Oh Dear..

Yup, oh dear!  No posts in March because I haven’t really got anything to show you.  I should have known not to do the Bossy thing – I never did like people telling me what to do!  Even though the chosen projects were ones I wanted to do anyway, I hit small snags & immediately found something else to do instead. Bad, bad, bad!

But, I didn’t do nothing.  I drafted the jacket front & back & made a toile, leaving the sleeves out for the time being.  Daughter No2 wasn’t really feeling the huge collar, and felt the shape at the front was “weird”.  Now you see why I didn’t really go too much further?  Anyway, I pinned the toile into more of a suitable shape & length for her, but then she had issues with my chosen fabric.  She just couldn’t see herself wearing that houndstooth.  So I’m stuck – the jacket pattern could be made to work, but now I need a different fabric.

Husband has proved difficult too.  Even though I’ve promised him shirts for years now he’s “in no rush”.  So no progress on that front.

I have made the pattern for Daughter No1’s Grecian inspired dress and toiled it too, but I won’t get to fit it on her until next weekend when she’s home for University for the Easter holidays.

That leaves me with nothing to show – not a bit.  But…  I have some linen that I bought at the NEC last week that was supposed to be for a vintage bolero to go with a dress I’m making.  However, I made a miscalculation when translating yards and inches into metres and bought too little – flipping annoying!  It just may be though, that it will be enough to squeeze another Bellatrix out of!  I’m off to try it now, see you on the other side! 😉

Me & my sewing machine, partners in crime!
Me & my sewing machine, partners in crime!

I love this print, found the image on Pinterest initially & tried to find it on Etsy, but so far have been unable to find the maker.  If someone can trace images better than I can, please let me know who the owner is of this, I’d love to buy a print for my sewing space!

Result of Being Bossed Around

Poll Result
Poll Result

It’s official – the most votes in my poll went to…….  Drum Roll

The 1935 jacket for Daughter No2!!  Husband’s shirt lost by a mere 4 votes!  I guess that means I have some work to start getting on with!  But – I will also be making the patterns, and garments, for the other offerings.  In order, I will make a shirt for Husband, then the maxi dress for Daughter No1 and the wiggle skirt for Daughter No2.  They will all get done, in that order, but not necessarily all in March.  It all depends on how long this all takes me!

I must just warn you that the jacket might not come out exactly as the picture.  This is because Daughter No2 likes to have some sort of input into what she ends up having to wear, & she has some ideas on changing some of the style lines.  But stay tuned, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!  🙂

I am really looking forward to the results of all the other polls, and getting to see everyone’s finished garments.  March is going to be good for sewing!

Miss Bossy Patterns

Better a little late than never, right??  So, as you may have guessed from the profusion of blogs with polls asking you to choose the next project, the Monthly Stitch has decreed that you, the reader, should choose the project to make in March.  Apparently we all have a huge stash of un-used patterns, as well as fabric.  Moi, never..  ;p  Now I’m not sure how I would ever have narrowed down my  250 vintage patterns & 21 years of untraced Burda magazine patterns to just three, so I have come up with a little twist.

There are four pattern cutting projects I really want to get on with, but procrastination is hampering the start.  I want you guys to decide which I start with.  I might, just might, use the poll results to rank the order of all 4 projects and do them all, but lets see how we go, shall we?  They certainly won’t all be done in March!!  🙂

First up is a shirt for Husband.  Poor, long suffering husband.  I promised 2 years ago to make a shirt, a few, actually.  I even bought 3 pieces of fabulous stripe ex-Paul Smith fabric to do so.  I made a shirt block & even toiled it, then we put the house on the market & do you think I can find that stuff??  Oh, I have the fabric – phew!  But the paperwork has completely vanished.

Pattern Cutting for Menswear by Gareth Kershaw
Pattern Cutting for Menswear by Gareth Kershaw

Using the last of an Amazon gift voucher, I bought “Pattern Cutting for Menswear” by Gareth Kershaw.  I thought I might try it as an alternative to Winnifred Aldrich’s dated styles.  It was for research purposes, you know.  So that’s offering No1, a shirt for Husband from either of these fabrics, pattern cut from that book.

ex-Paul Smith stripe cottons for Husband's shirt
ex-Paul Smith stripe cottons for Husband’s shirt

Daughter No1 came for a fleeting visit this weekend, and left with a request for some maxi-dresses for the summer.  She & Boyfriend are off to somewhere much sunnier & warmer than the UK for a couple of weeks in June, & she’d love something new.  I have a dress block all fitted for her and the most gorgeous blue viscose fabric with a large off-white flower print that would make a fabulous drape-y maxi-dress.

Caramel stretch twill for daughter No2, Blue print viscose for Daughter No1
Caramel stretch twill for daughter No2, Blue print viscose for Daughter No1

I did a quick sketch, a cross-over front with soft gathers into a fitted midriff piece.  Pleated skirt to fall to her ankles.  She has trouble buying maxi-dresses, they’re all far too long for her, poor little thing!  Anyway, I think this is going to look stunning on the little monster.  That’s offering no2.

Maxi-dress sketch
Maxi-dress sketch

Offering no3 is a skirt I sketched for Daughter No2 last year, I bought the fabric & everything, but never quite got round to getting the pattern drafted.  Bad Mom!  The fabric can be seen in the photo of Daughter No1’s print viscose.  It’s the most amazing caramel colour stretch twill.  She wants a wiggle skirt with pleated detail on a front seam, the sketch in the centre.

