Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Sew Loft trouser pattern - Around the World

I decided for the Around the World TMS challenge to make some practical and much needed trousers for work.

When I saw this pattern was free I was very excited. I normally use a Burda pattern for my narrow leg trousers. This pattern from Sew Loft / Spit Up and Stillettos has pockets!

You can get this pattern from here:
http://www.hoopesparkstudios.com/whatever-happened-sew-loft/


Well everything went together wonderfully although I found the instructions for the fly front very confusing and in future will do them the way I normally do this. There seems to be an extra step where you attach the fly facing whereas normally I would attach this at the same tme as the zip to make things neater, but never mind I sussed that eventually. Its probably jist personal preference as well.

The problem really came from the fact I am trying to do this quickly and never tried these on until after I had attached the waistband and then disaster.  Of course I really should have known better!



They are a full 7 inches too big!


 Most patterns seem to come out big first time making but I was not expecting quite what I got. I seem to generally need a slightly smaller size than I start with but I do not mind taking in and adjusting slightly. After all slightly big is still wearable whereas slightly small is thrown away.

Now going by the measurements I need an S or a size 6. Next time I will be cutting an XS or size 0 to get the right fit by the looks of it and even then the difference in size still means even the smallest size is quite possibly too big.  I am really not that small usually.

I started off by pinning the excess at the back. I did not realise yet just how much they were too big.


The problem was how, without starting all over again, could I put this right?

I really did not want to throw these away because I have no more of this fabric and they would be ideal as work trousers.

I toyed with just adding elastic to the back but it is not really the look I am after so decided to try and put this right by increasing the darts.

I started by unpicking the waistband and then tried to disperse the excess over the darts and the centre back seam. In the end I took them in by making the darts much bigger ( about 3 inches each at the waistband) and the back seam lost about 1inch. I did not really want to do anything with the front, the fly or the pockets because they are all working fine so I did this just by altering the back and probably that is not really the best way to do it. Perhaps I should have just ripped it all appart and started all over again.

Anyway I took a chance and sewed.


 To a certain extent this worked but my darts are now huge and bulky so I cut off the excess fabric from the darts.


They do now fit but to get the darts to lie flat they extend right over my bum. I am actually toying with extending them fiurther down the legs since it may look better. The legs are quite loose despite being pencil trousers but I like that so would prefer to just try wearing like they are ad in the end they are at the very least "different" with the very long back darts.









This also means I have slightly out of line waistband seams and the side seams are downright wonky.

Hopefully you can just about see that the side seams vere backwards at the top of the hip due to my taking them in by so much.

 Its a shame because its a nice pattern for work clothing if it worked out the right size and I love the pockets.









I could even suggest it was down to me cutting the wrong size but I have double checked and they are a size 6 and my hip measurement is correct for the size according to size chart but they just turn out huge.

And for anyone using cm, 7 inches amounts to 18 cm so this is not a small amount these came out big by and I really find it hard to believe I could cock up by that amount. Its 3-4 sizes different to what I was expecting according to the pattern.

The end results is a slightly messy looking waistband from being unpicked several times trying to work out how to get the side seams to all line up - they don't - they are definitely wonky side seams and a pair of trousers which in the end do fit me but I am slightly disappointed with them if I am honest.

I used a skull print fabric for the pockets to get a nice contrast and cheer me up at work.


I used a snap fastener on the front waistband because to be honest I have had enough of messing around with these and really cannot cope with a buttonhole going wrong as well.

They will be OK for work because I tend not to tuck my tops in.


 Thanks for visiting
Bracken














Saturday, 13 October 2018

Corset Belt #TMS indie pattern month 2018 Anything but Clothes

When this week of "Anthing but Clothes" began I was intending to make a bag. I even cut out a small rucksack pattern which I found for free from SoSewEasy and I really think I may have to get round to finishing that at some point because its a great little pattern. The problem though is I use a rucksack - as in a proper small Karrimor rucksack for my everyday life and I really virtually never use a bag so it seems a waste of effort.

Then on Tuesday evening I decided instead to make the free corset belt pattern from Scarlet at https://www.corsettraining.net/project/shop-vixen-corset-pattern/

First though I needed to check with the editors if this counts as an indie pattern company and they agreed it does which is brilliant.

Unfortunately, after I made this I had some issues taking photos because really most of my clothing that will go with this is dark and it does not show up well so I ended up trying several outfits with mixed success but I think it shows the belt anyway.

Ideally I now need to make a dress to go with this I think.


I have been intending to make this for years. Really about 5 years I think. I downloaded and printed it out years ago but never got round to putting it together or even looking at it until now because what I never realised is the pieces are so small you do not actually have to stick anything at all together!


