Sunday, 26 July 2015

In The Summertime . . .

 . . . when the weather is fine . . .

 . . . and that is all the lyrics I can remember of that particular song today.

Soooo, nothing says summer time to me like a pair of white linen trousers.  However, living in God's Own Country of Yorkshire, it is very rare that I will wear a pair.  In fact, up until now I didn't even own a pair of trousers, let along a pair of white linen ones, but when the lovely Claire at Eliza M Vintage sent me the Hop and Swing Pants to try out, I just knew they had to be a pair of white linen trousers.

Cue panic about actually sewing my first pair of trousers ever!!!!!! But I was assured they would be the easiest trousers I had even sewed up - not difficult really. as there is no competition there whatsoever.

Despite that, I still sat on the pattern for a couple of weeks (and by couple of weeks, I mean at least a month), and that was after the hubby had purchased the fabric for me . . . there's just something about making a pair of trousers that terrified me so much I did a million other projects in between (some still to be blogged). 

I also theorised that with the heatwave we were having in the UK, it was far too warm to sew . . . and then I sent my sewing machine for its service . . . eventually, I ran out of excuses and thought I'd better get on with it, despite the fact that the weather had definitely taken a turn for the worse - still warm(ish) but decidedly not summer-like.

Anyway, on one particularly miserable evening, with absolutely nothing else to distract me, I finally got round to cutting out my trousers, the photo for which was my second (yes, second!) post on Instagram, having been harrassed by my ten-year old niece into getting myself sorted on Instagram because "(Queen) Auntie Holly (Fabulous, The Most Awesome) why aren't you on Instagram?! . . . I can't believe you're not on Instagram!  . . . seriously, actually . . . I'll give you a lesson"  I finally caved in and was taught how to use a piece of technology by a ten year old . . . . oh how old I felt/feel.  Anyway, follow me @holzmolzpolz (I think I can be found here) - I plan on using it to show my work in progress, long before it gets written about on here.  The first pic is also a work in progress, on hold until the return of the niece herein referred to above to my abode, probably in a couple of weeks.

Anyway, as usual, I digress . . . the trousers.

So, anyway, I was too impatient to order some white linen from zee web (the fact it took me a further month to do anything after buying fabric does not negate my impatience) so bought some heavy-ish weight cotton instead, which has a linen look.  I also figured that this was cheaper than linen, so if I made a total balls-up of the trousers then it wouldn't matter too much.

I would like to blame my tardiness in cutting out zee trousers on the fact that they are white so:
   a.   I didn't want to cut them out on the tables in one of the meeting rooms at work, like I usually do, as this is running the risk of the fabric getting dirty;
   b.   I also didn't want to cut them out at home on anything other than a freshly vacuumed living room carpet, so had to wait for that to happen and then for me to be in the mood to do something immediately following that event.

I got there eventually!  And I now remember why I generally steer clear of white and haven't owned a pair of white linen trousers for a good few years.

So, cut out on the living room floor eventually happened (oh, how I need a cutting table).  I cut out a size 18 based on my measurements.  My hips actually came up at a 16 but I couldn't be bothered grading and figured I'd just have baggy trousers - perfectly cool for summer.  

I  then tailor-tacked in the darts, somehow managing to stab myself in the stomach while doing so - don't ask - my clumsiness is legendary.  I am currently blaming my best friend, Joanne Francis Elizabeth, yes I am looking at you! as she was texting me telling me she is going to look at a flat literally two minutes walk from my house.  In fact, if that stupid gym wasn't across the road from me, blocking my view of Ilkley Moor, I would be able to see said flat.  Well, the joke's on the gym, because despite the fact that I have had to look at it every day for the last year, I still haven't joined and I'm still fat!  If it thought it was going to make me feel guilty and want to get fitter, it thought very very wrong . . .

Anyway, I'm moving away from the point again aren't I?

So, after cutting them out and doing the tailor tacks they sat on my sewing table for a few days as my life is just busy busy busy at the moment, and when I'm not doing, I'm napping - I love a good nanna-nap.  I finally got round to sewing them up on Saturday afternoon.  I spent ages checking if there was a right and wrong side to the fabric, as at first glance it looks as though there isn't, but after checking in a few different lights and and varying degrees of caffeine inebriation, I decided that there is a very subtle difference between the sides.  After deciding which was the right and the wrong sides I got about sewing, and do you know, Claire was right - these are really easy to sew up - like sewing pyjamas but with an invisible zip in the back seam.  I was quietly confident that these were going well and mused that I would sew them up in many more colours in the linen-look cotton - perfect for summer days.

The problem with sewing trousers I have found is that you can't really check the fit until  you have pretty much finished them, and this is where I came a cropper - the damn things didn't fit, and they weren't just a little tight - there is a good 3 inch gap at the waist, and the zip wouldn't even go over my bottom.   Also, the legs are super super wide, even on me and I am well-known for my chunky legs.  All in all, these are just not me!

I double checked my measurements against those on the pattern, and I was still measuring up an 18 at the waist and a 16 at the hips.  I checked I had used the correct seam allowance - I had and then just thought sod it.  These have sewn up at more of a size 14, so unless any of my friends want them they are going on eBay.  Something to definitely bear in mind if I sew up some more Eliza M items.  However, this is unlikely, as this pattern's biggest size is an 18 and I am not adept at all at grading up patterns to my size - tbh its not something I usually have to do, and the thought of it terrifies me.

