Archive for the ‘Free patterns’ Category

Woot-woot-woot!  Free patterns!  All month!  I know!  The very kind Kathleen of Grosgrain is hosting a whole month of free patterns with tutorials from their creators – that’s a new pattern each day.  It’s like it’s your birthday every day!  Here are the patterns so far – I can’t wait for the rest.

As for me – I’ve just welcomed a new addition to the family …

Her name’s Dolly and I’m very proud of her (hahaha!).  She’s already been measured up and adjusted, though she needs a bra full of padding and a little re-shaping on the hips, but I’m very happy with her so far.  I’ve been watching what I eat (not a diet, just being more healthy – lots of fruit and veg!) and I should have time to go back to the gym soon, so over the next few months, I’m hoping I’ll be able to start narrowing that big gap in the hips (can you tell that’s where I put on all my weight?).

In the meantime, I’m really looking forward to getting some calico and having a go at draping (with hilarious consequences, I don’t doubt!).  If you’re in the UK and looking to get a dress form or a sewing machine, I really recommend Hobkirk: they were really helpful and nice on the phone, they had the best price I could find for this model (Dolly’s a Diana by Adjustoform and she was £104, including P&P) and I ordered her at 9pm on Wednesday, she was dispatched on Thursday and she arrived this morning by courier.  This is how online shopping should always be!  Well done and thank you, Hobkirk!

(And no, I don’t work for them or have any affiliation, I just happened to have found them and bought from them online – and I’m glad I did!)

And finally, it was craft class today – yay!  In the free fabric bins I found this fabric, which is very similar to a Marks & Spencer cushion I like:

It’s actually a little more green than it looks in the picture – more like the folded over part in the top left.  Here’s that cushion:

But I didn’t just spend the lesson rummaging in fabric bins (honest!): I started making a cushion cover – sorry, that is an owl cushion cover!

I got my inspiration from this little fella:

I need to do some more sewing and I think I’m going to try some confetti applique on his chest to get a ruffly-feather effect (hopefully!), then it all gets stitched together into an envelope-style cushion cover.

Oh, and his name’s Horace.  🙂


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For her Blog Birthday, the lovely Comtesse Olympe de la Tour D’Auvergne ran a giveaway – I was one of the lucky winners (remember, I said I had my lucky streaks!) and today I got home to find this fabulous prize waiting for me:

I’ve had a quick look through and it’s wonderful – lots of lovely photos, including some full-length pictures of garments I’ve seen parts of in Costume in Detail: yum!  I have some 18th century books and a little bit on the 17th century, but nothing on any other eras, so this book fills in those gaps and indulges my love of 1950s dresses and some Victorian bits and pieces – even better.  Thanks a lot, Comtesse!

But, before I can sit down and read it properly, I had a few things I had to do (both while watching season 2 of Daria!):

The start of a quick and dirty harem pant toile (complete with awesome photography!), using this belly-dance-tastic tutorial.

And tracing one of my Gent’s waistcoats to form a basis of my first foray into man-clothes – one of his Christmas presents (yep, it’s that late!) was an IOU for a home-made waistcoat and it’s also going to be one of the key pieces of his outfit for my masquerade Birthday party.  I’m a bit over-excited – he’s going for steampunk!  How amazing is that going to be??

So, I’ve done those two bits and now I get to snuggle down with my new book – and relax, aaaaah.

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Moar free patterns!

Remember those free patterns I told you about before?  Well, that wonderful Ralph Pink of Fashion Gorgeous has been at it again and has more free patterns for us stitchers on a budget.

In addition to the patterns I blogged about before, there are now playsuits, coats and dresses as well as some menswear.  Go and have a looksee!

I’m particularly excited about the elasticated waist playsuit as I missed out on a similar vintage one on ebay ages ago:

Ralph Pink's Onesy - go and download it or one of his other fabulous free patterns!

Thank you again, Ralph!

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Because I hate to be selfish and keep lovely things I find online to myself …

Something to Make – A Yo-Yo Pincushion (or Suffolk Puff Pincushion to my fellow Brits) from Crafty Pod:

Crafty Pod's Yo-Yo Pincushion - not my image, just to entice you to check out Crafty Pod's tutorial!

I really enjoy making Suffolk puffs, so next time I get some scraps of fun fabric, I’ll be making one of these.

Something to Do – Be inspired by The Dreamstress’s clever use of clip-on earrings as clasps for a Roman stola.  In fact, be inspired by the whole outfit – it makes me want to get all Classical!

