And We’re Off!

Hitting the ground running, there’s nothing like a quick project to get the sewing started.  This was actually a project I’d intended to do last year, and possibly have ready for Xmas, but it didn’t work out and it wasn’t time critical.  As it was already cut out, getting it sewn up was easy.

The main fabric is teal ponte from Croft Mill Fabrics, really lovely and soft with a gorgeous, jewel-like colour.  I was wavering between another Toaster Sweater or making a new Fraser Sweatshirt.  Once the fabrics were washed and were on the clothes horse drying, I noticed that this teal and another, patterned fabric looked pretty good together.  This gave me the idea to go ahead with the Fraser Sweatshirt, using View A.

 

fraser 2

I cut with the size 8 across the shoulders and upper chest, changing to the 6 from the underarm down the sides to the 4 at the hip.  In hindsight I could have lengthened the body by about 3cm, but luckily it’s just long enough.  Looking at the photos, I need to make a note to lower the armhole for the next time.  The fabrics work really well together, they have just about the same amount of stretch and body.  I did not go straight into overlocking the contrast sections of the pattern together!  All was first done on the sewing machine whith a long, narrow zigzag.  Once I was happy with the points, I threaded up the overlocker and went for it.

fraser 3

The joining seam on the contrast sections is pressed down and topstitched with a 2.5mm twin needle.  It was a little tricky trying to find a suitable coloured thread for this, they’re either too green or too blue!  Once I was ready to insert the sleeves, I again machine basted the contrast seam section.  My overlocker is just too happy to reach that bulky area and move things 1-2cm…  Speaking of which, the Janome really doesn’t like the bulk of this ponte when it gets to intersecting seams.  I might have to break out the Bernina instead.  And I need a new cutting blade.  Should have put one on my Christmas list! 🙂

fraser 5

Basting really helped and the contrast yokes line up really well.  I love the look from the back when you see the half contrast of the sleevehead, and the neckband.  Daughter No2 is very happy with my decision to go ahead with the contrast (despite initial misgivings) and loves her new sweatshirt.

fraser 4

Speaking of new sweatshirts, I didn’t get to take a picture of Daughter No1’s Christmas red Toaster on, but here’s a peek at the special lable inside.  I hope it will remind her of the moose decals on the van she and her partner hired for their little USA adventure a couple of years ago.

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Finishing touches! #toastersweater #moose

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Having the Fraser pattern out has given me a couple of ideas to use up some of the smaller pieces of ponte and quilted jersey left over after other projects.  I might see if I can get a couple of 3/4 or even short sleeved versions done.  Leave no scrap unused!

fraser 1

I am in the market for some lovely French Terry, I want to make the zip-up hoodie #119 from the January issue of Burda 2018, joining Hila of Saturday Night Stitch in an all new sparkling Burda Challenge!  Who’s in??

A Little Unselfish Sewing

and a little fabric shopping

I got tempted by the new Sewaholic Vancouver range of patterns on their release earlier this year and bought two patterns in the 2 for 1 launch special.  I liked the Fraser sweatshirt to make for myself and the girls, and I got the Cypress running cape, definitely only for making for the girls!

On a recent trip to Birmingham and The Fancy Silk Store, I bought a fabulous fleece lined jersey in charcoal.  As Daughter No2 was with me at the time I got enough for both of us to have a Fraser sweatshirt.  She didn’t want any of the fancy stitchlines, just a plain one please, with looong sleeves.  She has rather long arms and battles to find bought tops that stay anywhere near her wrist.  Everything ends up looking like it should be 3/4.

The fabric doesn’t have much stretch, it’s pretty sturdy, so I hope it fits….  I made an adjustment to the shoulder width (1.5 cm wider) and lengthened the sleeve by 4cm.  She won’t mind if it’s a little long but will be very disappointed if it’s short.  I used View B for the front and back and added length according to the sleeve for View A, but used B…  Make sense?  I started with the size 4 on the top part and graded to a 2 at the waist and hip.  Funnily enough, in Burda (and almost everything else) patterns she’s one or two sizes bigger in the hip than the waist, but with Sewholic we need to go down by 1 size.

Collage grey fraser b
Sewaholic Fraser sweatshirt, View B with long sleeves

The pattern itself is pretty easy, especially if you’re doing View B!  Basically, think Renfrew in a sturdier fabric.  The construction is the same.  The only thing I would change about the order of work would be attaching the cuffs to the sleeves.  Because I sent down to size 2 on the sleeve (skinny arms) it was nigh on impossible to get the cuff on after the side seams had been sewn.  Next time I’ll attach the sleeve cuffs and then sew the sleeve and side seams, turning up the cuff and just attaching with the sewing machine.  Although I still won’t be able to get the ends over the free arm.  But overlocking it was damn tricky!

I hope that when she comes home after her hockey tour in the Easter hols that she’s happy with it.  She’s seen some photos but it still needs to be tried on.

So, riding high on a quick easy make, I decided I’d make another.  But not my version.  I’d had a little splurge this weekend buying fabric online (I know, I’m supposed to be clearing the table of stashed fabrics) from Ditto Fabrics, Fabworks and Croft Mill Fabrics.  Bad.  I’m hopeless.  Anyway, I wanted to be sure the fabrics all got used up as soon as they arrived, so on Tuesday the Fabworks delivery arrived (as well as the Ditto stuff, but that’s for later).  I’d ordered linen, of course, and two pieces of jersey.

