Uno Quilt

Thank you to everyone who left kind words about my last post. Half-term arrived bringing lots of time to rest and get back in touch with my sewing machine, so I am feeling much more human now.

This is another post in the “things that were made AGES ago and have been used straight away without photos” series and also in a new category of “photos I took months ago but haven’t had the brain energy to edit/write about.” When I say this was made ages ago I mean the process started a year ago. I bought the fabric (Stof Uno) about this time last year as I liked the idea of a teal and navy/grey quilt after the bold red and black I was working on (obviously I had to get a tiny bit of hot pink as well).quilt 1

I had the fabric packed away until January when I felt like doing some patchwork. I had brought the fabric without a plan, thinking that because they were all the same range then they’d go together. When I started playing with designs I realised the big prints would get lost in a fussy layout and so my googling led me to Bento Box designs. The Bento Box is simpler than it looks to make – make lots of square log-cabins and then chop them into quarters and mix and match the pieces. The initial piecing of the squares was quick and done randomly, but when it was time to create the new squares I had to do some unpicking to get the pink distributed evenly.quilt 2

I wasn’t too keen on the quilt top once it was finished as it felt too washed out with so much cream and low-volume patterns. I spent ages finding the right shade on navy blue and Annie from the Village Haberdashery ended up ordering a shade that we saw on the Kona colour charts (nautical I think). I added 2 borders of blue with another border made of the leftover strips from the log cabins. This makes it feels like a stronger design, and the deep blue gives it some much needed depth.quilt 3

Since I had made this without a plan I had lots of fabric left over. I decided to piece the back in a giant Bento Box design. I spent a whole evening at Knitting Night with graph paper planning the dimensions of the back in relation to the pieces I had to use up. In the end I had to buy the last remaining piece of blue flowers and add some joins in one of the aqua flower sections but I just got it to fit.

This was February and I had pin basted the layers together (I took it to school in half-term and laid it all out on the hall floor) but the physio said I needed to rest my wrists again, so it got packed away in a bag until the summer. In the summer I quilted it with navy straight lines around the borders, and variegated turquoise wavy lines in the centre panel. I did the outer straight-line quilting first and bound the edge with more pieced scraps. I wasn’t sure how densely to quilt the waves and may or may not have snoozed under it before it was fully finished. In the end the waves (random, not echoing each other) are about an inch apart at the closest points and maybe 4 inches at the furthest points.quilt 4As I was finishing the quilt we were getting a hot spell in the summer, so the quilt went straight to my bed to use instead of my summer-weight duvet. It is light and not too warm, but perfect for having a bit of weight over your legs (I need to feel bedding on me and sheets are just too light and easily kicked away). The quilt was on my bed all summer, until I took it to the park one morning at the end of the holidays. Now it is back on my bed on top of my light-duvet to provide an extra layer before I get my super thick winter duvet out (definitely not needed this weekend!).

Stripy Chevron Dresses

Every cloud has a silver lining, and being ill* in bed means I have caught up with the 200+ posts in my blog reader and even though I feel better today I am staying in my pjs at my computer just in case. Luckily I have more dresses from the “Garments I’ve made ages ago but have been wearing too frequently to take pictures/blog about them” series.

I wanted an easy-to-wear summer dress so I used my trusted t-shirt block (with self-drafted/made-up cap sleeve adaption) and combined it with the Cake Tiramisu skirt. The neckline and sleeves are finished with bands. That simple, other than the meticulous pinning on every white stripe to get perfect seams. (The good thing about knit fabrics is that you can stretch the fabric slightly if your pattern matching while cutting wasn’t perfect.

turquoise chevron

As soon as I tried on this dress, pre-hemming, I knew it was going to be a favourite.  It is a fairly sturdy interlock knit made from 100% organic cotton and it is a really nice weight to wear; cotton is nice for the summer, it is heavy enough to cover lumps and bumps, and it was good with tights this week. It was £16 a metre which is more than I’d normally pay for fabric, but it is extra wide and holds shape well. When buying the fabric I had resisted the chosen aqua as a more subtle colour, but once I tried it on I knew I needed more, so that same day I ran down the road to get some more in the hot pink.

pink chevron

Two identical dresses would be a bit odd, so I went crazy and mixed things up a bit by adding a v-neck! I’ve never sewn a v-neck before, and annoyingly I can’t find the tutorial I used to help me get a nice centre-front; I did something similar to this and sewed a v-seam where the centre front would be, being careful to match the stripes on both sides. I sewed the centre front first on either side, then figured out how much I needed to stretch the neckband to work out where to place the centre-back seam; this gave me a v-neck with absolutely NO gaping which is pretty brilliant!pink detail

I also decided to cut 8 skirt panels instead of 4 to get a more zig-zaggy look (slightly inspired by the cover of Threads 161). I divided the skirt pattern pieces in half and drew a couple of new stripe lines on the new pattern piece, and I made sure these always matched up with the fabric during cutting. When marking stripes I draw a line (eg for the bottom of the white stripe) and then shade/mark below (for the pink) to be sure my line is in the right place of the stripe. The cutting was quite a tricky business on a single layer of fabric, but luckily this fabric could be used upside-down and on the reverse (does an interlock have a reverse?). Despite the hassle of arranging pattern pieces so particularly, I really prefer the effect of the zig-zags and love that I have created a new fabric by adding more seams.

swirly

 

 

I have worn both of these dresses a lot, and on consecutive days, and NOBODY has noticed that they are even similar! Is it just a keen-eyed sewist who would notice the similarities, or have I done too good a job of customising them?! I wore both of these as my cheat attempt to join in with One Week One Pattern.

*There was a nasty 24 hour bug going around (when I say nasty I mean I lost 2 kgs in 2 days) so if any parents of small kids are reading I beg you to make sure your kids don’t come back to school the day after they’ve been ill; I didn’t need to feel guilty about being away from my class as by the end of the day there were only 15 children in! (FYI children will tell teachers that they were sick in the morning but mummy made them come to school.) Annoyingly for me the 48 hours I must stay off work are the weekend.