Sunday, 7 January 2018

Grey lace blob - progress!

So I was knitting this in January last year - I might as well blog about it, finally! Even though it is now way after the fact. Oh well.

I am getting on very well with my grey lace project:

I've got the flower done, but I can't believe how much there is still left to do:

I thought this would be finished when I reached the part that shows just a top right hand corner under the pink Post-it. My first photocopy didn't cover the whole chart, this second copy captures the top.

Once I get to the top of this third row of flowers, then I should be done!

And would you believe it: even though I had a full two skeins of this Fyberspates lace yarn, I still ran out. Gah. The colour name turns out to be nothing like steel, or grey or silver and whatever I had fondly imagined, nope, it is water. 'Water'. Oh. Okay.

I bought the two skeins at Alexandra Palace at least three years ago, probably longer. I couldn't get the same dye lot anywhere. So I had to go with a contrast.

I chose the dark blue colour which is called 'midnight'.

Here is the final project photo:

And it is a really, really big size. Almost too large to wear as a shawl - it's more of a table cloth. Hm. Not much use to me right now but at least I had lots of fun knitting this.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

I sewed a little more

[Oh darn: this draft is from some time earlier in the year. Oops, forgot]

I have made a bit more progress on a couple of things. But nothing seems to get done easily, let alone quickly.

Issues with two skirts:

My black and white wool skirt still needs the inside corner of the vent sorted out, I'm not happy that I haven't done that yet. And I thought I was done with my second self-drafted wool skirt, the one in the heathery pinkish-red.  It isn't!  Sneef!

I had blind hemmed the bottom of the wool fabric hem to make sure it would lie flat. Then I hand sewed the lining to it. Well guess what: now the lining pulls at the skirt in plenty of places and I basically have to re-do that.

Or pull the blind hemming back out and I'd have to un-do and re-do at least some of the sewing on the lining for that too. It's not exactly a win-win situation - I'll have to do quite a bit of work either way. I do have the feeling that the blind hemming could continue to be a problem. Bother!

Update: I finally got started on this and it didn't even take long. Does it ever? You just build up this problem in your head and it seems insurmountable!  I put lots of pins into place and released the lining - sewing it back was the work of a half hour at most.

Here is the problem of the black and white skirt:

Folding the hem the wrong way at the back vent looks terrible!  Really amateurish.

Here is the inside:

I did plumb up the open bit a little so it's easier to see in a photo. But the fabric might have done that by inside when wearing so this definitely couldn't stay the way it was.

Another update: I finally got over the "but I've already hand-sewn it on!" feeling and re-did it. Again, it didn't take nearly as long as anticipated.

I don't like the asymetric jersey top in the Brushstrokes pattern, I can't see myself wear it because it doesn't look very nice on me. I am losing weight at the moment because I'm counting calories but it doesn't seem to affect my waist line in the slightest so the problem with this top will continue. Plus I'm bound to put weight back on at some point.

I need to get a photo taken of me wearing this to illustrate the issue:


Also: it doesn't help that the lining now turns towards the outside which you can see in the badly fuzzy photo on the left. Grumble.

- - -

I long wanted to make a dress with a waist seam in the shape of an inverted V or chevron. This shape might be called 'swallow wings'.  I didn't have the right sort of pattern and thought I could draw this myself, but I never did.

I found New Look 6183 which has this waist seam but it also has some rouching along the top of the front side panels where they meet the centre front panel. I wasn't keen on those but I tried the original side panel piece when I tried out my toile, and then folded the side panel piece to suppress some of the excessive length so I could sew this other side with less gathering.

I liked the lesser amount better because I feel that it won't show up my big tummy as much as the original rouching would.  Not sure if that's wishful thinking.


There are no bust darts: the top pieces are gathered under each bust. This is a style I have not tried before so it'll be interesting to evaluate.

I had set aside a cheap viscose fabric that I got in a closing down sale. This is a fabric that irons wonderfully well and drapes quite well too.  It is a fabric that's quite light though and the flimsiness means that this is slightly difficult to sew: both my overlocking and the straight stitches wrinkle up and make the seams pull.

A good press makes this a bit better but doesn't fix it altogether.  Rough skin on my hands also gets stuck on this fabric and I find that I have to drag it over my ironing board because it clings to it as well. I've never encountered this problem before!

These problems mean that I got rather disenchanted with carrying on with this dress and feel that I need to try the pattern in another fabric. It would be interesting to see if which gathering I prefer in a less light fabric.

So glad I managed to sort out the vent on the black and white skirt, hopefully I'm making progress with other things too. Fingers crossed.

Onwards and upwards!

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Spiral flounces!

Oh dear, I haven't posted in too long. I have been crafting but just not blogged about it. Still, there's lots ot catch up on then!

Just to show you what I'm working on right now, i.e. a little taster:

Spiral flounces!

I already pinned the two layers together. The outside curve is not perfect in so far as the distance between them meanders in and out rather a bit but I don't care.

I reckon they're pretty good for a first attempt. And it wasn't even as difficult as I feared:

This is what spiral ruffles look like when you straighten them out:

The top part will follow the curve of the neckline to begin with, starting from the shoulder yoke:

And the bottom part will then run alongside the blouse's button band:

I wasn't able to straighten this out completely for the photo, but you get the idea.

This is traced off the Oxfam blouse that I bought and liked a lot, expect for its pasty light blue colour and the fact that it is rather baggy under the arms. That the bust darts didn't point in quite the right direction didn't help either - all issues I can solve in a traced off pattern!

I will re-visit the paper pattern pieces and check about the outside curve. I hadn't thought to superimpose them to check how they would look one on top of the other. Now that I think about it, that would have been the obvious course of action! But you live and you learn.

I'll adjust the pattern pieces for the event that I want to make this again in another fabric.

I must say that I really adore the shapes that this spiral ruffles make. I wonder how big you could go? Must try that.