A Pair of Frankies

As soon as I got Tilly and the Buttons’ new book, Stretch, I wanted to make most of the patterns in it. I thought Freya would be my first make, but it turns out Frankie was the first one I tried out…..and I made 2!

When Tilly had her fabric shop to celebrate the release of the book, she was selling nice white jersey – I bought 2m as I knew it would be good quality and I would be able to use some small pieces of jerseys I had in my stash to colour block 2 new tees.

The mustard jersey was a remnant from Guthrie and Ghani – I think when I went there, either with the Bristol sewing ladies or at Sew Brum. It’s such a nice jersey but there was less than I realised when I bought it – I thought I might be able to squeeze out a whole tee from it, but I only just fitted the sleeve pattern piece on it and I had to cut out the neckband in 2 pieces, with 2 joins!

The pink jersey was a remnant I bought from Sarah from Like Sew Amazing when she was selling off some of her own stash. Again, I naively thought I would get a whole tee from it, but thankfully the Frankie pattern came along and saved both jerseys from languishing in my stash.

As you can probably tell from the photos, the pink jersey is thinner and drapier than either the white (though it’s pretty close) or the mustard jersey. I did have some problems sewing on the neckbands neatly, and particularly on the pink tee, it looks a bit puckered and gathered, but it looks worse in the photos than in real life and it doesn’t bother me too much.

What’s weird is I always used to have a complex that I had really broad shoulders compared to the rest of me and I thought raglan sleeves would make me look even broader. But after making a couple of Linden sweatshirts, I decided that was bollocks and I could wear raglan sleeves! Hurray! (Also I no longer think my shoulders are out of proportion – or if they are, I don’t care!).

I made both tees in the size 3 – which is my standard Tilly size. I can definitely recommend this pattern and the instructions are also good – I always fear instructions in books won’t be as comprehensive as if I bought a pattern separately.  There are also some useful tips about sewing with jerseys and how to troubleshoot common overlocker problems, so I would definitely recommend buying this book, particularly if you’re new to sewing with knits. And if you’re an old hand with knits, the patterns are great.

Have you got Stretch? What is your favourite pattern? Or are you like me and this is possibly the first time you’ve actually used a pattern from one of the many sewing books you own?

 

 

Snuggly Grey Chestnut Sweater

After I made the mini Chestnuts for my friend’s daughter, I couldn’t wait to make my own version! And it did not disappoint!

Obviously most of the interest of this pattern is on the back – I love the little cut out of this version. I also like the version that completely undoes at the back, but I think the weather might need to be a bit warmer to wear that version!

I made the size 10, based on my measurements, and I’m pretty pleased with the fit – the arms fit particularly well. I might lengthen it a bit next time, though. Although I like the slightly cropped look – I have a long body compared to my legs so I think that’s why it looks a bit cropped on me – I think it could do with being a couple of inches longer so I don’t flash midriff/my top I’m wearing underneath! It’s too cold for baring skin at the moment.

The main fabric is some lovely thick fleece backed sweatshirting from Sew Me Sunshine. She still has some of this fabric left in stock, and it’s on sale, so I would definitely recommend snapping some up while she has it!

The bow at the back is made from a scrap of cotton I had left from lining my Freemantle coat – I couldn’t find any nice mustard yellow ribbon from my local sewing shop.

I used my regular sewing machine to stitch this up because my overlocker did not like sewing through fabric this thick! Luckily this fabric doesn’t fray, but it means it doesn’t look quite as nice on the inside as most of my makes since I started using my overlocker. I also used my twin needle to topstitch the neckline, cuffs and hem band. It really does sew up quite quickly – the most time consuming part is the facing and attaching the ribbon on the back.

I basically wore this as soon as it was finished, and I’ve worn it a few times since! We have dress down Friday every week at work and I’m trying not to wear it every time as people might start to judge me!

 

Today’s outtake is particularly excellent I think!

I was taking these photos myself with the timer on my camera so I was having to walk back and forth between the camera and my spot (I definitely should have bought a camera with the facility for a remote!) and I walked backwards a little hard and slammed into the bookcase, making it wobble alarmingly. I thought the piles of stuff on the top were going to fall on me and the guitars stacked next to the shelf, but luckily they didn’t. But this is my face as I tried to catch the bookcase and make sure it didn’t fall over! Lol!

In other news, I was going to go outside and take them but it pissed down with rain the whole weekend I had earmarked for taking photos. Boo.

All I want to sew at the moment is snuggly warm clothes. I’m definitely ready for Spring! How about you?

 

 

2 Pink Mini Chestnut Tops

I didn’t end up making any Christmas presents for actual Christmas, but my uni friends and I always get together in January for ‘Christmas 2’ (which I originally suggested when I knitted 2 cushions for my 2 best friends and I knew I wouldn’t get them finished in time so I suggested meeting up in January to give myself a couple of extra weeks!) and then CocoWawa Crafts released the Mini Chestnut pattern. I had already bought the adult version for myself and then thought the mini version would be perfect for my friend’s daughter (who I’ve made things for before, including the Norman wall hanging, felt allotment, travel matching game, and I knitted a baby cardigan when she was first born) who is now 6!! I checked with her mum, my friend, and she said she would probably like it and that her favourite colours are pink, teal and turquoise.

