Category Archives: Adventures in Overlocking

shorts

Tropical reef runners! Jalie 3351

Good morning!  I was asked to take part in Dress Up Party that’s happening this month at Sewsweetness – check it out, there’s loads  of pattern reviews (like sometimes several in a day!) going on there!  For my part I contributed my first attempt (so far) of Jalie 3351.

I shall give you a summary here, but for more information head on over to find out more :-)

DressUpParty

I have made the Jalie running skort a few times & have been so impressed with it that I recently invested in Jalie 3351, described as ‘swim shorts’ as they have integral undies.  Having made them up I can see they would be excellent as swim shorts! But that was not why I bought the pattern. I was first intrigued when Dawn, from Two on Two Off, a prolific sewist, blogger & amazing runner shared her version that she made for running. I tucked this away, with interest, but no commitment at that point. And months later Maria from How Good is That made some swim shorts using the same pattern.

When I looked it up I found it was available as a pdf download & went for it. In the UK you can get Jalie patterns from Habithat & the turnaround is very speedy! Here’s the pattern if you are buying in UK.

shorts 1

Well I made them up using my remainder of tropical reef fabric from Funki Fabrics which would be totally suitable for using for swim shorts as well (in fact that’s what Maria used, above). But remember that this fabric is not however strictly speaking “ wicking or breathable” but I forsee it being less of a problem, even on warmer days, when so much of my legs are actually out. We shall of course see! No days warm enough here yet to try out. I made them without the integral undies – just shorts. They have a side panel constructed very much like the skort (2796) to create a side pocket & interesting shaped hem.

shorts 2

What was really odd to me was the way the waistband was sewn. I still can’t get my head around it to explain it in any way useful, but it looks really neat on the outside.

shorts3

I am not 100% sure that I got it right….it looks as if there is excess on the inside, but it is very comfy to wear. Dawn explains it much better than me & hers look like the facing is not baggy on the inside.  In fact I wished I’d gone back to Dawn’s post when I was making them, as I think I would have done it differently …

Now the wearing. They are SHORT! I have to confess that the public at large did not get to see this much of my spring legs wobbling around on my run- I wore inner lycra shorts underneath & felt more decent :-)

shorts 4

But it has to be said, I do really love running in shorts & these are no exception. I like the pattern. I love that I have fishes on them & that if I want, I can use them at the beach too….

scuba circle skirt feature

Tropical jungle explosion- scuba circle skirt!

I have already shown you this skirt… hanging on rather a run of the mill wooden coat hanger against a rather mundane white door.  But this, I think, is not a mundane skirt.  Absolutely not.

This wild scuba fabric  was a surprise gift from Josie at Fabric Godmother – she picked out something that she thought I would like.  Such great gift-picking- it is totally me!  It’s positively bursting with vibrant colours, lush tropical flowers with a very cheeky blend of leopard skin thown in!  I know of quite a few people who would be drawn to this fabric hahaha!

scuba circle skirt 1

So, this is scuba, and to be honest I had been a bit unsure of scuba.  What to use it for?  I did not really think I was a bodycon dress wearer.  Marie at A Stitching Odyssey made a scuba skater dress (in fabric that looks very similar too!)  But as it was coming into Spring, did I really want to make a dress out of something so “polyestery”?  And that’s where my imagination stopped.  Until that is I saw a post on the Fabric Godmother’s blog where she used black scuba to make a Hollyburn skirt.  That really opened my eyes – you mean scuba can be used for skirts….with pockets?  (I am wary of assuming  knits can handle pockets – side seam pockets & even the front pockets as on a Hollyburn- because I think you need a knit with some kind of a structure for the latter & am still uncertain about side seam pockets per se for most knits ….but that’s probably my own experience & not having cracked it yet).

scuba circle skirt 2

OK, sorry, back to scuba and skirts.  I googled ‘scuba skirt’ & then narrowed in on either a scuba circle skirt or a scuba skater skirts.  It became clear to me that I had enough fabric to make a circle skirt & that the scuba would give it structure, yet its weight should allow it to hang pretty well but with a sleek waist.  No more prevaricating.  The whole decision process possibly took longer than the making once I had decided.

