Monday, 28 March 2011

Jam jam jam!

I made peach and raspberry jam. I made cute labels. The jam tastes awesome! That is all!

The tragedy that was the craft fair :(

Well. Well, well, well. What a disaster!
Beth and myself got to Kind (the venue) had a look around for our table and couldn't see it. So we asked a member of staff. Who said we weren't on the list. Weren't on the f-ing list!! She asked us when we had booked so we told her that we had booked at the last one and also confirmed via facebook. Basically they had messed up big time. So the only two options we had were to go home or to use what was essentially a shelf and some chairs.
We decided to use the shelf. We should have decided to go home.
Where we were there was two other stalls, one selling dog leads, dog collars and purses, the other selling jewellery.
And due to the lady selling the jewellery being rather fat, and her friend who turned up rather fat also, people couldn't get through to our stall! Their big butts blocked the gap and people were waiting for a minute then going when they couldn't get through.
Perhaps we still wouldn't have sold anything if we were elsewhere. At least we would have gotten a fair chance to do so though.
It was also really annoying watching the fat ladies sell stuff alllllllll frickin day. it was cheap, but also generic. I'm not just being jealous but our stuff was better, with love gone into it as opposed to a handmade factory production line thing.
Big thanks to Beth though for her ingenious use of poundland washing paraphernalia to display my clothes, I had too much anger to think in my normal make the best of it way.

Best of all there was never much of an apology from Kind, very indifferent and uncaring about the whole thing even though it was completely their fault!!!
So we are now looking at other places to go.

Two other things I made for the craft fair!

First pic is of a dirndl skirt (as I found out today, didn't realise it had an actual name!) which is basically an elasticated tube and takes about half an hour to make. I personally think the fabric is a little on the awful side of things but I'm a fan of black, black, polka dots, black, black, leopard print and err more black! Colour and pattern freak me out a bit, I feel messy if I'm wearing more than two colours (one having to be black).
Second pic is a halterneck top in daisy print, basically just a shortened version of the dresses I've been making. I was really pleased with myself whilst making this as I didn't have to look at the instructions at all, it's been granted a slot in my brain to remember forever!! I do like the pattern though, I might even sneakily make myself one, probably just a top rather than a dress, will look good with shorts, unlike my legs haha!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Floral halterneck dress the second

More summery flowery goodness! A simple ribbon tie halterneck dress, elasticated above and below the boob area to avoid unwanted flashing!
Made using yet another Prima pattern, very simple, made to a size 12 but looks a bit small... hopefully just the elastic pulling it in! I would like to make another one of these but will have to wait until I brave the masses in town to buy some more elastic - I've scavenged as much as I possibly can from old bed sheets that don't fit our bed and old clothes to delay the arduous trek to purchase essentials! I really hate going into town, people just annoy me too much....old people being slow.....children getting under your feet....chuggers (charity muggers) every 20 feet harassing you into signing up to donate for every charity under the sun, avoiding them takes military precision! All very stressful!
But I have to go tomorrow anyway as I'm meeting up with my dear friend Bethany for a cheeky pint if the weather is nice or a coffee if it's miserable so we can discuss the craft fayre on Saturday and have a girly catch up - I can't wait :)
Check out Bethany's blog listed at the side in my blog list <3

In an English country garden...

....You would wear a skirt like this whilst drinking your pimms :)
An ivory and floral panelled skirt, elasticated waist and very lightweight and summery!
I didn't use a pattern, made up some panels in the ivory polycotton, sewed together about 4 inches down on each piece then inserted a sixth of a circular piece of floral fabric in each gap. Very quick, very easy.
Does however go better if you don't sew a piece in upside down!
Yes I really was having one of those days!

Dorothy dress!

