Tag Archives: sewing

A tale of two Venus Kimonos

When I restyled a summer dress to a kimono a few weeks ago I absolutely wanted to sew one for myself. I already had the perfect fabric in mind for it. Then I went to the market in Castel del Piano and I found some nice remnant pieces of fabric at my favourite stall. One of them eminently suitable for a kimono. So the only thing to do was to sew two Venus Kimonos in two days!

Venus Kimono

 

Venus Kimono #1 in African Wax Cotton

I got this fabulous—but impossible to photograph—piece of African Wax as a present from my sister-in-law. I don’t know where it came from or what its origin is but it has some vintage vibe. The piece was 1,80 m by 1,40 width.  I was intrigued by the design and I wanted to use as much of it as possible. African Wax

Therefore I placed the shoulders of the front and back in the middle of the fabric and lengthened both the front and the back, until the borders. Just like the restyled kimono, I made before, I put the back at the centrefold, after folding over the seam allowance of 12 mm.
The front pattern was too big for the width of the fabric so I cut off 21 cm at the arms and placed these pieces at the selvedge. This gave me more of the fabric design on my kimono and the selvedge didn’t need hemming!

Venus Kimono
The back of the kimono with the beautiful design.
Venus Kimono
The front with the design in the middle and the borders on the sleeves.
Venus Kimono #2 in sheer flower fabric

When I touched this fabric at the market I knew immediately it would be perfect for a kimono: light, fluid and drapey. The only problem with this kind of fabric is that it is devilish to work with.

Sheer FabricSo, I treated it with starch to make it easier to cut and sew. And it worked! I didn’t have a single problem.Using starch

A small pattern hack

The sheer fabric was 1,65 m on a 1,50 with. I wanted a longer kimono so I lengthed the front and the back at the side seams with 35 cm and redrafted the hem.Venus Kimono

Venus Kimono
The lengthened kimono.
The Sewing Proces

It’s not difficult to sew the Venus Kimono. Annie, from Sew This Pattern,  has a detailed sew-along on her website with clear instructions and pictures.
The next three steps made it even easier for me.

#1 The 1/4 inch presser foot

1/4 presser footFor me, a 1/4 inch presser foot is an unmissable guide for sewing french seams. Here you see that I use some tissue paper for the start of a seam of fragile fabric.

#2 A stitched line to prepare the rolled hem

rolled hemThis I do slightly different than shown in the sew-along. I stitch a line 1/4 inch from the edge of the hem.

rolled hemThen I fold the fabric on the stitched line and press. Next, I fold the fabric again 1/4 inch and sew the hem at 1/4 inch. Here again, the 1/4 inch presser foot is unmissable.

rolled hem

#3 Basting the curves of the rolled hem

bastingWith my first Venus Kimono, I had trouble with the rolled hem at the neckline so I finished it with bias tape. For these two kimonos, I followed Annie’s advice and basted the curved neckline. And I learned that basting isn’t slowing your sewing process but in fact skilling it up.

Venus Kimono

Conclusion

Do I love my new Venus Kimonos? I do! Do I have a favourite? No, I don’t. It’s difficult to choose one because both are different in style and in how they feel. Will I sew more Venus Kimonos? Not in the near future but you all know: never say never!

Venus Kimono

 

P.S. All the time when I was sewing these Venus Kimonos I was singing Venus from Shocking blue. This song is a huge teenage memory. The strangest thing is, that when you look at the video, Mariska Veeres is wearing some kind of Kimono.

