Thursday, 29 June 2017

Vintage Linen Slouch Top

The weather is awful today, I've got some lovely fabrics set aside to make some summer dresses but this rain is sapping all of the joy out of me. On the plus side I'm sat in my double trouble jumper watching project runway and I've got a whole packet of chocolate digestives at my I guess its not all bad. 

I made this a few weeks ago whilst we were having that hot spell and I was sick of wearing clothes that clung and stuck to me, all I really wanted to do was wonder around naked but sadly that's not appropriate for the school run!

It all started with this embroidered linen pillowcase that came from my Aunty Shelias house. It had a small bit of embroidery on each side [It looks like it may have been done by hand?] but sadly the rest of it was badly damaged so I decided to use the embroidery as a feature on a garment and use a different fabric for the rest of it.

So the embroidery was used for the sleeves and the main body of the top was just made of a light cotton. The weights of the embroidered fabric and the main fabric are slightly different but you can't notice it when I have it on. I also added a piece of lace in a band around the top because the front felt too plain. The lace came from a craft market and is fairly thick. I just attached it using a straight stitch on the top edge, the bottom edge hangs free.  

The pattern for the top is by prima magazine, its just a very basic boxy top with a boxy sleeve. In fact the sleeve is so boxy the sleeve head is practically flat! I've never had an easier time of setting in a sleeve. It does mean that it sits rather low though, you can't really see on the pictures because the white on white photography isn't exactly brilliant for showing details. But the shoulder head reaches the top part of my arm and then the sleeve starts. This kind of goes against all of my fitting knowledge but it looks okay right? So maybe its meant to be like that! 

The prima pattern is really simple, no darts no tucks no pleats just two sleeves a front and a back! I cut a size 14 but I think I may size down next time? 

To add a bit more colour I did the hems using a coloured thread, it just ties the colour of the embroidery to the rest of the top, 

All in all I like it. When I finished it I absolutely hated it, it was just lying on the table all big and shapeless but then I tried it on with my jeans and with a few skirts and I decided that maybe its actually sort of cute in a kind of french way. I'm looking forward to the weather warming up so I can wear it again. And I love that it uses some of my Aunty Shelias stuff and that I managed to cute around the damaged fabric [although there is still a small stain on the top of one of the sleeves, but I live with a small boy so stains are part of my life at the moment!!] 

Much Love 



Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Granny Square Chic

You ever get a thought into your head and just can;t let it go? Well today I was thinking about crochet granny squares and how easy it would be to make an item of clothing out of them? You see I find crochet more relaxing than knitting probably because of the monotony.  

Anyway a quick browse on pinterest showed me that whilst you can make a garment out of granny squares sometimes you just shouldn't [70's crochet trends I;m looking at you!]....and then much to my surprise some cute things started turning up! [I do apologise to the lack of links to the original images, Pinterest is such a messed up rabbit hole now days, half the things that come up on a search aren't related to what you searched for and half the things that are don't link back to the original content!] 

Like this isn't hideous, in fact with longer sleeves and a pair of jeans it might actually be cute!! I think this is by anthropologie but I can;t find it on their website!

This I like less but its actually moschino! Its an actual designer brand! In fact a quick google informed me that their 2017 resort collection contained lots of crochet!

The above is also moschino, not exactly my cup of tea but I'm sure there is a very rich woman somewhere who loves it! 

This is a skirt but I think its kind cute, closer inspection showed me it might be a dress but that the skirt is box pleated! [this may be a picture of marina and the diamonds!]

These were my favourite two images!

This image actually linked back to a pair of $200 sunglasses...... But from what I can tell this jumper is made up of 5 round crochet squares with a boxy cropped shape and short sleeves.

And this one which is made of one large granny square and then sleeves are added on!

I think I like the first idea better? which kind of leaves me in the place where I'm trying to work out how to make one!


Much Love 



Saturday, 24 June 2017

Gingham Circle Skirt

I feel like to be a proper British person I need to start this post off by mentioning the weather.... I mean haven't we just had it all?! The blazing sun followed by pouring rain! High humidity and then this morning it was actually chilly!

Anyways I made this skirt a lil while ago but I've gotten out of the habit of posting regularly, what can I say after a day of trying not to melt I'm pretty beat!

The fabric came from my Aunty Shelia and Uncle Gordons house, my mum and some other family members went to clear it out recently and they were kind enough to set aside a lot of their vintage linens for me. This was a table cloth, my mum said they must have found at least 15 whilst clearing out so as you can imagine they were all in pretty good condition, This had one small stain that came out during pre washing. The fabric appears to be some sort of cotton/linen type stuff?

