My first Wiksten Tova 

 

So I have finally got some photos of my first Wiksten Tova and I am excited to share them with you.

First I feel I should explain that I hate photos of myself and generally avoid them at all costs but for the sake of my blogging I posed for these today at a lovely National Trust place and let my husband take photos.

This is my first top and only my second piece of clothing I have made. I probably should have eased my way in with something simple, but anyone who knows me knows that is just not my way.

Having read loads of blogs I came across the Wiksten Tova and fell in love, it is the style of top I like to buy in RTW clothing so being able to make my own was the way forward.

 

 

The material is some cheap cotton that I picked up from Masons in Abingdon which is probably more appropriate for sewing smart trousers or a skirt. It is lovely and soft though, sewed like a dream and has washed and ironed well.

There were so many new things for me to learn with this pattern but with the instructions and a sew-a-long I found it was do-able.

I used my walking foot for most of it and just took my time. The placket on the front doesn’t quite overlap as it seems to have moved when attaching it to the rest of the top, but otherwise I was very happy with the outcome. I made a FBA and shortened the dress length that I cut to what you see in the pictures.

Another Tova is on the plans for the near future, watch this space.

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PJ monster eater

I spent today making my niece Isla’s 5th birthday present. I present to you a cuddly PJ monster eater.

  

I purchased the basic pattern from sew fearless.com and then made my own version based on a picture I found on the internet.

Sewing this fur material really put my machine to the test. I used my walking foot for all of it but on some parts I was sewing through 4 layers of fur and two layers of cotton lining.

Unfortunately I can’t be at my nieces birthday so this fella is going recorded delivery, safe travels little monster.

  

Sew much to make, sew little time

Ah it is way too easy to make sewing puns. I don’t know if everyone is like me but I have a LONG list of things to make, and the material to make most of it, but with work and general day-to-day life I never seem to get around to it and somehow it has all stacked up. I am at that point at the moment, loads of projects to complete, some with deadlines. I decided the best plan was to list them all here so you can see what is yet to come and I have it all documented somewhere so I am less likely to forget and more likely to make and blog about. 

First on the list is a birthday present for my niece Isla who turns 5 at the end of the month. I have made my nieces and nephews presents as much as possible over the years and this one is no exception. I have purchased the Pajama Eater sewing pattern from sewfearless.com. I will be doing my own furry purple version for this birthday present. Hopefully this will be a success and then my other niece, Elena, will get one in November for her birthday and my two nephews, Elliot and Lukas, will get them for their Christmas presents. Here are some pictures of ones I have found on the internet which have been my inspiration.

    

     


Next to be completed needs to be the last of my 2nd birthday quilts for my youngest nephew Lukas. His birthday is at the end of June and I need to complete it and get it shipped over to Germany before that. I have the fabric, a fat quarter bundle called Wildwood by Dashwood. It has fox prints and toadstools. I have purchased some complementary green and blue plain fabrics to complete the quilt top which I found in Masons in Abingdon. For the quilt top design I think I am going to make the ‘Fenced In’ design by Elizabeth Hartman which I have found in her book ‘The Practical Guide to Patchwork’. I will need some cutting sessions for all the prep work before I am able to start the sewing.  

On the subject of quilts I have two I need to finish. Last year I pieced two quilt tops and purchased the wadding and backing fabrics, all I need to do is quilt them. But I haven’t yet. These quilts are for us, every other one I have made I have given away as presents. The idea of making these two was to create ones to keep in our lounge for those colder evenings. I think because there is no deadline I have not been driven to complete them. One top has been made from Moda New Muslin Mates and sewn in a cross design. The other is Moda Sunnyside by Kate Spain and I have designed it in a blend of colour going from the blue prints, through green and yellow to the red (looks nicer than I am describing it!). I am planning to shadow stitch around the cross quilt (not sure what colour thread yet) and to try my hand at free motion quilting for the other top, doing a stippling design. I have recently purchased the correct foot for my machine to do some FMQ, but I have not had the guts to try it yet.

