Monday, 27 October 2014


I found myself at Spotlight this morning (similar to Joann's for those in the USA) on the last day of their 40% off fabric sale. There was quite a line up at the fabric counter but I managed to bring home these fabrics with me ...

The two on the left are cotton knits and I have enough to make a Style Arc Sea-side Sue top (or similar) from each of them with enough left over to sew up another HotPatterns Blouse Back Tee, probably with the blue spot at the front and the stripes at the back. The multi-coloured fabric on the right is a very drapey crepe that I think will work well with the HotPatterns Primavera Dress.

I am still working on those two uni assignments but hope to get them done in the next few days :)

Sunday, 26 October 2014

That time of year

Summer break is within sight!

It is the time of year when thoughts start to turn towards Summer holidays and being able to put Uni behind me for another year. There is only one week of Uni left and when my final two assignments are submitted (they are not finished yet) I will be free. I will be able to put away the books for a while and relax, yay.

Throughout the year I don't usually get any sewing done, I might be able to if I had a sewing space but having to use the dining table means I need to set up and pack away each time I sew and that is time consuming and when you only have a few minutes here and there is hardly seems worth it.

In the meantime I usually peruse patterns and see what fabrics I have available so I am ready to go when break starts. Yesterday I ordered a few more sewing patterns from Hot Patterns and hope they will be here in the not too distant future. If not all is good, I have more waiting on my to sew list.

Dresses are not something I usually wear and have never sewn one for myself but something about the simplicity and ease of the Primavera dress spoke to me. I think it would be great for our climate, it is only Spring here and this week we are heading towards 35c, so summer looks like it is going to be a hot one and a dress may do the trick to help combat the heat.

Similarly the sleeveless top will be perfect and while the other top may be better suited to all but the hottest climates sewn in the right fabric and with enough ease to be breezy it should work for summer as well.

I am not sure what fabrics I want to use yet but, possibly linen or linen/cotton blends, as long as it is cool and comfortable I will be happy.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

I know this is primarily a sewing blog but ...

Sewing ties into fashion and fashion ties into wardrobe.

Thinking about what clothes are in my wardrobe has been high on the agenda in past weeks, thanks to the Starting From Scratch Series, and that has lead me to think about what my garments are hanging on. While I have attempted in the past to get organisation in this area under control it is still somewhat lacking. Yes all my hangers match and while they look good together they are not ideal. They are simple black plastic that tend to let items slip off and clothes end up either hanging by a thread or they fall down onto the 'floor-drobe' if you know what I mean.

I have shelving down either side of the wardrobe, which is great for t-shirts, jumpers etc. but little man shares a room with his brother so his clothes are stored in my room (which means 1/2 the shelf space is taken up with his clothes). In the middle of the wardrobe there is one hanging rail and while it is great if you wear dresses (which I don't) I feel it would be better utilised with a double hanging rail allowing more room for the shirts, blouses, jackets, pants and jeans that make up the better part of my wardrobe.

EDIT: I have just measured the space between the top shelf and the floor and discovered there is not enough height to add a second rail so another answer will have to be found. Not sure what that answer will be but in the meantime I think I need to get something like this to take care of the hanger issues ...

Oh what a joy it would be to slide open the wardrobe doors and find a totally organised and co-ordinated wardrobe.

One day ...

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

A couple more pieces ...

After the non-white shirt was returned to the store I went back to looking for a replacement.

The difficulty experienced finding a plain white shirt really surprised me, I expected a wardrobe staple such as this to be readily available but it wasn't. I had already exhausted all the retail options locally so I began the search online and discovered one I think will do for now. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this one is actually white and not cream like the last one. Perfecting the fit of a shirt pattern is now high on my list of to do's but right now I don't have the time for sewing so buying is the only option.

Here is the updated plan ...

I have also purchased a casual knit blazer that I have had my eye on for a while. It is in my second contrast colour and not only had it come back in stock after being unavailable for weeks but it was on sale. It could be a challenge finding a patterned top to go with it but hopefully the white shirt will be a good option in the meantime.

