A Beige Renfrew

I have worn my first Renfrew so much already that I knew I had to make another one. This knit fabric was originally destined for a cardigan but when I didn’t have enough for the style that I wanted, I thought that whipping up another top using Sewaholic’s awesome Renfrew pattern would be ideal.

Beige Renfrew

This time I went with long sleeves and because I didn’t have enough fabric for the full cowl, I made a halfway in between cowl that ends up being like a loose turtle neck. I think it worked out pretty well and I quite like not having a seam along the top edge of the cowl neck.

Beige Renfrew2

The other bonus is that this top goes well with the MC pants!  I am trying to think about projects that work well together but must admit that I get seduced by fun fabrics so don’t often make a simple counterpart.

Beige Renfrew4

Pattern: Sewaholic’s Renfrew

Fabric: Beige cotton knit with chunkier knit stitches from a Marrickville fabric store

Alterations: I used the same size as previously but shaped the waist a bit; For the neck I used a single rectangle (ish) that I folded over rather than the full cowl.

Do it again: Since this is number 2 in just over a month, I’m pretty sure there is room for a few more of these 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and happy sewing.

Magenta Yoga Pants

Rainy winter weekend days are perfect for mooching around home in yoga pants.  And what better way to brighten things up than by making them in magenta?!

DSCN2638I made these as part of the Craftsy class Sewing with Knits by Meg McElwee of Sew Liberated.  It is a fabulous class and Meg is a very enthusiastic and practical teacher with lots of tips and tricks. The class comes with some very useful patterns and step-by-step tutorials taking you through the process of putting the garment together.

DSCN2637DSCN2636These yoga pants feature a fold over waist band and hidden pockets that are stabilised with clear elastic (thanks, Judy for the elastic!) to stop them stretching out.  I finished the hem off with a twin needle that worked better than my other attempts.  I think this thicker knit is more obedient to work with.

My only issue with the fit is that I find the seat rise (is that what it’s called…crotch to waist?) too short so the crotch is a bit high for me.  But that is my fault for not checking because I have a rather long body (it looks especially long in the picture below!) and usually have to make some sort of adjustment.  I also think I cut the pants a leeetle too short…but I was thinking that I didn’t want to stand on them in my ‘downward facing dog’.  In all honesty, I think the fabric is a bit too thick for power yoga sessions but they are great for around the house and for visits to the clinic.

One slightly irritating thing about the pattern print out is that the page edges aren’t always clear so there’s a bit of guess work as to how they line up.  That might be an issue with me printing US pdfs onto A4 (no scaling obviously).  Has anyone else made this pattern and found this?

yoga pants frontMeg is a great believer of foregoing the overlocker and sewing all your knits using just your sewing machine.  She has a bunch of great techniques (like using a walking foot and picking the right stitch) to get the best out of what your sewing machine can offer.

But since The Old Babe and I are best buddies now, I of course had to use the overlocker…and I LOVED it :-).  I used the overlocker for all the seams and just used the machine to finish off the hem.

yoga pants backIt was a fun pattern and a great comfy winter piece.

Pattern: Meg McElwee’s yoga pants from the Sewing with Knits Craftsy class

Fabric: Magenta cotton knit – almost a sweatshirt weight

Alterations: None but next time I should add at least 2cm into the seat rise

Do it again: Maybe the shorts version for summer?


Zippered Box Bag

As part of my Craftsy Beginner Serger class, I made this zippered box bag.  It was a great little project and helped to put to use some of the overlocking techniques we learned in the class.

DSCN2650The step-by-step tutorial was very informative and helpful and the final product is a fun little bag.  I’m using it to store different thread.  It opens up nicely so you can see everything but it holds its shape which is great.

The pattern calls for fusable fleece but I couldn’t find any of that (or I was looking in the wrong place) so I used batting and normal fusable interfacing.  It probably didn’t work as well as a fusable fleece but it did the job.

DSCN2651The outer fabric is a scrap of Ikea heavy weight cotton that I had left over from some placemats I was making for a gift.  The lining is a green polka dotted cotton.  Add a zip (extra long because you end up cutting off both ends), and you’re made!

DSCN2653On the inside you can catch a glimpse of my ‘mad’ new serging skills.

This was a fun little project and certainly a pattern to keep in mind for gifts and stash busting.

The MC pants

The ‘MC pants’ were originally named for their ‘Multi-Cultural’ ethnicity but as they came into their own I soon realised that they also liked to own the room, announce themselves to the world and be their own ‘Master of Ceremonies’.  So without further ado, I present the MC pants… ta da!

Multi pants4“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the MC pants show!

I started life a long time ago in a pattern making class at Studio Faro. But as a well fitting block and calico toile, I sat in the sewing pile waiting to be made into something special.  You see, Mary is (was?) a bit scared of sewing pants.  And designing a pair from scratch?! All those bits and pieces of flies, and fly shields and pockets and pocket facings and waist bands…Heaven forbid.  But I’ve gotta give the girl credit, after a successful Me-Made-May, she realised that she needed more pants in her life because otherwise how would be she make it through winter?  So she got out the ol’ pants block and got going on turning it into a real pair of pants.  The idea was that the shape of the toile would stay pretty much as is but with a proper waist band, pockets, fly etc.

DSCN2628A lot of research went into how to cut and sew a fly in pants. This tutorial from Notes from a Mad House Wife was particularly helpful. And the Sewaholic Thurlow sew alongs also provided guidance.  Finally the pattern was ready and it was time for the fabric.  And this is where my Multi-Cultural ethnicity comes in.  You see, Mary had her eye on some tartan and had figured it was time to try her hand at that.  But a pure Scottish lass, I was not to be.  So she had to add some red Xhosa Shwe Shwe into the mix as the contrast on the waist band and pocket inserts. Quite an ecclectic mix but I think it works.  The pocket bags were a bit of left over lining from the Ziggi jacket. The button is a self-covered button made from one of those kits and a bit of the contrast fabric – I have my doubts as to how it will survive the wash.

With Mary’s new-found overlocking skills, I can even expose my insides to the world to show the neatly finished seams…aahh bliss.

DSCN2631Oh and please note the piping around the pockets…gotta love piping.  That idea was almost thrown out the window because it was ANOTHER step in this already long complicated process.  But Sew Maris’s timely tutorial on piping reminded Mary that piping really does add that extra zing.  She put piping on her first pair of pants so why shouldn’t I get it too?!

MC pantsThe legs of the pants did turn out to be rather wide as the original pants block for the legs wasn’t altered at all.  This does pose the risk of people mistaking me for pajama pants but with red shoes it’s more likely people think I’m clown pants! But it’s all good.  With a good fit around the hips and butt, I rock the tartan.

MC pants2Mary did think about matching stripes and tartan but somehow the thought got lost along the way and I’m a bit ‘bummed’ that the tartan doesn’t match up across the…bum.  Better luck next time.

Thanks for listening folks and I’m sure I’ll see you around because I think I’m gonna get out a LOT.”

Phew she had a lot to say!

Pattern: Self drafted ‘MC pants’ pattern

Fabric: Cotton Poly (I think) Tartan from a Marrickville fabric store for a steal, Red Shwe Shwe from Fabric World in Cape Town, left over lining from the Ziggi jacket

Alterations: This WAS the alteration

Do it again: Yup – this was v.1.  The next ones need to be a bit narrower I think

Thanks for joining me.  I’d love to hear from you.