Thursday 31 December 2020

Ottobre kiddo

To close out the year, some Ottobre tween-boy sewing:

I bought just a couple of Ottobre magazines over five years ago and haven't sewn that much from them, but for boys this size there's almost nowhere else to turn.

This outfit is Ottobre 1/2014 patterns 36 and 37 size 158. I think I added an extra inch and a half of sleeve length but didn't need to. Still, I'm excited that his arms won't outgrow this top in a single season.

The V neck technique wasn't the way I would have chosen to do it, and I think there's more room for making a mess of it compared to my usual technique. But, with some rain needle topstitching it looks sharp enough.

The jeans are great. They're designed for stretch fabric, have some cool details and look comfy and totally legit as streetwear.

I didn't get a picture of it, but on the yoke there's a couple of tabs, about belt loop width that overlap over the centre back seam and close with two snaps. Kind of like a malpositioned hammer loop on carpenter's pants. Pointless, but cool.

It's also hard to see, but while most of the topstitching is grey, there are a few lime green highlights here and there.

The fabric is a lightweight, stretch denim that I had in the stash. It feels about the weight of a sturdy quilting cotton. Compared to heavier, rigid denim jeans that I've made him in the past these ones are getting lots of wear.

The t-shirt was also made from stash fabrics. It's a fun t-shirt pattern for using up smaller cuts or remnants.

The sleeve pocket and the chest tab were intended to be sewn in a woven cotton. Instead, I chose to fuse some lightweight interfacing to the same cotton lycra I was using for the neckband and cuffs.

The skinny jeans style freaked him out a bit at first, as he's used to the fullness of cargo pants. Still, he's wearing both garments a lot and I'm just grateful that Ottobre make these patterns right up to 170cm size.

And I'm enormously grateful that he wears what I make, and makes it look damn good!

Wednesday 30 December 2020

After School Pants and Jalie Jeans

Ages ago I bought a remnant of striped See You at Six denim from Maaidesign. Recently, A has a big thing for peach/apricot colours so I pulled this fabric, with its metallic peach stripe out and she loved it.

Crazy, stripey pants time!

The pattern is the Oliver + S After School pants. With my 1m of fabric I had just enough after some clever planning and very careful cutting.

The fabric has a diagonal stripe, so I cut the side panels on the bias to achieve the vertical stripes. It was a design choice but was also the only way the pattern pieces could fit on the fabric.

They're a size 12, and on a hunch I added probably an inch and a half to the front and back rises. The fit is perfect!

The cute little pocket frills are a lightweight cotton batiste.

Finally, a pair of pants that haven't been photographed, other than this phone picture of a butt:

Another pair of Jalie Eléonore pull on jeans with the same rise increase as the white ones from a few months back.

Also in a 1m remnant of fabric. This was a heavy knit that was destashed from Renae on Instagram and I thought would make cool kid jeans.

Monday 28 December 2020

Gifts, learning to knit and little bits to close out the year

I still have a couple of sewn garments to post to the blog before the year is out, but I thought I'd round up some little bits'n'bobs first.

A friend had a baby and I couldn't resist making a Brindle and Twig onesie from a remnant of Spotlight cotton/lycra

A little "Ta-Da" label from Kylie and the Machine seemed perfect for the side seam.

During the year I learned to knit. The first few things I made were squares to test stitches and were ripped out.

The main plan was to knit a beanie for our builder. I made a "muslin" first and it was perfect for P. The final version was a better adult size and with less mistakes.

First I practiced some more and made this beanie for A.

When I'm back home and not posting from my phone I'll try and remember to come back and add pattern credits and links.

One pattern I won't be recommending was these crochet lace mitts.

The pattern was in a book I was gifted when I first learnt to crochet. It contains no diagrams or sketches, so unless you'd made gloves before, it was hard to imagine how they'd come together.

And the pattern was riddled with errors! Grrrr.
A search on Ravelry found comments about the errors and links to an online errata page - but even that had a mistake. Making the first one was such an ordeal that I almost convinced my daughter that a Michael Jackson style single glove would do.
Anyway, they're finished, they're cute, and they'll probably never get worn.

When I bought a knitting book I also bought a single skein of the most beautiful yarn (link to come). It's the most exquisite, soft, squishy fine yarn in a lovely salmon pink. K tried a few things with it, but finally settled on this simple triangular scarf.

I'm pretty sure I followed the border instructions incorrectly, but it's cute.

The only project I'd actually intended to make during the year in the crappy rental, was this swan.

It's from the Crochet Trophy Heads book and A and I had agreed it would be great on her bedroom wall.

P made a little elastic and Kraft-Tex wallet for his teacher...

And A had me make a Genoa Tote for her teacher with Harry Potter lining fabric.

The outer fabric is a coated stretch bengaline on the $2/m table at Spotlight and it has a great faux leather look and feel, but a stretch fabric is really not a suitable choice and it took a lot of interfacing to make it work.

Finally, I found myself with one rostered day off that coincided with Flipper having a rare day at an office (that isn't also our house) so time to make him a gift.

