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Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Culotte half slip

A slight detour from the navy boiled wool because I decided I wanted a soft cotton culotte half slip to wear under dresses when I don't want to wear hosiery.
I adapted an elastic waist Burda magazine pants pattern to get this.
Seems comfortable, so will try it under a dress tomorrow.
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The culotte slip worked very well so I made another identical one.
For those who'd like to see how I created the pattern, hopefully this picture will help.
The elastic waist pants pattern has been folded to knee length, and the pieces cut out as one. The extra fabric making it more skirt like and avoiding a side seam. I've used the selvedge for the hem, so just sewed front and back leg seams together, then crotch seams together, made an elastic casing, inserted elastic, added a back tag - done!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Boiled wool jacket - cut out at least

I finally got brave and cut into one of my pieces of boiled wool.
I bought this on a stall in Preston market about 2 years ago with YorkshireLass, so as well as being the least expensive boiled wool in my stash it is also the newest.

This is the jacket part of my 6-piece-Autumn-Collection, though it may have more than 6 pieces in it.
I'm making view B without the belt. When we fitted it we adjusted it so the front overlaps and can have buttons/buttonholes.
I only bought 1.5 mentres so there wasn't enough for a whole skirt, but I did manage to squeeze out the outer yoke and centre front and back panels of a shortened view F.
There isn't actually a centre back panel but I created one by cutting down through the back dart and adding on a seam allowance.

The rest of the skirt will later be cut from some dark navy tweed flecked with a lighter navy and white. This same fabric is planned to also be another jacket from the same pattern and then the skirt can then be worn with either jacket.
There may be extra tweed fabric left, but I suspect it is too nubbly for trousers, so a plain skirt, a waistcoat or even a sleeveless dress?

Anyway for now I am going to be working on the jacket though I am in work all day, have an evening haircut booked tomorrow etc etc so we shall have to see how much I manage to do in the evenings.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Lace tee

The same pattern (Santa monica Tee) as the little striped tee from a couple of posts ago, this is a lace version.
I've used the scalloped edge as the hem, added a neckband and a little self fabric tag to identify the back.
The soft green background to the knit was very hard to match, so I used this taupe coloured almost invisible specialist Guttermann thread in the overlocker. It was tricky to thread but looks wonderful.


Dark Denim finished

These dark denim trousers (pants), were in the unfinished projects box, I think because they didn't fit at the time.
I've since got a bit fatter so they fit quite well now.
All I did was sort out the bottom of the invisible zipper in the back, and hand sew the facing to the zipper tape and all the seams and darts.
They are a dark indigo stretch denim with no pockets or topstitching, but should sit nicely under tees without added bulk round the waist and tummy area.
They look great with yesterday's tee.

 I used New Look 6415, taking deeper darts and moving the zipper to the back. The were originally constructed in April 2008.

I also mended the Flag Pocket jeans, as the seam beneath the invisible zipper had come apart.
So I now have two more pairs of jeans like trousers back in circulation!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Navy stripe Textile Studio Santa Monica tee

Here's a little top, cut out and sewn up today.
The top is sewn from the Santa Monica tee pattern (Textile Studio 1211).
I used the short sleeves cut from a plain navy scrap whilst the body is made from leftovers from another top.
I've added a neckband, and used a size L, lengthened by one inch in the body and half an inch on the short sleeve. I also flared out the body from the waist down by about a quarter of an inch. I also added a mock label at the back neck so I know which is the back. We had trouble when we muslined this and I couldn't tell the front from the back.

It is interesting that the stripes/contrast/neckband all work together to give a sporty look rather than the dressier look in the pattern photos.
I am rather pleased with it and can see it being worn a lot with jeans at the weekend.

Next up, the same pattern, only in a light green/white/pink floral lace. Should look very different and hopefully dry quickly making it an option for travel.

T shirt alterations completed

The four side panelled tees
And the the four with a changed hemline
I must admit I am NOT super happy with these tee alterations.
The panelled tees worked out OK, but the pale pink tee is quite bobbly and the white tee has a stain which won't come out. So I think those are going to be 'painting' tees, ie tops for dirty/messy jobs like painting, gardening, car washing etc.

The large tees are as you can see kinda boxy, so even with the shaped hem are a little wide across the shoulders and a little snug on the high hip, so will still need to be worn tucked in, as these are new though they are as yet unstained.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Purchased T Shirt alterations

When I travel I like to use quick drying travel garments. My stash doesn't contain suitable fabric so I have various pieces I have purchased.
I realised my quick drying tees look OK when under a shirt, but are clarly too tight when I take the shirt off when I warm up. This has resulted in some less than flattering holiday photos, so I decided to tackle the problem.

I have quite a few of the tees which are too tight through the tummy and hips, and some of them I even have two of the same size, style and colour, so decided to cut panels from one to widen the other. I thought this might be of interest to others so am documenting it here.

You need
  • One t shirt which fits you properly, this is going to act as a guide for how much to add.
  • One too tight t shirt to be the main body, so pick the one in better condition.
  • One too tight t shirt to use for panels, so pick the one with the pilling or stain.
Cut the side seams off the t shirt you will use for the main body, then layer up the shirts as follows

On the bottom lay the well fitting t shirt, either folded in half, or since mine has a centre back seam, laid flat and use the seam to guide you.
Fold the other two tees in half and make sure the sides/hems are level.
Next lay on the folded t shirt you will cut the panels from and line it up with the side seams of the larger tee.
Finally lay the folded main body tee on top but lining up with the centre back of the well fitting tee.
Mark the side of the main tee on top of the panels tee, and remove the main tee. Add 2 x seam allowances. Cut along this line.

Now sew the panels to your tee with the sewing machine, you can then either overlock/serge this or coverhem depending on the machines you have and the finish you want.
 Yay!!! You now have a better fitting tee.
(Note: I'm presuming the original tee fits you in the shoulders but is too tight through the body. This is a particularly good alteration for pear shapes like me, as you can flare out the side panels to add whatever extra you need.)

I'll look later at how to add panels if you don't have another t shirt to use, but do have some scraps of suitable yardage. It can be a fabulously slimming look.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Sailing boat shopping bag

I just finished off this sailing boat themed shopping bag, which is a hostess gift for a lady who loves sailing boats. I hope she likes it.
It is based on an idea from the book "Freehand Machine Embroidery" by Poppy Treffry which was featured in the August Prima Magazine.
I adapted the design to suit my fabric and style, but I think it worked out OK.
I must admit I have not followed the instructions, instead making the bag from a piece of fabric 100cm by 50cm and applying the motif where I thought appropriate. I've also gone for a dark bag with a pale boat rather than the other way around due to the fabric I had.

I constructed my bag flat. I measured some existing purchased shopping bags and drew elements I liked from each checking the motif would fit OK. I then measured my fabric and worked out the 1m of 150cm wide would make 3 bags. I cut out the bag and overlocked all the edges first.
Then I cut the boat elements from scrap fabric and sewed on with ivory thread. Then I sewed the top hem, attached the handles whilst the bag was flat and gave it all a press.
Only after this did I sew up the side seams, and square off the bottom.
To give support in the bottom I cut a piece from a plastic food preparation mat I bought in the supermarket. It was a set of four in different colours, but the dark blue one seemed to work OK so I have not covered it in lining as planned, just put it loose in the bottom.

The boat motif would make a nice cushion design also, and if you don't like the raw edges you can always add a small seam allowance and tuck it under when sewing.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Abstract seascapes

I fancied some blue pictures in my living room, but am no artist, so decided to use three lots of leftover emulsion and a tester pot in a darker blue to create some abstract seascapes. Here are the finished pictures.
More Sea
 More Sky
 Wide Sky
All 3 in one room might be overkill! Maybe some will go to the next Craft Fayre.

Red ponte dress rescued

I made up this red ponte dress quite a while ago (apparently March 2012!) and it was too big. It sat in a pile for quite a long time until I took with me it a few weekends ago when I went to see Yorkshire Lass.
We've taken the centre back seam in from just below the waist right through to the top of the neck by an inch and three quarters each side - ie by 3 and a half inches. This does make the back narrower than the front, but it was the simplest way to get it to sort of fit.

The pattern is new look 6751. If I made this again maybe I would go down a size. It may be the ponte fabric or just the pattern, I am not sure since I've only made this dress the once. It can apparently be made from knits or wovens and should have a zip down the back which I have omitted.

Anyway it is now wearable rather than a wadder, and works well with an existing purchased jacket which is white with red and black print.

I am making a concerted effort to deal with the wadders by fixing them, donating them or recutting them into something else. This definitely helps the sewing room feel less cluttered which is good.

Red tee

At the end of June I posted a red knit dress which I had made as the first (and it was looking like only) item in my Summer 6PAC. Today I decided that the remnants could become a short sleeved tee, since I have had a lot of wear out of the pale blue one. I cut it out carefully leaving a reasonable piece on the fold for some future Mix-It tee!
So a basic, but in one of my favourite colours so should get lots of summer wear.

Goodies from Bonds

When I visited Yorkshire Lass a few weekends ago, we agreed NOT to go fabric shopping as we both have a lot of fabric (and I have way more than Yorkshire Lass), however we thought it would be entirely justifiable to go to Bond's in Farsley which is an old fashioned haberdashery shop.
top left to right
2 navy blue metal zips, these are for when I recover the armchair, I will use these for the new cushion covers.
a reel of blue webbing type trim, this will be bag handles
invisible zips, various lengths
and some ecru cotton canvas for making bags
bottom left to right
many metres of fine cord, for use on drawstring bags
red darning wool, to try to mend sweetheart's woollen sweater
buttons