Upcoming and Planned Projects

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Silver Waves Bowline Sweater

I've said it before, I'm a fan of NZ company Papercut Patterns. I've made a few of Katie's patterns and they're always great. The Ahoy collection was released back in February, and I snapped up three of the patterns. I've already made the Moana Dress, and now here's number two, the Bowline Sweater.

The Bowline Sweater is a raglan sleeve jumper with a folded pleated front. The fabric I used is one I had in my stash, a silver knit I picked up last year at Spotlight because it was on sale. I didn't have a plan for it but bought it because sparkly and shiny are fun, and I knew I'd find something to make with it. It's the thickness of a t-shirt knit, but the metallic thread makes it slightly heavier and slinkier, giving it a different drape to most knits.

Because the Bowline has that pleated front I wanted a fabric that wouldn't look messy with drapes and folds. I've seen quite a few striped versions, which work really well, But I am trying to use my stash more this year (it's not entirely working, but I'm trying), so looked at what I already had that might work. I thought the silver would work well because although it's a plain fabric, light hitting the top would interplay with the folds and drape and bring out the shine, like light playing across waves.

As with all Papercut Patterns, the instructions are well-written and clear. The front is a very confusing-looking pattern piece, but it's actually easy to follow and put together. Although I didn't pay complete attention to the layout for cutting the pattern out, so my front is actually mirror imaged. I've done that before when I was in too much of a rush to get on to my machine. It generally doesn't change the garment at all, but it is a slightly annoying error.

The fit is a bit of a mix, but not in a bad way. The raglan sleeves are relatively fitted, with long cuffs to pull down over your hands (I do that a lot, as you can probably see in the photos). The rest of the jumper is fairly loose. When I first finished it I felt that the front hung down over the waistband a bit too much, so I removed the waistband, cut the front piece on a curve so that the centre was shorter than the sides, then reattached the waistband. It still drapes but no longer overhangs.

I say this with each Papercut Pattern, but I really like this. It's an interesting take on a jumper, and can be made as a casual top or a more fancy one - which isn't easy to find in a jumper. And I'm glad I bought the silver knit last year, because it really was the perfect fabric for this pattern.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Birthday Pants

It's been a few weeks. I have been sewing, but haven't been photographing. But now I have a new make to show.

Today's my birthday, so these are my new cosy birthday pants. It's a very sewist thing to do, isn't it, to have a new creation as a present for yourself? Although these weren't really made to be such, they were just made this week because I needed them.

I made them over the last two nights so that I had something warm to wear in the Antarctic blast Sydney and much of southeastern Australia has experienced these last couple of days. In fact, this morning when I photographed these it was 3C, with an apparent temperature of freezing. But luckily these pants and the (not yet blogged) merino jersey top I had on were warm enough while I took pictures.

The pattern is from the late 1950s or early 1960s. It's Simplicity 4290, and is a highwaisted pant or short pattern with a side zip closure. I've used it before for my casual cotton summer pants. That time I made them looser and lowered the waistband, this time I kept the pattern almost as-is apart from lengthening the legs just slightly so the hem sits at the top of my feet rather than grazing the ankle. I wondered a bit about the high waist at first because it is very high - I'm longwaisted and the waistband sits above my belly button - but apart from it being a silhouette I'm not used to I am liking them.

The fabric was originally bought for a colour blocked dress I was planning to make with some remnant wool I have, but it turned out to be the wrong weight. It's a poly wool blend from My Hung in Hurstville. It's a slightly odd fabric, medium weight but with an almost fleecy underside. It's less scratchy than most medium and heavier weight wools and wool blends are, which makes it nice and comfortable. And it glided through my machine beautifully, which is always a plus.

It's an incredibly simple pattern to make, being just two front and two back pieces, two darts on each, a waistband, with trouser bar and zip to close. It's all very straightforward construction, and generally pretty quick. This pattern is vintage, but a modern pattern with a similar construction would be perfect for a beginner to making pants.

Although I have to admit I did have a little trouble with the waistband the first time around. My first go of stitching it looked terrible. The problem was I sewed it looking at the inside rather than the outside, and when I turned them right way around I discovered my stitching line wandered all over the place. And the one drawback of this fabric was it is terrible to unpick stitching from - the fleeciness makes it so that you basically have to undo each individual stitch, so it takes a bit of time. But once I undid it I was able to sew on the outside of the waistband and it was much better.

I'm not sure how much wear they'll get because they are warm fabric and Sydney generally doesn't get a lot of really cold days. But in today's cold I was very glad I'd made these.