Tag: clothes

Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing-Book Review

Gretchen Hirsch began her blog, Gertie’s New Blog For Better Sewing, began when she tried to follow the 1950’s book, Vogue’s New Book for Better Sewing.  As well as sewing and fashion, she has written about gender and body image.  Her popularity grew and she ended up publishing several books herself.  Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing, there are 14 projects inspired by the original Vogue book with patterns including.  They are all pretty vintage in style, but modeled by Gertie with her fuller figure and tattoos there’s definitely a modern touch.

I was given this book as a gift which was sweet.  But it didn’t take long for me to realise that none of the outfits suited my body type, style, or lifestyle.  And, while full patterns are included you have to trace them first before cutting out as they all overlap.  When I got this book I hadn’t used patterns in a book before, and just used single patterns that you can just cut straight out.  I understand why books do this, it saves a lot of paper and expense but it’s a real pain to use.  I attempted to make a skirt a while back but it ended rather disastrously and looked atrocious.  Although I really appreciate Gertie’s work this was not the book for me!

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Sewing Bee Leggings- First Attempt

Mum bought me ‘The Great British Sewing Bee: Sew Your Own Wardrobe’ a while back, when that show was the hot new thing.  I’ve only just got around to looking it over properly.  To be honest most of the garments weren’t my style but I wanted to give a couple a go.  It’s supposed to be accessible if you’re a beginner, and the leggings were marked as ‘easiest’ difficulty, so how could I go wrong? Continue reading “Sewing Bee Leggings- First Attempt”

Tie-Dye Summer Dress

I did some tie-dye last year and wanted to do some again.  Instead of just another t-shirt I went for a summery, embroidered dress. It’s white, and somewhat see-through.  So I would want to dye it a darker colour anyway.

It’s from H and M but actually cost about £40 which seemed kinda expensive for something I had a good chance of ruining but it was 30 degrees and sunny, so I went wild.  Obviously the temperature has since dropped to about 15 Celsius since then but that’s British summer for you.

Possibly at some point the weather will actually get warm enough again for me to wear it?

Tie Dye Top Tips

  • Only use natural fibres, like cotton.  I think you can get special dye for synthetics but they don’t take the dye as well .
  • Wash the clothes before you dye them.  They put a water resistant coating on clothes, called sizing for some reason, which keeps them looking nice and prevents mold.  But it also stops the dye penetrating.
  • After you’ve done, use scissors to remove the elastic bands.  This is much easier than trying to pull them off and there’s less chance of the dye running.

What I did

I used Dye-Lon dye, and followed the instructions on the back.  That being to mix the dye in 500ml of warm water, and dissolve the salt in 6 litres of warm water.  Then mix together.   I used a light pink in one bucket, and a dark pink in the other.  As well as tie-dying, I wanted to an ombre effect.

I then got a bunch of elastic bands and attack the dress.  I somewhat randomly grabbed little sections and elasticated them.  I did do a boob check, to make sure I wasn’t going to end up with targets on my breasts, and I tried to get a mixture of large and small sections.  Once you’ve done about half the dress it becomes pretty hard to visualise what the finished product will look like.

I held the dress under the warm tap for a few moments to dampen it again.  Then I dunked the top half of the dress in the light pink.  I left it in there for over an hour, swishing it around every so often to make sure it would dye evenly.  Then I pulled it out, turned it upside down and dunked the bottom half into the hot pink.  Again I kept that in for about an hour.  I didn’t want a hard line between the two colours so I wiggle it around in the darker pink a bit to get a blurrier line.

After taking it out, I poured the bucket of dye in the drain outside.  Then I ran the dress under water and gently squeezed the water out.  I kept the light pink section at the top at all times, so the darker pink wouldn’t drip down onto it.  After rinsing a few times, I used some scissors to carefully cut the elastic bands off.  Then I threw it into the washing machine, by itself to wash off the remaining dye.

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Turning a Long Sleeve Top Into A Short Sleeve Top

I bought this long sleeve top about 3 years ago in San Fransisco. I liked the fact that it was long sleeve, and also looked like pajamas!  It was one of the few things I bought that actually also made sense in the UK weather, unlike the very tempting summery items they were selling in California.

Buuuuut…the sleeve ripped on the right side around the elbow.  And everytime I put it on I put my arm straight the hole making it much worse.  So finally I decided to do something about it.  Inititally, I wanted to keep the cuff that was at the bottom of the sleeve but move it upwards.  But that proved too complicated for me.  Obvs the sleeve was a narrower at the bottom than the top so moving the cuff up would have been fiddly, not very neat, and I wouldn’t have been able to fasten it afterward.

So instead, I just cut the sleeves short to T-shirt length, and hemmed them.  Pretty easy in the end.

Upcycled Pink Shift Dress into a Spring Top

I’ve been doing some upcycling! I have had a pink shift dress hanging around which did not fit because shift dresses are designed not to fit.  I bought it because it’s hot pink and I had a discount. So I upcycled it!

upcycled pink top

It was a little tricky as the dress as pockets in it.  I cut the bottom off, then unpicked the stitching around the pockets and removed them.  Then I stitched the sides back up again.  I used the hem from the dress to hem my new top.

I’m not sure what the fabric is but it was reflecting the sunlight like crazy!  It’s actually a slightly darker colour in real life.  But anyway, less than a week before I head to the Americas I now have a jazzy pink top to wear.

Halloween Costume Idea- Cave Girl

I always want to do something awesome for Halloween and it never really happens.  The internet tells me I can make a mummy costume, or become a lego version of myself with only my innate make-up ability and 10 minutes.  That way ends in disaster.

I also want to go for something scary, rather than all the silly popular culture inspired ones that proliferate the interwebs, but that limits the options further. I went for something in the middle, not a witch or vampire but also not a humanoid emoji or confectionery item.   I chose cave girl. Continue reading “Halloween Costume Idea- Cave Girl”

Manchester Gallery- Fashion and Freedom

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I went with my mum to Manchester Gallery to see the ‘100 Years of Vogue’ exhibition which was good although, given that it’s mainly a magazine about eye shadow and skirts it would have been nice to have more information about why the images were significant.   Back in the 1940’s they published Lee Miller’s war photography, and in the 1990’s about four million pictures of Kate Moss. Continue reading “Manchester Gallery- Fashion and Freedom”

Leggings- First Attempt

I am very much of the opinion that leggings (as usual worn by contemporary ladies) are really a type of underwear.  They are not trousers, they are see-through.  And you know they are see-through, that’s why you are wearing a thong with them so that people can’t see your underwear, but now they can see your bum… Continue reading “Leggings- First Attempt”