Thursday, 14 January 2016

use it or lose it - trousers to Astoria top

I have started this month with a tidy up.... of everywhere..... and trying to figure what to do next.

I did a check (again) of all fabrics and charity shop buys..... to figure a plan.
The plan is start using these up or donate back to the charity shop, which means to get trying the patterns I keep meaning to 'try out' and to stop shelving other projects to the back of the queue.

My sewing has taken a slow down due  I had pretty much stopped buying at charity shops some time back, as I found I was getting more than I could sew and was borderline hoarding!   My sewing slowed down a bit for a few reasons

  • was busy making the dance dress
  • I seem to have sufficient in my wardrobe (yup seriously and I love my new makes)
  • my soon to be grey hair has me wondering on whether is is worth making anything in yellow (my hair is currently in transition, with graduated roots in thanks to thoughtful cut by hairdresser kept it looking okay till christmas -however the roots are now just plain half and half)
the trousers
I bought these purple trousers sometime in the summer - for some reason on that day I bought three purple items from the euro rail and have yet to use them.  They are a 2 way stretch (barely) and a size 16 polyester.  I had thought to try a draft a pattern for a sleeveless shift, but then thought I could try the astoria pattern from Seamwork, and hope the fabric would work.  I had wanted to try this pattern for a while as there are some lovely results online (this being one)

the layout

As it turned out, there was enough fabric for the full sleeve (I thought I would have to do a two part sleeve)  All other pieces did have to be seamed!  I left the creases in place for the cut as they were my straight grain guide, and I ironed them flat with vinegar solution after cutting and left them to rest overnight.

The astoria is a one-hour sew, which would be right, except for I sewed a sleeve in wrong side out which I am part blaming on the shocking amount of Italian sweets I have been gorging....

The top is nicely fitted.  I find it slightly too fitted for what I wear but this is also probably due to the fabric is not a 4 way stretch (its not a great 2 way stretch either).   I am glad to have it as reference for a cardigan I am going to upcycle as the sleeve fitting of the Astoria is really lovely, it sits just right, so I am hoping it will work for a slightly thicker knit/actual knit.

As I seemed to be on a bit of a go slow with crochet this January, I got some gumshoe books from the library - there were about 10 curse words in the book I just finished and some previous reader blacked out each one! strange........but even more unexpected was the first result back on a google search on 'defaced library books' (I was wondering if there was a actual term for it, and it turns out there is -  6 months...)


  1. ah Dairybox..... the issue here is Quality Street, all biscuites and divine Italian sweets I get sent each sis mother in law was doing a clear out and i nabbed a cardi i am hoping to try (and justified it going into the to-do basket based on the fact its gorgeous thick wool and i didnt buy in charity shop).....and yes, the library book was strange esp as there is rarely swear words in Sue Grafton books, but obviously that reader was not a fan of F word or S word....

  2. I tried to comment before but I think it got lost in the ether. Amazed at your transformation skills as always - this looks to be a lovely pattern and I hope you get some wear out of it or that it paves the way for future makes. I feel a little sheepish when I read your posts as your pecuniary talents amaze me. I am far more indulgent when it comes to fabrics and might need to start making accessories to fund my habit! I just loved the Guardian on defaced books - it was absolute quality.

    1. Thought the books would appeal to you alright Aimee! I often wonder why I seem to ultimately prefer the remake, when I was a kid I was always making stuff out of rubbish and selotape if could get my hands on it, and then as a teenager I was always skint as teenagers are, but I also smoked cigarettes and this created the financial necessity of charity shops and making my own clothes, and the same of my time as an art student - and finally, Galway has a poor selection of fabric shops but a good selection of charity shops and I have gotten to like the challenge of the remake (a lot also has to do with that I could not afford the quality of wool I like to sew) - having said that, I did pick up a roll end in Murphy sheehys in Dublin a few weeks ago! You get some great fabrics, and def have an great eye for colour (I am trying to broaden my pattern horizons here!)

  3. I completely get the satisfaction you must get from remakes - am just put off by the skill required - I go for quick wins with a gorgeous indie pattern and flash fabric which is half your battle won! I was a big charity shopper when I was young too and 'Pretty in Pink' was one of my favourite films as I was in awe of Andi and her art of re-inventing clothes. I didn't work for years and now I do have a job and very little outgoings my guilty pleasure is indulging myself with fabric. Got another trip to Aberkhan in Manchester coming up in a few weeks and I'll be delving through the fabric bins. I do see the appeal of wool and would love to work with it. If I could I would follow suit and squirrel away finds from the charities but unfortunately I'm allergic so it's cotton or synthetics for me! Look forward to following your sewing adventures this year :)

    1. happy hunting in manchester..... just back in now and off over to read your new post - that skirt looked gorgeous on fb!

  4. That's a very nice top you've made. I'm not sure what to sew these days - don't want to sew just because of it. Oh, I love the weights you have in that photo!

    1. Thanks Agy - I love the weights as they came from the grocery/farm store my grandfather owned, then to my fathers pub, and then to the attic when the place got 'modernised' in the 70s. we sold the pub in the 90s and these came with in a box... which didnt really get fully unpacked till 8 years ago during a large clear out - I kept them and was in 2 minds to donate, (I had donated the 4ft high scales that went with them) but held off, and before I knew it, I started using them as my fabric weights! prev to this I used mugs and cups and glasses, so I was glad they were of use as I have few 'momentos' of the family home (we use the biggest one as a door stop!).