Friday, 23 January 2015

FO: Kelopuu Ottobre Hoodie

Okay, so I know I said  I would finish my UFOs before starting a new project but well, I didn't manage it.  I HAVE fininshed my Burda jacket and will share it soon though,  But then a couple of things happened in December: 
It got colder 
I realised I have few warm tops

A couple of months ago I was sent a copy of Ottobre Women's magazine, Autumn Winter 2014.  This was not because of a blogging promo but because I cancelled my subscription and I think they sent out a free copy to entice me back as a subscriber. On impulse about a month ago, I decided to make the Kelopuu hoodie, enticed by the pockets and the asymmetric front.   I used some fabric on sale at Minerva Crafts, only £2.99 a metre.  I went back to the site and think it is sold out.   It is wine coloured with white flecks and a heavy-ish sweatshirt knit. It is not the greatest quality as it is already bobbling after two weeks but I love the colour and it is warmer than I expected.

The magazine's example of the finished hoodie
The pattern was much easier and quicker to sew than I anticipated. I started tracing on a thursday and finished sewing on sunday. That was much quicker than I had thought,   Ottobre patterns need seam allowances adding - I added mine after tracing and before cutting.   
Here are the instructions....they are brief and as you can see there are no diagrams.   The pattern calls for welt pockets which were new to me.   I had to look up several tutorials before I attempted them.  There was no way I could try them only using the Ottobre instructions!  I need pictures for new techniques.  This was the tutorial I liked best.  They were more straightforward than I had expected.  They are a bit counter intuitive as you sew the inner pocket linings to the outside of the garment, make a slit and push them through.  There was also a lot of thick bulkiness to sew through with the welts and my machine didn't like this. It also didn't like the bulkiness of the cuffs, I had to stop and handcrank the needle through the thickest parts. As the pattern is written for a sewer with an overlocker, the pattern instructions call for the cuffs to be added to the sleeves flat before inserting the sleeve.  Then the sleeve seam and side seams are sewn.  AS I don't have an overlocker, the only drawback of this is the cuff has an unsightly seam inside it.  If I make this again I think I would add the cuff in the round to an already stitched sleeve to give a cleaner finish.  That is how I added cuffs to my Lola dresses and Renfrews.  The sleeves came out really long.  I mean about three inches too long.  I learnt my leson here, I should check sleeve length before cutting out.

I have been wearing the hoodie a lot since completion.  I have been struggling to get pictures with the poor light, So I thought I will just post this anyway.  I was thinking of making it again in a darker colour.  Making it has made me look again at my Ottobre magazines, the patterns are often wearable and functional - does that sound too boring?  As I have a stash of them I wo't be renewing my subscription.  I just plan to sew using what I already have.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015


 Little RG is three today.  This is the post where longtime readers will say "Three! How did that go so fast?"  In some ways it has flashed by in the blink of an eye, in other ways the  last three years have been a long haul.  Strange how time stretches and shrinks in our perception.

Anyways, this is a brief pop in to share the homemade party bags I made. I thought, and thought and came up with these very simple bags using card.  Can you tell she is mildly obsessed with dogs?

Saturday, 3 January 2015

2014 in review

 Compared to previous years I didn't make very much this year:
One Anna dress
Clockwise from top left: A Playing Card dress, V1247 skirt, Traveller dress, Lola dress,
Ottobre tunic top, Amy Butler Anna Dress
Two Lola dresses
Vogue 1247 skirt
Burda 7018 denim jacket (yay, I finished it)
Maxi skirt
Butterick 5612 blouse
Brown Lisette Traveller tunic shirt
Ottobre short sleeved blouse (unblogged)
Ottobre Kelopuu hoodie

For RG:
one pair trousers
For Little I:
A Playing Cards Dress
 I was surprised to see I had made two Victory Patterns Lola dresses in 2014 - I really thought I had made them and the Anna dress last year.
The thing I am wearing most at t ishe moment the dark grey Lola  In the winter months it is in steady rotation.  I like the look of the pink Lola but it is so so bright.  I have to be feeling brave to wear it. I wore the Lisette Traveller dress a lot in the Autumn when it was warmer.

Here is my finally finished Burda jacket,  I'm looking forward to getting decent photos and sharing its making journey.  It was a long trek!  Mainly due to stops and starts. It has been too cold to wear it since finishing but I am hoping it will become a staple in the warmer weather.

The last make of 2014 was a Kelopuu hoodie from Ottober 2014 Autumn/winter magazine.  This is a sneak peek - I am writing a proper post about it.  It is by far my favourite make.  And I wasn't expecting that.  I love the colour, the asymmetry,the practicality and the fact it was far easier to make than I had expected.

On a personal note, this has been a tough year for me.  I hadn't blogged that my mum sadly passed away in March.  She was very ill but it was unexpected and it has hit me like a huge speeding train.   I have thought a lot since then about how much to share in this space.  Keeping on sewing has helped me immensely as it is the one thing I do purely for myself and the mechanics and thought processes of a new project  are a refreshing meditation and distraction from the demands of everyday life.  I am so happy to still have readers here and commentators.  I do think I have made some real friends through this space.  SO thank you.
It's not all gloom and doom though...I have been humbled by the support from some unexpected quarters and I have really learnt the benefit of having siblings.  And I have learnt the benefits of HOLIDAYS!  That was a revelation.
I am looking forward to seeing new sewing creations from my blogging friends....Happy New Year to you all  :)

Sunday, 2 November 2014

it's good to give giveaway

Poor neglected dusty blog.  Life takes over sometimes. Plus I feel full doubt and so very tired,I keep going to sleep rather than sit and type up a post.  I am surprised to still have readers.  Thank you sincerely for popping in and for commenting.  I love reading comments.

