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A new Lady Skater dress!

September 26, 2016

Hello, hello!  I am finally getting around to showing you a dress I made a few months ago – a new Lady Skater dress!  I got the fabric from Abakhan in Manchester, and it was sold by weight so it cost less than a fiver!

Lady Skater

Lady Skater

It’s quite a thin single jersey fabric with apples printed on it – I wasn’t sure if it would even really survive a wash to be honest, but I have been pleasantly surprised to find there has been no shrinkage and the print hasn’t faded at all after a few washes.

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This pattern is a TNT pattern for me – meaning that the dress was fast and easy😉 I first wore it to the Leeds Gin Festival, which I went to with Amy, Sarah and Ruth.

CHEWIE!

CHEWIE!

Amy very kindly put me up for the night, so I took the opportunity to get her to be my photographer the next day, in the garden where she normally has her own blog photos taken!

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The dress turned out really well.  I did three-quarter length sleeves for a change (just turned raw edge under and hemmed).  The neckline is good too.

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All in all, a happy and colourful dress!

My September Minerva Make – The Grainline Linden Sweatshirt

September 20, 2016

For my Minerva project this month I chose a really quick and easy project and a total wardrobe basic – a sweatshirt!  Not something I really think of as my usual style, but it’s hard to stick to my style of pretty cotton dresses when it starts getting cold, wet and rainy and I want to wear jeans!

Grainline Linden

Grainline Linden

So there it is, my first Grainline Linden sweatshirt – and I think the first of many!

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Thanks to Minerva for providing me with the pattern, fabric and some thread.  Since I ordered the sweatshirt fabric it has gone into the sale, so it’s a really great price of £2.99 per metre at the moment!  Check out my full post on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network here.

Now I have a backlog of other projects to blog about – I have been too busy over summer to write anything!

My August Minerva Make – The Grainline Scout Tee

August 24, 2016

This month’s sewing project with supplies from Minerva Crafts is a quick and easy wardrobe staple – the Grainline Scout Tee.  I needed a quick project because the past couple of months have been very busy for me sewing-wise – not that you’d know from my blog as I haven’t even had time to write about it all!  I finished working on a big commission just before going on holiday, and since I’ve been back I’ve been fully immersed in keeping my children entertained over the school holidays.  We have had lots of fun and been out doing loads of exciting things, which is great but hasn’t left me with much time or energy to sew.  We’re on holiday again this weekend and next week, so the children will definitely return to school with happy memories of a fun-filled and busy summer – which is exactly as it should be.

Grainline Scout Tee at Kilnsea beach

Grainline Scout Tee with skirt at the beach

So – my quick and easy project – the Grainline Scout Tee.  Brilliant pattern: love, love, love it.  I chose a heart-print stretch satin with great drape, and it works really well.  If you want to know more about my project, head over to the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network where you can read my full post about it.

Grainline Scout Tee with jeans

Grainline Scout Tee with jeans

Until September…

My July Minerva Make – Octopus Dress

July 26, 2016

Hello, I am back with another novelty print dress, hurrah!  I made this dress to go with a necklace I stole from my daughter.  Seriously!  My friend Martha gave some of her old costume jewellery to my daughter for playing and dressing up, and when I saw this necklace I just had to have it for myself!  How low can you go, eh?!

A dress to match the necklace

A dress to match the necklace

Once I had stashed the necklace safely amongst my own jewellery, I searched Minerva’s website for some octopus fabric, and this ‘Timeless Treasures Mini Octupi’ instantly came up.  WINNER.  Did you know, though, that ‘octopuses’ is actually the correct plural form of the noun ‘octopus’, rather than ‘octopi’, which many suppose to be correct and is in common usage?

I used the Surplice dress sewing pattern from Gertie’s latest book ‘Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book’, which was very kindly sent to me as an unexpected gift earlier in the year.  The dress was a straightforward make, and I like the bodice because it is different to most of my other dresses.

Surplice Dress from Gertie's Ultimate Dress Book

Surplice Dress from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book

Thanks to Minerva for the fabric, lining, thread and zipper – all fabulous as usual – you can read more about it on their blog here.

