Category Archives: Stash Down

All the colour!

Oh, these November days. Even if you are lucky enough not to be affected by the rapidly diminishing daylight, there is no escaping the permeating gloom of a cloudy November afternoon. These are the days that we need good, simple things such as hot, fragrant tea, little tealights, cushions and… colour! I noticed during the last lockdown that what I chose to wear each day, each item’s colour and the overall palette had quite an effect on my mood. In the past, I’m not sure I would have put much sway on such a thing, but these days, it really does seem to make a difference. I have since become much bolder in my colour choices, because why not? I have even started to dip into my languishing jewellery box. All those fun, dangly earrings that I was saving for ‘special’ occasions! Isn’t today a special occasion though? Tomorrow, even more so!

With these ideas in mind, I thought that today, I would share with you a sample of what is on my sewing table and knitting needles these days.

I think that this selection is pretty representative of what’s going on around here! From the top down, the clouds and cheetahs have been made into two raglan long-sleeved t-shirts. I only got a metre of each and used plain navy jersey that I had in my stash for the sleeves and neckbands. The pineapples and the broccoli guys (!!!) are destined for two jersey dresses – nothing fancy, simply further iterations of the ‘Lady Skater Dress‘. I have had this pattern for quite a few years and I think that I have made about 7 or 8 of them by now. I wear them out! The bottom fabric, the one with raindrops on it, is from Maeve at Dress Fabrics. I have this cut out to be a ‘Union Street Tee‘. When I have it made up, I will share it here because I have accumulated a few thoughts on t-shirt patterns!

I also have these two lightweight needlecords lined up to cut out. The pattern I decided upon for these is Burda 6627. (Here‘s a link to an image search for the pattern.) It is a very straight forward shift dress with princess seams. I made it up the winter before last in a dark pink wool tweed and it’s such a wearable little dress! I think that in bright pink and turquoise, they will brighten any day.

So that’s what I’ve been working away on. The raglan tops and the dresses, because they’re just the same thing repeated in different fabrics, I have been sewing them factory-line style. This means that, say, for the dresses, I sew each stage of all three dresses at the same time – the shoulder seams, then the neckbands, then attach the skirt, and so on. It is a bit more time consuming, but still much quicker than sewing them one dress at a time. It sounds a little counter-intuitive but it definitely works! Any time that I want to sew a few of the same thing, like t-shirts or leggings, I work this way. I suppose that it is more oriented towards the end-product, as opposed to the process, but with t-shirts, there isn’t all that much to the process anyway!

Wishing you all a lovely weekend and I’ll be back soon with some pink knitting.

Golden Times

What beautiful autumnal weather we have been having here! Sure, we have had a few gusty days, and a few wet ones as well, but in between times, how beautiful that sunshine has been!

I hope that you will share my joy in having completed my Summer Halo jumper that I wrote about the last time! I am going to christen it my Golden Halo – for obvious reasons.

I still can’t believe that I managed to get a whole jumper out of just 300g! What I did was, because it was worked from the top down, knit the sleeves before completing the body. That way I knew for certain that I could have long sleeves. I was truly surprised that I was able to get a hip-length jumper out of the remains! I had only a few grams leftover. The yoke is a very simple lace pattern, but very effective.

The yarn worked out to be a fairly hefty sport weight. I got gauge for the pattern using 4mm needles. You might be able to see from the photo above that I included some short rows to raise the back neckline a bit. Other than that, I knit the pattern as it’s written – it is extremely straight forward. I would go so far as to say that if you’ve never knit a yoked jumper from the top down before, and you wanted to try out a lace pattern, this is a great place to start. Actually, just going back to the pattern page there, I realised that I made my sleeves full-length, whereas in the pattern, you just knit a cuff. So if you wanted to do that, you’d have to work out the rate of decreases (unlike me, my first sleeve does not bear scrutiny…). Here’s the link to the pattern if you’re curious.

I was going through photos that I had taken on my phone recently (by the way, how incredible are phone cameras these days?), and I noticed an amusing trend amongst the things that I have taken in the last two months. Bear in mind that I am an avid walker and love to get outdoors at least once a day.

Surprise! Swatching for the next thing.

FO: City Stroll Skirt

As promised! Let’s talk what was underneath my Abria the other day.

First up, the skirt! This is one of the more recent releases from Liesl+co, called the City Stroll Skirt. I made it out of some pretty ordinary dark denim I picked up in Hickey’s. It was about a tenner – I only had a metre so I forwent the facing, opting instead for a bias binding finish inside.


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As always, the instructions are impeccable and everything matches up nicely. In fact, there is little else to say, except that this is one of those deceptive skirts in terms of length! It looks ok on the model, right? Even the pattern pieces look about right. But… I think I would like it a bit longer. I like to use my pockets, but unfortunately, very often, when I have my hands in my pockets, I still move them around. So, depending on what angle you face your audience, you could give them a very interesting accompaniment to your dialogue! I am a little annoyed, in fact, because I even wrote on the pieces to lengthen them by two inches, but in the heat of cutting out, I forgot.

