Festive fare: giving and receiving edition

Xmas 2012 A

Hope you’ve been enjoying the Christmas period! I have been doing close to nothing and boy it feels good. But New Year is almost upon us, so I thought I should cover recent sewing events in my universe.

As it’s the season to give and receive, I thought I’d better send out some good vibes or Santa would boot me to the naughty list. After last year’s gift of a cardigan for my Mum, she requested a sequel, so I decided to continue my quest to create THE perfect piece of knitwear.

I used some stable knit fabric in hot pink and black animal print and the same pattern I traced from my Mum’s ready-to-wear cardigan last year. This time it had to be 4 inches longer, since last year’s version was a touch too short:

Quest cardigan A

Rather than buttons, this time I used some snaps, and attached faceted plastic jet buttons for illusory purposes. I also added some black piping to the slanted pocket opens to try and make them stand out a little more.

Quest cardigan B

In my rush to add length to the cardigan, I forgot a basic principle. People are not straight up and down. So the cardigan was the right length but wasn’t wide enough to account for hips. HOW did I overlook this? That’s why the floor is modelling this rather than my poor Mum. We’re going to have another go around and see if I can insert some panels along the side seams.

The quest continues.

Despite my sewing failures, Santa was still generous enough to bestow the following gifts on me:

Xmas 2012 B

On the left, Fabric for Fashion: The Swatch Book. On the right, famous Japanese pattern book, drape drape; two very delicious titles.

Fabric for Fashion is exactly the book I’ve needed for a while. Tilly does an excellent review of its features here but in essence it discusses how different fabrics are structured, used, and best of all, includes neutral-coloured swatches of around a 100 of these fabrics. I am wholly ignorant about different types of fabric and a lot of the fabric stores I shop in can be a little scant in their labelling. So until now I’ve been doing a lot of guessing, usually resorting to describing my purchases as ‘synthetic’ or ‘cotton (maybe?)’. This book doesn’t give me all the answers but it certainly gives me a better understanding.

As for drape drape, you don’t have to look at too many sewing blogs to come across a pattern from this book or one of its two follow-up volumes. Particularly inspiring is Dixie DIY’s recent dress, which I’m tempted to rip off wholesale, she rocks.

So the new year beckons. I certainly don’t lack for patterns, fabric, or ideas. What I need is a little more focus, which can only have benefits for this blog too. I don’t have a Secret Life of Seams 2013 masterplan beyond SEW STUFF I’m afraid.

So 2013= sew stuff. It might not be elaborate but it sure sounds like fun. Enjoy your NYE!

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10 Responses to Festive fare: giving and receiving edition

  1. Amanda says:

    What a rocking cardi for your Mum! Love it! And also nice haul on the sewing books 😀

  2. Tilly says:

    Glad you like the fabric book – it’s a life saver!

  3. yesilikethat says:

    Happy New Year! Where did you get that amazing animal print? It’s so cool. I want to make a cardigan this year thanks to your awesome example. Hope to see you in person in 2013!

    • Happy 2013 to you too! I found cardigans pretty straight-forward, the only trickiness is the buttons/fastener element. You should definitely have a whirl since you’re cool with knits.
      The source of the animal print knit is actually the subject of my next post: a factory clearance place in Tottenham. Maybe we could arrange a trip?

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