Saturday, 23 September 2017

The British Heart Foundation the Big Stitch

When I saw the British Heart Foundation challenge, The Big Stitch, I knew I had to do something towards it. There is a lovey lady at work who has recent' had a lt of heart troubles yet she's spending a lt of energy fund raising for the BHF so I thought i owl try and help her. what made it even better was she is crafty like me so I got her involved too!

I knew I wanted to go big, i mean go bit or go home right? So I set my heart and buying either a suit or a wedding dress. looking back now I think i was ahead of my time with the refashioners now being suit themed! ha! 

I found the perfect dress on the BHF ebay page set set about bidding. This dress had the most beautiful daisy lace all over it so I knew it had to be mine as Daisy's have always been my thing! I eventually won it for just under 15 and then got it posted over to me. 

When it arrived it smelt pretty bad of moth balls, and had a kind of tissue paper in the underskirt which must have been to keep it stiff. I hung it out on the line for a few days and the smell started to drop. I cut out the paper bit and shoved the whole thing in the washing machine! It survived pretty well considering! the I set upon deconstruction. 

I took the top from the skirt first and I made the whole dress just from the skirt in the end so i have plenty of lace to play with another day, bonus! once the skirt was apart from the bodice, i unpicked the lace around the hem, all the way around. About a million miles of it! I thought I would put this back on the new dress which i did and i think it gives it a lovely finish.

I decided to make the By hand london flora dress, which is a shape of dress I have been looking for a while. High neck and fitted bodice but flowing skirt so this seemed perfect. I cut all the pieces out from the skirt and I used the lining of the skirt to line the dress too. Even the zip I unpicked was the right length, it all fitted perfectly!

We had a bit of a construction party at work where we all brought our projects together and took over one of the lecture rooms. It was great as the skill levels were all so different we helped each other out! Angela made a kaftan out of a maxi dress for her beach holiday, Amy made a pillowcase dress from a duvet - Amy hadn't sewn since school and she took to it like water off a ducks back! Lisa made a handbag from a pair of trousers and a skirt and Jenny made an Ogden cami from a maxi dress! We got pizza delivered too it was fabulous!

Once I had put together all my pieces and sewn back the lace around the hem I decided it was unlikely I was ever going to wear a white dress so I tried to dye it! 

In hindsight I should probably have used a more dramatic colour change, but I dip dyed the dress yellow. The colour didn't stick very well to the lace as I think it was so synthetic it just washed straight out of the lace but did stick a little on the lining and gave it a lovely sade of pale yellow that it impossible to photograph! but it's yellow honest! 

I might re-dye it purple or something brighter so I can wear it more but it looks good in the mean time. I think I used the wrong size top for me as I thought I needed to grade out for my boobs, but I've since made another on and I used a small bodice size and just graded out the waist and it fits me much nicer, so I my take my wedding dress dress in a little but all in all I love how it tuned out!!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Another Yellow Dress... Simply Sewing Lily Dress

So this dress I made in order to have something nice to wear when i took my husband to the royal albert hall. I bought this yellow ribbed jersey from Peterborough market almost a year ao for a pound a meter and had been hording it ever since not sure why! So i thought a nice quick maxi dress would be perfect.
I used the pattern free from Simply Sewing Lily Dress and got to work. Unusually I actually cut the tissue paper out on my size and didn't trace it, REBEL I know! I blooming hate tissue paper though anyone else with me? The dogs only have to so much as look as what i'm doing and the tissue disintegrates in fear! So after a few washi tape jobs I managed to lay it all out on the fabric. Turns out I didn't have enough fabric...! so I decided on an almost maxi dress instead.. panic over.
As I mentioned this dress was all a bit rushed so I had intended on making the race back but cut the wrong tissue, and as previously mentioned I hate tissue, so decided to roll with it. 
it sews together so quickly and the wrap over looked lovely! Just have the arm holes left to hem. But in my lazyness I couldn't be bothered to find my twin needle and walking foot so thought i'd wing it. Big mistake! I ended up stretching out the arm holes and now they look all funny. 

