Archives

Me made May 2017

So given I try to wear the stuff I’ve made as a preference anyway, I’ve decided to have a go at Me Made May. (For non sewing people, a sewing blog thing started by Zoe whose blog is here ) I am going to try and wear an item of homemade clothing every day. I do so 5 days out of 7 anyway probably, so I reckon my biggest problem is  going to be pinning down Jon to take the photos rather than wearing the actual stuff.

Anyway. I am doing it on Instagram, not on here, cuz it is a lot easier, & also less spammy cuz although I would like to post more than I do, I reckon a post a day is pushing it a bit.

My instagram username is also euphoricstimuli. I’ve just spent ten minutes trying to work out what my URL is to post a direct link and failed miserably. But if you search for that you’ll find me.

In the last week I have made another item of clothing (which has yet to be worn, let alone blogged) and I have two other blog posts to catch up on. So more actual content soon.

In the meantime here is my first Me Made May picture, my Debbie Bliss Riva shrug, I am having a pyjama day today as we’ve been at a wedding in Leicester all weekend, but I tend to use this instead of a dressing gown …


Join the dark side, find me on Instagram! 😈☠️😈

Advertisements

The lady vanishes

So I knew I hadn’t posted for a bit, but I didn’t realise it’s been nearly three whole months since I posted anything.

Partly it’s because I got ill, which wrote off August, then September was spent holding the fort because Jon was going for a promotion (which he’s got) and spent every weekend either working on his job application or interview practice, so I ended up having to do a lot more house jobs and cooking during the week instead of sewing. In the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on stuff, but although very straight forward, it’s a larger project than I tend to do these days so it’s taking multiple weeks to finish. 

However I have finished this hat for Jon…..


It’s another Bobeek hat, Jon liked my Red hat so much he wanted his own model. 

We went to Loop in Islington, which seemed a good idea at the time as John Lewis and Liberty are not amazing for masculine coloured chunky wools.

Jon chose the wool, it is Misti Alpaca Chunky in colourway M620. It was a bit pricey at £15 a ball, but according to how much yarn you need according to the knitting pattern, it should have been easy to do from one ball. So that doesn’t work out too bad for a luxury hat (it’s 100% baby alpaca)

Of course I needed more than one ball. Luckily it was by a respectable amount rather than like one row or something, but it’s now a £30 hat. & my knitting is not up to the quality needed for £30 hats. Grrrr!

It has also come up a bit larger on the top bit than my other two versions. The band is ok and the right size, but I think with it being slightly thicker yarn it’s a fatter hat than the other two were. Luckily Jon likes this, & likes the hat, so it’s all good. & he’s accidentally chosen a stunningly fashionable colour, so he’s really happy.

Next up for knitting is a pair of wristlets and a neckband for me out of Cascade heather, am a little apprehensive about this as it will be my first time playing with cable since I took knitting lessons.

In other satisfied customer news, heres a picture of my Mum in the Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress I made her in summer…..


Mum really likes it.& now she is thinking of getting into sewing again (she was awesome in the 70’s) to make her own versions.

Anyway, I’m aiming to have the dress I’m working on finished for Halloween, so I shouldn’t be absent for as long a time next post. 

winter hat in summer time

Not that we’ve had very much actual summer this year, horrible gloomy weather, but its thankfully still too warm for wooly hats, even if I’ve had to have the heating on three or four evenings.

Anyway, here is my finished tiger print hat…..

 

I had no idea it was sitting so far back on my head when Jon took the photographs, & it doesn’t go best with the velvet dress, but its hard finding stuff that could pass as winter clothes but can still survive bonkers level humidity.

The hat is a Bobeek by Daniella Johannsenova on Ravelry, I made a previous one last year, i wasn’t intending on making it again for myself in such a hurry, but I felt I needed something plain to set off the tiger pattern. I am now well underway with a third one of the damn things because Jon liked my pink one so much (he looked so good in it the designer used the picture of him wearing it as a featured picture on the pattern page) that he’s been demanding his own version ever since. I’d give him the pink one, only its variegated between pink & red which means it goes with both my pink & red winter coats nicely, so I kind of need to keep it for myself.

The scarf is plain stockinette stitch, which I blogged here, and the dress is one I made last autumn.

