Friday, 23 October 2015

Friday I'm In Love

Hey Peeps!

How is everyone doing? During my blogging hiatus I kept myself busy and at least a little time every week has been spent drooling over gorgeous fabric on the interwebs. Now I don't need any new fabric, my stash has grown to gigantic proportions, but that has never stopped me looking for new pretties to adopt. For example....
White Orchids / Poppy Border
Garden Floral / Black Orchids
 .....these floral lovelies are just begging to be turned in to dresses, I don't care if summer is over I want all the flowers. I also want.....
Berries / Chocolates
 .....all the food related fabric it seems! Yesterday I posted a dress I've made with chocolate covered cherry fabric and there is also the Addiction dress with chocolate covered biscuits. I started off a little healthier with this gorgeous berries print but then I saw this chocolate and fruit combo and it was definitely love at first sight. Besides with these fabrics you are wearing the calories rather than ingesting them.........

I saw a lovely blogger (I can't remember who now!) who had made a gorgeous shirt dress out of the white/gold colour way of this beautiful Michael Miller border print and it took me no time at all to track it down and add it to my huge need wish list. Not only did I fall in love with the border print but I also added these metallic polka dots and chevrons to the list, I think all of them would make beautiful dresses which might be a little more Autumn/Winter appropriate than the florals above, what do you think?
Glitz Confetti / Glitz Polka Dot / Glitz Chevron
While I was in the metallic mood this gorgeous Michael Miller "Fairy Frost" fabric in this beautiful rich red and gold colour way jumped out at me. I have some of this fabric in a pale silver/white combo which got turned in to a dress last Christmas but I wasn't really in love with it (the dress that is not the fabric) thankfully I have enough fabric leftover to alter the bits I don't like but it's ended up on my mending pile where it's been languishing for months now as I hate alterations and repairs! I'd much rather make something new from scratch!
Fairy Frost in Hollyberry
 Last but definitely not least are these amazing fabrics......
Blood Spatter / Sailor Foxes
Lightening Sky 
......I've never minded what has become known as "Stunt Dressing" (I have dresses with half naked pin up girls and robots all over them) and I think all these fabrics would make awesome additions to my wardrobe. I particularly love the blood spatter one (not sure what this says about me) and I think it would make a fab dress to wear to a Halloween party if an all out costume wasn't required/your thing.

So there we go yet more fabric goodness that I wish I could buy but won't......who am I least one of these is going to end up in my stash......well maybe two three......but only three four. Someone stop me!

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Three Graces

 Hey Peeps!

So I made these dresses whilst I was out in Saudi visiting The Parental Units. I took loads of different sewing projects out with fact I think I had more fabric in my suitcases than actual clothes! Given that it's roughly a million degrees and you have to wear a big black sheet everywhere you go out there my packing did mostly consist of bikinis and cover ups (true story: I went to lunch in a 5* hotel wearing a bikini under my abaya..... I felt very naughty) but still this bunch of fabric is very well travelled! 
I fell in love with all these fabrics on first sight, the pink roses I found it in a shop in Ventnor (Isle of Wight) and the other two were from I got around to photographing these dresses once I was home from the desert in May and then I did nothing with them until now, whoops.

So you remember me telling you that I went blonde.....? Yup I went really blonde which was a whole bunch of fun from the bright red my hair had been. I think these photos show the blonde at it's best. I did like it but it didn't really feel like me, I missed the red. Anyway! The dresses.....

 .....I made these three out in Saudi and to date I've made eight......! It's a Kittenish Behaviour pattern which I've christened Grace (not overly sure why but I like it). It's a fitted sweetheart bodice with waistband and five panel circle skirt.
I initially designed this dress to be used with the beautiful laces I've brought back from around the world like this gorgeous specimen from Singapore....
.....shown here over the calico muslin. I decided that the bodice shape would work just as well without the overlay if I just raised the neckline a little bit so that's what I did.....
I think it's worked out quite well but it did mean that I needed to add twill tape to gather the neckline so that it didn't gape......
I also wanted a low back but I still wanted to be able to wear a normal bra so it hits just above the back band of my bra.....
 I really love these three cotton dresses and this pattern, so much so that I used it as my bridesmaid dress which I'll share in another post.

