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The Adrienne Blouse from Friday Pattern Company.

The Adrienne Blouse from Friday Pattern Company is (described in their words) ‘a knit top with billowy statement sleeves that are gathered up at the shoulders and hems with elastic. The length is slightly cropped with the hem hitting just below your bellybutton’. Very nice.

Line drawing from Friday Pattern Company.

I’ve been sitting on the fence about this pattern for a while. I wasn’t sure that the style was very ‘me’ if I’m honest, and I was worried that the voluminous sleeves might swamp me as I’m only 5’2″, (thinking that the impression of excess width might make me look smaller).

It wasn’t until I read a blog post by lovely Sarah here that I realised that the pattern has adjustment markings on the sleeve piece that enables you to alter the fullness of the sleeve easily before cutting it out! When I realised how easy it was, i was ON IT!

I slimmed the sleeve down by 4″. This has resulted in the perfect sleeve width for me and now I am asking myself why I held back in the first place – I really like it! I feel like the sleeves are still statement – just not shouting as loudly!

The pattern was really quick to cut out ( such a chore don’t you think – especially when you are matching stripes), as there are only three pattern pieces – the bodice ( same piece for both the front and the back), the sleeve and the neck band. I used the same fabric for the neckline band, but it would be super lovely cut from ribbing fabric.

My measurements are 34-29-38 and I cut the size medium.

I liked the construction of the blouse – especially how the sleeves are gathered at the top with elastic before they are attached to the bodice. The pattern gives you recommended elastic length suggestions, but I actually sized down my elastic lengths (for the sleeve head and the cuffs) and cut the ‘small’ length in the elastic for both. For me this is just right!

Something that confuses me a little is how different the neckline looks on different people’s makes. When searching the hashtag #adrienneblouse on Instagram, I noticed that some of the necklines seem to sit higher (like mine) and some are really much lower. The sample used for the pattern itself also shows it as being much lower cut than my version. I can only guess that this might be due to the amount of stretch in your neckband piece?

The cuff openings are generous (even when using the ‘small’ size recommended length), however I’m glad that I didn’t just measure my wrists and make my own length as I would have been tempted to cut the elastic smaller, and this opening as it is allows the sleeve to slide up and down your arms easily when reaching out for things. One of my pet hates is feeling restricted by tight cuffs when you lift your arms up.

Oh, I also would not consider this a cropped length at all on little old me. I cut the pattern length as it is, and it feels neither short nor long. Kind of t-shirt length if that makes any sense!

The fabric that I used was a lovely jersey knit which I picked up from a #sewbrum sewing meet-up a couple of years ago, from the fabric swap table. Thank you so much to whoever dropped this generous length into the swap because in additon to making this blouse it has also made the Tilly and the Buttons Tabitha dress that I blogged about here.

And there’s more…

You know that cheeky little half metre of so of jersey that you always seem to have left but is not enough to make another garment? Well what about cutting it into strips to make t-shirt yarn and crocheting yourself a little basket?

Ta dah!!

Initially I wasn’t quite sure how to make my leftover KNIT fabric into continuous strips of t-shirt yarn ( I really didn’t want to have joins in it if at all possible), and despite knowing how to do this with woven fabric to make bias binding, I knew it would be slightly different with a knit fabric. Luckily I came across this youTube tutorial here and it worked! Thank you @thediymommy

Whilst I was over on youTube I came across this tutorial by GratiaProject which shows how you can use the ‘cross stitch single crochet’ stitch to make a basket using t-shirt yarn. I have never even heard of this stitch so I was ALL OVER IT! Let’s learn something new why not? Turns out the tutorial is fabulous, the stitch is really easy, and even though the stripes in the fabric make the stitch quite hard to make out I hope that you can kind of see the pretty cross pattern that it made. Thank you @gratiaproject_crochet and when I get a chance I would love to make another in a plain knit fabric yarn so that the stitches are easier to see.

