Dad's nightshirt – Kwik Sew 2650

A Wee Willie Winkie style nightshirt for my dad.

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Headless shot of a very ill Andy doing some last-minute modelling for me.

This is a nightshirt I made for my dad for his birthday in January, following repeated requests for another one. Apparently long nightshirts for men are impossible to buy, and my dad likes them really long. He’s six foot, so I had to add another six inches to the length to get it where he wanted it.  I made the first version of it in a gorgeous tartan doublecloth about seven years ago when I was just getting started with garment sewing, and I remember it being fairly straightforward, so a likely candidate for a gift with my limited sewing time.

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And here’s the back. Not going to get cold legs in this. Especially not over trousers…

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Pencil skirts galore!

My quest to find the perfectly fitted knit fabric pencil skirt…

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Skirt #2, complete with boots that really don’t go with the rest of the outfit. Ah well. Them’s the breaks when you don’t have a full length mirror by the front door.

This post is a tale of two skirts, in my quest to get a perfectly fitted and comfortable knit pencil skirt. A pencil skirt might not seem all that practical when looking after a toddler, but I much prefer a straight or pegged style to a full skirt. And provided it’s short and stretchy enough, with thick tights or leggings underneath it can be a really versatile item of clothing perfectly suited to getting down on the floor and playing.

The first version I made was using some plain black ponte from Minerva. I used the free pattern at So Sew Easy as I liked the look of the four panels and topstitched seam lines, although I knew these wouldn’t be so obvious in just black.

It was a qualified success. I loved how easy it was to sew and think I did a really good job on the topstitching and twin needle hemming, but it really didn’t fit well as you can see by all the pull lines in the photos (taken back in the summer). I think this was down to me getting really confused about what size to cut. I measured the pattern pieces but the one suggested by my measurements looked like it would be huge, so I cut down a couple of sizes to one with a small amount of negative ease. What I didn’t realise until after sewing it was that ponte should be treated more like a stretch woven, with a minimum of no ease rather than negative ease. Continue reading “Pencil skirts galore!”

20 minute sewing sprints

 

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Yay for self-striping sock yarn!
 
So, I’ve actually managed to stick to my idea of sewing or crafting for at least 20 minutes day so far. And in that time I’ve knitted one and a bit socks! That’s pretty good going considering it took me years to finish the last pair. I’ve also sewn a knit pencil skirt for myself (without a pattern and fitted directly to my body). It’s without a doubt the cosiest, comfiest skirts I’ve ever owned! It’s been perfect for this cold snap and I haven’t wanted to wear anything else… Except leggings and a top and underwear of course 😛 I will take some pictures and blog it properly soon. 

After the success of the skirt I hit a snag. I’d run out of things ready to sew, and 20 minutes is not an ideal length of time for cutting out garments. I started making a simple darted, zippered pouch instead, following the recent tutorial on Ikat bag.

However, this weekend I had a couple of hours spare while Gabriel was napping, so I cut out my next sewing project: a nightshirt for my dad for his upcoming birthday. It’s a simple pattern I made for him many years ago, but he’s been requesting another for ages so I thought it was about time I obliged!

I think my strategy for the future is going to have to be to do all cutting out at weekend nap times whenever I get the chance. I know I am going to have a challenge finding sewing time over the next few months as we are planning on moving house, but I’m sure if I prioritise then I can still do it. After all, just 20 minutes a day for something I love doing is not that much. I deserve at least that much me time!

Who else out there is making sure they take the time to sew every day?

Year round up and foolish, grandiose aims for 2016

It’s the time of year for a round up, because there’s something about the post-Christmas period that makes me determined to do better. Eat less chocolate! Exercise more! Enjoy life to the full! And set myself loads of stupid goals I’ll never manage to keep…

Okay, so I don’t manage to sew or blog as often as I’d like to (and I have several unblogged projects waiting), but it’s hardly surprising with a baby around the place. Add in moving house last year and no longer having a dedicated sewing room (and currently house-hunting to buy somewhere, so probably moving again in a few months) and I’m amazed I’ve managed to get anything done. Go me!

Here are my goals from last year, and how I think I did with them:

  • Make a selection of dresses and tops in knit fabrics, all with concealed nursing access.

IMG_0723 (Copy)Does two tops and a dress count as a selection? I think so! And better yet, I’ve been wearing them regularly. Except one of the tops (unblogged), but more about that another day…

  • Make at least a couple of bras and pairs of knickers to match.

Err, I think I was too ambitious with my first bra project. Learning the technique while trying to deal with all the layers of a nursing bra, while merrily adapting a regular bra pattern? Nope, wasn’t working. I’m saving bra-making for when I’ve stopped nursing, which should be at some point over the next few months.

  • Begin to build a foundation wardrobe of versatile, TNT patterns. I shall be following the Wardrobe Architect 2015 Challenge to give me some motivation. I want this to include patterns for a t-shirt, a dress, a skirt, trousers, a shrug and perhaps a jacket if there’s time.

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