Friday, 17 May 2013

A busy bee!

So, I haven't had much time for personal creativity this week. I have had a busy week at work (lots of reports to write), I have also had a 3 day intensive training course to attend... It was utterly inspiring but has left me in an exhausted heap at the end of each day. I am also overrun (again) with tonsillitis and cold so it has been a real task just to get up and function each day. I'm still suffering but a bit better.

I have made a point of wearing all of my creations this week though. I have also been pinning a lot on Pinterest. Mainly about collar and neck line types.

You see, I am stuck with what sort of neck and shoulder detail to do with my tartan dress... I want it to have detail and interest rather than being a run of the mill dress. Any ideas? :-)

Monday, 13 May 2013

Mad men catching up in the new season

So, I am catching up on the new season of Mad Men. I didn't think I'd like the outfits as much as I'm more of a fan of 50's outfits... BUT... I am converted!

Loads of gorgeous outfits. Lots of tartan and well fitted dresses. Bright colours and interesting detailing. I just have to try and make Peggy's green and pink evening dress from episode 5 though! It looks tricky but I absolutely loooove it. I am glad Peggy is finally getting nice outfits.

I also love all of Joan's clothes. She has the most perfect figure.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Pink and grey tartan dress

I have been wanting to make a tartan dress for aaages... Well I am Scottish after all!

What put me off was matching the pattern up and finding the correct pattern. I have been looking but have yet to find a pattern that suited the style in my head. That is also free. I don't want to buy expensive patterns if I can avoid it.

So... I decided to have a go at my own pattern again! I don't know if I'm weird, but the pattern pieces seem to make more sense to me when I have placed and cut them myself. I also find it easier to input
Much needed bust darts when I can fiddle about myself.

I have went with a basic half circle skirt this time (quite short again) and this time a scoop neck bodice (1 piece for front and 1 for back)... I made a princess seam dart so it looks like different pattern pieces but they did all originate from 1 piece which is easier to fit and pin. Especially when using patterned fabric like tartan.

I have taken pictures of each step so I will publish my first attempt at a tutorial when it is finished. I'm almost done. Here is a wee taster of what it looks like at the moment.

I hope to wear it to a cèilidh (kay-lee) this coming weekend. I'm sure you know what that is, but in case you don't - it is a Scottish dancing night with fast folk music :-) "a wee jig"

Friday, 10 May 2013

Floral Swishy Dress... First outing!

I literally finished the final fit and trim 30 mins before I wore it out tonight!
I am a swing and jive dancer and tonight was a party night with all my dancing buddies so it was a perfect opportunity to get to wear my creation.  It went down well and everyone commented positively! I am very pleased... And no malfunctions! Phew!

So here I am before I left the house... Before getting my dress all sweaty and crumpled! :-)
As you can see I have added a trim, taken it in a bit more and I also made a lot of adjustments to the arm holes and back (which you can't see).

Love to know what you think! Already planning my next one.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Floral Swishy Dress... Project almost complete!

I have forgone my lunch and everything! I was just too excited to work on the dress!

I still have some tweaking to do... Add a trim, take it in a wee bit, hem it and fix the straps at the back. It is not perfect, but pretty good for a newbie!

I totally love it! The print and colours are a bit in your face... But that is what I love in my clothes, especially my dancing dresses. Can't wait to wear it to my next dance group party night. :-)

Still can't believe I made and designed it myself! I have the (ragged) tissue pattern pieces to prove it! Lol!

Thanks to Otis Redding and Kings of Leon for their fine musical contributions all day.

So, I have tried to take pics along the way - more for myself so I can make it again/ see where I went wrong, and on the off chance it is useful to anyone else. My camera died half way though so... Not as many pics as I'd like. Ah well.

Hope you like it and if you have any questions or comments or tips I'd love to hear them!! :-)

Floral Swish Dress... My own pattern!

Today, I decided to attempt the swishy dress. You may remember I bought the lovely Amy Butler floral print especially for it? Well... A few issues.
1. The katjusha free pattern on burda is definitely not my size. Not even close. I thought... It's ok, I'm sure it can be scaled up.
2. The fabric is really short on the width. I definitely could not get a circle out of it and if I cut it any other way, I wouldn't have fabric for the rest of it!
3. Most importantly... My bust. There are 3 parts to the katjusha bust panel (not including a lining) and that would mean a lot of editing and re-adjusting and I. Would no doubt get it wrong.

So then I started thinking (whilst watching Step Up again) "why faff around with someone else's pattern and hope for the best - why not attempt your own pattern?"

Now, I'm still a novice, but I found a few you tube videos and websites that had plenty of ideas on how to construct a circle skirt without having a huge piece of fabric. I also have lots of tissue paper and a dress form that has my measurements.

