Monday, 29 February 2016

Being Authentic. My new challenge.


Being the "authentic" you seems to have become an aim for lots of people recently and rightly so. I can completely identify with being yourself. I also have drifted away from the way I want to be in order to "fit in". In order to do the mundane jobs we do most of us have to "tone it down". But, I  need to make things I like to wear and recently I seem to have been making stuff that is a bit "girly" in a way that doesn't feel like the real authentic me. It is a case that I have found a pattern and followed it. It has increased my skill level but some although not all of my sewing has been a bit unlike me if you see what I mean. I do not want to be an everyday clone and that is my reason for making my own clothing in the first place so why am I just following a pattern and making stuff that doesnt feel right for me? It is not the pattern. Its my lack of daring. My lack of imagination that is my problem.

So my aim is to define and make things that are really ME. That probably, if I am honest, means punking everything up a bit. Or maybe more Goth. Either way I am sure that cannot be so very difficult. I just need to be a bit more imaginative while still challenging myself. Really most so called alternative fashion is simply made from everyday patterns. Its just the mix of fabrics and extras such as lace or studs that makes the item alternative. Punk and similar clothing simply uses lots of colour blocking and segmented patterns. I love a lot of the steampunk patterns around right now but I also need to be a bit more mature about things because I am no longer young so could end up looking a right idiot if I do it wrong or go too far. 

Having said that though, why should I have to dress boring just because I am no longer a teenager. Well of course I shouldn't have to. No one should. Famous people manage to do it and are expected to do so. When we are teens we all dress like rock stars. Its just what you do when you are discovering yourself. A small number of people manage to do this all their lives but for most of us life simply does not allow us to look how we feel inside. Or not if we want a career that is. Only a very small number of people manage to keep their own "style" past the teenage years. Well I am not having it anymore. I wanna be me again. It is just case of making my own look and making it work for my life as well.  

So now I am challenging myself to make clothing that reflects who I am rather than just follow a  pattern. But that also does not mean making unwearable items of clothing. So for the rest of my 100 garments I am going to aim to reinvent who I am and to become who I am inside again. But still maintain a liveable wardrobe that I can go to my normal boring job wearing and not upset my boss. I just need to find my own style again and live it.

I seem to have been collecting patterns now for about 5 years. I have a wonderful and huge stash of fabrics as well as patterns. I started with really good intentions to make them all but it seems I collect far more than I really get round to using. I have now stopped my Burda style magazine subscription as well because again I dream of making far more than I really manage to. I seem to always have an idea of what to make in my head but I simply do not have enough time to make everything I desire. Sadly!

Since all these patterns take up lots of storage space and I live in a very small house, I have decided to make a list of the items of clothing I most want to make in the next few months so I can look back later in the year and see how many if any I actually manage to complete.That way I do not keep getting magazines out and messing up my home whilst I ponder what and if I am making this or that. I need to be organised so I am making a list to keep my sewing on track.

Originally, I thought I should make at least one pattern from each magazine I have collected but I have found I like lots in one and none in another. Hence cancelling the subscription. Also besides very similar patterns from one year to the next a lot of Burda patterns are just not my style at all. I will probably still buy the odd magazine but will just buy those I want to make something specific from. Burda do lots of repeats too it seems. For example:

Drop waist leather skirt pattern from 09/2015:



Drop waist tartan skirt pattern from 09/2014:

 104 092014 B

The only difference I can see here is one has a back zip and the other has a side zip!  I have both of these magazines and other than that they look identical in construction. There are lots of other examples as well. So having realised this I reckon I will look at the previews I get from burdastyle.de and decide then whether or not to buy a particular magazine.

But I also need to get my head round making things that I WILL ACTUALLY WANT TO WEAR! Not just "Oh I like that!" and end up making something I will never really have the lifestyle to wear which is what I have done with some patterns. I am seduced by the magazine image and it does not really fit in with my life so will rarely be worn no matter how lovely it is. 

For now I want to make these items:
At least one more huge hoody similar to the 15: Burda style 01/2016 hoody
I love to wear this despite making it in a naff fabric. It was always meant to be a muslin anyway but I find I am still wearing it lots and I need to make one or maybe two good ones. I am thinking a mesh or lace fabric without the pocket and a patterned fabric with the pocket.


