The One with the Megan Nielsen and Rayon Knit happiness combo!

A while ago, after Paunnet’s post about her jersey Banksia there was some talk about how hard it was to find nice jersey fabric. Nice as in, sweet and floral but not childlike or granny like.

Somehow I ended up in a fabric shop yesterday (totally by accident, I didn’t mean to :p) and I decided (for once) to ask the shoplady to help me out. Normally I just wonder around looking at what they have, but this time I asked her if she had any sweet and girly jersey fabrics (without it being childlike or granny like).

We went through the lot (they just had a fresh shipping) and stumbled on this beautiful, buttery soft rayon knit. It was perfection disguised as fabric. Instant happiness. I would have bought the bolt but it was a bit pricey for that.

Without anything specific in mind, I took home 2m. On my way back home it hit me that this was the perfect fabric for a jersey Banksia but also for a Briar… I hated myself for only buying 2m but I decided to give it a try and if I didn’t have enough go back there today and get some more.

cut out

It finally took me a few tries but I managed to squeeze both patterns out of the fabric. You can imagine my happiness! I cut all my pieces and decided to keep the sewing part for today (being tired and wanting to do it right the first time around as this was such gorgeous fabric)

Here’s the result!

fabric

I didn’t change much:

– On the Briar, I left off the patch pocket. The print was enough in itself

– On the Banksia I added a band at the hem because it turned out a bit short for my liking (I actually considered not hemming it, but it felt like a crime to do this to this fabric)

 

I’ve already expressed my love for Megan Nielsen and her patterns but this was just heaven!

(I have to confess I didn’t pre-wash the fabric, oops. But I did press the living shit out of it! Pressing is another thing I only started doing after I got to know Megan Nielsen’s patterns and blog)

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For You February – Project Bumblebee

The Twitter Sewing community got talking again and suddenly we all realised that we were all sewing for others this month. We decided it needed a name and For You February was born. Leave it to the ever lovely Gillian to design a logo for it!8443097400_8d9abff521_h

It wasn’t any different for me. There were some ‘For you’ projects on my list for this month. Only difference is, they weren’t presents. People actually asked me to make these (which does make me a little proud of myself) for a special occasion. So instead of taking it easy, I was on a schedule! And I hate schedules πŸ™‚ I love sewing and I love seeing the finished results on other people but I just have to force myself to start work on those projects. Once I get started it’s lots of fun but the time it takes to get started…. Pff πŸ™‚

My first two requests came from two of my colleagues. I usually teach secondary school, but once a week I also teach English in primary school. The two teachers over there are super lovely! So when they asked, I just couldn’t say no!

The first request (I’m keeping the 2nd one a secret until it’s finished) was a ‘bumblebee’ dress for Carnival (think Brazil, think Mardi Grass). The dresses for sale in shops were either too expensive or too ‘sexy bumblebee’… Not the look you want to go for around 10 year olds πŸ™‚ She wanted something dark yellow (more of a musterd colour) with dark brown. A sleeveless, loose fitting dress so she could wear something underneath.

I opted for the Banksia Dress pattern but left off the collar, the placket and the sleeves.Β For the first time ever, I made a muslin. Not because the pattern was difficult (because it’s really not), but because I wanted to make sure I had the right fit (When sewing for others, I want it to be perfect). She tried it on, I made my alterations and I thought the final dress would take me only half an hour.

Making of

Wrong! I decided against buying striped fabric and instead I bought two colours of twill and cut my stripes. That’s the part that took some time, together with making sure the stripes matched (I wanted them to continue at the side seams), sewing all the stripes together and finishing the seams πŸ™‚

But when it was finally done, I was very very very happy with the result! I even took the time to change thread colour while doing the topstitching so it matched the twill! Yay for not being lazy!

All in all, I think the end result matched the design drawings really well. Why did I draw such an easy dress? Because this way it was easier to see how many stripes I needed and which colour to put on top. Far easier to visualize!

Final

I’m happy and so was she! And in the end, that’s why we do it!

How is your ‘For You February’ going?

Banksia Pajamas: What to sew when you have the flu!

I had been coming down with something for a few days but on Monday morning it hit me full on! Went to the doctor’s and he told me I had to stay in bed for three days.

Well, I’m not good at staying in bed… There’s only so much TV I can watch. I felt a bit better yesterday, as long as I was sitting down and not thinking to hard πŸ™‚

Catherine

I had some fabric left over from the pajama pants I made my cousins for Christmas. (To be fair, I had bought way too much fabric) The idea was to make pajama pants from that same pattern and make a pajama top using the Banksia pattern. I had visions of flannel plaid with lace hems. I drew what I wanted it to look like. In all honesty, I can’t draw so I just copied the girl on the Banksia pattern, bit worried it’s copyright infringement or something.

schets

As I love lounging around in my pajamas on a Sunday, but most of the bought pajamas look too much like pajamas. I wanted something that wouldn’t make me rush to the mailbox in fear of being seen in my pajamas but made me strut proudly down the driveway!

