Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Getting Back Into The (Slow) Swing Of Things

I slept till 2:30pm today. I was kind of expecting it but still...

I did get the last few pieces of my top pattern copied off so I can have a go at sewing them all in different colours and finally not have the huge pieces of brown paper lying on the floor of my bedroom.

I also stuck a couple of my older pieces of fabric in the washing machine so I can pull them out for sewing when I find something that'll suit them. (Plus they get a bit dirty sometimes.) When I hung it up to dry I discovered this on the corner. It's called blackwork embroidery and I did it when I was 15/16 and was a little bit fascinated by Elizabethan clothing. I'd completely forgotten about it, but I now have the urge to try doing it on a garment.

What do you think? Would some embroidery look cute around the collar of view B (red/white stripes)?

Did You Miss Me?

I got back from holiday about 7pm and after sticking a load of jeans in the machine and washing the dishes (some of which had been lying around since pancake day) I couldn't wait to put some time into my sewing projects. It was only a bit of ironing, but boy did it feel good!

I ironed the blue flowery fabric that I'm going to make a top out of and a sheet of pattern tracing paper to trace off the last three pieces of the pattern so I can fold up the original pattern and not have to get it out again unless I change size again.

Talking of changing size, I'm pretty sure I've put on some weight over my holiday. That's okay. When I meet up with my brothers or my parents it generally results in eating a lot. I'm hoping to be down to my goal weight for next Whitby Goth Weekend in September/October time (when I'll probably put some back on).

I used the 'souvenir excuse' to buy some fabric from the little cloth shop before we left. The pictures aren't very good but the two on the outside are similar splotchy fabric and the one in the middle has a metallic pattern like thin splatter.

I'm planning to turn at least one or two of them into blouses, so stay tuned.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Sewing Silence

I'm afraid you're going to have to get used to not seeing any stitching or drawing from me for a few days. I started my journey to the Whitby Goth Weekend this Wednesday, traveling to Derby to meet up with my brother and his boyfriend, having a meal out and going to a pop quiz.

In nine hours we'll all be in my uncles car heading for the coast. That's great for me, but it means I won't be able to show you any projects in progress while I'm gone. Don't worry though! I'll be sure to tell you about the styles I see there, the ideas I get and my future plans.

In other news, I went and bought more cloth and some ribbon. I can excuse the ribbon because it was 15p and awesome, but the cloth is a bit more of a guilty pleasure. The pattern is beautiful and as an added excuse, it's in my colour pallet. It probably won't be by the time I get round to sewing it but that's okay.

I got some black velvet from my brother as well, but all black velvet looks the same so I won't bother with a picture.

All this holidaying means I probably won't be able to do Me Made May this year and won't be getting an interlocker but there's always Self Stitch September. I'll just have to give stretchy cloth a go with my sewing machine.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

I'm A Little Bit Dotty!

I've already said it, but polka dots seem to be a big thing at the moment, and I'm happy with that. The combination of a snazzy look and not needing that much matching up is great if you're making your own clothes, or just buying them.

You can't talk about polka dots without talking about 50s dresses. It's an obvious combination that a lot of sellers and home sewers have made so there's almost an overabundance of them.

That being said, they do look good...

For something a bit more out there, how about latex undies? Maybe not something that's as universally flattering as the 50s dress but they have their own charm. I especially like the gloves.

As a happy medium, how about these shorts? They're childrens (sadly) and are really cute and funky with the white trim and buttons.

(polka dot shorts source)

You may be wondering where my very own polka dot dress has been lurking? Sadly, it's still not finished. What can I say? The desperate rush at the end kind of sapped my energy. I've been slowly sewing up the hems and it should be ready for May but I'm not in a huge rush any more.

Monday, 22 April 2013

A Day Of Progress And Realizations

I've almost got all the remaining pattern pieces traced and cut out for the set of tops I want to make. There's only one or two to go, I think.

I have hit a snag though. When I was drawing out the pieces I discovered why it's not recommended for stripes. Basically, the outside yoke is cut on the bias so any pattern there will look really odd with the rest of the top. I'm going to make one out of my nice flowery cloth but I'm going to keep my eye out in the fabric shop and pull out some other patterns for my stripy fabric.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the blurry black and grey stuff.

