Saturday, 10 December 2011

Snood Ahoy!

Remember when I said I was knitting a snood?  Well I finished it and I am totally in love!

I've been wearing it at every opportunity since I finished it and it really didn't take me that long to do either, probably about 5 hours in total (more since I'm not counting stating again...)  It is made from this pattern on Ravelry, I used two balls of Sirdar Escape Chunky and the only adjustment I did to the pattern was to not hold the yarn doubled since I didn't have enough to do that and make it long enough. 

Now I'm contemplating a cardigan, I may have just approached the crazy train!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

The dress of Glitz!

Last Saturday was the day of my work's Christmas party and although I'd started the dress quite early I was still finishing it off on the day, you know how it is "Oh I just need to do the button, that can wait..."  Although I'm a little worried about how well I blend in with the living room wall I'm really impressed with it.

Every seam has been french seamed, yes you read that right EVERY seam, including the armhole! I didn't want any of the lace scratching me at any point so I encased them all and I have to say it worked very well so I say "Ha" in the face of all of the you can't french seam a curve naysayers!

This is also my first attempt at a thread made button hole (not the foggyist idea what that is really called), it needs so work but definately served the job it was made for.

After taking the photo's above I decided that I'd made the hem a little shorter than I was actually comfortable with, but nothing a pair of tights didn't cure. All in all a job well done and a good night because my husband actually made it! (He works in a toy shop so never usually makes it to anything Christmas related)

The Lowdown
Pattern: New Look 6068
Material: 1.75m Turquoise Lace £9.10, 1.75m Black Liquid Satin £3.92 (both from Abakhan)
Notions: Black floral button £0.59 Abakhan
Total Cost: £13.61
Time to complete: 5 hours (most of that was cutting the lace)
Modifications made: The placement of the keyhole opening from the front to the back

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Getting into...

With season change I've been feeling less and less inclined to get out the sewing machine and make clothes, I've been feeling wintery and with that comes a feeling that I should be knitting something, I've tried using the machine I found in a charity shop but anything other than a set amount of stitches with the standard stitch seems to be beyond me and I had a hankering for something more impressive.  But... I didn't know how to knit, I could crochet but knitting was a whole new world to me.  Out of the blue one day I decided that I will go to the supermarket and get a knitting magazine.  My luck must have been in since to only magazine in the store came with some free knitting needles and a scarf pattern designed for those needles.  Spurred on by inspiration I dashed home and dug out the wool I had been using to machine knit, it wasn't the chunky wool the pattern recommended but I figured I was learning so I could use that to learn the basics and get some chunky wool later on.   Oh the hours that have passed... It took me 2 hours to realise I was knitting the hat instead of the scarf, then another 2 to figure out what the damned instructions were jabbering on about.  Once I'd finally got my head around it and got the blue wool above I think I've spent another 10-15 hours to finish it all off
Can you spot which side I started on?  Despite the tension flaws on one side I'm really proud of myself and have got alot of use out of the scarf already
(I've also brought a tripod and hopefully will start to get better at this picture taking lark!)

 Since finishing I've been itching to make more things and the recent Snood outbreak started by the lovely Karen has got me starting one but in a different design I found on Ravelry posted by Nina.  Here's a sneak peek so far

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Back to School

Image source
I've signed up for a dressmaking course at the college nearby, which is a 10 week night course starting in January, it's called Dressmaking and Pattern Adaptation and the blurb for the course is

"You will have the opportunity to explore design elements, adapting existing patterns to reflect your own interests and requirements, and develop a greater understanding of fabrics, trends and commercial pattern limitations."

Sounds rather interesting, don't you think? I been plotting applying for it for sometime now and have been a little put off but the thought of actually going back to learning since I hated school, but that was mainly due to a few people who are bully's (I say are because I don't think they have actually changed in 12 years, eek how long!).  But i thought about what was stopping me from applying and I realised that I would not let those people bully me now and if I went back there I would kick their asses to kingdom come without a second thought, that in mind I bit the bullet and signed up for college because lets face it this is something really want to do! 

What do I hope to gain from the course? Well I would really like to learn how to draft my own patterns and this seems to be a very good starting point.  In order to swot up a little I've been attempting to draft something from Make Your Own Patterns by Rene Bergh, a book I have borrowed from my mum.  This book is so 80's I have actually been sitting laughing out loud in the sewing room. I mean check out this kids hair! Classic 80's Bowl cut!

