Friday, September 20, 2013

Some Ugly And Unselfish Sewing

Hello! A quick word of warning before we begin: if you're looking for a glamour fix, this is not the post for you. In fact, this may be the ugliest sewing project I've ever done! But it also may be one of the most appreciated, which is why I'm dedicating a post to it.

As any Australian will know, and especially any Victorian, September is Footy Finals Month. And if you're not into footy....well, tough! It's everywhere. The rest of my family are diehard Geelong Cats supporters (Except for one son, who now barracks for Hawthorn. Suffice it to say, Gary Ablett's departure cut deep). Today at their school, where my man also teaches, was Come Dressed In Your Team's Colours Day (or something less wordy), and my man and my girl both wanted a Geelong onesie to wear.

Now normally I don't really condone onesies for anyone over the age of, oh, eighteen months or so. But it would seem that in the name of Team Support, all such rules go out the window. Plus, after a few weeks of wedding sewing, I think I was ready to sew something frivolous!

I used an old pattern that used to belong to my mum - Simplicity 9810. I've no idea whether it's still in print or not, but it's an animal suit pattern. I ignored the hood-with-ear-options, feet and mitten pieces, and just cut bands of the same fabric. If I'd left myself enough time I would have maybe narrowed arms and leg cuffs, but Blind Optimism plus Night Before didn't leave any room for finessing... I'm not too concerned, although I wouldn't mind fixing up the neckbands a bit; I think they'd look better if they curved down at the opening to meet the front zip. I only got one shot of the front view (including a third, grumpy supporter - no time for face-painting, I'm afraid, and blue hair was only a part consolation.):

And that's because these onesies are all about the back! (There you are, Nessa!)

I'm pretty happy with the way those logos turned out. Since I don't know how to screenprint, and can't embroider on my machine, I went with a kind of applique. I have no idea whether this is an official technique, but it works, so that makes it valid in my book :)  On the very slight chance that anyone will someday want to reproduce a logo/image, and be in the same (lack of skills) boat as me, here's how I did it:

Print out logo onto A3 sheet.

Pin contrast fabric to pattern piece (here, the back) with paper template pinned over the top.
(NB. Unlike me, do this before you sew any other pieces together, eg. sleeves, fronts. Seriously.)

Machine sew along outlines. Stop and swivel/reposition fabric as necessary. (This is time-consuming, awkward and fiddly. Be aware you will probably gouge yourself on the pins repeatedly) 

 Once all outlines have been sewn over, carefully tear away the paper. Then, using very fine scissors - small embroidery scissors with sharp outlines worked beautifully - cut away the sections that should be the background colour. I found it easier to cut chunks away, then go back and do a finer, closer cut afterwards. (No photos of these two steps, sorry. I can only beg the excuse that it was 2am by this stage. I haven't done 2am for a very, very long time.)

The end result comes out like this:

And a close up:

So long as the contrast fabric doesn't fray, you can get in really close to the stitching without any worries. Like I said, it may not be an official technique, but it does do away with cutting out lots of tiny shapes and trying to position them ...I can remember the misery of that from Year 8 Textiles!

They really are ugly, there's no denying it! But, both are being worn right this minute in the other room to cheer on Geelong in the Preliminary Final. (Against Hawthorn, so it's going to end in tears for one family member at least...) I keep hearing howls of outrage / yells of jubilation from the other room as I'm typing this... I kind of wish I'd made them earlier in the season now! Never mind, I'm pretty sure they'll get plenty of wear in years to come :)

For anyone not interested in sport-related sewing - if you're still with me - look (look!!) what I just got in the mail from Sarah at Fabric Tragic! I won one of her giveaways ( the day after my birthday - how's that for timing!), and just unwrapped this bundle of wonderfulness:

It was really too dark to take proper individual photos of each piece, so this is just a being-excited taster. I'll post some proper pics once I have some daylight to go by. But in the meantime, have you ever seen anything more fabulous than those glow-in-the-dark knitting needles?? I think not :)

What are you working on at the moment? Any frivolous projects in the pipeline?

Have a wonderful week :)

Danielle  oxo


  1. Those are pretty awesome if you ask me... :)

    1. Thank you! I'm told they're very comfy - in fact, I'm a bit tempted to make one for myself now! Mind you, I wouldn't be leaving the house in it... ;)

  2. WOW!!! These are fantastic! What an inspired idea with the logos, I never would have thought of that - I bet they will last a long time too. When I saw the first photo I didn't think they looked very CATS-like but you delivered yet again - the backs!!! YAY!

    1. Yup, it's all about the backs! Had to laugh when I realised I almost forgot to post a FRONT photo this time round :)

  3. More frivolous than a chiffon skirt when I don't have the life to match?! :)

    Great job! And what a great idea with the appliqué. I am particularly impresses this was a 2am job. I hope the family allow you a lie in this weekend by way of appreciation!

    1. They did! And it was very much appreciated :)

  4. You had me hooked at 'Onesie'! So glad you like your giveaway! Yes you will have a mostly sad house hold today - but those onesies should provide infinite comfort until next year! Great job :)

    1. Yes, it was mostly a pretty gloomy household today :( Never mind - there's always next year! And at least our Hawks supporter was having a good day!