montjoye: (Default)
( May. 8th, 2016 01:08 pm)
Right. I've added ties from the side seam to the side of the front panel. Hair up, long beads, slightly darker stockings, heeled shoes*, lipstick.

It's still not the most wonderfully flattering frock ever and I'm not sure yet if I'll wear it to the folk's shindig, but I'd be perfectly happy to be seen in it.


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more.... )
I wanted a dress to wear for my parents Golden Wedding celebration. I decided to use a length of panel printed silk crepe I've had for a couple of years, but was struggling to find design inspiration to turn it into a frock. Then I remembered this lovely and simple dress I found in Kelvingrove art gallery, Glasgow back in 2008. A child's dress in silk batik. Made by Jessie M. King in 1923. I think it's delightful and I spent quite a while looking at it. I came up with a plan to position the printed panels that I thought would be pleasing.

IMG_0169-1

So I made it up.

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I'm rather curvier than a small child, so the effect on me is not that flattering. Another trademark elegant sack? or just ugly? It is very comfy and nicely floaty though. I'm still interested in garments from simple rectangles, triangles, but they are challenging to make look good on a curvy figure. One needs a big enough circumference for the outward curves, shall we say, but then there is too much bagginess around the inward curves :-)

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Like most loosely fitted things on a curvy girl, it looks better when I'm moving. Some will find these pics amusing.

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Now I need to decide if this acceptable? or simply too dowdy and I need to think again?
This was an opshop find that I pounced on to replace my old favourite gardening jumper*. Same colour, a little larger, far fewer moth holes, but with a stiff scratchy zip. I cut the zip out, stitched up the resulting two layer edge and put two buttons with loops as the new closure. I'm so pleased with the transformation. From a harsh, cold, modern look to a soft, warm, old fashioned one. Much more appealing to me anyway.

The end result:
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reconstructed "before shot with the zip just placed in position.
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*a lovely soft Burberry one found in a charity shop in Edinburgh, dahlink.
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montjoye: (Default)
( Mar. 1st, 2016 01:15 pm)
I've taken in the new shirt pattern in a few places and converted it to include a yoke. Also shortened it and put a shirt tail curve on the hem. It's moving back towards a classic shirt. There are enough changes that I should cut a new pattern, and I still need to raise the armhole a bit, and I suppose convert the cuff to a standard one. Yes I had a shirt pattern but it is too close fitting than what I want for comfort. So I went too large and now it's being brought back in. Iterative pattern development again. I suppose I want a shirt that fits well but isn't tight and has no darts. I may end up with back darts anyway for my sway back, otherwise the overall effect is visually larger than it needs to be. Oh, this collar is just an old fashioned deep rectangle. I rather like this sort, though they don't work well with a close fitting jacket collar. The "cuff" is just a hem with a fastening of a pair of buttonholes and a button.

I keep going on about lovely quality linen. This is another example. Quite a loose weave but feels stronger than one would expect. Extreme "linen wibble" in the hand, possibly very long staple? This is one of the pieces I got at Christopher George back in November. Buttons are blue dyed (I presume) shell, from Eliza's I think. Corded buttonholes again. When I do these, I should perhaps sew the buttons on with a thread shank?

So ~$15 in materials? plus a day or two work.

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more pics )
montjoye: (Default)
( Feb. 23rd, 2016 03:35 pm)
This jacket has been a lot of fun to make, but also inspired rather a lot of cursing. I wanted a comfy but fun jacket for slopping about in. My first thought for fabric was some sort of mad cotton paisley jaquard, but I didn't have any. I thought I didn't have anything appropriate in stash until I fell over the 1m of navy velveteen I bought from R&N last festival. Not enough by itself but the right sort of thing and with some other bits and pieces I had lying about.....

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lots more pics )
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montjoye: (Default)
( Nov. 28th, 2015 04:40 pm)
I've been musing on this idea for some time so while in sideless groove i thought I'd try it out. A sideless gown for street wear! I'm sure other people have done this before but I have amused myself. I look forward to seeing how it is to wear.

This length of denim was bought at the last stashbusting market I attended for the princely sum of $5. I cut it based on the medjeeval versions I have but dropped the neckline quite a way and ended up having to take it in lots. That extra fullness just made it look many sizes too big in a modern context.

