Monday, 28 September 2015

Here I Go Again

Hello guys, 

I’m trying to get back in to the habit of blogging regularly again, because I’ve really missed it over the chaos of the last few months.  Not writing my blog has meant I’ve not really done much reading of other peoples blogs either, and that has made me sad.

The shop is all up and running, we’re in our first full week of trade, and we’ve got some classes booked up already, so I’m super excited.  I’m really enjoying being able to set my own pace of working and feeling confident, despite having the succeed/fail challenge lay right on my shoulders.  We’re at a point where we can open and start selling (thank God!) but there is still a huge long to do list, and most of the fun stuff is already done.  The plan for this week is admin, admin and more admin.  But then next week I need to work on some kits to sell.  We’re thinking pincushions, aprons, bunting and small bags.  Obviously, it can grow from there.  Yay! 

But, I don’t want to bore you silly with work talk, and I do want to keep this blog as my own, personal Dressmaking Diary, so I promise, while I will talk about work from time to time, you will not see any adverts or promos here.  For that stuff you can go to our business blog at

I’d better start catching up on my summer makes, eh? :D

Here are some quick photos of a dress I wore to my friends wedding in August-

Its a Cambie Dress made up in a cotton lawn, worn with a petticoat for fullness (which was awesome and fun to wear!)  Look!

I've also worn it at work last week for Frock Friday, which we are starting each week.  We want to show off  our beautiful selection of fabric and patterns so will be wearing something particularly nice each friday.  Its so nice being able to set out own rules about things like that.  I am really enjoying self-employed-ness, just don't ask me about Sage Accounting!

I'll be back next week, promise!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Oh, Hello There!!

Hey my lovelys!

How have you been doing? Well, I've had a seriously busy couple of months.  Alongside full time work, I've been to Spain with my sister, on a USA road trip with David and Soul Survivor Camp with my youth group.  Oh, yeh, also I"m starting a business. WHAT?! Oh, yeh, that's what I said.  

In September, we are opening a new haberdashery and workshop space for all you seamstresses out there. I'm going in to business with a lovely woman called Sarah, who has been teaching sewing workshops in Leicestershire for the last two years, and I'm coming in to lead the retail side of the venture.  We've picked ourselves an awesome property in the city centre, and we're opening on the 18th of September.

This has been my dream for a couple of years now- I had a slightly longer time frame in mind, but when opportunity knocks!  I am so excited!  

We've been working hard, planning exciting workshops to put on, buying a shed load of gorgeous fabrics and talking to haberdashery suppliers to bring you the best quality products we can find.   We're also selling Brother sewing machines AND we're going to stock sewing themed gifts and kits and all manner of lovely things.

We're also designing our workshop space, throwing a open weekend event (which you should totally come to!) and booking in some exciting sessions with sewing teachers.  It's all come together really quickly, and there is still a tonne more work to do, but I couldn't be happier. 

So, go, check out my new website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and stay tuned, because this is the beginning of something amazing!

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Life Lately #9

May started off on a bitter sweet foot- the first of May was one year since my dad died. So that was crap.  But I also took my driving test one that date this year, which I passed, finally.  This was my sixth time taking the test, and it's nerves that have got me in the past.  I can't describe the emotions I went through when the test instructor turned to me and said I'd only accrued one minor.  In celebration, we opened a bottle of champagne and I spend the rest of the day with my sister.  I know dad would have been proud of me- he optimistically bought me my first car when I turned 17 and would have loved to celebrate with me.

Shed loads of fabric- sorry, not sorry.  There are pieces in there that are for non-selfish sewing though; like PJ's for Dave and a sundress for my sister.  I also bought some new notebooks from paper chase- I'm old fashioned and love making notes, writing lists, doodling and journalling.  I'd ran out of note books, which honestly doesn't happen often, so stocked up.

*some of these are old notebooks, too*

It was my birthday!!!  Dave bought me cake which came in the post, we ate a yummy dinner at a favourite restaurant, I got given money which I spent on new shoes and a kindle and I spent the day making things.  I'd call it pretty perfect.  I also made a dress for the occasion, which I wore out to dinner with my family, you can read more about it here.

As well as my new Kindle, I got some paper books for my birthday- see above about being old fashioned. I can't wait to dig into these, but I am still working my way through the ones I got given for Christmas.  I'll be taking some of them on holiday with me though, so I'll probably get through a lot of them then.  I do read a lot on holiday.

I spent an afternoon hanging out with a friend, enjoying a bit of a crafternoon, as it were.  I cycled there, which, other than a small spattering of rain, was lovely.  Whenever I cycle I think I should do so more often!

Well, Dave's done all the painting (I was tempted to write 'most of' there, but I should probably be honest with you and avoid getting into trouble when he reads this), but the attic is finished!!!  We've been aiming to get the attic done since we moved in, and it looks fantastic now it's all painted.  shortly after we'd finished we moved the office furniture in and out cat thinks we've make her a bed room.  Dave also loves it, and I think it's awesome too.  It's lovely to have another room finished in our house.

