Monday, 25 April 2016

Pippa Turns Into My Grandma!

Sooo, today I would like to say a massive Happy Third Birthday to my cheeky honorary niece Pippa.  This is the little girl who my Pippa dresses are named after, the latest of which can be found in my shop here.   

Now, I think I have started a tradition of a new dress for her birthday each year, as this is this year's birthday present:

This is the Marjorie dress from Violette Field Threads, and I knew that I had to find a small child to make this dress for as soon as it was released, as my Grandma (the one who knows I'm busy, love, and is never cross at me, when she doesn't see me for a week or two due to said business) is a Marjorie, although she hates that name.  She is to be known as Grandma by anyone under the age of 40 (seriously, all our friends just refer to her as Grandma), or Madge to everyone else.  She hates the name Marjorie so much only family dare call her it, and my little sis has decided that should she ever have a little girl, she will call her Marjorie, because that's the kind of family we are and we show our love for each other by trying to annoy each other as much as possible . . . If I'm mean and sarcastic to you, it means I like you.  If I'm nice to you . . . worry!

the back
Anyway, I ummed and ahhhed about who I could make this dress for, and as Katie (honorary sister and mother of Pippa pointed out) Pippa would look so sweet in this dress, thereby belying her true personality of little terror, but I love her for that because I don't have to deal with her as a parent and I find it hilarious (rather than embarrassing) that she describes 'apricot' as 'achey cock'.  Oh, we could write a book on the things that girl says.  Then we could write another book on the antics of her brother, who is just as bad! His birthday is next week and I will have another post on his present then.

Right, so, back to the dress instead of the antics of my niece and nephew.  I decided to not go too girly for the fabric and went for some turquoise roses cotton, which was in my stash to make a dress, but has been there for over a year, so the dress was looking very unlikely.  And then I spent aaaages thinking what would go with it for the collar and belt.  I raided my large scraps stash and found some yellow gingham, which I decided would be perfect.  I don't know why, I just love this combination of colours.  Anyway, mind set on the gingham, I discovered I was about 10cm too short.  Not really a problem, as I just tootled myself down to the shop at the end of my street and bought some more (it's not like half a metre of gingham will break the bank!).  Then I started looking for some buttons to go avec.  I couldn't find any in my stash, none in the shop at the end of the road, then I had a brainwave . . . I had a quick search on eBay and found some yellow gingham buttons.  They came in a large pack with some yellow flower buttons, but I decided they were perfect, and you can never have too many buttons anyway as far as I'm concerned.  

While I was waiting for those to arrive, I got a cutting-out and making up the main body fo the dress.  The pattern was a PDF so I had to print and stick that together, then I traced off a size 3.  I know I could have just cut it out and then cut and stuck again for another size, but that to me is the worst part of PDF patterns.  I much prefer those that come with a copy shop version and I get that printed near work, but if I am going to have to cut and stick, I will only do it once.

I did this one Saturday evening whilst catching up on some televisual, and then I cut out the fabric.  I used the blue roses for the dress main, some blue cotton from my stash to line the bodice and then the gingham for the collar, belt, bow and belt loops.

Then I set about sewing.  I started with the bodice, carefully following the instructions, which are very clear and detailed, with lots of pics.  This turned out to be pretty easy.  The instructions would have you do a lot of topstitching once seams are sewn, but I decided I don't really like the look of that, so I have skipped it on this particular dress.  I have other versions planned that I may do the topstitching on - I shall see.

Anyway, bodice was pretty straight forward.  The collar seemed massive, until I realise that it folds down.  I can be a proper blonde sometimes, although as the eldest niece points out, now that I am letting the bleach grow out, the top of my hair is brown - I keep telling her it is dark blonde, and then refusing to speak to her until she agrees, like a proper grown up!

The skirt, however, which you would think would be the easiest bit, caused me a bit of a headache.  Its the pleats.  i still haven't got them right, but decided that they were right enough for me!  When I used the pleat guides as I thought correct, the skirt was then too long for the bodice and there were gaps between the pleats, so I re-did them with no gaps between the pleats and this made it too short for the bodice.  So I tried  once again, following the pleat guide, but in a slightly different way.  The skirt is now the correct length for the bodice, but there are only two box pleats in the front and two in the back.  Personally though, I think it looks good so I have left it that way.  My sister saw it hung up and approved it too, so I decided to go with it.

