The Union St. Tee

Bear with me - we're hoping Spring is coming back soon and normal photos can be resumed shortly. But for now we'll just have to deal with these photos that were essentially taken IN THE DARK.

This is a basic post about a basic tee - but simplicity is worth a mention I think.

This week it's the turn of The Union St. Tee by Hey June Handmade. I'm a fan of the Grainline Lark pattern which is very similar in its versatility as a basic t-shirt, with sleeve length and neckline options - however I did want to try this one as there appears to be a subtle difference with the fit and drape of it as the Union St. has a little more of a roomy loose feel.

The Union St. Tee comes with the option for a v-neck, scoop neck, or crew neck, and has four sleeve lengths included – short, elbow, 3/4, and long. The pattern also has a little chest pocket if you fancied it and for the ample bosom-ed among you it also comes with a per-drafted FBA section! Needless to say, that ain't for me. Less pdf to print and tape hehe.

The size range is pretty extensive ranging from XXSW - 3XL however I came out on the measurement chart as an L/XL (Just FYI for sizing I'm UK 12 for tops in RTW).

It was ridiculously easy to cut and sew and I managed to squeeze a short sleeve version out of 1 meter of fabric. The whole thing was whizzed up on the overlocker and then top stitched at the neckband and hem with my regular machine.

This amazing whale fabric was from eBay and although fairly cheap it turned out to be really thick lovely quality jersey. It has since disappeared and I wish I'd bought a bit more!

I would say that the neckband is insanely small and I had to cut a new one several inches longer to comfortably fit it around the neck and get a nice finish. So be warned, cut a bit extra than stated on the pattern.

The fit was pretty accurate and its a nice length sitting just at the hip. The only change I made was to nip it in a little at the waist for a bit of shaping. It is a boxy style and the shaping just gave it a loose feminine feel. This was just my preference though as my waist/hip differential is quite large and may have been as a result of having to grade between sizes.

The v-neck isn't perfect but it's wearable and a good layering piece!

As these bad boys only take about an hour to make I also made use of this monster fabric from Fabrics Galore which apparently I couldn't live without at the Sewing Bee Live.

All in all another great basics pattern for the arsenal. I'd definitely try the other sleeve and neckline options and hopefully hack in into a tunic tee/tee dress at some point.

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Secret Valentine Exchange 2018 - #2018SVE

I just wanted to do a quick post today about the 2018 Secret Valentine Exchange (aka #2018sve) that has been going on over on Instagram. I'm sure many of you are more than aware of this, and have even participated. This project stemmed from Sanae Ishida and Ute who started it off a few years ago and it seems to have grown immensely! I think they said there were 576 participants from all over the world this year!

The idea is that everyone wishing to take part signs up and gives a few details about themselves. You are then assigned your exchange person (its not partners, everyone gets someone else, like Secret Santa) and can go on a bit of an Instagram stalk to see what you think they might like. The only thing is that you are making them a gift, handmade with love.

My swap partner was a lovely lady from Oregon who seemed to like the outdoors, knitting and I even spied she had a tortoise!!! I made here a little drawstring bag so she could use it for craft projects, or whatever really! Of course some goodies got popped in there as well...

(All the goodies had a personal meaning - my late mum used to post me Freddo bars when I lived abroad, they are the epitome of pure love.) The weirdest thing ever was that my partner recognized the goodies as her mother was from Leeds in the UK - so we had tortoises and Northern-ness in common purely by chance!

Made with the Mnikins Jet set bag sewing pattern by Sew Sweetness
I do want to share the lovely gift I received in the mail as it is incredible. The sender is a Spanish chap who has just started sewing, but made the most incredible porridge spoon from scratch! There was so much effort in this I could see. Calligraphy letter, a little bag holder and a hand carved and treated spoon in the shape of a tortoise!!

This project was utterly wonderful, what a great way of bringing some connectedness and love to the crafty community. The generosity of strangers was really remarkable. I will definitely be joining in again next year. Hobbies are good for the soul :)

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A Very Toasty Toaster

Once again, a little late to this Toaster party but what a party it is...

I can see why the ol' t'interweb is alight with love for this Sew House Seven beauty of a pattern. Being the fussy creature of comfort I am, I'm not such a fan of high neck jumpers as they just tend to irritate me - however enter Simplicity 8529 - the perfect Toaster Sweater collaboration!

Just to point out - that's not a cross around my neck, its a robot.

Once again it was Meg of Cookin’ and Craftin’ that brought this one to my attention (I swear I read other blogs too) when she did a whole week of this pattern.

I opted for View C of the Simplicity version – falling for its split hem, long line length and wider lower neckline.

Still being freezing cold here I thought this would be a perfect use of the cable knit fabric I bought from Higgs and Higgs at Christmas time. I went a bit nuts and got so many colours however I have always fancied a white cable knit jumper.

