Farewell Lacer’s Life, see you over at Brighter Industries!

I've launched a new business!

This actually makes me a little sad to write this, my last post on Lacer’s Life. I started this blog, ooh about 10+ years ago and it’s accompanied me through my kids early years and me picking up and learning how to embroider and sew (blogging for me definitely came before embroidery, in fact, it was whilst I was surfing the blogosphere and I came across a post from a blog I can’t even remember the name of now but it had a lovely embroidery of balloons on it and it made me think “I want to try that” and well, the rest as they say is history). But this blog has always been run on the free WordPress account option and a month or so ago I finally ran out of the 3GB media storage space and it’s been a pain in the neck ever since, to have to go and stick any photos up on Flickr and then embed from there. Not that that is the exclusive reason why I’m starting a new blog, I’ve wanted to open an Etsy store for quite some time and I had always planned to have a new blog linked to it, it’s just that I had originally planned to have the two blogs going at the same time. But, thinking about it, a lot of the stuff that I put here, I will be blogging about on the new shop blog, so there would be some duplication, as well as the whole Flickr pain in the neck thing, so …. bye Lacer’s Life.

I am going to keep Lacer’s Life up though, if anything I need it so that I can search back on various recipes and crafts I’ve made, it’s proved quite a useful archive for me, this blog has and I will probably put up a link up, in a sidebar, directing people over to the new blog too.

So, what is / will be Brighter Industries? It’s currently very much in its infancy but it will be selling textile patterns, as well as ‘physical objects’. There’s currently just my Christmas cross stitch pattern up and there’s unlikely to be anything else new until after the New Year but keep an eye out! And whilst my Etsy shop will be quiet for the moment, my new blog won’t be, I plan on blogging a lot more regularly over at the Brighter Industries blog. Many of my regular posts here, will be moving straight over to the new blog, so there will still be food posts, book posts, photo posts and just general life stuff, as well as, of course, lots of crafty stuff.

I have always really appreciated the people who have popped into read this blog, particularly those who have commented and liked, I hope to see some of you over at my new venture.



5 things I liked this week – 4.11.16

  1. Working on a good project at work.
  2. Girl Lacer getting good marks in her school assessments.
  3. Humans is back on, yay! And even though Colin Morgan has toned down his out and out sexiness for this show, he’s still not bad to look at! (I am such a perv). And of course the TV show itself is good too.
  4. Me and Mr. Lacer are back box-setting Mr. Robot and we’re now on season 2. I love Mr. Robot for pretty much everything but ooh the love and care that goes into those camera shots, it’s achingly beautiful.
  5. The High Court’s decision that the government needs to be consulted before Article 50 is revoked is fantastic. The Brexiters want more sovereign control (what are we in the Middle Ages?) and as soon as OUR courts, OUR government try and exert some control, they don’t like it! As someone said on Twitter yesterday, it’s a rise of a group of people who only care that they’re right, that only their opinions matter, never mind that the pound shot up on the decision yesterday but hey, what are facts?

Adapted A-line skirt from Cal Patch’s Design-It-Yourself

Adapted A line skirt from Cal Patch's Design-It-Yourself Clothes

I’ve had (and drooled over) Cal Patch’s Design-It-Yourself Clothes book forever and have always pretty much wanted to work my way through the book and make everything (well, maybe not the frilled skirt) but I never had the time / space / confidence. But with my all new improved sewing space, I could do something about that now and well, I needed a smart skirt for an appointment today.

The first pattern in the book is for an A-line skirt and well, I wanted a pencil skirt, I also wanted to use some wool material that I’ve had laying around forever, so I wanted to line it to, so I adapted the instructions a bit. The result um, well, it’s wearable, I went for my appointment today and the lining didn’t rip incredible hulk stylee and my skirt didn’t fall down around my ankles when I got up (it did sag worryingly at the back, as I did get up, I hope (pleeease) that my cardigan hid my knickers!). Several things went wrong with this skirt; I think my body measurements are out and I probably made a mistake cutting the lining (that darn slippery stuff) or maybe sewing it. I think I was probably being a bit too ambitious attempting to draft a pencil skirt from instructions for an A-line skirt, as with a pencil skirt, you really need to get those curves right, an A-line skirt is much more forgiving. I didn’t make a muslin (I know, me bad) but I wasn’t feeling too precious about this material (although it is nice). I made the lining first, tried it on for fit and it was “Oh oh, this is a bit tight” but I thought, it just about fits, I’ll carry on. I made the actual skirt next, cut from the same pattern pieces as I had just cut the lining out from and …… the skirt is way too big. I have no idea what happened, although I should say that the wool material has way more give than the lining. But I bodged it together and like I say, it’s wearable, although I really do think I should maybe make some belt loops, so that there’s less chance of falling down, also, my drafted curves on my hips, not good.

The WIP report – October 2016

WIP October 2016

October has been very busy, crafty month but I actually don’t have that many WIPs to report. I’ve finished quite a lot of stuff but that was all started this month too. I haven’t had much chance to work on my long running WIPs. I have been working on a secret project which is hopefully now only days away from me actually being able to talk about it. Meanwhile, because I have an appointment this week that requires me not to turn up in my normal post tummy op gear of leggings and a tunic (I am desperate to get back into jeans), I’ve been making myself a smart skirt. The photo above is from where I was when I finished working on it yesterday.

