The Great British Sewing Bee Lace Challenge

Hello Sewing Bee fans!

almond rock great british sewing bee lace challenge

In advance of tonight’s episode White Tree Fabrics gave me 2 metres of the lovely teal/aqua coloured leaf lace seen in the show and in the accompanying book, used on this gorgeous pencil skirt.

almond rock great british sewing bee lace challenge

almond rock great british sewing bee lace challenge

The lace has such a pretty scalloped selvedge I wanted to showcase that. So I thought if I made a strapless dress I could include a scalloped neckline and hem.

I used my tried and true Butterick 5351 as a starting point. This is a non-stretch lace and I found a teal rayon to use as a lining. I underlined the lace using tiny hand stitches and then changed the order of the construction to line the bodice and sew-in fabric covered boning. I decided not to line the skirt and just underline it; the skirt pieces are just two gathered rectangles.

almond rock great british sewing bee lace challenge

I don’t personally think this is the type of lace to worry about pattern matching. The leaf design is quite free flowing so seam lines don’t interrupt the print too badly. I bet I’d get marked down on the sewing bee though.

almond rock great british sewing bee lace challenge

Before I started I washed the lace on the cool handwash setting of my washing machine, and because it’s a cotton lace there was a little shrinking but no colour fading. There’s not a massively clear difference between the right and wrong sides either. It was a really nice lace to work with.

almond rock great british sewing bee lace challengeSo there you have it! A sweet new blue dress paired with a black patent belt and shoes.

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I’ve never seen an animal that looks like that!

Ahoy there! Happy Jungle January

almond rock jungle january jersey dress

*Disclaimer*

I’m not sure this qualifies for Jungle January because I’ve seriously never seen an animal that looks like that.

almond rock jungle january jersey dress

I got this jersey fabric from the Regency Rags ebay store, but it did have a tag of “animal print” on it.

I love RR. I’ve bought loads from them since Sarah got me onto them so expect to see their name a bit more going forward. They have so much lush viscose and crepe plus great printed jersey!

The dress is another dixie diy ballet dress (yes sorry I’ll stop soon) with a circle skirt added (cos circle skirts are dah bomb and aint too bad to hem in knit).

almond rock jungle january jersey dress

Add a couple of midi-sleeves and easy peasy it’s a new dress!

If you can name the animal that this looks like you’ll impress me massively.

I wore the dress to my Dad’s 60th birthday party. This was actually the party two of three because my Dad is like a party king. When I get to 60 I might follow his lead and have a month of parties too.

almond rock jungle january jersey dressI went over on Friday to help set up but my parents had already done a lot of work. I helped make enough sandwiches to feed an army.

Mum made an epic spread: four types of sandwiches, choux filled with salmon and mackerel mousse, prawns on toast, Victoria sponges with strawberry cream, chocolate ganache cakes, chocolate chip brownies, fruit cake with cheese, crisps, lemon syllabub, plus I brought fruit scones and a family friend made a carrot cake.

almond rock jungle january jersey dress

almond rock jungle january jersey dress

almond rock jungle january jersey dress

Add to that 12 bottles of bubbly and about 50 house guests and we were in business!

I’ve got to show you the Birthday cake as well. I might have mentioned my Mum makes cakes for a living.

Here are my dad’s four favourite things in one photo: 1) Golf, 2) Fishing, 3) Hull Tigers football club and 4) CAKE.

almond rock jungle january jersey dress

It really was a brilliant day. My Dad was so sweet to wear the shirt I made him to the party. And I got to catch up with lots of people!

My Dad’s actual birthday is this week so hopefully he’ll like the present I got him. No handmade shirt this time.

I’ll be back soon with my finished Sew Over It pussy bow blouse!

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Palm Trees in 0 Degrees

Hello! It’s blog post time!almond rock bronte top dress palm trees jennifer lauren vintage

I picked up the Bronte Top as part of the Perfect Pattern Parcel #6. I hope they’re bringing back the parcels soon because it’s such a good idea!

That shoulder detail got me excited as soon as I saw it. It’s comfy and satisfying to wear like a baby’s onesie but full of possibility for playing with the design.

almond rock bronte top dress palm trees jennifer lauren vintage

I’d been wondering if I turned it into a dress whether I should use an A line or gathered skirt and seeing Sally’s gorgeous version clinched it!