scuba circle skirt 3

I used the Cake Pavlova skirt as I had previously made it in jersey (& linen here) & the jersey skirt has had a lot of wear & it is one of my faves.  It has two seams & a waistband.  The waistband is elasticated for the knit version.  I omitted the pocket this time as I thought it would mess up the already wild print  & would take extra time!  This skirt, people, took next to no time to make!  But this is just a circle skirt, people.  In a knit, perhaps one of the easiest skirts to make- seriously.  No fastenings.  Sew with a stretch stitch/ narrow zig zag or an overlocker & you’re away.

waistband

And guess what else saves time?  Following Josie’s example I have left the hem unsewn & unfinished.  [Gasp]  I let the skirt hang a few days before measuring up from the floor ….& I just cut the hem at the length I wanted.  It feels kind of naughty!

scuba circle skirt 4

Now wearing this skirt is like a breath of fresh air.  It really does hang beautifully & being a circle skirt is not too bulky around the waist.  I hate to say it but the elastic waist is also very comfortable (OMG I must be getting old!!!!! )  I would love to be wearing it as I am modelling it, wedges & bare legs- but I’ve had to layer up & stick leggings underneath it to stop the May chills.  In my view though this is one of those pieces that glams up causal wear! (even with leggings on!)  And being a circle skirt it is so much fun moving around in it, letting the wind catch it (encouraging the wind to catch it too!), swooping down the stairs.  Heaps of pleasure for those of us easily pleased :-)

Now I understand if this fabric isn’t quite to your everyday wear, but there are quite a few scuba fabrics at Fabric Godmother – some more prints as well as some gorgeous solid colours with embossed details in them (so not “plain” at all but very practical !).

I am no longer fearful of scuba!  Hurrah!  I get it!

marathon

Trying to stand out amongst the 40,000- marathon outfit

You might know that I am running the London marathon on Sunday.  Yes, all sorts of emotions are circulating, this is going to be the experience and pinnacle of my running adventures and I am going out there to soak it all up.  It’s about enjoying as many of the 26.2 miles as possible, not about a time.  I may have to walk, that’s OK.  I might take 4 and a half hours, I am more likely to take five or more.  That is OK too.  My goal is only to enjoy the amazing experience that is the London marathon.  The sights, the crowds, the other participants…..I mean it’s the biggest….& I am incredibly lucky to have some awesome support.  My family and friends are coming to London to cheer me on!  And my parents will be watching all the coverage on the off chance that they can catch a glimpse of me.  So I want to make it easy to spot me in the sea of runners.  I know I will need to feel their love, it’s helped me – the only other time I completed a marathon– at critical times.  Of course I decided to make my own marathon outfit.

marathon

I took ages choosing fabrics on Spoonflower with the primary aim of looking as stand out as possible amongst a mass of colour and fancy dress.

I looked at fabrics as if I was seeing them from afar.  Using the performance knit, again I made the top out of these rainbow scallops and the skirt out of these fishy scales in turquoise and white.  Remember, I wasn’t trying to look neat & matchy but as eye catching as possible without becoming Mario, She-Ra, Paddington Bear or an oversized item of kitchen equipment.

I can’t tell you any more about the top and skirt as the skirt is made up by me, and the top has mutated too much from its original for me to even remember where it started.

I will be sharing a tutorial soon for how to make the headband though.

headband

There is a bit of a theme…..my friend has given me nails that on their own will stand out from the crowd!!

marathon nails

And I added rainbow elastic to my bumbag to match the rainbow ribbons another friend gave me that I have added to my shoes :-)

gadget

Worried about how to carry various bits & pieces around, I also made an armband using my lucky badger fabric – I only had enough to make the pocket, but it’s badger power!  I used Melissa’s free and revamped running armband pattern, available here.  Super useful – & btw it comes in different sizes.

armband

Now lovely readers, here’s the thing.  If you are watching, you might even spot me now.  I know when I watched last year (the origin of my entry this year!), with the vain hope of spotting people I knew were running, I had no idea even of what colours they were wearing.  Maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of the rainbow?

