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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Simplicity 8124

I was out shopping with a friend the other weekend and we kept on seeing in the shops some lovely off the shoulder floaty tops.  I remembered that I had seen a pattern for such a top on the Simplicity website, but wasn't sure of the pattern number.  I went home and searched for it and it was pattern of the week.  So I got it for half price!  What a happy coincidence.  (Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 8124)

Well, as I pushed the boat out on the pattern I also had to be extravagant with my fabric choice - so this top is made out of another friend's old duvet cover.  :)

That combined with the fact that I teamed it with my refashioners' skirt made me and my purse very happy.

As you can see.

I took these photos when on a mini break in this gorgeous cottage on the Wales/England border.  It was a very relaxing break...

...sunshine...views... of sheep.  What more could I ask for. :)

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Handmade On Holiday

It is the end of the summer holidays, and I am about to go back to early mornings and hairnets - so I am cheering myself up with the photos I took of our main holiday this year.  In beautiful West Wales.

The photo above was taken on a wonderfully sunny day at a beach that is often included in lists of the most beautiful beaches in the world...

Barafundle Bay.

It was a perfect opportunity to wear my beach set.   Although I would be lying if I said the weather was this glorious for the full week!

We did have rain.  Here I am cuddled up in our 'sun' tent on the beach with my daughter, and lots of tea and hot chocolate!  I am wearing my seagull skirt which proved quite appropriate.. look who came for a nose once the weather had cleared up a bit.

We didn't just have rain though...

...there was also wind!  This is one of the few photos my daughter took of me that day that isn't showing too much leg!

This was at Angle beach and I am wearing an old favourite, a floral skirt I made out of a curtain that seems to find its way into my limited suitcase every summer.  I think it is my favourite thing I have ever made and I am in love with it still.  Plus it has my favourite colours in it so I always seem to buy shoes that match! :)

The changeable weather didn't bother me that much as we stayed in such a beautiful cottage it was hard to leave it every day.

This was the view into the garden.

And a clematis arch lead you into a summerhouse.  Bliss.

Also, look at this book I found on a shelf in the cottage - just asking to be read by the fire on the rainy day we had (I can remember it was the rainy day because there I am wearing the seagull skirt!)  The book is called 'The Art of Needlcraft' and the envelope inside advertising a tobacconist must have been used as a bookmark for many years.

Anyway, you can see why I am sad to get back to normal daily life now the summer is over.  The clothes, the cottage, the coast, the collectibles...

and I forgot to mention... the CAKES!!!!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Simplicity Sewing Challenge and Refashioners 2016 all rolled into one!

Well, this has taken me a while!  The thing is why not stretch yourself by trying to combine two challenges in one.  I am entering the Simplicity Sewing Challenge and The Makery's Refashioners 2016 Challenge with the same skirt. :)

I started out with Simplicity pattern 1458...

and four pairs of jeans.  (To clarify - the Simplicity challenge requires you to use this pattern and The Refashioners' requires you to refashion jeans.)

I knew from the outset that I didn't want a patchwork look for my skirt but wasn't sure how easy it would be to find the same colour denim in sufficient quantity in a charity shop.  Turned out I was very lucky!  In the first shop I went into they had a whole rack of size 12 jeans, unworn, that they couldn't seem to sell.

You can see from this label that they had reduced them from £3 to £1.50.  As a rule I don't like to cut up clothes that aren't damaged but they had a whole rack of these, all size 12 that weren't selling, and I was worried they might end up being recycled anyway.  So I bought four.

I traced out just the skirt section of the dress pattern.  I knew I wanted a very tight fit so I cut out size 16 regular, when I am actually a size 16 c urvy (I am not fooling myself!). 

I trimmed the top of the tracing to fit my waist measurement.

This was easy to do as the waist was clearly marked on the pattern.  I then traced a slight curve which a waistline needs to sit nicely.

I made up a toile and I had a lovely A-line skirt but I wanted to do a bit more to the pattern (and the jeans!) than that.

So I traced around my pattern pieces again - because I wanted to keep the original skirt pattern for future use.

