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Thursday, 18 August 2016

Simplicity Sewing Challenge and Refashioners 2016 all rolled into one!

Well, this has taken me a while!  The thing is why not stretch yourself by trying to combine two challenges in one.  I am entering the Simplicity Sewing Challenge and The Makery's Refashioners 2016 Challenge with the same skirt. :)

I started out with Simplicity pattern 1458...

and four pairs of jeans.  (To clarify - the Simplicity challenge requires you to use this pattern and The Refashioners' requires you to refashion jeans.)

I knew from the outset that I didn't want a patchwork look for my skirt but wasn't sure how easy it would be to find the same colour denim in sufficient quantity in a charity shop.  Turned out I was very lucky!  In the first shop I went into they had a whole rack of size 12 jeans, unworn, that they couldn't seem to sell.

You can see from this label that they had reduced them from £3 to £1.50.  As a rule I don't like to cut up clothes that aren't damaged but they had a whole rack of these, all size 12 that weren't selling, and I was worried they might end up being recycled anyway.  So I bought four.

I traced out just the skirt section of the dress pattern.  I knew I wanted a very tight fit so I cut out size 16 regular, when I am actually a size 16 c urvy (I am not fooling myself!). 

I trimmed the top of the tracing to fit my waist measurement.

This was easy to do as the waist was clearly marked on the pattern.  I then traced a slight curve which a waistline needs to sit nicely.

I made up a toile and I had a lovely A-line skirt but I wanted to do a bit more to the pattern (and the jeans!) than that.

So I traced around my pattern pieces again - because I wanted to keep the original skirt pattern for future use.

I had marked on the toile when wearing where my hips started to curve back inwards, and I used these measurements to mark a curve on the toile (just to double check the fit) and the copy pattern.

(I know - my drawing of the skirts are quite something aren't they.  Completely self taught in drawing I am!)

Don't forget to curve the other way as well, as in the photo above, or you'll end up with a sticky out bit where the fabric abruptly changes direction.

I also lengthened the skirt and carried on the curve and I ended up with a pattern piece that looked like this...

The straight line is the original line of the dress, the curve is where I have altered the pattern.

The beauty of a princess seam is that it is easier to fit the pattern pieces onto the leg of a pair of jeans.

... Although it is still a squeeze.  I found out that they would fit easier onto the back legs - which were a little wider - but I did put some pieces on the front legs and had a few odd seams because it meant that I could spare one of the pairs of jeans from being cut up.  I will donate these back to a charity shop with the original £5 tag on them to show they are unworn and hope they can get some money for them.

So, I had a lovely fitted skirt with a cute kick out at the bottom - but I wanted to use some of the original jean furniture.  (I am guessing how handles on doors are door furniture then zips, rivets and pockets on jeans are jean furniture, or is that just me?)  Soooooo, I decided I wanted a high high waist using the original jeans.  Sorry, this is going on a bit, you aren't late for an appointment are you?

I drafted a high waistband for the front of the skirt, and split it into three to coincide with the princess seam lines, and I used the zips from the three jeans I cut up to make the waist detail.

Like so.

I kept the back waistband as two pieces as I liked the lines made by the stitching from the back of the jeans.  I also left a teeny tiny bit of the pockets on as well.  The zip is exposed because it cost me more than the jeans and I wanted to see it!

You will have noticed that I kept some of the piping detail from the original pattern on the front of the skirt.  I used a piece of scrap fabric I bought on ebay in a bag of scraps for 99 pence I think.

I made quite chunky piping hence why it is just on the front of the skirt.  It would not be very comfortable to sit on if it were on the back.

The finishing details included a scant bias bound hem on the skirt. 

And I was done!

Time to sit back and smell the flowers.

Phew. :)

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

More Barbie Clothes

I have a problem with throwing even the tiniest bit of fabric away!

So here are my latest makes for the tiniest people I know. :)

You may remember I used this shirt and this curtain..

To make this dress.

 Well here is the tiny version.

And my latest offcuts have also fallen victim to my tiny clothes syndrome!

My humongous Burda top actually had a bit of fabric left over from it.

That went into making this top and skirt.

The skirt is lined with a curtain that I last used to make bags in 2009.

I love how it has made the gathering at the top of the skirt more interesting.

Finally, my latest make...

Which you may recall was squeezed onto the width of the fabric when cutting out.  Well, I still had tiny offcuts which I made into this top and trouser set.