Unintentionally this dress has got a touch of Dorothy-ness about it... it was fine until I added the red bits!
The dress was made with the same pattern as the previous floral halterneck dress, I have altered it a little though. Firstly I knocked about 8 inches off the length - from respectable to tarty in a few snips! I also added a sort of lining to it, the white pieces that you can see. I also reduced the blue front bodice panels to show through the white.
It didn't take too long to make but I've been having somewhat of a sewing headache today with lots of silly little fuck ups that I could really do without this close to the craft fayre.
On the plus side I did get to add sparkly bits with my beloved "Kandy Kane" hot stone applicator which I don't use enough! If left to my own devices I would cover the whole house in sparkly gems hahaha!
The fabric I used was just the usual polycotton, nearly had an emergency situation with the white material, just about managed to fit in the final bodice piece and with the grainline correct aswell!
My terrible photography skills/equipment really don't show things off like this well, I'm thinking I should try to con someone (or rather some people as I don't make everything the same size...) into modelling for me...any volunteers?!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Floral halterneck dress

Yesterday was a good crafting day! I got this dress made also. Used a Prima magazine (they really are great patterns thanks mum!) pattern and a vintage bed sheet (I assume it is pretty old, when is the last time someone had a floral bottom sheet that looked like that?!). Very summery and light weight. My first time making an elasticated bit, was easy and quick, definitely better than zips!
The dress reaches mid calf on me so on a normal height person would probably be knee length. Also looks to be a pretty modest dress in terms of cleavage, doesn't fit me so I'm unsure how it would look really.
Over all it was a quick easy dress to make, couple of hours including cutting it out etc.

I also have a confession..... my name is lucy lovell and I sellotape my patterns onto the fabric! I really never get it right when pinning them on so I thought I'd try sellotape and its awesome! But if anyone has any tips on pinning them on so the pattern lies flat I'd love to know :)

Purple bustle skirt

A purple bustle skirt I made yesterday, no pattern just maths, guesstimation and of course sheer talent hahaha!
I was a little bit naughty and made this to fit me....well if it doesn't sell then i'll buy it off myself! It's definately a party skirt, would look great in Cubes.... but still, I would like it to go to a new home to end up on someone elses bedroom floor after an epic night out!
To construct the skirt (yep, I am going to waffle on about the boring part now) I measured my big belly and my hips, and got some black polycotton and made a trapezoid (Yes, I just googled that to check it was the right word!) half the length needed in total then made the same shape but in two pieces, with a little extra added on so I could fold it over a bit and make the button area. Sewed it together at the sides to form one long strip.
Then for the skirt I just folded up some purple polycotton (it was 2.2 metres long, I cut along the selvedge side because I wanted it longer than the width of the fabric which I would guess is a standard 1.5 metres) and then measured 15 inches (a classy length for a skirt...) and just chopped it..... it wasn't too wonky.... but I would reccomend a ruler, I'm lazy and hate measuring things.
I then sewed up the bottom edge and sewed the ends together to form a massive tube.
Now I had to fit 2.2m of fabric onto my waistband (no I'm not telling everyone that measurement!) which meant pinning the half way points together and gathering/pleating all the way along. It took ages and I stabbed myself loads.
When the basic skirt was all sewed up I attached a layer of netting ruffled up, then some purple polycotton, then another layer of netting and a big fat ribbon.
Skirt done! Messed up one of the buttonholes a litttle bit but it works so not a disaster.

As for the cat picture, Biggins decided to help model it and attacked me for daring to move her.....little s***!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

I Love you guys < 3

Just a little post to say thanks to everyone who has checked out my blog!
It means a lot that you have gone outta your way to read my erratic ramblings....
So thank you thank you thank you!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Red cardi/ cover up

Again sorry for the incredibly poor photo quality, i'm using a mobile phone....enough said!

This is a cardi / cover up I made yesterday evening, took only a couple of hours which was amazingly quick! The pattern is actually the bodice of a dress taken from the July 2010 Prima magazine pattern. All I did was alter it slightly so that there was a front opening as opposed to a one piece bodice. The button in the centre is the only actual functioning button, the other two are for cuteness purposes only! I used fabric from a skirt, a linen and viscose blend, it frays quite badly when cut with the grain line which is the only problem really.

