Sunday, 25 March 2012

SSK, p2 tog and k1 tbl

In other words the heel and the gusset of the 2nd Fruit Loop sock are finally done. Yay! I managed to decipher my hastily scribbled notes on the changes I made; well at least I think I did. The heels turned out roughly the same, not that you can tell when you’re wearing them anyway. And as I mention before the socks are for me so I’m treating them as a learning curve, not that I will ever remember the SKKs, p2 togs, right twists and others, but that’s what YouTube and knitting videos are for, right? And now that I got the 'tricky part' (the dechipering that is!) out of the way, the rest should be breeze, I might even have these finished before Easter (2013 that is).

                              The 2nd heel and gusset all done and dusted 

                             The stripey ball of yarn  

I’ve not got around doing much else crafty over the weekend unless you count spending hours on Pinterest looking for inspiration ... But I did make some pretty good cheese cake even if I so say myself and yes, I found the recipe on Pinrest. 

Keep calm and carry yarn (as the bag I’m currently coveting says).

Thursday, 22 March 2012

A dotty Jackie O dress

I know I said that I would be sticking to bows or fingerless gloves in the last post, but I was feeling particularly brave after finishing the long seams of the dress of doom and before hemming the damned thing. Also I had the dotty poplin I bought the weekend before waiting for me so I couldn't resist turning it into a dress.

I decided to try the Jackie O dress from the Famous Frocks - patterns and instructions for 20 fabulous iconic dresses! My mum got me the book for Christmas (she always buys me the best presents, thanks mum!). The book title is a tad misleading as the patterns are more or less modern re-workings of the iconic dressess, not actual replicas, but the Jackie O dress still looked adorable and it has pockets added to it which I thought was pretty cool. I must say I was a bit disappointed that the book doesn't have pictures of the finished dresses just artist impressions so it's difficult to know what the finished product will look like.

                         What I was aiming for - the wonderful Jackie O 

I copied the patterns on Friday night (staying in is the new going out in case you hadn't heard). After the doom dress disaster I decided it would be best to make a mock up of the top just to be sure I knew what I'm doing and to see what the fit is like. The mock-up was easy enough to make and the fit was surprisingly good so I decided to continue with the dotty material.

                                      Scissors and patterns ready to go

The dress came together really nicely. My usual downfalls were easily avoided as the pattern had the interfaced lining to finish the neckline and armholes. I've used this technique before I will most certainly be using it again.

                            My neckline and armhole problems taken care of

I used an invisible zipper this time and I had no problems, it as so much less hassle than the doom's dress. I almost felt it was too easy, like I was cheating, but it's there and it works and it looks ok as well which is positive. I'm rather tempted to stick to invisible zips in the future, or maybe I should make it my task for this year to conquer all kinds of zips.

And I made pockets for the first time. They were easier than I though and fun, I might be adding them to everything I make in the future, well maybe not to socks and mittens but ... 

                               A skirt with pockets!

I went to see Nouvelle Vogue at Korjaamo last night so the dress got its first outing. The gig was brilliant and the dress fitted fine though I might need to re-adjust the side seams of the skirt as they don't seem drape just right, but that might be more to do with the weight of the fabric than anything else. And I suspect there will always be room for improvement in every project I make ... 

                                          A Dot mad girl


Sunday, 18 March 2012

Final Score: Doom Dress 10 - 11 Essi

I mentioned a losing battle against a simple black dress in earlier this week, obviously my luck changed. Here are some of the high lights and low lights of the process.

I first made this dress using the Burda Supereasy 3258 pattern over ten years ago (gosh that makes me feel old).  I have a sneaky suspicion bit was the first dress I ever made, I would like to say by myself but my Nan who was a seamstress was there to help. I remember fighting with the neckline and arm holes a lot and I used a thick black knit for it which wouldn’t fold nicely. The finished result looked very home-made and the dress was a bit short but I loved and I used to wear it soo much. The dress saw its final day when my wardrobe collapsed in a room that had just been painted and it got some blue paint over it, I remember being rather gutted about it and I still am not that I would fit into the dress anymore but it has sentimental value.

I would love to say that my sewing skills have gone a level (or two) up since ten years ago,  I might have even said that I'm almost an intermediate sewer until this project came along, I'm now forced to admit to myself that I'm still a beginner, oh well di-dums, or maybe this  was just one of those projects that were doomed to begin with.

Either way the neckline was a problem (again) but I managed to solve it with somewhat better results than last time ie no bulky material around the neck and armholes. After some adjusting (read loads) I got the neckline roughly where I wanted it to be. I used blue biased binding to fold the neckline and armholes nice and neatly and to give it a slightly more finished look on the inside. I only realised whist writing this that the blue bias binding is almost the same colour as the paint that ruined the first dress.

                                        True Blue bias binding ...

