Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Black Denim Jacket Finished

I finished the jacket and quite a lot of time went into this, more so because of the lining which I like to finish off by hand where it meets the jacket as the lining fitted this jacket so closely I had to ensure it sat well.
The buttons I chose were 50p each which is more than I would ever normally spend on buttons but they were the only ones in the shop that I felt went with it.  I also did not have any to re-purpose for this project.
I would have needed 10 buttons but they only had 8 and as I really wanted them I decided to make the jacket without the side straps. ( You know the little tabs on either side of denim jackets that have a little button)
A day light picture!
Here you can see the pink and white lining

I don't think you can see clearly here but the buttons have a sight curve and are a bit distressed not just plain silver. It gives it a bit more interest. Still needing a bit more more pressing around the last few finished edged to make it more crisp.

I have just looked at this picture and thought I should have added an inside pocket it would have taken no extra time at all really. Damn! I will have to do another in a different colour.
I thought I may as well go outside in the last bit of daylight and take a couple wearing it. 

A couple of things I will change, as I said the other day I will make the pattern a little smaller in the back but it is ok for fitting winter stuff under without being bulky.  I will probably buy ordinary cheap lining in a bright colour, the Paul Smith is lovely but for what you see of it, hardly worth the extra. ( Just a little design feature I fancied really that only I really know about. Oh and now you!) 
I will also have to start sourcing buttons again, years ago I used to have quite a collection but many bags and clothes later I have used them all up and wow have they gone up in price.
Another good thing that has come out of making such a time consuming item is it makes you really think how on earth can they ever sell stuff in Primark for a fiver and anybody make a living? People are getting screwed over so others can have cheap clothes.  Maybe everyone should have to make a really time consuming item and then get paid a few pence for their trouble and see how well that sits with them.
Sorry I am dissolving into a rant on ethical clothing, back soon.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Burda Black Denim Jacket and Random Bits

Sorry for the absence. I have had a more productive week and I feel like I have had more time for me and less time worrying about work but I only just got around to doing this!
I decided to renew my swimming membership this week it just wasn't worth paying weekly as I would end up wanting to go more often and this way I can just go when I want. It still works out to the same amount for just going once a week.
I feel I am making progress with the guitar playing, I can play a few songs now (perhaps not very well but still) and I can change most of the main chords quickly.  I made a promise to myself to practice every night so that is what I do.  If I never play it for anyone else I don't care, I wanted to learn and I'm going to see it through so I am feeling really positive about that.  Also my fingers no longer hurt as they are quite tough now and shapes I never thought I could get into quickly are now possible so perseverance does pay off.
I am reading 'Mindset' by Carol Dweck this week, not quite finished it but I would have preferred more tips and less anecdotal stories.

The book is about how people can achieve their full potential and that many people are stuck with a thought process that tells them if they are not good at something without effort then they are no good and can never be talented in that area. The argument is that successful people never stop trying to learn and improve and being the smartest at the start of life does not always transfer to a successful life.
Interesting stuff however she has a more academic book available on the subject and one review did say she had simplified this book too much so maybe I will check out her other work.
Today I have spent the afternoon sewing finally! I started the denim jacket that I bought the fabric for in the summer. Now that the weather is turning I felt more inspired to make it.
I am using a Burda pattern, I don't use many patterns but as this was very structured I decided to use one.
The only downside to this being everything takes so much longer than when I do my own thing as I am using somebody else's instructions etc.

I am doing 'A' style but in black, I am also lining mine in pink and white stripe Paul Smith shirting.  It is not lined on the pattern so I will sort that part myself.
The thing with doing these commercial patterns is all the cutting out of bits!  I spent ages just getting the pattern pieces sorted, I've usually made a dress in the time it took me to cut pieces!
Flimsy tissue paper!
I had to be quick and move these as we were also cooking Sunday dinner.

I enjoyed doing it and I sometimes forget how relaxing it is to just lose yourself in some sewing especially something like this where I have to concentrate. It definitely calms your mind. I got all of it put together apart from the sleeve bands and I still need to do rest of button holes and buttons.  I will sort the lining tomorrow it would have been completed today but as I am lining it there were bits I couldn't finish until that is in.
Here is where I am up to so far...

