Tag Archives: jersey

Liberty and Mustard – version 2

Japanese LIberty top and mustard leggings // Behind the HedgerowI told you l liked this fabric combination!  A couple of weeks ago I shared this outfit which combined this muted yet elegant Liberty of London called Mitsi in nougat (which was a generous gift from the online fabric shop Cousette) with some organic mustard jersey from Nosh.

Japanese LIberty top and mustard leggings // Behind the Hedgerow

But I didn’t stop at just one outfit.  Here is the second instalment – a top made from this Japanese sewing book.

In fact, it’s this top here on the left.

And leggings from the Go To Leggings pattern by Go To Patterns.

 

Pin-Tucked Blouse

I’ve made a few things from Japanese patterns before and, even though they can sometimes be a labour of love, I have always liked the end result.  I’ve got three new Japanese sewing books in my collection so thought it was time to crack on and get something sewn up.  These are the other two books I picked up in Japantown in San Francisco – I think I’ll make something for ME next!

… Finally decided on these two. #japanesesewingpatterns

A post shared by Laura Fisher (@behindhedgerow) on

Japanese LIberty top and mustard leggings // Behind the Hedgerow

This book was gift from Tuttle publishing as part of the Blogger’s Paris Meet Up #parissewsocial, back in April.  I chose to sew this pattern because I wanted something light and floaty that would work well with the Tana Lawn and I also needed to be careful with fabric quantity.  I only had a total of one metre of this Liberty and after making this skirt I didn’t have too much to work with.  I just about managed to cut out the pattern pieces (and that was after cutting one of the sleeves incorrectly!).

Japanese LIberty top and mustard leggings // Behind the Hedgerow

As is customary with Japanese sewing patterns, the written instructions were minimal with only illustrations to help you along.  With a simple blouse like this I didn’t think this would be a problem, however, this project was not without its complications.

  • The biggest issue I had was with the sizing.  I made the size 6 for my 7-year-old.  Of course the fit is meant to be loose and easy but the neckline ended up being way too big and sloppy.  Here it is before alteration.

Japanese LIberty top and mustard leggings // Behind the Hedgerow

  • The whole blouse (including the neckline facing) was finished by the time I made this realisation so I wasn’t sure what to do.  I ended up unpicking part of the back neckline facing and making a big inverted pleat in the back to bring the whole neckline in.  It’s not the perfect solution because if effects the fit around the arms but for something this loose it will work.

Japanese LIberty top and mustard leggings // Behind the Hedgerow

  • Another issue was the order of construction.  It instructs you to attach the sleeves before finishing the neckline in the back.  This would leave you with an exposed raw edge where the front sleeve seam meets the neckline so I had to juggle the order of things.
  • I omitted the elastic sleeve cuff and just did a quick rolled hem on the sleeves.

Japanese LIberty top and mustard leggings // Behind the Hedgerow

I do love the look of all the clothes in this book and I will definitely not be put off by these minor issues.  If you’re interested in reading and seeing more about this book then there are some really stunning garments out there.  I love this dress from Alida Makes.  And I’m pretty sure this dress by Gioia (Dotta) will be the next one I make.

Go To Leggings

There’s not a great deal to say about these leggings.  This is the pattern that I always use for leggings and it’s never let me down.  You can whip these up in no time and I’ve always found the fit spot on.  I made the capri length this time.  In this picture you can really appreciate the knobbly, textured nature of the fabric.  It’s wonderful stuff!

Japanese LIberty top and mustard leggings // Behind the HedgerowSo, that’s two summer outfits to add to the wardrobe.  Not bad for just one metre of each of these fabrics!  I only wish I had more to make the same outfits for myself!

Thanks for reading,

Laura x

 

The Titchy Threads Twisted Tuesday Tour

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

Have you been following the Twisted Tuesdays Tour to mark the launch of the new Titchy Threads patterns?  Laura, the designer behind these fabulous new patterns, has rounded up a brilliant group of bloggers (myself included 😉 ) to help showcase the style and versatility of the Twisted Trousers and Twisted Tank.  We’re into week four right now.  You can catch up with weeks one, two and three here.

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

Twisted Trousers

Fabric

The main fabric for the trousers is some lush navy linen that I’ve had in my stash for ages.  They keep these trousers light and breezy for springtime (although I must stay, I’m a little concerned about how quickly they could have holes in the knees!!).  The contrasting back pockets are Kona Cotton in Pickle (I adore this colour!) from The Village Haberdashery.  The piping I picked up in Belgium and it’s been waiting for the perfect project.  The fact that I had the right amount of piping – down to the last inch!! – is proof to me that it’s the perfect project!  The waistband is some stripey ribbing.