 

 

Summer Sewing at Podere Santa Pia

Exactly today 10 years ago we bought a holiday house—Podere Santa Pia—in the south of Tuscany, the Maremma. No need to say that this is our heaven on earth and we don’t regret this investment for one second! Of course, we try to go there as much as my school schedule allows. My husband is self-employed and can take his work with him wherever he goes. So, we are staying here for at least 8 weeks during the long summer break. This also means that I have to organise 8 weeks of sewing in advance. How can that be done? Below, you can read the story of a summer of sewing at Podere Santa Pia.

sewing at Podere Santa Pia

What do I bring with me?
1. My sewing machines

Ten years ago I was in a non-sewing-period and my sewing machine was gathering dust somewhere back in the attic. So, when we bought Podere Santa Pia there was no urgent need for a sewing space there. This changed in September 2013, when I started sewing again and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to sew all the time. Including when on holiday; maybe especially when I was on holiday because then I had time for it. That’s why I brought my trusted Toyota sewing machine and some projects with me. The start of a new tradition.

Sewing at Podere Santa Pia
July 2014, first time sewing on the terrace of Podere Santa Pia. I’m sewing a swimsuit.

It’s 1444 km between our two houses and it takes about 16 hours to drive there. Luckily, our car has a huge boot to take all my sewing luggage with me.
After buying a new sewing machine on Easter 2015, I left my Toyota sewing machine permanently at Podere Santa Pia. This is handy for when we come by plane. We fly when we have a short break. Then I only bring with my special sewing feet:  the walking foot and 1/4 inch foot. I didn’t research it when I bought a new machine but my two sewing machines have the same foot mechanism. Very handy.
I still bring my overlocker though. Especial this summer as I want to sew a lot of knit projects.

Sewing at Podere Santa Pia
The sewing machines on the desk I use as a sewing table.
Sewing at Podere Santa Pia
The sewing luggage: my overlocker, baskets and bags with fabric, a box of WIPs, a roll of A0 printed pdf patterns and a bag of sewing notions.
2. Sewing materials

Of course, you need more than a sewing machine to sew. So a few days before we leave I  make a list of all the projects I want to sew and I make a list of all the materials I need: fabric, zippers, lining, interfacing, buttons, etc…  It is necessary that I bring this all with me because there are no specialised sewing shops in the neighbourhood. Podere Santa Pia is situated in a quiet and rural area and the nearest small sewing shop is in Castel del Piano, about 30 minutes away.  In this village, there is also a monthly market with a fabric and haberdashery stall. Luckily this exists, because last year I had not brought enough fabric for the Laminaria Swimsuit and I found suitable fabric at this market.

Sewing at Podere Santa Pia
Selecting fabric at the market in Castel del Piano.
Sewing at Podere Santa Pia
Cute haberdashery stall at the market at Castel del Piano
The drawer with notions and supplies I collected last 3 years.
What do I want to sew this summer?
1. Finish some WIPs!

First of all, I want to finish some WIPs. I have several projects I started last year, or even before that,  but didn’t finish.

  • Boxers for my sons and husband.

It’s the Jalie 2326 pattern. All of them are cut out, most of the side seams and flies are sewed. They just need hemming and elastic put in.

  • The Highlands Wrap Dress

Oops, this was supposed to be my entry for #sewtogetherforsummer this year.  Again I didn’t make the deadline. I cut out all the pieces—and there were a lot—I just have to sew it together!

I cut out this pattern of the leftovers I had from the Cashmerette Turner Dress.

2. New projects
  • Sewing for babies

We are expecting two new babies in our family this summer and one of them is going to be our first grandson. So I brought with me some cute fabric to sew some presents for these little ones.

  • New garments

Starting at the top:
– African wax for a Venus Kimono for myself.
– African wax for a second V9075 Jumpsuit.
– Black linen for comfy trousers for my husband.
– Polka dots for the Dartmouth Top for my daughter.
– Red & Black plaid for the Zéphyr Dress from Deer&Doe for my daughter.

  • Testing a sweater pattern

I had to bring several medium heavy knits to test a sweater pattern. I can’t tell you more at this moment.

  • 2018MakeNine

I also brought the patterns and fabric with me for two items of my 2018MakeNine: the Jenna cardi and the Watson bra. In fact, they were on my 2016 and 2017MakeNine too. Will I sew them this summer?

