Saturday, 25 November 2017

My warm winter yellow T-shirt

Hello, I am starting to feel very Christmasey now. The weather has gone very cold. It even snowed in Kilsby this morning. I was feeling cold at work. I felt too hot with a jumper on ( I keep one in my desk drawer just in case) but feel not warm enough with just a normal Tshirt so I made this yellow top.

Its the same fabric I used for the hoody cowl dress here:

Not sure what the fabric is but its kind of bonded and textured and synthetic and very warm - or for a T-shirt its warm. I was originally going to twin needle the hem so overlocked the edges just for neatness but decided actually I quite like the simplicity of this so thats it.

This is view D of Butterick B5562 again and without the collar. This pattern seems to be the top T-shirt pattern of the season for me right now.

 I already made two other tops from this same pattern.

This one is completely different due to the fabric choice.

You can see my other versions here:

This is seriously a very quick make but I have worn it, washed it and worn it again in the same working week so a very good top I think.

I was not too sure about this fabric when I originally bought it, but it has made two very nice garments.

It was an ebay impulse bid and I won the auction! It is not realy my normal kind of fabric.

I do not mind synthetic lycra - as in workout type fabric and even things that can pretend to be lycra but are just polyester if you know what I mean.

When it arrived I was so unsure whether it was useable so just shows because something is synthetic and maybe not what you would normally buy it can work out well.

Anyway I need to make a few more winter tops so will be sesarching through my stash again now.

Other than that I made a Christmas cake.

It was baked in an Ikea silicon heart mould and was a bit of an experiment since I did not line it with baking paper although I did put a baking paper top on it while it baked for about 4 hours!
Its the first Christmas cake I have made in many years and now we are feeding it with brandy.

Thanks for visiting, Bracken

Friday, 17 November 2017

Quick pompom hat - DIY update for an existing hat.

Hats with a pompom seem to be everywhere on the street. I was given this purple pompom last Christmas. It is meant to be used as a keyring or a handbag embellishment and I used it on the front of my rucksack as a bag an embellishment last winter.

I realised when going through my current winter hat collection that I still have this early 2000’s faux suede hat. 

It is nothing special but by adding my no longer used pompom I get a new winter hat that is on trend and it costs nothing. 

 Superdug was even giving away pompoms not so long ago if you bought 3 makeup items so I am pretty sure lots of people hve these. I even saw some in the Pound Shop. Even if you had to buy the elastic and needle used to attach the pompom it would be very cheap to make this. And very easy as well.
What you need is a pompom, a hat, some thin elastic and a bodkin or a needle with a large eye and scissors to cut elastic. 

The hardest bit was making a hole to thread the needle through.
First take the keyring off your pompom if you have a key ring and locate the piece of elastic that the keyring was threaded through. 

Loop hidden in fur

It’s a tiny loop of elastic. 

You can just about see it here if I thread the needle through it - see right

Decide where on your hat you want to put your pompom.
On this hat which is made in segments I went for as close to the centre point as I could get the needle to go through the fabric.

 Then thread the elastic through your needle, push through from the inside to the outside of the hat and thread the needle through the elastic loop on your pompom, where you removed the keyring.

Inside of hat

Thread the needle back inside the hat keeping as close to the centre of the hat as possible.
Pull both ends of the elastic inside the hat and tie securely in a knot.

And that’s it. Enjoy your updated hat.

 My purple pompom is a slightly different purple to the original hat fur but it does not show much I think and really for a old hat thats been hanging around for about 10 years and a pompom I got bored with having hanging off my bag its a great upcycle I think.

What do you think?
Thanks for dropping in,

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Shirt Dress part 3 = completed

So I have been putting off hand sewing on my buttons on this shirt dress for two whole weeks now and decided last weekend that I really do have to get round to finishing this garment.

It’s very far from being a perfect shirt but as a first attempt I am reasonably happy with it. I do think I will wear this and it is really a prototype, since I am going to attempt several other shirts, but in more interesting fabrics. I bought lots of prints in the summer but it has taken me so long to finish this I still have them uncut. This has worked – kind of.

the front bands are imperfect. I managed to somehow get wrinkles in the fabric when I top stitched. I really do not know how I did this because I thought it was OK for two weeks and then suddenly noticed them. I made sure it buttons over these so they are not very noticeable.

I have no idea which way female shirts do up as opposed to male and since I am a fan of army surplus I tend to wear both male and female garments anyway and really what a stupid idea…….that girls do up differently to boys. I mean who came up with that? Whats the point? How stupid can you get? So as far as I am concerned with this shirt and every other fastening I ever make I am going to do it however I feel with no rules. I really cannot see the point of a mans top doing up the opposite way to a womans. Equality etc! So what I am rambling on about is I am going to always make my clothing button up so it LOOKs the best it can rather than follow any rules. To be honest this may do up the girls way. I really do not know.

