Friday, 16 February 2018

The Audrey Hepburn Dress - Fabulous Frocks The Little Black Dress Book

I'm really struggling to find time for blogging at the moment. Maybe because I'm still trying to get into the swing of things after Rikki had so much time off?

Anyway this dress was sewn during Rikkis massive stint of time off [Who said collecting your holidays was a bad idea eh?] As much as I love him I had reached the point where I was like "GO TO YOUR MUMS FOR A BIT I'M SICK OF YOUR FACE!!!"

I wasn't actually sick of his face, I actually quite like his face but I was absolutely gagging to get some sewing done. Luckily I had already traced and cut out the pattern for the Audrey Hepburn dress from the Little Black dress book by Dolin Bliss O'shea which I mentioned in a previous post.

The pattern suggests using a taffeta or duchess satin, but even I thought that might be a bit "extra" for the school run. So I opted to use a black linen that I got in the abakhans fill a bag sale. I am so glad I chose to use the linen as the dress is beautifully lightweight and it presses like a dream 

The only issue with the black is that it doesn't photograph very well so you can't see the princess seams or the panels of the skirt. 

Speaking of the skirt its made up of 6 panels. Which means its a full circle skirt but without the whole faff of trying to cut a circle out of a regular sized piece of fabric. The panels mean that you can sort of jig saw everything in and you don't feel like your using or wasting loads of fabric.

I took a lot of care to try and make this dress as perfect as possible. I lined the bodice in a pink cotton [I'd have used black but I didn't have any]. Made sure to trim and grade all of my seams and press everything nicely. 
I also interfaced the seam allowances of the back seam where the zip goes [Its meant to be a side zip but SIDE ZIPS EURGH!] Basically I fused a line of interfacing on both sides of the centre back seam and then I inserted the zip. It just gives the zip some stability and stopped it waving or puckering.

The only issue I had with the fit was this bit of gaping in the front? I'm not sure what it's called? Maybe a hollow chest? Anyway I've altered the pattern piece now so it doesn't happen again and luckily it doesn't affect this version too badly.

The only other thing I did was to leave the skirt to hang over night before I hemmed it. I'm really glad I did because when I looked at it, it didn't look super wonky but when I measured it and trimmed it was! I hemmed the skirt by hand.

All in all I LOVE this dress and can definitely see myself making more! I love the high neckline which is weird for me because I'm more of a cleavage girl! 

Pattern - Audrey dress , little black dress book
Size - small
Fabric - Abakhans 
Sewn on - janome 

In other news! 

My sewing box was in much need of repair so Rikki has fixed the bits that need fixing and I'm currently painting it! 

Much love



Monday, 12 February 2018

Coco Funnel Neck Top

I finally took some pictures! Not that the weathers been helping, it tried really hard to give us some proper snow on Sunday, but all we ended up with was a teeny weeny bit that settled. Not even enough for a day off school!

The good weather does mean I've been trying to expand my jumper collection though. This one was made with some left over fabric from a "top secret" Minerva Crafts Project. Its a lovely stretch fabric with a bobble and sequin texture, you can find it here. I was particularly drawn to it because black fits into my wardrobe really well and because the sequins just make it a bit more fun really don't they?

The pattern is the Coco Dress by Tilly and the Buttons. But this is the jumper version with the cuffs and the collar. Its the perfect jumper for lounging around in!

I really like the funnel neck it gives the jumper a sort of french vibe. Or at least I think it does. I definitely needed some more tops in my wardrobe and I'll need a whole set more when summer rolls around!

All in all I love this make. It only took me a little while to run up but it was worth every second. I wear it all the time and I'm hoping that it will be light enough to wear in the spring as well. 

In other news! 

I've taken pictures of two other makes today and I have a whole night of sewing ahead of me tonight. 

I baked cookies today. Because I wanted a cookie. Which seems a bit excessive now I think about it but I do really like cookies! 

I'm working my way up to my next big knit. I have the wool and I've chosen a pattern I just need to find the motivation to start it! 

