SWAP2017 Pt 5: Ansterick Holsten Sweater and an Experiment in pre washing yarn

Last year I was working full steam on a SWAP2017 wardrobe. You can read some of the previous SWAP2017 posts here <link here>:

For one of my uppers – I opted for a  knitted item. The inspiration was based on a Bella Freud 1970 Jumper . This jumper retails at £300.

The pattern I used was the Holsten jumper by Anstrick

Once I had selected the pattern the next challenge was finding the bright red yarn colour. Someone on Ravelry recommended Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton DK yarn. The yarn has a lovely lustre to it and it had a lipstick red shade that looked promising. I ordered several balls of different reds from various brands but this was the one that nailed it. Luckily they also had the black and white of the same yarn.

The next challenge was how to prevent bleeding. From the many posts that I read where people had knitted with red and white or black and white – there was a bleeding issue when the garment was washed. After ruminating on the issue for a while I thought that maybe I could try pre-washing the yarn before knitting to reduce any bleeding potential in the same way we prewash fabric for sewing.

Luckily the yarn comes in skeins. My first attempt was a bit of a travesty because I didnt do anything to prevent the yarn from tangling. On my second attempt, I loosely tied the skein at 4 different points so that I could easily reconstitute the skein.

The prewashing process involved filling the sink with hot water and soaking for about an hour, gently wringing the water out and repeating until the water ran clear. For the red this took approximately 4 soakings, the black took 6 soakings to run clear. I also did the white twice because I needed it to have a similar texture to the black and red.

After drying out the skeins I then had to wind them into yarn balls. There were a lot of online tutorials to help. I used a kitchen roll tube and spent several hours balling up the skein. It was tedious but I think it was worth it in the end. 

Dryng the prewashed yarn

Pre washed and un washed side by side
Prewashed on left. Has a ‘fuller’ look and feel. Unwashed on right.

 

I swatched with 3.75, then 3,5 but it was 3,25 that got the correct stitch gauge. I should have done some mods since the pattern calls for fingering 4 ply but my yarn was DK. However, I still do not understand these things so I went on ahead with the proviso that I would be trying it along the way to see what I need to change. On the whole this worked, I think I managed to get away with it :-).

This pattern knits up quite quick since it all stokinette stitch. It was also a great opportunity for me improve my Portuguese knitting skills. I think the fit is quite good. Yarn feels comfy against my skin.

The prewashing seems to have worked. When I washed this there was no bleeding.

And here I am wearing it last year.

The pattern instructions were very clear and well written. I learnt some new techniques like the saddle stitch for the raglan sleeve. It may not be the best but I had a great time knitting this. I’d have liked to do add in a HILA motif on the white section but my skills are not yet there. I am still very happy with this jumper.

Finally, I used just under 5 skeins of red and less than 1 skein each of black and white. The total cost of the yarn was £50.48. Not bad considering the inspiration retails at £300. Win!

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internets. Until next time, happy knitting!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for stopping by this corner of the interwebs.

Peace and love,

Hila

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The Great British Sewing Bee From Stitch to Style: The Breton Dress

It gives me great pleasure to share this dress with you. Its from the book, The Great British Sewing Bee From Stitch to Style

The Breton jersey dress attracted me with its wide boat neck line. It also looked simple enough to make and yet it took me nearly 18 months between tracing out the pattern and actually sewing it. Here is the picture from the book:

Sewing the dress was a pleasure as it is instant gratification of the best kind. And to end up with something that makes me feel like a stylish well considered adult, well, that’s just the cherry on the cake! The sewing instructions in the book are really good. Plus the sizing was spot on. This size was selected based on my bust and without any alterations at all this is what it looks like.

Great British Sewing Bee: From Stitch to Style. Jersey Dress
No. I did not stripe match.
I love how the neckline is finished.
I get such a buzz from putting my name on my clothes 🙂
Going for an artistic pose…….(please ignore the holey tights)

If I had to nit pick I’d say that there is a swayback issue on the back but honestly I asked my husband what he thought and he earnestly said that the behind was fine. And that is good enough for me :-).

Fabric was from Jacks Fabrics in Leeds market, bought last year so I am quite pleased at how quickly this fabric was turned around :-).

Overall there are many things that pleased me about this project.

