Sunday, 29 September 2013

We're going on a bear hunt... Simplicity 2853

This project has been a long time coming as Jade and I picked out the fabrics back in mid August, a day or two before I went away for weeks on end! So naturally the project could not begin until I returned to London. Once I returned and had Jade's measurements work could begin on this most fun of projects. I love a challenge and could not wait to try something completely new: never before had I made a bear suit, or indeed, any other animal costume besides a lion's head for the year 6 leaves concert 2 years ago.
The pattern we chose was simplicity 2853 and it was lovely, not too fiddly and really comfy to wear when completed (yes, I tried it on...). The only adaptation I made was attaching the head to the body as a 'hood' so she did not have the fuss of two separate pieces. It had elasticated leg and sleeve cuffs which ensured the slouchy fit was manageable. 

The only annoying thing about this project was the fabric we chose. It was incredibly soft thus why we chose it but my god could it fray! It went literally everywhere to the extent that I had to hoover twice and so I made the call to use my overlocker for this project, which was fine once the mess had been cleared up.

The reason Jade, a twenty year old woman wanted a bear suit it her complete and undying love/obsession with bears (she went to feed some at the zoo a few weeks ago). Her favourite type are these black bears. I think they are American.
How gorgeous are the babies!

Soooo, here is the final bear suit, dundundun! How cute is Jade! I think she likes it and overall I am really happy with this project :)

Bear, playing Trivial Pursuit:

Hip hip hooray for bears! 

Thanks for reading and happy sewing x

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Simplicity 1693 and New Look 6110- Pattern adaptations for a work wardrobe

Two old faithful patterns have helped me to create a few new pieces for my smart, Paris-inspired work wardrobe (ha!) I have used these both before and they are great basic patterns which can be adapted in lots of different ways. If you would like to see some different versions of the blouse Simplicity 1693 you can see some herehere or here.
To see another version of the trousers New Look 6110 have a peek here.

Upon ariving back in the UK post-Paris, I went to Fabricland and bought them out of interesting grey, black and white fabrics. Yes, not as thrilling upon first inspection as my usual brightly patterned hauls but exciting to me. I first made this outfit posted previously, a black sheet blouse with white contrasting collar and a black jersey hi-low skirt. 

Here is outfit number two. Using Simplicity 1693 I adapted the bodice of blouse view C to have a V neck and used the sleeves to view A. I then drafted a sheer black neck tie from leftover fabric from the black blouse seen above. I do think this is quite a chic blouse and love the feel of the white viscose I used. The shorts are adapted from New Look 6110, shortening the pattern initially and then ever so slightly widening the legs from the hip down. Made from a heavy weight ponte roma jersey, these have gained a surprising number of compliments as they are quite unusual but remind me of when I was at college and wore a similar black pair all the time with a spotty button back blouse. 
My Dad took these photos which he insists on taking from below, not entirely flattering on my round face, but he does have a beautiful garden as a background (always better than my usual front door shots...)


 The third and final outfit is Simplicity 1693, view C, which I made in black lace with a slightly shorter sleeve as I wanted more of a cap sleeved look. I love this top and wear it every week thanks to its casual feel. The trousers have been equally well-worn, made from a heavy weight black ponte roma jersey with tiny polka dots. They look wrinkly in the photograph but really aren't in real life, promise! I shortened the pattern slightly to give them a chicer look, a-la a cigarette pant.


Hope you like my new work basics, I hope they will see me through the winter with some added knitwear of course (need to learn to knit better...)
Thanks for reading and happy sewing! x

Diamond Jubilee Jubilations! Fancy dress sewing projects fit for a Queen!

This week our school celebrated its Diamond Jubilee. Built in 1953 our school enjoys the same Jubilee as Queenie herself. We had a bonkers week of activities for the children from Reception to Year 6, from a street party, marching band, the coronation of King and Queen of the school, a museum created by the children and staff documenting the schools life through the decades as well as special visitors such as artist Jon Hicks, jive dance lessons and so much more!

My job in the proceedings, besides teaching my little year 2s of course, was to stitch capes for the King and Queen, and sashes for the assorted lords and ladies.

My job in the proceedings, besides teaching my little year 2s of course, was to stitch capes for the King and Queen, and sashes for the assorted lords and ladies. And so, here are the campest capes in town! Made from only the most tasteful of red poly-satin (kids don't do subtle) the kids looks so sweet in their outfits. They even made it into the museum afterwards! The trickiest part of this project was that when I was sewing them, the King and Queen's identities was as of yet unknown and could have been anywhere between the tiniest 5 year old and the tallest 11 year old. I went for something in the middle with an adjustable bow tie at the neck. Thankfully the king was 7 and the queen 10, so they fit like a dream!

Hope you like! I am now in the mood for some fancy dress stitchery. 
Thanks for reading and happy sewing!

Aaaannddd we made the front page of the Rich and Twick times!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Walthamstow haul: AW13 fabrics

May have been on a mini spending spree today with my chum Smale. We braved the grey skies of September in London to find some bargains in Walthamstow. I had warm jerseys in mind as I this week made a skater dress in purple ponte roma jersey which I instantly fell in love with the minute I spun around in my new spinny circle skirt! However Walthamstow being Walthamstow I ended up with a mixed bag as you cannot attend this market with a set shopping list as you never know what you will find. Planning a trip? Check out my finds...

1.5m @ £2 per metre
This heavy weight knitted jersey has a pretty Nordic-esque pattern which I feel will work well with my fair-isle reindeer cardigan for a cosy, hot-chocolate-sipping-in-a-cafe outfit. Not that I am idealising the bitter cold winter or anything...

Ultimate reindeer cardigan. Yum :)

1.5m @ £2 per metre
Secondly this lovely teal jersey which is super stretchy, I am thinking a smart dress for work, perhaps a wrap around. It has a slightly oriental feel I think.

2m @ £1 per metre
This one is really just for fun and slightly ridiculous but reminded me of making jam with my mum a few weekends ago. Perhaps this could make a pretty blouse or simple gathered skirt.

2m @ £1 per metre 
I love this and want to recreate in pink my new fave work dress, the black satin polka dot long sleeve dress:

1.5m @ £2.70 per metre
And lastly this lovely lace, Smale's favourite. It is super stretchy and I hope will make a lovely skater dress with a swooshy circle skirt, maybe using my vintage pattern, Style 4056. 

Hope you like and thanks for reading!
Happy sewing x

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Paris-inspired monochrome outfit: Simplicity 1693 and McCall's 6725

Having spent time in Paris this summer with my mum, I have a new respect for the colour black. 
Chic, sophisticated and slimming, I usually overlook this shade and opt for brights and patterns but decided that with a return to school in September some smart basics may be useful.
First off Simplicity 1693, a sheer black blouse with a white viscose collar. I adapted the pattern slightly by making the collar pointy as opposed to a curved Peter Pan collar and used sleeve for view A with the bodice for view D. I really like this pattern as, thanks to all the different pattern pieces, it gives you lots of different interesting options and I have made a couple of different versions previously, which you can see here and here.
McCall's 6725

Secondly, McCall's 6725, a 'hi-lo' skirt popular this summer. I chose to use a black jersey. I adapted this pattern by simply shortening it ALOT, as it was way, way too long. This was a super easy pattern I would recommend to any beginners, thanks to its simple elasticated waist and is made with only two pattern pieces, front and back.

A rather poor photo of the blouse, but you get the sheer-ness

That's it for today, hope you like my new 'Parisian' inspired outfit, thanks for reading :) x

Sunday, 8 September 2013

New Look 6068: spotty satin winter dress

So, I need to use other patterns other than my trusty 6068 but hey! 
This version has three quarter sleeves for winter and I altered the pattern to have a scoop neck and elasticated waistband.

My dad took the photos and he is super bossy with a camera but I'll give it to him, these photos are much better than my half arsed selfies. We were on a lovely country walk in Clare, Suffolk, picking apples and blackberries to turn into jam. Cos my life is so, like, picturesque. 
Why I had to stand on a bench and do a titanic, I am not sure.

Hope you like, have you done any sewing for winter yet? I'd love to see! Thanks for reading x

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Vintage sewing pattern haul and my new challenge!

I am always after my newest sewing challenge. From conquering a fear of invisible zippers to crafting winter coats lined by hand, overcoming nerves starting my own blog and not forgetting my first ever me-made-may I am eternally striving to make my sewing life that little bit more difficult. And so, inkeeping with this theme I have set myself a brand new sewing challenge! (Drumroll please...)

The Fancy Frugality One Vintage Pattern a Month Challenge! 

Yes, having had my fun with modern sewing patterns and all the multisize conveniences that come with them, for my latest endeavour I will be attempting to sew one vintage (60s-80s) pattern a month for, well, as long as I have patterns in my stash and a sustained interest in vintage stitchery! 

I have long admired my mothers collection of vintage patterns as she too was a dressmaking enthusiast in her younger days, and has recently refound her love of stitching frocks (I like to think I may have, in some small way, encouraged this). 

She has kindly lent me two of her, now vintage, patterns to get me started. The first is this lovely Vogue pattern from, we are presuming, the mid eighties. I want to make view B, the short sleeve flounce neck shirt for work in a light cream viscose perhaps. 

The second she has leant me is this adorable Laura Ashley for McCalls pattern from 1985. Way too cute, look at that collar, and the pintucks! Adorable, can't wait but will probably shorten the length for a more modern take. This is probably worth mentioning, I hope to enjoy and explore these awesome vintage treats however I don't want to look like I'm wearing fancy dress and part of my challenge will be to adapt and transform these vintage shapes for a modern look which suits me and my style, and fits in with my current handmade wardrobe.

Lastly, today I went to a car boot sale with my folks and met a lovely man selling vintage sewing supplies, including lots of patterns at £1 a piece. I mean, it would be rude not to! And so here is my haul:
My mum's fave.

Interesting skirt pattern here.

Love these pleated trousers.

I really like the sleeveless shirt dress here

Just could not resist the 70s fit and flare shape of this one

I love the long sleeve dress in red on this one, groovy!

And finally, I had been looking for a good circle skirt pattern for a while, this seems as good as any! Lovely tee pattern with it too.

7 patterns for £7, not to be sniffed at!
So, let the challenge commence! Only question now is, which pattern to try first...?
Thanks for reading and happy sewing!