Monday, 30 November 2015

Shirt Progress

I'm getting there steadily. I finished the main body of my little brothers trial shirt last night and did the plackets this morning. I did them facing the wrong way, but this is only a trial so I'm learning a lot and it's okay if I get it wrong. :-)

It's starting to look like a shirt!

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Little Prang

I managed to crash my car today on the way to my parents house for Sunday dinner. It was only a little bump when I was trying to merge into the next lane and didn't notice the car in front of me had stopped, but it really took me by surprise.

The licence plate is on the front passenger seat and the hood is a bit bent but there doesn't seem to be anything not working. I'm going to have to call the insurance people tomorrow and sort it out. At least I'm fully comp.

In the meantime, I'm reading Inside Fashion Design by Sharon Lee Tate. It's a bit out of date, talking about how the internet is going to revolutionise ordering, but it's interesting none the less. It'll keep my mind off insurance premiums for now.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Creepy Dolls With Awesome Clothes

I slept in till after 5pm today! I guess that's what happens when you stay up way too late... It wouldn't be a problem except that the rats need their breakfast.

So I haven't gotten any sewing done today, but since I live on Pinterest I do have something interesting to show you. My last boyfriend Chris was really into ball jointed dolls and I looked them up and followed a few boards. I just love the clothes.

Pretty much all of them are art dolls, with a wide variety of inspirations. I love the beading on this veiled woman.

This one's a lot more fashiony, but I adore the flower beads on the quilted skirt. The rest is a bit too chave for me, but you've got to love the execution. :-)

This one looks like a halloween costume that I could see myself wearing if only I had time to make one. The headpiece that matches the top of the skirt and all the little bows. :-)

Talking of headdresses... :-D

Now this look I could see myself actually trying to replicate. It's so sweet and I love the colours. :-)

I love a good Kimono. And the silver. :-)

Friday, 27 November 2015


I did the two pockets on the toile. That may sound silly, but I messed them up so better to do that here than on the real one. Remember the button loops on the red and brown dresses? Each time I accidentally cut two and each time I sewed the first one wrong. At least I'm predictable in my incompetence?

I used the normal 1.5cm seam allowance when I was supposed to use half that. Also, I seem to be terrible at the curved corners at the bottom, so I might think about squaring them off for the next one.

I'm going to carry on sewing tonight but this might take longer than I was expecting.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

White Shirt

Nevermind waiting for the white sheets, because I splurged and bought a whole roll of white cotton for making toiles. It was £30 for 30 meters so I didn't exactly break the bank. In fact, it isn't that much more than my brothers shirts will end up costing. Each.

I managed to cut out all the pieces of younger brothers test shirt today and if all goes well I'll be able to sew it together tomorrow and then it'll be ready for him to try on over the weekend. :-)

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Button Holes

This blog just reached 15,000 hits! I wonder how many of them are my? :-P

I think I figured out how to make button holes! Not so much with the buttonhole foot, but if I set the stitch length to button hole and the stitch to normal zigzag, I can very carefully sew one with my normal zigzag foot. I just have to figure out the length thing. :-)

Heck, if I'm going to have to put work into making buttonholes, I might as well give the ones in my sewing books a go some time.

As for the shirts I'm slowly getting around to, I'm going to use bedsheets to make toils. Hopefully they'll be less of a disaster than the black pinstripe one. Sadly, I left said bedsheets at my parents house this past weekend, so I'm going to spend the rest of the week tracing off the medium size shirt for my older brother and then? I've gotten the shirt bug and I'm going to make one for myself.

I'm going to use the peter pan collar from E (the yellow one) and the sleeves from C (cuffless) without the lace trim. If I keep it nice and plain I can wear it with ridiculously over the top waistcoats and vests. :-)

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Me Shaped Shorts!

I finished my shorts! They're a bit rough and ready but they fit better than a lot of my shop bought trousers. And I don't think I've ever had shorts that fit this well. I haven't had a lot of luck with shorts.

I accidently under stitched on the outside of the waistband, but that's because I tried to place it using the diagram, but I should have just held the waistband pieces onto the shorts and worked it out that way.

I still haven't mastered button holes, but I've got some poppers somewhere around here from my gingham dress and I'll probably find them before the weather is warm enough to wear these outside. :-)

Monday, 23 November 2015

New Residents

Yes, I know it's not really sewing related, but my rats moved into their cage today and I spent a lot of the day keeping an eye on them to make sure they settle in. I didn't want to scare them with the sewing machine when they first arrived but we'll see how they cope with it tomorrow. Their names are Trillian, Serenity and Beatrix, by the way. :-)

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Some Slightly Overdue Photos

While I was at Mum and Dad's house me and Mum finally remembered the photos of the brown dress.

I do like how it turned out but I've become a bit embarrassed by my belly. I'm at the heaviest I've been for a while but it didn't really hit home. Maybe I'll have to go back to cooking a hot meal every day instead of having sandwiches or cheese and onion roles. :-P

Saturday, 21 November 2015


I haven't had a very good sewing week this week, mostly because I got stalled with the shorts for want of a 4 inch zipper. I picked up three at the sewing shop so that should see me through to some temperature appropriate trousers.