Its a pretty cool gingham design and their was just enough to make a simple circle skirt. For  the waistband I used fabric from my stash and I decided to have a button front rather than a zip in the back. Mainly because I'm running out of skirt zips and couldn't be bother to go out. 

I reinforced the front placket with hemming tape, this just meant I had something a bit more stable to put the buttons onto! The waistband however was too thick to put a buttonhole into so that closes with a press stud instead. 

I am wondering if its bit short? Like I feel like I'm young enough to still be wearing short skirts but I;m also a mum so I bend down a lot???? 

But yeah all in all I love it! It does make me a bit sad to look at it though because it came from their house and its one of their things? I did feel a bit bad about cutting up one of her table cloths especially considering what good care she took of her things but I actually think she would have been quite tickled at the thought of me making a skirt from it.

In other news! 

This week ended up completely jacked up! We had a lovely visit from Rikkis Nan and Grandad on the Tuesday and then on the Wednesday lo and behold Rikki wakes up feeling rotten [we suspect tonsillitis] which put paid to our weekend plans! The idea was providing we had nice weather we would go camping and if we didn't I'd take the train to the new Abakhan store that was opening and have a day to myself and hopefully spend enough money to snag myself a goody bag! oh and try and get myself a signed copy of Jenny Taylors new book!! As it goes Rikki being ill meant we couldn't do either!!! Not a happy bunny! Actually that's an understatement, the combination of missing out on fun things, a ill husband and a miserable child left me in what I can only describe as a foul mood. I did apologise after all its not Rikkis fault he's ill [it is his fault hes a baby about it....].  

And the freezer broke! Rikki left it open one night and then It didn't work properly for 4 days so now we've had to throw away a metric tonne of food and restock! All whilst crossing our fingers that it doesn't break again! 

BUT all is currently well, I've just had a bath and a KFC and now I'm watching Clint Eastwood in escape from Alcatraz so all is well!

Much Love




Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The Half Finished Jacket - Part 2

Okay so here's part two on my half finished coat project! You can read part one here: or you can read the short recap below!

Okay so I was given the pieces for a coat by an old friend, she had already cut it all out and basted in the interfacing, I finished said coat according to instructions including hemming etc, then realised I am NOT living in the 80's, so I took the whole thing apart to alter it again! 

The image above is how it looked the last time you saw it!

and below is the finished and altered jacket!

So I think we can quite safely say the fit is a lot better right? Its still got the big and slouchy vibe to it but The general fit is just better!

First of all I tried it on and worked out where the shoulder head needed to be on me. I marked this by standing in front of my mirror and using tailors chalk. 

So then I unpicked the entire thing, with wine, lots of wine. Because well if your going to sit and unpick an entire jacket you've just finished you are going to NEED wine!! Well actually I just unpicked the lining and then took out the sleeves and unpicked the side seams the neckline and the collar as well as the shoulder seams stayed intact!

I even unpicked the pockets and took them off [I was sure to mark a line where the top of the pocket needed to go though!] 

Then I measured how much I needed to take of the side seams and shoulder seams. A whopping 6.5cm which is slightly bigger than your average digestive biscuit. Luckily as the shoulders were drafted quite flat [I guess to accommodate the shoulder pads , which I also removed..... and burned] taking in the side seams just meant laying my pattern pieces back over the fabric pieces and re cutting the shoulder and side seam line as well as the armhole. That description probably isn't very clear which is why I took a picture of it one my phone, which Lil man then deleted whilst taking selfies........   If you want to see a really awful picture of what I was planning to do check out my instagram! [thanks by the way to all the guys who commented on my idea telling me whether or not they thought it would work!]

I did this for the fronts and back as well as for the lining, then I positioned the pockets centrally and sewed the whole thing back up! [I had to remove the pockets because they were placed within the 6.5cm I was getting rid off] 

I even did my fancy hem stitching again! Happily due to me re-sewing the sleeves I was able to set them in flat this time which I think is a better way of doing it! Plus I didn't scratch all my arms like last time!

All in all I think its a much better fit and I am glad to be rid of those darn shoulder pads!

Gosh this has been a pretty heavy post hasn't it? I'm actually surprised that I worked out how to alter a jacket and that I managed to do it and that my theory panned out! I guess that means my sewing skills are starting to improve? 

Yay I have a new winter coat! Although it still doesn't have buttons! And a huge thanks to Sue who gave me the coat to work with , thank you so much of thinking off me!!