Before I go I thought you might like to see some outtakes.... I'm being dive bombed by a bumble bee (you can just about see him) and here I was trying failing to get twirly pictures....

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Project Floral Bag

Hey Peeps!

Long time no see, how have you all been? I've had the most amazing summer I can't quite believe it's October already, how did that happen? I've been very busy it seems that blogging kinda fell by the wayside. I've had birthdays, been on holiday, spent time with my fabulous friends and family, gone blonde.....and back to red, watched my Baby Bother get married (third times the charm LLB!) and generally been very busy making all the things! I've got a list of unblogged items that is nearly as long as my arm..... dressing gowns, dresses, coats, a WEDDING DRESS (yes I made my Sister In Law's aka Big Bird wedding dress..... so scary but also so amazing!), bags and last but not least photo albums.

Today I'm going to share my latest make.....Project Floral Bag......
 ......I finished this bag this evening and my first reaction was......"meh"......!!!! I think this meme explains my mindset though......
......I find I go through this process with nearly everything I make, sometimes it takes a while to progress past Stage 4 but I almost always do. Today and this bag was no exception. The "meh" lasted all of about forty minutes but they were a long forty minutes. I've had Project Floral Bag percolating in my head for a while now; about ten years ago I bought this bag....

.....from Accessorize. It was love at first sight, my inner Magpie was very happy indeed with all the sparkly bits and beautiful embroidery. As you can see it is now falling apart, not bad for ten years of hard use. I've never really been a bag person, I've owned one designer bag which was nice but I eventually sold it as I knew someone else would love it more and it was just a little bit too grown up for me. I like my bags shiny and impractical (c'mon that Accessorize bag is made of velvet and beaded!).

Project Floral Bag started out life in my head with me trying to recreate my Accessorize bag exactly, so I started out playing around with peacock motifs...
 .....which I liked but it dawned on me that I could rectify all the things about the Accessorize bag that had bugged me; a little too small for ALL the things I like to lug about with me, no zip and only one internal pocket. So I went back to the drawing board and drafted (ha! that sounds so fancy for what was in fact drawing out a very simple shape) a new and improved Hobo bag pattern with all the bells and whistles I wanted.

Once I had the basic shape of my bag decided on I drew it out on the brushed cotton twill I'd bought to give me a rough guide for the embroidery motifs.........oh the embroidery motifs!
Bloody Hell that was a labour of love. I'm not sure how the original peacock embroidery idea mutated into edge to edge floral motifs.....
......but five whole days (and some evenings) later I finally had a finished bag front and handle! There wasn't really a plan with the motifs I used.....there's  some fruit, a parrot and many many flowers in there and overall I think they work. If/when I do this again I think I'll work methodically from left to right instead of hooping one side then jumping to the other which meant I ended up kinda smooshing things into awkward gaps that were left in the middle. (It's Stage 4 of the creative process again there!) I used regular machine thread instead of embroidery thread for this project as that was all that I had available and I think it's worked out really well, a few of the motifs aren't quite right colour wise as I didn't have the hugest range of tonal colours to choose from but it looks beautiful all the same. (Embroidery thread is definitely on my Christmas wish list! I have so many more projects simmering away in my brain.....)

Next up was construction.....I did get the fear a bit when I thought about cutting into the embroidered fabric....what if I make a mistake??? All that work ruined! But I gave myself a stern talking to and just got on with it.....whats the worst that could happen??? Thankfully no huge errors were made and things went smoothly, I got the interior pockets I wanted..... zippered and one perfectly sized for my phone, I also added a key loop which I'd had in a previous bag and loved (this is a big bag to be fishing around in trying to find your keys!). Lining wise I fell in love with this shiny two tone lining fabric from Stone fabrics but decided that it was probably not a great idea to add pockets etc straight to that so I added a facing and lots of interfacing.....those pockets aren't going anywhere! The strap was interesting with a lot of trial and error (I've never made a bag before, there was definitely a learning curve.....) but I love how it's turned out. I'd originally thought of using an ivy leaf motif for the embroidery but it just wasn't on the right scale when I trialled it so I used these star/circles instead which I think are simple enough to not clash with the main body of the bag. 

