• Dresses,  Events and day trips

    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!!

  • Fabric

    Fabric Shopping Adventures!

    Hello lovely Readers! I hope you’ve had a great week.

    I’ve had two fantastic weekends in a row that I wanted to share. And both involved fabric shopping!

    Last weekend I mentioned I was in London. The trip was centred around a lovely friend’s 30th birthday. I also got to see some of my family and go to the ballet. All excellent activities!


    On the Monday before I left for home I snuck in a little bit more fun in the shape of a Goldhawk Road trip with some famous sewing faces. I put a call out on twitter for London-based sewists who’d be free for shopping on a Monday and who replies? Only flipping Lizzie who was going to be visiting the UK and free to meet up!

    Even better, Rachel, Fiona, Inna and Alana were also free for a shopping jaunt. It had been ages since we last caught up with each other.

    We combed the shops for bargains and then had a lovely gossip over lunch in a funny little cafe (Rachel’s photo above). Monday was the day that Fiona’s first Mood post went live and also the day the Project Sewn results were announced! Talented ladies.

    P1060066 P1060058 P1060055

    Excellent London buys – Deer print Georgette, Geometric Cotton Sateen and Fabulous Swimming Ladies Polycotton.

    This weekend was just as good. I got to catch up with Sabs, Kat, Marie, Helen, Roisin and Claire in Birmingham.

    We enjoyed the Rag Market, the brilliant Barry’s and the Fancy Silk Store. Our lunch may have been more gossiping than eating but that’s just how I like it.

    The fabric bargains, lovely company and good weather(!) all made it worth riding the megabus. I know I’m a broken record but it’s amazing considering we met randomly off the Internet, how I seriously value these ladies being in my life. They inspire me and they make me laugh so much.

    P1060039 P1060044

    Brilliant Brum Purchases – Rose print Polyester, Hydrangea print Viscose. Not pictured are my bargain zip and bias binding purchases or my extremely dull lining choices.

    I feel like I’ve been searching for the perfect floral since I started sewing. These two are pretty gorgeous but not perfect. They will do for now though!

    Finally I still have one (ludicrously expensive) fabric purchase to show you but I’m saving that for another time…

    2014-03-01 11.28.28

  • Other stuff

    Three reasons to smile this week…..

    It’s been a looooong week. Feels like a month! I’ve been so busy at work that I’ve been getting home late and sleepy most days. And then being all run down lead to another cold! Very unfair if you ask me.

    There have been some highlights though….

    Easy as ett, två, tre…. (1, 2, 3…)

    High on the list is getting some awesome fabric from Ikea courtesy of my little bro (aka little fro due to his awesomely big hair).

    Leeds wasn’t stocking it but WAHEY Manchester was!!

    And I love how bargainous the cotton is. Very good prices for quirky prints and hard-wearing.

    Not sure what to make with it. I’m going to hold onto it until the perfect project comes along. I saw on one blog a girl planned to use her metre of this fabric to line a Minora jacket.

    “I thought she was the most gorgeous creature I ever met. . . . She was so entirely unaffected, completely without vanity.”

    Secondly, I’ve just finished reading High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly. I was watching the Monaco Grand-Prix with Jimi and realised I’d love to learn more about Grace Kelly’s life. I have a lot of old Hollywood movie star biographies on my shelves so picked this one up off eBay for a surprising £1.25.

    I read it in only FOUR days! Gosh it was good. She was so lovely and had amazing patience and decorum. She always tried to bite her tongue and not let anger or frustration take over.

    Her life wasn’t the fairy tale everyone imagined it was and she struggled having to give up acting and move so far away when she became a princess.

    Spato is a little bit too eager to flaunt how Grace loved him and wanted him to tell her story. But I can sort of believe him as he treats her with lots of respect even when handling the more unseemly parts of her life. He’s reverent of her memory but still tells what seems to be the truth.

    CoLette not CoLLette silly.

    Also making me happy this week is finally getting The Colette Sewing Handbook.

    (I always have to fight the urge to put two Ls in Colette!)

    I know I’m like the last person to buy this book. I feel like I’ll be in a better position now as I can look at everyone’s blogs for help on the patterns and sizing.

    I’m super eager to try the scallops though I doubt my skirt will look like the one in the book.

    Reading the part about patience and inner calm in sewing struck a chord with me. I’m always desperate to finish and rush things.

    I’m going to try taking things slower, having a plan and hopefully ending up with finished garments I love and will last.

    That’s all for now. I need sleep and I’ve spent the past few hours finishing a muslin for a new dress and pinning and cutting the real fabric. I’m seeing stars!! No, really, it’s the green star print fabric I bought ho ho ho.