Thursday, 15 November 2012

FO: Green for Halloween - an Autumnal Renfrew

I have made a Sewaholic Renfrew!

Possibley the last person in the "sewosphere" to tackle it, I bought the pattern some months ago, I think from The Village Haberdashery. There have been many Renfrews around but the ones that I have liked most were by ScruffyBadger, Lladybird, and Marie from A Stitching Odyssey, Karen from Did you make that? was a pattern tester as was Handemade Jane.

I have to say  - I love this top! I love the colour, the length of the sleeves, the neck, and the variations available from the the pattern. I am thinking of making the scoop neck version next, but still with the long sleeves - practical for the winter months.

I bought the fabric from Cally Co in Cambridge at the beginning of the year, thinking that I might make a Burdastyle Lydia. It languished in the stash for sometime, then I got to thinking about the Renfrew. I had a brief play with the pattern pieces and layouts and came to the conclusion that I needed more fabric. By this time of course, Cally Co didn't have it anymore (or not on the day I went anyway) so it languished some more!  Quite by chance I went into our new craft shop (1 year old last week) and there was my fabric - hurrah! Of course I couldn't remember how much extra fabric I needed, but knew it was less than a metre so bought 70cms - it is very wide.
As noted by other sewists, it is a quick make.  I think it took me three evenings of not giving it my full attention, which is fast for me.  I'm sure if I knuckled down and stopped reading about other people's sewing, I would be able to make it much quicker. Tasia of Sewaholic puts a lot of effort into sew-alongs and tutorials to accompany her patterns, on her blog, and she is, at the time of writing, doing a series of posts about the Renfrew.  I made it all on my sewing machine with a zigzag stitch to maintain stretch, but when I make this again I will definately try it on my overlocker. It was finished in time for Halloween, so it first outing was at our Haloween Party. 
My friend's Witches hat matched perfectly!

This was the first time we have ever made an effort for Halloween, because it is also our wedding anniversary and Husband and I are normally enjoying a lovely evening out. We all had great fun carving pumpkins and the party was a huge success - phew!

There are a few wrinkles at the top of my bust, something that ScruffyBadger noticed in her first makes.  I'm not sure what to do about this - it may well be something to do with the vest/cami I am wearing underneath.  This may also be the cause of the wrinkles at my lower back, but I know (from my pattern cutting class) that I have a sway back.

wrinkley back

With a neck this big there is great potential for silliness:

Friday, 9 November 2012


I mentioned in a post back in March about a quick project I had started - some cushion covers to spruce up a couple of sofas.

 I finally finished them in time for Halloween.  They were done in a rather adhoc way (I laid the cushion on top of the fabric and hacked away), but I did try to make them pretty!

The first one, which took ages and clearly put me off continuing with the rest, has giant ric rac on all four sides.  The second only has ric rac on two sides - much easier!

I thought I would have enough to cover a smaller cushion, unfortunatley I was out of luck.  I had a rummage and found some denim left over from my Denim Portfolio Dress, then added a strip of the stripey fabric and more ric rac.

I bought a selection of buttons at the same time I bought the material, but by the time I got round to finishing them, I couldn't find them.  I bought a new selction of buttons, hoping that the first lot would turn up, but they haven't yet!
two cushions
smaller denim cushion

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

FO: Burdastyle Twister Top

So, I finally finished the BurdaStyle twister top a couple of days after my last post.

It's interesting.
I'm not sure I like it very much - I like the concept, but just not on me. The jersey I used has turned out to be a bit fragile, and where I have joined a sleeve section I have a hole forming. Also after a days wear, I have a hole in the front, about where my jeans waistband and belt sit.  Not what you want to find in a brand new make. 

It was quite comforatble to wear, although the shoulder that I fiddled with continued to fall off  my shoulder thoughout the day. It wasn't too annoying most of the time as I was wearing it under a cardi, but when I took the cardi off, there was a certain amount of wriggling to keep my shoulder and bra strap under cover.

I made this almost entirely with my overlocker (serger). Only the hems were sewn on my normal machine, with a regular zigzag stitch.  I keep wondering about getting a twin needle for my machine - if I keep sewing with jersey I might look into it further. Given that my machine is 14 years old, I'm not at all sure they exist. 

The top survived the wash - I wasn't sure this would be the case given the couple of holes I mentioned. However I haven't worn it since.  I got it out to put on the other day, but couldn't bring myself to wear it.  I may try to recycle the fabric for a summer top.

I put my arms on upside down today!