We spent last weekend visiting one of my best friends in Lincoln; they've just moved in to their new house so we swung by to admire it and catch up.  I drove there, which was fun (read; scary as heck!)  And if you think we've moved fast, decorating etc our house, since November when we moved in, you should see theirs! New carpets through out and they've painted, and they've only been there a month! Super impressive.   We also saw Pitch Perfect 2- which was aca-mazing.

And, right now, we're staying in a nice hotel up need Leeds to the wedding of one of Dave's old friends tomorrow.  The drama of getting tomorrow off work was nightmarish, but I did, thankfully and we're enjoying spending some time up this end of the country and exploring local village and towns.  

It's been a busy month- this is the edited down version.  Now, I'm going to finish my wine and go get some sleep.  

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Crafternoon Fun

Yesterday I spend the afternoon hanging out with a dear friend of mine, sewing, chatting, drinking lots of tea and playing with her kitties.  Yes, that is my kind of day.  

To start with, the day actually started off pretty horribly- my mother-in-laws car was broken into.  I was going to borrow it to meet up with someone else in the morning, which I had to cancel last minute.  I was really frustrated, but at least I could cycle to my friends house!  

The day was mostly spent chatting away- so actually not much crafting got done, but the day was more about connecting with old friends than being productive, so, meh! *Shruggs*

This is actually one of my favourite things about crafting, I enjoy the creative process, I enjoy the satisfaction of making things with my hands and also enjoy the solitude of shutting my self in my sewing room.  But, really, crafting together, in person or online, is what makes making really special.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady (Skater Dress)

Hey everyone, what lovely weather we're having in the UK at the morning- not! Ugh, I just want a day of sunshine to corespond with my day off work. Is that too much to ask!  I hope the weathers better with you, wherever you are.  I've three weeks to my sunny Spain holiday with my sister to look forward to, and I can not wait! Ugh, England, sort it out! 

Today I'm sharing three lady skater dresses that I've made over the last couple of months.  With simple makes, like these and the tshirts I blogged about last month, I like to make a few up before I blog them.  I think there isn't a lot to say about each one, so I'm going with a wee collective post of the three I've made so far.

The first one is my least favourite- it's made from a ribbed, mid weight jersey from my local market.  While the fabric choice is alright, I'm less fond of the print and colour I chose.  The pale beige if a little wishy washy.  Plus, I didn't make any changes to the bodice so this one doesn't fit me quite right.  

My second lady skater was made from a much lighter jersey from eBay.  I shortened the bodice by an inch and a half, and the skirt by three inches.  I like this dress a lot!

And, finally,  a lovely bright dress!  This one I'm also super pleased with.  I picked up this fabric from the NEC Fashion and Stitching show that I went to back in March.  It's also a light weight jersey, and my vision for it was for a comfy dress, perfect for my summer holiday travels.  Now I've got the fit right, I've got the my perfect skater dress in a fabulous fabric!

I highly recommend this pattern for people new to sewing with knits (like me!) because it comes with such usefully detailed instructions.  It's the right level of hand holding to build your confidence, and I'll tell you that by the third time I made this, I was confident enough not to need the detailed instructions.  

Thursday, 14 May 2015

It's My Birthday and I'll Sew If I Want To

Hey Guys, I hope you've all had a nice day.  I've spend the day sewing at home, with a brief interlude for tea and cake with my mother-in-law.  In my opinion, the best way to spend a day.  Which is good, seeing as today was my birthday.  Woo Hoo!

Because this evening was booked up with a church meeting, Dave booked a restaurant table lat night, for us and our parents, and we enjoyed a lovely meal.  An event which obviously required a new dress!  

Enter my latest Belladone Dress, designed by Deer and Doe patterns.  This is the third incarnation of this pattern that I've made, because I love the shape so darn much! 

For this version I lowered the neck line a little, because I felt it was a little too high after I had adjusted the shoulders to account for my littleness.  I'm really happy with it now, I think it's still fitting with this style of dress.

How mental is this fabric, btw?  Its really that blurry, and it messes with your eyes.  My mum, who is long sighted anyway, had a sudden urge to pop her glasses on when she saw it, but there is nothing you can do, it's supposed to be that way.  

I found this fabric on Minerva Crafts, for £11.99/m, which is more than the average I'd usually pay for fabric, but I actually fell in love with it and didn't care.  I'm so pleased I did, as I've had poor experiences buying fabric online before, but more often than not it's with the gamble.

It's a cotton sateen, with 2% lycra, giving it just the right amount of stretch.  As a finished dress, it's so comfortable!  Even after a big birthday dinner.  I ordered 2m, but managed to get this dress out of just 1.5m, so I've a little extra to play with and will keep it aside for a skirt at some point.

I've not really got anything else to say about the dress, but I had a lovely, lovely day, and I wish you all goodnight.

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