30 June 2014

It's done: The Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations

Hey everyone!
It’s about time for one of the finished items announced in my previous post. Within a few days I stumbled over this pattern here and here and really liked the different versions of the Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations. A few mouse clicks later I owned the pattern myself and went to work with no idea what fabric to use and since I was already on stashbusting-mode it took some time to find the right fabric piece.
This double knit of a different kind won.
I bought this in April on the biannual fabric market in my town with no specific project in mind making it my first creation for the #summerstashbust14. It wasn’t exactly on the cheap side so I got only one meter for a short-sleeved top or a knee-length skirt. The instructions for the Julia cardigan call for a lot yardage (does one say that even when thinking in meters?) even for the cap sleeved version, but I squeezed my version in size M out of 1 m and a remnant for the ‘lining’ of the collar. Let me show you my lay-out.
For reference the cutting ruler at the bottom is 60 cm long. On a wider fabric like mine (about 1,5 m) there is enough space for the bigger sizes as well. For the long-sleeved option I think twice the length of the collar piece of a 1,5 m wide fabric should be enough. I will keep you up-dated when I attempt this for winter in a bigger size, but we will come to this point. And for the observant readers I used the hemband for the long sleeves in this picture, but there is plenty of room for the right ones as well.
To make the doubled collar, no way I was hemming this crazy fabric with a rolled or fold-over hem, I searched my stash for a fitting jersey and luckily found a gray one resembling the inner layer, evidence here:
Honestly, I can’t imagine at all to ever not make the doubled collar version. This makes it such a quick make. And I really like how it turned out:
But I am not so happy about the fit. In my humble opinion this pattern runs on the very small side. I cut a size M based on my measurements and it is quite tight across the back.
But, to not only blame the pattern, I didn’t check the measurements of the pattern before cutting. I guess I have been too lucky in the past – lesson learned. Later, I laid the back piece of this cardigan on top of the Renfrew back piece, what can I say, it could have been so easy. Beginner’s mistake! What was your last, tell me?
Considering that this is supposed to be at least a second layer I will go up one or maybe even two sizes for the next ones. And I will keep the armholes under close inspection. I lowered mine about 2 cm this time and they are still a bit tight. And I read on different blogs that the long sleeves a pretty wide at the bottom, so I will hopefully keep that in mind as well.
But it’s still wearable after all, and I like how the front drapes like the lapel of a blazer-ish top.

Thanks for stopping by,

24 June 2014

When the football rolls the needle waits...

Hey everyone!
It’s World Cup season (I’m talking about the scoccer/football Fifa World Cup in Brazil, in case you are wondering, big deal in scoccer/football-crazy Germany), making life and unfortunately also this blog to slow down a lot. You get home from work to watch the first match of the day immediately after you walked through the door and for the rest of the evening you try to squeeze as much daily obligations as possible into the few minutes between half times and matches and go to bed way too late. Tell me about sleep-deprived. But the group stage of this tournament is almost over and life will get back to normal-ish at least.
There were a few garments finished before the craziness started and very few started after, but apart from the time (see above) neither the light (Clouds and rain for over a week! Summer, where are you?) nor my mood were much for taking pictures. All I will give you are sneak peeks of what to expect in the next days. Let put it this way, I got the PerfectPatternParcel#3 amongst others.
There will be something made from white eyelet:
something floral:
and even more flowers (with neat topstitching I may add):
something striped
and something ripped!?!
A lot to see! Suggestions on the patterns I used? Have an educated guess!
And btw, I joined Sally from The Quirky Peach for her Summer Stashbust 2014. Meaning, there will be no fabric purchases between June 21th and September 21th. I’ve already banished fabric purchased until the beginning of October here but decided that doing this in a group will be much more fun. However, there has to be one exception. I mainly got the PPP#3 for its Bombshell swimsuit pattern and have definitively no suitable fabric in my stash. In case I find some pretty swimsuit fabric (why are nice and not granny-ish patterned fabrics so hard to find?), I will buy it, no matter what.
Have a overflowing stash yourself? Hop over and join in!
Thanks for stopping by,

12 June 2014

It’s done: The Scarlett O‘Hara Scout Tee

Hey everyone,
Why such a dramatic name for a Scout Tee you may ask. Well, have a look at my living room curtains:
It’s not green velvet, I know, but this is a close up of my latest Scout Tee by Grainline Studio:
Got it? My curtains are still completely intact and weren’t harmed during the making of my new summery Scout. From the hemming of the curtains I had small panels left, too small for a complete back or front, so I thought to myself why not turn this into a ‘design element’ and piece them together. And why not take it one step further and do it orthogonally?
I grabbed my existing Scout, marked a line where I liked the two pieces to meet, aligned the lines, sewed everything together with French seams, et voilĂ , enough fabric and eventually a new Scout.
The fabric is quite sheer, a camisole is definitively in order. It’s not like I don’t own any, but there is some beige silk in my stash… Now I’m arguing with myself if I will give the free Diana camisole pattern by sewloft a try or opt for the Camilla camisole by Tesutti. Diana or Camilla? Sounds like a decision Prince Charles had to make once. Experience with this patterns anyone? Tell me.
Thanks for stopping by,

