Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Simplicity 1382 Dress - version 2

Pattern: Simplicity 1382
Fabric: 'Baby the Stars Shine Bright' by Tamara Kate for Michael Miller
Size made: 8 1/2

She has had a lot of fun wearing my first version of this dress and the fit was still really good. I wanted to make another version in after seeing Rebecca's beautiful Geranium Tunic made from the same fabric.
It took me a while to track the fabric down, everywhere seemed to be out of stock but eventually I got lucky. I expected it to be navy if I am honest, I was a little surprised when it turned out to be purple. However, Boo pounced on it immediately! "It's perfect! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"

I made this back in February but due to camera malfunctions and poor light, I only just managed to get the shots I wanted. The hemline seems to have crept up past her knees already - hmmm she must have gotten taller.

So the difference with this version is the back. The first one had a heart-shaped cut out whereas this one has a crossover back. Still with that peekaboo look which makes it a little bit special.

I did much better with my invisible zip this time. The last one curls in at the top when it is fully drawn up. This time I positioned it better so the hard plastic top of the zipper wasn't included in the edge and it zips up nice and smooth. I couldn't figure out where I had gone wrong previously, but that must be it.

I did intend to make this the cap sleeved version. It was only when I was finished sewing the facings on and was giving the armholes a pressing, that I realised I had missed putting them on. Ooops! They were staring at me the whole time from the back of my sewing table.
Ahhh well.....

For those interested in the insides, here is a shot of the bodice. The facings are nice and deep and all sewn into the side seams so they sit beautifully and don't flap about. The waistband also has a facing and so all raw edges are sealed inside making it nice to wear.

Now, I must crack on with that sleeved version.....

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Kwik Sew 3816 Vest

About a month before our planned holiday it dawned on me that Boo didn't have the right sort of jacket for the trip. She needed a body-warmer style that would keep the spring chills away but not be too hot for lots of walking around and jumping in and out of the car.

I had this Kwik Sew pattern stashed away and had been wanting to try it for a while so I ordered the supplies I needed for the 'real' version and got to work on a trial run through.

There are a couple of tricky techniques called for in this pattern, namely a welt pocket with the added flourish of a zip. My experience of sewing welts started with this raincoat (which was hellish in the fabric) and the Oliver and S Art Museum Trousers which were plain sailing. I knew I could always fall back on the O+S instructions if I needed to, but had faith in the Kwik Sew instructions which have always been excellent in the past.

My test run proved that the instructions were brilliant and easy to follow. I had no problems constructing the pocket and adding the zip.

I used thick fleece for the navy version you see here and that would have been a little trickier to get a neat welt out of. Knowing this is what I would be working with (and taking heed from Shelley) I decided to change the pattern up to make this easier. Instead of the welt pocket being on the outside, I put it inside the vest meaning I could make it from the cotton poplin lining fabric.

I also extended the back lining to full length as it was more the look I wanted. The lower pockets have a faux welt look and the pocket bags are made from the lining fabric. I therefore had to make the decision between having the pretty flowery fabric right-side out to match the rest of the inner lining or flip it and have the flowers peeking out of the pockets from the outer side.
I figured since the jacket would be seen mostly from the outside, that the reversed inside wouldn't be a big issue.

I didn't tamper with the length at all. I liked that the elasticated casing tucked neatly under her bottom and kept the wind out. The only bit of sewing that was tough was attaching the casing. My fleece is beautifully soft and thick so when it came to the casing, it meant I was going through 3 layers of fleece and 1 of poplin. My machine got through it but I felt like we had battled!

A felt heart served as the anchor point for my size label.

And there you can see the zippered welt tucked neatly into the upper lining piece. We put her little pocket camera in there during our days out and it was a nice safe place for it to be carried around in. 

The details:

Pattern: Kwik Sew 3816
Size made:  XL (12-14years)
Fabric used: Speckled Fleece from Pennine Outdoor and poplin for the lining

The resulting vest is one of the best items of clothing I have made for her. It is amazingly soft and snug, yet very practical for playing in. I am glad I picked the navy colour as it will match a lot of her clothes without thinking about it too much.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Granny's Favourite Cardigan

Pattern: Granny's Favourite by Georgie Nicolson (Tikki Knits)
Yarn: Cascade 220 Quattro (colourway 1928)
Size Made: 28" chest
Started: 10 Dec 2015 Finished: 21 Feb 2016

A circular yoke will always catch my eye, and after spotting a few of these on Instagram I was curious enough to source the pattern.

The size range is quite large. It starts at 15" chest (newborn) and goes to a 30" chest (age 12). It is knit from the top down, is seamless, and has different length options for body and sleeves.

Boy do these instructions require the recommended read through! It took a couple of minutes before I clicked with the layout of the size instructions, then knowing I would keep getting lost, I grabbed a ruler and pencil and put a line through all the instructions that didn't apply to my size cardigan. This helped a lot.

I didn't concentrate hard enough on my first attempt at the zigzags and ended up ripping it out and starting again. Second time around and I got them right and this beautiful pattern emerged. The pattern runs right around the front and across the back.

I opted for long sleeves and a full length body. I had enough wool and I want it to be worn through spring and then again the other side of summer.

The zigzag is repeated on the sleeve cuff and then finished off with soft and bouncy garter stitch. I think it looks lovely.

The yarn itself knitted up beautifully and I was really pleased with it. Everytime I use Cascade yarn, I am impressed with the stitch definition and this worked the lace pattern up perfectly. The Quattro yarn has different shades in each strand and it gives a variegated finish to the work.

 This ended up being a great pattern and I am so glad I tried it. The colour will go with a lot in her wardrobe (and seeing as most of that is made by me anyway, I can coordinate!)