Monthly Archives: May 2014

Fehr Trade Lacy Thong: No Pun Intended

I can’t tell you how hard I’m finding it not to write a post full of wildly inappropriate puns!! I’m practically sitting on my hands while biting my tongue as I type!
Aaanyways, remember my musings re: vpl when I first started making jeans?

Well, a little while ago, Mia kindly took things into her own hands (metaphorically, not literally I hasten to add) and suggested via the comments that I try doing away with vpl via the wearing of thongs. And what’s even better she suggested to make Fehr Trade’s free Lacy Thong pattern to get ahead of myself in the underwear department.

I guess I needed this kick up the back side, made up a thong and today is only the second day in my whole life that I’m wearing one.

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My first thong experience many years ago wasn’t a good one: I felt as if a dentist had not been quite compos mentis and used his dental floss on the entirely wrong part of my anatomy. In fact I felt so uncomfortable that I remember distinctly extracting the thong from where it didn’t belong in the middle of the day in a right frenzy and changing into a trusty old pair of granny knickers.

Today went much, MUCH better: It’s the wee hours now with me still thonged up, no major chafing or irritation. I do feel a little – well, nekid, which I suppose is entirely the point of a thong, so full scores there.

Construction-wise there is not much to tell, given that a thong takes up hardly any fabric. I made the size L, following my measurements, but maybe the knit I used is a bit more stretchy than the stretch lace that is specified for this pattern, so I took it in a little in the side seams. In future, I think a size M will be fine. I have to admit I did not look at the instructions as I had them on my computer downstairs and I was too lazy to go and fetch them, but I don’t think there is much that can go wrong. Well, having said that, something did go wrong: I attached lacy stretch elastic to prettify the whole make and I realised on the first leg that I should have tightened the lace a little more. I was too lazy to unpick everything, so one leg opening is a little wider than the other – but no-one is gonna see this, are they, so I think I will get away with it.

So all that rambling and I know all you have been waiting for is photographic evidence. So behold, my behind in the great VPL/No VPL battle:

Viewers of a nervous disposition might want to click away now.

You have been warned!

Before:

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Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
No more words needed!

After:

IMG_8167Isn’t that just a picture of vpl-free perfection?

So all that remains to be said: THANK YOU Mia for bringing the pattern to my attention. Thank you Fehr Trade for publishing a free thong pattern! And thank you again Mia for persisting with me so this actually gets done!

MMM14 Roundup: Day 20 – 26

This week has seen glorious weather, so there was the long-awaited chance to get out some summer clothes. But boy, have I had a week at work – that’s why this roundup only hits the blog at the end of MMM

Day 20:

For some reason unfathomable to me the link doesn’t show straight away, but this is what those shorts looked like last year:

 

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I had a day off, so I reached for some shorts I made last year and my basic T. None of this is exciting, but it gets worn over and over again.

 

Day 21:

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The green jeans are  only the third not me-made garment this month! And in fact ever since I started making my own jeans I keep noticing the fitting problems in RTW jeans. These ones for example have a lot of bagginess across the crotch and at the top of the seat and I am happy (and yes, a little proud too) that my me-made jeans actually fit me better than these. That must be a result in itself, no?

The top is another version of my basic raglan T – these babies just keep coming!

Day 22:

IMG_8117I was working from home and using the chance to wear this dress for the first time. It’s from Burdastyle 2/2013. Earlier this month I wore a top with sleeves based on the same pattern. I wasn’t sure whether the top isn’t a bit too maternity, but I am happier with the look on the dress, because the weight of the fabric streamlines the look a little bit and makes it clear that any amount of tummy is due to overeating, not pregnancy 😉

Day 23IMG_7965This is one result  of my recent maxi-dress knit craze. I paired it with a RTW waistcoat and a wide belt to make it look not completely as if I was thinking of the beach all the time. Not sure if I fooled anyone…

Day 24:

IMG_7959I. Really. Do. Want. To. Go. To. The. Beach!

Day 25

IMG_8071I wore this dress for the first time – it’s yet unblogged but hopefully I will get round to this soon. This is my second attempt at conquering the pointy boob dress, but this time I added a circle skirt rather than a straight skirt. I spent a whole day’s cycling in this, so I felt really 1950s style glamorous.

 

Day 26:

This is just a sneaky peak: It’s my entry to The Monthly Stitch Indie Dress competition. But psst, there are RULEZ and so I can’t say more about this dress at this point.

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What transpires at the end of this week is that I have far too many clothes!! There are so many me-mades, even recent ones, that I haven’t even had the chance to wear once. I really should sew less…

No, you’re right, I didn’t really think that 🙂

MMM14 Roundup: Day 12 – 19

If I had one blogging related wish I would wish for a photo fairy who both makes me not look as if I was staring a large, dangerous creature in the face every time a have a camera pointed at me and who takes acceptable pictures.

In the land of reality the pictures are what they are, so here it goes:

Day 12: Synchronous Swimmers Blouse and Pastel Blue Summer Jeans

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I was working from home and the weather seemed fine, so I have those swimming ladies a go. Big regrets a little while later when it turned so could I decided to fire up the wood burner… May, ey??!!

