Another Seamwork Paxson jumper

What’s that? A finished garment post? Don’t all keel over in shock. I seem to be starting a tradition of making the manfriend a Paxson jumper/sweater/pullover/whatever it wants to be called for Christmas. Even though he would far rather I didn’t make him anything and just enjoy December rather than shutting myself in the sewing room making presents.

While I’m on that subject I should put my pledge to myself down on (digital) paper:

This year I am NOT making any Christmas presents in December. I can make Christmas presents by all means but they must be finished by December.

Last year I had the week before Christmas off work and I spent it stressed and miserable because of my stupid habit of taking on far too much. Instead of pottering about and watching Christmas films I was sewing and cake decorating and stressing. And I still haven’t actually finished all the Christmas presents yet… oops.

Anyway, this year’s Paxson. There’s not a lot to say really as it’s a simple make and something I’ve made before so this will be a fairly photo heavy post.

Nonchalant lean and a chat with Judy Hopps
Arty…

I made the same size as last time even though he’s a bit bigger this year because the last one still fits. Paxson is a super quick sew because you can do it all on the overlocker. I do love the neat finish of a cuff or hem band. Though as of tomorrow I will be the proud owner of a coverstitch machine, eeek! So I should be able to sew lovely neat knit hems. Ha, we’ll see…

I shortened the sleeves a little bit but a cutting mishap made them a little shorter than I intended. He tends to wear it pulled up slightly like this. I have offered to fix it (redo the cuffs a bit longer) but he’s said he likes it fine as it is.

The fabric is the snaggiest fabric in the world. It kept catching on the edges of my nails and I was really worried I was going to leave pulls in it. Which isn’t the best considering the Manfriend is a gympanzee and has callouses on his hands from weight lifting. So it snags on them too, which is a bit of a bugger.

The details

Pattern: Seamwork magazine Paxson sweater

Measurements: Chest 43.5″ – Waist 36″ – Hips/Boy waist 36″

Size made: L

Alterations: I shortened the sleeve slightly (a little too much)

Fabric used: About 1.5m Warm jersey from White Tree Fabrics

Another version?

I think it’s time to try other patterns if I do more unselfish sewing.

I am going to try to make myself something with the left fabric though. Which we’ll never wear at the same time don’t worry.

Final Thoughts

He claims to like it and has worn it in public so we’ll count it as a win, it’s just a shame about the catchy fabric.

Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend, with lots of sewing and/or relaxing. I still haven’t actually done any sewing so far this year. This week I cut out a Sew Over It Nancy dress and the mustard Deer and Doe Plantain I mentioned in my Make Nine post. Taking my total of cut out projects to seven. So I really should actually sew some of them soon. I’ve got tomorrow off work to bake cakes to sell at work to raise money for an old school friend’s crowdfunding appeal but if I finish quickly I might do some sewing.

Anyway, have a good week folks. I’ll leave you with the manfriend’s (moderately terrifying) “broken doll” pose to haunt your dreams.

broken doll manfriend

Drapey Datura Blouse

I feel like I should tell you up front that this is probably going to be quite a negative post. It feels like I buggered up pretty much every part of this top.

Deer and Doe Datura blouse

Mistake number one, my biggest mistake, was not staystitching. Not entirely sure what possessed me to think I could get away without staystitching when I was using the drapiest fabric known to man.

It’s really lovely feeling fabric but it was a nightmare to work with. It called itself viscose challis but it was different to other fabric I have that have called themselves that so I’m not sure which one is telling the truth. This one seems to have a visible diagonal weave that’s quite pretty but doesn’t photograph. As you might be able to tell from these photos it was a pain to press, all I seemed to be be doing was pressing creases into it.

 

Deer and Doe Datura blouse

I did a really poor job with the collar but the fabric didn’t take well to my unpicking it so it has had to stay poor. I think it probably would have benefited from interfacing but it wasn’t in the instructions so I didn’t. Though now I am second guessing myself about whether it was in the instructions or not.

datura-blouse-collar

I think I said in my post about my first Datura that I was going to try sewing the shoulders a different way this time, which I did. I tried to do it this way. It makes more sense with photos so you might want to have a look at that link but I’ll try to explain. Basically you sew the lining to the shell at the neckline and armholes on your front and back pieces. Then you turn only your front the right way out and slip it inside the back. You line up the shoulders and then sew them in the round.

