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Showing posts from January, 2012

No energy at all

I've had 0 energy this weekend. Just couldn't get anything going crafting-wise.

I've got this refashion sitting on my dress form - a cardigan (?) that I managed to put in the washing machine with chewing gum - non-recoverable unfortunately. I'll make it into a sleeve-only thing. As soon as I get some energy back :)

And in the meanwhile, I'm compiling a DnD Gnome Druid resource. Yes, I'm a geek.

What is this and how is it used?

When I ordered my dress form from the Adjustoform website (, I also received a load of other goodies, among which something that was quoted as a "useful clothes brush".

The problem is, it doesn't really feel like a clothes brush. Here it is from profile:

And here is a close up:

The red material just doesn't feel like a clothes brush at all. Besides, it does this:

Mr T reckons something can be attached to the head, otherwise it wouldn't do the push and turn thing. Does anyone know what it is and how it should be used?

Bag reorg

This has actually been a slow brewing project. It started with me wanting a proper enclosure for female-only accessories so I wouldn't have to hide everything in my palm when I go to the bathroom at work. So yesterday I checked to see exactly what's in my bag.
Cue bag (I love this bag):

Cue contents:

Decide what the minimum necessary items are:

OK the yellow pills aren't really necessary. I use them maybe once a year? They're for your tummy - I eat a lot of spicy food. :)
Then arrange everything in neat piles:

Decide you need 3 holders. Make one:

And then stop because you're too annoyed with self at what it turned out like. Although the kitty on the zipper is cute.
Yes yes. I messed up the inside. Had to hand stitch the holes... hand stitched so poorly that the zipper occasionally catches the lining. I suck. Booh. You'd think after making several of these last year I'd learn. But nooooo. Anyway. I fixed one of the problems - the objects which are rarely use…

The Rocker Skirt

There was a point - probably around hemming, day 2 - when I really thought I wouldn't finish this skirt. I'm glad I did - it is completely me!

I've worn it out once, to work on Thursday (as pictured above). I really do think it needs a lining. It just has a waist facing right now and I think I'll attach the lining to the facing, if I ever get to it. Although truth be told, it does need to get done - the skirt is far too short for me to wear comfortably otherwise, so if I don't do it, I'll only be able to wear it when it's warm enough to skip the tights. By which time, of course, it will also be too warm for corduroy.

This skirt is really pushing my comfort level on shortness. I think the last time I wore something this short was when I was a teenager! However, it's much longer than those "fashionable" blazers that are worn over tights nowadays and barely cover one's derriere - so I figure I'm still pretty decent wearing it.

The hem too…

Still around!

I've been meaning to make a post about the Rocker-skirt-ex-Meringue-skirt since Thursday. I even have pictures and everything! I promise go do it today. But short summary - it's awesome!

I also want to arrange the contents of my handbag today. You see, I was always the one-bag-cs-geek person, but it just so happens that my handbag stash just grew from 1 to 3 (!). I got a grey DKNY bag from Mr T's parents for Christmas, and I bought myself an red bag at Ashford last week. But my normal bag is full of stuff - it needs to be organized in such a way that must-haves are easily transferable between bags.

I've also decided I want to learn to crochet. I saw these amazing crocheted dresses in Gran Canaria last summer but they were in the region of 100 euros each. So I had this amazing idea today that I'll learn how to crochet and make myself one of these. No idea where to start doing that though, but I'm sure the internet will be helpful, just like it was when I started…

The "used to be Meringue" skirt

I've decided that my skirt is not after all a Meringue skirt. I've pretty much sewn it yesterday, just the hem left.

Unfortunately, my corduroy stretches - and although the skirt fit perfectly up to the point that I stitched the waist facing, I completely messed it up when I top stitched the waist. It expanded and looked like a flowery mess. I tried to fix it with some elastic initially but that didn't work, so I just left it and went to bed:

Then, this morning, I had the brilliant idea of adding tiny pleats to mitigate the stretching damage. I added 4 to the front and none to the back yet. I think the back might need 1 or 2, but I'll see. You can see one of them in the pic above.

That being said, the pleats won't show very well since the skirt is to be worn with a fairly wide belt. I started on hemming yesterday but unfortunately the zigzagged edge still shows. I will need to turn the zigzag under and then hand stitch the lace in place, which means lots of hand-st…

Embellished pockets (with mini tutorial)

As you might know, I am slightly changing the Meringue skirt to be more "me". Part of this is adding back pockets*.

I saw this idea on a blog at some point (I am very sorry I do not remember who it was, I have over 30 sewing blogs in by rss feed) - to add a "heart rate monitor" line to embellish the back pockets.

Mini tutorial:
1. Cut out your pockets as per pattern instructions.
2. Google for the image. I used "hospital heart rate monitor picture" in Google image search.
3. When you've decided on an image, draw it on the pocket. You could print it and then transfer it with embroidery paper (?) or with basting, but I just used chalk and a ruler. Be careful if you use my method to make the two pockets the same, it takes a bit of extra care:

4. Start stitching with contrasting thread, closely following your markings. I used teal topstitching thread* on my dark navy pockets.

5. Go slowly, and pivot at corners

6. You're done with one pocket! Repeat fo…

I made a brooch!

It's not very pretty, but I had enough fun doing it that I'll try it again!

