I’ve stuck to blues, grey, black and white, and beige.  With variations, but all fairly neutral and all matching.  However, in the last 2 years, another colour has been creeping in – rusty, cinnamon, paprika, terracotta.  It’s a colour that I’ve always liked, but never considered wearing.  It would clash with my hair and freckly face!  But it doesn’t, and it really makes the blues and the black and white in my wardrobe sing!  It’s my neutral with POP!

I bought this fabulous terracotta brushed cotton twill in October, intending to make a pair of cargo-inspired pants, not unlike the pattern in the Burda of September 2020, but when I finally traced and toiled the pattern, I realised it wasn’t for me.  On the whole, I like wide legged pants, but when they’re combined with a wide pleat and cropped length, it turns out they do me no favours!  Which is a shame really, because I liked the look.  No matter, I then decided that I’d rather use the fabric on a  pattern I already liked, had made many versions of, and knew fitted well.  Then I had second thoughts…

terracotta teddy

And those second thoughts lead me to consider a pattern I’ve already used well since buying it – The Teddy Designer Pants from Style Arc.  Yup, I seriously considered making them in this twill.  Then I thought again, what other patterns did I have that I’d like to use?  When none came to mind, and I could see a perfect pair terracotta Teddys in my mind’s eye, I knew it had to be done!

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I placed the pieces so as to use as little fabric as possible (I really wish now that I’d bought more than 2m) and got cracking.  Layers are going to show, especially with washing and ironing, so in a small attempt to reduce bulk, I cut one pair of pocket pieces from some African wax.  I really should have had my thinking cap fully engaged and cut the inner waistband pieces from the cotton too, would have saved a little more fabric!  I plan to make a tote with the left-overs, properly interfaced, because no-one wants a stretchy tote bag!

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Anyway, back to the trousers.  Luckily I had the perfect thread from a project last winter left in the stash so didn’t need to pop out to the shop in the cold, buttons and zip again from the stash, although the zip is beige…  You’ll never see it and I highly doubt there’s a matching colour out there.  Once all the pieces were overlocked I set to work and would have finished in the day if it weren’t for an errant headache that wouldn’t go away.

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I really love the finished result, the colour is just heavenly and the fabric so soft and warm!  I wouldn’t have thought to make this pattern in a heavyweight fabric, but it works and the pleat holds nicely.  I actually think a denim pair would be good……

Work in Progress Wednesday 1/2021

Welcome to another year of Work in Progress Wednesdays!  Now, this will not be a regular, every Wednesday occurance!  Sometimes you’ll get a few in a row, then there’ll be nothing for a month or so, all depends on what I’m working on, and whether I remember to take photos as I sew!!

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The book title translates to “Basically 7 Dresses”, written by Aoi Koda

Anyway, I’m working on my next Sewing Japanese in January project, so thought I’d show it from the beginning.  I have decided to make a version of the cover dress from the book, Basically 7 Dresses, by Aoi Koda.  There are 7 basic patterns in the book, each having different variations, she calls them lessons.  I loved the cover dress from the beginning, it’s lesson number 4.  But, not really being a dress person, figured I’d make one of the variations and turn it into a blouse/top and keep the simple look with the collar.  I’m also not gathering the peplum, it’ll be as if the skirt was chopped short, no gathers for me!

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Line drawings and info for the dress, with picture of the peplum top variation and more line drawings

This book does not have seam allowances included, except for the largest size, which, as it happens, is the size I traced!  The 15, which translates to bust 98cm, waist 70cm and hip 105cm is the closest to me, I’ll just need a FBA.  But – toile first because there’s usually a lot of ease in these patterns and I might get away with not needing much extra.  The finished width at the bust on this one is 112cm, which on a 98cm bust would be roomy, and less so on me! 112cm gives me 6cm of ease, so I’ll check whether that looks right, and feels right in the toile before I continue.  ps, I seriously recommend downloading Google Translate onto your phone for using Japanese patterns, just aim your camera at the text and voila!  Translated instructions!

