Tuesday, 1 September 2015

(Mis)adventures in jersey…

… or how I realised I will always be the one following a pattern. I knew from the start that there were going to be problems. The idea of improvising fills me with dread. I am always the one who likes to follow instructions, and if I carry them out well, I’m pretty happy. That whole thing of going with the flow and things then unexpectedly turning out brilliantly just doesn’t work for me. It normally ends in a dodgy end result.

I had a couple of great pieces of knit fabric - one with mermaids on from our recent trip to Holland, and one half metre piece of stripes from my mum’s first failed attempt at buying fabric online. To be fair I should have forewarned her about the whole FQ/metre check: this is a woman who still starts all her Google searches with www.

Rigorous PJ testing chez Knitty
The girls both needed summer PJs, and as luck would have it, my MIL gave me her latest Prima pattern which included a girl’s skort. That bit was fine, the pattern is really simple, so the undershorts quickly became the bottoms for the PJs. I’m still contemplating an overlocker, and this project did make me wish for one, as the pinked seam edges do curl a little bit. 

To make the vest tops, I took one of Girl 1’s RTW tops and traced, adding seam allowance, and feeling fairly smug that this would look awesome. I added bindings to the armholes and neck, and I think that’s where it all went wrong. Guesswork is definitely not my friend and I ended up with a titchy tight top. Luckily I have a Girl 2 that it fits perfectly, so with a bit of adjustment, I managed to make a second, bigger top. And judging by the pics, they seem to both like them…

Perhaps somewhat stupidly, I then moved onto the stripy fabric with the idea of making a summer dress for Girl 1. She is almost allergic to trousers, so I figured this would be a useful addition to her wardrobe. Using the bigger template of the PJ vest I drew out a longer dress, which I thought I would cinch in with an elastic waistband. It took about three attempts to get it all even - I think there was just way too much fabric in there versus the waistband stretch. 

My first and probably last attempt at non pattern drafting
I tried a new way of attaching arm and neck hole edgings where you fold the strip and zigzag it to the edging. I liked this a lot, but the edgings do seem to stick out a bit now. I also think I made the mistake of getting Girl 1 to try on the dress before the edgings went on, because the neckline seems way out of shape and I think we stretched it as she tore it off to get on with something more exciting. So far, this one seems to be staying in the closet, so not the biggest success. Anyone have any advice on how I could improve on this disaster?

The neckline of doom

It’s pretty safe to say that I’ll be sticking to patterns from now on, maybe with some minimal alterations from my side. It’s clear that I am never going to be a designer!!!!! 

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