Sunday, 24 February 2019

Knowing when to stop!

I made this dress twice.

Not as in two garments but as in I had to unpick and remake the front from the orange down wards and at both sides of the skirt up to the orange waist stripe.
The first time I sewed this up it was fine really. Not perfect but OK and very nice and wearable but I had to keep trying to make it better. What I should have done was to make a second version to perfect this which is what ultimately I will still do. In my strriving for perfection I recked the first version.

I was so stupid.

It may be due to the fact the front is one piece and the other bits are sewn in succession. I am considering adding a centre front seam to the skirt to see if its easier to get a good finish rather than how the pattern says.

You sew in rows until you get to the skirt which goes on to the front piece and back piece - or at least that is how I added it. I sewed the front, sewed the back and then joined together matching all the blocks up. They do match which is an improvement on my diamond leggings

 The front as you can see on this version is still not quite right.

But the colour blocking parts all match pretty good too so thats great but the front ( and back) of the skirt are still not quite perfect. They do not hand right where they join the colour blocking.
Inside showing overlocked seams

I sewed all this up but decided it wasnot good enough when really it was as a first attempt - and then it did not look right so I again sewed another seam and in the end I had the skirt like a high low skirt - should have got a photo here to explain but instead I ended up carefully unpicking the overlocking ( horrible job) and then replacing the orange panel, lower yellow panel and the front skirt panel. So I had taken my first version appart below the top diamond.Then what I did was to sew the lower front again from new pieces of fabric - luckily I have lots of offcuts. Then I carefully rematched all the sides and sewed back together.

So really I made this twice!

It was pretty difficult taking decent photos of this garment. I think it was too sunny for the fluorescents to really show. The pictures taken in my sewing space were not much better - possibly because it was in a very sunny conservatory where I sew. 

 The lesson: If its OK but not perfect and a first attenpt ( and its overlocked and blocked and complicated to sew up, then think twice before randomly just re-overlocking the seams because you just end up ruining the garment. 

If its wearable and actually quite nice it really does not have to be perfect. 
Most RTW clothing is imperfect but a lot of it is very nice to wear and own. 
Perfection is great but its a great shame to ruin something you have achieved cos its not absolutely perfect. 
I need to accept and learn to ive with my imperfections!

And after all that effort the final version is STILL not perfect!

So in the end I worked very hard for this rather nice dress. I do like it. Its not quite like anything else I own and has an almost "Star Trek" feel to it whilst being essentially a scater dress. 
Maybe not the Star Trek crew but some other species. Its kind of futuristic. 

Again this is due to my trying to clear my stash. In this case I am using a mesh ( but opaque not transparent) fabric which has a sort of football shirt feel to it for the top and skirt and the panels are the same stretch crepe used for the last few projects.

I actually bought this pattern, which is McCalls M7538, because I read Dr T's blog. She reviewed this a while back and pointed out how it was a nice pattern for small bits of left over fabric and with that in mind I invested in this pattern intending to just make tops from it but what the hell - lets just clear the stash and make everything!

Have you done this and kept sewing when you should have stopped and then ended up either scrapping the garment or having to completely re-make part of it?

Monday, 18 February 2019

fluoro yellow top

This is my TNT pattern McCalls M6612 which I seem to have used loads. This is especially interesting since I bought this pattern by accident. There was an online sale on and I was binge buying.

I must have put this in the basket but did not realise. I was pretty peevved when it arrived but since then I seem to have made absolutely loads from this pattern.

So this top follows my sportswear theme and is stretch polyester crepe reversed. Its nice to wear despite having the texture on the inside.

Its very much a ballet type top.

Its worn here with my velvet yoga pant -

Burdastyle 01/2016 112

I do not wear these much nowadays and was seriously considering recycling into something new but I was not feeling very well on Saturday when these photos were taken and I found they were just what I needed to cuddle up in so they are staying for now.

Unfortunately I decided to learn to do mock flatlock stitch when making this top. It all went fine till I sewed up my sleeves and then the body sides started to come undone.

 I had not even tried it on yet so decided this was a bad idea and resewed with a normal 4 strand overlock stitch so the end results is much plainer than I originally intended.

I have left the mock flatlock across the shoudlers - you can just about see in the photo - and have worn this twice and so far so good but its not quite as good a finish as I wanted.

I really did the flatlock so I did not need to worry about not having matching thread since black was fine as a contrast. All the colours I currently have would contrast rather than match fluorescent yellow and I do not realy want to invest in any more cottons at the moment.

The top would probably look much better without a racer backed exercise top under it but never mind thats how I tend to wear them!

I kind of like the layered look!

If I wear it with work clothes I will try to get a photo taken to show the different looks.

I do not think I will bother with the effort of altering my overlocker again to do mock flatlock stitch though.  Probably due to being only 3 threads its just not strong enough. It does not feel very strong as a stitch at all.
Anyway I like the top very much but expect this will not last as long as I had hoped. I suppose often when you buy clothing you do not expect it to last forever but I am different with stuff I make. I want it to last so I expect it to.
Thanks for visiting and being part of my sewing adventure

Monday, 11 February 2019

Valentines Red

I had a strangely productive week this week and finished off several items that have been waiting for me to get round to adding things like hems, so I used my twin needle machine to finish these off.

Black leggings x 2 –
I don’t know about you but I do find making the basic stuff a bit boring. With the recent snow I was cold and decided to make some more black leggings because I can then wear my skirts and dresses for work and not freeze. It is nice to have the option to wear a dress sometimes and not be just stuck in trousers. Generally I am stuck in trousers at work!

I made a pair of these basic black leggings a few months back and I love them. One of the dogs managed to rip a small hole in my first pair at first wearing which was very annoying.

