Shall we get us thingies?

A weird title yes, but highly relevant to today’s make. Well at least to me anyway.

The Fennel Fanny Pack.


Or in my mind, French holidays in the late 80’s and 90’s with my cousins which are now etched into my memory as synonymous with THE BUM BAG.


Who would have thought a bum bag would bring up so much emotion! Armed with these wonder bags strapped to our fronts, feeling like the cast of Fresh Prince, off we’d wander into foreign towns, solving mysteries like the Hardy Boys and being chased on bikes by dogs. Warm air on our backs, cicada beetles humming and laughing ‘til we dropped down. To cool off, our Fab Four would attempt to order refreshing Soleros in our best school kid French - before delving into that bum bag for those holiday centimes... a few confused exchanges between les enfants anglaises and the moustachioed shop keeper led to ‘shall we get us thingies?’ in broad Yorkshire dialect, and as if by magic - the ice cream was ours. Joy.

All that from a bit of fabric and zip.

 
 
These are fun to make, relatively straight forward (except trying to wrangle rectangles into corners) and best of all - the joyful bit of Snoopy lining inside! The only change I made to the construction was to make the main bag and lining bag separately and drop the lining inside, hand stitching it to the zip closure. This meant no need for binding all the internal seams!



Vive la bum bag. I’m happy it’s back.

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Lounge Lizard

Talk about getting the most out of your fabric. A couple of meters of reptile scales turned into 4 separate items in what I am now calling my 'lounge lizard' outfit.



This beautiful fabric is cotton jersey from Olumis. I'm not sure if the blue is still available however they do now have 'rainbow dragon scales'!

First up I went for some Fehr Trade Yoga Bottoms from Melissa's 'Sew Your Own Activewear' book.  I had already done the work fitting these in previous projects so now have final pattern pieces drawn up and ready to whip up when needed. I also added 1.5" elastic into these aswell so they stay up really well and don't bag out/ride down as some cotton jersey leggings can do.

After making these I had some big scrap pieces left over and so onwards to the P4P Fierce Undies.

This underwear pattern comes in about a million variations - high rise, mid rise, low rise; cheeky, shorties, midi, full coverage, thong and any combination of those! I cut to the size chart and low and behold they were fine.


The Fierce Bra is a wonderful little top. It's really supportive and the cross-back bands are really stylish. It's a 'lounge bra' however it is definitely sports appropriate and I have seen some people have made this into a bikini in swim fabric. There is even the option to double line it and add bra cups.

If I was going to make any changes I would just add and inch to the length of the top as it does ride up a bit over the course of the day.

I feel like it's a good mix and match of items as I have either undies or instant yoga gear!



Finally I made the Lane Raglan by Hey June Handmade. A great pattern with multiple possibilities again. I had some super cosy black sweatshirt fabric from Anglian Fashion Fabrics and used this for the hoodie version of the pattern. 

Initially this was going to be a very plain and practical black hoodie. Then I hit the scrap bin and picked out a few usable pieces to jazz it up a bit.


I covered the inseam of the hood in a strip of the lizard fabric so you just get a little flash of colour when the hood is down. There's also some multi-blue variegated thread over locking in there!

There was a couple of strips of lizard left so I folded these in half length ways and sandwiched them between the shoulder seams to get a piping effect.


The length of this hoodie is brilliant. It skims over the bum and gives good coverage for leggings. The extra length also makes it really warm and toasty for cold days.The hoodie string is some brilliant twisty cord that just matches the colour combo perfectly, and this is inserted through some brass Prym eyelets in the thick hem of the hoodie.



The lounge lizard - made for lazy weekends basking...

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Toaster Time

It's that time of year when only a Toaster will do....



This is another repeat of a pattern for me, having made several versions already. The fabric was the deciding point on this one.

I just love the colours of this jersey fabric - black, bright blue and pink! It's from Textile Express and called 'Retro Ski'.  It's a great weight fabric, not very stretchy but just enough for a loose top.

Necklace from Ecclectic Eccentricity

The great thing about the Simplicity 8529 version of this Sew House Seven design is that there are multiple lengths and neckline options. This is View C.

As per the previous incarnations of this pattern I also lengthened the step hems very slightly so it was leggings appropriate. Also a good move as I can also wear a t-shirt under it for extra toasty cosy factor.


This pattern is really similar to the Elliot Sweater, especially if you chose to make the high neck option - but I think I have to go with this one as a preference. For me the fit and drape of the pattern is just a bit more elegant.

Nothing ground breaking today but the fabric alone made me want to share this :) It's a definite win as I've already worn it for most of this week!

