Thursday, December 31, 2015

7th Day Of Christmas - Bras

I had a fabulous time in Hamilton last year learning how to make bras at Boob Camp, and have been approached by a number of people asking if I make custom bras.  Now there is quite a difference between making a bra for yourself that has already been fitted to you personally, and making one for someone else who is a different size/shape to you.  I do find that bras are easy to make, but the fitting worried me somewhat.  So I signed up for another course this September/October - alterations.

Wow - I'm glad that I didn't try and muddle through on my own - there is a lot to learn.  I was in a small class with three other ladies and we were taught by the Fairy Bra Mother herself - Beverly Johnson.  What she doesn't know about bra making is really not worth knowing at all!

It was another great week - although I managed to book myself into the wrong hotel (thought that I had booked the same one as last year, and I paid in advance using Credit Card Miles) unfortunately it was a dive - comfy bed though, so I guess that is something- and I was directed to not one but TWO fabulous fish and chip shops with FRESH fish.  Oh boy, I really was spoilt!  Coming from the UK I really miss fresh fish and chips!

So, after a week of slicing, dicing, pinning, tucking, manhandling etc., etc., I think that I have a fair chance of making bras for other people.  I need to make up some sample bras, and then I will be seeing how serious my buddies were about custom bras!

In the meantime, here is some bra candy for you!  Aren't these combinations lovely?  I really like the cornflower blue and there will be at least one bra made just for me out of that fabric!  All just waiting to be made up into some gorgeous bras!

This is an 'extra-large' photo - how does that work for you?  I usually use medium or large, but wanted to get some detail in this time.  Let me know if it doesn't work or is too big!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

6th Day of Christmas - Feather

There I was, minding my own business, when into my Inbox dropped an email from Ms. Givens inviting me to purchase her new delightful pattern, Feather.

What is a girl to do?  Oh yes, buy it!  So I did!  This was a fun pattern to make up.  I had to get my Singer Featherweight out and use the ruffler attachment to gather all the strips that were needed for the frills.  I have to say, if you've got to make loads of frills or ruffles - get a ruffler attachment!!  I really enjoyed using raw edges - it feels like such a wild and crazy way to sew, quite the opposite to how I would ordinarily.  I used my standard bodice top (based upon Collette's Sorbetto) to ensure a good fit, and my Feather was completed.

This is the Feather being worn with a black Patricia skirt.

And (above) with a pair of cropped trousers from the Summer.  They are a little creased as they are fighting for space in my closet!  I'm not sure that I like the Feather with trousers . . . . but the photo actually looks rather good!

And with a Phoebe 'jacket'.  It makes quite a fun suit that I'd wear to work.

Now this is really weird.  I had already typed my paragraph to finish off this portion of the post before taking the photos, and this is what I had written:

Unfortunately, I really don't like how it looks on me, so this ended up being a bit of a miss.  I think it is because of the openness at the front - it just feels odd when I wearing it.  However, it is finished, and I may well wear it in the future . . . I can change my mind you know!!  Not wanting to waste design details, I have used the ruffles on another TG pattern - the Cara, and will share some photos of that pretty soon.

But having seen the photographs, I rather like the look!

Do you find that you change your mind once you make something up and see the photos - either for better or for worse?

5th Day of Christmas - Zip and Go

This is a fabulous cross-body (or shoulder) bag that is pretty quick and easy to make.  It is called the Zip and Go by Dog Under My Desk.  It s quite small - only 9.5" tall and 7.5" wide, but it is perfect for when you just need your keys, purse and glasses.  The main fabric only takes 1/3 yd - probably even just 1/4 yd, but fat quarters are no good due to to needing some length for the straps.  My straps are close to 60" long.

This lovely checked version was for my SIL for Christmas.  The fabric is a lovely soft wool, and the straps are adjustable as I'm not sure what length she would prefer.

The two zips mean that there is a good amount of space in the from of the bag.  I attached a couple of charms that were on lobster clips to each zip pull rather than make my own as I felt the old metal look went really well with the look of the bag.

Cute interior fabric - it looks like little clothes hanging on a washing line, with some red flowers dotted about.

The back is plain, but that works well as it is against your body.

And of course, a special label for a special lady.

The only other comment of note is that I used fusible fleece on the two outer layers and that made it quite thick and bulky.  Fortunately my sewing machine was an absolute trooper, and coped admirably!

Next up (I actually made this one first, but whatever, is one from Laurel Burch fabric.  Her colours are very rich and although they haven't photographed well here, it still looks pretty good!  The zips are a deep purple, just to give you an idea!

