A Little Unselfish Sewing – Xmas Presents

 

I know it’s the new year and all, but I have a little catching up to do!  In 2017 I made quite a few Christmas presents, but this time I limited myself just a little bit.  I made two black tees for Daughter No1 who wanted some tee shirts that weren’t too fitted, and I went for black because you can always wear a black tee!  And because I already happened to have 3m of black viscose jersey in the stash…

 

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Renfrew Tee by Sewaholic

I chose to make a long sleeved, scoop neck Renfrew by Sewaholic first.  This pattern has been adjusted with a swayback adjustment already, and this is her favourite neckline on a tee.  The long sleeves are the perfect length with the cuffs on, and she likes the way it makes the tee feel a little like a sweatshirt.  I leave the hemband off this pattern when making for Daughter No1, the length is fine without it and she prefers it that way.

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The second pattern I used is the Uvita Top, the free pattern on offer from Itch to Stitch.  I’ve made a few for myself so thought it would be perfect for her too.  Overall, it got the approving nod, but with a few requests for next time. (At least there will be a next time!)  I need to narrow the sleeves a fair bit and flare the side seams out a bit over the hips.  Not too long a list!  🙂

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Uvita Top from Itch to Stitch

 

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I also ran up a couple of Toaster Sweaters.  I know how much both girls like them, so made them one each using the fleece blankets from Asda, again.  I had bought two two-packs earlier in December, I needed the mustard colour for backing some quilted fabric I bought from a charity shop to make throws.  So I was left with two grey and white chevron blankets – perfect Toaster fabric!

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Toaster Sweater by Sew House 7

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Unfortunately, I did not check the direction of stretch…..  It ran (runs) perpendicular to the chevron pattern.  Now that’s something I didn’t even consider!  So I had already made Daughter No1’s Toaster with the chevrons running around the body, and against the stretch before realising.  Daughter No2’s chevrons run up and down, and the stretch is in the right direction.  Oh dear…  Nevermind, they still work.

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I ran out of time to make a tee for Daughter No2 out of the rest of the black jersey.  She was after a raglan tee.  I found one in a Burda magazine and will get that done this month – hopefully!

Sewaholic Fan-Girl

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The final instalment of Indie Pattern Month is the Fan-Girl, Ultimate Level.  Now I don’t know about ultimate here, but I have managed to make up two Sewaholic patterns.  Initially I thought about this combination, but then after all the other competitive sewing I wondered if I really needed to enter another competition.

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I’d bought the Gabriola skirt pattern after spotting the most beautiful bird print chiffon from Croft Mill Fabric.  I had great plans for this fabric and Daughter No2 draped herself in it when it arrived!  The grey jersey for the Renfrew is from Croft Mill too, Caroline helped me greatly in chosing the right stuff, so a big thank you there!

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The Renfrew tee has been made up by me a number of times now, this will be the fourth for Daughter No2!  I cut the 6 on the shoulders, grading to a 2 at the waist and then out to a 4 at the hip.  I also had to lengthen the shoulder by 2cm.  She didn’t want the waistband part of the tee, so I ran a line of twin-needling 1cm from the raw edge and didn’t turn up a hem.  The Renfrew, as always goes together well, it took  a couple of hours on the overlocker, perfect for a quick make.

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The Gabriola however, was a completely different kettle of fish.  The print ran across the fabric, so I thought I’d cut the pattern pieces on the cross grain.  This was not one of my brightest ideas, as it turns out.  It was slippery as heck to cut and even worse to pin together.  I used French seams everywhere except to attach the skirt pieces to the yokes.  There I used a flat fell seam.

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Good for swirling in too!
Good for swirling in too!

I wasn’t sure what to do with the waistband – at first I didn’t want to make it too stiff, but I was concerned that the chiffon wouldn’t be strong enough with just a fine interfacing.  After asking for so ideas from Tashia on twitter which weren’t forthcoming, I decided to start with interfacing with the fine sheer polyester fusible.  I bought a length of white 4cm wide grossgrain ribbon and handstitched the waistband to the ribbon with a herringbone stitch.  This has worked out quite well & now I can be sure it’ll be secure enough with the button & buttonhole too.

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Obviously the skirt needed to be lined, but with what..  The more common linings wouldn’t be suitable here, I couldn’t use an acetate or cupro and silk would have been too expensive and not suitable for a teenager to wear every day.  I bought some white cotton muslin for the job, and used it for the toile too.  This I constructed using Mock French seams so that I could alter it quickly and easily if I had to.

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The cotton does alter the hang of the chiffon, the skirt would have been far more drapey with a more fluid lining, but Daughter No2 likes it as it is, and I am not unhappy with the result.  I let the skirt hang for a day to see how much dropping there would be and had a pain of a time evening up the hem!  In some places 6-7cm had to come off, and in others it was fine.  I did away with the 2.5cm hem idea too, just using the rolled hem foot, but hemming the lining properly.

Window shopping
Window shopping

Daughter no2 loves the skirt, it’s so pretty and feminine and she cannot wait to wear it out & show it off to her friends!  I love how it looks with her biker jacket and the grey for the teeshirt has worked so much better than the predictable blue would have.

Jump! :)
Jump! 🙂

 *** UPDATE ***

Voting is now open and will close on Friday 5 July at midnight UCT.  Click on the button below to go to the voting page where you’ll find all the entries.

