Last of the Summer Sewing

I gave myself last week off and have been attempting to get back to work this week, but lost yesterday to food shopping and this morning to the third and finally successful attempt at Sports Day at the boy’s school.  I will get back into the swing of it soon I’m sure!

Anyway, these are the last bits that I finished off before having to accept that my sewing time is once again limited to short bursts here and there and weekends!

First up is this jacket I made for Piggle using this 70’s pattern. I’m assuming it was the 70’s, there’s no date on it but it seems like it’s that kind of period!

I was going through my patterns on Evernote to try and inspire me to make something and when I saw the picture of this one I remembered a big piece of Windpro fleece that I’ve hand forever (well, at least 7 years) so I thought I would make use of it.  I still have a ton of it left but at least this got rid of one yard of it!

Piggle wanted pirate fabric on the inside but I didn’t have any and he didn’t like the sea turtles I’d picked out so we compromised on this Timeless Treasures Knight fabric.  The pattern is really really simple, the binding is the hardest bit but I actually took the time to pin and iron the binding to fit the curves and that way I didn’t have to go back and re-sew bits.  It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but it’s pretty damn good and I’m really pleased with it, and so is Piggle.

My only issue now is that Jim wants a jacket just like it.  I don’t think that this was the type of style that children above the age of 6 really wore (that’s the age that this pattern ends at) and having looked on Etsy, Ebay and vintage pattern sites I can’t find anything like it for a 9 year old.  If anyone has seen one or sees one and remembers could you please give me a shout, Jim and I would both be very grateful!

Next up was me finally getting it together and finishing off the Ashland Dress.  I was waiting for the thread to arrive for my quilt (which is finished but deserves a post of its own and photos taken on a day that isn’t completely overcast!) and it got later and later so I figured we weren’t getting post that day and went up and got to work, it took all of an hour (and when I came downstairs the post had arrived in the meantime, obviously the universe was also bored with this dress being unfinished).  No modelled shots I’m afraid as it’s a tad too tight.  I am back on the diet now though and it should fit me perfectly just around the time we get our first snow…

So, again, the fabric is a cotton/poly I picked up locally which shrinks slightly when ironed making the muslin I made totally worthless…  There should be 5 buttons on the front but I had these 3 perfect buttons so that’s how many I used. They are sewn through the layers, didn’t see the point in bothering with buttonholes.

The back is straight, that’s just my laziness at not checking it before I took the picture, sorry.  That is quite possibly the best invisible zip I have ever sewn in, it’s actually sewn in twice as I wasn’t happy with my first stitching line.  The dots lining up across the back of the bodice was a complete fluke but it makes me look rather clever and like I actually thought about it when cutting it out!

There are ties at the back.

The bodice is in 3 pieces and the curved seams give it a really nice fit.  I forgot to add the extra half inch to the bodice length that I meant to and must remember to do it next time as I do kind of need it, it’s not totally uncomfortable or terrible though as is.

It has pockets!

And the elbow length sleeves are gathered into bands at the bottom.

The main alterations I made were to lower the back neckline by folding over the facing again (I’d put the zip in low enough to do this thankfully) and re-sewing.  I have a note in the pattern envelope to remove some height from the back pattern piece when cutting it out, along with the other alterations I need.  Under the arms I took out about 2 inches on each side.  I’m not sure why I have such issues with this area, it’s the most common problem for me, perhaps I have really high armpits or something.  I can’t stand it when the garment pulls when I lift my arms or when the sleeve seams are halfway down my torso.  To take out the extra fabric I tapered from the top of the band to the underarm seam.  Unfortunately I couldn’t taper back down the sleeves as it made them too tight so I do have a tuck under each arm.  I think the polka dots are blinding enough to hide this thought and I will remember not to wear it anywhere that I have to wave my arms around in the air!  Finally, I should have lined the skirt as it’s pretty see through.  I will need to wear a slip pulled up to where the band hits, but as my slip constantly rides up anyway that won’t be an issue.

I’m really happy with the way this dress came out.  This pattern is really well drafted, the instructions are clear (but not a huge book which can be overwhelming or boring) and it comes with a few different sleeve lengths and a range of cup sizes.  When I pay £15 for an indie pattern this is what I hope to get and I am happy to part with my money for it as I’ll be using it over and over again.

The final thing I sewed was another cushion using a scrap pack I bought specifically for pillow making (I haven’t done enough quilting to generate a good amount of scraps and I don’t want to cut one or two pieces off of something else because that will always be the piece I need later on…) and this tutorial from DaciaRay.

Please note if you use this tutorial that the measurement for block 3 is wrong.  I cut it the same as blocks 4 and 5 and then trimmed it down to fit, there’s no way the measurements given will work in my opinion but I couldn’t find any mention of this in the many reviews of this tutorial so I could be mathematically challenged.

Waiting for the 18×18 cushion form to arrive was actually what was holding up me posting.  I learnt a lot with this cushion and I’m not all that excited about the results, although I think it’s passable.  The bright little birds are incredibly off grain, I tried and tried to get them straight but there was just no way around it and I think they look wonky on the pillow.  I wish I’d had a wider selection of fabrics but I had to work with what I’d bought and a fat quarter I threw in.  The big birds at the bottom and right hand side have no heads…  I cut them so they would but didn’t account for the outside seam being wider than the seams used to sew the blocks together.  Finally, my colour placement is not great, the pink on the right was supposed to be on the left but then the balance was all off and the right side was mainly grey.  Working with different colours and prints is something I need to keep working on, sometimes I get it bang on and other times, like with this pillow, I seem to have no sense of it at all.

The quilting luckily brought it together more and made it look a bit better

It is one continuous seam starting at the middle and going round and round until the outside.  The orange birds are my favourites, I wish I’d had more of them!

The back has some binding and random lines quilting which came out well.  I went from thinking ‘yuck’ to thinking ‘it’s ok’ and it’s on the sofa for the boys and cats to use as they will but I will definitely be attempting to make better cushions in the future, perhaps I was spoiled by aceing it on my first attempt!

So, that’s it for the sewing at the moment, I’m slowly working on other things and have begun knitting again which is nice, although perhaps deciding to cast on for a very dark brown patterned cardigan right when the nights have gotten really dark isn’t such a good idea, but lord do I really want a dark brown long cardigan so I will struggle on!

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4 thoughts on “Last of the Summer Sewing

  1. I love the dress, the spotty fabric is great and I like the bodice shape. Don’t be discouraged about the cushion, think of it as a learning experience!

  2. Kathryn says:

    I love the dress! For Jim’s jacket, could you possibly just use a copy machine to enlarge the pattern that you currently have? I’m a beginning seamstress, but the jacket seems like it’s loose enough that enlarging the pattern pieces might work.

  3. I’m very jealous of your quilting skills! I started my quilting yesterday and it was Tedious and Imperfect. Your cushion looks great!

    I also love your dress and the little jacket. The jacket reminds me of a sewn version of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Tomten Jacket. So maybe if you can’t find a sewing pattern, you can knit one for Jim? It’s so sweet that your boys are asking you for these things!

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