I had some thickish brown leather that was gifted to me, so I made a mouse pad. It's a leather base, a smaller leather layer, a same size smaller wool Melton pad layer, then a top leather layer.

They're all glued together then I saddle stitched around the edge by hand and burnished the edges.

It's pretty amateurish leather work but it was fun to make and it passes the stand back and squint and it looks alright test.

I've taken some knitting away with me as I'm trying to make a simple cotton t-shirt, but I keep making mistakes and ripping back more than I've knit. Might be finished by next summer.

If not, I've got plenty of black cotton to make a native Australian version of that swan!

Monday 21 December 2020

New Liesl + Co Patterns

Sometime earlier this year (who knows what time means anymore and this year seems like 5 years rolled into one) I tested a couple of patterns for Liesl + Co.

First up was the Easton Cowl Neck Tee - A simple long, or short, sleeved t-shirt, but with a lovely draping front cowl neck. there are options to finish the back neck with a wider facing, or a narrow bias strip. Whichever floats your boat.

I was down for testing view B, the short sleeved, bas finished option. I chose a fabric that suited the pattern, but that I wasn't hugely fond of, which seems the smartest if you're genuinely testing a pattern (if you're trying to seek blogging fame and fortune by getting invited on pattern tours that's a different matter entirely, go ahead, cut your liberty jersey. Whatevs)

Being in strict lockdown, and living in a pretty shabby rental the fit photographs were in front of a sheet in the back yard. But the top is good.

This was my size as per measurements with B cup size and no alterations.

The fabric was remnant that was gifted to me and it's perfect for this top, and if I had an office-y job that required fancy t-shirts I'd have perfect workwear attire right here.

More to my taste, I immediately jumped in and made view A in a bamboo jersey from my stash.
This one has been worn a LOT.

The second pattern I tested wasn't one that immediately jumped out at me (but the ones I missed testing - boy do I love them, check out the Noord Sweatshirt and Yanaka Jacket), yet once I'd sewn it I loved it. I wear this shirt LOTS and LOTS.

At first I thought it was a bit "older" in it's styling (ha! Who am I if not "older" anyway), but I have really enjoyed wearing my Fitzroy Blouse and yes, I'm sure my mum will want a version too. But twinning with your mum is still cute, no?

This time I cut straight into some double gauze I had in my stash. The fabric came from Draper's Fabrics and I don't think I'd had anything particular in mind when I bought it. It seemed perfect for this shirt.

I trusted Liesl and jumped straight in to view A, in my standard size, cup size and no alterations.

the back is fairly standard shirt with a nice box pleat. the front has the curious shawl collar which is so much nicer to wear than I'd imagined from the lione drawing.

Then the views differ in the cuff treatment. view A has lots of pintucks to give a shirred cuff effect, whereas view B has a more straight up button cuff. I've flipped some of my double gauze out at the cuffs here, not sure what that's meant to show, but there you are.

I even had the perfect leftover slightly purple/blue buttons from Buttonmania from when I made my purple shirt. I've been wearing this shirt such a lot that I could definitely see myself making another.

I even tried getting some 'better" photos while wearing it in our new house (that's my east facing bedroom wall behind me)...

I like to sew (and collect) the paper patterns, so while I have a tester's copy of these two patterns in digital form, I'll be putting in my order to buy all four of the new patterns and have them arrive in the happy mail!

Sunday 20 December 2020

Speedy Christmas Pyjamas

 I couldn't resist these cute Christmas knit prints that were on sale at RubyJam recently

1m of each is enough for a short sleeved T-shirt (Oliver + S School bus tee) and a pair of pull on shorts (Oliver + S playtime leggings) - and should somebody have a Christmas season baby there's probably enough leftover for a novelty romper!

The ribbings were whatever colour there was enough of in the fabric stash. By putting ribbed cuffs everywhere instead of hems, they're super quick to sew. Not even sew to be honest - bang out on the overlocker is a more fitting description.

Both kids got size 12 (cause it was traced off and ready to go) for top and bottoms with just adjustments for their preferred leg/sleeve length.

Quick and cute and Christmas ready.

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Grade 6 Graduation

Today was the "graduation" day for P's grade 6 class. I'm yet to see or hear much about it, as we weren't able to attend in person, and I was working when the live video feed went up. But I do know what he wore, cause I made it...

The dress code was "smart casual" and he didn't really know what that meant.  We talked about whether he wanted to wear a suit - some kids did, or a button up shirt - he thought he might. But eventually he decided he wanted a t-shirt with a collar and his all time favourite cargo pants.

I was running low on fabrics suitable for pants, so I hit up the Brunswick stores and picked up this blue drill for just a few dollars. It's a cotton/synthetic (judging from the weird smell when ironed) and is sturdy but also lightweight enough to be summer long pants.

Then came the fabrics for the top which were picked from the stash. The pattern is the Oliver + S Parachute Polo shirt. It's a great pattern for a polo shirt using a woven fabric for the placket and collar. The only thing to note is that the interfacing on the back of the placket would be visible if it were worn wide open. I usually peel it back off to the edge of the placket after construction. I should just remember to cut a thinner strip.

