Tag Archives: patterns
I finally get to share with you a finished project that isn’t a pair of socks. Hurrah!
Last Wednesday the sun shone brightly upon budding trees and jolly daffodils, and the wee small boy and I took George to the groomers, then popped into a local cafe for a rather splendid hot chocolate.
It was such a lovely day. Especially as he’d terrified us all the previous week by being rushed into hospital and needing an emergency appendectomy. The spring weather was the perfect opportunity to wrap him in his new Iggy sweater and grab a few shots. We’re ignoring that the shorts aren’t the best match….they were just the comfiest on the wound area.
I wish that was the end of his medical adventures, but on Saturday afternoon he developed a nasty post-op infection and was back on the ward for another surgery on Monday. He’s home with us now, snoring his head off as I type, but we have daily hospital visits at the moment to change the packing and dressings on the wound, as they had to leave it open to avoid further infection.
It’s been, quite frankly, bloody awful. I wouldn’t wish the past few weeks on my worst enemy, let alone a small boy. Thankfully, today he seems to have turned a corner. We are hopeful that the worst is over.
So pictures of a smiling boy in the sunshine in his special request jumper are a nice reminder that this too shall pass.
He had a very clear picture in his head of what he wanted. Having browsed my patterns to find a shape he liked, we drew out some stripes to get the idea out of his head an onto the needles.
The original pattern is Iggy, by Sarah Hatton. Apart from the stripes, the only change I’ve made to the pattern is to knit it in stocking stitch, rather than reverse stocking stitch.
It’s a quick and easy knit and the details of yarn can be found on my Ravelry page.
Needless to say, I have socks back on the needles again!
POSTED IN: finished projects 2017, knitting, my family and other animals, patterns, yarn
Refurbishments continue apace. Being badly let down at the last minute by a plasterer turned into a blessing because the new guy we found is a gem. He came, he plastered, he hung coving, he went. He didn’t talk me into a coma, which has been my previous experience of plasterers. Already the house feels more like our home.
At 9am on Monday the decorator arrives. I have boxes of wallpaper and tins of paint up the wazoo. I’m starting to feel more than a twinge of excitement.
I hadn’t realised how much I would miss being able to sew. At the moment I walk into the room and touch the boxes and twitch to open them and unpack. The truth is I don’t exactly know what is actually in the boxes. There are books and patterns and fabrics and notions that have been packed away for the best part of 18 months. There are supplies for knitting, dressmaking, crafts and embroidery.
Honestly….it’s going to be like a satellite branch of Hobbycraft with a more than a little John Lewis thrown in!
I can’t wait.
But in the meantime the knitting is keeping me sane.
I’m knitting the Worsted Boxy sweater from Joji Locatelli.
You’ll recall her lovely Lemongrass sweater…this is another beautifully written pattern.
Admittedly, there are acres of stocking stitch to work, but this is mindless TV knitting at it’s absolute finest. The Malabrigo makes a wonderfully drapey fabric that will work beautifully with this style, and there is a cute short row shaping at the shoulders that adds a nice detail.
The back is already completed and I’m almost half way up the front. I can’t wait to have this finished. It the kind of easy to wear, cosy sweater that I need in my life at the moment.
Whilst I was winding the Malabrigo, I also took the opportunity to wind some wool that had been a gift from my friend Christian last Christmas.
These beauties are Buachaille by Kate Davies. I’ve long admired Kate. She is inspirational in how she turned a major illness that would have floored a lesser woman into a catalyst for a new and rewarding life and business. Her designs are so beautiful and her dedication to Scottish wool and knitterly heritage is exciting to me.
That said, I’ve not knitted one of her designs yet, which is pretty shabby on my part. These guys are destined to be The Goats of Inversnaid.
Goats! On a hat and gauntlets! What’s not to love? My friends have the best taste and know me so very well.
So that’s keeping me busy. I’ve also a little Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran awaiting turning into a quick hat. All my hats and scarves are currently still in boxes, and I think I may have mentioned that the weather has turned here. Whilst The Goats will be lovely, they’ll take me a wee while to make and the weather waits for no woman.
