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.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Going in new direction

Have you ever wanted a custom t-shirt? I have. it can just be so expensive to get your designs printed, especially if you only want a few.

Prompted by my husband I looked at making some of my designs available on Redbubble. He regularly buys from them  and the quality of theur product are great. I thought it could be a good place to get designs printed so over the last week or so I have uploaded some of my designs.
I thought I'd share them here.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Skull Crop Top Burdastyle 2/2015 #127

I was initially a little bit wary of this pattern. I thought it was too short, but after a bit of thought I decided to give it a go.

I had some cream skull knit fabric left over from a dress I made my daughter a couple of years ago. I say knit, but it had next to no stretch and needed soemthing underneath - so I cut the pattern in both a white cotton and the skull fabric.

I lengthened the top by about 5 cm and it feels like a good length. I would wear it with high waisted skirt/ trousers without a top underneath, but today I was wearing my low rise jeans and so wore a vest top underneath.

I actually quite like the pattern and the fit was generally good. I will widen the shoulders just a touch for the next version - Oh and there will be more; this would look great over a fitted maxi dress or with high waisted trousers. Next time a cotton one I think - maybe some crochet edging.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Bells Palsy - other wise known as wonky chomp!

What a week (and a bit). Everything I had planned to do over the last couple of weeks has been turned up on its head when I woke last Wednesday to find that my face didn't work.

I got up as normal, just after 6 am and went downstairs to make coffee and breakfast. I had glanced in the bathroom mirror, but hadn't really noticed anything as my eyes were rather blurry - normal for first thing in the morning.

While I was making coffee I kind of thought that my face felt a bit odd, like I was pouting all the time, but I took the drinks and my bowl of cereal back upstairs and sat on the bed to eat. It was only when the milk started running out of my mouth I really knew that something wasn't right. I woke my hubby with the words - "I think there's something wrong with my face."

He jumped out of bed and rushed me off to the hospital to be checked out. They had just changed the A and E system and we ended up at the new emergency hospital that had only opened the day before. Bells Palsy is diagnosed by elimiating other more serious conditions first. So I was duly checked to see if I had had a stroke or TIA, but after blood tests, CT scan and ECG came back clear I was given steroids to take, a presciption for eye drops and sent home.

At the time I didn't really think I had had any warning signs, but looking back I had noticed the muscles in my eye flickering the night before and I had the most killer headache before going to bed.
Initially I didn't have much pain apart from a pain behind my right ear - the side which is affected.

Bells Palsy afects the cranial nerve that works the muscles of the face. It's not known exactle what causues it, but some research suggests a dormant virus, which inflames the nerve, and prevents it from sending messages to the muscles in the face. It almost always effects just one side of the face, making it appear droopy.

Initially I went back to work the next day, but only managed half a day both Thursday and Friday. Just speaking was a huge effort and pronouncing words with p and b sounds very tricky - and still is. I was drained and found I needed a lot more rest than I'd given myself. As with any virus or injury rest helps the body fight back and recover!

Straight Face

Eyes closed
raised eyebrows
So what symptoms did I notice.

1. The first thing I noticed was my mouth not working properly. Smiling looks more like and elvis sneer. This makes it difficult to eat and drink. I use a straw to drink and food needs to be in bite size pieces. eating a whole piece of toast or piece of fruit is almost impossible. Speaking means slurred speech and is very tiring as I try to make myself understood.

2. My Eye doesn't close and I can't blink. This means that the eye is at risk of damage as blinking allows the eye to keep itself lubricated and free from damage. I have sustained some minor scratches to my cornea, this is painful and means that my eyesight on the right side is blurry. I use the prescribed eye drops at least every hour and apply a gel at night and tape my eye shut to protect it while I sleep. Sunglasses also help as I can't squint in bright light.

3. Killer headache. Just behind my right ear - this has come and gone over the week, but tends to flare up when I've over done it or am tired.

4. Hypersensitive hearing. The hearing on the right side is super sensitive. Loud noises really do echo in my head. Just the kids being too loud hurts.

5. Taste has changed - I have a slightly metallic taste on my tongue. In face it's more like i've eaten Shechuan pepper and have a slightly numb tongue with a hint of aniseed.

6. I feel like the side of my head has been hit with a bat. Along the hair line, from my cheekbone to temple and the top of my eye socket feels bruised. I presume this is the swelling of the nerve that is causing it. It hurts and I want it to go away soon.

So what am I doing to aid recovery. On the advice from my GP I have taken some time off work to rest, but hope to be back at work towards the end of the week. I am hoping as we near 2 weeks after diagnosis that I will start to see some improvement in speech and being able to close my eye. This will help greatly when I return to work. But I know it could take longer! I have had a check up at the local eye clinic and will have a follow up appt. in a couple of weeks to check on my eye.
I am eating as well as I can. Enjoying a beer or two and trying to rest my face as much as possible. Progress could be slow and it may take up to a year to fully recover. Hope to be able to play my flute/ sax well before then!

Its safe to say everyone has been really kind and supportive. This could go on for some time! However, my family have decided that I should now be called wonky chomp - I think there's some dog chew called this!  Typical!


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