Thursday, 9 January 2014

Mannequin making - Sleeves

Its Thursday, my favourite day of the week, and I'm up early and posting my 2nd blog in a I feeling ill?!

I'm not fully back to work yet so am making the most of having free time by bulk cooking and freezing meals so I have food to eat after a long day at work. 

One of the projects I got up to at the end of last year was more Mannequin making, but this time focusing on one particular limb, the arm.

It came about as I was finding it difficult to make a lining pattern for a jacket I was altering.
I teach Dressmaking in Belfast Met on a Monday and borrowed their detachable arm one evening, returning it the next day. A strange sight was a rigor mortis arm tucked sticking out of my backpack while cycling home.  It was a wonder I wasn't stopped and questioned. 

I needed to recreate this arm.  I find thinking always a lot easier with a cup of tea :)
I love the old dress stands and parts, stains and all. They are so expensive though!
I cut some calico (cotton) fabric on the bias (stretch cross grain).  The bias makes it easier to mold the fabric over the arms curves.  I marked where fullness needed removed around the elbow with a dart.  The armhole socket and the wrist were traced onto calico forming 2 circles.
By pinning the fabric in place it allowed me to make final alteration so I could achieve a very close fit.  I made a paper pattern, adding 1cm seam allowances and re-cut out. 
The dart was made and the sleeve was machine stitched in place.  Then stuffed tightly with polywadding until the amount of firmness needed was achieved.  I forgot to take photographs of these stages! 
The end circles were handstitched firmly in place and the arm was given a good steam with an iron to make it fit and sit.
Side view.  I pinned my arm to my stand using leather pins.  The pins need to be strong and secure the arm in place when using to fit a garment.
Front view.  A view lumps and bumps, but sure haven't we all!
I was now able to create a sleeve lining pattern a lot easier than before as this fabric was really soft and didn't hold a sleeve shape on its own.
Finished jacket.
Hope you enjoyed the post and it encourages you to make your own. 
Until next time
Happy Creating!
Christine x

Friday, 3 January 2014

New Year, New Wardrobe!

Happy New Year to you all ... I've a feeling that its going to be a good one!

2014 is a very significant year for me... I was born in 1974 and that means I'm turning 40 in April!  I'm really looking forward to it!

New Years always means a good clear out. The last pine needle of the tree has been brushed outside ( although Im sure I will still be finding them for the next few months in the house) the decorations are down, the house is sparkling, focus turns to a good wardrobe clearout.  Or as its called in Northern Ireland, 'a good read out'. (said as 'red')

Back in September I had decided to rip out my wardrobe, so armed with tools, wrenches, hammers and many other gadgets I rolled up my sleeves and set to work.

These were the 2 doors before

With the door frames only coming up so far it meant there was a lot of wasted space. When you live in a 2 bedroomed 1920s terrace and own a lot of clothes, every bit of space is important.

These nails were SO big, and took a lot of struggling with to get them free from the door frame.

All my clothes had to go into the spare room until the job was done.

A very messy bedroom floor!

All the woodwork off from the door frames

I used some of the better pieces of wood from the door frame for another clothes related project. I will share that in another post.

At this stage I could do no more.  The next stage involved finding a good tradesman and I found'  Handy Matt' by facebook.  

Where the shadow is was wasted space.

Matt took away the partition wall in the middle, checking that the ceiling wouldn't fall in first and then did a bit of plastering. 

Then rails and shelves were added.  A curtain rail was put up.  I stitched curtain tape to a very large old Irish linen tablecloth and hung it as the wardrobe closure.

All the vacuuming done, and the clothes are hung in place.  Making full use of every inch of space.


 ...I added the tie back today. 
Now that the wardrobe structure was finished, and the New Year and all its resolutions had been made it was time for a wardrobe clear out. My sister Linda of 'Hey!Homewrecker' came over last night and hanger by hanger went through the rails.  Somethings require the losing of a little weight to fit back into so its back into running and yoga as of next week.
Today I left 3 bags full into Oxfam :)
It was decided that no more charity and vintage shops are to be visited, and that although I have lots of really nice clothes, I have no basics!
A trip into the shops, January sales in full swing, led to me coming straight home, having bought nothing only an M&S pastry to console myself after having to deal with the nightmare that is high street shopping.
The kettle called to be put on, the tea was poured and up to my bedroom I went, plugged in the laptop, logged into La redoute, and shopped online for colourful basics.  Bliss ....
This little pouch is from the 'House of Colour' when you get your skin tone and hair colour assessed and shown all the colours that suit you best. Handy to have when wardrobe shopping.

The final curtain. 
Night night