Which was really bloody difficult. For a start it’s a very little space to try to fit a sewing machine foot. There are loads of seam allowances to try to keep in place and a collar to take into account. So my shoulder seams are a bit of a shambles. I also forgot that I’d understitched so it mattered which way round the back was. Sooo, my understitching is on the outside and I’m now calling it topstitching.

datura-side-view

But the biggest problem came when I’d stitched the main body parts to the outer yoke, sewn the side seams and then went to stitch the inner yoke down. The inner yoke was too small. At this point I considered having a cry and throwing it across the room but ended up just attempting to ease it. I think I’ve mentioned before how bad I am at easing. What could possibly go wrong?

A puckered horrid mess, that’s what. And the weird bubble above my bust that you can see in the photo above. And similar on the back as you can see below. It’s also clinging to my back fat ever so attractively.

deer-and-doe-datura-blouse-back

I used the little pearly buttons that I didn’t use for my first version and I think they look really pretty with the grey.

The details

Pattern: Deer and Doe Datura blouse

Measurements: Bust: 37″ – Waist: 30.5″ – Hips: 39″ (These might not be entirely accurate anymore as I haven’t checked them in a while and I think I may be a smidge bigger now)

Size made: 40

Alterations: None

Fabric used: 1m of 145cm wide grey viscose challis and about 0.5m of 145cm wide black viscose challis. Both from Abakhan but no longer in stock.

Another version?

Yes probably but not for a while, I’m a bit traumatised by this one.

Any changes next time? 

I’m not entirely sure because so many bits of this stretched out I don’t think this is a fair reflection of the size. I like the way it fits across the shoulders but the under yoke is too tight across the chest, which is causing the yoke to bubble. So I have no idea what changes I’d need to make or if I should just go back to the size bigger.

Tips or advice

If you’re using a really drapey fabric like I did then staystitch everything. Even bits you wouldn’t normally.

Final thoughts

I hate this top. I’ve only worn it for pictures and a video because it’s uncomfortable and the fact that it refuses to be ironed annoys me. I need to unpick the yoke lining and do something with it but I don’t know what that something should be. I’ve got my overlocker back now so I was thinking about just finishing the seams and raw edge of the yoke lining and letting it hang loose. I don’t know though. I’ll probably do nothing and let it sit neglected in my wardrobe instead. Oh well, you win some and you lose some and you learn something from every make, even the failures.

Southport tank hack

One of my goals this year is to stretch my creative muscles a bit and have a go at some pattern hacks. This one isn’t a particularly complex one but baby steps.

I’ve had this cotton lawn in my stash for about 18 months and I was originally planning to make a Grainline Tiny Pocket Tank with it but when I got the pattern out to make a start I had a change of mind. The straps seemed really long so I was worried about how it would fit but I didn’t want to make a toile.

That’s when I remembered that I’d seen Kelli of True Bias hack her Southport dress into a tank top. I like the way my Southport dress fits so I thought I would do the same.

southport tank

I didn’t follow Kelli’s tutorial as I didn’t want to cut into my pattern. Instead I just laid the bodice pieces on my fabric, cut around the neckline and side seams then moved the pattern down about 8″ and cut out the hem. Then used a ruler to follow the side seam down to meet the hem. So basically the same thing just without altering the pattern.

I also put the centre front line on the fold to omit the button band as I just wanted a plain tank top.

southport-tank-back-and-side

I have the same problem with this top as I do with my Scout tee of the lines from my bust to my hips. I was going to try making the dart bigger (and have already fiddled with the pattern) but since looking at these photos I’ve noticed that the dart is a little low on me. So now I’m wondering if that’s the real problem.

southport-tank-darts

There’s not really a lot else to say about this top. It’s a really simple top but it’s a great staple. I’ve worn it a couple of times since I made it and I’ve got two more planned. One in a black polyester that called itself peach crepe and in some grey floral cotton lawn.

southport-tank-close-up

The details

Pattern: True Bias Southport dress hacked into a top

Measurements: Bust 37″ – Waist 30.5″ – Hip 40″

Size made: US 6

Alterations: Same fit changes as in my first version and then hacked into a top by lengthening the bodice and omitting the button band.

Fabric used: 1m of 150cm wide navy and cream geometric cotton lawn from Abakhan

Another version? Yes definitely.

