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.

Wednesday 8 April 2020

Belgravia Knit Dress

I'm always delighted to do a pattern test for Liesl + Co. Even when the missive arrives just before a holiday, I sign up and then drop everything else and fit it in somehow.

Just before the first of this year's cancelled holidays (remember the bushfires? they feel like years ago already) I got the chance to sew the Belgravia Knit Dress.

This is the View A: Short sleeves and shorter ties that just knot at the front.

I chose a fairly stable cotton lycra type knit out of the stash (source long since forgotten), and as I always love stripes I thought it would be fun to use a stripe and play with the angles of the bodice.

It turns out Liesl had considered adding a pattern warning NOT to use a stripe due to the bodice being cut on the bias. :) What can I say, I like a bit of danger :)

The stripe actually helped me with the pattern test, as I was so extra careful to cut it all perfectly aligned and then sew every seam with stripes matching, it was easy to see where the test pattern had a small error. My stripes matched but the lengths were wrong, ergo pattern error. In any other print I might have pinned the edges, then the notches then stretched to fit and never noticed the small discrepancy.

But I apologise if you're getting that screen stripes distortion thing and it's hurting your eyes! :)

I went with my measurements (size 10) and made it without any modifications for this first version. True to my shape I should have added torso length and given myself a bit more room through the hips compared to the bodice.

It's a quick and easy dress to sew and is as easy to wear as a T-shirt.

Way back when we were still allowed to go outdoors, I was scheduled to go bar hopping as part of my Melbourne Frocktails planning duties (tough gig but someone has to do it) and I suddenly decided I wanted the long sleeved, longer ties view B version to wear...

This time it's a cheap, slinky synthetic knit, probably a rayon but who knows. I graded out one size over the hips and added 1" of torso length to drop those ties down to my natural waist.

That little adjustment, along with the extra length ties which cross at the back and then tie at the front, makes all the difference. Magic waistline!

This dress pattern reminds me of the Vogue Vena Cava dress (which I've sewn and still love) but without the mental construction!

The whole dress can be made on a straight stitch sewing machine as I did with my striped first version. but then, once I had one run through of the construction under my belt, this one was sewn laregly on the overlocker, with the sewing machine only required for the ties and waist seam as well as hemming.

Its getting too cold for the short sleeved version, but I wore this one today and while I only saw two humans that aren't my immediate household, they both commented on  how lovely my dress was! Thanks unrelated humans. xx

Liesl just posted some fabric and styling inspiration images and I really want a dark green wool jersey version for winter. The waist ties feel a bit like an all day gentle hug and in a lovely wool it would be divine.

There's a couple of other tester's versions on the Oliver + S blog too and they're lovely! - and they obviously have nicer gardens than mine as their lockdown photos have more pleasing backgrounds :)

How are you coping with being cooped up? We've just had our second cancelled vacation of the year and I've turned into a crochet maniac. Then there was some sewing, then a bit more crochet... I've got a lot of blogging to catch up on!