Breaking Ground Blog Tour 2018

This is the second year that I’ve joined in on the Breaking Ground blog tour, hosted by Mahlica Designs. This year I jumped straight in and challenged myself with two different, yet complimentary new sewing experiences, and definitely breaking into new ground!

So, today, I bring you all the details about my first ever fabric order from Knitpop, combined with the first time that I have ever made any of the adult sized patterns from Halla Patterns.

I wanted to add some easy-travel pieces to my wardrobe, we are planning a family holiday soon and I want pieces that won’t look terrible when pulled out of the suitcase, that will suit the weather, and be practical for sight seeing with young children. Knit fabrics definitely suit that requirement and the patterns that I chose to use have added some pieces that are basic enough to wear anywhere, yet special enough that I will feel well groomed.

Knitpop

I have only ever bought fabric online a few times. The postage costs within Australia are quite high, but the international postage can seem a bit prohibitive. Unfortunately, it is what it is, there isn’t anything that the fabric retailer can do about it. However, when I thought through it all, I worked out that even adding on the cost of international postage, the final cost per yard is still quite economical when compared to my locally available stores. So I took the plunge and placed an order with Knitpop.

Knitpop have an extensive range of knit fabrics that is quite different from what is locally available. I purchased some floral prints and some coordinating stripes in crushed stretch velvet and double brushed poly (DBP). I also ordered some French Terry and rayon knit, as well as some sweater knit and cotton lycra. I used most of these fabrics to make the items shown further down in this blog post, the rest will appear here in due time – some will be for me and some for the little people in my life.

Knitpop have a new customer rewards program too – new customers can get $5 off their first order, and rewards credit for every order (including an extra 25% with the first order!). Overall the experience was entirely positive, the website is easy to order from, communication was excellent with tracking details provided for the order every step of the way. My order was dispatched within 2 business days, and arrived at my door in less than 2 weeks – those 2 weeks did seem like forever…but it was totally worth the wait, and I thoroughly recommend Knitpop and be assured that I will be making more Knitpop purchases in the future.

Knitpop also have a facebook group, where you will find lots of inspiration from other sewists, as well as up to date information about new products – including a brand new custom heart print that I need to have – and sales, auctions and scrap packs etc.

So I have definitely broken new ground here!

Halla Patterns

To further challenge myself, I looked to sew up my new Knitpop fabrics with some new patterns. Halla Patterns are not new to me, I have made many of their patterns for kids, in fact, most of my son’s mumma-made clothes are Halla Patterns, but I’ve never made any of their patterns for myself. I honestly don’t know why, I’ve had several of them, for more than a year. So I finally took the plunge, and decided to build on my little travel wardrobe and so I chose a variety of basics, that I think, have ended up as anything but basic!

I chose to make:
* Cosy Wrap Cardigan
* Hey Babe
* Juniper
* Lounge Pants
* Agnes Dress

Cozy Wrap Cardigan

This is the first pattern that I made. I used a floral printed crushed velvet for the main, and a coordinating stripe DBP for the collar and cuffs. (I’d like to note at this point that I recently saw some similar velvet in a local store and it was nearly 3 times the price that I paid for this – so I am definitely happy with my fabric purchase!).

This pattern is for a wrap front cardigan or top. There are heaps of options for different sleeve lengths, closure styles and finishing. I opted for long sleeves, with extra long cuffs, a wrap cardigan closure with visible buttons at both sides.

I made this as my first pattern because I thought that it would be the easiest to manage if the fit was not quite right…but there are no problems, and nothing that needs managing! I picked my size based on my full bust, and made no other alterations, although there are some beautiful instructions to alter all of these patterns including rulers printed on all the pattern pieces to help.

This cardigan can be worn with fastened wit the buttons, or left open. My hubby says that when its worn open it reminds him of Hugh Hefner! So, because we are a funny family, this will be forever known as my Hugh Hefner cardigan lol!

This was really easy to make, most of it was done on the overlocker. I was really careful when handling the velvet though, because it did tend to want to slip around a bit, as velvet does, but the DBP was a dream to sew with – I now fully understand why all the sewists in the US rave so much about it.

There was just one small problem that I had with sewing up this cardigan, and that was the button holes, the DBP just got sucked straight underneath the needle plate. Fortunately I was able to remove it without actually tearing any holes in the fabric, and when I had a second go at doing the button holes…using some stabiliser underneath…it worked perfectly.

I finished the hem with my coverstitch machine, and finished the garment with some plain black buttons. With a fancy fabric, I thought that the buttons should be solid and strong to complete the look.

Hey Babie

Next up is the Hey Babie, this top has set in sleeves and also comes with a whole lot of options. I made a short sleeved version with a faux cami. There are also options for long sleeves, a hood, nursing cami and drawstring sides.

