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??

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!

 

Work in Progress Wednesday 4/19

A blog post!  Finally!  You guys have probably been wondering what on earth happened, radio silence for ages now!  Well, I’ve had my head down making kid’s clothes for a friend, and to help me to clear out those stash boxes of left over fabrics, and the weather lured me out of doors!  We had such beautiful, unseasonally hot weather at the end of February that I just couldn’t resist the siren call of the allotment!

It was luck that I hadn’t, to be honest, because now, at the beginning of March, I’m ready to sow seeds and plant stuff.  Even if the weather has reverted to it’s usual windy, rainy self.  So, now that the inclement weather is back, I’m back in the sewing room!  Last week I had a proper sewing day and made 7 Rowan Tees by Misusu Patterns!  It’s a free pattern for kids.  I traced the sizes from the 98 or 3 year old, up to the 7 year old & raided my stash of leftover ponte, double jersey and quilted jersey.  I made 3 of the smallest size, and randomly chose fabric and other sizes so I’d have enough for growing into, as well as fitting the older kid.  Those were all the remains of the fabric after making Toaster Sweaters, Talvikki Sweaters and the LB Pullover.  I’m very happy with my little pile, and will be distributing them amongst 3 kids.

 

 

 

But back on the sewing for normal humans – grown ups!  I suddenly realised that daughter no 2 would be home this weekend for the week – reading week at uni, and I’d promised a bunch of toiles ready for fitting!  Some patterns were ready to toile, others still needed to be traced – oops!  So I’ve made a start with a pair of shorts, and today cut the toile for a dungaree dress, 115 from Burdastyle April 2017, and traced and cut the toile for the blouse, 111 from February 2018.

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Dungaree dress 115
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Blouse 111

I also cut a top for my mum from her favourite Burda pattern (the fifth one this year!) and decided to experiment with viscose and the Kabuki Tee from Paper Theory.  I toiled that pattern in February in the size 18, but decided I could afford to size down one.  So, we’ll see if it works in viscose!  I’ve seen plenty of cotton, nani iro, double gauze and linen versions, but ot viscose.  Fingers crossed…  By the way, has anyone seen the announcement that Tara is releasing a new pattern – a jumpsuit – either this week or next?  I’m waiting with baited breath for this one, I really like the look of it when she made a version last summer.  Let’s just say I’m on tenterhooks, waiting to pounce and hit that “pay now with PayPal” button as soon as it’s live! *edit* it’s live!  Here’s the link if you’re remotely interested…

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Fifth version of Mum’s favourite top pattern to be made this year.
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Kabuki Tee in viscose. Mad or inspired?

It’s due to rain tomorrow, so instead of getting really, really muddy, I’ll stay indoors and start sewing those toiles!  I already have the fabric for the Burda patterns, so if I get those made up next week after fitting, it’ll be a good stash bust.  I also found the #sewbibs hashtag on Instagram this week, a good push to make that dungaree dress, and possibly to finally trace and toile the Burnside Bibs for myself??  I already have the fabric for those too…  It would tie in nicely with the other hashtag, #sewthatpatternnow.  And of course, #makeyourstash.  But I’ve been doing that one for a while now, and I’m only making very slow inroads into the stash boxes!  Mostly because I keep hoarding the leftovers!  Send help…

 

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My first daffodil! Well, Narcissus, really. So pretty!

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I’ll leave you with a picture of the Narcissus blooming on my allotment last week, before Storm Freya hit and flattened them, so I cut them and brought them indoors.  My first harvest from the cutting garden this year!

Work in Progress Wednesday 3/19

I’ve got a little something different for you all today.  No clothes…  Well, not for people, at any rate.  Interested??  I’ve been sewing for toys.  But not just any toys.  I’ve been bitten by the Luna Lapin bug.  I bet half of you haven’t the faintest idea what I’m talking about – right?  Well, Luna Lapin is the creation of Sarah Peel from Cool Crafting.  She’s a little rabbit made from felt, with a wardrobe and a bunch of friends, all of which can me made by buying the books, or the kits from her website.  I’d seen images on Instagram for a while and Sew Manju made the prettiest little coats for her rabbits.  I knew there and then I needed to make my own, but not necessarily for me.