When I purchased the skirt from the cat shop I told the lady I was going to make a jacket from it. She laughed and said it would take some imagination! I laughed (inwardly) because I knew that with a little assistance from my good old friend Mr Seam ripper it really couldn't be easier and more unimaginative!
But anyway, yay for quick easy sewing projects, and boo for the fact that I made this way too small for me! So it had better sell or I'll be kicking myself and trying to duct tape down my boobs in a vain attempt to get it on!

Daisy circle skirt

Terrible pictures sorry! This is a double layered circle skirt I made at the beginning of the week and didn't get around to posting.
It's made from a duvet cover I got at the cat shop (Lincoln cat care charity shop), the pattern was so cute I just had to have it!
I didn't use a pattern, just some basic mathematics to determine the size of the 'hole' for the waistband and measuring outwards from that measurement to determine the length.

I went for a double layered skirt for extra puffiness and kept it short and sweet as a more traditional knee/mid calf length would be, quite honestly, a pain in the arse to fold/ cut! I couldn't figure out how to add an elasticated/ semi stretchy waistband without it looking uber rubbish so I made the cute little button up thingy (anyone know the correct term? It's late and I'm tired so forgive me!) to give a little extra room to get over someones bottom! I purposefully made this way too small to fit me therefore preventing me from keeping it for myself! Which is so tempting every time I make something that is to my own tastes! So everything for the next craft fair will probably be for skinny people, nothing fatist, just avoiding temptation!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Super quick cardi!

Well I made this yesterday evening when I eventually got down to my craft room/pigsty! I have never made anything with sleeves before, dismissing them as too difficult... how wrong was I?! I used a prima magazine pattern, kindly sent to me by my mum who saves them all for me, and it took all of an hour and a half to cut the pattern pieces out, cut the fabric (a fine fleecy type material, originally meant to be a throw/ cost less than £2.00 and i have over half of it left - awesome awesomeness!) and sew it all together!
I have a little bit of work left to do on it, need to turn under and sew the inside edge/neckline/other inside edge part, just a simple pin, press and sew in one big long line - easy peasy! Also would like to add some embellishment, thinking a deep chocolate brown ribbon round the sleeves / bottom? Will have to see how it looks.
And two things that really made my day at work, first my lovely fellow chef Mat told me he didn't believe I had really made the polka dot dress myself and that he had tried looking for some kind of imperfection to prove I had made it! Bless him! I could have shown him many if he had asked me hahaha!
Secondly, a lovely lady who works on the bar, Alex, said to me as I was leaving that I had inspired her to pick up some knitting again and also to alter/make some clothes - which she had already started with a jeans to shorts alteration that looked fantastic! Wish I had her long legs to pull off shorts like that!
Anyway, just thought I'd share that with everyone, it made me smile so much :) I wish everyone would get stuck in and make things for themselves, it's so rewarding!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Polka-dot dress.....and the reason why cardigans are my best friends!

Well here we have it! One retro/vintage inspired polka dot dress!
I am ever so pleased with how it turned out and the surprised reaction when it was revealed that I made it was very encouraging! The dress made it's debut at Tuesday night's staff meeting and I would like to thank everyone for their kind comments :) It still needs the tiniest bit of work, having tried poppers to prevent bust gapage I have decided that velcro is the way forwards - cheap and nasty, yes, but it will prevent the gaping at the bust without having to redesign the whole bust piece. Live and learn people!!

I basically had to construct a whole new bust piece anyway as my larger than average bosom will not be found on any normal pattern sizes. I love the way the dress looks and feels, when you run down the stairs the skirt flares out like a super hero cape <3
I dealt with a slight bagginess in the back with the ribbon tie which adds a little decoration to an otherwise plain back piece.

I absolutely plan to always wear this with a cardigan, as the photos blatantly show my arms are not my finest point (there is muscle in with the fat too - promise!). But it is an excuse to indulge in cute knitwear. So it isn't all bad hahaha!