****Note to add - I gave these to the step-mother (non-wicked) and they fit her pretty much perfectly.  She is about a size 14 and very tall****

I am, however, not giving up on trousers altogether - I need shorts for my holiday for a start, and I am going to hopefully eventually make up a muslin of Gertie's Vintage Cigarette Pants, and if that goes well I am going to try her hack to make them into shorts (both high-waisted and normal waisted).  I have a few projects on the go and in the pipeline, but these are definitely in that list.  I think she also has a pair of wider-leg trousers that would be nice in linen for summer.  I can't remember if these are a separate pair or a hack from the cigarette pants - I shall have to consult the book.

Anyway, onwards and upwards with the next project . . .

Happy Crafting!


****The pattern was provided to me free of charge by Eliza M Vintage to review.  All opinions are my own****

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Hats Off To Larry . . . Or Bertie . . . or whatever

Soooo, today I bring you a smaller person's project:  The Fedora Hat.

This is a much belated birthday present for my friends' son, Bertie (not his real name) whose birthday was in actual fact back in May, but I was horrendously unorganised about it.

I saw the pattern for this hat from Elegance & Elephants probably back in March and just knew that it was going to be Bertie's present - I just then took 3 months to purchase the pattern, while thinking about a million other things I could make him.

Anyway, I finally got round to it when finally inspiration struck me about what I could use for the lining - I had decided what the outer would be from the off, but the lining was bugging me.  So, the outer is a blue cotton drill I had in my stash, left over from a recent(ish) work skirt I made, and I decided that the lining should be the striped cotton I had left over from making the car play mat, which I have since made a further two of.  I also thought that this would make a good band for the hat - my original thoughts had been ribbon.

inside - you will note I made zero attempt to pattern match
So I was good to go - nearly - I just needed some twill tape and some heavyweight interfacing (handily purchased for me by the hubby - thank you!).

Crown and brim - I was
so excited to have got to
this stage :-)
I did the cutting out and construction in bits - cutting out on the Saturday afternoon, then ironing on the interfacing on the Sunday morning, then doing the actual sewing on that Sunday after having gone back to bed with a terrible migraine and getting back up again.

The sewing part took me about two hours and the cutting out/ironing a further half an hour each tops, so all in all this is definitely a hat you could make in an afternoon - probably a couple of hours once you have done two or three.

check out my (slightly wonky)
The instructions were fairly simple to follow, with good photographs.  I don't think I sat and scratched my head once, which is unusual for me.  AND there was only two unpicking, which is even more unusual - one to fix a bit of puckering and the second to change the size of the band, as it did come up slightly small the first time, so I unpicked and did a slightly smaller seam.  

There were a couple of fiddly bits, such as avoiding any puckering when stitching the brim to the crown and the top of the crown to this sides, but I think this is more because it is a teeny tiny project, rather than the actual techniques and skills needed.

Overall,  am very tres happy and I made a hat!!!!!  
Sans band

At the time of writing, I have not yet seen Bertie to give him the hat, so I don't know whether it is approved of or not, but I like it . . . 

What do I like about this?
  1. I made a hat!!!
  2. Simple to construct and easy to follow instructions.  I think the nieces could make these with no problems.
  3. Good stash buster - I think I used less than a fat quarter of fabric each for the lining and outer - and that was for the largest size.

a band!
What would I change next time:
  1. Try out some different fabrics - maybe a denim next time?
  2. Use ribbon for the band rather than construct a band.
  3. Make it on my niece's smaller sewing machine, as things should just wrap around the arm rather then not quite fitting round the arm on my machine.

Anyway, I am on to bigger projects now, but I might find some time for some little people projects inbetween. Tempted to try some more of Elegance and Elephants' patterns.  As always, I will share.

Happy Crafting!


Sunday, 5 July 2015

News: Eliza M Vintage

Soooo, my poor little sewing machine (which, unusually for me, doesn't actually have a name - any suggestions?) has gone it for it's annual service, which is causing me great distress - what I am supposed to do in moments of boredom while I have no sewing machine?  Housework?  I think not baby puppy!  

This means that I don't have a project to share with you this week . . . . boooo!  hisssssss!  

BUT I do have some news for you . . .

I have been asked to blog for and review the patterns of Eliza M Vintage, and their sister company Simple Sew . . . how exciting is this?!?!?!?!?!?!

As you all know, I love the vintage style, so obvs I love the designs from Eliza M.  I'm just trying to pick my first pattern. which is a very difficult task, but I should have that with you soon.  Do I go for my usual dress pattern, or try something a little different, like trousers or one of the blouses/tops?  Oh, decisions decisions . . .

Anyway, I already love Simple Sew patterns.  They have been given away free with Love Sewing in recent months, so I do have a small collection, and I particularly love love love the Ruby Dress, incarnations of which can be found here and here.  I also have a couple of patterns in the stash just waiting for the right fabric to come along, but I am hopeful they will soon - I have ideas for these at least.

Both of these brands are patterns I am thinking of stocking in Haberdasherholic once I get that off the ground (I've had a fair few setbacks, but I'm trying to bounce back from them), so it is nice to at least be able to try these out first before I make a final decision.

Anyway, hopefully, normal service should resume next week (fingers crossed) and I should have a project or two for you.

Happy Crafting!


This is another Simple Sew Pattern but I never blogged about it - no idea why

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