  • The Ellsworth Coat

Sewing at Podere Santa Pia

 

At the end of the summer, I want to start on the Ellsworth Coat from Christine Haynes. I have the pattern, in A0 format, and I have this beautiful, red, vintage, heavy cotton. This coat is also on my 2018MakeNine.

Conclusion

So this is how I sew during the summer at our holiday house, Podere Santa Pia. What do you think of my sewing plans? A little too ambitious? I will let you know at the end of August!

Do you travel with sewing luggage?

 

The Vogue V9075 Jumpsuit!

F I N A L L Y!
Finally, I finished my V9075 jumpsuit. Ever since I saw Beth’s,  from SewDIY, linen version of this jumpsuit I wanted to make one for myself. That was in November 2015! After that I was I was always fascinated when I saw some V9075 jumpsuits on sewing blogs and social media. I even featured some in my eye-catchers posts, including Rachel’s and Alex’s versions. Last March 2017 I bought the pattern with a discount online and even though I had some suitable fabric in my stash I didn’t start sewing it.
Until, right before the Easter break, I had this sudden vision of using this charcoal fabric from my collection and I went for it. Needless to say that I am over the moon that I finally finished the V9075 jumpsuit!!

V9075 jumpsuit

The V9075 jumpsuit pattern

Why am I so drawn to this pattern? Well, it ticks several of my favourite boxes: a jumpsuit, princess seams, pleats, culottes with very wide legs, and pockets. Did I mention the wide legs?

V9075 jumpsuit

This is the third Vogue pattern I sewed and now I’m familiar with this company pattern specifics. I know that the finished garment measures are indicated on the pattern pieces and this is very handy. Based on this finished measurements I cut out a 20 at the arm and bust and graded to a 22 at the waist and hips. To fit my belly I graded a bit at the princess seams and narrowed the pleats. This after I lengthened the body with 2,5 cm and the crotch with 4,5 cm.

V9075
Grading at the side and the princess seams.

V9075

Narrowing the pleats.

To be sure that the jumpsuit would fit I made a muslin. I didn’t want to end with any form of cameltoe! The lengthening was okay, I could raise my arms and didn’t feel uncomfortable sitting down.
The bodice was a little too wide under the arms but that was easy to modify.

The fabric

I used this cotton and silk blend I bought at Goldhawk Road in April 2017. It was the end of a bolt, with a separate piece attached. That made that I had more than 3 meters for a ‘good price’ like the seller said! I never sewed with this type of fabric before but it went smoothly.
The silk gives it a faint shine and the cotton some rigidity, which I like for this silhouette. Also, this fabric has a great wrinkle recovery. On the pictures here in this post, you see how the fabric behaves after I wore the jumpsuit for a day. I cycled, I had lunch, I sat at my desk to write reports, and I had a walk.

 

The sewing process

On the pattern cover, you read that this is a very easy sew. And it is! It only takes much time because there are a lot of seams and these legs are very long and very wide! In my case, the side seams of the legs are 90 cm and the hem of one leg is 137 cm.
The instructions asked for lining the bodice but I didn’t do it because the fabric is rather heavy. Also because I didn’t have suitable lining when I sewed this jumpsuit in our holiday house in Italy. Instead, I finished the neckline with a facing. Next time I will probably use a

bias binding finish.

V9075 jumpsuit
The not so blind zipper!    The neckline finish with facing and rainbow overlock thread!

The only thing I struggled with was the blind zipper. Again, being in Italy in the countryside, I had only access to a small haberdashery shop. I needed a blind zipper of 65 cm long, although I had a smaller one with me to show, the one I bought was not a proper blind zipper. The first tape went in easy, using my blind zipper foot, but the second tape was horror. The stitches were to close to the teeth so the fabric got caught in the puller. Aargh!! I had to redo it several times and ended with some hand stitching.  So it is not perfect but good enough for me.

 

Conclusion

I am sew excited about my V9075 jumpsuit that I can’t hide it. I love, love wearing it. You have to do some arm exercises to get the zipper open but after a few times,  you handle that like a pro.

