Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Missoni-esque fabric: T shirt style blouse

I bought the fabric for this little top on Monday at the local open air market.
Tony the usual market stall holder had brought some rolls from the corners of his storage location and this one caught my eye. It reminds me a little of Missoni patterns.
Its a polyester with a metallic stripe and a printed zip zag pattern made of small blocks in shades of brown, olive, turquoise, red, pink, gold and white.
It seemed to reflect of lot of my personal colouring all in a print and I thought would be great for travelling as would pack easily, wash and dry on the move and go with any plain bottoms.
I wouldn't normally wear much polyester so have made this into a very simple loose T style blouse - the hems and edges are simply turned and stitched.
This is based on the Kirsten Kimono Tee with different side seam shaping, slightly longer sleeves a narrower neck which is higher at the back and more scooped at the front and a curved hemline, but other than that it is like it!
I fits quite nicely now, and will just become looser as I lose a bit of weight. If it becomes crazily baggy I can always run the sides in a bit.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Simple Home Dec Sewing

I decided to replace the golden beige covers I used for cushion and bean cube quite a while ago - December 2011 Home Dec Sewing.
I have a different house and different sofa now but the bean cube is still in daily use as are two of the large 22" cushions.
They have now had a neutral makeover that works better in the new place. It is a little boring but I have various accent cushions I can use as well.
And it avoids too much competition with the wonderful Barcelona Stained Glass Window Quilt made for me by my lovely and talented Auntie Joy.
Apologies slightly strange angle I seem to have taken the photo. Gives the idea though.
The beancube cover is made from the same Ikea curtain panel as the cushions but is nearer the camera clash hence the lighter colour. The curtain panel is a neutral type colour with horizontal ribbed stripes.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Simple Burda Trousers

I'm wanting some simple trousers suitable for work. I had a look through the Burda back catalgue and struck lucky in 2009. I knew it was worth keeping the mags (and saying thanks when extra years were being donated by others).

In April 2009 there were these plus size designer ones with an elastic waist - super easy but probably better with a top over them.
And then on to July where there are some simple trousers with handy zipped side pockets (could be omitted) as part of a Plus size special occasion spread.
A third option could be from August 2010.
These could be made with two plain sides and no wrap.

I am planning on losing some of my excess weight but it'd be lovely to have some trousers to wear to work as I do that.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Gold and pearl beaded necklace and an alteration

Yes I've spent another evening beading, and I am hugely enjoying myself.
This one takes some pearl effect beads, some cream with gold detail and some antique gold tone beads and is a long strand. I also made some matching earrings and a little stretchy bracelet.
I liked the necklace also worn with a purchased faux pearl necklace for interest.
And I finished off a great evening by adding gold chains to a three strand necklace with a missing clasp. The beads are bright gold with a textured finish, pearlized antique gold and brown smooth resin all with gold findings. I'd wear very simple gold earrings with this so as not to compete with the necklace.
When I move the beads and can get back to the sewing machine I think lots of very plain tops are required!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Another beaded necklace plus some alterations

Here I used dark blue, turquoise and green faux pearls in various sizes with some smaller irridescent beads for a long necklace on beading wire. I also made 2 pairs of earrings with sterling silver hooks.

I also added chain to two existing short necklaces which were not wearable. I am really pleased with the result.
I wore the right hand red one today with a red and navy outfit.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Necklace Alterations

I'm enjoying longer necklaces at the moment, so I took some chunky but fairly short necklaces and added components of chain, cord or bead strands from other necklaces or from my craft box to create new longer necklaces. All of these can be simply dropped over the head, with the slimmer portion passing round the neck but the chunkier bead sections adding interest at the front.
All with added chain of various types and lengths. A bit fiddly but only needs two pairs of jewellery pliers.

I shared these on Facebook with the group from Inside Out Style Blog and also asked Jill Chivers how she makes the necklaces which are in the videos, which I've edited to share here

In brief, the way I do it involves having quite a beading kit, which if you don't have or don't want to create, will probably mean finding another way.

So in my beading kit I have quality beading wire and crimping beads (found online, don't buy the stuff from Spotlight for those Aussie ladies) and a set of beading tools/pliars (including a professional crimping tool, which really helps). I also have quite a few beads in my kit from other projects, so often I don't have to buy any beads as I already have them.

I start by pulling my necklaces completely apart. I often place the free beads into glass bowls (kitchen mixing ones). Sometimes they sit like that for days, and when I walk past them I just look at them or give them a little swish. This is the mysterious creative incubation "black box" where ideas are swishing around but I haven't actually DONE anything. I don't mess too much with this process, I'm not sure what I'm doing, but I know *something* is happening!!

When I'm ready to start, I pretty much follow a straightforward beading process, with the clasp findings, crimp bead, starter bead, then off I go, bead after bead... You can find necklace making using bead tutorials online which give you some great How To.

I love this process, it's creative, relaxing and fun for me. But if it isn't for you, that's okay - we all have different things that float our boat. And you can find people who will rework your existing pieces for you, at a cost of course.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Oceans Jewellery Set

Necklace and earrings to wear with various items in the Oceans Collection.

Improved my technique a bit by watching a few online videos from bead shops.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Wearing the Japanese Style Top from GBSB From Stitch to Style

Here are a few photos of me wearing the GBSB From Stitch to Style Japanese Style Top.
I actually like this more in wear than I did when I first made it. I have not altered the batwing though it might be interesting getting a jacket on the top.
I'm wearing it with straight leg jeans, I think it needs as slim a bottom as you can manage as its so voluminous.

