Saturday, 21 April 2018

Burda style Long Cardigan 10/2014 #102 - with tails!

This cardigan has been on my "possible makes" list for a few years. I bought the magazine with this pattern ages ago. It was one of my very first Burda Style magazines. I never realised though that it has tails! I definitely would have made this ages ago had I realised this. Mind you it might say easy but despite my magazine being the english version I still needed to use google translate to understand what was written on the pattern and to interpret what I needed to do. This was an origami cardi. I cannot describe it any other way.



As I made this I was so confused because you seem to sew the sleeves onto the wrong side of the front/back and they point towards each other inwards. But then as you follow the very strange directions you sew it up at opposite sides to give a strange tailcoat like cardigan.

I labelled the Burda diagram to help me.
See left for this.



I have been wearing this for work several days now and its lovely. Its like a shrug at the front and then you have these lovely tails at the back. Its really quite gothic. Brilliant. I have to make a few more. Have any of you made this?
I am so surprised how well it has turned out.

I love it.

Thanks for reading
Bracken










Sunday, 15 April 2018

Two hoodies: The hangman's hoody and a striped top



Its time for some new clothes for spring so I thought I would make my other half a couple of hoodies. Hoodies are his top of choice when he is not at work but he does not always want heavy sweatshirts. One of his old favourites is a very light weight hoody with no pocket. Its just a long sleeved but thin knit fabric top with hood. This was my inspiration for these two tops.

Both tops are made from Newlook 6142, the same pattern I used for the camo top I made him at Christmas:  http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/79-cuddle-camo-top-for-my-man.html

The first hoody is an almost silky stretch black fabric. I have no idea of the fibre content. I bought it as T shirt weight cotton/lycra but I am pretty certain it is not cotton but more likely rayon tho I think it may have lycra in it.

I had to piece the hood for this top since I only had 2m and I did not quite have enough fabric for a hoody. So its what my partner calls a "hangmans" hood. Its basically squarer than the usual pattern on top. Its basically got a narrow strip added on to the front part of the hood to lengthen the fabric and I used the fabric pieces I had left over to do this so I have no idea how this will wear since the front pieces are cut in a different direction to the main part of the hood. I think this will be a very wearable summer top since my partner has a positive preference for wearing black whatever the weather. This should be much better than a normal T shirt for summer being soft silky and thinner than T shirt fabric usually is. I wish you could feel this fabric so I can explain what its like.












You can see the hood best in this photo.

The front has a seperate band to make the fabric big enough for a hood and its got a pointy bit on top - my hangman's bit!
The other hoody is made from a heavier ribbed fabric which I bought in my recent fabric buying spree:
http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/two-tops-and-my-latest-stash-builing.html

 I had no idea what I would make when I bought the fabric. It sounded OK from the Ebay description. Luckily I bought a bit more of this tho so did not need to piece things together. I am almost proud of this top because I nearly  managed to pattern match the stripes. I got them right on both sides and on the hood and one sleeve but sadly I somehow cut the second sleeve slightly "off".


Still its the best I have managed so far so I am still reasonably pleased.



See pattern matched stripes!
 
But not on this sleeve


I know some religions think only things made by God can be perfect. Well my sewing is blessed then:)

This fabric is so perfectly my man!

He has several old stripey tops all very similar to this. I could not see what I could use it for when it arrived but then I was putting the washing away one day when I realised its a very similar fabric to several tops he already owns and all of which need replacing.

I have enough of this fabric left for a conventional short sleeved T as well but thats for later.

So yet again having a stash is very useful to me and its just the way I sew. I would never have gone out and bought this fabric in a shop. Thats the honest truth. I bought it because it was the right price and its cotton rib and usually I can use that kind of fabric. I wouldn't have considered to make this into a top for my man but its just perfect. Random buying of cheap fabric to grow my stash is justa  good way to live for me.

Its a much heavier weight fabric than the black but will make a great addition to his wardrobe. I expect this will be around for quite a few years because its a good quality fabric.

So yes. I need my stash. I know lots of people see it as immoral but really I could not create useful items for us without it and this top was £3.19 for one piece of this fabric and 99p for my second piece which will make a normal T shirt. I picked up from the seeler as well so no shipping costs!
I doubt if we could buy this cheaper RTW. Thats despite it being unique of course. So that is why I sew in the first place and thats why I need to maintain a decent sized stash.

