Sunday, 24 January 2016

Twinkle Twinkle

Little staaaarrrrr

How I wonder what you are . . . .

And for a long time I was wondering what this dress was going to be.

blurry pic = best pic of my face

I've had the idea for this dress for ages, and it was actually one of my first doodlings in my croquis sketch book.

I had the fabric and I had the pattern, which weren't supposed to go together, but I had not used the fabric for it's intended purpose and one day whilst scrolling through my bloggy-blog inspiration struck . . . I could make another sea goddess dress, but this time learn from my previous problems, such as knowing now that there is no seam allowance included in Burda patterns, and realising that it is a petite pattern, which may be fine for my legs, but no good for my torso.  These meant that adjustments had to be made to the pattern. 

First off, I added a 5/8" seam allowance.  How did you do this I hear you ask?  I taped two pencils together and drew around the edge of the pattern twice.  this gives a 5/82 seam allowance almost perfectly.

I also extended the torso pattern pieces by about 2" and then used the slash and spread method to make some further fitting adjustments.

Once all this was done I made up a toile in some habatoi, which I was going to use for the lining.  I was so happy that the toile fit almost perfectly, or enought that I didn't feel the need to make any adjustments.  Doris then modelled the toile for about a month!!!  I'd done the muslin just before I went totally bat-sh*t nuts and didn't enter my sewing studio for two weeks.

sorry - these pics were taken on Phil's phone
while we were on holiday - the quality is
tres pantalons!

Then it came to cutting out the fabric, and aaaarrrrrgggghhhhhhhh . . . with the best creative cutting in the world, the fabric was about 4 inches too narrow, and I couldn't get any more.  I think I thought I had more fabric that I did indeed have if I am honest.   So, I went off and had a sulk for a while.

I did think about making the skirt shorter, but I had my heart set on a 'look at me I'm a beach goddess' flowing long skirt dress.  Plus I thought a long dress would cover up my white legs on the first days of my holiday.  Not sure what my plans are for my white legs the rest of the holiday, but at least one of the days is sorted.

Anyway, while I was stewing on it, the depression and anxiety I have been suffering came to a head.  I got signed off work and pretty much slept for two weeks - I had zero interest in doing anything, and that included sewing/thinking about sewing. 

I eventually got my head sorted a bit and slowly made it back into my sewing room.  Concentration still wasn't my strong point, but I did have a lightbulb moment.  I had some blue sparkly chiffon in my stash didn't I?  Would that do the trick.  Did I have enough.  I certainly wasn't ordering any more as this stuff came from Australia, but I had only used a tiny amount for my Santa's dress.  Had I had enough foresight to order two metres or did I only have one?  And if I only had one, was that going to be enough?

It turned out that I had two metres, which meant I had enough to do the top.  I was so happy and excited.  So, I cut this out one morning, draping Phil in the lovely glittery fabric, which I'm sure he really appreciated, even if his face told a different story.  He loves glitter - he just needs to realise this.

Anyway, once the top half was done I pinned it back onto Doris to see what the dress looked like.  At this point, I decided to drape the spotty fabric around the skirt bit to check it would look as awesome as I imagined it in my head. . . . Uh! Oh!  It did not work.  At. All.  What was a girl to do?!  To be honest, I didn't get too disheartened and annoyed by this.  Because I love the glittery chiffon so much, I decided it would be worth the postage to buy some more from Oz and have a sheath of midnight dress.  So, that's what I did.

I seem to be back to being able to concentrate a bit better now, so I can venture off making collars and Pippa dresses, which for a while had been the only things I could concentrate on making because they were relatively quick and I could probably do them in my sleep.  Maybe going straight into making myself a new coat is not the best idea (I should maybe build up to such a big project), which had been my idea, but my lovely godmother bought me a gorgeous new winter coat a few weeks ago and I lobe it so much and thank our Lord Sandra that I have such a good godmother, that I have decided to postpone that particular project until Spring.  At the time of writing, we've just had the horrible floods, so maybe I should make myself a cagoule (is that spelled correctly) and some waders?!

Instead, I have Panto costumes to make.  I would say I will blog about them, but I've not been too good at that recently and have a huuuge backlog to blog about.

Let's see how all that goes shall we?

In the meantime . . .

Happy Crafting!


Sunday, 10 January 2016

Nellie The Elephant

Sooooooo, following on from the Halloween Monster High Cheerleader costume, I am still cursing my youngest niece, who when asked what she wanted for her birthday declared that she wanted the ballerina elephant costume, which Paul made on series 3 of The Great British Sewing Bee.  Of course, she wanted an elephant costume!!!!  

Why can't I have normal nieces, who just want money for their birthdays?!  It would be a lot easier and probably be cheaper!

Anyway, being the most awesome wonderful and fabulous auntie that I am, I said "of course you can have an elephant outfit" then spent the next three months trying to change her mind.  Didn't she want a beeeauuutiful party dress instead?  Nope, she was not to be swayed dammit!  Although I'm sure if I wanted to make her a pretty party dress as well, that would not have been objected to.  Unlucky for her I didn't have the time to do that.

