Thursday, 14 August 2014

Blog Love #1

Hey guys,  how is it all going?  I hope everyone is enjoying the summer- it's my favourite season.  I love sundresses, shorts and t-shirts, sitting out in the garden, or the park, drinking wine in the sun, the warm weather, all of it! What does suck is that this is my first summer with a full time job so I'm not getting to enjoy it nearly as much as I'm used to.  Last summer was all about writing my dissertation sat in the sunshine.  I don't think I told you before that this new job is my first full time job, ever! It's taken some getting used to, especially squeezing in my hobbies, sewing and reading, in around a busy schedule.   It makes me admire those sewists and bloggers who manage to maintain high levels of productivity all the more. I'm very grateful for it, however, as it means that Dave and I are now in a position to buy a house!  That's something I wasn't sure we'd be able to do for years yet, so I'm really excited, particularly about the idea of decorating and all those DIYS!

So, today, to help keep your blog reading dashboard full, I thought I would introduce you to some of my favourite sewing/dressmaking bloggers-

1. Suzannah @ Create/Enjoy (formally Adventures in Dressmaking)

Suzannah's blog was one of the first I found when I first started dressmaking, and long before I began to blog regularly about my hobby.  It was also Suzannah's blog which inspired me to begin writing a dressmaking blog.  She has boundless creativity, and regularly used just one pattern to create a range of dresses that are wildly different.  Another amazing thing she does is shows you how to knock off RTW clothes, like this J Crew Scalloped Dress and the Modcloth dress.

2. Courtney @ Makesphere

Courtney is a relatively new seamstress, like me, but don't let that fool you, the girls got talent.  We've recently worked to gather on the Notebook Sewalong, she also knits (and is far more dedicated to it than me) and makes a lot of lovely clothes too.  I have to recommend her latest make, seriously, check it out, I won't say anymore!

3.  Cation Designs

I've shown off my geek side recently, but it pales in comparison to the geek crafts and costumes made by this blogger!  I always turn to this blog for costume ideas and cute cat photos- I highly recommend checking out her Party Thranduil costume! She is also expecting her first baby right now, so you have to check out her series for The Geekiest Baby- adorbs!  This is also the place to go for corsetry inspiration and generally beautiful makes.

Do you have any blogs to recommend? I love finding new blogs so please leave suggestions in the comments!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Copy Cat- Forest Things First Dress from Modcloth

Swap out the skirt for a dernel and you can make yourself a gorgeous Modcloth inspired copy cat.

It took a while to find a good fabric, and I really couldn't find anything that was perfect, but I think that this is a nice colour way for this dress.  Seeing as I own this pattern, I may just consider making up this dress :D

Hope you're all having a nice summer, I'm doing my best to balance work, home and sewing, and am dipping my toes in the quilting pond. I've a couple of quilt tops on the go, and a couple more ideas floating around my head.  I can't wait to share them with you.

Monday, 28 July 2014

All of Time and Space

Ahhh! How awesome is this fabric! I faught hard in a bidding war on eBay to win two large curtains of 2007 Doctor Who fabric and I was not disappointed! The fabric for this dress cost about £12, and I was left with a whole other curtain afterwards. I also use this fabric to make a skirt with my sister, and I'm saving the rest for a rainy day.  I've wanted some nerd-tastic fabric for a while now, since seeing some of the awesome Pins around, and have been scouring eBay for the the right fabric.  I had requirements- it had to be a show that I was actually interested in (no little ponies, sorry) and with a small enough pattern that I wouldn't end up with Thor's face across my boobs. This was perfect with it's seemingly random print repeat and blue on blue tones, it could almost pass as a regular pattern.  Almost.

I debated for a little while which dressmaking pattern to use, but I fell back on my old faithful, Simplicity 4070.  To mix things up a little I used a French curve to adjust the neck like at the front and the back, lowering the front and turning the back into a bit of a V neck. I baught the French curve with some birthday money, and have used it a couple of times on some WIPs I've yet to finish or share. It's so useful because I know that my eyeballing off the neckline would result in a odd looking shape. I forgot to stay stitch though! Damn! So the neckline is a little stretched out :(

I went with a dernel skirt, with 1.5times my waist measurements, I definatly prefer this ratio to twice my waist- I don't want too much going on there! He skirt length is 18inches with a couple added for the hem.  For a quick make this is my favourite skirt style, it's just too easy to mock up. 

One of the most exciting things about making up this pattern was taking the chance to use the over locker I've been lent for the first time! Luckily, it came threaded, so I just got going.  As the bodice is lined anyway, I used it to finish off the skirt seams, the hem and the waistband. I'm in love with the finish! I'll be overlocking everything now, I think. I've even got plans to go back and overlock past makes that I want to preserve. 