Friday, 11 July 2014

So far it looks like this

With the two handbags added the wardrobe so far looks something like this ...
Gone are the plain white shirt and top as when they arrived they were not white at all but were cream and as cream was not what I was after back to the store they go and they will be replaced as soon as I can find them in white. Also gone are the wide leg pants that were just not the right shape or fit for me, they have been replaced by some straight leg black pants already in the wardrobe.

The things I need most at the moment are a jumper or two so that is what I will be adding next. Once that is done it is back to the plan to see what I need and of that see what I can sew, although sewing time will be minimal after next week as uni starts back for the second semester and I won't get a decent break again till the end of November.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Vivienne's Starting From Scratch

For anyone not following along 'Vivienne' has been busy posting about how to create a wardrobe from scratch. You can see her blog here ..., While it is impossible to create the 'ideal' wardrobe for everyone, this plan gives you good bones to start with. Some of the pieces are a little too formal for my lifestyle and others I don't need or wear but it is easy to swap out the suggested pieces for items that do suit and the same goes for colour, style etc.

Clothes are not something I buy very often, especially for myself, and being a full time mum (doing school runs, shopping and housework) as well as a part time uni student my clothing needs are simple. That said I do like to feel presentable and think it is important to feel comfortable and appropriately dressed for the occasion and for your age as well.

I took the opportunity to buy a few pieces on sale online this week through a local department store and managed to buy these pieces for just over $115 Aud. Not included in the price are the shoes and necklace (which I already have) and the handbag which I have not yet bought. The jacket was a steal @ $24 and the other pieces were even less. I do love a sale!

This is what I have so far, black as my first neutral with the obligatory white shirts and blue as my first contrast. They are in no way investment pieces, they are things that I expect I will get a few seasons from and are an inexpensive way of finding out how well this type of plan/wardrobe works for me.

This is a good start for a wardrobe plan and with the addition of another contrast colour or two later on it will offer many combinations and possibilities. I am yet  to 'shop my wardrobe' and while I know it needs a good sort and toss I am sure there will be more things that will go with these as well. At this point I have not followed the plan step by step but have purchased a few items that will fit within the steps once I am done.

I also hope to add a necklace, bracelet, earrings and possibly a bag or two so I will be keeping my eyes open for another sale. So far I am undecided as to whether I will add a scarf or not, they are not something I usually wear but I am keeping an open mind.

This is the first time I have planned purchases in this way and expect it will be the way I shop for clothes for years to come ...

EDIT: I have just added two bags I purchased online this morning at 70% off retail. I wasn't really intending to get them now but I would have been silly not to.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Additions to the collection

I am a relatively new HotPatterns user, having only ever made up the blouse back tee, mainly because of the cost of the postage from the US to Australia. Adding $20 US to the cost of an order really makes you think about how badly you want them and you need to order at least a few to make it feel worthwhile.

Trudy tells me they will be adding more PDF patterns soon, the only one available in that format so far is the blouse back tee, and I will be a happy camper when that happens but my bank balance probably won't.

In the meantime though, I recently ordered these three patterns which arrived this week. I think the first cab off the rank will be the La Strada tee, love the way the collar wraps up and around the neck, it will be perfect for winter under a jacket.

Friday, 20 June 2014

The first blouse back tee

I never posted the bright pink blouse back tee I made before the patterned one and, in the midst of a sewing drought, thought I would share it here. Unfortunately I can't find any pics of it, not sure what happened to them but never mind. I will either find them soon or take another one as soon as the top has been through the wash.

I hope the La Strada tee and a couple of other patterns I ordered from HP arrive soon, I have finished my Uni work for the semester and really want to do some sewing while I am on break.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

The white and patterned top ...

I finished my white and patterned blouse back t today.

I should be doing uni assignments but I have been working hard on them all week, finishing one major essay last night, and I needed a break.

This is not the best photo but I don't have a dress form to put it on and I am not very skilled in the art of the selfie.

I used the patterned print for the yoke, the sleeves and the front and the white for the back and the neckband. The neckband looks a bit odd here but it is just a shadow.

