Life seems to be passing me by at a ridiculous speed just now, and I’m back to feeling like I can’t quite catch up with myself. Do you ever wish the world would just stop for a while and give you a chance to draw breath and get back on your feet? It’s not a great feeling, and to be honest I’m struggling a bit. Still, I have been sewing, and trying to keep up the ‘do something creative every day’ resolution, and it does help. What I haven’t managed to do is take any decent pictures, partly because Edinburgh had 2 or 3 days of summer weather, a couple of weeks ago, and now we’re back to it feeling more like November than June. I’ve built up a bit of a backlog of projects as well, and running up and down the stairs to change outfits hasn’t really appealed in the wind and rain. Anyway, the blog is one thing I can catch up on without too much stress, so I have some boring in-my-sewing-room- shots of a few things to share.
First up are two new pairs of Ginger jeans, one in a non-stretch, fairly lightweight, brown corduroy, and the others in something a little more……unusual……
The corduroy was something I’ve had in my stash for a few years – it was remarkably cheap, something like £3 a metre, so I thought I’d use it as a muslin fabric for a non-stretch pair. I’d been looking for some more denim, and finding it really difficult to track down something of the right weight and colour in a stretch denim. These actually turned out pretty well, and have been a very wearable muslin. I cut a straight size 14 for these, and took a wedge out of the back waist which ended up being about 8 cm. I really can’t work out why, when my waist measurement fits into most size charts as at least one size larger than my hips / bust, that things always end up too big around my waist?! I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because my belly is quite squishy, and although it measures a certain size, it doesn’t have the ability to hold up a waistband that matches that size. These trousers were pretty successful though, so it’s going to be a standard adjustment for me I think.
I’m slightly on the fence about this next pair, I’m not too sure if they’re a bit too wacky….
This stretch cotton drill was from an eBay UK seller, can’t remember who, and was also pretty cheap. I didn’t make any attempt to pattern match these, life is just too short. I did think that I would have to pattern match the back pockets, I think they would have looked really weird if they weren’t exactly matched, until I had the genius idea to save myself a lot of hassle and just use the reverse side of the fabric. I am definitely a bit of a lazy sewing fan….
I did also have a small crisis with these. I’d just installed the fly, and was sewing the fly shield in place with my overlocker. I obviously wasn’t paying attention, because when I turned them over to marvel at the fly, I realised I had sliced right through the crotch. I probably had enough fabric to cut new fronts, but, well, laziness and all. I managed to fix this by putting a piece of scrap fabric which was slightly larger than the hole underneath, on top of the pattern piece to make sure it was still the right shape. Then I used wundaweb to hold the two pieces together and used the zigzag stitch recommended in my machine manual for mending to sew over the edges and hold everything together. It didn’t look too bad – I thought I’d taken a picture but I can’t find it now – and it’s in a position where frankly, no-one should be looking….! If anyone has noticed, they’ve not mentioned it……
I’ve also recently discovered another pattern which will see multiple versions. I’ve made two tops already, and have plans for at least two more. This is a simple shell top, originally from the latest Great British Sewing Bee book, and included in a recent issue of Sew magazine. There are a couple of new-ish sewing magazines in the UK now which I’m enjoying – Sew and Love Sewing – which have some really interesting stuff in.
I really liked the simplicity of this and I can see it being a useful wardrobe staple. I made up a size 14, and had to make my usual adjustment of shortening the straps by a good 3cm. This version is made up in a loose-weave, slightly linen-y textured cotton which was a bolt end from John Lewis in a sale a couple of years ago. It’s a slightly stiffer fabric than the sample, but I think it still works. The neckline and armholes are finished with all-in-one facings, and even with these it was a really quick sew – two darts, sew the shoulder seams, attach the facings and turn, two side seams and a twice-turned-and-topstitched hem.
You can’t see it very well here, but the back is slightly longer than the front, and the centre back seam curves out at the bottom, giving a lovely bit of swing to the top, which would be even nicer in a drapier (more drapey?) fabric. My second version was made from a leftover bit of striped purple jersey which was probably less than a metre. I wanted the stripes to go vertically, which meant the stretch was up and down rather than side to side, so I cut the size 14 again – this was perfect.
This version is a bit closer to the original pattern picture in its drapiness and slightly relaxed fit. I have plans for this in all sorts of drapey fabrics that I only have a small piece of. The pattern says it needs 1.7m, but I’m sure I only had 0.9 metres of the cotton stripe and about the same of the jersey. I didn’t bother with the facing for jersey version, which obviously saved on fabric. Instead I just turned the hem once and topstitched using the stretch stitch on my sewing machine.
Well, that’s a big chunk of my recent unblogged makes caught up on. Now I just need to take some pictures of another couple of things, and see if I can work out how to catch up on the rest of my life – that’s going to be a bit more tricky….