The wee man has requested a blue sweater with red stripes, so a quick trip was made to Black Sheep Wools this week for supplies. I’m not turning my nose up at the kids asking for things to be made for them.
Add in the ball of sock yarn that the Hubby located last week and I think I’m covered until the boxes start being unpacked!
My cameras are currently in the shop as I’ve been having sensor problems with one and managed to bend the prongs on the card reader with another. But as soon as they’re back I’ve got a cardigan that I made for Miss Button to share and yet another pair of socks that I’d completely forgotten that I’d knitted for the Mr.
Right…the babes are off to bed, there’s a gin and tonic with my name on it waiting to be poured, and The Hubby has a movie all lined up. There’s also a little more acreage of stocking stitch to be knitted. 😉
Yet more flamingos for Miss Button.
A cute summer dress that looks like polka dots from a distance but gives you a happy surprise close up.
It fastens with a side zip and cute halter neck. Elastic at the top of the back keeps it snug and modest. And no pattern matching is required!
Most importantly….it has the twirl factor!
I was astonished to get Miss B into this dress today. She’s been really reluctant to wear her handmade clothes recently. However we finally got to the bottom of it this weekend (thanks Nana!).
A girl at a school party had commented that she looked “awkward” in this dress!
They’re 8 and already the mean girl stuff starts! It’s horrifying and heartbreaking. She’s already having confidence issues, but this is the second time this particular girl has said something thats knocked her sideways. Last time it was that Miss B is “fat”. Please feel free to insert your own expletive at this point. I did!
Sadly the girl’s mother isn’t remotely engaged. School keeps a tight rein on unpleasantness, but still it sneaks through.
As someone who was bullied hideously at school I’m trying to arm Miss B with the tools to fight this nonsense. And reminding her how beautiful she is…inside and out, how individuality is to be cherished, and how the people who love her love her for the amazing person she is. Anyone else’s idiocy doesn’t count in our family.
Thankfully, she’s got enough personality to bounce back, as these outtakes show.
These are the Miss B we know and love.
Pattern: Newlook 6204
Pattern cost: £2.98 (on half price sale)
Fabric: Cotton flamingo print – John Lewis
Fabric cost: £10/mtr – I used 1.5 mtr.
The majority of things I’ve made this year (and my productivity isn’t high at the moment) have been woolly socks for my lovely husband. However I’ve also been sewing for Miss Button, but getting her to pose for pictures has been a whole other ballgame. 8 is the new 14! Small girls are so stroppy!
However, en route to a friend’s party at the weekend, she was in a good enough mood for a quick 5 minutes of photos, despite the overcast and gloomy weather.
She’s mad for flamingos at the moment so I couldn’t resist this cute and colourful retro Hawaiian flamingo print. This is yet another geranium top (my fourth time with this fabulous pattern, I think).
Oh she looks so very, very tired. Summer holidays can’t come quickly enough!
I’ll be honest that I made no attempt at pattern matching. And because of this I managed to squeeze this top out of a metre of fabric. I had to skimp a bit on the gathering of the skirt. We’ve reached a tipping point where I need to start buying a bit extra fabric for her. She’s growing so quickly these days.
Ah….that’s my girl!
As always the Geranium was a quick and simple make that gives great results. The simple lines really show off the fabric at it’s best. This is a sweet pattern for little girls and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Pattern: Geranium from Made By Rae
Pattern Cost: $10
Fabric: Hawaiian-style flamingo print cotton
Fabric Source: Fabrix, Lancaster
Fabric Cost: £5.95/mtr
I’ve made a start on the first of my planned TNT patterns, which is this BurdaStyle slim legged trouser.
The fabric I used is a 100% polyester crepe from Abakhan. I’m slowly edging away from polyester, but I’d booked myself onto a Sewing for Fun day at Stitchscape with Celia Banks, and new this was one of the patterns I wanted to work on.
I’d already cut them in a cotton drill but when I’d tacked them together for fitting it was really obvious there was a problem. It turns out the fabric was completely twisted on the grain. So I needed a replacement fabric. And fast.
It had to be navy and this was it!
Whilst it was a bugger to sew, it drapes really nicely and worked well in a pinch for the sewing class.
For the purposes of fitting, I cut without pockets or fly zip and did an invisible zip in the back seam. This isn’t my favourite style of trouser but I believe it’s a great way to simplify the pattern and work on the fit.
Ah…the obligatory derriere shot!
This clearly shows how flat I am at the back. I’m straight up and down with no waist or hips to speak of. This is one of the reasons I have such issues with RTW.
But I’m really happy with the fit at the back. I’m not sure I could get it much better than that.
The front is pretty good too.
All in all I’m quite pleased with these.
I think with a couple of tweaks they’ll be spot on. I definitely need to take the waist in at least 1/2″, maybe as much as 1″.
I also think that I need to drop the waistline by about 1/4 – 1/2″.
And I may scoop that front curve just a smidge too.
Finally, I’d like the leg to be slightly slimmer, as the next pair I make will be the 7/8ths length shown on the pattern and I like a more slender leg for that style of trouser.
But…these are a great pair of smart trousers and a very wearable toile! I’d definitely wear them for formal meetings (although those are few and far between) or, more likely, with a pretty top and my wedding heels (as here) for dinner out with the husband.
Now if only he’d book the table…..
I have finally dusted off the sewing machine and very nearly have two new garments to show you. This one needed quite a bit of work and a stern talking to!
Rest assured that scissors and expletives have been deployed and it’s looking much nicer now!
Between curses, I’ve also been narrowing down the possible patterns for tops for my proposed TNT pattern selection. As my daily uniform is jeans and a cute top, these patterns will, if I get it right, get a lot of use.
My criteria for this selection was that they’d be reasonably simple sews and would reflect the types of tops I chose in RTW. They also need to smooth over lumps and bumps whilst I work on getting rid of them, and be modest at the school gate. I just can’t deal with any garment in which I have to worry about flashing Father Gerry if I bend over to administer a hug or zip up a coat.
I’m fairly sure Father Gerry is grateful for this consideration.
Moving on! First up are popover shirts. I love, love, love a good popover shirt and this is the garment I wear most at the moment.
Newlook 6267 is pretty much perfect.
View A with bracelet length sleeves with a narrow cuff or elastic, and the back hem brought up to the same length as the front. In all the colours! I have several versions of this in RTW in my wardrobe and I love. love. love them! Honestly I could wear this and a pair of jeans all year round and be a happy girl.
Newlook 6267 is also a clone of a RTW favourite.
I had a navy RTW similar to view A, but with lace inserts rather than embellishments, and I wore it to rags with jeans and clogs in the summer.
As an aside, can I just say (again!!!!) that I do wish pattern companies would sort out their styling (bright orange and washed jeans….really?!) and their construction (that hem!) on their pattern envelopes.
Moving on again…I was inspired to purchase Newlook 6217 having seen Jane’s beautiful versions.
I’d been contemplating adding a woven tee to the mix and couldn’t resist. I’ll be honest that I’m not sure how this one will work for me, but I bought all of these patterns on sale so it’s not a great loss if this is a bust. And again with the crappy styling!
With the wovens out of the way I absolutely have to have a knit t-shirt pattern. I have two in mind. I like to be contrary in that way!
First up is Burdastyle’s Scoop Neck Layered Shirt.
I love this layered look although again it’s a bit of a departure for me. But I can see this working really well for cooler days when a tee on it’s own is a bit too cool, but a cardigan or jacket is too much. And its a great way to add some pops of colour to my wardrobe without scaring the horses.
Although the horses would probably mistake that necklace for a tasty snack and not be remotely perturbed by the top.
And last, but by no means least, is Cashmerette’s new Concord tee pattern.
I’m intrigued by the multiple cup sizes, but I was most swayed by a conversation at a sewing class last week. A friend of my sewing teacher has made it and only had to make the tiniest tweak to the side seams to get a perfect fit. She was astonished.
Also this has all the things I’m looking for in a tee pattern….scoop neck, shirttail hem, set in sleeves. So expect to see this in all the colours too. I think the v-necked version with a short sleeve would work perfectly with the Syrah Skirt.