I also have some lovely ladder mesh fabric which I want to make into something. Punk styles would really work with this so I may just stick with a quick easy top similar to my
7: Dark navy top with a step by step tutorial guide to making


It will look kind of jumpery I reckon and will be very wearable.
Then I want to make some more of the 19: Green leather look leggings 
because I have loved wearing them even to work. But I think maybe in dark red and black faux leather.  So thats several quick makes I want to do, where I have already traced the pattern. I also have some light brown faux leather ( no idea why I bought this cos I hate brown as a colour) and some almost metallic jeans-blue faux leather but I am not too sure I want to make these trousers in either of them so need a new project for them. Maybe a leather dress?

Or maybe this top:



123-022016-b_large

I think it would work in leather, but that also brings me to a sportswear kind of look. I am kind of hankering after a sportwear look right now. Probably because it is spring. I do not want actual sportswear but something with A 90's feel so colour-blocking and maybe piping.  Maybe black and a flourescent in colour blocking. I have not quite made up my mind as yet. So what I need to find is a raglan sleeved top or dress pattern since I think that is the look I want to go with right now.

I have a  raglan sleeved patterns such as this from Burda that could be made with or without the colour blocking:
125_large
I might have to chop the hem a bit shorter though for the look I am after since I am thinking more tennis-ey but not quite as short as a tennis dress and I also would like a top or two in a similar style. This would make a reasonable raglan sleeved top I think. Maybe even keep the A-symetrical hem if the bottom panel was missed out. I am very short of nice tops so that should be high on my list.

I also need some kind of jacket. I have had several jacket patterns out on my work table but so far not made any of them. I even washed and dried some fabric but I think first I need to decide what I want. Like; do I want a leather jacket, a peplum jacket or a coat?
I am considering all of these:
burda style: Damen - Hosen - Röhrenhosen - Hose - Reitereinsätze
117_largeburda style: Damen - Jacken & Mäntel - Jacken - Lederjacke - Bikerstil


But along the sportwear line I also like these :


I can see matching leggings for the Burda young 7140 too. Or maybe a short skirt?  Maybe in a double sided fabric. I have some that is magenta one side and black the other.Kind of a ski look but not as warm as ski wear since I am after all in the UK and even in winter it is rarely that cold.


On Pinterest  I have a "bags, hats, scarfs, shoes, cuffs and gloves" page
https://uk.pinterest.com/brackentracy/bags-hats-scarfs-shoes-cuffs-and-gloves/
and I keep going back to this kind of thing:

 

Long and simple velvet gloves by Estylissimo.deviantart.com on @deviantART:
I love mitts because I suffer from Raynauds syndrome so I often have very cold hands even in summer. And air conditioning is torture for me! I work in real life in a cold office with air conditioning or in a lab. The lab can be stupidly hot or very cold. In the lab usually I have to wear rubber gloves anyway so really I want these for when I am sitting typing in the office. Because I work with mostly very average boring ( clothing wise) people I cannot really get away with anything too outrageous but these I could wear. I have some fabric off-cuts of grey stretch velvet left over from my 21: Burdastyle 01/2016 112 track pants or lounge pants which I think would make some lovely mitts. All I need is some stretch black lace and I am pretty sure I have some hidden in my stash somewhere. Maybe this should be my next make!
  
Or maybe first for spring I should make some cullottes before they go out of fashion again since I did make a pair when I first went back to sewing but have never made any since. These were my circular cullottes made with my own pattern:
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/8f/21/11/8f21116cea1d218dc087db54a428bda1.jpg
I think maybe some more like these next:
from Sasha on Kollaboro.

If I made them in Khaki and wore with tights( maybe stripey tights!) that could be a nice spring look and I could wear that to work.

First though before I can make anything, I am aiming to spend an afternoon just tracing loads of patterns since I have found I am most productive when I trace several, cut several and then sew them up as and when I am able to.
So my list looks like this:
  • raglan sleeved tops - colour blocked
  • dress also colour blocked
  • cullottes
  • mitts
  • jacket
  • hoody x2
  • leggings in red and black faux leather
  • sports wear jacket - Burda Young 7140
  • leggings with side stripes to match 7140
  • short sporty skirt
So that gives me 10 key items to aim for. That is not including any repeats since I want two pairs of trousers and two hoodys. So what to make first?
Thanks for reading and leave a comment if you have time. I love comments!
Bracken


 

Thursday, 25 February 2016

22: Plain black yoga pants made in a rush

It was Wednesday and I decided out the blue to book a Pilates class for Thursday lunchtime so the very next day.





