Sunday, 30 August 2015

Flower Power

Soooo, a couple of weekends ago, I got very productive and made not just one project, but 5 - the spotty dresses I made can be found here, and I also made another car play mat.  Once I had done all of that, I had a rifle through my fabric stash to see what I could make next, and somewhere near the top, I came across this floral polycotton, which I bought a few weeks ago to teach a friend how to make a gathered skirt like my Flamingoes one.  However, when I got to her house, she had already purchased herself some different fabric (more about that later), so the polycotton went in my stash, and to be honest, I had forgotten about it.

Anyway, once I found it again, I decided that as I wanted a fairly easy make, I would make it up as originally intended and make a gathered skirt.  I also figured that as it was quite a dark material, it would make a good autumn skirt, as I think I could get away with it with tights and boots, and I desperately need more autumn and winter clothes, so I'd best get started on them, right after I make a few more summer projects (after all, it is still only August and I have holiday clothes to make).  I also had the most gorgeous mother of pearl buttons that would go perfect with the fabric.  I did um and ah about using the buttons, because is it really jusitified to spend more on the buttons than the fabric?  I went with yes on that one.

So, this was a pretty easy make, other than me interfacing the wrong edge of one of the pieces of fabric, but it is on the inside, so doesn't matter I don't think and I did then interface the correct side.

pretty buttons . . .
It took me a morning to make up and I tried a new gathering technique - using shirring elastic and zig-zag stitching over the top of it.  Once I had mastered how to anchor the elastic at the beginnig (I tied it round a safety pin in the end), this was easy peasy lemon squeezy and I shall be using this technique every time to gather from now on.

the non-interfaced seam
As I have made it before, I only consulted the instructions every now and again, and just to make sure I was doing it correctly.

I managed to do the button holes the correct way round this time (horizontal, not vertical).  However, I did accidentally manage, when cutting a buttonhole (the one just below the waistband), to cut all the way to the edge of the fabric - I am such an idiot sometimes.  I have decided to blame this on my seam ripper, which I use to do my buttonholes - it shouldn't be so effective!

Anyway, I rectified this quite easily - I simply hand sewed the offending bit of fabric back together.  As the print is so busy, you would only notice this if you looked really closely, an nobody should be looking that closely at that part of my body as far as I'm concerned.

So, after I had finished the skirt, I had enough fabric left over to make another Pippa dress., which had been my intention.  This one is made up as an Age 1.  I found two matching pink floral plastic buttons, which go perfectly, and I had already bought some pink ricrac as decoration.

I didn't line this one, but as I wanted it to be a cool summer dress, I just faced it, as per the pattern.  Instead of simply zig zag stitching the bottom of the facing, I used some pink spotty bias binding to make it look a bit prettier, and tie in all the pink elements.

I was tempted to do the buttonholes in pink, but at the last minute decided against it, and did them in navy so they were as invisible as possible - I thought more pink might be a bit too much.

I hemmed the dress by turning up the hem twice and sewing, then I sewed some pink ricrac over the stitching line, not so much to hide it, but because I wanted to use the ricrac.  Et voila!  This is also in my little Folksy shop :-)  There will be more going in this over the coming weeks/months - I have plans and ideas!

Anyway, that is it for today . . . on with a few bigger projects now - a shirt dress (finally!) and a dress for my holidays, which if all goes well will be awesome.  Obvs I will share with you when they are finished.

Happy Crafting!


Sunday, 23 August 2015

It Was An Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini

Sooo, actually it's not yellow or a bikini, but it is itsy bitsy and it is dotty . . . 

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I was gifted a load of upholstery weight fabric by a girl I know through Etsy.  I was very excited when she said she had a stash of fabric going free, and I immediately jumped at the chance (making a donation to her charity of choice in the process) to take it off her hands.

Once I got it home though, I realised that, although the fabrics were beautiful, they would just not work for what I wanted to do - most of the pieces were too small to make anything meaningful, so I gave most of it to the step-mother (non-wicked) who will use it to make beautiful cushions (some of which had better make it into my house - just saying!).

I did, however, keep one piece, which was not only large enough for me to make something, but I also knew exactly what I was going to make the minute I laid eyes on it - Butterick 3772, a previous incarnation of which can be found here.  For some reason, even though I am not the biggest fan of children, as is well known, I do like sewing their clothes - I think it is more of an instant satisfaction thing, as they take a fraction of the time to make that my clothes do and I don't have to faff with fitting - most of the time they fit straight out of the pack without any issue.