And if any of you are in the crowds….please shout for me!  There might be times when I REALLY need some words of encouragement.

If I am looking like this- that’s good, cheer me on!

marathon

 

If I am looking like this….

marathonGet me back on my feet!  Even more so if I am in this position….bring me gin!

marathon And don’t let me get like this until the end …

marathon But hopefully this is my end…

marathon 7Followed by loads of hugs (maybe with random strangers as well as loved ones) & a hobble to an Italian for the best pint of beer & pizza – ever.

u badger

To anyone else running the marathon this Sunday, have a great time & I hope you get what you want out of it too. xx  To anyone who shouts for me a massive thank you in advance- you won’t know just how much it will help us all :-)

 

 

 

 

Surf to summit badger

Surf to summit running top – a very personal edition

I don’t just sew clothes for running, despite a recent spate, but since I have some new photos to share, here is the running top that was always meant to be.  For me, that is.  And you’ve already see why :-)

Last year I invested in some Spoonflower fabric when there was a free shipping deal.  Along with the floral leggings of nothing but flowers, I also bought some badger fabric in performance knit.  When I went back to Spoonflower to link to the fabric I had used, I am sure there are now more badger prints than there were when I made my choice,   Are badgers actually cool to anyone else but me?

surf to summit badger

 

Anyway, this was always going to be a top, but just which top to make?  It was not clear until the Surf to Summit top pattern came out from Fehr Trade.  I have made a few of these and love the high neckline & long sleeves (with mitts) & general slim-but-not-too-slim fit for winter running.

With just a metre of badger fabric I needed to add some contrast & had some cream wicking lycra that matched the badger fabric well enough. That’s another  good thing about the Surf to Summit top- plenty of pieces for playing around with colour blocking (or eeking out fabric!)  Actually if it was 100% badger, maybe that would have been too much?

Surf to summit badger (2)

But it’s Spring!  Yes, I know.  The chances of me getting much wear out of this top this side of the year dramatically reduced as soon as the clocks changed, but you know, there could still be a frost half way into May according to the gardeners I know.  An evening run in some inclement weather may require the badger to be brought forth!  Otherwise it can have some summer hibernation, far away from any horrible busy roads! ( And there is an option to make a short sleeved surf to summit top but I wanted it to be for winter running you see.)

Surf to summit badger (3)

So you know I have already reviewed this top pattern here & another example here.  I am still not quite there with perfecting my fit, & luckily for me, I was able to discuss with my sewing guru (my Mum).  Nothing I can do for this particular top, which is OK as it is completely wearable.  But my next version will involve increasing the size to give more room in the top, bicep part of my sleeve, & probably a bit more scooping under the arm too.  I think I must have flabby armpits (NICE!  The things we share in the interest of sewing learning!).

Surf to summit badger (4)

Mitts folded back on one hand, in operation on the other.

 

You can see in the pic above that if you are using a fabric with a right & wrong side, that you need to decide which version of the mitts gets the right side.  For me, and the way the pattern instructs you, is to make the open cuff show the fabric’s best side & mitts deployed show the fabric’s wrong side.  This works out fine for this version especially with that cream contrast – almost looks like I designed it that way!

The other lucky thing was that my Dad, enjoyed being the man behind the camera as I larked around in the misconception that I needed to do something silly to entertain him.

surf to summit badger (6)

I didn’t stay still for long enough.  It must be the lycra.  And I didn’t come prepared with a whole running outfit to model.  Ultimate Trousers as jeans if you are interested. :-)

Surf to summit badger (5)

I have some scraps of badger fabric left & have been inspired on Twitter by what to use it for.  Possibly a Steeplechase leggings yoke, an armband pocket for gel carrying, & / or some badger running bows.  So even though this will not be coming with me to London for the marathon, some scrap of badger will.  (And let’s hope it’ll be more than just a scrap of me left at the end 😉  )

Moneta feature

Moneta Monday?

