Archive for the ‘minor rant’ Category

As I said before, we’re in the process of moving house…will probably be a few weeks yet but half the packing is done. First to be packed was the sewing stuff, then the books, then the clothes. Ah yes, the clothes. So many things blogged about, so many things put into the donate pile (or even chucked)…

It’s been commented on one of the blogs listed below that a number of bloggers make things then they never get seen again – some are wheeled out for Me Made May, but a lot of bloggers have a lot of output but seem to wear very little of what they make…I often wonder what happens to the clothes….

So of the things I’ve blogged about (that I remember), what made the cut to go to the new house?

Firstly, the black self drafted trousers get to stay.

The Miette skirt blogged about here, and the Christmas version. Because I find them useful, and they fit well.

The dress here was binned as it was just too tight across the chest but I made a version in a yellow bee print with an FBA and it made the cut

This dress because it is so damn comfy

The Hawaiian dress because I don’t care if it’s wonky, I love it

The ‘Horror of Satin II’ because it’s so obnoxious it deserves more outings

Also (because I cba to link anymore), the goth Meringue, the black Taffy, the ladybird corset and the space dress…also a strawberry print dress based on the space dress pattern I didn’t get around to blogging. I think the purple leopardprint dress made it too, as did the red New Years Eve dress I probably didn’t blog about. Damn, I’m rubbish at this blogging lark!

Anyway, that leaves a lot of stuff that didn’t fit properly, or well enough for me to persevere with…

Next year I will aim for far less wadders. I’m looking at at least 50% which is rubbish. I’ve been sewing for ages, I should get it by now.


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!


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


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 😀


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……….


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…..



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.

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?


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


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?


Been a bit ill over the weekend. Nowt serious, just an upset stomach, so yesterday, decided to attempt to do something simple to take my mind off it.

Bearing in mind I have very few tops, apart from t-shirts, thought I’d have a bash at the Portrait Blouse from Gertie’s book…

Looks simple enough – two pieces (I am NOT doing a neck facing, see previous posts) and I have a few ‘bits’ of fabric in my stash. Chose a drapeyish green that I found in a charity shop…was a metre and a half of 30″ wide so more than enough….

First, I looked at the sizing, picked an appropriate size, in this case, an 8, as I have a 38″ top bust measurement (39″ full) and 42″ hips (my waist is slightly larger but can be remedied). I also heeded previous reviews and cut it a little longer than the patter required…

Now, these measurements appear to correspond to a Big 4 size 16, which I normally cut. Couldn’t find actual garment measurement anywhere so measured the pattern pieces..all looked fine. I was also waaay too lazy to rethread the overlocker, so decided on French seams, just for my own amusement…

Soooo how did that work out for me?


See pics below on my lumpy chickenwire dummy. It’s pretty much my size so….

Firstly, it was a bit tight. Tight around the bust, very tight around the back, and also very tight on the hips, but OK on the waist (??? given my waist is a hefty 33″ does not compute)

The sleeves are also too tight..I have beefy arms.

And WTF is that baggy bit below the bust?


No, I didn’t get round to hemming it – it is now officially a toile….

And the back – HOW MUCH is that pulling on my back?

And yes, I have a sticky out arse…


Notes for next time…..

Make pattern pieces an inch bigger either side (or reduce the tucks), drop the armhole bottom by about an inch….

Otherwise, it’s quite nice. Grrrr hate it when that happens…..

No time to do another one today, but if I get chance, next effort will be overlocked….


This appears to be sideways. Hm. Anyhow, I mad this out of some mystery fabric I bought at Peterborough market. I initially made the long sleeved version, but it looked too frumpy, so I cut the sleeves down a bit. Had to topstitch the neckline due to weird lining not lying flat issues. I have neck issues 😀

The pic looks weird but it actually sits on my waist, instead of an inch above it – this may be down to me forgetting this when cutting out the pattern, but making the seam allowance a bit smaller so it sits right…


Oh, and I got the zip looking reasonably pretty


And from the outside – first time!