Well I have lots of leggings but for some reason I decided I needed yoga pants.
Wednesday night it took me over an hour just to find the pattern I had downloaded at least a year ago and never used from here:
http://ifonlytheywouldnap.net/2015/03/06/free-yoga-pants-pattern/

Of course I had then to stick it together so that was probably another hour. Luckily it is not a huge pattern so did not take too long to stick it all together. Then find some fabric from my stash. Well my fabric stash is huge due to my having been obsessed with fabric for about a year before I had the space in which to set up my machine and do any sewing. My other half in fact finds it a constant nuisance because it is all stored in Ikea under bed storage bags which are piled up in the corner of one room. Anyway I have LOTS of fabric to play with which is great because in real life I do not always have the money to buy fabric when I need it so having a largish stash makes for easier creativity.

After much deliberation and re-discovering of my fabrics and lots of holding it against me in front of a mirror I decided on this lovely very silky four-way stretch fabric. Its from my favourite seller on Ebay - Weston Fabrics, and has a really good drape as well whilst still being light and stretchy. It has a slight crepe look to it so is not really your average sports fabric but will work I think. I expect probably most people will make a dress or top from this stuff but I have no "performance" fabric in my stash so went with this. Its a jet black too because I decided after exploring various colours I really do not want to stand out that much in my Pilates class so best to stay black and boring.

Well the pattern is a size medium but what is that? I find I can be anything from an XS to a large depending on the pattern and this is a freebie so who knows. Since this is my first making I stuck with the pattern as it is given so made a medium up. I sewed up using an overlocker (serger) and it went together perfectly. Every seam matched. I made the waistband about 1.5inches smaller since when I tried it on before attaching it it was a bit large widthwise rather than lengthwise. I also kept the waistband plain the same as the rest of the pants. If you look at the original pattern instructions  Jess's design has a patterned waistband to go with the a Blank Slate pattern jacket to make up into a track suit. I might have to consider buying the Blank Slate jacket myself since I read a really good tutorial from Mel the other week about making a hood to fit any jacket and I quite fancy making a hoody.  http://mellysews.com/2016/01/add-hood-jacket.html

When it came to hemming these I had had enough and needed to relax a bit before going to bed. After all I am meant to be wearing these tomorrow for sport so cannot be too knackered before I go to sleep because I am sure I am currently very unfit and staying up very late to finish these is really not going to help me. So instead of doing a proper hem I just overlocked it and left it at that. I will do the proper hem next time I get the twin needle machine out. They will be fine for my class tomorrow.


The sizing on me is probably a bit big for yoga pants since I think they are meant to be tight but having said that these are a really good fit. I could wear these to work! I love the waistband but wonder how they will preform in Pilates. I will find out later today. Also today it is so cold in the UK.  I am wearing them to work before I go to Pilates and I am wearing leggings underneath. I probably will have to take off one layer or the other for the actual class so will see how I get on with them first.

Well in the end I wore the leggings for the Pilates class because I find the yoga pants keep falling down ad I did not want to spend the class constantly hitching them up.

My conclusion: If I want to wear these without leggings underneath ( which help to keep them up!) I need to sew some elastic next to the waistband so it is hidden when it folds over. That will stop them falling down. Maybe I should try some transparent elastic.

I read a great tutorial on this from Maria Denmark not so long ago:
http://www.mariadenmark.com/2016/01/invisible-elastic-in-the-neckline/?utm_source=MariaDenmark+Sewing+Newsletter&utm_campaign=2e433c5c94-How_clear_elastic_1_17_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_08112198fa-2e433c5c94-91195185


In the end a week later I have I sewed 1 inch elastic to the inside waistband with a zigzag stitch. I have lots of 1 inch elastic since I bought a whole roll of it from ebay so I decided since I am unsure if this is even going to work to use what I already have.



And it worked really well and I have worn them several times since. Heres how it looks:




So thats fixed the problem and to be honest I would definitely make these again either in the same size but with the added elastic or alternatively make them in a slightly smaller size. Jess gives directions on how to do this on her blog by drawing round some trousers you already own.
http://ifonlytheywouldnap.net/2015/03/06/free-yoga-pants-pattern/

Having said that this will work best if you already have some yoga pants but I do not so I may just try slashing the original pattern down the centre front and back of each piece and take in by about half an inch so around 2 inches in total. I think then they will be perfect and much tighter fitting to wear as yoga pants.


In the end though if you want slightly flared yoga type trousers this is a really nice pattern  and its FREE and I would recommend this pattern. In all this project from putting together the pattern to finishing ( without a proper hem) took me about 3 hours.I did do a twin needle stitched hem when I had a chance a week later so they are actually finished now and I still love them.

