Friday, 23 March 2018

Kalle Shirt Dress

As part of my new years resolution to try out some Indie sewing patterns, this month I have chosen the Kalle Shirt dress by Closet Case from Minerva to share with you.

First up, I must confess, I made a huge cutting error right from the start. The pattern is very versatile and has a selection of choices on one sheet. I accidentally cut the front of the dress and wait for it... the back of the tunic - it was so short at the back I didn't know what to do especially as it has a shirt hem. It is a bit ironic as the dress has a hem with a long back and short front - mine was the other way around! Anyway more on that later...

The 100% cotton fabric was a joy to work with and is just right for a UK summer dress and for this pattern. It is a lightweight cotton canvas with plenty of  movement and drape. It would make a great skirt, shift dress or capri trousers too. I cut it with pinking shears and hardly used my overlocker because most of the seams are cleverly concealed on this pattern.

To construct the yoke you use the burrito method, apparently. It is mighty tricky to understand the instructions for this unless you label your cut pieces adequately...Which is what I did the second time! You birth the whole dress through the neck hole and have an encased double yoke.

I took my time with the collar: to ensure that they were absolutely even I measured and drew on a sewing line with a 5/8" seam allowance. I recommend doing this with any collar. Ta dah! perfectly symmetrical collars.

Really impressed myself there...

Again marking your pieces will enable you to have the under collar on the bottom and the upper collar on the top. The under collar is slightly smaller therefore it stays rolled underneath as shown.

Now back to that hem. I tried cutting them both to the tunic length but in truth it was too short for what I wanted before I had even turned it under. In the end I had to kind of make a bit of a feature of it and have a different hem. I had some left over from clever cutting out therefore I added a band to give it the length I wanted along with some top stitching. The grainline is going the other way but it looks like it is supposed to be like that.

I am satisfied with the end result, if a little miffed with my initial mistake.

As part of my 2018 craft resolutions - I used the buttonhole foot to make five button holes. It is so easy and on my machine, it is all automatic. 

Overall it is the dress I want for airplane travel for our holiday to France in May. A cardy and tights will see me through until then.

Thanks Minerva. Jo xxxx

Closet Case patterns
In my opinion...
I am tagging this one as one of my 2018 resolutions. Closet File patterns are American so I don't always feel too confident about sizing; measuring yourself is a must. The instruction booklet is photographed and clear for intermediates. I think it is a step too far for beginners. No tracing is required but the pattern has layered multiple styles on it which is how I made my error. The pattern is on tissue paper with seam allowances included. The packet is not over complicated or costly. They are expensive but give long lasting styles and in this case more than one garment on this one which I feel is worth the investment. The modelling imagery does not rely on overly slim models which I like too. 

Monday, 19 March 2018

All Done #19 Jersey dress and T-shirt

Before Christmas we made a very enjoyable visit to Bath. We came across a fabric shop, I don't remember the name only that the proprietors were really miserable and totally none engaging, however Heidi saw this fabric and really wanted it for another jersey dress. They are her favourite type of garment to wear. When I make jersey dresses for her, she wears them until she has outgrown them - so it feels like good value.

This McCalls pattern is really good. She likes the top of view F and the bottom of View A. Using some new knowledge from the book Sewing with jersey Knits by Wendy Ward I whipped this up pretty quickly.It looks really fun. 

I made a neck binding by sewing it open right side to wrong side and then bringing it forward and encasing the neck edge and folding in under. That way you top sew it from the right side and you can see the exact finish you are going to get. Essentially you sew it twice - once to attach the neckband to the garment and secondly to top stitch it in place neatly.

You could use a solid colour for the trim for a different effect.

I had some left over for junior too. I went for my go to t-shirt pattern from Ottobre to use up the remainder.

This one has a different neckband. You fold the neck band in half and sew right sides together then press it into place with the inside seam facing down. It is then followed by a three step zigzag top stitch to hold the inside seam down but still remains stretchy.

All done #19 with these little birdies on clouds. No little bits left over. A success all round for everyone.

Thanks for dropping by. Jo xxxx

Thursday, 15 March 2018

WATG Crochet and other WIP's

I have embarked on a mammoth crochet task which I have always wanted to achieve: to crochet a dress for myself. I have started on the 'Hot in Here' dress in duck egg blue tina tape from Wool and the Gang. It is from their new 2018 Spring/Summer collection.

The kit comes with yarn, pattern booklet, label, needle and a crochet hook. I must admit to not getting on very well with the wooden hook especially as the yarn is flat. I swapped to one of my own metal ones and it was a much smoother ride. The square below is my first one on the wooden hook, however the following five on the metal hook are a much better tension.

