Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Five Tips For Sewing Circle Skirts!

Whether its sewn to a bodice or just as a skirt on its own, you can't deny the awesomeness that is circle skirts! 

The draping! The swishyness!!!! 

But they can be a bit tricky to sew! so here's my top tips!

1. Choose your fabric - make sure its a medium or lightweight fabric as heavy fabrics don't drape well!

2. Be gentle - don't drag your fabric around like a caveman! Because you'll stretch it out!!!

3. Stay stitch your waist seam. because your waist will be cut both on the bias and on the straight grain it will stretch. So stay stitch unless you want it stretched out so you can gather it! 

4. Let it hang! Once its all sewn up place it on a dress form or coat hanger BEFORE you hem it! Circle skirts tend to stretch and end up with uneven hems so let it rest! I tend to go for about 48 hours if I have time! Then after its rested even it up!

5. Pick your even carefully, because its a circle they can be pretty tricky to hem but here are some easier options! Narrow hem! Using bias binding to hem [I love this method because its so quick] and hem by hand I tend to do this for fancy makes and do a 1cm hem and dainty stitches!!!

So do you have any tips for sewing circle skirts?

Much Love



Saturday, 24 September 2016

Foxy Lilou Dress

I am exhausted! Lets just say lil man woke up yesterday morning not feeling well and by yesterday afternoon I was washing or actual duvet in the bath [it doesn't fit in our washer] whilst Rikki tried to track down a new one!

Anyway its only a cold [hes always sick when he has a cold] so we popped out later on to give him some fresh air......and .......... we ended up coming home with!!!!!! GERBILS!!!! If you check out my insta you'll see a cute lil video I've shot of them! I'm hoping to get some pictures to but boy are those lil guys rapid!!!! So if you do get to see it you'll meet Snowy, Daisy and Buttons [Guess which one I named?]

But your'e not here to hear me ramble on about my new furry friends!

Instead Your here to see this! A dress with furry foxes on it!!!!

Okay so the details! The fabric is from the craft cotton company and they sent it to me as an early wedding pressie so I could make some stuff for Vegas! It features a sitting fox and a sleeping fox and is about the most adorable fabric I have ever seen! 

Interestingly enough Rikki is a firm hater of novelty print fabrics and he doesn't mind this! I think it could be because I spent 10 minutes strutting around our living room singing "I'm a Foxy Lady" [if your wracking your brains truing to think how that song goes, it doesn't.....I made it up on the spot.............and the dance too]  

The pattern is a Lilou dress, from Tilly and the Buttons love at first stitch! BUT I added sleeves, mainly because I needed a dress with sleeves just in case Vegas has got some serious sunshine on the go! 

The sleeves are from the Megan dress from the same book. But instead of gathering the sleeve head I decided to just pleat it over. I'm always wary of gathered sleeves because they look like puff sleeves and hello I'm not five! So I just pleated them over to make it a bit more grownup. 

The skirts gathered, which is pretty standard for me, I tend to find gathered skirts, box pleat skirts and circle skirts the most flattering.

I think the scooped neckline works nicely with the sleeves and I'm glad I've opened up a whole new relm of Lilous to be made!

The zip is blue! I swear to god when I was finishing this at 10 at night I thought the zip I pulled out was black and then low and behold its bloody blue! Note to self : Having energy saving light bulbs where I sew is not energy saving at all! 

I'm wearing it belted here, but I'm not sure it needs to be. In fact these pictures show the belt in completely the wrong place which is a bit annoying!

The only thing I did that was really different was not doing a lined bodice, I thought I might really regret it but I just didn't have anything suitable to line it! Anyway I don't mind it, and I hope it might take me out of my EVERYTHING MUST BE LINED PHASE!!!! which I was worried might make me a bit sweaty [yeah I know too much info!]  

All in all I love it, I think its a really cute print and I can see me wearing it a lot through the darker months because of the colour!

Much Love




Thursday, 22 September 2016

The hen party dress that wasn't.........

I'm having some serious flip flopping about this dress, at first when I tried it on I thought the bodice was too long and considered taking the waistband out, then I wore it whilst washing up [standard do I like this dress procedure!] and I decided maybe it was okay but not perfect.

and then I though well I only really want perfection, and then I showed it Rikki and he said he didn't think the bodice looked to long [and even remember that this is the fabric from my big haul that he liked best!] 

Okay so the fabric was a spandex jaquard from Abakhan fabrics and cost me £23.70 for 1.5 metres, I actually winced when I typed that because OMG that's a lot of money for fabric!!!!!

