Walking on Sunshine

The summer sewing is in full swing now, and I’m trying to make tops that I can wear to work so that I don’t have to look trampy wearing creased t-shirts to the office. The patterns that are currently helping me achieve this are the Grainline Scout tee (up on ze blog next week), the Deer and Doe Bruyere shirt and the oh-so-quick Ogden Cami.

I made my first Ogden last year, using some leftover viscose that I had kicking around. I was quite pleased with the loose-fitting vest pattern, and knew I would make more.

True Bias Ogden Cami in tropical viscose challis

Wow my hair looks really short in this pic! ?And the first cami is slightly looser around the bust than the one I just made… time to step up the weight loss efforts I think :/

When I saw this gorgeous Armani silk on the Minerva crafts website, I knew I wanted to make something with it – but at almost £40 per metre it was a smidge pricey to make anything *too* big. I’d love to line a coat with it, but yeah that ain’t going to happen unless I win the lottery (which I don’t even play ??). The Ogden pattern states that you need 1.1m of fabric for my size (I made the 6, for reference) but I really didn’t believe that a simple top could use so much – so I got out my previously traced pattern pieces and laid them on some fabric to figure it out. I reckoned I could get away with 75cm of 150cm fabric, so that’s what I ordered. And it was enough. Whoop!

The Ogden is a realllllly quick make – you can whip it up in an afternoon – and as you can eek it out of not-much-fabric (even less, if you cut the facings out of a different fabric) it’s great for using up those leftovers that you don’t really know what else to do with. I make my straps just a teency bit wider than the pattern suggests, because I hate bra straps showing, but other than that it’s straight outta the packet.

This was a Minerva crafts make, so you can head on over to their blog to read all the construction deets – but first continue on here for the photos, nature-related catastrophes and Sewing Bee updates ?

I know that I usually favour graffiti walls for photo backgrounds, but due to an incident with nature, that didn’t quite work out as planned and these photos were somewhat delayed. Bear with – I’ll try to give you the short version.

We usually head out on a weekend with a bunch of makes that need to be photographed, and do lots of shoots at once. We had one planned for the upcoming weekend. On the Friday, when I got home from work, I went outside to get the washing in off the line. There was a fair bit so I carried some in my hands and slung the rest over my shoulder. A couple of minutes later the husbeast got home, and while I stood there talking to him, I thought: my back itches. So I reached behind and gave it a little scratch. Ahhhh that’s better. A few seconds later, it starts to burn where I’ve scratched it. Hmm, I think, perhaps I scratched a little TOO hard there. Then the husbeast trots off upstairs and I wander into the kitchen, still feeling itchy. It’s at this point I put my hand up my back, and attempt to scratch UNDER my bra band, instead of through it, for better scratching (obvs). And it’s at this point everything spirals out of hand. Quickly.

Something falls out of the back of my top onto the kitchen floor. Panic sets in almost immediately. I glance down at the floor. It’s something small, and black, and curved. OMG ITS A GOD DAMN WASP. A WASP WAS TOUCHING ME AND NOW ITS STUNG ME AND OMG I’M GOING TO PASS OUT. Anyone that’s been with me when a wasp has flown near me will know that I do not keep my cool. My cool vanishes in about 0.00005 seconds if there’s a wasp involved.

I run upstairs to the husbeast and spouted out a word mash vaguely containing the words ‘WASP’ ‘STUNG’ ‘HALP’ ? and proceed to rip off all layers so that he could assess the damage and see if I would live.

Things get a bit weird from here on in. On inspection of my back, he announces that it wasn’t a wasp. The relief is immediate. But then, what was it if it wasn’t a wasp? He goes downstairs to inspect the carcass on the kitchen floor, and returns to confirm that it was…. a caterpillar.

Erm, ok…? Did the little bastard bite me or what? Do they even bite? Do they have teeth? ??‍♀️

No, it seems their weapon of choice is millions of tiny toxic hairs. Which not only were all over my back, but for good measure I’d also smushed a bunch of them into my skin when I scratched the itch (before I knew what it was, obvs). Turns out it was just chilling on the washing that I slung over my shoulder, and it had fallen down the back of my t-shirt as I carried it into the house.