It’s exactly a week since my last Moneta post, and here I am with another one to show you- a Moneta dress (by Colette Patterns) made using some lovely teal interlock from Plush Addict.(Disclaimer I received this fabric free from Plush Addict to review)

Moneta

Now remember,  Moneta is Colette Pattern’s pattern of the month.  And  there is a 20%. discount if you want to buy it this month too- marvelloso! Follow that link!

Moneta

Now it’s only recently that I became aware of what interlock actually is, & ask me a couple of months ago what it was, & I would only be able to suggest that it was some kind of jersey, but I had no more knowledge than that.  It all changed when I read the article in Seamwork about doubleknits by Alyson Clair & discovered What you clever folk will doubtless already know, that interlock is a kind of double knit (or double knit is a kind of interlock hahaha).  She writes, “Interlock jersey is in fact a double jersey, with a smooth surface on each side. The wales of the fabric on each side are alternated, with the back loops knitted together. This means both sides of an interlock will look the same”.  And the penny dropped.  This interlock is indeed more structured than the Liberty jersey I made my last Moneta out of.  It has less drape & it’s one of those knits whose edges behave & don’t curl up.  It’s easy to work with, & as you’ll see it gathers easily, so it’s not that thick, in fact it feels like quality t-shirts from M&S that your Mum rates highly.  It has less stretch & recovery though, so I would reckon it’s not such a good choice for leggings & truly figure hugging things.

Moneta

I chose it based on its colour, with a Moneta in mind.  I LOVE teal.  But it’s one of those colours that are sometimes hard to find, which is why I snap them up when I do find them (& why you might be under the illusion that they are common place based on how often I make things up in teal!).

Moneta

I have already peeled on about how I have found making the Moneta (easy).  I took some photos this time of the elastic waist shirring process.

Fun hey?!  Then there was the collar.  More on that in a minute, but look what happened.

Blade needs changing

This is the ugly mess that results in the overlocker blade not being able to cope with the thickness of fabrics.  YUK.  It persuaded me to get my screwdriver out & replace the blade.  Only, when I came to swap the old for the spare (provided at time of purchase), they were different sizes, so I had to put the old one back in.  SOB.  At least I tried.  I won’t be so scared next time.

 

So, let’s talk about the collar.  Once again, I opted for a collar, not wanting the plain turned under neckline.  I wanted to make the roll collar, which has been designed with a two piece back.  But I just couldn’t shake off the desire to make it without a break in the back, and using the roll back that is used for the tie collar.  I am sure there is a practical reason for making both these neckline options split either in the front (the tie) or the back (the roll collar), but perversely I had to find out for myself & potentially make the mistake, ignoring the styles provided & cobbling together the roll collar front & the tie collar back.  Nothing special needed for this, since the bodice & neckline shape does not vary, so the collars all fit & are therefore potentially interchangeable.  I was preparing myself for a fall however.

 

Shall I tell you now?  Did I make a boo boo?  Well I don’t think so….as far as I could guess, the practical reasons for the collar being split in the original designs could be either to make the collar sit down at the back/ front & not flip up.  There is a slight tendency for my collar to be a bit perky, but once under a cardigan it gets flattened into submission.  The other reason is to tell which is the front & which is the back!  Hahaha.  I need to sew a ribbon or something into the back as the only way I can tell is to look at the shoulders to see which way the seams are facing!

Moneta

So that’s my teal Moneta dress.  I have three Monetas now, & they are so easy to wear – extremely comfy for working at home too.  I could see a sleeveless version in my summer future (with a collar of some description) – but for now, I think three “semi wintry” versions that will also see me into Spring is enough for now- so no Moneta next Monday- promise!  Have you see the tips for Moneta month – especially how to bind the edges?  I like the sound of that!

