Thursday, 29 January 2009

Project 8 - Pants - FINISHED

I Have Finally Finished The Pants!

Update: we went away this weekend for the birthday celebrations and he LOVES his new pants! The comments of "wow, you really made those?" are quite possibly the biggest sewing-related boost I've ever had!

AND he says they fit him really well, which is what I was most worried about!

And other than that a fantastic weekend of hiking, kite flying, socialising, games, food and drink - still can't believe we fitted 28 people in that lounge!

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Millinery Course - Week 3

Well, week three has been and gone and I've blocked the brim of my hat. Last night's lesson was a lot harder than the previous ones and I've got some concerns, but I can see where it's all going now.

Firstly, I bought a straw hood this week in red and some petersham ribbon for the felt hat. I've got the ribbon in black for the inside (to stop the hat stretching) and royal blue for the edge of the brim to go with this coat:

I knew exactly which block I wanted, but someone else got there first so I had to have a rethink. I ended up with this one (which I might like even better...)

He'd said that we could have a bit of variation in the size block we used when compared to our head sizes. I'm a 22" head and used a 22.5" block for the brim and am now using a 21" block for the brim - it adds up to quite a difference. I've had to put a seam in the back of my brim because of it (to take out the extra felt) but really can't see how it's all going to go together with such a massive difference...

First job was to mark the cutting line on the crown and remove the brim. Very scary to make that first cut...

Blocking the brim was far harder than the crown. With my brim block (which looks like a very funky toilet seat and sounds like a toilet cleaner - oh I was having so much fun with the toilet jokes last night) you have to pin the middle bit first to keep it in shape, then stretch it out over the whole of the brim. I was really struggling to get the pins in due to the angle. Pushing pins into wood isn't easy in the first place and my fingers are really sore today from it!

But eventually it started to work. We removed most of the excess fabric and made a butted seam at the back. By the end of the session I'd blocked the brim and it was looking less toilet seat and more hat which was very satisfying. A lot of people didn't manage to get that finished and were feeling quite frustrated, and I can see why - it looks nothing like a hat then suddenly at the last minute it starts to make sense.

Next week we will put wire and ribbon round the brim to strengthen it, and start blocking the straw hood. Apparently that's quite a different process and gives very different results despite being done much the same way.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Project 8 - Pants - Update

After a very successful weekend I can report that the orange pair are FINISHED!!!

I made the bias binding and bound the legs of the yellow pair, but didn't think about stretch so they ended up really wide and i'm currenly unpicking them to redo that. Wonder what people thought on the train this morning?

I also need to unpick the brown pair and sew them together again introducing stretch.

I've learned so much the last few weeks and I'm really happy with how they're coming out. I reckon 2 more evenings and they'll be done (good thing too as I only have 3 evenings left!

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Project 9 - Heart Shirt - Update

It was just as easy as I'd hoped. Got some red jersey off the market (1.5m for £3 - gotta love the market guy who always gives more or charges less) and the leftover fringe from my christmas dress and really pleased with the outcome. If I did it again I'd make the heart a bit smaller though - it looked right when it was just the fabric cut out, but it's a bit large with the fringe as well

Project Number 9 - Heart Shirt

Just a quick one today - was flicking through the London Lite on the way home last night and saw this pic article here

Loving the t-shirt. Going out with my mum tonight so thought I'd have a go at it. Not much time with doing the pants, so am going to use an old t-shirt rather than starting from scratch, but reckon I could get something nice in an hour or so

Friday, 23 January 2009

Project 8 - Pants - Update

Well, I've had an hour or so on them tonight - we'd organised a movie night for my scouts so I sat at the back and cut out the pieces for the other two patterns...

Then when I got home I made up the rest of the first pair, but without binding the legs's a photo for you...feeling very happy with how this pair's turned out and confident I can get most of this done this weekend...

Project 8 - Pants - Update

Right, a bit of an update...after the sewing machine breakage (now working better than ever with the spare part my daddy got me) life is moving decidedly back towards having time to SEW!!!

The birthday party is a week on Friday (and Saturday and Sunday) so I only have one weekend left to complete them. Got the pair that I've sewn the pattern onto sewn together (mostly) last night. Just need to put an edging on the legs, sew the crotch together and put the elastic on. Discovered that the pieces didn't fit, but had drawn marks all over the pants before taking them apart and realised that I needed to stretch the bum piece to make it fit to the side piece. That worked really well (I wasn't sure what I was doing, but made it up) and they're really starting to look like pants now.

Have looked up what I need to do for the legs and "bias binding" comes up a lot so I'm going to have a play with that. It looks fiddly but I figured if I did it fairly large it'll work ok. We'll see. (Going to make it out of the contrast fabric I've got)

And that's about it really...can't wait for tomorrow to get started!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Monday, 19 January 2009

Millinery Course - Week 2

Week two and I had even more fun than week one! This is my hood I mentioned last week:

And this is the band I'm making to support it while I'm working on it

Today we started blocking the crown of the hats. This involves taking the stiffened hood, spraying some water in it then steaming it until it gets soft. It is then stretched over a block. My block is the one on the left:

I like it because it's a little squared at the top, but not too much. I like a slightly masculine edge to my hats.

