Monthly Archives: September 2017

Difficult times but T-shirt sewing experience increased.

Well its been a tough couple of weeks  – thought I was possibly going to the GBSB live event (had tickets) but unfortunately Mum had a couple of small strokes which has caused a few problems for her and me.  Inevitably there have been loads of healthcare appointments and interventions but also stress, worry, anxious times and practicalities to see to.  Anyway not to continue the doom and gloom theme for too long but anyway obviously couldn’t go anywhere and leave Mum.

Still managed to get some sewing in  –  a few t-shirts but not without problems (is there another way to sew?)

Had some jersey fabric from my online and thought I would make some long sleeve t-shirts.  The olive green is an Angela Kane fitted T pattern which I cut in a size 14 but did not cut a seam allowance – consequently too small (aargh).  The blue one is Angela Kane fitted T pattern size 16 with a 5/8” seam allowance – too big (!!) and the neckband has turned into a turtle neck because I inserted it flat before one of the shoulder seams was sewn and didn’t make it short enough to stretch into the neck opening but hey ho I quite like the turtle look so not too unhappy.  The grey jersey was a Burda 6602 loose T shirt pattern (view A)  Size 16 and I didn’t follow the instructions at all but did the construction order of  – shoulder seams, insert sleeves on the flat, insert neck band, sew side seams and sleeve seams in one continuous sew, then hem bottom and sleeves of garment.  Neck band piece – measured neck opening then reduced by 10% and cut jersey approx 2” wide – joined up the shorter ends (right sides together) to make a circle with a 3/8” seam allowance.  Marked the neck band into quarters and marked the neck opening at centre back and centre front of t-shirt with shoulder side seams being the other markings and sewed the neckband  into garment slowly , stretching the neck band (only) to fit the neck opening of the garment to each quarter marking, stopping frequently to check all sewing in ok.  I should have folded the neckline piece in half first but forgot so then had to fold over and pin and then stitch over the join (like a stitch in the ditch but with a zig zag stitch) to hold in place.  I trimmed all the seam allowance down to as small as I could without cutting the stitch line and tried to be as careful as possible to avoid cutting the garment by accident.  I did take in the Burda 16 by approx 3/4 inch on each side and its still roomy but the shoulders fit ok and its not too tight on the arms so happy with the fit.

On the positive side I have a few more t-shirts and mum is feeling a bit better. Oh and I bought two more new look patterns in the sale and did a recount of the printed patterns –  well over 100 plus gazillions of PDFs and book patterns and freebie downloads – keep on sewing…..

Hope you are all well and happy my imaginary blogger friends – speak to you all soon

How many patterns does one person need?

Okay without counting the pdfs or free downloads, book patterns/magazine pull outs  or any other ways to get sewing patterns – I have 95 printed patterns in their own envelopes – not sure that this is anything other than some weird obsession that needs to be curbed.  Don’t even get me started on the toiles – I am not going to count them.  Oh gosh – why couldn’t I discover this hobby when I was earning money.

Going to catalogue them in some sort of order so that it’s easier to see what I have.  Have written them all on a notepad but thinking a spreadsheet record might make life easier.   Think I am probably just making work for myself but as I am obsessed with all things sewing it’s a good excuse to do something else which is sewing related but easy and cheap!  I have tried to stop using the cheap word and replace it with affordable – like a tv presenter or selling the lifestyle/dream choice of words to make it sound sooooo much better.

Hope you are all well my imaginary blogger friends – ‘Hey guys’ and ‘hope you are all well’  will hopefully make you engage so I am going to use this more too!!!  Ha – only kidding, mustn’t take the p***.

Pattern acquisition

Well …… I’ve acquired quite a few – mainly by spending money either directly (bought the patterns) or indirectly (bought the magazine and the patterns appeared) or directly/indirectly internet surfing and downloading freebies.  I don’t think I’ll bother talking about the freebies other than if you are reading blogs and vlogs (watching maybe rather than reading) and sewing related things you can’t help but find some great links to free downloadable patterns.  I’m trying not to buy too many (any at the moment) PDF patterns as it’s too easy to see where the money is going, if I go to a shop I can use cash and no-one need know any better ( obsession with sewing getting worse perhaps?)

Well anyway Butterick and Vogue had discounts on their patterns recently and I felt it was a good opportunity to buy some for the stash.  I particularly wanted to focus on jackets from the Butterick site as they seemed to have several styles and also they seemed really good value (?!!)  but I have also been keen to try out Vogue patterns as I have not ever bought or tried out one of these ever (other than a bodice fitting shell which I have never actually mastered as I got too worried about doing it….yes completely nuts but I don’t think I’m the only one that thinks like this….?) and Vogue are normally much more than I would want to pay for a single dressmaking pattern (although of course the Indie ones often cost that sort of money).   So anyway from Butterick I have B5927, B5926, B5616, and B5526  – Vogue V9167, V9197,V9063, V9244, V8815, Simply Sewing mag – The Lara Set, The Adele Dress, The Overnight bag and Dressmaker Make it Today (when today exactly?)  New Look K6412 and F6023 – not that interesting to read if you can’t see the pattern sleeve   –  so TA DAH

I have tried to give you a flavour of them here!