This fun fabric is more of my cheap and dirty £1 cotton jersey from Birmingham rag market and the black contrast jersey is from Leeds market. I bought 1.5 metres of the palm trees and that was plenty. The trees sprawl in both directions. It’s like Miami Barbie meets Valley of The Dolls. And I love it.

almond rock bronte top dress palm trees jennifer lauren vintage

Do you remember when you first saw a palm tree up close? I can. It was the first time I visited California as a teenager and they lined the streets. It was wonderful! So now palm trees make me think of America, rather than tropical islands. But as I’ve never been to a tropical island I think I need to go study some to make a considered comparison heehee.

I sewed this up on a miserable Sunday night when it was bitter outside. I made a quick muslin and then cracked on. It only took a few hours!

almond rock bronte top dress palm trees jennifer lauren vintage

I mostly used my overlocker and then used a twin needle for topstitching. I only had one catastrophe where the overlocker ate my waist seam (there were tears) but I raised the waistline a little to cover this up.

As you can see I left off the buttons. I actually left of the topstitching around the bands too! I did a sample and it just looked rubbish, and the bands don’t flip out anyway.

almond rock bronte top dress palm trees jennifer lauren vintage

So I’m sat here watching it snow again and praying it isn’t going to settle. Me and snow are not BFFs. We’re not even friends. Sunshine stole my heart a long time ago.

Oh and if you can’t tell, I’ve dyed my hair two shades darker and I’m waiting for my mum to comment on this post about it. She won’t be happy!!

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Fantastic Flora

Sorry it’s been a while but I’m back with a cheeky festive party dress.

This is my last Minerva Blogger make of the year and I’ll be taking a break for a while so I can focus on sewing from my ever growing stash!

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This is the Flora dress from By Hand London. I’m really pleased Minerva have started stocking BHL patterns.

I wanted to take on the Flora dress but make it my own, so I decided it needed scallops!

My indecision over the pattern was over the high-lo hem. I’m really not sure that trend and I will ever be friends.

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But when I saw this wine coloured stretch cotton fabric I had an instant idea for some scalloped goodness.

It’s pretty much like cotton sateen but with a duller shine. It feels and looks richer than its price tag but gosh does it attract fluff.

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So I made a few adjustments to the pattern, I rotated out the front bust darts into the waist and in the end I decided a gathered skirt would be easier to scallop rather than the circle skirt.

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I used the adjustable scallop stitch on my machine along with lots and lots of measuring to achieve the right number along the bodice front and back, plus I self-lined the bodice and used a hem facing to make the scallops as clean as possible.

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The dress was worn to my work Christmas party with matching satin shoes, gold jewellry and big curly hair. It went down a treat!

The perfect party dress.

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Dot Dot Dash

Afternoon all!
Did anyone get any black Friday sewing bargains? I bought a couple of pieces of fabric on sale which I’m looking forward to receiving.

Today I’m sharing my attempt at an Emery dress. And I’m not sure it’s my best work. See what you think.

almond rock emery liberty milla

I bought the pdf of Christine Haynes Emery Dress when she offered it at 20% off. I’d been itching to try it out as I thought it would be the perfect silhouette for me.

I used a Liberty print cotton called Milla in colourway B. It’s just happy colours and makes me smile when I look at it. I bought it from Classic Textiles on Goldhawk Road on a shopping trip with some lovely sewing ladies in August before we went to see the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit. Happy memories!

almond rock emery liberty milla

So that’s why I’m pretty gutted this turned out as such a wrinkly mess!

almond rock emery liberty milla

I made a muslin as always. I made two in fact. But when I cut into my liberty it didn’t fit?! I had to take it in at the shoulders and try and adjust my darts after construction. I hate it when that happens.

I used up the last of my good pink polyester for the lining so at least it feels nice to wear.

almond rock emery liberty milla

Urrrgh wrinkly back.

Plus something about the neckline is throwing me off. I think it’s too rounded and not boat neck enough on me. I’m so fussy I know.

almond rock emery liberty milla

I’ll still wear it of course. And I’ll probably try the emery again. I’ll just have to muslin it again to get it spot on.

Sigh… onto bigger and better projects right?

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