Sunday, 10 March 2019

Jasper sweater love

I love a good sweater - since I discovered Liberty sweater fabric I haven't looked back, actually spending a lot of time wearing them - perfect for working at home, being mum, late night feeds, running around the playground - you get the idea. 

So far every one I have made are using the Grainline Linden, and variations thereof.  I like but don't love this pattern.  Its just not as cosy as I would ideally like- the neck is too wide for my liking and I always wish it had pockets.  

So I finally got around to sewing up the Jasper sweater by Paprika patterns.  Now I'm ashamed to say I've had this pattern in my stash for a good few years and I knew I would love it the minute I saw it, but I didn't tackle it as I assumed it would eat fabric and that it would be complicated with welt pockets and all.  I am very pleased to report that I adore this pattern and neither concern proved to be true.  

The reasons I love it... its everything the Linden is not - snuggly & cosy, a little fitted and HAS POCKETS!  Its a straightforward sew and making the pocket is especially satisfying.  It  must use more fabric than the Linden, but because of the piecing, you can combine fabrics using up some scraps so I find it quite economical (I don't like to have to buy more than one metre of Liberty sweatshirt fleece/loopback due to cost and happily managed both of the below with that plus scraps left from other stuff.)

And there are 3 options- a hood, a funnel neck and a dress version.  I ve made the first 2, dress to follow ;)

Here is the first one I made and the sad story of my fabric letting me down... grrrrr. 

Its made with a Liberty Loopback, bought from Guthrie & Ghani with a contrasting Denim look Loopback from my stash.  Then I used a navy flecked jersey for lining pocket & hood.  I absolute love it.  

I really like the fit of the pattern- no adjustments at all, it fitted great.  I find the side panels give a bit of shape and structure and the contrasting fabric choice makes it look quite streamlined and less bulky than most sweaters.

The hood on this jumper is absolutely huge.  Its fine down, looks actually quite nice being chunky, but you just wouldn't wear it up - I could actually fit 2 heads in it.
The only negative I have on this are firstly the size of the hood and secondly, I don't like the way the hood is finished, a lot of seams would be visible, and very visible when it is so huge! Loopback was white on reverse, looking terrible so I lined the hood, but it was difficult to attach- next time I would construct hood differently and significantly reduce size.

Giant hood alert!!

I'm gutted to report that since washing it has incurred some issues.  I can't remember where I got the denim loopback from but its letting me down.  Some patches have gone really strange meaning one side looks totally different to the other- really don't understand it.  And when I ve washed it, its started coming away at the seams in 2 places- I've sewn alot of knit fabrics and I've never experienced this before!!.  Note to self,  never risk mixing Liberty fabric with an unknown quality one.  
 For my next one, I m using a trusted loopback from Fabworks with the Liberty to ensure it will stand the test of time...So onto version 2, this time without the hood.  This version I find more practical to wear actually- the neck sits nicer when not puled back by the giant hood and it fits easier under coats.  I've lived in this one since making it.

I started with the Liberty (also loopback from  G&G) and went through my stash to look for a royal blue to combine with it- but then I came across this duck egg loopback and it just looked perfect.  So that was that!  I then used a scrap of red as a pocket accent and then choose a very thick fleece back jersey for lining the neck- a nice contrast and the body helps the neck sit nicely and makes it extra snuggly.

I just love this.  Everyone needs one of these sweaters in their life!!

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Nursery sewing


I thought it would be nice to share some of the sewing my mum and I did to decorate our little ones nursery.

Its a small room, so we wanted to keep the walls white and add some bright accents.  When we started, we didn't know if it was a girl or boy, so its all bright and unisex.

My mum is my chief curtain maker and I just love this cloud fabric I bought and she sewed.  Its from Just fabrics, here cloud fabric

I then decided to make some kites to decorate the walls - I bought some contrasting fat quarters and made 2, one larger one for over the cot and one small one.  I just drew a template and. made it, stuffing with a bit of wadding.  I made little bows and put a loop at the end to pin them up.

I only recently finished everything - a cushion with the same fabric for on our red chair - I spend many hours sat in this chair, feeding.  The lovely throw was hand knitted by my friend Claire's mum. Its stunning colours.

Our bed and changing table are from Stokke, bought second hand and have already served us well with our first son.  I love the cot in its smallest shape, its so dinky and cute.  My mum made a cot bumper with animals on it and the mobile is from Mamas & Papas, bought a few years ago.

To finish off, I bought some wall stickers from Etsy (chocovenyl store) which were expensive but are just gorgeous!  You can see the squirrel, rabbit and birds above, and here are a few more.  Plus a wonderful woodland themed blanket that my mum made.

And  my favourite thing my mum made- which my first son also used- a lovely personalised blanket, which lives on our lounge floor for him to lie on.  And a picture from when he was tiny.

