Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Mustard Freya Top

I'm sure that the Tilly and the Buttons Freya top is going to become a most used pattern for me: it's looking highly likely so far! The Freya top is a mock neck top which is available in the Tilly and the Buttons new book Stretch. My first version was this lovely stripy long-sleeved top, and as I love it so much I decided to make another. This top is in a lovely mustard knit fabric which I bought a while ago while on holiday, and it's a fabric that I love still. The texture adds a nice interesting touch but as it's all in the same colour it's a good basic top to have.

This top didn't actually originate the way nearly all my sewing does. It's actually the re-fashion of an old top that I made, the one pictured above. About a year and a half ago I sewed the Deer and Doe Plantain top out of a mustard jersey fabric. I've enjoyed wearing it, but just haven't found myself getting much wear out of it, mainly due to the large neckline. The sewing was also causing there to be a lot of ripped stitches and holes - this was one of my first jersey projects and I found the fabric really hard to manipulate, which meant that the inside of the top was not a pretty sight! Fast-forward 1.5 years and what feels like hundreds of jersey garments later, this particular top was whipped up in hardly any time.

Because the original top had a low neck line and this one has a high one, it meant that I had to crop this top in order for there to be enough fabric. Luckily, the original was fairly long. However, I've been wanting a top like this one to wear with my high waisted Ginger jeans for a while so this was the perfect excuse to make one. I love that already both of the Freya tops that I have made look different and can be worn in a multitude of ways, and that's without even using the many different options included in the pattern! I would definitely like to make the turtleneck version in autumn.
There isn't really much else to say about this top other than the fact that I've worn it a lot of times already! In fact, I doubt it will be very long before I've worn this one many more times than the top it used to be. It was such an easy top to sew, the pattern is really simple and it's one of the speediest pattern to make that I own. Overall, definitely a winner!

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Higgs & Higgs

Photo: Higgs & Higgs

To continue my fabric shopping series, I'm taking you into a wonderful sewing shop in Gloucester. I first discovered Higgs & Higgs when I went to the Great British Sewing Bee Live, back in September. Their stall was one of my favourites, and needless to say I have been looking forward to visiting their warehouse shop ever since! The great thing about this fabric shop is that it is a warehouse, meaning that the shelves are brimming with gorgeous fabrics ready to be sent off via their online shop. Their warehouse is open to the public, and it really feels like walking into fabric wonderland! Although the actual premises is small, there are unique fabrics to find wherever you look. I knew that I wanted to focus on jersey and knit fabrics, which helped to narrow down my choice making. I do love a pretty floral cotton, but the reality is snuggly sweatshirt-knits are just going to get a lot more wear in my life!

My Mum and I agreed that one of the best aspects of Higgs & Higgs is that the fabric they stock isn't available in many other places. The designs are often unique, which makes the fabric shopping all the more exciting. After spending a long time trawling through their website beforehand I knew that I wanted to try and find a cable knit, which I would say is on of their 'specialities'. They have a few different designs available and in many different colours, but my favourite is this thicker cable pattern which I bought in light grey. I am planning on making a slightly cropped version of the Tilly and the Buttons Stella Hoodie from Stretch! and at the last minute I spied this pink and grey striped jersey to line the hood in. You might recognise it as the same fabric that I lined my Kelly Anorak in, just in a different colour way. I'm so pleased with this combination, I expect it'll be one of the first items to get made!

My Mum (who is my favourite companion to bring fabric shopping with me as she doesn't complain when I spend hours gazing longingly at fabric!) selected this lovely textured marl rib jersey and has asked me to make her a top out of it. It has a really nice structure to it, and although she hasn't chosen the pattern yet, I think it would work really nicely as a Linden top, which I've made for her twice before (here and here).

And because I loved the fabric that my mum chose so much I bought some too! Not the exact same pattern, as I think that might be pushing it a little too far. The textured marl rib jersey is also available with a trellis pattern which I love. It's a lovely shade of grey too, not too dark and gloomy like greys can sometimes be. I also purchased a dusky pink ribbing because I am apparently going for the pink and grey combination this spring! I'd love to make another Linden top similar to my mustard Linden that I made last year. I'm planning on using the ribbing around the neck and at the bottom of the sleeves. I love making my clothes my own with personalised touches like this so I'm excited about this one.

Finally, I've bought some of what might seem an incredibly basic and boring fabric but I think will become a staple top in my wardrobe. I've wanted a simple black t-shirt for a while, so I grabbed some of this black ribbing to make one. This is actually the first time I've bought ribbing. It's something I have been wanting to buy for a while though, as I'd like to give sewing with ribbing a go. I'm planning on self-drafting a basic short sleeved top, which I'm sure will be very simple to sew. To add a bit more interest to the top, I also bought some of this very cool and slightly crazy pleated trim. It's called 'pleated trim picot edging' on their website, but really reminds me of a cupcake case! I'm planning on putting it around the sleeve hems, hopefully it won't look too crazy in a small about paired with a plain black fabric.

Overall I would class this as an extremely successful fabric shopping outing! Buying fabric is always expensive, but I think that the Higgs & Higgs prices are extremely reasonable considering the quality of the fabric. I can't wait to start sewing all of these, the fabrics are already pre-washed and ready to go!

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Finally - a pair of Jeans!

I've made jeans! I still can't quite believe it... I am so happy and excited to be sharing them today. Jeans are one of those things that a lot of people are scared about sewing. After having put them off for so long, I have finally made a pair. My parents gave me the Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans sewing pattern for Christmas (apparently fed up from hearing my constant 'some day' when referring to sewing a pair of jeans) and it was exactly the push I needed to get started on them.

I used an indigo stretch denim from Minerva Crafts. Ordering fabric online is always a risk, but I could not have been happier with the colour of it when it arrived. It's a really lovely shade and has a nice weight to it. After pre-washing it, I was set to go. Denim does fray a lot, so I made sure to finish all my seams with a zigzag stitch. As I said, I used the Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans sewing pattern to make these. The pattern comes in two views, I decided to make view B which features a high waist and skinny legs. It's exactly the kind of style I like, and the waistband fits perfectly above my hips.

In the end, the fabric that I used meant that my jeans don't look exactly like the view on the pattern. This is because the pattern requires a fabric with slightly more stretch. However, I found that it worked fine with the amount of stretch that my denim had, it just meant that I couldn't have the legs super-tight. To be honest, I'm quite pleased with this as I like the look of the slightly wider legs that view A feature, but much prefer the high-waist of view B, so I suppose that my jeans are a slight combination of the two.

I didn't realise that my fabric wouldn't account for the negative ease required in the pattern until I tried them on for the first time, so I would highly recommend basting your jeans on the side seams. I ended up sewing the side seams quite a few times, but this was easy to do seeing as I used a wide stitch length. I would also recommend trying them on again and again - while it's tedious, it will mean that your jeans will fit much better at the end! To hem the jeans, I cropped them first. It's a style that I like and I'm really pleased I did it.

To be honest, I was really surprised at how quickly these jeans came together. I think that the thing that scared me the most was the fitting, but now that I have mastered that my next pair will come together quicker and easier (because there will be many more pairs!). The fly insertion was actually one of my favourite steps, simply due to what felt like magic at the end! I used the Closet Case Ginger Sew-along for the instructions, and I would highly recommend it as the pictures seem much clearer than in the instructions. I know that a lot of people are wary of sewing flys, but  the instructions are really clear and once you've done it I'm sure you'll be amazed at how much more simple it is than it seems!

