Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Evening all, how are the trials of winter treating you?  Grumble grumble grumble.  Ok, so it's not proper winter yet and it's actually been unseasonably warm today, but still, ugh. Darkness. My brain is still lingering in the Portuguese sunshine and Daylight Savings really sucks ass.

It could also be that I'm already grumpy because I've had to order new glasses for my tragically ageing eyesight.  Oh for the youthful days when I still had perfect vision.  It's not so bad as I only need them for distance, but that does mean that my job won't pay for them as I don't need them to use a computer.  Booooooo.  I have also learned that when you're a cheapskate who refuses to pay for anything but the cheapest frames there is a very fine line between middle-aged shushy librarian and PAY ATTENTION TO ME I'M SO HIPSTER!  Hopefully I won't utterly hate the glasses when I go to pick them up.

Sooooo, now that I've bitched enough about my own eyes, how about I ruin everyone else's?

Kapow! Are your retinas bleeding?

This little beauty which escaped from the UFO mountain this summer is Posse from Rowan magazine 51, knit in the specified Cotton Glace, which I now HATE with a fiery passion.  It was not easy to weave in these ends, and holy tuna there were thousands of them.

That's just the stripy neckline, so you can imagine how messy the back of the intarsia looks.  Since mercerised cotton doesn't stick to itself like wool does I had to leave a bit of end still attached so it didn't start unravelling - I've tried to strike the balance between so long it drives me crazy and so short it sticks through to the outside.  I've...mostly succeeded but there already a few stragglers which I'm stoically ignoring.

It's also a little on the cropped side which I don't really love, but that might just be because I don't really own a whole lot of suitable clothes to wear with cropped jumpers, so maybe I'll grow to love it.  Or perhaps it'll stretch?  Is that a thing?  How about if I get it really wet and hang weights off the hem?  Hmm. Probably not the best idea. 

This was photographed a while ago, pre tripod and remote, so I managed to persuade Martin to take one decentish picture on my phone before he got bored and wandered off to play truck simulators or something.  So make the most of it, awkward and fuzzy as it is, because I am far too busy skipping around in my Insane Stripes of Joy to take another one.

P.S. If you think this is bright, wait till you see what I'm making right now - it's not for everyday consumption so it doesn't need to be as tasteful and restrained as this was.  Oh god, I can't wait to wear this...

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Sun lounging

I'm writing this on my phone on holiday - I'm not sure about the mobile app for blogger and I definitely don't like the app,  so who knows how this is going to look when I hit publish.  (I miss WordPress a bit but I'm wondering whether 3 posts into the blog resurrection is a bit premature to think about moving it.) I suppose this is my comeuppance for not blogging about this sooner, but on the other hand I'M ON HOLIDAY!  I have made a thing for the sun which is ACTUALLY BEING WORN! IN REAL LIFE SUNSHINE! I may even get someone to take a picture of me on a sun lounger before I publish to prove it. 

When I say I should have blogged about this sooner I actually mean a month ago, before my pyjamas, and before another dress which I haven't even photographed yet, which means that this is the very first garment I've made from a pdf pattern - celebrating the fact that I finally got round to buying a new printer.  It's also the first thing I sewed from start to finish in years and I wanted to just whizz through it without getting stifled with ideas of perfection,  which hopefully explains why I didn't even consider matching the prints or...err...making a muslin. I should have made a muslin. The pattern (Mojave) is from Seamwork, so it's designed to be simple enough to not really need a muslin but yeesh.  The thing was gargantuan. 

I mean come on,  I know it's supposed to be an easy breezy loose bikini cover up, but surely the point of a bikini cover up is that it, you know, covers up some of your bikini? And the back? 

Oh, hello potato sack. All is good now though,  after hiking up the shoulders about an inch I cut a centre back seam which took a good 5 inches out of the top and up to 6 or 7 at the waist! 

It's still a little bit 'is there a stealth pregnancy under here?' in the front, but woohoo! I have a spine again!  Definitely good enough for lounging outside the holiday villa...

Yeah baby!  Trashy novel - check.  Gin and tonic - check.  Wet patches on my boobs to prove that I have been in an unheated pool,  outside, in mid-October - check.  Love you Portugal x

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Spritzer pyjamas

Hey everyone, I accidentally made pyjamas!

I didn't think I would ever put time and effort into making pyjamas, but I honestly don't want to take these off, they're so comfy.  I'd originally bought the harlequin fabric a couple of months ago with the intention of sewing obnoxious workout leggings, but when it arrived I thought it was a little flimsy for something so skintight.  Since it was a teensy bit louder than something I'd otherwise inflict on the general public I decided to put it to one side for possible future PJs.

Then about a month ago Sew Independent released a bundle of mostly knit sewing patterns and a few days later announced a competition based on any patterns by the collaborating designers, and my fate was sealed.  Although the bundle included some awesome patterns, some of which were already in my wishlist, I have more or less no experience sewing knits so I figured it made sense to start with some of the simpler designs!

This frankly magnificent set is therefore comprised of the Pinot pants and the free Tonic tshirt,both from Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick patterns.  I've just about squeezed the trousers and sleeves out of only a metre of the harlequin fabric, and the rest is some 4 way lycra from Tia Knight.  This fabric feels lovely but it wrinkles really easily!  I ironed it when I finished the project and by the time I'd put it on the tshirt was already wrinkly - let's be honest though, this is the only time these are ever going to see an iron, I'm definitely not a PJ-ironing person.

The waistband of the trousers uses 1 3/4" wide elastic, and of course I had already cut the pattern pieces before I realised that it was really sodding hard to find that width of elastic in England!  I was very happy to eventually find some on eBay, and since all the colours were the same price I had to buy the green one despite the fact that no one will see it INCLUDING ME.  It's the little things.

I've stitched the seams on my overlocker, and the hems are finished on my sewing machine with a twin needle. 

The feed on my overlocker is apparently a bit uneven (saaad sad little underarm corners), so I'll have to remember to baste my seams first if I want to match them in the future on garments that will see the outside of my flat.

The neckline band of the Tonic is sewn on with the overlocker and then topstitched by machine - I really like this finish, much easier than I thought it would be for a professional looking edge.

I love the twin needle finish as well!  It's a bit ribbly-bibbly on the tshirt as my machine manual doesn't consider twin needles an eventuality that they need to cover so I was making things up as I went along, but I'd managed to figure out the correct tension on the trousers and sleeves so it lies much flatter and neater.

I'm going round to Martin's mum's for dinner tonight so it's probably more appropriate for me to put actual clothes on, but I really want to spend the rest of the evening in these.  Oh well.

Voting on the competition opens soon and there are 3 different categories so you don't have to feel obliged to vote for me (unless you're my mum), but I promise lots of silly faces if you do!

Eh, who am I kidding, I have a tripod and remote control now, there will be loads of silly photos anyway.