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

Options

I chose to make the non-reversible version with the un-piped back pockets and I omitted the grommets from the waistband.  To be honest, I would have liked to have added them but I chickened out a little bit!  I also thought about adding knee patches (Manu is incredibly hard on his clothes!) but I just wasn’t convinced that I’d like the way they’d look.  Maybe next time.

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

Size

Manu is five and a half and a little on the small side.  Based on his measurements I made a size 4 for the trousers, extending them to size 5 for the length.  [Note: because of the twisted nature of the trousers you can’t just add length to the bottom – pay attention to where the pattern instructs you to lengthen them.]  This wasn’t difficult to do and I’m so glad I did – he’ll get much more wear out of them.

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

Tips, observations, thoughts, insights and what-not

It was no surprise to me that these trousers were a joy to sew.  Laura explains each step in the perfect amount of detail.  She even takes the time to add a ‘cheat sheet’ for those who just want a basic version of instructions – you know, for when you’re making your sixth pair (because this pattern just begs to be made again and again with different features).

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

Much about the pattern has been discussed on this tour so let me just throw my two-cents-worth in there:

  • Pay careful attention to the grainline on the pattern pieces.  Because the trousers are ‘twisted’ the pattern pieces are at odd angles and you really need that grainline marking to keep everything lined up.
  • For the back pockets (I did the version without piping) I used a technique that I learned Figgy’s Banyan Trousers pattern to help get really sharp corners.  1. Take your pocket pattern piece and measure in 2.5cm from the top and 1cm from all the side edges.  2. Fold along those edges.  3. Cut out a cardboard template to this size.  4. Centre this template on your fabric leaving 2.5cm on the top and 1cm around the edges.  5. Double fold the top edge, press and sew.  6. Use your template to press the remaining edges.  This will give you get nice crisp corners.

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

  • Wonder tape.  The pattern suggests that you use wonder tape to hold the back pockets and coin pocket in place before stitching.  This is genius and I’m going to be using this tip for lots of different things.  This means you don’t have to pin the pocket which can often lead to crooked and imperfect sewing.
  • I didn’t have any technical trouble with the pattern.  The only time I struggled a bit was sewing the waistband to the top of the trousers.  I had to be really careful not to trap the elastic that was inside the waistband in the stitching.  So, be careful!

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

 

(Un)Twisted Tank

Fabric

I love this tank!  The viking fabric is a Lillestoff print and it’s just perfect.  This tank really doesn’t use much fabric so I’m hoping to make a few more as gifts.  The orange ribbing was from my stash.

Options

Well, as you can see, my tank’s not twisted!  With this patterned fabric it wouldn’t have worked.  But I’m dying to try the sewing technique to make it twisted – I need more stripes and solid jersey in my life!

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

Size

As with the trousers, I made a size four extending it to size five in the length.  I’m completely happy with the fit.

Tips, observations, thoughts, insights and what-not

Laura’s twisted tank is a clever pattern.  On one level it can be a straight forward go-to pattern for summer tank (like I’ve done here today and also in this version).  Alternatively you can make it more special by incorporating the twisted elements and contrasting pockets.

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

The tank comes together really quickly which is always very satisfying!  And even with a simple pattern like this Laura offers tips that will improve your sewing for future projects – like how to evenly distribute the neckband onto the neckline.  I usually just divide each into quarters and then stretch to fit.  This never works perfectly because you have slightly more fabric on the front of the top than the back (because the neckline dips deeper in the front).  The pattern explains how to get this distributed perfectly.  It’s the little things!  I love ’em!

Manu loves his new outfit!  It’s been a while since I’ve sewn for my boys so it felt great giving him some new duds!  I’ve already got another pair of trousers and a Rowan tee planned for George.  Now all I need to more time!

Happy sewing and thanks for reading,

Laura x

Twisted trousers + tank by Titchy Threads // Behind the Hedgerow

 

A new summer outfit – it couldn’t be easier!

Liberty skirt and mustard Twisted Tank // Behind the HedgerowThese days I am still mainly existing under a pile of fabric and patterns from our blogger’s #parissewsocial trip to Paris.  This combination of fabrics immediately jumped out of the pile at me so I knew it had to be my first make.  In fact, I was able to make TWO outfits from these two fabrics – more on that later.

Liberty skirt and mustard Twisted Tank // Behind the Hedgerow

For the first ensemble I wanted something quick and simple for two reasons (and one of them is NOT just because I’m lazy! 😉 ).

