Sunday, 17 August 2014

Unselfish Sewing: Kids Edition

A post which contains some actual sewn items - who woulda thunk it! My mother cornered me for my annual unselfish sewing stint a couple of weeks ago, so last weekend was spent making summery PJ's for my little sister. I made a pattern based on a couple of pairs of her existing jamas and sized up a bit. I made a knit pair and a woven pair and they were super easy to make. I may have a go at digitising and grading this pattern as it is very simple shapes.

The fabric was from the local Boyes, a cheap stable knit of dubious quality and a cotton batik which was really lovely to sew with ( I purchased a couple of lengths of batik in over patterns for myself, one of which was made up into a dress before I started on the PJ's)

Beware crappy photos ahead - Taken on my phone on the day we got all the after-storms from Hurricane Bertha, not modelled because I'm not putting pics of my baby sister on the Internet.


The Knit Version

 


The Woven Version


massively chuffed with my top stitching here.



Ive had the weekend off work and had some big plans for sewing up some Autumn/Winter stuff but I've been really bummed out about Robin Williams' death. All I've managed to do is a bit of knitting and watching loads of crap TV interspersed with trying to hunt down a copy of The Birdcage on DVD for under £20.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Mood Boards

Just a quick post while I procrastinate (today is the day I promised myself I would reorganise my fabric, yarn & pattern stash) There are many things I don't really like about doing a Fashion degree (I don't get to sew enough!) but one of the things that I have come to enjoy is creating mood boards so I thought I would share a couple from the past year with you guys.































Hope you like!

Rachel

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Minerva Haul

So ages ago now (seriously it was April!) I went a bit mental and ordered a crap tonne of fabric from Minerva via their eBay site. Seeing as Minerva sponsor a lot of sewing blogs these days, I though it might be helpful to review them as a regular Joe (please be noting I have nothing to say about pattern testing, apart from how bored I am over the hoo-haa around it)

Anyway this is what I purchased and here are my thoughts -

Ivory Soft Viscose Jersey £2.99pm ( available here in black, looks like it's no longer available in ivory) It was a bitch to get a decent photo of this fabric. It is incredibly drapey and very slightly sheer with a bit of surface texture. The description was accurate as it is very soft, as expected in jerseys of this nature it has no stretch or recovery. I bought quite a lot of this as I tend to destroy white t-shirts in the wash (and no-one wants to wear and off-whitish tee!). I have a Summer Concert Tee cut out in this fabric waiting to be sewn.

























Textured Brown Knitted £6.99pm (here) No photograph I took did this fabric justice, so I picked one where you could at least sort of see the stitch design. Minerva list this as 75% acrylic, with 8% wool and 17% nylon. As you can see it is a reasonably loose knit and is quite 'fuzzy' to the touch. I decided to sling this in the washer and dryer (I do not have the time or inclination for hand wash only clothing!) it lost quite a bit width wise so I would say the fibre content was pretty accurate. I have this stored away for cooler weather when it will probably become a cardigan.

 Multicoloured Spandex £6.99pm (here & here) This was purchased because I  have a bit of a girl crush on Melissa from Fehr Trade and I hoped by blatantly copying her i might somehow through the power of clothes, develop some of her running ability (I've taken up running again, so far it has been painful!) This fabric is as expected, thin, smooth, good stretch and recovery and eye searingly bright to boot. I have a pair of Duathlon Shorts cut out and waiting to be sewn in the colourway on the right. I am happy with this purchase and I think I can probably squeeze quite a few garments out of these in combination with some plain Lycra I picked up from my local fabric shop.
























I'm Going to the Zoo Jersey £3.99pm (here) I am a sucker for a novelty print - add jersey into the mix and I am pretty much powerless, its like my kryptonite (there are a couple of other novelty prints to come) This is a very saturated print and quite weighty for a jersey but it has a very synthetic stiff feeling. It reminds me of being a little kid and how clothes felt in the eighties. It has a bit of stretch but then you get some white show through -
























You can sort of see what I mean here. Incidentally it's really hard to hold a DSLR in one hand and take a photo of your other hand whist using manual settings. I still like this fabric but had I have realised what the 'hand' would be like I probably would have skipped it. I have no plans for this fabric at the moment.
