The only thing is I've not been doing very well, either I'm measuring something wrong or I'm not following the instructions properly because it is just not working out.  Unless the arm scythe is meant to fall well below my bra! 

Other news, my dress is nearly done (just needs that dreaded hem doing) and I've been teaching myself how to knit and have nearly finished a scarf.  Maybe I can get it finished and show you soon, just got to learn how to cast off...

Monday, 7 November 2011


My work Christmas party is in  few weeks time and in true sewist style I'm going to make my dress for the party.  The dress I'm making is actually quite a simple dress - New Look 6068 - View B

As the dress itself has quite simple lines I've tried to find a fabric that would give it the WOW! factor. I had originally tried to find an awesome border print, without any success. So on Saturday in my hungover state I ventured to a fabric shop, and found this

 Brain says "Oooohh Shiny!" I wasn't actually going to buy this one because I got a little scared by the glitz of the lace but when I was at the cutting table it was sitting there shining in the florescent lights screaming "BUY ME!!"  I snapped up 2 meters of the spangly lace and some black satin to act as a lining.

I started cutting last night and in an attempt to make sure that the lines were all straight it took me about two hours to just cut the two main dress pieces because I pinned each line in place

Is that a bit OCD? Or is it actually ok? Because after another couple of hours work this it what it looks like

I'm actually ignoring the pattern instructions and am winging the construction because I've decided the change the key hole opening to the back instead of the front, the lace is acting like the facing, pockets are being contemplated and I'm attempting to French Seam the whole thing. I must be mad.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Ze Pantaloons Numero Uno

The trousers! They are finished!

While I am majorly impressed with them I am actually a little disappointed too.  You see despite the fact that I made a muslin to check the fit of said trousers (see Ghastly Pink trousers in previous post, yes the ones Meg actually wants me to finish and wear (Maybe pink trousers in the future but not those)) these trousers are to blinking big! Gah!

I'm surprised they are not trying to fall down in these pictures because I really need a belt to keep them up.  You know what the worst thing about them being too big is?  The fact that I made an extra special effort to finish the seams... /sigh!

Look at how pretty they are! Blind stitched hem and Turned Under Seam Finish.

Other than the crazy size issues they actually went together really well and the instructions were easy enough to follow, even the fly zip went in easily.  I think I chose well for my first venture into the trouser world, I imagine that a closer fitting pair would not have been so easy.  For now though I will consider it a job well done, always wear them with a belt and hope for better luck next time.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Feeling Brave

I'm not entirely sure what has come over me, maybe it has something to with the fact that the trousers that I purchased from a shop a few weeks ago were to big, picture pulling out the waistband and having space, but at the same time too small, picture same damn waistband feeling like its cutting you in half.  I have no idea how the heck these trousers manage to do both things but they do.  But you may already have an idea of what I'm about to say here but just incase you're not getting my drift.

I'm making trousers! Eeekk...

The crappy fitting trousers were the starting point but when I found this pattern on sale, it seemed inevitable

It's Butterick 5682 and I've started to make view E for some work trousers, that won't cut me in half while I'm at my desk all day.  I'm not doing to bad with them so far, I've even made a muslin (Shock!!), but when I was tracing the pattern there was one thing that really make me laugh.

This is the waistband piece and the writing on it says "This finished edge is 1 1/2" below the base of the neck" Errr... Butterick really?? Trousers?? 1 1/2" below the base of the neck?? I think not!

Anyway back to the trousers, the muslin fitted ok and just needed a small tweak to the waist since it was too small and would defeat the point of me making the trousers in the first place...

Moving onto the trousers, I've made the front of the legs

i.e put the pockets on, which may I add are awesome!  Remember my bird skirt? Welcome bird pockets!! (there is also going to be bird facing too!)

Hopefully the rest of the trousers will go together as well and I'll be winning.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Just what you need for dinner

We had some friends over for Dinner last night, something that we've not done before so needless to say we were a little unprepared for it. A random table (that came with the house 8 years ago), 4 chairs that didn't match, new wine glasses (because we didn't have 4), washing plates in between the courses because we don't have enough, etc, etc...  I guess we wouldn't get very far on Come Dine With Me would we? Haha.  Anyway a few hours before our friends were due to arrive I decided to make place mats, because who has dinner at a table without place mats?  With the seed in my head I sifted through the stash for some fabric and came across the Amy Butler fabric that has been sitting there for almost a year, cut 8 squares for coasters, 8 rectangles for place mats and wadding for the middle just so they weren't just 2 pieces of fabric sewn together. I suppose I could have used interfacing but I like the squishy and not too stiff effect of the wadding.

