Thursday 22 January 2015

This Blog Is Now Retired

Hey folks, I decided late last year that this blog no longer felt right for me. So I have started a new one which you can find HERE

I would like to thank everyone who has read, commented, and followed through the years, and especially would like to thank the lovely Wendy, for always being so kind about my creations. You should go check out her blog if you don't already read it, I enjoy it very much!

I will be keeping this blog up as there are links to pattens which reside here (nothing more irritating than a dead link!) and I may use this blog in future to post up any new patterns which might not be appropriate for my new blog. 

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

Sunday 28 September 2014

What Other Colour Would One Wear In The Giger Bar?

Our holiday to Switzerland was born of one idea - to visit the HR Giger Museum and Bar.
It was amazing, and luckily La Gruyere was a lovely medieval town to stay in also.

So we made more than one visit to the bar, but I asked for photos to be taken for bloggy purposes whilst wearing my all time favourite skirt. It looks like nothing special, because it isn't. A plain black circle skirt - magnificent! I love everything about it! I intend to make another a little bit longer as this is a bit short for those times when  you need to be a bit more respectable ;)

So these pictures of me aren't the best I know. I was tempted to crop my head off and say it was eaten by an alien creature but it would probably have made it worse.... However, they are taken in the frickin Giger bar which makes up for it entirely!

The skirt is made from plain black cotton fished out of the oddments bin of a local shop, it was nice to work with although a little bit crisp, which made the skirt very poofy until it had been through the wash. I just used maths to make it, and it has a little zip and button closure at the back. It is not one for wearing in the wind, I had a Marilyn Monroe moment when we were in Geneva heading back to the airport. Thankfully I was wearing VERY large pants!
The t-shirt is a me made one, pattern made from an old tee, it is a bit too big across the back, hence the bra straps showing. But it does the job. Would you believe me if I said I had caught the sun whilst there?!

Here is a picture of some of the seating, I cropped myself out of the other half of the pic, but it is a nice shot of the interior of the bar, which will probably be the coolest bar I ever visit. The museum is right opposite the bar, but sadly no photos were allowed in there.

Hard to imagine a Cath Kidston print in here isn't it!

Sunday 21 September 2014

Of Course Culottes Count As Mountain Wear!

So I made some "Tania" style culottes... and wore them up a mountain!

I didn't climb the mountain though, I'm not that silly! We got to the summit of Le Moleson via funicular, then cable car.

The hem isn't as wonky as it looks I swear!
I self drafted the pattern, and aside from the fact these are made from a rayon blend something or other and crease like no-one's business, I love them very much. I am planning another pair for FESA in a heavier weight fabric, and will be lengthening them a little too.

To draft the pattern I used some funky maths, and traced off the crutch curve from simplicity 2700. The box pleat was right first time (I actually muslined this people!!) and for this pair I simply added an elasticated waistband because it is all about being comfy in the summer, and my weight is a bit here and there so I wanted to get more longevity out of them since I paid the princely sum of £6 a meter (don't laugh, I usually use bedsheets and curtains which are very cheap!) for the fabric. I should have written down what it was called really, but it is ever so soft and drapey.
It is dark grey in colour, which is my branching out from black. Grey is good, I can feel comfortable in it. I didn't do the wardrobe architect thing, but I feel pretty confident of my selection of neutrals - black, grey, and navy.
I wanted to get a shot of *the* secret crutch pose, but there were a fair few other people up there and I already looked odd enough without that!
I have been thinking about the ethics of copying an indie designers pattern, and have written a post about it which is coming soon.

It was very pretty up Le Moleson, even if it was cloudy.

But 2002m up is a bit scary for a girl from Norfolk ;)

Thursday 18 September 2014

Sweetheart Leopard Print Dress

This is one of many of my unblogged makes, but since I got some good photos on holiday, I thought it was time to finally show everyone! I would like to point out that I will never be one of those bloggers who has half a dozen fabulous pictures with a post, but I hope you will agree this is an improvement! Do ignore the somewhat bleary face, I was horribly ill with a bad cold and trying my hardest to not give Rudolph a run for his money!

The dress in question was made from a mystery jersey, fairly heavy weight, not overly stretchy.
I think the pattern was one from Prima magazine, but I ended up changing it so much that you would hardly recognize it as being the same at all!
One of the biggest changes was to add the sweetheart neckline. I basically just gathered the neckline in at the sides as opposed to the more traditional method. This was because when I sewed it up, it wasn't right, and I had to play around with it to make it better. I'm pretty pleased with how it looks.

The fabric isn't graduated in colour, it's just the shadow - although how fabulous would it be to have ombre leopard print?!
I also added in a different sleeve, my preferred slightly puffed elbow length one that I drafted for a shirt dress a long time ago, and have used for everything ever since - well when you know what you want, you simply have to go with it!
This dress is a go-to in my wardrobe, so comfy, is winter proof with a pair of leggings and boots, and also frees me of the need to wear a cardi when it is too warm.

My OH spent half of our walk taking silly photos of me walking along to make a bad animation from - this amused him highly, but does mean you can see the back of the dress too. Simple and unfussy, the business is going on at the back, and the party stays at the front.
I suppose it may look a little on the short side but I am only 5'2" so it doesn't seem too short. down, only a hundred more "oh yeah I made this" posts to go.... 

Monday 15 September 2014

Cat Lady Sewing Challenge

It is no secret at all that I am a crazy cat lady! I love all the kitties! Especially my own purring princess....

So it will come as no surprise to see I am joining in with the Cat Lady Sewing Challenge, a genius idea from the lovely Miss Crayola Creepy.