Fitting wise, the main things that I did were to sew the legs with a smaller seam allowance (due to the un-stretchiness of the fabric) and to take in a chunk at the centre back seam. This is the same thing that Lauren from Guthrie and Ghani did with her Ginger's, and after suspecting that I would need a similar adjustment I'm pleased that it worked out well. My waistband was still gaping slightly in the centre back after this so I actually sewed a dart in the middle which makes it nice and snug but is covered by a belt loop anyway so isn't noticeable. Before cutting into my fabric I also graded into a smaller size at the waist, something that you can see how to do here.

Possibly my favourite part of these jeans are the rivets. I decided to go with colour-coordinating top-stitching thread, but wanted to go for bronze rivets. As it was my first time sewing a pair of jeans, it was also my first time installing rivets. Like the sewing, the rivets were so much easier to do than I had imagined! I absolutely love them, I think they make the jeans look so much more professional. As I mentioned, I used colour-coordinating topstitching thread. It isn't actually an exact colour match because topstitching thread doesn't come in that many colours, but it is a shade of blue that I think really complements the denim and I love the look that the parallel topstitching gives.

I also really like the contrast pocket stay which I did in a lovely Liberty fabric left over from the pocket lining of my Brumby skirt. It makes me smile to see the fabric each time I put the jeans on. You could also choose to use a contrast fabric for the waistband facing, but I decided to go for the same denim so that I wouldn't have to use interfacing. I also used a slightly different technique when attaching my waistband, I'll try to take some photos when making my next pair (whenever that may be!).

Phew, I think that's about it! Overall, I still can't quite believe that I've made a pair of jeans, nor justify just how much I love them! I know everyone says this, but don't be afraid to give them a go.  Not only were they actually a lot of fun to make, but jeans were something that I was clearly lacking in my handmade wardrobe, and I can't wait to make more pairs - I know that these will be getting lots of wear.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Tilly and the Buttons Freya Top

Like so many other dressmakers, when I heard that Tilly and the Buttons had a second book coming out, I couldn't wait! When it did launch, the book in question was no disappointment... Stretch contains six different sewing patterns, all designed for knit fabrics, and all beautifully laid out, photographed and drafted. I was so excited to receive this book and immediately read the whole thing. A week later, I had made one of the patterns and had a head swimming with ideas for the others.
As soon as I saw the patterns, I knew that I wanted to make the Freya top first. I love turtlenecks, and the mock-neck sweater is exactly what I wanted to make out of a fabric that I've had for a while. It was so quick and easy to make, and I know that I'll be making many more! It's also an extremely versatile pattern, and while I don't think that I'll make all the versions it's great to have so many options available.

The fabric is a lovely knit fabric that I've had for longer than I usually keep fabric for, just because I was unsure what to make out of it. I'm so glad I waited for this pattern though, because I think that it's perfect for the fabric. The Freya would have probably worked better in a fabric which had slightly more stretch to it (something that I'll bear in mind for next time) but it still worked well in this jersey. The only thing that I did to account for the slight lack of stretch was to sew the neckband with a smaller seam allowance so that it would actually fit over my head, but now that I've done that it's absolutely fine.

There isn't really much else to say about this top, other than I love it! I think it'll be great to wear with my Brumby skirt or just with a pair of jeans. It was a lovely top to make and a real palette cleanser after my jeans and my anorak. While I enjoy in-depth projects, sometimes a speedy sew is exactly what you need, and the Freya top is perfect for that. I'm already planning another one, hopefully with short sleeves - although we had snow on the ground at the time of stitching my first Freya (in mid-March!) so I'm not sure if spring is ever actually going to arrive!

Thursday, 29 March 2018

My top tips for sewing the Kelly Anorak

Last week, I talked all about my Kelly Anorak, and just how much I am in love with it! As I mentioned, it was one of my biggest projects yet, and is definitely one of my favourite/proudest makes. It was definitely a step up in my sewing game, and I learnt quite a few new sewing skills. I thought that I would share some of my top tips for sewing a (lined) Kelly Anorak as a nice recap, both for me to remember and for anyone considering making one.

