Category Archives: Sewing

The first UFO of 2019

Ok, I will admit that I did the very first part of my WinterWear Designs Fashionista* last year, but because I filed it away over Christmas and New Year, I’m counting this as my first UFO for 2019.

The Fashionista* has a shaped front yoke which looks really good, but did prove a little challenging to sew accurately. I know there’s a slight catch in the front section below the yoke, but there’s a matching one on the other side so I’m calling it a design feature rather than a mistake 😉

The back still needs pressing from where the middle panel was stored folded, but it’s looking like the variegated topstitching thread was worth buying. I chose to only do one line of topstitching instead of two, but I’m using a triple straight stretch stitch so it shows up more than a regular stitch.


That’s the front and back panels complete, so I’ll be working on the shoulder seams next, before diving into the sleeves. Denim jackets normally are unlined, but I spotted this ex-designer fabric on the Minerva Crafts website and thought it could make an interesting addition to my Fashionista. Once I’ve got the sleeves attached, I’ll then work on the lining, before adding the front plackets, cuffs and waist band…. or at least that’s the plan – it might well end up unlined if I can’t figure out how to add a lining!


Starting the Denim Fashionista (this post) – Part way through the Denim Fashionista – Finished Denim Fashionista



* affiliate link
Pattern: Fashionista * by WinterWear Designs*
Fabric:
Denim and topstitching thread from Sewing Studio
Lining fabric from Minerva Crafts

Nine things to try for 2019

Top Row:

  • Fashionista Jacket* by WinterWear Designs
    I’ve always wanted to try sewing my own denim jacket, and I will admit I’ve already got the denim and some variegated topstitching thread ready to start this one!
  • Bryce Cargo Trousers* by Hey June Handmade*  
    I bought this pattern last year, realised that it was more fitted than any I’ve made before, and instantly shelved the idea. But this year will be the one when I make some Bryce Cargo trousers…. or at least start them!
  • Brunswick Sweater* by Hey June Handmade*
    Ok, so I have a lot of hoodie patterns, but the design of this one stood out as one to try, I’m quite taken with the button detail at the base of the bodice, which would make a good excuse to buy some fancy buttons to use!

Middle Row:

  • Provence Pea Coat* by WinterWear Designs*
    I’ve never tried sewing a coat before, so what better time than if I can get it started in the Winter? I do have some faux wool fabric sitting in a box, just waiting for this particular pattern
  • Around the Block hoodie by Ellie and Mac
    I’ve sewn several hoodies, but so far nothing from an Ellie and Mac pattern (although my latest hoodie is a mash of Hey June bodice and sleeves, with Ellie and Mac neckline and hood). This year I’m determined to change that, and make myself an Around the Block hoodie.
  • Scrundlewear by Stitch Upon a Time
    Ok, this one is a bit more unusual, but seeing as I tried sewing socks in 2018, why not try sewing pants in 2019?

Bottom Row:

  • Neck Tie Top* by WinterWear Designs*
    Not the style of top I would normally pick, but there’s something about this Neck Tie Top which makes me want to give it a go!
  • Kelly Anorak by Closet Case Patterns
    Not content with adding in a Pea Coat, I really want to try sewing a showerproof coat this year – the Kelly Anorak was a pattern I kept coming back to browse during 2018, so maybe 2019 is the year I will attempt making it! I’ve already bought the fabric I want to use, so there’s no excuse now…. right?
  • Belladonna Bear by Emma’s Bears
    It wouldn’t be a 9 to Try if I didn’t include at least one plushie, would it? Belladonna is quite a large bear, but if I can find the ‘right’ faux fur, I think she could look amazing!

2018 was quite successful for achieving my 9 to Try, so let’s see what comes of my nine for 2019!


*affiliate link
WinterWear Designs*
Hey June Handmade*

Nine things to try in 2018 – recap

Remember my 9 to Try for last year? I didn’t really think I’d achieve making any of them, so let’s see how successful I was….

Finished Projects

Zen trousers – 12 – 3 –  plus a pair of shorts I haven’t yet blogged, and a guest post coming to the Minerva Crafts blog next week!
Giverney Jacket – 1 plus one I haven’t blogged yet
Novelista Button-Up – 12 – 3
Plush Bat – 1
Willa / Atilla – 1 plus a couple of Atilla the Bun plushies which I haven’t blogged yet
Real Deal Jeans – 12 – 3 (penguins) – plus my Anchor RDJs which are currently needing a bit of tweaking before they’re hemmed (oops)


Unfinished Projects (UFOs)

Just the Anchor Real Deal Jeans, seeing as there were too many mistakes which need amending before I can hem them (oops)


Projects Not Started

Cheyenne
Marigold
Refined Raglan

I thought my most likely projects to not complete from that list would be the Real Deal Jeans, and Zen trousers! Oddly enough, it’s the projects which require simple woven cotton which I haven’t attempted…. maybe that’s something to work on for this year?

Off We Go!

I spotted this panel fabric in my local fabric store early in the year, made up the book, then forgot all about it! This was a Christmas present for K, although it does seem a little young for him now (oops).

