More sewing getting done! Must be the weather, April showers have arrived just on time! 😀 I have moved indoors this week due to a couple of rainy days chasing me off the allotments. I have less than 2 weeks to go before we’re off to South Africa, so there’s a lot to do, both sewing wise and gardening. As I knew the bad weather was on the way, I cut out 5 projects on Monday afternoon/evening and started the sewing on Tuesday (yesterday). But I’m not going to show you what I made yesterday just yet. Today I made a Kabuti Tee in viscose, and started on a dungaree dress for Daughter No2, which I spoke about in my last WIPW.
The Kabuki Tee is one of those boxy, loose fitting tops that looks so completely different in a drapy fabric. It’ll be lovely and cool to wear in the summer. It’s a pretty simple pattern, the only tricky thing is getting those sharp corners sharp! I always pop a bit on interfacing on the fabric that I’m snipping in cases like this, just to reinforce the fabric and support that snip and spread. It definitely helped with this viscose!
Next up was the dungaree dress. This is one item that Daughter No2 is rather keen to have in her suitcase for the holiday, so I HAVEto finish it!! The fabric is stretch cotton twill from Fabworks Online, chosen by Daughter No2 herself. It’s a lovely, cheerful green, perfect for spring and summer! The pattern is 115 from April Burdastyle magazine 2017. It’s also not a tricky pattern just has a few pieces to get together.
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I started with the front bib and pocket and added the loops for the d-rings. The front and back bib pieces are all done now, and I’m ready to get the waistband bits on and start on the skirt and pockets. I hope it’ll all be done by lunchtime tomorrow, when I need to get to the allotment to plant my Mother’s Day present, a Bramley Apple tree! Can’t wait to make apple pie with my own home-grown apples!
A blog post! Finally! You guys have probably been wondering what on earth happened, radio silence for ages now! Well, I’ve had my head down making kid’s clothes for a friend, and to help me to clear out those stash boxes of left over fabrics, and the weather lured me out of doors! We had such beautiful, unseasonally hot weather at the end of February that I just couldn’t resist the siren call of the allotment!
It was luck that I hadn’t, to be honest, because now, at the beginning of March, I’m ready to sow seeds and plant stuff. Even if the weather has reverted to it’s usual windy, rainy self. So, now that the inclement weather is back, I’m back in the sewing room! Last week I had a proper sewing day and made 7 Rowan Tees by Misusu Patterns! It’s a free pattern for kids. I traced the sizes from the 98 or 3 year old, up to the 7 year old & raided my stash of leftover ponte, double jersey and quilted jersey. I made 3 of the smallest size, and randomly chose fabric and other sizes so I’d have enough for growing into, as well as fitting the older kid. Those were all the remains of the fabric after making Toaster Sweaters, Talvikki Sweaters and the LB Pullover. I’m very happy with my little pile, and will be distributing them amongst 3 kids.
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But back on the sewing for normal humans – grown ups! I suddenly realised that daughter no 2 would be home this weekend for the week – reading week at uni, and I’d promised a bunch of toiles ready for fitting! Some patterns were ready to toile, others still needed to be traced – oops! So I’ve made a start with a pair of shorts, and today cut the toile for a dungaree dress, 115 from Burdastyle April 2017, and traced and cut the toile for the blouse, 111 from February 2018.