I’ve been getting on rather better with knitting than I have with sewing at the moment, another hat is underway, and I’ve got my next 3 or 4 projects bought and planned.

The dress I’ve been meaning to make for the last couple of months is still sitting there in my work in progress basket, I’ve finally got my sewing machines out again to make a start, but its been overtaken by a dress for my Mums birthday I somewhat randomly decided to make (there is logic, i can do both without changing the overlocker threads). Luckily they are both quick projects & I’ve made one before so when I finally get going with it should only take a couple of hours each & then I can get back on track.

Finishing with a picture of our Elephant (& a couple of bulbs of normal garlic) that Jon has harvested from the allotment, its our first proper harvest of anything, so we are well proud of it. It is hanging up to dry at the moment. luckily I don’t mind the stink of garlic, because the flat reeks!

IMG_5518

Eye of the Tiger

I think one of my recurring problems with sewing and knitting is that it takes so long between conception of a garment and actually finishing it, that sometimes I have no idea what to do with it once I’ve made it.

This was pretty much true of my latest creation. A scarf started about this time last year and finished two weeks ago. It was a good six months before that I had the idea of making it in the first place, having had a drink or two one night and deciding to google animal print yarn; to my slight shock, given the amount of fair isle self striping yarn there is around, no one was really making very much animal print. Except for Stylecraft who had made a brilliant (though somewhat acrylic) range called Safari, which sadly had been discontinued in 2012. So I decided I really needed the tiger print version, so set up an eBay search (which I now don’t know how the hell to take off, nearly two years later) sat back and waited. Six months later it succeeded and I became the proud owner of 8 balls of tiger print wool.

So its taken me ages to knit this particular scarf, largely because I was using it as an easy project I could chat through whilst I was at knitting group, which was only twice a month, and working on other stuff at home. & by the time I finished it I was really quite sick of it. The tiger print yarn, although really pretty is so acrylic that its actually quite unpleasant to the touch to knit.

& I didn’t really know what to do with it, my winter coats are bright red and pink (not really my choice, its what was available in the shop that fit, & a present from my mother) so teeming them with tiger print seemed a bit garish, its something I’d have done in previous years, but not really me now…

IMG_5075

Here it is over a bright red blanket and sofa to show what I mean.

So I put off photographing it as I wasn’t sure, & then the weather started getting warmer, & it wasn’t really scarf appropriate anyway, except I decided I absolutely needed photographs, so I somewhat randomly teamed it with my green jacket and a black dress just to get it done, went out to take them, and then was just blown away by what I saw when Jon showed me the fist couple of photos, its accidentally cool!

 

In many ways I’m such an idiot, I was a massive Manic Street Preachers fan when I was in my late teenage years, so I should have known khaki and animal print really go well together, but until I saw the first photo Jon took I hadn’t realised my scarf could look urban and cool rather than just a bit kitsch.

So now I’m desperate to get the matching hat done. I had 5 days at my parents over Eater and I was planning to make a good start there, however I stupidly brought the wrong length circular needles with me (so can’t be bothered to do the entire hat on a magic loop) so I did a jigsaw instead.

Hopefully I will get it started in the next day or two anyway. 🙂

What I made in 2015

So in my head this year has been a bit of a disaster making things wise. I went awol in Spring for three months, thanks to a bit of overenthusiastic exercising kicking off my medical condition and I’ve been so busy with family stuff this Autumn and Winter I just haven’t had the time I’d have liked to be creative.

However, when I actually went through my blog to see what I’ve done, it’s not remotely as bad as I thought……

Thats 10 items of clothes made,(ok, well one is technically an embellishment not a make from scratch) non of which are flops, & all of which get regular outings in both Jon and my wardrobes, apart from the Regency Dress, which has been worn once, fancy dress balls have been a bit thin on the ground lately & the dance class I was attending has folded due to lack of interest 😦

Last year I managed 14 with 2 not functional, so its only actually 2 less. Which considering how ill and busy I’ve been I am really quite happy with.

As far as next years sewing goes I’m not going to set any concrete goals, apart from the Regency dress, I managed non of mine from last year.

Before Christmas I was feeling completely overwhelmed as I had a humongous pile of mending, three zips went at once, one of them invisible 😦 Sadly two of the zips were my own fault for buying cheap zips from Rolls & Rems in Lewisham rather than decent quality zips from central London. But I got really stressed and didn’t have time and energy to sort it, & it was all piled up on my sewing table looking a mess.

