2 Elliot Tops

Well this little blog has been rather neglected recently, hey!?

And now I’m updating during a very weird time in the world, and in the UK specifically. We were officially placed in lockdown last night because of the Coronavirus, which was the right thing to do to hopefully mean that the NHS isn’t overwhelmed and as many people survive the illness as possible.

I have definitely been struggling with heavy anxiety as the situation has worsened but I’m glad that I have sewing and music, both hobbies which bring me joy and calmness (most of the time, when I don’t have to unpick too much!), and which I can do still at home while in isolation.

But that’s enough about that – I’m sure we’re all a bit fed up with thinking and talking about it – so here is some sewing I did back in October! I have a bit of a backlog as you can imagine after 6 months of not posting!

Here I present 2 Elliot Sweaters which I love! The pattern is, of course, by Helen’s Closet. I was a bit torn between this pattern and Tilly and the Buttons’ Nora pattern and I feel like they came out at about the same time, but I went for the Elliot in the end as I like the roll neck better. Though I think I may have to cave and get Nora too as I’ve got some knits in my stash which I think would look good in the more slouchy style.

I have worn both of these tops so much since I finished them in October! I work in a bookshop, where we have to have the doors open and I really really feel the cold so I have been layering them up with thermal tops underneath and thick cardigans in the top. I’m looking forward to spring (if we’re allowed outside by then) when I can hopefully wear them on their own – especially as I like the sleeve length and it gets hidden under cardis!

The pattern is super easy to put together so I’d definitely recommend it for a knits noob.

I especially love how the hem dips down lower at the back – though I should have done a slightly deeper hem all the way around as this fabric rolls out like crazy so you can basically always see the overlocked edge on the outside. Sigh.

The only tweak I made to the pattern was to add a little pocket to each one. I can’t now remember which pattern I stoke the pocket from – maybe the archer shirt – but you can use any breast pocket pattern.

I matched the stripes on the pockets so that they would kind of blend in. When I first got the fabric – which I think was from Material Girl Laura – I thought about using the navy fabric as the pocket on the mustard top and vice versa, but I decided against that in the end as it would have made too much of a focus out of the pockets, and that wasn’t really the look I was going for.

I made both tops in the size small and I like the fit over all. I could maybe have gone up a size to get a more slouchy fit, which I might do if I make the pattern again.

I especially love the mustard colour of this version. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know how much I love mustard yellow!

I managed to mostly pattern match the side seams, which I measured from the armpits as the hems are obviously at different lengths. Because of the raglan sleeves, it’s impossible to match all the strips but I really don’t think anyone would notice that the stripes aren’t perfectly matched everywhere!

I am hoping to get a bunch of isolation sewing done – maybe I’ll finally catch up on my backlog of projects I want to make!? Are you planning to sew all the things too?

 

 

Striped Ebony Top

Before I altered my 2 ebony dresses, I made this top version (and it’s what gave me the idea to cut the dresses into tops) and I really like it. I like the swingy shape!

I made this top 5″ longer than the cropped version of the top (and this is the measurement I based the dresses on) because I felt that the cropped version was just a bit too cropped for my long body – and I’m naturally freezing all the time so I don’t like bare skin, or a top that when I put my arms in the air almost exposes my bra! I also made it in the size 4, but with size 6 sleeves, as I did on the second dress version because the sleeves were a bit tight.

This fabric is much more stretchy than the scuba I used for the dresses, so the sleeves don’t feel as restrictive, thankfully. I think if I made this pattern again I might size up a size on the whole thing and maybe go to a size 8 on the sleeves as I’ve got some drag lines coming from my armpits – so I think it’s a bit too snug around my arms/shoulders. But it’s fine as it is – totally wearable.

The fabric is from Crafty Sew and Sew and I bought it the day after the Dressmaker’s Ball when a bunch of us went to the shop. To be honest I’ve sewn it up much quicker than I thought – sometimes I take years to use fabric I’ve bought! And it was actually their suggestion to make an ebony top – I posted on Instagram asking what I could make from it and I had totally forgotten about this pattern! Excellent suggestion!

I did match the stripes on the side seams, and I kind of like how, because of the round shape of the front and back pieces, it kind of makes the strips go into points.

I hope that this will get at least some wear during the cold months (maybe with a thermal top underneath!) as it would be a shame to not be able to wear it for, like, 6 months!

Have you ever completely forgotten about a pattern and then been reminded of why you bought it and how much you like it?

Hawaiian Style Kalle Shirt

I know I’ve probably said this countless times before, but this is for sure one of my favourite makes!

The fabric is from Sister Mintaka – she was talking on her stories about whether or not to stock this fabric and I said words to the effect of ‘OMG you have to so I can make a Hawaiian style shirt!’. And luckily she did decide to order it so I snapped up a couple of metres of it.

The pattern is the Kalle shirt from Closet Case Patterns. I made a cropped version last year and I absolutely love it but for some reason I hadn’t got around to making any others until this Summer (I do have 2 or 3 more cut out and ready to sew too).

I made the size 6, as I did last time and I used the cropped version as a starting point, but lengthened the front to be basically the same length as the back and I gave both the front and back a straight hem rather than the curved one on the original.

I still love the huge pleat in the back of this pattern!

