Dance like no one is watching.
Blog like no one is reading.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Please someone I know throw a sixties themed party!

Now, this isn't the greatest thing I have ever made - in fact it isn't even the greatest thing I have made this fortnight!  I really liked the toile of this dress - and then I became a victim of my own 'tweaking'!

The background story to this dress is that in one of the Ebay fabric bundles I like to purchase when I am at a loose end, there was this very cheap looking check fabric.  I knew that there was over a metre of it in the bundle but what I didn't know was that it was a piece only about this wide.  The joy though is in the challenge of finding something to do with this fabric and then this dress popped into my head and I couldn't get it out!

So, throwing good money after bad I purchase a few metres of black flannel and a 20inch black zip and set about creating a dress that I really didn't think I would ever wear.  Just to get it out of my head.

I used New Look 6145 and sewed the check fabric to strips of the black flannel before cutting out the front bodice.  I thought that my toile was a little on the tight side on the hips so I re-drafted the pattern to be a size 14 bust and a hip size that went off their chart!  Sewed it all up bar the hem and armhole finishes and lo and behold I had made a sack!

I didn't really want to unpick for hours a dress I thought I would only wear once in a blue moon so I winged it.  Really quite badly.  I took in the back darts (ok that is acceptable)  I sewed a convex line along the bust dart without taking apart the side seam (yeah, a little weird) and then I tackled the obvious swayback by putting handsewn darts in the neckline without taking the neckline facing apart (that is just plain crazy). 

I am left with an 'interesting' back detail, but I am also left with a dress I can wear without someone thinking that there should be several trapeze artists and a clown performing under it.  Actually, there is a clown performing under it!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

A Groovy Toile and A Grand Day Out!

I have made yet another duvet dress!  This was meant to be a toile for a Black and White dress I have got in my head, but I liked this version so much I wore it on a day trip to Bath Spa.

The pattern is New Look 6145 and I made the simplest version I could because I knew the fitting would be a nightmare.  I cut a size 14 bust and tapered it out to a size 18 hip - despite the fact that my hip measurements were way over the largest (size 18) sizing.  I have only just got away with it and, truth be told, it is too small across the hips but it was so darn lovely to wear I went out in it anyway.  I don't know what it is that I like about it really.  It was a boiling hot day and the top is a lot looser than I would normally go for so that may have been it - and I liked wearing the shorter length even if my knees did scare children.  It just felt comfortable.

I also liked the fabric placement.  The duvet I used had a large central design (which I used at the front) that rather unusually blended with a smaller print at the sides (which I used at the back).  It meant that I didn't have to pattern match at the sides of the dress but the different patterns obviously toned well together.

These photos were taken in a lovely little coffee shop up a small side street in the centre of Bath.  I recommend the real fruit milkshakes!

We had a lovely family day out which included myself and my daughter sneaking off to the Bath Fashion Museum.  I have linked to their website rather than put my own photos on here as I am always wary about copyright and also, as no flash is understandably allowed, my photos of the clothes did not come out brilliantly.  I do recommend taking a look though (I would love your views on their Dress of The Year 2013). 

The one thing I can show you however is the fun we had drawing dresses to put on their notice board.

About the most fun you can have with a fineliner!

My daughter completely trounced me in the design stakes though!

Finally, a walk around some of the vintage clothes and charity shops led to some purchases.  I managed to get three metres of this fabric which I am hoping is from the seventies.  It is going to become a seventies dress anyway!!!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Colette Peony Squirrel Print Dress

After spending a large chunk of the Christmas holidays fitting a toile for the Colette Peony dress, there was no way I was only going to use the pattern once.  This is my second version since the refitting - finished just in time for a night out with the girls.

This fabric was on sale last year at John Lewis for £5 a metre.  I can remember telling the sales assistant that I was going to make a child's quilt using it!  In my 'woman in her fourties wearing pink squirrels and acorns' defence - my friend was wearing a top the other day that I thought had acorns on it and it looked lovely and then I couldn't get this fabric out of my head.  So I used it.  For me.

I spent a stupid amount of time hand picking the zipper in.  You can see that I didn't really attempt to match the tiny print - save for keeping it on the straight grain of course - but the squirrels seem to have kept their tails!  The dress is fully lined (apart from the sleeves) with white cotton.

I loved wearing this on my night out. 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

They predict a heatwave just as I've finished an aran!

Almost two years ago I purchased some aran wool from an organic campsite I was staying at.  That is how I know that this Study Hall Vest has taken that long to complete! 

Embarrassingly, on researching this pattern on Ravelry, it came up as an 'Easy' pattern.  I tend to disagree with that.  I could only knit it on my own, in complete silence, chanting things like 'slip the next two stitch onto cable needle, hold at back' out loud over and over as if I were seeking enlightenment.  But then again maybe I'm not that adept at cables!

But I love a cable! 

I am quite pleased with the result but I do feel humongous in it - so I think it will be reserved for a very layered Autumn look.

I've also just finished the two cushions in the background of the picture.

They are teacher gifts for the end of term - hopefully to be used in the reading corner of a classroom.  They are made out of recycled materials - including a few more pillowcases left over from making my duvet skirt.  I think my sewing is slowing down ready for the long summer break! 

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Duvet Skirt.

During the month of Me Made May my friend gave me a pile of old duvet covers.  

I really hope she is not regretting it now as I am wearing one of them!!

I had a fancy for a full skirt, two tiered, with an extra tulle/organza layer on the bottom.  Luckily I found I had just the right organza offcut from making my full petticoat a while back, and it still had its selvedge.  No hem needed on fiddly organza?  Result!

I started out with the plan of following roughly a BurdaStyle pattern I had.  However, on cutting out the upper tier using their largest size it became clear that it would not go anyway near me, so I soon scrapped that idea and went it alone.  This sadly meant finding out that my hips were roughly the same size as a whole pillowcase!  I am sure that information will come in handy on many occasions. 

This is just showing some of the detail of the gathers.  The top tier is the said pillowcase and the bottom tier is just the bottom of the duvet cover (including the original buttonholes which are now on the underside of the hem!)

I am hoping it is twirly enough to give an Audrey Hepburn vibe, so I am linking up with Rhinestones and Telephones Hepburn Hepburn project

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

My daughter is getting in on the act!

This blue t-shirt looked like it had never been worn when I bought it in a charity shop for just one pound.  So naturally the first time I wore it I managed to get curry sauce down the front!

Turns out that my daughter will provide artwork in exchange for a teen magazine.  The curry sauce stain is now hidden by a bit of Manga inspired art!  Happy days.

Friday, 6 June 2014

I think I've used up all the blue floral fabric now

How many photos can one person take of a quilt?  ...We'll find out.....!

This is the quilt that I was making during Me Made May, which I have finished in time for my friend's birthday.  I had a lot of fun making this one.  The inspiration came from a wish to use up the remainder of the blue floral fabric that I had already used to make a top and a skirt.  

I had enough left to make the points on twenty stars - so that dictated the size of this lap quilt.

I decided to just use sashing for the borders.  I did think I had enough scraps leftover from the quilt top to make an additional flying geese border, but as I started to cut the triangles out for that it became apparent that I didn't actually have enough to do the light/dark contrast I wanted, so I left it as it was.

The quilting turned out ok.  I am always aiming to become more accurate and get the speed even to help the tension along - but I realise that this will, and has, improved with practice.  

I took an inordinate amount of photos!  My friend was very pleased with her present - which is lucky because I get so emotional giving a quilt.  There's just something about it....

(Linking up with Lizzie Lenard Free Motion Mavericks)