 

 

Day 13: Read my Body dress

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Another example of my growing collection of knit dresses. Ever since I bought my coverstitch machine I love sewing knits because I don’t have to fret about the twin needle any more. This dress is très chic, I try telling myself, because all the writing on it is in French. Mine is lamentable, so I couldn’t really say what the dress says… Hope it’s all complimentary.
The picture was actually taken a few days later. On the day I wore it with junky black thermal tights and a black cardie. May, ey??!!

 

Day 14: The “Chris got her act together” trousers and cowl neck top

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I solemnly swore yesterday that I would get my act together and finish a few WIPs. Taking a spoonful of my own medicine I sat down and FINALLY put the waistband on those trousers and so I can wear them for the first time. I started making them back in autumn together with my Flying by the sides of my pants pants, in fact they use the same pattern, just without the peplum.

 

Day 15: Potentially ill-advised pants, basic T-shirt and cosy cardigan

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Excuse my facial expression, the experiment with self timed photos isn’t going all that well…

I’m wearing trousers from Burdastyle 4/2014 and my basic T in a light pink. The cardie is me-made too. I’m not too sure about those trousers. I like the loose style as such, but the bulk-adding properties around the hips aren’t exactly what a pear-shape needs. I used a beige/brownish linen with a slight golden dusting, so they have a beach party vibe rather than a junky cardigan vibe. Maybe the summer will tell me if I should keep wearing them.

Day 16: The Job Interview Outfit

IMG_7949This was the first chance to wear my Job Interview Blouse.

IMG_7951I paired it with navy trousers following my TNT trouser pattern.

I really liked wearing the blouse, although I think on a repeat version I might make it a little smaller. Clearly it didn’t do enough to convince the interviewer, because I didn’t get the job. More time for sewing, I guess :-).

Day 17 and 18:

This was the weekend and I forgot to take pictures… ooops…

So you’ll have to take my word for it: I wore me-mades on both days. I wore different versions of my basic raglan top and yoga pants. The pants used the track suit bottom pattern from Burdastyle 6/2014, but I don’t like the way they turned out AT ALL, so I would be too embarrassed to post a picture, even if I had one.

So this ends the second full week of MMM. Lessons learnt so far:

  • I really want to start wearing summer clothes now! I’m bored with all the cool weather stuff, even if deep down I like the garments in themselves.
  • I have a lot more dresses than I can wear. I really should stop making them… (Not gonna happen, but you knew that anyway, didn’t you?!)
  • I need more lounge wear bottoms, ideally something that I could contemplate wearing out of the house without my daughter aka The Fashion Police getting a heart attack.

 

How’s MMM going for you this year? Still hanging in there?

 

 

The 7/8th Knit Dress Craze

Somebody switched on summer around my parts! Suddenly, literally over night, it became warm enough for sleeveless dresses and little sandals!

Which gives my plenty of opportunity to show off the latest dress craze that has come out of my sewing room: Almost full length knit maxi dresses.

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IMG_7965I made two so far, both from 1.5m precuts of various knit fabrics. That’s where the 7/8th length comes from – it is as far as 1.5m of fabric will go on me. I think properly full length might look a little bit better, but I`m just not elegant enough to wear full length: I keep stepping on the hem, ripping it down in the process, when I walk up stairs the gathered up skirt  doesn’t make me look like a picture floating elegance but like a slightly overworked washer woman – in short, full length maxis make me nervous and I get all worked up and hot and bothered about them, and if there is one thing I don’t want my clothes to do then it’s make me hot and bothered, so not quite full length it is! Glad I got that out of the way!

IMG_7959IMG_7966I kinda used a pattern for this: Burdastyle 3/2014 # 125

I took the bodice part and lengthened it as far as the fabric would go. For the printed dress I cut on little dolman sleeves, basically by eyeballing it. The length of those sleeves again is determined by the width of the fabric: from sleeve to sleeve I had 70cm, half of a 140cm width of fabric.

IMG_7961I probably should have put the darker areas over my bottom so as to not emphasise it quite so much, but again, the fabric placement I ended up with was the only one possible with the amount of  fabric I had.

Let’s have a look at the de-accessorized version:

IMG_7969(By the way, I never found that cardie again that I lost in my hot-flush-induced defeat at layering ;-).  Oh well…)

IMG_7970I have to admit that I like these dresses a lot more “live” than in those pictures. Worn live they swish and move around the body in a way that I really like. On a picture, at least with the posing that I am capable of, they look more sack-like. At least I hope that’s only in the pictures… Here’s to hoping I haven’t been walking around in the West’s answer to the burqa for days…

IMG_7973The green and white striped version has pockets too – just because I could!

IMG_7974Back view, again displaying my husband’s idea of “darling, it looks absolutely fine” 😉 . Can you see my waistcoat and belt tossed to the side? That’s me and layering in a nutshell!