The book only cost £9.99 on Amazon with free P&P. Its great value given the number of patterns that come with the book (27 I think). There are a few more patterns I want to make from there. I did make the Japanese top already.

 

I have already traced out this skirt which was the reason that I bought the book. sewing-bee-book-a-skirtAfter seeing Beth’s version I was very inspired to make it.

Thanks for stopping by. Happy Sewing!

Peave and love,

Hila

XXX

Vogue 9259 Tropical Jumpsuit: Pattern Review

This is a long wide legged jumpsuit that I absolutely loved wearing last summer. Pardon me for posting such an obviously summery make in winter but bear with me, please. Spring is on the way and I am very excited about moving on to sewing with lightweight fabrics so this is whetting my appetite.

I knew that I was getting Vogue 9259 the moment I saw it. Unfortunately, I had to wait months before collecting my patterns while we visited the USA. It was worth the wait though.

It has a criss-cross halter neck front. Here is the line drawing:

The line drawing looks like the band is at the waist but I found that for me it was a smidge higher than my natural waist. I looked at the model pic and it also looks a bit higher than the waist. It is not uncomfortable or anything but it does make me look like I have very long legs.

Although we only had a few days where it was hot enough to wear this on its own I cant tell you how lovely it was! I loved the feel of the sun on my back and the breeze against my skin.

My initial worry about making it had been than my breasts wouldn’t be secured and that I would constantly be tucking them in. But this was not the case at all. I found that there was no gaping (to be fair I am not very endowed in that area when I am braless so I might not be best placed to recommend this if you are a larger cup size than B). On other days I wore it with a lightweight black elbow length cardigan.

I took my son to a birthday party that had a bouncy castle which I snuck into while everyone was singing Happy Birthday and had a go. No escapees. They were safe and secure. 

These days I am trying to qualify myself when I say that something was easy to make. As an intermediate seamstress, I found this to be a straightforward make that was easy to sew and get a good fit on. I cut my usual size 12 for Vogue patterns and made no alterations.

I do like the lightness of viscose. It was a swish factor that I love.

Verdict: Its a winner! Deep pockets and comfortable while making me look like I made an effort.

Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

xox

Burda 05/2016 Bat Sleeve Dress #115B

This is another dress I made specially for a holiday to the seaside. Its from the May 2016 issue of BurdaStyle Magazine. The style is called a bat sleeve dress. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I was intrigued by this pattern enough to make it.The pictures didn’t really do anything for me but it was the line drawing that grabbed me:

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BurdaStyle 05/2016 #115B

 

I have made it in ponte before here.The instructions were quite good – though this is very simply constructed dress made up of 2 pieces (front and back) and a neckband. You just have to finish the arm flaps before draping them over each other and securing with the neck-band.

I used a viscose jersey – very drapey and perfect for my purposes. I wanted something akin to a beach cover-up. Easy to to pop on and off. It did the job admirably! Here it is in action.

I definitely see more capelet dresses in the future. Its so quick and fast to sew up too.

Thanks for stopping by and until next time-

Happy Sewing!

Hila

XoX

SWAP2017 Pt 4: Sewaholic Hollyburn & Granville Shirt

Hi guys!

Last year I was working full steam on a SWAP2017 wardrobe. You can read some of the previous SWAP2017 posts here <link here>:

For my lower, I had the Hollyburn skirt which was to be made in an orange bright orange fabric.

I bought the fabric from Fabworks. It’s a cotton twill weave which also has a geometric pattern. It has spandex it with some (about 3% stretch on the cross grain).

Instead of a facing, I used Petersham ribbon on the waistband. Pink satin bias binding on outside

Sewaholic Granville modified –

The fabric is linen dyed a navy blue using Dylon washing machine dye. This was one of the few successful results from my experiments with dyeing fabric.

The embroidery is from Kate N Rose patterns which I had bought over 3 years ago but hadnt ever bothered with it. It’s called Faraway Garden. When Kate was helping me with inspiration pictures I remembered that I had it somewhere in my digital files. Unfortunately marking dark fabric was challenging. Chalk faded away easily and my Frixion pens were not very easily visible. Patience is not one of my strong virtues and eventually, I reached a point which I just wasn’t bothered. But that’s ok – I realised that I am not yet at the beautiful intricate embroidery stage. That’s okay.

