Sunday, 2 July 2017

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Just claiming my blog. After all, I may want to post something one day! 😀

Friday, 3 March 2017

On top o' this!

Well, it started with this.

Not the trousers! I've not yet reacclimatized to the paper bag waist trousers, having made them (badly) and worn them last time they were a thing. No, the top. I wanted it.  And being a sewist, I could have it, even if I couldn't find the actual article on the mango website, even after navigating away from the "let us show you something more seasonally appropriate for your antipodean lifestyle" (ie flog you at colonial prices what we can't sell in the high street sales) page. (I wish you would make your links more specific, Graun, then I might just pay to read you)

But I'm trying to sew from stash right now, because frankly that pile is getting out of hand.

And I had no knit that would work. Stymied.

But I had recently made this top.
So I knew that I had a pattern that would work in a woven, and I started to turn over my woven stash instead.

(I made the top from a pattern I traced from an unblogged top I made from an adapted Burda top pattern that I can't find and couldn't be bothered either finding the traced pattern or retracing it.  Man these things can get complicated quickly!)

Nothing.  Well, there was a black fine gingham that I liked the idea of but it was too stiff. By now I think I was starting to be influenced by this image, which I had liked a bit when I saw it. 

 But then I delved into very deep stash.  And found this  fabric, of which I had pretty well
dispaired and consigned to "Household" (or in stash terms, limbo). I pulled it from the remnants table on my first trip to the Remnant Warehouse, I do believe, intoxicated by all the decent inexpensive fabric. But it was slubby and irregular and half the width was cream and tan (since removed, overdyed orange and put in "household" as well).

Place and cut pattern and sew into wearable top = 1.5 hrs including watching Grand Designs.

Devise, position and attach arm ruffles = 3 hrs and counting.......

And the result is this sleeve, a compromise.  But silly enough to make a statement, of sorts.

But, as it happened, not enough of a statement. I wanted trim. So it was back to the stash, where I found a length of daisy chain lace? braid? from I know not where nor when, which was just enough for this:

Here it is, caught in action at work. Where, judging by the reactions of interested colleagues, I have hit upon a top with sleeves which are indeed the perfect current statement (the statement being "it's all a bit much so let's be silly").

PS Many thanks to my daughter for suggesting the little bit of trim in the middle of the neckline - which makes the top, imho.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Notes from the front line

very static and carefully arranged shot
slightest bit of movement shot
 Interface your zippers.

It is not a waste of time!

Spending hours on making a pair of trousers that look like this on - THAT is a a waste of time.

So - interface your zippers.

(trousers, made late 2015, Burda 5 button jeans pattern, never before blogged.  No longer worn in public due to chronic ongoing and worsening zipper issues. I suppose it's good to have cheerful trousers for the housework....)

Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Long Awaited Vol. 2

(Though not as long awaited as many a post)

The second dress is a much more flirty affair.  Though you would be hard put to get the full impression from my blurred serious-face shot here.  Hopefully when in context, rather than facing the dreaded camera in a dark corner of my bedroom, I don't look so ..grim!

But I can't fault the dress - all summer boxes are ticked.  Cold shoulder, ruffles, belted waist, and a kind of thirties meets seventies Biba-ish vibe that I am very much digging right now.

The back (will edit this post to get a shot of the back) has the shoulder straps running through a channel.

I adapted a Burda tank-topped shift dress to get the pattern, but I suspect if I had been prepared to look at a few more back issues, I would have found the exact pattern.  Luckily I enjoy a bit of pattern hacking, or even drafting, so I wasn't too phased by this.  And I didn't have to add the pockets.  ALL DRESSES MUST HAVE POCKETS!! It has to be yelled.  It's not negotiable.
 Here is a close-up of the top front.  You can see that the ruffle runs from shoulder to centre front.  There's always a problem with breasts and ruffles in that if you have the one, you don't want the other on top.  For fear of looking like a freeze frame of an exploding airbag in a car crash. But I think I solved it here with this ruffle sleeve combo.

