Astair Tee

Here is the Astair Tee by French Navy, made up in a bamboo knit from Maai Design.


Pattern details include sleeve cuffs, deep hem and side splits.

In these photos, the shirt is looking a little tight.  All the shirts in my photos lately look a little tight.  The photo below shows the real problem.   I'm trying to kid myself that it is swimming muscle, but possibly all my extra iso weight went to my back??  Is that a thing??  Anyway, I have only recently come to the realisation that I need to start doing broad back alterations.  

It was only after I bought this pattern that I realised that it was similar to one I already had - Jalie 3352.  That can happen when you own too many patterns :)  Anyway, I pulled out my Jalie for comparison, and you can see the difference in the photo below (back pieces).  It looks like the Jalie has a little more room under the arms, so I might be better off using it next time.

I am wearing the shirt with cuffs and not sleeves in the above photos, but you can see in the pattern comparison below, that the long sleeves of the Jalie are more tapered than the Astair.


A couple of bags

I made this bag for my Mum for Mother's Day.  It was a little bit late.  I bought the main fabric months ago, from Spotlight, because it looked like a print that she would like.  Then with all the Covid isolation goings on, I completely forgot about it.  Then when I remembered, it was taking weeks and weeks for parcels to be delivered, so I didn't even bother.  

Mother's Day came and went, and then I was asked to sew a tote bag as part of a present for a friend, which I did.  I had forgotten how satisfying bag making can be.  Choosing the fabric, scrabbling through the stash for supplies and hardware, getting just the pockets you need, sewing cotton that behaves well and not having to worry about fit issues!  I enjoyed it so much that as soon as I finished my friend's bag, I started on this one for my Mum.

The bag pattern is based on the gingham tote in "handmade style" by Anna Graham of Noodlehead.  I left off the exterior pockets and changed the interior ones.  I also altered the pattern to have the black base.

The main fabric is from the popular Jocelyn Proust range at Spotlight.  I interfaced the bag with "By Annie Soft and Stable".  I bought this interfacing several years ago, but this is the first time that I have used it.  The bag holds its shape well and the interfacing is light for the amount of bulk it adds.  I usually prefer canvas type fabrics for bags so that I don't need to interface them, but I was won over by this print.  It is a quilting cotton, and I have since learned that Spotlight carries a Jocelyn Proust range in the upholstery section, which would probably work better.  

The yellow fabric is a gorgeous remnant leftover from sewing this skirt eight years ago.  I have been saving the scraps for something special. I made the strap adjustable, but I only had one D ring in the right size, so the strap is attached directly to the bag on the other side.  

My stash of zips is getting quite low, so I was quite pleased that I found this orange zip of a suitable length.

I have been using this next bag as my daily bag for a few months now.

It might be hard to recognise, but the main bag pattern pieces are from the Sydney Cross-body bag by Swoon patterns.  I have greatly simplified the bag, leaving off the zips and once again changing the pockets to suit.  You can see this pattern made up fully in this post.  

The main fabric is a beautiful outdoor canvas.  I bought a remnant piece from Otilly & Lewis and have been hoarding for years.  It is firm enough that no interfacing was needed.

The lining is a quilting cotton leftover from making my quilt.  The pockets are scraps left from refashioning a silk Tommy Bahamas shirt that my husband didn't like into a tank top for my daughter (I don't think I ever blogged this project).  If you look on the left side of the bag in the below photo, you can see that I made a side pocket for my glasses, which makes it much quicker to find them in my bag.

I got to use the silk on the inside of the interior zip pocket as well.  Only I can see this silk, but I love the print, so it makes me happy whenever I open the pocket.

This bag sat unfinished for months, because I could not decide on a fabric for the strap.  Nothing in my stash seemed suitable, or quite the right shade.  Eventually I had the idea to embroider a scrap leftover from $2/m textured white fabric that I had used to muslin a coat.  I rarely have the patience to use the embroidery stitches on my machine.  I'm really happy I did because I love the result. 


