Friday, 30 March 2018

My Family and other Jerseys

My love of sewing with jerseys, pontes and sweats hasn't just been confined to sewing for me. Nope, I've kitted out my family too. 

This week my lovely Millie turned 16, which I guess is fairly obvious in this photo. I'd been doing a bit of secret sewing for her birthday and then the night before she asked for a birthday badge to wear to school. Out came the felt and pretty quickly a birthday badge was born.

For months before I'd been showing her endless fabric photos to find out her favourites as I'd already pinned down the clothes she liked best. I'd already made her a Tilly and the Buttons Cleo for Christmas, in a grey denim, which she loved so I knew another one would be a winner.

As the corduroy chosen from Textile Express was a lightweight one I decided to fully line it to give it more structure. Baggy bums in dresses aren't a top look are they. I simply cut another dress out of the cloth I chose for the lining. There was only just enough of the cactus print for half of the lining so I cut the top half of the lining from this with a seam allowance and then added a polka dot with seam allowance to the bottom half of the lining.

 The T-shirt underneath I made in a gloriously soft jersey from Art Gallery Fabrics bought from Sew Me Sunshine as was the cactus cotton. Millie doesn't like tight fitting clothes so I altered the Fitted Sweater from Gertie Does Vintage Casual by going up a size and grading the sides of the top.

Next I made her an Astoria Jumper from Seamworks which I found at Colette Patterns. When I was making one for myself Millie said she'd love a pink version so this was added to the list of birthday makes. I also made her a tea cup pincushion after seeing them on Sew Me Sunshine.

Now going back in time, to just before Christmas, I knitted my love a bobble hat and stitched him a Metro T-shirt from Oliver and S as anniversary gifts. 

Back when we were first together as teenagers, he played American Football, in fact he played it for many more years than that. His player number was 22 so rather than leave the top plain, which looks wrong to my eyes, I appliqu├ęd silver jersey numbers on it.


 Now we're in the Christmas pressies part of this post. For my mum I whipped up a Tilly and the Buttons Coco. I've never seen her wear it which reminds me I must ask her if she actually has worn it.

For my man I made the Burda 6718 Men's Hoodie. When I went to buy the cloth this super soft sweatshirt from Paul Smith had just come into Anglian Fashion Fabrics. I buy a lot of my cloth from here as it's ram packed with more than you could even realise you needed. 

I also thought I know what I'm going to use that shiny skull patch I'd already bought for now. He wears silver skull rings and loves shiny stuff just like a Magpie so how perfect was this skull. 

 I also made my Rosey some sweatpants from the same Paul Smith sweatshirt and blinged them with a silver jersey R. I adapted these from the Trouser part of Tilly and the Buttons Marigold Jumpsuit. I'd already made the jumpsuit for Rosey so I knew these were a good fit for her. 

That's the issue with secret sewing, you have to know the fit is already a good one on your victim and not choose anything that requires an actual fitting with alterations or the secrets blown.

Well everyone was thrilled with their gifts and they've all been worn lots, apart from the Coco, who knows????

My mum did ask me to make her something for her recent golfing holiday though. She wanted a hoodie, the same as the one I'd made for Jason, so we went to choose cloth. She loved this silver sweatshirt I pulled out and asked if she could have a silver heart on hers. She's since bought silver converse too as I said they'd look great with it, plus the silver handbag Rosey bought her for Christmas and she's one cool granny. 


My last make for this lot, for now at least, is this 70's style Metro T-shirt for my man.  I kept looking at this jersey and loved it but couldn't think how I'd wear it, then suddenly I thought I know a man who would.  

It makes me think of MASH and all those lovely colours our parents decorated with back then. It's childhood and fun and luckily he loves it.

I absolutely love to make clothes for myself so I have something new to wear, but to be honest I just love the whole process of sewing and gifting it is an especially good feeling to be sure.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Jersey Joy

I've become pretty addicted to sewing with jersey. Anything with a stretch really so that includes knits, sweatshirt, ponte de roma and jerseys. I've made dresses, tops, cardigans, hoodies, sweatshirts, and sweatpants so far. I know a lot of people are put off from sewing with them believing them to be scary, but once you've mastered the right stitch to work with the stretch of the cloth then they're an absolute joy. You can have a simple top sewn in a couple of hours tops and off you go. Sewing with stretch fabrics is becoming more popular. There are some wonderful patterns out there from indie pattern designers and Tilly Walnes has just brought out her latest book Stretch which talks you through sewing with these fabrics step by step along with some wonderful designs for you to make. The other thing I've got addicted to is searching online for the amazing selection of prints you can buy to sew with. I've so many stored away in my I will buy one day folder.