I then had to wait for the buttons to arrive, which they did a couple of days later, and I got on with the buttonholes and adding the buttons.  This is where I made a big boo-boo.  I did 6 buttonholes (two lots of three) as per the illustration in the instructions.  I now know with hindsight that, certainly on this smaller size, I should only have done 3 buttonholes, as there is not enough overlap on the bodice for the extra three buttonholes.  Anyway, I realised this too late (i.e. after I had cut the buttonholes) but I did have a solution.  I have simply sewn them back up and added a button over the top to make it look as though there are extra buttonholes.

The pattern instructions then have you add some sew-on snaps, which I hid under the pleats, and sew up part of the back seam, again, which I have hidden under a pleat.

Adding the belt loops was pretty straight forward, although I did them backwards to the instructions, as I thought it looked neater.  I have a plan for the next one to make them look even neater.

The belt and bow are also pretty straightforward.  The belt is once again fastened with sew on snaps, the stitching for which I decided to hide with some of the flower buttons that came with the gingham buttons, so I think that was a stroke of luck.  The bow is not tied, but simply folded through the loop to make it into a bow.

Anyway, I have great plans for further Marjorie dresses, and I might even put some in the HolzMolzPolz shop.  As always, I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, I used the leftover roses fabric to cut out something for Pippa's brother's birthday present, which is next week, and a quick gathered skirt for myself.  I think I still have enough left over for a Pippa dress too . . .

Happy Crafting!


Sunday, 17 April 2016

I Made Trousers (Again!)

Soooooo, after my disastrous attempt at making trousers last summer, I finally recovered enough to try again.  This time I decided to go for a different silhouette and tried out the cigarette pants from Gertie's Vintage Casual book.  I decided I needed something suitable for summer when I can't be bothered to shave my legs . . . lazy Holly!

Now, I traced this pattern out last year, when I was a little chubbier and much more stressed.  I think I traced a 16 at the waist, grading to a 14 at the hips (I think!).  I had some cheap cotton that I thought I could make a wearable muslin from before cutting into some lovely stretch cotton I bought a few weeks ago at The Shuttle in Shipley, which was originally going to be a work dress, then these trousers, then a work dress, then these trousers  . . . you get the idea . . . and I'm still unsure.

Anyway, I cut these out in an evening, shortening the length, as I realised that I had traced them at full length and that is never going to wash with my little tree-stump legs, although somebody told me the other day that I had long legs - I told him to go get his glasses checked.  At 5 foot 4 with a 26 inch inside leg, long legs is definitely not something I have.  Wide legs, yes, long, no.

Anyway, construction of these pants, once cut was scarily easy.  the only real change I made was to move the back zipper to the side.   For some reason, I cannot get my head around a back zipper in pants.  I asked around amongst my friends, I looked in ready to wear (gran loved being dragged round Next looking at every pair of trousers I'm telling you!), and the conclusion was that trousers have side zippers.  Unless it is different in the US?  Anyway, moving the zip was no biggy, just insert in a side seam rather than the back seam.  I was tres impressed with my zip insertion - I'm getting good, if I do say so myself. 

I also had a little head scratching moment with the pockets but that was brief and remedied once I put the pattern piece the correct way up! (daft Holly) 

Ayvay, trousers construction complete, it was time to try on, and do you know what I discovered (other than I have lost weight since last Summer, which I already knew) - I have one leg fatter than the other.  I went back and check my sewing and cutting, and all was matching and in order - my right leg is genuinely fatter than the left.  I say fatter, when in actual fact it is more muscle I think.  Could this be a dominant leg thing?  I know that my right bicep is bigger than my left, and this is due to many years of pulling pints.   I'm not sure how my right thigh and calf got bugger - maybe I use them more when dancing and cycling, and the left leg is just lazier - who knows.  

Anyway, the right leg was a little tighter, but not uncomfortably so, but I decided to take the seam out a little anyway.  This is after I had taken both in as they were quite a bit bigger than I wanted them  to be.  I'm thinking these trousers are drafted to be a lot baggier than they look in the photos, but I am not looking for baggy pants, I want 50s chic cigarette pants.

