A little better maybe

Saturday, 29 June 2013


My skirt

I finally finished the skirt and mighty proud am I of it!  I don't like it very much because it looks a little old fashioned and I don't think it goes with anything in my wardrobe.

I was a bit more careful than usual with construction; it has an elasticated waist that I wanted to look a little less 'Becky homecy', so I took my time with it.

Stretch knit lining gathered at waist and sewn to waist for casing
I leave two thread tails at each end on one side only of elastic, this way I can more easily work out how to straighten the elastic if it twists

one of the tools I use for elastic casing insertion it's a  latch hook from an old knitting machine
 elastic going in

 a line of stitching so I can tell back from front
neat(ish) topstitching
I also spent time trying to work out how easy it would be to use my Haslam system of dressmaking using this Haslam board
 that I got off eBay and the instructions from this
This is also from eBay.  It is called Haslam Template Foundation disc ( I think) and is  full of scanned books featuring patterns from the past.  It contains the board that you have to make up yourself;  it's scanned onto the rom.  I had a bit of trouble printing the scans to he correct scale.  The ruler on the bottom is meant to be inches but mine came up short.  I went to this blog http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/1932153 and Dr E, mentioned that she increased the scan a bit 'till she got the correct scale.  As I say, I got mine off the Bay but, I shall need to make one up using the instructions on the files because mine is very old and although it looks great, is a tad fragile
I decided to start off simple.  I chose collar G from a file called ILL DR AJC 82 page5. 

Well, the 18 Y O chose it and I made it up following the instructions in the files.
I used some scrap eyelet fabric from a dress I made the then 16 Y O.
I'm not going to wear this outside of this flat!
It was super easy to draft the pattern; the system requires some knowledge of dressmaking. Instructions for everything from buying equipment, such as sewing machines, irons and thread, to making up a garment, including fabric yardage and type, is provided with the system.
 You also get samples of other patterns that can be bought with this system

I cant wait for a time when I can make me a whole garment!
Btw, a lady called Ann Jones sells this system on eBay.  She is most helpful and patient and has excellent communication.   The whole system costs me well under £20.  I bought the Haslam chart/board cos I was curious, it was old and genuine and I couldn't be bothered to make the board yet.  But I will. I'm spending a while photoshopping it using Pixlr before I print it out.

I think my posts are too long!

Where do rabbits learn to fly?
In the hare force!


Saturday, 22 June 2013

Not what I expected!

So,  I've finished the blouse of the suit I was making. It's not what I expected it to look like.
The 18 Y O wants to wear it 'cause 'Big is in fashion'.  About time; although she means clothes, not people.

Some construction pictures
Front neck
shoulder and neck facing
I sometimes get into difficulty when pivoting on collars during top stitching. 
 What I tend to do is to use the collars other point as a lump leaper under the back of the presser foot but away from the needle. The foot usually has no problem with threads bunching up around the same stitch when trying to continue on after the pointy bit.

A bit I can't identify
 I even almost finished sewing the skirt and  hemmed it.
I bought some black stretch knit lining to finish it off.
  I chose said lining because I wanted to be comfortable on the warm days that I intend to wear the suit. (If we get any warm weather)  My legs often get all hot and uncomfortable in the heat. Then they go weak and numb because my Ms does not like heat.  I also have other reasons for my choice.  There's nothing wrong with slippery, shiny,  smooth lining except:
  • I travel by London bus; a lot. When the bus stops suddenly - they seem to do that a lot - I'm still moving forward (satin hates friction apparently) and have sometimes taken a comedy dive off the end of the seat! 
  • In the heat, these fabrics cause my legs to sweat.  Yuck!
  • I hate sewing slippery fabrics
  • I don't want to sew this type of lining with an elasticated waistband.
Its a bit too tricky and involved for a simple suit and as far as I'm concerned, I've already spent way too much time on it! In my mind, I'm hardly going to spend much time with a stretch lining. 
Did I say that I lost the stretch lining?  I put it away, somewhere...........?

Here's the blouse.

Me and Wiggy and the skirt I'm gonna wear .  I'll iron it though!

Do I have to tell you this is the back view?

