Super happy times!

Wowzer! Awesome week in the Almond Rock household.

There’s so much to fit into this post but I’ll try and keep it brief.

Wooo I’m a birthday princess… don’t argue

Dinner at Salvos in Headingley was lipsmackingly delicious. I had a vegetarian calzone with spinach and aubergine and gorgonzola stuffed inside. Amazing. And then for pudding I ordered lemon cheesecake and it came with a surprise.

The waiting staff singing happy birthday to me, ahem, I went bright red. THEN the cutest little girl with a green stripe in her hair and a huge birthday badge came up and gave me a spare badge she had as we were birthday buddies and she’d been sung to only 10 mins earlier!

Super cute!

I got awesome gifts too off lovely friends and family. It always amazes me how lovely people are.

And it’s great to get sewing presents as it makes my hobby seem more official somehow!

I was given some lovely Cath Kidston things; like polka dot wine glasses (see left), heart shaped buttons, pins in a heart shaped tin, a cherry print apron and awesome pink salad tongs.

I can confirm drinking wine from a polka dot glass is extremely beneficial to your mental health.

Hahah. Would I fib about it?

Pebeo setacolor soleil fabric paint! Lot of words to essentially say, the uk version of Inkodye. I got cardinal red and buttercup yellow!

Oh man you’re going to see some projects from me using that! Watch the video I linked to and tell me it isn’t awesome! A Beautiful Mess had their hands on some recently.

A murder mystery dinner party game! It has a character called Vivienne Westfield, who is  an upcoming fashion designer.

No one else is getting their mitts on that character, it’s alllll me.

Sewing goodies!

Some lovely heart print cotton fabric and Butterick 5653 pj pattern.

Reminds me a little of the Sewaholic cambie, right? And why the heckers couldn’t this be a proper dress or a top rather than just pjs? It’s all about fabric choice.

I also got some books that’ll keep me busy for quite a while. I got John Richardson’s book — It’s Not Me, It’s You: Impossible Perfectionist Seeks Very Very Very Tidy Woman. It looks hilarious AND intelligent.

I also got two biographies: 

She dressed all the women I love – Dietrich, Lombard, the Hepburns, Kelly and Taylor.

Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light which is a colossal book that got good reviews for not idolising Hitch and showing his excellent and lesser qualities.

I also got Edith Head’s Hollywood the story of the amazing costume designer and winner of 8 Academy Awards! (This is more of an autobiography since she co wrote it. Plus it features a foreword by Bette Davis who I love).

Top this off with a bunch of yellow roses, earrings, another dinner out at an awesome vegetarian Gujerati restaurant, a day out in York AND lots of cards and warm wishes.

All in all I’m a very lucky young lady.

And I saved the best until last. My super baker mum made me a cake…. And just to brag a little, it’s delicious as well as wonderful!

 Sorry if I come off smug. I’m just really happy. Wooooo!!!!!

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uh oh!

Something unthinkable has happened…

I’m not digging my fishy dress anymore.

I still LOVE the fabric to death but I feel like I’m letting it down with how I’m using it.

Is this a crisis of faith?

I was too smug wasn’t I. Not posting pictures and dancing with glee about it. And now I look at what I’m making properly and I’m not sure I’ll want to wear it when I’m done!

Or is this just a result of my awful day?

It has been a stinker. If I’m honest I don’t feel the bestest either. I have a headache and feel slightly nauseous and grimly. Maybe that’s skewing my perception?!

I haven’t put the waist band in yet so it looks like a giant tent. Generally my sewing is up to standard apart from a ropey bit of hem that I want to redo.

I think it’s just coming off mumsy if that’s even possible. The necklines not low enough or high enough and the hem is looking far too long.

Gah.

I’ve given up for the night. Not sure if I’ll be feeling the love again in time to finish it for dinner Saturday but I could alter my time frame and aim for next Saturday by which point maybe I’ll be loving it again.

Or have come up with a way to fix it.

🙁

I’m doing the right thing aren’t I? Sleeping on it and evaluating over the weekend?

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Bookended by Burda

This post starts and ends with Burda.

First I want to shout “I bought a Burda Magazine”!! I finally got the courage up to buy one. I know it’s only £4.75 but I’ve never seen more than one pattern in there to make it worth buying and the lack of seam allowance/crap instructions scared me off. But this one is chock full of patterns I’m eager to make!

