Friday, 25 March 2016

25: Comparing the free raglan sleeved T shirt patterns available on the internet

 If you are, like me, after a raglan-sleeved T shirt pattern ( preferably for free) you will find this article of interest. The following is my experiments with widely available FREE raglan sleeved patterns off the internet as well as a couple of other purchased raglan sleeved patterns.

Some time ago I decided I wanted to make some sports-wear inspired clothing. Not actually for sport but just because I like the style and the details on this kind of clothing. It is also very easy to wash and wear and does not need ironing which is always a bonus. I saw a lovely sports dress, not sure what type of activity it was intended for on a local University sports website. I cannot copy it here in case of copy-write etc. It was really just a very long vest dress but with colour blocking, piping etc and in performance type fabric.

It inspired me because of firstly I love active wear but also because of the details. You can add piping, colour blocking or just do it all plain. I have lots of synthetic 4-way stretch material in my stash. Some of it is actually very high quality high performance type material but mostly it is just average bog-standard synthetics such as polyester some with and some without spandex. Anyway I have lots of colours I would not usually wear such as coral and white due to getting a bit carried away on ebay on several occasions. Normally,I tend to go for darker and richer colours. When it comes to sports clothing however I will happily wear coral and white with no worries. Or even fluourescents. Since I am not the most experienced sewist around I need first to try a few designs out before committing to anything too difficult. I decided the best way to use the colours of fabric I have is to colour block them so for example mix coral with black. Since I am not a great designer the easiest way to do this seems to me to find a decent raglan sleeved pattern and see how it looks.

The first pattern I tried was Its always autumn's free Tshirt pattern in a large. You can get it here:

As I have previously blogged in a different post I find sizing is somewhat varied. I can be a XS or even a XL depending on the brand. I am a Burda size 36-38 so around a 10-12 UK size in tops. Although on the high street I have bought a UK sized 6 and a UK sized 16 so who knows what I really am.

For version 1, I used some of my coral fabric which was sold to me as coral flair. I am unsure what flair is but its a kind of stretchy textured fabric. I mixed this with some black 4 way stretch polyester type fabric. I did not read the tutorial to go with this top before making it which was possibly a mistake. I just set to and overlocked all seems although I forgot the sleeve edge, twin needle hemmed the sleeve edge before sewing up the side seams since previously I have found tight fitting sleeves do not go over my machine once the sides seams have been sewn, and turned the neck edge over, overlocked it and twin needle stitched it. That was a mistake. I should have put a ribbed edge on it. The sleeves are three quarter but the tutorial does tell you how to lengthen them. Well as I said I didn't read it but just went ahead and sewed. It worked well considering I did not do the neck properly - may go back and redo that later. I also think a sleeve edge with ribbing would be better. I cut my sleeves without putting the pattern on a fold so ended up with a seam down the arm which would look good if I was to add piping. As you can see it fits more like a sweatshirt than an exercise T shirt but then thats was it looks like on so thats really good.

I am actually after something tighter but I may make this again with addition of the piping down the raglan bits and either down the sleeve seams or I will put the pattern on a fold to eliminate the sleeve seams. I also measured it against an existing sweat top I have (from New Look sized 8 ) which also has three quarter sleeves and its almost an exact copy size-wise.

Really my main issue is not the pattern, although it is looser than I hoped, for but the fabric. I wore it to work and as any regular readers will know I work in a lab where you do not have to be smart. Jeans and T shirts go. It was comfortable but the sleeves are a bit tight round the edge - they are 3/4 so its not the wrist but the calf on our leg. No idea what it is on the arm. Forearm to me is kind of the entire lower bit of limb.Well theres a thought!

And it is not the pattern style but the coral flair! Now this fabric is just kind of old lady blousish. The kind of old-lady-top fabric you get in tops found on a market or out of a supermarket. Thats the only way I can describe it. My next top  I decide to make was made in ribbed fabric. Its a fine rib with cream sleeves and khaki body with a ribbed neck edge and longer sleeves like itsalwaysautumn did herself..

