felted sweater – new cushion

felted sweater remake cushion

This is part of my new years resolution, well not really, as I don’t make them, but I do need to cover a sofa (for the past 6 years) and getting some domestic sewing done may actually get that in motion.  

This is another felted jumper and this one I did deliberately as I wanted to try out another crochet and felt idea, but I made it too small (I was impatient and should have laundered it twice  at a lower temperature instead of once at a hotter wash).  We had been given some grey felt cushions last year as a house-warming present, and they are really lovely but a bit too big sometimes, so this cushion should work well with them.

It really is just two squares and some strips………………………….

felted sweater remake cushion

scarf to shrug glove

I was to wear the Pauline Coat (now scotch-guarded) and blue dress to a Christmas dinner last week.  The dinner was at a hotel near us (a few minutes walk but longer in high heels).  As the coat sleeves are short, I would need gloves, and as the dress was sleeveless, I would need a shrug or cardigan.  I had planned to wear a black beaded cardigan, but thought this a bit dark (I was wearing nude slingbacks), and then I thought I could adapt this sequined scarf.  The scarf is a lovely shade but it has angora in it so I don’t wear it too much (as I tend to wear scarves well wrapped around my neck, I now know that angora and lip balm don’t really go well together) and the kind of scarf you pick up in the January sales – which is when I think I got this some time back.  

scarf to shrug glove

So I thought I could have a go at making a quick shrug.  I was hand-stitching, and then figured I would be faster on machine so I was a bit naughty (reckless even!) and didn’t change thread, but it does show the stitching line – I have put a very rough drawing below that I did for a friend as she wanted to try it herself. (as she asked more than once ‘but how did you do it’ I figured it was easier to send a diagram which I now hope she can decipher!)
Basically, the scarf its folded in half lengthways, mark the centre back with a pin and then measure out about 22.5 cm each side and mark these with a pin.  I measured the scarf around my hand to get the measurement I needed which was  20 cm( 10cm from fold) The stitching is done at an angle and you can either do machine or hand stitch.

The shrug can be worn as a glove with coat, or tucked back to being a plain shrug when worn without.  The scarf measured 28cmx169cm inch long.   I have not trimmed the inside seams as it may revert to scarf yet.

so handy, can’t believe I didn’t make one of these sooner, and as it wasn’t easy to photograph on mannequin, had to wear it myself (please excuse extra straps!)

pullover to baselayer – raglan sleeve polo

I have this pullover/sweater/jumper in the to-do bag for a bit.  I had deliberated over a sweater dress, using the scarf to make an extension to the length, or Alabama Chainin inspired shrug/bolero (from scarf) and long skirt (from jumper)  As I haven’t really worn the Alabama Chanin makes from earlier in the year it didn’t seem like a practical solution, but what  I really need another base-layer with a funnel or polo neck to wear under dresses.  

The pullover was a funny shape and size, a bit dated and a bit big, and has a scarf attachment. The fabric is a 60% viscose 20% polyester-something and 20% wool so a nice mix of light and warm and perfect for a base-layer..  I get so cold and a base-layer with a polo,  will work under dresses, and over another baselayer (yup, I get that cold), as well as everything else!

upcycle sweater, refashion sweater, sweater remade

The funnel neck pattern I used in September would have been so perfect – except this brown pullover already had raglan sleeves, and I am finding with these remake projects, its better to work with what you have (sounds so obvious but I often forget the properties of the  fabric I am working on – and try to make it fit with the vision in my head).  I had to draft a proper jersey block as I have been using very old and badly drafted bits of paper for the last while.  I then made a raglan block,  and decided it may be best to do a raglan round neck and put a roll collar afterward (I had toyed with the idea of continuing up the seam to make it a funnel neck… )

Below is an Alabama Chanin sweater I made in February.  Its incredibly warm, but also the fit is not great.  I intended to try the idea again but try a boat  or scoop neck raglan sleeve as the round neck is a bit restrictive, the upcycle sweater is a thin wool, with cotton jersey under.  This was the first Chanin inspired piece I tried, and at the time I was gung-ho on making a dress…. until I did some stitch detail on a stenciled skirt – 2nd Chanin piece –  and realised my patience and endurance may not stretch to a dress just yet. 