IMG_6512-1
couple more pics )
montjoye: (Default)
( Sep. 14th, 2015 09:21 am)
Finito. A done thing.

I'm really pleased with it in general. Of course there are things I would do differently now, there almost always are.

The main fabric is that strong linen I've been going on about. It really is different from the linen i am used to. I got it at the Fabric Store, and they even still had some last time I was there. I probably paid about $20/m (including 30% off, those sales are when I mostly shop there!)for 2m of 150cm wide. The lining is more regular linen, bought cheaply from Eliza's. The buttons are vintage shell, all different but the same size.

The pattern is my own invention. 14 years ago I took toile fabric and made a pattern for my old Durer coat. Earlier this winter I used that as the starting shape for the salmon duffle coat. Then I further converted that pattern into the one I used for the grey and gold overcoat. Now I've slimmed that down to produce the pattern for this. So from flat fabric, via 3 intermediate garments, I have made a "proper" jacket pattern. Two part curved sleeves and all.

Structure:
pretty much bag lined, which seems fine for the body. The sleeves are where I'm not happy. I stuffed up when cutting and failed to add on hem allowance. Actually I stuffed up when finalising the grey jacket pattern by not putting said hem allowance on the pattern, now done. So I bag lined the sleeve so I could use a tiny 5mm seam at the cuff. Not ideal as the lining is already dropping a bit despite the ditch stitching I've put on the vertical sleeve seams. I should have added a proper hem from the main fabric. Probably should have lined it in slithery stuff too. Ah well. There is light weight iron on interfacing in the upper collar, front edge of the body lining and hem. I taped the roll line (woot, tailoring talk) to combat the bias drape on the main fabric. The collar and shoulder seams are ditch stitched by hand. The pockets are fully lined patch pockets sewn on by hand prick stitching, top seam is taped.


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Yes the sleeve cap has a few wrinkles when my arms are down. This is because they are patterned to sit properly at more like hands on hip position, which is really done to give me a full range of arm movement. I'd rather have a few wrinkles when standing straight so that I can drive, type, do whatever comfortably.

IMG_5874-2 IMG_5890-1 .
I’ve been doing my head in trying to design multiple garments and outfits at once. Pick something woman! So I prioritised cutting the jacket from the linen that I had pressed and laid out on the cutting table maybe a week ago. It’s not the garment I need first but it is the one that was ready to go. So the outer is now cut, mostly seamed and the fitting tweaked. The big decision on this one is what to line it with. The outer linen fabric is strong* but really quite fine. I’m thinking of lining it with a different linen in the same colours. PoW check lined with stripes, both in shades of taupe and cream. It will provide a bit more extra body than lining rayon would and simplify construction a bit, but I will need to be careful and alter the edges a bit to allow for turnbacks etc. The end product will be a slightly closer fitted and shorter version of the new grey and gold coat. I sure hope it fits me for more than the next month.

*I’m saying strong because it feels so. It’s not thick and heavy, I think the threads are spun more tightly before weaving than the linen we are used to. It might also have a longer fibre staple? So it has a “longer” and more obvious linen “hand”, or “wibble” as I more usually call this.

Part of the cognitive clash is that some of the other garments I'm trying to develop are deliberately very simple cuts. This jacket is quite a contrast with lots of curved seams and careful fitting.


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It has just occurred to me that one of the reasons I have been so tired in the last couple of weeks is that I am breaking my brain in to a new glasses script. I always think a new script is not right until I’ve worn it for a few weeks. It seems to be settling in now and was just very useful in assisting me to unpick a pale taupe seam from this pale taupe linen. Couldn’t see to pick at the right threads with the old glasses.

montjoye: (Default)
( Sep. 5th, 2015 04:15 pm)
It has been pointed out to me that I haven't shared pictures of the finished flower blanket. Well I did, but only in this carefully laid out form on the spinners and knitters list. So here it is. It is working for me really well. It's very warm and snuggly.

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couple more pics )
montjoye: (Default)
( Aug. 5th, 2015 05:53 pm)
What has happened in the Montjoye Makkinschtuff department since last week?

