Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Oktoberfest Dress and a JOURNAL PAPER!

You guys my paper made the journal!!!! Stoked doesn't begin to cover it! I worked really hard over the summer and finally it was pulished today! I put a wee html link on the sidebar for anyone who is remotely interested - it gives you the abstract for the paper.
Oktoberfest dress - excuse teh awful angle I only had literally 2 mins to take these pics!

So because the paper was originally submitted to a conference and was subsequently accepted for journal, that means I get to present it...and it just so happens that I get to present it in the good ol' US of A!!!! woop! And I leave on Saturday and am headed to Cincinnati (with the rest of my team at work) - and judging by weather.com its still relatively warm in those parts.

So if youre still reading here comes the sewing part of this post! When looking for things that are going down in Cincinnati this weekend we stumbled accross Oktoberfest! Now I don't know about anyone else, but I feel that calls for a dress. So as is almost tradition now I named this dress The Oktoberfest Dress.

The fabric was the main reason I made a dress for the occasion - when I was in London earlier in the summer I picked this up on goldhawk road for about £5.99/m. It is a quilting cotton - made apparent by the weight of the fabric and is covered in loads of different beer bottles adn barrels and all things beer related - the selvage names the fabric 'Beer is best'
The heavyweight nature of the fabric is apparent when hanging coz it jutts out all over the shop!
This closeup of the fabric shows that i managed a very invisible zip which I was so proud of however the picture below shows how much that was necessary as the only zip I had to hand was BABY BLUE - theres barely any blue in the dress oops!
Also I really just wanted to add this picture because you get a really good close up of the print :-)

So the details: as probably guessed, this is the Christine Haynes Emery - I know I just shared this twice recently hwoever I think its a great pattern for showcasing a print and also in my limited time I had to put it together (Sunday and Monday evening) it was a pattern that I was confident that I would complete in time.

I love how the heavier fabric makes the skirt stick out :-)
 Unfortunately I don't think the colour really works with my skintone but thats not really the point to this dress...
If i had any idea on how to use photoshop believe me that barbequeue would be gone!!
So I think I have cracked the pattern for my measurements now - I added another fraction of a cm to each of the upper back darts and the back neckline now lies absolutely flush - the only other thing I might change is to topsttch the neckline (because I forgot to understitch).

Finally one last comment before I sign off for a couple of weeks - The Referendum. I don't really want to drag politics into my blog but its a huge deal and one that cannot be ignored. I'm voting yes. (and in no way force that opinion on anyone else) and I hope we get the result that me and so many others are so passionate about. I really hope we can as a country move forward in a positive manner. I don't dislike England - nor the people, (in fact I have family there) I just feel that it is our opportunity to safeguard our country from Westminster and a government that doesn't work for us. I'm happy to discuss my opinion too in a positive an non slanderous manner.

Take care guys  JCS xx

Friday, 12 September 2014

OWOP Roundup

So only 3 days in to OWOP and my decision to use the Chataigne shorts suddenly seemed like a poor choice - us people up here in Glasgow woke up to frosty windscreens on our cars and fleece lined trousers seemed to be suddenly oh so desirable! however - I powered on and think the results came out ok.

so here we have day 1:

Chataigne shorts take 3 with a New Look ribbed tank and New Look sandals - im so gonna miss my student discount in that store!

Day 2:

again the pink shorts came out. I was hungover as all hell and only left the house once (to buy bacon). These shorts worked quite well with my tartan army t-shirt. We put up a proud display against the germans, and it was a shame that some people on the park were rather negative towards Naismith.


This day I wore the second incarnation of my shorts. Black tights and boots were the order of the day and my thick 'woolen' jacket (fake wool). The look was finished with my union jack tshirt (a questionable choice...go figure). all three of these were also 'New Look'.

Day 4:

I cannot tell you how hungover I was today! We went for our weekly darts game with friends, however upon returning we met our new neighbour and proceeded to have a little more than we anticipated! As such I didn't photograph on the day or even want to be near a camera - but this is from Wednesday morning... Tuesday I wore my black pinstripe shorts again with my pink shirt (Next special purchase). Today I also got my tickets for the Christmas Hobbycrafts fair at the SECC - excited much?!

Day 5:

Wednesday is highland dancing day! Today it was also freezing and i really think the heating timer may have to be set for the mornings now! bbbrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! For the most part of the day I wore my lilou dress. I really do like this dress - I'm thinking of making another. I forgot to get a picture of me in this so thankfully I thought to take a picture before dancing.

Day 6:

Today was warmer again and maybe a little too warm for the woolen shorts! It hit 20 something degrees after lunch! I also felt human enough to stand in front of a lens!! Today in conjunction with chataigne shorts 1 I wore my other Next Special Purchare shirt and the same boots as monday and Tuesday.

