Fit to Wear

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There are many ways of approaching the goal of producing less waste but for me, one of the most obvious things is to consume less and make do with what you have.

Mending, repairing and refashioning will significantly extend the life of items, save them from landfill for longer and of course, reduce the need to purchase a replacement.

Here is a practical example that I did this morning in less than an hour.

This is GMan’s sweatshirt which he wears on the weekend when gardening, mowing and painting as you can see.  The cuffs and lower band are all frayed and badly stretched but the body of the garment is still relatively sound.

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When I said that I could replace the cuffs, he commented how much he liked the fit of it – although I don’t think ‘fit’ is actually the right word.  So, The first thing I did was to make a pattern for future reference.

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I use lightweight interfacing for this purpose and have a roll of it.  I find the patterns cut on interfacing are durable and unlikely to tear.

There are only 2 pieces required – one for the front and back (with different necklines marked) and one for the sleeves.

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Next, I had a dig in my stash of ribbing to find a suitable piece.  I found some bottle green which was exactly enough for the lower band and sleeve cuffs – no wastage at all.

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I then found a piece of black for the neckband and set to work.  I will not try to explain how the ribbing is attached as there are plenty of good instructions which can be found using Google.

The final result.

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GMan is happy and I am sure this will see plenty more wear in the garden.

 

Making Progress

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In amongst various other jobs I managed to do some sewing this weekend.  I had some patchwork blocks I had made ages ago with nothing particular in mind so I decided to put them together to create a small quilt.  It will be given to a work colleague who is pregnant with a baby girl.

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Here it is draped over the ironing board with the batting and backing attached.  I have begun stitching it together by machine stitching along the joins of some of the blocks.

I know that my techniques are nothing like quilters would use, but it is made entirely with scraps, offcuts and thrifted fabrics and a generous dose of love and care.

 

Finally Finished

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I finished making a top for myself which has been a long, drawn-out process.  I bought the material about 3 years ago because it caught my eye.

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Am I happy with it?  Not entirely.

Will I wear it?  Definitely.

What is there not to like?  It is a bit on the short side but still wearable.  The style is too boxy so I would not make it again.  I would prefer something with more shaping through the body of the garment.  However, the fabric I used is a knit but does not have a lot of stretch so probably would not work in a more fitted style.

I am happy with the final finish on the v-neck which was my own creation.  I did have 3 attempts before I was satisfied.

I have been making clothes for the best part of 50 years but I still struggle with sewing knit fabrics, in particular, getting a professional-looking finish on necklines and hemlines.  I have never owned an overlocker and continue to vacillate about the value of them.  Would it make a real difference to sewing knit fabrics?

Since the spotted fabric did not have a lot of stretch, I managed a hem that looked acceptable.  I then turned my attention to a plain navy top which I bought in Canada.  It ticked almost all of the boxes – navy, v-neck, fitted style – the only thing wrong is that it was too long on me.  It was quite a bargain so I decided to buy it despite the length as I felt that I would be able to shorten it.

I did the alteration but due to the fact that the fabric has some elastane in it and consequently more stretch, the finish is less than perfect.  Once it was pressed it is OK and I will wear it but I still feel a degree of disappointment in the result.

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I really want to be able to make my own v-neck and scooped neck fitted knit tops in a range of sleeve lengths from sleeveless  and short sleeved to 3/4 sleeve and long sleeved versions that are the correct length in the body for me.  This would allow me to choose colours and designs that I like and not be limited to the range which some fashion buyer has deemed will be available this year.

Would an overlocker help, do you think?  All comments gratefully accepted.

Meanwhile, I will go back to sewing garments from several pieces of woven fabric which are awaiting my attention.

