Monday, 27 June 2016

Dino Boxers

In the past year, I have bought metres and metres of metres of dinosaur fabric to fulfil various requests after seeing my dino pjs. After being challenged to make some dino boxers I accepted and got cracking on finding a pattern. I looked at drafting my own, but found it nigh on impossible to find instructions on drafting a tight fitting boxer short, which is most men's preference today. (I did a little informal survey to confirm this.) So then I had a little look for patterns and stumbled across And the rest, as they say, is history.
I asked Harry what he had to say about them and he put it better than I ever could: "The Original Digby Dinobox 3000's are the comfiest pair of men's Lounge wear that I have come across in a long time. The subtle but necessary elastic waist band gives you the security you need, also unlike other elastic waistbands that I have come across, this one is not itchy or uncomfortable.I also like the size of the waistband, it shows youth, but doesn't give off the ASBO vibe that you get when you see a white pair of CK's on show."
"The print, is top shelf, who doesn't like dinosaurs?? The stitching, seems sturdy for now and I have no reason to believe that it will give up on me any time soon. All in all, these boxers make you feel like a kid, whilst looking adult. They are fantastic! 9/10"
Harry Haywood
Boxer Wearist

As for sewing details, I zigzagged it all on my sewing machine because my overlocker was left at home while I was at uni. I used white waistband elastic from the sewing chest. Harry chose the placement of the label.
They were super easy to put together, only taking about half an hour once they were cut out.
I'm super pleased with the pattern. You input your models measurements into the computer and then a pattern is generated based on those measurements. There weren't many pages to cut out and they didn't take very long to put together at all. (Especially with two other pairs of hands). The instructions were very clear also.
Thanks for reading and thanks so so much to Harry for modelling (and doing a stella job at it I might add) and helping to put the pattern together and do some cutting out along with Dan. And thanks to Ieuan for being a fabulous measurer and photographer.

Lauren xx

Monday, 20 June 2016

Closet Case Files Sophie Swimsuit!

You guysss!! I'm so excited to show you my version of Heather Lou's latest pattern; the Sophie Swimsuit. I chose to test the view B, the bikini version.
First, the fabric. This is the swimsuit fabric I bought with Susan when I visited Sydney a few summers back. It's been waiting for the perfect swimsuit pattern and I knew that it would be perfect for Sophie. The only drawback is that the style lines aren't so obvious. I look forward to playing with them at a later date. For the findings I used a waterproof elastic and bikini clasp from Minerva crafts.
Compared to the last pair of bikini bottoms I made these are like heaven. Finishes at the right point on the waist and the 'leg holes' for want of a better term, are spot on. I forgot that I was wearing them, which is really the ideal goal. There's nothing worse than going swimming and constantly fiddling, pulling something down, tugging something up. I could truly be care free in this. 
And now onto the bikini top. I live in constant despair that my 29" bust isn't big enough for sewing patterns but all of the work Heather has done with different cup sizes means that I actually had a chance of it fitting, and it did! 
I didn't use an underwire. I don't have an underwire in any of my bras, cuz I just don't need one! I did the jumping test in this and it passed with flying colours.
I had a bit of a muddle getting the right cup pieces in the right place at the right time, the right way out. But I got there in the end.
Oh, and it's also fully lined which felt very luxurious. 
Argh I'm so so happy with how it turned out! I was a bit concerned about how a bikini top and high waisted bottoms would work on my because my torso is a bit of a tree trunk, but I like it. I think next time I'd like to use view A for the whole suit and then cut it at the waist to make a tankini. I also want to make a bra!
Thanks for reading and to Heather for letting me test her pattern, Zoe for taking photos and providing mini paddling pool and props and to MK for being Left Water Pourer and Millie for being Right Water Pourer. Much obliged.
Lauren xx

Friday, 17 June 2016

Summer Zeena skirt and blouse combo

Hello all! Please let me introduce you to my latest Minerva project. For June I went for versatile separates. A white top that goes with everything, and a multi-coloured skirt that goes with everything.
Read all of the juicy details over on the Minerva Crafts blog
Lauren xx

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Original Digby T-shirt

Hello all! It's a long standing joke that my creations are 'Original Digby's' (term coined by Northern Tom) and so I thought it was time I followed Jack Wills in their brilliant branding and marketing concept.
I originally tried to do this with the iron on letters you find at hobby-craft but after 1 wash I was left with 5 sticky patches where the letters were previously. I'm not at all about fast fashion so it was time for take 2.

