Floral Sophistication

Hi everyone,

As part of my very extended birthday celebrations, my Mum and my sister took my out on the Saturday. I didn’t know what I was doing but I was told to have a nice dress ready… Is there ever a better excuse to make something?!

I was certain I wouldn’t be able to make a new one in time because uni and work have been so busy but my Mum got us tickets to the Craft Show at Event City in Manchester and bought me 2 and a half metres of viscose loveliness to make a dress.

I decided to make New Look K6723 as I’ve made it before and felt quite glam in it. I chose view B with a short sleeve. The last time I made it, I didn’t bother lining it but I wanted it to feel special so I used a gold coloured lining from my newly acquired stash from my grandmother-in-law. (I’ll share more on that soon). I thought it would pick out the yellow in the fabric and I feel it does the trick.

I also managed to encase the raw edge of the sleeves in to the lining which feels so neat and lovely! This make also marked the day that I mastered the invisible zip. I can’t believe I’ve made so many garments without invisible zips before now! It looks brilliant, if I do say do myself! I do wish I knew how to incorporate the zip in to the lining but that’s a skill for another time!

I French seamed the rest of the dress, especially the waist-line so it felt luxurious. I used the remaining fabric to make a long tie for round me waist. A quick hem and all was complete!

I was so pleased I managed to squeeze this make in to my busy week because I felt really special in it. I was really happy with the fit and the fabric draped beautifully. After being bought a gorgeous new sworoski ring and a glass of champagne at Selfridges champagne bar (get me!) , my surprise was to have afternoon tea at Cloud 23 which is up high in the Hilton hotel in Manchester. You could really see far and wide and I felt very sophisticated!

We rounded up the day with a few G&Ts. I have been truly spoilt for my birthday and I have the most amazing family! Here’s to my 30s and many more dressed to come!

Birthday Dress

Well, it happened… I turned 30… My amazing family ensured, I had a truly fabulous time so I didn’t wallow in my own sadness at getting old! It’s true what people say, it doesn’t feel any different!

To take my mind off the impending doom which was turning 30 I decided to make sure that my birthday weekend was truly me-made. I began with my birthday dress for our family meal.

Having had success last year with Threadcount 1501 which was free with Love Sewing magazine some years a go, I’m not sure you can get it anymore but I know that you can still snag them on eBay!

Anyway last years version I made using Liberty scraps I had bagged in a sale day at my favourite shop in Northumberland, Village Tearooms and Emporium. I loved the dress, I felt it was really flattering and was so keen to make another that I put it on my Make 9 for this year.

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The dress comes with two options, one with an ordinary skirt piece and the other as block pieces. AS you can see, I’ve already made the blocked one so I wanted to try the other. Last year I won tickets to go to the Handmade Fair from Elle as Sew Positivity over on Instagram and I bought this beautiful water colour cotton. My Mum and I debated and thought that it would perhaps be a bit much as a complete dress so she advised I went for a purple to break it up a bit. Mum’s are usually right folks, so that’s what I did.

I cut the bodices out of the block purple, I think using plains on top is great for me because when it is pairs with prints at the bottom it detracts a little for my chest, which can look a little large in some outfits. I used the watercolour print for the skirt.

The construction of the dress is a pleasant experience, there’s quite a few darts and a princess seam. The whole bodice is constructed and then the skirt added. The Skirt has both pleats at the front and the back and then gathering from the pleat to the side seam, which lends itself to a really flattering shape. I loved using my overlocker here because it meant all the gathering on the inside looks really neat. I think I enjoyed the experience even more because I wanted it to be a nice dress for my birthday.

The observant amongst you will notice that the original dress I made was pulling slightly across the arms, to solve this, I just used a very tiny seam allowance on my sleeves. I wish I could tell you that I did a super advanced pattern grading but that’s just not true!

A final note on the construction (and the most exciting I feel) – I finally inserted an invisible zip! This was something which really shocked a lot of people over Instagram as I have made so many garments now but it’s just a step I’ve always avoided. I was reassured that it would be easy but I didn’t find it as easy as I hoped, the zip got caught really easily and isn’t as invisible as I hoped but… I have tried it and will continue to try it until I get it right as I do with most things!

Not quite invisible but nearly!

I’m really happy with the fit, I feel it is super flattering and feminine and perfect for my birthday meal. I loved wearing it. I feel like more recently, I’m really starting to win with my fit.

Check out my amazing cake!!

Say No to turning 30!

If you have a look over on the Sew Me Sunshine Blog, I’m also really pleased with my Deer and Doe Bruyére Shirt which I made using their dreamscape mountain cotton loveliness.

On a sad note, with everything that I’m doing at the minute, I’ve decided to close my YouTube account. My main love is writing my blog and I can’t keep up with the vlogs enough to do them justice. Thanks for those who supported me with it though. ☺

Pencil Pencil Skirt

Hi everyone,

I love that making your own clothes means that you can play with prints and essentially create whatever you want to wear so when I bought this super cute pencil fabric from Sew Me Sunshine and I was looking through my fabric options in my Stash Buster Fabric Post I decided on a pencil skirt. Why not have a pencil skirt made of pencils?!

IMG_20171119_215403_721.jpg

I had some success last year with Simplicity 8342 as part of the Simplicity turns 90 challenge. It’s a vintage style pencil skirt with a ruffle. I really like the overlapped zip detail and the neat finish. It has two darts at the front and four at the back, with a tulip style shape so I really like the shaping it gives you. I decided to go with this but to omit the ruffle this time.

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I took the size down this time as I have been losing a little weight and it always goes from my hips first so my last skirt is starting to be a bit roomy. The construction of the skirt is a real pleasure and it comes together quite quickly. My lapped zip worked out really well and I’m happy with how neat it has turned out. The lines of the pencil even line up, even though they are not the same pencils!!

To finish the hem in leiu of the ruffles, I overlocked the hem and then turned it up (my new favourtie and most reliable way to hem a curve). Then I crossed the edges at the back, pinned them in place and ensured the stitching line met in the middle.

I absolutely love this skirt, I don’t want to be vain but it makes me really really feminine and curvy. I’m a little bit happy dance in it!

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