  • First, I was so anxious to see these fabrics on Margot that I couldn’t be spending days making something elaborate.
  • Second, the fabrics are so gorgeous as they are that I didn’t think they needed too much messing around with.

…or maybe I’m just lazy!

Liberty skirt and mustard Twisted Tank // Behind the Hedgerow

OK, where shall we start.  Everyone loves a Liberty print…

The Skirt

This Liberty of London fabric is one of my all-time favourites.  It’s called Mitsi in nougat and was a generous gift from the online fabric shop Cousette.  It’s beautiful and understated yet still has a bit of pazazz in the form of the sparkly gold dots in the centre of the flowers.  This same fabric was given to all the #parissewsocial bloggers so keep your eyes open and I’m sure you’ll see some beautiful creations popping up.

Liberty of London // Behind the Hedgerow

Cousette not only stocks Liberty of London (new season as well as vintage) but also a large selection of Petit Pan, Atelier Brunette, Nani Iro, and Kokka, amongst others.  If you’re looking for fabric inspiration then look no further!

Liberty skirt and mustard Twisted Tank // Behind the Hedgerow

The skirt itself is as simple as can be – basically one large rectangle sewed into a circle with french seams and then gathered and attached to the neon elastic waistband (bought years ago at Purl Soho).  I loosely followed this tutorial on Purl Bee.

Liberty skirt and mustard Twisted Tank // Behind the Hedgerow

For the hem I finally got around to doing a rolled hem on my serger.  Well, that was easy – not sure why I put that off for so long.

Liberty skirt and mustard Twisted Tank // Behind the HedgerowI’m pretty sure Margot will live in this skirt this summer – so light and breezy and easy to throw on!

The (Un)Twisted Tank

This mustard jersey was also a gift – this time from the Finnish online shop, Nosh.  Nosh is new to me but I can’t tell you how excited I am to order some more of their amazing organic jerseys.  They sell ready-to-wear clothes as well – for those times when sewing something yourself just isn’t going to happen!  As you’d expect from anything Scandinavian, the aesthetic is minimal, oh-so chic with a splash of playfulness.  Seriously, who could resist these tigers?!

Liberty skirt and mustard Twisted Tank // Behind the Hedgerow

The pattern for this tank is the Twisted Tank by Laura of Titchy Threads.  I have always loved Laura’s patterns, both for their design and instructions.  I will be sharing more about the Twisted Tank (and Laura’s new Twisted Trousers pattern) next week as part of the Twisted Tuesdays Tour so will save all the details until then.  For now, just know that this little tank is the perfect summer garment for boys and girls!  It’s a quick sew but, even with something so simple, Laura manages to teach a few tricks along the way – and I just love the fit!  Love the fit!!

Liberty skirt and mustard Twisted Tank // Behind the Hedgerow

Like I’ve already said, I love this combination of fabrics.  Check back in the coming days to see another creation…

Thanks for reading – hope you’re all enjoying sunshine, sewing, and…climbing trees!

Laura x

Liberty skirt and mustard Twisted Tank // Behind the Hedgerow

 

New for spring…and a call-out for San Francisco local knowledge

A+ skirt with Julia cardigan // Behind the HedgerowInspired by an upcoming blogger’s weekend in Paris (more on that very soon 😉 ), I decided to make a spring ensemble to rival the sunniest day!

Early tomorrow morning we’re off to San Francisco (eek!!!) – and right now it’s 10.30pm – and I haven’t packed yet – so this will be a brief post filled with brightly coloured pictures and me looking a bit awkward in front of the camera (out of practice!!).

A+ skirt with Julia cardigan // Behind the Hedgerow

The Skirt…

…is the A+ skirt by Make it Perfect patterns.  It’s a classic a-line shape with a top yoke and different versions to include pockets, button placket, or ribbon detail.  Overall the pattern is well-drafted and clearly explained.  Just a few things to note:

  • The top yoke is unlined.  I thought this wouldn’t have enough structure so I added a facing using the same pattern piece as for the yoke itself.  I also used some fusible interfacing on the facing piece.  A quick fix for a more structured waist.
  • I lined the skirt.  I attached it to the seam line of the yoke/skirt (wrong sides together) and this worked well.
  • My measurements were in between a small and medium and I made the medium.  Now that I try it on I think it’s a bit too big.  With a skirt like this you want it to be pretty snug so it stays in place.
  • I love the pockets on the skirt but I find them a little too low.
  • I do love an a-line shape in skirts but, for me, this one is a bit too flared.  I’m being really picky because it’s only marginally wider than I would like.
  • The zip insertion and instructions are great.  I almost always do an invisible zip but I think I now might be a convert to the lapped zip!