I also cut a top for my mum from her favourite Burda pattern (the fifth one this year!) and decided to experiment with viscose and the Kabuki Tee from Paper Theory. I toiled that pattern in February in the size 18, but decided I could afford to size down one. So, we’ll see if it works in viscose! I’ve seen plenty of cotton, nani iro, double gauze and linen versions, but ot viscose. Fingers crossed… By the way, has anyone seen the announcement that Tara is releasing a new pattern – a jumpsuit – either this week or next? I’m waiting with baited breath for this one, I really like the look of it when she made a version last summer. Let’s just say I’m on tenterhooks, waiting to pounce and hit that “pay now with PayPal” button as soon as it’s live! *edit* it’s live! Here’s the link if you’re remotely interested…
It’s due to rain tomorrow, so instead of getting really, really muddy, I’ll stay indoors and start sewing those toiles! I already have the fabric for the Burda patterns, so if I get those made up next week after fitting, it’ll be a good stash bust. I also found the #sewbibs hashtag on Instagram this week, a good push to make that dungaree dress, and possibly to finally trace and toile the Burnside Bibs for myself?? I already have the fabric for those too… It would tie in nicely with the other hashtag, #sewthatpatternnow. And of course, #makeyourstash. But I’ve been doing that one for a while now, and I’m only making very slow inroads into the stash boxes! Mostly because I keep hoarding the leftovers! Send help…
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I’ll leave you with a picture of the Narcissus blooming on my allotment last week, before Storm Freya hit and flattened them, so I cut them and brought them indoors. My first harvest from the cutting garden this year!
I’ve got a little something different for you all today. No clothes… Well, not for people, at any rate. Interested?? I’ve been sewing for toys. But not just any toys. I’ve been bitten by the Luna Lapin bug. I bet half of you haven’t the faintest idea what I’m talking about – right? Well, Luna Lapin is the creation of Sarah Peel from Cool Crafting. She’s a little rabbit made from felt, with a wardrobe and a bunch of friends, all of which can me made by buying the books, or the kits from her website. I’d seen images on Instagram for a while and Sew Manju made the prettiest little coats for her rabbits. I knew there and then I needed to make my own, but not necessarily for me.
I know of a little girl and boy in New Zealand who would love a pair of rabbits to play with, so I’m starting with one for each of them, with a nice wardrobe of clothes to go with them. I’m also going to make a rabbit for my grand-nephew. Yeah, I have one of those!
I started by tracing all the patterns from the book (for now I just have the original Luna Lapin book), then I made the T-shirt dress and the little shirt from left over scraps of fabric. This is the other reason to make the rabbit and wardrobe – to use up those bits of fabric that are too small for kid’s clothes, but perfect for bunny clothes! But I still needed to make a bunny. I didn’t want to be spending any money on this exercise, so that meant no fancy wool felt. But I did have a merino wool jumper that didn’t fit, perfect for felting! I tossed it into the washing machine & let it do its thing. It hasn’t felted as much as I though but would but it will do.
It’s a nice grey wool, and instead of floral fabric for the feet and ears, I cut some silver embroidered linen. I like the effect with the wool. I decided, as it hadn’t felted as much as I’d have liked, not to have the seams exposed, so sewed everything on the machine, using 5mm seam allowances where marked, and 3mm everywhere else where the oversewn areas would have been. It was fairly easy to do, because the wool stretches easily. So the legs were sewn up and then I folded them down in half to stuff them. The only problem when stuffing something that stretches, is that it stretches! So it can’t be overstuffed, I’d have had a very fat rabbit!
The sewing process was simple, the book is clear with good diagrams, so no getting lost or confused. I’m so chuffed with how my rabbit turned out, I’ve decided it’s a boy rabbit, and have called him Bay. But he needed a friend, a sister. In the stash of toile fabrics, is the left overs of some wool I’d got from the charity shop, and felted in the machine. I had thought I could use it for coats, but it didn’t turn out right. That’s why it’s in the toile stash. It’s pink, but I don’t see why we can’t have a pink rabbit, can you?
This time I’ve used a cute rosebud print cotton for the ears and footpads, it has relevance – this rabbit’s name is Rose. But she’s not as easy to sew. Again, I didn’t want exposed seams, but this fabric has no stretch, is stiff and thick, and doesn’t like turning! I managed to stitch the bottom part of the seams on the feet and attach the footpad on the machine, then I turned that through to the right side. Once stuffed it gave me something to hold. From then on, I needed to handstitch the leg seams, 5cm at a time, stuffing as I sewed. It took time… The head is much better on this bunny though, because the fabric was firmer. The ears stand up better too.
