Gifts 2020

In 2019 I had a few issues with my gifts. As I mentioned in a post last year I kept changing my mind on what I would make or I would leave things to the last minute. In 2020 I am getting back to being more organised with my gifts. I have decided on all the gifts I am going to make and I am not going to change me mind so I have a clear plan. A couple I was aiming to make for Christmas last year so they will be given as birthday gifts instead and one I cut out yesterday. Following the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) below is what I am going to make and what I need to have finished by each month.

March – Cockatoo (cut out)
April – Crocodile (half sewn)
May – Toiletry bag (cut out)
June – Book pillows (make size to match pillow inserts already in stash)
July – Superhero doll (use DDD pattern), crochet superhero mask
August – Tea set

Christmas
W – Bucket hats, heart pillows
H – Flower pillow, star pillow, crochet footballs (all blacks)

The good news is that I only have to buy a zipper and maybe some boning for the handles of the tea set aside from those all the other items I already have on hand. This will keep the costs of gifts down but more importantly mean I’m using my stash. I’m actually feeling really relaxed about my gift making this year.

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

B’s Beanie

My best friend works out doors and jokingly said she needs a beanie hint hint 😛 Ok mission make B a beanie was born. Anyone who is a maker knows it isn’t just as simple as I’m to make (insert item here) There are a lot of decisions you need to make before you can actually start making the item.

Decision 1 – What style of beanie would you like?
Thanks to Ravelry which is the database of all yarn patterns I sent her links to about half a dozen beanie patterns and said pick one. In the end she decided she liked the Sockhead Slouch Hat by Kelly McClure.

Decision 2 – What colour do you want?
She said a bit of blue, grey, pink, purple, green, brown but no red. She didn’t want it too dark or too light somewhere in the middle. With that in mind I went yarn shopping. I was originally going to buy one brand of sock yarn I saw online as the pattern is done with sock yarn but when I got to the shop I thought it would be too itchy or rigid for a beanie. Unlike myself B doesn’t have issues with yarn sensitivity but the yarn I had in mind would’ve been uncomfortable in a beanie. The shop assistant suggested Manos Alegria yarn. The yarn was very soft and squishy and very much beanie worth. The yarn is machine washable always a good thing when your making something for someone else. It was a nice yarn to knit with and I had no issues with it. The colour is Macachines, it is a medium colour so not too light or dark. It contains pretty much all the colours but maybe not so much brown. Certainly no red!

Decision 3 – How slouchy do you want it?
She liked the look of the one on the front of the pattern so I pretty much knitted it as per the instructions in the pattern including the needle sizes to use in each section. The pattern notes do tell you at what points you can change the length of the brim or the slouchyness to make it how you want it. You can read my project notes on Ravelry if you want to see how I did mine.

I had never actually blocked a hat before so was a little unsure how to do it so I watched Very Pink Knits Blocking Hats YouTube clip to see what she suggested as she is my go to person whenever I need to learn something knitting wise. One of the methods she suggests in the clip is to let it dry flat but each time you walk past it throughout the day spin it around your fist a couple of times to keep the circular shape inside. I waited until I had a day at home and blocked it that way. It was raining the week I did it so it did take a few days to actually dry so the first day I spun it heaps the following days I just did it before and work. I did also move it around my blocking mat so it wasn’t sitting in the same wet spot the entire time and also changed the direction I left it flat so it wouldn’t get like seam lines or creases if that makes sense. With the colours in the brim I could see easily see it where I had it flat so I just moved it around so the different colour patterns would be in the centre each time.

This was really quick knit that took me only about 9 days to make but that was only on my needle time and not blocking time. If you’re looking for a slouchy beanie pattern I can highly recommend this pattern. It is a free pattern and a really basic knit. I can see myself knitting this again.

Cassiy

New Look 6287 – Basket Weave Fabric

I have been going through my fabric stash a lot lately trying to match up patterns and fabrics that I already have together. Until recently most of my fabric and pattern purchases have just been “for the stash” and I haven’t really had a purpose or project in mind for them.

On a fabric shopping trip I think at the start of last year or maybe it was even the year before I purchased some brown fabric that caught my eye due to unusual texture of it. It feels like chenille so it has a cozy feel to it but it is very light and drapey. It just went in my stash. I have patted it a few times but never really thought of making anything with it. Earlier this month I was wanting a really simple mindless sewing project so I pulled it out of my stash and thought I would make a cape out of it using Burda 7313 like I made for Frocktails this year. When I was washing my mind kept thinking I already have a couple of capes including a brown one which I am currently knitting.

