Sunday, 14 January 2018

First project of 2018- drak green faux leather skirt with godet effect


In the end I decided to start off my winter /spring working wardrobe project with this skirt that I wrote about last week.Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 10.56.01 AM
https://doctortdesigns.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/screen-shot-2017-08-18-at-10-55-55-am.png?w=410&h=&zoom=2 I had already decided to use my faux leather for this and have also cut out a peplum jacket from Burda Easy winter 2017. I decided to buy this magazine despite it being in German and unavailable in English or even in the UK other than off ebay.

I bought it froma German seller. I read about it on DrT;s blog. I tend to read DrT because she gives great reviews of patterns and especially of Burda magazines. You can read about this magazine here:
https://doctortdesigns.com/2017/08/21/burda-easy-fallwinter-2017/

I tend to hate everything DrT likes and like everything she hates, but it does not matter because either way the reviews are very good. DrT gives a really good review of the next Burda magazine as well as udates on new patterns from the big 4. Its also as always nice to see what other people are making.

This Simplicity skirt ( left) from 8020 comes in two lengths but being as it is the middle of winter here I made the longer length.I  am not so sure about wearing this skirt though for work now I have made it despite that originally being my intention. I am trying to "cool it" at work at least until I get a permanent job and this may not tick the right boxes with my boss. Maybe green leather is not really very correct for work. I have yet to decide.




 Its got a high low hemline which I love. I always have liked this look.


My other half hates it! He says it looks too middleaged and frumpy.

I think the faux leather hopefully stops it being too frumpy. And I do want to wera this for work.

I will probably make a second version with the shorter skirt length. Personally I have always liked the wiggle-skirt look. But thenmen do not usually like the same looks as women so I am not too worried about his view.

Again this fabric is coated so like my previosu projects with this faux leather I ahve not pressed out the creases but am goig to wait for them to drop out which experience has shown me they will do. I really like this faux leather.
My fabric is a stretch woven but its very stretch and despite this pattern being for a knit skirt it does work well as I thought it would. Its previously worked ofr me with leggings as well as tops, a dress and a skirt.

http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/teach-me-fashion-layer-dress.html

http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/red-and-black-faux-leather-leggings.html

http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/birthday-skirt.html 

http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/24-red-lace-hoody-burdastyle-012016.html

Its cut out as one very weird shaped skirt pattern with one front, and two back / side pieces, but the godets are built in making it a bit wierd to look at and I have never made anything this shape before. It takes a lot of fabric really for what you get, but I so far at least quite like it. Its different to everything else in my wardrobe and once I finish the peplum jacket it could make a lovely suit. I also found it easy to sew and easy to adjust. I cut a size 12 but took both side seams in by about 1.5cm each but did not touch the back seam since by this point it fits and I do not want it any tighter having made it for a work skirt even if this des not get worn for work just now.
The adjustment did not seem to alter the overall shape so thats good because some patterns do not adjust well after you have sewed them up do they? You end up with wonky looking seams or panels out of balance. Well this was very easy to make.

In case you were wondering I am wearing the top made here:
http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/25-comparing-free-raglan-sleeved-t.html

Its all overlocked except for the hem and waistband which are twin needle stiched and the waistband is elastic so very easy fit. I made a new (for me) type of waistband as well for this which I like very much. I overlocked the edge of the fabric first. Then twin needle sticthed the circle of eleastic ( I already sewed into a circle before fixing to the top of the skirt) to the outside of the skirt edge then turned the whole thing over. Have to say it gives a very neat and profeccional finissh which beats all my previous elastic waistbands. Very happy with this!

The hem stitching did not go so well! I started off great but ran out of the top second cotton ( hopefully you understand me) half way round so the front right hand side ( left whe y ou look at me) I had to resew.

Not so good although I actually managed to oversew where I had already got one row of stitches whcih I am very proud of cos could not have done this a year ago with such accuracy so you cannot tell I have done it twice ( on the front) but then the cotton got all loopy on the back which I have cut off so it may have to redo if it all comes unstitched.

I redid the threading of tthe machine 3 times before I got it to work but in the end you cannot see it because its to the side of the front and not on the "low" bit so at least most people will never see it.

Anyway my verdict? I like it!


Thanks for popping over,
Bracken

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Project planning for 2018 sewing

Happy New Year!

