I originally brought this fabric to made a sleeveless cowl neck top, so I was working with limited fabric (80cm), hence the elbow length sleeves. And please excuse the posture/look on my face combo… it’s hard to smile and look natural when you are trying to suck in your tummy!
My first version of this top, a medium, was a little big through the shoulders, bust and hips, but perfect for my waist (my thick waist shines again!). My second attempt (this version!) was sewn up in a small but graded out to a medium in the waist. I think I’ve found my ‘go to’ layering top.
The shape of this top is lovely, but do you know what else I really love about this pattern? It’s the seam allowances. They are 1/4″ or 6cm and are designed for overlocking. What can I say? Simple pleasures people!
And my lesson with this make… don’t sew when you have a sinus infection. There will be miss cutting (and swearing), you will attached the neck binding to the wrong side on your first attempt, and what should have been a quick sew will take forever to make. Right, enough said.
Pattern: Tessuti’s Alexa T-Top Pattern
Size: S in the shoulders, bust and hips and graded to a M in the waist
Fabric: 80cm of The Known Universe from Tessuti (now sold out)
Alterations: Grading from a S to a M in the waist
One of my lovely sister-in-laws (I have three!) is expecting her second child at the start of July. Before I start on the baby sewing, I thought I’d make my sister-in-law a maternity and breastfeeding top.
With seven weeks to go, the mum-to-be is glowing!
The pattern is Megan Nielsen’s Perfect Nursing and Maternity Top and it came together very quickly… which is lucky as I only started it last night and we caught up at 10am this morning! The top is slightly big, but I think that’s more to do with my poor fabric choice (it is super stretchy mystery knit) rather than the sizing.
And as the name suggestion, this is the perfect top for breastfeeding. There is a built in modesty panel with concealed openings that can be accessed by pulling front bodices pieces to the side. Brilliant! My sister-in-law said she didn’t have many feeding tops, I think I’ll be making her some more of these!
Pattern: Megan Nielsen’s Perfect Nursing and Maternity Top
Fabric: Light weight mystery knit from The Ark Haberdashery.
Alterations: I lengthened the sleeves to 3/4 using the Alexa T-Top sleeve as a guide. I also added fine fusible knit stay tape to the shoulders, front bodice edges and all hems.
In Australia, this Sunday is Mother’s Day. My Mum is a very special lady, so I’ve knitted her a stylish cowl using Madelinetosh’s Honey Cowl pattern. This is a free pattern and can be made with one skein of Madelinetosh Tosh DK (shorter version) or two skeins (longer version).
I made Mum the shorter version in the Fjord colourway, which I’m modelling below.
Pattern: Madelinetosh’s Honey Cowl
Size: Shorter Version
Yarn: 1 skein (206 meters / 225 yards) of Madelinetosh’s Tosh DK – 100% superwash merino wool – purchased here.
Needle: 5.0mm, 40 cm circular needle
I’m finding it a little hard to part with this cowl, it’s so warm and cosy, so I’m off to cast on one for me!
A woven tank has been a missing piece in my wardrobe. Not anymore! I’ve found the perfect tank for me (insert happy dance).
Enter Megan Nielsen’s Eucalyptus Tank and Dress from her SS2013 Breakwater Collection. The collection was released today and this was a secret squirrel (pattern testing) sew at the start of March and I’ve already had lots of wear!
When making tops I usually need to make modifications to the bust area, back neckline and garment length to accommodates my unique body. This pattern was no exception. I altered the Medium in the following ways:
1. I removed a 2.4 cm wedge from the upper chest area that tapered to nothing a the centre front (CF).
This adjustment altered the bottom half of the CF, so I added a wedge to ‘true’ it and then removed a similar sized wedge from the side seam to ensure the integrity of the tanks lines remained. I have very little pattern alteration experience and basically look at it from a practical point of view. Where does fabric need to be removed and added?
2. My slightly rounded shoulders dictated that I remove a section from the back shoulders. The wedge was was 2.4 cm at the back neckline and tapered to 1.2 cm at the armhole. There was also some very minor reshaping of the armholes and necklines after this modification.
3. I like my tops to finish around my hips, so I shortened the tank by 2 inches.
Can you believe this is the first time I’ve made a top with a curved hem. Where have I been? I used my 1/4″ quilting foot for the hem and it worked a treat.
How flattering is the side view? Not a mummy tummy in sight!
