Monday, 23 March 2015


I have bashed on a bit about fabric recently: guilt over my stash; wanting to buy it all; attempting to buy it all. I'm sorry. This is probably getting pretty monotonous. One last point about fabric, and then I promise I'll shut up about it. ****Warning - this is not an earth-shattering discovery. Be prepared to be underwhelmed. Lets just call it closure.*** A couple of months ago I became obsessed with this fabric:

Cotton and Steel Bespoke Double Gauze - Ephemera

Utterly obsessed. Initially I wanted to make a blouse like Rae, but then I saw this blanket on Instagram, posted by Rashida Coleman-Hale:

And I became even more fixated. I dreamed about it. I  kept the page open permanently on the iPad so I could go in and gaze lovingly at it on The Village Haberdashery website every day. I have been wanting to make a throw/blanket for our living room for a while, and this seemed ideal. Apart from the fact that the fabric just didn't go with anything in else in the room. I even ordered a sample to check. That took me on a different fabric/blanket journey which is for another post, but I consoled myself by going back to the blouse inspiration and thinking I could make that. I should probably mention at this point that I hadn't actually bought the fabric. 

I got a TVH gift card for Christmas, and I was kind of holding off until I figured out what I was going to spend the rest on, to save on postage. I hopped onto the TVH website earlier this week to have a look again, thinking I'd  just place the order. You can probably guess where this is going. It's sold out. "Never mind" I thought, "I can buy it from Miss Matatabi". Nope - she only had half a metre left. And do you know what? I wasn't that bothered. I'm looking at the pictures above now, and I still think it's a beautiful fabric, and I would have loved to have made the blouse (I was going to do a Scout with a raised neckline and possibly different sleeves). The fabric is deliciously soft. I probably would have worn it lots in the summer. But, well... if sewing has taught me anything, it's that there will be other fabrics. It does actually come in other colourways, and there are other double gauzes still available in the range. I may well buy one of them - I still like the idea of a double gauze blouse. But then again I might not. 

Moral of the tale? I don't need to buy all the fabrics. Time won't end, no natural disasters will occur, I won't even be that upset about it, if I don't. As I said, it's not an earth shattering discovery, but it did give me pause for thought. Alison wrote something recently that chimed with this:

Same goes for fabric, why do I need to make everything I like, I wouldn't buy everything I like and all that will happen is I will have a wardrobe full of 'stuff' that doesn't get worn. 
I wouldn't buy everything I like either, so why do I think I need all the fabric? Answer: I don't.

Thank you for bearing with me on this. Lets all hope I have finally got it into my thick skull, and that normal service will resume shortly.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Spring cleaning

Happy Mothers Day!

Yesterday, I had a free day. I had intended to go to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival with my Mother in Law, but she changed her mind, and as I don't knit, it seemed a bit pointless to go myself. So, I decided to put the day to good use and I cleared out the Hall Cupboard of Doom (Duh Duh Duuuuuh!)  I thought you might like to see. Bear with me. This is sewing related.

I didn't take any before photos, other than the one below which I took ages ago. This cupboard is our only "built in" storage in the flat and is housed beneath our upstairs neighbour's staircase. It's pretty deep, but narrow, and obviously doesn't have full height all the way back. In this we store coats, hats and gloves etc, vacuum, most of my sewing stuff, our filing cabinet, shopping bags, a buggy, lightbulbs etc, vases, kids art and craft stuff, wellies, and generally just loads and loads of crap. What you can't see from this photo is that you couldn't actually walk into the cupboard, which was litttered with carrier bags containing piles of Baby Boy's stuff that he has grown out of, other things to be donated and fabric/sewing supplies.

The process was straightforward: take everything out and put it into one of 3 piles. Charity shop, chuck/recycle or keep.

I filled 2 binliners with fabric to be recycled, and one with rubbish to be thrown out. The former wass was small fabric scraps and items I'd been keeping because they might be useful. I had 4 pairs of holey jeans in there!!! While sometimes small scraps can be useful, I just don't have the space to keep them, so out they went.

Fabric to be recycled
The plastic box where I previously kept my fabric wasn't really working. It was too big to pull out, which meant I couldn't access what was in there, so it was moved to the boys' bedroom for toy storage. This left me with piles of stuff that needed rehoused. So, we decided at 4pm that we should go to Ikea! Actually it was fine. It was pretty quiet and we had our tea there. We went with a specific list and while we still didn't get home til after 7pm, we spent less than £40!!! I consider that a success.

