Tag Archives: clothing

A Flurry of Face Coverings

It was almost impossible to look at sewing posts last year without seeing at least one face covering, or a pattern for one. Some people were making hundreds of them to give away, others made hundreds to sell, and for a while I felt that I was “failing” for not making them or scrubs!

However, I eventually came to accept that while I have the skill to be able to make things and I also liked the idea of helping out charities and local organisations / the local doctor’s surgery & hospital, the whole ‘production line’ way of making multiples of the same item like that, just isn’t something I am able to do.

I didn’t actually make any face coverings until the first mention that they were going to be essential to wear when entering a shop – so I made my first few for my parents.

A little while later, another relative requested masks for their family members which included a 5 year old child. By this point I was feeling comfortable with the adult patterns I was using, but what was I going to do for a child’s pattern? The first pattern I found was marked as age 2-5 and age 6-10 – how on earth was I going to know which would work the best, given that the masks were going to be posted?

In the end, I made three different child’s masks (one of each size, and another from a different pattern) in the hope that at least one would work well. I made the two different sized ones in totally different fabric (the foxes and dinosaurs on the bottom right of the photo above) so it would be easier to work out which face covering actually fitted the best.

Spurred on by my success, I made two matching masks for a friend’s birthday (who would’ve thought that a face covering would be a suitable birthday present?), picking the same adult patterns I’d used previously. Again, I wasn’t too sure which that friend would find most comfortable to wear, hence the two different designs. These were made from a fat eighth that I’d won as part of a bumper prize from Sew Magazine a couple of years ago.

Of all the masks, the pleated ones were the hardest to make as threading the elastic through the tunnel with all those pleats in place, was almost impossible at times. So for my next batches, I stuck with the shaped masks. These two went to a friend in Norway, while the ones below were sent to a friend in America. You can just about see the same fox fabric on the lining for the right-hand mask – these work really well for using up those smaller pieces of fabric that you’re not quite sure what to make from!

More foxes! I used the same foxes for the lining on the right-hand mask, which probably wasn’t overly intelligent – while the shaped mask is reasonably clear which way round it goes, having a different pattern to the lining (or even a plain fabric) makes it really clear for those “not quite awake” mornings when you need to go grocery shopping!

I also added in a little waterproof ripstop carry bag for the face coverings – the ring on the edge means you can clip it to your keys, or into your bag so you should never be caught out without a mask!

And finally, I had another request from the same relative for some Christmas-themed masks just to make work seem a little more fun in the run up to Christmas last year. They also requested a couple of matching sets to include a children’s mask.

I not only made the Christmas themed ones, but also added in some more spring and summer face coverings just to give them something fun for the warmer months when Father Christmas and snowmen didn’t quite seem ‘right’.

And just to try out a different pattern, I made one of the 3D Masks for myself. I didn’t get the topstitching quite as close to the fold, so the shape feels a little smaller than I think it should, but it does feel pretty comfortable.

I used the same thin elastic for all my face covering makes, as I felt that thicker elastic might cause a problem if it caught the back of the glasses arm behind the ear.


Patterns used:
Shaped Face Covering – the Big Community Sew
Pleated Face Covering – the Big Community Sew
Children’s Shaped Face Covering – the Big Community Sew
Children’s Olson Face Covering
3D Mask Template – See Kate Sew
Face Covering Pouch – Hobbycraft blog

Embroidered Cord over at Minerva

I can’t believe I haven’t posted these here yet! I made these jeans last year, with some embroidered cord from Minerva. To make it fit on their new website (I had too many photos for a single post!), the blog post is split into three:

OneTwoThree

I’d never sewn with cord before, let alone embroidered cord, so this was an interesting experience!

As usual, I was gifted the fabric in exchange for the blog post as part of their Minerva Makers team 😁

A very summery look – tropical shirt and shorts

I’m excelling at non seasonal makes right now, but at least this one can help me dream of sunny summery days, when it’s dark and drizzly outside!

My latest make is now live on the (new!) Minerva website! I split it into two posts, so you can read the shirt make first, then carry on with the shorts!

As usual, I was gifted the fabric in exchange for the blog post as part of their Minerva Makers team 😁

Back to Minerva Crafts today….

….with a lightweight Eden Jacket, made from this awesome Memory Raincoat fabric! I’ve been able to put this jacket through its paces in rain, and as long as it’s not torrential rain I’ve kept dry – torrential rain is another matter entirely, but my walking companion was wearing a purchased waterproof coat and that let more water through than my Eden jacket did!


Pattern: Eden Jacket by Tilly and the Buttons
Fabric: Memory Raincoat supplied by Minerva

Softshell Eden Jacket

Ok, I admit I’m not exactly sewing seasonal projects right now! But I have managed to get the Softshell Eden Jacket finished…. and my Mum has already claimed it for herself!

