Thursday, 4 February 2016

Plus Sized Fashion: Collectif Tura Woodland Bloom blouse.

Honestly I'm not a blouse person. I'm more of a smock person. However at 7 quid I thought I'd give this pretty blouse a go. It is chiffon. For some reason I thought it would have an in built slip. It doesn't!

This is me in the Tura. I just went for the 18 as it said it was true to size. It fits ok, but is slightly tight on my (huge, but 8cm less huge than 4 weeks ago) belly. The sleeves are big enough even when fastened with the little button. The bow is a nice feature. 

I had to dig out a vest top because I really do not want my underwear on show to all, but I think I will wear this even though I don't normally display my ar*e as its so big right now.

Those jeans are Tesco F&F btw and they fit really well. I got them in the sale just after christmas and wish I'd bought more.

On the subject of weightloss, I've not had much. I joined the '8 week transformation' at my local gym, the Unit Fitness at the beginning of January. I've been attending 3 training sessions a week like a good girl, eating what they tell me (no bread or pasta <sigh>) and had my 4 week stats (check in) yesterday, at 6.45am, when some folk were just finishing a training session (what the?!)

I've only lost 4.5lb which is kind of sh*t, however I've lost inches off my waist, hips and wrists (eh?!) and a bit off my calves. My thighs are stubbornly refusing to shift anything, but I think I'm losing it just above my knees because they don't seem as porky on the photo above. I could be just imagining it, but that's ok. If I can fit into my Cath Kidston dress again I'll be happy. If I can fit into Collectif size 18 jeans (this photo was 3.5 weeks ago) I'll be ecstatic!!

Bagmaking: Swoon Harriet for the lady who sews

So here we are. Harriet. A pretty quick sew, but not an easy one as my machine did NOT like working with the faux leather. Its not been too bad in the past, but I think its had enough now and is refusing to play ball. I spent HOURS trying to get it to work, fiddling with the tension and the threads and the needles etc etc and it still isn't perfect.
As a result, I'm not happy with the top stitching on the handles, or the attachment of the base which looks messy as I had to restitch a few times which is a no-no for leatherette. Overall though I'm happy, but I actually wish I'd used foam not fleece to stabilise as its a bit floppy for my liking. Honestly I should know this by now but I wanted to follow the instructions as far as possible.

This is what it looks like with the zips open. You can see the contrast fabric at the sides.

This is with the zips closed

This is inside. There's a zipped pocket and a couple of slip pockets.

And slightly closer up showing the flip lock that I'm rather proud of (it took me ages to install this as I was trying to be ever so precise)

Fabrics used as below: 

Vintage Couturier in Cream by Robert Kaufman

Accents and zipped pocket in Fancy and Fabulous by Riley Blake

Lining in I'm a Maker by Art Gallery

Faux Leather came from Doughtys Online

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Bagmaking: The January Bag of the Month 2016 - the Backgammon bag Betz White

Its that time of year again. Bag of the Month club is basically a subscription service in which you pay a set amount for 6 patterns from 6 designers which will remain unavailable to the general public. Its a very social event for us bagmakers (online social that is!) and there are prizes available. 
For the next 5 months I shall be attempting to get these bags completed before the next pattern is released ( I didn't manage it last year - there are 2 I still haven't sewn - so this is my challenge)

I completed my January Bag with time to spare. This is called the Backgammon bag for obvious reasons. The designer for January is Betz White (who also designed a bag for last years BOTM club - which is one of the ones I managed to make)

The pattern actually states you can have pockets front and back, but I only had a fat quarter of the Robert Kaufman retro bulbs fabric which was what I based the bag around. Therefore it has one pocket on the front. 

The green fabric I got half price from John Lewis - I assumed it would be quite thick and solid, but actually, its fairly thin and has 4 way stretch. Which foxed me a bit. 
I made some piping with it as I felt the flap and the top of the pocket needed to look a bit neater. 
The front pocket is secured with a magnetic snap.
There is also a zipped inner pocket.

Overall, I'm very happy with this bag. It comes together very quickly and has a nice shape to it. Its a good size for an every day handbag. The front pocket for me is where I'd plonk my phone - I think a fair few folk have chosen to split it into two compartments but I left mine alone. I think it has quite a retro look.

Itsy Yellow Check (Makower)
Lining and flap

Boiled wool in Forest green from John Lewis
Outer, strap.

Aunties Attic Olive retro bulbs canvas (Robert Kaufman)

Contrast, Inner Pocket, Flap and Strap

Monday, 25 January 2016

Dressmaking: the small childs Matilda dress Burda 9424

Honestly, there's not a lot to say about this. I didn't enjoy it one bit. The pattern is rubbish. I just ignored it because it was very very unhelpful. I can't even be bothered to describe why, it just is.

As you can see I veered of script and added a gathered skirt, because it just looked wierd as ever so slightly a-line.

I had to line it, because this is curtain fabric and frays like a b*gger.

My automatic buttonholer seems to have a life of its own. It makes its own choices every single time. So the buttonholes are different lengths. The lady who purchased this has not mentioned it and neither have I.

No more clothes for other people or other peoples children. I mean it this time. I must be strong!

