Friday, 21 April 2017

93: leapard print cullottes

I made the same cullotte pattern last year here: http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/030516-me-made-may-day-3-spring-greens.html

I did manage the pockets this time so I have slightly improved I think.
The problem was the green fabric was really too heavy for this pattern I think so I started this pair to make a second attempt, but never finished them since winter set in and this is a lightweight summer cotton ( from Ikea) so I stashed them ( in my fabric stash) till this week when I decided they would be good to get finished for this spring.

I do not really like this pattern. Still I have made them and can see me wearing them quite a bit once the weather warms up.


I will do a few attempts  with different shoes etc. because this choice went with what I took off to take the photos. Not the best mixture
Maybe its the shoes and socks but I do not like them much together.


 

 




I will maybe chop the bottom off these and my green pair (shown below) as well. I reckon better as shorts. I will have to see how it goes with them long!
And it depends on the weather!
 
 
 
Thanks for visiting my blog,
Bracken

 Thanks for visiting my blog. Have a lovely day,
Bracken

Thursday, 13 April 2017

92: Pale blue top

 


I went window shopping last week in New Look, Top Shop and River Island. I cannot afford their prices. I have a huge stash of fabric and a huge stash of sewing patterns but I just couldn't decide what I wanted to make next. It needs to be spring-like and new so I needed inspiration.

What struck me most was the large variety of wrinkley fabrics - all of which seemed synthetic. Last time I shopped for clothing - with money to spend- was back in 2007. Since then I have never had any cash so have had to make do. I seem to remember the majority of clothing being natural fibres though and now it all seems synthetic.

Well I always used to take stuff into the changing room to look at how it was made but with now also having a decent camera I managed to do some serious investigative recording of clothing to make this season. In fact I came home and wrote a Word document tying up the photos with patterns I currently own which should keep me sorted for ideas for a few months.

I have yet to investigate Next, M&S and H&M as well so life is looking up. I thoroughly enjoyed this visit to the shops I would normally avoid so I have to do this again and more often. I was particularly taken with the small details like D-rings and black tape which seemed to be everywhere decorating shoulders ( New Look) and holding up sleeves ( River Island, New Look, Top Shop). Very 1980s, very 1990s!

Weeeell...........I did not have any black tape although I do own  eyelet tape bought for a different project but then never used. So I have ordered some black tape off ebay but it is from HongKong so will take a month or so to get here. In the meantime I decided to use my eyelet tape instead. Similar theme but I have not seen any as yet on the high street which is good. Also means that my top is unique!


 
New Look has a Tshirt ( in fushia) with a synthetic front in a wrinkley fabric with a plain back so I reversed my back and sleeves to get two fabrics. You can just about see here that there are a smooth side and a wrinkley side. This is rubbishey cheap polyester. I think it makes a bog-standard synthetic more interesting anyway. I used the Burda style Lydia Tshirt pattern for this top. Although New Look's is a sleevless version with D-rings across the shoulder seams I decided to make this with long sleeves since its still cold in the UK right now. Its my first attempt at Lydia but I expect there will be a few more before the end of summer.

 
Thanks for visiting,
Bracken

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

18: Easy knitting jumper - Finishing the UFOs



Well it took me over a year since I began on 7th February 2016 to knit this. Its garter stitch so very easy and should be very quick. However, this is me and I never managed to finish that scarf they got us knitting at school because I got bored. I have finished all sorts of lacey and aran stuff but never a scarf.

My conclusion is I don't like garter stitch and I need some kind of changing pattern because even with it being simple intarsia I got bored. Simple was the word though, because I never had more than three balls on the go. It was possibly the most boring knitting I have ever done.



 
I like the final jumper though. Love it. Its different to everything else I currently own but will match most things. Perfect spring jumper. By the way if you have visited before this was my failed Me Made May challenge. Finally finished though in time to wear for this years Me Made May!
I started it here in case you want to visit:

 





Thanks for visiting my blog,
Bracken
 
 

 

Thursday, 30 March 2017

91: black lacey top from scraps





 
I had lots of bits left over from my lace sides leggings and lace front top I made a couple of weeks ago. These scraps were quite big bits or so I thought at first. I cut a decent top similar to these tops which I made a while ago and wear loads despite the design being so basic. http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/8-dark-navy-top-with-step-by-step.html
Maybe that's why I wear them so much?


Anyway I was sewing this top together when I came across a really bad fault in one sleeve. When I looked closer the lace was actually coming apart into two bits. Not good because I have no extra bits of this fabric left. So what to do? I decided to cut the sleeve shorter and saved the lace edge. Then I realised I will need to do both sleeves else they will not match. Shame because the other was perfect. Still no way round this if I am to save my fabric - which was not cheap so I am not happy! Especially since when making my first top I also found a fault which I had to alter the neckline to get rid of! Now I feel ripped off with respect to this fabric. It was from ebay but from someone who I usually have had a good experience buying from.