Anyway I am going to try a different pattern out for my next post. I am very happy with this pattern from and can only recommend this if you are after a free raglan sleeved top pattern.
I really have to sort out my sports type of patterns because I have so much of this kind of fabric in my stash and I love to wear these kind of clothes.
Thanks for reading

Monday, 21 March 2016

25: Red faux leather trousers

Well I have been busy this week but sowing not sewing. As in sowing cabbage seeds. I will add a picture later of my babies that have come up so far.As well as sowing seeds I also potted on my cucumber and tomato babies which I sowed back in February. Once they get bigger the cabage babies can go out into a cold frame where they can grow on which is good because I am rnning out of space to sow any more seeds. Because its still frosty here my tomato plants will not be able to go outside even in a poly tunnel til at least May so I need to nurture them inside until then.  Other than sowing this week I mostly just did more house decorating - I tiled the bathroom! Have yet to do the grouting but it is looking good. I did make just one item of clothing although not original really since I made yet another pair of faux leather leggings similar to my 19: Green leather look leggings
These ones are red and like the green faux leather the red is very stretchy. Here they are:

Again they were easy to make. The pattern is just three pieces: front, back, and waistband with elastic waist. They were simply overlocked and then twin needle stitched on the hems. I love this particular pattern since it makes leggings that are so easy to wear. However I have now made 4 pairs! Three faux leather and one pair of 10: Tartan leggings
Time for a new leggings pattern I think else my 100 hundred garments is in danger of being 100 versions of 3-4 patterns!

Not sure what pattern I will use next but watch this space...............
Thanks for reading and have a lovely week,

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

24: Red lace hoody - Burdastyle 01/2016 and black faux leather leggings

Well, I am a bit late blogging this week.

 No excuse really other than life just got a bit hectic and I never got round to it. Slack of me I know!
Anyway I made a whole new outfit the last week although not using any new patterns. Since I made the decision to try to be more authentic in my clothing makes I have completely reviewed all patterns I currently have available and decided to make another pair of my 19: Green leather look leggings
which I love wearing. This time they are in shiny black faux leather which is a bit less stretchy than the green was but they have still worked out fine as you can see. Again I made the extra long version which means the gather a bit round the ankles but I like that look.

I have also made a new version of the 15: Burda style 01/2016 hoody since I absolutely love my black one even though I made it as a muslin in a naff fabric. I have still found I have worn it loads. It was always meant to be just a muslin anyway so this red top is the real deal. I did not make any real changes to either pattern other than not adding the pocket onto the top since it is a very lightweight lacey fabric and I was not sure a pocket would work. I think if it was used at all the fabric would be destroyed by carrying things like keys around and to be honest if I had a pocket on it that is what I am most likely to carry in it so best just not to sew it on in the first place. It is the same fabric I used for my 5: Burdastyle dress- Lace Cowl Dress 12/2014 #121

I wore my new clothes when we went to the garden centre on Saturday which was a lovely sunny day and ideal for taking some pictures:

Possibly I was a bit overdressed for the local garden centre but at least I felt good about myself!
I suspect I will be wearing this top and trousers lots over the next few months.

If you have the time and you would like to leave a comment that would be lovely.
Thanks for reading and see you again soon.

Monday, 7 March 2016

23: Khaki cullottes

Back to my new "being authentic " in my makes from now on, I decided just a few days before
Christmas to make some cullottes when Sasha on Kollaboro released this pattern.

Well I was very inspired and immediately printed out the pattern. Then I spent absolutely ages going through my fabric stash. I found at this point that I have at least one piece of fabric I do not wish to wear. I tried several colours because although the original pattern was made by Sasha for the Chrismas party season, I did not wish to make something for that but rather for spring. I ended up with a linen type fabric which has a lovely texture. Its a pretty thick fabric though so I was not sure how this was going to work out. Having said that the cullottes made by Sasha were apparently in quite a stiff brocadey sort of fabric which makes them quite stiff by the looks of the pictures. My linen is similar to canvas and before washing was very stiff but has soften a bit after being washed, dried and ironed. It looks more green in the photos below than it actually is. In real life its kind of an olive/khaki but a green khaki rather than a brown khaki if you know what I mean.