Any changes next time? I’ve already started adjusting my pattern to make the darts a little bit bigger and I think I added a smidge more flare at the hip. But now I’m wondering if I should try raising the darts first.

Final thoughts

I really like this top even though the fit needs a bit of work. It’s a great Summer staple.

true bias southport tank dancing
Derp

Hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend. Thanks to a self imposed Twitter ban mine has been a lot better than last week. I’d hoped to get lots of sewing done but it doesn’t seem to have happened. I did manage to finish off my Sew Over it Carrie trousers and assemble the PDF of the Ultimate Trousers, which are next up on my sewing table. How about you?

Floral Grainline Scout tee

Hi guys, this post is a little later than I’d hoped to get it up – I’d been getting into the routine of posting on Sundays – but I didn’t get photos until quite late on Sunday night and I haven’t really been in the right frame of mind to write. I expect people are sick of hearing about the EU referendum but the result has really upset me. The manfriend was away for his brother’s stag do at the weekend and I spent almost the whole weekend falling into an internet clickhole, constantly on Twitter and reading every article posted. I barely moved from the sofa, didn’t cook myself proper food and generally felt sad and scared. As you can imagine it was really not good for my mental health.

penny big bang hermit

But the shining light that is sewing managed to help on Sunday afternoon. I pulled myself off Twitter, put Archer series 7 on Netflix and started work on my Carrie trousers. Then the manfriend got home from Manchester, bought us a Chinese takeaway and I put water to my body to make myself presentable to take these photos of my new Grainline Scout tee.

grainline scout tee

This was a lovely quick and simple make. I’ve sewn it once before but it was much nicer this time as I wasn’t panic sewing. The first time I made it I clearly didn’t read the pattern instructions properly as I sewed it with 5/8″ seam allowances when they’re actually 1/2″ except for the neckband and sleeves, which are 1/4″. I have just realised that I’ve made it twice, not once, as I made my mum one for Christmas. I’m so not firing on all cylinders at the moment.

scout tee collage

There’s not a lot to say and none of my photos are particularly varied sorry. I made a size 10 for my first version and it was a little loose around the shoulders so I cut an 8 grading out to a 10 for the hips this time, for floatiness. It’s still fairly loose and the shoulder seam sits off my shoulder a little bit so I wonder if I need to try a 6 there but I’m not sure if I could do a size 6 sleeve. I do quite I like the loose fit though so I don’t know if I will.

Scout tee Close up

I’ve had 3 metres of this fabric has been in my stash for about a year and a half and I only used just over a metre for this version so I have almost 2m to make something else with. Not sure what yet, I’ve toyed with a Sewaholic Belcarra blouse, a Seamwork mag Addison blouse and attempting to hack some sort of trapeze dress.

I don’t know if pull lines and drag lines are different things or if the lines I have are either of them but I have lines from my bust to my hip. From fiddling about with how it hangs I think making a tiny dart might help. So before my next version I’m going to try adding one and then rotating it out. I’ve attempted a very crude attempt at a diagram of my plan below. Then smooth out the side seams and hem. I may leave the fullness at the hip or I may then take it off the side seams. I’ll see how much it adds before I decide because I’m only making a tiny dart.

darts

I used French seams throughout and did my own thing with the construction as I wanted to try out sewing the sleeves flat, like you do with knit dresses. I think I prefer it as they seemed to go much better than when I’ve done set in sleeves before. I also used French seams on them even though they don’t have the right seam allowance for it, which didn’t seem to cause any problems.

scout tee

The details

Pattern: Grainline Scout tee

Measurements: Bust 37″ – Waist 30.5″ – Hip 40″

Size made: US 8 at shoulder and bust grading out to a 10 at the hips

Alterations: None other than the grading.

Fabric used: 1 and a metres of 150cm wide viscose from Abakhan

Another version? Yep, I need at least 6 more Scouts.

Any changes next time? 

Possibly some shoulder narrowing shenanigans or perhaps try sizing down across the shoulder and neckline. I’d like the get the shoulder to end where my actual shoulder does because that seems to give more of a cute cap sleeve on other people’s versions I’ve seen.

Non-clueless versions

Final thoughts

I love this t’shirt and have worn it loads since finishing it. I’m wearing it now in fact. I really must make some more. Oh, if you’d like to see it in motion, it’s in my latest video.