The straps, for the interested, are made from strips of straight grain folded like double bias tape.  At the shoulder the ruffle is inserted, then above the breast the dress neckline and ruffle.  All topstitched along the folded edge of the strip. I finished the underarm edge first with another strip of the same sort. Simple.

All the ruffle and any other hemming was done with my new 6mm hemmer foot. Why did I wait? A fabulous addition to the feets.

 The fabric is a rayon crepe "chirramon" from Spotlight. Bought before Christmas for just such a dress. But not made in time.

In many circumstances this fabric would be an utter beast to sew with, but its shifty nature and drape made it perfect for this dress. 

And I love the shrubbery too!

Thursday, 9 February 2017

A Tale of Two Dresses (or wot I did on my ... vacation(?)

I only took the barest minimum holiday at Christmas. My work shuts down from Christmas Eve until after the public holiday after new year's day. And that was my hols.  But in spite of having only a short break, and not much "holiday" being newly single and having a whole house and garden package to manage, I also fitted in a bit of sewing.  Ok I didn't do much socialising over the break and that helped.  Anyway, apart from the Christmas frenzy dress, blogged previously (though inexplicably showing up in September in my feed - weird but useful if I want to retrospectively pad the blog, no, sponsors?  anyone?) I also managed two other dresses. And a pair of trousers. Which you won't see today because it's all about the dresses.The first is a shirty shift dress from chambray.  I think we are all feeling the casual cinched shirty dress right now, are we not?  And this is my take on it. 

belted with eyes to heaven

It looks a little short in the skirt in photos but I think that irl it's ok. Also I suspect I've lost a little weight since I took these, so the top is ..hem.. a little less filled out. The chambray is a bit short stapled - I'm not sure if it will pill.  But it's perfect for how I feel right now.  Serious but not sombre.  And light enough for cooler days. The trousers are also made from it, as is a half made top.  I bought a bit (ok, enough to get the discount) from the Remnant Warehouse last year.  
unbelted action shot - concentraaaating...

I love this detail.  This is a faciing turned to the outside and I shaped it pretty before I topstitched. It was a beast to do.  But I love the effect.

I also shaped the front facing.  If I did such a thing again, I think I would interface the facing with a stitching line along the shaping line (if you see what I mean) Maybe coloured
fabric with just a hint showing... hmmm.

I did want to crazy embroider the facing but my sister vetoed it.  She said I'd wear it more without.  She was right.

And finally there's the pocket facing.  I made pockets by cutting a curve out of the side front, and putting a topside facing on.  Then I had a cut-on pocket piece on the back that I wrapped under.  And then I topstiched.  Clear as mud, expecially with these midnight photos.  But it looks a bit like this.
Anyway, right now it's the perfect day dress. And I can see it going into autumn with the right accessories.  

Friday, 3 February 2017


Here at the Institute of Being Inordinately Pleased with Small Achievements(IBIPSA) we would like to report that we are currently experiencing an unprecedented, almost unfeasible blip in the BIP levels due to the events of the morning.


They're brilliant!

They let you join bits of leather with a hammer!
Spoiler alert! - finished product.  

Not sure if life can hold more!

Certainly it can't hold more short sentences or screamers, lest the nice men in lab coats come and give me lollies to make me quie. So let me calm down, take a deep breath, and recap.

This morning, I was a woman with a problem. I had a new, non-missing (this bit is important) key, and no way to keep it not missing.  Being present at the time of unlocking is pretty fundamental to the role of a key, I find, and I also find it to be the part of the deal that my keys have been failing in of late. Often, I only need one key, for historical reasons I won't go into here, but this also means that if this single key is not a reliably present key then I have a big lockedoutness problem.

I needed a keyring that was not too big, not too small, not too heavy, etc etc so that I could have the key in a pocket, or in my bag.  Alone or with other keys. The previous solution of a key and a split ring was not enough.

Enter rivets (along, Imust admit, with some other contents of a wellstocked haberdashery drawer).This afternoon I'm no longer a woman with a problem.  I'm now a woman with a hammer!

And hopefully a key, given that I can now clip it to anything.