Sunday, 30 November 2008

Something for me

So I decided to make something for me. I don't often do it, mostly because I had a formative experience at a Get Knitted sale when they were still in a warehouse and only opened once a month. There were a lot of women there who had really got quite carried away with the home made thing and who were firmly of the opinion that really more was more.

Anyway, I was in Ikea and saw beautiful upholstery material and thought 'I know, I want to look like a sofa'. So I made a skirt out of it. I bought a whole metre, which was, I think, £2.99. It was more than I needed for the skirt, because it was quite wide, but I wanted to make sure that I could get the bird pattern going across nicely.

Once again, I drew round something I already owned. Unfortunately, I hadn't worn the skirt for a while, so I hadn't realised how much weight I'd put on, and how small it would be. I really do look like a sofa, when an armchair would be so much preferable.

Don't ask how I put the zip in. I think I called upon dark forces to cobble it together. And then I had to use a hook and eye so it didn't undo. But this only occurred to me after it had already undone a number of times.

This is the back. I even sewed vents and things in so it fits nicely over my bottom.

And because the bird is a bit high up on the front, I kind of have to tuck my jumper in. But I am SO pleased with it - it gets lots of comments, so I must have done something right. Mostly, I think, pick good material.
Only problem is, I didn't think about the fact that things are backwards when they're inside out, so the zip's on the wrong side.
And then, not content to rest on my laurels, I made a dress for my friend's little girl. I used an old pattern I've made lots of times before, but I can't remember what sort it is. I kind of adapted it - like by scaling it up to fit a two year old, and using two sorts of fabric. I wonder how the intellectual property works with that?
As ever, I forgot to take photos as I went along, although to be honest, I also forgot how to make it as I went along, and ended up unpicking it about 6 times.
You can't really tell from this, but it's kind of latte coloured corduroy, lined with African print cotton from Brixton market. I just tried to link to Brixton market, but it doesn't have a website. Someone needs to get onto that please.
I've made this dress a few times like this, and it works really well. Because you have to line it, I thought it would be really bulky with two layers of cord. But one is fine. And it stops your child looking too much like a geographer if it's not too cordy.
And because presentation is 90% of the battle (clearly, military strategists might disagree with me on that, but on the present front, I'm willing to stand my ground), I put it in a little bag and did it up with the same button. You're never too young to accessorise.
When Child A was little, a friend of mine used to look after him for me, when I went back to work. She had a little girl the same age, and when he, inevitably, had accidents, she would dress him in her clothes. I remember him being a vision in pink velour dungarees, and demanding his hair be put in bunches. When I tried to get Child C, who is the same size as the intended recipient of the dress, to try it on, he got really distressed, and tore it off. And it's not even pink. It's amazing how different two little boys can be...

Monday, 24 November 2008

Haven't I been busy

Right, so, lordy knows what I've been doing for the last however long.

Some of it has involved work. I think half term might have come in there somewhere. I went to a conference at Fire Service College so was away for the best part of a week with a pool, running, bar and an awful lot of carbohydrates. They do like carbs those fire fighters. I except the boys were ill.

However, I have also been doing lots of SEWING. I am very excited about sewing at the moment - it's so much quicker than knitting! It's the perfect instant gratification craft, and the longer the Phd drags on for, the more instant I like my gratification to be.

So, I've made some good kids' stuff, for mine and for other kids.
Child C is potty training at the moment, and every time we change him, he demands red trousers "my wear red trousers now mummy / daddy / insert name of temporary carer". He doesn't have red trousers. I did try and find him some, and got quite close in H&M. But they had hearts on them, and appeared to be bootleg. He's not that in touch with his feminine side so they weren't really an option. I had to make some.

Needless to say, there weren't any decent patterns for little boys trousers either, so I was forced I tell you to resort to the tried and tested 'drawing around a garment that fits' technique.

I think it worked - this is how I did it:

First, I drew round some trousers onto the wrong side of some red corduroy with nothing less than the sort of chalk you do pavement art with. Sorry, in my boys case, pavement 'art'.
F is front, B is back. the regular rectangle is for the waistband and the funny shape for the pocket.
At this point, I will warn you not to economise on fabric by folding it a different way - my nap runs in a different direction on each leg, giving a pleasingly harlequin type effect.
And why thank you, it is a nice rug isn't it. It's Iraqi, but we got it in Jordan quite a long time ago.

Then I ironed all the hems into the waistband and pockets. This is easier than pinning, and also I don't like people to think I can't iron, it's just I can't see the point except for sewing.
And then I sewed it all together. And in my haste for instant gratification (it's a drug you know) I forgot to take any pictures until they were done. But basically, I sewed the pockets on to the front, then sewed the legs together like in the dragon suit. Then I cocked about with the waist band because I didn't know how to do it. I'm not sure I did it correctly, but they stay up, aren't too bulky and were a whole new voyage into half elasticated waistbands.
See what I mean about the harlequin effect?