The year of 98

FrontHi there, I have to admit my blog posts have been a bit thin on the ground of late. For some strange reason I’ve had very little to say, very unlike me!  This blog post is another one for the Calico Laine bloggers network and as such the fabric I have used is from their website.  This is the second time I have made this particular garment this month. I loved it so much I decided to make again, this time for my daughter.

The pattern is simplicity 1317, a variation of one top with longer length or cropped sleeves. On this version I chose double knit jersey in purple and slate (oh my, this fabric is so soft, I feel the need to keep stroking it).  When I decided to make it again I had a brainwave and in a moment of madness thought that I would add a little something by way of felt numbers on the front (I really don’t know what comes over me sometimes).  So I also bought a felt square in ash and the scene was set for garment number two.

NumbersThe top in it’s entirety is a complete doddle to make, I could almost do it with my eyes shut. I didn’t even look at the instructions this time (check me out). The whole thing comprises, front, back, two raglan sleeves (oh how I love love love raglan sleeves), neck band, waist band and cuffs. The biggest and most nerve-wracking challenge was the felt numbers (which my daughter decided on herself). I created them on the computer, cut them out and transferred onto the felt, which I then had to sew onto the body of the top with shaking hand!

ReverseOnce the sleeves have been sewn on to both front and back sections and seams are sewn, the neck band is then inserted.  Now with this, the waistband and the cuff, there is a serious amount of stretch required and a technique all of its own when pinning one to the other, believe me lots of puckers will ensue if just the right amount of stretch isn’t accomplished, I have to admit we did have words on more than one occasion.

There isn’t really anything more I can say, I think the sweatshirt speaks for itself, simple yet equally adorable in it’s own comfortable, makes-you-want-to-lounge-around-house sort of way……

Gotta love it!

A swift start to the year

Front Here we are again so soon, my second post in as many weeks (I can’t keep up with myself at the moment). So much to sew, so much to share.  This is my first post of the New Year and also my first post for the Calico Laine Bloggers Network (currently strutting around the room like a peacock).

I decided to kick the year off with a simple little ditty, us girlies can’t resist a new top or two in our wardrobe.  The pattern is Burda 8347, which comprises of four different tops in varying designs.  I decided to choose one similar to something I have seen on the high street in recent months (I browse the shops making mental notes as I go along these days).  The fabric is a cerise crepe from Calico Laine, it has a gorgeous feel to it, so soft and drapes beautifully. Collar

The construction was fairly simple and having only four pieces, I had it cut out in a matter of hours (I checked the instructions numerous times to check I hadn’t missed something. I am so used to having at least forty pieces to cut out these days I was left feeling the need to cut out the other tops too!)  The sewing started with the diagonal seam which goes from the neckline to the underarm, this was then top-stitched to give a little more detail.  Well, I had a brainwave and took it upon myself to sew delicate little flowers rather than the usual straightline (ever so cute they are too).  ReverseNext came the bust darts, shoulder seams and collar, which is attached to the neckline with a facing and hand sewn into place on the inside once the zip was inserted.  The back has two darts, one either side of the concealed zip.  The armhole edges are finished with bias facings which are cut out of the same material as the top itself.  I decided to stitch the hem to follow through with the stitching on the armholes.

All in all a lovely little top, easy to make and can be worn for various occasions depending on the type and colour of fabric used.  It was a speedy start to the year and has now paved the way for something a little more complicated for me next time, I haven’t had a serious head scratching sewing moment for quite some time…….

Tis the season to be jolly

FrontHere we are again my friends it’s almost Christmas.  I can’t believe how fast this year has gone. It doesn’t seem like five minutes ago since I was writing my blog post about the creations I made for Christmas last year.

This year I have to admit I have recreated a top I made last year because it was so comfortable to wear, looks good and it can be dressed up or down, to suit the occasion.   The pattern is Simplicity 1716 made from Bamboo jersey fabric which I bought from Calico Laine. Cowl Neck

Not much to say about the construction, 3 front and back pieces and sleeves.  The front has pleats at the shoulders to create the cowl neck along with the extension which laps over to the inside.  The back has a centre seam and neck facing.  The sleeves are set in but I decided to create little gathers at the cap instead, all extremely easy to put together (although the jersey did have a mind of it’s own and wanted to go in the opposite direction to me!)Shoulder seams

There we go, I managed to squeeze in a little blog post before I set off on my jollies later this week.  It definitely is the season to be jolly and this week will be no exception aboard the Queen Mary 2 taking in the sights of Brussels and Paris, I am wondering if I will have enough room in my suitcase for my sewing machine?! Failing that I have had plenty of tips about various fabric shops I can visit along the way.

Time to take a risk

Following my first achievement many months ago in what came to be a rather long and complimentary relationship between me and lots of knitted fabrics; I decided to make something knitted and fitted for someone else.  I had received so many compliments for my creations and also the various different fabrics I chose to use.  Whenever I wore this top my Mother in-law would comment on how lovely it was, the time had come to hatch my cunning plan (sneaky grin spread across my face).

