Shopping Revelations No 3

I forced myself to go jeans shopping the other day, ugh! It’s my least favourite kind of shopping. I’ve been really good of late and have avoided the shops, but I was fed up of only really owning ‘mum-jeans’ and not of any trendy variety either ๐Ÿ˜‰ Jeans are totally out of my skills range, sewing-wise, so to the shops it was.

After several frustrating changing-room attempts, I finally found a decent pair at Banana Republic, and they also came in their petite range, so no hemming involved either, hurrah! To celebrate I allowed myself a very quick perusal of the sale rail and came across this…

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Does anyone else love it when this happens? Clearly this jumper had gotten into a tussle with a passing hanger and come off the worse for it. It had been reduced several times from ยฃ55.00 right down to ยฃ14.99, and when I got to the till there was a further 20% off all sale items, perfect!

And ta da!

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Fifteen minutes of hand-sewing later, it’s fully repaired and ready for wear. I love it when you can put your sewing skills to a range of good uses and rescue an otherwise unloved item. While my hand-sewing’s not quite as invisible as it probably could be, you’d have to be looking pretty closely to ever notice. And it goes perfectly with my new, blue jeans ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyone else found a repairable bargain of late?

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A Megan that fits

Delving right down to the very bottom of my fabric stash (still on my self-imposed ‘diet’), I found this very pretty John Kaldore, knit fabric, that I do believe was one of the first pieces I ever bought. I’m amazed at my beginners’ naivety! I purchased it on my first ever visit to Leon’s in Chorlton and to be honest, I think I was a bit bewildered at the choice and just grabbed a couple of bolts and ran. Although one of the assistants (I did remember to pay before I bolted ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), obviously sensing my bewilderment, did enquire as to whether I knew I needed to treat it differently than I would a woven fabric. And it’s sat at the bottom of a drawer ever since…

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I thought it would be perfect for another Megan Dress, from Tilly and the Buttons’ ‘Love at First Stitch’. This time, however, I was determined to make a version that fitted, and was therefore more flattering. My first version is a really comfy ‘staying at home’ size, see here, and this fabric was far too pretty not to be worn out. So, firstly I trimmed down my pattern pieces to a size 2 (last time I tried a size 3). However it still looked a bit big. Tilly’s instructions helpfully included ‘finished garment measurements’ which appeared pretty generous, although if I made this in a woven fabric, I’d stick to the size 2. So I took a deep breath and trimmed them again down to a size 1, gulp! And I’m glad I did.

Again, as I was using a knit, I didn’t bother with a zip, which made this a much quicker make. And again, my darts didn’t quite match up, though they were closer than last time, so there’s that. I probably need to actually match them up like for like, before I sew them. There’s always a next time…

This was a pretty quick make, well by my standards at any rate. And it’s by far the most neatly ‘finished’. I’m really very pleased with myself ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a bit of a change from my normal colour choices too: it’s a mid green with darker green leaves/petals/leopard spots (my daughter contributed the last suggestion). It reminds me of a few of the prints Boden tend to use for their wrap dresses.

This certainly wasn’t a cheap fabric, hence it’s languished at the bottom of my stash for so long as I was too scared to use it, but there does seem to be pattern forming that my favourite me-makes are the ones where I’ve spent a little more on the fabric, such as my Miette skirt, see here, my Galloping Horses dress, see here, and my Spring-time Charlotte, see here. There are, of course, a few exceptions to this rule: despite the torture of sewing it, my 70s Clemence skirt, see here, has been worn again and again; my favourite Burda top, see here, made up from left over fabric which didn’t cost a whole lot to start with, and of course my navy, linen Ginger, see here, which cost very little. Maybe it’s because I tend to take my time more with more expensive fabrics? Or maybe they behave a little better whilst sewing and hang a little better when worn? Maybe a mixture of all of the above? But I really want to not only wear, but enjoy wearing my me-made items, so it’s an interesting point to note going forwards.

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There’s been a definite nip in the air of late, and as you can see our garden is awash with leaves, although at least they came down in one fell swoop thanks to the tail wind of Hurricane Gonzalo hitting us here last week. Although of course, I could layer thus up with a cardigan on top, or long-sleeved t-shirt underneath, I’m thinking it would be great to lengthen the sleeves on this pattern to 3/4 length. I’m thinking this would be simply a process of lengthening, or would I have to narrow the width at the end too? Any advice, as always, would be greatly appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Three Years in the Making…

Three years? Yep, you did hear that right! It’s a good job my tastes haven’t changed that much and that my Mum is on hand to ‘rescue’ my knitting projects whenever I get stuck (or pull something out, having not touched it for a year, and find I have absolutely no idea where I’m up to). Thank you Mum!

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So, clearly I haven’t been knitting this constantly for the last three years (I’m slow, but not that slow!). I always love the idea of knitting projects, but I do find them slow, and if I’m honest, not often that flattering when they’re finished. They always look great on the models, but if you’re on the short and curvy end of the body spectrum like me, quite often they just end up making me feel dumpy ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Does anyone else find this?

This particular pattern is from a beautiful Debbie Bliss book, named ‘Out of Town‘ which I think is even older than my project… And I did choose sensibly, selecting a cardigan (which are generally more flattering than hand made jumpers on me), and one entitled ‘Slimline Jacket’ at that.

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It’s knitted from a really pretty, duck-egg blueย ‘cashmerino astrakhan’.ย The smallest size available was a 34″ bust, but as it’s a pretty straightforward stocking stitch pattern, (the astrakhan yarn does all the work), I sized it down to a 32″ pretty easily. Well, easily until I’d left in untouched for a year, and couldn’t work out where on earth I was up to. Again, thank you Mum!

The shaping too was pretty straightforward, so nothing caused me too much trouble with this. No idea why it took so long really ๐Ÿ˜‰ I think because knitting is definitely a Winter hobby for me, and also my sewing kind of took over…

Anyway, now it’s finished I’m actually really pleased with it. I threw it on over my Megan Dress which I just happened to be wearing today, see here. Maybe not the best match. I think it will look nice with a crisp, white shirt or white, long-sleeved t-shirt underneath, something a little plainer. And I probably should have pressed it to stop the bottom curling up and to keep the collar down. My impatience took over sorry! I keep hearing about ‘blocking’, which I’ve never come across before I started following blogs. Even my Mum looked puzzled at this concept when I asked her about it. It’s something I clearly need to look into for next time. Let’s just hope that’s not in another three years…