Monday, 10 September 2018

The Origami Dress - New Look K8144 - In linen

I made this ages ago. and by ages I mean I took these pictures on my old camera before my hair was pink. 

so yeah they are old. 

The pattern is K8144 by new look. Its one of those patterns where the cover art is just baffling. 

Image result for k8144 newlook

I dunno maybe its just me but I think the dress is really really bright! 

It originally came free with a copy of sew magazine but I got my copy from my mums friend sue. 

After looking at the pattern drawings I realised that I really like the front pleated section and thought it might be nice to make it up in some of this blue linen I had lying around. 

As it goes I didn't have quite enough of the blue linen so I had to use some left of black for the belt, shoulder sections and the facings. 

I didn't like the belt that came with the pattern so I add some waist ties into the side seams. I made them quite long to create a sort of obi effect. I think it worked really nicely and I much prefer my belt to the one on the pattern.

Fit wise the top half okay but it is a bit tight on the hips. Annoyingly is not so tight that I'll rip open the side seams for more wiggle room. Instead its just tight enough that if I cut out the donuts then it will probably fit better..... I don't want to cut out the donuts though so *shrugs* . [actually thinking about it I made this dress before we even had Polly so at least four months ago and I have been going on a walk twice a day since getting her so I may have slimmed my hips down a bit! I'll have to try it one.] 

The origami bit at the front is created by cutting and folding the fabric. Which took me quite a while to get my head around and made me a bit tense. Well its not very often you cut directly into the front of your dress is it.

Because of the folded detail the entire front is cut flat instead of on the fold. This did mean I had to do a bit of pattern jigsawing to get everything to fit.  

Note to self - linen likes to wrinkle. Which I did know but sweet Jesus it really does like to wrinkle up doesn't it! I have a black dress in linen that I absolutely love but if I'm going somewhere in the car I have to hitch my skirts right up to keep them as flat as possible so I don't look messy when I get to where ever I'm going. [she says like she goes anywhere more interesting than mcdonalds and Lil mans school]

On this picture you can see how tight it is across the hips. I'm hoping this was just because I was full of Easter chocolate. I really really don't want to have to unpick the side seams.  

I like the fact that I can tie it at the front and the back but I think I prefer it with the ties at the front because they shield any muffin top issues I may be having. 

To add them in I just cut four long rectangles, sewed them into tube and then inserted them into the side seams.

I actually don't hate this picture of my bum to be honest. 

So I guess I'm off to try this on to see if I need to let out the side seams and amend my pattern pieces or if I just need to get some spanx! 

Much Love Frankie 


Tuesday, 4 September 2018

My First Sew Over It Cami

It always amazes me how some indie pattern companies because royalty in the sewing world, Tilly and the buttons, grainline studios and of course Sew over it.

And if we are gonna be honest Lisa Comfort of sew over it would be the queen because LOL is their anything that woman can't do?

This is my first ever experience of the sew over it pattern company. As far as I know they don't have any free patterns and as I've said many times before I'm very cheap and don't like to spend money on things that aren't fabric. 

Luckily I was given this pattern during the #greatbigpatternswap I think it came free with one of the sewing magazines so naturally it didn't have any instructions. Luckily for me there was a sew along on the sew over it blog so I used that.

Fit wise I cut a size 12 as my bust size was in between a size 10 and a 12 and I'd rather I cut my pattern too big and altered it from there. For reference my bust size is 36 inches.

Fit wise I think its okay. I like the way its quite modest and doesn't gape when I bend over.

The construction is fairly simple it has an all in one facing and you attach it through the shoulders which to be completely honest is a method I absolutely hate. In future I think I'll just add in a centre back seam and then I can do the facing in my preferred way.

As it goes if i had realised I could have done my usual technique on this one because it has a centre back seam. I ended up putting in a centre back seam because I was running out of fabric and cutting both the front and the back out on the fold just wasn't happening. 

The fabric itself is this awesome skull print cotton by the craft cotton company , realistically its a bit thick for this kind of top but I'm still going to wear it just becuase i love the print. Plus I'm guessing the more I wash it the softer it will become.

I really really like the curved hem, however I am wondering if I should add a bit more length into the body just to make it a bit more flattering? 

