Union Swing Time Dress

You may be able to tell with the amount of upcoming Union Tee variations but I had a little phase of being obsessed with the new Hey June Handmade 'add-on. 

A couple of weeks back I showed you how I had turned the Union Tee into a Union Dress that had the nice back curve - well this is the flippy swingy version of that.  

The aim of the game was to make a comfy sweater dress that could go with pretty much anything. Job done I reckon. I look like a chubbier version of me in the 90's here.

For this version I laid out the 'new' (ie the one with the back curve shaping) Union Tee pieces on the fabric and just drew outwards from the waist line in a triangle shape to get a bit of volume in the skirt portion. I like how it turned out, just the right amount of fullness for me. 


 It's nothing revolutionary but it's a good staple. The main thing about this is ALLLLLL about the fabric. 

Oh this fabric. I wish you could stroke it through the screen. It's sturdy, but lightweight, soft and a bit sheeny and so lovely to wear. 

Photo from Lamazi Fabrics

This is an 'Ottoman Knit' that contains Ecovero viscose and just feels like you're wearing something really special. I found this via Lamazi Fabrics who stock it in a ton of different colours. It would make a gorgeous lightweight jumper or turtleneck. The picture above shows the colour much better as it really is a true jet black in real life.


The one thing I did do on this dress is accidentally cut the front neckline on both the front and back pieces, so the back is a lot lower than the regular pattern. However I actually quite like the mistake and the dipped back - just needed a bit longer piece of neck binding.

In case anyone was wondering (as I often do looking at other people's blogs) the tights are from Snag. (They size to your height and body shape so are pretty comfortable.)

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Itch to Stitch - Hepburn

Slight tortoise/turtle reference today in so far as it's a turtleneck I've made. Bit of a reach there...

 

Above - my favourite picture of old man Sammy with his own yellow turtleneck. 

Below - a new to me pattern - the Hepburn by an ever increasing favourite of mine, Itch to Stitch.  

Itch to Stitch have some great basics (including the FREE Uvita top which I've never blogged but wear almost weekly since I made it) and I do find them to be very true to size. 

For this top I graded between a 14-18 and made no adjustments at all to the pattern itself. 

The pattern was a gamble for me as it's close fitting - usually a major no-no, and the turtleneck would usually annoy me. It's a gamble that paid off though as the fit is flattering and the turtleneck is very comfortable. Enough to be warm but not enough that it strangles you. A 'barely there' turtleneck in terms of irritation factor.

I copied the ol' insta folks to style the top and tucked it into some jeans. And liked it. 

Turtleneck, tight, tucked... Who even am I?!

 


 The fabric used for this top is some lusciously soft jersey from Lamazi Fabrics. It has some amazing galaxy style paint splatter effect on there and was the perfect stretch for this top.  


This is a nice base layer top and I think I'd like to try another in more of a sweater knit fabric to see how that goes too. 

On a rare day that I got dressed for this I matched the pink to these awesome pink glittery TurtlebirdUK 'fuckbrick' earrings. (A little reflection of the UK right now). Send her a DM if you want a pair!

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Peanuts x Hey June Handmade

Happy new year all, or happier new year hopefully!

Here we are in 2021, not a space chicken in sight so I thought it would be safe to do some sewing and make a few plans now. 

I really wanted to adjust my TNT Union St Tee pattern to make a better fitting dress. I have hacked it into a dress several times however due to a sway back, big bum situation I get fabric pooling at the back. No biggie but a refreshed pattern was on my mind.

A couple of days of mulling over this led me to a back seam that could be pinched in where needed. Turns out - Hey June Handmade had already done the hard work!!

Couldn't believe my luck. 

The free Add-On pattern is a dress length hack for the Sheridan Sweater, however it can also be used on any of the Hey June top blocks!

I traced a new copy of the Union Street Tee in my new size and went about matching up the dress add-on pieces to make myself a TNT tee dress pattern. I guess this is now a Union St. Tee Sheridan hybrid.

It wasn't all smooth sailing as it all ended up very big and a lot of pinning and fitting ensued. Hopefully I've managed to transfer it all onto the paper pieces so we'll see on the next iteration. 

For now, my soul needed some creature comfort and for me that is Snoopy. 

 This rather glorious jersey is from Flamingo Fabrics. It's not all that stretchy and feels a bit more like french terry to me but either way, it's soft and has Snoopy on it.  

I feel positively weird wearing something that is not 'sack-like' but in trying to get out of a rut thought I'd give it a go. I don't hate it. It fits and it's comfortable and that's what it's about right!?