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Addicted to Needles - Knit Happens

Hello there :)

Welcome to 2020 - clearly I'm a little late to that party however I feel like I've only just woken up this year! I hadn't posted on here for a few weeks so thought I'd just do a few lines...

I've yet to actually sew anything this year and the ol' Sew-Jo seems to have gone a bit walkabout again. I've got a few weight issues going on right now so I'm a little reluctant to make any clothing - however that hasn't stopped me planning some projects for the coming months and finding that fabric. (Hellooooo January fabric sales).

What I have been doing though is forming an addiction. Whilst said addiction does involve needles - it's less sinister, but no less more-ish than crack. (A little Super Hans reference there for those in the know...)


KNITTING.
 
Gah. I can't stop. I've gone from not being able to tie a knot to picking up those needles every evening. Whilst sewing is my first craft love, I've really enjoyed doing something that you can transport anywhere and do in front of the TV without much fuss. (January hibernation time).

Don't get me wrong - it's all pretty much straight lines right now as a total beginner but even that I have found really soothing.

It started with a chunky blanket - which I haven't completely finished yet as it's awaiting some extra design. Spurred on by having something squashy and amazing I thought I'd carry on.
 

My lovely husband then bought be some beautiful bamboo needles and a Wool and the Gang kit to make a rainbow blanket - which I immediately started on Christmas day!


The blanket is appearing at a rate of knots (haha a little knitting and maritime humour combined) and so to make this project last a little longer it's been put to one side for a little while. 

In an ambitious move I then decided I'd like to try and knit a jumper (as you do). I searched everywhere for a really simple (and free) pattern and started that with some gusto. Then stopped.
 

Becoming totally unstuck in reading the instructions, which are mostly in German, there is a neckline situation happening that I just do not understand for now. 

Like it had been listening (because it had) my phone threw up the end of season sale and the Coco Sailor Sweater was included. I have therefore decided to try this simple summer sweater in an attempt to learn more before returning to the more complex one. The Wool and the Gang kit has some amazing instructions which are also linked to their  video tutorials so it is ideal.


There we have it - wool all over the place!

Pic: Animal Rescue Craft Guild

Next up on the sewing list however are some Wildlife Pouches to send to Australia via the Animal Rescue Collective Craft Guild.  If anyone is looking for a UK hub - The Natural Fibre Company are collecting items to send in a shipment. 

With all that's going on in the world and feeling rather helpless about it all, there came something that could be done in this case when crafters unite.

Sewing really IS our super power!!

 
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Sirocco - The Silver Spacesuit

Happy holidays people whatever you may be up to!

I just thought I'd do a little festive (ish) post today - and by festive I mean the fabric was every so slightly glittery.



I have not really ventured much into jumpsuit territory before however French pattern company Deer and Doe teased me into that territory with the Sirocco jumpsuit pattern. 


It's obviously not a new pattern, but it took me this long to pluck up the courage to give it a go, knowing it was probably going to be a sewing fail what with me being super picky about how trousers fit, and the issue of a pear shape. That being said I have heard that Deer and Doe actually draft for that body type!

Much insta-stalking ensued to see how the jumpsuit fit on different body shapes and to read every review I could find about fit and pattern changes. In the end I just took the plunge, cut my size (graded between 44 on top and 46 downwards) and went for it straight out of the packet.

Construction wise I ignored the instructions. I figured that if I made the bodice and trousers separately, there would be a better chance of fitting that awkward 'crotch rise' area which was probably the most likely culprit for a fitting issue.

I'm glad I tried it on this way as although the separate elements (top and bottom) fit quite nicely - they did not meet very well in the middle!

Cue awful mid-construction photo:


As you can see - with the very tiny waist band, there was not much of a chance that bad boy was going to stretch and attach to the trousers!

I re-cut the waistband with an extra 3cm in width and had to snip the old one off the top as I'd already overlocked it. I think I lost a bit of bodice length there which may be why the jumpsuit is now a bit too high-waisted. But not so much as to be unwearable.


It certainly isn't the most flattering thing I've ever worn but actually it's one of the comfiest!
I feel a bit paranoid about my bum/tum in this however I test-wore it to a Sew Day a couple of weeks ago and actually people were very complimentary about it which was very kind. I suppose we should not worry about these things!

The fabric is fun - it is a good quality stretch jersey from Fabric Godmother described as 'metallic denim'. I was going to do a straight up dark blue one however this fabric struck me as something a bit more special. I've paired it up with some glittery trainers. Of course.



I'd definitely give this another go in classic black, I think that would hide a few lumps and bumps and be a good 'throw on and go' option for various occasions. If anyone knows where I can find some really good quality black jersey do let me know!


