Real Deal Penguins!

Ok, I know I haven’t finished my first Real Deal Jeans yet, but I spotted this penguin fabric in town the other day, and couldn’t resist seeing if it’d work for another pair of jeans.

This is a stretchier fabric than the pattern calls for, so I’ll be adding in some elastic to the waistband, just to help it keep its shape.

I didn’t do any decorative stitching on the back pockets this time, as the penguins are really all the detail it needs.

These should be really comfy to wear – I just need to get on and finish sewing them now!


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Pattern:  Real Deal Jeans* by WinterWear Designs*
Fabric: Cotton Elastane from Fashion Fabrics

 

Making my own Jeans (UFO)

I’ve always wanted to be brave enough to make my own jeans. In fact, this year I added the Real Deal Jeans* by WinterWear Designs* to my 9 to Try in order to persuade myself to pluck up the courage to attempt them!

I decided that denim was going to be tricky on my Janome 525s – I’d struggled with it not feeding through evenly if there’s a bulky seam, and felt that denim would be a step too far as a first attempt. Instead, I found some lightweight cotton elastane fabric which looked like it might work well. I bought a metre, expecting it to be enough for a pair of shorts, seeing as the pattern says you’d need 3 metres.

As luck would have it, being petite in height and a smaller size, meant I could actually fit an entire pair of jeans on this metre of fabric!

Top stitching isn’t my favourite pastime, but I’ve made a special effort to make this as neat as possible…. even though most of it isn’t visible against the patterned fabric!


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Pattern:  Real Deal Jeans* by WinterWear Designs*
Fabric: Cotton Spandex from Sewing Studio

 

Fruit Polo Polar Bear Knot (UFO)

I wasn’t planning on making another Knot Your Average Top* quite so soon, but when I came across some digital print Cotton Elastane in the fabric shop, I knew it was going to make a great top!

I’ve got “so far” with this top, and had to stop to try and figure out just how to make it work – I’ve added in a second layer to the top bodice part, as a ‘shelf bra’. That bit went well, but I’m trying to work out how to add in the elastic and sew the side seams neatly without getting too many lumps of crossing seams!

I think it’ll be worth the effort though, and will make a great top for the autumn, as it’s probably going to be too thick to wear on a hot summer’s day!


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Pattern: Knot Your Average Top* by 5 out of 4 Patterns
Fabric: Cotton Elastane from Fashion Fabrics

Union Street Tee (UFO)

After trying some raglan sleeve t-shirts, I decided it was time I attempted a v-neck, and the Union Street Tee* by Hey June Handmade caught my eye.

As usual with Hey June Handmade* patterns, the instructions are really detailed, so I figured I would be able to make a super v-neck…. unfortunately, due to user error, my v-neck is currently looking rather lopsided.

As I was sewing the neckline band, I think I must have stretched one side further than the other…. unfortunately, I didn’t realise until I’d top stitched the band, so I don’t know if it’ll be possible to unpick to resew that.

Maybe I’ll just leave it wonky, and call it a design feature!

 


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Pattern:  Union Street Tee* by Hey June Handmade
Fabric: Fashion Fabrics

Jellycat Inspired….

Whenever my Mum sees a display of Jellycat plushies in a shop, she stops to run her hand through the fur of the PomPom birds.

Pompom plushie by Jellycat.com

Rather than buying a Pompom, I decided to try making my own…. which was going to be an experience, considering I had no pattern to work from!

I sketched out the rough shapes, making two 5-part spheres for the body and head. I found a long pile faux fur, although it’s still a bit shorter than the faux fur Jellycat use for theirs.

Jellycat say the pompoms have “suedey legs” so I cut the legs, neck and beak from faux suede. I was planning on using a plastic straw in the neck to help it hold up the weight of the head, but I left that out in the end, as it was too fiddly to try getting the stuffing around it!

My version of the Pompom is a little taller than Jellycat’s, and the legs aren’t quite the same proportions, but it worked well as an unusual gift!


Pattern: Self Drafted
Inspiration: Jellycat
Faux fur & faux suede from Fashion Fabrics

Ascent 2

I know it doesn’t seem overly seasonal, but with the great British Summer approaching, you never quite know what thickness of clothing you will need! In March we had snow, then a mini heatwave in April, before temperatures of 7C again! Besides, it’s nice to have a warm fleece to wear on a chilly late spring / early summer’s evening.