The next three days were spent with intense itching and a very grim-looking rash, and a really, REALLY gross weeping patch where I smashed the little blighter against my skin. Calamine lotion was poured on my back at regular intervals, antihistamines knocked back like Smarties and then when neither of those were working, a heavy-duty steroid cream was brought in. I couldn’t concentrate on anything because I was so bloody itchy, and I spent most of the weekend in the bath soothing my back. Honestly, I’ve never had such a reaction to anything. I’ll spare you the photos because they really are gross, but let’s just say even the lady in the chemist (that the husbeast walked over a mile to, in order to get me some relief, bless him) pulled a face when he showed her the picture of my back.

So taking pictures of my nice low-cut-back Ogden cami was DEFINITELY not happening that weekend, and I didn’t even get any sewing done. Sad face. And DEATH TO ALL HAIRY CATERPILLARS ?

Instead, I had to wait a couple of weeks to take the pictures, but by that time the bush in our back garden had bloomed it’s beautiful white flowers and London was actually getting some sun. The golden dappled sunlight in these photos could make you think I was in the Mediterranean, but in fact you’re looking at my London back yard at 6:30am on a Thursday morning. Yep, 6:30am. I’m not even joking. I don’t know whether the neighbours spotted us, but if they did they must have thought we were proper mad ?

The dogs thought it was brilliant though – Fry decided to take the opportunity to get a chin scratch in the morning sun:

In other news, those of you that are hoping to see me on the Sewing Bee – I regret to inform you that you will be disappointed. After spending bloody ages filling out the application form, I then got a telephone interview. It took about 15/20 mins, they asked me all about my sewing, why I stared, who I sew for, all that jazz. There was even a little quiz – some technical questions on fabrics and techniques. Nothing too difficult –  ‘name two sheer fabrics’ was one, and I was able to answer all of them ?? The following week I got invited to a real-life audition/interview in London, not far from my work but they wanted me for a couple of hours on a Thursday morning, and only told me on the Monday ?

I thought carefully about whether to go. It was the last week at my job before I started my new one, so if I was successful at this first-round audition there would be more time off to ask for, pretty much as soon as I’d walked through the door at my new job. Which wouldn’t really give an amazing impression. And even if I *did* manage to wangle the time off for the auditions, there’s the actual *filming* to think about too – from what I understand it’s two days per episode. Let’s say there’s eight episodes – that’s 16 days I also need to get off work. Unpaid, because I’ve already booked my holiday for later this year. I’m pretty sure that’s not gonna fly with my new boss. ‘Oh hai, I know I’ve only just stared working here, but could I have three weeks off unpaid over the next couple of months?’

Don’t get me wrong, it would be cool to be on the Bee, but not at the expense of my job (and the main household income). Maybe I’ll apply again next year, once things have settled down in my job and I could plan the time off… even then though, it’s like a good 60% of my annual leave for the year gone on the filming, before I’ve even thought about having an actual holiday. I dunno. I’ll think about it.

I’m also thinking about Autumn sewing *already*… tell me I’m not the only one? ???

In the meantime, here’s some more gloriously sunny pics of my new Ogden ?☀️

Coming up next week on the Wanderstitch blog… my first stab at the Grainline Scout Tee Subscribe below to make sure you don’t miss out!  


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  1. July 8, 2018 / 7:56 am

    Frabjous top, love that fabric. Aaargh to the caterpillar [I once stuck my hand through a lime green one that had fallen into my coat pocket, so I empathise]
    PS ‘eke’. ‘eek’ is what you say when you stick your finger through a lime green squishy caterpillar. Teacher hat on lol

    • Sarah
      July 9, 2018 / 5:16 pm

      Haha, yes you’re totally right, of course it’s eke. I guess I am still traumatised from the bastard little caterpillar to spell correctly ???

