Bits and Bobbins

Gosh it’s been ages since I last posted.
I get this horrible feeling when I don’t post during a week. Let’s remedy that!

I’ve been sewing like a maniac lately and have a big queue of things to show you in the next few weeks. I’ll start by sharing a few things today.

First up are a couple of work tops that are modest and smart but still a bit fun and go with jeans. It’s the “I’m so cute, don’t you want to let me standardise your product and put it in a media neutral content management system” look. Snappy eh?

almond rock new look 6148 squirrel rabbit crepe

So here we have a yoke-less new look 6148 in ex-Dorothy Perkins crepe with awesome squirrel and rabbit print. I picked this up from Goldhawk Road a couple of summers ago and as soon as I was on the train home regretted only buy 1m.

And my firm favourite, new look 6808 in red and cream polyester. I’m not falling into the trap of calling it tribal, ohhhhhh no. This fabric was one of my bargain Birmingham Rag Market purchases that I recently shared on Instagram.

almond rock new look 6808 tribal polyester

I thought I try the 6808 sleeves on the 6148 as well and wahey they fit all right! Maybe even a bit better than they fit the pattern they came with!?

Moving along… a few weeks ago my friends had the fright of their lives. Their baby who hadn’t quite finished cooking, arrived 8 weeks early weighing in at a teeny 2 lbs. After some love and attention she’s been beefed up enough to be at home with her family.

As a baby gift I made the Dylan Onsie pattern (babygrow to all us Brits) from Spit Up and Stilettos – it was free for some time but appears to now be priced. I also snaffled the Drew leggings pattern while they were free and they also seem pretty cool too for an easy baby gift.

almond rock dylan onesie babygrow spit up and stilettos metallic gold hot pink jersey

The pattern includes “preemie” size for teeny babies just like Baby Amber. I used some garish but fun hot pink and metallic gold jersey from Birmingham rag market with some jersey bias tape and a bit of velcro from Samuel Taylors, and whipped it up on my overlocker. It’s definitely opinion dividing but I knew if anyone would get a kick out of this, it would be Tom and Helen, and I love that Amber is disco-ready.

Finally I made a little tool and pencil case ready for my pattern drafting class! What a geek, I know. This is the “Develop” Pattern Drafting and Garment Design evening course that I’m doing through Leeds Art College just like my Textile printing course.

The notes advise bringing basic sewing supplies, plus basic pencil kit so I had to make the pouch quite big. It’s about A5 sized.

almond rock vintage sewing pattern tshirt transfer paper zipper pouch

I printed a black and white image from a vintage sewing pattern onto tshirt transfer paper. I used some cotton canvas for the pouch and an invisible zipper. Here’s a good tutorial for pouches with regular zips. Easy for anyone to do, whether they’re a newbie or an old pro.

Isn’t she working that dress? She’s giving me Liz Taylor vibes.

Now that I’ve broken the silence, look forward to a few more posts from me soon!

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Me-Made-May 13 – week 3: Uh oh this isn’t going as well as I’d hoped

Why oh why are there five weeks in May! At least we’re at the half way point.

After a recent comment from Roisin I’ve upped my ridiculous expressions in my posing. It’s all for your entertainment.

I found this week hard because a) the weather was absolutely rubbish b) I have fallen out of love with some of my me-mades so they didn’t even make it out of the drawer when I looked and them and c) I’m in holiday prep mode so I have loads of 90% finished items I could have worn this week if I’d been more organised.

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New Look 6808 with button-back alteration and cute birdcage fabric. This wrinkles like a mofo though!

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New Look 6808 with contrast pink collar (when I wear this with my leopard print shoes I feel like I’m impersonating Anna from Paunnet)

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Self-drafted green bias stripe dress. I made this before the top version from week 1!

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This horrible old me-made top has fab colours but terrible construction. I think I’ll be binning this one. You can see from my sulky face that I hate it

Other than that I wore repeats which I won’t bore you with!

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Smile for the birdie button-back blouse and the giveaway winner announced!

First up my giveaway!

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Let’s announce this bad boy. Random number generator has chosen…..

winner

Congratulations!! Send your postal address to me at almondrock.wordpress@gmail.com and I’ll arrange delivery.

Moving on. My love affair with New Look 6808 continues.

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I cooked up the idea of adapting it to use buttons at the back quite a while ago but couldn’t wrap my brain around the logistics of the conversion.

