Sunday, 30 April 2017

Me Made May 2017

There is nothing like leaving things to the last minute.

I, Katrina of RollingEyeballs pledge to wear only me made clothes including underwear and outerwear as far as is possible for the duration of the month of May 2017.

I needed this to be a challenge, and as I wear me made clothes most of the time, including underwear and outerwear makes it a challenge.  I currently only have one me made bra, but I do have 3 UFO bras needing to be finished.  I should be able to do this relatively quickly as I only wear softcup bras, I don't have enough bust to warrant a structure that resembles the Forth Bridge.

Of course you'll have to take my word for it that I'm wearing me made underwear as I certainly don't plan posting pictures of me in my underwear.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The decade that style forgot - oh no I wasn't born in the 80s

The theme this month on The Monthly Stitch was to make something from or inspired by the decade of your birth.  I know it will seem hard to believe but I was born in the 1970s, it's official I'm vintage.

I have to say I have never felt the need to revisit the 70s (let alone the 80s, been there done that, still having the nightmares) as I was only nine years old by the time the 80s rolled around, so I had very little say in what I worn in the 70s.  I remember a lot of polyester and nylon, I think I must have had a static charge for the whole decade, so I was a little stumped as to what to make, then I remembered Clothkits.


I wore a lot of Clothkits clothes in the 70s that my Mum made for me, I think it is where my love of sewing started.  I bought a vintage Clothkits Maxi skirt from Ebay a couple of years ago and it has sat not being sewn since then.  When Jennifer Lauren released the Ivy Pinafore last year, it made me think of this Clothkits kit sitting in my stash, and so the Clothkits Ivy was born.


It's not that easy to see but there is a navy printed pattern along the bottom of the hem, printed corduroy (or cotton for that matter) was a trademark of Clothkits.  I'm wearing the pinafore here with the Jennifer Lauren Gable Top.

This is a short swing dress and I have to remember not to bend over or I will be flashing my nickers.  Getting pictures in February is not that easy, this is how I was dressed for the rest of the walk.

Bonnie was not that impressed I was faffing about having my picture taken, not fussing her.



Friday, 3 February 2017

What I did on my Winter Holiday

Fluffrick and I (and the two dogs of course) have just spent the last week on the lovely Isle of Arran, at the Auchrannie resort.

The weather has not been this good all week, so I've got a lot of sewing done.  I am the crazy lady that takes her sewing machine on holiday with her.  This is not quite a crazy as it sounds, first of all we drive here and then we stay in a lovely self catering house, with lots of room for me to spread out my sewing stuff.

So I brought nine projects with me (maybe a little over the top) and I have managed to finish seven of them, not bad going.

So first of all I completed my second Grainline Moss Mini (I got this pattern in the Indie Pattern Swap last year in IPM on The Monthly Stitch).  I have no idea what the fabric it, it has been in my stash a long time, but I thought it was a good neutral colour that would go with lots of things (and it goes with my stripey tights).
I'm wearing it with my next make a Navy Jennifer Lauren Handmade Gable Top.  This top is so quick to make and I don't even have an overlocker.


I took about 5cm of the length of the top and the sleeves, because I had only bought 75cm of fabric.  I bought the Gable Dress expansion pack last week, so I definitely see a Gable dress in my future.

Next is another Compagnie M Susanne Cardigan.  This is my forth time making this pattern (first time blogging about) and I just love it.  I also have it in a purple marl ponte, a teal boiled wool and a cycles jersey.  As with most Compagnie M patterns there are wonderful feature pockets.

I am really happy with this cardigan despite the look on my face!


Hagrid always seems to think two heads are better than one.



I did do a little unselfish sewing, I made a wallet for my goodie bag swap for the next Yorkshire Spoolettes meet-up - so no photo yet.  And I made another pair of Thread Theory Jedediah Pants for Fluffrick from a lovely soft corduroy.  Fluffrick says these are the most comfortable trousers he owns, this is the third pair I have made for him, a forth will be on the way soon.


And my final two makes are Blueprints for Sewing Saltbox Top and a third pair of Itch to Stitch Liana Jeans.  The Saltbox Top has been on my to make list for over a year now and I'm glad I finally got round to making it.  It's quite a loose fitting top, so I may go down a size next time.  The Liana Jeans are definitely my go to jeans pattern and I made this pair out of only 1m of fabric (the fabric was 1.6m wide).  These jeans aren't quite finish, they only have one back pocket at the moment.  These jeans were already half made before the holiday and when I was trying to get all my supplies together last Saturday morning I couldn't find the second rear pocket.  I'll put it on when we get back home, as it does look a little weird with only one pocket.



Home tomorrow, hopefully it won't be too wet a drive.  It would be nice if Arran wasn't a 55 minute ferry ride and five hour drive away from home, but it's worth the effort.