    

 


Then there are the clothes I want to make….I have caught the dressmaking bug, it’s like an itch I want, no need, to scratch. I made my first Wiksten Tova two weeks ago (no blog post yet as I haven’t managed to take any photos) and I loved the process and I have worn it on numerous occasions. I really want to make another one, but also on my list are: Polly top from By Hand London, Anna dress from By Hand London, Sorbetto top by Colette Patterns, Dahlia dress by Colette Patterns, a Grainline Archer shirt, Coco top by Tilly and the Buttons, Walkaway dress as featured on the GBSB, I could go on. I have all of these patterns except Anna which is next on the purchase list. I also got a bargain eBay purchase on some Liberty Tana Lawn Doxford fabric last week which arrived yesterday and is probably going to become my Polly top.

   

Last but not least are the random things on my sewing list, a Christmas sack for my sister-in-law like the ones I made for myself and my husband (see prior post), PJ bottoms that I am going on a one day course for in May, learning how to make curtains which is a weekend course I am going on in 2 weeks’ time, a cargo duffle bag from Noodlehead’s free pattern on the Robert Kaufman website, potentially a summer weight (no batting) quilt for my Gran as she loves her winter one so much, a picnic blanket made out of jeans that I have been saving, ah the list is endless.

 

So now I have committed all that to blogland I better start some sewing. I have a day to myself over Easter when I need to complete the first PJ eater – hopefully there will be a blog post about it in the coming days, watch this space.

 What is on your to-make list? Is it anywhere as long and varied as mine?

Kindle holder 

I made a holder for my Kindle (the old fashioned kind that is just for reading books) so it would be cushioned when in my handbag.

I used some of my favourite stash fabrics to make it bright and cheerful. Some fussy cutting was done to get the flowers right and I did pink zigzagging over the joins. 

It is lined with light blue fleece, which was part of a £3 blanket I picked up in Ikea.

   

   

Quilt for nephew #1

When designing the quilts for my nieces I had no problems picking fabrics and designing them. My aim was for something feminine but not childish so they might use them for years to come (I envisage them taking their quilts to uni with them but I think I am ahead of myself as they are only 2). Picking fabric with the same thoughts in mind for little boys is so much harder.

I purchased a fat quarter bundle of blue checked and stripped material about a year ago ready for Elliot’s quilt. Then I put it aside and did nothing with it for 9 months. I knew somewhere inside that the fabric wasn’t right but I was stuck with what to do. His 2nd birthday came and went in August with no present from his Auntie.

I finally decided that I needed to get different fabric and after a lot of blog research realised that it would probably work best if I stopped worrying about it being childish, what is the likelihood of it surviving 16 years in the hands of a little boy?

So I purchased a Moda layer cake ‘Mixed Bag’ in brushed cotton. I played around with the design for the top, cutting up the layer cake until I settled on a design. After sewing the top together I backed it in plain white as the front is so colourful, and found some lovely yellow fabric in a charity shop which I used to bind it.

The quilt was finally delivered six months late but he didn’t seem to care! Best get cracking on the next one for nephew #2 as his birthday is in June and I will need to ship it abroad to them in time.

   

   

PJ shorts

After my success with the skirt I was keen to try more dressmaking. I found a free pattern online for shorts which I decided would make nice PJ shorts. I have a bag of old shirts that my Grandpa recently gave me that I thought would upcycle nicely as my shorts material. 

I unpicked the back panel off too coordinating shirts and worked out I could get one front and one back shorts piece from each. I found some complimentary binding at a local haberdashery and set to work.

The pattern and online guidance was easy to follow and the only ‘errors’ I made were to make the elastic at the waist too large (should have tried on before sewing the waist closed) and cutting them too large. But they are just for wearing to bed and they are very comfy.

   

   

An adventure into dressmaking 

For a while I have been thinking about learning dressmaking but everything about patterns scared me. What did all the markings mean? How do I know what types of fabric to use and where do I buy them? How do I measure myself correctly? I decided 2015 was going to be my year to learn and conquer.

So I signed up for an introduction to sewing class, a weekend, two 7 hour days learning the basics and making an a line skirt.

The pattern we used was Kwik Sew K3877. I was pretty lost on the fabric having been told to get medium weight cotton. I ended up in John Lewis on Oxford Street after work one evening and came out with this:

   

 

It is called 1376 Sakura Blossom by Makower UK. It has a Japanese blossom on it and it reminded me of the sort of prints you see in shops like Fat Face and White Stuff.

Here’s the finished article (excuse the dodgy photos – another area to work on). It is a better fit than it looks but it needs lining or a petticoat.