Saturday, 28 November 2015

Hair! What is it good for?

I cried in a hairdressers on Thursday night.

 An undignified affair of watching in a mirror as my hair fell away, hoping against hope the final reveal wouldn't be what I was expecting. It was exactly what I was expecting. The issue isn't the cutting off of my hair, that I really couldn't give a fig about. It grows so quickly that a buzz cut would be pixie length in just over a month. No my issue was with the nature of my hair which every time I go to a hairdressers I hope they'll be able to fix.

You see it's incredibly fine. All it does is hang limp and collect grease. Honestly I should hook up with McDonalds and make my fortune. Some wise souls amongst you will tell me that I need to wash it less frequently, to you I say pffffffft. I cannot get through a day with unwashed hair without feeling absolutely vile.

This particular hairdresser did not show me the way. He just kept shrugging and telling me that it was very difficult as my hair is very fine; while a poster to the side of his head proclaimed the many ways thicker hair could be achieved. Partially I accept the blame due to the impossibility of making a silk purse out of a sows ear however surely as I walked in with the self same straight fine hair and proclaimed my hatred of it then it's possibly inadvisable to take straighteners to it? Again again wise souls will proclaim the benefits of straighteners for sharpening the edges of a cut. To those people I repeat pfffffft. My hair will do straight all on it's own, please I beg of you, make it do something else!

I'm lazy. Let's face it, it's true.

I realised this when I explained my hair styling routine to the salon manager who kindly took me upstairs to calm down. I wash my hair, I tie it in a ponytail then I turn the blowers in my car to full. Rinse repeat. I feel like I have missed a vital step in adolescence when all this shit is experimented with and a style developed. You make all those mistakes when you're 15 and then as you get older you refine until you are much more polished and together.

I missed all this due to being deeply uninterested. I'm still uninterested now but I still want the end result and will get very upset when it doesn't magically appear. The nice salon manager showed me lots of tricks to make my hair do what I was hoping it would. I then tried to recreate this the following day.

I cried again.

I remain hopeful though. I'm trying to learn and have bought many styling products which it appears are the required means to barnet bliss (I'm aware this will most likely led to me being broke and disappointed but...well I've no sensible answer to that). I even intend to go to bed with curlers and a scarf wrapped around my head. Cotton obvs as I've learnt this wicks away sweat and the natural oils of the hair. Afro hair should use silk in order to do the opposite. It's amazing the things you learn on Radio 4.

p.s curly haired girls who wish they could get their hair to do what mine does. I refuse to accept that we all want what we haven't got. It's just that everyone's hair is against them and that it's not paranoia if you're right.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Foolhardy fun

WARNING! You are about to look at a lot of pictures of ladies wearing not a lot. Do so at you own discretion and preferably not at work. :) 

I generally take ages to do anything. I have a very short attention span so will generally find what feels like a natural stopping point in any task (or half way through a fiddly job, whichever) in which to wander off and do something else. It also isn't helped by the fact that generally I am sewing in 15 minute chunks before I go to work. Projects therefore take time and my to do list gets longer and longer.

Turns out buying fabric is much more rapid than turning it into things, who knew?

My last two projects however have been exercises in working to short deadlines and binge sewing. The one I'll tell you about here was very blatantly my mouth writing cheques my body could questionably cash. Interesting side note, my spell check doesn't recognise cheques ah the young spell checkers of today, it's all paypal and contactless payments for them.

Anyway, so exercise in blatant foolhardyness is agreeing to make a bikini in just under a week. I have never made a bikini before but how hard could it be.....ah that hard. My friend and colleague is an emerging talent in the body building world, she lifts many many of the heavy things. She needed a costume for her theme piece and I love me a bit of dress up.

Initially we were going for  a Zena feel however she had a bit of a look around and it was going to be done a hundred times in her show. I therefore used my nerd powers to come with a character that looks badass but no one could accuse of being over dressed. Which is why we ended up with Kitana from Mortal Kombat. If you're saying 'who?' then you are further proof of how I massively misjudged the reference points of pretty much everyone else in the world. *sigh*.

I purchased a pdf bikini pattern from a Jodi Lane Designs on etsy. I went for the triangle top and v cut bottoms. The pattern turned out to be really quite good and the accompanying videos were very thorough however I'm used to a lot more information being included with my pattern like what fabrics will work best and which notions you need. It was at this point I started to have some doubts. Had I possibly bitten off a tiny bit more than I could chew.

The cutting went very smoothly due to my new rotary cutter. I managed to cut myself on it's very first use but that was always going to be par for the course. I need to work out a few of the kinks of using a rotary cutter including getting more maneuverable pattern weights than tins of tuna but on the whole I think that is the future. Everything was so gosh darn tiny! How could there be enough fabric to cover a human being?!? Sadly I have no photos of the construction stages as I was running much too tight for time.

Anyway so it came to stitch it together and this is where we come unstuck. I hate working with elastic, I can't seem to get the tension even. If anyone has any tips I'd be overjoyed to hear them as I would like to make some underwear again in the future. Fortunately I had enough fabric to make a couple of attempts at it which was handy as the first top I made was far far too small. Oh also this fabric if put under any strain ladders like a pair of tights. Fun times.

