Thursday, 27 October 2011

Holiday Education

I think I am slightly warped when it comes to the concept of holidays.  It is half term week so along with a bit of catching up with friends, socialising and family time I set myself a list of challenges to achieve.  This is my standard holiday behaviour.  I work so hard to do so many things I often end up more tired than when I started.  First on the list is to master photoshop.  I have Photoshop elements 8 which is  a mini cheapo version of the real thing.   It is pretty limited but enough for what I need.  I worked out how to marquee elements of a photo- cutting out the bit you want and sticking it on a white background.   This was an early attempt on an old spool holder.  
 I also wanted to be able to draw paper pieced patterns more easily.  Eight hours one to one tuition with my brother and I have done it.  More to follow on new Christmas themed patterns soon...  Meanwhile, challenge 2, make something on my new overlocker.  Even when testing an idea I like to make something I can use so just to get myself into the swing of the stitches I whizzed round a couple of layers of white muslin to make face cloths- the sort you use for a hot cloth cleanser.
My guide for the overlocker has been the excellent Sew U Home Stretch, part of the Built by Wendy series.  I cannot recommend this book more highly.  I had soem jersey remant fabric in what you will surely agree is a most attractive design- £1 from car boot sale.  Useful as a tester.  This one armed lovely is my Frankenstein piece, testing size, fit, stitches etc.  It is an adaptation of the Rock the Boat neck project.
Impatient as ever,  I skipped actually making this as a real top, partly because I can't find where I put the pattern  pieces I so carefully drafted, and moved on to a dress.  I have an occasion to wear something formal coming up in November so it was the perfect incentive to get this done.  I adapted the Pretty Baby Doll Dress- made the neckline a little higher due to the scant and bony xylophone nature of my décolletage, and made the skirt section less full.  Instead of even gathers across the front, I pushed them to the centre section- I have a top like this so I know it works for me- less fullness at the hips  for a straighter silhouette.  
The lace was a later addition, it looked very plain when it was finished and deep vintage lace added a bit of extra interest.  I was more than a little out of my comfort zone using an overlocker/serger.  I have done a bit before at college 12 years ago on a fashion HNC but never whole items of clothing or with jersey.  This is black cotton jersey from Ditto fabrics, fantastic quality and great service.

Damian took these pictures, you can get a hint of the assistant photographer by looking at my facial expressions.
Now on to more challenges- I am trying out fusible fleece from Julia at Gone to Earth, back with more soon.  Two girls, baking, whoopie pies and cheese scones are calling me.  
sib blog

22 comments:

  1. The finished dress looks really good, and I love the lace - it definitely needed a statement finish... Hmm I've wondered about over lockers... You've encouraged me to ponder some more lol! Thanks and good luck with the test of your list ;)

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  2. Wow, you've made some serious progress learning Photoshop and overlocking in one week! You look great in that dress! The lace is beautiful.

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  3. I LOVE the dress- it is just perfect! I wish I could make something that looked so cute on me :) hehe!! And good for you for learning Photoshop- one of my goals someday :)

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  4. Well done on all those new skills - your dress looks great.

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  5. Beautiful dress, and a beautiful model too! Jxo

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  6. Love your dress so much! Funny how I just pinned a charcoal skirt with a big lace just like that! I wish I could whip up clothing like you!

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  7. such a pretty dress kerry. i love the lace and the gather just at the center of the bodice gives it a grown up look.

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  8. oh, great dress! and you look so pretty in it! :)

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  9. Beautiful dress - and you're wearing my favorite shoes!

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  10. Stunning dress Kerry! That'll be a complete and utter success then x

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  11. Ooh, that looks fab! Might have to get that book :o)

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  12. Oh you have such pretty hair! Love your cavvy too. Mine got clipped today ready for summer and look like pups again!

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  13. The dress is beautiful--especially with the addition of the lace. I have the very same overlocker and have not yet tried it. It's just sitting on my sewing table giving me evil looks every once in a while and wondering why I don't give it a try. I also started an online Photoshop Elements 8 class but you are much further along than I am.

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  14. Wow! Go Kerry! Your new dress is charming and I want to be any place that has cheese scones and whoopie pies!

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  15. I love my overlocker; you will love yours, too. The "scary" factor goes away once you get used to those extra needles, threads, and loopers! Your dress is adorable, and I am LOVING your red Mary Jane shoes. Where did you find them?

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  16. beautiful kerry! I'm super impressed!!! you look beautiful and the lace adds the perfect touch. :)

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  17. very impressed with your goals and achievements but I couldn't really concentrate because I got so distracted when I saw those lovely shoes!! :)

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  18. Beautiful dress and it looks great on you! Love the addition of the lace! And I'm with Lucy, love the shoes!

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  19. such very pretty pieces ... your accomplishments are many and great, but, 'you work so hard to do so many things you often end up more tired than when you started.' take care of yourself, there is a time for everything and you'll enjoy it more.
    [does age excuse unwanted remarks? i beg your pardon]

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  20. Great dress (and totally love the shoes), the lace makes it rather special. Well done on the Photoshopping too, I've been using some free software for years and being able to cut things out like you've done with your spool thingy is something I really wish I could do. Would get rid of many a manky background... I bet you need another holiday next week..

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  21. you and your dress are beautiful. and those shoes made my heart skip a beat (or two).

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