And Something to Love – Kanzashi, or traditional Japanese hair ornaments.  I’ve always liked the pretty, and often dangly, hair clips you see on Geisha, but I’ve only just discovered their name … I suspect a lot of time will now be spent drooling over their loveliness.

Oh, and I found a tutorial or two on how to make them – aren’t I good to you?

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We’re taking a little step back in time today … and not to the 18th Century for a change.  Slightly less far…

Ah, last year, you seem so far away now!  Perhaps you will recall my Halloween project that never was, scuppered by staying in for the first Halloween in more years than I care to remember:

You see, the problem with Halloween costumes when you don’t go out for Halloween is that you kinda lose your momentum – you’ve got a whole year to make it (if you don’t change your mind by the following Halloween, that is) and a year is a killer deadline.

So poor little Zombie Antoinette’s dress has been languishing in the store room with a few half-hearted stitches here and there, while I’ve been dreaming of stays.  The problem being that I promised myself that I wouldn’t start on the stays until I’d finished the dress.  I’ll admit, I’m fairly bad for leaving projects half finished – mostly because I get excited and distracted by newness far too easily – so I am determined not to do that with a sewing project when I’ve spent money on the pattern, fabric and notions.

While I may not love her fabrics (mmm … polyester satin … seeeexy …), our Queen of the Zombies has arisen from the grave.  Last night the boys were out at work, so I cracked out the sewing machine and got a good few hours’ of work in on my sorely neglected Zombie Queen.

The dress part is basically done, I just need to sew in the zip (it’s pinned at the moment), do the sleeves and attach the trims/lace, which I’m going to do by hand so I don’t flatten the ruffles, (you may recall from an old post about this project, I’m changing the trim quite a bit from the original pattern), then do the underskirt.  I’ll take photos of the dress once I’ve done the zip, which should be tomorrow.

I have learned, though, that it’s hard to motivate yourself about a project that you don’t love.  This costume for me is just to practice and learn from, I know it’s not going to create a beautiful finished product, so it’s hard to get enthusiastic about it and look forward to having the finished thing.  (And I’m not very hopeful about the final fit – what with the  mysterious shrinking of clothing over Yule and the troubles I had cutting the horrid fabric in the first place.)

But I will finish it and have fun when I do eventually get around to wearing it, because that’s what silly Halloween costumes are about!

And after that I get to make this little pretty in grey tulle with some Clare modifications (yes, it’s another free pattern!) to kick-start my wardrobe revamp and the stays.  Yaaaay!

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OK, so yesterday’s Saturday Shoe didn’t happen.  Instead Ikea happened.  And after Ikea happened (for three hours!) the making of the things from Ikea happened.  It’s great because the flat is looking awesome and most of the storage problems in our bedroom should be sorted out (huzzah!), but it’s not so great because I’ve discovered that Ikea gives me a headache whenever I go.

So, in order to appease the Blog Gods (or you, my dear reader), I am posting a link to a fabulous website I found this week that has free patterns [insert flashing neon text here!].  And not just any old free patterns, but free patterns for stays and corsets.  And the stays look like these Diderot ones to me, so that could be useful to you if, like me, you’d like to make the Diderot but don’t have the first clue about pattern drafting.

OK, OK, but where are the patterns, woman?!  Stop teasing us!

At once, my dears!  The site is by a graphic designer and arty fashion type, Ralph Pink – I found it completely by chance through a comment he had made on a tutorial on Thread Banger (which I only discovered this week – what a plonker!).  Anyway, there are Diderot-style stays, an hourglass type corset and a flat-fronted corset (I’m guessing this is Edwardian from the shape, but I don’t know much about fashion in this era, I’m afraid), as well as some other bits and pieces, such as swim suits (basic, strapless or low-legged), a kimono, high-waisted culottes, hipster trousers and ‘bubble shorts’ (which I think would be rather cute made up in the style of an 18th century gentleman’s breeches).

As the site is flash, I can’t link directly to the patterns, but all you need to do is go to the site, click the intro image and go to ‘pattern cutting’.

It also looks like he plans to do a menswear section at some point, so I’ll be sure to keep an eye open for that.  And if you should happen to be reading this, Mr Pink, thank you so very much for sharing these patterns with us!  I’m rather excited to give them a try.

Let me know if you use them – I’d love to see the outcomes!  I’m planning to at some point, but not for a little while, at least.

Edit: I also noticed a couple of problems with the patterns themselves:

1. The files have been saved as “filename.pdf_” which means they won’t open.  Just rename the files and delete the underscore and they work fine.

2. Some of the patterns are ‘chopped off’ – I think the PDF has been sized incorrectly.  Opening them in Adobe Illustrator I can see that the information is there, it’s just off of the page.

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