I just need to add/make some zipper pulls, and this is done.  For this one I just used Pellon SF101 as the stabiliser on all pieces, so it is pretty sturdy.  This will be perfect to jazz up a plain summer outfit.
Roll on summer!!

Monday, December 28, 2015

4th Day of Christmas - Retreat

I had a bit of a bag making binge this year, and I've made quite a few bags, wallets and pouches.  So much so I will probably need to sell some on Etsy in the near future . . . . . for real.  Watch this space.

One of the bags was this lovely one from Emmaline called the Retreat Bag.  this is actually a free pattern - so if you fancy trying your hand at bag making, this is a great one to start with.  It makes a good washbag/makeup bag/project bag, and is based on a 'box' bag.

It takes just two fat quarters - always a win in my book as I have an awful lot of 'paired' fabrics just waiting to made into something!  The difference with this bag is that is uses wires just below the zip to give the bag some structure and hold open the 'mouth'.

How cute is this?

Coming to an Etsy store near you very soon!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

3rd Day of Christmas - Socks

Socks.  You can never have enough knitted socks.  And having knitted around 200 pairs, I know!  I have been a bit slack of late - quite a few pairs on the needles, so I thought that it was time to finish them off and free up the needles for more . . . . . socks!!

There is nothing special about these socks - I have used my own pattern, Billy Basic Socks, that can be found on Ravelry and the yarn is for both is a self striping yarn.  One is called Rainbow from Knit Picks and is lovely and soft.  I'm afraid I can't remember the name of the other yarn :(  I love hand-knitted socks, especially at this time of the year, so I now have some more to add to my collection!!

As you can see, Nico is new to all of this photo taking and wanted in on the action!!

I also knit some fingerless gloves using a pattern called Cortland.  This was a quick and fun pattern, and they knit up quickly.  I like the pointed cuff - quite unusual - but it was fun to knit and looks great.  The lace pattern was a 4 row repeat and very straight forward, and the thumb is a 'proper' (in my estimation!) thumb.  Much better than a slit/hole to poke your thumb through.  These were knitted in the round, so no seams to sew up at the end.  Like socks.  Are you seeing a patter here?!  

My project is here.  The yarn is lovely soft merino/silk blend and these gloves have been worn a lot recently too.

And finally . . . . . I completed a cowl.  

The yarn is called Sockittome and I made some socks out of a different colourway last Christmas.  It was a pain to knit with using 2.5mm needles, but an absolute pleasure using 3.5mm needles.  How bizarre.  I actually saw another lady had made a cowl using this yarn, so I shamelessly copied her!  I know, I have no shame!

The cowl is long enough to wrap around my neck twice, but as the temperatures are -20c right now, indoor pics on Polly (my polystyrene head double) will have to suffice!

I have found that my knitting often takes a back seat to my sewing, and I had forgotten how much I enjoyed knitting.  My output this year was quite minimal, and I look forward to upping that in 2016!

Do you find that one hobby tends to get pushed aside for another?

Saturday, December 26, 2015

2nd Day of Christmas - Nico

Last year we had to say goodbye to our gorgeous Collie Jess - just a few months short of her 17 birthday.  We had had her since she was a puppy, and she left a huge hole is our lives.  We still had our two lovely greyhounds, but Mr. SDSC said that he would like a smaller dog - a lap dog.  Well, blow me over, who'd a thought?

In November I went to our Humane Society to see an elderly dachshund that was looking for a new home.  When I arrived I was advised that a lot of people were also interested, and would I like to see what other dogs they had?  Well, of course I would.  I have to say that I was really surprised at how few dogs there were - I thought that there would be over a hundred at least, but there were only about 15 - 20, and a lot of those were 'holds - pending adoption'.  I guess that this is a good thing, and I probably would have had a problem narrowing down my choices if there were too many dogs!  So I elected to see a Jack Russell called Nico and was ushered into a small room to spend 'at least' 30 minutes with him.

This is us getting to know each other . . . . .

And oh my goodness.  What a cutie he was.  Very smart, very cuddly, and very Jack Russell.  My parents have had 'Jacks' for years, so I knew that they were energetic and pretty much a big dog in a small body.

Poor Nico had been a family dog for 5 years and then handed in to the Humane Society when the family had a new baby.  He had also been in the shelter for 6 weeks with no-one showing any interest at all.  My heart was broken.  Two days later after he had met my husband and our greyhounds, he came home with us.

And we love him to bits!  He can get very excitable, but calms down quickly.  He walks pretty well on the lead, although he does go crazy if he sees another dog, so we will have to work on that.  As part of the adoption process you have to attend one of the training classes at the shelter, so last Saturday we turned up for the first session with Nico.  Oh dear.  It didn't go too well.  Despite being very quiet and well behaved at home, he was a monster in class, and we were asked not to return!!!!

