Monday, March 17, 2014

Elsa's List

It started with a note.
Carefully placed on some grippy rubber and laid in the middle of my cutting table.

Now my Elsa is not a fluffy child. She is fiercely independent and likes to do things herself-her way.
So when my Big Girl makes a special request
I really want to deliver.

Slight problem, 3 days to deadline and I am fighting off the mother of all colds.
And then I managed to muddle the yellow with the green and cut out all the 'later' stuff first.
And it is all knit sewing-yuck!
However, we aims to please!
First item, a Kwik Sew 1380 singlet top.
I made the XS but still had to trim a good inch and a half from the front straps.
I used the cutout from the from neck to make a back neck facing (just like a purchased top).
The actual construction of the top was about 20 minutes. The hemming took 2 hours!
As I reached the stage of throwing my very expensive cover-stich machine through the window....I worked out what I was doing wrong and it worked (blush).
The top is slightly curved at the front, it gives it a lovely finish.
I do think the secret to a 'professional' looking home made tee is your attention to detail.
Its tempting to rush knits but if you can be bothered to fuss with topstitching and label placing it really pulls the look together.
Elsa paired it with some 3/4 length trackie pants, Vintage Simplicity 8437.
I took a good 4 inches off the hem to achieve the length she was after. I also took 2 inches from the width of the pants back. I felt they were too wide in the heavy unbrushed cotton fleece she had chosen.
They are still wide enough, in my opinion, but she wants to be able to pull them off over her sand-shoes.
I added a wee pocket, with a contrast band that has a velcro closure.
I made the pants 'flat fronted' easing most of the elastic to the back and then stitching the side seams to hold it there.
Next up was a neat little cropped tee. Burda 9745 in size 14.
I used this finish for the neck.
As I said, knits are NOT my thing, so I was super pleased with this!
The fabric was from a bundle I picked up when an online store closed down. It was as cheap as chips so we will have to see how it wears.
Its a really nice fit.
For the shorts we revisited these shorts Simplicty 8437 but this time in a soft grey marl knit.
I didn't lower the front waist this time.
This was requested, I over ruled.
I am glad I did as she wore them to school today and they look quite suitable.
After the tee is was time for a thread change on the overlocker and a knit jacket.
I used the same Burda 9745 and an unbrushed fleece.
The zipper doesn't photo graph well but it is actually a silver metal look. Its a seriously nice zipper.
But as usual, the pattern gets you to purchase a too long one and trim it.
That really irks me. Cut off zippers are not so nice!
Elsa came up with the suggestion of using the full length of the zipper and she would just zip as far as she needed.
Clever girl!
I love the finish of the seam inside the hood.
It is a really nice pattern to sew, the pieces go together well but as usual, no seam finishing reminders (except for the hood).
And next time I will baste the jolly zip in place first.
Finally, some trackie pants/leggings. 
The same Burda 9745
They are a funny pant. No elastic just a drawstring to hold them.
(I think I may go back and add some elastic).

So, that is the list.
I didn't get it all done by the deadline but Elsa is pretty happy anyway.

Now, I think I may sew something cute for my new baby cousin to blow away the knit colly wobbles.

PS I purchase a lot from this store, fab postage!


  1. I would be jolly impressed if you were my mum, everything looks fab. Thats a comfy trackie!

    1. Thank you Katy.
      I really really struggle with knits. I try to sew them woven. I press, I pin, I fuss and don't find them easy at all.
      But....its what the Big Girls are wanting made so if I want to keep sewing for them I must embrace ribbing.
      xx N

  2. Super Mum. That's who you are.

    1. Thank you Deb. I think you are a Super Nana!
      xx N

  3. You amaze me. For someone who doesn't like to sew knits, you do a fab job!

    1. Thank you Sarah, I really appreciate that.
      xx N

  4. You are an amazing mum! As always I am drooling over you knit sewing!

    1. Thank you Sharon, it seems to be what the teenagers want to wear.
      xx N

  5. Wow, awesome work! Your finishing details like the back facing and label really look professional. Now, if only you could teach me some coverstitch tricks... I 'invested' (a frightening amount) in a Bernette coverstitch but we've never been good friends. I'm not sure that the bottom tension works. If you have any hints I'd love to hear!

  6. Awww, thank Jane.

    Mine is a Benina overlocker/coverstitch. Jed bought it for me from AllMake. I really struggle with it. it will sew and then skip stitches, for no apparent reason.

    My everyday machines are semi-industrial 40 year old jobbies. No computers, no fussy tensions, just clean and oil.

    Funny enough, the best results I get its with that cheap thread from Spotlight (the fat short spools) is it Birch? That lasts the longest with out breaking.

    I am sure the tension is hinky on mine too. Sorry not to be more help.

    I must admit, I am watching semi-industrial cover machines on eBay....

    xx N

    PS I am hoping to pop in today.

    1. Missed you, trust me to pop in on your shut day.
      I picked up one of your cards in AllMake and I spoke to Birgitta about our cover stitch machines. She agreed to try the cheaper thread.

  7. You really are a wonder, and your knit sewing is always so very professional. As I have repeatedly said, you, my dear, are my sewing hero :-)

    1. Thank you Justine, you are so kind to me.
      xx N

  8. Wow- that is a fantastic bunch of lovely, comfortable-looking clothes! And I love the color-coded chart. Hard to say no to that!

  9. That is what I though, after going to that much effort I had to try to deliver.
    Thank you Elizabeth. I am happy she is happy to wear my sewing still.
    xx N

  10. As others have said, you do an EXCELLENT job of sewing knits, especially considering you dislike it and consider it a struggle! I love sewing with knits, but I am not a perfectionist, and I let that slide even more with knits. So my sewing is not nearly as lovely and professional as yours! But it does the job. Sometimes it is good to relax standards!

    1. Thanks Inder. Its tricky as they get older (the children) really need there stuff to look right. Hugo is not as bothered but The Twins feel it.

      xx N

  11. I love her organizational skills :)
    You did a great job whipping these up. I'm glad you were able to work it out with your cover stitch because it really does make the difference - looking so professional!

  12. Thank you Kristin, I made my self keep at it. The jolly machine cost more then my first car and it has no re-sale.
    It does do a super job, when it works.
    xx N

  13. These are beautiful! Lucky girl (: