Friday, 27 May 2011

I shall wear midnight (if it fits me)

I had grand plans for a black top, versatile I thought. Good for Me Made June. Good for work. This week's theme is embellishment so I was thinking of a big flower.

This is what I made:

I can't tell you how hideous I look in it. It is so unsuitable, the jersey is too heavy, it's horribly depressing and doesn't fit me. I am abandoning it (at speed, running away!).

I quite like the flower though:

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Off piste

The last three weeks I have not done any sewweekly challenges because I have been working on the dress I wore last Saturday for the London meet up. This week is red, white and blue week on so I have already made that one! I am a week ahead!

Therefore I have decided to go off piste. I need some plainish tops to wear almost anywhere, go with anything. This evening I have cut out my first jersey material, in plain black. I'm making view B, bottom right.

Plus, I have had another (yeah, yeah, I know) pattern splurge on to get this pattern:

I want this so that I can join in Stevie's sewalong in June. What fun!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Beginner sewalong, yes please!

I heard about this sewalong at a fashionable stitch, using the brand new Ginger skirt pattern from Colette patterns.

I have started to see the two new patterns from Colette on, as well as the Ginger skirt, a lovely blouse pattern called Violet. Pattern envy! So, dear reader, I bought them.

Here's what the postie brought today all the way from America:

Gorgeous, n'est-ce pas?

The sewalong started yesterday, but is at quite a sedate pace (beginner! hooray!) so I am not behind. All we have had to do so far is pick fabric - a medium weight one.

I can't buy any more fabric after the weekend's splurge, so I am thinking of these curtains:

I also need a zip - 9". I have one of 7", one of 13" and one of 20". Sausages.

The middle one will have to do. Still not sure about the fabric, more thought required.

Monday, 16 May 2011

My Big Day out in the Big City

On Saturday it was the UK meet up. Here is my fabulous day in a selection of pictures:

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Horrockses to it

An age ago the UK girls decided to have a real life meet in London. We planned to visit the V and A museum. The suggestion was made that we might try to make a dress that is on display in the V and A, you can even buy a replica in the shop:

Rather pretty isn't it? You can download the pattern for free from the V and A website. So I was hooked. Long story short, here I am in mine:

Quick accessories round up:

White shrug: Monsoon
Rosette: crocheted by me when I was on holiday
Gloves: ebay find
Plastic beads and clip on earrings: from Aunty Peg, vintage (or as she puts it, old)
Shoes: models own (lol)

I am all dressed up ready to go to London for the meet, which was yesterday, in my Horrockses dress. The dress was originally made by Horrockses in the 1950s. It's a day dress.

Here is my pattern review:

The pattern is free. (I now realise that some things are worth paying for). It is easy to download from here and can be printed out anywhere.

The download is in 3 parts (instructions, bodice and skirt). If you print it at home you need 60 odd sheets of A4 paper.

Then you need to stickytape it together. I spent about 2 hours doing this. But it was free, right?

I don't fit into the sizes on the free pattern (largest waist 76cm, ha ha). So I had to grade the pattern up. Cut to the chase: I spent 8 hours in total resizing pattern pieces and making muslins under the guidance of my lovely teacher Kate at dressmaking class.

So, three classes and 8 hours in I have still not cut any pieces of my fabric and I am a couple of weeks from the UK meet when I need a red, white and blue British themed dress. Cost so far: nothing for the pattern, 40 quid for the dressmaking classes. At this point I nearly gave up. The muslin still wasn't right. But with not much time left drastic action was called for: I just started the bloody thing anyway. It took me about 8 or 9 hours.

Total make time 17 hours.
Cost: about £22 (cost from V and A for ready made, £95!)

Stuff I liked about this pattern:

I was making a Horrockses dress of my own
The pockets are very clever indeed
The bodice comes together well
The sense of accomplishment when I finished was amazing

Stuff I didn't like:

I didn't understand the instructions, I would not have been able to do this at all without an experienced dressmaker to tell me what to do
The hand sewing took ages (hem, lining)
Resizing the pattern was a pain in the proverbial


1. Pay for a pattern, it's worth it
2. I should try to tackle things I am actually capable of doing
3. Anything is achieveable with a patient and talented teacher

But I did it!

Friday, 6 May 2011

The first cut is the deepest

Finally, I have cut out the material for my red and white fifties dress, after three weeks of working on the pattern (mental note: next time pick a pattern in your size to start off with, doh)... here are the pattern pieces on the fabric:

and here are the cut out pieces:

Hooray! Sewing starts tomorrow ;0)

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Lucky cat and lucky me

It's official, I am a winner. I got home today to find a parcel from Belfast in the USA, from the lovely etsy shop Blushful. I won the pincushion on where Mena has been hosting a 30 day pincushion competition - I was lucky enough to win in week two and received my prize today.

My lucky cat pincushion is completely gorgeous, I just love it. You can't see but it has two lovely little pins in it and is full of thoughtful detail. To make it even nicer it came wrapped in such a pretty way with a note from Annie at Blushful, in a little box with ribbon and a mushroom tag, mini-me was delighted too (I had to prise it off her, luckily I am bigger and stronger than she is, ha!):

Thank you Mena at sewweekly and Annie at Blushful on etsy xx

Monday, 2 May 2011

Oh no! Low sew mojo blow

I have taken a little time away from the challenges for sewweekly recently. I have been away a bit and so no machine but also I have hit a bit of a brick wall making a special outfit for a meet I have coming up... so I thought a bit of time off might help...

So, time to smell the flowers - look at this clematis growing on my cottage:

See the ducklings on the village pond:

and bake cookies with Miss Mia:

As far as the sewing goes, this is what I have made so far at dressmaking class:

Yep, ill fitting muslins. I am planning to get back onto the sewweekly challenges this week, here's a clue: