Drawing on stripes

I LOVE stripes. My husband loves stripes. So we reckon Little Miss will too, damnit.

In that hope, I took a tshirt that greyed in the wash, and pepped it up by adding Breton stripes with a Dylon Fabric Painting Broad Nib Pen. As you can see, we’ve gone for the artisan look. Oh alright – I was rubbish at it. Drawing straight even lines on jersey is hard! Disappointed but not disheartened – the final tshirt has *some* impact…

Next time, I’ll

  • stretch the fabric really tightly over cardboard to minimise stretch/drag
  • mask off the stripes with tape for a more even line
  • draw *down* the fabric (not across) – this will take longer but gives a more even colour application because the fabric stretches less
  • practise writing her name better!



And then there were three

Following my daughter-seal-of-approval of the sunshine yellow skirt, I’m on a secret operation to make a bunch more. But shhhh! Don’t tell anyone, because it’s a… you know! Operation Sunshine Yellow begins…

First step: preparing the fabric. An overnight soak in the bath removes the starch from the fabric – which is used to literally stick the threads together while it’s being woven. Then into the washing machine with some Dylon machine dye.

Next step: refining the construction process. While making up three skirts in three different sizes I learn:

  • my overlocker blade gives up the ghost when cutting through more than four layers of fabric. So I precut some of the side seams before overlocking
  • my labels melt if I iron them at maximum temperature. So I’ll give that a miss next time.
  • put pockets on before doing the side and back seams. Otherwise, you’re working in a tube of fabric that’s only 25cm wide – very fiddly!
  • I should consult my commercial patterns fffffor construction methods – a slow learning curve at this stage impinges on my fffffmotivation and satisfaction.
  • I need to ffffffffix the ‘f’ key on my keyboard. It’s sticking and makes me express myself in fffffunny way.

All in all – this is a good place to be. At the end of my first week, I’ve run up three trial skirts in sizes 18m, 2y and 3y. Next steps – getting my numerous toddler friends to try them on and see how they fit!

Sunshine yellow skirt

grey day

I’ve waited months for a day like this – grey, drizzly, unwelcoming weather. And the best bit? I’m at home to enjoy it.

And, what’s even better, there’s *just* enough of this bright yellow fabric to make Marina a skirt that’s been on my mind for quite some months now.

yellow fabric

So, the plan is…

  • draft a rough pattern using a GAP skirt for overall dimensions
  • find buttons for the pocket flaps
  • pop a couple of buttonholes in some elastic in to make the waistband adjustable
  • dig the sewing machine out
  • and get sewing.

pattern idea sketch

The big question is will she wear it? Drop by tomorrow next week for photographic evidence….

Update: sewing halted by life events… more soon.

Sailor trews – updated

maternity sailor trousers

Another essential update – I need a pair of trousers that I can wear to work, without letting it all hang out. These two-year old Boden sailor trousers already got a new lease of life courtesy of some Dylon Navy Blue (well khaki green wouldn’t have really gone with all that nautical styling, would it?) machine dye and some jauntier vintage buttons.

But how to make them fit for longer/bigger? The wide pocket facing can easily accommodate a bunch more belly by just moving the buttons over. Buddy Cat shows us how in case you missed the pink  arrows :)

buddy shows where buttons move

I do this and wear trousers proudly for an afternoon. But they keep falling down. Nothing like hitching up your trousers every three steps to draw attention to the fact they don’t fit. Or wearing them in the rain, for a miserable, damp-ankled experience.

So, this morning, I… 

  • put a couple of buttonholes into the back of the waistband
  • sew in a button next to each button hole and
  • run a strip of elastic through the waistband.
  • Three buttonholes at each end of the elastic attach to the buttons, and can be let in/out as expansion/contraction takes place.

waistband with elastic


It’s great practise for making buttonholes. And a quick look in my Bernina instruction booklet buttonhole bobbin-threadingreminds me that you should thread your bobbin thread through the hole in the finger of the bobbin case. Apparently it increases the tension.

maternity sailor side viewmaternity sailor trousers belly viewmaternity sailor trousers backside view

The positioning of the buttonholes def needs adjustment so they fit smoother, but as my future shape is not entirely certain, I’ll just stick with this for the time being. Who knows? They might fit perfectly in a week’s time!

RIP carnival coat

Dyeing of the carnival coat was not a success.

Using iDye for wool, I dyed it, according to instruction, in the washing machine. The dye took irregularly, in great splotches. And I don’t mean ‘great’ (or ‘splotches’ for that matter) in a good way.

It’s now being thoroughly washed, so when dry, I can take it apart and copy the pattern. In defiance of my wardrobe refashion+ pledge to buy no new fabric but to work from the stash, the search is  now on for some fab deep orange wool or jersey to recreate my beloved carnival coat.

The carnival coat is dead. Long live the new carnival coat.

Take it away Smokey.

About me

I started this blog to help me Get Things Done: sewing and knitting mostly.
But now I have a daughter! So I continue to daydream in enormous detail about what I'd like to make, but squeeze the 'doing' into precious naptimes and evenings.

Can I keep it up? Time will tell!

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