I know of a little girl and boy in New Zealand who would love a pair of rabbits to play with, so I’m starting with one for each of them, with a nice wardrobe of clothes to go with them.  I’m also going to make a rabbit for my grand-nephew.  Yeah, I have one of those!

I started by tracing all the patterns from the book (for now I just have the original Luna Lapin book), then I made the T-shirt dress and the little shirt from left over scraps of fabric.  This is the other reason to make the rabbit and wardrobe – to use up those bits of fabric that are too small for kid’s clothes, but perfect for bunny clothes!  But I still needed to make a bunny.  I didn’t want to be spending any money on this exercise, so that meant no fancy wool felt.  But I did have a merino wool jumper that didn’t fit, perfect for felting!  I tossed it into the washing machine & let it do its thing.  It hasn’t felted as much as I though but would but it will do.

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Silver embroidered linen footpads!
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The little rabbit head, and those devine ears!

It’s a nice grey wool, and instead of floral fabric for the feet and ears, I cut some silver embroidered linen.  I like the effect with the wool.  I decided, as it hadn’t felted as much as I’d have liked, not to have the seams exposed, so sewed everything on the machine, using 5mm seam allowances where marked, and 3mm everywhere else where the oversewn areas would have been.  It was fairly easy to do, because the wool stretches easily.  So the legs were sewn up and then I folded them down in half to stuff them.  The only problem when stuffing something that stretches, is that it stretches!  So it can’t be overstuffed, I’d have had a very fat rabbit!

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Rolling the leg down like a sock to get the stuffing in!
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Sewing the head to the body
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Don’t worry people, this rabbit’s ‘armless… 😉

The sewing process was simple, the book is clear with good diagrams, so no getting lost or confused.  I’m so chuffed with how my rabbit turned out, I’ve decided it’s a boy rabbit, and have called him Bay.  But he needed a friend, a sister.  In the stash of toile fabrics, is the left overs of some wool I’d got from the charity shop, and felted in the machine.  I had thought I could use it for coats, but it didn’t turn out right.  That’s why it’s in the toile stash.  It’s pink, but I don’t see why we can’t have a pink rabbit, can you?

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Rosebut footpads and a pink wool body
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The head and ears are much firmer this time round

This time I’ve used a cute rosebud print cotton for the ears and footpads, it has relevance – this rabbit’s name is Rose.  But she’s not as easy to sew.  Again, I didn’t want exposed seams, but this fabric has no stretch, is stiff and thick, and doesn’t like turning!  I managed to stitch the bottom part of the seams on the feet and attach the footpad on the machine, then I turned that through to the right side.  Once stuffed it gave me something to hold.  From then on, I needed to handstitch the leg seams, 5cm at a time, stuffing as I sewed.  It took time…  The head is much better on this bunny though, because the fabric was firmer.  The ears stand up better too.

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The grey bunny in a dress, but it didn’t look right.
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Now we’re talking! What a snazzy Liberty shirt! And the grey bunny said he was a boy bunny, so I called him Bay.

Once the legs were done, the rest was quick, the body shaped up well and the head was attached firmly and securely.  All I still have left to do is the arms, which I’ll have to do in the same way as the legs – yay! 😉  I have raided my stash boxes for suitable scraps to make more clothes for my bunnies, and I have an idea to make another in denim – but we’ll have to see.  Given how this wool sewed up, I think I’d have to have the seams exposed.  So maybe I’ll just make another in the grey wool.  In the mean time, I have bunny clothes to make!  They’re so cute!!

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Rose’s turn to be ‘armless, she’ll get her arms and eyes tomorrow, after my eyes and fingers have recovered from today’s work!

Work in Progress Wednesday

It seems I’ve been posting more of these “in progress” posts this month than showing the finished items!  I must get some photos this weekend, if it’s not too rainy.  So, what am I making today?  Well, I decided on the spur of the moment last night to use a piece of wool that a friend had found in a charity shop and gave me last month.  It’s navy blue suiting with a pinstripe and herringbone weave.  It was about 1.2m in length, so was never going to be a full length pair of trousers.  That made it easy to pick a pattern, I could use my favourite cropped pattern that I’ve used 5/6 times, or a newer one, used just twice so far.

