Monday, 15 March 2021

Train Track neckwarmer

For Christmas I bought a little bundle of five 20g skeins of hand dyed wool from Valley Maker. It was kind of a gift for A cause I knew she'd like the colours, and kind of a gift for me, cause I seem to like stashing yarn as well as fabric now.

Eventually I found a pattern that would suit it: the Train Track Neckwarmer by Robin Williams

I sort of followed the pattern, although I can't recall if I kept the same needle size. I think I might have gone smaller as I was using a fingering weight yarn and making it child sized.

What I did ignore was the number of rows to knit. I used my main colour yarn with a secondary colour until I thought I had a quarter of the length done. Then I switched the secondary yarn into the primary yarn position and brought in a new colour as the secondary yarn. And so on until all five yarns had been used.

I don't know how well it works to join the ends of a rectangular scarf into a cowl or neckwarmer. It kind of needs a triangular shape for that to work. But I was keen to try the buttonholes, which I'd never knitted before, and A liked the idea of it buttoning. And of course the perfect little wooden buttons were in the stash begging to be used.

Perhaps the most fun to be had with a knitted scarf is wandering around the house dropping it in places and photographing it!

And now, a gratuitous photo of our little mini lawn mowers - Albus and Remus!

Thursday, 4 March 2021

The Birthday Dress

My not-a-surprise birthday dress for A was to be as follows:

A dark grey T-shirt dress, with blue flutter sleeves and a Ravenclaw Hogwarts badge. She saw the fabrics (all stash) and designed the dress using the Oliver + S Building Block Dress Book, but I did paint the Ravenclaw badge in secret.

To make the dress I used the size 12 Building Block dress pattern. the only changes being that I sewed it in a bamboo jersey and omitted any opening.

I wrote a blogpost ages ago about doing just that on the Oliver + S blog. Here it is.

I probably overestimated how deep those sleeves needed to be, but they're statement flutter sleeves alright. The neckline and sleeves are finished with strips of knit binding.

Then the fun bit is painting the stencil.

I think I've created an animation of all the progress pictures. Let's see if I can add it here...

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Jalie Swimmers & Boardshorts

Usually, at this time of year I'm writing blogposts about swimwear that I've sewn for summer holidays.

There was a Christmas dummy spit about everything made by me being horrible, and my mother kindly took A to a shop (shock horror) to buy some swimwear. (I think I had another G&T and was equally offended and didn't care). Everything still kinda fitted the big kid, and I just made one extra pair of boardshorts because he nicely asked for them. (Jalie 2678, same size as these and these)

But then A decided to try out for the school swim team and got in...

Having chosen her own swimmers in "the shop" at Christmas time, she was lacking a one piece that was suitable for racing. I asked, tentatively, if I might be allowed to make a pair of school-swim-team-swimmers. I got the OK to proceed.

I used my favourite sporty swimsuit pattern, Jalie 3134. I've made it a few times before (here, here and here) and always liked it.

The colours were chosen to match the school uniform and the amount of each was purely due to how much I had! Yet it came out looking almost exactly like the sports polo part of the uniform.

I made a straight size P with no alterations. The yellow piping is technically a cotton lycra t-shirt knit rather than a lycra swimsuit knit, but it was the only bright yellow I had.

The district swimming carnival is tomorrow. But this week she also had Water Safety program at the beach...

When I'd been rummaging through the swimwear lycra fabric stash she spotted a black pineapple print fabric and said she liked it. Given the success of this swimsuit I was granted permission to sew her a second one piece.

This time I chose Jalie 3350, View B, also straight size P

This is the cutest little swimsuit, and I really want one for me. I think I've said that every time I've sewn this pattern (here and twice here. )

There's enough pineapple lycra leftover to make it happen.

I tried to take some video of the elastic stitching technique, but my sewing machine's LED light and the video weren't playing nicely and the strobing effect was dreadful.

Here's a couple of still images:

The elastic is first zig zag stitched to the edge of the fabric with the stitch going just off the edge of the fabric:

Then it's turned to the inside and zig zag stitched again:

I've previously tried a twin needle, and although I'm a huge fan of twine needle hems for knit garments in general. I think for swimmers, the humble zig zag looks, and works, the best.

