I’d almost forgotten that I’d promised to show you my first attempt at a knit garment.  I made this Khaliah Ali pattern, found in a discontinued bin at Fabrix in Lancaster.  I also bought the fabric there.

Excuse the poor picture, but frankly this top doesn’t warrant much more!

Although I’d flat checked the measurements and altered the pattern accordingly, this still doesn’t really work for me. I’ve had a little time to reflect on why and have come to the conclusion that, whilst I’m carrying a few (ahem!) extra pounds, they’re not distributed evenly.  They are all happy to congregate around my middle, mostly to the front, and sit and party there.  
This means that whilst in theory I’m a plus size, when it comes to patterns I really need to start from a standard size and make the adjustments.  Which proves that taking shortcuts in sewing doesn’t really work.  Dammit!
This is the second Khaliah Ali pattern I’ve tried which has failed for me.  So I’m putting that particular range to bed now.  I won’t be using them again.
That said, this isn’t the worst top in the world.  It’s fine for padding around the house and workroom, or popping out running errands.  The fabric is super soft and deceptively warm.  The construction was so easy and it’s given me confidence to try more knit garments.  For this alone it was worth the effort. Mr Stitches kindly said he now understands why I get so frustrated at ready to wear, because even though this is far from perfect (my words, not his, he’s not that brave), it’s still better constructed than most of the rubbish on the high street.  Another reason to love the man!
More successfully, I’m currently altering a coat for Ma Stitches-in-Law.  I’m not a huge fan of alterations but I hate waste more.  This lovely coat had been lurking in the back of MSIL’s wardrobe for a number of years feeling lonely and unloved.  It had been a sale bargain too good to miss but absolutely swamped her petite frame.
So, out came the shears.  10 inches off the hem.  4 inches off the sleeves.  I can’t tell you how nervous I was.  It’s one thing mucking around with your own stuff, but someone else’s….a whole different ballgame.
Anyway, so far so good:
Still a little creased but when MSIL tried it on it looks SO much better.  And nothing a good steam won’t cure.
We’re adding pockets too.  I know it’s no big deal but I quickly drafted a patch pocket – I would never have had the confidence to do something even that simple before my course last year.  Baby steps…but steps in the right direction. I’ve used the chunk from the hem to cut two lined patched pockets:
These will be hand stitched onto the front of the jacket so I don’t have to try to match the topstitching down the front edge of the coat.  I’ll show you the final result soon – hopefully over the weekend.