So yesterday I just worked through it, & its all mended now. Specially proud of the invisible zip as that was in a shop bought dress that is one of my favourites and I would have had to throw away otherwise. Also its only my second invisible zip (I’ve been doing normal zips for years) & it went perfectly, & took a good two hours less time than my first one, which considering I had to hand stitch the lining with this one and the first one I did the lining on machine, is excellent.

I’ve tidied my workspace and my sewing cupboard, putting scraps away and making it a bit easier to get at things. I’ve bagged up my Christmas dress (sob) and put that away….I’m still not sure what to do with it. My issue actually now I come to analyse it is that now I’ve cut the fabric out it looks a little different from how I was intending & I’m not completely sold on my design idea, but I’m not feeling a lot of lolita inspiration to come up with something better at the moment, so I will shelve it for now. I was listening to a lolita podcast yesterday though and I got a bit excited, so hopefully I’ll start feeling it again soon. Its somewhere easy to get at if I want to get it out again.

For now I’m going on a jersey sewing binge. I’m making another Tilly and the buttons Coco dress (as made by me here) as since I made that its been in the wash pretty much every time, its just so comfy, & so easy to wear.

I’m going to make a couple of Sewaholic Renfrews, a pattern I’ve sewed too any times already, but a couple went in a 60 degree wash a few months ago and hell polo necks are fashionable at the moment. I’m finally going to get round to that one in red I’ve been meaning to sew for 2 years, & I’m going to do a basic one in grey.

I’ve then got attempts at Tilly’s Agnes pattern and Jennifer Lauren Vintage’s Bronte top, both of which I picked up last month.

Hopefully as I seem to have come back from Christmas with no major ailments (touch wood) I’ll manage them in a month or two. Order completely subject to change as I’m still trying to work out how to do them with the least number of changes to the overlocker thread.

All of which seems a little boring, but I do need the damn things, they’ll be quick to sew, & hopefully then I will have inspiration for a few more going off on one or lolita projects.

Anyway, I’m off to sew while I’m feeling all enthusiastic.

Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

Green boyfriend hat and random fabric

 

So literally the day before the weather turned and went really cold I managed to finish the ribbed hat for Jon to match the scarf I made him earlier in the year.

I found this a much more pleasant knit than the scarf, basically because the main pattern was k3p2, which had just enough element of variation in it to stop me going up the wall. Although I started the hat on a circular needle I finished it off on double pointed needles, which was my first attempt using those and was a bit of a disaster, although I got the hang of it, in the process I dropped a load of stitches, which I had to sew back up at the end, though it isn’t noticeable at all in the finished hat.

Pattern was the Boyfriend Hat by Stephanie Nicole Bennet. Yarn was Debbie Bliss Donegal Arran Tweed, which matched the scarf yarn & I’ve had in my stash for ages. With hindsight the tweed wool is too irregular, changing in width the whole time & with random bobbles to have been ideal for the patterns I chose, but they’ve still come out reasonably ok, & Jon likes them which is the main thing.

Next on the project list is a tiger print scarf and hat combo for me, & then a repeat of the Bobeek slouchy beanie hat I made end of last year for Jon as he wants one for himself it suited him that much.

In sewing news I have my xmas lolita project all cut out and ready to go.  I’ve also bought some more fabric recently, of which these two are the highlights….

IMG_4732

This brocade is a replica of what if I remember correctly is a Byzantium piece found in a viking grave. It is by a Czech  company called Sartor who specialise in reproduction medieval fabric & have had stuff used in Lord Of The Rings & Game of Thrones. Their authentic stuff (made in silk and velvets ) is way way expensive, but their polyester brocades (which this is) are quite cheap, though still a lot more than I would normally pay for fabric.& as I am intending on using this to make sleeves for a medieval goth dress I am planning, the fact that its polyester and therefore easily washable is a massive bonus.

IMG_4738

This very good quality what I think is Cotton Sateen I picked up from the local fabric stall for £3 a meter. I wasn’t sure what it was exactly other than a massive floral print until I got it home and opened it up properly. I’m not sure what digital, old masters style printed fabric is called, but I’ve been dreaming of something like this for so long, & under usual circumstances if something like this comes up its far too expensive for me to buy.