Couple of days ago, I also decided to make this…I hate restrictive clothes and thought that as I have a wide back and big boobs, this would be perfect.


More mystery fabric from the market here, slight stretch and lots of drape, but mainly much cheapness if it goes tits up….


Here’s the (sideways) line drawing.


Now, imagine the top of the sleeve near the shoulder…and having to cut at an angle of 45 degrees to make the armhole wider – yep. Make clothes for ‘fuller figured’ women, and forget they also have fuller arms – my arms were dragging the whole thing down which was very uncomfortable! Chopped a lump out and it fits much better. I like the shaping at the waist, as much as I bitched about all the darts!! 😀


This was where I had Buttonhole Trauma. The first was so bad I sewed a button over it. After looking for answers online, it seems I needed to set the stitch length a bit longer – the resulting buttonholes were …ok. 6 were good, 2 were iffy. I know it says 7 buttons on the pattern but I used teeny buttons, and yes the spacing is dodgy – it’s a design feature *whistles*


The neck facing was so awful and bulky I chopped it out and used twill tape instead. Remind me to NEVER do a neck facing again, unless it’s stitched to a lining. The one on my nice purple leopardprint dress has shredded in the wash and looks dreadful…have to keep poking it back into the neck grrrr


Now..what to make with my new stuff?

Not sure exactly what I’ve ben up to since I last updated – I started an exercise blog, which predictably, lasted about a week before I had a major wobbler.

I’ve been training away from home, so not had time to do anything, and boy does it show.

I can’t tell you how annoyed I am by the weeds at the allotment – who knew plants could grow so much in 2 weeks? Saving grace is the tomatoes are looking fantastic, as are the spuds. I managed to cut down some chest high thistles, in order to give the carrots some light too….

I have now decided to go on the all out offensive. I’m going to buy a load of Glyphosate and black sheeting. Gonna spray the weeds that have beds of their own, cover with sheeting and bricks and leave. There’s not much else I’ll be sowing this year, and if I do, I have space in the sweetcorn bed as only 4 plants came up *sad face*

Meanwhile, on Ladybird Watch, I note that there are very few about this year, after seeing thousands in Spring…I saw one on the allotment today, that’s it…..haven’t even seen a Harlequin yet this year, except for the one I saw in Germany….

On the sewing front, I finally finished ‘The Horror of Satin MkII’, aka New Look 6002, and this time I went for eye searing magenta. I learned my lesson though, I made a toile of the bodice, and when I cut the pattern, I made sure I took a wedge out of the bodice front and each centre back seam. I even lined it. It wasn’t really difficult but it was really slippery polyester silk and the satin was also slippery….

Wore it to a friend’s wedding yesterday, and it was reasonably comfy, if a little tight at the back of the arms…and the hook and eye at the top of the zip itched. I attempted a lapped zipper because I didn’t have a concealed one, and it looks OK, but Bob tells me my zip is slightly off centre. Meh, I can’t see it….. 😀

I look grumpy as hell in the pic, but that’s because I was caught off guard – I said ‘take a pic’ and he didn’t even give me chance to smile! I like the dress, may well wear it to another it happens the wedding was awesome, and between the meal and the reception, we got to play lawn bowls, croquet and wander round the lake, we also found a stable with a horse and a really small donkey in, so we petted them too….

I don’t normally look this miserable, honest!

Firstly, we’ll start with MMM’12. I’ve learned quite a bit in the first two weeks – the first is that I am scruffy and unimaginative. The second is that I suck at dressmaking. Nothing I make passes muster. It’s very frustrating, and I’ve also learned that I like ‘weird’ clothes.

So, to some pics from the last couple of weeks. First off, I wore my straight skirt with chilli facing but Bob wasn’t about to take a pic, so I didn’t get one. I wore it with a black t shirt, leggings and boots. For a change.

The next day, I wore the black Taffy, with a skirt, leggings and er boots. Hmm. Incidentally, the turquoise one is still unwearable, I get really twitchy if my clothes are even SLIGHTLY uncomfortable. I’m debating giving it away or giving it a couple of months….