 Me and Snoopy have a long history, he featured throughout my childhood, helped me learn foreign languages in my twenties through familiar books, my Snoopy stayed with my mum when I was abroad and he's now with me now she's gone too. Now I'm a grown ass adult in my late thirties he's still with me. He's a symbol of love. So never mock a grown ass adult in a cartoon dress. There are plenty of us out there.

I'm pretty happy with the dress 'Add-on' for the shaped back. I did need to pin it out for my curves but I think it's certainly better that the amount of fabric pooling previously experienced. It's just 'a bit' now and that's ok.

This was originally long sleeves but the proportions felt off so I chopped to a 3/4 sleeve and much prefer it. I will TRY and break my leggings habit and wear this around the house/home working as it seems comfy enough for that.

On the theme of Snoopy I thought I'd share one of my 2021 projects as I was lucky enough to receive one of these kits!

Pic from Stitch & Story

 

Cheers to everyone, nice to see you on the other side. 

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Christmas Crafting - Secret Sewing

I hope you all have had and are having a good winter break :)

Now the gifts have been given I can now show a few pictures of what I'd been making in December!

The first thing I tried was 'new to me' pattern by Tilly and the Buttons - the Juno Pyjamas from the Book 'Make It Simple'

 It's become something of a tradition that I make my sister and I some ridiculous matching festive attire and this year lounge PJs felt very much appropriate.  

Regarding size, I opted for an '8' in Tilly's chart and cut both the top and bottoms in that straight size. 

The pattern pieces go together really well, my only struggle - and it was small - was that the neckband was a fraction too small for my preference and gives pull marks. I managed to steam it out but I have lengthened that pattern piece for future use by about an inch.  

 

The other change I made was to add a waistband to thread the elastic through on the bottoms. I'm just not a fan of sewing elastic directly onto fabric as it looks a bit messy and there's no room for adjusting it after if needed. As these were a gift I thought it was better so the elastic could be tightened if needed. 

The fabric I used was this gorgeous penguin print from Flamingo Fabrics so cute. And more 'wintery' than Christmas so they can get some wear all season.  

I made a couple of versions of the PJs - gotta have choices!

There's the long sleeve cuffed version of the top together with the long cuffed bottoms which are a bit like joggers in style.

Then there's the t-shirt style version of the top (which is actually the Tabitha t-shirt pattern that when paired with the bottoms becomes 'Juno Pyjamas'). The bottoms for these I widened the leg and cropped the length for looser PJ bottoms. 

 

The Tabitha t-shirt pattern also got another outing in the form of this cute winter Puffin tee. Another bonus make for my sis made with the leftover fabric from her main present. 

Again this fabric is from Flamingo Fabrics (who are absolutely nailing novelty jersey) and is just the most beautiful quality and weight to work with. Puffins are a big part of our family, we used to go up to Flamborugh Cliffs to watch them as kids and I know my sis loves a Puffin print. 

I had bought it for making her a Turner Dress by Cashmerette. A TNT pattern that I know fits her well and so it seemed a good option to show off the print. (The other summer versions are here!)

Needless to say my overocker was in overdrive for the first half of December getting through all this jersey! Not complaining, love a bit of stretch. 

I've not yet made any 2021 sewing plans because....well 2020 is not yet over and I'm not 100% convinced the space chickens won't arrive in the next few days. Until I see 1st Jan materialize I shall be reserving all plans.


 Wishing you all a Happy New Year - see you on the other side! x

 

via GIPHY

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Frogs, Felt and Festive Legs

'Tis the season of Tinsel and Toads... Just me?

I've got a few festive makes to show you today, and they brought so much joy to make!

First up is my felt wreath three weeks in the making. This WAS supposed to be the 'Jingle Bells of Christmas' wreath by ThreadED complete with bells and reindeer however.... well I'm not great at sticking to script.

Plus Christmas is all about family right? Well mine is shelled and furry and they deserved a little place on the mantelpiece.

It did take some effort to start with as I hated the metallic embroidery thread.I could neither split it or thread it and it was just tedious. I very nearly gave up as it just wasn't enjoyable at all. In a last ditch attempt I ordered some Gutermann metallic machine thread and a crewel needle and it was plain sailing after that. I made a pile of leaves each evening watching TV and they soon piled up. 

I love how squishy and 3D this wreath is (difficult to picture). I also added little munched leaves for the tortoises. Don't get me started on the glue gun - amazing times to be had there.

