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.
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!