Thanks for reading and hope to see you back here soon,
Bracken

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

21: Burdastyle 01/2016 112 track pants or lounge pants

I decided when the January magazine arrived that I wanted to make these:


They are 01/2016 style 112. They are lined so very warm and cozy.

112-012016-B
I had this four-way stretch crushed velvet which I had bought and loved and thought would be good to make these in. With Hindsight maybe velvet was not my best choice. I wore them to work yesterday and decided perhaps they are best left for lounging around at home at the weekend. Despite this I do love them. Probably if I make them again it will be in normal cotton jersey not velvet though since they remind me of the velour tracksuits that were around about 10 years ago. The style is much looser than the velour tracksuits of ten years ago though.

Well I made them up as directed in the Burda magazine and I actually fall between a 36 and 38 in the Burda sizes. I tend usually to make the larger size but these looked big on the picture so I went down a size. The lining I made from a cheaper  stretch white fabric which could be polyester. I made them mostly on my overlocker but did the basting round the waist to keep the lining joined to the outer, in order to attach the waistband which you need to stretch to get it to fit, by normal sewing machine. I also used the normal sewing machine to stitch two rows on either side of the waistband side seams so I could do the gathering as directed in the Burda magazine.


Both sides of the waistband are gathered and then you stitch stay-tape on to secure the gathers. Then I used a zigzag to attach the 1 inch elastic to the inside stitching line on the waistband and put them on only to find they were absolutely huge. They were far too big to simply take in without destroying the shape. At this point I should have taken a photo to show the hugeness but I just got on with taking everything appart.
I then spent several hours unpicking my overlocking. I must be progressing a bit sewing-wise though because this is the first time I have had the patience to do this. Normally I just chop overlocked clothing and hope. And usually wreck it!

Well this time I did everything properly and carefully stitch ripped and deconstructed completely. So then I am left with the outside velvet layer with pockets attached, the inside lining layer, the waistband and my circle of elastic. I now decided to go with my own ideas and put the waistband on to see how big it is. My conclusion was the fabric is very stretchy being a four-way lycra stretch so I chopped around 4 inches off the waistband and then remade it. This time though I did not bother to redo the gathering on the side where I had rejoined the waistband into a circle so my finished garment has only one side of the waistband gathered.  This does not matter since now the waistband fits better and forms natural gathers - although the side I did not cut still has the gathers made as directed by the Burda magazine directions. Anyway having put them back together they are still very large but not so voluminous I cannot wear them. They are also perfect for lounging at a weekend although not really any good for sport since they are too big for that. All in all I will wear them but it will be round the house I think or to go to the supermarket rather than for sport or work. If I was to make them again it would be in cotton jersey or sweatshirt fabric in which case I wouldn't bother to line them although the velvet is lovely and warm and it is very cold right now in the UK. Actually that is another thing I feel I am progressing with - lining. I have never before lined a pair of trousers.


These are easy to line being so loose fitting but even then its a step closer to making "proper" well made clothing and that is ultimately what I want to aim for.

My only regret is I do not think these trousers do my fabric justice and I cannot help but wonder how long it will be before I rip them appart and make something else out of them. Still I made them, I will wear them and enjoy them for this winter at least. They do look like the Burda picture too. I just expected them to be useful for sport-wear and really I would not recommend them for sport at all. I think they will be too warm for yoga and far too loose for any more active sports.
Thanks for reading
Bracken


Saturday, 20 February 2016

20: Blank Slate patterns High Low top

I have decided I need tops. I have made several dresses and leggings but only 1 top and in my wardrobe I have a serious shortage of nice easy to wear tops. I downloaded this pattern a while ago but only stuck it together a few days ago. I decided to follow my new rules and make it up first in a muslin especially since I followed Mel's advice and did the adjustment to the shoulders recommended for my body type. Assuming it does fit I would wear it.

The directions for all of this is in Mel's tutorial.

This free pattern is from Melly Sews of Blank Slate Patterns:
http://mellysews.com/2013/02/high-low-shirt-tutorial-pattern.html
Its only available in a small which I reckon is around a 36 EU size. The pattern is for wovens but Mel does say you can make it in a knit as well. I had knit fabric.

Anyway, I cut it out and sewed the darts no problem.





