Tribute Month Tunic

I’ve used Tribute Month in two ways,  I feel. One to inspire me to make relaxed and simple pieces, in plain fabrics to build on my wardrobe. I see so many sewists making well made, simple looking (but I’m sure lots of work goes in to them) garments. I wrote an inspiration post for the Sewcialists in anticipation for the challenge so I write about it in much more detail there.  However, I’m essentially copying the styles of amazing Lauren of Guthrie and GhaniMonika of Rocco Sienna and Maddie of Maddie Made This to make well made garments which stand the test of time. 

The second is to see the amazing prints that people use and endeavour to continue to source out fantastic fabrics to use for unique clothing, like Elle at Sew Positivity and Gillian at Crafting a Rainbow

Anyway, today’s make falls in to the simple but stylish category. 

With this in mind I bought a plain pinkish linen from John Lewis in Leeds and wanted to make a relaxed fit blouse. 

I rummaged through my pattern stash and came up with this simple Summer Tunic Top Sew Girl, I’ve never heard of them before. It turns out this pattern was free with Love Sewing Magazine, issue 3 about 3 years ago but I got it in the swap at Sew Up North. 

In a very strange situation, there are no instructions in the envelope, only the pattern so I was winging it a little bit but I felt pretty sure I could manage it. 

The first thing I did was shorten the tunic so it was more like a top. I cut the pieces and in my determination to make a high quality but simple piece, I paid attention to the details.  I French seamed the whole thing and I used the facings, which is something I wouldn’t usually do but it was crucial to the neckline so instead I used bias binding on the facing to make it neat. I was quite pleased with the facings, I’m pretty inexperienced with them as I am so impatient so I was quite pleased. So here’s the insides to prove my genius! 

The pattern requires you to make a little tab, which I had to redo three times as I couldn’t get it to turn out. I was quite pleased to have incooperated it in to the facings when I managed it though. 

The sleeves are a raglan style, something which I have never done but was really easy and that was it. All that was left to do was to chose a pretty button. (don’t you love patterns which need one button? It makes a tiny indentation in the stash!) I went with a pink sparkly one and that was it. 

I’m really pleased I was inspired to make this simple tunic and I’m hoping I can add more like this to the wardrobe. I thought maybe the style wouldn’t suit me but I’d definitely make it again! Sometimes simple is so much better. So thanks to my tributees! I love being part of the Sewcialists. Please feel free to check out my inspiration post for them or go to instagram for pictures and discussion!

I wore it with RTW Next jeans and my favourite brogues. Perfect for chilling on the roof terrace! 

Firm Favourite to Fix a Fail 

I know, I know another Moneta but I was in serious need of a pick-me-up! I tried and MASSIVELY failed to sew a Mimi Blouse from Tilly’s Love at First Stitch and it was a nightmare. I had this beautiful Spanish looking fabric in orange and pictured a lovely, bright blouse but it wasn’t to be. The yoke is too high up. I added piping as she suggests in the book but it made it stiff and awkward, the sleeves were too small and the top it off, the actual blouse was too, even though lots of people warned it would have a lot of ease. To make matters worse, it was supposed to be my last make before my holidays and 2 weeks away from my machine so I felt really unsatisfied. 

All good intentions doomed. ūüė¶

And so my friends, I was consoled… By this amazing fabric and the super quick Moneta

It really was super quick. Literally the night before we went on our holidays, knowing I would be without machine and determined to leave on a high, I grabbed this jersey recently added to my stash, the trusty Moneta pattern and cut! 

I sewed it together with the speed of a mad woman and had the whole dress complete, including the consideration of the pattern placement, in an hour. 

I made the following changes; I lengthened the skirt to mid calf, like my Galaxy one. I was hoping for a maxi hack but I didn’t have enough fabric. I wanted to include the amazing colours at the bottom of the fabric in the skirt and I think calf length suits this dress. I lowered the back slightly. I also discounted the pockets (no time for that). 

That’s it! The moneta has been so crucial in getting over my fear of sewing with jersey- I only wish I would now step away from the Moneta and try some new Jersey patterns as was intended for this fabric!!! 

I wore this on my holiday on a trip to Beadnell Bay where we watched the fishing boats come in and took in the views. A perfect dress for that I think! 

Liberty Block Dress

I’m not one to go crazy for Liberty, I can appreciate it’s loveliness but I’m not too upset if I can’t have it in my life. However, when I saw some remnants going cheaply, I, of course, picked some up. I didn’t have enough to make anything substantial with so I was thinking maybe pockets, make up bags etc… That was until I was planning to make Threadcount 1501 (which was free with Love Sewing Magazine once upon a time) with the fabric I bought from the Sewing for Pleasure Show and I realised that it has an option to do a block skirt. 

There’s been many sneak peeks of this on instagram because I tried to enjoy it and sew it slowly. 

Some of the pieces I had fit the pattern pieces absolutely perfectly and I enjoyed the process of playing around with the order and deciding which colours would look best together. This is such a joy with these fabrics because they have so much colour and detail. I picked out the blues in the fabrics and bought a plain cotton in a Cornflower blue for the bodice.
I made the skirt up first and enjoyed the easy process of joining the pieces.  I love the shape of it, it has small pleats at the top and gathering to make it a nice shape. I was really pleased with the way the seams matched up too. It’s made me feel that I could confidently use more remnant pieces to make garments.

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I then moved on to my bodice, I cut the front and side pieces slightly larger to account for my FBA and should’ve made the sleeves slightly bigger too. This is something I usually remember to do to account for my chunky arms, but I forgot and as a result the arms are a little tighter than I would like. Again, I was so pleased with the way it all lined up, the princess seams and the pleats met perfectly at the front and the darts met the pleats at the back. I was really pleased with this because I think it shows that my accuracy is really improving.

I hemmed it in red thread and used a bias binding on the neckline as I do as often as I can get away with. I inserted the zip, though I’m a bit disappointed with myself because I chickened out of trying a proper invisible zip again. I really need to learn how to do them…

Anyway I wore this to our favourite restaurant on our holidays with my trusty wrap cardigan and light blue heels. It made me feel really girly but without being too frilly (I hope so anyway, frills and frou frou are not my thing!)

I love the style of it and I can’t wait to make my next one which will have a royal purple bodice with a water colour city scene skirt! I love this fabric. 

Breezy Birdy Tee

Me Made May has been so good to identify gaps in my wardrobe. It has become very apparent that I don’t have many separates. I am definitely a dress kind of girl but I don’t wear dresses all the time and I definitely need more casual separates in my life. 

With this in mind, I embarked on Mccalls M6927. It’s a pattern I got free with Sew Style although it only goes up to a size 16, it allows for different cup sizes which is where I usually need a bigger size. So I cut the biggest cup option and graded it up slightly so it was more like an 18. I made view C, which is really basic and exactly what I needed. 

I made it using this lovely turquoise with bird shapes on it, which was an absolute bargain from The Textile Centre. The pattern is levelled at easy and it really was. As I usually do if I can get away with it, I opted for bias neckline rather than a facing and I used it on the hems of the sleeves and on the bottom hem too. 

It was that quick to sew, that I really don’t know why I don’t have more separates like this in my life!! It’s a really easy top to throw on with jeans, perfect for my chilled holidays. 
I like it that much that I immediately decided to make another using some fabric from a bundle I am reviewing for Minerva Crafts. You’ll see it soon I hope. As there are so many options and different ways to change this top up, I can’t see it becoming a firm favourite.

I wore it with my RTW shorts and it was made just in time for my holidays to Bamburgh and the end of Me Made May! 

I convince Kyle to do some jumping pics
There’s a castle behind my head!

Me Made May Final Week

Day Twenty-seven: finally, my half term holiday arrived. I was so ready for this break. Me and my husband set off early and make good time to get to sunny Bamburgh. Whilst it was nice, we had a potter round and I wore my new Mccalls m6927 with RTW shorts. I’ll blog about this one soon because it’s definitely got potential to be a favourite!

Day twenty-eight: this one is a bit of a spoiler because it’s another Mccalls M6927. (told you it was going to be a favourite) but it’s a review of a fabric Bundle for Minerva Crafts so I can’t share too much here. I can easily make up for it with pictures of the Vintage Sewing Machine that my husband bought me from the Bamburgh fair. The wheel spins but the foot doesn’t work… I don’t care though, it’s so pretty and I can’t wait to put it in my sewing space! We had such an amazing morning and got ourselves a new wall clock and a ceramic olive dish too! 

Day twenty-nine: I wore my latest and probably one of my favourite makes. My Liberty Tana Lawn Dragonista Ultimate Shift Top which I hacked to have plackets down the back. 

We had a lovely day out in Alnwick and to the Village Tea Rooms and Emporium, which I can’t not visit! I got some gorgeous fabrics. The top one is a gorgeous children’s interior fabric destined for cushions as a gift. Bottom left is a Pierre Frey from 2013 which I absolutely fell in love with even though I don’t have any plans for it yet and the bottom right is Emily Burningham Cotton Lawn ‘Cranes Book III’ I’m hoping to make a blouse from this one. They’re all such high quality. I can’t wait to use them!

Day thirty: me and Kyle went to our favourite restaurant and I wore my New Liberty Threadcount 1501 which was free with Love Sewing Magazine and you can still download for free if you click the link. I made version B which was the block option in a cornflower blue cotton and liberty fabric blocks for the skirt. I’ll blog this next week so look out for it because it really is a beauty (even if I say do myself!) 

Day thirty-one: I wore my Mccalls M6927 again for the journey home. I was very sad to be leaving and I’m surprised at how sad I feel that Me Made May is over. Though I’m not sure I’ll miss early morning photos! 

To summarise: My Me Made May pledge was to wear something I had made everyday and see the gaps in my wardrobe. I was very nearly successful, with a few sick days highlighting that I have no PJs made for myself even though half my family have PJs I’ve made. Many repeats of the same casual tops and an overuse of dresses for work has highlighted that I need more blouses. So that’s my plan for now and hopefully come next year I will see a huge difference! 

I have also been able to donate some of my more dowdy and dull RTW work clothes as I much prefer my brighter me-mades! 

Lastly, I recently wrote about a craft swap with the lovely Charlotte of Chasjos from France. She writes a blog about the wooden jewellery she makes. Here’s a reminder of the amazing Mermaid piece she made. 

Anyway, I made her a Moneta in return (I’m sure you are all surprised) because I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about the fit too much. I even broke out my high school French (checked by the French teachers at work) to write a note for her. I’ve still got it!  It arrived with Charlotte last week and she’s since wrote a post about it. The dress look fabulous on her and is a great fit. I’ll definitely be getting involved in one of her swaps again! 

Me Made May Week 3

Me Me Made May week hasn’t gone as well as my previous weeks. i have spent the week at my Sister-in-law’s to dog sit and as a result I haven’t had the same access to my wardrobe as I usually have. It also means that my tripos has been M.I.A. Plus (whilst I’m making my excuses) the weather has not been very inspiring this week but I’ll take you through it anyway…

Day Fifteen: I wore my Vintage Paisley Dress with a Black Cardigan. I love this dress, it is simple and has a nice fit. I was really pleased I used a Vintage Butterick Pattern to showcase this fabulous fabric…

Day Sixteen: I’ve been struggling this week to maintain my ‘No Black Tights’ Rule because of all the rain but I persevered and re-wore my Cotton and Chalk Rosie Dress. this time with a purple vest (the only one I had packed) and my trusty black best and cardigan.

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Day Seventeen: Is when it all went wrong. I really wanted to wear trousers and this challenge is quickly highlighting that I don’t have any me-made trousers and I don’t have many blouses beyond those I can tuck in to skirts… So, reader, I Cheated and wore RTW grey trousers and a White Blouse. It was strange because lots of the students at work knew straight away that I hadn’t made what I was wearing because it wasn’t as bright as I usually am!! You will have to make do with a picture of the crochet I have been working on whilst I’ve been able from my Sewing Machine… It will be a blanket (obviously it is a Work in Progress!)

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Day Eighteen: I wore what I thought was a bit of a cheat but the Instagram world told me that it wasn’t! I wore a Black RTW dress for Marks and Spencers, which is really classic I has a great fit. I got it from Ebay a few years ago. I appliques 4 circles on to the left hand side of it after seeing something similar on Pinterest. I got the fabric from an old skirt, which had ripped. I wear it a lot because it is easy wearing and someone usually comment that it is unusual!

Day Nineteen: I wore my Frankendress which was a hack of New Look 6483 and New Look 6723. The top pattern is one my my favourites for making casual t-shirts and I used the skirt from the dress pattern. I was seriously proud of my pattern matching with this one! It’s a really easy, bright and spring-y dress.

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Day Twenty: I went to a local cake and craft fair with my niece and did some fabric shopping too of course. I wore my new Liberty Ultimate Shift Dress which I made the top version of and hacked to add plackets at the back. It’s my new favourite top and it’s definitely started me on a roll of making tops. 

Day Twenty Two: I’ve really started to struggle for ‘throw on’ garments so I admit I just wore a RTW white t-shirt and denim shorts. We were moving our stuff back home after a week spent looking after Theo (how gorgeous) so I needed something throw-onable! 

I did, however, get back in to the sewing Room and finished my Threadcount 1501 Liberty Block Dress! Here’s a sneak peek! Blog soon! 

A successful Frankendress

This dress came after much contemplation about which pattern I could use for a heavily patterned jersey.

I didn’t want a pattern with too many darts or princess seams and I was struggling to find the right pattern in my stash but I also wasn’t sure enough of what I wanted to look for a new one. So I decided to take my old faithful¬†New Look 6483 one hour top pattern, ¬†which I use all the time. ¬†I cut view C, ¬†which has an high neck and sleeves, ¬†which I made slightly longer. I measured an inch below the waist line marked on the patterned and cut along that.

Next I took¬†New Look 6723¬†which I have made previously¬†here¬†and used the skirt pieces for the bottom half of the dress. With it being a jersey I knew I wasn’t going to insert a zip so I cut both pieces on the fold, being careful to try and keep the pattern vertical throughout.

The Plan

I made the top half up as usual but tried my hand at my first jersey neckline, which I am rather pleased with.

I then used Suzie,  my dressmaker dummy,  to play around with fitting the skirt. The original pattern uses gathers but I thought that would go against the pattern of the fabric, so I pinned some pleats either side of the centre line at the front and the back,  slept on it and then went for it. It was so great to have the dressmaking dummy to do this on.

I think it gives it shape without spoiling the pattern. I tried to keep the line of the ‘Trellis’ going throughout and have managed it quite well I feel. The fabric doesn’t have a great deal of stretch so it was quite easy to work with.

I think this dress really shows how I have improved because the last¬†frankendress¬†I did was pretty unsuccessful and not very well pattern matched at all. I think I’m finally getting a feel for how fabrics should look when sewn. Hooray!

I have had this hung for a few months, waiting for spring and so last weekend I cracked it out for the Sewing for Pleasure show which I won tickets too! I’ve blogged about my haul¬†here¬†if you want to see some lovely fabrics!

I teamed it with tights (it’s not that much like spring yet) my tan waist belt and Brogues and a black cardi. I loved the show and I think it’s the perfect back drop for my dress!

Sewing For Pleasure Haul

What a fabulous day I had yesterday! I won tickets to go to the Sewing for Pleasure show at the NEC in Birmingham from Elle @sewpositivity. I took my Mum, because she is amazing not because she loves sewing like me!! I want to show off my lovely haul and my plans to people who like to know… AKA not the husband who has, quite frankly, had enough of my dressmaking ramblings! 

Now, I did write a list and I am well aware that I already have my fingers in many pies but I couldn’t resist. Though I did say no more florals and managed to stick to that rule so ‘well done me’! 

There was lots of really cool displays to see and I’m not going to bore you with pictures because if I was reading this I would just want to get to the good stuff but… How cool is this Whitewalker from Game of Thrones made entirely from Textiles?

Anyway… On with the haul. 

Ta dah!

I’ll go through all the lovely fabrics but I also got 2 free patterns from The Sewing Quarter which were the Freya dress and The Granville Skirt. Everyone loves a freebie. My mum, who is so kind also picked me up a little clip which extends for me to attach my snippers too. 

One of the first fabrics to catch my eye was the gorgeous grey with coloured (I think screen printed) blotches. I put it down at first because it wasn’t very wide but then I had to go back!  I have a skirt in mind for this one. I wanted a metre and a half but the woman took a piece off that was one metre forty so I took that instead and she only charged me for a metre!! 

This stall was called The Shuttle which is a fabric shop in Yorkshire aparrantly. I’ve never heard of them before but they do some gorgeous fabrics. I also got this pink and blue flecked cotton. There was a range of these and they really caught my eye. I only got a metre (¬£5) and I’m thinking a nice Colette Sorbetto for summer. 

Also from The Shuttle is this gorgeous 100% cotton water colour style fabric in purple. I was speaking to a lady there and we were absolutely lusting over it. I bought 2 metres of it as ¬£5 per metre. 

It’s so pretty!!I knew I wanted a nice dress but I thought to break it up, I would get a block colour for the bodice so it looks like a two piece dress so I also got a metre of this lovely royal purple colour, with my Mum’s advice! 

I’m thinking a stashed pattern like New Look 6262 would be ideal for this. 

I also picked up some lovely Paisley for a mother’s day gift so I can’t say much more on this but it’s lovely and soft and it was only ¬£2.99 per metre from Lili Fabrics. They had a great big stall and an amazing range. 

Finally, I got a kit to make a Peruvian Purse. My mum bought me this because I was so taken with it, I just thought it was so unusual! The little opening is like a looped zip with a snap to catch it at the end.  The company was called Craft and Cotton and the lady was so helpful. I can’t wait to make it up and they sell just the notions on their website so I think I’ll be getting more for gifts! 

That’s it from me! I will of course share the makes as I get round to them. I will also be sharing more of the dress I wore to the show next Friday as I’m in love with it! 

Me Made Northumberland 

In a similar way to my me made Dublin post last year I wanted to summarise my me – made holidays. I have not made anywhere near enough clothes to wear me made everyday yet (sad face) but I try to plan a wardrobe which is me-made everyday for my holidays because it gives me an aim and a deadline and it made me feel good on my holidays. 

Any excuse to show the gorgeous Bamburgh Castle!

So, we were, as always,  in beautiful Northumberland staying in the cutest little cottage for 2 called Rose cottage just outside Bamburgh. 

The first day,  Sunday was a proper chilled day for us,  so it called for a sloppy jumper and jeans which were all RTW I’m afraid..  I did however make full use of my cute little sunglasses case in the winter sun. It’s just a rectangle lined in red and folded in half with some wadding between and a little tab. The fabric was a fat quarter from a bundle from hobby craft

Monday we drove inland and visited a vintage and fabric shop,  called Village Tea Rooms and Emporium. I love it so much that I wrote a blog post all about it.  We came across it a few years a go before I knew much about fabric… I was desperate to go back now I knew what I was looking at and it seemed fitting that I wore my Vintage 1970s Maudella Dress

It’s a lovely journey in land and we tried to get some nice bloggy pictures on a gorgeous bridge we passed but this is the best we could do…  It was a little breezy! 

I bought SO MUCH fabric! The lovely Beryl who owns it, was so chatty and just wanted to talk about where all the fabric had come from. There were so many pieces a at £1 each so I went a little crazy (think supermarket sweep!)

I was informed that the grey is ex-designer and it’s such a great quality fabric. I can’t wait to get stitching up. 

You may find me sad but I took my machine with us,  I had to get sewing for the Moneta Party and it relaxes me so why not take it on holiday! I took 2 Monetas because they need minimum pressing.  I cut them and labelled them before we came so I could just enjoy some sewing. Bliss. I used little white sticky notes to label the pieces and I’m thinking I will do this again as it made it so much easier! 

Tuesday was time to show off my Moneta,  this is probably my most favourite dress I’ve ever made. I’ve blogged about it here so click for more pictures. 

We spent the day pottering around the coast,  mainly Seahouses. I had Kyle take lots of pictures of my lovely new dress and we pottered around having a lovely time. The fabric is a gorgeous Galaxy Print jersey from Fabric Styles

Wednesday I wore my new Yellow Needlecord Skirt which was make using Simplicity 6346. I really love this nice bright skirt. I wore it on a trip over the hills and in the countryside. It was a bit nippy but this kept me looking bright and cheerful. 

I’ve blogged about this and how I based it on a designer skirt,  if you’d like to see more windy pictures click here. 

Thursday was Storm Doris day so we had a quick trip out to Barter Books to get reading materials and picked up some supplies and then returned to the cottage and battened down the hatches. 

I picked up this copy of Twinkle Sews by Wenlan Chia, who has a designer clothing company in New York. It was second hand so it cost me ¬£5 but you can get it on Amazon, it’s got some really inspiration pictures and comes with a CD with PDF patterns on it. I’m going to try something from it soon, there’s a pretty cool sweatshirt in there. Anyway,  that was me entertained during the storm!. 

Friday we had a cup of tea and a walk round Bamburgh and the beach. I wore my second moneta, which is how I think of her sadly, as I don’t think she is as good as my Galaxy Print one. She has made an appearance on my Moneta blog post though. 

Saturday was going home day, so donning my Hogwarts Hoodie we came home… I’ve had a great week though. 

We were straight back into work on Monday so there’s not been much sewing for me, sadly but weekend’s a-coming and it’s set to be a chilly one so we can all guess what I’ll be doing!! 

My Monetas

The Moneta Party is very much an instagram challenge but I wanted to share my versions with you. I try to stay true to my style and not join in for the sake of it,  hence why there has been no sign of a Cleo on my blog…  It just wouldn’t suit me. The Moneta however,  looked right up my street and I thought it would really flatter me so as soon as I saw the challenge on Instagram,  I was sold!

I made 2,  just because I could and also because this brilliant Galaxy Fabric arrived from fabric styles as I was cutting out my elephant print ready for my Moneta entry.

The Moneta is by Colette Patterns and is made for jersey or knit fabric. The girls who organised the challenge, Rach,  Abigail and Elle chose it because it’s so accessible and flattering. I bought the PDF version, which had 41 pages to put together (phew!) I opted for sleeves as usual; I don’t like to show my arms..

You can also get a free bundle of different collars for the Moneta from the Colette pattern website, which is great for changing it up. Though,  personally I’m not a fan of having anything too frilly.

Anyway,  let me talk you through my two gorgeous Monetas!

The Galaxy print is version 3. I made it slightly longer by extending the skirt pieces by 3 inches and shortened the three quarter length sleeves very slightly. It came together easily. I didn’t have to pattern match or anything. When gathering with the elastic this tutorial from Sew Abigail helped a lot. I’m loving the pockets too!

This was my first time using a twin needle,  I thought it would be really complicated but it wasn’t at all,  though I did do several practises, and I quite enjoyed it in the end! I used a pink and blue for a bit of a contrast.

I wore it whilst we were away and got Kyle to take lots of pictures on Seahouses harbour ready for my entry. It was a bit fresh so I looked like a bit of a headcase but I think the photos are worth it! I soon changed my mind and decided that this would be my Moneta Party entry. 

Bloody hell lads, look away, she’s taking all her layers off again! 

Checking out the RNLI Grace Darling

I styled it with black tights and my tan Brogues, my wrap cardi and black coat with a nice scarf,  which was a birthday present from my sister.

Being soppy isn’t my usual style but I’m so lucky to have an amazing husband to share my life with,  who will dutifully look for nice places to have pictures so he can support me and makes me laugh so much! We have such a great time together and he makes my life. 

The elephant print is again version 3 with everything as standard. I used the Peter pan collar from the free bundle and cut the fabric around the elephants so that it was a plain black and it was a disaster;  it didn’t look good at all. They were all bumpy, so I swiftly removed them,  I am getting quite good at unpicking now! I’ve included a picture of the before in the spirit of fail February though! I’ve read some comments on it around social media and most people seem to have been redrawing their collars so I might try that next time. I personally think it needs to be bigger and go to the shoulder seams.

Other than this it was super easy to put together but my needle did not like going over any parts where an elephant was printed. I made life even simpler on myself by zig-zagging the hems rather than the double needle because I wanted a different feature (read:because I couldn’t be bothered to change my needle) I had also already decided that I was going to use my other as my entry. 

I should have considered the placement of the elephants a little bit more because there’s a few places where it looks a little strange but that’s a lesson for another day! 

Random ele-foot!

I am still happy with it overall and will wear it but I’m glad I made 2 so I could change my mind about my Moneta entry! I wore this on a visit to Bamburgh village on a beautiful day. The castle is so majestic and the place has so many happy memories for us. 

You’ll wait forever for a bus up here!

I can safely say that I absolutely recommend a Moneta,  especially if you’re curvy. A lot of the others I’ve seen appear to have a lower waist line so I think when I make another I’ll lengthen the bodice a little to account for the boobies. Otherwise this is definitely a go-er for another day- party or no party!!

Combining my favourite things! 

This is a bit of a different blog post as I’m not sharing a make with you,  I’m sharing a shop. 
Myself and Kyle visit Northumberland 5 or 6 times a year and love spending time along the coast but more recently we have been heading in land to enjoy the beautiful countryside. 

We find it so refreshing and what is more, there’s a little gem of a shop,  which I absolutely love visiting. It’s called Village Tea Room and Emporium. It’s an unassuming tea rooms, antique and fabric shop at Hedgeley services in Breamish Valley. The lady who runs it is so friendly and wants to tell you everything about the different fabrics and is really passionate. 

You can go and have a really good rummage and there are some really beautiful fabric bolts sold by the metre or some ready cut priced pieces; including a vintage section. There’s dress fabrics, home fabrics and a very small Haberdashery section. The fabrics are piled up all over so you can browse to you hearts content…  Like me! 

When I visited,  I got really lucky because she was doing a stock take and in order to clear some stock, a lot of the pieces were just ¬£1 so I absolutely filled my boots. She even threw in a vintage Simplicity pattern, I picked up, for free! 

I was in heaven. I even got some liberty print pieces,  even though they were small,  they were ONE POUND! 

I also bought some by the metre fabric,  which she talked me through and was so friendly and nice, talking me through the origins and giving me ideas.

As we browsed (by this I mean as I ran around like a crazy woman coming short of rolling around in the fabric and Kyle followed my dutifully carrying everything I threw at him!)  she was in the corner sewing up some curtains, which just made my day! 

On top of this you can get a very reasonably priced brew and delicious homemade cake or shortbread. 

It’s not glamorous but it’s brilliant. If you ever find yourself that way you should definitely check it out. I intend to go every time I visit from now on! 

The Reworked Olivia Dress

This dress is the Olivia Dress,¬†another member of the¬†Cotton and Chalk family for¬†Simply Sewing¬†magazine.¬†It’s sister being¬†The Rosie Dress. I was disappointed with this make for a few reasons, which you shall see throughout, but I think this was probably more down to my skills than the pattern.

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4 Metres Purple Large Paisley Dress fabric. 58" Wide. (End Of Roll)

So… I thought the dress¬†looked really hippy-ish and I went for the first¬†view, which is long and has 3/4 length sleeves. I had some purple paisley viscose which seemed to fit the bill nicely; turns out I was wrong…

There was something oddly satisfying about cutting out the big lengths of fabric needed for this. However, much less satisfying was the neckline, which nearly finished the relationship between me and my machine. The poor thing took some abuse on neckline sewing day, though clearly it’s my fault as I’m the human who was completely unable to work the facings out.

I stepped away from my machine for a walk with my Mum and her dog, Murphy, and felt much better about the whole facing situation. Not before my Mum got the ‘bad workmen blame their tools’ saying in though! I’m glad I did because I restarted and I’m much happier with it, I’ve even managed to pattern match the facing!

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Once I worked the neckline situation out, the rest of the construction was pretty easy. Check out my super neat, contrast elastic casing!

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However, as promised, there was another problem… because¬†I did¬†have to insert elastic, it¬†was hard to fit this to my shape along the way¬†and the dress was too big in the end.¬†Also, because the pattern is so busy it just felt too frumpy and unflattering, which just goes to show the importance of fabric choice.

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not impressed…

My husband¬†gave me that look that suggested¬†he was dreading me going out of the house in it and¬†said I looked like Demis Roussos. If you are thinking you don’t know who that is, like I was, let me help you out…

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Yep, a 1970’s Greek singer,¬†who is apparently well-known for wearing over sized dress style garments!¬†Charming… he is just so constructive in his criticism! Sadly, he did have a point.

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frumpsville

So I took it back to the machine after a month or so of blatantly ignoring it. I took the arms and sides in by an inch and took 9 inches off the length (I managed to keep a little bit of the original side slit, which I like as a feature). It’s not a big change but enough to completely change the look of this dress for the better and make it in to something far more wearable. What a winner!

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much shorter side split, much whiter legs

I wore this with tights and my blue wrap cardigan to a gorgeous meal with my amazing hubby at The Mizen Head in Bamburgh. We went for a walk on the green by the castle, where you can hear the sea and the air is so fresh. It is quite literally my favourite place in the world.

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Yes, I did eat all that! YUM!

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received_10153973179631200Definitely a happy Friday for us in the most amazing place with some of our family.x

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