I eliminated the center front button placket. The front is sewn together with a flap for snaps of some sort (am yet to do this). I made it sleeveless by raising the armscye by 1/2″ and narrowing the shoulder by 3/4″. This makes it have a closer fit around the armhole. I bias bound the armholes using same linen fabric.

The idea was to have further embroidery on the front and back but seriously, it’s not my thing. I should have got appliques and in future, this is what I will do. As far as embroidery goes – I need to walk before I can run :-).

I am very happy with these 2 garments, more so because they are 2 of my most beloved patterns that I have made more than a dozen of collectively. Pictures….be warned the orange is really bright :-). Pictures were taken in May 2017.

Sewaholic Patterns Hollyburn Skirt and Granville Shirt

Guess the song from the dance pose 🙂

 

Thanks for stopping by this corner of the interwebs.

Peace and love,

Hila

Named Anneli Double Front T shirt maxi Dress as featured in Sew Now Magazine Issue 8

I am super, quite possibly uber, excited to finally be able to share this project. This is a pattern review I wrote for Sew Now magazine (Issue 8 circa May 2017) – a publication I really enjoy as it is a mix of sewing and fashion. For the review, I sewed up Named Patterns Anneli Tee Shirt dress in a delicious green jersey. Enjoy!

Everyone loves tee shirt dresses and I am not an exception. Named’s latest offering from their SS17 Playground collection is the Anneli double front dress. The pattern includes two variations: a straight, ankle-length jersey dress, and a casual T-shirt.

 

Named Patterns Anneli T Shirt Maxi Dress – showing some leg 🙂

 

The packaging screams exclusive brand and you certainly get what you pay for with this incredibly well drafted pattern. The instructions and sizing are excellent. This is achievable as a first time project. All the seams lined up beautifully – even the neckband snaps perfectly flat against my body. Super quick to sew up, it took only 1.5 hours from start to finish with no alterations at all. The double-layered front which creates an interesting wrap effect gives it a uniqueness and a point of difference, making it perfect for the warmer days of spring and summer. 

If I had to pick a word to describe the Milano jersey fabric – delicious! Verdant in colour and lush in texture, this gorgeous fabric is reminiscent of 2017 Pantone’s Colour of the year ‘Greenery’. It feels soft and luxurious next to the skin.sew-now-photo-shoot-065sew-now-photo-shoot-104sew-now-photo-shoot-113sew-now-photo-shoot-126

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Trying a new pose – its called “Running to catch the bus”
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Perfect neckband lies flat

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I love this casual and easy to wear dress. Minimalist with a directional edge, Anneli is effortlessly stylish. I paired my Anneli dress with hoop earrings, chunky bracelet and a pair of thong sandals— and I was all set!  I love that I can stay warm with an oversized baggy sweater. Or get sporty with a denim jacket and trainers, or bohemia with a statement necklace and a floppy hat or throw on some cute flats for a more polished look…..endless possibilities.

I have to say that Named understand the appeal of the tee shirt dress. They are comfortable and when we feel comfortable, we feel confident. Anneli ticks many boxes for me; it is fashionable AND feels good to wear AND delivers on comfort AND is quick to sew. A new favourite!

 

Thanks so much for stopping by and until next time – Happy Sewing!!!!

Peace and love,

Hila

PS. It was a really windy day when we did the photoshoot so apologies for my VPL – it couldnt be helped!

SWAP2017: An Over and a Lower

My SWAP has 4 overs which are :

  1. Fitted shirt in shocking pink.
  2. Embroidered fitted top
  3. Knitted red and white jumper
  4. White tie back top
  5. A ‘rogue’ dress

For this post I am looking at the pink fitted shirt and the yellow maxi skirt.

Fitted Shirt

granvilee

Sewaholic Granville and I got back a long way. See here <link>. Its a tried and true patterns that I love.

I had already seen the shocking pink fabric at the Shuttle in Shipley before deciding on the SWAP colours. Once my colours were settled, I was forced to go back to The Shuttle (I want to be clear on this – I did NOT want to go to a fabric shop but in the spirit of SWAP I had to – I was a reluctant  fabric shopper – those other fabrics followed me home – I was reluctant but I am so proud of myself for my restraint). Luckily it was still there when I went back and I bought 3 meters of it. Its  a stretch cotton sateen that was interesting to work with.

