Monday, 8 September 2014

Cornucopia Clothes Part 1

To sum it up:
I've been learning to ride a bike (I love it!) and was in a mild road accident (I'm not going on the roads along for a while).
My brother's identity was stolen and someone was using his bank account on a dirty dating website (all sorted now that he's changed banks and we've rebooted his Macbook Pro).
I've made more things for the Cornucopia festival. I've made 14 things so far, and I want to make more. I'm aiming for 30. I'm not the only one making for it, but I'm doing a lot of it.
Also, some lovely seamstresses/bloggers reviewed the Secret Garden Tea Dress.
Here are the things I've made (and photographed) so far for the festival. I made 1.5 things yesterday, but I've yet to take photographs. :)
Cornucopia Tops
Cornucopia Bottoms
So I've made 15.5 things so far, and I'm aiming for 30. Even at charity shop prices, this gets expensive. I've spent about £35 so far, not counting the elastic I used in the skirts, or the thread. The jeans with the pink embellishments were mine but they kept shrinking in the wash and started hurting me when I wore them so I thought I might as well use them for this. I can't use many of my clothes because I don't have many. Fabric simply refuses to appear magically before my eyes. :)
As for learning to ride a bike, I'm glad I didn't get a really nice one because my brother is learning on mine and keeps kicking the mudguards when he pedals. I've had to buy a new set. Eventually, I think a folding bike might be the way to go because EYMS bus service won't allow bikes other than folding bikes on board, and even then I think it's at the driver's discretion, and if I go to Rochester to do my Top-up year next year, I'll have to take the train and the tube in London, and store my bike somewhere when I'm in student accommodation. How do students usually deal with bikes? (Answers will be appreciated.)
College starts for second years on the 16th September and I've got to have the clothes made by then. I'll have to take them in my shopping trolley or I'll look like a pack-mule going to the bus (I'll have my backpack too!) I'm looking forward to college, and we have to do work experience (I'm so excited!) this year so we've got to list places we'd like to work. On my (fantasy) list are Colette, Tilly and the Buttons, BurdaStyle, and By Hand London. I will have to add to this list some more "realistic", mainstream fashion-business choices I suppose, but I can dream! I simply do not want to work in retail because I'm no good at it. I'd much rather work with the same people everyday than with customers. That's just me.
That'll have to do for now because I have a lot to do!
Have a nice day!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Pixie Shorts

I am having physiotherapy on my knee so I needed shorts. I know a lot of religious women won't wear them out of modesty, but when you have to do a lot of leg exercises, shorts are more modest than skirts. :)

So I made these from my brother's too-short trousers. They were a sort of moleskin fabric, and are is apparently Italian-made (when they were trousers). I adjusted my Audrey Short pattern (which I haven't told you about yet) to have princess seams and those petal shapes at the front.

When I put them on yesterday, with socks after my bath, my legs looked quite stocky in them. (I think I look much better in tights.) Rather than think of my legs as stocky though, I would rather think of them as pixie-ish, like Tinkerbell. It's much better to put a nice spin on things, isn't it? I think that's the start of a good body-image for anyone and you might as well like yourself because you're the only self you'll get. :)

Pixie Shorts
Upcycled Pixie Shorts (worn with upcycled t-shirt)

The hardest thing was sewing the curves neatly, which I didn't quite manage to do. In retrospect, I ought to have done a faced hem, but I was upcycling and it was a miracle that the waist-facing was exactly the right length (by accident). I also ought to have used cotton tape to stay the waistline because it's ever-s0-slightly stretched now.
I didn't need to add a gusset to these shorts. I pressed the seam open (well, finger-pressed) and they're perfectly comfortable as they are. Calico seems to be unreliable for fitting purposes because it's so unlike any fabric you'd actually wear.


P.S. Yes, these are inspired by the Pattern Runway shorts, and there's the link to make up for my not buying the pattern (how can I when I can draft one?).

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Craftsy's Big Course Sale Starts Today!