I'm rather pleased with them and they had the desired effect of making the table look like a real dinner table too.  Not bad for a random idea and an hour.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Raspberry Dress

Phew it's taken some mental doing but I believe I've finished the Raspberry Dress.  After posting about it on Friday night I made a brew and ventured to the dreaded task of finishing the dress. After trying it on I decided that although it is meant to be a loose fitting dress it just looked like a sack on me, and something somewhere was pulling the fabric in a strange way (Good spot there Rachel!).

I've not tried to fit anything like this before and all of the fitting I started to do seemed a little haphazard and not particularly helpful so I decided to rip out the zip and both side seams (I think I nearly cried at this point) and start again with the front sides as the back appeared to be fine. 

To fit I just tried it on inside out and pinned the dress until it looked a heck of a lot better, and wiggling out of the dress with it all pinned together made me realise that I didn't need a zip after all, I consider that a win!

It's going to look much better after a good iron, but I'm pretty chuffed with myself for actually finishing it!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Gym or Sew?

All day I have sat at work thinking "I will go to the gym tonight!" Then home-time comes and I just really cannot be bothered with it so I am resolving to get back onto the sewing wagon!  Tonight is going to be UFO night and I will finish off the dress that has sat around for a few weeks... (2 Months more like!)

It looks like it just needs a hem but I'm pretty sure that there will be some fitting issues which I'm not best pleased about since I've already put the zip in.

I'm also resolving to get some better lights in the Sewing Room, just the one overhead light bulb just doesn't cut it.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

I'm Back

Oh my what a fantastic adventure we've had! I have thoroughly enjoyed myself over the last few weeks especially so on my Wedding day, it was perfect. A truly amazing day surrounded by most of our loved ones.

Las Vegas is totally phenomenal and everything is on such a grand scale its barely believable.  I think we visited nearly every casino on the strip and they are all magnificent and all so individual. LA on the other hand was a bit disappointing and looked nothing like I expected, although it may have had something to do with all of the glitz of Vegas tainting our eyes with the shiny lights. Ah well you can't live the high life everywhere you go can you?

Not a lot else to report at the moment, maybe I'll settle back into reality again or maybe I'll stay on cloud 9 for a while it's pretty up here.  Especially since the husband (yep it's still strange calling him that) just called and said he would pick up pizza and wine for tea, amazing!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Hello Maxi!

While I've not found much time to blog I have found some time to create. Today is the last day I will be able to blog in over 2 weeks, so I'd better show you something before I disappear to Las Vegas and get married to the love of my life Mr B.

So here's a little something I stitched together for the holiday

I decided sometime ago that I wanted a maxi dress and I searched some shops to try and get one on sale. What is it with Maxi's they either show masses of boobage or are mega low in the back making wearing a bra impossible.  So I decided that would not do, and searched for a pattern to make a Maxi that covered my criteria (No masses of boobage and the ability to wear a bra). Fail... /sigh so what did I do?  I attempted to use an existing dress to create a pattern for the top part of the dress.  Again with the fail thing! Was this Maxi dress destined to never be. Nope, I had a brainwave to use the bodice from the New Look 6699 dress and another brainwave to make the back one piece and Shir it.  I also changed the straps to make them longer so they could be tied in the back because I was too lazy to measure them properly for a pretty detail
 For the skirt I just cut two long rectangles, but since I forgot about the fact that I would need to walk in the dress I had to chop it off around the knee area and add in a wider panel, I think it works.
I am really pleased with how it has turned out and it meets both of my criteria too. Win!
 Righty-o best be off and continue to pack for Viva Las Vegas and Sunny LA.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Helping out

If you do one thing today make sure that one thing is head on over to House of Marmalade and leave a comment on this post she is helping out a brand new online UK fabric site, Dragonfly Fabrics by hosting a give-away if you leave a comment with some feedback for the new website.  Personally I think this is a marvelous idea as it will help the site to develop in a good way. So what are you waiting for? Get over there!