Wednesday, 25 January 2017

This is not a New Year's Resolution

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions; you are just setting yourself up to fail (me cynical, no).  Many a diary has been started on January 1st, only to be discarded before the month is out.  So this is in no way shape for form a New Year’s Resolution; but I do need to get control of my stash.  I sew therefore I stash.  It’s not so much my fabric stash that disturbs me (although it is considerable and has been slowly multiplying over 30 years), but my pattern stash, especially the PDF patterns.  Most are printed off, stuck together and cut to my size, that’s a lot of work for me then not to be using them.

For me most PDF sewing patterns (or the Big 4 printed patterns for that matter) are impulse buys.  See pretty thing, buy pretty thing, all too often do not make pretty thing.  Last November Sew Over It released the Heather Dress, a snugly ponte winter dress with all important integrated pockets and it was only £7.  However, for once I resisted the temptation, I thought those design lines look not dissimilar to the Muse Philippa Dress, I already have the pattern for the Muse Philippa Dress, I have had it for months and not made it up, I know I will make a snugly ponte Philippa winter dress.  Of course I had to buy new fabric to make it, but that’s a different story.  So here it is

Whatever am I saying?


It’s a little longer and a little looser fitting than the Heather dress, but really comfy and very snugly.  I used the Narrow sleeves from the Muse Sleeve Pattern pack, I self drafted a neck band (85% of the neck circumference), also I didn’t insert a zip, I can get it on and off without one.  I stabilised the pocket opening with some elastic, but it was maybe a little too bulky and in hindsight unnecessary, I don’t think the pockets will stretch out.  The only other change and the reason for the dress being looser fitting, is I cut the side back and centre back out together to eliminate the curved seam, which probably added a few centimetres of ease at the waist, I did contemplate removing the ease with a fisheye dart, bit I’m ok with it being on the loose side.

And it's loose enough to give Bonnie Hugs




So that’s one PDF pattern used and likely to be used again, many more to go.  Top of the list are two Blueprints for Sewing Patterns, the Saltbox Top and the A-Frame Skirt, the Rosari Skirt by Pauline Alice and the Tahi Skirt by Muse Patterns.  Not to mention, The Jutland Pants by Thread Theory, the Jasper Top by Paprika Patterns and the Gable Top by Jennifer Lauren Handmade.  That should keep my busy for a little while.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Age Appropriate Sewing

So today is the 29th anniversary of me passing my driving test, I passed when I was 17, so you can do the maths.  So what should someone of my advancing years, sew and wear - answer, what ever the hell they want.

I do have a fondness for novelty prints and as I'm not much of a dress wearer, skirts it is.

I made this skirt at the end of 2015 (I may be a little behind on my blogging) to wear to a screening of Star Wars - The Force Awakens.

Here is a close up of the fabric.

I used the ever trusty New Look 6106.  I can now make this skirt out of only 1 metre (or in this case 1 yard) of fabric and add a bit of fullness to the front, just by setting the front as far away from the fold as the fabric will allow.  I need to do the waist and pocket facings in a co-ordinating fabric, but as they are not seen, I don't have a problem with that.


 Next up is a wonderful Foxy skirt.  I have a love of orange, so was very happy to find a fabric to make another skirt to go with this cardigan.  I made it again using New Look 6106.


And last but not least another Cycle skirt (and two lovely doggies - note to self I must find some lovely doggy fabric).

Here is a close up.

This time I used Megan Nielsen's Brumby Skirt, slightly modified to fit into 1.25 metres of 115cm wide fabric.  I had to reduce the width of the skirt slightly and make the pockets a tad less vast, but it's still swooshy enough.

All the skirts are suitable for dog walking (very important) and suitable for work (I maybe work in a more laid back office than most) and entirely age appropriate I feel. 

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The Seamstress Tag

So here are my answers to "The Seamstress Tag" as initiated by Hollie of Hollie Sews.  I know I’m a little late to the game, but I thought I’d join in as my answers may be a little different and I like being different.

1 Who are you?
Katrina, I’m 46 and live in lovely green Sheffield, with my husband Fluffrick our two rescue dogs Hagrid and Bonnie and my Mum.


2 When and why did you start sewing?
I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t sew.  I know I already knew my way around a sewing machine when I started sewing lesson at Secondary school when I was 12.  My Mum used to sew clothes (often Clothkits) for me and my brother when we were little, so there was always sewing in our house.  I then took an ‘O’ level in Sewing (I’m that old I did ‘O’ levels not GCSE’s), but I kept on sewing as a teenager and into my twenties to save money.  Comparatively clothes were not that cheap in the late Eighties, early Nineties, so I could make clothes much more cheaply than buying RTW.

3 What is your favourite or proudest make?
My proudest make if definitely my Wedding dress, I made it using Vintage Vogue V2401 in Scarlet Dupion Silk.
My favourite make is probably my ‘Star Wars’ skirt, I mean who wouldn’t want to wear a skirt with a Wookie on it.