Moneta feature

Liberty Moneta

Time for something lovely.  And that should be loverly with a capital L for Liberty!  Yes, here is my Liberty jersey Moneta, promised after making my polka dot Moneta earlier this year.

Moneta

And what good timing as the Moneta is Colette Pattern’s pattern of the month.  And apparently there is a 20% discount if you want to buy it this month too- excellente! Follow that link!

Moneta

OK Kilburn Rose Liberty Jersey is one of my high hitting fabrics this year.  Bought in Shaukat when I visited last year, this was the most expensive length of fabric I have ever bought for a dress.  (But you know I am a bargain sniffer, it’ll take a big shift to change me into a quality gal) .  But this is so worth it.  The fabric is just *amazing*.  Its drape, the colours, the beautiful roses (designed by Tamsin Greig don’t you know – read about it here).

Moneta

Having made Moneta once, I knew what was in store.  I shortened the bodice slightly & think I got it just right.  This therefore impacted on the overall length of the skirt too, making it a tad shorter which is a good thing.  I also opted for the tie neck, because, *of course!*  It’s a tie & a collar & as well as looking dreamy & classic & vintage to suit the beautiful fabric, I also did not like the neck just turned under, which is how the basic Moneta is designed.

Moneta-003

The back of the neck scoops & has a scooped collar, which I love, although, currently wearing under cardigans squooshes it up a bit at the back.

Moneta

I don’t think I made any other changes to how it was put together – I really like the gathered skirt, I love the way it swings & feels super girly.  I kept the sleeves at elbow length which I also think is very feminine & surprisingly doesn’t bring me out in goosebumps with my wrists only covered by cardigan at the moment.

Moneta

 

I am really into wearing dresses, tights & boots & this dress is getting worn a lot.  It is yet another of my dresses that is super easy to care for – no ironing people!  Just wash, dry naturally & wear again.  Score!

I tell you what.  Spending more on fabric, to make less really does create some amazing clothes that become firm favorites.

Moneta

Like….der!

 

It’s clearly obvious, that if you spend at the very top end of your budget, your spending decision is going to be far more sound & long lasting than bulk buying because it’s a bargain.  I am learning.  Honest!

Steeplechase leggings

I’m a walking technical diagram- Steeplechase Leggings!

Check out the new pattern from Fehr Trade – the Steeplechase leggings. I was thrilled to be a tester, so let me tell you about them. Designed cleverly (of course, it’s Melissa we are talking about here- she never designs something that anyone else has done) – yes, designed cleverly with no inseam, these are leggings that are super quick to make as well. Two pieces, that’s all you need – a yoke & a leg (times two of course). But the shape of the leg is weird, I warn you – it doesn’t look like any leg piece I’ve ever seen before. (Before I launch into more about the leggings, I need to say that since testing these, Melissa has made a few tweaks from tester feedback to get an *even better* fit around the back of the knee, & a bit more room at the ankle.  Just saying, because my photos are tester pics).

Steeplechase leggings

Paying attention to the notches is a must as these leggings have a curved seam that wraps its way around from your outer glute down the back of your leg. This avoids any chafing that you might experience from inner leg seams, and is apparently born from a suggestion by a horse rider. Smart!

Steepelchase leggings

So they come together really quickly – there is an option to add an inner pocket if you want, and of course options for different leg lengths. I have only made full length leggings as it is full length legging season for me. And I wanted to make sure I got the seams right – if they work all the way down my leg, then they will work as shorter versions was my thinking.

Steeplechase leggings

Want to hear a confession? Due to my laptop’s software, including operating system having to be reinstalled my Adobe settings had changed & I was a real idiot and didn’t measure the test square. Take it from me folks, always measure your test square! My first pair came out 25% bigger & did they cause Melissa & me headaches in trying to work out what went so desperately wrong with the sizing? But I managed to salvage a pair of usable leggings out of it, to be revealed in a later post of holographic awesomeness. I then roadtested the pattern at 100% in some expendable fabric (also to be revealed as part of a holographic treat later) which proved that all was well & the light was green for go to get making my besties.

Blue steel

My last pair for now are made out of this fabulous lycra from Plush Addict– In coral- given to me for me to review. Being a solid colour I took a chance & went crazy with my seams- on the outside! #shocker# I know how to live on the edge. Yes, I used my overlocker’s rolled hem seam, sewing these wrong sides together. I machine basted the seams with a long straight stitch at the seam allowance before letting loose with my rolled hem over the top of it. I used four cones of normal cotton thread, but it would have looked so much better if I had woolly nylon in the loopers. I just don’t have any at the moment, but that will be speedily rectified for the next pair….

Steeplechase leggings

I played around with the stitch settings first – I think the stitch length was as short as I could get it. But it’s OK, I think, isn’t it?! I only used this seam finish for the long leg seam & the yoke seam.  The crotch was sewn right sides together with a regular 4 thread overlock stitch.  Hems & elastic as per normal – twin needle or Coverstitch.

Steeplechase

I just had to include this – super dork face – someone who would print out at 125% !

And the leggings were a dream to wear – really special fabric next to the skin, silky, and extremely comfy to wear. The fab Plush Addicts can neither confirm nor deny at the moment whether this is a breathable or wicking fabric, and if they hear otherwise I will update this with deets. It is sold as swimwear fabric.  However, I cannot say enough just how luxe this fabric feels to wear – it plus the Steeplechase leggings pattern – are so comfy to run in at this time of year. I have so far ran a good 7 miles in them (a cool evening run half of which was uphill) & also a shorter 5 mile daytime run. I cannot provide any feedback on whether this fabric is suitable for warmer workouts, but by gum, it’s amazing for me at this time of the year. I have since ordered some more in blue! Wheeeee!! (It also comes in Hunter green and black…..)

My problem is that they are seriously competing with the Duathlons as my fave leggings to sew for running.  How can I decide?  Duathlons have more pieces – but super useful side seam pockets.  The Steeplechase leggings are amazingly quick to sew, extremely comfy & do have an optional back inner pocket.  I am unable to pick a winner.  See some examples of the Steeplechase leggings sewn up my Melissa.  If you want to buy some, then until March 25 there is a discount code – SADDLE10 – for 10% off – & if Paypal using, you are taken a way through the process until you can use it.

Surf to summit

But what about the top of awesome zebra confounding?  Why it’s another Surf to Summit top, using lycra from UKFabricsonline.  Those arms caused me so many giggles as I had them poking out under a regular t-shirt I was wearing to promote local fostering at the Bath Half Marathon.  I love the Surf to Summit for winter running, I love the neckline and the handmitts that make me feel as if I am wearing a morph suit (but provide good finger toasting, and no glove loss when you need to take them off – perfect especially in a race!)  It really is my ideal winter running top, especially in a lovely lycra.  Super comfy & very practical.

So for now, it’s over & out on the running togs.  But I promise you I will return with the craziest Steeplechase leggings you might ever see,  (Now that’s a challenge), modeled by someone other than me, a special guest. .  Just be prepared to grab your sunglasses!

Linden Sweatshirt – a well worn test

I have seen so many tempting versions of the Linden Sweatshirt, by Grainline, that in the end I weakened & coughed up for my own version. Eminently wearable loungewear was my thinking. All I needed was some sweatshirting.

Linden

I had my ribbing, this awesome turquoise knit ribbing from Plush Addict (remember a little goes a very long way – I bought a metre and anticipate a wardrobe of knits coordinated by their ribbing!)

Linden sweatshirt

Sweatshirting was on my shopping list when I went to Goldhawk road the last time & I found some that suited my needs – a funky enough colour, & with a fluffy reverse but with a not-too shiny right side- some sweatshirting looks to me to be too polyester-y – I want soft & matt please. But clearly in Goldhawk Road I was also looking for a bargain.

I found this, but please don’t ask me which shop. It was excellent value, and came as a tube. Unfortunately it wasn’t until I cut it out that I discovered fade lines which has therefore rendered this sweatshirt as definite domestic use only, as I could not cut around the fade marks.

