stripes

Selfish Sewing Week: A Striped Blazer

Yay! I love Selfish Sewing Week. Rachel has been clever with the timing, we’ve all been spending quite a bit of time lately sewing for the kids so some selfish sewing was definitely needed! There are a few firsts amongst this project – my first ever blazer and, get this, I went out in public to take photos of myself with my tripod for the first time! Scary stuff!! Took a fair bit of courage on my part to leave the relative safety of the confines of our driveway – but I did it and I was super proud of myself.

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Another first for me is the pattern – it’s the Everyday Basic Blazer for knit fabric from Ottobre 02/2014. This is the first women’s pattern I’ve sewn from Ottobre (it’s a Finnish pattern magazine that comes out 2 times a year for women and 4 times a year for kids). I have sewn a few of the kids patterns here and here but there is a big step up in the degree of difficulty between those projects and this one.

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I was completed obsessed with this Old Navy striped blazer that I saw on Merricks Art recently and I had it in my mind to recreate it. I was not having any luck finding a heavy weight knit with stripes in any of my local fabric sources, until last week! I think the sewing gods were looking out for me as I stumbled upon 1.3m of navy striped knit in an op-shop (thrift store) that I was rummaging through. It was meant to be!! The fabric was perfect – not too stretchy, not too thin. Ahhh but I couldn’t muck it up as there is no more fabric…..pressure!!

I made a few changes to the pattern too – it had a waist seam and the bottom pieces were more flared. I didn’t want the difficulty of more stripe matching than was necessary, so I got rid of the waist seam by attaching the upper and lower pattern pieces together. I also omitted the pockets, button, buttonholes and the ribbing knit sleeve cuffs. This is a size 42, however as I am small in the shoulders and bust compared to the rest of me, I took about an inch out of the side seam from the arm to the waist and decreased the size of the sleeve to fit my changes. I’m pretty ecstatic with how this project turned out – I love this jacket!!

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So, the thing with Ottobre is the instructions are written only, no pictures or diagrams at all. I’m an indie pattern devotee – in a big part because I am self taught and I need all the technique help I can get. I’ve tried sewing big 4 patterns twice and I’m pretty traumatised – I need some big glossy photos and step by step instructions thanks!

Having said that, I ventured into this pattern with written instructions only and we all came out the other end in one piece – even the jacket! It really would have helped if I had put a collar together before – going and looking at the other jackets in my wardrobe really helped. I muddled through and the result is not perfect, but it’s very wearable and I’m seriously pleased with it.

Are you sewing something for yourself this week? I’d love to hear about it!

 

 

 

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Kids Clothes Week – dipping my toe in the Ottobre pool

So I did get a couple more small projects done for Kids Clothes Week last week. If you’re new to the concept, Kids Clothes Week goes on 4 times a year and challenges us to sew for one hour a day, for a week, for our kids. To make it more fun, everyone who wants to participate can share their creations over on the Kids Clothes Week website – right there is one amazing place for some sewing inspiration.

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Please excuse the bad quality photo – it’s from my instagram feed. The reason these were not blogged last week is because my camera decided it needed a good lie down and is now in the hands of the professionals – fingers crossed!!!

The leggings are my first attempt at an Ottobre pattern – I love the magazines that these patterns come in, but I must admit to being slightly intimidated by the pattern sheets. See exhibit A (also from my Instagram feed).Image

However, crazy pattern sheets aside, I’ve been seeing some great Ottobre sewing out there particularly from Sabra, Laura and Lauren and this was enough to give me the push I needed. Ottobre pattern sizing for children is based on height.

Ever tried to measure your two year old? Ever successfully measured your two year old? Thought not….

Toni over at Make It Perfect has come to the rescue and put together this guide to give you an idea of what size (in centimetres) you should sew, based on your child’s age. This was a great help to me and gave me the starting point I needed. These leggings are size 92cms, which is roughly for a 3 year old. The pattern is the Tiny Path leggings from Ottobre Winter 6/2013. I found it slightly confusing that you have to add seam allowance to the pattern, but the hem allowance is already added. Hopefully it is just a case of getting used to them. I’m really happy with how these turned out – they are a quick and easy sew and have plenty of growing room for my 2 and a half year old.

I realise that leggings do not make the most exciting blog post – definitely going to try a more adventurous pattern next time πŸ™‚

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The skirt is self drafted and couldn’t really be any simpler. It’s just two rectangles of fabric with a casing at the top and some elastic.

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The second and final KCW project is another Little Betty top. Love this pattern so much and this time I made a size 4 for my niece who missed out during the last Little Betty instalment. I have reviewed this pattern here and my thoughts on it haven’t changed. I’m planning to try a dress version next.

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Not really taking on the world with this post, but hey, that’s what KCW is for isn’t it, getting some staples into the kids wardrobe?Β How did your Kids Clothes Week go?

My ‘finish what you started’ challenge part 2, the striped kimono.

If you’re anything like me, you have about 100 things on the go at once at this time of the year. Although things have been a bit quiet here on the blog, there has been plenty of making going on. I’ve been busy with a coveted pattern tester role for the lovely Elisa of Charming Doodle and I’m participating in Kelli’s Ornament Exchange (more on both of these projects soon).

So what is one to do when coming up for air between these projects and the very long list of teacher gifts, Christmas presents and other assorted projects…… throw some selfish sewing into the mix of course!!

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I needed a quick and easy project to give my mood a lift. I’ve had this light voile (I think its voile but I’m just guessing) in my stash for a while. I picked it up from the clearance table of my local Spotlight thinking it would become something to wear for out Port Douglas holiday. Well that holiday was last August….but better late than never, hence why this is part of my ‘finish what you started’ challenge. If you missed part 1 of this challenge, you can catch it here, but basically I have challenged myself to get through the long list of projects for which I already have fabric and patterns. The list is long my friends.

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This is such a quick, easy and satisfying project. There is no pattern, but I followed this tutorial from Leanne of Elle Apparel. Leanne always looks amazing and her kimono is just gorgeous. While I followed her tutorial as written this time, I found her method of sleeve insertion (sewing up the side seams then inserting the already sewn together sleeve into the sleeve hole) didn’t really work for me, (I used French seams and overcomplicated things for myself I think) so next time I’ll attach the sleeve prior to sewing up the side seam.

What? Overcomplicate a super simple sewing project? I can and I certainly did πŸ™‚

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I love this kimono for adding a splash of colour to an otherwise everyday outfit. Now that I’ve made this muslin version, I’ll be investing in some more luxurious fabric for the next one. Ok, I’m heading back to my holiday preparations. How are yours going? Any selfish sewing going on?