Thursday, 30 September 2010

Self Stitched September 30th - and a review

So we are at the end of SSS. Phew it has been interesting. My stats are thus: 2 fails, 15 orignal outfits and 13 repeats. Not bad all in all. I didn't sew much new stuff to be fair, just finished off some things that were languishing in the UFO pile.

I did learn a lot about my wardrobe though. My tops consist of vests (most of which are now in the re-fashion pile due to the stain fairy being my new best friend). Yeah, that's it. I have a grand total of 1 top that I have made myself. So my mission once I have sewn my coat is going to be make myself some tops. I have grown less fond of lycra vests of late and desire some better fitted tops.

I've enjoyed the experience but I'm not sure if I would do it again. As much as we try not to be wasteful in this house I have to admit that I may have a weakness for variety in my clothes. I like having a choice. Being limited to 15 items got very dull by the end. I am painfully aware just how bad that it and how so many people would love to have 15 items to choose from. But I think this might be a little indulgance of mine.

Lady Grey Muslin take 2

So I decided that my muslin did need a bit of tweaking. I'm not going to all this effort for nothing right? So I asked for some advice and was told maybe a smaller size with an FBA. This would sort the shoulder issues for sure. Now I know that an FBA would do this, I have done them before. But the thought of cutting out new pieces made me feel a tad queasy. So I put the muslin on Vera and pinned like a mad thing. The result? I took out some excess material from the centre back, right side back and both shoulder seams. One fitting coat.

On the front I have decided to take a wee smidge out of each lapel to stop it gaping.

Once I have sewn that bit and put the collar back on I can mark up the roll lines for some of the tailoring shenanigans and then I can take it apart, trim off any excess from the seams that I don't need and think about cutting my actual material.


Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Lady Grey Muslin

Well after much busyness I have finally gotten time to sew my muslin for the Lady Grey sewalong. It only took me a short while last night to knock together and I am quite pleased with it so far. I'm gonna post these pics to the Flikr pool and ask everyone's advice. as much as I would like to leave it as is I know I should really take advantage of all these wonderful people and their knowledge to fix all the niggly problems.

My only real beef with the pattern is that is doesn't seem to wrap as far round me as it should despite all the measurements being dead on. I could do all sorts of adjustments to make it so that it does. But instead I'm gonna move the button holes. It wraps round plenty and I am warmer than Satan's undies most of the time so that little extra wrap round would probably leave me hot under the collar. Plus it does have a belt do it ain't going anywhere!

Over the next 4 weeks we will put together the actual coat and hopefully be done by Halloween. Can't wait!

Self Stitched September 29th

Today's repeat is the black skirt/petticoat combo.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Self Stitched September 28th

Today's repeat was the red spotty skirt.

Self Stitched September 27th

Today's repeat was the yellow and white tablecloth skirt.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

A birthday dress and my first sleeves

It was the birthdays of 2 little girls this weekend. I only managed to get one of their presents done. However R is only 1 so I don't think she'll mind it being late. For A I made a dress from one of the vintage patterns I bought.

Look, look I did sleeves. Now I know they are puffed sleeves which have a huge margin for error but I am still rather proud of them.

Now can you spot what is wrong with it? I changed the patterns form button holes to a zip for speeds sake but I don't seem to have taken enough material out of the back at the neck line. I think this is going to hang really wrong. But I'm sure I can fix it should I need to. The only other thing I'm not happy with is the fact that I used white thread for the visible stitching. I'm sure black would have been better. But having said that I quite like it round the bow. What do you think?

Self Stitched September 26th

Todays repeat was the walkaway dress.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Self Stitched September 25th

Today's repeat is the red skirt with roses on it made from a duvet cover.

Friday, 24 September 2010

None D Day approaches

Ok Guys I'm going to preface this one. This is not a pleasant post. It deals with 2 topics that are still quite taboo; suicide and self harm. If either of these things bother you I suggest you skip this post and come back tomorrow. It's also a bit rambley. Thank you.

It's a light hearted title for quite a serious day for me. It's none dead day. On the 24th of October 2003 I took an overdose. It wasn't overly serious to be fair. I ended up in hospital being fed activated charcoal to make me throw up all the stuff. I didn't need a stomach pump or anything like that. I was released from hospital after a very brief chat with the on duty psych nurse. As far as the health system was concerned they were done with me.

