Hook, Line & Sinker

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Burdastyle culottes 104 2/2017

I’ve really fallen for this pattern.  It’s been made in three different fabrics so far and I love each & every (very different) one.  The pattern is  culottes 104 from the February 2017 Burdastyle magazine.  Made late last month for Daughter No2 to take on her holiday to Madeira, she chose a linen viscose blend new to the stash bought from Fabric Godmother earlier in the year.  It was advertised as khaki, but was far more brown when it arrived, so I didn’t want it for me.  However, Daughter No2 was happy with it.

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The innards are all overlocked, but I used the sewing manchine for the construction.  Unlike the two versions made for Daughter No1, this one has the original front fly zip, belt loops and long tie belt.  All the elements work on this one.  All I eliminated was the back flap that hints at a pocket there, but has none.  I might add an actual pocket to another version as it’s usually handy to have a back pocket for your phone.

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The construction was pretty straight forward, the facings and fly zip guard construction is the same as another pair of Burda trousers I’ve made hundreds of times so the instructions didn’t phase me as they seem to have done for some other makers of this pattern.  I made the 36, but ended up taking the waist in so much it probably ended up being a 32!  I graded out to the 38 over the hip and then back to the 36.  The crotch depth was lengthened by 1cm.  Daughter No2 is pretty tall and the finished length was perfect.

island 1 She’s having a fabulous holiday exploring Madeira and eating her way around the island!  She is definitely entering the right profession, food is central to her day!  I am going to have to put Madeira on my list of places to visit, her photos have made me very keen to do my own exploring.

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Front details.

In addition to the culottes, I rescued a left over piece of green linen from the scrap box and made the shorts version as well.  There was enough on one piece for the front and back, and thankfully I found another piece for the pockets, facings and turn-ups (they aren’t supposed to be separate but I had no choice…).

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Green linen culotte shorts

It was only when the shorts were 99% finished that I realised that it wasn’t a trick of the light, or my tired eyes that made it look like there were two shades of green on the shorts.  OOPS!!  The other piece of green linen wasn’t the same!  Oh dear, I hope it looks like it was supposed to be like this, a design feature!!  The perils of using scraps I guess!  I’m very slowly working on reducing the stash of fabrics, both whole pieces and those pesky scraps and left-overs.

 

Making Me-Made-May Relevant

Sounds like a tongue twister, doesn’t it?  When I decided I’d do #mmmay17 I didn’t just want to do my usual, “wear as much made by me clothing as possible”.  Because there’s not very much in my wardrobe (excluding undergarments) that I haven’t made.  I needed to step it up, make it a worthwhile challenge for me.

So while I will wear as much clothing made by me as possible during the month, the decision was made to identify gaps (excluding undergarments!) and to try to fill them using stashed fabric, scraps and left overs, and my re-make/re-cut bag.  The first item identified was a nice pair of pjs.  Mine are a bit mix and match, not exactly what I’d call “nice” pyjamas.

I dug out the Carolyn Pajama pattern by Closet Case Files and then went diving into the stash boxes.  Out came a bright and rather mad handbag print poplin that I’d bought years ago to use as lining in handmade totes and small handbags.  There was enough left to make the short sleeved top.  To top off the slightly mad look (well, mad for me – it’s bright!!) a metre of pink chambray joined the bag print to make the shorts.

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I didn’t toile…  I’d cut the Morgan Boyfriend jeans a couple of weeks before to the 18, but in the toiling process realised they were far too big, I did not need to size up.  So this time I just went straight to the 16, did a small FBA on the top and went for it!  It all fits really well, by some miracle!

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Carolyn pajamas, top is handbag print cotton poplin, shorts pink cotton chambray

I didn’t do any piping, contrast stitching, ribbons etc.  There really didn’t seem to be any need.  The instructions are clear and pretty straight forward, the top went together in an afternoon, and the shorts followed quickly the next morning.  I need to get used to sleeping in a top with a collar, but otherwise I’m really happy with the result.  I did go digging again to see if there was anything else I could use – to make another pair!  We’ll see, there may be another pair with longer trousers in the pipeline.

I also decided I needed another short sleeved tee, with a scoop, rather than v-neck.  I emptied my jersey fabric box which is was pretty much full of small pieces, left-overs from previous projects.  I tried to find fabrics of similar weight and colours that went together well and came up with this.  I used the Birgitte tee that I’d changed a couple of years ago to allow for a contrast yoke, cutting the yokes and neckband in the ivory and the remainder of the pattern in the silver grey marl.

