Just for a bit of variety, I decided to draw a picture on my Puzzler competition entry this month. I google searched pictures of Winnie the Pooh until I found one I thought I could copy without too much trouble.
What do you do when the shirt you’re sewing isn’t progressing as quickly as you’d hoped? You shelve the shirt, and make a small Clovelly cap instead of course!
As you can probably tell from the raw edges, this isn’t quite finished yet – I need to get another metal rectangle loop thing for the back, to feed the velcro section through, to make the cap fully adjustable.
It’s taken a while, plus some unpicking when I accidentally stitched the sleeve to the neckline… (yeah, don’t ask how I managed that!) but my denim Fashionista* is looking less like a pile of pieces, and a lot more like a jacket now!
The lining was where I came unstuck when I shelved this project last month, but I decided I ought to just get on and try it again. I didn’t unpick the seam where it caught up, but to be honest I don’t think you’d know now it’s all sewn together!
I hadn’t expected to find branded lining fabric, but when I came across this Jaeger lining, I knew it would work really well for a jacket lining. It does make the jacket a lot more structured – the jacket looks like it’s still being worn when it’s on a hanger!
The sleeves need a little hand stitching just to catch the lining into the side of the placket, but other than that they were sewn exactly as the pattern suggested. Eventually the cuffs will have buttonholes and denim buttons, but I want to test using my Prym pliers to attach the buttons as I think that might work a lot better than hammering them.
I decided to stay with just one line of topstitching but deviated from the pattern to top stitch the sleeve seam as well. I thought that would help to strengthen the seam after I had to unpick it.
Although the jacket looks mostly finished, as you can see by this photo, I still have the waistband to attach, and the buttons to add. As with my Showerproof Fashionista, I chose to sew the facing as you would normally expect, rather than adding it like bias binding as the pattern suggests. That was I was able to use my ‘take it easy’ ribbon piece on the back as a label.
Starting the Denim Fashionista – Part way through the Denim Fashionista (this post) – Finished Denim Fashionista
What do you make for a young relative who loves dinosaurs, when you’ve already made him a cuddly dinosaur before?
I settled for my tried-and-tested Hatteras Hoodie, and went to find some suitable fabric… which was harder than I’d first thought! Eventually I came across this dinosaur sweatshirt fabric at Sewing Studio, and despite the main stretch being vertical rather than horizontal, the random positioning of the dinosaurs meant I could still use it
I’d purchased some black ribbing fabric to use for the hood lining, waistband and cuffs. Unfortunately (the disadvantage of buying online) this fabric was a lot thinner than I’d anticipated. The hood lining didn’t need to be heavy, so I used the ribbing for that, but it wasn’t going to work for the cuffs as it was.
I had part of a pack of cuff ribbing left over, which worked for the cuffs on this hoodie, but there wasn’t enough for the waistband.
Playing around with the original ribbing fabric, I tried holding two layers together and realised that might just work to give enough stretch and strength for the waistband. This hoodie is an age 6, but made for a child who wears an age 4 at the moment. It should give him a nice long time to wear it before he grows out of it, but it does then need a decent rib for the waistband to help hold it in until he grows more!
I cut four waistband pieces instead of two, and just used the additional ones inside the main waistband pieces to give it more strength. To me, that feels strong enough, but we’ll have to see how well it holds out – he won’t have the chance to try this hoodie on until Father Christmas delivers it next week, so I won’t know for certain just yet!
After wearing these Real Deal Jeans* for several weeks, I realised I hadn’t blogged them! The fabric is stretchier than the pattern requires, so I added in some elastic to the waistband to stop it stretching out of shape. I didn’t stretch the elastic as I added it in, so it will hopefully hold the shape without pulling the waist in at all.
The pocket bags are a plain black polycotton I found in my fabric stash, and although the length of the jeans looks a little short in these photos, I wanted to ensure I could comfortably wear them barefoot without standing on the hem.
I made these from the grand total of 1 metre of fabric, so they were a cheap make – I do need to practise the zip, as the waistband isn’t entirely level but they’re really comfy to wear and that slight error on the waistband isn’t really all that noticeable when I’m wearing them!
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?
Having struggled with the smaller faux fur bear I’d tried making before Christmas (that one is currently in my “semi-abandoned” bag), I wanted to give the Delight pattern a go. This pattern is designed for faux fur or a non-pile fabric, so I thought it might work in fleece as a trial run. Given that the fleece Delight was a success, I cut the pattern pieces from some very tactile purple faux fur.
This fur is considerably thicker than the fleece, so I trimmed the fur in the seam allowance to make it a bit easier for my sewing machine to handle. The bear’s limbs are sewn into the body rather than being jointed, which means they’re firmly attached! I did use a toy joint for the head, as I found it quite challenging to line up the seam accurate in order to sew it directly onto the body.
Normally I’d use toy stuffing with some plastic pellets to give the bear weight, but I had some bean bag filling in the cupboard, and thought it could be interesting to try that out instead. It was a nightmare to stuff into the bear, as the filling not only has a has a static cling but also doesn’t compress when you try pushing down on it, so it ended up everywhere (including all over the floor at one point)! But it has given Delight a lovely crinkly sound when you squeeze his paws, and he is actually quite ‘squishable’ which is a bonus too.
As you can see, Delight isn’t quite finished yet – he still needs his ears, and a nose & mouth; those are the features which really give the bear character…. and are also the parts which I find the most challenging, as if the ears or mouth are slightly lopsided it really looks odd!
Whenever I’ve tried making a bear out of a non-pile fabric, they haven’t come out looking quite ‘right’. Usually it’s the head or muzzle that just seems to be the wrong shape compared to the faux fur example picture. Delight, however is specifically designed for faux for or calico, so the head shape should look perfect regardless of the fabric I use.
I decided to test it out with some remnants of a fleece blanket (the same one I used for the reindeer a couple of years ago) and made Delight entirely unjointed.
The head was a struggle to align, so I think Delight would benefit from a scarf or ribbon just to cover up the shoddy stitching! I used a combination of plastic pellets and toy stuffing to make Delight as cuddly as he looks. You may notice that he’s missing a nose and mouth – that was done on purpose, as I felt that the stitching would detract from the spotty details of the fleece ….that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it!
I do love the overall look – it’s a much better head shape than the other patterns I’ve tried before. I think the next Delight I make will be in faux fur, but as Delight is designed as a signature bear maybe it would also work to have a calico version which has an embroidered design on it (or if that fails, just a hand drawn design instead!).
And yes I admit I used a darker thread than was advisable with such a light coloured fleece!
I know it’s been a while since I posted, but rest assured I’ve been busy sewing. Things have been a little hectic here, so I’ve not had as much opportunity to blog. Hopefully though, everything will quieten down a little, so I can get back to my regular weekly blog posts!
With two weeks to go, Kerala Crafts have just £455 to go, to reach their target of £1,200, to purchase an industrial sewing machine for one of their projects in Southern India – a small co-operative of women, who sew clothes to sell locally, and also create Fair Trade knickers that are sold in the UK, with all profits going back to India, helping to fund various community projects.
That’s just £32.50 a day that Kerala Crafts need now, to reach their target…. but if they don’t get to 100%, then they get absolutely nothing 🙁
So, lets see if we can raise enough money to get these ladies the sewing machine that will enable them to meet the demand for these Fair Trade pants, which in turn will bring more funding to community projects as well!
Even a donation of £1 helps, and if you can’t afford that, or don’t want to, then a mention on your blog, or a post on twitter will help!