Wednesday, 20 November 2013
I have finally finished something!
I splashed out last month on a couple of Craftsy courses. One of which was Machine Finished Hand Applique by Beth Ferrier. I personally loved Beth's teaching style and her applique technique was not something that I had thought of doing and gave, in my humble opinion, good results!
I am conscious that I do not want to give away Beth's technique as I feel that would be unfair to her but I will say that it uses an applique thread which I am not a fan of. She did suggest an alternative thread which I found easy to source and I couldn't resist a photo of the lovely starter pack I purchased. You can see the cushion below all basted and ready to quilt.
My meandering free-motion machine quilting is getting better - apologies to my family as I seem to control the fabric better if I sing at the same time!!!! No, I don't know why either!
This cushion is destined to become a present for a friend and I am itching to try a quilt using this technique. Could take me a while.....
Wednesday, 30 October 2013
I did manage to finish the penultimate Refashion Runway challenge - but a bit late to be included in the sew along roundup.
I used the two sparkly tops pictured above, together with the now disassembled leather skirt disaster and a bit of red fabric from a bargain bag of Ebay scraps.
Not being much of a dress up person myself I decided to make something for the children to wear on dress up Friday in the club I help to supervise. We don't really celebrate Halloween where I work so I decided to avoid any obvious scary motifs and the colour orange so that it could double up as a bit of a Christmas outfit.
It was really quick and simple to make. I just cut wedges out of the bottom of the tops and sewed them together to make a cape and a skirt panel which I just sewed back onto the discarded top section.
I also made the cape reversible and matched the back panels of the skirt with this colour combination, so hopefully it will work whichever way you wear the cape. I think it will get a lot of wear so I am hoping my overlocking will take the strain!
Friday, 25 October 2013
I was really enjoying sewing along with the Refashion Runway challenge when I had a phone call offering me a second job! The last fortnight has been a whirlwind of trying to fit in working with all the usual household things and so sewing has gone out of the window for a while. Any tips on how to juggle the work/kids lunchbox/sewing triangle gratefully received!
What I do have to show for it though is the fact that a tiny trickle of this second income is going towards some very lovely things. I treated myself to some flannel and fabulous buttons from Ray Stitch. The flannel will hopefully be transformed into the sixties dress pattern above, which I got from a charity shop - so long as I have the time to cut the pattern out for the elves to come and sew in the night... the elves and the shoemaker is real right????!
Saturday, 12 October 2013
To quote Craig Revel Horwood on the television series Strictly Come Dancing, this week I had an 'absolute di-SAH-ster dahling'!
Being a bit of a rock chick I have in the past been known to put on a bit of leather.
This photo was taken twenty years ago. Twenty years ago, deary me. Anyway, I've still got it..... the leather skirt that is - not necessarily the mojo!!!
Anyhow, I certainly wasn't going to chop into my precious skirt so off I went in search of a bit of charity leather. There was none to be had. The best thing I could come up with was this dodgy coat, with buttons missing, that looked like something that the token 'bad boy' of a nineties boy band would wear whilst perching on a stool.
And no, it's not even leather. Only the best fibre content for me...
Nothing shouts quality more than a heavy percentage of polyurethane!
So, in for a penny, in for a pound, I decided to mix it with a bargain bag of fabric scraps I got from Ebay.
I only used the lighter fabric pictured in the end. It was a shiny stretchy material which was hemmed on two sides so I've no idea what it was in its previous life!
After some playing around I came up with this....
Now, I am aware that I hated the peplum last week, and I really don't want to be the type of blogger who people think is trying to curry favour by saying they hate everything they make. I don't usually. I've just been trying to push myself a bit by making things a little out of my comfort zone and I suppose the success rate is lower when this is the case. It is also very badly sewn. The back seam just puckered up and in the end I just pretty much gave up with it.
I do like the pockets though! This was a happy accident because I cut out the back of the jacket for the back of the skirt and then realised that the only large pieces of coat fabric left had pockets on them. Should pear shaped girls have huge pockets on their hips? ... um, no Miss, but I like them!
I'm afraid this skirt is going straight into the pile marked 'try again' and you will probably see it in some other form next week - It's Halloween time!
You can vote for an actual, properly made, properly leather refashioned item here.
Saturday, 5 October 2013
When I read that this week's refashion was based on peplums, I must admit my heart sank a little. I've never been a fan of peplums. As a fully, fully paid up member of the pear shaped gang, the last thing I want is a bunch of fabric accentuating my widest part. I know peplums don't have to sit on the hip but you don't see many bust peplums about! Still, a challenge is a challenge.