I am planning on making it into a Juliette & Justine style floral lolita dress, however there is 5m, so I’m hoping to get a skirt out of it as well.

I’ve also bought some other random bits off the market as the stall holder lady is ill 😦 and her daughter is going to take over from after xmas, so who knows whats going to happen. I may have to start rationing my fabric buying or pay higher prices for stuff again.

 

unseasonal knitting and dastardly alcoholics.

So a couple of weeks ago I finally finished the scarf I have been working on for the last 6 months, well, I say working on, actually I mean doing everything I can to avoid having to touch the damn thing, doing two rows and then giving up in disgust and generally procrastinating as much as possible.

Me and k2 p2 ribbing really don’t get on. On the one hand cuz its so repetitive its really really really boring, on the other hand I found it easy to get mixed up so couldn’t have the telly on whilst knitting or get on with it at knitting group or I made mistakes.

Bizarrely, not all ribbing is equally awful, I am currently working on the accompanying hat for with this which is k3 p2 ribbing and that little amount of variation is just enough that I’m getting on with it in a lot more efficient way.

Anyway, the person it was intended for (Jon)  really likes it, & agreed to model it for me. After a period of insanely hot weather we are now having a cold spell, everyone I know had their heating on for a few days over the weekend, so the fleece is not entirely unseasonable.

IMG_4373 IMG_4377

Oh yeah, the pattern, albeit a very simple one, was Ribbed for her Pleasure from the Stitch and Bitch book, the wool was Debbie Bliss Donegal Arran Tweed, which I had knocking around randomly from ages ago.

I know I haven’t posted a charity shop haul in a long time, but I had to share this awesome little pair of reprobates I picked up recently for £6.99 from one of my favourite charity shopping locations that shall remain nameless.

IMG_4382

I don’t think they are genuine 18th century. There is no makers mark on the base and the base is very unscuffed and in good nick ,according to the Antiques Roadshow which my parents used to watch religiously as I was growing up, lack of scuff and wear marks on the base suggest these things are modern reproductions. But they are really cute and were £7, so I’m glad to give them a home.

I’m in the middle of making a dress at the moment, and although the instructions are simple (its a Sewaholic Cambie) I’m feeling a bit bogged down as health and life has been such that I’ve only had about an hour and  half to spend on it over the last week. Specially as I am scaling up the waist on a size 16 pattern and have no guarantee the damn thing will fit me when its done.

Im also feeling a bit skint as I have finally found a plus sized fashion company that sells stuff I actually want to buy and I don’t really have a budget for clothes 😦 One of the annoying things about sewing ones own stuff is that although in many ways it allows one to stay true to a personal style, when stuff you like comes into fashion it is really difficult to react quickly to it. In this case its all the witchy, Stevie Nicks style Strega stuff. Even if it wasn’t beyond my sewing capabilities I am not finding chiffon or much stretch velvet on the market stall to play with, and even if I did, by the time I’ve done something with it the moment will have long passed.

Its one of those things about growing up actually, when I was a student my clothes were all in fashion having been acquired over the last 2-3 years since I stopped growing. I used to look down on ‘adults’ who were not fashionable and wonder why they didn’t care about having cool stuff, and be like ‘I’ll never let myself get like that’. Of course as one gets older one realises the importance of having a personal style over blindly following whatever Topshop, or in my case Camden Market dictates is in fashion this season. but even if stuff you like is fashionable at the moment, there is absolutely no guarantee it will fit you, the Strega stuff has been a youth/alternative trend for about 3 years, this is the first year it has hit the plus sized ranges, already making me out of date. & there is no guarantee that at the requisite moment you’ll actually have any money to buy stuff. Which is not that we are short of money by any means, but having ones own flat and grown up responsibilities means that money has to go on things like a new stereo as our old one conked out rather than clothes. Its also rather hard to justify frivolous clothes purchases when one already has a full wardrobe, & even these days a relatively well developed Lolita wardrobe, or at least one that fills the purpose given how rarely I actually get to wear it. So basically I am feeling somewhat sartorially frustrated.

Of course what I actually need to do is get sewing, even if it is not the garment I’d imagine it to be in an ideal world, having new clothes finished always makes me feel a little better.

So that means not whinging on here and getting on with stuff.