So anyway onto the techincal stuff, the bodice is from the third great British sewing book and is the hack from the corset! Its fully lined and I did some top stitching down each seam for a modern vibe. The halter neck is stitched to one side and clips with a button on the other side.

I thought the bodice might be too short which is why I added a waistband, and now I think it too long! sods law eh? 

The skirt is just a basic circle skirt that I cut directly from the fabric! FYI the bloody circle skirt is one of the reasons I didn't wear this to the hen party! The thing stretched and then it stretched some more and then just when I thought it was done I gained an extra centimetre! It took and hour to level it all of and an hour and a half to hem!

The picture above is why Ill be ripping out that waistband later! just look at that bunching!!!! I'm not sure if its my wonky stance or the waistband but either way I'm going to be getting up close and personal with my unpicker!

If I wasn't so darn fussy I think I'd leave it but it just doesn't look quite right?

Much Love



Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Whats In my Sewing Box!

So I actually made this video on the 14th September but haven't gotten around to uploading it until yesterday!!!

So yeah it features the ENTIRE contents of my sewing box!! 

Grab and cup of tea [and a cheeky biscuit, in fact just grab the packet!] 

and enjoy!

Much Love



Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Hen Party!

Okay so this was going to be a lovely post showing you the dress I made for my hen party, BUT naturally I went to newlook in the morning looking for a swimming costume and came out with a dress! So I wore that instead! Plus as always I'd left it much too late to hem it so that's on my to do list today!!! And its a circle skirt so that'll be fun! 

Anyway much fun was had, we went for a lovely meal at the cotton mill in Newcastle under Lyme and then onto reflex nightclub! Sadly my poor bridesmaid had to leave as she wasn't feeling well [as it goes she has bacterial tonsillitis!]

It was great fun to let my hair down and have a good old giggle and I felt so lovely wearing my cheap newlook find! Even if it was WHITE! and I really don't do colour!!! I really loved it though and I'm desperately trying to find some fabric that's very similar because and brace yourselves for this...... Red wine got spilled on it and wiped off. AND IT WIPED OFF! 



I'll give you all a moment to digest that

Honestly I thought my night was done for and then it just came off, we did a minimal amount of blotting with soda water but other than that you couldn't really tell!

As soon as I've worked out what fabric is I'll let you all know, ans then we can swath ourselves in full outfits made of white and not worry about stains!!!!

Much Love



Saturday, 17 September 2016

But would it be easier?

I went bikini shopping.....

Our Las Vegas honey moon has crept up on me and I realised I only had 1 matching bikini, 1 random bikini top and a swimming costume.

I needed more so we braved primark. [and asda, and newlook and tesco!]

and I mean BRAVED! There was a sale on so that was all kinds of fun, and whoever had put the stock out had done it with all of the organisational skills of a elephant in a teapot.

You see have have a few simple rules for buying bikinis.

1. it should cover my nipples [I thought this was pretty standard but I think I might be wrong

2. It should cover both my front and back bottoms [I also thought this was a universal requirement, yet again wrong]

3. It shouldn't cost the earth, I refuse to spend a fortune on something with that little fabric.

4. It shouldn't make me feel like a potato. [I know I don't look like a potato but it shouldn't make me feel like one!

Anway I walked into the changing room with 8 bikini sets and came out with 1, yes 1 bikini and a huge dent in my self esteem. I mean what the hell is clothes shopping? Especially bikini shopping?

My problems started when my lovely fiance couldn't come into the changing room with me, I need him to tell me all of the good parts of how I look when all I can see is the bad! Now I do get this, upon entering a changing room with my partner either he starts ripping open curtains or we have to "have it off" [we don't do either of these things can you detect the sarcasm?] And I get it because there are probably men who make women feel uncomfortable when they are in the changing rooms, but I needed my Rikki! 

My next Issue was with the door or should I say curtain? This is the twenty first century people!!! Get an actual frigging door! with a lock! and FYI if your one of those people who goes to open a closed curtain "just to check if there is someone in there......" there's a reason its closed! BECAUSE THERE IS!!! 

Next up is the lighting, who decided that what women want is florescent lighting? Who stood and thought whats the most unflattering lighting we can find, because I think we'll use that!!! and the mirrors!OMG the mirrors! If it wasn't already bad enough that you look like a giant in that tiny room, with 50 million watt bulbs lighting up every flaw [Including the attractive indentations from your jeans] then your open your eyes to find yourself reflected seven times over.