Pocahontas Jersey £3.99pm - this appears to be sold out. This is similar in hand to the 'Zoo' fabric. I was however expecting this from this particular fabric. Pocahontas was released in 1995 and I imagine that this fabric would have been produced around the time of it's cinematic release and has been sitting on a shelf somewhere since then. As a kid I loved Pocahontas (I am a Disney nut after all, in fact I just purchased some 'Brother Bear' cotton from a Bricks and Mortar fabric shop) I remember getting a Pocahontas T-shirt from Disney World which I would love to still have (stupid teenage self throwing away old clothes!) I am happy I purchased this. This is in my jersey stash until I book another Florida holiday, at which point it will be either a skater skirt or a vesty top.

This photo has been pilfered from Minerva Crafts eBay listing- link below)

























Dinosaur Print Jersey £6.99pm (here) When I first saw this fabric I think I actually squealed out loud. My brain was fogged by visions of a dinosaur print Lady Skater Dress and the buy it now button was pounded without any further thought. Unfortunately this fabric has the same problem as the others above, which for £6.99 I really wasn't expecting. Also have a look at steggy up in the top left hand corner - shall we take guesses on how big he is?
























Steggy (and the rest of his extinct mates) is enormous, in case you can't see in the pic - he is 36cm long! who ever took the pic of this fabric for Minerva must have been stood on a chair to fit so many of them in. No where in the description does it give an idea of scale, if its not going to be noted in the description, it would have been really useful to have a tape measure or coin or something in the picture so you can guesstimate the size of the design. This is another I would skip if I had a time machine, it's sat in the jersey stash until I figure out something to do with it.

Another Pic lifted from Minerva's eBay listing - link below












 Purple/Gold Stars Jersey £4.99pm (here) This is the fabric which started it all, the one that prompted my purchase. Why? you say -




























OH MY GLOB! it totally reminded me of Lumpy Space Princess that's why! This is also the fabric where everything went a bit well, lumpy. The fabric it's self is a pretty average quality cotton blend jersey without a great deal of stretch. So not great but not bad for the money. The pic above as noted is from Minerva's eBay listing, the pic below is one of mine.
























Can you spot the problem? The fabric has obviously not heard about the importance of sun protection and is faded along one of the selvages. I noticed this immediately upon unfolding the fabric so I don't know how it got past whomever was cutting and packing it (and taking the listing photo for that matter) I emailed Minerva to let them know about it. They responded saying I could return the fabric if I wanted and they would look into the problem. I didn't want to return the fabric as I want my LSP Lady Skater (and I certainly didn't want to pay for return postage) I left it at that as I could not be bothered with to and fro-ing via email. I have been back and looked at the listing and they have not amended it to tell customer that one end is faded, I suppose it is possible that only part of the bolt was damaged and they have chopped that bit off and binned it.

Phew, that is a lot of fabric! are you still with me? whilst the fabric I received was a bit of a mixed bag in terms of quality (and my expectations) the experience of shopping with them through eBay was incredibly easy. I paid a bargainous £2.99 for postage and my order was delivered promptly. The email that I sent was responded too very quickly, but I didn't get a follow up to say that they had checked out the fabric in their warehouse. The experience hasn't put me off from ordering from them again, but it would have to be special fabric. I would also be more likely to email them to ask questions about the fabric or fork out 99p for a sample. Some might say I was naive not to do this in the first place, but I must have been very lucky in the past as when ever I've ordered on line I've never had an issue with the fabric not meeting my expectations.

I hope this post has been helpful to any of you looking to expand your fabric stash in the near future.

Bye for now!

Rachel

PS. I still have a soft spot for Pocahontas, a film with a Pug and a Raccoon as sidekicks -so cute!





Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Me Made May '14

 'I, Rachel of madewithwhimsy.blogspot.co.uk, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear at least one me made garment at least one work day and one none work day a week for the duration of May 2014'

I was not sure whether to participate this year as I've not been particularly productive on the sewing front recently and when i have been sewing its been stuff for college or inappropriate for the current weather situation. This added to the fact that my old me mades are looking decidedly well worn means I have a rather small wardrobe selection at the moment and I am reliant on a fair few purchased garments to get me through the week.

Having said all of that Zoe is very open about tailoring the pledge to meet your needs and making the experience enjoyable and challenging so whilst my pledge is rather 'low challenge' it will get me thinking about what I am wearing instead of throwing on whatever is clean and not too creased - and that to me is the important thing.

I noticed last year May was quite a productive sewing month for me, looking at the Flickr group of fantastic outfits people were putting together was inspiring and I'm hoping it will kick start my sewing mojo this year as well. As an aside this is the third Me-Made-May I have participated in and the third time I've had to sign up to Flickr, hopefully this time I will remember my log in details!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

More sort of re-fashioning

Hi Internet

I hope Easter is treating you well? I have been eating way too much food and pre-washing fabric. Not much sewing has been going on as the cat objects -

He ignores all of the cat toys I buy him.

Onwards to draping pics - 


All of the above were draped with one pair of mens skinny jeans. To make them into final garments you would need an extra source of denim. I found the shapes quite inspiring and now I really want a little denim jacket with lime green patch pockets.

The photos below were draped using the skinny jeans and a pair of boys jeans. These pics show the evolution of what ended up being my final garment for this module, however because I am a dick I forgot to take a picture of my garment when it was actually finished.











The technical drawing for this dress was a bitch and a half to draw, unfortunately it's on a memory stick which I am too lazy to go find! The cat has gone out now so I can get on with cutting that toile (its a Seamster Patterns Dandelion dress) 

Adios Internets

Rachel x



Monday, 17 March 2014

Re-fashioning-ish

I am sooo way behind at watching The Sewing Bee, hopefully at the weekend I will have time to watch but I'm not holding out much hope, life is being a  bit odd at the moment - one of those times where everything feels like its changing and time is speeding forward but then nothing is actually changing at all. Enough of my waffle, on to the sort of sewing related stuff.

I have been draping like a champ, but not draping flat fabric because that would be too easy, nope -  I have been draping other clothes.  Hopefully this will provide some inspiriation for people who have the time to do some actual re-fashioning (lucky lucky people)












Saturday, 22 February 2014

The Great British Sewing Bee - What Would You Make?

So like most of the British sewesphere I am watching the Bee with equal levels of face palming and wonder (seriously Chinelo cutting out that silk free hand just amazed me, I think I now have a bit of a girl-crush) I really can't be arsed to do a full review but - if you were competing, what would you be doing for each of the challenges???

Shell Top.

 I have a very similar pattern to the one that was made up for the show -  New Look 6483. It doesn't have a hi-lo hem but that's OK because I'm not time travelling back to 2012.



Hand sewing a button loop, pfft I don't think so. I usually just use a bit of shirring elastic or sacrifice a hair bobble in an appropriate colour. For the fabric I would use Tula Pink Raccoon Sky I am obsessed with this fabric and raccoons in general as I think my cat looks like a raccoon (we were adopted by a stray cat,whom in turn we officially adopted, he is beautiful and grumpy)




See he totes looks like a raccoon!


The Refashion Challenge

The original skirt looked something like this, but obviously not blurry ( I can't find a picture of the actual skirts they used and this is the closed thing my google-fu could find)


I would have chopped it into something like this - 





I think there would be enough fabric in the cut off length to create a circular ruffle. I would probably cut some contrast bias tape to hem the ruffle. 


 Lingerie Challenge

I thought this was a real stinker of a challenge, silk -  in the first week of the competition, harsh!  I imagine the men felt pretty uncomfortable measuring and fitting their models as well. 

I would have gone with this amazing McCall's pattern


Probably made up in an orangey red silk charmeuse...


 
 .. with a crazy lace overlay on the bust, but not on the hem as that would be scratchy. 


I'm looking forward to next weeks challenges and to sewing along in my imagination (the only sewing I seem to get to do these days *sob* )