I actually printed Sashas's pattern three times and attempted to put it together but each time the test square was the wrong size. This is a tester pattern so Sasha did say it could have problems. Well for me on three different printers - two at home and one at work - I could not get the test square the right size. Having spent some time now fiddling around reprinting and sticking together at the third attempt I also realised the pattern is layered which means I am still going to have to trace all or part of it even after I have solved the printing problems so I scrapped the idea and moved onto other projects. I did not want to risk making something that might be the wrong size and I am not good enough yet at making stuff to know by measuring if it is going to definitely fit me so better not to make it than ruin my fabric.

Then I was going through my Burda magazines looking for something, which I do occassionally either when needing inspiration or more likely because I remember an item I want to wear and cannot locate it so I need to search them.

I am sure there must be a better way. I hoped I could search using the website but it does not always work. You get peoples projects when searching at and the site is even worse and although I do use my german is rarely good enough for me to search it effectively so I tend to spend ages physically searching the old magazines I own. Well I found two versions of cullottes I already have in 04/2015 and 03/2015. These are the sketches: 


 The 04/2015 seem to be a bit narrower and possibly shorter. They have an option for turn-ups. I do not at least on this occassion want turn-ups. The second pair though, from 03/2015, seem more like the Sasha cullottes so I decided to go with these.

I traced the pattern much quicker than I usually do, so I must be getting used to this now. I cut it out immediately since my fabric has now been sitting around gathering dust and in the way for about 2 months. I used an iron-on interfacing on the waistband and interfaced the pocket pieces.

Then I began to sew. The directions in the magazine are to tack the fly. Stupid me did it on the wrong side ( or actually on the right side when it should have been on the wrong side of the fabric!). As it happens it will not matter just yet because I am going to sew the pleats and darts first:

I did the front pleats first. They are very easy assuming you have added the markings. I did not use carbon for this since I seem to have lost mine so instead just used pins and old fashioned tailors chalk to mark then sewed them up.

 Then the back darts:

As you can see this fabric creases very easily which is going to be a pain I can see already. 

I pressed all the seams and then sewed the side seams. At this point I decided to leave out the pockets and add leg pockets instead. Partly this is down to laziness but mostly it is because the fabric is very bulky and by missing out the hip pockets I can lose a bit of excess width around my hip area. Also whilst checking they will actually be about the right size - I wrapped them as well as possible around me to see if they will fit before I go any further with the making process because I hate seam ripping and re-stitching.

The "Authentic" bit hit me then, because I am not really an officey kind of girl and am more into activity or sports kind of clothing but with a bit of old style Goth, Punk or Hippy thrown into the mix. Being authentic with my clothing makes means I am meant to be making something I will actually like to wear. I am unlikely to wear a smart pair of cullottes more than just the once to show them off after making them and my aim now is to make things I will want to wear again and again not just because it is a nice garment to make. So I want to kind of millitary these cullottes up a bit and leg pockets seems the easiest way. I also love cropped trousers so this could make me a real winning garment. Now I need to draft or find an army style expanding pocket pattern to use for my leg pockets. 
04/2010 118
 I already own 04/2010 which I bought from when trying to find:

NR. 129-042010-DL
 I think this must be the mens pattern though because the womens pattern is the 118 pattern above for the style in the right of the picture. The picture of style 118 just shows the woman and not the whole familly. I assume the kids pants are also in this magazine. I will have to buy this magazine if I come accross it in fact because it seems to have lots of millitary type patterns in it and I am still collecting any copies old or new of burda style magazine that I fancy. So anyway, the plan now is to print out style 118 above and use the pocket pattern on the legs of these cullottes. I will let you know how it goes in my next post.


Thanks for reading feel free to leave a comment if you have the time
 see you again soon,