Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Supergirl, Wedding Dresses and Pillow Cases

'Cos that's just how I roll!!

ok, one thing, THE SUPERGIRL COSTUME IS DONE (cue fanfare!) but I'm not showing you it! I'm keeping the grand unveiling for my Sister in Law's party on Saturday, hopefully there will be many lovely people (mostly men prolly) there who are more than willing to take suitably high quality pictures of your truely, this one is not for shoddy auto-timed pictured against a magnolia wall, this one has to be shot 'out and about'

if you want to see a sneak peak (and GOD it's worth it) you should join my facebook page.

But a Geeky Seamstress' work is NEVER done! for I have ANOTHER party to attend on FRIDAY (the rock and roll life I lead!) This party is at a posh hotel in Denham. So I decided to wear the most posh thing I own.... My wedding dress!

no... really....

OH! it doesnt look like this anymore!
"Sometimes smiling makes my face hurt"
 oh God no... I wore white ONCE and it shall never be repeated!
ahem... I'm sure we can fix this....

Fantastic! now all I need to do is chop a couple of inches off the bottom and that my friends, is a rock and roll party dress. :-)

In this dog eat dog sewing world you've got to think 3 steps ahead to survive, and I'm already on to my next raft of projects! September is one of those months were birthdays lurk around every corner, I suffer from the impediment of living 30 miles away from my family so if I forget a birthday it's often too late to post a card by the time I realise (!!!). Anyhow I'm sure my family members would love some tat I've sewn out of an old pillow case.... no? .... not even if the pillow case looks like this?
That's an awful lot of fabric from one pillow case!
I just LOVE L-O-V-E it! If I was a size 8 I would make myself a shift dress out of it and build a time machine to go back to the 70's where they would SURELY make me queen of fabulous dresses!

So WATCH OUT if your birthday's in September one of two things are going to happen, (1) I'm going to miserably forget - hopefully not (2) you're going to get some tat made out of an old pillowcase.

I'm also aware that I've not really been 'geeking it up' enough recently so hopefully I'll get that shizzle in there too, BRING IT ON!

G x

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I love my oven =^.^=

Ok so I've been wanting to make oven gloves for a while now, I had a very early foray into making oven gloves before I started blogging, when I made the 'Gleeful' Danielle dress (which I've only worn twice) where I made 2 mistakes (1) I used too many layers of the wrong kind of fabric trying to be a smartarse which meant I was literally pulling the work through the machine (2) I drafted the pattern myself and misjudged the size of the thumb vs thickness of fabric,  and therefore could turn the work wight side out.

In other words I killed myself trying to sew something and then when I'd sewn it it turned out to be a pile of crap :-(

However that was April and 4 months later I'm over it.... well... not really, or I'd have sewn oven gloves rather an this rather curious substitute. The uncomfortable truth is I do INDEED love my oven, but my oven does not love me. I own very faithful stainless steel pans which burn the palms of my hands with their very hot handles, and about once a week I scald myself with the rising steam escaping from a pan or casserole dish.

So the problem is that I need oven gloves but I refuse to buy them because they are such a simple sewing project, finally I accept unless I make something soon, I will burn my fingers off and be no longer able to sew anything at all. So being a philosopher I found a compromise, I didn't make oven gloves, I made FINGERTIP MITS!

I followed savvyseams lovely clear tutorial with no problems at all, I changed it just slightly because I didn't want the patterned material at the bottom (my cookery often causes permanent stains) this was a great little project to prevent further damage to my fair hands and give me my sewing 'fix' which I prewash my supergirl fabric.

oh yes and being an upcycler I didn't bother with any of that cotton wadding malarky.... I used an old handtowel I got free from some people at a carboot sale a few weeks back.
and you shouldn't mark your patterns with a sharpie either!

Things to note! at points here I was sewing through 8 layers of fabric, binding tape x2, towel x2, chili fabric x2 and muslin x2, my little sewing machine had no problems whatsoever. The off missed stitch now and again but that will happen with a mechanical machine. Well done little Singer <3

x G

Ps all the fabric used here was given to me, for free, how sweet is that!?!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010



Lookee what Grosgrain's giving away, I want it bad!!

Think of the geeky possibilities!!

G x

Supergirl comes to Wonderwoman's Rescue

So the REASON I'm making a Supergirl outfit my excuse for making a Supergirl outfit is in preparation for my sister in laws birthday party in a couple of weeks time, but I went round on Sunday and she was slightly concerned that her one-size-fits-none costume was going to turn her into an impromptu glamour girl halfway through her party... not what you want to be remembered for... So this is what I did for her,
(1) took in over the bust to reduce slipping
(2) zip added to improve fit
(3) gawdy trim removed and sewn back up, matching trim added to make the zip look at home in the garment.
(4) remove old super stretchy (useless) elastic, add new twangy elastic in back.

I was a bit worried when the costume looked like this:
but it all came back together :-) PHEW!

This is what I got in return:
bags and bags and BAGS of fabric from her stash :-) NOMNOMNOM :-)

G x

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Supergirl Costume (pt3, 'S' Applique and muslin making)

Muslin making.... well... there's a first time for everything.
I never usually bother, but since I'm making this from scratch I feel it may be beneficial...

LUCKILY (sorta) I bought some fabric online for the supergirl outfit and it turned out to be completely the wrong colour! BOO! But it was stretchy, making it the perfect muslin fabric for the top (YEYY). I had to make the 'S' as part of the muslin because I wasn't confident about the effect the applique would have on the overall fit of the top.

Lets start with the Applique. .. . because I did the Applique before I constructed the garment.... it feels sensible.
INTERFACING ON EVERYHTING! I'm applique-ing a stretchy fabric onto a stretchy fabric here.. DANGER! So essentially I've got 3 pieces to start with I've got the front bodice, the backround the the 'S' (in this case some shiny black fabric) which is the diamond shape of the 's trimmed about hal an inch all round to make sure it doesn't show on the edges, and the 'S'(+diamond border) itself.. I need to interface the wrong side of the front of the T'shirt, interface the black diamond and interface the red diamond... I interfaced BEFORE I cut out the shapes. I cut out the shapes with the dressmaking shears rather than the stanley knife... it was fiddly... it was worth it

I basted the pieces together because the red - although it was interfaced- was insisting on stretching and shifting under the pins.
zigzag stitch, buttonhole length and A LOT OF PATIENCE later...
some stitches are neater than others, but, WHO CARES?! it's a MUSLIN! yeyyyeyyy!!! it'll be less noticable on the real thing because I'll be stitching red on red :-) it's all good!

So! I stitched that to my interfaced bodice:

 and then constucted the bodice, ((1)shoulder seams, (2)sleeve/shoulder seam, (3) sew all the way from cuff of sleeve to hem of bodice, all in one)
and this is what I got:
there we go, not right, but not insanely wrong... I need to do something about the armpit area, the sleeves are too tight and too short (I goddam hate sleeves) I need to do something about the sagging near the neckline... for more an armpit dysfunction see here:
anyhow, thats a lot of work foor one day, I'm just going to make slight fitting alterations, redraft the sleeves and get back to you tomorrow!

G x

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Supergirl Costume (pt2, pattern drafting)

I'm not lying, I picked the Supergirl outfit because it's a super simple construction (or so I hope). My previous post shows how I intend to build it. It's essentially a long sleeved t-shirt and a circle skirt.... 'xept I've never made long sleeves before (DAMMIT) and the applique in the 'boob' area could spell sure death (DAMMIT).

Anyway I needed a pattern. I made the bodice block from a T-shirt I like, sellotaped some old newspaper together, drew around it with one colour marker pen, then made any alterations (neckline and hem really) added seam allowances and made a final cutting line, it ended up looking like this:

the big black line is the cutting line, they green lines are the construction lines... but you knew that!

et voila! my bodice pattern! ... I found a 3/4 sleeve in a pattern I had in my pattern stash and redrafted that for more length, but sleeves aren't interesting....
Here's a skirt and belt pattern!
I can't believe I ACTUALLY had to use Pi to figure out what measurement to use for the waist! My maths teacher would be proud I've finally found a use for it!!
As you can see I've added the 'V' shape on the hem... I didn't know what to do at the waistline so I've left that for figuring out with my muslin.

And a cape made much the same way.... for some reason the picture will not upload and stay portrait.... it wants to be landscape... I shall not let it.

Last bit of pattern making!
Easy peasy, google superman, print out logo as big as you can, cut out the shapes with a stanley knife? ... ok don't use a stanley knife! use a craft knife like a sensible person... 

I also needed another template for that background to the 'S' logo, just another diamond, slightly smaller than the first.so that the edges don't stick out :-)

OK tomorrow! muslin making (first time for everything) and constructing that all important 'S'

smell ya later!
G x

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Supergirl Costume

2 blog posts in one day?! I'm trying to be good... keeping a record of what I'm doing, as I'm doing it... anyhow... one day who knows?! somebody might actually read this shizzle.

Right... My sister-in-law is having a party beginning of september... a fancy dress party... 'heroes and villans' the Geeky Seamstress in me cried a little cry of happiness!

So this is what I'm going for:
This is what I've got so far:

and this is the fabric I've got:

I'm a little dissapointed... I dont think I'm going to use the shiny gold fabric (it's called 'lame'... that confused me.... shiny lame fabric?) because it's not on Helen Slater's costume and has only started to be applied to newer interpretations of the outfit ... I thought about making it into binding strip and hemming the skirt, cuffs and cape with it, but it's not stretchy and if I hem the cuffs with it I won't be able to put my hands through... and if I don't it wont look 'together' all the gold'll be on the bottom and nowhere else...

anyhow... thats what I'm thinking so far :-)

G x

RAWR ai etes ur words

I'm not going to apologise for not blogging, I've not been sewing I've been getting married, eat it.

But I did make this yesterday:

Here's the story.

I teach children between the ages of 11-18, Last year was my first proper year of teaching, although I did a year of training which was school based, so essentially I've been teaching for 2 years. But last year was my first year of 'going it alone'.

Parents evening are genarally a bit rubbish, you have to tlk to pushy parent, agressive parent, absent parent, sister-in-leiu-of-parent as well as deal with parents who are fulled by the media's interpretation of what good teaching and learning should look like, and have already decided that we're a rubbish school because we're not a grammar school. There are nice parents too... and it is a plaesure to talk to them... but usually nice parents produce nice children. In short on a preants evening you usually end up (a) preaching to the converted (b) being ignored by parents who think they can do your job better than you.

This is a story of a pair of nice parents.

These nice parent's did not blank me as soon as they saw that I was a young teacher, they responded favourably to my well intentioned, light hearted demeanour. They didnt look at me with bemusement when I explained I have no firm religious belief (I teach a subject called Religious Studies, terribly missnamed! it's basically philosophy, thats my schtik).

They reccomended a book ... it's a very good book but I hadn't read it. I hadn't reald any Phillip Pullman which is a great regret as he's a prominent humanist and I'm interested in seeing if that influences his writing at all ... and I feel really guilty because the day after the parent evening at 8.20 in the morning this lovely child with nice parents came and presented me with this book to borrow.

and that was probably about 6 months ago...

I still havn't read it...

I don't have any spare time when I'm working (term time).... if I try and read I fall asleep.

When I'm on school holidays my time is spent mostly cooking, cleaning and sewing.

So I decided by way of apology I would sew this lovely child a gift based on this thing I saw on Burdastyle

Now I feel less guilty.... I've got about a week before I have to start working again.....

will I finish this book now it's properly dressed?

I intend to do a tutorial as well :-) now that I've got my lovely new camera which makes such things possible.