Some Sewing

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You may remember that earlier this year I ran a series of posts titled “Sew My Stash Sunday”.  Well I have finally got back to my sewing room and continuing to sort and cull.  Of course, I did not get too far as I was inspired to actually sew.  I have made 2 little t-shirts (Size 1) from a piece of fabric that I found last week when helping my mother sort through some excess fabric.  I just have to put the ribbed neckbands on and they will be complete.  There was some blue ribbing that was with the fabric so that is what I will use.

008Next, I found a couple of pieces of fleece and have cut out some tracksuit pants.

009The black ones are a size 2 and the red spotted ones are a size 6.  The spotted fabric would not be my first choice for tracksuit pants but it was a piece leftover from a dressing gown I made for my grand-daughter a few years ago.  They might make a snug pair of pyjama bottoms that will keep someone warm.

That is a couple more pieces of material gone from my pile and hopefully will be of use to someone.

Another Series Gone

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When I began the ‘Sew My Stash Sunday’ series I was really confident that I would do some sewing every week and always have something to share.  Unfortunately, that has not been the case and some weeks I just end up beating myself up (metaphorically speaking) because I have not met my goal.

So, I have decided to put this series to bed for the moment and I will post on a Sunday if I have done any sewing in the previous week and have something to share.

The last week has been a bit topsy turvy as I spent a couple of days in Brisbane.  My mother had a specialist medical appointment and Izz had a night in hospital to have her tonsils and adenoids removed.  I spent the time with Miss O and attended a school music concert in which she was singing in the Junior Choir.  Here is a photo I took of her in the obligatory black trousers and white shirt.

002And another with one of her friends before the concert.

005I did not manage to get a photo but they all had vests to wear as well which were provided by the school.  The back was plain black and the front was black with multi-coloured musical notes and symbols.  They all looked very smart in them.

The coming week is going to be similar as once again I will be away from home for a couple of days.

On Sundays I usually try to get myself organised for the week ahead and today it was even more imperative.  I have made sure that we both have enough clothes for work and underwear clean and ready.  Meals are planned for the week.  Lunches are semi-prepared.

Do you use some of your time on Sundays to prepare for the week ahead?

Sew My Stash Sunday – 16

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Today I got right back to the essence of what this series is all about – using up the stash of fabric that is sitting in my sewing room.  It does not have to be for what it was originally purchased nor for me or my family.

Several years ago I was visiting Melbourne and I friend offered me several metres of dark blue poly cotton fabric.  I accepted as I felt sure that I would be able to put it to good use at some stage.

Two years ago I wrote this post about making a fabric suit bag.  Some of the fabric was used for that but there was still plenty left over.

I decided a while ago that I would make up some simple shorts and donate them.  Today I cut out 9 pairs of size 4 shorts from the fabric.

2015-05-24 01They are a simple pull-on style with an elasticated waist.

Tomorrow I need to go into Maleny so while I am there I will call into one of the shops which has a sign about donations for Nepal earthquake victims and see if they would like to take the shorts.

I would like to make some other simple clothes for children who may otherwise have very little so will be looking closely at my fabric to see what else I can make.

Sew My Stash Sunday – 15

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Today I made a start on sewing a shirt I cut out a few weeks ago.  It is a piece of material that was given to me some time ago and I am making a shirt for my daughter.  This is an illustration of the pattern I am using.

003I am using flat fell seams wherever possible on the shirt.  This is the type of seam that is generally used in purchased business shirts, boxer shorts and jeans.  This article explains the method very clearly.  I like to use them as they provide extra strength and there are no raw edges inside the garment.

Here is a close-up of a section of the finished side seam.  The triangular section on the right-hand side is the side dart on the front.

006I have sewn the side darts in the fronts as well as long darts in the back which will create a nice fit.  The shoulder seams and side seams are done.

004The shirt has a two-piece collar – collar and band, but I think I overlooked drafting the piece for the band.  I got side-tracked while I looked for the other piece and the sewing ground to a halt.  Hopefully, I will get some more done this week.  In the meantime I will need to buy some buttons as I do not have anything suitable in my collection