Saturday, 9 December 2017

Teach me fashion layer dress




Hi
I bought this pattern during indie pattern month. I was too busy with life at the time to make it.
I already had the fabric which I have used for various items here:
http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/20-green-leather-look-leggings.html 
and
http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/25-red-faux-leather-trousers.html
and
http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/24-red-lace-hoody-burdastyle-012016.html 
And best of all these side stripe leggings:
http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/red-and-black-faux-leather-leggings.html

So I already have loads of leather leggings so I really need to use this fabric for something else.


Really I used this fabric for this pattern because it was available and I wanted to make the dress for Christmas. I think it works very well in faux leather for a winter dress. Its a woven stretch coated fabric which I bought a couple of years ago off ebay. I actually ended up with loads of it very cheap because I won several different lots of this in different colours from between 99p for 3m and up to £4 for 2m depending on colour. Anyway quite a bargain. I had no idea what I would do with it it was just an interesting fabric to play with at an affordable price. Unfortunately the only invisible zip I have that was long enough is black and I did not want to buy anything for this because I lost my job through no fault of my own the other week. I was temping and my line maanger assaulted me and then the next day after I had taken it to HR he cancelled my contract so right before Christmas I am out of work. I do like being at home in the cold weather with my dogs and being able to make things like this but really I would rather be in work. Still life does not always give what you expect and in the end I have a new dress which I would never afford to buy right now and its a lovely little dress for Christmas.





Also I like this pattern because I usually make Burda and it seems the skirts are always very long for me. I hate just chopping off the bottom to shorten them because fabric is expensive even when you manage to pick it up cheap off ebay. I do not wnat to waste my fabric so I leave them the length they should be ad that means I do not wear them as much as I could. I possibly need to address this and start cutting them shorter. Now I have made this one I know the length I like. This skirt length I like a lot. Its very wearable.

I learned a new technique here too because I have never bagged out armholes before when inserting a  lining/facing. Great technique. This is the inside:



I did have to make two versions of the back because I did not understand the wriiten instructions and had lost the printout of the line drawing so the first version has a very long back dart. It was only when I watched the Youtube video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghchQiv2NDY
I realised what was going on. I marked the darts as it says but its hard to work out what to do then you see the shoulder darts being sewn and I clicked.
Once I realised after I had sewn it wrong I made anther one because I had lots of extra fabric. You cannot really make a mistake with this faux leather because it leaves a mark so when you sew that is it. No unpicking. So even with pinning you need to do it inside the seam allowance. I did sew through to makrk the darts as the video says but did not tack so it was just a single stitch so very approximate really. So this back is my second attemp. Front and panel only first attempt thank goodess cos i do not have enough red to repeat that bit. Still a bit of a waste but when I had sewn a new one correctly I realised it ended up the same shape so I am going to make a second dress but without the layer = have yet to decide exactly what fabric the front will be.



I think I made the front panel too long because I had difficulty managing to hem the blue dress at the end so next time I would make this shorter. I like it tho. The hem is a bit rubbish and the darts could be better but its a nice new dress for Christmas when I am strapped for cash.
I did not press this very well hence its a bit creased which I hope will hang out. I was a bit worried I will lose the plastic coating which is what makes it look like leather so I only used a very cool iron. If I maded this in an uncoated fabric I think I might get a better finish but all in all I think I am going to live in this over Christmas this year.  Its also quite warm despite being sleeveless. Of course with a lace or mesh top under it I could also look good with sleeves so I need to make a mesh top next to wear underneath.

Thanks for visiting
Bracken

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Butterick B5562 T-shirt number 4 and McCalls M6614.



This is another very quick T-shirt made from 20 minutes sewing here and 10 minutes there all week.

This is number 4 in my current obsession with view D of Butterick B5562 again without the collar. I do this pattern. Its got a wide boat neck and is otherwise just plain. So funny because I own this pattern because it has so many neck and sleeve variations and yet I keep making the basic plain version. Ah well!





This is made from left overs from a  top I made about a year ago now for Mick.


This is McCalls M6614.  It came out a bit too big for him so I should really make one the correct size for him. It has pockets hidden in the front seams which is nice.

