Black Dolman

When I was at the first Cashmerette workshop last year I did a little fabric shopping and purchased some silk which I had no idea what I would make with. Jenny aka Cashmerette suggested I could make the Cedar Dolman top. You can either make the pattern with knits or wovens. I purchased the pattern and brought some cheap polyester black satin to make a test version. At the second workshop and with Jenny’s help I traced out the pattern on to trace and toile. That was February last year. I finally got around to making up my test version.

As the fabric was very sheer I decided I would try french seams for the first time. Why not try a new pattern and a new sewing technique on only your second time working with slippery fabric. Yes I thought I was a little nuts but doing french seams on this was actually easy to do. I cut my front piece on the fold so really I only had the shoulder and side seams to do. With a lot of pins it was easy enough to do. With the leftover fabric I made continuous bias binding and used that for the remaining raw edges around the neck, sleeves and bottom hem.

Modifications To Original Pattern

  • Cut the front piece on the fold
  • Added 4″ to both front and back pieces instead of doing the bottom band
  • Did french seams on the shoulders and sides
  • Used binding around the neckline instead of the neckline facing
  • Finished the hem on sleeves and bottom with binding

Yes it is polyester and I’m unlikely to wear it in summer but I love this top. The fit is really good. If anything I may bring in the shoulders in by about 1/2″ at the neckline but that is only a maybe. It doesn’t look to big and baggy but it is comfortable. Even in the polyester I was ok.

Will I make this pattern again? Absolutely!! I’m going to attempt it with the silk I brought. Woven cottons in summer, knits for winter. I’m sure it won’t be the last time you see me making this pattern.

Cassiy

 

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Self Imposed Buying Ban

I have put myself on a self imposed buying ban from buying fabric and yarn. The reason is simple I have so much yarn and fabric in my stash at the moment that I am running out of space for anything new. I have lost control of my stashes and to be honest I don’t even know what I even have anymore. It is time to stop buying more and start using more of what I have.

Yarn Stash

My yarn is currently stored in 4 places in my craft wardrobe, my regular wardrobe, a tub in my craft storage room and under my bed. Well I say stored some it is just dumped on top or shoved in a bag. Some of it is grouped together in a drawer unit into WIRES yarn which is 100% wool, cottons and other yarns but I don’t know the amounts I have in there anymore. As for the bags and tubs it is a mix of cottons, acrylics, half finished projects, soon to be projects, leftover yarn.

Some bags I don’t fully know what is in them. I can’t really remember where I put all the yarn I brought when I went down to Melbourne earlier this year. I think I have put them in a tub but I’m not sure. My yarn stash is a mess. I need to go through it all and actually see what I have. My wearable yarn tastes have changed so I want sort things out to yarn I will wear, what yarn I can use in gifts and take stock overall of what I have. There is no point in buying more yarn when I have perfectly good usable yarn on hand already.

Fabric Stash

My fabric stash is a little bigger. I’m just talking about the fabric I have upstairs which is mostly dressmaking fabrics (wovens, knits) and fleece scraps. I again have it store in tubs and in shelving units or on top. I do kind of have a vague organisation system of it grouped into categories such as knits, wovens, WIRES but the system has gotten out of control as I have added to it and just started shoving stuff in.

I have usable (from memory) scraps in the stash but I can’t see them and I don’t know how big each fabric is. Some fabric I’m holding on to even though I know in reality I am not going to use it due fabric tastes changing. I have lost track of what fabrics I have and what I don’t. Some fabrics I have projects in mind for, others I could use in projects if I only I knew they were there.

I haven’t shown my full stash of yarn and fabrics these are just a few pictures but as you can see I am not short of fabric or yarn. It is time to do a stocktake of it all. I need to need to know what is in my stash so that I can use it. It is something I have been thinking of doing for a while as I found myself trying to stuff fabric and yarn into empty places. Last Saturday I did find something in my fabric stash that I didn’t want which was a big silverfish!! No! No! No!