I bought this blouse - which is five sizes too big for me - in an Oxfam sale for one pound. This meant that I didn't mind experimenting a bit. I started by pretty much unpicking everything. That meant all the waist darts, bust darts, side seams and sleeve heads had to be dismantled, and I was left with this..
I then cut out a new bodice using the colette peony pattern and assembled the new bust and waist darts. I then had a wobbly about the sleeves.
I could not decide whether to have little cap sleeves or keep the original cuffs. Cap sleeves are more 'me' but then, as you have already gathered, peplums are not very me so why not go the whole hog with a different style. A cup of tea and a sandwich later, I looked again at the photos and decided that I could not discard such a nice detail as the sleeve cuffs, so I kept them long.
And this is the finished result. The peplum itself was simple to do as I just gathered the bottom section of the old blouse and put it back onto the smaller bodice.
Here I am wearing my new peplum at a friend's house. Am I now won over by the peplum? Sorry - I am not! It was an easy style to wear but I still don't think it is very 'me'.
I did have a lovely morning though. I was attending a macmillan coffee morning, raising funds for a cancer support charity. Coffee, cakes, chatting, cats and charity. Can I add couture to that list? Not with a peplum!!!!
You can vote for your favourite in the competition here.
Sunday, 29 September 2013
From eighties dress to fifties skirt.
I bought this dress from Ebay for 99 pence. Yes, amazingly I was the only bidder! The belt buckle and buttons were all a very cheap plastic 'gold', there were shoulder pads and unhappy pockets that bunched up around the bust. But, like the end of any relationship, I am focussing on the bad points. The things I did like were the skirt pleats...
...and the colour. Also, the fabric was a really bad 100 percent polyester but I grew to love it. Sadly, this wasn't enough to rekindle the romance that was the eighties and, like Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, separation was inevitable.
I didn't even try the dress on as I knew it would just be a bit blah as the bodice was a size too big for me. I did initially have plans to put pleats in the top and re-attach it to the altered skirt, but in the end I liked the skirt so much I quit when I was winning. So this was an easy one.
As the bodice was too big so too was the waist. That was a perfect excuse to just make two more pleats in the skirt fabric. I was careful to cut the dress away through the bodice rather than the skirt so that all the original pleats I loved so much remained intact.
I then needed a new waistband. So I used the belt. I unpicked the plastic buckle and just sewed the belt onto the skirt going over the original edge stitches. Obviously the belt was longer than the waist measurement, but I just made a buttonhole at the end of the belt (which was already nicely shaped) and then sewed a button on the side of the new waistband at the point where the buttonhole ended up when it was wrapped around my waist.
I changed all the horrible gold buttons with green ones from my stash and the skirt was finished!
Wearing a net petticoat really makes a difference to the look of the skirt. I can't take credit for this petticoat - my sister made it.
|Blue and Green should always be seen!|
|The pleats make the skirt - and I only had to sew two of them!|
The only problem I had was that the white balance on my camera was not happy photographing the green. I had to spend many a happy(!) hour figuring out how to make my green skirt look green again in photoshop. It did leave me with a very pretty Warholesque montage of skirts. You will just have to trust me that the colour my camera thought the skirt was (on the left) was not right and the skirt is actually more like the colour I think it is (on the right). The only other option is that I will have to cut up the bodice and send you a fabric swatch!
Vote for your favourite in the competition here.
Monday, 23 September 2013
I am kicking off my refashion runway sewalong with a long skirt I bought ages ago in a charity shop for 50 pence.
It is such a pretty skirt but it sadly does not fit me. Ahem.... let me introduce you to... the glamorous portion of this post...
|Not even close!|
|Thumbs are up but I'm crying inside!!!!|
The obvious refashion for a too small ankle length skirt is a mini dress. When I placed the skirt on Merle it was very tempting just to cut armholes in it as shown above but I didn't, because (a) I had already drafted an alternative bodice and (b) I didn't think I could carry off a funnel neckline.
I placed the bodice pieces on the top of the skirt like so, cut around the pieces, excluding the waist, and sewed armhole darts.
Once I had cut out the bodice I was left with quite a bit of excess fabric at the waist. I used a self-drafted a-line skirt block to taper the waist out to the full width of the original hem.
Finally, I did the same with the original lining of the skirt. I made facings and bias binding out of fabric leftover from a skirt I had previously made in a cheery polka dot. You can get glimpses of the binding when worn but really it is just there for me!
It is such a cheery fabric I couldn't help but take a close up shot. I will probably normally wear this with a long sleeve top underneath as it is perfect for the cold weather to come here in Wales.
This is a photo where I very much give the impression that I can match up plaids at the seam lines. Please note there are no photos for the other side... feel free to draw your own conclusions as to why!
Right, I'm off to play catch-up with an emerald dress!