Tuesday, 3 February 2015

2015 sewing plans

Happy (belated) New Year to anyone out there who's still reading! I've really enjoyed reading everyone's reflection and forward planning posts but it feels a bit late for one of them now. I'll just say that 2014 was a brilliant year for me! I got to watch our little baby become a little boy and feel so lucky to be a part of his life. In addition I've made some pretty special new friends in Walthamstow, spent lots of time with family and friends, and visited new places including a lovely week in Cornwall.

January has whizzed past in a blur of family time and returning to part-time work.  It's been hard to make the time to sew but I've realised that 10 minutes here and there really do add up, and that these creative minutes are important for me. Already this year I've finished up 2 little girls skirts which I had cut out last September/October. I'll do a separate post on them as it's such a great pattern.

Last year I aimed to take part in the Stash Diet, in Me Made May and in the end did neither. This year I'm not going to set myself too many goals but I thought it might help me to have some short term plans. I'll probably just stick a post-it note above my sewing machine with a list of potential, and realistic, sewing goals for the following few months.

My goals for January were a long-sleeved Plantain t-shirt in pink jersey which I've finished and absolutely love! In fact I'm wearing as I type - just need to get some photos now. I've also started sewing a purple jersey skirt which is almost finished. Oh, and the 2 skirts I mentioned above. I'm very happy with that,especially as I've just started back work this month to.  For February I'd like to finish the jersey skirt, draft a t-shirt dress pattern using the same jersey skirt pattern (drafted by a friend) coupled with either the Plantain or the Scout tee. I've also got some See Kate Sew raglan tee's to sew for my wee boy and for gifts. And if I have any time left after that I've got a burgundy lace jersey Scout tee all cut out and waiting to be sewn up (it's been ready to sew since last summer!).

Plantain in progress, and my first time doing flat insert sleeves

Does anyone have any tips for sewing in short bursts of time? or sewing with a baby? My sewing machine is right outside Harris's room so I don't tend to sew at night in case I wake him up, which means sewing is restricted to weekends, bringing the machine through to the living room, and the occasional 10 minute sew with Harris playing happily beside me in the hall. I might just need to brave the night-time sewing and see if he gets used to the sound of the sewing machine - I guess it could be like white noise?!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

sunny day shorts

More sewing from Kids Clothes Week last week, and another free pattern from Oliver + S!

These are the Sunny Day Shorts and they really are a perfect little shorts pattern.  They were so quick to make and they look really nice on.  I think next time I might add some details like pockets or piping but I wanted to get these done quickly as the wee man was in serious need of some new shorts as we were down to one pair that fitted him properly - not enough in the hot weather we've been having!

I used the same organic blue cotton I used for his reversible bucket hat so they make a nice matching set.  The only thing I'm a bit disappointed about is that they won't fit him for long.  I cut the 6-9 month size as although he is almost 9 months I just thought they would fit him a bit longer.  However they're pretty snug on him.  Lesson learned - I need to use his measurements rather than the age guide just as I would if sewing for myself.

Sizing asides I love these shorts and can't wait to make up some more.  I had also been working on a t-shirt for Harris but I'm not happy with the way the bindings are attached.  I followed the instructions but don't like the results so I'm going to have to unpick rather than waste the jersey.  So that's it for KCW from me.  Not as productive as many people seem to have been but I'm really happy with 3 finished items in one week! I liked the motivation of sewing along, and sewing for an hour a day, and I'm really enjoying sewing children's clothes now.  Next up though - I'm hoping some me-sewing will resume shortly!

Friday, 25 July 2014

Kids Clothes Week July 2014

We're having a bit of a heatwave in London at the moment, in fact today we've got thunder and lightning which might mean the air is a bit fresher tomorrow hopefully.  I have been really enjoying the sunshine and love that I can get Harris out in the park everyday getting plenty of sunshine and fresh air.  However the heat has also meant not a lot of sleep in this household as it's just too hot for the wee man at night time.  As a result I'm pretty amazed by how much sewing I've done this week.  And it's all thanks to Kids Clothes Week.  If you haven't heard of it before (I hadn't until I was pregnant) KCW was started in 2008 by Meg Freeman. Like many new mums who are also obsessed with sewing she found herself thinking of so many sewing projects, then spending her evenings on the couch continuing to think about these projects. I know this feeling well! So she set herself a challenge of sewing for one hour every day for a week - KCW now runs four times a year, spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Having the focus of KCW has really helped my put aside a bit of time each day for sewing - some days this is nap time and other days it has been in the evening.  These are the first results of my sewing this week - 2 more Oliver + S reversible bucket hats.  Although I wouldn't mind if Harris had different hats to match his outfits I don't really have the time for that, instead I sewed up a hat for one of Harris's wee pals (the hat you see above with the apples on one side and below, the reverse in blue with orange top-stitching), and one for my nephew (the bottom 2 photos - he loves fire engines!)  You'll just have to take it from me - my nephew looks like one cool dude in his new hat!

I really enjoyed sewing these up as I knew what I was doing this time round and it was nice to be sewing up gifts.  I also just love sewing with this organic blue cotton from Ray Stitch.

The lovely red and white striped fabric was a gift from a friend - left-overs from a shirt she made. It goes so well with the blue and I knew my sister-in-law would like it too.

Don't worry though, Harris isn't being neglected, I have been sewing for him too! I've almost finished a pair of Oliver + S sunny day shorts and have a Brindille and Twig baby tee cut out which I'm hoping to get finished this week too.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Baby bucket hat

Well I have finally been doing some sewing, for me and for Harris.  I'll start with the make for Harris as I'm really pleased with it and have many more planned, not all for him as how many sun hats does a boy need really!  He does have a few but as we're always mislaying them so I thought it would be useful to have another.  I used the Oliver + S reversible bucket hat free pattern which was brilliant! You can see he looks pretty pleased with it too!

I cut the extra small which it states is for 6-12 months but I was worried it might be a bit small as he has quite a large head! So instead of using the recommended 1/2" seam allowance I just used a 1/4". This saved me some time as I didn't need to trim them, just pinked the edges with my pinking scissors (which are very blunt - does anyone know of anywhere in London that I could get them sharpened?).

The instructions are pretty easy to follow, the only bit that made me scratch my head a bit was attaching the crown to the side panels but I found some helpful photos on a tutorial by A Little Gray that helped me work it out.  Everything fitted together really well and it was much more straightforward to make it reversible than I thought it would be.  I'll definitely be making some more. In fact my husband has even asked if I can size the pattern up to make one for him too!

I'm really pleased with how neat my top-stitching on both sides of the hat is and I love the fabrics too.  The lovely blue, which I think might be a linen cotton blend but I can't remember, came from Ray Stitch. The geometric print is a fat quarter which I think came from M is for Make.  I've still got plenty left of both so I was thinking of making a wee pair of matching trousers in the blue with the printed fabric as a turn up - we'll see if I have time while summer is still here!

How is everyone else's summer sewing going?!