Fabricville was having a sale a couple of days ago for “elite club” members (I’ve been one for years since I often drop into the shop for fabric, notions,…). The poly/viscose fabric was half-price so I looked at the other bolts they had. I chose three more lengths to make tops – here is the second one completed. I liked the bright colours.
Second Flared Tunic
I have the other two lengths cut and ready to stitch up. I am aiming to do one today and probably the second tomorrow.
Two Flared Tunics Cut Out And Ready To Sew
These will replace the tunic tops I made last fall – the fabric pills badly (I have to shave it after every wearing) and they are just a tad snug in the bum. So they will go to Hand in Hand – the St. Vincent De Paul thrift shop in the area. These days my rule is: something new in the wardrobe means something out! My wardrobe is still embarrassingly large I’m just trying to keep it under control.
Came across a pretty poly/viscose knit the other day at Fabricville. Thought it would make up into an attractive flared tunic top.
Flared Knit Tunic
Very simple garment to make – a front, a back, sleeves and a band to finish the neck edge. It’s based on a Marsha McClintock pattern – “T-Shirt Trifecta”
Marsha’s patterns are all about hidden pockets everywhere for travelling. I made up View 2 originally but subsequently attached the diagonal top piece to the bottom and made a single front piece which I later flared a bit more than the pattern since the couple of tunics I made up were just a bit snug through the bum. I sewed the flared single piece front tunic in a black sweater knit last year. It fit well over a pair of jeans.
I’m happy with this latest tunic top which is comfortable and colourful. No pockets, though. To put them in the side seams will drag down the sides once anything is put in them. Same with pockets on the front because the fabric is soft and stretchy. So I have to wear this garment with pants that have pockets so I can carry all the stuff I carry in my pockets!
PS – I bought three more lengths of this poly/viscose fabric (different prints) today ( a half-price sale). Just finished cutting them out. Intending to replace the solid tunic tops I made last year with a fabric that pills like crazy – it needs to be shaved after every wearing. This fabric didn’t pill when I wore the tunic yesterday.
You might think I’ve not been doing much sewing/knitting but I’ve been busy with additions to my wardrobe.
First, a boiled wool jacket using Marcie Tilton’s V8430 jacket:
Marcie Tilton V8430
The boiled wool came from Blackbird Fabrics in Vancouver. I bought the aubergine which I thought would make a warm addition to my wardrobe.
A simple pattern with just two fronts, a back and sleeves which went together easily and because it’s boiled wool I didn’t need to finish edges! In fact there’s a dart at the bottom of the sleeve which is stitched by abutting the two edges and zigzagging it closed – doesn’t show but gives shape to the lower sleeve. I’m still debating whether to do something similar in the middle of the back at the neckline – I’ve a slight rounding of my back at the neck and I think the jacket would fall better in the back were I to make that tweak.
I chose the pattern because I thought the soft folds for the lapels wasn’t something I usually wear and would look “new”.
New Jacket/Sweater and Corduroy Pants – Front
With a new jacket/sweater I thought dark purple cords a good choice – I whipped those up two days ago.
New Jacket/Sweater and Corduroy Pants – Back
Taking pictures myself is extremely difficult – to position the camera involves twisting which causes the pants to show a bit of pull. I had to take the side seams in after I’d finished them – I didn’t take them in as much as I possibly could because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to sit. I’ll see how they are after I’ve washed them – the fabric was washed before I used it but it will shrink a bit more, I’m sure, with further washing.
I have three more lengths of corduroy to make pants – I’m intending to get to at least one of those this weekend.
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I know Christmas is still two months away but a couple of weeks ago I was thinking about a simple-to-make something for the knitting ladies and other friends. I was looking at Ann Williamson‘s blog – she does beautiful garments and accessories using kimono silk which she buys from Ichiroya in Japan. She had some lovely pieced scarves in her shop – I remembered the kimono silk fabric I bought a couple of years ago. I have nothing specific in mind for the fabric – a while ago I attempted a simple silk jacket but it didn’t turn out well and I tossed it. I decided to use some from each bolt to make silk scarves.
This project isn’t meant to create an expensive, elaborate gift like Ann’s scarves are – just something simple, yet useful. Last year it was shoe bags, the year before zippered bags. Two weeks ago I cut 5′ lengths from each bolt – kimono bolts are 14″ wide by 10-12 yards in length. I split each length down the centre to give me two 7″ scarves.