In my pattern stash I came across New Look 6287. I originally brought this pattern to make view A as I have some other fabric which is perfect for it. Needless to say I still haven’t made that perfect skirt but I was reading the fabric suggestions for the other skirts in the pattern and decided that I would have enough fabric to make view B. This pattern calls for a woven fabric and not a knit. I liked the picture of view B as it had a nice flow to it and I thought it would sit well with the fabric. As it is a little longer I thought it would be a good winter skirt.

I have never made a New Look pattern so I wasn’t sure how their sizing is, I had heard they were on the smaller size of patterns. I did my measurements and went with the largest size as I needed it for my hips. Looking back now the waist is a little big so perhaps I should have graded down at the waist one size. I’m not too worried at how it looks with the largish waist, I never wear crop tops so you never see my waistband. It isn’t too big that it is falling off my either.

 

I was worried it may be a bit snug at the hips but it has enough ease in the pattern to swish comfortably around me and not feel tight. I love the feel of the fabric it feels squishy. Even though it is a synthetic it doesn’t feel hot but I couldn’t wear this in summer unless I was in air conditioning the entire time but spring, autumn, winter I should be fine.

Sewing wise it was a really simple sew. I made it in a day tracing and cutting it out in the morning and then sewing it in the afternoon. To be honest once I had cut it out I wasn’t sure if I was even in the mood for sewing it that day but it was a really relaxing make that didn’t have a lot of steps so I easily finished it. I decided to be a bit rebellious with the hem. I just overlocked the hem and didn’t turn it up. Because of the basket weave texture I think I can get away with something funky at the bottom and it doesn’t look odd. The skirt moved so fluid I was worried if I turned up the hem it might make it feel too structured. One extra thing I did different to the pattern was I had to piece my waistband as my fabric wasn’t wide enough to cut it in one piece.

So looking my tick list of things to consider when making clothes

  • Comfort
  • Classic
  • Creative / Quirky
  • Natural Fibres Χ

So it fails the natural fibre content but it ticks all the rest of the points. It is a simple skirt that is super comfortable and is made from an unusual fabric. By using the fabric in this skirt I know I will get more wear out of it rather than had I made a cape. I will wear a skirt most days to work in winter so I am in need of warmer ones if I don’t want to repeat my skirts in the same week.

Cassiy

K3881 Undies – First Attempt

I don’t know why but I seem to have an obsession with collecting patterns for undies. I use the term undies as I can’t stand the word panties it just makes me cringe. I have patterns I’ve purchased, some I have downloaded for free, I have read how to make them using a pair of your own to make a pattern but until this pair I hadn’t actually dived into the world of making some even though they seem to be popular to make.

I am very particular about they style of undies I like. I have been wearing the same style but not the same brand for like the last 20 something years. It is like a bikini style with a high cut leg opening. I can still buy the style I like and that is why I haven’t ventured into making some but I am getting to the point where soon I need to replace some pairs so I thought maybe it is time to try making some as everyone who makes their own loves them. Even though as mentioned I already had heaps of patterns in my stash I went and purchased the Kwik Sew K3881 pattern. The reason I purchased this pattern was I found a youtube clip showing how to make them using this exact same pattern. I have watched other youtube clips but they were all using other patterns.

I measured my waist 44″ and my hips 46″ so according to the pattern I should be a L or XL as I was tracing out the pattern pieces I though the XL looks massive. I held placed a pair of RTW wear and I knew they would be too big. In the end I traced out every size.

Strangely the XS seemed to be the best match to my RTW pair and that is the size I went with.

I was very excited to learn how to the gusset. All your gusset seams are enclosed as you do the burrito method to make them. I found Melly Sew’s youtube clip showing the burrito method very clear to understand. She also has a free pattern which I might try sometime.

These were made on the sewing machine. I set my machine to a stretch stitch of a length of 2.5. This was the first time I have played around with the length of this stitch.

