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.