Next up was a little project I got stuck in my head and had to realize. I was doodling a frog (as you do) and decided it needed to feature on a bit of clothing. I added a little Santa hat and drew a bit of text and was well away...

Here's where the Cricut is amazing - a bit of scanning and faffing with the images in the software meant that I could cut out the individual colour pieces needed to layer up some HTV and made a sweater applique. I went for Glitter Flex from Happy Fabrics and it sticks beautifully. 

The jumper is black sweat shirting from Fabric Godmother made into a Toaster Sweater. 

So I mayyyyy have given myself the early Christmas present of a Cricut Easy Press and it is AMAZING. It made applying HTV and absolute piece of cake. Set the temperature and time and off you go. So much better than an iron and actually well worth it. This is the result!

I just love it so much and can't wait to wear it.The toaster sweater is also long line and so makes for a comfy covered Christmas jumper!

Just in case this wasn't ridiculous enough I've made myself a pair of leggings to wear with it. Enter the Funkifabrics festive legs. (Just FYI this is the 'Flex All-rounder' lycra base and gives good opaque coverage and plenty of stretch).

Wishing everyone a happy holiday whatever that looks like for you!


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2020 - Knit Happened

 2020. Well that was weird huh. 

(Granted there's a few weeks left and still time for space chickens to invade but fingers crossed).

Like many people I did lose my Sewjo several times this however I did find myself reaching for those meditation sticks regularly.

It was the year of the knit for me.

As a total beginner I absolutely loved First Time Knits and the Knitter's Activity Book by Sincerely Louise. 

The books are beautifully illustrated, there are online resources to help and the makes are... crackers. 

Naturally I made a couple of lobsters this summer. Meet Rei and Joanna. (Joanna started life as a Toft crochet kit but I absolutely can't get on with crochet, so I knit her instead).


Another super cute make from the book was a doughnut for my friend's kid who seemed to enjoy it.

As the year progressed I thought I would try some double-needle knitting in the form of  'Sock It To Me' chunky socks from Lauren Aston. You choose your wool colours and everything you need arrives in a super little kit bag. 


Can confirm - these are very toasty sofa socks. 

I also managed to finish my labour of love which was a 'Winter is Coming' family tribe blanket. It was inspired by the First Nations ceremonial blankets we saw on honeymoon in Canada and I wanted to make something similar for my husband as a reminder of our time there and something to keep. 

The red zig zags represent mountains and the blue ones are the reflections of the mountains in the lake. On the side you can see dots, and these are 1 for every member of the family. I've just added another for Bagel the Cat.

I then fancied a cardigan and went for another kit - this one was the Dreamy Oversized Cardigan by Lauren Aston. And yes, oversized would be a good description. It is so soft and kind of reminds me of those 'slankets' in catalogues! 

The pics were taken on Halloween just fyi...


Then we come rolling round to Christmas and I lost my mind knitting about a million sprouts for no apparent reason. Plus extras to make a window display...

So 2020 was pretty woolly. I definitely need to practice the simple things and get better at not making so many errors. However this year the process served a purpose and that was simply just to chill out and focus when all around was chaos.

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A Blackwood Bug Re-Union

 Nothing new today but back with another bug print!

My Sewjo went MIA for a while and I needed some TNT patterns to get me back into the swing of things. This was the perfect antidote. 

This fabric is a gorgeous jersey called 'Blue Bugs' from Flamingo Fabrics. I thought the colours were quite striking and wintery and couldn't resist the print. 

Initially planning a dress I changed tack thinking I'd get more wear out of some seperates. And is it even winter if you haven't made a Blackwood?

Of course I'm talking about the Helen's Closet Blackwood Cardigan - the ol' faithful of the sewing world!

Bizarrely one of the few patterns I haven't grown out of and had to retrace. Winner. This one is a size Large.

 The longer length version of the pattern suits my need for leggings cover-up and is cosy enough to wrap around when chilly. And yes...it has pockets.

There was enough fabric to get a t-shirt out of aswell so I pulled out the trusty Union St. Tee pattern from Hey June Handmade. I know I've said it before but this is hands down my favourite t-shirt pattern out there - and I have tried many! I just find it's the perfect combination of fitted and drape.

 This version is a longer line, tunic style tee, great for just whacking on at home. I'm also happy to report that the leftover scraps also got used up by  The Fabric Wrangler who used them to line hoodies for her nephews!

Gotta love some jersey, and gotta love using all those scraps...

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