Busy bee embroidery 

Hello ladies and perhaps a few gents. I’m away at Alison Smith’s sewing school learning the secrets of bridal couture. It’s an amazing three day workshop where you make a crazy sample that incorporates lots of techniques that you might use in bridal but probably not in one dress! More to come on that.

If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen I’ve been trying out some embroidery lately. It started with a boost to put more embroidery in Love Sewing and then the etsy team offered me a kit to try as a thank you for supporting the site. They sent the rainbow sampler from Oh Sew Bootiful which was a fun intro to the basics.

I then jumped on the pre-sale for the Flowers and Bees kit when I saw it. This wasn’t long after the Manchester attack and the thought of embroidering bees, the symbol of the city brought me some comfort.

Both kits feature very clear step by steps with photos and vector style illustrations, a stitch guide (which doubles as a template if you trace it), a pre-printed piece of cotton, spongy wadding, more than enough floss wound on a card, a practice piece of cloth plus two gold eye needles. Phew! Well worth the money I say.

Almond rock embroidery oh sew bootiful

I worked sporadically and threaded each of the needles up with a different colour so I could choose as my mood suited what to stitch. Only a couple of areas dictate the order you work in, e.g. where a stem stitch is then covered by a flower petal on top. I targeted easy stitches first like French knots and split stitch to gently get going. Towards the end it was then mostly satin stitch so I used five pre-threaded needles to keep up momentum.

Almond rock embroidery oh sew bootiful

Stitching during my lunch hour was very calming but not always possible. A good session in the garden during the hot spell saw a lot more get done and then a week in centre parks with my in laws saw me complete the rest.

Almond rock embroidery oh sew bootiful

As I moved around the hoop my technique massively improved and I went back and did two daisies again for a better finish. The bees are absolutely wonderful with the shade of eggy yoke yellow singing out at you. The centre of the poppies were quite hard to keep defined and I will say there’s A LOT of lazy daisy stitch to do. With lazy daisies and French knots you really need both hands so a table to work on is a must for a neat finish.

Almond rock embroidery oh sew bootiful

I’ve hung this hoop in my sewing room and it always catches my eye as I pass it. I’d really recommend this pattern. And honestly think the kit is worth the money for the quality and quantity of supplies included. I had to source my own felt for the backing but that was easy and now I’m itching to start another project.

Almond rock embroidery oh sew bootiful

Mindbogglingly a photo of my rainbow hoop shared on social media won me a of pattern of my choice from Oh Sew Bootiful’s online shop. Steph the owner picks four winners a month so get sharing your pics if you make one of her designs!! I chose the Hearts and Flowers template so watch this space for that one.

Almond rock embroidery oh sew bootiful

Have you ever tried embroidery? There are LOADS of fantastic free patterns on offer at DMC if you sign up to their newsletter. I’m going to try some of the florals and succulents soon. Maybe also this tiger!! What do you think?

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Living in Liberty Simplicity 1419

Hello campers!

almond rock liberty tana lawn wiltshire simplicity 1419 lisette

Hope your week has been fab. I’ve had a fairly busy one with extra photoshoots at work being scheduled in for the summer, the cat deciding to bring me a live mouse home that managed to escape and live inside a random shoe for a night, and a dramatic near-win at the Odd Bar pub quiz (half a point off winning!) so I’m looking forward to a date with my sewing machine this weekend.

In sewing news I ordered the first bit of fabric for my wedding dress, plus samples for the coordinating fabrics and in a couple of weeks I head off on Alison Smith’s bridal couture 3-day workshop. It’s super exciting!!

Today I’m sharing a juicy dress today made with Liberty tana lawn.

almond rock liberty tana lawn wiltshire simplicity 1419 lisette

This is Simplicity 1419 by Lisette before they joined up with Butterick. And I know I got this pattern from someone as a gift but it was soooo long ago I really can’t remember exactly who! Was it you Roisin? Or perhaps a swap table? Damn my memory. If you gave me this pattern please know I’m so so happy with this dress (can you tell from my face here).

almond rock liberty tana lawn wiltshire simplicity 1419 lisette

This Liberty lawn print is Wiltshire but you can’t find this colourway anywhere so it may be either a ‘seconds’ print, copy or super rare. Emma is the only other person I know who’s also used it. I bought mine from Ribbon Circus in Hebden Bridge as a leaving present to myself when I moved jobs to Love Sewing.

almond rock liberty tana lawn wiltshire simplicity 1419 lisette

 

I hacked the heck out of the neckline if you couldn’t tell. I made the collar as instructed then ripped it off, lowered the neckline, made red bias binding and a little bow and put everything back together. It did look lovely before I changed it but the collar was a touch too high to swallow comfortably and ended up a little too stiff for my liking. The bow is much sweeter although it has a tendancy to get skewed in the wash – and in these photos it seems too hahah.

almond rock liberty tana lawn wiltshire simplicity 1419 lisette

The sleeves fit beautifully and I think the skirt is the perfect length (I tried the pleats but they made me a bit hippy so switched to gathers all around. You surely won’t ask me why I added pockets because that’s just silly. My invisible zip is invible too hurrah!

almond rock liberty tana lawn wiltshire simplicity 1419 lisette

With such a good fit I think I’ll try making this dress again without the keyhole as it’s so hard to find well fitting sleeves! That way I can line the whole thing too and make it more tights friendly (very important to me for an all year round dress).

almond rock liberty tana lawn wiltshire simplicity 1419 lisette

 

Also I should let you know that this is my last post with big curls for a while. After a bit of heartache I realised my hair is not compatible with a perm. I need to be able to dye my roots every 4-6 weeks and it seems the hair dye freaked my perm out into a frizzy unhappy mess. Even after some hairdresser recommended moisturising treatments the curls aren’t coming back like they were. Given that it was a free perm in exchange for being a hair model I’m not out of pocket, just disappointed. I can still curl my hair and get an excellent hold but I can’t just wash it and let it dry curly any longer. It was a fabulous few weeks though and I am still a firm lover of curly hairdos.