Other people say they buy the pattern, the fabric and make then dispose of extra offcuts and move on but that would just be very expensive so for me that does not work at all. Regardless of the percieved moral issues others seem to have about fabric stashing, I am definitely not for slashing my stash any time soon. It simply will not work for me.




Thanks for visiting my blog,  
Bracken






Sunday, 8 April 2018

Two T shirts for summer = McCalls M6614 and self drafted



http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/butterick-b5562-t-shirt-number-4.html I decided my other half needs some new Tshirts. This is not the best top I have made for him. Its the same pattern as this T shirt I made here, McCalls M6614.



This time I made a smaller size for Mick but its still a bit too big so next time I will go down a size again. Eventually I will make the right size for him.

I have real problems it seems with pattern sizes both for me and for him. Its not so difficult when you try on RTW cos you just buy a diffferent size and you can guestimate when you see the garment on the hager but when its a pattern that you have to sew up it well nigh impossible to guess correctly and the pattern details are so often wrong it seems. I find most patterns come out bigger than the pattern sizing says it will.


I decided the fabric lent itself more to a normal T than to a hoody hence making a different version of the pattern.


It seemed even bigger before I added the neckband.  Incidentally I am quite pleased with that. After the last few weeks where I have been having quite a few disasters this top has actually come out reasonably Ok despite the sizing. I top stitched not quite in the ditch for this but next to it using a twin needle. Well the twin needle is why its not quite "in the ditch" but it works. If I had not run out of thread half way round it would be even better but there, it seems I am incapable of making anything that is "perfect". Maybe one day.





So this fabric was an ebay bargain. I do like ebay although its always a bit of a risk when buying fabric etc. This was sold as mesh but its actually quite a good quality sports fabric. Polyester but possibly with some lycra. I am unsure, but it has a good return to it. Wear will show I suppose. 5.5m for 99p tho' you cannot really go wrong.

I had some problems with the tension tho' as you can see on the back seems. The tension gets a bit better as I carried on sewing. Still I expected this to be a unwearable muslin because I never actually intended for this to be seen. It was  atrial with both fabric and to try to make the right size and the fabric was so cheap I thought it would be worth making several tops until I get the correct sizing for him but as it happens he ended up keeping this top on all day so obviously not a complete waste of time. The tension problem is probably down to me breaking my machine. I broke a needle a few weeks ago and at the same time bent the upper looper.

When I investigated about getting it fized it was only £20 extra for a completely new overlocker so I cannot afford to fix the thing. My clever partner bent it back and it worked but the tension seems impossible to completely sort out now. I managed to improve as I sewed with this item but its a bit hit and miss because the instructions in the manual no longer count really. Right now I cannot afford £170 - £200 to buy a new one or repair this one so I have to make do. Its still sews but its less perfect than it was. Something to do with the distance between needles and looper I think but without a second machine of the same type to copy its just guesswork to know what to do to correct this. It is only £20 for a new looper but I would still need a tool to work out the distance and this seems unavailable at least in my initial googling attempts to find out. I did find out the looper undoes with an allen key in the top which is not immediately obvious from looking at the machine but thats as far as I have got with me fixing this so rather than pay for someone to fix this machine I will buy a second machine at some point but this is not possible right now. So for now I just have to either give up sewing or make do best I can. I should make the final version of this top with better tension since I managed to fiddle with it and make it much better on the front seams as you can see. So for a muslin this is not so bad and is wearable anyway which is encouraging after the last few weeks of disasters.

 Maybe I should just stick to making easy things and give up on any challengng stuff. Or perhaps my standards have gone up and I am aiming higher which really can only be a good thing but does mean for more disasters or at least potentially imperfect makes.


 

The second top is self-drafted - by cutting round an old T shirt which I love.  I had a few scraps left over from the godet dress I made last week so I made this. Its slightly longer than the original top but is so basic its silly. Its based on my Missimo Batman top which is from the early 2000s. I have loved this top so much.

To be honest I reckon if I make another of these I will make it the original length since the new one hangs slighty weird. It was from the "show your belly button" era but making it longer probably needs a slight change in shape since the new top slighlty rucks up on my belly. Must be the shaping is meant for the short look. I hope it will hang better once worn a few times. Despite that I can see me wearing it loads this summer. 

