Saturday, 31 December 2016

77: Playing with sequins - blank slate patterns top

 I bought 5.3m of sequin fabric more than a year ago from a seller on ebay. For about £3 in total it was seriously a bargain. It was September and I suppose no one else wanted sequins in September! I just love things like this but simply have not had the sewing confidence to use them till now. Having had a very scary disaster where  nearly took my eyes out when altering a thrift shop top I shyed away from using this fabric. TMS challenge for December though and a little more sewing experience one year on led to this top being made.

I fully lined the top with the same fabric I am using for my coat lining. Mainly because it meant I did not need to spend ages looking in my stash for some lining and also because it was next to me where I am slowing sewing up my coat. More on that later.

The neck edge is smply turned over and hemmed over the lining to keep it all in place. It is my first lined top ever so I am very happy with that alone because its a step towards making "upmarket" clothing rather than just cheap high street copies. All in all a success I think.

Sorry about background cleaning mess. We are still constructing the front room after our decorating.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, 29 December 2016

76: sequin trimmed T-shirt top

I quite fancied making the sequin front sweatshirt in the Burda 01/2017 but I have yet to buy it and really I own a similar pattern already. I used this pattern for this top:


Unlike the new Burda mag this has inset sleeves. The Burda version has raglan sleeves.

Unfortunately you can see the top I wore underneath this which had a chiffon frill round the neck and makes the neckline look like there is an extra bit sticking up!

The front is black sequin fabric on a mesh and is very drapey. Bought at a bargain price off ebay over a year ago for about £3 for 5.3m. The back and sleeves are black cotton T-shirt jersey and the neckband and bottom band is some stretch ribbing of unknown fibre. I made the bottom band longer to wear with leggings. The back piece is also the side panel so there are only 3 pattern pieces plus the neck edges and bands. I also decided to add sleeve wrist bands which the pattern does not include. 

 My front is lined with the same lining I seem to be using for everything right now. Still its pretty.
Though only I will ever see it.

I stitched the lining down inside so to make the sequins nicer against my skin. It works really well. It also gives a nice inside to my top.

Unfortunately, because of my near miss a year ago when attempting to overlock sequins where I nearly took out my eyes I decided to sew all this top with my normal sewing machine. Everything is  twin needle stitched or single needle stitched ( my lining) because it is stretchy but less likely to cause eye damage due to flying parts like broken needles. Means my finished top does not have nicely finished off overlocked edges which is a shame but it was much safer to make this way. I also wore safety glasses when I made this. Well I do not care how silly this sounds. After having had  one near miss there is no way I am losing an eye for a top.


As it turns out the inside is not too bad really due to the fabric does not fray.

I made the tartan leggings ages ago here if you want to know more about them.

Thanks for reading

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Gothic Christmas Fairy for my tree

Our old Christmas fairy was looking really tatty and sad so I decided to make a new one for this years Christmas tree. I never took a picture of the "starter dolly" which was a very cheapo Barbie copy from Poundland. She started off blonde and very pink and white. Just  a cheap dolly for a stocking filler.

I coloured the hair with felt tip pens. Similarly her lipstick is dark nailvarnish.

The wings were from a tacky Chinese model of a fairy that is meant to be collectable and I broke it so may as well make use! They work as well.

The dress is made by sewing scraps of fabrics to the clothing she came in. Its all bits of black dresses cut up years ago. The jewelled bodice is made from bits left over from a charity/thrift shop dress I bought for the black satin fabric and I never wanted to use the jewelled bodice. Perfect for my gothic fairy tho!

Its been a big build up to Christmas for us with no room to really have it in till today since this is all very last minute.


And this may just look like a wall but it used very recently to look like this:

The left hand corner now looks much better!
The entire room was just a mess. Its still no where near perfect but we do have a Christmas after all. It all needs a serious tidy up and we still have to put the doors on a  cupboard we built but its getting there at last. Maybe, we will finaly be sorted for New Year!

You can read about this decorating/ rebuilding here:
Its been ongoing for what seems like ages.

And we even made a Derelict looking gingerbread house ( using a kit so a cheat but fun)

Thanks for reading:

Merry Christmas


Saturday, 17 December 2016

74: Quick Party Top

I realised amid constructing my coat - more on this later in a different post, that I needed something for the works Christmas Party. Its a lunchtime party so pretty informal. I also wanted to have something that I will wear again so it needed to be a bit fancy but not too OTT. In the end I decided to have another go at making a raglan from Newlook 6230. I made a top from this pattern before but it was pretty disappointing. You can see it in this post here
I had only just returned to sewing then so thought it was down to me why the top turned out the way it did. Now I have made it again my conclusion is that the neckline is just wide and lower than the picture. This time I went down two sizes and remembered to take out the seam allowance from the back piece. The pattern wants you to have a seam up the back but I cannot see the point assuming you have enough fabric not to so I removed this. Last time though I assumed the reason the top was wide around the neck was because of this. I was wrong. Its still wide. As it turns out that worked out well for what I was after. It is also very fashionable. I have seen lots of tops in stores recently with this neckline so I may use this particular patttern again for something else.
Anyway, I had quite a bit of this silky black fabric left from my yoga pants here
I decided to add some white stretch lace to the neckline. Mainly because it is very quick to finsh and would give my top a bit of something extra when this was a last minute top with no time to spare. I am not really a white lace person but bought this on impulse and have until now not found a use for it. I thought with the black fabric being synthetic it should hopefully not run when its washed which a black cotton probably will so I can have a good contrasting lace look. I have not washed it yet so time will tell with this theory!
I sewed everything using my overlocker. It all went well until sewing up the lace. It sewed fine to the edge but I decided to try and cut out all the steps I could so, first I sewed the sleeves to the back. Then the front to one sleeve but left the other for now. Then I sewed lace to all the edges except where the seam for the front to the sleeve that I had left. Hopefully this makes sense. Then when I came to sew up the front to the second sleeve it should sew the edging as well and encase it. Well great in theory, but the overlocker cut the lace but didn't sew it! I tried three times which meant I have a weird angle on the join.

In the end I had to sew it by hand. The angle does not really show when worn but I am rubbish at hand sewing. It was the same with all the bits of lace at the edges. Then on sleeve I managed to not quite line up to make matters even worse.
So I thought at first I was not going to wear this to the party becaue it was not even worthy of wearing as a me made in May when I am running out of clothes to wear. The finish was awful. So what else can I do. I need something to wear. Preferably something a bit fancy. Then I decided to add black satin ribbon bows to the hand sew bits.

The result is not quite average but when I wore this I felt fabulous.

 My reasoning is designer clothing often has quirky things like bows so why not? The ribbon the bows are made from is double sided satin so very nice ribbon and I actully felt really good at the party wearing this so my near disaster turned out just great.

This is not a top I would normally make because I tend to avoid fussy things like embelishments and bows but I did used to wear things like this when I was younger, so maybe it is time to have a few things in my wardrobe like this. After all one of the lovely things about making your own clothes is you can have it all. You do not have to chose one style and stick with it. Of course, there is nothing wrong if you do and perhaps that is also easier to achieve your own stylewhen you make your own clothes. I cannot remember who it is now, but one blogger I visit makes in red,  purple and black and white only and it works great. Because me-made tends to cost slightly (or sometimes lots!) less you can experiment more easily. Perhaps its time I did just that and started to be a bit more adventurous because the addition of bows was a stroke of genious and if I had not rushed my sewing to make this for a last minute party outfit I would never have done this, I am so happy I did!
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