Monday, 18 May 2020

Pyjama time: episode two

Ever since I first saw Jalie 3244, I'd always wondered about a footed, onesie pyjama pattern that could fit the whole family and what kind of nutjob family would ever want to buy such a pattern.

Of course I bought it, but only because I had an awesome idea for costumes for the whole family for Melburn Roobaix. (Which is, sadly, corona-cancelled for this year.)

The kids loved the idea of onesies as pyjamas so out came the pattern anyway. I traced off just the one size, size O (and not one for Flipper or myself, so you can give up on the blog post now if you like!)

Both kids are roughly the same size in every regard except height and limb length.

Hers is a straight size O with no modifications to size and it's great. Not ridiculously oversized but I can see it should get a few seasons of growth, especially if her limbs start to catch up with her torso length.

His is size O but with length to sleeves, torso and legs. Of course I should have thought that by adding torso length I would maybe not need to add so much leg length, but I just went with exactly the discrepancy between his measurements and the size O measurement chart.

So, for my records, that was: 8cm torso length to front and back (his torso loop length was 15cm> pattern). 8cm leg length and 10cm sleeve length.
It's super baggy in crotch and leg length with a good arm length, but I bet that's what he outgrows first!

For each onesie I needed 1.5m of fabric, assuming it was around 150cm wide. I was keen to use a cotton lycra (95% cotton, 5% spandex) but didn't have any cuts that big in my stash. So I went online shopping.

All the really cool euro knits would have been great, but I was being too tight to fork out more than $50 in fabric costs alone for each onesie.... I ended up buying both fabrics at a much more agreeable price from Lush Fabrics.

This one feels fairly nice, not awesome, but fairly nice. It has good recovery, but I don't think it's cotton at all. I suspect it fell into the cotton knits category because the rabbit character gives the fabric the name "cotton tail" and that might be what tricks the store category search? I dunno, maybe it is a cotton lycra... Edit: listing says it is: cotton-tail-in-blue

The print is really sweet.

P's fabric on the other hand is not so nice at all. It has a hard hand, this weird, slubby texture, very little recovery and the print opens up to the background fabric when stretched. We both agreed we really liked the colour and the print and since we had it we might as well sew it up. He's been wearing it every night it's not been in the wash so it's not like it's terrible. Yet it was a bit disappointing. I always prefer to feel knits before buying, and I think if the price is below $30/m I might need to stick to that rule!

We hunted through the ribbings stash and found some that matched nicely. Red and grey were their choices and lo and behold, the stash delivered.

What I didn't have, and wasn't prepared to buy, were zippers. I also figured that a long zip might bend and buckle weirdly when you're sleeping. Instead I fashioned a little button placket and used snaps with my big bench mounted snap press. I don't mind sewing in a zipper but this is definitely quicker and easier.

The kids are delighted with them and have now declared they want another one each, but this time with the feet sewn in option.

When I cut and sew those, I'll upload some more details about the placket variation and how to sew it in.

Meanwhile I think that's it. Except for all the outtakes. :)

Pattern: Jalie 3244
Fabrics: Cotton lycra (hmmm) from Lush Fabrics
Size: O with length mods for him
Modifications: 2cm wide button placket instead of zip.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Secret Sewist Gift Exchange

It's no secret that I can't resist joining in a secret crafty gift exchange. I was so enamoured of Sanae and Ute's Secret Valentine Gift Exchange that I ran with it for 11 months last year after it was officially wound up.

So when Caz (Useful Box) suggested a gift exchange to keep ourselves amused during Covid19 lockdown, I signed up straight away.

To keep things simple, and maybe to warn off people like me who get carried away, there were three suggested patterns:

The Bombazine oven mitt, The Apertio Pouch and the Fibresmith Cloth Pot, all of which are free, downloadable patterns.

My secret sewist gift recipient had said she liked navy with mustard or dusty pink and didn't care which project I chose.

That suited my stash of fabrics well and I figured was a great opportunity to play with the Wefty needle I'd bought ages ago.

I first learned of fabric weaving when Mr Domestic made this amazing trench coat for his duaghter and shared it on the Oliver + S blog. A little while later he also contributed a tutorial on fabric weaving. I bought the Wefty needle and then never used it.

I decided to make like I knew what I was doing and use 1cm strips (apparently for "advanced" weavers) on my first try. I had some solid navy quilting cotton, a check shirting and an uneven painted stripe woven along with some mustard yellow lawn.

