Wednesday, 26 August 2015

New pattern in the works!

I have been working on several things lately. Some which are still under wraps and some which are not. For ages I was working on a new shirt dress pattern and a coat. Not a traditional button front shirt dress, but a loose flowy shape with some signature details such as a back yoke and pleat. I was working on it for so long however that I somehow lost my way and after a forced break from it to decorate the sewing room I returned with a lot less enthusiasm for the general concept. I figure a further break may do it good! It has also allowed me to return to an idea that I started working on a few months ago for a pinafore dress and jumpsuit pattern. The jumpsuit was less of the idea I'll admit, but since making my Maya/Hudson mash-up it has jumped (ha ha) to the front of the queue! Following on from that make I immediately started drafting a pattern and it forced me to digitise my trouser block (I am digitising my blocks as I'm working as I find the whole process of drafting straight onto the computer so much easier now and space friendly). Trousers were definitely way down my list of priorities as it's not one of those garments I generally feel I look that nice in!

Here's some of my inspiration I've been collecting over the past year. I prefer a loose silhouette with a free waist and baggy, but slightly tapered trouser legs.

The pattern I'm working on will provide pattern pieces for a jumpsuit, dungarees, dungaree dress and woven t-shirt that all co-ordinate to form a capsule collection (hopefully). It's been one of the things I've dreamed of doing and it's hard  to get everything working together whilst also keeping the pattern pieces to a minimum, but I'm happy with how it's going so far.

Anyway, lots of sampling, tweaking and long hours are hopefully not going to waste and I'm dead chuffed with how it all looks. I'm really proud of this one in the works and I can't wait to show you more, which is a bit of a contrast from the feeling I was getting from the shirt dress thingy!

More to come soon!!!! (well, a few weeks from now) ;-)

Sunday, 23 August 2015

New sewing space!

I have not moved rooms exactly, but we have sorted out our back room downstairs where I normally sew and cleared the junk out, decorated and actually bought new furniture. I have not owned that much new furniture in my life time or ever had a sewing room, so this is pretty big and exciting!!!

Anyway, come and have a look and I'll show you round.

This is my sewing corner...

and this is my cutting/computer area. Everything tidies away really easily to give me room for cutting and I am loathed to get down on the floor now.

You can basically buy this room in Ikea as I hate shopping around and they had everything to fulfil my needs. The chairs at my sewing table and the trolley with the basket on are all car booted, but other than that it is exclusively Ikea! Even easier if you want to borrow any ideas is that most of it is Algot storage!
The best bit about sorting this room out is that I am finally able to display all the junk treasure that I have been hoarding for so long and that my husband keeps trying to get rid of. Those pink silk satin shoes are tiny, but they are original Schiaparelli (charity shop bargain) so I cannot let go of them.

Vintage sewing books next to new and some random coffee cups because I like the design (I don't drink coffee). The shelving is Algot as mentioned before.

More Algot, but this time baskets. These are the most brilliant last minute additions. I just tagged them on at the end of our order (home delivery) because I thought I should try and squeeze as much storage as was humanly possible without being too cluttered and they have been invaluable. They hold my paper patterns, rolls of grease proof, sewing machine manuals/accessories, rulers, overlock threads and a few other bits. Handy huh?

This hanging area sits in the middle of the shelving and again is an Algot accessory. I custom selected all the elements of this wall shelving as I wanted it to have deep shelved for books, shallow top shelves for trinkets and also hanging space for samples and patterns I'm working on. It is a dream come true!

Algot wire mesh drawers under the sewing table for tidily storing WIP's and also holding my large PDF folders.

They are A3 plastic sleeve folders that have a sheet of card inserted into each sleeve to stop them being all floppy. I fold my PDF patterns after using them and pop them in. The card inserts also mean that I can have two patterns stored per sleeve because the card separates them.

Here's the machines. I have had these felt place mats for ages and they are too big for our table, but they are perfect for plonking my machines on and allow me to slide them back and forward easily. I need to push everything back and keep sharp things high away from little people at all times.

I get to listen to my radio again! I love my radio so much and used to have it on all the time before we moved into this house over a year and a half ago. It was in the kitchen, but we are really low on plug sockets, so the hassle of unplugging stuff stopped from reaching for the button, but it's back! I keep a little threads and snips bowl next to my machine as the bin is next to my cutting table and this helps to keep things clean.

My cutting table is on a dark side of the room, so extra light is very much needed. This angle poise lamp was about £2 from a table top sale a long time ago and it's brilliant!

This table is like an untold secret that I have since learnt is really common amongst fellow sewists. It has adjustable legs, so goes up really high and is so comfortable for cutting. I sit at this table all the time and love it so much. It is the Linnmon/Finnvard and was an absolute bargain at only £70. I have it on the highest setting and have a bar stool to sit on with some steps to rest my feet on. I need the steps to reach some of the shelves, but mostly use them as a foot rest.

I have discovered some pattern weights in the big clear out in the form of James old weights. Yay!

Organisers from John Lewis that I bought with some vouchers a few years ago. They were too nice for me really and got lost in the mess, but now they fit right in.