Use Closet Case Pattern's Sew-along

I don't think I would have had much clue what was going on if I had just used the pattern instructions.  While they aren't bad, I do think that such an in-depth make requires (for me, anyway!) much more detailed instructions. Luckily, a new sew-along was launched on the Closet Case blog at the start of the year, which was perfect timing for when I started making my anorak.

Sew with a  walking foot

A walking foot is definitely not compulsory for sewing an anorak, but I would really recommend one. While they are fairly expensive, I use mine all the time. I mainly use my walking foot for sewing knit fabrics, but found that it was really helpful for sewing with the thicker fabric that I used for my anorak. I also used a jersey lining, so my walking foot was very helpful for that too.

Take your time top-stitching

I often think that top-stitching is one of those things that will either make or break a garment. I do usually use topstitch thread when topstitching, which is thicker than normal thread, but for my Anorak I just stuck to the colour matching thread for a couple of reasons. Topstitching thread is not available in that many colours compared to normal thread, and while the colours are usually quite good for denims, I could find nothing that was even remotely close to the light blue that I used for my anorak, whereas there are lots of shades for the normal threads. The other problem with topstitching thread is that it can clump quite easily. While I don't find this a problem when sewing on more stable fabrics, I didn't want to risk it with my anorak fabric.
Another helpful (but not necessary) piece of equipment is a jeans needle. As aforementioned, thicker fabrics (canvas, denim, gabardine, twill) that you might use for an anorak can be tricky to sew and as the Kelly anorak require quite a bit of topstitching it's nice to use something that will give you a bit more accuracy.

Choose your hardware wisely

Ahh... the hardware. My Kelly Anorak was the first time that I have properly used hardware that isn't just jeans buttons. The anorak requires grommets and snaps, both things that I hadn't ever used before. There is a kit available from Closet Case, which in hindsight could have been helpful, but I decided not to buy it due to the over-seas shipping price and because I had my heart set on a silver finish. I gathered my hardware in bits from different shops, which was quite aggravating but worked out fine in the end. The only thing that I would say is that the Hemline snaps are not good, and I will try to find some others next time (maybe from Prym?). I'll also add that if you're not about to start making anoraks on a regular basis, then try to purchase snaps which can be installed using a hammer rather than a proper tool. You can of course purchase this if you think it would be greatly beneficial to you, but I don't tend to use snaps very often on my garments.

Have another pair of hands at the ready

There are a lot of steps in making an anorak, and found that another opinion can be really helpful. I found pinning and sewing the waistband casing to be really annoying and difficult, and my Mums help in lining it up and triple checking that it was straight was invaluable! I also borrowed her to install the snaps and grommets, not something that I would dare to do! On a more selfish note, it's also really nice to have someone to show off your anorak to at each stage!

You don't have to press

Although this might not be relevant for all anoraks, the fabric that I used would not (and I mean not!) iron. This really irked me at first, especially as quite a few steps seemed to involve ironing, but I found that in the end I could get away with some finger pressing. I also flattened the placket by placing weights (e.g. heavy books and tins) along the edge and leaving them there for a couple of days. Even this didn't make a huge different, but it definitely helped. I've also had to accept that the pockets aren't ever going to lay completely flat, which although is something that annoys me I can definitely deal with it!

Have a breather project in between

Sewing an anorak is intense. There are what feels like hundreds of steps and pieces. It's easy to feel overwhelmed, so I would really recommend taking a break from sewing just one thing for a prolonged period of time. I made my marigold trousers in between anorak sewing, and the quickly finished project really helped to keep going. Make sure it's a nice and easy make though, like a pattern you've made lots of times before, there is no point stopping mid-project to start sewing another difficult garment!

I hope that these tips are helpful if you do decide to make a Kelly Anorak (or any anorak for that matter). I really enjoyed making my Kelly, I would highly recommend making one as a way to push and test your sewing skills. My final tip is to take your time, but most importantly to enjoy it!

