The Baggy Bump Maternity Trousers – live on the Minerva Blogger Network

Burda 7239 maternity trousers 9

Hey everyone–I know it’s been quiet on the blog here lately, but I’ve been suffering from anaemia so didn’t have much energy to post or sew. However, my latest maternity sewing project is now up on the Minerva Blogger Network here: https://www.minervacrafts.com/blogger-network/post/the-baggy-bump-trousers

I’ve got to say a big thank you to my daughter, Daisy, for taking the pictures! Finding the opportunity to get enough light to photograph a project properly at this time of year is tricky, to say the least, and these might not be up to my usual picture standard, but hey, at least they got taken 🙂

I have a few projects nearly finished and another couple of project posts that just need writing, so I hope to be back to a regular weekly post in March. I’m not going to do any more maternity sewing after the next couple of weeks, though, as unless it’s something that would work for breastfeeding and that awkward period before my midsection gets back to its pre-pregnancy state (it will happen–I’ve managed it twice before!), it really won’t be worth the effort for just two month’s of wear.

Anyway, these trousers are so useful right now with this freezing cold weather. My legs are actually warm enough today, wearing these with boots and leggings underneath! The fabric is perfect for bottomweight sewing, and would also be great for a jacket. It’s a clearance one, though, so you if want some for yourself don’t wait!

Materials used:

Burda 7239 – Maternity Tops, Bolero and Pants  (affiliate link)

Textured Stretch Jersey Knit Dress Fabric (affiliate link)

Gutermann Sew All thread (affiliate link)

I’ll be back in a few days with my maternity sewing plans for March, and a bumper round-up of January and February’s sewing. What little there was of it, at any rate 🙂

Anna x

 

 

The Cowl Necked Maternity Dress live on the Minerva Blogger Network

Tilly and the Buttons Maternity Agnes hacked with Seamwork Neenah Cowl neck

Hi peeps! I’m back after a nasty virus, sharing my latest make over on the Minerva Craft Blogger Network. It’s a mash up of the Tilly and the Buttons Maternity Agnes (which I last made here in leopard print) with Seamwork’s Neenah cowl neckline variation (which I made here).

You can find out more over on Minerva’s site, but I’ll give you a spoiler: I love it! Just what my wardrobe needed right now, as I didn’t have much in the way of winter-appropriate maternity gear. What with Gabriel being born in December, winter hadn’t had much of a chance to get going then and as I don’t generally go for oversized things, I’m rapidly running out of wearable clothing. I’ll be making a few more maternity items over the next month or so, keeping in mind to make things that will hopefully either be able to be worn while I’m losing the baby weight, or that can be remade to suit my body once it’s got back to its normal size and shape.

Right, here’s the materials used, should you be interested in nabbing some of this for yourself. The fabric is a real winner for winter wear, with excellent stretch, drape, warmth and recovery. Just check the blog post for how I dealt with sewing it as it didn’t behave exactly how I expected:

Tilly and the Buttons Maternity Agnes Pattern

Seamwork’s Neenah Pattern (cowl neck add-on available free to Seamwork subscribers)

Stripey Textured Stretch Jersey (affiliate link) – 2m used

Gutermann Sew All thread (affiliate link)

Disclaimer: fabric and thread kindly provided by Minerva in return for an honest review. I bought the patterns myself.

December round-up and January’s sewing plans

Christmas tree

I meant to post this earlier in the month, but hey, there were all those year end round-ups and 2018 plans to share. Anyway, here’s the lowdown on what ended up being a pretty productive sewing month, all things considered. I think my Christmas decoration crafting and mince pie making suffered as a result, though!

Blogged in December:

Dec 17 sewing

L-R: Winter cords for Gabriel, The Party Animal Dress, The Cosy Cabled Cowl.

Those were the project posts, but I also blogged my SewingTop5 reflections and highlights, and my #2017MakeNine results. Phew, that’s a lot of blogging for me! Continue reading “December round-up and January’s sewing plans”

My #SewingTop5 goals for 2018

Phew, it’s time for my final #SewingTop5 post, and I’ve been looking forward to sharing this one: my sewing goals for 2018. In case you missed them, you can find the other posts here:

Now, on with those goals. I’m not doing SMART goals or anything like that as I prefer the more open kind I can reinterpret as I want (less likely to feel like I’ve failed that way!)