Basket of fabric next to the cutting table of things I would like to be cutting next. There is no real order here, just hope!

My real fabric stash is in our newly decorated utility room. We bought this house because it had decent downstairs space. It needed work, but that meant it was in our price range. The utlity room was previously a manky old disabled bathroom. It was in a bad way, but is a great size and now has ample storage for all my fabric. These next shots aren't pretty, but I'm keeping it real!

So, that's it. I hope you enjoyed looking around. I have to say I am so impressed with Ikea and the prices are unbelievable really. I was saying to James earlier that there isn't a single thing I would change in here. I've been using this space for about a month now and it is so efficient and lovely to walk into. I haven't tidied for the photos, this is how it always is, which if I'd been brave enough to show you my old space, you'd know this is miraculous! Storage is everything it seems and I think I now have the courage to say if it doesn't fit it hasn't got a place here. Ask me in a year if I have stuck to that!

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Maya/Hudson jumpsuit

I have been dying to try something like this for ages and something must have settled in my subconscious after seeing Kelli's southport/Hudson mash-up, because when I started planning this sewing project Tuesday evening I had no idea I was going to end up making this. It was all a bit spontaneous, but the idea closely mimics some images from pinterest board here.

Here's some more pics!

I don't know if it's the expanse of fabric, but the back of jumpsuits always look a bit comical to me!

Surprise, I made another!!! This was a pretty quick make and I added snaps to make it faster still. I completed both in one sitting.

I love how they turned out (hence the second version) and am looking forward to wearing them and testing their practicality out. They even got the seal of approval from James which is unusual as he doesn't like this sort of thing. I'm really trying hard to stop myself from making another, but if I do I'll probably raise the button placket and seam line separating the top and bottoms at the front to waist height and add some pleats for extra comfort. I'll also take the waist seam round the back and add some pleats there too! Here's a visual!

Now onto the making...

I basically joined the shortest length of my Maya button front top pattern (size 4 from my size range) to the largest size Hudson pant (size 18), but here's some more info to help you do the same!

I lay the Hudson pant back leg pattern piece and the Maya top back pattern piece down flat with the centre backs lined up straight so a straight line ran from the centre back neck down to the crotch curve of the trousers. Keeping this line straight I moved the Hudson pants down until I was happy that the body/crotch length was going to fit my body. I gauged this by referring to a jumpsuit I already own and making sure the body was at least as long as this to allow for sitting and generally avoid camel toe! If you wish to make this jumpsuit with the Maya and Hudsons then the Back of my Hudson pants overlapped the bottom of the Maya at the centre back by 4cm for reference, whilst they met almost exactly on the side seam. A tip for gauging the correct body length at the end if you are using different patterns.

The only thing was that whilst the Hudson pants have a centre back seam, the Maya top does not, so I lost some width on the top. Because this is a boxy fit though I was confident this would be ok and adjusted the neckline to be slightly wider to compensate. Here I'm about to cut away 1,5cm from the neck, because the centre back is now going to be a seam.

Happy that this looked like it was going to fit ok I traced around the pattern pieces onto some large paper, marked the start of the top and any notches on the legs and cut a my back pattern piece. The grain line is running parallel with the centre back.
I lay the front pieces on my large sheet of paper too and did the same thing of making sure the centre seams were running straight, but this time pushing the Hudson pant to meet the side seam.  

Remember that the back piece of the top has lost 1.5cm of the centre back, which now has to be removed from the front!

Here is a later picture where I was about to cut away 1.5cm from the edge and I had moved the centre front line towards the side seam by 1.5cm.

I lay my new back pattern piece on top of the front pieces and lined it up with the top at the shoulders, armhole and side seam and weighted it down so it wouldn't move.

Then moving down the leg I made sure that the hem of the pants were in line with each other and that the side seams were as matched as they could be.

I drew around my pattern pieces, marking pocket openings, centre front and any leg notches and cut out the jumpsuit front.

Next I started separating everything. Cutting the trouser part away I removed the 1.5cm from the centre front top that needed to come off, extended the neck opening by 1.5cm in the same way as I did for the back and added a bit extra onto the front crotch seam allowance so that the centre fronts were the same on the top and bottom. Also remember to add 1.5cm seam allowance the bottom of the top and top of the trousers.

I cut away the pocket opening in the previous photo, but I had to tape it back temporarily to trace my new pocket pieces, so wait until you've created your new pocket before doing that! I also forgot that I added 1.5cm back onto the pocket opening to allow for the fact that this is woven and not stretch. I think they may get too gapey otherwise!

I drew a new neck facing by overlapping the seam allowance on the shoulder seams and cutting a one piece facing and that's it. Pattern done!

Tip - A good way to get the body length if you are using a different bodice pattern is to put on a top you have already made up and pin a piece of string to centre back neck. Bring the string between your legs and up to the centre front with some slack and sit down. When the string feels comfy and not tight cut it to length and use it to make sure you have enough length on your front and back pattern pieces.

I hope that this is helpful to you and I am a bit jumpsuit crazy at the moment! I may also use these new pattern pieces to make some high rise Hudson's as I am kind of digging this leg!