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!

 


* – affiliate link
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
* – affiliate link

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!

 


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

5 out of 4 – 20K Blog Tour

If there’s one thing about the British weather, it’s remarkably unpredictable! We always joke that you can spot a tourist by the way they’re unprepared for rain, or unusually cold snaps, so it seemed a logical step to make myself a warm fleece as part of the 5 out of 4 20k blog tour! Yes, you read that right, 5 out of 4 patterns* has hit 20k members in their facebook group!
Keep reading to check out my make, and read right on to the bottom of his post for details of the 40% off sale and giveaway!

I used the Ascent Fleece* pattern by 5 out of 4 patterns* again, but you’ve probably noticed that my fleece looks totally different from the other Ascent I made before. I’ve got a couple of RTW full-length zip fleeces, but I never find it comfortable to zip them up further than the base of my neck, so I thought a lace up style might be more user-friendly, while still keeping me warm!

I had to deviate from the pattern quite a bit to achieve the lace-up look, so I hope you’re paying attention at the back there, if you want to follow along!

Place the facing and front pieces right sides together and stitch as per the instructions. If you prefer to have no raw edges showing (although as fleece doesn’t fray, it’s not the end of the world), you can overlock / zigzag the two long sides and base of the facing first.

Cut down the centre of the facing stitching, and turn the facing in. The right side of the facing should now be on the wrong side of the front piece. Pin this in place.

Making sure to leave enough space for the eyelets, stitch down one side, across the base, then up the other side to secure the facing in place. I used a straight stretch stitch just for strength, as it won’t really need to stretch much (if at all). I used 4mm eyelets – there’s not really any need to use huge ones, as long as you can fold the tape or fit the cord through the hole.

Add the collar as stated in the instructions, but bear in mind that the facing is already sewn in (there’s no zip to fold it around), so when sewing the inner collar to the outer, you can start at the base of the short edge, sew up, along the top, then down the opposite short edge, before turning the inner collar to the inside.

I added in the holes for my eyelets at this point, but because the inner collar base hasn’t yet been stitched, I didn’t add in the eyelets – you really don’t want to be sewing over the top of them!


I used a straight stretch stitch on the ‘stitch in the ditch’ around the collar base, but decided to skip the top stitching around the top of the collar. I didn’t think it was necessary as the collar stands up fine without it. Really that’s just personal preference – the majority of RTW fleece tops do have that topstitching.

I started fitting the eyelets at this point, but stopped part way through as the thickness of the fleece was proving a bit of a challenge. I will admit I made a mess of 5 or 6 eyelets before I managed to get the fleece to behave, and all the eyelets in place.

I used a metre of plain tape and just threaded it through the eyelets as if I was lacing a shoe. I could probably trim the tape down a little, but I’d rather have it too long than not long enough. It was worth the hassle of the eyelets, as it certainly helps to keep the cold out, while being fully adjustable!

Can I just say that I love patterns which use a 3/8″ seam allowance, as that is the same as the width of my walking foot, so it’s really easy to line up on straight edges and on curves.

On to the pockets next, and another small deviation. I don’t have a concealed zipper foot for my machine (and really don’t want to fork out £20 or so for a branded one), so I picked out two standard zips instead. Rather than following the instructions, I used the method I came across before, for adding a zip to a dress.
You sew the side seam, then backstitch just where the zip is meant to start. Change the stitch length to the longest straight stitch you can, and tack (baste) for the length of the zip. Change back to whatever stitch you were using on the side seam, take a couple of stitches forwards, then backstitch to lock that in, before finishing sewing that seam.

If you look closely, you can see the difference in stitch length between the main seam (to the right of the zip) and the tacking where the zip will be.

Then you place the fleece wrong side up, and position the zip face down over the tacked stitches. I did straighten the zip out before sewing, as I realised it was somewhat wonky the way I’d pinned it to start with!

Turning everything right side up, carefully sew the zip into place. I kept the walking foot on for this step, so I had to sew half the zip at a time (I couldn’t get the zipper pull to move past the walking foot), but if you sewing machine will cope with the fleece and a zipper foot, that is a much better option.

Then just unpick the tacking (basting) stitches to open the pocket up and make it usable! This method will result in the stitches and the zip showing a lot more obviously than if you were using a concealed zip.

I added the pocket linings as the instructions stated, although I did use the main fabric for the pockets as well – I like to be able to plunge my hands into warm, cosy pockets on a cold day, so fleece was a necessity! That has made the front a little more bulky, but to my surprise my machine handled all those layers with no trouble at all when it came to hemming the base.

Although it was a cold windy day when these photos were taken, I was perfectly warm with my fleece top. It was definitely a wise idea to use the same fabric for the pockets, as my hands were suitably warm and toasty!

  

Never a wise idea to not have your hair tied back fully when it’s windy!

Wondering where the blog tour will take you this week? Here’s a handy little schedule to make sure you don’t miss any of the stops 🙂

5 out of 4 Patterns 20k Blog Tour Schedule

April 2 – Tales from a Southern Mom | Miss Marah Sewn

April 3 – Dragon’s Flame Designs | Poppy Monroe Collection

April 4 – Pear Berry Lane | Candi Couture Designs

April 5 – Sewing with D | Kathy Kwilts and More

April 6 – The Sassy Seamripper | My Heart Will Sew On

And to top off their celebrations, 5 out of 4 patterns* are not only offering 40% off their patterns (excluding Gloria) from Monday 2nd April through Saturday 7th April with the code SOBIG, but also have an amazing giveaway you can enter! Check out the prizes on offer (and how to enter) in the Rafflecopter box below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And good luck!


*

Pattern: Ascent Fleece* by 5 out of 4 patterns*
Fabric: Mark Pickles Sewing Studio
* – affiliate link

Strawberry Dragon (finished)

Strawberry is finished! When I started, the only alteration to the pattern was going to be printing the pattern at 150% for a larger dragon. In the end, I made a few more alterations just to hopefully end up with a sturdier dragon.

I cut the spines from two layers of fleece rather than using felt. With a dragon this size being given to to my cousin’s little boy for his third birthday, I wanted something that would be soft, yet sturdy if he was picked up by his spines.

The arms and wings are meant to be ladder stitched onto the body, but I cut a slot and machine stitched them on the inside just to make sure they stay attached! This gave Strawberry a small dart-like shape on his sides, but the fleece is quite stretchy so once he was stuffed you couldn’t really see the dart shape.

A slight error in reading the pattern meant I machine stitched the tail base to the tail sides and bottom part of the body, rather than leaving that gap to add the stuffing. So, as I was finding the foot pads challenging to sew by machine, I stuff him through that gap, and hand stitched the foot pads at the end!

Hopefully K will approve of his not-so-scary, cuddly dragon.

 


Pattern: Yoki the Dragon
Fabric: Red apparel fleece from Fashion Fabrics
Safety eyes: Hobbycraft

Festive Forest Furry Bat

I finally finished the Forest Furry Bat without jabbing myself with the sewing needle too many times! It wasn’t the easiest of things to hand sew, given the thickness of the faux fur pile, but I think the end result was worth it.

I know it’s not really seasonal given that I’d chosen some Christmas fabric for the inner ears and wings, but I didn’t want to wait for December to share it!

I think if I make another bat in faux fur, I’d be tempted to use fleece or felt to make the feet so it stands up a little better! But it has given the bat a totally different look to the original design, which was definitely worth the effort.


Bat Pattern: BeeZeeArt
Faux Fur & festive fabric (wings and ears): Fashion Fabrics