I spent way longer than I would like to admit making sure that the pattern matched across the front and I messed it up a bit! I don’t know how, but my calculations were slightly off so the button band is twice as wide as it should be to make it match as I didn’t have enough fabric left to recut one of the fronts, which I think I would have had to do to get it to match properly. This is definitely the most complicated pattern matching I’ve every tried – stripes are usually my limit! But it was an interesting challenge.

The best part of pattern matching I did (IMHO 😂) is the invisible pocket – can you spot it in the photo above?

Ta da!

Because of the button band fuckery the collar doesn’t sit quite right, but I don’t think it’s really noticeable to anyone else as long as I don’t do it up right to the top.

I love the buttons too – they were from my local sewing shop and I think they work quite well. I thought about doing the hidden placket version, but I thought pattern matching across the front would have been impossible if I had tried!

I’m quite sad now that the weather has turned cold because I probably won’t get much wear out of this until next Summer. I did manage to wear it a few times over the Summer (I made it in August 😳) and I got quite a few compliments – and my favourite, someone asking where I got it from and me being able to say ‘I made it’ while feeling pretty smug that it means I have a one-of-a-kind garment!

I’ll leave you with some outtakes – even with a remote and taking the photos myself I still end up with some gems!

This is my resting face – I don’t know if I look really pissed off or really sad – probably a combination of both!

And…..just……wtf!

White Inari Tee

Back in July (I’m a little backed up with blogging projects!) I made this white Inari tee and I think I might have cracked the perfect t shirt pattern! I’ve made the tee and the dress versions of this pattern before but the tee was a little too cropped for me (I have a relatively long body) so I added a hem band to the previous version, but this time I added 6.5cm to the bottom of the pattern and I think it ended up a pretty perfect length – because of my long body I’ve realised long t shirts don’t look great on me.

The other change I made (if you can make it out in these photos, it’s really difficult to photograph white without everything getting blown out!) was to cut the front and back with seams down the centre. This was because I didn’t have enough fabric left to be able to cut them on the fold.

The fabric was the leftover white jersey (which is really nice quality) from Tilly and the Buttons, which I used for my 2 Frankie tops.  I actually originally did cut the pieces on the fold, 3cm away from the fold as that’s the closest I could get them while fitting in the frankie pattern pieces. But I realised this would have made the neckline really wide, which wasn’t really the look I was going for, so I took out the excess and added seams – and luckily I actually really like how it looks with the seams!

This is such a quick make to whip up and (in my case) doesn’t take a massive amount of fabric so I’ve got a billion more planned from all the bigger leftovers from other projects.

The other bonus from this pattern is that you can make it up in knits or wovens.

I made the size 6, as I’ve done before. Maybe the only other change I would make would be to slightly lengthen the sleeves. I don’t know if it’s specific to this fabric, but the sleeves seem to kind of bunch up and almost turn inside out in my armpit so I think adding even 1 or 2 more cm to the sleeve might solve this.

You can almost make out the seam down the centre back! These were the second set of photos I took as I tried outside and they were so blown out my limited photoshop skills couldn’t make them look even vaguely normal!

Do you have a favourite go-to tee pattern? Or are you still on the hunt for the perfect one? I’ve made a few different patterns and this is definitely my favourite at the moment!

Scrap Busting Pouf

In September New Craft House ran an Instagram challenge called Sew Yourself Sustainable and I joined in with some of the days (I’m terrible at joining in for a whole month for these kinds of challenges) and I pledged that I would make a Pouf out of some scraps and I actually did it! ZOMG!

These are the fabrics I used, piled on top of one of 2 bin bags full of scraps I’d been hoarding for ages! The blue and gold check was from this skirt refashion into a top which I never really wore because I shrank it in the wash (much sad). The gold denim was leftover from my first mustard cleo, the navy twill was left over from this skirt I made years and years ago, and the blue and black fabric on the right is from my coat.

The pattern is this free one from Closet Case Patterns. I cut out all my top pieces, and the side pieces – there wasn’t quite enough of some of the fabrics to make the sides completely match with the top, but both top and sides follow a pattern rather than being random. As instructed in the pattern, I overlocked all the edges of the pieces before I started sewing them together.

I failed to really take any more progress pictures, but I left off the optional piping and the bottom is completely made of the navy twill as I had the most of that left. I also put a zip from my stash in the bottom so I could stuff the pouf and then zip it closed. I didn’t (yet) make the bag for inside the pouf to hold all the scraps as I wasn’t sure I would need it to be washable, and so far it’s okay, but I could always make a bag some time in the future.

Yay! It has made a real difference to mine and my partner’s comfort while sitting on our sofa – as you can see our tv snug is quite small and we only have a 2 seater sofa so there’s not really anywhere to stretch out……until now!

Be warned, by the way (as I think Closet Case have mentioned) this takes A LOT of scraps to fill up. I had 2 full bin bags full of various scraps and I used all of them! And I think it could even hold more, as the scraps have settled and compressed a little.

These photos weren’t staged at all! 😆

I do love this and it really took an afternoon to cut out (and decide which fabrics were going where) and to sew it! I would definitely recommend doing this if you’ve got tonnes of scraps lying around. I feel like this could also double as a spare seat (almost) if we ever have more than the 2 of us watching tv!

I’m so pleased the New Craft House challenge finally prompted me to make this project – I always put of things like this and I don’t know why. They’re always much quicker than I think and the pay off is totally worth it!