I’m going to finish by going back to the whole EU referendum thing sorry. To any European readers I’d just like to let you know that the result of this referendum in no way reflects my feelings and I feel very ashamed of my country. I truly believe that we are stronger together and the only way to tackle our global problems is by working together. It has saddened me to see the small percentage of racists in the country now thinking that their awful views are in any way okay.

But on a positive note, this happened in my sort of home town (where I live but not where I’m from). It made me cry when I saw the tweet.

Deer and Doe Datura Blouse

I was trying to blog my backlog of makes in order but I’m bumping my Datura blouse up the list because I want your opinions on my next version. But first, let’s talk about this one.

deer-and-doe-datura-blouse

Despite only owning three of their patterns I think Deer and Doe are my favourite pattern company in terms of their style. If I could win a competition where the prize was all the patterns of one company of my choice, Deer and Doe would be it. Top of my current lust list is the Fumeterre skirt (check out Camille and Lynne’s fab versions). Followed closely by the Chardon skirt after Jo’s post last Sunday.

datura-blouse-leaning

Anyway, my Datura blouse. My very first Advanced pattern! Go me. Though of course I did version B, with the collar and not the cut out version so I don’t know that I can actually claim to be advanced. My version of the pattern has been in my stash for nearly a year so it has the old instructions, which were a bit brief and I did struggle at times. Luckily I found this tutorial series, which was super useful.

Deer and Doe datura blouse

The hardest part was sewing the shoulders and I definitely used that photo tutorial for that. Because the top has a lined yoke you sew the shell to the lining at the armholes and neckline on both front and back yokes. Then you put the front inside the back and do some shoulder seam magic. I would try to explain but I don’t think I’ll do a very good job so you’d best look at the tutorial.

I have seen a Seamwork magazine tutorial where they do a very similar thing but slightly differently and for my next version I think I’ll try it that way as it seems much more simple.

Datura blouse collar and close up

The moustache and bowler hat fabric I’ve used was a gift from a sewing friend at work because I gave her some sewing stuff. She saw it and thought of me in a fabric shop because I enjoy wearing a fake moustache from time to time (Manfriend even bought me a pack of “Emergency Moustaches” as a stocking filler one Christmas). It’s quite a crisp cotton, which isn’t the recommended fabric for this pattern but I wanted to use it anyway. The yoke and collar are made with a cotton poplin I had in my stash.

Datura blouse side view

It is a little bit too crispy and I think the top is slightly too big too, which means if I put a cardigan on it can stand away from my body slightly but I still like it. I’m going to try a size down for my next version and it’s going to be in a drapier fabric.

Datura blouse back

 

I still haven’t actually sewn any buttons on as I couldn’t choose what ones to use. I was torn between these two and I have two of the polka dot ones safety pinned on at the moment. I’ll probably go with those ones and use the little pearly ones for my next version.

Button choices

The details

Pattern: Deer and Doe Datura blouse

Measurements: Bust: 37″ – Waist: 30.5″ – Hips: 40″

Size made: 42

Alterations: None

Fabric used: A metre of the moustaches and just shy of a meter of the black.

Another version? Yep, another colour blocked version in black and grey viscose but I’m not sure which colour to put where. Which do you like best? I’m leaning towards the one on the right.

Next datura colour options

Any changes next time? I’m going to try the next size down.

Have any of you tried the Datura blouse since Deer and Doe have expanded their instructions? Are they better now?

Another New Look 6217 Tee

Have you ever had one of those patterns where you love your first version so rush off and make a second one (err.. 8 months later…) only for something to just feel a bit off about it?

Well that’s the story of this New Look 6217 tee I have to show you today.

New Look 6217 tee

I made a few alterations to the fit for this version so I was expecting this to now be my perfect t’shirt but I accidentally made a few things worse.

The neckline on this pattern is really wide, which is something to watch if you make it. I used the smallest size at the neck and shoulders for my last one and it was still bra-showingly wide so I brought it in a smidge (about 1/4″) for this version.

I also moved the shoulder seam forward, which is something I’ve started doing recently as I have terrible posture. My head sits quite far forward so if I did a normal forward shoulder adjustment, where you leave the neck part of the seam where it is and pivot the shoulder seam forward, the seam still wouldn’t line up with my ear like it’s supposed to. I don’t know if that makes any sense. But anyway, I moved the whole shoulder seam forward by 1/2″.

