It’s been a while……long enough to reflect on vintage!

So there goes my new year resolutions…….!!!! I can’t even remember the last time I blogged it’s been so long!

But there have been many reasons: I was working a second teaching job, increasing my days to 4… so what! I hear you cry, most people work five! I have also got as new job which I start…. oooooo…. on Tuesday….exciting and nervous! Which is 5 days a week and a promotion! WOOOOOOHOOOOOOO! What will probably interest the crafty folk out there is job number 3 I have been participating in! Working for the Stylefactory in Runcorn actually teaching sewing! EEEEK!! The main feature of the classes was updating clothes, turning two shirts into a shirt dress and old jeans into a skirt! It was very fun!

Right lets bypass all the exclamation marks and I hope you can forgive the 3 jobs and imminent job with a lot more work involved!

 

Image

And back to sewing…… I have been doing lots of crafting since Christmas, not much clothes making though and not been blogging about it! Sorry!

Image

I went to my favorite car boot last week and saw my fave haberdashery lady! She rocks selling patterns she finds in house clearance for £1! (I’m not telling you where it is…….! She’s mine!) This week I whittled it down to a select 4 patterns…..including a brand spanking new new look 6736 pattern! But what caught my eye was three v. glamorous vintage (old fashioned as my Dad put it……he knows nothing!) patterns all of which have never been pinned. I have already cut the fabric for the ‘classic beauty’ and reading the patterns have learnt a few tricks! I did find it confusing reading the very limited pattern instructions. My confusion began with putting bias on the neck overlapping the front interfacing….k? But on closer inspection it is using bias binding instead of interfacing  and on the sleeve, something I have flukily done before but seeing it used the way they have it’s very clever!

IMG_2355

Now for the vintage giggle…..what they used to get away with! ‘Sailor’s Delight’, ‘Button Cute’ and ….my favourite…..’Gay Charmer’ ……I’m such a child!

So, hopefully the dress will get finished over the next few weeks and pictures to see if my skills are still up to task x yay x

 

Here’s to 2014!

2013 was a year of development for me. I learned to sew! And it has surprisingly opened a number of doors, including making some great friends……you know who you are! Yet as the new year has arrived its time to pass over the reflections of the year, though just to mention which is my proudest moment….the sewaholic Robson coat! Took me a good while and the sense of achievement when it was completed is indescribable. ….Literally dont know how to say it!

IMG_2234

As for 2014 I have many personal goals which reflect on other areas of my life than the crafting, but I shall not bore you with the politics of the workplace or my hopes to do another, longer distance triathlon…..though no doubt I shall end up blogging about it at some point! Here are my plans for sewing and creating- a few projects to develop my skills and test my patience, no doubt! I have decided to choose 6 projects, I would have done 12 – 1 per month – but I do get distracted by other pretty dresses and time is short as it is! so,

1- make a quilt! I have seen a fab stag template I want to use to make a double quilt for all the reindeers- getting excited for next Christmas already! There will be a few firsts eg freezer paper and most importantly cutting to exact measurements and straight lines – I’m worried already!

DanStagQuilt

2- make a pair of trousers! I don’t really wear trousers, other than my jeans very often…..but as I will be soooo skinny from all this exercise I plan to do….ahem!…… I think I shall be enjoying my new waistline! Ok…. I’m nearly choking lol!!

478699_9770_f

3 – Complete the Anise jacket! I have had the pattern since may and two lots of fabric with buttons for nearly as long!

4- Make a couture type gown! Mwa ha ha ha! My evil master plan!

I've seen this use of princess seams before and am excited to have a go!

I’ve seen this use of princess seams before and am excited to have a go!

5 – Restyle something AWESOME! I’m going charity shop hunting!! And possibly drop on a leather Chanel handbag….you never know (or keep on dreaming).

Best-Discount-Chanel-SPRING-SUMMER-2009-Flap-Bag-Sale11351

6- create my own pattern, perfect for me! Check out my stash of Sewing Christmas presents and it will make sense!

