Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 - My Year in Review

Last year I wrote up a post, summarizing my sewing for 2013.  Although it takes quite a while to write/sift through photos etc., I find it very interesting to see what I did/didn't achieve in the year.  So I am going to do the same again :)


The start of January was very cold, and I made myself five garments during that first week.  I love TNT patterns!  So here we are, two pairs of lined pants and two cardigans as well as a fleece jacket.  All these items were worn frequently - sadly the cardis were made from some ponte fabric that pilled, but I made more as you will see later in the year!  Total: 5 garments.


This was a really busy month - looking at my posts, it is hard to believe how much I made, but when I get going, it can be like a production line in my sewing room!  I turned out four pairs of PJ's, two pairs of pants (one grey wool, one houndstooth), two dresses for my SIL and five, yes FIVE more cardi's - using cotton jersey rather than ponte.  I wear the PJ bottoms frequently, but the tops were just too big for comfort and surprisingly warm.  The cardis and pants were all worn a lot until I lost weight . . . . .   Total: 17 individual garments!


This was another good month, I managed to finish three pairs of socks, as well as three cardis, three sorbettos and black jacket that went straight to wadderville.  Total: 7 garments, 3prs socks


Ah yes, April.  A sad month as we said goodbye to our lovely collie, Jess.  This meant that I really wasn't that interested in sewing garments, so I made 'mug rugs' instead!  17 of them.  At least.  Total: 17 crafty items.


This was a another month of socks and quilty stuff.  I have found that if, for some reason, I can't decide what garments I would like to sew, then I'll make something quick and easy.  Like mug rugs, 17 wallets, wall hangings etc.,  So May was a month of 'quick and easy'!  Total: 2 pairs socks, 17 crafty things.


This was a pretty quiet month.  I had started to lose weight, so I wasn't making many clothes for myself.  Instead, I made a few items for the Galgos del Sol and Alibar Dog Knits - they raise money to help rescue and re-home spanish galgos - similar in looks to greyhounds, but smaller.  Oh, and I made some socks for my brother.  Total: 1 crafty thing, 1 pair socks.


Oh July, how I loved you so.  You see, July was the month that I went to Hamilton in Ontario for a week for Boob Camp at Bra Makers Supplies.  It was fabulous!  Like, OMG fabulous.  I made three bras that week, and I think that I now have about 20 - we will see what the count is like as I continue throughout the year! 

And I made a few bits for Alibar as well.  They were auctioned, or sold via their Facebook page.

Oh, and two pairs of socks - the other pair is here!


Total: 2 pairs socks, 5 crafty things, 9 garments (bras)


Yep, you got it, more socks and bras!


I think that there is a pattern here!  Total: 3 garments (bras),one pair of socks


Oooh, interesting - although I took a sewing class this month, I did not complete any items . . . .


 . . . but I certainly made up for it in October!  I completed two pairs of socks, three 'box bags' that I use as project bags for my sock knitting, and four pairs of trousers - ones with flies, pockets and waistbands!  Total: four garment items, three crafty items, and two pairs of knitted socks.


This month was a 'bras, bags and socks' month.  I love small projects!  Total: two garments, two pairs of socks, two crafty items.


Now, I know that I was busy this month (and happily so!) and made waistcoats for both my father and Mr. SDSC, socks, various crafty items - box bags, a jewelry pouch, hot plate holders etc.  Total: four garments (waistcoats), three pairs of socks, eight crafty items.

In summary; 51 garments, 16 pairs of socks, 53 crafty items for a total of 120 items.  And I know that I have missed one pair of socks and there are three pairs of trousers that need blogging about . . . . !  Phew, I'm exhausted now!

Although I have not blogged as much this year, my production has been pretty high and there is a lot of repetition of patterns - this works really well for me and my wardrobe.  There were a few wadders (PJ tops, March's black jacket) but on the whole, most other items have been in regular rotation.  I took a couple of classed (bra making and trousers pockets & flies) and have put this knowledge to good use.

Well, this is one monstrous post, and is enough for today - how was your year?  As productive or enjoyable as you would have liked?

Vogue 8048 - the Old Folk Edition

My Dad is fondly known as 'the Old Folk', and when he saw Mr. SDSC's waistcoats, he wanted one for himself.  As you may well know - once I have a pattern that works, I like to churn out a number of versions.  This does not relate just to me, but also to Mr. SDSC - and now the Old Folk.

Fortunately, the waistcoat pattern fitted him well, so I did not have to make any changes.  I used a lovely, soft, brushed wool suiting in a dark charcoal colour - left over from some trousers I made myself quite some time ago.

He has quite the sense of humour, so I thought that I would use a bright colour for the lining.  And being a lifelong Liverpool FC fan, the lining had to be red.  I dug around in my linings and found a length from my Mum's collection.  She would have bought this to line a skirt - she used to make lots of perfectly fitted pencil skirts, usually in a tartan fabric (well, she was Scottish!), so I knew that the Old Folk would get a kick out of wearing some of her fabric.

So without further ado - I give you the Old Folk - posing for all he is worth on the deck, with the snow falling, as it was the only place with semi-decent light:

Suits you Sir, suits you!

I lined the pockets with Batman fabric again, and that is about it.  One happy Old Folk and you can't argue with that!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Vogue 8048 - Men's Waistcoats: Part II

I wanted to post a few details about the waistcoats - mostly because I use my blog as a notebook and reminder of what I have knitted or sewn, and also because you may be interested!  The original post is here.

