Monday, 18 August 2014

Its Happening again: Brighton Sewcialists Meet up! September 13th!

Its taken me forever to get myself organised but here it is lovelies. I'm running another Sewcialists meetup in Brighton! My adopted home town just an hour out of London.

The Itinerary:

11am : Meet at Brighton Train Station. We usually stay around half an hour just to make sure we are all assembled before wandering through the pretty streets to our lunch destination which is tbc until I know the numbers.

12 noon: Lunch and Swap. This is where you can swap any fabric pattern or notions you like. Just bring along as little or as much as you like! Don't be put off if you don't have anything to swap we always have spare!

2pm: Hitting the shops! There are two fabric shops in the laines and two further into town.

4pm: End of shopping and thence to the pub! We will select a bar or pub depending on our numbers and weather (beach anyone?) and anyone who doesn't need to dash off is welcome to come and show off their new goodies over a cocktail or two!

If you are interested in coming please RSVP to me at
Its always a fabulous event and we will try to accommodate as many people as possible!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Return of the Graduate Wardrobe...

Those of you fabulous people that have been reading for a while or that have been lovely enough to go through my archive may remember way back when I started talking about a graduate wardrobe. This never materialised due to the fact that the universe can be a bit shit sometimes and decided to make me do a menial job until 60 applications later i've ended up with a decent job.

So now my thoughts are back on a professional wardrobe. But in blogland so many new patterns have been released since I made the first plan. I'm thinking it might be nice to make another. I've made two boards of the colours I think I would like to wear on a regular working basis. These consist of Coral/ Mint or Aqua/hot pink and neutrals White/ Caramel/ Black/ Brown. My accessories are simple gold. This is partly because I am allergic to fake jewellery. I've cheated a little on this first board. I have already purchased the white shirt and a similar coral one but its giving me an idea of how I can mix and match because lets be honest who wants to get up extra early to pick their outfit? I'm thinking the skirts may be Mabel and Lady Skater. I'm opting for comfort as lets be honest i've got a bus and train to contend with as well as teaching!
 I don't think i'd have too much of a problem finding trouser patterns. Clover seems to be promising in muslin stage. The shirts I have some ideas around but I'm not sure how formal I need to be dressed yet so i'll keep a loose idea on those.
Have you got any tips on designing a wardrobe for a working girl?

Monday, 21 July 2014

Royal Blue Mabel...

Morning Lovelies, I hope you are waking up to a brilliant Monday morning!
I'll be at work but nevertheless I have another Mabel attempt to show you! 
This one is made from a ponte that has been in my stash forever!
I got it as two remnants and only used one on this skirt! Love the small yardage on this pattern!
It just goes to show how different your jerseys can be though. Compared to the first Mabel I made this one is a little snug, same size slightly different quality. In order to remedy this a little. I let out some of the seam allowance on the front button band...
Talking of the button band where are the buttons?
Well, I had high hopes for this skirt. I've been dreaming of Santorini and beautiful greek islands. I was wanting some very white greek looking (if there is such a thing) buttons to go with the lovely deep blue skirt. Can I find the ones I want? Nope. They don't seem to exist and so instead of putting up with mediocre buttons I have decided to make it a design feature.
Are we all ok with that? Ok good. Moving on...
I didn't find styling this skirt too easy as wearing white with a pug around can be a challenge. I opted for different blues and this is probably how i'd style it in the future, also as I've said before i'll get the most use out of skirts in the winter with tights and boots. If i'm honest id fear for my modesty a bit in this one...
Stats time!
Fabric: Stash! 0.00
Notions: Stash! 0.00
Pattern: Used before so 0.00... I just remembered I didn't count the pattern last time! So say £10...
Not too bad I would have spent a tenner on something similar. I adore the colour and hopefully I have enough fabric to get a cardi out of the rest!
I must make a neutral and black mabel! How about you?

