Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Huffy Tantrums: that ain't sew bad

Okay, so the reason we all blog...apparently IS to share the good, the bad, and anything in between -right?... why?..... well, hopefully to share and save the pain of others. (unfortunately for others, I've not had too many of the "others") until now. :((((((
This blog is a tail of two halves. Are we sitting comfortably... then we'll begin...
With the onset of Spring closely followed by Summer hahahahaha.. Whoooh is this Jackanory!!!   Actually before I tell my tale, please allow some digression, taking a pair of ankle boots back to a well known retailer at the weekend, zip had burst its seam on 2nd time of wearing (immaterial, but a justification of being in a high St clothing store), a little meandering around the ladies dept. was required (it would be rude not too- and it ended up being for research purposes anyhow) Now April, I realised that I had not purchased a single item of RTW clothing this year! whoop... I've not even taken the 365 NO RTW pledge; Can I join in late, or start at any point in the year? On my surveillance around the racks, I found myself drawn to certain items (as you do), I'm sure you know what's coming, only to find myself thinking- look at the appalling top stitch, poor pattern match or How Much !!! Made me feel pretty proud that I was able to Paff!!! at these, knowing that  I'm able to create something that is equivalent- ( well hopefully not in, appalling top-stitch and pattern matching) come to think of it not always cheaper but all my own work. 
Right so where was I, oh yes, with the onset of warmer times, I felt that the contents of my wardrobe required a few basics, staple items- one can not prance around in dresses all of the time! (even if one would like too).My intention is to bring in brighter colours and jazzier prints where possible. On my last fabric haul (Sewing for Pleasure Show at the  NEC)  I purchased this lovely cotton print.. was either Abakhan or Barry's - visited  a fair few that day to get this little lot...
The fabric for this project was a print that is..not too in your face but enough to be cheerful and the added bonus of being a lovely soft cotton. Ahh remember now, it was from Barry's a bit pricey at £9.99- originally, I was looking for a suitable soft cotton for my second Gabriola, first here,  but needing 3.25 mtrs so felt this would be rather excessive. For ease of sewing and not to detract from the print, I minimised all fuss and went with a TNT, Burda 8677 used here my very first make!    

I made a couple of alterations from my first make, although happy with it, there's a little more "comfort" ease at the waist than was really needed. The intention was to lengthened the yoked front by and inch and graded the waist down a size, being lazy though, I  just cut straight up from the hip line, which meant the waist went 2 sizes smaller !!! resulting in the seam allowance  being utilised  and was taken to the wire!!  
In the effort of trying to redeem my laziness, I lined the skirt with a plain cotton, which also doubled up to give the skirt some body- I only had white so ....it served the purpose.   
The zip was one of those times (that happens a little too ofetn for my liking)  where it just wasn't happening; I stopped counting after the fifth rip out gggrrrrr. Its a zip for heaven sake, on the easiest fabric imaginable; I just couldn't get it in straight or concealed enough. I then tried my hand at inserting a zip placket; not too sure if I put in on the right side...-the zip is on the left hand side so attached it to the front facing edge of the zip- should it go on the back to smooth forward? No idea the RTW skirts I have with these are all back fastening???? 

Overall I'm happy with the skirt, I know it will be a useful, casual  everyday wear item.  

Next up was a "simple" jersey cowl neck top, Yeah right- the guy who sold me this fabric reacond it was organic! and you know how?
I love(d) the colour and initially bought it to go with my Gabriola skirt here .My vision was to keep everything soft and flowy, while picking out the aqua dots ( how sickly !)
I think my first failing was cutting out while full of a head cold and a throat that felt like I was gargling razor blades:(( not the best recipe for concentration - but its a "simple" top, what can go wrong.
I cut a standard size 14- the measurement of the finished top stated it would be 2 inches bigger than my bust measurement- that's okay, room for ease I can go with that... OH noooo a carry on camping look alike - it was huge. I had debated about the back, this was a Butterick pattern and the last couple of Butterick's I have made, had to have narrow back alterations applied - should have checked, measured more.. I know  I know! The back neck edge was not going to sit flat, no matter how much shoulder pulling, seam intake i was going to make... and there was no way I could or was going to even attempt unpicking stretch stitch! In total temper and a mad woman possessed, wielding scissors screaming insanely like the Queens of Hearts...OFF with the FACING woosh it was gone!!. I lay the pieces down, placed the pattern on top and crudely sketched in new seam lines (where permitting, the neck edge was now somewhere around a 10/ 8!! oooh bugger) new fashioned pieces were restitched. A tentative fitting just to check - phew ok .  
Next stage were the sleeves- I had already bodged one set up, and knowing there was no way my performance was going to produce neat, flat even seams, out came the rolled hem on the over-locker (a number of practices were had before the real thing) result - passable, not perfect, but passable.        
"errmmm it might look all smiles here but not behind the seams"

Inside views of the top

Now hand sewing is not my forte- and therefore I don't particularly enjoy it,  so to rub salt into my wounds this bad boy wanted the entire sleeve facings to be slip stitched- Pahh, not a chance - stitch in the ditch ... WRONG stretch stitch and foot attachment dont go! don't you know- do now, one broken needle. Tried again with the normal foot...a 1/4 of the way round it was going all over the place- out comes the hand sewing needle and a lot of steam from the iron.  
Look at the state of that neck!! inside facing 
I went to bed that night in disgust, feeling decidedly sorry for myself . I can't sew, Who am I trying to kid; If I can't even sew a simple skirt and top - What chance do I have - snivel snivel ( runny nose from cold doesn't make an attractive look)  
As my good sewing chum WillowWears Face booked by chunter -
 "Tomorrows a new day hun!" 
She was right- This morning I feel a little more positive and retrieving the green eyed monster off the floor of the sewing room- I give it another airing. 

Okay - it might not be the best sew in the world but Its mine and I shall always need to ware something when gardening or walking the dog!! Oh and i got new boots!! even nicer than the first :)))) Sorry this has been such a long blog and a little ranty- it so does you good to get things off your chest ( just wish it was so easy with a cold!) 


Thanks for stopping by  Amanda XXX