Thursday, 22 June 2017

Sewing: A Perfectly Simple Sleeveless Top

Here we are in June and I am sewing again, for the first time this year.


Now that I have toned arms, I have no qualms about letting them out to play.
Yes, I am feeling strangely body-confident, thank you!
I might even add a tattoo... but that is a different story altogether :)

I bought two 1-metre lengths of Japanese jersey from The Eternal Maker last year (sorry - it is no longer on the website).
It was narrower than I had expected, so my original plan (long sleeved Renfrew tees) came to nothing.
As warmer weather loomed, I decided to reinvent the wheel and merge the best bits of my favourite patterns to create a perfectly simple sleeveless top.


I took the body of the Sewaholic Renfrew in a size 2.
The front neck and armholes from the smallest size of Merchant and Mills' Bantam Top.
And for the back neckline, I used the front scoop of the Cali Faye Basics Tank.
Got that? :)

The shapes were pretty easy to blend together, once I got going.

The binding is based on the Renfrew neck binding:  a 7-centimetre wide strip of  fabric, folded in half and stretched quite tightly while sewn to the neck and sleeve openings  with a 1cm seam using a straight stitch and a ballpoint needle.

I then used a zig zag stitch close to the seam (but on the main part of the garment) to hold down the two layers of binding fabric, trimming away the excess pretty aggressively.

The side seams are held together with a "universal stitch", which looks like a combination of a straight stitch and a zig zag.

My original plan was to have a curved hem back and front, but my first attempt resulted in a woeful wavy mess of ripples.
So the red and cream version has a straight hem.
Having learned my lesson, I stitched a line of straight stitching along the point where I intended to fold the fabric, then used a zig zag to secure it.


In the interests of variety, I tried a curved hem at the back of the blue and cream version.  It has a tendency to roll up, so I probably won't bother next time.

Next time?
Oh yes!
I wore these two tops time about while I was in Hull, flung them in the washing machine, and wore the red and cream one to work the next day.
Because:  summer!
They are comfortable and fit me really well, with no fear of strap-exposure, so I have no problem baring so much to the world.



Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Back to Hull

Hull Old Town
This past weekend I went to Hull for a City of Culture / alumni event.
I did not meet anyone I knew, but I soaked up plenty of culture and sunshine.

"Get out your phones and Instagram this!"
Two immersive theatre performances, an indie nightclub... and a polite soiree where I found my inner gravitas and.. networked.  Ha!

Hepworth's Arcade
So much about the city is unchanged:  Hepworth's Arcade is still home to Fanthorpe's hifi shop and Dinsdale's Carnival Novelties shop, where you can buy a rainbow crocheted willy warmer.
(I did not.)
The place is absolutely buzzing with life and excitement and energy.
Chips from Bob Carver's, because I can :)
This City of Culture thing is REAL.

Walking down by the docks in blazing sunshine it was like being in the South of France.
Music everywhere.
Art everywhere.

And even in the rougher parts of the city, the regeneration is making a difference to the lives of ordinary people.
I wandered for miles.  
I sat in the park and in cafes and on benches in the street, just being there.

The English Muse, Newland Avenue
Up on Newland Avenue, I discovered a gorgeous little cafe, The English Muse, where I enjoyed the best ever vegan gluten free chocolate brownie and watched the world go by with absolutely no fear of seeing anyone who might know me.

It felt like freedom.

I bought a handmade vintage dress in the Dove House Hospice charity shop that could have been made for me.
I wore it to the soiree and a complete stranger told me it was gorgeous.
Boom!
Airbnb studio on Bowlalley Lane, Hull
And on my final day, I followed the crowds round the corner from my bijou airbnb studio to the finish line of the Hull 10k.
I stood next to a loudspeaker and let the music from Viking Radio vibrate through my bones and watched the runners, with tears in my eyes.

For old times and new beginnings and the past and the future and all the things.

Entrance to Exchange Alley

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Song of the Week



A moment, a love, a dream, a laugh, a kiss, a cry, our rights, our wrongs

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Making in May?

Who remembers the days when Roobeedoo was a sewing blogger?

This morning

This strange new energetic life of mine leaves little space for thinking about sewing, let alone performing it.

But this morning I got up a little later than usual, after a particularly taxing trapeze session last night (with the rope burns to prove it) and saw SUNSHINE!

And I realised that my last wardrobe purge may have been fatal.
Summer clothes?
Um... not really.

I wore my only sleeveless top on Monday, under a sweater.
On Tuesday I still needed a sweater over a camisole.
On Wednesday I wore a plain black tee shirt - I currently own a grand total of three tee shirts.
Today...  rummage rummage rummage - my Marilla Walker Mercury Top.


And it feels so cool and breezy and effortless.
Why don't I have more of these?
Why don't I MAKE more of these?!
I still have a fabric stash after all!

Watch this space.
I haven't booked an exercise class tonight :)

Oh -  in case you are wondering, that's my Angelus Novus cardigan I am wearing.

I rather fancy another one of those too!

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Very Very Circus


Jazzercise just wasn't doing it for me anymore.

I was barely breaking into a sweat and the music wasn't as good as at my Saturday Sh'bam class.
I considered other dance classes, but they all seemed to be in the wrong place at an inconvenient time.

And then the other day, I joked with a work colleague that I was going to run away and join the circus...


One quick internet search later, and she came up with Inverted Aberdeen, a Circus and Pole Fitness Centre.
Wow!

Fast forward a week and I found myself explaining to Most Huge Boss that I was going to my first trapeze lesson... and invited him to visit me in hospital the following day.
I must say he took it very calmly. 

The standard response has been "WHY?!"
One colleague started laughing and probably has not stopped since.

But guess what?

Yes -  that is a manic grin

I absolutely loved it!

Not only that, but apparently my daily planking and resistance training has paid off.
To succeed in aerial silks, you need a strong core, for all that shimmying up lengths of fabric and dangling in mid air.

Within the hour I was literally flying!

You are supposed to point your toes for this to work

Trapeze?  
A little less elegant!

By that point I had done an hour of hard physical work, and dangling upside down with nothing but my knees gripping the bar...?

Not so much.


And you have to start upside down to get onto the swing.

But I got there, and I even did a "mermaid"... though mine was more of a beached whale!

Am I going back?
You bet I am!
It is so exhilarating to discover a "sport" that I might actually have the right sort of body for.

It's early days yet, but this could definite be A Thing :)

Wednesday, 10 May 2017