I cant say its been my best sewing experience ever. I found that the sateen had a strong needle memory and I couldn’t unpick the fabric without creating a visual disturbance. I quickly caught on though and started using wonder clips instead of pins where necessary. I also needed to use a walking foot to prevent it stretching out as I sewed. It also why I opted not to topsticth the button placket.

Because of the stretch nature of the fabric it is very comfortable. Pictures do not do this fabric justice. Its is very bright pink. As in incredibly in your face unapologetic pink. It makes me happy.

Yellow Maxi Skirtyellow20maxi20skirt

For the maxi skirt I used the skirt portion of the Anna dress. I love this pattern and have made it several times already. The fabric was hard to come by. I wanted a really bright sunshine yellow. I did something I haven’t done before – ordering loads of swatches. I must say that made me feel very grown up indeed. I eventually found the right colour and weight from an Ebay shop called (apologies in advance to any brexiters reading this) EuroFabrics. Its a very beautiful high quality stretchy crepe with viscose fabric that has a micro texture. It has a bit of give on the cross grain which makes for a very comfortable wear.

I sewed up the skirt but while checking fit I realised that I wanted pockets. I try to add pockets where I can in a way that doesn’t interfere too much with the design lines. Because this skirt is close fitting at the hip, in seam pockets would not have worked. So I decided to draft quasi-patch pockets that attach at the princess seams. I felt like this was the most sympathetic addition of pockets.

I still have the option of cutting out the thigh slit but as yet am undecided. I quite like it as is for now. Initially the plan was to add a narrow waistband but I didnt like after the initial basting – it made it even  more high waisted that I was envisioning. So it was Petersham ribbon to the rescue!!!  The only fly in the ointment , however is that I did think it needed lining but when I wore it for pictures – I could see my panty lines – as I grow older I get less keen on VPLs on my own self. I have since bought some lining to add which is an easy fix. I will only line the upper third of the skirt. The other option is to go commando when in this skirt and……. mmm……..again as I get older I am less keen on the whole going commando thing 🙂

Pictures…..

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SWAP2017 Granville Shirt and Anna Maxi skirt

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So here we are reader, the first 2 of my 11 SWAP2017 blogged. Whats next? The orange skirt I think….undecided

Thanks so much for stopping my little corner of the interwebs. Until next time,

Happy sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

Linen & Lace Simplicity 8215 Top

Hello everyone,

I had missed sewing with linen over the colder months so when I saw this pattern I decided to have a go with some linen that has been in my stash a long time. The lace used for the contrast was something I picked up from Bombay Stores in Bradford. It was quite costly at over £20/meter but I bought a half meter during their 20% off sale. The colour matched the linen perfectly so I knew I would use it for a yoke or something similar. Continue reading

Echino Mod Mini aka Another self drafted skirt….

Hi everyone!

Allow me to present another self drafted skirt that I started on in 2015! I have a habit of starting a blog post for a project that has been cut out – that way I sort of have an idea of how long the project took to complete. Well this one has  been sitting at the bottom of my 32 drafts queue for a really long time :-). Still better late than never m’kay. The pattern is the same as this A Line skirt here but without the pockets and a tad bit shorter. Continue reading

BurdaStyle Magazine 10/2014 #105 Cowl Neck Dress Pattern Review

Hello,

Let me preface this by saying that this is possibly my most favourite dress ever! Don’t believe me? Check out this IG video….

Continue reading

Selfless Sewing: McCalls M6044 for my brother….but modelled by OH…

Hello everyone,

Here is a shirt I actually sewed in January 2016 for my little brother who lives in Switzerland. He spent Christmas with us and I offered to make him a shirt using McCalls M6044.

I took him fabric shopping – on a tangent -I honestly do not understand why he didn’t LOVE fabric shopping – we walked into B&M Fabrics and literally 2 seconds later he just pointed at a fabric and he was like “that one” (literally 2 seconds in the shop!!!!). “Have a look around and see what else is there – there are loads of lovely fabrics.” I said with a big enthusiastic smile across my face. Continue reading