Sunday, 31 March 2013

I Have A Scarf!!!

I finally have something finished, the only item in March. I joked that as soon as I finished it the snow would stop and so far it's worked, but it's definitely cold enough to get some use out of it.

I uploaded a dark photo without the flash on because it's closer to the colour of the yarn. I really need to get a picture of me wearing it outside.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Ah, There's The Shame

What can I say? I've been naughty...

I went into Abakhan and bought about £70 worth of fabric (minus a student discount) and I'm hoping I can turn it into a spring/summer wardrobe.

On loads of the sewing blogs I read they've talked about making a colour pallet to organise your sewing. I really loved this idea, but I don't think I'm very good at mixing an matching yet so I decided to go for something simple.

I decided to choose black, white, grey and blue. They're colours I gravitate to anyway and it'll be really easy to get used to creating outfits rather than throwing on jeans, a t-shirt and a huge hoodie.

I scrounged through the remnants bins and found some fabrics I liked, all in my chosen colours. Firstly a slightly off white, soft fabric with denim coloured stripes. I would love to turn a bit of it into a shirt, maybe two. Then a slightly see through striped fabric. The blue is a bit lighter and really lovely but I'll need lining to be decent. I'd love to turn it into a cute floaty top, maybe with two layers, the bottom one longer than the top?

The heart fabric is something a bit out there for me, but I saw it and thought 'dress'! Incase you can't see, some of the hearts are filled in with glitter. I hardly ever wear dresses because I just don't buy them. I'm quite pear-shaped so the ones that fit my top half don't fit my bottom and vice versa, but this is why making your own clothes is great.

The last one I thought needed a closeup, and probably deserves a better one than this. It's covered in little diamond shaped grids in blue and black and there's a really interesting stripe along the edges.

But wait, there's more! The one on the left has thin, broken grey stripes that I adore, and that I need a shirt in. The middle is soft with a great drape that I feel I need to take advantage of. I don't usually go for floral clothes but I think it would look really sweet in some kind of cowl neck or wrap around.

The black and grey on the end looks like a polyester in the picture but it feels like a natural fabric. I'm not sure what I want to do with it yet but I'm sure I'll get some ideas.

These don't fit my current colour pallet but since I haven't really got the hang of trousers I'll be sticking them in the cupboard anyway. The two light ones and the desert camouflage are trouser/jean type fabrics and the other one is a bit lighter.

I just fell in love with the pattern. I've never seen pixelated camo before and I needed to snap it up in case it was one of those one season fads. I'm a big fan of quirky details like this. These four fabrics cost about £30 but they range form 3 to 4 meters so that's pretty good value.

Lastly, another case of pattern over pallet. The little circles and dots are baby pink and I love the colour combination. I think it might end up being the inspiration for my autumn/winter wardrobe.

The 8 lengths of cotton cost me about £40 and they aren't short! I love a bargain!

Oh yes, and I also added about five inches to my knitting. :)

Friday, 29 March 2013

All Or Nothing

 I didn't manage to post on yesterday so this post is going to be about both Wednesday and Thursday.

Thursday is simple, I didn't get anything done. Not even a little bit of knitting. I lay in bed reading sewing blogs most of the day then at 6:40pm I set of walking for a party that started at 8. I got their fashionable late and had loads of fun meeting people and chatting till midnight, then thankfully I got a lift home.

Wednesday was a lot better. I added loads to my scarf and I'm actually starting to think I might get it finished this weekend. I'm going down to visit my parents today so I won't be able to do any sewing unless I bring it down and use my mums machine.

Got lots of pattern copying as well. I copied out five pieces from the 40s dress pattern and then found out I only needed four of them. There are different pattern pieces for the two different necklines and I accidentally made one of both. If I like one I'll probably have a go at the other though, so it's not a waste.

I did basting stitching for the first time on the neck of the Jacket toile on both the front and back pieces. I'd actually forgotten how thin this stuff is. When I thought about it in my head it seemed a lot thicker like upholstery fabric. Really it's just a thick-ish cotton.