All in all I'm very happy with my new bag and hopefully this one will last me the next ten years! 

Friday, 3 April 2015

Friday I'm In Love - The Birthday Wish List

Hey Peeps!

Happy Zombie Jebus weekend everybody! I hope you all have lots of lovely plans for the long weekend? Mine include lots and lots of sewing (no surprise there then!) I'm hoping to get the quilting finished on my second quilt and a few dresses made......totally doable.........I think.

This week I thought I'd combine my birthday wish list with my Friday favourites, two birds with one stone and all that! So yup it's my birthday coming up.....again. How is that possible? I'm sure I just had a birthday!! I can't possibly be another year older.......right? Right???

So the good thing about birthdays is that lovely people give you lovely things; hugs, cake (mmmmmm cake) and also pressies! It will come as no surprise to anyone that fabric features heavily on my wish list this year.....
Feathers on Black (2 metres) / Primevera Iris (4 metres)
Botanic Garden (4 metres) / Pansies (4 metres)
......first up is this gorgeous cotton sateen from Truro fabrics, I think it would look amazing as a wiggle dress (Papa has seconded this) which means less fabric which is good 'cause $$$$. Then we have this Iris print which I'm totally in love with, I'm thinking circle skirt and tight bodice (because of course I am!). Next is this oh so pretty cherry blossom print again I'm thinking circle skirt but Papa suggested making a two piece instead of a dress which I think is a genius idea, I'm thinking a little bolero jacket rather than a shirt though as these quilting cottons don't really lend themselves to drapey shirts. Lastly there is this totally drool worthy pansy print which is so beautiful (I think it's my favourite although I don't play favourites with my fabrics....honest...) these pansies will definitely become a dress.......tight bodice, circle skirt naturally.

Next up, if anyone was feeling super generous, we have this lovely thing.....
.......a huge fluffy petticoat from Vivien of Holloway given all the circle skirts I make it's surprising that I only own one crinoline! Mine is a gorgeous green vintage affair that I love but it doesn't really go with everything so I was thinking a cream one would be a great idea! Given how much these are I would happily welcome gift vouchers to help towards buying myself one.

And finally my geeky side is showing.....
Thug Kitchen 
Sonic Screwdriver / Chop-Sabers
....the Thug Kitchen has always made me giggle and drool at the same time, I think this cookbook would be so much fun. Next up is this Sonic Screwdriver.....I'm thinking of cosplaying at this years LFCC so this would be very handy and also awesome! Lastly light up chop-sabers.....NEED!

So there we go family and friend Peeps, I hope this helps!

Monday, 30 March 2015

Chiana vs The Bernina

Hey Peeps!

Why is it that whenever I decide to get my act together and start exercising my bodies first reaction is "oh no you don't! Here let me give you a cold so I can stop you in your tracks!" grrrr! Yup I'm feeling all poorly and sorry for myself....again! On a positive note spring has most definitely sprung here on the island.....
......the magnolia tree is in the background you can see the hail storm that hit us about twenty minutes after taking that picture! Ahhhhh the joys of living in the English countryside.

Despite feeling like death slightly warmed over there has been plenty of activity here, mainly of the crafting variety. I has the lovely Miss L come to stay for a long weekend which was mostly spent making yummy foods.....
Chocolate Orange Truffles 
Chocolate Mousse
 ........embroidering leather.....
......and generally messing about with paper.....
.....oh and we also fed the badgers, it's the only sane thing to do with your left over roast chicken..... they will eat the entire thing! All in all it was a lovely few days and Miss L has even agreed to come back in the not too distant future.

