Friday, 30 October 2015

A basic autumnal top

I'm still working away at the forest green wool jacket I started a few weeks ago but...the clocks have gone back one hour so by the time I get home it's dark. Dark green thread is almost as difficult to see by artificial light as black thread! I also don't want to make a silly mistake by rushing things with the jacket just because I don't want to wait for daylight to see things properly.

So, what better thing to sew than a light coloured jersey top! See what I did there...a subtle segway! This is another favourite New Look 6216 in view A. Basically, I add as much length to the sleeves when I'm pinning the pattern pieces onto the fabric, as I can. I think the pattern has three quarter length sleeves but getting full length sleeves just depends on the width of your fabric. Some you win, some you don't.
I bought the fabric from Edinburgh Fabrics a few weeks ago and pre-washed it before it lay in 'The Heap' in my (self-proclaimed) sewing corner of the living room. I think it's a viscose jersey and I can't remember if it has any lycra in it but it is good and stretchy. I like how the pattern looks like it has autumnal flowers and leaves on it, probably due to the colours. It's got a bit colder here in Edinburgh so I feel the need for long sleeves and this top is a perfect quick make and yay! eligible for the Fall Essentials Sew-Along. I used my overlocker throughout but used a twin needle for the hem and sleeve hems. I didn't use it around the neck band, it just didn't need it.

Booooo! With the clocks going back an hour, it's drastically reduced the time when I can take photos outside and benefit from all photos are inside *sigh*.

Participating in Gillian's Better pictures Project has made me think more about background and lighting though so let's hope you can see some thought in these photos! And I've accessorised it with a co-ordinating scarf...standards are being dragged up ever so slowly!

...and a fun shot showing the batwing/kimono sleeves...whatever the difference is between the two! Any ideas?

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge top

Taa dah!!! This is the third garment I said I'd sew for my Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge 2015. My pledge was for 3 garments so I'm ahead of time, yay! There could be another one simmering away in the darkest recesses of my brain but that's a place we don't really want to go!

The fabric is totally man-made. No natural fibres here. At. All. The pattern is Butterick 6693 (links to an Etsy listing so when someone buys it, it's gone). There isn't any copyright year printed on this sewing pattern but it looks more likely to be from the second half of the eighties as the pattern envelope artwork looks quite stylish and tasteful. Not something you often find yourself saying about the early eighties!

I made view A. It's a round necked top with off the shoulder sleeve seams. Because of that quite high up neckline I even muslined the pattern! Then there is a front wrap and a back wrap which tie at the side. I added 2" to the body length but that's it for any alterations and I left the neckline alone.

The front and back overwraps all combine to make this quite a heavy top. Surprisingly heavy! It's definitely an autumn top rather than a summer one so it's also an ideal candidate for the Fall Essentials Sew-Along. As you can see I've cunningly accessorised my autumn top with autumnal trees and carefully arranged the fallen leaves in the background. We haven't had a puff of wind or more to the point, downright gale force winds that characterise Edinburgh from October onwards. It was a bit chilly taking these photos though.

This pattern was a little challenging, more challenging than it looks. There's quite a lot going on at the neckline with a complicated facing to sew and a button closure. If I make this again I'll just make the neckline larger so I can do away with this complication. The sleeves were also a bit 'Aaarrrghhh!' to sew. You have to sew up the side seam to the arm. Sew the arm seam and then do a kind-of set in sleeve. Except it's not that easy and involves clipping the body seam allowances to the point where the body stitching ends. There must be another way to do that better and if I make it again, I will modify the arm/sleeve thing. And yes, I think I will make it again in the future.

So, what do I remember from the late-eighties? I was at art college and studying away as you have to with these things. My musical taste veered away from the Top Twenty etc and our art college discos every Friday night played a hefty wallop of soul music - I was introduced and grew to love James Brown  Louis Jordan , The Mohawks The Jackson 5 and even this from Louis Prima was all about the beat (man!), if it had a good beat, we'd dance to it!

I seem to have 'discovered' 1980s vintage patterns! What's that all about? I've really surprised myself with this and if anyone had asked me at the start of the year I'd have said 'No chance' to 1980s clothing and patterns but I seem to be drawn to the bat-wing sleeves and unusual styles. I quite like 1950s clothing but I'm not really a dresses person, as you've probably gathered by the rest of my blog. I've really enjoyed the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge and I'll be looking out for more vintage patterns from now on...and here's a quick 'flash' of the wraps unwrapped!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

A new top and some silly photos

Hello everyone and how is October doing for you? It seems to be the time for me to 'courie-in' (pronounced 'koo-ray in', with emphasis on the first syllable - meaning to get cosy or snuggle). It's getting darker earlier in the evening and as I'm writing this, it's 7pm, I've just shut the blinds and put the heating on for a bit. You'll see by the photos coming up that the leaves are changing colour and falling off the trees.