Collage delft fraser 1
Sewaholic Fraser sweatshirt View A – details

The one I wanted for the sweatshirt is blue with circles and flowers, sort of reminds me of delft tiles, and I wanted to use it to make something for my Mum.  I decided to go with View A, although I wasn’t going to use a contrast fabric.  This time I didn’t need any pattern alterations, my Mum’s measurements put her firmly in the size 12.

P1140090
Two new sweatshirts, one new favourite pattern.

Again, construction was simple and straightforward, the only part you need to watch is the triangle point insertion.  It was done in an afternoon and I’m pretty happy with it, although on close inspection I know I missed centering the top front exactly, but I don’t think anyone looking casualy will notice, and no, I’m not unpicking it!!

Collage delft fraser 2

So to round up the pattern stuff – Sewaholic have delivered a quick make with clear, concise instructions alongside plain talking illustrations.  I can see a whole stack of these being made, and as you have such a plain canvas, whose to say there won’t be many hacks on the horizon for those so inclined?  Already the Renfrew had been hacked into so many different things by enterprising sewists.

Collage fraser
Fraser View A, pointy details.

Now, Fabworks.  I’d spotted them on Instagram, someone I follow had bought something yummy, so I took a look.  They have a good selection of fabrics, and lovely, interesting jersey fabrics.  The prices are pretty good too.  The ordering only lets you pick whole metres, which means for a tee shirt you’re either going to be short, or have too much.  So I emailed them asking if I could have a custom order and they were very helpful.  So if you like what you see there but don’t want 1 or 2 metres (or more, who’s counting) email them for a custom order.  Postage is a flat £5, but it comes the next day!!  So for impulsive shoppers, that’s not bad.  So far I’m happy with the pieces I’ve ordered, I will see how the fabric behaves in the long term before I can judge the quality of their offerings, but on customer service they’re sitting pretty on my list of online shops.

I have only one purchase from Fabworks left, I made the linen up yesterday, so I need to get the last piece of jersey cut up and sewn today!  I also need to allocate patterns to the jerseys I got from Croft Mill and Ditto.  I promised myself that if I bought all of it, I’d use it up within 2 weeks – nothing to stash.  This might just be a promise I can keep…

If you’re sewing this weekend, have fun!

So much going on!!

It’s been a busy week and a bit.  There’s been a lot of sewing and cutting and a little bit of hair pulling thrown in for good measure!  The highlight of this week is definitely the news that I won the Sewing Indie Month’s Dressed to the Nines category!  How excited was I when I got that email?!?!?

I was sooo chuffed, so I have to say a very large thank you to all those who voted for me, and for Daughter No2’s pretty butterfly dress.  There were some fantastic entries from all over the world so it is a huge honour to have been chosen as people’s favourite out of all of them.  A massive thank you also has to go to Mari from Seamster Patterns for organising the whole party and keeping a careful eye over the proceedings.  The sponsors have been superb too, there are so many loverly prizes!!  I had thought of possibly passing a few on, spreading the love, you know.  But first I need to check that that would be allowed.

Over the weekend I also found out I’d won a prize in The Monthly Stitch’s New to Me competition.  That’s where the Carme in Liberty had been submitted, so that’s even more patterns for me! 🙂  So I definitely need to pass on a few, this community is so great I couldn’t keep all these goodies completely to myself.  So stay tuned, there might be something going on in the next week or so.

In the mean time, this is just a little bit of what I’ve been sewing up.  Last week I finally got my butt into gear and cut out the Gabriola from Sewaholic patterns.  I had initially thought to enter the Fan Girl section of The Monthly Stich’s Independent Pattern Month, then I thought I’d probably done enough for competitions lately!  But over the weekend Daughter No2 persuaded me to go for it, after all, I was going to be making it anyway.  The fabric is a pretty bird print chiffon from Croft Mill Fabric.

It was a devil to cut!  Loads of pins were required for cutting and even more for sewing!  Normally I don’t have an issue with chiffon, you take your time, breathe deeply and pin like mad.  This stuff needs GLUE!!  Anyway, things are progressing.  To go with the skirt I’m going to make the Renfrew tee.  Thank you so very much to Caroline from Croft Mill Fabric for finding me the right colour jersey to go with that bird print, and for getting it off in the post after I’d left it to the last minute to decide to have it!  🙂  I love good customer service!!

Gabriola in progress
Gabriola in progress

I have also made progress on my outfit for a wedding Husband and I will be attending in July.  I will go into more detail in a later post, but I’ve done the trousers in a navy cotton sateen from Fabric Godmother, it’s so beautiful!!  I lined the pockets with left overs of the Liberty used for Daughter No2’s Carme, little details!!

Goodies for wedding outfit
Goodies for wedding outfit

The spotty stuff is a slik chiffon that will become the blouse/top.  That’s it for now, I need to get cracking with stuff today.  In the mean time, here’s a look at the internal goings on in the Paris Snowball, as requested.  🙂

Overlocked seams and bound hem, the inner workings of the Paris Snowball
Overlocked seams and bound hem, the inner workings of the Paris Snowball