 I invested in some transfer paper on amazon, figured out which font I wanted on photoshop, printed it onto the transfer paper and printed it onto the fabric. It all went perfectly until I set it following the instructions which burned the lettering away a bit. Ahh well. It's a 'design feature'. Hopefully it won't happen again next time.
The fabric is a cotton jersey from Goldhawk Road. I think it was £5 for a metre and a bit? I had to use the back of the original t-shirt for the front of this one and I pieced the back with the scraps.
The pattern I used was the Kitschy Coo Lady Skater Dress, using the bodice pieces as a base, lengthening to a t-shirt. I went up 3 sizes for a bit of ease and I think I probably could have gone up 1 or 2 more.
I normally finished all of the hems with a zigzag because that's what you're 'supposed' to do with knits, but this time I tried a straight stitch and it works just fine. The fabric stretches okay and there aren't any popped stitches and I think it looks a tad more professional. 
I'm sure this t-shirt will be getting a lot of use over the summer for the simple reason that it goes with everything! I hope it washes better than it's predecessor. I think my next one is going to say 'I love chocolate pudding'.
Thanks for reading and to MK for taking photos! 
Lauren xx

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Me Made May 2016

Hello All! This is my little round up of this years MMM. I loved participating this year because for the first time in my life I haven't had a compulsory dress code to follow. My challenge was to wear something handmade everyday and to also sew for 20 minutes everyday. I did wear something handmade every day, but the 20 minutes of me sewing didn't happen so much. But I am willing to cut myself some slack as I do sew 6 hours a day,  5 days a week now anyway. My photos have been the best they've ever been for MMM namely because of my wonderful friends  and beautiful uni campus. The days I missed were mostly weekends when I was wearing sweats.
It's really interesting to look at all the outfits together. The colours and shapes don't really form a cohesive collection at all. But I would get bored if I wore the same thing all the time. I love exploring with different shapes and colours, but I also love snuggling down in my comfies at the end of the day. Variations of my True Bias Hudson Pants get worn almost daily.
Below are a couple of my favourite outfits that just made me happy to wear.

I hope that was vaguely insightful!
Lauren xx

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Lace Bodysuit

Hello all! After seeing all of Madalynne's amazing bodysuits over the last few months I got really inspired to make my own. So on my next trip to Goldhawk Road I kept my eye out for the perfect lace and nude lining, and I found them! I think 1m of each cost me around £8 in total? 

I muddled together a bodysuit pattern from a pair of my pants/undies and the Kitschy Coo Lady Skater bodice. It was all a bit rough and ready because I was very aware that my nude fabric was more of  a double knit and so didn't have a lot of lengthwise stretch, so I left a fair bit of ease in to account for that. For that reason, it isn't skin tight because then it would become uncomfortable.
For the first time in my fairly short life I'm going to parties with alcohol and dancing, and I've been wanting something to wear that makes me feel a bit sexy and more confident and just more able to embrace the dancing spirit. (I can dance to Blues Brothers stone cold sober, but today's 'music' takes a bit more effort.) I thought this bodysuit would fit the bill perfectly, with a fairly high front neckline and low back.
I probably could have made the back a bit lower, but when I made the observation and decided to remedy it I accidentally cut the front neckline lower. Low enough to show everything. So in a panic I kind of appliqued the front neckline back on and left the back neckline well alone. It looks a bit scrappy up really close, but I've been informed that it isn't very noticeable atall.
I finished the armholes and neckline with knicker elastic because it's my favourite new thing to finish knit edges with. However, I'd run out of it by the time that I'd gotten to the leg holes so I used fold over elastic instead. I applied it to each leg hole in a different way and the top finish is definitely my favourite. It's a lot sturdier and you have a lot more control.
It is a bit rough and ready. The armholes aren't even and the back straps aren't even but they are easily forgotten about when it's worn. I worry that the white isn't quite right for my skintone, but that can easily be fixed with a colourful cardi. The back is too low for a bra, but it's perfectly supportive for what's there without one.

I've worn it in various ways with a skirt and with boyfriend jeans and I love how different each outfit looks and how different each outfit feels. Add a leather jacket to the jeans and I'm a badass. My friends get tongue-in-cheek Lauren for the rest of the day. Add a skirt and cardi and it's a beautifully elegant summer outfit. My, clothing is powerful.

I spent a lot of time wondering how I was going to document this bodysuit. I wanted to show you guys all of it, not just the top half. Was it only acceptable to photograph it inside? Would the lighting be rubbish and affect the quality of the photos? My friend Amy suggested handstands as a way for you guys to see all of the bodysuit in a slightly more acceptable way. Only one problem. I am totally incapable of doing handstands. My solution was to drag 3 friends outside at lunch and get them to hold my legs up for me. You've got to admit, it makes for a fairly amusing photo. 
After that, I decided that I might as well just take my skirt off and get on with it. And I'm glad I did.
Thank you guys for reading and I hope you all had a lovely day! Thanks to my long suffering friends Amy, Alex, Zoe and Bethan for solving puzzles and for holding my legs up when I ask them too. 
Lauren xx

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Chambray off the shoulder jumpsuit

Hello all! My latest Minerva Make is a bit of  a departure from my usual style, but I'm in love. This thing fought me every step of the way, but I got there and subsequently never want to take it off.
You can read all about the making process on the Minerva blog.
Lauren xx