Friday, 24 May 2013

Kicking myself for not waiting for the sale

because of course everything at Kaleidoscope is now 20% of instead of just 10%. Never mind. I'm just kicking my heels waiting for the dress form. I'm not used to waiting for ages for a delivery dammit!

Plus, got the wrong delivery of fabric - I got blue stars instead of dots. I did tell the bloke and he was lovely and sent the right order immeidately with an envelope to return the stars.I have since realised however, that I cannot part with either (and the polka doesn't match my shoes, because its white based not cream based) so I'm going to have to email him back and tell him he just made an extra sale...

Onto other matters - Noah has shown some artistic flair this week. This is a drawing of me and him. And some rocks, apparently.


Also, I got me a lovely Next dress from ebay. £3.40. Its kind of a little girls style summer dress, but it makes my knockers look bigger than they are. Always a bonus!

So, in summary, I have been not doing much sewing of late, unless you count patching up school trousers. I really really want that dress form before I start again because I want to make up the swing dress in blue stars but with more modifications. C'mon already and arrive!

Monday, 20 May 2013

In which I trick the hubby into agreeing I can buy a dressmakers dummy, and make a confession about vintage fairs.

Actually 'trick' is a bit harsh on me. I didn't trick him. I asked outright if he minded me buying one. He said 'yeh thats fine' without having a clue what I was on about. He can't say I didn't ask though!

I got it from Kaleidoscope for £67.50 (10% discount). Its not perfect (as in the torso is static so I can't adjust back height), but the sizing is right, and its better than not having one and using the chair back/sticking pins in me. I am v. excited - it should arrive this week if I'm lucky.

The weekend was spent entertaining small children as usual, but I did get to go to Cambridge on Saturday morning for an hour.
I have to confess something too <whispers> I didn't like the vintage fair much </whispers>
 I realised quite quickly that I can't be bothered to rummage through rails of tat. I only liked the vintage jewellery, but nothing 'spoke' to me. I tried on a couple of hats that were ok but too expensive to buy. I also quite liked the vintage repro store, but none of the dresses were great so I mooched off again. I didn't see anywhere doing hair and makeup as promised - maybe they were hiding or coming later.
I ended coming out with two things. A voluminous 70's dress which swamps even me, and a cream beret the lady I bought the dress from gave me for free. I bought the dress because I love the fabric (pansies I think) and theres loads of it. I'm loathe to cut it up, but I'm going to.

I may try to make something along the lines of the collette chantilly with it. Just because I actually like the gathered bodice. I will chop off the bottom frill and the sleeves have to go! I may put them back on in smaller form. I will also replace the elastic below the bust with a band like the chantilly. Not sure yet. When I get my dress form, I'll be able to play.


This is the boys tree climbing in Ellsworth. Daddy bought them ice-creams which made things a little tricker but they still managed to get up there. Noah won't remove his Peter Pan hat since I made it on Thursday, and put the matching t-shirt on too.  (He located this in the laundry basket - its covered in food from the previous day when he was at a Tinkerbell party. Bleugh)

Friday, 17 May 2013

Tomorrow I shall be endeavouring to escape, even if only for a couple of hours...

I have informed the hubby. Its his turn to take the boys swimming anyway, so he won't have to cope without me for too long.

Then we have two parties to attend - one 4th Birthday for Noah, and one 6th Birthday for Joey.
Noahs outfit is ready (unless he loses his new Peter Pan hat at nursery today) and Joey will not be needing one.

I quite like taking them to parties - if you discount the sugar intake - I get to chat to the parents and sneak some cake into me :)

I'm claiming my site!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Do I move Location?

I'm currently not sure whether to stay with wordpress (, or move to blogger, which is what you are looking at now.

See, wordpress irritates me - I don't want to pay to change my fonts and wotnot - and with blogger you can do that FREE.

The only think I don't like about blogger is that you can't have child pages. As you can see - I've had to put the pages on links to the right - but there's no sub-pages. Does it matter. Really?

I think I should move. Should I move? Or should I just continue to post on both LOL.

I haven't done much sewing this week. This is because my patterns have been lost in the post. I did make Noah a Peter Pan hat and boots yesterday though. After much pressure to do so. Thats it though!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Foxie trousers - finished :)


I finished off Noahs trousers this morning and he is wearing them for nursery. If there is any test of durability - it is wearing things to nursery!

I'm very happy with this pair. I made the waistband taller so they have more chance of staying up. I love the colour. I think I'll make a vest top for him with the remainder. I also think I'll make some shorts - possibly in the tiger fabric but with the waistband like these. Joey may even wear those!



Sunday, 12 May 2013

Tigers, foxes, flowers, bows and wicked hair.

