PatternsPosted: September 6, 2020 Filed under: Uncategorized 18 Comments
I haven’t started any more sewing but have been having a gentle sort out in my work room. I no longer want the patterns below so if anyone in the UK would like me to post them any (Or all!) of the patterns shown please comment.
They may or may not have been used at some time but I’m fairly confident of all pieces being in the envelopes.
The supplies for my boilersuit have now been gathered, fabric dyed, and I’m ready to start. I just need some sewing enthusiasm. Anyone know where that can be obtained?I
EDITED TO SHOW THE REMAINING PATTERNS
Thelma…. PetPosted: August 27, 2020 Filed under: Boilersuit, Independent Patterns, Merchant and Mills | Tags: Boilersuit, Independent Patterns, Merchant and Mills 24 Comments
If you are familiar with the old tv series The Likely Lads you will know that Thelma is always followed with ‘pet ‘ so I had to include it in the title.
This Thelma is a boilersuit. I really wanted a boilersuit after seeing the wonderful Zoe Laughlin in hers in her tv series. She always seemed to be so ridiculously happy and comfortable I knew I had to join her, and when I saw the Merchant and Mills pattern I was hooked.
I bought the PDF and I have to say that there were lots of pages to print and stick together. Lots. If that’s not your thing then shell out that little bit extra for the printed version. I imagine it will be fairly impressive as the attention to detail in the PDF was good. I have no complaints – all the bits joined up correctly, and the written instructions for construction were excellent – if I could consistently recognise right and left I would have had no trouble making this up at all.
I was determined to make this up from stash. No problem with fabric as I found a lovely chocolate brown baby cord that despite being very soft I thought would be good to use, but I needed 16 buttons! I had little hope of finding that many of anything matching despite having a ridiculous amount of buttons. But you have to check….
I did find a set of 16 but they were too light and a bit pink so I was about to chuck them back in the tin and dropped them. That was when I saw that the back of the button was a perfect fit for the job! So, if you can’t find the buttons you want check the backs. This has happened in the past but I wasn’t thinking about that when I was searching.
I found the necessary interfacing in stash, and sufficient cotton odds and sods for the yoke facings and pocket bags so I was good to go.
As I said earlier the pattern was beautifully drawn, no problem matching notches or anything like that. I cut a size 14 top and graded down to a size 12 trouser section without huge difficulties. I did actually pay attention to the instructions so I could report truthfully. Had I not trimmed off the wrong side of the fly at one point I could honestly say I had no difficulties at all but the truth is that any difficulty was of my own making. The size was pretty much exactly as expected having checked the pattern information.
I was thrilled when I finished this, and decided to take it with me when I visited my sister last week so she could try it. She looked great and absolutely loved it (although her other half wasn’t so sure). It stayed there.
The plan is to make another very soon. And hopefully I will do so without trimming anything I shouldn’t.
I did pretty well from her – I came away with a poncho/action blanket(Google it – it’s hilarious) that she had crocheted. Good deal all round!
I’m struggling to get to grips with the new WordPress editor so I apologise for the bits after this. I’ve tried in vain to delete. Feel free to ignore 🙄
A quick, happy projectPosted: August 10, 2020 Filed under: Life | Tags: Life 14 Comments
Sometimes you get an afternoon when you could probably be doing something useful ……. but don’t want to. I had one of those yesterday. I had also been dredging around a dressing table drawer and regretting that I couldn’t find a brooch I wanted. I confess to owning a lot of brooches so this is not a rare occurrence.
Flash of inspiration! I would make a gizmo that could be hung on the wall that I could pin all the brooches to do that they could be seen and enjoyed – even when I wasn’t wearing them.
It probably took less time to sew the piece of velvet onto a calico backing, stiffened top and bottom with a couple of flower canes cut to size, d-rings as hanging loops, than I had spent searching for that elusive brooch.
The whole thing is now on the wall and I have enjoyed looking at each individual brooch and enjoyed remembering it’s history. Most have been gifts over a very long time, some from dear friends who are no more, some were my mothers, others given for birthdays or Christmas from The Management or my daughter – but all very precious (though not necessarily valuable).
The very best thing is that now that they are visible I am so much more likely to wear them. Isn’t that good use of an hour on a Sunday afternoon?
Lousy picture taken on my Kindle. Sorry.
