Monday, 21 July 2014

Pattern Hacking with Pride

Hi everyone, I hope that you are having a great time and enjoying the weather. I have been so, so busy at work trying to get everything tied up before we all go away for the holidays. All our deadlines are in August,  great timing Me, way to go, so another couple of weeks of frantic work but not too much sewing. Such is the lot of an itinerant scientist!
  However, I am preparing for having some time off and hopefully getting some sewing done.Weekend before last I bought some more fabric. A 1.5 piece of lovely grey cotton batik with a flower design. Isn't it pretty and summery? What was I thinking? Summery? Me? Ha!

This is such a nice light fabric and will be nice and cool plus the colour will work for Autumn.

I also bought another 1.5m piece of fabric which I have plans for..... summery plans (it will be ready for next year at this rate).

This is nothing if not colourful

I was thinking that this might be nice as a sarong skirt. I bought a vintage 1980's pattern from eBay, here it is.  I think that I will make the knee-length one.

Simplicity 8304 sarong style skirt

 It looks pretty easy but I will give you a sneaky peak of a sort-of-sarong hack that I am doing. I can't spill too many beans but I am hacking McCalls 3830 pencil skirt pattern, a favourite pattern of 2012 on Pattern Review. This pattern has great reviews and only has two main pattern pieces (plus the waistband of course but I am not using that for my secret project). 
Traced off the front part.

Pegged it a bit at the bottom by measuring in 1.5cm from the edge and drawing a line with my big-curvy-ruler-thing-that-isn't-a-hip-curve-but-the-other one.

Precision pattern making with a big fat magic marker!

The excess is trimmed off and just gives the pattern a bit more of a va-va-voom vibe rather than office look. I traced the pattern out on pattern paper, doubled it over and just cut round to make one big piece for the front which I am using this principle on (nicked from Winifred Aldritch's Metric Pattern Making) to add some sarong style drape. Basically, just slash, spread and add some more paper underneath.

Winifred really holds you hand through this. Thank you dear.

 Can't show you much else at the moment though. Mwah, haha!

So apart from that I spent bits of last weekend working the F6 Studios stall at Northern Pride and having a bloody good time while I was there. What a great event. We had a soggy Saturday and a sunny Sunday. The weather was glorious. There was cake, rainbows, more rainbows and a Lady Gaga impersonator (she was brilliant) as well as loads of other stuff going on.  I am knackered from all the too-ing and fro-ing and it is only Monday. Last weekend was 6am starts EVERY DAY!!! Shouldn't be allowed.

So I hope that you have got more sewing done than me and that you are all enjoying the fabulous weather.

Have a great week!
K xx

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Rip it Up and Start Again.........

Seems like ages since I have posted anything but I have been snowed under with work (as per...). Think that you have got something done then three things come along to take its place!  Added to that I forgot to bring a USB cable so and had to snaffle mine from work today to download pics from my camera. Still I am off on holiday in about three weeks and it can't come soon enough. Two weeks of being home and NOT living out of a suitcase sounds utterly fantastic to me.

This actually looks like a collar!

I did get a little sewing done this weekend though. I did a bit of my shirt and all was going swimmingly. I top-stitched the front bands without sewing wobbly lines, my sleeves went in without so much as a single pucker but the collar. Quelle horreur!

Not even pressed yet and the tacking stitches still in but looking good,

 I totally screwed up somewhere and one end was a little longer than the front of the shirt. No pictures of the pig's ear I made of it or I will cry. I must have stretched it when I was sewing it but it still fitted perfectly over the other which was covered in fusible interfacing. I don't know what I did but after half a dozen attempts I had to stop and do something else. The other end was perfect as well. Not sure whether to unpick it all or just a bit, or even cut a new collar. Not sure if I have enough fabric for that one though. Stopped in a hissy fit before I put the cuffs on as it was liable to meet a gruesome end with my fabric shears otherwise. Anyway I think that it covers my ginormous bosom fits ok.

Really need to add front darts.

I should really have trimmed all the threads of before Sprogzilla took this

Talking of fabric I have bought lots. The red linen that I got a couple of weeks ago, green star-spangled cotton for Sprogzilla's shirt, the orange polka dot for my sheet shirt facings and some bits of Solstiss lace for some corsetry work I am doing,

Small, but perfectly formed.

Solstiss are a family lace-making company based in Caudry in the north of France. There is a long tradition of lace making in Caudry which started with the introduction of a smuggled  English loom in 1808 (from Nottingham, natch) and was aided by French modifications by a M. Jacquard (who knew?) to allow the loom to use pattern cards (a Jacquard loom) to produce Leaver's Lace. They are the only remaining lace making town in France and even have a lace museum there. I would love to go to that, especially since they have a current exhibition of dresses from the film, "The Great Gatsby". Never seen it but I loved the book and the costumes look incredible.

Look at the beauty! Source

Solstiss supply lace to lots of the big couture houses and even made the lace designed by Sophie Hallette for the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress. With such a pedigree it would normally be well out of my beer-bottle budget but I managed to find some small pieces for sale which were not too expensive. They are small but perfectly sufficient for what I need. It is pretty hard to get good lace these days.

I also bought a couple of vintage patterns from eBay as I do when I am bored. I am going to use the sarong skirt to make something a bit cheesy and Tiki-inspired when the right fabric comes along.

This is a bit of inspiration for a pattern hack I will be doing shortly.

Simplicity 8706. Do you think that this would work with a border print?

The dress, well I have a border print linen but I don't know if the pattern will work with a flare?
Anyway, I had better skedaddle as I have work to do tonight. BOO!!
Leaving you with a song.


Hope that you are all having a sunny summer week.
K xx