I used some knit fabric from my stash. I made what the pattern calls the bikini version but to me are not what I know as bikini. The sides are wider than what I am used to therefore the leg openings aren’t as high. I have scars on my hips and avoid anything with a narrower leg opening. I have worn these to sleep in and they are comfortable but I would prefer the higher leg opening.

I like the back of these, there was no creeping of fabric into areas you didn’t want. They are a little bit snug so maybe I need to grade between the XS and the S but they may stretch after a few washes. They aren’t uncomfortable snug.

For the elastic on the legs and top I used fold over elastic. I have played around with FOE before but I can’t remember on what. Anne has a great clip showing how to sew with it. I need to work on my finishing technique with it as it just looks messy on these. I also has sections when I fold the elastic over and stitched down I missed so had to go back and redo these.

My overall first attempt wasn’t a complete disaster. It hasn’t given me the undie making bug but at the same time it hasn’t put me off making them again. This is a good basic pattern and the instructions were good but the sizing was off. I know different fabrics can make a difference but surely not by that much. As for the style even though it wasn’t what I would call my normal style they were comfortable. I don’t know if I would use FOE again, I think it will irritate my scars particular in hotter times. I may make this pattern again but using regular elastic, I might even try the size S to see if there is much difference in the finished size.

Even if I never make another pair I can tick undie making off my virtual to sew list.

Cassiy

 

 

 

 

 

Lego Skirt

I am part of a few Facebook sewing and craft groups. I find them a great place to find inspiration but my bank balance may disagree as it tends to lead to online shopping at times. Recently in 2 separate groups I saw an idea for a skirt style which I instantly wanted to make at some point and in another group I saw a piece of fabric that I knew I had to have so I immediately went and purchased some. The two have come together to form my Lego skirt.

The fabric is from Rubyjam Fabric who I discovered after I made the purchase is a Sydney based company. The fabric print is officially called Building Brick Blocks and I got the boy colourway which is just a basic mix of colours, the fabric does come in a girl version which has more pinks and purple colours. As soon as I saw the fabric I thought I need Lego fabric!!!! Immediately I knew it would be a skirt, I am trying to get out of the habit of thinking every fabric will be a skirt but this fabric had to be a skirt. I ordered 1m… I think but when it arrived it looked larger than that so maybe I ordered more than 1m anyway it just gave me more to play with.

The pattern I used is a variation of the Cashmerette Turner dress. In the Cashmerette group someone had posted a photo of a skirt they made using the pattern. A lot of people do “pattern hacks” of the Cashmerette patterns turning the dress patterns into tops or the tops into dresses the Upton dress and Concord top are patterns that you see frequently done but I hadn’t seen anyone do a “Turner Skirt” before this and I thought it was brilliant idea. I asked the person further questions because I knew I wanted to make this skirt and I already had the pattern in my stash.

My original plans for my Lego skirt was to make like a basic tube skirt like the M664 pattern but my mind went into overdrive when I discovered my fabric was long enough to make this skirt.  For the skirt portion of the Turner the back and front of the skirt is the same pattern. Normally in cases like this I would just trace and cut the pattern once onto trace and toile. When I traced out the pattern and held it against the fabric that was folded to see if I would have enough fabric to make the skirt I realised it was going to be very close to not fitting so it was better to trace out 2 patterns and pin them at once. Instead of pulling out my paper pattern piece again I placed the piece I had cut out on my craft table and traced over that. I did it in a different pen colour so I could easily see that I had traced it all.

In the end it was very close with less than 2″ of fabric left over. I really pinned the two pieces as close as I could to fit and had I only used one pattern piece to cut out the 2 sides I know I would have been short for the second piece.

As a result of my lack of remaining fabric I had to be creative with my waistband. As the pattern is designed to be made as dress I had to make my own waistband pieces. In previous waistband pieces I have made I have cut my rectangle pieces across the grainline but in this case there wasn’t enough so I cut my rectangles from scraps running down the length of the grainline. To work out how long to cut the rectangles I measured around the top of the skirt pattern which was 12″ on fold so 24″ in total. As I was having to cut 2 pieces for the waistband and join them my initial thought was then to add in seam allowance forgetting that the pattern piece I had measured had already included the seam allowance. From previous experiences elastic waistband pieces have always been a little smaller than the item you were attaching them too so instead I cut my 2 rectangles 23″ x 3.5″ so I could use 1″ elastic inside it. I placed my waistband so the joins would be in the centre front and back. I was just easier for me to do this and no one gets that close to my waist anyway to see. For the gap I left to thread the elastic through I used a method I read on the Fringe Association blog.  It worked out really well, I just hand tacked the sides flat on both my join pieces and then removed the thread once my elastic was in. On the portion that was inside my skirt I did use some of the selvage fabric on the waistband. It was on the inside, it didn’t matter and most of it got cut off on the overlocker.