I put off making the costume for ages, because in my head, I just couldn't see how it worked.  I did grade up the pattern to fit her, but after that nothing for weeks.  THEN, I decided to look at the instructions.  It was at this point that I realised all the sections were actually separate - bottoms, top and hood avec trunk.

The fact that the pattern had called for corset boning had also confused ever so slightly a lot.  That took a lot of figuring out in my head, but I got there eventually.  In fact, that was the most difficult part of the construction.

The bottoms are effectively pyjama pants.  The top is basically a straight forward long-sleeved t-shirt with gathered net around the bottom to form the tutu part.  The tail, attached at the same time, is just three strands of grey fabric plaited and a ribbon tied on the bottom.

The construction of the hood was straight forward, if a little tricky to insert the ears, and I am still a little disappointed that the ears flop forward rather than sticking straight out to the sides.  This might just be my dodgy construction though.

Anyway, Evie seemed to like it, although I have yet to get a photo of her in it, but I will.  I don't think I will make another though.

In the meantime, I am now cracking on with the Panto costumes (getting there slowly) and trying to catch up with my blogging backlog.

Happy Crafting!


Friday, 1 January 2016

We're Gonna Party Like Its Y2K

Sooo, happy new year people.  I hope you are all now recovering from your hangover induced comas.  I prescribe bacon butties and lots of tea or coffee.

It may only be the first of the year, but I am already busy planning for the year ahead.  I have a lot going on.  I will finally finish my degree, I have plans to expand Holz Molz Polz and maybe even finally get around to launching Haberdasherholic.

I also have Addingham Panto in February and preparations and costume making is already well under way for that and so far I have managed to escape having to make an appearace on the stage - I'm definitely more of a backstage kindagal.

All that aside, I've decided to set myself some sewing goals this year, instead of just coasting along like I did last year.  In my defence though, 2015 was an odd one - the summer (and beyond) of panic attacks and anxiety did not facilitate creativity and trying out new things to make, and then I felt a bit overwhelmed with work load in my day job, trying to do my studying, fit in panto and make holiday clothes.  Maybe it is no surprise I broke.  BUT I never want to feel like that again, so I have learned to take it a bit more slowly and plan ahead. 

With all this in mind, I'm not setting myself too many goals, but there are a couple of things I would like to make, some of which I had planned to do last year but then never happened.  A few I have been thinking about for a while and think that now is the time to get on with it.  I'm thinking if I write it down I might actually do it.

So here goes, this is what I want to do in this year of two thousand and sixteen:

Ginger Jeans by
Closet Case Files
1.  Jeans

I am forever reading blogs about how amazing the Ginger Jeans are from Closet Case Files (see here here and here to name but a few), so I have decided I need a pair myself.   I don't often wear jeans, but that might be because I don't own a pair because I have not yet made myself a pair.  This all may change.  But, maybe I should try some simpler trousers first?!

2.  Coat

The Robson Coat
By Sewaholic
I scrapped my previous attempt at coat making.  I was proud of it at the time, but then it took me about two wears to see all the flaws and start to hate it.  So, I need to make myself a new lighter coat for when Spring starts to arrive.  I have my pattern - the Sewaholic Robson.  I have even graded up the pattern.  I even bought all the fabic and notions.  I did this all last September, but then came to a halt, and the weather changed so quickly from cardigan to full on winter coat that I didn't really notice the hole in my wardrobe that was a rain mac/light coat.

Maybe this is a good thing, but I have totally changed by vision of this coat now - colour, print, finish . . . pretty much everything!

3.  Phil

I would really like to foray into making men's clothing and make some things for my husband.  He is truly useless at buying clothes and in fact I do believe most of his wardrobe he owned when we became a couple nearly eight years ago.  So, I am going to consult with him and find out what style he would like and then make him some things like the good little wife that I am (yeah, right).  I'm thinking shirts, sweaters, cargo pants, jeans, board shorts . . . the kinds of things he wears now, but nicer.

THE Burda Dress
4.  This Burda Dress

I saw this dress a while  ago in Burda Magazine and wanted to make it then.  It's just one of those things that I have got round to doing, so I have added it to my list.  I'm thinking different shades of the same colour for a work dress or different coloured (but coordinating) dupions or taffetas for a going out dress.

5.  Overlocker

And last but not least, I really need to learn to use my overlocker.  

I bought this in June last year, and other than a cursory glance it has not been out of the box since.  I even cut out a dress to make it with back in September, but my head has just not felt in the right place, nor have I felt like I have had the time, to be able to make sense of it.  This is something I need to do this year.

Maybe I should also add to the list to get on with some blogging - I have such a backlog, but no motivation to write - it will come back (I hope).

Anyway, I may not get around to ALL of these, and I am not going to put any pressure on myself to do it, at least not until the panic attacks have subsided, but at least I have a plan and if I can tick off at least two of these thinks I will be happy.

I hope you all have an awesome 2016.

Happy Crafting!

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