upcycle sweater, refashion sweater, sweater remade

vogue 5954 – mans shirt to vogue blouse – (mad about plaid)

vogue 5954 - mans shirt remade vogue blouse

I was hoping to make this blouse for my sister, but she told me that it wasn’t a style she would go for…. so I graded it down and thought I would try it.  I seem to be going through a bit of a plaid phase, (perhaps anticipating someone might get me the vivienne westwood book for chirstmas ……seeing as I have dropped enough hints), and I didn’t even check if the pattern recommended plaid – and sure enough it didn’t, but I was keen to remake the shirt, and keen to try pattern, and thought it could be handy to try, and if it didnt work out, then I would still have some good panels to rework.  nothing ventured……nothing gained…………

vogue 5954 - mans shirt remade vogue blouse

The photo shows a rough layout of the pattern – front yoke not placed properly yet.  I was a bit dim when I went to cut the back.  I thought I would be super smart and leave it a back button blouse – and I never checked the centre line, and the former front of shirt is not balanced on the centre plaid line – and the button down plaids didn’t match – I hadn’t noticed they did not line up – I just assumed they did – so I ended up sewing a back seam anyway (centre back seam is not centred technically).   Note- I only matched the plaid one way on yokes – centre line out (I matched the main part of blouse both ways), fabric for yokes was limited and I also thought as there would not be a perfect match either way.

vogue 5954 - mans shirt remade vogue blouse

The centre front yolk came out even enough, but I had to baste it (which is no bad thing and I should consider doing this more- that is, baste first, then sew, rather than sew, rip, sew, rip, baste, sew….).  I top stitiched the yoke panels, both back and front, and used lining as the facing on the yokes. The shoulder seams were never going to match…. and they don’t There is a side zipper.  The fit is good, and it ends just below waist.  
It has a nice tailored feel to the blouse – and it has a great shape to it, and like a lot of tailored clothes, your posture improves the minute you try them on!

I don’t know about the bow…. I think when the blouse is done in a silk, which I intend to try, the bow may work better then.    I would definitely do a button back from refashioning a shirt the next time.

vogue 5954 - mans shirt remade vogue blouse

On a completely different project, I am in a dilemma on where to start with this one

I got this plaid skirt some weeks ago.  Its wool, and I like the colours, and now the dilemma what to make.  I could do another plaid overblouse  or jacket, and I could also try a dress…. Hard to know as these plaid squares are big.  I was thinking of another coat as I have a black wool skirt and have black as sleeves and yoke and plaid as body (starting at armpits as opposed to bust in the photo below), and keeping the neckline round – and then I am thinking – o dear – another coat……………………..

The skirt panels measure  120cm x 80cm (80cm is the grainline) x 2 

butterick 5603 – the go-to dress

butterick 5603

This has really got to be the ‘go -to’ to dress.  I have seen it made up on other blogs and all styles and sizes are lovely.  My preferred variations are on the Julia Bobbins blog, and she also has an enviable figure and each version is stunning on her.  I was thinking of trying one of her adaptions, but I thought I best to just make it up as-is first, and then see if the straighter skirt would suit later.  I really like the waist definition on this pattern, it just flows beautifully.  I have a bit of a pet-hate with some waist seams on ready-to-wear dresses, they don’t suit a lot of people, regardless of age or shape, and if you have a long or short back, or sway back, they will sit all wrong. 

butterick 5603 - the go to dress

I had made a version (or toile) of the dress from a bed sheet, and the shape so so so  flattering  – this version is a bit bland and probably trim etc could lift it, I don’t think I will be trimming it, and have figured it could make a swanky set of PJs.  The shape of the dress was sufficiently fab for me to be on the look out for some fabric  because I really like the wider skirt .  There was no way was I going to get the cut from an upcycle, so I got some grossgrain on a mark-down (and later found flaws – ick) and went with that.  Its cotton grossgrain, so has a lot of body and limited give on the straight and too much on the bias.  I thought I would try bodice A as I like boat-neck, but I didn’t like it for this dress, and there was enough fabric for Bodice B.  I think if I was using bodice A again, I would also omit the v back – and not because it was a messy facing to do either!)

butterick 5603 - the go to dress

Everything was pretty straightforward, although I think the bodice could have done with a better form of facing than lining in this instance, but its minor. I used the flash on the camera for two of the photos so the fabric looks a bit glossier than it is. My partner, James, thinks the bows look fiddly/silly, but I love them! I feel a bit like a walking 1950’s pattern illustration wearing the dress, so that can’t be a bad thing either.  Anyway, as the orange Pauline dress made its way to a friends wardrobe, this is my christmas party dress…….. and I am well happy!