Mmmm lush red cape, long-sleeved skater dress and sweet little cap sleeve/gathered skirt dress. I’ll kick ass when autumn comes around

All to be picked up AFTER a couple of current projects.

I’m trying a new zen approach to sewing. I do a little bit at a time and stop when I start to get irate or stressed!

So my fishy dress is progressing slowly and surely.

I tried to put pleats in the front. I swear I did. But they just would not go in straight or neat or even sized or anything. Blerrrrgh. So I ditched them.

I’ve also been deliberating the best way to attach my collar and performing little trials is helping me learn.

All this work and NO photos. Well I put a sneak peek on Instagram the other day but I want a big reveal!! I was a bit gutted my reveal wasn’t yesterday to coincide with Oona’s promaballoona. But I’d rather reveal it next weekend instead than have it be out in the world too early.

It’s my precious and I’ll reveal it when I want to!!

In other bratty news…

Have you seen the subject of this year’s Tessuti Awards? I only saw it thanks to Julia Bobbin but in a way I wish I hadn’t! This is like my dream competition!! A spots and/or stripes dress contest with an unbelievable cash prize that I could use to get back to Oz!! I love Australia and want to go back desperately. 

The thing that is getting to me (and it’s a perfectly reasonable thing for Tessuti to ask) is that you can only use Tessuti fabric. But it’ll take 10 days to deliver worldwide and cost $30 just to ship the fabric!

With the deadline of Sept 19th and me going away the 7th – 14th of Sept, I’ll end up with no time to sew if I have to wait 10 days for delivery!

OH WHY DIDN’T I SPOT THIS EARLIER!?!?

(even the pun hasn’t perked me up)

Finally a bit more Burda….

I’ve been downloading the free Friday patterns from Burda Style. Rather impressed a major company like them would give away patterns, though obviously it’s not every Friday. Is there a pattern to their giveaways? No pun intended, the word I need is ” pattern”!

I got the Sadie pattern and thought ooh this looks simply and sweet and a great trial into the world of Burda. I also smiled because I have a friend called Sadie.

I’d not been very successful with jersey in the past. I tried to reproduce this Modcloth dress months ago by mis-aligning the stripes and using red top-stitching. Lets just say my finished product was super sloppy.

Sexy Sadie

It was my first attempt though and the jersey was £1 a metre from my favourite place that I’m sure you’re all sick of me mentioning.

 I hacked up my efforts for Sadie but kept the misalignment of stripes and top-stitching down the centre front and back.

I used the same jersey to make sleeve binding but attached it a) in the wrong order and b) with the wrong technique so it sticks out a bit more than anticipated.

I kind of like it though. It’s like I rolled up the sleeves when I put it on.

I attached my neck facing correctly thank goodness.

I then realised it was rather short for my tastes hence the weird regular stripes at the bottom that creates that big black wedge on one side and the top-stitching stops abruptly.

Sigh…

I’m proud of the top-stitching though. And I’m not going to be afraid of jersey in the future (Sergei the serger handled it well). Plus I’m going to make a Sadie again but definitely add a few inches to the bottom of the pattern.

Is it worth uploading to My Projects on Burda style though? I think not.

Maybe when I make my awesome red cape I’ll upload that instead!!

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Raaaaaaaaaaaarrgh: “There’s a dinosaur loose in downtown Manhattan!!”

This weekend has been a busy one.

Friday night out for dinner. Saturday a day at York Races with dinner out. And today was car booting, sewing and cooking a feast. So yeah, mostly revolving around food!

The Races was excellent. It was York’s annual racing + music weekend. I went with the family plus Jim and my little bro’s girlfriend M. I love it when M and Jim stand together because she is so petite and he looks like a giant. Hehehe. Sadly I don’t have a good pic of us all to put up.

The Thomas ladies working it

I’m wearing my wookie hole Liberty dress (minus the matching bow — it didn’t go with the fascinator). And Mum braved the leopard print!

We didn’t stay for the music as a) it was McFly (who only my mum was keen on —  she loved Harry from his time of SCD) ; b) because it started to rain just as they started and c) because we had to get back for our restaurant booking!