So the first idea was to use the same pattern for my pants as the one I used for my cousins. But because they are very very slim and the legs weren’t tapered, I was afraid my pants would just end up being way to wide at the bottom. I didn’t like the fit around the back either. So after some debating (with my inner self) I decided to draft the pants myself.

I did cheat a little bit, took a pair I bought once and really liked and measured those up. I even wrote it down in my notebook πŸ™‚ It’s the first time I actually took the time to sit down and think everything over and plan in advance rather than figuring it out along the way. Looking back, it made it a lot easier for me because I knew in advance that I had everything I needed so I could just get on with things.

I drafted the pattern, traced it on regular pattern paper and cut it out. Did I make a muslin? Ofcourse not, why would I make an easy to sew model before bothering with matching up all the plaids. (That’s sarcastic me talking)

Luckily my cat (Noodles) was there to supervise the project until I had all my pieces cut up and put on a neat little pile. (For the record: I hate matching plaids)

Deel 1

I was thinking about doing a small tutorial on how I did it, but then I struck me, everyone reading this knows how to do pajama pants and I’m not that good yet. So i just took pictures of (almost) every step so you can see what I did.

Deel 2

 

The banksia top part was fairly easy, as I did it 3 times before πŸ™‚ The only hiccups in the process was the bias tape I used to face the sleeves. I had to do both sides twice because the thread kept bulging. In the end I’m very happy with how the top turned out, the only thing I can’t seem to fix is the fit of the collar. On each one the collar isn’t matching up in the centre and I don’t know how that happens. I’ll have to look into it next time.

Deel 3

 

deel 4

The pants were fairly standard and I made sure I pressed every seamΒ meticulously. I also topstitched over every seam and it looks great! The hard part really was getting the elastic in. The waistband was maybe a bit too well measured but in the end I pulled it off.

Every red line on the pajama matches! I’m so proud of myself! Even the lines of the pockets match up so they seem ‘invisible’ when you look at them.

deel 5The fit of the top is great, no changes there. I should however alter the fit of the pants a bit. Lower the waistline in the front and make it a bit higher in the back. But apart from that nothing that i could have done better.

Deel 6I especially love the white waistband that matches the collar on the top. I wanted to put a drawstring in but in the end decided against it as it was merely decorative. I also left off the lace because 1. It’s busy enough as it is 2. There’s 15 cm of snow outside and the temperature is -14. I wasn’t going to get in my car just to get some lace.

It’s save to say that I love the way this turned out, I made it sleeveless because I can’t stand sleeves when I sleep, I need my arms to be cold. During the daytime I just put a cardigan on top and I’m good to go. It has the boyfriend stamp of approval although he thinks it’s too classy for pajamas. I don’t care, nothing wrong with classy self made pajamas!

I want to wear this to work btw!

 

 

Time for the Banksia and Kelly show-and-tell!

I mentioned my love for Megan Nielsen’s patterns a few times but I haven’t actually shown you what I made with those patterns.

I made three Banksia tops:

Banksia Collage

Left: Floral cotton – Basic Pattern
Middle: Black and dotted jersey – Pattern altered for stretch
Right: Light blue cotton/linen blend – Basic pattern hemmed with lace

Detail of the lace hem. I used a bias tape as facing. Same method as the collar finish.Detail of the lace hem. I used a bias tape as facing. Same method as the collar finish.

I made two Kelly skirts:

Left: Green gabardine - Basic PatternRight: Brown Corduroy - Changed the pockets

Left: Green gabardine – Basic Pattern
Right: Brown Corduroy – Changed the pockets

Changed the pocket style on my second Kelly. Turned out really well I think.

Detail of the pocket: Changed the pocket style on my second Kelly. Turned out really well I think.

I have to admit that both patterns were incredibly easy to make. It took me about 5 hours to put my first Banksia together and it took another 3 hours to sew a Kelly. That was pattern tracing and cutting included.

If you want to make one yourself you can order the Banksia and the Kelly here. And if you already have a Kelly wear it on friday for #kellyskirtfriday! The lovely Sarah over at Notches and Notions started this great idea and our little #kellyskirtfriday club is pretty international! Megan Nielsen picked up on the hashtag and she’s asked to tweet all your pictures related to #kellyskirtfriday!