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Everything cut out and tailortacked, ready to sew.

I picked 120 from July Burda 2018.  I have made it earlier this year, in the summer, using a linen and cupro blend.  Definitely time to make another.  I got pretty much all of the pieces onto the wool, except for the pocket lining piece.  I was slightly tempted to add the ruffley thingie on the pocket opening, but there just wasn’t the space to cut the bias piece.  Actually, it was just as well, it would only get in the way of my shirts and no-one would ever see it anyway.  I cut the pocket lining from a piece of scrap cotton print in the stash.

I cut the 44 but had graded it before from the hip to the waist to the 46.  The leg has been shortened by 4cm, this was a good length in the previous pair.  I started by tailortacking and then overlocking all the pieces.  In order to make my sewing time really productive, I pinned the darts, pocket linings to the openings, and pinned the lower front and back trouser pieces to the main pieces.  These were then all sewed up.

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Overlocking

Pockets were sewn and everything well pressed, then the front and back centre seams were sewn to just above the crotch curve.  The waistband needs to go on before the zip can go in, so that was interfaced and the front and back pieces attached to the trousers.  I didn’t have a dark navy invisible zip in the stash, but the brighter blue one I chose will do just fine.  The waistbands lined up rather well, usually I need to unpick at least once to make the seamlines line up better.

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All pinned so I can sew as much as possible in one go!

 

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Invisible zip time! Thankfully invisible zips are mostly hidden, so I can use a more zingy colour…

Next to do was all the side seams, making sure the perpendicular seamlines lined up nice and neatly.  On the whole, it worked out rather well!  I decided to handstitch the hems insead of machine them because I was using thread from the stash and they didn’t necessarily match the colour of the wool all that well.  I then decided I’d handstitch the waistband on the inside too.

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Seams lined up properly the first time! Not always the case…

I finished the trousers by 3pm, having started cutting out at around 9:30 and taking an hour break for lunch.  So I’m chuffed with that, I have a new pair of trousers in the cupboard and one less piece of fabric in the stash!  I’ve also used the remains of three reels of blue thread and taken another zip out of the zip box.  Eventually I’ll get all these “stashes” down to more acceptable levels!

 

Work in Progress Wednesday

 

Today I had planned a sewing day, nothing else to interrupt me…  Hmm.  Unfortunately, due to my over-running admin duties the housework had suffered a bit of neglect, so what I had hope to get done today will have to wait a bit.  Last night I picked a length of viscose from my stash and paired it with a self drafted pattern that I last (first) used in 2014.

I’d always intended to make more than just that first blouse from the pattern, but somehow there was always something else to make first/instead.  The original top had tucks on the front yoke and down the buttonband.  I decided to skip those on the viscose.  The pattern on the fabric is just too busy and the tucks would be lost.  I think on a bigger pattern they would look better.  I also decided to forgo the hidden buttonband.  I have some rather nice vintage black buttons in the button stash, and it would be a shame to cover them up!

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Stitching the bias strip that hides the seam of the collar

I’m French seaming the inside and burrito’ed the yokes.  I did have a little “what do I do here” moment, trying to remember how I’d put it all together the last time.  In the end, this was the order of work I went with:

  • Sew the darts
  • gather front and back and sew into yokes
  • sew shoulder seams on blouse and inner yokes
  • sew inner yoke to blouse
  • interface upper collar & sew to under collar
  • staystitch neckline
  • sew collar to blouse
  • trim collar seam to 5mm
  • sew 2.5cm bias strip to trimmed seam with 5mm allowance
  • fold strip over and press down, stitch through all layers
  • sew side seams
  • attach buttonbands to fronts
  • sew hems
  • edgestitch buttonbands
  • construct sleeves
  • insert sleeves
  • sew buttonholes and attach buttons.
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Edgestitching the buttonbands

I’ve just got the buttonholes and buttons to go, that I’ll do tomorrow morning, before the next batch of admin hits!  In fact, I think I’ll wait to start the computer up and check the email until the sewing is done!  I’m really looking forward to wearing this with the trousers I made last week, as well as my range of Birkin Flares.  I have more pieces of viscose in the stash that have been waiting rather patiently for me to get round to them.  I think I need to pay them attention, I do like wearing visose!

