Pattern hacking and pattern making

Things are progressing slowly with the Steampunk jacket but I am pleased with it all so far. I cut out the velvet without too much trauma or the house being covered in black velvet dust! I have just trimmed all of the pieces as usual I cut them much bigger and then had a garment for at least one and a half of me!

I should really have made a toile but I am short on time, one day I will get around to making a body form from a mannequin base as that would be really useful for fitting patterns onto before cutting.

I have hacked the pattern slightly and plan to do more hacking, in the initial stages what I did was lengthen the jacket as I want it to come to just about hip height. I will possibly not have it quite this long as I have added eight inches but it is easier to shorten than to lengthen!

Steampunk velvet jacket 1

Steampunk velvet jacket 2

I also want to attach the bustle to the jacket. It is not very obvious in the picture below but the bustle is tied around the waist under the jacket. I have already modified this and only cut two layers of ruffles due to not having enough fabric but I think that will be fine with the longer jacket. It may all go horribly wrong but I like experimenting.

McCalls Pattern 1

The Love to Sew Podcast had a great episode on pattern hacks and they have loads of ideas for adapting things from existing patterns.It was from there I got the idea of adding the tracing paper to the existing pattern pieces which makes it a lot easier to adjust.

Steampunk velvet jacket 3

My plan for this afternoon is to zig zag all of the pieces to stop it fraying and maybe even start the construction. It looks a fairly simple design, famous last words, but the initial fit piece went well together, I do have collar and buttonholes to look forward to though!

My very talented daughter Ellen has just finished her amazing piece for the Refashioners 2018 project. This year the theme was, ‘inspired by’, so she chose this gown by the House of Worth which is dated 1898 and is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Ellen - Worth dress 5

 

She tuned a pair of velvet curtains into this and did all of the pattern making herself, she is such a talented seamstress and so confident with design, these are pictures from her Facebook page and she has some pictures of the process on her Instagram here. 

Ellen - Worth dress 1

Ellen - Worth dress 2

Ellen - Worth dress 3

Ellen - Worth dress 4

I don’t know where she took the first two photos but I think she looks amazing and I am so proud of her 🙂 You can see lots of other refashioning at this Instagram page here

I do love all this creativity, long may it continue. I am also working hard on the second set of stockings, I am doing another five and am about half way through these, such relaxing stitching while watching Netflix, bliss.

I did my last Saturday teaching yesterday, no more until Feb so I get the whole weekend from now on to do what I like, what a lovely feeling 🙂

I hope that you have had a great weekend and have a good week ahead. We have a Wool and Wine bauble making evening here on Friday so I will get some pictures of the Christmas gorgeousness for you all.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Advertisements

Sorting out the stock

We had a lovely last event at Caldicot Castle, the weather was mostly very good which always helps and it was great to see everyone one last time before the end of the season. As always I am sad in one way but with the colder weather on its way am looking forward to cosy nights in with the candles lit and lots of stitching!

We visited Gloucester Cathedral on the way home so have a lot of beautiful pictures from there to sort for you, lots more inspiration for embroidery designs.

Glos cathedral 1

I have spent part of the morning labeling all of the stock for Yarndale, I finished the last two pouches this week. As last year I have used a lot of Liberty but tried to do something different this year in case I have customers coming back who have bought in previous years.

Yarndale Stock 3

Yarndale Stock 2

This year’s new stock has been quilting themed with pouches and baskets with blocks and hexagons on.

Yarndale Stock 5

Yarndale Stock 4

I still have some things left from last year like these sheep themed knitting pouches as well so have a nice bag of goodies on its way to Sarah.

yarndale-sheep-bags-1

These pouches below all use recycled denim from old jeans and the lovely Liberty hexagon fabric for the bases.

Yarndale Stock 6

Yarndale Stock 7

The pretty flower zips are from Buddly Crafts and I need to order more stock as have now run out of coloured ones.

I have finished the large stitches sampler from Jenny of Elefantz that I was working on and have just started two smaller circle monogram designs of hers from last month’s Stitchery Club. You can buy just this design from her Craftsy page here and I am going to the finished stitching into pouches for Christmas presents. Picture from Jenny’s Craftsy page.

ELEFANTZ+monogram+circlet+cover.jpg

She has so many beautiful designs and I have just had a sneak peak at the Christmas stuff she is doing for next month. It is gorgeous and I am really looking forward to stitching them.

Term has started and I have had a very busy and very nice week getting to know all of the new first year students. It is so exciting for them and I really love this time of year, despite the very wet and windy weather, the trees look gorgeous and I have lots of nice things to look forward to in the next few months. Oh and I have just booked my flights for Spain for New Year so I am very pleased about that.

