Tag Archive | sewaholic

Fashionable velvet sweatshirt

So back in September last year when the September editions of all the magazines came out, the things I was most taken with were the burgundy velvet sweatshirts that appeared everywhere. 

Of course when it actually came to buying one, they are all £60-£80 plus and even the ones made for blokes I doubt would actually fit me. Certainly no one to my knowledge was making a reasonably priced plus size version.

So I got the idea to make one, but was struggling to find reasonably priced stretch velvet online (no matter how nice it looks in the photograph, do not go buying stretch velvet off eBay- big mistake) . Eventually I found a load on a reputable fabric website, but it was £12 a meter so before I bought it I thought I’d check the local fabric stall just invade they had anything suitable…..

And completely hit the jackpot. Ok it wasn’t burgundy, but I picked up 4m of the most beautiful lavender pink stretch velvet for about 4 or 5 quid a meter (I forget exactly). It was nicely thick anyway but was backed with a black stretch fabric that had been fused on, so it was really really stable and good quality.

So then all it came down to was finding time to make the thing. I wanted to do it asap as I don’t know how long the sweatshirts are going to look current for so I was determined to get some wear out of it this winter.

The pattern I decided to use is the Sewaholic Patterns Fraser Sweatshirt, partly as it was what I had in my stash anyway, partly because I’ve used Sewaholic patterns before and had good results, especially as they are designed for pearshaped ladies, & partly because when I read the reviews of the pattern it was supposed to be exactly the same construction technique as the Renfrew Top, which I’ve made multiple times, so I was reasonably confident about getting a good result first time.

The downside of the pattern is that looking at it on other people, the length runs a bit short, & although on smaller girls the sweatshirt appears lovely and fitted, on larger girls it’s a little boxy. Both of which were issues with my finished version, but I’m happy enough with how it turned out.

Anyway, I agonised for ages as to which version of the pattern to make, I had strong inclinations towards a black Peter Pan collar as I thought that was a colour combination that worked extremely well with this version I found through google image search. But at the last moment I decided to leave it plain, which is a decision I’m really glad I made as it lets the fabric really look luxurious on its own.

Anyway, pictures….


This is it hanging on the wardrobe, which is an unedited photo and very much true to colour with what it looks like.

The next 3 photos of it on me I have messed around with filters a bit as I was feeling a bit insecure and didn’t think they were the best photos in the world. (I don’t normally bother with them) 


As I said, it’s a little short, if I made it again I’d legnthen the bottom by about two inches, as I’m not sure it hits me at the most flattering point, & I know they look better but I am really not used to full length sleeves, I’m so used to 3/4 length I automatically shove them up my arm.

But overall I am really happy with how it’s turned out and with the pattern, & I’ve  worn it so many times it kind of needs a wash already.

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forever delayed

So the first mention of this I can find in my sewing queue is back in October 2014  It reappeared in my sewing goals for 2015 but completely failed to happen. So now in March 2016, may I present to you, a bright red Renfrew Top…..

red renfrew red renfrew 4 red renfrew 2 red renfrew 3

So this has been in the works a very long time, I made the skirt it is pictured with back in February 2014, and swiftly realised that although it works brilliantly with black tops, for variations sake a red one would be nice. I got the jersey in Rolls and Rems in Lewisham a few weeks later. It was a bit of an impulse buy, & one largely driven by laziness as I wasn’t feeling the idea of going shopping up Goldhawk Road, & buying plain jersey on the internet has been decidedly hit and miss for me (well at the prices I’m prepared to pay anyway). So it was £5 a meter, which was a bit more than Goldhawk Road would be, but given I didn’t have to pay train fair or lunch, I figured it worked out. At the same time I bought some burgundy jersey which ended up being this and this. Immediately I got it out of the shop into the sunshine I realised I’d made a bit of a mistake, what in fairly gloomy light looked a slightly darker fire engine red, turned out to be bright orangey tomato in daylight. The quality of the fabric wasn’t quite as good as the burgundy either, its not bad, but its not top quality either. So I sat on it for a few months, & then stuck it in the washing machine with some slightly pinkier red dylon. It sort of worked. Its not much darker now, but its taken the absolutely glaring edge off it.

So yeah, it went in my sewing queue and then just kind of stayed there. I was still a bit unconvinced I guess and would rather sew stuff I was 100% sure about.