I cut between a size Medium on top and Large at the hips which seemed to work quite well. I also lengthened the hems by a few inches for extra coverage and lowered the starting point of the side slit so it didn't come quite so high up the body.

The pattern is wonderfully easy to cut and sews up very well indeed, taking only a few hours! When I first tried it on before hemming I wasn't too sure of the style - it seemed too big and too shapeless. However, after finishing the cuffs and hems it mystically appeared to change before my eyes into a pretty cool sweater.

I enjoyed the fact that the fabric lent itself well to making the neckband decorative for a slightly 'fisherman' vibe!

 It's already been worn out a couple of time - of course me + white jumper = immediate tea stain however I'm hoping that will wash out. I'm so pleased I've made another wearable piece, and there's already another version in navy waiting to be sewn up! A friend at Norwich Sewcials made a pea green version which is just amazing. A finer knit for spring may also be a good option for later one. Ahhhh the possibilities again :)

Just one more thing....say hello to the latest member of the herd, baby Esther!

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Space Cadet - Salute to Kalle!

This is my first project of 2018! Wow did it take a long time to materialise...

I instantly fell for and bought the Kalle Shirt sleeve expansion for the Closet Case Patterns Kalle Shirt Dress and knew exactly what fabric would work. Set about cutting in December last year....then nothing. I have no idea why either.

But here it is...and it was worth the wait. I was meticulous about every detail this time, which makes a change for me, and made sure to do things properly rather than rush through. Hence why its now the end of January and only just finished. You'll have to excuse the poor light levels as the UK is lurking somewhere under a blanket of pure grey and we haven't been allowed out yet.

Firstly let me attest to how PERFECT this pattern is. The shirt is good, the dress is good and dammit the tunic is amazing too. It it hands down THE perfect shirt for me. A long cosy shirt to go over leggings - my uniform. It's so well drafted, hangs wonderfully and I also found it to be an excellent length. I did however make a few tweaks though...just because.

Epaulettes! For some reason this just naturally occurred. It felt right to add them to this lovely material and the shape of the shirt to give it a bit of a twist and a bit of a military vibe. Plus I wanted to use studs, and in the end opted for these amazing ladybird buttons from Textile Garden.  So it's more eco-warrior than mercenary - you can't get mad at a ladybird.

The fabric I used here is Ocean Herringbone Shetland Flannel by Robert Kaufman. I first saw it on Meg and instantly purchased it with the intention of making something similar to her Archer. Because Meg is cool and I need to copy her. Fact. The fabric has however been languising in my stash ever since. Embarassingly I've just seen the date on her post and it was 2015....good thing's come to those who wait?!

This is most certainly a winter shirt as this stuff is thick. The shirt has taken on an almost jacket feel to it! As I result I also went for a few changes to the yoke and inner collar as I wasn't sure my machine would go through 2cm of flannel. Enter the #prettyguts with the addition of some astronaut fabric gifted to me by a lovely friend.

Rolling with a theme I decided to percevere and create bias binding with it aswell. This part was tricky as the binding is so thin and unravelling was a risk. With a hell of a lot of pinning and pressing, it got there in the end.

This was also my first attempt at box plackets (is that the word??) on the sleeves and was a little dubious however it came together of sorts. Not perfect but not bad, plus the fabric hides the threads really well. I ran out of ladybirds at this point, and will power to leave the house, so the sleeves have 'eclectic' buttons.

I adore this shirt and hope in the spirit of #makerscapsule it it going to get some wear - it fits the secret pyjama, smart casual criteria :) I will ABSOLUTELY be making another.

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It's Not Rocket Science - M6044

Now my other half has seen this shirt (it was made as a suprise) I can share it with you...

Ol' faithful M6044 came out to play again, this time with long sleeves. For some reason I had put off making the long sleeve version for absolutely ages, for fear of labour intensive fitting and adjustments. After biting the bullet and just going for it blindly as a Christmas present, it turned out just fine. I pinched one of his work shirts and measured the sleeve against this pattern piece - identical!

Behold the geekiest shirt to date....

This amazing rocket science fabric was from Hawthorne Threads, although quite a while ago and has been sitting in the stash for about 2 years. Blue prints for space ships - perfect.

The fabric was lovely to work with, nice and stable to sew and super soft after washing. Luckily Mr Crafty Clyde loved it. He's in the science and tech world so that's fortunate!

I did find the cuffs to be quite slim (I tried it on myself) and so the buttonhole was done vertically to space save. It worked. Phew. The long sleeve version goes together so easily as there's no seperate cuff placket. The sleeve is 2-piece and so the opening is just formed from the seam.

And as if this couldn't get any nerdier - galaxy-esque buttons were added!

I love this pattern so much - and if menswear is on your 2018 agenda I would highly recommend this pattern!

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