Remnants – my case ‘Your Honour’

Why are remnant fabrics my weakness? Maybe it’s because they’re a challenge. Finding a pattern to suit the amount of fabric I’ve found is a challenge.

Vogue 8815 test using Cue remnants from Pitt Trading

Do remnant fabrics ignite my passion for puzzle solving? Should I see a shrink about trawling for fabric especially when the sign on the basket says ‘designer remnants’?

Original Charlie Brown remnant fabric from Pitt Trading

The case in my defence remains, remnants are a low risk purchase to test a future pattern. Making a pattern fit usually means testing it out. Using calico to test a pattern for knit fabric or stretch wovens doesn’t work.

This Charlie Brown abstract knit looked too big for a shortie like me, but I tried to used the main print where it made sense. I bought this fabric at Pitt Trading a few years ago.

See where the longest part of the print is? I’ve used New Look 6149 for this top.

And I’ve kept the front ‘clean’ at the waist. I love my Minerva black jeans.

Below is the second knit remnant I bought ages ago at Pitt Trading. Both prints were from Charlie Brown. The main buying guide I used was to choose strong colours for possible wearable toiles and at the time of purchase, I hadn’t made the purple skinny jeans below.

Test #1: This top above was my attempt at recreating a RTW top. The shaping didn’t come out as planned. The neckline gaped so I added knit lace so the neckline and armholes sat properly. This print gave me a practice at matching the print at the side seam and balancing it on me.
Test 2: New Look 6940 was tested using this fabric. Again, testing it with this fabric confirmed the fit and I got to play with print placement.

And the Bomber jacket above was made using an Ikea remnant. This jacket is a keeper.

Test 3: I used this remnant again to test the bodice for the PR Winter dress. I wasn’t sure about the neckline or shoulder fit. I was also curious about the waistline.  

So once I put this top together, I had just enough fabric left to put a band at the base of the top.

I rest my case ‘Your Honour’. 

Have a lovely Easter break everyone.

Bomber jacket – cut, sew, blog

Big, puffy jackets don’t suit me. But if I really want to wear one for fun what’s the right length and width that I can live with? These jackets are all made using the Lekala jacket pattern that I made for the PR New to me contest.

This first version is ‘bolero’ length. My waist isn’t anything to sing about so I’ll wear this jacket with dark colours to look taller (ok, you can laugh here). 
This denim version has the rib knit on the pocket welt.
This second version is a smidge longer and skinnier. Longer by 5cm. Skinner by 4cm.
I’ve used a remnant furnishing fabric and candy striped lining from the stash.
Shoulder pads were used on this version.

This time I’ve used blue contrast zippers for the pockets.
On this final version, the pockets are closer to the waistband and the side seams and they’re angled straighter. Iron on interfacing was used along the front neckline and zipper areas.

I only had 1m x 1m furnishing fabric provided by Hillary’s UK to work with. That’s why I made a couple of test bomber jackets to make sure this final version would work with the Lekala jacket #5036 pattern I bought last week online for $2.50.

The lovely people at Hillary’s UK is hosting a Hillary’s Blinds Country Crafts Competition and this is my entry.
This time the zippers blend in with the base colour but I’ve kept the red rib knit for the neckline, cuffs and waistband.

Sewing the rib knit to the fabric was fun to do.
The cuff is pinned to the sleeve hem.

Here’s how the finished cuff looks.

The lining basically keeps the seams enclosed and provides a neat finish.

 Sunsilky is used for the lining. No shoulder pads were used on this final version.

The tulip print is large but the tulip placement is easy to work with. 

Below is the jacket back laid on the lining and I’ve placed it so there some ease along the centre back fold.

Here’s how I’ve marked the pockets on the wrong side of the jacket and checked the length of the zipper teeth to the pocket opening.

With a bit of print placement, I’ve used a couple of scrap pieces to keep the tulip stem continuous.

Both versions use different rib knits. To get the waistband knit length correct I held the rib knit across my body to see how it sat. I’m sorry that I have not scientific way to pass on.
The blue knit was 80cm long at the waistband. The blue version is lots of recovery and more defined rib texture. 
I have no idea how to slow this woman down!
The red knit was shorter at 70cm for the waistband. The red is much softer and has good recovery.
And that’s my bomber jacket story.
I hope my older niece wants a bomber jacket…

Bring on autumn:)

Lekala love

What’s not to love about a sewing pattern website that offers tonnes of patterns for $2.50 at worst? And 50c to add seam allowances?

Sandra introduced me to Lekala patterns in December. 
I was like ‘Are you sure about these patterns?‘ 
And Sandra said ‘Yes. Try on this exercise top for size.’ 
and I was like “Mmmm?” Sandra’s right. Sandra has the knack for pattern/fabric brilliance. 
Sandra’s a sewing technical wizard. I mean, she won last year’s Tessutis gridlock contest.
So I was thinking, “mmm. I’d love a new, cool jacket for the weekend‘. 
Not that I need a jacket. And  I wanted a pdf  pattern ‘toot sweet’. 
So off I go, Lekala looking and spotted something close to what I wanted and ‘bazinga’ out of the ether it came.

You’ll notice I’ve changed this to a v-neckline and added welt pockets. This bomber jacket works nicely with my purple pins. DH advised me to add shoulder pads and I did.

I’ll tighten the waistband ribbing by 1/3 on the next version. There is another version in the pipeline.

How’z that” for a sixer. A workable pattern for $2.50 from Lekala patterns.

Talk about a sewing diversion…
PS. This jacket is my wearable muslin so it’ll be thrown around a lot.

Technical stuff:

  • Remnant denim with woven lines of roses in the fabric.
  • Poly rib knit used on the cuffs, welt pockets, waistband and neckline.
  • Polka dot poly chiffon used for the lining and pockets (John Kaldor)
  • Open ended zipper used as the closure.
  • Shortened the sleeve length.
  • Round neck adjusted to V-neckline.

Feet to sew with
Making this jacket takes a bit of experience. What I mean by this is you’ll need to plan to use more than your standard sewing foot.
You’ll need to use your zipper foot and a foot to ‘stitch in the ditch’ with.
Topstitching is one of the cool features on a bomber jacket.

Choosing a rib knit
If the rib knit you use has no elasticity, add soft, wide elastic inside the rib knit.
Check the rib knit you use feels soft on your skin. This knit sits on your skin so if it’s scratchy, don’t buy it.

Also, don’t worry about buying an open ended zipper to size. I had to buy a 50cm zipper but I made sure the bottom end was sewn onto the jacket and I trimmed the top of the zipper to fit this jacket. I only needed a 25cm open ended zipper for this jacket once I made the neckline a v-shape. There’s no way I would have found ‘the right zipper’ in time. I bought my zipper from MyHung for $2.50.