Work in Progress Wednesday

I hadn’t thought I’d have a post for today, thought I’d have finished off my epic two-coat run.  But nope, I’ve been a little slow this week!  So here’s what I’ve been working on for the last 2 weeks, two versions of the coat 103 from February Burda 2017.

The fabric is a pinky-copper coloured cotton twill that I bought either from Croft Mill or Fabworks earlier in the year.  I bought 5m because I liked the colour so much, and it was only £5/m!  I figured I could dye it if certain people didn’t like it, so I was quids in.  Turns out both girls liked the colour and then they both wanted the same pattern made up with it!  I needed to do something to make them a little different from each other, but I think the chances of them wearing the coats at the same time together are pretty slim.

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I have done the usual interfacing, using Gill Arnold’s weft insertion the the t-panel, sleeve heads, upper back and under collar.  I used the polyester fine sheer fusible for the facing pieces, tabs and upper collar.  I altered the pattern pieces too.  First, the non-fitting changes.  I traced the collar to make one whole piece and added width of 2-3mm to the short sides and outer edge to accommodate turn of cloth.  The under collar had its grainline changed to the bias, but stayed the same size.  I also added 2-3mm to the revers on the facing pieces, tapering down to the original stitching line at the breakpoint.  The front piece had 2mm added to the front from the breakpoint to the bottom.  This all helps to roll the upper layer of fabric to the underside so you don’t see the seamline.

Fitting adjustments were relatively simple.  Both girls wanted it longer, so I added 4cm to the skirt length.  Daughter No1 needed a forward shoulder adjustment of 1cm, so that was pretty simple.  Her coat was made first!  Daughter No2 needed the sleeves 4cm longer, a broad shoulder adjustment of 1.5cm and the belt tabs needed to be lengthened by 1.5cm.  As this needed more cutting up, her coat was made last.

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Inside Daughter No1’s coat

This pattern wasn’t supposed to be lined, the raw edges are treated with Hong Kong finish, but we wanted something nice on the inside, so the hunt was on for nice linings.  Printed “proper” linings are expensive, so we went off-piste.  Daughter No1 has a William Morris inspired cotton poplin lining in her coat.  The large print looks great peaking out, and I know she’s going to love it!  The sleeves have a white and grey stripe “proper” liningso that her clothes aren’t bunched up in her armpit when she puts the coat on!  I still have to find/choose buttons for this coat, otherwise it would have been finished early last week!  The colour of the fabric makes it tricky to find the right stuff, and having no haberdashery shops within a 15 mile radius doesn’t help.  I raided the charity shops in town on Monday and found buttons with potential, but we’re not sure…

Daughter No2 has a viscose print for her lining.  I had originally thought of a geometric monochrome print, in pale grey or dusky blue, but she found the perfect stuff at the rag market in Birmingham for only £2/m!  The gold/beige tones in the paisley print work well with the copper tone of the shell fabric, so it works, despite the blue paisleys!  I found enough dark blue “proper” lining in my lining bag to use for the sleeves.  This coat does have buttons!

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Pink mother-of-pearl buttons from the stash

In my charity shop raid I found 3 vintage plum coloured buttons to use of the front of the coat, they go on the belt tabs and to close the coat in the front.  I had to use different buttons for the sleevetabs, and had lovely dark pink mother-of-pearl shell buttons for that.  I tried just about every type of button from the stash for these coats, and nothing worked.  What’s the point of a large, full button box if nothing is right when you need it??!

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Paisley lining for Daughter no2’s coat.

So today I need to make up the lining for the second coat and get it in, then finish off the buttons.  And maybe I’ll find something that works for the first coat too.  Fingers crossed it’s all done today, I’m really keen on making a nice snuggly Toaster Sweater for myself, and there’s a pair of trousers in this month’s Burda I fancy too!

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The best buttons so far, but are they too big? Too bland?