A+ skirt with Julia cardigan // Behind the Hedgerow

To make this my perfect a-line skirt, next time I would use the facing and lining as described above, make the yoke piece slightly narrower which would bring the pockets up a bit higher, size down to small, and make the a-line shape a little less pronounced.

The cardigan…

A+ skirt with Julia cardigan // Behind the Hedgerow

…is the Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations.  This is the second time I’ve sewn this pattern.  This is the first version I made.

julia-cardi-title-image-21This is one of my most-warn cardigans (and that’s saying a lot considering it doesn’t even have pockets!!).  You can read a full pattern review here.

With such a love for this pattern, I didn’t change much in this version.  In fact, the only thing I changed was the sleeve length (long sleeves to 3/4 length sleeves).  The fabric itself is much thinner so it drapes a bit differently but I think I’ll love this one just as much.

Overall, I love my new cheery spring outfit.  I can see many sunny days sipping cocktails in the sun…

A+ skirt with Julia cardigan // Behind the Hedgerow

And now onto our holiday…

Yup, we’re off to San Francisco.  I’m American, I live in England, and everyone I meet here assumes I know San Francisco like the back of my hand.  The truth is I’ve never been to California at all!  We’re visiting some dear friends but that’s not to say I won’t have plenty of time for fabric and haberdashery shopping!  So, do any of you out there have any not-to-be-missed suggestions (fabric or otherwise)?!  Where to get the best Japanese food?  Is Alcatraz worth doing?  Any good day trip ideas with kids?  If you want to follow any of our shenanigans and discoveries make sure to follow on Instagram.

A+ skirt with Julia cardigan // Behind the Hedgerow

Thanks to you all for reading and here’s hoping that spring and sunshine will be filling your days!

Laura x

 

By Hand London’s Victoria Blazer [Minerva Craft Blogger Network]

By Hand London's Victoria Blazer // Behind the Hedgerow

Make this pattern if:  you want a surprisingly easy-to-sew jacket with maximum effect.

Don’t make this pattern if:  you are looking for a structured or tailored blazer; this one’s all about laid back style!

The Victoria Blazer from By Hand London is a winner of a pattern.  It’s well-documented throughout the online sewing community so you won’t be short on pattern reviews, inspiration and tips in case you want to try one yourself.*

By Hand London's Victoria Blazer // Behind the Hedgerow

With the weather here in Europe well and truly turning brisk and autumnal, this jacket is one of those pieces that can be thrown over just about anything.  In short, it’s a well-designed pattern with clear and concise instructions (and you can refer to the Victoria Blazer sewalong the BHL girls hosted if you need more step-by-step guidance).

By Hand London's Victoria Blazer // Behind the Hedgerow

Unfortunately, however, this project was not without its pitfalls – namely in my fabric choice.

By Hand London's Victoria Blazer // Behind the Hedgerow

I made this in a gorgeous heavy-weight knit fabric from Minerva Crafts.  I love this fabric (with all its little geometric designs) – I really do! – but because of it’s two-way stretch it was waaaay too stretchy for this project.

But who am I to let a bit of stretch get in the way!?  I was about half way through the project when I realised this might be a problem but I bravely soldiered on hoping that the woven poplin lining might help keep everything in place.

By Hand London's Victoria Blazer // Behind the Hedgerow

So, as you can see from these photos – there’s quite a bit of extra fabric bunching up in places on what would have been a very sleek and streamlined jacket….a bit like all that extra skin on shar pei puppies (although hopefully not quite that noticeable!).

Poor fabric choices aside, let’s focus on the pattern itself.  It comes in a beautifully packaged envelope and the booklet of instructions is easy to follow – no turning over massive sheets of paper to find the correct step.  My only *tiny* criticism would be the weight of the paper the actual pattern is printed on.  It’s very thin – as thin as the patterns of old – which meant I tore it in a couple of places while tracing it out but even I can get past this and just learn to be more gentle.

By Hand London's Victoria Blazer // Behind the Hedgerow

The sizing of the pattern is very generous – remember this is a casual blazer – and I think I could have helped myself by going down a size with this particular fabric.  In fact, even in woven fabric I think I would go down a size next time.

By Hand London's Victoria Blazer // Behind the Hedgerow

So, yes, let’s talk about next time!  Even though the stretch in this blazer made it into something different than expected, I will most definitely be making this pattern again.  I am already dreaming of this black cashmere wool coating fabric with this striking Liberty lawn lining to add some personality to a classic pattern.