My June Minerva Make – Polka Dot Megan Dress

June 28, 2016

For my Minerva Crafts Blogger Network project this month, I made a classic black and white polka dot day dress using the Megan dress pattern from Tilly’s book ‘Love at First Stitch’, with a red lace exposed zipper at the back.

Tilly and the Buttons Megan dress

Tilly and the Buttons Megan dress

I wear my first Megan dress loads – I love the design, shape and fit.  I imagine I will get a lot of wear out of this dress all year round!

Exposed lace zip

Exposed lace zip

Thanks to Minerva for sending the fabric, zipper and thread.  You can read more about the making of the dress here on their blog, where I have included a few more photos as well.  Opinions, as ever, are solely my own.

MoonWalk Bra

June 15, 2016

Recently I was asked to adjust the length of three bridesmaid’s dresses, and when I went to measure up and pin to the correct length, one of the bridesmaids asked if I could customise her bra for a charity walk she was doing: the MoonWalk in Edinburgh, organised by a charity called Walk the Walk – apparently the largest grant making breast cancer charity in the UK.  People taking part in this walk wear only bras on their top halves, and they decorate them in all sorts of fun ways!

I was given a beige bra, some fabric, and an inspiration picture from Pinterest (below).  Oh, and a deadline of one week!

This is the inspiration image from Pinterest - notice the complete lack of pattern matching!

This is the inspiration image from Pinterest – notice the complete lack of pattern matching!

I must admit that this little project turned out to be a lot trickier than I at first thought – for instance, the bra still needed to be able to stretch, so I’d need to use a triple zig zag stitch.  I bought some velvet ribbon to accessorise the bra, but realised I’d only be able to use this on the cups because it was non stretch, so I bought elastic for the back and shirring elastic for the straps.

I started by sewing a few lines of gathering stitches along the selvedge of the fabric, so that I could have a raw edge along the top that wouldn’t fray.  I distributed the gathers as evenly as I could and attached it to the top of the bra, then sewed some more gathering stitches along the bottom edge of this, positioned them to fit and pinned it all in place before sewing, tucking the raw edges under on the inside of the bra at the bottom.

The bra was underwired, so when it came to sewing the fabric down at the bottom band, I had to mostly hand sew, and at points I used my machine but operated it with the hand wheel only, to ensure the needle was going where I wanted it to go.  The machine sewing was tricky because with the foam cups, underwire, and gathered fabric, it was pretty thick and uneven!  After the fabric was stitched into place, I then hand sewed the velvet ribbon to the bottom, which helped to cover up the stitches!

Part-way through - hand sewing the velvet ribbon to the bottom to cover up the stitching.

Part-way through – hand sewing the velvet ribbon to the bottom to cover up the stitching.

For the straps, I cut long strips of tartan fabric with pinking shears, then sewed two lines of shirring elastic down the length to gather them up, then triple zig-zagged these strips to the straps, skipping stitching over the metal bra adjusters and loops.  I added the two bows at the base of the straps as a little finishing touch.

Finished bra!

Finished bra!

Pretty bows

Pretty bows

Overall, it’s not the neatest thing I’ve ever made, but I think the effect is good and it should serve its purpose!  It was certainly a fun thing to make!

On the mannequin

On the mannequin

African Wax Print Birthday Dress

June 10, 2016

Today the daughter of one of my longest-standing friends turns four.  Last year I made her some cute vintage style pyjamas for her birthday, and this year it’s a party dress.

New Look 6205

New Look 6205

I used New Look 6205.  I just can’t get enough of the design – I really like the way the straps curve, and I love the pleated skirt.  I bought half a metre of hot pink lining to line the bodice, but can you believe I managed to squeeze a full lining out of it?!  60″ wide, obviously, but still…impressive!

Half a metre!!

Half a metre!!

The skirt is underlined because in my experience the pleats sit better that way.  I love the way the dress looks on the inside, as well as on the outside!

Innards

Innards

The fabric is the last of my African Wax print fabric I bought ages ago in London.  I’ve already made myself two dresses out of it!  I just love the colours and the design.  I think it’s one of my favourite prints ever.  I added hot pink ric rac to the neckline and the hem.

Hem

Hem

The back closes with a centred dress zip – kinder on the skin than an invisible zip.

Back view

Back view

Hopefully the birthday girl will like her dress!

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