EDIT: On wearing these two shirts I am thinking I could still have used a size smaller. They fit ok but they are a little loose so a bit of tweaking is still required. I may also see how a 3/4 or long sleeve version would go after all it is winter here and a bit cool for short sleeves and this is not really the kind of top you wear a jacket over.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Another bbt

I don't really have time to be sewing at the moment but I have taken a little break from study this morning and took the opportunity to cut out another blouse back t.

This one uses the recently purchased brown, yellow, orange, and teal on white abstract/floral print for the front, sleeves, bands and yoke with a plain white blouse back.

I am not sure if the white back will work with this fabric so the shoulders, front and back will be basted together to see how it goes. If worse comes to worse I can unpick it and cut a back from the print fabric and save the white back for another top.

Just wish I could get this first essay done and out the way so I can get on with the sewing ... although I guess all the other uni pieces I have due in the next week or so should take precedence, perhaps.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Under the weather

It is a rainy and miserable day here in Queensland today and I have to say I am feeling a bit under the weather too. The flu is doing its second round of our family and it has me well and truly in its grip. The sore throat, watery eyes and cough are bad enough but the fuzzy head is doing me in. I can not concentrate on anything and while I should be concentrating on end of semester assessments pieces and essays my head just doesn't want to go there. I have set it all aside for now, even though an essay is due in 7 days and I haven't even started it, as I was getting nowhere fast and getting a little frustrated.

I watched the 2nd part of the Hot Patterns sew along and thought as the machine was sitting on the table I may as well prep the back piece (do the gathering and sew the hem), the sleeve bands and the neck band, which I did. I then decided to pin it together at the shoulders and sides and test the fit. It is not easy putting on a garment full of pins but I didn't want to baste it together in case it needed adjusting again, I just don't have the energy for that.

The fit looked good so, instead of waiting for the next part of the sew along, I sewed the shoulder and side seams, finished the front hem, inserted the sleeves and added the sleeve bands, and added the neck band. This is basically my wearable muslin. I used a slub knit from the stash (the bright pink in a previous post) that I knew did not have the right amount of drape for the back and was a little heavy but it was good to test the fit of the front through the bust and shoulders. I have ordered some fabric that hopefully will be more suitable for the pattern and hope it arrives some time next week so I can get another one done during the sew along.

If you are intending to sew this pattern at some point I would recommend that you don't use the neck pattern piece as it is, it's just too long, I use the old measure round the neck and cut the band to about 3/4 that length (depending on stretch) and that works really well.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Bowing Out

I was going to participate in the Artisans Square Summer 6 pack but I have decided to bow out. Although it runs from May to July I know I can not possibly get patterns fitted and made in that time. If I had tnt's it would be different, but starting from scratch? Not going to happen especially when time is limited and June sees the end of semester madness of trying to get all course requirements, assessment pieces and assignments completed for Uni.

I do a lot of running around after the kids, am studying for my degree and have an auto-immune disease that means sometimes clothes need to be easy to get on and off. I don't at this point need work clothes or formal attire. I pretty much live in knit tops and denim crop pants or jeans, very casual, I rarely wear skirts or dresses. Cardi's and jackets are not something I need many of it is already the last week of Autumn here and we've had 28c all week. It gets cool in winter but most of the time a long sleeve shirt with a camisole or tank underneath is enough. I may need one or two warmer items but I already have them in my wardrobe.

I like to have tops that are comfortable but well made and different to what everyone else has so I think this will be my focus for now. I am starting with the hot patterns blouse back tee and I can see myself making a couple of these. Once I get this top done I will go through my pattern stash and see what grabs me most. I would also like a well fitting button front shirt so that is on the to do list at some point and I would also like to make the Style Arc Yoga pant and the Fay pant perhaps. I just won't get there during the next few months but I will get there eventually.

One step at a time :)

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Another go ...

I think I am making progress.

A new pattern was traced way smaller than I started with as it was overall too big but especially across the upper chest and shoulders. I have also made a forward shoulder adjustment. The original muslin while being too wide overall felt like it was also falling off my shoulders towards the back so hopefully this will fix that issue. I then added a little extra length to the front to allow for a fuller bust.