I am pleased with it so far but if I make it again I will alter the pattern and make the back smaller as I like jackets more fitted, but saying that if it is for Autumn I may want to fit jumpers under it so we will see.
I am also wondering whether to make the collar slightly narrower? I have already made it smaller than the pattern but I am wondering is it still a bit 70's. I will decide tomorrow when I finish off and hopefully then get some better pictures of it finished.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Feeling Positive

After a shaky start to last week I am feeling much more positive, there are so many things that I wouldn't change that it left me thinking why was I feeling so low about the new term. I have a choice in what I do and if an opportunity presents itself that I think is better then I will act on it, otherwise I will do my best with a smile on my face and not let trivial things spoil my day.

Here are some wonderful quotes that I want to share, these are my favourites...

God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can,and the wisdom to know it's me.  -Author unknown

I'm working on it!

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.  - Berthold Auerbach

I have music on in the car every day on the way to work and it never fails to lift my mood.

All happy people are grateful. Ungrateful people cannot be happy. We tend to think that being unhappy leads to complaining,but it's truer to say that complaining leads people to become unhappy. -Dennis Prager

This is one to think about. I tend to think that talking things overs helps but are we in fact fuelling the misery?
There has to be a balance though, a person who goes through life thinking everything is glorious while walls are crashing down around them may be unrealistic if not annoying.
If disaster does strike then I think you are allowed a moan.

Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living!-Amanda Bradley

Thank you friends, you know who you are.
All these quotes are from Inspiration Line  

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Late Summer Lethargy

I haven't  updated this as often recently, or done much sewing, exercising, reading (other than online) or learning Spanish for the last two weeks! I know it's disgusting isn't it? I need to get on with stuff! On the plus side I have practised my guitar every day but I seem to have chopped everything else for the time being.
That is not good, we need balance and I suppose if I go on like this I could ruin my enjoyment by making it the only interest.
There has been  some sewing for others but that is not really sewing in its role as a fun hobby but more an extension of work.
I do wonder whether I should feel guilty or if this slump is just a natural slowing down for a few weeks that I needed to take.  Any motivational book you read ( and I do like those) will tell you to get stuff done, get on, write lists, make stuff happen.  Should we feel guilty when we take our foot off the pedal? Are we allowed a few weeks of not maximising every minute?

It is probably ok  as long as it doesn't become a habit, days should be made the most of but if we are feeling run down then our bodies are probably telling us we need to slow down for a while ( although if you feel like that all the time, see a doctor!)
There is a wonderful list on the The positivity blog 25 ways to motivate yourself. I will be trying most  of them over the coming weeks to get back to a place where I feel more in control of my time. Thank you Henrik.
Personally I think it could be the end of the summer blues, if there is such a thing if not I just invented it.

It has been lovely this week while I was stuck in work (and many of you) and a couple of times I just got home and thought I'd take my cuppa outside and the sun went in or it turned cool. Grrr!! not good.
However new term started I need to get on and make the most of all those bits of daylight we have left when I get home then try and find something to love about the dark nights. Suggestions greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The machine is gathering dust!

I have been a little distracted this last couple of weeks and sewing has taken a back seat.  I decided I wanted to learn to play guitar and I have tried before on  my own from children's books but I got fed up of playing nursery rhymes! I have resolved not to give up this time and I am following an online tutor justinguitar.com
 I have also bought a new guitar, an acoustic,  the one I had my husband bought a few years ago and was a classical.  I have been practising every day for hours! Obviously I can't do much of anything yet but my fingers are certainly getting tougher and a bit stretchier so I am sure in time it will come.

I have bought a couple of books from justinguitar one from a music shop in the city and I have ordered another from the site direct but unfortunately this one has not arrived! It is a good site and relies on donations and purchases to fund it but it is free to those who can't afford any of that.
So currently my sewing machine does not call to me, wanting to learn to play is occupying all of my free time and as I am now back at work I am having to choose one or the other.  I will see if I can spare the machine some time at the weekend!

Another Shift Dress

The dress I made today is from the free New Look pattern I got with Sew magazine last month. It is very similar to the scuba dress I made bu...