Here's the hat stretched over the block after the first pull:

Then you steam sections of the hat and pull them down to stretch them over the block. You use pins to hold it in place. Here's a photo of me doing just that:

And finally here's the hat all pulled into place. It doesn't sound like we did as much today, but it was really nice sitting there chattering away and getting to know eachother as we pinned our hats into place. Next week we will block the brims and get started blocking the straw hats. No rest for the milliners!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Project 8 - Pants - Update

Well I got the picture of the tattoo yesterday and here's what I've done with it (photoshopped the picture so it's really clear then printed two copies, cut out one and used it as a pattern and used the other to show the positioning. For the loopy bits I didn't cut out fabric but sewed freehand)

I'm really pleased with how this has turned out and really enjoyed doing the sewing (although the cutting out was dull). I'm going to try to get this pair all sewn together today, do the rest of the cutting out this week and put the other two pairs together next weekend. They'll be complete well before they're needed the following weekend.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Millinery Course - Week 1

That was the BEST fun ever! I got there nice and early (in case I got lost on the way) and was chummy with 2 other girls before it even started. Almost everyone was there on their own so everyone was keen to get to know each-other and it showed as we were all nattering away by the end. There’s 14 people on the course, mostly in their 20s and 30s, only one guy. The instructor is quite possibly the most enthusiastic person I’ve ever met (but not in an overpowering way) – he was very keen that we got started and he explains things as we go on rather than sitting around listening. He’s also really good at encouraging people to talk about what they’re doing and really helped the group bond (already!!!)

First off we measured our heads, then cut two strips of buckram on the bias to form a wide hat band. This will be used to keep the hat in shape whilst we’re making it. We sewed the strips together, then got a piece of wire, flattened it and shaped it into an oval using wooden blocks as a guide. That is being sewed onto the band – there’ll be one at the top and one at the bottom. And it’ll be the shape of my head.

At the same time we went off in small groups with our “hood” – the felt hat-shape that the hat’ll be made from (mine’s black and soooooooo soft) and used felt stiffener to stiffen the crown before leaving them in the drying cupboard.

I really didn’t think we’d get so much done in one session...and three hours went past like a flash. I’m so excited about next week, but in the mean time will be doing lots of research on hats. I’ve been designing for a while so I think I know what I want to make, but I’m going to get drawing it to visualise it.

Oh and there’s a room that’s full, floor to ceiling, of hat blocks. More than you could imagine in every shape you could think of and many you couldn’t. I can’t wait to get in there and find the shape my hat’s going to be. My first hat that is – we’ll make a felt hat and a straw hat on the course, and if we wish to use the blocks for hoods we bring in ourselves, we’re allowed to on the proviso that the main course hats have priority. That’s brilliant news – we can block the hats then take them home to do the rest of the work.

First thing I did when I got in this morning was to check if there’s still places on “Millinery 2” next term! Not sure I can afford it yet though!

Monday, 12 January 2009

Millinery Course

2 hours until it starts - I'm so excited I've not been able to concentrate all day at work! I've worked out how to get there and got my bag packed and time won't go fast enough!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Project 8 - Pants - Update

First picture of the first pair of pants. They're a bit crinkly as they're still drying from the red wine incident...but they're looking a pretty good shape. They're rather a bit too big for my Martha (modelling) but I'm sure once they're sewn together at the bottom (not done that yet as I want to leave them open to make sewing on the tattoo motif easier) and have elastic on they'll look the part

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Project 8 - Pants - Update

It's been a busy week so I've only really got started today.I unpicked the pair of pants he'd given me and made patterns and started to make up the first pair today. I've got brown, orange and yellow cotton jersey to make them and matching thread. I decided to make them up using one colour for each with constrasting stitching.

So I got the pieces of the brown pair cut out, overlocked all the edges in orange and was pinning them together to work out how they connect (having forgotten how the pieces went together) when my husband called me to say dinner was which point i stood up and kicked a full glass of red wine over them!they're on soak at the moment...fingers crossed!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Millinery Course

I can barely hold in my excitement - having booked it back in August, my millinery course starts on MONDAY!!!My bag's been packed almost a week!

Saturday, 3 January 2009

New Year's Resolution

This year I won't buy any clothes what so ever. I'm going to make EVERYTHING (except undewear and knitwear unless I get considerably better!)

I've bought some jersey knit today for plain T-shirts (which I'm always wrecking), got a birthday present to make for Andy, dress for Aileen's birthday party and something for Suz to wear for a wedding just before Littlemore's due. And that's before the millinery class I start in just over a week.

And I'm going to try to record what I do on here. I'm hoping to put up what I've done in the last couple of months of last year as well as I've kept good photographic records.

Well, here goes...when I'm not feeling rubbish...I'll start tomorrow...

Friday, 2 January 2009

Project Number 8 - PANTS!

And I'm off again. This time with a strange one I'm rather looking forwards to.


That's right, pants.

Boys' pants!

I wore my new dress to Robyn and Andy's on new year's eve and Andy was mighty impressed. The next morning, while we were discussing his upcoming 30th birthday, he said he'd always wanted custom made pants!

So there we are - bright colours, funky designs, it's entirely up to me apparently but he wants hand made pants for his birthday!!!

He gave me a pair of (clean) ones that fit nicely as a guide (sadly not boxers - I think boxers would be easier than fitted trunks) and says he's happy for me to cut them up if need be.

I'm rather looking forwards to this - he's a very vibrant guy so I'm pretty sure anything will idea how hard they'll be to make, but they can't be *that* bad, can they?
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