 

Will I sew more V9075 jumpsuits? I hope I will.

V9075 jumpsuit
The first outing of the V9075 jumpsuit was at the celebrations of the diamond wedding anniversary of my parents-in-law. Introducing the women of the family.

 

 

Eye-catchers #19

An eye-catcher is a person or a thing that attracts the attention

The online sewing community is very visual. So, every day I see heaps of sewing related images on social media and blogs. Some of them catch my eye because they make me think or they give me inspiration. Here, I want to share these eye-catchers with you.

diy wardrobe

 

Follow below what caught my eye the last months:

Sara’s cape

Sewing a cape for myself is one of my secret wishes. I even don’t know if it would be something that would suit me but I like the shape of it. Also, I think it would very wearable here in Belgium as an in-between-seasons coat. Definitely something my wardrobe is lacking as made clear by Me-Made-May ’18. So I was immediately taken by Sara’s beautiful version of the Woodland Stroll Cape from Oliver + s. This pattern somehow escaped me but it is definitely on my sewing list now.

Martina’s refashioned sweater

refashion sweater

The Annual Restyling Exchange of Amy and Pilar is running to its end. With the big reveal weekend coming the 22nd, 23rd, & 24th of June. The sweater Martina refashioned is not for the restyling exchange but something she made for herself. She made a new Sewhouse 7 Toastersweater #1 out of two old sweaters she didn’t wear anymore. I find this a brilliant idea and very inspiring.

Izzy’s pencil skirt

diy wardrobe

I think we, sewists, all have been there, at least I have. You have some leftover fabric from a sewing project and you have this particular idea of what to sew from it. Then you don’t have enough! Izzy resolved this in a very creative way. For a pencil skirt, she added a lace band and cut out the bottom section the other way. A very clever idea with a stylish result!

The blouse from @fragmentid

Burda blouse tweak

Hacks or tweaks do not have to be complicated. @fragmentid lengthened the sleeves of this Burda blouse and finished the hem with gathers. She said that she didn’t wear it with the original elbow length sleeves. Again a brilliant idea with a stylish outcome. Very inspiring.

Giorgia’s African Wax culottes

African Wax Culottes

Giorgia just combined two of my favourite things: African Wax print and culottes. A golden combination. I already made the Velo Culottes in African Wax but seeing this version of Giorgia makes me want to sew several more.

Tilda Swinton by Tim Walker

Tilda Swinton

Wow! This picture of Tilda Swinton by Tim Walker is a real eye-catcher, isn’t it? When it popped up in my IG-feed (@the_red_list) I couldn’t stop looking at it.  The movement of the fabric is just mesmerizing. I wished I could make garments like that!

Did anything catch your eye lately?

 

Burda Turtleneck Top

Saturday 17 March I woke up to snow and a weather forecast that predicted it was going to be the coldest 17 March since 1909. I wanted to crawl back into my bed and snuggle under the covers for the day. Then I saw that Hila from Saturdaynightstitch posted some photos from a Burda Turtleneck Top and I immediately wanted to sew one for myself. Especially after I read that it was the easiest BurdaStyle pattern there was according to Hila, whom I consider to be a Burda pattern specialist.

Burda Turtleneck Top

The Burda Turtleneck Top pattern

The Burda Turtleneck Top comes from the 2010/09 issue. I found and ordered the pdf-pattern at the BurdaStyle website. Luckily it has only 21 pages to print because there is no A0 format. Even so, I wasn’t going to brave the cold to go out to the print shop and print this pattern.
The pattern only has 3 pieces: front, back, and sleeve. The coolest feature of this top is that the turtleneck is not a separate pattern piece. It is designed with a smooth line on the front and back piece.

Burda Turtleneck Top 09/2010 #121B

Based on the measurements on the size chart, I cut out a 44 and widened the pattern on the waistline with 1 cm. I also lengthened the bodice with 4 cm. This top comes already with extra long sleeves so I didn’t lengthen them.

