Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Just in time! The Stockholm Challenge Tee!

Hi guys!

An update on The Stockholm Challenge for you today. Seems apt considering we just got back...*ahem*...

You remember I went to Berlin in January? And came back with a challenge to sew before heading to Stockholm at Easter? Well it got done and has been VERY well worn since being handed over to the lucky recipient.

It's a modified Thread Theory Newcastle Cardigan, into a Henley tee. Why do this when Thread Theory have a perectly lovely Henley Tee pattern anyway?

Because then it wouldn't be a challenge. Duh.

I kid you not. This shirt is exactly the same...
...as this one.
Luckily, we knew they already liked the fit of the Newcastle I just wanted to modify the neckline, keeping the other elements. I drafted a neckline placket using this video but would probably modify it in the future for the placket to be one piece, not two.

Loads of RTW t-shirts seem to be binding/stabilising the shoulders and neckline with a srip of self fabric at the moment. Take a moment to root through your t-shirts and have a look, spotted it? Naturally, I blatantly ripped it off and copied it. You can see it in the picture above. What do you think? Nifty, eh?

All the seams are flat-felled again, which gives it a bit of a nicer finish and should make it a lot more durable too!

Until I can grab a live-action shot of the top, you'll need to make do with these.

Front. Shoulders don't really fit on a female form...
Back. Obvs.

This top has garnered far more comments and compliments than anything else I've ever made. I don't know whether to be proud or offended ;)


Standby for another Stockholm post soon...

Stay safe,

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The 'Oh yeah, that one!' tee

"Do you remember that crazy step from tap today?"
"Errr, no...what are you on about?"
"You know, that one from the combo we did?"
"The one to Kanye West?"
"No, to Al Green, with the weird body percussion thing"
"Do you remember any of the combo?"
"Okay, well it starts like ****, and then something else happens... but I don't remember the next bit...do you?"
"Are you sure we didn't do it last week instead?"
"Maybe, we definitely did it today though"
"Mm. Can you count it?"
"Can you remember anything about it?"
"You start facing the front, then you go over there, and then over there, and then sideways and then I think you pickup, step, heel, three times and then there's a turn..."
"It's a bit twisty...looks like you're skipping over your own legs..."
"it goes dededede, dededede, dededede-yatayatata"
"Oh yeah! That one!"

Looking pretty straight...
A little bit back to front, a little bit twisty, a little bit confusing....

Such is a common conversation in the pub post-tap. Everyone has different ways of remembering the combos and techniques, but trying to write it down or explain it to someone else is pretty much impossible. Then you start miming, counting, signing, gesturing odd directions to try to jog the other person's memory. Sometimes it feels like you live in this Fry & Laurie sketch.


So that's the deal. If you see this top in person and ask nicely, I could show you the crazy step it's actually named for (provided I don't fall over or get embarassed or both). But here in blogland it will forever be known as the 'Oh yeah, that one!' top.

It's the newest part of the Spring Race Challenge. It's my 3rd Twist & Drape Blouse from Natsuno Hiraiwa's Shape Shape book. This one is made from jersey, I eliminated the CF closures and modified the sleeves a bit (a lot). I love the drape of the top, but neither England nor Stockholm in the spring really allow for a drapey vest top, so sleeves were duly added!

Loose definition of the term "backwards"

Because I actually think this is backwards...
but can't really remember...

The fabric is from Girl Charlee, and some scraps of perma-crinkle jersey I got from Strasbourg. All in all, it's nice and bright. Plus, I can wear it backwards!

I stabilised the neckline using twill tape too, and the flat-fells are looking bloody lovely. The hems are left as raw edges.

I'm yet to decide if this is actually going to be good exercise wear.
Easy to clean/care for? Check.
Colourful? Check.
Comfy and easy to move? Check.
Aerated? Check.
Shifty and bouncy? Errr...

Anyway, no credit for guessing what we're moving on to next. After a tip top tap top, it's gotta be tap trousers!


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

My head's going a mile a minute...


Did you see the telly last Tuesday?! I completely lost my shit seeing that two of my absolute favourite things on earth were being covered by BBC2 in one night. This will NEVER happen again.

So we all know the Great British Sewing Bee is really getting intense now. I am astounded by the creativity and precision of the remaining sewists. What on earth can they be planning for the final challenges? (my money's on a lace wedding dress, or a full tux, anyone got other ideas?)

But the important thing today is what came after the Sewing Bee last week: tap. I adore tap. You should too.

The all-round entertainer always tops off their act with a spot of tap. If they're really good, they'll do something crazy like tap dancing on roller skates. Why? Because screw you, that's why.

But then there's a whole other world, of people who actually have their own signatures and styles, from super-girly, to stupidly complex, to grimey-funk. These guys are cool.

So with that introduction out of the way, I'm going to tell you now that my next few projects will all be named for something to do with tap dancing. This is partly because Melissa has launched the Spring Race Challenge (and tap is duly allowed!), and partly because I desperately need some appropriate exercise gear for Stockholm.

Here's the secret, the Stockholm trip is actually Stockholm Tap Festival. Europe's biggest and most established tap festival. We will sweat, we will ache, we will develop blisters in places you didn't know you could get blisters. That definitely counts as a challenge.

Spring Race Challenge

So without much more ado, meet The BS Hoodie.

Named for the BS Chorus, which is a classic bit of choreography no tap dancer should live without. Much like a TNT (tried and true) t-shirt pattern really.

The  fabric is a light (read: transparent) jersey from Girl Charlee, but only the blue/yellow colourway is still available. The pattern was traced from my favourite t-shirt, I lengthened the sleeves and added a lined hood. The seams are flat-felled for durability, and most of the detail topstitching is a zigzag (lazy, but consistent).

All the zigzags and topstitching
Flat fells and a teeny-tiny coverup. Spotted it?
I love flat-felling jersey, it just falls over itself and curls up so nicely. Yes, it makes hemming quite tough, but the seams all look good. Plus the guts look good too.

Stay tuned for more exercise-wear, and yet more obscure tap references.