I got this lovely pink speckled jersey from Sew Me Sunshine. I ordered 1.5m because the pattern said 1.2m but I assume this is for the biggest size – I made the age 7 size (based on my friend’s recommendation of how big her daughter is) and I made 2 easily out of the 1.5m of fabric. The fabric was a little thinner than I thought but she can easily layer up the top with a cardigan over the top (which she did on Sunday) and it means she can still wear them when it’s a bit warmer.

I bought 2 colours of ribbon from my local fabric shop – in a matching pink and a contrasting teal. The teal picks up the colour of some of the specks in the jersey and I think it looks really nice.

I used my normal sewing machine to stitch the seams and then overlocked everything (except the cuffs as they were too small and I didn’t want to shred the sleeves at the last moment! I also didn’t overlock around the edge of the facing on the back as the overlocker did not like a single layer of this fabric! I’m glad I tested it on a scrap of fabric before putting the actual pieces through! I zig-zagged the raw edge, though it wasn’t totally necessary as jersey doesn’t fray.

I used some off-cuts from the ribbon to stabilise the shoulder seams, which is an optional step in the instructions. I thought it would help the tops last as long as possible (hopefully until she grows out of them rather than they fall apart).

I used my twin needle to top-stitch all the bits that needed topstitching – the facing on the back (which I also understitched), the hem band and the cuffs. I love how a twin needle makes things look really professional – as does the overlocking I think, even if the tension is still not quite right.

   

Making these tops was really fun – because the clothes are small, they’re quick to make up and making 2 at the same time definitely saved some time! I had hoped to have mine made in time for Christmas 2 so we could match, but I didn’t get chance to make mine yet. It’s going to hopefully be my first make for myself of 2018. I’ve got some really lovely thick sweatshirting all cut out ready and I could definitely do with a warm top/jumper at the moment as it’s pretty cold in our flat!

 

 

Turquoise Coco Top

I made another Coco! This time it’s a top. I haven’t ended up getting too much wear out of my dress version yet as the fabric is quite thin and it feels like it’s been Winter for about 3 years! Interestingly, there is a link between the dress and the top besides the fact that they’re the same pattern (duh!). As you may remember, I made the dress for Karen from Did You Make That’s Made Up Initiative. I went to the meet up that included the prize drawer, wearing my dress (obvs) and some people had brought some patterns and fabric to give away/ trade. I picked up this amazing turquoise jersey as a remnant that someone didn’t want. And it made the perfect Coco top!

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This is an accidental copy of the top on the pattern cover. I love 60s style fashion so I love, love, love the funnel neck on this top version! I had cut out the small pocket,  but decided not to put it on as I thought it would look a bit too busy.

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As with the dress, I made the size 2 with no changes. It does sit a little strangely on my upper chest – anyone have any ideas why and how I can fix it?

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I didn’t bother with the side splits – mostly because I forgot to mark it on the pattern and the fabric, so I just sewed the whole side seam to the hem.

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The back looks okay – it’s snug across my bum so looks a bit pool-y in my lower back, where it’s not so tight! I know I keep saying it, but I really, really need to start altering patterns to fit my narrow back. Should this be a sway back adjustment or a narrow back adjustment do you think?

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I don’t really have too much else to say – this is a really quick make. I cut it out one day and sewed it in pretty much an afternoon. I think I definitely see more 60s-style Cocos in my future!

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Aztec Print Mabel Skirt

On the same day I made my Linden sweatshirt, I made a Colette Mabel skirt from the same fabric. OMG, this was so quick to make! It took, like, 90 minutes – and that was because I made a rookie error and sewed 2 pieces wrong sides together!

 

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I made the size xs and the only change I made was to add 2″ to the length – I held up the pattern pieces and it seemed like it would be waaaay too short!

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I think when I cut the skirt out, I didn’t quite get it perfectly straight with the pattern – which I didn’t notice until I saw these pictures! You can see on the hem, below, that the line isn’t quite perpendicular. Boo!

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The waistband is also really on the wonk! But with a top covering it, you can’t really see.

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But I did triumph on the pattern-matching front on the back seam! Behold!

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I used my beloved twin needle for the hem – I’m really starting to get the hang of sewing with knits now I think!

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The only problem with this skirt, though, is that I’m not sure if it suits me or is really my style. I might give it a go in the longer length and see if that’s any better. Or maybe make a size bigger. Or slightly change the shape so it doesn’t go in so much at the bottom. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned many times on here, I like to wear looser fitting tops but this skirt looks really weird with a non-tight top as it makes me look top-heavy.

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Any ideas how I can make this more ‘me’?