Monday, 30 December 2013

A well dressed bear

There was a Tilda bear featured in this year's Christmas issue of Mollie Makes, I had traced and cut out all the templates a while ago but hadn't got round to actually making it. I can't sit around without making something for too long so this was my Boxing Day project. I actually hand stitched it which I'd never normally do with something like this, but we had family round so I couldn't really get my machine out. It actually worked out just as well by hand as if I'd done it by machine. I love the bear's cute little outfit, as you can see I chose to use a spotty fabric for the body and a contrasting floral for the skirt. The bear in the magazine had small pearly beads as buttons but I chose to use three of the flower sequins I bought at the Knit and Stitch show with a seed bead sewn into the centre. The tiny flower on the bear's head is made from a strip of chiffon folded on half and stitched round into a circle, I thought the frayed edges of the chiffon would give a lovely delicate effect. Its a really good project to use up small pieces of leftover fabric and the finished result is so sweet.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Floral shift dress

The pictures of the dress are here at last! I know I promised this yesterday, and I was so organised I took the pictures early while it was still nice and sunny. I was going to write the post in the evening but I got distracted watching Annie Hall and making a few things and completely forgot!
I'm quite proud of this dress because its the first proper garment I've made and it fits pretty well, I made a few garments when I was younger but they weren't that great on the fit and I made things in textiles at A level but you could never really do what you wanted, plus they were never made to fit me.
I made this dress using a Colette pattern which I mentioned a while ago, it goes down to smaller sizes than the more common pattern books. I did have to alter the dress quite a bit because it was way too big at the front. I absolutely love the fabric, its a printed cotton jersey which I bought in John Lewis way back in June, on my birthday. The pattern recommended adding an interlining so I used a lightweight cotton muslin. The pattern did feature sleeves but I chose not to add these this time, next time I use it I think I'll go all out and add sleeves and pockets!
I wanted to keep this dress simple because the pattern is so busy, so I didn't add any embellishment. The neckline and armholes are finished with bias binding which is one of my favourite things in the world! It is the most useful thing ever! At the back there is an invisible zip which was a dream to put in, much more so than all the normal zips I've put in before which I hate.
I'm really thanking myself now for saving up for an overlocker a few years ago because it is absolutely brilliant for seams. My only regret is that I should have put the zip higher in the dress because there is too much of a gap between the zip and the top of the dress, this isn't a big disaster though as I managed to make it look alright with two sets of hooks and eyes.


I'm a bit terrible when it comes to clothes and tend to be drawn to the more expensive ones. But since finishing this dress, I'm spending all my money on fabric instead to make more dresses, and I want to make some skirts too. I just bought some more jersey fabric in the Liberty sale, you just can't beat a good bit of Liberty print. I don't know why but I never really realised they put fabric in the sale before, but now I do I'll be buying some every year. Check out the website because they have gorgeous fabric in the sale, the only downside is the expensive delivery but I am so looking forward to that purple box arriving. I also bought a few things in the Stitch Craft Create sale yesterday and that included some lovely Tanya Whelan fabric which is destined to become a skirt. But the best thing is nobody has a dress the same as this one.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Mug cosy and vintage postcard

You might remember a while ago at a vintage fair I bought two vintage postcards, I framed one of them a while ago in a floral frame, the other has been sat around for a long time because I haven't had anywhere to put it. I was having a tidy out on the weekend and found a plain white frame that I had painted cupcakes onto ages ago. The cakes were looking a little shabby so I dug out some soft grey coloured paint and gave the frame a few coats. The whole thing has a vintage theme because I backed the postcard with some paper I bought at another vintage fair.
Another project I've been working on is a mug cosy, I made one for my sister ages ago for her to take to uni. One of her new flatmates saw it recently and requested one in white and pale blue. I used a rib effect crochet stitch in which the rib effect is created by working into just the front and then just the back of the previous stitch alternately. I slip stitched in white around the edge of the whole rectangle to smooth off the edges as they were looking a bit wobbly because of the rib effect. For a few finishing touches I sewed on a 'handmade with love' label and a tiny crocheted flower.
In other making news, the dress is finished! I mentioned last week I was going to tackle a zip which I managed pretty well considering I normally hate putting zips in, but I've actually realised that invisible zips are a lot easier than a normal zip. I will now try to avoid the normal kind as much as possible! I had to do some major alterations yesterday as I wanted to wear it on Boxing Day and there were a few issues with the fit. All it needs is a quick scoot over with the iron and it'll be ready to go. Pictures will follow on Friday, all will be revealed...
So the Christmas outfit is planned, Boxing Day outfit made, presents wrapped and under the tree...roll on Christmas...have a lovely time! Merry Christmas!

Friday, 20 December 2013

Fashion Friday: Delicate jewellery

I absolutely love these delicate, simple necklaces from Saffron and Saege on Etsy. The Etsy shop has so much choice of jewellery, my favourites being the necklaces with small pendants. The necklaces feature almost anything, from quirky to cute, an origami bird to bow shaped pasta. Gold or rose gold coloured are my preferred choice but many of the necklaces are offered in a variety of finishes. To be honest the necklaces are so beautiful it doesn't matter which colour they are.


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Mollie Makes retro doll

What an adorable free gift with issue 34 of Mollie Makes! This retro doll was too cute not to make, I finished her in a few evenings. I absolutely love the colours and the cute little details like the apple in her pocket, the doll even has bendable arms and legs - there's a hidden trick of pipe cleaners inside them. She would make a wonderful stocking filler this Christmas, for a young or older girl that appreciates a bit of retro style when she sees it!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Print and embroidery samples

Hand in day was Friday, uni has finished for Christmas here's a few of the prints and embroidery samples you haven't seen. Unfortunately there's no handmade presents this year, I didn't realise just how busy uni would be, next year, although it seems mad to say it, I'll be prepared and make them in the summer holiday!

I'm hoping to finish a dress I've been making this Christmas, next up is the zip. The worst thing when making clothes is putting in zips. They can really make or break a garment and my first attempt at a invisible zip a few weeks ago did not go well. I'm just about to try it again. I'll also try and make some more progress on my granny square blanket, and I have a few commissions from friends and family...busy, busy, busy! But, luckily, I like it that way. I hope you've been watching the programme about Liberty on tv at the moment, I want that print designers job! Also there's a sewing bee Christmas special on tonight. Its all there to inspire us!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Prints and embroidery

So that plan didn't really work, I realised I can't upload photos onto my blog straight from my phone. In an attempt I managed to get a Google+ account without even filling in any details, now how does that work? So anyway here are a few of the things I've been up to this week. They're foxes ok, not wolves or cats, just to make it clear. These are a few prints with disperse dye, you paint the dye onto paper first then heat press the design onto fabric. There's also some hand embroidery which I have started. Today was more print, pictures will follow next week. Its making stuff all day, all week! What more could I want?

Monday, 2 December 2013

Embroidery progress

It was a crazy, crazy week last week and the next two weeks until I break up for Christmas are going to be crazy too! I'm doing about 10 things at once at the moment! But I still love it, the next two weeks are focused on a project developing print and embroidery. Lots of foxes and letters; all will become clear because I have devised a plan to keep my blog going for the last two weeks at uni. I don't get much time to write more detailed posts but I'll post a picture now and then of the day's work with a little description when there's something to show! Also Wednesday is trip-to-the-Bath-Christmas-market-day; after a hard morning's work at uni of course! So for now here's the progress with the embroidered picture I've been working on, its almost there now, only the sky to finish!