I was lucky enough to be a pattern tester for Megan Nielsen’s new Axel skirt, which was released last week. It’s a pattern for knit fabrics with three different version. The version that particularly struck my fancy was version 2 with waist ties. However, considering what fabrics were in my stash I decided to make version 1 with the handkerchief hem.
It’s an easy, well written pattern. It would be quick to make if you don’t spend forever trying to decide on pattern placement and then pattern matching. The hem is also quite long on version 1. As for the pattern matching I managed to get a mirroring plane both at the centre front and back seam. Although I suspect it might just have been better to simply cut the pieces randomly.
The now released pattern is 2 cm wider at the hip than the test pattern. I think mine is fine but I’ll take the new pattern pieces when I make version 2. It’s probably more important to select a good fabric. I’d really like to try it with a ponte knit.
I hemmed my skirt using a twin needle. At the first corner I wondered how on earth to do it as nicely as the illustration in the pattern. Well I didn’t succeed and don’t think you can actually (top left image below). So instead I did it in a much slower way but it looks good. First step is to not turn at the corner instead go a little bit beyond and leave ends to tie off later and then start again for the other side (top right). With a bit of unpicking and tying off at the back you end up with a very neat corner (bottom). Is it worth it? For most people it may not be, since it’s so tiny no-one will see it. I mean it is just 4 mm between the two stitching lines. But for me, the time is worth it because I know it is there. It does look neat, don’t you think?
Turning with twin neddle
Overlapping at corners
Fabric: Digital print cotton jersey from Tygaffären
Thread: All purpose polyester thread, off white on the inside and two greys for the hem
Machines used: Singer overlock – construction; and Janome MC 6300P – hemming
About a month ago I bought a rigid heddle loom. I’ve thought about weaving before, but having space for a loom have always been an issue and still are. So how did I solve that you say.
There are foldable rigid heddle looms. Their size when folded make it possible to place it underneath my sewing table. And with the two heedle option they are quite versatile.
So I found the Kromksi Harp at a Swedish retailer. They are really great value for money. I got a 60 cm (24″) loom with the double heddle blocks, some extra heddles and a bag. Yippee!
I have a lot of Drops alpaca leftovers. So after weighing and calculating lengths of yarn and warp I started playing around with Plaid maker. I’m about halfway through.
Lessons learned so far:
*Alpaca is too sticky; at least in a 12 dent reed.
*When too sticky I’ve used the pick up stick as a beater after changing shed.
*I was right in thinking the 80cm loom would be too big.
*Remember to look at value as well as colour. The dark grey and dark purple are too close in value.
*I’d like a boat shuttle.
*Insert the pegs in the back of the loom/warping board deep enough. Guess how I know? Quite the mess.
Since I don’t have the capacity to do 4 plans a year I decided to do one for both spring and summer this year.
- A navy Minoru that will be waxed and a zip out lining to be added later
- Navy A-frame
- Angel bootcut jeans
- Grey polka dot Honey blouse
- Multi coloured lemon juice – draped top from Ottobre
- Petrol knitted cardigan
Spring and Summer 2016
Despite the fact that the Honey blouse, lemon juice and cardigan were started last year, the results were quite meagre at half time when it was time to present the spring plan results. Good news is; I use my Lemon juice top a lot. Bad news is that the jeans muslin got the better of me. I find it tremendously difficult to figure out what changes to do.
Results of my spring sewing/knitting
Since my hobbies are meant to make me feel good, I decided to make a new plan for summer with things I felt like sewing and also things I desperately need since my circumference has increased drastically in the last year, especially at the hips. I still want to make the things in the first plan, just not now. So I’ll probably include them in the fall plan instead.
This is one of my favourite tops. I like clothes that are rather simple but with an odd twist. The diagonal stripes on this one is perfect. The gathers over the stomach area isn’t too bad either since I’ve gained some weight the last year. The pattern has stripe placement lines so it ain’t just my perfect sewing that gave the spot on stripe alignment under my left arm.
Pattern: Asymmetrical Jersey Top 01/2014 #122 from Burda
Fabric: Organic Cotton/lycra jersey from Jofotex (no longer available)
Other: Clear elastic
Modifications: It’s unusual for me to not have enough fabric. But this fabric wasn’t bought especially for this so I didn’t have enough for the long sleeves. It’s actually a good thing since I really like 3/4 length sleeves.
The neckline in the front is really high. I’ve chopped off a bit as it is. For the next one I want it even lower since I hate it when it touches my neck. Maybe I’ll try to take a wedge out of the top at the cross-bust or thereabouts.
The gathers at the raglan seam needs to start closer to the underarm. As I did on this one ,the side gathers are extended higher than in the pattern.
I am still pondering what to include in my plan for spring and summer for 2016. In the meantime I’ll share my plan and results for Spring /Summer 2015.
I managed three of the planned items. Plus I did do most of the necklace but I can’t decide how to finish it. I also made my first pair of panties.
Well actually two of them. One pair of black and one in navy. They are really quite comfortable. The seams don’t bother me at all during wear. They are quite quick to make as well.
I used a the Alice tights pattern from Marilla Walker. I’ve tried both view A and B. View B is slightly quicker to sew up. For view A there is both a seam at the thigh and the heel pieces to attach. The more anatomically correct feet of view A makes them sit slightly better. So it may just be the amount of fabric you have that determines which way to go – at least if you make plain like mine.
Navy Tights – view A
Pattern: Alice tights by Marilla Walker
Fabric: Organic Cotton jersey with Lycra from Jofotex
Thread: Multipurpose polyester
Black Tights – view B
Size: Black in size 5 navy in size 4. Both with short leg and size 38 foot.
Modifications: The black tights turned out to be too big. There are instructions in the pattern for this – chop em off at the thighs and sew together again. Don’t know if I misjudged the stretch in the fabric or just picked a too big size. Well for the navy pair I opted to make a size smaller – worked out great.
I have wide feet so I chose to do a size larger for the feet I usually wear a size 37 shoe, at least if I can find good looking wide shoes. And apparently I have abnormally small ankles. I’m a full centimetre smaller at the ankle than the patterns smallest size.
I’m not really a skirt person or at least I haven’t been. But when I saw the A-frame skirt I wanted one. That was a given for my fall plan but I only used fabric from the stash incase it didn’t turn out to be to my liking. The fabric is too green, I’m more a teal kind of gal.
Pattern: A-frame skirt by Blueprints for sewing
Fabric: Baby corduroy and viscose (rayon) lining from Stoff och stil and quilting cotton for pockets from Quiltstudion
Thread: All purpose polyester (Stoff och stil?)
Zip: Invisible, SoS
Button: Prym fabric covered
Size: D waist, F hip
Modifications: I followed the instructions for grading between sizes. A quick basting of all seams to tweak the fit before cutting the lining was very beneficial. Besides taking in the sides about 6mm (1/4″), I pegged the skirt at the side seams. It is also shorter and I had to make a longer zip opening to accommodate my apparently super sized hips.
Since the plan was to use the skirt with tights it needed a lining. At around the same time I found this pattern I also found a tutorial for a Hong-Kong finished underlining. Bingo, that’s what I did. In hindsight, a skirt with panels aren’t the ideal choice. But it’s pretty.