Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Little Fox Tank Top/Vest Top

This small piece of fabric (printed jersey)  arrived last week from ebay, it is small only half a metre but not at all wide so I was a bit stumped as I had thought I could squeeze a little top  of that but after laying it out I could see there was no room for sleeves so it would have to be sleeveless. 
Just managed it as you can see but would have preferred sleeves, I can layer it with a longer sleeved top underneath as it turns to autumn though.  The bottom band was eaked from the bit that was left, without it the top would have been too short.
Although I have p[laced it here to show you it wasn't cut from the bottom of this fabric but the side of where I cut the pieces if you get what I mean, still the right way up of course.  This did mean there wasn't enough fabric left for sleeves and not a lot for facing either.

My stitching was playing up here and on removal of the plate it was full of fluff underneath and in need of a clean, whoops! All working fine now.

That just added a bit of length to the bottom, I suppose if you had contrasting fabric in a similar material you could use that if you are pushed or just using up oddments.
The neck and armholes had to be faced in pale green binding as that is all I had, you can't see it when it is on and it is not bad when you can see it. 

I washed this fabric before cutting and it has washed nice,  they do lots of different prints so I may be buying more in future but a larger piece next time.  I will see how this one lasts with more washing and wearing first. 

It is hard to believe it is the last week of the summer holidays, but walking the dogs in the park the weather is beginning to feel different, lots of leaves down already too.  Last night just as it had started to go dark there was a bat flying around the back garden and past the window, I was stood there a while watching it.  There was just enough light left to be able to see it and with the dining room light off this made it easier to make out. 

My husband is in the middle of building me a green house using the old base from the raised pond, it has a wooden frame and he has completed most of it already.  He has been out there all weekend and some of last weekend too.  Lots of photographs have been taken of the process he assures me so I will share that soon.  We will need to price up the best budget friendly place to get glass cut and we have ordered some woodstain today from Wilko as they have it at half price, so glad we didn't buy it from B&Q yesterday.  I always forget about Wilko I don't know why because on the odd occasion we are in one we find things cheaper.  I think it may be because we don't generally browse shops so when we need something DIY based the usual places just come to mind.  Note to self to check Wilko first, I am not working for them I must add!  It is just based on todays trip out to buy paint,  they didn't have our shade in the store so we came back and ordered it from the website. 

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Amy Butler Print Blouse

I have had this piece of fabric a while and I love the print and the colours so I have used little bits in other things.  It is only now that I have decided to commit to the remainder and make a garment with it but it does mean that I will match some of my soft furnishings when I wear it.  A bit weird I know but maybe I will just have to stay out of the house.
Here are my cut out pieces for my blouse (own pattern).
Recognise the fabric from my Japanese pinwheel cushions if not they are here in February Patchwork Challenge  and here in Japanese Pinwheel Patchwork.  You can also see the fabric in use as a runner here in my retro cupboard makeover.  So I am sure this is not the end of it as there are the little bits left from where I cut out the blouse so they will probably be used for something.

The darts were added once I had sewn the shoulders and side seams as I tend to find I end up moving things around anyway, so now it just appears to be easier to do it this way around.

                   I pin it all up on here then have a quick try on to see it is correct and then sew.
I have added a side zip, just a small one to make it easier to pull on and off due to all the fitting,  I also went for the small sleeves with elastic as I did this on my elephant blouse which is a favourite of mine and I like the result.   The neck is faced and then hand sewn as I do feel you get a nicer finish sometimes than topstitching.
          I have let the darts flow out and shaped the sides a little so it is comfortable for when sitting.

          Not really sure which way was up on this fabric so I went for this way, not sure it matters.

Well  another top completed which is great because that is what I am needing,  due to my obsession with always making skirts and dresses my wardrobe ends up lacking in things to go with skirts and jeans.   I have another little piece of fabric that has just arrived today, it was only a fiver but also only half a metre, I want to make a little T-shirt with that too.  That is my next job.