The cotton for the placket and collar is a cute Zonen09 fabric from years ago that I purchased from Maaidesign and made this shirt.

I'd just seen Kylie and the Machine's new Sweary Sewist labels and P and I bought a pack from FibreSmith and agreed that we'd sneak a couple into his outfit.

He approved f the "I didn't fuck it up" label in the polo as it applied to both my sewing and his 7 years of primary school!

I did make him promise not to show anyone, but I'm not sure how well that worked out. The label that I put on the outside was this "Quality Shit" one, slipped into the pocket of his cargoes:

The Oliver + S Field Trip cargo pants are his all time favourite pants. I've just cut the bottoms off the two pairs that I made back here (and here), and turned them into shorts.

This pair are a size up from those (size 12) with 1" extra length mid thigh, and another 1&1/2" length at the hem. That pretty much puts us at the end of the pattern sizing. I'm not sure what's more alarming for me: his finishing primary school or his outgrowing the Oliver + S pattern sizing

Patterns: Oliver + S parachute Polo and Field trip cargo pants
Size: Shirt: Size 12 with 1" extra sleeve length beyond the short sleeve line
Pants: Size 12 with 1" length added mis thigh and 1&1/2" extra length at the ankle hem
Fabrics: Grey cotton lycra, Cotton lawn for collar, interfacing and buttons all from stash. Mystery synthetic/cotton drill from one of the shops on the east side of Sydney Rd

Friday 11 December 2020

Does it compile?

I'm not even going to pretend to understand my own title question, but I'm told the answer is "probably, yes"

A few months ago I spotted this cotton lycra print on the RubyJam instagram feed and immediately showed it to the head of the household IT Department (aka Flipper). I wasn't silly enough to buy fabric that looked like computer code without first checking that it really looked like computer code. He approved.

The pattern is the Liesl & Co Metro T-Shirt which is always a winner for him. The fabric quality is also really great. 

...and I'm told that the fabric design is sufficiently legitimate for a computer coder to wear it happily. Nice one RubyJam.

Please notice the new lawn which is Flipper's sole responsibility and growing luscious with all the attention. Also of note are the old aviators which he hasn't stopped wearing since Joe Biden won the US election. 

In the background of the first photo you can also see the earliest photos of our garden's "feature tree" We named it Sticky, as it arrived looking not at all like a feature, but more like a very expensive , tall twig. Hopefully there will be many more blog photos with Sticky looking more and more impressive... And the lawn still green (fingers crossed)

Saturday 5 December 2020

Girl on the Go - twice

We've been a whole family on the go really. October flew by without a single blog post.

Moving back into our renovated house (and having no internet connection for weeks) meant October just disappeared. But I had been busily making things (to avoid those tedious, but important jobs, like unpacking) and so now I have lots of catching up to do.

Almost as soon as we'd moved into the house, and barely a week after the kids had finally returned to school (in the physical sense, rather than the homeschool imposed by Covid19 restrictions) it was announced that it was Bookweek. My usual enthusiasm for a last minute costume was "somewhat lacking".

After telling me she wanted a simple white dress, A changed her mind and did something else with what she already had. But I had been led to get out the Girl On The Go dress pattern from Oliver + S which I'd never yet sewn, and now I was curious.

It's a nice, basic T-shirt dress with a boat neck shaped neckline finished with a facing. Ties are sewn into the side waist and can tie in the front or back. I made a straight size 10 as per her measurement with no alterations and it fits perfectly. A bit slower to sew than a T-shirt, but not by much.

The fabric was a remnant from a dress I made myself way back here, and is a lovely quality Froy & Dind knit that came from Maaidesign. I was delighted to find it was just enough leftovers for this dress and is now all used up

We took these pictures on my phone one day between racing around doing stuff, and decided to try our new courtyard vertical garden as a backdrop. The garden is made with a giant piece of felt attached to a backboard, then little slits are cut into the felt and the plants tucked into little pockets. It's supercute as it looks like every plant has a little sleeping bag of felt.

She was enjoying wearing that dress a lot, and I had an idea for another in a bold print that I'd picked up in Spotlight from their discount rack. This time, to maximise the print, I left off the waist ties and gave the dress a bucketload of swingy flare...

It's really easy to take a pattern that you like and slash and spread it to get the swing skirt. There's a blog post with instructions here.

I may have gone overboard with the amount of twirl, but this light, drapey rayon knit needed volume

Her favourite colour at the moment is orange, So I used a bright orange thread for the stitching around the facing and hems.

The vertical garden is growing really well - maybe because it's on an automatic watering system and so not reliant on us to remember it. Here's hoping we can keep some other plants alive elsewhere around the place!

We've certainly been feeding and watering the kids sufficiently. They're growing so fast!!

Size: 10
Alterations: first one straight up. Second one with added skirt flare and no ties
Fabrics: Long stashed knits / remnants