Linden sweatshirt

See fade mark through the mid sleeve

Heyho. Never mind. I still wear it – a lot.  Beacause this is SOOOO cosy and warm.  It’s a winter domestic essential, seriously.

I enjoyed making my Linden, but think there is room for improvement. The neckline could be a little bit more uniform – even though I always tend to overlock neckbands with an eye on the finished band width rather than the seam allowance I am cutting off, there are a few places that are narrower than others, & with a contrast ribbing this shows more.

Linden

The Linden is very boxy, although the arms in this version at least are reasonably narrow fitting considering the amount of “box” in the body. I don’t mind this, but could think about fitting my next one just a smidgeon. I also think that it looks far better being worn with skinnies than it does being worn with my (coordinated ribbing) Hudsons. When worn together I look as if I am either about to enter a ballpool, playing with the other toddlers, or else am in custody.

Linden

Anway, I have more sweatshirting now,

Linden

it’s like, emerald green!  From Ebay.  Should I be tempted by other colours in the Plush Addict range or should I stick with turquoise?

Options could be emerald with …

Green

 

Yellow – too boy scouts?

Purple!

Grey??

Too much choice!  I also like the idea of making a baggy short sleeved t-shirt too sometime. Looks like Linden & I have a nice future ahead of us!

high top hoodie

Jungle January: the dash of the rusty leopard

I can’t believe this is the third year of Jungle Januaries!  Annie at Pretty Grievances cracks me up with her fabulous& witty  herding of jungle printed makers.    I couldn’t let it pass by unnoticed, could I?  Especially when I had some animal print (I call it rusty leopard, hence the title) fromUKFabrics Online that I’d ordered a while ago (it’s still in stock) thinking that leopard legs would make me faster.  I will never know as I have made it into a top.

high top hoodie

But I am not going to tell you much about this top as it is an as yet unreleased top by Kitschy Koo, the High Top Hoodie.  I was a pattern tester (yay!)  & will save my review of it for when you can lay our hands on your own version to sew yourselves.

High top hoodie

As part of my testing I decided that a sports version would make eminently good sense.  You see it has lots of warm devices – extra long sleeves with thumb holes, a nice covered neck & what hoodie would be complete without said hoodie to keep the draughts at bay.  And winter running  needs must be met.  The fabric incidentally is wicking & silky stretchy polyester – it would make wonderful leggings too.

High top hoodie

I wore it here at the beach, really running (not just posing).  It was a tad chill, hence the woolly hat.  I am wearing it with my Ooh La La running leggings.   It was such hard going that I almost wished I did have leopard legs because would they have made it easier?  They might have?  It was blimmin hard work anyway.

high top hoodie

 

And just as I decided to goof around, a fellow goofer (my dog niece) decided to give me a whopper on my chops….

high top hoodie

 

And I loved it.

high top hoodie

And so did she.

high top hoodie

Thank you Muppet Cookson for taking the photos.  Thank you Bramble for cleaning your teeth.

 

Moneta dress

Polka dot Moneta : #polkadotjanuary

Hello!  It’s almost the end of January and if I am to blog about what I’ve made in time for the two awesome January themes I’d better get cracking.  Today it is  my polka dot Moneta dress just in time for the Sewcialists’ Polka Dot January.  Tomorrow it shall be my contribution to Jungle January!  (Bad planning on my behalf – two blog posts on consecutive days, but hey.  So I am not a blog planner.)

Moneta dress

 

So what’s the story with this one?  I resisted such a long time getting the Moneta dress by Colette Patterns since I had the Lady Skater dress which is such an awesome pattern.  How could I justify it?  They seemed so similar, plus I knew that the Lady Skater fitted me out of the packet AND had plentiful sleeve options.  But I did like those purty collar / neckline options offered by the Moneta.  And I kept returning to ogle at them.  Also @naomimolly (on Instagram) has to be the most prolific Moneta maker ever beguiling me with dresses of beauty (& clearly practical comfort).

