Sunday, 19 February 2017

Orange gilet and yellow banana - and some rethinking

My younger grandson Ben turned 5 in November. He's tall and slimmer than his big brother was at the same age and quite the extrovert. He suits skinny jeans and loves bright citrus colours - I include orange, lime, yellow here.

Level 3 Class

I haven't mentioned much about my ‘level 3’ class which started in September. We started by making various types of pockets in waterproof fabric - jetted (double welt), zipped etc. Difficult when you can't pin,  baste or press!  At least I found them difficult. I'll do a post at the end of the class, I think.

Padded gilet

We moved on to making a child's padded gilet. Waterproof fabric backed with lining type fabric, quilted and stuffed; fleece lining.  Pockets, collar, zip. We were going to be making age 2 or 3 I think. I requested an age 6 if possible - I thought that Ben might be able to wear it and I like to do things for a reason. The fabric we were using was orange - perfect for Ben!

At the last class I had got as far as joining padded sides complete with piped welt pocket and bag to padded back. The long front edges are piped,  the zip and zip guard are prepared,  the outside collar is attached. Next steps are staying the fleece lining,  attaching to gilet via facings (I don't have these yet). The jacket will be turned through the zip. No class for 2 weeks as it's midterm next week. I don't know how much longer it will take.
You can just about see the piping here. The zip is pretty chunky.
But the whole thing is still too small as there is no fleece lining in this.

Meeting family

This last week was midterm for my grandsons, however. This weekend just past I met up with the family in Cambridge. All 3 daughters, 2 sons-in-law, 2 grandsons. Nice. We had a lovely Turkish meal on Friday evening. Helen and Anthony travelled up from London. Helen ended up having to film over the weekend so had to go back after the meal. One of the documentaries she was previously involved in as an archive researcher is on channel 5 at 8pm on Tuesdays (UK) at the moment. I hadn't realised it started last week and had to watch on Catch up. It's called ‘Inside Windsor Castle’.

Does the gilet fit?

I took the partially constructed gilet with me to see if it was likely to fit Ben (I didn't think it would). Rory felt the same and said I could cut a bigger size on return (the pattern would need to be graded up as it was made originally from her grandson’s age 2 gilet and graded up) if I could work out how much extra was needed. Ben loved it and said it fitted perfectly (it didn't) but where was the zip? Later he said he wished he could have worn it when we went out. He of course tried it without the fleece lining which adds further bulk. He insisted a banana was an important part of the try on and photoshoot! I had a chance before this to look at fit but didn't take any photos. So none minus the banana!

I was concerned that as we're rapidly approaching spring and Ben lives further south where it's milder,  that this gilet was just too small and too late. Alison agreed it was too small but felt this type of garment was useful even for a few weeks longer. With ordinary lining rather than a fleece lining,  perhaps?, I wondered.

I will finish the gilet. Perhaps send it anyway? I will make a new gilet for Ben, two years bigger, for this next autumn - in orange, or lime or yellow.  If I do one for his brother, it would not be in such vibrant shades. I still have to make Ben the science geek shirt I made for his brother, too.


Both boys are growing so fast! They are collecting Pokemon cards and know so much about them. Jack played hangman with me and I don't think I got any of his (characters from Pokemon with difficult spellings).  Ben can't spell the names so he stuck to 3 letter words he could spell - and of course in this game short words are difficult. Jack didn't get ‘fin’ within the allowed goes. I think there were only 6 chances in this game.

Wedding dress - postpone red silk dress and Contests

Helen doesn't want me to start her red silk dress (only one minor change,  she'd prefer the back waist dropped between another half inch and an inch) until I have reassembled her wedding dress!  She doesn't want me to have any excuses! So I've said I'll have it (the wedding dress) done for Easter. I will do. I do have a few other items promised for the family (not for Easter) - what with them, plus my class, which continues until June I believe and my attempts to make trousers and jackets,  I've given up any plans to enter the Stitching Guild’s SWAP or Pattern Review‘s Sudoku Wardrobe contest. I'll still make the pants and jackets (I only decided to enter the contests because I was doing that anyway) but to my own timetable. I'll stick to ‘perfecting’ my trouser block and hopefully I'll get a useful block that will be the basis of all the trousers I want to make.

Spring weather

Spring is really in the air!  Last week I had an appointment at the Dental Hospital and another at RVI a short time later - no time to go home. They are adjacent. I could have bought a coffee and relaxed but as it was a nice day I walked through Leaze’s Park literally across the road, which had fewer calories and increased my step count. (I have now lost a stone,  14 lbs,  in 7 weeks but my step count is still poor) That was lovely. The sounds of the very close by city centre were scarcely discernible apart from occasional sirens (main A & E across the road). Instead, there were ducks and bird song. I enjoyed walking around the lake. I've been in Newcastle for nearly 30 years now and have never done that before!  I didn't have time to explore the wildlife area.  The play area looked great. My two sons in law play tennis there when they are visiting. There's a small maze,  a bandstand,  a large pond. Across the road, connectors have demolished the old student residences but have had to build a new home for the resident bats - a tree house at the gates to the Dental Hospital

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Trouser/pant making - plans, body analysis

Since I took up sewing 4 years ago now (how time flies!) I have wanted to make trousers as I find it virtually impossible to buy ready to wear trousers. Even I was a teen,  my mother got my trousers made. These weren't very successful! I certainly wasn’t very fashionable. I've tried to make trousers a few times. I've failed each of those times.

My attempts
  1. I tried on my own just making up a commercial pattern. No.
  2. I tried on my own with a fitting pattern.  No.
  3. I tried in a monthly class to make a pair from a commercial pattern. This pattern was a fitting type pattern but you can't do that on your own,  particularly at the start of your sewing career, and the class was too busy and too infrequent. No.
  4. I tried to make from a Sure Fit Designs kit. That was pretty good but then as now I was losing weight, so having to change things every time I tried them on and other things took over. Those I could have worn,  though. The best so far. They only got as far as muslin/toile stage. I had a brief dalliance with the kit more recently but wasn't paying enough attention and it went wrong. I find that if I've done something before I can be overconfident and under vigilant when I next make it. Another, proper,  attempt is on the cards
  5. I went to a jeans making techniques class. This was good but I ended up making jeans for David. We tried to fit me in a pattern but there is only so much time in these classes and I moved onto David's jeans. I feel reasonably confident about the techniques,  though I haven't practised them sufficiently.
  6. In my pattern-making class we covered trousers but the code we used was atrocious for me. I got somewhere using my own codes but not far enough. Again no time. Abandoned.

I've analysed my body and looked at how trousers (pants) look on me. I have concluded:

  • Okay, I'm tall and have a long inside leg but this really isn't much of a problem. What is more difficult is that my crotch depth is longer than average at my size. Even trousers sold in multiple leg lengths have the same crotch depth. Long Tall Sally does have a longer crotch depth, but there are other issues with these.
  • I'm at least 2 stones overweight.
  • I have high hips (and asymmetrical to boot) which means that trousers and skirts can be too tight there
  • Smaller waist,  higher bigger hips mean that my actual waist distance is quite short - I can't wear a wide belt,  much preferring a narrow one and a narrow waistband.
  • Despite being overweight at present, with much of the weight around my waist and abdomen, my waist is still significantly smaller than my hips. In RTW, my waistbands are too big, with gaping at the back and tightness at the high hip.
  • I have a marked lumbar curve (swayback?) which emphasises the above. This curve and a large booty mean that sometimes garments ride up. This can lead to the wrinkling described in sway back.  However,  the place to shorten for me is definitely the back bodice and not the back of the skirt or whatever. So maybe this is a ‘faux sway back’
  • My posture/body shape also emphasises this - my hips tilt forwards leading to a natural waist that is forward sloping. This means that my front in trousers is shorter than average and my back longer. (Bodices are opposite - very long front, short back)
  • Partly due to height and partly due to weight, my crotch length is significantly longer than average with much more of the length lying in the back rather than the front.
  • My thighs are around about the same width as my hips when you look at me - maybe larger on one side. My front thighs, however,  are prominent. This leads to creasing and wrinkling in the groin area. I have been reading about this and see what changes might be required.
  • I may have slightly knocked knees.  Crease lines don't run vertical. However, I see that prominent hips can cause this too.
  • I no longer feel my derriere is a major issue. It's major but not an issue!
  • Currently my abdomen is an issue but weight loss should help that.

