Monday, 20 April 2015

New Projects and a Few Malfunctions

Happy Monday World!
So at the start of this month I decided to challenge myself with stretch fabrics since all the dresses I'm now itching to make need this rather than cotton. It's daunting as it's something completely new and I'm not sure how it's going to work out, but hey, that's what learning something new is all about, isn't it?!
So first off I ordered 2.6m of this dark plum bengaline...
It's much much darker in real life...
 I'm making a wiggle dress with this one, but I'll obviously blog it when I've made it.  But it is the Eliza M 'Eva' dress, and I'm hoping it turns out to be flattering over my pudgy tummy...

Along with this I chose some plain black jersey fabric with a very good stretch. This was originally going to be a turtle neck dress, but I've changed my mind. For years I have always wanted a flattering 'little black dress' but have never had any joy, so I'm making my own. Still in need of a pattern but it will be simple and classy!

Lastly I went all girly and decided to coordinate with my other half's tattoos. I know, I've become one of THOSE girls. I disgust myself. Anyway, by this I don't mean I've got a new tattoo, and it doesn't match his... thank god... instead I got this awesome skull and roses printed cotton (he has a few skulls surrounded by roses tattooed on his arms). I think it's going to turn into a skirt. Either a skater skirt or a pencil skirt. I haven't decided yet!
All the above fabrics I've just mentioned are from Minerva Crafts ( I'm still remaining faithful to my beautiful local fabric store, I just needed stretch fabric which she doesn't stock at the moment and it PAINED me to take my custom elsewhere for once! I have to say though, the skulls cotton was £2.99 a metre, which really is pretty amazing.

So now that the new projects for me have been discussed, something super exciting has happened as well. About a month ago I put the word out on Facebook that I needed a made to measure model. Someone who would be willing to buy the fabric and any trimmings and I would make them the dress for free. Much to my dismay no one came forward, until it was mentioned in passing with my friend Katie and guess what?! I'm now making her 30th birthday party dress! Her birthday is on the 3rd of May but I've already made the lining and the first fitting is tomorrow. It's all going well and you'll all get to see her in her 60s shift dress glory when it's done :)

So malfunctions... there have been a few. First being that I made myself a beautiful grey and flowery wiggle skirt... 4 sizes too big. I figured that I needed to add 5 inches to make it fit me, but accidentally added 5 to each pattern piece... so yeah, 20 inches! Before altering it sat below my bum and looked like a granny skirt. After much cutting and pinning it finally fit and I was so chuffed that I wore it to work the next day! As I was stepping up on the train however, I heard a loud rip and a cool draft. Panicking, I found a seat and fretted about it all the way into Leeds. Unaware of the damage I spent FOUR POUNDS on a travel sewing kit from Boots and went and sat in the station toilets for 15 minutes. As it turned out the 'wiggle' had ripped from the top of the split to near the zip, and my bum, encased in control tights, had been flashed to hundreds of commuters in Leeds station.
So people, the moral of the story is you CAN have too much of a wiggle...

My lovely handmade purse has also seen better days, as a bottle of water leaked in my handbag and ruined the fabric glue, so the clip frame is now falling off. Another moral: don't buy fabric glue from Poundworld.

I'm currently making Katie's dress and my own stretchy wiggle dress to be ready in the next couple of weeks, I just hope they don't disintegrate or something...

Every project is a lesson :) Until next time crafty friends!

Kat x

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

How To Make A Clip Frame Purse (Or How To Ruin Something With Fabric Glue)

Happy April, readers! It is officially my BIRTHDAY MONTH! I don't care what my boyfriend says, it IS a thing.
So over the Bank Holiday weekend I decided to make myself a new purse in a last ditch attempt to save some money. I figure, if I can't carry around every coffee card, loyalty card and magic money card (credit cards...) I own I can't overspend. So as I can never find one affordable that I like in shops I decided to make my own clip purse.
Now don't get me wrong, it's still pretty big, but I can only keep 3 cards in it which is a win.

For the first time in my relatively short sewing career I made something without a pattern! What a win! It's almost worked too... amazing. It's really easy to make and it only took me a few hours too.

So to begin with I traced around the clip frame (£3 on eBay) onto some greaseproof paper (my holy grail) and sketched the kind of shape I wanted the purse to be from there. I then drew a line down the middle of this and cut out the better half of my template (I like symmetry...)

Then I took the material I was using and folded a bit over, right sides facing up. Placing the straight line I drew down the half of the template on to the fold I pinned and snipped. I did this twice on each fabric piece I was using (two for outer and two for lining). 


I then did the same again to produce 4 matching pieces of light weight iron on interfacing. Then you simply affix the interfacing to the fabric to give it a little more structure.

Side note: do any other sewers get a weird thrill out of pressing fabric with a hot iron? I hate ironing but I bloody love pressing my own creations.

Anyway, next I made some credit card pockets by drawing round one of my cards onto, you guessed it, greaseproof paper. I made 3 slots so cut 6 matching pieces of fabric. You need to make the cuts a fair bit bigger than the card, however, as it turns out mine are too small. But they're sewn on now and I'm not redoing that!

I sewed each pocket RST then turned them out and pressed. You'll notice from this photo that I made a 4th pocket, but we don't talk about that one...

So then I had to make the main body of the purse. To make sure I didn't get overly excited with the sewing machine and seal the thing I marked with pencil where the bottom of the clip frame will come to...
I then sewed the outer right sides together, adding a little ribbon loop to the side as you can see to the left... (to the left to the left everything you own in a box to the left).

So with the outer done it was time to sew the inner. Which is where my credit card slot fail happened. I basically tiered the pockets as you can see in the picture, but sewed too far in which made them teeeeeeeeeny. Not to self, in future check before doing the lining. But no matter, it just means no cards for me ever! Do all your inner features before any other sewing, far easier :)
At least it looks good...
So next I stitched RST with the lining again, but leaving a 3ish inch gap at the bottom in the middle, and turned it round and pressed again.
THIS WAS WRONG. The next series of photos are to show you how NOT to insert lining...

*La la la Kat is feeling overly confident and is quite tired but in the sewing zone so will just carry on anyway la la la la la.... "look how pretty and perfect the fabric is! I'm glad I'm doing this right and won't have to unpick it!" lalala*

Right side facing wrong side.... that is always how it goes.... <_< 


 "....oh. Balls."

*goes to bed*

So, I had a long sleep, got up, and started again...

So, RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, put the lining inside the outer fabric and pin together. Sew around the top edges (where the frame will be essentially and where the edges are raw) and notch the curves as you go.

Then... using the gap in the lining that you left when sewing it the first time, pull the outer through so it looks something like that to the left (try and resist the urge to sing Beyonce...)

Press the open seam and stitch it closed. I usually press the lining and the outer at this stage too (believe it or not, this isn't the first time I've made something with a lining). Now you can push the lining back into the outer fabric and it will actually look like a purse!
 So next came fabric glue. I was so tempted to use superglue but after reading a lot online I was put off this idea and went into town to get some fabric glue. Annoyingly though, the nozzle was quite wide and as I applied it quite liberally to the channel of the clip frame when I pushed the purse in it OOZED. I wiped it off the fabric with a wet cloth but there are still some yellowy stains. It can't be helped and I have learnt my lesson for next time! Sadly though, it doesn't look as perfect as it should due to this error in judgement. Next time I'll invest in a teeny tiny brush for this. Some instructions have also suggested using cord in the channel to help the bond so I'll try this too. 
At the end of the day though, it was a learning curve! Not everything in life is perfect and considering it was my first try it doesn't look too shabby... does it?

 Til next time loves,

Kat x