And a few other ‘resolutions’:

Blog once a week

And one nearly all seamstresses must make every year….use the patterns and fabric in the stash before buying anymore! How many uncut patterns do you have in your stash?

I hope everybody enjoyed the New Year and are looking forward to the year ahead!

Because I love a little colour in my dress- Simplicity 6144

Another of the bundle buy patterns from the Simplicity New Look sale, the dress 6144.

I love this fabric and wanted to be very definite about which pattern I made! I knew I wanted a raglan top and thought a top to wear over leggings, so more floaty and abit Joules-esque! So I made a fitted dress instead….I baffle myself sometimes! I love the dress though so changed my mind…as is! I was quite partial to the neckline aswell…I think that bit swung it for me!

IMG_2259

The neckline did actually turn out to be the most awkward part and involved me unpicking and rearranging a little to flatten the chest of the dress….this still isn’t 100% and too be quite honest I think I would leave it till after putting the front, back and sleeves of the dress together so the neckline can be arranged while the dress is worn, ensuring the fabric to be as flat as possible, we’re all different shapes after all.

IMG_2261

As the fabric is quite a sheer cotton it needed lining! But there was no pattern for lining and as the neckline changed shape I had to draft a pattern for lining the front of the dress. I did this by copying the bottom half of the dress up to the top of the darts and then laying the front section of the dress over and tracing around the neckline and sleeves! Plus the lining is a petty pink which always help!

IMG_2265 IMG_2263 IMG_2264

I originally had the dress with the sleeves the longest version, but thought it was a bit too much with the big print and much prefer it with short sleeves.

IMG_2266

I chose the smaller size than I should pick, if following the sizes, as this seems to work for me and I reduce the seam size around, well, waistline down shall we say as the size up is always to baggy around the bust for me. I’m finding this with all patterns at the moment and really should attempt to shrink my assets, but blah to that …..bring on the warbies toast!

Discovering Burda Mag

As a relative newbie to sewing (under a year), I had heard of, but never seen a copy of Burda magazine until I intentionally went into town (doesn’t happen often) and into WH Smith (again doesn’t happen often) with the belief that it would be the only place I could probably find it! And I was right!

IMG_3124[1]

And a big oooooooo….. when I opened it to discover 15 patterns all with the paper pattern and instructions! I started scanning the pages and reflecting on my fabric stash….. until I opened up the pattern sheet and got a little daunted! I picked  what I consider to be simple piece….at this stage I have not started stitching… with only two pieces to cut out from the pattern sheet I wouldn’t scare myself off!

IMG_3153[1]

A few things to bear in mind…..

You must be focussed to follow the lines, I even had the idea of highlighting the lines for a little extra focus! And I did it first thing in the morning to avoid distractions.

Use weights to hold tracing paper onto the pattern paper….pots of playdough very useful!

IMG_3156[1]

Don’t forget to add seams!!!! Oooops to me for getting which way was up and not adding enough for the hem, so, erm, may end up with a slightly shorter skirt than intended!

I then wrote all instructions on each cut out including whether seam allowance was included, which way was up and the grainline (just like you would get on a paper pattern!) the size, incase like me you scoff too much at certain times of year (….holidays are coming, holidays are coming!) and then when I sandwich bagged it up I wrote the mag issue on the front of the bag and pattern name/ number in permanent marker……blimey I feel very organised!!!!

IMG_3159[1]

Wish me luck on the make!!!

 

Making for babies!

What better way to celebrate the arrival of a new born than to start making! Especially when the baby in question is my new niece. Freya was born in April and she’s had a few things made for her since then. It’s been a good chance for me to make a few novelty items and to make baby clothes…….yes, including bloomers! love it!

I love an excuse to make a bit of bunting and after making some single sided with my sons name on I decided to make it more of a keepsake for Freya and put her date of birth on the other side. If you ever get to making bunting remember to put the letters and then the reflection on the back in the opposite direction, first letter with last on the back! I did first with first on the back so when it flipped over the date of birth was the wrong way round! Doh!!! Bit of unpicking….sorted!!