Beth (Sew DIY) is hosting a virtual “I love my fabric party” this weekend and it has come at the perfect time! You can read the details about her party but basically it is a chance for you to show your fabric some love by going through stash whilst joining in with others on Instagram at the same time using the #Ilovemyfabricparty for the weekend. It is up to you what you do during the party. You might organise it better, find ways to keep track of your stash. I’m going to use the party to see what I actually have in my stash. I might try to pair up fabrics with patterns, measure the quantities of different pieces, destash fabrics I no longer will wear or want. Get back in touch with my fabric. My sewjo has returned so I am itching to dive back into my stash.

I don’t have a time limit on how long my buying ban will last. I do have one exception if by chance at Frocktails next month I get discount vouchers to fabric shops I will allow myself to use them if I find fabric I absolutely love. My main aim with my buying ban is to stop all the impulse buying I am doing particularly online. It is time to put a halt on things and use what I have.

Cassiy

Baggy Pants

Confession I actually made these pants in May 2018 but I hadn’t actually got around to blogging about them.

I was after some simple pull on elastic waisted pants, a wardrobe staple. After going through my pattern stash I decided I would try Simplicity 1446. The pattern looked fairly easy and it was what I was after plain pull on pants. To top it off it had in seam pockets!!

 

Now to be honest I can’t even remember what size I traced out. I would have to hold up the pattern pieces to the pattern sheet to see which one I used. The fabric I used I picked up from a Spoolette’s fabric swap. It was a nice cotton so easy to work with. Considering it was “free” fabric it was great to test out a new pattern with.


After I finished them I knew they were too baggy. The waist was ok but the crotch area was very baggy. It didn’t stop me wearing them and I think I did get a lot of wear out of them last winter.

Sadly they developed a hole in the back centre seam. I put them aside and to be honest I forgot about them and other clothing got piled up over them on a clothes stand I have in my bedroom. Every so often I would do a clean up and see them but I never got around to mending the hole until May this year when I wanted to wear them again.

I don’t know why I put off mending things when it doesn’t take that much time, it was only one seam after all. Once I washed them again and then wore them on a weekend away I discovered with them so baggy the crotch seam actually caused a graze on my inner thigh. I hadn’t wore them since about June or July last year but between then and May/June this year I’ve lost some weight and I think that is why the seam caused the graze.

After washing them again I have put them in the donate pile. I would like to make the pattern again as the pockets were great. I’m not going to use the same pattern pieces as last time. I’ll redo my measuresments and look at which is the best size to trace off now.

Cassiy

Zipper Bags

Do you ever start a project and think I am really not meant to make this? Originally I had brought the 2 blue fabrics used on these bags to make reading pillows but silly me didn’t read how much fabric was required and I didn’t have enough when I started to cut them out plus I didn’t have the correct size pillow inserts. I also needed to make a 3rd gift from fabric in my stash. No dramas plan b I will make 3 Zip and Go’s, easy pattern which I have made before.

Zip And Go Pattern

I brought the zippers to match each bag, cut out the fabrics and realised I never had enough fabric to make the straps out of the same fabric. Again no dramas all the fabric had white on it I’ll just make the straps out of white calico from my stash which I did. The Zip and Go pattern has clever instructions where you measure the front panel and slice it at different times in the instructions to insert the zips. I sliced my first panel as per instructions and realised I cut it ¾” too short. Now what to do. I was running out of ideas and time to make the gifts. I had all this usable fabric, I didn’t want to waste it.

2 Zip Bags Pocket

Now I think by this point I was up to plan c. Having made the Essential Wristlet pattern more times then I can remember I decided to use the zipper instructions from that to insert top opening zippers on the bags instead with a front pocket. It was a way to save all the fabric I cut and it was a pattern I was very familiar with.