I didn't get it finished last night, so I did it this morning. Which led onto clearing out the top of our wardrobe too. Not quite your typical Mothers Day, but I was glad to get it done. It feels so much better!

So, what does it look like now?

I replaced the large plastic box in the first photo with 2 Drona cubes from Ikea. The space on the second shelf is where the vacuum will sit.

The green boxes houses large scraps (anything large enough to make pocket linings or bias binding, or larger), plus some craft bits and bobs like felt. The turquoise box contains silk and cotton fabric, plus a couple of fabrics I plan to sew with next. The fabric bag with the face contains my most used sewing equipment, plus cables for sewing machine and overlocker. This is the bag I used to take to my sewing class. Although I haven't been for over a year, I still keep those things in a bag.

The very top shelf (just seen) has lightbulbs, hoover bags and also the boys' craft box. Second shelf down: wooden box contains interfacing and wadding. The plastic basket holds my paper patterns, while the coloured folders are for printed PDFs. With a bag of toy stuffing on top. Bottom shelf: vintage sewing box, thread, pins, buttons. I bought a glass jar in Ikea for the thread but it doesn't all fit, so I need to get another. The remaining thread (black, white and grey) are in a sandwich bag for the time being.

The cardboard (Molton Brown) box holds ribbons and trims. The vintage sewing box needs done up at some point. It is missing several screws. It contains zips, fastenings and some other bits and bobs.

Thread. I sorted it by colour. Saddo.

Beneath the coats (which are on the left of the cupboard): the nappy box contains my overlocker thread. The orange Sainsbury's bag has stuff to be refashioned/repaired, and the John Lewis bag contains a WIP, namely my coat. Also, the car seat to the right.

Overlocker thread. Finally, it has a home!

This hasn't really changed, but it shows the buggy, the filing cabinet, my overlocker, plus on the shelf, my current sewing machine and my old sewing machine, which was originally mum's - she got it for her 21st birthday. I don't ever use it but I can't bring myself to get rid of it. It does work, so one day I will get it serviced so that I can use it.

I was really tempted to get a Raskog, which seems to be the sewing accessory of the moment, but I don't really need it.

When clearing through things, I found a couple of picture hanging kits from Ikea. I was able to combine the contents into one box, leaving this one which is perfect for bobbin storage!

Unfortunately I still have too much sewing stuff to fit in the cupboard. I previously had stored more fabric in this vintage picnic basket on top of our wardrobe, but again it wasn't really accessible because there was so much other junk up there. Which was why I found myself clearing through that this morning. Sorry no before pic, but imagine excessive cardboard boxes (a lot of which were empty???!!!! Seriously, past Helen, what were you thinking?), a 25 year old rucksack, suitcases and lots and lots of dust. 


We still have to keep our suitcases there, but at least now it's still ones that we use (they are to the right, not in the photo). I kept a couple of the boxes - you know, useful things like bridal hair decorations and Venetian masks - but they are now labelled . The bottom vintage picnic basket contains polyesters and poly/cottons, plus knits. The top one is empty, but at least it looks nice and can be used at some point in the future.

It all feels so much nicer and cleaner and easier to access. I keep going into the cupboard just to look. And having gone through my stash, I have a clearer picture of what I have. Actually, there wasn't too much that I had forgotten about, but it made me realise why I haven't been sewing from the stash. Not only could I not access it, but very few of the fabrics in there fit my current wardrobe. Previously my sewing was all about skirts, blouses and dresses, all in wovens: cotton and silk. And my stash pretty much reflects this. But that's what I wear to the office, and for the past 11 months I've been on Maternity leave. And when I'm on Maternity leave, I wear jeans and t-shirts, and jumpers and cardigans, and my stash does not reflect that whatsoever!

TBH I'm in a bit of a rut, clothes wise, particularly as in the morning I tend to just throw on whatever is clean and doesn't need ironed, so with a bit of organisation I could wear a bit more blouses and possibly even casual dresses, especially as the weather is improving a bit and I'm no longer breastfeeding. And I will be going back to work at some point, so I will be able to use those woven fabrics in the future, which makes me feel better. But I do feel a bit better about having bought fabric recently - because what I have bought fits my current wardrobe. I just need to make sure I sew it up before I buy even more, and before I return to work!

Finally, I'd like to add I did have a nice Mothers Day in the end - my first with 2 children - I got the satisfaction from this being organised, we went out for lunch to the local pub, and I got a The Village Haberdashery gift card, plus the promise of child free sewing time from the boys. And, perhaps best of all, my first ever hand written card from Small Boy.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Completed: When is a quilt not a quilt?

