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.
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.
Alterations: I shortened the sleeve slightly(a little too much)
Fabric used: About 1.5m Warm jersey from White Tree Fabrics
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.
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.
It’s another bumper two for the price of one post today after another longish gap. Sorry, I’m rubbish. Life and work are really hectic at the moment so I haven’t been finding the time and energy to blog or even sew much to be honest. I’m having a bit of a knitting phase at the moment instead. I’m about half way through the body of this jumper but without stripes.
Today’s post is about sewing though. I took these photos over a month ago now, I went for a dog walk with my mum and we stopped for photos whenever we thought the backdrop looked autumnal and pretty.
New Look 6096
First we have New Look 6096. I’ve made this as a maxi dress before for myself and as a short version for my Nan. My maxi dress gets worn a lot in the spring and summer so I’ve wanted a shorter version for a while but I finally got round to it (umm, in August).
I didn’t really change anything from the first time I made it for myself and it’s a straight size 10 but shortened slightly (perhaps a little too much). I mostly used French seams except for a couple that I overlocked.
There’s not a lot to say about the dress as it’s pretty simple so this is probably going to be a more photos than text kinda post. Especially as I’m full of cold so my brain is a bit fuzzy and I’m not so hot with the words.
Measurements: I haven’t checked these in a while so they may not be entirely accurate as I’ve been digging into the office treats with abandon but last time I checked they were: Bust – 38″ Waist 30.5″ Hips 39″
Size made: 10
Alterations: I took quite a bit off the length but I couldn’t tell you how much sorry, probably at least 4″ though.
Fabric used: 2m of 150cm wide viscose (but only just, there’s a bit of selvedge in the skirt seam)
Probably yep, unless I’m forever distracted by the new and the shiny.
Any changes next time?
I might try to narrow the neckline and bring the shoulders in a bit, they sit quite wide at the moment.
It’s a comfy dress and I like it even though it makes me look a little bit pregnant.
Seamwork Oslo Cardigan
I’ve had a Seamwork subscription for aaages and I made the Manfriend a Paxson sweater last Christmas but this is the first of their patterns I’ve got round to making for myself. It’s a bit of a funny one because I’ve worn it loads since I made it but I’m still not sure how much I actually like it.
I love the colour of the fabric I used. It’s a polyester sweater knit kinda thing and it’s soft and lovely. It dries really quickly too which is good during winter when it’s difficult to get washing dry.
Being a Seamwork pattern, it was a nice speedy sew, almost entirely sewn on the overlocker. I did have to go over a couple of bits again though where I’d cut my notches a bit too big so I had teeny holes – I need to be more careful with notches.
Size made: Small for shoulders, armhole, sleeves, and collar grading out to a Medium from the bust down.
Alterations: I shortened the cuffs by about 3″
Fabric used: Just shy of 2 metres of 150cm wide “wool type knit” from the Textile Centre.
Yes I think so, unless I find a different cardigan I like more.
Any changes next time?
Yes, I’m going to size down I think.
Any tips or advice
There is an error in the instructions for the cuffs (at least there is in my version, I don’t know if it’s since been corrected). It says to match the short edges of the cuffs and stitch but it is the long edge you need to stitch. That one had me second guessing myself for a while. Especially as I had shortened the cuffs so the long and short sides weren’t that different.
They say to go for the size up if you’re in between sizes but I think I’d probably say the opposite. My measurements put me at the upper end of the medium and I could quite happily wear the small. But then I suppose that depends on the look you’re after, I like big and cosy but don’t want to feel swamped in fabric.
I reach for my Oslo all the time so I must like it, I think it’s just slightly baggier than all the cardigans I’ve ever bought myself so it feels not quite right. Looking at the RTW cardi I have on right now I think it might be the fit of the sleeves that bother me as most of my shop bought cardigans are definitely slimmer fitting on the arms.
Have you ever finished something and not been sure if you actually like it or am I being a weirdo?
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.
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.
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.
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*
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.
Pattern: Paxson Sweater from Colette Patterns Seamwork magazine
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.
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.
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.
Pattern: A free Simplicity one that may have vanished
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?
Hello everyone, I hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas or any other festivity you celebrate. Mine has been wonderful. Christmas day was spent at home with my Manfriend and then my mum and nan came over for Christmas dinner. Boxing day was spent with Manfriend’s family, which was good fun – it included getting cream pied in the the face playing a silly game. And yesterday I barely moved from the sofa all day, which was utter bliss. I’m off work until the 4th January and very much looking forward to some complete laziness, catching up on TV we’ve recorded, reading some books and doing a bit of sewing.
Anyway, I thought I’d do a little recap on how I did with the homemade Christmas presents that I talked about a couple of posts ago.
Crispmas Advent Calendar
This didn’t happen. I cut the fabric out but ran out of time so I individually wrapped the bags again and put them in the box from last year.
Blogger Secret Santa present
This is one of the two extra handmade presents I mentioned adding to my list in my last post. I made a Stowe bag out of a swallow print chambray that I bought on eBay. I forgot to take a photo though. Doy! I changed up the order of construction slightly so that I could use French seams – I stitched the bottom as the last step instead of at the same time as the sides. I still don’t understand the last step fully so I just didn’t do it. I don’t think that’s very clear at all. When I was googling to try to find an explanation I came across a GOMI thread slating the bag and it did make me feel a bit stupid for buying it, when as they said in the thread there are about a bajillion free tutorials online to make a bag like it. It wasn’t something I’d thought to look for though, I just saw the pattern and thought it’d be handy for a knitting bag. You live and you learn I guess.
