SWAP Project 4: Buffalo Check Opal Coatigan

Buffalo Check Opal Cardigan

On Tuesday I happened to stumble upon a thriftshop which sells items by weight or by length. Textiles (clothes, bedlinnen, blankets, etc) were sold by weight. I rummaged through the bins hoping to score some fabric for muslins. I found quite a few that I liked. I even like most of them well enough to keep them for clothes rather than muslins. My favourite piece was a buffalo check wool blanket. I´ve been looking for nice buffalo check fabric for a while now, hoping to find some in flannel for a winter shirt, but this was definitely the next best thing!

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The minute I unpacked it at home, I realised this was destined to become my Spring coatigan. I couldn´t imagine it being any other pattern than the Opal Cardigan by Paprika Patterns. I love that pattern and I had already seen it made up in a woven so I was fairly confident it would work here as well. Because of the loose weave the fabric does have some ´give´ (rather than stretch) which I hoped would be enough.

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I was really happy to see that I could actually fit all my pattern pieces on my fabric. I hoped the ´give´ would be enough as I didn´t have enough fabric to cut a larger size. I managed to add 2cm to the center back (4cm in total). Just to be on the safe side. I knew I wouldn´t be needing the bands as I was planning on using the selvedge as center front and some bias binding for the back neckline. The cuffs weren´t necessary either because the sleeves are long enough without them.

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I had a slight panic attack when I realised I had failed to match one pocket and there was no fabric left. Leaving them off was not an option, since a coat without pockets would not get worn (I need room for my phone, a pacifier for each kid and preferably a packet of handkerchiefs). Luckily, there was IG to the rescue!

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I´m actually really happy with the angled pockets. They are angled towards my hand for easy access and they are just the right size! My phone fits comfortably at the bottom of each pocket so it can´t fall out 🙂

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I wanted to finish this off the way it deserved, so I made a beltloop out of the same bias tape and stitched in a label. Labels make everything so much nicer!

Buffalo Check Opal Cardigan

I opted for a double row of stitching around the pockets to secure them. I didn´t want the loose weave to unravel under the pressure of using the pockets. I topstitched my side seams, shoulder and sleeve seams for the same reason. I kept the frayed blanket hem as my coatigan hem. Initially I wanted the same thing for the sleeves as well, but it looked like I was wearing an actual blanket. Not the look I was going for! So I cut the fraying off and used bias tape for the hem. I opted for elbow patches because I love brown suede elbow patches 😀 At first I used real suede but it was too bulky, so I took them off and used them as a template to cut some out of faux suede. They´re not 100% in the right position but I´m not taking them off again, it doesn´t bother me enough.

 

Final Verdict:

I am crazy about this thing! This is definitely something I would buy if I saw it hanging somewhere. I´ve already worn it out of the house and it´s perfect to throw on over a short sleeved t-shirt now that the weather is getting nicer. It´s a lot less scratchy than I feared, so that´s a big win! The hubby doesn´t really like it, but my Mom does. She said it was really ´me´ and I think that´s a huge compliment. She even volunteered to take pictures in the forest next to her house. Which is nice because it´s a lot nicer setting than indoors and I feel more comfortable with her behind the camera than the hubby. (She sucks at getting me centered in the shot though :D)

THE BEST PART: Because everything apart from the main fabric was deep stash or a gift, the total cost of this coatigan is €1,66! (!!!!!!!!) ❤

Buffalo Check Opal Cardigan

Summary:

Fabric and notions:

  • Wool thrifted blanket (125×140 cm) = € 1,66 (!!!!!)
  • Guterman thread (stash)
  • Faux suede (very deep stash)
  • Biastape (very deep stash)
  • Sewaholic label (gift from Tasia)

Pattern, size and alterations:

  • Opal Cardigan by Paprika Patterns
  • Size B – added 2cm at the center back
  • Made up in a non-stretch woven
  • Left off cuffs and bands
  • Angled the pockets

Buffalo Check Opal Cardigan

Do you buy fabrics at thrift stores? Is it easy to find nice fabrics or is it limited to ´muslin´fabrics?

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No such thing as too much glitter

I made this dress last Christmas for the Party Hardy theme on the Sew It Up blog, this year they had a ‘Less Black, More Glitter’ theme so even though it is black, it’s definitely sparkly.

