Saturday, 18 February 2012

$25 Craftsy Classes!!!

So, for those few of you have who yet to discover Craftsy, it's a website providing online craft classes. I first discovered it through Gertie over on her blog when she ran one of the courses. It's called Sew Retro: Perfect Bombshell Dresses. The detail of the course is great, and very easy to follow. It makes difficult tasks very do-able :)

Anyway, I've since signed up for a few of their FREE classes, and have continued to be impressed. When I learned that Gertie was running another course, this time on tailoring called Sew Retro: The Starlet Suit Jacket, I immediately wanted to sign up. Sadly even at half price the course was more expensive than last time, and I know I'm not going to be tailoring anything at the moment as I have several other projects on the go over the next few months, so I decided to leave it for now. Same goes for the Couture Dress course ran by Susan Khalje. Susan Khalje!! And the jeans class run by Kenneth King!! My control was wearing very thin.

Then, this morning while innocently reading through the blog updates in my blogfeed, what do I see courtesy of Sew Well? Today, all of their classes are available for $25! I gave in. It was meant to be! I fear I signed up for all three :)

If you cast your eyes down to the right you'll notice pretty badges for each of them.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Wedding Bolero Part 3

Sorry this has been so long in coming. Once I uploaded the photos of it on to my laptop I decided I wasn't happy with the quality of the pictures. I had to wait till I visited my sister then raid her cupboard :) Anyway, here are the long promised pictures.

This is a close up of the back. You can really see the detail of the embroidery and bead work. You can also see how I matched up the motifs to give a symmetrical design.

With the front pieces I used up the remaining motifs. They were simpler and didn't detract from the beauty of the dress itself. You can see what I meant about the lining being rather transparent, but hey ho. That's what happens when you order fabric online.

I had great fun trying to make sure all the motifs were positioned in the same place, and the correct way round. I had to be careful not to lose the beads. They were all sewn on with one thread so I had to keep securing the thread where ever I cut the beading thread. I little annoying, but easily solved.

Here's  the rest of the lining. I attached it all the way round the edges of the bolero, and hand sewed both sleeves. The fabric was quite stiff here, and it was easier to ensure a neat join this way. Anyway, definitely one of my more successful projects.

Next up I'm working on a kimono for my sister. She's anime (Japanese cartoons) mad and picked the below fabric and pattern.

I have all the pieces traced out I just need to get cutting!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Wedding Bolero Part 2

Before starting on the bolero I looked through all the bolero patterns I had. These were either in Burda magazine, or Sew magazine, but I wasn't happy with any of them. I had a very clear idea of how I wanted it to look. In a bid to find a starting point I trailed round several occasion wear shops looking at the boleros available. Eventually I found the one pictured above in BHS. I didn't like the fabric, or the price comes to that, but bought it so I could copy the pattern.

I carefully used the bolero to make a copy of its pattern. The original bolero had princess lines front and back, but I knew I only had a very limited amount of fabric, so I eliminated these. I used an old sheet to make a mock-up for my sister to try on. I used pins to pin out excess fabric, and to play with potential designs lines. Then I drew directly on to the toile so I could take out the pins and transfer the changes to my paper pattern. Below is a picture of the toile complete with pen marks. You can also see where I cut up the front in an effort to figure out what shape the front pattern piece should be. You can see from the markings that I needed to remove quite a bit of material.


Look at the beauties that arrived in the post yesterday morning. I was working so I couldn't start putting them to good use. Instead I took them to work and read the instructions during my breaks. Anyone else enjoy doing this? ;)

With this on my mind, I was thinking the only style missing from the Renfrew is a polo neck or turtleneck if you will. I think it would be quite easy to adapt for that style though. Raise the neckline and use a rectangle of fabric for the collar. In my search for inspiration I also discovered Burda 9-2010-121.

How easy would it be to adjust the renfrew top. I definitely want to have ago at this. If you google it you can see some of the lovely things people have made using this pattern. The collar is an all in one facing. You tuck it inside and sew down the sides of the neckline to secure it. What you think?

Next bolero post up shortly.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Wedding Bolero Part 1

My sister's wedding bolero was definitely a labour of love. Thinking about it now, I can't believe I agreed to REMOVE something from my sister's very expensive wedding dress. I knew I could make the bolero, but detaching the sash was not fun, and my heart was thumping away. When I first suggested making the bolero my intention was to unpick the sash from the waist band, and hem. The hem was simple enough. It was essentially tacked to the bottom of the dress at each corner of the sash. These were easily unpicked, and the embroidery and beading on the dress continued under the sash so there was no unsightly empty patch remaining. The problem occurred at the waistband. When I looked at the dress in the shop, it was needless to say fairly brief, and with my sister standing in the dress, not very detailed, I certainly couldn't look inside. When we brought it home (1 week before the wedding!!!) and I looked at the waistband I realised that not only would I have to unpick the lining inside the dress (I should have realised this), but that the sash was sewn into the zipper at the centre back, not the side of the zipper as I had assumed. Aaagh! The dress was also very heavy as there is lots of fabic, beading and embroidery. I was very reluctant to unpick any of the waistband where the skirt was attached to the bodice, as I knew there was a lot of strain on this seam. And unpicking, and redoing the zipper was a big no-no. Especially with the lace/gauze overlay. No way. And only having a week to make it in, I didn't have the luxury of time which would be required.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Confession time

So, as usual I haven't been on here in months. Aah, that's a lie. I go on blogger most days. I've guiltily looked at my blog at the top of the page and quickly scrolled down to my blog feed. Naughty me. And what prompted this terrible behaviour, I hear you ask. Well... I still haven't finished my Colette Sencha blouse. Don't get me wrong. I love the pattern still. It sewed up like a dream. I learnt so much, catch stitch is a new favourite for instance. Just look at this beautiful stitching.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Work in progress

So, I'm still around. As you can probably tell from the above picture I'm currently knitting a pair (well, still singular actually) of socks. This is my first time using double pointed needles and knitting in the round. It is a lot easier than it looks I am pleased to say. I am especially pleased with how the heel turned out. It's like magic how the shape appears from the stitches as you knit. Looking at the instructions you think this is never going to work, I'm going to have a holey mess, but voila. For those of you interested, here's a close up.