Sunday, 27 February 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Yay! Last week I was touched to receive a Stylish Blogger Award from both Jane (Handmade Jane) and Laura (Laura: in a tangle) , whose blogs I follow religiously. 


To show my appreciation, I'm embracing the rules of winning one of these awards, by sharing 7 facts about myself that you may not already know and by nominating 7 other stylish bloggers to receive the award:
  1. I'm a Greek-Cypriot who grew up in Cyprus, but moved to the UK aged 13 because my parents fancied a change of scenery. Although they have since moved on, I stayed in the UK after going to Uni, but I do miss my family terribly. On the plus side I'm bilingual! 
     
  2. The veins on my right hand spell out 'HI'. I generally hate veins – they make me feel funny – but I'm bizarrely proud of this fact.
  1. I took Film Studies at Uni, which involved dissecting a broad range of films from Hitchcock to Scorsese and from the French New Wave to Korean movies. Apart from a blip after Uni (when I couldn't bear to watch films), I love immersing myself in a good movie, especially independent ones. Although there are far too many great ones to choose from, I'd say two of my favourite are What's Eating Gilbert Grape? and Grosse Pointe Blank.

  2. I'm a bit of a clean freak...ok, so I'm a lot of a clean freak. I have only have my family to blame for this trait, but I'm slowly learning to chill out a little bit when it comes to household chores. As an extension of this though, I do have OCD when it comes to using cutlery/plates/glasses at work and when generally out!

  3. I love, love, love to read, but struggle to find the time. I particularly like stories like the ones Kate Morton spins, where generations of a family are connected through a moving mystery...OoOoOoOoOoOoh!

  4. I'm a serious foodie - I love preparing it, cooking it, eating it, talking about it and reading about it. Luckily, or consequently, some of my closest friends share this passion and many of our outings revolve around discovering new and amazing places to eat.

  5. Discovering sewing has given meaning to my free time. It's something that I'm proud to call a hobby, previously I would pathetically list 'shopping' and 'eating' among other stereotypical ones. Sewing has also allowed me to dream of a working life other than a 9-5 office based one. This may only be a dream, but the mere thought keeps me going on a daily basis.
I’d like to pass this award to the brilliant bloggers listed below, in no particular order. I've got to say that this was a tough choice as I follow and adore so many sewing blogs, but it would be really great to find out a bit more about:

AndreaInvisible Flower

MikkiMikkipedia

SarahOhhh Lulu


AngieQuality Time



Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Parisian Princess

I'm so excited to finally share this with you! It's a little commissioned piece I made a few weeks back, but wasn't allowed to post it in case I ruined the birthday surprise.


My Parisian Princess is rather too pink and girly for my personal taste, but I love the style and I'll definitely be making more...in fact I may have another custom-order lined up for April!

I think the thing I'm most proud of with this apron is how I adapted it from the McCall 1367 pattern from the 1940s. If you remember, I blogged about it briefly once at the end of this post, but I gave up on that apron/pattern as the construction instructions where so ridiculously fiddly. This time round though, I adapted the pattern and devised my own way of sewing it up.

The original pattern called for a single-sided body (heart shaped pieces) to be sewn into double-sided ruffles, which was incredibly hard when trying to also incorporate ric rac. Even when I pinned the fabric and ric rac together, it would all move around and come out wonky after being sewn. So frustrating! This time though I:
  • made the body pieces double-sided and kept the ruffle pieces single-sided; 
  • sewed the lace and ruffle to the right side of the body front;
  • pinned the ruffle to the middle of the back body piece so it was out of the way and placed the front body piece on top, with right sides facing; and
  • sewed the body pieces together and turned right side out.
Viola!





And look how neat the wrong side is!



I know that for experienced seamstresses this won't seem like a big deal, but for little old me it's a bit of an achievement!

Anyway, hope you like her!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Belated birthday post

It was my birthday last Wednesday and I received some lovely sewing-related gifts that I'd like to share with you all.

My boyfriend did really well with this book of fashions and patterns from the 1900s – 1970s. He also got me an overlocker, which is second-hand from his family, but was literally only used for the duration of a week. I'm terrified by it, but I'm sure once I get it threaded it'll be ok!



I was also blown away by the generosity of my colleagues, who among other bits and bobs, got me the following (I clearly go on about my vintage fashion fetish too much):



Due to birthday celebrations and a heavy work load, I've sadly fallen behind with my actual sewing, which makes me sad. To get me back on track I'm setting myself the following goals for the next few weeks:

  • Catch up with Casey's swing dress sew-along! I've still got to sew up my muslin...so I'm well behind. I'm finding Casey's sew-along posts excellent though, so easy to follow and packed full of handy tips!
  • Finish off my 1940s Simplicity 1598 dress which still only needs a zip inserted and hemming. So close yet so far!
  • Re-focus on getting an Etsy story up and running. At the moment I'm not finding enough time to sew more aprons. I've settled on 3 'trademark' designs for full aprons, but I still need to tweak them and make muslins. Oh well, patience is a virtue I guess!
How are you good folk doing? Despite my unproductive spell, I've been enjoying keeping up with all your wonderful creations. Each and ever day I find myself feeling inspired by what you all make!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Pattern Cutting #2: Dress Bodice Muslin

Yay, it's done! My dress bodice muslin is done, after 3 classes. Considering that the 1st class was mainly housekeeping and theory, I'm pretty pleased with my progress. I am surprised at how good the fit is after following what seemed to be super  precise mathematical instructions like:

2-9 = one fifth  neck base circumference minus 1.6cm. Square down

The only thing I think I need to do is lower the neckline, which is strangling me at the moment. I also think it could be tighter on my waist, but I guess fitting that will come a bit later when the bodice and skirt are attached. We'll then get the chance to add any kind of collar, sleeves and detail...how exciting!




 Being the swat that I am, I also did some homework and now I've drafted my skirt pattern too. During Wednesday's lesson I should be able to trace it out, cut the muslin and sew it all up. Hopefully!


This weekend I also finished off something exquisite, which I sadly can't share with you all until the end of the month...don't want the person it's been ordered for to spot it before it's given to them. The hint though is 'Parisian Princess'...