Monday, December 21, 2009

Goals haha

So much for making a coat... I didn't even start cutting out the fabric yet... hahaha. I did go and buy interfacing for it today though. (Shops close at 1pm on Saturdays and are closed on Sundays!! Makes life hard when I slept in til 2pm on Saturday... Now I don't have any excuse not to start though). The cheap fabric store doesn't sell interfacing so I always go to the shop which is right around the corner from me. The old ladies in there are so sweet. I go in, they ask what I am looking for so I say black fabric for a dress. They pull out all these nice black fabrics for me and then start telling me stories about the dresses they used to wear when they were young. The 'Princess' dress was popular. All three of the old ladies used to wear them. And they said 'Princess' in English. It was a very simple dress which I think from their gestures went in a lot at the waist. Maybe it was a princess seamed sheath dress? One of the women had one in red, another had one which she always wore with heels this high. They said the fabric I really liked isn't suitable for a Princess dress so I'm going to make one with a pleated flowy skirt. Does anyone know what a Hungarian Princess dress looked like? These women are about 60 so I think they would have been young/wearing these dresses in the sixties/early seventies. They said the dresses could have sleeves of various lengths.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Is a coat in 5 days possible?

While I was in the fabric shop yesterday I spotted some great fabric I want to use for a coat. I'm thinking of setting myself a goal - make a new coat by the end of the week (today is Wednesday). I think this is doable because I quit my job the other day - my boss was being a moron - so I have an extra 30-35 hours a week to sew! :)

It's snowing at the moment and it's meant to get down to -10°C at the weekend.... Brrrrr. My current coat was perfect for early winter but now Budapest is really getting cold. I have been sketching some ideas of what I want. 

I know the collar isn't the most practical design for the cold but it looks so much more elegant than a hood!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Now I can work on my stuff again!!

I finished up the Star Wars costumes today! I went round to the workshop after 2pm today to drop off the Amidala kimono and obi and pretty gold hangy thing I managed to make in one day plus another Jedi robe. I got there and they were like 'uh, could you maybe make us another robe as well?'. So I biked to the fabric shop, bought some fabric (they have some gorgeous new stuff in there... I think I will be going back again there tomorrow....), went home and started sewing like mad and dropped off the new robe there just after 6pm! I'm quite impressed with myself. So I'm all done with that. I don't have any pics though. I wasn't really thinking about it and I was in a rush. I have a couple of terrible ones of me in unfinished Jedi robes but they are really not good. Hopefully they will take some pics. They better!

Sooooo, now I have time to work on my stuff :) I half made a satin dress a few weeks back. I have worn it too. I was running really late the night I wore it but I really really wanted to wear it so I pinned up the hem. Try wearing what is basically a pencil skirt (i.e. not a lot of walking room) with lots of pins sticking in it under a Winter coat. I was in so much pain! I got jabbed with every step I took (which started happening as soon as I got out of my building). I ended up walking home holding my coat away from my legs while trying to not look like some weirdo flasher.

This dress is on it's 3rd front. It's started out life as a basic shift dress with a high side front slit. I was told it was too high and it looked like something J.Lo would wear so I took out the larger of the two front skirt panels and put in two smaller ones, the middle one pleated. Those pleats looked AWFUL. Even though I spent hours ironing them. They didn't hold right. And also, it wasn't so great that they were in a separate panel - it made them fall in an awkward way. It was late at night and I was tired so I thought it looked good and I finished up most of the dress (I attached the bodice to the skirt etc).

Look at them and all their unevenness!

In the morning I came to my senses. Well, not totally. But enough to realise how bad those pleats were. So, I unpicked all of the front :(

I made a one piece skirt front with pleats in the centre. I had the brain wave to interface the pleated section before pleating it. By now I was really hating pleats. The interfacing made my pleats look so nice and even! I wore the dress out with the interfaced pleats. Wearing it I realised how completely stiff the interfacing made it.... It doesn't drape!!! So now I'm trying to take the bloody interfacing off. I'm determined that this is going to be a great dress though! Eventually.

This is what it currently looks like.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mini owls!

BurdaStyle is putting up quick projects to make as gifts. One is the Mini Owl Ornament. I have been looking at all the cute little owls people have been posting up and wanted to make some. I thought it would be the perfect activity for my English class. I love 'teaching'. I have two students who I adore. Zsófi loves making craft stuff so quite often we make various things. She's 11. Marci doesn't like crafts quite as much but he joins in anyway. Usually I get them to teach me stuff :) They come back from school with all these great ideas and I'm like 'I want to make one of those!' but this time it was reversed for once :) Marci came late so Zsófi and I each made an owl. It took over an hour but that's ok cos we were hand sewing and chatting. I am going to make millions of these! Just on my machine to speed things up.