Day 7:
So fellow OWOPers we made it!

Today I wore with my woolen chataigne shorts a blue jumper (new look) and waistbelt (primark) and yet again the same boots. I really have to admit the jumper was a strategic shout today as I was trying to aviod the media scrum in the city centre! please excuse the poor quality of this photo - the flash was on and the camera was set to indoors and low light. (although while we're here do note the metal bars on the door, theres 12 in total, the previous owner was scared someone would break in - they are leftovers from an aircraft carrier built on the clyde - no joke!!)

Did anyone else take part in OWOP? what pattern did you all choose?

Have a good weekend guys
JCS xx

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Completed: Emery Dress No. 2!


I have just (read finished this last week but have been uber busy since) completed my second ' Singin in the Rain' Emery Dress! I have to say i think know this is my favourite me made item.I know I shared this one with you the other week however i'm far happier with how this version turned out and think the pictures turned out a little better too with tons more natural light! (however nextdoors mingin backgarden on the downside...)

I made a few alterations to the pattern from my last emery and I'm happy with how this one turned out.
The Changes:
- 3/4 inch narrow shoulder adjustment
- increased the width of the top back darts by 3/4 cm each side
- took a wedge out of the top at the back
- removed an inch from the length of the skirt
(- added 3/4 inch to the bodice, this change was made last time too)

Again I cut the size 8 and added the same 3/4" to the lengthen lines of the pattern. The first three changes were addressing the back gape from my last attempt at this dress and I think the gaping back is now almost eliminated. I say almost i think there is still about 3/4 of an inch left to remove before it lies ''just so". But hey ho I'm not bothered. Also I can't quite decide whether or not the front is now a little roomy as a result of moving the shoulders... i think the last time it lay a little flatter.... I have though made up some new pattern pieces with these changes on and im hoping that any additional tinkerings can be incorporated.
Skirt 'mushrooms' out really well :-)
 The fabric for this dress is actually a quilting cotton which i picked up in the remnant kings sale for £6.99/m. I picked up 3m of this (i think it was 45 inch wide) and after cutting out all the pieces including the lining I think I had about 30 cm left. (apologies for switching up the units). Compared to making up the last emery this time using a proper cotton made this a breeze! I only had one minor problem making this up and that was the zip slipped when i was stitching it in and so it doesn't quite match at the back. Again - its a small detail and i don't think that this detracts from the overall dress.

Close up of fabric

This time because i was working with slightly better quality fabric the waistline also slipstitched really neatly
The inside looks really neat (for once)
Clearly caught off guard here!

I actually wore this quite a bit that week - i finished it quickly coz we had friends coming and I wanted to wear the dress out in the park - we went to a favourite place of ours chatelherault which is a country park on the outskirts of Glasgow where the old hunting lodge built for the Dukes of Hamilton way back when has been restored! We love the squinty floor and the long walks in the woods.
Standing next to the restored fireplace in the old hunting lodge

Does anyone else wear dresses out for muddy park walks?

Our friends daughter wanted to climb Cadzow's Oaks which are 800 years old!
Have a good week folks


Saturday, 6 September 2014

OWOP and a shiny new garment

Today has been a traditional scottish day - warm, cold, sunny, freezing, raining, sunny and cold - and it's only 1pm...

 So a few weeks back I read over on handmade jane's blog  that there was going to be a One Week One Pattern challenge (OWOP) coming in September! Initially I didn't think that I had the resources to participate, however after a minute or few's thought realised 'don't be silly Jen of course you do!!'

 So what is my pattern? Well the Chataigne shorts of course! Currently I have two black pairs (easily styled for the formal office event which will no doubt take place at zero notice) and this literally *shiny* new pair... so that leaves me with plenty to work with over the week. One of the great things about the wool pair is that they stay very fresh and can easily be worn on consecutive days. The pinstripe pair are good especially for office wear or if a large curry *has* to be eaten. ahem, and finally this new pair are perfect for dancing on wednesday evening.

So this new pair of shorts are made from this lightweight cotton twill. When i bought it I didn't realise that the material was shiny but to be honest when I saw that it was it made the shorts even more appropriate for my dancing class. (my teacher is in love with shiny things :-))

There isn't really anything new with this construction apart from the fact that the waistband went in a lot easier this time.

I have also determined a slightly different order to construction from the instructions too - it suggests puting the pockets in first then joining the front and back pieces, however I always want to put the pockets in the wrong curve *doh!!*so join the back and front first. I also cut the same size as my first pair as I felt the pinstripe pair were getting a little roomy (although on review these are maybe a little tight). the only other change i made was to add topstitching to not only the pocket edge but the waistband and cuff edges too. This was done in co-ordinating thread (partially because the colour was such a good match)

Is anyone else taking part in this challenge?

Take care and have a good weekend
 JCS xx

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