A little treat for your sewing box

26.2.09 - 21:44
I was feeling a bit fed up today as my Aatp lucky pack still hasn't arrived so I went for a look at the pretty things in John Lewis' sewing department.

I found this really cute tin for my pins which is part of the Cath Kidston collection they have now. Its about 10cm across so it can fit plenty in, and even comes with some pins inside which is handy!

I got some nice poplin for my blouse project while I was there too.



Waistcoat - Menswear!!

22.2.09 - 19:12
Its like that moment on Project Runway when they realise the challenge is menswear and some of them are like 'men wear clothes too?!?'

Anyway, here it is, my first go at menswear (obviously not counting the jacket I made for plush Elmo in my youth...)
Its a waistcoat I made for my Prince Charming!

I made it using the Antony pattern (which you can download free from Burdastyle) and this tutorial by usedtobelieve on Threadbanger.

The front is pinstripe wool
suiting and the back is same colour as the cravat in this picture. I think it turned out really well and it fits nicely too.

It wasn't too difficult to construct, but I don't think I've done the shoulders exactly the way you are meant to. I was originally worried about the button holes but I seem to have mastered them on my machine now.
I really like the buttons actually, they give it a bit of a steampunk feel.


New Look 6732 blouse re-design

- 18:27
I had a bit of spare time last night so I decided it was time to set to and re-design this blouse pattern.

First I took a few inches out of the waist to make it shorter but keep the shape. Then I used the general idea of this tutorial I mentioned before to remove the darts and make the front pattern piece into two parts which form a princess seam.

I made this toile to try it out with the sleeve and collar parts un-altered and it seems to work fine.

The only thing I'm worried about is arm hole as I've made the seam cut into it I might need a bit more seam allowance there so it doesn't get too small.

I usually make the arm cuff a bit bigger too on these kinds of blouses - but you'd only need to do that if you have flabby arms like me!



Easter bunny fabric

21.2.09 - 21:20
Fancy a new dress for spring? Check out this cute bunny fabric by Michael Miller! I really like the border print, but I think I'm probably too old to wear a print featuring a rabbit riding a bike...

I found this one at Allegro Fabrics but its also available at Gaga Fabrics in the UK.

Today I'm adding Allegro Fabrics site to the list along with The Fabric Fairy and UK based fabric sites Gaga Fabrics and Denholme Velvets.



Valentine's Day Cupcakes

15.2.09 - 20:13
I made some cupcakes for Valentine's Day! I was just playing around with different ways of doing the icing so they all ended up totally unique. The inside is sort-of-red-velvet-cake, the white icing is vanilla frosting and the red hearts are drawn on with red coloured normal icing. They tasted pretty good actually.





Amy Butler and Cath Kidston fabrics at John Lewis

10.2.09 - 21:40

I popped into John Lewis yesterday to pick up some supplies for my latest project (top secret for the moment!) and let out a little involuntary squeal upon reaching the sewing department. They have stacks of new Cath Kidston and Amy Butler fabrics!!

They are not cheap - some of the Cath Kidston ones
are £13.50 a meter, but theres some really nice designs. Its cool to be able to buy things like that in the shop where you can see and touch the fabric instead of having to always order online.

They also had this really cute little sewing machine for just under £50.



Request time: free lolita patterns

8.2.09 - 10:18
I've had quite a few requests by email recently. Mainly these have been for free patterns. I'm against violating copyright so I've been looking for open source or creative commons.

Anyway here are a couple of things I've found that could be adapted for lolita:

1. A blouse - JJ's 6009 blouse
This blouse pattern can be downloaded from Burdastyle and printed out at home. You'll probably need to sign up for an account if you don't have one already but it really only takes a minute or two.

If you want to add a collar - theres this how to by ceregana, I've not tried it myself, but theres some good reviews on the site.

2. Underbust JSK - snipsniptutes underbust pinafore
Here is an easy way to make an underbust style jumpskirt. To lolita-ify it I'd suggest making the panel that is 160 cm more like 260 - 300 cm. You could make that piece into 3 sections if your fabric isn't that long.

Hope these are useful!


Drafting patterns: changing darts to princess seams

- 10:06
Although I have now got a blouse pattern with princess seams to use as a base, I thought it would be useful to find out how to draft one anyway. Especially since I said I would finally start trying to draft my own stuff... (I will do this... I know I always put it off every time!)

So I found this really good tutorial on Burdastyle:
Changing darts to princess seams

It actually makes it look really easy and now I feel kind silly for complaining about my pattern. mope.



Update on blouse pattern 6732

1.2.09 - 14:45
Remember when I was talking about that blouse pattern New Look 6732? Well I started cutting out some of the pieces this week for blouse E, the one with the short sleeves.
I found that it turned out to be really long and that I would probably need to cut a good 5 or 6 inches off the bottom. I also found that there are two sets of darts to form the shape of the blouse. Including a set which has points at each end. (There are some tips for these here.) I really prefer princess seams, they are meant to be harder to sew - but I have way more trouble getting darts to lie correctly.
So I've decided that I am finally going to start work on drafting my own patterns.