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Alpine ski lodge Simplicity 1606 hack

Happy heatwave everyone!

Almond rock simplicity 1606 sew over it

So I’m not going to inundate you with pictures of Simplicity 1606… this is my toile version of the ball gown with a fun twist. The pattern is essentially a great little princess seam sundress waiting to happen. So I simply added sundress straps and a gathered skirt to get the look!

Almond rock simplicity 1606 sew over it

The double straps were inspired by the Centaurée by Deer and Doe patterns. The gathered skirt is of course the Emery skirt which you know my feelings on.

Almond rock simplicity 1606 sew over it

Like my ball gown I added boning and an invisible zipper. The boning isn’t necessary at all when you’ve got straps but I like how it stops the bodice from creasing which is a likely occurrence in cotton.

Almond rock simplicity 1606 sew over it

This dress took 1.2m of 60 inch wide fabric which is incredible stash busting as it meant I could use this Alpine print poplin. I’d been searching in vain for a coordinating plain navy until I tried laying out this dress on a hunch. A perfect fit thanks to the princess seam bodice pieces!

Almond rock simplicity 1606 sew over it

This print features skiers, wood lodges and fir trees. It was a cheeky impulse buy from Sew Over It while I was getting the vintage shirtdress pattern a few years back. Note to Future Amy: never buy less than 2m of poplin.

Almond rock simplicity 1606 sew over it

These shoes are the bomb and Next have just listed some similar platforms in red too… my bank balance won’t forgive me hahaha.

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Big Tomato Butterick 6453

So I know it’s a little dreary outside but this dress feels like a bolt of sunshine when I put it on. Don’t you love it when you get that feeling?

When I saw Butterick 6453 by Gertie I knew I’d make view A. I’m sure you guessed that too. It’s a classic easy wear sundress and it gave me a great chance to try more princess seams.

 I got my copy from www.craftstash.co.uk as you get 20% off your first order. Plus they’re selling selling all New Look patterns at half price at the moment, and if you buy two or more patterns you get a Simple Sew pattern for free!

The pattern was really nice and clear and the fit was pretty good out the packet. I shortened the bodice a little and moved the bust point over a cm. Oh and I shortened the straps A LOT.  I added boning to the sides for extra support. This photo looks like I’m checking my boobs are still there hehehe.

A few years back my parents went to Japan and visited the Tokoyo fabric district in Nippori. They went to Tomato Fabrics, a five floor department store style fabric shop with wholesale prices. I was overjoyed when they brought me this textured broadcloth with sumo wrestlers.

I love the scoop back and adjustable straps. The skirt is so full and swishy. I added a deep hem and finished it with yellow bias binding. The lapped zipper finishes the dress off really nicely.

There’s an awesome range of dresses in the sewalong Facebook group for this pattern. If youre not a member you can check out a few by looking at the hashtag #b6453sewalong on social media. 

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The Dressmaker’s Ball Simplicity 1606

A bit later than planned I wanted to share some pics from The Dressmaker’s Ball!

Almond Rock Dressmaker's ball

In case you missed it this was the event that took place on May 14th at Leicester’s City Rooms. Organised by the fab team at Crafty Sew and Sew we were treated to an evening of dinner and dancing. It was fab!! Here’s me and Sarah, one half of the organising team.

Almond Rock Dressmaker's ball

 We had a complimentary drink in arrival, access to a glittery photo booth, buffet dinner and live music from Gabby Young. I had the honour of being part of the judging panel for the optional competition. I was joined by ElisalexMarieElle and Becky on the panel. It was incredibly hard picking winners from all the amazing garments on display. I loved how everyone dressed to the nines for the night.

Almond Rock Dressmaker's ball

I wore a version of Simplicity 1606, an amazing fit pattern I picked up last year. Its a great little versatile pattern and I’ve already made a hundred from it since the ball.

Almond Rock Dressmaker's ball

My fabric was a medium-weight polyester satin in a sort of crystallized print from Abakhan Moyston. 3m came to about £20 but with a 15% off voucher this dress pretty much came to £17!

Almond Rock Dressmaker's ball simplicity 1606

Of couse I added pockets. I used a concealed zip and boning from my stash. Plus grosgrain ribbon I had as a waist stay.

Almond Rock Dressmaker's ball simplicity 1606

The fit was near perfect I think but I should have added more boning to stop the bodice sagging I think. The waist stay keeps it in place but it’s not as rigid as it could be.

Almond Rock Dressmaker's ball simplicity 1606

I actually hid my waist stay inside the garment, having it emerge through buttonholes added to the lining before construction. To finish I hand sewed hot pink braid to the circle skirt to keep the drama and added a petticoat for extra floofiness.

Almond Rock Dressmaker's ball simplicity 1606

It was such a lovely night and I got to chat to so many sewists! Gabby entertained us with her gorgeous vocals and Marie was an excellent hostess! (I even got to meet Charlotte and the bunnies).

I’ll leave you with a few more pics of the evening to enjoy. Maybe I’ll see you there if it’s repeated next year? Thanks so much to Freya and Sarah for xreati g this wonderful event.

Almond Rock Dressmaker's ball simplicity 1606

Almond Rock Dressmaker's ball simplicity 1606

Almond Rock Dressmaker's ball simplicity 1606

Almond Rock Dressmaker's ball simplicity 1606

Almond Rock Dressmaker's ball simplicity 1606

Almond Rock Dressmaker's ball simplicity 1606

Almond Rock Dressmaker's ball simplicity 1606

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