I have finished the other project I was seeing but that needs to have photos taken, and it needs to be cooler! 😎
Not to be knitted againPosted: August 3, 2020 Filed under: Knitting, Purl Soho | Tags: Knitting, Purl Soho 17 Comments
Not the pattern (which is great) but the yarn. This is its third – and definitely final time – of being knitted and I think this may be a winner.
I started knitting this at the start of lockdown using yarn that I was gradually pulling out from a jumper in a style I liked – I just didn’t like it in this yarn as it seemed a bit limp and lifeless. The yarn is Rowan – I think felted tweed?- and I adored the colour which was described as Avocado. I made another version of this jumper which I finished back in February and have enjoyed wearing but I have been brave and gone a size down for this one.
The previous jumper (second yarn knitting) is Backbone , and I was surprised how long ago it was made (I’m struggling to link this in the new WordPress thingy but the url is
The first time the yarn was used it was made into the distinctly unflattering Harriet. URL here
I loved the idea of this cardigan but felt ridiculous every time I wore it. For about five minutes before I took it off.
So, you can see why I never want to knit this yarn again! I wasn’t prepared to discard/recycle it because it had been fairly expensive (as Rowan yarn is) and bought at full price because I loved the colour. It feels good to have reused something I liked but was not currently making use of (and also felt productive in this strange time). Time will tell if I’ve got it right this time but I’m optimistic as it felt better right from the start. It’s still too warm to wear this at the moment so I’ll have to wait and see.
I am still shuffling around the house doing bits and pieces – some of it is even useful. I have a sewing project well under way so I should have that to share soon.
Stay happy and healthy 😀
Decode Zero Waste ShirtPosted: July 15, 2020 Filed under: Decode, Independent Patterns, Zero Waste | Tags: Decode, Independent Patterns, Zero Waste 27 Comments
Well I finished this shirt well over a week ago (closer to two) and have been waiting for The Management to put it on for photographs. I’ve finally given in and you’re getting flat pictures. Sorry.
The kit arrived from Danielle Elsenor at Decode complete with fabric and buttons, booklet to explain the process, and an A3 poster of the design.I couldn’t wait to start but knew I would need to concentrate with this.
This was just a trial in stash fabric to check I had it right before I cut the very special hand screen printed fabric from Danielle. The pattern PDF looks different to most as you get the lines only – not the gaps. Much less paper wasted in printing but it’s a little confusing until you move your brain into the right place. Simple once you’re there but rather than taking the option of drawing the pattern right into the fabric I drew into the pattern paper cut to the correct size. Just as well. I made a really silly error and needed to do a bit of paper rearranging and sticking.
It’s great when you settle the piece(s) onto the fabric and they are just like a jigsaw – but with huge pieces. Even better is the fact that there are no odd shaped pieces of scrap left over. The way the pieces are organised to fit is genius. There were elements I wouldn’t have come up with myself (like cutting the sleeves down the middle and fitting them together to save space round the sleeve head) but will be looking at when I next use my own patterns as I’m sure some of the ideas here can transfer.
The shirt was easy to sew together, and everything fitted together with ease (great pattern cutting Danielle). It really didn’t take long to sew at all. I tried it on before the buttons/holes were done but sadly this is just a bit too oversized for me despite thinking it would be right. It fits him perfectly. Sorry you can’t confirm that 🙄.
The pocket is almost invisible in this print, and the fact that the sleeves are split doesn’t really show at all . In my opinion this is a winner.
I will definitely be looking more closely at my patterns to see where I can reduce waste even if I can’t go zero waste with all of them.
Strange timesPosted: May 3, 2020 Filed under: Decode, Independent Patterns, Knitting, Life, Purl Soho, Zero Waste | Tags: Decode, Independent Patterns, Knitting, Life, Purl Soho, Zero Waste 17 Comments
These truly are strange times. I’m fairly happy being restricted to house rules but I’ve had one or two dodgy days so have enormous sympathy for those who are finding this difficult.
I’m still keeping pretty busy, lots of projects that have been planned for ‘ever’ are rising to the surface – but like many people who can sew I’m making scrubs for the NHS.
