Thursday, 30 April 2015

Bagmaking: Della Wallet in Robert Kaufman Hello Tokyo

I'm pleased to say that even though I had a minor disaster yesterday (my sewing machine went kaputt - after I took the morning off work to finish off commissions!) I finished a wallet. Should have been two, but I borrowed a friends machine and it can't cope too well with thick fabrics so it unfortunately has to wait. 

She wanted something bright and cheerful, and of the options given, chose this fabric below.

I then took it upon myself to select the contrast fabrics (which are from the same range)

The Della Wallet is a pattern by Swoon - my favourite bag pattern company. I rarely use my own patterns, because I see so many independant designers doing their thing and I always want to give their bags a go!

This is the finished product :

I love the prints. There are a couple of errors on the wallet which irk me. There is a pen mark (used permanent ink pen by mistake when should have used disappearing ink pen) on the inside in the middle. You can see it on that last photo on the zipper edge in the middle. Its small, but annoying. 
Also the seam thread is are a bit prominent. You can't see on these pics as its on the edges. Thats the nature of sewing with massive thicknesses. 
Also, I haven't managed to get all the creases out, which were caused by turning it the right way out. This is massively annoying as it was perfectly flat before I did that, but construction means you have to sew inside out before turning.
Otherwise, I'm happy LOL!

Monday, 27 April 2015

Two nights out in a row!

Friday night - St Ives for Nics work leaving do. 
Restaurant Molise was the venue.
Its a bit sh*t frankly. Won't ever return, however it was lovely to see my friends.


Anna gets her pud

Nic gets her pud too!

Gerbil faces with Nic.

I can't even be bothered to review the restaurant properly. The food wasn't very nice. Not awful. But mediocre. I had to leave half of my flabby, wet, microwaved lasagne - and I am not a food leaver. The staff were friendly, but the service was bad.  It was fab to see my friends though. Since they both moved to Norfolk it doesn't happen that often (we're all working mums, so finding time to meetup is always tricky) but its all about the quality. Of the meeting up. Not the food :)


And so on to Saturday night.
Into London to see another set of friends. I've known this lot since we worked together in London in the job I started in 1999. These are my Logica friends. Although it hasn't been Logica for a long time. Its current incarnation is CGI. There are some faces missing but I hope to see them next time we get together.

They'd been out during the day at the Fashion on a Ration exhibition. I am jealous I didn't get to go so I'll not mention it further ;)

Alice, Tanja and Sonya

 Tanja looking baffled

 Alice getting sozzled

 Sonya looking more demure than she actually is :)

Then on to Bacco
Bit more refined than we're used to, but they are doing a 50% of starters and mains at the mo. 

Didn't quite have time to take photo of the amuse bouches before Alice whipped hers off the plate!
TBH its not the sort of place I felt comfortable having my phone out to take pics. I certainly wouldn't have dreamed of asking the waiters/esses to take a group shot!

The food was stunning. Way better than I'm accustomed to. No more expensive than the place I went to the night before though (with the offer)

I won't pretend I know what half of the stuff on the menu was!

These were awesome. Tanja ordered them (courgettes) as a side. They had a kind of tempura batter. Delicious!

Unfortunately my phone packed in and I couldn't take a photo of my pud (a sort of rum baba thing on some syrupy stuff with crispy bits LOL)


Due to vast food consumption (and only drinking from 5pm and not noon like the rest of them!) I wasn't hungover next day, just very very tired (Noah doesn't care if I don't get to bed till 1.30am - he's still up at 6) So we headed to March so they could visit fossils galore - and there was a St Georges day festival on! 
We also headed down to our local park. 

Looking for treasure at Godmanchester riverside.

Hunting for sharks teeth @FossilsGalore

March Museum

'Dig' box created after the visit to Fossils Galore

Noah being eaten by the St Georges day dragon

John rescuing a football

My boys hunting for 'Roman artifacts'. We acquired 3 other small boys too!

On the face of things: selfies - its all about the angles - am I a Social Media deceiver?!!

