When bad things happen to good fabric


Linen twill is a new fabric for me.  I must confess I was excited when I saw it on the Tessuti website and clicked "Add to bag" pretty quickly.  When it arrived, it was even more luscious than I imagined.  I washed and dried it, and then my daughter laughed when she found it draped over me whilst I was watching tv.  It really has a lovely drape.

I decided on the Stylearc Lennie overshirt.  

I started with the popover placket.  Instead of following the instructions, I decided to do it the same way I would sew a placket on a shirt sleeve.  Only, I must have got the dimensions mixed up when I was cutting the placket, because after I sewed it on, the top didn't sit neatly over the underneath.  I unpicked it, and followed the method given.  Something went wrong there, not sure if it was Stylearc or my seam allowances or turn of cloth, but the upper still didn't sit neatly over the underneath.  More unpicking.  Not great for a linen twill.  You can see the fabric giving way in the photo below.

I would need wider plackets to get them to lay on top of each other.  I had enough fabric to cut new ones, but that would leave me with a not so useful remnant piece, so I decided to add to the existing plackets.  I seamed some pieces together to make new plackets, as you can see in the photo below, with the outsides of the plackets being on the bias and the inside on the straight grain..

Third time around, I got the placket in, but you can see that I had to stabilise the area with interfacing.  Not sure how long this shirt will last before fraying.  

I thought that I pattern matched the side seams, but when I sewed them together, it would appear that something went wrong there too.  I shortened the top quite a bit.  The shirt is oversized, but it still had bust darts.  I should have eliminated the darts.  I ended up extending them, because they didn't come anywhere near my bust and so seemed pointless (pun not intended...ha!).

I added a pleat below the back yoke, for added movement.

I bought this same fabric in the other colourways, but think that I will choose a different pattern for the others.


Green Hoodie and more

In all my years of sewing, I have never made myself a regular, zip-up hoodie.  Once I decided that was what I wanted, I trawled through my pattern collection to find a pattern.  I landed on Ottobre Family 7/2018 pattern 11.  I bought this magazine for the great selection of men's patterns, but so far the only pattern I have used are the elastic waist pajama bottoms.

Anyway, back to the hoodie.  I knew that I wanted to add stripes.  Deciding what colour stripes was the tricky bit.  In the end, I went with the other fabrics that were already out on my cutting table.  

I made a couple of alterations to the pattern.  The pattern looks like it has princess seams, but when I lay the pieces beside each other, it became clear that the seam lines were for colour blocking, rather than to add shaping.  My usual alterations are square shoulder, narrow chest, broad back and small bust.  I decided as I was doing these alterations that I would add a small bust dart into the front panel, similar to a Kathmandu fleece jacket I wear all the time.  This hoodie is not as fitted as the Kathmandu one, so probably the dart wasn't necessary.  Next time I make this up, I should raise this dart by ~2cm, as well as broaden the back.

I changed the design of the pockets.  With the placement of the stripes, the pocket area was getting all a bit bulky, So I made a pocket opening facing, and then just used one layer of fabric for the pocket back.  You can see the facing stitching in the above photo.  I then changed the shape of the pocket to a rectangle so that it would be caught in the front and hem and not flap about.  I used the top-stitching of the strips to secure the top edge of the pocket.  

I bought the wrong size zip (because I was in the shop for something else when I saw the zip and knew it would be a good colour match and just guessed the length).  Rather than shorten the zipper, I decided to lengthen the hoodie by 5 cm.

I used some green tape, that I dyed for a project years and years ago and never ended up using, to finish the inside neck edge.  It was a great colour match.

I used the leftover green French terry fabric to make my daughter a jumper using Jalie 3355.  I added some stripes to the sleeves to get it to fit on my remnants, but I like the stripes better than a plain top anyway.


I used some of the left-over ribbing to finish the neck and sleeves of a t-shirt for my son.  Sadly, I think the sizing is off (it's a bit short...again, using up remnants...thought it would be okay) so he may not get a lot wear from it.

I used Ottobre design pack 301 for the t-shirt.

