Saturday, 30 April 2011

Easter Weekend, new doors and brown top M5977

A couple of weeks ago I got some plasterers around to give me a quote to plaster my whole house so I can get rid of the very old artex on the ceiling and some very fake beams.  Having considered the quotation, I accepted and they gave me a start date of Thursday last week.  Now you would think this is quite a simple task, however it didn’t really end there.

Sooooooooooooooooooooooooo Friday morning (Good Friday), I woke up and said to my D Mike, wouldn't it be nice to put double doors out into the garden in the place of the window in the lounge, and ideally it would be great if we could do it before the plasterers come in on Thursday was just an idea you understand!  So I called my son to see how he was getting on in the flat that he was working on and told him my idea ---- he did the usual builder thing ha ha very funny and we finished our call.  10 minutes later he called me back and said that as it was a bank holiday the neighbours were not too happy about them being there so told me to go to the builders merchant (which was open) and buy the doors and they would come and install them that same day and by Friday early evening we had doors going out into the garden - they are great. 

My D Mike and I have both been off work on vacation and we have more or less spent the whole time burning rubbish moving furniture from one room to the next, but I did send him off sailing 4 times because this was my bright idea not his and I felt guilty that I was hijacking his holiday and he works so hard he needed a rest too .

So as you can imagine, once you start doing things it sort of snowballs - I decided with my new doors and walls that I didn't like the old fashioned fire in the fireplace - so I had the gas cut off and the old fire removed and I have bought a more contemporary glass-fronted fire --- oh yes there is more ......... I didn't like my light fittings so bought two new lights (both items found on ebay at great prices).  I am going to recycle my curtains and convert them into Roman Blinds.  I purchased a pair of long black curtains in a fake shot silk, so the blinds will be creamy gold in the middle and have a black edge to them.   I have never made Roman blinds before but found a great u tube video so will give it a go.

Not much of a holiday but a real opportunity to have a massive spring clean - we have a skip outside full up with rubbish.  I bagged up 6 bags of clothes that I have not worn for years, or don’t fit me and given to charity.  I am still trying to make all my clothes so I thought this was a good opportunity to have a good clear out - quite cathartic actually.

My builders came at 7:30am again today – and my D Mike went home last night to see his son and sail again today, so decided to finish my sewing today before I have to start thinking about painting these walls.
My first job was to finish my jacket that I had started and need to tweak a few items that were not sitting right and here is the end result.

I am trying out several things - one to make a cohesive wardrobe of clothes - each matching the last item and experimenting with new techniques so on this one I added some home-made piping.  The brown silky fabric was some left over from V1 of the dress I made for my son's wedding so thought I would use it to pipe between the lining and the jacket facing, and then added it around the whole jacket.
I used some old cord from the Venetian blinds I removed from one of my windows.

Here you can see the piping on the inside and outer edge of the jacket.

I also used the same fabric to make a very narrow loop to hand the jacket on a hook if I need to.

I confess that I had problems with the hem at the front of the jacket - I am not sure if the piping was pulling the hem up but I unpicked it and pressed it several times.

I ended today by using the remainder of the silky fabric to make another top to go with the trousers and jacket - having made the frilly leopard print blouse (see earlier post) I wanted to make something different and my choice was assisted by the fact that I didn't have too much of the fabric left to cut out a complete vest top using the M5977.

In order to make sure
the top look more "designer" than "not enough fabric"
I made a 1" wide trim and hand pinned, then tacked it
in place before machine stitching through the centre as shown in the photo.

I did a FBA and lined it using the method shown on
the Finishing Touches video.

I now have 4 pieces for my collection and I am now thinking that I could make a skirt in brown crepe fabric that will match the top above.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Bathrooms - repeat fabric to make a dress to go with my jacket.

There was no lay-in this morning for my D Mike and I because we had to do a 75 mile trip to look at some glass worktops for the kitchen we are decorating. The samples we saw didn't disappoint when we got there, so we just need to give them the measurements and we will be done.

We are also looking for bathroom suites and we found a shop that sells exactly what we are looking for that was not too far from our first destination- having waiting around for ages for them to open, unfortunately we found out the shop was shut for two day (no notice up though) agrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

On our way back home I managed to persuade my D Mike to take a little detour so I could go to the market where I purchased the fabric for the suit I am making. I wanted to see if by any chance the shop had any of the same fabric left on the roll, and can you believe it they did. I purchased another 3 metres so that I can make a skirt and hopefully a dress so I can wear the suit in many different ways.

Of course because everything is only £1 a metre I purchased some other pieces to make the money up to £20. All fabric has been washed and dried ready to be cut out.

No sewing tonight but I have most of tomorrow to sew before I head off to The Hague for 4 days. I have to put my brown piping on the jacket and line it - so fingers crossed I can get it finished so I can take it away with me.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Progress on McCalls 4394 Jacket.

I managed to get a bit more done to the jacket today - namely front, sides, back and under collar.

 So far its looking good.  The pockets are inserted (leopard print of course) and check out the under collar also in leopard print.  Next stage is the sleeves which go on before the upper collar and front facings and then the lining.

I am off to Romania on Tuesday morning, but there is no way that I will finish it all by tomorrow night as tomorrow is a work day.  I am very pleased with this project so far, so will take my time and try to make this as good as I can get it.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Interfacing attached to McCalls Jacket 4394

Phew - I am trying to follow the techniques from my tailoring course, and using a combination of perfect fuse tailor, and Gill Arnold's sheer interfacings, I have been pressing these pieces on to the fashion fabric.  It has taken me over two hours to cut out the interfacing and then press it onto the fabric.

