Thursday, 31 March 2016

Snuggly Linden!

How-do folks! The weather is perking up and spring is on its way. I love this time of year, probably my favourite.

Today I am sharing with you my snuggly Grainline Linden sweatshirt. I have sized up by two sizes from my muslin. I wanted a slightly baggier top so I could use it as a jumper layer on top of shirts or tops.

The fabric is gorgeous, dark moss green with flecks of yellow, blue and red scattered throughout.  It reminded me of a knitted jumer I had many years ago in the same colour. I bought the fabric from Guthrie and Ghani, and despite having been sewing for three years this was surprisingly my very first online fabric purchase. I had always before been wary on not being able to feel the fabric before I bought, but this is truly scrummy, soft and fleecy on one side and sweatshirting on the other.

Construction-wise, I made this up on my overlocker! For many that won't sound like an achievement, but I am dancing at that! I am getting more confident on it now, though still nervous of how bloomin'  fast it goes! It's made the sweatshirt look nice and neat on the inside, which is pleasing.

My only troublesome area was the neckline: it didn't lay flat after my first attempt and I was worried that unpicking would permanently stretch the neck out of shape. Now the neckline is so tightly stretched that the jumper looks like it has little puckers around the neck probably due to the lack of recovery in the fabric.

So my question, experienced friends, is will I ruin the neck if I unpick again? I have enough fabric for another slightly longer neck piece. I probably should have cut the neckpiece on the bias, which I could try. What would you do.? It's been bugging me so badly it's sat neglected on the back of my sewing chair for over two weeks.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Sew ill and a sewing pledge!

Cough, cough, splutter, splutter. Hello sewing friends. So far this week, I have watched all my family fall like dominoes with fevers and colds. All five of us shivering and hot at the same time!

I want to sew, but any attempt to do anything other than sit very still or sleep sees me bimbling around, useless. Can you sew when ill? I managed before to sew bunting when ill, but that was just straight lines, and this fever has wracked my limbs and fuzzed my vision.

Instead I thought I would plan! I want to take part in the Vintage Pattern Pledge again this year, hosted by Marie and Kerry.  The idea being to actually make use of the vintage patterns rather than just looking at them! I particularly like the 1970s patterns I own, and have been riffling through my box of treasures in bed to help me feel creative and awake. Here are some that I would like to make up for this challenge...

Firstly, this: "style 4191", I love the shape of this, and think it would flatter me. It would be something easy to wear in Spring and Autumn. I was thinking a fine needlecord would work well, possibly one of the following.

This first is from Ditto Fabrics, bought years ago and patiently sitting waiting for the right project. For some reason it always loses out to another fabric. I love the colour, but perhaps it's too autumnal?

The other contender is this fun print picked up in the sales from Dragonfly Fabrics. Originally intended for my daughter, I actually rather like it myself! So that's pledge No 1.

Another make that's high on my list is this beauty. I first saw it on the Somnolent Daschund - really worth a look. I then scoured the internet until I found a copy!

The version I prefer is the dress-length with sleeves. I adore the maxi, but it would never get worn. Also being a shorty, I am never sure that style would suit me anyway. I have the perfect fabric for this: a turquoise viscose with be beautiful drape. It was bought at least a year ago in Fabricland Brighton, and was real gem of a find!

My only worry with this pattern is changing it to fit my petite form. I will have to change the length, the shoulders, and the bust, plus deal with a tricky slippery fabric. I am hoping that by documenting my plans I will force myself to actually carry them through at some point this year! So that's my vintage pledge two adult patterns and a bonus childs pattern to make up before December 31st!

I also want to make the Vintage Shirt Dress from Sew Over It. Not sure that counts as "Vintage" but want to have a play with it anyway, as I have seen so many great versions. Most notably Becky's from Back to Blighty. She's made four of these, and having seen one in real life, I would like to have a go at my own version.

No contender yet fabric-wise, but I want to shop from my stash. I fear I have too much fabric and no need of any more, which is really hard when I see so much temptation on Instagram daily. I am trying only to buy if I absolutely need to, having nothing at all suitable already. So far I have done very well, but then I haven't been to a blogger meet-up yet this year!

Wow, I feel a bit better for sitting up and focusing for a bit. What are your plans? Are you doing the vintage pledge?

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Happy Sailor Top In Pink

Hiya stitcher friends. My latest make is from issue 19 of Love Sewing magazine. It is the Sailor Top by the ever talented Marilla Walker.

It's such a cute pattern, and I really love the shoulder gussets. They are a great detail and they would really shine if they were colour blocked.  There are also many fabulous stripey versions of this in blogland and on instagram; but, I never seem to find great stripey fabric myself.

Instead this is an Art Gallery knit called Orni Incandesence. The quality is top, but this fabric is pricey: £18 a metre in most places. I am rather a cheapskate and would normally only buy fabric at that price if I literally worshipped the design! So, I was very lucky to be given this fabric by a newbie quilter who had bought it not realising it was a stretchy jersey (as a thank you, I have given her a great book on getting into easy quilting).

So, one evening I felt inspired to use it for this pattern.  Now, this isn't like me; normally when I have expensive fabric I agonise over cutting it out and put off sewing it for fear of screwing it up! This time, I just cut into it and started sewing. It was only halfway through I started to question whether I should have trialed this with a cheapie knit first. Yes, I should have, is the answer!! I fear however I may now be spoilt for using cheaper jersey.

It's fine, but not as neat or as pleasant a sew as if I had had a practice go first. I struggled with some of the instructions, and had to do a bit of unpicking! The instructions have you set the sleeve then sew up the side seam and sleeve in two parts to avoid getting in a mess at the underarm; with the awkward seam allowances catching in the seams. I just could not do it!  At one point I had unpicked so many times there was a massive hole under the arm! In the end I just had to abandon and come back a few days later with fresh eyes.  I must have misunderstood something because it didn't come easily!

That aside, the finished top is great: nice colour, interesting shape. A real win. I have had so many compliments wearing this top out. Even total strangers have told me how great this top is: made my day and my week! I just wish it came over better in the pics.

Will I make more? Maybe, but the difficulties I had with the instructions have really put me off. Having said that, it uses very little fabric and the resulting top is really fun; I just need to get my head around that underarm seam! In the end, I'm happy with finished top, and feel confident and comfortable in it, and that's what counts, right?