Sunday, 31 December 2017

Anarchy gloves

I just need so much to sew. 
I am an addict! 

The problem for me about Christmas is I love it very much, but during this period of time I lose my sewing table for more than a week and its killing me!

I managed to cut two denim dog coats out on the kitchen floor which sort of alleviated my need to sew. They are waiting for my table to be sewn and finished off.

When I began this blog I really had no idea it would become so much a part of my world. This is not just a hobby. This keeps me sane even when awful things happen. 

Yet in my teens and twenties I sewed just about everything but that was because I had no money being unemployed for most of that time. 

I simply had to sew else go without. Now I do it for originality because as the world has got smaller and smaller with increasing communications and technology, everything, everywhere looks the same. There is so little that is unique. Its seriously depressing. 

So I knew that for Christmas I must vacate my table - the dining table, because its the only decent sized table we own and at 1.5m long its ok. Bigger would be good but I manage and I am sure some people reading this have even less space. We all make do with the best we can get, and this is my space for 11.5 months of the year which is brilliant and for this I am very grateful to my other half for his understanding. But then comes Christmas, which is incidentally my favourite time of year, so I am not hating this at all. But I must lose my table for over a werk and its killing me. I seem to have serious withdrawl from sewing so am I an adict? Yes probably. If that is possible then yes I am.

I just need to sew and I cannot.

So what to do then?


Back in September (I think) my lovely Mick bought me a begginner knitting kit for mitts from Aldi. Aldi did it as a special, a possible idea for a present for Christmas perhaps, tho not for me since he gave it to me immediately. Well probably I am defintely not a begginer knittter, having knitted for most of my life so around 45+ years as a knitter, but one thing about me is I can knit in the round but I absolutely hate and avoid it.

Yes, once upon a time I knitted a whole jumper in the round and ever since I just avoid this. I did knit a hat for my friends baby a couple of years ago in the round but thats about as far as I want to get. You understand tho - its not that I cannot do this just that I do not want to. I do not enjoy it so want to avoid as far as is possible. Anyway the problem I have is I need mitts since I have a condition which is very annoying called Raynauds which is when you can get frostbite at what other folk find normal but cool conditions. Its a slight inconvenience for me athough very serious for some people. My problem is mild but I do need gloves and if possible mitts. Most patterns tho are in the round hence my serious delight when I realised Aldi had a pattern for flat knitted mitts. Well it contains everything you need - even a needle to sew them up! Wonderful. Even the thumb is knitted flat in these and you sew it all together at the end. Unfortunately I was so keen to finish these I never took photos of them before sewing together.

Despite spending the last 10 or so years looking for one on the internet and in the process collecting huge amounts of data ( sewing, knitting, recipes and other snippets of interest) I still I do not have a basic easy pattern for mitts. I even started my sewing blog project due to my search for a simple not in the round knitted mitts pattern so yes this need to knit mitts actually caused the sewing blog in the first place. I probably could have paid for a simple pattern to be honest but when the really pretty in the round ones are often free this went against the grain.

Well this kit has the needed pattern. But, I did not want a copy of a mass produced kit so Mick also bought me a glittery acrylic yarn which I used as a the main colour. I missed out the pale grey and the cream and I ad-libbed the rest making sure my wrists and cuff openings were the same stripewise but the rest is pure anarchy with a totally mismatched  pattern and yes this was intentional.


We had a few problems taking these photos because: how does one take pictures of gloves or hands?
I am sure there is a better method for capturing hands than this but here are the photos anyway:










So I started these in September but knitted virtually nothing and then over the last week when I cannot sew this is what I have made.

I still feel a pull to sew but I think I need a mass tracing/cutting session to get me started for the New Year. I depleted my normal pile of cut out and waiting items for the December The Monthly Stitch challenge since it had to be an easy project which was fast and when you have a pile of ready to sew items already thats the quickest easiest way to get going. Now tho my pile of unsewn objects has gone.  I also have a new job which I need some "officey" professional type of smart casual clothing for so thats for next week, once I eventually reclaim my lovely table.

Happy New Year and  I hope you have a good one!

Bracken

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Egg Coat completed Burda Style pattern / 09/2016 #117

 

Another completed UFO. This was part of my challenge with Juxnz to finish a coat or jacket for amnesty day which was 30th November. Well Juxnz won that hands down but I have finally finished one of my UFO coats.

This is Burda 09/2016 style 117 made from quilted upholstery fabric with the collar and pockets in offcuts of faux leather in navy. I previously made this skirt,
http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/birthday-skirt.html
this dress,
http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/teach-me-fashion-layer-dress.html


Well what can I say this was a massive learning curve for me since I had never made welt pockets.


I ended up recutting the right front 3 times due to my destruction when making the welt pockets so my advice if you have never done these do a mock up first. I started off with 4.5m of this fabric so luckilly was able to simply cut a new front (twice!) but under normal circumstances this might have been a very expensive disaster. As it is becaues I had lots of fabric it eventually worked.

First welt pocket

Second attempt

Final version works


I tacked the zip in and hand sewed the sleeve linings in place



Then I used a salvedged zip from an old gazebo because its the only zip I had that was long enough and I do not have spare money right now. I cut this off shorter in fact after inserting and hid the ends inside the collar band.

I had a few problems with the zip as well due to believing it will all be ok and I even tacked it in but forgot to check before sewing that everything lined up OK.



When I first put in the zip I did one side, tacked and then sewed and then did the other but then when I did it up it was askew as you can see here. I undid and re-sewed and shortened the hem slightly to match the first side. This means the lining is slightly out inside but I am not too worried about that. The lining is cheap (99p for 2m) polyester knit. I thought it would add warmth but its a bad idea because after I sewed it in place I found runs where it was coming unknitted so I ended up using clear nail varnish to fix the runs and stop them getting worse. Not ideal but will do for now. I will probably either re-line or add a second lining on top at some point. For now though I just want to wear this.



Happy Christmas to everyone and heres hoping next year we may have a more peaceful world.

Thanks for visiting
Bracken


Saturday, 16 December 2017

Daenerys Targaryen dress using Simplicity 1008

 
This dress has been on my "to make list" since the pattern first came out in the UK. It made from stretch faux suede. However although this is stretch I do not think its got any lycra just polyester. Its lined with power mesh to try and keep the suede in shape.







 Since this wa taken I decided to use a couple of stitches to permanently attach the two bands to cover the dodgy pointed bit under the bust. Means I do not constantly adjust these. I read several reviews on Pattern Review about this dress, and can say I agree with others who had problems with the point at the front. It simply does not lie right. The cross over "dragon skin" straps help to hide this to some extent but I am not very happy with it.


I also read that it is very difficult to insert an invisible zip because of the thickness of the fabric layers so I decided (in my usual fashion if its even vaguely possible) to miss out the zip cos my fabric is stretch. Well I can just about get it on and off if I a wriggle a bit so this may not be the best option!

I used black rivet tape at the back rather than add eyelets because I never manage to get them to stay in the fabric and they always end up falling out and I am left with just a hole so I decided this was a better option. I noticed at least one reviewer has sewn eyelets which would have been an option but using the ready made tape was just faster and I hate hand sewing.

In fact most of the Pattern Rewviews all say they had to hand stitch in the lining. Well I did not. Mainly because I read other people's reviews so I lined the two skirt pieces and cut an extra bodice from the power mesh. Then I attached the bodice at the sleeves /flanges ( which I love) and sewed on the skirt after so the bodice lining stays in place being attached at the arms and skirt seams, although it is not actually attached around the neck because I decided how to do this after I started.  There is a facing made of satin backed something left over from this top:
http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/black-top-from-pattern-sew-and-sew-b5940.html

I might eventually get round to stitching the neck lining down but it is wearable without and so not urgent.



 

In case you are wondering it is worn with these leggings:
http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/24-red-lace-hoody-burdastyle-012016.html 
Well its really a costume but it happened to snow and being made of faux suede turns out to be very warm despite the lack of sleeves and it was Sunday so what the hell. I wore it all day and you know what, I like this and intend to wear it as often as possible. I am sure if I have no coat over it some people will look and think its strange but with leggings this is actually a very wearable dress and if you fancy making one I would say go for it.
Best wishes and thanks for visiting,
Bracken

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