Well:
My old Durer coat pattern that was tweaked into the duffle coat pattern, has been taken and even more seriously tweaked into this shaped coat below. I added shaping seams front and back and took in the sides, as well as reworking the sleeves into a classic two part suit form and converting the collar. This has given a shaped but loose fitting overcoat pattern. This coat has taken the place of the "pieced grey/black coat" from the previous list. Next step is to take this pattern in again to make a few neat little jackets. (yes this has been on FB but posting here is better for posterity)

. more pics )

I've also:
-made the hot water bottle cover and delivered it (pic below). The charity exhibition/competition/sale opens on Sunday. I mean to go along and see what other entrants have come up with. Should be amusing. This is built from my first ever piece of quilting, done as a sample before I embarked on a bed sized quilt, and that had been living in the cupboard for about 10 years.
-done the tablet woven edge on the red 14thC overgown
-aquired hose (hosen, as in medjeeval socks) fabric
-refreshed my hose pattern and cut a trial pair
-cut the teal wool jersey frock
-finished sewing together the lacy knitted flowers, laid them out for the blanket arrangement and begun sewing the flower foursomes together.

even more pics )
montjoye: (Default)
( Jul. 7th, 2015 10:24 am)
This coral wool coating is so soft, and such a pretty colour. At the Job Warehouse sale it was one of the bolts carried out of the shop to make room for people to enter (yes really). I nabbed it fast as wool in pretty colours isn't easy to find and this is a favourite. As a part bolt it cost me all of $2. There was only 2 metres of it so I think I've done well to cut a knee length hooded coat from it. The sleeves are pieced and the back is reverse nap, but I managed to keep the fronts, hood and upper sleeves the right way up. The creamy grey/pink wool is cabbage from the Netherlandish overdress I made last year. I had taken it to the stash busting market but it didn't sell. Somehow in the process of putting it away, it ended up next to the coral wool and they suddenly announced what they wanted to be.

I've run a wide spaced prick stitch on the edges where the cream and coral meet. I'm pleased with this, it gives a nice gentle control without the hard tortured compression line that machine top stitching would make. I'm not completely pleased with the pockets. They are set a bit low and perhaps I should have sewn them on buy hand. They would also sit better if I hadn't had to piece them but piecing was the option available and I wasn't in the mood for welt pockets.

Maiden voyage tomorrow methinks.


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more pics + costs )
montjoye: (Default)
( Jun. 26th, 2015 06:18 pm)

Yay, weaving. It's fun, I seem to remember how to do it. I've threaded up the cards correctly, I like the effect. Win. I had to drop one card of the border each side to reduce the width but that is ok. I certainly don't mind the resulting weave, might prefer it even.

Actually, writing that has cheered me up a bit. I've been in a mood slump this afternoon after a full day of brewing and crossing all the things off today's list. Just want some company I suppose but too tired to go seek it.



IMG_5375
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Although I now have time to work on the brown jacket of my desire, I have concluded that I need to push on with the blue garments while that is where my head is at. I'll get these to handwork only stage before I move on. Today I cut the blue hood and did the machine assembly. I'll do some of the handsewing tonight, then hopefully get the buttonholes done tomorrow. I've ammended the pattern a bit from the red one, narrowed the gores and shortened the hem at the shoulder. It ends up less frilly and with a rounder hem. Nice.

Last night I realised that my list notebook page had a grid pattern. This inspired me to get into the design for the new tablet woven belt. I did some card count calculations and charted out what I had been thinking. Then I popped into excel to play with versions. As you can see, I liked the bottom one and have copied that out to get a better idea of the finished weave. It will be less blocky in reality due to chosing the direction of threading appropriately. I'll wait until the buckle is here before I start, though if I felt wild and crazy, I could thread up the loom. Hmm, I do need to find where I have hidden the good shuttle and starting clip. Where o where?

Now to go get dinner started before the light goes completely and my lark/budgie brain just wants to curl up on the couch.
design pics )
montjoye: (Default)
( Aug. 13th, 2014 10:12 am)
Yay, it's finished! Madly bright and a fairly mad amount of work. I love it.


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a picture story )
montjoye: (Default)
( Jan. 1st, 2014 10:28 am)

In retrospect it seems appropriate that my last sewing projects for 2013 were wrap skirts.