It's not perfect by any stretch and I accidentally got contrast rather than matching thread which means you can see every point where I've gone over and over the same spot to make that sucker stay. I'm trying to ignore this and focus on I made a bikini!

For the rest of the pieces I made a mask out of same fabric and a jersey lining tied on with some black cord in a similar style to a surgical mask. The skirt is made in a similar fashion to the straps by wrapping thicker elastic in the fabric and zig zag stitching it down with two panels of fashion fabric wrapped over the front and back. The bladed fan is just plastic dinner knives stuck to a fan. What? I was working on a deadline with the resources I had. I think she makes it work though, don't you?

Saturday, 7 November 2015


Ok so that was childish. I'm English so my title would suggest I'm talking about undercrackers when really I'm talking about trousers. What can I say, growing up is overrated.

Do you think you should iron your trousers before you put them on the internet? Nah
The trousers I'm talking about are the Sew Me Something Portia Trousers. On my pre-make googling I didn't find many people had made them already. There was only one lady who made them in a really quite funky tartan (who is waaaaaay better at fly fronts than I am).

I don't like skinny jeans because, as mentioned previously, I got a lot of junk in my trunk. I think skinny jeans make me look like I'm wearing comedy jodhpurs al la this guy. So I'm all about the bootcuts, flares and wide legs. My particular favourite being the wide leg so when I spotted this pattern in a magazine it looked ideal.

I first off started with my wearable muslin fabric which is an excellent example of why you should actually bother to read the description rather than rely on the colour you think the picture is. Monitors can lie, this is a life lesson. If you really want a gold star you should order a swatch but who's got time for that with a quick muslin project?

It's pinstripe suiting in beige (but the picture looked grey to me) from Minerva which is going for a song and on sale now. It works fine for a wearable muslin but the only thing to consider is it's incredibly thin. It can only be worn with beige underwear as it's less VPL and more 'I can see your pants'.


The instructions are a little frustrating as generally they're comprehensive until it gets to how to do a fly zipper. Unfortunately the pictures and instructions are not very clear on this at all. I was never sure which side of the fabric or zip was being referred to. If you've never done one before I strongly recommend you go to this tutorial.
First attempt at a fly front. I went a bit nuts with the bar tack.
Inside first attempt at fly zip.
Second attempt. Getting better.

Other than that it's pretty much smooth sailing. I love the line of the pockets as it allows me to indulge my love of anally retentive top stitching. The pictures that come with the pattern did give my some concerns that the crotch would pouch out a bit. I think that's a. to do with posture, b. to do with fabric choice, c. not enough of a concern to me.

For my next pair I went for again another Minerva fabric but this time a Jumbo corduroy available here. This is navy blue.... I thought it was black. Don't roll your eyes I'm not going to learn any time soon. It's a lovely fabric but I think it has a tendency to grow as both items I made out of it (these trousers and a yet to be blogged Moss skirt) both needed taking in by a considerable amount at the waist.


With this pair I decided to add a bit of colour by making the pocket insides with a quilting cotton. I can't remember what I'd ordered that for but I remember there being less than I expected so it sat on my shelf until an appropriate accent use could be found. I also bought an edge stitch foot so it's fun to play with that. I also got to play with my overlock foot which was very useful for the corduroy as that stuff frays like a mo fo. Still umming and ahhing as to whether I want to go the whole hog and get an overlocker though. They intimidate me, what do you think?

 I love these trousers. Love them. Since I was student and spotted a girl working behind my local student bar in a pair of heavily flared black cords I've wanted a pair. Now that dream is a reality.

Also I can cover my whole shoe with my trousers and look like I don't have feet.

It's the little things really.

p.s I link to things because that's what I used/liked. I am not being paid to do anything and my opinions are my own.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Playing catch up

1st of August.

The first of flipping August! That was the last time I posted anything. That's a three months ago. Good grief you lazy Humbug get it together.

Got a lot to catch you up on to be honest. Biggest news is that I got engaged. Yep fella is going to become Mr. Fella. I will be Mrs Humbug, that's how it works yes? I have a plan in my head to make my wedding dress and three bridesmaid dresses. As I plan to get married early 2017 come back to me then when I may have flipped and decided everyone is going in Primani.

Wanna see the ring? Course you want to see the ring.

Past, present and future.

Other exciting news is I did a couple of tutorials for Minerva Crafts. As I buy the majority of my fabric for them I keep on to be on their Blogger Network. What can I say I'm a fan girl. I suppose it would help if I blogged more than once a quarter though.... Anyway that gig is fully booked up currently so here is the next best thing. Here's a tutorial for a Pom Pom Garland and another for the Heart shaped pom pom maker. Lastly here's a bit of a Q&A that I did. Looking through the others it seems everyone else has taken photos of their fantastic makes, whereas I took photos of my sewing machine, because no one's seen one of those before. Well done Captain Innovative.

I do have a few new ideas which hopefully should be coming together in the next couple of months so stay tuned.

I've made quite a few things which I will try to get myself in the habit of posting on a semi regular basis in order to clear the backlog. I also have a large number of exciting projects on at the minute which fall into the 'Do you know how to make a .......  Dunno, never done one before so let's find out' category.

Here's some preview pics