I made a thing. And it worked!

Posted: August 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

I have been a little rubbish of late. I have made many things, of which most are an utter fail. Most are an utter fail. The NYE dress was OK, the trousers Mk2 weren’t bad, the baby blanket I made someone for Christmas and my first foray into quilting wasn’t awful (all pics on my old phone gah), neither was the Mother’s Day cushion for Bob’s mum….

However any top I have tried to make EVER has been a total disaster. Recently I even cocked up a Truffle dress due to poor fabric choice.

This week though, I went to borrow my friend’s cutting table and made up a trouser block for Bob, and have spent this weekend making them. And they FIT! Not only that, I only partly unpicked the fly once, and the jetted pockets worked FIRST TIME, no traumas. Shocking. Clearly I can make stuff for others but not me. Boo hiss, but so happy something worked. I believe tailoring is more my thing, at least for trousers (my trousers also worked from my own block, the issues come with my shoddy workmanship)

So…some pics. In no particular order. My friend taught me to crochet…

crochet blanket

Here’s said baby quilt, with the baby in it

baby quilt

Back of the mothers day cushion

cushion 2

Front…(literary theme, she’s an English teacher, and the colours go with the decor)

mothers day cushion

This is the flappy jetted pocket on Bob’s trousers…awesome, no?

pocket bob

And the practice I did on a scrap – lopsided but not bad

practice jet

My first cushion – the stars glow in the dark

space cushion

This is from my trousers Mk2 – an actual almost invisible hem :D

trouser hem

Oops HOW long?

Posted: May 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

So WordPress tells me I’ve been here 3 years…shame I’ve not posted for EVER.

 

I have been making stuff – some more successful than others, but earlier this week, for the first time in 15 years, I took my sewing machine to be serviced. (And the overlocker)…I have evidence it actually does buttonholes properly. I’m quite excited.

I’m off on holiday in a fortnight so this weekend will no doubt be a sewing frenzy. After actually buying a dress, from a shop (new, not a charity shop lol) and finding the sleeves were made so badly (the sleeve was the same size as the armhole, tut, I mean what size 14 woman has 10″ biceps?), so my first project will be to unpick the sleeves and reinsert as cap sleeves. Joy. I also want to make a red sparkly top and a utility skirt. In one and a half days. Hmmm……

I did wear the bee dress last week, I think, for a goth, I totally rocked yellow and turquoise. I doubt there are pics though……

So yeah, long radio silence, should be posting more this weekend….including pics of the ‘WTF Henry Holland?’ sleeves :D

 

I made something

Posted: September 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

Actually, I’ve made a few things but not got round to posting..partly because my sewing room has been used as a store room for ever….

My lovely friend has just got her studio up and running however, and in it she has a 9ft cutting table. Oh yes, so I thought I’d give it a go, as I have a tiny 3ft table :D

Check her out, btw at http://www.radioactivedreams.co.uk – as well as alterations, will design and make pretty much anything you like….she has made some awesome wedding outfits…

Anyhow,  I made the Miette, in a black cotton with green stars. I think this is the first thing I’ve ever made that hasn’t had a major disaster, fits out of the box (as it were) and I’m itching to wear – even if I’m scared my arse is going to fall out the back :D

 

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Stop press!

Posted: March 24, 2013 in dressmaking, Not a rant
Tags: , , ,

Well, bugger me if I haven’t gone and made summat that FITS!!

Yes indeed. Yesterday I bought SEW magazine, which is sometimes good, sometimes shit, but had a pattern on the front IN MY SIZE (as opposed to the size 6-12 they normally do). At first glance it doesn’t look my sort of thing but then what is? It’s Simplicity 2444 if anyone’s interested….loads of reviews on PatternReview, may do my own later.

One thing that bothered me about the pattern was no waist measurement of finished garment.

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Given my previous pattern traumas, I decided to make a toile of the bodice.Due to lack of waist measurement on pattern gambled with cutting a 16 for the waist. The toile came up too small on the waist and showed me I needed to adjust or a hollow chest (seriously!) and my slopy shoulders. Eventually cut a 14 top (with a slight FBA) , graduating to size 16 on waist (plus half an inch) and size 16 skirt. The front was supposed to be cut in 2 pieces but I cut it on the fold, adding half an inch for my belly. The centre seam would only have messed up the pattern even more anyway.

Fabric was cotton poplin courtesy of Dunelm. Evil Dunelm, I only went in for underbed storage, FFS. I only bought 2 metres, and it was 45″ wide and the pattern envelope claimed I’d need 3.4 metres of 44″ wide fabric. Ha. I like a challenge, me :D

Firstly, I knew I wasn’t going to be worrying about collars…or sleeves. Or facings. In the end, I just squeezed the pieces out, by narrowing the skirt hem by 2″ on each piece (it’s a massive skirt anyway, I’m only 4′ 11″, it would have looked daft) and attempting no pattern matching whatsoever….

Also due to previous experience, ignored the instructions. Constructed front and backs as stated, then did side seams. Got Bob to pin back together to make sure it would fit. Added zip and then checked shoulders for fit before stitching. Seems odd to do shoulder seams last but this is ALWAYS where it goes tits up for me. That and bias facing armholes and neck (don’t look too closely please!) but that’s another story. Anyway, upshot is, a thing that fits. A little snugly across the chest, but I’m wearing a sports bra in the pic, will look better when I wear a proper one.

The front – we’ll ignore the mess, shall we?

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The back – apart from cutting the points of the stars of, I think I’ve got the hang of zips. I especially like my invisible zip foot :)

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Construction – ie the inside of it

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And the front, yes it’s wonky on the dummy

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I was so pleased with it I even put a label in it… :D

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Things I think went well with the dress:

  • The fitting – everything seemed to go right this time
  • The zip. It’s rather good
  • The pleats. Hurrah for poplin, it presses and EVERYTHING
  • I managed to find a flattering shape. I usually think boat necks are grim

Things that did not go well:

  • Neck and arm facings – all creasy and stuff – nightmare on tight curves but oh god I HATE normal facings!
  • It’s a bit shortwaisted. I read as much on Patternreview BUT I’m shortwaisted. And under 5′ tall, I have no idea who that would actually fit…
  • Did I mention the facings?

So there it is. Not quite the weather to wear it atm, unfortunately, and I suspect I will need an underskirt to stop it sticking to tights…the minute it is actually not sub zero, I wear it……

Let’s rewind a bit. Last couple of things I’ve made, have been a bit of a disaster. Last one less so but still. In a fit of annoyance, I looked at clothes online. And saw some I liked. Have decided I do better making stuff *I* like, that’s a bit goth and so I wanted some goth friendly fabric. i.e. black, possibly lace, possibly a bit weird.

So today, I go to see the pervy fabric man at Milton Keynes market. Oh boy I wish it was payday….TOO MUCH PRETTY.

I bought sequins. Turquoise sequins. I was going to make a short tight dress. Then I got it home and realised it’s actually 60″ wide (I got 2 yards), so I reckon a full length mermaid dress because….well, look at it!

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I mean, LOOK. AT. IT. How fucking awesome is that shit? For £4/yard too. Win.

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I also found some odd snakeskin printy stuff. £2.50/yard. Yes please. Now, to make trousers or a skirt? Either way, pressing it is not likely to be an option :D

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And lace. He refused to cut it because he only had 5 metres left. Mine for a tenner. And it’s stretchy. I can make me some proper goffick massive flappy sleeves with this, oh yes I can……….

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Meanwhile, my hair is bright orange. Bob thinks it should be purple. I’m pretty sure orange and purple make sludge brown, but we shall see……(if it goes tits I have some temp black…)

Lilly was spayed this week. She was a little tired the day of the op, but she seemed happy to snooze. Here’s a cute pic…..

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Oh, and I was sewing the other day, when I saw the first ladybird of the year climbing up my window (was indoors so has probably hibernated in my spare room) and it was a BLOODY HARLEQUIN!!! Disappointed.

I forget where I was with the ranting last week but I thought ‘sod it’ and went for Truffle Mk2 with some cheapo polka dot polycotton. Thing about polycotton – it BEHAVES!!!

This time – I cut standard pattern. Only alteration was half an inch at the hips on each back piece, and half an inch on the length to accommodate my squat butt. I also ignored the construction instructions and left the back seam till last. I got Bob to pin the back together and draw a line where it fit. Basically I took a small 1/2″ wedge out of the top of the centre back seam on either side. And I tried it on once the zip was done…fit pretty well, apart from a bit of baggy back. This was sorted by taking a small wedge out of the shoulders (I have sloping shoulders too)

And it was good. It fit, really quite well. Pleased with myself, I finished the neckline and hemmed the dress, adding a little lace trim. Came the evening, I showed it to Bob..WTF?

The arse rides up, there is still some bagging in the back, but if I pull my arms forward it’s tight so can’t take it in – AAARRGHHHH!!!!

I did wear it Friday night, I think it looked OK and was definitely wearable but just a little annoyed….will put a pic up at some point..

THis evening, I thought I’d redo the pinstripe fishtail skirt I cocked up last week. Cut the sides out, reinserted the zip, did all the gathering again, and it fit really well….(apart from a dodgy bit near the zip_…decided to press the seams, and side seams…and my iron melted the fabric!!! See mess below.

 

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It didn’t do that last week, and the iron was on the same setting!! Double AAARRGHHHH!!!!

I did get some comedy patterns last week from the Oxfam shop for 29p each though. I was somewhat taken with this, for some reason :D

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In non sewing related stuff, I have some pictures of soil. I got to the allotment today, and planted some garlic, shallots and onions. In this darker bit of soil.

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I also dug this bit of soil, into which I will put pea plants.

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This is how it looked a fortnight ago, before I dug any soil

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Will I never learn?

I found a quite nice downloadable pattern on the Cloth Magazine website….

http://www.cloth.co.uk/blouse/download-vintage-blouse

Pretty, no? A little lacy for me but I was fascinated by the dart placement so bought some green gingham to make it less ‘girly’ Apart from my machine having shitfit with the darts (typically, as the stitching is in view for these), all seemed to go well. Then I tried it on..WAY too big above the bust, too tight on the bust and waist….will be alright if I lose a couple of inches from each. Gah. Is pretty too…

This weekend gone, I fancied making myself a nice simple item, something I could do in a day. Bob had also hinted he might like me in a polka dot dress so I thought a dress might be a nice thing to make. I had some spotty cotton, and plumped for the Colette Truffle dress. Despite the fact I apparently needed 3 yards for it, I managed to cut the pieces out of around 1.7 metres. Go me! Now, I measured the pattern pieces, adjusted the darts to allow for my humpy back and fat belly, added an inch to the waistline, all good. Checked the fit of the pattern before cutting out the fabric. Checked the fit of the fabric pieces after sewing darts (and staystitching, cos that’s one HUUUGE neckline right there!), measured before sewing together. By my calculations I had 3″ ease in the hips, 1.5″ in the bust and waist, making for a comfortable fit. It all went together lovely, the zip went in like a dream (yes, it really did!!!) and it looked beautiful. So I tried on the finished article.

Oh my days…it looked ace! Slightly baggy between waist and hips but that’s a common occurrence with me and not a major problem…then I turned to the side.

Crap.

Despite my wider and longer back darts, there was still excess fabric from my waist to my shoulders. And the gape!! Quasimodo could have worn it!!! Not to forget the massive wodge of fabric sitting around my waist.Ugh.

Slightly dejected, I gave up and went to bed.

Next day, I sucked it up and did a swayback adjustment, taking a 2″ wedge out of the skirt, and also a 2″ dart out of each back piece at the neck, as well as graduating the other back darts as they were too pointy.

And I tried it on again. Looked lovely from the front…felt around the back, no fabric…oooh… :D

Looked in the mirror. WTF??? The zip sticks out and makes my arse look HUGE (seems I should have tapered that seam a little more but then it would be too tight, and there’s still massive gapeage round the back. Bear in mind I have a BIG back.

To console myself, I thought I’d make something gothy. I nice pinstripe fishtail skirt. I made a new skirt block, checked all the measurements repeatedly (especially as they were in that weird French Metric thing :D) and made the skirt part.

WTF? I have panniers where my hips should be, my hips are NOT that rounded – and the waist is too big, and the fishtail looks shit. To say I was massively disappointed and pissed off would be an understatement.

Which is why, this afternon I went to the Fabric Sale, picked up 3 metres of stretch cotton black and white polka dot fabric, 2 metres of stiff polycotton red and black polka dot fabric, and bought four patterns from the local Oxfam shop for 29p each – including a romper suit pattern. Yes, romper suit.

