Sunday, 26 April 2015

The Final Vest / Gilet

That's it now - I've done with fleece fabric and my vest and jacket wardrobe is full - enough already.
So here it is, my last fleece sleeveless gilet made out of the fabric left over from the first one I ever made which was a hoody with no pockets. I don't like hoodies and I MUST have pockets so what was I thinking...

Anyway by using the hood  I just about had enough to cut out the high collar for this vest.

 I used black fold over elastic on the armholes, pockets and hem edges to match with the black open ended zip.

The garment was super quick to cut out and sew together as I had used the same pattern more than once before and it gets easier every time I do it. I used the method described in the Craftsy Class on sewing with fleece which is to use double sided tape along the zip edges to secure them in place for stitching. This works extremely well and makes putting them in a walk in the park - However, top stitching afterwards was an absolute nightmare as the 'glue' made the needle sticky and then it kept missing stitches so I ended up going over it several times, cleaning the needle in between to get it to work.

The fold over elastic was used to bind and only very gently eased before using a zigzag stitch. I used it on the pockets to pull the design together.

This is a great layering garment and wind beater and will be great when I'm on my bike.

I'm already designing my next project, a shirt using a crisp cotton fabric but it's only got to the sketch book stage at this time. Follow my blog for updates of when I publish the next one and thank you for reading.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Sleeveless Fleece - Gilet

I'm really happy about this fleece vest. I used left over fabric from a previous project [not enough for sleeves - hence the vest!!].
The fabric is so soft and warm and on breezy days during spring once my body is warm my arms are too [I am a naturally cold person and tend to cover up when other people seem to strip off].

This was made after taking a Craftsy Class however the tutor suggested using Foldover Elastic [FOE] for the sleeve bindings and I did order some online. However, I couldn't wait for it to arrive so used some of the contrasting fabric which now I think was the better option.

 I also lined the pockets with the contrast fabric and again the necessity due to not having enough of the main colour created a design by default which works.
 It's a snug cover up and will get a lot of wear.

The back view.

Have you ever created a design out of scraps and had to modify it due to lack of fabric or notions?

Must dash, I'm just off to get my hair cut ...

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Tee with a flounce

OK so I've got a bit of a flounce thing going on at the moment. I just love this sleeve creation as it's so feminine and sort of fluttery which seems to go with this time of year.

I picked up this fairly heavy printed stretch fabric from Walthamstow on my recent visit. I did a deal with the lovely man who served me. As you can see the fabric has a large print design and it also had a band along the middle with a totally different design. I'd looked at this fabric for ages trying to work out how I would lay out my pattern to make the best use of the design feature. The problem was where the fabric had been left from the last cut. It came right after the main design so I it would come at just above hem level - not the best place. I only needed 1 metre for my T-shirt design but guessed I needed to buy at least 1.5 metres to make sure I got the pattern fitted in the right places so, having worked out that I needed my 1.5 metres to start from about 0.5 metre from the cut edge, I cheekily explained my predicament to the salesman and asked if he would either sell me 2 metres for the price of 1.5 or cut off 0.5 a metre before starting the measurement. I was surprised but delighted he cut the 2 metre length but only charged me for 1.5!! Just goes to show it costs nothing to ask but he got a very happy customer.
 Here is a close up of the sleeve with flounce cuff and the back view.

So this is just a basic long sleeved Tee with flounce sleeve cuff. The fabric is quite heavy and was so easy to work with. I did sew most of it with the sewing machine and then serged the seam allowances to finish but I actually just serged the side seams and sleeve seams in one go. In all it only took a few hours to make but the design and layout of the pattern took me a couple of days before I got up enough courage to get my rotary cutter out.

I started by joining the shoulder seams and used some stabilising tape and then attached the band. I cut this from a length of the band design and I think it works well.

There wasn't quite enough distance between the main design and the background to cut the sleeves without catching the repeating pattern but I think it draws your attention to the flounce sleeves more than if it hadn't. What do you think?

