Friday, 28 November 2014

Friday I'm In Love

Hey Peeps!

I've had another industrious week of Christmas present making which has really gotten me in to the festive mood......that and the fact that Christmas has thrown up on all the shops around the island and you can't escape it wherever you go! This has definitely effected my mood whilst fabric browsing this week, I love the idea of wearing a Christmas themed dress at Christmas (I did it last year and plan on doing the same this year) so this type of fabric browsing was inevitable. and heres what I've added to my wish list.

First up........
Mini Ornaments / Holly Leaves
Winter Essentials / Snowflakes
.......these gorgeous white fabrics, I think these would be a great way of wearing a themed dress which isn't screamingly obvious as a Christmas dress. We've got baubles, holly leaves, seasonal wording and my personal favourite snowflakes. Given the amount of eating you are likely to be doing on the day in question a white dress may not be the most practical choice but I think it would look lovely.

I also looked for some more traditional prints and colours......
Christmas Star / Metallic Cardinals / Winter Berries
Winterberry Botanical Green 
.......all of these would make lovely Christmas dresses. I particularly like the holly berry garlands on the dark green background, just think of all the fun you could have with different fabric placements.... I'm thinking of a chevroned bodice and horizontal striped skirt.

To me Christmas isn't Christmas without a poinsettia in the house (no idea where that's come from so I looked it up, here if you're interested.....thank you Joel Roberts P!) so I had to include this one.....
Poinsettia 
Silver Holly / My True Love Gave To Me Holly / Seasons Greetings Holly
......along with these holly and mistletoe fabrics. I love all the metallic accents in the two holly fabrics which is very appropriate at Christmas plus it appeals to the magpie in me.....mmmmm shiny, excites!

Lastly I found these.....
Snowflake Blur / Holiday Glitter
Holiday Yule Critters
......in the UK we rarely get proper snow and when we do get it it's never on Christmas day which sucks. Christmas day with a full on blanket of snow, friends and family, a roaring fire and lots of yummy food would be awesome....as long as the snow would then magical disappear on Boxing day so everyone can go about their business.....ahhhh a girl can dream. I love both of these snowflake fabrics which have an added bit of metallic sparkle (magpie alert!) but again with the white background/Christmas food issues. Finally I have no idea why I like this last fabric it's overly cutesy (even for me......I have some fabric with frolicking Pugs on it for crying out loud!)  and very in your face (again, even for me.....I have fabric with day glow tree frogs on it!) but I really do like it. Although I think I would probably make myself Christmas PJ's out it rather than a dress....probably.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Christmas Wish List

Hey Peeps!

I say this every time I put one of these lists together; apparently I'm hard to buy presents for! I don't see it myself......fabric, anything sewing related, shiny or made of chocolate and I'm a happy bunny. Mind you I could narrow those areas down a little bit so here goes.....

Books....
The Complete Photo Guide To Perfect Fitting / Winter Blooms
Fashionary Notebook / Couture Sewing Techniques
......there are lots and lots of sewing/knitting books that I've got my eye on but I think these four are top of my list. I'm trying to get better at fitting and could certainly use all the help I can get, especially as I'm making a wedding dress next year! I would love to learn to knit and the patterns in this book look gorgeous, I'm fully aware that I couldn't start off with one of these but it would be good to have something to aim for and drool over whilst I'm learning. The Fashionary notebook is awesome for planning and you all know how much I love making lists, well with this I could make lists with pretty pictures too! Finally I think Couture Sewing would be a fascinating read and again it would certainly help with wedding dress making.

Patterns.....
Vogue V9015 / Deer & Doe Chataigne Shorts
Papercut Bellatrix Blazer
.....there aren't actually that many patterns that I've got my eye on at the moment which surprises me (must have ALL the patterns!). First up is this Vogue number, I've been on a bit of a PJ making marathon this past week and whilst PJ's are lovely I do like nightgowns as well. Also I was thinking I could use them as slips under some of the dresses I've been making recently, I tend to only line the bodices of my dresses so there has been some tights stickage occurring. Next I've had my eye on this Deer and Doe shorts pattern for ages but always shied away due to the difficulty of fitting trousers but I've decided to "Man up wetpants!" and at least give them a try. Lastly is the Papaercut Bellatrix Blazer which is gorgeous and I think would fit perfectly into my wardrobe.

