Happy New Year!

I’ve written this blog post about five times now.

I’m both scared and excited to think about what 2013 will bring and my brain is racing at a mile a minute.

Unavoidable changes are heading my way and I’m trying to figure out how to roll with them.

I’m not going to start waffling on about all of that because it’s been a long day and this is still a sewing blog right?!

THIS WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS

Regardless of any drama the new year has brought, I’ve also done a smidgen of sewing!

2013-01-09 21.02.35I eased myself back in slowly. I put an elastic waist in a B5653 strappy floral top UFO that’s been lingering around since Summer.

This Butterick top is sort of a refashion and a muslin.

I salvaged the fabric from an old Topshop dress and wanted to try out the strappy view of the top before investing other fabric in it.

I’m already plotting many more versions of this is.

And I  think it’d look lovely extended into a sundress. Yes yes I know we’re expecting snow this weekend.

2013-01-09 21.09.46

Then I hemmed the striped NL 6808 I started before xmas.

Tweet peeps are sure to be sick of seeing this top. I’ve posted pics of it in every stage of construction.

Check out the bitching stripe matching on it though! On the sides and on the sleeves (this damn near killed me).

I also added an exposed zip to the back.

Yessssssss (smug).

Roisin suggested a tutorial post which I’m eager to supply.

I will not be showing you the insides of this bad boy but will instead draft up something neater for show and tell.

I wore this one today and wasn’t most impressed with how I looked but think that’s just because I’m full of cold at the minute and in my mind I look I have bats nesting in my hair and the pallor of a jaundiced gremlin.

And on that delightful note I shall leave you for now.

I will return shortly with organised thoughts rather than the deranged stream of consciousness I’ve been trying to fight back…

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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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MMM12: Day 21. Elsie knock-off

Woo I’m super pleased with myself. And not afraid to say it!

Ages ago I saw a picture of Elsie and went “ooooooh”.

I love Elsie’s blog A Beautiful Mess. Her fashion taste is fab and she always tries to include lots of varying fun diy ideas. She’s also a lovely photographer.

Immediately I pinned this dress on Pinterest and set about making my duplicate! What do you think?!

Unfortunately my fabric isn’t as bright, but it is still lovely and was £1 a metre! Have I said before that I LOVE Jack’s Fabrics.

I then made my own pattern for the front panel. I use baking paper when making my own pattern pieces. It’s a bit stiffer than tissue paper which makes it harder to pin but the pieces last longer.

I found some cheap red lining fabric and buttons that are a near perfect match for the Elsie buttons. And set about sewing. I decided not to include the sleeves as they looked a bit poofy in the picture and I didn’t think they’d suit me.

I’m super pleased with the construction because I used french seams, top stitching and my serger finished all my seams beautifully!

I wore the dress to work and was quietly smug. It turned out to be lovely and sunny today too so I didn’t feel too out of place in a sundress.

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MMM12: Days 4 and 5. WASABI!!!

Long weekend woooo!

I wore my polka dot top to work Friday made from Butterick 5644 with a self drafted peter pan collar. I had a very productive day. No one was really in the office so no one really noticed/cared I was wearing my top. I was pleased with myself at least. Straight after work I met up with old work friends for a drink. Always dangerous on an empty stomach but awesome fun to catch up with everyone.

Yesterday I didn’t really do as much sewing as I’d have liked. I bought bucket loads of fabric though! I have FINALLY found nice lace. All of Yorkshire seemed to have a nice lace  shortage, apart from Sam Taylors who have gorgeous but COSTLY lace. Last week I bought some online from Hertfordshire and was rather impressed with it when it arrived. But then, wandering round the market yesterday I found gorgeous red and mint coloured lace at a bargainous price of £2.85 a metre! God bless you Jack’s Fabrics.

And then I bought lots of lining fabric from Jack’s from their clearance shed. It’s not really a shed but a walk in cupboard area which is definitely hit and miss but when you find a hit, it’s usually amazing. The best thing about the shed is that everything is about £1 or £1.50 a metre. Jersey, cottons, georgette/chiffon, and occasionally some awesome printed polyester turns up in there! I usually have to tear myself away. It’s great for making a wearable muslin and real projects. And if you’ve read Tilly’s post on the cost of making clothing, Jack’s helps me keep costs down.

So if that wasn’t enough I then opened my exciting new package. My baby overlocker!! Isn’t it sweet!? A Singer too. It was a little fiddly to thread but not half as bad as I thought it would be. I made my chain thread but have yet to practice on any fabric and set the tension. That’s my main plan for this afternoon.

Finally I should mention my MMM item for yesterday. I wore this star print top made from New Look 6962. Jimi and I have been dating for 23 months and 3 weeks so we celebrated our almost anniversary by going out for Teppanyaki!

Wasabi Teppanyaki at Granary Wharf is so much fun. I recommend it to everyone. They cook everything in front of you on a giant hot plate and the set menus give you a great variety of things to try. Japanese salad is delicious, hot miso soup, vegetable tempura, then I had aubergine, courgette, mange tout, tomatoes and onions in garlic and teriyaki sauce with egg fried rice. Yum. And there is obligatory shouting of “WASABI!!!”  throughout dinner.

Now you may ask why not wait an  extra week to celebrate?! Well it is because Jimi is doing a half marathon next weekend. This means he can’t have a deliciously indulgent and giant dinner the night before the race and he may be too physically ruined to get off the sofa the day after. If it turns out he’s bouncing all over and fit as a fiddle  the day after I’ll drag him out again.

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