Melilot - What a Star

Greetings Earthlings.

Does it all feel a bit alien right now? In an attempt to crack on as normal I though another blog post was in order - and this time a new pattern! (To me..)


WHY haven't I cracked on with the Deer & Doe Melilot shirt before now?! I'll tell you for why.

I've had this pattern in the stash since it was released, however in my inexperience, I did try this in some super slippy viscose and completely messed up the hidden button placket. Rage ensued - the fabric got recycled - and the pattern went back in the box. And there it stayed.

A few years older and slightly more wiser - and with the knowledge it's ok to ask for help - I revisited this pattern at my weekly sewing class.

Some nice black viscose from Stoff & Stil fit the bill for this - it had been destined for a dress but it turned out to be a little too sheer for that. A top would be fine for it but no-one wants a semi-see-through butt. The fabric itself is jet black and perfect for what I intended with this starry night shirt.

I traced the pattern off again from scratch - Size  46/48 - which is the upper size for this paper pattern (however they have now released larger sizes in PDF format).

In the spirit of 'eat the ugly bug first' I thought I'd tackle the dreaded placket straight away.

With the assistance of The Fabric Wrangler and encouragement of pals I cracked it - lots of marking, lots of ironing, and a folded paper version for reference!

As it turns out, it's one of my favourite features of this shirt - hidden gold stars!!!



I made the long sleeve version as I wanted to test the pattern in full - if that fit no doubt the short sleeve version would be fine.

There were 2 minor alterations made to the pattern:

1. Straightened the collar point (I just don't like rounded collars)
2. I didn't do the proper chimney cuff plackets - I went for a strip of fabric, where you fold it over like bias binding - no idea what this is called properly! This is because I knew I'd mess the other kind up and at this point I liked the shirt and didn't want extra hassle.


The finished item is great! I love the length of the shirt, it's got good coverage for leggings but isn't necessarily a tunic length so also looks smart with jeans etc. The dropped shoulders make it super comfy and it's basically an all round awesome pattern.


 So let's just address the elephant/frog in the room here. Yes there is a star gazing frog on my shirt.


I don't imagine anyone will have been paying that much attention to my ramblings but he did already make an appearance on my Willamette shirt here.

That shirt just never got worn - the wrinkles on the front bothered me and the fabric was a bit too thick. So I unpicked the frog and tried version 2.0. The stars are cut on my Cricut Maker using some Happy Glitter from Happy Fabrics - this stuff is amazing.

Mr Frog and his Happy Glitter choices...
 I'm actually quite chuffed at how I managed to scatter the stars 'randomly' and they extend just over the back and down the sleeve.It's really difficult to capture in the photos but they are 'antique gold glitter'. (The top gold in the pic above)


The shirt has already been worn out in the wild (before the stay at home situation!) and even received some complaints on it's quirky nature. Of course I flashed a bit of placket ;-)

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Villanelle and the Mighty Sports Bra

Sliding in a little late to the Killing Eve references but did not want to miss the chance to share this little number...

If anyone watched Series 2 no doubt you will have seen Villanelle's rather marvelous Pyjamas/escape outfit. It had the news going mad for where you could buy a set. But from where?!

Turns out it was custom made from good-ol' British Funkifabrics!! I definitely could not resist this little fabric purchase. And it was little, as I could only get 1 meter. Pj's were definitely out of the running - however the material is flex-Lycra so you wouldn't want to be sleeping in them in any case!

What is brilliant and what you can't see in the show, is that there are also silver glittery bits adding that little bit 'extra' to fabric that's already quite extra in its own right.


Pic from Funkifabrics

So I was reading a post the other day, and it had also been mentioned in Yoga with Adrien that power poses can affect how you feel. Makes sense. Apparently standing like a super hero lowers the levels of cortisol in our blood and increases levels of testosterone, which elevates confidence. Feeling a bit hefty of late let's give it a go.....
 


Confident like Villanelle? Not sure about that. Paranoid about my neighbours watching me do this, yes.


This little number consists of The Mighty Sports Bra by Evie LaLuve.


I had heard the pattern ran quite small but I cut my measurements as per the chart provided and it was great! It's obviously very stretchy and therefore forgiving but this bad boy is going to hold you in for any sport that is for sure! For the first attempt at the pattern I went full bells and whistles to check all the elements.  I would definitely make another of these, even just the basic version without overlay.

It's far from perfect as my attempts at fold over elastic were a bit wonky and stretched out however the overall effect is ok. I'm also bigger than the mannequin so the wonky bits actually stretch out and sit flat on mine when I'm wearing it.

The top is compressed and designed as a sport bra rather than a lounge bra and therefore it has good length. The interior is double lined and there's even room to pop foam inserts for extra oomph and support. My cover stitch did NOT enjoy the thick elastic band at the bottom.


The leggings are whipped up from Apostrophe Patterns 'My Fit' Leggings.


You input your measurements and hey presto, a leggings pattern pops out. These are plain and simple ones with a contour waistband. I've also encased 1.5" elastic in the top of these aswell for extra hold around the middle! Ridiculously comfy.

Now to be honest, I will never wear this whole outfit out of the house like in the pics, and if I do it will be with a more appropriate vest-top over it! That being said it's a fab 'costume' and would be good for something like a fun run or Tough Mudder etc. So much fun to make!

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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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