Friday, 31 October 2014

City of Ember, Lampshades, and what's going on up there?!

Today's post is going to be a little different, I have been nominated by A Study In Stitching for the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award.

I have also been nominated by my sis Style&Influence for the blog hop that has also done the rounds, so I've done a bit of a massive post for you guys today. So apologies for the masses of words from me! I decided to break it up a bit with pretty pictures.

What is your favourite book/film and why?
My favourite book is Jane Eyre, it's one of those books that I know I can read again and again without getting bored. I dont often go back to a book, but I love the gothic nature of this book and Jane's refreshing world view for a woman of her (fictional) time. 
Here is the mess that I ended up with from the  Handmade Fair macrame lampshade workshop. I loved the technique, but I fancied doing it in a different material

My favourite film at the moment is city of Ember, I love the set/ clothes design of this film so much, I could watch it over and over. You can see throughout this post a lampshade that I've made inspired by the main female characters wool shop/ home. I love this place, though I am tempted to spend hours on end sitting in there winding all the wool back together. I still need to fireproof this, and find a stand for it.

What has been your best holiday and why?
My honeymoon last year, we went on the train from Berlin to Munich, Prague, Zurich, Lake Como and Milan. It was only the second proper holiday me and my husband had been on, and I loved exploring with him, knitting on trains and drinking copious amounts of wine. 
Badly pixelated pic of the wool shop 
 What advice would you give to your thirteen-year-old self?
Ugh, fourteen was a terrible age for me, I wasn't me. But I wouldn't want to change any of the things that happened, they made me who I am. So I'd probably just tell her to enjoy being thirteen, and not to worry about the future. I probably wouldn't listen to me anyway.
My giant knitting, that I stole the wool from to make the lampshade. Will definitely finish this rug one day...
Money and life commitments aside, what would your dream job be?
I think my issue is that there is not one perfect job out there for me. I want to be involved in lots of things. I’d love to do more teaching of sewing, and am trying to make my way in the world of project management. I guess my dream job would be to have the time to do all of the different jobs that I'd love to do

If you had to change your name, what would you change it to?
If I had to change my name I'd feel massively drawn to calling myself something terrible like Starbuck, or Xena or Marceline. Actually yeah, Marceline all the way.
Measure 12 lengths of wool, you can see it includes lots of balls of wool tied at one end to hold all the bits of wool together 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Ive always thought that Canada would be a good place to live, but if our living in Edinburgh has taught me anything there is nowhere better to live than where your friends and family are close by. Thats not to say id never move away again, just that where we are right now suits who we are. One day ill get my cottage in the country. Mr.T will hate it ha ha
Loop these on to the frame of your lampshade
What's the best thing that's happened to you so far in 2014?
2014 has been a brilliant year! I've just got a new job to start in December, and it's been my first year of marriage. Anniversary on Sunday. 

What advice would you give to someone about to take up sewing?
Go for it! picking up sewing again was the best thing I ever did, I've found so many different things I want to do from it that I struggle to hold myself back. Practically, I'd say read a lot of blogs, as ive gained masses of knowledge from other people's experiences. Also take your time and dont put too much pressure on yourself. We all get wonky seams, they are what makes our clothes unique.

Split the looped wool into three and begin to plait, looping over the side bars every now and again

What is your favourite and least favourite thing about sewing?
My favourite thing is probably the quiet concentration, having something creative to do and locking myself away from the world, just doing something for me, and getting a style that is all my own out of it. 
My least favourite thing would probably be loopy sewing stitches.. you know, that moment when you've been sewing all night and all you need to do is this one seam and then you can wear your shiny new item tomorrow... and then it chews up said fabric/ thread for no other reason that you're tired

What percentage of your wardrobe, approximately, is handmade?
It used to be about 50%, but it's creeping up to the 75%, all my favourite clothes are pretty much handmade, and I don't often buy new clothes anymore. I haven't sworn off buying or anything just yet but i'm getting there.

What am I working on?
Autumn is my favourite time of year, so consequently my brain goes into making overdrive. I've got two coats on the go, and am dipping in and out of these with other projects. I'm also working on my drawing/ design skills.

Why do I create?
Because I have to! It's in the blood I guess, there's never been a time when I haven't had one thing or another on the go, but I'm getting more and more drawn into creating on many levels!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

The Epic Coat Challenge

Hello all, unfortunately the photos in this blog post are a little rubbish, due to the temporary loss of my camera charger over a couple of days. I couldn't find anything to take a picture with in the house (in this day and age!) so used an ipad. I am baffled more than ever now by those tourists carrying them round to take pics with.... cameras are smaller, less cumbersome and the pictures are better. Come on guys, join me in the nineties! I've previously really enjoyed looking at people's RTW (ready to wear) clothes from the inside, and as I was planning on taking this much loved coat apart anyway....

