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.