The pattern itself is very simple, just five main pieces, and the pockets.  So you would think that I wouldn't be able to mess that up.  And you would be wrong!!!  But more on that later!


This is the first jacket and the fabric is a suiting weight cotton - lovely fabric.  I have made one pair of pants for myself out of them and will be . . . . oh yes, pockets!  I followed the Vogue instructions for the double welt pockets.  I marked, tailor tacked, chalked and sewing with absolute precision - you can see the 'dog's dinner' that resulted in these next pics.  What a bummer.  Mr. SDSC couldn't see the problem (bless him, he is a keeper), so I just determined to try a different method for the next versions.

I used this tutorial for single welt pockets.  I am happier with the results although they are not perfect.  If you have an 'idiot proof' way of doing welts, I am all ears!  Please let me know!

I've also made myself a skirt and a pair of trousers out of this houndstooth!  Sadly it is all gone now.  It drapes beautifully so I was sorry to see it go.

Oops. This last photo is a bit wobbly!  The fabric here is black denim.  A dream to sew with.

Oh, and I finished off with some fun fabric on the pocket lining that is back to back with the front of the waistcoat.  The pocket lining that you can just see above the welt, is the fashion fabric as it is likely that that would show.  And it does.

Back Ties

To me, the back ties are part and parcel of a man's waistcoat, and the pattern has you sew them into the side seam, then sew them down onto the back piece about 3" in from the side seam.  Like this:

There was just too much 'hanging down' for me, and the tie itself was also stretched to it's limit, so for the next two versions I shortened the ties and attached them in the back darts.  I checked a couple of other patterns and that was what they did.  If it was good enough for them - it was good enough for me!


The lining consists of a back piece, the front facing which is interfaced and cut from the fashion fabric, and the front side piece which is cut from the lining fabric.  It is all 'bagged' and sewn together with a gap left in one of the side lining seams, and then edge and top-stitched to within an inch of it's life:

Except that with the houndstooth I cut the front side panel (seen above as the black lining) out of the houndstooth fabric.  Doh!  I didn't have any more houndstooth, so for that version the lining is edge to edge, and appears to work well.  The interfacing had to be adhered to the front piece of the waistcoast rather than the facing, but it does not appear to have caused any issues.

Buttons and Label

There is nothing much to say about the buttons, just plain black ones.  As far as the buttonholes were concerned, my Pfaff let me down again - I don't know what the problem is with the automatic buttonholer, I just cannot get consistent buttonholes with it, so I resorted to my Singer Featherweight and the buttonholer (from the 50's/60's) attachment and it produced fabulous buttonholes.  These are 5/8" buttons and holes, but I'll probably make the holes larger next time, as Mr. SDSC is losing some dexterity in his fingers :(

Nothing else left to do other than sew on one of my labels 'Private Collection by twotoast' that I get a real kick out of using!

Phew, that was quite a lot of info - anymore top tips' for waistcoats?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Gift Sewing (and a bit of knitting!)

Well, now that the big man has come and gone, I can share with you some gifts that I made for Christmas.

My lovely Sister-in-Law back is traveling back to the UK next month, and I thought that she could use a hand with her packing . . . . . so I made her a couple of the box bags that I am currently somewhat obsessed with:

And a cute little jewelry pouch based upon this free pattern in Craftsy.  The pattern was a little too big for my needs, so I made it smaller - opened up it is about 9" x 6". There are two zippered pouches, a piece of felt that you can use to hold your studs, and some ties for rings.  Pretty neat right?  It is a very clever design.

Miss Sharon also mentioned the other day that some socks that I had knitted for her (ages ago) keep her toes really toasty, so I managed to get a pair finished for her just in time for Christmas:

The colour of this yarn (Estelle Sockittome) is fabulous, and the dye pattern is very pretty, but boy, this yarn is splitty. I was constantly having to drop stitches, frog back, and then pick them up again as this yarn does NOT play nice with 2.5mm needles. Funnily enough I am knitting a cowl on larger needles in another colourway - and that is fine, but these socks were a NIGHTMARE because of the yarn. Such a pity as the colours are gorgeous.

The stitch definition is good, and has a lovely twist - which is just as well as the yarn is a single ply. I’m not to sure how long these socks will last - only time will tell … .

Next up was a pair of socks my Mr. for Christmas:

This time I used Knit Picks Felici - a lovely soft yarn that Knit Picks are no longer making/selling.  If you can't have Christmas coloured socks at Christmastime - I don't know when you can!

Finally, I made some fabulous little holders to hold your hot bowls when they come out of the microwave:

I'm not sure if you can see in these pics, but there is a dart on each side of the square that pinches in the fabric, making a bowl shape.  The above musical holder was a gift for my Dad, and the Christmas fabric ones are for my brother and SIL.

All the fabric, batting and thread are cotton, so the holders can be microwaved with the bowls on top of them.  I made another black/red/white musical one for Mr. SDSC and he has been using it all week for his Weetabix in hot milk every morning . . . . . much better than a folded up tea towel!

I've also made a couple more waistcoats - a black one with red lining for my father (forgot to get a pic of that, and he now has it at home) and a black/brown houndtooth for Mr. SDSC - photos to follow.

How about you - did you get any Christmas sewing/knitting in this year?