4 What is you most disastrous make?
I can’t really think of any truly disastrous makes.  I tried to make my brother a suit for his eighteenth birthday, grey trousers and a tweedy jacket and my first time every using a Vogue pattern.  He had already worn out the trousers by the time I got around the finishing the jacket, sometime around his twenty first birthday.  I don’t know if he ever really wore the jacket.  I do have about 20 items in my wardrobe that I have made that just need a tweak to make them more wearable, but I wouldn’t call any of them disastrous.

5 What is your favourite place to go fabric shopping?
I try my hardest not to go fabric shopping.  When you have been sewing for over 30 years you accumulate a lot of stuff - Fabric, more fabric, even more fabric, zips, buttons, thread, patterns, pattern magazines, sewing books.  I do like John Lewis, but these days only buy fabric in the sale and there is Fine Fabrics in Hillsborough that is good for a rummage.  Where possible I like to re-purpose fabric from existing RTW garments, so charity shops are great for that. I do love Fabworks in Dewsbury, I just really glas it is in Dewsbury and not just round the corner.

6 What is your most used pattern?
That would probably be Paprika Patterns Onyx Top I have made at least 12 different iterations (as seen in OWOP 2016).  I have also used New Look 6106 many, many times (as seen in OWOP 2014) and I have 8 different versions of the Tilly and the Buttons Coco Dress and Top.  When I find a pattern I like I tend to make it over and over again.


7 What is your most dreaded sewing task?
Pressing; because I hate ironing, which is why I choose to make the vast majority of my clothes in natural fibres, I must be a masochist.

8 And your favourite sewing task?
My favourite sewing task is related to my biggest sewing bug bear, which are ridiculous pattern layouts and excessive fabric requirements.  I love playing a life sized game of Tetris to try and fit the pattern pieces onto the smallest amount of fabric, whilst maintaining grainline or choosing to place pattern pieces on the cross grain, or occasionally on the bias.  I am also not averse to adding a centre back seams in order to reduce the fabric requirement.  A simple pencil skirt should never need more than 1m of 150cm wide fabric!



9 What is your favourite sewing entertainment?
Cycling.  Road races, Track Cycling, Grand tours, one day classics, I love to watch cycling, but a race can last over six hours, so there is a lot of time to sew and if something exciting happens there is always an action replay.  Tonight I will be watching the second day of Six Days of London, whilst finish my Melissa Dress and possibly starting a Brumby skirt.  I also love a good box set and feel the need to watch all seven seasons of "Gilmore Girls" before the new episodes arrive on Netflix on November 25th.

10 Printed or PDF?
PDF, for Indie patterns PDFs as they are cheaper than printed patterns.  Also when I forget to put pattern pieces back in their envelope and loose them, I can always print them out again.

11 What sewing machine do you use?
John Lewis JL300C, it does everything I need, in 35 years of sewing I have not been able to justify getting an overlocker.

12 Do you have any other hobbies?
I enjoy knitting, but I’m very slow at it.  I have tried crochet, but me and don’t get on.  I enjoy cooking and find new and wonderful vegetarian recipes to inflict on the Mum and husband.


Sunday, 18 September 2016

One Week One Pattern - Onyx Shirt

I took part in OWOP 2014 hosted by the lovely Handmade Jane and foolishly chose the skirt New Look 6106, I had a bit of a chilly week.  So when I read that Hannah of Cinderellis Sews was hosting this year I decided to select and easily layer-able pattern.  I chose the Paprika Patterns Onyx Shirt, it was an easy choice as I have 11 different versions of it already and plan on having more. 

Saturday 10th
Although Onyx is designed for woven's this is my sweatshirt version and a warning to check the scale of a print before buying fabric online.
Sunday 11th
This is my very first version of the Onyx Shirt, that I made from recycling a man's shirt. However, it was my least worn, as it was a little tight and looked like scrubs.  OWOP made me try and resolve these issues, so I added a bit of width to the back and made the cuffs in a contract colour.  I will now wear it a lot.


Monday 12th
I love this red version, it's a lovely quality cotton (I also have it in a blue colour ways) and is definitely a dressier iteration.  This may not be the best picture, but it had added Bonnie in it.

Tuesday 13th
The weather decided to be changeable today, so the leggings out and my check tunic version went on (I always worry that this looks like an Australian school uniform and I am no schoolgirl).


Wednesday 14th
Better weather today, so the top that looks like I made it from a tablecloth came out.  In person the green cardigan didn't look out of place as there is a green check next to the red check, the photo just doesn't pick it up very well.  This photo with added Hagrid.

Thursday 15th
My subtle stripe dress version today.  I liked the split hem on the Inari Tee, so I copied it. What you can't see are my matching purple Vans.

Friday 16th - Day
This is a t-shirt version of the Onyx and it's only really the cuffs that don't like the softer stretchier fabric.  I'm wearing it here with my Grainline Moss Mini, and a surprisingly still Bonnie and I didn't even have any biscuits.

Friday 16th - Evening
A colour-blocked dress version, inspired by the Christine Haynes Lottie dress.  This was made with fabric that has been sitting in my stash for well over a year and I'm really happy how the dress came out, especially the hidden pockets.

One week, eight different looks, one very versatile pattern 
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