Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Completed projects in Paris! Tweed pencil skirt and New Look 6110 review

Ooh la la! I have been all over the place this summer, most recently to Paris with my lovely mum. For the occasion I made myself two new items.
The first, this self drafted ponte roma tweed look pencil skirt. This may already claim the crown as my most complemented item of clothing bias Facebook anyway ;)
I love the stretchy ponte roma and will make another for work I think, maybe slightly less tight. Versatile and comfy, a winning combination. My fave fabricland has many such winter ponte romas in their winter collection, between £3.50 and £4 per metre.
The skirt in action on the seine!

The second was a simple pair of 'cigarette pants', again in ponte roma jersey but this time houndstooth, cute! Alas I have yet to take a proper snap of these bad boys so here is one taken when locked out of my house, staring at my knees:
Cute fabric no? And I cannot stress how comfy these trousers are! Stretch is clearly my friend where my backside is concerned. I will try to get a better photo soon. I used New Look 6110 and would highly recommend this pattern, it's so simple and has a great fit, all I had to adjust was narrowing the leg width slightly but that's just my little legs below my sizeable arse :)
Thanks for reading, get in touch to join the ponte roma fan club 2013 ;)

Monday, 26 August 2013

New sewing corner- room update!

Me and bf had been discussing for some weeks the possibility of swapping over the spare/storage/computer/sewing room with our bedroom when we yesterday gave in to the idea and spent the day unloading an reloading shelves, draws and wardrobes. I am in love with the result.
The reason for this change over is the realisation that we had a huge bedroom in which we did very little other than lie down and put clothes on. We often spent entire evenings in the small, cramped, messy, overcrowded 'storage' room next door in which our 'toys' lived (sewing machine, weights, computer, guitars etc).  So out mission was to sacrifice ample unused floor space in our bedroom for a smaller room in which to cuddle up and sleep and gain a massive room in which to spend out evenings. I like to think of it as a 21st century drawing room (oh Austen, how I love you).
But as this is my sewing blog I thought I would share my little sewing space in all this moving fandango with you. It is, of course, super tidy but in reality this just means the mess and madness has been contained to the chest of drawers. FYI, to any fledgling sewers out there drowning beneath a mass of unorganised textile resources, get your ass to your nearest charity shop and purchase yourself some cheap second hand drawers for stashing your bits and pieces. I guarantee you will not look back.
Notice my awesome new poster featuring cute vintage sewing pictures and ads to the right of my drawers. Oh I love <3

Hope you like my new cosy sewing corner, lets see how long I can maintain this organisation for...
Thanks for reading x

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Summer holidays update

I have been staying in lovely Cornwall with my pals Zin and Helly. Yesterday the weather looked like this: 
And today, well, in true Cornish style, we were left looking like drowned rats! So we decided to spend time on various indoor pursuits, first hair dying, secondly hot chocolate in a beach cafe and lastly, shopping in the lovely Falmouth. I adore Cornwall and Falmouth is no exception to this rule, with its abundance of bakeries, gently curling waves and independent, crafty shops. I made two (frugal) purchases along the crafty theme.

The first is this awesome vintage sewing poater from Willow and Stone, £3. I love it and me and bf are planning an overhaul of our upstairs rooms, swapping the bedroom and workroom over in favour of a smaller room to sleep in and a larger room for exercising, playing bf's instruments and of course, sewing :) I felt this would be perfect to decorate my little sewing corner of the room. 

My second was a simple, 1m piece of ribbon to wear in a cutesy way around my (soon to be blonde) hair from pretty shop Spice. Very excited for this I be cracked out, what an appropriate saying pour moi! 

So yes, a successful mini shopping day in (usually) sunny Cornwall. Appologies to the general lack of updates on my blog this month, me and my handmade wardrobe are having afew weeks travelling around France and the UK. Some photos from my recent travels: 
St Ives 
St Ives 
St Ives 

Thanks for reading, next stop Paris, followed by Suffolk then back to school! Check back soon for the beginning of my winter handmade wardrobe 2013, some handmade wardrobe abroad pics and our mini house makeover! X

Monday, 5 August 2013

Exciting news! My new dressmaking business and sketches for A/W13

After many years of sewing for myself and people who love me enough to not moan about shoddy hems, I feel my sewing has now reached a point where it is ready to meet other people. With this in mind, I have made the decision to start my own, little, tiny label of dresses, starting with A/W13. I am so so excited!
I hope to sell them online via Etsy but also visit crafty fairs across London (when I have enough stock to justify doing so!)

Please keep watching this space for further updates about my (as of yet) unnamed venture!
Here are the sketches so far, which is your favourite?

Ideas for A/W13
Thanks for reading! x

Completed Projects: Two Jersey Beach Dresses, Self Drafted

YAY! Holidays are upon us, and me and BF will tomorrow be in Nice, nice! Enjoying the scorching heat on the beach I am sure. Woe is me, I have not been on a summer holiday for 4 years and am ridiculously excited about this trip of ours. So naturally a seaside/ Cost D'Azur Me made wardrobe needed to be considered, and these fun, nautical cotton jerseys from Fabricland were just calling out to me to be turned into cute, beachy dresses. So thats what I have done. Each dress was made with 1.5m of fabric, and both are from my eternal fave fabric supplier Fabricland.

Dress number one has an elasticated waist for comfort and ease in the heat, an open back with tie detail and little buttons leading off from a V-neck. Navy always feels like a very French colour to me too, for some reason, flags, perhaps?
Close up of pattern and buttons on bodice front

The front, who needs the top of their head anyway...

Back of the dress with tie detail
Dress number two also features rather French colours, red white and blue (also UK and, er, US but hey this has stripes, ok?) This was a simple project very similar in construction to the tutorial I recently posted. It has a very fitted bodice, empire line waist and simple, flared skirt. I tried to use the stripes to add to complement and emphasise the shape of this dress (and even matched them on the seams, hooray!)
Oolala! Cest tres chic, no?

Vertical stripes on skirt contrast against horizontal on bodice
Me, in the dress, smily miley!
 Can't wait to wear these in the sun next week! What have you made for your summer holiday? I'd love to see!
Thanks for reading x

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Completed Projects New Look 6068- Two Heart Cut-Out Dresses

I have been wanting to try this for SO long. I love girlie details on simple shift dresses and these two experiments are girlie to the extreme! I used my old favourite pattern New Look 6068 but made lots of changes, such as changing to a v-neck and adding the heart cut out and elasticated waist. I used up fabric from my stash for both these projects which had been sitting around for a while so feel good to be clearing out somewhat!

And first, as always, my inspiration:

My first version is a shirt sleeved version, using up some old pink floral viscose fabric from my stash. I wanted it to have a tea-dress, vintage vibe to it. I also adapted the pattern to include a nipped in waist and lace side panels.

Back heart

Lace and buttons on bodice front

Dress from the front, slightly too bright in the bedroom!

Girliest dress, ever?

Lace side panel close up
This next heart cut out dress has long sleeves for the chillier summer evenings and damp days. I really like the 70s vibe this dress has and, from the front, it reminds me of what my mum wore when she was my age. I may like to use this shape again for the winter, in warmer colours. I used a light floral cotton from my stash that had been waiting to be used for a wee while for this summery version

Groovy, 70s feel!

Button detail on bodice front

And, of course, the heart and buttons on the bodice back :)

Hope you like my latest summer frocks, I think this heart cut out motif is one I will be using again in the winter, perhaps covered in lace? I also want to reuse the lace side panel idea, maybe on a dress for the party season. Ooo pattern adaptations! 
Thanks for reading x

New Look 6068: Lace Waist Dress

Ok, I maybe should use some of my other many, many patterns sometime soon, but I love this one, New Look 6068, so much as it can be adapted in so many ways. This is my most recent attempt.