I have not done any sewing at all so far this week. I have instead been trying to plan my 2018 winter to spring wardrobe makes. I desperately need things I can wear for work since my old work clothes are nearly all from around 2007 and show not only dated-ness but wear.

So far I have cut this shirt (below left) out from Burda Style 10/2017#116:

I bought the spider fabric as a halloween print but reckon it will work well as a work shirt since insect prints are still popular and really I am more a bug than a butterfly person. I have several different spider prints in my stash so best to get round to making something from them.I think this will be lovely with the zip neck but I am intending to miss out the neck frills but still do the sleeve frills.












I also want to make this top #111 from the same magazine ( right and above right) but its a petit so I need to check proportions etc. I quite often manage to wear petit anyway since I am short in body, although taller than meant for petits, but I am all legs so can usually get away with these clothes. Not sure what fabric to make this top in and Burda had two versions shown here in tartan and in leopard print and I like both but would prefer to use a fabric from my stash than buy new so its still open as yet to what fabric to make this in.

I want to make these trousers which I bought the pattern for when it was first out and so far have not had time to make.  The Monthly Stitch member made these a few weeks ago now and I was very inspired.
 https://themonthlystitch.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/a-dream-come-true/
I have a very nice navy canvas /heavy twill for this - unknown fibre but probably a synthetic or synthetic mix since it seems not to crease so ideal for a working wardrobe.


I also am condidering this skirt pattern though not too sure which view to make but think this would be very good for work. I bought the pattern years ago and so far it is uncut so about time I made this as well:



 and maybe also this Simplicity skirt (left) but this in the longer length in stretch leather of which I still have loads. I have been intending to make this top and skirt for absolutely ages and it could be good in my new work wardrobe in the right fabric choices. I do fancy this in leather. My fabric is a stretch woven but its very stretch and I have preciously made leggings from it so I think it will work despite this pattern being for a knit skirt. Maybe better for after I actually GET the job but I will take a few weeks to make all this stuff anyway so I will cut this one out today as well and maybe also the top in this pattern, though not sure yet of fabric choice for this and this one is a "maybe" rather than a definite. It could be a nice work shirt though.

I want to make a pirate shirt from this mens pattern in a navy and white striped polycotton - (very 1980s!) but I reckon wearable with the right bottom for work. I reckon I can play with the stripes for this shirt and it will be far more interesting than a basic shirt pattern. Also no buttons and its BIG! Unfortunately, this pattern was bought for the jacket pattern for my partner (which is also on todays cutting out list but more of that in a different post) so is somewhat large for me so I will need to reduce the size I expect. I intend to measure the pattern pieces against some right sized patterns and then decide if this will be needed because as I said, I do want this to be very big and baggy and 1980s style.

And this elf shirt in a green cotton type fabric:

I bought this cosplay pattern as soon as possible in the UK but have yet to make it. The shirt, despite being Cosplay, has some very interesting and wearable features for a normal office top so I am intending to have a go at making this in green woven fabric - just like the pictures.

I also want to make some kind of peplum jacket. I have several patterns and have yet to decide which to use for this. I think a peplum jacket would look good though with my existing dresses and skirts and maybe even my trousers for work where I often need to attend meetings with senior staff.

So not a very productive weekend this for sewing so far, although my main task is to cut all these out for the next month's or so sewing sessions. And I had some good news - I finally got my PhD corrections OK'd so once the thesis gets printed its all done and I will be so very happy to get rid of the thing because it has been driving me potty. I cannot think of a better New Year present.

I also already made this dress, but would like a less Goth version for work because its lovely, comfortable and I really do like it but its too long for work and every day life - it has a train at the back - so I am thinking of somehow "sports-wearing it up" with stretch performance fabric and maybe some fluourescence. Not sure how yet but its on the list to do another of these. You can see the original dress I made here:
http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/85-simplicity-1772-dress.html
Come to think of it sports-wearish may not be best for work but I just want to make this anyway!

Hopefully, if I can have a better wardrobe, this will help with my latest ambition - to get a permanent job.

