Sunday, 11 October 2015

Handbags at Dawn

or Purses Galore.
Isn't this fabric brilliant? My Friend Alli bought me 2m of it for my birthday. I had been keeping an eye our for a suitable pattern and knew I'd found it when I saw this loose fitting shift dress from the September issue of Burdastyle Magazine.

I had just enough fabric to make the dress, but not enough to match the pattern really mwell, but I still think it works. I originally made it with pockets, but the first time I wore it I caught the pocket on a door handle and ripped it a little. So I sewed them up. I still think it looks good.

The Fabric is a quilting weight cotton from The Sewing Box in Morpeth. They've recently got a website check it out here.

I made the dress up in a size 36. I'm normally a 38, but the design is quite loose fitting and I didn't want it too baggy. I still ended up taking in the princess seams between the bust and the hip and increasing the back darts to give more shaping. I let out the side seams under the arms by 1/2cm and dropped the armhole by 1cm. I did this simple to allow for the wearing of a jumper or long sleeved tee in the cooler months. the fit was ok without this adjustment, but I would only have been able to wear with a cardy the whole winter.

I would recommend this pattern and fabric and I have had loads of positive comments about both the style and fabric. It does look a bit creased, but you can probably tell by the light that these photos were taken at the end of the day. On another note I'm still growing out my shaved head. My hair sticks up everywhere! Does anyone have any styling tips?

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Corsets, Papier Mache and Masquerades

I finally finished my first ever corset! and I wore it! Yesterday was my friend Rebecca's 50th Birthday and she had a masqureade ball to celebrate. I had been planning my outfit for a few weeks and it was the perfect opportunity to wear a corset.

I used the GBGS pattern from series 3, adjusted the neckline to make it more sweetheart shaped, and reduced the waist to give some reduction.

The Details:
Outer fabric: A chinese style brocade in royal blue with a bit of gold in there. I've had this in my stash for a couple of years and can't remember where it came from.
Inner layer: Artists canvas - couldn't get my hands on any coutil, of this was the next best option.
Lining: white cotton also from my stash.
Bra Cups: salvaged from an old bra.
Boning & Eyelets: Spiral Steel and Sprung steel from Sew Curvy.

The corset was fairly simple to put together, but you do need to be rather precise. I decided to make this without a busk and really it needs longer laces as I can only just get it on over my head without unlacing it. I should have made a muslin as this is quite a short corset and I have a long torso so next time I'll make a longer version.

The boning is contained within the canvas layer and then has the shell and lining attached. the bias binding is self fabric and was machine stitched to the outside layer and then turned and finised with fell stitched on the lining side.

I did have to practise with the eyelets as there was a lot of fabric to get through. I marked the placement on the lining side, but had to get my husband to hammer the punch through the fabric. I used eyelet pliers to secure the eyelets. (you might have seen more on my instagram feed over the last few weeks @artcoopsville)

As the corset had gold in the fabric I decided to pair it with a gold skirt and thought that a full circle skirt would be the way to go. I bought my fabric from Sharma's in the Victoria Centre Market in Nottingham a few weeks ago. it's a shot fabric with gold threads running one was and black running the other. I added an invisible zip and hand stitched the hem (= hours of work), mainly because I didn't have any tread exactly the right colour. Oh and I like hand stitched hems.

I also made my mask from papier mache, it was a bit heavy to be honest and I didn't keep it on long. My husband decided he was going to go as Frank Sidebottom.

So we spent ages making his head, also from papier mache. the shape was finished a few days ago, but I spent most of yesterday painting it. safe to say it caused a bit of a stir when we arrived at the party.

videoMany thanks to Pam at Threading my way for featureing this post.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Libby's Dress (Anna dress hack)

Whilst we were in london back in July, my sister picked out this beautiful teal fabric. We bought it from a little shop on Brick Lane and I made up her dress.

The Little shop, which was crammed full of fabric!

Libby decided she would like a slash neck dress that had cap sleeves and a full ish skirt, but that also emphasised her tiny waist. I knew just the pattern to hack! The bodice is from the By Hand London Anna dress. I used a base 14 size to accomodate the bust and back width, but Libby's waist was nearer a size 8. I took a little off of the side seams and made the darts deeper to redude the waist measurement.

The skirt is approximately a half circle skirt, and the ties are based on my Hobbs style dress, that I made earlier in the year.