I have a lovely friend who keeps giving me stuff.  Recently she gave me a bag and some sewing notions.  I am grateful but I feel the walls closing in on me as we have so much stuff in this house.

I thought I'd offer it up here.  It's a little bag filled with notions, some sewing  beads and a bit of fabric.  I have added in some stash fabric. This is a giveaway for  you if you like slightly tarnished and faded packaging, hodgepodge potluck, small pieces of fabric and shiny beads.  Oh and vaguely ethnic, animal print quilted bags.

If you are interested just leave a comment, with obvious contact details if I can't just click on your name.  I will leave the post open till November 10th, 8am GMT.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Anti UFO project

A colourful dress for Little I, needs a zip and finishing off
I finished off my Salme Patterns Minna blouse, details in a future post
I have learnt through experience that signing up to online challenges is not a good thing for me as I rarely manage to complete them.  However I did decide to join in with Adrienne at
 All Style All Substance in her Anti UFO project.  I was hoping it will give me impetus to clear the backlog of UFOs cluttering up  my house.  The deadline is the 31st October and realistically I know I won't make it (partly as it is holidays from school from 23rd - 31st)  but I hope to get at least part of my UFOs out of the way.  

So far I have realised I have more UFOs than I first thought.  I have included two make that need mending.  Here's the list created three weeks ago: 
  1. Blue fish dress for Little I - needs zip, facing stitching down, sleeves hemming and hem.
  2. Salme Patterns Minna blouse - needs facing stiching down.
  3. Grey jersey dress for Little I - needs hemming
  4. Denim jacket - needs topstiching, collar finishing, cuffs, sleeve insertion
  5. Tova Blouse needs mending on the yoke seam
  6. Traveller dress - needs unpicking at waist, reinserting straighter!Buttonholes and buttons
  7. Vogue skirt needs new zip and buttonhole plus buttons
  8. Ottobre tweed shorts - half made
Having this list has really helped me to focus and concentrate.  I included a couple of already mades that needed altering or mending.  You can already see from the strike-throughs that I have accomplished some of the list.  This also shows how long I have been writing this post for! 

Tova blouse needed stitching up on the yoke 

A jersey dress for Little I, needs hemming and a neck band
A traveller dress, started for summer 2014, maybe it will be done for next summer
Taking part in this project reminded me to order a new twin needle and yesterday I sat down and did lots of topstitching on my denim jacket.  Phew...I am determined not to start any new sewing till this jacket is done!  Even though I am browsing patterns and thinking of plans in my head.  Is anyone else joining in the Anti UFO project?

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

FO: Simplicity 2246/ Traveller tunic for autumn

Dress #1 - thrifted duvet cover used as fabric
Hah hah...regular readers may fall of their chair at this actual completed sewn garment.  Whatever next eh?
It is the Sew Lisette/ Simplicity Traveller pattern 2246.
I made it as a dress (View A) twice.
Dress #2 in dark blue cotton

   This time I opted for view B, more of a long shirt or do you call it a tunic?  What ever it is an ideal length to go over jeans or leggings.
 I used some cotton fabric I bought on sale at the start of the year.  I think it is Robert Kaufman chambray but I cannot quite remember. A lot has happened since I bought it.  I am not even sure where I bought it from or why. This is weird as I rarely buy fabric.  It was some kind of impulse purchase.   But it was hanging around in my stash, taking up too much space. I am glad to have used it up.  It looks brownish but in fact is orange and purple threads woven together.  This gives it an iridescent quality in some lights.
I cut a straight size 12.  I didn't do any adjustments except shorten the sleeve length.
View B has a shorter length and a curved hem, it has a standup collar and button plackets.  It is really straightforward to sew.  Just two bust darts and then seams, a tiny bit of gathering to ease in the sleeve.  I think it could be a good pattern if you wanted to conquer a button hole making fear as you have to sew eight but there is nothing else in the pattern that is tricky.

That's not a tail, just a cardigan hanging up behind me
For buttons I used these painted wooden ones given to me by Katy in last year's Spring Sewing Swap.   I hesitated over using them as I wasn't sure if novelty buttons scream HANDMADE.  But then I decided they gave the shirt a bit of a lift.

 I also made the matching tie belt.  I have been wearing the tunic a lot as I have found it to be a great transitional autumnal top.  It has a bit of ease throughout but I like that as I am so uncomfortable in anything clingy.  Plus it covers up a multitude of chocolate eating.   I am thinking about making another one. I 'd quite like a plaid one for winter.

I have seen other similar styles of pattern out there and was tempted by a few, but I just don't have spare money now to buy patterns so I am determined to sew with what I have.  I am still, as ever, fascinated by how much mileage and variation I can get from one pattern.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014


Two and a half.

Rearranging pictures
Opening drawers
Emptying drawers
The list goes on....
Free will

All this means not so much sewing is happening and even less blogging. Miraculously I have made a shirt/tunic/thing recently and will photo it soon. When I am less drowning and more waving :) In the meantime please send me more patience and a sense of humour?