Monday, 24 November 2014

A Suit (of Sorts...)

Believe it or not, I'm a responsible person at work, in charge of 11 people and all of their training, payroll, issues, etc. For years, I've been able to get away with not dressing like a grown up. Skirts with a cardigan and the odd dress have been fine but recently I've been sifting through my work clothes and I think they need a bit of attention. So for this project I thought I'd break my own personal rules and make a (sorta) suit for work. 

It's a combination of patterns - for the top I used this bolero from Vogue 8721, which is fast becoming an old-standby:

I used the bolero on the bottom right

Then I used the skirt from this pattern, a 1970's does the 1940's Simplicity 6110:

I made the skirt with the pockets, but I love all the styling on this pattern - I might have to make everything!

I used some black twill that I picked up at Fabricland in Bristol. (Which by the way was great - check it out if you're ever in the Bristol area.) Not sure what it's made from, I think it's a wool and poly mix, but the weight and drape was perfect for this project.

We're currently experiencing cold but these photos were taken a few weeks ago when it was unusually warm:

It looks like a pretty simple project, and it should have been if I hadn't put my self-drafted bolero lining together wrong way round, and then stretched the right front facing out of shape. This made the jacket sit all wobbly on one side, but was fixed with a lot of unpicking and re-cutting of the lining and facing, and some sneaky piecing together.

Inside view of the bolero - you can just see a sneaky seam on the lower right of the photo where I had to piece a replacement facing together.
The curves at the front wouldn't stay 'sharp' when I ironed them; I was already hugely frustrated by this outfit, so I decided to use spray starch on them. The directions on the can says not to use it on dark fabrics, but I tested it and it seemed fine. Result - lovely front curves! (sounds a bit rude...)

What's so great about the skirt is the pockets, which are usually filled with scraps of scribbled on paper at the end of a days work:

I've been a bit slow at posting recently, so this outfit has already had a few outings at work. It's my new favourite work outfit! It sounds odd, but there's something about having a matching ensemble which makes me feel 'grown up'. Maybe suits aren't such a bad thing after all...

See you soon!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Minerva Bloggers Network - Animal Print's a Basic, Isn't it?

Hello! After a month off, I'm back with Minerva - I've missed it! I've decided to start off with something completely different for me - a batwing jersey dress, made from stretch fabric. The main reason for such a departure was to get to grips with my new  Singer overlocker, which I bought for the bargain price of £129 from Lidl. (For non-European readers, Lidl is a chain of bargain supermarkets from Germany, who also have themed offers once a week - anything from garden furniture, to tools, or even toys).

My new overlocker!

For the pattern, I used this brilliant tutorial from Mollytov - go check it out, because it's so easy!
I pretty much copied all the measurements outright; the only changes I made were to the length of the skirt, which I just added a couple of inches to.

And for this foray into jersey I decided to use this stunner from Minerva :

Black and gold snake print jersey from Minerva
This fabric is out of this world! What you can't really see in the photo is the extra layer of sheen on top of the print that gives the fabric a life of it's own. I love, love, LOVE animal print, to the point where I consider it a basic. It isn't really apparent on this blog, but I have leopard skirts, jackets, dresses, tights, and even underwear. So I thought it was about time I introduced a bit of animal! 

And here it is:

I've been sewing for 30+ years, but I've managed to avoid jersey and overlocking all this time, except for the odd project here and there. Despite endless testing and fiddling, I'm still not sure I really know what I'm doing with the stitches and the tension, but as a first project it's not bad. 

Close up of the overlocked seam I used - is this right?

Close up of neckline
And of course I couldn't resist the pulling a few disco moves in this outfit:

 And that's it! If you like what you see, be sure you check out Minerva's website.

See you soon!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from Nicole Needles!

Amazing what you can achieve with bits and pieces you have knocking around the house......