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Thursday, 23 March 2017

Free patterns - toddler hoodie and harem pants

After all the clothes I've made for Thomas recently, I decided it was only fair to make something for Polly. I'm still on a self-imposed fabric and pattern buying ban, so I revisited all my patterns and found a printout of the Brindille and Twig baby and toddler raglan hoodie. I first downloaded and printed this free pattern when Thomas was little, but I didn't really have the ability to make it then. As I've now had a lot of practice with sewing knits (and also have a huge amount of them in my stash, I decided to give it a go. 

I had just about enough of the red and grey stripy sweatshirt fabric and ribbing left to make this for Polly. I dug around to find some more grey sweatshirting for the hood lining. I'm so pleased I finally gave this pattern a go. The instructions are really clear - I think I could have managed it all those years ago. The only issue I had was with the optional armhole details, as they were a bit too narrow to be seen properly. As with all kid's sewing projects, it was super quick to make due to the size, and the majority of this can be made on the overlocker which is always a bonus. I realised that this is the first time I have made anything with a hood, and I'm now planning to find a good pattern to make a hoodie for myself (once the fabric and pattern buying ban is over!).

 
 

I found a free toddler harem pants pattern on A Joyful Riot, in the hope of making a matching pair, but sadly couldn't squeeze them into the fabric. However, I loved the pattern so much that I decided to make a pair in some french terry I had left from making Hudson Pants earlier in the year. I also cut another hoodie so she could have a matching set. I made the armhole details wider this time, and was chuffed with the result - I know I'll be making this pattern again and again. The pants are a great pattern - only about 20 minutes to sew up and big enough to accommodate a cloth-bummed baby! Gareth reckons that she looks like a late 80s/ early 90s dancer in this get-up, but that's a good thing, right!?! 
 
 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Thrifty stitching and stash busting

My name is Alex and I am a fabric addict. Yes, it's true - my fabric stash is out of control. I've now run out of places to store it all. I've banned myself from buying any new fabric until I have used some of my stash (mainly so I can create space to buy more fabric in future!). I've also accumulated a stack of patterns that I haven't got round to making, or that I would like to re-make. Time to tackle the stash, and save some cash in the process. 

My first project was another Cleo dungaree dress by Tilly and the Buttons. I bought some red stretch denim to make this in ages ago, and even had the clips, but it had been slipping down my 'to do' list. This pattern is an absolute delight - quick and easy to sew (with a bit of topstitching thrown in to make it just challenging enough). It's also super wearable. I've worn my olive green corduroy version to death, but it won't look right for spring and summer. The red version looks good with tights now, but I'm planning to make a couple of summery t-shirts to go underneath so I can continue wearing it into Summer. I added a couple of inches to the length this time as the other one was VERY short, which is ok with my 60 denier opaques, but I'm not brace enough nowadays to go that short with bare legs. 

 

Next on my list was a really practical make. Polly has decided she hates sleepsuits and only likes wearing proper pyjamas like the ones I made at Christmas. I delved through my stash and found two lengths of cotton lawn to make some pyjama bottoms for her. I used the same pattern as for her Christmas ones (Tailors Kids Pyjama Bottoms, free download). I've also used this pattern for all of Thomas's pyjama bottoms. Less than an hour later, she had a pair of vintage Liberty pyjamas and another pair in atelier brunette dandy fabric. 

 

I bought some plain white crepe from the Fabric Godmother at the Handmade Fair back in September to make a Sew Over It Pussy Bow Blouse. I finally made it a couple of weeks ago. I made version B this time (v neck opening), and I'm in love with how clean and simple it looks. 

 

Last but not least, I did cheat a little bit and bought the 'Quicker Knickers' pattern for 85p from Little Finch Patterns after seeing them on one of the sewing groups I am a member of on Facebook. The pattern was so cheap and a great way to use up scraps of jersey fabric (of which I have tons), that I felt it was a good investment. They sew up quickly and are a fantastic stash-buster. 

 

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

A Star Sweatshirt for my little star

The latest issue of Love Sewing Magazine arrived last week and I was really impressed with the free pattern and the projects in the mag. I'll definitely be making the dress soon - I have some fabric that will be perfect for it. As I had loads of sweatshirt fabric left after making the Linden Sweatshirt, I decided to start off with the boy's star sweatshirt to use up some of the offcuts. 

They have started making the patterns (except the free gift) available as downloads only. I don't really mind, but it does mean that everything takes longer, as you have to print, cut and stick before you can get going. Annoyingly, there was a mistake in the PDF and I had to draft one of the pieces myself, based on the layplan and surrounding pieces. I didn't have enough plain fabric to do the star on the back, so I only cut one of each of the star pieces and self-drafted a back body piece using the back neckline pattern piece and the constructed front piece as a guide. 

 Attaching the front pieces together to make the star design was the most challenging part of the project. I used my overlocker to attach everything together, then topstitched with my coverstitch machine. I'm still getting used to using the coverstitch machine, and ended up having to unpick sections and re-thread the machine a few times. I'm still pleased with the finish it gives and will be practising lots over the next few months. 

The rest of the project was straightforward and the end result met with Thomas's approval (although he wanted me to finish in one evening and it took longer!). I like the star being plain and the rest of the sweatshirt being striped. I'd like to claim it was a deliberate design decision, but the truth is that I was dictated to by the amount of each type of fabric I had. The pattern goes up to age 11-12, so I imagine I will be making versions again for both kids as it is a good stash buster. 

Here is the finished result, and Thomas modelling it below: