Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Blogging Award

Oh, the lovely Amy over at Almond Rock nominated me for the One Lovely B|log award. I'm very flattered, so thanks Amy!

Looking on Amy's blog, these appear to be the rules:
1) Thank and link back to the awesome person who nominated you.  2) Share seven things about yourself.  3) Nominate ten other bloggers and comment on their blogs to let them know. Easy!
1. I met the lovely Amy last November at the Birmingham Blogger Meetup and since then I've been an avid follower of her blog (even if I hardly ever get time to comment on it or any other blog at the moment) so it's so lovely to be nominated by her.
2. Mmmm right, interesting facts.... not sure these are all overly interesting but here we go:
  • I love rock climbing - I started climbing about 5 years ago and me and my other half like to go indoor climbing as much as possible in the winter and outdoor climbing in the summer.
  • I'm getting married at the start of April this year (T minus 6 weeks!).
  • My other half and I like climbing so much we're taking our climbing gear with us on our mini-moon to Edinburgh after we get married as the city has the largest indoor climbing wall in the UK if not Europe!
  • I'm over half way through my Primary PGCE - in 6 months I will apparently been trained enough to have complete control over my own class of children - scary thought! lol
  • I'm a massive fan of the US sitcom New Girl and I reckon I have a bit of a girl crush on Zooey Deschanel.
  • I haven't given anything up for Lent, because there's no point as I never stick to it - how's that for commitment!
  • I'm really missing not having much time to sew/knit/do anything crafty at the moment - who knew when I started sewing that I'd become slightly addicted to the process?
3. OK now for the 10 bloggers I nominate. Some of these lovely people may well have received this award before but I've just found them so inspiring the last few years that I couldn't NOT include them. For the rest, I've tried to nominate people who haven't had the award yet. 
  • House of Pinheiro: Rachael is just so lovely - and stunning to boot! I absolutely love her creations.
  • Handmade Jane: One of the first blogs I started following when I first got in to sewing my own clothes, she never ceases to wow me with her makes.
  • Moonbeam: Another lovely blogger I met thanks to Marie's Birmingham Blogger Meetup. She's just created the most gorgeous bridesmaid outfit!
  • My Happy Sewing Place: Another one of my earliest blog finds. Debi is absolutely inspiring when it comes to vintage makes - she's currently working through all the McCalls 1940 patters!
  • Lucky Lucille: I just LOVE this blog, what more can I say!
  • Did You Make That: Again one of the first blogs I started reading when I got into sewing my own clothes. Karen's makes are just amazing, nuff said!
  • Seamless: A great blog - Elena has pledged not to buy any new clothes and not only that, she's inspired loads of other people to jump on the pledge too - if that's not inspiring I don't know what is!
  • Sew Brunswick: This is such a great blog and this lady makes some great clothes!
  • Molly's Sewing and Garage Sale Adventures: Now if making your own wedding dress isn't inspiring enough for people, they obviously can't be pleased - it's something I considered for about a week and then decided it was way too much stress, so hats off to Molly!
  • Aventuras de Costuras: I started following Merche during MMM '12 last year - her clothes are just amazing - plus I get to practice my Spanish at the same time when reading her blog. For those of you with no Spanish though, don't worry, she writes in English and Spanish!
Phew, so there we have it.

Thanks again Amy for the lovely nomination!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Finished Project: Summer Ginger Skirt

Morning everyone! Are you all glad it's the weekend?

I've got another finished project for you today. This time it's a Colette Ginger skirt. This is technically a refashion of a previous  self-stitched project. Back in May, during the MMM '12 project, I made myself a gathered skirt out of some lovely bright, summery cotton from Frumble Fabrics.

Gathered Skirt
There was nothing wrong with the make itself, but I've hardly worn this skirt because I just don't feel like it really flatters my figure overly much. I'm not sure whether some of this is down to the thickness of the cotton I used for the gathered skirt, as it is quite a thick cotton or whether it's just the style, but gathered skirts (like on the Cambie Dress) look fine on me when attached to a dress bodice.

So anyway, since the fabric was just so pretty and it seemed silly to have something in my wardrobe I just didn't wear, I decided to refashion it into something else. I originally thought about using the Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt pattern but I didn't have enough fabric for that so I went with the Colette Ginger pattern instead, which used up more or less every scrap of this fabric.

Nothing much else to report really. I went with the straight waistband on this make as the shaped waistbands sit a little too high for my relatively short waist and lined it with a polyester lining.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Finished Project: Bottle Green Bombshell

Hello all!

I've finished my Bombshell dress...finally!!! I've had this on the go since about June/July last year and finally got round to finishing off the lining and hem. I bought the Craftsy Bombshell Course to follow along with, which was an absolute genius move on my part because Gertie's instructions are fantastic!

Back in the summer, I made a bombshell bustier as a bit of a practise run for this dress, never having made anything with steel boning in before. It went really well, mainly thanks to all Gertie's amazing instructions. I'm not sure it would have gone half as smoothly without them. Anyway, things were going really well, the bustier had worked out great so I got started on the dress with a vengeance..... and then my PGCE course started!

Although I've made a couple of other things since the course started, none of them needed quite the attention to detail as the bombshell dress, so they were easy enough to fit in amongst studying and general stressing out over how much work I had to do. I just couldn't bring myself to get on with all the fiddly stuff involved in finishing this dress off until just after Christmas. I've had a relative lull for the first few weeks of term (which, it's safe to say, has now officially come to an end), so I managed to get this dress finished, along with a couple of other things.

So anyway, enough blabbering on. Lets gen down to business... I cut a size 8 in this dress, which fit pretty much perfectly straight off. I added just a smigde of extra length to the bodice to get it to properly hit my waistline (no more than about 1/2" to 2/3" probably) and I took the side seams on the skirt out about 1/2" across the lower hip area because I just could not walk properly in it. It feels much more comfortable now! I also added about 4" to the length so that it nicely hit on or just below the knee on me.

I used a bottle green cotton for the dress, which is fine, but possibly a little too drapey. I think I'd use a slightly thicker cotton next time round to help with the overall shape. I also used a bottle green cotton lining for the inside and a bright green grossgrain ribbon for the zipper guard. I technically still need to add a waist stay, I just haven't got round to it yet.

I catchstitched the hem of the dress and also folded under and stitched all the seam edges to make it look nice and neat.

I put clear buttons inside the dress at the front to attach the halter neck strap to, and might add a couple of buttons at the back too, so I can make some other straps to go with the dress.

All in all, I'm quite proud of this make. I've learnt lots of new skills making this, including:

  • Steel boning;
  • lapped zippers;
  • inserting a zipper guard; and
  • Lots of different hand sewing stitches.
I'll definitely use this pattern again, once I have more time at least! I'd like to make a version with a full circle skirt as I think that would look great too. 

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Finished Project: 'Got Your Measure' Cambie

Hello again!

Another finished make for you today. This time my Cambie dress, made with the tape measure fabric I bought on the Birmingham Blogger Meetup back in November. I fell in love with this fabric the moment I saw it. I actually have a different colour variation saved on my Pinterest Board, but when I saw these autumnal colours I just new this was the version for me!

 Not much to report pattern wise. As with my Christmas Cambie, I sewed 6/8" side seams on the bodice instead of the usual 5/8".

I did however, have a minor disaster when cutting out the pattern pieces on this version. I bought 3m of this fabric at the meetup but, probably because I decided to cut the pieces so the tape measures ran horizontal, I managed to not have enough to cut out the front skirt piece! Oops. Luckily, a quick trip back to Barry's the other weekend got me another meter of fabric - enough to finish cutting out the skirt pieces.

I added another 2" to the length of this version to make it properly on the knee instead of just above it like my other versions. I also added crochet lace to the hem of the underskirt - just for fun - because I could!

I did a lapped zipper on this dress instead of the concealed zip (because i didn't have a concealed zip of that length and couldn't be bothered to go out and buy one), which made attaching the lining slightly different from usual, but I managed it in the end.

I wore it out for the first time the other day and loved it. It was so nice to be wearing a bit of colour on such a dull day - much more interesting than everyone else's grey and black! :-)

In other news, I've also finished (finally) by Bombshell Dress so I'll put up a post about that in the next day or so.