I have a small amount of yarn left, to crochet into a little project another time, but I feel that using almost every scrap of this fabric has been so satisfying, especially as it was ‘donated’ in the first place. I’m chuffed with my new blouse and basket, and the sun is shining as I type this. What more could you ask for? 🙂

Do search #adrienneblouse on social media if you are looking for more inspiration.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Sewing for my boys – the Jalie Nico Raglan Tee.

Before I start, I must mention that I am limited with the number of photos that I have to share with you of this project. I did wonder whether or not to even include this as a blog post due to the lack of images, but have decided to go ahead in the hope that despite this, the written post itself might be helpful if you are in the market for a good boys/mens baseball t-shirt pattern.

The reason for the lack of photos is that I made these three t-shirts for my husband and two boys as Christmas presents. Despite being super organised and buying the pattern aaaages ago from Sewessential, in order that I wouldn’t have a last minute rush to make them, I still ended up making them all in the last couple of days before Christmas when everybody was in the house and I was creeping around trying not to get found out. I had no opportunity to photograph them full length without someone spotting me, and as I don’t really think it is fair to pop photos of my family on here, we are just left with a quick little shot that I took of them on the kitchen table before wrapping them up.

It is also worth sticking with this post until the end so that you can see what happened when I washed one of them the first time – despite pre-washing .. oh dear ..

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The pattern is the Jalie Nico Raglan Tee. This is the second time I have sewn a Jalie sewing pattern – last year I made the Cocoon Cardigan as my entry into the Cosy Cardi Challenge, and this is a cardigan that I reach for all the time.  Jalie patterns have an impressive range of sizes on their patterns, 27 on this one in fact, and one of the reasons that I chose this pattern to make for my boys was that I only needed to purchase one pattern to cover the sizing of my 14 yr old, my 20 yr old and my husband. (In fact the smallest size on the pattern is age 2)!

I chose to use some wonderfully soft cotton interlock jersey that I picked up from eBay. I had purchased some recently when I made my Christmas Tilly and the Buttons Frankie t-shirt, and was so impressed with how soft and lovely it was that I returned to the seller to buy some more for these projects. I wanted to keep the main body pieces on all of them white, and then mix and match the colours of the sleeve and neckband pieces.

The pattern gives you three sleeve lengths to pick, and a choice of either a straight or curved hem. I kept all the hems straight, and chose long sleeves (in grey) for my youngest son, and short sleeves (in khaki and brown) for my eldest and husband.

As you might expect with such a large range of sizes, there is a huge measurement chart to go through. I had to grade between sizes for a couple of my tees, but it didn’t take long before long I had three sets of traced out pattern pieces, all with their names scribbled on them so that I didn’t get confused. I also sketched out three little drawings and coloured them in, so that I had a reference on what pieces needed cutting in which colour and for whom!

Although I cut them out all in one session, and they were all ready to go in three neat piles, I made a deliberate decision to only make one at a time, otherwise I knew that I would get muddled up. Time was now limited and I really didn’t need to be unpicking silly mistakes.

The pattern was really easy to follow, and they were a quick make thankfully! Of course I didn’t have to opportunity to check them for size, but kept my fingers crossed that they would fit. To find out what size I needed to cut, I told my husband I was measuring him to get a rough idea for a top that I was going to make for my eldest (they are fairly similar in size) and measured my eldest telling him that I was making a secret top for my husband. Sneaky. I already had my youngest sons measurements from some recent school uniform purchases.

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For some reason, despite the absolute lack of time before Christmas, I still wanted to make handmade gift tags, and made up these little tags to add an even more personal touch. I’m pretty sure this was a waste of time, but I enjoyed making them.

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I’m happy to say that all t-shirts worked out really well and I was really pleased with how they fitted. I would have no problems recommending this pattern, a winner all round!

My husband pointed out that in the 21 years that we have been married, this is the first thing I have ever sewn for him! No need to rush these things hey?

