Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Winter T-Shirts

Sorting through my wardrobe last week I realized I need a few basic winter t-shirts. I love the Plantain shirt I made a while ago, but I wanted something more fitted and it needed a few tweaks on the neck, shoulder and under arms so I spent a few hours making a perfect t-shirt pattern for me. It was basically a mash-up of the Plantain shirt and the Birgitte Tee. 
I do love a bit or twin needle top stitching.
 I am really glad I spent the time as now I have a good basic pattern I can whip a new one up in under an hour.
One thing I find quite tricky is to find good stretch fabric for shirts. I don't often mail order knits as they are usually quite bulky and cost too much for postage (my one exception is Craft Mamas - I love their fabric!) so I am limited to local shops. All of these have come from Spotlight or Textile Traders. Many times I go in there and come out empty handed, but sometimes I get lucky. I have found searching the stretch in Spotlight or the bargain tables for rolls marked as Designer fabric which is usually marked as being a polyester blend and $5 a metre is worth the time. I think Spotlight must buy old rolls from manufactures and mark it all the same. The four shirts above were all from rolls like this and they are all very different. The blue is almost like Metallicus fabric while the yellow is quite thick and heavy and exactly like a cotton/lycra. The pink and black are also quite different from the others. Do you have a favourite place to shop for knit/stretch fabrics?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Baby Tea Leaves

A new cardigan for Olive just in time for winter. It's the baby version of the Tea Leaves cardigan. I couldn't resist making this in the suggested yarn - Madelinetosh Pashmina. I used Astrid Grey which is a beautiful pale grey. The pattern, like the other versions of Tea leaves, is excellent. My knitting leaves a lot to be desired. I knit a lot of this watching Borgen so I was concentrating on reading the subtitles not what I was doing and there were a few dropped stitches, the bands probably should have been redone and there are holes under the arms, but they aren't too noticeable when she is wearing it.  I made the 18-24m size and it only just fits Olive at 19m. I do tend to knit a little tight, but she is not tall for her age, so I would recommend making a size or two bigger than is needed.
I managed to get a couple of photos of Happy Olive before it ended in Cross Olive screaming for the camera.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Simplicity 2591 #2

After a small change in my hair colour last week I realized I needed some clothes to match. I pulled out this beautiful soft denim and made another Simplicity 2591.
You can just make out in the picture below my favourite part of this dress pattern - the darts at the bust which you sew before you sew the princess seams. I can't believe I haven't seen this in a pattern before and I have been sewing for dresses for over 25 years. It gives the top of this dress such a nice fit.
 I used Liberty for the binding and inside the pockets.
I made it a week ago and have already worn it three times. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lua Sleep Sack

A few weeks ago I pattern tested the Lua sleeping sack for An from Straightgrain. This was really perfect timing as it is getting cold here and Olive really needed a new one for winter.
 This is such a great sleeping bag pattern. It has an invisible side zipper and buttons at the top so it is easy to get a baby in and out of. I made the largest size for Olive who is 18 months, but quite short. It fits now, but there is also lots of room for her to grow.
I've had this gorgeous blue and green fabric in the stash for a while. I am not sure where it came from, but I think it is some sort of Japanese cotton. I used some spots to line it and scraps of wool batting for inside.
 The instructions are really clear. The piping went in perfectly with my piping foot and my zip went in perfectly the first time. One of these would make such a great present for a new baby and are a great way to use up those batting scraps that are too small for quilts.

It was a little tricky to get a photo of Olive in it, but a I bribed her with a biscuit and a sit in the beanbag on the verandah and she stayed still for 30 seconds.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Little Fabric Piles

There has been some sewing this week, but nothing is finished and the room looks like a fabric bomb exploded so here are a few pictures of the nice neat piles before I started and one of my April Showers scraps - love that fabric line.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Strip Savvy In My Shop

There are some signed copies of Strip Savvy now available in my shop!

Photos by Brent Kane, courtesy of Martingale 

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Simplicity 2591

I seem to have discovered Simplicity 2591 way after everyone else had and now it is out of print and very hard to find. Thanks to the lovely Jen for lending me a copy so I could try it out. I'm so glad I have tried it, it is my new favourite dress pattern.
I made a few adjustments to the pattern. I lengthened the bodice a little, scooped out the neckline and took the back in a little at the top as it gaped. This is a lot of ease in this pattern and after I made a muslin of my normal size I had to go down a size and then take a bit more in at places. Instead of using facings I used bias binding for the neckline. The only issues I had with the instructions were the pockets. There was a little unpicking, but now I know what it is meant to look like it makes much more sense and the next time I make it it will be a lot quicker and easier.
I know it is a big call, but I think these are the best pockets in a dress ever!
The fabric is Just My Type by Patty Young for Michael Miller which a bought from The Fat Quarter Shop.

I know it is Autumn here and getting cooler, but think I might be making some more for winter and wearing them with boots and long sleeved t-shirts underneath.