Saturday, 28 May 2011

Ohhh Lulu, how I love thee!

Last week, my luxurious order from Ohhh Lulu arrived and I really could not be any more delighted.

Abigail Ruffled Floral Bloomer Panties – these are so soft, yet feel  really sturdy:



Gauzy Cabbage Rose Romper – check out the cute vintage buttons:



I've been a long-time fan of Sarah Elaine's creations – who also blogs over at Ohhh Lulu - for being, in my humble opinion, some of the most romantic and imaginative designs out there. If you've never checked out her Etsy store, you really are missing a treat! She's currently working on expanding her vintage-inspired swimwear collection too...how exciting!

Here's a flavour of what's in my future wishlist – all images are courtesy of Ohhh Lulu's Etsy store:




Romantic - Victoria Sheer Pinstripe & Lace Chemise Camisole


Dreamy - Creamy White Daydream Romper Bodysuit (sold out at the moment, but I'm sure they'll be more to come considering how popular this little number has been)


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

One Pattern Seven Bloggers #4: Techniques


Ever since I saw Casey's 30s scalloped collar tutorial (Part 1 & Part 2) I was totally smitten and itching to try it out. Casey incorporates it into the Sewaholic Pendrell Blouse pattern, but I figured I would try my hand at adapting it for my One Pattern Seven Bloggers dress. As this is the penultimate week of One Pattern Seven Bloggers week and we are required to share techniques, I thought I'd let you know how I got on.

**Disclaimers**
  1. If you plan on trying this out, please follow Casey's excellent tutorial to the word and ignore pretty much everything I've done.
  2. The fabric you see below is not my 'fashion fabric', it's merely what I used for my second muslin.
  3. I had little time this week and no compass to help me test this collar out, so it really is a very rough mock-up to gauge if it would work. 

Phew, now that I've made my excuses, I shall proceed!

As I said before, Casey uses the Sewaholic Pendrell Blouse as her basis, so to begin with, I laid my bodice flat and traced the front half and back half of the neckline.



Sadly, I tried to cut corners and so I added a seam allowance before drawing my wonky scallops, meaning I ended up with a scallop strip that was too long. I'd rather make mistakes on my muslin any day though!



I then sewed the collar together, taking care to follow Casey's instructions closely!



Because I plan on lining my bodice, I sandwiched my collar between the right sides of my bodice and lining, sewed all around and then turned the lining to the inside. The result was like magic... no raw edges! No a bad result considering my calculations were off and the collar falls short at the front. I think with precision and the right instruments, I can make this work for the real thing...do you?




For more techniques and handy tips, check out what the other six ladies have been up to:

Reana Louise shows us how to make lace trimmed bias tape - Curves, Patterns and Pins 

Kat talks french seams, bow belts and peter pan collars - Petticoats & Peplums 

Rachel shares a brilliant in-seam pocket tutorial - My Messings 

Jen takes us through perfect dart making - Pretty Little Pictures 

Amy shows us how to line a bodice - Sewing Through the Motions 

Sam has a self-fabric belt tutorial in store for Saturday - All things quilty...and sewy

Monday, 23 May 2011

Beware the Sinister Dress...

I'm very excited to announce that I've been interviewed for the very first time about my sewing and to top it all off, it's by the super-talented Karen of Did You Make That?. Granted, the interview's not actually about anything decent I've made! Instead, I've joined the 'Ugly Amnesty' hall of fame, but I'm excited nonetheless...hehe!

If you fancy checking out an even scarier picture of me than the one below, then head over to Karen's blog and give Ugly Amnesty 3 – The Nanny McScareDress a read.




Saturday, 21 May 2011

Crescent Sew-Along #2: final muslin take!?!

Dearest readers, I want to thank all of you who gave me brilliant advice regarding my first crescent skirt muslin. Thanks to your comments, I now have a muslin that I'm really happy with, making me believe that I can actually carry this style off.

BEFORE...


AFTER...


I took on board your comments to trim some height off the waistband, which has worked wonders in elongating my torso. I also took the hem up by an inch, which I think is more flattering as it's still 'long' without swamping me. When I come to sew up my actual skirt, I will also take in the side seams just a touch. 

Lastly, I agreed with your comments that a dark fabric will work best for my shape. I'm so happy with what I've found, it's dark yet perfect for summer with it's little anchor and polka dot print:


What do you think lovely people? Is it safe for me to start cutting my fashion fabric? Do you approve of the  changes I've made?   

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

One Pattern Seven Bloggers #3: Fabric

It's that One Pattern Seven Bloggers time of the week again readers and I'm letting out a big sigh of relief that this week I'm taking you through my fabric choice. A hideously busy work schedule has left me with no time for sewing lately, so I've not been able to perfect my muslin and I'm desperately hoping that I'll be able to catch up and meet the deadline...which is now only two weeks away...eeek!


Anyway, onto less scary things...FABRIC!!! Controversially, I think I've decided to go with my plum-coloured-heavy-eyelet-type fabric. I know it wasn't your favourite and it wasn't mine to begin with, but I think a heavier fabric will give the dress more stability and will work better for my pleats. I also think a block colour will be more flattering and will make my 1930s-style collar pop if I make it from the second fabric pictured. In case you're wondering, I'm hoping to use Casey's wonderful tutorial to help me on my way with the collar.