So this is a really random post. I just thought I'd do it because whilst I have plenty of better things to do, sometimes I just think about pointless stuff and want to post it. Its my blog and I'll post if I want to.

I'm a sucker for a selfie. I love a bit of a pose. And I quite often look way better in pics than I do in real life. You know what - its not really my fault - I don't interfere with the images (unless adding a filter) - thats what comes out of my phone/camera.

I can manipulate the way my image comes across though using the angle as I'm sure most people do.

Does it matter. No Does it make me vain? Yes. Do I give a flying monkey? Not really no. Social media is what it is. Everyone puts a spin on things. I'm being as honest as I need to be. Of course I want to look nice in pics. So of course I try to look my best.

This is me. Taken from the WORST POSSIBLE ANGLE through the BEST SELFIE ANGLE and not omitting ALIEN ANGLE

Check out that chin!

Still doubled up. This is pretty much the most accurate pic of what I look like to other folk. Except usually I don't have all the makeup on.

Flattering. Pointy chin ahoy! Trace of the 2nd

Oh yes. Take it from above baby!

Yep. I'm all forehead. Alien incoming!

... and the sidey-selfie. Again taken from slightly above, designed to make me look like I have just the one, lovely pointy chin , vague cheekboneness going on there. We like this angle. I look glam. I look almost chiselled. I have basically shaved off 4 stones of flab using this angle.

So, full length selfies. Again, I'm not deliberately decieving. This is my mirror. I look the same whether I take the shot on my phone or my camera. But its still all about the angle. And the pose.

So just before I go out :

I'm posing, however I ain't lying. There's no filter, no manipulation, but I have aimed for the most 'flattering' pic.

And just after I meet my besties:

This is me. I look like a right porker. My arms are huge and because I'm sitting down my belly is squashed into roly poly heaven. My face looks like I chewed a wasp. But this is me. Thats ok as well. I know what I 'really' look like.

So whats the point of this. Well I'm not really sure. I just sometimes feel a bit like a deceiver when I post pics. I also feel slightly like I'm betraying the fact that I'm a fatty. Not hiding it all all - just showing a more 'acceptable' type of plus size. I'm actually ok with being a fatty. I don't wish to #droptheplussize tag because that is what I am.
 I'm still on a diet, but I don't have an eating disorder any more. I'm no longer afraid of my size - its the size I am and If I lose some weight that will be the size I am and both are ok. I will still wear what I want to wear. But my vanity still tells me to look the best I can. 
What do you think? Its pretty normal to try and look as physically pleasing as you can when you are in front of a camera isn't it?

Friday, 24 April 2015

Little Crossbody Bags - got some bagmaking in!

These are my latest two makes. Thats the fabric I got from Voodoo Vixen popping up again!

These were a request from an old school friend. She wanted some simple bags for her girls just to carry their bits around. These have a zip on top, a zip pocket and removable adjustable straps.

At 7x9" they are big enough for a small tablet, but certainly a phone and other bits and bobs. 
These are lightly padded with fusible fleece, and I added piping. Just because.

I did use a pattern for these. Then immediately regretted bothering.
I use patterns because it takes a long time to acurately draught one, even a simple one. 

I bought this from and I couldn't make head or tail of the instructions. So I decided the best route to take was to bin the instructions and carry on with how I think the bag is meant to be constructed. It was pretty simple in the end - you just need to make sure everything is the right way up! 

If I did them again I would do curved corners, but I think these look ok.

On Makeup - Besame Compact and other ramblings...

***Update - before you read this, you should know that this caused a bit of a to-do on twitter. Besame aren't happy ( I got a lovely long telephone call from their EU rep) because the products are not the same as the top photo and are in fact old stock. (I didn't notice - takes someone who knows them well)
They have contacted LadyJoJosBoutique and requested that they remove the stock. LadyJoJos also contacted me and explained that they bought the stock from the previous EU distributor and have offered me a refund)
end update***

You will find I don't blog about makeup.