The zipper turned out to be my other arch nemesis in this project even though I’ve had some success with them in the past. I will be sticking to invisible zippers in future, they are so much easier. I did wonder why I didn't go for one in this dress when I unpicked the zipper for the 2nd time, but at that point it had be come a battle and I wasn't going to give up. After lots of unpicking, a few dirty words anda stroke of luck I managed to get the zipper in place. I did find an interesting glue zipper tutorial at the sewmamasew blog  which I would have tried out had I had glue handy, but alas  I might try out if I ever have the great idea of adding a zipper to something in the future.

                                      My best friend the unpicker and seam ripper

After I got those two 'minor' things sorted the rest seemed easy, it was just long, straight seams. I had the dress nearly finished on Thursday but I didn't get around hemming it until today (cause I might have started on another project on Friday more of which later).  Here are a few pics of the finished results, please excuse the mess in the background. 

                           The very boring doom dress as modelled by your truly

I’m not going go into more detail about the things that aren't right with the dress, the list is too long, despite the flaws I'm sure I'll wear the dress at some point as its a little black dress and I wear those a lot. The good news is I can now move onto other projects like dotty fingerless gloves or bows, I like bows, they're less hassle.

And on that note over&out m'dears.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Good on paper..?

So I ordered my first e-pattern today.  I was very excited about the idea of not having to wait for the pattern in the post, but to be able to have it there straight away even though I don't even have a fabric in mind for this particular pattern. I know you get the same instant gratification if you go in to a store and buy a pattern but the stores in Finland tend to only stock Burda patterns and I've been admiring the Butterick Retro series for ages. Also the e-patterns being slightly cheaper didn't put me off at all.

So the idea was good on paper but the reality of it isn't so grand. I didn't quite realise the pattern would be on 61, yes 61 A4 papers that I will have to stick together. I had visions of maybe 15 or 20 sheets that I would be sticking together which I now know was a bit optimistic. But the pattern is pretty and I'm not in a hurry so if I do it a few sheets at the time I should get there before summer, right?

                                   Butterick Misses B5603 pattern on 61 A4 papers 

                  I have a sneaky suspicions I'm going to need a bigger kitchen table for this  ...

As you can see I've given it a start, I've done seven pieces so far so I only have another 53 pieces to go. That should keep me out of trouble for a while. Ta-ra for now.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Gingham and dots

I accidentally went and bought some black and white fabrics yesterday, ooops.One is a dotty poplin and the other one is gingham. They looked so nice and they held a promise of summer so how could I say no? Not that it looks anything like summer outside, there's snow and ice on the ground, but I'm hoping it will go soon.

I have a few patterns in mind for the fabrics already so I'm dying to cut them, but I’m currently working on (read fighting a losing a battle against) a really simple little black dress so it will have to wait til that's finished (or until I give up).

Anyway here are the fabrics and the ideas ...

                           Washed and shrunk and ready to be cut

                            Oh look more dress patterns ... 

I'm going back to the doom dress, the current score is 10 - 0 to the dress. Wish me luck.

Friday, 9 March 2012

What - No knitting?

Yes, no knitting in this post, not even a itsy bitsy progress report on fruit loops, just basting and sewing and handbags for now.

So I have finally finished the faux vintage bag I started last year. I seem to be very good at starting sewing/craft projects, but not so good at finishing them at least not very quickly. I suppose I get distracted too easily (Oh pretty shiny things! Oh look a new fun project!) and if I don't have time to finish the project in one go (which I rarely have) I might leave it for weeks or even months before going back to it, but the good news is I usually do go back to them sooner or later. 
This  particular project came to a halt because there was just too much else happening at the time and I couldn't decided if I wanted the bag to be a dead of the dead inspired sugar skull bag or just dotty one or something completely different and then somewhere along the way I just lost interest. But now after weeks and weeks I decided to pick up the project again and I'm glad I did as I am now the owner of a new handbag with dots. 
The bag was fairly easy to put together as Brennan’s book takes you through the stages with the help of some clear pictures. I had some trouble when turning the bag inside out when doing the lining as the coutil with the iron on interfacing is rather stiff, but after some swearing and a few attempts I managed it. And obviously after I managed that I had to go back and turning it over again as I had to make the lining a bit smaller as it was puckering inside the bag despite having had cut it smaller to begin with.

I ended up making the bow out of this pretty sheer dotty material and some black cotton I had lying around. I was thinking of making the bow out of just the sheer material, but I figured it would be easier to make it double-layered also that way it would be vaguely resemble the one in the book, not that I'm saying going creative and adding your own finishing touches bad but I liked the original shape. Anyhow here's a few pics from along the way

                              Basting in pink

                              Turning into a bag ..?

                              Bow or black lips?

                              Meet Dorothy

I’m hoping to make some matching gloves (well fingerless gloves I’m not that ambitious) out of the sheer dotty material which I used for the bow and I’m already thinking of zillions other accessories I could make from the fabric to go with the bag. Maybe some bow earrings though I always think black earring blend with my hair too well, same problem with black hair accessories ... maybe I should go blond.

On that note tatty-bye for now.