Sewing Class Fun

My first Sewing Sunday of 2014 took place yesterday – & it was a full class!  I always look forward to these Sunday sessions, I never know what projects are going to turn up (unless someone lets me know beforehand) so it’s quite interesting sometimes!  This month I knew a few things in advance so I could do a little planning!

clockwise from top left: houndstooth pencil skirt, renfrew underway, more renfrew, refashioning trousers into a skirt, toile for wrap over dress, chiffon blouse
clockwise from top left: houndstooth pencil skirt, Renfrew underway, more Renfrew, refashioning trousers into a skirt, toile for wrap over dress, chiffon blouse

My six “students” had a mix of stuff, some new projects & other unfinished items that had been lurking at the bottom of sewing boxes for a little while.  First off was a lovely cream & black floral chiffon that has given my student more than a few headaches.  It’s going to be beautiful when its done, but the Burda magazine instructions don’t help when she’s not got me for interpretation!  The blouse is a combination of this one from BurdaStyle 11/2012  and the version with the long neck tie.

One of the UFOs was a gorgeous black & white houndstooth pencil skirt with the most amazing lime green lining!  It had been started about a year ago & then abandoned in favour of soft furnishings for a new house.  Now that those are done my student is back to finishing this skirt.  I love the fabric!

Then there was a refashion of a pair of trousers into a skirt & when that was finished, the student moved onto a skirt toile.  I liked the fabric she was toiling in, a slubby purply-blue & black soft furnishing fabric!  It would have made a fabulous Bellatrix Blazer with black contrast lapel & welt.  (Bellatrix is still definitely on my brain!)

I also had a student making a pair of men’s trousers, self drafted.  He’s made a few of these now, each pair gets slightly altered as his confidence, ability & style becomes more definite.  I know his next pair will be part of a suit, so we’ll be having lots of toiles of jackets soon!

Men's tailored trousers - self drafted
Men’s tailored trousers – self drafted

Another pair of men’s trousers on the go was the Thread Theory Jedediah chino pattern.  My student had contacted me during the week regarding a good pair of guy’s trousers, & after I’d bought the Goldstream Peacoat I felt confident in recommending this pattern.  A toile was under way for those (to be made up in a fabulous burnt orange corduroy) as well as a toile for a self drafted wrap dress.

Last – but by no means least, was the student who went home with a huge smile on her face.  She had a new overlocker & was armed with the Sewaholic Renfrew & a couple of metres of a viscose jersey.  By the end of the day she’d conquered the overlocker & the pattern!  Reassured of the ease of the pattern, she says to look out for more of these being whipped up, which is music to my ears!

The magical Renfrew & a very happy lady  :)
The magical Renfrew & a very happy lady 🙂

We also talked loads about the Wardrobe Architect project & they all agreed it sounds really useful & interesting.  I think they’ll be downloading the questionnaires & delving more into Pinterest * Polyvore very soon…

I am going to chivvy these guys on during the rest of the month to ensure they get some sewing in before our next Sewing Sunday so I can see some finished projects & the beginnings of new stuff!  Spring is on its way, as are the sewing shows so we need to get some of that stash fabric busted in order to justify buying loads more…  🙂

On my sewing table this weekend

I can’t believe it’s another weekend & February is well on the move!  I have another blouse on the pattern table…  This Wardrobe Architect is already coming in really handy, my Pinterest board is pretty full of lovely goodies to copy inspire me & after last weeks post, I have now added Polyvore to my “this takes up all your time you should be spending sewing” problem that I only had with Pinterest up to now!  It’s such fun!

The blouse I’m working on is based on Deer & Doe’s Airelle.  No point in me buying the pattern, they don’t do my size & I really cannot be arsed to do all the adjustments that would be necessary to make it fit me.  I’m doing my own, but please, if you fit the sizing, go ahead & buy a copy, cause I think it’s rather cute.  There are loads of variations on tinternet.  I found this from Asos, & immediately thought of the Airelle.  So I am doing a combination pattern.

Asos blouse, has the bones of the Deer & Doe Airelle
Asos blouse, has the bones of the Deer & Doe Airelle

I love the tucks down the centre front, and also on the yoke.  I thought I’d use the tucked band as a concealed buttonband, rather than pull the thing over my head.  Here is what I was thinking during the week.

Sketch for my version of the Airelle & the Asos blouse
Sketch for my version of the Airelle & the Asos blouse

As you can see from the notes, I think I’ll be making this in a dark blue georgette from the stash.  The Sewcialists are sewing blue in February, a colour I adore so have no problem fullfilling this particular “challenge”.  I have been working on the pattern today & have only made one alteration.  I am not making the deep cuff, but sticking with the narrow sleeve band I’ve used for the previous two blouses.  All the pattern pieces are done, the pieces with the tucks gave me a small headache!

Working out the tucks for the button band
Working out the tucks for the button band

The toile is all cut out & ready, I’m going to get on with that on Monday.  I also have a “new” pattern for jeans/trousers to toile.  I say new in inverted commas because I have had it a while – 2 – maybe 3 years…  Not good.  It is the “Metropolitan Slouchy Trouser Jeans” from Hot Patterns, & I am really looking forward to how these turn out, because they are perfect according to my silhouette research on Polyvore & Pinterest!  🙂  If they are a success, that will be the Smarty Pants Challenge over at The Monthly Stitch sorted!

I just need to get them traced & toiled, I bought a new pair of curtains from the charity shop today for just that purpose!  Then I need fabric, I am on the hunt for a denim that’s more linen like, something that will enhance the floppy-ness of the style.  Happy Sunday sewing, I’m off to a gathering of my students (a full class this time!) in Alveston for our monthly class tomorrow.  So far I know there’ll be 2 pairs of guys trousers in the making, one wrap-over dress and a Renfrew.  Heaven knows what the others are going to spring on me, but I’m happy.  🙂