I have had a stinking cold recently (another acquisition but this time from the other half) and haven’t really felt up to making too much so I have used this opportunity to cut out the patterns.  Of course this is fraught with problems – size to cut being one so I try to cut out the largest size ( but of course not as easy as it at first seems when you get to the armscye or other multi sized pattern curve that may have several sizes poking out around the solid line) so that I can then fold back the excess and preserve the pattern in case a different size is needed at another time.  There are other ways of doing this of course – tracing and photocopying come to mind but this is my current way of doing things.  I find that you can cut into curves to fold the excess back more accurately and if need be the area can be reinforced with tape of some sort (beware of the iron melt though – sometimes masking tape can be the one to go to).  Apparently some people interface their patterns to prevent the disintegration associated with multi use of a favourite fitting pattern.  I have yet to find a pattern that I am likely to use over and over again but I live in hope of the perfect fit or perfect sew ……still waiting.

So now I am thinking about which pattern and which fabric and when.   I have fabric in the stash (surprise surprise – do I seem like a fabric hoarder sort of soul?) but of course it is all earmarked for the perfect project so it will be out with the calico and toile construction first.  I started with the Vogue 9063 as that one is a skirt, top and trousers and marked ‘very easy.’  I had to buy it in the bigger size (ZZ L/G -XLG- XXL) as on the envelope the sizing indicated I was on the cusp of the two sizings  ( I would normally cut a 14 ish as I am a 12 in RTW) and thought I had better buy larger and grade down as needed.  Of course the first item (relaxed fit trousers) are ginormous – I have taken them in 2 inches on both sides but they are still too big and I have sort of lost interest……eek.

Will be attacking the next toile soon but thought I would try to cleanse the palette by writing the blog and see if I could make myself seem more rational than my actions tend to suggest.  Well imaginary blogger friends, hope you enjoy this blog.  I am now saying ta ta for now and going to search the internet for ways in which to improve my sewing and hopefully interact with people who are far more talented and focussed than myself.  Check out if you are interested in how real sewists manage to use patterns and fabric to create wearable items.

Craftsy free classes – thoughts

newlook 6251 jacket option A front part open

Well thanks Craftsy for giving free access to your online classes on Monday.  Not sure my eyes will recover from the strain of trying to watch and understand all I could get my hands on during the Monday hours.  I was so glued to the screen its a wonder I didn’t get a DVT through lack of movement.  It was great though and I did get some great tips from great teachers.

I have been doing some sewing and planning. I managed to make some Butterick culottes 6178 which are meant to be super easy and quick but I managed to find some major difficulty in getting the inseam pockets to sit well and even when I figured out I had sewn them to the back of the side seam instead of to the front when fitting the waistband – I STILL had some doubts that they were sitting into the seam line correctly. GRRRRRR. The pictures I took made me look even worse than I think I look …double grr.

I made my hubby a gilet (he doesn’t welcome me sewing things for him so goodness knows why I bother) for the cooler days to come but not heavy weight for winter as he has a much favoured one for that situation. I had sewn the item before as a jacket (alternative option on the pattern) for myself but he particularly didn’t want sleeves. There were a few problems (as ever) as I hadn’t bias bound armscye areas before – I suppose I must either add sleeves or use facings or linings to finish the seams to escape this new torture. Needless to say this is a finish I will have to practise and watch YouTube videos of before using it on an actual garment again.

Well anyway that’s a couple of projects down and I have just decided to purchase a load of calico so that I can practise jackets with my new butterick patterns (sale prices – snapped up 5-6 patterns). Also the Vogue sale threw me as I had never sewn any of theirs before so have had to purchase a couple to try. So loads of patterns but awaiting the calico. I meant to purchase the calico from BST fabrics as they seem to have really good prices but I made a mistake and ordered from another site. Sent them an email to cancel but I might have to pay slightly more than I usually do if they have already got it ready and cut – darn it. Must be more careful – got carried away.

I might put the last two projects on pattern review – quite like having a record of the makes to look back on as I never quite make enough notes at home – must start a makes journal or similar. Nodoubt everything will change with the measurements etc before I can use the info to sew the garments again.

Ah well – will blog again when I have something else to talk about. Less writing more sewing. Happy sewing my imaginary fellow blogger friends.