Posts Tagged ‘rant’

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 😀

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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… 😀

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!!*

Okay. for the three people in the world who expressed an interest…. I just got Bob to take pics of the offending articles….oh and believe me when I say I am not nearly as shapeless as the pics make out…..honest!

Exhibit 1 – Portrait Mk1 – nice colour, nice fabric, dreadful fit. Looks fine till I attempt to move my arms, chest too tight, hips too tight….think I would need to cut it a size or two bigger and bring those tucks up higher…also bear in mind I lengthened this by a good 3 inches….

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And the back…yes I weight train lol – NOW do you see my problem?? 😀

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Exhibit 2 – Portrait Mk2 – made with the most evil fraying loose weaved fabric in the world, but perfect for an experiment (until I got a lump glued to my iron GRRRRR this shit cannot be pressed)

Added almost an inch per side, extended the shoulders slightly but made armhole bigger, shirred 4 rows at the narrowest part, the bit I ASSUMED would be the waistline. Er, no. To be fair, this version is infinitely more wearable, and I will probably wear it, it’s comfortable, only a little tight when I pull my shoulders and arms forward but the elasticated bit? Believe me when I say it is almost 2″ above my waist. And I’m short, and a bit shortwaisted….

Oh, and I haven’t done the neckline yet, was checking to see if it fit first. And yes, I hemmed the sleeves flat. Life is too short to hem them when the side seams are sewn up!

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It nips in – honest!!

And the beefy back shot…and no the back hem isn’t straight…

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In good news, I found my draft bodice block earlier – seems at some point I made one – now just need to trace it and try to make something sensible out of it. I’m quite into princess seam..and I have a pattern with them that fits a treat (apart from the waist being a little too high lol)

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?

Erm.

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?

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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…

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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….

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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…

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Oh, and I got the zip looking reasonably pretty

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And from the outside – first time!

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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.

No.

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

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Here’s the (sideways) line drawing.

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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

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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 wedding..as 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!

Yes, it is.

I decided to make the Taffy out of the flowery floaty fabric. It’s one on my list of things to do for the Palette Challenge. The fabric itself was the most fraytastic horror this side of Chinese Satin….but it didn’t matter as a) it has French seams, and b) it’s going to look AWESOME.

Well….I did much the same as last time, cut out the same size, though I did make the neck slightly higher (about an inch) and I omitted the ties. I didn’t like the bias binding, so turned it in (this made no difference to the fit, I assure you) and I did a rolled hem again on the sleeves and hem. It looked so beautiful…..then…..

DISASTER! It’s too tight! I can wear it, and it looks gorgeous BUT it pulls across the top of my back and chest and really digs in at the front of my (admittedly shotputterish) shoulders. Gutted. The black one didn’t do that at all, and I cut the same size……AARGGHHH!!!!

Pic of it on the dummy (it truly is not as shapeless as it looks on there, honest!)

I did rehem my trousers and fix the elastic on my favourite green velvet skirt though, so something has gone without incident!!!

Before I went away, I bought some cheap fabric from the charity shop. While I was away, I bought some trim from Boyes, and today, I bought more fabric, from Milton Keynes Market. But not the rude bloke, cos I wanted wearable basic stuff not cool but mental embellished stuff. Even if it is all £2/yard 😀

So, my fairly recentish haul looks a bit like this….

The 80s splatter fabric is stretchy, as is the stripey grey and black t shirt stuff. Next to that is what appears to be a 70s bedsheet, but it’s the perfect colour for the S/S’12 palette…then some drapey stuff I got today which is actually the right colour, and some lining type fabric I got from the charity shop….above that is another today purchase – spotty satin. Because I’m an idiot. I know satin is foul but the colour is so pretty……then various bundles of lace and ribbon – how awesome is the turquoise lace? And yes, that is ladybird ribbon, I know…but they had 7 spots…

Now, what to make? Was thinking of a Taffy for the flowery turquoise but now I’m thinking dress….argh. I also bought Burda mag today, and want to make about 8 things in it but oh god the instructions look a total mare!

Either way, before I sew anything, I need to remove the triffids from my table and possibly swap computer desks over, as my new (smaller) one is currently housing the stash in the pic…..

Allotment is a disaster of weeds. Eek, will have to do some SERIOUS weeding this weekend, weather allowing. This is what a fortnight of torrential rain and a holiday does…

I have been doing MMM’12 by the way – I’m wearing a me-made today, and hopefully Bob will get a pic of it later, when he’s allowed to leave Luton.

Luton. Grrr…hotbed of grim. There are ‘demonstrations’ today (read:riots and an excuse for a bit of a fight) by some Nazi scum and some religious fundies. Yay (OK, that’s a bit extreme but they can all piss off, I don’t want anyone’s belief shoved down my throat, thanks, whether it be extreme left or right wing and face it, nationalists and religious zealots are sides of the same coin – ie our gang is the best gang and anyone who’s not in it is evil and bad and wrong and should be shot)

The Uni was closed to students for ‘safety reasons’, ie the Uni thought there was going to be trouble. Yet Bob’s employer decides that’s a perfect opportunity to do some maintenance, cos rioting fuckheads demonstrators can tell the difference between a student and a plumber/sparky – gah!

As it is, apparently there have been no actual riots but all the roads have been closed until the EDL have left, so he’s been stuck there..until about now…..nice to know his employers care so much.

Ah text from Bob 17.01 – he’s finally leaving Luton 😀

Political rant over, I have some sewing to plan!!

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 http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/readreview.pl?readreview=1&reviewnum=73963

Why does everything I sew go to shit? Why? My lovely Meringue, newly catchstitched – why is the stitching showing through to the front – WHY??? I caught one thread, ONE and I may as well have hemmed the fucking thing. Oh, and because it’s a touch big around the waist, a t shirt over it causes it to rumple. Meh. Luckily, I have another planned, and I will cut it smaller – I’m done actually going by the sizes on the pattern envelope – each piece will be bloody well measured before cutting.

The skull dress – the zip has given up – I am just going to have to suck it up and resew a zip in it. Grrrr.

The ‘new’ dress. Apart from me majorly cocking up a French seam (It’s not very French), it was going together well (apart from the HUGE gape in the back), but then while sewing on a sleeve, my sewing machine stopped playing. Tension all gone to shit, nothing helps. Going to leave it a bit, see if it was just getting warm (and I have no patience, think I’m due a visit), and see if it will be OK tomorrow, or this evening. If not I will be digging out one of my others, and hoping it works! Just the sleeves, dammit (and the hem – shhhh) it’s not much to ask!!!