Sunday, 7 December 2014

It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations

OR: "Stuff I plan to make in 2015 but will probably not get round to because I never stick to my lists, I just enjoy writing them"

The Closet Case Files Nettie Body Suit in some grey and black striped jersey from my stash

The Grainline Linden Sweatshirt and an Archer

By Hand London Anna // Love Sewing Ruby mash-up

Colette Mabel skirt in mustard coloured Ponte. (I'm waiting for the January sales to buy this fabric because I am a skinflint and love a good bargain.) and then maybe another in a black and white hounds tooth.

Deer and Doe Plantain. Can't wait for those librarian style elbow patches!

Tilly and the Buttons Coco

At least one of my vintage dress patterns

and last but not least, a pair of shorts. 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

He also said "oh my furry whiskers, I'm late I'm late I'm late"

It's been at least 12 days since my last post.
I don't know, three posts in and I'm already running behind. If it's any comfort I have had a draft of a post in my list for a week at least. I'm just waiting for a spare minute to fit in some photographing of previous stuff. I thought I would do a little history of stuff I've made before I show you what I'm working on now but, well, I just cannot be bothered to get off my behind in the rare times I get to sit down and breathe.
The post will surface eventually, I promise.

In the meantime, let me share some plans with you as - DUN DUN DUUUUUUN -

You beauty, come to mama!

So, the first thing I'm making is a Ruby dress from the free pattern in issue 4 of Love Sewing magazine. I have it planned in a lovely piece of medium weight cotton with a black and gold floral pattern that I picked up on a brief visit to Goldhawk Road. (PLEASE someone take me back! That place is amazing and I think if I could drag someone who knows what they're doing in a fabric shop I could find even more awesome stuff!)

And then I will be adventuring into knits in combining the Colette Mabel skirt with a cheapy-cheap-cheap piece of Black Watch tartan stretch that I got from Birmingham Outdoor Market. Just as an experiment to see how it goes. If I come out with a wearable garment, that will be a bonus!

After that I fancy doing something with buttons because YAY FIVE BUTTON HOLE FUNCTIONS! What the hell do I need five for?! but I'm gonna use them anyway! So suggestions on a postcard* for (relatively easy) garments with buttons please?!

*by postcard I mean comment...

That's all folks!
(for now anyway, I will find time to take photos I promise!)

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Change of a Dress and a Birmingham Shopping Trip

First off, you can not follow my blog with Bloglovin!

This past weekend I've been watching far too much Sex and the City, considering I used to have all six seasons on my laptop and both films on regular rotation it's safe to say I missed it. Sunday morning, though, I got a short spurt of inspiration.
Ignore my toes

I bought this Annie Greenabelle elasticated paper-bag waist sample skirt at a vintage fair in Leicester for £8 thinking it looked quite sweet however when I got it home and tried it on it looked... awful. The shape does not suit me considering I have a very small waist compared to the rest of my junk, my dad says I looked like a bell with it on and the scrunched up waist looked a bit silly. Anyway I decided to put it away with vague thoughts of up-cycling and turning it into something else.

(F.Y.I. I am really proud of those belt loops)

Roll on a year later and I discovered the Delphine Skirt pattern in Tilly's Love at First Stitch (again - I just can't get enough of that book and it's beautiful patterns!). I've made one Delphine already out of some fabric I bagged at the SewBrum pattern and fabric swap (yes I totally copied the one from the book - sorry, not sorry 'cos that one is b-e-a-utiful!) which I wore for the first time on Sunday visiting my Nan.

Never want to unpick over locking ever. again.

I had to skim in the A line a bit because the skirt pieces were NARROW after I'd unpicked the original piece (why did no one tell me how much of a bitch unpicking overlocked seams was?!). I even had to kind of ignore the grainline a bit on the back pattern pieces because of it and place it a little skew-whiff. When I unpicked the skirt I kept the belt loops and the (seemingly pointless) belt/tie/thing just in case and because , well, I'm lazy and if I can save a wee bit of effort by keeping belt loops then yay!


As I don't have access to an overlocker after Thursday afternoons, I decided to try my hand at french seams for the side seams which I've only ever done before on Mors Bags. Surprisingly enough, I did ok! The waistband and (extra small) zip went in as normal and tadaa all done!

et voila!

I did want to wear this to Birmingham today but I tried it on this morning and after going out for a big dinner for my mum and brothers birthdays it was a wee bit tight even with suck-me-in-pants on. That and my mum looked me up and down and said "nah" at the t-shirt I chose to wear with it.

Today was super fun I met some lovely new people (I'm so sorry, I am awful with names and have forgotten most of them even though there was only 6 of us!) and got to chill with Rachel (over at rachagainstthesewingmachine) again after meeting her at SewBrum. We did the same trip of Barrys, Fancy Silk and the Rag Market but this time Rach gave us a guided tour of the indoor market bits. We then caught the 50 over to Moseley to go to Guthrie & Ghani.
I'd made it my mission to buy the Colette Mabel pattern so that I could have a go at sewing with knit fabrics and after being momentarily blind in Guthrie & Ghani, managed to locate it on the pattern stand. I was also torn between Tilly's Coco and the Colette Sencha pattern but decided on the Coco since I was on a knit-based mission. 
I was also on the look out for some mustard coloured jersey as I've got a vision in my head of a gorgeously soft mustard Mabel but the one in Guthrie was a little out of my price range (basically I'd blown my budget on fabric already) so that will have to go on the back bench for a while.
Overall, it was a very successful and fun day; new friends, fabric and patterns!
I did think of getting a photo of all of us but as seen in my last post, I am not the most photogenic of girls and I didn't want to be *that* person who makes everyone stop just to smile into a lens.
Here's some imagery of todays gains:

Ignore the furry red in the fabric photo, that's just the living room rug.

Beginning writing these posts has reminded me what an awful memory I have, the amount of times I've been driving/cooking/sewing/breathing and thought of something I should tell you guys and then promptly forgotten... and that's just in the past week.
There is no hope...
Samantha, we think the same you an' me.

Also, machine update - my vouchers from DMU haven't turned up yet so no new Brother *sigh*
And now I'm going to sit here, drink my toffee apple cider and finish watching the Scotland  -Argentina match.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Tuesday's Grey and Wednesday Too

Here it is, the finished article! Ignore my face, I look lumpy/awkward as. (I do not enjoy being photographed in the slightest but my mum forced me)

In better light. I'm so proud of how the darts line up on the bodice and the skirt (not seen - the side seams on one side are about 4mm off).
That collar is self-drafted and I am SO proud of it! I did  my machines version of top stitching which is basically just not close to the edge at all but it does the job :)

 Check it ouuuttt!
Also, aren't those bat buttons the cutest?!

I have one more silver one and four glittery black ones, they are totes adorbs and I love them! They're perfect for this Wednesday Addams dress and my closet goth-ism. 
This is just an update as a few friends said they wanted to see the finished article, I'm working on the next post this week and I'll let y'all know via Instagram when the next post is up and the progress I'm making on my current make! 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Bada Boom Bada Bing

So this is my first trek into blogging territory. I thought it about time considering in the next couple weeks I will be upgrading my sewing machine from a January sales BHS gift section special which cost me a grand total 25 very English pounds to a Brother DS140.

 The Little Ripper
 Look at it... just LOOK 0.0

You do not understand just how excited I am to get that bad boy on the dining table and purr all over it.
Don't get me wrong, I love my BHS special, she's a lovely dinky little thing but she has one speed on the pedal and two types of stitches which they managed to stretch over 8 functions and a backwards. The bit that bugged me the most as I improved was the lack of ability in switching feet. I've made five dresses and two skirts on it this year alone and she coped wonderfully but I could have made those things in half the time and probably better quality with the new machine.

Anyway enough about the machinery.

My current project is my Halloween costume which I'm pretty sure will make it into my regular rotation afterwards. I don't actually have any concrete plans for the evening yet but I have all intentions of going somewhere dressed as Wednesday Addams (the Christina Ricci breed). She is my spirit animal. I love her and her straight faced straight talking.

I used the Tilly and the Buttons Megan dress from her book Love at First Stitch and drafted some cuffs and am planning on drafting a collar later on today.

 I cut a size 3 and I've used a black with silver glitter polyester twill (these are fancy words that my boss used and I don't doubt her as she has ridiculous amount of experience in textiles and the design industry) that I bought from Barry's Fabrics in Birmingham on the SewBrum Meet-up. It's a bitch to work with in that it doesn't press too well. The cuffs and collar are in a crisp white crepe type material... don't know exactly what it is (probably crepe) because...well, I don't pay attention to that stuff and have practically zero knowledge of fabric type beyond woven and knit.

 Sparkle Sparkle!

I was anxious when I drafted the cuffs, I wasn't sure just how they'd turn out but I'm pretty dang happy with them! They're sharp and pointy looking and turned out just the right depth. I used the sleeve pattern piece the get the right length and then measured 7cm down and joined the sides with a straight line. To get the points I just cut a 3cm line in half way across on the straight line.
 I am so gutted I didn't photograph the making process of these because I am so proud of them but I didn't really know when I'd be sinking my teeth into the blogging biz.

One thing I'm a little worried about is I forgot to factor in my large chestular area so not sure how it's going to fit but some of my new sewist friends on instagram suggested putting a band between the bodice and skirt to lengthen it which I thought was the issue at first. Now I'm not so sure but I'll just bind myself for Halloween because like hell am I going to manage to sew up a whole new bodice in that time.

See what I mean? Those darts and tucks just won't lie flat... also working in a Design Technology department with a good Textiles section is awesome - YAY OVERLOCKER ACCESS!

Things left to do to this project before it's wearable:
  1. Hand stitch the inside bit of the cuffs (again my lack of technical knowledge shines through)
  2. Draft collar and attach with facings
  3. Attach bodice to skirt
  4. Invisible back zip
  5. Hem
Totes do-able right?
My dad is on night shifts and sleeps all day at the minute though so I can't sew during the day on my machine since its decibel measurements rival the blitz.

So anyway, this is my blog entry number one. I don't know how regularly I'll be able to write but hopefully I'm not irritating. Please, if anyone has any hints or tips leave them in the comments :)
Tara for now!