These are more… sewing themes for the coming year. Continue reading “My #SewingTop5 goals for 2018”

My #Sewing Top 5: when garments fail…

Hey everyone, I’m back with my penultimate #SewingTop5 post, and this time it’s my “top” five misses. In case you missed them, you can find the other posts here:

Righto, let’s delve into the bin of sewing fails, shall we? Continue reading “My #Sewing Top 5: when garments fail…”

My #SewingTop5: the top five hits of 2017

This year I’m taking part in the #SewingTop5 challenge again, and you can find the first post (reflections on my sewing in 2017) here and the second (non-sewing highlights) here.

Today I’m diving in to the fun of my top five hits, and I’ll be following it up with some wardrobe stats and musings on what makes a hit. So, without further ado, my top makes of 2017 /drum roll/ are….

My Dream Cardigan

This Jalie Drop Pocket Cardigan is hands-down my my most worn me-made of 2017, clocking in an impressive 61 wears out and about according to my Stylebook app. And I know it really got worn way more than that as it’s been one of the lounging garments I throw on in the evening and first thing in the morning. It’s warm, breathable, goes with most things, super comfy, and best yet, has massive pockets. Yay! So good I made a second cardie in purple, which has also been worn lots since I made it.

The Madrid Dress

This is definitely my favourite dress of the year (Seamwork’s Neenah). Partly because of the gorgeous ribbed knit fabric I bought in Madrid, but also for that cowl neckline, which I find really flattering. This was in third equal place for most worn me-mades (28 wears), and I’ve found it’s stretchy enough to still fit over my 22 week pregnant belly, so it’s still getting regular wear 🙂 BTW, I know there’s something seriously wrong with the sleeves at the upper arm, but I don’t care enough to unpick and redo!

The Vintage Flowers Blouse

B6217 Patterns by Gertie blouse

I absolutely adore this blouse (Butterick B6217). Not the sort of fabric I usually go for, but I love the way it looks on and the soft cotton voile was a dream to sew with, and a dream to wear on hot, sticky days. A really flattering pattern I’ll be making again this summer.

The Best Tank EVAH!

So why is such a humble garment one of my top fives? Well, this was my second most worn me-made of the year, clocking in 35 wears, and it’s so wonderfully versatile. I thought at first it was too high under the arm but now I’m used to it I reckon it’s just about perfect. It’s plain, but the cute neckline makes it feel sassy and very  “me”. It was also my first make from the Gertie Sews Vintage Casual book, which has become a bit of a style bible for me this year 🙂

The Flintstones Bikini

Seamwork Dakota and Reno bikini

Oh yeah, I made swimwear! This is the Reno/Dakota Seamwork bikini, and I absolutely loved making it, as well as wearing it. Not sure why, but sewing swimwear really makes me feel like a boss. And who’d have thought I’d ever have the courage to post a pic this undressed on my blog?!

Honourable mentions:

These are the ones that nearly made the list, and it if was a top ten they definitely would have:

All my Cleo Dresses

Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dungaree dresses

 

I’ve worn my Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dresses loads, and I can’t possibly choose a favourite! #sorrynotsorry I’m really looking forward to getting them out again once I can fit back into them. Here’s links to the original posts: aubergine corduroy, denim stars, ditsy floral corduroy.

The Barcode Skirt

This is such a comfy, versatile skirt. I had no idea how well such a bold striped garment would go with the rest of my wardrobe, but figuring out my style has encouraged me to go for bold, monochromatic prints I would have previously avoided. This was my fifth most worn me-made of 2017, and is another pattern from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual.

The Striped Sweetheart Tee

Anna-Jo
Oh My Gawd! It’s a lobster!

Another striped garment, and the return of a pattern that appeared in the top 5! I’ve loved styling this in different ways. The epitome of casual rockabilly, and you can find the pattern in Gertie Sews Vintage Casual.

The Little Jenny Wren Dress

And for more bold B&W print goodness, here’s my version of the Colette Wren dress in a lightweight viscose knit. I’ve loved wearing this dress, despite some neckline issues! And it appears the rest of you loved it too, as it appeared three times in my Instagram #2017BestNine!

The Denim Pedal Pushers

They might not fit absolutely perfectly (I wanted a higher waist), but I’m so proud of all the work I put into fitting these. They’re definitely the most comfortable pair of trousers I’ve ever worn! And yes, another pattern from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual–probably my best sewing pattern spend ever 😀

General stats
Total garments made: 44

  • Tops: 11
  • Dresses: 10
  • Unselfish makes: 6 (3 for Daisy, 3 for Gabriel)
  • Swimwear/undies: 5
  • Cardies: 4
  • Skirts: 3
  • Non-skirt bottoms: 2
  • Accessories: 3

Total left unblogged: 11

Two of those will be blogged this next month, and the rest were small and/or simple projects that didn’t seem to warrant a whole blog post, such as a couple of knit skirts for Daisy, a pair of underpants for Gabriel, some headbands and a couple of pairs of knickers for me.