Burda Turtleneck Top
I love the turtleneck and the long sleeves.

 

The fabric

I had this gorgeous rust-gray melange knit in my stash that was perfect for this top. It’s a 95 % organic cotton, 5 % spandex jersey from Lillestoff, that I bought online at Bellelien last January. The fabric has a nice two-way stretch which is essential for a turtleneck. For once the fabric gods were with me because the amount I had was big enough for this top.

Burda Turtleneck Top

The sewing process

Could this Turtleneck Top be the easiest to sew Burda pattern? I guess it could. At least, I found it an easy sew.
As is characteristic for Burda patterns the instructions were brief and without illustrations. For this pattern, this was not even a downside. I sewed all the seams on the overlocker. After easing I basted the sleeves on the sewing machine with a stitch length 5. This makes it easy to sew them with the overlocker with a minimal risk for unwanted tucks. Finally, I hemmed the top and the sleeves with a twin-needle.

Burda Turtleneck Top

Conclusion

I am ‘sew’ happy with this Burda Turtleneck Top. It’s a type of garment that I wanted to sew for ages. I am particularly in love with the design of the turtleneck and the long sleeves. I’ve worn it all the time since I finished it. It’s perfect for layering now with this extreme cold. But I guess it will be also an ideal wear for the in-between seasons.
Will I sew some more of these tops? I definitely will. It’s a great wardrobe staple.
So thank you Hila to bring my attention to this pattern.

The Burda Turtleneck Top perfectly layered with the Jennifer Lauren Juniper Cardigan.

The Juniper Cardigan from Jennifer Lauren Handmade

Juniper Cardigan

In July 2017 Jennifer Lauren called out for pattern reviewers. She is the driving force behind Jennifer Lauren Handmade, a New Zealand Indie Pattern company. One of her goals is to show people with a variety of body types wearing her designs. Hence her call for reviewers. I volunteered and I have already had the pleasure of reviewing the Laneway Dress.
Today I’m thrilled to present you a review of another Jennifer Lauren pattern: the Juniper Cardigan.

The Juniper Cardigan pattern

The Juniper Cardigan comes in two views: a cropped one and a long-line. Just like the Laneway Dress, the pdf-pattern has a print shop version. This is always a bonus for me. A minor thing for the A0 print: there is no possibility to select only one of the versions to print. I only want to sew the cropped version but now I have also a print of the long version.
Based on my measurements I graded the pattern from a 20 for the bust to a 22 for the waist, considering the small amount of negative ease that is necessary for a good fit. Jennifer explains this very well in her instructions. Being a tall girl, I lengthened the bodice with 3,5 cm and thus also the neckband and the interfacing for the neckband. On all these pattern pieces there is a shorthen/lengthen line so that makes it easy!
I appreciated that there was a separate pattern piece for the interfacing so that you didn’t have to trace it from the neckband.

 The Fabric
Juniper Cardigan
Plaid matching like a boss!

I received the pattern from Jennifer Lauren at the beginning of January and a few days later Girl Charlee UK had a sale. When I saw this ‘Brown Black Plaid Jersey‘ and the ‘Dusty Marsala Knit‘ I knew this would be the perfect pair for the Juniper Cardigan. The design of this cardigan just asked for a combination of two fabrics. I was even more convinced when the fabric arrived.
Jenifer recommends using knit fabric with a minimum of 30% stretch and a minimum weight of 180gsm. Both of my fabrics met these requirements so I could get started right away!

The sewing process

My previous experience with a Jennifer Lauren Handmade pattern was very satisfying so my hopes were high for a smooth sailing.  And it was! Sewing the Juniper Cardigan is a joyful ride. The accompanying instructions are detailed and illustrated with clear designs. More, if you can’t find your way with these instructions there is an extensive sew along on the website. Some lesser known techniques like sewing in the saddle sleeves and attaching the neckband are explained here with a step-by-step photo guide.