Ta dah! The insides of my coat. As you can see the front two panels are interfaced, and there are shoulder pads made of two layers of felt (one smaller than the other), the raw edges aren't finished on the inside, but all of this was enclosed in the lining. On the arm scye, there is some paper interfacing as a seam binding.

This was not the only nod to tailoring in this coat:

Catch- stitching on the inside, this looks like it's somehow done by machine, perhaps in the same way as an invisible hem?

Once I took these pics, I proceeded to take apart one full side of the coat, taking it back to its individual pieces. I traced these off on to tracing paper to create a full pattern for the coat, adding in 'fold here', 'cut two' etc. where applicable. Now I have a coat pattern I know will fit, no muslin necessary! I have made a good start on my brand new coat, as those who follow my instagram will know. I mean, its not a winter coat so when it's done it will go in the cupboard ready for spring, but in season sewing is so last season! 

I also have big plans for what's left of the original coat. I have already dyed the pieces, getting rid of most of the wear, though the lighter places stayed lighter... they're just a darker less grubby colour which is way better. Watch this space and have a great weekend. 

Also,  reached my 100th comment this week! Thanks to everyone who has shared a thought on my page, it means so much and I get very excited any time someone posts a comment, so please feel free always to get something off your chest, ask a question, or even posit a theory on the extinction of the dinosaurs. It is always welcome.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Surly Raccoon Anna Dress

Well, I have come to the end of the summer dress posts! (I think) The weather has definitely taken a turn, the orange leaves are falling, and I needed a coat on my way to work the other day! I bought ths fabric on a trip down to london months ago. Mr T was with me at the time and he said that the raccoons on it looked surly, I think I agree, they don't look that happy to have been squished on to my dress and surrounded by lollipops they aren't allowed to eat.

It was a bit bright for these pics, but I'm no photoshop wizard so unfortunately you will just have to assume there is dress in those big white patches ha ha. Can you see the waist? Look at that pattern matching, pretty happy with that! Look at my hair! No wait, don't look at my hair. Why do I look like I don't know what a brush is?!

The back... I put a lot of effort into the matching at the bodice part of the top, and then got bored I guess 'cause I didn't do the bottom. This is why you should take a break when you start to get bored. 

It has pockets yay! I spent the whole of last Sunday going through the wardrobe and putting away my summer clothes. There were definitely things that havent been worn this year. Mostly the summer floral dress type things. I suppose when you have clothes that have angry raccoons on them it's hard to choose to wear vintage roses. I do struggle to get rid of things, I've just put it all in a suitcase under the bed. I took out all my winter gear as well, I love all my woolly jumpers, and wool skirts, mostly things that are wool. Though I have some definite gaps, yay more sewing!

More cat pictures! You're not bored of cat pics yet are you?

NOTE: I have had quite a few requests regarding what patterns I used for this dress, It was made using the bodice from the Anna, and the skirt from New Look 6723. To see how I merged these patterns together, you can read all about it on this blog post. I hope this helps! Deborah

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Comfy Coco

I think I have to admit that in the case of this dress, I probably made a bad choice.

I loved what everyone was saying about the Coco, that it was crazy comfortable and felt pulled together, so I'll admit to being convinced into it by all the gorgeous versions that were appearing.

However, I never wear jersey because it always feels too clingy, so I was undecided about making it. I do have a jumper though which is a similar shape that I love, so I thought that maybe with a bit of drafting I might love it. Plus I hadn't worked with stretch before so thought that it would go well with my new challenge myself plan! I had some denim look stretch that I used as a muslin, and recreated the jumper. To do this I first traced the coco in the packet measurements, then laid the jumper over the top, tracing the areas where it differed from the pattern. The main difference was the accentuated A line of the bottom of the top.

I really liked this top, and decided for my proper make I would try and adapt it to a dress. Having never owned a jersey dress, and knowing I liked the top, what could go wrong right? Something that I learned though once this was made. I don't just not wear jersey because it clings, I also don't feel 'done up' enough. I've gotten so used to wearing cotton/ woven fabrics that this feels way too casual.

Cat - bombed

So I thought id show you how I do wear this... with my pyjamas (leggings now it's colder) usually a hairband cos I haven't bothered washing my hair. This is officially now my day pyjamas. It serves its purpose well, and I did learn a lot about jersey sewing in the making. So a definite 50-50 make. 

I have since made a jumper from the top pattern, and love it! Just, the dress is not for me... until I need another pyjama dress anyway. Ya live and ya learn


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