So I've been sorting out my photos and I found a whole bunch of Chiana over the last year and half, she used to be so teeny. It gave me an idea to do a Chiana vs..... series as she does seem to obsess over some of my inanimate objects. First Bernina, more specifically the embroidery unit of my Bernina....
.......when I brought her home she pretty much made a beeline straight for it. You can't really blame her, there is a perfect kitten sized hole ready made for napping in. The only problem is that is really was a kitten sized hole....
....totally acceptable when you are only fourteen weeks old, but......
.....unfortunately fourteen week isn't fully grown! Chi was convinced she still fit a few weeks later.....(she totally wanted that leg poking out at that awkward angel....honest)......
....but by six months there was no fooling anyone, the kitten sized hole had been totally outgrown. Chi will occasionally try and fit her butt back in it these days but never looks comfortable and never stays in it for long......she's been trying out other pieces of equipment though....
.......also not so comfy and also not napped on for long!

All in all March has been pretty awesome (despite the stupid cold) and there have been lots of things made.....
.....just none finished! I really have to be in the mood for hand sewing it seems.....Chiana judges me....

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Two Years Old And Counting...

Hey Peeps!

The Kittenish Behaviour Boutique is two years old! Fancy that. Today I thought I would go through some of the questions that I get asked on a regular basis......

Q. Kittenish Behaviour??? Where did that come from?
A. My very bestest friend nicknamed me Kitten many many MANY moons ago (we are talking like eighteen years ago, so thats a lot of moons!). The reasons were......on one of our first meetings I ended up curling up and falling asleep with my head in her lap and the other reason was our shared love of Georgette Heyer regency romance novels the lead heroine in one of our favourites is called Kitten. When I started this little blog back in 2010 Kittenish Behaviour seemed like the logical choice as I was going to be writing about my life and the crazy things I got up to. Two years ago when I decided to open up the boutique it seemed totally natural to keep on using the name. The rest is (recent) history.

Q. Why did you open the Kittenish Behaviour Boutique?
A. About twelve years ago I got myself my first computer and about eleven years, eleven months and twenty nines days ago I got myself my very first eBay account.......I have always loved vintage clothing and the USA seems to have the best selection. I spent hours trawling through the vintage listings and got myself many many lovely dresses. One day someone had listed something incorrectly and I stumbled upon Trashy Diva.....that was it. I was hooked! I think one of my first orders was for at least ten items (mostly sale items) and boy was that a shock when I got the import fee demand! I opened up the boutique because I love these American designers but was fed up of paying nearly £30-£40 extra per dress to have them in the UK, postage costs were high and the Import Fee Powers That Be were always cruel to me. I thought that if I wanted these dresses there had to be other UK Ladies that wanted them too. I worked out that if I imported the pretties and sold them myself then I could reduce that extra £30-£40 each individual dress was costing quite significantly.

Q. Is it just you?
A. Yes it's just me! Well unless you count Chiana my parcel inspector....
(she only inspects the parcels once they have been completely sealed, she gets no where near the contents!) and the hamster in the attic that keeps my dial-up modem running (ahhhh the joys of living in the land of no/little interwebs!).

And now some more of the serious questions I get asked.....

Q. Why are your UK postage charges so high?
A. The UK postage charges are high in general. If I'm posting to somewhere in the UK I charge £8.50 for tracked and insured service, the actual cost of postage is £8.45 (for one dress). I charge a flat rate of £8.50 (packaging is free!) regardless of how many dresses you order.....not that I'm trying to encourage you to buy more dresses!

Q. Why are your international postage charges so high?
A. Again the UK's postal charges are generally just high! Posting to the US for example costs from £19 upwards. I charge a flat rate of £22 (packaging is free!) , if your postage is significantly lower than this I will issue a refund for the difference but if your postage comes to more than £22 I won't ask you for the extra!

Q. I'd rather pay for a cheaper postal service with no insurance!
A. Really???? Think about'd rather save between £5-£10 on postage costs on your £100 plus dress. What if it gets lost in the post (this happens, it's happened to me)? Your dress has gone and your down £100, I can't send you another one.....was saving that £5-£10 worth it? I'm sorry but I won't send anything without insurance.

Q. Why do I have to pay import fees? Are import fee's covered in the postage costs?
A. I have no control over the import fees of other countries (wouldn't it be cool if I did though?!) I have to fill out a customs form for any parcel I send abroad and then it's in the hands of the Import Fee Powers That Be (bow down and worship them.....they might spare you!). Import fees are NOT covered in my postage costs and I can't be held responsible for them if the Import Fee Powers That Be are not kind to you.