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Short sleeve Birgitte Tee with contrast yoke

It’s a success.  Really comfy to wear and the neckline doesn’t gape when I lean over or bend down – which I do a lot of on the allotment!  The neckline has been raised by 3cm to get this right.  I really need some clothes to garden in, some thing comfy and breathable and that doesn’t let people look down my top….  And pockets – lots of pockets!  That’s my next identified gap.  Gardening clothes.

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I know lots of people just use something old from the cupboard, but even though I may have made some of my clothes a while ago – I don’t regard them as being good for gardening in!  They’re still nice!  I might reach into my re-cut bag for this part, depending on whether or not the pattern pieces of what I choose fit on/in!

 

Silver Dream

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Burdastyle trousers and silk top

It’s good to be pushed out of your comfort zone sometimes.  I joined in with a Facebook Group sew-along that started in January where the challenge was to make 8 items using patterns already in your stash.  The idea, to look again at what you had bought and never got round to using.  Those poor patterns you buy on impulse because you like the cover, or you’ve seen someone online make it and you liked it but for some reason you just haven’t committed.

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It all came to an end at the end of April, and my 8th submitted item was these trousers.  The pattern is Burda 6689, I think I bought it about 3 years ago, intending to make Daughter No 1 a pair.  Needless to say we never got round to it, so it was the perfect pattern to finish off my collection of tops.  The fabric is from Fabric Godmother.  Thank goodness there wasn’t a stipulation that the fabric all had to come from the stash too, because I’d have lucked out here!!  Although, this is the only new piece I bought to complete the challenge.

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Gratuitous bum shot, you can still see the pockets through the fabric…

I initially toiled the 46, then realised, as usual, that it was too big.  After making the 44 the crotch depth had to be reduced by 1cm, crotch curves had to change (come closer to the body) and the back crotch scooped out a little more.  The crotch length in the back was decreased, bringing the waistband down about 1.5cm.  The inseams were taken in on the back only.  That seemed to work, the toile hung straight and there were minimal drag lines.  There was a hope that the final fabric, having more body than the toile fabric, would hang well and all would be good!

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The fabric itself is yummy, quite soft and subtle with a decent stretch.  However, I think it’s one of those fabrics that will lose colour on folded edges so although I ironed the front crease in well for the photos and first wear, I will not continue to do so.  I think I will end up with a nice pale line down the front of my pants.  I used a piece of left over Liberty city poplin for the pocket linings and inner waistband.  This stops the waistband stretching out of shape with wear.

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I love the back pockets, initially I wasn’t going to do them, but I’m glad I did.  I took my time over them, with the stretch fabric I didn’t want things going awry.  I basted and whipstitched and did all those things you’re supposed to do with proper pockets, rather than just whip my way though!  All the insides are overlocked, I could have French seamed the pockets but was worried about seeing the lines through the outer fabric.

 

(Click on the thumbnails to see full size images)

The finished trousers are pretty good.  I think I still need to work on the crotch depth/length though.  Might just be the fabric, during the day they definitely get baggier and looser around the bum area and I end up pulling the waistband up more.  The front still needs work too, that’s a job for the next pair.  Once I put them on I wasn’t so sure about the length!  I’ve been wearing floor skimming Birkin Flares all winter so these tapered pants floating high above my ankles feel a little funny.  So I unfolded the 3cm hem and dug out some wide bias tape.  I’ve attached the tape with a 5mm seam and used that for the hem.  So these pants are 2.5cm longer than they should be, I never thought I’d be lengthening a pair of Burda trousers for me!!!

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I love the colour of these pants, they go with just about everything in my wardrobe and can switch between casual and smart with ease.  If I don’t come up with anything else, I might even wear them to a wedding we have to go to in July.  I quite liked using only patterns from the stash, not including the Burda magazines, I didn’t think I had all that many – turns out there are plenty, and still some I haven’t used (let alone printed off or downloaded…..).  No more waste!!

For Me-Made-May this year I’ve decided to identify gaps in my handmade wardrobe and to finish them within the month, as well as to use more from my re-make/re-cut bag.  So we’ll see what I come up with!

 

 

On My Sewing Table 

Or, sewing plans interrupted and replaced with new, more exciting plans! At the beginning of March I made a list of the project I wanted to get through this month, using my free calendar/planner. Of the 7 planned projects I’ve done 2 & 2 are half way. But I’m not excited by them, they are just jobs to do. So I’ve got a new list!