I know it does not officially come down to clothing when you get a job but I am currently temping in a job I would like to do long term and I will get the chance to apply for the permanent job soon so if I can get a bit newer, I would say smarter, but actually I am not scruffy at work its just all my work clothing looks very out of date and old. I will probably do a few quick T shirts first as well to smarten up the existing trousers I own and then get going on things that take longer which is most of what is on this list. Its lovely to have time to take to do intricate garments but I landed this job quite unexpectedly and had only 2 days notice I was starting and having been working in a lab for the past 4 years I own mostly jeans and casual clothing or else fun stuff for weekends so I need to get down to sewing some serious work clothing asap. Appearances do matter I think so I need to look professional as well as be brilliant at the new job if I want to get the perm job.
 So this is my plan for the next few weeks of sewing. I will show you how it all turns out once I finish these items.
Thanks for reading
Bracken

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Anarchy gloves

I just need so much to sew. 
I am an addict! 

The problem for me about Christmas is I love it very much, but during this period of time I lose my sewing table for more than a week and its killing me!

I managed to cut two denim dog coats out on the kitchen floor which sort of alleviated my need to sew. They are waiting for my table to be sewn and finished off.

When I began this blog I really had no idea it would become so much a part of my world. This is not just a hobby. This keeps me sane even when awful things happen. 

Yet in my teens and twenties I sewed just about everything but that was because I had no money being unemployed for most of that time. 

I simply had to sew else go without. Now I do it for originality because as the world has got smaller and smaller with increasing communications and technology, everything, everywhere looks the same. There is so little that is unique. Its seriously depressing. 

So I knew that for Christmas I must vacate my table - the dining table, because its the only decent sized table we own and at 1.5m long its ok. Bigger would be good but I manage and I am sure some people reading this have even less space. We all make do with the best we can get, and this is my space for 11.5 months of the year which is brilliant and for this I am very grateful to my other half for his understanding. But then comes Christmas, which is incidentally my favourite time of year, so I am not hating this at all. But I must lose my table for over a werk and its killing me. I seem to have serious withdrawl from sewing so am I an adict? Yes probably. If that is possible then yes I am.

I just need to sew and I cannot.

So what to do then?


Back in September (I think) my lovely Mick bought me a begginner knitting kit for mitts from Aldi. Aldi did it as a special, a possible idea for a present for Christmas perhaps, tho not for me since he gave it to me immediately. Well probably I am defintely not a begginer knittter, having knitted for most of my life so around 45+ years as a knitter, but one thing about me is I can knit in the round but I absolutely hate and avoid it.

Yes, once upon a time I knitted a whole jumper in the round and ever since I just avoid this. I did knit a hat for my friends baby a couple of years ago in the round but thats about as far as I want to get. You understand tho - its not that I cannot do this just that I do not want to. I do not enjoy it so want to avoid as far as is possible. Anyway the problem I have is I need mitts since I have a condition which is very annoying called Raynauds which is when you can get frostbite at what other folk find normal but cool conditions. Its a slight inconvenience for me athough very serious for some people. My problem is mild but I do need gloves and if possible mitts. Most patterns tho are in the round hence my serious delight when I realised Aldi had a pattern for flat knitted mitts. Well it contains everything you need - even a needle to sew them up! Wonderful. Even the thumb is knitted flat in these and you sew it all together at the end. Unfortunately I was so keen to finish these I never took photos of them before sewing together.

Despite spending the last 10 or so years looking for one on the internet and in the process collecting huge amounts of data ( sewing, knitting, recipes and other snippets of interest) I still I do not have a basic easy pattern for mitts. I even started my sewing blog project due to my search for a simple not in the round knitted mitts pattern so yes this need to knit mitts actually caused the sewing blog in the first place. I probably could have paid for a simple pattern to be honest but when the really pretty in the round ones are often free this went against the grain.

Well this kit has the needed pattern. But, I did not want a copy of a mass produced kit so Mick also bought me a glittery acrylic yarn which I used as a the main colour. I missed out the pale grey and the cream and I ad-libbed the rest making sure my wrists and cuff openings were the same stripewise but the rest is pure anarchy with a totally mismatched  pattern and yes this was intentional.


We had a few problems taking these photos because: how does one take pictures of gloves or hands?
I am sure there is a better method for capturing hands than this but here are the photos anyway:










So I started these in September but knitted virtually nothing and then over the last week when I cannot sew this is what I have made.

I still feel a pull to sew but I think I need a mass tracing/cutting session to get me started for the New Year. I depleted my normal pile of cut out and waiting items for the December The Monthly Stitch challenge since it had to be an easy project which was fast and when you have a pile of ready to sew items already thats the quickest easiest way to get going. Now tho my pile of unsewn objects has gone.  I also have a new job which I need some "officey" professional type of smart casual clothing for so thats for next week, once I eventually reclaim my lovely table.