I am planning lots of stitching on the sofa this weekend while watching Netflix. I am currently enjoying watching Star Trek Voyager again, our outfits for Steampunks in Space in November are going to be based on the uniforms from this series so we have been busy collecting things for those.

Hope that you have a lovely weekend, take care and thanks for visiting.

The second Steampunk jacket

Technically this is the third jacket I have made from a Steampunk pattern as Amanda’s wedding jacket a couple of years ago was from a Steampunk pattern but this is the second one for me.

I saw this pattern a while ago and thought it looked beautiful and it gives me a chance to wear more lovely lace! It is a McCalls Pattern M6770 and I bought it a while ago during one of the Jaycott’s pattern sales. Images from their web site.

McCalls Pattern 1

 

McCalls Pattern 2

My plan is to make the jacket out of some black crushed velvet that Ellie gave me a while ago. I already have one black jacket but it is a little too small over the bust so want something that does up as this will be used for events in November and Feb so it will be cold.

I met one of the Seamstress Squadron at Lincoln who had already made this and she was kind enough to let me take pictures and talk through the construction with me.

Steampunk event Costume 8

Steampunk event Costume 9

The bustle part is actually a separate piece that ties round the waist but I am planning to adapt the pattern to attach it to the jacket and make the front a little longer.I will also not have the corset fastenings on the back or the gathered part on the sleeves which will make construction easier.

I did the same sort of pattern hacking on the jacket I have just made and it worked out fine. I may not have enjoyed my school needlework lessons all those years ago due to a very stern teacher who shouted a lot but I did learn the basics of how patterns work and have the confidence to alter them.

I will then make the skirt out of some pink velvet that I bought many, many years ago for re-enactment, in time for the Feb event. I am planning to buy a red version of the purple skirt as illustrated below for the Nov event as I love it so much and it will go fabulously with my new hat.At some point I think I will also get the black one as well.

Steampunk red skirt

The plan is to cut this out next week before things get busy at work as the sizing is always the most difficult part. I have had a lot of inspiration and practical help from the Love to Sew podcast. They have an episode on tissue fitting which was really helpful so I am going to try doing that before cutting out.They also have a great one on pattern hacking if you want some ideas for adapting things.

Wish me luck as I hate sewing with velvet though I love the way it looks! It moves around so much when you sew it but am determined to use up stash rather than buying any new fabric in the spirit of sustainability and trying to use up the many yards in my sewing room before I relocate to Spain in a few years.

Will update you on the progress, take care and thanks for visiting.

A tablecloth, some curtains and another mad hatter

My lovely daughter Ellie is actually named Ellen Scarlett Rose, the middle of these names being after one of my fictional heroines, Scarlett O’Hara. So it was very apt that Ellie’s outfit for this steampunk event was indeed made out of a pair of curtains.

If you have never seen Gone with the Wind you may not have seen the part where, short of fabric after the war, Scarlett makes a dress out of some green velvet curtains, inspiring seamstresses and steampunks everywhere. Photos below from Google.

Scarlett O'Hara dress 2

 

 

Scarlett O'Hara dress 1

Ellie also made the whole outfit in a couple of days which is very impressive, re-purposing a charity shop wedding dress, a piece of lace and an old net curtain as well as lots of flowers from various sources.

Steampunk event Ellie and Kerrie 1

Steampunk event Ellie 1

Steampunk event Ellie 5

Steampunk event Ellie 6

Steampunk event Ellie 2

Steampunk event Ellie 3

Steampunk event Ellie 4

The parasol was mine. I had bought it to go with my outfit but it looked so good with hers she kept it all day and I have loaned it to her for future outings. I did get it back for my photo shoot.

Steampunk event Alison and Ellie 1jpg

Steampunk event Alison 8

 

Steampunk event Alison 1

Steampunk event Alison 2

Steampunk event Alison 3

Steampunk event Alison 4

Steampunk event Alison 5

Steampunk event Alison 7

Kerry was wearing her gorgeous black coat, I love this and if she ever wants to get rid of it I am first in line!

Steampunk event Kerrie 1

Steampunk event Kerrie 2

I was very pleased with my ensemble and really touched that so may people who had seen it on the Seamstress Squadron Facebook page stopped to say hello and tell me how much they loved it. They are such lovely people and very inspiring.

I have another post for you with lots more outfits but just wanted to show you the wonderful dancers from The Belly Fusion Dance Collective who we saw perform twice. They all wore tea themed costumes with fantastic head dresses, I think my favourite one was the cake stand one below but they were all amazing.

Steampunk event Costume 31

I also bumped into another sewing enthusiast who had the most brilliant sewing themed hat and she very kindly stopped for lots of photos.As well as all the very creative use of tape measures she had fantastic walking stick made of cotton reels.