Meringue. The lighting is truly awful. This is still way too big, you can see it bunching up under the t shirt but it was very comfy and if I could alter it without having to do too much, I would….oh look, t shirt, leggings and boots…..

The wearable muslin made out of t shirt material, similar to the skull dress (8780?) worn over a long skirt this time, I think, and boots.

This is a circle skirt I made from the skirt part of the infamous 4790, out of the same material as the black Taffy. Unfortunately the hem stretched and the sides are knee length, and the front and back is mid calf…..however here it is worn over a long green velvet skirt, and it looks OK. I may be ruching it at some point…..yes I know you can’t see it very well. Worn with? t-shirt and boots. Lol.

Today I was going to wear the skull dress, but there was massive gapeage at the back, so I wore the skirt above, this time with a purple skirt, and some me-made leggings (and boots, and a black t shirt, natch). The leggins were not good – the jersey wasn’t stretchy in all directions and they barely cover my arse, so there is baggy knee, the lot, but they kept my leggies warm, you can just about see them….

This week I also made a shirt out of the spotty turquoise, and it fits well but it’s such an abortion, and I’m still sulking, I’m not putting a pic up yet….

And so to the Goth Meringue. I’ve wanted to make one for a while, but wasn’t sure about embellishment…..I saw this post and it came to me, so thanks for the inspiration!!!!

I went for some webby pink stuff I’ve had forever, and stitched it at a slant. Of course, I tried to get them all to match back and front, but no. It also stretches so when it was sewn together, the scallops stood up….gah. I added piping to weigh it down and look nicer, and it made it worse! In the end I had to cut the whole lot off and restitch the pink, but unstretched it doesn’t reach the bottom of the skirt – AARGHHHH!!!

Anyway, the zip went in OK, the facing looks lovely, and although there are some disaster areas, I think it’s rather nice – the 3 satin dots really improve the look, in my not overly humble opinion. From the original pattern, I cut a 10 (my other is a 14, this one is actually a VERY good fit, even though by rights it should be a little too small), shortened it by about 3″ (then another half inch later when I cocked it up!!), didn’t do the facing as the PVC fabric is very stiff anyway.

I may still edge stitch the bottom to make it look more finished….I also lengthened the darts. I probably should do a swayback adjustment but it’s too late now….. 😀

The facing – it went RIGHT!!!!

Dots. Satin stitched onto PVC, cut out then stitched onto the skirt – didn’t dare stitch them straight on lol!

The finished article, partial disaster but v. pretty (to me…)

Also today, we went to a classic car show and took the truck…..the celebrity guest came to check out the truck and had a good chat about it and sat in it – took me a few minutes to realise it was Chris Barrie – Bob knew straightaway – I didn’t even get a pic  – d’oh! Was rather col as both Bob and I are massive Red Dwarf fans….lol certain people got a text – Rimmer is sitting in the wagon!!! PMSL!!

And Bob bought me a little pressie. When I’ve sorted my computer desk out, it will be attached to my sewing table so I can clamp spiral bonin in it and twat it with a hammer and chisel. Tin snips just don’t do it right  😀

Isn’t it sweet?

Little baby vice

Loads of clothes in for washing, will be packing for Leipzig probably tomorrow – although I’d love to get dressed up loads, there will be a lot of walking and standing around, so I need to be comfy. Me-made items being packed will include the Space Dress, Ladybird Corset, possibly the skull dress, and if I can make something out of the stripey jersey, all the better – I have only t-shirts (as my pictures evidence…) not long now!!!

I made a start on the final tier of the netty petty – I did a third of it – believe me, that’s more than enough for one day! My poor neck….

Following on from that, I thought I’d make the skirt to go with it, out of some sheerish black fabric  I got from Peterborough market. I used the skirt bit from Butterick 4790, cos it’s really full, and managed to get it on one bit of fabric – I did cut down one side because it needs a zip. The zip went in perfectly. The waist is only a little too big. The hem is all over the place. It’s currently on the dummy, waiting to see how much more on the piss the hem will be before I can actually sort it out – bummer is that the shorter bits are a bit too short. Gah.

