Hello Sailor

Hello hello!

I’m so happy to be posting again. I have a few things waiting to be photographed so expect those posts soon. And I’m happy to report I’ve started sewing again following my move (more on that another day)!

So if you haven’t guessed by the name of this post I have something nautical for you today.

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Let me present my nautical knot shirtdress, courtesy of the wonder that is Joel and Son Fabrics.

The lovely folk at J&S heard me lamenting on twitter how I’d love to buy some of this linen but I was still on my self-imposed spending ban (we were about to cross the finish line for completing on our new house). They came to my rescue offering me the chance to review their site and this gorgeous print!

This fabric is an amazing tomato red colour with bright yellow and blue knots on it. It makes me happy just looking at it! And if you haven’t ever ordered from J&S you can expect your fabric folded in tissue, sealed with a quality assurance sticker and wrapped in one of their signature bags. I even got a cute mini tape measure in my parcel! Now that’s good customer service.

joel and sons simplicity 1880 almond rock

It’s a linen but happily doesn’t crease too much because it has some viscose in the mix. Think I lie? This dress was pulled out of the suitcase it moved in and WAS NOT IRONED before I took these pics. Brilliant right? And at 140cm wide I only needed 1.5m to make this dress.

joel and son simplicity 1880 almond rock

I’m a bit of a renegade though. You might have noticed “dry clean” is the suggested handling for the fabric. That doesn’t work for me. I took the risk and washed it on a handwash setting. And… HUZZAH! It only lost a teeny amount of the colour and there was no degradation to the linen weave.

So what shirtdress is this? It’s Simplicity 1880, previously made by me here and the popular pattern from this sewalong.

joel and son simplicity 1880 almond rock

As per the last time I amended the skirt to have a button front, plus I lined the skirt with a poly-crepe (so I wouldn’t get the dreaded tights-sticking issue). I also included a back neck facing and used french seams wherever possible.

joel and son simplicity 1880 almond rock

I really recommend this pattern for when you don’t want darts to ruin print placement. It was perfect for these knots. I even managed with some clever placement, to get a 99% red collar when looking from the front; I thought that would give a nice clean look. I also fought the temptation to use gold anchor buttons and went for these red shiny vintage lovelies that I had in my stash.

joel and son simplicity 1880 almond rock

Now my challenge is staying away from the awesome printed silks on the J&S site, like this panda awesome-ness. Or their cottons for that matter, like this pretty little number. I dare you not to find something to lust over on this website!!

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Cherry Bomb

I love the Runaways. So Cherry Bomb was the obvious choice for this post.

(For the record, I’m a Joan fangirl. Sorry Cherie.)

Despite my rock loving roots, this has come out nice and sweet and 1950s cute if you ask me. That makes me happy too.

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 For some reason this cherry print polka dot cotton makes me think of American diners and blue denim. I’m rather gutted I couldn’t have a milkshake for this photoshoot.

Am I crazy or do you get USA vibes too? I feel like running around town singing Bruce Springsteen songs or maybe bake a cherry pie.

The fabric was won many moons ago thanks to a giveaway by the Vintage Nirvana that is The Polished Button, and delightfully hosted on the famous blog Handmade Jane. I won 1m of the cotton AND 1m of matching cherry print bias binding which I put to good use as an armhole facing.

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What a lucky girl!

I made this blouse last summer but during a strop over the notched collar I put it in the UFO bin — BANISHED.

It was my first time trying a notch collar you see and I was having some difficulty. When I tried more recently on my pyjamas it worked a treat so I was clearly hot and bothered over nothing.

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But now, I’m ooooh sooo smug about how Summery I look.

The blouse is a mix of Simplicity 1880 a hit from the Project Runway pattern line and the Sassy Librarian Blouse. I used the collar plus the front and back yokes from 1880. Then the release pleats and length from the Sassy Blouse.

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If you want to see some cherry print awesomeness on a SL Blouse, look no further than Claire’s fruity version. Or if you’re really after another version of 1880 cropped as a blouse, take a look at Amy’s mad men inspired look.

So what about you? Are you breaking out the summer sewing patterns? Daring to bear some leg or arm now the sun’s staying out longer?

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Toot Toot! I’m blowing my little party horn!

I bloody love the sewing community!! I’ve been nominated for another Liebster award and a Super Sweet Blogger Award.

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Jo from Sew Little Time is an awesome kickass sewist. Her blog is great fun to read, she’s a good twitter friend and, as I learned at the blogger meet up, an excellent dinner partner.

Check out her Mad Men dress, Anise and all her lovely knitting for starters!

Jo has thrown down the gauntlet with questions for her nominees. There wasn’t any of that last time around so I’m happy to play along.