Still I wore it anyway and tucked the excess arm into my bra and the world was non the wiser! The moral of the story is don't be lazy and make sure you have enough time!
PS the proms was good thanks for asking 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Fairfield Shirt by Thread Theory Designs

My first foray into shirts was this tread theory designs shift for my husband. he's been asking me to make something for him for ages but since my hexie quilt is going no-where fast I thought I'd make him a fancy shirt. For this shirt I used the beautifully soft Dashwood sudios cotton that I got from Sew Crafty online. This particular range is called bird song, if you look closely the pattern is lots of groups of birds flying in formation, i kinda love it's peacefulness, yet business. It's a lovely pattern and sill doesn't seem too busy.
The shirt pattern form Thread theory comes with to styles of back, pleated or darts. it also comes with t front shapes, 'slim fit' an 'rounded belly'. I made the pleated back and the rounded bely because using hubbys measurements his shoulders and waist measurements fitted this style front best.
The best bit about this pattern is how easy everything comes together but yet looks like a really difficult make. I mean don't get me wrong I had to practice, which I did using the ASDA duvet for the mexican party, the collar on that one is truly awful but practice makes perfect and that's why you practice!
As you can see the back fits lovely across his shoulders so I know I used the right size. The burito method is brilliant for shirts! Having never done this before I read the instructions and ended up a bit flummoxed, but once I watched a video on how to do it the instructions made loads more sense so I used these for making the next shirt.I like (and so does hubby) he pleated back because it leaves it nice and floaty and when i made this is was very warm and summery!
I probably could have made the normal front of the shirt despite his rounded belly. As you can see it sticks out quite a bit over his belly but hat is probably because it is balancing on the front!

Please excuse his terrible line up pictures, he's not a good insta husband and doesn't really like having his picture taken! This is his off to a family Bbq back in July so the sun was out but he has since worn it tucked into jeans for going out for inner and it works really nicely. I'm planning on making more of these as christmas presents for all the men in my life as they can easily be made and are a lovely heart felt gift! 

Monday, 5 June 2017

The Handmade fair - Ragley Hall

I had the best weekend from the 12th of May, the Dressmakers ball AND the Handmade fair. I've been to the Handmade fair in London the last two years, so thought I would try this one out since we won tickets from the lovely people at Folkit! I took all the in-laws with me as well and I think they loved the experience.

We (my youngest Sister in law Katie and i) did the Indian block printing, whilst my mother in law and other sister in law Christine did the folk it dot daisy flowers. Christine and I then did the wire geometric shapes workshop. We all did the calligraphy workshop, mooched around the shops then went to the Mollie Makes tent for a brush calligraphy workshop. We then all went to see the fabulous Live it. Love it. Make it on stage for the Mollie Mash ups.

I think we got the timings just about right between all the workshops as we weren't hanging around too much between sessions, but we did end up rushing lunch slightly but it didn't matter much.

The shops were very disappointing. The other shows I've been to have had much much bigger shopping areas and much more stalls with things to make myself rather than things that are already made. Though my family, without having seen the other fair, thought it was a great set of shops and artisans. My mother in law especially love the food and was trying everything and we all ended up buying some delicious gin!

I also managed to meet up with a load of people who I had briefly met at the ball thanks to Ellie (SewPositivity) and we all bundled into the photo booth for a quick picture, A lot of people didn't recognize me without all my yellow and big flowers in my hair.



I definitely felt like a real blogger after this weekend and everyone is so very nice it's been great to meet them all in person. Overall i was disappointed with the fair but I think that was because of the high expectations set by the Hampton Court event, as the rest of the family had a great day.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Seamwork Magazine - Almada Kimono

It was my Sister in Laws 21st birthday this month too and she mentioned a while back she wanted a lovely silk kimono as a dressing gown. After wracking my brains for a good present for her birthday (why is this the girls job?! it's my hubbys sister!) I decided I would make her one.

