Snowy Christmas catch up

Hello everybody, hope you had a truly wonderful Christmas and thank you for the Christmas wishes you left at my last post: I’d written it before we went away for a week, kind of to explain my absence and lack of interaction, and experienced huge heart warmings to read them when back in Blighty yesterday. ( And it’s true, It is possible to survive a whole week without the Internet!!!!)

I have lots of exciting ideas for future sewing projects and will use the next couple of days’ holiday to formulate them into a plan for 2013, but first, a bit of a catch up, because to tell you the truth, I have been sewing like a demon prior to going on hols: Christmas pressies and also some items appropriate for a winter week in the mountains.

One of the glorious mountain views we were privileged to have last week …

Yes, we had a most awesome ski Christmas in the French Alps with my bestest ski team: my family. Skiing for me is more entrenched as my most favorite activity (of course it’s better than running), but alas, expense and West Country location make its occurrence well planned and infrequent….great for building months of excitement and anticipation though! And to be in the mountains with beautiful snow covered fir trees, the freshness of chilled blue skies being active with family (& having polka dot skis – bonus!) has to be my best Christmas Day ( and saves me from a too early champagne drinking nemesis! Oh- oh my secret’s out…the champagne Christmasses I’ve had where I’ve peaked too soon…..)

So, onto business, radio silence now having been explained. I had some exiting sewing related Christmas pressies…. A very practical sleeve board ( phwoar!!) and Coco Chanel, the Legend & the Life by Justine Picardie as well as some vouchers which I am using to subscribe to the iPad editions of Threads, ( what a great idea!!) available here.

I shall update in full in another post about my winter mountain wardrobe. No, I did not make outdoor ski wear ( that would be rather ambitious, wouldn’t it! Think of all the zips and wind proofing!! ) but I made things to wear after a full day skiing, warm and cosy, but a bit more feminine than the usual half zip fleece and jeans, and very mix and match-able, because after all you don’t need to take a lot with you for such a small part of each day. As a taster to whet your appetite I made a fleece Renfrew ( exponential awesome I have to say!), a Drafting Top, a cord mini skirt ( Vogue 1247) which I wore over my ooh la la leggings, and another Birgitte long sleeved tee shirt. Match them up with black jeans and my Merino Renfrew and away you go. Perfect chalet wear. More to come…

Today I will venture down some interesting to me sewing: more experimentation with fleece. I bought a Kwik Sew pattern number 3817 available here through Sewbox ( always prompt delivery so I am never held up) for sewing a fleece for Gary for his Christmas present.

No! How could you think that I’d make him one in camouflage?! How cruel!! I was interested in how to put in a half zip and how the whole collar and contrast was constructed, and as mentioned before, Gary’s wardrobe is dwindling and replenishment does not feature in his budgeting. Here he is sporting his new fleece as well as some cosy flannel P.J.s ( performing the obligatory Christmas task of chocolate biscuit attack).

(He is incidentally very pleased with this outfit, having worn the PJs as his chalet wear ;-)) I am now not able to take the fleece from his bod to take any more pictures, such is its success. You’ll have to rely on the image above & my assurances that, yes, it’s a navy fleece. It’s quite boring really. Which is probably good, because otherwise it could draw comments for all the wrong reasons (eg camouflage above!)

So then, to make the fleece I ordered my fabric from UKFabricsonline (18 colours available) who I have to say were very attentive when my parcel took too long to arrive despite its apparent first class posting. It suffered from christmas post lag but arrived eventually & in enough time for me to make it up. This fleece (polar fleece) seemed reasonable priced and was non pill, which was important as Gary’s singular bought fleece had started to pill very early on in its wearing history despite its price tag giving the impression that it was a quality garment.

I used navy with a black under collar contrast, but the way that the pattern is constructed allows for a whole host of wild use of contrasts with each part of the garment potentially sporting multi-fabric zaniness ( good for inducing nausea or unsolicited thoughts similar to camouflage version above?) Anyway, I followed the instructions to make this fleece to the letter. They were very clear with the exception of the step to finish the collar facing which I got slightly out of order and therefore the finish isn’t as I would like ( and is unfortunately visible) The instructions for inserting the half zip though, my major learning this time, were very clear. One thing I would do differently next time is to make sure that I use colour sensitive interfacing since it is used to stabilise the zip insertion, but is actually visible if the fleece is worn zip open ( as most people wear fleeces this way). The interfacing bad this time is that the white shows. Black next time. So, both flaws relate to the same lesson – beware of finishes to the area around the neck opening inside & out as it is very much on show. Otherwise this will be something I will repeat, ( lucky Gary?) and I might even try to add a half zip to other patterns now for me….

I was concerned about the sizing and shaping, not having measured Gary and making up a standard medium. But it turns out that it was the right size ( phew) and whilst it might benefit from a little shaping in the side seams, it’s not too baggy or boxy. I made this as my second dalliance with sewing fleece and I enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure about whether to finish edges, and since this was included in the instructions, I overlocked them. Is it needed? I studied some shop bought ones & have seen that generally side seams are overlocked, some seams are overlocked then ? mock felled. Whilst I overlocked all I could (as is my custom), much of the sewing however was using my normal Pfaff machine and straight stitch (eg neckline, hems, collar).

So now, imagine if you like, the almost complete outfit I sewed for Gary this Christmas: codpiece pants, this fleece and the flannel P.J.s. I had almost finished knitting him a hat, but that did not come to pass in time….

So, off to the washing machine for now and then up to make one last late Christmas pressie….bye for now and I look forward to catching up on all the blogs I’ve missed ( in a steady non-obsessional way!!) And to catch up generally as some kind bloggers have also nominated me for a few awards & I’m behind in acknowledging them (but advanced thank yous, you know who you are…). So many wonderful sewing blogging thoughts are brewing …it’s great to get the Christmas making finished ….


20 thoughts on “Snowy Christmas catch up

  1. Vicki Kate

    Wow! That’s an awesome Christmas! I haven’t been skiing in years but loved it when we did… I’m in awe of your fleece experiment, I can’t see any of the issues and if you can’t prise it off Gary then finishes aside its an uber win! I’m glad you had a great Christmas and wishing you a Happy New Year!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Hehehehe! Thanks Vicki Kate, the fleece I think will at least be loungewear – & we’re doing a lot of that at the moment. I don’t know how I will cope when he wears it elsewhere / out & about – I fear that I will be constantly making apologies for the visible faults ….
      Happy New year to you too, looking forward to catching up with what you’ve been up to ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Karen

    Gorgeous! I was in the mtns, too…but in NM and not so much snow. Still gorgeous, though.

    Great projects & wonderful gifts. Happy 2013, Winnie…looking forward to seeing what you’ll be into this next year.

  3. Ginger

    Wow, the fleece looks so cozy and pro! You must’ve done well since it’s getting so much wear! I love the sound of your aprรจs-ski attire! I want to make all of those patterns! Looking forward to seeing those blogged!

  4. MrsC (Maryanne)

    Gosh that really is revelling in a White Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚ It was 31 degrees celcius here on the day! I would love to spend a Christmas in the snow one day.
    Clever you, it’s so hard to get one’s makes onto the back of one’s husband, I find. Such enjoyment is high praise indeed.
    Happy New Year to you and yours xo

  5. Nicky P

    Ok, I blame you! There I was, browsing the UKFabrics site after following your link, when suddenly the laptop was removed from my grasp by my fascinated hubby. “Ooh”, says he, “that looks like proper stuff, how did you find that”. Fast rewind to your website, and he is now sat inspecting his technical fleeces, and wondering if I might make him one too.

    As I say, it’s all your fault, so any handy hints before I go out and buy the Kwik Sew pattern?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    (P.S. you should take it as a compliment, he’s always pooh-poohed my offer to make anything previously – but is clearly impressed by your technical prowess. Hope I can live up to your standards!) xx

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Wow, that is certainly praise indeed! “The” fleece I made is still being worn in between work & looks great. Hints wise – it’s that neckline – remember its inside & outside is visible so use interfacing that is close to the colour of your fleece. I’m hoping to make another & I don’t think we’d change a lot in the fit – but if hubby knows you’re making it you can always try the fleece on before hemming to make sure the side seams fit as required & you don’t want any slight shaping.
      Hope it goes well & you enjoy it ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. missjoiedevivre

    What a beautiful view, I’m so pleased you had a great holiday! And lukcy fellow for getting such a range of treats, and not being able to remove the fleece would suggest that it was indeed successful!


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