And now the t’shirt garottes me. I even put it on the other way round while I was taking these photos to check I hadn’t put it on backwards.

New Look 6217 tee
Backwards – annoyingly I much prefer the print placement on this side

The shoulder seam seems to be sitting in the right place so I don’t know if it’s just the neckline. I think I will just lower the neckline slightly on my next version rather than move the shoulder back again. See how that works first of all.

I omitted the back seam entirely on this version, which makes it really difficult to tell which is the back. The back is slightly longer, which is the easiest way to tell if I’m putting it on the right way round. (I was checking which way I’d pressed the seams at first…)

New Look 6217 back

I lengthened this version by 2 inches and I bias bound the hem again. I much prefer this length for having it untucked. I took some photos of it tucked in too even though I’m not sure how often I’ll wear it that way. I haven’t really got any skirts or trousers it’d work with (this pencil skirt is far too tight and I never wear it anymore).

New Look 6217 tucked in
It was too windy so I came inside

The sleeves on my first version were too tight because of me shortening it above the bust so I added an inch onto bottom of the armhole for this version. And they are still too tight. Which had me baffled until I remembered that I’d chopped about an inch, maybe more off the end of the sleeve because the sleeve sort of tapered (I think because of my grading between sizes badly) so it made the hole bigger. So I’ll need to fiddle with them before my next version too.

new-look-k6217

I think that’s everything I have to say about it. Even though it’s flawed I’ll still wear it. I wore it to work on Monday and felt comfortable in it all day. Just realised Monday was only yesterday, I’m having trouble with the old brain-thinking today.

New look 6217 side view

The details

Pattern: New Look 6217

Measurements: Bust: 37″ – Waist: 30.5″ – Hips: 39″

Size made: 10 at the neckline and shoulders, grading out to a 14 for the rest.

Alterations: Shortened by an inch above the bust and brought the neckhole in by about 1/4 inch. I also moved the whole shoulder seam forward by about 1/2″ and lengthened the hem by 2″

Fabric used: 1m of 150cm wide viscose from Abakhan

Another version? Yep, even though this version isn’t quite right I’m sure I’ll still wear it lots and I really do love this pattern.

Any changes next time? I’m thinking about making a floatier version with a high low hem to copy a top I saw someone wearing a while ago but I’ll make some more fitting changes too. Just the things I mentioned in the post, lowering the front neckline, maybe widen the neck again and fiddle with the sleeves.

So that’s my slightly disappointing second New Look 6217, hopefully third time lucky will hold true for my next go. Though I have quite a few other things in the queue to make first. I’ve got two knit dresses cut out and the fabric for a Deer and Doe Datura blouse washed and waiting. What’s on your sewing table?

Colette Seamwork Paxson Sweater and Superhero PJs

Happy Sunday, peeps. I’ve got the promised Christmas dude sewing photos for you today and a bit more of a write up of the Paxson sweater and Marvel PJ bottoms I made for the manfriend.

Paxson Sweater

The Paxson sweater is actually the pattern that made me subscribe to Seamwork. If you haven’t already heard of it, Seamwork is an online pattern magazine. It’s chock full of interesting articles and it’s basically what I wish print sewing magazines were. I particularly like the Block, Paper, Scissors series that teaches you how to alter a basic block or one of the patterns that comes with the magazine to get something different. I haven’t actually used any of them but I still like it as a concept.

Colette Paxson sweater
Beard: Model’s own

But anyway, this isn’t about me, this is about the Manfriend and his Paxson sweater. The Manfriend seems to go through phases with his wardrobe (thankfully, the floral shirt phase had passed by the time we got together) and at the moment it is comprised mainly of raglan sleeved tops and marl. So when I saw the Paxson sweater I instantly decided to make him one.

Paxson sweater back view
Back view

It took me ages to find the fabric I wanted. I wanted a grey marl for the body (obviously) and I was leaning towards a burgundy or maroon for the sleeves. I say or as if I can differentiate between burgundy and maroon, they’re basically the same colour in my mind. Fabric godmother had a quilted maroon coloured ponte that I was planning to use but I was waiting until payday to buy some and it sold out before I got paid.