Till a couple of weeks ago, when I realised I had a major shortage of basic tops, red became even more of a priority gap in my wardrobe, & I saw something about Pantone colours suggesting that tomato red is going to be a big thing this year, & I thought I really ought to get round to it.

There was also going to be a frilly version in this style, which I’ve made several versions of over the years. But I’m kind of not as into it as I was, they are a pain to iron, my style has simplified slightly, and its not a colour I could ever envisage myself using for lolita, so I’m leaving the rest of the fabric for now, & having a think about what to do with it at some point in the future.

So I’m reasonably pleased with the top I’ve made anyway. Its still not my ideal red colour, but its a useful basic to have. I’m planning another one in grey, but I had to wait a week or two before starting it as I was waiting for the overlocker thread I ordered to turn up, & now its Easter, so I won’t get started on that for a week at least.

I have been doing some knitting and some embroidery though, so hopefully I’m keeping some kind of momentum up.

 

t-shirts and posters

After several months being slightly under the weather and rearranging my fabric collection in increasingly elaborate ways…..I finally perked up and have actually sewn something. 🙂

Behold my attempt at the Renfrew Top by Sewaholic..an independent pattern designer.

I’ve seen a lot of pictures of these on the internet and I hadn’t seen a bad/massively unflattering one, so I was hoping it would work out alright. And for a wearable muslin I don’t think its that bad. the fabric was from Rolls and Rems in Lewisham, which is my local fabric store, and I use it fairly often for basics and emergencies, so I shouldn’t slag it off too much…but the quality is apauling, as is all the jersey they have in at the moment. For £4 a meter I’m not that impressed. I mean I know really good quality jersey can be ruinously expensive, but when a fabric shop is selling something that is basically primark quality for a price where the finished garment will cost as much as/more than it would cost at primark…one does wonder whom the target market is exactly. Hence it is clingy and stiff and see-through, so you can see the top of my trousers through it…which is not a great look.

However I will probably wear it again, as its a fairly attractive print (little black bows – if you can’t see from the photo) and I constructed it, so it should last a while longer than something actually from primark.

As far as the instructions and the fit goes, it was fairly straightforward, though I did have to look up how to sew with jersey on the internet first (was my first attempt). I will take it down a size on the main body for my next go, as its actually a bit loose (that makes me so happy 🙂  ). The only thing I’ve seriously had to alter is the bottom of the sleeves. I have quite small wrists anyway, but I had to take the cuffs and the sleeve bottoms in massively to fit/look normal . The lady who designs the patterns and all the people doing early attempts of this one I saw are all a lot thinner than me. When one puts on loads of weight, unless one gets massive water retention, your ankles and wrists do grow a bit, but at nowhere near the rate the rest of you does. Thus when scaling up a pattern from a (Uk) 10 or so to a (uk) 18 or so, although you need to scale up the wrists a bit, you don’t need to do it by as much as you do the tops of the arms. Otherwise it gets a bit 1970’s looking. 😦

But it was easy (albeit a bit untidy) to fix on this one, and will be easy to fix properly on the next one…which is using proper expensive jersey (eek!) and is already cut out!

In other creative stuff I’ve been doing this week… I can’t remember whether I mentioned last time, but I sent one of those pictures I made last time as a test print.

The resolution was workable with, so the printing company were obviously talking rubbish! However I was a bit annoyed because what was referred to on the website as a ‘poster’ was actually a giant photo..on thick glossy photo paper. I know its not much of a distinction but I was a bit pissed off, cuz I wanted them to look like cool posters I’d picked up somewhere, not artworks of some kind, which is what photo paper made them seem.

I asked around for a few days and did some research on the internet, but I couldn’t find anybody who would print 6 actual posters on poster paper as one offs, not a large print run, for anything approaching a realistic price.

Whist I was procrastinating, the company I used in the first place for the test print, sent me an email with a one day only sale code, which got you 50% off for any prints you had done that day.

So I bit the bullet and went for it with them. I’m still not too happy about the excessively shiny (when I took the photo I couldn’t stop the end one having a massive reflection mark on it 😦 ).. but I don’t think it looks too bad…

Only 4 of them worked well enough as that size image for me to be happy putting them up, but at the price I ended up paying for them, having two rejects doesn’t matter at all really.

They’ve properly brightened up the bedroom, 🙂 though I might shop around for a better printing company before I attempt any more.