A Little Catch Up

 

The blog posting hasn’t really gone to plan in the last couple of months, and neither is it how I normally would work!  I’ve been spending a lot more time on the allotment, especially with the veggies (time consuming little buggers), and sewing for Daughter No2, who isn’t at home and therefore makes it tricky to get photos of finished garments.  Today though, I’ve got a couple of items I made for myself.  A while ago I said I had plans to make another LB Pullover and possibly a Uvita Top.  Well, those have been made, and worn, and I only now have some photos for you.

 

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Uvita Top by Itch to Stitch

I have to admit, that as far as 3/4 sleeve tees go, I find it hard to beat the Uvita.  I’ve also used the Lark Tee with the 3/4 sleeve option, but the Uvita is just so easy to wear.  The fabric was bought from a fellow sewist who was using  Instagram to destash.  I think it was originally from Fabworks – a dusky blue and sort of beige stripe viscose jersey with good drape.  The only downside was its determination to curl to the right side – which made the neck treatment on the tee just ever so slightly tricky.  Let’s just say a tailor’s ham and lots of pins were used…

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So easy to wear!

Then the LB Pullover – was there ever such a quick “sweatshirt” to make?  This is the size 14, I’d sized down from the original 16 some time ago, and I think it’s just right for me – for now.  Fabric came from Rosenberg & sons a couple of years ago, has a cool texture and is a lovely blue.  But then all blues are lovely.  I had intended to make some of these tops in linen over the summer, but I guess I’ll just have to get to that plan next year!

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Warm and cosy on a wet, rainy day!

Then the last of the “show-offs” for today are the trousers I made a few weeks ago, Burda 115 from May 2019.  I’m still on the wearable toile, haven’t found “proper” fabric yet, but I like the pants, style and fit.  I wasn’t sure about the big pleat in the front – but the other half has no problems in deciding.  He doesn’t like it.  So I have to ask, are pants with pleats on the front flattering to me, or not?

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These are the size 42, with a leg length adjustment, 3cm shorter than the pattern was drafted.  Apologies for the photo quality, I’m using my phone’s forward camera and it’s not the best…

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So – yes to the pleats, or no???

Sewing Plans Progress

Sewing continues, I’ve been toiling and trying to use up scraps in equal measure.  I’ve finally found a use for the patchwork of left over fabrics – large cushion covers for daughter no 2.  I’ve also made a blue and rust cushion cover for myself, to use at the allotment.  It used left over fabric from other projects and looks good a cheerful on my turquoise chairs!  I need to get a photo for you!

As far as toiles go, the working toile of the trousers, 115 May 2019 has worked out well, no alterations needed.  I do need to find a suitable fabric though, I don’t think there’s one in the stash.

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The working toile of 115 05/2019

On the other hand though, I have at least make one pair of trousers for the changing seasons – the Teddy Designer Pants have been remade for cooler weather in a lovely soft pale grey wool.  I locked myself away in the sewing room for a whole day and just concentrated on making them, which was lovely.  Even though the weather was good and I should have been out in the allotment.

However – I was having such a good time sewing that I made a little booboo.  I managed to fold the pleat on the front the wrong way!  And this I only realised once I happily put them on to revel in my new trousers.  So….  now they’re in the altering pile.  How annoying!

On the good side though, Daughter No 2 loves the toile of the trousers 120 August 2019, and it looks like they need no alterations or adjustments whatsoever.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t the same with Daughter No1.  Not only did they not fit well, but they just didn’t suit her.  Not the right style.  I still have to toile 107, also from August 2019, the pattern is all traced and ready, but the allotment is a fickle place and doesn’t like the competition! 🙂

I have finished the two tops I had planned to make in jersey fabric, making a navy blue LB Pullover from a textured jersey I got from Rosenberg & Sons two years ago at the NEC, and a blue and beige(?) striped Uvita, fabric bought from a sewist who was destashing on Instagram.  I need someone to be around to take photos of all these things, so for now all I have is a selfie…

Daughter No 2 has been the recipient of a new blouse, again, I’ve no photos of her in it yet, but she’s assured me that she likes it, but maybe next time make it a little shorter.  The top in question is 120 from June 2019, made in Liberty Lawn from the stash.  Yay for stashbusting!  The mint buttons are from the button stash too.

Daughters No 1’s vintage 80s vogue patterns have arrived and are partway through the toiling process, so now it’s wait and find out time.  I really hope they they work out, the pink worsted wool I have in mind for the “cross dressing women” pattern is just devine!  But first, I have to plant late potatoes to have some to harvest in time for Christmas, get the vegetable allotment ready for autumn sowings of broad beans & peas, and get ready to plant shallots, onions and garlic to overwinter!  And continue, in the meantime, to harvest and find interesting ways to eat rather a lot of courgettes….

