Tuesday, 28 April 2015

More about knickers

Handmade underwear update

It has been about a year since I published this video about how to make your own hand stitched knickers. 
In making this video I could expand my knickers collection and now after a year I thought it was time to produce some more. Why? Because the few knickers from the high street, that I did not throw away in case I could not keep up with laundry tasks, are just too uncomfortable in comparison. And I also have a bit of Organic Cotton/Bamboo Jersey left over.

As I am currently experimenting whether working with the machine can come close to the hand-stitched-experience but also to see if I can produce slightly more economic garments with similar effect, I thought I give this project a try on the machine. 
I am writing this post also because some DIY friends possibly did not dare to try to make their own underwear because of the hand stitched madness or not enough time. So now there are no more excuses not to wear the most comfortable underwear ever!

If you watched the video you know how to make a pattern for this project. First you pin the side seams, as in the film, but try to use fewer pins, 3 would do and make sure you pin perpendicular to the sewing direction, you don't want to break the needle. I use a Gutterman sew all thread for the top feed, that is 100% polyester, for the bobbin I use Seraflock, that is a very stretchy thread normally used for swimwear. My machine is a very very old Singer with only the basic stitches. Set the machine to a wide zigzag stitch and put in a needle for stretch material. Let the foot come down so all material is under it, because that avoids problems with the material and thread forming a big knot. Also keep hold of the threads before you start as this helps to prevent these issues as well.
And after a couple of stitches reverse and sew backwards almost to the very edge. Almost because again you don't want to start the argument. Repeat once you arrived at the end of the seam. 

For the leg opening it is a bit different. Use only a few pins like before, and the same setting, but this time don't reverse. The reason for this is that you want no tension between material and thread. (Across the grain you have more stretch.) You know when you put on a garment and it goes ratsch and the thread snapped? So leave about 2 inches of thread in the beginning and then when you went all the way around instead of reversing, overlap the beginning and ending for about 2 inches, before you trim leave some thread. Now bring the hem between your index finger and thumb and stroke around the hem, at least once, you will feel movement between thread and material. Do this until the leg opening feels comfortable when you stretch it, so the thread won't snap when you pull it. Now you can trim.

The elastic band works the same way, only a few pins, 8 should do. Do not reverse but overlap and stroke the finished seam until you cannot feel any tension, trim.

Although it doesn't look nowhere near as good as made by hand - I just love the herringbone stitch, the result is very comfortable and you are prepared and ready to go on holiday in no time ......

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Mindful and Tees

Yeah NOW the new series has launched!

I have been very busy and kept quiet for a while. And a lot has happened. But what is nicer to write another post and talk about a new project!

Practicing Kundalini Yoga and teaching it made me very aware of the power of words. One word can change my whole frequency in an instant!

The other thing I really love is comfortable clothes. Clothes that I do not feel, that look nice and are of good quality. That is i can cu.

So I combined the two and my new series of Mindful Tees was created. I know for myself how good it is to be reminded of mindfulness and being mindful. And to have a mindful word on a comfortable Tee is just the perfect thing to me.

PEACE was the first word chosen. And funny enough the carving for the print was created under the most un-peaceful circumstances you can imagine, having a bunch of kids run around being excited about Easter. 

LOVE had a similar challenge and having finished those two prints made me really happy. 

In this series I combined sewing by hand and sewing with the machine. Having spent hours with thread and needle and a garment on my lap I have a learnt a lot and trained my feeling for the right tension or better lack of it, construction and most comfortable design to be able to offer a more economic version. Only constructed by machine I added a reinforcing decorative stitch by hand (as usual). Living on a Hand sewn wardrobe for years I will tell you that the quality is so very high and my organic material choices made each piece last a very long time. This might be against the times but I love to have fewer pieces I love and wear them until they dissolve one day.......

So with this fusion I can be sure the comfort is excellent and the the embroidery gives the additional unique look.

Ok, there is so much more to do.
Peace. Love.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

For him

Hallo Valentine!

This morning when I finally started working I had to discover it was already past lunch time. Great.

And although it was already sooooo late, I had another idea that I absolutely had to follow in that very moment, so I lost another hour or so on top. And yesterday I probably should not have made my mala instead of working on this order as I had planned... But those shiny beads were just calling.....

I think I mentioned it before, I love it when someone asks me "could you make ...." These are my favourite projects as I love to find a solution. Saying that, before I start I have the greatest doubts and ask myself, why why why do I say yes to the weirdest projects when my time is already so limited. And by the way, why did I ever start sewing by hand. I just love my job!

So it feels all this avoiding and distracting gathered that much energy that I could realise this project in one go.

Yesterday I did squeeze some time in to make the pattern and do some thinking and today I made the prototype.

What is the project?
Very comfy underpants for a special Valentine.......

The test showed that they are comfy and nice to wear, whether the Valentine is happy.....I do hope so!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

The too hot cardigan

Valentine again

Yes it is almost Valentine's Day, and remember the cardigan I made this time last year, this pattern served me the whole year!

I am not such a fan of winter, actually I don't like to be cold as I get the feeling it is stressful for the system.....but every year I endure the cold.

There seems to be a pattern repeating, I suffer for a while and when I cannot anymore I think of what could ease the pain, and that's when I create a woolly top or anything to survive the rest of winter.

This year, I thought I would have learnt, but no, I spend 3 months looking at this gorgeous organic woolly rib material. Initially it should have turned into a blanket and that's maybe why it took me so long?
Too heavy for a blanket it waited and waited.....

This weekend magic happened and I was home alone, and almost had an order coming between me and this project, but I had no measurements so I could not start!

I could have designed a new pattern but I just love the Valentine's Day cardigan pattern and voila, I just finished my new cardigan.

And now I notice, this material is so warm that I only need to wear a t-shirt indoors......magic....