I have already sewn a muslin but I will wait for the next installment of the sew along so I don't miss anything important and get the best result possible.

Monday, 26 May 2014

I love making muslins, said no-one ever ...

It is so much different sewing for myself (tall, curvy and not the standard B or C cup) than it is sewing for my little man (tall but straight up and down with no fit issues) ...

It has been a long time since I sewed anything for myself and I am remembering the 'joy' of making muslins and adjusting patterns to fit when starting from scratch. I have made two muslins of the blouse back t from Hot Patterns and while the back is almost spot on, thank goodness for small mercies, the front is still way off.

I did a FBA and added some length to the front (the length worked well, the FBA not so much). I also went down a couple of sizes at the shoulder and across the upper chest but think I should have gone down a few sizes right through the front and made the narrow shoulder adjustment as well.

When I compare my actual measurements to the flat pattern it appears I should be using 2 or 3 sizes smaller than indicated by the size chart so that will be my new starting point. My plan of attack is to reprint the front pattern, make a vertical length adjustment to accommodate the extra space needed in front, add a bubble of extra fabric at bust level on the side (which may or may not be needed), and make a narrow shoulder adjustment.

Hopefully I will be closer to a good fit after these alterations. Third time lucky?

EDIT: Sadly no, three was not my lucky number.

Despite tracing off the front three sizes smaller than my original size it is still too big. Sigh. The length is perfect but the width is wrong. The way it sits at the moment it feels like there is about 2-3" too much fabric down the centre of the shirt with the shoulders sitting too far out. I am not sure if it is the pattern size or the fabric I am using.

I am beginning to question if my mystery knit fabric may not be the best thing to make a muslin from. I am going to fold out a tuck down the front and run a line of stitching through it to see if that helps. If it does I might cut yet another front removing the excess first and see how that goes. If it is no better it will be off to the fabric store in the next few days to see if I can find something else to make a muslin from. I have ordered some nice fabrics to make this top but I don't want to cut into those until I can get the size right.

As much as muslins do not excite me I am so glad I started this process before trying to make the garment.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Hot Patterns Blouse Back T

I bought the e-pattern the other day so I could join in the sew along.

I printed it, stuck it together and cut it out. No problems.
I had some mystery knit fabric in the stash to cut out. No problems.
I sat at the machine today and sewed it up. No problems.
I tried it on ... problems!

The first thing I noticed was that it felt like it was falling off my shoulders and was wide across the upper chest and the back. Solution: Cut the front, back and yoke a size or two smaller to remove the excess width.

The second thing I noticed was that the side seams were pulling towards the front towards the bottom of the seams, the bust was too tight, the front was sticking out away from the body at the middle down to the bottom, and the front was too short. Solution: Make a FBA to add extra room to the front and hopefully allow the back to hang straight.

I have made pattern alterations and re-cut the fabric (glad I had a fair bit of the mystery fabric in the stash) and will endeavour to sew it up tomorrow and see if the 'solutions' have helped.

If not it will be back to the drawing board ...

Saturday, 24 May 2014

On the to do pile

Some of the patterns in my to do pile are these from Hot Patterns  ...

I have not sewn with any of this make of pattern before but I really liked the back of the blouse back t, something a little different to your regular t-shirt.  I saw the sew along for this pattern and as there was a download option available (removing the need for postage)  I decided to give it a go. The pattern was purchased directly from HP and the link to the sew along is here

The pattern has been printed, taped together and cut out and I have found some pink stretch mystery fabric in the stash to make a muslin from. As I wash and dry all fabric as it enters the stash it was a matter of getting it out and it was ready to go.  The next installment of the sew along will be next week and as my fabric has been cut out as soon as I find some thread and get the machine out I will be ready to go.

The other two patterns are free downloads via I do want to try the scarf neck t and will use some of the fabric just ordered for that, but will need to see if there is anything in the stash suitable for the Gypsophelia top.

We are almost at the end of Autumn and heading into winter so there is no hurry for Summer Tops, and I should be thinking about a few warm items for Winter, but it is still around 28c at the moment so they could be worn now.

Oops I did it again ...

I found these fabrics online recently, they were sitting in my watch list but I kept being drawn back to them time and time again. I bit the bullet and ordered them today, being on sale helped make up my mind! 

These are all knits and are destined to be summer tops. I am not sure about that last one though, it is not in my usual colour palette, but I was drawn to it so I will give it a go.

I am glad I emailed the seller before I hit the commit to buy button though or postage would have cost me a whopping $58 (from Vic to Qld). They will all fit in a 5kg postal bag so it will now only cost around $15.

Friday, 16 May 2014

I couldn't help myself

I know I said in my last post that there was little to no allowance in the budget at the moment for fabric and notions but I couldn't help myself.

I saw this fabric online and it was just what I was looking for, an open weave fabric for a top (probably the Vogue I mentioned previously) and as it wasn't at all expensive I went ahead and ordered it.

It is hard to describe the colour. While it was listed as baby blue. and the image looks rather grey, in reality it is actually more of a light denim colour.

I had no set colour palette in mind for the next batch of sewing and this will be a good starting point. I imagine it with a white shirt and dark grey, navy or black pants but it will go with almost anything and will be a good medium neutral for me.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Where to next?

Artisans square have a thread entitled Summer 2014 6PAC (May-July) whereby anyone who chooses to play along should endeavour to sew 6 items within three months and the suggestions are as follows;

1 A jacket or layering piece - mid-coloured neutral
2 A skirt or shorts or trousers - in a mid-coloured neutral
3 A skirt or shorts or trousers - in a colour or neutral
4 A top - in a neutral
5 A top - in a colour
6 A top - in a print

I had a lot of fun planning and sewing SWAP for my youngest boy and I am thinking this might be good to actually motivate me to sew for myself, something I haven't done in a very long time.

I have no TNT's and do not even know what pattern alterations I need to make so I will be starting completely from scratch, but I think I will have a go. That said I do have a lot on with UNI so I don't know how far I get, but should I only get one pattern altered and fitted I will be ahead of where I am now. It is Autumn now and heading into Winter and starting to cool a little, still around 26c though, so my plan will take that into account but also that it does not get really cold and most of the year is pretty warm.

No real time has been spent thinking about this so off the top of my head it could look something like this ...

1 A lightweight sweater or top (possibly V8854) - accent colour
2 A pair of crop or 3/4 pants - dark denim perhaps
3 A pair of pants (Style Arc?) - dark grey or black
4 A t-shirt or top - plain colour
5 A t-shirt or top - patterned
6 A long sleeve shirt probably in white or a light stripe.

There is little to no allowance for fabric or notions in the budget at the moment so whatever I manage to get sewn will come from the stash, that could be interesting!

Final pics at last ...

Pack 1 -
Black sleeveless knit t-shirt
Black drill shorts
Black and white striped t-shirt

Pack 2 -
Patterned knit t-shirt
Aqua linen shorts
White bamboo knit t-shirt
Pack 3 -
Black long sleeve t-shirt
Shades of grey camouflage pants
Aqua textured knit sweatshirt

Wildcards -
Grey drill carpenter pants
White and patterned baseball style shirt

Some of the other possible combinations, there are many more as each item will work with each other item with the exception of the striped shirt with the camouflage pants.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014


Just a quick update on the final Swap.

As per the last picture uploaded my swap is done. I did not find the right fabric to make a hoodie and nor did I find a hoodie or jacket at the shops that would have worked with all the other items, so it hasn't changed from the last update.

I have taken photo's this afternoon but with fading sunlight and a little man with patience on the wane they are not ideal. Never mind, they do show the items and how they work in their own groups as well as some possible combinations. I am pleased with all the options he has from these 11 items, with all being able to be worn together except the stripe shirt with the camouflage pants.

Never did I think I could complete this challenge with everything else on my plate but I have and while I know these simple items will not be able to compete with the more complex items other swappers have made I am pretty pleased with the end result.

If you are contemplating participating in the SWAP next year please do, it is a lot of fun.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014


This was a really fast sew, nothing more complicated than a few curved seams and some top stitching.

Too easy!

It still needs a press but apart from that it is done :)

This is how my SWAP looks so far ... but is subject to change ... I really wanted to add a jacket for more wardrobe versatility but the right fabric is eluding me.

If I can sew or buy one in time I will probably add it and leave something out but so far I have all these made plus a pop over top (not shown in pic).

Monday, 21 April 2014

Ready to go

The Fishsticks baseball t-shirt may not make it to swap, as it wasn't the item I had in mind to go with the other wild card item already made, but it is next in line for sewing.

The body and under-sleeves have been cut out in white, the top part of the sleeve was cut from the stripe used for the previous shirt and I have cut the neck binding from both fabrics as I couldn't decide which way to go. I am not sure what this will look like so I may change out the stripe and neck binding for a plain colour mid construction if need be.

I have to set it aside for now though as kids are back at school tomorrow after their Autumn holidays and Easter break and I need to start organising things for that and also start thinking about dinner. Hopefully I will get round to sewing it tomorrow ...

Pattern preparation

Sometimes it feels like this stage takes longer than the actual sewing, especially when you are using a PDF version of the pattern.

I have never used a pattern from Fishstick Designs before so it will be interesting to see how it goes together. It is just a baseball style t-shirt, but will be a good way to use up some leftovers from recent projects.

Hopefully before the afternoon is out I will have another shirt sewn for EJ. I have monopolised the dining table long enough and really need to put my sewing things away, so this could be the last thing made for a while.

Friday, 18 April 2014

SWAP progress

With the end of April drawing near there is only a short amount of time left to complete the swap. I have completed the three sets of one bottom and two tops each and one of the wild cards, with just one wild card to go.

So far this is how the SWAP looks all together ...

Happy t-shirt

I used the same pattern as for the black sleeveless, white short sleeve and black long sleeve t-shirts although this time I used a plain for the shoulders and a print for the rest.

Initially I intended to use black for the shoulders but I forgot I had already used the leftovers to make the black sleeveless shirt, so white it had to be. The patterned fabric was from Crafty Mamma's and while it is a tad expensive, compared to what is on offer in Lincraft and Spotlight, it is far better quality.

I don't know why but this finished t-shirt makes me happy and little man thinks it's awesome (which is all that matters really). Still unsure as to whether I will get another item done for SWAP but the rules state that one item can be purchased so that is always an option ...

Monday, 14 April 2014

Fabric and alternate swap item

This fabric arrived today - Janeas World Boyz-Lines Grey Bio-interlock - from Crafty Mamas. I have just run it through the washer and dryer, glad I did too as it looks like there was a bit of shrinkage. Anyway, hope to get it pressed and ready for cutting out tomorrow so I can make little man another t-shirt.

I think I will swap it out for the short sleeve blue top as this gives a bit more opportunity for combinations and adds a little pattern to an otherwise very plain swap. This will go well with the black shorts, the blue shorts and the grey pants. The only bottom it won't work so well with are the cammo pants, but I am fine with that.


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Patterns for boys

I often think how lucky the Mums of little girls are having a multitude of different patterns to choose from. That feeling is not something the mothers of boys get to experience, even finding the most basic of patterns for a boy can be a task.

I had been looking for a pattern to make youngest son a jacket or hoodie to go with his SWAP clothes but I wasn't having a lot of luck. Most were intended to be fully lined or padded and with our climate that was a bit of overkill. Rather than buy one of those I wanted one intended for a single layer of fabric so I didn't have to re-think instructions. I eventually found this Burda pattern from sewing patterns dot com and decided it would do. It is nothing fancy but it is a hoodie and it has long sleeve or sleeveless options.

I opted for the download in order to get the pattern straight away and have printed it out but that is as far as I have got. There are quite a few pages and I will need the lounge room to myself so I can lay out the pattern, tape it all together and trace off the pattern pieces.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Another one crossed off the list.

Today was spent trying to get the bones of an essay completed for Uni but after spending most of the day working on it lack of concentration got the better of me. A sewing diversion was in order so I took the opportunity to attach the eyelets to the collar for little mans sweatshirt and finish it off. It did not all go smoothly though ...