And with that bit of sparkle I shall wish you all a happy holiday period, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, have a lovely time. Whatever you're doing, do it with love.

 
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Sasha and The Techincolour Trousers

This was one of those project ideas where it gets inside your head and just won't quit until you make it...

Totally inspired by these joggers from Hush, I decided that nothing other than rainbow stripe trousers would do. I actually thought these were proper trousers until looking at the website. Turns out these are just comfy joggers. Not sure about the boot/jogger combo myself - looks like something I'd whack on to get the laundry out the garden in. #anyshoeswilldo


So why buy something when you can make it for about 3 times the price and 10 times the effort. (::eye roll::) The answer dear friends is...BECAUSE WE CAN.

My version of these are here...



Fabric
I knew instantly that the quality ponte fabric from Minerva would look beautiful with colour as it is solid, strong fabric and so black it's almost invisible.  (Unlike my last post, I did buy this ponte!!) It's not cheap, but it's worth every penny in my opinion.

I then had to 'crowd source' the rainbow side stripe but putting a call out on The Fold Line Facebook group. It was there I discovered Little T's Haberdashery and the rest is history (rainbow ALL the things).

Stripes
They sell actual SIDE stripe!! I was thinking normal coloured elastic would probably do the trick as the main fabric is stretchy and the side seams wouldn't need to move too much. Enter the side-stretch elastic - bendy both vertical and horizontal! A revelation.



Pattern
After a bit of pattern, and soul, searching I resided myself to the fact that much fitting would have to be done on these dream trousers. I then discovered to my amazement, my Sasha trousers from last year still fit (even though nothing else does) and the crotch curve on those are great - so why mess with a perfectly good system. The Closet Case Patterns Sasha Trousers it was!

The trousers are designed for stretch cotton so I figured a sturdy ponte would be able to handle it.  Plus - comfy. They did not disappoint.


Pretty guts
I went to absolute town on the inside of these. The facings were made from scraps of viscose I used in my Armidale dress and the overlocking/coverstitch just had to be rainbow really didn't it. Another fab purchase from Little T's ;). I attached the elastic stripes with a chain stitch for stretch - the looper thread is rainbow and the top thread matched the stripe colour so it didn't show on the outside. I just hope it stays in place :-/


I know I say this a lot, but these are really one of my favourite makes to date. I think because I spent a lot of time and care trying to get every element just right, and the end result paid off as some comfy trousers that make me feel good to wear. Stylish but functional.



Not massively seasonal but a great pair of trousers for all year round!

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Winter Woodland Wear

'Tis the season to wear some bears.

So we've developed a weird tradition in our family that I make me and my sister matching sweaters for December. This year I thought we'd take it a step further a make a hoodie.

Enter the Lane Raglan by Hey June Handmade. A super versatile pattern with so many variations - including a hooded top! The perfect December lounge wear.



I chose less 'Christmassy' fabric and more of a 'winter' theme so it could be worn more than 1 week per year... This absolutely beautiful french terry is a watercolor painting print from Jelly Fabrics called 'Woodland Animals'. And yes, I was partially swayed by the bears and trees reminding me of Canada.

 

The Lane Raglan is so quick to whip up and the hood attached in a beautifully simply cross-over at the front. I found some great 'hoodie laces' from Little T's haberdashery which gave a nice contrast to the black.

In the absence of eyelets, I just made a buttonhole for the laces to run through and that worked just fine.


I chose the curved hem version and the length is lovely, just perfect for skimming over leggings and the fit of the top drapes really well over the body - not too loose, not too tight - juuuust right. The 3 bears would be pleased.


In addition to the jumpers, I also had enough fabric to make my friend's babies some cute little dungarees! I picked out the Sew Over It - Dandelion Dungarees and whipped up a couple of them in 3 months and 6 months old sizes. How fast is kid's stuff?!?! Tiny little pieces fit so well on the fabric.


The dungarees are reversible so you can flip them and have black dungarees with woodland cuffs aswell.

I'd got some lovely Prym Love snaps to add to these however after about 400 practice attempts, I could not for the life of me attach them so the larger pair have a nice big button closure.


By pure chance (or was it?!? The robots are listening), my Amazon account threw up a 'suggestion' of a Prym Love snapper tool for the pliers. Turns out I hadn't been using the right tool for the job. A swift purchase of the right equipment later, and now snapping capabilities were mine mwahahah.

So the next little dungarees have cute little heart snaps on them. Which turns our are really really easy to apply once you have the right gadget.


There we have it, a bit of winter wear this season :) What cosy things have you been making? x

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