So there we are: I’ve gone all out for the simple knit dress craze. No great feat of sewing, that’s for sure. But I think these might become my most worn dresses of the summer.

How about you: Have you found any dresses that you have gone crazy for?

Burdastyle 12/2013 #107: The Job Interview Blouse

In nom-sewing news I have a job interview tomorrow, first one in over 10 years! It’s not hugely exciting as the job I’m going for is just a new part-time role (for the rest of the time I would keep on teaching at my present school) and not a change of employer or even a promotion, so no extra money for buying more fabrics (not that – strictly speaking – I need more 😉 ). But the new role would be really interesting, so of course I wanted to make new clothes to wear for luck.

Deciding what to wear was actually quite difficult. Generally speaking, there is not a lot of style around in the German education profession as stylishness is often equated with shallowness. So I did not want to go all out regarding clothes, I think that could be alienating rather than encouraging. At the same time I don’t want to go down the Female Geography Teacher route (I don’t know whether that conjures up a pictures where you are, but I’m thinking midi pleated polyester skirt, shapeless cardigan and glasses worn on a string around your neck). Also I didn’t want to do too much of the Lufthansa-look (navy suit, white blouse). So what I came up with is this:

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I used Burdastyle 12/2013 #107 and the silk I bought on my last visit to Goldhawk Road.

I cut a straight size 40 and left the pattern exactly as it is apart from shortening the sleeves by about 3cm and widening the neck opening a little.

IMG_7938My dress form is broken in half waist-wise, so what the belt shows are not actually my waist measurements, I hasten to add. Honesty is the best policy 😉 !

I kind of followed the instructions, but I made every visible seam a French seam I had to change things around a bit. Have a look at the inside – I am so proud of how tidy this looks that I am almost considering wearing this inside out. Where is that anti-fast-fashion-initiative thing that makes you do just than when you need it 😉 ?

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IMG_7941I even did a decent job on hand-stitching the neckband:

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Do you know, I have never had a silk blouse before?! At the grand old age of almost 45 I think it’s about time! I haven’t actually worn it yet, so I am not sure how I will like it worn, but just feeling the softness of the fabric makes me happy. Classic Textiles in Goldhawk Road sell Liberty silks for 12 pounds a metre and this one isn’t flimsy at all. It’s a silk twill and actually relatively beefy for silk. I just love everything about it. Maybe it’s a bit too dark for summer wear, but it has been quite cold here, so I think I will get away with it.

So this is another make that makes me fall in love with sewing all over again. I get so much joy out of turning a beautiful piece of fabric into a garment – let’s just hope that positive vibe carries through to the job interview!

 

Grading down pluse size patterns – Useful Advice?

It happened to me again: While at the fabric market recently, a fabric spoke to me! A lightweight light blue chambray printed with little white stars stole my ear and told me it wanted to be made into some slouchy beach vibe summer pants.
Well, who am I to disobey fabric orders?  So I have been looking through my Burda stash, and can you believe, the only pattern that the fabric squealed at in delight is a plus size pattern from the latest edition.

It’s Burdastyle 6/2014 #136

This is a plus size pattern starting at size 44. I normally need a size 42 for trousers, so I thought that grading down one size shouldn’t be a problem – in fact if I take 1/2 cm off each side seam and inseam I should be there.

But is my thinking right? Is a plus size pattern simply  “standard” pattern but a little larger? Or are the proportions within a plus size pattern different to standard patterns? Is there anything I need to take into account in particular?

Have you ever down sized a plus sized pattern and would you like to leave any useful advice or word of caution?

As always: Thanks you so much for your comments!

MMM14: “Chris, get your act together!” – Solemn Resewlution!

So far MMM14 has gone rather well for me in as much as I have managed to wear only me-made outerwear so far. However, it made me realise that there are a couple of garments I would like to wear but cannot – because they are not actually finished.
Yes, I have a rather embarrassing number of WIP hanging around that annoy the hell out of me, so I have decided to publicly commit myself to finishing them during the month of May.
So here go my solemn “Chris, get your act together”-resewlutions:

During MMM14 I am going to:
– finish those brushed cotton trousers that ONLY NEED A WAISTBAND
– finish the zip and vent on that blue and aqua dress that’s been hanging around since March
– finish the waistband and belt loops on those light blue trousers – for goodness sake, one side of the waistband is even done!!
– put the belt loops on those navy trousers that you wanted to wear LAST FRIDAY !!!
– sew up that green and white maxi dress – come on, just change the thread on the serger and coverstitch, it’s not that bad a job.

Phew, hopefully naming and shaming is going to help me… well, get my act together. I have a couple of days almost off work this week, so no time like the present!

And apropos of nothing and because I have no new sewing related photo, have a look at this rainbow. Hopefully there is a pot of gold at its end!

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In other sewing news I have also finished making the most gorgeous silk blouse out of one of my recent Goldhawk Road purchases. I have got a job interview on Friday, so I want to wear it then for luck :-).

How’s your WIP pile looking? Any shameful secrets 😉 ?

LOTILDA

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