Wearing the Palazzo Pants from GBSB from Stitch to Style.

Here I am wearing the Palazzo Pants from GBSB From Stitch to Style.
These are a size 18 and I think the extra leg width has been overdone for this size.
I have worn them and they are fairly comfortable but feel too much fabric, what do you think?

I have some extra fabric so am thinking anout what I might sew next, or even if I need to do something else with these trousers as I am concerned they are too wide.

- carry on wearing them even though they are too wide as they are fairly comfortable.
- shorten them into culottes.
- turn them into a skirt
- recut them into a slightly slimmer leg trouser with a yoke or wider waistband
- cut new trousers from a burda pattern and cut skirt/jacket pieces from the old wide trousers
- throw them in a box and ignore them for several years.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Oceans Collection: Item One - Navy Pinstripe Palazzo Pants

Here's the first item from the Ocean's collection, it is a pair of pinstripe navy trousers using the GBSB From Stitch to Style Palazzo Pant pattern.
Following my measurements I cut a size 18, telling myself its only a number. I think given how loose they are a 16 would have been plenty.
I staystitched but still the top of the trousers would not fit onto the waistband. I added 6 additional 1/2" darts to get them to fit to the waistband.
I used a navy blue pinstripe suiting fabric with a little stretch.
The waistband is really narrow. I added a button and buttonhole as I did not have a trouser bar.
They are very long. I have used a 4" hem on these which feels luxurious but is overkill.
I did include the pocket from the culotte version. I stitched up the opening except for just enough to be able to get a hand in, this stopped it gaping.
I used 4 different feet on the ordinary sewing machine plus the overlocker on these. It was a lot of fun. The feet used were - standard foot, invisible zipper foot, buttonhole foot and blind hem foot.
I modified the instructions slightly so I could do almost everything by machine. I only sewed the button on by hand. The waistband is stitched in the ditch and the hem is done with the blind hemmer.
I might scoop the back crotch slightly, but I will test wear them tomorrow first.

GBSB From Stitch to Style: Japanese STyle Top Hemmed

I've now hemmed the Japanese Style Top with the coverhem.
It has a lot of volume and does not look good with wide leg trousers, so I will try it with jeans or slimmer leg trousers for a photo.
Its a cool top, I'm just not sure its cool on me.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Ocean's Eleven Collection

I've been away but started thinking about something I've named 'Oceans Eleven' which is a sea themed collection of navy, teal and sand.
It could have things in it like

Navy pinstripe palazzo pants (left)
Light navy linen maxi skirt (2nd from right)
Light navy linen blouse. (2nd from right)
Teal linen maxi skirt. (centre)
Teal linen T-shirt blouse (centre)
Teal sweater knit cardigan jacket (across top)
Sand and white striped tee (not shown)
Dark sand palazzo pants (not shown)
Dark green leggings/skirt/tee which have been cut out for ages. (not shown)

I think I will keep broadly in the the Oceans theme and stop after eleven pieces.

I could do with those pinstripe trousers for work so will work on them some more this evening, perhaps something to show tomorrow.

There seems to be quite a lot of the navy pinstripe fabric so maybe I could also manage a simple jacket and perhaps also a skirt, some more suits for work would definitely be helpful as I have lost my way a little with work wear since I donated all my black suits after my colour draping session.

I still have 2.3 metres of the full width of the navy pinstripe plus some scraps so a simple cardigan jacket and straight skirt would seem possible.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

GBSB From Stitch to Style: Japanese Style Top laid flat

Here's the top laid out flat
I think I might take in that bat wing sleeve to be a shape more like the other side.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

GBSB From Stitch to Style: Japanese Style Top made up

So here it is as yet unhemmed.
I made the size 16, I did a little fiddling to get the stripes to match where they could and then trimmed the excess. I thought the cuffs would not fit but they did. I used the coverhem machine for the back neck and sleeve hems, you could zigzag or use a twin needle if you don't have a coverhem.
The sleeve on the left is like a normal sleeve. The sleeve on the right is like a very loose bat wing sleeve. I'm not sure I like the bat wing being that extreme and I might shape it more like the other side. I still need to do the hem.
If you normally need an FBA then I would not bother as there is loads of room from the cowl and asymmetry.
I think this style would be really good for an apple shape or large bust. It would also be good if you are naturally unsymmetrical as it would work with your body rather than against it.
I will do a lying flat photo tomorrow so you can see the shape of the garment more clearly.

Monday, 11 July 2016

GBSB From Stitch to Style: Japanese Style Top

This is the book which accompanies the latest series of the Great British Sewing Bee which recently finished.

I decided to sew the 'Japanese Style Top' which I don't recall being featured on the series.
(This is different to another similar style which was a challenge on an earlier series).

I really wanted to showcase the angles and drapes so decided to use the 1/2" red and white stripe jersey.
So far I have traced off the pattern pieces and glued them together with a glue stick and cut them out as per the layout diagram, with the exception of the cuffs which I cut with the stripe going round not up and down.
I have to say it is looking fairly crazy and I can't quite imagine what it is going to look like sewn up. We shall see (maybe as early as tomorrow) or if not I am then out, away and out again so it'll be next week.