Tag Archives: patterns
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! 😉
When I bought the yarn for my Harbour Island cardigan, I chose the yarn before the pattern and so, as you do, purchased way too much. With small folk in the house this is never a burden, so I had a quick look through Ravelry and realised that the Langston pattern was perfect.
I have knitted this little cardi before and was thrilled with both the knitting of it and the end result, so it was a no brainer to cast on it again.
This time I decided to knit it in plain stocking stitch without the cables. I wanted a quick and easy knit that I could work on whilst watching a movie.
The cardi had it’s debut outing on a girls night out to our new fave Italian restaurant, La Corte in Leyland. Leyland isn’t renowned for much other than it’s automotive history, and certainly not for it’s nightlife, but La Corte is a welcome addition to the town. And a great use of the long defunct old police station/court house. If you’re in the area I highly recommend a visit!
Button was given the choice of where she’d like to go and this was it. Although the cardi was still missing it’s buttons at this point, it was the perfect topper for a cool but sunny summer’s evening.
This is super little pattern and I highly recommend it.
….and the living is busy!
So much going on here. The kids are on holiday from school now for 7 weeks. Already we have a playdate with friends and sleepovers at grandparents planned. A week at playscheme will be a good break for all of us, as will spending the last week with friends in Bedford. It’s hard to believe but when they go back in September Button will be in juniors.
Needless to say everyone is tired. Boy threw the mother of all tantrums this morning and after 3 hours (I kid ye not) of yelling and stamping and tears and throwing toys around the place he’s finally asleep. Button is enjoying the respite as much as I. Things will settle soon after a few days of chillin’.
Husband and I are shattered as, despite not completing the reno on this house, we’re thinking the best option might actually be to move!
I know….it was totally outta the blue for us too. But our current home is teeny tiny with a garden the size of a postage stamp. After a recent visit to our friends in Bedford and their half acre garden, Button would stand at our bedroom window wistfully wishing that we could knock the fence down between us and our neighbours. Add in that we have need of a home office and a dedicated sewing room and only one small room that could eventually be argued over and we decided it’s time. Trying to sew, eat and run a business from the kitchen table is getting old! We’ve spent the last few weeks looking at everything on the market that remotely fitted the bill. We think we may have found the ideal candidate. There’s another interested buyer so we may lose out…time will tell. I’ll let you know as things develop.
So, as you’d expect, there’s not much creativity happening here.
A little knitting…..
This is Brooklyn Tweed’s Longfellow by Michele Wang which I’m knitting in Drops Alpaca in Navy (colour 5575) for Hubby.
There’s also a quilt to be layered ready for hand quilting:
And a new bag kit that I received as a birthday gift from my in-laws:
Mine will be red leather.
That should keep me occupied over the holidays. I’m hoping to get a little time at the machine too. I’ve two lots of fabric for shirts for Boy and the yellow blouse is going to be remade for Button.
I’m planning a version of her Liberty blouse, this time with a pleated front as per her request.
I think it will suit her more than me!
I also have a couple of makes that need photographing. Perhaps we’ll have a day of nice weather soon and we can get out and about with the camera.
Priority for the next 7 weeks, though, is picnics and playing in the park. Reading and drawing. Visits to the zoo and museums. Playdates and pyjama days. Pretty much taking the days as they come. Hopefully without too many meltdowns! Either theirs or mine!
So posting will sporadic…I’m sure you’ll understand. In the meantime I’m off to do some colouring with a small girl. I’ll see you soon.
POSTED IN: craft projects, dressmaking, fabric, knitting, life in a Northern town, my family and other animals, patterns, yarn
Despite the unusual 30+ degree heat here last week I managed to get the silk prom dress sewn in plenty of time and delivered on Saturday morning to a very happy neighbour. She popped round last night on the way to her prom to let me snap a couple of quick photos.
As I mentioned in my last post the pattern is BurdaStyle 12/2011 #130 and I made it in silk crepe backed satin in Royal Blue from Beckford Silk. I sewed the dress with the matte crepe side of the silk as the right side of the fabric. We both agreed it gave the dress a more elegant look.
As usual the instructions from the Burda pattern were ‘interesting’ and so I made some of the construction up as I went along!
As the silk is very lightweight I wanted to put as little weight as possible in the seams so I finished them with a ‘stitch and pink’ edging. French seams would have been beautiful but ran the risk of being simply too bulky and heavy. As this is an occasion dress that won’t get a great deal of wear, I’m not concerned about the seam finish not holding up to wear and tear.
The above photo shows the inside of the armhole which is gently held in place with herringbone stitch which catches just a couple of threads of the main fabric to hold it in place and is virtually invisible when you look at the finished dress.
The neckline facing and hem were hand-stitched in place, this time with teeny tiny slip stitches. I wanted them to look almost invisible from the outside…I think I succeeded.
When Katie collected the dress on Saturday morning it looked less than stellar on the hanger.
But…we’d had three fittings and I was confident that all would be well once the dress had been to the dry cleaners for a professional press.
I was right!
Being ultra critical there’s still a little wrinkling on the seams, but only us in the know will notice that and, let’s be honest, all eyes were on Katie, not the seams!