Along with this fabric choice I would also make the following changes:

  • I would extend the sleeves to full length.  This would help with layering the jacket under a coat – don’t you hate it when 3/4 sleeves get all bunched up under coats?!
  • I would change the pockets.  These pockets are quite low and when you put your hands in they are pushing against the bottom hem of the jacket which further distorts it.  Next time I would raise them or think about making patch pockets a feature.

How about you – have you made the Victoria Blazer?  What are your thoughts on the pattern?

By Hand London's Victoria Blazer // Behind the Hedgerow

Thanks for reading,

Laura x

*Some other great Victoria Blazers can be seen here, here, here, here and here.

The Willow and Co Glamping Tour and GIVEAWAY

Hawthorn Top and Kudzu Shorts // Behind the Hedgerow

I am so down with the Willow and Co Glamping Tour!  This whole collection speaks to my soul!  Dramatic much?!  Well, maybe a tad, but my absolute perfect outfit is Wellington boots, tights, a handmade skirt or dress and a chunky cardigan (preferably hand-knitted but I don’t knit).  For me, this just about sums up the concept of glamping – outdoorsy, rustic, and playful; yet beautiful and sophisticated.

Hawthorn Top and Kudzu Shorts // Behind the Hedgerow

So, whether you’re talking about the physical act of glamping (glamorous + camping) or about the Willow and Co Glamping Collection of sewing patterns the adjectives apply equally.

All the patterns in the collection seamlessly combine the qualities of function and beauty.

Hawthorn Top and Kudzu Shorts // Behind the Hedgerow

When Rebecca (writer of Rock the Stitch blog and designer of the phenomenal Fawn Lily Dress) asked me to join the tour I don’t think I’ve ever said yes so quickly!  It turns out that ‘yes’ was the easy part – the difficulty came in deciding what to sew!

One thing was for sure – my two boys need clothes and they need them NOW! – so I blinkered by vision to only focus on boy items (but I tell you, the Ash Jumpsuit, Aster Cardigan, Clover Shorts, Fawn Lily Dress, and Persimmon Dress were almost impossible to ignore!).

I finally settled on the

HAWTHORN ZIP-UP SWEATSHIRT AND KUDZU SHORTS

Hawthorn Top and Kudzu Shorts // Behind the Hedgerow

For the Hawthorn Sweatshirt I made a size 4 (for my 4.5 year old son) with the full zip.  I followed Laura’s impeccable instructions to a T!  This is one of those patterns that you can sit back and relax while making, knowing you are in safe hands.  I have only sewn a zip into jersey one other time and, although not a complete disaster, it did get stretched out so one side was considerably longer than the other and some creative trimming had to be done (the end result is here).

Hawthorn Top and Kudzu Shorts // Behind the Hedgerow

A few additions I made:

  • I added wool tartan kangaroo pockets.  My kids are pocket crazy – especially this one!  In fact, you can’t really see it here, but there are actually FOUR pockets!  I had sewn on the seam pockets before deciding to do the kangaroo ones.

Hawthorn Top and Kudzu Shorts // Behind the Hedgerow

  • I added elbow patches.  I must say, I was a little afraid of having just a plain grey top to show so I thought these patches would add some interest as well as being practical (and oh-so appropriate of our summer trip to Scotland!).

Hawthorn Top and Kudzu Shorts // Behind the Hedgerow

  • For the cuffs and hemming I used a fancy stitch on my machine called something like a feather stitch.  It has the effect of looking a bit like a cover-stitch and also meant I didn’t have to stop and install the twin needle.  This is my new favourite stitch!

Hawthorn Top and Kudzu Shorts // Behind the Hedgerow

For the Kudzu Shorts I made a size 5 with a straight leg and I omitted the diagonal seam and cargo pocket. These shorts are hugely versatile, will work equally for boys and girls, and use stretch denim – a fun fabric to sew with!  (I stocked up on about 6 meters of it from Minerva Crafts so you’ll be seeing more of these shorts/trousers in the weeks to come!).

Hawthorn Top and Kudzu Shorts // Behind the Hedgerow

Take care when choosing the size for these shorts.  From my son’s measurements it wasn’t clear which size was best so I made a size 4 muslin which was super skin-tight (quite funny and maybe appropriate for Eurovision but not for climbing trees and digging in the dirt!).  For this pair I increased the size to 5 and made the straight (as opposed to skinny) version.  Next time I think I’ll even go up to a size 6.

