Archive | March 2012

Stuff I have been doing!

I’ve been really super busy with the whole sewing thing lately….well ok, a bit with the sewing…quite a bit with shopping, but its all sewing stuff so it counts!

Firstly…the top I’ve made….

It is the v–necked version of the Renfrew Top from Sewaholic…Took the body in by a dress size and used 3/4 length sleeves on this one, which looks a lot better.

Slightly messed up the v-neck, the tension of the neck band either side of the v ended up being different, and I slightly, slightly missed the centre of the v with the centre seam of the top band. Fixed the slightly wonky centre by whacking a bow over the top, but there isn’t a lot I can do in this round about the tension…next time I will measure a bit more carefully, tack the centre in place before I sew it and follow some advice I saw on a blog to cut an inch off the neck band before I sew it in order to stretch it all out as I sew it in place , so it all has high tension and hopefully doesn’t end up uneven, and it looks tidier when its finished.

It is still totally wearable though, so that is ok! 🙂

I think it looks ok anyway. 🙂

After that I decided I wanted to keep sewing a load of jersey tops as they are great for this kind of transitional weather and I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing with my sunmmer sewing yet. However I hit the massive barrier that I’d run out of jersey, and  all the stuff I’ve seen online that I like was about £20 meter.

So I decided to go on a couple of reconnaissance missions up Berwick Street and Goldhawke Road to see what is actually available in the shops and for what prices as I have never really done jersey before so had no clue.

Started with Berwick Street, as I had a load of haberdashery stuff to buy and it was convenient. Total no goer on the jersey front. Very few shops stocked it, those that did were like £30 a meter for plain stuff and I couldn’t really see that that was value for money.

Just as I was beginning to be slightly relieved that Berwick Street was a total waste of space as far as being too expensive and not really my kind of thing went, I went into Biddle Sawyer silk, which is totally the last shop before you get to the end of the fabric bit and end up in the remnants of what used to be the red light district.

Oops. First thing I spotted was this….

.

in the bargain bin for £10 a meter.it is pure silk, and on closer inspection has little art deco naked ladies all over it! 🙂

I have bought 4 meters of it, and hope to use it to line a cape or a coat at some point in the future when I get hold of some cheapish coating I like.

Then I turned round and on the table saw multiple shiny metallic shades of what I assumed was some kind of lamé, but on closer inspection was actually leather!! It was rather expensive, totally bad for the environment, but one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

So I went home and talked it over with Jon and thought about it..and ended up dreaming about it..and so I am now the proud owner of a sparkly champing pink cowhide …

it looks gold in that picture, but it is actually pinker. I have decided I am going to make a simple A-line or straight skirt out out it, as it is sooo trashy looking anyway I need to keep it classy. I am going to wait a while to make it though, as I am chronically loosing weight at the moment and the smaller I am the more skirt I can make from the cowhide. 🙂 Also I haven’t selected a pattern yet, and whatever I get I want to mock up in denim first to make sure it is totally perfect before attacking something that expensive! (I also could do with a denim skirt.)

Then yesterday I went down Goldehawke  Road with a shopping list of stuff I needed….black denim, lavender lining, black t-shirt jersey and any patterned jersey I could get my hands on…

And remarkably got it all, for far less than I had anticipated…..

purple/lavender taffeta (its a lot less pink in real life), black denim and black t-shirt fabric

patterned jersey – the range at Goldehawke Road was pretty damn awful as well, however this one shop had these in, for what ended up being £3 a meter, which will do nicely, and there was a shop which has ultra fashionable nautical stuff for £8 a meter, which I didn’t like enough to pay that much for.