2 Zip Bags 3

I was originally going to make the zip and go pattern as Christmas gifts this year for the same kids so I had all hardware in my stash. Sewing away it occurred to me that the straps I had made weren’t going to fit the hardware I had in my stash. I make my bag straps on tote bags and regular bags finished size 1″. The zip and go’s have a narrow strap and the hardware I had fitted the narrower strap.  I then had to do a quick online order to get 1″ hardware and have it sent Express Post to have it in time to finish them. I also had to remake the D ring tabs for the bags as I had made them for the smaller size. In the end I think having the tabs in white brings the bags together more as they are the same as the straps and it doesn’t make it look like I have just clipped on any old straps I had.

2 Zip Bags 4.JPG

The straps have sliders on them and I always get confused on how to sew them. I have to look at my handbag each time I attach them as even with pictorial instructions my brain get confused. Just as I was sewing the hardware on my last strap I still stitched it wrong so the slider wouldn’t move so I got my un picker out. When I started sewing them correctly I then broke a needle. I had my glasses on but luckily it wasn’t one of those fly off and hit in your face needle breaks which is why I wear my glasses sewing now.

2 Zip Bags 2

I’m pretty proud of myself. Even though I had drama after drama making these bags and they ended up taking about a week to make instead of a weekend like I’d planned. I never got stressed or angry making them. I ended up with 3 usable bags to give as gifts. I actually did mid week sewing on these which I don’t normally do. Normally my mind thinks if I am going to sew I need a big chunk of time but I did 20 – 30 mins each day and I got them completed. Using white thread meant I was able to batch sew them so I did one task a day during the week. Install one half of the zipper on all the bags one day, the other half of the zippers the next day. Top stitch all the zippers one day. Little chunks of sewing got the small tasks done so when I had a day off work I was able to finish them. By breaking sewing up into small tasks like I did on these bags I might be able to get through sewing all the things I want to make. I’m fortunate enough to not have to pack up my sewing area after each time I use it so mid week sewing is achievable for me.

2 Zip Bags 1

Even though I have now been sewing for 8 years I’m still learning from every project. This project I learnt how important it is to fully check your materials and instructions before you start. Go back and double check the small details as you are making the project, don’t assume or go on autopilot too much. You don’t need a lot of time to sew, break the tasks into small steps and you can get things done.

Cassiy

To Sew List Jul 19

Another 6 months has passed so time to update my to sew list. In January my list was

  • Turner dress – Cashmerette
  • Appleton dress – Cashmerette
  • Pembroke dress – Cashmerette
  • Cedar dolman top – Cashmerette
  • Concord t-shirt dress – Cashmerette
  • Scrundlewear – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Bunzies – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Calista curvy bra – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Quicker knickers – Little Finch
  • Poppy bralette – House of Morrighan
  • Robbie pants – Tessuti
  • Black Winnats top – Wendy Ward
  • Black hoodie/cardigan/jacket (no pattern yet)
  • Hollings Circle skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Rusholme A-Line skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Finsbury  Bubble skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Fallowfield  pencil skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Roehampton culottes – Wendy Ward
  • Brighton Front Opening skirt – Wendy Ward

Ok so I have only managed to get one item off that list made. To be honest I just haven’t been sewing much this year. Even though in my January post I said I wasn’t going to put pressure on myself to sew for myself I did kind feel pressure to sew – I’m my own worst enemy

I have made a couple of clothing items this year. At the time I wrote that post I hadn’t been to Melbourne where I picked up some lovely fabrics including the denim which I turned into a York Pinafore. I have been wearing that dress almost weekly since. I wear it with sneakers, my work shoes, it is the best dress. I did make my Sesame Street skirt too which has been fun to wear at work.

I have acquired a few new patterns as well as fabrics since January. Recently I purchased 2 Helen’s Closet patterns so I am adding to my list.