Item one, the one that’s actually cut and in progress. I’ve wanted to make this top for a while and this weekend realised I already had the perfect fabric! The pattern is 105 from Burda magazine 2/2016. The fabric is silk satin and I’ve never seen anything quite like it before or since !

Item two is another top, this one from the original list, one of the half done projects because it’s been toiled and is ready to go. It’s Lekala 4286 & will  be made in a 70s polyester floral print with the biggest, brightest print  ever!

Item three is another Burda top, a pattern I’ve used before and really like. The fabric is cotton voile from Fabric Godmother about two years ago. Pattern is #138 8/2011.

Items four, five and six are culottes #104 2/2017! Following the success of the previous pair I found two pieces of fabric for daughter no1 and one for me!😇

Item seven uses this beautiful blue viscose I bought in Derby I think five years or so ago, time flies!! I’m making another Burda pattern, top #115B 8/2015, which is another that’s been on my list for a while.

And last, but by no means least, item eight is another top, another Burda pattern. This time it’s #103 from 2/2016, using a really pretty  bit of white broiderie anglaise that’s got a silver finish and grey jersey from the Fancy Silk Store in Birmingham.
So, enough to keep me busy for the next  ten  days?? 😉 Do you throw out your plans when things don’t really excite you enough to provide motivation to get them done? Or are you a good planner?

My Toasty Talvikki Sweater

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Talvikki sweater in quilted jersey

Sweater tops and sweatshirts have been all over my Instagram feed in the last couple of months, with loads and loads of Toaster sweaters dominating, just the way the Linden did  last year.  I bought the Talvikki sweater on its release with the Pulmu Pencil skirt to make for the daughters.  I figured this was the time to make the Talvikki for me, using the quilted navy jersey bought in South Africa when looking after my mum.

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According to the size table the 48/50 should be cut.  I checked the finished measurements and looked at others online before deciding it would be way too big on me, too baggy, and that was not a look I wanted.  So I cut the size smaller and it seems to have worked!  This particular version is straight from the pattern, I’ve changed nothing.

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The darts look fabulous radiating from the raised neckline and I love the hemline with split side seams.  The instructions are dead simple and the sweater makes up pretty quickly too.  I used the overlocker for all the construction, and twin needled the hems.

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Changes to be made next time…  If I find another lovely fabric to make another version there are two things I’d change.  The neckline on me is too narrow for the height, it could do with being 3-4 cm wider to be properly comfortable on me.  Then there is the length of the sleeves.  They’re a little too long for me, for now I’ve just turned them up like the model has in the photos (this should have been a hint..)  I will be taking my seam ripper to the hem stitching and shortening the sleeve by 3cm.  Unfortunately I forgot that I’d turned up the cuffs on the sleeves when these photos were taken!

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But there will be another one, I really like wearing my Talvikki sweater and have had compliments from friends and family which is always nice.  In fact, I’ve worn it so much that the fabric is starting to pill – not nice.  Now to find suitable fabric, but it won’t come from the stash, there’s nothing in there that’s suitable.  I’ve got a couple of tops to make next, and a pair of Morgan jeans that’s been sitting on my cutting table since the pattern came out.  I’ve got a lot to catch up on from last year!

 

Summer Dreams

Summer time is for pretty dresses.  Neither of my girls require any new dresses, this year or the next.  So what’s a frustrated fabricaholic to do?!  Sew for someone else, of course!  I decided I’d use up a bit more stash making a summer dress for my best friend.  I also used stash fabric for the toile, hoping it would work out pretty well and be a wearable toile.

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The Cami Dress from Pauline Alice

We decided the perfect dress was Pauline Alices’s Cami Dress.  I had the perfect summer fabric, bought from Croft Mill Fabrics last year, or maybe even the one before….  According to measurements, I needed the 38.  My friend has broad shoulders, so I knew there would be an adjustment needed there, I just needed to know how much.

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The toile, in a pretty floral cotton print.

The toile was made in a pretty floral printed cotton sent to me by another friend in America.  This is the same friend who sent me the Paris print and the grey plaid from the previous post!  She has a good nose for finding pretty fabrics.  The toile fitted pretty well , the shoulders needed to be 1.5cm wider, the sleeves needed a couple of centimetres in width and the waist needed to be one or two cm wider, for wearing ease.  I also needed to make the skirt longer, by 5cm.