After that I finally sewed the first seam! How long has it been since I started this? Almost a month I think.

I sewed the seams that connect the front to the side-front and realized that some patches of this cloth are really discoloured. I'm thinking it's probably either from smoke or being touched by people, but I don't smoke or fondle my curtains so I don't have much experience with this.

Finally I made a little hem along the top of my pockets. They get folded over again before they're attached to the garment and there's loads of weird stitching and clipping that makes me really glad I'm including them in the toile.

That's it for now. I still need to figure out what knitting project I want to do next so I can bring the supplies with me to my parents house later today. I'm staying for four nights so I need to be prepared!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The Stash Is Growing

I bought new cloth yesterday and I feel the shame. But not that much. My local fabric shop, part of the Abakhan chain, has a whole section that's dedicated to ends and seconds. It's about a third of the shop and there are some real gems in there.

This is quite a thick knit fabric, about the weight of vest fabric, that I want to make tops out of. There's about three meters and I loved it at first sight. It matches the scarf I'm knitting and some deeply buried part of me that's a confident, happy, outgoing person has always been drawn to tie-dye and bright colours. I want to bring her out more often.

I got three different dress fabrics as well. I'm calling them dress fabrics because the fabric in these piles is buy at your own risk, no washing instructions and no fiber content. The white and camel-y fabric is gorgeously soft and I imagine if I made it into something I'd just spend the whole day stroking it and feeling awesome.

The one in the middle is a stretch fabric that I accidentally payed the woven fabric price for. I don't know if it was better or worse. It's covered in little white Celtic knots on blue and black and each one has a dot of silver in the middle. This ones really soft as well. That seems to be an important factor for me.

The last one is my favorite. You can see the big stripes kind of clearly but what's harder to see is the pattern underneath. It's a paisley made with really thin lines and I really want to make this cloth into a top right now!

As for actual crafting, I added an inch to my scarf but not much else. Oh well.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Sick Day

I was meant to be in uni Monday but I was a bit ill so I spent most of the day in bed. You'd think that would help me get more knitting done but mostly I just slept and drank Lem-sip. I did for a bit but only because I had to write something on here.

You guys are helping me, my imaginary readers.

In semi-craft-related news, I've been on a diet since Christmas and I'd lost 21 lbs last time I weighed myself. I fit into size 12 trousers and I don't think I ever have before. Not since puberty at least. That's one of the reasons I've been a bit wary of cutting and fitting clothing of late. I'm hoping to get down to my recommended weight, between 120 lbs and 135 lbs, and then stay there for as long as I can.


I seem to be a bit late on the Pinterest band wagon but I got myself an account and have started playing around. I don't really understand it all yet but I'm certainly having fun!

I'm trying verify my blog at the moment and it says to upload a file that I downloaded to my web server. Sadly, I don't know how to do that and don't really know who to ask. Sigh.

I've also been told to add <meta name="p:domain_verify" content="1b5edb64afafeb8cbca712d7101e9a11" /> 

Monday, 25 March 2013

Yep, you guessed it.

More knitting. At least this will always be here to remind me how much work knitting is if I get the urge to do it again. I will, but probably not a scarf for some time.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Yep. Even more knitting

I know, you're all probably board of this scarf by now, but my house is very cold so I like projects I can work on in bed. Plus It's still snowing here so it seems seasonally appropriate. As much as I'm looking forward to my jacket I won't be able to wear it without a coat on top for at least a month yet.

Talking of my purple and black jacket, I finally got around to pre-washing the fabric. It's now draped over my drying rack and waiting to be turned into a wearable item. I promise I won't let it wait to long!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Half way there

When I got my knitting out on Monday and showed it to my friends one of them said it would be warm by the time I finished. Sod's law obviously wants to prove something to one of us because it started snowing that day. Either I'll be able to wear my new scarf in the snow or I'll finish it just in time for an Indian Summer. I'm happy whichever.

Friday was a fun day. I went to the launderette and fainted, catching my coat on the front of the machine and sending four buttons flying all around the room. Once I had my clothes clean I decided to sit safe and warm in bed and knit and it obviously paid off. I added 8 inches to my scarf! Almost half way there.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Did you forget to take your meds?