I wanted to make the topstitching quite noticeable, so I used some multicoloured Guttermann thread just to liven up the plain navy fabric. Unfortunately my sewing machine decided to skip stitches at times, so it’s not quite as evenly stitched as I’d hoped. I discovered on a later project that if I used a regular needle rather than a sharps needle, it actually sews an even stitch – just don’t ask me why!

I did purchase some poppers, but I haven’t yet tried adding them – Mum seemed quite happy with the jacket not having popped pocket flaps, and she never uses the poppers on her bought waterproof coat anyway.

The “alien” stage of turning the Eden jacket out – not the easiest of things to do with such thick fabric!

I’d never sewn a “proper” coat before, and certainly hadn’t even considered bagging out a lining… but it all went surprisingly smoothly, even down to the thread chain to finish it all off.

The finishing touch – a thread chain to hold the lining and outer fabric together under the arms (never done one of these before)

I couldn’t resist using a rainbow zip on the front of the jacket – the front placket does cover it, but it does give a flash of colour when you go to zip it up / unzip it.

And of course a colourful lining, to make up for the very understated plain dark blue outer.

All we need now, is some suitably cold weather so Mum can test it out!


Pattern: Eden Jacket by Tilly and the Buttons
Fabric: Navy softshell from Fashion Fabrics
Other supplies: Zip from Mibs

Nautical Product Testing

Hop over to the Minerva Crafts Blog to see what I made from this nautical polycotton – it’s never too late to think of summer sewing!


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Patterns: McCalls 7381 and Endless Summer Shorts* by WinterWear Designs
Fabric: Nautical Polycotton supplied by Minerva Crafts

Camp-a-Long Critters

I cut out this Button-Up Top* last year, then shelved it because I ran out of fabric for the sleeves. I managed to get some contrasting fabric in the autumn last year, then decided that it a summer-weight short sleeve shirt wasn’t a project I wanted to work on in the colder months, so it was shelved again.

So this week I started sewing the pieces together, and realised that my first attempt at pattern matching (albeit only the horizontal lines) actually worked surprisingly well!

Both front pieces line up really well, give or take a few millimetres, and I tried to line up the back yoke with one of the lines, so it gives a nice border to that piece. Unfortunately I wasn’t as careful in cutting out the back – I was more eager to use as much of the fabric as possible, than trying to match the lines.

I’m trying to ignore the back not being anywhere near lined up… after all, when I’m wearing it I won’t be able to see the back anyway! All I need to do now, is work on the sleeves and collar, then find some suitable buttons. Hopefully I can still get it finished during the summer!


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Pattern: Button-Up Top*  by Winterwear Designs*
Fabric: Camp-a-Long Critters quilting cotton from Sewing Studio

Eden jacket – a work in progress

I purchased some navy softshell fabric earlier in the year, with the view of making the Kelly coat. Since then, Tilly and the Buttons released the Eden jacket pattern, which looked like it would be more forgiving on the sizing. The sleeves on the Kelly look quite fitting, whereas the Eden has a much more boxy shape.

Decision made, I set about cutting out my pieces, and also decided to use the same topstitching thread I had picked out for my denim Fashionista jacket.

Sewing softshell is pretty easy, as long as you have a ‘sharps’ needle – a regular needle won’t have the right strength or sharpness to pierce the fabric cleanly.

So far I have the pockets and pocket flaps attached – eventually these should have poppers, if I can find some in the shop!


Pattern: Eden Jacket by Tilly and the Buttons
Fabric: Navy softshell from Fashion Fabrics

South Shore

I’ve seen lots of photos of women wearing rompers, and thought I’d take the plunge myself in making the Ellie and Mac South Shore romper from some scuba crepe.

I’ve got the side seams tacked at the moment, as I wasn’t too sure on the sizing – I added in a little extra fabric, but I think that’s making the top a little too baggy. My main problem at the moment, however, is that the top isn’t really possible to take off in the way you would need to for a romper!

I’m not sure if that’s down to the stretch of the fabric, or an error in my measurements (or an error in my seam allowances), but at the moment it’s looking like it’ll be a South Shore bodice, with the skirt of the Sunset Dreams dress!

But one advantage to mashing a dress pattern onto the romper bodice, will be that I don’t have to strip to go for a ‘bathroom break’! Overall, I think a dress is probably the most practical option, don’t you?


Patterns: South Shore Romper by Ellie and Mac
Sunset Dreams Dress by Ellie and Mac
Fabric: Scuba Crepe from Mibs

Minerva Product Testing

I’m over at the Minerva Crafts Blog again today with a product test of this super stretchy denim! Head on over to see what I made – I’ll give you a hint, this time I made two items!


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Pattern designers: WinterWear Designs* and From the Studio (Jamie Kemp)