Wednesday, 27 March 2013

McCalls 6349. A floral, fondant frock!

Spring has yet to be sprung upon us, but I am fighting the elements with a determination to wear all my spring/summer dresses, but have been layering them with black or grey tights and cardigans in pastel colours. 
Here is one of my girliest creations to date, created last summer using some floral polyester chiffon bought as a bargain from Fabricland. I decided to use a plain white cotton for the lining so it feels fresh in the summer, and got plenty of wear in 2012 (when the sun chose to shine)
Due to the transparent nature of chiffon, this dress is fully lined unlike most of my creations where I generally try to get away with an unlined skirt (horror of horrors) to save valuable pennies.
Anywhoo, onto this pattern which I must say I adored. I do not usually make using McCalls patterns, not sure why, but this one really impressed me with its accurate and comfortable sizing.
The pictures on the pattern envelope are hideous mind you. Quite what attracted me I'm not sure, but it probably had something to do with the complete absence of bust darts, of which I have an irrational dislike.

Anyway, some inspo for frothy, pastel dresses (my all time favourite inspiration to drool over)

Source: http://sendmeacardfromparadise.tumblr.com/
Source: http://shareasale.tumblr.com/
Source: http://stuffifoundonetsy.tumblr.com/
Source: http://dreams-are-pastel.tumblr.com/
Source: http://hayalcikedi.tumblr.com/

And here is my pastel, sugary confection!
Out on the glamorous stairwell once again...

This photo was a total fluke, but it does show nicely the gathered detail on the bodice and skirt, as well as the tiny flower pattern on the chiffon.


A super, dooper close up of the thin cotton bias binding strap, in a complementary sky blue colour.

Hope you like, anyone else desperately wearing their warm weather clothes with layers of woolyness?


Tuesday, 26 March 2013

New Look 6171. Two dresses, one pattern


Dipping into teens dress patterns again. This is so far the first, and only time I have sewn using a kids pattern but it is so simple and cute for work I could not help but make two more. The pattern I chose once again was New Look 6171, view A. I think it would fit anyone up to a size UK 12. Its great for work as I can throw it on in the wee hours of the morning and not have to fuss with zips, buttons etc.
Read on for the next two incarnations of this pattern, and click here for its original incarnation.
The first is a blue birdie print cotton which I think has a slightly Japanese feel to it, not sure why
Firstly, some inspiration for blue birdie dresses...
Source: http://wanelo.com/p/1748653/pure-energy-juniors-plus-size-elbow-sleeve-shirt-dress-blue-cream

And now my blue birdie shirt dress:
Apologies for the miserable face :) It was FREEZZINNGGG


And a close up of the collar, sleeve and of course the gorgeous birdie print, featuring lovely springy cherry blossom, delicious! I enlarged the collar slightly on this version too, which you may notice. Looks slightly too 70s for me to be entirely comfortable with, but hey ho :)

As you can probably tell, I left out the elasticated waist on both this and the original red dress. I decided to try a version with the elastic, and fancied a slightly boden-esque dress with large, bright flowers in a crispy lovely cotton. The result reminds me somewhat of Kirsty Allsop's wardrobe, which frankly cannot be a bad thing.
First off, some Kirsty/Boden inspired shirt dress inspo: 



And now here is my very own flowery Kirsty/Boden style shirt dress, Ta dah!
Source: Boden.com

Smiling now...

Again, a close up of the pattern and neckline with the smaller, original collar. I also added some of my freebie Mollie Makes buttons to the wrap over neckline, which I quite like for some added pizazz!

Not sure if I like the elasticated waist, may be rather unnecessary as I like the loose fit of the shirt dress before. I guess the proof of which I prefer will come from which dress I wear most often. They have already began creeping from my work wardrobe and into my weekend one, which can't be a bad sign! 




Saturday, 23 March 2013

23rd birthday craftyness!

So on Tuesday I turned 23, whoopeee! I have drawn out the celebrations over last weekend and throughout this week and thought, as this is my crafty blog, it might be nice to share my crafty birthday presents. So without further a do...
First off, two lovely crafty books from the boyfriend. The first, Style me vintage by Naomi Thompson, is a very light-hearted and pretty book full of fun photographs, mostly very nicely styled, along with tips on sourcing and wearing quality vintage pieces. Although I am not a big collector of vintage I do have a small number of treasures and this book works mainly as an 'inspiration' read, when planning projects etc. Very impressed he managed to choose this girlie book with me in mind!
The second book from the boyfriend is Fold Art Needlecraft by Clare Youngs. Before I opened this he said 'your mum will love this'. Just what one wants to hear before opening a present but it is indeed true, she would love it, if I were to lend it to here which is highly unlikely any time soon as it is LOVELY with a brilliant selection of unusual and interesting projects explained step by step, beautifully photographed. I will be keeping this one to myself for a while...


Speaking of my mum, she made me two lovely presents by hand. The first is this hand felted flower brooch with a lovely handmade heart button in the middle. I need to choose a coat worthy of sporting this one. For some reason I cannot get the image to rotate, so perhaps to fully appreciate this one you may need to turn your head slightly to the right...

 Her second handmade gift to me is this lovely handmade fabric charm bracelet, a new invention of hers apparently, soon to he heading to her etsy shop Marcia Lois. I love all the vintage charms she has collected over the years, particularly the little silver double decker bus, perfect for a Londoner like me :)
 Not only did my mum treat to to two pieces of handmade jewellery but also some pretty trimmings during our trip to the Country Living show (the most middle class, middled aged event of the year, although lots of fun if you're with my mum it must be said). I am most excited about the blue spotty bias binding with an attached lace edge, how clever! My mum was so excited by this new discovered she bought a meter in about 9 different colours for her own trimmings collection.
 Speaking of trimmings, my last crafty gift from my mum was this lovely book 'Thrifted Notions' by Kaari Meng. A very interesting concept for a book which is ultimately a look through the history of the Tinsel Trading Company archives, right back to the early twentieth century. Lovely personal stories punctuate the book and I loved reading about the founders passion for collecting shiny notions from across the world. He even provided the US with all the metallic thread for their uniforms during the war (fact). A cool look back into the world of sewing that I look forward to continue reading, it also features ideas for projects using vintage and repro trimmings. 
Lastly, but definitely not least, a lovely magazine given to me by my good chum Clare. Homemaker magazine is new to British shelves and did not disappoint  providing lots of lovely, homey pictures to paw over while in the bath. I especially love the free carnival bird kit, which if the snow continues will be made up tomorrow in front of a girlie film. My only let down in this magazine was the super simple instructions to make a square pillow, which seemed too basic for a crafting magazine to feature. But then maybe I am being harsh, I guess they need to provide projects all abilities and experience levels. That said, I would definitely give Homemaker another read as it is a beautifully put together magazine with some really lovely ideas and projects to inspire, I imagine, quite a wide range of people.

So as you can see,  I have been well and truly spoilt this birthday in the craftyest way possible. I also received some other lovely gifts from family and chums but these were not of the crafty persuasion so I decided not to feature them here, but none the less I feel extremely lucky and treated this birthday. Thank you to everyone who helped make my birthday so wonderful this year, but now I must dash and get on with making my thank you cards to all the lovely people who have given me such inspiring pressies! 

Walthamstow fabric haul- take 2

Oh dear.
My second trip to my favourite market this year, and it was a gooden!
My excuse was that I was taking my lovely sewing chum Clare to see its delights, with good intentions of not spending a penny I may add, but these good intentions were (obvsiously) blown swiftly out of the water. 
That said, I spent no more than £15 this trip, and this included a few zips and some grapes not seen here, so I can hardly complain.

Anyway, on with the fabrics!
Firstly, the Christopher Kane fan within my was excited to find this lovely pink chiffon gingham for a bargain £1.50 per meter. It instantly conjured up images in my mind of his spring summer 2012 collection of classic yet interesting pastel gingham chiffon creations and I cannot wait to try to emulate this even in a small way.


Source: http://www.fishtankfashion.com/

Secondly, a rather proper looking print that I hope to turn into a romantic, floaty, almost hippie style maxi dress. This viscose has a beautiful drape to it and should glide nicely across the body, feeling hopefully soft and cool when it (eventually) warms up. I have been wanting a pale coloured maxi dress for quite some time having made my first last summer in an extremely bright and beautiful Amy Butler fabric. Beautiful though it is, there is a limit to the places one can wear a floor length, and rather garish, confection. And so, perhaps this pastel and cream print will fill that maxi shapes hole in my wardrobe. 


Source: http://www.newlook.com/

Source: http://london-street-style.tumblr.com/

Source: http://wanelo.com/p/2147322/vintage-maxi-dress-70s-cream-floral-romantic-boho-empire-waist-maxi-s
Source: http://www.thestylerawr.com/

And lastly, a trio of blues! I have been told for a very long time that, as a red head, I should be wearing less pink and red, my faves, and more blue and green. I have resisted up until now, but as a mature woman of 23 (as of this Tuesday, anyway) perhaps its time I gave dressing to suit my colouring a try. The two floral prints are lovely viscose blends which drape beautfifully and were a snip at £2 a meter from the man outside Sainsburys's. I am hoping to turn the brighter white floral into a lovely summer frock and perhaps the navy into either a pair of summer weight trousers or maybe even a maxi skirt. 





Source: http://eagle-and-lyre.co.uk/what-to-wear-to-sunday-brunch/


Source: http://www.daisystreet.co.uk


Source: http://www.polyvore.com/womens_navy_floral_palazzo_trousers/thing?id=35497664

Source: http://www.edinaronay.com




Source: http://www.luulla.com/product/22264/blue-floral-print-shift-dress

Source: http://weheartit.com/entry/26759064

The third of the three 'blues' is this rather interesting navy chiffon which appears to have lots of swirly writing all over it along with sketched of sea shells. Now I am an fan of all things nautical and could not resist snapping up this bad boy for £1.30 per meter. I'm thinking a simply and pretty 50's style summer dress, perhaps with some gathered details as it is a chiffon and all. I also thought white trimmings would add to the nautical feel to this fabric, maybe a white bias binding trim...


Source: http://adoreefashion.tumblr.com/

Source: http://brigitteferrara.tumblr.com/

Source: http://www.etsy.com/listing/123452768/anchor-dress-sailor-dress-sailboat-dress?ref=market

Source: http://www.etsy.com/shop/MinxouriVintage?ref=seller_info

Source: http://yourcloudparade.com/product/1233/petit-dejeuner-dress-navy-blue-chiffon-dress-with-black-lace-neckline-retro-vintage-inspired-nautical-bridesmaid-dress/