It was all finished when little man tried it on and, despite earlier confirming it was the length he liked, he advised it was too short. Sigh. So with unpicker in hand I set to work, ruing the tiny stitches matched perfectly to the fabric and so very hard to see. I then added a double band across the bottom which gave it a nice finished edge (although it needs a good press to flatten it a little) and added the required extra length. So now it is done.

All I have to do now is either make a grey sweatshirt or jacket for the second wildcard or add an extra (purchased) shirt. It really depends on what little man wants and whether he needs another sweatshirt or a jacket?

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Pop on top

Another one for little man ... a top to pop over a shirt if he gets a bit cool.

The neckline of this is split (open down to the yoke) and was meant to have Velcro (hook and loop tape) but little man asked me to leave it open with no fastening so that is what I did.

He may change his mind later and if he does it will be easy enough to add snaps or buttons.

Please excuse the funny look on his face, this is a  recurring theme with him atm.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Another t-shirt

It might seem boring to some but I am positive that had I not made little mans pants, shorts and the t-shirts in all their variations using the same pattern I would have taken twice as long to get as far as I have.

There are only 3 weeks left till the end of SWAP and, now I have completed the white short sleeve t-shirt (seen on little man in the pic), I just have two items to go. One item is nearly completed and the other is not yet started and I am not yet 100% sure what it will be which is a bit of a challenge.

Completing two items in three weeks would seem an achievable goal however I have the kids all home on school holidays and I have two essays due for university in the next two weeks so it may just be out of my reach but I will try regardless.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Smart(y) pants

Ok not smart (as in dressy) pants but they are smart enough for a young man to run, jump and play in.

These pants were made from a camouflage print narrow whale corduroy and were sewn using the same pattern as the blue linen and black drill shorts and the grey drill pants that are already sewn.

This version has built extra length to accommodate fast growing (long) legs. By adding a little extra length (about 3cm) for now they will sit on his shoes and give a slight scrunched look at the ankle but as he grows the added length he will need is already there.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

One 3 piece set completed

Although I am sewing with a plan I have not been sewing items from each set together, if that makes any sense?

Now I have added the buttons to the shirt I have completed set #1. This set consists of black shorts with white top stitching, black sleeveless t-shirt and black & white striped short sleeve shirt.

All these pieces are great basics for him and he will get lots of wear from them.

I managed to get a quick snapshot of little man wearing them this afternoon but will have to take some better photo's when everything is done and hopefully he isn't pulling a funny face.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Getting shirty ...

The B&W striped cotton for little mans shirt was cut out some time ago but it kept getting put to the bottom of the 'to make' pile as other things took precedence but today it made its way to the top.

The shirt is not yet completed but I need to put it aside for now and consider things like making dinner (or the kids will revolt) but I hope to finish it tomorrow.

All that is left to do is the hand sewing on the inner collar edge, making buttonholes and adding the buttons which won't take long.

As I was sewing I realised that I have never sewn a woven shirt before, knit shirts yes but no wovens, so today was a first for me. While it is far from perfect and was only a basic pattern, I am pretty happy with the result. It can only get better from here ...

EDIT: Hand sewing and buttonholes are done, just need to sew the buttons on now.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Another one done ...

Using the same pattern as the long sleeve t-shirt, I have sewn up the sleeveless black t-shirt. Nothing fancy, just plain and useful.

The pattern itself is fine but I do not like the methods they use to attach the neckband or finish the sleeve edges on this version.

For the neckband they would have you stitch the seam of the neckband, fold it in half with right sides out, pin the edge of neck, stitch and turn upward but this does not give a nice finish. I prefer stitching one edge of the neckband around the neck right sides together on the outside, turning the band in and over the seam allowance and stitching in the ditch from the right side. This gives a better finish and looks nicer, imho, so this is what I did.