The main fabric is a rayon knit, which was extremely challenging to manage on the cutting table, it drapes beautifully, but this also means that it slips and slides and generally misbehaves when trying to cut out a pattern! The bands are the same DBP that I used for the Cosy Wrap, the faux cami is a small piece of plain black cotton lycra that I had on hand (and this is actually the only non-Knitpop fabric to make an appearance today).

The faux cami is ever-so-slightly lopsided. But I do know what I did wrong, and apart from that this was a really easy top to sew. It was sewn entirely using the overlocker, I didn’t need the regular sewing machine at all for this one. I will definitely be making more of these for winter – there are some especially beautiful ones to be inspired by in the Halla Patterns facebook group.

Juniper

I have owned the Juniper since it was originally released over a year ago, and yet I am just making it up now! I really love this one, it has raglan sleeves and a wider style neckline. Again, I made this one with short sleeves, and none of the other options, although I had fully intended to do the drawstring sides on this one, it was when I went to attach the waist band that I realised that I had cut the shorter length, not the longer length, so that will have to wait until next time.

This fabric is a DBP and it is soooo soft, its like wearing a cloud. I originally bought this for my daughters, for some reason I thought that they would really like it, but they weren’t into it, so even though its not a colour I would normally choose for myself I decided to take the plunge and try it (more breaking ground ha!). I matched it with a green striped DBP for the neck and sleeve bands.

Apparently I really need to work on my stripe-matching, because this is just terrible, I didn’t get a single match anywhere on this top. Feel free to laugh with me on this.

Lounge Pants

These pants are apparently a bit camera shy..because I somehow managed to not have a single decent photo of them. I used a chambray coloured French Terry – which is even softer than the DBP, seriously, these pants are the secret pyjamas to outwit all other secret pyjamas. I want to roll myself into a cocoon of this fabric and never leave.

I used my coverstitch machine to attach the pockets, and that is the only real visible feature. I used the same fabric for all the bands to make just a really simple, basic pair of lounge pants. I made these at the pedal pusher length, which is about 7/8 length on me, which is perfect for my needs, these pants are perfect for the Spring weather.

I was a little unsure of the waistband and whether it would hold up without some elastic in there, but it does. And I’m slightly surprised by that, but happily so, this just makes the pattern so much easier to make, I will definitely be making more of these, probably in the longer length with coverstitch hems for winter.

Agnes

This dress is the Agnes Dress. It is available for free with a code from the facebook group. It is a swing dress or top, there are different sleeve lengths and dress lengths included. I made this dress from another stretch velvet fabric, this one has a flocked floral print and I wanted this dress to be for any occasions whilst on holiday that I might want to be a bit more dressed up…although lets face it, with 3 young kids the fanciest place that we are likely to go is Denny’s!

I have used a similar pattern by another designer, but I really like this one a lot better. The main reason that I like it is that I don’t have the slight high-low hem that I usually get (because … boobs … of course), so I like that this pattern is properly drafted so that doesn’t happen.

It also has pockets.

This is the only one of the patterns that I actually altered. One alteration was intentional – I added about 3/4 inch to the sleeves so that I could hem them instead of adding bands. The other alteration was to shorten the dress length skirt by about 3 inches. I shortened the skirt for one reason only and that is because this fabric, which is a velvet, is obviously one-directional and I only had two yards, so the dress just wouldn’t fit without shortening it slightly. With a non-directional fabric I would simply turn the pattern piece upside down and 2 yards would have been more than sufficient.

Blog Tour

Welcome to the Breaking Ground Blog Tour 2018. This week over 20 bloggers are joining together to break new ground by trying a pattern designer that is new to them, try new techniques, new styles, or whatever way they want to push themselves.

The Full Tour includes all these creatives… we hope you’ll visit us each day:

Monday March 12- mahlicadesigns, Sewing Vortex, Sewing A La Carte, Little Heart Threads,The Sewing Scientist

Tuesday March 13- Musings of A Seamstress, A Custom Clothier, Octaves of Color, Aurora Design Fabrics, Sew Altered Style

Wednesday March 14- Flaxfield Sewing, Chook n Duck, Tales of a Tester, Sewing By Ti, Sewing Vortex, Kathy’s Kwilts and More

Thursday March 15- Very Blissful, Manning the Machine, Sew and Tell Project, Musings of a Seamstress, Stitches by Laura

Friday March 16- Lulu & Celeste, Tenille’s Thread, Sewing A La Carte, The Bear and Pea Atelier, Aurora Design Fabrics, Sprouting Jube Jube, Kathy’s Kwilts and More

To make the tour even more fun, our Breaking Ground blog team member, Gail is offering 2 patterns of choice from her pattern shop Flosstyle to one lucky winner.

Enter Here!

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We’d love to see how you’re Breaking Ground this month. Share with us what you’re working on by using the hashtag #BreakingGround2018 across social media.

Better yet, join the Sew Alongs & Sewing Contests facebook group to sew along with the Breaking Ground theme for the entire month of March. In the group you’ll find support and encouragement for your projects and fun themed challenges.

As always, thanks for stopping by today.

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