Friday, 2 November 2012

First Anniversary

The last six weeks seem to have whizzed by in a blur of settling in to our new home!
Mr B and I have also just celebrated our first wedding anniversary.
We decided that we would theme our gifts to each other - paper this time round.
I made a display of all the places we've visited on our holidays together so far using an atlas that I picked up at Oxfam.  Using my cuttlebug I neatly die cut the cities out, used 3D foam pads to mount them and then framed it all.  I'm pretty proud of the result, I've seen similar things that you can buy but they were way out of the £50 budget we set; this cost £4.99 for the atlas and about £18 for the mountboard, frame and sticky pads.

My card to Mr B was made using two memory box dies bought at a craft fair recently.  I'd never seen the brand before and had to be very disciplined only to buy the twiggy tree and leaf canopy.  The ribbon is from Hobbycraft - I got a metre so it will feature in future Valentine's cards too.

(The sun seems to have disappeared now so I'm having trouble the colours to come out true on photos)

Just in case you were wondering...I recieved this from Mr B.

I'd seen it on not on the high street and think it is very very cool - clever Mr B!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Home Sweet Home

I haven't been able to do much (any) crafting of late as Mr B and I have moved house!
We now live in a much more grown up house, practically a castle in fact.

Well the garage has crenelations at least!
There are lots of things to do, like sort out the curtains.

But the very best thing is that Mr B says I can have my very own craft room.  A shrewd move on his part methinks.  It should stop craft materials taking over the rest of the house, he likes to keep things tidy and neat, neat and tidy.

It isn't empty any more, I had slightly more stuff than I'd thought, but I'm looking forward to getting it organised and getting back to making...

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Vogue 1287 - Part 2

I've just come home from a day out shopping debuting my new dress!

It turned out to be much easier to make than I expected, it has just taken a while as we are moving house soon so there has been a lot of packing up to be done.  I'm really glad that I took the time to reduce the size of the bodice as the fit is really good.

I rarely sew with stretchy fabric, but I really enjoyed making this - the fabric is really soft and was easy to work with.  It's like t-shirt fabric, quite lightweight, which was a good job as at times I was sewing through at least 8 layers of it (I'm not sure I should have been but that's how it seemed to work out).  I forced myself to take my time with this dress but I gave up trying to transfer all the markings to the fabric and just used pins to mark the circles.  I did do all the tacking even though I hate hand sewing and this helped the pleats stay in place I think.

It was also really easy to match the bodice, waist band and skirt even though the bodice is a 4, the waist a 10 and the skirt a 12.  I'm still not convinced about the sizing on this pattern, I had to shorten the elastic in the back quite a bit to get the fit right.
The best thing about this dress is the cost, normally home sewing doesn't work out especially cheaply for me - its more about getting a unique, well-fitting garment - but this was a bargain!  I bought the pattern as part of a buy one get two free so it cost me £4.92; the fabric cost me £6.33 off of ebay and thread and elastic came to about £1.50.  Grand total £12.75.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Vogue 1287 - Part 1

I've decided to attempt to sew this pattern, Vogue 1287, a DKNY number...

I've read a number of reviews of this pattern and it has made me a little nervous of beginning it but I guess you need to have a challenge for the summer holidays!
The main problem for me is the sizing (quelle suprise), its described as "very loose fitting" but I don't want to look like I'm wearing a tent.  The smallest size on the pattern is an 8 which has a finished bust measurement of 41" which is 9" bigger than my actual bust, too loose in my opinion.  So I've decided to size it down to roughly a 4 which should hopefully take it down to 39" or smaller.
Looking at the pattern piece for the bodice front I wasn't entirely sure how to achieve this as I didn't want to mess up the pleating.  Then I noticed that all the small and large circles fell in line so following this pattern seemed the way forward.  Each circle was 8mm (give or take) apart so I measured 16mm from the last circle in each line and marked it.
Mr B took a picture for me...

Then I joined up the dots and drew across the top...

I also took 1/2" off each of the side seams front and back.
I'm going to use some cheap, light-weight jersey that I bought a while ago so if it all goes horribly wrong I won't have lost much.

Hopefully the combination of stretch fabric and crazy print will disguise any bodging that might occur!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Murder on the Nile

Its the summer holidays!  The weather has perked up and Mr B and I have been making the most of it.  Last night we went to see Murder on the Nile at the Tyne Theatre.  A trip to the theatre in my mind requires a new outfit so at the weekend I set about making a dressy top for the occasion.
I've had Simplicity 2599 in my pattern stash for ages and this seemed the best choice for a quick make.
I decided to make view E, with neck ruffle and bow, but add the sleeves form view A/B.  I bought some blue satin and a button to cover.

According to the envelope I'm a size 10 bust but looking at the finished garment measurements I decided to cut a 6 (never ever cut without checking the finished measurements).  It didn't mention, anywhere that I could find, the finished measurement for the lower edge so I cut it to an 8 below the waist just in case.  It was very straightforward and fairly quick to make.  