I have a classic block print, half circle, folky skirt. I enjoy the feel of wearing it but I find the colours depressing and the general style impression a bit too feral:

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So I made an indigo linen* version that has much more elegant overtones. It also took only a few hours to make. Lovely to wear and I'm happy to be seen in it:

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I like the circular design on the original but wanted a more cheerful version. I found good fabric for it in stash**. I meant to paint this, but then [personal profile] mrsbrown  suggested the fabric pens one can get nowadays. So... in much less time than the painting would have taken, especially given that most of my fabric paints are old and dry :


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And of course they had to have labels:

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I still have a residual desire to do some painting. I think I'd better buy some new paints first.


* stash, from Darn Cheap about a year ago
** which was a nice surprise 'cause I didn't think I had anything appropriate. This length had had erased itself from my memory. I can't even remember where it came from.
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montjoye: (Default)
( Sep. 14th, 2013 12:21 pm)
I'm pleased to say I have made a good start on releasing my inner dressmaker. This literally gorgeous fabric begged to come home with me on a shopping trip with Antonia. More recently it has been firmly insisting that it wanted to be a proper dress rather than the skirt I originally meant to make. The design is partly inspired by some of the recent frocks from "Dress a Day".

I reckon I get an A for appropriate use of fabric and cut. Accuracy of fit and Construction both only get a B. I think I score an A+ for efficient cutting and fabric piecing to get this frock out of just 1.5m. Cutting was made more difficult by the print not lining up with the grain of the fabric. The fabric was off grain when the print went on I think.


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more pics )

I shall have at least most of the rest of today away from sewing. What next I wonder? I need to remember that I only have time for a couple more moderately complex garments before I go back to work.

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So I have sensitive skin, but that is not really the point of this post. Years ago, a doctor recommended I use a very gentle, soap free cleanser, which comes in big ugly bottles with (to me) clinical overtones. So I did.  It's a perfectly pleasant product to use and works for my purposes but the packaging is ugly.

Somewhat later, a dermatologist with a makeup fixation talked me into buying that smaller bottle of slightly fancier and 8 times more expensive, very neutral cleanser. I was dubious because it's main claim to efficacy was the inclusion of "French spring water". Ha. It turned out to be barely distinguishable from the product in the ugly bottle. Maybe it has a slightly finer texture, maybe.

Later still, I had used all the new product, but I liked the bottle, so I refilled it from the ugly bottle.

Even later I caught myself thinking "this french stuff really is nicer". Oh really self? really? don't you remember you refilled this pleasant little bottle from the big ugly one? Ha, crazy lady.

So the lesson is something like: package your product well and (at least some dumb) people will think better of it.


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The inverse is true too. Take decent preferred product in ugly bottles:

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Repackage them into more attractive receptacles and feel happier when you use them. Works for me :-)

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montjoye: (Default)
( Apr. 6th, 2013 06:22 pm)
I bought a new dome tent a little over a year ago. It's case was ambitiously small. Given the tent fit in there when I bought it, it ought to have been possible to get it back in there. This has not been proven true in reality. So I rolled the tent comfortably, and made a new bag to put it in, entirely from stash and recycled bits. Hurrah. The bright blue and yellow ripstop are leftovers from a similar project for my sleeping bag years ago, so they will even look nice together, regardless of the tent itself being bright green.


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montjoye: (Default)
( Mar. 25th, 2013 04:09 pm)
The labels, they arrived! at the 11th hour (on my last day at work before this holiday). I had actually chosen a different style, as you may remember, but I did have several windows open that night, comparing different ones. So it's possible the mistake was mine? Anyway, at least the colours are right. I can work with this.

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I'm rather glad now that I hadn't got around to wearing this new shirt. Now it can be taken out into the world labelled! Quite possibly tomorrow.
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Last night, quite late and without a fully formed prior intention of doing so-I ordered 100 cloth labels that should finish up looking like this:

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I've wanted woven labels to put in my finished items for years. Part of what kept me back was not knowing what to put on the labels. Part was fear of it looking like despicable hubris. Now I have both an informal "brand" that appeals to me and enough confidence that this will been seen in a positive way.


I knew I wanted cotton woven labels. Many sellers, including the only one I found where you can upload an image to have made up- only work in synthetics. I could not find the combination of cotton labels and simple online ordering of custom designs. Many places will do whatever text you like in a selection of pre-designed styles, often with the option of a motif, but only from their selection. What I really wanted would need to be a fully custom design. This could be done, but would take more organisation and be more costly, at least because the minimum order quantities are higher. This may happen one day, but the choice I've made is pleasing to me and will do nicely for now.


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