And the whole time I was stood there, in a bikini top that barely concealed one boob let alone two, with the bottoms on over my pants because hygiene guys! please don't be the person who tries on without pants on! and Ya know my socks on because lets face it I ain't putting my bare feet on no grotty shop floor , thinking to myself would it just be easier to sew something?

I mean if you look online sew essential has 17 swimwear patterns ranging from bikinis to full suits. I could pick on up for about £8.00 and sew as many as my little heart desired!

But I would have to get fabric?  which can range from £10 a metre for plainer stuff to £20 per metre for more jazzy stuff, and how do you know if your got the right stuff? what if it too thin? WHAT IF IT CAN'T SUPPORT MY BOOBS? *whispers* what if it goes see through?

What if I need power mesh? what if I don't know what power mesh is? what about underwire? What about stitching!

And then the most horrifying what if?

What if after sourcing all the materials and sewing it up I still dont like it? whats if its like the 7 that got put in the no pile in the changing room? all that work and expense and I might still hate it?

So in my eyes its easier to suck it up and go shopping!

but I just need to remember these things, 

1. Always size up!

2. Try on at home and return them if you have to! the lighting in your own home is far Superior! 

3. and reward yourself with a cookie after!

Normal sewing will hopefully resume soon!

Much Love



Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Top Tips For Sewing with the Big Four Pattern Companies!

There's something about the big four pattern companies that strikes fear in the hearts of many sewers! I'm not incredibly sure why? I think maybe because so much of the old style of learning to sew has been lost now that people find the lack of instructions and sizing to be a huge problem with the patterns. The internet says that the big four are Simplicity, Vogue, Butterrick and McCalls, but I think you can also include Burda and Newlook in there!

Anyway I quite like them, Yes they put stupid amounts of ease in and the instructions are crappy to say the least but! They have pretty much every style known to man , they don't need tracing and they are pretty cheap compared to most indie patterns!

So here's my top tips for having a pain free sewing experience with the BIG FOUR sewing pattern companies! 

1. Measure yourself, Be accurate, be honest! Wear the pants your planning to wear and don't breathe in!!!!

2. Find your pattern size on the chart, check whether that's a finished garment measurement or not. 

3. Now measure the pattern pieces that correspond to your size [before you've cut them out] does that correspond with other patterns you've made that fit you well? 

4. Google it. We live in an era of having information at our finger tips, and there are so many sewing bloggers out there that if you google your pattern name and number there's a huge chance that someone out there has already made it and encountered any issues the pattern might have. Seriously technology is AWESOME!!!!!  

5. Toile the pattern, Yes I know its basically a boring waste of precious sewing time but its worth it!!!!!

6. Apply your own sewing knowledge! Repeat after me "I am a strong independent sewing bad ass!!! I know what I am doing" The blunt truth is indie patterns do a lot of hand holding! But trust me you can do this! Stay stitch your necklines, apply interfacing even if the pattern doesn't ask you to, BASTE!!!! You know this stuff!!!!

7. Read the instructions, read the envelope, read the paper that the instructions come one, read the tissue pattern. You've read it? Read it again, then once more with feeling. Whilst Indie pattern companies hold your hand , the big four assume you don't have hands. The information is their but its all mashed up and all over the place!

8. Ask for help! There is a huge sewing community on Facebook, Instagram and twitter! Ask your question, hashtag to your hearts content and watch the lovely sewing folks come to your rescue!

9. Keep everything together, yes the envelope is the size of a postage stamp and the tissue pattern feels like trying to fit a double duvet into a teabag but do your best, or alternatively stick it all in a bigger envelope! Just make sure you keep the instructions!!!!

10. Finish your make bask in your own glory and get searing for your next pattern! Seriously guys, the big four have covered every single shape, style and silhouette you can imagine! If you want to make it they have a pattern for it!!!

So what are your top tips for sewing with the big for?




Thursday, 8 September 2016

#sewphotohop week 1

Omg it has been hectic, what with Lil man starting school and everything else I just haven't had time to sew! or breathe or eat!!!!!

But anyway I have been keeping up with the sewphotohop challenge!

Day 1 - Hello! this was my introduction photo!

Day 2 - Favourite skill, Mines hand sewing because its basically therapy!

Day 3 - Dream Project , I've been thinking on coats a lot at the minute especially after finishing my little jacket, and I'm thinking that I might actually have the confidence to give it ago now !

Day 4 - signature style, I think mine is simple shapes with a vintage vibe!!!!

Day 5 - Print or solid! Print obvs!!!