Hawthorn Top and Kudzu Shorts // Behind the Hedgerow

I particularly like the waistband on these shorts.  It’s partially ribbed and partially woven which is something I’ve never done before.  They are quick and easy to get on and off yet still look relatively smart.

Hawthorn Top and Kudzu Shorts // Behind the Hedgerow

Both of these patterns are the perfect summer staples that I know will be worn time and again.

Whether your summer plans take you glamping, camping, surfing or gliding;

hiking, biking, swimming or riding;

The Glamping Collection will give you the power;

to keep your kids looking stylish until summer’s last hour.

Would you like the chance to win one of these patterns AND the fabric to sew it with?!  Just enter below for your chance to win just that – 2 yards of fabric (the same fabric used in the Willow and Co Lookbook) and the pattern of your choice.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you want to see more of the Willow and Co patterns sewn up then check out all the blogs on the tour.

Willow & Co Glamping Tour

Thanks for reading, happy summer sewing and good luck with the giveaway!

Laura x

Sew a summer skirt 101 [Minerva Craft Blogger Network]

Simplicity-1616-front-looking-down

Sometimes I wonder exactly who you are.  Yes, you!  Perhaps you’re all seasoned sewists who check in on me now and again in an “awww, isn’t she cute trying to sew” kind of way; or maybe you’re absolute beginners looking for a little guidance from a fellow sewing enthusiast (and I sincerely hope there’s a lovely mix of both types out there).

Simplicity 1616 // Behind the Hedgerow

Whatever your level or background, we all love a simple skirt, right?!  Well, that is exactly what I have to share with you this month for the Minerva Craft Blogger Network.

The Pattern

The pattern is Simplicity 1616.  Yes, it’s as basic as they come but it’s also an incredibly useful staple.  It has versions for both knit and woven fabric and, especially if you’re new to sewing, it walks you through the (very few) steps to create the skirt – sew side seams, sew on waistband, hem, DONE!  It really is that easy!  I made this skirt in way under an hour and still had time and fabric left to make a matching one for Margot.

The waistband is a fold-over yoga-style which means you can throw this baby on in a seconds flat…and it’s ridiculously comfortable!

Simplicity 1616 // Behind the Hedgerow

The Fabric

If you’re going to make something as simple as this then it’s important to consider the fabric carefully.  A basic solid colour skirt would be acceptable but this techno-bright digital floral graphic is waaaay more fun, I think you’ll agree!

Simplicity 1616 // Behind the Hedgerow

This is a heavy(ish) weight polyester/spandex jersey fabric.  The print is fun and vivid, the feel is slippery yet weighty and it’s listed on the Minerva Craft site as Scuba bodycon – which I found somewhat scary and slightly intimidating.  I had to double-check with Minerva to make sure it would be suitable for a simple skirt.

It turns out it’s perfect for this skirt.  I made view A but shortened it by 15 inches.  For Margot’s skirt I used the skirt part of the pattern from Kitschy Coo’s Skater Dress and drafted a waistband based on her measurements.  Again, easy as pie – and one happy girl!

Simplicity 1616 // Behind the Hedgerow

One word to the wise, especially if using this fabric for children’s clothes, it will pick quite easily so, if such things bother you, take care.

I’ve crossed a line

This innocuous little project has also seen me cross a sewing line that I thought would never happen – matching mother/daughter clothes!  I cringe even when I type out the words!  What have I done!?

Simplicity 1616 // Behind the Hedgerow

Well, if I’m totally honest I can’t say I’m that surprised.  Ever since I’ve seen Trine (Groovybaby…and Mama) sew up some fabulous ensembles for her and her daughter I knew that matching clothes could now officially be classed as cool and acceptable (at least in my world of what’s ‘official’ and what’s ‘cool’).  What about you?!  Are you rushing out to buy bolts of fabric destined for matching outfits or are you currently un-subscribing to this blog with the mere suggestion of such a fashion faux-pas?

Sum up

These things are true:

  • Summer is around the corner (at least for us Northern Hemispherers)
  • Time is always the most valuable commodity
  • Swishy skirts add fun and frivolity to life
  • If you have a daughter, you can now be twins!

Do you need any more persuading!  It’ll be the best 45 minutes you’ve ever spent sewing something so simple!

Simplicity 1616 // Behind the Hedgerow

Thanks for reading,

Laura x

PS – Have you noticed some changes around the blog?!  I have now moved from wordpress.com to wordpress.org!  Way-hey!  There will be more changes in the coming days and I’m working on my own little giveaway as well!  Stay tuned and in the meantime feel free to have a fresh look around.