Juniper Cardigan
To attach the neckband I used a lot of pins and basted it first on the machine with a stitch length of 5. Then, after removing the pins I sewed the neckband on with the overlock for a nice finish.
Overal the Juniper Cardigan comes together easily and I am pleased with the fit and the look.

Juniper Cardigan
I love the saddle sleeves.
Conclusion

The Juniper Cardigan is my first ever sewed cardigan and I am totally in love with it. The design with the saddle sleeves gives it a unique vibe. The combination of two fabrics only intensifies this vibe. If you are looking for this style sew a Juniper Cardigan!
Thank you, Jennifer Lauren, for letting me review this pleasant pattern.

Juniper Cardigan
Totally in love with my Juniper Cardigan.

Sewing for babies: some free patterns

A new baby is born into our family! Hey, I’m a great-aunt now and it fills me with joy. To welcome this little boy I just had to sew some clothes for him. I sewed for my own children when they were babies but this was 30 years ago and I no longer have these patterns. So I went to Mrs. Google and I found some cute free baby sewing patterns. Which I sewed immediately after I went to the fabric store for some fun fabric.

free baby sewing patterns

 

Oliver Pants

free baby sewing patterns

The Oliver Pants is a free baby-pants pattern designed by Griet and Annick. Both are outstanding sewists with young children, hence this pattern is eminently tested!
The joy of sewing for babies is that the patterns are small. You only have to tape together two pieces of the pdf-pattern. The pattern and the instructions for the Oliver Pants are in Dutch but that should not be a problem for non-Dutch speakers as the instructions are illustrated with clear pictures.
I sewed the pants in a light sweater knit from QjuTie Kids and it came together easily. One thing you have to consider though is to enlarge the border pieces for the cuffs and the waistband, depending on the stretch % of the fabric you use.
This pattern is also great for using up your fabric scraps.

Long sleeve with envelope neckline

free baby sewing patterns

I love envelope necklines. Not only for babies but also for myself. That’s why the Bronte Top has been on my sewing list for ages. I really should sew one soon, but the baby came first.
This long sleeve with envelope neckline is a free pattern from ‘De Dromenfabriek’, (Small Dreamfactory). This is also a Dutch pattern, but again the instructions are illustrated with clear designs and they are generally easy to follow. For the neckline though, I found the instructions from Oon more enlightening.
The fabric, from QjuTie Kids, is a light sweater knit with adorable animals wearing copper cat-eye glasses and masks. I loved it at first sight.

Mare Sweater

free baby sewing patterns

This is also a free pattern from a sewist, Spoetniksels, who designed it for her own baby daughter. This sweater has a button closure on the shoulder. A plus for this pattern is that the pdf is layered so you have only the lines of the size you want on the pattern. Again this is a Dutch pattern and again the instructions are illustrated with clear pictures. Just like the other garments, I sewed it totally on the serger. The fabric is a soft French Terry from the See You at Six fabric collection.

Teeny Beanie – Patterns for Pirates

Only a few weeks ago Patterns for Pirates launched four new free baby patterns and one of them is this cute Teeny Beanie.  It comes in different styles like with little bear ears and a knot but I opted for the plain beany. The pdf-pattern is layered and has clear step by step instructions. It makes sewing this beanie easy and quick. I added a lining to cover the inside seams. This beanie is also an ideal stash buster project.

Conclusion

I loved sewing all these little baby garments. They are all sewed with knit fabric and easily put together. I sewed each one on the serger. That makes them all easy and quick projects that give you instant gratification. And aren’t all these little garments sweet?
Will I sew more baby clothes? For sure, and I already did, because there are more babies announced in our family.

Sewing tip: How to thread elastic through a casing

When you thread elastic through a casing—could be in boxers, leggings, dresses, skirts, etc.—it often twists in the casing. At least, this happened to me several times. More, often I didn’t notice it and I would sew the elastic together, even close the casing sometimes and only feel it when the garment was finished. Bummer! A lot of unpicking and sighing as a result and having to redo the whole process. To avoid this I came up with a trick: the double arrow trick. I show you in the pictures below how it works.

