Sunday, February 21, 2010

Getting ready for winter - Kayla assymetrical jacket

Just writing this post is making me feel hot. We are in the middle of a hot February and here I am making fleecy cardigans and corduroy pants (to come). And I will happily blame it all on the Ottobre magazine, that too damn good Finnish pattern design company that have the opposite seasons to us downunder (they are shovelling snow whilst we swelter away in the heat). Their Winter issue (albeit fantastic) arrives in the middle of Summer, and the Summer issue in Winter...

Enough complaining.

The pattern is the Kayla hooded jacket from Ottobre 3/2009 issue (which I just noticed was their Summer issue, not even a Winter issue. That's what happens when you live so close to the arctic circle I guess). The fabric is a cotton blend fleece. Fluffy on the inside so good for winter (ie not now). Lined with hot pink cotton lycra in the hood. It was the first time I have ever used snaps (instead of buttons or a zipper) on the front panel and they were super easy. Finished with some hot pink binding.

I forgot to take a close up photo of the hem, but there is some twin stitching along the bottom jacket and sleeve hems. Gives it a very professional finish, but also caused some minor distress with a certain broken twin needle about 5cm before the finish line...
Its still a bit too big. But this is a good thing as there is still some growing to do before Winter hits. It was pulled out on a chilly early morning walk to the park a couple of weeks ago (before it was completely finished). Just for a test drive. It worked fine, did all the things a jacket should do. Plus she looked super cute. Next is a skirt to match.

Monday, February 15, 2010

More legs

Two more pairs of leggings this week for an 18 month old. The pattern is the Lola leggings from Ottobre Summer issue 3/2009. These leggings are genuinely so easy so make, each leg is one piece of fabric so the method is simply sew the inner leg and crotch seams, hem the bottom and add the waist band. I have some very cool red/purple/black stripey knit that I want to make for myself, but I don't have a big person's pattern so I might try to wing it tracing the pattern from a pair of bought leggings. We'll see how we go.
The blue pair are made from a very lightweight stretch denim, and are finished with twin stitching. I used two different colours for the twin stitching - yellow and hot pink (although the colours don't show up very well in the pic) - to give them a bit of edge.
The pink pair are made from a plain cotton jersey. The flower is hand embroidered and adds a little girly touch (as if the pink wasn't girly enough...)
Again, more twin stitching on the hems and waistline. I've done a few project now with the twin needles here and here and I am definitely improving in my technique. And learning a lot along the way.
I signed up for My favourite February challenge which was sewing with knit fabrics, check out the others signed up for more stretchy goodness.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My creative space with automobiles

This week in my creative space is a sneak preview of a project recently finished.
Its all about automobiles, bright colours and summer.

But I can't show you the whole thing. Its a present for a friend. Or for their little dinosaur. So instead you get to see little bits and pieces.

It turns inside out. It has a nice stripey brim to shade out the sun.
And a neat round top to hold it in place.Hopefully it is liked by its owner to be.

What mysteries are going on in your creative space? Check out Kootoyoo to connect with others.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Cecile jersey blouse and more twin stitching

I signed up for February challenge - sewing with knit with Carolyn from My favourite. I've been sewing with knit, or stretch, quite a bit lately. Its a challenging fabric, however I've been learning some new techniques, having some successes, some failures.

I didn't start this project this month, I started it a while ago at Perle 8's, but joining Carolyn's challenge, motivated me to finish it. Its made from a a gorgeous brightly coloured cotton knit (probably elastane, but it came from my stash so I can't really remember). The pattern is Ottobre Cecile jersey blouse from the 3/2009 issue. The pattern was lovely. It has some cute shirring on the front and is flared.
There were a few hiccups along the way. I struggled, ALOT, with the binding on the neckline. However I learnt a little trick along the way. Sewing stretch knit to stretch binding was very difficult. It kept stretching too much and turned out all warped. I unpicked and restitched it three times before I was happy with it. I ended up attaching interfacing to the back side to stops it from stretching whilst I sewed the ribbing on the first time, then I pulled it off before I top stitched it. It still stretched a bit, however then I picked up a tip from somewhere (although I can't quite remember where). I used the steam function on my iron over it, and it tightened up nicely. The heat brought the materials back to shape. Whilst still not perfect, it was definitely satisfactory. The twin stitching is also a tad wonky, but that I can live with.
First attempt.
Third attempt (I didn't bother with photographing the second, it just went straight to unpicking).
Finally, after steam ironing.
The shirring on the bodice was done with elastic thread hand woven on to the bobbin and a normal thread on top. This is such a simple technique but looks very effective.
I got to do some more top stitching using the twin needle. I am absolutely loving this new gadget (despite last week's very frustrating broken needle incident...) This time is turned out really well and the hints I got from Kadiddlehopper (a very talented and inspirational sewer) some time ago paid off. I reduced the tension and the puckering between the twin lines of stitching was no more!
Things I learnt along the way:
  • Steam ironing is your friend. It did a great job on reducing the warped stretch of the neckline and arm ribbing. Not perfect, but over time, improving my technique and the steam iron and I should get this under wraps.
  • The fabric generally stretched along the seams, particularly when top stitching. I washed the garment half way through and this seemed to straighten everything up again. On reflection, perhaps a go over with the steam function on the iron also might have fixed it.
  • Reducing the tension when using the twin needle stopped the fabric from puckering between stitch lines.
  • Shirring is easy peasy
Its the next size up for my 14 month year old, so I am thinking it will do her for Winter (with layering) and maybe even Summer next year. Here she is testing out her new blouse and choosing the next thing for me to make..

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My creative space

How lovely to be back...
Although to start off my year of creative spaces, I am sharing a frustrating moment.

I was THIS (imagine finger and thumb not very far apart) far from finishing - yes I mean finishing - my latest project. When one of the needles on my twin needle broke...

Just like that.

Very calmly, I managed to make it to my local haby store to pick up a replacement (plus a few other bits and pieces - making it worth the trip). But I was not impressed. Now the challenge of finding the time to finish it.

Head on over to our lovely My creative space host Kirsty at Kootoyoo for (hopefully) less frustration, more construction.