The Eco-Super Squid Suit

What a title.

But here is why:

I made what feels like another super-hero suit!

So ok it's more Octopus/Kraken than squid but you get the picture. I missed a 'Cracking Kraken' pun dammit.

This was available from Sew Dynamic Fabric made from recycled plastic bottles! If you want to see how it's made hop over to their website there's some good info on there. 


Not going to lie - it wasn't cheap because I had to pay import fees HOWEVER when it arrived that was all forgiven and it was totally worth it. I love that it came with sew in labels, a pin badge and a message to say that my 2 yards had been made from 32.4 plastic bottles.

I did hesitate in cutting into this for fear of messing it up however biting the bullet a couple of weeks ago I just went for it.

The leggings are my trusty Fehr Trade 'Active Leggings' with yoga band waist (and added elastic for security). I'd say these were the 'compression' version of the pattern. Although I didn't buy the compression add-on, I did spend time fitting these to be tighter and a 'TNT' pattern for me to use over again. If you like a tighter leg, she's now done the hard work for you and the add-on is available on Melissa's website.
 

The top is the Mighty Sports Bra by Evie La Luve  It's a brilliant sports top, great support and shape and surprisingly quick to put together. 

The top is fully lined and I've also used some foam 'modesty inserts' that are removable. 

 


My fold-over-elastic work needs some practice but it will do. The top will only be worn under a t-shirt I'm sure unless it's for yoga at home or something.

To go the whole hog I also made a loose tee in some bamboo jersey from the stash. (Originally from RayStitch). It's nothing spectacular, just traced the basic shape of a t-shirt then snipped the arm holes to get them nice and loose for a workout. Bamboo is great for this as it's cool, soft and very breathable for any sweaty classes!

I used my Cricut to cut an octopus from some spare HTV and popped that on for a bit of a theme!

 I pretty much love my new super-suit and yes I did wear it about the house the day I made it. Two great patterns and some pretty amazing fabric - perfect combo!

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Arlo - Hers and Hers Track Jacket

 Hello people... hoping you are all well.

Today brings a mini sewing fail/rescue attempt which started life as the Arlo Track Jacket by Friday Pattern Company.

This beauty of a pattern is a really stylish lightweight jacket/layering piece with a sporty vibe. Right up my street. And my husband also wanted one for cycling to work!

The fabric I used here is some brushed back jersey called 'Amazing Ants' from Anglian Fashion Fabrics. I'd bought it a couple of years ago and so a great stash bust. The black contrast is also some little scrap bits of sweater I had saved for a rainy day.

I remember this purchase was controversial as some people said it made them itch with the ants - the truth is it is ridiculously soft and cosy, and the ants are fabulous.

 The pattern is 'Unisex' and so I set about making my husband's jacket first. We measured up for a size XL and I figured if that fit him, the next would definitely fit me.

This was the first project I had made in a long while and I think all my sewing skills got forgotten. It stretched quite badly when I was sewing the panels together, and despite measuring several times, the zip just went awry.

NOPE.
 My husband then tried it on and... it was tiny and did not fit one bit :( The sleeves especially came up very short. I should have measured the pieces!

A glass of wine and a pep talk from my sewing group later, I decided to attempt a rescue mission and sat unpicking the topstitching and zip for a second attempt.

I then remembered the joy of Wondertape and whacked that on the zip to hold everything in place while I tried again. 

It's better but by now the hem band and neck bands have both stretched out quite badly. Not to worry.

As my husband could no longer use this I thought I could retrieve it for myself, but even I couldn't get the sleeves to a sensible length. The original cuffs got the chop and I cut some much longer pieces.

 As you can see the cuff is significantly bigger on the final version! I'm thinking I must have cut the pattern pieces wrong on the whole thing as the sizing was way off.

So in no reference to the pattern or the fabric - simply my sewing on this project - the Arlo got allocated it's sew in label.

So what was a mini disaster, is kind of wearable if you don't look too closely. I have actually reached for this top a couple of times now as it is super cosy for colder days and actually very comfortable.

I can't get it over my hips too well as a straight jacket however if you flip the hem band up it has a bomber jacket vibe which I don't hate. Excuse the pic - the best I could do with a cold and tiredness!

The Arlo jacket - mine was not his and hers, just 'hers' unfortunately. Tips for this one - measure the pattern pieces and crack out that Wondertape!

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In the Hood - Minerva Makes - the Hey June Halifax Hoodie

 Hello!

Today I bring you yet more hooded comfortable goodness - this time in the form of the Halifax Hoodie by Hey June Handmade. 

I'll get to the point straight away - it's amazing.

Pattern - Hey June have some wonderful patterns and I'm a big fan of most of them as they seem to be drafted really well and have taken very little fitting, if any. For me, they are true to size and the instructions fantastic. This was my first attempt at a separating zip and the pattern takes you through everything you need for a great finish. 

Fabric - the main fabric I used was some Petrol Sweatshirt fabric from Minerva. Full disclosure - the sweatshirt fabric was gifted to me in exchange for a tutorial on how to put this hoodie together. If you want a step by step guide taking you through the Halifax Hoodie you can find it here on my Minerva profile :)   (Ps. I don't intend for all my posts to be Minerva related, I'm just catching up with the writing at the moment!)

The lining of this fabric is an AMAZING reptile print cotton. This was also gifted to me in a wholly different way. The lovely Azapops gave me an incredible 2 meters of this at the Sewing Weekender, just because she knows I like reptiles. Such a lovely thought I was very touched, sewing people are amazing right?!

Using cotton for the hood lining and the zip facing/neck facing was great as it also gave great stability where it was needed and sewing over it was so much easier then the sweat shirting directly. A walking foot is highly recommended!

The perfect final addition - a tortoise zipper pull!

Should the need arise for another hoodie, I will absolutely be reaching for this patter again!

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Re-usable Grocery Bag Tutorial with Minerva

Hello all

Today is a little different as I bring you a FULL tutorial on how to make the awesome reusable grocery bags in conjunction with Minerva and their brand spanking new website!

 


 Full disclosure - whilst I do not get paid for this I DID receive the wooden-effect canvas for free to make these bags.

Click here to hop on over to my 3 Part Tutorial on how to get sewing up these massive shopping bags!

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The Hoodigan - AKA Castillo Cardigan

 Pronounced like Hooligan - but softer and cosier. Hoodigan. 

This is actually the Castillo Cardigan pattern by Itch to Stitch - but I couldn't get that to stick in my head. 

 


Another excellent pattern by Kennis - this one is a throw on knit/jersey cardigan, with a hood, open front so no buttons to mess about with and a great cover up for cooler days or popping out.

So I actually made the first incarnation of this back in March! I made it for my sister and she chose these rather marvelous applique. It turned out to be fairly appropriate as she is a key worker and about a week later lockdown started.  CV19 this one's aimed at you.

My favourite part of the pattern is the covered neckline seam that has you trap a piece of bias or twill between the layers then flip it up to enclose all the raw edges. I think it looks great.

Pink for my sister's version and a blue for me. I used a jersey binding so it's really soft on the neck.


It's got quite deep pockets which I have found really useful when running errands out as it can take a phone/keys/mask!

The sizing of the pattern is spot on - these versions are actually a couple of sizes too big as we wanted 'roomy' but need not have bothered as it was plenty big enough anyway.

Fabric-wise, this was a stash one originally bought from Material Girl Laura. It's bit like a thick jersey/thin ponte with a texture to it called 'Styke'. 

So six months later I finally put together my version and chose this First Nations Painted Turtle applique that I bought in Vancouver. Just for a pop of colour. 

 Not much else to say really apart from it being a great staple pattern and a really useful hoodigan!

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Come on over Valerie

The change in season brought about a strong need for some cosy clothes, and how convenient that Greenstyle Creations just released their Valerie Dress - or in my case, tunic. 

The Valerie 'dress' is a simple tee-dress with a hood - just right for hiding under on rainy grey days. 