I bought the silk from Minerva after not finding any silk stalls at the handmade fair as I was hoping so she could pick her own silk.

I spotted the pattern on instagram about a week before it needed to be gifted but as I hadn't started anything it was perfect. It's such a good pattern as it has very few, pieces but very good instructions. I did wonder a bit whilst piecing the PDF together how giant the kimono would turn out but it fits her beautifully.

I quickly learnt silk shouldn't be sewn with the widow open as it was slip sliding everywhere! Once I mastered this I was ok. I did a lot of the seams straight on my overlocker as it was fraying quite quickly and i wanted it to stay put. It worked quite well though and didn't leave big seams behind. The collar is all bound with bias binding which I bought, because i'm not that good yet, from hobbycraft.

I think I want one for myself now. It is a perfect summer dressgown or a cardi for the summer evenings when it gets cooler. It is definitely on my list to make for myself!


Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The Dressmakers Ball - the low down!

Have I mentioned I had a fantastic night at the Dressmakers Ball, I'm sure I haven't talked about it too much!

So let's start with my outfit, I desperately wanted to make my own version of Meryl Streeps Oscars outfit. I loved the class of trousers with a big fabulous skirt, which made a feminine and practical outfit!

So I set about a re-make.
I made my trousers and my top with lovely yellow scuba I fell upon on eBay and they happen to match my skirt flowers. My skirts scuba again was from Minerva, which when they arrived were a perfect match!

I've never made trousers! So I bought the Sew Over it London Ultimate Trousers. These trousers didn't say I could make it from scuba so I guessed and winged it! It worked out well but because of the ease they were a tad huge! So I took in the back darts in order to stop them falling down.
I made the Bardot Top using fabric godmothers tutorial that I discovered whilst doing my jeanius upcycling last year. It's essentially two rectangles carefully sewn together so they make a lovely folded over top. In the tutorial it says to add elastic which I haven't done as I used scuba and the stretch was enough in it.

My skirt is a 3/4 circle skirt which I finally worked out the maths on! If you are interested to make the waist radius = 1.3 * (waist measurement-2) then all of that divided by 2π. I cut a half circle and a quarter which meant it all fit on 2m of fabric. I then cut a sweeping curve out the front allowing people to see the trousers I'd so lovingly made underneath!

I went to my lovely sisters and she did my hair and make up for me, because she's wonderful but forgot to tell her my quick time frame so was late to pick up the Jenny from Jennystitched. We scooted off to Leicester at a rate of knots and met Megan from pigeonwishes at Jenny's hotel. After a quick turn around and get changed we jumped in the car to avoid the rain. But we got lost and couldn't find the venue so we abandoned the car and followed our phones to the venue!

At this point I was utterly starstruck. It was so amazing to meet all the fantastic Sewing community that I have come to know and love on Instagram. We had a lovely dinner then there was the catwalk of all of our outfits. I had to very careful not to spill my dinner down myself!! The dresses were absolutely incredible. I decided to enter in the beginner category as I've been sewing less than 3 years. The lady that won my category had only been Sewing since September and her dress was amazing! I was really pleased to get a special mention in this category too so the judges obviously loved my outfit.
 
Once we had catwalked the experienced category went next. These dresses were inspirational! Everyone fantastic and something to aspire to.

Then we had cake. Told you it was a good evening! It got even better when Gabby Young and other animals started playing and I had a perfectly swirly dress to dance with. Special mention to Gemma from agirlsewgeeky for fangirling with me whilst everyone danced!

We got lovely goodie bags too! What a night. It was so lovely to meet everyone and I can't wait for the next meet up.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Me Made May the first half!