Complete with a teeny tiny waistband.

I don't need to ask who wore it better.  Barbie all the way! :)

Friday, 22 July 2016

Practical 'Companion' Pattern No. 7001

It's a boiling hot day here in Wales, and as I type this, seagulls are flying above my seaside home making quite a racket.  Welsh seagulls are tough as old boots let me tell you - a fact I found out to my cost when one snatched a whole pasty out of my hands as I was about to enjoy a picnic on our local beach.  Needless to say I always eat indoors now!

Anyway, I bring up the subject of seagulls as I purchased this stretch cotton from the Remnant House in the UK.  

It turned out to be a little thinner than I had anticipated but just right to make this skirt...

It is called a companion pattern because there are skirts and blouses in the same range that fit together so that you can make them as a dress.  Sadly, most of my paper companions had left the envelope before I took possession of this pattern.   It was just me and the two darted version of the skirt left in the corner of the room making small talk. :)

I really wanted to make a version with side pleats - but after resizing the skirt it became clear that there was no extra fabric available at the sides to make the pleat.

This is a wide fabric as well!   I obviously shortened the skirt by quite a bit and I cut myself a new waistband as that had also left the party early.

Back of the skirt.

I consoled myself about the lack of side pleats by making myself a headband.  There was enough stretch for a nice fit.

It is just two tubes of the fabric interlocked and fastened together at the back.

Another one for the vintage pattern pledge!


Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Burda 07-2011-116 (and a walk!)

Confessions of a Sewing Novice recently made the above pattern.  Prompting me to remember I had a copy of the original Burda magazine it appeared in.   I recognised it as it was such an unusual shape, and I liked Sewing Novice's version so much I thought I would dig out the pattern.  I traced it.  Then I stopped laughing long enough to ask Mr HoffiCoffi to take this next photo.

That is the back pattern piece of this top!  I am holding my metre ruler along the entire width.  This was going to be interesting...  The result?

Oooh look at this pretty picture of the Welsh countryside!

I am stalling... well, it's ohhh kay....

The thing is, I knew it wasn't going to be the most flattering thing I have ever worn.  As a pear shape I know to avoid baggy tops as they just make me look humongous, but this top was such fun to make and so easy to wear.  Do I really have to look nice as well?

I feel the old 'arms outstretched - look at how wide this top is' shot is obligatory in these circumstances.  The neckline was a great fit using my upper bodice measurements, I just had to widen the bottom hem to accommodate my hip measurement.  I know - on a pattern piece that big.  Sigh.  It does mean that the fit is as indicated on the model which I very much appreciate.

Anyway, I'll leave you with some more shots of our lovely family walk.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Tablecloth Skirt

I purchased this round tablecloth recently for the princely sum of £1.99.  It was folded up on the hanger and I didn't check its condition.  This is because, weirdly, I was hoping it would be damaged because otherwise it was too lovely for me to cut up.

Look at those little birds!

So, I handed over my money, probably being the only one who has ever shopped there hoping to discover a stain on their purchase!

On getting it home and laying it out onto a small round table in the house I discovered a slight rip in the hem - which I fixed before I put it in the washing machine.


Taa daa!  Not only a stain - but the perfectly placed stain.

As you can hopefully see in the above picture it was a small, neat, stain that I could hide in the side seam of the skirt - and also I did not have to cut through any of the birds to do it.

This was going well...

... until I did another classic cutting error which I appear to be so fond of!

I had checked two sources (one magazine, one online) and found my waist radius was 12 cm.  I therefore used my very clever marking ruler (pictured above).  I placed my marking pencil in '12' and off I went.  Only to realise after cutting it out that it didn't fit, because it was an imperial ruler and obviously the markings were going up by half inches and not centimetres!  So I had cut 12 half inches - 6 inches - just over 15 cms.  So I had to hack a wedge off the skirt each side of the seam I had made to make the waistline fit!  Although, funnily enough, I still didn't chop any of the birds in half as it all landed in the reeds pattern - which was nice.

The good news was that I could now make a zip placket from the circle I cut out - because it was huge!  Also, I used some of the fabric I cut out of the side seams to make a waistband - I had previously thought I would need to find a contrasting fabric in my stash.

Anyway, long story short I'm pleased with the result.  I love the birds that are flying around the waistline.

And all the wading birds seem happy enough. :)