I did initially make the dress length version however there was not much chance of me actually wearing it as a dress in colder weather, and also, it was just a fraction too short on me (5ft7") to be wearable as one anyway. 

My lounge wear involves leggings so the tunic length was ideal for butt-coverage and practical wearing. 

I went for a size H -I (I like that the sizes are not numbers, the chart made a lot of sense).

 

My first version was a trial run in some pink leopard ponte fabric from eBay. It's quite thin so did a nice drapey job of becoming a Valerie. Turned out to be very much wearable!

It sews up really really fast on the overlocker. The back has a centre seam which gives some shaping to it, good for my sway back. The sleeves fit in well and the hood just wraps around the neckline meeting in the middle. The hood was a bit of a squeeze to get on but, it does. 

 I then dug out some fabric I had been stashing for a rainy day and quite literally that occurred. I bought this beautifully soft fleece back jersey from Lamazi Fabrics last year as a remnant and managed to fit this pattern right on there!

(No prizes for guessing why I bought this particular remnant....)

Art Gallery Fabric - Hawaiian Honu Dusk





On this version I added some eyelets and a drawstring for the hood just for a bit of added interest. 

Lovely and warm!

Leggings 'Apostrophe Patterns - My Fit'

On another note, in addition to our lovely Triple Tortoise crew we have a new family member. Meet Bagel the Cat! (Tortoiseshell by pure coincidence! Rescued from our local RSPCA shelter).

 
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The Long and Short of It - La Jupe

Dressed - La Jupe.

Le Nope.

Continuing my quest through Dressed by Deer & Doe I thought I'd make the skirt pattern 'La Jupe'.

This was against my gut feeling and knowledge that I just don't wear skirts. At all. I did however want to try the whole book and I wondered whether this pattern might change my mind. 

It did not.

What looks trendy and cool on many people just made me feel frumpy and about 87 years old. This pic was taken on my 37th birthday. I did not need that feeling.

At first I thought it was the length so I remembered Year 7 school skirt rolling up tricks and tried it on like that.

Still nope.

Fortunately I still have a large piece of this lovely berry viscose left and therefore 'la jupe' will face reincarnation at some point. I was actually saving it for another Myosotis dress and wish I had now however perhaps it can be squeezed into that in the end and fulfill it's proper destiny.

For now though at least I can say with 100% certainty. I don't do skirts.

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Elodie Wrap Dress - Painted Lady

Coming to you this weekend with a highly seasonally inappropriate bit of sewing, but it's a belter of a pattern.

This is the latest release from Closet Core Patterns - the Elodie Wrap Dress.  

Of course it coming from Heather and crew, there's not much doubt about the fact it's fantastically drafted as usual. 

Quick bit on the fabric - this amazing painterly brush stroke print is a cotton lawn from The Eternal Maker called 'Amarachi Art'. No super drapey but enough to hang and sew well. 

This is View A - the short sleeve and shorter length version.

As per instructions I picked my size as a 14 bust and 16 waist. I didn't grade any further to be 18 hips due to the skirt being fairly flared and the wrap-ness being a bit more forgiving aswell. 


 No alterations were made during the making of this pattern. Straight up out of the packet sewing.

I only had 2 meters of this fabric and I managed to squeeze the entire thing into those 2 meters!!!! Facings, belt and all. Very pleased about that. The inner waistband is a bit patch-worked together but it was pretty satisfying to have so little waste. 

Cue 'touch the hair, show off the pockets' posing as recommended on Closet Core Patterns site!


The instructions are easy to follow with plenty of diagrams and comes together surprisingly quickly at first given how detailed it is. You can't see on my dress due to this jazzy fabric, but there are under bust pleats and back pleats that give it shaping.

 

How flat is that neckline?? I was expecting gaping every which way but no, it stays intact! Even if you got a bit of gaping it's an easy fix just to add a little popper in at the bust. I did this anyway.

Voila. Additional security measures. 

The bit I slightly struggled over was attaching the waistband and belt pieces so that it all flowed into one piece with no raw edges and a gap for the belt to come through. At this point I found an amazing tutorial by Sewing Therapy on You Tube where she shows how to make all the details of the Elodie dress. Would Recommend!

