Vision vs. reality

I made another matching Mabel skirt and Toaster 1 sweater. This is a really practical and useful combination for me (as I’ve explained before here) as the skirt and sweatshirt can be worn separately or together as a dress.


This should’ve been a super quick make and it was relatively – it just needed a bit of careful stripe matching. It’s a bit snugger than my last Toaster and Mabel due to the fabric not having as much stretch. The right side is a woven cotton bonded onto some squishy (almost like foam?!) stretch fabric. It was from Fabric Godmother in the post-Christmas sale but I don’t think it’s available any longer.


It ought to have been done in a couple of toddler nap times but I’d had it in my head that I’d put some red embroidered lettering in French on the sweatshirt. This idea had been floating about since last September, when I went to an embroidery workshop at the Handmade Fair. I imagined something along the lines of the Chianti and Parker ones that you see at exhorbitant prices …

Image result for breton slogan

First of all, I tried hand embroidering using a stem stitch (which I had to youtube to remind myself!) but that looked too uneven when embroidered (even though I’m not bad at cursive handwriting, as a school teacher). Then I tried machine embroidery on a strip of fabric … IMG_0052

I decided to write marinière (French for Breton top) but the machine embroidery looked a bit ‘naf naf’ too (that’ll mean something if you’re of a certain age)! Thinking it still needed a bit of je ne sais quoi, I eventually I spent ages putting on a Liberty pocket in Wiltshire, making sure it was exactly square on the stripes. IMG_5574

And then … well in the words of my sister, it just looked a bit ‘homemade’ … so I took the pocket off. Could’ve saved myself at least 2 or 3 hours of messing about! Zut alors! Shame – the vision just didn’t work in reality – does this ever happen to you? Something you think will be a winner but when you make it up, the fabric/fit/embellishments just don’t quite work? Anyway, this still has had lots of wear already and was finished just in time for @sewcialists ‘sew stripes’ month on Instagram.


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