Stripes And Stripes

Lately, on sewing blogs and the high street, it seems like stripes have fallen out of favor. Maybe it's because polka-dots have stolen the limelight or because they can be really hard to wear well but I think it's a little unfair. (Yes, ignore my polka-dot dress.)

I've got some stripy blue and white fabric in my stash that'll make some lovely tops but I'll be thinking about doing something more directed as well.

If stripes on an entire garment sounds a bit scary, then take a gander at these pretty buttons! They're so cute and quirky. I can just imagine a row of them down the front of a block coloured top.

You can't see the stripes as well on this one even with the bigger picture. The green and white stripes are really thin and it's quite a nice effect if you ask me. I also like the plain bow as an addition.

And for something to remind you of a simpler time, doesn't this make you think of ridiculously long mens swimming suits in black and white pictures? I'd love to wear this at the beach!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

A Painful Read

I've been laid up a bit today because of skin problems (it hurts when I move) so I didn't get any sewing done, but I did read a whole book over two days. I bought it in a charity shop for £1.49 and when I opened it I found out the original price was 99p in a sail. Oh well!

It's a really interesting book and spend quite a lot of time talking about the clothing industry, but it's the sections about car parts, plain parts and drugs that will stick with me.

If you see it then pick up a copy. It's a thought provoking read.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Slowly but surely

I'm getting closer to cutting my spring fabric, slowly but surely. I've been tracing and cutting my paper pieces and I managed to pack them in tight on the paper. I'm really proud of it.

You can't see the edge where I put the back piece further away from the edge but you live and learn.

I got 4 pieces and I think I have all the ones for view D. I'm planning to make them all, so I have a lot of tracing to do.

Don't Worry, I'm Not Up The Duff

I've been spending quite a bit of time looking at pictures of kids clothes lately. I'm not pregnant and I'm definitely not planning to have a sprog for a while yet (two or three years, at least). That being said, kids clothes are a great place to look at really sweet, pretty styles and I won't accidentally spend a fortune while browsing.

I've actually been thinking of giving kids clothing construction a go, lately, so I can make a bit of extra cash by selling. It's an interesting area and I won't be tempted to make the garments all in my size and then keep them.

A little bit of inspiration for kids clothes:

Friday, 19 April 2013

Slow Progress

I washed all of my spring/summer wardrobe fabric today, and it looks like a clothing factory in my kitchen. You can't see but the fabric in the middle is hung from the very top. I almost couldn't fit any more on. 

Since I finally got a washing machine a few days ago I can not only wash cloth at home but I can wash it as well as I need. I ran this stuff round once with non-bio washing liquid and an extra rinse, then again with no product. If I don't it can make my skin a mess. I know you guys might find it boring but this really makes me happy.

I got three other pieces cut out and went over all the lines in pen, but I had wanted to do more. I had to put a cold compress on my eczema and there's only so much you can do with a bag of frozen peas up your dress.

Pattern Review Challenge

I've decided to enter my first contest over at Pattern Review! I didn't even realize they did them until I started reading through the old posts at Male Pattern Boldness but now I really want to become part of the community and have some fun competing.

The contest I've entered is 2013 Accessory Inspirations. You might have noticed the icon on the side bar of the blog that I put up a while ago, but it was a bit hard to get really excited till our inspiration photo was uploaded.

We're supposed to be basing our sewing project on these gorgeous pair of shoes:

I like them but it feels a bit odd basing an outfit on a pair of shoes I don't have. I have big ideas for what I want to do and I have till the beginning of may to collect the components I need so I've got something to channel my enthusiasm into, including buying my own shoes to go with it.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

A New Project

I've finally started on my Newlook 6705 top. I only ironed the pattern paper and copied one piece today but I'll have more time tomorrow. I went on a date today and watched two movies so I have a decent excuse.