I figured there's nothing worse than an oven mitt hat doesn't insulate well, so I batted this puppy up. There's one layer of wool melton and two layers of wool quilt batting on each side. I'd also stalked my giftee enough to learn that she's a smaller human and so I figured even if my oven mitt turned out a bit small due to its thickness that wouldn't be a worry. Unless she was a smallish human with enormously oversized hands! :)

I was completely delighted with the weaving, but once I sewed it into the oven mitt, with all that insulation and then turned it right side out, the weaving got a bit munted up. It really bothered me and I was ready to bin it and start over....

But then I sat on the couch, picked up some mustard yellow linen yarn that Sarvi sent me, and some macrame rope and crocheted a mat to go with it. Then I figured I had a gift worth giving.

Some yellow roses came off the bush (and that, fortunately, turns out to be my recipients favourite type of rose) and I did and knock and run delivery this afternoon. Fun!

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Kensington Knit Skirt Variation - part B

I'm over on the Oliver + S blog doing a little Sew + Tell for another Kensington Knit Skirt that I made.

Not much to say except that it's shorter and much more seasonally appropriate. Check it out with this link.

Patterns: Kensington knit Skirt and Metro Tee - both from Liesl + Co.
Modifications: Shortened the skirt, View A.
Fabrics: Vintage double knit from the great destash, a few years ago, of a friend's mum - who sadly passed away just at the time I was sewing this skirt. Yoke is a rib knit
Top is a stretch velour.

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Kensington Knit Skirt Variation - part A

I've had a ready to wear skirt for about 8 years now that I really like and I've always thought I should copy and recreate....

After I sewed the Kensington Knit Skirt for the first time I realised the yoke was exactly the same. All I needed to do was make the skirt more straight or almost A line and I'd have my summer-jersey-skirt-pattern-of-my-dreams. There's a little round up of adding flare to the Belgravia knit dress and the Kensington knit skirt on the Oliver + S blog currently.

This is the Kensington skirt, in size 10, view A (without the wrap and ties).

I cut the yoke with an extra 1/2" of length to match my rtw favourite. Then I cut the skirt with a whole lot of flare added by splitting the pattern piece vertically and spreading it.

There's no front or back centre seam, so to get the flare to spread nicely and not be all weird angles at the side seams, it's necessary to slash and spread like this. 

How much flare I got was determined by the width of the fabric. Each of those gaps is about 1" and I added the same amount at each side seam, tapering up to nothing at the top. The top edge ends up the same size as the original pattern and so construction doesn't change at all.

There's a bit of flare when I twirl!

But mostly it just creates some ease such that this skirt is now the bottom half equivalent of a t-shirt. Comfy, easy to wear and something I'll reach for over and over again (in summer).

The fabric is a lovely quality Art Gallery knit that I had deep in the stash from back when Brave Fabrics was an operating shop.

Now I know I've got a 1m knit skirt pattern I might spy other knits I like. My favourite RTW one has a solid yoke and painted skirt. Maybe I should design my own fabric for the next one...

I made another Kensington skirt variation which is more suited to our current weather. I'll share that one soon.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Pyjama time: episode one

Between sewing these pyjamas and getting around to blogging about them (and fixing all those broken image links on my blog - grrr Blogger), I've already made some others. But that will be episode 2.

My kids both love knit pyjamas and P is still wearing some very short and tight merino knit thermals that I made years ago... It was time for more.

I bought these fabrics from Nerida Hansen when they had a sale on some seconds quality cotton knits.

I only bought a metre of each fabric as I hadn't had a plan for them at that stage. Then the kids started loudly demanding winter pyjamas and so that became the plan.

The quality is really lovely. With these two prints I can't work out what it was that made them seconds, however the one other print I bought has a very slight dye run mark that repeats. It's barely noticeable.

The pterodactyls are awesome. It's hard to find good non floral prints for boys that aren't diggers and toy trucks and too childish. Pterodactyls wearing sunglasses and singlets makes a really cool design!

Hers is a May Gibbs design and is lovely with little flowering gumnuts amongst the native Australian floral background.

Both kids are actually wearing the same pattern sin the same size with just alterations in length:
It's the Oliver + S School Bus T for the top in size 12 for both of them, with about 15cm added to the sleeve length for monkey-boy (and then the cuffs as well. Yep, seriously!)

The leggings are the Oliver + S Playtime leggings also in size. The length was cut to make use of the remaining fabric (no scraps left behind) but then A insisted hers should be shorter, like gym shorts.

The ribbing I had in the stash and I wrote a blog post ages ago showing how to turn these two patterns into pyjamas using cuffs. You can find it here.

