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Diagonal pleat top

diagonal pleat top
diagonal pleat top
diagonal pleat top
diagonal pleat top

A sewing post! I actually made this a while ago, and even attempted to get pictures on our first trip to North Berwick at the beginning of the month, but then made the rookie mistake of having lunch first and spilling ketchup in myself. Anyway I got them now!

If I was pretentious I would say this top was self-drafted. It started with this dress I tried on in John Lewis. I wouldn’t really have done anything about recreating it, but I put it on instagram, and so many people chimed in, including Deborah, who drew me diagrams and everything, which spurred me on.

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The way I did it was to fold up some drafting paper with a pointy pleat, and then lay my trusty tunic length onyx on top of it, and then unfolded it. In all the excitement with the pleat I forgot to sew the darts into the top, so its not as shaped around the boobs as I would want it to. It was a bit trial and error, and when I first finished the top, I left the pleat open all the way, but it didn’t hold its shape at all, so I sewed it down over past the bust. Which works pretty well. These photos are not the most flattering, which is partly because they were taken from above, and partly because that is just the way it looks. But it is so comfortable, so who cares!

This is what it looks like close up:

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Now you might notice how this doesn’t actually look like the inspiration dress. And that’s because the pleat is the wrong way round. If I’d thought about it properly I would have worked this out but alas I did not, and I didn’t notice it was wrong until the stripes started going the wrong way I do have another bit of fabric with a similar sort of vaguely downwards striped print, but I’m not sure I’ll actually make one the right way round, because that would leave me with three layers of fabric around the neckline.

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Project 52: 26/53

25/52 Milo

Milo jumping into a bed of pinecones we call ‘pinecone treasure’ that’s part of the playground of Milo’s school. We always stop there on the way to the park.

26/52 Ellis

We went to the Pavillion cafe in the Meadows, and sat on the grass briefly before a table became free. Love how Ellis looks like butter wouldn’t melt here

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Project 52: 25/52

This was last week’s post, it was scheduled for Monday but never posted. Presumably the server going down again. So annoying when that happens! Only noticed it wasn’t there just now, so might as well post straight away.

These photos were when went to North Berwick for the second time in less than two weeks.

25/52 Ellis

Ellis was bumshuffling around the beach for about an hour, and loving it! He was determined to get all the way to the water, and we had to keep scooping him up before he got there.

26/52 Milo

Milo catching the frisbee (or not, possibly) on the green while we were waiting for our takeaway fish and chips. Note Ellis’ bum in the background as he’s standing up.

I took a million more family photos, so they will get a post of their own. But these are my favourites/most in keeping with the project 52.

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A few weeks ago now, the art college degree show was on and after a mostly unsuccessful trip to the illustration bit (one of us always had to stay with Milo by the windows counting chimneys at all times), Dave took the boys to the meadows so I could have a quick scoot round the fashion and textiles bit.

It was quite a different set up this year, in the main hall in the old building not the new one on West Port as in previous years. The textile people got these long banners, which are pretty cool, but it did mean that they didn’t get the racks of fabrics you can touch that you usually get, and I really like.

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Details of the textile banners

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I can’t quite remember what this wall was, I think it was textiles as well

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This one was definitley textiles, even though it’s an actual outfit.

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I always think it’s a shame that the fashion people don’t get to display on mannequins, unlike the performance costume people. They get the fashion show instead I suppose and photos around the walls. This person did get some mannequins, since they were masters level. I didn’t much like it, it’s all draping that would just completely fall apart if worn by anyone other than a completely flatchested skinny person. To be honest, there was an awful lot like that, all oversized and volume in weird places which didn’t exactly seem designed with actual wearers in mind. Does that make me old/boring? A few of the fashion bits that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the costume actually, I wish I’d taken more pictures, but I guess taking a picture of a picture is always a bit too meta.

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This was the most stunning ice queen type dress from the costumes, and you can see the fashion photos displayed. I don’t know if this will let you zoom in, but that black coat there on the right is what I mean with taking the volume thing that little step over the actually wearable in real life border.

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Weirdly, this was the only other costume I took a picture of, I guess I get excited when a young person references all the cbeebies characters I spend my days around. The skirt bit is a carousel made from haba (?) beads. The dog was part of the same person’s display. Also top left hand corner in the background the most costumey of the fashion things. I mean, who could possibly wear this except maybe Bjork on stage?

I really wish I’d taken more pictures of the costumes, some of them were really amazing and the craftsmanship that goes into them is just so impressive.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this very belated look at the degree show. Hoping to spend more time next year!

