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!
Our family have had a rough 2020, and my mom especially. We’ve had three family members die this year, and the enforced separation during these times makes the distance between us feel even greater. I feel thankful that I was able to fly over in February when my dad was in hospital (which actually feels like a lifetime ago), but it’s been impossible for a multitude of reasons to visit since then.
So I wanted to do what I can to both give her a boost, and to make the distance between us feel a little less severe. I’d sent over a few care packages full of face masks but as practical as they are, they’re not particularly cheery. Back in February I’d I made her (and myself) this tie-sleeved top from the June 2019 Burda magazine, and she really loved that we had “twin shirts”. You can see more about the shape of the sleeve pieces and the general construction notes in this post, so I won’t repeat it here. She really loved that one so much that she picked out some fabric at JoAnn for another version and I brought it home in my suitcase to sew up at some point.
Happy Friday everyone! I sewed this a few weeks ago when I was in desperate need of a pick-me-up so I went off-plan for a purely joyful sew! It’s all because of this incredible fabric I found, the Lucha Libre kitties cotton jersey from Like Sew Amazing. I mean, how could I not click buy?!
Sarah had actually had some of this jersey in stock before, but it pretty much sold out immediately – I pounced on this the second I saw she got stock back in, and I’m glad I did, because that round sold out quickly, too. She actually restocked this last weekend, and (yep, you guessed it!) it sold out again. So what I’m saying is, if you want this fabric, definitely follow Like Sew Amazing on Instagram and keep an eye on her IG Stories so you can pounce when she gets another shipment.
I only rarely sew an exact replica of a pattern, but sometimes I’m just drawn to the same pattern and similar fabric to recreate a look that I know really works for me. ATACAC are Swedish designers who sell short-runs of their very interesting wraparound and zero-waste designs to the public but also offer up sharewear patterns on a “pay what you want” basis, which is SUPER cool. These patterns are pretty bare bones though, so you’ve really got to know what you’re doing. They’re only offered in one size only (size 3), for starters, and with no instructions! I personally love nothing more than seeing a “wtf pattern piece” and trying to make my 3D brain contort it into shape, so I absolutely love figuring out their designs, but you might prefer something more user-friendly!
At the end of January my Dad became suddenly critically ill with a list of serious problems as long as my arm. While I anxiously waited for my last-minute transatlantic flight to leave to go over and visit, I needed something to keep my hands busy, so I decided to make him a teeshirt.
I had recently bought some cotton jersey from Girl Charlee UK (who’ve since closed down) in his favourite shade of “Penn State blue” and I used this in conjunction with the Men’s teeshirt from the Great British Sewing Bee Fashion with Fabric book, size Medium. (Coincidentally, I actually made the “perfect” modelled in the book!)
Not every garment needs to be a blockbuster. Sometimes the garments we wear the most are the practical, yet somewhat boring ones that pair well with everything else in our wardrobe. I definitely consider jeans to be in this category, along with the vast majority of teeshirts I make and wear. I’d also consider a good, all-around black skirt to be one, like this skirt, from Christine Jonson’s fabulous “Travel Trio 3” pattern.
I’ve made the top a few times and made this skirt twice already, in blue and then black scuba. But after several years of hard wear, the black one in particular was looking ratty and bobbled so I bought some black ponte from Fabrics Galore to replace the scuba version.
These are weird times. Apart from my birthday dress, I’ve really only been sewing face masks for myself, J, family and neighbours and even though I’ve got loads of lovely fabrics paired with specific patterns that are ready to go, I haven’t actually felt like sewing them. For me, most of the joy of sewing is in the making itself, but I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t enjoyment in the wearing it for others to admire, too. Without that component, on top of my usual routine being upended for the past 3.5 weeks, it’s just not been easy to get into the right mindset to create.
By go-to for times when I’m in a funk is to sew a “quick knit top”, which, for the past few years has meant a teeshirt using the “Loose Fitting Top Block” from my Sew Your Own Activewear book (my go-to teeshirt pattern). So I grabbed some cotton-lycra jersey from Ditto Fabrics in the most perfectly “me” shade of olive green from my stash, and did some cathartic sewing early on in March.
Happy lockdown birthday to meeeee! What a strange, strange few weeks it’s been, eh? I’ve not felt like blogging much, but I’ve been doing a fair amount of sewing and I couldn’t let my birthday pass without sharing this year’s birthday garment – a Ruska knot dress from the Named Patterns “Breaking the Pattern” book!
Last year the June issue of Burda magazine contained a pattern for a simple teeshirt with sleeves that tied, and it’s not left my mental To Sew List over the intervening 6 months!
When I was compiling my 2019 year in review post I was surprised and a bit saddened that I didn’t actually sew any Burda magazine patterns last year despite buying it every month and liking quite a few patterns in every issue. So I resolved to try and sew more from my magazines, and when January’s contained this wonderful, boxy sweatshirt I just knew I had to sew it up!