Seamwork Paxton

It is a little unusual for me to be sewing for someone other than myself, but I spotted this teal dogtooth quilted jersey on Minerva Crafts which I thought would be perfect for Matt. The Seamwork Paxton sweater was one of my make nine plans for this year, and so I’ve sewed one up.

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It feels good to be making progress on some of my sewing plans! This is the third of my patterns ticked off my make nine list. I’ve already written about my Seamwork Oslo, and Megan Nielson Amber. Three from nine at this point in the year is looking good!

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The full review of my Paxton sweater and this fabric is up on the Minerva Crafts blog, so check it out here. Matt seems happy to be the recipient of some sewing goodies for a change, so that feels good too!

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My first adventures into bag making

One of my aims for this year is to sew from my stash fabrics.  Well I have had a really cool ‘technical fabric’ remnant from Fabric Godmother sitting around for perhaps a year, and I thought it was high time that I gave sewing with it a go.  This fabric is slightly waterproof, but still moves and feels like fabric rather than plastic, so I thought that a fairly practical tote bag would be a good option.


I have had a Seamwork subscription for a while, and so had a couple of credits to use.  The Madrid bag seemed to be a pretty straightforward option for my first attempt at making a bag since making a drawstring one in year 9 textiles!  All the pattern pieces are basically rectangles, so it really is a beginner friendly option.




The Seamwork Madrid pattern is designed to be sewn with a couple of contrasting outer fabrics, and a lining.  I didn’t have two different waterproof fabrics, but I did have some cotton twill left over from Matt’s waistcoat last year which co-ordinated well.  I chose two basic polycottons for the lining, so that I could make the pocket out of a contrast colour too.



This all went together very smoothly.  I couldn’t find any bag handles that I liked online as suggested in the instructions, so I just made my own from some d-rings and a length of wedding.  This way you can choose exactly how long you would like the straps to be too.


This tote bag is not quite an empty shell like some are, and I thought that it would be nice to be able to take it without a handbag sometimes.  I hate it when my keys and phone get lost in the bottom of a bag though, so I divided the internal pocket to be ‘phone-sized’ and added a little hook to clip onto a key.  The finished bag looks pretty good.  Not all of my topstitching is a neat as I would like, but I don’t think most people will be looking that closely.


It is a bit floppy, so if I make some more in similar fabrics I think I will need to add some interfacing to the outer bag pieces to make them seem a bit more robust.  It might not be helping that the cotton twill at the top is slightly heavier weight than the floral fabric at the bottom of the bag, but I didn’t want to put them the other way up because I thought you are more likely to put a bag down on a slightly damp surface than brush up against one at the top of the bag.  I can see more of these bags in my future.


Seamwork Oslo test run

I have been planning a few basics lately that will serve me well both pregnant and afterwards with no alterations.  One of the patterns which caught my eye was the Seamwork Oslo, my first make from my make 9 list!  I really wanted to make a cosy version to layer up in and bought some jersey from Sew Over It with my birthday money, but then I panicked a little. The fabric was more expensive than I choose to spend, and I wanted it to be right, so I decided to make a trial run with something a little less precious.


I chose this Navy and White striped jacquard from Minerva crafts to make a lighter and less expensive wearable toile.  The fabric is definitely not as weighty as my Sew Over It jersey, but at least I could give the pattern and the fit a test run without loosing too much sleep over it.  This is the result.

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Open, it feels a little bit too big everywhere.  I made a Small based on my measurements, and wanting to have space to grow, but I think I would be better off with the XS.  Even with the cuffs rolled back the sleeves are pretty long, though that does make it cosy for pulling over my hands!  It is a bit of a departure from my usual style so it is taking a bit of getting used to.  Most of my other cardigans are a bit more fitted, especially in the sleeves, so I think that I could make a few changes, slimming down the sleeves would make it work even better for me.


I’m pretty pleased with my stripe matching, both at the side seams and at the collar.  Lots of pins are your friend when trying to get long sections of stripes to stay in place!


I decided not to add the buttons because this knit is a bit too light to support them, but I did add a little hook and eye just under the bust line to give it a bit more shape, and I like it much better like that.  I have also been wearing it with a little broach to close it too.


It also works really well with a belt for when I want it to stay properly closed and keep me cosy, so I think I will be wearing it like that a lot while the weather is cold!


I’m still undecided whether to use this pattern to make my cardigan from my Sew Over It fabric.  I have another cardigan pattern to test from Wendy Wards new book “A beginners guide to sewing with knitted fabrics” so I might see if that pattern suits what I am looking for better before deciding.  Meanwhile, I am sat in this Oslo cardigan feeling warm and cosy, so it can’t be too bad!


A final, and very important, thing for me to do today is announce my giveaway winner.  Congratulations to…

IMG_20180120_170059744Thanks to everyone who commented.  I’ve really been enjoying finding out what people would like to see here in the next year.

Time to cosy up in a cardi!

Sometimes I have projects that just take ages to come into reality.  I’m sure you know the feeling- you come across a new fabric or pattern and immediately make plans.  Somehow though, those plans keep getting pushed back until sometimes you can’t even remember what they were!  Eventually though, a rummage through your fabric stash or patterns brings it back to the front of the queue and it gets to see the light of day.  This is one of those makes!


I recently had a rummage through my fabric boxes, pulling things out for the winter and a couple of upcoming ideas.  While I was there, I rediscovered this speckled cream Hacci knit from Girl Charlee.  I had a couple of metres, and it has been waiting patiently for at least a year.  Unsurprisingly, they don’t seem to sell it any more, but they do have lots of other styles.  Hacci knits are quite loosely woven, they look more like loose knitting than a t-shirt fabric and so this fabric was always destined to become a lightweight cardigan.


I also have had the Elmira cardigan by Seamwork in my pattern collection for ages, and they seemed like a good match.  I made a couple of small changes- lengthening the sleeves by 5cm so that they would be full length, and also cutting two of the back pieces.  All the front cardigan pieces are double thickness, so I thought I would do the same at the back, especially as I wasn’t sure how well this fabric would take to being turned and hemmed.


Seamwork patterns are designed to be quick and easy to construct, but that does sometimes mean that the finishing is a little less thought through than other patternmakers.  I didn’t really have any problems with the construction order of this though, and I’m happy with how it has turned out.


The cardigan closes with a couple of little internal buttons and an external tie.  The buttons have little hand sewn thread chains instead of buttonholes which are really delicate and lovely.  I actually enjoyed sewing them, despite usually avoiding hand sewing wherever possible.


This is a slightly different style for me, but I have been enjoying wearing it with higher-waisted dresses and tops.  I think it will be nice over the winter when you often want something to just cover your arms, but don’t need anything too heavy because the central heating is on.  The only changes I would make next time would be to lengthen the sleeves a fraction more, and maybe reduce the width of the inner wrap piece so that the neckline pulls more smoothly.  Other than that though, I’m happy to be using a fabric and pattern that have been waiting around for far too long!


Seamwork Aurora

This is another of my speedy holiday makes!  This has been cut and ready to go for a couple of months, but of course I decided that I needed it finished to take away with me on the morning of our holiday.  Fortunately, it was very quick and easy to put together, and we were never in doubt of missing our flights or travel plans!


This is a Seamwork magazine pattern, the Aurora top.  I do really like Seamwork for inspiration, though not all the patterns grab my attention.  This one though is just so simple and cute I thought I would give it a go.


I used this tutorial to clean finish the yoke/strap seam, which isn’t in the pattern instructions.  It doesn’t really make it much more difficult though, and does look tidier on the inside.


The fabric is all scraps which have been hanging around for a while.  The navy blue body is an old t-shirt, and the contrast yoke is cut from the very last scraps of my first Moneta dress.  This is a great top for a bit of scrap busting.


I don’t know really why I put off sewing this up.  It was so quick and easy.  I wasn’t sure how this would look in such warm weather being such a dark colour, but I do quite like the contrast with these ready to wear white linen shorts.



Cleo and Astoria

Two makes to share today. Firstly a Tilly and the Buttons Cleo Dungaree Dress.  I made this one shortly before Christmas and already I have had a lot of wear out of it.  I wanted to be able to wear it with as many different things as possible, so I made it in this medium whale grey corduroy bought from eBay (sadly no longer available but they have it in red).


I made version 1 the mini length with a front chest pocket and rear patch pockets.  The instructions give the option for contrast top-stitching but I kept it pretty neutral, so that I can wear this with as many things as possible.


I made a straight size size 2, even though it doesn’t quite match my measurements (my hips are a little bigger than that) but thought I could get away without grading as it is not a particularly closely fitted style.  The sizing is spot on.  It is a little bit of a wiggle to get it on over my hips, but once it it on it fits fine.  Length is great with tights, and while loose fitting over the hips, even with a short t-shirt you don’t feel like you underwear might end up on show at the cut out sides!


As you might be able to spot above, I didn’t get around to top stitching down the facing.  This was for two reasons- one, I was impatient and wanted to get on installing my buttons then realised afterwards that I had made top stitching tricky/impossible, and two because I liked the clean finish.  I have tacked it down at the side seam and haven’t had any problems with it flipping out of place.


I love wearing this with tights and boots.  Today I am wearing it with another new make- my Seamwork Astoria.  This is my second attempt as this pattern.  The first was far too tight and was a nightmare to get on and off- just not enough stretch in the fabric.  This one is better though still not quite right.  The fabric is a stash sweater fleece with a bit of stretch.  Probably still not the 20% recommended by the pattern which is why I think it is pulling a bit in some of the pictures.


Astoria is a very easy make. It came together very easily on the overlocker, with a bit of twin needle stitching to keep some of the hems from flipping out of place.


I made a couple of little changes- my fabric wasn’t quite big enough to cut out the full length sleeve so I added a cuff.  The cuff I kept a fraction wider than the original sleeve piece too as I found it quite narrow the first time I made it.


Still not quite perfect, but a very wearable sweater now that the weather has got properly wintry again!  I’m sure there will be more around- possibly lengthening the pattern to a less cropped style.