IMG_2229[1]

IMG_1962 IMG_1963 IMG_1967 IMG_1968  IMG_1969

I do like making a dress, or two! So I jumped at the chance to make a summery girly dress! As you do when you have a boy and you can only get so creative with their clothes (poor Fin, or lucky Fin – whichever way you look at it!). There are so many cute patterns out there, but when I went to mooch through the catalogues at Abakhan nothing really stood out to me, especially for the price of one pattern! Then while nosing around Amazon to get my Mccalls 6466 pattern I discovered books with kids patterns – boys and girls age 0 to 5! Awesome Fin can get on this one too! There is some lovely stuff in it and all the patterns are included and since they are so small it makes easy tracing!

IMG_2587[1]

And this was the outcome!

IMG_2592[1]

Obviously the bloomers did not have the elastic in at this point. I took them with the elastic loose and measured them on Freya and then hand stitched them and closed the gaps in the fold over of material so the elastic would not rub on her skin! The dress is double layered as its very thin material, but this could be done with two different fabrics and a reversible dress made! It did seem very plain so I made a small flower with a little leaf behind and stitched it to the front of the dress. It’s quite a good style too as the shoulders untie, making it easier to get in and out of (as any parent will no doubt is essential in baby clothing!). This was such a quick little project – loved it! Freya! You’ll be getting many more dresses my dear!!!

Lurrrrvley fabrics!

I have been very good recently….well since the Birmingham meet up and not been fabric shopping, even walking into a fabric shop for something a simple as some binding generally spills over to  3 dresses and something to do with the many jackets I have lined up. This fabric trip started off with the very sincere intention of buying binding to crack on with  the Robson coat this weekend……Yes folks! I have started cutting, but can only do it when my son is out of the house as I need to lay out the huge volume of material and only have a small house, it takes up the whole living room, and in the 6 weeks summer hols he has been at home all but one weekend! Plus with such a good summer it’s been all about the dresses! More posts on those in the near future!

And here’s what I got!

IMG_2583[1] IMG_2581[1]

And this was restraining myself…..

The very light blue with brown stars I thought would make a lovely little sun dress for my niece ( this shop did take place two weeks ago…..apologies for the delay as there has been a few hols taking place! The joys of teaching! But I ended up with 2.5 meters it was so light I would have been silly not too (it was measured by weight) so I’m planning on using the rest for either jacket lining, a dress or my niece will be having a summer dress in it for the next 4 years!

I love butterflies and this material shouted ‘buy me, buy me!’. I’ve been after some butterflies since ….I started sewing in March but it’s usually expensive and by the meter, so I didn’t care there was only a meter of this hanging around as I had read and was feeling inspired by Dreaming of Avonlea’s blog on AMetreCanGoALongWay and again (as all this material was) bought by weight. It is dress material so figured I could bind the neckline and get away with not lining it making it in time for a holiday!

This maple leaf just caught my eye and again only a meter of dress material……so pretty, just debating what to do with it now! Any ideas folks? It’s too stiff to make a Sorbetto top and is quite an apt pattern as we move into autumn, just struggling to decide…..

Now this was my fave……..pale minty green with tiny white birds and reeaally floaty and fine! Though it creases to high heaven!!! So I shall be researching ways to treat material to help this out! Any advice would be great, THANKS!!!

So with all this material, there’s going to be a few blogposts on the go! Happy hols folks and hope the prep for back to school is going well xx

Going all Grecain….attempting to be a Goddess!

IMG_2508[1]

What a fun holiday dress…though the fabric is probably more Caribbean than Skeggy (yes folks….I’ve been at Butlins!).

I have seen a few of these dresses floating around on pinterest and had every intention of making a maxi dress with this material…so it just worked out! I have adapted the very easy four rectangles and stitch up to where the neckline, back and sleeves are going to go…so easy! Well it would have been if this knit material was not so lycra filled- oh my- was it hard work getting it to go through the sewing machine in a straight line! As it was quite difficult cutting and stitching in straight lines :-/ the rectangles were slightly off shall we say…but the joy of jersey and this particular material being quite heavy, it falls lovely! I then ruched the shoulders by putting a long stitch through the shoulder seam and stitched the ends in after I made them about the same width. Again, there is nothing really precise, pattern wise. It was a couple of hours, with child in tow….so a lot less really, but who knows!