1. Place and mark the elastic

thread elastic through a casing

  • Place the elastic piece you want to insert on the garment.
  • Place it the way how it will sit in the tunnel.

thread elastic through a casing

  • Mark the beginning and the end with two arrows.
  • The beginning is the side of the elastic that doesn’t go in the tunnel. It is marked with an arrow that points up. The end is the side of the elastic that goes in the tunnel. It is marked with an arrow that points down.
2. Thread the elastic through the casing

thread elastic through a casing

  • I always use two safety pins. Pin the beginning of the elastic—with the arrow that points up—on the fabric. This prevents that the elastic disappears in the tunnel.
  • Pin a safety pin at the end of the elastic—with the arrow that points down.
  • Push this safety pin, with the elastic attached, through the tunnel.
3. Close the elastic

thread elastic through a casing

  • The end of the elastic piece comes out of the tunnel. You see the mark with the arrow that points down.

thread elastic through a casing

  • Remove the safety pin that keeps the elastic on the garment.
  • Check the directions of the arrows.
  • If they match the elastic hasn’t twisted.
  • Now you can sew the elastic together. I always use a zig-zag stitch for this.

thread elastic through a casing

Et voila, you have a smooth inserted elastic without twists!

 

The Seamwork Jill Coatigan with striped lining

Sometimes you see a new pattern and in your head, it immediately links to this particular fabric you have in your collection. You simply have to make it. The project jumps to the pole position of your sewing queue. This happened when I saw the Jill Coatigan in the December Issue of Seamwork Magazine. It matched perfectly with this fuzzy charcoal knit I had in my collection. I just had to sew one immediately!Seamwork Jill Coatigan

The Seamwork Jill Coatigan pattern

There are 5 pieces in this pattern, which is not much for an outerwear garment. Nevertheless, I printed the A0-format of the pattern at the copy shop. The pieces for a coat are always large, aren’t they? I was not going to tape them together. Based on the finished measurements I cut out a straight L, and did not make any alterations. The fit is perfect!

 

The fabric

I bought this fuzzy charcoal jersey at the Neuköllener Stoff in November 2016. When I saw it at the market I had something ‘coat-ish’ in mind for it.
Then happened what usually happens when I combine a new pattern with a piece of fabric I have in my collection: ‘I don’t have enough’! I only had 2 meters and the charts asked for 3,6 meters. So I pulled out all the tricks I have to get the Jill coatigan out of this piece of fabric because now I had this picture in my mind and no other fabric would do. Luckily the fabric is very forgiving so I could place some pieces in different directions. Further, I omitted the vent and placed the center back at the fold line. To make the Tetris work I also had to cut the facing in two parts. Due to the fuzziness of the fabric, you don’t see this at all.

Teamwork Jill Coatigan
No vent at the back.
The striped lining

In Belgium, winters can be cold and windy. Although the fabric is a rather heavy jersey it needs a lining to make it a warm coat. I remembered I had a pin on my Pinterest from a self-made black & white lining that I wanted to make myself for a long time. This would be perfect for this coat and not difficult to make. I cut several strips of 24 cm and sewed them together. For the sleeves, I used the plain black lining.
To cut the lining I used the depth of the vent for the back pleat. This pleat is necessary to be able to move when the lining is sewed in. On the front pattern piece, I outlined the edge of the facing, cut it out and used the rest as front pattern lining piece. Further, I put an extra 3 cm seam allowance on the bottom of the coat and sleeve pieces. This to give more free movement when wearing the coat.

Seamwork Jill Coatigan
The front piece of the lining.
The sewing process

Sewing the Jill Coatigan is easy. It could also have been a quick project but I took my time with some parts. I hand-sewed the pockets on the front because I don’t like a topstitched seam on this fuzzy fabric.

