Completed: Stripey scoop neck t-shirt

Whoah! I sewed a garment for myself! Now, that was long ago! I suddenly really wanted something new and colourful to wear. It had to be a quick make without any fitting so I pulled out the pattern for a scoop neck tee by Meg McElwee that I’ve used before. That t-shirt is probably my most worn self-made garment ever so it seemed like a safe bet to use it for some fuss-free sewing.

The fabric is a bit of a funky striped knit that I originally bought with the intention of making a dress for my daughter. When I laid down the pattern on the fabric, I realized I could just fit it on with nothing to spare. With the uneven stripes in this print there is only so much pattern matching that you can do so I only sort of did this for the sides and made sure that both sleeves at least featured the stripes in the same order.

Yes, it’s in Dutch…

I had to laugh a bit at myself because after making the first t-shirt years and years and years ago (pre-blogging) I had written down on the traced pattern that I had made the t-shirt 1 inch shorter than the pattern. Years later I used the same pattern to make a maternity t-shirt and then wondered whether I had also removed that 1 inch from the pattern or not and wrote that question down on the pattern as well. I can now attest that yes, I did indeed cut off the 1 inch from the pattern. I think nowadays I make clearer notes when I modify a pattern, or at least I hope I do.

I wore my new t-shirt the entire day before taking pictures and I can already tell that it is going to be another winner in my wardrobe.

Does anyone else suddenly feel the need for brighter colours in their life? I wear a lot of dark blue and grey and have done so for years but now I want more purple and greens and maybe even pink? We’ll see what comes next. I probably need to get some more fabric first, this was the only colourful kid fabric that my pattern fit on.

Completed: Serpentine hat

There is a first time for everything and this time I made myself a hat! I used the Serpentine hat pattern from Elbe textiles and I really like this pattern. It only took 2 evenings of sewing, which made for a nice change from the quilts that I am making that take a whole lot longer to complete. I made size S which is a good fit for my smallish head (for commercial patterns I wear a 56 cm).

Despite my huge stash I did not really have much suitable sturdy fabric options for a hat (must change that soon!) so to try out the pattern I used a remnant of curtain fabric. I now match our former living room and current bedroom curtains… For the top and band I used the same fabric for the lining but I did not have enough left for the brim lining so I used a floral batik instead. Because the batik was not particularly sturdy, I put some woven sew in interfacing in the brim to add some structure.

Changes that I made

Apparently, I am not able to completely follow a pattern to the letter so I made some changes. Because I found the outer fabric a bit boring on its own I did some topstitching with contrasting 38wt Gutermann Sulky thread on the outside band before assembly and also through both sides of the brim before attaching it to the band. I think this may provide some extra structure to the brim too but I’m not entirely sure because I haven’t tested it without topstitching.

The pattern is written to be reversible but my hat isn’t. I am very much a Dutch stereotype when it comes to cycling. I also burn very easily when it’s sunny, so in the summer I often wear a hat when I cycle. We live close to the sea so on most days you can add some wind and then a hat is not very likely to stay on top of your head for very long. The two commercial hats that I own and wear have this feature inside the band that helps to keep the hat more secure on top of your head. It’s basically a tunnel of fabric through which a ribbon is threaded that you can tie so it fits snugly around your head. I incorporated this into the Serpentine hat by tracing the first 1 ¼’’ of the inner side of the brim and sewing this into a tunnel that is open on one side to thread a ribbon through. I now realize that it may make even more sense to trace the lower part of the band instead of the inner part of the brim, and I will try this next time. I first basted the tunnel to the right side of the band lining before it was attached to the brim. The outer band is attached to the brim by topstitching and if you add a tunnel make sure to push it out of the way so you don’t accidently stitch through it.  

This hat stays on my head very well. It does not completely survive the cycling test though. When there is a head wind the brim flaps up against the band so it is a bit too floppy for that purpose. For walking around it’s absolutely fine, however. On my next version I am going to use a sturdier interfacing to see if that adds the structure I need. I am also going for a much brighter colour because it’s summer!

Have you ever made a hat and are there any patterns that you recommend?

P.S. my June newsletter goes out tomorrow or Thursday so if you’d like to read a bit more about what I get up to, want some book recommendations or read about other random and not so random stuff there is still time to sign up!

Completed: a foxy nightdress

I made another pyjama for my daughter. Like last time I used the crossover tee pattern from Meg McElwee’s book “growing up sew liberated”. I did lenthen it by 3.5″ though to turn it into a nightdress.

She still fits in the size 3T that I made over a year ago but has definitely grown a lot since then so this time I made size 4T. There wasn’t enough fabric for long sleeves and she’ll probably mostly wear it during the summer so I opted for short sleeves. Last time I also made matching pyjama bottoms but as it turns out she doesn’t really like to wear pyjama pants and certainly not during the summer so I didn’t bother.

I tried to match the foxes on the two front bodice pattern pieces and this worked out reasonably well. To do this I first pinned the large front pattern piece to the fabric and then placed the pattern for the underlap on top. I drew around a couple of the foxes and made sure to match the foxes to those spots when I placed the pattern on the fabric.

For the ribbing I had a couple of options in my stash and went for the light blue because it was most summery.

Except for the top stitching everything was sewn with my overlocker. I used seraflock thread in the loopers for the first time and am pleased with how this turned out. This thread looks a bit fuzzy and is softer than regular overlocking thread. The edges of the seams feel very nice against your skin. I’ll definitely use this again!

My daughter is super happy with her new nightdress and I hope she’ll be able to wear it for a long time.

Completed: Dress 18 from Knippie December 2019/January 2020

I made a dress for my daughter using a pattern from Knippie December 2019/2020. If you feel it doesn’t really look like the line drawing you’re absolutely right. The pattern came from a party issue of the magazine and it features a lace ruffle at the shoulders and a detachable overskirt. I am not big on ruffles and detachable skirts aren’t really all that practical for everyday use. I was looking for a basic dress pattern for knit fabrics and couldn’t really find anything else in my stash that fit the bill so decided to give this one a try skipping on the extra frill.

I gave my daughter some options for fabrics from my stash and she picked this lovely stripe. It feels very soft on both front and back and behaved well under my sewing machine. Sewing the dress was quite straightforward. Stripe matching was definitely more successful on one side, however, and when I got to hemming I realized this was probably due to how I cut the back bodice because the stripes at the back hem are definitely not so straight…

I followed the instructions for attaching the neck binding but this is definitely not my preferred method. You start by sewing the right side of the binding to the wrong side of the bodice and then fold it over to the right side, fold the other raw edge under and topstitch. I find this super fiddly and had to use a lot of pins to get it to look somewhat decent. With a solid fabric this is probably easier than when you’re also dealing with a stripe though. The V is created by folding the attached binding at the front and sewing a small diagonal seam. One advantage of this binding method over what I usually do is that the finish on the inside is very neat. I just find it a lot easier and faster to attach the binding already folded.

One of the annoying things of the current pandemic situation is that it’s not possible to buy matching thread. I didn’t have any dark enough blue thread left and in the end decided that topstitching with black thread would be preferable to waiting until I could buy matching thread with the risk that by that time my daughter no longer fit the dress.

My daughter is happy with her new dress so that’s always a win. I do find that the V-neck finishes a bit on the low side though. It’s a too cold right now to not wear anything underneath which now sometimes peeps out. Otherwise it looks comfortable to wear and that’s one of the most important things when you’re an active 4 year old.