So, anyway. In my pre-B12 injection tiredness, I decided to do my cutting out.  There are reasons every sewist will tell you not to cut out when tired - you  make mistakes!  Exhibit A over here managed to cut out two fronts instead of a back and a front.  Luckily for me, I had just enough fabric to cut out two dresses (as had been my intention anyway), but this error meant that I now had two of the same size, instead of different sizes, but never mind eh?!  I was actually too tired to care.  It also meant that I didn't have enough fabric to face the dresses, but as this is quite a thick and heavy fabric, I had already really decided against that anyway, and had decided to line the dress.  After sending a quick pic of the fabric to my market research consultants (my sisters and nieces), it was decided that the dresses should be lined in orange.  I had envisaged orange satin, but the shop didn't have any and I was too impatient to wait to order some off the interweb, so I got bright orange anti-static lining, which is a polyester, but then again the satin would have been too.  To match the orange theme we had going on, I found some orange plastic buttons - 2 squares and 2 hexagons.  At least the dresses wouldn't be exactly the same.

To line the dress, I simply cut out another front and back from the orange lining fabric and reinforced where the buttons and buttonholes would be with some interfacing.

I then sewed the sides of the lining and the main dress and then sewed the two together at the neckline.  Some notching, cutting in and turning out later, a good press, and voila!  A dress.

I hemmed the lining by topstitching with coordinating thread and I hemmed the main dress with the bias binding technique.  I thought that turning up the dress twice and topstitching would make the hem very bulky, so I sewed on some blue spotty bias binding to the right side of the hem, then turned it up and invisible hand stitched on the inside.  I think this is a really good finish for this dress, if I do say so myself.  I made up the other dress in exactly the same way.

Then came the buttonholing.  I was going to do the buttonholes in orange, but at the last minute decided this would look wrong and went for blue instead.  I think this looks better.  There's not much to say about the buttonholing - the dresses are buttonholed and then I just had to attach the buttons and give the dress a final press.

I don't actually have anyone is mind to give these dresses to, I just wanted to make them, so I have listed them on Folksy.  They are both age 2.

I had a tiny little bit of spotty fabric left over.  I wanted to make another Fedora hat, but even with all the creative cutting in the world I just couldn't get all the pattern pieces out of what I had left, so I decided to make a Gather Kits Tallis Collar instead.  I have made one of these before for my Minnie outfit and remembered it being pretty easy.

I did my best with the pattern matching, but the pattern direction meant that I would never get it as perfect as I would like, but I don't think I did too bad a job.

For the undercollar, I used a scrap of the orange lining and then I finished with some coordinating orange satin ribbon.

I'm not really a collar person, so I don't know if I should keep this in the hope that I will one day wear it, or if I should list it for sale.  It would really jazz up an otherwise plain top.

I have been very busy indeed lately so I have more projects to share with you.

In the meantime . . . .

Happy Crafting!


Sunday, 16 August 2015

Pink Cadillac

Sooo, today I am sharing my second attempt at the Sewing Bee Fashion With Fabric shell top.  The first attempt can be found here.

After making my first attempt (which I still love and wear), I decided some alterations were required - a small FBA and about 2 inches adding to the length, so before I cut out my new shell top, I made this adjustments to the paper pattern.  I have done a few FBAs now, but I still feel that I need to follow instructions to make sure that I have it right, so this tutorial from the Curvy Sewing Collective is the one I use.  I love these guys - they have loads of tutorials for the larger ladies amongst us and you know that what these girlies say is true, because they are also larger ladies and have often encountered the same fitting issues.

Anyway, once I had made these adjustments, I simply needed to cut out my fabric and sew. I say simply . . . .

the wind was whipping my hair (back and forth . . . back and forth)

My fabric feels gorgeous.  It is a poly that cost me the grand sum of £2 a metre from Boyes, but it feels like silk :-)  It also asks like silk!  I don't think I have ever tried to cut or sew anything so slippy slidey :-(  I got there in the end with the cutting, after using a LOT if pins.  It also marks like billio - I was so careful to make sure all pins went in the seam allowance, but when not concentrating properly I am sure a couple may have escaped out and I am panicking that you can see holes in my top now.  No one seems to have notice though, or haven't said anyway - I think I might have hidden/pressed most of them out (I hope).