Most of the construction is done on the overlocker. Where I use the sewing machine I confess to not paying much attention to needle type. I just start stitching and only change things if there's skipping or problems. Every machine is different, so there's no magic combination that will always work. Just try it. There's so little fabric used that it's easy to experiment.

He wears: Jalie 2678, size 0 - note pattern error mentioned here, microfleece polyester from Spotlight
She wears; Jalie 3134, size P. Stashed fabrics
and Jalie 3350, View B, size P in swimsuit lycra from Fabric Deluxe

Monday, 22 February 2021

New Look 6444 Birthday Jumpsuit

 For A's birthday this year she had put in a request for a dress, with very definite specifications....

I always like to make a surprise outfit, so I figured I'd need to sew something else alongside that dress.

I'd bought this lightweight seersucker-like fabric, probably a rayon, at Spotlight on their $2/m table and stashed it. I'm sure she'd seen it at the time, but presumably forgotten about it.

She'd also seen the pattern: New Look 6444 and had approved of it.

Based on her measurements I went with the straight size 12. Previously I'd have added length but her torso length seems to now match her pattern size. It's just her limbs that are probably still closer to a size 10. 

But with the ankles having an elastic cuff it didn't look like it would matter if the leg length was overly generous. 

The fit is really nice and I can see that the bottom half would make a good pair of pants on its own. Maybe even with wide leg leaving the ankles uncuffed.

The bottom half on its own would also be a much quicker sew. In contrast, the top part was quite time consuming: a narrow rolled hem all the way around that ruffle and then bias bound armscyes and bias casing for the waist elastic. Some neat finishing but pretty involved sewing.

She's not been entirely enthusiastic about home sewn clothes lately, and so I was quite amused when she went to open this present. She'd decided that of the two presents on the table left to unwrap, one was from us and the other from her granny. Since granny often gives her clothes she decided the "squishy" package must be from granny...

She opened it and was delighted, gushing about how great it was and how clever granny was to have chosen it for her. Her brother started sniggering as he pointed out the label he'd chosen for me to sew into it: One of the KATM Sweary Sewist labels that read "Hand-Fucking-Made" :)

Does matching your brick wall backdrop to your hair work? not really. :)

Pattern: New Look 6444
Size: 12
Modifications: none
Fabric: cheap rayon seersucker from Spotty

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

BASIC_Shirt - knitted T-shirt

This one is jumping the blogging queue as I finished it just the other day and have worn it all day today, and I LOVE it!!

This is the first garment I've knitted for myself and there were a few false starts. I'm glad I went back and started over, as I'd had yarn joins dead centre front and some pretty ordinary shoulder seams.

When I first ripped it all out I thought that would be the end of it for a while, but I was itching to start it again as I really wanted to wear it.

I'm so happy with how it feels to wear. It simply feels like not wearing anything!

The yarn is Scheepjes Bamboo Soft premium blend in black (50g = 150m), of which I bought 5 balls from Bellemae Yarns

The knitting pattern is the BASIC_Shirt by Susanne Mueller / Paula Strickt which I bought through Ravelry, along with her crochet raffia hat and a crochet bag pattern.

I made a size M, the second of 5 sizes. In ripping it back and starting over I forget now if I did add any length to the body. I suspect I lost count of the rows and went for the measured length as per the pattern. It's intended to be boxy and somewhat cropped and it's perfect as is.  

The shoulder seams were a bit tricky and my tension isn't perfect. But they're not too loopy or weird.

Adding the ribbing cuffs by picking up stitches with a crochet hook and then knitting into the slipped crochet stitches was a new thing to try. I think I got it fairly neat.

The T-shirt reminds me a lot of the Liesl & Co Bento Tee, in a knitted version. It's a great, easy to wear tee and I could easily have another in a different colour...

At the end I weighed my leftover yarn and there was 132g leftover. Did I really only use three of the five balls? At $7/ball I could knit a dozen of these t-shirts if they use less than 500m of yarn!

Details: Knitting!!
Yarn: Scheepjes bamboo soft, requires 3x50g
Needles: 3.5mm and 4.5mm as per pattern instructions