Thursday, 30 April 2015


Hello there Long jumps and Gravy Granules

What I'm showing you today should be my Cyprus blouse. I bought the fabric in Cyprus as I'm liking the idea of picking up fabric while on my holidays to make a wearable souvenirs. Sadly it's origins will be overshadowed by it's purpose. Ooo that makes it sound like a tale of epic redemption.

...Pity it's not really.

This is the twofer blouse so called because it meets two purposes (stupid like a fox!) Firstly this is my first attempt at the Simplicity's Star Sewist competition. I'm entering in the Vintage category which is for the Simplicity 1364 blouse. As I intend to go hack happy on the pattern I read some very sensible advice that you should make up a pattern as intended first to get an idea of it before you go changing it. Learn the rules before you break them.

Excellent advice I thought. Very wise, very sage. I almost even followed it. I'm not going to count the changes I made to length as that's a fairly standard change I have to make to everything. I'm tall and making my own clothes means I can lift my arms without exposing my midriff to the world.

I did however also changed the fastening. I'd like to say that because my second purpose for this blouse was as it was to be my entry for Lucky Lucille's Spring for Cotton that I made that change to be in keeping with the guidelines. Basically to make a vintage or vintage inspired piece using only cotton. It wasn't because, full disclosure, I used 100% polyester thread throughout.

It was because I didn't read the notions until I'd started work and I hadn't realised I needed a zip. I hate zips. I do however love buttons and have a mah-hoo-sive bag of them. As there is a tad too much ease in the pattern (the difference between your measurements and the clothing measurements is the ease e.g. a baggy top has loads and leggings don't) for my liking I folded each of the center backs in on themselves an inch to make button bands. As the fabric is quite fine I interfaced underneath.

I actually really love how this blouse turned out. I think I want a few more like this as I think they'd be excellent to work in. Nice high neck, sleeves to my elbows, long enough. So I'm going to do what I very rarely do and trace out rather than cut the pattern down (I know I know, I don't trace. Bite me) when I make my Simplicity competition entry. As I'm planning to make it in a stretchy material I don't want very much ease at all so I'm going down a size or two. So far the Burda tracing paper and I have not got on but third times a charm right?

Also lastly tomorrow is the beginning to Me Made May. I have pledged to wear an item of handmade by me clothing every day for a month. Rather than blog everyday, cause ain't nobody got time for that, I'm just going to do a weekly round up each Saturday. Might do a daily post on Instagram we'll see.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Dearest Daddio

Good morning labradoodles and gyroscopes

I'm gonna tell you about my Daddy Dearest. The big T, Father Christmas, Captain Birdseye etc etc. Last year I got it into my head that I wanted to make him a shirt. He's an ex-sailor (old sailors don't die they just get a little dinghy) so I wanted it to be nautical.

        This was the result. 

Look at this pocket. Look at it! Look at the lovely top stitching. I am still now impressed when I can make a line of stitching go visibly straight. It's not so long ago that I would generally tell people I'd been drinking when they looked at my decidedly wobbly stitching. My main question to sewists was how do you make the damn thing go straight?!?! 
Not pattern matched. Bite me. 

This man is a massive inspiration, role model, ghost-of-Christmas-yet-to-come for me. I want to make him things because I want him to know he is worth the time and effort to make something for. This year he asked me to make another shirt for his birthday. His one request (other than could I make the pockets a little bigger) was to make it as bright as I could manage. 

Obviously I am a poor judge of colour so I went to the Twitters to request the suggestions of a number of fabric shops that I like. This technicolor cotton was the winner. Sometimes you need to do a little saving my Dad from himself so I also decided to add colour block contrasts just to tone everything down slightly, very slightly. 

Eye pop and lock for the win!

He loves this shirt. We had gone out for tea in a pub with very over the top decor so I quite like the disco lord of the manor look he's got going on here. I have shown a number of people this shirt because when you've done something this extreme you wanna show people in a fit of giddy giggles. Some say it's hideous some think it's fun. Don't give a crap. He likes it. 

As always there are some slight flaws that I try my best not to get uptight about. For some reason I keep ending up with about a cm difference in the button bands at the bottom. Possible because I have to keep putting one on upside down as I seem to forget how mirror images work to get the pattern going the right way though I'm not sure how this would cause a difference in length. I did pattern match the right side button band but then realised that would be on the underneath and I didn't have enough fabric to pattern match the left one. Damn it! Ah well it's a busy pattern. 

His next request is a nautical waistcoat. I keep seeing trailers for re-runs of Pie in the Sky where Richard Griffiths rocks a lot of waistcoats. Obviously my Dad is more svelte but I do quite like the idea of a day wear waistcoat. Maybe in this or this? What do you reckon. What shall we dress Dapper Dad up in next, I'd love to know your thoughts? 

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Humbug Hokes It Up: I didn't choose the Pug life, the Pug life chose me.

Happy short week.

I'm back at work following having a week's leave so in an effort to push me through the return to work blues I thought I'd invent a new feature. A lot of my sewing involves various people asking 'Could you just....' followed by a number of weird and wonderful requests for alterations or creations.

I've therefore decided to call it 'Humbug Hokes It Up' as: A. I wanted something beginning with H as I love me some alliteration and B. when looking up the meaning of these phrase it means to add superficial or deceptive improved quality or value. I also love me some self-deprecation.

So this first edition involves one of the odder requests that I've had made. Altering a Pug's tuxedo to make it a bit bigger and just a tot more flamboyent. I was told to go nuts. I love when people tell me I can do that.

This is the original:

                         As you can see it's a bit too small and doesn't do the dapper chap justice.

What I did:

  • Levered off the press studs with a pair of pliers (very satisfying).
  • Made new button bands with a cream satiny fabric to add a further inch or so at the front
  • Attached Velcro to fasten it at the front
  • Stitched lace trim around the cuffs. 
  • Made ruffles using this tutorial as a guide. I stitched more to the edge than centre to give this effect

This is the final result. I'm very pleased with it as is the Pug Mummy. 

All photos taken by and used with the kind permission of Pug Mummy.

Me Made May 2015

Just a brief post today to make my pledge for Me-Made-May '15. 
'I, Miss Amy at Handmade by Humbug, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '15. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade by humbug item each day for the duration of May 2015.'

I'm hoping in taking part in this that the items I've made but don't wear will either be shipped up or shipped out. No room for free passes in this gal's wardrobe.