April 2018.

I’m sure it’s no coincidence that during the term break at work (which fell for three weeks during April), I was much more productive. In **breaking news** I finally threaded my overlocker (it took about 10 attempts) and broke it in this month! And I was also sewing with a freshly serviced machine, so who can blame a girl for a marathon effort.

Pony-camo anorak: My ever generous sister gave me this fabric that she scored at a local op-shop. In my head it was obviously this Escher style horse print, and it wasn’t until a friend pointed it out to me that I realised it’s also pink camo print!

I wanted to make a loose anorak to wear in Autumn and instead of forking out for a new pattern, I picked up this awesome 90s deal on TradeMe for about $5.

I flat-lined the jacket with a pink flannelette sheet (also care of my sister) for extra warmth. The buttons are from my favourite local vintage shop, and everything else (apart from the elastic in the hem casing) was in my stash.

I love this jacket and have worn it heaps since it was finished. Total win.

Horses Victoria Blazer: What appealed to me about this pattern was the boxy, slouchy, ‘boyfriend’ vibe of the jacket. But I wasn’t sold on how unstructured it was. A lot of versions I had seen online had the lining showing at the front and sagging below the hem as well as the collar flopping around.

Uncharacteristically for me, I had done a muslin of this pattern. I had also read a lot of people’s write ups on their blogs of versions they had made. In particular this blog post was SUPER helpful.

Accordingly I made the following modifications to this pattern when I made it:

  1. I didn’t have enough fabric to make a full front facing so I interfaced the lining about 10cms along the entire front and collar stand. If I make this jacket again, I will make a full facing for sure.
  2. The collar stand was WAY too high. I took about 3cms off from the CB grading it out to nothing just under the first notches on the front of the jacket.
  3. I added about 5cm to the length of the jacket shell and then, instead of sewing the jacket together from collar all the way around the hem, I just attached the lining at the collar and then turned the jacket hem up by 5cm, did a shallow hem on the lining and slip-stitched it to finish. I also fully lined the sleeves – I possibly wouldn’t do this again, or if I did, I would make the lining a little bigger.
  4. I omitted the cuff. If I wanted a cuff I would make a facing cuff to fold to the outside. I didn’t like the cuff treatment at all.

My other note about this pattern was it was hard to ease the sleeve head in so I would definitely gather between the notches next time to ensure a better finish. This would be easier in a lighter weight fabric.

I made this jacket using some really nice Japanese denim from Draper’s Fabric, and a piece of linen upholstery fabric I found on TradeMe. The piece I bought had 6 of these repeats so I see some cushions in my future too! I’ve only just discovered Draper’s Fabric (thanks Instagram) and it’s so good to have an NZ seller with high quality denim for sale. I have some other denim from Draper’s awaiting jeans sitting here too.

I really love this blazer and, because the front is so plain, it can be worn with a lot of my me-made wardrobe too – which is awesome!

Navy Chinos: I have made the Named Alpi Chinos three times now, and finally feel like I am cracking the fit. I’ve approached the crotch seam differently this time. Instead of scooping it out and adding width at the hip/seat area, I’ve extended the crotch point. It has the same net result: lengthening the crotch. However, it makes it easier to manage fit around the hips, which is where I have had issues in the past. I’ve also added stay-stitching to the construction so that the waist doesn’t grow on me as I sew.

These aren’t 100% perfect yet, and perhaps may never be, but these are by far the best result I’ve had with this pattern, and it’s such a useful cut.

The fabric is some second hand poly-drill that I picked up… somewhere? Can’t remember, but I used it on the collar of this top. Which I can never wear with these pants because it reads 100% as scrubs!!!

Long-sleeved T for Alex: Alex has started a new job. He is now the Media Studio Specialist for our newly rebuilt (post quake, ready in August sometime) Central Library called Tūranga. He had been asking me to make him a shirt, but the reality is, he has lovely shirts that are all in good condition at present. What he does need is some smart long-sleeved t-shirts and some more trousers.

