A colourful life

Sunday, 28 June 2020

sewing lately...

I am not feeling very creative at the moment, I have nothing on my needles and nothing really that I am desperate to make. I started an appliqué quilt at the beginning of lockdown but I have since realised that appliqué is not my thing. I started knitting a pair of socks with dark blue sock yarn but I find it too dark to knit with. I am usually brimming with ideas and I am full of enthusiasm to make things and it is really rare that I don't spend at least half an hour on one project or the other. I hope my creative mojo is soon returning. 

I made a few t-shirt earlier in spring because t-shirts don't take much time to make and they are useful, too. I don't know if you remember, last year I made the Itch to Stitch Isidro top, which didn't turn out so well. I really liked the gathered neckline but I didn't like the gaping armholes and the butterfly sleeves. I also didn't fancy re-drafting the pattern to change what seems a design flaw in larger sizes (totally unscientific, based on various images I have seen online). It is just not something I like to do, not for a t-shirt anyway. By sheer coincidence I stumbled over a new to me pattern company, New Horizons. The t-shirt that caught my eye was the Dublin Dolman t-shirt. One of the many versions had a gathered front with a scoop neckline, which I really liked. It is a size inclusive pattern, starting with a US 00 and going up to a US 26. I like the grown-on sleeves, too. There are many variations, which makes this pattern quite good value for money. Best still, it prints in layers so there are not a dozen different lines to confuse the distracted sewist. I had to get some knit interfacing for the neckband before I could get started. I didn't even know this existed but it made a huge difference. It was an easy make and the interfaced neckband made it really easy to attach the gathered front piece. I tested the pattern on a piece of pale yellow fabric that had been languishing in my fabric box for years. The one thing that is not great is that the curved front neckband takes up some awkward space on the cutting layout. I had to add a seam to the inner neckband because I didn't have much fabric but it doesn't show on the right side of the t-shirt so all good. I really liked it and fell back in love with the happy yellow. Then I cut into my beautiful orange TENCEL™ Modal knit fabric. This is a sustainable fabric made from beech pulp and it is as soft as it is described. I bought it at Guthrie & Ghani for £12.5/metre, which is quite expensive but I am worth it. I had ordered 1.2 metres but there were only two 1 metre pieces left and they sent me both for the price of 1.2 metres. Very generous so thank you. I only used 1 metre for the t-shirt and I am saving the other piece for next year. It was a struggle and it took a while to get the pattern pieces arranged so that I didn't have to cut into the second piece of fabric.  I really enjoyed sewing this the Dublin Dolman, the instructions are clear, it is quick to make and has so many other options that I won't run out to new versions to try. I really like both my Dublin Dolmans. The orange t-shirt has a slightly deeper scoop neck than the yellow one because the fabric is a bit heavier but I am ok with that. There is always camisoles, which I like to wear year round anyway. 

I also made a navy and white striped t-shirt using my all time favourite raglan t-shirt pattern, the Blank Slate Rivage pattern. I've had the fabric for two years at least but with one striped t-shirt in my wardrobe, I didn't think I needed another one. I am not wearing much stripes. But this spring, I parted with the old one as it had some stains that would not come out. It is now used for cleaning. I cut the neckband for my new striped shirt in the other direction, it adds interest to the t-shirt I think. 

Finally I made the Blank Slate Blanc t-shirt, which is a free pattern when you sign up for the newsletter. It is also a Dolman t-shirt but much simpler than the Dublin Dolman. The neckline is finished with bias binding but I couldn't figure out if this should be knit fabric or normal fabric. I made a normal neckband instead but I cut it too wide and stretched it a bit when sewing so not a complete success. I since noticed that there is a neckband fabric pattern piece, which I'll use next time. I used grey fabric that I found in my knit fabric box. I have no idea where it came from or when I bought it, or even why. The t-shirt is a bit boring and I didn't photograph it. 

I just finished a sewing the Pembroke Dress by Casmherette but I don't think I like it much. It is essentially just a long t-shirt with waist ties. The neckline troubled me, it was sewn in a weird way and needed topstitching at the very edge. Not an easy task with knit fabric and I failed miserably. I cut it off and made a normal neckband, with turns out not to look so good. I am not sure how much wear this will get.. but maybe if I fix the neckline, it will be ok. 

With lock-down hair and lockdown waist muffins, I didn't fancy modelling all my t-shirts. I hear that we can make hair dresser appointments from July 15. Call me shallow but I am really quite keen to have a bit of a tidy.

Anyway, after making all those t-shirts, I think I can feel a new quilt in my bones. It is going to be a riot of colours but I have not decided on a pattern yet. Maybe another log cabin?

Scotland is doing well with suppressing the dreadful virus and we are soon to have another review of lockdown measures. I am quite looking forward to that (haircut!) but at the same time, I am watching what happens elsewhere in the world and I know it is not over yet, not by a long shot. 

Thanks for visiting xx