I have decided to throw in the towel tonight before it gets much later so I can get up bright and breezy in the morning, with a fresh head to mark up all the pieces and attach shoulder guards, roll tape etc.  This may be a lot of effort for some fabric that cost me £1 a metre - substantially less than the interfacing, but so far the pants and the blouse have turned out so nice, I think it's worth the effort on two counts: 1. I am able to perfect my techniques and if it all goes wrong at the last minute it is really only my opportunity cost of time that I have lost; 2. I will get a lovely jacket to go with my suit.

No photo's right now will take some before I start marking up the pieces.

More tomorrow..........................

Butterick 5464, McCalls 4394, leopard print fabric and new teeth

This has been a really busy week so I haven't done as much sewing as I would have liked.

Tuesday I went to London for work and because I wasn't far from Mucculloch & Wallis I paid the shop a visit before I left to come home.  Its a great shop on three floors full of trims feathers etc etc., however it was full of students, most likely from the London School of Fashion and I waited for a little while and then gave up and left the shop without making a purchase - another time.

My D Mike is in Dublin this weekend watching the Rugby with his son, sister and another friend so of course I was able to get on with some sewing.

I already mentioned the leopard print fabric that I was using for the lining of my jacket to go with the pants I have already made, well here is the blouse that I made with the remainder of the fabric.

The pattern is Butterick 5464 and is a nice easy
one to do.

I cut out the size 14 and made a FBA adjustment.  the shoulder seams and side seams were completed on the serger and the frill and the hem were hemmed with the serger but by using the rolled hem function and this gave a very nice finish.

I modeled the outfit in front of my daughter this morning and got the seal of approval (can't be bad).

Fabric came from Walthamstow Market £1 a metre and the buttons came from my very very old stash total cost approximately £5.00 including the pattern.

This was an easy pattern to make and I will definitely do it again.

During the week I managed to cut out the jacket I intend to make to go with the pants.  Its an old Palmer Pletch pattern that I have had for some time, and to date only made the top.  This is McCalls 4394 part of their Classic Fit range.

I have selected the shorter version of the jacket (see bottom right), which is still a good length - just past the hips but above the knee. There are no buttons so should be nice and quick despite the large number of pieces I have had to cut out.

I am at this point deciding if I should put a brown piping on the jacket (haven't done piping on clothes for many years) and if it needs an underlining too as the fashion fabric is not that thick, but essentially this suit is for the spring and summer.

I have made the top from this pattern before so now I can add the jacket too.

I would have liked to have cut out a dress from the fashion fabric too, but sadly I didn't have enough.  If I go back to Walthamstow market soon I will go in and have another look, sometimes I am lucky and can get some extra fabric, which is what I did with some blue knit a little while back.

Last but not least I have realised that I have a pair of shoes that more or less match my leopard print. 

Now there are those that would ask if I was following the Bet Lynch school of fashion - the answer is a definite NO, but should they need another barmaid at the Rovers Return public house I would fit the part.

I am already thinking of what I can make that will go with the pants, the blouse and the jacket (once completed).  I have some nice chocolate brown fabric which will work well with the brown in the blouse and also go with the pants etc.  I am now thinking that the next piece I make should work with the last, and this way I will slowly build a comprehensive wardrobe where each piece works with the other items in the wardrobe.

We have had the most beautiful weather in the UK this week, and today was no exception.  I managed to get out on my pushbike and do my shopping - at one stage I thought the bike was going to topple over with the weight of it all.

Later my DGD turned up with her mum and dad - since last week we now have a tooth on the top and one at the bottom.  Now she is crawling everything seems to be a big adventure.  After a little persuasion we managed to get a photo of her new tooth and you can see the 2nd top one on the way.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Viking ER10 Embelesher

Friday my new toy arrived my Viking ER10 Embelesher.

 Here is a sample of my experiments with the embellisher.

I gathered some of my loose threads that were floating around and they work great.  Tried it out with some silk fabric, and the threads I bought from Linton Tweeds.

I am now thinking about what other things I can do - quite like the idea of distressing some fabric and then incorporating it into a blouse or jacket............................


Today is Mothers Day in the UK so I got some nice cards, and a lovely cushion from my DGD Alana

Alana also got mummy a nice cup with I love my Mummy on.  Dad said that she helped to write the card too hmmmmmmmmmmm.

 Alana has learned to crawl since last weekend - we are now having to Alana-proof the house.

Yesterday my D Mike had to go to help his son move into his new apartment so I had a day to get on with some sewing.

Now that spring has arrived, I decided to tackle that same old problem of creating a pair of trousers that I feel comfortable in.  So back to my McCalls M5239 pattern that I used with Gill in my fitting class.

And here is the result.

 Here the pocket and waistband has been top-stitched in white.
 I used a nice white satin bias binding for the bottom edge of the waistband.  To the right you can see a glimpse of leopard-print fabric that I am going to use for a blouse and the lining for the jacket.  I also have some shoes that match the leopard print exactly.

I decided that I wanted a placket front for the zipper so I found a pattern with this feature and added to my McCalls pattern.

I am using another old Palmer Pletch pattern again to make a long jacket to go with these pants - more about that in a future blog.