collage translated

With the first, “straight out of the envelope” – as it were – toile, things aren’t going to be as easy as expected.  The fronts just meet, I need more depth in the armhole, and finished length needs to be about 5cm below the current level (which included the hem).  Ok, so the remaining ease wasn’t going to be anywhere near enough!  Shoulders and side seams are all ok, neck feels right, so it’s all in the front.  Time for that FBA.  Now, if you’re after how do to one with a French dart, Maven Patterns have one on their website for their French Dart dress.  It works in the same way as an underarm dart, just in a different place!   So I calculated I’d need 6cm across the front, meaning a 3cm FBA.  Once done in paper, I toiled it…  The result was a pointy, unenthusiastic dart that didn’t point to the right place.

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Toile of size 15 without any alterations. That dart was already raising my eyebrows!

So I traced another front and rotated the dart to the underarm position, then did the same FBA and rotated the dart back to where it was supposed to be again.  With fingers crossed, I unpicked that unsuccessful front, cut another two and stitched them onto the back.  Much better this time!  I’m happy with the ease, the reach across the bust, etc.

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Just the bodice fronts and back, to check the dart before going any further

Back to the paper and I added 1cm of depth across both front and back from the centre armhole, altered the front peplum piece to accommodate the FBA width and lengthened both peplums by 8cm.

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Pattern alterations, smoothing out the armhole after the fba, the large dart created by the fba and the extra 1cm depth added across front and back.

I quickly cut those out of the toile fabric and added them to the bodice, and I’m happy!  The length, once the hem is turned up will be fine, the bodice fits nicely over the bust and the shape is good.

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Checking out all the angles

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I like position of the join between upper and lower bodice, the flare on the lower half is ok too.

Now I have to find fabric… Shopping the stash for this one, no fabric purchases allowed this month!

Sewing Japanese in January

I have plans!! I need a push to get my sewing off the starting block this year, like a lot of us I think. I love the idea of starting the year with a couple of challenges, and this one is my first.  I have made one item already (admittedly, I only needed to finish it this year, having started it at the beginning of December). But I’m claiming it for Sewing Japanese in January 2021! I also want to make another pair of trousers from the Kana’s Standard book, and finally get to use a pattern from a book bought back in 2018.

But today I have another beautiful, big sleeved blouse in my wardrobe. I bought the spotty viscose from Rainbow Fabrics, it’s lovely and drapey!  I decided to make another version of the blouse I made in October from the Asuka Hamada “Sweet Clothes” book.  This time, I altered the pattern front before cutting, I had decided to make a small FBA, just to make the fit a little better.

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Top E from Sweet Clothes, by Asuka Hamada

 Now I’d love to say I’ve devised a brand new method of making  a FBA without a dart, but I’d be lying.  There’s a very good method I use in the book, “The Perfect Fit” available from Amazon and I’m sure, other sellers too.  Here’s an extract for you:

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It’s a dead easy method, and works well without having to fiddle about with adding darts and then trying to get rid of them again. I had decided that 1.5cm over the half bodice would be enough for me, while I didn’t need masses of room over the front, but a little more length in the front would be nice, so  I added 3cm in the length.

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In order to save a little fabric, I cut the back in two with a French seam in the centre.  This meant I could cut the font and back next to each other on the fabric, and then placed the sleeve on the cross grain (because it’s so wide!) with the bias for neck and narrow cuff pieces filling in the banks spaces.  This means that from my 2m originally bought, I have enough to make something else!

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I love the way this version drapes, the first one being cotton voile is a little crisper, and the sleeves keep their blousiness better.  That doesn’t mean I don’t like the way they are in the viscose though.  I could live in viscose all year, it just feels so luxurious. 