So I've been making some cooler weather basic tops with longer sleeves and some cosy pyjamas for Rhinestones and Telephones Fall Essentials Sew Along #FESA2015. I've still to blog the pjs but I'm wearing them now. 

I've made another New Look 6216  Well, it must be a good few months since I last made anything with it! I used some lovely jersey fabric I bought last month in Mandors in Glasgow. It's a really lovely weight and the more I worked with it the more I liked it. Does that happen to you too? 

This has lovely colours, a teal, putty and dull lime coloured blobs on a black background. Here's a closer view. The fabric is viscose and perhaps a little pinch of lycra. I rescued it from the remnants bin and cost £7 for the piece, which was at least 2 metres and I think is a good price for the quality. 

I also tried taking some photos outside as my October challenge for The better pictures project from Gillian at Crafting a Rainbow. Now, the challenge is to take some photos of 'movement''re warned....they're coming up!

Again, the location is the communal garden for the block of flats where I live. It's beside a main road with buses passing so plenty of potential for embarrassment! Especially when you're jumping around and then decide to kick the leaves on the grass...well, it would be rude not to! Couldn't resist! I know we're probably supposed to do ladylike poses to show off our clothes but...there were just so many leaves lying around...anyway, have a look for yourselves at the photographic evidence!

Now, I was trying to kick the leaves but these photos just make me think of The Monty Python sketch 'The Ministry of Silly Walks'

One thing led to another and I remembered the classic 'Four candles' sketch by the Two Ronnies so I absolutely had to watch that. Then it was a couple of classic howl out loud clips from Only Fools and Horses, the chandelier clip and the bar clip. Finally, Blackadder and the Dr Johnson's dictionary sketch.

Writing this post took much longer than it should have but I've really enjoyed it and it's certainly made me laugh out loud, hope you did too...and not just at my 'Ministry of Silly Walks' photos in my garden!

Monday, 5 October 2015

UFO now finished!

So, saga of the UFO (or UnFinshed Object). This was a cream top I'd cut out and started sewing together in the summer. I bought the fabric in my first raid on Mandors in Glasgow in April. It has viscose in it and quite a bit of lycra plus something else too that I can't remember. The pattern was my old favourite Simplicity 1364. There's 50% off Simplicity patterns just now, by the way.

I got as far as sewing in the zip then ignored it. For a couple of months. The problem was with the stretchy fabric, when I sewed the zip I just sewed in a whole load of tiny tucks. Unintentionally. Yes, I'd basted the zip in position and whip stitched the two edges together as I always do. You see, I actually like sewing in zips and take a good bit of satisfaction in a well sewn zip. There! I've said it!

So, a couple of weeks ago I decided to unpick the machine stitching and try sewing it again. Slightly better result but still more tiny tucks than I could ever live with. Out with the seam ripper. Again. This time I also unpicked my basting and ironed on some interfacing strips along the zip stitching lines. I'll show it who's boss! Then I basted the zip in again and sewed it for the third time. See! I do have patience. When I'm determined a pesky zip won't get the better of me! This time it worked.

If this hadn't worked, Plan D involved me unpicking all the basting and hand sewing the b***** zip in! Then of course the only thing I had to do were the hems. Never my favourite job it was another week or so before I finally hemmed and finished it yesterday. Yay!

I didn't feel too well yesterday so I have taken some photos of the top on a hanger. I like this top on and I'll get good use of it in the winter, worn with a cardigan or jumper. It looks much better on than it does on the hanger but I just wasn't up to going outside to take photographs.

Preparations for the green wool jacket are continuing. It never ceases to amaze me just how much time and preparation goes into getting everything ready before you even sit down at the sewing machine. I've bought some 100% cupro lining fabric from John Lewis at the weekend but I've still to pre-wash it. I'm not going to wash the jacket but wanted some kind of treatment before I cut it out and it should also be a safeguard for when I get it dry cleaned.

Saturday was a better day for me and I cut out and sewed up a simple jersey top using a £7 remnant I bought in my second raid on Mandors a couple of weeks ago. Still to be photographed and blogged. Why does it feel so good sewing up something from a remnant? Making use of an end of the roll or off cut of fabric? It was cheap and wearable? Whatever the reason, it feels good!