I haven't updated for a while but I have been crafting. And sleeping, but I'll touch on that later.

I'm not regretting spending ages rolling my skein of wool into a ball because I managed to knit both uni days and add 6.5 inches to my scarf. I've also been looking at cute projects to try next but that's getting ahead of myself a bit there.

The reason I'm feeling a bit ashamed is that I didn't craft Wednesday or Thursday. I didn't do much of anything. My slightly melodramatic title is because I'm starting to wonder when sleeping too much is just laziness and when it's the depression coming back or something else medical. On Wednesday I slept in till 9 IN THE EVENING! At least I was up by 3pm on Tuesday but I only had the energy to watch DVDs.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Oh Balls

I decided to turn my skein into a ball of yarn. I'm weak. It took me more than three hours because I'm an idiot and didn't wrap it round the backs of chairs like it told me to in the instructions. Basically, if you don't it all gets tangled and you end up with a horrible birds nest and have to tease out the wool before you can wrap it onto the ball.

It's huge but I can carry it in my bag and knit on the train and during lunch at uni.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Saturday Knitting And A Problem

My knitting became about 9 inches longer yesterday, and that's better than any junk e-mail can promise. It's a bit brighter than I would usually wear and I made one mistake that I honestly didn't think was worth undoing it all for, (it's not like fit matters and who's going to notice) but I have come to one realization that may have been obvious to everyone but me. I won't be able to work on this on the train/during lunch/anywhere outside my bedroom because moving a skein of wool about without it getting tangled is hard. There's probably a way to turn it into a ball of wool but that'll take time and I don't even know where to begin. Maybe I'll figure it out and do it with this one and the others after my scarf is done but not right now.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

A Day Of Knitting

Before we start, have a nice picture of a flower.

It's a bulb in a glass pot that I got for Christmas and it just flowered this week. I'm showing you this so that those of you who are stash sensitive can meditate on this flower if you need it.

Are you ready? Here we go.

This is my wool stash. I'm quite ashamed of it, but at least I have the excuse that I wasn't in my right mind when I bought it. I had a bit of an episode and was high as a kite a couple of years ago and ended up buying everything you see before you. Now I just have the challenge of using it. Most of it is stuff I can't see myself wearing but my new rule is that I have to use at least twice as much from my stash as I buy new.

Included in my stash is about 8kg (over 17lbs) of baby wool in 8 different colours. I don't have a baby. I'm not planning to have a baby for a long time.

Just over 2kg (4.5lbs) of hippy-ish wool from a charity shop. It isn't this bright in real life but I actually really like this wool. Plus it was nice and cheap.

3900g of weird fringe yarn and other similar ones, in a load of different colours, mostly pink and brown. I'm sure there's something I can do with it.

And about 2kg of random balls ranging from 30g to 500g that I can probably find interesting little projects for. There are some nice ones in this lot but some aren't as great.

I decided to get started immediately and handed a skein of my charity shop wool around the neck of my friend here to keep it neat and tidy. I found a nice simple scarf pattern on ravelry that you can find here and here that I started immediately.

I got quite a bit done but then made a mistake somewhere and had to undo it all. I got this much done before I settled in to sleep.

Friday, 15 March 2013

40s Inspiration

The combination of university and a stomach bug that flattened me for a few days has meant that I haven't been crafting for a few days, so I thought I'd share a little bit of inspiration I've been getting from my google searches.

This looks like a pretty normal blouse/skirt combination in a lot of ways, but I really love the wide, rectangular collar with a bow on the middle dress. It's a little bit sailor, a little bit Japanese school girl, but it looks really stylish to me.

I'm also a fan of the bust lines on model number 2 (on the right) that turn the shoulders into these little caps over a very tight sleeve. I wouldn't wear it myself because it doesn't suit my body but I imagine it would look really sweet on someone who was thinner or less well muscled.