So firstly, the good news. Noah has finally accepted his tiger trousers. He wore them today. Phew. Not a wasted effort then!. I now have to decide what to do with the remainder of the fabric. IMAG4139

Secondly, I have very nearly finished a new pair - the foxie trousers (just need to sew up the waistband) Its so quick when you've done it (and made umpteen mistakes) once already.  These only took and hour or so to cut and sew and Noah is enthusiastic about this pair - he seems to like them better with cuffs. He actually said they are 'so nice mummy' - but 3 year olds are fickle - he may change his mind tomorrow. Bad photo as taken in poor light. Its so late I can't be ar*ed to get the machine out again, change the needle to a double, and get going, but I'm so close.


Thirdly, bed hair. Mostly its bad. On Joey, however, its cool. Seriously - how much does this child rock his slept on hair? That never happens to me LOL!


Finally - I'm still trying to embellish this flipping bag. I tried a gathered flower with a button in the middle:


The I tried making a bow:


I'm still not convinced. Noah did say 'that's a lovely bag mummy' and I do take his critiques seriously (was trying on a dress the other day - "No" he said "that would be a bad choice" - he was right)  so even if I cannot create the right brooch I'm happy enough :) I will keep trying though.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Swing Dress Finished! Puppytooth framed handbag finished!! Vintagebrooch in use!!!

All at the expense of a poorly sick child, which meant I could not attend my place of work today, instead having to fill in the time between being at his beck and call, by having my foot firmly on speed-sew...

So firstly. I finished the swing dress. I will post more photos on a page soon, but for now we'll have a few of me posing in some dreadful shots that I must apologise for but its the best I can do on my camera-phone with a dusty mirror. I'm pretty pleased. I think it looks the part and I'd be happy to wear this to work on a summers day, not just to the vintage tea party I made it for.   IMAG4114

IMAG4119  IMAG4116  IMAG4120

Check out my brooch. This belonged to nanny (my dads mum - who was born in 1910) and is a vintage paste brooch/dress clips.Its been sitting in my jewellery box since she died in 1984.

I only just found out what dress clips are. Its been bothering me for years. Basically the brooch comes apart and the two sides become separate clips - for many years I thought they must be earrings - but that would be too painful due to the metal 'grip' at the back. More recently I thought perhaps shoe clips. Then I read about dress clips - eureka - so that's what it is! I have chosen to leave it in its brooch form here, but they were commonly worn either side of the neckline to jazz up dresses and coats.
IMAG4127  IMAG4125(I have ironed this believe it or not!)

I made quite a few adjustments along the way. I sewed up the bodice front as I can't be doing with gaping wrap style necklines. I shortened the sleeves and added faux cuffs. I shortened the waist-piece. I had to add side panels cos I'm such a porker. And the sleeves for the same reason. I added a few gathers to the sleeves at the shoulder. I had to modify the neckline at the yolk because the patterns off (OK, it is probably my lack of cutting skills)

New skills learned:

gathering using machine stitching (have always done by hand)

Invisible zip insertion. You can't see a zip can you? No? exactly.

Modyfying a pattern to fit (without the use of a muslin or a dressmakers dummy)

Also - I made a bag. A bag with a frame. I used the puppytooth fabric as it matches my shoes (sort of - its not entirely correct as its white/black not cream/black but near as dammit) For a first time/practice run I'm extremely pleased. I decided to leave the bag plain and have a nice polka lining. The strap is detachable. The brooch I made - well I'm a bit so-so about it - I think the ribbon makes it look a bit like a horse show rosette - but the beauty of course is that I don't have to use it. I may have another attempt at a different type of embellishment.

I would probably prefer the polka on the outside for more frequent use, but as I said, first go and all. The inner pocket is also too far down. Never mind. Its still a pocket.  It wasn't as hard or messy as I anticipated. The sewing bit was easy. The glue/fabric/frame bit was fine. I did spend half an hour picking glue off, but it looks OK now.


I am now really really wanting to start on my graceful kelly bag. But I need to make Noah his fox trousers first.


Thursday, 9 May 2013

Some fabric has arrived!! (claps hands excitedly)

I'm always happy to get parcels. This goes without saying. And I got three new fabrics today. For some reason I thought the penguin stuff would be jersey. No matter, I shall find a use for it. I'm a bit Meh about the black jersey with stars - but again, no doubt I'll find a use. I'm most thrilled about the dog/puppy tooth stuff. It is exactly what I wanted to make my bag to match my shoes! Hurrah!


In my head, I'll be making a plain bag I think, but accessorising with interchangable fabric brooches - something like those below? What do you think?



Ooh these brooch/barrette back thingys that I just spotted on ebay will be perfect!brooch

Also, I'm very close to finishing the swing dress. Woo!!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Beautiful Sunshine, Butterick Sale, new fabric, and progressing with the Swing Dress

This weekend was so lovely wasn't it? We made the most of it, heading to Hunstanton on Sunday (which is a bit of a trek in the car for a 3 and a 6 year old - the boys we're complaining mightily by the time we arrived) It didn't seem that sunny when we got there, but it was warm enough to play on the beach. My freckles even made an appearance!

