Sleep Tight

Lately I’ve decided that I need another pair of nice pyjamas.  I made a 1920s pattern last year in June, and I love them, but I need another nice pair for the changing seasons.  I made some of the Carolyn pjs last year too, but stuck to the shorts and short sleeved top for myself.  This time, I decided to use the long trousers from the Carolyn pattern to start my new pj set.  I made 3 pairs of these for Christmas presents last year!

The fabric I picked is the ecru/off white and navy blue ikat fabric I had bought from Fabric Godmother about 3 years ago (the link takes you to her latest stock, a bit cheaper than I bought mine for!).  I had bought it to make a wrap over top, but after tracing and toiling that pattern this year decided it really didn’t suit me.  So now it is a patternless piece of fabric, a lonely soul looking for a new purpose.  I had a feeling it would make a nice pair of wide trousers – and at that thought it was decided, pj pants!

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Carolyn pj pants & Uvita tee

As the fabic is narrow and I only had two metres, I knew there would be a bit of fiddling to be done.  I started with the length of the pants for the view B, with the cuffs.  I then shortened them at that point by 2.5cm each, just to get both trouser legs onto the fabric.  I thought I could make up the difference in the cuff depth.

I had blue piping in my stash (from my mum’s stash!) that I used along the pockets’ opening edge.  It makes a nice crisp line there and works well.  The small pieces I had left were cut into bias strips and sewn together so I could make more piping, possibly to use between the trouser leg and the cuff, which I thought I’d have to make in a contrasting fabric now, none of the scraps were big enough for the cuff pattern pieces.

Before cutting the cuffs, I tried on the trousers to see just how much deeper I’d have to make them.  And got a surprise – or even a shock!  The trousers were the perfect length.  What??  Yup, I didn’t need cuffs.  This now proves that I have short legs.  Anyway, I decided to use more of the blue piping at the edge of the trouser legs and instead of cuffs, used some of the bias I’d cut to bind the bottom of the legs, below the piping.

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I think it’s worked out pretty well!  I really was surprised that I didn’t need to add length (except hem depth) to the trouser leg, it was not at all what I’d expected!  So now I have half a pj set, still need a top.  I have some navy viscose leftover from a blouse I made earlier in the year, and I also have some navy viscose jersey in the stash.  Either would make for a good pj top, especially if I use the remainder of the bias strips of the ikat fabric to bring them all together.

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In the end it was the viscose jersey that won out.  I like a stretchy top to sleep in, having made the short sleeved Carolyn pj top twice last year and barely worn them at all.  they just don’t have the freedom of movement I like, and the collar annoyed the hell out of me!  So no I know I’m looking for a tee shirt, one with a fair bit of ease.  Either the Mandy Boatneck Tee from Tessuti or the Uvita from Itch to Stitch fit that bill pretty well.  In the end I chose the Uvita because it’s more comfy around the arms.

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I really like this pattern, it makes a nice loose fitting tee that’s not a tent.  I lengthened the 3/4 sleeve length by 5cm, not wanting a full length, but requiring more coverage than the original length!  It was quick to make and the colour blue is a perfect match with the pants.

I now have about 3m of ikat bias binding.  I’m sure I’ll eventually find something to use it on!  I also have a large backlog of projects that require phtos and blog posts.  Amazingly, these were all made for the daughters, both of whom I’m seeing again this weekend!  I will do my best to get all of the projects photographed so I can show off what I’ve been up to properly!  Photographs on a dressmaker’s dummy are never as good as those on an actual person.

Oh – and Autumn sewing, planning for the winter…  BRRR  It’s in the air!  Who’s started planning already?  Made a list or is it all still in your head?  I need to dig out my September copies of Burda and see if there’s anything I still need to make that I haven’t yet!

All About the Tees – Part III

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Meet my new favourite 3/4 sleeve tee shirt, the Uvita from Itch to Stitch.  It might just be the fabric that’s got me so in love, but I have a feeling it’s a combination of perfect fabric and pattern, a pattern that just so happens to be free! The fabric is actually navy and ecru, but looks so dark it’s almost black.

The fabric is viscose/modal and elastane blend from Montreux Fabrics, but sadly they seem to be sold out of this particular stripe.  It’s soft and drapey and has a silky touch.  It can get caught on things, when using the overlocker I had to cover the screw tops with magic tape because they were catching on the fabric.  I notice that my recycled coffee sack shopping tote has left its mark too.  The fibres are caught in the tee shirt fibres.

