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!

 

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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!

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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!

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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

 

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!!

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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!

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And this was the outcome!

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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!

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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

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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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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!

I love knits!!!

I am here to share some jersey knit loving!! I love the stuff! Granted it’s a bit of a pain to cut out for a pattern as it slides around …..but I find it so forgiving to wear (hides the wobbly bits when created in the correct form!). It’s great for making summer dresses, everyday tops, easy peasy cardis and skirts! So I’m here to share some of my most loved jersey creations…..cos I sew more than I blog- you’re getting multiple projects at once! The only creation a pattern was used for was the pink vest top, all the others I have cut around t shirts and just trimmed to fit and shaped as I wanted! The wavey stripe fabric, which I have worn loads and only made a few weeks ago, was an impulse buy while passing the piles of ‘t-shirt’ material. When I got it home and opened the fabric out I discovered the thickest stripe through the middle of the piece, so it had obviously been cut wrong in the past and as I wanted the thickest stripe at the bottom, what would have been a very easy tshirt with elastic band stitched in became hemming and making a tube to conceal the elastic. So thanks to JoJo at Stylefactory for helping me out with that one!

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The dresses on here I always belt up on the waist, as they are tshirt shaped it’s the only way to show off those womanly curves! Be proud of those curves ladies…..they were given to us for a reason!!!

Notice I didn’t hem the maxi dress either! It is a great length with flat sandals and I didn’t want it any shorter! As for the neckline I made it a slash neck and didn’t like it so was rolling it down to see where I wanted the neckline to be and really liked the effect so just stitched it in!

I love my knits!!!

Handmade in Public!

Glastonferry!

As a newby to sewing I am really conscious of whether my clothes look ‘too’ homemade! So wearing them in public has been a slow process. As more and more people say ‘I like your dress!’ and then the impressed look appears as you tell them you made it yourself……and then, sometimes, they ask if you’ll make them one! Ones confidence starts to go through the roof! And yes folks, even the early creations get thrown on and worn in public! I pretty much now wear something handmade everyday, a top with my jeans, the jersey dresses when the sun appears, but ‘going out’ as in getting dressed up ‘going out’ I have felt like my clothes were not quite good enough! But I’ve been out twice this weekend (very unusual for me to go out at all but when I do it seems there’s all sorts happen at once) and both times, a night out in Liverpool and music festival yesterday, to both I have worn dresses I made myself (vino confidence helps too!). It feels great to be looking individual and knowing the compliments actually mean something!

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So wear your handmade with pride!!!!! I plan to for every occasion….I don’t think I’ll buy another dress again….!?!?!

Frustrated seamstress!

There is nothing more annoying than starting a dress and not being able to finish it! When I start a project I aim to get it finished! Have I made my point?

I started thinking about this dress as soon as I bought the bright pink material on the Birmingham meet-up and on Thursday took some patterns to sewing club and had a natter with the ladies and had a nosey at what Hannah was making…..got a little inspiration there! And on Saturday afternoon, when it was a ‘shock, horror’ wet and windy afternoon, I got cutting.

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So excited to have made my first semi circle skirt, thanks to JoJo at Stylefactory for digging out a pattern! They are such a flattering shape skirt, from what I can see pinning the unfinished dress to myself! I adapted a pattern of a bodice, well I chopped the top of the bodice off and kept fiddling with it to make a sweetheart neckline, I then attached a netted section to create something like this,

Think this is a stunning dress! I WANT TO MAKE ME ONE!!!

but decided it was too dressy and unlikely I would wear it very often (bear it mind it is shocking pink!) and it looked a bit wedding dressy as the back was in two triangular sections- it was lovely and if I’m ever going anywhere ooober dressy I will be using those neckline sections which I have kept! So I figured straps for a sundress! With the aid of a little interfacing, which I just laid the dress over some more of the pink material and drew a line the shape of the neckline! Made overly long straps which I gathered for the front and while holding up the front of the bodice marked where I wanted them and stitched them in.

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Now I’m itching to try it on and see how it’s all come together, especially as I have made up the majority of the dress myself, which is quite a new trick for me, as I really have been relying on patterns! But I have to try and stop dancing on the spot until my Mum (who knows what she’s doing) can pop round and help me out pinning the straps into the interfacing in the correct spot!

Sewing Meet Up!

I know it’s a little late in the day but what an amazing time was had by all at the sewing meet-up in Birmingham on Saturday! Lovely ladies to chat sewing and fabric with, lovely lunch, amazing shopping and a cute little flower brooch (which was very handy knowing who to talk to in the fabric shop…..which was busy!).

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Marie, Kat and Claire did an amazing job organising everyone, especially the awkward person who order their lunch wrong (ooops…. yes that was me!). They kept everyone together and made everyone welcome and sorted a fab swap! Well done ladies!

I was lucky enough to have met Hannah from Madewithhugsandkisses before the swap and headed down to Brum on the train with the lovely lady! But to anybody who possibly put off turning out for the event, there would be no need to be daunted, everybody spoke to everybody else and was really friendly! Everyone was really happy to talk fabric and we were all discussing which patterns we were planning…..I got some great tips about doing the Colette Anise jacket – Thanks Claire and Charlotte!

The day was great and very exciting, but the excitement is still there, every time I walk past my new stash of fabric! I get a little giddy feeling in my tummy! Especially when I remember how much some of them cost! The Market was amazing and we got some amazing materials! One of which (the lemon) was £1 a meter!!!! What…… £1??????!!!!!!!!! Mental!

So here is the new stash and yes, all jackets are covered!!!

I got so excited about this turquoise gabardine (yes I discovered fabric with gabardine on the label! I know what it is now!) and I cannot wait to get started for my summer Anise. Talking of Anise I discovered this gorgeous green tweed to make a winter Anise jacket! And yes I do have a green flat cap I can wear with it!

Anise fabric

Anise fabric

I had given up the ghost on material for the Robson coat! Until……this little beauty turned up and for £2 a meter! (on the market obviously) I was made up, especially as I needed 5m! Check out the weave! Love it waffley!!!!!

Robson fabric

Robson fabric

The swap was great….put your unwanted items in and take out what you like the look of! One woman’s unwanted sewing items…. are another woman’s treasure! So I put in a few fabrics and a pattern and took a few fabrics and a pattern and stood back from the table but there were so many fab items left people just weren’t into and so I picked up the amazing orange with shiny pink…love it! definitely being made into a skirt and a bag! The ditsy floral I had my eye on as soon as the materials were laid out and the black lace…..well….I had been telling some ladies earlier I wanted to try making a lace shift dress! so the plan came together perfectly…and thank you Lara for not wanting the lace!

Swaps!

Swaps!

A better shot of the lace!

A better shot of the lace!

Now here are a number of dresses for our not so fabulous summer but still, so excited by all the material and some ideas! And yes it was a bit of a shopping spree and I won’t be going fabric shopping again in a long time – but it will be back in Birmingham!

From the market!

From the market!

From the shop!

From the shop!

This is going to keep me very busy……..

Cannot wait for the next meet up ladies! XX