So a great Christmas day was had by all. Hubby made the roasted brussels sprouts with garlic, bacon, pecans and blue cheese and swiftly splattered oil down the front of his t-shirt but no worries, it’ll all be alright when I throw it through the wash. Or will it..

Fast forward to Boxing Day. The light coloured washing goes in, including my husbands grease splattered t-shirt. All good. One hour 15 mins later, the washing comes out a very pretty shade of pink. Eek! Despite pre-washing all my fabrics, the brown sleeves of his new t-shirt ran and ruined the whole wash – his white work shirts and everything! I vaguely remember noticing during the pre-wash on the brown fabric that the water was a bit pink but didn’t think anything of it.

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My beloved pale grey kitty Cocowawa Chestnut Sweater is now also pale pink. Sad times.

So lesson learned guys, sometimes one pre-wash just isn’t enough, and maybe for particularly dark fabrics like this brown one, take a good look at the colour of the water in your machine during the pre-wash and if you do spot any colour, run it through again just to be sure.

Not to worry, I’m pretty sure that with my track record it’ll only be another 21 years before I sew him another, so he won’t have to wait too long..

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

 

 

 

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Tilly and The Buttons Frankie Baseball T-Shirt pattern review.

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I’m quite sure that this isn’t the first Frankie baseball t-shirt that you’ve seen, and it probably won’t be the last. There was huge excitement in the sewing world when Tilly Walnes released ‘Stretch!’ in February, it is Tilly’s second book (her first is called ‘Love At First Stitch’), and this time she is writing about sewing with knit fabrics.

I was of course desperate to own it, and was completely blown away when the publishers Quadrille Craft sent me a copy as a prize in a competition they were running a couple of weeks ago. I couldn’t wait to get started on it and as I happened to be travelling to London a couple of days after receiving it, I quickly decided what would be the first project that I wanted to make from the book and made a note of the fabric I needed so that I could purchase a little something from the Goldhawk road whilst I was down there.

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So I knew that I wanted to make the Frankie first, and picked up this wonderfully soft cotton jersey. The ‘white’ is kind of an off white pinkish toned white which works really well with the dark cornflower blue. It’s a little bit similar to the colours worn by the model in the book except for that version has a pink neckband – which is totally awesome and I would probably add in another colour for the neckband next time too.

The fit is described as relaxed – which is neither too tight or too loose, so I opted to make a straight size 5. It’s relaxed and comfortable, but you could totally cut a size or two smaller if you prefer a more fitted style. I chose to make the 3/4 length sleeves and love them. Hopefully the weather will start to warm up now and this will be the sleeve length that I will get the most wear out in the coming months.

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The instructions and information provided by the book are second to none. If you are familiar with Tilly and the Buttons patterns already, you will know that they are extremely well written and easy to follow and this book is the same – and then some. It is packed full of tips and tricks regarding sewing with knit fabrics and addresses any concerns that you might have.

The Frankie is a great pattern to get started with, I love the raglan sleeves and how quick and easy they are to sew into place. The neckband is possible the only slightly fiddly part, but using the ‘quartering technique’ which I always do with stretch neckbands ensures an even stretch – although I felt that I really had to stretch my neckband quite a lot – nevertheless it went in great and lays lovely and flat which is the result that you are looking for. Changing your needle to a twin needle can be a bit of a chore, but I love the result that it gives, so finished my neckband, sleeves and hem with the double needle.

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I cannot tell you how much I look forward to making EVERY other item that is in the book. There are 5 other patterns included, not to mention several variations and hacks to make them exactly how you like, and am currently working my way through reading it, as it is crammed full of information I know I will find useful.

Congratulations to Tilly for such an inspiring read, I thoroughly enjoyed this make, and as it uses so little fabric, it could definitely become a stashbuster pattern for those leftover pieces of fabric that you are not sure what to do with.

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Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x