And then at the bottom of the other button band I have a sort of turned up bit. Despite much steaming this does not really get much better. Possibly if it was a non-stretch woven I might have made a better job of this because this is a very lightweight stretch woven which is probably cotton which should make it very comfortable to wear but not so easy to sew.

 Unfortunately, as you can see I wore this before taking the photos hence got the back all creased. This is real life though, not a fashion blog!

Then the wrist openings ( no idea what the correct terminology is here) are clearly different lengths with one side being shorter than the other. Maybe that is why I get a small wrinkle in the right sleeve at the front when I wear it?
BUT I still am happy with this.

Partly its cos finally its finished and it has taken absolutely ages for me to make this. Also, though, I really will wear it. It’s the only shirt dress I have, but also because I actually quite like it. I did intend for this to be finished in the summer when in May/June I was dying of heat in my much thicker clothing and now its November and freezing cold but there that’s me. If I start another couple of shirts now maybe I can get them finished in time for next summer eh?
Also I have managed to use some of my vintage mother of pearl buttons. I inherited these from my Great Aunts who died when I was about 6 so approximately 1970. Well I know they are not vegan, and I do try to be a good vegan, but they are lovely and in the end I have not bought them, they are very old vintage buttons and what would happen if I threw them away? More than likely they would go to landfill and what a complete waste! I think there has to be a balance here. I would never buy mother of pearl, but in the end when its inherited, or even freely given or recycled why not? The planet matters too, and these buttons are very old and very beautiful.  And they make my shirt a bit quirky which I think it needs, else the imperfections would be even more obvious that they actually are.

I think for the patterned shirts I want to make, I would prefer not to bother with the pockets since I do not really use them and maybe to find a pattern with no front yoke cos without the pockets it becomes a pointless extra bit of sewing. Especially with a very patterned fabric since the front yoke will not be seen. I do like the fact there are no darts because one of my dislikes of women’s shirts is those darts they always have to put in. Men ‘s shirts just do not have them. Obviously if you are very curvey you may need this but I have a very straight-up-and-dow igure so I really do not need that extra shaping.

What I may do in fact rather than trace a completely different shirt pattern is use this one but join the yoke onto the bodice and add an inbuilt button band or should that be stand? I think it sounds familiar so probably yes it’s a stand. No idea why!

So anyway then retrace it all as one piece and make it simpler because I do like the fit of this very much. It does actually fit me properly in fact and I am wider over the shoulders than most patterns allow for but actually quite small everywhere else so when I buy RTW shirts unless I buy army surplus I usually have to buy one or two sizes bigger to accommodate my shoulders. This of course means the body of the shirt hangs off me. So it’s a very rare occasion I find a nice fitted shirt hence my intense dislike of them.

Of course now I am making my own I can probably learn to make it fit.

Right now though if I can just aim on getting the other bits – sleeve openings being identical and button bands/stands not wrinkling that is all I need to do. I can worry about the actually fit on a darted fitted shirt next year once I have perfected the rest. So anyway all in all I think this a success because I am going to make more.
Thanks for visiting

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Autumn leaves DIY pot pourri

Yesterday, as I was leaving work I found a pile of the most beautiful leaves. I am not sure what trees these come from but they make lovely pot pouri as you can see here.

 Most English trees have leaves that dry to brown or yellow so I can only assume these are not indigenous species.

 Either way if you are looking for cheap (as in free) pot pourri and do not mind collecting a few leaves these type of fallen dried leaves make a lovely display.

 I mixed a few dried rose petals In with them which I saved from a bunch of lovely roses bought for me by some ex-colleagues when I left a temporary job in the summer.

  I was particularly moved by the nice people who bought me the roses ( after all I was only a temp!) so I saved a few of the flowers before they were totally gone and dried them on a wooden plate in a conservatory in the sun.

They do not have much fragrance and the leaves have none that I can decipher but all that is needed is a few drops of essential oil and I have this lovely and naturally pretty pot pourri.

  I know it should be highly scented and contain Orris root and such to help retain the scent but half of the effect of pot pourri is actually visual. I am also not that fussed about it being highly scented, but am more interested in the visual effect.  

Anyway as far as I am concerned I love this. I intend to keep a look out for a few conkers (horse chestnuts), acorns and pine cones and add these as I find them. The most surprising thing about these leaves was I only collected a few handfuls and when I got home and put them in a bowl I had far too many, so I also used a vase to hold the rest. Not the most obvious receptacle maybe, but it works, and looks very pretty as an autumn decoration, and will lead us nicely up to Christmas I think.

 As an after thought if you had some silver or gold spray paint or glitter you could also decorate a few leaves to make this more like a bought pot pourri. I do not have any paint right now so am sticking with the natural look.
Thanks for reading