Blog

Paprika Palisade trousers

I realise that “Paprika Palisade Pants” would’ve had more pleasing alliteration but since I’ve nearly reached the point where I’ve lived more years in the UK than in the US (19 vs 23), I dislike using ambiguous terms that could be misconstrued. And “trousers” if more definitive than “pants”, which has wildly different meanings based on your geography (the reason I tended to use “bottoms” or “leggings” in my book, too).

In any case, these were an attempt to kickstart my missing sewing mojo and make something comfortable and useful for my yes-I’m-still-shielding-at-home life. I’ve sewn the Closet Core Patterns “Pietra” trousers three times now and have literally worn holes into my first pair, but I wanted to sew something a little different and thought I’d branch out and try the Papercut Patterns “Palisade Pants” which I’d bought in a recent sale. I mean, come on, that pocket detail!!

Naturally dyed Icelandic wool socks

While the builders are working on renovating the main part of our boat, I’ve mostly been holed up in our small, self-contain captain’s cabin meaning that I haven’t been doing as much sewing as I normally would (for the dust, disruption and that I can’t be anywhere near them for shielding reasons!). So I’ve been getting a lot of loom knitting done! If you don’t know what loom knitting is, Google is your friend!

I love loom knitting socks in particular, and I’m normally pretty quick with them these days, but I actually cast these on in Oct 2019! Why so long? Well, mostly because I quickly paused them to work on my loom knit sweater. Once that was finished, I picked them up again and they came along as quickly as I’d expect for a nice and simple repeat.

I loom knitted a sweater!

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.”

A striped bamboo lingerie set

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!

Doggy gifts for a very good girl

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!).

A monochrome striped rib knit top

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).

A new cave for Nishi

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.

Another skylight cover for the boat

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…

Perfect Pandemic trousers – for her!

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!