  2. July 8, 2018 / 8:20 am

    Oh your poor back! ?The fabric you’ve used for your Ogden is beautiful and I really like the wider straps. I totally understand the dilemma with the GBSB and reckon you’ve made the right decision though it would have been mint to see you in it. Timing is key in these things and there are definitely more important priorities. This is the first Sunday for ages I’ve been able to read your blog, thanks always for an enjoyable read. Good luck in your new job, hope you love it X

    • Sarah
      July 9, 2018 / 5:20 pm

      Thanks Josie ? so glad that you enjoyed it! Yes the new job is going well thank you, no fabric shops or haberdasheries within the vicinity though ☹️ yeah it was a bit of a bummer about the GBSB, but it’s just not right, right now. Maybe it will be right next year, maybe not. Maybe I’ll be running my Etsy shop full time next year, you never know ??‍♀️???
      Yes I’m also considering making the Ogden into a proper vest, (with even wider shoulder straps) instead of a camisole, but to be honest that’s joining the sewing queue which is already about 10 years long ???

  3. Brenda Holmes
    July 8, 2018 / 9:37 am

    Once again you have inspired me to get sewing, making new tops, and I’ve just purchased a pile of fabrics from Minerva Crafts. Not that I really need any encouragement to buy fabric. Love your new Ogden.

    • Sarah
      July 9, 2018 / 5:22 pm

      Thanks Brenda! ? did you dust off your machine and get any sewing done? Ooh what fabrics did you buy and do you have plans for them already?

  4. Alison
    July 8, 2018 / 9:43 am

    Love your Ogden and the fabric is gorgeous! Good luck with your new job 🙂

    • Sarah
      July 9, 2018 / 5:30 pm

      Thanks Alison! ? Yes the new job is going well, thank you! ? No fabric shops nearby though like there was with my last job ☹️?

  5. Amanda Ostermann
    July 8, 2018 / 10:00 am

    Love the new ogden! Caterpillar incident sounds grim glad you’ve recovered.
    Quick question, how do you order .75m of fabric from Minerva I thought they only did 1m increments?
    X Amanda

    • Sarah
      July 9, 2018 / 5:32 pm

      Thanks Amanda! Yeah I never even knew caterpillars could be so savage!! Ah, you may not be able to order 0.75 through their website – for the blogger network posts we order direct (rather than online) so can have any quantity. It is annoying not to be able to order other increments, perhaps drop them an email and ask if that’s something they could add to their website? ?

  6. July 8, 2018 / 1:07 pm

    I love your Ogden (what’s not to love? one of my favourite patterns in my favourite fabric). I resisted the rush to Ogden for ages but then it was released it in print format and I broke down. I darted it because I have to have darts but that’s just normal for me. Once I’d made one I just had to keep going and ended up with 3. I’ve been thinking about a couple more since I have some Liberty left overs.

    I saved a link for you! I saw this alteration to the Kielo and thought of you immediately 🙂 I don’t know if you follow Katja? She made it into a pant/jumpsuit which looks wonderful and I think it would be lovely on you 🙂 https://withmyhandsdream.com/2018/07/07/kielo-jumpsuit-tutorial-kielo-haalari/

    What a strange experience you had with a caterpillar of all things! It’s a cautionary tale re laundry off the line… I remember my mother got a rather nasty bee sting once from one that got snagged in a shirt and was mad as a hatter when it was released into the room as she was lifting the garment out of the basket. Glad you’re on the mend 🙂

    • Sarah
      July 10, 2018 / 7:45 am

      Thanks Kathleen! ? The Ogden is such a quick win, isn’t it? I’m actually going to make a couple out of Liberty too, I’ve got some small bits kicking around. I’ve just hemmed one from some Liberty silk, and it’s GORGEOUS ? This was one pattern I actually bought in pdf – it’s only a handful of pages to stick, I can (just about) cope with that!
      Ooh! I’ve not read Katya’s blog before, but I’m going to subscribe now! What a fab idea to turn it into a jumpsuit… that would be SUPER comfy I bet. I think I might give this a try – thank you for saving it for me! ??
      The washing line is a dangerous place isn’t it! ? I think I am going to exercise great care in future whenever I get the washing in… every item is going to get a good shake! ??