Anyway, although the fabric is not sheer, it was so drapey I was worried that I need to treat it as such.  I contemplated using sheer interfacing, but in my tiredness (nearly B12 injection time - Sleeping Beauty impression imminent) I cut out ordinary lightweight interfacing.  I seriously should not cut when tired - I managed to cut two fronts for a kid's dress last night.  Luckily I had enough fabric (just) to also cut two backs, but that is sheer dumb luck.  Isn't one of the most important rules of sewing not to cut when tired?!  Why do I not listen to these rules.  Although, in my defence, I am now permanently tired until I get my injection, so if I don't cut when tired, I don't cut at all, which means I don't sew, which I also probably shouldn't do, but that is another issue entirely . . . .

worn yesterday with my Mingoes skirt

So anyway, I cut out the normal interfacing and ironed this to the fabric pieces.  As I was slightly scared of my fabric, I used a very low heat iron - like below silk setting low - and pressed for longer than I usually would to make the glue melt.  I did consider no interfacing whatsoever, but decided that this was probably not wise. 

I then set about sewing - not consulting the instructions of course as who does that when they are on their second make of a simple top - not me that's who.  Who should consult the instructions?  Me!  Especially when sewing relatively late in the evening.  I thought I would start on something easy - sewing in the darts and then the facing pieces together.  The darts were fine - they facing pieces - rookie error!  What in fresh hell made me sew the side seams rather than the shoulder seams.  I know that this hardly ever the way to some something as you are never going to be able to pull the top through to the right side if we all started doing it that way - idiot!  I realised this just as I was finishing the second seam, but I suppose it isn't a Holly project unless at least one seam has been unpicked and re-done.

and from the back . . .
Anyway, I gave up for the evening at that point and picked it up again the next day.  Thankfully, as I had a nice quiet house and started as soon as I got in from work things went pretty smoothly.  I sewed the SHOULDER seams on the main fabric, then attached the facing, the turned it through and sewed the side seams.  I'm not entirely sure what happened in the cutting out stage, but my facing pieces turned out to be too short for the main top pieces.  I still don't know if I cut the main pieces too big or the facing pieces too small, but either way I am blaming the slipperyness of the fabric.  Because I can, so there!

This was but a minor convenience, as upon trying on the top, it turned out that I could simply cut the extra fabric from the main top - unconventional I know, but I don't care, because I am just that side out at the moment.

Anyway, I left it at that at that moment and went to get something to eat and watch Nashville.  Upon return-evousing to the sewing studio (yes, my sister has finally moved out and I have moved my stuff into the spare room instead of the cubbyhole I had previously, so it is now a studio dontchaknow) I only had the facings to sew down at the back, the back seam and the hemming to tackle.  Simples, thought I.  Not so simples said everything else.  I still don't quite know what I did to the back seam, but I somehow seemed to manage to sew half of it inside out.  I only sewed one seam, so God knows is my conclusion on  this one.  It was at this point that hubby returned from cycle club and started talking at me, so I am blaming him, and he got snapped at for it, because he was talking at me while I was trying to figure something out, which I still haven't done, but I did unpick the seam and try again and it turned out fine the second time.

Instead of doing a thread loop for the fastening at the back, I simply folded a piece of pink ribbon and sewed this into the facing.  I then spent hours choosing the correct shade of pink button from my stash to complete the fastening at the back.  This turned out to be pointless, as you will see from the photos.  Upon washing the top, all the colour drained from the ribbon, leaving me with a a white loop, but never mine.  Lesson learned, do a fabric loop.

Hemming was straightforward - I double turned a 1/2 inch hem and then topstitched in place,  it was a bit slippy in places and apparently hubby says there was much cursing, but I do not recall this so it must not be true.

So, on wearing my lovely new pink top (the day after the night before finishing it) with my fave flamingo skirt I had many compliments.  My colleagues (it was dress down day) liked the outfit as a whole (and I was skeptical it was too much pink!), and my friend, Lauren, liked the fabric (not bad for a bargain), so I think it was a win.  Me being me though of course there are some things I could improve on/change.  I still need a further inch or two adding to the length, but that is my personal preference on length - it covers everything, I just like long tops.  I also need to alter the bust dart slightly.  The apex needs to shift down about an inch.  I know this can be a problem when doing FBAs, so I know to alter my paper pattern now, but when I was making this up, I figured the fabric was so cheap it didn't matter if it went a bit higgledy piggledy. On wearing, I have also noticed that the fabric pools a little on the top of my ample buxom, so I might make the fba just that little bit larger.  It is still a perfectly wearable top, it is just things to make it a bit more perfect.

concentrating on keeping my hat on in the wind
I have been and bought some of the fabric in black to make another, and I think I will try the button back hack this time, and I also have some odd feeling, slightly houndstooth fabric to make one aussi.  This could be my next years's One Week One Pattern sorted, although there is fast becoming a couple of contenders for that.  This is definitely my go to pattern for tops, and I have some of my own hacks and added details that I plan to try out on future projects, but you'll just have to wait and see for them.