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Big, bumblebees on the globe thistle in the cutting garden
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My first ever pepper! On the vegetable plot.

Rapidly reaching the summer finish line

That feeling in the middle of August that you get when you realise summer is almost over (noooooo) and you really ought to be making more of an effort with the next season’s stuff, but still have a long list of summer things….  I’ve decided to trim that list right down to the stuff that will still work going into September -praying for an Indian sumer here- and will last into Autumn before the frosts come.  Or even after that, with the helpful additions of tights, boots and a warmer jumper.

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Skirt 113 from BurdaStyle June 2019

Enter the skirt 113 from the June issue of Burda 2019.  Daughter No2 fell for it immediately, but we didn’t have a suitable 3m of stashed fabric, so it waited a bit, until we were in Fancy Silks in Birmingham about 3 weeks ago (on the heatwave day!) and she spotted the perfect fabric.  Cotton poplin, navy ground with yellow-orange anthirium leaf print.  It certainly has an eye-catching colour scheme, and she loved it.  We bought the last 3m on the roll at £5 a metre and it went into the washing machine as soon as I got home after being broiled alive on the train!

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Perfect for twirling and swooshing in!

I made the 36, which is the smallest size.  Her waist measurement is actually closer to the 34, but with this style of skirt she’ll always be wearing something tucked in, and so wants a bit more room for comfort.  Making the skirt up is pretty easy, it consists of a back, cut on the fold, waistband, pockets (it has in-seam pockets) and the front pieces.  The reason for needing 3m is that the front piece is too wide to cut on folded fabric, you need to cut them seperately, which adds to the length required.  The waistband and buttonstand on the front skirt are interfaced for stability.  I made no changes to the pattern at all, apart from omitting the belt.

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I need to move the button on the waistband over, it’s not in the right place, hence the draglines

 

Buttons are from the stash, the only dark blue ones of suitable size I had, thankfully.  The local haberdashery closed last year and the closest is 5 miles away, and doesn’t have an interesting supply of buttons.  There is enough fabric left to make a small top, something along the lines of an Ogden cami.  I have suggested that to her, but not making it full length.  I think a cropped Ogden will look pretty good with this skirt, all in the same fabric.

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And the in-seam pockets are perfect!

 

 

 

Wavy Black Blouse

Daughter No2 has persuaded me to make another wavy back blouse, this time using black embroiderie anglaise that we bought in South Africa earlier this year.  We bought 1.5m, which was just enough!  Because the back is cut as one piece, whole, and the flounce is huge, and also cut flat, we weren’t 100% sure it would actually fit in.  So fingers were tightly crossed…

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Blouse 111 from Burda February 2018

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As it was, there was a teeny tiny problem that I only discovered when I was about to attach the flounce piece to the back.  In order to get the pattern piece tertis-fitted onto the remaining bit of fabric, I’d turned the pattern piece upside down.  Yeah.  And it’s asymmetrical.  M-hmmm.  So I pulled out all the tailor’s tacks I’d put in the back piece to show me the attachment line for the flounce, turned the back piece upside down and tailor tacked again.  So we have a flounce that goes the opposite way to that intended, but thankfully it’s no train-smash, if  I hadn’t told you, you wouldn’t have known! 🙂

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All other making-up is the same as the last time, including sewing the sleeve facing to the inside of the sleeve.  She didn’t want the piping details, so it’s not missing out on anything.  There’s a small black pop-stud about 6cm up from the base of the front placket to stop wardrobe malfunctions instead of a button to keep everything cleaner and more “minimalist”.  If broiderie anglaise can ever be called minimalist!

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This is one of those tops that’ll transition nicely into an autumn wardrobe, and as long as the sleeves of your jumper are wide, no reason why you can’t make one for winter too!  But I’m not planning on making another one in a hurry, the list of other patterns is long and growing.  I have started toiling the autumn stuff, once it’s all fitted & adjustments made, I cang et started.  I’m kinda looking forward to making the warmer stuff!

Work in Progress Wednesday 7/19

I have been making progress with the sewing for everyone, mostly tracing patterns and toiling so far, but I have one decision made.  The trousers 115 from May Burda 2019 were pronounced the “wrong thing” for both daughters, after I’d traced and toiled the pattern, but before any of them had managed to try on the toile!  Anyway, I still like the look, so quickly “tried on” the 36 – by which I mean I put one leg in to see where the length got me – and decided to shorten the pattern in the leg by 3cm to get the hem where it hits the model, and cut what I very much hope is a wearable toile for myself!