Siobhan had put me onto Ottobre Magazine (like a Finnish version of Burda) and they had a great edition featuring a lot of patterns for men. A company called Pattern Postie in NZ stocks them so I didn’t have to negotiate international postage, but while I was waiting for it to arrive, we had a trip to The Fabric Store to buy some nice stretch cottons and drill. Using New Look 6321 (tried and tested on Alex’s yearly pair of shorts I make him) I whipped him up a raglan sleeved t-shirt using the overlocker for construction! This is an 80s pattern so it was HUGE and the sleeves were SO wide. So I did take a lot of fabric out of the underarm seam to get a more modern fit. Being cotton ribbing it does grow a lot, but so far Alex has worn it twice and approves, although I haven’t managed to photograph that!

Personally I think he suits a set in sleeve better so am looking forward to tracing off the Ottobre t-shirt patterns this weekend.

Jacket for my friend Toni: My friend Toni recently visited from Auckland and came around with a box of fabric and UFOs from her mother’s sewing room. Her mother is one of those people who is such a perfectionist she’s pretty much stopped sewing.

In the booty was a lovely piece of felted wool in a soft grey with a slightly boucle texture. Toni said wistfully “Mum was going to make me a coat out of that, but it never happened.” Now I love making coats, but realised a few winters ago that perhaps making a coat every year wasn’t sensible! At last count of coats and winter jackets, I have something like 12. All are vintage or home made, but still. So I thought I would make up the fabric as a surprise for Toni and courier it to her.

I have this Vogue 8620 pattern that I have now made three times (including this version) and I think it’s the perfect weight and length for Auckland which is not a cold city by NZ standards. It’s unlined and has all these lovely Hong Kong finished seams. There wasn’t quite enough fabric to make it all up, so I made the facings using left over fabric from this bomber jacket I made a few years ago.

She absolutely loved it and it fit her perfectly – phew!

Print skirt: Lastly I finally made this skirt I’ve been meaning to make for a year now. My lovely friend gave me a Spoonflower voucher for Christmas one year and I bought this lovely print to make a skirt out of.

Then recently an ex-student came round with a box of old patterns from her mum. This 80s Style pattern was exactly what I had envisioned my skirt looking like.

However, I have realised that me and straight waistbands do not work together. I have such a sway back and a waist that is not at all pronounced, so I either end up with massive gaping or a muffin top – neither of which I like. I used this nice waistband from New Look 6035 to ensure a better fit.

I’ve realised now that gathers across my back do not suit me at all, however apart from that, I like this skirt a lot. It’s fully lined with some red something or other from my stash (I think another gift from my sister) as the fabric from Spoonflower I chose is very lightweight and needed some structure. It also helps to counteract static cling which is the bane of my existence!

Gees Bend style cushion cover: Lastly I made this cute cushion cover using a strip design called Courtyard Steps, used a lot by the quilters of Gees Bend. It was all made from leftovers – from my white Lottie Blouse and my pants and top from my Royals collection from last year’s Indie Pattern Month comp. It has been cat road tested and approved and I love the pop of red that it adds to our lounge.

Thanks for bearing with me! This has been a long enough post so I won’t add a reading or cooking list this month. Hope your creative endeavours have been rewarding and successful, see you next month.

22 thoughts on “April 2018.

    1. Not a silly question at all! Definitely wind proof – to a point! Not rain proof as I didn’t waterproof the fabric at all. However the poly fabric is rain resistant so that’s something!


  1. Wow! What a wonderfully productive – no, I have a better word – fruitful month! Those Alpi chinos look pretty perfect to me 😀 Really cool projects, all of them.

    And thanks for sharing the cautionary tale about perfectionism. I need to stop hesitating and make some routers finally!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the anorak style and have been considering making one. Would you be able to identify the vintage pattern you used? I always scour eBay and Etsy for older patterns and perhaps could find same. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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