Thursday, 30 July 2009

Fire Waistcoat

We needed another waistcoat for a new member of our fireshow team. Before, we used to have these waistcoats sewn at a dressmaker. Now I wanted to try it myself :-)
My boyfriend had a waistcoat that was too thin for him. So we gave this one to the newbie who was slim and I made a new piece for my boyfriend. He was so kind as to take the pattern from the old one (I don't like the work:)). You must take a pattern paper, lay a piece of clothes on it and put these on a carpet. Then go along the seams of each panel with a tracing wheel. The outline will be visible on a paper, then you may retrace it with a marker.
You can see how I enlarged the pattern - I measured him at a chest, waist and hips and added evenly to each seam what was missing.

I put this pattern on two layers of twill. I had very little fabric, so I had to lay some of the pieces upside down. But on an ordinary twill, this shouldn't matter.
I pinned the fabric carefully before cutting.

I made the front panels and the back panel and sewed them together in side and shoulder seams.

To neaten the neckline and armholes I used bias tape. Home made:-)

I have a special tool for it. I cut a bias strip of twice the width, thread it in the tool, then I can go with it before the iron and get a strip with two sides folded in.

I sewed the bias on in one fold, right sides together...

..then I turned it over the hem and sewed near the edge of the bias. I was quite pleased with the result.

To iron up the lower hem, I marked twice the width. When ironing, I just laid the edge on this line. Much easier then my previous methods:-D

Another method I used to iron the bracers. I ironed them around a paper pattern.

The waistcoat. You may notice the light and dark strips. Unfortunately, the twill was not normal, it coloured my machine black and apparently had to have some nap. But I know I couldn't lay all the pieces head up (lack of fabric) and it shouldn't be visible in the fire light at all.

A completed new fire costume:)

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Renaissance Hairdo

This time I tried to simulate a hairdo that I saw in a renaissance portrait.
That's me the first time I tried to do it.

I will present it to you on my sister.
I took a front part of the hair and divided it into four squares (the picture showed more of them, but it would require very dense hair). I braided each of them so that they would end up interwoven.

Then I took a small amount at the bottom and made one more small braid.

I caught the whole rest of hair and made one big braid beginning on the left.

I wound it so that the braids at the top would hide under it.

The lower braid was woven around the big one. Where I could, I took the unbraided ends of the small plaits, braided them together and hid under the big wheel.

Like this:-)

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Cotton Machine Embroidery

I heard about it once and now I wanted to try.
You can sew with embroidery (or crochet) cotton, but not the regular way, you wouldn't be able to thread the needle and if you were, the stitches wouldn't be created.
You must wind it to the bobbin as the lower thread.

The upper thread's tension must be adjusted not to make the fabric wring and not to be loose at the same time. You must sew at the wrong side.
I used the colour of the fabric at the upper thread, but of course you may use the same as the cotton or anything you want :-)

I don't make any knots in the end, I just pull the cotton down with a needle.
The result is quite satisfactory, regarding the small amount of effort it took:-)

These are my new cotton-decorated trousers:)
The last word - you shouldn't use this technique on very light fabrics, they could get deformed.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Black Rasta Poi

When making the fourth short pair of poi, I told myself I should eventually make a paper pattern:-)
I did so and marked the distances for possible coloured stripes.

I cut the stripes by two, so that I could be more economical with the fabric.

I ironed the edges of the stripes in. I drew the pattern on the right side and marked the stripe distances outside the pattern so that I could easily see them when sewing.

Such lovely colours. Like traffic lights:-)
You may spot I don't cut threads between the stripes - it saves me time and the thread.

I finally learned how to work with the thimble:-)
You put it on your middle finger. You hold the needle with the thumb and the forefinger and help the needle go through with the side of the thimble (on a bent middle finger).
This way I finish the lower part of the poi.

A new pair is born. I hope their owner will like them.

A pocket, as usually. The last one with five-finger leaf...

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Ten Flames - Finished

The last day of these poi production. When struggling to turn the poi over, I found out it was easier when I push the pliers inside as deep as possible and open them inside. The the pulling out of the fabric was quite easy.

The bags. I'm sorry for using ruler and round objects for these signs. Freehand with some stylisation wound look better I think :-)

A fan of flames. A lot of work behind me.
This time, when producing many alike pieces, I learned not to make unnecessary moves and to try to sew faster when I can.
See you next time;-)

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Ten Flames - Progress

Having all the the ten pieces decorated, I started to make poi from them.
I found out how to easily start the seam - without going back you just sew and lay the threads so that they would be inside the stitches.

It's usable only for wide stitches, such as zigzag stitch or some stitches for stretch fabric.
Looks like this.

I sewed the poi and the weight sacks. It's interesting how easily one learns not to do unnecessary moves and to be faster when he makes the same pieces all the time...

And of course pockets. I couldn't find any toppic for five pieces (four is easy, but five...), in the end I took a list of planets and chose some of their symbols. The handsome ones:)
I'm quite curious whether the recievers will discover the meaning.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Ten Flames - Decoration

This is quite a big order:-) Five pairs of flame poi.
I had the template from the last time. I ironed some vlieselin on and drew the shapes on with a chalk. Unfortunately, I found out I had little fabric and had to go buying some more:-C

I cut the flames out and drew the poi. You can see how nice were the poi lain on the canvas - actually no leftovers, the rest on the right was just enough for the pockets.

I cut out the poi and got down to glueing the flames on. I set the red on the place with pins and put a small drop of glue under each top. I also put a drop under the middle of the flames.

The last two went to the upper corners of the edges.

Having them prepared this way, I had to sew them on with a satin stitch (very short and wide zigzag). Nothing difficult, but quite time consuming (ten times, OMG:-D)..

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Thread Depository

I have been hating for quite a lot of time the way threads are stored at us. A box smaller than the amount of spools, you never know which threads you have and the unravelling of tangled end of the threads is a perticular delight...

One day I said stop. And after half a year I got down to this project:-D
I bought some mesh and black fabric and began. I cut out two big rectangles from the canvas and six stripes of mesh.
I placed them upside down to the vertical lines I had drawn, sewed on and turned upwards (except the lowest one - I sewed it on already upwards).

I traced the vertical lines and sewed them through. The last two rows have big distances in vertical and horizontal direction - they will carry big spools:)

Before sewing the verticals I ironed vliselin on to toughen it. A poor seamstress must know how to collect puzzle:-P
The depository is just for my so I could afford using leftovers.

When I had the pockets finished, I put the other rectangle, right side to right side, to the first one. I pinned them together and I didn't forget to pin twill loops between them before sewing.

I left a hole in the bottom right hand corner to turn it over. I ironed it, sewed a line a mm from the edge...
...and filled with spools:-D