So in the end I went with teal. I actually bought teal and purple and enough grey to make two just in case the first one fit him so badly I had to make a second. I’d love to say I’m still going to make him a second but it’s far more likely that I’ll use the fabric for myself. Not even ashamed *terrible ladyfriend face*

Seamwork magazine paxson sweater

Paxson is great as the waistband and cuffs mean that you can sew it entirely on an overlocker (apart from topstitching the neckline, which I don’t tend to bother with) so it’s a really quick sew. Colette say it should take an hour but I am a slow sewer so it took me 2.5 hours, with just cutting out taking half an hour. I still think that’s a nice, quick sew though and I’m sure if I made more I’d get quicker.

I made him a size Large and it fits him quite well I think. He is a gympanzee and most of his tops tend to fit snuggly on the chest, shoulders and arms with a looser fit on the body so this is actually looser than most things he wears. There are a lot of wrinkles on the arms but I am not a wrinkle whisper and have no idea what adjustments they’re trying to tell me that I need to make.

Paxson sweater

The details

Pattern: Paxson Sweater from Colette Patterns Seamwork magazine

Measurements: Chest 42″ – Waist 34″ – Hips/Butt 39.5″ – Height 5’10” ish

Size made: L

Alterations: None

Fabric used: 90cm grey and 75cm teal 148cm wide ponte de roma from Oh Sew Crafty on eBay

Another version? If I feel kind

Any changes next time? I will quiz him on what changes he wants made before making another one. The body might want to come in a bit and I wonder if taking a bit of length and/or width out of the sleeves would help get rid of some of those wrinkles.

Manfriend says: If I could improve on it it would have dragons and skulls and a beard. It’s totally in my wheelhouse.

Superhero PJs

And for the PJs I used a free Simplicity pattern that I can’t find on their website since they changed it. It was in the learning to sew section but I would definitely not recommend it as a first project. Mainly because the PDF was such a nightmare to put together. The worst one I’ve ever done.

It was a simple sew in the end though. There are only two pattern pieces, each leg is just one (huge) pattern piece and then there’s one for the drawstring and you cut out two of each piece.

manfriend-pjs
Superhero pose

I sewed a size Medium and took about 3 inches out of the length at the lengthen/shorten line using a pair of his RTW PJs as a guide. He is quite long in the body and shorter in the leg. If I was to make a second pair I think I’d try taking some length out above the crotch because the PJs sit low on his hips and mean that the crotch hangs a bit low.

The fabric came from Etsy and actually says on the selvedge that it’s not suitable for children’s sleepwear, which I found a bit odd (flammable?). But he’s not a children and they’re loungewear for him rather than sleepwear anyway so I don’t think it matters.

superhero-pjs
Double superhero pose

The details

Pattern: A free Simplicity one that may have vanished

Measurements: Chest 42″ – Waist 34″ – Hips/Butt 39.5″ – Height 5’10” ish

Size made: Medium

Alterations: Shortened by 3″

Fabric used: 3 yards of Marvel superhero flannel

Another version? Maybe

Any changes next time? Experiment with shortening the crotch

Manfriend says: I don’t know, I just like them, stop asking me for quotes.

So that’s my quota of unselfish sewing fulfilled until next Christmas. I should make more of an effort and make Manfriend nice things throughout the year. Does anyone have any recommendations for nice manchap sewing patterns? Or should I just forget about it and concentrate on pretty dresses?

New Look 6217 T’Shirt

Aka my new favourite t’shirt. There’s not really a lot to say about it so instead I seem to have a bajillion photos with very little difference between them.

new-look-6217-tshirt

Side note: New hair! It’s way shorter than I’d planned but I like it. Well I like it curly anyway, I took these photos yesterday after having it cut and I’ve since washed it myself and with it straight but not straightened apparently I look like I should be in an Enid Blyton novel going on an adventure.

