Friday, 28 October 2011

This Colette pattern is a real treat, no tricks here

About 6 or 7 years ago, when I didn't have a rugrat to keep me busy, I used to watch a dreadful tv programme called "Celebrity Fit Club". In it, overweight "celebrities" were humiliated into losing weight and made to weigh in each week wearing the same outfit they first started in. Anyway, one of them, whose name and identity completely escapes me (I didn't know who she was then either, but I know one thing, she wasn't very fat), weighed in each week in a dress that had me drooling. I just loved it. In the end I sent a begging email to the tv company asking where she got it. I expected no reply - after all, it was a bit weirdly stalky to send emails asking about the clothes of this contestant. Amazingly, someone nice from wardrobe let me know that the dress was available from a Brighton boutique called Get Cutie. This was the dress I fell in love with:

The dress is still available now from their shop. It costs £130. At the time I didn't have £130 to spend on a dress, I didn't have a sewing machine, I didn't have the skills to make a dress and it didn't even cross my mind that I might one day.

Fast forward about six years to May this year. The dress was forgotten. (Just as well because although I probably have £130 squirrelled away if I spent it on a dress Mr T would do his nut. Just like a squirrel, lol) But I went on a lovely meet up and fabric shopping expedition in London with girls from and saw a similar fabric I liked. I bought enough for a dress. I took it home. Stashed it. Until..... the Hallowe'en challenge this week on sewweekly! (to be honest I forgot about it again until now - it must be my age)

I chose this pattern, recently acquired and winking at me seductively from my sewing table

It's one of three new patterns available from

So I made my dress, six years later. My lovely friend Gemma was a good enough sport to take some photos outside the 14th century church in my village. Even though it was a bit embarrassing.

Stuff I like about this dress:
The pattern is super easy. It took me about 6 hours including tracing the pattern, cutting out etc etc. I made it mostly at my sewing class although I didn't need any help - it is such an easy and clear pattern. I even made piping and put it around the neck and waist:

Stuff I will do differently next time:
I may go a size down on the bodice but do an FBA. I'll stick to the same size skirt. There will be a next time, I love this pattern.

Happy Hallowe'en!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

To dye for

Once upon a time I bought myself a pair of light green cords. They were very comfortable. But light green? What was I thinking? And with age they only got lighter. So although I love cords they never got as much wear as they should because of the odd colour. This is the cords in the washing basket just before the washing machine dye treatment that I thought might cure them....

As you can see they are an unappealing sludgy colour. The white thing is a thin top belonging to a friend, she had stained it so I offered to bung it in with the dye to try to make it wearable again.

I have never used machine dye before and it is super easy... no mess either.

Here is the top and the jeans on the line afterwards:

Yes, now navy. The only thing is that poyester cotton and zips don't take the dye, but I am claiming that the contrasting thread is a design feature. I'm really pleased, actually the blue is much deeper in real life.

Non-sewing news, Carl and Mia harvested our sweetcorn crop. She is holding it. Yes, one very small cob. That's it. I don't think our local supermarket need worry about our lack of custom this winter, just well we don't have to live off our produce.....

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Can't get to Spain? Harlem a bit far?..... Go to the garden centre!

As promised, here I am in my dress:

Hope you can see the rick-rack aound the neckline and the waist!

Hubbie actually agreed to go out on a photoshoot, we thought these cacti would be just the ticket. Naturally I couldn't go anywhere without Mia....

We found some actual roses too.....

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Sewing challenges? I'm all over 'em like a rash...

I have finished a dress! Oh yeah ....

This dress has been one sewing challenge after another. I bought the pattern on etsy I think. It's divine, a 1940s wrap at the back dress. It has rick-rack detailing. I liked view B best, on the right.

I got the fabric when I went to Goldhawk Road in London on the meet up in the spring. I was particularly pleased to have a 1940s dress to sew because I really like the 40s style and I have been so inspired by Mena at and Debi at sewweekly but also her own blog . In fact, I signed up for Debi's sewalong, Sewing Through the Decades (see button on right!). So far I have managed 1950s, 1970s, 2000s. So the 40s would be another one - I hoped to do one original pattern from each decade from the 1930s onwards.

The pattern is not printed. It includes buttonholes. And sleeves. And sewn in rick-rack. Could you smell the fear?

I started it for a challenge: my perfect summer dress. It is now October and I am using the winter duvet. Then I thought it would be good for peer inspiration week, citing Mena and Debi as the sewing divas they are. Still not finished. The dress also had a potshot at UFO 2 week. No cigar. But, with my roses on the fabric, it is my Spanish Harlem week dress! I am going to persuade hubbie to take photos tomorrow when i don't look like I should be in bed.

In the meantime, here is one of the seven, yes seven, buttonholes, that made me so so nervous about slicing them open and even sewing the darn things in the first place was giving me hives.

Finally, I cannot tell a lie, I sewed it all myself but I did have the support and guidance of my sewing teacher Kate at the classes I go to each Tuesday at The Design Studio in a village near me with the wonderful name of Anton's Gowt. If you are ever in Lincolnshire I heartily recommend it to you.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Notion heaven

Look what I got me from etsy! Just fab-u-lous darling. Mini rick-rack, jumbo rick-rack and the most divine bias binding that looks like an old school tie. Gorgeous.