Stash Busting Tops

I thought I’d get started early on the Autumn and Winter sewing, helped by my purchase of some fabric on Instagram from a sewist who was destashing!  I bought three pieces, two of which were perfect for sweatshirts of some description.  I knew immediately that I’d be making another LB Pullover from Paper Theory with the one piece, a mustard French Terry with a white tulip print.  I have many of these tops now, it’s so quick to make, can be sewn in both woven or knit fabrics and fits over just about any tee or blouse I have.  It’s perfect to go over the Olya Shirt too!

stash tops 3

There was just one metre though, which meant I could either have short, 7/8th length sleeves which would leave my wrists chilly, or make a plan with piecing and have warm arms!  In the end, warmth and comfort won out and I made a plan to lengthen the sleeves.  I cut the full length I was able with the fabric available, and just cut what was left + hem allowance out of left over bits.  It’s worked to make it look like I have a cuff – but if I’d had just a smidge more fabric, I’d have cut that section so that it was doubled, and had a real cuff that I could have folded back if I’d wanted to.

stash tops 4

However – I did not have enough and I am very happy with my new top, already worn on many, many occasions!  I never thought I’d be wearing mustard, never mind a fabric with a print like this, but I like it.  It’s cheerful and bright and works with my colouring despite my initial misgivings! (I thought I would make the top for a daughter – not me…)

The second top is the Fibremood Vera, made from the magazine bought earlier this year as an experiment.  I acutally liked a couple of the patterns, but this is the first one I’ve managed to get made up.  The fabric is a grey sweatshirt fabric, with tiny flecks of colour in it.  It’s warm and snuggly and just the right sort of boxy.  The sleeves are 3/4  in length, next time I’ll lengthen them.  They’re also fairly wide – wider than expected.

stash tops 2

The neck on the Vera is interesting, part of why I decided to make this pattern up.  It is faced  so makes it thicker than the rest of the top, but it would be interesting to use up leftovers or even pipe that joining seam.  One thing I’d change next time with the neckline is to lower the front a bit.  You can see in the photos that it’s too high in the front for me, and it gets more annoying as the day goes on.  Another change would be to shorten the top slightly, only about the depth of the hem.

stash tops 1

I made the Large, based on bust measurements, and for this version did not make an FBA.  I might do one next time, but it doesn’t need much.  The pattern was easy to trace and the instructions are interesting – they’re all diagrams!  You can go online and get more detail if you think you need it, but these were ok for me.

annika 1
Style Arc Annika top

One more stash bust – this time a Sewing Leftovers project.  I’d made a Uvita top from some lovely soft stripey jersey and had about half a metre left.  I decided to make the Annika top from Style Arc.  I bought this paper pattern aaaaages ago, on one of their Etsy sales.  It’s one of the mulit-size patterns, they only way I’ll buy a Style Arc pattern.  The top has a jersey top half and woven bottom half, sleeves included.  So, I used the stripey blue an white jersey for the top part and some blue poly georgette that has been in the stash for a very long time for the bottom part.

annika 2

I shortened the jersey section because I didn’t like where the join hit me, and removed the shirt hem shape too.  This made the top too long on me and just didn’t work.  I like this top though, might need a small FBA again for another time, but it’s perfectly wearable like this.  Style Arc instructions are brief  but you don’t need too much detail to make this pattern.  I made the 14, but I think the 12 would fit better at the neck and shoulders, so maybe a FBA on the 12 would be a good idea for next time!

annika 3

That’s it for stashbusting so far, I’m glad I was able to use up these fabrics and make something useful!

Contrasts

I made another LB Pullover on the day I started the Teddy Pants!  I had some left-over black wool from a pair of trousers made years ago, not enough for another pair, sadly.  I had thought to cut the top part of the Assembly Line A-Line dress and make a top, but there wasn’t enough space for all the pieces, when I thought of the LB.  Sure enough, it fitted and I cut it out!  It makes up so quickly!  I thought it might be a little scratchy on the neck, but so far so good, a perfect extra layer for those cold days.  Now I know, I have a few of these now, but you know, it’s a darn good pattern, so comfy to wear.  I have no problem making numerous versions of the same pattern – hence the 5 pairs of Teddy Pants!

black lb 1

I have made myself an unofficial pledge to use up my stash, not that it’s huge, it’s just there.  It’s time for me to start with the fabric and find a pattern, rather than the other way around!  And if I can’t find anything, instead of offering the fabric to the girls, I’m going to sell it on, let someone else have the joy of making something lovely.  It’s the same principal with the vintage patterns.  I don’t need to hoard hundereds of vintage patterns!  What for??  Let someone else have them, use them, frame them, whatever.  They don’t deserve to be hidden in my sewing room in a chest of drawers.

black lb 2
Yes, it was windy, but I wanted photos outside in the sun! So now I have a moustache….

I was hunting for fabric for the top for my Japanese Sewing contribution when I re-found some white linen in the linen box.  I’ve had it a while, it’s a sturdy, thickish weave – plenty of body to hold a shape.  I’m pretty sure I made a while inin skirt for Daughter No2 out of the rest of it, years and years ago now!  I tried cutting some Kana’s Standard trousers out of it last summer, but there isn’t enough, and it isn’t drapey at all. But I had a brainwave.

white lb 2

To use it up and get it out of the stash, I’ve made another LB Pullover!  Short sleeve with simple neckband, it’ll be good to wear in the summer.  I used the bias neckband, cut to the height for the crew-neck, I love the way it stands up!  It’s got a 60s vibe now.  The neckband had to be cut in two pieces, which left a join at the centre front.  So I decided to accentuate it by adding a vintage glass button.  The thickness of the linen makes it stand away from the body – which is going to be perfect when the humidity reappears.

white lb 1

I also dug out a pile of linen leftovers.  They’re all pieces I couldn’t get rid of when making trousers, but honestly, what can you do with such small pieces?  Well, I’m going to try to assemble them into a decent looking top!  It’ll be patchwork pieced, but I hope to make it neat.  And it’ll remind me of all those trousers I’ve made in shades of blue linen over the years!!  Talking of patching pieces, there were some bits of stripey jersey in another box – they’ll either become a Lark Tee or a Basic Instinct tee for the summer.  The colours all go, and as they’re all viscose jersey, they should all behave in the same way too.  Fingers crossed!

white lb 3

It seems my go-to for a quick top is either the LB Pullover, or the Uvita Tee!  I have to admit, they’re so useful in my wardrobe, take very little time to whip up and aren’t fabric hungry.  But they aren’t overly challenging.  Then again, in the current climate, I don’t actually want too many projects that are challenging!!  Sometimes you just want to go into the sewing room and run something up – not needing acres of instructions and hours of thought.  Just get in and sew!  Anyone with me?

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.

 

stripe uvita 1
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…

stripe uvita 2

stripe uvita 3
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!

lb navy 1
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?

dsc_0142-011278647780768673818.jpeg

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…

dsc_0140-015575528727681729662.jpeg

dsc_0141-013250094456914470515.jpeg

dsc_0143-012001023495475325940.jpeg

So – yes to the pleats, or no???

A Monochrome Selection

I have tried to inject colour into my wardrobe, but I keep adding more of the basics, black, blue, white, beige and grey.  I guess they’re just too easy to use!  Speaking of basics…

I’ve added two Basic Instinct Tees to my summer collection this year, one I made just before heading off on holiday, the other I made just last week.  This is a tee shirt pattern I really like.  It’s loose enough to be comfy without being tent-like but still has shape, and made in a viscose jersey – it’s heaven to wear!  I like it for all those reasons and more.  For me, it’s the perfect design for wearing while gardening!  Sleeves that cover the upper arm and prevent sunburn, crew neckline that doesn’t allow flashing when bending over and keeps the sun off delicate décolletage and back neck areas, and long enough to tuck in without popping out.

My first Basic Instinct tee this year was made in black viscose jersey – I think I bought it from Fabworks.  The fabric was what remained after making Daughter No 1 two long sleeve tees in December, and was just enough.  It’s lovely to wear, I love the feel and flow of viscose jersey, and in basic black, what’s not to like??  Then last week, I made another.  This time in pale grey marle viscose jersey, again, I seem to recall I might have got the fabric from Fabworks, but it may have been Croft Mill Fabrics – honestly – I cannot remember!

basic grey 1

It’s such a quick and simple tee to make, even with a floaty viscose jersey.  I just love it, I need more of these in my life.  Maybe I’ll find an actual colour to make one in!  I think I’ll have to go down a size now, but the three I’ve made so far will still get use – lots of use!

basic grey 2
Basic Instinct Tee on the allotment

Next on my round up of recent monochrome projects in another LB Pullover from Paper Theory.  I went down a size this time, this is a size 14.  I had been innocently browsing The Textile Centre’s website sale page when an interesting geometric ponte jumped out and hit me in the face, at £2.50 a metre, it was begging me to buy it!  So I did!  It’s a border print, solid black with this grey and white broken geometric print running parallel to both selveges.  And the print is soooo nice!  I took my time deciding where to place the print, it was too easy to pop it straight down the middle.

graphic lb 3
LB Pullover from Paper Theory

In the end, I decided to run it down the right of the pullover, as I wear it, but right over, with only some of the design coming up to the centre front.  Then I placed the neckband to be in the same position, and cut the back so the design is mirrored.  That was the easy part.  The sleeves are wide enough that unless they are centered on the centre of the fabric, the all black part, they catch the design.  I didn’t want the design running down the centre of the sleeve, and didn’t want a lot of it there anyway.  I also didn’t really want to “waste” fabric by cutting both sleeves down the middle of the metre or so that was left…

graphic lb 2

So I went with just a small section of design on the front part of the sleeve, closest to the underarm seam.  This was the sleeves are still part of something, but not covered in geometric print, thus taking away from the design on the body pieces.  I think it’s worked out rather well, and I like the result!  Only one beef – the fabric is not that good quality.  This was the first time I’d worn the pullover, I’d carried some hessian shopping bags to the supermarket, and this pilling you see is from that.  First time.  I can only imagine how much pilling will happen with regular wear and washing.  Maybe there’s a reason it was only £2.50/m.

graphic lb 1
Sleeve details! Apologies for hiding behind the bronze fennel, my photographer had to move me away from there a few times!

Now I have some of this left, but not enough for a Toaster Sweater or a Sauni Cardigan, trust me, I tried!  But – I think there might be enough for a cropped sweater, this Burda one, for example.  I just need to dig out the traced pattern from a file somewhere – I made two of these for the girls in the lead up to Christmas 2017.

graphic lb 5