Thursday, 19 February 2015

Sewing Underthings

I said in my last post that I had been busy making underthings, and I have!  In three evenings and a bit of one afternoon I have made 5 vests for the child, a pair of pants for the child and 7 pairs of pants for me!  Not bad going!  She just asked me if I would ever buy underwear again and I honestly don't know the answer at the moment.  I think while I am able and can make the time I will make my own.  This actually feels fantastic as just over a year ago I was having a mini sewing crisis, the kind where you think nothing you make is any good and there is no point,  whereas yesterday I was wearing 95% homemade (still not ventured into bra making!).

So, pants first!  The pattern is from the very talented Zoe and, as with the Dolores Batwing pattern, I found the PDF very easy to put together with minimal pages.  She also has a vest pattern too and although I have downloaded, printed and stuck this together I was not as in dire need of vests as pants so this can wait until my next foray into underthings.  

I made a trial pair (above) to check the fit and make sure I knew what I was doing, and they fit perfectly!  The elastic is a little (lot!) wonky in places but in all honesty there are not going to be many people looking at my pants, unless I get hit by a bus, so I am not bothered at all.  

For my second pair I tried using bands instead of elastic as I was convinced this would be much quicker and, for me, neater.  The bands I used are too narrow and have a tendency to flip inwards.  Topstitching will fix this when I can be bothered to have the right colour thread in my machine at the right time.  I tried with thicker bands but I am just not happy with the fit or look so I went back to elastic.  Looking back through these pictures makes me want to revisit the narrow bands because they do look neat.

Rather predictably I found that the more I practiced with the elastic, the neater and quicker I got.  They are still not perfect but good enough for me! They are very comfortable.  For time spent making vs. time spent wearing I think these are going to be winners.  I will be adding more homemade pants to my wardrobe but I'm hoping now I've made a few pairs I can just add to them slowly, maybe one pair a month.  Definitely having pants with angry zebras or rainbows on makes me very happy!!  

Next up was vests for the Child.  She is on the cusp of growing out of the vests I bought her two years ago, and they are looking a bit grey around the edges, so it was high time she had new ones.  When she was little all her vests etc. were second hand however second hand vests at this age are generally very worn so don't get passed on.  

I didn't want to buy vests when I am more than capable of making them so I simply traced around one of her existing vests and added length.  She is slim for her age so hasn't grown out of them widthways yet.  The first vest I made as a trial to check the fit then I went ahead and cut out another four.

Ideally I would make all her vests out of old tshirts of mine but I generally wear things to death so only one of these is made out of recycled fabric (a top I grew out of!), something I would like to rectify next time I sew a batch.  I need to start looking in charity shops more with this kind of thing in mind.  For the rest I used some medium weight cream jersey I found on a recent shopping trip to Goldhawk Road.

Out of 1.5m I got four vests, a long sleeved top to wear under her dungalottes and a pair of KitschyCoo's Boy Cut Briefs.  If you ever need to make underwear for children this is definitely the pattern to go for.  These get picked over shop bought pants every day and I have been asked to keep making them so we don't have to buy pants ever, ever, ever!  I don't know how long I can keep my little in homemade stuff before she decides she wants to dress like her friends, but for as long as she asks for me to make stuff, I'll make it!  I just need a tights pattern for children and then everything will be homemade!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

General Crafty Shenanigans

Although I haven't made anything major which I felt necessitated its own blog post in the past couple of weeks I have been busy!  Last weekend was the Child's fifth birthday, a fact which I am still struggling to get my head round.  Firstly, I carried a baby in my abdomen and secondly that baby is now five.  Where does the time go?!

At the moment she is very much into Star Wars despite never having watched the films so asked for a Star Wars themed birthday.  Last year I did a big birthday party for her and decided it will be an every other year event so we just had family round for a bite to eat which was actually very pleasant.  Of course that meant I had to come up with a Star Wars cake and some star wars themed nibbles!

One of her birthday presents was a Chewbacca dress from me.  I made it using the Skater Dress (of course, what else!) and some jersey plush fabric from Plush Addict.  Chewbacca is her favourite character so of course that was my obvious choice, and I decided on a dress rather than trousers and a top just because I thought it would be fun.  I, again, made it far too big so I think it will fit for a while!  I added length too which in hindsight was a bit of an odd decision but it makes the dress lovely and warm!!

