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!! 

Yellow Needlecord ‘I could make that’ 

Today’s make is one of those makes that I was so proud of that I just wanted to look at it all the time. I don’t really follow designers but I was reading a fashion magazine and saw this Skirt By M.I.H. Jeans. It was a mere £425 but when I looked it up I found it was an even better bargain with 60% off at £170!

Since I have been making improvements to my sewing,  I often find myself thinking ‘I could just make that’ so I thought this time I actually would. I was especially motivated as I had promised Linda of Nice Dress Thanks I Made It an entry to her Designin’ December competition… Well, since December! So I grabbed my supplies and made a start.

The pattern is Simplicity Newlook 6346 which has 2 separate lengths and the options to make the skirt with or without buttons,  I knew it would have the potential to look really modern. I’ve seen a few skirt patterns similar to this but I like simplicity patterns.
The Crafty Pin-Up,  did a great version of it too on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network,  which I checked out before I started and was really inspired by.

The really cute Cloud Fabric is part of the Greatest Adventure collection by Natalie Lymer for Riley Blake Designs.  I wanted to use it as a lining for the pockets. Isn’t it so cute?!
I made the pockets by measuring the front panels of the skirt and drawing rectangles at sizes which would work, both in the yellow needlecord and the cloud fabric. I sewed them right sides together,  flipped them through a gap and top-stitched. I think it is a really cute detail but my one criticism is that you can see the lining at the edges slightly which takes away from the designer look,  though I’m not sure if I’m being overly picky.

The skirt came together really easily, the facings for the plackets are made using the fabric itself. I changed the waistband slightly to add the flaps for the pockets (I don’t know if there is an official term for it) I added these as I attached the waistband so it would look neat. I was rather impressed with my own forward thinking here!
I then left my buttonless, hemless skirt to hang. I see this in a lot of directions and I have to admit, I usually ignore this step but I’m so glad I did it. The skirt hemmed really easy; I’ve struggled on the curve of skirts before. I added my buttonholes,  which were pretty big in order to fit my big chunky silver buttons and I was done. I am so happy with it,  I think it is really modern and just like the original.

I wore it on my holidays up in Northumberland with a navy body and wrap cardi,  where we were so busy being blown away that we struggled to get a good picture but we got some in the end!

Being blown away!

I don’t usually do prices but in spirit of the Designer challenge:
Yellow Needlecord: 2 and a half metres at £13.50 from The Cheap Shop Tiptree. Though I think 2 metres would have done it.

Silver Buttons: 5 for £1.45 from Ebay.

Riley Blake Fabric: £3.50 for a fat quarter from Hollie’s Haberdashery

Pattern: Simplicity 6346 £5.95 from Simplicity Newlook

So the whole Skirt cost a mere £24.50! Plus I will definitely use this pattern again! Possibly on a denim. Winner!

I’m trying to join in some more challenges like this over this year in my bid to improve,  if you’re interested in more regular updates with this please follow me on instagram!

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! 

Self-drafted Daisy Skirt

Please note that when I say ‘self-drafted’, it makes me sound very professional, what I mean is ‘making it up’. Last month I went to Dublin with my Mum and my sister and managed to find a fabric shop, where I bought some silky polyester with daisies. Cute or what?received_10153756753501227

I only bought one metre but it was quite wide, I knew I wanted it for a skirt straight away. I don’t tend to buy skirt patterns as I find it easier to draft a waist band and work with that. I know it’s going to be a good fit if I measure myself (obvious I suppose).  Once I had a waist band, I cut 2 rectangles with the rest of the fabric.

Then I lay them to one side and did some research about how I wanted to shape the fabric, I wasn’t sure that pleats would work with silky fabric, so naturally, I decided to do pleats. After some very complicated maths, which looked like this..

sam_2700I went with 14 pleats of 5 cm every 10 cm. (I worked in centimetres instead of inches so I had a little more to play with.)

I measured them out and then tacked them along the top. I then added my waistband and secured it all in place.

When I tried it for fit I realised that all the sewing on the waistband must have stretched the fabric and it was too big on my waist by about 3 inches instead of the 1 inch I had left to insert my zip… So now I really was making it up!

I was simply going to trim it up and insert my zip but then I thought, why am I allowing myself to have my life controlled by zip insertions? What are my other options?

Well reader, I am here to tell you that we do not have to be ruled by zips… I went through my stash and found a buckle I had bought some time a go for another project and decided I would go with a wrap skirt. I hemmed the edges with a contrast blue ribbon and then inserted a button hole ( I realise the button doesn’t match but it’s on the inside!)

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Then I hand-stitched (as you can tell) this really cool buckle on. – I hate hand-stitching but it’s well worth it for things like this. I love that it picks out the yellow of the daisies but completely contrasts with the navy!

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Anyway, next I hemmed it. I was aiming for bias binding edging but I sewed it to the wrong side… but have no fear, being as enterprising as I am, I folded it to the outside and used it as a feature. I think it looks really pretty.

Now, I know I said that I hate to hand-sew but I had a small amount of yellow ribbon which I thought would make a cute label so I hand embroidered my initials on to it whilst the hubby and I watched Ripper Street (I fully recommend it if you haven’t watched it!) And I made myself a cute little label.

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I wore it with tights and a black top with my trusty wrap cardigan to go for curry with my Mum and sister. I love wearing it already, it feels really feminine. It also went surprisingly well with a few things I tried too. The old clutch leg was a bit breezy whilst I was driving though as it is right on the wrap join!

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probably best not to as why the statue is headless…

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how cool is this chair?!

Me-made Dublin

I promised a me-made Dublin in this post and I’ve succeeded (hooray!) So naturally I took a billion pictures to show my makes in action! So here they are…

Day one was flying day, so here I am in my quick chiffon t-shirt enjoying a glass of wine at the airport, standard travelling expectation.

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I then forced my sister to get one on the travelator too so that 1. you can tell I’m at the airport and 2. pictures of me with wine aren’t the only ones you ever see!

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I think it went really well with jeans, I’m wearing a navy vest top under it and threw a black scarf on; an essential when traveling in my opinion!

Day two and we went wandering round Dublin. What a fab day, though shame about the rain. I wore my Red House Skirt and Black T-shirt with a belt and a wrap cardigan. A great combination!

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This is the Jeanie Johnston ship, near our hotel on the river Liffey. I realise you can’t really see my T-shirt, but you would definitely notice if it wasn’t there!!

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Close up

We had breakfast on Grand Canal Dock.

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My lovely sister. 💗

Did lots of sightseeing and fit a Guinness in, of course.

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Black T-shirt close-up

On Saturday night we found a gorgeous little Greek restaurant called Corfu; the food was gorgeous and the staff were amazing, it made our night

I wore my 1970s vintage dress with black tights, a belt and my wrap cardigan.

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River Liffey by night is a wee bit cold!
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Lift selfie
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The best travel companions!

On Sunday, due to packing light, it was back to my jeans and my black t-shirt. There was a bit of a wind so my green M&S mac coat made an appearance for a walk to the docks. If you are thinking that a green coat is very appropriate for a trip to Ireland then you have mirrored my thoughts and will understand why I took it with me!

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A very blog worthy background I feel!

We’ve had such an amazing weekend. I thoroughly recommended Dublin, there’s so much to see and do.

I realise this post has been a bit posey and shows all the makes I have already blogged about but my favourite part of the blogs I read is seeing items styled up and in use; I find it really inspirational so I hope I have done the same with my me-made post. Plus, I’m rather proud of myself!

AND… As we were on our travels I even managed to find a fabric shop called W M Trimmings (yay!) My mum and sister, seeing the look of pure glee on my face, ventured in with me and I got this amazing Navy polyester satin style fabric with daisies on. I need to decide what to do with it now though… I’m thinking pleated skirt with pockets so I’ll be back with some new creations soon.

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