1. What is your favourite film of all time and why?
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I don’t see any shame in admitting this. I totally heart First Knight. I wish I could say a cool film but it’d be a fib. I can’t really say why but I love Richard Gere as an American Lancelot and Sean Connery as a Scottish King Arthur! Awesome fun. Maybe it’s the mystery of Camelot. Who knows. Have you seen it? Have I gone up or down in your estimation?

2. What kind of holidays do you like – beach? city break? raving in Ibiza?  Do tell!

I love the sun. It’s not about baking myself that much, more about being totally warmed through, getting vitamin D and feeling really healthy (doesn’t everyone feel more healthy in bright warm sunlight). My favourite place to visit is Melbourne. Let me sit in the sun with a good book at St Kilda and I’d be a very happy lady.

3. I spend a lot of time commuting – if you had a spare hour on the train, what would you do?

I do the same! I have an hour each way to waste on the way to my office. I read blogs, work on Almond Rock posts and play on my social media accounts. I really want to get back into reading books on the train so I need a bigger handbag me thinks!

4. What is the best sewing book you have read?
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I think my current favourite is the Merchant and Mills sewing book. Its very cleverly written to be gender neutral, charming and inspiring. I learnt some great new tips and really responded to the design and layout used.

5. Knits or wovens?

Wovens all the way baby! It’s one of my New Year ReSewlutions to get better at knits… but hey crikey we’re nearly half way through the year already! I should probably mobilise on that.

6. What is your favourite blog?

Oh no you don’t. I’m not picking a favourite!! I love so many. There are blogs with amazing layouts, great clever features, beautiful clothes, diys and crafts, and most of all hilarious happy people who I enjoy reading about and chatting to.

7. What other crafts do you do and which is your favourite?

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Honestly I’m afraid I don’t really do much else. I dabble with jewellery making but not enough to say it’s a secondary craft. I read a lot, watch epic movie marathons and wax lyrical about James Bond. I also like to think I’m a pretty decent baker and cake decorator. I’ve learned from the best though so is that really a craft or more of a handed down family secret?

8. What is your karaoke song?

For a big old extrovert I’m not really a fan of karaoke. I do have one ace up my sleeve. Think Nelly….

9. Sweet or savoury?

Sweeeeeeeet. I’d love to live off dessert without consequences… and bread! Give me a banoffee pie and I’ll call you my best friend!

10. What is your favourite accessory?

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At the minute it’s my red leather satchel. I can’t stop using it! I got on my way home from the epic London meetup so it always reminds me of sewing adventures.

11. If I gave you £50 ($78 US, $82 Aus) to spend on fabric, patterns or craft supplies, what would you make from it?  Links please!
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Eeeeek I’d want a spending spree! But to be more restrained… I’m currently cooking up a plan for a shirtdress so I’d buy 2 metres of pale pink carline rose tana lawn (£44) and Simplicity 1880 (£8). Then I’m out of budget. Oh.
If I got the pale pink cabbage rose cath kidston print fabric (£25) instead of Liberty I could also squeeze in an order of a belladone from Deer and Doe perhaps?

Phew that was harder than I thought. I wonder if you all feel like you’ve seen into my soul now…

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Next up the Super Sweet Blogger Award which was given to me by lovely Lara of Dreaming of Avonlea. Thanks very much Lara. I had the pleasure of her company in Birmingham this weekend. She is fun and talented and dreams of dresses!
I mean after hearing that you’ve GOT TO check out her blog!

She’d like me to answer 5 Super Sweet questions.
And to nominate a baker’s dozen (13) of other deserving bloggers.

Questions!

Q: Cookies or Cake?

A: Cake I think… just edges it out.

Q: Chocolate or Vanilla?

A: CHOCOLATE are you crazy?!

Q:  Favorite sweet treat?

A: Banoffee pie all the way. Or as close as you can get to it!

Q: When do you crave sweets the most?

A: As soon as I go on a diet. But mostly after dinner time.

Q: Sweet nickname?

A: Nothing to report here. It’s very hard to abbreviate a three letter name into something cuter!

I’m very grateful to the sewing community but for these awards I’d like to nominate my favourite food bloggers for a bit of redirection! Maybe you’ll discover someone you like too?

  1. Stasty
  2. Little Red House
  3. Spoon Fork Bacon
  4. Ari’s menu
  5. Family Style Food
  6. Lolly’s Sweet and Savoury Treats
  7. Mandy’s Recipe Box
  8. Just My Delicious
  9. Angel Loves Cooking
  10. Sweet C’s Designs
  11. Domestic Rebel
  12. Bakerette
  13. Delicious Shots
  14. Cocktail Remedy (bonus one for all the cocktail lovers out there)
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