Have you manged to negotiate any fabric bargains recently? It certainly gave me a great feeling to know I had bagged a bargain and then made an exclusive garment from it.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Navy Lace with Flounce Sleeves

I've been busy with another top and this one took me outside my comfort zone with a couple of features but isn't that what we're all striving for, to get better and move up the difficulty ladder to perfection!!! Well I'm still on the bottom rungs but feel I'm creeping up in very small steps.

This garment started with a sketch inspired by a new Craftsy Class by Jacque Goldsmih entitled Sew Like a Designer. She showed a method of creating flounce sleeves and together with my body blueprint from Sure-fit Designs I had an idea.
I had bought some navy blue lace fabric and a deep pink knit fabric from a shop in Walthamstow so anyone who knows the area will know I only paid a very silly price for both. In fact the whole top cost under £5.00 but it was supposed to be an experiment.

I started by taking my SFD Body Blueprint and cutting out in both fabrics but putting each matching piece together and treating the result as one. I stay stitched around neck and armscye as well as the back opening in preparation for the zip to keep them from moving, however they behaved very well together and kind of clung to one another which made sewing a lot easier than I had imagined.

 This shows me with a belt and without? Which one do you prefer?

Monday, 6 April 2015

Placemats and napkins for Easter

Having made [and blogged about earlier this year] curtains for our newly decorated dining room, I decided to make a set of placemats with the fabric leftover from the project.

I was inspired by Linda Lee's Craftsy Class on mitred corners so went on to make some napkins as well.

I started the first one having chosen a pretty stitch from my built in Janome Sewing Machine stitch library.

The only problem was the huge amount of thread it took so the next one I chose a less complex design. Now having two different napkins I decided to change the design for all of them which I now realise makes them even more interesting.

Here is a close up of the mitred corner on the underside. It was super easy following Linda's instruction and I was delighted with the results.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Fleece for Spring

Well it may officially be spring here in the UK but there are certainly colder days ahead so the right time to make some fleece jackets.
Fleece is so wonderful to work with on many levels. Firstly it doesn't ravel so  clean finishes aren't an absolute must. Secondly, although fairly bulky to work with, it's so light yet warm and slightly waterproof so a great change of season jacket fabric. Also, it doesn't shrink so no need to launder before cutting out.

I took Pattie Otto's 'Sewing with Fleece' Craftsy Class and she made it look so easy I was totally inspired.

On our way back from a few weeks in Spain [to get through the worst of the winter] we stopped in Bergerac, France to visit some friends who took me to a huge fabric warehouse close by. I bought 1.5 metres of a double sided fleece of airforce blue on one side and light blue on the reverse [amongst other fabrics which will get blogged about in due course!!]. I had also bought some super long open ended zips from a Saturday market in Southern Spain for just €1.50 each. I couldn't wait to get home and get started on my coat but not before another purchase of some olive green fleece bought from a shop in Walthamstow, London for a very silly price. This fabric is softer and slightly thinner but totally lovely to work with.

This shows a bit of the neck and cuff detail using the reverse fabric to show the inside as a trim. It is also a truer example of the colours.
 This shows the pocket detail. The zip was so easy to insert using special non fusible sticky tape to keep zipper tape and fabric in place while it's sewn. I added some elastic into the hem allowance to add a bit of extra snug factor in this area.

The pattern for the second fleece in Sage green was slightly altered from the original options. I liked the design of the crossover neckline in the hoody version but didn't really want a hoody....
 So I cut out the high collar version but created the crossover at the front. My head slips through the opening easily but it closes itself into my neck for a really snug fit.

I added knitted rib cuffs with a small amount I had in my stash. This is a warm, lightweight top that will be a welcome addition to keep me warm in these not so warm days.

 I made a beanie hat from the leftover fabric.

This also shows a better example of the colour.
Have you thought of making a fleece or a jacket out of fleece fabric? It's not as scary as it seems.