This is because a) I know little about it - I've been pretty much sporting the same look since I ditched the electric blue eyeliner for liquid black about 27 years ago and b) I'm pretty skanky and I don't buy much of it and what I do have I hoard for years.

I have discovered that I like Barry M Pillar Box red lippy (121) although there seem to be two shades of that about (I have both and one is more scarletty and one more orangey)

I have not found a black eyeliner that I am happy with. For short wear I love MUA (makeup academy) liquid eyeliner - it has the best applicator ever. Unfortunately it does start to crumble and flake after about 5 hours though. I also liked blinc because of its staying power, but I have found that my eyes are pretty sensitive to it so its no good for daily wear.

I still have the clinique face powder I bought over a decade ago and most of its still in there.

Nothing I own was bought for the prettiness factor.

Then the other day I happened upon the ladyjojosboutique  50% off flash sale, and fell for this little beauty.

So adorable, and a for a tenner I couldn't resist (free UK postage too) 

It arrived today. Beautifully packaged. Do I need to carry around a compact in a plush drawstring purse? Not really, but I shall anyway.

I didn't realise it was so small. I thought it would be normal compact size, however I really don't mind. Its so cute. 

The proof is in the wearing really. I bought 'medium' as I'm fairly olive toned in the skin department, and as soon as the sun hits my face it tans. There is no indication on the Besame site as to the actual colour/tone of the powder which is irritating, especially if you are going to pay full price. 

But all is ok. It suits my skin. These are awful, awful pictures (taken not long after waking on a work day so no time to worry about any other makeup) Sorry. But y'know, its me.

You can see in the first pic how blotchy and shiny I am.

Then add a bit of the Besame - and voila! shine and blotch free. I haven't put anything else on - just the powder. On a weekend /night out I'd use light foundation as well but this seems to work pretty well as a touch up. 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Plus Size Fashion: George at Asda - you beauty! Tu at Sainsburys - making promises you can't keep!

The supermarkets are coming out with some corkers at the moment. If you can manage to get hold of them.  A few weeks back I was desperately trying to get hold of this skirt. Twitter is an excellent way to get a response, but they said the nearest one was in Letchworth which is a bit too far to go.

So I was super happy when they appeared online (I'm part of the trial area for tu clothing online - its not available to everyone) Duly ordered two because I never know if I'm going to be a 16 or an 18.


Email telling me they aren't in stock. How can they not be in stock? I ordered them the morning they appeared on the website?! Frustrated. But hey ho its just a skirt. 

They also have some cute looking retro styled dresses. I do find though with Tu that they are generally less cute in the flesh. The one below doesn't have enough fabric in the skirt and is too long waisted for me. 

I'm wondering whether or not to order this one.

Anyway, I turned to George at Asda - they have these dresses at the moment in various colourways. They are lovely soft fabric, and only 20 quid. Very retro styling. I tried a black one on in store and it was lovely but too tight in a 16.

So I ordered an 18 online. Sadly when it arrived, it was just too big. Unfortunately my substantial waist means that what fits on the waist is hugely saggy in the chest region. 

But never mind because I'm keeping this one!

When I saw it advertised I was gutted there was only one left in a size 8, however they restocked and I again ordered a 16 and an 18. This is also £20.

Its so pretty. Exactly the kind of dress I like to wear. 

I had the same issues with the sizing. This is the 16. The 18 was just too saggy in the chest region. The 16 is a tad tight on the waist but I can live with it. 

The red belt is pinched from a Voodoo Vixen dress. I think it really makes it pop.
They've even lined it and put some net under the skirt. I don't think that was actually necessary (and I actually prefer unlined summer dresses) but its nice that they bothered.

I think that this is a standout buy. They also do a pencil dress in this fabric (which I know without trying would not fit me, because I'd probably need a 20 in the bottom, and 18 in the waist and a 16 on the chest)

Update 26/05/15: having being unable to wear this dress purely due to the lining which is hot and uncomfortable, I unpicked it all. The net, and the polyester lining has gone. I can wear it. Its cool. I love it!