Sunday, 19 February 2017

Orange gilet and yellow banana - and some rethinking

My younger grandson Ben turned 5 in November. He's tall and slimmer than his big brother was at the same age and quite the extrovert. He suits skinny jeans and loves bright citrus colours - I include orange, lime, yellow here.

Level 3 Class

I haven't mentioned much about my ‘level 3’ class which started in September. We started by making various types of pockets in waterproof fabric - jetted (double welt), zipped etc. Difficult when you can't pin,  baste or press!  At least I found them difficult. I'll do a post at the end of the class, I think.

Padded gilet

We moved on to making a child's padded gilet. Waterproof fabric backed with lining type fabric, quilted and stuffed; fleece lining.  Pockets, collar, zip. We were going to be making age 2 or 3 I think. I requested an age 6 if possible - I thought that Ben might be able to wear it and I like to do things for a reason. The fabric we were using was orange - perfect for Ben!

At the last class I had got as far as joining padded sides complete with piped welt pocket and bag to padded back. The long front edges are piped,  the zip and zip guard are prepared,  the outside collar is attached. Next steps are staying the fleece lining,  attaching to gilet via facings (I don't have these yet). The jacket will be turned through the zip. No class for 2 weeks as it's midterm next week. I don't know how much longer it will take.
You can just about see the piping here. The zip is pretty chunky.
But the whole thing is still too small as there is no fleece lining in this.

Meeting family

This last week was midterm for my grandsons, however. This weekend just past I met up with the family in Cambridge. All 3 daughters, 2 sons-in-law, 2 grandsons. Nice. We had a lovely Turkish meal on Friday evening. Helen and Anthony travelled up from London. Helen ended up having to film over the weekend so had to go back after the meal. One of the documentaries she was previously involved in as an archive researcher is on channel 5 at 8pm on Tuesdays (UK) at the moment. I hadn't realised it started last week and had to watch on Catch up. It's called ‘Inside Windsor Castle’.

Does the gilet fit?

I took the partially constructed gilet with me to see if it was likely to fit Ben (I didn't think it would). Rory felt the same and said I could cut a bigger size on return (the pattern would need to be graded up as it was made originally from her grandson’s age 2 gilet and graded up) if I could work out how much extra was needed. Ben loved it and said it fitted perfectly (it didn't) but where was the zip? Later he said he wished he could have worn it when we went out. He of course tried it without the fleece lining which adds further bulk. He insisted a banana was an important part of the try on and photoshoot! I had a chance before this to look at fit but didn't take any photos. So none minus the banana!

I was concerned that as we're rapidly approaching spring and Ben lives further south where it's milder,  that this gilet was just too small and too late. Alison agreed it was too small but felt this type of garment was useful even for a few weeks longer. With ordinary lining rather than a fleece lining,  perhaps?, I wondered.

I will finish the gilet. Perhaps send it anyway? I will make a new gilet for Ben, two years bigger, for this next autumn - in orange, or lime or yellow.  If I do one for his brother, it would not be in such vibrant shades. I still have to make Ben the science geek shirt I made for his brother, too.


Both boys are growing so fast! They are collecting Pokemon cards and know so much about them. Jack played hangman with me and I don't think I got any of his (characters from Pokemon with difficult spellings).  Ben can't spell the names so he stuck to 3 letter words he could spell - and of course in this game short words are difficult. Jack didn't get ‘fin’ within the allowed goes. I think there were only 6 chances in this game.

Wedding dress - postpone red silk dress and Contests

Helen doesn't want me to start her red silk dress (only one minor change,  she'd prefer the back waist dropped between another half inch and an inch) until I have reassembled her wedding dress!  She doesn't want me to have any excuses! So I've said I'll have it (the wedding dress) done for Easter. I will do. I do have a few other items promised for the family (not for Easter) - what with them, plus my class, which continues until June I believe and my attempts to make trousers and jackets,  I've given up any plans to enter the Stitching Guild’s SWAP or Pattern Review‘s Sudoku Wardrobe contest. I'll still make the pants and jackets (I only decided to enter the contests because I was doing that anyway) but to my own timetable. I'll stick to ‘perfecting’ my trouser block and hopefully I'll get a useful block that will be the basis of all the trousers I want to make.

Spring weather

Spring is really in the air!  Last week I had an appointment at the Dental Hospital and another at RVI a short time later - no time to go home. They are adjacent. I could have bought a coffee and relaxed but as it was a nice day I walked through Leaze’s Park literally across the road, which had fewer calories and increased my step count. (I have now lost a stone,  14 lbs,  in 7 weeks but my step count is still poor) That was lovely. The sounds of the very close by city centre were scarcely discernible apart from occasional sirens (main A & E across the road). Instead, there were ducks and bird song. I enjoyed walking around the lake. I've been in Newcastle for nearly 30 years now and have never done that before!  I didn't have time to explore the wildlife area.  The play area looked great. My two sons in law play tennis there when they are visiting. There's a small maze,  a bandstand,  a large pond. Across the road, connectors have demolished the old student residences but have had to build a new home for the resident bats - a tree house at the gates to the Dental Hospital


  1. A stone in 7 weeks is very good going. Ant the Gilet is gorgeous - the colour is so much fun. A banana is the perfect accessory. You must make another for him one day. As for plans, they come and go, and sometimes one thing has to make way for another. It all comes together in the end.

    1. Thank you. If I could carry on at an average of 2lbs per week that would be terrific. I'm happy so far.
      Yes, I'll make a gilet for Ben, preferably in that orange. When Alison was young she got banana over a velour outfit; it went black and I never could get it out.
      Yes about plans. Sewing is a hobby not life and death!!


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