I know there have been queries as to why they are so short of scrubs and saw an excellent explanation by a doctor on Facebook today. As she pointed out (and I confess hadn’t occurred to me) anyone in the hospitals who would have previously worn their own clothes is now wearing them as their own clothing is unlikely to cope with the 60degree washes deemed necessary. Makes sense. There was more to it than that but that was the heart.
Anyway, I have been using a zero waste pattern which has been shared by Danielle Elsener of Decode. It might take a little longer to sew than some scrubs but is elegantly fitted into the fabric to create the garments without the tons of scrap you get from some patterns. The pattern is available here. I’m not able to spend all day sewing like I did in my past, nor so I want to, but if I can contribute to help the medics I’m happy to do so.
I’m also started on a new jumper – the second incarnation of the Purl Soho Ribbed Raglan Pullover. The yarn is from a jumper I made way back in 2014 and blogged here. I always loved the design but this yarn knitted up a bit lacking in substance, it always felt a bit feeble. As a result it hasn’t been worn much so I’m unravelling it quietly in my work room out of the way of The Management – he gets unreasonably upset by me pulling out something he knows has taken a fair time to knit. I already know from the little I have got done so far that I’m much happier with the way this is knitting up.
Between sewing, knitting, gardening, and general domestic dark arts my time seems to be very well filled. Add to that yoga and art classes using Zoom and I’m sorted. It will be good to get out and see friends again – I think The Management will be happy for me to have another victim to hug.
The other thing I’ve been doing this week is sharing crosswords long distance with Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. She has been starting them in Sydney and then sending me photos of the grid and clues to see how much I can do. Between us we’ve been doing pretty well, and it has made me feel much less isolated. Who knew that I would gain this from blogging!
Overlooked pattern #1 finishedPosted: April 16, 2020 Filed under: #Overlooked Patterns, Style Arc | Tags: #Overlooked Patterns, Style Arc 24 Comments
Well things have got very strange since my last post. I wish I could say that I’ve been exceedingly productive in lockdown but sadly I haven’t. I’m not unhappy being confined to barracks – far from it, I’m actually quite comfortable with it. But not sewing.
I started well with this project. Fabric dug from deep stash, pattern traced, cutting out done. And then everything stalled. Even when I tried to make real efforts to go into the work room and get stuck in I found other things to do.
Well, eventually I ran out of pencils to sharpen and other mindless things to do and DID get stuck in. What was my problem? This was not a difficult task.
I know many people are off by the sparce instructions in Style Arc patterns. That doesn’t bother me at all – pattern cutting training did have it’s benefits – even if cutting patterns isn’t one of them just now😂. The picture given by Style Arc is more instructive to me than the written instructions.
Anyway, all was going well, and I got them to a trying on point before putting in the pockets. I’m so glad I left the pockets until later as these were too big. I cut the 14 which matched my measurements most closely but after my alterations I know I want to cut the size 12 before I try again. What do you think? (Photos taken on my kindle so they aren’t magnificent).
The fabric isn’t brilliant, and I really should have interfaces both pieces of the shaped waistband (inside and outside) as I can see it’s buckling a bit. Despite this I’m pretty happy with these and will certainly try again in a better fabric. I have some rather lovely linen in mind…..
I’m being led by the nose here but I really do like the blouse/top shown on the pattern illustration (see last post). I was sorely tempted to buy it during the Style Arc Easter sale but reminded myself of the whole reason I’m doing these ‘overlooked pattern’ posts. It doesn’t look a million miles away from the Style Arc Toni dress pattern which I have so I might get round to adapting that rather than buying another.
So, one overlooked pattern down and off to choose the next one. There just might be something holding that up but more on that another time.
Stay home, stay safe.
Overlooked pattern #1Posted: March 22, 2020 Filed under: #Overlooked Patterns, Crochet, Independent Patterns, Stashbusting, Style Arc | Tags: #Overlooked Patterns, Crochet, Independent Patterns, Stashbusting, Style Arc 20 Comments
In common with everyone else life here has been a bit frustrating of late. I’m finding it very difficult to settle to anything at the moment and as a result there’s really not a lot getting done. It’s taken a while to decide what pattern I’m going to start with – there were just so many patterns to choose from!