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I ordered the fabric without really thinking about what I wanted to make. Like usual when I don´t have fixed plans, I had only ordered 2m .

With a bit of creative pattern tetris I managed to squeeze this dress out of the fabric with only scraps to spare. I started this dress december 23th 2014 and I finished it about an hour or two later that same night… While making the dress was fast, blogging about it sure wasn´t 😀

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It was an easy dress to make. I used two Megan Nielsen patterns and smashed them together to create a faux-wrap dress. I used the cascade wrap skirt and the Alissa maternity wrap top. I stitched the overlap down to create a faux wrap that I could wear with a belt. I was able to cut every pattern piece as is except for the back bodice, which I had to cut with a seam down the middle.

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While the fabric was scratchy on the outside, it was smooth on the inside, although slightly sheer. I was very happy when it still fit this year and I was able to wear it to my in-laws Christmas party. I wore my black Megan Nielsen slipdress underneath it.

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Final Verdict:

I was feeling like a whale at 34 weeks pregnant but wearing this dress made me feel so pretty. I was happy to realise that this dress works perfectly, pregnant or not. It still fits post-pregnancy so if I´m ever in need of a back-up fancy dress I know which one to pick!

Summary:

Fabric and notions:

  • Black glitter jersey (bought here)
  • Black thread

Pattern, sizing and alterations:

SWAP Project 3: Linnen Washi Hack

I made the necessary adjustments to my bodice and decided to use it for a dress. After a lot of thought, I kept coming back to the Washi dress by Made by Rae (I´ve made it a few times and I like it a lot)

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I deciced to swap the front and back bodice by the Lekala bodice and just add the Washi skirt pieces. I added 3cm to the centre front of the bodice to get the bodice the same length as the Washi bodice and then I lengthened the entire bodice by 2,5 cm so it wouldn´t look like maternity wear.

I did not muslin this, I cut straight into a gorgeous linnen I had been hoarding for 3 years. I fell in love with this fabric the minute I saw it. It´s dyed to look like denim and has a really nice drape. It was pricey but now that I´ve used it, I realise it was worth it. These past years I never found a project suitable or special enough to cut into the fabric and I was tired of it. I wanted to wear this!

I took my time with this dress. I interfaced the button placket, I used matching bias tape for the elastic casing and to bind the neckline. I serged all my seams in hot pink. I finally used the same bias tape to bind the sleeve and hem edges. I understitched them all and finished the dress by hand stitching the facing, sleeves and hem. I´m really happy with the finish and all my ´design´ choices.

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Final verdict:

Is it perfect? No. But I love love love this dress! It´s perfect to wear around the house casually with a cardigan or dressed up with a hot pink blazer. This is important because I decided that a mix and match wardrobe is not my thing, instead I´m trying to make/create outfits, so every piece I make gets worn. I tried both outfits with my boots, my pumps amd my sandals and they all looked great.

I´ve worn this dress to 2 birthday parties this weekend and I felt AMAZING both times. I love the fact that linnen is allowed to wrinkle. It´s such a soft weave and so breathable. This dress makes me feel pretty, pulled together and is easy to nurse in (big winner)!

What I would change next time? Add another inch to the centre front of the bodice, so it sits at my natural waist, instead of above it. (it´s not visible on this version though)

Summary:

Fabric and notions:

Pattern, size and adjustments:

  • Washi dress – Made by Rae
  • Size XL
    • Switched out washi bodice by Lekala bodice
    • Elastic casing instead of shirring
    • Neckline binding instead of facing
    • Button placket
    • Lengthened bodice 2,5 cm
    • Used bias binding to keep the hem as long as possible

 

Any suggestions for tunics? What are your favourite patterns?

 

Note: My camera and my remote aren´t communicating like they should. Every picture taken with my remote comes out blurry, whatever I do. Luckily for me, the husband was willing to take pictures this time and after telling him to shoot in continuous mode I felt less self-contious and I actually ended up with a few decent shots! Yay for him!

 

 

 

Looking back

When I was writing my blog post yesterday, I got annoying with all the random categories and tags so this morning I sat down, deleted all my categories and tags, made new ones and assigned them to all of my old blog posts.