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A daytrip to North Berwick

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We both had the day after my birthday off work and the boys were at nursery, so we took ourselves off for a daytrip to North Berwick. I can’t believe I’d never been before, it’s only half an hour on the train! We got up late (which was amazing!) so didn’t get there til lunchtime, and obviously had to be back home for nursery pick up, so we really just had a wander about by the harbour, had lunch in the rocketeer and coffee in the Steampunk cafe. Really enjoyed it! We’ll definitely be back with the kids and also visitors, because it’s somewhere you can go on the train so no need to faff about with cars. (Update: we went back on Sunday! Two times in less than two weeks)

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The City and the City

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I read this book, the City and the City by Chine Mieville, recently and it’s really good. Dave bought it because he’s heard of this author. He’s usually a sci fi writer I think but this isn’t sci fi. It’s a ‘police procedural’ (I didn’t know this was the phrase), and it’s pretty good as that, but the main thing is its setting, which is just so clever and well conceived. It’s set in a divided city, but not divided like Berlin during the Cold War with a clear and defended border, but divided but in the same actual space. One city is Beszel, a vaguely central/Eastern European city, slightly gloomy with middle age architecture, people wearing drab coloured clothes and eating potatoes, computer systems creaking under old age, sort of like a Kafka Prague. The other city is Ul Qoma, which is more middle eastern, bright colours, everyone drinks spiced tea, but also undergoing an economic boom, so new glass buildings going up everywhere. Some parts belong clearly to either city, but quite a lot of it is ‘crosshatched’ with bits belonging to both, some buildings and bits of street being Besz some Ul Qoman. Citizens of both cities move close to each other but from childhood are taught to recognise, ignore and ‘unsee’ the citizens and spaces of the other city. Any movement of people between the two cities is through a tightly controlled immigration point in the centre. To step or even to obviously look from one city into another, would be to ‘breach’, which results in being taken away by a mysterious enforcement agency called Breach, which is everywhere and will step in within minutes to restore the distinction between the cities. It’s a mad premise in many ways, and when I first started reading it I thought how can this possible work even for one minute, but as I kept reading I got sucked in and it started seeming totally workable and even sensible, because it’s just done so well and consistently.

The main plot is about the murder of an woman in Ul Qoma but whose body ends up
in Beszel, who was an American archeology student investigating the two cities histories in her spare time. It’s told from the point of view of a Besz policeman, who is frustrated by the division, yet at the same time completely accepting of it. He eventually ends up going into Ul Qoma to investigate and has to learn to focus on the bits of city he’s been unseeing all his life. It’s really fascinating and I definitely recommend!

Just starting the first book by the same author, King Rat, hopefully it will be equally as good.

In case my random summary wasn’t very clear, Wikipedia page here, goodreads here.

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Me made May reflections

memade may

Better late than never, eh! Here’s what I learnt from this years Me made May:

  • This has been easier than I thought it would be, I could quite happily keep going wearing a memade thing every day forever. I didn’t even wear everything I had.
  • My recent sewing has been focused on making tops (let’s face it, onyxes and plantains) and that’s exactly what I plan on continuing. I wear all my tops all the time, memade may or not, but had to make much more of an effort with the skirts and dresses. Which is partly because most skirts are just that tiny bit too small to be comfortable, but also because I really like wearing trousers these days, for cycling related reasons and for ease.
  • I have no plans to sew trousers though, too complicated, too many fitting issues. I am quite content just making relative basics just now. I guess at some point I will get bored and want to do more complex things, but right now my sewing time is so limited, stuff that doesn’t take too long is perfect.
  • With that in mind, I’ve subscribed to Seamwork. I don’t think most of these patterns are massively original, but they are actually exactly what I would like to sew just now, and $6 for two patterns isn’t exactly expensive.
  • Any recommendations for good patterns? I’ve only got the Akita so far. Thinking probably Mesa next.
  • One drawback of wearing all my memades all the time is that it creates and awful lot of ironing. With that in mind, I think I should make more things from synthetic and knit fabrics that don’t need ironing. Shame my favourite fabrics are almost always 100% cottons
  • This exercise has helped me say goodbye to quite a few things that just weren’t right any more. There’s a few other ones I think I want to donate, but not until I’ve replaced them

That’s all I can think of just now!

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Project 52: 24/52

The weather was crap this weekend, and we just did inside things, so no well lit interesting outdoor pictures.

24/52 Milo

On Sunday we went to a birthday party for a girl from nursery Milo doesn’t ever play with, because she doesn’t play with boys, but Milo was invited for some male representation as ‘vaguely sensible boys’ (the nursery teachers words). Anyway, here he is playing with his party bag swag.

24/52 Ellis

Ellis does this thing at the moment where he holds his hand to his ear and goes ‘hiya!’. It’s the cutest!

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Me Made May – the last ones

Getting round to posting these eventually, though I haven’t written up my reflections yet! Coming soon, promise!

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Onyx shirt. This had cuffs originally (the only one I’ve made that has done), but I made them slightly smaller than the actual sleeve, and since for some unknown reason my arms are still expanding in size, they were actually getting a bit tight, so I took them off.

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Plantain tee and handmade brooch

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Holden shawlette

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Dolores dress. This is cycling wear, and that’s all this is good for now, the fabric is very bobbly.

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Burdastyle skirt

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Ginger skirt.

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Violet blouse and chardon skirt

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K1, P1 cotton cowl, made in 2009 to sell, clearly never sold!

Me made may
Three quarter length Onyx shirt

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