Tuesday, February 21, 2012

waffle baffle saga parts 3 and 4 or is it 5...

The backstory of the attempt to copy one of James' tops can be found here. I thought that was the end but no, in September 2010, James managed to leave the jumper I had lovingly made at South Mimms service station, somewhere in middle England. Not being Japan, the lovely jumper was never seen again! It wasn't until the end of last year when I found some waffly baffly type fabric in Swany, Kamakura. Like the original this is a low stretch knit of mid-weight with a thicker yarn adding texture to the finely knitted backing. I asked Rockywoods and they told me the original was a kind of berber fleece. This fabric is perhaps a distant relative. Anyway, I adjusted the pattern (originally adapted from KS 2439 View B) so that the neck opening was actually on the centre front (!) and the fabric sewed up nicely. The new waffle baffle is all ready for when the weather gets a bit warmer. 

But then I wondered whether it would get lost again, so when I saw some wool in a nice James-blue on a trip to Nippori fabric town in Tokyo, I bought it. This is much thicker and so I remade the pattern with 1cm seam allowances so make it easier to work with under the sewing machine foot. It was straightforward enough to make, but i must remember to hand wash it so as to not get the shrinkage debacle of the waffle baffle before the one before last.

 So now there are two wafflebaffles! The blue one is heavier and is presently being worn at work.

[sewn in January and February 2012 - here is the thicker blue wool version. The photos of the lighter weight beige version will have to wait until spring]
And here's the lighter weight version:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

recorder case

My new alto recorder arrived in a plush hard case, but it is quite large so not very convenient for putting in a rucksack and carrying around. Last Saturday afternoon I made a soft case to carry the new recorder and the smaller descant. The fabric is a windproof hard face fleece that has previously been used for gloves and hats. It has a very tough face but is actually not as warm as it might be and the remnant is quite bulky so it was nice to use some of it up on this project. I just cut a large enough rectangle, marked the seams on the wrong side with felt-tip pen and set to work. I fitted an old zipper across the top, as I'd seen a case with such a zipper in a brochure. Later I added some elastic straps to hold the cleaning rod. The case ties up with a piece of ribbon which is stitched to one edge.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sasha stitching - pinafore and blouse

I haven't blogged for a while, but I have still been stitchin' most days!

After conferring with my brother I decided to send my niece, Penelope, a stitching project for her Sasha doll (for her birthday, which is on Christmas Day!). So I sent her Ted Menten's pinafore pattern  (available as a file from Ted). Felt seems the simplest fabric to use as it does not fray, so I sent various colours of felt, buttons and thread, with the pattern adjusted to remove unnecessary seam allowances. I also made an example pinafore out of an old pillowcase - I always find it easier to make something if I already have a sample to copy so I thought perhaps it may work for my niece too. The pinafore is a bit bare up top so I made a blouse to go underneath it. For this I used patterns from "The Doll's Dressmaker" by Venus A Dodge, which I bought second hand online. This book contains pattern pieces for various sized dolls. I only tried the shirt pieces, but they were a fairly snug fit. There was also what I would consider a mistake in that there was no overlap at the front to permit buttons to be in their proper place. Anyway, I made a couple of muslins from the pillowcase fabric, and adjusted the pattern a bit, fitted cuffs and a round collar. There isn't much in the way of instruction in the book - it is more about opening one's mind to the possibilities. I enjoy making things without detailed instructions as it feels like the pieces get fitted together naturally rather than being forced together according a set of rules, and the whole process flows more pleasantly, even if it does take longer working out how to make it work. The final blouse was made of some nice cotton, a remnant from the frock I made for my niece a few years ago. I haven't heard whether Penelope has attempted the project yet - I'm not sure - maybe she is still a bit young for it. Maybe it is more of a project for her Mum! :o