And that’s a summer uniform that would get me out of jeans in a flash.
I am so late to the party with this review (see what I did there?). But if you missed other folks thoughts on the matter, then stick with me, because I think this is a super book.
I have a really big soft spot for Japanese sewing books and have to contain myself and not buy all of them just because they are so pretty. I do have a problem with them, namely a) I have to grade every single pattern if I want to maintain the proportions, and b) oftentimes the shapes are designed to flatter a more boyish figure. One thing I’ve never been accused of is having a boyish figure.
Stylish Party Dresses has some gorgeous patterns that not only do I want to make but which would fit my lifestyle and, I think, my figure.
So here are my best picks:
This is my absolute favourite from this book. I can see this in a navy silk, with matching cigarette pants and heels for a date night with hubby. Gorgeous. But it would also be lovely in linen over shorts for those hot summer days that we’re hoping to get.
A girl can hope, no?
I don’t know where the urge to wear a jumpsuit is coming from. I haven’t worn one of those since about 1994! But this is lovely. I’d make it in a plain solid with lace or sheer for the yoke/bow. And, of course, several more inches on the trouser legs!
This is just gorgeous. Again I think the hem could drop a couple of inches, but other than that, everything is perfect. Wouldn’t this be charming for warm summer evenings and dinner on the patio with friends?
I love this dress for dinner dates with The Husband. I’m not loving this colour, but change that and I think this has just the right mix of comfort, style and little details. I’m particularly fond of the shaped hem and the gorgeous sleeves. You could, of course, give it a straight hem…that would then make it quite a timeless piece.
Last, but by no means least, is this cute swing dress. Whilst I wouldn’t really consider this a party dress, I’d love it in linen with flats for the summer. It would also be cute if you shortened it a bit and wore with leggings in colder weather.
The pattern sheets will be familiar to anyone who has ever traced a Burda pattern.
Whilst I’m very much focussed on sewing basics for myself at the moment, I’m hoping to slip one or two of these into the mix too.
A girl can never have too many pretty dresses. Wouldn’t you agree?
I received a free copy of this book from the kind folks at Tuttle Publishing in return for my review. As always all thoughts are my own…and you know I call a spade a spade. For what it’s worth I’d happily pay £12 for this book.
The easiest part of this planning activity has been planning what I’m going to sew for my bottom half.
Mainly because I almost invariably wear jeans.
A TNT jeans pattern would be an absolute godsend. I usually wear skinny jeans, particularly in the winter because I tuck them into Uggs* for the school run and proper knee boots when I’m going out somewhere slightly more decorous.
However, for warmer days I’m keen to have some slim legged but not skinny ones that I can wear with a loafer or ballet flat, with a rolled hem as desired.
Once I’ve got the fit nailed at the body, straightening the leg a smidge shouldn’t be beyond the wit of man!
So far, so straightforward.
Good to go.
However, I’m also itching to branch out into a cropped cigarette trouser that I can wear with a sneaker and a loose top or sweater. I’ve been pinning this look for some time now but when I saw Victoria Beckham this week, well, it just about pushed me over the edge!
This is such a perfect look for my life. Casual but smart. Comfortable for running around doing school run, college, errands, etc. It’s takes the outfit up a notch from jeans.
Now, I’ve already got Burda 6985 fitted and a pair cut out.
Goodness only knows what size they are so I suspect the pair that’s cut won’t fit but it may be a simple fix. I’ll need to check. But again, it’s a really good starting point.
The good thing about this pattern is that I can also change up the details once I’ve got the fit nailed. I can make them with the fly zip and back pockets, or I can make them flat and smooth with a back zip. This latter option would be a really good way of getting some trousers into my wardrobe super quickly.
So that’s trousers sorted.
But I’d like to add some skirts into the mix. I don’t often wear skirts and want to change that up. The first thing I need is a maxi skirt pattern. With a simple t-shirt and sandals this would be a great weekend outfit for pootling around the house and barbecuing in the garden.
Again I can shop the pattern stash for this one. I have the Syrah skirt from Baste + Gather on my laptop.
This is absolutely the look I’m going for. And the waist construction on this is new to me so I’m looking forward to giving this a go.
And if I fancy something a little different, I quite like this one from Burda. It’s from the February 2016 issue of the magazine, which I actually bought. I don’t buy many Burda’s, but this one did catch my eye.
And finally… a chino/jeans style skirt. Shopping the pattern stash again.
So-Sew-Easy is a new to me pattern company, but I couldn’t resist this pattern. It’s just a classic chino skirt with some nice detailing. It’s got a reasonable size range (up to a 50 hip) but again I could see this in different fabrics with a simple tee and I’m good to go. Much as I’m loathe to get the legs out, I need to get as much skin in the sun as possible this summer, so expect to see this one come around as soon as the weather starts to warm!
So that’s bottoms done! It’s been a real eye opener. You really don’t need all the shiny new things to get your wardrobe organised. And frankly, once these are fitted, the sewing up for all bar the jeans is fairly fast and straightforward. Jeans are only time consuming because of the topstitching.
What do you think? Am I oversimplifying this, or could I be on to something?
*Oh Uggs! How can you be so bloody clumpy and yet simply the only boot to wear on the winter school run? How many years did I shiver through my socks until you I gave up the fight? Sigh…I long for loafer and sandal weather, but I did catch myself peeking at possibilities for next winter whilst at John Lewis yesterday.
My name is Evie. I’m an Uggaholic!
Sewing seems like such a distant dream at the moment. On top of the usual stuff, for the last 4 weeks at least one of us, and most often all of us, have been suffering from some sort of lurgy.
Flu, the proper, debilitating, put you on your back in bed for 3 days, sort.
Gastroenteritis. I’ll let you work that one out! Eugh!
And, drum roll, chest infections. That’ll be me. Of course. Because its a month with a date in it so therefore I’m due a chest infection. However we’ve got to what we hope might be the root of the problem, a massive deficiency in Vitamin D*, so I’m hoping as that is improved, my immunity will strengthen right alongside it.
I’ll be honest, I’m not even knitting that much because I’m so tired. I’ve been knitting the same sleeve on Lemongrass for what feels like forever, but is definitely weeks.
What I am doing is scheming as to what I’m going to sew with my new found guidelines. And I’m planning to get down with the TNT patterns. I’ve been sewing since Noah built the ark and still don’t have a TNT pattern.
Which is ludicrous. Because if I’m honest I could get through to Armageddon with probably 6 – 10 patterns and just keep sewing them in different fabrics.
So, I’m going to make a start on that and see where it takes me. I’m going to chose patterns that will be the bread and butter of my wardrobe. Which then will leave me time to be creative with the jam. Or brie. Or hot crispy bacon.
For the Husband
The Husband loves a good checked shirt. But even quite pricey ones don’t cut the yoke on the bias and it drives me nuts. And, because I couldn’t keep my mouth shut, it now drives him nuts.
Don’t get me started!
So, seeing as I’ve completely ruined shirt shopping for him, it’s time for me to put on my big girl pants and get him a TNT shirt pattern sorted.
The-rod-for-my-own-back shirt is on it’s very last legs. To be honest it should have been
shot turned into cleaning rags a while ago but he won’t let go until he has a handmade replacement. And as it’s 2 years since I made that shirt, (hangs head in shame) and I have a great length of fabric in the stash, I’m well overdue on this.
I have two options for this.** First up is to tweak the pattern I used last time, namely McCalls 6613.
I need to add a bit of length to the body and sleeves, draft a tower placket, and I think the cuffs look a tiny bit narrow, so would revisit them.
But I’m also intrigued to try a Bootstrap pattern and if I go down that route the pattern I’d chose is this Vado Modern Fit Shirt.
We’ll see which way he wants to go. But, this will be my first sewing project once I’m back on my feet. It’s his birthday in a month. A new shirt would be a fine thing, but I’m making no promises (you listening, Mr?! 😉 )
For the kids
I haven’t sewn for the kids in ages. To cut myself a bit of slack neither of them have complained. Which is possibly the only thing they’re not complaining about at the moment! That said, Button is keen to learn to sew so we have fabric for a project that we’ll probably work on over the Easter break. The fabric is awesome. It’s going to be fun!