In the meantime . . .

Happy Crafting!


Sunday, 9 August 2015


... push pineapple, shake a tree
Agadoo ... doo ... doo ...
Push pineapple grind coffee
To the left, to the right
Jump up and down and to the knees
Come and dance every night sing with a hula melodeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee . . .

Soooo, this song is just perfect for a quick and simple project I finished recently . . .

My l'ananas t-shirt:

definitely need bigger pineapples

However, I think I need bigger pineapples (ooo-eeer), but I ran out of sequins . . . 

I may make it bigger when I remember to go get more sequins, I may just leave it as is.  I haven't decided yet.

work in progress
Anyway, just a quick post as this was an easy peasy lemon squeezy project and those that follow me on Instagram (@HolzMolzPolz) will have seen this in production, so have probably figured out how is was made.

my original design
The t-shirt is just a plain £4 (I think) one from T'Asda and then I simply needed some gold and green sequins.

I drew a pineapple outline on some Burda tissue paper and then put this and the tshirt in an embroidery hoop.  The sequins were on a string, but I still sewed each one, hiding the thread under the next one.

I think I may have succeeded a bit better if my tissue paper hadn't pretty much dissolved by the time I had finished the green bit, so I just decided to do away with it and wing it for the fruit/gold bit, which I did in a spiral, but with hindsight I should have done this in horizontal lines.  I think it would have looked better.

The result . . . a tres small pineapple.  I think I had been aiming for at least twice the finished size.  I may make it bigger at a later date by adding more gold around the edges, or even starting again, but I'm not too sure.  I do like it as it is, even if it isn't quite how I had originally planned.

Anyway, I love love love adding sequins to otherwise plain boring t-shirts and I have just purchased some lovely bright pink sequins for my next sequinning session.  However, having done this, I think to make the size I want to make (can you guess?!), I think I need to go get some more.

Obvs, I will share it with you when it is finished, but in the meantime I have some other projects I am working on, and as usual . . . .

Happy Crafting!


Sunday, 2 August 2015

Groove Is In The Heart . . .

Soooo, one feels that you can't beat a spot of Dee-Lite to sing along to, and my new skirt has inspired that song in my head, even if I only know one line to sing . . . . never mind.

So anyway, this is my new skirt, which I made using some geee-ooorgeous fabric I bought from Helmsley Market on a trip up there a couple of months ago.  I wanted to buy enough to make a dress or Holly Jumpsuit, but it was the end of the bolt and there was just over two metres left.  I took it anyway, because I knew I would figure out what to do with it eventually.

I went through many many options in my head when last month's Sew Mag came through the door with a new pattern - Simplicity K1418, which is in actually fact a lovely dress which would have looked AWESOME in this fabric, but I didn't have enough *sad face*

BUT I really liked the lines of the skirt, particularly the pleats, so I decided to do a teeeny tiny bit of pattern hacking and just make the skirt, which was oh so easy *happy face*

this fabric is so lovely
the pleats nearly blend
in seamlessly
So, basically, to make the skirt, I cut out the skirt pieces for the dress.  I cut off about 3 inches from the length as I wanted a shorter skirt.  I then drafted a waistband by putting in the pleats and then drawing the line created for the waistline.  I made the waistband 4 inches, applied interfacing and folded this in half, pressing the fold.  This skirt didn't take up too much fabric so I could kind of pattern match my waistband.  And by this, I mean that I lined up the pattern, as I couldn't get my head around actual pattern matching on such a busy pattern and then there were the pleats . . .

lined up pattern,
but not perfect pattern
Construction was pretty simple - I basted in the pleats after pressing them to about half way down the skirt.  I then attached the waistband and inserted my invisible zip down one side seam. And my invisible zip is so pretty, despite the fact I realised about half way through sewing that I had forgotten to iron the teeth out a little.  I didn't quite manage to get the seams lined up but I will get there.

My pics have been taken on Doris (please excuse her lack of top) as I have barely seen hubby recently to get him to take some photos of me in it - either I've been out or he has been out.

check out my invisible
zip insertion (ooo-eer)
Anyway, I really want to make up the actual dress, do this has been added to my very long list of projects, and I am tempted to make up some more of the skirts, as they are easy and a good shape.  I also have a bit of my luuurvely fabric left over, so a dress for Pippapotomous may be in order.

In the meantime, I am now on to other sewing projects, and I will no doubt blog about them soon. 

Happy Crafting!

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