The fabric is a piece of wool I found in a charity shop locally last year, grey with hints of pale blue in a windowpane check.  Fingers crossed now!   Based on the fact that I’m still taking in my trousers made before in size 44, I’ve taken a risk and gone for the 42 this time.  Now I really need those fingers to be crossed.

I made a certain attempt to get the checks to line up, if I really am going to be able to wear these, I’d prefer it for the stripes and checks to at least attempt to match!  The instructions were only slightly ignored – well, I didn’t ignore them, but I did re-organise them.  The darts and pleats and pockets were constructed as per instructions, but I changed the front opening details a bit.  Only because it’s tricky doing all that work with extra trouser pieces hanging around, so I left off the back pieces.  The instructions for actually constructing the button fly are dead easy, it all goes together in the absolutely right way.

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Constructing the front fly

I sewed the straight part of the back seam next, and added the back waistband. Then the front pieces got their waistbands and the out and in-seams were sewn.  Finally I finished the crotch seam and, with many fingers crossed, put my new pants on.  oooo, did I need to breath in!!!  Just goes to show when you get cocky, the sewing fairies bite back! 🙂  I might be taking my size 44 trousers in all over the pace, but with this particular style, I am not yet ready for the size 42….

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Front, back and side. Overall, not bad, but definitely too tight in the waist! Please ignore the no-smile face! 🙂

Thank heavens for that side seam sewn all in one with the waistband!  I hadn’t sewn the inner waistband down yet, so all I did was change the seam allowance to a mere 5mm on the waistband, and graded/tapered that new seamline into the original line by about 10cm below the pocket.  They’re more comfortable to put on and pin shut now, and I recon when I put them on in the morning, they’ll feel even better! Of course, the checks lined up so beautifully with the 1.5cm seam, and now things are a little off.

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Let out in the waist, they’re more comfortable to wear now!

This fabric has no movement in it, so no stretching during the day.  I think I might get away with wearing this pair, I will definitely need to trace the 44 from around 10cm below the hipline up to the waistline, and there needs to be a slight adjustment done in the back, there are some draglines under the bum that will need to be fixed for the final pair.  But these are useable…  I have buttons that are suitable, so just need to get that waistband finished off, make buttonholes and get the hem done.  But what fabric to make the final pair in?

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Choosing the colours and placement of silk strips

In other scrapbusting and stashbusting news, I have finally done something useful with a bit of cross-stitch embroidery I did, around 2 years ago.  I’d wanted to do something with it, but wasn’t sure what, or how.  I didn’t fancy a picture, mounted and framed.  Last week I had a brainwave – raid the silks box for brightly coloured bits of dupion silk and make a patchwork of sorts.  Then make it into a cushion cover.  I started by deciding how big the final embroidery piece would be, then worked out the strips of different colours based on the overall size of the cushion.  I wanted asymmetry with the piece, but not massivly so.  So the strips of silk on the left are slightly wider than the one of the right, and the strips on the top are deeper than that on the bottom.  I love the combination of silks, they pick out the colours of the blue tits and blossoms really well.  It’ll be going to Daughter No2 to brighten up her living room.

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The finished silk cushion. Do I really need to give it away??

The Case of The Cross-Dressing Women

 

Or 1980s power dressing to anyone who was alive and kicking in that era!  So, I’ve shown Daughter No 1 the patterns and ideas of trousers to make, based on her Pinterest board, and lets just say I didn’t get it quite right.  Sort of on the right track, but not nearly dramatic enough for her!  Our modern tastes aren’t “statementy” enough.  After looking again and a rather long telephone call later, I realised she was after an older look, so I showed her a couple of 90’s patterns, which got a warmer reception than the modern Burda ones, then I found this in my pattern stash!

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1987 Vogue 1199

There were lots of “the right noises” going on, on both sides of the phone, thank heavens for WhatsApp!  The penny had dropped on my end, she wanted 80s stuff!  High waisted, lots of pleats and fabric around the hip area, and turn-ups!  She wanted the waist and hips emphasised, and modern patterns don’t really do that.  So she’s pronounced the pattern with the “cross-dressing women” (her words) to be perfect.  Well, who’d have thought it?!  She wasn’t even around when that pattern came out – in fact, I was only 15…  And I think even I would have thought twice about those pants!  However, now I need to get on and toile.  I have the size 14, the pattern is a single size, so I need to grade down a size and probably take it in more on the waist.  They’ll also need to be shortened, by quite a bit, I think!