Don't worry!  I'm not over concerned about what I've written.  If this helps me get a better fitting pair of trousers,  skirt,  whatever,  I have no problems with it.

So what's the plan?

Rory is going to develop a trouser block for me. I had to cancel the first session as I was visiting my mother but I have a session booked next week.

She is taking a multidimensional approach.
She's intending to drape but is going to start with the fabric from the failed class at 3 under attempts. This is too big in every direction but therefore gives plenty of fabric.
She's going to re look at my last draft from the pattern cutting course at 6 as she felt at the time it wasn't too far away.

I'll update at the end of the process

I also missed the first of two pattern hacking classes last week while I was helping my mother. I'm intending to go to the second.

I had several possible items for this class. I excluded the incomplete dress from a previous class as this is more to do with fitting than hacking. One was a top,  one was jeans,  another was trousers that fit reasonably well at present and the last was a pair of trousers that I cut up with a view to hacking but didn't get around to it. These trousers were damaged. They fitted well-ish at the time but I don't know about now! I had intended then to lengthen the back/ crotch and shorten the front and had marked them appropriately.

So yesterday, I used the trousers that I'd already taken apart to draw up a basic pattern with seam allowances added. I drew this from the trousers,  ignoring previous info about potential alterations. I marked in pocket and zipped welt position,  zip position etc. I found Rory's advice invaluable particularly as regards the fly area. I gather the way the pocket is done is quite tricky so I will be hanging in to the pieces.

I plan to toile the basic pattern for fit . The next session of the class is on Saturday.

Again, I will update when I have something to show for this. I have posted separately about this, even though I don't actually have anything to show as yet!

Commercial gaucho pattern

I also plan to make up a commercial gaucho pattern (Vogue) that I've liked for a long time. Culottes were another possibility.

Again,  I'll post when I have something to show for this.

Hopefully,  though, I'll end up with a block that I can use to make numerous pairs of trousers, a pair of trousers from the hacked ones and gauchos. I'm not worried about techniques. It's entirely fit that had been holding me back.

Hacking Trousers/Pants

I made my first attempt at hacking trousers for me - one of my 3 new tries to get a pair of trousers to fit me.

I successfully hacked a pair of bagged lined shorts with side zip in inset pocket for Joanne, which have been very successful.

I successfully hacked a dress for Helen with unusual pockets and construction.

I hoped that despite me missing the first of two classes where I would do this, I could catch up and successfully make trousers from the pair I hacked.

For my first hacking attempt, I went the simple route and took a pair of trousers that I had already dismantled, because they had a problem with wear/tear, with a view to recreating them - I had never got around to it. I had originally marked the trousers with a lowered front waistline and added a piece of cloth to the back to show how much I wanted that raised. I remember them otherwise as fitting well and I was sad when they died. However, I had no idea how well, or badly, they fitted now.

Rory suggested this pair as my attempt (rather than the others I took with me) and I drew out the pattern in her sewing bee. She said not to do the changes, simply to transfer the pieces to paper.

Pricking out pattern

This went very well.  The seams of the main front of the trousers/pants were fairly easy to prick through to the paper; I was using a polystyrene board underneath this so pins and wheel had some softness and wouldn’t damage the table.

My front had a zippered pocket - I marked the position. I also marked the position of the pocket, the fly and the main zipper. Rory pointed out that the fly is constructed here with folded over fabric to reduce bulk. She said I could very easily construct the zipper guard so there was no point in tracing.

The main issue with the front, other than the features, was that the knees were very baggy. I marked the knee area. I wonder whether I should line the knees in the final version?