The back page is obviously completely personalised, but I’ve edited out the details so his full name isn’t on the photo. Can I just say I love the alphabet options on my Janome M200 QDC!

So I sent it with the Dinosaur Hatteras Hoodie plus a note saying that the dinosaurs had eaten all the words for the story, so he’d have to make up his own story to fit!

Another pair of jeans, another mistake

I really don’t know how I’m making so many mistakes with jeans at the moment – my first ever pair of denim jeans came out as I expected, but since then my jeans have been going wrong!

First let’s start with the positives on these Real Deal Jeans*. I decided to do some decorative top stitching on the back yoke, and also for the back pockets. The yoke stitching isn’t overly visible unless you look closely, but that doesn’t matter as the anchor pattern is quite bold anyway.

So the back was a definite success, which means the front must have the disaster, right? I don’t know if it’s just the way I put the zip in, or if I’m missing something in the instructions, but the left side is a different height at the waistband to the right-hand side.

This is the same pair of jeans – I didn’t use the flash for this photo, so it came out a bit darker than the real shade of blue

What seems to happen, is that the zip moves (despite being pinned), and ends up slightly higher on the second side. I had this before with my Penguin RDJs but while my Dawn jeans didn’t have this mistake, these anchor jeans have a more noticeable difference between the left and right at the waistband.

Not only that, but I had a disaster with the button – when I hammered it in, it ended up skewed. 

So before I get on and sort the hem to finish these off, does anybody have any recommendations for how to remove the hammered-in button, and also to resolve the waistband problem, or will I be stuck with that lopsidedness forever?


* affiliate link
Pattern:  Real Deal Jeans* by WinterWear Designs*
Fabric: Anchor denim from Sewing Studio

Baby Tee

I hardly ever make baby clothing, but when a neighbour was expecting I decided it was a good excuse to try out a Patterns for Pirates free pattern to make a tee.

I will admit I made several mistakes in the sewing, most of which came about because it’s a much smaller size than I’ve ever sewn before! The lap part of the tee (where the back panel laps over the front) isn’t quite sewn into the seams fully… but it’ll be perfectly wearable until the little’un grows out of it!

And of course, I had to make a card to go with it. I just hope the tee fits little J!


Pattern: Wee Lap Tee by Patterns for Pirates
Fabric: Jersey from Sewing Studio
Card: graphics from FreePik.com

Why do jeans always go wrong?

The front of my latest Dawn Jeans came out near enough perfect – the front left lines up with the front right, and the button hammered in exactly straight.

However, when it comes to the back, it all goes wrong! In top stitching the waistband down, I seem to have a bunch of denim, but no corresponding bulk for the waistband lining.

Of course I thought it was a good idea to top stitch using a triple straight stretch stitch, which is one of the most challenging stitches to unpick.

So before I reach for the seam ripper, does anyone have any hints or tips for the best way to unpick my mistakes?


Pattern: Dawn Jeans by Megan Nielsen 
Fabric: stretch denim from Mibs Fabrics
Inner waistband & pocket bags – polycotton from Fashion Fabrics

Showerproof “Quilted” Bag

I’ve had enough of soggy bags when I’ve been out for a walk in the rain, so I thought it was time I tried sewing one in a showerproof fabric. I spotted this laminated cotton with a nifty quilted picture printed on it at Mibs Fabrics, and thought it’d be ideal. I picked out an airtex mesh for the lining, and because that obviously has holes in it, added in a sew-in interfacing just to strengthen the lining a little.

The mesh was an experience to sew, having never used anything like that before! I found that backing it with interfacing also helped my eyes, as being able to see the dark table through the holes in the fabric was starting to get challenging.

Originally I was going to add a zipped pocket to the front flap, but I made a mess of the sewing on that, and had to improvise. Thankfully I had just enough fabric left to cut a (slightly short) replacement panel, and salvaged some of my mistake piece to make a basic patch pocket with a flap closure instead.

I think the flap works better for a bag that’s likely to get caught out in the rain though, as in theory the rain should just run off the flap, and not end up in the pocket itself!

I didn’t bind my seams with any waterproof tape, so I know the bag won’t be 100% waterproof, but I’m hoping it’ll be a great deal better than my usual bags bade from canvas!


Pattern:  Crazy Little Projects
Fabric: Laminated Cotton and Airtex Mesh  from Mibs Fabrics

Fabric: Laminated Cotton and Airtex Mesh  from Mibs Fabrics

Going Rogue

If you were to tell me a couple of months ago that I would have made a pair of socks, I’d have jut laughed and pointed out that I never got the hang of knitting in the round… it wouldn’t have dawned on me that sewn socks were even a thing!

But they are, and I’ve tried making a pair!

The front looks quite accurate, but I think I need to work on the heel insert a little more – the base of the heel looks quite rectangular to me, although that could just be down to the recipient’s feet not quite being the same size as the socks!

My next pair will be without the heel insert, to see how comfortable that is – I don’t usually wear heel-less socks, but if they’re comfy then it’ll be a much faster sew!


Pattern: Going Rogue Socks by The Wolf and the Tree
Fabric: Jersey remnants from Fashion Fabrics