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Messages - Francesca

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Today... / Re: Sunday 18th August
« on: Today at 13:53:09 »
Afternoon. I just got back on the train from my weekend away in Canterbury for my friend's 30th. A very fun pub crawl through our old uni town which started and ended with a BBQ (and fresh made pizzas in the garden pizza oven).

I was due to go and see my Nanny tomorrow, as a way to say a final goodbye to her as we were told she had days or maybe weeks left. Unfortunately she died yesterday at about 1pm. I was at my friend's BBQ when I got the call. It was very tough and I'm sad I didn't get to see her again this week but it is what it is. I was quite upset at the party but what can you do. I didn't want to leave and go home and be sad there, so I carried on and we had a good time. I felt guilty at some points for having a good time considering the current situation but I didn't know what else to feel. I don't think it's really hit me yet.

Technical Help / Re: Sleeveless bodice lining construction
« on: August 15, 2019, 14:58:11 PM »
The problem was I constructed the whole thing, shoulder seams and all, and overlocked it. Any way of doing it properly would require unpicking which I was too lazy to do  :angel:

In the end I've left the armscye raw so I can do bias facings... which I must get on with actually... but I've been focusing on the skirt.

Today... / Re: its now a Wednesday in August
« on: August 15, 2019, 12:21:24 PM »
I used to self assess, but not within the tax year they are reporting the underpayment for. I have been paying off an SA underpayment all year which concludes in November. In March I called them and asked them to confirm the time frame as I couldn't quite remember when I'd started paying. I requested they send me a letter and they did, it states "once the last payment is made on 1st November your SA liability will end". So, as I've not reported any further SA income since then it can't be that.

The letter states that £345 of the money is due to benefits in kind being reported incorrectly, something to do with medical insurance. I can understand this, as I get medical insurance through work and it seems possibly this value wasn't reported correctly. I get a lot of benefits through work such as cycle scheme which also comes under benefits in kind so the £345 underpayment seems reasonable.

But then the letter just states "£1960, other adjustments" with no details of what these adjustments are. Trying to work out what these are, as they surely can't be SA as that has been covered above.

Best get on with calling them I guess. I hate calling the tax office, it's always depressing. And why does this always seem to happen to me? With my previous SA liability it turned out my employment income had been underreported by one month. I was so excited to be done and dusted with all this come November and put the money into savings to try and get us closer to buying a home. But if this is correct I'll be back to the same old :(

Today... / Re: its now a Wednesday in August
« on: August 15, 2019, 11:23:47 AM »
Thanks for all your well wishes.

As for tax, I don't have an accountant! Still facing up to call them today :(

Patterns Discussion / Re: Price of PDF patterns
« on: August 14, 2019, 20:57:01 PM »
I think the economies of scale is a huge, huge thing. It's like the difference between buying something from an independent craftsperson or a big retail store. The PDFs are usually expensive because the vast majority of work goes into actually creating the pattern itself and the paper printing element is pretty much peanuts. So you will always pay more if you get the product from an independent business.

Vogue can design one pattern and probably sell hundreds of thousands of copies of it. An independent designer puts the same amount of work into the design but might only sell a thousand (and that's just the "big" independent designers).

Today... / Re: its now a Wednesday in August
« on: August 14, 2019, 20:37:37 PM »
Had an OK day at work but come home to a) a letter from the taxman that I owe £2300. Ugh. Apparently I've underpaid, going to call them tomorrow and try and find out why it's happened and praying it's not correct. I don't have the money and a £200 monthly payment would destroy all the big savings plans I've had recently.

And then b) a call from my Dad to say that Nanny is being moved into palliative care this weekend. They are hopefully putting her in one that is really close to the station as it makes it easier for me to get there if I need to. They have said days or weeks is her lifespan. Essentially she is not eating, unable to keep stable, and I guess it gets to the point that you can't keep medicating someone for the sake of keeping them barely alive. I don't really know how it all works. This is all new to me. So I'm just hoping they find her a good place to go and I can go and visit easily.

Death and taxes are always guaranteed I just didn't expect them on the same day.

In the wardrobe / Re: The next summer dress
« on: August 13, 2019, 15:39:41 PM »
Fran I am so late coming to this, my apologies but that bodice is an excellent fit - well done on mastering this, so let's hope the skirt works for you as well.  I also wanted to congratulate you on the previous blue print party dress that you have made - another excellent garment and again suits you so well.  I admire your ability to stick with what you have in your head and make sure that it turns out right for you, and with all the alterations you have to make you are well on the way to becoming a very talented dressmaker - able to turn your hand to any style.  Yes it is always a good idea to make a toile or two up first, can be tedious but as you have proved such a good idea.  I also admire the way you are taking part of a basic pattern and having a go at altering this - i.e. your flutter sleeves.  I do not know what got you sewing in the first place, but it is rare in one so young to be doing what you are managing and actually getting it right - I just wish I had some of your energy for sewing in the evenings now.  Keep up the good work you will go far.

Thank you! It means a lot. I think I have always sewn. My Mum sewed a lot of my clothes when I was a child (she was doing a City & Guilds course at the time) but she doesn't sew much now even though I always tell her she should.