Moneta dress

 

So there was some kind of special discount offered by Colette Patterns last year & I jumped in for the digital download.  And then prevaricated some more as I have the most wonderful Liberty jersey that I feel is destined to become a Moneta, but clearly, I was not going to test sizing & fit on the length of jersey that had costed me the most I’d ever paid for a length of jersey.  Eventually this black & white polka dot, residing in my stash, volunteered itself.  It’s cheap & cheerful, although has more body that I expected so is actually quite warm to be wearing at this time of year (win!).  The polka dots are the kind that are “painted on”- almost literally it feels- resulting in the underside of the fabric looking like polka dot seersucker with its puckers.   Close up the white dots thinly cover the black background & look distinctly cheap.  From a distance less of an issue?!

Moneta dress

I remember trying to be smart printing out the pdf, but not realising that I had printed out the sleeveless bodiced version & had to hunt around for the longer sleeves that I required.  Such is the luck of the pdf experience.  I decided I would make the plainest longest sleeved version to see how it fit & how it works for then deciding on what options to take advantage of for the Liberty jersey.

Moneta dress

I expected a simple sew & I was not disappointed.  All on my overlocker apart from some of the hems (neck edge, sleeves and skirt hem) that I used my coverstitch for.

Interesting construction to note:  the neck edge in this version is just meant to be a turned edge.  (The Lady Skater has a separate neck band).  I was a little uneasy about this, concerned that it might gape or stretch, so I zig zagged some woven elastic around the wrong side of the neck edge before turning it over and coverstitching through all layers.  It certainly feels more robust, but even then, I could have got a slightly better tension as there is still some slight gaping which I would wish to avoid next time.

Moneta dress

Other interesting construction note: the skirt gathering.  Described as “shirring” in the pattern, you are meant to cut elastic (clear elastic) to a required length (I seem to remember it is based on your waist measurement) & then attach to the skirt like you would elastic to knickers (ie quartering, then stretching the elastic to fit in between whilst zig-zagging to the fabric).  This results in 1. a nicely gathered skirt and 2. a reinforced waist to stop sagging/ drooping.  I found my elastic was at its maximum stretch  when I was doing this, which was fun!

Moneta dress

I also put pockets in, as they come with the pattern, and are part of the design.  But I am not convinced by in seam pockets in knit skirts.  They are never quite as flat lying as I would like.  Next time I will miss them out I think.

Moneta dress

How does the Moneta compare then to the Lady Skater?  Have I wasted my money?  The differences I see, create the following distinctions – Lady Skater versus Moneta ballet dancer.

  • Both graceful scoop necks, although the Lady Skater has a neckband finish, whilst Moneta has a turned edge (not my favorite finish) but there are additional collars which are heavenly;
  • Sleeves – they both have different sleeve options – which are different to each other!  Lady Skater has long from wrist, 3/4 length and short.  Moneta has 3/4 length, short & sleeveless;
  • Skirts- the Lady Skater is a half circle skirt (I think) with no gathering.  Moneta is a gathered dirndl – with pockets.

I enjoy wearing both of them.  This Moneta is nice & warm (but then so is my Lady Skater as I made it out of sweater knit & it has long snugly sleeves).  You can see the fit of my Moneta doesn’t quite hit my waistline- something I could alter next time.  I would also consider a shorter skirt- I lazily turned up the hem allowance without trying it on 😉 But if I shorten the bodice, maybe I won’t need to.

Moneta dress

Lady Skater has more of a casual edge than the Moneta, which is just a tad more classically styled.  But then isn’t that what both Kitschy Koo and Colette Patterns are known for, respectively?  For me, the joy of a decent knit dress is the style, comfort & practicality, therefore I have room for both of these in my wardrobe.  Hurrah!  Now, when can I make my Liberty jersey up & just what neckline option shall I go for?  (I am veering towards the tie neck- surprise surprise).  If you want to see what my Liberty pattern is, it’s the same (but jersey) as Jane’s lining to her boiled wool coat , Kilburn Rose.