What noise do swans make?

Happy Sunday everyone!

almond rock sew over it pussy bow blouse swans

Here’s a post about two things.

First up – This Sew Over It Pussy Bow Blouse!

I used a fab swan print polyester from Regency Rags.

almond rock sew over it pussy bow blouse swansYou can probably see I’ve made a few adjustments.

I got rid of the centre front seam. That made it a little hard to attach the necktie so I added a little keyhole. Plus I tried adding some bust darts because my muslin turned out a little too floaty but they’re a touch high because I didn’t test them out before cracking into the swans.

almond rock sew over it pussy bow blouse swans

But seriously I love it! It’s cute (albeit sheer) and it makes me feel a bit like Rose Byrne in Damages (which I’ve been binge watching). Plus it sort of reminds me of my Godson who has been learning animal noises and is obsessed with ducks. You say “All the ducks go…” and he screams “QUACK”. Mega cutes.

almond rock sew over it pussy bow blouse swans

I’ve just finished another version in disco gold chiffon for going out in. I’ll see if I can get a photo without the metallics sunbeaming everywhere.

Second up! I’ve got something fun to share.

I’ve started an evening course in textile printing at Leeds Art College. I’m like totally an art student heehee!!

almond rock discharge printing leeds art college

It’s a 10 week course covering:

  • Heat transfer printing (disperse printing)
  • Discharge printing (with basic dyeing)
  • Screen printing with paper stencils
  • Screen printing with photo emulsion stencils
  • Devore
  • Hand painted prints
  • PLUS I GET TO USE THE DIGITAL PRINTERS WOOOOOO!!!

Ahem… So weeks one and two were about heat set discharge printing where we used dyes and a 200 degree heat press to print on synthetic fabrics. We also got to play with resists, putting objects in the way between the dyes and fabric.

It works really well with geometric shapes. And I’ve got enough printed fabric to make two tops.

almond rock discharge printing leeds art college almond rock discharge printing leeds art college almond rock discharge printing safety pins leeds art college

Next week we’re using paper stencils and screenprinting onto A2 pieces of cotton.

So I’ll update you again with my progress soon!

Continue Reading

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!

Continue Reading

Daisy Chains and Ribbon Ties

Ooh this is so exciting! I’m able to show you the finished dress from the John Lewis sewing bee that I talked about in my last post.

So let’s recap, on the day I picked a beautiful fabric called “Daisy Chain” which has yellow, white and blue daisies and white tulips in garlands.

almond rock john lewis daisy chain

And this AKO for Vogue pattern which has cuckoo cover art but very nice line drawings. I don’t understand why this woman looks so angry!? Maybe she doesn’t like that loopy hair do? I like her shoes though, mega cute.

almond rock john lewis daisy chain V1102

Anyway! The weirdness about this dress is that it has a lined bodice but also has pattern pieces for interfacing facings. Now I would never bother to interface along the neckline of my lining only. I’d either use a facing or a lining. Not both!

Lisa, Freia, Charlie and I all sort of shook our heads over this. I made an executive decision to turn the interfacing pieces into proper facings and not line my bodice.

So here it is!

almond rock john lewis daisy chain

Can you believe I had coordinating yellow sandals?

Not sure where the sunshine has gone!

2014-06-05 19.00a

Come on then, let’s have a look at the back!

almond rock john lewis daisy chain V1102

I used a lovely butter coloured zip with a cute pull tab, and turquoise satin ribbon bow. Not seen is my satin butter yellow bias that I used to hem this epic circle skirt! By the way I took quite a bit off the length of the skirt as I’m only 5ft 5 and it was entering midi-dress territory.

I switched out the fabric bow for a few reasons: 1) the original bow was hemmed (not fully lined for some odd reason), 2) it was humongous, 3) this ribbon perfectly matched the turquoise in the flowers!

On a separate note, it’s very odd to see a photo of your exposed back. I love how it dips though.

almond rock john lewis daisy chain V1102

I think for modesty’s sake I’ll generally be wearing this beauty with a cardigan. But it’ll be great fun when I slip it off and give everyone a surprise with the bow.

almond rock john lewis daisy chain V1102

almond rock john lewis daisy chain V1102

I’m so thankful for the chance to make this pretty little number. I don’t want to take it off!!

Continue Reading

The John Lewis Sewing Bee – with Lisa Comfort

What a happy thing to be writing about.

John Lewis 150 years #150

As I mentioned in my previous post, this past Saturday I was very happy to help celebrate 150 years of John Lewis with Lisa Comfort and some awesome sewing bloggers.

John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

Left to right: Freia (who assisted Lisa during the day), Lisa, Fiona, Elena, Clare, Charlie, Roisin, Me and Emmie.

We held our very own sewing bee in the Haberdashery floor of the Oxford Street premises. We cooed over the fabric, patterns and supplies and stitched up a storm  with the lovely Lisa, our celebrity host and founder of the Sew Over It sewing cafe and shop. There was lots of cackling and pink cheeks amongst the spoolettes as we gossiped over our work.

The photos are the wonderful work of our photographer Brian Doherty Photography, Kim and Holly from John Lewis and the lovely Charlie (who managed to find time to sew and snap pics!).

John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rockJohn Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rockJohn Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rockJohn Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rockJohn Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

One of the cool things JL have done to mark their anniversary is to launch a line of heritage print fabric by bringing back special edition archive prints and putting a modern twist on them by rescaling the prints and using the 150 years colour palette.

John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

 For instance the colourful brick print was originally a 1950s John Lewis dress fabric.

I went with white, yellow and turquoise floral print called “Daisy Chain” and an AKO for Vogue pattern V1102, a backless dress with a bow. It’s finished and photographed now so expect a post about the dress VERY SOON!

John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

Charlie took this lovely photo of me. I’m so focused!

Amazingly we all managed to choose different fabrics. And I’m pattern twinsies with Charlie, who also went for the Vogue pattern.

Everyone was so lovely to us during the day, making sure we had everything we needed. Each blogger had an amazing prym toolbox chocca full of notions and gadgets. The shears cut like BUTTER!

John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

 

We took the group photo on the new rooftop garden. It was pretty amazing up there and JL have planned some swanky parties to make use of it. Very jealous!

John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

Look at Roisin’s pretty dress. “Winner Winner, Quorn family roast dinner”.

John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

I might even have to buy myself a few metres of some of the other stunning fabrics on offer during this 150 year celebration. Possibly to recreate this little beauty!

John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

So all in all an EPIC day. I came home exhausted and hoarse and thoroughly happy. I’m so so grateful to have been included on such an amazing event.

More on my finished dress soon!

Continue Reading