I finally figured it out last week and realised I’d been so silly over thinking it!

To adapt the back bodice pattern piece I traced a copy, then extended the fold line by about three inches. Then I added the marks for my buttonholes where the original fold line had been, marked a new fold line and I was all set. I also did away with the darts as they would have messed with the fabric pattern.

I used a gorgeously soft, grey rayon I bought at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show. It has lines of different bird cages with birds on it! It is rather see through though.

I didn’t line it other than the sleeves which is a feature of NL 6808 I love.

This top uses 8 buttons. It felt like a lot! I made contrast covered buttons from a black twill I had in my stash. It needed to be twill because the white of my button base kept sewing through. Can you get black ones?

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The first time I wore it a giant German Shepherd dog slobbered on it so I know it’s popular with the animal kingdom!

What do you think? Hope you like it!

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I BLOODY LOVE POLKA DOTS

Small ones, medium ones, giant ones.

So it’s not surprising I bought 5 types of polka dot fabric at the Birmingham meet up!

This is what I did with my three metres of black and white large polka dot satin fabric.

First up I wanted to make a Colette Truffle dress. I made FOUR toiles trying to get the fit right.

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I got the bodice fitted after two toiles because I used a TNT pattern to get the sizing and darts placement right.

I just could not for the life of me, get the skirt to fit. So I gave up.

I desperately wanted the flounce but settled for a gathered skirt that I drafted myself.

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I teamed the dress with gold glittery shoes and a black glitter headband.

I’m pleased with the fit in the back. I usually have a lot of gaping around the upper back but nailed it this time and my zipper is pretty neat.

There is a little bit of gaping around the neckline but think that’s because it’s a touch too low for me combined with such a drapey fabric. Also I normally love gathered waist dresses but after a few too many cakes lately I’m not sure it’s as flattering as it could have been. I’m too ashamed of my handstitching to show you inside I’m afraid.

And then because I didn’t need the extra fabric I’d bought for the flounce I made I had a metre left over!

Hello New Look 6808!

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The best bit about making another one of these tops is that I knew I could fix the sleeves. I did this in two ways. I altered my pattern pieces to lower the bottom of the armhole on both pieces but increase the armhole curve on the back piece by a few millimetres.

Then I sewed the sleeves in flat! This was a revelation!!

I knew you could sew sleeves into jersey tops/dresses in flat but I wasn’t sure about woven garments.

A quick rummage around my google reader unearthed Sunni’s confirmation that you can!

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I made the gathers a bit more pleat like on this version. Though it’s hard to see in this photo.

The top fits like a dream with room for a big fat dinner.

I’m soooo making 50 more of these.

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Careless cutting – NL 6808 take 2

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Oh yes I was smug. I had “conquered” New Look 6808.

I was dancing around the living room in my finished top and thought hell yeah I’m gonna make another!!

I decided to up the fun factor. Thick blue plaid with 3/4 sleeves so it’d be super warm and snuggly!

I whizzed through it. And I lined up my plaid pretty well I thought… bust darts excluded obviously. More delicious smugness.

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I was even deliberating adding an exposed metal zipper for extra cool factor. Oh yes I’m that cool ladies…

Then it came to the sleeves:
Attempt 1 – went mental and forgot the direction of my plaid. Ended up with them in a blatantly different direction to the rest of top.

Attempt 2 – correct plaid direction.  Waaaay too much ease.

Attempt 3 – used tips from Casey and Green Apples on reducing ease from sleeves. Reduced too much and couldn’t lift arms/get top off again/thought it wanted me dead.

Attempt 4 – cap sleeves a la version 1. Tried to remove less ease than previous attempt. Still removed too much. Again the top tried to choke me to death but with less vigour this time.

Attempt 5- oh wait I’m out of plaid!! So I resigned myself to having a sleeveless top. Rather than buy more just to mess around with sleeves.

So I started snipping the frayed edges down to apply bias tape (of course they were frayed after all this sewing and unpicking) and had some kind of deranged spasm!

I snipped right into the top! Right in there, nice and big and unrepairable. Oh and did I mention I’m out of plaid!?

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Pffftt…. crapzola.

So my top just earned itself a nice place in the bin. At least now I can move on to something else.

Hello Polka Dot Truffle party dress! I’ve left you alone for too long.

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