Tag Archives: sewing my stash

Another Blackwood cardigan

Yet another Blackwood cardigan by Helen’s Closet! This is the last for the moment, I think! Although there is a stray piece of French terry in the stash. That may or may not become my 5th iteration of this pattern.

What can I say? It’s just the perfect everyday cardigan for me. It’s almost like a uniform. Jeans, top, trainers/boots and a Blackwood cardigan. I feel comfy and ready for anything. I’m actually now starting to think of things to go with my Blackwoods. Better jeans? Dressier boots? A new pair of trainers? The perfect top?

It’s fair to say that the Blackwoods are taking over and transforming my wardrobe. In a very positive way!

The fabric

The fabric is the most delicious striped knit from Ray Stitch. I bought this during my pattern cutting sojourn this summer. It is butter soft and the micro stripes are perfection. They are the sort of stripes that make you go cross eyed when cutting. Thankfully they somehow work perfectly once sewn up. I think it’s because the drape of the fabric disrupts the continuous stripyness of the fabric.

Whatever the reason I love the finished result, although it was a begger to sew. The softness also means it’s super stretchy. Therefore there are a maximum of 4 stripes in the entire garment that match at a seam.

Also I’d bought a smaller amount of fabric, as I’d originally planned to sew this up into a t-shirt. But this was determined to be another Blackwood. So, I was playing chicken with the fabric to get all the components cut out.

Yay or Nay

Despite the failure in the stripe matching department, this is another Blackwood win!

It’s sooooooooo cosy, and goes with everything in my wardrobe. It’s already been in heavy rotation (as all my Blackwoods are) and garnered quite a few compliments.

The good thing about the micro stripes is that they hide a multitude of sins. Had it been a 1″ stripe, or similar, it would have been a disaster! Hurrah for micro stripes!


Jalie 2802 – Short sleeved dance practice bodyshirt

Jalie 2802 – Mens and boys skating bodyshirt

Jalie 2802 to the rescue again as Dylan’s old bodysuit was looking very shabby. But it had served a real purpose as this time now we knew exactly what he’s looking for in a shirt.

First up – definitely no poppers at the crotch. Secondly – short sleeves – dancing for 3 hours at a time is hot work. And I wanted to bring the neckline up a little bit.

What I changed

The first alteration I did was to attache the brief pattern pieces to the bodice pattern pieces so I could cut them as a whole front and back. I then added a half inch to the centre front seam to allow me to fit an invisible zipper.

I trimmed the allowance for the poppers from the crotch so I could just sew that as a seam.

And shortened the sleeve to elbow length – which is longer than the short sleeve in the pattern but a great look for dance.

And I added a bound neckline to encase the top of the zip to keep skin safe.

The confidence to mess with the pattern

What I’ve noticed in my recent sewing is a much greater level of confidence and willingness to mess around with a pattern to make it what I want. It’s not something I’ve had before and it’s snuck up on me. This shirt was a real turning point, and I’m also working on a pair of trousers for myself that I’m playing with before I cut a muslin.

I can trace this new found confidence back to the RayStitch pattern cutting course earlier in the year. Alice explained so clearly how to deconstruct a garment into its component pieces that a light bulb went off. I’ve still to draft a garment from scratch, but the knowledge is definitely filtering through into how I use commercial patterns.

Yay or Nay?

So….did my faffing work?

Absolutely. Dylan has thoroughly tested the shirt this week. We’re in the run up to the kids taking to the competition floor for the first time as a new couple. They’ve been racking up the practice hours. The shirt has stood up to the rigours of latin and ballroom without fail.

Dylan says it’s super comfortable and he’s been complimented on how smart he looks.

Definitely a yay for Jalie 2802, again!


Stash Stories – new season update

My Stash Stories for 2019 began in January when I set out some goals for myself to clear the seemingly bottomless pile of fabric in my sewing room.

The three key goals for my stash this year were:

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Made by Rae Geranium Dress – maxi sundress hack

I think the Made by Rae Geranium dress is one of my most used patterns.  I’ve made it for Summer several times over the years, and used it to make gifts for friend’s little girls.

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