Mistakes? I’ve Made a Few…

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But this is probably the stupidest sewing one yet…

After I managed to salvage a Mabel out of the scraps of my Megan, I was left with a metre of this lovely fabric I picked up in the John Lewis sale. A Coco seemed like the perfect use for it. If I didn’t bother too much about pattern matching, then I figured I could just about manage it. I managed to cut it out in a spare hour I had in between finishing school and picking the kids up. Oh, and I was also trying to tidy up the kitchen and sort out the washing at the same time. Stupid idea! Not sure if you can tell from the above where I went wrong, but perhaps the following will help…

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How stupid? Seriously, unfolding the pattern fully, before pinning and cutting, is so basic, it’s not even featured in the instructions. And Tilly’s are pretty  comprehensive! But no, I happily cut it folded… I was so annoyed with myself!

After sufficient time had elapsed for me to calm down (a good week), I decided it was worth trying to rescue the situation. I had nowhere near enough fabric left to cut the whole piece again, but I thought I could try and just cut the missing bit out separately (including a seam allowance) and attach it. The only problem was that as I didn’t have an awful lot of fabric left, pattern matching would be out of the question. And while you can kind of get away with it on the side seams, right at the top of the front bodice was going to just be too obvious. After playing around for a bit, I decided that it would be better to just reverse the fabric instead and attempt to make a ‘feature’ of it. And rather than just have a random section of it in grey, I figured it would be better to reverse the sleeves too.

So, while I did manage to ‘rescue’ it, I’m not fully convinced that it worked! And for a whole host of reasons… It’s a fraction too small and doesn’t really work with jeans. I had to remove my belt for these photos to avoid a rather unsightly bulge around the middle. And really, this pattern was made for wearing at the weekend with jeans 😦 I’m also kind of wishing I’d cut more of the ‘missing piece’ as it maybe looks a little too narrow a section to work? Maybe it’s a touch too long in the body at the same time? Maybe it’s a case of a little of all the above.

So what’s the stupidest sewing mistake you’ve ever made? Tough as it is, could you even beat my stupidity on this project?

 

Mamma Mia, Here I Go Again…

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She’s only gone and made another! I was so pleased with my last Coco Top, that I cracked straight on with my second. My fabric, as usual, came from Leon’s in Chorlton. Not quite sure you can see in the photos, but the main body’s a narrow charcoal grey and white stripe. This was slightly migraine-inducing while I was making it up, but I’m pleased to report it’s a pleasure to wear. I’ve worn it all day today and no-one’s complained I gave them a headache, so fingers crossed, it was just from studying it closely, whilst sewing. As you can see I was inspired by Tilly’s versions in the instructions, and went for a contrasting pocket, and while I was at it, a pair of fetching, contrasting cuffs 🙂

Again, the main body of this sewed up simply and quickly, but boy did those cuffs cause me some stress! I think I must have whatever the sewing equivalent of not knowing your left from your right is. If I said I read this particular section of the instructions twenty times over, I don’t think I’d be exaggerating! I tried consulting Tilly’s online tutorials (which I’d forgotten existed for my first attempt at this, doh!), but it was no use I didn’t know my width from my length, and it was fast becoming all double-Dutch to me! It was at this point that my husband suggested I put it down for the day. Don’t you just hate it when they’re right?!!

The next morning I picked it up again and just made it up. This didn’t go quite to plan, and I ended up unpicking the darn things several times, grrrr! But I got there, or as close as, eventually! To be fair to Tilly the rest of the instructions were perfectly clear, so I presume that these were too, to any normal sewers that is. Come to think of it, I’ve never attached cuffs before, so that was probably the problem…

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I’m so glad I’ve conquered my knit-phobia with these two tops. And with it, I’ve cracked sewing my own casual, weekend wear too. These two Cocos will be perfect for messing around with my kids at the weekend. Oh, and I promised them I’d mention my latest accessory they made me…

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It’s a rose bud bracelet. Are everyone else’s monkeys currently obsessed with loom bands? Their Cousins over in America, say the craze hit them about six months ago, and has since waned. It’s still going strong here! Well, they’re cheap, and they keep them quiet for hours, so I’m happy to embrace them for now…

She’s only gone and finally got her knit on…

Drum roll please…. Yep, you did hear that right. I’ve only gone and made my first knitted item of clothing! Step forward my first (of many, no doubt) Coco top…

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I am so proud of this 🙂 And do you know, it was absolutely pain free. I think my fear of knits actually came from reading too many ‘how to’ guides if that’s at all possible. Possibly one of the few disadvantages of reading too many blogs (that, and a ever-expanding, sometimes overwhelming ‘to-sew’ list 😉 ). I got totally confused as to how to even start. In the end I followed the advice of my machine shop, and purchased a stretch needle and it was as simple as that really.

I’m sure everyone has heard of the Coco top by now. But just in case you haven’t, it’s an Indie pattern by Tilly of Tilly and The Buttons fame. The instructions were clear, straightforward, and accompanied by plenty of photographic help, which I always find invaluable. I discovered my machine has a programmed ‘knit stitch’ which I think, although I could be wrong, is also sometimes referred to as lightening stitch. It makes that kind of pattern at any rate. I did a mixture of this stitch and Tilly’s instructions, which consisted of a mixture of zigzag and straight stitch.

And dare I say it, but I actually found working with knits easier than working with wovens, despite their ‘difficult’ tag. Purchasing said knit fabrics wasn’t as straight forward. It was only at the third shop I visited that I actually succeeded in finding any appropriate fabric. I know I probably could have gone online, but at the moment I like to actually see and feel the fabrics. I also find the advice of staff invaluable. As usual, it was Leon’s of Chorlton that came up trumps. I actually purchased three different knit fabrics, but thought I’d start with the cheapest first.

This wasn’t only a knit fabric, but a striped one too, but I promised myself that I wasn’t going to get too stressed about matching my stripes. Actually, I didn’t do too badly. It’s slightly longer on one side somehow, but I can live with that.

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There’s not an awful lot more to say really. I plumped for the simplest version with a small pocket and, after much deliberation, opted for the size 3, which I think turned out perfectly. I even added a little extra ribbon simply for my pleasure. I know, get me!

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And did I mention it’s navy blue? 😉