I really wish I knew what movie/magazine this picture comes from because it looks like something that would move beautifully. A skirt cut on the bias in parts and twirling from the waist is something I love to see and to wear. I'm not a fan of shoulder pads in dresses but I can see how it helps the general shape. I'm 90% sure that most people achieved that silhouette with some kind of waist cinching that we don't tend to do today, but I definitely wouldn't be against giving it a try. I'm a girl who likes her corsets and waspies.

This dress shows you a few other things I love about 40s dresses. The pattern is so busy and vaguely ridiculous that you couldn't wear it without feeling happy and silly (or embarrassed, but that's another story). I've already said I love the skirt flaring out at the waist but I'm also a fan of the shirt style collar and front. This is a style of dress that I would love to try making for myself.

It also looks like this dress has sleeves that carry on from the main body of the dress with no seams. I don't have any strong opinions on this type of sleeve but I'd like to give it a try at least once.

I think most people will agree that this jacket is pretty fabulous. From what I've seen, 40s jackets were highly tailored and stylish with that thin waist to mach the dresses and most of them seem to have some quite lovely details. I really like the fur on the jacket above and the beading below because they make your clothes look that bit fancier and more well thought out.

I'm really loving what I'm seeing in my research, but I might find something I love in every style I look into.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Paws For Thought

I did absolutely nothing sewing related yesterday. I spent the day in bed away from my sewing machine and away from the homework I should have been doing.

That said, I think I made up for both today. I got out of uni at 2 o'clock and had a tutorial about my career where I was asked what I wanted to do and could I write a personal statement by tomorrow? I wasn't late with it, it's just that the course I want to go on is very popular.

Once I left that I had to cycle into town to pay my rent and buy tracing paper, then get back to the train station opposite the uni so I could go to the other campus. I went to GM for a weekly game but only two people turned up so we cancelled and me and one of the other girls went to hang out in the library. I found myself with a great opportunity to write my personal statement and then not only sewed up a hole in my bag but fixed a rip in my friends wonderful paw shaped gloves!

I think that earned me a little karma for today. Sewing to fix something always feels better than sewing something new for me.

Got A Surprising Amount Done

I got a surprising amount done on Saturday... but almost none of it was on the jacket. I put in the last tailor tacks but put it aside so I could get some more pattern tracing done before I needed to put away my work station and make room for people to walk in the house.

I had it in my mind to make a 40s dress so that I could go to an event on a refurbished train with a group of friends all dressed up in their 40s clothes. Then I checked my calender. At the end of April, when my friends will be on the train sipping wine, I'll be on a family holiday to the coast.

Don't go thinking I won't be dressed up though! I'm going to the Whitby Goth Weekend! I go with my brother and my uncle so it's as close to a family holiday as I get. We stay in a cottage with my brother's boyfriend and some other people to save money and I'm starting to feel a bit of confidence making friends on my own as well so it's really fun.

I won't be sewing while I'm there but I might be knitting, so wish me luck. I'll try and put up some pictures!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

So Close to Sewing!

I'm starting to get bored with pinning and cutting this fabric. It's quite thick and a bit stiff so it's hard to pin and using pattern cutting paper instead of tracing paper doesn't make it any easier. I'm thinking for future projects I'll copy the pieces onto white paper to make alterations and then make tracing paper pieces from that. I may be making it a bit over-complicated but I like the idea of finding a few patterns I like and making a few versions.

I'm also thinking of trying to make a pattern or two of my own. I know a bit about making patterns so it's worth a try and if I make something that I think is worthy I could try selling it. I doubt that'll happen but it's a way to make me strive for a professional finish.

I'm putting in this picture in because I was quite proud of my paper placement. Silly, I know. (Sorry about the stripe. It wasn't on the preview screen.)

Friday, 8 March 2013

Some Overdue Maintenance Gets In The Way

I didn't get a lot of work done on my jacket yesterday because I had to go and get my bike fixed. Usually that wouldn't take that much time but I had to walk to drop it off at 9am and then pick it up at 12 noon, only it wasn't finished by then and I had to go back at 3pm.