10 June 2014

It's done: The Belcarra blouse by Sewaholic

Hey everyone,
I’m a bit late to present my result of the Belcarra blouse sew-along by Sewaholic. But I can assure you that top was ready on time and even got to see the outer world with me the very same day. As I’ve mentioned in my preparation post I bought the pattern as a pdf. It’s very different what people don’t like about sewing, for me, it’s definitively pattern tracing, says the girl with the burda style subscription. Yes, I know, I’m a hole contradiction. But on the other hand I could never get myself to cut into a multi-sized pattern. What if I want to make that piece again when I’m old and fat? To avoid this dilemma if there is a pdf-pattern option, I usually go for it, as I don’t mind the taping. And let me tell you that this is a very clever pdf pattern. It’s got a grip!
See the quadratic pattern that surrounds the pattern piece. I think, it’s genius as it helps massively to get everything lined up properly.
I cut my usual Sewaholic size but was a bit skeptical how it would turn out, because the garment measurement chart promised about 10 cm of ease around the bust. But, for a breezy summer top it turned out fine. Speaking of fabric, I chose the blue green brown knit from my two stash options. See how light it is, perfect for the resent un-seasonal heat-wave.
The fit is not too loose as I was afraid. But a size smaller wouldn’t do any harm as well, I guess.
I followed mostly the sew-along and haven’t read the instructions, yet. But as you can see in the picture taken against the light, I finished the raglan seams together, because the fabric would never hold a seam pressed open. And despite it’s a knit fabric I folded the hem twice before stitching it down with a straight stitch, no need for stretchiness here. Everything else is done just as the sew-along told me to do. I waited patiently for every single post before I performed the next step, just to make sure not to mess up by dashing ahead and missing a trick. I’m not sure if this is part of the instructions but there was actually a gimmick given by Caroline on how to attach the cuffs. I guess it was not mandatory for me as I was using a knit but for a woven you might especially want to read this and this post.
I chose the option with the folded cuffs only. But already this feature gets a bit lost in the busyness of the pattern.
The next version, probably my other possible fabric choice will also become a Belcarra after all, might need a tiny sway back adjustment and maybe a narrow back as well (?). I’m not completely sure how to perform this all on a raglan style top, but the www will hopefully help, as it has done already so many times.
And on the next blouse I will reduce a bit of the flared style down from the waist. I’ve tried to capture what I mean here.
After all it’s an easy, quick and versatile pattern dressed up or down depending on the fabric choice. I already have plans for a few more to make. What about you?
Thanks for stopping by, Kat

05 June 2014

How to add a pouch and a hood to the Renfrew top

Hey everyone,
During my last round of Me-Made-May I have shown you a Renfrew top with a hood
and a pouch
and promised a tutorial how to add these. Here it is.

What you need:
  • The Renfrew pattern by Sewaholic, we will use view A (sleeves) and C (cowl)
  • A pattern for a hood, mine is from Jalie 2453 (oop), you can probably trace around the hood of an rtw hoodie as well
  • I made a size 8, and if I remember correctly used 1.5 meters. So, to include the bigger sizes, let’s say 2 meters of a stable knit with a bit of body, otherwise the hood would just collapse. I guess you could also use a light fusible interfacing to get a certain body.
  • 0.7 meters of a contrasting fabric for the lining of the hood and the back piece of the pouch
  • 1,2 m of elastic cord, a stopper and two grommets (optional)
  • And the usual stuff you need to sew a garment, like pattern tissue, scissors, marker, thread, a sewing machine, ….
Since you might be using a more stable knit with less stretch than the pattern calls for, keep this in mind when you choose your size. I should definitely have gone up a size. Mine turned out a tiny bit snug, but it’s still wearable.
You leave the back piece, the sleeve and the hembands just as they are. Let’s start with the pouch, shall we. We will need the front pattern for it, obviously.
The measurements I’m about to give are based on the size 8, for the other sizes you might try differently according to your liking, how wide you want the pouch to be.

I sliced up the front pattern 17 cm from the fold line and added seam allowance. 8,5 cm from the bottom I draw a rounded cut-out and added seam allowance. Mine are about 8 cm high and 3,5 cm deep. Next time I’d do them 2-3 cm higher, to make it easier to slide in and out. Additionally you need the back of the pouch. Mine is 11 x 34 cm plus seam allowance. I finished the pouch opening with a stripe of jersey the length of the rounded cut-out and 2 cm plus twice the seam allowance you have chosen in width. This pattern piece is not shown beneath.

By slicing up the entire front you will end up with straight lines on a curved body, in black it does not show that much but it might be more obvious on other colors. If you don’t like these seams across your chest and still want the pouch, slice up the front pattern twice, like this, see, no more lines in the upper part. Everything else stays the same.