Well Me Made May is off to a great start! I'm over half way through with only one day off, but that's because I was poorly and stayed at home all day. Not bad going, I didn't realize I had made myself so much to be perfectly honest.

Day 1 I wore my super twirly circle skirt made with my amazing teapot fabric. I bought this fabric quite early on in my sewing 'career' from fabric land and was too scared to cut it for a long time as I loved it so much! I finally did and did my maths wrong so it's a bit big but still wearable, though the pockets are very low down!


Day 2 is my walkaway dress which I have blogged about before here I made this from a double duvet from Dunelm on sale so I think I did pretty well. Again this was before I really knew what I was doing so it is a little thin, and I didn't finish the edges properly so it is starting to fray, but boy do I know about these things now!



Day 3 is my beloved Tilly and the buttons Bettine dress blogged about here this is the only dress I have since made multiples of, some for friends and some for myself and the first pattern I have used to make something from jersey. I really recomment this pattern for beginners as it really is very easy and the fit is simple to apply to yourself.

Day 4 is my Winslow Culottes blogged about here These were my first time using crepe AND my first time making trousers/making a gusset! I love swishing around in these and cant resist showing everyone they are culottes hence the ridiculous picture!



Day 5 is my first Moneta dress that I made for the Moneta Party and blogged about here. I'm also wearing my By hand London Victoria Blazer that I hacked and made from jersey so it's super comfy and I wear it so often with jeans or for work. I don't think I've blogged out the jacket though as to be honest it's not my best work, and this picture is far away! ;)



Day 6 I had a guiding even I was running so I had to wear uniform but I took with my my camp blanket which i have blogged about here but have since added a shed load more badges on. If you are interested check out my Instagram for a video of the whole blanket.

Day 7 I glammed it up a bit as I was going out for sunday lunch. I wore my Simplicity 8065 blogged about here This is another duvet cover dress because really who can afford all that fabric! and is great for dressing up with my petticoat under or not for a sunday lunch.

Day 8 saw me in my new Studio TKB Fallon top blogged about here with my normal work trousers. I love this top as it's nice and floaty and the shape is really flattering, as you can see though it was a bit windy that day!



Day 9 I waorked from home with a serious case of the lurgy, caught from my husbands man flu, so I didn't really get dressed so definitely no pictures for you today!


Day 10 was the Butterick B6318 which I blogged about here This dress had never made it out in the wild as the bat wing arms and big boobs meant I couldn't lift my arms very much but I thought I'd give it a try. I think MMM has been great for this as now I know I don't want to wear it again and it was so uncomfy so I'm going to make it into something else. This was a Design Team project for Sew Crafty and I learnt loads in the process but sadly it's not for me.
Day 11 a new circle skirt, which I still got the maths wrong on, made with a remnant of chiffony type fabric from peterborough market. It looks great as I walk around as it floats nicely but I think the waist is a bit big as it lays too low on my hips.

Day 12 THE DRESSMAKERS BALL! I'm going to do a separate post for this but needless to say, it was fabulous I felt fabulous, everyone was fabulous. Just wow.


Day 13 was definitely a slouchy day as I had been rushing around so much on the Friday and didn't get home from the ball until around 130 am. I wore a RTW dress from dotty p's and a Cardi my grandma made me. I love snuggling in my Grandma made cardis! Ok so technically I didn't make it but someone in my family did so i'm claiming it!

Day 14 I went to the Handmade fair at ragley hall. I'm going to do another post about that too, but I made a new Moneta dress for the occasion. This is made from the fabric I got on the St.Ives bank holiday market I got 3m for a fiver and I only used just over 1m for this dress (with careful placement and and clever back seams) I'm getting a wizz at the twin need now thanks to the Moneta party, and I put box pleats in the front of this, mostly cos I ran out of elastic, but I think I prefer the shape on me.

So two whole weeks down! another 2 and a bit to go but I'm having lots of fun and getting SOO much inspiration from everyone's makes! Keep it up everyone well done!