It wasn't a spur of the moment thing. For the previous 12 years I had been fighting, and losing, a battle with self harm. I would dearly love to say that I had a good reason for treating myself thus but I didn't. There is no rape or abuse in my past. No drugs or anything like that. But from the age of 12 to 24 I hurt myself on a regular basis. It started out small, a few bruised from punching things. At 15 it escalated to a few cuts, usually with broken glass, when a bit tipsy. By 18 it was regular cuts with glass, craft blades and whatever was to hand. I was pretty good throughout uni, maybe 3 instances in total. But the strain showed. After uni I hit a point where I just couldn't cope anymore. So on the 24th I got up, went to lunch with a friend, came home and started taking soluble painkillers that I had left over from septic tonsillitis. I took them 4 at a time and I lost count. I took the time, lord knows how many swallows in, to call a friend, an ex, A~. Someone who I cared for a lot. I told them what I had done and that I didn't think they would come to me. I'd say it was a cry for help but I genuinely didn't think he would come, either through not receiving the message I left or through not caring. I was wrong. He came and arrived at the same time as my housemate, N~. It is a testament to how much they cared for me that they were able to be civil to each other as they really despised each other. They got me to hospital (in an ambulance. How guilty did I feel for taking that later on!) and they stayed with me. N~went to collect my friend B~ who I'd forgotten was coming to visit me. The trip tot he psych nurse was pointless. She agreed that I would benefit from seeing a psychiatrist but there was a 2 year waiting list. I was referred to the local women's centre where they had counsellors (that fell through which is a whole other story). So I went home.

After that I decided people could have me scarred and alive or perfect and dead. For the next year I hurt myself almost every day. Drunk or sober it made no difference except to the severity of the damage (drunk you don't feel pain as much and accidentally cause more damage than you intended). I cut, I bruised, I burned. I am scarred on my right leg, left arm chest and stomach. They are certainly not the worst scars I have seen from self harm but they're not the prettiest things in the world. The burns on my arm are the worst. They were done in the January of 2004. On a night out A~ whispered to me that he loved me whilst holding the hand of his current girlfriend. I had no doubt as to his sincerity and still don't. But what bothered me then, what sent me home in tears, was the fact that I wasn't enough. That he couldn't love me enough to be with me. It compounded my feelings of worthlessness. What was wrong with me that I could be an object of desire but not wanted enough to be someones partner? I went home, took a carving fork (those 2 pronged things for holding a joint still while you carve it) and heated it up on the stove. After a lot of determination I pressed it into my arm 4 times. I say determination because the body really does try and protect itself. Every time I got near my arm I shook so badly I couldn't do it. Looking at my arm now I wish my body had won that one. I made several more marks on that arm over the course of that year.

My self harm came to an end in February 2006. That January, on my 24th birthday, I cut myself co badly I scared myself silly. I am fairly certain I went down the subcutaneous at layer but as I didn't go to a Dr I will never know for sure. I didn't feel better afterwards though. The whole point of self harm for me was that it made me feel better. I was able to cope with day to day life. But I felt no better and no worse after that night. On the 16th of February I made 3 small burns on my hand and again I felt no better. That was the point that I decided to stop. If it was making me feel no better then what was the point? Clearly I had reached a turning point in my life.

I have not hurt myself since. I cannot say I am recovered as, like any kind of addict, the thought is there all the time. "Maybe it will work this time. maybe I will feel better." But it just isn't worth trying to see. It has been 4 years and almost 8 months since I stopped. It has been 7 years since I wanted to take my own life. Things have improved vastly in that time and for most of the time I am fine. But I still have moments. Things get on top of me, I feel overwhelmed, I feel unloved and most of all I feel stupid. Deep down I feel stupid for feeling all those things. I know I am loved and I know I can cope. I force myself to cope, to get on with it, to not lay down and wallow in self pity. I cry. Mostly when I feel like this I cry. I shout and I cry. One day I hope to be so under control that I don't do that but for the moment I'll live with that rather than damaging myself. Life was a lot easier when I hurt myself but it was certainly not better.

Self Stitched September 23rd and 24th

Today's and yesterday's repeats were my altered trousers.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Self Stitched September 22nd

Today's repeat is the blue and green ruffeled skirt made from 2 pairs of trousers.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Phew - maybe too many projects

This evening I have thread traced all my pieces for the Lady Grey sewalong. I stopped at that point simply because I couldn't make my eyes focus anymore! I've then cut out the pieces for a top and dress for a friend's 1 and 4 year old (I think I have that right) for their birthdays. They are from vintage paterns and have to be done by Sunday. Oh and I have to make a fairy costume for Spadgersdottier for their fancy dress birthday party also on Sunday.

So about those extra hours in the day I requested??

A few words on Vera

Hey folks. Some good questions about Vera which I thought I would answer here.

She is made from chicken wire. I have tried making a form out of both parcel tape and duct tape to no great success. Both of them collapse far too quickly to be any use.

The parcel tape form got all bent out of shape because I didn't let it dry on me for long enough. Man it takes so long to make that you are dying to get out of it. Really!!!

Duct tape could work better but you have to be ready to put it on a base and stuff it pretty darn quick as it really doesn't hold it's shape for long. Plus you can end up with a form a bit bigger than you would like depending on how many layers you go for.