I am wearing my Green Faux Leather leggings with it here which I made a while ago here: http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/20-green-leather-look-leggings.html

 Then further inspection shows a similar fault straight across a body piece. I say body because the front and back are identical. So I add a seam here thinking it will become a back yoke. You can see where I had to add a seam on the back here and just about see the sleeve seams as well. There are two on each arm which round about evenly divide the sleeve into 3 bits.




Then I decide to reattach the faulty bit and have long sleeves since this top is now made of small strips anyway. I added lace from offcuts to the hem which when making my top and leggings I had deliberately saved to use later as edging. And Voila!

Its far from perfect but I am actually quite happy with this. Its a nice lacey top for spring despite being made from bits. And strangely you cannot really tell unless you look very closely!
Thanks for visiting my blog
Bracken

Thursday, 23 March 2017

90: Quick Kimona Jacket

This top was made from a second hand scarf / pashmina. I actually started to make this at least 5 years ago. At that time I used my caravan as a sewing room but in winter it became too cold. I gave up on this ages ago and it just got stashed with - well my stash of fabric. The only reason I got it out was because I decided to oil my overlocker since it was sounding a bit laboured. I was worried about over oiling since I have done this before and it might ruin something I actually want so I decided to use this as scrap to practice on. Well once sewing I just carried on and there was no oil to worry about. And once together it seems a shame not to finish it so I used beige satin floristry ribbon which I bought from somewhere ages ago I have no idea what it was for and its just sat there for ages. Beige is not a favourite colour so why I bought it I have no idea but it was perfect for this since it picks up some of the pattern on the fabric. Its actually a lovely embroidered fabric. So quite by accident really I have made a summer jacket/top. I am surprisingly taken with this. I have never bought or made a kimono before. so its a good addition as well and it gets rid of some stashed fabric!






I am still experimenting right now how to wear this but it looks good with a belt as above or just tied with ribbons as here:

 

I regret not putting an extra set of ribbon ties on it though but since they were sewn into the edge I have decide to leave it at that. I do not think my ribbon edging would survive being unpicked and re-sewn so its better just left alone.





 For four squares of fabric I was going to scrap it turned out pretty good. I just should have shaped the neck a bit better but then you can't have it all ways!
Thanks for reading
Bracken

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

1987 vintage belt fixed

I bought this elastic corset belt in about 1987 at the very latest. Possibly earlier because I seem to remember it being Adam and the Ants in the charts when I went out wearing it. It was the end of the New Romantic/ Goth era. It came I think from Miss Selfridge. Its a black bonded leather edge with a metal buckle and elastic. I always loved it but probably about the mid 1990's the elastic became so old and stretched it was no longer wearable since it was so big and baggy it was actually bigger than my hip measurement. I wish I had taken a photo of the old belt but I never did. It was just a stretched mess though.

But I kept it. Because I am a sentimental fool. Of course I always new it was fixable but I never really expected to get round to it. Then at Christmas I stocked up on elastic off Ebay and bought this extra 1m for this belt. The elastic is 12.5cm (5inches) wide. My buckle though, or rather the bonded leather it is attached to is just 12cm wide so slightly smaller. It took me a while to work out exactly how to do this. there is the obvious bit of unpicking of the old stitching.

So once I had unpicked the old stitches I threw away the old elastic and I inserted the new elastic between the two sides of the bonded leather bit. I am sure there is a proper name for the piece I am talking about but I have no idea what it is so sorry about that. To sew I used the heaviest needle I have and sewed every stitch by hand, as in using my hand not the machine pedal to make the needle go up and down through the belt, to sew the stitches. It was very slow and I currently am having physio because of problems with my hand so was probably not the most clever thing for me to do. It took two days for my hand to recover!

But here is the result:

 This is the front.

Unfortunately I never took all the old bits of cotton out and then sewed over them which means they are pretty much stuck in place! You can just about see where the old stitches join the new.

It took ages to sew this back together.

But eventually I did it.

 This is the back

I didn't quite line the stitches up with the old stitch holes on th back but it won't be seen.

To get the elastic to fit since it was slightly wider than my buckle I folded the edge under at the bottom.


I am so happy because after all these years and several house moves I have my old belt back. And it is even in fashion! And it actually fits me better because the original belt was always a little too big and this one works.
 
 
 
which I love but could not till now figure out how to make it feel "mine" work.
 

 Ignore my ugly RTW trousers. I was doing a temporary office job in a Press Office and needed to wear " Business Dress".


Thanks for reading and for visiting my blog
Bracken