Think Goldehawke Road is mainly best for basics actually and I’ll buy anything patterned off the internet in future 😦 or from Ditto in Brighton, they have some nice looking stuff at the moment, but experience tells me to look at their stuff in real life first, and we are going to Brighton for two nights next month, so I will look properly then. 🙂

Now I bought all this, I am totally not going to get the chance to use it for the next 5 weeks. Jon is on Sabatical for a month, and we are going away for two and a half weeks to various places, and even when we are at home I doubt I will get anything done as our flat is super tiny and its very difficult for me to sew without taking over the entire living room/kitchen which really won’t be possible when Jon is home.

I will also be sharing this computer for the duration, so doubt I’ll be blogging much.

Looking forwards to it so much though! 🙂

t-shirts and posters

After several months being slightly under the weather and rearranging my fabric collection in increasingly elaborate ways…..I finally perked up and have actually sewn something. 🙂

Behold my attempt at the Renfrew Top by Sewaholic..an independent pattern designer.

I’ve seen a lot of pictures of these on the internet and I hadn’t seen a bad/massively unflattering one, so I was hoping it would work out alright. And for a wearable muslin I don’t think its that bad. the fabric was from Rolls and Rems in Lewisham, which is my local fabric store, and I use it fairly often for basics and emergencies, so I shouldn’t slag it off too much…but the quality is apauling, as is all the jersey they have in at the moment. For £4 a meter I’m not that impressed. I mean I know really good quality jersey can be ruinously expensive, but when a fabric shop is selling something that is basically primark quality for a price where the finished garment will cost as much as/more than it would cost at primark…one does wonder whom the target market is exactly. Hence it is clingy and stiff and see-through, so you can see the top of my trousers through it…which is not a great look.

However I will probably wear it again, as its a fairly attractive print (little black bows – if you can’t see from the photo) and I constructed it, so it should last a while longer than something actually from primark.

As far as the instructions and the fit goes, it was fairly straightforward, though I did have to look up how to sew with jersey on the internet first (was my first attempt). I will take it down a size on the main body for my next go, as its actually a bit loose (that makes me so happy 🙂  ). The only thing I’ve seriously had to alter is the bottom of the sleeves. I have quite small wrists anyway, but I had to take the cuffs and the sleeve bottoms in massively to fit/look normal . The lady who designs the patterns and all the people doing early attempts of this one I saw are all a lot thinner than me. When one puts on loads of weight, unless one gets massive water retention, your ankles and wrists do grow a bit, but at nowhere near the rate the rest of you does. Thus when scaling up a pattern from a (Uk) 10 or so to a (uk) 18 or so, although you need to scale up the wrists a bit, you don’t need to do it by as much as you do the tops of the arms. Otherwise it gets a bit 1970’s looking. 😦

But it was easy (albeit a bit untidy) to fix on this one, and will be easy to fix properly on the next one…which is using proper expensive jersey (eek!) and is already cut out!

In other creative stuff I’ve been doing this week… I can’t remember whether I mentioned last time, but I sent one of those pictures I made last time as a test print.

The resolution was workable with, so the printing company were obviously talking rubbish! However I was a bit annoyed because what was referred to on the website as a ‘poster’ was actually a giant photo..on thick glossy photo paper. I know its not much of a distinction but I was a bit pissed off, cuz I wanted them to look like cool posters I’d picked up somewhere, not artworks of some kind, which is what photo paper made them seem.

I asked around for a few days and did some research on the internet, but I couldn’t find anybody who would print 6 actual posters on poster paper as one offs, not a large print run, for anything approaching a realistic price.

Whist I was procrastinating, the company I used in the first place for the test print, sent me an email with a one day only sale code, which got you 50% off for any prints you had done that day.

So I bit the bullet and went for it with them. I’m still not too happy about the excessively shiny (when I took the photo I couldn’t stop the end one having a massive reflection mark on it 😦 ).. but I don’t think it looks too bad…

Only 4 of them worked well enough as that size image for me to be happy putting them up, but at the price I ended up paying for them, having two rejects doesn’t matter at all really.

They’ve properly brightened up the bedroom, 🙂 though I might shop around for a better printing company before I attempt any more.