And, of course, the demure front of the dress hides a daring secret at the back…
I lengthened the neck tie, which threads through a casing at the neckline of the front bodice, to nearly 3 metres long to get this dramatic effect.
Hello m’dears. I’ve been absent for what seems like ages and thankfully this time it’s been down to having fun rather than coughing like a badger!
Last week was my birthday and Hubby took the week off work and we had a lovely time. Monday evening we celebrated with the family and the rest of the week we pootled and had outings and rounded the week off with a lovely Italian dinner and rather too much champagne.
This week I’ve got my nose to the grindstone. My neighbour has her prom a week from today and I’m making her a gown. I thought I had a lot of time….but, in typical fashion, I’d got the dates wrong and need this finished by the weekend!
I’m making her this BurdaStyle gown sans the rosette.
Her fabric is this beautiful silk crepe backed satin in royal blue from Beckford Silk:
This is the first time I’ve purchased from this company and I’ve been really pleased with the levels of customer service and the quality of this fabric.
The colour is saturated and whilst the fabric is, of course, a bear to cut, it’s a joy to stitch and feeds through the machine with no shenanigans. For which, in my current time constrained manner, I’m eternally grateful.
I’m sewing the medium weight silk for this dress and my preference would have been the heavier, but 16 year olds have definite ideas so who am I to argue?
Thankfully I’m on schedule (yep…I have a schedule for this one…no room for slippage on time) and I’ve just inserted a beautiful invisible zip…hence the time for a quick coffee break and a quick pop in here to say hello.
I’m off now to start on those pleats. Wish me luck…I’ll see you on the other side!
Finally, finally, I’ve done some sewing for me. The sewjo has been on the missing list for far too long where I’m concerned, but last week it returned with a vengeance.
I’d been toying with buying the Sutton Blouse pattern from True Bias
Saving pennies wasn’t the only consideration; the sizing of the Simplicity pattern meant that I could get straight to sewing with minimal fuss. Aside from the time taken to tape the Sutton PDF together, I’d also have needed to do some grading as I fall outside their size range at the moment.
It was a complete no brainer!
I’ve made them both up using the hemline of version B and the sleeves of version A without the cuffs.
The first version is made up in a poly georgette from Abakhan that I bought ages ago from their oddments bin. I swear I didn’t pay more than £5 for this. In fact £2.50 is lurking in my head. I really must get better at recording this stuff. It was a beast to sew with…a very slippery customer…but is lovely to wear and the perfect fabric for this top.
S1660 is a really easy sew and, for once, I did things right and checked my measurements against the finished measurements and cut my size accordingly. The only adjustment I made to the pattern was to add 2″ to the length. The neckline is a bit closer on me than the diagram, so I shaved 1/2″ off the neckline on the second version. I think I need to shave at least another 1/2″ off future iterations as you’ll see.
The back has this cute overlapping v-neck and slight gathering into the yoke. The sleeves are cut as one with the body.
This is such a quick sew. Even with the fiddly fabric this was sewn in an afternoon.
Which was why I quickly cut out a second version from a fabric I’ve had in my stash for For. Ever! Christmas 2012 to be precise!
It’s a wonderful fabric to sew with, but be warned it creases almost as much as linen!
These pictures show how fabric choice influences how a pattern turns out. The poly georgette is one of the recommended fabrics on the pattern envelope. The voile is possibly just a wee bit structured for this blouse, but I still think it’s quite successful.
Summer tops are scarce in my wardrobe at the moment so both of these tops are in very heavy rotation until my next project is done. I’ve got Butterick 6024 cut out and ready to sew.
Who in their right mind knits a cardigan for a 7 year old in Rowan Lace Weight?
Well, I’ve never claimed to be in my right mind!
And to give credit where it’s due, I took Button yarn shopping at John Lewis and this was the only yarn she would give the time of day to.
I love a girl who knows her mind. Expect, of course, when her mind is telling her that 7.30pm is too soon to go to bed. Then we’ll beg to differ!
But back to the knitting. Fledgling is the small person’s version of Hannah Fettig’s much loved Featherweight cardigan. I loathed knitting every single stitch of it! It’s laceweight knit on 4mm needles and is a slippery, pesky, tiresome knit.
But look at it! It’s worth every hateful stitch.
It’s the perfect throw on topper for cooler spring days.
It goes with most of her wardrobe (if we ignore the One Direction and girly superhero stuff…which I usually do (sorry Nana!) but Button beelines to, and who am I to argue?).
And it passes the Button wearability test. Which is always the most important one.
I must, at this point, insert the caveat that this hatefulness is purely subjective because I loathe and detest knitting laceweight on (relatively) big needles. The pattern itself is delightful. So much so that this is my second time out with this pattern. The first incarnation, in white, was a foolish project born of hope triumphing over experience. And common sense. It didn’t last long enough to be photographed before being destroyed by a large and immoveable stain of unknown origin.
This version is holding up to the trials of small peeps. It’s been worn several times and is still intact. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll won’t have to knit this again until she grows out of it!
A girl can hope. Right?
POSTED IN: finished projects 2015, knitting, my family and other animals, patterns, yarn
Congratulations Katy. Please drop me an email with your home address and I’ll pop this in the post to you.
Thank you to everyone who entered the competition and the debate. I’ve really enjoyed the conversation.