Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sewing the Gertie Way

Well, I took a bit of time to start feeling ok after my cold. In fact I haven't really been anywhere except the supermarket since last Tuesday. And the supermarket trip wasn't exactly a success because it was one of those times when everyone got in the way and I wanted to whack them all with my purse. 

I know it might seem silly to stay home from work just because of a cold, but my job is hard enough without feeling grotty and irritable. Plus I am always telling my students and their parents that sick people should stay home (if someone had followed this rule I wouldn't have caught the cold- grrrr!). 

So onwards and upwards. I was feeling so cluttered in my workroom and wasn't really enjoying my crafting and music space, so I had a good tidy up. I really needed to sort out the top of the piano. which had turned into a receptacle for anything and everything. Pre-earthquake I had some very precious things displayed up there and lost a few treasures when they became airborne. I have decided the time has come to move forward and take the risk of popping some things from the safe depths of my cupboard up there so that I can admire them. 

My piggy moneybox is one of my most treasured possessions as it is the object that I have had for the longest. John's mum gave me the gorgeous trio and my mum gave me the jug. I adore floral chintz china too. 
 I love this Mason's china saucer. The colours are so bright but soft at the same time. Cottonfields, which is a lovely quilt shop that I frequent, makes up these dear little "muffins" of fabric in coordinated colours and patterns.
 I am going to add ribbons to the button jars over the utilitarian rubber bands.

 Naturally, Mr Mouse considers it his business to supervise any activities in my workroom. I like to provide entertainment to keep him off the ironing board and my work table.
 I got back into Gertie's lovely book with mix success over the weekend. I am never quite sure how things will look on my body because I am very curvy, so it is a risky business trying something new. I always use super cheap fabric to make the first version of any new pattern (sort of a wearable "muslin"). Even following the recommended paper fitting, where the paper pattern is joined with strategically placed pins and fitted to the body, is no guarantee of a good look or fit. To be honest, I am reluctant to put paper under that much pressure because one thrust of my ample bosom and I've shredded the whole thing.
With some tweaks, and the assistance of the delightful Ruby (see below), my Gertie Portrait Blouse in seafarer print is a roaring success. I am ready to sail the high seas in a perfectly fitting garment, with only a few stitch wobbles. The last one I made had some crinkles at the neck and I am pleased to say I resolved those issues by re-cutting the facing pattern, matching it exactly to the cut out front and back necklines. 
 I'll take a photo next time I wear it.

On to my next project. You can't hold me back now. I decided that I HAD to have one of these blouses just to see what it would look like on me. After all, Gertie looks pretty cute in her one.
 It is the Bow Tie Blouse, and required some serious thinking on my part to do that neckline. A bit hard to see here, but it has buttons down the back, giving it a very vintage look.
 Now, remember I mentioned using very cheap fabric for the first model. This was leftover from another project. It was supposed to be a dress, so I bought quite a bit, and it is now two tops. Purists, don't read the next sentence. This is a polycotton. I am sold on these economically priced fabrics because they can be thrown in the washing machine and dry wrinkle free in no time at all.

I managed to solve all of the problems this pattern threw my way. My sewing machine protested vigorously at being forced to make buttonholes. It is extremely difficult to unpick a machine sewn buttonhole.
 I found enough of these gorgeous vintage buttons in my stash. They look great, and the green perfectly matches the green of the print.
 I think Ruby looks very cute in my finished blouse.
 The bow (which makes the collar a beast to put together) looks rather prim and proper in a sweet way.
 It is just a shame I don't look anywhere as cute as Ruby in my Bow Tie Blouse. I look like busty matron. There is just such an expanse of unbroken mountainous chest under that bow. It fits fine, except for the lower back, which kicks out like a peplum over my backside. Maybe Gertie's does too- she has her one tucked in. I think the all-in-one body and sleeves really emphasise the width of my chest, and then it cuts in in quite a fitted manner at the waist, which would be great if it wasn't for the boob apocalypse above. I tried it with a cardie over the top and Johnny said I looked like a nana. I actually felt rather like a nun and just need a sensible skirt in navy, laceup navy shoes, tan tights, some nunnish headgear and the picture would be complete.

You can't win them all when sewing, and luckily I learned a bit along the way, and will have another weekend top. Actually it would look fab with my riding jacket when I'm having a formal riding wear day. Nun on horseback. Well, we all know Zanny is no nun. She is a trollop when she catches a whiff of her stallion husband. In my nun riding outfit I could be like a missionary all ready to convert wayward mares.

I managed to stab myself in between my little and ring fingers with a sharp knife today. As I got something out of the dishwasher it flicked the knife up and I pushed my hand straight down onto the vertical blade. It is only a small hole but quite deep because I looked at it and called out "Johnny I stabbed my hand and I can see bad meat!" At that point blood filled up the hole. Johnny got me to wiggle my fingers and declared no tendons or other important stuff had been hit, and did a lovely job dressing it. I haven't had a peek under the dressing yet, but I'm hoping all is well. Doctors can get a bit grumpy if you don't go and get wounds seen to and they get infected, but I'd hate to be like those idiots who go to accident and emergency departments with a tiny injury that requires a sticking plaster.

So what will be my next sewing project? I think I really want to try making sleeves for the Portrait Blouse pattern. I want to make blouses up in mid blue, navy and red spotty fabrics. And I've seen a sweet strawberry print on a bright blue background. I'm imaging a fleet of super-comfy tops that look great with jeans and cardies.

I'd be quite happy sewing all day long. Even when the end results don't go quite to plan.


Anonymous said...

Love it,especially the vision of the equestrian nun converting the trollopy mares!!! Sounds as if you have had a good weekend even if the nun's blouse didn't turn out quite as planned. Haave a great week. Hope the kids behave. Xxxx

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous photos…the nautical blouse is so sweet. You are very clever..we all know how any blouses I tried to make would turn out!!

What a shame the Nuns blouse isn't nice on, it is gorgeous, what lovely fabric and the green buttons are so sweet.

Have a good week, see you Friday after school!! Yay,


Poppy Black said...

Maybe it would look cute on you Meg!

Poppy Black said...

Maybe it would look cute on you Meg!