Amount spent on sewing: £338.83

I don’t have details for January and February as I only started recording this data in March, but in the ten months since I’ve spent a grand total of £338.83 on fabric, patterns and haberdashery. That’s £34 a month, or £7.82 per week. Who says this has to be an expensive hobby?!

It helps that I’ve been sponsored by Minerva and have been using up my stash, and of the 44 garments I made, exactly half were stashbusting or scrap-busting projects. Woohoo!

General musings

After looking at my Stylebook app stats, in particular my list of number of times I’ve worn each garment and the cost per wear, I can see that my most worn makes tend to be cardigans, dresses and tops. I don’t have so many me-made bottoms this year which might be why they didn’t get worn so much. For the future I definitely need to concentrate on adding to my rather small cardigan and knit top selection, and to my everyday skirts and trousers when my figure has returned to normal again.

I can also see that for items that will get worn lots (versatile separates like tees and cardies in solids or simple patterns) it’s worth spending out a bit more on fabric, as the total cost per wear will still end up far less than a party dress or more specialised seasonal item like swimwear.

So, that was my top five sewing hits of 2017… okay, my top twelve, really! And I’ll be back tomorrow with my Top Five Misses, and what I’ve learnt from making them. See you then!

If you have a year-end round up post, please link it in the comments as I’d love to give it a read! And what did you learn about your style and wardrobe needs from your favourite me-mades this last year?

My #2017MakeNine challenge: the results

#2017MakeNine results

So, it’s New Year’s Eve and a traditional time to take stock of what’s gone on in the past year. Okay, here in the UK it’s also a traditional time to get drunk and stay up till the small hours, partying, but there’s not going to be any of that for me this year, that’s for sure! I expect to be in bed by 11 🙂

I posted my initial #2017MakeNine challenge back in January, choosing categories of garment rather than specific patterns as I wanted to find as many TNT patterns as I could to flesh out my me-made wardrobe and liked the flexibility of setting it up that way. Here’s all my finished makes for the different categories (click on the pics to be taken to the original posts): Continue reading “My #2017MakeNine challenge: the results”

My #SewingTop5 of 2017: the (non-sewing) highlights

This year I’m taking part in the #SewingTop5 challenge again, and you can find the first post (reflections on my sewing in 2017) here. So, to balance that out, here’s the non-sewing highlights of the year 🙂

1: Up the duff again

Yes, I can’t seem to stop having children! Continue reading “My #SewingTop5 of 2017: the (non-sewing) highlights”

My #SewingTop5 of 2017: reflections on a busy year

This year I’m taking part in the lovely Gillian’s #SewingTop5 challenge again, as I found it a really good way to summarise my year last time, and it replaces longer, waffley navel-gazing posts. You can find last year’s posts here (goals, reflections and other highlights) and here (hits and misses).

So, without further ado, here are my top 5 reflections on my sewing year:

1: Knit Fabric Mastery

2017 really was the year I attained total confidence sewing knit fabrics. I’ve tackled a range of different types of fabric, and figured out the best ways to sew tricky knits. I’ve also got much more happy with hacking patterns to get what I want out of them and have built up a few TNT patterns for knits, which is great. I’m really happy I’ve persevered with knits as they’re so quick and easy to sew, and so comfy to wear. I really am wearing me-made pretty much every day now!

2: The Curated Closet

The most life-changing book of 2017 for me. That sounds a bit shallow, somehow, but honestly, figuring out my personal style preferences was a lightbulb moment and it’s made my subsequent sewing planning so much more fun. I now know that I’m pretty much guaranteed to love what I make so long as I stick to my style guidelines. That doesn’t mean I won’t be reviewing those every year, or occasionally trying new things, though. Life would get boring if I didn’t do a bit of experimentation!

3: Sewing Journals Rule!

Okay, so maybe this was actually the most life-changing book for me: my humble sewing journal. At some point in early 2017 I started keeping a sewing journal, in which I make notes of future projects I might want to make, blogs I want to write, and detailed sheets with swatches for every garment I actually sew. In the summer I discovered bullet journaling and my journal belatedly acquired a proper index, which made it much easier to use. I will write a blog post about my journalling habits at some point soon, as I’d definitely encourage anyone hesitating about keeping one to give it a go. I’m so much more organised about my sewing now and I swear that journal has helped make me so much more productive. I’m now on journal #2, and it’s a habit I intend to keep up long-term.

