Before the baby was born my mother in law came to visit, she then went off to Germany to see her mother for her 90th birthday celebration. Oma used to sew a lot but doesn’t much anymore so my mil asked if I’d be able to use any fabric she brought back with her. I said sure thinking I’d get a couple of metres or something. When she came back for a few days to see baby before heading back to NZ she brought me fabric – about hald a suitcase worth. So now I have more fabric than I know what to do with. A lot of it is not my colour but I’m pretty sure I can find a use for it somewhere. There are a lot of floral prints (mostly wovens), some wool fabric (may try a coat for one of the kids) and various other bits and pieces (including a large amount of stripy knit in pinks and reds, and a couple of metres of checked cotton which Hobbity-boo wants me to make her a skirt out of). There was one bit I was definitely interested in using for me. A blue cotton interlock printed with flowers. I debated but decided to make another Sewaholic Renfrew Tee. There was enough for that (same size and style as previously) and then just enough leftover to make a small cardy for baby.
The cardy is a size 6-12 Heartwarming Reversible Sweatshirt from the Sew Liberated Kids book. The pattern makes use of ties and a buttonhole for closures at the sides but I’ve used plastic poppers instead. The purple fabric is also cotton interlock leftover from a nursing shirt I made earlier this year. I didn’t have a good match for poppers for either the blue or purple so have used yellow on the blue side (as some of the flowers are yellow) and bright pink on the purple (just for contrast). I also topstitched around the cardy which isn’t done in the pattern. I probably should have used a normal topstitch instead of the stretch stitch as it got a little out of shape during the topstitching. But the ruffle is ok. It should fit this winter and next spring but baby (who still hasn’t acquired a nickname) is on the small side so it may last into summer next year.
First of my ready to sew projects is another Renfrew Tee. Worked the same as my previous two but this is in a star printed jersey purchased from myfabrics.co.uk.
I liked this pattern (Simplicity 1080) when I first saw it and bought it as soon as it was available in the UK. It took me a long time to settle on fabric to use for it and I ended up choosing this chambray with cream flowers. I decided on matching pockets rather than a contrast and there was enough fabric from the original pattern requirements to cut them out. I had planned to use a matching bias binding as pocket trim (cream or chambray) but ended up deciding on this flowery one instead. I also used the flowery one on the hem but used chambray binding on the armholes, shoulders and neck.
I didn’t bother to cut out the pattern piece for the ties and just cut strips of fabric at approximately the right width. I originally placed the bust tucks at the location the pattern indicates. However when I tried it on (after stitching the shoulder seams) I felt that they didn’t sit where I wanted them and moved them down. I started the new markings at the bottom of the original ones. The pattern (and this is seen in the pattern picture) has you make the tucks essentially on top of the bust. For a more fitted garment having them sit under the bust brings the dress in where an empire line would sit.
The other modification I made was to stitch the pocket bindings onto the fabric with one side folded out before folding it out and top-stitching it to the dress. I top-stitched two lines, one on the inside of the binding and one on the outside edge.
Overall the dress is simple but well finished. All the seams/edges are finished with bias binding except for the side seams which are French seams. Despite all that it was still a quick sew and I used less than 100m of thread.
I’m happy with the resulting dress and would make it again. I do need to actually wear it some before I need more in my wardrobe but I’m hopeful I will.
A couple of weeks ago I was in need of a distraction and figured that a big sewing project would keep me busy for a while. I’d bought the fabric and notions for this coat (Robson by Sewaholic) when I purchased the materials for the kids ones so I was ready to go. I was anticipating that it would take a while to sew as it had a number of pieces, bias binding on almost all the seams and topstitching as well. Plus there are 16 buttons to sew on at the end.
I sewed it in 5 days – including tracing the pattern and cutting the fabric. It was really fun to sew. I think the fiddliest bit is getting the neckline all lined up and stitched – there are a lot of layers of fabric. Luckily my machine had no trouble getting through it. I did run out of bias tape. 12m was enough to do everything but the sleeve seams and cuffs. I ordered more of a similar bias tape to do those and as they are not likely to be visible unless I turn it all the way inside out I’m fine with them not quite matching.
There are lots of little details involved in the coat and the pattern is pretty good at spelling them out as you go. I did change the order of the pattern steps a little as I sewed all the bits that needed stitching, trimming, turning, pressing and topstitching in one session after I did the interfacing so they were all ready to go when it came time to attach everything together. This was the welts for the pockets, the epaulettes, the sleeve tabs, the belt, the belt loops, the collar. I didn’t but should have also done the stormflaps as well. My bias tape was white so there was a bit of switching around threads to get the colours matching but I’m pleased I made the effort as it’s nice and neat on the inside. The coat is unlined so it’s making a good layer for sunny days (in fact I wore it all day at EYF last weekend) and I think it will get a good bit of use over the next few months.
I’m aiming towards a wardrobe that includes more handmade items that I actually where. Given that I wear t-shirts and jeans on most days I thought I should probably aim to have some handmade t-shirts in my drawers. I’m aiming for some knitted ones and some sewn ones.
The Renfrew Tee is by Sewaholic, the pattern was one of 4 I purchased by them last year and I’ve been happy with all of them. I cut the same size for the Tee as I did for the Thurlow trousers and the Hollyburn skirt in view A but with the sleeves from view C. It’s turned out a good fit though a bit looser than most of my store-bought tees as the fabric as minimal stretch. I then proceeded to make a second one. The only modification I made between the two was to use a smaller zigzag on the neckline as the first one is a bit more obvious than I’d like.
The fabric I used is from Girl Charlee UK. I purchased it late last year when I found it one sale while browsing for other things. The fabric is soft and was easy to work with. I used a size 70 stretch needle for sewing and had no problems. I have leftovers as I was only able to buy in units of 1m so will have to have a think what else I could use it for.
First up I’m just going to say – I have no photos of this fo. The skirt is black and the lighting horrible so you’ll just have to imagine it.
I’ve been doing some re-jigging of all our wardrobes lately. The kids are growing out of things and I’m trying to work out what bits of wardrobe work for me at this stage of my life. I’ve got plans for several sweaters to knit, tops to sew and I’ve been working out what else I need. One thing that I don’t have but do feel that I need is a mid-weight skirt for year round wearing. I’d seen the Hollyburn skirt pattern (by Sewaholic) several times as it’s been out for a while now and this is the pattern I chose.
The pattern suggests a mid-weight woven fabric. I’ve used a black linen. I’d debated between linen and twill and navy and black. I’d originally decided on navy twill (black twill was not in stock when I was buying fabric) then changed my mind completely as I was about to check out and got black linen instead. I’m glad I did as the linen is drapier which is better for the knee length skirt I chose.
I’m making view B of the pattern with waist tabs and buttons (slightly less boring on the black). There are good sized pockets in the skirt which is handy for when I don’t have a bag with me. I shortened the skirt a bit – it’s about halfway between the length of view B and view C and is now actually knee-length on me. I changed the method of zipper insertion but it’s essentially the same result. I top-stitched the waistband at top and bottom and top-stitched the double folded hem.
I’m happy with how the skirt turned out, it was a faster sew than I expected which is great. I expect I’ll sew another one – maybe navy twill next time. And I expect I’ll get a good amount of wear out of it.
My second attempt at this pattern is much easier to get on and off and still fits well. The fabric for this one is a cotton lawn and was a bit easier to work with than the previous version. No changes from the last time other than the size so just some (not great due to weather) photos today.