Thursday, 18 December 2014

Blog Love #3

Hi Gang- with the madness and tiredness of moving house I totally forgot to write a Blog Love post last month! Damn! Because there are so many amazing blogs out there that I keep finding and wanting to share with you all.  

I can't lie though, it's also been a busy time at work- working in retail obviously means that right now we are in the middle of peak trading, and I'm having to work late shifts as well as regular long days.  It's a good job I enjoy my job really.  Retail ins't for everyone, but I'm working towards management training, so I get given a ton of extra responsibilities and tasks to keep a girl busy.  It's good because it means each day is bound to be different.  Sadly though in takes me away from sewing and you guys!

Side Note, what do you think of my new blog back ground?  I have no design skills, so bought a new design off talented internet people.  I love it!  It's totally me.  Next up will be getting some new photos taken, which my mum's going to do for me :)

Now we're all settled in to our new house and I've found some time to blog, I bring you another three lovely blogs to sink your teeth into.  

1.Sewn by Elizabeth

Elizabeth's blog is relatively new to me; she's an Auzzy blogger, sewig for herself and her kids. I feel like we're on the same level of skill etc so it's nice to see how she develops her skills too. With a couple of years of blogging under her belt she's got a lovely selection of garments in her handmade wardrobe and shares some interviews she's done with indi pattern designers.

2. ReFashionista
If you haven't yet found the ReFashionista you clearly haven't been paying enough attention to Pinterest. She shops exclusivly at secondhand shops, snapping up pieces that no one else would touch for just a dollar and with some clever cutting and snazzy stitching turns each one into a totally wearable garment! Seriously the transformations are amazing.

3. Scruffy Badger Time
Whinny is a regular on the UK bloggersphere, hosting desert island sewing and stitching an inspiring work out collection. Not only does this talented women see, but she runs marathons too.  The only marathon I do is the DVD kind. Totally have a nose around her blog for inspiration of many kinds- I love her fabric choice, which she does perfectly almost every time!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

DIY Faux Fur Gilet

I wrote a whole post yesterday and forgot to save it! Urgh! making this the second time I'm writing this so I'm going to make it quick! 

I've loved the faux fur gilets I've seen around recently, but the really nice ones are around £70+, but I am not willing to pay that much for something I knew I could DIY easily enough.

There is a pattern by Named, the Tala, but I decided that it was going to be such a simple pattern I should have a go at drafting one myself.  
I made a sample out of muslin, and went for it.

The fabric I used is from my favourite local market stall, Stuarts.  They charged me £20 for 1.5m of fur and lining fabric, though the ticket price was £12/m for the fur- I love being a customer of local businesses!

The construction was simple enough, I stitched round the neck line and the arm holes, then bagged it out and stitched the side seams together.  I originally made the front overlap quite a lot, but decided once it was all put together it was too much.  So I took out three inches from either side.  It still over laps by a couple of inches, but there was a lot of bulk that needed to go.  I also wasn't sure how to go about sewing the hem, so I folded it over and stitched it down, but I think there is probably a better way, a neater way.  I'll have to figure that out, unless anyone has any tips?

All in all, I am so pleased with it! It's lovely to wear and really cute.  There are a couple of small fitting issues I would change if I make it again though.  I'd take out 2" from the back of the neck, and I would totally add pockets! I really miss pockets when I'm wearing it, so they are an absolute must.  I would also play with the neck like, this one is cut in to a lowish V, but I think I would raise it a couple of inches should I make it again.

Gilet- Self Made, Dress and Jumper- Fat Face, Scarf- Accessorize, Bag- Vintage Shop, Earrings, Belt and Tights- New Look, Boots- Rocket Dog

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Ten Sewing Book Gift Ideas

Books always make a good present, and for creative types there are an absolute plethora of book options available.  I've made a list of some of my favourite books and some books I'd really love to get my hands on. Here is the list, I hope it inspires you to add things to your Christmas list, or perhaps gives you ideas for your favourite sewist. 

1. Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes

3. Fashion - DK

5. The Sewtionary by Tasia St Germaine

6. Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire B. Shaeffer

7. Real Fit for Real People by Pati Palmer

8. Fashion Sewing: Advanced Techniques by Connie Amaden-Crawford

10. Dressmaking by Alison Smith


Monday, 8 December 2014

10 Easy Last Minute DIY Presents

Hey Guys, with Christmas just around the corner now, it can feel like it's too late to enjoy a DIY Christmas.  But I say there is still time to whip up a couple of last minute presents for our favourite people!

I've done a round up for us all of crafts which really do only take a really short amount of time to put together, but are bound to be hits!

So very easy and so very in right now- whip one up for all the stylish ladies in your life and sneak in an extra one for you while you're at it!

2. DIY Kimono Dressing Gown

Adjust the length of this kimono and sew up a simple belt to turn in from day wear to super cute and sexy dressing gown.

Here's me with one I made earlier!  Mors bags are a charity which encourages people to ditch the plastic bag in favour of reusable fabric ones.  They offer a free pattern to make simple bags, which come together really quickly.  I'd say make each person two or three and you've got a lovely, green, Christmas gift thats good to go (shopping that is).

From my own blog- the Cafetiere cosy is a really quick quilting project, perfect for the caffein junkie in your life.  Keeping the pot warm means one person can enjoy a whole pot to themselves, with out the disappointment of pouring a cold cup.

I've made this pattern a couple of times now so can personally attest to how easy and quick a make it is!  You're able to use almost any fabric for this, cottons, voiles, netting, so you can make really lovely and personal gift in no time.