I digress. The big issue I have with both of the munchkins is jeans. They aren’t particularly tall but they are mighty skinny and have both hit that “all legs” stage. It’s a RTW nightmare. Baggy waists end up so gathered to get them to stay up that they look bulky and are uncomfortable. Legs that are only just about long enough and so they grow out of them in no time.
Time for a good jeans pattern. The Titchy Threads Small Fry Skinny Jeans is the one I’m planning to try.
It looks like a really versatile pattern, with a proper zip rather than just a faux fly, instructions for reversing the fly for girls and a good range of sizes. It gets good reviews all over the interwebs, and it’s reasonably priced.
What’s not to like?
And the fun thing about making a TNT pattern for kids jeans is that they grow more up than out so for a while the only tweak I’ll need to do once the fit is sorted is to add some length.
Sweet! Or lazy? I’ll run with sweet, I think!
And whilst I on a shirt making tip, I’m going to crack the Ethan pattern by Sis Boom from my stash and fit this for my little man.
He has the same issue with shirts as jeans. Just soooooo skinny. Bless his heart. I swear you’d rather feed him for a week than a month, but he just doesn’t. stop. moving!
So it’s a start. Although with current productivity levels Armageddon or the Zombie Apocalypse will probably arrive before I fire up a sewing machine.
That said….if you have a great man’s shirt pattern or kids jeans pattern you can recommend, I’m all ears!
*Vitamin D levels in a healthy adult should stand at 80 nmol/litre. 50 is considered deficient. Mine are 12! It explains a lot.
**I do actually have more menswear patterns, but they are in storage at the moment. Under a pile of other stuff. I’m not even going there until we move house.
It’s a week in hospital and a plaster cast for sure if I try to liberate them!
I finally finished knitting the husband’s Longfellow cardigan and handed it over to my friend Liz today for seaming.
If you ever wonder if you love someone, knit them a cardigan in 4ply. If you finish it and can still look them in the eye, then they’re a keeper!
Knowing that I was on the home straight with that particular project I’ve recently spent some happy time online selecting my next projects and patterns. Whilst Liz and I chatted today I borrowed her swift and ball-winder (mine are in storage) and spent a happy hour converting skeins into jolly cakes of yarn ready and waiting to hit the needles.
Sadly it’s impossible to get a picture of them as it’s so heavily grey outside today. A typically northern day, but I’m just glad it’s not raining!
Now, back to the knitting. In no particular order of what will be cast on first we have:
This will be knitted in the leftovers Drops Alpaca from Hubby’s cardigan.
I do love my girl in a navy cardigan!
I’ve been looking for something cosy to pull on over a tee or shirt for school runs and park date and this really fits the bill. I love a good cable as you know and I’m enamoured with the unusual shaping of it.
I’ll admit it’s a bit of a risk shapewise…I’m not sure it will work for me. But, if it doesn’t, I’ll frog the yarn and reknit it into something more conventional.
Speaking of the yarn, I’ll be knitting Lemongrass in this gorgeous Malabrigo Merino Worsted Azul Bolita.
The colour has slightly more purple in it than I’d anticipated online, but the colour is so saturated and luscious that I can’t be disappointed with it. And the texture of the wool is sublime….slubby and soft and lofty.
It leaks colour like mad, so I’ll have blue hands whilst knitting it, but this is to be expected with kettle dyed yarn. It’s a price I’m very willing to pay!
And last but not least….
Winter is coming.
(GOTs pun entirely intended)
Recently over coffee Liz was knitting the most perfect pair of socks. I loved the colour. I loved the feel of yarn. Considering imitation to be the sincerest form of flattery, I quizzed her about the yarn and ordered a skein the same day.
It’s Manos del Uruguay Alegria in Tannat (A6729) and it is really quite lovely.
Hub’s is thrilled! He has quite bold taste in socks.
So…that should keep me in stitches for some time to come. And who are we kidding…you know those socks will be cast on tonight! 😉