What is the definition of a quilt? Does it need to be pieced? It probably needs to be quilted at the very least. If it's neither pieced, nor quilted, is it simply a blanket? I ask, because I don't know what to call my latest project. 

Photo bombed by Winnie the Pooh
I have wanted a blanket for a while - our flat used to be freezing, especially post 9pm when the heating goes off. Since we had cavity wall insulation a few years ago, this has been less of a problem, but I still wanted a cosy blanket that I could keep in the living room, which looked nice in the living room. I have been giving some thought recently to making our house look a bit more, well, grown up. Previously I took great pride in my "mismatched" approach, and I do still abhor anything too matchy matchy, or symmetrical, but recently I've started to wonder if maybe, my stuff just doesn't really go. 

I spoke previously about my double gauze journey: once I realised that the C&S double gauze just wasn't going to work, I started to browse other ideas. Nani Iro is a fabric designer that properly came to my attention last summer, so I thought I'd take a look - and fell in love (again? Yes, but this time it was REAL) with this fabric:

Nani Iro Water Window wata gauze - C from Miss Matatabi

I wanted something different for the back, and so convo-ed Frances at Miss Matatabi for a suggestion. She came up with a couple of options, pretty much immediately. Neither I would have chosen myself, so it was nice to get different ideas. I went with her suggestion of Mountain Views in natural, which i was pleased to discover on arrival has lovely shiny metallic bits.

The fabrics are a bit different to each othher. The Water Window is called Wata Double Gauze and it is a much softer, looser weave to the Mountain Views, which feels quite stiff in comparison (it's not, just in comparison). They were also different widths which was slightly annoying.

After some consultation with some quilting friends on IG (thanks Nessa and Katy) I opted to use cotton batting in the middle, which I got from Mandors in Glasgow. It wasn't particularly cheap at something like £16/m, but it's super wide (about 2m), so I as able to get away with a "generous metre".

I didn't bind the quilt. This was an aesthetic choice. I didn't want to compete with the main fabric. It also meant buying less stuff, and made for a quicker project. Instead, I sewed the front and back (sandwiching the batting in there too) right sides together, leaving an opening,  turned them through, hand stitched the opening closed, and then top stitched about half an inch from the edge, all the way around. I like the clean finish this gives, and it also allowed me to keep the "watermark" with the name of the fabric, which is rather nice I think. My edges are not completely square - the shifty nature of the double gauze made this difficult - but since the print is deliberately wonky, I'm not too bothered. I got it as straight as I could, and left it at that.

I also didn't quilt the quilt. Which is why it's probably not a quilt. Instead I did occasional stitches (there must be a proper quilting name for this) every so often. I literally just sewed 2 stitches "on the spot", leaving long tails which I then tied. Again, I like this. It doesn't mess or compete with the print and it keeps the blanket nice and drapey. As much as I love the look of quilting, I do think it adds body.
Teeny tiny stitch where the 4 squares meet.

The underside of the stitch
I am absolutely delighted with my resultant blanket. It's lovely and cosy and absolutely beautiful to look at. So much so, that I am considering buying more for when the inevitable child spills something/pukes over it. I did consider banning them from ever touching it, but I've been trying not to be mean mummy lately.

I also made a cushion cover, while I was on this home dec kick. A couple of our cushions are in a very sad state, and have been torn for a long while. One I want to try to mend, bit the other I decided just to re-cover.

I bought the fabric from John Lewis. It was part of the 150 years range from last year and was in the sale - not the crazy bargainous £5 sale, but half price which put it at a much more reasonable £9/m. It's a cotton poplin, so a bit lightweight for interiors, but hopefully it'll last ok. I bought half a metre of each, and I have enough leftover to make another (smaller) cushion. This was my first ever attempt at piping and I love it! I just used a zip foot, which I thought gave OK results, but I think I will buy a piping foot if I use it again, particularly for garment sewing.

I used these tutorials for attaching the zip, the piping (here and here) and joining the piping ends. I recycled the zip from the old cushion cover. I messed the zip up a bit, but it's not bad for a first attempt (I only ever use invisible zips in clothing, so a standard zip was strange, for me!), and my piping pride more than makes up for it. I love it, and I love how well the colours go together, and go with the blanket. Without being too matchy matchy!!!! :)

Now to get back to sewing some clothes!

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

On feeling overwhelmed

Last night I had a sewing evening planned. P is working away, I had the kids in bed, the dinner dishes cleared and the toys tidied by 7.45. Perfect. But... I couldn't decide what I wanted to sew.

Ever feel overwhelmed with inspiration? That's how I've been feeling. Being off on Mat leave is giving me a lot of time to spend reading blogs, on Instagram and browsing online fabric shops. Which is great. Except my head is full to bursting with ideas. I really want to buy ALL THE FABRIC and MAKE ALL THE PATTERNS!! I've fallen in love with double gauze, Cotton and Steel (both double gauze and the rayon), I want to make Ginger jeans, so I'm browsing denim. I want to make more Lindens and so am browsing sweatshirt fabrics (and struggling there, tbh), looking for inspiration for them. I have purchased the Ultimate Trousers and so need to muslin them and then look for and buy fabric. Add to that, I want to work through my stash, and finish up all promised makes and WIPs, and you can probably see why I just don't know where to start. My goal for 2015 was to clear out my cupboard and see what's what. I have yet to do that.

In the end, I spent the evening, for want of a better word, fannying about. I looked at Liberty fleece online and tried to justify the cost - while taking part in an IG conversation with George, who was enabling as best as she could. I looked in my sewing cupboard and despaired at the mess. I took some fabric out, draped it over me and tried to come up with ideas. I virtually stroked (i.e. gazed longingly), for the millionth time, at this fabric. I chatted briefly on IG with Hazel. I considered starting on some cushions for my mother in law. I pulled out my sewing box. I started writing a list of all the fabric I want to buy. I put my sewing box back again. In the end, I went to bed having achieved nothing and feeling really discontented, and to tell you the truth, a bit stressed. I lay awake in bed and decided that today I would do 2 things: I would do a repair on one of P's shirt and I would make the cushions.

So, today, I did both. The shirt took me about 20 mins. I cut and sewed 2 cushions which took me a little more than an hour. And what a sense of achievement! This evening I cut and sewed 2 more cushions, leaving me little more than scraps. So, 2 projects and one length of fabric out of my cupboard! Done and done.

Co-incidentally, today I stumbled across this blog post about why the blogger took all her daughters' toys away. It has nothing to do with sewing, but it made me think. It is making me question why I think I'll die if I don't buy and make everything on my ever increasing list?

I get pleasure from sewing, but if it's just the process of sewing that's key then surely I can sew anything? I don't need to buy more (expensive) fabric for that. Is it to expand my skills? In some cases, but ditto with not needing to buy more.What then, do I need in terms of filling wardrobe gaps? In fairness I do need jeans, and while I don't need them, one or 2 more sweatshirts wouldn't go amiss. What else? Am I picking potential projects based on what is likely to drive blog hits and IG likes? To impress people, even? Maybe. That public validation is important to me. Why? I don't know. That's probably another conversation for another day, but at least I recognise it's not the best reason to pick my sewing projects, or spend my money.

What next? I don't know. I won't be doing any more sewing this week - Great British Sewing Bee tomorrow night and then Small Boy and I are away at the weekend, so I have some time to think about it.

How do you record your inspiration and how do you manage your wish list? And how do you restrain yourself from buying all the things?

Friday, 20 February 2015

Completed: Grainline Scout Mark Eighty (or something similar)

Are you bored of me posting about Scout tees now? I know some bloggers ask this when they post about basics, or multiples of a pattern, but I know that I am always keen to see what others make, regardless of how many they have made before. Sometimes it's just the inspiration, you  know? They don't necessarily need to write much, if there isn't anything new to say. I suppose if you don't agree, you can just skip this post. :)

So, I made another Scout tee. Actually, I fancied making something different, but I only had a metre of fabric, and I didn't know specifically what I wanted to make. I certainly wasn't going to buy patterns on the off chance that I might fit all the pieces into a metre. So, another Scout it was. Officially, the Scout needs more than a metre, but I've found I can squeeze it in to 140cm wide fabric, if I make my own bias binding, rather than using the pattern piece given. This time, however I managed to use all the pattern pieces AND fit them into the metre. Win!

The fabric is Chalk Charcoal by Atelier Brunette, which I ordered from Guthrie and Ghani when I bought the fabric for my 1974 dress (and therefore is from the stash). I think I only bought a metre for financial reasons, rather than any other. I should probably stop doing that. At some point I will have enough Scouts.

The fabric is lovely. It has a gorgeous handle, very similar to Liberty Tana Lawn. It sews and presses like a dream, and is so nice to wear. It's a bit lightweight for this time of year, truth be told, and as much as I'm really happy with this iteration, it doesn't seem to sit that well under a cardigan. Other than adding 3cm to the length, this is a straight up as drafted and instructed version. The first time I've done that, I think. Now that I've done that, I'm wondering if I couldn't get away with a size smaller. I made the size 4, as I always do, according to my bust measurement, but it does have a lot of ease, and it might be a smidgen too big on the shoulders. I think I might try a size 2 at some point. Then again, I reprinted the PDF for this version, and didn't trace, so I might not...

The shoulder and side seams are French seamed, while the sleeves are currently pinked. This is because I made this in an evening. I didn't intend to, but it got to the point where I realised I could finish, meaning I would have a new top to wear the next day. The instructions are written so that the sleeves are the last thing you do (not the best, really, when you are sewing tired), and I didn't want to get the overlocker out at 11.30pm. I say "currently" because I probably will go back and overlock the seam at some point. Probably. My bias facing is really neat - probably my best, but I did manage to slightly stretch out the neckline, meaning it ever so slightly stands proud. Other than that, I'm really happy with it, and it's a nice addition to the wardrobe - even if it is more likely to be a spring piece.


Lastly, the light in the photos, and in my last post is not great. Apologies. My husband is working in Dublin a lot at the moment, so I am taking my own blog photos. WITH MY NEW CAMERA!* I'm still figuring it out, plus, you know: winter light. I'm hoping to get back to taking photos outside, but until I get a tripod, get over my fear of posing for photos in front of the neighbours (that yellow/cream wall that's featured in my photos relatively recently is across the road from our house), AND figure out how to take photos without getting run over, it's photos inside, and poor light. Alternatively I need to train up Small Boy.

* I bought an Olympus Stylus 1, which some retailers described as a bridge and some described as a high performance compact. It's smaller than most bridges which I preferred - with 2 small children, I already have enough stuff to carry around - but seems to have pretty good functionality and photo quality. Not that you can tell with the rubbish light...

Friday, 6 February 2015

Vintage Pattern Pledge

I've been giving this some thought, as in this post, I said my goals for 2015 were to not make any goals. However, I like the idea of the Vintage Pattern Pledge hosted this year by Marie and Kerry, and I can actually tie the Vintage Pattern Pledge into my non-goal goal (which is to finish WIPs and use my stash). So I am joining in, but I am keeping things simple, and pledging to complete 2 specific patterns.

Firstly the WIP.

I started this coat in 2012. It saw a bit of progression at the end of 2013, but work stopped when I got to the bound button holes. If you've never sewn bound button holes before then you'll not know that unlike "normal" buttonholes which are pretty much the last thing you sew on a garment, bound buttonholes are pretty much the first thing you sew... yeah, it really hasn't seen much progression. I don't know how many times I have committed to finishing it, and then reneged on that commitment. To be fair, I probably wouldn't have got a lot of wear out of it this winter, since the 3/4 sleeves are not hugely practical, and it probably wouldn't look fantastic worn with a baby (in a sling) on top. But apart from anything else, I want it out of my WIP pile, and the fabric is far too beautiful to be sitting in a plastic bag in a cupboard.

Secondly, this pattern:

I found this pattern, when browsing for patterns printed in 1974. One seller on Etsy had listed this as having been printed in 1974, but actually it was 1973, but I loved the pattern so much, I had to have it. Just look at that sassy lady in red!!!! She absolutely sold me the pattern, but I also love the extended shoulder/cap sleeve of the short sleeved version. The seller was US based and didn't ship overseas, so I had her send it to my sister in law who lives in Yonkers, NY. My mother in law was over visiting at Christmas, so she brought it back for me. Since I went to the effort to buy this pattern, it seems obvious that I should prioritise it for this year. If I can make it from stash fabric, so much the better, but nothing that I have is currently springing to mind. Plus, I'm not sure I can see beyond a red version...

So, here I go:

During 2015, I, Helen of Grosgrain Green will complete 2 specific vintage patterns: Simplicity 6095 and McCalls 7619.

Are you joining in? If so, what is your pledge?

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Completed: Quilted Linden

This is one of those happy times where the visualisation and the realisation align perfectly!

 There are a number of sweatshirt patterns around at the moment and it took me a while to decide which to buy: Linden? White Russian? Enid? They do all differ, and I may at some point buy another but this time it was the Linden that won out. Not sure why - I think maybe the relaxed shape was more what I was after, plus I have a good track record with Grainline patterns #grainlinefangirl.

This was one of these garments where I knew in advance what I wanted to do - grey marl, with a quilted front. I bought the grey marl sweatshirt fabric in The Cloth Shop at a recent blogger meet up (I never wrote about it but you can read about it here and here). It's polyester - I know! Again! Danielle will never believe it. It might have something else in there - elastane or something - but I really can't remember. The Cloth Shop doesn't sell ribbing, so I consulted the list published by Jen. It was actually harder than I expected to find a grey marl ribbing, at a reasonable price. I didn't want to pay more for the ribbing than the main fabric!

In the end, I decided that rather than go with a close match that wasn't quite right, I'd go for a bit of a contrast. I then decided to pick up the contrast colour in the quilting - inspired by Jennifer's Enid (I really, REALLY want that fabric!), so I ordered this from Plush Addict, and used their colour matching service to order a co-ordinating thread. I was impressed by the speedy service from Plush Addict, including a free sweetie, but... I wasn't impressed with their thread choice. To be fair, the ribbing is a melange so has various colours in it, but I wouldn't have chosen the thread myself. To my mind it didn't match. I could have sent it back, but it seemed a bit churlish for the sake of £1.40 or whatever. I'm sure I'll use it eventually. When I bought the main fabric back in November I bought 2 reels of co-ordinating thread, unsure how much I'd use when quilting, and at that time I was planning to match the quilting thread to the fabric. So, I then had to go back to The Cloth Shop to buy a fourth reel of thread to match the ribbing!!! So, yeah, I spent around £6 on thread for this project...

Good job, I like it! The garment went together really easily and quickly. The main garment consists of just 3 pieces: front, back and sleeve, and there are then 3 further ribbing pattern pieces. Fewer if you make the t-shirt view. And yay for raglan sleeves - no sleeves to set in!!! I have sewn a raglan pattern once before, and I seem to remember the sleeves being a nightmare. Not so this time, they went in beautifully. I took care to ensure the seams all matched at the underarm.

Underarm seam
But I am jumping ahead. I quilted the front bodice piece after cutting it out but before sewing the garment together. I stay stitched the neckline and raglan edge before I started, to stop any stretching out from handling. Using a scrap of fabric I did a few practice runs to get a grid size and stitch length I liked. I then drew the grid, using disappearing marker pen, and sewed along the lines. The ink disappeared quite quickly, so I drew 2 or 3 lines at a time and sewed them, drew another 3, and so on. I didn't think about placement, but by happy coincidence, the "diamonds" have ended up more or less centred. Win!

The garment was constructed on my sewing machine, using the lightening bolt zigzag. I left the edges raw, apart from the seams attaching the ribbing, which I overlocked. I am still nervous about using the overlocker to actually hold something together, plus my overlocker doesn't appear to have any seam allowance markings. Speaking of seam allowance, it's only 1/4 inch on this pattern - something to bear in mind when you are marking your notches, if like me, you snip into the SA. I had to make my SA a little wider in places to accommodate my slightly overgenerous snips! I twin needled the neckline, as suggested in the pattern. My stretch twin needle is quite narrow, and wouldn't straddle the seam, so I sewed with the right needle "stitching in the ditch" and the left holding the seam allowance down. It's a little wobbly in places but fine. I think a wider set twin needle would give it a more professional look, though. 

I do have a couple of small fit issues. The neckline stands proud on my shoulders. It looks like it's been stretched out, but it was like this before I added the ribbing. I actually thought the ribbing would pull it in, but it obviously hasn't, and instead I now have some weird "bubbling" where the fleece wants to stick up, but the ribbing pulls it back down again. There also seems to be fabric pooling just beside underarm at the back. I've not overly sure how to fix either of these problems, so if you have any ideas feel free to jump in. I'm wondering if I can fix the neckline simply by increasing the seam allowance just at the top of each of the raglans, thus reducing the neckline circumference?

*ETA* - I have just discovered that both Laney and Sew Charleston increased the SA to reduce gaping at the neckline, so definitely worth a try for the next one!

Neckline "bubbling"

Excess fabric pooling at the underarm.
I'm really happy with the finished garment! As I said, it is pretty much exactly as I imagined. I love the wide neckline, which I think is more flattering than the usual crew neck. The fit is relaxed but not overly so. The contrast ribbing works well, and while the quilting is a bit more subtle than I expected, I think it works really well. And it's so cosy and snuggly!!! Perfect for the miserable weather we've been having recently.