• Other stuff

    The Sweetheart Dress (oh don’t get all soppy on me)

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    Last week I showed you a dress I hadn’t blogged about but it went down quite well so I here are the details.

    I wanted to make the Colette Truffle bodice into my go-to dress bodice block as it was so close to being perfect on my Christmas party dress.

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    I made a rub off pattern from a lace dress I love and then combined this with the Truffle pattern to make what should have been a perfect fit. It’s sooo close to perfect but not quite as the neck gapes a little, though it seems to suit Beryl.

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    I also drafted an A-line gathered skirt by using the hem and drop measurements from the lace dress and after eyeballing the amount of waist gathering figured out the waist length I’d need. I like A-line gathered skirts more than dirndl because a lot of waist gathering makes me look too wide there. Plus you still get a good twirly skirt from them!

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    The fabric was from Fletcher’s Fabrics in York and was a birthday present from Mr AR. It’s a popular quilting cotton which has been in stock for years and comes in a variety of colourways.

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    I did my new trick of encasing the zip with bias tape and I lined the bodice in cream poly lining but didn’t line the skirt… that was my major mistake.

    Unlined cotton dresses stick to your tights and I hate this. But I convinced myself otherwise! Now this dress rides up when I wear it. Even when I wear a half slip for goodness sake! I live the dress so I think I’ll retroactively fit a lining. I just need to mull over how….

    **Please remember**

    You have one day left to enter the giveaway.

    Entries must be received by Midnight BST Friday 10th May!

  • Other stuff

    Me-Made-May 13 – week 1

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    Well hello!
    May is upon us. And for everyone in Europe we had a bank holiday to kick  things off too!

    I managed four out of five days in me-mades this week. I had agreed with myself a goal of six out of seven days in each week but hey, this was a short week!

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    Day 1: green bias stripe top from self drafted pattern. Not blogged because its the same fabric and pattern as my bias stripe dress!

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    Day 2: sweetheart print truffle bodice with self drafted gathered a-line skirt. More about that later.

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    Day 3: one of the first ever things I made, my georgette star print top using New Look 6962.

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    Day 4: strappy top made from the skirt of a topshop sundress using Butterick 5653.

    I had an awesome weekend. I saw my little brother on Saturday and went to Abakhans where I bought chevron print fabric for an unbelievably good price. Saw friends and ate good food on Sunday. And larked about around the canal and docks before having a bbq yesterday! Plus I watched three good films and snuck in a smidge of sewing!!

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    Hope you had a fantastic weekend too!

  • Other stuff

    Blogiversary Backstitch Giveaway!

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    That’s right, one year ago today I started blogging!

    It’s gone soooo quickly. I started so I could post about my participation in Me-Made-May. I barely had anything to wear and I was still figuring out how to manage a blog. I was  pretty sure no one out there was reading.

    But here I am, a year later with a lovely wardrobe full of me-made clothes and I’ve met amazing interesting lovely people (in real life and virtually) all through the blog.
    So to show my appreciation I’m hosting a giveaway.

    Up for grabs is a £15 gift voucher to the Backstitch shop!

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    Choose from the fantastic fabrics available, including Riley Blake, Lizzy House and Liberty Lifestyle.

    Or spoil yourself with a pattern from one of the wildly popular indie pattern companies, such as Sewaholic, Victory Patterns or Megan Nielsen.

    All you have to do to win is be a follower of the blog and simply leave a comment telling me how you follow. That’s it!

    New followers are welcome to enter. The giveaway is open internationally too.

    Closing date for entries in Friday 10th May at Midnight (BST).

    I’ll draw an entry at random and announce the winner shortly after.

    Good luck!

  • Events and day trips

    How was your weekend?

    “So what did you do this weekend?”

    “Oh I went shopping in London with 50 strangers off the Internet and we took over a Lebenese restaurant. What did you do?”

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    I want to say that this weekend’s meetup in London was so tremendous that I’m finding it hard to describe. I tried to summarise proceedings in an email to my brother and pretty sure I didn’t convey how amazing it was (plus I know I missed bits out).

    So forgive me if I opt out from trying to do it justice. If you were there, well you know. If you weren’t, our delightful host Rachel and many of the FIFTY other attendees will do a much better job than I.

    Instead of a full round up I wanted to hone in some of my highlights of the day.

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    A big highlight for me was how much more confident I felt at my second meet up than my first, especially given the scare factor of such a huge gathering. I think this was partly down to seeing lovely familiar faces. Rachel makes you feel like you’ve known her years. Marie is such a sweetheart, she always makes me laugh. Roisin is like a fantastic whirlwind and didn’t stay long but made a point to catch up with me. And it was lovely to chat with Catherine again (I had a feeling she’d pick my sparkly jersey from the swap).

    Another highlight was meeting so many new people – people I’ve admired and read their blogs from afar and people that write wonderful blogs I’d not heard of before. Sitting with Camilla, Jo and Janene for lunch was great because they were all so chatty and funny. Finally meeting Sallie and confirming my suspicions of her Yorkshire roots was ace. And of course meeting LIZZY! Our international attendee. She really is so so friendly in real life. I felt a bit star struck to be honest; I didn’t get a photo of us together and I felt like I didn’t convey how grateful I was that she brought fabric over for me!

    The V&A is so spectacular I can’t believe I’ve never been before! I’m definitely going again.

    Goldhawk Road was kind of a revelation. It was so neat to see all the fabric shops along one road where we could bounce in and out of them all hunting for bargains. Now some of you may have noticed my desperate desire to find horse print fabric. And since Goldhawk Road is famous for getting end rolls from commercial fashion companies I felt optimistic.

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    I wasn’t disappointed. I also picked up some other delights. Not much mind you as I’d already spent all my money in Birmingham. My swap freebies included this amazing bird print rayon from Lizzy, and a printed silk plus a cute simplicity sundress pattern from a mystery source.

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    Finally, I was amazed by the generosity of Minerva Fabrics and Abakhans. These two companies effectively sponsored our day out. I can’t even begin to convey the amount of fabric, notions and trims Abakhans supplied to the swap. And Minerva gave everyone goodie bags they’d thoughtfully put together – see the awesome felted wool knitted fabric I was given (above). I always thought the blogging community was surpisingly separate from the sewing supply companies but lately my eyes have been opened.

    * Meet up photos by Digpal Singh

  • Other stuff

    MMM Day 28: Hello sunshine!

    Wow the weather was so good recently. And I spent a lot of time away from my sewing table and my computer! I went out for a wander in town in this little number on Saturday. It’s one of the first things I ever made and I still love wearing it! It’s made from quilters cotton in a print called Brooklyn heights. There are little dots arranged in an unusual zig zag pattern and the colour is beautiful (to me anyway). I HAVE to get better at my photos. This was taken in the courtyard and again, we missed the sun and the best picture turned out to be my crazy face snap.

    Now moving on, time to brag about my Mother again, AND my Dad this time too! Remember the car boot?

    They went back and cleared it out!!

    45 zips in varying colours and sizes, some double ended zips too!
    3 patterns, some lilac cotton, cream satin and brown satin bias binding and some pink braided cord
    3m of blue polyester lining, 7m of peach polyester lining, 2m of peach chiffon, and 1.5m of royal blue silk
    9 bobbins of mercerised thread, and then a whole load of colours and sizes. Yummy

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    I’m a super lucky girl. And you know what I’m going to say. This lot was an insane bargain!! A massive £12 for the lot. Amazing!!