I also tried to make a shirt toile out of a fabric that just refused. It's a really shifty, draping black pinstripe that I chose because I didn't mind losing it, but it's just not right for any kind of shirt, even a trial one. I could see it as a circle skirt, though. I'm going to order some cheap white cotton for toiling.

In non-sewing news, I helped bring home a lost dog! He was following a teenage girl by the canal and she asked if he was mine, and I ended up walking him round on the end of a shoelace till I found a couple who knew where he came from. His name turned out to be Toby. :-D I just wish I'd thought to get a picture.

That meeting inspired me to do a bit of pet related sewing. My two rats have been living with my mother and their sisters since I got them. Back then I lived at home, but I'm finally close to ready for them. I just need to bring home some supplies this weekend. They're going to be accompanied by one of the others as well because they're used to living with half a dozen other girls and we don't want them to get lonely.

 I made them a tube to climb through and sleep in! It's made of some rough synthetic stuff that was probably meant to work like wool and some black faux fur offcuts that I've had for ages. I sewed the two fabrics together in a square and turned them inside out, then hand stitched two edges together and sewed on the little chains to attach it to the cage bars. That keeps it in place but, more importantly, it also keeps the ends open so it's easier for them to get in.

On an unrelated note, this really makes me want to do something wearable with fur and chains.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Halloween Fabric For Christmas

The prospective fabrics for my brothers' shirts arrived in the post yesterday, and I got all excited. Not very christmassy! The two on the left glow in the dark. I'm happy because I'm probably going to end up wearing two of them. :-D

I know I said I was making trousers in my last post but I've spent today making shorts as a wearable toile. I know making shorts in November isn't very in keeping with making clothes I can wear now but once I've got the trouser pattern down I'm going to make them by the dozen, in lovely, warm wool.

Saturday, 14 November 2015


I finally got all the hemming finished on the brown dress, and all that remains now is to get mum to take a picture on Sunday. Turns out we aren't going to the Grandparent's house because Grandad had a fall and is in the hospital for a heart operation. I'm worried the long stay in hospital won't be good for him, because last time he lost a lot of weight and mobility and he doesn't have much left to lose.

On a much more self centered note, I've started tracing off the pattern for a pair of trousers. I'm using the Sewaholic one so it's the first time my bum hasn't been three sizes larger than my waist.

I bought a white cover for the table so I could see the lines better when I'm tracing, and I weighed the paper down with cans of tuna and spam.

I'm at my parents house now, and just got my hands on a book I accidentally ordered to their address. That's not that bad. When I first moved to Stoke I got a load of DVDs sent to my previous flat in Dunchurch. :-P

The clothes are a bit weird, but it looks like fun stuff to play with, and you can't see it in most of the pictures but the sample clothes are made in miniature! Lol!

Thursday, 12 November 2015


I spent a while hand sewing the hems on my brown dress until my eyes hurt. I think I'm going to get it finished tomorrow and be able to wear it a couple of times before it looks silly, being all autumnal and all.

The project as left me with a pile of quilting weight fabric scraps, though, and that's too good an opportunity to miss. I'm going to start collecting all the other scraps I end up with in future projects and make myself a patchwork blanket. I've gotten myself some templates and I'm liking the idea of making one made of squares and octagons.

My landlord thinks I'm getting old before my time...

Monday, 9 November 2015

An Interesting Book

While I wasn't sewing I spent most of my time reading. Maybe three or four a week? And even though I won't be able to keep that pace up will be expanding my fabric craft library.

On that note, the local library doesn't seem to have that many relevant books. I wasn't expecting much but it's not like it's a small library! The book is called Kimono by Liza Dalby.

It's really interesting, but I was disappointed because not a lot of it is in colour an it doesn't actually look at many specific garments. Also, the pictures that there are where a bit confusing. :-(

Saturday, 7 November 2015

A Happy Ending?

Well, the dress didn't get finished for the fireworks display, but it isn't that big a deal in the end. We went to the wrong place and ended up watching the fireworks from the other side of a Primary school. Maybe next year?

I got all the pattern pieces cut out early but didn't sew it together because it was getting late and I don't know how much of the noise of the sewing machine gets through to the flat above. They're laying some thick flooring soon so it'll get better.

I woke up early this morning and decided to read a bit in bed till it was late enough to sew. I woke up again about 2. Needless to say, not enough time to get a whole dress done before I left to meet up with little brother. (Dad stayed home instead.)

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

I Got The Sewing Machine Going!

I put my sewing table together yesterday. It's huge, three meters by one meter, and meant to be a dining table so there's room to lie out a whole pinned pattern. I can fold it down to one by two if I want to, but I only have three pieces of furniture spread out over two rooms. :-P

I've started sewing a practice version of a dress I want to wear to the fireworks display on Saturday. I only need to add the zip and seams. I'm going with Dad and Little Brother so they don't care what I'm wearing, but I seem to do better with challenges. That and this fabric is autumn themed, brown with sycamore seed pods, so if I don't use it soon it'll go back into the box fr a year.

I forgot how good it feels to create like this. :-)