Saturday, August 01, 2015

Another 40th Birthday means another new frock!

It seems a few of my friends are turning 40 this year, and of course any excuse for a new dress. I'm still refining this self drafted princess seamed bodice, and am now I think finally happy with it.
The fabric I've used for this dress was bought in three small remnants from a local soft furnishing fabric shop for 50p!!
I do love the challenge of making a whole dress out of a few pieces of fabric. These pieces were fun to work with because the right and wrong sides of the fabrics are equally beautiful. Not being able to decide which sides I liked best combined with such small pieces to work with meant that I used all sides in a kind of (hopefully) successful way!

One of the downsides though of working with remnants is there is never quite enough fabric for pattern matching. Luckily I can't see my own back!
I felt great in this dress last night, like lots of us I worry about my figure, about my wrinkles, and saggy bits, but wearing a dress that fits and feels good goes a very long way to helping me ignore those voices in my head reminding me of all my faults. Another good reason to sew.

Blogger Tricks

Monday, July 27, 2015

Custom Made Doris Anyone?

I rarely, well actually never do custom orders, I just don't have the time , but knowing how much some people want to own a Weekend Doris Dress or Sweater I have decided to release a limited number of custom slots in my Etsy Store .
There are five choices of stretch fabrics available including vintage fabrics like this one:

You will receive a dress or sweater made to your own measurements, and you can choose the length of the sleeve, to have pockets or not, decorative exposed zip etc.
Shipping in the UK as usual is free.
Plus if you use code Birthday6 you get £2.50 off your complete order.

Still want to make your own Doris? Then the code Birthday6 works on everything in store including instant digital downloads and paper patterns. (while stocks last).
And finally, if you want me to teach you to make a Weekend Doris then there are still a few places available at my forthcoming class at Ministry of Craft in Manchester. Stretch Yourself.
There's more.....from September I'm also offering one to one sewing classes from my home in Stockport. Take a look at the Learn To Sew button at the top of this page for more information.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A mouse took a stroll....

dress 2

There is an acre of woodland in Wigan that is dedicated to our youngest daughter Florence, we always take a walk there on her birthday, and as often as we can throughout the year. While we were there yesterday India took some photos of me in my latest creation, another self drafted summer dress.
The weather was showery, though not cold. India and I found a lovely clearing in the wood to take photos, tiptoeing carefully in peep toe sandals ( I wore wellies for the rest of our walk! ) through the long wet grass I spotted the cutest little field mouse! He was just there at my feet, we both looked at each other with mild surprise, I said "Hello little mouse", and he scurried away before I could take a photo. He really was the sweetest little creature, and it made my day to have seen him.

dress 3

The dress is made from some vintage curtain fabric I found in the local charity shop for £3. I used the same self drafted princess seamed bodice as for this dress .
The skirt has a box pleat centre front and centre back.

dress 4

I was chatting recently with a fellow seamstress about "quick and dirty" sewing, this is a very good example of that! Mostly I'm pretty happy with it, but in my rush to have a new frock for Florence's birthday I made a few too many boo boos with the neckline and managed to stretch it out quite horribly.
A bit of quick thinking and a strategically placed vintage brooch and I think I got away with it!

 dress 6

This bodice pattern still needs a little revising, I'm enjoying working on getting the fit just right, and maybe one of these tries I actually might!
Meanwhile the stretched neckline incident has given me an idea for an alternative asymetric neckline to try...this time on purpose!!

 dress 5

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summer Dress

I have a few friends who are turning 40 this year, last Saturday I was invited to celebrate with my friend and fellow La Leche League colleague, Fiona, so of course I needed a new frock!
This is self drafted, and using some gorgeous cotton from The Textile Centre on Ebay.Of course wearing this can't feel anything but super summery.

summer dress 1

Don't forget you can start some summer stitching at a discount price if you use code Birthday6 in my Etsy store.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Summer Discount

Summer hols are here, and Florence's birthday approaches. It is hard some days to imagine an almost 6 year old little girl getting excited for her birthday, maybe by now she'd have a gappy grin. I don't know. To celebrate my youngest daughter's all too brief life, I'm offering a fixed discount on any order in the Etsy store of £2.50, just use code Birthday6 and the discount will be applied at the checkout. That means instant digital downloads work out at only £ tip, if you want more than one buy seperately to get the full £2.50 off each pattern.

Wishing all my readers a very happy and productive summer. x

Friday, July 03, 2015

My little space at the bottom of the garden.


It was two summers ago that I moved into my little sewing shed at the bottom of the garden. I love my space, it's changed a little from that first summer, it's much more cluttered now, although everything has a home.

shed 3

I now have a hotch potch of tables running around the edge with enough space for my overlocker, sewing machine and all my other bits and pieces.

shed 4

I look out onto the vegetable garden, where I can spy on the local wildlife. The squirrels hop about on my roof and the magpies play their games on the fence and in the trees. The local cats even pop by and say hello. During the winter I let the chickens earn their keep by digging over the raised beds, and sometimes they peck at the shed door, or bob their heads in.

shed 5

shed 6

My pressing area is atop my treadle machine, small but perfectly adequate for most things.
Of course summer is here and I can extend my work area outdoors on fine sunny days.

shed 7

shed 11

I love it out here so much, that I often dream of a shed extension...just got to talk Woody day!

shed 9

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Funkifabrics Gym Shorts

gym shorts

When I was first contacted by Funkifabrics to see if I'd like to have a play with some of their fabrics I was overwhelmed by the massive choice on offer, Eden however was not. She knew exactly what she wanted and what she wanted me to make...Gym Shorts! This girl is constantly in gym gear, and gym shorts are her favourite attire, when at gymnastics and at home.

We compromised eventually and I ordered some fabrics that I loved to make underwear for me , herehere and here , (most comfy knickers ever!) and some fabrics to make her gym shorts.

Gym Shorts

She had a pair she already loved and I did a rub off to make the pattern for these. (Don't forget if you want to learn to clone your closet I am teaching the rub off method at Ministry Of Craft from September 2015)

They were quick and easy to run up on the overlocker, and she is thrilled with them. I will be making more for sure!