 

Selfish Sewing Week – a wardrobe essential

Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations // Behind the HedgerowI’ve stitched up a something fun for spring that I’m sharing over at imagine gnats for Selfish Sewing Week.  It’s something we all need in our wardrobes and I honestly have worn it every day since making it!

Also, there’s a GIVEAWAY!  A BIG GIVEAWAY!!  This is a good one, folks!  Head over to imagine gnats for your chance to win one of these amazing indie patterns.  Can you guess which one I’ve sewn here?

Rose Hip Tights from Seamster Patterns
The Perri Pullover from CaliFaye
Mia Tunic from Tessuti
Archer from Grainline
Lane Raglan from Hey June Handmade
Cooper from Colette Patterns
Lola from Victory Patterns
The Penny Pinafore from KitschyCoo
The Riding Peplum from April Rhodes
Julia Cardigan from Mouse House Creations
Ballet Dress from Dixie DIY
Out and About Dress from Sew Caroline
Sally Shirtdress from Serendipity Studio
Roza Blouse from Kate & Rose
Swoon from Thimble Blossoms
The Necessary Clutch from Emmaline Bags
Betty Bowler from Swoon Patterns
Olivia from Chris W Designs
The Bess Top from Imagine Gnats
Cozy Morning Mitts from Nerdy Gerdy
Bonny from Tin Can Knits
Thicket from Brooklyn Tweed
Waterfall Blouse from Make It Perfect
Thurlow Trousers from Sewaholic
Emery Dress from Christine Haynes
Belladone Dress from Deer and Doe

Also, a group of featured stitchers will be sewing up these patterns all week to give you more inspiration!  Make sure you check them out.

milkybeer · Behind the Hedgerow · jm_subrn · Sew What, Sherlock?
Lladybird · sew Amy sew · the Brodrick Design Studio · adirondack inspired
The Crooked Banana · Sewbon · Idle Fancy · girl like the sea
oona aloona · Lauren Dahl · verypurpleperson · la inglesita
Groovybaby…and mama · Buzzmills · La Pantigana · sew a straight line
Dandelion Drift · JustMeJay · B Yazoo · Disaster In A Dress
the quirky peach · Fishsticks Designs · Seamstress Erin · a happy stitch
Casa Crafty · Sarah Jane Sews · YoSaMi · Call Ajaire · miss matatabi

So, what have you been making for Selfish Sewing Week?  Don’t forget to share on Kollabora (you can read more on how to do that here) and/or use the hashtag #ssw #selfishsewing or #selfishsewingweek on Instagram or Twitter.

Hope you all have a few new additions to your wardrobes by the end of the week!

Laura x

Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations // Behind the Hedgerow

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2 – Figgy’s Celestial Tee

 

Figgy's Celestial Tee  Behind the Hedgerow

Have you heard about the new and innovative way of selling modern sewing patterns?  It’s called Perfect Pattern Parcel and, in short, it’s a bundle of sewing patterns from independent designers that are available for a limited time on a semi-regular basis.  What makes it unique is the way they are sold – you choose the price you want to pay and how that money is divided between the organisers, the designers and a charity supporting children’s education.  You can read all about the initiative and purchase your parcel (available until 18th April) here.

Figgy's Celestial Tee  Behind the Hedgerow

This is the second bundle of patterns that’s been released and it’s centred around staples for a girl’s wardrobe.  It includes five patterns and really is a stylish and versatile collection – I can’t wait to sew them all.

Celestial Tee by Figgy’s

September Tunic and Dress by Too Sweets Patterns

The Caroline Party Dress by Mouse House Creations

Hanami Top and Dress by Straightgrain

Hosh Pants by LouBee Clothing

For this post I sewed a version of Figgy’s celestial tee.  I had a small amount of Liberty jersey leftover from this dress and I was determined to turn this into a tee.  I had to get a little creative with the pattern pieces to make it all work but, in the end, I’m happy with the look.

Figgy's Celestial Tee  Behind the Hedgerow

This pattern is a great staple and very easy to whip up (the sleeves are integrated so you don’t even have to fuss with setting them in).  I made a size 4/5 for my 6 year-old and you can see that it is a bit on the small side (but there is always something irresistible about little tummies poking out under shirts!).

Figgy's Celestial Tee  Behind the Hedgerow

My only other comment about this pattern is the method or attaching the neckline.  I’m used to dividing out the stretch of the neckline piece evenly around the whole tee before sewing.  Here Shelly instructs you to attach it without pinning and just stretch is gently as you sew.  This is by far the quickest method but you need to be careful about how much you stretch that neckline piece – too much and you’ll end up with a tiny, distorted neckline; too little and you’ll have a big gaping neck.  I did mine slightly too loose and actually pulled it all out and started again.

Figgy's Celestial Tee  Behind the Hedgerow

So there you have a quick, easy tee for the coming warmer months.  Everyone needs t-shirts, right?  You can even cut up some old adult sized t-shirts to make something new and wonderful for your little girl.  And let’s not forget that is it Kid’s Clothes Week so you really have no excuse to not get sewing!

Thanks for reading,

Laura x

The Little Betty Top – KCW Winter 2014 – Day eight

Little Betty Top // Behind the Hedgerow

What?  It’s finished??  What do you mean there’s no day eight??  Ok, so I slipped a little at the end.  I actually had this sewn up and photographed during Kid’s Clothes Week, winter 2014 but life events conspired against me, meaning that it’s only being posted now.

What did you make?

This is The Little Betty Top designed by Suz of Sewpony.  It’s a vintage-inspired jersey top with three sleeve options.

Little Betty Top // Behind the Hedgerow

Size and fabric?

I made size 6 for my 6-year-old and I’m kicking myself a little because I should have gone up a size.  If you make this you might want to consider doing the same.  It’s totally fine for now but it’s such a sweet top (and Margot loves it sooo much) that it’s a shame it won’t last a bit longer.

Little Betty Top // Behind the Hedgerow

The fabric is a gorgeous grey/yellow striped knit generously donated by The Fabric Stash.  Coming all the way from the States to Belgium I was worried that it might not get here in time for KCW but delivery was super fast and Janice bundled it so nicely wrapped in ribbon – all lovely fabric should be treated with such respect!  This knit is medium-to-heavy weight and worked really well for this project.

Little Betty Top // Behind the Hedgerow

Did you enjoy making them?

Yes, I did enjoy the process.  It must be said, however, that this is not a quick sew.  I was approaching it like I would a flashback skinny tee – one hour of sewing and it’s done – but for this top, that’s not the case.  Suz has put so much work and thought into the design, from the back placket, to the frill; from the neckline finish, to the sleeve and hem cuffs,  that each element needs to be sewn with patience and consideration.  There is nothing about this top that is particularly difficult but you do need to take your time with each step.  The photos and clear written instructions are of course a huge help.

The only thing I altered from the pattern was making the bottom of the front bodice out of two pieces cut on the bias instead of one single piece in order to get the chevron look (and it’s always fun to push yourself – in this case for me it was matching the stripes).

Little Betty Top // Behind the Hedgerow

Favourite part of finished garment?

Lots of favourites here!

I hemmed and hawed about the frills for ages.  I’ve never made anything with frills before and I wasn’t sure if it was the look I was after.  I went ahead and did them – mainly because Margot caught sight of the pattern photos beforehand and immediately fixated on the frills! – and I’m sure glad I did.  In this fabric I think the frills somehow make the whole look a bit more edgy and modern (whereas I was expecting the exact opposite.)

Little Betty Top // Behind the Hedgerow

I love this photo – really captures a moment in time of Margot wiggling her loose tooth that she is desperate to get out!

I also love the button!  I bought this just recently in Antwerp at Petit Pan.  I thought it would sit in my stash for ages but then it just seemed perfect for this top!

Little Betty Top // Behind the Hedgerow

Finally, I love the overall finish of this top.  The pattern is great for talking you through all the finishes and I love that the end result is so professional-looking (and I don’t even have a serger!).

The part that made you swear the most?

The only part the baffled me a bit was doing the neck binding.  I really don’t know why I was confused because when I look back the instructions are perfectly clear, but I just couldn’t visualise where/how to fold that 1 cm of overlapping fabric on the ends.

Little Betty Top // Behind the Hedgerow

Music you were listening to?

Mostly Arcade Fire – with Stereolab, Johnny Cash, and Crystal Fighters mixed in.

Sum them up in 10 words or less?

Sewing with knits taken to next level. Girly fun.

Little Betty Top // Behind the Hedgerow

Would you make them again?  What would you do differently?

Yes, this top would be fun to try in different patterns as well as different weights of knits.  Next time I might reduce the width of the waistband slightly.

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I really can’t believe KCW is over.  That’s it, done!  Margot doesn’t need any new clothes for a while and now I can try to squeeze in some sewing for myself…but not before I share something made with this fabulous fabric…

I’m hoping to have it ready to share tomorrow….

Thank you to Janice for the gorgeous fabric, to Suz for such a professional and well-presented pattern and, to you, for reading.

Laura x