All in all I do like the pattern but its just not very exciting is it? I'm sure I'll get a lot of use out of it though when I'm trying to use up all of my fabric scraps. 

In other news!!!

- Little man goes back to school tomorrow. SOBS. I've really enjoyed having him with me all day even if it means I can't sew. It took me back to when he was really little and it was just the two of us all day watching movies and having cuddles. On the plus side It will be nice to sew and he is really looking forward to going back. 

- Bake off is back! I actually really enjoyed the last series on channel four and dislike the last series on bbc. I guess that makes me a traitor but I'm glad its back. 

- My knitting project is nearly done [its a winter blanket for Polly, she sleeps in the kitchen and it gets pretty cold in there at night] after that I'm going to get back on track with my cardigan and then I'm going to give one of my nans vintage patterns a whirl.

And i think that's about it!

Much Love


Wednesday, 29 August 2018

The happy little hippy dress

Let's just pretend were back in June, England's still got a chance in the world cup , love islands on and we are still having a glorious heatwave...
In which case let me introduce you to the dress I probably won't wear until next summer. 

Yep I made this during one of those good god its hot sort of days when everything in my wardrobe felt too warm or too constricting. 

The main idea of the dress was based around this panel print I got from the first fill a bag sale my local abakhans had. Originally I wanted to make a kimono dress but the pattern consisted of two large squares and some twiddy pattern bits and I just couldn't figure out the placement so I gave up and chucked the fabric in a pile. 

Naturally I didn't take a picture of the actual fabric because I'm a TERRIBLE blogger.

As it goes the print worked nicely for this dress , I used the two square pieces for the front and back of my skirt. I didn't even cut them on the fold I literally just cut around the square. And then used the extra twiddly bits on the straps , facings and bodice. 

The bodice itself is the Cami top from the gbsb (3rd) book. I cropped mine to hit my belly button and took some ease out of the back because of gaping. (I also used this pattern here and its one of my favourite party dresses)  and then added a simple gathered skirt.

The print isn't identical on the front and back of the bodice but I was working with fabric restrictions so it ended up being a bit of a hey ho moment. 

One issue I am having is that the skirt feels really long. I am trying to get on bored with longer skirts because in reality they are so much more practical. But every time I make something I'm still tempted the reach for the scissors and make it mid thigh length .

However I can't with this one because it will ruin the printed panel on the skirt.

And there are two more issues . 
1, the back is still gaping , I'm working on fixing this but I'm conscious that if I go too fitted I might no be able to pull it on over my head and one of the beauties of this dress is that theirs no fastenings (yes it makes it a really quick and satisfying sew)
2, its a about half a degree of being maternity wear. I could belt it but that sort of defeats the object of it being a really loose dress for hot days. On the plus side I can confirm that you can fit a large pizza under this dress and no one  will know. (Not a physical large pizza , you can eat one and no one will notice. I haven't tested if you can hide actual pizza down it )

Naturally I love it because it makes me feel like a happy little hippy who wants to dance around bare foot and preach love and peace. In fact as soon as I'd made it I played Fleetwood Mac and pretended to be Stevie Nick's for a bit. Not ashamed at all. 

All in all I think its really successful even if I won't get to wear it much now the winter nights are drawing in. 

In other news! 

I've still not been sewing, boooooooo. But I'm planning to crack right on when lil man goes back to school. I know traditionally I give the house a good clean on the first day. But screw that this time I'm sewing. 

I've added a few more hexagons to my EPP , its not growing very quickly but I enjoy the process. 

I had a day at the dog track!!!! And guess who won 3 times? ME! And guess who won 4? LIL MAN! And guess who didn't win at all??????? Rikki! much to my amusement and his disgust.

And I think that's all!

Much love


Friday, 24 August 2018

Sixties style MIa dress

I took photographs guys! Somebody get this girl a cookie!!! I mean I'm still using my digital camera rather than my good one because its broke, and my hair is an absolute state because it needs cutting, and the camera did fall over half way through and I didn't notice so some are on a wonky angle.....BUT I took pictures which means provided I can find the time I can actually get back to regular blogging.

Because I've actually REALLY Missed it!