Much Love



Friday, 9 February 2018

Fabulous Frocks - The Little Black Dress

I've got 3 makes that need photographing, a pile of ironing to do and I need to put some more music on my Ipod before I take the train to Birmingham next week. 

But instead I'm sat on the sofa watching Derry Girls and drinking hot chocolate. 

So instead of doing something productive I thought I'd show you the book I got for Xmas!

This the the Fabulous Frocks Little Black Dress Book by Dolin Bliss O'Shea. I got it for Christmas from one of our best friends. He got me this and a picture book that documents the life of Coco Chanel.

The books comes with full sized patterns which you have to trace and each pattern comes with a variation. So for example the one above is the regular Liza Minelli version but the variation is for a long sleeved version which looks a lot like DVF.

The Audrey Hepburn dress above is my absolute favourite, in fact I've already made this dress [minus the bows because they just looked a bit daft on me] and the variation. Both of which need photographing! but if you head over to my instagram you can see a sneak peek.

This Joan Crawford might be the next one that I make!

I love this Coco Chanel dress but I;m not sure It would suit me, or if I'd even wear it a lot. 

All in all I'd say this book was an excellent Xmas present and I'm chuffed to bits with it. The sizing seems to be pretty spot on, I measured as a size small and both of my dresses fit properly with minimal alterations. 

So this book is worth a buy if you want to make some iconic frocks!

Hopefully I'll pull my finger out and get some outfit pictures done soon!

Much Love 



Saturday, 3 February 2018

Why I Hate PDF Patterns!

I found myself taping together a PDF pattern yesterday and as usual I found myself swearing and grumping the whole time! 

Now I HATE them, but some people seem to LOVE them so I thought I;d make a list of reasons I hate them in case anyone can give me some tips to make it easier so I can start to love them!

1. I have to save them on my computer. Which basically means I'm banishing it to the depths of hell. I can pretty much guarantee as soon as I save something I can never find it again ever!!! 

2. Then I have to print it. Now maybe its just me but my printer HATES me! Like Rikki wants to print something and its fine but as soon as I want to print its like "eh nah?". It needs ink, it needs paper, it needs aligning, It doesn't know what it needs but its not happy. The dammed thing drives me CRAZY.

3. They use a lot of paper. Now I wouldn't consider myself a hard core environmentalist but I hate wasting paper and huge amounts of paper are wasted printing off pdf patterns. I for one never print the instructions because it seems like a waste. [Although thinking about it their is also a lot of waste with paper patterns!]

4. I have to tape it together. Now this poses two problems for me. One I have to find the sellotape which is pretty hard because for some reason my house is the place sellotape comes to hide and two no matter how carefully I cut and stick the bloody thing always ends up wonky and that the lines don't match up.

5. After I've spent lord knows how long trying to get those lines to match up and taped it together, I then have to cut it all up...... Facepalms. Everything that I spent ages making straight its now in a big pile on the floor waiting for the bin. 

6. Then I finally get to sew it which is OBVIOUSLY the fun part but after that I have to fold up sheets of paper which are way more bulky than tissue paper. 

7. AND PDFS patterns are still pretty expensive to say you have to do most of the work! 

So do you love or hate patterns?

Much Love



Monday, 29 January 2018

Mccalls 7381 - Take Two

How are we all? Coping well with the frankly miserable weather we've been having recently? No? Me neither. 

This whole cold and rainy weather situation is making me miserable. I want to wear pretty dresses and dolly shoes and my denim jacket! I am so sick of being bundled up in 100 layers with my vest tucked into my knickers [if you don't tuck your vest into your pants, try it! Keeps your tummy lovely and snug!]

Anyway I was being a complete whinge bag about it last night. Mainly because I have the beginnings of a cold. But Rikki was kind enough to point out that in summer my hay fever starts up and I'll be back in the same snotty situation I am now....... But with cuter dresses and less tights.