I have also dipped my toe (very gently!) into the world of sewing for men.  It was my cousin's boyfriend's birthday at the end of January and he had said how much he liked the camera fabric I used on a Renfrew a while back so, after consultation with my cousin, I made him a t shirt using the Metro pattern from Liesl & Co.  The t-shirt itself went together very easily but it was far too big!  Luckily I had enough fabrics left and made another two sizes smaller.  I also shortened the neck band because I found the first one a bit baggy.  I think Jamie is happy with the end result, and I will remake  the first one so the fabric won't go to waste.

I have been busy with my knitting too.  I have finished the back of a cabled jumper for me and have started a pair of mittens, again for me!  A friend's little baby boy was recently christened and as a little christening present I knitted him a hat (Ravelry link here).  He is quite a big baby, and has very big hands for his age so I knitted him some matching mittens too.  He looks very sweet in them!

 I have also been sewing some underthings which I was going to add into this post but I think they deserve a whole post of their own!  I have got lots of sewing plans for the next few weeks and I have finally set up my sewing room again after it being out of action for a while so I hope my productivity levels will improve!  In the meantime, I leave you with a last picture of my Chewbacca on her birthday!


Sunday, 1 February 2015

Style 3942 ⌗vintagepledge

I have sewn the first of my 3 ⌗vintagepledge for 2015 already!   (I have pledged to knit two and sew three)  If I carry on in this vein I will be finished by March (not really, I can't knit that fast!).   I can't even remember where I got this pattern from, I just found it in my sewing room one day and thought it would be nice for the Child.  I love the idea of culottes, I keep seeing them everywhere at the moment, and what better than dungaree culottes!  Practical and pretty!  

The pattern is Style 3942 from 1983 (I really hope this counts as vintage, although since it was after I was born part of me hopes it isn't!).  I can't find anything on the Internet about it so it obviously wasn't that popular!  

The pattern envelope is in a bit of a sorry state and the pattern on the inside isn't too good either.  I went for the size 4 which matches the Child's measurements almost exactly, which is lucky because it has been cut out rather haphazardly and this size is the most intact, although there were bits where I had to guess where the original line had been. Making something in the right size is a bit of a departure for me, I usually make things to last and then they do last, for years and years!  She is still wearing clothes I made for her over 2 years ago!

The pattern is for trousers, culottes or pinafore with a bib front and crossed straps at the back.  In the picture below it looks like the straps are pulling but I've just checked and they are not doing that now, must have been the way she was standing!  The culottes have a two pleats either side of the front seam which don't show up very well in this fabric but give some movement without too much body.  There are also pockets which aren't showing up in these photos but can be seen on the pattern envelope.

I put buttonhole elastic in the back instead of normal so I can adjust these as she grows.  She is quite slight so I have it pulled in at the moment.  In spite of making these in her actual size I am still hoping they will fit for a while.  I think they will be lovely with a t-shirt under in the summer and I have actually bought some plain cream jersey to make her a long sleeved top, I have plenty so will make her a short sleeved one at the same time.

I bought the fabric from The Village Haberdashery during the Boxing Day sale.  It is Sevenberry corduroy and was a delight to sew with and is so, so pretty.  I used just slightly under 1.5 metres on this and have a tiny bit left which will get made into a bag, hopefully this evening!  I haven't sewn with Sevenberry fabrics before but definitely will again, although I will wait for a sale again!  I have some of the Navy Plaid tucked away for me, but I'm not entirely sure what to do with it yet.

Photobomber!  She is actually sitting on the Child's foot, strange dog!
The buttons came from my magic box of buttons handed to me by my friend from her late grandmother and great aunt.  There are so many lovely buttons in there, and I love going through them.  I let the Child choose and she insisted on different buttons on each side, so as a compromise I said she could have two of the same design but different colours.  The green one is on the right and the pink on the left, representing port and starboard as per her request!

Katy from Designs by BellaBug recently made a school dress for her daughter out of grey corduroy (she hasn't blogged about it - yet!) which I thought was a really good idea.  I am going to check with the school that grey corduroy would be acceptable and if so, I think this pattern would be a good contender.  Initially I thought I would make the pinafore version, but culottes would be so much more practical!  I am now on the look out for school uniform friendly fabrics!