Sunday, 1 March 2015

Solja sweater and another Mabel skirt

This is the first time I've made a yoked scandanavian-style jumper. 

This is the Solja by Anna Maltz from Pompom quarterly magazine. I really like this magazine.  It's A5 size and comes beautifully wrapped which feels like a real treat.  At £9.50 I think it's good value.   There are usual several patterns I would like to knit, articles on all kinds of wooly topics and a sweet recipe! 

Image result for pom pom quarterly

I've got my eye on the cardigan on the cover of this quarter's issue!  I knitted the second size which is quite roomy (I have a loose tension!).   I reduced the sleeve length by an inch and they are still a bit too long!

The body has a little lace repeated pattern.

The sleeve was supposed to have this pattern too, but I just couldn't be bothered to try and work out the pattern among the increases on the sleeves, so I knitted them in straight stocking stitch.  The yoke is easy to knit.  I just changed the colour choices.  The wool is Navia Trio, Faroese Shetland wool. I bought it from Island Wool, the colours seem to have changed and the pink, maroon and mustard don't seem to be available any more.   I was worried that it might be itchy, but it isn't at all, it really is very comfortable for a 100% Shetland wool.

I'm wearing the jumper with another Collete Mabel (number 7!).  This time version 1, though I lengthened it by 3 inches (too old for a proper mini I'm afraid).  This was some pretty cheap and grotty ponte roma (really I'm trying to find some plaid ponte but this was the nearest in a dogtooth).  It's a reasonable fit and I like it with thick tights and chunky ankle boots.

Just in case you have noticed I only blogged a jumper three weeks ago, no I'm not a superfast knitter I've just let my knitting pile up a bit waiting to be blocked, and so they seem to be appearing thick and fast. 

I'm rather glad February is almost over, it is a difficult month for me, and the weather is so gloomy at the moment, an excuse to get in a lot of sewing!  I'm in the middle of the Cascade duffle-coat sewalong; I've just cut out the Walkaway dress and a Linden sweatshirt, so I'm a busy girl.  Roll on next weekend!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

McCall's 6696 Shirtwater number 2

This is my second attempt at McCall's 6696 and generally I'm happier still with the result (first one blogged here).  My last version was a bit baggy on the waist and this time I graded from a slightly generous 14 1/2 to a 12 at the waist.  This made it look very angled on the pattern, but it seems to have worked.

I took out my usual 1"from the bodice length as I have a high waist.  What I love about this pattern is that it has a C cup size, without having to do a full-bust adjustment.  It is really fitted, but feels comfortable.  I made the belt loops this time, and I do like it with a belt.

What I forgot to do is to take 2" from the back gathering as I did the first time, so it is a little "puffy" but not too bad.

The fabric is the same as my bruyere shirt, but in the burgundy colourway.   There is an olive colourway too, perhaps I'll get some of that too.  I love this fabric.   Its great to sew, soft but with some structure.

I think the other thing I love about this dress is how neat you can make it inside.

I used French seams throughout, and this was my first time using French seams for the sleeves.   I wasn't sure how this would work, but it went well and wasn't much more difficult. I missed out the pockets, which I don't really use so that the side seams were neat.

I'm pleased with this dress (though a short-sleeved cotton dress isn't that seasonal).  I'll be making at least one more version, this time in liberty carline tana lawn (the purple colourway) which I got for the bargain price of £6 per meter from Standfast and Barracks in Lancaster.  It will be thinner, so one for more spring like weather.
I'm enjoying a few days off over half term and taking a pattern cutting class on trousers (more later), so lots of sewing fun and challenge!  Hope you are having some sewing fun!

Monday, 9 February 2015

The Cravat-necked sweater; a bit of vintage warmth

Time for a bit of knitting.  This is the Cravat-necked sweater from Runway Knits.  It is a very simple sweater, just stocking stitch and rib, and I would say is a pretty easy knit for the knitting beginner.    I bought my book second hand for a few pounds on Amazon.  The have a copy for 79p at the moment.

The cravat is knitted separately as a sort of ribbed rectangle and then just sewed on.  The only difficulty I had was setting the sleeve cap which was a bit square shaped and has left the shoulder a bit puffed up.