Q. Why do you offer free worldwide postage and then wait so long to post my item?
A. I offer free worldwide postage only when I'm lucky enough to be going away on my holibobs (holidays to those of you that don't speak fluent Siân) which means that I am physically parted from all my lovely stock (believe me it's a wrench leaving all the pretties alone) and can't send your items out until I return from whatever distant land (usually Saudi Arabia or Nuneaton) I've been visiting! This is my way of saying thank you for your order but sorry I can't post it immediately, I know waiting for the pretties is tough!

Q. I'd like to buy one of your smaller items why have I got to pay the standard postage cost???
A. You don't! Contact me and I'll get you an accurate quote for the item you have your eye on.

Q. Your prices are higher than the designers prices for Trashy Diva and Bernie Dexter dresses, whats going on?
A. Yes my prices are slightly higher than you would find buying direct from the designers and that's because I've had to pay shipping to the UK and the import fees for the pretties (the Import Fee Powers That Be are never kind to me). I've tried to keep the prices as low as I can though.

Q. You have items on your boutique that are out of stock......why!!! Why you tease us?
A. I keep items showing that are out of stock because in most cases I can order you another one. I do take down items that are no longer available from the designers.

Q. I would like to buy a certain dress but you either a. don't stock it or b. you stock it but not in my size?
A. Get in touch I'm happy to order in specific dresses for you, you just need to let me know!

Q. Woop! Woop! You'll order me a specific dress? I love you! (Steady on there!)
A. Yes I certainly will. If you are after a specific dress I am happy to order that for you. For me to place an order with either Trashy Diva or Bernie Dexter I have to reach a minimum spend amount. What I do is put you on the Custom Order Wishlist. As soon as I have enough orders (usually 3) to meet the minimum spend I will contact you to check if you still want your dress. If you do still want your dress then you buy Kittenish Behaviour gift vouchers, I place the order.....happiness ensues! (If you for some reason don't like your dress I will issues you a cash refund so you aren't stuck with gift vouchers that you might not be able to use for a while but I only offer this refund on gift vouchers if they are directly connected to the Custom Order Wishlist service)

Q. Can I exchange my gift vouchers for cash?
A. Only if they were bought as part of the Custom Order Wishlist service otherwise I'm afraid not, but if there is something you really want that I don't currently stock just never know I might be able to order it in for you!

Q. I love the dress but in real life it just doesn't work for me.....*super sad face*
A. Online shopping is both awesome and sucky in equal measure. No crowds, ability to eat chocolate whilst shopping from your comfy sofa but no ability to try on your pretties before you spend your hard earned cash. If for some reason your item isn't exactly what you'd hoped it would be I will of course refund you. You just need to return the item to me within a week of your receiving it and you must use an insured postal service!!

Q. Sizing!!! Argh...... unclear, are they UK sizes are they US sizes?
A. There is a lovely sizing chart linked to the measurements of each item on the item page but as a rule of thumb, if you are drooling over a Trashy Diva lovely then the sizes listed are Trashy Diva (USA) sizes. Same goes for Bernie Dexter beauties!

Q. You don't reply to my emails?
A. This is odd as I love to chat! If I'm not replying to your emails it's because I'm not getting them (my Tech Guy is willing to back me up on this) there have apparently been a few problems with the service which we (HA! We! Read that as though I'm asking and my Tech Guy is doing) are working on fixing. In the meantime there are lots of ways to contact me...... email me at if that doesn't work message me on the Facebook Page or you could even call me on 01983 857144 I promise I don't bite (unless you ring me at like 7am....then I probably will have been warned!)

If you have any other questions please feel free to get in contact with me, like I mentioned I love to chat! These last couple of years have been quite an experience but I wouldn't change them for the world!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Friday I'm In Love

Hey Peeps!

Twice in one week! Don't faint, stranger things have happened......can't think of them right now but I'm pretty sure they have. I thought I'd get back in to posting my "Friday I'm In Love's", I really like looking for new fabric and even though I'm not buying any new fabric at the moment.....honestly (except for linings that is) I still like looking. Just looking.....there isn't 3 yards of stripy goodness on it's way too me as I type.....but as soon as that's arrived then that's it......promise. Well of course there is three weeks in Riyadh coming up but after that no more fabric until I've used everything I already have......because of course that's going to happen!

