Monday, 16 October 2017

A New Dress Started

I started another dress yesterday tea time, chiffon this time and the reason I was so late starting it is that I had already made a white tunic dress for  colleague's Greek day at school earlier in the day.  I didn't photograph that one as it is just a basic white tunic, she will draped in the rest of the fabric on the day.  It was quite amusing because I quickly cut out the pieces on the dining table and then we took the dogs for a walk.  When we got back I placed it on the mannequin  and pinned it in place trying to make up my mind how to proceed.  My husband came through and said hang on when did you sew that?  Well I would look well going out in it as it is, it would be a bit draughty!

I suppose it does look almost ready from this angle.

Here you can see not a stitch sewn, just one front piece and one sleeve hanging on.

I was thinking that I may put an elasticated waist in this one but now it is pinned like this I like the effect of where it is pinned at the front just as a fold on each side.  I may do a side zip and just secure those folds with belt loops and do the same at the back, it will need a liner for the skirt as it is see through but the top can have something worn with it.

There wasn't anymore sewing to be done last night as the Sunday evening ironing beckoned, I know I don't have to do it then but I have got into a good habit now of getting it all done then, with the music blasting upstairs so I'm sticking with it.  I was down in time to watch Victoria which I have been enjoying and there is a new drama coming Gunpowder plot so I have started on this non fiction book I bought myself a while ago 'The Gunpowder Plot'  as a warm up before that begins.


This past weekend I also made two dishes using tofu, this was perhaps a mistake as I have felt that it doesn't entirely agree with me but as I made Chinese last week and was fine I ate it on Saturday with stir fry then yesterday I did scrambled tofu from my Aine Carlin vegan book.   It was quite good but I spent the rest of the day regretting it as my stomach was not right, same all evening too.  Has anyone got similar issues with it?  Or maybe just eating it two days running is too much for me.

Maybe eating beans with it is a no no, but if you are vegan and looking for an alternative to scrambled egg this could be for you.  




Friday, 13 October 2017

Teal Dress, a Quick One Hour Make

My latest make is not what it was originally intended to be and I am so pleased with how it turned out.  After reading one of Jo's posts at Three Stories High where she made a fabulous dress for her friend and a T shirt with some grey fabric I fancied some of that fabric for myself.  If you follow the link above you may have to just scroll down one post to see her creations as I had to search back to find the link (she makes so much stuff!).  Anyway I love the grey but I got distracted on the Minerva site and ended up buying teal jersey!    So this arrived and I thought yes another top for autumn, sticking with my resolve to make more wearable tops.  The thing is once it was here I could not picture it as a top and I somehow thought it would not do it justice.

I decided it would be a dress based on one that I own which has a nice simple shape, the original dress has no sleeves but I have put some short ones in the new one with a little detail.  Here is the finished dress below and I am so glad I went with this style.
I have taken a few pictures inside and out as I can never decide which is giving a better representation of the colour.  I already had this little hardly used belt and I think it really sets it off.
Actually this is probably a more true colour, but don't you get fed up with photographing things in the same spot?  This area always has such good light though.

I made a small slit in the sleeves, hemmed them around and then I found these little beads in my sewing box that go lovely with the belt.  I was looking for small buttons but these do a much better job, it was a simple thing that gave an interesting effect.

Here is where I lay the original dress on top, no taking things apart here, just cut around it carefully.
Here are the pieces ready to go, the fabric didn't fray or curl so it was really easy to work with, just a little stretch but not much.

So due to the nature of the fabric I didn't feel the need for any edging on the inside seams, it is for me after all.  It was just a case of stitching all the pieces together, a quick try on which gave me the idea to shorten then snip the sleeves and also take a little off the front and back hem as it was dipping a little in those areas.  That said it was ready in an hour, I ordered the matching bias tape and thread when I bought the fabric and these were a perfect match so I was really pleased with that too.  You just  have to love the projects that go so smoothly and turn out well.  What's more I found this colour chart showing the colour trends for Autumn and my dress colour is on there albeit with a different name, ( Shaded Spruce) I didn't know the colour was in fashion, good to know!


Saturday, 30 September 2017

First Autumn Top, Black Spotty Jersey

Today I got on with making up my black jersey fabric first thing this morning, I had a few ideas sketched on my notebook but changed my mind at the last minute.  My other ideas will be used for future fabric.  I decided to do a keyhole style neck but slightly gathered into it, the reason for this is that I have a couple of t-shirts that I have had for years and I like the style.

No messing I just cut around an existing t-shirt but made it longer with a curved hem front and back.
The sleeves are full length but I like to have them pushed up, I don't like three quarter ones as you lose them up your arms when you put a jacket on.

I decided to wear it straight away, why not? Quite often I make things then they sit in the wardrobe waiting for an occasion so I am making more of the things I will wear.