4: Instagram and challenges FAIL!

One thing I started doing this year was lots of challenges–I had the idea that they’d be a great way to make new sewing friends and gain blog followers. However, the vast majority of them ended up falling by the wayside as I want to be able to sew what I want to sew. The challenges that I kept up with and really enjoyed were Me Made May and #2017MakeNine, largely because they were the kind of challenge where I set my own goals. I think I’m just too rebellious to follow someone elses rules! I’ll aim to do both again this next year, although with a baby due in early May, the Me Made May participation could be somewhat patchy…

I’ve also realised that microblogging on Instagram is not my favourite thing. Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots I love about Instagram and I won’t be leaving anytime soon–I was one of the really early adopters and I’ve had my account for years–but I’m not into giving loads of details about what I’m sewing and in-progress shots. Kudos to those of you who do, but it’s not really for me. I prefer wordy blog posts I can write on a proper keyboard 🙂

5: The Unintended RTW Fast

I’ve heard about sewists going on RTW (ready to wear, ie, shop-bought clothing) fasts before, but it’s not something I’ve ever felt a need for myself. I’m not a big consumer of fast fashion at the best of times, and I could never see the point in banning myself from the occasional purchase if it was something I didn’t want to make myself.

However, this year I’ve been absolutely strapped for cash so when needing new clothing, faced with a choice of buying something cheap and nasty from a supermarket or buying fabric and making it myself, I’ve chosen the latter. It’s definitely worked out cheaper (especially when using stash fabric or free fabric in return for reviews) and is much more fun than traipsing round shops trying and failing to find what I’m after.

So, I realised at some point this summer that the only things I’d bought, clothing-wise, in 2017 were footwear and a couple of bras–not something I felt confident making at the time. I still didn’t give myself a RTW ban and have since bought a winter coat (no time to make one) and had the present of a jumper from my mum, but that’s been it for the whole year. Woohoo! I feel really good about what I’ve acheived and it was all the more fun for being my choice each time, rather than the result of a self-imposed rule.

Last year’s goals

I also wanted to reflect a little on how well I met last year’s goals:

Make a pair of jeans – I didn’t exactly make a pair of jeans, but I made a pair of pedal pushers in stretch denim, so that’s almost there. Partially achieved, and I think the only thing that stopped me moving onto jeans proper was getting pregnant!

Make a proper button-up shirt – again, I’ve been working up to this by making some woven blouses with buttons and poppers at the front. Partially achieved for pretty much the same reason as above!

Get more creative and experimental with knit fabrics – Definitely achieved! See knit fabric point above.

Plan my makes much more carefully, making sure they’ll fit in with the rest of my wardrobe and that they’re the kind of things I really want to wear – Also definitely achieved. See journalling point above.

Get my own sewing room again, and make it really cute and practical – I’m still waiting for this one. Andy is making good headway on the new bedroom and promises me it will be ready by the time the baby comes, but I won’t be able to create the sewing room straight away as Gabriel’s current room will probably need to be a nursery for a while. Unless the baby sleeps so well it can go straight from sharing with me and Andy to sharing with Gabriel, that is. I can but hope! For the moment, though, I’m making my space at the end of the living room work for me, and I’ve vowed to keep it tidier and less cluttered this year.

Anyone else taking part in the #SewingTop5 challenge? Or are you doing your own kind of yearly round-up? Please do share your links in the comments so I can come and have a gander!

My first Minerva Craft Blogger post!

Cosy Cabled Knitted Cowl for Minerva Blogger Network

Blog posts–they’re like buses, aren’t they? I make you wait ages and then you get two blog posts in two days–and probably one a day for the next few days too 🙂

Anyway, today is my debut as part of the Minerva Craft Blogger Network. I’ve done a few projects for the regular Minerva blog over the summer, but I was thrilled to be asked to join the blogger network proper. That means that every month I’m given a budget to shop with on the Minerva site, and I’ll share my makes there on the 28th.