I went for it and cut the skirt first. It pinned perfectly together (2 halves) except it is just a bit shorter than I'd have ideally liked because of the fabric width, but I'm very short anyway and usually knock off a few inches at the hemming stage of most things anyway. And I will still use the lacy trim that I purchased.

So then I used my tissue and started draping, pinning, drawing and sticky taping segments together for the bodice, bust and back. It may not be how professionals do it, but is so far working for me.

I hate bulging skin or the side of my bra showing - this is what I usually have to put up with in regular shops. I also am not fond of halters from the back (unflattering on me and limit the type of bra that can be worn) so I thought... I can make the fabric go where I really want!

I am mostly inspired by a dress that I saw on eBay a few years ago. I tried to buy it but they sold out of my size then stopped making it completely. It is one where there is a "boob shaped curve" to the bodice under the bust. It also had buttons down the front. I may attempt that too. Just have to see if it would be too fussy.

I'm currently pinning and pinching away and working on the bust at the moment. Will publish the next bit of progress soon. Excuse the background mess! I'm too excited to tidy as I go. :-)

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Green and pink scrap wrap skirt

I started and finished this spontaneous project in a few hours. As mentioned previously, I want to use my big bits of "scrap" before cutting any new fabric. This fabric is the remnants of the first skirt I ever made when I got my sewing machine a few years ago. The skirt went straight in the charity bin. It was god awful! Bulky, squinty and just yuck... But I loved the fabric.

I luckily had this in 1 piece, so I put a slight curve to it and made it into a wrap skirt.

I decided to attempt piping. I made my own... But I only had pink baby cord (from my carousel dress) left. So I know piping is meant to be bias cut, but I didn't as it was corduroy. The piping was ok for my first attempt and since I still only have a universal foot for my machine!

The only thing left is to attach a big pink button and make it a fake wrap by sewing the inside partly up... I don't want a breezy incident! It sits pretty well.

I put it on my dress form for the fitting and hanging length and trimmed as I went along. Hope you like it - I am totally in love with it.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Completed denim scrap skirt

As mentioned, I used bias cut triangles.

2 big isosceles triangles for the front and back and 2 smaller ones for the side seams (these ones were placed upside down and so mainly make the waist circumference)

Once I had played with the scraps for a bit, it was really like putting a jigsaw together. No zip or buttons required due to the extra give of the bias cut denim and the fact I have no hips. I wanted it to sit low so didn't give it a waistband, just a tiny hem and the bottom just got a fancy zigzag stitch with no folded fabric because 1. I didn't want it any shorter and 2. I like the look of the more fluid raw edge. The skirt moves better this way.

I will definitely use a similar technique again with my other remnants. I am glad I got 2 projects out of fabric bought for 1 project. Next time I may add contrasting piping and perhaps a pocket too.

The denim is dark so it is hard to see the detail. Therefore I have taken a picture of inside and out. Hope you like it! I can't wait to wear it!

Ps I am joining in with MMMay... I think I am doing pretty good so far (yeah I know we are only a few days in!)... 2 projects under my belt and wore something made by myself everyday so far! :-) My aim is to accomplish a project per week and to wear a self made clothing item at least twice in a week. I am running out of clothes though, so need to make more! Haha

Scrap denim skirt project

I hate wasting fabric. The thought of throwing scraps away seem awful to me. But the thought of them lying in a tub and not getting used also annoys me.

I woke up in the middle of the night (yip... Sad) and was pretty determined to use the scraps from my denim dress to make something else.

The problem was that the leftovers, whilst being quite big, we're not big enough for a regular pattern piece. So I decided... Work on the bias. If in doubt, cut the remaining fabric into clean and large squares, and if a reasonable square cant be made... Make an isosceles triangle instead. It has been quite therapeutic and freeing to not begin with a pattern but also not have the pressure of "ruining new fabric". I think I know where I am going with this one... We shall just have to wait and see if it works out! Fingers crossed.

I also went into my local fabric store today... I left empty-handed. A jersey print caught my eye. It was beautiful, but I am not ready for that fabric yet. If I bought it, it would have been too tempting not to use!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Bank holiday projects

So I am now going to enjoy an extended weekend. It's bank hol time! Hurray! And the nice postman has just delivered 3 new Ottobre magazines all the way from Finland (in English). They definitely will keep me busy!

I have been wearing my skirts and dresses out and about and people have been very complimentary so far :-)

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Spotty Green Skirt : completed

Mission accomplished! In record time (as I want to wear it tomorrow evening) I actually abandoned most of the pattern once I cut it as it was starting to look a bit naff and fussy. The basic skirt pattern is a perfect shape for me though so be prepared to see many versions of this shape. I ignored the waistband instructions and interfaced and created my own waistband. I abandoned the side button flap... I discovered I have no buttons, it was going to make me look even wider than I already am (and may still be scared slightly of the buttonhole function)

As I mentioned before, the bib was simply never on the cards either. However, it is nice to have a quick and simple pattern that can be whizzed up in the space of a couple of hours max.

