Flat Bottomed Girls ….

We make the rockin’ world go round!

(With apologies to Queen – can’t get that darned song out of my head now!)

I futzed about with the Linda pattern, and did me a Flat Bottom Adjustment, which seemed a heck of a lot easier than a Full Bust one, somehow.  Here’s the altered pattern piece.

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You may be able to see, I was originally thinking of adding a dart, but in the end I decided to just shave some off the hip curve – I eyeballed it too, so reckless.

I managed to squeeze a pair of cropped Linda’s out of my remaining fabric – I was just a couple of frustrating inches away from a second full length pair!  Here they are, all hemmed and just waiting for the waistband.  I need my elastic to arrive in the post before I can finish them, but an initial try on, sans waistband, was encouraging.

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I like to wear cropped trousers on holiday, in the place of shorts.  I think hope they are more flattering.  Meanwhile, in other news.  I bent over last night to pick something up off the floor and heard a tremendous CRACK!  Couldn’t work out what it was at first, but eventually realised one of  my bra ‘wires’ had snapped in two!  The modern ones seem to be made of plastic – who knew?  I got weighed today and I’ve lost another Kg, so that’s 4kgs since new year – a full 2″ off the boobage, and my jeans are now comfortable to do up.

This is a bit of a dilemma really, as I have lots of sewing planned, but I don’t want to make a load of clothes that won’t fit me in 6 months time. :o/

I’ve cut out a 3rd version of my TNT skirt pattern, the Cake Hummingbird.  I don’t know if you can see it, but the dark blue denim has gold shimmery lycra woven in it, it’s gorgeous!  I had to think really hard about whether to ‘waste’ it on a skirt that might not fit for long, but hey, I’ve got to have clothes to wear now.   So I’m diving in.  The floral pocket lining is just a FQ of quilting cotton I bought in a random florals bundle from ebay ages ago – this is the last piece.  Purty, ain’t it?Image


Style Arc Linda Pants

Bengaline??  What on earth is it?  The Style Arc patterns often recommend this mysterious fabric for their trouser patterns.  The tiny sample they send attached to each pattern affords a tantalising clue.

I found the most helpful blog post about Bengaline here.  And Anne gave me her permission to link to it, thank you!

I duly purchased 3 metres of quality Chocolate Brown Bengaline from Nortex Mill, which arrived very swiftly, and all was revealed … Bengaline is the stuff school trousers are made of!  It’s the tightly woven, hard wearing poly/viscose/lycra fabric that makes a ‘zippy’ sound when your legs brush together!  It’s very stretchy, but only in one direction, which means, for trousers, you need to lay your pattern pieces across the fabric instead of along – so that you get the stretchiness across your butt.

I’ve had the Style Arc Linda pattern in my stash for ages, just waiting for the right fabric to come along, and the necessary motivation to attempt making some trousers, albeit of the ‘pull on’ variety – fly fronts will come this year, I’m sure, but for now I’m sticking with easy.

And wow, are these easy!  I made my first pair up in about 3 hours, and that’s including cutting out.  There are only 3 pattern pieces; front, back and waistband.   It couldn’t be any easier.  I sewed them up on my overlocker, being so stretchy it seemed the best and most secure way.  For topstitching the waistband, I used my regular machine and a narrow zig zag stitch.  They look great, if I say so myself, and the Bengaline is nice to work with.

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Now to fitting issues.  My pattern is the size 20.  I think it is slightly too big.  They feel loose and also sit slightly lower than I am comfortable with.  I didn’t add the optional elastic in the waist, because I didn’t have any wide enough.  If they fit more closely, I’d be happy to do without the elastic, but as things are, they feel dangerous, especially when I move around a bit!  I think I need to make some adjustments to the pattern for my next pair, raise the waist an inch, use the elastic,  maybe a flat butt adjustment?

Advisory note. 

Real life photos of my least flattering physical attribute follow.

I’m so sorry …

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Your opinions would be most welcome.  (Please keep it polite!)

In the first two photos above, my Tshirt is lifted to where I would say my natural waist lies.  The third photo is how things would look in normal wear.

I’ve got some fabric left over to play with – I bought more than needed because I was worried about shrinkage, but if it did shrink, it wasn’t by much.


Wardrobe Architecture – Phase 1: The Sorting Out

Ok, so last week I sorted through the 3 chests of drawers, and got rid of The Heap.  Today I started looking through the long and short wardrobes.  So far: 2 bags to charity, one to the tip, 24 spare hangers.  Still a way to go. Sorting out is a long, hard slog.