Cut the middle front on the fold and two of the side pieces from the main fabric and the back of the pouch and the two stripes from the contrasting jersey and assemble the front.

Finish the rounded cut-out with the stripe of jersey. Fold the stripe in half (right side on the outside) and pin on the right side of the opening with all three raw edges lining up (principle like here, just omit the closing of the stripe) and sew. Clip the seam allowance and fold over the stripe to the wrong side of the fabric, pin in place and sew. There will be some tension on this seam, so it might be better to use a narrow zig-zag or another stretchy stitch here, or at least lower the thread tension a bit, if you are using a straight stitch (that’s what I did).
On the wrong and right side of the fabric draw a line where the back of the pouch should be placed, keeping your chosen seam allowance in mind. I used a 0,7 cm seam allowance for the pouch piece, so mine started about 2,2 cm above/beneath the opening. Line up the pouch back piece and pin in place. I sewed this with the right side up for a nicer finish. So I re-pinned everything on the right side of the fabric and removed the first line pinned. To secure the pouch piece I used a stitch with a width of 7 mm to give it some strength and to enclose the raw edge of the back piece. My machine has a flatlock-stitch I used, but you can also use a different stitch with some width here like a  zig-zag or use a twin needle and a straight stitch. It’s up to you.
Next pin the side pieces to the middle one and sew. VoilĂ , your front piece is ready. You can see the details on the picture below.

Let’s move on to the hood.
For the pattern piece I used the cowl pattern piece from the Renfrew top and the hood pattern and lined up the back of both pieces above the two notches of the cowl pattern. Because the cowl will not drape down in front I started in the middle of the cowl pattern to grade to the hood, traced around the entire hood and the rest of the cowl. That’s it.
This pattern will give you a wide hood that will fall down to your eyes, what I totally intended, inspired by this guy’s green one;-)
Usually the Cowl pattern is cut on the fold. I added a front seam (and allowance) to save fabric.

You will need two hood pieces from your outer fabric and two from the lining fabric. First sew the back and front seams on the inner and outer hood. If you like a elastic or some other cording in you hood, now is the tine to insert the grommets at the edge of the outer hood close to the front seam. Alternatively you can sew two small button holes. Where to put them depends on the size you grommets, diameter of the cord etc. You will figure that out.
Next, with right sides facing each other sew the two hoods together at the front opening. Turn the right side out and sew around the front opening about 2,5 cm (depending on the size of your grommets, etc!!!)  from the edge to create a casing for the cord. Insert the elastic and the stopper and you are done. Details shown below (and the fact that I'm living with a cat).
After this you can follow the Sewaholic instructions.
If you have questions or actually made a shirt following this tutorial, let me know in the comment section of this post.
Have fun making a hooded Renfrew and thanks for stopping by,

02 June 2014

Me-Made-May 2014 round 5

Well, it’s over. Me-Made-May 2014 is finally over. It’s time for the last round.
We will start with the only skirt I wore during May. I used this burda style pattern. There are actually only two other me-made skirts in my closed so far. I’m not really a skirt person due to many reasons, mostly the lack of occasions. I’m a scientist working in a lab, so during the week it’s all about long pants preferable made out of cotton. And I go almost everywhere (including work) by bike, a man’s bicycle to be precise, and these don’t work very well with skirts. And when I actually could wear a skirt I simply forget to put one on. I really need to work on that.

For a very hot and sunny Monday I wore my colour-explosion waterfall shirt using this burda style pattern. If you plan on making this shirt yourself, it runs big in size and the armholes are big, so make sure to put on nice underwear or simply make them smaller.

For another summery day I picked a shirt that isn’t a Renfrew. It’s the (free!) Kirsten KimonoTee by Maria Denmark. It got a freezer paper stenciling application to add a little colour. And the picture is totally reenacted. Look at my hair! It's short! I'm still getting used to it. No more lazy ponytail, we will see if it was the right decision.
But a week of Me-Made-May without a Renfrew shirt, impossible, at least for me. In my defense I added two extra features, a lined hood and a pouch (which you can’t see here, but it's there, trust me). Yes, you’ve heard right a hood and a pouch. Want to know how to do it? I’m preparing a tutorial.
At last the garment I feel the most indifferent about. It’s based on this burda style pattern. I made a high-low hem because of my general dislike for tunic-length and added some butterflies (mainly on the back)  to cover little holes in the fabric. I can’t precisely point out what I don’t like about it, but it was hard to pick out a picture I like. Maybe there is too much ruching going on, or is it the fact that the thread does not match the fabric, or that the neckline is a bit uneven, I just don’t know. Should I give it a chance, what do you think?
That’s it. I fulfilled my pledge of one handmade garment every day. I did a few repetitions but I would have had a few more aces up my sleeve. And most importantly, I kept blogging, big difference to Me-Made-May 2012.
Now it’s time for freshly made pieces on this blog. I've been productive, just come back and see for yourself.
Thanks for stopping by, Kat