I am still debating on whether to add the patch pockets though. Suggestions please? :-)

spotty skirt project

I am starting my new project! I bought Cloth magazine at the weekend and fell in love with the skirt shape I the "pinafore pattern" in issue 17. To be honest, I felt that the magazine overall was not worth the cash and I probably won't buy it again, but at least I will make a project first.

Some changes though... I think the bodice/apron/front bib is pretty lame and homemade looking. Therefore it is ditched and I am only making the skirt part.

I have decided that it is a perfect project for my green dotty Amy Butler fabric. For an extra pop and because I am a bit crazy for clashing colours, I am using bright pink for the pocket flaps. I will probably use pink buttons too.

The pattern has been re-sized to fit human shape rather than supermodel sized. It has been cut out and ready to sew! :-)

Monday, 29 April 2013

Denim Dress! Ta Da!!

I finished my dress and I am quite proud of it. I hacked up the front and completely re-designed it on Sunday. I love the new neckline and fit!

Obviously as this dress is so far from the original pattern, it is safe to say I will never make that high neck design again.

It can be worn in its own, with a cardi or over a t-shirt. It is so comfy too!

I'm most proud of my zip and the fit of the bust (not perfect, but getting closer)

Apologies about the pics... They aren't the most flattering and don't do the dress justice IMHO!

Now looking to see what to start next!

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Denim dress... Complete re-design!

I have been working at this silly high scoop bib yoke for EVER!! I have moved it, trimmed it, darted it more, pinned it, pressed it and all other things you can think of. It was eventually "ok" but I didn't think it was flattering at all.

Therefore, I finished the finale of project runway with a cuppa tea... And thought " if they can hack up 'ok' clothes to make them completely different, then so can I!" ... And that is what I did.

It is now a far more flattering v neckline (with a slight curve) and almost looks like a wrap top.

The new adaptations are all pinned but not sewn yet... Oh, and also the side seams are getting trimmed down another inch at either side too.

Last adaptation... I don't think the sleeves will look cool. Am "editing them out"... Hopefully I can use the fabric for something else.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Denim dress update

I have made more progress than I would have expected! Yoke attached to front, Back left and right panels joined together (without zip at moment) and I have pinned and repinned LOADS... To check and recheck the fit.

Alterations so far...

Had to put in another dart at each side of the yoke. Also had to pull back seam allowance more than I may have been given because I am fitting the zip inside rather than the silly outside position in the pattern.

I have still got some fit issues... I think I need to place 1 more dart on each side of the outside front bust part of the dress. Next time: note to self. When pattern says do darts first... Do not! I'm pretty sure I just needed to reposition my darts and then I'd have less.

* if you look at the close up, you can see my darts including the extra ones and the outer ones that I have pinned but not seen yet.

**one image shows the pattern neckline and the other is my rough attempt at seeing if I can/ should lower and widen it.

Also... These extra darts may affect the sleeve holes. I haven't checked yet.

Lastly, the neck line is still WAAAY too matronly. I really want to make the scoop lower and wider. I also want to lower the neckline at the back a bit too... Otherwise it will be too tight a fit.

Anyone got some tips or pearls of wisdom for me in my hour of need, I'd be very grateful!

I am off to bed now as I can't concentrate any more. Will look with fresh eyes tomorrow.

Denim dress: Darts accomplished!

I really took my time on this because I wanted to get them right. I was also dubious that I could do it and make it fit my dress form.

Turns out, I did a pretty good job for my first try. The only things are:
1. I wish I had increased the large yoke in size rather than just the sides (I am going to make this dress again though, so will do it then)
2. I may have made the sides a bit too wide
3. The neckline on the yoke was too high up and matronly for someone like myself. It made me look like I could have set a 3 course meal and cutlery on my "shelf". I trimmed it to be lower... I may trim it further towards the end if it needs it
4. I think it would look cool with a piping/ contrasting fabric border around the yoke (it would go under and around outside of bust) joining on to the side bust and main dress part. Fuchsia or lime?

I have youtubed how to make bias piping. I just need to decide if it would be good to do it or not. Alternatively, giving myself extra bust room with contrasting strip instead of piping... But I have no clue how to start that and don't know if it will look awful.

Any thoughts?

P.s. the dress form looks bulky and messy because I need to fit it better at sides... It's too baggy. Also, I wanted to see if the darts looked ok from the right side, so I pinned it right side just to check. Hopefully the next pics will show a slimlined and neater dress.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Denim dress

So, firstly I had to try and convert the bust. I had 4 inches to add on. 4! I think.

I tried following the "pivot method" but have a feeling it will now be too big elsewhere.

The fabric is now cut and marked. I think I cut it out neatly. Fingers crossed it works.

I am impressed I managed to cut the bias out correctly. This is for the yoke and the sleeves.

Next step... The hard part of assembly!

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