So, Dave asks the real questions, "when exactly are you going to wear it?!"  I can't say I have an answer yet, I'll be go it's and say that it's not something I will wear day to day, but when the occasion comes, maybe comic con, maybe a Doctor Who themed party (hint hint, friends), maybe just when I'm in the mood to be a little eccentric.  I know this dress will get it's fair share of wear.

wrinkly back is wrinkly

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Life Lately 24/07/14


"Watching the English" By Kate Fox is a anthropological look at the customs and habits which form the essential English-ness that we take for granted.  I'm only half way through, but so far I've been drawn in and have found my self being able to evaluate my own culture, which is fascinating! There are many home truths and many relatable stories shared in this book, and it sheds light on our English ways, even to a born English woman.  I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in society, sociology and people in general.  In fact, I've literally been talking about this book to anyone who'll listen, whenever there is a situation even slightly related to its content (which, to be honest, is like, all the time, seeing as I live in England.)  Also, if you plan on visiting England ever, its worth a read to decipher some of our more subtle and confusing behaviours.


Other than watching a lot of YouTube recently, I took Dave to the cinema to watch The Fault in Our Stars this month.  I stayed up most of the night a while ago to finish the book the film is based on, while in floods of tears, as Dave snoozed peacefully beside me.  It is a terribly sad story, but it is beautifully told and the film does  great job in staying true to the feel of the books.  Yes, I weeped at the film too- just call me the blubber monster!  (Most of the YouTube I've been watching is actually the vlog of the author, John Green, and his brother, Hank.)

Other shows I've been watching recently include Castle (up to season 4) and Fringe (season 3).  I wanted to rewatch some Star Trek TNG but stupid Netflix is stupid and only has seasons 4 through 7 *sulk*.


Clearly, she is trying to help!
So I finally found some awesome geeky fabric on eBay this month and was the lucky winner of a bidding war! I paid a little more than intended for it, but, hey, I am now the proud owner of an awesome Doctor Who dress, Yhaay! I'm blogging about it next week, so I don't want to say too much here, but I am just so excited for this project, so, so excited- I love it!


I picked up these heart frames in the sale at work for £1.50 each, and am planning on giving them a little sanding down, filling them with some cute coupley photos and hanging them in our house.  Sure, not the most intensive DIY ever, but quick and satisfying.


As of yesterday I have a full week off work to hang out with Dave- yay! We haven't had much time to plan what we're going to do with this week together, and we struggled to find anywhere cheap to go, so we settled on a "Staycation".  To ensure we don't just hang about the house, we planned in advance what we would do on each day.  We're going to Aton Towers, spending a day shopping in Birmingham, using our natural trust membership, we'll spend a day at a local festival, visiting the space centre and a day having a Lord of the Rings Marathon.  I'm actually quite excited!  This week should be a balance between relaxation and fun times.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Cotton Cambie Cutie

The Cambie dress pattern has been on my wish list for a long time now, and I finally baught a copy when I knew that I has secured full time work! Yay for being able to invest more into what I really love!

This dress is perfect, in every way that has nothing to do with me.  The shape of the a-line skirt is the right ballance between fun and casual and the fabric is just gorgeous! However, I didn't read the instructions properly so I failed to buy the right length invisible zip.  The one I ended up siding is a 14" instead of a 22", and that really does make a huge difference. I have to wriggle into the dress, so I'm probably going to replace it soon enough.

It took just 5 or 6 hours to make from cutting the fabric to finally sewing the straps on to my satisfaction.  I re-did them twice as I forgot to mark the notches telling me where they went, had a go at eyeballing it and failed to begin with.  Really happy with them now though, they might even be roughly where get are ment to go! 

Perfectly, I wore this dress to a work do the other week.  It was perfect for a wet weather pub BBQ party.  We had a lot of fun, and it was nice to chat to people in a none work environment, not that we were able to avoid talking shop all together, of course! This dress is all picked out for a couple more events this summer, I can't wait to give it another spin.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

I love Shirt making!

I've been consciously working to wards making a more everyday wardrobe recently, and one piece of clothing that I certainly consider a vital part of that are casual shirts.  When I'm not feeling like wearing a dress, you will find me rocking the jeans/t-shirt/shirt combo.  This makes the Grainline Archer shirt the natural addition to my pattern collect, no?

I loved putting together this shirt- it was challenging enough to keep it real interesting, but the instructions were clear and easy to follow.  Naturally, this wasn't a quick make, but it kept me interested through out.  Well, until I had to hand sew the buttons on.  I hate hand sewing, it takes too long for my liking and I just get bored.  So it sat in my kitchen for at least two weeks, finished minus the buttons because I'm too stubborn for my own good!

The instructions for the Archer are so brilliant, and very clear. I didn't have any problems putting it together at all.  In fact, the instructions make what started as quite a daunting task in to a smooth sailing and fun make!

This fabric was the last of the bolt at the market stall I frequent, so got the last 1.6m for £5 or so.  I love gingham, mini or big, of all colours, but especially in black.  And I love shopping on the market.  Not only do you get a wider selection of fabrics than the department store in Leicester, but they almost always cut me a great deal on my shopping.  Being a customer to a small business like that is so worth while.

This certainly wont be the last Archer I make- I've already picked out two more pieces of of fabric to turn in to shirts in the near future.  I'm considering going down a shirt size though, what do you think? There is plenty of ease in this one, so I think one size down should be fine and less billow-y.  

This picture shows the real colour of the shirt, plus it looks all artsy, which is nice :D

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