Once the legs were done, the rest was quick, the body shaped up well and the head was attached firmly and securely. All I still have left to do is the arms, which I’ll have to do in the same way as the legs – yay! 😉 I have raided my stash boxes for suitable scraps to make more clothes for my bunnies, and I have an idea to make another in denim – but we’ll have to see. Given how this wool sewed up, I think I’d have to have the seams exposed. So maybe I’ll just make another in the grey wool. In the mean time, I have bunny clothes to make! They’re so cute!!
Helloo & welcome back to another Work in Progress Wednesday! I haven’t had much of a chance to do any of these posts for a while, too busy getting on with things! Anyhow, I needed to get rid of some excess fabrics quickly, so decided to do that today and take a few photos while I was at it.
I had hauled out 4 pairs of trousers at the end of the summer that I wasn’t wearing anymore, either I didn’t like them, didn’t fit them, or had done something to them that made them unwearable. Like catch a nail on the trouser leg on the allotment and rip a nice big hole… I had intended to do some visible mending, afterall, they are just allotment trousers, but they are a little too big, have no pockets and really – I wasn’t in the mood. But the rest of the fabric was fine, so what to do?
Make items that need less fabric – kid’s clothes!! I have a friend in New Zealand with two ankle biters who is always happy for me to make clothes for them. So on Tuesday I dug out some patterns I’d traced from a couple of Burda magazines and started unpicking trouser seams, ironing everything nice and flat and cutting out. I managed to cut a pair of kid’s shorts from the ripped pants and a pinafore style dress from a pair of beige linen trousers that the calories have shrunk in the loft over the years. I also had a piece of Irish Linen left over after making a little boy’s shirt about 4 years ago. That has become another little dress!
The shorts are from a khaki coloured linen, the fabric was still in really good condition, apart from the huge rip I got in it at the allotment last summer. I decided to use up some of my handcut bias strips today, and sewed some onto the opening edge of the hip yoke pocket. It helps to break up the khaki and brighten it up a little. I cut the 5 year old size, so there’ll be growing room. The little girl will be 3 in May this year, and I’ve made stuff upto that age already, so I’m growing her future wardrobe!
Next to be chopped up was a pair of stiffer linen trousers that haven’t fitted me properly for about 5 years – at least. I keep them because, you know, I’ll loose the weight… Yeah. Pull the other one! Because I had no fold to cut on, the front of the dress has a centre front seam which I decided to topstitch to make it more of a feature. I also added pockets. Pockets are important for everyone! My daughter’s pockets would often contain a variety of coloured or interestingly shaped stones, bits of pottery they’d found in the garden and Lego. So I’ve no doubt similar treasures will find their way into these pocketses. Because the colour is a bit bland (all the better to add funky tees underneath), I thought I could use up some other things from my stash! I’ve had these fusible applique flowers for years, so long I cannot even remember where and when I bought them! If I even did. They may have come from my mum!
To keep the bulk down, I used strips of Liberty lawn left over after making a top for my Mum 3 years ago, and cutting an Ogden Cami for Daughter No2 on Sunday! It adds a bit of colour. Lacking the width of fabric to make the back the way the pattern is written, I inserted an invisible zip in place of the button band and facings. I like patterns like this dress, I remember my girls living in them. In the summer if it’s a bit chilly, add a tee, in the winter add a long sleeve tee and tights. No worrying about fitting, it just hangs from the shoulders. So, of course, I had to make another one, didn’t I!?
The same pattern, but the smaller size – this time the 4 year old size. I had enough fabric left over after making a vintage shirt pattern to make the pattern properly. And I added pockets again! I cut them on the bias to add a little interest and decoration to the front. The bias strips for the armhole and neckline look great, such a shame they’re on the insides!
I’ve had fun making these today, and I’ve got another 3 dresses cut out ready to sew up tomorrow! I’m determined to do better at clearing out my scrap boxes this year, whether it’s making kid’s clothes or bags, pouches, bunting or even using for beeswax wraps. I need those boxes to be empty by the end of the year – how’s that for a challenge??