She recommended sticking the seams down with wonder tape first before stitching and this worked really well.


The side seams in the waist get opened up from the right and wrong sides to form the belt opening. This was very fiddly and I ended up hand sewing the raw edges shut. The print is fairly forgiving to see any dodgy sewing!

To finish the dress off with all the bells and whistles I added a Kylie and the Machine label from Sewisfaction - love these! (Plus wow they are really soft.)

Really enjoyed making something a bit different and new this time. It's getting worn to a restaurant this week but after that it may have to retire until Spring time! #winteriscoming

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The Gift of Lahja

 Lahja; 'a gift'. Also a pretty great unisex dressing gown from Named Patterns.

This is potentially the fanciest thing I have ever sewn. Mainly because of the fabric. Yeaahhhh that's Liberty baby.

 My husband really wanted a lightweight robe for warmer days and lounging. He kept joking that he wanted an old fashioned smoking jacket, with crazy paisley print, that you could sit and drink whiskey in looking like a bond villain. I took this as a challenge and came up with this in secret! 

I thought the lizards were a good twist on paisley and the Liberty print gives it that kind of look he was after. The robe is full length and full sleeve version in size XL. 

Ignore the boobs, the mannequin is just for display. However it is unisex so who cares right.   

The contrast bands are tencel fabric from the stash that just happened to colour match, happy coincidence. 

Like most sewing I do when there's an element of pressure - for others, for special occasions etc, I made a bit of an epic mistake and the entire back piece was cut upside down. There are some upwards facing lizards back there!

A nice make this one, there are 2 size ranges, male and female to take into account general proportions but the pattern pieces are all the same. It whizzes up nicely and I definitely would give it another go. It's got a good amount of wrap around coverage which would make it lovely and cosy in a knit or winter weight fabric. 

I can report it has been worn throughout summer and deemed a nice surprise!

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Gilbert Got The Chop

 It's the turn of the Gilbert Top by Helen's Closet this week. ' A button up shirt with a camp-style collar and a relaxed fit'. It's certainly relaxed.

Size wise I went for a 16/18 however I think it would be alright a size smaller. 

The first version I made of this was View A - the cropped shirt with waist tie. I love the fact that it's not 'cropped' i.e belly-exposing, but just enough to sit nicely on top of jeans/trousers.  

(These back ponte trousers are Style Arc Parker Pants - LOVE them. No adjustments straight up size 14.)

Raiding the stash I found some lovely yellow viscose from Fabrics Galore which was waiting it's turn for a pattern match. Bingo. Just enough fabric. The buttons are from Texile Garden and made for a great partner colour-wise. The white cotton however was me being lazy as I ran out of black thread.

The shirt is really simple in terms of pattern pieces and it's a good chance to have a go at the 'burrito' method of doing a shirt yoke. I did have to split the back into 2 pieces to fit on my fabric but that's ok with me, don't mind an extra seam!

 The collar and facing fit really well, no wrangling and wrestling into place which is always a bonus.

This pattern also has a 'dress hack' where it can be lengthened and in the height of summer I thought a luxury blue linen version would be amazing. I was wrong :(

I was a fraction short of fabric for length so it turned out pretty short. The pictures aren't too bad but in reality if I lifted my arms up I was flashing my bum. The linen, despite having invested in some good quality stuff, is was really itchy and scratchy and just annoyed me.

Gilbert then got the chop. I chopped it to tunic length to wear as a shirt. I also added an extra button at the top as the lapel was gaping quite low and wide on this version and took the sides in a couple of inches. 

It's an improvement but to be honest...it's a bit boring.That being said I've actually worn in a fair bit, it's softened as promised with a wash and wear and I think it's growing on me. 

Little shot out for the trousers here which are the Patterns For Pirates 'Loggers'. Leggings with pockets. What's not to love about that. This Gilbert will absolutely get a lot more use than a dress so that's a mini win in itself.

My personal favourite part of this is that I got to use my lovely Turtlebird buttons!


 

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