As for the holiday….. there can be a certain stigma towards Butlins, this was my first time…..but wow! What a fab place! Loads to do, activities going on all day and Fin loved it! But don’t go there unless you have a child in tow and are willing to act like a 3 year old! Need another holiday now though….jam packed days starting as early as 8.30 and not finishing till late…. so glad not at work this week!

Finding McCall’s 6466!

I love mooching about on pinterest……as I have mentioned before! Sometimes there is an aim, sometimes and generally the best times are when I stumble across an ‘ooooooo I love it!!!!’

 

I want to make this dress! and already have the perfect material!

3ef08ecbfbb3eb9cc1e0956b271ab4ffd64a56653927759e265471d7a26ab66d I want to make this dress! and already have the perfect material!

I have had quite a few inspirational dresses pinned into my sewing board. They are generally big skirted and involve the overlay of lace….really loving this style at the mo! I have even included wedding dresses which I think are beautiful and in a colour other than white and toned down slightly will make a wearable dress, without people thinking your on the way to your own wedding (no plans to get married people- just love a pretty dress!). Browsing through my pins I linked 3 together and thought hold on! all 3 of those dresses can be made using this pattern….McCall’s 6466! Now I’m on it and want this pattern, I even have the material lined up in my stash from the Birmingham swap to use!

Now I just need to get my hands on a McCall’s 6466!! Bring it on!!!

Adapting the Sorbetto!

I thought the Sorbetto was a great top, such an easy pattern and now I’ve discovered very versatile. So, here are two adaptations! Notice for both I did not put the pleat in the front, the reason being I felt it did not suit the voile and would be a pain matching the stripes up on the dress. For both adaptations I just continued the curved out from the waist and for the length I wanted!

For the top I initially had the front and back the same length with a scooped hem to the seam, front and back, which would have looked great about 4 inches longer it would have been a stunning dress, but as it turned out it just didn’t look right as a top, so a dipped hem did emerge! I was so lucky to have the pink binding floating around in the binding jar, it’s a great match to the flowers.

IMG_2161

This was originally and Primark maxi skirt. I love maxi skirts but as we all know when they are on a gather elasticated waistband they are not flattering. Yippee for a refashion! I think this will defo get more wear than the skirt.

IMG_2444[1] IMG_2440[1]

One sunny day…..

Again with the jersey! I love it! I bought this material around March I think and have been saving it as Iuuuuurved it and wanted to be able to make something I really liked, so I was really waiting for my skills to get better! Though with all this sunny weather around the coral and beige stripe was screaming to me to be worn! Now I love stripes but I have been very wary of wearing horizontals ever since something was once said by, I think it was Trinny and Suzanne, horizontal stripes make a person look wider! Yet there is so much nautical themed clothing around all encompassing horizontal stripes. What’s your thoughts on horizontal stripes? So I went for it and thought how I could break the horizontal stripes up a bit and make it unique.

The end result, fake leather straps and a dipped hem!

IMG_2395[1]

And this was all put together in the morning before I went to meet some friends at 1.30, along with a lot of other jobs I won’t bore you with! I was very impressed with myself! I did cut the hem shorter than I would have liked at the front, so I didn’t hem the dress which saved me time! And as you can see in the pic the gathering is uneven when a belt is thrown straight on, so I do plan on putting elastic around the waist to even out the gather, this wasn’t me skipping a job to get it finished, I would have put it on if I’d had some in the house. But it was great to finish the dress and have the best excuse to wear it! xx

IMG_2393[1]

P.S do you like the hair? Found a tutorial on pinterest and was really quick to do, great for the hot weather and much more fun than sticking it in a pony, like what happens nearly everyday!