It seems I’ve been posting more of these “in progress” posts this month than showing the finished items! I must get some photos this weekend, if it’s not too rainy. So, what am I making today? Well, I decided on the spur of the moment last night to use a piece of wool that a friend had found in a charity shop and gave me last month. It’s navy blue suiting with a pinstripe and herringbone weave. It was about 1.2m in length, so was never going to be a full length pair of trousers. That made it easy to pick a pattern, I could use my favourite cropped pattern that I’ve used 5/6 times, or a newer one, used just twice so far.
I picked 120 from July Burda 2018. I have made it earlier this year, in the summer, using a linen and cupro blend. Definitely time to make another. I got pretty much all of the pieces onto the wool, except for the pocket lining piece. I was slightly tempted to add the ruffley thingie on the pocket opening, but there just wasn’t the space to cut the bias piece. Actually, it was just as well, it would only get in the way of my shirts and no-one would ever see it anyway. I cut the pocket lining from a piece of scrap cotton print in the stash.
I cut the 44 but had graded it before from the hip to the waist to the 46. The leg has been shortened by 4cm, this was a good length in the previous pair. I started by tailortacking and then overlocking all the pieces. In order to make my sewing time really productive, I pinned the darts, pocket linings to the openings, and pinned the lower front and back trouser pieces to the main pieces. These were then all sewed up.
Pockets were sewn and everything well pressed, then the front and back centre seams were sewn to just above the crotch curve. The waistband needs to go on before the zip can go in, so that was interfaced and the front and back pieces attached to the trousers. I didn’t have a dark navy invisible zip in the stash, but the brighter blue one I chose will do just fine. The waistbands lined up rather well, usually I need to unpick at least once to make the seamlines line up better.
Next to do was all the side seams, making sure the perpendicular seamlines lined up nice and neatly. On the whole, it worked out rather well! I decided to handstitch the hems insead of machine them because I was using thread from the stash and they didn’t necessarily match the colour of the wool all that well. I then decided I’d handstitch the waistband on the inside too.
I finished the trousers by 3pm, having started cutting out at around 9:30 and taking an hour break for lunch. So I’m chuffed with that, I have a new pair of trousers in the cupboard and one less piece of fabric in the stash! I’ve also used the remains of three reels of blue thread and taken another zip out of the zip box. Eventually I’ll get all these “stashes” down to more acceptable levels!
Today I had planned a sewing day, nothing else to interrupt me… Hmm. Unfortunately, due to my over-running admin duties the housework had suffered a bit of neglect, so what I had hope to get done today will have to wait a bit. Last night I picked a length of viscose from my stash and paired it with a self drafted pattern that I last (first) used in 2014.
I’d always intended to make more than just that first blouse from the pattern, but somehow there was always something else to make first/instead. The original top had tucks on the front yoke and down the buttonband. I decided to skip those on the viscose. The pattern on the fabric is just too busy and the tucks would be lost. I think on a bigger pattern they would look better. I also decided to forgo the hidden buttonband. I have some rather nice vintage black buttons in the button stash, and it would be a shame to cover them up!
I’m French seaming the inside and burrito’ed the yokes. I did have a little “what do I do here” moment, trying to remember how I’d put it all together the last time. In the end, this was the order of work I went with:
Sew the darts
gather front and back and sew into yokes
sew shoulder seams on blouse and inner yokes
sew inner yoke to blouse
interface upper collar & sew to under collar
sew collar to blouse
trim collar seam to 5mm
sew 2.5cm bias strip to trimmed seam with 5mm allowance
fold strip over and press down, stitch through all layers
sew side seams
attach buttonbands to fronts
sew buttonholes and attach buttons.
I’ve just got the buttonholes and buttons to go, that I’ll do tomorrow morning, before the next batch of admin hits! In fact, I think I’ll wait to start the computer up and check the email until the sewing is done! I’m really looking forward to wearing this with the trousers I made last week, as well as my range of Birkin Flares. I have more pieces of viscose in the stash that have been waiting rather patiently for me to get round to them. I think I need to pay them attention, I do like wearing visose!
