Blue Paradise

So, I’ve been on holiday for a month, almost a month ago now (where did the time go?!), and come back to find two allotments needing lots of care and attention, a backlog of sewing projects and a mountain of fabric purchased while on holiday to wash and iron.  And allocate to future projects.  So what do you do?  You go gardening!  One thing that will not wait, is the allotment.  Weather permitting, that’s where I needed to be, but I was desperate to get back to my sewing, just needed to pick a project to start.

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Butterick 5487 cowl drape cami in silk

As it just so happened, that first project was something for Daughter No1.  She had a wedding to go to, (a family member of her partner) had a fabulous pair of tropical print wide leg pants, but no top to wear with them.  So I dug through the stash, I had a feeling a silk cowl drape cami would do the trick!  Originally on seeing the pants, I thought a gorgeous coral satin back crepe would look fabulous, but despite trawlling numerous shops, we couldn’t find anything, and I had no time to look for fabric, buy it and still wait for delivery.

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Nice simple back

In the end, the stash came up trumps.  I had just the right coloured blue silk, it was approved and I set to work.  The pattern is Butterick 5487 (from the 90s),  I’m sure you could find a copy of it on Ebay or Etsy.  Going by the bust measurements, and the finished measurements, I cut the 10 with no adjustments apart from shortening the length on Daughter No1’s request.

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Some close up details

The cami is cut on the bias and has armhole and back facing pieces seperate. The straps are cut on the straight.  Gill Arnold’s black fine sheer polyester fusible interfacing was used on the facing pieces.  The cami was sewn with French Seams, makes it all nice and neat inside, and really doesn’t take long with just two seams!  It looks brilliant, the colour goes well with the pants and I’m sure she’ll look fabulous on the day.

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I’d rather fancy some of that fabric the pants are made from!

Now that I’ve got my feet wet again, it’s time to get cracking on that stash again, isn’t it…  Or better still, make up a pattern I cut out before going away, but ran out of time to make to take!

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P.S. As it turns out, she got cold feet about wearing a cami as a top and went in a navy jumpsuit.  Ah well, at least there’s an option in the wardrobe for another occasion!

Kabuki Tee

 

I’m on a Paper Theory roll at the moment!  I’ve enjoyed making and wearing the LB Pullover this year, and the Zadie Jumpsuit had its christening this week on holiday in South Africa. It was lovely to wear!  The other pattern I’ve made is the Kabuki Tee.  It’s a loose, boxy, oversized tee pattern, designed for woven fabrics.  I’d admired the large sleeves and front detail, with the opportunity to play with direction with stripes or other patterns.

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Wearing my new Kabuki Tee on a beach walk

This first garment is a plain, I bought some grey chambray earlier in the year with the Kabuki in mind.  It’s probably a little stiffer than would be preferable, but I like the way it keeps the boxy shape of the design.  All the edges were overlocked after sewing the relevant seams to keep it all neat and tidy inside, and I topstitched the armhole/sleeve seams.

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Topstitched seam detail

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It’s a relatively quick pattern to make, the instructions, as with all the other Paper Theory patterns are pretty straightforward.  To make sure that there wouldn’t be any holes or inclination to tear once the corners on the front and back were snipped to allow for rotation and insertion of the sleeves, I interfaced that area with a scrap of fine sheer fusible.  It just gives a little more stability to the fabric that’s going to be weakened.

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I’ve worn the tee twice on my holiday in South Africa, and it’s been really comfy to wear.  Hubby doesn’t like the oversized armholes, says  need slimmer sleeves, but I like the look.  I’ve also made a version in viscose, just to see how it looks in a much more drapey, fluid fabric.  But I haven’t managed to wear that one just yet, so pics are non-existant!

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I dragged the other half to a fabric shop to stock up on fabric to refill my suitcase (having emptied it of loads of stuff I brought out for friends and family) and picked up a black and white wide stripe linen that will either be another Kabuki or possibly another LB Pullover.  I’m liking the idea of stripe manipulation…

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Apple Green Pinafore

After seeing the #SewBibs hashtag on Instagram earlier this year, I decided that would be the push I needed to make myself a pair of Burneside Bibs. I’ve had the pattern and fabric for ages, just never got round to getting them sorted. Well, I still haven’t!

The bibs I’ve finally made are for Daughter no 2, and it’s a Burdastyle pattern, surprise surprise. She’d like the pattern for a while and wanted me to make it before Christmas, but that wasn’t really good timing. The fabric is a lovely green organic stretch cotton twill (probably not most recommended for this pattern, but who cares) from Fabworks, and they still have stock.

I traced the 38 and toiled in a sturdy fabric. I had a feeling the skirt would need to be longer, it is a petite pattern afterall. The toile revealed it needed a fair bit more in the length, I added 10cm, and to take a little out on the upper skirt/waistband pieces. I took in the sides from the top of the waistband to just above where the pocket opening ends by 0.75 cm each side, effectively going down a size. The construction is straightforward. The front and back bib pieces are doubled, attached to the waistband and then the skirt.

Facings and underlaps provide support for snaps, but you could use buttons instead, which is what I ended up doing. Actually, as this fabric stretches so well, we could have made the buttons decorative instead of functional! Buttons were used instead of snaps because althou I have a box of different ones, I didn’t have nough pieces to put together 6 of the same snap! I think I need a clear-out of that box. There also waasn’t time to order more snaps, and we decided buttons form the stash would work just as well.

The insides are all overlocked & I used double rows of topstitching. The pinafore comes together pretty quickly and Burda’s precise instructions are easy to understand. I have a feeling I might be making more of these in the future.

My New Favourite Trousers

It hasn’t taken me long to make another pair of StyleArc’s Teddy Designer Pants.  I had a 3m length of black herringbone linen that I bought from Croft Mill ages ago that had been destined for a jumpsuit, but now has made the perfect pair of black linen Teddy Pants.

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Teddy Designer Pants from Style Arc

The fabric is a soft, drapey linen, but has good body.  It also attracts every last bit of fluff, dust and feathers…  It was narrower than linen usually is, so I used more meterage than I had done with the green pants.  I had hoped to get another of the Kana’s Standard jackets I made last year out of the remaining fabric, but it’s looking unlikely.  The pants are pretty much the same as the green ones, apart from an adjustment in the back.  I darted the back waistband in line with the trouser darts to take out 2x 0.75cm and enlarge and extend the darts a centimetre and a bit.  The back fits better now, and has less opportunity to “grow” as the day goes on.  I had noticed with the green pair that I was pulling them up more later in the day, so this little adjustment will sort that out.

 

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I changed the order of work, once the front pleats were constructed and basted in place, the centre front was sewn from the base of the zip approx. 5cm.  I had cut the front trouser pieces with the fly facing “grwon-on”.  Basically, the fly facing pattern piece was taped to the centre front of the trouser piece, marked the centre front line with tailor’s tacks and went from there.  The whole fly zip went in like a breeze and looks better finished too.  Then I attached the pocket bags to the side seams and then sewed the front and back trouser pieces together.  It was a pain in the whatsit trying to do the zip after having sewn the side seams first the last time.

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I didn’t alter the length in the end, I’ve decided I like them as they are and I have enough cropped trousers anyway.  I can imagine this pattern will be fabulous in a wool suiting or crepe for the winter too.  I have a feeling that I’ll be buying something to make another summer pair when on holiday!

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Maybe a patterned pair next time?  Stripes??

Here’s another shot of that pleat, just for luck.

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This pattern’s USP, the pleat and cocoon leg shape

 

FBA Without a Dart

Last year I made a jacket from one of the Kana’s Standard books, and made a dartless FBA, a technique I used again this year when I added a FBA to my LB Pullover.  I’ve been asked for a tutorial on how to accomplish this on a couple of occasions now, but I really lacked the time to do it.  However, I needed to trace the pullover pattern again and reinstate the bust adjustment, so I figured that was as good a time as any to photograph the process and do a little tutorial.  Bear in mind though, that this technique works for me, it might not for you!  This is just my way, and I’m sure there are other methods out there.

Start by figuring out how much you need to add.  With this pattern I didn’t need to add excess width, just depth to avoid the drag lines.  So I cut the front piece from just under the shaping for the sleeves and angled upwards to roughtly the bust point and then went across the front, perpendicular to the centre front line.  I added a piece of paper to the top piece, measured 3cm down (the depth I’d figured out I needed) and drew a line parallel to the line I’d initially cut, then taped the bottom pattern piece to that line, ensuring the centre front line was straight.  The next step was to draw a line from the bust point, which in my case was 12cm from the CF line & halfway through the added 3cm, to the hemline.  Then draw a dart from the bust point to encompass the added width at the side seam.  Cut up one of the dart legs and down the line you’ve just drawn to the hemline.

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1. Add the fba, or length. 2. Mark the bust point or apex. 3. Draw line from apex to hem, draw dart from added width. 4. Cut up dart leg & down line from pust point.

Now close the dart in the paper by pivoting at the apex, this opens a dart from the bustpoint to the hem.  Tape a piece of paper in that gap.  Measure along the hemline to establish the width of the dart.  This will need to be removed at the side seam.  Mark the same measurement in from the side seam, along the hemline.  Draw a line from the now closed side-seam dart to the mark on the hemline.  This will be your new side seam.

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1. Close dart in side seam. 2. Measure new dart width. 3. Mark that width on hemline from side seam. 4. Draw new side seam.

Check the length of the new side seam by placing the back side seam along it, the side seams need to be the same length!  Chances are the new side seam will be a little longer than the back.  So mark where the back hemline comes to on the front and join that to the existing front hemline with a slow curve.  Cut off the old side seam along with any hem, this is basically the dart you added.  And that’s it!  Remember that if you’re lengthening anything that has a front opening and facings to that opening, to lengthen the facings too!!

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1. New side seam. 2. Check length of new front side seam against existing back side seam length. 3. Draw new hemline to meeet new side seam length. 4. Remove the dart!

I hope that’s all as clear as mud! 🙂  Happy sewing people, now I need to get cracking, I leave in a week and have LOADS to still get done before that!

Work in Progress Wednesday 5/19

More sewing getting done!  Must be the weather, April showers have arrived just on time! 😀 I have moved indoors this week due to a couple of rainy days chasing me off the allotments.  I have less than 2 weeks to go before we’re off to South Africa, so there’s a lot to do, both sewing wise and gardening.  As I knew the bad weather was on the way, I cut out 5 projects on Monday afternoon/evening and started the sewing on Tuesday (yesterday).  But I’m not going to show you what I made yesterday just yet.  Today I made a Kabuti Tee in viscose, and started on a dungaree dress for Daughter No2, which I spoke about in my last WIPW.

The Kabuki Tee is one of those boxy, loose fitting tops that looks so completely different in a drapy fabric.  It’ll be lovely and cool to wear in the summer.  It’s a pretty simple pattern, the only tricky thing is getting those sharp corners sharp!   I always pop a bit on interfacing on the fabric that I’m snipping in cases like this, just to reinforce the fabric and support that snip and spread.  It definitely helped with this viscose!

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Supporting the fabric for the corners

Next up was the dungaree dress.  This is one item that Daughter No2 is rather keen to have in her suitcase for the holiday, so I HAVE to finish it!!  The fabric is stretch cotton twill from Fabworks Online, chosen by Daughter No2 herself.  It’s a lovely, cheerful green, perfect for spring and summer!  The pattern is 115 from April Burdastyle magazine 2017.   It’s also not a tricky pattern just has a few pieces to get together.

I started with the front bib and pocket and added the loops for the d-rings.  The front and back bib pieces are all done now, and I’m ready to get the waistband bits on and start on the skirt and pockets.  I hope it’ll all be done by lunchtime tomorrow, when I need to get to the allotment to plant my Mother’s Day present, a Bramley Apple tree!  Can’t wait to make apple pie with my own home-grown apples!

 

Spring Green

With the Equinox on the 21st, it’s finally officially Spring here in the UK, and I’ve got a nice new springy green pair of trousers to show off!  I’d been after an interesting pair of linen trousers for a while, and was thinking of drafting something when I took a quick look at the Style Arc website.  They tend to have interesting designs and I thought I might be inspired somewhere along the line.