My first make is a knitted cowl, bizarrely enough. I don’t do much knitting, but I do enjoy it and I want to get better, so I figure the only way to do so is to stretch myself and try new things. This was my first go at cables, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out 😀

Check out the full post over on the blog, and here are links to the products I used, should you be interested in grabbing them yourself:

Erika Knight Maxi Wool in Geranium (2 hanks for £7.59 each)

Knit Pro Basix Birch Circular Needle (£5.99)

Clover Cable Needles (£3.19)

Stylecraft Ladies Scarves and Cowls pattern (£2.99)

(all affiliate links)

Now, I know some people are suspicious when bloggers use affiliate links and review products they got for free, and I used to be one of them. However, since Minerva are a company I was buying from before I ever got any freebies, I’m very happy to have this arrangement with them, and it allows me to make things I wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to make. I will always give my honest opinion in reviews and point out the pros and cons, should there be any. I find other bloggers reviews helpful, so I’m happy to be able to spread the word about books, patterns, fabrics and the like.

Affiliate links are something I’ve started doing this last year and so far I haven’t made much from them. Basically, if you click through on an affiliate link and make a purchase I will make a very small referral bonus, at no charge to you. I started putting affiliate links up because I was spending lots of time writing blog posts, but had hardly any money to buy fabric and patterns. I figured that if the blogging could in any way help support my sewing hobby then that would be great. Perhaps at some point in the future my affiliate links will start bringing in a bit of money, and as they’re quick to set up I’ll keep going with them for the time being. If you don’t like them, you can always find the products I’ve linked with a quick Google search. I’ll happily provide a non-affiliate link for you in the comments if you’re having trouble finding anything. Just let me know 🙂

Right, that’s all for now. If you have any thoughts on bloggers using affiliate links and reviewing freebies, then please do share. I’m always really interested to discuss this sort of thing.

I’ll be back tomorrow with the first of my #SewingTop5 posts. Until then, happy sewing!

The Party Animal Dress – a maternity Agnes dress pattern review

Party Animal maternity bodycon Agnes Dress Tilly and the Buttons

Hi everyone! I’m here to provide a little distraction from post-Christmas mayhem (or whatever it is you choose to celebrate at this time of year) with my first proper bit of maternity sewing on the blog: a party dress made with the new maternity version of the very popular Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top/dress.

Believe it or not, this is my very first maternity dress make. I was into dressmaking when I fell pregnant with Gabriel, but because of my inexperience with and general fear of sewing knit fabrics, I thought most maternity sewing patterns looked too much like hard work. Since having Gabriel, however (3 years ago this week–doesn’t time fly?!) I’ve truly embraced sewing with knits and now prefer sewing them to wovens. Continue reading “The Party Animal Dress – a maternity Agnes dress pattern review”

The Winter Cords: Ottobre Ever Grey Boys Corduroy Pants sewing pattern review

Ottobre corduroy Ever Grey boys trousers, issue 4/2011

I don’t make much for my kids, I’ve got to admit. I used to crochet and knit for Daisy when she was a toddler, but I now find so little time for crafting that I’m pretty selfish with the little bits of time I do get. However, every now and again one of the kids needs and/or wants something that I either can’t track down to buy, or can’t afford when I do. This is one of those occasions.

I’ve had these cords on my sewing list since Gabriel was born as they caught my eye when looking through this old Ottobre magazine (one of only two that I own), but a well-timed gift of some roomy, lined corduroy trousers from my mum two years back meant I didn’t end up making them. I figured I had better make them this year as Gabriel is now at the maximum size they go up to, and after two years in the last pair he’d finally grown out of them! The pattern is for unlined trousers, but after the success of those lined cords I hunted around for a tutorial to add a snuggly jersey lining, and found this really helpful one.

The materials are all from my stash, and are leftover from old projects. The needlecord is beautifully soft but quite thin, so the thick interlock lining is really needed for a pair of winter-ready trousers. Plus I’ve discovered the lining has the added bonus of completely absorbing any little “accidents” Gabriel has. Okay, so they’ll still need changing, but at least everything is contained and I won’t need to clean the carpets. In unrelated news, we will be replacing our pale carpet with wooden flooring at some point in 2018!

Now, if you’ve never encountered Ottobre Magazine before it’s a Finnish publication that comes out six times a year. Two issues feature women’s patterns but four of them are kids patterns with around 30-40 designs in each and a good mix of clothes to fit different ages (newborns to teens) and plenty of unisex designs along with those that are more obviously suited to girls. I haven’t bought the women’s magazine before but I know Dawn from Two on, Two Off often sews them up. Many of the patterns are for jersey knits and the styling in the inspirational shots is always cute.

That’s the good–now what about the bad?

