Sunday, 19 December 2010

Naughty but right

So we had a pre-Christmas get together with some friends on Friday and beautiful gifts were exchanged! Being the rebels that we are, we broke the rules and opened said presents...yes, before Christmas day...eeek! We just wanted to see each others' faces as we ripped into our thoughtful gifts.

Anyway, I've already devoured my divine edible gifts, but here's a couple of pictures of my sewing-related ones. They are so cool, I couldn't have picked better ones for myself:
 

 
 The pendant is just like the ones I posted about here and funnily enough it's the one I originally wanted. However, when I placed my order I mistakenly ordered a different one! So now I have two beautiful pendants...lucky me!!!

I know it was naughty opening our presents on Friday, but if it makes a difference, it's really helped to put me in the Christmas spirit ;o)

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Finally, some Xmas gift-making!

I’m happy that I can finally report back on some Xmas gift-making, after having to admit partial defeat by recognising that I don’t have the time to make as many as I would quite like. As lovely as my two-week November break in Cyprus was, it really has set me back.

Anyway, I decided that realistically my first ever crafted Xmas will be modest, with two vintage inspired pinnies and a ruffled collar. So far I’ve made the pinnies, but the collar got put on the back-burner when I got a request for another custom-made full apron…which is also now complete.

For the two pinnies, I used Simplicity 4479 and Simplicity 4492 and I must admit that they both came out beautifully…in my very humble opinion:












The apron which momentarily interrupted the making of the ruffled collar, is View 4from  Hollywood1667. I’m so happy with my fabric find! My colleague who commissioned this apron said she likes turquoise and purple shades and floral prints. I managed to find all three rolled into one!






Now I just have to make the ruffled collar and I’ll be on track for my modest Xmas gift-making. Are you making good progress with your crafting? I’ve been following many of you on Crafty Christmas Club and you have well and truly put me to shame!

Oh, I have one more thing to share too! Today I signed up to a 12-week 'Pattern Cutting & Garment Making' course, due to start in January. I'm so excited at the prospect of learning how to fit clothes properly and how to draft patterns. Let's hope it lives up to my expectations...

Saturday, 4 December 2010

My island of hidden treasures

I'm currently struggling to adapt to the freezing British weather, after returning from a week-long visit to my family and homeland; the beautiful Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Much to my delight and apart from its many other attributes, I discovered that my beloved island (well hometown at least) is a rich source of cheap vintage fabrics!

This is something I was too young to be interested in whilst I lived in Cyprus, but as my mum and I strolled down one of our favourite parts of town, I suddenly spotted lots of fabric shops. I can't believe that I usually blanked them in the past! Anyway, the shops that caught my attention were not the new ones, but the dusty, smelly, old storerooms. These, I discovered, have existed since the 1950s/60s and still have plenty of their original fabrics in store. I was even more excited when I found out that the vintage cottons were priced between 3-5 Euros per meter...what a bargain! I also picked up some heavier fabrics that would make gorgeous evening gowns or jackets for a slightly pricier 10 Euros a meter. Next time, I'm taking an empty suitcase! Anyway, what do you think? The below fabrics are a selection from the 1950s-60s:








Oh, I also picked up some non-vintage fabric too:




This was definitely a revelationary trip. When my grandma heard of my new-found passion she took me aside and shared a lovely piece of family history. Her mother (my great grandmother) used to nurture silk worms and then hand-weave fabric from their silk. This was all done in her precious free time when she wasn't working in the fields, so that she could give her three daughters a worthy  dowry for when they married. Sadly, I had no more room left in my suitcase to bring some of this beautiful fabric back, but I will definitely be bringing some back with me next time. I did however manage to bring back some lovely crocheted trimming, which was also handmade by my great grandmother:


Then, when I got back to the UK, I had some lovely treats waiting for me...what a lucky girl! Firstly, a copy of Dress Cutting: Instructions and Illustrations for Sewing 26 Vintage 1930s Fashions had arrived in the post. I won this in another one of Andrea's generous giveways, over at Invisible Flower. Thank you Andrea! I can't wait to use it! At a first glance it looks really comprehensive and user-friendly:


I also received the two blouse patterns I 'won' on eBay...I'm such a sucker for feminine blouses:



Now I must stop daydreaming about all my new possessions and get sewing some Christmas presents. Realistically, I'm not going to achieve my desired amount of handmade gifts, so I've had to re-assess the situation. I've settled on making three of my presents and making them well. These will be one frilly collar and two half aprons...