The eventual choice was the Style Arc Teddy Designer Pant. I’m very sorry but I’m afraid they really should be ‘pants’ and that will be how I refer to them. I think the first time I saw these made up was in Ann’s blog – The Compulsive Seamstress . This was back in March last year, so this is a fairly recently overlooked pattern by comparison with many I have. Back then I knew that I had some linen that would work beautifully for this pattern but I’ve dredged deeper into stash to find something I’m not feeling too precious about. I love the shape these trousers in principle ….. but I’m not certain how I will feel about wearing them.
The pattern has been traced, and the chosen fabric ironed. The fabric is a polyester lightweight suiting which was sold to me many years ago as Trevira. Judging from the way it has creased in storage it should take the front pleat creases well! I found a suitable zip, which I will shorten to the desired length, in stash and I know I have plenty of light grey thread and the required interfacing so I can crack on when I’m ready.
In addition to planning this (OK, it didn’t take too much planning once I’d chosen the pattern!) I have been learning a new skill. When the wonderful Fadanista came to visit Bewdley she was wearing the Stitch Diva Anais jacket. I had admired this previously from her blog posts so it was wonderful to see the actual garment.
I had no idea how Tunisian crochet was done – but isn’t that what the internet is for? Armed with the pattern and the online instructions I made a start. The yarn is Hayfield chunky with wool (80/20) and was very nice to work with. As I be no idea how well I would get on with this new technique I thought it wise to us a yarn that could take a bit of punishment! As it turned out this wasn’t quite as difficult as I expected and whilst I know that there are one or two imperfections no one is going to see unless I point them out.
This was an absolutely engrossing project – every spare moment I had I was hooking away like a demon! As it was chunky yarn it grew satisfyingly quickly too. I thoroughly enjoyed learning this, and now have a fabulously warm layer to wear when I can shed my winter coat but still need some help. Will I be making another? Erm…
Stay safe, and keep sewing!
A bit of unselfish sewingPosted: March 12, 2020 Filed under: Jackets, Style Arc, Unselfish sewing | Tags: Jackets, Style Arc, Unselfish sewing 21 Comments
I don’t sew for other people any more. At all. No exceptions ….. apart from family.
When my naughty little sister came to stay a while back she managed to make off with some sports gear I had made but I prevented her from liberating my orange Stacie jeans jacket. But only by promising to make her one of her own. I knew I had some suitable denim which I bought years ago in the Birmingham rag market – a very lucky find – in my stash so I could even clear a bit of space by doing it. She even approved of my choice of Apple green. Hurrah!
I spent a bit of time making it look all pretty on the inside (like the leopard jacket) using the leftover lining from my Patrones coat. Sadly I forgot to take a picture, and even the finished picture I took wasn’t a particularly good one but I’m afraid it will have to do. You’ll have to take my word that the innards looked very nice.
The Management was up in Northumberland last weekend so he was able to deliver it, and she has since confirmed that it fits (we basically have interchangeable wardrobes these days so I was confident it would) and she likes it. Phew.
This is the fourth Stacie I have made now – there’s the orange, the black, the (fabulous) leopard, and now the green – which got me thinking about how often we use patterns. I don’t think I have many which are better used than this but I have many still waiting for action. It’s very easy to get carried away when you see a fabulous garment that someone else is blogging and buy the pattern with every intention of making it post haste ….. and then life gets in the way.
So ….. I am going to set an intention here to use one unused pattern a month for the rest of this year. Anyone want to join me?
Express lane socksPosted: February 23, 2020 Filed under: Knitting, Ravelry, Socks | Tags: Knitting, Ravelry, Socks 12 Comments
Sometimes you just need to knit socks – or is that just me?
I scored a lovely ball of Paintbox yarn at a charity shop on a recent stay in Malvern. This was in a basket of mixed balls but clearly hadn’t been opened/used and at £2 seemed like a good buy.
I’m absolutely committed to knitting toe up socks as my grafting skills leave much to be desired! Being a bit lazy I decided to use my usual Lacery sock pattern but transfer the lace section from Express Lane to the pattern. Both patterns are free on Ravelry, and though I chose to use my familiar pattern I can’t see any difficulties with the other.
The lace pattern was sufficient to maintain an interest, but not so complicated that it wasn’t easy to memorise. I’m really happy with these socks, although the pattern may be more obvious if I’d used a plain rather than tweedy yarn.
My sock drawer is looking pretty healthy now but I can’t see a time when a new pair won’t be welcomed 😉.