The back was pretty easy - except there was some stretching close to the crotch point down the leg. I wondered if the fabric had stretched due to wear. Rory said that pants can often be eased in this area to improve fit. I traced as I could and marked the area that might need eased.

I added a large seam allowance of 1.5 cms - Rory usually likes to work with a 1 cm seam allowance and thought this amount was more than enough. I hope I haven’t put on a lot of weight since I last wore these!!

I then checked the front and the back against each other.  Rory also checked the actual trouser against my tracing. It became clear that there was an extremely short and shallow front extension to the crotch and Rory advised that I extend that, as it can be altered later.

At home, I made up a toile of these trousers. Just the front and the back but marked the pockets, zipper etc. I tried them on and found they weren't too bad, though the back was too low, as I remembered, and the front too high.

Pattern Hacking Class

In the pattern hacking class, Dan kind of went to town! She and Rory felt that the legs were twisted and instead of the centre seam running down the centre of the leg, there was much more fabric at one side than the other. I'm not sure if this is due to knock knees - I do have a bit but not that much! Full calves? It may be to do with my height and the extra I need in the crotch.

There was hardly any ease in the high hip area - something I often find in RTW. However, by releasing the back centre crotch seam - additional fabric needs added in here - I actually had excess fabric at the sides and had to pin in a bulge of fabric back and front at the thigh area, which I don't need.

Dan unpicked the leg seams and tried to get the seams to lie straight. there wasn't enough fabric, however, and she had to measure the gap but couldn't be sure how much had to go onto the front and how much the back.

I'm afraid I don't even know everything that was done, or why. I got Dan to take a couple of photos of the process, but it's difficult to take them yourself in the middle of the event.

Rory draped the trousers and she and Dan wedged out some extra fabric in the hip back area. Dan and I looked at it and worked out how best to deal with this extra fabric. The end result was that the dart at the top was much bigger and will have to be divided into two. From the dart to the side became very angled outwards and this added extra fabric to the crotch area.

I spent the rest of the class trying to transfer the changes to the pattern ready to make up a toile. Rory said that as we were so far on with this one (I hope and pray we are, but it doesn't seem that way to me!) that she would get me to use that for the trouser block creation. I'm meeting her on Tuesday for this.

Pattern modifications and new toile

So at home, I finished the pattern changes. As discussed, I added extra length to the front and back crotch hooks. I watched a Crafsty class (Barbra Deckert) re plus sized pant fitting and found that interesting though a little basic. However, between that and the fabulous Singer book, and the Palmer Pletsch book, I realised that I really needed to increase the crotch depth. I did this. I had to add 1". I added extra to the back tapering to the side and felt that I now had enough to have the back go up to the waist. The front is still too long, in my opinion but I know that in the past Rory has said I should wear further up at the front so we'll see.

So today I made a toile of the new pattern. Awful!! Much worse than the original toile. I realised when I was making the pattern that something was seriously wrong with the legs but didn't know what. However, I was unable to put a centre crease in one half of the trousers and although the pattern was trued, there was a significant difference in length between the two sides. Trying the trousers on , the seams are very significantly twisted. This is very noticeable - much more so than in the original pants. I'm puzzled as I followed the instructions I was given. I guess I got it wrong - it's obviously not so easy

No photos of the new toile - too awful!

I'll take them to Rory on Tuesday and see what she has to say.

I gave up and started making a top.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Save the Great British Sewing Bee!

This has been a marvellous programme which has given home sewing a lot more exposure, being instrumental in its revival. I've enjoyed it and would be very sad if it didn't return

The GBSB has included men, including army officers and policemen,  as presenters and as contestants, reducing sexism.

The BBC lost the Great British Bake Off to Channel 4 because it refused to pay the huge extra amount Love Productions were demanding. The same production company produces the GBSB and it may be that relations between the BBC and them are not great. I don't know, I'm just a viewer.

I was aware from my reading that there was a risk that it would not return - and no contestants have been chosen for 2017 which seems to underline that.