The base is from the seemingly never-ending 2 yards of corduroy I picked up at Mood in NY. The lace was bought in Romania over the holidays. The leather is a scrap from the stash I bought for the laptop case. And finally, I used a safety pin on the back.

It's not great, but it's not too shabby either. I have other ideas as well so who knows, I might have a huge supply of brooches sometime soon.

The Meringue skirt

I spent all yesterday evening fitting the Meringue skirt on the left over corduroy from the Pastille dress. I ended up cutting size 2 in the waist, size 0 below, and I removed the front dart. Grading from size 8 to size 0 isn't that easy! I also made the back dart somewhat smaller - I had planned to remove it altogether, but when fitting it became apparent it was needed. The result fits, but makes some horizontal lines in the front at roughly the hip area. I wonder if that's because I removed the darts? That area would be under the darts though so not sure. It doesn't really bother me though.

I cut a "muslin" out of felt and promptly decided I needed to decrease the length by quite a bit. Amazingly enough, the hips fit perfectly. I suspect this is because I've actually fitted it somewhat lower than the pattern intends, since the finished measurements claim 3" over my size, which wasn't there. I plan to wear it about 6-7cm underneath my natural waist …

I got my dress form!

In the end, I went for the black one. It came with the chalk marker and a brush and a new measuring tape. I set it up yesterday - I got the bust and hips at the proper width without issue, but didn't manage to get the waist at more than 27". I'll give it another try today. I need to pad it anyway to look like me so not a huge deal if it doesn't work up to my measurement.

I really like it! I don't think I need to update the back length but I might need to update the shoulder length (luckily, it seems to need padding at this point). I also noted (fairly sadly) that I don't carry my back as straight as the model. Oh well :( But I did sign up for two classes at work which claim to improve posture, so who knows maybe I won't need it in the future.

I'm getting started on the Meringue skirt tonight, as soon as I pad the model properly. In the meantime, you can enjoy the pictures, they're of the empty model (taken last night) and my outfit for today. I went…

Oh wow Oh wow

I just measured myself today, in preparation for the dress form - and because, while going through various scraps of paper in my living room yesterday, I came upon a list of measurements taken a while ago. I think it was in August, when I was trying to make a swimming suit for my holiday. I lost 1" in the bust area, 1,5" on my waist and 1" on the hips, which makes me a size 0 Colette for bust and hips, and a size 8 for waist. Yes, I have a rather rectangular shape.

With this information, I checked the sewing book for the Meringue skirt - the finished measurement would have 3" of ease in the hips, which will very likely be too much as the corduroy I'm using will be stretching width-wise. I will trace the pattern tonight on greaseproof paper (American English: freezer paper) and see how I get on, but honestly I doubt with the stretch corduroy the skirt will need more than 1" of ease, if that. I'll go with 1" initially and see how I fare.

I also want…

Not a good day for science

I was making the laptop case but that didn't turn out as I wanted it to. I killed the project for now, and I'm ordering him one instead. I'm fairly annoyed and not very sure what I did wrong. It was slightly too small and right at the end of the project the fluff became too much for my machine - I managed to sew in such a way that the leather snapped :( On the bright side, this leaves me with more than enough cut material for the IPad. Or I was considering making some leather flowers or other embellishments out of it.

In the meanwhile, I am moving on to greener pastures! The dress form promises to arrive tomorrow (on a Sunday! gah!) so I shall start cutting the pieces for the Meringue skirt today. I'd like to add front pockets but I don't want to mess it up - I might just add the back pockets and a waistband via the Colette blog tutorial. More to come next week.

PS I also signed up for Sew Weekly - I plan on making the weeks which attract me. I'm musing over ad…

My first bound buttonhole

It is teeeeny tiny. I mean to order a 10mm x 1mm magnet to stick inside, so the edges of the laptop case flap don't flap.I have to say, making these isn't that complicated :)

Laptop leathercase

While I'm waiting for my dress from and the calico (which I will order, tomorrow), I've decided to make some other things that are useful for Mr T and myself. He needs a laptop case, and I can make an Ipad case from his old laptop case. I made the old laptop case too, but I was using the wrong needles and didn't measure properly so it's not as polished as it should be.

This means both of these will be leather. I've made a full new pattern for the laptop case, based on the laptop measurements. The construction will be more or less like the napkin basket and I'll use extra magnets on each side of the flap to make sure nothing, excuse the pun, flapping. I don't have a plan for the Ipad yet.

I've got an initial draft and some steps (they don't include magnets; I forgot so I'll need to rewrite them).

Back from holiday

First day at work today, and I'm already ready to fall asleep. Sewing has been on my mind in the past few days, as I was reading reviews about the coat pattern. I've got work cut out for me with that one! I need to go get a tailoring book from the library, I'm really committed to doing things right.Speaking of doing things right, I've also ordered the dress form on the 31st of December, but I don't think it will arrive for another week or so. I need to order some calico as well. Fabric land is an option, and so is amazon.In any case, my first plan for the year is to start working on the Meringue skirt from the Colette book. However, I have some alterations in mind as well, as my style is slightly different:* I  plan to remove the hem scallops.
* And add pockets. I'm quite settled on back pockets, but I am considering front pockets too. The front pockets, if I add them, will be scalloped :)
* I'd like to add belt hoopsThis is my plan. Not sure how much I&#…