Thread....... 
Popular 50
Popular 20 / Metallics / Naturals / Pastels
......my foray into machine embroidery was so much fun even with the very crappy thread I used (note to self do not buy cheap thread from eBay!) I'm still working on getting the software to work on my Mac (It's designed to only run with Windows programmes and only Windows 7 not the 8.1 I've got installed....bugger) but I once that's working there are so many things I want to try and for that I need good thread!! These are definitely pipe dreams (don't expect anyone to spend that on a Christmas pressie) but just look how pretty....le sigh.

Tools..........
Clapper / Pinking Shears
Stitch Markers / Circular Needles 
........I'd really really like a clapper set for seams (happy clapper seams), also some pinking shears (how do I not have pinking shears?), some stitch markers and finally a set of circular knitting needles. Nuff said.

Finally......fabric........
Denim Dots (3 metres) / Red Cotton Sateen (3 metres) / Polka Dot Wool (4 yards)
Tula Medium Cotton (4 metres) / Tula Medium Cotton (4 metres)
.....it wouldn't be a wish list without some fabric. Clearly I'm having a thing for polka dots at the moment in the forms of stretch denim, cotton sateen and 100% wool......mmmmmm polka dotty goodness. I'm also trying to make some wardrobe basics (well as basic as a fit and flare dress can be) and I love both of these colours, still feeling very autumnal it seems.

So there we go friend and family peeps I'm not at all difficult to buy for......honest!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Friday I'm In Love

Hey Peeps!

How is everyone? Ive had a lovely week making lots and lots of Christmas presents, I was determined to have everything organised this year and not have a mad last minute rush which I think I might actually manage.

Whilst making all these things I've also managed to spend some time browsing fabrics too (shocking, I know).......
A New Leaf / Autumn Scenic Trees
Shades of the Season /  Autumn Forest
.....clearly all the cold weather and changing leaves have affected my choices. I love the colours you see at this time of year and these fabrics are all gorgeous I'd happily wear dresses in any one of these (which is a good job as I may have some of the Autumn Scenic Trees loveliness on it's way to me right now......).

I've also been looking for some more "normal" fabrics to make trousers, skirts and dresses out of because I can't have an entire wardrobe filled with quirky prints.....can I? This I find much much harder to do because all the bonkers loveliness calls out to me and I get distracted. I did mange to find this however......
Rebecca Taylor Polka Dot Wool
........it's a gorgeous lightweight wool fabric from Mood. Not the most normal of fabrics I grant you but ages and ages ago I had a lovely pair of polka dot wool trousers from French Connection which I mostly loved except that they weren't high waisted. I have such a long body that I used to flash a bit of belly every now and then when I was wearing them. I ended up giving them to Tatty (bestest friend) so they would get used and I could love them from afar. This Rebecca Taylor fabric is $18 (£11.50ish) a yard which isn't at all bad so I'm thinking it might just go on my Christmas wish list. Then I'll have the joys of trouser making to contend with......hmmm it would look really good as a skirt too right?

Monday, 17 November 2014

Sewvember Part One

Hey Peeps!

I stumbled across Bimble & Pimble's Instagram Sewvember challenge completely by accident......
......I thought it was a brilliant idea so I've been taking part. I was planning on a round up post at the end of November but I realised that would end being very long so I'm going to split it in to two. Here goes....
Day 1: Sewing Space.....
.....I'm lucky enough to have a dedicated sewing room which is awesome. The only thing I don't do in there is tracing and cutting patterns, I use the island in the kitchen for that.

Day 2: Technique.....
......I love using bias binding for Hong Kong seam finishing, so pretty.

Day 3: Stash.....
......my stash is getting rather large and has never knowingly been under fluffed by Chiana.

Day 4: WIP (Work In Progress).....
......the Deer & Doe Belladone dress in this gorgeous Toadstool Terrariums fabric from Spoonflower (I've finished it just got to photograph it for the blog now).

Day 5: Tools....
......I have quite a few tools that I use regularly and it was weird/interesting sewing at my Mum's without them, quilters and dressmakers have really different needs when sewing it seems.

Day 6: You.....
......Me!

Day 7: Insides.....
.......the insides of my Birthday Lawn dress, the bias binding was a pain to do (on SEVEN skirt panels) but so worth it as looks so pretty inside and out (I think).

Day 8: Signature Style.....
......this was easy, I love fitted bodices and full circle skirts with the occasional wiggle dress thrown in for good measure.

