Thursday, 28 April 2011

Sweet little lavender bags

I finally got enough spare time (trust me, you don't need much) to try out Handmade Jane's excellent Lavender Bag Tutorial and I'm so glad that I did! These little gems are so quick and easy to put together and make the sweetest smelling gifts...at least I hope my aunt agrees with the latter as she'll be the lucky recipient when I see her on Sunday.

As you can see, I experimented with a lace cut-out for one of the bags. It was originally going to be a heart, which proved to be a total disaster so I settled for a rectangle instead. My technique certainly needs tweaking, that's for sure! I'm not actually sure if I prefer them with or without. What do you think?




The best thing about this whole process? It turns out that 250 grams is quite a lot of lavender, so I have plenty left over to play around with! I took up Jane's recommendation and bought it from Provence Lavender and I was impressed with their next day delivery and reasonable prices.


Monday, 25 April 2011

A pinny for a pal

Here's a little something I sewed up last week, as part of a work friend's Birthday present. She'd previously gushed over the pinky / fleshy floral fabric (observant readers will note that it's the same fabric included in one of my current giveaways) so I knew I just had to incorporate it in her pinny and she seemed really happy when we gave it to her. The pinny's being modelled by Diana, my trusty dress form, who also happened to be borrowing my 1940s Swing Dress. I actually think the two look really good together!






In other news, I should be ready to report on my Crescent Skirt sew-along progress soon. The sew-along is being led by the pattern's designer, Tasia of Sewaholic, and I'm very excited to be a part of it as she's so talented and  I know I'll be learning some excellent techniques along the way.

Lastly, I also want to thank you all for the great response to my last post. I'm now up to 111 readers...if I'd known how successful bribery was, I'd have tried it sooner ;o) Seriously though, thank you all again and I hope that the winners of the giveaways will be delighted with what they receive.

Hope you've all had a great Easter weekend!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Blogiversary and a giveaway to boot

Happy Easter Sunday everyone!

One year ago today I started this blog and my, doesn't time fly when you're having fun?!? My most favourite thing about it is being welcomed into the generous blogging community. I follow so many blogs that are a daily source of inspiration and that are written by wonderful people who readily share top tips, advice and priceless tutorials. In fact, I've probably learnt more from these bloggers than I have from any of my informal sewing courses!

The most overwhelming thing for me is that I have followers, a grand total of 90 in fact. I can't believe that this many people tune in to see what I've been up to and actually take the time to leave encouraging and insightful comments. I may not have made as much progress in a year as I'd like to, but I'm learning so much and enjoying every minute. Your comments keep me going through this journey and I appreciate them more than I can express in words. 

To celebrate my first blogiversary and to thank you dear readers, I have a giveaway for two lovely followers.

First up is a 1940s themed giveaway: Simplicity 4787 in a size 16 (bust 34, waist 28, hip 37), coupled with a 56 inch x 35 inch piece of 1940s-inspired floral cotton.


Secondly a 1960s themed giveaway: McCall's 7196 in a Large 15-16-18 (bust 35-38, waist 27-30, hip 37-40), coupled with a 44 inch x 32 inch piece of 60s-esque Amy Butler cotton.


To enter you just need to be a follower of my blog and entries from all countries are welcome. Leave a comment to let me know which of the two giveaways you would like to be entered for or if you would like to try for both, by Monday 2 May, and I will announce the two winners on Tuesday 3 May. Good luck!!!

Thank you all once again for making my first year of blogging and sewing such a blast!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Introducing the mini pinnies...

So I finally finished the two pinnies that my colleague ordered for her 14 month old granddaughter Lila and my biggest lesson learnt was that sewing on a mini-scale is extremely fiddly! 

I got the boyfriend to hold them up to highlight just how tiny they are – despite his protesting, I think he secretly thought they were cute and enjoyed posing with them...haha!



The oilcloth pinny was a dream to sew up, largely thanks to the tips I found online and posted about here. The absolute key was using a strong enough needle and I found that the one for DENIM that I used was ideal. 

Anyway, I just love the Scotty Dog print and it looks super cute together with the baby-blue-polka-dot fabric that I used for the ties and as lining. I decided to use ties for both the neck and waist so the pinny will fit for longer as Lila grows.




Although the cotton pinny is probably my favourite of the two, it was not as straight forward to sew up. In fact, it was so fiddly that at one point I could have cried...but then bias binding saved the day! Thank you bias binding! Again I used ties at the waist and a button for the halter neck so it can easily be put on and taken off. 




This was certainly educational and a challenge, but despite the super cute results, I'm not sure that baby attire is my calling in sewing. I wouldn't say never of course, but I'd have to get a lot of practice in before giving it another go.

Have you lovely people sewn anything on a miniature scale before? If so, how did you find it? Do you have any tips you can share?

Saturday, 16 April 2011

I Am All That!


Since my last blog post 12 days ago I have done no sewing at all, which is sad and shameful at the same time, yet unavoidable. I've been working super long hours which will be the case until end of May at least and a friend's hen do took up last weekend.

What has boosted my inspiration levels though is my 'I Am All That!' blog award, gifted to me by the very cool Reana Louise over at Curves, Patterns and Pins. I only discovered Reana Louise's blog recently and it's really awesome, so pop on over and have a sneaky peak.

Anyway, without further ado, I shall dutifully answer the five questions and then pass the award on to some fellow sassy bloggers!

1. What size shoe do you wear? If you wear a size 7, can I borrow your shoes?

I'm a UK size 5, which is reasonable for my 5 foot 3 frame I guess. My absolutely, most favourite shoes that I currently own are my chocolate Topshop brogues. I love the small heel, the pointed toe and the un-cool tassles. I would wear them every day if I wasn't worried about causing them an untimely death!



2. 30s or 60s

This is an easy one for me... mid to late 30s! My fuller figure is not made for the mod styles of the 60s or clingy shift dresses either. I have a handful of 30s sewing patterns for dresses, which I am petrified to attempt in case I mess them up. Hopefully I'll get the confidence to try them out soon!







3. Have you ever kissed someone you shouldn't have?

Erm, probably. Back in the day though, not recently!

4. Have you ever been poisoned? Was it by the girlfriend of the person you kissed? That is awesomely "Knot's Landing”.

Why would anyone want to poison little ole me?!?

5.Who's on your "Celebrity Free Pass" list (top 5)?

Top on my list would have to be the yummy Johnny Depp, as I've fancied him ever since I was nine and I saw him in 21 Jump Street. 


Then it would be Adam Brody, for his geek chicness as Seth Cohen in The OC


Then it would be Edward Cullen - just humour me and pretend he's real please!


Then Ashton Kutcher.


And last but not least...Eddie Cibrian.


I would now like to pass on the gauntlet to the following bloggers, who are all very different, but equally as cool:






Hope you all have a crafty weekend!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Sew small

I somehow managed to cram a little bit of oh-so-cute sewing, well prepping actually, into a pretty busy weekend. The first of my two made-to-order pinnies for a 14 month old girl is all ready to be sewn up and I still can't get over how tiny it is - the nape to waist measurement is a mere 22cm!!!

I used Meg McElwee's Montessori Child's Apron to help me draft a simple pattern and I've got my denim sewing needle at the ready, which I bought as suggested by the oilcloth research that I previously did and posted about here.

It should be a breeze to sew up, so watch this space...




Have any of you made children's garments before - what's the youngest age you've ever sewn for?