Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Husband's Christmas shirt

This post is somewhat overdue, I was having problems on Blogger, which lovely techy Husband has solved for me!

Some time ago (May 2011), I bought some gingham to make a muslin for a shirt for husband:
I cut the shirt out sometime in June, using McCall's 6044, and then it stayed put for some time. I vaguely remember promising to make a shirt for Husband whilst we were still in New Zealand (and we even chose some material during a trip to Wellington), so I thought that I would try to get a muslin underway before Christmas.

I interspersed the sewing of this with my Denim Portfolio dress, so that I wouldn't get bored with either project and I could swap between my sewing machine and overlocker appropriately, in theory.

This shirt was supposed to be a muslin, so I basted it together to assess the fit. Once Husband tried it on, we decided that it didn't need anything in the way of alterations, so I decided to make it a proper shirt. I did not take any construction photos, unfortunatley, but I did decide to make it a little different. I have often admired the shirts that Carolyn has made for her husband and sons and have thought in the past, that I would steal her idea of diagonal buttonholes.

I didn't do that on this shirt, but instead used bright yellow bias binding to make certain features pop. I emphasized the front button placket, cuff, and pocket, which even though I say so myself, looks pretty good!

I'm not sure why I had such a colour hidden away, but it may have been something to do with this!

Husband expressed a desire to wear this for Christmas day, which I was well on course to accomplish, until taking to my bed with some horrible illness, on the Thursday before Christmas. By Christmas eve I was just about upright, and managed to sew on the many buttons, and wrap up the shirt. Any grappling with machinery was not on the cards, so the card on the parcel read 'I owe you one label and some seam finishes!'

My girls were keen to buy buttons that looked like pencil sharpeners as Husband likes properly sharpened pencils. Unfortunatley, even though the shop had the perfect matching blue, they only had three and I needed nine - shame.

So, this now has the label and nearly all the seems finished (two more to do).  Yes, I know they should have been done as I went along, but it was supposed to be a muslin, and I got carried away, and I wish I had done them earlier, but hey ho... Once we get heating back - the boiler is being replaced and hot water tank moved - I will venture back into the sewing room and finish it completely.  It's a little fresh up there at the moment.

The shirt tucked in:

and un-tucked:
I'm pretty pleased with this, and I'm fairly sure Husband is too! The shirt got lots of comments (all positive) from family over the Christmas period. 

For my reference, if I were to make another one, we decided that it would need to be a bit longer in the body to maintain it's ability to stay tucked in.  

Tuesday, 17 January 2012


Some time ago I mentioned that I had written a list of all the things that I would like to make. Here is my list:
I realised the other day that I had completed the first three without even thinking, and mostly before Christmas. I have spent a long time thinking about what to sew next and looking at what other people have been up to, and strangely, mostly avoiding my sewing room. My sewing class starts up again tomorrow and I have no idea what I'm going to tackle. I think I'll take a bundle of fabric and a bundle of patterns and see what happens.

Saturday, 14 January 2012


Slippers for middlest
This is a guest post by husband.

This crochet nonsense is getting out of hand.  Wife stupidly mentioned that she would actually wear some slippers if I made some.  No problem I thought, but these ones have got to be special.  I'd made slippers for eldest, which were rubbish and have already fallen apart, but completed much better ones for middlest and youngest (see below).  I was much happier with these, particularly the built in stripes for youngest that I completed in one evening.

Slippers for youngest

Crochet Slippers at Etsy
Wife's slippers were going to be special.  I decided on a whole new design.  I was now an expert, I was getting ambitious. I found a lovely pattern at etsy (that I had never heard of, but wife is a regular apparently) that should have looked like this.  I paid real hard cash for them.  They were going to be a big surprise and they were going to be great.  Looking at Etsy now, I found another view of the slippers that I think would have made me think twice before making them.  As it was, I beavered away, making and remaking the sole with entirely inappropriate fluffy wool that drove me to distraction as the pubic twirls got caught on my hook when they shouldn't have.  The blind test of the slippers (wife had her eyes shut) looked like this, and I was so unhappy I asked her to check.

First pair, looks a bit odd to us

We decided that they were a no go (though they look remarkably like what they should look like, a big step for me!), and I would go with the traditional design from my original book from the library, Simple Crochet by Erika Knight.  I knew I could knock them off, so made a start and then forgot about them until the last minute panic before Christmas.  Wife tried them on plain but had no idea what decoration they would get.  I painstakingly created a stitch perfect copy of our family shield and crest.  I am sure I don't need to explain that one is a "falcon rising" and the other is three swords with a crescent Moon.  I was delighted to give them to wife, and a tear was in my eye after all the pain and suffering that went in to them (I might have had a stray eyelash).  She had nobly put them on her feet more than once and says polite things about them, so I dare say they are a success.  Ideally I would like to find something sensible to put on as a sole to make them last a little longer.  I am open to suggestions.

Finished item on Christmas day

Weeks later, note the wear on the bottom!


The next project will either be some crazy amigurumi (wife gave me this funny book), slippers for eldest that will last more than a month or a hat for me (I bought £20 of merino today in preparation).

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Backwards, Forwards...

I have spent a lot (ahem, too much) time recently, reading other peoples blog posts reviewing 2011 and looking forward to 2012, so, here is my twopen'th...

I have greatly enjoyed my sewing in the last year and feel that I am getting better at choosing things that suit me and that I actually wear, my favourites being:
Turquoise top :
Denim Portfolio Dress
New Top
I have noticed that all three of these are blue, and a large quantity of my stash is blue. I never thought that I wore much blue, and still don't, but this could prove me wrong!

My silliest make was:

Medieval Madness

particularly the Cockscomb and Liripipe ( hat!) - sorry no picture of it on its own.

For 2012 my aims (not resolutions!) are to:
  • keep sewing, with this, hopefully, the
  • quality of my makes will continue to improve, and I will eventually (long term, not necessarily this year) have a whole wardrobe of me-made-clothing.
  • I am planning to make some trousers soon
  • take part in Me-Made-May this year
  • Comment more on the blogs that I read. It is so inspiring seeing what other people around the world are sewing, and know that even if you are making the same pattern as someone else, you will both end up with completely different items
  • blog a bit more regularly and not take forever to write a post!

So that is about it I think...

Happy New Year and happy sewing!