Following from my first Ascent fleece, I decided to change the facing a little, to make it easier to sew. I couldn’t find a suitably chunky zip this time, so I picked out a 10″ open zip instead and just covered the end with my facing.

I used bias binding for the facing – it dawned on me that a zip wouldn’t stretch sideways, so why did the facing need to be stretchy? The bias binding was a dream to sew in comparison to the jersey I used last time, and links in the white zips as well.

The pockets have regular zips again, but I stuck with white non-concealed zips to lift the navy blue fleece. Too much of a dark plain colour can look too heavy for the person this is made for, so I felt the white zips would lighten it enough for her.

The pockets are self-lined with the fleece, and while that’s not ideal for this time of year, it’ll be perfect for Autumn and Winter, with no risk of cold hands while she’s wearing this!

If you want to be really picky, the front section doesn’t quite seem to want to hang properly – it looks like it’s a little caught up near the base of the zip. But the relative I made this for was perfectly happy with it, and once it’s being worn you really wouldn’t notice it at all.

The pattern has been adjusted for her height (or lack of!), but I added in some extra length to save needing to add a band at the base.


Pattern: Ascent Fleece* by 5 out of 4 patterns*
Fabric: Fashion Fabrics
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Forest Bear (finished)

Yes that’s right, the pear-shaped project is finally finished! Yay!

I machine stitched the arms and legs, but hand stitched the paw pads – they were just too small and fiddly to even attempt to sew by machine.

The main problem came when I realised I’d sewn the limbs ready to attach for a non-jointed bear, but had forgotten to add in holes in the body to sew them in (oops). I had to be creative with a way around that, which results in carefully trimmed the fur on the body where the limbs would be sewn on (the only way it’s possible to see the back of the fabric) and sew the limbs directly to the body.

Ok, I’m calling Willa “finished” but he still doesn’t have a nose…. he’ll get one (eventually), but for now he’s finished.


Pattern: Willa Bear by Emma’s Bears
Fabric: Faux Fur from Fashion Fabrics
Safety eyes: Hobbycraft

National Stationery Week

Did you know it’s National Stationery Week this week? As I’m currently half way through a couple of sewing projects (I know I said I would try and finish one before starting another…. the temptation was too great!), I thought it would be a good opportunity to share the Product Testing Review I did for Minerva Crafts earlier this year.

I tested the Colette Sewing Planner, and you can read what I thought of it at the Minerva Crafts Blog!

Forest Bear (UFO)

Think back to last year, and the fake fur I purchased ready for Christmas…. yes that’s right the green is the same as the bat I made earlier this year, and this is the project I mentioned that had gone pear shaped!

Willa is a smaller plushie than I’ve tried making before, and it’s proving more fiddly on the smaller pieces. The head was reasonably successful though, and I even attempted some fur trimming around the muzzle to try and get a better shape.

As usual, I’m leaving the nose and mouth embroidery until the very last minute…. that can make or break a plushie, which means it’s the most nerve-wracking part!

 


Pattern: Willa Bear by Emma’s Bears
Fabric: Faux Fur from Fashion Fabrics
Safety eyes: Hobbycraft

Hey June Lane Raglan

After my attempt at making the Shark Rivage Raglan, I wanted to try a different pattern that was a little more fitted without being designed to be skin tight. Enter the Lane Raglan* by Hey June Handmade, which actually comes complete with a FBA pattern piece to save the hassle of trying to add in a FBA to a raglan top (which is something I wouldn’t have a clue how to do!).

Ignoring the fact that I cut the fabric upside down on one sleeve, so those swans are swimming the wrong way up, I’m really pleased with how this came out.

Adding the neckband was a little challenging in places, but once I got my sewing machine to co-operate, it went on quite neatly. I topstitched the neckband in place with a stretch stitch, but reverted back to a zigzag for the cuffs as that is a more forgiving stitch if you’re slightly off line!

 


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Pattern: Lane Raglan* by Hey June Handmade
Fabric: Fashion Fabrics