I’m happy with the finished waistband. I assembled the skirt on the overlocker. The fabric was a little heavy so to reinforce it even though I used a 4 thread overlocker I went and did a row of stitch on my sewing machine over ever seam using a stretch stitch. All my seams were pulling a little bit, I read afterwards elsewhere someone else had the same problem and it was suggested they tighten the left needle in their overlocker.

 

Looking at my pattern I believe I cut out the size 24 but I think I could have gotten away with the size 22 or at least graded in however I am super happy with this skirt. It is a little bit longer than most of my skirts but I really like that. The fabric is a cotton knit which you could wear in either summer or winter.

You can twirl in it however I think I might be too old to twirl without the aid of some alcoholic refreshments because when I tried I became really dizzy luckily I had the wall to hang on too. Next time maybe I need a bigger space as there isn’t much room in my bedroom.

  • Comfort
  • Classic
  • Creative / Quirky
  • Natural Fibres

This skirt ticks all things on my list of things to consider when making clothes. With the elastic waist and cotton knit it is comfortable and I won’t get hot in it. The style is like classic circle skirt and it certainly is quirky. I work in a paediatric environment and I have had so many comments about my skirt at work. It is bright and cheery and fun. This is my most fun item I have ever made in terms of clothing.

I love the idea of “Turner skirts” and I will be making more. I am going to do a plain black one which I have actually brought fabric for since making this. It is a really nice style skirt. I will make a proper Turner dress at some point but I can see another skirt arriving first.

I am a big kid I love my skirt.

Cassiy

 

Blue Rose Skirt

swap-day-haul-6

Last year at the Spoolette swap day I picked up a piece of fabric that had blue roses on it. It was a polyester which I don’t normally like but because it combines my favourite colour with my favourite flower I was drawn to this piece.

butterick-5431

I decided to make a skirt with it to wear at an event in March. Because of the polyester fibre content I decided I wanted a lined skirt. I found the perfect simple pattern in my stash Butterick 5431 (again it came from the swap day) I wanted a simple pattern as I had never made a lined skirt before. I read all the instructions, laid out the pattern pieces to trace them out and couldn’t find my size. I then took a closer look on the outside of the pattern envelope and realised it wasn’t my size.

simplicity-2184

I went through my pattern stash again and found a similar skirt pattern Simplicity 2184 view B but it wasn’t lined (which is probably why I didn’t choose it in the first place) I used this pattern and instructions to make my skirt but added the lining in via the instructions from the Butterick pattern.

blue-rose-skirt-on

Confession I get confused with seam allowances and how much you need to add if you are going to overlock (serge) all your edges before doing your seams. The skirt is made up of 4 pieces cut on the bias. I have never cut a pattern on the bias before. I needed to added a little extra as my hip measurements were a bit bigger than the pattern. I added extra to both sides of each pattern piece but thinking about it afterwards perhaps I only needed to added extra to the centre seam sides, or do you add more to the sides and not the middle? The end result is that skirt is a little puffier than I wanted but it isn’t the end of the world.

blue-rose-skirt-lining

The lining is attached only at the waist band so it moves freely from the outer skirt underneath.  I used a black cotton voile. I made it a couple of inches shorter so it wouldn’t be seen.

Looking at my check list of things to consider when making clothing

  • Comfort Yes it isn’t tight and I have room to move
  • Classic Yes it is a bias cut A line skirt
  • Creative / Quirky Yes the rose print is very 3 dimensional
  • Natural Fibres Yes to some extent as I have used cotton voile as the lining

blue-rose-skirt

Originally I had made this skirt just to wear to Australian Sewing Guild’s 20th birthday lunch in March but have decided in the last couple of weeks I can also afford to go the Sydney Spoolette’s Frocktails event in February so this skirt is going to get 2 uses soon. I know it will be in my wardrobe for years and will get use whenever I need an item that is just that little bit special.

Cassiy