Steampunk sewing hat 5

It was all so lovely and inspiring and we also had a great re-enactment show, very wet on Sunday and my tent blew over so everything got very wet but my lovely friends helped out putting it back up and it was not damaged which was a relief.

We had a great day on Monday, doing our usual walk around the area and photo shoots and lots of tournaments and then my angel of a friend Kerry drove me all the way home as I was not walking well after so much time out in the damp.

I have a fairly quiet couple of weeks ahead before term starts again and then I am working every weekend until the end of Oct, just on Saturday but that is going to cut down the creative time somewhat.

I have a new outfit planned for Steampunks in Space at the end of November so I will at least get that cut out before term starts so I have it ready for sewing.

I will be back soon with more costume loveliness, meanwhile take care and thanks for visiting.

 

My vintage tablecloth Steampunk jacket

I first blogged about this jacket in September last year when I cut out the pieces. I was intending to make the jacket earlier in the year but life got in the way as usual and at least I have finished it with 3 days to go before the event and am not going to be hemming anything on the train!

Steampunk linen jacket finished 1

Steampunk linen jacket finished 2

Steampunk linen jacket finished 3

I am so pleased with how it turned out, it is quite different to the original pattern as shown in the photos below but that is deliberate.

Steampunk butterick-pattern-1

Steampunk butterick-pattern-2

 

The pattern is the Butterick B6305 Victorian Top and drape front skirt and despite it being categorised as very difficult it wasn’t and I would make it again and am possibly going to make a skirt as well in the future.

I ended up not lining it as I didn’t need to and also decided to keep it open rather than doing buttons or any fastening.

 

This is partly as I am very bad at buttonholes and didn’t want to spoil it and also as a fitted jacket does not really suit my shape so I am wearing it open over a blouse that I have.

Steampunk linen jacket finished 5

I also had a little bit of an issue with the sleeves as they were way too big, I cut them down and them they were too small so I had to insert a piece which curves round the sleeve for some reason. I am calling this a design feature 😉

Steampunk linen jacket finished 4

Steampunk linen jacket finished 8

I am so pleased with how it fits and the way that the embroidery shows on all of the pieces. This was three tablecloths originally, one became the front of the jacket, another the back and the sleeves and collar were cut from a third one.

Steampunk linen jacket finished 6

 

Steampunk linen jacket finished 7

Not bad for £12 worth of Ebay tablecloths and a £5 pattern. I actually like it so much that I might wear it outside Steampunk events, I think it would be great for festivals.

I will show you the hat I am wearing with it a later post.I am so pleased to be able to go to the event this year with something really unique and totally me. Last year’s outfit was very much adapted from charity shop finds and things I already had and although I liked it I wanted something more unusual.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

A dress in a day

When we came back from Tatton a few weeks ago we had one day here before going off to the Lake District and as Ellie had bought some material for a new style of peasant dress we thought we would try and get it made in a day.

Our original aim was to make one for me that day as well and we did get the dress cut out, which is a major achievement considering I have had the fabric for about 12 years 🙂 but I have cut it too big so it will need serious alteration. I have found a way to put gores in so they align perfectly though!

Ellie’s dress was a different style as it does not have any fastenings at the front which means it needs to be tight enough to fit but wide enough to be able to pull on over the head. It also has short sleeves.

We looked at a few of our manuscript books for information and there are some great manuscript illustrations available via Google including this one from the Tres Riches Heures of the Duc de Berry. I was lucky enough to pick up a copy of a book about this in a National Trust bookshop recently and it is a gorgeous collection of pictures from the early to mid 1400s. This picture is from June showing people working in the fields.

Peasant dress 1

We started by making a pattern from Ellie’s existing dress bodice and then used a sleeve pattern to draft a new sleeve which could be cut in one piece unlike most modern sleeves that are two pieces. We then made a toile of the top and fitted it before cutting out of the new fabric.

It fits Ellie really well, even if she did have to sew the front seam a few times as female shapes need adjusting for, a perfectly straight seam on the garment turned wobbly when it was put on! The colours are gorgeous together.

Here she is in the finished garment at Tewkesbury looking very lovely in our campsite before going to the market.

Ellie's new dress 9

Ellie's new dress 10

Ellie's new dress 11

Kerry was really brave and decided to wear her 15th century lady’s dress despite it being really hot and was very excited to be part of the Queen’s party walking onto the battlefield and sitting with her during the battle.

Here she is going along the crowdline with our friend Bev and below is a shot of the guys just before battle. The ladies all looked stunning and I am so pleased that she got to be part of that section of the event after all her hard work with this beautiful dress.

Tewks 2018 2

Tewks 2018 3

Tewks 2018 1

Pics from a very kind person who put loads on Facebook for us whose name I have completely forgotten to write down! Thank you it is fantastic to have these shots.