Well, first up, this is one of the pattern sheets:

Yeah, if you’re colourblind you’re not even going to want to attempt to find your pattern in amongst this lot! On the plus side, the patterns are all full sized and can be traced off. However, you will need to add your own seam allowance (hem allowance is usually included, and the pattern instructions will let you know if this is the case and how much seam allowance to add). I’m not averse to adding a seam allowance to a pattern and I always trace anyway, but I can see this would be a major stumbling block for some sewists. One thing I would definitely recommend if you are attempting to do this is to invest in one of these incredibly useful drafting rulers (affiliate link)–I wouldn’t want to attempt to add seam allowances without mine! I believe those over the pond can get hold of them with imperial measurements too.

Another downside to Ottobre patterns is the instructions. They’re perfectly sufficient if you’ve been sewing a while and have experience with the particular type of garment you’re making, but there are no illustrations and the text is fairly minimal. I’ve now made two Ottobre patterns (the first was Gabriel’s sleepsuit) and apart from the odd headscratching moment I’ve found they go together really easily, but your mileage may vary.

On to the making of these… It was pretty straightforward on the whole. I did have one annoying moment when I realised I hadn’t flipped the pattern piece when cutting out the knee sections, but luckily I had just enough fabric left in my scraps to cut another. Phew! I was worried that I might have to go for an entirely different fabric on the knees, which I suppose could look cute but I like the all-corduroy vibe, and the knee sections are different enough with the cord being cut on the cross grain. Here’s a close up pic to show that, as you’d have to really squint to see it in the rest of the pics!

It was interesting to see just how differently the cross and straight grain of the fabric behave when sewing them together. The cross grain really is so much more stretchy, and it was challenging to get the seams to match up as I was sewing. Luckily my walking foot could cope with it, but if you don’t have one I’d recommend doing some serious basting before sewing those seams.

There was a lot of topstitching in this pattern so I swapped around some of the construction steps so I didn’t have to swap needle and thread too often. Note to self: I really must get my second sewing machine operational! I did have a few issues with my topstitching thread tension and ended up flipping over what looked like a perfectly sewn row of topstitching to find this horrible old thread nest on the back:

Yeah, that was fun to unpick!

The front “pockets” as specified in the pattern are just two lines of topstitching to look like pocket openings, although the back patch ones are functional. I would have liked to make proper pockets at the front too as Gabriel does like to put stuff in them (not so good when it’s unwrapped chocolate from his advent calendar, admittedly), but with all the bulk of the lining to factor in I decided it would be making life too hard for myself. I vetoed the belt loops for the same reason, but would definitely do both if making an unlined pair for sprint/autumn.

As for the lining, I simply traced myself new pattern pieces for front and back by piecing together the main pattern pieces, minus any seam allowance where they’re joined. No way was I piecing all those seams for something that wouldn’t get seen! It was incredibly simple to sew the lining in and I’d recommend following that tutorial for anyone who wants to try upping the warmth level of an existing pair of elastic waist trousers.

Here’s a few more pics of Gabriel modelling his trousers on a properly muddy day:

Gabriel's Ottobre corduroy trousers 3
Best view I could get of the back. Sorry!

Gabriel's Ottobre corduroy trousers Gabriel's Ottobre corduroy trousers Gabriel's Ottobre corduroy trousers

My only real criticism of this pattern is the sizing, and that’s my fault for not paying close enough attention to what Ottobre’s sizing chart was telling me. The size 92 fits him fine for waist, outseam and height–he’s a centimetre taller, but his outseam is two centimetres shorter so they’re long enough. He just has most of his height in his body rather than his legs–just like his mum and his big sister!

However, the size 92 specifies a 58cm hip whereas Gabriel only has a 53 centimetre hip measurement. I scratched my head a little at this but figured I could just take the trousers in if needed. I’m guessing that this measurement must be to fit over cloth nappies, and Gabriel no longer wears any kind of nappy during the day, which has resulted in a pair of trousers that are much baggier in the leg than I’d ideally like. I just think he looks cuter in a slim fit, much like his dad does! I’ll definitely pay more attention to leg width in any future trousers I make him.

I doubt I’ll make these trousers for Gabriel again as this is the largest size they come in, but I’d definitely be up for making something in a very similar style with a skinnier leg. And who knows, maybe I’ll dust the pattern off for child #3 when they’re big enough. It starts at a pretty small size so I could get a fair bit of use out of it over the next few years!

The deets

Pattern: Ever Grey Corduroy Pants from Ottobre Kids, Autumn 4/2011

Size: 92cm

Fabric: Some leftover yardage from very old projects. One lot of brown needlecord I’ve also used to make this Osaka Skirt, and some tan cotton interlock to line it.

Modifications: Added the jersey lining for warmth, and omitted the belt loops.

