Saturday, 26 September 2015

Corduroy Turia Dungarees

Hello all! I've been at uni for just over a week now and lessons commence on Monday. Freshers week has been a lot of fun, but I can't wait to get started on the course! As promised I knocked up some corduroy Turia dungarees before I left as I thought they would be a crucial piece in my autumn/winter wardrobe this year. You can see my floral turia's here and tie dye turia's here.
I did make a couple of changes to the pattern. I made the patch pockets on the hips the normal pockets found on jeans as I just prefer how they look. I also added 2 inches to the top of the back pattern piece as I thought that would help with the issues I've had with the straps being too short previously. I also made the strap pieces 2 inches longer. 
Corduroy is quite a heavy weight fabric, so I decided to sew all of the trouser seams with a 1cm seam allowance instead of 1.5 to make sure that they wouldn't be too tight. I thought the straps would be too bulky if the front and back were both corduroy so I lined them with a floral cotton in my stash. I also decided to line the bib with the same cotton, which gives a much nicer finish.
I thought I was being really clever, cutting the lining pieces smaller than the corduroy so it wouldn't peep out, but I trimmed the seam allowance after it was sewn so that effect was lost. I bought some corduroy top-stitching thread especially for this project but top-stitching was just completely lost in the texture of the corduroy. Looking at the pictures now, the pockets seem really small and out of proportion. These dungarees are not my usual style, and they feel rather masculine to wear, but I like them! They will be really warm and cosy for winter.
Thank you very much for reading and to Edward for taking the pictures! 
Lauren xx

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Silk dress with tuck details

Hello! It's time for another Minerva Crafts Blogger Network project! This has been one of the projects which has been a thousand different designs in my mind, but I'm pretty happy with the design I finally settled on. I was pretty much directly inspired by the dress that Tea made here
The fabric is a delicious silk with a subtle sheen to it. I hand washed it in the sink and then hung it out to dry, instead of chucking it in the washing machine. It was pretty slippery and kept falling off the ironing board, but it ironed beautifully using the silk setting on the iron. The skirt drapes well with or without a petticoat. (The photo above is without petticoat and below is with petticoat).
For the bodice tucks I decided that the easiest way to do things was to cut out a rectangle a couple of inches wider and longer than my bodice block. I did 3 tucks across the rectangle, then I placed my front bodice pattern onto the fabric, making sure that the tucks were where I wanted them, then pinning and cutting out. This saved me slicing open my bodice block and working out the maths.
The skirt is 2 gathered rectangles the width of the fabric. I measured 16 inches down from the top of the rectangle and marked it with a notch. Then I put 8 more notches a 1/2 inch apart below the first one. 3 notches for each tuck. I was worried that the tucks would get lost in the print, but they are fairly noticeable. They would have a greater impact on a plain fabric.
I was originally going to have the invisible zip in the side seam, but I wanted a french seam there. Because the side seams are shorter than center back seams as they start under the arm, the zip wouldn't be long enough for my back bodice block as it was. So, I decided a V neck was in order. I love how elegant it looks! I wanted to respect the silk and make the insides as clean as possible. I was planning on french seaming everything but then I realised gathering and french seams would be a nightmare combination. So I hand flat-felled the waistline seams and french seamed the side seams.
 The centre back seam was pressed open, the raw edges pressed under and slip-stitched. The neckline and armholes are bias bound from the leftover scraps of the silk. The hem was turned under twice and slip-stitched. Doing a lot of hand stitching adds a lot of time to a project, but it gives me a higher sense of satisfaction because it's not equal to RTW, it's better than RTW. I haven't yet decided whether I want to save it for special occasions or wear it everyday. I guess it's like using the best china everyday.
Thanks to Minerva Crafts for providing the materials and to Edward for letting me drag him out of the house to take pictures somewhere other than the back garden!
Lauren xx

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Button up jersey top

The night before my jaw operation I realised that a button up pajama top would be a lot easier to get on and off than the tees I normally use as pajama tops. Luckily I had some of the super soft floral jersey left over in my stash which was perfect for this top.
The top is self drafted, but it's pretty much a rectangle.  As a pajama top it didn't need to be fitted. I was a bit worried about doing buttonholes in the lightweight jersey, so the plan was to stabilize the buttonbands with interfacing. When I looked for interfacing in my stash it was no where to be found so I used calico selvedges instead, which worked fine. The buttonholes actually turned out surprisingly well!
I chose binding for the neckline and turned the hem over twice. The armholes are raw. I sewed the whole thing on my sewing machine because the overlocker was acting up. It's okay, but the finish is so much more professional with an overlocker.
I ended up wearing hospital gowns when in hospital, but this top came in handy when I got home. It was easy to get in and out of without interfering with my jaw. In fact, making it was a good distraction from thinking about my impending op.
Thanks for reading and to Ed for taking pictures!
Lauren xx

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Autumn/ Winter capsule wardrobe planning 2015

In the last few weeks I've had to decide which clothes I want to take to uni and I thought making an Autumn/Winter capsule wardrobe would be a good idea. I decided on a red, green, purple, navy and black for a colour scheme. Below you can see quick sketches of what I've decided to take. The highlighted items are yet to be made. The list has changed pretty dramatically with items being added and taken away. Since I took this photo 2 items have been crossed off. At the moment the capsule consists of 29 pieces, but that could be subject to change. 
Instead of showing you all of the items of clothing I already own, I thought I'd focus on things on the list that are yet to be made. All of the fabric was acquired at a fabulous Goldhawk Road shopping trip with Claire. All of the modeled photos used are pinned on my wardrobe architect pinterest board.  Apologies for my rough sketches. I clearly need to invest in a Fashionary.
 First up, are some dotty Ginger jeans. I've not been so happy with my flares, as the denim I used for those is pretty stiff and cardboard like with little stretch. This dotty denim is stretchier so all should be good. I'd like to make the high-waisted skinny jean version this time around.

 I wear my 2 pairs of Turia dungarees all the time, and I think some burgundy corduroy dungarees are going to be so cosy!
I'd like to use the Zeena dress pattern as a base for a pleated skirt, with some horizontal pin tucks near the hem for some interest.
I've had this grey wool in the stash for years and I haven't known what to make from 1 metre of it. It's been simmering in my brain and I think it would make a great pair of winter shorts to wear over thick black tights.
Lastly, an Anderson blouse in some green polycrepe. I'm really intrigued to see how this one turns out.
Hopefully I'll have some spare time at uni to make these a reality!
Thanks for reading,
Lauren xx