Yesterday I set up my serger to stitch a narrow rolled hem and got to work – I did ten scarves. Today I completed the second batch of ten.
The scarves are long enough to wrap around my neck twice and tie in a loose overhand knot in the front. The silk is soft and smooth and will be warm to fill the neck of a winter coat. I’m pleased with how they turned out.
My next step is to figure out how to make “envelopes” using parchment paper as wrapping for each scarf.
This morning I finally stopped procrastinating on the wall art – I found myself starting on two unexpected projects. Yesterday I was going through fabric in my stash looking for fabric for the Federer piece and came across some Hawaiian bark cloth with large floral patterns which I thought could be turned into an interesting raw-edge appliqué piece on a raw natural silk background fabric:
Raw Edge Appliqué using Hawaiian Bark Cloth Floral Cut-outs
I cut the fabric in thirds, isolating one repeat of the pattern, fused Heat ‘N Bond Featherlite fusible web to the back of the fabric, fussy cut the flower/leaves elements, then fused them to a panel of natural raw silk (backed with Warm ‘n Natural quilt batting).
Now I need to go through my embroidery threads and pick out colours to use for securing and thread painting the raw-edge fabric elements.
I also got a second piece underway – I had a small leftover scrap of a modern floral which I’d used years ago to make a wide-brimmed summer hat. I thought the cut out flowers, placed randomly on a pieced background, would be an interesting vehicle for thread painting – I started that this afternoon. This piece will finish around 10″ x 12″ – it’s a test run to see where this idea can take me.
Raw Edge Appliqué – Modern Flowers on Pieced Background
So I’ve got two pieces to work on and maybe I’ll make some progress by the end of the weekend!
Wide-brim Summer Hat
[Here are instructions for making this wide-brim hat, if you’re interested.]
A couple of days ago I happened across mention of a smallish fabric grab bag. Not sure why I bothered to read the piece but I did. I downloaded the template, printed it, cut it out, and thought it might be worth a try. I’m on the lookout for something to make as a small Christmas gift for the gals in the knitting group – this bag was worth putting in my ideas collection.
Simple Lined Grab Bag
Since I try sewing/making something every day this was an easy/fast half-hour project. I hadn’t kept the instructions so actually constructing the double-layer bag took longer than it should have and this first (maybe only) bag is not as neatly finished as it might have been but I thought construction was obvious – it wasn’t quite, there are a couple of twists and turns, but in the end I rectified my mistakes and completed the bag.
So here is my grab bag. It’s a good size for carrying a small knitting or hand sewing project. The problem with it as a mass produced gift is that it’s on the expensive side – in it’s simplest version (just two layers of fabric) it uses half a metre of each fabric (with useable scraps left over). Unless you happen on a good fabric sale I’d be making a sizeable investment were I to make, say, twenty of them given the cost of good cotton fabric these days. However, if you’re looking for something quick to make to give as a small gift you might find this grab bag worth your attention.
BTW: I left out the batting and didn’t bother with the inner pockets – just the bare grab bag.
I’m heading to Italy in a week. Two days ago I tried on all my summer weight pants – they ended up in two piles – a small pile of those I could zip up comfortably and a much larger one of pants I’ll have to modify in order to button the waistbands. My navy pants were in the “not wearable” pile.
Navy Cotton Twill Pants
So I made a new pair. I knew I’d probably have to make navy pants a couple of months ago so I dug out the navy twill I had in my stash, washed it, and put it aside to work on but didn’t get around to pants-making until yesterday. I used a modification of an old pattern for a culotte adding pockets and reshaping the legs to make a straight leg pant.
Cutting out, adding interfacing, setting up pockets, fly front are all straightforward. The problem with making pants (at least for me) is I have to make them up completely before I can try them on to determine if they actually fit. I cut this pair largish because there was absolutely no give in the width of this fabric and I didn’t want to make the pants too small to fit into. However, they turned out too big in the bum and through the legs. So I did what I’ve done before – put a shaped dart down the centre back of the leg to get rid of much of the fullness below my bum and to narrow the thigh.
The back pockets are typical jeans pockets. I decided not to do inner front pockets – instead I cut out a pocket shape, added a facing to the open edge, then turned under a 1/4″ seam allowance and top stitched the pockets in place on the fronts before they were attached to the back.
I made a couple of further adjustments to the fit today but now the pants are wearable.