Skirt ideas for Daughter No2
Skirt ideas for Daughter No2

There are to be two tabs going opposite ways, fixed with buttons, a simple waistband and possibly a kick-pleat in the back seam.

I did say I had four options, and you would think that the next one would be for me, wouldn’t you??  But I am saving mine for next month…  Instead I have a jacket that I drooled over the sketch of so much that I decided to make a pattern (and the jacket) for daughter No2 for Xmas.  Needless to say, that didn’t happen!  So, it’s on the list for March, offering no4.  Here’s the picture again.

Vintage jacket from 1935
Vintage jacket from 1935

Fabulous, no???  I found the image on the New York Public Library’s Digital site.  Proceed with caution people, you can get totally lost in there, browsing the most amazing images!  So, for the jacket I have a cute grey & black houndstooth wool which may or may not have contrast plain black collar & lapels.  It will need a vibrant lining though, so that will have to be purchased.  Otherwise the fabrics will come from the stash!

Wool for 1930s jacket
Wool for 1930s jacket

That photo makes the houndstooth look more like grey & grey, but it’s just the lighting.  So those are your four options.  All are patterns I want to make, none have been used by me before (’cause they don’t exist yet!).

So which one am I to start with?  It’s in your hands.  You have until Friday, midnight!!

ps, be kind…  😉

 

 

Little Miss Smarty Pants

Miss Smarty Pants
Miss Smarty Pants

I have decided to delegate the Smarty Pants to Daughter No2.  I mean, she looks so smart in these pants, so why not!?  These are the trousers mentioned in my previous post, no 110 from Burdastyle 11/2013 in a damson coloured stretch cotton satin from Croft Mill Fabric.  I originally over-ordered the fabric to ensure I had enough for a pair of trousers as well as a vintage dress which I need to turn into a coat/mac.  I haven’t got round to doing the alterations necessary for the coat but Daughter No2 was desperate for these trousers.  So I gave in & cut, anyway, I can always buy more fabric, can’t I?

DSC07306-1The pattern is great.  Daughter no2 seem made for the shape of Burda trousers, including the length!  I always have to lop 5-6cm off for myself, but they are just right on my little giraffe.  She’s 174.5cm tall, so generally we have a problem with shop trousers being waaay too short – which is why I make them instead.  The fabric behaved perfectly, it irons like a dream & has enough, but not too much, stretch.  I took in the side seams (making the 34) 5mm each, so effctively narrowing the pants – from the hip – 2cm each.  She felt they were a little baggy before.

DSC07308-1I overlocked everything before starting sewing & hand stitched the hem in place.  The button & zip are from my stash.  As you can see, she’s pretty chuffed with them!  This outfit is completely handmade.  The top is a vintage Simplicity pattern I made last year (see my Vintage Belle blog for details) & the swing jacket is what I made for my Jungle January project in 2013.  As it’s half term here in the UK this week, she’s taken a day out from studying & masses of 6th form homework to go out with her friends, & this is what she went in!

DSC07316-1

smarty pants CollageIt’s not even that cold today, & thankfully no rain is forecast either!  But, rain or shine, I must get on with my own trousers.  I have some gorgeous caramel coloured linen from Ditto Fabrics that’s just begging to be used & a whole pile of patterns needing to be traced!

 

 

Trousers – “For me, or not for me?” That is the question!

Grrrr, I have to confess to major irritation with my trouser toiles.  It seems the Hot Patterns patterns don’t suit me.  Not the garments & certainly not the instructions!  I set about making a toile of each of the patterns I wanted this weekend.  When I use a pattern for the first time, I like to use the instructions as printed, then I can see where to deviate (if necessary) the next time.  All was well until I got to the fly zip.  Now I can do a fly zip, 5 minutes & it’s done.  The instructions for these patterns bamboozled me to such an extent I ripped the entire lot out & threw it on the floor for 30 minutes while I stormed downstairs for tea & chocolate!

I don’t know who the instructions are written for, but they made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.  One I’d calmed down I returned to the scene of the crime & inserted the zips my way.  Done.  Then to put them on – yeah.  They don’t sit right, & I don’t like them – either of them – at all!!  Apparently they’re “really easy to make following all the tutorials on youtube”.  I don’t want tutorials on youtube!!  If you cannot make the instructions clear enough on the item I paid money for, I’m not interested!  gggrrrrr.

So I recon it’s back to good old Burda for trousers – at least I know they fit, & I know where I need to alter them!  But I cannot decide from the pile of magazines with marked “possibilities” which to start with.  My Smarty Pants selection is going to have to change.  So in the truest sense of procrastination ever – I started something else!  🙂

Trousers 110 from BurdaStyle 111/2013
Trousers 110 from BurdaStyle 11/2013

Daughter No2 loved this pattern when she spotted it in the BurdaStyle magazine back in November.  I have some beautiful damson stretch twill with a satin finish from Croft Mill Fabric that will look fabulous made in this pattern.

Working drawing & gorgeous stretch twill
Working drawing & gorgeous stretch twill

I traced the pattern this morning & made a toile in some spare fabric, a madly printed cotton.  I used it because it was the only piece I had that was the right size & roughly the right feel for the finished garment.  I reconned without Daughter No2’s wacky taste.  The minute she saw them she thought they were the “real thing”! You’ve never seen such excitement – & then disappointment when I said it was just a toile!

Toile fabric
Toile fabric

As you may have already guessed, I have succumbed to the request & will be making these “wearable” once I have finished the twill version!  She’s nuts, but I wouldn’t swap her for anyone else!  🙂