Friday, 20 December 2013

MacFrumpy from Highlands..?

As my previous sneak peek post showed I've jumped the tartan bandwagon this autumn/winter. As mentioned the dress is a mixture of Peony (bodice) and a pattern from a Burda Easy Fashion magazine (the skirt). I thought the pleats on the skirt would be a appropriate for the tartan as they remind me of a kilt, but I'm having major second thoughts now.

Matching two different patterns wasn't quite as horrendous as I would have expected. Hurrah. But I did spend some quality time with a tape measure and when I cut the skirt I left quite a bit of extra fabric to the sides, which was good as I measured the pleats wrong and I would have ran out of fabric, but now it was just a simple thing of moving the side seams further out and cutting the excess fabric away. 

I'm always amazed at how easy setting sleeves is (or maybe it's because I'm not too fussy about it). They seemed to go in like a dream even if the side stitch and sleeve stitch are a bit off, but I figured no one can see them unless I wave my arms like a maniac (and even if I do I suspect people won't have time to stare at the sleeve seams). I also found out that the sleeves on Peony are huge so I took them in quite a bit, but not too much as I still want to be able to do the maniac waving.

Invisible zipper foot

I tried an invisible zipper foot for the first time. My mum brought a new sewing machine a few weeks back and it came with this mythical attachment so I've borrowed hers. I haven't quite made my mind up about it. It's handy, but I still didn't manage the zipper quite as neat as I would have wanted and I did unpick it once. Meh. But it's there now and I'm happy with the result so I'm tempted to "invest" in one.

I moved the zipper to the side on this one so I didn't have to do pattern matching on the back. Lazy or just clever? I'm going to vote for the latter ,D The Burda dress has the zipper on the side so that's where I got the idea from, even though I would love to take all the credit...

And here is the nearly finished product (and sorry for the bad photos I was in a hurry)

Frumpy Tartan dress

I've haven't hemmed the skirt yet mainly as I'm trying to decide what to do with the skirt ie. do I keep it pleated or do I re-do it as normal Peony skirt or do something else with it like a quarter circle skirt.  The dress looks frumpy, there is on two ways about it. I keep thinking it's the pleated skirt doing it as it's so heavy that drags to bodice down. Also the material isn't stiff enough for the pleats so they sag, don't they? And even a huge petticoat wouldnt save this one. I'm somewhat annoyed as I really would love a pleated tartan skirt to wear with my DMs but it looks as if it's not to be, well at least not with this dress.

Advice needed dear readers. To unpick or not?  

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Melkein Marttakerho - sewing with friends

Me and a few friends have started meeting up weekly or bi-weekly to knit, sew, drink tea and gossip. The idea came up one weekend at the end of last summer when we had a games weekend and Jenni wanted to start something as counter-act for the boys' RPG and games nights (though I have to confess I'm part of the boys' RPG group, but shhhh, don't tell anyone ,D)
My pink dice

It's been good fun combining sewing, knitting and being sociable. Also it means I set aside time each week to do something crafty rather than just watching telly and I get to see friends and drink tea. We've started calling our group Marttakerho which refers to a Finnish organization Marttakerho, The real Marttakerho is a women's organization where they teach handy skills like home-sewing and knitting. It isn't exclusively for sewing and crafting though as they also do courses for cooking, mushroom picking, cleaning, jam making and all sorts other things. We're still practising with our own almost Marttakerho, but we might join the real thing one day.

A Martta in the making - Anni with her knitting

We don't do courses at our meetings, but we do try to help each other if and when needed. Our crafting group is very relaxed and we usually do our own projects in the same space. However me and Jenni have started a dress project where we're both making a New Look 6000 together. I'm surprise, surprise making a black one from jersey again so I can eliminate the zip. I've been wanting to make one for a while since Houndstooth dress is one of my faves and I wear it a lot.

Jenni cutting her dress with the furry members of our club Java and Kaapo

So far we've cut the dresses and sewn the darts and the side seams. Next up it'll be tackling the back and neckline. I'm loving how quickly this dress is coming together. I'm still working on the tartan dress as well, it's nearly finished so expect a post about it soon.
Over&out for now dear readers.