Monday, 21 August 2017

More Bra and Underwear Making

After spending ages on a bra last week only to decide it wasn't happening due to the wrong lace I was keen to make it work this time and have a wearable garment.  I ordered some more lace from ebay last week, nice and budget friendly, I also saved the bits from the previous project, the underwire and so on.  I did buy a pattern from ebay also, but I have not used it as the style looked so deep so I may do a give away with that at some point and a couple of other brand new patterns I have.  

I decided to use the bra that I deconstructed last week as I know that it is a good fit and I always feel you can't beat things you already own for giving you an idea of fit.  If you have well fitting garments that are past their best but can be used as patterns then you have the basics for making all kinds of things.  Here is the finished set, I will go through below what was easier this time.

I  wanted to make matching knickers to go with the bra so I used a pair I own to get an idea of shape and both pieces have a join down the centre because of the width of the lace and looking at ones that I own this seems to be a common thing.  I used the two colours of lace that I bought  as I wanted this set to be a little different.  I have to say that second time around the bra came together really quickly, I didn't use pads inside like the one I made last week, I wanted this bra to be just lace.

So having already had a go at bra making last week I was more confident in how it went together, there is also the fact that I made a lot of mistakes last time and had that feeling where you think it would have been better if I had stitched it the other way around, or done things in a different order so having that in mind helped.  I did find that I should add the channelling for the bone while attaching the cup to the band, I did this separately last week and got in a topstitching mess.  I really love the way the elastic edging changes the look of the bra, almost instantly making it look more professional.

  It just shows that doing things wrong really is useful!   I know this bra is not perfect and I still have a lot to learn but already I feel more confident with this and that is the main thing.  I have to say it fits perfect, while it doesn't have the moulded pads like a lot of my bras it does have boning and it feels supportive, but I don't really need much support anyway.   The straps are a little wide and I hadn't realised this when I ordered the strap material but I will know for next time.
The little bow on the bra front came with the elastics, but the one on the knickers I had to make so it is not quite as neat.  Looking at this image it could maybe do with a little bow where each cup meets the strap, or would this be bow overload?

I have noticed some of my bras have a reinforced little band at the side but I haven't done one, time will tell if this was required.
Here you can see the straps are quite wide.

I just used the stretch lace no additional elastic and they feel secure.

I only had purple soft jersey that was closest in colour so I used that for the gusset.
In all I am very happy with how this all turned out, it has certainly inspired me to make more but I have an eye out for where I can source inexpensive materials.  The different types of elastic can be expensive and I am loath to spend large amounts on little pieces of elastic!  If anyone knows a good source please let me know, I have seen some nice little stores on Etsy but with the postage it can still be pricey when you factor all the little bits.  As ever I like to reuse so this project had bones from the old bra that I used as a pattern and I will not be getting rid of any bras in future without first taking off all the little loops and bones. 

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Making a Bra

Well the last two afternoons have seen me kept busy trying to make a bra, not a floppy one but a structured one with bones.  Now rather than go about it  the usual way and make sure I had everything in place and some decent instructions to follow, I dived in a deconstructed an old bra of mine.  Now this in itself took a while and I have to say what a lot of faffy little bits there are.
Here I am part way through unpicking.

Now I had ordered some lace weeks ago (described as lingerie lace) and some of the notions for bra making.  The lace arrived and my husband said what are you making with this green net curtain! Well I am not sure about net curtain, although possibly? But it certainly was not what I had in mind so really I should have held fire on using that straight way.  I didn't in case you are wondering I ploughed ahead and cut out my pieces!

As I didn't have any moulded cups other than the ones from the old bra I had a go at covering these, in some soft jersey. They didn't hold their shape well with something on them and I felt I was constantly giving them a little smooth out to be sure.

There were also other little mishaps with the lace type, it felt like it was snagging on my hands constantly and I don't have rough hands.  Still in the spirit of not letting it win on I went.  From unpicking and restitching I do feel I have learnt quite a bit about how the garment comes together and I am sure there are lots of little tricks out there to save time, improve fit etc. 