So there we have it, our lovely little nursery which our little man seems very happy in.  Not sure he will be so happy with how small the room is when he is bigger, but we will deal with that at a later stage :)

and to finish off, sharing a few outfits I made for him too.  So cute, though always sad that he only fits them for a matter of weeks!   I used the brindle and twig cross top pattern and the free baby tights pattern from Made By Rae, plus a few other things which are just cut from ready to wears.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Deer and Doe Myosotis Dress

Wow, what a long time since I wrote a blog post!  6 months with a new born and I ve spent every available second (not that many) sewing rather than blogging about it.  So lets go with a few posts of what I ve made in the past months!

Firstly the Myosotis by Deer and Doe. I had seen so many lovely versions of this that despite it not being my usual style, I bought it!  I had some  reservations whether it would suit me when made up as I don’t really go for loose fit, full of ruffle items! But I m bigger than normal post baby and breastfeeding so I thought it a good choice for those reasons!

I bought fabric with the intent to use for this project, a navy and white stripe with floral embroidery. The fabric itself is quite lightweight but it gets bulky around the embroidery which maybe makes it a bad choice for such a ruffle heavy garment!

I cut out a size 14 and it needed no alteration other than taking the arm hole in slightly. The instructions are very clear and I found it an easy sew, though I m tired of gathering fabric!!

The biggest issue I had was the fullness/ I lined the skirt as it was a bit see through and 2 layers plus the embroidery made it quite heavy on the placket and seams so I'd avoid textured fabric for this pattern in future.

I actually just overlocked the hem rather than turning it under, as it became too think if I hemmed it !

Another thing to note is I find it goes over my head fine without needing opening buttons so next time I would skip button holes and just sew them down or even hack a version with a one piece front, no buttons. I think a version with pin ticks down the front would look great!

I chose to go sleeveless as it was for my holiday- I didn’t make pattern alterations for this, I simply took it in a bit more on the side seam below arm and finished with bias binding.

So, do I like it? Simply, yes- but I need it to be less full / loose than the pattern. Made up per pattern I feel huge in it. So I made a tie for the waist and with that small adjustment I like it a lot.

One final point - I don't like the way it asks you to finish the collar. I found it very difficult to ensure it was neat at the edges and with the over stitching.  I therefore prefer to follow the instructions from the Grainline archer instead.

I already made a second version, this time with sleeves- but this time I  replaced the skirt with something less full- a simple A-line with side slits and some front pleats for a bit of body.

I find it a super comfortable but stylish dress, with the pockets a bonus! How do you like it?

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Fabric Indulgence & The Pattern Swap

I’ve gone a bit crazy buying fabric of my dreams recently. It was my birthday a few weeks ago and with being off on maternity leave (hoping lots of sewing time) and at a size where no clothes fit- I found plenty of excuses. So help me decide what to make.

Of course top of my list as always, was Liberty.  But this time I treated myself to a selection of their finer fabrics- can’t believe I just wrote that as tana lawn is quite fine enough but gosh the silk- I'm in love!!  They were all heavily reduced in the sale, still £20-£30 per metre but I think it’s worth it!!

Firstly I got 2m of this silk for my birthday from my mum. It’s on sale at Croftmill and I adore it. It’s one of my favourite prints,I have a sweatshirt in it- so something in silk will look so different!! I have lining and thread all ready to go. I m thinking between Deer and Doe Myosotis dress or something more like a Kalle shirt.  Do I go simple style/ shirt dress or more frilly?  The Deer and Doe is a new pattern I look forward to trying, whereas the Kalle is a tried and trusted one I've made a few times.

I then bought myself a selection of silk, silk satin and hammered silk in the Liberty sale. One metre of each.  I love them all but the hammered silk (first one below) is I think the nicest fabric I ever owned. What to make???
The top 2 I can combine together to make a dress as they go together very well or make them separately as either tops or skirts? What do you think?
The red I m thinking of a top- but no idea what style
The black will be a skirt- though it looks navy in this picture, curiously!

I then have been lusting after Nani Iro for some time and decided to treat myself.  I had a hard time decididing but chose these two.  The first bright one  has the most vibrant colours and is double gauze.  It will be a summer skirt - probably simple A-line or gather to let the pattern do the talking and the second is almost a sateen finish, undecided whether it will be something to wear or cushions!

I then spotted this fabric in navy. I made a top in the pink version and I totally adore it- beautiful print and quality fabric so couldn’t resist buying the navy. It will become a dress of some sort.  These last 3 are all from Drapers Daughter.

This is my top in the pink colour way.  I just adore it!

Finally, for my birthday my sister in law bought me 2.5m of this gorgeous silk, direct from Shanghai!
Definitely destined to be a dress, but what style?  The colours are super vibrant.

I then acquired 3 new patterns courtesy of the #greatbigpatternswap on Instagram which is such a wonderful idea! I gave away 5 patterns most of which  I got free with magazines and will never use and in return for 3 I am super happy with!  The top one need to wait till cooler weather and certainly the vintage one, needs to wait until my baby belly goes! The top is high up the sewing queue though as it’s perfect breastfeeding atire- I cut it out already in navy jersey.  Thanks to Lynsey, Jo and Pterodactyltrinket who sent me these patterns!

Do let me know any suggestions for patterns for my new fabrics!