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Fuchsia Fun Cardigan: McCalls 6844

Those who saw me at the Minerva meetup will have heard me saying I whipped up this cardigan in a panic the night before because I had nothing that went with my Hazel dress I was wearing in the daytime.
This pattern was so popular about a year ago and as per usual I bought the pattern and never got around to making it. That is until I bought this ah-mazing hot pink lace jersey. It screamed at me "I must be a peplum" and so I obeyed.
 The pattern is a breeze to put together and using my overlocker it took a couple of hours from cutting to wearing.
My only complaint is that I would prefer the collar to fit into the peplum rather than have a straight collar. I cut a size L but I could easily go medium. I like it belted without something to bring it into my waist it looks a little drapey and it has no closures.
I love love love the fabric. I think I got it at Goldhawk its a lace jersey in this eyewatering pink!
I chose to cut the graduated peplum and I like the dip. I think I will have another go at this cardigan as its a nice style but I would do a narrow shoulder alteration and cut at least a size down. However it really works well as a wardrobe builder. I find myself grabbing it for these muggy days we have been having.
Fabric: 2m of pink lace jersey around £6pm so £12 (I may be overestimating)
Notions:Nada £0.00
Total: £12
Wearability: 7/10

The sizing is the only issue for me. Its the most expensive thing i've made in a while which wasn't a Minerva make. Thats mainly because a lot of my fabric has been stash recently. I don't feel too bad about the price I couldn't buy it that ethically that cheaply and it was so easy to sew on the overlocker I could churn them out! I'd recommend this pattern if you want a quick and dirty cardigan pattern with some style to it!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Flora and Fauna...

You guys can you believe its been weeks since the big Minerva meetup?
I can't I meant to blog this dress ASAP but it's gone so quick time got away from me.
Nevermind here is my June make for Minerva my "By Hand London Flora Dress."
Today we decided to have a go at some natural light photos. Thoughts on a postcard please!
First off, I didn't like making this dress. No ones fault but my own, the fabric drapes like a dream but slips like a devil. Its a lovely poly, (I know that sounds like an oxymoron but it totally is.)
 The colour is great and thick enough that I didn't bother to line the skirt. 
But the fitting was a total nightmare. My irritating narrow shoulders told me to take out 4 odd inches from the top but this left my arm holes a little snug, which then pulled the balance off of my bust. In the end I was short on time and ended up deciding that a top underneath was better than sewing the neckline together as this only encouraged boob tightness.
I would say I could easily go down a size or two on the front but with the drape of the fabric it gave a more relaxed holiday vibe to the other Flora's I've seen.
(please ignore the pug butt, Pixel refused to be left out and made himself almost uncroppable.)
The next thing I tackled was the skirt. Very pretty high low hemline but for some one so hobbitlike as myself it was verging on indecent. I didn't mind so much when I offset the highest point slightly to the side giving myself more of a faux wrap look. 
 Overall I really do like this dress and I'm sure it will get a lot of wear. I was very lucky to receive lots of compliments on the night and a chorus of "Oh I nearly bought that fabric today!"
 Here is how it looked on the night. I will try my best to fit in a post of its own soon!
 Here I am with the lovely Marie Amy and Katherine! Everyone looked amazing by the way!
If you follow me on Instagram you will have already seen these sneaky peeks!
Finally I had to put this beauty in. Piemaker said "Oh I don't think you'll want to use that one..." How wrong he is. This is the face I make when Pixels wriggling. I think you'll agree with the tagline...

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Completed: One Short Day in the Emerald City Coco...