Here are the suspicious looking net curtain pieces. Ha ha

Right this is as far as I got before I decided that this is never going to be worn as it is itchy net style fabric grhhh... I have gathered quite a bit of info from working on it though so all is not lost, the cups sit correctly, it has bones and I have had a play around at trying to sus how to make cups fit without the moulding (but I do need a  bit of that).  In the picture above I had not added the elastic, straps or bow as I would only be taking them off again for my next try.  I don't want to waste any bits.

I will source some better lace and try again, I feel it is important to show that not everything always goes well and that I am constantly learning too, the actual act of hand stitching some bits of the bra was very relaxing as I don't mind that so I will push on and try again. 

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Late Summer Blouse with Slit Sleeves

Todays make is a floaty chiffon and was supposed to be nice and quick, it very nearly was but I snipped it with my very sharp scissors and sat and stared at it for ages!  The problem was a bit of cotton sticking up I thought I'll just get rid of that, then oh dear!   Well I had already decided on the style of the sleeve this just meant they were open a little further up than I planned and as it happens they are probably just right now.

I bought this fabric in Devon earlier in the year for £5, just one metre and I had thought that once I got it home it was a bit matronly however it has grown on me.  It is a cheap and cheerful make and I'm sure it will get lots of wear.  I suppose you just have to find the right idea for every piece.

I thought I would show a neutral image on the mannequin first.

Here you can see the effect on the sleeves.

So this was cut out roughly on the kitchen table, pinned on to stand and then overlocked.

I have found draping fabric on here helps me get an idea if I like the shape I'm making, it is so much easier than constant trying on although I do still do that a lot.

I pinned the neck and to be honest all it really needed was a very narrow hem, the fabric is so fine I thought any bulk would spoil it.

The skirt I am wearing in this image also had a makeover today, it was a bargain ebay buy a while ago.  It was a bit loose on the waist, well you could just pull it way at the back so it gaped, also it was that sort of length to the k nee that stops you walking quickly.  No good for me I walk very fast and I am out with the dogs a lot so I don't need anything restricting my stride.  I decided to shorten it and take it in.

I cut out a V each side because there are belt loops in certain places and this was the easiest option.

Here is the amount I cut off the bottom, it is much more versatile now and in the cold weather I will wear thick tights with it.  You can do something with most items that don't fit, it is always worth a go especially if you intend to throw them out.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Shoe Refashion and Strap Adjustment

Hello I have just come back from a holiday in Somerset so there hasn't been any sewing for a week or so, but now I am back and I just had to tackle these shoes...
Now I bought these before I went away and they are too small as the elastic strap is too tight across the ankle, the other problem was that they are far more colourful in real life than in the picture so I wasn't sure about them either.  The top bead is a really bright yellow plastic and it just wasn't doing it for me.  I thought I would send them back but no the lovely company just sent me a larger pair! 

Well the larger pair were too big as my feet are narrow and just slid straight to the front, also there was still the problem of the bright yellow bead.  My mum loved them so she has the larger pair and I thought maybe I could adjust the strap on the ankle. So I just cut it at the inside foot, then I played around a bit with a bit of narrow ribbon.  When I was happy with the feel I stitched it into place.

Now as I had started I got a bit carried away, I removed all of the beads but I was left with a gaudy, glittery fabric underneath...
I also didn't like the shape of it at this point so as you can see I cut it straight up the sides, I then covered it with lace as you can see on the right and now it was looking more like something I could wear.   Oh I did leave a few beads around the top as you can see as they were not quite so in your face!

It is amazing how comfy these sandals feel now that I have added that bit of ribbon, and I feel the lace gives a much softer finish.  I know some people will feel they looked better before but they were just not me and there is no point in keeping things we will not use or wear.

Happy feet

Here is the ribbon at the side, not the neatest but not noticeable when they are worn.

So now these are done I will look at shoes in a different way, how many pairs have we got rid of that easily have been given a new lease of life? It makes you wonder, while the lace was tricky to sew on it wasn't impossible. I did prick my fingers a number of times but that is nothing new.  With the range of shoe dyes, fabrics, weather proofing spray etc, that is out there we could all be shoe designers.  I will be on the look out, if you decide to do something similar based on this idea please feel free to link back.

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...