I got the following in my email today and I have signed the petition in the hope of saving it (or if not that then something that would pursue our intersts - I for one don't want the BBC held to ransom)

Apparently the BBC are considering cancelling The Great British Sewing Bee, how dare they !!!

This is a link to a petition to help change their minds.

If you love The Sewing Bee (and Patrick) as much as I do please sign it and share it with you friends.

Thuis is the text the link displays but you'll need to click on the link itself to get to the petition.

"The Radio Times recently reported that the BBC have yet to recommission the Great British Sewing Bee and that the show seems to be facing the axe.
Those signing and sharing this petition wish to convince the BBC that this brilliant show should be recommissioned. In fact in light of recent gloomy events (Brexit, Trump, RIP Victoria Wood et al, and the Bake Off going to Channel 4) the Sewing Bee is just the kind of thing they should and need to continue making!
Not only is the Great British Sewing Bee a model of the Reithian philosophy - informing, entertaining and educating, but it demonstrates the benefits of mindful making and creativity, and challenges sexism (the gentle art of needlework is incredibly tough, plus men can do it too). It is the perfect antidote to the current climate of uncertainty.  This programme is an oasis of calm embroidered with double-entendre (courtesy of the marvellous Ms.Winkleman) and needs to be recommissioned.
Please BBC don't let the Sewing Bee unravel like the Bake Off, Britain needs you to save the Sewing Bee.  #savetheGBSB"

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Another UFO finished - summer skirt

Another UFO finished!
This is the last of my UFO posts - at least for a very long time
I did view C
I think it must be 4 years ago now. I took my original sewing machine to a dealer for a service as it was struggling.  I actually thought it was me causing problems due to my inexperience as I was trying to take up dressmaking with no previous experience. The machine was declared dead. It had many problems including a timing problem that couldn't be fixed locally and would cost a lot to send away. Then the rust on one side and wear on the other of a really important part would come into play. I bought a replacement that used the same feet and was light enough to take to class - Alison has this machine now.

I was looking,  unsuccessfully, for a dressmaking class and this dealer,  a quilt shop,  ran a dressmaking class once a month, bringing in a tutor specially. I started with the mandatory pyjamas. The tutor also had a day class making a skirt - everyone making the same skirt. McCall's 3830.

Obviously,  we all wanted it to fit!

I bought my original fabric from the shop - at the time the most expensive fabric I had ever bought. I loved the fabric but when prewashing and preparing found a significant  flaw. The flaw turned out to be present through the whole bolt. For the class I chose this Art Gallery fabric in its place and didn't get the chance to prewash as it was bought on the day. I do like the fabric but the diagonal pattern made matching very difficult.

Lovely fabric but very awkward diagonal pattern match

My skirt was huge. I didn't get it finished. I can't find a photo of the original skirt before it was pinned tighter. Oh, of course, I should say there was no toile/muslin as it was supposed to be completed in the one day. I don't know if anyone actually achieved that. Years later, I met someone else who had been there (neither of us remembered the other) and who had completely abandoned her unfinished skirt. One of the reasons I like to do toiles.

It's inside out here - I hope you can see how big it was! Can you just see where I have basted it a lot smaller?
On another occasion I took it to class - by now I had found a class,  sewing bee,  which I still attend - and Lyn pinned me in. A lot needed to be taken off. I needed to alter the facings to fit. However,  I found trying to match the pattern in any sensible way very difficult. I did try and spent a long time doing so but didn't succeed in any meaningful way.  The pattern was abandoned again.

So it was in my UFO box.

The skirt had been pinned and basted to the size I was then - significantly smaller than I am now.  I had pinned in a zip ready for a centred application. I hand tacked then machine basted this in. I took out the sides to the original size and found my current size is between the skirt pattern size (too much ease ) and the size it had been pinned to. I machine basted in place.
Original centred zip pinned in. I tacked and machine basted this before deciding against it.

Then I remembered that the fabric had never been washed so I washed and tumble dried it.  I hoped it wouldn't shrink too much though as I'm currently losing weight I wasn't too worried and it's a bit on the long side, so I could cope with a little shrinkage.