"One short day in the Emerald City, One short day to have a lifetime of fun" - Wicked
Aka my favourite musical of all time. Seriously guys ever wondered what the tattoo on my wrist says? Defying Gravity thats what. 
(There is a running joke in my family that when I'm old it will say Defying Gravy...)
Moving on!
This Coco is a Minerva make. The emerald ponte is the one I used for my Mabel skirt too! I do love to use up leftovers, 
 This Coco has long been on my inspiration board. I have an unhealthy obsession with Boden and I had pinned this dress ages ago. I was going to have a go at her peculiar model pose but I'm not sure i'd look a sylph like...
I decided matching buttons were not for me so I went gold! I halved the collar piece but I could have been more brutal, my version is still quite high but overall I'm happy with the result.
I have however come to the conclusion that this Coco will only ever be a winter dress for me. Its very short for one so hobbit-like and I feel very exposed without tights. Not to mention the long sleeves, I was so warm taking these photos!
I am glad I picked this ponte. I think the colour is much more flattering to my skin tone than the more grassy green Boden dress. Its also super forgiving, very few lumps and bumps let loose!
Wearability is going to get a 7/10
I know I live in the UK where the weather is changeable to say the least but I'm banking on this being a Autumn/ Winter staple its a bit too snuggly for the summer! I'm loving this colour with Navy and I can see it looking great with my Virginia leggings I finished for the SWAP.
Ah well C'est La Vie Coco!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Swap 2014: Completed!!!!

Wooo I actually finished a SWAP you guys! Look out!
There are some Newly completed garments ahead!

I promise they will get their own posts later but i'm too happy not to post the results up. weee!!

This was 11 garments... 11!

I'm quite proud of myself (can you tell?!) as I totally bailed last year after two garments.
There are some really lovely talented ladies over at Artisan Square and they have been a fabulous support since January. Not forgetting you my lovely readers of course!
The plan was 3 3-pacs and two wild cards. Making 11 Pieces that co-ordinate.
I found working in 3's so helpful! I decided to theme each 3 pac to give me a focus.

So here goes number one: Home Comforts
This consisted of my Coco Dress, Mabel Skirt and Previously made Briar Jumper (Green glitziness taken off.) Did you guess my first unblogged?
Next 3 pac was named smart to casual. I wanted Items that could be dressed up or down easily depending on how I was feeling that day. My McCalls dress is totally Pajamas in disguise!
Team that with my Coppelia Cardigan or wear my cardi with my Lisette Denim skirt I can be comfy and still feel i've made an effort.
(Snuck another unblogged in didn't I?)
 Then Came my favourite outfit of the entire SWAP!

My Later Nights 3-pac! This is where my Skull Pansy Victoria and Simplicity skirt meet! Oh yes as requested here it is as a kind of suit! Crazy no? I love this outfit! I may never wear it out like this but its awesome. The third item is the navy Plantain tee just as a bit of a backdrop.
 I can see myself wearing it much more as a skirt and tee or tee jacket and jeans combination. Either way this is totally my favourite!

Finally onto the two wildcards, one of which doesn't feel that wild but it didn't fit anywhere else really in the end. My Virginia leggings, made from the same fabric as the Plantain Tee! These are so interchangeable I could wear it with all my 3 pacs if I wanted to! As you can see I paired it with my Coco for the photos.
Finally the real wildcard was my Georgia Dress! The cobalt isn't present in any of my other makes except maybe the Skull Pansy print. But I felt adding another blue gave a bit more depth to my palette and lets face it everyone needs a wildcard dress like this right?
I chose to keep my makeup and accessories simple so it was easy to see the outfits in the same situation. With 11 garments I think I can make at least 15 different outfits just mixing and matching skirts and tops alone. I will have a play with it over May and let you know the results.
Capsule wardrobes are something i've always considered but never properly tried. Making 11 pieces seemed impossible and I thought it would bore me to tears. But by keeping my plan flexible and open to interpretation I was able to keep sewing and make new exciting patterns work with existing ones I had started. I deviated quite a bit in the end. I only sewed three garments from my original plan made in January but managed to sew 9 from my updated March plan only changing 3 around to fit the final swap.

 If I've learnt anything on this little sewing journey I'd urge anyone to try out 3-pacs. Making three co-ordinating items means one perfect outfit. With a bit of consideration it gave me clothes that I love to wear, fit my lifestyle and look pretty lovely together. Go on, Give it a go! Have you ever sewn a capsule wardrobe?