I love the buttons. I got them in Rubanesque about a month ago. They were selling all of their buttons at 50% off, so I doubt there are many left.


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The blouse was one of those things I had on my list (you have one too? isn’t it funny how it can morph from being inspiring to overwhelming to redundant back to inspiring in just one sitting?) but almost didn’t get to. I got the pattern, Burda 6810 at the beginning of the summer. It has two winning aspects: multiple sleeve options and a covered button placket. I might be a little crazy but when you’re wearing a blouse under a close-fitting sweater, the covered placket prevents the buttons from showing through the sweater! Anyway, I had barely a metre of white cotton voile left over from another blouse I made, and I thought it would be good to see if it fit. In any case, the more I thought about it, the more I think a sleeveless blouse is useful for layering under dresses. I love long sleeved dresses, and I love the look of a collar underneath, but I don’t ever wear the two together simply because of the bulk of wearing a blouse. Doesn’t this solve this problem?

Don’t let my glowing countenance fool you…! I’m actually not thrilled with the blouse. In fact, it pushed me to face the fact that I needed to learn how to make a full bust adjustment. I always need a little bit more room at the front, even when everything else – shoulders, waist and hips – fit just fine (as you can see). Any minor pulling you see would be fixed by this. So… I spent the princely sum of e6.50 on 1.2m of white polycotton and thirty minutes doing a little research for another version. It’s actually not that hard at all. I cut out a new blouse and hopefully I will have an idea of the fit in a day or two.

FO: Carme blouse

Hi everyone! I’ve a lot on my plate these days so forgive my infrequent posts. Between concerts, competitions (small, local, soon and big, in Italy and later) and actual work for money, there’s a lot going on! Well, no, not right now, but there will be. Mostly it would be fine if I wasn’t doing competitions abroad, but I am!

Anyway, I have for you today a blouse I finished before Christmas. I wore it once but the cuffs were far too tight and narrow, so it sat in my mending pile until January.

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It’s the Carme blouse by Pauline Alice patterns. She’s sort of the Spanish equivalent of Deer and Doe. I bought the Alameda dress pattern as well, as I have a wonderful check will that would look fabulous with those bias panels.

I digress! I used a plain polycotton that has been sitting in my stash for ages – I needed a blue blouse and this wasn’t so precious that I wouldn’t mind if it didn’t work out perfectly. I didn’t have quite enough for the sleeves and that meant that when I put on the little cuffs, they were finishing higher up my arms than intended and so were too tight. What I did was replace them with a pair of cuffs from another blouse. I also left out the gathers and just did a normal pleat instead.

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As for the body, I didn’t cut a straight size as it’s kind of oversize – I cut my proper size for the top, tapered into the smallest size at the waist and then a size bigger at the hips. It looks like an extreme curve but when on is just fine.

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You can see that there’s still plenty of room in the body. You might spy, as well, that I have a collar on my blouse when the pattern has none. The pattern has the important bit – a collar stand – so I just popped a collar from another pattern into it.

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The placket and bib were really straight forward and well explained in the instructions. It’s a nice pattern, with lots of options for variety, and it goes well over leggings or jeans.

Nascha Mini Skirt

Here’s a little something I made a while ago. Maybe I have mentioned before but I am smitten with the Named sewing patterns. I don’t think that every pattern is for me but I adore their aesthetic. They have such a clear idea of their style – their distinctive design is like no other.

Needless to say, I was excited to see what their Autumn/Winter collection would hold. I wasn’t disappointed. There are lots of trendy items but the ones I am most drawn to, other than this little skirt, are the Wenona shirt-dress and the Shadi knit skirt. I think this collection, of the three they have released so far, have the best spread of ability. There are fun, stylish patterns suitable for a quick sew or a beginner, but there are more challenging ones too. I think they hit the balance just right with this one.

Anyway, let’s see the skirt!

This is really just a wearable muslin. I ended up with a strangely shaped remnant piece of coating that I struggled to use so I thought this might be nice. I wasn’t sure about the sizing but having made a few things from this company now, I know I can trust the finished measurements and sizing suggestions. I think I sewed this in a straight 38. Because it’s supposed to sit below the waistline, I wasn’t sure about tapering to a 36 at the waist.

The only downside to this project was my choice of fabric – it was just a bit too thick. Sewing that exposed zipper was a bit of a pain because the fabric just wanted to squidge out at every opportunity. But I got there and it looks ok!

This isn’t a very flattering photo but it shows you how low the skirt sits on the hips. I totally regretted using such thick fabric for my facings :O It looks like I’m wearing a tyre unless I pull my top down.

The one thing I love about this pattern is the level of finishing that’s detailed. It’s not quite the quick sew you would imagine it might be but it’s quite posh in there.

I especially like the way the points at the front are handled with the lining. There is very little hand sewing required.

I’m not really one for short-short skirts so I was not prepared for how… immobile this is. I can just about sit down in it. I was looking about for other reviews and someone, somewhere, mentioned about sewing this in a thick knit or a ponte. I would definitely entertain something like that – anything with a tiny bit of stretch would be amazing! I do like to sit down every now and again.