Monday, 13 October 2014

Diane, it's 8:22 pm...

It's that time of year again. Game of Thrones quotes are ubiquitous, Pumpkins are being unceremoniously piled into the nooks and crannies of every supermarket and FASHION is trying to sell us the idea of warm jumpers that stop at the under boob.
Well, I refuse to fall into these sticky traps.
Winter is Coming and this year, I'm not that into it (gasp!)
Ok, ok... I'm sort of into it. But reluctantly.

Recently I've ditched sewing for knitting. Even more recently I've ditched knitting for sewing. What on Earth is causing this promiscuity with my hobbies?
Well....... firstly I just couldn't fathom exactly what I wanted to sew. I've wanted to try making a shirt for ages, purely because RTW just don't cater for my fleshy landscape (I guess it's a bit like turfing Mt Everest... too many footholds and craggs.) but my appraisal of my own skills determined that NO WAY would I be able to whip up a shirt that was anything other than a plaid mess. Actually, the whole process of fitting the bastard thing would probably result in one of my eyes spontaneously ejecting . Soooo, sewing went on holiday for a bit.
Step up KNITTING. I got my needles out and dusted off my lust pattern the Ginny.  I'm a bit of a sucker for owls and I figured the pattern would be enough to keep me entertained while i relentlessly knotted a zillion stitches into a form fitting winter worthy cardigan. It was going well.... AMAZINGLY well..... TOO WELL,
Vincent and his deformed brother Percival
I'd polished off the rib in a few hours, Vincent the first owl emerged with perfect stitch count and then..... well, Percival, owl number 2 became a victim of David Lynch. David Lynch buggered my cardigan. Fer real.
Specifically we've been re-watching Twin Peaks because AMAZING (Side-note... NEW SERIES WHooooooooooo, maybe.). So engrossed was I in the shady doings that I lost a few key stitches..... twice. So on Friday I cast Ginny aside in deep despair and flounced onto a chaise lounge with hand to forehead.

At around this point in time I read  Lladybird's post on her Mabels ; aside from being a pretty inspiring sewing wizard, she'd also just made a shirt. The signs were there. The shirt had to be made.
The last couple of days I've been whipping up a plethora of toiles to get my Simplicity 1538 fitting like a Boss.
I can't say I've enjoyed the repetitive process of tracing, altering, cutting, sewing, pinning, retracing but it is quite a leveling thing to do. The prospect of having a shirt is exciting. So far I've taken 1" out the overall length, pinched a bit out the front arm scye and added it into the back, changed the gathers into a box pleat and done a 3" sway back adjustment ( Seriously, no wonder shirts never fitted. I only found one website that dealt with a alteration of such immense size over at Miss P, in fact without her wisdom, this shirt would be in the bin right now) Ugh. I'm finally on the home straight of cutting out my serious fabric (and it is pretttttty serious fabric) but I shall leave a picture of my first muslin because I think it illustrates perfectly why I never became a fashion designer.
Do you find you have any CRAZY BIG alterations that seem to be necessary?  Do you ever worry the perfect fit is eternally elusive?
Seriously sexy fabric mixing

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

My Boobs are Pretty Friendly (Elisalex)

**Edit. Mortified to find an unfinished post had been published with the heading 'My boobs are pretty'

Can you keep a secret? /whispers* My nipples are absurdly close together *

 Two weeks Months ago I embarked upon what was to be, a journey of discovery. I cracked open the By Hand London  Elisalex pattern.
This pattern had been earmarked as my dress to wear to my Brother-in-Laws* wedding, and I realised, as I wiped a bead of sweat from my time marker, that the wedding was but 5 short weeks away.
I set to making a toile with a quasi religious fervor. Toile one was thrown away in disgust. I didn't want flat boobs and a baggy waist. Toile two fared marginally better but was still grossly lacking.
By the third try, I needed help. I signed up for the Craftsy fast track fitting course with Joy Mahon. (Massively helpful) WELL. what would you know? All my reworkings for a f.b.a were for nothing. I wasn't battling against merely bigger boobs, OH NO. They were bigger and closer together and higher than average. Typical. Stupid boobs.

Still, despite that ( and despite the fact that I still need to tweak it for the final garment ( brother-in-laws wedding) I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this dress. It could only be loved more if it came with free face augumentation. So, here it is. My , Elisalex, rendered in quality charity shop curtain fabric. It is glamorous and vampish but still perfectly suited to the everyday. I'm totally in love.
Just trying to ignore the camera
"Oh! what are YOU doing here?"

