Now that I have completed my first project of 2020, I realized that I have several things I never actually blogged from the end of last year. So even though I’m still mostly limited to phone photos, I’ll go ahead and get caught up on that.
First up: the Harper Cardigan from Sinclair Patterns. This one was a rather spontaneous make. Those of you who listen to the Love to Sew podcast regularly probably remember when Helen and Caroline suggested adding hashtags with your city/state/whatever sews in order to make some local sewing friends. Well, I did do that for my state with a couple of Instagram posts shortly after, but for a long time, no one actually ever used it but me. So I stopped. And then, well over a year later, I suddenly got a comment on one of those posts letting me know that there was actually a Facebook group for local sewists in my state! Which I joined immediately, and then also convinced my mom to join, lol. Shortly after, some people in the group thought it would be fun to do a virtual sewalong, and after some discussion, we chose this pattern. It’s a free one, so easily accessible. What drew me to it was the duster length, as I do like the drama of a long cardigan, and this one is still fairly practical with the kiddos since it’s not down to my ankles or anything.
I used one of the fabrics that I picked up years ago on my Paris trip, as it is a rather sheer knit and therefore inappropriate for any shirt or dress type projects. It may have been a tad too lightweight for this particular pattern, but it works ok. This also ended up being a quick sew, which is good. My main issue with it was the split hem, as I wanted to use my coverstitch and it doesn’t navigate the pivots very well. I’ll have to see if I can find some tricks for that. Either way, I’m happy to finally have this out of the stash and in my wardrobe! Overall, I don’t think this will replace the Blackwood Cardigan as my go-to, even though I’ve also only made one Blackwood to date, but it was a fun alternative. I did get a length of sweater knit for Christmas that I’m considering turning into a second one of these at some point, since I already did cut two more Blackwoods out from the rest of the haul!
The project that ended up taking most of my December sewing time was these 4 skirts. A friend at church asked me if I’d make some skirts for her two daughters and two nieces from some Ankara that she’d picked up during a trip to Africa during the summer. (She also offered immediately to pay, which was nice!) I’d never had an opportunity to sew with wax print, so that made it more exciting for me. The pattern is the skirt portion of the Ainsley dress, by Made For Mermaids. It’s a straightforward pattern, though I had a few hiccups– mostly in the form of not quite having enough length to finish cutting the skirts for the two older girls. My friend was very understanding and accommodating, so I just used a similar weight black woven in my stash to make up the extra length, and finished this shortly before Christmas. It looks like a cute pattern, and I can see myself using this again in a few years when my daughter can fit into it.
Speaking of my daughter, my last project of the year was for her first Christmas. Back when I first started planning those wolf sweatshirts, my older boy suggested that I should also make something reminiscent of Little Red Riding Hood for her. Then I spotted the red crushed velvet at Joann’s, and decided to go for it. The pattern is the same Ottobre hoodie pattern that I used for her a few months ago, with a few tweaks. After several weeks of trying to sort out how to handle the edges, since I was concerned that the fold-over elastic treatment that the original pattern used would make the velvet look cheap, I decided to just add some extra hem allowance and coverstitch those edges instead. I also scooped out the front neckline a bit more and eliminated the front zipper, both for time and for not having to deal with those edges.
In retrospect, I think I probably should have sized up a little more– I made this just one size larger than the original, since that one still fits her– but I suspect this one isn’t going to fit her for long. But it was a very cute, casually fancy first Christmas outfit for her. I’m considering keeping this one and cutting it down some, because I still have the American Girl doll that I saved up for as a kid, but only one outfit for her. It’s obviously too early to say if she’s going to be into dolls at all, but if she is, I don’t mind the idea of recycling some of these things into some new doll outfits for her to play with. (Now that I have a daughter, I’m kind of kicking myself for not keeping the things my mom made back in the day from the official AG sewing patterns to beef up her wardrobe, but I’ve since learned that someone shared the original sewing patterns as free pdf downloads. So I can reconstruct the historic-based outfits, too!)