I made this blouse in the same way as the first, ignoring the elastic in the narrow cuff and using the revised neckline.  I like the extra length in the front the FBA has given me, and the little more room across the bust is an improvement.  Very happy with this, and it’ll be worn a lot, even if ironing those big gathered sleeves is a pain!

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Now I really need to toile the patterns I’ve traced, and figure out what adjustments they need.  Also, those pants, they’re so quick to make!  In the mean time, and totally unrelated to Japanese sewing patterns, I’ve added more vintage patterns to my Etsy shop, I need to make a concerted effort to empty at least one drawer to make space for the modern PDF patterns I keep buying!  So help a gal out won’t you, see if I’ve got anything you fancy.  I’m adding constantly, so keep going back.  It takes a while to go through each and every pattern to make sure all the bits are  there.

 

Rounding off 2020

What a year!  I know there’s been precious little action on the blog this month, but I have a really, really good excuse..  Making Christmas presents!  And obviously I cannot show those until they’ve been recieved, so.  I wish I could show them now, as Christmas day has been, but Boris stuffed up my Christmas plans, so those presents are still here with me and not with the people they were for!  Except for one.

I wanted to make little things for the girls’ advent calendar, one of those ones you can fill with goodies, and not just chocolate!  Although chocolate did feature heavily!  In our garden, we’re frequently visited by lots of birds, chief amongst them are the tits, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Long Tailed Tits and the little Willow Tit.  I thought it would be cute to find a little decoration that I could make, in the shape of one of those birds.  After much trawling on Etsy, I found this pattern.  American, so they call the bird a Chickadee, but it’s a tit!

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After downloading and printing, I decided the bird was a little big, so reduced the pattern pieces to 80% of the original size to be more lifelike.  Perfect!  The felt was also from Etsy, and came relatively quickly, given the state of the post office!  I had most of the required colours of embroidery thread in my stash and only needed to buy a couple from a local store.  Cutting the felt was fiddly, because the pieces are so small.  Best tool to cut with?  Curved nail scissors!  Trust me on this, they work a treat!  I decided the birds needed to be “double-sided” as they’d probably swing around on the tree.  My embroidery skills need some work, but I’m happy with the individuality of the birdies!!  There were going to be 5, but as these 3 took so long to make and time was not on my side, I will have to make the other 2 for next Christmas!

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They’re so cute and were very well recieved!!

So what else have I been up to?  Well, back in April when I was in South Africa with my mum and getting fidgity to make something, I thought I’d take advantage of her copious knitting knowlegde and knit something.  I made a beanie and a pair of mittens and came away with a couple of very easy patterns and the desire to knit a little more.  I am a very reluctant knitter, I just don’t have the patience to knit for months and then find I don’t like what I’ve made, or worse still – what I’ve made doesn’t fit!!!!

Anyway, I eventually bought some Aran weight yarn in a pretty misty blue/green colour and raided a friend’s pattern stash.  I picked what I thought was going to be an easy pattern, but I still needed to learn some tricks!  I needed to learn how to knit on a circular needle, how to make German Short rows, increasing and decreasing (on purpose), and how to make a Magic Loop in order to knit the sleeves.  But I did it, and from starting in October, I have a jumper finished before Christmas!!  Never did I think that would happen!  Now I want more Aran weight yarn, or chunkier, so I can knit something else just as fast!

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Finish it and put it on immediately! Blocking – naa – later!!

At the beginning of the year, I said I wanted to learn new things, have a “year of firsts”.  Ahem..  So, what did I manage then?  Well, I made my first quilt.  Still not finished, but I’m getting there.  I knitted my first beanie, and first pair of gloves – fingerless!  I spent more time on the allotment than in my sewing room and went for extended periods of time without sewing anything!  In the Christmas present pile is another first, but those details will have to wait!  And of course, there’s this jumper.  The first one I’ve started and finished by myself, and I actually like!  So it’s not been all bad.

There are a couple of projects that haven’t made it to the blog yet, and probably won’t get their own posts.  I used the remainder of the blue floral print viscose to make a cowl cami, using my old favourite camisole pattern, Butterick 5487 .  The scraps left over have gone into making a couple of masks and the lining of some pouches.  I also had some gorgeous navy blue fine knit that I brought back from South Africa – made a Toaster Sweater #2.  I had to take it in drastically at the sides, 10cm in total, shorten the body and the sleeves, and narrowed the sleeves too.  It’s been a brilliant extra layer, I like fine knits for layering in the winter!

cowl cami

Next year is going to be a wait and see year, I think, not too much planning.  As the government seems to be changing the rules an a fortnightly basis, I think that’s the way to go in the beginning.  So for now, I think I’ll start January with some #SewJapaneseInJanuary, I have two books I got in 2018 that I have yet to trace a single pattern from!  There must be something in the stash I can use for a pattern somewhere.  Then there is that fabric I got from Rainbow Fabrics in November/October – still haven’t cut them out!  I also want to make a denim coat from old jeans – I collected a large pile in the summer and that pile is making me feel guilty everytime I look at it!  So it’s not like I’ve nothing to make or no ideas – I just need my sewing room back again!

So that’s it, I guess I’ll be seeing you all in 2021!  Happy New Year everyone!

The Kew Pants

Here I am, still sewing trousers! This is the end of the 3m of black cotton twill I bought in London in October, all that’s left are small pieces that I’ll use for pouches or to patch together for a bag or something. This time, I’ve made the Kew Pants from Style Arc. I chose this pattern because I liked the slightly cocoon shape of the legs, and the interesting dart detail on the hem. According to the size table I should be a 14, but knowing that the Teddy Pants fit really well in a size 12, I went for the 12 again!

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The toile revealed that the size was fine, I just needed to shorten the back crotch curve by 1-1.5cm. That’s all!! I didn’t even need to shorten the leg length, and that’s a miracle in itself! After making all the bits and pieces in the toile material, I knew I would be needing to make a lot less bulk in the pocket area, so cut the bags in a cotton and only did the facing and coin pockets pieces in the cotton twill.

kew 2

kew 1

This pattern sits with the base of the waistband on the natural waist, so I guess people will say they are high waisted. The fit is good, I like not having to hoik them up during the day! I have a pair of Burda trousers that also sit on the natural waist, but the waistband is one long straight piece, unlike the Kew Pants waistband which is curved. It’s still one piece, but that curve means it has a little more give – the Burda one is slightly snug as the day goes on. Also, the Burda pattern I made is the size 44, the biggest in the magazine’s non plus-size range. I am able to make the 42 in patterns that do not sit on my “waist”!

kew 4

So, back to the Kew. There are two back trouser pieces, adding to the shape. This means you have extra opportunities for fitting. The pockets in the front look really big in the drawings, but are perfectly sized in real life! I French seamed the bottom pocket seam for neatness – and strength. I really like the pockets, they are great for stuffing a phone and mask and card wallet into, and still have space for hands!

kew 6

I changed the fly zip by adding the fly facing to the front piece when cutting out, this eliminated bulk in the zip area. All the pieces were overlocked before I started sewing, I like this done first so there is less fraying going on while I’m trying to sew. I bound the curved section of the front leg at the hem before I sewed the dart, it’s made it a bit bulkier than I’d like, but I didn’t like the idea of just turning the narrow hem inside.

kew 5

One thing that has shown up in this fabric is that I need to take in the inside leg seams a bit, and maybe adjust the crotch seam, there are some wrinkles that would indicate that there’s too much fabric there, front and back. Funny how it didn’t show up in the toile! Anyway, it’s not affecting me wearing them everytime they’re back in my wardrobe, so maybe I’ll just leave it….

I have made a start on the gorgeous viscose fabrics I got from Rainbow Fabrics, there’s another Asuka Hamada blouse with the ginormous sleeves on my sewing table!