Make sure you take a peek at what the other girls have been up to for their One Pattern Seven Bloggers project:

Reana Louise has been poorly, but is confident she'll make up the time and meet the deadline - Curves, Patterns and Pins

Kat learns a valuable lesson or two - Petticoats & Peplums 

Rachel has mistaken a stroke of genius for cheating - My Messings

Jen is making good progress with her muslin and promises a pleats tutorial for next week - Pretty Little Pictures 

Amy takes us through her bargain fabric finds - Sewing Through the Motions

Sam updates us from Honolulu - All things quilty...and sewy 

Do stay tuned as next week we'll be posting about techniques we used and the week after is the big reveal... *squeal*!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Goldhawk Road Fabric Fandango

I've been going on about the Goldhawk Road Fabric Fandango for weeks now, but you've probably read a few renditions of this blog post by now (work got in the way of an early post from me) so I'll keep this short-ish and sweet. 

Last Saturday's dreamy day out was organised by the very brave Karen of Did You Make That? who has also perfectly summed up the event here (including links to all the bloggers who attended if you're interested). I honestly don't think the fabric shopkeepers of West London's Goldhawk Road knew what hit them when our large group of loud women with a passion for sewing descended. The group was so big that we split into smaller ones to avoid complete chaos.

My group was led by Dibs - whose haggling skills were an absolute life saver – and consisted of the following awesome ladies: Justine, Adrienne, and Melizza.Countless metres of fabrics were purchased, most of them by Dibs, which as you can imagine took most of the day and left little time to socialise afterwards!



As we enjoyed some refreshing and dare I say 'well-deserved' cocktails, we poured over everyone's gorgeous bargains.


When I said that most of them belonged to Dibs, I wasn't exaggerating...check her loot out!!!


What did I come away with? Unexpectedly, I was one of the few reserved shoppers, but I happily came away with 3 metres of gorgeous cotton voile for just £10...


...and 3 metres of not-so-cheap-but-silky-soft cotton...


...which I'm hoping to use for this little 60s number!


It really was a glorious day and I felt so star struck meeting some of my favourite bloggers. I just hope there are many more meet-ups to come!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

A happy little customer!

Remember way back in April when I blogged about two custom-made baby pinnies?!? Well I've been lucky enough to receive pictures of the cute recipient hard at work in the garden and little Lila looks like one happy customer!

It's a fine day for some spade action...


These pesky chains just have to go...


Weeding is a serious matter...


Uh oh! We're gonna need a bigger bucket...


The oilcloth pinnie was a bit long for Lila and the neckline sat a bit too high, but hopefully it's one she can grow into. I will also need to make the waist ties longer for any similar projects in future, but this kind of feedback is invaluable for my development. Thanks again to my encouraging colleague Jan, who has been kind enough to trust in my makes!

Anyway, must start getting ready for my trip down to London. It's the day of the Goldhawk Road Fabric Fandango and I'm excited and nervous at the same time!!! Stay tuned for updates on that in coming days.

Oh, and I just have to share my relief that Blogger is up and running again...I was getting serious withdrawal symptoms after day one...

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

One Pattern Seven Bloggers #2: Muslin

Week one of One Pattern Seven Bloggers has surprisingly already been and gone, which is scary considering there is now only three weeks to go until our big reveal...eeek!


I've still not finalised my fabric choice - and by that I mean I haven't a clue which I'm going to settle on – so I thought I'd tackle my muslin first. I'd heard from a lot of different people that fitting our chosen BurdaStyle pattern is a bit of a nightmare, so I was prepared for the worst, but to begin with I was lulled into a false sense of security

Firstly I cut out and sewed up my size, just to see what was what. As you can see, it was a few inches too small! I think this could be because I didn't realise I had to add a seam allowance to the pattern...oops!


Instead of cutting a brand new muslin, I decided to see if letting out some of the ample darts could fix my predicament. Such a simple adjustment seemed to work pretty well.





However, as you can see the back neckline gaped a little and the waistline sat too low down for my body shape...basically it sat too close to my muffin tops. To fix this, I put a couple of small darts at the back neckline and trimmed about two inches off the bottom of the bodice. Although I managed to fix the back neckline gape, I ended up with a baggy waistline.




So I went back to the drawing board and decided to take the front darts in again, after letting them out in the first place. This was successful, but it made me realise that had I gotten the length right in the first place, I probably wouldn't have had to fiddle about with the darts. Oh well, a good lesson learned!


I then used my much-amended muslin to trace out new pattern pieces, raising the front neckline at the same time and drafting my skirt pieces. And this is where the fairytale ends my friends, because just as I was beginning to think this sewing 'lark' was easy...I ended up with this:




It looks like all the tweaking I did was suddenly erased! Everything's too big, apart from the back bodice which looks a little tight. Even the front neckline doesn't sit as well as before and the sagging on the back neckline has re-appeared! I'm stumped and would love it if anyone could shed any light on how I can fix all this. Any help would be much appreciated!

So, in short, I have a lot more work to do and not much time to do it in, if this little number is to become wearable in any way. Fingers crossed it will!

Don't forget to check out how my fellow project-buddies are getting on:

Reana Louise is nicely pulling together her blue and gold theme - Curves, Patterns and Pins

Kat picked a lovely bold checked fabric - Petticoats & Peplums

Rachel shared her warm geometric fabric choice - My Messings

Jen has settled on a luscious forest green fabric - Pretty Little Pictures  

Amy had a successful go at her muslin - Sewing Through the Motions

Sam has found a lovely autumnal tartan fabric - All things quilty...and sewy