Occasionally it seems that world is in pure chaos with nothing making sense, but that doesn't matter as long as I can sew. Sewing is a form of art, or at the very least creativity, and a form of expression. A great outlet for the tension of everyday life. Also you can make cute things. The craft revolution is truly taking place, old skills are being revived by a new generation, but with a seriously modern twist.

I've made Mario pillow cases, a giraffe print background, and turned duvet covers into summer dresses. I enjoy making something unique, special, and me- then I like wearing it and watching it fall to pieces or not fit properly. Then I enjoy (slightly less) fixing it.

One day I shall have a room filled with glorious fabrics and boxes of notions, and on that day I will have found my nirvana. But until then this blog will exist as my virtual haberdashery and sewing room. Hopefully you'll enjoy looking at my creations as much as I enjoy looking at other blogs, and you'll be inspire to make something of your own.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

le-roy 3156

Well the name might need sexing up a tad, but I'm quite pleased with my newest creation.  After an unsuccessful encounter with a pattern (not made by my own hand) that produced a sack with arm holes several years ago I haven't been brave enough to try again, until now.  My mum gave me some of her old patterns, and while everything's in inches (and my tape measure is only in cms), and the picture on the front is channeling some serious flower power, I decided that the new brown fabric I had been planning to make a top out of would be rather perfect for one of the designs.    A major concern was sizing, as I have a rather perfect 30" waist, and this dress has a rather crazy 24" one apparently, but on closer inspection the 'waist' on this dress is about 6"higher than wear I consider my real waist and another couple from wear I wear my jeans so I ploughed ahead.

Its taken me two days to make a dress thats almost finished- I need to buy a zip and buttons, and then hem it.  I'm sure I could have made it quicker but I spent a good few hours (not an exaggeration) looking at the instructions of how to lay and cut out the pattern pieces.  The pattern offered several examples of how to arrange the pieces depending on the size of fabric you have, which was totally irrelavent to me- also what's a selvedge? Because it mentioned that a few times too. 

Then it was fairly easy to pin and cut the pattern pieces- although they all needed to be cut on a fold apaprt from one which was fortunate because I was short on fabric.  I wondered why piece 5 didnt need to be cut on a fold, and then realised it ws because its an arm piece, erm so I needed two of them....oops...dont worry a few bits rearranged and I managed two arms which is somewhat necessary for that two armed look all the kids are going for nowadays.  The first step was bound button holes- which was a lot simpler than the incomprehensible instructions suggested, I assume all children in the 70s were sent through sewing school.  But in the end it turned out to be a nice way to do buttonholes, something Ive struggled with in the past.  You sew a square of fabric on the front, then push it through the slit you cut for the hole, then sew it up.

 Although it did take me an hour and a half to do 4 button holes.  The first one is very nice, the next three are good in their own way which is, unfortunately, not the same way.  But I think equally sized and aligned button holes are the hallmark of a poor imagination...Or something?  The next step was to sew together the bodice top at the shoulders, and then attatch the facing.  Facing another one of those simple yet ingeneous things which I've never understood or tried.  But it makes a nice smooth edge to the collar, and probably looks nicer when you're wearing it as it covers the insides.   I also sewed in the darts in the bodice which take in the top to make it fitted at the bust and waist.  Then sewed the side seams, leaving a space for the zip.  The next step was sleeves. 

The sleeves have a rouched edge, which is fun, and to do this I hand sewed around the top edge of the sleeve pattern piece and then pulled the thread which caused a rouching (so familiar to me as an unintentional consequence of my sewing). Then I lined up the sleeve and the top and sewed the seams. 

Somewhere in the middle of this I went to bed, but this morning I started on the skirt element, sewing the side seams, leaving a space fopr the zip.  The did the same rouching effect on the top of the waist, this was trickier than the arms, as I didn't have as much excess fabric to rouch as before, and it was fiddlier to pin the skirt to the bodice than it had been to pin together the sleeve to the arm hole.  Also my sewing machine had another in a long line of seizures, making sewing the waist together all the more difficult.  Grr.
But I managed, and it looks pretty good.  Although I'll have to wait until Monday to visit the Stich Witch to buy a brown zip, some brown  buttons, and then hem it up.   And then, I might try it on...Fingers crossed...

Update- I went to Stich Witch bought a zip and buttons.  Job done.  Total cost of dress= £6.44 (£5 for fabric, £1.20 for zip, and 24p for buttons) which isn't bad.  It fits well but I don't need to unzip it to get it on, so I take that as a sign that it's a little too lose.  Judge for yourself.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Pleated Skirt

I really want a pleated skirt, at first it was a passing fancy but not being able to buy the nice brown fabric I envisage or know enough about pleats I am growing obsessed (in a very low key way) to getting one.  I have now made two pleated skirts that I like.  The first I made a while ago from some nice, slightly 70's, remnant fabric I found in a haberdashery.  Of course for pleats you need twice as much fabric as you normally would so it has only 3 pleats at the side (for a nice kicky look).  Being sophisticated I added a lining, although being a silly I sewed it up wrong and it made it impossible to get into. But a quick untidy cut into the lining made it wearable, although it was still too big around the waist.  So I folded over the waist band which made the waist smaller, although also made the skirt a touch to short.  Its defo a tights one.  I took it out for its first test drive today, and it worked well.  Apart from the lining riding up on one side as I walked.  Oh well.

A few weeks ago I went to Haworth with my mother, and there was a vintage fair taking place.  Being that she was paying I ended up leaving with some overpriced vintage fabric.  Yay.  So pleated skirt number two was on the cards.  Well the pleats were the easy bit, I then had a pleated rectangle to deal with (also with lining youll be pleased to know, mainly because it was totally see through without) and no idea where was the front, back, sides etc.   Hard to get it to fit when you dont even know how youre gonna wear it.   Anyway, I spent the past two days figuring it out and I think Im there.  The pleats go at the front, and I added two darts in either side to cinch the waist.  And it will button or press stud up at the back.  It doesnt fit great I have to say, which is a shame cos I love the fabric and as I mentioned I really really want pleated skirts.  Its totally the way of the future.