Saturday, March 28, 2015

Denim Spaghetti

Anyway, this is what it looks like when you take several pairs of jeans and cut them into little strips about half an inch wide with a view to turning them into a mat. A mat like zeeeeees....

This is of course a work in progress. I started this a couple of years ago, and times flies while shit is going wrong. I got as far as the bit with the cutting up of another 3 pairs of jeans. It wasn't until just before Christmas last year that I finally sat down with a No. 10 crochet hook and twisted it all into what you see above.

Turning all that denim spaghetti into a great long string to be crocheted into a mat is quite a straightforward thing. You just cut a little slit in the ends of two pieces, like so.

And then feed one through the other like so...

And the feed the end of the other back through the first one like this...

Et voila!

You have a cute little denim knot, and a much longer piece of denim-spaghetti to crotchet into a mat so comfortable that L'Poochio actually prefers it to her multiple other locations for the purposes of naps and working those big brown puppy-dog eyes.

Of course, this is the mini-version. That's 3-jeans worth there, so by the time I've No.10'd through the rest of the denim-spaghetti it should be substantially larger.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A map with pockets leads to Carolyn Pyjamas.

Where else would it lead?

Not so very long ago Closet Case Files launched the Carolyn Pyjamas, in honour of one of my favourite bloggers, Carolyn, who made some fabulous pyjamas from her namesake pattern.

Their launch was perfectly timed to coincide with my non-religious version of sewing Lent. I'd sworn that I wouldn't be accumulating any more patterns or fabrics until I'd used a fair chunk of the ones that I already have. I'd even started to divulge myself of some of my fabric stash by exchanging it for a promise of shared images of the end projects.

But this pattern has pockets!


And if there's a way to my little sewist's heart, I suspect it could be through pockets, for that pattern launched itself into my Downloads file and out of my printer so fast that you'd think it was cash.

This of course led to the conundrum of "What do I make it from?" now that my fabric collection had shrunken. As luck would have it, I had a piece of op-shopped rayon in what is now "The Remains Of The Stash".

And guess what?

It was covered in a print of little Caribbean maps. Yes, maps! More maps!!

<Here we go again.>

So I give you several pocketfuls of Caribbean Carolyn Pyjamas.

The pattern goes together so quickly and easily, and with some careful consideration you can actually squeeze them out of less fabric than recommended. It turned out that barely 2 metres of 1.10m wide fabric left me a little short for cuffs, so I picked up some contrasting plain rayon from Spotlight and that seems to have done the trick.

The pants pockets are made from some cotton in the rag bin.

Even adding the piping wasn't as much of a hassle as I'd always thought; although I did skip putting it down the front facings, and stopped at the edges of the collar.

The pockets are a style that I've never made before, cut in one piece. Apparently this is quite common for Closet Case Files patterns, and it flows together quite nicely. I did lengthen her (already generous) pockets by about an inch, only because you can never have enough pocket. Well...also partly because my hands are rather large and I want to be able to slouch with my hands fully in my pockets.

A quick rifle through my button collection turned up some perfectly sized and toned pink buttons that I probably wouldn't have looked at twice otherwise. They're from a jar of buttons I picked up from an op-shop years ago for just a few dollars. The ladies who ran the shop used to cut the buttons off non-saleable items and sell them in jars. The faux fly turned out to be the perfect place to keep the spares for future losses.

Another nifty thing that I tried out on these is an elastic band tip that Lladybird Lauren blogged a few months ago. Now, I didn't stitch it in exactly as per the instructions; I stitched the casing rather than the elastic, but it was a much faster approach for getting everything together.

I believe that I can credit this pattern with breaking my sewing-drought. Will I be using it again? Absolutely! I've got a smooth old pair of golden-coloured sheets that are too worn in the middle to use on the bed anymore, but have oodles of fabric for making a full length pair (a la Celia-style recycling). And they're thousand thread count cotton sateen - you just can't turn that into cleaning rags.

At one stage I had intended to give these to a friend as a present. But she doesn't seem to be keen to come and collect them, and its been a month, so until she does...

Friday, March 20, 2015

What's that? You're still alive??

Time flies, it appears, when you're busy being busy. I didn't mean to leave it a year and a half between updates. I just...I was doing an Engineering degree. And I lost my camera. I mean, I still made stuff (stuff that I no longer fit into because, as it happens, I was also busy increasing my girth).

Anyway, at some point across that missing 18-odd months, HandmadebyCarolyn made an amazing skirt from some world map fabric that was passing through Spotlight. She used one of her favourite patterns: Vogue's V1247, and adapted the skirt pattern to cut the map all in one piece. She did a brilliant job, which I shamelessly ripped off (I promise I'm not a stalker).

Then last week I was delighted to discover that despite the fact that I'm now a little more Joan Harris is shape, it still did up! That's right. I could wear it, and I did. I'm afraid my self-portraits end up a lot more like this, than like anyone else's beautifully snapped images, so I may go back to the bit where I leave me out of it and just take pictures of the garments to share.

This was a bit of a throw together job, so the pocket was made using some white cotton something-or-other from the rag bin, and the skirt was hemmed using a bit of orange biased binding that I'd picked up god-knows-where.

All in all, I'd like to make another one, when I'm slightly less rotund and likely to do this to the back seam:

and the back fastening do this:

Next time, I think I might iron on a little interfacing to help stabilise that particular seam. To be fair, I was stitching right on the edge of the fabric, and it isn't the most's inclined to fray, but it could still do with some help. 

All in all, I'm rather happy with this skirt. I'd never have glanced twice at this pattern had Carolyn not done so many incarnations of it. It turns out that it's a great base pattern to play with; and it also turns out that the placement of those pockets is totally worth ripping off for other patterns. 

So, there may well be more pocketed skirts in the future...and hopefully more posts, now that I have a relatively organised home and life from which to make things.