Sewing with stretch fabrics is a lot quicker than with regular cloth too. As there are no darts or zips to worry over, fitting issues are reduced measurably. The most important thing to remember with the sizing of stretch fabrics is how much stretch you have in your cloth and the amount of ease added into the pattern. So first off check your measurments and the finished garment measurements. From that you might want to go up or down a size depending on whether your're using a less stretchy heavier weight ponte de roma or a super stretchy jersey. 

I sew my jerseys on my regular sewing machine, but if you have an overlocker these are perfect for sewing stretch fabrics on. I always use a stretch needle which is designed to sew through the cloth without piercing the weave and as my machine doesn't have a lightning stitch (how I wish it did) I set my machine to a longish stitch which will move with the cloth and not snap when I wear the finished garment. I overlock my seams as I go and my favourite bit is adding the top stitching on patterns that need it. I absolutely love the professional finish that topstitching gives. 

Before you get to cutting your cloth though it's really really important that you wash it first. Otherwise you'll find your lovingly made top is a bit smaller once you wash it to wear the second time. 

I've made a few Gable Tops designed by Jennifer Lauren a New Zealand designer. Find her at Jennifer Lauren Handmade where you can buy Pdf patterns if you want to get on with your sewing pronto like I do.

I absolutely love the boatneck design of this pattern which stays in place as it's neatly sewn down. I managed to squeeze a short sleeved version out of a piece of leftover clouds jersey I found in my stash. The other plus for me is that the patterns are exactly the length I want without having to alter them. I guess if you're shorter than my 6ft then you might need to shorten them though. 

To make sure I don't wear it the wrong way round I stitched a red dot at the back. Sometimes I sew a small piece of ribbon in.

The first Gable top I made was with a 3/4 sleeve in a striped Ponte. A really good basic that gets a lot of wear.

I also added a plain white short sleeved version to my wardrobe. Can you tell I love this pattern?

In fact, I've made a fourth one too which is my favourite of all in a navy stripe cotton jersey. This was such a gorgeous cloth to work with.

After seeing a character on Silent Witness wearing a striped jumper with slightly wider 3/4 sleeves, I thought that's what I'm doing with this top.

The very same day I was on a total sewing roll, having the house to myself for a Saturday, so I used a remnant of jersey to make a Sweetheart Neck Tee from Gertie Does Vintage Casual. 

I'm getting a good supply of jerseys ready for those warmer months when they arrive.

Last week Jennifer Lauren released a new pattern called the Ostara Top and I loved it so it was printed off and made straight away. That jersey she has used is just the business too. It has a beautiful square shaped scoop neck plus a gathered v-neck option very similar to the one I made from Gertie Does Vintage Casual.

I used a lightweight jersey that I already had and as the pattern said it had negative ease I opted to go up a size just in case. I'm considering this top as a toile unless I get round to altering it as it's been useful to show me that I actually need to work to my actual measurements with this pattern. I like my clothes fitted not loose and the neckline doesn't lay flat as it should. I'll be making this again until I get it right.

 The last thing I've made for myself recently from jersey is this Muse Patterns Jenna Cardigan. I made a few in the summer which I entered into an instagram competition, the #cosiecardichallenge hosted by the Stitch Sisters and I won some lovely cloth too.  I was totally taken by this silver sparkly jersey at my local fabric store and thought aha a christmas cardi.

I think I look ready to launch into outer space in this one. 
For the Jenna cardigan there is the option to make it waist or hip length, a round neck or V-neck and to add a gathered yoke which is my favourite style. A totally versatile pattern that you can have lots of fun with I think.

Well that's me caught up with stretch fabric makes for myself. I've made all sort of other things for my family which I'll show you in another post.

Right I'm off to dream about what I'll be sewing up next. There's already a growing pile of ideas. 
See you soon.

Me Made May 2018

This month I'm taking part in Me Made May, hosted by Zoe of .  Oh and if you head on over to her blog y...