Monday, 28 March 2011

Where to start

I have decided to make myself a whole new summer wardrobe., mainly dresses and skirts. Now normally I live in tracksuit bottoms and football shirts but I have decided that it is time for a change.
Before I had my operation I had an hourglass figure but never really appreciated it. However after putting on weight and slowly losing it I am getting this figure back again and this time I am going to appreciate it and to do this I am changing my wardrobe.
The only problem I am having is deciding which pattern to try first. I also have some of my own designs that I would like to try. I am drawn towards vintage styles that have very defined waists.
I have managed to narrow my list of patterns down to about 50 LOL.

What is your favourite pattern and which would you recommend?

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

weight gain = new clothes

I thought I would follow up on a comment I made in my last blog about my weight gain.
In dec 2009 I had really bad stomach cramps - they were so bad I ended up in hospital on gas and air (I love that stuff LOL)
The doctor could find nothing wrong and sent me home. This happened again in early Jan 2010 and again the doctors could find nothing wrong. They thought at first that it was a really bad water infection gave me antibiotics, when this didn't work they thought it could be endometriosis. The doctor sent me for a scan but this came back as being clear. The whole time I was still suffering really bad cramps which were like the worst period pains I had ever had with the added bonus of a stitch. By Feb 2010 I was signed off work as I couldn't lift anything or even move sometimes.
I went back to the doctor countless times but they couldn't pinpoint the problem then when I was talking to someone I know they mentioned a hernia. At my next doctors appointment I asked if that could be my problem, so he had a feel around and said yes it could be. So off for more scans and more doctors appointments. Eventually at the end of Feb 2010 the doctor decided yes I did have a hernia and sent me off to a specialist. They then decided to operate on me as it could erupt and cause further problems. I had the operation in March 2010. It then took me 3 months to slowly build my strength back up to return to work.
For the 1st month and a half I couldn't do any sort of exercise due to the stitches and mesh that had been used as scaffolding (as the doctor put it). By the time I went back to work in June 2010 I had put on 3 stone in weight.
I then had to go and buy some new clothes in a larger size. I also decided to make more clothes for myself as I could find hardly anything I liked in this new size.
I have now slowly lost 1 stone of the weight - only another 2 stone to go until I'm back to my pre-op weight.
The plus side is that I have now got no pain but will always have to be careful as if I overstrain the mesh the hernia will come back.
While I was off work I done a lot of research into my own business so that also helped me.

Now onwards and upwards - my targets now are to lose more weight and to make my business sufficient enough to support me without any other job.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

McCalls M5319

I have a couple of special occasions to go to this year but due to an operation last year I have gone up in clothes size so none of my dresses fit me at the moment (am on my way back to previous size but that is for another blog)
I decided I would make myself this dress (I am doing view A)

Going by the measurements on the pattern envelope I had to make a size 16 which I knew would be too big around the waist (I have a small waist even though the rest of me is larger LOL)
I have made the mock up of the dress out of calico (will add photos later) and had a fitting this morning.
The fit was quite good everywhere except, as I thought, on the waist. I have to take it in by 1cm under each arm as the underarms were gaping and then need to lose 2cms each side at the waist. 
I am making the dress out of petrol blue taffeta which has pale peach embroidered flowers all over it. Instead of adding a lace panel under the bust I am going to be using a plain petrol blue taffeta.
I haven't decided on the length yet, the toile was just below my knees but I can't decide whether to leave it that length or shorten to just above the knee.

Will post updates and progress as it happens.
Has anyone else made this dress, if so how did it go?
before being pinned for alteration front view

before being pinned for alteration back view

after being pinned for alteration front view

close up view of front pinned alterations.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

From tight to perfect

A customer emailed 2 weeks ago asking if I could add a zip to a top she had purchased in the sales.
When she tried it on it was slightly too tight around under her arms - it was too tight by mere millimetres. It wasn't tight and pulling but it had elastic around the top and that was digging into her.
I told her that I would need to see the top first so she came for a consultation. The top was made from stretch fabric as the under layer with a chiffon overlay. I told her that it would be fine to do then I started to unpick the seam to insert the zip. The chiffon just started to fray as soon as I released the stitching (which was done using a commercial overlocker) so I had to overlock the edges as soon as I could. There was also not a lot of seam allowance so when I inserted the zip I had to make sure that I lined it up as close to the edge as possible. I used a concealed zip so it was important that I kept the seam allowance at the same place all along the zip so that it would look right and none of the zip was visible.
Once I had inserted the zip I was surprised at how well it blended in with the top. I was also pleased with how well I had completed the job and the top fit the lady in question so it was a good outcome all round plus a bit more experience for me for future jobs.

I have included a couple of after pics of the top, (unfortunately I forgot to take any pics before hand)