How is everyone getting on with their #mmaw2015 challenges?
The Pinterest board is filling up with some awesome makes, and I’ve seen some gorgeous ones in the Make Do and Mend-able Facebook group too.
I think you are all being far more prolific than me!
My January make was late, and I only managed to make it in February. So I guess it was kind of inevitable that my February make would be late too.
I now have 24hrs to try and make my March make so that I’ve finally caught up again…!
Anyway, my February make.
I’ve been wanting to make a long sleeved t-shirt type top (actually I want to make several) to replace some in my wardrobe that are beginning to be more hole than top.
I saw this great pattern on Zoe’s fabulous S-Zo What Do you Know? blog, and really wanted to try it.
It’s Zoe’s own pattern, and you download it in the form of a pdf, and then print it out, which was all very new to me, and I learned more unexpected new skills!
The pattern was £7, which as you can get a total of 6 garments from it with different sleeve lengths and variations on the length of the whole garment, I thought was really great value.
I didn’t have any stretch fabric in my stash, so I asked in our Buy Nothing Group. I was very kindly gifted two pieces of fabric, one was a patterned black and gold piece, and the other was a lilac. I wasn’t sure the lilac was really my colour, so I posted it in the Make Do and Mend-able Pre-Loved Craft Stuff Facebook Group to see if anyone wanted to do a swap, and managed to bag some plain white, which was just perfect.
Except…it wasn’t quite big enough!
I had to make the top shorter than it should be to fit on the fabric, and then make a band separately to go round the bottom to make it long enough.
What I learned
- Printable patterns come with a set of instructions. Print these first and READ THEM THROUGH BEFORE PRINTING THE PATTERN. They will tell you how to make sure your pattern is printed the correct size….
- If you go ahead and print the pattern without reading the instructions first, do make sure you check the test square is the right size
Mine measured only 9.7cm when it was supposed to be 10cm.
So I had to figure out how to print it the right size (tick the “print 100%” or un-tick the “scale to fit” boxes in your printer settings). This time I just printed the test page 1st to make sure it was right, before printing the whole thing…!
- Sticking the pattern together is quite satisfying! I used masking tape and it seemed to work quite well
- Not having quite the right amount of fabric makes things harder than they need to be
- Sewing with stretch fabric is not as hard as I feared
- For someone with 3 A-levels and a degree, I can be remarkably stupid. I managed to sew the neck binding to the bottom of the pattern piece, rather than the neck piece… AND I managed to sew the sleeves on upside down so the seam was running down the top of my arms
- Sewing can make you want to cry
- Unpicking takes waaaaaay longer than sewing
- Unpicking stretch fabric makes the edges curl under, and therefore much harder to pin and re-sew
- Doing all this with bored small children running around also makes you want to cry
- It will take twice as long as you scheduled
- When you have finished you will be ridiculously pleased with yourself, and want to wear your garment straight away, even if it is to bed
- No-one in your family will be as impressed with your new garment as you are
I made some really stupid mistakes. And had to do a LOT of unpicking. There was swearing. There were nearly tears. I nearly abandoned the whole thing. Twice.
But I persevered, and I conquered my fear of stretch fabrics. And I ended up with a wearable garment that I really love.
And I want to do it all over again!