Anyway this dress is one of those rare hybrids where the combination of the style and the fabric means it looks as nice with a denim jacket and no tights as it does with a big chunky cardigan, thick tights and boots.

The fabric is a poly satin and was given to me by the lovely Sara [insta : @saraknitsandsews]. Basically during one of the photo challenges she posted this fabric under the title "what was I thing?" and said if anybody wanted it she would be happy to have it taken off her hands. *waves hands furiously in the air* .

I love it! Its such a fun and quirky print and we all know how much I love the challenge of a boarder print! So thanks Sara your a babe and there is some seriously good karma coming your way!

Right so the pattern is Mccalls 7381, which I got from a magazine and I've already made here. This however is the size down from the first version I made and due to fabric shortages I omitted the sleeves. 

So this one is a size small and to be honest I'm still having some issues with the fit. It looks okay from the front but from the back and the side it still looks like their is far to much fabric. I think for my next version I'm going to try and put elastic around the whole waist to see if that helps and if not I guess I'm going to have to chalk this pattern up as an experience. 

This version only has elastic at the back. Which is a solid 10 on the comfort scale but I'd rather it looked good too. Mainly I've been wearing it with a cardigan though so you can;t see the extra fabric at the back.

Construction wise it went together really easily. The only really fiddly bits were the ties and the pleats and guttingly both of these details are lost in the busyness of the print. 

I didn't even adjust the hem so if you like a hem with more coverage then you may need to add some to the pattern. FYI I'm 5,6ish and it hits me just above the knee.

It took a good bit of pattern tetris to make sure that the colour gradient was the same the whole way around. The only compromise was that the back bodice lining had to be pieced. Instead of cutting on the fold I had to cut each bit separately and add a seam allowance and then stitch them together. You can't tell from the outside though and their are no raw edges on the inside. 

Looking at these pictures I probably could have left of the tie and saved myself some hassle. 

I added one of my sew in labels to the back. I'm still not quite over the novelty of having my name inside my clothes!

This is the pleat detail on the shoulder which takes loads of time but is basically lost in the print!

And the tie detail which also takes a lot of time and is again lost!

So aside from a few small fit issues I'm actually really pleased with this pattern. And the print is to die for! I love how bright and colourful it is! 

In other news! 

- I've traced a pattern from a dress book I got for Xmas and I can't wait to sew it up!

- My friend has given me a load of his records! Which is pretty cool because this girl loves records!

Much Love 



Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Cross Stitch Bookmark

I'm slowly working my way through blogging all of my pre Xmas projects. I did a lot of hand sewing before Christmas because, well, I'd tidied up and stuff hadn't I? And the last thing I wanted was extra cleaning and hoovering to do! 

I brought a cross stitch bookmark kit from my local charity shop for about £1. I thought it was complete but when I got home I found that whilst the needle, threads, Aida and sticky back plastic were there the instructions with the cross stitch pattern on were missing. 

WOOPS! Serves me right for not checking in the shop properly.

Now a normal person might have tried to find the pattern online or tried to work out the pattern from the picture on the front. But me? I decided to throw caution to the wind and just enjoy myself! 

It reminded me a lot of when we did cross stitch at primary school and we just did rows and rows of different stitches I found it very relaxing. 

[Also cross stitch lessons were just about the only part of school that I vividly remember enjoying. My neighbour Audrey used to come in once a week and teach us and I always really enjoyed it, mainly because she babysat me too so I'd already had cross stitch lessons and was pretty much allowed to do what I wanted!]

So yeah there's a lot of random stitches and pattern and really no rhyme or reason. Then after I was done all I had to do was put it between the sheets of sticky back plastic and I was done.

But I had an absolute mare trying to get the plastic to actually stay stuck around the cross stitch.

So in the end I covered it with a tea towel and ironed it, which made the plastic stick together and made my kitchen smell like a meth lab. Not that I'm 100% sure what a meth lab actually smells like..... but it was a vile smell.  

