Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Stuff. Stuff I've been doing. Stuff like that.

I wanted to show you what I've been doing. Oh, it's been a hive of activity chez useless beauty recently. I've got a couple of craft shows in the autumn and I want to up my stock levels, so I've been working on designs, and I've also been making some things for me. I'm still on a recycled fabric kick so these are all repurposed from other things. Well, mainly they're repurposed from mum's old tshirts. Oh, the number of times I've laughed at the number of tshirts she buys, I'm laughing on the other side of my face now. Hur hur hur (tortured other-side-of-face-laugh). First:
This is made from one of my dad's old shirts. You can see it looks a bit crumpled and that's because I've been wearing it. I'm a bit divided with this one: on the one hand I don't think it looks terribly attractive, on the other I somehow really like it. Also it's really comfy. I shall share with you what I learned. You can see I used part of the armholes to make pockets. Because I am dim, I didn't actually cut the pocket lining any bigger than the pocket itself (I know!) so they are false pockets. If you ever decide to make a similar skirt, take it from me, it would be greatly improved by having real pockets. Also, make sure you gather the pockets when you add the waistband (have the back of the pocket at the side seam, the rest towards the front) – on my first try I left the pockets ungathered and pleated the rest of the skirt and this was a Bad Idea. I'm not particularly wide-hipped, but it had a similar effect to someone following you about with a spotlight focused on your rear shouting 'Look at the size of this woman's hips! God! They're enormous!'

This was an experiment, but I like it. My first try was so unspeakable I actually felt depressed when I'd sewn it. I wish I'd taken a photograph. I can't explain how awful it was: I was trying to incorporate a kind of slightly longer godet for a bit of flair, and I ended up with a tight lycra mini skirt with a long stripey tail. Like a raccoon off for a night out dancing round its handbag and drinking Bacardi Breezers. I'm going to stay away from godets until I haven't got PMT any more. I honestly don't think my brain is working this week.

This is a wrap skirt I made as a prototype (from old tshirts) – I'm going to make lots to take to the craft fair. The photos aren't great, but it actually looks really good on, I'm pleased with this one. You can see I haven't trimmed it. I just hate trimming. I will do it at some point!

And these are a (very rough prototype of a) pair of knickers (on our ironing board, sorry). I'm going to size the pattern up and down and see if I can track down some stretch elastic or codge up some other kind of attractive trimming for the waist and legs. I'm thinking saturated colours with a contrast elastic. Turquoise and lime? If it works I'll be making some of these for me as well as some to sell, because I've just realised sitting here that I've had the knickers I'm wearing for 12 years. 12 years! Isn't that shameful? That's where long term relationships get you. Fur coat no knickers springs to mind. I have got a fur coat as well, actually, made from the pelt of the finest Acrylics, natch.

Hope everyone else is feeling reasonably productive (although really it's too hot to do anything except eat Magnums and complain.)

*** Edited to add, I've been googling stretch lace and I can't find where to buy it. Does anyone know?


resa said...

I love that wrap skirt, I could see myself just living in one.

And, oh, the Bacardi Breezer drinking raccoon is one of the funniest things ever. If it's any consolation, whenever I try to design skirts they inevitably look like fabric tubes with a drawstring. Granted that's the most complicated construction technique I can manage so they look like exactly what they are, but you can imagine how flattering they are.

Susie said...

Thank you! And oh I know exactly what you mean about the fabric tube with a drawstring effect. I once made a tiered drawstring skirt where I managed to sew some of the layers together (I just caught it for an inch or so.) I *didn't realise you could undo stitching* (yes!) so I just did the same effect all around the skirt. It looked puffy and I thought it was cool. I wore it. I am *without shame*.

Susie Jefferson said...

Here's a link for you: She's having a closeout sale and a lot of the trims are going for virtually nothing. Say I sent you, if you buy anything (she's an online friend... and I just happened to design her blog as well...)

Apart from that, have you tried John Lewis's? They still have a pretty big haberdashery department.

Wrap skirts... oh, I wish. But anyone over a size 14 needs velcro, a kilt pin or three, and a strong belt!

Susie said...

I always like to hear the words 'closeout sale'. Especially when they come in the same sentence as 'going for virtually nothing.' I will have a look, thank you!

Intellectual Property Lawyer said...

Looks like you've got some exciting projects on! I really like that skirt in the first photo.