I am Angela and I love to sew. I started sewing as a child and by the time I was a teenager I was wearing the very latest fashions to go out in. All me-made. I am passionate about reducing the amount of textiles sent to landfill, and encourage you to repurpose fabrics and clothes I started this blog in order to have a way in which to pass on my gained knowledge, and my professional knowledge to you, Sewing is empowering, you can save money by making items, make money by selling then, You can pass your knowledge on to others. What is there not to love? Interestingly I am a direct descendant of the Flemish weavers who came over to England in the 1300's. I find that fascinating especially as most of my family from as far back as I can trace are somehow involved in the manufacturing of fabric . . I have a degree in tailoring with a special interest in WW2 fashion.

Thursday 21 May 2020

Make some super smart Stay At Home wear

Let's make some lovely staying at home clothes to wear 

Maybe like me you never thought about what to wear when staying indoors for long periods of time. I know some people are wearing PJs but really I think it is better for morale to make a clear distinction between day and night. If you are wearing something which you feel good in and which is comfortable you will feel more " normal"

These are some items I have made for myself to wear and I am really happy with them.

I made a pair of trousers in a stretch fabric (another pair is cut out ready to sew)
The top I am wearing is a piece of jersey with a silver sparkle running through it.
The front top I am holding is made from the same fabric as the trousers with the addition of a scrap of fabric taken from a t-shirt I never liked.

The top on the left is made from a more cuddly knit fabric and it has a cowl neckline.

You probably have some patterns in your stash already so have a look through them before buying new . You are looking for trousers or pyjama pants with an elastic waist with either a straight or skinny leg as you prefer.

Two of the tops were made from Butterick B6132 which is a pattern I use time and time again but again look through your patterns and see what you can find. You need a top which is suitable for stretch fabrics. This pattern is close fitting so go up a size if you want a relaxed fit.

The pattern I used for the trousers is NewLook K6581 ,

The other pattern I chose is KwikSew K4217 which is another favourite pattern
This is a loose fit style

For fabrics I suggest a heavy weight knit eg Ponte Roma for the pants. Minerva fabrics sell it Ponte Roma  it is very easy to sew and comes in lots of colours and prices. You can also use it for tops

For the tops you need a stretch knit as before but you have more choice so maybe a Stretch Cotton Jersey which again comes in lots of designs and colours

I am not giving a full tutoral here as the patterns are easy to follow and you may be using different ones anyway.
What I will do though is give you some hints and tips because they will be useful when sewing any stretch fabric.
The first one is obvious but one which people forget and then they waste hours trying to figure out which way up the fabric goes.
Decide on the wrong side of the fabric if it is not obvious and mark every piece with a cross in tailors chalk on the wrong side of every piece. Takes seconds,saves hours!

When I first started sewing stretch fabrics I used to try out all the special stitches on my sewing machine but then I'm realised that a narrow long zigzag does the job perfectly well. Try a few stitches out on spare fabric and make a note of settings for the best one - it won't snap when you tug it. And use that.

Seams can be left unfinished on some fabrics but to me that looks amateurish so I use an overlocker (serger) Don't have one? Don't worry, a wider shorter zigzag will do just fine.

You will need some elastic - the width needed will be on the back of the pattern envelope. It will probably be around one and a half inches.
You can get black by the way, I am using white so it shows up better for you.

Your pattern instructions will tell you how much fabric to turn inside to make the channel for the elastic. Leave  an opening the back to thread the elastic through.
To get the right length, pin (using a safety pin please) a length of elastic around your waist and move around until you are certain it will be comfortable to wear.
Then thread it through and pin it closed once again until you are satisfied and then machine sew the ends securely one on top of the other.
Close the gap.

To stop the elastic curling and twisting during wear distribute the gathers evenly and then stitch the elastic down along every seam line. I promise you that it won't budge!

Measure the hems and pin and then tack in place.
Then try them on again to check the length remembering that you will be wearing them indoors with flat shoes or slippers.

The same process applies to the tops. In this case we need to stabilise the shoulder seams to stop them from stretching. You can buy special iron on seam tape but a small strip of interfacing works just as well. My first task it to sew the shoulder seams and neaten and then press them
Then I stitch all around the neckline inside the seam allowance to stop it from stretching. This is called stay-stitch.

It is at this point that I like to finish the neckline and to insert the sleeves.
Sleeves in particular are so much easier when being attached in this way.
Pin your sleeves onto the armcyce remembering that the double notches (triangles) are always at the back.
Then carefully machine stitch. Please don't ever stitch over pins, your machine won't like it, remove them as you reach each one.

You can see that you can now match the underarm seam and stick the sleeves and body in one process, neatening with your preferred method.

This is the cuddly ribbed jersey top with a cowl neckline

It is always a good idea to recycle clothing if possible and the contrast fabric taken from another top looks great.

 The length of the pants needs to be right for indoor wear.

I love this cuddly sweater which took just over an hour to make!

 The neckline is flattering on most women.

 This top is a fabulous colour dont you agree

I have just finished another outfit, in Ponte Roma as before but this time in Black instead of navy

The observant among you will recognise the contrast on the top from my previous blog post

Please do treat yourself to some nice stay at home clothes. We may as well feel and look nice whilst we are in lockdown it's very good to lift our spirits with new clothes at this time and if ever there was a perfect time to learn to sew then this is it.

On the sidebar you will find links to my Twitter account and Facebook group . So please join me on either or both so that  you can ask me questions.

Also on the sidebar is details of where to enter your email address in order to receive my posts by email.

Stay safe, stay indoors and let's get sewing! 

Best wishes to all