I used just a meter of fabric for this top and I will be making more as it is just so comfy, I need to have a look what other styles I can get.  The fabric has quite  lot of bounce which usually really annoys me while I am sewing but today I must have been quite chilled as I got on ok.  The nature of it actually really makes the top.
I just cut a normal scoop neck then made a slit down the centre.

I cut two small pieces to be the placket.

I hand stitched each side just a little to gather it then pinned the small pieces on top ready to machine over, then turned them through to the wrong side once machine stitched.  I used binding around the neck to make it a bit more secure with less movement.

The sleeves are just hemmed at the bottom with a double fold, the hem at the bottom of the top is zigzag stitched then single hem, I didn't bother overlocking any of the seams as the fabric does not appear to fray or unravel in any way.

My overlocker doesn't get that much use these days, there may be some things that I think I will just finish off on it but that is all.  So anybody who is new to sewing don't be put off by thinking you need one as they are quite pricey, I know lots of people swear by them and you do get that professional edge but really it's on the inside mostly.  If you are just sewing for yourself you can zig zag the seams, neatly trim with a good pair of scissors and you will use far less thread!











Thursday, 28 September 2017

Catch up and Autumn Fabric

This last few weeks have gone by so quickly I only just noticed it has been so long since I posted anything!  The greenhouse is coming along nicely, it has had its first coat of stain and we need to order the glass so not long now.  I am saving all the images of the process until it is complete then I will share.

I have bought some fabric, both pieces are black so will see me through Autumn/Winter here they are...
The spotty fabric is a jersey and the one with the birds is a chiffon but a bit thicker than usual.
I must make them up this weekend as all I have been doing this few weeks is the odd alteration for other people and making some chinos into to shorts for my oldest son.  An odd time of year to do this I know but he has just been on  holiday abroad without us, he went with two friends and is back now safe and well.  He is all grown up but we still worry don't we?

There are quite a few things saved on my make it list on pinterest including little felt birds so that may be something I can do on the sofa, with  the darker nights coming and I feel like I need a few projects that can be accomplished by hand rather than at the sewing machine all the time.  With the fabric above I have in mind something like this...
I also really like this below but would need to source some non itchy lace for a large area of sleeve.
The above image is from the next website, I could always copy the style and shape but do it all in one fabric?  This is what takes me a long time, making up my mind, the sewing never takes that long.  I know lots of people have in mind what they want to make, go out and buy the fabric and that is it sorted.  I tend to go to the fabric shop or look online, browse for ages then buy whatever grabs my attention and isn't too expensive and then wonder what to do with it.  The problem with this is I sometimes don't have enough fabric when inspiration strikes.

We have been watching more Walter presents dramas recently, Eye Witness was very good, as was Acquitted and we are currently watching Black Lake.  The Scandinavian dramas seem to be my favourite right now and very well done.  Right I'm off to cut out some fabric and see where it leads. 





Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Little Fox Tank Top/Vest Top

This small piece of fabric (printed jersey)  arrived last week from ebay, it is small only half a metre but not at all wide so I was a bit stumped as I had thought I could squeeze a little top  of that but after laying it out I could see there was no room for sleeves so it would have to be sleeveless. 
Just managed it as you can see but would have preferred sleeves, I can layer it with a longer sleeved top underneath as it turns to autumn though.  The bottom band was eaked from the bit that was left, without it the top would have been too short.
Although I have p[laced it here to show you it wasn't cut from the bottom of this fabric but the side of where I cut the pieces if you get what I mean, still the right way up of course.  This did mean there wasn't enough fabric left for sleeves and not a lot for facing either.

My stitching was playing up here and on removal of the plate it was full of fluff underneath and in need of a clean, whoops! All working fine now.

That just added a bit of length to the bottom, I suppose if you had contrasting fabric in a similar material you could use that if you are pushed or just using up oddments.
The neck and armholes had to be faced in pale green binding as that is all I had, you can't see it when it is on and it is not bad when you can see it. 

I washed this fabric before cutting and it has washed nice,  they do lots of different prints so I may be buying more in future but a larger piece next time.  I will see how this one lasts with more washing and wearing first. 

It is hard to believe it is the last week of the summer holidays, but walking the dogs in the park the weather is beginning to feel different, lots of leaves down already too.  Last night just as it had started to go dark there was a bat flying around the back garden and past the window, I was stood there a while watching it.  There was just enough light left to be able to see it and with the dining room light off this made it easier to make out. 

My husband is in the middle of building me a green house using the old base from the raised pond, it has a wooden frame and he has completed most of it already.  He has been out there all weekend and some of last weekend too.  Lots of photographs have been taken of the process he assures me so I will share that soon.  We will need to price up the best budget friendly place to get glass cut and we have ordered some woodstain today from Wilko as they have it at half price, so glad we didn't buy it from B&Q yesterday.  I always forget about Wilko I don't know why because on the odd occasion we are in one we find things cheaper.  I think it may be because we don't generally browse shops so when we need something DIY based the usual places just come to mind.  Note to self to check Wilko first, I am not working for them I must add!  It is just based on todays trip out to buy paint,  they didn't have our shade in the store so we came back and ordered it from the website. 