What I’ve been reading – October 2016

October 2016 books

This month I finished all the (so far published) Giordano Bruno books (which I loved, obviously, as I wouldn’t have read all five), finished reading the very useful and practical Art Inc. and read the fascinating Soldier Spy, which was an eye-opening glimpse into the battle that goes on on our streets, without us (most of the time), even realising it.

The only other book I’ve been reading this month is Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz, it’s a bit of a weird book (so far), in that it’s a book within a book, a murder story set in 1950s and then an account of the present day publisher who has just received the manuscript for said murder story. So far it’s quite good, although I think I prefer the 1950s murder story bits more than the present day publisher bits, as the publisher narrator narrates it like she’s giving an account to a lawyer, although I think there is purpose in that style. I’m currently just over half way through, so I’ll find out.

Two dresses for a wedding

Date Night Dress

Since setting up my sewing table and having a warm up with a cushion cover and some pattern weights, I’ve been sew, sew, sewing two dresses for a wedding. I started with the easiest of the two dresses (still warming up), the Date Night Dress by April Rhodes, which was for me and um, I don’t really like it. The dress itself came together fairly well and was quite easy to make, although I had an issue with running out of fabric before I could cut both sleeves (even though I had the amount recommended) and so had to quickly order a bolt end (the only fabric left for that pattern, which, I know you can’t tell from that photo, is grey dotted scallops). The sleeves were meant to be cut against the grain but the bolt end wasn’t big enough for that, plus it’s a very directional print with the scallops, so having the scallops run the other direction on the sleeves (compared to the dress) would have possibly looked a bit odd but then again, I think they would have frilled a bit better if I had cut them the right away.  But, anyway, I had the horrible sinking feeling, when I first put this dress on, you know, when you’ve spent time, money and effort on something and you don’t actually like the result. I really don’t know what possessed me, well I know in part what possessed me, I really wanted to wear black, dark colours suit me far better than pale colours but I wasn’t sure of the whole etiquette of whether you can or can not wear black to a wedding, I even Googled it, with some sites saying yes and some saying no and I thought I’d better play it safe, as my family can be quite traditional, As it happened quite a few women wore black to the wedding and no one batted an eyelid. Anyway, as I had ruled out black, I thought I’d go for grey instead but somehow, on me, the grey looks a lot lot paler than it did on the uncut fabric! And also, omg, those frilled sleeves, what possessed me? I look like someone’s forced Brienne of Tarth out of her armour and into a ‘nice’ dress. Also, the dress has very big arm holes, billed as giving the opportunity of giving a nice flash of a lacy bra or the slip (which also comes with the pattern but I didn’t have time to make). The arm holes are way more revealing than that and I think if you’re even bigger in the chest department than I am, probably even more so. And finally, I didn’t realise when planning what to wear for the wedding, that I’d have had more surgery a week before and well, put it this way, some of my bandages are showing through that dress most awkwardly.

Clara Dress

The second dress was for Girl Lacer. I said I would make her a dress, directed her to my favourite online dress pattern shop and let her pick one. Showing such faith in my ability, she made sure to just look at the beginner patterns lol and this one, the Clara dress from Sew Liberated, was billed on the pattern shop site as advanced beginner, *cough, cough, splutter*. I would bill myself as intermediate but this dress was hard. The Date Night Dress used one technique I hadn’t used before, french seams and I lurve french seams now. The Clara dress, well, I suppose it didn’t really feature anything I hadn’t done before but there were so many bits to the dress (and that binding on the sleeves was fiddly), that I found it quite hard going. And I say there were no new techniques for me in this dress, it has button holes and I have made buttonholes before but manually, on a previous sewing machine, with my current machine, I’ve never been able to work out how to do automatic buttonholes, well I had to work out quickly (and late the night before) for this dress. I did manage to figure it out and have quite a few practices on scrap fabric but I still managed to cock the buttonholes up a bit on the dress and it was the last step too, *sob*. Still, it was wearable, I thought Girl Lacer looked lovely in it and that fabric (which I also let her choose), is absolutely gorgeous, so soft, I want to make something for me with it now.

5 things I liked this week – 28.10.16 (bit delayed)

  1. Going to see The Next Step with Girl Lacer. For those that don’t have dance obsessed children, The Next Step is a TV show about a group of dancers and they’ve been on tour. Girl Lacer absolutely loved it and for this 41 year old, who has only seen the random trailer for the show, I thought it was rather good too.
  2. Class has started! As in the TV show, Class, written by one of my favourite writers, Patrick Ness. For those that don’t know it, it’s a brand new Doctor Who spin off, set in Coal Hill Academy, with a bunch of sixth formers protecting the world from a crack in space time. It’s more ‘adult’ than Doctor Who, a bit scarier and even a bit of sex. It’s been billed as the British Buffy, which is big shoes to fill and so far, it’s filling them well.
  3. We popped into Hampton Court for one last visit to The Magic Garden before it closed for the winter and we also ended up having a go at the Garden Party trail. Girl and Boy Lacer particularly liked playing the 17th century garden party games.
  4. We had a Fire of London themed day this week too, going for a tour and then seeing the Fire! Fire! exhibition at the Museum of London, it was okay but I have two kids who definitely prefer art galleries over history museums.
  5. Finishing the dress I’d been working on all week (see next blog post!).