The fabric is a super soft and drapey Japanese cotton from Rathdowne Fabrics. It frayed like there is no tomorrow, but on the up-side, it hardly creases. The tones are very similar to eucalyptus trees – I nearly called this post Eucalyptus Tank in Eucalyptus Tones! But this post is not all about tanks… I made a Eucalyptus Dress too!
I raided the Liberty stash for this dress. Repeat after me… precious things are to be used and enjoyed.
The dress length is as per the pattern.
And to finish (yes, this has been a VERY long post!) some more photos and a thank-you.
A big thanks to the lovely Karen for both styling and taking these photos. As you can probably tell, we had lots of fun!
Miss A was in desperate need of some winter pjs, so I made two identical sets in (non-matching) fabrics of her choice. The tops were sewn up in a knit (made for comfort) and the bottoms are a lovely warm flannel.
Miss A’s christened her new pjs with some good old acrobatics and a lounge about (apologies in advance about the slightly out of focus action photos).
Made-by-Rae has just released a kids pants pattern (also suitable for pjs). The pattern is easy super easy to sew and there are so many variations – a flat front, pockets, knee patches, pintucks and tuxedo stripes. My girls currently refuse to wear jeans and pants (they love tights and leggings) but with this pattern I’m hoping to convince them otherwise. Wish me luck!
For the pj top, I used my TNT kids long sleeve t-shirt pattern. I was feeling a little lazy so I used a size I already has traced and added some length to the sleeves and hem.
Pattern: Ottobre Design – Creative Workshop 301 – The Best T-Shirts : View A, Straight Cut Design
Fabric: Spotlight’s Nursery Knit in Strawberries (100% cotton)
Alterations: Added 1 inch to the sleeves and the hem (good old ‘room for growing’)
Game of ball anyone?
Melbourne’s cooler Autumn weather is now here and I’ve quickly realised that I’m lacking 3/4 or long sleeve tops for layering in my wardrobe. It therefore seemed appropriate to try Tessuti’s Alexa T-Top Pattern. As with their other patterns I’ve tried, it did not disappoint!
The drafting of this simple t-shirt is spot on and the instructions are clear with lots of colour photos. Colette also includes information on stitch options and settings on both your overlocker and sewing machine to achieve optimal results. I didn’t use a twin needles to top stitch the neckline and hems because when I tested it on a scrap of the fabric, I ended up with a mound between two stitch lines; a mound that not even a hot steam iron could tame! Instead, I used the stretch stitch on my machine (the one that looks like a lightening bolt) and although it does not look as professional as twin stitching, it certainly does the job.
Ball games with Miss A were soon halted for a spot of kissy kissy with Miss B who is also wearing a new Mummy made top.
Miss B directed her own photo shoot today insisting on photos being taken at all angles. Check out the poses… Hilarious!
Pattern: Ottobre Design – Creative Workshop 301 – The Best T-Shirts : View A, Close Fitting Design
Size: 110cm (made for a nearly 4 year old with room for growing)
Fabric: Floral – Liberty cotton/lycra from Alannah Hill Outlet (purchased at this sewers meet-up). Stripes – Hilco Campan Knit from Earthgirl Fabrics
I love the look of the foral and the stripes together, but unfortunately as the floral fabric is more structured than the stripse, so it looks like I’ve added shoulder pads! This is another good lesson for me in fabric selection. Not that the recipient cares, she declared when first seeing this top, “I going to wear this top every day”. High praise indeed!
Inspired by Amy’s recent op shop fabric find (which was in fact a doona cover!) I did a little bit of op shopping myself today. Fabric and quality doona covers were scarce, but look what I found in the patterns tub for $1 each…
That’s right, sewing patterns from an Australian company called Knit-N-Stretch from the 1970s! There is lots to laugh about… but there is also some great basic shapes that I’m going to have fun exploring. I can assure you every one of those necklines will be lowered.
Even though I have various knit and woven patterns traced and ready for fabric cutting, I decided to dabble in a little ladies underwear making this evening. I cut out the high waisted panties (the word panties makes me giggle every-time) in a size 14 for this experiment.
As far as experiments go, I’m pretty pleased. The two pairs below are in various states of incomplete. The stripey ones have badly applied elastic in the legs and an unfinished waistband. The spotty pair has a waistband which is too high and too tight and they are waiting for me to bind the legs… anything to avoid applying elastic!
And do you know what I’m most pleased about? How easy it is to sew the crotch!
My sewing and knitting are very scatty at the moment. Nothing holds me attention for very long. I expect I’ll leave my panties experiment for another day and start a new project tomorrow. Speaking of new projects, can anyone tell me why I’ve just cast on another knitting project, when I already have three unfinished ones on the go?