Between that, going in to town to see if they had the right fabric for a future project (which would have taken half the time) and reading for uni I only got a bit done.

I managed to get the stripes aligned on a patch of the remaining fabric and pin down one and a half pattern pieces. And in case you were wondering, that's a mirror I'm working on. My table is tiny and round so I put an old mirror on the floor of my living-room.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Trimming and Time

Yesterdays progress was nothing to write home about but it was progress none the less. I trimmed the excess off the pattern pieces I cut out roughly a couple of days ago and got them all neat, but by the time I'd finished it was midnight.

I didn't have much time because I've gotten myself used to starting about 8pm but I have research for an essay to do as well now. The deadline for the essay is the 10th of April so I'm not rushing but I don't want to leave it all till the last minute. Time management is the name of the game this month.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

A Promise

I don't have any sewing to share with you from yesterday so I wanted to share with you a promise I made to myself.

You may have already heard of Me-Made-May, you might even have taken part, but I only found out about it recently. When I started sewing again I wanted to improve my machinery setup but I don't want to go spending loads of money if it's just a phase that I'll loose interest in. I decided that if I could successfully complete the light version of the challenge and wear an item I made each day of may then I would splurge and buy myself an overlocker. (I think they're called sergers in the USA).

I'm really excited about it but if I fail there will be consequences. I'll have to wait for a new month and try again. I'm doing this to give me a little discipline and a sense of achievement if I manage it.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Goals for the Year

I don't have any sewing to report from yesterday, as it was a uni day, so I thought I'd come up with some goals for the rest of the year. It's a bit late for new years resolutions but it's never a bad time to look ahead.

1. Make myself a statement coat. Something sinched at the waist in a bright colour that instantly makes you look put together, even if you brushed your hair on the walk in and haven't had breakfast yet. I have black coats and grey coats, and hoodies for when I need to relax, but none of them say classic style.

2. Make lots of leggings! I want to start wearing dresses and skirts more often, but I'm not that comfortable with my legs right now. I'm going to be wearing tights sometimes, but I'd really love some colourful leggings to cycle in and to put on when it's a bit to cold to go without. I've even got the pattern, I just need to get the fabric and the construction knowledge.

3. Make a shirt dress that doesn't just look like I'm wearing someone else's shirt. I'll probably use a blue and white striped fabric to give it a nice clean feel and I'd definitely like to finish it before summer. It's just one of those things that, if I combined it with a nice belt, would probably look quite good.

4. Make at least one knee length black skirt. I think I have a grand total of three black skirts at the moment, one which drags along the ground and ground and two that might belong to a lady of the night. I'm not even sure I bought any of them myself! One was second hand (too long) and another was bought by a boyfriend (imagine the slutty school girl look). I just need some simple, black skirts that I can wear with a nice top and look presentable. It's a wardrobe staple.

5. Get knitting! I've made a few rectangular scarves and tried to make a jacket for a friends baby, but nothing for a while now. (The baby grew faster than the jacket and the project was abandoned.) I'd like to get my needles back out this year and make use of the time I spend on trains and sitting around. Who knows, if I start now I might get some things completed by the time it gets cold!

6. Make up one of the Sewaholic garments. I've been reading through the blog from the beginning recently and it's really helped my get excited about sewing. I want to show a little gratitude and I really want the clothes!

7. Make a bag. I either want something simple and practical to carry my laptop in or a fun backpack. I pretty much carry a bag everywhere and I get through them quickly, overloading them with books and anything I feel like I might possibly need. Maybe if I made one myself with pockets for all the things I carry I'd be more organised?

8. Make pretty summer dress, something flowery and floaty that will make me feel pretty and happy.

9. Have a go at making a basic cosplay costume. It sounds like a fun thing to do and an interesting community. I'm enough of a nerd to wear it to conventions.

10. Read more about sewing. You can never learn too much and I want to learn as much as I possibly can. I'll be reading blogs like I normally do and borrowing books from the library.

That list, university and my job should keep me busy for most of the year. That and all the other interesting projects that sidetrack me.