I was determined to make something that fit, and I really liked the fabric. I also had a good metre and a half left, and I had a hankering for a blouse (I think I may get away with this for the S/S 12 challenge, even though it’s the wrong colour 😀 ), so thought I’d go for Taffy, as I like the sleeves.

Now, I was a bit worried about the fact it was cut on the bias. I hate bias cut skirts – they always cling in the wrong places and make me look really lumpy :(, so it was not without trepidation I went about this.

Having learned my lesson from my previous pattern experiences, I looked at the FINISHED garment measurements, and measured the pieces before deciding on a size. Now, according to Colette sizing, I am a 14 (which is my actual dress size which makes a nice change), and my Meringue was hyoooge! This time I cut a 10. Yes, a 10, and I have hefty boobage…I was surprised but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

It went together really easily, this despite the fact my sewing machine was having the mother of all mardy fits and kept snapping the thread, looping stitches, having tension traumas etc etc…I changed the needle, changed it for a smaller one, changed the upper tension, the lower tension, swore, cursed, took the pins out before sewing over them……I got there in the end but it needs looking at, I think…..a service is long overdue!

I did the bias binding on the neck PERFECTLY…all the stitching was spot on, the seam was neat and……it was inside out. What a dickhead!!! As it happens, I tried the top on, the neck was stiff and gapey, so I turned the binding to the inside and stitched it to the blouse, and now it’s much better…. 🙂

Instead of binding and hemming the sleeves and bottom, I used my overlocker to do a rolled hem – bias binding would have been far too stiff for those sleeves, and I wanted them floaty….

I believe I actually have an item I’m really pleased with and am looking forward to wearing. It *is* a little tight on the hips, the bit I DIDN’T measure lol but it’s easily rectified with a slit up each side or by me being less porky…

The neck is still a little wide and gapey, next time I shall make the neck smaller

Not sure you can see the shiny bubbly pattern on this pic but it's ace

Ah yes – the dummy has had a boob job and a makeover – she now has one of my bras stuffed with Bob’s boxer shorts and a couple of towels to make her more my measurements…bless.

Hemmed the self drafted skirt, so it’s wearable, but the gingham top is a write off – raised the shoulders, it didn’t really help, and now the sleeves are all wrong. Bleh.

On a completely unrelated note, a couple of weeks ago, a friend and I were discussing why they didn’t make flavoured pork scratchings – I was all for Worcestershire sauce or chilli. Well, yesterday, I found these…..

How cool is that? Will give you my verdict when I’ve tried them…

Well, after the frustrations of the latest pattern, I thought I’d have a bit of a play. I bought a couple of metres of gingham at Boyes last year, and thought I’d make a nice top. I used the bodice from the New Look pattern and added about 6″ to the waistband. I was going to do shirring all the way down, but decided just to go for the back waist. It is a little tight round the front but that was me being stingy with the fabric. As before, the back gaped like a bitch, so I put 2″ darts in. Did a bit of binding around the sleeves, then tried it on…all good, except the neckline. Bend over and…hello bra!!! Hmmm. Debated a bit of modesty lace, a friend suggested thin elastic. Tried both, it looked awful. Gah. Still debating how to do the hem….

It's not that on the piss in real life, honest

Check out the pretty sleeves

Ignore the dreadful pressing, however, as I mentioned, my iron went all leaky and crap. I went out and bought a new one. It hurt, I was all for the cheapo £4 one, but then found one that was half price at £20 and is almost twice the size of my old one, so I bought the beast – at around 6 times the cost of my old one, it had better last 10 years too!

Yes, I have a picture of an iron on my blog, what of it?

I also got a phone call earlier to say my French Curve had arrived – yay Imperial goodness! And what did I do when I got home? Made a basic skirt block using the instructions in ‘METRIC Pattern Curring’ Yes, I like to make life difficult


Speaking of metric pattern cutting, Bob got the men’s version through the post today, so he can make trousers – and in the package was my book. I shall look forward to eating proper yummy food (especially as my collar bacon is due to be in tomorrow, I will also be buying Black Bomber cheese…yum!)