I will never learn….

*pics will come in time, when I’ve stopped smarting about the whole thing and my mutant figure!!*

Sewing mojo back…

Posted: February 9, 2013 in dressmaking, Not a rant, Vanity
Tags: ,

After a semi disastrous fortnight in which nothing fit and I started thinking I was going mad….

I just fancied making something a little more…..*me*

i.e. a bit gothy and comfy but a bit…odd.

Was going to make the vintage pattern I posted up the other week with the pointy skirt bit – the pink one on the right.

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I wanted it to be proper comfy, wasn’t going to be arsed cutting on the bias or any of that faff…found some black t-shirt type fabric, cut out the back and front, and instead of the pointy bits, thought I’d add some random red and black stripes in varying widths for interest….the red is some of the jersey left from the skirt I made last week..neckline was too tight so slashed it and overlocked the neckline, added a very plain lace trim to the sleeves and topstitched where the stripes meet the bottom of the skirt because that jersey is HEAVY. (and it looks nice)

Verdict – it ROCKS. Bob loves it, and it’s quite loose fitting but with a wide belt my waist looks teeny :D

It’s also knee length so a perfect goth summer dress… :) and can be worn with leggings/long skirt in winter…yay!!!

Front, with belt

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Back

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There’s some good news on the blog…in fact, quite a bit..hurrah!!!

Meanwhile – see below. I dunno why I was so taken with this, but it was in the remnants bin at John Lewis, and there was just 1 metre of 44″ fabric….perfect for taming my nemesis, the Portrait Blouse, so I thought. Portrait here fyi http://www.blogforbettersewing.com/2012/11/pink-haired-lady-with-sew-along-idea.html

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Meanwhile, I bought a New Look pattern last week, one that looked easy, minimum shaping etc as a way of getting some confidence back? Bob told me frilly + flowers = Frumpy. Pfft, well I like it, even if the fabric melted on my iron, and I spilled sauce down it. It’s even long enough that I dare go out in skinny jeans :D (Yes I look stoned, no I’m not but it’s the only pic that doesn’t have the cat’s litter trays in)

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Meanwhile, at the weekend I also went for a stint of ‘Let’s make shit up’ which always used to be my preferred method of sewing. Cue 2 out of the 5 metres of cheap red jersey I have, a 6 gore skirt with drapey bits on…hem STILL to long but cba to do anything about it right now….it will wait. Yes that is an elastic waist, no  can’t be bothered to case it, it’ll be hidden anyway…

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So..back to the Portrait blouse….cut the pattern out, with an extra 1/2″ at each side seam and lowered bottom of armhole by 1/2″ too. Also added 1/2″ to the 2″ I already lengthened it by..then..DISASTER!!! The back wouldn’t fit on the rest of the fabric – solved by cutting two pieces and seaming them together. It also meant I could add half an inch each side of the back so I could accommodate my back fat lats. As I also only had enough fabric to make the back in the original length, I added a ‘peplum’ of sorts….and of course it has a bias binding neck facing.

After trying it on (and playing with my new concealed zipper foot – oh the expense!!!) I also lengthened the front and back darts by an inch or so, and took a little more in at the centre back seam just above the waist (I have a serious swayback, people!) Still a little baggy around the waist, but much better, and a decent fit…see? (And yes, a sports bra does not show it to its best advantage!!)

And yes the floor needs hoovering – I’ve been busy, dammit!!!

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It is straight, honest!!

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Oh, and John Lewis still had some sale fabric left. Silver blurry abstract flowers, it says. Looks like leopardprint to me!!! Either way it is excellent but I have no idea what to make, except it should be a dress. I got 2 metres….

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Bob took a couple of pics of my calico toile from my boduce block. No.1 – the front.  I look pregnant, how lovely…not. seems to be a little baggy above the boobs and just under them too, though not as noticeable underneath. If I make a top from this pattern, I’d have a lower neckline anyway….any ideas how to fix?

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No. 2 – side shot – fits round arms, doesn’t ride up massively, seems OK

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No. 3 – the back. WTF? That’s a LOT of extra material – a sway back and sudden narrowing of my back means there’s a lot of extra fabric – I’m thinking I will just need to narrow the centre back piece for this, am I right?

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