The fact that I was on a date didn't stop me from going to the fabric shop, but he enjoys it at least half as much as I did and bought clay to practice making dolls faces so I don't feel to bad.

When we were in the craft shop I noticed a book of craft paper and found some with little flowers. I asked why it couldn't be fabric instead, so when we saw some that was amazingly close in the bargain bin he encouraged me to buy it. I got that and a meter of white interfacing for NL6705.

I've been trying not to buy as much fabric at the moment because money is a bit tight, but it's also got me thinking about pattern cutting. As you probably know, sewing patterns from the big companies are for non-commercial use and if I want to sell homemade clothes I'll have to make my own designs.

Luckily I've had these books lying around for about 8 years.

A Steampunk Inspiration and MMM Plans

I'm going into town today to get some white interfacing to help me turn some of my recent fabric acquisitions into simple tops. I'm going to try out some versions of Newlook 6705 because they're nice and simple and having a few tops like that will be good for Me-Made-May.

I'll give you an update on that later but for now lets get our inspiration up in here!

I've been on a bit of a steampunk kick as of late, and it feels like I'm not the only one. Results for steampunk in searches seem to be going up exponentially, but some of that is because you can try to sell almost anything as steampunk if you stick a couple of cogs on it. Just go look at Regretsy if you don't believe me.

That being said, some of this stuff is pretty damn cool. Take this "harness", for example. It's mostly decorative and the back is just a strip of elastic so that it fit's more people better but it looks good for adding a little interesting detail to an outfit without going overboard (which is easy with this style).

The keys are a bit much for me but I really like the chains and cogs.

There are some parts of the dress below that I'm not a fan of, most notably the mustard colour and the lace along the top, but I really like the corset. The panels at the front and sides are made from fabulous fabric with words and images printed on it that I really want some of, but the black pieces stop it from overpowering the piece.

There's something a little bit different about this one. That's right, it's for a man! There is a reason for that. I've recently snagged myself a boyfriend who likes getting dressed up almost as much as me. You might start to see one or two items made for him but I'm going to be a bit selfish for a while, at least till the end of May.

There doesn't seem to be as many good steampunk clothes for men, but that goes for most styles. This kind of waistcoat over shirt outfit seems to be the most popular and it's one that my boyfriend rocked on our third date.

This isn't the best example of it, it's pretty simple and basic, but the bleaching(?) design on the shirt is interesting.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Tight Lacing My Tush!

Those of you who've read my blog even slightly will guess that I'm a fan of corsets. The fact I said I was wearing one yesterday was probably the most recent hint.

I wouldn't get corset piercings, but this lady just looks so awesome! I don't even have my ears pierced, but I digress.

This might not technically be a corset but it has the wonderful combination of see-through fabric and actual cups that make your breasts feel like breasts and not pancakes.

I'm pretty sure this woman is made of awesome. Not only does she look like a steam punk pirate but her corset matches her trousers. Gotta love a girl who can coordinate!

You can never go wrong with leather, or with an underbust corset that looks like it was built for your body. The way the top edge follows where her underwire would go is really cool. Also, leather and buckles!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

I've Been Away For A Bit...

I haven't been updating the blog for a few days because I got all busy making my 40s dress and my body hates me.

On the up side, I now have a boyfriend!

I'll tell you about the dress tomorrow. For today, I want to whine about my skin. I've had eczema all of my life but it hasn't been this bad since I was in high school. Add to that the fact that I tend not to go to the doctor till it gets horrendous.

It should be fine as long as I moisturize it properly and don't scratch it but that's the hard bit. It feels so good to rake my fingernails over it, I go weak at the knees when I rub it, that I just can't stop myself. That's why I've spent the last few hours in a corset. When this finally goes away I'll probably be getting rid of the damn thing because it's become to big for me (you can tell because the pieces meet at the back and front) but that just means I need to learn to make them!

I might need to make some jeans as well...

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Frilly, Frilly Petticoats!

The clothes I want to make seem to be a nice mix of the old fashioned and the vaguely ridiculous, and what would either of those be without petticoats? I'm ashamed to admit that I've never worn a petticoat. When you live in baggy jeans and second hand trousers there really isn't the need, but as I start making my dream wardrobe you'll be seeing a lot of 50s dresses and petticoats to puff them out.