I actually made this a few weeks ago whilst Rikki was on his last ever night shift. On the one hand I'm glad that he doesn't work nights any more and I don't have to worry about him driving back tried but on the other hand I am really going to miss those long evening of sewing!!!

The fabric was from the fill a bag sale at abakhans and I have a sneaking suspicion that Lil man actually pulled this one out not me. Or maybe it was my mum? I dunno it was a long day [My dad keeps sarcastically asking when we can go back... cheeky swine]

Its a sort of poly something another with a teeny bit of stretch and a good drape. I promise at some point I'll start a swatch book or something so I can start properly telling you what fabrics are.

It does feel like it might be a bit sweaty? Luckily this is more of a autumn/winter dress so I should be okay.

The pattern is the mia dress pattern which I got in the big pattern swap on instagram. In fact I got quite a few patterns and sent some out but this was the only one I got sewn up and photographed before the deadline. Luckily all the other patterns are ones I know I'll definitely sew and I already have the fabrics for them.

The pattern came free with simply sewing magazine and i loved the 60's style of it and the great sleeves. I did make one change though I altered my pattern to make the sides flare out a bit more because I was worried a straight down shape would look a bit too boxy on me.

Other than that its very simple, it has neckline facings, theres no need for a zip and there two flouncy sleeve options. 

To make life easier I opted to sew my sleeves in flat But in doing it I missed out one crucial step. I forgot to sew the dart!!!! 

No normally your dart is a bust dart however for some reason on this pattern the dart goes into the arm hole! To this day I have no idea how I got the sleeve to fit without sewing the dart but somehow and did and surprisingly the dress looks okay on.

I think for next time I'm going to rotate the dart so it sits at the bust again. I'm just not sure I can get on board with the whole arm dart thing.....

Construction wise I just used my regular sewing machine. The fabric was quite "bouncy" so I did struggle with pressing the seams. In fact on the back seam where theres a keyhole detail I actually ended up top stitching the seams down to make it look neat.

Length wise I did take a bit off to make it look even more sixties and to make sure there'd be a gap between my dress and my thigh high boots. [Fun fact: I own two pairs of thigh high boots because they mean I can wear my dresses in winter! These boots keep me lovely and war,]

I did briefly wonder if the combination of the dress, the print and my boots made it look a bit like a costume but I like it so I'm wearing it. In fact I wore it bowling and whilst one woman gave me a right funny look a man said I looked just like his mum did whilst he was growing up and mentioned how nice it is to see someone getting dressed up! 

Truthfully I do sometimes worry that people might think that I'm TOO dressed up every day but I like wearing pretty things so I'm putting it to the back of my mind.

In other news!!!

-Its Rikkis birthday and I'm wearing what can only be described as a party dress! I'm also hoping that it stops raining so we can spend the evening in the garden.

- Polly went to the vets yesterday and shes in fine health. Shes still a bit timid with the boys and she still doesn't know how to play but I'm hoping she'll just keep getting better and better.

- I'm not getting much sewing done still but I've cleared out my sewing cup board organised my fabric and I've cut out loads of projects so as soon as lil mans back at school I can hit the ground running!

And I think that's it!!! 

Much Love 

Frankie xxx

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Scissor review - Prima tailoring sheers , £5.50

Dressmaking scissors can run from the cheap and cheerful to the frankly extortionate and its Sally hard to now whether you should splash out or if there's cheaper options out there that are just as good.

So I thought I'd try and test as any different price ranges and brands of scissors as I can so you can hopefully find the right pair for you! 

For starters at under a tenner they don't exactly break the bank do they? Which as for someone as stingy as me s always a bonus! Particularly seen as I know that at some point either Rikki will use them to cut paper/sellotape or I'll loose them. (I loose scissors all the dammed time, I'm currently missing 4 pairs of scissors in the house!)

I ordered them from amazon and they came with free delivery. 

They are 9.5inches long and its got a zinc alloy handle for comfort. They are also a rather fetching rose gold which makes the millennial in me swoon. And they've got pretty banging reviews which is why I thought id give them a whirl.

So what did I think of them? Well lets put it this way, they are currently my main scissor. Now as ridiculous as that sounds, i have a LOT of scissors and the fact that I always reach for these ones mean they are pretty banging. They are sharp the entire length including the tip and have been cutting through cottons, silks and wools like they are butter. 