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Teddy Designer Pants from Style Arc

After a fairly short browse, I’d found 2 patterns I liked, one in particular.  In the end, I just bought the pattern!  Now this is my very first Style Arc pattern, despite them being very popular amongst certain areas of the sewing world, I’ve never bought one.  And here’s why.  Up to now, they’ve only been available in your size, although you get the size above and below your chosen size as well.  But – these are seperate patterns, not nested, so it makes blending between sizes interesting, also, if I’m going to be dropping good money on a pattern, I want to be able to make it for more than just one person.  I want more than 3 sizes.  You could also only get PDF download versions in millions of A4 pages to stick together – something I particularly dislike, or wait for the pattern sheets to be sent from Australia, paying postage & customs charges on the way, making this an expensive pattern that had better be good!  It was a pleasant surprise to find that this particular pattern not only came in multiple sizes, but they were nested and the PDF was available in A4 as well as a copy shop version.  Sold!  Now, if they start doing this with all the other patterns, Burda will have a real run for their money!  I wanted a couple more, but they weren’t available in the same format.  No matter, I’ll keep my eyes peeled and hope I can get them later once the multi-size copy shop versions become more available, here’s the link for all the multi-size patterns currently available.

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So, on to this one, the pattern I’ve been rambling about is the Teddy Designer Pants.  Pants, not pant!  Here goes another rant, why only one?  I have two legs, and want a pair of pants/trousers!  *breathe* I fell for the nice deep, long pleat down the middle of the trouser legs, sewn down from the hem and the waistband for about 20cm, the slight cocoon shape to the outside leg seam, the wide, shaped waistband and narrow hem. Basically, all the design features! 😀  I had some olive (bright) green washed linen in the stash that was begging for an interesting pattern, and I had just enough!

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Now, last time I mentioned there has been a little change of measurements around here.  Earlier in the year the #SewMySize hashtag did the rounds on Instagram, showing “ordinary” sewists with their measurements with the hope that indi pattern companies in particular would recognise the range of body sizes and shapes out there and cater to all.  I posted this photo.

But I’ve changed by eating habits and now I have new measurements, which means making different sizes! Woohoo! However, it also means I have a large pile of clothes that I need to make smaller so they don’t fall off me.  I’ll be adjusting for summer, rather than sewing for summer!  So, in the interest of openess and helping you to choose your size, these are the new measurements.

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I traced the 16 and 14, based on those measurements and toiled the 16 to see where I needed to alter the pattern.  Turns out the fit was pretty solid!  The waistband fits snugly on the waist, with the upper edge on the natural waistline.  There was no pulling around the high hip area, which can happen on some trouser patterns.  All I needed to to was to shorten the leg, brilliant!  I love the shape and the pleat, did a little wiggly dance around the sewing room in delight!

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Making was fairly simple, I know some people have a problem with the instructions, or lack thereof, but being a Burda girl I’m used to sparse instructions.  They did read a little oddly though, like they were written by someone for whom English is not their first language.  The zip instructions were weird though, and for the final garment I ignored them entirely and did it my way.  I cannot get my head round instructions that have you put the zip in backwards.  I’ll be changing the pattern a bit for next time around the zip, basically adding the fly facing to the front trouser pattern, this eliminates bulk and gives me more to work with to sew the zip in from the centre front line.  I might also bring the pockets up 2-3cm, but that’s not critical.  I made the pockets bigger though!  They’re too narrow for me, my phone and hand didn’t fit in, so I widened the curve to make more space.  Three centimetres was taken out of the length of the leg.

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Details

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I put the pants on for photos, and didn’t take them off!  I decided they were so comfy that I’d wear them for the rest of the day.  They really are good to wear, even the hubby likes them!  So, as I have yet to start the next Zadie Jumpsuit – in the black linen from the stash, I think I just might use it for another quick pair of these!  That way I have two pairs of pants to add to my suitcase for my holiday!  And I’d better get something else while I’m away for the jumpsuit…