Esenciales

A little sewing procrastination happened after that mad “help me” post from a couple of weeks ago.  In order for me to get all my thoughts in order and ducks in a row, I decided a quick detour would be a good idea.  I had a piece of red and white viscose crepe left over from a blouse I’d made in January for the Burdachallege 2018.  I also had a pattern I’d traced 106 from April 2013 Burda, it’s only got 4 pieces, quick and easy!  I’d rather liked the look in the magazine when it first came out, but never really got round to making it.

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Top 106 April 2013

This year, while I was tracing a pair of shorts from the same magazine for Daughter No2, I remembered this top and traced that too.  A quick toile revealed it was too long for me (5cm) but didn’t need anything else, no FBA! Yippee!  Now one thing to remember, if I were to go by measurements, the 44 would not fit me.  In order for the top to look on my the way it does on the model, I’d need to go up 2-3 sizes.  But there’s no way I’d want to wear it like that!  All I want is a loose-fitting top with a bit of ease – not a tent!  So bear that in mind when judging how tops look on me, compared to someone who’d normally fit into any size bracket.

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The pattern pieces fitted on the remains of the fabric easily, neck facings were interfaced with fine sheer fusible from Gill Arnold.  You could, if you preferred, use self-bias binding for the neck edges instead of the facings.  The style is a loose fitting top with pleats at the front neckline with slight drop shoulder and no sleeves.  The pleats were basted in place and steamed to hold the shape until I sewed on the facing.

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I used French seams throughout and double turned the hem edges on the sleeve openings and the hem of the garment.  It’s turned out really nicely and I like that I have another red top for the summer!  I have worn the original red top from January loads of times, it gets compliments all the time.  So now I have a summer one!  Thankfully the shape is great for the current weather, and now I want another.  I’m sure I have some small pieces of fabric lurking in the stash that I could use in this pattern, but first….

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I must get on with reducing the piles of fabric and pagazines/patterns on the table in my sewing room and covering the bed in the guest room!  I can say that I have made one of the items I rambled about last time, that inky blue linen/cupro blend.  And it’s made fabulous cropped trousers!  Will be showing those off soon…

 

Small Things

Thanks to everyone who commented on the last post, I really do love that top – and the colour!  It has made me re-think the colours I wear.  Oh dear!  I’m not giving up my nice, safe, easily matchable neutrals just yet, but I don’t see why a spot of red here and there would do any harm.

So, on to the latest stuff!  I saw over last weekend, lots of Acacia Knickers being made and shown off on Instagram.  It’s the latest pattern by Megan Nielsen and, if you sign up to her newsletter, it’s free!  In my current eco-warrior, save the planet with reusing & recycling mode, I signed up and downloaded.  I had to wait a few days for hubby to print it out for me.  In the mean time I dug out all those small pieces of jersey from the boxes (and bags) in the stash cupboard.  You’re always left with bits, the real scrap goes in the scrap bin for recycling, but what to do with the rest?

I had in mind to make more patch tee shirts like this one, but I’ve just not got there.  So I decided I’d make knickers instead!  Unfortunately, most of the leftover bits weren’t suitable for knickers.  Too stretchy, too thin, not enough recovery, not suitable fibre content.  But there was enough for me to cut out 10 pairs!  I traced the XS, S and M seperately so I could place as many as possible in one go.

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Hardly anything left from this fabric!

I also managed to find a fair bit of picot elastic in my lingerie goodies box, as well as several metres of fold over elastic – which I didn’t even know I had!!  However, there wasn’t enough in the stash for all the pants I cut out…  Knickers might not use much in the way of fabric, but they’re elastic gobblers!  So I’ve got some finished, some halfway.  I’ve not been partucularly fussy about the mixing and matching of the elastic either.  If this is a stashbusting exercise, I’m doing a proper job!

The pattern only takes 6 A4 pages, so it’s a doddle to print and stick together.  If you want to save the planet by not printing out the instructions you’ll manage just fine with them on your phone, tablet or laptop.  As I said, I traced the sizes I wanted seperately using scraps of pattern paper from other projects.  There are only 3 pieces, the gusset you cut twice.  I had fun squeezing as many out of the fabric I had, and am considering using mis-matched fabric for those bits that there wasn’t enough for whole pants.

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Sewing wise, they’re easy, but surprisingly time consuming.  I didn’t use the overlocker, just set my machine to a slight zig zag stitch (it doesn’t have a stretch stitch setting – way to old for that!!)  The gusset is sewn, then the side seams, then you attach the elastic.  Quartering the waist for the pants and elastic works well, and simply, but for the legs I took it further.  The first one I quartered, but found with the curved shapes that I didn’t have enough control.  So I marked the leg opening and the corresponding elastic with eighths.  It takes longer to do, but it’s worth it for me!

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Marking eighths for the leg elastic

I will have to buy more knicker elastic to finish off what I’ve cut, and I am seriously considering making many, many more.  There must be tee shirts in the cupboards that I can cut up, right?  Something with a little hole in it, or a stain that won’t go away.  Or tees that no longer fit…  I was also thinking of doing the rounds of the local charity shops for tees that they can’t sell (holes and stains), making more knickers and donating them.  I know women’s shelters are always looking for all sorts of clothing.  Then again, refugee centres and those collecting clothing to send to war zones and refugee camps could also do with donations of knickers!

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Liberty print Cotton jersey from the deepest part of the stash, with mix and match elastic!

What better way to use a free pattern than donating what you make??

Shout to the Top

Take a bag of fabric scraps and a simple pattern, no small amount of time and fiddling and you’re rewarded with a pretty unique item of clothing.  I’d wanted to make a tee from the different white and blue pieces of jersey in the scrapbag for ages, inspired by a tee from a Burda magazine from a couple of years ago.

I decided to make the Lark Tee, traced the 4 with slightly widened shoulders, moving to the 2 at the waist and then out to the 6 for the hip.  This was to be for a friend.  I started by tracing the outline of the tee from the pattern art/line drawings and playing around with placement of the different prints.

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Trying out different pattern placements

It needed to be done hand in hand with checking the actual amounts of the different fabrics, no point in deciding to do a large panel and finding out later there was only enough for a neckband!  Once I decided I’d have enough of each of the pieces to do the required panels, I started blocking off the traced pattern, making sure each piece had a grainline and was labelled with the intended fabric.  I also marked the top and bottom of each piece.  The fronts and backs were cut separately.  There were two types of blue and white stripe, a solid navy blue and a piece of navy blue with randomly placed white blocks.  As each piece was cut I pinned and sewed, making a full front and back.

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On the left are the pieces for the back, front pieces on the right with the sleeve in the middle and the neckband on the top front panel

I’d have liked to have been able to have more of the solid blue, but as I told myself I was only using what I had this is the result.  I’m pretty chuffed with it, for a pretty much free tee, can it get better?  Afterall, I’ve used the narrow stripe on 3 other tees, and the solid  blue on two.  That pile of stuff on the right of the above photo is what was left once I’d finished cutting!  Not too shabby!!

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The finished tee, modeled by Betty.

I haven’t been able to persuade my friend to show it off herself yet, so Betty will have to do.  It’s a little baggy on her as she hasn’t the same shape.

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Neckline detail
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Left side with the wide stripes running round from front to back
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Right side with narrow stripes matching
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Last, but not least, the back!

Now that this has turned out so well, I’m keen to make another – but for me this time!  It’ll join the sewing queue, so it might be a while before I’m showing it off! I have just finished my Morgan Jeans today, so perhaps their blog post will be ready mid September…

What’s on your sewing table for the weekend?