I had marked on the toile when wearing where my hips started to curve back inwards, and I used these measurements to mark a curve on the toile (just to double check the fit) and the copy pattern.

(I know - my drawing of the skirts are quite something aren't they.  Completely self taught in drawing I am!)

Don't forget to curve the other way as well, as in the photo above, or you'll end up with a sticky out bit where the fabric abruptly changes direction.

I also lengthened the skirt and carried on the curve and I ended up with a pattern piece that looked like this...

The straight line is the original line of the dress, the curve is where I have altered the pattern.

The beauty of a princess seam is that it is easier to fit the pattern pieces onto the leg of a pair of jeans.

... Although it is still a squeeze.  I found out that they would fit easier onto the back legs - which were a little wider - but I did put some pieces on the front legs and had a few odd seams because it meant that I could spare one of the pairs of jeans from being cut up.  I will donate these back to a charity shop with the original £5 tag on them to show they are unworn and hope they can get some money for them.

So, I had a lovely fitted skirt with a cute kick out at the bottom - but I wanted to use some of the original jean furniture.  (I am guessing how handles on doors are door furniture then zips, rivets and pockets on jeans are jean furniture, or is that just me?)  Soooooo, I decided I wanted a high high waist using the original jeans.  Sorry, this is going on a bit, you aren't late for an appointment are you?

I drafted a high waistband for the front of the skirt, and split it into three to coincide with the princess seam lines, and I used the zips from the three jeans I cut up to make the waist detail.

Like so.

I kept the back waistband as two pieces as I liked the lines made by the stitching from the back of the jeans.  I also left a teeny tiny bit of the pockets on as well.  The zip is exposed because it cost me more than the jeans and I wanted to see it!

You will have noticed that I kept some of the piping detail from the original pattern on the front of the skirt.  I used a piece of scrap fabric I bought on ebay in a bag of scraps for 99 pence I think.

I made quite chunky piping hence why it is just on the front of the skirt.  It would not be very comfortable to sit on if it were on the back.

The finishing details included a scant bias bound hem on the skirt. 

And I was done!

Time to sit back and smell the flowers.

Phew. :)

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

More Barbie Clothes

I have a problem with throwing even the tiniest bit of fabric away!

So here are my latest makes for the tiniest people I know. :)

You may remember I used this shirt and this curtain..

To make this dress.

 Well here is the tiny version.

And my latest offcuts have also fallen victim to my tiny clothes syndrome!

My humongous Burda top actually had a bit of fabric left over from it.

That went into making this top and skirt.

The skirt is lined with a curtain that I last used to make bags in 2009.

I love how it has made the gathering at the top of the skirt more interesting.

Finally, my latest make...

Which you may recall was squeezed onto the width of the fabric when cutting out.  Well, I still had tiny offcuts which I made into this top and trouser set.

Complete with a teeny tiny waistband.

I don't need to ask who wore it better.  Barbie all the way! :)

Friday, 22 July 2016

Practical 'Companion' Pattern No. 7001

It's a boiling hot day here in Wales, and as I type this, seagulls are flying above my seaside home making quite a racket.  Welsh seagulls are tough as old boots let me tell you - a fact I found out to my cost when one snatched a whole pasty out of my hands as I was about to enjoy a picnic on our local beach.  Needless to say I always eat indoors now!

Anyway, I bring up the subject of seagulls as I purchased this stretch cotton from the Remnant House in the UK.  

It turned out to be a little thinner than I had anticipated but just right to make this skirt...

It is called a companion pattern because there are skirts and blouses in the same range that fit together so that you can make them as a dress.  Sadly, most of my paper companions had left the envelope before I took possession of this pattern.   It was just me and the two darted version of the skirt left in the corner of the room making small talk. :)

I really wanted to make a version with side pleats - but after resizing the skirt it became clear that there was no extra fabric available at the sides to make the pleat.

This is a wide fabric as well!   I obviously shortened the skirt by quite a bit and I cut myself a new waistband as that had also left the party early.

Back of the skirt.

I consoled myself about the lack of side pleats by making myself a headband.  There was enough stretch for a nice fit.

It is just two tubes of the fabric interlocked and fastened together at the back.

Another one for the vintage pattern pledge!