This is the boys before they got covered in beach mud. It didn't take too long ;)

On Monday, Grafham Water had an all day taster event. Sadly Noah was to young to do anything, and protested loudly at this, poor boy. I don't blame him - the sailing looked really wonderful on a sunny day.

However Joey got to have his first go at a real climbing wall (as opposed to local playground climbing walls) and he is amazing. He just monkeyed up them like a rat up a drainpipe. I'm looking into his joining the climbing club as he really enjoys it (and to find something he enjoys other than lego is always a bonus!) That's him in the green t-shirt. He did the wall on the left of this one, and the wall to the right too (which is an overhang - arrgh!)

I also made some progress with the swing dress. Unfortunately its a case of one step forward, two steps back. Firstly I realised after attaching the waist piece, that whilst it looked ok hung up, it really didn't do me any favours when 'on'. I'm short waisted anyway (and have already made the adjustments for this), however it just looked wrong on me, so I had to unpick, hack a chunk off it, and re-sew. You can see the photo on the top is the original, and on the bottom is the modified version. I suspect with someone less dumpy the original version would be perfect.

I also discovered to my horror than I am much fatter than I thought. I have had to add side panels in order for the dress to fit.

On the up-side, I only have to attach the sleeves, sew in the zip, and hem it. Yey!



Also, I have been buying again. Minerva Crafts have a 40% sale on butterick patterns. It was tough, as there were many I would have bought had I endless dosh, but I kept it to 4 that I know I will wear, rather than patterns I hanker after but probably won't either make or wear (like Gerties coat and dresses).

Butterick 5748. I have a sundress that I modified which I bought from Peacocks for a fiver, and I want another one. This is a fairly close approximation of the pattern, and I think I'll use the cheap fabric I bought on ebay for it.

B5748 ebay1

Butterick 5837 Really simple, but so cheap I couldnt resist. I will probably make a shorter version


Butterick 5030 I love this style, and I'm not sure what I want to make with it, but I know I want it in my pattern stash!


Butterick 5846. I've been umming and ahhing over this pattern, but the sale sealed the deal. I really love shirt dresses, although I would probably make mine longer as I don't like my knees showing (having said that, this model is probably 6ft and my knees won't show anyway!)


The one I can't afford:

Vogue 8577. Its £12.95, so its on hold. I love the shape and I love that it has pockets.


Other fabrics I bought over the weekend are this one:

ebay2 which I love. I have New Look 6183 View A in mind which I have already.

This one was a wildcard. I have no idea what the fabric is, but theres about 5 metres of it, and it was supercheap. We shall see! I hate that there are no fabric shops near me, or market stalls that I can get to. Relying on ebay takes the fun out a bit.


Thursday, 2 May 2013

Book Purchasing Bargains

I've been looking at buying Sew U Home Stretch (bizarre title) for some time, after I 'd been hankering after Tillys nautical knit dress.

Luckily it happens to be on offer for £3.99 at the moment at the Works. Unluckily, when I nipped in there today they didn't have it instore, so I've had to fork out postage, but still a great deal compared to everywhere else selling it. I may have bought a couple of other books <cough> whilst I was at it. BUT they were ALL bargains I tell you...Bargains!


Finally started work on the swing dress!

I've been itching to start it, and as you can see the bodice is starting to look something like a bodice. I did find the instructions incredibly confusing though, and nothing seems to fit quite right. I checked and double checked my pattern, but I've cut it all out as instructed (apart from shortening the bodice, but I did that both front and back in the place they marked to do so)For instance, the back shoulder section, where the bodice back meets the (gathered) bodice front, is not long enough.

As a result I had to sew it at a bit of an angle and use the tiniest seam possible (About 1/8 inch). The result of this is that the yolk (which is topstiched down) is not in line with the inner edge of the front bodice.

The gathering (which I did between notches as instructed) seems way too far towards the armholes, with not much near the inner bodice (towards the neck) You can see that in the photo below (actually, my point is, you can't see the gathers at all in the photo below, which concerns me - but you can see them in the photo above) I'm hoping it will look fine once the dress starts to come together. I'm also hoping it fits. Its seems a bit small.

However, I'm not cutting out a new back bodice. I am going to soldier on regardless and see what happens. If I like the dress, then at least I know next time how to modify. I love sewing with this cotton though, and so does my machine. Don't seem to have any of the issues I get with other fabrics. (Probably shouldn't have said that so early on!)

I would sooo love to have a dressmakers form, but maybe that's what I can ask for in August (birthday) Not sure where I'd put it though.

I also subscribed to Cloth Magazine. Its £5 for three issues to see what I think, and I feel like I'm allowed a subscription as JP gets Viz. Admittedly I read that in the bath (I like readers letters and tips!) so its kind of for both of us. I don't think he'll be reading my sewing mags!

Oh yes, my order from U-Handbag arrived. Uber-quick. I'm v. happy. Will post pic once I recieve the fabric and other gubbins to make my handbags with!