Tuesday, 24 February 2015

This post is brought to you by corporate partners

Not really. But you may have gathered from my last post that I'm struggling to tell you interesting things about some recent projects. As much as I'd like to tell you about the profound thought processes and problem solving that took place while I was making these, or wax* poetic about the inspiration behind them, there's not much to actually tell you. Both of the projects below were Christmas presents (on time, thank you very much), both feature branding, both for lovely people. They seemed like good ideas at the time. That's pretty much the important stuff!

 *can you wax things other than poetic or lyrical?

How great is the print on this fabric?

4649 Scarf - Japan all over
Guys, this scarf was for TapTapTap: the lady just oozes cool. She just debuted her company Old Kent Road at The Place.

TapTapTap had a proper 4649 scarf. Had. Apprently it went walkabout on the train and the brand's remaining supplies were long gone. Sad times. Naturally, we thought we could manage a broadly similar thing by buying a t-shirt and refashioning appropriately. (We - B was in on this as well)

Evidence it once was a t-shirt

The pattern is Two Way Stole from Natsuno Hiraiwa's Shape Shape. Once again,the pattern behaves very differently depending on which fabric you use. That might be a running theme at the moment, don't you think?

Shape Shape two-way stole

EDF Plushie
You know this guy actually has a name?! It's called Zingy - and it somehow has a merch shop, a pattern on Ravelry and a whole selection of bootleg replicas floating around eBay and Etsy. Do you find it a bit odd that there's a whole handmade economy growing around the cute mascot of a corporate energy firm?

EDF Zingy Plushie
Anyway, you remember my highland cow from July? Turns out it was a big hit with the grandparents. Anything cute, they will adore. I have it on grandfather's athority that the cow is only allowed to cosy the teapot on special occasions. Otherwise it's got its own place on one of those mantelpieces that all grandparents reserve for special things.

Zingy getting stuffed

The grandparents have a soft spot for Zingy. EDF flyers can be spotted about the house. I had this idea a while ago but dismissed it so I could avoid giving people too many me-made things as Christmas gift. But as mid-December came along, and the deadline was drawing closer, I knew that this was the only good thing to get for grandparents. I mean come on.

Pattern pieces
 So Amazon ond Plush Addict came to the rescue with fast delivery and an insane selection of orange fabric. The colours are a bit off in these photos but please trust me that a lot of thought went into finding the right shade of orange. I borrowed a machine, drafted a shape with B and sculpted/improvised the point on top.

This guy is bigger than expected, but I think he's a success.

That's it for now, more for you soon!

Monday, 16 February 2015

Ever heard of zig-zag pinstripes?

At the same time I made the green trousers, I also made up a pair of actual office-appropriate trousers using some reversible zig-zag pintripe. Seen below post-commute in my scummy Converse. I used the more subtle side for the outer, it's a little scratchy to wear but I'm hoping that'll soften up (or I'll stop caring).

The pattern is still Burda 10/2013 #126A Bootcut Trousers. The pattern is still not bootcut.

The fit is slightly different to the green trousers and seems a little looser/drapier, allowing for a little extra space "out back", which thankfully makes them wearable.

The quest for a repeatable trouser/jeans pattern continues but I've been using these recent projects as a means of experimenting with construction methods, details and finishing. Dear patient reader I won't bore you with a discussion of 'when in the process to sew a fly', but I want to tell you about one of my favourite details:  buttonhole elastic in the waistband.


Mammafairy kindly gave me a big reel of the stuff a while ago and I've want to properly crack this over my next few pairs of trousers. In high-waisted trousers it helps mitigate slightly against a swayback; in low-rise trousers, it's pretty important in not letting them slide down my hips as I wiggle throughout the day. Y'know? Of course you do.

Anyway, for anyone interested in adding buttonhole elastic to their waistbands, here'a a quick explanation and some photos:
  1. Construct and interface your waistband as you like. Mark the facing (or inside bit) for two slits. I choose approx 1-inch backwards from the side seam.
  2. Stitch and cut open two buttonholes for the buttonhole elastic to pass through
  3. Secture one end of elastic beside the buttonhole. Add a button.
  4. Feed elastic through one hole and pass through the inside of the waistband
  5. Bring elastic out through other hole, sew in place and attach a button
  6. Attach waistband to rest of garment and do any necessary finishing

Done. Clear as mud.

I'm sure there are better or prettier ways, but will get back to you once I have a new idea.

Right now, I'm off for some pinot grigio and tinned pears.

Catch you soon!


Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Money Saving Tips for the Frugal Stitcher (7/7) - Some closing thoughts

Hey guys, 

It looks like we've come to the end of this series. Either I've run out of ideas, strung it on more than long enough or perhaps realised that you can never totally opt out of being a consumer.

I am certain you can save money if you sew. You save money on clothing, homewares and gifts. On the other hand, it can become a very expensive pursuit and that's a big risk if you're generally short on dough. 

If you want to get your sewing budget under control, you need to think and act carefully.
+ Who are you? What do you sew? What are your spending priorities? Can you combine costs and benefits?
+ Look after your tools, repair and repurpose
+ Stop spending too much on patterns
+ Treat your stash like a pantry: things will expire.
+ If you can get it discounted or free, do it!

I wrote all of these posts in one go on a snowy day in January 2014 in Berlin. Seems like I'm a bit guilty of dishing out advice and not following it one single jot.

After a binge at the start of October 2014, I've decided to start tracking how much I spend on sewing. Why didn't I do this in January? Beats me.

Stay safe,