Just relaxing next to some classical graffiti
It is worth noting that these pictures were taken in Prior Park in Bath. BE-AU-TI-FUL. Even better was the fact that we had free tea, coffee and biscuits and were visited by lots of dragonflies.

See, totally stunning !!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Ahoy hoy!

I know, I know! My productivity knows NO BOUNDS!!!
First of all I write a manifesto of a make a week and then I break it almost immediately. If nothing else, I am HELLISH good at procrastinating.
For the record it has been a mentally hectic year. We are now located 150 miles West of Brighton in the slightly larger city of Bristol. This is AWESOME and also TERRIFYING. Actually the seeming lack of decent fabric shops here is terrifying... we seem to have a maaaasssive Fabric Land and not much else. Certainly not much else in the way of non-cotton/upholstery fabric shops. Ho Hum, Birmingham is but 90 minutes by train although mentioning that with a slight twinkle in my eye worries Oliver something chronic.
ANYWAY I digress, this is firmly about sewing and definitely NOT an exercise in talking total balls.
While I definitely haven't kept to a make a week, I have managed to possibly crack a make a month. Most of these are waiting for a good day to be photographed, but I do have one loooonely item that has been completed.
All HAIL the self drafted Drunken Master Dress :
The name is derived from its inspiration. In this instance Rum and a bad day drove me to finally chopping and sewing . It was surprisingly easy to make. Firstly I traced around an existing vest made of similar fabric, added a seam allowance and cut my top piece at roughly waist length. For my skirt, I did some fancy maths to get a nice amount of gather at the waist... sounding good?
I have ended up with a maxi dress which skims my posterior..barely and only by luck. Tit.
Even worse, I am using this as a wearable toille for two further dresses which are to be made out of the fabric of the GODS. (I would happily marry my planned fabric and live in a psychedelic world of tie dye forever... but ~I digress) In my own world of INFINITE WISDOM I ordered the beautiful fabric based on my needs for this dress ( I was drunk and it seemed to be going pretty well at the time..... blood alcohol levels were pretty good also)
It turns out this is a firm 2 1/2 meter pattern if done CORRECTLY and I now had two pieces of fabric at 1.5meters long.
I almost cried.
I certainly wavered over a Valium when I went to the Ditto website and saw they were out of stock.
Amazingly Sam at Ditto was Super helpful (and quick, I mean, there was a reply within twenty minuites) and had two remnants left which got from Brighton to Bristol in just over a day. Awesome service there.

You may also notice I have not hemmed the dress. This was due to being so crestfallen about the fit.
Oddly enough I've worn this dress quite regularly since making it, but I blame that on being totally taken by supprise with the British summer . Hot. England. What??

Do you have any top fabric shopping Tips for Bristol?
Have you too even failed to factor in a part of your annatomy?
Answers on a postcard please.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

My poor attempt at organising.

During a rare moment of uninterrupted peace I sat down and went through my growing stash of patterns. It occurred to me that just making clothes willy nilly could well result in me having 20 winter/spring dresses ready for summer and a coat which I was disinclined to finish at the height of summer.
At last,I thought. I have organisation licked.
I thought too soon. By the time I was sat down, caffeinated drink number 5 had been quaffed and my calm moment of reflection and planning turned into a frenzied wild-eyed mania of page turning and trouser lusting.
So I am left with a projected wardrobe fit for a 5' 10" leggy type and not the Sasquatch-esq figure I have inherited through natural selection ( I'm still trying to figure out how evolution coupled these thighs with a larger bust. Given the lack of distance between the two I am often in very real danger of injuring myself during running, I presume my use in a wild situation would be to distract the pray through the sheer absurdity of it all.)
Does anyone have any tips on how to work out shape appropriate sewing?
Actually, does anyone have any tips on sewing organization all round?

Tuesday, 21 January 2014


It has been decreed that I should blog. 
Nestled in a tiny corner of the internet I shall sit reviewing, sewing, writing and oooohing! at pretty things.
I'm fairly sure for the mean time this will be the blog equivalent of a primal scream; my textual presence echoing out unread over the binary ocean, but, hopefully in time, this will become an interactive and thriving place where help is given and received and friendships are made. (Gosh. That sounds incredibly twee. Excuse me while I go and vomit.)

I aide this post with the tranquility of Stanmer Park in Brighton. Drink deep from its emerald hues and quench your curiosity with the improbability of a sunny British day.