After all the fun and food from yesterday I was pleased that today was very productive. I went to Rufforth car boot to finally meet the infamous sewing woman! And she wasn’t there.

Lame!! But her nephew was manning the stall so I bought some little bits of course.

Then fun really started. I got home and started working on my little fro’s graduation gift. I know I’m a bit late but I’ve caught up quite a lot now. I’m making him an iPad case.

I’m using the Ikea Godzilla print fabric which I couldn’t get in store so ended up buying from a lady on ebay. She sold me the massive panel complete with manga characters but I only cared about the bit with the buildings on and GODZILLA!!!

Since Fro studied architecture I wanted one side of the case to use the buildings from the panel. The other side is all monster.

I’m making an envelope closing with a button and elastic loop closure.

I’m pleased how the clock tower works as the envelope flap

I really hope the iPad fits!!

I crack myself up sometimes

I’ve been using this fake iPad to size it up. It’s made from an old wine box with three layers to get the thickness right.

(Yep that’s right, my house has boxes of wine in it)

I’m thinking it’ll only take a couple more hours to finish off.

I had to stop because I’ve sliced right into my thumb making dinner and didn’t want to get blood on everything 🙁

Jimi and I have a new project; making awesome Sunday dinners.

Tonight we made vegetarian moussaka with cous cous and crusty bread. Delicious!

And I’d made strawberry cheesecake for puds.

Excellent for working out your aggression

I added milka choc chips to the base so it was extra yummy!

And I used some old Gü pots to make them into “mini” cheesecakes.

Perfect… oh except for when I dropped one of the glass pots on my foot and bruised my toe! It’s all swollen and won’t bend now.

Sigh……. Finger and toe injured in the same day.

What a klutz!

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Feeling fruity and a review of New Look 6962

Oooh yeah feeling fruity again…

I’m obviously referring to my berry sewing fest from last week. I was making New Look 6962 view D without the tie.

I used my raspberry chiffon and am extremely happy with how  it turned out.

Sadly I didn’t get to wear it anywhere but my hallway as Sewing Sarah, my sewing class buddy, was poorly and so we couldn’t go out for her birthday drinks.

Hope we can rearrange soon, not only to let this little number out on the town but also so Sarah doesn’t miss out on a celebratory pint of ale! Yep that’s right, we’re the new breed of seamstresses that drink ale and cider and we look right foxy doing it.

I think it’s much smarter without the tie. And I didn’t line the sleeves so you get that lovely sheerness in them.

Crazily the lining cost more than the chiffon thanks to the wonderful world of Jack’s Fabrics. £1 /m for the chiffon, with £2.40/m for the lining.

Want to hear a secret? The lining is actually red. Like strawberry red! See…

Wild eh?

It took about 3 days, a few hours here and there so it wasn’t stressful to make.

And because I’d made the pattern before there was no surprises.

I altered the front panels to be a cm wider so it was more modest. Don’t want to be flashing people now do I!

Review:

Jeez the girl on the envelope has a weird expression. It’s like constipation meets terror. Or something like that anyway. But I still wanted to make it! (maybe I shouldn’t criticise on photo poses, ahem see above!)

Given the variations and the sweet top in the photo I knew this would be quite versatile and straightforward. I’ve made views C and D and neither disappoint.

Negatives:

Working with chiffon is always a nightmare so think my negatives are all tied up in that (I’ve made it twice in chiffon/georgette). Really, I bet it would be a dream in a simple cotton!

Also I hate flapping ties at the front of a top when you know there is elastic in there as well. Either use a tie or use elastic, why both?!

My only other comment is that without the front panel adjustment I need to wear a tank top underneath. That’s not necessarily a negative as sometimes layering is a good luck, but if I wanted that sheer style I could have saved myself the time lining my first version.

Positives:

The elastic waist is easy to fit and flattering. The design and instructions are nice and simple too. I omitted the facings since I was lining the fabric but they seem rather simple to add in.

Would I make it again? And what would you do differently?

I’d use a cotton! Man, just a nice simple cotton where I only need to add a few facings and bias tape and be done even quicker than normal!

I definitely want to try the variation on the neckline with a contrasting colour. I see that as my way into some colour blocking fun.

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