I almost never like anything I make for myself!  So if you like it, please say 'Yay'. I could do with a boost.  Really though, I do like this blouse.  I can see why I made it up so many times.
Those stringy bits are gonna annoy me!
I might do a post on the skirt. Not the yellow one, that was bought at a local market one sunny Sunday about 5 years ago. Its unlikely as I think I may have chucked that lining.
On a more positive note, I have a blouse that I like!  (lol)

What do prisoners use to call each other?
They use cell phones!


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Its fail day!

Because, I was meant to have had a finished suit by Tuesday;
 buttons sewn, hems neatened, collars top stitched.......

I have this instead
A collar, 
an un-top stitched, faced front or two,

A shoulder seam and finished facing,

and a  hem that will be narrow.

Not the progress I hoped to make. On the other hand, since I'm meant to be getting Sewmuchbetter,  maybe it's best that I take my time and finish with a garment I am proud to wear. Tuesday, not fail day!

I now have,  

One of these!
My Silver Viscount overlocker looks more like this,

 but my picture of it says nothing good about this fine piece of machinery.
I spotted it on Gumtree London a few months ago, bought it home and kept it out of sight for a braver time.  It was being sold for less than half price, just down the road from my place, had hardly been used and  came with a few large cones of thread.
I only just got round to working out how to use it; now that I'm more confident, I shall use it a lot more!  
some practise stitches

Etsy is a place full of wonderful things.  As I was Internet window shopping I really had to buy a dress and jacket pattern that I came across from one of the sellers.

Her name is Omega;  she sells these Embonpoint patterns as PDF files. Each file comes with a ruler, instructions and patterns pieces for each garment.  I paid £13 for both jacket and dress.  Embonpoint patterns can be used to fit sizes from 20" to 69" bust. You could fit a whole gaggle? bevy? of bridesmaids.  What is the collective noun? Should there be one? It should be beauty!  You could fit a whole beauty of bridesmaids! Her patterns are gorgeous! You know, vintage, but now!  Search for EMBONPOINT in Etsy, you'll see what I mean.

This is some of what I got

This was too small, and so were the other options suggested i.e. 100% zoom

more of the above

I pulled this number out of a hat.  Worked though!

To get the correct size, I had to experiment with %ages on my printer 'till I arrived at a 120% print out

There are other pages that tell what the symbols and letters mean, and how to use the ruler etc.  
I shan't be starting this project till the 18 Y O finishes her exams and I can have my dining table back.
This system is similar to the Lutterloh  system according to Omega and I think it is.  The special rulers though are not interchangeable.

Have a good week!

Why was the broom late?
It over swept!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Mission: Project Aborted!

I was going to make one of these

From this old Burda

I made 3 of these over the years, but had to give them away as I got smaller.  I made a soft blue cotton one, a peach Georgette and a flowery Chiffon. Anyway, I lost this crinkle embroidery Georgette that I bought for the occasion. 
                       That's what happens when you put things away.

I ended up instead, looking at this pattern 

from this Burda,

and did a quick make instead, just to make myself feel better.


It is a very quick make, only a few pieces; Front, Back, Casing, Sleeve-things and the long Belt/Tie.  (As I was pulling the fabric inside out for the belt, I slipped and bashed myself in the face).  I wore it to school next day and received 4 compliments!  I must say, I don't like it very much! It would have been better had I a figure. I loved making it as it was so simple. 

I'm going to do the blog thing!


YES. I disregarded the instructions - it's almost self explanatory.  I'm not gonna show any stitch details although, it is pretty good - you'll just have to trust that what I say is true.


NO! and YES! Off, it looks like the pattern but on, no! But that's because I have no figure to speak of.


YES, KIND OF!  I 'm going to, one day, make this version 
because it has the caftan look around the sleeve/sides, which was what I wanted in the first place.


It's very easy and I imagine you can get a lot of wear  on many occasions if you think about the fabric more carefully than I did.


One I had in my stash from a second hand place called Posh Junk in Mitcham.
It was 45" wide with colourful tulips on a navy background. I didn't want to be bothered with too much pattern matching;  I had about 2.5m. I managed to use about 2m.

I then found my fabric - if you got this far you've seen it - and it's been cut out and is ready for marking and interfacing!  Hopefully, I'll have a new two-piece dress by next Tuesday! I'm going to have to take my time on this one; my fingers are a little numb these days and the fine fabric's a little difficult to manoeuvre at the best of times but, as I say, I'm a-gonna-take-me-time.

Teacher: What is a forum?
Pupil: A two-um plus a two-um!