The belt is made from scraps as well left over from other projects and when I say scraps I really do mean that. The satin is so lovely I thought it might be a pocket, collar or something or a covered button cos the pieces I had left are all small. I still have loads of scraps but all the reasonable sized bits are gone. I ended up using selvedges for the edging in fact which should be bias cut but I did not have enough.



Its really not a proper corset because I only had plastic rigilene bones and two sizes of these so the sizes vary around the belt.
 Its meant to be made with metal ( steel) bones. I decided to go ahead anyway because its a good practice to make a muslin and this is a wearable muslin and right now I am between jobs. I temp and am waiting to find a new placement so money is not really available for anything and I must find what I need from my stash. My stash is pretty big tho so its not really a problem but does inhibit me sometimes.

So this is a muslin really. I will, however, definitely be making another with proper boning. Luckily Scarlet gives three different versions of where to put the bones so I made a mash-up of these to make it work. The channels are green bias binding. Some of the channels have an extra row of stitching so I can have two bones side by side in one channel because the thinner bones need to be doubled up else they are too weak. I also have two channels up the front (or back) because its wearable with lacing front or back depending on how you want to wear it.  I had 1m of each of two widths of rigilene and I have about 10cm left of each size so it uses quite a lot of boning.
  I used grommet tape because I did not have grommets as such and this is left over from a dress I made a few months ago.


For directions I used the instructions from Emerald Erin's blog
http://emeralderin.com/2015/07/corsets-with-scarle.html

Construction is completely different to clothing but its very straight forward and I would definitely recommend making this if it appeals to you. Personally I have no interest in tight lacing at all but just want an unusual belt. I think next time I will also make a bigger size because its meant to reduce your waist. I usually like to wear loose comfy clothing but I really need a belt to go with a dress I am making which is very sack like so this is a big adventure for me.

I could really have sewn the rigilene straight onto the fabric but decided to make this exactly how I will make the steel bones version in the future because its a good practice.

Its got 3 layers, not two, as in the instructions because I did not have any Cortil. The outer is fragile satin backed cotton type but of unknown fibre. I made a dress from it previously for the 3 Dresses from one pattern TMS challenge.  The inner is 100% cotton shirt weight fabric which I also made a dress from and sandwiched between these to give strength is a layer of canvas. You should really use Cortil but I do not have any so for now this will surfice. It seems to work but I suspect this belt may not last long. mind you it s also not something I see myself wearing every day especially since I need help to put it on!

 
The white lines you can just about see on the lining are chalk where I was working out where to put my front boning channels because they are slightly different to the pattern.
 

I do not yet have proper lacing so am using ribbons. I started off with two different coloured ribbons and this is much easier to lace yourself because you can see in a mirror which ones you are pulling.

Its a big difficulty putting this on and I need help which is not ideal tho when laced at the front its obviously easy to do. Did I mention its reversible so you can lace front or back?

You are meant to be able to do this yourself! Maybe with proper lacing it will be easier. I may have to buy some. Scarlet reckons you can put this on yourself either way and a full corset too. It may then get easier with practice but who knows.


Its a fun project either way so thank you TMS because this is reallymaking me step into the unknown and do what I have thought about but probably would never have actually got round to without IPM.

Anyway I am happy how this has turned out despite it not quite working with my current wardrobe. That however I can easily fix and as you can imaging my ideas of what to make to go with this are seriously flowing now.

So here are the photos:


 



  This is definitely a  fun item to add to your wardrobe and I may even make one of those Burda Dirndle patterns I seem to have hundreds of😊

Thanks for visiting
Bracken

















Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Winter capsule wardrobe - purple dress


Well its definitely happening this year with my winter capsule wardrobe, which is good because its getting much colder now, so I feel I am really achieving something with all these new clothes.

Wearable clothes too which is a bonus since not all my makes can really be worn to work😀.


This is the Burda Long Sleeve Fitted Ruched Dress 02/2015 #124 which I made a version of a while back here as part of a Monthly Stitch challenge:
http://brackencrafts.blogspot.com/2016/11/71the-november-monthly-stitch-challenge.html

 One thig I love love love about this dress is the very long sleeves. I find lots of patterns finish a bit too short so I end up having to lengthen them but this pattern is just perfect. Long down to the top of the hand.

This is yet again the same cheapo crepe polyester used for my other Winter Capsule Wardrobe makes. I have a kind of "collection" feel to all these items now it seems. This is a good winter fabric cos its very warm so I can lose the cardigan at leats at the beginning of winter.


 Thanks for visiting
Bracken

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Hair - Adventures into changing your image

So a few weeks ago now I went Chilli Red - as in hair-wise. Great idea for winter thinks me. I have even made a new capsule wardrobe to compliment my new look - well a few things are left to sew up but the idea is there.

Then as time goes by I have got a bit bored and STILL do not recognise Me in the mirror. Though that is not really the problem. I am out of work and I really think my chilli red hair which is argueably more "normal" than my usual rose blonde colour, is putting off possible employers.