So after taking in, I decided no more faffing.  The pants are still too big on the hip, but I think I can live with that.  I'm going to re-trace them as a size 14 grading to a size 12 at the hips and lower and make up another muslin, when I find some cheapish fabric I like.  I might have to go raid Leeds market soon for their £4.50/m cottons.  

My only other qualm about these was that they were too garish even for me, but after discussing with the little sis (who is in fact 28 and taller than me), we decided that they were just the right amount of garish for me - I am not known for my sober clothes, by anyone, in fact it was commented at work last week that they knew when it was something made by me because it was always that little bit "different" (read: weird).  I don't care if my clothes are strange though, at least I'm not going to have the same as someone else, and at least I'm not scared of showing my personality.  Small rant over.

So, I'm now hoping to make a plain black top to wear with these trousers.  I'm currently catching up on Indian Summers and loving Alice's wardrobe, so I'm thinking classic split collar button down blouse.  I have some black silky fabric in my stash which will be perfect.  I have even found a pattern (from the Gertie Vintage Chic book again) so I just need to trace and make my first muslin and see what happens.

Anyway, that is it, I'm off out on my bicycle for the first time this year this afternoon (I'm writing this in advance if the weather is iffy on the day you read it) and I'm excited as I've not been cycling all winter after losing my confidence, so the hubby has offered to go out with slow little me for an hour this afternoon so I can get used to being on the roads again.  You never know, some more of that weight might decide to go if I keep it up this summer, especially now I am back at dancing too.  Some exercise and fresh air might also finally shift this cold I've had for weeks too . . . here's hoping.

Anyway, over and out . . .

Happy Crafting!


Saturday, 9 April 2016

Kim Goes To Space (Invaders)

Sooo, a quick project to share with you today.

This wasn't quick because I rushed it . . . it was quick because it is another Kim dress, which I have now sewn 4 of (I think), so I could probably do it in my sleep.  The last version is here.  This particular version took me about 6 hours from start to finish, and that included re-tracing and fba-ing the bodice pattern as I have lost a little weight and gone down a pattern size on the waist.  The bazoomas, however, have remained, so that meant a bigger fba that previously required, which means even funnier-looking patterns.

But you don't need me to go into detail about FBAs and the pain of having large nunga-nungas - that is already well documented.  You just want to see pics of the dress don't you/

So here you go:

This was made using some cotton I got from The Shuttle in Shipley.  I always forget what a treasure trove that place is until I get there and realise I don't have a spare £500 to spend on fabric (one day Holly . . . one day . . .).  So on this particular trip I bought this awesome cotton, which immediately made me think of space invaders, so obviously I had to buy it, and at £6 a metre, quite the bargain.  It is lovely quality and has a super soft, slightly silky feel to it, as good quality cottons do.  I bought 3 metres, knowing that it was going to be a Kim.  There really was never any doubt.

Construction was pretty straight forward.  I lined the bodice with orange cotton, taking a colour from the print and going as bright as I could.  The skirt is a little less full as I cut it on-grain so it is a bit narrower than the pattern calls for, but it is just as full as I like them.  I did my best with the pattern matching on both the skirt and the princess seams, and there is really not much else to tell.  The invisible zipper went in almost perfect first time, although the colour of the zipper did cause some headaches.  I thought the fabric was a navy base, but when I put a navy zipper up against it, it was too light, so I tried a black one, thinking the fabric must be black . . . nope.  This is obviously a really really dark navy.  I mulled the zipper colour over for a while and then decided to go for a white one,. just because I could.  If I had had an orange one in the stash, then that would have been the obvious choice, but I only had 9inch orange zippers.

This dress has been made a few weeks now and has had a few outings, but the weather has been so hit and miss I gave up on trying to get photos of me in it, so I'm afraid you'll just have to make do with them on a hanger for now.

Anyway, that's about all I have to say on this dress.  I need to get on with some uni work now before I can allow myself any further sewing.  500 words and I think I'll allow myself an hours sewing.

Happy Crafting!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
There was an error in this gadget