I've been having a little snoop at the different types of petticoats available to buy and I've had a lot of fun. These two seem to be the simplest types with waistband and gathered waist.

The first one, a simple white cotton skirt to wear under clothes, seems to be there more to protect the upper layers more than to add bulk. It also stops your skirt/dress getting caught on your tights. The second is a lace, ruffle bottom slip that's a bit more ornate than the other but not by much. It's just a couple of rectangles sewn together with some elastic and really easy to make.

The next one is built like every tutu you've ever seen, it's just netting gathered in a waistband. It's easy to make but can be quite itchy and add bulk to the wrong places.

With this petticoat we're starting to get to the shapes I like. This is a 50s style petticoat so it's a shape I know I work well with and this may sound childish but it feels fun to spin in. :-)

Finally, the fluffy little Lolita style petticoats. They may not be something you can wear every day but they feel really special if you get them out every now and again.

One thing is for certain, I need some. :)

Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Toile Is Finished!

I haven't been able to post much about my personal projects for a little while, mostly because I didn't get much done. New friends have been monopolizing my attention.

I had time for sewing today because I was having my washing machine delivered! Yay, no more dog hair or washing powder I'm allergic to in my clothes!

I finally got all the darts in the back sewn and attached it to the toile today. The fabric is very see through but the fit seems good enough So I'm finally going to get cutting the proper fabric.

Just ignore my knickers!

Sadly the next step is to unpick the zip so I can use it in the black dress. :(

Monday, 8 April 2013

Starting The Back

I've finally started the back of the dress. It's been a long time coming but I'm getting close to having a finished toile. I just marked the seam allowances and sewed the darts today but tomorrow I should be working on the skirt back and sewing the whole thing together.

On a side note, these were the first darts I'd sewn in eight years. That's my excuse for the first one being a bit iffy.

A Sad Lack Of Capelets

I know a lot of you won't be interested in my little detail posts but if you can put up with my daily updates you can put up with this. These posts are starting to make me realise that my personal taste is often quite a bit more theatrical then my wardrobe, but when I'm getting ready in the morning I tend to just grab the closest top and bottom that fit me and look kind of okay (and then lounge around the house feeling kind of depressed, but that's another issue).

One item of clothing I definitely want to add to my active wardrobe is caplets. They look so cute and old fashioned but quite stylish and immediately make an outfit look thought out. Am I the only one who thinks that?

Firstly a little point about spelling. It seems that caplet is the correct spelling, but capelet is widely used as well, so make sure to search for both if you look online!

The caplet with grey roses looks complicated, but since the ribbon was part of the fabric it would be a lot simpler to make. You can even make the roses on the fabric yourself. It's beautiful combined with a simple matching dress.

The second caplet looks like it was pulled out of someones sepia toned dreams of the past. It's made out of layers of lace and looks really dainty and girly. I love the addition of pearls to make it that little bit more romantic.

I don't think this quite counts as a caplet but it's similar enough that I wanted to include it to give a bit more variety and some ideas. The lace section does up with a zip at the back and the waist is loose and tightened with a cord. The seller is describing this as a prom dress but I think it looks more like a nightgown.

The purple dress is a simple kind of style to the pink one but the bodice construction is different. The bodice zips up the back and the three layers of mock-caplet are split at the back. It looks very simple, and it is, but it gives a really pretty effect.

The zebra dress looks like it would be perfect on the beach. I've never seen the fabric coming down from a sleeveless top like this but it's pretty and very relaxed. It also looks like it would be really good if you don't want to add width to your shoulders.

This caplet and dress set really shows what I like about these clothes and is my favourite cut. When it's cut at the underbust level a caplet really emphasises the waist and draws attention to the difference in size between that and the shoulders. If that's your best area then it's worth some thought.

(black caplet with edging source)

These final two take this to the extreme! When you put a caplet over a corset you can't help but see the feminine shape. The two styles really work together as well, old fashioned and dressed up.