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!

Dinosaur Hatteras Hoodie

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!

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?


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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

Penguin RDJs

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!


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

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