I hadn't finished any of the edges. I took out the centred zip completely,  overlocked all the seam edges and inserted a concealed zipper instead. That went in well. I was reminded at that point, though,  that to get the best pattern match at the back there is a step between the two sides of the back and I needed to take that into account.

I tried on the skirt at this point and it was fine! Or will be in another half stone time! Or rather when my prominent abdomen shrinks a bit. It would probably benefit from a lining but that's not on my agenda for this skirt. I might wear an underskirt.

The facing had been altered to fit and was too small. I asked advice about whether to try to recut the facings,  using the altered skirt as the pattern or to use bias binding. I had enough fabric to replace them.  I drew up the new facings on paper. The waistline was rather uneven,  not only between the sides but also along the length. That needed to be evened out.

At class,  Lyn advised that I try the skirt on and she marked the waistline. I trimmed it to that point. In some cases, I  had very little seam allowance so the facing was going to need to be attached with a ¼” seam allowance.

This led to a slight problem - I had already inserted the zip. It means that the zip is lower than it would be and had left a gap - solution,  hook and eye.


My mind was elsewhere and I cut the facings wrongly so they had to be redone. Twice!

In the end,  I managed to attach the narrow interfaced facings with a ¼” SA and understitched.  They look OK and pressed nicely. The loose edge is overlocked. The facings are attached at the zip, some of the darts and the sides.

Kick pleat/ vent

I'd only done one of these before - on Helen's tweed skirt. I  needed to look carefully at instructions as I really had little recollection how to do it. There was one on my jacket last term,  but I didn't get as far as doing that, and that one was lined. I still have that to look forward to. I checked the process with Lyn before I continued.  In fact it was quite straightforward, even though the unevenness caused by my pattern matching shift made it a little more complex. I bagged the hem at the vent.


No particular issues here. I'm not sure about the best length as it will depend on footwear. Also,  I'm hoping to lose rather more weight which will make the skirt hang longer. So this is a compromise. It's simply overlocked,  turned up ⅝” and top stitched at ½”.

Some puckers from my too large tum but it should be good in a month or so. The facings are nicely sewn.

Side view - some puckers from my too large tum. I may shorten, but not sure if I can because of the vent

My invisible zip is exactly that!

That was a lot of work. More work,  really,  than starting from scratch. I  do like the skirt,  though - nice fabric.  I have a much clearer idea of what alterations to make if I remade this skirt in a different fabric - so you might say this skirt has been finished 4 years too late and is in some ways a wearable toile!!

One more UFO dealt with. I'm not doing any more at present as I have other projects which take precedence.

Update on my mother - she is feeling rather better. We looked after her for 3 days following her discharge from hospital but were able to return home tonight. We can't stay with my mother, which makes it slightly more awkward, though the accommodation we used was very close by. She's too independent to allow us around for much longer though I'm going back next weekend.

Lace jacket - completed UFO

Bias cut dress and lace cardigan with  patterned selvedge used at edges. 
This is a photo of the pattern envelope I took at the time - last year. It's a fairly old pattern, a Style pattern I seem to remember. Update - I retrieved the pattern and it's Butterick 5416 (an old version; the latest is a dress. I'll post an updated photo later). I thought the lace cardigan and bias cut dress on the envelope looked nice together. I saw my cardigan going nicely with a large floral summer dress of blue flowers on an ivory background - indeed I have the fabric still. I can’t find the pattern - I think I may have given it away (I traced it). Or thrown it out. I didn’t like it. I remember that the pattern was smaller than my size, so I graded up and lengthened. I got help with fitting in my sewing bee at the time; it was tissue fitted but I didn't make a toile as this cardigan was really meant as a wearable toile

I used the pattern to make a lace cardigan, potentially for my MOB outfit , or for one of the surrounding occasions (there were a few) for Helen's wedding, last year. I didn’t like the result. Partly fit - the sleeves were too wide by a lot (and I have mega biceps!) and there was too much sleeve cap ease, leading to problems with sleeve insertion. Neither of these issues were the result of me grading up.