I honestly didn't expect such a good pair of scissors for just over 5 quid. The handle is comfortable and even after a solid 2 hour cutting out session [I'm making another quilt an its a lot of squares] I didn't have any blisters and my hand didn't feel uncomfortable or sore. 

The only down side I can see so far is that sometimes they don't meet if you've got them on a funny angle. I can't really explain it better than that sorry but its something to do with the two nubby bits on the handle hitting each other instead of sliding past? 

But other than that I would say they are a brillant budget scissor! 

In other news:

- we had a great time camping, complete with a 5 mile walk and a trip to a castle.

- Rikki has helped another friend of ours move into his first house! 

- I've still not taken any blog pictures but they most recent makes are already on wardrobe rotation. 

- I've got my vintage machine running and SEWING!!!! so I'll pop on a blog post about giving vintage machines a new lease of life at some point. 

But right now I have a BANGING headache so I'm going to cook tea and then get myself off to bed! 

Much Love 



p.s I brought these scissors with my own money , but I will also be reviewing scissors that I've gifted or won. 

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Summer Holiday Catch Up!

I've not been getting much done because #summerholidays ! I'm loving spending time with the boys though! In fact we are *hopefully* going camping tomorrow [I've said no to camping in wet weather but Rikki still seems to think it will be "fun". I think hes forgetting who gets to dry the tent and wash all the muddy clothes afterwards.] So I thought I might do a catch up of whats been happening! 

Well first lets talk about this little fella!!!!! I was given this beauty a few days ago by a friend and I am BUZZING about fixing it up. Its very similar to my other hand crank but this one is basically in tact. So far as I can tell there's nothing missing but it does need a lot of TLC. The machine itself just has some rust but the decals seem to be fairly intact. I've been dosing it with machine oil and its easier to crank now. Next Ill work on getting rid of the rest of the rust and trying to open up the shuttle compartment.

The box was covered in paint and dust. The above picture is actually after I'd wiped all the dust off, I couldn't wait to get started! Luckily for me the paint must have been water based because I've gotten most of it off with a damp cloth. I've started removing the rust from the handle and then hopefully the box will go off to Rikki's Grandad to be glued back together.

Its going to take a long time but I'm hoping to get it working enough that its usable. And by the laws of sewing machine gifting if he ever needs curtains hemming or trousers taking up I'll do them with no grumbling.

The day after I got the sewing machine we spent a day at the Crocky Trail with Lil man and our neighbours. I've never been and I absolutely loved it!!!!!! I'd say its well worth a visit if your in the Cheshire area and even if your not I'd still make the trip.

I've sewn up a stella hoodie. I got the pattern in the #greatbigpatternswap I ended up cutting out one day and sewing it up a few days later when time allowed. Hopefully next I'll be able to find some time to take some pictures of it on!

But just because I'm taking a break from my sewing machine doesn't mean I've been sat on my backside. Well I have but you have to for hand sewing there's really no other option!

I've started another blanket. This one I'm called my crap scrap hexy quilt because its going to be made from just scraps!!! It's probably going to look like an awful mess because of all the random fabrics but its going to be the project I take camping and then hopefully it'll be the quilt I take camping. Ideally I want it to cover me but who knows how big I'll go!!!!!!

And that's it really. I had a quick visit to the fabric shop with another friend so he could pick out a background for the quilt I'm making him but we were very quick and I made sure not to look at other fabrics!!!

And here's a pupdate!

- Polly has continued to settle in nicely and definitely looks more at home
-shes currently in possession of 5 handmade blankets. Two knitted and 3 quilts.
- Shes very nearly stopped growling at Rikki
- We happily go for a mile long walk [I mean she takes a big nap afterwards but hopefully we can build on this until shes trotting around no bother]
- We've changed her food from wet and dry to just wet. It made sense because she was always leaving the wet food and scoffing down the dry.
- she's learnt to sit [For treats, no seriously if you ask her without a treat in your hand she looks at you as if you have two heads!]

Right so that's me all caught up!

I best go and finish packing for our camping trip!

Wish me good weather!!!

Much Love



Saturday, 4 August 2018

Coping Strategies - Ruperts Baby Quilt

I've been putting off writing this post for a long long time. [lol it actually sat in my drafts bin for another 3 months after writing that!]

