Yet More Basic Basics…

Hi team! My research proposal is handed in, and a month away from both blog and sewing machine seems to have helped to kick start my sew-jo again. We’ve just had a long weekend which I put to pretty good use, making a dress for my mum as well as managing to finish off the jeans and jumper I’ve had cut out for months. They’re both boring basics, but they’ve filled a hole in my wardrobe that I have really been noticing now that the temperature has dropped!


I really needed another pair of jeans, I was rotating between my Deer & Doe Safran Jeans and my blue Ginger Jeans, and the ankle baring Safrans are getting harder to wear the colder it gets! I bought some black stretch cotton twill from Miss Maude earlier in the year, and decided to turn it into another pair of Gingers. I made these the same as my first pair, with the high waist and skinny legs and the pocket stay. I realised when I revisited my original blog post that I had meant to fiddle with the legs to see if I could decrease the wrinkles at the knee and back thigh, but I had already cut this pair out!


To be honest, I don’t think I need to fiddle with them too much. There are always going to be wrinkles on skinny jeans, especially these ones. The cotton twill is beautiful, and sewed and pressed so nicely, but it is fairly lightweight and definitely doesn’t have the same recovery as the denim I used for my first pair. it also has a bit of a sheen to it, so those wrinkles all catch the light! I look these photos after a few days of wear, and they’ve definitely loosened up around the hips and thighs and across the front. I kinda like how they have ended up looking more like close fitting trousers rather than jeans, it definitely means they’ll be easier to dress up.


You can see how much the back has bagged out in that photo… One thing I definitely improved on from my last pair is the top stitching. I used upholstery thread and the chain stitch function on my new toy, a Janome Coverpro 2000CPX. Because the chain stitch is stretchy, and because I used a much heavier thread than the Gutermann Sulky thread from last time, I hopefully won’t pop all of my topstitching! Unfortunately with the black thread on black fabric and my dim winter photography its pretty hard to see…


The best part of these jeans is the Japanese cotton I used for the pockets! All of my jeans should have cat pockets. I opted not to put the belt loops on this pair, as I never wear belts with them anyway and I thought that skipping them would stop them looking so much like “jeans”. Also I was being a bit lazy and just wanted to have them finished…


Next up is this super simple sweatshirt. I had a metre of absolutely beautiful lightweight ‘winter white’ wool from Tessuti, bought when I was over in Sydney a few years ago. I wish I had bought a bit more, because I couldn’t fit any of the patterns I wanted to make onto 1m (I really need to remember that I need at least 1.2m to get a long-sleeved top out of it)… In the end, after losing pattern tetris with a few patterns I decided to just go super simple and make a long sleeved top out of my favourite knit dress pattern, M6886. I cut it off at the lengthen/shorten line just below the waist point on the pattern, and straightened the side seams out. I also had to put cuffs of the sleeves, as I just couldn’t fit the full length sleeve on however I laid it out! I cut a wide facing for the crew neck, and again used the chainstitch on my coverstitch machine to sew down the facing and do the hem. I love the single line of stitching, it looks so sleek and simple. I really like how it’s turned out, I think it’ll be a great workhorse this winter.


Yay basics! And yay for wool to keep me warm!


Two Skirts, Three Hours

I have been sewing up a storm this long weekend (possibly literally, there is a torrential downpour occuring outside as I type), which is just as well because I was feeling a bit on the out with my sewing machine after a few recent mishaps. I recieved my parcel of Deer and Doe patterns in the mail last week (sewing mail is the best!), and I decided that the Brume Skirt looked like just what I needed to get my sewing enthusiasm back.

I was uncharacteristically well behaved this weekend, I actually traced my pattern! I’ve never done that before, but I was a bit worried about getting the size right on such a close fitting skirt. And then I made a muslin! Also very out of character. But I had this mustard ponte in my stash, so I thought I’d use it for a trial run before I cut into my lovely Tessuti ponte which I got as part of my Pajama Party prize. 

This is view A, the mini length. I’m pretty short, only 158cm tall, so its not really a mini on me! Its a good length though. I really love the lines in this pattern, the curved yoke is especially flattering! Sewing it was quite unlike any other pattern I’ve tried in a knit, but it was fun and very satisfying to see all those curved panels come together. I only needed to make one fitting adjustement, and that was to straighten out the seams down the front. 

I had a bit of fabric pooling where the points of the yoke met the centre panel, but that mostly disappeared once I shaved some of the curve off the panel. I really like this version, its incredibly confortable! Unfortunately, the ponte I used has started to stretch out already, after only a day. I think I’ll need some reinforcing elasting in the waistband before long…

See the difference in size?! It hasn’t stopped me from wearing it pretty much constantly since I finished it yesterday though… 

 After trying on the first version in its finished state I immediately moved on to number two. I made it up exactly the same way, without flattening out the curve in the front as the fabric felt firmer than the mustard version (and it was an easy adjustment to make after it was assembled anyway). I used the reverse of the fabric for the yoke, just because I thought it looked cool.


 This ponte is lovely, quite thick and firm feeling. The skirt is definitely closer fitting than the mustard version, and I get the feeling it won’t bag out around the waistband in the same way. I didn’t need to change the curve of the front panel, as there is enough tension around my hips to pull the fabric flat and stop any pooling, so that was good! I think this one looks dressier than the other one, more like something I could wear out in the evening. Still feels like pyjamas though!