Much Love



Monday, 19 June 2017

Denim Shift Dress - butterick 3596

If I had to describe this make in one word it would be "Utilitarian". Which typically isn't my style, in fact at this moment in time I'm not 100% what my style is? I tend to change every day? Sometimes its punk, sometimes goth sometimes 1950's housewife. But apparently when I made this I was feeling utilitarian.

So I started with this butterick 3596 pattern that I got from a vintage far I went to with my mum and dad. My mum brought it for me for the princely sum of 50p. its a bust size 36inch which is my bust size! [Just realised that putting my bust measurement on the Internet might not be the smartest thing I've ever done as it may attract some weirdos to my blog..... Hey guys we talk about sewing here, your going to be disappointed] 

I like the pattern and I love the ladies on the front they just seem to ooze class! The pieces were already cut out [this is typical of vintage patterns as they only came in one size.] So one day when Rikki was suffering from a nasty migraine and Lil man was quite happily playing I decided to quickly cut it out ready to sew in the evening.  

I cut it out of some denim I had left over from making this skirt, its from the craft cotton company and is by far one of the best denims I have ever worked with. It washes beautifully and the colour doesn't run at all! 

I went for both the collar and sleeve version! How awesome is that collar? and how bloody twee! In fact the sheer tweeness of the collar is the reason I left the hem and sleeves un-hemmed, hopefully the raw edges will take one of the tweeness away and give it a more cool vibe? Lucky the denim doesn't fray much especially seen as I added a line of stitching around the hems so it couldn't fray past that part. 

The main dress is just two pattern pieces a front and a back. The front has bust darts and both the front and the back have 'french?' darts? basically they are really long darts that go from under bust to hip.

The collar is made up of two pieces the front and the back and sets in really well, the raw edges are all hidden away by a neck facing. 

I added back pockets to make it a bit more interesting [sorry you can;t really see them on this picture but feel free to zoom in on my bum]. 

And I used a big chunky metal zip to finish it off. I LOVE using metal zips they are by far the most reliable! Plus ya know shiny and stuff! 

Fit wise I feel like the whole dress is a bit off? I like the fit on the bust but I think the side seams may need to be taken in around the waist a bit? [thoughts please?] And I kind of the think the proportion of the sleeve is a bit off? I'm wondering if a inch or two off the sleeve might look a bit nicer and younger? 

I might try those alterations and see how it looks? I'm also toying with the idea of taking off the collar? Some people can really put off the peter pan collar look but I think being a bit more busty it just looks a bit silly? and maybe I might like the dress better without it? 

All in all I think this pattern has potential? I have some drapey viscose so I might make a collarless version and try it belted? I can't belt this version because the denim is too stiff. 

I did really enjoy working with a vintage pattern though!

Much Love



Saturday, 17 June 2017

Striped Dress

One day I'll stop posting princess seam dresses made using the pattern form the GBSB book. But today is not that day.

I know I know, at this point I'm even boring myself! But seriously how CUTE is this dress!

So yes the pattern is the princess seam bodice and box pleat skirt from the second GBSB book, but as per usual I've added a waistband in.

You can find this dress in other fabrics here, here, here.

It all started with this striped cotton that I was given by the lady at the car boot. At a guess I'd say there was about a metre and a half? If that? I had to do some proper tetris cutting to get all of the pieces out of it. 

The waistband is some mesh type fabric that the lady also gave me, I made sure to press the seam allowances on the skirt and bodice away from the mesh as its slightly see through. The neck and armholes are faced and then top stitched in place. The zip is recycled from one of lil mans old hoodies but it does means I have to put the dress over my head rather than step into it.

There was no way I was going to be able to match my seams due to the shortage of fabric so I just did my best to keep the lines straight. 

It was a super quick make I think it maybe took an evening? I even hemmed it by machine to save time, I did opt to use one of the fancy looking stitches on my machine though instead of using a plain straight stitch and I've got to say I quite like the effect.

All in all I love this dress! Its super cute and flirty for the summer, although I do wonder if its a bit short? I wore it to my mums over me made may and she mentioned that she could see my bum at one point and not to bend at the waist when putting Lil man in his car seat. Looking at these pictures it doesn't look too short? So maybe I just need to be more ladylike in general???

in other news!!

: good god its hot! I spent more of the day with a rather attractive pink sweaty tinge to my face!

: My sister sent me a copy of "the handmaidens tale" by Margret Attwood! Basically since the series started on channel four me and my sister have been having weekly discussions about the episodes and stuff [we even tweeted Attwood to ask a question but she didn't reply :( ], anyways I had asked to borrow her copy of the book when she had finished re reading it and well she only went and got me one of my own! I've already started reading it and have brought a stack on post its so I can make notes! Shes my favourite person to discuss books with and its like sitting in my English lit classes all over again! 