To be fair, we have been offered a more appropriate class that will help us to deal with his 'reactiveness' when meeting other dogs, but we find it rather funny that this little ball of fluff got us thrown out of class!!

We will return in February for the classes, and in the meantime we will enjoy him around the house!

Welcome Home Nico xx

Friday, December 25, 2015

1st Day of Christmas - TG Outfit

Well Christmas came round really quickly this year.  I can put my hand up and say 'yes', I was one of those people who contemplated making Christmas gifts and decorations in July and then though, nah,  way too early . . . . . and whoooooosh, here we are!!  The best bit for me is that I am off work for a couple of weeks so it is a real luxury to be able to chill out, sew, knit, walk, talk, snooze, drink . . . . . just everything!!  I do hope that your Christmas is just as enjoyable, and I wish you and yours a relaxing and peaceful time.

And I have been busy sewing . . . . want to see my Christmas outfit?  I don't usually make something specifically for Christmas Day, but I love that other people do it, so I thought that I would give it a try.  As you have probably read, I have been embracing Lagenlook and using Tina Givens Patterns - and this was to be no exception.  The skirt is the Patricia pattern, the tunic is Cara and I used a Simplicity pattern for the cardi/jacket.  Here are my changes and info!

Skirt - Patricia

The pattern itself has a shaped yoke and then a skirt gathered onto it with a band around the bottom that draws in the fullness.  As I do not have much of a hip/waist ratio, I cut the yoke piece as a straight rectangle - no other changes made.  I love the gathered strips on the side seams - it adds a touch of fun and is somewhat unexpected!  The fabric is a cotton/hemp (55%/45%) mix and is heavier than linen with quite a loose weave.  I also made a plain nylon (?) jersey petticoat to wear underneath - I can't stand clothing sticking to my legs or stockings.  This meant that I didn't need to line the skirt.  I've made a couple of others out of a dark chocolate brown and a plain black as well.  They are from linen so they are a little more drapey.

Here you can see the petticoat in action (above)!

My attempt at Merchant and Mills photography . . . . . !

Just a little hemline action!

Tunic - Cara

I love this tunic - It is a fun and comfy make!  For this version I added pockets in the side seams and sewed a small scrap of spotty black lace and a gathered frill to the neckline.  I bound the neckline, arms and bottom with 1.25" bias strips, folded in half, and triple zig-zagged to enclose the exposed seams.  Very quick and easy.

Jacket - Simplicity 1318

I've seen this jacket made up a few times and thought that it would be a fun one to make.  I was going to make during the summer with a lightweight georgette but never got round to it.  When I started thinking of a Christmas outfit, I thought that this pattern would work perfectly - black linen with lace sleeves.  So that is what I did!  I made an adjustment to the upper back of the jacket to accommodate my rounded upper back as well as adding a small triangular shape to the ends of each sleeve so that inserting the sleeves and sewing the side/sleeve seams would be more smooth.  And that was it.  Quick and easy right?  Nope.  Not for me.  I managed to attach the two front pieces the wrong way round, so the jacket looked more like a man's shirt tails.  Grr.  I didn't realize until I was ready to sew the side/sleeve seams and had to unpick lots of top-stitching and overlocking.  It was worth it though as I love the look of this jacket.  I think that it finishes off the outfit nicely and it will work with lots of other outfits that I have.  There is quite a lot of hand stitching - the inside of the front bands and the sleeve bands, but it gives a lovely finish.  If I was to make this again - and I probably will, I will attach the inner bands first, then turn under the seam allowance for the outer bands and top and edge stitch them down.

I think that the outfit has a somewhat Victorian/gothic look due to the colour of the fabrics, but I rather like that!!

And finally . . . . I got some new shoes for Christmas . . . . and they work perfectly with my new outfit:

So, how about you?  Did you make an outfit for Christmas?

Monday, December 21, 2015

12 Days of Christmas

Wow - where have the last few months gone?  Last time I looked it was really hot outside and we were enjoying a lovely summer.  And now?  Snow on the ground!

My blogging has also taken a bit of a bashing - new computer that doesn't play nicely with Picasa (my fave photo editing programme) took some of the wind out of my sails, although I have been sewing like mad.  And knitting, and we have a new houndie, so oh-my-goodness I need to catch up!

The plan is to run a series of posts over Christmas, bombarding you with all my new makes - you have been warned!

In the meantime, here is a pic of my Dad on Remembrance Day, just after the parade, with one of our local RCMP members.  Lovely!