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So, that pattern.  I love the length, I cut the size 12 and added a 3cm FBA on the half to the front.  The sleeve length is just right for me, they don’t ride up to past my elbows and I don’t feel the need to push them up either.  There is a full length option for the cooler weather.  I was initially unsure whether the neckline would work on me, but after making and wearing the Basic Instinct Tee with the crew neck, I realised this would work just fine.  I love the loose fit on the body and the length is just right.

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I have to admit something here, I actually made this back at the end of May – photographed it early June…  So why is it only blogged now?  Because I’ve been too busy wearing it and loving it! 🙂  It has been in constant use, the navy goes with pretty much every other item in my wardrobe, so if it’s the first tee I see in the morning, I wear it!  Even better – it doesn’t need ironing!  That means it is back in the wardrobe far quicker than some of the other things I’ve made.

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I really will be making more of these, even the neckline worked brilliantly, (I had my doubts) the fabric behaved itself and stayed flat – no rolling.  A real winner in my book!  Please stay tuned for all the things I made in June and now need to blog in July!

 

 

 

 

 

Butter Mellow, Sunflower Yellow

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It’s Independent Pattern Month again!  I have given the whole thing a miss for a couple of years, but decided I’d like to enter again this year.  The fact that IPM2017 is in July instead of June really helped!  The first week’s category is dresses, and I had just the one!  Usually I’d make something for the girls, but neither of them are around at the moment, making fitting and photos a trifle tricky.  I could have chosen my good friend who has had me-mades in the past, but she really doesn’t like being photographed and I didn’t want to make her feel uncomfortable, just to get a free dress!!  So I asked another friend if she’d be interested – the answer! “Oh God, yeah!!”

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I wanted to make the Itch to Stitch Anza Dress, which I had a pretty good feeling she’d like, and I was right!  We chatted fabric choices while I took her measurements and then I went home to trawl the interwebs to find what she wanted.  I sent a few links with something along the lines of what we’d discussed, and then threw in a curveball, a graduated, ombre viscose with geometric pattern – the reply was instant! “That one!”

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Based on her measurements I traced the size 2 with D cup, grading out to the 4 at the waist, moving on t the 6 over the hip.  I’d printed off the A0 version of the PDF, it’s so well laid out!  There aren’t any pattern pieces overlapping onto different sheets and minimal wasted space.  The PDF is layered so you could just print the size(s) you needed.  Using an old sheet for the toile, it went together really well.

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The Anza Dress toile in a fetching pink sheeting

 

I followed all the instructions and used all the pieces, checking the pattern instructions as well as the fit this time round.  I’ve never used an Itch to Stitch pattern before, and now I’m quite tempted to try another.  The instructions are spot on, enough info if you need it, and clear enough to skim through and move on.  The toile fitted just fine, I like patterns with cup sizes, no need for FBA!  The dress is described as knee length – my friend is on the petite side but liked the hem length as it was, below the knee.  So I didn’t shorten the skirt part and thankfully there were no other adjustments required.

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The fabric is a viscose from Fabric Godmother, that is more like a voile, it’s a very lightweight viscose!  I had already decided when I saw it online that it had to be cut with the gold at the hem, graduating white through grey and into the solid black for the bodice.  The overlocker came in very handy for the construction, as did my daylight lamp…  Sewing black on black is a killer on the eyes as you get (a little) older!  The fabric was more challenging to work with than the old sheet had been!  Perseverance and patience were the name of the game, neither qualities I have in abundance.

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Ombre Border Print Viscose from Fabric Godmother
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Anza Dress, pocket and hem details
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Bodice details & vintage buttons

The dress itself took me two days to make, that’s including resetting the pockets about 4 times, and eventually recutting one front because I’d stuck the seam ripper through the fabric while taking off the pocket – again!!!  It was so wiggly!  Anyway, it’s all worked out fine in the end and I’m really chuffed with it!  My friend bought the fabric, the elastic and black bias binding I used for the drawstring came from the stash, as did the vintage faceted buttons.  They’d been sent to me by another friend who lives in the States.

 

 

We took the photos after work, (she’s a florist) and she’s informed me she’s not taking it off.  Her partner will have to take her out tonight, she has a lovely new dress to wear!  I think I might like to make another in linen, or a nice cotton, but I will steer clear of  viscose voile for this pattern, and never make one in silk…

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UPDATE!!

My dress has been shortlisted on The Monthly Stitch in the top 14 dresses, so the voting starts now!  Follow this link to cast your vote, and see who else is in the running with more fabulous dresses!

EXTRA UPDATE

Thanks to everyone who voted for my friend’s lovely new dress, I was one of the 8 winners of the dresses category and will be donating my prize of 3 Victory Patterns to the Makers for Grenfell fundraiser, run by Portia Lawrie.