Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Tutorial: Stash busting headbands with Smale!

Ever wondered what to do with all those pesky left over bits of fabric from projects long since completed, but too large and gorgeous to consider recycling?

Well, here is a project for you my friend!
In the Spring/Summer trend of matchy matchyness 

These fabric headbands are super simple to make. 

For a plain headband with no bow:
  1. Measure the circumference of your head and add 1 inch to this number. eg if your head measures 24inches +1inch= 25inches
  2. Cut a strip of fabric this length and approx 4-5inches wide, depending on how wide you want your headbands.
  3. Fold in half width ways, pretty sides facing, and sew together all around the edges, leaving a small gap open.
  4. Turn around the correct way and press.
  5. Finally, attach a small piece of elastic to the back of your headband, joining the two ends together. This should measure no more than 1.5inches long. I used wide elastic.
For a headband with a bow

  1. Measure the circumference of your head and add 6 inches to this number. eg if your head measures 24inches +6inch= 30inches
  2. Cut a strip of fabric this length and approx 4-5inches wide, depending on how wide you want your headbands.
  3. Cut your strip into two equal halves, for the bow to be on the top of your head, and into two unequal halves for a bow off centre. 
  4. Fold both pieces in half width ways, pretty sides facing, and sew together all around the edges, leaving a small gap open 
  5. Turn around the correct way and press. Tie the two pieces together in a bow, this can be pretty fiddly!
  6. Finally, attach a small piece of elastic to the back of your headband, joining the two ends together. This should measure no more than 1.5inches long. I used wide elastic.
Et voila!

Other ideas to extend this satisfying craft may be to run some wire through your bow for added fun and spring or to try making them using trimmings such as the lace version seen at the top (one of my faves)
Recycling made pretty! Here is lovely Smale modelling her polka dotty bow for us:

If you give either of these mini tutorials a go, please let me know, I would love to see!
Thanks for reading x

Sunday, 16 June 2013

I got (slightly obsessed with) Pinterest!

Follow me for an obscure mix of sewing, style and Nice, France:


Let me just say thank you to Clare (of http://acaseofclare.blogspot.co.uk/) and my pal Jen for encouraging me to try this, it's so fun making mood boards from the comfort of my laptop, or even on the bus! Although I do still love making collages and moodboards the old fashioned cut and stick way, Pinterest gives me a wider scope to share and borrow (read: steal) ideas from the big wide world of the interwebs. Here are a few of my recent pins:








But these are just a few! take a look for follow me for more @http://pinterest.com/fancyfrugality

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Completed Burda 7072- DIY Vintage Style Coat

Rain rain, leave London alone for one summer, please? It turns out, a girl needs a coat for all seasons in this town so it's a good old job I finished my mac just in time for summer (ahem...)

Here are the tasteful fabrics I chose from Fabricland (serious case of the girlies that day...) The polka dot was used for the lining. The fabric was about £2 per metre and so this project all came in at under a tenner, win!

And here (drum roll please....) is the completed coat! I really disliked working with this pattern and have thus been put off wearing this or blogging about it for a week or so since finishing, due to the sleeves. Yes, its just that easy to frustrate me. Actually it totally is not easy to frustrate me, I am one easy going gal when it comes to the humble art of dressmaking! I love a sewing challenge but this was so infuriating not because it was a challenge to insert the (insane) sleeves, but because it was so utterly pointless. Why would they need to be so complicated and fiddly, when they just look like normal, bog standard sleeves when completed? Not happy, Burda, not happy! However, when all is said and done about the infuriating sleeve situation, the rest of this pattern was simple pimple and was a breeze to fly through and piece and sew together in an altogether more logical manner. I hope you like the finished piece, I like the cutesy, 60's vibe it has and will be busting it out with A-line dresses one rainy day soon! Also, love a self covered button, as ever, and these huge ones are super fun.

Hope you like, and thanks for popping by! Happy sewing 

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Fascinator work in progress

Just a quick crafting update this grey, ever so slightly hungover Sunday. My friend Rae is attending a wedding next weekend and asked me to make her a fascinator to wear with her navy blue dress as she didn't like any of the ones or sale in town. She chose the colours mustard yellow and grey to coordinate, rather than match, with her navy dress which I think is a great idea as they all go together so well and matchy matchy can look a little too royal wedding-ish. I would like to mention I have never done anything like this before and so it is all experimental but I had lots of fun playing with different had sewing techniques and making little roses and rosettes with silk, net and tulle (much deliberation took place in Fabricland last week!)

Anyway I pottered around this afternoon and made a start, this is what I have done so far. I am going to send Rae the link to this post so she can check out the photo and let me know what she wants adding or taking away before the wedding, I am feeling excited to finish off my first fascinator project when she has given me her opinions! Hope you like x

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Walthamstow fabric haul, June 2013

Oops, I did it again (what a tune) I am currently standing on the platform at Vauxhall on my merry way home from my latest pilgrimage to the fabric motherland that is Walthamstow. But all the trains are delayed by bloody ages, so I thought sod it, lets blog my fabric finds!

Firstly, my style is slowly changing, just slightly, away from the kitsch floral prints I have always favoured and I am attempting to be, perhaps, ever so slightly, more mature and modern in my fashion choices. I am falling for details such as dipped hems, cut out yoke necklines, chevrons and loose billowy shapes in plains or graphic prints, a change is coming, and so a trip to invest in suitable fabrics for my hairbrained scheme was required. Armed with a twenty pound note, I caught the train the Walthamstow, got one stop away from home, realised I forgot my phone, got off and walked home to retrieve it and tried again. Yes, my mission for a mature wardrobe has begun, a more mature less forgetful brain is sure to follow.

