Monday, 24 March 2014

Stocking up on stash....

Saturday was the day I finally made it up to Goldhawk Road. 

That magical, mystical land of a million fabric shops filled with wonderous prints, beautiful colours and alllllll the sparkles...

I went with my my best sewing friend and we prepped this trip pretty well, we'd been waiting to go for a while so our lists we're pretty full and detailed. I definitely want to minimise on waste and maximise on making really good items for my wardrobe this year so I wanted to make sure everything I was going to buy was matched up to a pattern I already had, was the right colour and was something I actually needed.

I was so excited by so many shops in such little space. It was so nice to go in and out of each shop like you do when you're clothes shopping and it was really good to go with a friend for a second opinion and to pin you back to the list when you get over excited :) 

I didn't manage to get everything I was looking for but I did get a really nice stash and I was completely shopped out by the end of it 

So what did I get? 
Some pretty Liberty-esque stretch for (another) Dixie Ballet dress.
The swimming ladies for another version of 1873.
Navy gingham for something along the lines of Tilly's picnic blanket skirt
Indian cotton in two different blues, one for a beachy long Anna
Zebra and spots cotton.....because....ZEBRAS!

Goldhawk Road lived up to those high expectations and I had an amazing day....I can't wait to go again!

BTW...... anyone elsed notice what random bags you get given? 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Anna in Spring.....

How nice is this sunshine lately?! Feels like Spring is here, although knowing british weather I'm sure there's a cold snap right on it's way so no shorts and sandals just yet. I thought it was time to start using some more summer friendly fabrics though. Winter dresses are off the stitching list for now, it's time to start making some garments that can work going into those summer months (but definitely go with tights for the time being!)

I went for another BHL Anna dress, I love this pattern and I'm not done with playing around with different versions yet. So for this dress I used the Anna bodice and added a gathered skirt

I picked up this viscose in fabric land, just a cheap impulse buy but it's got really good drape and needs hardly and ironing.... :)

I also lined the bodice so i didn't have to faff around with facings and I moved the zipper from the centre back to under the arm for a smoother finish....however this was all guess work and I put it in a bit low down, it works fine but next time I'll be measuring that a bit better.

I kept the full skirt longer than my winter dresses. I've been wearing this with tights but I wanted to make sure I'd be comfortable wearing it without for when that summer hits, it's on it's way right??

Monday, 17 March 2014

A year of stitching.......

How funny that when I started to have a nose through all of my clothing makes on my blog this morning, you know doing a bit of blog admin, that I realised it’s exactly a year ago that I bought my first proper dress pattern and dipped my toe into the world of dress making.

I remember thinking how this was such a daunting thing and how I was sure I couldn’t possibly do it as I didn’t know the right stitches (like I thought there were ‘special dress making stitches’), didn’t understand the terminology (stitch in the ditch anyone?), and had no clue about fabric. It took me 4 blog posts to get through one pattern! But I think in a way it really helped me at that time, make sense of what I was doing, bit by bit, at a nice slow pace.

A year later and it doesn’t take me quite that long any more, I’ve realised theres no mystical stitches that no one told me about and with the help of many of my favourite stitchers blogs I’ve got my head around a lot of the lingo and everyones amazing tips, tricks and tutorials have helped me out of tricky situations such as invisible zips, linings and learning all sorts about using different fabrics.

This little blogging world has been a really nice place to be. I only really use my blog as a record for me really and looking back over the past year I can see that I’ve come quite a long way and gathered quite a nice few items for my wardrobe too.

The blogs of others stitchers I’ve come across along the way fill almost every day with new inspiration and learning. I now absolutely love making my own clothes and it’s completely taken me away from being a throwaway shopper. Now I don’t dream of where I’m going shopping for dresses and skirts and tops come pay day, it’s what fabric I’m going to buy to make exactly the clothes I’m after.

This year started off with some resewlutions. After nearly a year of sewing I felt like I’d got the basics down and now I really want to get on with perfecting my makes and putting a whole lot more effort into how I finish my garments, make them last, and give them a much less ‘homemade’ feel. I also wanted to stop getting so over excited by new patterns and get using the ones I have a bit more (this is so difficult-can everyone stop brining out new gorgeous patterns please!) I might obviously have to not stick to this one alllll year but I’ve been good so far and have been using the patterns I do have more than once and even going in with little alterations to make them my own.

It’s such a good feeling to see yourself getting better at something after every make and feel really proud with what you’re creating. I suppose that’s what comes when you really love what you’re doing? And that’s a good job as in a couple of weeks I’ll be knuckling down to make my own wedding dress….cripes! what am I thinking?! Well, I’m thinking I’d feel a bit gutted if I didn’t at least give it a go. I’m months off the day so I’ve got loads of time to go buy an emergency bin bag but I’m not thinking like that-it’ll be fine! It’ll be great! It’ll be bloody hard work and I’m terrified of ruining the most expensive fabric I’ll ever buy in my life but hey, I’m sure I can find a tutorial for that J


Sunday, 16 March 2014

#sewdollyclackett .......

So this is my entry for the amazing #sewdollyclackett challenge (see that button to the right, give that a click for more info) I took all sorts of inspiration from Roisin's amazing blog and dresses.....

See me getting out on my front step in homage..

This also counts as my second duvet dress (I love me a duvet dress) I picked up this amazing 60's cotton double duvet for £3 in a local charity shop and it's a really soft cotton, I just loved the bold print and colours.

I chose to use Simplicity 2444, a favourite of Roisin's and also a pattern I love to make up so winning all round. This is the first one I've added sleeves to and I think they look cute. I didn't gather them in though, I just added two little pleats either side of the shoulder seam.

Theres not much not to love about Roisins dresses, theres definitely one in there for everyone. My all time favourite is her Stay the course dress....

Amazing print and it's that 2444 again.

And then I spied this...

and it reminded me of my duvet fabric so I took inspiration from both of these to make up my ode to Roisin. 

I also totally took shoespiration...

I fully lined the bodice and got n with hand stitching at the zipper and waist line and didn't moan once!  See, sticking with those resolutions..

This has been such a cool challenge and I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else comes up with. 
Heres to many more Dolly Clackett dresses to come!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Polka top....

I just happened to be cutting out the peices for a Deer and Doe Plantain (go get it, it's fee!) when the Great British Sewing Bee came on, and their theme for this week?...sewing stretch fabrics...prefect timing for this little top! and this all came together by then end of the show....

This is a really lovely, quick and easy pattern. I did make another which I meant to have entered into the #plaintainchallenge but other stuff got in the way and I didnt round to photographing it or entering it...c'est la vie!

I picked up this lovely spotty fabric when I had a littel splurge on Minerva Crafts. It's a bit more like a sweater jersey so it's got a nice amount of sturdyness for going through the machine.

I altered the neckline after following Tilly's blog posts to acconpany her Coco dress sewalong. (Another pattent to add to the list)

I love a boat neck and the thought of ommitting the neck binding was so tempting that I went with it, you can see her lovely tutorials here.
It also meant I got to use my new twin needle...

and on the hem....

Ooh it gives such a lovely finish...a lot less 'handmade'.

I added 3/4 sleeves and am really happy with how this turned out. This means more fabric terrible ;)