But back to sewing, New Look 6217 is one of those New Look/Simplicity patterns that come with pretty much a whole outfit. There’s the t’shirt, a kimono, a skirt AND trousers. The t’shirt is super simple with just two pattern pieces and no darts. There is supposed to be a small opening at the back neckline and a button but I left it off as the neckline is super wide so it serves very little actual purpose.

nl6217-back

I’ve been test driving a new (to me) fitting book (review forthcoming once I finish the Emery dress I’m using it to fit) and based on that I took some length out between the shoulder and the bust point. Unfortunately I forgot to add the length back onto the bottom of the armhole so they’re a little snugger than they should be but it’s still okay. I also did the neckline differently to the instructions. It’s supposed to be finished with an exposed bias binding but I turned mine to the inside. Which makes the already wide neckline slightly wider. So for future versions I may bring the neckline in slightly but I actually quite like a wide neckline so I might not.

nl6217-tee

It’s also a teeny bit too short so I’ll lengthen it an inch or two for my next version and I’m pretty sure there will be a load more versions. My green Scout tee is one of my most worn self made garments so I have got more t’shirts on the to be sewn list.

new-look-6217-tee
I like it untucked and tucked in

The fabric is some viscose I had left over from my Sewaholic Gabriola skirt and I think it’s perfect for this pattern but I am planning a version with some slightly crisper fabric too so we’ll see how that looks. I used French seams throughout and I seemed to be in a very bias bind-y kinda mood. As well as the neckline I bound the sleeve hems and actual hem. I toyed with adding cuffs but decided against it, though I do think they’d look good so I might add them to a future version.

nl6217-close-up

Non-clueless versions

I really like it when bloggers put links to other people’s versions of a pattern they’ve made so I thought I’d start doing it too. Such a copycat.

It was on OhSewPretty‘s blog that I first saw New Look 6217 and it’s her version of the t’shirt and kimono that made me buy it.

How gorgeous is Mags’ Silk and Lace version? Talk about elevating a simple pattern to something special with fancy fabric.

I also love Thimberlina’s versions, especially the border print one. That fabric is sooo pretty and I love the contrast of the binding.

I found Twinkle’s two gorgeous floral and anchor print versions by accident when I was actually looking up Lottie blouses. I really like the look of the button fastening on hers so I might make my next one properly.

Another Fabric Haul Video

And finishing on something completely different. I mentioned at the end of my last post that I was hoping to get in a bit of fabric shopping while I was in London and huzzah, I managed it. So I made another video of me wiggling fabric at you. I also talk about being a wimp and being scared of real life fabric shops. I can’t be the only one. Any of you guys scared of real life fabric shops or is it just me?

Anyway, that’s it from me. I’m going to do some slobbing on the sofa with my Manfriend and maybe watch something trashy. I hope you’ve all had a great weekend.

Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee

As I think I mentioned in a previous post, Manfriend’s lovely mum recently gave me her overlocker. It sat in my sewing room glaring at me intimidatingly for quite a few weeks before I worked up the nerve to even attempt to thread it.

Toyota overlocker
Menacing

But it turns out if you just read the instructions and follow the coloured dots it’s really not that difficult. I did it in the wrong order the first time but the second time went fine. Chuff knows if I have the tension right but the stitching looks fairly balanced to me.

I decided that the Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono tee – which is a free pattern by the way – would be a good one for my first knit project as it doesn’t have sleeves to worry about.

Kirsten Kimono tee

I went on a bit of a knit fabric sending spree on Minerva and used this diagonal striped jersey. It’s very slinky and I think it would make a lovely drapey dress. Normally I trace my patterns but I seem to have started just cutting out pdf patterns. I suppose because I can just print them out again if the fit is wrong, though it would mean taping the pesky things together again and I’m not sure what’s worse, taping or tracing.

I use a rotary cutter for cutting out my fabric so cutting out was no more difficult than cutting out woven fabric and this wasn’t a particularly curly fabric so I think I had a fairly easy go at it for my first knit garment. I cut a straight size medium but I sort of wish I’d graded out at the hips.

Kirsten kimono tee back

For some reason I expected it to fit more like the Deer and Doe Plantain. No idea why as none of the photos I’ve seen of other people’s versions do. But for my for my next version I will grade out a couple of sizes at the hips for more of a floaty look. Or maybe slash and spread somehow to avoid reprinting and taping the pattern.

I didn’t bother stabilising the shoulder seams (can’t remember why) and it all went together really quickly. I struggled with sewing the neckband and it’s a bit of a puckered mess but it doesn’t really bother me too much. I’m sure I’ll get better with practice.

Kirsten kimono tee neckline
Pucker up!