I felt the fabric was probably too fine and floppy in weight for what I was after - I did have heavier lace but decided against moving on with that as I wasn’t pleased with the result of this. This was also partly style. I felt it wasn't dressy enough for what I was after. The sleeves were too long (I had lengthened the pattern too much - I have long arms) and needed turned up more; I’m just not a push the arms up although that’s what the photos show! I actually tacked the sleeves shorter before I abandoned this. I hadn’t added a fastener. The original pattern photo shows the lace trim used as an edging - I wasn’t able to do that with the fabric I had. One of the advantages of using a different lace would be that this nicer edging would be possible.

The photos I include are from March 2106 when I last touched this. I ended up going down a RTW route for my outfit and was so busy sewing my daughter’s wedding dress and associated wedding outfits that this was totally abandoned.

I was looking through my UFOs, of which there are more than I thought, found this and thought I'd finish it. I took it to my sewing bee for a second opinion - abandon or continue. Everyone voted continue and thought it was quite nice. All it needed was a fastener at the neck and the sleeves sewn that bit shorter. I thought it would probably be fine with a summer dress.

Options for fastener at the top - hook and eye hidden behind edge or pearl or similar button sewn on and thread loop to close (as shown in the original photo).

Also, trim the cuffs shorter and restitch where marked.

March 2016. No closure

March 2016 cuffs turned up
Here are photos before I started the addition and changes. I think the cardigan is overall a bit too big and the floppiness of the fabric doesn't helpI hoped this wouldn't take me too long as I was not sure about this cardigan!

I looked at pearl buttons and a little diamante button that I had in my stash but they weren't right. They imposed too much of a particular style to the cardigan and not necessarily one I'd  want. I decided to go with the hook and eye - but then found a perfect navy button in the sewing bee button stash. This would perform the function without imposing. I sewed on the button and Lyn showed me the way to add a fabric loop from matching thread, in the best way. It looks rather nice.
Excess fabric turned down to show the amount

Hem tacked to correct length
I then cut off the excess fabric from the sleeve ends and double turned the lace to the point I had already decided. I tried it on at this stage but felt the sleeves were still a little long. The other students disagreed so I decided to go with it as is.

I could no longer find the original thread I used. I took a reel of thread the correct colour,  wound up a bobbin and prepared to sew my double turned cuffs with stitching at 1/4".

First I had to test  my machine. The other day my foot pedal crashed to the ground and came apart and wasn't put  together properly so didn't work. David sorted it with advice from my dealer but I hadn't had the chance to test it in case there was any other problem.  Fortunately,  it worked.

However,  when I came to test my new thread,  I had no end of difficulty and dreadful thread nests. I threaded and rethreaded. Long story short I found I was using silk thread and it was too thick for my chosen needle. Dan also thought it might be too smooth. I rethreaded with ordinary thread and had no further problems.

I sewed the cuffs without too much difficulty.  I think the sleeves are still too long but my sewing group didn't agree,  so I left them.

This UFO is finished.  I  still don't like it. I think it is too big in parts and not just because I've lost weight though that contributes. One of the others in class suggested I'd  like it in the right circumstances say over a nice camisole.

The next photos are taken of the finished garment over a nice silk camisole. I don't really think it helps! We were in a hurry to take some photos though, as we unexpectedly had to visit my mother who was ill (fortunately a little better now) and I wanted to post the PR entry. The photos are poor and need retaken - one day, perhaps!

I'm holding the bits of sleeve cut off. I need to retake a photo with me standing straight - but that will have to wait.

The excess fabric at the back is fairly clear
I like the concept of a lace cardigan. Heavier lace,  patterns used as edging rather than double hemming - and cut much slimmer. Part of the issue is that the shoulders are wide and fall off my shoulder.

Rory pointed me in the direction of her UFO pile. I not so politely declined. She then suggested maybe she should hold a UFO class. That's not a bad idea,  is it?  Except maybe I won't have any! And pigs might fly.