Today is the culmination of years of work – today I have finally updated the last three of our patterns to be layered pdfs! This means that if you open the pattern file in a compatible app like Adobe Acrobat, you can turn off the layers you don’t need and just print your size(s), which can make things a lot clearer to read and cut out!
Strap in because this may be my first finished make of 2021, but it started in 2019, and it’s a whopper.
I learned to loom knit a few years ago because I was really only interested in making socks, and I have zero desire whatsoever to learn “regular” needle knitting (I am beyond bored of people telling me I should – I don’t care – there’s the door!) so to discover there was an old-fashioned method to do so got me excited and I made a LOT of socks over the years. I also made a few hats, and a cowl, and a pair of weird mittens, but then the worm of an idea grew in my head – “You should make a sweater.”
What. A. Year! I’m not even going to attempt to sugar-coat things, and any attempt to try and put things into perspective just sounds like a cliché after all this. But for a year where I was essentially under house arrest since March, it’s surprisingly not all bad. Above all else, I’m grateful to have spent the time with my husband and that we both were able to continue our office jobs from home at full pay and remarkable support. My sewing was both a welcome distraction and a balm in this year of chaos and uncertainty.
I’m going to try to use my usual year-end format again, though this was clearly a year that broke all attempts to contain it so let’s do what we can (clearly a motto for the year!)…
Yes, another lingerie set! I’ve been wearing the other sets I made this year (the polka dot, the black mesh, and the painterly) pretty much nonstop so when Discovery Fabrics asked if I’d be interested in trying one of their panty packs (for the price of postage since Canada to the UK isn’t cheap!) I was all over it. They stock a ton of great technical activewear fabrics so I knew these would be fabulous, and I was not disappointed!
My pack has seven fabrics at the full width but only 12in long – which is absolutely fine for panties and most bras, but in order to fit my favourite Sophie Hines Axis Tank into my yardage I had to get a little creative and cut some new design lines on the front piece. For this one I cut off the bottom with a curve (bottom right in the photo below) but I might change things up for the next one and cut off the straps instead!
I didn’t make many in-person gifts this year, but when the Jalie Galaxie 4 pattern aimed at pets was announced, and I looked at my recent Spoonflower purchases from their BOGOF sale, I knew I had to make something for my bestie’s pooch!
You already saw the cat bed I sewed for Nishi from this pattern, but there are a bunch of other treats in this pattern, too!
First up, I made the “Johnny” collapsible bowl in the largest size (Freya is only just over a year old but she is a BIG girl with a big appetite!).
Back in May I bought some irregular striped rib knit jersey from Like Sew Amazing (now sold out) at the same time as I bought the fabric for my Burda jumpsuit. I didn’t really have a plan for it, but I could tell it was high quality and a steal at £15 for 1.5m, so I kept hold of it in my stash until a plan presented itself back in early November when I thought to myself – I should definitely make a long sleeved top with it.
I’d been meaning to sew more from the excellent Named Patterns “Breaking the Pattern” book (since everything I’ve made so far has been incredible!), and having most recently made the Ruska knot dress back in March for my birthday, the other Ruska variations were already printed and cut to size. Even though it’s all one pattern, you actually get two fit choices – a looser cut through the body (used by the teeshirt, tunic, and outer layer of the knot dress) or a more slim-fit version (used by the dress and inner layer of the knot dress). Since I already liked the fit of the knot dress, I opted for the slim-fit with long sleeves and a taller collar similar to the dress in the book (I’ll get to that in a second though).
For the last few years, Jalie Patterns have released a “Galaxie” pattern around the holidays that is usually gift-themed. One year it was cooking-focused, another on travel, but this year the focus was on pets, and, reader, I bought it immediately! Galaxie 4 contains several little projects for pets – collapsible bowls, zippered pouches, a poo-bag dispenser, and a pet bed – and one for humans, too – a bum bag. My Instagram followers will know that I made some of the other views of this pattern literally the next day, but as those are presents you’ll need to wait to see those!
Today we’re talking all about the “Coquette”, a pet padded bed/cave/house/etc. It comes in a range of sizes that would be suitable for a guinea pig, rabbit, cat, or small dog, but you could likely scale it up for larger dogs if you really wanted to. After some deliberation, I ended up using the second-to-largest size, 35cm, and I think this is the right size for an average sized cat, though you could probably go down one size further in a pinch if you had to, too.
You might mistake me for someone who actually enjoys sewing home dec for the sheer amount of it I’ve been doing this year. But considering the amount of time we’ve spent at home (ie: every waking moment for the past 8 months) it’s probably not surprising that we keep seeing ways to improve things.
The latest in my home improvements was sewing a new cover for the smaller, bedroom skylight in the back cabin. Unlike the skylights in the main part of the boat which are flat, these older covers over the original 1930s captains cabin are peaked, triangular wooden framed skylights which need custom shaping. The last one I made for this particular skylight was made in Jan 2011 so it nearly lasted ten years! But you’ll see further down how badly it needed replacing…
After the success of James’s pandemic trousers (he’s barely taken them off since I gave them to him!), I decided that I needed some elastic-waisted joys of my own to wear while working from home (and relaxing from home, and eating from home, and socialising from home, and everything else from home!). And then I realised that I actually already had a casual woven trouser pattern (complete with separate drawstring waistband!) that I had printed onto A0 a few years back and never sewn – Seamwork Moji!
I’m a big fan of chenille. I’m currently writing this while underneath a big chenille blanket, and J has several big chenille jumpers (sweaters) that he pretty much lives in all winter long. So when Textile Express shared photos on their Instagram of a new stretchy chenille jersey, I literally hit the Buy button within seconds!