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.
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…
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!
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?
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…
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…
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! 🙂
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!
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!
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.
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….
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.
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?
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.
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.
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! 🙂
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!
Daughter No2 has a list of things for me to make her. (This is the time to warn you that this post is photo heavy!) It’s updated and renewed every couple of months as she adds things from new Burda magazines and changes her mind depending on the current weather (season). I’ve done fairly well, but I’ll never get them all done, mostly because we don’t have suitable fabric in the stash. ( And the length of the list!) So, I can get started on the projects for which we have fabric, but the others are either shelved or put on hold while we look, and don’t find exactly what she’s got in mind. At a price we’re prepared to pay! 🙂
However, there was a skirt on her list from last autumn (!) that’s been on the list constantly, and a couple of weeks ago she decided it would be the perfect summer skirt. I’d already traced it out, so I set to work making a toile. I traced the 36 and the 38, going with the 36 around the waist, grading out to the 38 over the hips. This is when I realised that the skirt had no pockets!!! The pattern is 117A from February Burda 2017. This has been a very productive magazine, with lots of useful patterns. The style lines are rather nice, and it looks like it has pockets with flaps, yes? Nope! Just the flaps, inserted into the seam.
So I changed that! I altered the shape of the side panel to include a facing, added pocket bags and now we have pockets, with decorative flaps! Much more practical. The toile was approved, even the length! I was sure she’d ask for it to be made 3-5cm longer, but she was comfortable with it as it was. Now to allocate fabric… In the stash, she identified 6 possibilities. One in dusty pink floral fabric please, one in pale blue Hawiian print fabric please, one in black embroidered linen fabric please, one in leaf print canvas please, one in rust coloured stretch denim please, and, finally – one in vintage floral fabric. Please. *take a deep breath* OK… this in addition to a couple of dresses, tops, shirts, etc.
So I told her to get her machine out and help! There’s no way I can get all that done on my own, with the other things I need to do! I did the cutting, she did the overlocking and started to sew. We started with the pink cotton with floral circles. Without the addition of the pockets, this is a quick and easy pattern to run up, although I have also changed the exposed zip in the back to a normal one. We felt it wouldn’t look right on a cotton fabric.
I like this little number, and she’s right, it will look good in all the fabrics she’s chosen, and will be a very useful addition to her wardrobe, summer and winter! There’s not really much to say about the pattern, or the fabric really. The cotton print has been in the stash for rather a long time, so I’m very glad to be using it, although this didn’t take very much! Although the blue Hawaiian print fabric was made into another skirt before she jetted off to Italy for a week, I hadn’t managed to get photos of it on, so that’ll wait till the next post. Be prepared to see this skirt often…
The little sleeveless blouse was another item on the list, but it wasn’t originally! When I came back from South Africa in May, I decided to finally use up some of the smaller stash pieces that had been hanging around for a while. I had a piece of pale sage green cotton poplin (no idea when or why I bought it) that I paired up with a vintage Style pattern (1958), and used that fabric to make a wearable toile. Daughter No1 liked it, but it didn’t fit her well at all, and really didn’t suit her. Enter Daughter No2, on whom it looked just right! So she got the toile and I found another small bit of fabric (left over from the wavy back top) to use up. This time, she did the making, and the cutting! The pattern is vintage Style 544, dated 1956.
The pattern consists of a front, back, and two facing pieces. The dart tucks at the waist give it a great shape, and eliminate bulk when tucking into skirts and trousers. The high neck looks fabulous and really suits someone with a longer neck. (that’s me out!) She managed to make the blouse fairly quickly, only running out of time to choose buttons and finish that part off, before heading back home. So I found a selection & sent her photos to choose from. The vintage covered buttons were duly chosen and I made the buttonholes and sewed on the buttons. This is another of those patterns I can see being used a number of times, especially as it needs so little fabric! I love those.
Another quick make for the summer is a cami. In this case, it was a couple of Ogden Camis – and the fabric came from the scrap box. The first up is a pale blue soft linen. There wasn’t quite enough for the full facing, and really, I should have shaped it or cut it higher (I still might do this) because it sits at an akward height and you can see it though the outer layer. Honestly, if you couldn’t see it, I probably wouldn’t change it. I love how quickly the pattern comes together, and I love that I managed to make something useful out of a small,odd shaped piece of left over fabric.
As you can see, all three of these tops go pretty well with the pink skirt! I think this means this skirt is going to be well worn this summer, not just one of those summer flings.
I’ve finally been able to photograph a number of items I’d made for Daughter No2 this year. I’ll try not to do it all in one go! This first project is a top I made back in March, she’d marked it as interesting back in 2018 – February, to be precise. The pattern is the Layered Back Blouse 111 from Burda February 2018. She bought the fabric, an off white cotton with white spots, from Croft Mill Fabrics. They’ve since sold out of that fabric, but it’s the right sort of weight, it has some body but is lightweight enough to cope with lots of layers. This is a petite pattern, but we decided to make it up without any adjustment, having taken a finished back measurement and pronouncing it a suitable length.
The pattern is relatively easy to make, the magazine has detailed instructions for this blouse, so it’s easy for a non-experienced sewist to construct the front placket. We eliminated the piping and I sewed the sleeve bands on the inside, rather than on the outside.
The back, while looking tricky is ok if you make sure you have marked the stitching line on the back carefully. I trimmed the seam allowance of the flounce piece to 7mm and overlocked the raw edge, before folding it over to align with the stitching line. I then pinned (with the pins in the stitch line) the flounce onto the stitching line, making sure the matching points were lined up. I think that’s the only tricky part – stitching slowly and slightly stretching the fabric to get around the corners and not get any tucks.
Daughter No2’s favourite part is not just one. She loves the wide sleeves, the wavy back – naturally, and the front placket. The fabric is cool and light and being white, she can – and does – wear it with everything! She’s had a few compliments while out and about in it, and has therefore decided she’d like another, and has earmarked a piece of black broiderie anglaise we bought while in South Africa. But – she also wants a pair of shorts with that fabric, so I’ll be cutting the two out together just to be sure there’s enough fabric! Fingers crossed…
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.
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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.
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…
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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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!