There is also a ‘problem’ with my weight.  I’m trying to lose some, for health reasons, and since new year I’ve dropped 3 Kgs.  There’s a long way to go, (another 20kgs), but I have some really lovely size 14 clothes which I fitted (only briefly) a couple of years ago, and couldn’t bear to part with.  Now there’s a possibility I might be able to get in them again, I’m even less inclined to get rid of them.

I invested the princely sum of £2.49 in a wardrobe management app for iphone/ipad called Stylebook .  The idea being to photograph all my ‘me mades’, catalogue and construct outfits from them.  There’s a calendar, so you can collect stats on what’s been worn most often etc.  You can have it on your phone, so no excuses!  Any impulse fabric purchases can be checked against ‘would it go with anything else I’ve made?’  I’m hoping this will be useful and not a waste of money, but for £2.49 I’m willing to risk it.

(Unfortunately I wasted half the afternoon photographing and uploading to a free app which did not work, so I’ll have to summon up the will to do it all again next weekend).

Sadly, it did seem glaringly and immediately obvious that nothing I’ve made actually ‘goes with’ anything else I’ve made.  Too many busy busy patterns, too many random and just plain wrong colours, too many tops and not enough bottoms.  It was a useful exercise,  even to establish that much 😦

Yesterday I traced the Style Arc Linda Pants pattern, which I planned to sew today – then I realised I have not pre washed the fabric.  So now, it’s back to the wardrobe sort out.


The Craftsy Vogue Ultimate T Shirt

I first posted about this on Boxing Day.  My goodness that seems such a long time ago already!  It has lain unfinished all this time.  I wasn’t enjoying sewing this fabric.  Although I love the colour, the fabric is polyester jersey with a textured and holey layer of (? viscose) T-shirty stuff overlaid on it.  It creates static in spades.

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I wish I had paid proper attention to the Craftsy lessons, instead of haring ahead in my own sweet way.  A work of art, it aint.  The neckband was an absolute pig to sew; the overlay is not attached fully to the bottom layer, to allow the attractive ‘bubble’ effect, but this means when it is cut you are left with loose bits sticking up randomly.

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In hindsight, I should have used a strip of plain fabric for the neckband.  It may also be (dare I say) a bit on the loose side.  (I’m trying to lose some weight, so it probably fitted when I first tried it on).

Anyway, it is done.  My first completion of the year.  It will suffice as a warm work top, and it goes well with jeans, and my grey Hummingbird skirt.

The photos are taken with my new ‘Purelite’ daylight bulb, so give a much more accurate representation of the colour than the photos I had posted previously.


My wardrobe shame – or Why I need to become a Wardrobe Architect

Friends, I hang my head and seek your forgiveness.  For here I post photos of my wardrobe shame, captured this very afternoon.  Should anyone be in doubt about my need for a serious culling of tired, ill fitting, worn out, out of date clothing, here is the hard evidence.

The short wardrobe – supposedly for tops and skirts – ha!  Oh, and my shoe hanger.

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The long wardrobe – for longer items, dresses & trousers.  Socks, tights, bags and God knows what else is in the bottom.

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These two chests of drawers are STUFFED with knitwear, ‘casual pants’  and T shirts I really should not be seen dead in.

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There’s a 3rd identical chest of drawers, which I haven’t photographed.  It is stuffed with underwear, nightwear & swimwear.

Most shameful of all; this Heap is of things that won’t fit in the wardrobe

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Up in the Loft is a large bag of things I only wear on holiday in tropical countries.  I’m sorry, I can’t be bothered to lug it down for a picture.

And now, because your eyes are hurting very badly, here’s a gratuitous photo of my friend’s 5 week old kitten, Luther.  He’s not even weaned yet.  Look at those paws. Those ears.  That cuuuute little nose.   Awww.

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I’ll start the cull tomorrow.


Yet more inspiration …

Following on from my recent reflections on the need for a plan, this inspiring post from Sarai of Colette Patterns seems so very relevant to the way I am feeling about my wardrobe at the moment.

I can identify with all of those issues, nothing goes with anything else, I feel guilt and regret about waste, and I have lost my sense of style identity.

So, I’ve joined the Wardrobe Architect project in the hope of getting myself really organised in thoughts and sewing this year.  I’m really looking forward to this!

Meanwhile, I’ve ordered my Sailor Sue and Island Ali patterns from Style Arc, and some fabric from Germany – I’m finding it really hard to source good quality fabric in the right colours in the UK.


2014 RTW FASTERS

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I joined the  2014 RTW FASTERS.

A  link to my fellow forgoers of RTW clothing  in 2014.

I am really looking forward to the challenge!  (Unfortunately ladies, I don’t do face book, so I won’t be able to share in the group love, but I’ll be here, plodding along …)