 (Sponsered post)

I don't like to have too many commercial posts on this blog (I try to keep them few, I really do), but this one is so good! Today and until Monday 11:59pm (MT) (That's 5:59am on Tuesday to us in the UK). Craftsy is having a sale on all their courses having 50% off! Just click on the banner below to go and have a look!

The Secret Garden Tea Dress Blogroll: Ana Sofia

Ana Sofia of S is for Sewing just sent me this teaser photo of the dress she has made:
Ana Sofia's Secret Garden Tea Dress
Ana Sofia's Secret Garden Tea Dress
Why is it a teaser? Because tomorrow she will publish her blog post about the pattern. I'll link to it when it is published.

When other people sew my pattern, it's like being a fashion designer by magic: I'm not sewing all these dresses, but they appear in the world! It's like the Elves and the Shoemaker (or the Elves and the Dressmaker)! I'm so grateful to the lovely seamstress on the Student Designer team for helping me with this! :) (Thank you all!)

Till tomorrow!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Free Sample of the Instructions from The Secret Garden Tea Dress

I've always thought that a lot of the value in the patterns I am making is in the instructions. You can learn how to achieve professional results in your sewing by logical steps and pattern preparation. So that you can see what you get with Student Designer patterns, here's a small sample:


Sunday, 3 August 2014

Ode to Me-Made Jeans

I'm currently working on a pattern for shorts for some of the designs in my first women's wear collection of sewing pattern. I'm using the jeans block and started investigating the monobutt again (I want to be quite sure my pattern does not have that fitting issue, even if some people think jeans are supposed to have it). I came across this poem I wrote as part a response to this post ages ago. I thought you might get a smile out of it so I've copied it to here.
No more jeans that bind and twist,
Or other problems on the list.
I’ll make my own just as a like,
And Calvin Klein can take a hike.

Saggy legs will disappear,
Muffin-tops belong not here.
A contoured waistband I prefer,
I’ll draft my own, not be deterred.

My jeans will not drag on the floor,
My hems will rag and fray no more.
The pocket lining will be sweet,
As will the stitching on pockets-seat.

The monobutt has no place here,
I’ll have some jeans to suit my rear.
No skinny jeans that look like tights,
I’ll make my own and fit them right.

When I sit down, I’ll show no more,
Than could be seen when I stood before.
No sweat-shop labour in my clothes,
At ready-to-wear I’ll turn up my nose.

Custom-made, by me no less,
My me-made jeans will be my best.


Saturday, 2 August 2014

Accidental Scaling in Adobe Illustrator, and How to Fix it.

Today I toiled my dress block, the one I drafted on illustrator. According to the program, the measurements are correct. What made me check is that the dress came out too big.

What happens when you print "borderless" in Illustrator
What happens when you print "borderless" in Illustrator
What happens when you print "borderless" in Illustrator
What happens when you print "borderless" in Illustrator

In case you came to this post by google and don't know about sewing, this dress is supposed to be close-fitting, not a semi-fitting sheath dress. It also ended up too long in the bodice so the bust darts are about 3cm too low! The armscyes are also too low so raising my arms lifts the whole dress.
What caused all this you may ask. Well, I printed "borderless". On the little print preview, I couldn't see a difference. Just to check, I printed out two test squares. Each measured 10cm x 10cm on Illustrator. These are the results:
What happens when you print "with border" in Illustrator
What happens when you print "with border" in Illustrator
What happens when you print "borderless" in Illustrator
What happens when you print "borderless" in Illustrator
As you can see, it adds 2.5mm onto 10cm. That's an automatic scale of 102.5%! Over the length of a dress this can make a big difference, going up by about half a dress size. When you're sewing close-fitting clothes, this is a paramount difference. I've learned my difference: do NOT print "borderless" in Adobe Illustrator.
I thought I'd better post about this for the benefit of everyone who has this trouble, not just sewers and pattern makers. I hope it has helped you as much as it will me. :)