A second Astoria sweatshirt

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Oddly, this sweatshirt looks a lot better lying down than standing up

I love the idea of this pattern, but I can’t quite get it working for me.

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That fold just above the bustline shows there’s too much fabric there – I should go back down a size and add the extra room just where it’s needed.

 

My first one was a bit tight across the chest and the arms, and this one (a large rather than a medium) is just a bit, well, meh. It’s not sweatshirty enough for slobbing around or smart enough for going out.

I used the leftover fabric from the first to try this second version and I had just enough to squeeze out the 3/4 length sleeved version.

Fit-wise, this one is much looser overall, but I’m now getting that tell-tale extra fabric just above the armpits (front and back) that reveals it’s too large at the upper bust.

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It’s a bit big in the back and it doesn’t really nip in at the waist.

Plus the 3/4 length sleeves have come out more like 5/8, even though I added the same amount of length to these as I added to the full-length ones before – and those were way too long. (Why? Do I have oddly long upper arms and weirdly short forearms?!)

I’ve learnt some useful things: I do need an FBA, even in a C-cup pattern line like Colette/Seamwork. I should go back to the size M and add the extra room at the bust and on the arms. And I think it would be less meh –and more me – in a sweater knit or a ponte knit – I’m thinking a marled grey or a berry colour?

What do you think?

Can you recommend a great tutorial for an FBA on knits, and what’s the best EU-based online shop for sweater knits?

 

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What’s on my sewing table?

This hasn’t been a productive month so far. I’d been putting off a blog post until I’d finished something, but that hasn’t happened, so here’s a peek into what’s happening in my sewing space at the moment.

Nearly finished: a second toile for the Thread Theory Fairfield shirt.

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This is turning into a bit of a labour of love. In fact, I’m not sure if shirtmaking and I are going to become the fast friends I thought we might. The tiny seam allowances and fiddly pressing needed to achieve neat flat-felled seams are driving me up the wall, and I’ve just discovered that the collar is too small. Again. (I’m still scratching my head to try to work out how this has happened. I could swear I took all the measurements and followed the size chart correctly.) And of course, this is only a toile – there’s then the actual shirt to do.

Cut out and ready to sew: Ottobre bicycle print pyjama top

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I made the bottoms last month, and they’ve turned out well, so my son has requested the matching top too. This looks like a fairly quick make, so I’m looking forward to starting this one. Because it’s a knit fabric, hopefully there won’t be much fitting to do.

Next in the queue: Tilly and the Buttons Fifi set

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This looks like a lot of fun. Finally something that will fit on my cutting table in one go, and made from Liberty print cotton, too. Although I’ll need to learn french seams and work out how to fit the top, so it probably won’t be an express make.

Knitting: Big Alps Beanie and Flax jumper

I’ve also got two knitting projects on the go at the moment. The Flax jumper I started back in May (!) only has the sleeves to go. I’ve got the sleeve stitches onto double pointed needles (my first go at this), now I just need to pluck up the courage to dive in and knit them.

And because I wanted something I could knit up quickly – OK, and also because the kit was in the sale – I’m making the Big Alps Beanie hat from Stitch & Story. 12mm needles make this very quick, and I’m also learning how to do a basic cable knit.

What have you got on the go at the moment? Do you usually work on more than one project at a time, or do you always finish one before you start the next?

Learning new knitting skills

Part of a blue sweater knitted on circular needles.

I’ll readily admit that I love learning new things (at my own pace, when I feel like it!). I sometimes lack the patience to keep practising long enough to make them perfect, but I’m trying to be better at that.

And what better time to learn something new than when you’re on holiday? I spent last week relaxing on the coast of the lovely Llyn Peninsula in North Wales. (I say relaxing, but my two-year old son doesn’t actually stop from 6am until 7pm, so it’s all relative…)

Image of an empty sandy beach with a headland in the background.
You can’t complain about the crowds in North Wales.

There definitely wasn’t room in the car for my sewing machine, so I took my latest knitting project instead. There was neither TV reception nor an internet connection in our cottage, so once Mr Wardrobe and I had completed the regulation almost-impossible jigsaw I broke out the yarn.

I’m using the children’s Flax sweater pattern from Tin Can Knits, which looked ambitious but not impossible. If it turns out really well the pattern includes adult sizes so I could make one for me too.

I’m only a quarter of the way through but so far it’s shaping up well and I’ve enjoyed learning new skills including: using circular needles, swatching in the round, stockinette stitch, the kfb increase and lots more knitting pattern terminology. (Eat your heart out, Albus Dumbledore.) All standard fare for more experienced knitters, but each one has been a learning curve for me.

To complete this project I still need to learn how to put stitches on hold on waste yarn, how to knit on double-pointed needles, something called the ‘backwards loop cast-on method’, and how to block my knitting. I’ll be finished in about a year, then!

Do you like learning new skills, or do you purposely avoid techniques you’ve never tried before?