I just discovered a new haberdashery on Podmaniczky today. The lady working there was so sweet. At first she said they only had the beads which were on the counter (some red, white and yellow ones - not suitable for owl eyes...). I was in a super hurry and I pouted a lot (I didn't have time to go into another rövidárúbolt...) so she said she would have a look out back :) She found a huge bag of black beads which was 900ft(!!) but she was nice and made me a little bag up of them. Haberdasheries I think are the one type of shop in Hungary that never ever have nasty staff.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Skirt envy

There aren't so many designers where I love the majority of their stuff but Erin Fetherston is one of them. Her designs are just so beautiful. When I saw this skirt of hers from her Fall Winter 2009 collection...

Love at first sight! Isn't it the most gorgeous skirt you have ever seen! I want it so badly!

Lacking funds for designer clothes I made my own version of it. I found some 'silk' at my local rövidárubolt. I don't really think it is silk even though the label said 'selyem'. It's stretchy and beautiful and soft. It's wine coloured with black roses all over it. It's super heavy - this skirt is heavier than most of my items of clothing.... and it's a mini skirt!! This is probably cos I used two metres of fabric...

It's the most fun skirt for spinning around in! At first I was wearing some heels for the pics but after much spinning and getting dizzy - it's really hard for me to spin in high heels! - I changed to some shoes I bought in Morocco last year.

I never wear them because they are a few sizes too small and they make my toes curl up (those Moroccan salesmen..... they really know how to sell stuff!) but at least I can spin round in them. If I was an elf I would wear these shoes all the time.

I think it would be nice to make this up in a slightly lighter weight fabric. Give it a bit more puffiness. And maybe not out of a stretch - actually, I should just add more interfacing to the waistband of this one, give it some more structure.

I put in an 'invisible zip' at the back. Not sure what happened.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sparkly Black Leggings

I made these leggings a couple of months back. Well, I started them a few months ago. They have been done for a while though. I think I've only worn them once. András thinks they look slutty... I think they are hot! They just don't really match with my usual outfits. I made up a pattern myself. A bit of trial and error. I had to resew them quite a few times to make them tighter. Negative ease...

I don't know what happened with the following pics... The colours changed for a min or two.... *creepy ghost noises*.



I got the fabric from the big store near Keleti. Can't remember the name off the top of my head. They've got lots of stretch fabrics and it's really cheap but their staff are so nasty that it is hard to make myself go there. Sometimes though it's worth it, like when I find fabric like this. I love sparkles.

The Turquoise Zebra

I have been really loving retro looking dresses lately so I wanted to go for a fitted bodice and a full skirt. I only bought a metre and a half of the fabric so it's not quite as full as I would have liked (I'm trying to reduce the amount of fabric I have so I am trying to not go crazy and buy metres and metres of stuff which I won't use (like all the turquoise and black swimsuit fabric I have left over from my bikini - yes, I bought TWO metres of it to make a bikini... I just fell in love with the fabric... which actually happens to match this fabric kinda perfectly).

Anyway. So I got this dress done on Saturday night. I was sewing like mad to get it finished before I went out so I could wear it. I even temporarily sewed a belt on so it would sit in the right place! I should add belt loops.

I put a long (I think it's 60cm) invisible zip in the back so I can step into it - it's just so much nicer to not have to pull a dress over my head and mess up my hair....

I didn't use a pattern, just my bodice sloper which I think I need to adjust a bit - it has too much ease in it for my liking. I took it in a lot at the waist.

I moved the skirt side seams around to the front a bit because I put in some inseam pockets. I made a skirt in the spring with an inseam pocket which is right exactly on the side and it is so hard for me to find! These ones I have no problem finding. I lined them with black satin. It's so nice and silky on my hands :)

After making it I thought the length looked a bit too long for the bar I was going to so I attached domes so I can adjust the length!

I've sewn on about 4 of them so far - quite time consuming - and I was running out of time on Sat night so I just tacked up the rest (and undid it after getting the shorter skirted pics). I will get the rest of the domes sewn on next time I'm watching some Gossip Girl. I really don't like hand sewing - it's so tedious. I almost always hand sew hems though... It just makes things look so much nicer.

I think if it's long then it looks better with a wider belt. The ones in these pics look too thin.

I wanted to make a belt to go with it and I had an idea in my head. It's black satin with thick elastic inside it and two big hooks and eyes to close it.

It actually looks exactly as I imagined it BUT it doesn't look like I want it to when I wear it.... It's too puffy and makes my waist look bigger. So that was a bit of a disappointment. I do love my new dress though.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The machine that lies beneath....

This is the sewing machine which lives in the desk I sew at. It's built into the desk and was really hidden! It kind of pulls up and out.

I think it's rather beautiful. It's an old Naumann. Anyone know how old it is? It's pretty rusty and the foot pedal and cords are missing so I unfortunately can't use it.

