Wednesday, 31 July 2013

shirr thing...

In honour of the fact that we have had what is kind of like a summer in here in Ireland this year, I have a summery refashion to show you!  

This latest little venture was a big fat experiment. I've never done shirring before and I didn't know how to do it. What better basis for trying it out???!!!! 

I started with a size 14 shirt in a Liberty print which once upon a time was my lovely late granny's. 

I chopped off the top just under the arms. 

I took in the side seams and as it was basically a straight line, I just hemmed the top: 

So at this stage it is basically a straight tube - so what to do??? I decided I would dive into the world of shirring. I thought I would leave the buttons at the front and shirr the back to cinch in the waist. 

I had to experiment a fair bit to get to grips with this technique and there may be others of you out there with more in-depth knowledge of the correct way to shirr (the verb To Shirr, I shirr, You Shirr, He/She Shirrs etc. If you say the word shirr enough times it begins to sound reeeeeally silly

I drew on parallel lines through a middle section of the back of the shirt and proceeded TO SHIRR. 

Shirring top tips from a total shirring-nube: 

You wind the shirring elastic onto the bobbin by hand and just use your normal thread in the top. You then make sure that the fabric is nice and flat as it goes under the foot - you need to stretch it a bit as the elastic bunches it all up.

I discovered it's really important to backstitch at the beginning and end for your line or the elastic just flies out. I also left long threads at the beginning and end of each line so that I could bring the thread to the back and tie it to the elastic just to make it nice and secure. 

Trying it on, the buttons at the bust were doing that classy straining open thing, yeeuw! I shouldn't have taken in the side seams before putting a load of elastic into the fabric! 

I had to take out all the shirring at bust level which is not ideal but I needed to do it so it wouldn't pull too much.

I haven't really mastered the art of taking photos of my back! 

I could have left it just a strapless top because there is shirring at the top which holds it up but I decided to Next step was a couple of straps. I made these four straps - each one about 43cm long. 

It took me the length of a 4OD documentary on what it's like to win the lottery (it has it's challenges but overall, not too bad!) to turn them inside out.

And I'm pretty sure Granny would approve! :) 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

You're not on the list, you're not coming in...

Well Karen's pyjama party has well and truly turned off the lights and shut the doors. But - behold! -  here in all their fashionably late glory are my Vintage Rose Pyjamas. 

I have to say that I really loved making these. Maybe because they were lovely and easy and I could see them coming together really quickly. 

Also I've never made trousers (or pants - tomato, tomayto) so it was kind of exciting going, 'Aaah, so you put one leg inside the other... and then you sew, and then magically you have two legs...' etc etc... 

Now, if you would like to form an orderly queue to admire the coming together of the flower on my front seam:

This happened because of my impeccable skills as a seamstress. No, it didn't! It happened completely by accident. But it's good isn't it??

These are not (as you can see) Tofinos. These are Simplicity 2061. The fabric is from Ikea. Look at the cute little trim!

Here's why it took me so long...visiting my fab friend Brooklyn gal Jo

...who made those gorgeous earrings below - aren't they amazing?!   
... also taking in a mermaid festival in Coney Island (of course!!)

Followed by: recording a documentary in Canada on the shores of Lake Athabasca about the absolutely colossal Athabasca Tar Sands.

I brought home a mountain of recordings - there's a lot of editing ahead! 

Oh also I was travelling alone and kinda got into Instragram (I know, about a decade after the rest of the world) and it's great fun altogether. Follow me on the handle 'nicolineoh'!

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