Mum’s Grainline Scout
I’m going to try to get a modelled photo of this but here are some rubbish quality ones for now. The fabric is a fairly crispy cotton I bought from Calico Laine last year with little metallic gold outlined Christmas trees on. I used French seams throughout and I’m quite pleased with how neat the neckline binding is. I did an appallingly bad job with the sleeves, really really bad. I just don’t get the whole ease things in thing. Only gathered sleeves from now on.
I think I’ll let the picture do the talking with this one. Adorable.
I used the Oliver + S Field Trip raglan t-shirt pattern and this was a lovely quick sew. It was also a nice PDF to put together. It has a grid, which I really like and it’s quite cleverly laid out to use a minimal amount of paper. That and it being for tiny people so makes it the best PDF pattern I’ve ever had to assemble.
I used some white viscose jersey for the body and leftover dinosaur fabric for the arms and neckband, I cut out a pocket too but decided to leave it off in the end. The viscose is slightly too lightweight really but I couldn’t seem to find any cotton jersey with the right stretch. The only one I did find was expensive and only available to buy by the metre and as I needed less than half a metre it seemed like a waste of money.
My pseudo-nephew isn’t 3 until April and I have no idea if he’s big or little for his age so I cut a size 3T size the plan being that he can grow into it if it’s too big.
Lua Sleep Sack
This is the second handmade item that got added to the list of Christmas crafting. It was seeing Marie of A Stitching Odyssey’s recent lovely version that inspired me to make one for my pseudo-niece (my cousin’s new little girl). I had intended to do a contrast yoke but ordered badly and instead of matching the pinky purply dots in the print, the cotton I’d chosen (with crossed fingers and wishes) was more sludgy coloured so I didn’t bother.
It was a nice quick sew but I did accidentally put the zip in the wrong side and I struggled one of the steps. You leave a bit of a gap along the top edge of where you sew the zip in to make it a bit easier and then the instructions tell you to close it once you’ve put in the zip and sewn the lining to the zip, which I couldn’t make sense of and my sleep sack didn’t seem to match the photo of that step. From the photo it looks like I should have done it before sewing the lining to the zip so if I make another version I’ll do that.
I don’t have any photos of these or the next one because I’m going to ask him to model both of his presents and then I’ll do a full post about them. I took last Monday off work and spent the day sewing his presents and getting my wrapping done, of course I still ended up finishing the wrapping on Christmas Eve but I tried. I am my mother’s daughter as she always used to wrap on Christmas Eve (whilst getting progressively drunker and sillier with the tags – getting a present from Fred Savage made me very happy) until the year we had a power cut and she had to wrap by candlelight.
I used Marvel superhero flannel that I bought from Etsy and a freebie Simplicity PJ pattern that I can’t seem to find to link to, sorry. He really likes them which is a relief as I was worried they were a bit silly as the rest of his PJs are fancy branded ones.
Manfriend’s Paxson Sweater
The Manfriend loves contrast coloured raglan sleeves and marl so I made his Seamwork Paxson in grey marl for the body and teal for the arms and neckband. I’d wanted to do the sleeves in the same burgundy/maroon knit that Josie the Fabric Godmother used for her version but it had gone out of stock by the time I’d been paid. I’m going to do a full post when I have pictures of him modelling it so for now here is a photo of the overlocker offcuts or #sergerspew as I’ve seen it called on Instagram, which tickles me.
My Christmas Party outfit
I decided not to make a new outfit this year because if you own a dress covered in hunky, half naked Christmas helpers why the heck wouldn’t you wear it at every chance you get? Plus, last year’s Christmas party was only a small one so not that many people had seen it. I’ve lost a little bit of weight so it doesn’t fit that brilliantly anymore. I did take it in slightly at the upper chest but I think I’ll need to alter it properly if I stay slimmer (I’m a yoyo, so it’s best to be realistic). Alterations seem harder and more scary than just sewing from scratch for some reason though.
I was quite proud of myself as I managed to decorate two cakes in one evening (we’ll ignore the fact that you’re supposed to let the marzipan dry for at least 24 hours, I was cutting it fine and had our food shop to do the night after. They’re both a bit shonky and I don’t have good photos – bit of a theme in this post I’m afraid.
Santa stuck in a chimney is my Nan’s and the ski slope is my mum’s because she prefers royal icing.
This is the only thing I didn’t manage to get done. It was a conscious decision really as I was starting to get stressed out and panicky and something had to go. I’m still quite impressed with myself for the amount I did get done without having a breakdown – this time last year it was a rare day that didn’t see me crying for no real reason. I’m hoping to still get the mango chutney and chorizo jam made and given as belated gifts.
Well that’s it from me for now, I will be back soon with my Top 5 of 2015 posts and photos of Manfriend’s presents taken with the snazzy new DSLR camera I got for Christmas – that I have NO idea how to use yet and am too scared to take outside.
For now, here’s a photo of my nan’s dog Poppy looking seriously tired of our shit on Christmas day.