Then I had a little look on Etsy to see what else was out there that I could use…

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1988 Vogue Individualist 2027

I love this pattern!  I know, it’s a little nuts, but the trousers are spot on, and I think that jacket is just wicked!  Showing my age much??  It’s not one I would wear though, my boobs do not need gathered pouches to accentuate them in, but for someone with a tiny waist, this is great!  So I’ve taken a chance and bought it.  I have to wait for it to come from Canada, but I have time.  First that Vogue pattern of mine needs work, and of course, there’s a long list of make for myself and make for younger daughter that never ends! 🙂

Autumn Sewing Plans

Sooo, the August issue of Burdastyle fell into my hands on Friday, and I instantly wanted to make stuff! There have been items in previous issues I’ve liked this year, but not as much as this month! So this is what I’m planning for an autumn wardrobe ( or three), even though we’ve just had the hottest day ever recorded in the UK, and summer is definitely (hopefully) not over!

Starting with Daughter No 1, who has helpfully provided me with a Pinterest board to work from. Basically her look is neutral colours, soft draping fabrics contrasted with those with more body. She likes the monochromatic look, so I need to find fabrics that are either suitable for bottom and top halves, or different fabrics in the same colour. She loves trousers that sit on the natural waist (high waisted to all those who’ve lived their lives in hip grazing jeans) and have masculine details like hip yoke pockets and pleats, two are preferable to one.

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Burda pants: Potential patterns. Copyright BurdaStyle

So, in the collage above, I’ve identified some potential patterns. Going clockwise from the top left, 114 from October Burda 2018, 110 from January Burda 2018, 110 from August 2016, 115 from May Burda 2019, 102 from October 2018 & finally, 114 from June Burda 2019. Then there’s the fabulous pants from the August issue from this year, which all three of us have fallen for, 107 with the pleat or dart tuck hem. I love that they’re made in ponte in the magazine, but the fabric requirements don’t specify stretch fabric, or fabric with stretch either… The possibilities!!

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Pants 107, Burda August 2019

I’m loving the silhouette! The narrowing at the hem makes the pants have a slightly cocoon shape, like the Teddy Pants from Style Arc. And I like those very much! So, I have in the stash some pale grey wool, dress or trouser weight, and a darker grey georgette, so both of those can be used for making an outfit. There’s also 2m of pale grey denim bought from Higgs & Higgs that I was thinking of making Daughter No1 a pair of True Bias Landers – last year… So that’s back on the burner now. I also have 2m of olive/khaki corduroy, also bought last year. I’ll neeed to be careful with choosing the right pattern for that stuff. I have found some olive crepe in a blouse weight online that will do very nicely to go with the olive pants weight fabrics I alrady have. I’m still on the hunt for suitable dusky pink sort of colours, black is always handy too, as is off white. I’m not allowed to make her anything beige or camel though, that’s not a colour she likes. Maybe on the bottom half though… I’ve also got some navy wool in the stash that should be enough for pants and a tailored jacket. But I need to find the right jacket pattern. So that’s my start for Daughter No1!

Daughter No2 is more complicated, mostly because I’m still working my way through her summer sewing list!! I have, however, decided to concentrate on those items that she’ll be wearing from now through to October. So maybe no more little shorts and tops. She’s keen on those pants from this month’s Burda too, and intriued with the idea of a couple of pairs in ponte, or a nice, good quality sweatshirting – secret pjs! There’s another pair of trousers in this month’s magazine, number 120. We have two pieces of fabric from South Africa that would look the bomb in that pattern, one a cotton Shweshwe, the other a coated Wax fabric. I’m happy to make them both up, but I’m guessing I’ll make just the one to start, and wait for further instructions! 🙂

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Pants 120 from August Burda 2019

Then there’s my list!! I have finally started on a jacket that I wanted to make a while ago, the toile is done but I think I might need to size down, so that means more tracing. I had planned this week to trace the Tosti from Waffle Patterns (finally!) and start working on my waterproof jacket. It’s only three years after I bought the fabric, but who’s counting?? Then for a couple of quick sews, I have some jersey to turn into a Uvita top, or maybe a long sleeved version of the new pattern by French Navy, the Astair Tee. I’ve also got another LB Pullover in mind for some navy textured jersey I got at the NEC last Easter. Those won’t take long to make, once I’ve decided on the perfect pattern

Then I need new jeans, the old ones are all too small. That’s going to be tricky! I’ve loved the Baste and Gather Birkin Flares, but I’m thinking of a different shape this time. No idea which pattern to use though. Any ideas that would suit my shape would be greatfully recieved! I have decided to make another two pairs of the Teddy Pants for the winter, some pale grey wool and a length of black wool should do the trick, and of course, I want a pair of those pants 107 from August Burda too! Best I get started then!