The chicken wire version has definitely worked the best. We made her in 3 sections. The bottom half of my body from under the bust down to over my hips at the front and all up my back and over the shoulder was one part. We just wrapped it round me and cut away the top bit. Each boob was an individually moulded piece. I think most people wouldn't have to go to that mush effort but the bust is where I have all of my fitting issues so we wanted it to be darn accurate. These 3 pieces were then wired together and I wriggled out of it. Spadger then cut a base for her and stapled it together. We stuffed her it cut up bits of the winter duvet as we really don't seem to need it. I guess anything would do that you can pack in well and squeeze into all the curves. He then cut and stapled arm and neck pieces. I draped her in the spotty material which is some kind of stretchy jersey and sewed in in place using stitches to the wire to pull it in around the boobs. She fits onto a stand which is just a pole attached to a cross piece at the bottom. Basically the pole goes into a box that is fixed into the bottom of the form (sounds very rude as I'm trying to explain it). This is so she can be removed and Lucille put in her place when we make her. 2 forms, 1 stand.

I hope that answered your questions. Holler up if I missed anything.

Self Stitched September 21st

Today's repeat is the purpple skirt with dotty trim.

Monday, 20 September 2010

'Allo Vera :o)

So we finally made Vera. The prospect of helping me fit a coat was too much for Spadger so we cracked on with Vera. A while ago we started on Lucille, the little minx who will be my corset dress form. But a broken corset but her on the back burner where she has stayed. The sew along certainly prompted a desire to start and indeed finish Vera. So without further ado may I present Vera!

Yeah she's spotty :o) I love spotty

Self Stitched September 20th

Today's repeat is the black skirt/petticoat combo.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Self stitched September 19th

So I am all out of suitable SS clothing now and will be starting the rotations. I knew I wasn't going to have 30 items so I'm quite proud of how far I've gotten with only 2 fails. Today's repeat is the red wrap trousers.

SSS failure - 2

Saturday was a failure again. Farm days are really hard as I have no home made work gear.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Self Stitched September 17th

Oh dear peeps, I'm almost out of self stitched clothes. My last 2 pieces are getting less and less weather friendly :o( Today I have a top I have shown you before. I'm still not 100% happy with it but i was complimented on it twice today so that made me feel pretty good.

I also made today's jewellery.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Self Stitched September 16th

This is one that I am very proud of. You see those trousers? Well I didn't make them from scratch but I did alter them to fit. I bought them years ago when I lost a load of weight. They fit pretty darn good. Then I lost more weight. Well, technically that is wrong. I'm heavier than I was then but slimmer. It's all in the boobs and bum! It meant that I was having to wear a a belt with these and pulling them in so much that it looked like they had a paper bag waist which they don't. The belt loops were always a bit strange, they stopped about half an inch from the top of the trousers which enhanced this paper bag thing.

I took the waistband off, pulled them up to where I wanted them to sit and took in the side seams. I then took in the waistband to match and sewed it back on. Cue well fitting trousers which sit on my waist rather than falling off my hips. My bum looks about 4 sizes smaller now that it's not covered by saggy pants!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Self Stitched September 15th

Todays outfit is a re-fashion rather than a sewn from scratch. This dress cost me £6 from the staff shop at my old job. I loved it but it had these little cap sleeves. They drove me nuts. What the heck is with cap sleeves? They don't keep your arms warm and they stop you being able to move your arms normally. Really just not for me. So I unpicked them, removed the pathetic little bit of sleeve, and sewed the binding back on. Ah, free movement in arms. What's that, you'd like something off that shelf? Certainly I'l reach up and get it for you. (ok so that might be overdoing it. I'm real short so no one ever asks me to reach anything for them! But you get the idea.)

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Self Stitched September 14th

Today's offering is a skirt I have had for nearly 10 years now. It started life as a wrap skirt but seems to have shrunk and didn't wrap round far enough to be decent hehehehe o I simply sewed it up and now it is a lovely full skirt. I did rip the hem going up a step today so it needs re-hemming now. Poot!

Self Stitched September 13th

Yeah I'm a day behind again. But yesterday I felt just rotten so ddidn't do much of anything. Yesterdays contibution then was the red wrap trousers. I love these things so very much!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Self Stitched September 12th - first repeat

There is no pic today folks as today is the first day I've repeated an item. I'm in the purple shorts again.

Self Stitched September 11th

Again I am a day behind with this one but I'm sure you'll forgive me. Tis not an exciting one today. Just a vest top that I embroidered a couple of hearts on. One was to cover a mark. I didn't get an action shot of this one as yesterday was spent weeding at the farm, cooking pizza and watching Where The Wild Things Are.

time for a none sewing post

Hey guys. Man it's been nothing but sewing over here this month. I am aware that there are more things to life than SSS I promise. Trouble is they've upped the security at work again so while I can get on and read other people's blogs I can't actually log into Blogger. Crazy right! This means I've just not had time on an evening to blog.

