Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Marigold Trousers for Spring

In the hope that spring will someday return, I have made myself a pair of rather lovely trousers! I used this gorgeous cotton fabric and the Tilly and the Buttons Marigold to make these. It was my first time using the Marigold pattern, but they were really easy to make. They were a lovely breather project while working on my anorak. I made these trousers and the pineapple trousers for my sister in the same week, and I really enjoyed making both pairs. The fabric was slightly brighter than I was expecting, but I think that the colour is just perfect for spring. I really love the pattern on the fabric, and I knew straight away that I wanted to make a pair of spring trousers (despite the fact that it is freezing outside!).

This was my first time using the Marigold trousers, and I'm so glad that I bought the pattern despite my original reservations. The pattern comes with a jumpsuit version too, and as this isn't something that I am likely to make I missed the trousers when I glanced over the pattern initially. The fabric was a dream to sew with - I love the stability of cotton - especially after sewing with thick fabric, something that I have been doing a lot of recently. I finished all the seams inside with a zigzag stitch. Despite taking my time to make these they were still a really quick make.

My favourite part of these trousers are the lovely deep pockets. The elastic waist also allows them to be really comfortable, yet the darts and pleats allow them to look sophisticated and not too much like pyjamas! I'm a big fan of small, secret details and so I sewed the hem with a double row of stitches - not something that anyone else will notice but I like it! I shortened the length of the trousers slightly to make them more cropped, another thing I really love.

I am so happy with my new trousers! At first, I was worried that they would be a bit too bright, but with a simple white top I think that they are perfect for the sunshine that i'm longing for during this bleak February weather. I would really recommend this pattern for beginners, especially if you use a lovely stable fabric like this cotton.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Another Pair of Pineapple Trousers

Although I'm not sure there is a limit to the number of pineapple garments a single person can have in their wardrobe, I am pretty sure that a single pair of pineapple trousers is enough. (Until, of course, they get worn literally to death, in which case it is perfectly acceptable to make another pair.) Because of this, I would like to justify making another pair of pineapple trousers so soon: they are not for me! I currently have two items of pineapple fabric clothing in my wardrobe - my top and my trousers - both of which I wore a lot during the summer. The theme has clearly caught on, for in the John Lewis post-christmas fabric sale, my sister spotted this fabric and asked me to make her a pair of trousers! So our household currently has a total of three pineapple items of clothing and counting.

I do genuinely enjoy making clothes for others, especially speedy projects. The Tilly and the Buttons Marigold trousers are perfect to make for others as they really do not take long at all. They are also quite forgiving, in other words the fitting isn't as crucial as a lot of other garments. I have made a few things for my sister in the past, including pyjamas and a cushion, but no clothing designed to be worn outside. It was quite nerve-wracking making these, as it always is when making clothes for others.

I made a couple of adjustments, as requested, the first of which was shortening the crotch. When the trousers were tried on at the end, the crotch seam hung very low. Although it is supposed to be fairly low, my sister is slightly smaller than the smallest size of the pattern (especially when it came to the length). Luckily, I was able to solve this quite easily by unpicking the waistband and sewing it back on about 1.5" lower. She is still able to put her hands in the pockets, one of the benefits of having such big, deep pockets. I suppose I should have done a toile, but that would have defeated the point of making something quick and easy! I will also know for next time to shorten the pattern before cutting the fabric. It certainly isn't a noticeable adjustment though, and I'm pleased to have been able to save it so easily.

Apart from shortening the trousers, the only other adjustment that I made was adding an elastic casing at the bottom. I have the same look on my trousers, and it was really simple to do; I just added a casing of about 1" in depth, and then put elastic through it in the same way that the waistband is done. I am so happy with these and relived that the wearer likes them too! She has already worn them several times and is very pleased with them. I doubt we will ever wear our pineapple trousers together at the same time, but there is something quite nice about having almost matching pairs!

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Sashiko Top

This top has been a long time in the making, and I'm so happy to finally have it photographed so I can share it! A while ago I discovered Sashiko, which is a Japanese sewing technique, and was completely intrigued with the intricacy and the beauty of the designs. There are lots of different videos and other information about it (I found this quite helpful), I would really recommend having a read about it as it's really interesting. I decided to embroider a Sashiko design onto blue jersey, as I really like the traditional navy and white design. Sashiko is supposed to be embroidered onto a woven fabric, and I did have a few difficulties at first using a stretchy fabric, but once I got used to it it really wasn't that difficult.

I started this top in November, and sat doing the embroidery throughout November and December of last year. I like having something to do while watching television in the evenings, and this project (along with this one) was made by the lovely warm fires winter evenings! Before I drew on my design, I cut out the pattern pieces. I used my well-loved and used Linden sweatshirt pattern. I drew my design onto the front bodice using a chalk pen. Although it took a while to draw and much longer to stitch, but was definitely worth it!

Once the design was all stitched, I sewed up the jumper as normal, which took about forty-five minutes - a shockingly short amount of time compared to how long the embroidery took! I really love the finished jumper. It was ready just in time for Christmas and I wore it with this skirt on Christmas day. The sleeves are 3/4 length, and it is cropped. I really like the length, although the fabric is quite thin so it can't be worn without a thermal underneath at this time of year! I have since seen this Linden hack which also has a little bit of Sashiko, and I now would love to make a jumper dress - although it might have to be a project for next Autumn now. I'm so pleased with this, it was a slight gamble as I've never done Sashiko before (and it's a lot of work for something that doesn't look good at the end!) but it was definitely a gamble that payed off.