The fabric is very well behaved and did not need lining, so I used facings for the neck edge. it's such a lovely colour and perfect for Libby. It can be dressed up or down. On this occassion she wore it to a family party with a simple necklace.

It's not a bad fit considering it was made based on measurements alone - no fitting. Rather tricky to fit when you live 300 miles apart. Still I think it really suits her and I hope she gets plenty of wear from it.
The photos were taken by my brother in law.

Monday, 31 August 2015

X wrap dress in Jersey.

 I've had my eye on this burdastyle dress since I first recieved the edition of Burdastyle, back in 2014. I think this magazine has to be my favourite as there are so many patterns in it I like.

I decided to make the dress in Jersey, and chose a softly draping cotton jersey with printed polkadots.
I made the dress up in size 36, which is a size smaller that I usually make. but checked the measurements and decided that the style and fabric would work in the smaller size. I ommitted the zip too.

I did have to be careful with the fabric to avoid it stretching out, especially on the bias seams - which there are a few of in this pattern. I sewed the dress on my Vintage Bernina machine, using a narrow zigzag stitch and finisheing the seams with the overlocker. I have some intermittent tension issues with my machine, so didn't want to sew all the seams on it.

I was glad of the illustrated instructions for this dress. I often make dresses, following my own tried and tested construction sequence, but as this dress has the draped front I needed to follow the construction order more carefully. As a visual person I prefer illustrations rather than written instructions.

The neckline is quite low, so I wore a black vest top underneath. I've worn the dress with leggings and without and it's very comfy. It looks good on its own and with a cardigan, perfect for an autumn transitional piece.

Photos were tricky as it was really windy the other day when my daughter photographed the dress for me.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Refashioned: Jeans to Jacket

I recently made a denim jacket. I had been hoarding old pairs of jeans from my hubby and kids and was considering what to make from them. I've always wanted a denim jacket but wanted a biker style version.

I used Burdastyle 03/2012 #115. I had already cut the pattern out, intenting to refashion a tweed coat, but did not have enough fabric. left off the pockets and shoulder tabs.

I omitted the lining and overlocked the internal seams and top stitched the seams with a contrasting colour. the facing edges were bound using home made bias binding.

The jacket bodice was made from a selection of my husbands old jeans. I particularly like the dark blue denim. I love the look of worn denim. The sleeves came from an old pair of my son's jeans. the had a torn knee. I patched this and made sure it was not on a stress point in the  garment. I like the contrast colour against the denim.

The metal zip came from my stash. not sure where i got it from originally, but shortening it to the right length was a real pain.

I have worn this jacket loads with my long dresses, black jeans etc. But never with my jeans! double denim - eugh!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

New Look 6095 finally finished. Only 2 years after starting it

This photo is from the 13th June 2013. Mum had chosen this lovely printed Jersey from Sharmas in Nottingham back in February. She wanted a shift dress with a cowl neck. She chose this new look pattern as a basic style and we adapted it. 

The pattern is for wovens, so we omitted the zip and I moved the bust dart and incorporated it into the cowl neck. 
The fabric has been pinned to the pattern pieces for the last two years, and each time I've seen mum, I've asked if she'd made the dress. Which she hadn't. I think she was a bit wary of the jersey fabric.
After spending the weekend in London I have been spending a couple of days at mums and yesterday we finally made up the dress. I did the sewing and mum did the pressing. The sewing was done on a basic, but quite new Janome machine.
We didn't make many alterations to the fit, but the sleeve was a little bit too low and loose so I took a couple of inches in under the arm on the upper part of the side seam.

Mum wore the dress to go out for lunch today. I think it looks great and the colour suits her. What do you think?

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Sinead, Sigourney or Something Else

After the deed
Today I lost my hair.
This was planned.
I shaved it all off.
Infront of a whole bunch of 9-13 year olds.

I was not scared.
I am not brave.
Not worried.
Not even a bit.
Which was slightly strange.
I did wonder what I'd look like.
Would I have the right head shape to carry it off?

egg head
 It's only hair.
It will grow back.
But the effects of today will last quite a while.
I think I kind of like it.
I may need to wear more make up.
I raised money
The total currently stands at about £850.
Still waiting for more pledges to come in.

So is it Sinead or Sigourney?
What do you think?

What would you wear to make the most of a bald head?

If you'd like to donate you still can at Justgiving.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...