My first, and frankly most exciting finds are these two BEAUTIFUL Paul Smith cotton prints (I have since checked, and they are indeed genuine, from a few seasons back as the shop keeper informed me they do not sell them on until a suitable amount of time has past) . Could they get any better? Oh yes, they cost £2 a metre! Oh I got all giddy and blew £6 on the spot, the crazy fool I am!

After this giddiness the rest of my finds are rather more modest, in my sensible, grown up frame of mind prints are (broadly) simple and graphic, and for once I have purchased plains. Lets take a look:

Monday, 3 June 2013

Great Gatsby Style, Sewing Ideas, Patterns and Inspiration!

So, have you seen it yet? Baz Luhrmann's Great Gatsby was fabulously fun and frivolous, dripping with both literal and metaphorical champagne, glitter and diamonds. I loved it, my girl chum I went with seemed to agree but BF was more sceptical. It was a little ridiculous at times but having seen other Luhrmann films I kinda knew what to expect. More than anything, the film was a visual treat (apart from the hideous panning shots at high speed which made me literally sea sick, despite the sea being 50 miles away) I left inspired to make and create and to me, that is a good film. So, as this is my little sewing blog, I thought I would post some ideas on how to create a 1920's style wardrobe fit for the pretty Daisys of this world. I have sought to find sewing patterns I feel would match each of the style features I picked out from the film, but if you have any other ideas, or have been sewing some vintage, 20's inspired outfits (yes, I wore my me made 20's dress to the cinema, and what!) please let me know and I can add to this post.

Shoulder or yoke detailing

The charming Miss Daisy had all eyes towards her lovely face, with a huge amount of attention going towards the top end of her dresses, with lovely frilly shoulders seen here, and fur and plunging necklines we will see soon! For pretty shoulder/yoke details that bring attention to the face Simplicity 1607 would be lovely, and it also has a pretty dropped waist to add to its 1920's charms!

Similarly Simplicity 2281, another Cynthia Rowley pattern, has lovely neckline and shoulder detailing and has a slightly retro, 20's feel to it. In a pastel colour of course for true Daisy-ness.
Lastly, I love McCalls 6505 with its lovely lacy yoke detailing, and the white version in the picture is very appropriate to Daisy's innocent style.

Mini Fur Collars

This is a lovely simple one to sew for yourself, and one I am actually considering for winter this year. Faux fur is pretty  cheap if you shop around but as you will only need a tiny amount for this project I would always get the best quality you can afford, as cheap faux fur just looks, well, cheap :) There are loads of patterns you can buy to sew faux fur accessories, such as simplicity 4355, but you could quite easily draft your own pattern by drawing the shape you want for your collar or stole onto grease proof paper. 

Pastel, drop waist dresses

I have made a drop waist dress and they are great, not only because they are pretty, loose and comfy, but also because they require no fastenings! I used New Look 6141 to recreate the dress Marion Cotillard wore in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, it was great and I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to create a 1920's drop waisted dress.

The beautiful inspo:

Mine came out like this:

Low cut back dresses

I have always dreamt of having an occasion to wear a beautiful, long, evening dress with a saucy, low cut back, but naturally this has yet to happen for me. However this pattern, Burda 7470, is lovely and I love the bow at the back. I think a low cut back adds a touch of sexyness to the slightly androgynous shape of a dropped waist dress. This Burda pattern doesn't have a dropped waist but is still a lovely. 

Another beautiful low back dress, which reminds me lots of Keira Knightly's beautiful green dress in Atonement, is this Vogue pattern 7365. Lush. And entirely impractical, like the entirety of Daisy's wardrobe.

Handkerchief Hem Dresses (in white, obvs)

Personally I am not a huge fan of the hanky hem but this is a lovely example and sort of fairy-like. I could imagine floating around a field in the hot weather in a loose fitting handkerchief hem frock. If I were to make a dress like this I would make one in white or a pastel, girlie colour. McCalls 4016 is a good simple shape to create this from.

Head Scarves and Hair Bands

These are just a simple accessory perfect to complete any 1920's look, and make a great finishing touch to any of the dresses seen in this post, or indeed a silk kimono (seen next!) They are also a great stash-buster and really easy to knock together with a short amount of time. No pattern required. Why not use up left over materials and create a matching one? Cute.

A Silk Kimono Top

Classic and lovely, and even better if you can get your hands on some 100% silk or even perhaps some embroidered silk. It may also be nice to make one for a dressing gown with some matching pyjama bottoms, a stylish way to lounge around the house indeed! New Look 6072 is ideal and super simple, and hangs beautifully.

Sparkly Dresses!

Ah yes! Lastly, the biggest thrill of Baz Luhrmann's Great Gatsby film, the glitz! The glamour! The sparkles! I have yet to sew a dress made entirely out of sequins, but have made this sequinned skirt which I was very pleased with, despite snapping my way through not one but two needles in the process. I think if you are to sew an entire outfit from sequinned fabric you need to stick to a simple, loose fitting shape to avoid hoochyness, so perhaps and 1920's, or even 1960's, drop waist or A-line flatter style dress would be a great option. Imagine the sequins shimmering and shaking as you Charleston the night away! Perhaps New Look 6125 could would nicely for this.

Anyway, that's just about all the Gatsby I can take for one evening! Hope you enjoyed this post and the film, personally I thought it was fantastic fun and well worth paying the extortionate ticket prices at the Odeon. Happy sewing, and let me know if you are inspired by the film for some Gatsby style stitching! x