But due to not having any overlocking thread in white or cream ( my fabric is cream) and only having black, purple and red. I did not even have 4 white normal threads I could use and I did not think it would be a good pattern for contrast since the fabric is transparent in poarts so the coloured thread would show through on seams and not just hems which probably would look ok. I decided to attempt to sew this on a normal sewing machine.

BIG MISTAKE! 

Now I remember why I bought the overlocker!

And seriously big respect to everyone who regularly sews knits on a normal sewing machine. I am rubbish at it. I started sewing the shoulder up using a small zigzag stitch. First the sewing machine ate my fabric.

I had to take the machine appart to get the fabric out. You can probably see the chewed corner above.
Well I suppose I had to learn how at some point but today was not meant to be the time. The top was salvageable especially since I did not yet know if it would even fit and I started again only to have the machine eat my fabric again. I soldiered on. Inserted the sleeves OK and then did the side seams. I try it on and yes it does fit. I do not like it. I will definitely use the pattern again but may stick with using it for wovens because I work in my real life in an engineering research laboratory and generally I prefer this kind of top because its easy to wear and easy to move in so it will make me some very nice tops I think so thank you to Mel at mellysews.com for this freebie. I am very glad to have made the muslin but won't be wearing this one.






Also from now on I am only using an overlocker on knits. I can now cope with twin needle stitched hems but not zigzagging the seams on knits. I did used to do this but I just could not get a good enough finish. Still on the plus side I have made my muslin as intended and it fits so I am ready to go with lots of tops.

So how do you cope with knits?
 Do you use an overlocker/serger? 
Or do you use a normal sewing machine?

Thanks for reading and see you again soon 
Bracken

Thursday, 18 February 2016

19: Green leather look leggings


112-122015-b_large   



I like the look of this outfit in the January Burda style magazine:

I originally intended to make the jacket from brocade and the trousers in red coated cotton for Christmas /New Year. Anyway if you read any of my posts around that time you will already know I was ill so did not do any sewing. I planned quite a few projects but have just about caught up only now with where I was hoping to be by New Year. Possibly I was just being a bit too ambitious! Either way I need to get round to making something for spring now. I am thinking spring is green, Maybe aim for a kind of city version of a Robin Hood look?

Well last summer I bought several different colours in a stretch coated cotton fabric that looks like faux leather. I saw the Burda patterns and thought I could use some of this for the trousers. When I came to have a closer look at the fabric though I realise that the green at least is very very stretchy despite being woven. I mean more stretchy than most cotton lycra wovens are, so I reckon I can get a similar look from just making the trousers up using a  normal leggings pattern. The stretch gauge on the top of the envelope says my fabric is far more stretchy than this pattern needs so I went ahead and cut the trousers/leggings out. Well why sew a zip if you do not need to? I mean zips cost money and I am not the best sewist around so simpler is probably better for me. Maybe I will sew the zip version later when I have made a few more successful garments because I have had a few distasters recently.
Assuming this works I intend to make a few more pairs in different colours too. I am using the same leggings pattern as I did for the 10: Tartan leggings. The alteration is simply to cut a waistband because I found the pattern to be somewhat low waisted and I did not want that. The waistband is simply cut from the jeggings view of the same pattern. I cut it in a larger size but found I didn't need to so next time will cut the same size as my leggings pattern. Also I am intending to lower the front at the waist on my next pair since I like higher back waist but do not really want a high front waist. Basically this pattern does not fit my body so I intend to adapt it. Will have to trace it of course and make a muslin but then at least it should fit better.

Again I cut view C of Mcalls M6173. I did like the very long legs on that view so I am sticking with them for these trousers as well. Then I just serged everything and sewed hems with a twin needle.

I know they are leggings but for some reason I think of wovens as trousers. Or should I be calling them Jeggings? Jeggings never existed when I was a kid. When I first wore leggings I was 14-15 in the 70s and they were called Long Johns. Then we had leggings the next time around which was probably early 80s and into the 90s. I am not sure when Jeggings first happened. Anyway back to this sewing...............

And here they are: 










I am quite pleased with this project. I have this fabric in 3 other colours as well so I think probably I shall make at least 3 more pairs of these and maybe also a jacket.

 Somehow I think leather leggings should be tighter than I have made these. So maybe the next pair should be a smaller size. On the other hand having them slightly bigger means they are less likely to get "knees" in them or rip. Also although these are stretch ( in fact very stretchy) they are still woven so not quite the same as a spandex fabric.