For the sleeves they have you turn under a very thin double hem and sew which, again, is not the best finish. If I had enough fabric (unfortunately I didn't) I would have applied sleeve bands as per the neck finish but turned the whole thin inside including the seam allowances and stitched from the outside, where the bands are inside and unseen and the end result is much neater. Oh well, next time.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Alternate plan

I had some grey drill put away to make little man some shorts for next summer but he saw it this morning and asked if it could be pants instead. We are heading into Autumn and while it does not get cold here it does cool down compared to what we are used to so pants are useful and the drill is not too thick as to make them uncomfortably warm.

A pair of simple pants has been cut from the same pattern as the previously sewn shorts but to make them a little different I omitted the large side pocket (partly due to insufficient fabric) and added instead a hammer loop coming from the small back pocket and a narrow pocket beneath it.

The pants are loosely cut and with these additions look similar to carpenters pants and, while he is only 8 and doesn't need these features, they help give an interest to otherwise plain pants. The loop and pocket is pictured here and because I didn't have a pattern I just made it up as I went along.

They may or may not form part of the SWAP for Stitchers Guild but that will depend on what I can make to go with them. Due to fabric limitations I could not make them any longer and while they are the right length now he will probably out grow them in no time at all but that is not a problem as I will simply cut them off and convert them into the shorts I intended to make in the first place.

EDIT: I have just cut a sleeveless t-shirt from the remnants of the already made black long sleeve t-shirt but that's as far as I have got.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Simplicity 2318

A simple long sleeve t-shirt was made today from this pattern, nothing flash just plain black and long sleeve.

I did not attach the pocket as the fabric was a light weight interlock and I did not think it would support it very well. I also did not make the yoke pieces from a contrasting colour (as suggested on the pattern) as I wanted a simple black shirt for him to wear with lots of other things and choosing one colour for the yoke would limit those options.

The pattern itself is straight forward and very easy to make but when sewing with black thread on black fabric on a day when it is raining with very little daylight it is a bit of a challenge.

Anyway, that is the first shirt is done and that makes 3 items (2 pairs of shirts and one shirt) completed towards my goal of 11.

I might just get there ...

Monday, 24 March 2014

Another one (almost) done

I have spent today making another pair of shorts for little man, this time a plain black drill with white top stitching, using the same pattern as the previous aqua pair. They are nothing flash but they will be a good wardrobe basic for him, he lives in shorts almost year round.

The shorts themselves were fast to sew but the top stitching took some time.

All there is left to do now is add a button to the back pocket, but it is late afternoon and the light is fading so it will have to wait till tomorrow.

Friday, 21 March 2014

One down

There was not a lot of spare time today but I did manage to sew up the aqua linen shorts, the first item in little mans 'swap'. They are nothing fancy, an 8 yo does not need fancy, they are easy on and off easy care shorts for every day wear. Best of all the likes them so that's a good thing. The linen was the left overs from making shorts for one of his big brothers almost ten years ago, so they were pretty much no cost as well.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Progress ...

Such as it is!

No sewing has been done yet, I am still waiting (for help) to rescue the sewing machine from the garage, so all I can do at the moment is trace patterns, cut fabric and assemble threads, buttons etc. so I will be ready to go as soon as the machine is uncovered.

The items cut out and ready to sew are:
  • 1 pair aqua linen shorts
  • 1 pair black drill shorts
  • 1 black and white striped short sleeve button front shirt
  • 1 black long sleeve t-shirt
  • 1 aqua sweatshirt
My plan has changed slightly and at the moment it looks something like this.

The patterns are not yet decided so these line drawings (borrowed from the net) are only indicative of type of garment. As the weather here is quite warm, we are in Autumn now and today it topped 33c (felt like 37c), and winters don't get all that cold so I have included items EJ can layer if he wants to and items for both warm and cooler weather as it can be quite changeable.

I doubt I will get all the sewing done and items made before the SWAP end date but I am not too phased as I am only participating for myself and not for the competition, there are far too many wonderful sewists entered to ever think I would have a chance.

So, I will be done when I am done, before the end date or not ...

Monday, 3 March 2014

Loving their style ...

Style Arc have just released their new March patterns and their freebie for the month ..

My favourites have to the these two ...