Happy New Year and  I hope you have a good one!

Bracken

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Egg Coat completed Burda Style pattern / 09/2016 #117

 

Another completed UFO. This was part of my challenge with Juxnz to finish a coat or jacket for amnesty day which was 30th November. Well Juxnz won that hands down but I have finally finished one of my UFO coats.

This is Burda 09/2016 style 117 made from quilted upholstery fabric with the collar and pockets in offcuts of faux leather in navy. I previously made this skirt,
http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/birthday-skirt.html
this dress,
http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/teach-me-fashion-layer-dress.html


Well what can I say this was a massive learning curve for me since I had never made welt pockets.


I ended up recutting the right front 3 times due to my destruction when making the welt pockets so my advice if you have never done these do a mock up first. I started off with 4.5m of this fabric so luckilly was able to simply cut a new front (twice!) but under normal circumstances this might have been a very expensive disaster. As it is becaues I had lots of fabric it eventually worked.

First welt pocket

Second attempt

Final version works


I tacked the zip in and hand sewed the sleeve linings in place



Then I used a salvedged zip from an old gazebo because its the only zip I had that was long enough and I do not have spare money right now. I cut this off shorter in fact after inserting and hid the ends inside the collar band.

I had a few problems with the zip as well due to believing it will all be ok and I even tacked it in but forgot to check before sewing that everything lined up OK.



When I first put in the zip I did one side, tacked and then sewed and then did the other but then when I did it up it was askew as you can see here. I undid and re-sewed and shortened the hem slightly to match the first side. This means the lining is slightly out inside but I am not too worried about that. The lining is cheap (99p for 2m) polyester knit. I thought it would add warmth but its a bad idea because after I sewed it in place I found runs where it was coming unknitted so I ended up using clear nail varnish to fix the runs and stop them getting worse. Not ideal but will do for now. I will probably either re-line or add a second lining on top at some point. For now though I just want to wear this.



Happy Christmas to everyone and heres hoping next year we may have a more peaceful world.

Thanks for visiting
Bracken


Saturday, 16 December 2017

Daenerys Targaryen dress using Simplicity 1008

 
This dress has been on my "to make list" since the pattern first came out in the UK. It made from stretch faux suede. However although this is stretch I do not think its got any lycra just polyester. Its lined with power mesh to try and keep the suede in shape.







 Since this wa taken I decided to use a couple of stitches to permanently attach the two bands to cover the dodgy pointed bit under the bust. Means I do not constantly adjust these. I read several reviews on Pattern Review about this dress, and can say I agree with others who had problems with the point at the front. It simply does not lie right. The cross over "dragon skin" straps help to hide this to some extent but I am not very happy with it.


I also read that it is very difficult to insert an invisible zip because of the thickness of the fabric layers so I decided (in my usual fashion if its even vaguely possible) to miss out the zip cos my fabric is stretch. Well I can just about get it on and off if I a wriggle a bit so this may not be the best option!

I used black rivet tape at the back rather than add eyelets because I never manage to get them to stay in the fabric and they always end up falling out and I am left with just a hole so I decided this was a better option. I noticed at least one reviewer has sewn eyelets which would have been an option but using the ready made tape was just faster and I hate hand sewing.

In fact most of the Pattern Rewviews all say they had to hand stitch in the lining. Well I did not. Mainly because I read other people's reviews so I lined the two skirt pieces and cut an extra bodice from the power mesh. Then I attached the bodice at the sleeves /flanges ( which I love) and sewed on the skirt after so the bodice lining stays in place being attached at the arms and skirt seams, although it is not actually attached around the neck because I decided how to do this after I started.  There is a facing made of satin backed something left over from this top:
http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/black-top-from-pattern-sew-and-sew-b5940.html

I might eventually get round to stitching the neck lining down but it is wearable without and so not urgent.



 

In case you are wondering it is worn with these leggings:
http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/24-red-lace-hoody-burdastyle-012016.html 
Well its really a costume but it happened to snow and being made of faux suede turns out to be very warm despite the lack of sleeves and it was Sunday so what the hell. I wore it all day and you know what, I like this and intend to wear it as often as possible. I am sure if I have no coat over it some people will look and think its strange but with leggings this is actually a very wearable dress and if you fancy making one I would say go for it.
Best wishes and thanks for visiting,
Bracken