Much Love



P.S Happy Fathers day to all the days out there! The biological ones, the step ones, the adopted ones and the mums who are doing the jobs of fathers! 


Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Gleener Ultimate Fuzzball Remover - Review

I hate throwing clothes away, especially when its one of my favourite items. Which is why when I went to the CHSI Stitches show in Birmingham I was really impressed when I met the people from Gleener! And even chirpier when they offered me one of their fuzzball removers to review! Personally I think they just took pity on me because the cardigan I was wearing had a LOT of fuzzballs and lint and pilling! 

So basically the fuzzball remover helps you remove the fuzz from your knitwear [Although me and my mum tried it on her leggings and it worked their as well!]

The fuzz ball remover is double ended. The first end allows you to clip on and off various heads depending on the type of knit you are working with, for example for delicate knits you use the least rough head. Although Gleener recommend that you start with the smoothest head and work your way up so as not to damage your knits! And to make sure you do a test somewhere that's not visible, I.e the inside or in the armpit. 

The second end is a padded lint brush that picks up any lint or fuzz balls you may have missed.

These are the three heads that come with the de-fuzzer, the top is for delicate knits and is what we used on my mums leggings, the middle is for medium knits, I used this on a few of Lil mans baby blankets before I put them into storage. And the bottom one is is the heavy duty one! I've been using this on some of Hubby's older jumpers and its the head I used for this test! 

In the interest of fair testing I used it on my awfully old and bobbly cardigan. Its also my absolute favourite and I have yet to find a cardigan I love as much! 

Its best done on a flat surface so I opted for my ironing board, I also put a towel down to stop things slipping around. Basically you drag the de fuzzer along the fabric effectively scraping your bobbles away! T-hen you go over the same patch with the de linter end! My only issue with it was that the button to switch the heads is right where my finger wants to rest when I'm using it so the heads kept popping off!

 It takes a little while to do a good job the first time but since then I've just been doing it every time it comes out of the wash and it only takes five minutes to do a top me up!

This is the amount of fuzz and lint off one sleeve *hangs head in shame!* 

And here's the finished sleeve all lovely and smooth and nice looking!!! 

Now when I showed Hubby how it worked his first question was "why wouldn't you just buy a new jumper?" so if you tend to replace your clothes often then its probably not for you however if you like to take care of your clothes or buy expensive clothes then this will be right up your street! I used it a LOT during our year of no spending leading up to our wedding and it saved a lot of our clothes. I used it on everything, t shirts, jumpers, cardigans, blankets lil mans clothes! It really did save us a fortune! It was also a hit with lots of my hand knit jumpers which had taken quite the battering after going through the washer and dryer. 

 So I would give this a huge thumbs up! Its definitely been used a lot in our house! 

If you'd like your own you can find them here  

And here's a cheeky lil 15% discount code for ya! 


And it works on amazon too

Much Love



Disclaimer - whilst I was given this product for free all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Striped Pencil Skirt

Its Sunday, and what can I say I'm already facing the Monday blues. I've just eaten a huge pizza and I'm trying to convince Rikki to pop to McDonalds and get me a Mcflurry. It's not going well, apparently he wants to watch the F1 and he's just asked me if I've done the ironing and if he has work shirts and Lil man has school tops.......FYI they don't .

Mainly I'm just feeling a bit meh? Which seems ridiculous but its true, I've cleaned the house today so I'm hoping some sewing tomorrow evening will chirp me up. 

But here's a thing I made recently! [i.e possibly the start of may?] I got this striped fabric from the lady at the carboot, It's some sort of waffle fabric with no stretch. First of all I wanted to make a box pleat skirt but opening up the fabric revealed that it was just a very thin strip. So I had to skip my plan and make a pencil skirt instead. I also had to give p any idea of matching the stripes across the side seams.

I did however managed to squeeze out enough to try and make a "bow back" Which actually turned out pretty awful, I should have realised that this fabric was to still to make a beautiful draped bow. So far I've been wearing it tucked into the skirt so you can't see it. I also cut the waistband/bow on the other grain so these stripes are vertical.

But if you do want to make your own bow tie all you do is cut your waistband longer than you need and then whip stitch the edges closed, I also recommend using a fabric with a give of drape.

Here you can see the awful pattern matching, the annoying thing is whilst one side is pretty much matched the other side is a hot mess. The perils of working with less fabric than you need eh?

I;m trying to remember if its horizontal or vertical stripes that are meant to be flattering? 

The pattern is the pencil skirt from the 2nd great British sewing bee book.