I'm especially pleased with the button loop and button-don't know why.  I've folded the ruffle back for the photo above, you don't see the button when its on.
If I was going to make this again I'd try and move the bust darts up, I think they're about 1-2" to low, but apart from that I think its worked out really well.
Murder on the Nile was really good, success all round!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Back from the brink

Its been a trying few evil summer cold, busy busy at work...But I've made it, and in fact I've made Vogue 1271.
It was the Sixth Form Leavers' Ball coming up and I bought some lovely mocha coloured satin to make the dress in.  And then disaster strikes, a head full of snot, I won't go in to detail but suffice to say cutting out and sewing were definitely off the cards.  I'd resolved to recycle a dress from a few years back.  Then I started getting asked what I was going to be wearing, "you always make such beautiful dresses" and I was tempted even though there was only a week to go.  Mr B sealed it when he expressed the opinion that I could just "beast it over the weekend".
I've made a Vogue Kay Unger dress before (V1241) and had a small disaster with the sizing of the skirt so I was a bit nervous about the sizing for this one.

This wasn't helped by the fact that even though the style is similar the sizing seems to be on a different scale.  I cut an 8 bust, 10 waist, 12 hip, added 3 inches to the skirt length and hoped for the best.
It all came together remarkably smoothly, although I have no idea what the twill tape was for so I just missed that out, and the fit is really good.  The construction is really clever and only marred by the fact that in my rush I'd cut the skirt lining pieces the wrong way round so I was left with lots of raw edges that I couldn't finish off properly.  But I only had an hour left so I decided that as I was just going to be sat down most of the evening I would just hope no-one noticed.
So here it is.

I'm really glad I cut it a bit longer than the pattern said.  I missed the belt detail off as I couldn't find anything at short notice to use as the buckle. Aren't the sleeves brilliant?

I have vowed never to make anything in such a rush again, but the compliments made it worth it - vanity, vanity....

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Vintage Simplicity 2109 Top

My first vintage pattern make is complete!
Although I seriously admire people who go the whole mile with their vintage look I don't think I can carry it off. With this in mind I thought I'd adapt my vintage pattern to make it a bit more wearable.

The thing I really fell in love with from the Simplicity 2109 pattern was the scalloped neckline so I've kept that and instead of the full skirt used the bottom of Butterick B5450 that I made in the past to make a tunic top.

The vintage pattern is a size 11 (bust 31.5") which I thought might be too small but when I measured the pattern pieces it seemed that it might be fine.  So I cut the bodice and midriff out, making no adjustments (this was before I'd totally settled on the tunic top idea) and sewed it up.
The bodice was perfect size - what luck! In hindsight adjusting all the scallops might have been a bit much for me.  The midriff was far too tight but reminded me of the Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 2281 which I made recently so I though I might put the skirt from that with it.  In the end though it was my never ending struggle to find fabric that dictated the choice.  Fortunately someone off of ebay sent me some coral linen style fabric -  'That was lucky' said Mr B.
So here it is...

(weather is not nearly as nice as when I started this project)
Pretty pleased with end result.  I've never done scallops before or vintage sewing but I would totally do either again.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

The Sun Has Got His Hat On!

And Mr B and I have been out to play at Cragside this Saturday, possibly my favourite National Trust property.

We had a lovely picnic and spent the day wandering around the grounds, the smell of pine was amazing and I wish I could grow rhododenrons in my garden. These pink ombre flowers are just beautiful.

The day has inspired me to start making something ladylike.  I bought this pattern a little while ago.  Its vintage Simplicity 2109 from the 1950s.
I'll need to re-size it and I'm not sure that a full skirt is the way to go but I just love the scalloped edge to the neck and back.  By next weekend I'll hopefully have the bodice figured out...

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Liberty Fabric Sorbetto Top (Slightly Delayed)

Well things haven't gone entirely to plan since the last post...
Work has been a lot busier than expected and then disaster struck.  My sewing machine died, there were tears, Mr B remained calm and sensible throughout.  Fortunately the nice man at the Sewing Centre in Newcastle was able to bring it back to life.
And so this afternoon, finally, I have completed my Liberty fabric top using the free downloadable Sorbetto top pattern from Colette patterns.
I'm pretty pleased with how its turned out considering the troubles I had with my machine.  I made a size 2 and copied the pattern on to Swedish tracing paper so I can make it again.  Its the first time I've used bias tape and my stitching isn't the straightest but I don't think anyone will notice!
Time to start planning the next project.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

I've started so I'll finish...

...or maybe not. I have so many half begun, not even begun, just an idea projects that its getting a bit silly now. So I'm writing this blog to record the projects that get started and maybe I'll finish something now and then.  At least I've managed to start writing a blog!
I bought this lovely Liberty fabric whilst on mini-moon in London and I am determined to make something out of it.

I think its called Mitsi and I love the red centres of the blossoms.
Now I just need to decide what to make!