But my cameras broke and I'm running out of projects I'd already photographed, so now seems as good a time as any. 

This is a very basic baby quilt made for my friend Kelly's and her future wife Amy's Little boy Rupert. 

He was actually a bit of a surprise baby [to me not to them! They definitely knew he was coming they just hadn't mentioned it on facebook!] And although I don't see Kelly very often I knew I wanted to make her little boy a quilt because shes always been really supportive of my blog and has made a lot of custom orders of the years!

I don't typically do such simple quilts any more but as I said I didn't know he was coming a so I threw something together using stash fabrics. 

And appliqued his initial on to make it personal. 

And speaking of personal I've never really addressed why I started making baby quilts for all the babies I know. And the difficulty is that its such a personal thing but my hope is that me sharing might help someone else if they are going through something similar.

We found out a few years ago that we can't have any more babies. 

Which is one of those kind of awkward things because for the longest time we'd been flip flopping on whether or not we actually wanted anymore and then BOOM decision made you have no choice! 

After Lil Man was born [And he was quite poorly after he was born but that's a story for another day!] Rikki was convinced we were going to give me three months to recover and then start trying for baby no 2. Uh no thanks hun? Luckily a midwife was on hand to inform him that she wanted me to be at least two years post c section before we even starting thinking about another one especially seen as I'd not really had a bump with Lil man so the risk would be if I got big with the next and it would make my scar burst.

So I patiently waited for two years [and I'm glad I did because I took about two years for my scar to stop twinging every time I stood up!] And then I spoke to Rikki about it and he wasn't sure he wanted another. Which is pretty tough to deal with in itself because then one of you wants more babies and the other is completely content. 

Then the swine 360'd on me again! He literally turned round after a year and a half of being adamant that he wanted no more and was all like "go on then lets have another". Talk about keeping me on my toes!

However he was insistent that I went to the doctors before we started trying because my period pains had been really really awful since having Lil man.

I went and after months of doctors taking my medical history, having examinations and scans and talking about all of the difficulties with my pregnancy and Lil man when he was born, a conclusion was reached. No more babies.  

Well actually he said it in a more doctor like way and explained that if I had just one problem he might suggest we try but due to the fact their were several problems he wouldn't recommend it because in the unlikely hood that I did fall pregnant, It was highly unlikely that I would carry full term . He did tell me I could have hope and see if a miracle happened but they don't do a prescription for that.

Then he told Rikki he must have super sperm because I'd actually managed to get pregnant with Lil Man against the odds!

Naturally because the doctor had said we could try if we wanted we had a long chat about it and decided that if it had just been the two of us we'd have had a go, but because of lil man we couldn't because it wouldn't be fair for him to have to cope the the loss or disappointment. 

And whilst we had reached an agreement not to have anymore or to even try if was still really really hard because 1. We will never know if we might have had a second miracle and 2. Once you find out you can't have any more you start seeing babies everywhere and everyone gets pregnant! 

At first I tried to bury my head in the sand and avoid all babies. Mainly because I was terrified that I wouldn't be happy to hear that someone was pregnant ever again. 

Then I found out that my best friend was pregnant and I can happily say I've never been so pleased for anyone on my life! So I made her a blanket! And well the whole thing snowballed.

Now every time someone close to us has a baby I make them a blanket and as I sit and sew it I feel a lot more calm than I did and i always feel really happy for them.

I don't even care if they keep them or if they don't use them. I just like making them. 

So far I've made blankets for:


Its still hard to be around babies but it gets easier every year. 

And its still difficult when people tell me I need to give lil man a sibling because he's going to be spoiled or why are we leaving such a big gap in between.

But things are getting better and we've even reached a point now where we laugh and joke about it and we've gradually started to tell people who are close to us rather than keep it a secret.

A huge amount of me coping is down to Rikki as well. He has been a unwavering pillar of strength over the last few years and I'm not sure I could have coped without him. [BUT IF ANYBODY TELLS HIM I'VE WRITTEN NICE THINGS ABOUT HIM I WILL DROP KICK THEM! I like him to think I barely tolerate him, keeps him on his toes!]

Much Love