So to placate you hungry beasts I've got some piccies. You like piccies right? Sure you do. No sewing ones I promise. They are all a bit random and are ones I've been meaning to share with you and haven't for one reason or another.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Self Stitched September 10th

Ok so I'm posting this one a tad late but yesterday was a long day. This is the walkaway dress which some of you might remember from here, here, here and here This is one of my favs but I do think it needs a few last tweaks to make it perfect.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Self Stitched September 9th

Hey everyone. Today is day 9 and I have a little velvet number to show you all. It started life as a skirt which someone bought for me which was way too big. I took it in an wore is as a skirt and a strapless dress for a while. Then I stopped being able to wear strapless bras so it went back to a skirt. Then the zip broke. Sob!

So I threw it on the "do something with it" pile and when I signed up to wardrobe refashion I turned it into this dress. A few people pointed out that the lines on the front didn't do my bust any favours and I did agree with them. So it got put to the back of the wardrobe.

Roll on SSS and suddenly I am desperate for hand made stuff. "Can I wear the unflattering velvet dress?" I thought. Hold on, let's be revolutionary and wear it the wrong way round. Cue much more flattering low backed dress. It is cinched in under my bust with a ribbon.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Self Stitched September 8th

And caught up!

This one is more of a refashion than anything. It started life as 2 pairs of trousers. The green ones were from my larger days, the blue striped ones I wore to pieces, literally!

Self Stitched September 7th

Skirt again I'm afraid. Look there is a petticoat as well though. I went to the ballet yesterday and therefore got back too late to be bothered with pics. I'm sure I'll wear these again though so you can see the full pouffy effect then

Self Stitched September 6th

Ok so I know that I am a bit behind on these now. My great plans to post everyday were held up by life hehehe.

So the outfit for the 6th was once again a skirt (I'll run out eventually). This was one of the first skirts I made. It needed to be re-sewn as it was a bit of a botch job and the zip is still a bit lumpy. But I was quite pleased with the ribbon trim.

This pic was taken at the end rather than the beginning of the day which is why the skirt is so wrinked and I look so spaced out.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Self Stitched September 5th

Afternoon folks. After the failure yesterday I'm back in my own clothes. Today it is my purple wrap shorts. I've not taken a new photo as I've spent all day in the kitchen sorting out the windfall apples we go. I havn't finished yet and I've got the plums to tackle yet. So if you wanna see them please click here.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

SSS failiure

So the plan was to wear my farm gear today and then get changed into something suitable for SSS when we got back. Yeah we've just got home! I really need to make some work clothes.

I feel like such a failure but I knew there was a possibility that I would fail on Saturdays.

Mary, it's not cold hearted at all. Just a fact of life, and dinner. There was no way was I wearing anything I had made for the chicken dispatch!

Back on the wagon tomorrow then.

feathers flew

It's 9:08 and the rooster has been dispatched and plucked. This was my first go at plucking a chicken and I think it went quite well.

It's odd you know. In there plucking away he was just a dead bird. Away from him I'm really sad that Cornelius is gone. Funny how we think about things.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Self Stitched September - 3rd

Ah here we are on day 3. I'm quite pleased with not only managing to wear something but blogging about it too. Hello to my new guests who have come over form SSS. Mary, I do intend to post every day but I think I may end up with some catch up days.

So onto the item. It's another skirt I'm afraid, I have a few of these. This one again started life as a dress I made, which in turn started life as a duvet cover. The dress was ok but the waist part of it was not quite right. So I scrapped it until I can figure out what is wrong with the pattern for my body.

I also wore a hand made hair barrette today.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Cornelius is a rooster

The little bugger just did a series of crows, one of which was done while looking right at me so there could be no doubt as to which one it was.


Self Stitched September - 2nd

Onto day 2 than. Today we have a skirt in my favourite pattern. Spotty!!!! This skirt started life as a "smocked"dress I made. Phew was that a disaster. It then became the back up dress for a wedding I was going to but man it went so wrong. Now it is a skirt. I feel that it is quite happy with it's current incarnation :o)

Please ignore the big giggle face. Spadger made me laugh.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Self Stitched September - 1st

Ok here we go. SSS day 1. I'm combing 2 things here as todays outfit consists of an item from the to do list that I've not posted yet. Here is the tablecloth skirt. It is a circle skirt with a ribbon waistband and back zip. It took me 2 attempts to get this right but I'm really pleased with it. You can't make out the yellow bands in the fabric in this pic. The sun this morning was quite bright.

Also, and I know these aren't stitched, I have on a pair of earrings I made myself too.