I got this far and the t’shirt sat, unhemmed and unworn, waiting for me to figure out my sewing machine walking foot and twin needle. Which my sewing machine was having NONE of. I broke two twin needles and when I tried using a zig zag stitch that wouldn’t work either. But I recently upgraded my sewing machine and it handled the twin needle easy as pie. In fact, since having my new machine I’ve started to wonder if my original one was just a bit broken all along.

Anyway that’s all I really have to say. I wore it last night to go see Avenue Q in Swansea with Manfriend and a friend from work and her husband. Avenue Q is brilliant by the way and if this touring version of it is going anywhere near your town you should definitely go and see it as it’s hilarious. Puppets with no bottom half having sex is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen Better Off Ted.

Here’s one last creepy picture Manfriend took of us after taking these photos. He had his phone on beauty mode so we look bizarre and blurry faced.

Creeeeepy
Creeeeepy

Two Weddings and a Mad Rush

Way back in December two of my favourite people got married. Unfortunately*, it wasn’t to each other so I had two weddings to attend. 132 miles apart…

I went to the ceremony and reception of a good friend from work’s wedding in Ceredigion in the morning and then travelled to the evening reception of another friend in Bristol.

So the mad rush in the title refers to the day of the weddings but also to the making of my outfit. I set myself lots of unreasonable targets this past festive season and I should have just bought an outfit but I bought this fabric a while ago with the intention of making a self drafted pencil skirt and a slinky Grainline Scout tee so a pencil skirt and a scout I was making. I can be stubborn. I finished sewing at half 11 on the Friday before the weddings. I was cursing myself but I was pleased with the finished outfit.

shortwood-skirt1
Oh also, new hair. I suddenly hated the blonde and needed to change it.

I’ll talk about the skirt first. I used the skirt block I made during my craftsy course and rewatched the lesson on turning it into an empire line skirt. Then made a toile and I was happy with the fit and only widened the back darts very slightly. After sewing up the actual skirt though I think I might need to do a bit of a swayback adjustment.

shortwood-back
Terrible, terrible seam matching and I actually tried, sob.

I cut the bottom off the back pattern piece to draft the pleat panel. I just cut it into strips and added extra paper between each one, folded them closed then added seam allowance and cut the excess paper off while the pleats were still folded to allow the right seam allowances for them.

I had to take the side seams in a little pretty much all the way down from my high hip as this is a stretch woven fabric and the extra ease built in to the block just looked silly.

shortwood-skirt2

I’ve decided to give any patterns I draft myself names rather than just describing them every time I use them – empire line pencil skirt with pleated back doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. So I’m calling this the Shortwood skirt as the reception I went to in Bristol was held in Shortwood Lodge golf club. And Shortwood is more pronounceable than Sgubor Teile, which is where the first one was.

shortwood-shapes
Throwing some shapes.

IMG_4655The Scout was made with this silky satin from Abakhan. I’d ordered samples of the green and the red beforehand as I was thinking about making a slinky Anna dress for my work Christmas party but changed my mind in favour of the Christmas Hunks fabric. I think I must have been sent the wrong swatches as this fabric is completely different to the swatches. Here is a picture of the swatch, which is a lot slinkier and doesn’t have a shiny side. I didn’t open the parcel for ages due to moving so it would have been too late to send it back.

I used the wrong side of the fabric as it had a less shiny finish and was still able to get the look I’d been aiming for. I cut a size 10 and it had just the right sort of fit for tucking in to the skirt and I do like it with jeans too. But I think I’ll possibly try a size 8 for my next version or maybe grade between sizes, keeping the shoulders and arms the same and then bring it in slightly from the bust down. I dunno.

scout2

I don’t know what’s causing those lines from my bust down to my hips. Something being too tight or too loose maybe? I am terrible at diagnosing fitting issues.

scout1

I tried using my rolled hem foot for the hem and it went terribly. Seriously look at my awful, awful stitching:

Scout rolled hem
You can also see how shiny the right side of the fabric is.

I originally tried taking pictures in the garden but the light just wasn’t playing ball so I moved into my kitchen dancing area (after moving all the tins of paint and tools lying around) but I thought I’d leave you with a couple of the silly ones I took outside purely because I like them.

IMG_4713
Manfriend and his nephew had just finished turning my garage into a gym, hence the pose – expect more of this.

 

IMG_4703
Fuzzy faced Manfriend makes his first appearance.

*Unfortunate for me, not them. They’re very happy with the people they married.