I knit the size 35", which should work out at 3" of negative ease (though I knit rather loosely and so I usually do size down).  I took one inch out of the bodice length as I have a high waist.

I love the  shape giving you such a fitted waist and I'm pretty happy with the fit.  I am wearing it here with my Butterick 5391 skirt and I wore this outfit to work today with a black jacket.

I love this wool.  I knitted my sweater in Sublime Extra Fine Merino DK and it is lovely.  So snuggly, soft and warm.  I had this sweater on during the dog walk today and I had to take my coat off because I was so warm!  The cravat, being a high neck makes it even warmer.  This wool is a delight to knit with and has excellent stitch definition if you like that pronounced look.  I realise I look a bit like a sweater girl here!  I guess this style definitely accentuates your assets!

Sorry about the poor quality photos, and the rather odd lines (which aren't there in real life), but I think Tess is trying to say she is bored waiting for her walk!

I knit quite a lot when I'm infront of the telli (I hate not having something to do with my hands).    Other knitting projects are on my Ravelry page.  I might well knit this one again in the future, perhaps in a mustard colour.  Are you knitting anything at the moment? Thanks for your comments, it is lovely to hear from others.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Sewaholic Robson Coat

My second coat this winter.  This time the Sewholic Robson Coat.  I have to admit that yet again I got sucked in by a sew-along, rather than this being a garment I either love or need, and I have to say that I feel pretty ambivalent about the finished item. 

The sewalong was held by Rhonda, but it turned out to be more a number of tutorials rather than a sewalong which took you logically through all the construction.  This meant there were still bits which puzzled me about the construction.  I think this ended up to be the most challenging garment I've made, and I'm not really sure it was worth it!  The sewalong ended in December.  I spent most of my Christmas 2 week holiday sewing it and the fact that I've only just finished indicates how much work there is in this coat.  I did take a break because I actually got fed-up of it.  This all sounds a bit negative I know.

I cut a size 12, grading to a 10 at the waist.  I followed Rhona's suggestion to make the sleeve cap bigger, because my upper arms often need the space, however, I think this was a mistake.  You can see there is too much fabric in the upper arm, and as for the sleeve length ......

I reduced the sleeve length by 1.5" and they are still far too long.

 I'll have to keep my hands in my pockets.

One of the reasons it takes so long is that every seam is bound by bias binding (pretty insides though).  Because the sleeves are wool, I lined them.

This meant there were lots and lots of layers to fit in the bias binding!  You can get the idea below.
You can probably tell from the photos that the yoke pieces would have been much better if I had interfaced them as they stick out a little floppily.

There are bit I am very pleased about.  There was lots of top-stitching and generally I was very pleased with the result.

The collar fitted well and the epaulettes are cute.  The wool looks lovely with the gabardine. 

The coat was only time rich. it cost very little.  The light sage gabardine was only £5.99 per metre and I used 3 metres.  The wool was cheap from Abakan and was in my stash.  The bias binding was probably the most expensive part, you need 12 metres!  It's wearable, but I'm not excited!

So have I learnt not to get pulled in by the lastest sewalong!  Not at all, I'm afraid I've already bought my fabric for Grainline's Cascade duffle coat.  Yes, another coat, I must be a glutton for punishment, but I've always wanted a duffle coat, and it's a lovely pattern (not that the pattern is available in the UK yet!).    So is it just me or do you get distracted too!!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Lace Camas Blouse

Presenting the Camas blouse from Thread Theory, which is described as "the unrestricted comfort of a t-shirt and the put together elegance of a blouse". 

This isn't really the kind of blouse I would usually choose, because I prefer a more fitted look.  But what attracted me was the opportunity to use some stretch lace in my stash on the shoulders and yoke.

The pattern is a pdf (yes another one, even though I really do hate all the extra work!).  The yoke was easy to fit and it gives a nice neat finish inside.  I used the black jersey in the inside yoke and lace on the outside.  Because I was using un-lined lace I didn't follow the instructions to hide the shoulder seams in the yoke, because they would have shown through the lace .

I cut a size 12, but found it just too baggy, so I took another 5/8" in at the waist for a more fitted look.  The other major change I made was to raise the neckline by 1" as the original would have been too low for me.