Day 9: Next Project....
.....I was planning on making the Sewaholic Minoru next but I'm still waiting on the zips and lining to turn up, it's next on the list though.

Day 10: Inspiration....
....Pinterest (of course) I also love that I can organise my inspiration there too making finding the things I love so much easier.

Day 11: Early Make....
.......the first thing I ever made was a balck velvet bakers boy cap with some beading on the peak but that's long gone now. I got properly back into sewing in 2011(ish), I'd taken a whole weekend off and ended up churning out four of this Butterick pattern which I still wear now.

Day 12: Favourite Finish.....
......french seams and bias binding baby!

Day 13: View.....
........not the most inspiring view but it does have added pretty kitty.

Day 14: UFO (Unfinished Object)....
.......an Anna dress in black Gaberdine with turquoise blue bias binding finish. All this dress needs is the hem to be finished but I just can't bring myself to do it as I really really don't like the facings, they feel really uncomfortable.

Day 15: Sewing Library....
.....I'm not sure three books constitutes a library but it's what I've got. I do have a few books on my Christmas wish list though.

I've loved seeing everyone else's pictures, it's really interesting getting a glimpse in to other peoples sewing lives. Thank you so much to Amanda for coming up with this idea!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

I Promise I Make Other Things....

Hey Peeps!

How is everyone? It's still bloody cold here and very very rainy which means that I'm still in the kitchen hugging the Aga (I love the Aga) but that's ok because the kitchen island is the perfect height for the tracing and cutting out of patterns. I've gotten quite a few done this week, mostly ones that will be used for Christmas pressies but also the Sewaholic Minoru jacket and the vintage Butterick 7461 dressing gown I've been planning for ages.

They aren't what I'm going to be showing you today though.....
......it's another Anna (I promise I really do make other things!). I made this Anna dress with the birthday fabric Big Bird and Little Bother got me this year (back in April) it's a gorgeous tropical print lawn from Truro Fabrics and I love it. It was a little see through so I underlined the whole dress in plain white cotton lawn which has made for some really pretty insides, I was cursing my love of this pattern when I was finishing off all the seams with bias binding but I'm so glad I did. I also took my other "proper" Anna dress out to Saudi with me and Papa kindly took some piccies......
.......as you can probably tell I love this pattern and I'm sure there will be more in my future for now though I'm planning warm snuggly coats and flannel lined dressing gowns.....did I mention I hate being cold?

Friday, 7 November 2014

Daisy Dress

Hey Peeps!

Bad news: I'm back on the Isle of Wight and it's bloody freezing! Good news: the Aga has been turned back on so I'm currently camped out in the kitchen hugging it....I hate being cold.

Today I've got a dress to share which isn't an Anna hybrid......shock horror....I've made ten of them now and I love them all but I do make other things too! It's still a By Hand London pattern though, the Flora this time....
....I've nicknamed this the Daisy Dress because both Mum and I think the embroidery motif I picked kinda looks like a cows face....
........well sort of. This is the first time I've really used the embroidery module that came with my sewing machine and it wasn't without it's problems. I found the thread on eBay and it was very cheap and my machine hated it. So many broken threads and having to reduce the speed to it's slowest meant this took three times as long to stitch out as it should have but I'm so glad I persevered as I love it. I have also learnt my lesson and invested in some lovely threads for the next attempt.

The dress itself wasn't without it's problems either. I originally traced out the bodice pattern according to my waist measurement and then did the standard alterations I always need; a three inch FBA and lengthening the bodice by an inch. The first FBA resulted in a bodice that Jessica Rabbit could have worn with ease so I tried making up the standard bodice which squished things down uncomfortably. In the end I decided to spilt the difference and added an inch and half FBA which fitted much better but ended up with weird side darts so I messed about with those until I was happy. When I traced out the skirt pieces I used the largest size as a length guide otherwise the skirt may well have been indecent! I finished the skirt hem with some satin bias binding as I knew you would be able to see whatever finished was used so I wanted it to be pretty.

Overall I'm very happy with how this dress finally turned out, the very first iteration of this dress had a plain bodice which I really liked until I showed Papa over FaceTime and he immediately christened it "The Poorhouse Dress", Papa is not a fan of chambray it seems! I on the other hand love it (so soft and so easy to work with) so that is where the embroidery inspiration came from. I'm still playing around with all the things my machine can do but I'm quite sure there will be more embroidered panels in my future as well as more Floras.