Tuesday, 31 January 2017

83: A long sleeved top for winter


Well after the slight success of my TMS party tops I decided to have yet another go at Newlook 6230 but this time I was ready for a wide neckline.  I also had another go at overlocking my white stretch lace - again this was not a success. I had similar problems to the last time here: http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/74-quick-party-top.html



This time I used a 90's style of embelishment with some bits of scrap fabric ad lace which I hand sewed over the join in the lace and I added a removeable brooch to this.







 It makes for a slightly ornate neck when the rest of the top is very basic.  I made the back slightly longer than the front but not as much as a normal Hi-Lo top. I also made the sleeves longer cos what I am really after is a cuddly warm overtop for wearing to the office this winter.


Thanks for visiting my blog
Bracken

Saturday, 21 January 2017

82: cuddly camo for me too!

The Photo-bombing chicken is called Emily.

Well New Year is traditionally for sportswear making it seems and I really need these. Not really to do sort in but just for life. I really love my Lekala trousers I made right at the beginning of my adventures into my 100 Garments project.

http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/3-lekala-free-pattern-for-sport-trousers.html

I have worn them to death near enough despite the fact they are far from perfect to the extent they are downright badly made. Very "homemade" in fact! I doubt if any sewing bloggers or sewists in general would mistake them for RTW.
 
Still, I love them anyway and I had to start to make clothing somewhere. So here we are with a second version, made from the same fabric I used for my other half's hoody.
 

 This time though I did not want the double fabric at the hem or the side leg splits so I added the piece for this ( folded in half to reduce the length where it is meant to be doubled) onto the each leg pattern piece. It makes for a normal trouser length rather than the 90's style of the first pair.
Instead of a hem I added a strip of fabric twin needle stitched to the edge which gives a nice raw edge effect but twin needle stitching and the extra strip of fabric should stop it going to out of shape.



You can just about see what I mean in these photos.

And I love them! I have worn them for about a week now and just keep reaching for them over everything else. Sadly I cannot currently get away with wearing them to work but for the rest of my life they have rapidly become a favourite item of clothing.


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

Sunday, 15 January 2017

80: Velvet slip dress


113-112016-b_large
Burdastyle 11/2016 - 113
After making my So Sew Easy dress I had some more velvet left so rather than stash it I decided to make a slip dress from the rest of it. After all, the #TMS unstashed challenge is supposed to be about not stashing the fabric you bought at Christmas. I bought this just after Christmas with the idea of making something to go out on New Years Eve and made sequin tops instead so best to use it all up because my fabric stash is already large enough to get me through an entire year of sewing without adding anything to it!


This dress is from the November 2016 issue of Burda Magazine and is dress 113.  For some reason I particularly like this issue of Burda which is weird because I did not buy it when it came out but bought it off ebay just after Christmas when I bought my fabric as part of an ebay buying binge.

I have cut out several items from this issue and it looks to be a favourite since I also traced lots of patterns ready to cut so its an epic mag for some reason despite my originally not liking anything in this issue!



This is a very wearable dress either on it's own or with a T-shirt.
 
 I left out the back frill because I think it will be much more wearable for every-day life without with the frill included and I want to wear this.
 
Its a bit too party-ish with the frill. The facings are black stretch crepe. Its all overlocked and twin needle hemmed. I found the Burda instructions a complete muddle. Everything was in the wrong order and I would make it completely differently next time and I expect to make several of these in different fabrics because its lovely. Its meant to be cut on the cross but I did not do that because it would look a bit weird being velvet but the next one I would probably do it on the cross.
 
Unfortunately, I found that my fluorescent yellow top does not photograph well at all in these pictures and to be honest we have a small frosting of snow today. It does not show on our patio but the grass is slightly frosted like a Christmas card here and there, so its pretty cold outside, and I was not going to spend any longer freezing for pictures so these will have to do for now.
 
I think its a lovely dress which can be worn with trainers and a bike jacket or to go out on the town. What I did not realise until I had made this was there is a fault in the fabric:
 

Its just above knee level. I am toying with cutting the bottom off and shortening the dress to get rid of this but when I asked my other half he could not see this so maybe I am the only one who will notice.

I have yet to decide if I will shorten it but it does seem a shame because its a risk. Shortening things can look great but I am rarely sure until I do it and some lovely dresses and skirts have been ruined when I have done this so now I am a bit in a quandary. If I had realised I would have designed my cutting to avoid it but I never noticed until I had finished hemming the dress.

So, to shorten? Or not to shorten?
 
 
Main_largeAnd here are my upcycled boots. I put glitter stars on these using just glitter glue. They are inspired by this Burda blog post. http://www.burdastyle.com/blog/diy-glitter-shoes

Though as usual I did it slightly differently. I did not add extra glitter but just painted the stars with Pound Shop glitter glue which I bought on a whim ages ago.





 
They go rather well with my dress don't you think?
Thanks for visiting my blog,
Bracken
 

Saturday, 14 January 2017

79: Velvet dress

I got this really lovely pattern in my email back in the Autumn and never got round to making it. Its a free SoSewEasy pattern. I have collected loads of these free patterns from Deb and Mayra at So Sew Easy but never until now got round to making one. I love this kind of dress though. It was the wardrobe staple of my youth and I made loads of versions. Obviously not from this particular pattern since that was new when I got it but it was a popular dress style at the end of the 1970's into the mid-80's. I used to make my own of course but to do that I used to draw round an existing dress. So anyway, when I had this arrive in my inbox I had to make it. The Monthly Stitch un-stashed challenge came along so why not?

I actually sewed this up on Twelth night hence we are in the process of taking down the decorations which you can just about see in the background and I am wearing exercise-wear under this dress so it is not shown at its best really. Having said that though I will probably wear it as a T-shirt over some kind of trousers or leggings for the next few months so this is how it will look till the spring comes.


crushed velvet dress

The fabric was from ebay and was really bought to make a dress for New Years Eve but I got obsessed by sequins so it would have gone into my stash if it was not for The Monthly Stitch! Its simply overlocked with twin needle stitched hem. I just did a quick T-shirt style neck-band which is probably something I will change in version two because its not quite right. Its wearable and comfortable though as well as warm. I am intending to make several more of these as well because its a big success in my wardrobe already! 
 

 Thank you, So Sew Easy for the pattern. 
 
Thanks for visiting my blog,
Bracken









Wednesday, 11 January 2017

78: Cuddle camo top for my man

If you click on the picture there are several views here

It is getting very cold now. My other half is very undemanding clothing-wise and I worry sometimes because I do not make much for him. I actually made this as a warm cuddly top to wear over Christmas but never had time to post it then. He usually likes hoodies and this is a lightweight sweatshirt fabric. I used Newlook 6142 for this. It is entirely overlocked with twin needled hems. I had previously used the same pattern as the basis for a waterproof here: http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/66-finishing-ufos-waterproof-jacket.html
That had meant lots of extra bits needed to be drafted though. This top was much more basic. I never even added a pocket. I made the sleeves a bit longer since the last time he found them too short. I have yet to shorten them to what he actually needs but better a bit long than too short! I will eventually rectify that. From cutting out to completing this took about an hour to make.


Since he has virtually lived in it since making I obviously need to make several more of these kind of tops for him.
Thanks for reading
Bracken

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Musings, Overview and Planning: My achievements and fails so far this year and a dilemma!

Back at the end of February I pledged to make several items this year. 
  • 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
I have highlighted what I managed so far. Its not too bad and I am reasonably happy. I am stretching slightly though since my short skirt is my upcycled skirt here: http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/67-upcylced-velvet-skirt.html

The problem is I have started lots of projects that I have not finished so have loads of UFOs.

The jacket I did finish although not the one I was intending to make! I have not yet made a sportswear type jacket.  I was very tempted to take part in the bomber jacket sew-along which ran for several weeks from 1st September 2016. I have several patterns which I could use for this so will have to have a look through them I think and maybe do this later. I did save all the emails associated with it so I can go back to them when needed. I did make a jacket though. This was for the Gingham-along but still it did have matching leggings and as it happens I did make the leggings I intended anyway just never got round to the jacket to go with them. AND they have been very wearable until the last few weeks when it got too cold to wear them so a success there.

I made various dresses and tops and leggings, but not the raglan colour blocked dress I intended. That still waits in a pile of traced patterns for me to get round to it. I keep getting fabric out of the stash to make that one but never seem to really like any of it for this particular dress.The cullottes - I did make some but then cut out a second pair which wait to be sewn up! Probably I will finish them this spring because it is far too cold now to wear anything that thin! I also cut out some other trousers and half finished them - again I can finish them this spring so I suppose that will give a slight head start on some summer weight clothing anyway! I need to aim to finish things I start now.

It has been quite a year of discovery for me though and this year I want to use faux leather more because I really enjoy wearing it. Strange that, because I probably would not buy RTW clothing made from it! Also my most recent party tops where I have to admit I am now obsessed with sequins and trying to think of something to make that I can wear for a normal day at work and this really blows away my old preconceptions as to what I dare to wear! Ha!


I am a very different person to the one who started sewing  when I started this blog. It has been really good for me to do this and I would advise anyone considering a sewing blog to go for it. Its great when you receive a comment and have visitors but in the end its really for you and focusing on something to the extent you full fill your own dreams is just wonderful. I have taken part in lots of online sewing challenges and really enjoyed myself so the blogging is definitely a success because it focuses me onto actually doing some sewing. I love being part of the sewing community. It seriously beats my old style of sewing where I just sewed an occassional garment and did it badly. The online community is so helpful and it is wonderful and just knowing you are part of something that is useful as well as fun is great.
So setting my tasks for the next 3 months because for me a year is just too far off and I know I will not stick to my goals so, I intend to make as follows:
a second pair of these tartan leggings because I have almost worn them out and they are looking tatty but I love them and still have enough fabric so I want more but better made than these were:
http://brackencrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/10-tartan-leggings.html
I really need some new track pants so have to decide on a pattern for them as well. I also need to finish my UFOs and most of all my coat which I have neglected in favour of party clothes over the last couple of weeks. I need this so ought to do this one.

AND: I yesterday received the January 01/2017 Burda which is full of sportswear so I want to make some of those patterns. I have actually cancelled my Burda subscription now because I seem to be collecting loads of patterns but not making any of them.

So this years goal - for the next few months only:
  • To take part in as many online challenges as possible with my busy life.
  • To make what I need from patterns I already own
  • Not to stash any new fabric but to use what I already have 
  • Not to buy any new patterns 
because I just spend ages dreaming about making stuff and not actually doing it which is really not at all productive.

I also have a new dilemma. I have made over 70 of my 100 garments. What seemed like a fun goal which seemed almost unachievable just over one year ago is coming close to ending so what next?

Do I change my blog name?

It is not as if I have hundreds of followers but I would miss the ones I do have and I do really love when I get the odd comment so if I start all over again that would end at least for the immediate future.
I was not thinking very far ahead when I called my blog 100 garments. Maybe I should just carry on because I do not think I shall stop sewing or blogging once I get to the 100 mark and my sewing has steadily improved so that now I am actually quite happy wearing my Me-Made for work as well as play so why stop now?
A sewing blog has certainly given me a new perspective on life and I love blogging almost as much as sewing!
Thanks for reading and a slightly belated Happy New Year.
Wishing my readers all the best of luck in 2017.
Bracken