Anyway shall we have a look at this weeks addiction fuel......
Iris and Orchid / Gold Arrows
Baby Avengers / Lilies 
.......first up is this gorgeous digital print. As it is the scale would be too small for my tastes but the great thing about Spoonflower is that you can contact the designer and usually they are willing to work with you so you get exactly what you want. Unfortunately they seem to have stopped offering the cotton silk blend I love but they do have cotton sateen which is the same price so I shall try that out next time I place an order......which won't be until I've turned all the fabric I already own into clothes, quilts etc..........*cough* moving swiftly on. Next up is the gold arrows which I think is so beautiful and I already have plans for interestingly pieced bodices *le sigh*. Then there is this cute Baby Avengers fabric which would make an awesome pair of PJ's and lastly another digital floral print which again I would ask for on a slightly different scale to the current one.

I also thought I'd share what I'm loving dancing to and singing along badly with listening to at the moment.....
......I don't watch TV very often and when I do I tend to get up and do something during the adverts because I'm an advertisers dream....must have all the things! Well the new Cadburys advert has "Yes Sir, I can boogie" playing which I love and led to the purchase of this album, it's awesome. Now if you'll excuse me I'll be over in the corner practising my hustle!

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Coming Up Roses

Hey Peeps!

How is everyone? I'm aching all over as I have (yet again) decided to take up exercise as a daily thing .....why???? Well I know exactly why.....I've put on well over a stone and a half since moving down to the island last year and my clothes have started feeling a little.....restrictive shall we say, not good. My diet really wasn't helping (pancetta, cheese and sour cream baguettes taste soooooo good) so I've started eating much healthier food which has gotten me a stone towards my goal weight but I've realised that as blessed as I have been in the genetics department diet alone will no longer cut it.....ahhhh they joys of getting older. So I'm making friends with Jillian Michaels.....again.

When I started this blog back in 2010 (ohhhh mmmmm geeeee how long ago?) I was well in to a fitness regime involving Ms Michaels and it was really working. I kept a daily log of how I was feeling and coping with her videos which I found made for interesting reading (well for me it did). When I started back then I was at what I would now consider my goal weight (ha!) and trying to get down to a weight I had been at my very skinniest purely so I could wear a lovely (and very expensive) pair of jeans that had been tailored to fit me perfectly. Now while I wouldn't mind getting in said expensive jeans I would be very happy if I could just get to what my starting weight was back then! This time around I have taken some "Before" photos so I can see how far I get but until I'm totally (mostly) happy with the "After" pictures there is no way I'm putting them out there for the whole interwebs to see. I still can't believe it's been five years since I started this! How on earth does that happen???

So I do have something new to share with you's this.....
 .......I'm so in love with this coat. I made it ages ago but totally chickened out of finishing it when it came to putting the buttonhole in. I was terrified my machine would chew it up and spit it out and I would cry. I had no grounds for these fears my machine has behaved beautifully anytime I have ever asked it to do buttonholes but for some reason I got the fear! Looking back I think I would try a bound buttonhole next time (and there will be a next time) but for this version I finally settled on a giant press stud as the closure which works perfectly but left the front of the coat looking a little plain. Enter Big Bird......she took me shopping in Stratford which has so many lovely little shops and in one of them I found this awesome 1930's (apparently) brooch which the magpie in me was very happy about.
The coat pattern itself is something I copied from an All Saints coat that I have and have nearly loved to death (sooooo many rips in the lining...sad face) the original is actually a tail coat but it really doesn't work over the huge 50's style dresses I love to wear so I played around with the back pieces until I came up with this.....
......I found the fabric years ago on eBay and snapped it up. It's a heavy weight barkcloth type fabric and as soon I saw the huge green roses I knew I wanted it to be a coat but put off doing anything about it for so long....I'm very glad I finally pulled my finger out! I worn this out a few times since I finished it and it always gets far they have all been complimentary!
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P.S. Yes Papa I took these photos back in February.....that is still my old hair do!