Seamwork Jill Coatigan
Hand-sewing the pockets.

That’s also the reason why I didn’t make buttonholes. I sewed black fold-over elastic in two and stitched the loops between the front and the front facing. To make it a wearable coat for me—I have to be able to wear it on my bike—it needed a closure. I found the two giant grey buttons in the bargain box at my local haberdashery store.

Further, making the lining and sewing the lining also took some time. I sewed the lining in with the machine and hand-sewed the seam. Through the whole process, I never came up against any obstacles. The instructions are clear and it was a joy to sew.

The black pleat in the lining gives you free movement.
Conclusion

I love my Jill Coatigan. Although with the lining and the buttons it is more a coat than a coatigan. I’ve been wearing it for more than a month now and it is perfect for the colder and windy weather. Also, the closure works perfectly when I am cycling. Another bonus is the pockets. They are perfect for putting in my gloves and keys. So, me and my Jill Coat are very good friends.

Seamwork Jill Coatigan
The Jill Coat paired with the original 1952 J.R. Bauman dress form I received from my sister-in-law, Linde Ergo.

I ❤️ the Bombazine oven mitt

It started with a joke. On a family pizza night, our daughter exclaimed that she would give us some oven mitts as a Christmas present. Because she burned herself by pulling out the pizza’s and we didn’t have mitts. “That’s not necessary” my husband answered out of the blue, “because your mom—that would be me— just sewed one for everybody!” I sighed: “Oh baby, now you’ve spoilt the surprise.” Everybody laughed of course, little did they know I hadn’t sewed any oven mitts at that point. A few days later I discovered the Bombazine oven mitt on their site. Now I laughed too because no longer I had to search for my Christmas gifts. So that’s why I sewed 11 Bombazine oven mitts.

Bombazine oven mitt

The Bombazine oven mitt pattern

The Bombazine mitt pattern is a free downloadable pdf-pattern. It only has four pages: two with instructions and two for the pattern. So you print and tape together the pattern in a blink of an eye! You use the same pattern piece for the three layers of the mitt. Simple and easy!

Bombazine oven mitt

 

The fabric

The Bombazine mitt is THE project to use up your leftovers. I used a combination of leftovers from sewing projects, pieces of old jeans of the kids, and pieces of fabric from the thrift shop. I sewed together some of the scraps with a medium weight and then I cut out the outer pieces.

Bombazine oven mitt

For the heat insulation layer, I used an old woollen blanket. Bombazine oven mitt

For the inner lining, I used leftovers from cotton fabric.Bombazine oven mitt

The sewing process

Sewing the Bombazine mitt is a joy! The instructions, with designs, are very clear and easy to follow.
New for me was hand quilting the layers together with sashiko stitches. I have never done this before but I love learning new techniques. The stitches are still wonky but I like doing it.
Bombazine oven mitt

 

After sewing the outside of the mitt, you sew together the lining but you leave a gap near the top. Later you pull the outside layer of the mitt through this gap.
Sewing together the three layers can be a little difficult. When an opening of a pattern piece is small I always sew on the inside. This prevents sewing accidentally wrong layers together.Bombazine oven mitt

 

According to the instructions, the trickiest step would be bagging the mitt (or ‘mitt birthing’). I found this not so difficult. The woollen layer is easy to handle and pull through the gap.
After the birth, you finish with topstitching the edge of the mitt and a good press.

bombazine oven mitt
‘mitt birthing”
Bombazine oven mitt
These mitts need only the finishing topstitch of the edge.

 

Conclusion

I enjoyed myself tremendously sewing these mitts. Due to the great design and the easiness of the sewing process, they came out fantastic. And giving them as a Christmas present was pure fun. Everybody had a laugh and they were very happy with them.

Will I sew more Bombazine mitts? Definitely! They will also make a perfect 2018 Secret Valentine gift.
So thank you Bombazine ladies for this cute free pattern.

Bombazine oven mitt Bombazine oven mitt Bombazine oven mitt