Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Sewing

By the time this post is let loose on the world, the Christmas sewing that I have completed will have been gifted, and I will be settling down after Christmas dinner with my husband and father, a G&T in my hand and some new sewing books to pore over (please Santa!)  A small but enjoyable gathering and I trust that your day will have been just as enjoyable.

Time to share some projects!

When we were in Canmore in October we passed a small shop that had some lovely flannel nightshirts on display.  Mr. SDSC said at the time that he would like a nightshirt and so I was on a mission.  I used Simplicity 2317, which features regular PJ's, a jersey vest and shorts, as well as a nightshirt.  My local fabric chain was selling some lovely Canadiana flannel at a great price - so I was good to go!  I used the XL size which will be on the large side - but I suspect that this will also be worn as a dressing gown.  I made a couple of changes to the pattern/construction:
  • lengthened it by about 5", Mr. SDSC is 6ft tall
  • no piping.  Just because.
  • serged the collar to the neckline.  I like to top and edge stitch the seams, rather like a faux flat felted seam (I actually have seen it called a welt seam)
  • plastic 'poppers' instead of buttons
  • pockets added to the side seams - who wouldn't want pockets in the side seams?
  • hand-stitched the facings down.  I know that this will not be ironed, and there is nothing worse than 'flappy facings', so it took an hour or so to sew the facings down and I am pleased that I did that.

It is hard to make it look good on my dress-form - but you get the idea!

I know that the closures don't look perfectly spaced at the top - I just wanted there to be a couple of options of how high the neckline could be.

I know it is a little bit vain, but I do enjoy adding a label.  I have found that the folks that I do make things for tend to look for the labels and appear to be a little disappointed if I have failed to include one :)

Next up was a pair of socks for Mr. SDSC.  Nothing special about them other than the yarn is rather fabulous.  It is self-striping from Regia and this is the second pair that I have made using this yarn.  It is fab!

Oh no, what is that I can see in the grey stripe?  Yep, a dropped stitch.  Dangnabbit.  Oh well, It is all tidied up now!

My father is quite hard to make/shop for, but when I was at a quilting fair this year I saw a remembrance quilt by a Canadian designer called Corinne Hewitt which I thought he would appreciate, so I bought a kit called 'Lest We Forget'.   Again I made a couple of changes - left out the lettering (I think that it is rather poignant without the lettering), changed the headwear of the soldier to look more British (my father is a retired British Army Officer).  I used the profile of a WW1 memorial in Wales for reference (scroll down the link until you get to the profile photo at the bottom), and am rather pleased with how it came out:

The three poppies in the field (bottom right) are small, red buttons.  The four poppies in the corners are made up of two layers of poppy petals and a black button in the middle.  I kept the Canadian flag as my father is very proud of now being a Canadian citizen and this is a lovely marriage of the two Countries.  I have added a sleeve to the back so that he can hand it if he likes - it is 25" x 36".  Oh, and this photo was taken two or three days ago - as you can see, a nice dry deck.  Would you like to see what my garden looks like now?

Winter has arrived!  I'm not too sure how excited the dogs are, but I am looking forward to a white Christmas!

Each Winter I plan to make some table runners and never seem to get round to it - but this year, I did.  Both are free patterns:

Ah yes, just look at that lovely, fresh snow.  The light at this time of year can be pretty dull and it therefore hard to get good photos, but this works!  This is a really quick and easy project and I used up some of my Mum's quilting fabric which I enjoyed doing,  I kept the borders very plain - I rather like the modern esthetic of a skinny binding, and that is it.

There are a few different ways to finish off this topper - I chose to use pinwheels and to go 'scrappy' using red and green fabric although not necessarily Christmas fabrics.  I love this!

The white flecks on the photos are falling snow - it was snowing when I took the photos!

Unfortunately I didn't get chance to sew any Christmas clothing - but I am still off work for another 9 days so I am sure that that will change!  Do you have any Christmas sewing that you'd like to share?

Wishing you all a Happy and Peaceful Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Restyling Patricia

Over the last few months I have made a few Patricia Skirts (Tina Givens - who else?!).  The pattern is for a dropped yoke with a gathered skirt attached and then the hem is pulled in and sewn to a band.  It has a very funky balloon or pegged (thank-you Lorie for the description!) look.

So far, so good.  Well, not really.  The skirts have been sitting in the back of my wardrobe - feeling a little unloved, so I set about determining what the issue is and fixing it.

It turns out that there are two issues - one is that I clearly walk like an Amazon with big ground-covering strides, and the hem band is rather restrictive.  I found this especially so when getting in and out of the car, stepping over lounging dogs - you get the picture!  Also, the skirt has no pockets.  Well, my version doesn't.  I changed the pattern a little to make the yoke one piece with an elasticated waist, so no side seams.  One of the joys of making my own clothes is to add pockets, usually inseam.  To everything. Well. Almost!

To fix the first issue, I made a couple of the skirts with an elasticated hemline - thereby keeping the shape of the skirt, and yet making it more 'walkable'.

This is a lovely Royal Stewart Tartan in brushed cotton and is lovely to wear.

In order for this to work - I need to have gathered the bottom skirt onto the yoke.  However, what about the skirts that I had pleated onto the yoke?  I find this a lot quicker and easier than gathering, so I needed another solution.  I noticed that another designer, Krista Larson has a similar RTW design with an unrestricted hemline - so that was the way to go. I cut off the original hem treatment and a simple single fold bias binding attached with a triple stitch zigzig was all that was needed:

This is the first skirt that I changed, and as I did not have any of the chocolate linen/rayon, I dug around and found some co-ordinating linen with a stripe pattern.  The hem looked a little strange being in a different colour, but when a scrap was added down the side over part of the ruffle, and a patch pocket was sewn to the yoke it looked much better - and solved my second issue!

Sorry about the colour variation, the middle of these three photos is closest to the correct colours.  I had to piece the pocket together, but I think it looks rather good.  It is 6" wide and this is about 6-7" in depth - enough for some lip salve, a tissue etc!  And it is double thickness with some interfacing ironed on near the top.

And then I did some other skirts . . . . 

This is a lovely 100% wool with browns/dusky pink/greys that I got for a steal from Fabric Mart or a few years ago before the Canadian Dollar tanked against the US Dollar.  Is is very soft and washes well.  I cut this pocket on the bias, and left the seam that made this double layered on the front so that it can gently fray.  My 'design feature'!  The other bonus with this skirt was that the hemline was quite bulky before and wasn't quite 'right'.  But now - it is lighter, and to my mind, more attractive!

I also updated a plain black 'Patricia' with a strip of lace along the ruffle and on the pocket - you will need to use your imagination for that one though as the photos came out terribly.  And finally, the Royal Stewart skirt has this pocket:

Again, cut on the bias with a scrap of lace 'just for fun'!

Due to the type of tops I wear with my skirts, the pockets will likely be covered, but just knowing that they are there makes me smile.

I am really pleased with this simple makeover.  My skirts are now a lot more wearable and still retain the boho/Lagenlook style that I love.