Plus Sized Fashion: Scarlett and Jo at Evans and a bit of Hell Bunny. Jeans that don't fit from collectif.

Yeah. I've been buying again. first up is this Blue floral button front dress from S&J. I like a bit of S&J. Their clothes are always comfortable and well cut. I really liked the shape of this dress on the Evans website, and it was in the sale for £20. 
I didn't love it so much when I tried it on though sadly. There wasn't enough fullness in the skirt for me (actually thats fair enough, its quite a 40s style and the skirts weren't full) but I prefer more, well, swoosh. I love the yolk detail, but I just felt frumpy. So I returned it. I'm at the point where if something doesn't make me feel grand, I won't keep it.

Then there was this. The printed mesh front dress. I think that I would actually love this in another colourway. I adore fluted sleeves and I like the sweetheart detailing, but I feel this does nothing for me, and in all honestly I don't need more work wear (I wear jeans most days anyway) so I returned this to. Check me out being all strict with myself!

Don't laugh. This is what it looks like when things spectacularly don't fit. I bought these collectif Rebel Kate jeans in my normal collectif size (18) for half price. I think I probably need more like a 24. I am keeping them as a measuring gauge (because I started a Body Transformation course nearly 3 weeks ago - I won't go into that here as its not very exciting and involves the gym and an eating plan) I shall see if the gap has shortened in a few weeks time <snort>

What I did keep. I saw this Hell Bunny harriet dress being worn by someone on facebook a couple of weeks ago and she/it looked lovely. I've seen it advertised a million times and never given it a second glance as it looked pretty ordinary, but all of a sudden... I WANTED IT!

I think its the colour and the bodice fit and the swishy skirt that made it a must have for me. Only found one in the UK on the Rockamilly site, and as fate would have it, whilst I was umming and ahhing about spending the full price on a frock (I normally won't) she posted a 20% discount code. Well, okay then. It came. I loved it immediately.

Its our 11th wedding anniversay today, so I wore it for a meal out with JP on Saturday. It was a fairly bad hair day so I stuck a flower in it and off we went :)

He looks thrilled doesn't he. He hates having his photo taken!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Plus sized fashion - what I bought in the sales

Actually I have been very restrained this year. I have gotten so big as to be uncomfortable, and therefore haven't purchased that much.

I also didn't get this one in the sales but it was so cute and only £12. Hard to tell, but its a festive tunic, with skaters and suchlike. I saw it on a friend and had to have it. The problem with Tu @Sainsburys is the sizing is all over the place. The top I'm wearing today is a 14, however the one in the pic below is a 20 (I probably could have gotten away with an 18 but they didn't have any left)

Collectif penny £12

Seriously. I had to didn't I - for that price? This is an 18. I doubt I'll wear it unless I get some tummy off though, and the neckline is supposed to be crossover but I find that unbearable, so I'd wear it halter style like this.

Lindy Bop Adriei - £23.99

I really love this dress, although its currently too tight on the bust (Lindy Bop also have very random sizing and usually I'd have more issues with the waist rather than the bust as I'm an apple shape - this is an 18) I like the simplicity of this. It has lovely shaping around the bust area and very stretchy fabric. I anticipate 8 weeks of the gym will allow this to fit properly!

Scarlett and Jo Black floral dress (from Evans £22)

This is so pretty. I have to size down in S&J so this is a 16. The sweetheart neckline is a little low for my liking and I'm not that well endowed so there's no cleavage to show off.  However, I love it, I like the longer length. I kept it. 

Scarlett and Jo Black keyhole tunic (from Evans £20)

I really wasn't sure if this is meant to be a top or a dress. I'd never wear this as a dress as I cannot bear getting my legs out, but I might wear it with leggings. I ummed and ahhed about this, then decided to return it. Its nice, but not nice enough.

Scarlett and Jo Black keyhole dress (from Evans £20)

I really didn't consider keeping this. I think because I tried it on after the floral dress and it felt too short. I'm not sure why I'm not keen otherwise, as the bodice is a lovely shape. I think there's something about the colour I just don't agree with. Can't explain that...

I didn't buy these. My youngest bought them for me (ok, he asked daddy to buy them) Gold sparkly with pompoms. What more could a mother want?!!

Bagmaking: Things I have made

In all honestly I'm struggling to remember anything at the moment, let alone things I have made. So I shall post what I recall and I'm sure the rest will come to me!

Christmas presents:

This was a request from my mother in law. She chose the Cath Kidston fabric, and told me the shape and handles she wanted, I just winged it from there. I didn't use a pattern - the only vaguely complicated bit was making a zipped gusset.

This was for my mum. Its the free retreat bag pattern from Emmaline bags, and uses a wire frame to hold the bag open. Its fairly sturdy. The flowerpots are because she is gardener extraordinaire. The external fabric is a cotton linen japanese mix from

This was for my sister. She likes elephants (well she did, a long time ago. I was kind of hoping she still does!) Self drafted.

This was for my friend Tanja, whose housewarming I attended yesterday. She likes fairytale stuff. The pattern is from Clobird, and its called Fiona.

And a commission:

The pattern was free, but I made it into a backpack instead of a handbag