I enjoy doing flat pattern alterations because it's like a fun, visual puzzle. I'm not very good at maths but I like problem solving in visual ways so I find being able to slash and swing pattern pieces is really simple.

I'm pleased with the bodice fit! This is the same "method" I used when I did my cousin's graduation dress which was princess seamed. To avoid doing an FBA for her I went up a size instead and then just pinched out the top part of the princess seam where it meets the armscye, it seems to work well because it mimics adding more curve to the princess seam side panel, so it's great if you're only a tiny bit off on the bust.

I put together the new skirt panel toiles tonight. Must've made a mistake somewhere because they are wider than the bodice on the front panel only. The skirt toile fits but like a glove - and not in a good way. Needs wearing ease at the hip. But it has enough ease at the waist now.

So I'll get my skirt panels out and retrace them to add some additional width at the hip line. I'm just not sure how much. Maybe 4" as I know most patterns have 3-4" wearing ease for fitted dresses. That's 1.5" per seam.

In the wardrobe / Re: The next summer dress
« on: August 12, 2019, 23:24:26 PM »
Bodice done, mainly.

In the wardrobe / Re: The next summer dress
« on: August 12, 2019, 19:06:35 PM »
@Francesca hope you remembered to include seam allowance though (as me how I NOW remember to do this!!!!!)

Haha, yes I did. I always mark the stitching line on each piece and then walk them together to check they fit so if I forget to add a seam allowance they don't match up right!

Today... / Re: Monday 12th August
« on: August 12, 2019, 16:03:20 PM »
Yes I've had courgette cake before and it's really yummy.

Technical Help / Re: Sleeveless bodice lining construction
« on: August 12, 2019, 14:38:36 PM »
I also have a decent chunk of my fabric which I got cheaper as it's marked. I had to cut around it a bit to get the pieces out but it's left me with a nice useable chunk that will be perfect for bias tape (I don't care that it's marked. It's really faint grey scuff marks, no one will notice).

I ended up buying the pattern anyway rather than using my sloper. I wasn't sure if the front would have any shaping so thought it safer to use the pattern.

This is the pattern:

This is the fabric:

I saw this version by someone who had squared the neckline off which I really like. I will probably do a bias faced neckline finish same as them to avoid any nasty facings.

Technical Help / Re: Sleeveless bodice lining construction
« on: August 12, 2019, 12:17:32 PM »
Yeah I was thinking I could bias face the armholes. I have drafted facings for the neckline and attached them to the lining so I don't show any white cotton, but I hadn't done that for the armholes out of laziness (figured understitching would pull the lining under and it's only an armhole not the neckline). But maybe now I'm being too lazy to unpick the side seams I should just cut some bias tape and do a bias bound armhole and thus I can keep the two layers together.

Laziness always leads to a longer result haha.

Technical Help / Sleeveless bodice lining construction
« on: August 12, 2019, 11:00:28 AM »
Please tell me there is a way to sew a lining to a sleeveless bodice that doesn't involve the side seams being open  :'( I am an idiot and wasn't thinking as I put together the lining and bodice of my dress separately, including sewing up the side seams and overlocking them. Doh. The linen is quite fraying and unstable so I'm really worried about unpicking the overlocked seams.

I'm so used to sewing things with sleeves where I attach the sleeves to the bodice and lining as one and then hand stitch the sleeve lining in (like with jackets) that I didn't even think.

But I think I'm going to have to unpick aren't I

Today... / Re: Sunday 11th August
« on: August 11, 2019, 21:39:06 PM »
Feeling shitty and drained today. I've driven back to see my Nanny and she's not doing well at all, it's so draining. It's actually more draining taking my Grandpa because if I go on my own and she can't talk or eat or do anything I can just sit quietly with her, read a magazine, show her pictures, chat nonsense. With my Grandpa it's all explanations and frustrations and why isn't she doing this and why won't she eat etc

I also cocked up massively because I decided maybe we should play some music to her. She loves musicals, and used to take me to see Cats every year when I was a kid. So I put "Memories" on and completely forgot about the lyrical context and set my Grandpa off crying. He's of a generation where he doesn't want to be seen to be crying. It was so hard. I just had to sit there and pretend everything was OK because I don't want to embarrass him.

Also found out my Uncle has been extorting him. My uncle has arranged a carer (who is apparently great) and has been working with them for the last few months. Apparently she only charges £15 p/h but my Uncle has decided to invoice my Grandpa for £30 p/h and cream off the top! It's ridiculous. My Mum saw the invoice and apparently he even charged a "finders fee" and interview costs to set the carer up with Grandpa. How can anyone do something like that to their own parents?! Ughhh..

Then I missed my exit on the M25 (was talking to my Dad on the car handsfree and didn't think, missed exit, lots of traffic to get back down) and because I have Mum and Kris on Google Maps so they know where I am I get a bunch of messages where are you going? Why are you going that way? You've gone the wrong way? etc etc Can't someone just make a mistake in peace.

So now I'm home, and it's straight to trying to finish the housework and everything before I go to bed and back to work. Ugh.

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