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

My Finished Kelly Anorak

I feel as though I've been working on this for ever, so I'm so excited to be able to finally wear it! It is, of course, my Kelly Anorak. Last year, I decided that I wanted to try and make something that would really push my sewing skills, and so I chose to make the Closet Case Patterns Kelly Anorak. The plan to make an anorak has actually been with me for a while, although it didn't fully form until quite recently. Before I even got onto the sewing, there were so many different things to do to prepare, and so I did everything bit by bit. First, I bought the fabric when I visited Stoff and Stil. It is an absolutely stunning duck egg blue fabric. I also decided to make the lined version of the anorak, so I purchased this gorgeous jersey from Higgs and Higgs which is incredibly soft. Following this, I slowly assembled all the pieces: the rivets, the zip, the snaps etc.

Making this anorak was... a test of my patience to say the least! There were a lot of pattern pieces, especially as I made the lined version. This is definitely the longest I have ever spent on a project but it was absolutely worth it. The fabric is one of my favourite parts, I absolutely love the colour, and I also really like the lining. I made the sleeves out of one of those slippery fabrics, which is something that a lot of ready to wear coats use as their lining. It really helps to get the coat on and off, and it meant that I was able to get all of the necessary pattern pieces out of the fabric that I had.

There were definitely some parts of making this that were exasperating, so I would recommend having a big project like this as something going on in the background - at the same time I made a couple of breather sewing projects which helped to make the whole thing less intense. The lining comes as an expansion to the original pattern, but not all of the original pattern pieces are required when using the lining pieces. For example, there is a new sleeve pattern piece which you need to cut both the main fabric and the lining fabric out of. I did find this slightly confusing at first as it wasn't perfectly explained on the pattern, but after some persevering I did manage to make sense of it. I would also recommend using the sew-along for this anorak. I pretty much relied solely on this and hardly glanced at the instruction booklet.

There are so many parts of this anorak that I love, it's impossible to choose my favourite aspect! I am so pleased that I decided to line it though, I think that it looks really nicely finished. The lining also adds a bit of extra warmth which is necessary during spring here! One of my favourite parts is the Liberty hanging loop. I love splashes of colour so much, and this is one of my favourite Liberty prints, so it feels just right to have it inside.

I also love the hardware, I think it gives it such a professional finish! While hammering in snaps and rivets is slightly terrifying, it is definitely worth it: I love the end look. I had a bit of difficulty finding the right cord, and while a lighter grey would have been my first choice I'm actually really pleased with the dark grey. The cord locks are also from Stoff and Stil. I haven't bought any cord stoppers yet, but a bit of sellotape on the ends of the cord is definitely not going to put me off wearing this coat!

I really can't say how pleased I am with this. I just love it! I think it might be one of my favourite things I've ever sewn, and it's definitely one of my proudest makes. It's also finished in perfect time for spring, so I hope that I'm going to be getting lots of wear out of it soon.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

5 Handmade Clothes perfect for Autumn and Winter

At the end of the summer holidays I did a roundup of my favourite makes that I wore. Now that we are (almost!) approaching spring, I thought it could be a good idea to write about my favourite handmade clothes that I wore during autumn and winter. It's interesting to look back over the past few months and see which makes have been worn again and again! I think that the switch between summer and autumn is one of the biggest, so these clothes are all very different to the ones I wore last season.

Button-Down Skirt

I've worn this skirt a lot since making it. To say I love wearing it is an understatement! The contrast fabric strip brightens it up a bit but is still very wearable. I love the professional look of the brass buttons, and it makes me smile to think that it used to be a pair of jeans.

Burnt Orange Cleo

I have worn this dress so much this autumn, particularly over my stripy turtleneck. I really love the colour of it, and it works well in all seasons depending on which layers you wear under it. I love the colour of the fabric so much. My turtleneck has also been worn a lot, it's the perfect style for this time of year.