Time to sew: 2 hours 48 minutes (this doesn’t include pattern tracing, cutting out, threading up machine, trying on for fit purposes, and general waffling!)

Costing: 

  • Pattern: £8.29 (I can’t actually remember how much I paid for the magazine, but that’s what the average back issue goes for on their site at the moment)
  • Fabric: £0.00 (not counting this as it’s all leftover from old projects)
  • Notions: £1.60 for topstitching thread
  • Total: £9.89

Not a bad price for warm and snuggly winter trousers, and the cost will go down if and when I make more patterns from this magazine.

Other inspirational versions: It’s not easy to find this pattern reviewed in English anywhere online (with the exception of these plain grey ones here), but I did track down a few girly versions on sites that are written in French and German:  these cute ones with the star applique and some in an eye-watering patterned corduroy!

Have you ever sewn an Ottobre pattern? If so, how did it go? And are you a mainly selfish or selfless sewist?

Disclaimer: some of the products linked above use affiliate links, meaning if you follow the link and make a purchase I will receive a small referral fee (at no added cost to you). Any extra income to help fund my sewing habit is greatly appreciated, but rest assured I only recommend products I love and think you might find useful too 🙂

Coming up next on the blog: Hopefully I’ll be sharing my leopard print Agnes dress–if I can get the sizing sorted out by the weekend. I’d better, as there’s a party I want to wear it to!

Party Animal Agnes dress - maternity version

November round-up and December’s sewing plans

November trees

This has been a weird old month. Not only is there the whole pregnancy thing throwing a spanner in my sewing plans, but Gabriel decided to give up his afternoon nap. That means he’s gone from napping 2-2.5 hours every day, to nothing, just like that! Oh yes, and not only have I lost my sanity time to get things done (including sewing), but he’s been throwing wobblers about random things as he’s tired and grumpy. Is it any surprise I haven’t been blogging?! Continue reading “November round-up and December’s sewing plans”

October round-up and November’s sewing plans

Right, well my sewing in October was a bit erratic, and I explained why in my big announcement post! Fortunately I’m no longer feeling sick and have lots of energy, plus a rapidly expanding midsection that needs new clothes to cover it. Here’s hoping November is productive!

Blogged in October:

Sewing done in October:

Gabriel's cordsThe Cleo dress pictured in the “Blogged in October” was actually finished off in the first part of the month, and I sewed the Purple Ponte Cardie in October soon. So the only thing I have left unblogged from October is a really cute pair of Ottobre corduroy trousers I made for Gabriel. I’d better get sewing or I’ll have nothing else to blog this month!

Money spent: £14.30

Patterns: £0 , Haberdashery: £12.30 , Fabric: £2.00

Pretty thrifty month, which was what it needed to be! The habby spend was mostly thread (Lidl had their overlocker cones in again!) and the fabric was a fat quarter to use in Gabriel’s quilt.

November sewing plans:

I have lots planned for November, but since three of the projects involve tracing out and fitting patterns, I’m not sure I’ll manage to get them all done. I’d love to make a couple of maternity Cleo tops in the two patterned jerseys I picked up at the Sewing Bee Live, and I’m also keen to sew up a shirt for Andy (particularly as another of his has just been consigned to the scraps bin) and a quilt for Gabriel. But first I’m doing my first bit of pattern testing ever: a maternity swimming costume pattern from Seamstress Erin. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to share that one with you, but I’m hoping it will be a quick and fun make. And I definitely need a new maternity swimsuit as my old one is just wrong. Ruffles and beads: what was I thinking?!!!

I’ll also be knitting, and am most of the way through a gorgeous cabled wool cowl (My Minerva Blogger Network post for December) and am hoping to finally finish off a pair of socks and a cardigan that have been on the go for longer than I really want to admit. Time to cosy up on the sofa with the last couple of series of Poldark and get knitting, methinks! Or will the eyecandy be too distracting?! Uh, I mean spotting the scenes shot in my little town, of course. Nothing to do with Ross Poldark. No. Absolutely not.

What are you planning to make this month? Does your Sewjo increase in the winter, or do you just want to retire to the sofa with some knitting?

