Sunday, July 10, 2016


Well the last couple of weeks have been interesting! The two unfinished dresses in the picture have both had a traumatic start!
I started both of them in early June in the same weekend which was a little bit ambitious but I was enjoying myself and both being sewn in white thread I was certain I could get it all done in a weekend ... Ha!
Friends and kids needed things and I ended up stuffing both projects ( in bits )in a bag in the dining room . They were going to be left for a week , and I would get back to them . Best laid plans and all that!

A poor little magpie baby fell down the chimney, not only could it not be saved but it brought decades of soot down the chimney. Bags and bags of it! It covered everything,every surface, every book , my sewing machine and my sewing projects . It has taken about two weeks to get rid of the soot. The dresses were temporarily sewn together( yuk what a filthy job) and chucked in the washing machine. Luckily all of the soot has gone but so have all of the markings. They just don't seem as exciting anymore and I can't quite bring myself to pick them up again. 

Till next time A x

Sunday, July 03, 2016

It is all about the flowers!

This post is all about the florals! 
Last weekend,we were lucky enough to be invited to celebrate the wedding of two of our good friends Allyson and Paul. Early on Allyson had said she would love it if her guests dressed with a vintage flavour. O and E both thought this was a great idea and started poring over all my patterns and books. O was quite straight forward in her choice. She liked this, from the sewing bee book.
She liked the spotted version but then saw the flowers and decided on that. I had to get the pattern copied, which I did at staples ,they were very good but had to copy it onto quite stiff un welding paper as they didn't really have anything suitable. I traced the smallest size for her and then took it in!
I pretty much followed the instructions to the letter and she was very happy with the result.
Notice how even in heels she is now shorter than her brother.

E chose a version from gertie's ulitmate sewing book, she had seen a version on gertie's blog but when it came down to it she had a lot of changes in mind. 

She wanted straps not a halter she wanted a double circle skirt but short! I was a little worried about the size as I had heard mixed reviews online about the sizing. Luckily it wasn't a problem. I then followed most of the instructions from the sewing bee version as I just felt the expense of the habadashery wouldn't be worth it in this instance ( she might not wear it again). 
The skirt nearly drove me crazy ,I nearly gave up  and the hem seemed never ending but she was really happy with the result . So I guess it was a win. What do you think?

Monday, June 20, 2016

A whole lot of sewing going on

Hellooo , as you have probably guessed mmay16 did not go as planned. Yes I did manage to wear something handmade everyday, but it was pretty much the same thing every week. Which was dull! Anyway I have chalked it up to experience and decided I need to do a whole lot of sewing.
 My first thing was a Sorbetto top by collette. A free down load that has been really popular all over the internet. I was looking for a free tank top pattern and then stumbled back onto this.The fabric has been in stash for years. I am not sure where I bought it but I think originally it was bought to be part of a quilt. It was just one of my those things that you just know is going to be a good thing before you even start.
I drafted a collar, and although it isn't quite right, as I was a bit impatient and didn't trim it down enough. Anyway it is ok and  I am quite pleased with how it turned out.
I lengthened the pattern slightly, I didn't have enough fabric for it to be any longer but another couple of inches would of made a big difference! I can see lots more variations of this on the horizon  as there are so many inspirational versions on Pinterest and Instagram which I would love to own and you can get a basic one out of less than a meter if fabric which is great for stash busting.
Till next time when it is all about the floral!
A x

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Mmmay16 week one.

Well what a glorious week we have had here in Yorkshire.
The sun is shining , it is warm and if this was a video you would be able to hear the most exquisite bird song.
It is also the end of the first week of Mmmay16 and I have to say, I have really enjoyed  myself. My promise was to wear something handmade each day during the week. I have surpassed myself and managed 6 days.

Day 1 Newlook 6301
I was planning on taking selfies but it turns out not only am I terrible at it, but actually have to stand in the bath in order to see anything. I think I need to put a full length mirror on my wish list.

Day 2 The Honeybee cardigan

Day 3 The Ultimate  Pencil Skirt and Liberty fabric blouse,

Can you see how creased the fabric is? A bit off putting,but I am hoping a slip underneath will sort it out.

Day 4 The Kate Dress and Audrey in Unst Cardigan

I honestly love this dress it is so comfy and I got told it looked very Boden,high praise indeed!

 Day 5 Audrey in Unst again

Day 6 Sarah Shirt 

So the first week has taught me that I probably don't think about what I wear enough. I own a lot of blue greens. And I definitely don't have enough clothes for summer handmade or otherwise.
My machine went into the Menders yesterday and I have spent the whole weekend thinking I will just see this... Anyway today I cut out a couple of garments in anticipation of when I get it back. 
And then I started planning something else. Here is a sneaky peek.

 So till next time Ax

Sunday, May 01, 2016

The start of mmmay16

 Well I am just signing in for my say something Sunday. I can't really show you very much as I haven't taken very many pictures. I have been too busy sewing and planning.
This is the reason why , I signed up to me made May 2016 and my pledge is this.  