Here´s some stuff I discovered about myself:

  • I have a lot of posts in the ´Random Ramblings´ category… Apparently I like to ramble, especially in 2013.
  • I wrote more blogposts in 2013 than in 2014, 2015 and 2016 combined.
  • I had A LOT of free time pre-baby!
  • I described my house as ¨requires minimum amounts of work¨ ROFL ! 3 years later, ending nowhere in sight!
  • Back in 2013, everything sewing related fit into a 6×4 foot space. That´s less space than my notions take up now.
  • I was going to sew from stash in 2013, 2014, 2015, … still not doing it.
  • I was going to stop buying patterns in 2013, 2014, 2015,… still not doing it
  • In 2014 I wrote that animal print is ´not my thing´… Who was this crazy lady! Bring on the leopard!
  • 30 lbs ago I wanted to loose 20 lbs… How on earth was I going to do that!
  • I´ve made A LOT of stuff I didn´t blog about…
  • I´ve made A LOT of stuff I don´t even own anymore.

But it´s reassuring to see that the basics haven´t changed!

  • Still zero patience when it comes to sewing for myself
  • Still addicted to buying fabric
  • Still addicted to buying patterns
  • Still loathe ironing and tracing
  • Still love making a mess, hate working in a mess, run away from mess

And this is for the entire sewing community and my readers (Apparently, I still have some despite the ramblings!)

THANK YOU for all the love and support!

(Special thank you to Gillian, without whom this blog had never started in the first place!)

 

SWAP Project 2: The ´7 muslins´cover-up

My quest continues. I´m still looking for the perfect tunic pattern to wear over all my black leggings.

I thought my search had ended when I saw Lekala 5772

I bought the pattern, taped it together and made a muslin. I initially wanted to swap the front ties for a front button placket so I could wear the entire thing closed over a pair of leggings. In the end it took 7 muslins to get to a point where I liked the thing on me and apart from the arm scye, there is really nothing left of the original pattern.

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In short:

  • Didn´t like the gathered neckline so I folded them up into a pleat
  • Didn´t like the pleat, turned it into a dart
  • Weird place for a dart, rotated the dart to the waist. Split it into 3 darts.
  • Didn´t like the 3 darts, swapped it for one pleat.
  • Decided the pleat looked off so swapped it out for a dart again, but making the dart wider, shorter and curvier. Added a button placket,
  • Didn´t like the round neckline with the button placket so changed it into a curvy V-shape.
  • Added an all in one cut on button band/facing, lowered the V and lengthened the centre front.

After that I was finally happy and decided to make a last ´wearable´ muslin in a stiffer cotton to see if everything added up and which way I wanted to finish everything.

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I took the time to drape and pin this bodice on me until I was happy with the fit, each time transfering changes to my pattern pieces, I had never done this before and it made me feel so peaceful to just be able to use my body and adapt whatever I was making without worrying about the sizing. I´m my own fit model and I let go of trying to fit into industry standards. Very freeing!

 

I used a light blue cotton shirting from my stash with a white floral print. The fabric was quite crisp so I decided not to interface the facing/placket. I finished the sleeves, bottom hem and back neckline with store bought bias tape in a slightly darker blue. And I added a pearl snap to keep it closed.

The stiffer fabric showed me that the angle on my button placket wasn´t right yet and that my facing was too wide and got caught up in the sleeves.

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Initially I had wanted to turn this into a tunic or a dress but I wasn´t sure about it yet, so decided to keep it as a top and thought it would make a lovely cover-up for something sleeveless.

It turns out to be a perfect cover-up for my favourite night gown. My night gown is a navy blue silk jersey with navy blue lace on top. It has narrow straps and a low neckline. I bought it right before I gave birth and I feel lovely wearing it. The straps pull down easily to nurse and it´s really comfortable. It is however, not modest at all and while I don´t mind my husband seeing the goods, sometimes it gets a bit cold running around half naked and my in-laws tend to show up for unannounced visits in the evenings.

(If you are wondering why I often take pictures at night, this is what happens when my toddler is up 🙂 Sunday mornings are the best, obviously!)

I used to just cover up in a sweater but now I can wear this blue top and feel great. It´s not too warm, covers just enough and unbuttons easily for nursing. It´ll be perfect for Spring and Summer!

Mission accomplished!

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My little princess!