Anyway mine is cut the opposite way so with very little stretch but it still works well. Having the grey marl contrast makes the florals more handleable. I am not a floral type of person despite inflicting this fabric on my other half!






So here are some more pictures of these two tops:














So we have a sort of His and Hers thing going on here which is not a look either of us normally does.

Still better than wasting fabric!







 Thanks for visiting my blog and hopefully see you soon,
Bracken





Saturday, 25 November 2017

My warm winter yellow T-shirt

Hello, I am starting to feel very Christmasey now. The weather has gone very cold. It even snowed in Kilsby this morning. I was feeling cold at work. I felt too hot with a jumper on ( I keep one in my desk drawer just in case) but feel not warm enough with just a normal Tshirt so I made this yellow top.

Its the same fabric I used for the hoody cowl dress here:
http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/7-burdastyle-092015-hooded-cowl-neck.html

Not sure what the fabric is but its kind of bonded and textured and synthetic and very warm - or for a T-shirt its warm. I was originally going to twin needle the hem so overlocked the edges just for neatness but decided actually I quite like the simplicity of this so thats it.

This is view D of Butterick B5562 again and without the collar. This pattern seems to be the top T-shirt pattern of the season for me right now.



 I already made two other tops from this same pattern.

This one is completely different due to the fabric choice.
 

You can see my other versions here:
http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/multi-media-t-shirts-tms-october-2017.html


This is seriously a very quick make but I have worn it, washed it and worn it again in the same working week so a very good top I think.

I was not too sure about this fabric when I originally bought it, but it has made two very nice garments.

It was an ebay impulse bid and I won the auction! It is not realy my normal kind of fabric.

I do not mind synthetic lycra - as in workout type fabric and even things that can pretend to be lycra but are just polyester if you know what I mean.


When it arrived I was so unsure whether it was useable so just shows because something is synthetic and maybe not what you would normally buy it can work out well.

Anyway I need to make a few more winter tops so will be sesarching through my stash again now.



Other than that I made a Christmas cake.













It was baked in an Ikea silicon heart mould and was a bit of an experiment since I did not line it with baking paper although I did put a baking paper top on it while it baked for about 4 hours!
Its the first Christmas cake I have made in many years and now we are feeding it with brandy.

Thanks for visiting, Bracken

Friday, 17 November 2017

Quick pompom hat - DIY update for an existing hat.


Hello,
Hats with a pompom seem to be everywhere on the street. I was given this purple pompom last Christmas. It is meant to be used as a keyring or a handbag embellishment and I used it on the front of my rucksack as a bag an embellishment last winter.

I realised when going through my current winter hat collection that I still have this early 2000’s faux suede hat. 

It is nothing special but by adding my no longer used pompom I get a new winter hat that is on trend and it costs nothing. 


 Superdug was even giving away pompoms not so long ago if you bought 3 makeup items so I am pretty sure lots of people hve these. I even saw some in the Pound Shop. Even if you had to buy the elastic and needle used to attach the pompom it would be very cheap to make this. And very easy as well.
What you need is a pompom, a hat, some thin elastic and a bodkin or a needle with a large eye and scissors to cut elastic. 

The hardest bit was making a hole to thread the needle through.
First take the keyring off your pompom if you have a key ring and locate the piece of elastic that the keyring was threaded through. 

Loop hidden in fur


It’s a tiny loop of elastic. 


You can just about see it here if I thread the needle through it - see right












Decide where on your hat you want to put your pompom.
On this hat which is made in segments I went for as close to the centre point as I could get the needle to go through the fabric.

 Then thread the elastic through your needle, push through from the inside to the outside of the hat and thread the needle through the elastic loop on your pompom, where you removed the keyring.

Inside of hat


Thread the needle back inside the hat keeping as close to the centre of the hat as possible.
Pull both ends of the elastic inside the hat and tie securely in a knot.






And that’s it. Enjoy your updated hat.









 My purple pompom is a slightly different purple to the original hat fur but it does not show much I think and really for a old hat thats been hanging around for about 10 years and a pompom I got bored with having hanging off my bag its a great upcycle I think.



What do you think?
Thanks for dropping in,
Bracken









Saturday, 11 November 2017

Shirt Dress part 3 = completed

So I have been putting off hand sewing on my buttons on this shirt dress for two whole weeks now and decided last weekend that I really do have to get round to finishing this garment.