The hole, which is still at the moment small enough not to notice, means that I do not feel comfortable wearing these for work in case this hole gets too big during the day so I need some more. Both of these pairs  are made from the same piece of fabric as the earlier pair because I liked them so much I decided to make a couple more pairs. I was originally going to save this precious bit of black fabric but what’s the point of that?

Its exactly the reason my stash keeps growing. I just feel this need to be precious about fabric and save it for some ideal use at an unknown future date instead of making use of it when I need it now.  Really, I should be happy that I had enough fabric to make a further 2 pairs which will get me through the rest of winter and into spring.

The black legging fabric is a 4 way ( or two way I am never too sure of classifications here?) stretch fabric. Either way whatever its called its very stretchy in both directions and is also relatively light weight fabric so ideal for leggings.

Tulip skirt – self drafted direction here:
I read a blog post that inspired this skirt about a year ago.You can find it here:

This was called the Tulip skirt but to be honest I always thought a tulip skirt had gathers at the waist and was tighter at the bottom - more like this pattern but I think this is named such because of the petal like effect rather than the actual style.

I think this skirt does look like a red tulip. Being a red colour I reckon it works well for the looming Valentines day this year.

I like this very much either way. Mind you it would be more revealing to wear without leggings because of the wrap effect. I may make a second layer and overlap them next time for more coverage or even a contrasting circular underskirt.  I think perhaps my skirt overlaps slightly less than it ought to but I can make another to experiment at some point to see if I can sort this out. I am happy enough with this version for now. Though I seem to prefer the wrap more to one side rather than at centre front but that is something to be experimented with.

It has an almost dancer quality to it which I very much like and made me feel good wearing this this Saturday. It has a simple black elastic waistband and is made from football shirt type of fabric so it has a slight texture and a small amount of stretch but no lycra so this is a very stable knit fabric. Unfortunately ( or perhaps really I should be thinking fortunately) my weight has fluctuated and I am smaller this week than a couple of weeks ago when I made this meaning the waist band is a little too large. I will more than likely find I fluctuate back up again though so I am not too bothered if this is a bit big for now. Then with the red tulip skirt I am wearing a T-shirt that I started for Christmas – hence the red/green colourway, but have not till now got round to doing the hems.

T shirt - free pattern here:

Personally  I reckon this is as good as any reglan Tshirt pattern paid or free and believe me I have tried loads of them because I love raglans!

The red/green T shirt is made from a light weight silky ribbed fabric. I really bought these fabrics for hems and edges but they work just as well as a top. The red is the same ribbed fabric as the green that I used for my Goth dress. The pattern is my TNT free pattern from here. Though I did not make a good job of the neck band this time around. It does not lie quite right.

Finally I made this sweatshirt a week ago and have worn it to work and its very warm and cozy.
This sweatshirt jacket looks just as good with work clothes but maybe even better over my red tulip skirt. See last email here

So,  I made 2 new pairs of basic black leggings, finished my floaty tulip skirt, finished my Tshirt and it all goes with my sweatshirt jacket as well.

And I actually wore this out to the shops with no coat in the snow and did not feel cold. 
You can see how frosty it was here:

What a productive weekend!

Monday, 4 February 2019

Red sweatshirt jacket

This is the jacket from the leggings pattern McCalls M7446.

I made this a couple of weeks ago now because I needed a nice warm top for work. I work in an office where one annoying person ( mentioning no names of course) has to have the window open even in winter.
And its cold!

As in frosty/snowy cold. But then its me sits right in front of the window she just gets the "fresh air" on the opposite side of the office.

I do not feel I can complain. I am a temp and she has been there a couple of years. As a temp ofcourse the real reality is I have no rights. Under UK law yes, I do!

But I know from previous experience that actually no I do not.

So if I want to continue in my joib which I do then I must just put up with freezing to death each day. The person who opens the window gets in half an hour before me (we have staggered start times to keep the office covered) so she opens the windows so I feel unable to do anything other than wear more clothing.

I do eventually manage to shut it most days because there are building works just below us so it gets very noisy which is a brilliant excuse for shutting the window. Anyway back to this top.

Its red sweatshirt fabric. I made some trousers from it at the start of my blogger journey from a Lekala pattern.

I loved these but wore them out some time ago so sent the shabby remains off for recyling. But I still have loads of this fabric which I bought as an end of roll off a company that was shutting down. Its a very warm cotton /synthetic mix. Classic sweatshirting.

I also made a shrug.

I never intended to make this top really. I bought the pattern for the leggings and tops but it was just there in front of me on my table and I thought why not. Its not my usual style at all but as it turns out has been a real success.

Construction was pretty straight forward until I came to the fronts. I decided to try to avoid my wavy zip effect by adding interfacing to the fronts. You can see my wavy zip effect in this jacket
 which is also made from a knit fabric so stretchy:

Then I sewed the zip to the interfaced parts which worked well except I somehow sewed one zip on inside out so then needed to take off one side to rectify. I resewed and again had it wrong way round so I was getting very confused at this point and I unpicked for the second time and made a small hole in my fabric. I stopped and had a coffee. It was a great shame because the jacket had until now gone together really easily and it is not a difficult design. After a bit of a rest and caffeine I tried a third time but now my front panels were both slightly smaller due to me unpicking three times in total. Never mind. I figure so long as both sides are the same size approximately it should still work. I should have also interfaced the facings because I could nto believe just how much they stretched!

Then the collar did not quite work either because I ended up with something more like a bike jacket. It does not matter because I very much like my red sweatshirt jacket. I may have to have another attempt at this pattern though.


Hope you are all keeping warm and cozy