Yummy food.

For more amazing food porn, check out Modern Paleo Warfare on my blogroll…..

Hmm. Other stuff. Well, after making the block, I dug out some old pinstripe stretchy velvety type stuff and made a skirt.  Results are almost in (I still need to hem it)

This material was made for my overlocker, how pretty is that?

Facing made from leftover chilli fabric. Yes, the zip is purple. It's a design feature, honest.

IT FITS!!!! IT FITS PERFECTLY!!! I’m so HAPPY! It even looks pretty with the also half finished top….. I might have something to wear in MMM’12 yet!!!

Look - it's almost an outfit!

Still on dressmaking – the new Colette patterns came out today – despite having enormous thunderthighs, I *need* the Iris shorts – it’s the front side seam pockets…and I also want the sundress I can’t remember the name of but has triangular side seams and looks ace in stripes – check out Coletterie on the blogroll if you want to actually see what I’m wittering about!

Nice to see Deadford made it into the national news, though not for great reasons I live near the Crown pub – interesting as it’s right next to the hospital – which charges a fortune for parking. Hmmm. Oh, and it’s on a very busy junction that is already gridlocked at rush hour. That’ll be nice for everyone then…..

In completely unrelated news, there are changes ahead for me, in a motivational capacity. I’m very excited. I’ve been working through some stuff and reading this blog the woman is amazing, she made me lift heavier than I ever have before…

Anyhow, that’s enough from me, I have some chilling out to do!

Aka the ‘This Is The One I’m Going To Get Right Dress’

Did I? Errr…well no, but it’s a pretty decent effort, compared to the others, so let’s see…

First of all, the fabric. It felt lovely, it looked nice, it was drapey and fl0wy. It also frayed, was slippery, a bit stretchy and a bit of a pain to sew and press, tbh.

The pattern. Now, there are all number of instructions for fitting. I read them. No, really, I DID! I decided the fabric would not lend itself well to basting, unpicking and sewing, it just wouldn’t – a little flimsy, methinks. Looks like I’d have to get it right first time. The one thing I DID do, was measure the pattern pieces. Normally, my measurements put me between an 18 and a 20, and I’ve found things are always a bit big, especially around the back. This time, after measuring the pattern pieces, and finding the actual finished measurements of the garment, I cut out a 16C. I can’t tell you how nervous this made me….. 😀

After cutting the pieces, I pinned the bodice pieces together and tried them on – it all seemed to be a good fit (the skirt wasn’t an issue – not with a 50″ hip as finished measurement lol! ) so I went ahead and sewed….

The pockets went together like a dream – I even topstitched them and used twill tape to minimise stretching…all very technical.

The bits I like – the pockets, the princess seams (MUCH better fit, I suck at darts) and even the sleeves were nice, after I sorted out my machine’s tension issue… I also used the instructions for sewing a facing to the zip from the Colette Sewing Handbook – I love the finish on this, it’s my new favourite thing!

The bits I hated – after sewing everything but the side seams, I noted HUGE gappage at the top of the neck…tried a number of things but in the end, the only solution was to unpick it and put a pleat in the top – took it in 2″ either side, and there’s still some gaping, but any more and the sleeves will start to pull. I may ask a friend for advice on this, as it was also a big problem with the turquoise satin of evil….I think this has to do with my build, if it’s a common theme – anyone has any ideas, let me know…..I maintain it’s muscle that causes me to have the problems.. 🙂

Oh, and although the zip went in well, the back waist seams are about half an inch apart at the back – WTF? Thankfully I will be wearing this with a belt…..

As the neck got butchered, I ended up binding the neckline – I didn’t want to, but it doesn’t look too awful – me and neck facings Do Not Get On. They flap about and annoy me…..

No pics of me in it yet but some bad ones from it on my skinny dummy..

Pockets..I like pockets

WTF with the mismatched seams?

I will sew this again, most definitely. I will probably make the longer version – it comes almost to my ankles anyway!!!!


Review here