It’s very far from being a perfect shirt but as a first attempt I am reasonably happy with it. I do think I will wear this and it is really a prototype, since I am going to attempt several other shirts, but in more interesting fabrics. I bought lots of prints in the summer but it has taken me so long to finish this I still have them uncut. This has worked – kind of.

the front bands are imperfect. I managed to somehow get wrinkles in the fabric when I top stitched. I really do not know how I did this because I thought it was OK for two weeks and then suddenly noticed them. I made sure it buttons over these so they are not very noticeable.

I have no idea which way female shirts do up as opposed to male and since I am a fan of army surplus I tend to wear both male and female garments anyway and really what a stupid idea…….that girls do up differently to boys. I mean who came up with that? Whats the point? How stupid can you get? So as far as I am concerned with this shirt and every other fastening I ever make I am going to do it however I feel with no rules. I really cannot see the point of a mans top doing up the opposite way to a womans. Equality etc! So what I am rambling on about is I am going to always make my clothing button up so it LOOKs the best it can rather than follow any rules. To be honest this may do up the girls way. I really do not know.

And then at the bottom of the other button band I have a sort of turned up bit. Despite much steaming this does not really get much better. Possibly if it was a non-stretch woven I might have made a better job of this because this is a very lightweight stretch woven which is probably cotton which should make it very comfortable to wear but not so easy to sew.

 Unfortunately, as you can see I wore this before taking the photos hence got the back all creased. This is real life though, not a fashion blog!

Then the wrist openings ( no idea what the correct terminology is here) are clearly different lengths with one side being shorter than the other. Maybe that is why I get a small wrinkle in the right sleeve at the front when I wear it?
BUT I still am happy with this.

Partly its cos finally its finished and it has taken absolutely ages for me to make this. Also, though, I really will wear it. It’s the only shirt dress I have, but also because I actually quite like it. I did intend for this to be finished in the summer when in May/June I was dying of heat in my much thicker clothing and now its November and freezing cold but there that’s me. If I start another couple of shirts now maybe I can get them finished in time for next summer eh?
Also I have managed to use some of my vintage mother of pearl buttons. I inherited these from my Great Aunts who died when I was about 6 so approximately 1970. Well I know they are not vegan, and I do try to be a good vegan, but they are lovely and in the end I have not bought them, they are very old vintage buttons and what would happen if I threw them away? More than likely they would go to landfill and what a complete waste! I think there has to be a balance here. I would never buy mother of pearl, but in the end when its inherited, or even freely given or recycled why not? The planet matters too, and these buttons are very old and very beautiful.  And they make my shirt a bit quirky which I think it needs, else the imperfections would be even more obvious that they actually are.

I think for the patterned shirts I want to make, I would prefer not to bother with the pockets since I do not really use them and maybe to find a pattern with no front yoke cos without the pockets it becomes a pointless extra bit of sewing. Especially with a very patterned fabric since the front yoke will not be seen. I do like the fact there are no darts because one of my dislikes of women’s shirts is those darts they always have to put in. Men ‘s shirts just do not have them. Obviously if you are very curvey you may need this but I have a very straight-up-and-dow igure so I really do not need that extra shaping.

What I may do in fact rather than trace a completely different shirt pattern is use this one but join the yoke onto the bodice and add an inbuilt button band or should that be stand? I think it sounds familiar so probably yes it’s a stand. No idea why!

So anyway then retrace it all as one piece and make it simpler because I do like the fit of this very much. It does actually fit me properly in fact and I am wider over the shoulders than most patterns allow for but actually quite small everywhere else so when I buy RTW shirts unless I buy army surplus I usually have to buy one or two sizes bigger to accommodate my shoulders. This of course means the body of the shirt hangs off me. So it’s a very rare occasion I find a nice fitted shirt hence my intense dislike of them.

Of course now I am making my own I can probably learn to make it fit.

Right now though if I can just aim on getting the other bits – sleeve openings being identical and button bands/stands not wrinkling that is all I need to do. I can worry about the actually fit on a darted fitted shirt next year once I have perfected the rest. So anyway all in all I think this a success because I am going to make more.
Thanks for visiting
Bracken