Here's how it ties at the top, its actually a cut variation on having a button tab. I am wondering if maybe it would work better if the waistband were wider? so the bow would be bigger? Kind of like the "Jojo bows" all the lil girls at school are wearing? If you don't know what the "Jojo bow" trend is just picture a small girl [under the age of 13] with a MAHOOSIVE bow on her head, these bows are typically a bright colour and are cover in glitter or diamante. Yes they are hugely tacky, and yes I am trying to work out if I'm too old to wear one......... 

Apart from the bow the skirt also closes with a bad ass lapped zip. I mean this thing is beautiful, its definitely one of my neatest lapped zips and it went in first time! Any I think I've finally worked out how to make sure the actual zip is concealed under the lap as well.

In other news!

We are fast approaching the summer holidays! I'm looking forward to spend time with lil man but I know my sewing and "me time" is going to take a pretty big hit! On the plus side we also have a wedding coming up in August and I'm really looking forward to that.

 Rikki also won a Hoverboard this week! 

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing

We popped to our local Holdcroft Renault so Lil man could see a F1 car they had displayed there and they had a racing simulator and said that you got to do two laps and your fastest time went p on the board and the fastest overall won a prize. Anyway because Rikki is Mr videogame he was gagging to have a go! I decided not to because simulators tend to make me feel a bit queasy at best. In fact watching Rikki made me feel a bit woozy!

But long story short he had the fastest time of the day and won!

He's already pretty good on the over hoverboard [which is kind of like a segway but without anything to hang onto] I on the other hand have no sense of balance and it took me agggesssss to get it and even now I'm not brilliant!!!!

Much Love 



Thursday, 8 June 2017

The Half Finished Jacket Part 1

Okay so this jacket was given to me by an old friend, I used to go to school with her daughter and then I used to serve here in the pub! [Stella shandy, half and half, the fact that I can still remember drinks orders like this but don't know where my slippers are is highly amusing] 

Anyways she was moving and she started this jacket when she was in college [which was a little while ago, I ain't going to start divulging peoples ages!] and she offered it to me! As well as an awesome sewing box that folds out! 

P.S This is my first finished jacket so prepare yourself for a long post! 

Image result for vogue 1446

The jacket was already cut out and all of the pieces had the interfacing attached and the pad stitching had already been done! The pattern was vogue 1446 , which as you can see is VERY 80's!!!! The jacket that was cut out was the middle one [view B] and a good portion of the work had already been done. 

Here's a list of what had been done:

Cutting out
Pad stitching
Pockets attached to front pieces
Fronts and backs of sleeves sewn together [They are in two parts]
Sewn side seams [As it goes I undid the side seams and sleeve seams and re sewed them because I know how seam allowances can vary from person to person]

Anyways I finished it!!!! Woop woop! I had actually forgotten just how good vogue instructions are!
I had to attach the collar which went in easy and attach the sleeves which was less fun, vogue has you set then in with the side seams sewn up and I scratched up my arms because of all the pins I had to wrangle around my sewing machine!

Then I had to sew and attach the lining, I sewed most of the lining to the front facing by machine but the neck area was stitched by hand just so I'd have more control and be able to achieve a neater finish.

I love how this turned out because you can barely see the stitches!

I hemmed the sleeves by hand as well.

The fabric was a British made wool and is LUSH! its like the most beautiful fabric in the world and I think I fell in love with it! Surprisingly it pressed really really well! Although I did use a pressing cloth so I wouldn't scorch it. The lining is just a typical lining fabric. The combination of the two makes a lovely snuggly coat!

I finished the hem using the "taped hem" method [At least that's what Jamie from male Devon sewing calls it!] Basically I turned up the hem once and whip stitched it down and them I covered the raw edges and the whip stitching with a strip of ribbon and some very neat stitches!

Then I top stitched around the edge of the whole coat, at this point I'd given up with the instructions and was just going my own way! I also left the buttons off because I just wasn't feeling it!

Okay so here's the deal , whilst I had a blast sewing this up and I love the fabric and I do genuinely think its some of my best sewing....... It is very 80's. I mean very 80's it has shoulder pads for gods sake! Now I know this slouchy style is very on trend however I think this might be a bit too slouchy for me [The lady who gave me this would have looked fab in it, shes very tall and by here own admission has the shoulders to carry it!] I however am quite short and have very little shoulders so It sort of drowns me, which is why..............

I have altered the living shenanigans out of it!!! Haha yep I went on a full hacking spree on this bad boy and now its bad-ass! But you'll have to wait for this until part 2!!!

Much Love 



P.S if you made it to the end I'll be well impressed because this was a well long post!