Paprika Patterns Jasper Sweater Dress

How many patterns do you have that you have never sewn?  I have too many.  Especially pdf patterns, which you would think I would only buy if I was going to use them right away.  Somehow it doesn't work like that.  Anyway, I am glad that I finally made up the Jasper Sweater Dress by Paprika Patterns.  

I shortened the dress by about 7 cm.  It doesn't feel too short, but looking at these photos, perhaps I cut off a tad too much.

The dress has princess seaming.  I didn't make a big deal of trying to pattern match, but I did try to keep the deer lined up all on the same level.

The fabric is a French terry by See you at Six.  I bought it, and the matching ribbing, from Maai  Design.  I didn't have enough ribbing for the cuffs (I was planning something different when I bought the fabric), so I made the sleeves longer and hemmed them.

I wish I had remembered to take a close-up of the button. It matches perfectly.  I found it in the jar of Liberty buttons given to me by a friend.


Hudsons + Astair

I thought I'd test the French Navy Astair Tee and the True Bias Hudson Pant out by making pyjamas.

I made them in the summer and had to wait a few weeks until it was cool enough to wear them.  I forget where the t-shirt fabric is from, but it is quite a beefy cotton spandex.  The Hudsons are made from a beautiful quality cotton spandex knit from Fabulous Fabrics.  The striped cotton ribbing is from Spotlight, leftover from another project.

I sewed a double pocket, but I am thinking of removing it because the shirt is so comfy that I might wear it for everyday, not just pjs.

The method of adding the ribbing to the pocket was a new-to-me technique.  

Both patterns are winners, so I will be making more of them.


Jalie Coco Sport Bra

I get excited when Jalie launches their pattern collection each year.  Normally I select all the ones I want and get them all in one go to minimise shipping.  Shipping to Australia has been disrupted lately, so I decided to go ahead and download the pattern that I was most excited about, and I will order paper copies of the other patterns later.  First up is the Coco Sport Bra.

I've come to realise lately that my collection of Jalie patterns is under-utilised, largely due to sewing the wrong size first time around and not taking the time to sew a different size or make the necessary fitting changes.  This time I was determined to stick with the pattern until I got it right.

Version 1

My first version is made out of the merino scraps on my sewing table after sewing a bunch of merino tees and singlets.  I have read blog reviews of merino bras and been curious to try them, but not wanted to pay the RTW price tag.  I started with Size V.

I didn't have enough merino for the whole thing, so the straps are from a wicking sports fabric.

My cover-stitch machine struggled with all the layers to attach the band.

I have only worn this for one run so far.  The merino is more comfortable than I expected, but overall the bra is too big.  It might be good for hiking in cold weather.

Version 2

I went down a size to U for my second version.  The outer is supplex and the inner is a wicking cotton.  I have put an extra layer of power mesh in the front cups.  I used the same mesh for the inner centre front panel.

When I was trying this on, before adding the band, I decided that there was too much length in the bra overall.  Instead of cutting off this extra length, I decided to add the elastic directly to the bra and fold it to the inside, which you can see on the inside shots.  This elastic does not have as much give as regular elastic and has a fluffy side which sits against the skin.

This one is comfortable to wear but it feels like the straps are a bit long.  I am happy to finally have a bra to match my leggings in the same fabric, as sherbert orange / yellow / pink is more difficult to match that you might think.

Version 3.

For my third version, I removed 2 cm of length from the bottom of the pieces for size U.  I also removed 2 cm from the straps.  The outer is from supplex scraps and the inner from lightweight cotton knit.  Again, I put an extra layer of power mesh in the cups.

I skipped the coverstitch machine and used a zig-zag stitch on my regular machine to attach the band.

Here is a photo of the bra on me (sewing in my pjs!)

I wore this for a run this morning and it worked well.  I am unsure whether I should go down another size.  With the pools shut, I haven't been swimming for a while now, and I have lost a couple of cm circumference across my back, so I think that this will be the right size if I take up swimming again. 

For all of these, I used a narrow 6mm rubber elastic in the seams.  

I'm glad I took the time to play around with the fit of this bra, as it is a great pattern for using up scraps.