Day 6 - sewing essentials, this is the inside of my sewing box and it is a huge mess!

Day 7 - Stash Buster, I said these bunny rabbits! I love a stash buster that can double as a present!!!!

And that's it for this week!

I am really looking forward to getting back into a sewing routine but things are sooo crazy at the moment!!!!

Much Love



Monday, 5 September 2016

Simple Sew #009 Jackie O Jacket

I love chanel. In fact I love designer. I don't buy designer but I still love it. I can even pin point the exact moment I fell in love with it. 

I'd been obsessed with clothes for years but when I was about 11? I was a remember of a swim team and we used to do a lot of race meets and we used to go by coach. Which was frigging torture.... For some reason every single other girl [and boy] thought it was the most fun thing in the world to take the mick out of me and just generally be awful human beings. 

And then one day after actually hearing these kids be horrible to me, my mum gave me a stack of magazines, and my sister gave me here old cassette player and a bon jovi tape. And that was it now I didn't have to listen anymore, Now I could just read and listen to good music! 

And it gave me a little bit of respect because "OMG frankie has vogue, instyle, glamour, and marie claire, If I'm nice to her today [ya know like an actual human being!] she'll let me look at one on the way back?"

And that little trip down memory lane explains where my love of designer came from!!!! 


I'm trying to use more of my patterns, I seem to have gone from having about three to having quite the little collection and I hardly seem to use any of them. Especially the ones that come free with magazines.

Anyway I made this jacket because I had a little bit of this houndstooth fabric left from making my wool cape. The fabric is from Abakhans and I used the looser weave for my cape and decided to use the slightly more matted side for this.

Anyway It all came together pretty quickly, the pattern is easy to follow even if there are not any pattern markings. I did make things a bit more difficult by deciding to fully line the jacket and slip stitch the facings down. But boy was it worth it!!! its given a really clean finish and my stitches were nearly invisible!!! 

The brooch was from my sister and her husband for my birthday one year!! Its one of my favourite pieces of jewellery, to the point where the cameo fell out on a night out and I went back the next day and crawled around the sticky floor with the bar manager searching for it!!!

I dint have enough fabric for pattern matching but it actually turned out okay. I faced the neckline as per the instructions and even put on the pockets. They are pretty useless but they look cute!

Ive got to say I LOVE this jacket! and I think its given me the confidence to actually attempt a coat at some point [and I don't mean the beasty coats me and my sister are making , something more wearable!!!]

All in all to say its made from left overs I am pretty darn pleased with it!!!! 

And I've made a little video of me reviewing the pattern! Which gives a few more details!!! And you can find it here! 

Much Love



Friday, 2 September 2016

Lace Crop Top

Okay so I think I have a thing for crop tops? Its becoming like an actual thing!!! This one came about because I was going to do fancy dress for my hen party and the theme was going to be 80's but people seemed kinda meh about the idea, and the idea of just me and like two other people turning up in fancy dress filled me with sheer terror!!!! So I cancelled the fancy dress part and just said to dress nice.

Anyway this was based off Madonnas like a virgin outfit, and to say its made from old net curtains and some other scraps of white fabric I think its pretty cute. 

The pattern is from the third GBSB book its the pattern hack from the corset I didn't do a zip from and instead sewed 14 eyes [from hook and eyes] up the front so I could make it corseted. That was completely spur of the moment but ended up being my favourite feature. But it does take quite a bit of "jiggling" to get everything to sit right and to make sure the front isn't ruched p from the ribbon.

The straps are recycled from an old bra and aren't quite long enough so pull it p a bit too much, meaning I have to pull it down. I'm going see how much this annoys me before I unpick them and replace them. The whole thing is lined so It looks super pretty on the inside, I didn't do flat felled seams because flat felled seams with lace seemed like a lot of effort.

Overall I'm pretty pleased with it, I'm really loving crop tops at the moment for layering under tops and wearing with oversized men's shirts!!

Funnily enough I left this on after taking these pictures and a jar of pasta sauce exploded all over me. And I mean all over from my freshly washed hair, to my white lace crop top to my skinny jeans. Could not have been more peeved if I tried! 

I have no idea if the stains going to come out, I have soaked it in vanish but I don't have high hopes!

anyway in other news! I'm getting my hair done today so expect selfies!!!!!!!

and I'm taking part in the #sewphotohop so Ill be doing weekly round ups for those of you who don't have Instagram or don't follow me [although if your not following me WHY NOT!!!! Your missing out on some serious sewing goodness, and also my face!!!] 

Much Love