I read jaws before Christmas which shows how old this project is and I think I've read maybe 5? Books since then? My aim for this year is to read 50 books and so far I'm on number 6? I think? I'm reading bleak house by Charles Dickens at the moment [And simultaneously Harry Potter 1 for book club with my sister] I'm enjoying bleak house more than I thought I would. I've never read a Dickens book before and I was worried it might be a bit "dry". 

But if anyone does have any book recommendations please let me know! My tastes are pretty board! As you can see from this post! 

Much Love 



Sunday, 21 January 2018

BB8 Orla Dress

I don't ever remember not knowing about star wars? I think that must be a side effect of having an older brother and sister who were both big fans. Which also means I never had the shocking "Luke I am your father" moment either because I always knew. 

I don't know how many times I've seen the original three movies [ya know the best ones!] and I've seen the next three a fair amount too [can we appreciate how gorgeous Ewan Mcgregor was as Obi Wan Kenobi for a minute please? ]

But I've only seen the first of the new ones so far. I think I had a bit of a "OMG THEY ARE GOING TO RUIN STAR WARS MOMENT" As it goes I did quite enjoy it so I really do need to get around to watching the last two!

Which is why when the Craft Cotton Company sent me this BB8 fabric I was chuffed! I decided to use it as an excuse to make a cute dress and introduce my lil boy to star wars! [Obviously whilst wearing the dress!]

Because its such a busy print I decided to opt for a really simple dress pattern. I chose to use the Orla Dress Pattern by French Navy Now [This pattern is actually free!!! So GO GO GO!]

The pattern is really simple, it had two darts in the front bodice, cute capped sleeves and a gathered skirt. Its also meant to have a zip in the back but after the success of my button back, Mr men, orla dress I decided to do another button up version.

Because of the busy print you can't really see the button placket or the buttons. In hindsight it might have been really cool to do a orange button placket to make it stand out a bit more but so it would still match the print. 

That said I do really like the button placket on this dress and the fact that I only need to undo the waist button to pull it over my head. 

You can sort of see the buttons I used here [although they do blend in very well!] They are small mosaic style buttons that came from my friends mums house. I don't think I'd use them but they sort of remind me of lil bb8s so they are perfect for this project. 

Normally I'm a fitted girl through and through but I really like the boxy loose style of the Orla dress and its a great pattern for show casing fun prints! The only changes I made to this pattern are to add the button back and to line the bodice. I always line my bodices because I think it creates a neater finish and lets face it with living in cold England an extra layer of fabric/warmth never goes amiss! Even in summer!!

The gathered skirt isn't as full as I normally go for but I have noticed it doesn't blow up as much in the wind. So maybe a skinnier gathered skirt is the way to go dignity wise!

The fabric is cotton so it behaves beautifully when your sewing it. As much as I love sewing with tricky fabrics and textures sometimes its just so nice to throw something together with a fabric that doesn't shift and holds a crease when you want it too!

 And I like how the print just looks like a crazy geometric deign from the distance. It means the dress will be a lot more wearable in the summer months.

And that's it really. I love making summer dresses like these but it does make me wish it was summer already! 

This morning we woke up to SNOW! Although its stopped now and it doesn't seem to be sticking which is a bit gutting because I was hoping school would be cancelled.

In other news! 

Our tumble dryer is sort of working! It makes a loud banging noise but its drying clothes so that's good.

However then the washing machine started fritzing. It was draining but not as much as it should be. Anyway Rikki pulled it out of its hole put it on its side and after about an hour and a half of swearing and banging he proudly came into the living room brandishing a sock that had been caught in the filter! Which begs the question how on earth did it get there? I've had a good look and I can't see anyway of a sock escaping the drum? And it wasn't even a kids sock, which are small and easily misplaced it was an ADULT sock! 

But now that's fixed I've been working on pre washing the small pile of fabric that I brought from the Abakhans Sale! A full video of the fabric I brought went up on my you tube a few days ago and you can find it here! 


I warn you though Its a long one!!! So make a brew and enjoy!

Much Love