Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sewing mama fluff

I have switched from using disposable tampons and pads to menstrual cup + cloth pads.
But the pads annoy me a lot because the PUL material backing makes them slippery and they slide around like crazy.

I decided to make my own versions (of course).
Thirsty bamboo hemp fleece on top (double layers) and the backing of non slippery merino wool (the red), which I boiled for 10 minutes, and micro fleece (the purple).

Excited to see how these work out!

A little baseball feel to them?

Neatly folded up to fit in the pocket!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Completed: Cake Espresso Leggings x2

Since my purchases is highly restricted by the Sew for a Change Challenge, I simply cannot put too many points into buying nylons and stockings. The ones I have now I treasure like inherited jewellery  and I basically only use them at work. But I like to wear skirts casually at home too and I don't like my legs to get cold. The solution? Leggings!!! So much more hard wearing than nylons - and so many options on fun colours too!

The problem was to find the perfect pattern though. And I TOTALLY DID!!! Leggings loving people - look no further! All you need is Espresso Leggings from Cake Patterns!! If you want the perfect, truly customised pattern, then this is the shit! Based on your own measurements you connect the dots to your own perfect pair. I so wish I bought this pattern earlier.

I have made two pairs, so far. Both from fabulous organic jersey from Strömming. The first pair (blue) I made slightly too low rise, which I corrected for the second pair (red).

Friday, May 2, 2014

Completed: Staple Dress x2, incl. tutorial for FBA on cap sleeves

This is my first two Staple Dresses (pattern from April Rhodes), but I am fairly certain I will sew this pattern again. It is simple and quick and the perfect canvas for any busy, crazy woven fabric!

Since my friend Malin has sewn this pattern many times, and I love her dresses, I thought I'd go wild and sew up my first dress without making a muslin. Did I mention I "forgot" to do an FBA? Well, I thought, for some reason, that the simple and generous fit would let me go unaltered, but I was punished. I'll show you soon what I'm on about...

But first I want to show the second one - the one that I truly LOVE! Sewn in a gorgeous, fun print from Liberty of London. The best cotton lawn makers in the whole world.

Relaxed, yet with a lot of shape, and pockets.

The back is nice and flat.

Enough shape, even without a belt, thanks to the shirring.

I added a little lace on the front neckline just to make it a little fancier. I am contemplating letting this dress be worn at a wedding.

And now to the other one, the one without FBA, which a think looks more awful every second I look at it.

Just look at this picture. Obviously, since the pattern is flat, the shirring will add the shape, and if you have boobs on the front, it will create the same amount of boob space on the back! Then it looks like this:
Handy design for people with boobs on both front and back.
And this is not the only problem! See the hemline! Since the boobs lift the fabric up and is not compensated with an FBA, the dress becomes too short in the front. Or to short in my own personal preference, that is. This can and MUST be avoided, people! And now I'll show you how!

FBA on a cap sleeved dress

(For other FBA alterations look at my tutorials here.)

1. Trace the pattern and mark apex and shoulder 

My first dress was a size S on the upper body and a size M on the lower, simply graded in between. The great thing about that is that the whole dress would fit onto 1y of fabric. Because of that Idesperately wanted to avoid my altered pattern to become any larger so that I still would fit it on the fabric :-) So I decided to start my upper FRONT pattern on size XS instead and keep the other parts the same as before.

Trace the pattern and then wear it to mark apex and shoulder line. I put it on my dress form like this:

Pin it to a dress form or to yourself :-)

Mark where the shoulder begins.

Mark the apex.

2. Do the FBA work

Since we have cap sleeves that are part of the front pattern piece we need to cut of the sleeves before the FBA can be done. Draw a line between the shoulder mark you made and the armpit. Then cut it off. Then:

a) Draw a line from the apex mark, parallel with the centre front line, all the way down.
b) Draw a line from the side seam to apex, in the angle you'd like the dart to be tilted.
c) Draw a line from the apex to the lower part of the sleeve.

All the cut lines in read.
 Cut and spread like this. Make sure to not cut all the way through in all places. Look carefully at the picture.

Cut off the sleeve completely

Cut and spread the desired amount.
The desired amount the spread the pattern for me here is to get it to the same width as the size S I used for the back. The alteration will then give me the boob room I need (and the right SHAPE), but still fit together with the rest of the pattern. I put the old sheet on top of it to see how much I need to spread it.

After this it is simply to put new paper into all the gaps and true up the dart legs.

Note!! This will create a dart, which is not part of the original dress design!
Since I use a busy fabric, plus will have shirring at the waist, I don't mind the dart. But if you do, then follow my other tutorial here.

Test wearing the pattern and see the magic you just created!

A lot more shape, and a lot more length in the front!! Yay!

And to really demonstrate that it is making a huge difference, have a look at this...

Without FBA on the top and with FBA on the bottom.

Now, go adjust this for yourself! 


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Star challenge #4 - The LAUNDRY month!

Laundry is a big strain on the environment, and if you think about it you probably do way more of it than is really necessary. This challenge should be particularly interesting since doing laundry (in my opinion) is terribly BORING. So, to do less of it is a win-win for me and the environment! Cheers to that!

It is a disturbing thought, that most of what you wash your clothes with is flushed right out into the ocean along with the dirt you want gone. Maybe it's time to make conscious decisions about what you put into that washing machine? Time to make sure what goes in is DIRTY, not just "worn"?

This month's challenge is to make laundry a conscious business of the household!

Complete the following:

  1. Estimate the amount of laundry your household produces during a normal month (and make it official), then try to reduce that amount by 20% during this month. This means, if you usually do 10 loads during the month you should try to do only 8 (or less).
  2. Only wash full loads.
  3. Change to a earth friendly detergent - make sure it's free from phosphates, zeolites and EDTA.
  4. Do not use fabric softner! If you must use something, use vinegar instead. 
  5. Avoid dry cleaning.
  6. Check the water hardness and make sure you don't overdose the detergent.
  7. Avoid using the dryer and instead air dry the laundry inside or outside. Get set up with line and pegs!

If you manage this, you'll receive a star and 10 points.

Good luck!

Note! If you are a newcomer who wishes to jump on board the Sew for a change challenge, then you'll start with 54 points instead of 75. Check out all the rules here. Welcome!!!