I'm so curious about it's previous owner - it wasn't my landlord's machine. I found little scraps of fabric from things she made (I am just assuming she was a she) inside the hole and tons of pins. I wonder what she made... I have so many questions!

She had a magnetic thermometer on her machine! It kinda makes me wish I had bought a metal machine....

Friday, November 20, 2009

My new dress!

I went into one of the I love Textil shops yesterday. I know I shouldn't (I have faaaar too many half finished projects) but I really want a little black dress and I don't have any appropriate fabric in my stash. I couldn't find the perfect black fabric but I did see my new dress!!! I love love love this fabric! It's turquoise and black zebra print! I had to buy it. And it was only 390ft a metre.... can't beat that! And it's stretchy which = comfy. I have too many dresses which cause me pain if I eat anything.... I'm guessing it's some kind of cotton stretch twill. I love Textil isn't big on fabric labelling....

I started the dress as soon as I got home. So far the bodice is nearly done, just gotta add on the skirt, do the neck facing, add a zip and I'm thinking huge pockets so I don't have to carry a bag.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

So little progress...

I was just looking at my list of unfinished projects. I thought I was probably making some decent headway. I have only finished two of them! I just hemmed my leggings and put some elastic in the top so those are done as well as Jacob's pressie. I did have a go with my black deep backed dress but I think it possibly might be unfixable - I cut it far too deep and now it won't sit close to my body... My jeans I was making FRUSTRATE me. They are so unflattering. The rest of the things I haven't touched in months.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A present for Jacob

I started making this fabric book for Jacob - Hayley's baby - before he was born and I have only just finished it now. Jacob is now seven months old.... I couldn't figure out a nice way to stick the pages together and then finally I thought of blanket stitching.

Some of the things in it are memories of things Hayley and I did together, others are just random.

Thinking of when I was teaching Hayley how to drive manual always makes me smile :)

Hayley (on the left) and me. She loves denim skirts.

The bee was an idea of Andras'. He drew it for me. I think it's cute.

I made a little movie with Andras when I was making this book which had a ghost in it. So I just traced around the ghost onto fabric...

Hayley and I had goldfish for a very short time. Pig and Dog. RIP.

A little NZ-ness.

A message for Jacob!

I made a bag thing too out of the blue polka dot fabric.

This is the card I made to go with it. I have always loved making cards! I think it would be great to make cards for a living. I didn't have any baby coloured fabric so I dyed some white cotton with coffee (was out of black tea....). Later András was like "you know, you can use my paints...". I didn't even think of painting paper! The nappy, hair, eyes and dummy are felt.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My blue tartan coat

I really like the Steffi pattern from BurdaStyle that I just used to make a blazer. I wanted a longer more wintery coat too though so I modified the pattern. I changed quite a few aspects of it.
  • I made it double breasted. Buttons just down one side.

  • I lengthened it to just above my knees with a slit at the back.

  • I put in some shoulder pads which help hold up the puff sleeve shape cos this fabric is quite floppy - it's thin. I actually bought these shoulder pads about a year ago for another coat I'm making - and still haven't finished. It's on my to-do list!
  • I took it in at the waist to give it a nicer shape.

  • I made the sleeves longer and slimmer (I have super long arms).

  • I gave it a high standing collar. The interfacing I used is very stiff - actually a little too stiff for my liking but I didn't want to try and rip it all off once I had already ironed it on....

  • I lined it with some cheap polyester. I know it's not the warmest fabric ever but this coat is too warm when I'm on my bike. I put on a loop for hanging it up.
  • My favourite part of it - a humongous pocket sewn onto the back lining! I always hate when I go into a bar and put my coat into coat check and I have to tuck my scarf, gloves, jumper etc into my sleeves. Now I have this nice big pocket to hold my stuff! It's about 33x40cm... Huuuuuuge.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Plaid blazer for Autumn

I just couldn't resist buying the fabric for this blazer. I had printed out the Steffi pattern from BurdaStyle months and months ago. I first tried making it up using some leftover snakeskin print fabric and some black fabric with a rough texture. I got it half done and then realised how terrible it looked - it was far too 80s. I know 80s stuff is in right now but this was over the top. So it's sitting there sleeveless with all my other unfinished projects. The good thing about it was that I found out it was just too big. And that was a size 38. Normally I'm a 40. So I made the plaid one in size 36. And it fits great!

I lengthened the sleeves a little and would have made them even longer but I only bought 1.5m of fabric (the pattern says you need 2m so I was lucky....).The original blazer isn't lined but I don't think it's so nice to have an unlined wool one... I found some beautiful aubergine satin (and I got half a metre extra for free cos it was the end of the roll!!) and lined it with that.

I added a loop so I can hang it up.

I was gonna put in some inside pockets but when I pinned on a pocket and put stuff in it it was so visible on the outside. You could even see my lip balm! I am thinking about making a blouse from the leftover satin. Or maybe a skirt.