Ooh can't leave it like that either, props to Karen for pointing me that way.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Mmm Pretty

That Debi, she's such a bad influence. I'd been eying up some shoes from the lovely Ness, when she only goes and announces that they have a sale on...

They arrived yesterday and they are so utterly yummy!


They are so comfy and look damn snazzy too!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Peer Review - In progress

Last weeks challenge over at Sew Weekly was to make an outfit inspired by one of the weekly contributors.  For this challenge I decided it was a good time to use the raspberry fabric I brought a few weeks ago
Mainly because it reminds me of one of Debi's dresses, The Raspberry Sorbet dress (oh and if you haven't already seen it you need to head on over to Debi's blog for her Mrs Peacock Pencil skirt, Lush!).  I started off really well with this challenge as I traced and cut the pattern I was going to use two Sunday's ago, and then dagnabit life got in the way* and this is how I came to it last night
 Still folded and waiting to be sewn...  So I took a few hours and cut out a lining and started to put it together.  It's not finished yet as I was getting rather tired last night so instead of soldiering on a ruining the dress I left it at this point.
Hopefully I can steal another couple of hours later in the week and finish it off. 

Now then it is probably time I shared something with you that I have been keeping a little quiet about - I'm getting married in 5 weeks time, eeekk! Jesh when did it get so close! It's not seemed quite real until recently especially now it is dawning on me exactly how close it is. There are a few things left to organise for it but I'm not going to break my calm nature about all of it, I refuse to be one of these stressed out brides!! Whatever will be will be what's the point in worrying about it?

Monday, 8 August 2011

The post of meh...

I realised earlier that I have only been showing you my successes in the sewing world recently and zero of the mishaps/items i don't actually like.  Well that is about to change, be prepared for some things I have not been feeling like raving about...

Goldenhawk fabric top I mentioned I was starting back in this post. This top was meant to be a shortened version of view B since I thought that it was far far too long for me. 
Ignore the bright red bra, Maybell's boobies are just far to small
Hmmm I thought it doesn't look too bad on Maybell, save the weird gathers half-way up the neckline (that you can't even see in the picture!)  Then before I hemmed and bias taped the armholes I went and tried it on.  Holy crap it looked like a tent! I'm guessing the extra length was there for a reason so that the top held some shape.  I'm saving you the horror of me in this but the next pic is what it looked like at the sides when I tried it on, enormous! (ok maybe exaggerating ever so slightly) This top has now started my UFO pile and I have absolutely no intentions of finishing it.

Next up is a recent make (about 2 weeks ago)  I scored some jersey whilst visiting London in a gorgeous shade of purple and decided it would be great as a dress, a Simplicity 2369 dress in view A with B's length. 
 It is almost finished but after I tried it on and found it made me look like frumpy the frump-mistress I gave up on it. There is bugger all shape to it. The sleeves look sad and drab not gorgeous and puffy like the pattern picture. So this is another one that is banished to the UFO pile, but I hope to resurrect this one at some point since I love the colour and the fabric feels lovely. Just not now
Grumpy because of the frumpyness
Last on the not feeling like raving about pile is my Sorbetto.  After I posted about it midway through here I did finish the top. But I'm just not feeling it... I'm not really that enthralled by the colour combo although I do really like the blue. I don't think this light viscose fabric works for the top, the pleat is wonky and wobbles all the way down.
 I did however learn that I need 2 bust darts otherwise the armhole gapes (as shown by the lovely green stitches because I thought it was cool was too lazy to change the thread.)  I did french seam the whole top so the inside looks fab, just a shame it is now relegated to the wearable around the house muslin pile.

 Ah well you win some you lose some.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Wedding bags

As you may have guessed by now I've been a little busy round these parts making some bags for my soon to be sister-in-law's wedding (still soon to be as she is B's sister). The wedding was on Friday, it was a great success, and I wanted to share with you a couple of the bags I managed to get shots of on the day (I was too busy enjoying myself to get more, but I'm assured there are some in the official pics, yay!)
Silver Clutch bag for the adult bridesmaids

Brides bag with butterfly to match the young bridesmaids dresses
Now I'm off to get cracking with this fabric, the colour of it reminds me of Debi's 1943 dress, which I didn't realise until after I brought it on sale at the fabric shop about a month ago for about £1.50 a metre