I have been inspired by all the cute, 60's style dresses with a lacy insert at the waist, adding a sexy twist to a simple shift dress.
I decided to use this lovely floral fabric I bought for a bargain £2 at Walthamstow Market back in March, and had yet to find a use for. It is perfect because it literally NEVER creases! 

I adapted the shift pattern by cutting it at the waistline and making a separate top and skirt. I then joined them using wide lace and added a line of elastic at the lower edge of the top, and the upper edge of the skirt. No zips required.

Swinging 60s, non?

Waist detail

Bit blurred, but you get the drift...

Hope you like my latest adaptation! Thanks for reading x

Saturday, 3 August 2013

A/W 13 sewing idea

Lace! Particularly black lace inserts on dresses are inspiring me this sewing season. Lace in some form crops up every season but black feels right in the cold winter months, adding a touch of glamour to classic winter frocks. Any ideas how best to execute this latest scheme of mine?

Urge to sew: cosy winter skater dresses

Local fabric shop is now full of beautiful ponte Roma jerseys in rich jewel colours, perfect for my work wardrobe this autumn winter. I am tempted to pursue this one as I have now perfected to art of the quick and easy self drafted jersey skater dress and would be perfect if I just added a sleeve. Also ponte Roma is currently at the bargain price of £3.90 per metre. Some inspo...

Recent Fabric Purchases for A/W 13!

Hello! I have been on holiday for just over 7 days and, as I will be away for most of August, have been sewing (and fabric shopping) rather furiously to compensate for taking the best part of a month off (sob!)
This here post details all the fabric delights I have invested in, mostly with A/W 2013 in mind but I may add not exclusively as I have already made up three of these fabrics (of the summery variety) into sun-dresses, but I will get to that later.
Also worth mentioning is my previous post from about a week or so ago, as I have included those 4 pieces of fabric into this haul, seeing as they were bought this week too (incidentally the three aforementioned sun-dresses were made with these summery cottons) On with the fabrics! Please message me to let me know how you think each of these would look best when the cold weather comes to London once again, I am beginning to romanticise the cold weather once again (I suffer from oppositional seasonal longing...)

First, this pretty brown and pink floral, 100% cotton print from Fabricland. Love this already and am thinking perhaps a long sleeve dress with nipped in waist and collar? Very prim and proper...

Next, a Fabricland monochrome beauty, again 100% cotton, I just fell in love with this unusual, petite print and can again imagine a cost winter frock with sleeves and black leather boots. Yum!

Thirdly, another bargain Fabricland jersey in crazy brights! This has a lovely oriental feel to it and is super dooper bright and drapey, definitely some elastane in this mix. I am thinking a dress with a pretty bow at the neck perhaps? Or maybe a ruffly wrap around? Hard to choose!



Next, another pretty Fabricland jersey! This time softer and more feminine, I am really excited to use this one to create a cost, cuddly but girlie winter warmer dress


I think this next cotton is rather vintage looking and is designed by Nel Whatmore and printed onto AMAZING quality cotton by Westminster fibres. I think I am going to turn it into a vintage style, 70's inspired frock with long sleeves and a short hemline for winter, to be worn with cuddly thick black tights, mmm...

Similarly, I feel this red print designed by Verna Mosquera is quite vintage inspired and I want to continue with the vintage feel and create something which feels right at home with the pretty, simple pattern.
Something along these lines would do nicely... ha

Or something a little more subtle, ya know, I'm not fussy...

Lastly, the fabrics from my previous post. I have used the orange paisley Amy Butler and polka dot Amy Butler cottons along with the cream floral Denyse Schmidt already to make summer frocks fit for a princess, so have just saved the darker, blue 'cameo' print Amy Butler cotton for winter as I felt it was quite warm and dark looking. I would like to either make a party dress, or perhaps a 'skater style' dress with a sleeve. I love it as it reminds me of our plates when I was little :)

I will endeavour to post what I have made with the other three fabrics asap, when I can rope BF into taking some decent photos. If you have any good ideas about how to use these fabrics please let me know, I am always open to suggestions and love a second (or third) opinion.
Thanks for reading x