It was Symon’s, on the left , first Tewkesbury battle and he did brilliantly in the heat as it was about 27 degrees at this point which means it is so much higher once you are in full armour. The last time Shane, our other knight , came to Tewkesbury it was 35 degrees so we think he must be responsible for the very hot weather. After that event we bought a gazebo for the group as we spent most of the time that weekend trying to all fit into the tiny bit of shade under Shane’s awning!

I also took some more pictures for my research, including the Queen’s tent which looks amazing, this is the Prince’s surcoat which he wears in battle.I am always amazed by the level of detail that people put into their roles, the tent and the throne are amazing.

We also dressed up for the beer tent and I got to wear both my top hats. I do love my top hats, especially this one,  and got lots of compliments on them. I am taking them to the festival that I am going to with my sister in a couple of weeks.

Tewks - Alison in hat

Plans for the weekend are making some pouches and bags out of the quilt blocks I have been stockpiling over the last few weeks and carrying on with my latest stitching from Jenny which is going well.

I have just discovered Project Runway is on Netflix so have been watching that and really enjoying seeing how all the clothes are designed. There are some very talented people there.

Hope that you have a good weekend ahead, take care and thanks for visiting.

My sanctuary

One of the podcasts I listened to at the weekend was talking about the creation of craft room, this one was outside and was named Shedquarters and you can find the details of this at this post.

The owner, Portia was talking about sewing as a way of rediscovering herself after having a baby and of the importance of time to sew for her own sanity. Like many people I can really relate to this as sewing, embroidery, knitting and all forms of textile crafts are really important in my life as a way of finding balance.

I sewed and knitted as a teenager and during my college years and when I had young children, loved doing cross stitch then and made lots of clothes for Barbie! Then I went back to studying for my Master’s degree and for a few years did very little in the way of creative things.

When I started again I gradually bought more and more equipment that ended up being stored all over the house in various drawers until I moved here and was lucky enough to have the space for a dedicated craft room. I have posted some pictures previously but not for ages so thought I would show you all my ultimate happy place in my little house.

Craft room 3

This is storage for all my patterns and magazines as well as some practical bits like tools, pins and lace. I have had that stack of rainbow fabric on top of the bookcase for about 4 years and pretty though it is am going to have to use it up before it starts fading along the fold lines!The cake stand on the left holds cross stitched ornaments from when I used to do lots of exchanges and some pincushions.

Craft room 4

Moving along to the ironing station on top of the cabinet storing all of my larger pieces of fabric, lots of this is material bought for re-enactment, some of which I really may never use!

Craft room 5

The important bit, my machine, a Pfaff quilting machine that I bought 2 years ago with a specially large additional extra support to enable me to do machine quilting that I have never used! One of my targets for this summer is to get that thing on the machine and actually use it! Area complete with very important cup of tea without which no project can be completed.

Craft room 6

My colour coded small fabric storage, this houses quilting fabric and the units next to it all have pull out fabric boxes full of specific fabric types such as silks, Christmas fabrics, linings and interfacing and wool. The top of these units are my cutting area and work in progress area plus storage for scissors, pens, glue etc. Also handy I Pad for checking tutorials and listening to Podcasts!

Craft room 9

The work in progress area, this is usually a bit of a jumble, at the moment we have some stitching, some churn dash blocks and the materials for a headress plus lovely Liberty fabric. At the back is English Paper Piecing Storage and a box to store completed but not yet allocated shapes.

Craft room 2

These drawers are for embroidery silks, buttons and charms storage with the plastic boxes containing Christmas ribbons, more interfacing, polystyrene shapes for ornaments and sewing patterns.On the left are my collection of Steampunk hats!

Craft room 7

I use the pin boards for storing blocks that need to be made into something and my lovely lace zips.

I have been here nearly 6 years now so it has been very much a work in progress, starting with furniture I already had and replacing it bit by bit. Like Portia and her shed most of my storage comes from Ikea with a few charity shop bargains and storage solutions from a local DIY store.

I love being here, even if I can’t spend much time here in a week I will just pop in, say hello and reassure the room I will be back as soon as I can :-). From a practical point of view it is great to leave projects out knowing that I can safely return to them as they are without having to pack them away and risk losing bits or forgetting about them.

It is just fab, possibly my favourite room in the house, though I do love the rest of it as well.

What about you, where do you go to craft, where is your special space?

I am busy this week with a headress for a friend so lots of hand sewing through buckram which is quite a challenge as it is so stiff. It is coming along well though so despite sore fingers I am enjoying the creation, it is a long time since I have made anything like this.

Have a good weekend ahead.Take care and thanks for visiting.