Tuesday, 9 December 2014

#vintagepledge Roundup - It's a Plaid Thing

Can you believe it's December (aka the last month of our Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge) already?!? I'm not going to dwell on the fact that I'm only two projects down of my five pledged! Instead, I want to share some of the latest makes which have taken my breath away...all of which you can see on the #vintagepledge Pinterest board.

It's a plaid thing...


Wintery partywear...

Summery frocks from Down Under...

Remember, you too can be in with a chance of winning one of four awesome prizes, as long as you share your makes with me by 31 December 2014 on Twitter (#vintagepledge), through a comment on my blog, or by emailing me.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

American Adventure in Pictures

So, I'm back from my two-week American adventure and I can confirm that reality sucks! I'm still clinging on to the memories though, so I thought I'd cheer myself up by sharing some of my favourite photos. Apologies if you follow me on Twitter, as you've probably already seen most of these!

It all started in the Big Apple...

...including a delightful couple of hours with Sonja from Ginger Makes. Yes, she's every bit as cool, funny, kind and gorgeous in real life as she seems online. I now wish we were neighbours!

We then flew out to visit my parents in Charlotte, North Carolina...

...with a fun overnight trip to explore the quaint Black Mountain and bohemian Asheville.

We rounded off our trip in Connecticut, visiting my aunt and uncle...

...with a breathtaking roadtrip to Cold Springs, which certainly lived up to its name!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Pattern Testing: Violet Dress - Bluegingerdoll Patterns

"Is that a nightie?"

A rather soul-destroying question for any stitcher who's just finished a dress, don't you think? Yet that's exactly what my beloved boyfriend asked me when I unveiled my Bluegingerdoll Patterns' Violet Dress. He says it was due to the original length of the skirt on me (well below knee level), my fabric combination and the fact that my purple jersey has a raised pattern on it. Oh well, since shortening the skirt (a little too much to be honest) I like it just fine and the pattern is so cute that I'll be whipping more Violets up without doubt!

I was a Violet pattern tester and the best part of the process this time was that a feature was added to the pattern as a direct result of a change I incorporated in my make. It's always good to know you're adding value to the pattern testing process and it's super cool to know that indie designers actually listen and readily adapt to relevant suggestions.

The pattern features some seriously cute front and back yoke detailing, as well as bust gathering. I was dubious about how the latter would look on a fuller bust, but I quite like the result. There's also a choice between a pencil or flared skirt and cap or three-quarter length sleeves, meaning Violet's a pretty versatile gal! 

I don't have an awful lot to say about the construction, because even though the pattern and instructions have been improved since the pattern testing period, Violet was a really quick and easy make. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who wants to have fun with sewing jersey and who likes comfort without sacrificing style. 

The only change I'll make next time is to take in the sleeves just a smidgeon. They're not too bad, but can be a little more fitted now that I look back at these photos. 

What do you think to the Violet Dress? Will you be buying it, or adding it to your Christmas wishlist perhaps?

Meanwhile, I'm still in America...Connecticut to be precise! This trip just keeps on giving, but we're flying back this Saturday evening and will probably land back in reality with a thud!

Friday, 21 November 2014

#vintagepledge - The Prizes!

Hi friends, I'm particularly giddy today for a couple of reasons! I'm less than halfway through a two-week break in America (apologies if I'm slow to respond to comments/emails/tweets) and I also get to reveal the brilliant prizes I promised during my last #vintagepledge roundup! I really can't thank my generous sponsors enough!

You'll be eligible to win one of the four prizes below, as long as you share your makes with me by 31 December 2014 on Twitter (#vintagepledge), through a comment on my blog, or by emailing me.

$50 to spend at The Blue Gardenia

$35 to spend at Eva Dress Patterns

£25 to spend at the Selvedge Shop

Your choice of 3 digital patterns or e-books from Mrs Depew Vintage

Find out more about the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge and check out everyone's inspiring makes on Pinterest.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Pattern Testing: Francoise Dress - Tilly and the Buttons

I'm sure you're well aware of the buzz surrounding Tilly and the Buttons' latest offering - the  rather awesome Francoise Dress! If you're wondering exactly why my face looks so smug below, there are three reasons: 
  1. I got to test Francoise.
  2. Along the way, I discovered I can pull off a shift dress.
  3. My fabric choice makes me stupidly happy.

Unlike many shift dresses, Francoise is shaped at the waist by bold, French darts, which eliminate the 'sack-factor' for busty gals like me! To get the perfect fit for my shape, I graded between 3 sizes. I cut a size 3 for the neckline, collar and armholes, a size 4 from the armhole to the waist, and a size 5 from the hips to the hem. This was a winning combination for me, giving me a snug fit where I need it, but allowing enough room for my hips (read muffin tops) and booty!

We've all come to expect the highest of standards from Tilly and the Buttons instructions, and Francoise doesn't disappoint. With Tilly holding your hand you feel invincible, even during the slightly trickier steps. In fact, one of the things I love about this pattern is that it has slightly trickier steps. You can make Francoise as simple or as challenging as you wish.

What makes me super-duper happy about my Francoise Dress is the linen fabric I found in my stash. Isn't the print all kinds of amazing? I love how autumnal it is, yet I'm still excited about wearing it in warmer weather.

There is one thing that bugs me about this make though, and I'm so angry at myself, because it's pretty perfect otherwise. I was so hung up on matching the pattern at the back and side seams (in which I was victorious!) that I stupidly didn't even think of the centre front. As a consequence, my pattern placement (or lack of) makes my collar look off-centre, but I promise you it's not! It's such an annoying oversight on my part, but hey ho!

I'm genuinely taken with Francoise and can't wait to rustle up a three-quarter length sleeve version or two. If you like what you see, make sure you get creative with your Francoise and enter the contest of a lifetime for the chance to win a £500 sewing machine or a £100 fabric voucher!