Quick and easy to sew and in soft, good quality cotton knit they're a delight. Only 1 metre each and they're very affordable too.

The kids were trying to recreate an old photo that I still have as the screensaver on my phone. Let me find it....(November 2016 - and yes they still wear those pyjamas in summer. Honestly, they're the best value things to make for kids!)

Size: 12, both kids - with sleeve and pant length modifications;
Cuff modifications to make them more pyjama-y
fabrics: Nerida Hansen knit

Saturday, 18 April 2020

File this one under...

… more things not being worn due to Covid19 isolation.

In previous years I've gone on a swimwear sewing bender in February/March in anticipation of a beach holiday. As if I predicted that not happening I only sewed one pair of boardshorts. Jalie 2678 to be precise.

As much as these were needed, they also only came about because of a funny situation.

When we took our truncated summer holiday (post bushfires), Flipper forgot his swimmers. We hit up a curious little shop in town which sells everything (I've bought macramé supplies there in the past and this time it was boardshorts. How's that for variety?!). If you know the town of Bright I bet you can gues sthe shop!

Yep, they had boardshorts, but the only pair we could see was on a rack and was probably the ugliest pair of boardshorts known to mankind. They were cheap and a one size fits all affair and so I bought them, delighted that Flipper would have to wear them, or sit poolside, hot and dry and on his own...

 As I was paying for them, I commented to the shopkeeper that they were truly hideous and how delighted I was that my husband would have to wear them since he'd forgotten his swimmers. She kindly pointed out some much more tasteful, monochromatic, hibiscus print boardshorts on another shelf that we'd failed to notice.

I relented and bought both pairs. He only wore the hibiscus ones.

And so the really, really ugly boardshorts were taken apart and a section of the print used alongside the stashed. solid, chocolate-brown, microsuede nylon to make this more bearable pair.

The pattern is Jalie 2678: My previous review of the pattern. along with comments on the pocket errata is here. These are the same size - which I didn't record back in that last blog post, but I believe is Size O as per measurements.

Hopefully they'll still fit when we get a chance to go to the beach!

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Kensington Knit Skirt

The second of the spring release Liesl + Co patterns that I slammed my name down to test is the Kensington Knit Skirt.

It's a simple knit skirt that comes in two views. View A is just two pattern pieces, a skirt panel (same front and back) and a yoke panel.

The yoke is two layers of fabric which helps to give the waist section some extra firmness, and then an elastic waistband is neatly hidden. The finish on that is really clever and nicely done.

View B, which I've sewn, adds 2 more pattern pieces to give the faux wrap layer and the ties. It's still a crazily simple skirt to sew.

Because the skirt is complete under the wrap, even when it's gets too windy for your backdrop you don't risk wrap skirt exposure!

With the help of the wind you can see the reverse side of the fabric I used. It's a double knit that I picked up at Super Cheap fabrics the day before they closed up their Fitzroy store. I didn't have any plans for it, but I'm an absolute sucker for a two sided knit fabric.

The weight is perfect for the skirt and I think ponte or slightly heavier knits works really well for this pattern.

But, in saying that I have a RTW cotton jersey skirt that has a similar yoke and a more A-line skirt and I love that one. Maybe that's a pattern hack I need to do with the Kensington Knit Skirt...

In fact, in the View A, that could be a skirt that could be whipped up in one evening... I'm tempted to visit the stash right now!

Pattern: Liesl + Co. Kensington Knit Skirt, View B
Size: 10, no alterations
Fabric: Double sided knit

Friday, 10 April 2020

Of pets and passing the time

With not much else to do, pointless craft is now less of a hobby and more like my raison d'etre.

An explanation seems both impossible and unnecessary. After a bit of indoor training (during bad weather) our new pets were ready for their photoshoot....

They were getting along so well, it looked like they were ready for a nest, and look! Are those eggs?

I have a crazy amount of newfound respect for birds and their nest building abilities! I had perfect atmospheric conditions, two opposable thumbs, even tools and still I struggled. Respect, birds!

Details: Pattern for budgerigars and eggs from: Crochet Birds by Vanessa Mooncie
Yarn: Scheepjes Catona cotton from Bellemae Yarns
Nest: My own pattern, held together with some fine mohair yarn and Habu paper moire leftovers

If only I'd photographed the note that I found next to a budgie that was flat on it's back with its legs in the air. It said:
"I am having a power nap. I am NOT dead. If you feed me slivered almonds I will wake up and do tricks for you."
That's a bit how we all feel right now.