Saturday, 29 June 2013

You're a Winner!

As promised I put all the names of entrants into my CJ pattern give away into a hat on slips of paper.

 Hey I'm technological enough to be blogging aren't I? You want fancy number generators as well?
The most I can promise you is that it was totally impartial and that I wish I had a prize for every one of you. Well, not this time .. but the winner of the shirred top and Princess Wrap pattern is ..

MeganMeggipeg! DaTa..I hope you enjoy it Megan.
Email me at 

Have a happy weekend,

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

New Look 6149 top, a coat revamp and a Giveaway.

Three years ago as a late birthday gift to myself I started this blog.

I knew a bit about sewing, I loved writing and I had learnt to photograph my projects with a digital camera  in order to post them over at Pattern Review. I remember how even doing that used to send me into palpitations and my first attempts at blogging were clumsy until I got into the swing of it.

Keeping an online journal was good for charting my own progress but the best part was getting to know other bloggers online and sometimes getting the chance to meet in real life. Some bloggers have said that we are all too nice, we rarely criticize one another but on reflection, this is a good thing. This is our happy place. Advice, if it is asked for, is given. Anything remotely negative is too easily taken the wrong way. There have been some fabulous bun fights on a variety of sites but this is not really what it is about. We are here to share our passions, yes?

In honour of my third Blogaversary I will be holding a giveaway, but more about that later.

What have I been up to? A top, from stash knit of course, using New Look 6149 link that has raglan seams that actually sit in the right place, and a collar taken from Kwik Sew 3032 link.

This cleverly curved drapey cowl fits onto a rounded v-neck. I raised the New Look neckline by 2.5 cm  at CF to get a good match. 

 On other matters, winter has finally hit here with cooler weather and rain, rain and more rain.  This is a land of droughts and flooding rain for sure. Jackets won't do, time to get the coats out. I had a lovely coat that I had made form Burda magazine 11-07-115 way back in 2008, reviewed here.

It had golden zippers with round gold ring pulls that I loved at the time but now had to go. I unpicked them and hand stitched the pocket seams. No more scratchy cold feeling when I put my hands in.

I love this coat but boy could I make it a lot better now. You can't see it's faults in photos but I know where they are :)

Anyway back to the giveaway. Here it is, never unfolded, never used, XS to XL in the envelope.
If you would like to be in the draw, totally random out of the hat, please leave a comment saying you want it. Drawn on 29th June. I'll ship it anywhere. 

In a break in the rain, some bright visitors to my balcony.

Lastly for all the photographers:  Instead of a supermoon on Saturday evening all we got here was this..

Drizzly rain and heavy mist, but I noticed lockets on the fence. I'm sure they weren't there before. Sweet.

Thank you for reading
xx Val.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Daft or Practical?

The Onesie is finished.

I am glad. I melded a McCall's unisex all-in-one sleep garment M6251 with Kwik Sew 3926 booties (see previous post), did some modifications to meet my daughter's requirements, serged on ribbed collar and cuffs (sold pre made for school uniforms) hammered in some snaps and there the thing was, hanging around my apartment like some crazy deflated clown.

Last night I delivered it to my daughter. the garment did not look babyish, more like an Acrobat maybe from Circ du Soleil?

Her boyfriend said no it's more like a teletubby.

Whatever! She likes it.

The legs and arms of the pattern are extremely wide. I had to taper them down a lot to get them to a reasonable width for the booties and the wrist cuffs.

The back has a modified poo hatch, in two parts. The top part tucks into the pants back which is elasticized. DD got the idea from a onesie in Target. These things are - believe it or not- a current fad. But they didn't have feet.

I made denim soles (on request) and sewn-in polar fleece lining for the boots. DD wants me to tell you it's all her design, made by me. Clever, isn't she?

Happy Sewing xx Val

Edit. I have finally done a Pattern Review here and Marge it includes my tips about doing snaps on velour.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

What strange thing is she making now? Kwik Sew 3926

Dear Readers,

Sometimes our sewing journey leads us in paths that we don't expect and a strange request from someone close leads us to the sections of the sewing books otherwise usually avoided. The sections with strange dog costumes and weird doll clothes and tissue box covers..Although I have to admit the dog Halloween costumes are good for a laugh.

Recently my daughter asked me to make her a 'onesie'. You know, a baby jumpsuit, 'with feet' but for an adult. "It's all the rage Mum, and kinda practical, don't you think". Visions of elegant outerwear for myself sank from my mind. Um..OK.. 'and it's got to have an elasticized panel in the back so the top tucks in like a shirt for midnight loo trips. I got the idea from one I saw in Target but I know you can make it better'..Um Yeah... 'and I've bought the material, it's kinda furry in blue and white chevrons..isn't it great?' Sure Darling. I love her a lot you know. No one else could get away with this.

That's is how I came to be looking through Halloween patterns for an all-in-one sleep suit. I found one but it didn't have feet..which led me to Kwik Sew 3926 and a quick project knocked out on the serger from leftovers. If nothing else I am being thrifty.

Hmm good for watching TV

Watch out for a chevron striped onesie...with feet..and snaps.

Happy Sewing,


Monday, 3 June 2013

Stripey top knock off using New Look 6735

Dear Readers,

Most sewers here would be familiar with the term 'TNT' which is short for 'tried and true'. This refers to a pattern that works every time and has been used multiple times. It is usually a pattern for everyday basics.

New Look 6735 link to pattern website is such a TNT knit top pattern, reviewed by many people on Pattern Review including myself here so when my favourite striped top became stretched and discolored I wanted to make a replacement. I did have some stash striped knit from Spotlight but it just wasn't the same. You know when the stripes are printed on rather than woven in and the fabric doesn't have that delicious sponginess of a gutsy cotton knit?

So, when out shopping, I found a too large striped cotton T Shirt on the bargain rack at a department store  - in the perfect material - I pounced on it. I'd already cut up the old top carefully, thinking I would draft a copy by tracing the outlines, correcting any distortions and just knocking it off when I realized I could use my TNT with a little bit of tweaking. So I did, and I made up one from the Spotlight knit as well. That's the beauty of these tops, you can knock out two in one day.
I now have two RTW and two me-made blue and white striped tops in my wardrobe. I may get sick of striped tops some time in the future but that day has not come yet.

Winter sunshine. Remade RTW top worn with me-made Burda style stretch denim leggings. 03-2012-126

Goodbye old friend. The old top in pieces.

Comparison to NL 6735

Recutting the RTW 

The neckband was made from the leftover fabric at the bottom of the back piece.
My hint: When cutting a neckband from a very stretchy fabric, you need a lot of negative ease to make it sit right. By this I mean the finished circumference of the neckband will be 2/3 of the finished circumference of the neck, or even less. You will need to stretch it almost double as you sew it to the neck. I used the method where you join the ends then serge it on as a folded over strip in a circle.

The spotlight T shirt.

The recut RTW.

By the way I was really chuffed to go over to Pattern Review and see a big sign saying Happy Birthday to Me as the named Birthday Girl!

xx Val.