Thursday, 24 August 2017

Amy Butler Print Blouse

I have had this piece of fabric a while and I love the print and the colours so I have used little bits in other things.  It is only now that I have decided to commit to the remainder and make a garment with it but it does mean that I will match some of my soft furnishings when I wear it.  A bit weird I know but maybe I will just have to stay out of the house.
Here are my cut out pieces for my blouse (own pattern).
Recognise the fabric from my Japanese pinwheel cushions if not they are here in February Patchwork Challenge  and here in Japanese Pinwheel Patchwork.  You can also see the fabric in use as a runner here in my retro cupboard makeover.  So I am sure this is not the end of it as there are the little bits left from where I cut out the blouse so they will probably be used for something.

The darts were added once I had sewn the shoulders and side seams as I tend to find I end up moving things around anyway, so now it just appears to be easier to do it this way around.

                   I pin it all up on here then have a quick try on to see it is correct and then sew.
I have added a side zip, just a small one to make it easier to pull on and off due to all the fitting,  I also went for the small sleeves with elastic as I did this on my elephant blouse which is a favourite of mine and I like the result.   The neck is faced and then hand sewn as I do feel you get a nicer finish sometimes than topstitching.
          I have let the darts flow out and shaped the sides a little so it is comfortable for when sitting.

          Not really sure which way was up on this fabric so I went for this way, not sure it matters.

Well  another top completed which is great because that is what I am needing,  due to my obsession with always making skirts and dresses my wardrobe ends up lacking in things to go with skirts and jeans.   I have another little piece of fabric that has just arrived today, it was only a fiver but also only half a metre, I want to make a little T-shirt with that too.  That is my next job.

Monday, 21 August 2017

More Bra and Underwear Making

After spending ages on a bra last week only to decide it wasn't happening due to the wrong lace I was keen to make it work this time and have a wearable garment.  I ordered some more lace from ebay last week, nice and budget friendly, I also saved the bits from the previous project, the underwire and so on.  I did buy a pattern from ebay also, but I have not used it as the style looked so deep so I may do a give away with that at some point and a couple of other brand new patterns I have.  

I decided to use the bra that I deconstructed last week as I know that it is a good fit and I always feel you can't beat things you already own for giving you an idea of fit.  If you have well fitting garments that are past their best but can be used as patterns then you have the basics for making all kinds of things.  Here is the finished set, I will go through below what was easier this time.


I  wanted to make matching knickers to go with the bra so I used a pair I own to get an idea of shape and both pieces have a join down the centre because of the width of the lace and looking at ones that I own this seems to be a common thing.  I used the two colours of lace that I bought  as I wanted this set to be a little different.  I have to say that second time around the bra came together really quickly, I didn't use pads inside like the one I made last week, I wanted this bra to be just lace.

So having already had a go at bra making last week I was more confident in how it went together, there is also the fact that I made a lot of mistakes last time and had that feeling where you think it would have been better if I had stitched it the other way around, or done things in a different order so having that in mind helped.  I did find that I should add the channelling for the bone while attaching the cup to the band, I did this separately last week and got in a topstitching mess.  I really love the way the elastic edging changes the look of the bra, almost instantly making it look more professional.

  It just shows that doing things wrong really is useful!   I know this bra is not perfect and I still have a lot to learn but already I feel more confident with this and that is the main thing.  I have to say it fits perfect, while it doesn't have the moulded pads like a lot of my bras it does have boning and it feels supportive, but I don't really need much support anyway.   The straps are a little wide and I hadn't realised this when I ordered the strap material but I will know for next time.
The little bow on the bra front came with the elastics, but the one on the knickers I had to make so it is not quite as neat.  Looking at this image it could maybe do with a little bow where each cup meets the strap, or would this be bow overload?

I have noticed some of my bras have a reinforced little band at the side but I haven't done one, time will tell if this was required.
Here you can see the straps are quite wide.

I just used the stretch lace no additional elastic and they feel secure.

I only had purple soft jersey that was closest in colour so I used that for the gusset.
In all I am very happy with how this all turned out, it has certainly inspired me to make more but I have an eye out for where I can source inexpensive materials.  The different types of elastic can be expensive and I am loath to spend large amounts on little pieces of elastic!  If anyone knows a good source please let me know, I have seen some nice little stores on Etsy but with the postage it can still be pricey when you factor all the little bits.  As ever I like to reuse so this project had bones from the old bra that I used as a pattern and I will not be getting rid of any bras in future without first taking off all the little loops and bones. 






A New Dress Started

I started another dress yesterday tea time, chiffon this time and the reason I was so late starting it is that I had already made a white tu...