What do you do with a bag full of outgrown pyjamas? Chop them up of course and make a snuggly little quilt for these cold winter nights!
As many would appreciate our shape changes over the years and we find that a pattern needs to be tweaked more than it used to be. Gone is the day when I could whip up a pattern in an afternoon and only adjust the length. While sewing skills improve over time, I still struggle with adjustments for a full bust and curvy hips. But I now have a new friend, Hazel, who has come to the rescue.
Hazel is such a help, she tries on items any number of times without grumbling and doesn’t mind if it’s in various stages of construction or if she gets stuck with pins. Hazel is my new self-made custom dress-form.
I’d been thinking of a dress-form for some time and while I had considered a duct-tape version, I thought that there had to be something better. I came across the Bootstrap version when wandering through some favourite sewing U-Tube videos and felt encouraged to give it a go.
The process is quite straight forward. You select the type you want, enter in multiple measurements and, in my case, 20 minutes later I had a custom pattern for my own body double. The sewing took some time and the instructions are long but not difficult. Hazel sits very proudly in my sewing room and has been a great help with projects since.
If you are considering doing the same, below are the You-Tube videos that inspired me to give it a go and a link to the site. And before you ask I haven’t been sponsored; just sharing a good find with fellow sewers. Enjoy!
The construction process
Filling out her curves
Standing tall ready for action
How to Make
How to Make Detailed
It’s only seven (yes seven!!) weeks until Christmas. I have this vague list of things I want to make for gifts and realised today that firm action is required to firstly define this list and secondly to complete the list!!
My basket of projects awaits! Let’s get sewing
Yes I’ve been tardy with my blog and no I haven’t done any sewing to speak of in weeks. I’ve been a little distracted. Over the past weeks I’ve been focussed upon preparations for an overseas trip; that’s all I’ve been working on in my spare time. But trips to Paris, Amsterdam, London and Dublin can do that to you!!
If nothing else Hazel taught me to embrace all aspects of life, not just those moments behind the sewing machine. So perhaps my blog should reflect more than one aspect of a life lived. There is so much to experience, enjoy, share and love.
So I shan’t be doing much sewing for the next few weeks either. But I shall be aiming to share our adventure with you; stay tuned!!
It’s a bit sad! It’s too hot to sew, who’d of thought? We’ve had way too many days in the high 30’s (that’s over 100 in old money) and when it’s so hot I can’t sleep, can’t think and so can’t sew. Come on cool change? What’s it like where you are?
My goal this year is to not buy any clothes for myself and to refresh my wardrobe with items that I like enough wear but also fit well and look good. I’ve just completed the first of my wardrobe basics; a navy pair of pants. You may recall in an earlier post that I decided to try out Butterick B5222 by Connie Crawford; it had been described by several reviews as a great pants pattern that suits all sizes and shapes.
Well I stitched the last stitch to them today and voila!! I’m pretty happy with the outcome for two reasons: firstly this is the first pair of pants I’ve made for about 20 years and secondly, while not perfect, I’m pretty happy with the outcome and know that I’m going to be happy to wear them.
The fabric (a poly-viscose from my Tessuti stash) was a dream to sew and they pressed up very nicely. I’m glad I did the muslin beforehand as I ended up making a few adjustments to the pattern. I like the fit around my hips and bottom and across my tummy; given the roundness of these areas a good fit has always been a challenge for me. I adjusted the back seam more that the pattern required and next time I’ll lower the top of the back; it sits a bit high. I should have adjusted the pattern further to take account of required length as I still needed to cut more off each leg and had to make adjustments so that the hem would sit correctly and this is always tricky. But given that pants with side pockets don’t always sit well on me I’m very happy with these.
My only criticisms are minor. Given that this pattern is specially designed for full-figured women’s proportions like me, I’m a little disappointed that so much information was included in the instructions for armhole, bust and shoulder adjustments – a bit odd for a pants only pattern. The adjustment guide for the crotch fit was good and for the back seam but there was really nothing for a round tummy. I would however use this pattern again.
End result: a nice pair of pants to wear to work that will go with a few of my favourite tops.
$44 for the fabric,
$5 for the pattern (a special)
$3 for the zipper
$3 for the thread
$0 for the button (stash)
Total of $55
BTW excuse the picture, not my best and doesn’t show off the trousers that well! Oh well.
The princesses were together again today – lots of laughter and giggles with princes saving them after a 100-year sleep. So the elephants were home alone again and being a warm day they were looking for entertainment.
The blue and green elephant enjoyed a book together; the blue elephant in particular.
The silver and gold elephants enjoyed making a lot of noise beating their trunks on a large drum while Buddha preferred the softer music of the water whistle
They then returned to their usual places and rested
I was inspired the other day by one of my favourite bloggers, Sarai at http://www.coletterie.com/, to go from a wardrobe builder to a wardrobe architect. I’ve been thinking about this for a while.
I tend to collect things mostly because they fit and then find something to go with the item I’ve just bought. And I’m sure that you can relate to all those items in your wardrobe that you rarely wear and really don’t like and wonder why well-earned money has been wasted on them. This is the main reason I returned to sewing last year, so that I could build a wardrobe with beautiful fabrics that fits, suits me and I’m happy to wear.
My navy pants that I’m currently making is the first item of clothing that is part of my wardrobe redesign. So Sarai’s project has come up at the perfect time for me. Have a look at her plan; you too may be interested. I’m keen to see how it goes!
I’ve had a little diversion in my sewing this week testing a lovely little pattern for Teri at www.climbingthewillow.com. It was one of my granddaughters’ birthday this week, she turned 4, so this came at an opportune time to make her the lovely Izzy top. I used a lovely cotton that I got from www.kelanifabric.com.au, “Toyland Twinkle” from Alexander Henry Fabrics. It sews up beautifully and suited this pattern very nicely as it drapes very well. From printing the pattern to the final press it took me 4 hours, which included only a small amount of unpicking!! So it makes for a nice little project one afternoon. I’m really looking forward to seeing her in it. Thanks to Teri for sharing this lovely pattern.
Don’t you just love those little stars!!
Saturday was a wonderful balmy evening here and we had all the family around for a relaxed pizza dinner. We enjoyed being able to sit outside chatting and laughing without the usual January high temperatures. The night sky was very clear so the telescope came out to peer at the sliver of the moon and the stars. We had a good long view of the Int. Space Station as it passed overhead but moving way too fast to track with the scope. Jupiter was fantastic, as was the moon – a few wows and cools from both adults and children. Funny watching small children trying to look through the lens keeping one eye shut.
I’ve started sewing up my navy pants today now that the test run went well. It’s just a lovely fabric that I’m going to enjoy wearing. While I sewed I watched a doco-drama; Vincent Van Gogh: Painted with Words.
Vincent has been my favourite artist since I first saw one of his works at the NGV several years ago; I’ve never physically responded to a piece of art like I did that day – it took my breath away. I do so love his use of colour and the emotions he provokes in his work and he certainly captures a beautiful night sky.
Must get back to my sewing and get these pants together before we go off to the movies tonight to see the Secret Life of Walter Mitty; have you seen it yet? This will be my 2nd viewing as I really enjoyed it the 1st time. If you are a bit of a daydreamer I’m sure you’ll like it.
Have a good week