Thursday, 25 June 2015

I've been mending things!

Guys, guys, guys! I've just broken a six-week stint of not buying any sewing stuff! I'm pretty proud of this, and had to finally break the fast for new needles and thread. I have some gift sewing due as well, for which I'm missing some fabric. Off to Raystitch...

Anyway, the breaking of this fabric fast has been a good time to round up some mending and reworking I've been doing over the past few months. It's an odd conflict between the refashioning/alterations world and the make-from-scratch world. I personally still think refashioning is an alien concept, and am sure I'm not alone in prefering to make new things from a rectangle of fabric. I like my new pristine fabric and my carefully chosen matching, functional notions.

Generally in the RTW world, there's a bit of a stigma around repairs and mending. When something's broken, you believe it's unfixable and you throw it away. There's an interesting segment on an old episode of The Forum, the Sixty-Second Idea to make mending an artform,which sticks in my head. Namely for how this idea translates into the self-sewn world: why repair my project when I can make it anew?

Actually, it's almost like a time capsule. You see whether you were thinking straight, whether you were in a rush, what types of materials you liked, the colours of threads you used.

I have been repairing and remaking a few things recently. B's bag was showing some stress on the edges so they got reinforced.

I lengthened my black zig-zag trousers and had to totally reopen my green trousers to make more room for my backside. Yes, I actually went back and fixed them and now have a wearable pair of trousers! And the button doesn't pop off!

The no-face policy in these pctures is because there's a towel on my head...

My Long Way Back Home messenger bag fell apart quite quickly once it was made. The outer fabric was a medium-weight dress linen. It couldn't stand up to daily abuse, despite interfacing etc. So I finally took the whole thing apart and replaced the outer fabric. To be honest, it was a real chore. Repairing something you've made is fine enough, particularly if you did a shoddy job in the first place, but because the textiles aged unexpectedly? That's heartbreaking. (In good faith I did everything right the first time!) But it's fixed and I still don't like the new version as much as the old one. Ah well.

Anyway,I have oodles of projects and drafts to be getting on with. I may even share the results of breaking my fabric fast with you. It's shameful, but hey...we all like pretty fabric don't we?

Stay safe,

Wednesday, 3 June 2015


On 22 Feb 2015 I ate Nutella for the first time.

Why am I telling you this?

You know, I'm not really sure. I reopened this draft today (after a 6 week bout of laziness) and found the confession above. At some point there must have been a drastically serious reason to tell you about this. It might have something to do with childhood...

You know what else has to do with childhood? Dinosaur hoodies.


And increasingly, a lot of adults seem to need one. At least, from the number of requests that have come in since I've been showing off this beauty.

Mccalls 6782

Mccalls 6782

The pattern is McCall's 6782, the fabric is sweater knit (probably poly), spoonflower jersey and felt. The crest and cuffs are my own design, the horns/spikes are based on the many inspiring dinosaur hoodies already floating around the internet.

The backstory is that a very dear friend, T.Rex, wanted a birthday present made for a kiddo. A dinosaur hoodie, it had to be a triceratops, it needed a pocket on the front. That's all. No sweat.

Not knowing the size of the kiddo, I guestimated something suitable from the pattern. After cutting out the pieces I was adamant there was no way this would fit anyone. It was way too small!

Mccalls 6782

The hoodie is made straight from the packet with a few design alterations. First, I added spikes down the back (not totally true triceratops) and modified the cuffs for claws that fit over the ends of your fingers like mittens. They can also be folded back out of the way.

Second, I lined the hood with ceanirminger's Oh No, Tokyo! jersey and drafted an extra piece on the front to slightly cover the face. This was a good spot to put the centre-front horn, and also should help to keep the hood up when worn. That's because the best addition is pretty heavy.

Look at the crest! Isn't it brilliant?!

I traced the curve of the hood and drew in a suitable size/number of points, cut 1x sweater knit, 1x in felt and 1x thick wadding. I sewed them right sides together at the lower edge, then flat sewed this to the hood after finding the right placement. This method means you don't need to cut a new seam into the hood, which I'm hoping is a bit more stable and secure. The wadding is secured to the felt with several rows of (graded sizes) zig-zag stitching. The crest is closed with a few rows of zig zags on the top edge.

I love this hoodie. It's just great.


P.S. The request from T.Rex was that kiddo remain anonymous, so please forgive the dodgy face covering and my poor picture editing skills.

P.P.S. I've been losing it over this tumblr it's just hillarious