Catching up….

Well hello friends! Welcome to 2019 at Chez Tragic. It will still, of course, be fairly quiet on le bloggo merely due to time constraints, but fear not – I am still sewing…. less often but it’s still happening. 

It’s been a few months since my last post, and in an effort to catch up I thought I’d do a bit of a round up of some of my projects from late 2018 and early 2019. Some are repeat sews, some are not. Most are for me, and of those that are they were all chosen because they were suitable for my slowly-reducing-in-size post partum and still-breastfeeding body. It’s been hard to dedicate precious precious time to projects that may only get a few months wear, and so inevitably there are many elastic waists and knits. There is also a lot of navy. I’m not going to lie, I deliberately had a run of at least 6 projects that used navy overlocker thread to save time avoid changing out the overlocker threat. It worked a treat. Many of these pics are from instagram, so you may have already seen them…. 

Nani Iro recipe 5 versions 3 and 4. 
Version 3 is my second knit version, a stable navy and white cotton stripe purchased from a fantastic op shop in Mount Gambier. I truly wear this at least once a week and always feel chic. It’s the same size as my pre-preg size S and it fits pretty well. 

Version 4 is in a glorious lightweight yarn dyed gingham linen purchased a few years ago from The Drapery. I couldn’t bear to chop into a check for the hemming, so it was hemmed slightly cropped. For the first time I bound the neckline in a bias facing rather than a standard facing, and used this Grainline tutorial, which, whilst tedious always gives beautiful results. Yes there’s a little hoiking up at the front due to bewbs but I don’t really care. The label is from Kylie and the Machine, a very talented Aussie seamstress who has released the most fabulous collection of labels for home sewing. 

This is for sure one of my fave patterns and version 5 is currently cut out and waiting to be sewn (another knit, but not navy!). A reminder this is a free pattern you can draft yourself (click on Woman Tshirt) (or if you are lucky trace from the out of print Nani Iro book or off a generous friend). 


Liesl and Co Metro tee
This Christmas the only gift sewing was for my husband. We had decided no big gifts, and I felt the best gift I could give him was my time. I’d purchased this fabulous cotton Lycra space invaders knit for him a couple of years ago from The Cloth Shop. You’d think it was easy to make the perfect men’s tee. It is not. Over the years I’ve made him a few, and they’re never quite right. Including this one. Sigh. 

I used the Metro tee pattern, and compared it to one of his RTW tops. I subsequently cut the XL but failed to take note of the length. It was too short, even unhemmed it was a little too short. I tried a facing which was a disaster, and ended up finishing it with a band which is a bit weird for a guys top, isn’t it? Anyway the print makes it pretty hard to spot but it’s a bit too snug for comfort. His RTW tees are 100% cotton and I wonder if the recovery of the Lycra is what has made it too small. I actually think it looks great but he feels it’s a bit snug. So back to the drawing board. This free mens tee pattern from Elbe Textiles looks like a good one. Otherwise I’ll size up the Metro and go with 100% cotton next time. The label is another from Kylie and the Machine, and never were truer words sewn inter a garment.


Pattern Emporium Hepburn Shorts
We’ve had a really hot summer and with the small now crawling I needed some comfy but stylish shorts to be able to roll around on the floor with some decorum. I did try the Emerson shorts before getting pregnant but the toile wasn’t a success. I found the Hepburn shorts, from a new-to-me Australian pattern company Pattern Emporium after I made their Endless Summer tank late last year. I’m well impressed with the options from this company – pretty good size range, different body shapes modelling, often several variations within the one pattern and excellent instructions and PDF layout. The Hepburn shorts come in two lengths, either with a fitted waistband, a fully elastic waistband or an elastic back waistband, with one front pleat and the option for pockets.


 I went with the elastic waist back, in the short length with pockets in a size 14. I probably could have squeezed into a 12, but for a toile I’m very pleased. They’re made in a glorious linen twill from Darn Cheap Fabrics, leftovers from a pair of Sew Liberated Arenite pants that really deserve their own post. 


Anyway they’re a little big now but I can easily take the elastic in at the back. Even a little big they fit way better than an elastic waisted RTW pair I bought before Christmas – they give me major bubble bum. I wish I’d used slightly heavier interfacing for the flat front as it sits right over my belly and tends to crinkle over and drop below the mumtum which isn’t cool. But you live and learn. 

I’d definitely make these again – I’ve been wearing them a couple of times a week. 

Kinda self drafted knot tank
Aaaaages ago I used the Tessuti Ruby tank as a super rough base for a knit tank with similar lines – slightly high neck, cut away shoulders, and made this knit tank for maternity wear. I still wear this, it’s just a roomy swing tank now, and thought it a great base to hack a knot front tank, inspired by Meg’s twist and ties challenge. I roughly used this tutorial she linked to. 

The fabric is a plain navy organic cotton spandex from The Cloth Shop. I cropped the side seams and back length by 13cm and cut the front on the fold to allow for the knot. I ended up having to raise the split between the ties several more centimetres so that the knot would sit higher up. The hems and knot edges are finished with a rolled hem on my overlocker (see my tutorial on hemming knits with a rolled edge here) which was quick and faff free. I’ve worn this a heap with jeans and high waisted skirts, and think there is definitely room in my wardrobe for another in a light colour. Because I’m not sure I can pull off dressing like a navy crayon……

So that’s part of my navy collection. There’s another few pieces that will get their own posts. But for now this will have to do as a speed summary of what I’ve been up to. Do ask if you’d like more details on anything I’ve posted! Xx



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