Christmas · Sewing Projects

The finished Christmas stockings!

So here they are, the finished stockings…

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All four have been finished off with a ribbon loop for hanging on the fireplace on Christmas Eve (or on the tree as daughter did when she was two!), a Christmas button (santa or rudolph) and each child’s first initial.

I am really pleased with how they look and hope that they will last the years. Plus I’ve tested them out and there is definitely room for a satsuma or clementine and a pound coin in the toe as well as some chocolate coins and other fun things.

Roll on Christmas, I say, I’m feeling festive!

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Christmas · Sewing Projects · Uncategorized

Christmas stockings!

Here’s another one of those “it seemed like a good idea at the time” projects. I rashly promised my daughter that I would make Christmas stockings for her and her brother. And then for their two cousins too. I had decided that I’d do a lovely patchwork design and they would be LOVELY.

Ahem.

it took many, many weeks to make these. And many, many swear words too. I’ll update with a “finished product” post soon, but here are the “how I made my stockings” work in progress pictures.

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I bought a few different festive materials for the stockings. The red Nordic style is disappointingly thinner than I’d hoped for. And the grey reindeer fabric is very, very similar to the colour of the blue reindeer fabric which caused me quite a headache when planning out the pattern. But I LOVE the reindeer print  and the red Santa print is super cute. I bought about a metre of each and cut the fabric into an approximation of equal sizes.  And that’s where it stopped for a while. Because I had LOADS of time you see, and didn’t have to hurry to make the stockings.  (I am a FOOL and should stop listening to myself when I witter on like that in my head.)

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I started to piece together the squares into a stocking shape. To make matters as complicated as possible for myself, I decided to patchwork both sides of the stocking. Sooooo much pinning…

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Here they are after starting to sew the squares into rows and rows into stocking shape. How jaunty!

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And this is the inside material. Even more festive! I love the gingerbread pattern. The fabric is quite thin but fine for inside the stockings.

now, the complicated bit wasn’t making the patchwork outside, it was trying to figure out how to get a nice “quilted” appearance on the stocking. I read around a gazillion online tutorials and blog pieces about making a stocking and pretty much ignored all of them. Instead I did what seemed easiest to me:

  • stitch the lining to the outer with right sides together, leaving a little gap to pull the fabric through leaving both right sides outside. This made one side of the stocking.
  • then I stitched diagonal rows back and forth across the stocking adding a bit more interest.
  • I did this on both sides of the stocking, so 8 times in total (2 for each stocking).
  • then with the outer parts facing, I just sewed around the edge leaving the top open.
  • i thought they looked a bit plain so added some left over white fleece around the top.

hey presto! Only 26385 hours of sewing, 28887295 swear words and 300 metres of red thread later, 4 stockings were made.

 

Clothing

An almost wearable draft of a drapey top

I’ve been away for a long time so thought I’d update with a lengthy post (and title)! I have been busy, but not yet in a position to share all the makes with you. I’m knitting a baby blanket for a friend’s baby, sewing together a patchwork cushion cover for a Christmas present and sewing patchwork stockings for my two children and my two nephews. All in between looking after a baby that currently refused to sleep (hello teething!) and trying to run regularly as well as the usual day to day everything. Phew.

but what is this post about? A top i decided to make. Do you remember my Bina wrap (link here to the original post and here to when a project doesn’t really work) that I wasn’t happy with and decided to use the material for something else? Well I bought a magazine with a free pattern and thought the drapey purple jersey material would be perfect for it.

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Its the Sophia top from Sew Simple. Really simple pattern, just front piece, back piece, facings for neck and arm holes. Simple.

i measured myself as needing a size 18 which in hindsight was too big but it did correspond with my bust measurement. Aaaaanyhoo. I laid out the pattern pieces once cut and realised that they result in a very short top. Very short. Like a crop top. So I added 4.5 inches to front and back pieces resulting in it being exactly just long enough. I also spent a bit of time thinking about the material and pattern – it’s a stretchy jersey material and knowing that some of my (cheaper) t shirts tend to stretch along the width, I wanted to avoid that with this. So I set out the patterns with the stretch going top to bottom as any extra stretch would add to the length (and I knew that would be good).

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Careful pattern placing there… And you can see where I’ve added the extra length in the picture below.

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All of this was done while the baby napped for a short amount of time. Cutting out happened over about an hour, then pinning and most of the sewing over an evening and I finished the final things tonight.

the pattern was easy to follow and the sewing itself was pretty straightforward. And I learned a lovely new technique which i lovingly refer to as “Pin All The Things”. To be brutally honest it actually use a few expletives while muttering this to myself. But the pinning everything helped me keep material flat and the stitching mostly straight.

imagesee how nice the hemming is? That’s because I’ve pinned all the everything everywhere.

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So I’ve finished the top. BUT it’s not quite right. The arm holes were MASSIVE and showed not just s bit of bra but half my boob. So I closed up half the armhole which led to the side of the top getting a pleat in it, thankfully on both sides so it looks nice and symmetrical and a bit more drapey too. The length of the top is also still a bit of a problem, the length is just right, but I would prefer it to be another 5 or 6 inches longer. I’m also not sure about how wide the neck is and still might sew it up by an nice on each side. I will wear it though as I need to start wearing the things i make! I love the colour of the fabric and the pattern itself with these tweaks will be lovely. I just need to figure out how to grade a smaller armhole and bring in the sides while adding length. No other changes though as I like the simple lines – I especially like the facings and think they look smart after i top stitched about an inch from the edge of each arm and neck and hem. Overall, this is a lovely and wearable pattern.

Thats not all though – I wanted to try out the pattern and discover the changes I’ll need to make when i make it again. I’ve already bought the fabric – flamingo style print – and I can’t wait to try it out. Woo!