Rosa Shirt

I've worn both my Rosa shirts quite a bit so far this year. The blue chambray one in particular always makes me smile - I really love the Liberty facing! I think that it's the perfect way to differentiate between wearing jumpers every day too, which is very tempting at this time of year! This were especially good for autumn, but worked nicely in the winter too.

Coco Dress

I can't say how much I love this dress, it is everything there is to ask for in a handmade dress. The fabric is amazing, the stripes are just perfect. I love how stripes can look either summery or more wintry depending on their colour, size etc. This dress is so comfortable too.  It's a great one to put layers on top of during the colder months.

Linden Sweatshirt

Although I'd like to be able to wear dresses and shirts most days, the reality is that it is just too cold! My Linden sweatshirt is so lovely and warm. The fabric is really nice and it is lovely and snuggly. The Linden is definitely my go-to pattern for a jumper.

Friday, 2 March 2018

A Coco to defeat the Cold

I have yet another Coco jumper to share today, and yet another handmade gift! Every time I make this pattern I'm amazed at how different it can look with different details and fabrics. It really is a great pattern, I don't think that you'd be able to guess that this jumper, my pineapple top and my stripy top are all from the same pattern. I made this Coco for my lovely friend's Mum, who I have known for a very long time, and who kindly gave me a bag of fabric scraps given to her by her sister who works in costume. At the bottom of the bag, there was a lovely fleecy fabric which she asked me to make here a Coco out of, after having seen my wear one of my Cocos.

The pattern works with a mulitude of fabrics, and this fleece is definitely on the thicker, less stretchy end of the spectrum. To make up for the thickness of the fabric, I made the neckband wider by a couple of inches. I did that after reading this from Tilly and the Buttons, and it worked perfectly. The funnel neck isn't too bulky as I had originally feared. It's sometimes nice to go back to a familiar pattern and sew it up almost mindlessly (I have made a lot of Cocos!).

As I said, I've made so many Coco tops by now that they really are a breeze to sew, and this one was no different. It has long sleeves, cuffs and a funnel neck which really makes it a super cosy jumper; the side splits also add a nice extra detail. I was actually able to give it to the recipient on a snow-day, so it felt perfect and snuggly for the weather! I think that this make was a success, and I hope that it will be well worn! I am slightly jealous as the fabric is so soft and soft, warm jumpers are exactly what is called for at the moment.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Marigold Trousers for Spring

In the hope that spring will someday return, I have made myself a pair of rather lovely trousers! I used this gorgeous cotton fabric and the Tilly and the Buttons Marigold to make these. It was my first time using the Marigold pattern, but they were really easy to make. They were a lovely breather project while working on my anorak. I made these trousers and the pineapple trousers for my sister in the same week, and I really enjoyed making both pairs. The fabric was slightly brighter than I was expecting, but I think that the colour is just perfect for spring. I really love the pattern on the fabric, and I knew straight away that I wanted to make a pair of spring trousers (despite the fact that it is freezing outside!).

This was my first time using the Marigold trousers, and I'm so glad that I bought the pattern despite my original reservations. The pattern comes with a jumpsuit version too, and as this isn't something that I am likely to make I missed the trousers when I glanced over the pattern initially. The fabric was a dream to sew with - I love the stability of cotton - especially after sewing with thick fabric, something that I have been doing a lot of recently. I finished all the seams inside with a zigzag stitch. Despite taking my time to make these they were still a really quick make.

My favourite part of these trousers are the lovely deep pockets. The elastic waist also allows them to be really comfortable, yet the darts and pleats allow them to look sophisticated and not too much like pyjamas! I'm a big fan of small, secret details and so I sewed the hem with a double row of stitches - not something that anyone else will notice but I like it! I shortened the length of the trousers slightly to make them more cropped, another thing I really love.