The adjustments were quick and easy to make.  But, as I knew it would happen, my friend loved the fabric and wanted me to see if the toile could be made to fit better.  I changed what I could and added a false hem.  I also finished off the seams on the inside, neatening where ever I could reach.  I picked out some simple dark grey buttons from the button box to complete the garment.

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The toile, at fitting stage.

This is a lovely dress to make, it goes together nice & quickly.  The instructions are clear and concise, pattern pieces are on a good quality paper which is easy to tape down and trace from.  The only thing I would (and did) change, is to apply the collar before sewing the side seams.  It’s always much easier to sew a collar on with the garment flat, ie no side seams!

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Sewing the collar on before closing the side seams.

Best bit about the dress?  The pockets!  Best friend was chuffed to bits to find two decent sized pockets in the side seams.  She chose the buttons, after digging through all the blue/green/grey options, best friend found these little pink satin covered buttons.  Perfect!!

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The cherry blossom print on this cotton is just perfect for the dress.

The dress has recieved loads of compliments already, and I’m really happy to have made her something she loves and feels happy in.

 

Sewing Sleepwear

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Burdastyle pyjama top and self drafted shorts

Sleepwear is not something I make special plans to sew.  In fact, the last time sleepwear or PJs were made was for Karen’s Pyjama Party back in 2013!  The last theme on the Sewalongs and Sewing Contests Facebook Group was sleepwear.  To enter you had to make at least 6 items, not necessarily for one person.  You’ve already seen the kimono I made, so here are the rest of the items.  I used all fabrics from the sash, including trims and buttons.

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Starting with a pair of pyjamas for Daughter No2.  The fabric is a very cute Paris print cotton sent to me by a friend in the States.  She chose a pattern for the top from the December 2014 Burdastyle magazine, number 133.  It’s a short sleeve top with a deep pleat in the centre back to create a swing back shape.  There are 3 patch pockets on front.  I used the overlocker for making the pjs, it needed to be a fairly quick make.

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Pyjama details

I had hoped to make the cropped trousers from the same magazine, but there wasn’t enough fabric.  Instead I drafted a pair of shorts with elasticated waist and shaped hem.  Hopefully I will come across some plain blue or possibly lime green fabric to use for the pj trousers later on.  Daughter no2 loves the finished pjs, and thinks the top can be made for day wear too…

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Sleep masks, just because…

I even made a couple of sleep masks!  The shape and size was just guessed at.  The outside of daughter no2’s mask is cut with the little Parisian cafe tables featuring nicely.  It’s padded with a bit of left over polar fleece and lined with blue stripe cotton from one of the other half’s shirts!  I dug out the cute turquoise circle print bias binding for the edges and cut more of the stripe cotton on the bias for the casing for the elastic.  I made one for me too!  The front is the same fabric as used for the kimono, padded with more of the polar fleece and lined with the same stripe cotton shirting as daughter no2’s mask.  I found some pre-cut strips of chartreuse satin lining to use for binding the edges.  It looks great against the blue.

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The best part of the print was used for the sleep mask. She can drift off dreaming of eating pastries on a Parisian pavement.

Next on the cards was a new gown for Daughter No1.  She feels the cold easily and usually spends winter days layered in numerous jumpers, socks and a blanket or two – inside and with the heating on!  Shopping the stash again, we chose a grey brushed flannel plaid.  It’s lovely and snuggly!  I used a Burda pattern, 2661, that I’ve had for ages!

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Burda in cotton flannel

Making the 16 (it’s a kid’s pattern) we made the full lengthgown with shawl collar.  Daughter No1 is petite but she wanted the gown to almost be floor length, so I didn’t shorten it.  She recons it’s better to get wrapped up in that way.  How I managed to get all the plaid lined up is still a miracle! The piece of fabric must have been about 4m long, but narrow.  So the pattern pieces needed to be paid one below the other on a very long piece of floor.  Which I don’t have.  It made for interesting cutting out!  The overlocker was used for this project, no faffing around with seperately stitching the seams and treating the raw edges.

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Her favourite parts?  The deep patch pockets that hold her mobile phone and a few snacks with ease.  The shawl collar can be turned up to wrap around the neck and keep the chill out.  This is going to be so very well used this coming winter!

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Long and warm!

So that’s pjs all done for a little while.  I’ve got a couple of dresses to show off, but am still awaiting photos.  With the weather changing now and becoming a little more autumnal, I think the wait for photos of summer dresses might be a long one.  I might just have to use the few photos I took before delivering the dresses to their new owners.