Today, I’ve been making trousers. When the November issue of the Burda magazine finally landed in my sticky little paws, I wasn’t exactly inspired – not as much as I have been with previous issues. But one or two patterns did look appealing. I rather liked the trousers 117. I just happened to have a length of russet coloured stretch denim a friend sent me from the States… It was meant to be!
The pattern requires fabric with stretch, but doesn’t say what percentage. However, as one of the views was made in jersey, I figure it needs a fair bit. My denim had that fair bit, so I decided to wing it and see what happened. I’ll not go into fitting and toiling details here, I cut the 44 and shortened the leg length by 4cm.
The trousers in the magazine have a decorative ribbon down the outside leg seam and piping in the waistband, the jersey version has piping on the waistband. Initially I thought this was just a sewn on detail, but the outer waistbands are actually in two pieces, an upper and lower. So now you have somewhere to stick that piping! I wasn’t going to bother, I figured I’d just use the inner waistband pieces and cut two of each, but… I had piping in the stash, so might as well use some of it up in a practical manner.
I didn’t follow the order of work in the instructions. By the way, has anyone else noticed there is no longer a cutting layout? It was there in the October magazine, but “poof” no more! I started with the fronts, overlocked the edges and made up the hip yoke pockets. I used a left over piece of Liberty poplin for the inner pocket bag to reduce bulk. I’ve used that left over piece quite a bit now, I wonder if it will ever get finished! The pocket bag is understitched along the opening edge to keep the cotton from rolling out. Once the pockets were done, I sewed the centre front seam from the top edge to just above where the crotch curve starts.
Then it was the back pieces. Darts first, then pocket. I realised, when tracing out the pieces, that the welt on the back was faux, just for show! Now I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to all the trouble of interfacing and cutting my trousers to insert a welt, I want a pocket to go with it!! So that’s what I did. I like to put my phone in my back pocket, that’s where it basically lives. So I measured it and cut two rectangles from the poplin the width of the pocket welt and the depth of the phone plus a few centimetres. Basically 14×18. Then I cut two welt pieces, one to use for the actual welt, and one to sew to the top of one of the rectangles as a facing. I made the welt pocket up as standard. I’m quite chuffed with it, it’s the perfect size for my phone, but if you want to use it for anything else, you’d better make yours a little wider, add a cm each side of the opening and all pieces.
Once that was done I sewed the centre back seam as I had done the front, then moved on to the waistband pieces. The piping was added to the upper seamline of the lower waistband, then the upper waistband was sewn on top. I graded the seams to reduce bulk and clipped to allow the curve to lie flat. When I clip a curved seam, I always do it on the bias, the theory is that the fabric won’t fray or rip on the bias. If you cut with the grain, it might rip through your stitching. Not that I’ve had that happen in the past, but just in case, right? I made up the front and back waistbands and then attached them to their trouser legs. Then I inserted the invisible zip in the left side seam. It needed a little fiddling to make sure the piping and waistband edge lined up, because of the bulk it wanted to move down when I sewed, so I ended up unpicking a couple of times, and using loads of pins!
After that it was all downhill, the remainder of the leg seams were stitched and pressed, the inner wiastband pieces interfaced with a lightweight fusible and sewn to the top of the outer pieces. I understitched the waistband and trimmed the lower edge before folding the remaining seam allowance under and stitching in the ditch from the outside. Then it was just the hems and voila!! One new pair of trousers! I do like that piping detail, it’s just a pity no-one will really see it. I don’t tuck my tops in, so the only people to see that detail will be you guys now, and me later!
I’ll be sure to get photos asap, along with pictures of my new tees! Yesterday I ran up two stripey 3/4 sleeve Lark tees, the perfect colours to go with these new pants. I am really looking forward to having these pants in my wardrobe, just like the paprika linen pants I made in the summer! It’s nice to have that splash of colour to play with in amongst the blues, back and greys.
P.S. I have finished both coats for the girls, and I hope to have photos of those, modelled by the girls themselves (instead of on Betty the dummy) in a week or two. In the mean time, I now have all I need to get cracking with the coat I’ve been promising to make for Mr W for over a year. Tomorrow, I start cutting out!!! Wish me luck…