Yay for dresses!!!!!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Algebra and the knitting headache!

Well, I truly gave myself brain ache this evening! 8 years on from GCSE maths and I had to do a bit of algebra....all to enable me to start on the knitted shrug to go with my polka dot dress.

There is probably a really easy method of doing what I did but I really couldn't think of a more logical method - it's late ok!
Basically the wool recommended 6mm needles and said that it would make up a 10cm x 10cm square by using 14 stitches and 20 rows. I want a chunkier knit than that so I'm using 10mm needles. Since I am making up a pattern in my head ( I can't follow normal patterns so I look at something I want to knit and just break it down and work it out like that! I'll get the hang of patterns eventually.) I needed to know roughly how many stitches to cast on. Cue brain ache! I had to work out how many of the stitches from a 10mm needle would make 10cm in length.
So i started off with - 100 stitches 6mm = 60 stitches 10mm.
So far so good...
140st x 6mm = 100cm.
Which is 1.4 st/cm.
We'll call 6mm st A and 10mm st B.
So (100 A) = (60 B) and (140 A) = ???
I got there with it though and concluded that (140 A) = (84 B)
Easy from there as 84 B = 100cm, 8.4 st = 10cm and I wanted to have roughly 46 cm so that was 39 st, plus a little extra for a sort of seam allowance.
Hallelujah! I cast on 45 stitches, did a few rows, measured 10cm and it was pretty much halfway between stitches 8 and 9!
So after all that effort I hope it turns out ok! Will post up when it's done :)

Almost done!

Well in record timing I have actually managed to sew all corresponding pieces of the dress together, trim all seams, hem up the bottom, iron it, sew buttons and button holes, create a custom bust piece and add a tie to the back to deal with the slight bagginess!

It was the first time I have ever made button holes with a sewing machine, thankfully I practised on a scrap first rather than diving headfirst into it! The instructions that came with my lovely Janome were really well explained and the diagrams were clear too. Bit nervous about using the seam ripper to open them up in case I cut the stitching by accident but it was fine, I managed to keep inside the gap. I also have a crafty tip for everyone that came around whilst making this dress......
**If you use the insides of cushions for stuffing things you make then keep hold of the outside part, it will save you money on buying interfacing stuff and result in one less thing thrown in the bin!**

I love a little way to use up unexpected items and save a few pennies on materials too :)

Well anyway, back to the dress, all that is left is to sew on a popper to stop a little boob flashing and a few stitches to bring the bust part in a little tighter then I'm done!
It looks really cool, kind of a rockabilly/pin up look meets pirate wench.... which equals cool to me, sod what anybody else thinks!
I'll go into more detail about adjustments/ problems etc when I post a picture up of the finished product.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

New Project!

Two nights ago I started on this pattern, a 1994 McCalls picked up from a charity shop. I'm making dress C but without the capped sleeves, just sleeveless like the blue version. I've used a white with black polka dot polycotton, very light-weight for all the sun I hope we get this year! By the time summer comes around I'd like to have a decent selection of pretty dresses that I've made myself.....if I manage to do a good enough job!
I'm still learning so I will stick to the cheaper fabrics until I'm confident I won't do too much of a bad job! When I've mastered the arts of dressmaking I'll invest in some lovely fabrics and maybe even splurge on some vintage ones.

Anyway, the pattern is all cut out with no help from the cat (who did her best to ruin the pattern pieces whilst I was cutting them out, thankfully she didn't destroy any of them, just a few holes in the middle of the tissue paper!), I bought the buttons for the front today - 6 gorgeous twinkly black ones - and will start assembling the pieces tomorrow. I'm nervous and excited!
I also thought about it practically, I.E. what am I going to wear with it to cover up my wobbly arms? Answer....with a red knitted shrug! Which I bought the wool for today aswell as I was in town. Fingers crossed it goes ok!