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!

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Pattern hack of the Sew Crafty Shift dress

Well ladies and gentlemen please be upstanding for my first ever pattern hack! Introducing my Sew Crafty Online Shift Dress in exquisite Dashwood Distant dreams.

today i’m excited to share the lookbook for the newly launched label bon george. this los angeles-based collection was created with a simple philosophy: keep it conscious. all of the pieces are inspired by vintage in classic, wearable designs, always with sustainability in mind. our american-handcrafted garments are designed, sourced, and assembled locally in los angeles … … Continue reading →: I said in a previous blog i'm not very au fait with how patterns are made, or when I should be making adjustments so I played it safe with this hack. I added a button panel all down the front as I saw a fabulous 90's revival dress on pintrest with the same idea (Link).

At first I made the size up from what I thought I needed so that I could have a baggy shape as I could imagine it being lovely and baggy with the buttons being a delicate detail. I ended up with a potatoe sack as I over estimated my sizes! As you can see by my face, it's not what I envisaged! I ended up taking some out the shoulders and some out the sides, making it back to the size I should have cut out in the first place! Lesson learned. In doing this though I've made a little cap sleeve almost which I love!

I also added a 2" panel on either side to use as my buttons basis. I layered that up with fabric to make it a little stiffer but I didn't want to use interfacing and may it too stiff so just doubled up on fabric. I then had the fun task of buttons all down the front. I put the 4cm apart as I guessed that seemed a good distance but actually that left me with A LOT of buttons to sew on. I used big buttons so they became the center piece and the colours match perfectly with this Dashwood Studio Distant Dreams. I love the peacocks and the colours as it is so very springy at the moment and perfect!

I may have finished my hem last night and be wearing it at work already! Typing this blog whilst scoffing my lunch, and I have had so many compliments as to how nice I look today. As usual I love it! My new favourite dress, perfect for Easter Sunday!

Friday, 7 April 2017

Pattern testing for Studio TKB - The Fallon top!

This is the first time I have ever done a pattern test, and I LOVE IT!

I was a little disheartened at first as to be perfectly honest I really don't know what I'm doing when it comes to fit and there were people talking about arm scythe, like what even is that?! but i survived in the end.

This Fallon top has a lovely front side seam which makes it very flattering and lovely and floaty. You can change the sleeve lengths very easily and I think my next one will be 3/4 sleeves for evening cooler nights.

I think it's easily dressed up or down with jeans or a skirt, here I am in my works trousers so very boring but I think the top brings out the best in it!

My first tester I made out of very cheap jersey which had very little drape really, I son learnt from this as it looked really odd and was very tight and restricting, as you can see (excuse the slippers!). So I thought hard about what fabric to use for my proper one.

I made the next one in exactly the same size (size H) with no alternations. I could probably do with a little extra wiggle room in my chubby arms but I thought it would be good to test the pattern to it's full. The new fabric is a very lightweight jersey, I got from Peterborough market about a year ago, at £1pm!! I've been 'saving' it for the right project and here we are!

I did the 'false bow' neck line the Tina put in the back on the instructions as I wanted to try something different and I wasn't confident on my abilities for a neat neckline I thought I could hide it with a tie! I think it also works really well with the relaxed style of the top and finishes it off lovely.

For those of you who have the new LIDL singer overlocker, I did nearly all this on my overlocker! Just the hemms and the neckline on my normal machine, It was so quick and easy and lots of straight lines so it's a great start!

I loved it so much I've worn it to work today and had a few people asking if I make to order, and I think my Mum will like it too as it has a long back to keep her lower back warm but it still nice and floaty.

                                                                    Here's to Fallon!!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Jumping on the bandwagon - Tilly and the Buttons Cleo Dungadress

Ta Daaaaa.

I finished my new Dungadress, and I think I am in love! The Cleo by Tilly and the Buttons is fabulous. It is the first time I have used dungaree clips, and the first time I have done any top stitching so I am still working my way through all my firsts.

I ordered a meter and a half of Denim fabric from Sew Crafty Online which was more than plenty! I still have quite a bit left and was thinking of projects to stash bust with some hard wearing denim. I already had some top stitching thread, which to be perfectly honest I had ordered a good while ago by accident as I needed some normal thread the same colour for my Daisy Dress and didn't realise there were different types of thread! This is how far I have come in the last year of so, yet this project taught me I probably needed a top stitching needle but I managed ok.

The denim was easy to work with which I was surprised about and it wasn't too thick so I used a normal need rather than a denim one. The hardest part I found was turning the straps the right way, so I got out my giant knitting needles and it did make it easier.

I only did one line of top stitching mostly because I ran out of thread, but also I think it makes it a bit more unique. I didn't even have enough thread to do the hem but actually I love the frayed look! I have done a line of zip zag in an inconspicuous black just above the hem so it won't fray too far.

Here is a picture of the whole dungadress with added Murphy dog the cockerpoo! He loves it too.