Monsieur likes this version best. I thought it would be because its the most figure hugging (he thinks I always sew shapeless things), but apparently its because the contrast yoke looks like the batman symbol. Boys are weird…I do like the way the contrasting colour on the yoke highlights those awesome curved seams though!

So there we go, two skirts in just over three hours! I really loved sewing these, and I know they’ll get a tonne of wear. I would definitely recommend this pattern! Now I think I might need some merino Nettie bodysuits to wear under them, to stop any bunching up…

Now for something completely different!


…just kidding, it’s another Sewaholic Renfrew! I hope you aren’t sick of seeing me in this pattern yet, cos I’m not sick of making or wearing them! I’m a tee shirt sort of girl at heart, and its hard to get too worked up about dressing nicely for the trip to and from work (I wear scrubs when I’m actually working). The fabric may be familiar, its made out of the scraps of Lyocell from my last Renfrew, and the stripy cotton knit from my first Grainline Hemlock tee. I’ve been hoarding the stripes for ages because I love the fabric so much, but I didn’t have enough to make a whole other top out of it. When I realised that it matched the grey Lyocell knit almost exactly, I decided to chop my (traced!) Renfrew pattern in half and use the two fabrics together. This version follows the pattern pretty closely, with my standard adjustments. I cut a size 6 with 2″ of length taken out of the body because of my short torso. I drew a line two inches under the armscye across the front and back pieces of the pattern, and added 3/4″ seam allowance before overlocking them together. I also added a pocket, to break up the stripes a bit (no pattern piece used, just cut it out freehand). I also skipped the hem and sleeve cuff bands, as the striped knit hems nicely with my twin needle, and nothing I did worked at all on the lyocell, so I left it raw! (Hah, I’ve just looked back over the post I wrote about my hemlock made in this fabric, and I complained about how hard it was to hem with my twin needle! Am I more practiced now, or is it just the way I was holding my mouth..?)


I like it! Its not spectacularly adventurous, but its comfy and cute, and it fits well into my wardrobe. Its also not my best piece of sewing, I realised yesterday when I was wearing it that I somehow managed to cut the grey lyocell on the cross grain, so the stretch is going up and down instead of around! Happily it has some stretch on the cross grain as well, which is probably why I didn’t notice when I was sewing it… I think that might be why I’m getting those diagonal pull lines between my bust and waist in this version. The only thing I’m wondering about is making the sleeves one stripe shorter, so that they end at the same point as the transition line between fabrics on the body. Would that make it look more cohesive, or does it not matter? Overthinking it, maybe? I’ll ask you, internet oracle, for your thoughts!


I love both of these fabrics, so putting them together has made me happy! I didn’t realise I had my sunglasses still perched on my head until I looked at these photos, it was really sunny on Saturday when I took them. Too sunny for me to take them outside, I was just getting glare and pictures of me squinting in a very attractive way! This week is my final week of university, only one more assignment to hand in, and I’m done for the year! Bring on Sunday…or earlier, if I get my arse into gear and finish my essay earlier. I have so many large-ish sewing projects i want to get started on, it’ll be nice not feeling guilty for sewing instead of studying.


Back to Basics

To kick off my spring sewing, I’ve started super simple (how’s that for alliteration?). This is my third Sewaholic Renfrew tee (the first two are here), and this time I made a few modifications…


I made this up in the most deliciously soft and drapey Lyocell knit from the Fabric Store. I had to look Lyocell up, its a natural fibre made from wood pulp, like rayon. Anyway, its amazingly silky and I pretty much just want to wear it against my skin all the time! I also bought it in pale pink, and then when I was back at the Fabric Store the next time I snagged some out of the remnants bin, so expect to see more of it! (Also, if anyone can tell me the correct spelling for drapey I would be appreciative. Drapy? Drapey? Both look weird)


I wanted a bit of a looser look for this fabric, so I traced out the renfrew pattern, and then measured about 7″ down the side seam to the narrowest part of the waist. I then drew a straight line out from there at about a 15 degree angle (I just eyeballed it, there was no protractor involved!), and drew in a curved hem. I sewed the whole thing up as per the instructions, except for the cuff bands, which I halved in width, and the hem band, which I left off entirely. In fact, I haven’t hemmed it at all, I just couldn’t figure out how to do it without the hem becoming all wavy or bulky. Looking at these photos now, it looks like a very similar shape to a Deer and Doe Plantain. I should just have used that pattern!


I really like it, but it is a bit thin and clingy! I’m wearing a tank top under it for these photos, but I’ll need to get a nude seamless bra if I’m going to wear it without a singlet. Otherwise, I like that its fitted but not tight over my tummy, and I really like how the curved hem turned out.

So there we go, a very basic basic tee to start my spring wardrobe! I was going to add some embellishment, using some of the leather left over from my merino and leather Briar or something, but in the end I decided that plain was good. It works with jeans or shorts (I think it’ll look cute with shorts, actually) and it will work tucked into skirts too. I also like how it looks with my braided beads necklace!


Also, I’ve finally figured out how to use Instagram properly! Im kirsten52fancies, if anyone is interested. I think I almost understand what hashtags are about…