What do you think?
All comments welcome.
Thanks for reading to the end of the post. 
Bracken

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Dog Coat

A while ago now I mentioned I had made two dog coats whilst making my 6: Warm black top with piping, Well I never managed to get a very good photo of them because when out walking the dogs just do not stop moving long enough or because it kept raining. Today I finally managed it so here is Reggie in his raincoat:







The coat has waterproof reflective outer with a cotton drill lining. It has leg straps made of 1 inch elastic which mean the coat stays on the dog even in high winds. I have always found that a problem with most shop bought dog coats. They also used to twist when the dogs started to run. This type doesn't twist. The leg straps make sure it stays put. My dogs are old now but they had similar coats when they were young and I found them the best style available even when the were very active. Not as pretty as a bomber jacket admitedly or a pink fuffy jumper but my dogs are a bit too big for most of the glamourous dog coats you can buy and always ended up with expensive rubbish till I found this design. It also comes right down to where his tail starts ensuring he stays properly cosy and warm. Reggie was not too happy being a model though due to it being quite warm today hence his normally very waggy tail did not want to wag till I took the coat off him but he was a very co-operative model.
Thanks for reading,
Bracken

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Great Minds.......



Just a day after posting about my red dress I was so inspired to realise Bardot tops are again in fashion so I am even happier to have made my red dress work in this way. I want to make a different type now. Maybe one like this from H&M:

 
It looks quite easy and from when last I bought one I am pretty sure it was just 4 tubes. One for the body, one for the neck and two smaller for the sleeves. Then you just have to add some shaping to join the sleeves to the body. I am going to have to make this now. I always loved this look. So everyone though, thats why it keeps coming back in so often.

Of course there is always also the gypsy look. I currently own this pattern and have owned it for 5 years or so. Time to make it up I think:


I do love the Arkivestry patterns and own a couple of them. I might have to make the bloomers as well just for the fun of it. Now I am inspired although I do have a couple of other projects I need to finish as well. Spring is looking fun.

So what do you think about off the shoulder tops? Would you prefer the more fitted top above or the looser gypsy style top?

Thanks for visiting and see you again soon
Bracken

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

13: Red dress re-visited

I decided it was time to get round to trying to sort out the mess I made of my red dress. You can read about it here: 13: Red dress or long top

Anyway I made a complete mess of this pattern and almost trashed my fabric. I really like the fabric so do not want to end up just chucking it. I did try re-attaching the pattern pieces and recutting but there was not really enough fabric and when I came to sew it up it just was not going to work. I needed a different approach.
I started off with this pattern:
Burda Misses' Dress and Tops 6722


If you read the previous post on this you will know I completely deconstructed the dress by the end of my endeavour. So how to re-construct so it might just work?

If something doesn't work it is not automatically ruined. You just need to find a way to re-make it. Its a bit like up-cycling. You need to find a way to make the product yours and make it fit you. 

Long ago now I had a much loved top. It was kind of like a Bardot top but did not have the classic fold over neckline. It struck me whilst playing around with my disaster that this dress could be altered to fit in a similar way.

No, it will not make me a nice warm winter dress/top. But, it will make a nice vampirish dark-red off-the-shoulder dress so that is what I am going with.

To do it I first I threw away the shoulder parts and laid the top flat on a table and pinned where it seemed correct to do so but did not cut anything.

Then I sewed the sleeves in and sewed the side seams. I left the neck. Then repinned around the neckline.



Then I tried it on complete with prickly pins. I altered the position of a few pins and then used Harriet (my dressform) to try and make it fit better. One more try-on and I went for it and sewed the neck up. Well my reasoning was thus: its already ruined so I have nothing to lose and could just end up with a lovely red dress.

Then I cut off the excess seam allowance ( or what was left from the original pattern design after my hack!) from the top of the sleeves.

These are the photos. It was freezing so I am wearing running trousers under the dress but would not wear those to go on a night out :)

I had no one around to help me take them so used a not-very-good selfie stick that does not really work and I have to set a timer on the camera to take them and just kind of hope so they are not the best pictures but I will try and get a few good ones done the next few days and post them.









The error in all this is I did not finish the inside of the neck or sleeves but since its a knit I should get away with that ok. To finish I hemmed it using a twin needle.
The good things are I saved my fabric and did not just cut it into a new pattern such as a top which would have been an option even if it meant colour blocking with a different colour. I also still ended up with a wearable dress and in fact I think I actually like it better as a design than I would have done if the first attempt had worked.

And so I have a lovely red dress just in time for valentines day. And I do like it!
Thanks for reading
Bracken