This was a fairly straightforward sew, although the placket is fiddly to fit, being so narrow!  You need to use lots of pins to ease around the curved neck (I used stretch fusible interfacing, which I don't think was necessary, non-stretch would have done the job and been cheaper).

I didn't manage to get a neat finish at the hem edge of the placket, you can see how it has sort of bowed rather unattractively.  It's difficult not to get stretch when you are adding a placket to a stretch fabric. 

Rather than top stitching the placket as per the instructions I stitched in the ditch as I thought the placket was rather narrow to top-stitch (plus I'm not sure how neat I could have got the topstitching on jersey).  I didn't make button-holes, choosing to sew the buttons through both plackets as the blouse easily pulls over my head.

I like the blouse out with jeans.  It can be worn tucked in, but if I'm going to wear it like this then I'll have to remove the two bottom buttons because they are too bumpy tucked in (you can just see this in the first photo).  But here it is to give you an idea.


I don't think I'll make another Camas, but I love the contrast lace trim and so I will be looking for another pattern which offers this option.  The other thing I loved was the cotton jersey fabric.  It is a really good weight, warm and buttery.  It's lovely quality at £9.75 and I used 1.25m.  The fabric comes from The Cloth House, which is fast becoming one of my favourite on-line shops (for quality fabrics as its not cheap).  They send really good size samples which cost £3.50 for 5, and when you order the fabric you get a tag with washing instructions.  I'll be getting more of this jersey in the cream and the grey.

I've had a hard week at work, so I've really appreciated my sewing down time.  I'm in the middle of a Robson coat and a wool jacket, so slower more challenging projects. 

We have had a little snowfall, though it didn't last, beautiful on the hills though, and I leave you with a little Cumbrian scenery.


If you watched Wolf Hall last week, you may have thought you spotted Rosie!  Couldn't find a photo but the dog in Anne Boleyn  entourage bore more than a passing resemblance (although a neater hair cut).  Have a wonderful week.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Lady Skater Seagull dress

This is my second Lady Skater dress from Kitchy Coo.  Its a very straightforward pattern.  I cut a size 4 which is pretty much identical to my measurements, and this is pretty much straight out of the packet.

The fit is pretty good, although it's only when I see the photos that I think the style makes me look pretty busty!

I got the fabric from the Village Haberdashery, who have some funky knits (though this one is sold out now).  When I bought it I did think it was more of a duck egg colour, and it isn't a true grey.  What I don't like about it is that when stretched the white backing shows through.  You can probably see this from the neckband in the photo, where it is clearly lighter in colour.  It also isn't as stretchy as the other pontes I have used and the neckband could have done with being a little longer.

I also think I should have been a little more careful about seagull placement!!  I didn't really intend to have a flock placed just on my left-boob!

I made the short sleeve version because I wanted to wear it with a cardie in winter and I thought the short sleeves would be more comfortable, and this is indeed a comfy dress.  I would definitely recommend this as an easy to make, easy to wear pattern.

I've got lots of sewing planned; another tailored Gertie Jacket, another McCall's shirtwaister, a Camas jersey blouse, a crepe colour-blocked dress, a Deer and Doe Sureau dress, Ginger Jeans, to list a few.  I have all this fabric waiting and so I am desperately trying not to buy any more fabric or patterns until I've made at least 12 garments from my fabric/pattern stash!

What I also want to do is to try some new skills in 2015;

a lapped zip
more tailoring including pad stitching and using horsehair
welt pockets
making covered buttons
flat felled seams
attaching belt loops
adding horsehair braid to a hem
inserting a double ended zip
lining a skirt vent
making a waist stay
sewing a bias-cut garment
get more confident sewing with silk
Make a pair of jeans
Make a bra and pants
Make some really well-fitting trousers

I really want to improve the fit of my garments.  There are too many in my wardrobe where the fit isn't great, especially too tight in the bust.  I have got to crack the full-bust adjustment rather than just trying to put a little more fabric in the seam.

So I'm joining in The Little Tailoress' Fun with Fit series.  We are going to make a sloper using Butterick 5627, so I'm hoping I'll learn a lot!     Do you have any crafting plans?