Big (or soon-to-be-big!) Announcement

Hi everyone,

I’ve been dying to share this information for the last couple of months, and now I’ve officially gone public, I can: I’m pregnant again! This is the little bean:

The last couple of months have been kind of hellish with the exhaustion and nausea, both of which seem worse with this pregnancy but maybe I’m just forgetting what it was like with Daisy and Gabriel. I was also worried having had both a ten-week miscarriage in the past, and of course having had a child with Down’s Syndrome and all its attendant health issues (open heart surgery at 4 months old in Daisy’s case). However, now I’m into week thirteen and have had the first scan and screening (low risk–yay!) I’m feeling much more confident and happy. Plus the nausea and exhaustion seem to have gone away, which is a huge help. Ugh, it was so hard to cook food and even eat sometimes. We lived off fish and chips for a couple of the worst weeks. I know, I’m not proud of it, but you do what you need to to get by sometimes.

So, I’m due on 9th May 2018, which will probably mean I don’t do much posting this next Me Made May, but who knows? Maybe I’ll relish the extra challenge!

Now, onto what this means for my sewing, which is, of course, the most important thing 😛

Agnes maternity sewing patternI was into dressmaking by the time I had Gabriel, but hadn’t yet worked much with knits so didn’t feel confident making maternity clothes. As a consequence, I have an almost entirely RTW maternity capsule wardrobe ready and waiting. The clothes might not all be 100% my current style, but they’re all pretty neutral basics and I don’t dislike any of them. So do I actually need to make anything, especially bearing in mind it will only get worn for a few months? Well, I’ve had a good look through all the clothes and can see a few gaps, mostly in the form of interestingly patterned tops and dresses, so I’ll definitely be making myself a few pieces. I expect they’ll all be hacks of the Tilly and the Buttons Mama-to-be Agnes top and dress, as it’s pretty much my ideal maternity pattern! Seriously, why are there so few options for maternity sewing patterns? And most of the ones out there are so frumpy? I’m looking at you, Big Four! I want bodycon patterns, not to look like I’m wearing a sack!

But other than a handful of Agnes tops and dresses, and perhaps a couple of self-drafted skirts, I’m going to want to concentrate my sewing on things that will be useful beyond my pregnancy. I suppose I could work on more nursing-friendly tops as I get nearer the birth (I have a couple of TNT patterns I can use for that already, as I was still breastfeeding when I started this blog). But I’m mostly thinking longer term clothing, along with other sorts of sewing projects. So here’s a few thoughts on things I could be sewing over the next six months:

  • Kimonos and cardigans–these should fit now and forever more if I pick my patterns and fabrics wisely!
  • Shirts for me. I know I wouldn’t be able to fit them properly, but I’m thinking I could make an oversized shirt I could then wear as a “shacket” while pregnant. Possibly in a black and red plaid flannel.
  • Unselfish sewing for the rest of the family. They all need clothes, let’s face it. Andy wants a shirt, Gabriel needs EVERYTHING because he keeps growing (curse him!), and Daisy could do with a winter dress or two for school.
  • Gift sewing for birthdays/Christmas. Not sure what, exactly, but I’m sure I can come up with some ideas. Would be nice to have a stash of handmade gifts I could choose from when Christmas comes around. Maybe tree ornaments?
  • Finishing off the two UFO quilts I started years ago.
  • Finishing off the coat I started years ago, then got scared to finish as I found out more about tailoring.
  • Things that will be useful around the home, like aprons, bunting, cushion covers, more quilts, etc.
  • Things to furnish my sewing room, when it’s eventually done its duty as a nursery, like sewing machine/overlocker dust covers, pincushion, knitting needle holders, overlocker thread catcher, more bunting, etc.
  • Things for the baby. Clothes, sling, bedding, soft toys, etc. In gender-neutral colours as I don’t get on with that whole blue/pink thing.
  • Hats. Pregnancy doesn’t affect your head size, after all! And I really want to make a newsboy cap for Gabriel too.
  • Bags. I’ve been interested in having a go at bagmaking for years now, so maybe this will finally be the right time to get started. I want a new shoulder bag (in leather!) and could do with an overnight duffel bag, and I reckon Daisy could too.

Some of those items are more interesting than others, but even the stuff I’m less enthusiastic about (finishing the coat and quilts, for instance), I’m keen to get done as I won’t then feel guilty about UFOs hanging about, and I know the finished items will get plenty of use.

So yeah, I reckon that’s more than enough to keep me insanely busy for the next six months. I’ll probably go for a bit of embroidery, knitting and crochet too as I feel the need to put my feet up more, but for now, I’m enjoying the sudden surge of energy and catching up on all my neglected cleaning/gardening like a mad thing.

Anyone else out there been faced with a pregnancy sewing dilemma? How did you get around it? And does anyone have any suggestions for things I could be sewing over the next six months? Or links to any cute maternity patterns?

Cheers me dears!

Anna x