Thursday, 13 June 2013

Call the Fashion Police!

I am a woman on a mission.  I have committed my cardinal sin and my mission is to rectify this.  Let me explain. Years ago when my friend had her first baby, her dress sense completely changed.  She went from a mini skirt loving gal (and at 6ft tall, there was wasn't much skirt against those lovely giraffe-like legs) to a jeans and polo shirt clad mamma.  She of course was quite happy, and that is the main thing, but I swore I would NEVER become the jeans and t-shirt mum.

Roll forward to today, and what do I wear?  Yes, you've guessed it jeans and t-shirts.  Now I really don't blame the children for this change in my style (although I do hold them responsible for the loss of my waist), nope.  It all started when I began working from home.  Our house is old and cold, (especially as my office is my loft!) and I was rushing around doing the school run, dropping off work, collecting work, ferrying children to their activities, etc.  And it was just easier to throw on my jeans.  But I am sick, so so sick of wearing my uniform of jeans and T-shirts.  So my mission is to smarten my wardrobe.  The only thing is I've kind of lost sight of what suits me.

So I made a croquis as advised Threads (and didn't like what I saw, but hey ho) but still didn't really know what to do.  I then stumbled across the blog .  Ignore the fact that it is aimed at the over 40's as there are some great style tips and hints.  It led me to a calculator which has determined that I am a rectangle or banana (?!) and that I have long legs/short torso.  (Actually, I have long thighs, if it weren't for them I would be more balanced and 2 inches shorter).  I then bought Gok's book "How to work your wardrobe" (well at £3.99 in a discount book store it seemed rude not to!).  And he has some good pointers for building a wardrobe.

So armed with this info, my mission is to update my wardrobe and get me out of my jeans.  I have gaps in my wardrobe, considerable gaps actually (did I say that I only wear jeans and t-shirts?!)  That being said, I really need to get in touch with my friend to get my bodice block toile checked for fit  and I will be off.

I just need to find all the fabric I have ideas for.  Now that is a different story!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

My Bodice Block

I did the City & Guilds in Pattern Cutting quite a few years ago.  Since doing it, I've had a baby (who is now 9 :-O ), lost a shed load of weight (related to food allergies of said baby) and put most of it back on, you know the cycle! So my blocks don't really work, although I have to admit that I've not really used them since I've had them, life has kind of got in the way.  (I have used my pattern cutting though so it wasn't all in vain!)   I have a massive stash of fabric, all earmarked for projects but need my blocks to make them so have got on with making new ones.

The first time round, I did my blocks via the flat pattern cutting version, using the Helen Stanley book.  This way is very mathematics-based and necessitates you having measured yourself accurately at various body points.  However, this time round my bodice block was done using the modelling style: no maths involved, you just need to be able to stand still for a while, whilst someone else fits  fabric to your body to create a basic shell.  Both require you making a toile of your blocks to check the fit (which means you need to have someone available to help with fitting).

Despite the speed and ease with which the modelling was done (the speed probably due to my fitter knowing what she was doing, it does help!), I prefer the flat pattern cutting version.  Now I have never really thought of myself being much of a mathematician.  Don't get me wrong, I got a good grade at "O" level (yes I am a relic of the old education system, soon to be old-old education system if Mr Gove has his way) but that was with extra tuition.  Maths and I had an uneasy relationship;  I never really got it, nor the point of it.  However the older I get, I realise that I'm good at the Maths I know and remember (most of it has been forgotten) and I enjoy it.  I am obviously way more mathematical than I ever cared to admit (and yes, I am now admitting it:  My name is Melissa and I DO like Maths).  I like this way of creating blocks; I like the process, the accuracy and the neatness of the flat pattern cutting version.

So, whilst I am waiting for my toiled modelled block to be tweaked, I find myself wondering if you have a block, which method you used or prefer and why?


I've been following various blogs for quite some time now and recently stumbled across Clare's blog Sew Dixie Lou.  She asked me if I had a blog to follow and I hung my head in shame. I've been contemplating about doing a blog for years (and procrastinating all the time: would I have time, what would I write, would I be interesting enough, witty enough etc, etc) and decided to give it a go.  So here I am, and thanks for the push Clare! Oh and please excuse the look; I'm a new blogger and decided to seize the day.  I am hoping/intending for it to look better, once I know how!