Its a raglan but does not even have proper neck band and all the hems are just twin needled but with no actual hems. All edges are just raw. I really must investigate cutting with a rotary blade because this would be neater then but this was cut with my ancient and rubbish blunt scissors. I have needed to replace these for months. Its now getting to the point where its replace or stop bothering trying to sew.


I was quite pleased with how this edge stitching turned out tho' the armholes are not as good at the neck and hem. I got a bit close to the edge of the fabric and they tend to curl under a bit

 I think this little top will be good addition to my summer wardrobe.

Thanks for visiting
Bracken


Sunday, 1 April 2018

Summer dress - McCalls M6027

One of my January aims was to be more ready for summer this year. Usually its seriously hot before I even begin to cater for the weather and I am still finishing my winter makes when its June. So this year I am trying to be more organised.

I bought McCalls M6027 ages ago. More than a year at least. Possibly even two years ago so this is a new to me pattern but I have owned it for ages. Its meant to be made from woven cotton with a centre back zip. This is a stretch knit fabric so I made it with no back zip. Its also meant to be 6 inches longer than my version. I hacked the bottom off the pattern with no mercy in this case. I seriously cannot see me ever wanting the full length version even in 20 years!  When it came to shortening the godet tho I cut into into three width-wase and then rejoined losing 3 inches off each piece to give me the total of 6 inches length reduction but giving me the original full width at the top and bottom. This keeps the flare which I am aiming for.

This is based on a much loved dress which I no longer own. It was an a orange and lime green tie dyed (printed rather than real tie dye) dress like this back in the mid 90s. I loved it so much I wore it to death. I was a poor student then and could not afford the same dress in colours I actually liked. Full price was £25 from the local hippy shop. I bought the orange and green colourway that no one could handle wearing. It was the "acid" revolution. Acid House was the music of the time and that kind of painted on tie dye was the fabric of choice for many people. At £3 it was a bargain basement dress for my student days.  So this is my recreation of that dress. Sadly I cannot currently find a photo of the original but if I do then I will add that to this post later. I think this has worked out to be a fair copy of what I remember of my original dress but in a better colourway.

Of course in summer I will not be wearing a top under this dress but right now its a bit cold for that, and well, you need to be practical about these things don't you?


I remember getting very sunburnt in that dress on holiday in Newquay in Cornwall. So I have great memories of this old dress that I wore till it fell appart. That would be the early 2000s when it finally fell to bits.

Then the other week when I splashed out and bought more fabric I bought this green and turquoise tiger striped cotton. I think it also has lycra in it but the actual fibre is unknown. I am guessing its  lycra cotton by the feel of it. Its a knit T shirt weight. Ideal to recreate my long lost dress desite the pattern being for a woven.

I am not used to using a woven pattern for knits but have read to go down a couple of sizes so I cut a smaller size and started to sew only to realise the pattern tells me I need 7 godets but that would mean two half godet at centre back when in fact I want them all the way round so I actually need 8 not 7 godets. At least thats what I think the pattern says. I got a bit confused but just ignored it and cut it the way I want it. It could be a size smaller next time though I think since despite my taking it in its still a bit too big. Its is worn here with my black lace top  which was made from left over scraps, due to the coldness of the weather here in England right now but come summer I reckon this will be worn lots. Its not perfect and I am now thinking sewing up with black thread could have been a mistake but its done now. I will wear this lots. I am sure of that, though if I do make another I will be making it smaller. I went down 2 sizes anyway due to it being a knit not a woven, but its still a tad big even though I took all the seams in slightly. I could not take any more fabric out without totally remaking which would have probably meant ruining this so its best left as it is. Still mostly it will be worn over either a bikini or Tshirt I would think so it will do. And since I am now thinking of muslin for every new pattern, this is my muslin. The hem got a bit chewed at one spot when the machine decided to eat the fabric which is most unusal since its my Brother sewing machine. I think the cottons got tangled when I was twin needle stitching so I will have to watch that in future. You cannot really tell luckily by the time I resewed over the damaged bit. Its a long way round the hem thoughand I think maybe it wa s abit taxing for my old Brother machine. Normally I only sew small stretched of twin needle stitching. This is actually a  circular skirt with all those godets!
 If you want to read about the black lace top thats here:
http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/91-black-lacey-top-from-scraps.html

I just cannot wait till this years Me Made May now so I can try wearing this in various different ways. Roll on summer.  But for now its Easter Sunday and I have lots I need to get done.
Have a lovely Easter
Bracken