Today I am back with the second installment of my Handmade Christmas Gifts 2017 Recap! If you missed it, you might want to start with Part 1 as it gives some general context, etc.
The projects I am sharing this round are mostly apparel but there is one fun/silly non-clothing item bonus project at the end! But first…
RAGLAN TOP AND COORDINATING MINI-COWL NECK SCARF:
I sewed up this combo for my mom, who is one of my biggest fans and is always so appreciative of the items I make for her. She is a pleasure to sew for and thus I have made her many items over the past few years. She has a lot of Brenda-Made clothing that was either made specifically for her or was an item that didn’t work for me. So for her gift I wanted to make her something from a “new to her” pattern. I have sewn up the Bethioua Raglan top once before for myself and my mom loves it so I thought it was a great choice for her gift. For the main fabric I chose this awesome Eggplant French Terry from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. I love this “line” of french terry fabrics that Raspberry Creek carries because they are a cotton/spandex blend! And jewel-tones are a good color on my mom.
Originally I planned on using some charcoal gray cotton spandex for the cuffs and collar but I had a scrap of this AGF knit (from the Etno Collection, can’t remember the design name) sitting on my table when I was working on this and they looked so perfect together I decided to use it instead. I like how it adds a really special and unique touch to the sweatshirt. AND, after I cut the shirt pieces I had a perfectly sized piece left to make a mini-cowl!!! Bonus Gift! I just love how it pairs with the shirt.
The Pattern: I have sort of mixed feelings about this pattern. The Bethioua Raglan (which I purchased from Indie Sew) is a a fun one, since it has some special details that set it apart from other raglan tops, including subtle bat wing sleeves and really awesome curved back seams where the sleeves attach (instead of the usual angled raglan connection). Both big pluses. It also has shoulder darts… which is a minus for me. I have made this pattern twice now, and I am just not sold on them. I am not sure if I am not sewing them correctly… since on other examples I have seen they do not stick up like they do on mine. Or if they are more pronounced when using heavier fabric. Or they need to fit just right to look good. But I am not loving them. (In fact I am now wary of trying any other design that has shoulder darts!) If I make this pattern again, I am going to try to eliminate them by modifying the pattern piece. I also have an issue with the sleeve cuffs. I think the size the pattern instructs you to cut (there is no pattern piece) is definitely too skinny. There are actually 2 size options close-fitting and over-sized. But even the bigger sized ones are too small. This is a super easy modification but I did want to point it out so if you are making the pattern you can consider cutting them bigger from the get-go. You might want to taper the sleeve bottoms a bit wider to match (although I did not). As a reference, I have SUPER skinny wrists and small hands… and they are definitely too tight for me.
My mom was just commenting this weekend about how much she loves this top and how in the french terry it is like wearing pajamas out and about! I am considering this gift a TOTAL WIN!
MOMMY AND ME RAGLANS
Next up is a pair of coordinating raglans I made for my sister-in-law and niece.
I was assigned my sister-in-law Julie for our Christmas gift exchange and I had her show me some of the patterns I have made myself that she would like also. Then I picked from there. I chose one of my most TNT (Tried and true) patterns, the Lane Raglan by Hey June Handmade!
For the fabric I chose this gorgeous Dear Stella knit. It was my first time sewing with a Dear Stella fabric and I was super impressed with the quality. I especially loved that the fabric was the coral color all the way thru with just the scallops being the printing (instead of it have a white back like a lot of printed knits.) I purchased it through Hawthorne Threads (and I wanted to give them a shout out because I am a big fan of their store) but it is no longer available there. You can however find it here. This was a pretty straight forward sew. I did cuffed 3/4 sleeves, so I did do a custom sleeve length/cuff combo for that.
When I purchased fabric for the Lane I bought a little more than I needed for long sleeves, totally forgetting that Julie said she preferred 3/4 or short sleeves… So I knew I was definitely going to have extra fabric leftover and I thought it would be super adorable to make my niece a top to match her mom’s! Using the size I thought I needed to make, it turned out that I did NOT have enough to make an entire long-sleeved top from the leftovers. Believe me, I TRIED! Multiple patterns and pattern hacks were tested. I needed to bring in another fabric and this solid white scrap from stash was the best matching fabric I had. And even with that scrap the Raglan Sweatshirt pattern I chose (from Brindille and Twig) still BARELY fit! Basically I cut one piece at a time starting from biggest to smallest, maximizing the scraps and barely fitting every piece (except maybe the cuffs)! In fact, the sleeves did not fit fully, I had to shorten those and use extra tall cuffs to make up the difference. I used my puzzle solving skills to the max on this one!!!
AND THEN… it turns out… the shirt is WAY TOO BIG ON HER!!!!!!!!!!! Wah, wah! Oh well. I’d rather have it too big, because it will fit eventually… but I did long sleeves on purpose so she could wear it now. Not sure a size smaller would have fit on just the Dear Stella fabric anyways. So… it is more like a dress. But I think she likes it, because she has special requested to wear it! 🙂
My plans for nice modeled photos fell thru, twice, but Julie got some photos of them together and I found one that was pretty good. (Bad lighting so not super clear, but gives you a sense of fit). I still think they look pretty cute together, even if my niece is swimming in hers!
BONUS PROJECT: FLEECE AND FELT SPOON SLEEVE
This super quick little project was a bonus gift for my 2 1/2 year old nephew. He LOVES cooking! And he loves REAL cooking tools. So as a fun little gift I decided to give him his very one “big person” spoon for all his play cooking. To jazz it up a gift I thought a special holder for it would be fun. This was created entirely with scraps and entirely on the fly. I just kind of made it up as I went. The navy is fleece and the orange is a piece of leftover felt from another gift I made my nephew for his first birthday! (You can see what that was and read all about it in this post).
The spoon does fit inside completly, I just thought it would be cute to take of photo of it popping out a little!
AND… That’s a wrap! Phew! I am finding these blog posts that cover a lot of projects to be a great deal of work! I hope you enjoyed reading them! (Because then the work is worth it!) It is also my 5th blog post this month! Wow! I definitely won’t be this prolific all year long. But I already have my plan for my next blog post and hope to be posting more regularly throughout the year!
Thanks for Reading!