  • Turner dress – Cashmerette
  • Appleton dress – Cashmerette
  • Pembroke dress – Cashmerette
  • Cedar dolman top – Cashmerette
  • Concord t-shirt dress – Cashmerette
  • Donovan skirt – Helen’s Closet
  • Winslow culottes – Helen’s Closet
  • Blue velvet York pinafore – Helen’s Closet
  • Scrundlewear – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Bunzies – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Calista curvy bra – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Quicker knickers – Little Finch
  • Poncho – Beginner’s Guide To Dress Making magazine
  • Poppy bralette – House of Morrighan
  • Robbie pants – Tessuti
  • Black hoodie/cardigan/jacket (no pattern yet)
  • Bomber Jacket – McCalls M1700
  • Paisley Granville skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Hollings Circle skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Rusholme A-Line skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Finsbury  Bubble skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Fallowfield  pencil skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Roehampton culottes – Wendy Ward
  • Brighton Front Opening skirt – Wendy Ward

I must admit the items I want to sew first are the ones with newly acquired fabrics. The only reason is they are winter fabrics and I would love to wear them this winter if possible. They are also mostly patterns I’ve made before and I am comfortable with, however I think I might go down in the sizing of the Granville skirt. I’m not neglecting fabric that I have in my stash, the lining I’ll use on my Granville is from my stash. I want to make a trial of the Donovan skirt from stash fabric first before attempting it in the Rose Liberty fabric I got during my Voucher shopping trip. Spring Frocktails is approaching in September and I do want to get my Appleton finished for that as I didn’t for the one earlier this year.

My overlocker is back from getting serviced so it is time to start sewing!

Cassiy

My Earbud Pouch

I made my friend an earbud pouch years ago but I never made myself one as I never needed one. I have been using ear phones at work for about 6 months and it suddenly occurred I need to make myself one!

The pattern is the Circle Zip earbud pouch by Dog Under My Desk. In my stash I found a couple of pieces of my favourite fabric. I don’t have much of this left now but I found just enough for this project. This like all of Erin’s patterns is super easy to make. I literally made it before work one morning (I do get up early) it only took about an hour to sew and maybe 10 – 15 mins the day before to cut out. This size holds regular ear phones but on the DUMD Facebook group others have said they have enlarged it to hold larger cords so you could make it to hold other electrical cords.

I am super happy I have a little something me made that I see each day at work in my favourite fabric. I don’t sew a lot for myself other than clothes so this is nice.

Cassiy

Dr Who Basket

I’ve had the one 1 Hour Basket pattern in my stash for years. The pattern was a free pattern from Craftsy which is now Blueprint but I’m not sure if it still available. It was a pattern that was very popular about 4-5 years back when people were doing a lot of craft swaps on Instagram. My intentions were to one day set the clock and see if I could do it in an hour but since I haven’t been doing a lot of sewing lately and wanted to relax and enjoy myself I didn’t set myself the time challenge.

Last year I purchased 2m of Dr Who fabric from Spotlight when it was on sale. I had no idea what I would use it for because it was different prints and it wouldn’t have looked nice together in a piece of clothing so it sat in my stash. When I decided on this basket I thought this is the perfect use for it. The pattern was really easy to make and to be honest the only time I read the instructions after cutting the fabric was when it came to placing the handles I needed to see how far apart they were.

I’m slightly disappointed with the inside lining and it isn’t the patterns fault it is mine. It is sitting as flat and as neat as I would like it. I cut my interfacing a bit short and so I think that bunched up on the inside plus my seam lines I think weren’t the same on both the inside and out pieces which made it look off. Often I’m doing a bag or a basket I sometimes make my lining seams wider so they sit smaller on the inside but in this I think I did it the other way around.

Modifications I Made

  • I added an extra 2″ to both sides of the basket as the original pattern looked a bit small to what I needed it for
  • Instead of fusible fleece to line the back of each piece I used a medium weight sew in interfacing and trimmed it from the seams line (except for the bit which didn’t make the seam lines) I wanted a more rigid basket.

I made the basket with a purpose and that was to sit on our lounge and hold bits and pieces like a tissue box, baby wipes, remote controls. Perhaps I should’ve made my boxed corners longer so the basket appeared wider as it a little too tall but not as wide as I would’ve liked. It is still very usable and I will see how it goes. If we find it isn’t working for us no problems I will use it for a craft basket and make another one.

It was nice to be sewing again on an easy project. I don’t make a lot of things for the house but this was something we could use and I like making usable projects.

Cassiy