Tuesday, 14 September 2010

SSS Week 2

Well another week of Self Stitched September has passed....and I have pretty much run out of 'self stitched' garments! Anyway, here is how last week panned out for me:

Day 6
Top: Mango
Cardi: Too old to remember!

Finally, an outfit fit for wearing to work. Really like this look and I do love this skirt, but I don't wear it very often because it rides up when I walk and its creased like crazy after a couple of hours! Perhaps a slip underneath would help.

Day 7
Vest: Too old to remember
Cardi: Primark
Boots: Timberland

Yeay - it's cool enough to start wearing boots again - I LIVE in boots during autumn, winter and a lot of spring! I wore this out to a night at the comedy club...and hoped the comedian wouldn't pick up on the fact I was wearing a mans shirt turned into a skirt!!! Was a great night, and luckily I wasn't picked on - phew! These photos were taken when I came home, so the skirt is very creased!

Day 8+9 - er fails! Didn't manage to wear anything handmade. Ah well!

Day 10
Dress: Bought at car boot sale for £1!
Belt: Tesco for £1
Shoes: New Look
Bag: Made by me

I went to a dinner party at my friends house on Friday night. Unfortunately I haven't really made anything suitable so I had to resort to my faithful clutch bag. A great night, and all my friends said they wanted to put in an order for their own clutch!

Day 11 - fail!

Day 12
Cardi: ??
Boots: Timberland
Bag: Pinko

Worn for a day out shopping with mum. I really love this outfit and loved the fact I was wearing a dress made by myself. It makes you take a different view when shopping...I have almost lost my interest in shopping for clothes these days as I just think "I should try and make my own version instead"! Now if only I had the time to sew.....

I had my first day at my Dressmaking and Tailoring class last night! Unfortunately, they had a little bit of a mix up when advertising the class and didn't fully explain the difference between beginners and intermediate so apparently this class will be a mix of the two. So last night all we did was get familiar with a few of the sewing machines in the room and learn to wind a bobbin, thread the machine up, sew in a straight line, around a corner and sew to pieces of fabric together! Hmm.....a little basic! But it will get better. Plus it was just great to be in a room full of other people interested in sewing! They all seem so lovely so I'm really looking forward to this class progressing and getting to know everyone a bit better. When I start to learn something a bit more challenging I'll do a better post about the class!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

SSS week 1

As i mentioned before I have so far managed to stick to my Self Stitched September pledge....but we shall see how long I can keep this up. Even within the first week I have had to pull out a few 'cheat' objects, you'll see what I mean in a second. So lets see what I've been wearing so far....

Day 1:
Top: Refashioned top (see tutorial)
Jeans: Mango
Love Necklace: River Island

I wore this out for a couple of drinks in the local pub with my boyfriend. It was a lovely warm evening so it was great that I could get away with wearing this new top I had literally just whipped up.

Day 2:
Top: Refashioned (as above)
White shorts: New Look (the shop, not the pattern company!)
White Sandals: River Island

Another scorcher of a day so stripped out of work gear as soon as I got home and headed down to the park to play some frisbee (badly  - why do my throws always curve??!!!) with the boyfriend. Again, was loving my new top!!

Day 3:
Dress: Tesco (£4 - YES £4!!!!)
Necklace: Little shop in Spain
Belt: Primark
Bag: MINE!

So, a work outfit! But I'm afraid it's a little bit of a cheat, because the only thing I made was the bag. But I knew this would happen - and it's going to happen a lot! But it's still sticking to the rules!

Days 4 & 5:
Hat: Knitted by my mum
Coat: Rab

So.....here is the 'cheat'!!! The weather was ABYSMAL this past weekend....like really bad. I was spending the weekend up by the beach and with such a lovely week I had packed lots of lovely little summery things to wear (that I had made) - but the weather wasn't playing along and I couldn't wear any of it! Luckily I had packed a little beanie which my mum had knitted for me. So, I didn't wear anything I made myself....but at least I am wearing something handmade!! Ah well!
As a side note, I DID pack and use my beach bag that weekend so perhaps I did stick to the rules....I just didn't take a pic of that!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Men's Shirt to Smocked Halterneck TUTORIAL!

Well I said I had managed to fit in a little sewing....and when I said little I mean little! This was such an easy top to make that I thought it would be fun to make a little tutorial.

1. Take one large men's shirt (I got this nice pink and white striped one from a local charity shop for the tidy sum of £3.50 because my boyfriend wasn't parting with any of his current shirts - the cheek!) and cut straight across the body below the base of the sleeves. I used a ruler and rotary cutter to get a perfectly straight line (but that's because I, for some reason, do not have the basic ability to cut in a straight line with a pair of scissors!).

2. Turn down the newly created edge twice and straight stitch.

3. Do a quick straight stitch down the front to sew the button piece and buttonhole piece together (so that it won't gape while you wear it!)

4. Now comes the fun part -smocking / shirring! Get some elastic thread and wind gently onto an empty bobbin. Thread your machine as normal with white cotton as the top thread and use the elastic bobbin - threading like normal thread. Adjust the tension to make it a little tighter and then sew! I started and finished each line with a little bit of back stitching just to be safe then to move onto the next line I just lifted the foot and moved the shirt across by the distance of one half of the foot. After trying on the top while adding more lines I ended up with about 10cms/4inches shirred.
Top tip - if you have a button in the area you want to smock, unpick it so that you can easily sew over this area and then sew it on again at the end.
For an excellent tutorial for shirring check out Grosgrain

5. If you like you can leave the top like this and you would be done!! If you leave it like this you could actually wear this as a top OR a skirt! I was going to do this, but after trying out the various options I decided I just didn't suit the skirt version and thought it would actually look quite nice with straps. So....

6. Cut two strips from the sleeves each measuring about 9cm x 50cm. For each one fold in half and sew 1cm seam along long edge and also along one of the ends. I decided to make my ties have pointed ends so my seam at one short end was done at an angle. Turn each strap right side round and iron. Put on the top and mark where you would like the straps to start from. I think it looks better if the straps are quite far apart. Then take off top, double over the ends of each strap (fold 1cm then 1cm again) and sew each in place. Put top on, tie straps behind neck and you are DONE!!!

As I said, so quick and easy. And I love the end result:

I think this would also make a very sweet dress for a little girl!

P.S. I'm linking:

Friday, 3 September 2010

New pages and SSS starts!

You may have noticed, I've been adding a few new pages to my blog: My Other Blogs (which links to my old Starfishes blog and my cooking blog Su Yum), About Me, and now FOs (Finished Objects).

It's still a work in progress and I'm not 100% happy about the FOs page, but I just can't get the photos to go exactly where I want them!! And I haven't written anything 'about me' yet as that's just not a fun thing to do!! I'll get around to it soon tho I promise.

Anyway, just thought I'd draw your attention to the new pages if you fancy checking them out.

And guess what guys - I have been sewing! Only a little bit, but I managed to make up a new top...and although I don't know how long it will last...I have managed to stick to my SSS pledge so far:

'I, Suzanna Wilson at starfishesbelfast.blogspot.com, sign up as a participant of Self-Stitched-September. I endeavor to wear at least 1 handmade or refashioned item of clothing and/or accessories every day for the duration of September 2010'

(I blogged at the old blog Starfishes when i first made this pledge) I will update you all at the start of next week on what I have been wearing. There are so many bloggers playing along with the event -  it's really great to watch, and I'm so excited to see it as the month progresses. I won't be able to post about my involvement every day so I think I will just be updating on SSS once a week. If I am to make it all the way through September I think I had better get cracking with the sewing! But as I mentioned in my last post I don't want my sewing to stress me out so if I don't make it the whole month, I don't make it - it's not the end of the world! But lets see how I do anyway!
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