The blocks are a combination of double crochet, treble crochet and double treble crochet which makes quite a large block. I need 32 of these to make the tunic/dress. This is obviously a dress that has its occasions - mine will be for poolside wear on holiday. I know Tina Tape is lovely to wear against the skin because I used it here.

My other WIPS include the excitement of getting some of my quilt together. It is a fabulous concoction of colour, just what I wanted it to be.

A by-product of this dresden star quilt is another quilt in the making - less floral, more geometric. I have a shoe box of off cut strips from my big topper. When our evening dinner is cooking I can make one in 20-25 minutes. I have made seven without really thinking about it. Sometimes I make one while I wait for the girls to settle down to sleep. It stops them bickering in the next room when they know I am next door with half an ear out!

I have second sock syndrome on these socks. I am finding new things to do instead cracking on with sock number two but at least they are cast on.

There is also some intentionally slow knitting. Moss stitch is not the speed machine I am used to but comforting nonetheless. This Beatnik sweater has a deadline of Winter 2018 so plenty time for me to grow to love it, pick it up, put it down, take a break, have a mad week on it - that kind of thing.

I am also sneaking in a little baby knit for my cousin who is having a baby soon. This project has that will-I-have-enough-yarn about it feel but I am pressing on.

Will keep you posted. What WIPs do you have on the go?

Monday, 12 March 2018

Really Cross Stitch

A little stitching was in order. My shoulder was a bit sore from knitting so it needed a rest. My bestie bought me this book for Christmas:cross stitch with feminist slogans. I chose this one...

For me, it reflects my tenacity to learn something new. I have persevered with sock knitting for the last two years and now I can make patterned socks and really enjoy the process. I have a persistent character - I am a capricorn. This little slogan is on my sock knitting bag ready to pick up and knit wherever I go. I find it a really motivating phrase.

The threads are from Helen Phillips which I thankfully won in a giveaway. They matched well with the colour palette of the design. Maybe the slogan represents entering giveaways too!!

Thanks for dropping by. Jo xx

Friday, 9 March 2018

Arielle Skirt

This pattern has been around our house for a long time. It required just that little bit more thought for cutting out especially as I wanted a lined version so it always fell to the bottom of the pile. 

The fabric is top quality. It was given to me last year in a donated bag from a colleague's elderly mother but I tell you what, she spent money on this. It is called 'Modern Buchanan' and is the softest of wool tartan. There was enough to make the short Arielle version and have some room for pattern matching. 

really have come to enjoy pattern matching, it presses the button for my inner sewing geek. The buttons are vintage ones given to me as a gift in a jar and they are perfect for this smart look. If I am honest, I planned the whole skirt around these five buttons!

The skirt has a lot of pieces including all of the facings so lining it makes for extra pieces to cut out and label but the finished result it very fine indeed. Perfect for Sunday Lunch out.

In my opinion...
I am tagging this one as one of my 2018 resolutions. Tilly and the Buttons are one of the best independent pattern houses. The instructions are photographed; clear for beginners but not too onerous for intermediates; no tracing is required; the pattern is on thick paper so it will last a long time; seam allowances are included and the packets are not over complicated. Because of the paper quality, the price feels just right. The modelling imagery has developed in a way that feels much more diverse than it was in the early days - I like this too. 

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Fixing - An heirloom blanket for a friend. This blanket of 756 squares is over 50 years old and I admired it on her kitchen chair. I said,"you ought to fix that hole." She said, "I don't know how to." and the rest is history as they say. I fixed 23 squares. Make that 32. In the end I darned 41. It took me 3 hours. 4 hours 5 hours... you know what I am saying don't you.

I had to make a new centre for this one and graft it in.

Drinking - Tea to keep warm

Cooking - in our new tidy kitchen

Eating - cottage cheese, I had forgotten how much I liked it

Wanting - to turn the news off

Deciding - how to dog proof the garden...again!

Making - Cast on the Beatnik sweater and tolerated the twisted rib.

Considering - doing a moss stitch back and the cable detail on the front only (chicken!)

Wearing - my Ankers sweater a lot 

Enjoying - My double Amarylis

Wondering - what to plan for the Easter Holidays

Watching - the changing moon phases

Thinking - I am lucky to have a designated sewing space

Disliking - the accumulation of family house clutter spread over three floors

Loving - the random fabric combinations in the huge quilt I am making

 Buying - two new bath towels, my first for 20 years. Who the heck is paying £67 for two towels?!

Getting -  my fabric stash down to a manageable collection

Feeling - ready for winter to end.

Thanks for taking the time to read my random musings.
Jo xx