  7. July 8, 2018 / 3:42 pm

    I have made so many Ogdens and variations on Ogdens it’s getting ridiculous. But it’s because of what you said: it’s the perfect top for using up small amounts of fabric!

    I feel you on the caterpillar front- don’t have experience with those yet but I’ve been getting some serious reactions to bug bites lately and it’s so annoying!

    • Sarah
      July 10, 2018 / 7:48 am

      The Ogden is such a great pattern for small pieces of fabric isn’t it! And even if you only have enough for the front and back, you can cut the facings from something else. ??
      Arrrrgh bugs are so annoying aren’t they! Thankfully after the caterpillar incident there hasn’t been any more drama, but the husband seems to be getting bitten by every bug in London ??

  8. cat
    July 8, 2018 / 5:29 pm

    OH Sarah, I had NO IDEA caterpillars were toxic! Never again will I touch one! Your story telling is so funny, I absolutely love it! And I love your Ogden! I have fabric and the ogden printed and still have not made one! Silly me! Got to do that!
    XX00 Cat

    • Sarah
      July 10, 2018 / 7:51 am

      Hey Cat! I had no idea they were toxic either! I had to google it in case I was gonna die ?
      Yes definitely get cracking on the Ogden, it will only take you a couple of hours! Hope you’re good ?

  9. July 8, 2018 / 7:02 pm

    Your “caterpillar experience” sounds totally horrid and I’m glad you are feeling better! I’d recently been considering line-drying some of my delicates, but considering how many spiders tend to lurk in my backyard, I think I’ll stick to low heat in the dryer for my own bodily safety.

    I’d been wondering for ages how all of the people who are religiously devoted to the Ogden have managed to wear it without bra straps showing. It’s usually pretty obvious who is wearing a bandeau bra (the quad-boob effect gives it away), but most of the others look as if they are wearing some sort of undergarment and yet the straps are not visible. Since I hate wearing strapless bras and do not want to have pointy nip issues, I have stayed away from the pattern even though I would love to have a reliable cami TNT for work. But your fix of making the straps a bit wider seems like a good option. Do you find yourself constantly checking to make sure there is no strap-straying? Or do they pretty much stay put?

    And I don’t blame you for wanting something out of that fabric – it is gorgeous AND I bet it feels amazing!

    – Julia

    • Sarah
      July 10, 2018 / 7:59 am

      Hey Julia!
      I’ve line-dried washing for like, EVER, and apart from an incident with bringing in a tangled-up hornet about 10 years ago, this is the first time something like this has ever happened ? I never even knew caterpillars were toxic or that they could do such damage! Lesson learned, that’s for sure!
      Yay for another hater of strapless bras! ?? I can’t stand them! I will happily go braless at home or on the weekend, but I tend to wear Watson’s for work. Saying that, the straps of the Watson are in the PERFECT place to sit right underneath my Ogden straps – a match made in heaven? ??
      The straps do pretty much stay in place – but then I’m not one for checking. You could always install some sort of strap-keeper on the underside of the Ogden to make sure everything stays where you want it?
      And yep, the fabric is sooooo light and floaty – it’s gorgeous! ?

  10. July 9, 2018 / 4:18 am

    I love the top ;o) My daughters fingers and hand swelled up like hot little red sausages after she climbed a tree one day. I thought she had a few splinters in her hand, but they must have been caterpillar spines – she had antihistamine and steroidal cream but it also took ages for swelling and itching to subside – she reacts badly to all insects too!

    • Sarah
      July 10, 2018 / 8:02 am

      Oh no! Poor thing! I had NO IDEA that caterpillars were so savage ? apparently (I found out afterwards, when it was too late) you’re meant to put sticky tape on the affected area to pull off all the spines/hairs… hopefully there won’t be a next time but it’s good to know!

  11. July 11, 2018 / 8:01 pm

    That sucks so much about the caterpillar incident!! It actually sounds much worse than a wasp bite. But your top is very pretty! Good splurge.

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