When I signed up on the second of April, I did think that it would be fairly straight forward. Not so much now, I might of bitten off more than I can chew!  My sewing machine has been behaving like a prima Donna ever since I signed up and next weekend I plan on taking it for a service. This weekend, I am frantically sewing, with everything crossed that my machine doesn't chew too much of my fabric. 
Yesterday I cut out and made the ultimate pencil skirt by Sew over it.
I bought both the pattern and the gorgeous cotton sateen from sew over it's online shop. So lovely and simple. It came wrapped in pretty turquoise paper and a hand written note- a present to myself 😀. It was a super easy sew, even if my poor old machine was groaning all the way through it. The only thing I would say is that the pattern is super generous with the amount of fabric it thinks you will need. It states 1.3m and they sell in half metres so I ended up with 70 cm left over.. So another skirt soon. This skirt though, there is only one word to describe it. Sexy with a capital S! 

Today's endeavour was the Kate dress
I saw a gorgeous version of this earlier in the month ,somewhere on the internet, blue with tiny white spots and I just had to have it! I found my copy of the pattern in EBay. The fabric was a gift from my friend Sarah and it was instant love. Lucky me! Perfect fabric + pattern means  I love this dress!!!  Several of the other jersey dresses I have made recently were a bit roomy in the sleeves and arm holes, but this one is perfect for me. it is is just the thing to take you from work to school run and back again!

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Fiascos and zips rarer than hens teeth

I have had two delicious weeks off and I honestly haven't been very productive. I have signed up for #mmmay16 and said that I will wear something handmade for every week day during May. Then I chucked out lots of stuff including things I have made. Which means if I don't get some serious making done, it might end up as a reenactment of the Emperors new clothes- Gulp!
So first the fiasco, as soon as I finished my last Viola skirt I cut out another one and then just left it in a heap in the corner of my dining room. Unfortunately when I got it back out this week I realised I had made a seriously rookie mistake. I had cut out a long and short front in one fabric and a short and a long back in the other. I managed to save the short skirt by recutting the back

but I have wrecked the longer skirt as not only did I have to recut it to the shorter length but I think I then also ended up cutting them both as fronts again as I cannot get the yoke to fit. What an idiot! 😞 hopefully I can buy another fabric at some point. For now though it is in the naughty corner.

Anyway the next project was this little bodice from the sewing bee book.
I don't actually own this book, I borrowed it from a friend but I actually think I might buy it as it has loads of cute patterns. I had the fabric in stash (it had been going to be an arielle skirt but it never happened).
I cut it all out and started putting together before I realised there might be a problem with the zip. I went to my local shop.
They didn't sell open 8"zips if any description. Online also seemed  that  most places didn't stock that size. I found one in eBay, navy, gold teeth,open,perfect! It arrived and it wasn't open, back to eBay I got a black one with silver teeth. I wasn't certain initially, but O loves it and I am happy with the end result. I pruned the seams in the size 8 and I think it worked really well at the front.
I could of gone in more at the back what do you think?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Sarah Shirt -HML

A few weeks back all of my favourite blogs were filled with the test makes of then new shirt by Hand Made of London -Sarah. Now I had never actually printed out a pattern before and tbh I found the idea a bit off putting, but I figured I would give it a go. It is quite easy you pay your money and soon an email is sent with pdf attachments and instructions on how to print the pattern together.

That was when the fun started.. My printer had a complete meltdown at the idea of printing 49 pages and gave up the ghost half way through. Also in fairness I felt my life was actually too short to spend time collaging bits of paper together, So I decided to get a professional printer to print it out for me. Expensive!!!! The printing the postage and the Vat ( yes they do charge Vat on PDF) added another £11.00 to the cost of the pattern. Making it the most expensive sewing pattern I have ever used. So would I be tempted to use a download pattern again? Unless I can find a printer cheaper , probably  not!

So onto the pattern, The illustrations of the model are amazing. But the illustrations in the pattern are a bit basic There are also some really bizarre instructions. I am still not sure how rolling the garment into a sausage is really going to help you finish off the top of the back placket. I didn't need to, I just lay the shirt flat and tipped the loose placket piece over from back to the front pining as I went easy! I  ended up having to take out the sleeves once as I felt they were probably the wrong way around as I missed the back notches and thought they were part of the gather in the sleeve head.

As I have started writing this I have found that they actually have a sewalong here
With lots of useful tips , I would of found those useful and if I was doing it again( which I probably will) I will be reading them closely.

I made the UK 10 and would say it is a pretty good fit. Although again if I was doing again I would change a few things. The neckline is a little high, it rests on the hollow of my neck which feels a little restrictive so I am unlikely to ever wear the top button done up. The cuffs are a little too small, they work with poppers( nothing like a popper to make it look handmade) but another inch and they could of had button holes which would have been amazing. I did think I would also make the placket in the size 12 with the rest of the shirt in the 10 as although it fits really well I felt like my movement was slightly restricted, but after wearing it for a day I am happy with it as is.I know others have said that the arm syth is a little tight but for me it is perfect as is.

As for my shirt what do you think of the fabric? I think I have been watching way too many 70's Dramas; Vinyl definitely has a lot to answer for! I bought it on my local market for £3.60 a metre. My girls have both said ugh! Or in the case of O "well it suits you...." Or E "it might be ok in another fabric".Oh dear Very damming!
I decided on French seams through out but after I end up having to take the sleeves out ( because I think they were backwards) I just finished them off with an over casting stitch. I think that overall this will probably end up being worn with jeans, rather than to work due to the back restriction and also because I think twirling might be frowned at work :) I do love the buttons though definitely perfect for my inner disco queen.
The photos were taken earlier down by the canal where we spotted this little fella glorious hey?

Till next time A x

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