The garment had been decided but I was unsure of the fabric, I decided to sit tight in the hope she would inadvertently point me in the right direction.   A few months later I made this top and following more compliments I became confident that this fabric would be the one.

The finished article ready and waiting

The finished article ready and waiting

I have to admit buying clothes (let alone making them) for other people is not a road I tend to venture down very often, it’s all about personal preference, style, colour etc, so you can imagine my turmoil (should I, shouldn’t I, maybe maybe not, what if I make a mess of it, what if she doesn’t like it?), the inner fight lasted for a while until I told myself to take a deep breath and do something out of my comfort zone and take a risk.

So the garment was created with shaking hands and put in a safe place, for this was to be a secret until Christmas 2012 – eek!  As it  turned out it was a great success and well received to my relief.   I have realised there is something very rewarding when making garments for other people, the personal touch cannot be replicated.   Having said that I am still quite self conscious about the whole thing and very nervous. So  I won’t be doing it again any time soon then you would assume…………..oh no, no, no, that would be far to easy, my next creation is for my husband  (my biggest critic)  watch this space folks!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Close up Front View_2Seasons greetings to one and all.  I decided to make my Christmas attire this year rather than combing the shops trying to decide what to buy.  The first top I made is from another “old” pattern I bought many years ago when I went through my first sewing phase.  I originally made this little halter neck 4 sizes bigger than the one here (oh happy days).  The fabric has a slight stretch to it, although the pattern doesn’t call for it.  It was really easy to make, the straps are basically made from a facing which extends down past the V with elastic around the inside at the front.  The back also has elastic and a centre zip and that’s it really, nothing more to say.  Close up Front ViewMy next creation is the second top off the Simplicity 1716 pattern, it comes in three different lengths with varying sleeve lengths too.  The fabric is a nylon lycra with sequins, many many many sequins.  These were an effort to sew, either my machine needle decided to skirt round them or at one stage it decided to tackle one head on and lost miserably, I had a needle casualty shall we say.  This top was easier than the first one to make, no zips, no gathers, nothing to give me any heart stopping moments.   There we have it my festive creations, one little backless number to wear on Christmas Day when my oven is on full blast and the other for Boxing Day when I will be enjoying a meal out with my family.  Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas, enjoy the holidays!Full Front View

Stranger things have happened

Front ViewWell, I am back in the game as the saying goes. Following my recent disaster(s) my sewing ability felt like it was hanging in the balance once again but I moved on swiftly to ensure I didn’t give myself too much chance to ponder.  This time the fabric caught my eye first, on a website I have recently started using. The descriptions are always detailed and precise so I know exactly what I will get when it arrives.

Gathers & Twists

The centre comprises of three separate pieces to create the gathers and twists

Still focussing on the stretch fabric I had an idea of the type of top I wanted to make.  I already have a pattern with a twist in the centre which I adore so I decided I wanted something similar. With the help of my friend Google I was on the hunt to find it. Finally I chose Simplicity 1716 which features 2 different tops/dresses, with varying sleeve lengths, just the job.

Part Front & Back

Upper front attached to the back, I didn’t quite know what was going on there

It was relatively easy to make, although a little baffling half way through when I had fabric dangling from the front and couldn’t quite decide what the purpose was. It was all a bit strange at this point but it all came together nicely in the end including the sleeves; I love how they fit directly on to the armhole and drape beautifully from the shoulder.

Sleeves & Centre

I love how the sleeves drape

There you go, all in all a productive weekend restoring my confidence and faith in my sewing once again.  Next I will be moving on to my Donna Karan inspired creation, it will probably be a wee while before I return!

Buy one get one free

Front View - V8390

Vogue V8390 with gathers

After my euphoric experience with my vogue dress, I seemed to come to a grinding halt where my sewing was concerned. I think the whole experience left me a little too confident and so I rushed head long into making a new dress which I thought would be a piece of cake……oh no, this couldn’t be any further from the truth, it fell spectacularly on its face and left me quite downhearted. But not a person to be put off easily I decided to venture on the safe side once again with some left over material and a pattern I had bought a while ago, Vogue V8390 was created. This garment was incredibly easy to make, it has gathers on the shoulders and along the right side. The left and right front are both double thickness and also overlap each other which makes it lovely and warm for this time of year. My second creation also made from left over material, is an old favourite of mine which appears a couple of times previously on my blog, this pattern is Simplicity 2364, a lovely top which again has a focus on gathers, this time along the side under the arms.

Front View - 2364

Simplicity 2364

This also has double thickness fabric around the neckline. I decided to make the yoke and sleeves in black to add a slight variation but mainly because I didn’t have enough purple left. There we have it, two tops to ease me back into the satisfying feeling that comes with creating my own clothes. What to do next, I have some new material on the way, should I have another attempt at the dress that failed or do I move on to a new creation that will be Vogue V1259, which incidentally is for advanced sewers, we shall see……