Now, just to cram a few more garments into this post.  The pink fabric in the stripes was a bamboo jersey that I used to make a pair of True Bias Hudsons.  

I then used the last of this bamboo to make a pair of sleep shorts.  I used a pattern that I made as a rub-off from some running shorts years ago.  

Now I've had a good clean-up of my sewing room, cleared off the cutting table, and am ready to start on a new match of fabrics.  

Happy sewing xx


All the layers

I normally only talk about one garment per post, but earlier this week I found myself wearing layers and layers of unblogged garments, so I am going to throw them all together into this post.

The neck cowl was made by arm-knitting.  Fadanista showed me how to do this.  She assured me that I would have a completed garment before I left, and to my surprise, I actually did.  Not like all my other started-not-completed knitting projects.  The other fun part about this project is that you don't actually have to use yarn.  I used a remnant that I got as part of a bundle that I didn't think I would use for another garment.  I stitched the slevedges of the fabric together and then cut strips in a continuous loop.   The coloured bits of the scarf are bamboo and merino scraps that were lying on my table from making t-shirts.  I didn't take photos of the process, but you can see a little on Sue's instagram account.  .  

The jumper I was wearing was made by modifying the Jalie Mimosa t-shirt pattern.  I changed the sleeves to have rib cuffs.  I then cut 5 cm from the hem of the shirt pattern, so that I could put "cuffs" on the hems.  This is actually a good way to avoid sewing regular hems in a rib knit, which often end up wavy.  I then straightened the hem curve just by ruling a traight line from the top of the split to the intersection of my new hem line and the curved split.

The striped tee is made in a linen knit from Knitwit.  I used Jalie 3352, with a couple of changes.  I added hembands to the sleeves.  I also reduced the waist shaping, as my previous versions (any many versions that I see online) seem to have pull lines from the underarm area to the bust.  Making the side seams less curved seems to have solved this problem.

And finally, my singlet, which would probably never have made it to my blog on its own.  It is a merino sinlet, made using Jalie 3245.  I have made this pattern a lot, and always lower the underarms by at least an inch, for comfort.  My merino binding wasn't working out, so I cut my losses and bound the edges with a bamboo knit.  I have made 8 merino singlets this winter and am almost always wearing one....as a base layer, as pajamas, for exercise.  Probably the only time I don't wear one is when I go for a swim.  Come on, summer.

My pants are the previously blogged stylearc ethel pants.  The bra peeking out is greenstyle creations power bra.  


Wool Pants

I feel not so much stuck in a blogging rut...more like bogged and the wheels are just spinning deeper and deeper.  

I want to blog this project in the appropriate season.  No point blogging winter pants in summer.  I'd like to get them blogged before I move onto to later projects.  Only I haven't managed to get photos that show the pants very well.  And I combined a dubious pattern with dubious fabric, which I often do, because that way I am not throwing good money after bad.  Just throwing all my shopping mistakes in together.  So here they are, Stylearc Teddy Designer Pant  in green wool twill.

The pattern has wide pleats down the front.  Previous reviewers said that the pleats just flapped open.  I tried top-stitching the pleats to see if this would help, but it didn't, so then I went and stitched the pleats down at intervals, as you can see in the top lightened photo.  

I also have trouble styling the dark green twill so that they don't look masculine / fuddy-duddy.  I have been wearing them because they are warm, but not out of the house so much.


Tessuti Sydney Jacket

Whilst I was getting photos of my dress the other day, I also got some photos of my Tessuti Sydney Jacket.

The pattern is designed for fabrics whose edges don't fray.  This allows for techniques that minimise bulk in the pocket openings, and in the darts, as shown in the photos below.

I bought the fabric from Morgan Marks, in a sale last year.  I had planned on making something for my husband, but it seemed perfect for this pattern, so he misses out.  The fabric has a little bit of stretch in it.  I have the same issues as other wearers of this pattern, in that I can't lift my arms very high whilst wearing it...so far that has only been a problem whilst driving.  

This jacket is great for wearing over tops with fuller sleeves.