6. DIY Knitted Mug Cosy

Such a cute idea and a really easy make to whip up.  Pair it with a nice mug and some sachets of hot chocolate, coffee or tea bags and its a great gift ready in no time.

This super simple but stylish hat would go down a treat with almost anyone, guys and girls.  

8. DIY Hogwarts Scarf

So this will take a little longer than most gifts here, but I know any Potter-Head would be so delighted to receive this gift, I'd say it's worth it.  Plus, you can always do none-hogwarts style and chose the colours of your favourite team.

9. Wine Bottle Covers

Whip a couple of these up to make the gift of wine (which is always welcome) really special!

10. DIY Book Marks

Pair this up with a much loved book and this is a really lovely gift idea!  Hit your local book shop for recommendations too for a proper paper back experience.

I hope this guide has inspired you make some lovely last minute gifts- it's not to late!  But, don't stress out too much, Christmas, after all, isn't about the presents, but spending time with those you love (and eating a tonne of food!)

All photo credits to the original sources.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Share Your Sewing Space: Charlie from This Blog is Not For You

 Being the Nosy Parker that I am, I'm starting a new series taking a peek at other sewists sewing spaces. Each month I'll be chatting with other bloggers about what makes there space special to them and how they went about putting it all together.  In part, this is going to help inspire me as I create my own creative space in my new home.  I hope you all find this as interesting as me, I do love looking around other peoples homes.

Today I'm chatting with Charlie from This Blog is Not For You.  Charlie shares her home with her Mr and doesn't have a dedicated sewing room, so I've asked her to share her tips for working in a shared space.  Let's have a look around!

When I started thinking about taking pictures for this article, I found myself (again!) drooling over all these beautiful Pinterest boards of sewing spaces in a desperate attempt to get some last-minute inspiration. Unfortunately, there is no way I can turn my messy sewing flat (no, it's not just a 'space' anymore) into anything only remotely similar. Let's face the facts. Only a very small minority of us sewers is probably blessed to have one of these super gorgeous, perfectly tidy and decorated sewing spaces, sewing rooms (!) or even garden sheds (!!!). Most of us probably struggle to find any space at all and often have to share it with significant others, kids or flat mates who expects the creative mess to be gone by dinner time. But you know what? In the end it doesn't matter how pretty your sewing space is. As long as you can find a power socket near you to plug in your sewing machine, everyone can make beautiful stuff.  That's why I'm sharing my sewing space with you as it is. 

That's what it looks like during the project planning phase and it gets gradually worse from there!

Q1- what factors do you have to consider when setting up your sewing space? 

I share I very tiny flat with the Mr, so I do not have a dedicated sewing space. I basically use our living room table (which also functions as our kitchen table) to set up my machine. Luckily, since we have the bad habit of eating while sitting on the sofa, I do not have to tidy up every day and sometimes can park my projects there for quite a while. It's also very lucky that the Mr never complains. I can cover the whole flat in fabric scraps and he won't say anything  as long as his desk stays sewing-free. Recently he has accepted my overlock machine to share a corner of his desk with his play station and I am very grateful for that. Since the Mr is so immune towards my creative mess, I only get into trouble when we have guests coming over to our house or even staying for a couple of days. It's no sewing for me on these days. 

Q2- do you have any tips for people who have to share their space with housemates?  

If they (unlike the Mr) are bothered by your stuff lying around everywhere - keep it as tidy as possible. If you have to use a communal area, for example the dining room table, make sure you keep everything organised, because it's then much easier to put away in time for meals. Depending on your machine, you might also have to consider noise levels. With my former flat mate I made an agreement about not sewing after 11pm on week days, because my machine was super noisy.

Q3- what's your favourite element of your space? 

Since my sewing mess is accepted all over the flat now, I do not have to sit in a tiny dark corner somewhere, but can sit in front of a huge window. As the Mr's desk is right next to mine, I always have company when sewing - it's nice to chat and have someone around when things sometimes get really frustrating. Whenever he is not around I use his huge monitor screen to watch movies while sewing. 

However, it can be really annoying not to have a nicely organised sewing room. I have to do all the tracing and drafting and cutting on our living room floor, which sometimes is hardly big enough. There is no room for an extra shelf to put all notions and tools away, so they are all over the place. There is no piece of furniture that does not have something sewing-related on, in or under it.

I keep most stuff in various boxes, to make it look as tidy as possible. These boxes can be found everywhere in the flat and sometimes even I get confused when I look for something in particular. 

To be honest, this sometimes can be really frustrating and the sewing process could be way more efficient if everything was a bit more organised, but I love my sewing mess anyway. Maybe I will have a Pinterest-worthy sewing room some day, but for now it's what we sewers do best: make do and mend.

Happy sewing!

Charlie xx

Monday, 10 November 2014

What I'm Working On

I have not had much time for sewing these last couple of weeks, And I'm not sure that I'll have much time before Christmas to do a lot either.  This is not really a bad thing though, because the reason for my radio absence, and the lack of time for fun sewing adventures, is that David and I have bought a house!!!

We completed and got the keys two Fridays ago, then promptly flew to visit friends in Prague for a week, because, you know, pre booked tickets and awesome people- you can read a little more about that in my last life lately post.

So we've been really busy painting and planning and moving and DIYing and generally enjoying making the new house ours.  As we're still in our rented house until late December we're doing all those jobs before we actually move, which has been really nice.  No living amongst too much mess.  Of course some mess can't be avoided.

So, here are some sneaky peaks at out new place, in the process of being put together, and I be giving a proper tour of my new sewing space at some point as part of my sewing space tour too!

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