I just feel like interviews have not been going well at all so I decided the red colour has to go. Its also time I make a decision because my roots need a touch up. If I add more dye tho it will probably be harder to remove because right now I have only the one layer of red on my original pale blonde hair.



Now throughout my life I have pretty regularly changed hair colour. I started to dye my hair at age 13 and never stopped. I have often gone from dark to blonde and to do this I always use peroxide. But it seriously damages your hair. Last year I had a big chunk break off and had a bit of hair that was far shorter than the rest for several months till it grew out and I had difficulty tieing it back to hide my short bit. So ideally I would like not to wreck my otherwise reasonable condition hair.  I came accross an internet article about colour remover ( I still am amazed at the internet!) and that this does not damage your hair. Well what an idea!

I have no idea how long this product has been available but when I was a twenty something I was told by a hair dresser that the only way was bleach ( peroxide) so since then I have stuck with that. Thus dye remover, for me, is a new idea.

So I did some research and ended up with this product bought from Superdrug but its available all over the place. I just like to collect points from Superdrug and it gets deliverd so I do not have to physically go to the store and then find out that actually no they do not stock it locally whereas if I just buy online it turns up and I get the job done hassle free and with less time and fuel wasteage.

So I bought two packs of this stuff:


It stinks like eggs - contains sulphur I think which apparently shrinks the dye particles so they simply wash out and just look at my test strip:

My hair was still only half dry when I took the selfies but you can still see the difference.


Now obviously you should cut off a bit of hair for this but I generally do not even bother with any prior tests. In this case the product is unknown so instead of a skin test + test strip I just tried it on a small bit of (attached) hair. Please everyone do not go off and do this yourself because its bad practice and I am not suggesting anyone anywhere should do what I have done. Its very silly. Luckilly I had no adverse reactions and what a dramatic result.


45 minutes later I have removed all the red dye and am a kind of orangey blonde. Possibly closest commercial dye is light honey blonde or golden blonde. You are advised to use an ash coloured toner but I actually like my new colour so have left it alone and intend to try to use a close colour to this next time I need to do my roots. 
So a couple of days later I did the rest of my hair. I only used one pack but found afterwards I had missed a few bits. I was intending to leave the missed ( still red) bits a few more days because its always better to leave things a while after dying. Also I quite liked the low lighted look. Anyway then I got an interview so had to do some touch ups to remove the rest of the red. This worked fine. I have yet to find out if I got the job.

Definitely feels like Me again tho!


So, should you, like me decide to do something a bit stupid and dye your hair a colour you decide is just not you thats a much better way to remove the dye than using peroxide.

I am so impressed by this stuff I just have to tell the world.


Hope this will help someone
Bracken











L-O-L-A Lola Dress - Indie Pattern Month entry week one



This is the very first time I have entered an Indie Pattern Month contest. The pattern was bought as part of  pattern bundle in IPM 2017 and not even stuck together until this week. Its the Oki Style Lola pattern ( hence my title) and is described on the Oki website as the "deformed dress" presumably because of the very unusual sleeves.

I always fancied making this but never got round to it. As it turns out its a relatively straight forward design - basically a raglan with front darts. Mind you I have changed a couple of things to make it work with what materials I have available.


 I omitted the back zip. Reasons for this are my fabric is stretchy. I used the same fabric previously to make black work trousers and they do have zips but I rarely bother to undo them because I do not need them to get the garments on and off - and I am lazy! This dress is made from the left over bits from the trousers. I had just enough fabric as it turns out. The fabric is a stretch woven of unknown fibre content.

My pattern changes are:
  1. I added a ribbed neck like a Tshirt neck - because it seems to work
  2. My cuffs ( Manchettes) are also ribbed and do not fasten with a button as the pattern suggests. I simply did not need to make them opening. I cut about an inch off the cuff length to make them work without buttons.
  3. I removed about 1 inch from the centre back and inserted a strip of faux leather because I like the back feature but had decided to omit the zip so I get a similar overall look this way.
  4. The sleeve arm holes are edged with faux black leather to match the centre back strip rather than bias.


There is a relatively deep hem because otherwise this would have been a bit longer than I prefer to wear. Overlocked and twin needle stitched to allow for the fabric to stretch. 
I have no idea what the fabric fibre is.
 
 Unfortunately the cuffs and neck edge are a bit (very!) creased but I happen to have already discoved this fabric melts easily so these were no pressed. Hopefully once this gets washed they will lose the creases.







 So my end result is a LBD and I love it.  I wish I had made this at the start of summer instead of the start of winter because this is office worthy and the arm holes will probably make it very cool and comfortable for the hot weather.


 
The funniest bit about this is from the front its a very basic boring black dress but from the back its far more interesting with its deformed sleeves and the centre back decoration.
 
Thanks for visiting
Bracken