It is quite a timely challenge as I recently was eying up some children's wear from Sainsburys featuring cats, and also have pinned a few things in the past over on ye olde Pinterest.

So decisions decisions.... off the top of my head the contenders are as follows -

* a circle skirt with kitties on the hem

* a dress with cat print fabric (although the fabric I like is a quilting cotton from Japan and I am way too tight to pay out for it!)

* a leopard print jacket (allowed to use leopard print but does feel a little bit like cheating!)

Well I will update when I am decided on what to do!

Is any one else joining in this fun challenge?

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Age UK Big Knit - Free Crochet Pattern

Whilst I was away, I had some time to make a few little crochet hats for the Age UK Big Knit, which you have probably heard of or seen the little hats on bottles of Innocent Smoothies. Just incase you haven't heard of this, it raises money for Age UK, with 25p per bottle sold with a hat on donated to them. For all the details and more advanced patterns (mostly knit ones) check out their website HERE, and also the Age UK one HERE.

The pattern I am going to be sharing is for one of these simple little crochet hats :)

You will need -
6mm hook
Chunky yarn (not much, they're tiny!)

This is in UK crochet terms, substitute dc for sc if a US reader :)

Inc = Increase

I will write the details for the red/white striped ones, for a plain one just ignore the colour changes.

1) 5 dc in a magic ring   (5)
2) Inc round                  (10)
3) [dc, Inc] round          (15)  
Change colours here, I pull the last loop of the round through with the new colour
4) dc round                    (15)
5) dc round                    (15)
Change colours here
6) dc round                     (15)
7) dc round                     (15)
Change colours again
8) dc round                      (15)
Finish off - I usually do a slip stitch then a knot.
Cut off ends and weave tails in.

And you're done! I think I will add a few pom poms to mine, but they look cute without too.


Tuesday 9 September 2014

FESA Plans

Bit late posting this up as I was away on holiday last week (Switzerland; It was fabulous!) but here are my initial plans for FESA 2014 with bad illustrations to make up for the tardiness ;)

I am starting off cautiously, as I can always do more if there is time, so I won't be listing items for all categories.

First up is - Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather

Right, once you're finished giggling over the pics (it would have taken me weeks to draw these on a computer so I did it the old fashioned way with a pen, paper, and scanner) they are trousers btw!! :)
They will both be made with Simplicity s2700, with the pair on the right modified from the original pattern. LHS will be made up in black corduroy (in stash ready and waiting) with the heavier fabric supporting the wider leg. I hope. The RHS will be made from a grey stretch gaberdine, made to be more tightly fitted around the butt/thigh area.

This picture is my only imagining of how to draw the "Tania culotte" style culottes. I have yet to blog about it but I made my own pattern up for these, and have a lightweight summer pair in the wardrobe already. I am thinking a nice tweed? Lined? All up in the air at the moment, but I have been ogling some nice wool blends on eBay, and tossing up the pros and cons of making a pair of silky bloomers to wear underneath slip style, or just lining them making them cold weather only. Any help/opinions greatly welcomed here!

Next is Chic Chemises for Cooler Climates

Well the top one is meant to be a Myrna cardi (By the fabulous Andi Satterlund). I have one on the needles already in a charcoal grey, and it is a really great pattern, especially for a less advanced knitter such as myself. I have yarn to try and make a second one in black before FESA is over, but no promises!

The middle is a long sleeved t-shirt, which I will make with my own pattern, and perhaps also have a go with one of the free patterns available that I am probably one of the last bloggers to try! I love a plain black tee, and a longer sleeved selection (3/4 probably) are in desperate need for the colder months. You have probably worked out, dear reader, that I did not colour in the pictures because most things are going to be black! It may be boring for some, but I love the simplicity and elegance (ha, not that I am elegant in any way!) of black. No fussing over colours clashing, or pattern mixing, or worrying it won't work with leopard print ;)

The bottom one is a maybe project. I have made a peplum blouse already in black (again, unblogged at present) and I like it a lot. So I thought I might make one in white as I have a few white bed sheets in the stash, all pretty crisp if you follow me. But I also have some black pin dot poly cotton that is in the stash too. Decisions, decisions! I will have to get back to you on that one.

Moving on to Underneath it all

Pants. Panties. Knickers. Whatever you call your undercrackers, they are essential for protecting one's bottom against the chill. I happen to need some new ones, so this is very timely. I have a self drafted pattern, but I might try out the Rosie Ladyshorts, or the Sew Vera Venus grannie pants. Or both. I have the elastics in my stash, and have some jersey floating about, so perhaps just treat myself to 1m of a patterned jersey to throw in with the black.

Those Cozy Nights

Much to the disappointment of the OH, this is a dressing gown not an outfit for reenacting Mortal Kombat. I will save myself many blushes when an early Saturday morning delivery man comes knocking at the door by making a nice cotton dressing gown. I have some sheets in my stash earmarked for this. I considered making one in fleece. I don't want to get in the habit of living in it though so maybe stick to a slightly less cozy one!

Last of all - Tender Tootsies

If I have time, I will start a pair of socks. They might not be finished, but I will at least try to start some! I have the stuff to make them all in the stash, and a pattern (a REALLY easy one!) so maybe this one will sneak in as a little bonus! Perhaps a lunch break project?

Well I guess that is all but 2 categories, but I think this is an achievable amount of items for the period of time...and if I go a little bit over - never mind!
It is the taking part that counts after all.

Is anyone else up and running with this yet?