I am so happy with my new trousers! At first, I was worried that they would be a bit too bright, but with a simple white top I think that they are perfect for the sunshine that i'm longing for during this bleak February weather. I would really recommend this pattern for beginners, especially if you use a lovely stable fabric like this cotton.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Another Pair of Pineapple Trousers

Although I'm not sure there is a limit to the number of pineapple garments a single person can have in their wardrobe, I am pretty sure that a single pair of pineapple trousers is enough. (Until, of course, they get worn literally to death, in which case it is perfectly acceptable to make another pair.) Because of this, I would like to justify making another pair of pineapple trousers so soon: they are not for me! I currently have two items of pineapple fabric clothing in my wardrobe - my top and my trousers - both of which I wore a lot during the summer. The theme has clearly caught on, for in the John Lewis post-christmas fabric sale, my sister spotted this fabric and asked me to make her a pair of trousers! So our household currently has a total of three pineapple items of clothing and counting.

I do genuinely enjoy making clothes for others, especially speedy projects. The Tilly and the Buttons Marigold trousers are perfect to make for others as they really do not take long at all. They are also quite forgiving, in other words the fitting isn't as crucial as a lot of other garments. I have made a few things for my sister in the past, including pyjamas and a cushion, but no clothing designed to be worn outside. It was quite nerve-wracking making these, as it always is when making clothes for others.

I made a couple of adjustments, as requested, the first of which was shortening the crotch. When the trousers were tried on at the end, the crotch seam hung very low. Although it is supposed to be fairly low, my sister is slightly smaller than the smallest size of the pattern (especially when it came to the length). Luckily, I was able to solve this quite easily by unpicking the waistband and sewing it back on about 1.5" lower. She is still able to put her hands in the pockets, one of the benefits of having such big, deep pockets. I suppose I should have done a toile, but that would have defeated the point of making something quick and easy! I will also know for next time to shorten the pattern before cutting the fabric. It certainly isn't a noticeable adjustment though, and I'm pleased to have been able to save it so easily.

Apart from shortening the trousers, the only other adjustment that I made was adding an elastic casing at the bottom. I have the same look on my trousers, and it was really simple to do; I just added a casing of about 1" in depth, and then put elastic through it in the same way that the waistband is done. I am so happy with these and relived that the wearer likes them too! She has already worn them several times and is very pleased with them. I doubt we will ever wear our pineapple trousers together at the same time, but there is something quite nice about having almost matching pairs!

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Sashiko Top

This top has been a long time in the making, and I'm so happy to finally have it photographed so I can share it! A while ago I discovered Sashiko, which is a Japanese sewing technique, and was completely intrigued with the intricacy and the beauty of the designs. There are lots of different videos and other information about it (I found this quite helpful), I would really recommend having a read about it as it's really interesting. I decided to embroider a Sashiko design onto blue jersey, as I really like the traditional navy and white design. Sashiko is supposed to be embroidered onto a woven fabric, and I did have a few difficulties at first using a stretchy fabric, but once I got used to it it really wasn't that difficult.

I started this top in November, and sat doing the embroidery throughout November and December of last year. I like having something to do while watching television in the evenings, and this project (along with this one) was made by the lovely warm fires winter evenings! Before I drew on my design, I cut out the pattern pieces. I used my well-loved and used Linden sweatshirt pattern. I drew my design onto the front bodice using a chalk pen. Although it took a while to draw and much longer to stitch, but was definitely worth it!

Once the design was all stitched, I sewed up the jumper as normal, which took about forty-five minutes - a shockingly short amount of time compared to how long the embroidery took! I really love the finished jumper. It was ready just in time for Christmas and I wore it with this skirt on Christmas day. The sleeves are 3/4 length, and it is cropped. I really like the length, although the fabric is quite thin so it can't be worn without a thermal underneath at this time of year! I have since seen this Linden hack which also has a little bit of Sashiko, and I now would love to make a jumper dress - although it might have to be a project for next Autumn now. I'm so pleased with this, it was a slight gamble as I've never done Sashiko before (and it's a lot of work for something that doesn't look good at the end!) but it was definitely a gamble that payed off.